We all have 15 minutes

One of the biggest organising myths is that you need a big chunk of time to organise anything.

That’s simply not true.

I actually don’t know many people who happen to have hours and hours free for the purpose of organising.

The thing is, with anything in life that is important to you, you have to make time. I wrote a whole book about this concept – get it here.

One of the ways you make time is by using up all the little bits of time throughout your day.

Even if you think you have no time, I guarantee there are bits here and there.

If you start looking for those treasured moments, you’ll realise you can get a lot more done.

I remember when my kids were just newborns I thought I’d never have time to myself again.

Then I realised that I had 5 minutes here, another 10 minutes there and so on.

I could read one article in a magazine in those 5 minutes and maybe even churn out a blog post in the 10-minute stretch.

All that time adds up if you’re ready to take advantage of it.

It’s the same with organising.

You may not have an hour to organise a chest of drawers but if you find 15 minutes a day for 4 days, you do have that hour.

A change of perspective = opportunities

Flylady says, “you can do anything for 15 minutes”.

Here are a few quick ideas:

• Straighten your cutlery and/or utensils drawer
• Edit and delete photos (one of my ongoing projects to use a “spare” 15 minutes) from your phone
• Declutter a pile of paper
• Tidy your handbag or wallet
• Organise your spices
• Declutter your recipe folder

See? There are indeed 15-minute slivers of time all around us if only we’ll just look for them.

Make a list of 10 or more quick organising projects you can do in 15 minutes and get started today.

Are you an all or nothing person? Do you tend to look for the big chunk of time versus the little bits?

{Intentional living} Luxury

A few weekends ago I spent a very nice afternoon-evening fully immersing myself in a book. I started the book over breakfast after gym, took a break decluttering kids’ clothes and had a lunch date with Dion, and then in the afternoon I read…. until I finished that night. I took a brief break to make tea (pictured) and to whip up supper, and then back to the book.

While I’m a very avid reader and I read daily, the kind of reading where I can go past the point of no return and just keep reading without stopping is extremely decadent.

Lazy Saturday afternoons are the best! #SWEETDELIGHTS #AugustBreak2015

A photo posted by Marcia Francois (@marcia0608) on

It’s a luxury to me.

Gretchen Rubin wrote a blog a few weeks ago asking about people’s idea of luxury.

The idea of luxury is interesting because it’s so different for each of us.

I guess I’d consider luxury to be the resource in short supply for a current life situation.

  • When the babies were newborns, luxury was drinking a whole mug of tea and have it be hot all the way through.
  • Because I don’t live at the beach, taking a walk on the beach or going to sleep with the sound of the waves crashing is a luxury to me.
  • Time to work proactively these days is a luxury

When I first started thinking through this concept of luxury, my first thought was “time” but because I genuinely feel that there is enough time for all of us, I thought that couldn’t be it.

So then, what is luxury for me?

It’s the completely getting lost in a book, going for a walk at 4:30 in the afternoon with my camera, playing in the kitchen for two hours.

But who said I couldn’t do these things?

No-one except me.

So I resolve to do more of this luxurious living, getting lost in a book one weekend a month, coming home early to get in that walk and then catching up in the evenings when the light is gone, postponing the tidying in favour of creating in the kitchen.

That’s some luxury I can for sure bring to my life.

How about you? Are you designing your ideal life?

{31 days of enough time} Final thoughts on having enough time

Can you believe it? This is the last day of the series and it’s been FABULOUS!

I got what I wanted out of it, which is the discipline to get something up every day this month.

Moreover I could actually write every day for another 2 months which is exciting to know since time management is my thing.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

If you missed some (or a lot of) posts, simply click this link (or the 31 days of enough time label under each post) and you’ll be able to read all the posts in order.

I hope that you were inspired, motivated and challenged to take a different course of action.

 

This was the plan for the month:

Mondays – something to challenge your thinking

Tuesdays – favourite time management books

Wednesdays – a full-length article so something a bit meatier

Thursdays – my favourite time management tools

Fridays – time management myths

Saturdays – practical tips to create enough time

Sundays – inspiring quote on a pretty picture (all taken by me)

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

You have enough time

Now that you’ve read for 31 days, what next?

