Archive for the ‘Increase Productivity’ Category

The Not-To-Do List & Why It Works

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

 

 

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, I’m Carmen Coker, professional organizer and creator of The Clutter Cleanse®, and I’m here to talk about making lists that work.

Generally speaking, a list is a good thing because when you write a list, it helps you focus. When you follow a list, it keeps you on track and moving toward list completion. And when you cross off list items, you feel productive.

On the one hand, making to-do lists works for many people, and there are a lot of people – not just Santa Claus – who love and believe in the power of listmaking.

On the other hand, despite proven results and positive qualities, lists don’t always work for everyone, every time because when you have to make a list, it means you have lots to accomplish. When you have lots to accomplish, you suddenly don’t want to do anything but sit on your couch, watch TV, and eat ice cream. Am I right or am I right?

In other words, making a list is making you procrastinate. At this point, you’d rather be doing anything than what’s on your list. You’ve entered into a mind game between your lazy self and your productive self, and your lazy self is winning.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, I encourage you to fight back by creating a NOT-To-Do List to help you get organized.

The Not-To-Do List is exactly as the name implies – a list of things you do not want to do.

For example, the Not-To-Do List for Housekeeping, which would be something like: throw shoes by the front door, let mail pile up on the kitchen counter, and forget to file bills at the end of the month. These things create clutter in your home, so you do not want to do them.

Another example would be the Not-To-Do List for Time Management. Some items that might be on this list include: hit the snooze button on the alarm more than once, check email first thing in the morning, and turn on the TV while getting ready for work. These things make you lose time, so again, you do not want to do them.

You see, the Not-To-Do List is a technique that leverages reverse psychology. Plus, you’re giving your lazy self permission to be lazy while, at the same time, giving your productive self permission to get things done.

Now, that’s not just a win-win. That’s a #WinWin.

That’s why, your Easy Organizing Challenge™ is to create your first Not-To-Do List and use it for three days. See if the psychology behind it works better for you than a normal to-do list, and then go from there.

If you want bigger and better time-management results, then follow the arrow [see below link] to download The Ultimate Productivity Planner™. It’s free, and it will help you save 90 minutes or more every day even if you think time management is a myth.

This is Carmen Coker, signing off, we’ll see you next time.

© 2007 – 2016 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Download The FREE Ultimate Productivity Planner™, and save 90 minutes (or more) every day simply by using this 3-minute trick…even if you think time management is a myth.

10 Easy Ways To Get More Organized Today

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

 

 

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, I’m Carmen Coker, professional organizer and creator of The Clutter Cleanse®, and let me ask you…

How long have you been telling yourself that you need to get more organized? Honestly. A month? A year? A decade? A lifetime?

No matter how long you have been tolerating clutter in your home and life, you will likely agree on three things:

One, nothing good comes from clutter – only chaos, stress, frustration, loss, pain, wastefulness, hassles, and ineffectiveness.

Two, any amount of time is too long to struggle with clutter and the ill-effects it has on your time, space, mind, energy, money, and more.

Three, you can get started today, removing clutter and making space for the more important things in your life.

If you are like most, acknowledging these three factors is the easy part, but acting upon them, especially the last one – getting started today – is the hard part.

You may explain away your inaction with reasons like: I don’t have the time to get organized. I don’t have the money either. It’s too hard. I’m too overwhelmed. I’ve gotten by so far, so what’s the point? I’m not sure where or how to get started.

No matter the reasoning, the reality won’t change. Your reality won’t change. Tomorrow, you will either be one day closer to your organizing goals and the home and life you desire, or one day further away from these goals.

The question is: What will your tomorrow reveal about your today?

It’s time to face the stories you are telling yourself about getting organized and set your excuses aside. Here are 10 easy ways to help you get more organized today – in 15 minutes or less – and anyone, absolutely anyone, can do them.

Pick one chore that you’ve been doing but that could be done by another person, like a spouse, older child, or assistant – then delegate it permanently. Doing so will free up some “me” time or some time to get organized.

Consolidate half-full bottles of cleaning or laundry supplies. Doing this will make extra space in your cabinets and on your shelves.

Create a project to-do list for something that you’ve been procrastinating about. Doing so will make you feel as if you are getting things done, and boy – isn’t that a good feeling?

