Archive for November, 2010

Everyday Strategy: Reduce Mental Clutter

November 16, 2010

Write it down! Make lists. Get it off your mind and into one place.

Whether you are a linear list maker or prefer mind mapping (search the web for a variety of creative tools), get it off your mind and out of your brain. You will then be free to begin tackling all of those tasks and to-dos and find yourself free for creativity!

Everyday Strategy: Stop Using Post-Its!

November 12, 2010

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE Post-Its (especially bright-colored ones) and they have their purposes, but for keeping track of your Master List of tasks, they are not the right tool. If you like to write them down, use a spiral bound notebook you can carry with you everywhere. Personally, I am a huge fan of using Outlook Tasks. There are countless ways you can stay on top of your tasks, calendar items, and contacts.

Everyday Strategy: Start Your Morning the Night Before

November 4, 2010

In order to get out the door on time and with less stress, think of all the tasks you could do the evening before to streamline your morning routine. Here are a few ideas:

  • Choose what you plan to wear tomorrow. If it requires ironing, do it ahead of time.
  • Set the timer on the coffeepot.
  • Prepare and pack lunch items in advance.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged.
  • Make sure your car has gas.
  • Put your “go to” bag or any items you carry with you by the door.

If you have kiddos, you know how important it is to be in control of your morning.

  • Pick out what they will wear or if they are old enough, have them do so.
  • Prepare and pack lunch items in advance.
  • Sign any paperwork that needs to be returned to school.
  • Have your child’s backpack by the door.
  • Have coats or outer wear by the door.

What could you add to this list?  This list is not intended as a “be all / end all” list, but rather to get you thinking what will work for you or your family. Copy this and then make your own. Make a checklist and use it create more streamlined, less stressful mornings.

Everyday Strategy: Start Your Morning with a Fast Start

November 3, 2010

If you want to start your morning being the MOST effective and productive, TAKE 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the prior day updating your master list, grouping like projects / items (I like using clear Project Files from The Container Store), and putting away unnecessary files.

When you walk into your office and it looks like The Tasmanian Devil (cartoon) has made a pass by your desk, it’s not a good way to start your day. By spending those valuable minutes the day before, it now helps to set the tone for the new, productive day, which you now control.

An additional bonus to this 10 to 15 minutes spent? It allows you to help establish priorities and clear your mind of the day’s tasks. Knowing you have taken this time will allow you to decompress on the trip home and at least, mentally, leave work at the office, until tomorrow.