Most recently, I was at a client’s house, took a 5-minute break and checked email. My editor had contacted me telling me she noticed that my manuscript hadn’t been “coded” with the proper headings and tables and that she would spend the afternoon taking care of it. Fortunately, I was immediately able to email her letting her that I had, in fact, coded the document and to please look for it. A few minutes later, she emailed telling me she found it. That few minutes of communication saved her a few hours of work!
So I had my doubts as to whether I would use the iPhone as much as I do, but I promise you, it has nearly eliminated my physical planner! I can schedule appointments, check Facebook, and even tweet on Twitter! Yes, there was an adjustment period, but well worth riding the learning curve.
As an organizer who focuses on helping moms simplify, I feel compelled to tell you about a few applications that I LOVE and recommend, if you’ve got the iPhone. If not, consider it or something similar. No doubt, other companies have apps for your device.
Here are the FREE iPhone applications I recommend for moms:
As I discover more, I will certainly share. The iPhone has given me the mobile flexibility that I’ve wanted and needed for some time.
Get what you want!
In today’s busy world, it’s important to have direction, otherwise it’s too easy to get off track. In order to set achievable goals, first it’s critical to understand your behaviors, habits and relationships.
In five simple steps, learn how to set and achieve your goals.
The Five Steps to Setting & Achieving Goals are:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
-Laurence J. Peter
The Discovery process is much like decluttering and organizing. In order to make a cluttered room into a peaceful sanctuary, you must analyze the existing space, remove the clutter, and place only the necessary elements in the room to make it what you truly want! The Discovery Process is where we address these issues as they relate to your time and plans. It’s about reviewing your existing schedule, processes and behaviors; removing what doesn’t attribute to where you are headed; and creating new routines and behaviors so you can achieve what you set out to.
Answering these questions also lays the foundation for moving into the subsequent steps. The questions help you identify qualities and characteristics that perhaps you haven’t previously considered and that will move you to the next level in your personal and professional life. Also, it may be that you have convinced yourself that you are following your dream, when in fact you discover that it’s actually someone else’s. OR maybe you have an employee who is sapping your energy and didn’t realize it OR you’re spinning your wheels without considering where you want to be in your business in one year or five years. These things are important. It’s the lightbulb moments where you discover things about yourself–or rediscover, which can be very exciting too.
Here are a few questions from the Discovery process that can help you get started moving forward:
Do you live mostly in the past, present or future? Do you get stuck in the “shoulda’s.”
What does this mean? Well, do you regret decisions made and haven’t moved on, or refrain from making a decision out of fear (this is also known as procrastination) or what needs to be accomplished today doesn’t get done because you’re fretting over the what might happen in future. The key is to honestly identify and analyze how you operate. Once you have identified how you function, you can then determine what you need to adjust or change in order to be more effective.
How do you solve a problem? Do you enjoy starting a project, but never seem to finish it? Is research and gathering details your forte? Maybe you’re a visual person and would prefer to compile spreadsheets and a PowerPoint presentation. Knowing and understanding your process—and possibly the processes of the people around you—will help you more efficiently and effectively achieve success in what you set out to do. For example, if you know and understand that you’re a last-minute person who works well under pressure, then instead of berating yourself for not getting started earlier, accept this is how you work. Now if you’re not doing quality work due to this habit, then you need to reassess and try something different.
What is resistance? Where are you resistant? Resistance, as defined by dictionary.com, means the act or power of resisting, opposing, or withstanding. Why is it important to identify what you are resistant to? This could mean the difference between staying stuck in a routine or habit that is not working you, or learning what the resistance is and changing it. This could be a light bulb moment that could have you moving from average to superior performance! So ask yourself these questions as they relate to where you want to be personally and professionally. These questions can open the door to more easily setting and achieving your goals!
STEP TWO: Goals
coming April 6, 2009
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It’s no surprise that moms everywhere are cutting budgets. The biggest areas that are feeling the cutbacks? Eating out and Travel. Eighty-four % of moms surveyed are no longer eating out, but are opting to make meals at home for a fraction of the cost. Thirty-seven % are no longer taking extravagant family vacations, but opting perhaps for Staycations, where you take time off from work and visit the sites in your own town. Novel idea? Probably not, but one that has become more common due to the economy.
In March of this year, Momcentral.com published a survey of 1,200 moms who told them how they are cutting back during these times of financial uncertainty. The survey was 24 questions that focused on how American families are directly impacted by the current economic recession. So I’m taking this opportunity to highlight some of the teaching opportunities we have when it comes to our kids. Momcentral called these seven point “Key Habits to Learning Fiscal Responsibility.” According to the survey, the majority of Moms surveyed count teaching children and teens to save and make smart purchasing decisions as key elements of fiscal responsibility.