Well, it takes time to embed new habits. When I embarked on my own time management journey, it took me three months to change my old thinking patterns and solidify good habits.

You’ll probably have the same experience.

I have a few other resources to help you on your journey:

And because of my increased focus on time, I saw and read a few great things on the internet this month.

This post by Penelope Trunk was my favourite one of all. And this quote is seriously my favourite one on time.

saying no |31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Everything I’ve written over this month has boiled down to this one thought:

There’s enough time for everything you want to do but you have to get clear on exactly what you want, and get happy not doing everything else.

Until then, life will continue to be frenetic and you will continue to be frazzled 🙁

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Which was your favourite post (or series of posts) in the series?

PS Please share on social media if you’ve enjoyed a post… it’s encouraging for me to feel like what I’ve written has actually impacted one or two people.

{31 days of enough time} Weekly planning

There’s nothing better than the feeling of having a clear, worry-free mind.

Mental clutter is heavy!

For me, a big contributor to not having a lot on my mind is getting things down in one place.

That means writing down my monthly goals and then, the secret to my success, using my weekly planning system.

weekly planner 31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Click the picture to download your free weekly and monthly goals planner

It’s the best thing – it feels like there’s more time because there is – a whole week to get things done.

If I feel like I want to do nothing on 2 – 3 days, that’s fine, I have 4 – 5 more 🙂

Some things that work for me:

  1. I use a form of Eat the Frog with my weekly planning too. I put my “heaviest”, most important tasks at the beginning of the week which is why, if any of my friends are reading, I almost never agree to do anything fun on a Monday or Tuesday. Those days are for “heavy lifting”.
  2. I plan things throughout the week so that each day feels light and I never feel burdened or overwhelmed.
  3. I always plan fun things too, like playing with photos.
  4. I don’t make a huge list – I try not to have more than 10 things total, for both business and personal. That’s a comfortable number for me most weeks.

Weekly goals | Organising Queen

Do you do any weekly planning?

Tell me about your system, otherwise do try some weekly planning next week and let me know how you like it. It might not work for you and that is A-okay – I’m not a one size fits all coach 🙂

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Click here to download the no-fuss monthly and weekly planner

{31 days of enough time} How to say no…

This is my favourite book on saying no!

Sometimes when I read books targeted at women, I get a bit irritated at the tone… because some authors  tend to assume that we’re all the same type of woman and forget about taking into account that we’re all unique.

Not this one.

This is an easy read full of practical advice.

I really loved how this book spoke to me. Matter of fact, I haven’t read it for a few years and now I’m thinking I need to have a re-read.

Do you have a problem with people-pleasing, sticking to your priorities or over-commitment?

Get How to Say No…and Live to Tell About It: A Woman’s Guide to Guilt-Free Decisions and give it a read.

 

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Have you read this book?

What is your favourite time resource?

{31 days of enough time} Being present vs FOMO

I heard this lovely little acronym a few months ago.

FOMO – fear of missing out

And I could relate.

I’ve experienced it a couple of times usually when I chose one thing (time with my family) over another and then saw friends having fun without me (imagine that!) on social media.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

It’s hard because both things are generally good things.

But one thing was the best (and right thing for me) at the time.

Lysa Terkeurst has a new book out called The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. I haven’t read it yet but I’m a fan of hers so I will read it soon-ish. By the way, I also recommend Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.

Has this fear of missing out happened to you?

Some of us would try and do all the things to avoid missing out, and have to be in 2 – 3 places.

Running yourself ragged, my friends, is not the path to Enough Time.

Rather choose your best yes and be present in the moment.

The last time this happened to me I had to tell myself (out loud) that I chose something else and then not look at Instagram the rest of the day.

How do you deal with FOMO?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Reality

Reality always wins | www.OrganisingQueen.com

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Menu planning, even for spontaneous people

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – menu planning saves me HOURS of time every week.

I started menu planning in 2006 when I “met” Laura and her Menu Planning Mondays, and I haven’t looked back since.

