Become More Organized in 15 Minutes A Day

Organization - Christina Scalise

Here’s the truth, it IS IMPOSSIBLE to do everything, especially every day. This little tip is going to help you get a little more done each day and feel less frazzled.

One of the keys to making your dreams come true is to prioritize the things that are going to get you where you want to be. Most realistically, this means that your wellbeing should be number one. After all, the precursor to all other great things that are coming your way is a happy and healthy you. Secondly, the dreaming, planning, and creating that will get you to the next step should be a priority. And of course, there are all the important bits that you must do to get by on a day to day basis. Maybe this means working a day or part-time job, tending to your children, or helping out your parents.

In any case, there are still millions of other things that we don’t want to do, or know how to cope with that pile up all around us. I’m talking laundry, piled up dishes, your shoe closet that is spilling onto the floor and needs a good clean. As well as piled up paperwork, files that need sorting, emails you need to send to loved ones, and calls you need to make but keep putting off. There is a whole host of busy work that we don’t care for but we need to find time for at some point. The worst part is that these tasks can become vacuums that suck up all of our time. They can sidetrack whole days of productivity. They’re a procrastinator’s dream because they NEED to be done. They’re looming and cyclical. They can drive you mad and mess with your mojo. I’m talking from years of experience here, and it often just gets worse when you start working from home.

Lotus

So what can we do to defend ourselves from the beast of busywork?

Train yourself to commit to it in small intervals of 15 minute time frames. It sounds stupidly simple, I know. How can you accomplish 3 hours of cleaning in 15 minutes?! You can’t. But you don’t have to. If you commit 15 minutes a day to different tasks, by the end of a 7 day week you’ll have done 3.5 hours of busywork.

Part of the process is realizing that you need to force yourself to spend less time on tasks that aren’t moving you forward, wherever possible. I’m not saying spend less time with your loved ones (that’s all part of the most important task of taking care of your wellbeing). What I am saying is that you don’t have to tidy every room in the house right now. It’s really not that important.

The best part of committing 15 minutes a day to these tasks is that you will feel great about it. You’ll be making progress every day and sorting out something that needs to be done every day, which feels amazing! Your space will be more organized, your life will feel more balanced, and over time everything will run smoother. Initially it will be very hard to stop after 15 minutes, so try setting a timer. If your space is really driving you insane, it might be worth starting this practice after one of your big clean and organize sessions.

If you work from home, these chunks of time are a great thing to schedule in as breaks. It’s not great for your health to sit for four hours at a time, and you are actually much more productive if you take a small break from your desk every couple of hours. Spending 15 minutes focused on a task that has you moving, like cleaning the bathtub or putting out the bins, gives your mind a break from work but keeps you productive. I find this can increase your focus when you return to work.

Bee

What can be done in 15 minutes?

1. A load of laundry:Β 5 minutes gives you enough time to sort out all of the loads of laundry you want to do for the week. Popping it in and setting it to go takes about a minute, 4 minutes is a generous amount of time for laying it out to dry, and 5 minutes should really be enough time to put one load of laundry away. So really, after the initial sort, you should have a few minutes to spare!

2. Organize your desk: If your desk is done within a couple minutes, extend your organizing to the immediate area around including shelves etc. A clean work area does wonders for your focus.

3. Tidy a room: You don’t have to do the whole room, pick a particular task or section of the room.

4. Kitchen cleaning: Unload or load the dishwasher, do the washing up, give the hob a quick wipe, whatever needs doing and will make your life easier later.

5. Sort through mail or paper work: You don’t need to file everything away that instant. You may just sort everything into piles for the moment, and then the next day use your 15 minutes to file.

6. Create and send a few invoices or update your spreadsheets: The admin side of your business or life can really pile up. Use 15 minutes once or twice a week to get on track with admin tasks.

7. Call your dad, or that guy to fix that thing: Use your 15 minutes to connect with people whether it’s to check on a loved one, get something in the house sorted, or get a business quote.

