Need more TIME? Multiply it.


“You cannot solve today’s time management problems,
with yesterday’s time management thinking. What we’ve noticed, is the emergence of a new type of thinker, somebody that we refer to, as a multiplier.”

– Rory Vaden

Have you ever watched a Ted Talk? If not, you should consider it. People from about every field and walk of life share their thoughts on the most interesting subjects. I like to listen to them while I’m in the shower or working by myself. The effect is kind of like one big motivational meme. Something that sparks thinking and encourages you to do great things.

One that I remembered and returned to recently was a talk by self-discipline expert, Rory Vaden, about time. He highlights the fact that prioritizing and other efforts by time management gurus, although helpful, do not– cannot– create more time. We are all always lamenting the fact that there’s only 24 hours in a day. And so, Rory talks about time multipliers. The link for the talk is below, but I’m going to post a few highlights here.

The main idea is that time multipliers judge tasks not only on how important they are, but how long they will be important. Vaden labels this measure, significance. This judgement on how significant something is leads the multiplier to then take action.

One can then decide which things to say “no” to today to make time tomorrow. And as Vader points out, any time you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to everything else anyways. So, multipliers don’t struggle to say “no”. Anything that isn’t going to be significant to you tomorrow, or in the long run comes into question. I recently made a decision to cut out something that I realized was a time investment in an organization that wouldn’t be significant to me in the long run. That’s multiplying time. I can instead invest in something that will have benefits in my “now” and in the future.

The biggest takeaway from the talk is that multipliers invest time today in a way that makes tasks easier and less time consuming tomorrow. The example used is automating bill pay. Taking the time today to set that up in order to save time every month. That yields a better return on your time investment than just paying the bills today.

As Mr. Vader says, “The way that wealthy people think about money is exactly the same way that multipliers think about time. And they give themselves the permission to invest–invest the time and energy to automate the process.”

So, if by now you’re interested in learning how to grow in your productivity, check out the full Ted Talk below! (Then get busy with your math! 😀 )


Dollar Tree Organization

My favorite products 🙂

If you feel like just breathing the air at another store costs you money, you might want to look at the Dollar Tree. While many products are unique or worth paying more for, sometimes a bin is just a bin and you could find something less expensive to get the job done.

So if you’re worried that it will be too expensive to organize your home, take a look at these finds from the Dollar Tree– where EVERYTHING actually is $1! There are more great products to be found here, but I want to list only what I’ve tried and favor.

Drawer Organization

Click here to find them

These come in a few sizes and you can mix and match in any drawer to make some custom organization. It’s better to see if you can find these in store to get exactly what you need. Click the pic 🙂
It might seem a little strange, but ice cube trays make good organizers for sewing drawer embellishments, jewelry and any other small trinkets. They’ll cost you more elsewhere, so snag them 2/$1 at Dollar Tree.

Pantry and Closet Organization

Get a set of these in matching colors or complimentary and create a cohesive look. Wrangle all of those little granola bars in a pantry, or travel sized toiletries in a linen closet.
They also come in white, primary colors, and metallics!
These handled baskets are great and they’d cost you a lot more elsewhere. I can’t wait until they come out with new colors! Handy for closets, cabinets, or even your refrigerator!
I can think of endless uses for these and they’ll nest inside each other when not in use. They also come in a taller, more narrow version.
How about labels for your containers of dry goods? They have regular….
….or dry erase!

Office and School Organization

I love these magnetic tins. You can put paperclips in them to hang on your filing cabinet or in a locker. You can put spices in them for your kitchen, or findings in your craft room too!
These pouches with snaps are great! They are better for items you’ll only need to access once a week or so, otherwise you may want to upgrade a little
With so many sticky notes to choose from (there’s more than these!), why would you pay more than $1?!

Everywhere organization– please!

Something I often find everywhere in a home (especially with kids!) is TRASH! Often there’s not a waste basket close by and so garbage winds up in weird places. These come in black and white and for $1 you can put one everywhere you might need one.

A final note: most of these are sold in bulk from the site so unless you need many, try finding them in store first. Different stores carry different items so you can try more than one. If they don’t carry it in store you can always as the manager about ordering. If you need to order online, technically all sales are final but I’ve been told by my local store that they would exchange unused product one-for-one in store for something else.

