What I learned in May

I love these monthly round-ups of what I learned.

Last month, I learned that:

I read fewer books when I have too many non-fiction in my batch

I’ve always known that I read faster when I read fiction only but in May, I read a total of 10 books (previous two months equalled 12 books each), 4 of them non-fiction!

Does your reading speed change depending on what you’re reading?

My headaches are hormonal

I tracked the days when I had headaches especially since the weather is cooler, and noticed that they happened on the same two days of my cycle.

Still not sure what to do as my gynae was all “yes, that’s normal” the last time I mentioned it, but at least I’ve isolated it.

Konmari first, then organise clothes

This year I swopped over my summer and winter clothes, and it was SUPER fast. Like in 30 minutes. Here’s a photo of my wardrobe if you’d like to see, and here’s a photo of my long-sleeved tops.

I have a strong suspicion that it’s because I’d Konmari’d before.

You have to act immediately if you want to catch seasonal photos

Autumn in Johannesburg is a tricky beast. One weekend the leaves are still green, the next they start turning, you have a few short weeks of that glorious golden glow and then they fall off.

This year I had a full weekend when the leaves were glorious, and then the next weekend it rained non-stop the entire weekend, and then half the leaves were gone. I still made the most of it and ended up going on 3 photohunts for beautiful autumn leaves.

I have to track my sleep forever ๐Ÿ™‚

I reached my 3-year Fitbit anniversary on 26 May. More than anything else the Fitbit can do, I most appreciate the sleep tracker.

I’d been easily hitting my sleep goal of 7.5 hours, but I’ve really had to work at maintaining that this month. No idea why but I suspect it has something to do with my natural night owl tendencies.

More on this because I need to focus on sleep in my year of happy project for June as the theme is nourish.

What did you learn in May?

PS Thank you for completely indulging my love for all these photos ๐Ÿ™‚

{my year of happy} April update and May project – physical space

So as some might remember, my April project was to look at what was not working for me and to fix those things.

Before I tell you about that, let me give you some fabulous news about my no-spend month for books. I did buy 4 titles from my list before our holiday because I wanted a good holiday read. But I still ended up only spending 66% of my allowance this month. It’s the first time in years I’ve come in under-budget so I’m doing the happy dance.

Personal email

I got completely up to date with my email. It needs a tweak now so I’ve put it on my weekly goals list for next week to spend 30 minutes saving documents to sort it out

Blogs in my feedly

This one I’m particularly proud of. I started off with 80, deleted 20 and could probably delete about 15 more. I also reordered them all and deleted some categories so that I have fewer, more descriptive categories.

Podcasts

Here I started off with 20 and I now have 12 I’m subscribed to, and 4 occasional ones.

I was also supposed to go through my instagram properly but I’m doing that more organically, like if I notice I’m following an account that I’ve already commented on from my other profile, I’ll just pop into the other profile and unfollow from there.

I was on such a roll that I also went through my Kindle sorting the entire thing out. The good news is it’s super sorted but the bad news is I had many more books unread than I thought I did, so am working through those now. And until I get where I’m happy with the number of unread books, I’ll be continuing my no-spend on books.

So that was April and I’m very happy with all of that sorted.

What about May?

In May, the OrganisingQueen intentional calendar (which you can get here) says:

It’s time to focus on your physical space. How can you make your space more inviting? How can you make your physical environment work better for you?

  1. I’m going to get up some blog posts this month focussing on physical spaces.
  2. I need to buy some Queen-size winter sheeting.
  3. I want to buy a few throws for use in the lounge. Is there anything better than cuddling up with a warm blanket, tea and a book? No, I think not.
  4. There are two things on my car that need sorting out.
  5. Our fridge is leaking. We just put a mat underneath but I need to get a fridge person in to look at it.
  6. Before any of those things can get done though, I need to sort out our budget after our holiday ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s on your list for May?

{My year of happy} April project goals

Happy April!

So, my happy project for March was to see what was working and to replicate that in other areas of my life.

How did I do?

Scheduling – this one worked a treat. I pre-scheduled friend dates, dates with D, etc. I also scheduled my weekly planning time and it’s been great.

Environment – I kept the phone in the bedroom most of the month BUT I was elsewhere so I almost didn’t care to even look at it. I read on a chair in my pyjama lounge and the phone is never with me so I’m not distracted.

However, I was very, very naughty this very last week of March in terms of sleep ….. on the bright side, my sleep average for March is a whopping 7 hrs 46 minutes. It’s not been that high for years and years (possibly, even pre-kids!)

Batching – this one is working well too. Monday is writing night and Wednesday is photo night ๐Ÿ™‚

What about April?

This month, my goal is to see what’s not working for me and see how I can stop that, and make it better.

