Anyone reading any 31 days blogs?

Did anyone notice?

This year I’ve not participated in the 31 days of blogging on a particular subject.

To be fair, I never plan to do it but as time inches closer, I find myself just jumping in!

But not this year.

Do you have your copy of last year’s posts yet? My 31 days of easy organising solutions book is only $1,99 and it’s really nice-looking on the Kindle app πŸ˜‰

31 days book coverThis year I’m not even reading any new 31 days blogs.

Usually I go over to Nester’s blog, scroll through all the buttons and subscribe to about 10 – 15 for the month.

This year… nothing.

All part of my streamlined social media personal policies.

In other news, does anyone else download tons of Kindle samples and never get to them all?

Well. I decided to start getting through these samples and either add the books to my Amazon wishlist or delete them.

Happy to say I’m working through them, slowly but surely.

(I had 8 pages of mostly Kindle samples… so it’s going to take some time :))

How many Kindle samples do you have?

So, are you reading any good 31 days blogs?

Let me know in the comments so I can have a peek!

 

 

 

31 days of easy organising solutions

I feel very relieved that another one of the goals on my list is done. I think I have one business goal left – the makeover of this blog….

Nevertheless, my second book, 31 days of easy organising solutions is now available on the Kindle. Just as a reminder, you don’t actually need a Kindle to buy Kindle books – you can read them on your phone, iPad or computer.

It’s only $1,99 but somehow Amazon adds another $2 for us South Africans πŸ™

31 days book

And of course, Live Organised is also available on the Kindle and as a physical book.

I’ve reduced the price of Live Organised in the Amazon store too – get your copy today.

Live Organised_PRINT

Β I’d like to end off by asking you to please go leave a review on Amazon or on Goodreads.

And if you want to read these and haven’t yet, please add it to your want to read shelf on Goodreads. Thanks πŸ™‚

Here’s the Goodreads link for Live Organised and here’s the one for 31 days.

Are you on Goodreads yet?

Goodreads is the most fabulous way to organise all your books read. I’ve had instances where I logged into my Goodreads account to see if I’ve read a book I intended to buy, only to realise I’ve already read it.

 

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – my learnings

I always find I get the most out of something if I take some time to reflect on the process afterwards.

The good things

  1. I finished all 31 posts on time!!! (this deserves 3 exclamation points)
  2. I made my own button from my own photography πŸ™‚
  3. I didn’t use about 5 of my pre-planned topics which means I have a few ideas if I get stuck for post ideas (which never happens).
  4. I liked the habit of getting something up every day.
  5. After 3 – 4 posts, I got into it and enjoyed writing more. This meant I faffed around reading fewer blogs which I think is a good thing overall.
  6. I realised how much time blogging takes because I tracked my time for this little project.

 

The bad things

  1. I lost at least half of my posts three times. I think WordPress hates me.
  2. A reader (thanks, Renee) told me my pics don’t show up properly in Internet Explorer. I’m dragging and dropping pics since if I click the media button, my computer just doesn’t respond.
  3. I don’t think I got any more traffic than usual (there are more people reading but who’s to say they wouldn’t have arrived anyway?!).
  4. I didn’t get any more comments than I normally do.

 

What did you learn from this series of posts?

 

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – 2 effective systems to have in place

I went to a parenting course a week ago and the trainer said something profound – we are all too busy in Johannesburg.

I agree.

Before you breathe a sigh of relief because you don’t live in Jhb, I think our society as a whole can get too busy unless we consciously slow down.

But amidst the hecticness of life, we can at least put into place some systems that will help us gain a sense of calm and peace in our homes.

 

1. Menu planning

We discussed that over here.

Here are all my posts that reference menu planning. There’s a reason I write about it a lot – it’s the one, consistent system that saves me hours every week.

2. Launch pad

Do you know the place in your house where you toss your keys, phone and the mail when you walk in the door?

Flylady calls this a launch pad.

I like that term because it reminds me of action. We have an interesting, little corner in our entrance hall that I used to use for my launch pad pre-kids but now I have a little section of my bedroom for my handbag and iPad.

Mornings are one of the worst times in most families – you can’t find your keys, wallet, bag, etc. Frantic running around and screaming happens and that is just not a great way to start your day.

The point is that we use our launch pads to ready ourselves for mornings. Every evening I pack my handbag, work bag and keys, and they are all left here.

I’m not a morning person so in the mornings all I do is grab and go. Literally once I leave the bedroom, I walk to the fridge to get my cooler bag with my lunch, and I’m ready to leave.

There are another two systems – we’ll include those in the 31 days ebook.

 

Which systems can you implement to make your life easier?

 

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – set yourself up for success

One of the main principles in life that I try to live by is to set myself and others up for success.

What does that look like?

  1. Well, with my kids, I don’t expect them to be at their best behaviour when they’re tired or hungry so we won’t go to a restaurant at those times. I want to set them up for success.
  2. With clients, if I see they’ve got too much on their plates, I’ll remind them that in my mind success looks like x because of all their other commitments, but I’ll still support them if they want to really stretch.
  3. For me, if I’ve been sick I go easy on myself with the lesser important things around the house. This weekend I had a splitting headache for about 24 hours. I prepared meals but the little organising and tidying up projects didn’t get done at all.

Why stress out about something and deliberately set myself up for sure failure?!

So what does that look like for your organising success?

Only you can answer.

If you can only manage 15 minutes every weekday, then realistically speaking you can organise a drawer or small surface area each day. Don’t expect to organise an entire room and then beat yourself up when it doesn’t get done.