So how do we entertain the family on a budget?
Consider an in-home movie night, save money and create special memories. Turn the lights out, grab a bunch of pillow and camp out on the floor. This is also a great way to reconnect with your family at the start of a weekend. Here’s how you can save money creating an in-home entertainment evening:
In-home movie and pizza
Cost of a movie rental $4.00
Cost of pizza made at home $12.00
Popcorn made at home .75 cents
Going to the movie theater
Pizza at restaurant before $24.00
Cost of family of 4 movie tickets: $34.00
Popcorn & Drinks @movies $20.00
Total: $ 78.00
Difference $59.75 saved which could fill your gas tank for the week and you’ll likely still have $25 to go towards groceries, which if done well, you could feed your family two to three meals during the week at home.
So take this opportunity to teach your children the value of a dollar, which are skills they can use in the future, even once the economy bounces back.
Additional ways to “find” money in your home:
No-cost solutions to Gain Control over Your Home
For more information about the Momcentral survey: How To Raise Financially Responsible Kids in Uncertain Times Survey, March 2009Read More
Feeling helpless, hopeless or simply frustrated! Who isn’t in today’s economy. Just heard of another colleagues spouse taking a pay-cut versus a lay-off. Jobs are hard to come by and what used to be an asset for many, is now an albatross. Yes, I’m talking of our beloved real estate investment(s). There is something you can do, however, to feel a little more in control of your own situation, to feel empowered and proactive. Here are some suggestions you can implement today. Get your family members to help. Clear out and clean up!
1. What you can do:
Donate. Other people need help more than ever. Box up clothing, cosmetic samples, extra office supplies, books, and linens. Donate those items to local organizations needing items. For example, a homeless shelter or a tent city if you live in Southern California.
How it will help:
Donating will eliminate items from your own home, make it clearer as to what you have. Only keep what you intend on using. No need to hang on to items just for the sake of hanging on. Sure, you may have spent some money on those items, but having them around will only remind you of the money you spent. Donating the items will help others and you can sleep soundly knowing that you’ve done a good thing.
2. What you can do:
Get a grip. Know what you’ve got. Sift through your attic and basement, taking an inventory of what you have. Eliminate excess, sell items you’ve been meaning to eliminate.
How it will help:
Knowing what you have can ease your stress. Generally, it’s the unknown that we fret about. So get clear on what you own and what you can eliminate before spending more money.
3. What you can do:
Put like items together. Is your office scattered with paper that’s disorganized? Do you have a plethora of office supplies strewn throughout your house? Putting like items together, be it papers in the same category or copy paper and pens in one place will let you see what you actually have on hand. Store supplies separate from items in use. Categorize paper and file Reference papers away, carefully considering what you actually need to keep.
How it will help:
You can see clearly what you have. When like things are together (Group Objects), you can easily assess what you want to keep and what can go (Purge), then give it a home (Assign), decide on what it will live in (Contain), and put the items back where they belong after usage (Keep it up).
4. What you can do:
Shop with a list. Marketers spend thousands of dollars for product placement. You know, the impulse purchases. We don’t know or even intend to buy these items, but somehow they wind up in our cart. Make a list and stick to it! It won’t be easy to begin with, but what new habit is easy at first? You may want to reward yourself for sticking to the list by putting what you’ve saved in a jar at home for a planned, fun purchase later on.
How it will help:
You’ll be more conscious of what you “need” and “want.” It’s always a good idea to ask yourself if you’re trying to satisfy a need or want. By sticking to the list, you’ll be honest with yourself and your budget.
5. What you can do:
Find a new hobby. Is your hobby shopping or something that has a hefty fee attached to it? Try something new. Get together with girlfriends at each other’s houses for a movie night. Make arts and crafts from stuff you have at home. Go to the library for books and movies, then make yourself a coffee drink at home. Be creative and challenge yourself.
How it can help:
You’ll save money, number one. Number two, you can bask in the glory of having tried something new that is a budget buster!
Click here for more information on the GOPACK Method of organizing, the proven method for organizing just about anything.
We’re all under a lot of stress these days! The economy has everyone tightening up and fearing for their future. Surely everyone’s blood pressure is a little higher than normal. However, there are ways to gain control of your personal situation by taking a few simple steps:
5. Get moving. I’m talking about exercise. There’s nothing like a good run, or walk for that matter, to reduce stress and feel a little better. Pumping up your endorphins ups your “feel good” neurotransmitters, which can lead to an improved mood overall.