Add a spoonful of JOY

When people are struggling to get organized, the weirdest piece of advice I give them is to add something to their to-do list: Joy. It is counter-intuitive. Why not just focus on the multitude of tasks at hand?

Because if you’re struggling, it means you don’t want to tackle the tasks at hand. They seem like chores. They’re heavy. They’re things that have to be done. Yep. So add one more: Joy.

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Declutter 101

Decluttering is kind of trendy now, but is it for you? Ask yourself: Does the clutter in your house really bug you? Or does it feel like something that “should” bug you? If you secretly love your stash, please revel in it and spend your time elsewhere.

But if your clutter is bugging you, choose to tackle it with intent. Focus on it. Put your energy into it. And come up with a plan to help it on its way. Here are a few tips to help you get started. Continue reading

Looking back at the path you’re on

December is a great time to look at the path you’ve been on over the last year. If you want to shape the direction you’re headed, it helps to look back at where you’ve been.

If you can find a quiet moment this week, take out a clean sheet of paper and jot down the big events that happened to you this year. Brainstorm first, then think month by month to help spur your memory.

What events did you experience this year for… Continue reading

5 steps to complete any project

The number one question I get when I give talks on organization is about finishing projects. This might be something big like writing a book. It could be losing weight or starting an exercise program. Or it could be a nuisance task – like clearing boxes out of the basement or cleaning out a closet.

No matter what you’re working on, here are five steps to help you complete a project. Continue reading

Slowing down to be more productive

I just finished Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee, a product designer and student of JOY in the world. One of Lee’s last studies in the book is on the joy of being in nature. Participating in a natural life helps you slow down. It keeps you grounded. It helps you be meditative and at the same time lifts your energy. And it makes you feel healthier and happier which helps you be more productive.

Think about when you were a kid and everything outside felt new and exciting. I’ve been thinking about elements of nature and what we can do to be more observant of them to appreciate them more to get back some of that kid-energy.  Continue reading

Is clutter blocking your energy?

I challenge you this week to look around your house and clear one area that has gotten a little cluttered over the summer. We get busy and things pile up and stagnate. Putting things back in order takes a little time but you’ll feel calmer in your space. You can breathe. You can settle in. Your energy will lift just looking around.

Perhaps there’s a counter with supplies out at the ready. A table with this week’s mail. A nightstand with tissues, hand lotion, and a few unread books. An entryway filled with boots, coats, and umbrellas. A bookshelf packed to overflowing. A desk with open files, a coffee cup, and surplus pens. A closet filled to overflowing. Continue reading

Take a break

I’m reading a new book by Daniel Pink, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. The chapter on the importance of taking breaks caught my eye because I’m so bad at taking breaks!

Pink reviewed dozens of studies and swears you’ll be more productive by taking breaks that are:

  • Short and frequent
  • Moving v. stationary
  • Social v. solo
  • Outside v. inside 
  • Fully detached v. walking while texting or talking on the phone

He describes the perfect break: Continue reading