Happy shopping!

What to do When Your Organizational Systems Fail

For one reason or another, sometimes the very systems that we’ve put into place to keep ourselves in line fall apart. Even my own. Why?

Often it’s that our needs or lifestyle changes. The lists I made on the counter as a stay-at-home mom don’t cut it now that I’m on the go most of the time. Sometimes we change. Technology has really pushed this along. Often I find it’s just that I get numb to doing it the old way. I start to ignore the reminders that once kept me on task.

This is where many lives begin to unravel and the it’s beginning of disorganization for someone who was previously fairly organized. What should be done?

I thought the other day about the original Dr. Atkins and his diet. In his book, he mentioned that if you fall of the wagon, or get tired of the diet at some point, you should switch to another diet– pretty much any other one. Because as much as we would be led to believe that it was the kind of diet that was key, just watching what you being aware and practicing self control is at the center of any program.

Let’s translate that to organizing, which also involves a certain amount of discipline. What happens when your organizational systems stop working for you? You guessed it! Implement new ones.

Find what will work for you now. Do some research, ask a friend what they use, inquire from an organizer to find some new possibilities. This is sure to keep things from getting out of hand, and get you back on track again. After all: new year, new you organizational systems, right? Sounds like you just got permission to blow time on Pinterest! 😉

Why You Need An Organizer

What my clients and experience have to say.

 

“I looked at you and knew there was no way to justify keeping those lights I bought to hang in the garage 10 years ago…”brina-blum-612693-unsplash

I’m struggling to write an introduction to this post, because the title is so self-explanatory. In short, sometimes it seems hard for people to try to justify hiring an organizer because some think they should be able to do it for themselves. However, the piles of “stuff” sitting around us usually indicate the contrary. And while it may be possible to do it yourself, sometimes people just need some help. Read on!

  1. Getting started. “I feel so overwhelmed.” Often my client feels paralyzed and doesn’t know where to begin. This is the biggest obstacle we overcome together. After entering a space, an organizer will be able to immediately hone in on a definite starting point and direction for your project.
  2. Community. Why do so many join weight loss programs, health clubs, exercise classes etc? Because there’s accountability, community and support there. Because it’s easier with someone standing by your side. Because you’re not alone. A friend and I were talking about organizing and she said this, “I’m single and sometimes I invite a friend over while I’m cleaning and doing dishes just to have someone to talk to.” There is certainly more joy in feeling that you’re not alone.
  3. Accountability. Piggybacking off of the above, hiring an organizer keeps you on task. This helps you even if you’d like to do some of the work yourself. I often work together with a client and then assign “homework” if they are willing for tasks that are better of done oneself such as paperwork. Knowing that I’ll be coming back is motivating. In fact, just by making the appointment, one client started on much of the work herself before I got there! Having an organizer is essential if you (or your child) struggle with ADHD. We can keep redirecting your focus back to the project on hand.
  4. Experience. Which saves you time and money. I can’t tell you how many clients have previously wasted money on expensive systems that weren’t practical for them. On the other hand, one client asked me, “do you spend all of your free time looking up organizing information?” I smiled 🙂
  5. Impartial decisions. The quote at the top of this article was from a client’s husband. He was on board with her decision to organize the house but didn’t feel he needed me personally. After much of the house had been finished, he was so excited about the results and said, “Ok, I want you to schedule Sarah to come work with me.” We cleaned out the garage and as he mentioned, just having someone there helped him to get real about whether he’d use an item or not.
  6. Resources. Organizers are typically knowledgeable about the best place to obtain or dispose of items. Paper shredding events, paint disposal, places to get the best organizing equipment, new organizing books, apps to help you out–all continuously on our radars.

If you can think of any other great reasons to bring an organizer on board please chime in below!

 

 

How Much is Your Clutter Costing You?

Hint: It’s way too much.

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My second passion besides organization is frugal living. Or maybe it’s my first.

As an organizer, I’m aware of many different kinds of costs associated with clutter, but I began to wonder exactly how much time & money it translates into. I did some digging. It was shocking… I’ll get right to it.

 

Financial Costs

On average, you’re paying about $15 per sq foot of your home per year according to AARP. So, that big bouncy ball from the dollar store that’s been sitting in the corner for 5 years has now cost you $75. Multiply that by everything in your home that’s not regularly used. Woah.