So which projects do I have in mind?

Personal email

I’m not sure what I’ve been doing but I can’t seem to get a handle on my personal email. It’s out of control. I need to go through all my notifications and newsletters to see where I can unsubscribe.

By the way, I recently sent out a newsletter. Did you get your copy? If you’re not on the list (you get 3 cool freebies!), you can sign up here.

ย Blogs in my feedly

There are blogs I’m not that into anymore, those with only sponsored posts/ giveaways, and that’s not why I read blogs. I don’t mind a good sponsored post (CupofJo does these beautifully) but they are 1 in 10.

So I need to go on a big unsubscribe mission again.

Instagram

This is not bad…. but since I have two accounts, there are some feeds I follow on both @marcia0608 and @organisingqueen, which is inefficient. And then Instagram advertising, because I’m sure there are some feeds that have appeared without my officially following them.

Can you see Kendra and Connor in the bokeh on the right? I took this photo on a photowalk with the kids.

So, tell me. What’s not working in your life?

Can you stop doing it?

How can you change things to make it a better, more pleasant situation for yourself?

What I learned in October, and goals for November

As you know, this is my favourite time of the month.

It’s goals review time!ย ย  img_7227

So how was October?

I asked Connor (my 7-year-old) to help me with my review and we filled up almost a whole page with highlights ๐Ÿ™‚

Aside from a few days where I was a tad too stressed for my liking at work, it was a great month.

1. A social media fast is really good for me.

I loved praying for people during my social media fast.

We received TWO offers during that week of prayer. We accepted one and now we’re waiting for the bond to come through.

2. I’m dreaming about not paying for two houses

How do people manage multiple properties? The mental load is just way too much, not to mention the expense. I’m going to be really glad when all our money can go towards paying for this house.

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3. It feels really good to get things done off my to-do list

This month we automated our garage doors. Game changer. If you’re local and you need someone, I heartily recommend this company. I have not had such excellent service in years. It almost felt like a pleasure paying over the money.

We also did some boring things like get electrical and plumbing work done, and some exciting things like painting our kitchen cupboards. There’s a story to this which I will post about next month.

3006-ballito-best-004

4. I’m really looking forward to the 5 Love Languages workshop on 19 November.

I’m super passionate about the 5 love languages. May I be so bold as to say even if you’ve read the book, I still recommend that you come to my workshop. There’s a different energy to learning with people, hearing things “live” vs reading from a book. I’ve read both books and attended two workshops – one as a participant and one to get certified as a facilitator.

5. I learned that I’m really quite grumpy if I can’t work from home now and again

I’ve had laptop problems – it basically only worked connected properly to the network with a cable! So it’s been very challenging.

Also, when I work from home, because I cut out commuting time (nearly 2 hours) I get to run a few errands during the day, keeping me on top of my life admin.

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6. Intentional friendship is a really beautiful thing

I have all kinds of friends – both local and some that live far away. The far away friends and I often just arrange phone dates which is the best ever.

Or we whatsapp for 15 – 20 minutes and that’s also good. There’s also the option for voice messages which is so nice to get an unexpected treat during the day. I love it.

I also have friends who must have arrangements planned well in advance and some who you can phone up and say, “are you free for tea tomorrow? I’m going to be in the area” and they say yes, always.

7. Muscle memory is a real thing

I thought I wouldn’t be able to learn the complete spanish dance syllabus by exam time and while I’m not completely polished yet, I’ve been practising hours and hours every week, and that’s paid off. Perseverance and telling myself I just need to do it enough and it’ll (eventually) click. And it’s working.

11 days to the exam… and last night I had a dream where the examiner told me we’d run out of time and therefore I couldn’t do the dance, the one I’d been practising for weeeeeeeeeks on end. Ha!

castanets-001

For November I have one BIG goal – and that’s to NAIL my Spanish exams – and one important goal: for each person who comes to the 5 Love Languages of Children workshop to leave changed and understand exactly how to talk their kids’ love languages.

How was your October?

How do you create time for friendship?

Are you joining me for the workshop? If you’re not local, let me know if you’d like to book a 60-minute Skype session.

Happy Spring! And my September goals/ August review

Well, friends, it’s the 1st day of September, so Happy Spring!

September goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Spring always surprises me because even though we might feel like it’s still too cold or winter hasn’t properly passed, no one gave the trees that memo because they’re all blooming.

I only had my phone with me at the library the other day but I was overcome (in a good way!) at all the amazing and beautiful blooms in the grounds.

Just gorgeous.

It’s a reminder also that things change. Just when you think you can’t do another day of _____, a new season is right around the corner.