Go through your kitchen fridge and freezer and toss any expired food, beverages, or condiments. Doing this will inspire you to restock with some big-energy foods that will help you be super-productive. Plus, it’s a great chore for your kids – taking us back to the delegating bit.

Open your mail that’s been piling up, recycle or shred what isn’t needed, and file the rest away. Doing this will help you finally get rid of that nagging task that has to get done anyway.

Remove three pieces of clothing from your closet that bore you or no longer fit, and donate them. Doing so will help tidy up your closet – and help those in need at the same time.

Clean out your purse or briefcase or backpack, making it more orderly. Doing this will get rid of clutter you don’t need and make your day lighter, literally and figuratively.

Choose a recipe that you’ve never tried before and plan a healthy, home-cooked meal for this week. By the way, doing this – taking care of yourself and making sure you’re healthy – is the foundation of finding life balance.

Start writing your Christmas cards early, before the season catches you off guard. Now, I can feel some of you groaning as we speak. You’re saying: “The holidays are weeks away!” But not only will doing this get you ahead of the game, it will make your friends and family insanely jealous that you have got it so together.

Schedule an appointment you’ve been putting off, like one with your hairdresser or barber, auto shop, doctor. Doing so will help you feel like you are finally getting back on track.

Pick one to do today, or do them all over the course of the next week. Either way, you will feel more energized and organized.

So we circle back to this: What will your tomorrow reveal about your today? Make it count.

Are you ready to kickstart your efforts? Then follow the arrow [see below link] to take The 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™. It’s free, and it will put you on the right path!

This is Carmen Coker, signing off, we’ll see you next time.

© 2007 – 2016 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

5 Minutes To More Organized

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

 

 

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, I’m Carmen Coker, professional organizer and creator of The Clutter Cleanse®.

Did you know that, right now, you are just five minutes away from being a more organized you? That’s because I’m here with your Easy Organizing Challenge™.

The battle drums are rumbling. It’s time to suit up for Clutter Combat. Let Operation Organize commence! Rest assured, this is one battle that will reduce the amount of clutter in your life – quickly.

Your Easy Organizing Challenge™ is to select one area of your home at random – just one – and for five laser-focused minutes, declutter with all your might. A blitz, if you will.

TheFreeDictionary.com defines the word “blitz” as an intense campaign, and that’s exactly what you’re gonna do. Go crazy, and do not let anything stand in the way of your blitz victory.

If necessary, and to conquer more of the battlefield, call in reinforcements – your kids, your spouse, your friends – to help.

The toys that you trip over daily – blitz ‘em. The utensils taking over your kitchen – blitz ‘em. Your messy jewelry and your even messier sock collection – blitz and blitz. The mountain of old sticky notes and the stack of magazines you’ve been meaning to whittle down – blitz ‘em. The commitments that have become time sinks – you guessed it, blitz away!

Enjoy the full-out assault on your clutter, and celebrate when you can proclaim MISSION COMPLETE.

With your Easy Organizing Challenge™ laid out, let me caution you – do not be fooled by its simplicity. If you are or feel disorganized, and yet while I was describing this challenge, the words “that’s not anything new” or “I already know that” crossed your mind, then turn those thoughts into actions.

Which is to say, turn “I know that” into “I did that.” You see, getting organized is not always about getting new and novel. It’s about getting started and getting finished, using what you already know but just haven’t yet implemented.

What if you want to get even bigger results? Then instead of leading a five-minute blitz, try a 20-minute one instead. Not once, not twice, but five times this week.

If you want help accomplishing this Easy Organizing Challenge™, then let me turn your attention to a challenge of another kind. To start creating more space in your home and life for the things that really matter, follow the arrow [see below link] to take The 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™. It’s free, and it will put you on the right path!

This is Carmen Coker, signing off, we’ll see you next time.

© 2007 – 2016 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

Work-Life Balance Tips That Work

Monday, July 11th, 2016

 

 

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, I’m Carmen Coker, professional organizer and creator of The Clutter Cleanse®. Let me ask you…

Have you ever been at home, and yet thinking of something that needs to be done at work? Or the opposite – been at work, and yet thinking of something that needs to be done at home?