8. What can’t be done in 15 minutes? Many of the large tasks we take on can be broken down into smaller, more manageable 15 minute or less chunks. This technique feels the most rewarding if you are able to finish the task at hand before you move on with your day.

Frog

A note on minimizing busywork

To make busywork less daunting you can also consider the ways you can keep it from unnecessarily piling up. Develop systems to seamlessly integrate into how you already operate and simultaneously reduce busywork. For example, when you pick up and open the mail, automatically sort it into piles of things you need to take action on, things to file, and recycle the rest. Or when you are finished eating, automatically wash your dishes or load them into the dishwasher to avoid a mound of dirty dishes. One way to help you commit yourself to these practices is by gently reminding yourself why you should do it now instead of later. Later = more to do + more time doing it

Stick with it

The most important part of adopting any new habit is to be kind to yourself. If you lose track of time and end up spending an hour cleaning the front room instead of 15 minutes, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just acknowledge that you did, and commit to setting a timer next time. Even if you find you haven’t been able to make it work after a week, that doesn’t mean you need to give up. It is much more effective to stay positive. Likewise, if a few weeks later you realize you haven’t even properly given it a go, then just make a note of it to remind yourself to try next week. Growth doesn’t happen over night. As long as you don’t give up, you’re already half way there.

Do you have any productivity hacks that help you deal with busywork?

To dirty houses and big messy dreams,

Colette xx

 

Photos: Top – Original Darios edited with Fotor. Second – / 123RF Stock Photo Third – / 123RF Stock Photo Bottom – / 123RF Stock Photo last three photos all edited with Autodesk Pixlr

15 in 2015

Happy New YearI know, I know, I’m late to the new year resolution conversation, but that’s okay. Last year I didn’t really set any. This year I’m doing two things instead of making traditional resolutions.

A) I’m making a list of 15 things I want to do this year, sort of premeditating some of the experiences and adventures I want to incorporate into 2015. And that’s what this post will all come around to if you bear with me a minute.

B) I’m planning to hone and improve the day-to-day systems I use in my life. By this I mean the daily practices that I use to keep me in the right mindset, as well as productivity methods, eating habits, exercise routines, EVERYTHING that makes up my day/week/month. Of course, I have some personal goals I’m setting, but this year I’m going to discover how much more opens up to you when you focus on the process rather than the end result. More on this to come in a future post.

Now I bet you’re just burning with desire to see what I’m hoping to get up to in 2015. Without further ado, the list….

15 in 2015

1. A calligraphy class

2. Try vegetarianism

3. 6 different 30 day challenges

4. Learn how to properly use my camera

5. Visit Glasgow

6. Visit Harry Potter studios

7. Make my own green smoothie

8. Write weekly blog posts πŸ˜‰

9. Start Geo Caching (find 5)

10. Meet more brilliant women in Bristol (maybe start a reading group)

11. Bake 12 new recipes

12. Start keeping a journal again

13. Take a ride in a hot air balloon

14. Go to a festival

15. Grow a plant (or keep one alive)

Have you set any new year resolutions? Are you planning do to any of the things on my list this year? Let me know!

Bright dreams and big ideas,

Colette x

Focus on the Positives

Scardey Cat by Kurt Halsey

Today I’m trying to focus on the positives. Just moments ago, I wasn’t doing that. I was looking at my blog thinking, “You were picking up some traction, writing more regularly, and then you slipped -like you always do! If you want to have time, you need to make time!! Your baby blog can’t grow if you don’t nourish it!!! I’m killing my baby!!!!” Then I took a breath, and scrolled through my posts again. I noticed that I’ve consistently posted a blog a month for the last few months, then in October I posted twice. So really, that’s progress. I haven’t moved any mountains here, but that’s better than not having made any gains. It’s only November 3rd, I have tons of time to also post twice this month. Progress, that’s what’s important. Nobody builds anything amazing in a day! (Especially an amazing blog.)