Menu planning is how I have enough time during the week for blogging, playing with the kids, going to Spanish, cooking healthy, nutritious meals, etc.

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

My new job means I have an additional 20-minute commute both ways… and I don’t like to eat late so menu planning has become a foundation for my organised home. I’ve committed both to myself and our nanny that I will always have the entire week’s menu planned out so that she can prepare anything we’ve agreed on. For instance, if I put “chicken a la King, rice and carrots” on the menu, Nanny S knows to cut up carrots and have them ready so I can just cook them.

I’ve always batch cooked so I have a number of meals in the freezer at all times. The key is to keep the freezer inventory up to date so I know when I need to cook a new batch of food.

As an indication, I planned out a full two week’s meals without needing to cook anything new….that kind of pre-cooking won’t work forever but I definitely like at least a week’s worth of meals in the freezer.

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

Did you know that meal planning works for both structured and unstructured people?

Here’s how you do it:

  1. For the structured people, simply make your meal plan for weekdays or the full week. Shop for all the groceries and then try to stick to your menu as closely as you can. If you feel like switching things around, there is still the freedom to do so.
  2. For the unstructured people, make a list of 5 – 7 meals and make sure you have the ingredients for all of those meals. On the day, see what you feel like cooking and do it (then cross off that meal). Do the same thing every day…. or not (it’s your life; don’t feel pressured and definitely don’t feel guilty for not making one of the meals on your list if you no longer feel like doing that one). Benefit – you have a loose plan but you’re not tied down to a specific meal on a specific day.

Do you menu plan?

How does your system work?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

PS There’s a menu planner in the free Time Management Purpose Pack.

{31 days of enough time} Using the right tool will transform your life

I have a theory that goes something like this…

people buy things because they think that those things will transform them into the person they want to be

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

  1. we buy baskets and containers hoping that we’ll become organised
  2. we buy bookshelves full of self-improvement books hoping we’ll become evolved and improved
  3. we buy gym outfits and expensive sports shoes not to mention paying for expensive memberships hoping that will motivate us to get fit and healthy
  4. we buy bigger, better and fancier cameras hoping that will make us take beautiful photos
  5. we buy tons of scrapbooking paraphernalia in the hope of having our baby books done

I could go on and on…

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course.

But we have enough. We really do.

Use whatever tools you currently have, use them fully and make them work for you. This is a great tool to nail down all the basics.

What I want to caution all of us against is putting our hope in the tool or the thing instead of in our own abilities to get whatever we want, done.

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

I see this especially in the productivity/ time management arena. There are forums and blogs with ginormous readerships where people spend so much time talking about the best tool/ app/ planner/ pen/ printable for this, that and the other, and while all this is going on, they could have used a piece of paper and a pen (cil) and it would have been just as effective. I promise!

As much as I love this app, if it disappeared tomorrow, my old-fashioned paper lists will work just as well.

Today I’m giving you permission to just be. To put aside the myth that the right tool will be your magic wand.

Stop searching for the next best thing in an effort to get more time, or have enough time. Use what you have at your disposal and it’ll be fine.

Let’s be honest.

Do you sometimes find yourself looking for the next best magic trick to transform your life?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Use a timer

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

This is a common kitchen timer.

Some of you might remember my yellow egg timer. I think back very fondly on that old timer because it happily lived with me for many years until a certain set of curious twins came along 😉

I’ve written a lot about timers in the past because they’re so effective at keeping you focussed and on track. They also really help with Parkinson’s Law.

The kitchen ones are better than the ones on your phone because they make that loud, annoying ticking sound which forces me to focus and get things done.

I was almost sure I wrote a post about using my iphone timer but I can’t find it now?

I personally like to play games against the timer (isn’t it fun being in my head?!) and see if I can beat it. E.g. if I want to tidy my study, I’ll set the timer for 15 minutes and see if I can finish before the timer goes off.

(I like 15-minute intervals – long enough to get stuck into something, but not so long that I get distracted)

Do you use a timer?

Which do you prefer? Old-fashioned kitchen timer or the one on your phone?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.comRead my previous posts about timers here and here and here.

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