Category

focus

Clutter Tolerance

By | Clutter, decision, focus, home organizing, Productivity | No Comments

I was having a discussion with an organizing colleague and friend last week about our organizing businesses. This friend of mine, in addition to being a great organizing professional, is also an artist. She sees things with an artist’s eye. She has a wonderful way of placing furniture, objects, and pictures and making them enhance the room. It’s a real talent. Our discussion revolved around clutter, of course. We were talking about how some clients have lots and lots of clutter around them. These clients want to be organized. They know they have too much and need help figuring out…

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Pursue Your Hobby to Improve Your Work

By | accomplish, attitude, ballroom dance, Clients, Compassion Fatigue, focus, hobbies | No Comments

Do you have a hobby or sport that you love? My brother loves to play golf. I know that several times a year he and his wife travel to play golf. They combine their love for golf with their love for travel. It’s a win/win. Even though he works at this sport – perfecting his swing, strength training and more, I’m sure – he finds this a great distraction from his regular work. Playing golf allows my brother to focus on something else. Interestingly, having this other outlet makes his focus at work that much greater. I love to dance….

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

By | action, attitude, calendar schedule, daily routine, focus, Garden, lists, overwhelm, plan, schedule, school, small steps, tasks, volunteer activities | No Comments

It’s not unusual to feel a bit overwhelmed at this time of year. Why? Well, if you have children there are all the end of year school activities. These include awards ceremonies, class parties, prom, graduation ceremonies and parties, athletic competitions and the list goes on. If you don’t have children the groups you belong to may be winding down, finishing up activities. Then there is the yard. If you live in the South you may be changing out the winter annual plants and replacing them with the spring/summer colorful annuals. If you live in the North you may be…

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Now, what did you do this year?

By | accomplish, appreciation, celebrate, change, focus, goals | No Comments

  As the new year is dawning and 2015 is drawing to a close I want to take a little time to reflect back on this past year. I do this to remind myself of the many things I accomplished. Sometimes it’s easier to remember the things that have gone wrong, to focus on the things left undone. I think back through the year month by month. I keep a paper calendar so this is a fairly easy task. I can look at the weeks and see the appointments I kept, the places I went and the projects I worked on. I…

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

By | accomplish, action, calendar, chores, focus, Organizing Strategies, paper, Piles, Planning, prioritizing, schedule, small steps, tasks | No Comments

What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Do you walk away from whatever it is that is overwhelming you? Many of my clients are challenged by that feeling of overwhelm. It doesn’t matter if it is piles of paper, too much to do and too little time, too many emails to respond to or deal with or too many household chores when you’re feeling overwhelmed you don’t know where to start. My advice is to pick a place and start small. If we’re talking about household chores, look at your calendar, figure out how much time you can give…

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“Focus on What’s Strong, Not What’s Wrong”

By | accomplish, celebrate, Chronic Disorganization, focus, goals, home organizing, Institute for Challenging Disorganization, kindness, Planning, prioritizing, skill, small steps | No Comments

I attended a conference last week hosted by The Institute for Challenging Disorganization in Denver, Colorado. I go to this conference every year. This group, of which I’m a member, always gets fantastic speakers and this year was no exception. One of the speakers, Lee Shuer, gave us all the above quote during his presentation. Don’t you think that if people in general would focus on what’s good and strong and think less about what’s wrong we’d all be a little more content? Think about it. As a student teacher I learned that if I wanted to get a classroom…

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I was at my local grocery store earlier today. Grocery shopping was just one of the many errands I had to do today. I took some time last night to organize my grocery list. I went through the recipes of the special dishes my family has requested for Christmas Dinner. I wanted to include some of the non-perishable ingredients on my grocery list. This will save me a little time next week and I’ll be able to do a little pre-cooking! I love my neighborhood grocery store. I know many of the people who work there. They are always friendly and helpful! One of these helpful people came to help me unload my grocery cart. As is our custom, we had a little conversation. She said, ‘It looks like you’re getting ready for Christmas’. I replied, ‘Yes, I am. Are you ready or getting ready?’ She looked at me sadly and said ‘No, I’m not. I miss my family. It’s just not the same without my family. So, I’m feeling a little lonely and sad. It’s hard for me to get in the Christmas spirit.’  I told her that I was sorry she felt that way. Many of my family members are far from me so I can truly empathize with my grocery store friend. In fact, one of my sons will not be coming home for Christmas. I’ll be seeing him for New Year’s, that’s some consolation, but I will miss him on Christmas Day.

Many people, particularly at this time of year feel a little sad or lonely – missing family members and perhaps shared family traditions. I don’t have a remedy or solution but I do have a couple of strategies.

One strategy is not unique. It’s a mindset. I try to live in the present, to enjoy and remember what has come before but to really live in the now. There was a time when I was almost exclusively focusing on the future and living in the past. I can recall saying to myself something like: I love the way we used to be able to sit outside, I can’t wait until we move from this apartment and I can sit outside with my coffee again. I would say this alot when we lived in a small apartment in Hong Kong. Looking back I really liked our apartment. The photographs I have of it are lovely. I know now that I didn’t truly appreciate it at the time because I was not living in the present.

My other strategy is to be a volunteer. When you are volunteering on a project, helping other people, you can not help but be happier. First of all, you meet other interesting people – always a benefit, and you work to make something better. Sometimes the work is hard but then when you’ve accomplished a pre-set goal or task you can go home and be proud of your work. You’ll sleep well from the physical effort and knowing you’ve helped in some way. That’s a good, rewarding and happy feeling.

So, if you’re feeling a little blue try doing a some volunteer work this will help you to focus on someone or something other than yourself. Remember to live in the present and appreciate all that you have – no matter what that is. After all, we no longer have the past and the future is yet to come. So, live now.

By | appreciation, errands, focus, kindness, mindful, Planning, prepare, Time Management, volunteer activities | No Comments

Living in Today

By | accomplish, appreciation, attitude, change, errands, focus, Planning, prioritizing, projects, small steps | No Comments

Do you find yourself living in the future? I mean, are you the type of person who says something like ‘I can’t wait for …? I know when my children were very little I would say to myself ‘I can’t wait for my baby to roll over’. When he was able to do that I went on to say ‘ I can’t wait for my baby to sit up’. This went on through the years and now both my babies are young men and living on their own. I did appreciate the moments as they happened but what I realize…

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Overcoming Obstacles

By | Chronic Disorganization, focus, information, Institute for Challenging Disorganization, Organizing Strategies, procrastinate, Time Management | No Comments

I’m going to a conference in Chicago this week sponsored by the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. The title of the conference is: Overcoming Obstacles. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the ICD and I am on the conference planning committee. My job as a member of the conference planning committee was to proof read the conference program book. So, I have read all the handouts from the various speakers! I am really looking forward to attending the presentations. The speakers are covering a fairly wide range of topics but each topic relates to an obstacle…

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Small Steps Forward!

By | accomplish, ballroom dance, focus, mail, mindful, practice, skill, small steps | No Comments

Are you in the process of learning a new skill? I’m always learning new things. New ways to approach an organizing task, new methods of teaching how to set priorities, new theories on productivity and time management – to name a few. Recently I decided to learn a brand new skill. Well, it’s really not completely new to me. All my life (ever since I can remember) I have loved to dance! I studied ballet and modern dance through my college years and took the pre-requisite ballroom dance lessons as a teenager. Dancing has always been part of how I…

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