What is fascinating to me is how quickly things change. Just a few days ago I drove by a tree in our neighbourhood that still had magnificent winter branches and today, more than half of it is already green.

September goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Let’s review (some of) my goals for August:

  1. Sell old house (please pray – the pray without ceasing praying – for God to send people who will love that house and who can afford it)
  2. Organise handyman to put up shelves and get all our photo frames up The existing list of things was much too long and we could only afford a certain number of hours.
  3. Write the paying off the house post – this may be more than 1 post, depending on how much I have to say.
  4. Participate in #AugustBreak2016 on Instagram. I think this is my third year and I love it. I enjoy the prompts, the community and it’s a good time of year for me as I’m feeling reflective (it’s my birthday on Saturday!) and the weather is still cool enough to wander around getting nice photos.
    Yes, and it’s been SUPER fun. Go have a look at my Instagram.
  5. Organise July photos and select photos from Ballito holiday for printing.
  6. Write for 20 minutes a day. I did this but only during the week. There were a couple of days I missed due to headaches but I’m calling this done because I think it got me back into the habit of writing.

September goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

A few goals for September:

  1. Sell old house – this one is staying on the list until done. Please continue to pray for my peace of mind. The scripture I am clinging to is this one: John 14:27 My peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. If you pray, I’d appreciate your prayers too.
  2. Take a weekly walk with the kids to explore our new neighbourhood. The “problem” with having a house we love so much is that we don’t want to leave it at all. But I dragged (bribed) the kids to go for a walk with me on the weekend and all 3 of us said it was one of the weekend highlights. It’s about creating a new habit and takes just 20 – 30 minutes. I’m all about making things super easy.
  3. Try the new barre class at least twice this month. I can only make it to the one weekly evening class but it is early so will require the effort of driving to work in my own car, and leaving early to get to the gym in time. I feel like I have to give it at least a good shot to know if I’ll like it because while I did ballet for 13 years, I kind of hate yoga and pilates.
  4. Survive at work with an under control inbox. Aug and Sept are some of my busiest months with lots of travel…
  5. Explore the possibility of hosting a Love Languages workshop.

That’s not all, but that’s all I’m sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

Would you like to share something on your list for September?

How did your August go?

PS I’ll be writing more about my monthly review process on Monday, so look out for that post.

Happy anniversary and things you don’t want to miss out on

Dion and Marcia - 21 years

Taken in the Drakensberg in 2014

 

Today Dion and I celebrate 21 years of marriage.

!!!

Yes, we were verrrrry verrrry young when we got married ๐Ÿ™‚

We are not those people who “talk to each other” through social media so I’m not going to get all soppy on here, but even I recognise that this is a Milestone with a capital M )

It will be a low-spendy event this year because, well, houses are very big spendy things, so that’s where the money’s going, on boring things like transfer and bond registration costs!

Things to celebrate about you | www.OrganisingQueen.com

But now, I want to draw your attention to posts you may have missed, so grab a big mug of tea or coffee and settle in:

How to keep your nail polish from chipping

How I schedule my regular tasks

The most difficult thing to Konmari – memories

Good ideas for social media consumption

Overlooked but I really feel like this needs to be read by many more of you

Bullet journal | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Then I started talking more on diaries, planners and bullet journalling.

Diaries that work for me

Bullet journalling – part one and part two

Then my favourite instagram

This one

And your favourite instagrams

This one, this one and this one (do you see the pattern?)

Well, that was fun! I feel like I’ve caught up on the blog very nicely over the last month ๐Ÿ™‚

Which one was your favourite post?

PS Tomorrow is Goals Night – yay!

{Living intentionally} Goals review

Before you forget, I’m sending out the free printable for newsletter subscribers on Wednesday morning. If you’re not yet a subscriber, please sign up now (and invite two friends to do the same) – this is the Christmas Planner and it will help you get your thoughts in order. I’m also going to be sending it out as a thank-you gift with every purchase from the store from today til the end of the year.

This freebie is in addition to the Time Management Purpose Pack, the current welcome to my list gift. Current = since 2010/ 2011

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Ah, this is my favourite time of the month because I get to talk about goals!

November goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I took this photo while on a photowalk with Connor

Let’s have a quick review of October goals:

  • My main business goal was to complete the series, 31 days of Enough Time, and I did it. I’m incredibly pleased that it got done, and I’m even more pleased with the quality of the content. I’m busy putting it into an e-book so that it’s all neatly packaged together, and then I’ll think about what to do with it. Thoughts?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

  1. I also wanted to get some planning done, which I did –
    1. to get the editorial calendar done for November, and to
    2. map out the freebies for the rest of the year.