Enter storage units. There are 5 times more storage facilities in the US than there are Starbucks! Let that sink in. According to Forbes, Americans spend more than
$24 BILLION a year for storage. AARP mentioned one widow who rented storage space for three years after she “downsized”. In all she paid over $11,000 to store $1,000 worth of items before paring it down.

A few more:
-late fees for late or unpaid bills you’ve lost
-throwing out food, make-up, and other things that spoil because we couldn’t find them
-REPURCHASING things you know you have but can’t locate

Cost of Time

It’s been reported that over a lifetime, the average person wastes between 1/2 and one year looking for misplaced items.

Additionally, the National Soap and Detergent Association (who knew?!) estimates that decluttering eliminates 40% of all house work. How ’bout that?

Emotional Costs

I can’t say enough here. I’ve experienced:

-Children with ADHD that simply can’t concentrate in their spaces and are overwhelmed
-Spouses who argue and rant about the messes, marriages strained
-Higher stress levels in all family members due to feeling enclosed and lost items

Here is a link to a study that shows how clutter leads to higher cortisol levels and depression rates and lower marital satisfaction. I’ve seen it first hand.

There’s simply a mental angst to spending so much time and money on a home and not being able to move around in it. Lifehack mentions loss of focus and productivity.

 

The Final Verdict?

Many people believe that getting rid of things will be a waste of resources. The truth? It’s costing you more time, money and emotional equity to keep them. Start your organizational journey today!

 

 

How Disorganization Led to My Near Arrest…(a true story)

To begin with, I’d like to defend myself. In this country, we are innocent until proven guilty…

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The fact of the matter is that I’m a busy gal. I’m a single mom, college student, have a bit of a social life, and am a business owner. Not the kind of work where you show up on a regular schedule, do the same old thing, and then go home. No, the kind where you juggle everyone else’s lives simultaneously. So, I have a lot of balls in the air at any given moment. Things were going great without a hitch, until my doctor tinkered with my thyroid hormone dosage (as described here) and I had a hard time regaining equilibrium.

And then one day I received a letter from the government…I was to show up for jury duty at the end of the following month.

Cool! I was just starting a business law class for the summer and had never been called up for jury duty. Should I put it on my calendar? The new phone calendar I had wasn’t as good as the one on my old phone and the reminders weren’t so obvious. No, I’d put the letter on the fridge where I’d be constantly reminded (I don’t really have anything else on it) and surely it was so important that I would remember.

And I did remember!

I thought about my impending duty regularly, especially in law class when my teacher inquired during her lectures whether we had ever been on a jury. I’d say to myself, “I will be towards the end of this month.” …the problem is that time flies, the day came quick, and I had not been keeping track of the current date.

So, as I sat in law class one evening, it dawned on me…I was supposed to have been on the jury THAT MORNING! 

When we were dismissed I flew to the car and called my teenager. As he read the letter out loud to me, I panicked! I had indeed missed jury duty. What would happen to me? It was 8 pm so no government office was open for me to inquire of–I called anyways and got a recording.

I texted my mom who told me they usually come for you immediately. “Come for you?!” “Yes.” I texted a local police officer friend of mine. “They put a warrant out for your arrest,” was the reply. “Stop messing with me,” I said. “This is serious.”
Him: “I am serious. This is so great! I can’t wait to arrest you! Haha!”

I checked the county’s website to see if my number had in fact been called up but I was still in my car and had a hard time navigating it on my phone. I Googled “what happens if you skip jury”, and got the same answer. Sometimes a fine, but usually a bench warrant out for your arrest with up to three days in jail. I knew I’d never survive in prison!

Desperately, I returned to the county site to look for answers…and found them. I stumbled upon a page where it listed all of the juror numbers that had been called up for the week and found my number among those that had been dismissed!!!! Relief came over me in waves. Then I shuddered a little thinking again of how I would not have survived in the slammer. A resolve was made then and there to re-institute a better calendar and reminder system.

And so my dear readers, please learn from my mistake and please remember: organization is not just desirable– it’s a necessity! (If you’d like to avoid a run-in with the law!)

Illness and Disorganization

“…what about a health issue that silently steals your motivation?”