Right?! Of course I’m right. So now I’m grasping onto that tiny slice of progress. That teeny little positive. Focusing on that, I feel hopeful rather than hopeless. That is the power of focusing on the positives.

The point is this: I try. And just because I didn’t make a vast transformation all at once, doesn’t mean I have to be mean to myself about it. And neither do you. Even if I hadn’t written an extra post in October, I could have seen that I am producing varied and interesting content, or that I went to my first blog event. There is almost always something positive you can focus on in a situation.

Negative thinking is all too easy to be consumed in. I’m not religious, as much as spiritual, but we all know that everyone is a sinner. For some reason we’re all too quick to see ourselves as undeserving of happiness and positivity. I promise you, there is nothing productive to come out of negative thinking and self-loathing. By indulging in a negative thought cycle you become closed to the possibilities around you, by finding something positive to focus on, you instantly become more open to better things that are coming your way.

So the next time you’re being a negative Nancy about your own failed efforts, I want you to stop yourself in your tracks. Take a breath to release the fear that is gripping you. Grab a pen and paper and write down the positives about your situation. If you truly can’t see anything in your current situation, write down anything you’ve accomplished recently, any progress you’ve made, and anything positive that has happened to you. Even small things, like making your bed, or remembering to water your plant should go on the list.

Open your eyes to the positives and hold them tightly to your heart.

What do you do when you start to feel negativity take over?

Love and hope,

Colette x

Image: http://kurthalsey.com/products/scardey-cat

Being Hopeful

Colette Hanson Bristol Balloon Festival

Today I’ve been meditating on hope with the guidance of Deepak Chopra’s words. I love his idea that to throw your faith into hope is to put your faith into yourself. You don’t have to make a big deal about trying to believe in yourself, (which can be difficult for many people). All you have to do is trust that there is good on its way and remember that if you are open to it, you will see that good when it appears and can invite it into your life. By acting in this way, we can learn to believe in ourselves more and be more optimistic.

The more you nurture hope the more optimistic you feel, and being optimistic you move naturally to take the openings and opportunities that come your way. This is very different from feeling uncertain and trapped by circumstances. Hope is like a thread leading out of the maze. It doesn’t get us out, but it is our connection to freedom. And if you follow the thread we can find our way out and feel the joy of liberation. Be open to becoming more hopeful and letting hope be your guide.

– Deepak Chopra

Try to be a little more open to your sense of hope today and let good things find you. Don’t forget to let me know if you’ve been meditating!

Hope and love,

Colette xx

Step by Step

Everyone gets buried by responsibility sometimes. I’ve been missing for too long now, and I need to get back to this creaky machine of a blog. It brings me joy to create in this little space I’ve cut out for myself and I’ve let other priorities steal it from me.

I was feeling as if it was my duty to pay less attention to the little things while I worked on the big things. But in truth, taking away my little pleasures seems to have a less than desirable effect on my productivity levels in all areas. I’ve realized now that I need to continue giving myself at least a bit of leeway to focus on small things that make me feel happy and whole in order to be my best in other areas of my life.

So I will see you again soon, my friends. Hope you are all taking time to do the little things that make you feel good.

Letty xx

Self Reinvention

http://linkd.in/1kCG1Un

This above is an inspirational and eyeopening piece that was published on LinkedIn today. I was fortunate enough to come across it through a friend Sarah‘s share on the ol’ FB.

Self reinvention is a big part of lifestyle creation. You simply can’t create the lifestyle you want without recreating bits of yourself as part of the process. Scratch that. It IS the process.

I’m only half started down this path so I would say that despite making real changes in my life to kick-start my mission, I’m still in the first few months of “Year 1” in this article. I personally have been doing a lot of online reading, but very little book reading. Often I think I just don’t have the time while juggling my three jobs, trying to pursue personal interests, and getting decent amounts of sleep. But there must be a way. Perhaps I’ll start with 15 minute intervals. There must be 15 minutes a day I could devote to a book, right? 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there – I think that’s how I’ll have to start. And after reading this article I’m feeling an urgency to start soon… so I better get to the book store!