No matter if you try to separate them, your personal life and work life are intrinsically linked. That is to say, the parts and pieces of your life integrate less like this [straight rope line], and more like this [woven rope line].

So if you feel unbalanced personally, then that feeling can bleed into your work life and leave you feeling unbalanced professionally, or vice versa. That’s why it’s important to think of work-life balance in a holistic way.

With that in mind, work-life balance, in reality, can’t be separated into two distinct sides, where you are trying desperately to give equal attention and weight to both. It’s more like work-life harmony, where work and life have a symbiotic relationship.

Balance, harmony, integration – we’re getting into semantics here. Call it what you will, and there will be people who argue with you anyway, huh?

For our purposes here, I’m going to stick with work-life balance because, as it’s used in modern society, most people understand what I’m getting at.

More importantly, the question is not, what’s the right word to use or is work-life balance achievable, but rather…how can you stop being pulled in a million different directions? How can you stop experiencing guilt because you “should” be doing this or you “should” be doing that? How can you feel more well-rounded, fulfilled, happier? How can you experience more of these positives?

Well, here’s your starting point. When you are feeling unbalanced, in order to find relief, you must become aware of your clutter.

Now, you may be thinking: “I know where my clutter is! I trip over it every morning on the way to the closet.”

But that’s just the problem! We tend to think of clutter as “stuff” in our space: piles of paper on the desk, stacks of mail on the kitchen counter, and heaps of toys on the rug.

While this is true, there are other types of clutter that can creep into your life.

For example: Do you over-commit to people, organizations, or causes? Then you have something that clutters your schedule.

Do you have someone in your life that bleeds your energy and patience, so much so that the very mention of their name causes you great stress? Then you have something, or someone in this case, that clutters your spirit.

Do you look for a distraction, like a TV show or Facebook or a video game, whenever you know you have work to be done? Then you have something that clutters your habit patterns.

You see, clutter can permeate more than just your surroundings; clutter can permeate all or parts of you. And in the same respect, organizing is more than managing your belongings. Organizing is managing you – all parts of you – so that you feel balanced and fulfilled.

So the next time you seem discombobulated…stressed…overwhelmed…chaotic…unbalanced…then your Easy Organizing Challenge™ is this:

Examine the areas of your life – both at home and at work – that need to be decluttered. Remember: It’s not just about your space. Doing this will ultimately help you pinpoint the source, or sources, of the problem so that you can find relief fast.

If you want help accomplishing this Easy Organizing Challenge™, then let me turn your attention to a challenge of another kind. To start creating more work-life balance for yourself, follow the arrow [see below link] to take The 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™. It’s free, and it will put you on the right path!

This is Carmen Coker, signing off, we’ll see you next time.

© 2007 – 2016 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

The Clutter Buster That No One Talks About

Monday, June 6th, 2016

You can be an encouragement to others – share this on Facebook or share this on Twitter with your family and friends!

 

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, I’m Carmen Coker, professional organizer and creator of The Clutter Cleanse®. And whether you have a little bit of clutter, a lot of clutter, or anywhere in between, you are in the right place! Because I’d like to share something with you that will challenge the way you think about clutter from this point forward.

There is a story about an old Cherokee who was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them: “A battle is raging inside me. It is a terrible fight between two wolves.

“One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The old man fixed the children with a firm stare. “This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win the battle?”

The old Cherokee replied: “The one you feed.”

Now, you may be thinking: “Nice story. But what does this have to do with getting organized, simplifying life, and finding time?” A lot, actually, if you look at the story this way…

I have a battle raging inside of me, and it is a terrible fight between two wolves.

One wolf represents clutter, and all the things that come with it like: chaos, stress, frustration, loss, pain, wastefulness, hassles, ineffectiveness, and overwhelm.

The other stands for order, and all the things that come with it like: clarity, peace, gain, pleasure, usefulness, waste-lessness, ease, efficiency, and simplicity.

This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.

Which wolf will win, you ask? The one you feed.

Your Easy Organizing Challenge™ is to think about how you can feed order in your life, so that you can enjoy all the goodness that comes with it. Then, put your thoughts into action by consciously choosing organization over clutter, simplicity over chaos, and finding time over wasting time.