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Many times when I enter a situation, I find a homeowner who is perfectly capable and could have handled their mess on their own along the way. So what happened? Life.

Often, there has been some major life event that has stalled progress and productivity, and it’s not uncommon for it to be health related. Whether it’s a major personal health problem or an issue with a family member, it puts organization on the back burner. But what about a subtle health issue that silently steals your motivation?

Depression would be the most obvious. A person may know what things need to be done, but may simply not have the want-to. And other hormonal imbalances go hand in hand with this as well.

I’ll take myself for an example. A few months ago, I felt on top of the world and my schedule. In fact, a friend called me and inquired how I had been doing recently, and mentioned how busy I had been. “I feel like I’m killin’ it!” was the reply and I proceeded to tell her how excited I was at the fluid motion of my pace. Fast forward a little…

My doctor and I decided to lower my thyroid supplement dose a little and wow, did it take awhile to regain my balance! Until then, I struggled to keep things together and paired with some other life changes…chaos followed. And it led to one hilarious situation in particular which I will save for a future post.

In any case, if you are struggling with your organizational skills, consider whether it may be an underlying health problem– especially if you’ve been organized in the past.

Reclaiming My Time- App Usage

I’ve wanted to do this for awhile. And yet, I didn’t…

But I’ve recently heard that the average person will spend about 4 years of their life on a smartphone.

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If there’s one thing I hate to waste– it’s my time. But ignorance is bliss, and as long as I wasn’t aware of how much time was slipping thru my fingers, maybe it wouldn’t bother me.

There have been apps out for awhile that could keep track of how much I was watching funny videos or browsing facebook, but did I really want to know? Did I really want to stop?

Truth is, for all of my shortcomings, I’m a pretty productive person. But I couldn’t help but wonder how many moments I was missing out on. How much time that my loved ones saw my face only in the blue light of a screen.

And so, the journey begins. This morning I downloaded an app simply named “App Usage”. It will keep track of my comings, goings…and lingerings on my phone. Wonder what wonderful activities and people this will make time for? Oh I’ll still have downtime. But now hopefully it will be spent in better ways 🙂

Wish me luck!

Overwhelmed & Anxious? Do these 3 things

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There have been many years that my teacher at the school of hard knocks has given me an “F” and sentenced me to repeat a level. I’m no stranger to painful situations or sometimes just a multitude of duties which threaten to take me under.

Fortunately, I’ve learned something that helps me push thru the most difficult of hard times. 3 Things.

Maybe you’re waiting for me to tell you what those three things are, but first let me set the stage. See, part of the issue when we go thru troubles or simply deal with anxiety is that we are getting ahead of ourselves and our situations. Simply put, we are looking at everything at once. But at the present, there is no way for any one person to deal with it all.

And that’s why you’re going to take it one day at a time and do just 3 things. Any 3 things. If you’ve been following me, you know I’ve talked before about this as being a tactic of extremely organized people. However, this is an extremely effective strategy for anyone who needs to tackle the chaos of life.

So, it goes like this:

Right now, think of a few things that need to be done. Anything will do, but if you have one in which time is of the essence you may want to make sure to include that.

Pick which of those things is either the most pressing, or if you’re completely at break point, pick the one that seems most doable. Do that. Don’t worry about anything else. Just do that. When it’s finished and you get to check that off of your list (feeling better already!), knock out the other one or two things on your list.

Finally, feel accomplished. Meeting short term goals like this will help you not only move forward but make you feel good about everything else. Now, you’re gaining ground.

When you’ve done this, relax and make a new list for the next day. You can write it down, put it on your calendar, or if you’re like me you’ll email it to yourself. As more and more tasks begin to get knocked out, you’ll be bringing more peace to the areas of your life that are within your control.

So what are you waiting for? You can do this.

 

Dollar Tree Ikea Hack!

FIND OF THE DAY!

Containers

Today at Dollar Tree, I found some great round magnetic containers in a couple of sizes made by Jot. If you’ve been on Pinterest, you’re likely familiar with these handy little things. Dollar Tree has made them more affordable! The larger are a $1 each and the smaller come in a two pack for your same dollar. If you can’t find them in store, order them here. Instead of telling you what you can do with them– let me show you!

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