Overall I found this article really motivational in a tangible way. Of course, this bit of guidance is only one vision of a path, however I think it is open enough for most people to find useful.

What do you think?

Love,

Colette x

Womp Womp…

So much for a post a day. It’s insane how easily one day missed turns into many. But the truth is sometime the pressures of work deadlines are more pressing than personal deadlines. I’ve also been spending most of my blog allocated time to trying to figure out how to install a new framework for a theme makeover. I know, I know, a few posts in and I’m already working on an overhaul. But this theme just isn’t quite what I envisioned and I intend on going full tilt this time around.

Anyway, I’m not a techy person at all, which means there’s a steep learning curve for me here and I’m not doing so well yet. But I WILL GET THERE. And then you can all be like “oooh, ahhh! what a shiny new site you have!” right? And I’ll get to smile with a cuppa and pretend we’re all having tea together. Won’t that be nice?

What projects have you been getting hung up on lately?

Anything proving to be a more difficult climb than you expected?

Let me know and I’ll be a little source of encouragement.

Love,

Letty x

Fuzzy Feeling Friday

It might be the wee hours of Saturday once this hits the blog, but I refuse to change the title, or not admit this as a defeat of my one post a day self-inflicted challenge. So let’s all just move on…

Let me start by saying I love the idea of gratitude posts. Just like the common human being, I too am not always the happy go lucky person you may think me to be. But finding things to feel grateful about, or recognize as positive forces at play in your life, is a healthy and practical way to put a good spin on a bad week or even reinforce the wave of happiness that is currently washing over you.

Seeing as this is my first one, and my almost non-existent audience barely knows me, I thought I should introduce the two beings that bring me the most joy on a daily basis.

Rich and I

Hanging out at the Roman Baths in Bath Spa

Exhibit A: Rich

I have the most amazing human as a boyfriend. He might not be perfect, but he’s just perfect for me. He is my best friend and partner in crime. Everyday I feel blessed to wake up next to him, and he never fails to make me feel cherished and wholly loved each day. (I’m a lucky woman.) We endeavour to help each other reach our personal goals and always choose to dream together. Creating a home so far from where I grew up, where the majority of my life took place, is an easier and more fulfilling effort with him by my side. Ok, ok, I’ll stop gushing now. You get it: I really love my awesome boyfriend.

She’s so fluffy I wanna dieeeee!

Exhibit B: Ceinwyn a.k.a. Fluffy

The other being who I wake up to every morning is our gorgeous rough collie, Ceinwyn who takes her Welsh name from a Robin Hobb character (nerd points if you know which books she’s from). My beloved Fluffy is the sweetest, purest, nervous yet completely chilled out soul I have ever met. I love her intensely. She probably gets more kisses on a daily basis than the average dog and I am not even ashamed to admit that. I have never known companionship like hers before and I will forever be changed by it. Her current location is curled up beside me on the couch and sleeping, because that’s how her adorable little face likes to roll. While her fluff is a constant cleaning battle in our house, the joy and comfort her puppy cuddles bring are completely worth it.

Let me know what you have to be grateful for or happy about this week.

Do you write gratitude posts on you blog? Leave a link to yours below and I’ll check it out.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Letty x

The Big Push

I’ve tried this blog thing before and, well, it didn’t really work out. Turns out the hardest part is actually writing and posting anything. So here’s to forcing myself to post. I’m aiming to post something – a thought, quote, full piece, image, finding of some sort – every day until it becomes natural. Wish me luck!

If you’re reading this, let me know what you struggle with seeing through. Is it your workout? Getting out of bed in the morning? Going to that drop in class? Finishing that book you’re reading? Let me know, we can support each other.

Love,

Colette x