If you want help accomplishing this Easy Organizing Challenge™, then let me turn your attention to a challenge of another kind. To start feeding the “right” wolf and start getting rid of clutter once and for all, follow the arrow [see below] to take The 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™. It’s free, and it will put you on the right path!

This is Carmen Coker, signing off, we’ll see you next time.

© 2007 -2016 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

3 Quick Clutter Solutions For Your Home Office

Monday, April 11th, 2016

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3 Quick Clutter Solutions For Your Home OfficePiles, piles, and more piles! If this conjures thoughts of your home office, then here are three ways to get rid of office clutter – fast.

1. Pull double-duty.

Books are one of the biggest space hogs in any home office. Placing risers along the back of shelves, and then situating books on top of and in front of, with a little space in between rows, can easily double the storage capacity of a bookshelf.

Done-For-You Quick Clutter Solution: Drawer Organizer, flipped upside-down.

DIY Quick Clutter Solution: Find and cover a long box (such as one for waxed paper, plastic wrap, or foil) with acid-free paper. Leave the empty roll inside of the box for extra support.

Hint: For best effect, measure the length, width, and height of each shelf before you decide upon, buy, or make your shelf risers.

2. Find a quick hide-away.

Getting cords, cables, and wires under control can almost single-handedly transform the look of any office space. The fastest way to achieve this feat is by strategically (not lazily) hiding power strips and excess cords from view.

Done-For-You Quick Clutter Solution: CableBox.

DIY Quick Clutter Solution: Find a lidded, solid-colored container with similar dimensions to the CableBox. Using the CableBox as a model, cut holes where appropriate to guide the cords and cables.

Hint: For best look, tie together the cords extending outside of the cable management box with zip, twist, or Velcro ties.

3. Focus on the underutilized.

Not making use of vertical space like walls and doors is one of the top office organizing mistakes most people make. When used appropriately (and eye-pleasingly), vertical space can store office supplies, corral papers, and create more room to work and play.

Done-For-You Quick Clutter Solution: Magnetic Bulletboard, with Mini Bulldog Clips and Magnetic Spice Tins.

DIY Quick Clutter Solution: Find a large hanging frame that matches your office decor. Hang it, mark the opening, then remove. Cover the marked opening with magnetic paint, and rehang the frame.

Hint: For best use, display only things that inspire and motivate you, that you need to use or see often, or that keep you focused.

How’d you like to finally have the organized office you’ve longed for – in 24 hours or less? Join the Totally Organized Office™ Bootcamp by clicking here!

5 Timeless Lessons About Simplicity From Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

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In today’s fast-paced world, it is normal to crave simplicity and serenity – and lots of it. The modern view of “simplifying life” focuses less on doing without (unless that is your preference) and more on slowing down, enjoying balance, and experiencing fulfillment. Here are five timeless lessons about simplicity from Albert Einstein – and how you can apply his genius to your own life, simplified.

1) Learn to say “no”.

Einstein’s connection with the Jewish people was said to be the strongest bond in his life, yet when he was offered the presidency of Israel, he politely declined the invitation.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] A lot of people say time management is getting more done in less time. Wrong emphasis! In reality, using time wisely is getting more – more of what is really important to you – done, and ignoring the rest. Only say “yes” to commitments that support your personal priorities and values, and say “no” to those commitments that don’t – even if it is as important as a presidency.

2) Change things up.

Einstein once explained his idea of insanity as: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] It’s true – if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got. If you want to simplify and get organized, yet you keep doing the same things that hold your life in chaos, then your life will never change. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new, better, and different in the realm of simplicity – something that will stretch your idea of what is possible.

3) Use smart systems.

Witnesses claim Einstein did not rely on memory to recall his phone number – he referenced a phone book instead.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] With an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day, there is a lot of competition for attention inside your head. While your brain is an amazing organ, the odds are stacked against you that you will remember everything important. Find or create your own system to track essential information, even if it is as basic as using a phone book!

4) Take regular breaks.

It is believed that Einstein conceived the theory of relativity, not while holed up inside a high-tech laboratory, but rather while riding his bicycle.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] Although it may seem counter-intuitive, our minds need an occasional rest in order to remain alert, productive, and creative. Schedule regular 20-minute breaks into your daily schedule, using your break time to truly disconnect from your work with fun activities to boost your energy and cognitive power like meditation, a water-cooler chat, or a short Einstein-approved bike ride.