How can you better set yourself up for organising success?

My book, Live Organised, will help you get organised in a realistic, practical manner. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – office organising overwhelm

 

We haven’t spoken about something very important – organising overwhelm.

The feeling that it’s all too much.

One day everything feels alright and the next day it seems as if paper is all over the office, you can’t find what you need on your computer, you have thousands of emails in your inbox and you’re paralysed with overwhelm.

You can’t even get to urgent tasks, let alone the important ones that will help you reach your goals.

This is what I suggest:

1. tackle one thing at a time

If your paper is driving you crazy, spend an hour or two focussed on nothing else but sorting the paper. If it’s your email, then set your timer, set a goal and start replying.

I’m a very visual person which means I can’t ever work effectively with an untidy desk. I keep nothing on my desk except the current project and usually if I’m feeling very overwhelmed, I first clear my desk so that I can focus on my to-do list without distractions.

2. maintain the area

The key is to spend 5 minutes a day maintaining that organised space. It is amazing how spending just 5 minutes in each area of your office will set you up for success the following day.
It means that you can “hit the ground running” when you start the next day’s work. If you spend a half-hour by yourself once a week to set up the week ahead, and then do a longer session every month, your life will feel more under control and won’t leave you feeling frazzled.

3. Use 10-minute pockets of time

Make a list of 10-minute tasks and keep the list on your desk, in plain view. Next time you have 10 minutes before you have to leave for a meeting, or you’re on hold with a customer services representative, check your list and see what you can do to organise your office.

Some tasks that I like to keep for those 10 minutes are:

* filing
* tidying my desk
* decluttering a file
* making a phone call or two
* going through my sent items and following up on email
* easy web maintenance
* uploading blog photos

If you stick to these 3 steps, you should be more focussed and productive with your work and hopefully not feel like it’s all too much very often again.

Coaching challenge

1. Make your list of 10-minute tasks and position it on your desk or nearby.
2. Schedule a weekly maintenance session in your diary and on your phone.

 

How do you overcome office organising overwhelm?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – easier decluttering

Edited to add – a reader alerted me to the fact that once again, dear WordPress lost my post and reverted to my template (which is usually the previous day’s post). Have rewritten it below.

One of the first steps of organising any space isΒ  decluttering.

Because decluttering can be such a hard thing for some of us to do, I’ve been asking myself this question over the years:

Can someone use this today?

When you ask yourself that question, you intentionally move your mindset out of hoarding and into giving.

The Pampers box is always ready to receive some goodies so the minute I can’t comfortably fit things into a cupboard or drawer, I ask myself, “can someone use this today?” about duplicates of items or items that just don’t make me feel happy.

And sometimes older is better.

We have a cheese knife that is old as the hills (about 15 years old) that we received from a family friend with a cheese board. The cheese board is long gone but that knife is awesome. I’ve since received a newer, fancier cheese knife but nothing beats the old one so the newer one needs to go πŸ™‚

What kinds of things do you tell yourself to make it easier to let go?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – organise your shoes

For the weekend, we’re going to talk less and act more.

Do you have too many shoes?

Nobody can answer that except you.

If you have a lot of space and you can find what you want when you need to, then you’re probably okay with the amount of shoes you have.

For the rest of us… let’s organise our shoes:

  • make a pile of shoes to throw away if they have holes or are breaking
  • make another pile for shoes that can still be worn but you no longer like
  • now organise the rest – in shoe holders, on shelves, in bins πŸ™‚

How do you store your shoes?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – always cook double

I really love food but what I don’t love is slaving away in the kitchen.

My rule is to work as smart as possible and to always cook at least double.

E.g. if I cook a bolognaise sauce, we may have it with pasta once, as a topping on baked potatoes once and also on top of rice.

I freeze portion sizes so that I can easily defrost a container at a time.

By the way, we won’t eat it all in one week. Usually just once a week but then I know for the next two weeks I have a meal ready.

 

We even do this with rice or pasta. Cook double so that one night later that week I don’t have to bother thinking about the starch component, especially later in the week when I’m more tired.

I do this with vegetable prep too.

It takes as much work to peel a few carrots as to do the whole bag. We go through a 1 kg bag every week because I take carrots to work to snack on about 2 – 3 times a week and the babies (three-year-olds) LOVE carrots too.

Over to you. Do you cook double? Why or why not?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – bags for kids

While today’s tip is for both kids and adults, I’ve found it more useful with my kids.

Have multiple bags.

My kids don’t go to pre-school yet but they do go for normal outings like church every Sunday, gym, parties, visiting friends, going to restaurants (this is their reward of choice – for sure, their father’s kids :)), etc.

I’ve never been a fan of carrying a lot of stuff around even when the twins were babies and the minute the babies could walk, I let them carry their own stuff around!

So we have a standard backpack for normal outings. It has the standard items like a change of clothes, sun hat, sunscreen, etc. Just before we leave the house I throw in a water bottle and an apple each (this is where they’re their mother’s children :))

And then… we also have bags to keep them occupied somewhere, like at a restaurant, doctor, etc.

The key is to check the bags when you get home and replenish any used items like that spare change of clothes. I delegated this to the nanny when she was new and found out the hard way that I need to always make a checklist. Kendra spilled water all over her clothes when we just arrived at church and Dion had to go to the nearest Pep to get her some spare pants and a t-shirt.

If your kids have multiple activities, it may be useful (and save lots of time) to have a tote bag for each activity and keep these on hooks behind their bedroom door or in your entrance hall.

Do you use multiple bags for your kids? Would this work for you?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

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