Done and done ๐Ÿ™‚

However, something that did not go well – I decided to close down the Live Organised Community. I’m going to put my thoughts together and do a separate blog post on that decision, the failure, etc. ๐Ÿ™

November goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

On the personal side… I got these things done

  • Danced in a Spanish festival
  • Booked our annual photoshoot
  • Took two photo walks
  • Took gorgeous photos of the jacarandas
  • Read only non-fiction during October. I tried this last year for about a week and a bit… just so I could hear God better and it worked. This year I thought to up the ante, and it certainly worked but it was a push at the end. After reading 5 non-fiction books on the trot (check my Goodreads —-> right on the top of the sidebar for reviews), I am CRAVING a fiction read and I have a big stack of library books waiting to dig into tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I’ve now finished 68 of my 70 books for the year. So I’ll have hit that goal by mid-November.
  • Booked a holiday (not on the list but a good spur-of-the-moment decision)

November goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

As for November, I have a few goals on my list:

  1. Write 12 blog posts (this is going to seem so easy :))
  2. Continue to share my favourite time management and organising books
  3. Write the post on why I closed the Live Organised Community
  4. Create the freebies for Nov and Dec, and decide what to do to kick off 2015 in style. Yes.
  5. Hit Gold on our Medical Aid rewards programme so we keep our Diamond status
  6. Have a great photoshoot and then a quick whip around the area for personal “weird” pics
  7. Decide when to write industry exams
  8. Read 5 fiction and finish the one non-fiction that’s been on my bedside table for months ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
  9. Read 30 chapters of the Bible
  10. Work out 8 times

Care to share with me what went well and what didn’t for October?

And what are your top 3 goals for November?

August review, Sept goals and Get it done day

I had a great weekend two weeks ago. It was the Live Organised Community‘s Get It Done Day.

Basically, I created a form, put it in the member downloads area with the instructions/ suggestions, we each decided what we wanted to do, and we did it.

This was my list for the day.

I’m pleased to say I got it all done, not because there’s anything special about me but just because I’d made my list and put it out there. There’s such power in intention. Oh, and I wanted to lead by example ๐Ÿ™‚

I got the first 5 things done on the Saturday and I used 15 minutes on Sunday to attend to my birthday card book.

All in all, a fabulous idea for me to tick some things off the list of projects.

As for my August goals:

  1. Increase coaching fees done
  2. Have a birthday sale done
  3. Post about the kidsโ€™ party done
  4. Vision board project โ€“ done. I wrote 3 posts – 2 published in Aug and the last will publish next week
  5. Get to 90% done on the writing of the time book – done but I need a hook. I’m not sure what my hook is…
  6. Write blog post โ€“ top 5 time management books – will publish later this month
  7. Write blog post โ€“ top 5 organising books – started planning it and realised I don’t even have 5 excellent ones that come to mind. Might have to be top 3 organising books ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. Get more people signed up for Live Organised Community. Big Fat Fail. Not one extra ๐Ÿ™

September is a really good time to sign up though. The product of the month is Organise your home which is a bestseller in the store.

How did your goals for August go?

Monthly goals | Organising Queen

Business goals for September

  • Write 13 blog posts
  • Finalise the top organising books post
  • 5 Pick my brain sessions
  • Sign up more people for Live Organised Community
  • Read two books for review on this blog – organising, time management, goal-setting

What are some of the goals on your monthly list?

{Live intentionally} Goals for August

I had a wonderful day on Wednesday. It’s always a wonderful day when I play with my goals ๐Ÿ™‚

Goal-setting | Organising Queen

You see, I decided to go full-scale into my goals planning and so I did…

  • the July goals review
  • typed out my goals for August
  • typed out my “lovely things to do” for the year ahead list (I have a birthday on Wed) and
  • I made a new business list for the month. This one combines three of my prior planning tools – the monthly checklist, projects for the month and my current weekly rhythm (this changes all the time). One form is always better than three!

(the new form will go in the Live Organised Community member downloads area)

Goal-setting | Organising Queen

but first, how did I do on my July goals?

I got a lot of my goals done (launchedย Live Organised Community, did Languages of Appreciation talk for a financial services company, recorded Love languages audio, etc.), but I didn’t book as many Pick my Brain sessions as I’d wanted.

No worries – Pick my brain sessions are now open for August.

Goals for August

  1. Increase coaching fees (hopefully I’ll get this done this afternoon)
  2. Have a birthday sale (woohoo!)
  3. Post about the kids’ party (6 posts coming up!)
  4. Vision board project – do a couple of audios or a short podcast and at least 2 posts
  5. Get to 90% done on the writing of the time book
  6. Write blog post – top 5 time management books
  7. Write blog post – top 5 organising books
  8. Get more people signed up for Live Organised Community

What are some of your goals for August?

(survive is a goal :))

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