5) Visualize what you want.

Einstein’s greatest breakthroughs in science were born from Gedankenexperiment, or visual experiments carried out in his mind.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] For many years, visualization techniques have been used in areas like health, athletics, education, business, the arts, and science to break boundaries, create positive change, and facilitate success – amongst others. Visualize your path to simplicity, envision reaching beyond the grasp of chaos and clutter, and take your simplify-life results to the next level.

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

If You Love Facebook, Then This Will Help You Get Organized

Monday, February 15th, 2016

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If You Have Time To Facebook, You Have Time To Get Organized

This bull calls it like it is. If you have time to Facebook, you have time to get organized. NO MORE EXCUSES! #TidyUp

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! If you would like to find more time in your life, download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Productivity Planner™ right now, and start saving 90 minutes (or more) every day…even if you think time management is a myth!

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

How Productive People Deal With Interruptions

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

How Productive People Deal With InterruptionsYou can be an encouragement to others – share this on Facebook or share this on Twitter with your family and friends!

Cave intermissio. Beware of the interruption.

Why? The statistics speak for themselves. Studies show, on average, that…

  • You experience one interruption every eight minutes. That’s up to seven per hour, and up to 60 per day.
  • Barely-noticeable interruptions of only two seconds are enough to throw your productivity off-track.
  • It can take up to 25 minutes to regain your mental focus and work flow after being interrupted, depending on the complexity of the task.

The Big Reveal

There’s no denying it! Interruptions are one of the most lethal time-sinks known to mankind. You don’t even have to be good at math to realize that these statistics spell trouble for your get-stuff-done factor.

The problem is this: Interruptions are inevitable, and they can come from anywhere with little to no notice. Your boss requests a hot tasker. Your spouse phones to say “hi.” Your office mate asks to borrow a dollar. Your kids call for you. Your assistant needs your signature. Your cousin pings you on Facebook. Your dog wants to play ball. Your friend texts with drama.

Then what happens? Human nature practically dictates that you give the interruption immediate attention, action, and precedence over whatever you were doing in the first place, no matter how important.

Even more dangerous are the interruptions you welcome, allow, or encourage. After all, who wouldn’t want to find out how your spouse’s day is going, share a memory with your child, or enjoy some fresh air with your dog? All good (and arguably necessary) things, but sometimes, these good intentions come with bad timing.

The Ins & Outs

Martin Luther King once said: “The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions. The door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed. Or that lovely poem that didn’t get written because someone knocked on the door.”

As MLK so eloquently explained, no matter what the situation – pinning a simple poem or achieving a world-changing dream – interruptions should be avoided, if and when possible. Here are three strategies to do just that:

  • First, identify the source(s). Download this tool to help you analyze the who’s, what’s, and when’s of your daily interruptions, allowing you to either eliminate or reorganize to save time.
  • Second, have a game plan for interruptions you can’t ignore or delay. Bookmark your place; jot down your last thought on a sticky note; or, if appropriate, ask for 10 minutes to get to a proper stopping point. All of these ideas will make restarting your tasks faster and easier.
  • Third, have a game plan for interruptions that you can ignore or delay. Put to memory a script like: “I’d love to help you! But now is not a good time. Can we talk later today at 3pm? I’ll be able to give you my undivided attention then.” Being prepared to say “not now” with confidence and integrity means you can get back to being productive asap.
  • Plus, stop interruptions before they even have a chance. Of course, there is always the popular close-your-door approach or do-not-disturb hours. More importantly, however, is cultivating a work and home environment that eliminates interruptions where possible. Teach – and show by example – to interrupt only when it is a top priority, and when it is not, to find a way to honor the other person’s time.

The Bottom Line

Most people understand the importance of not letting interruptions get in the way of productivity. But it is only a highly productive person who follows through on this understanding and gives time and attention only to those who deserve it, not to those who demand it.

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! If you would like to find more time in your life, download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Productivity Planner™ right now, and start saving 90 minutes (or more) every day…even if you think time management is a myth!

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

A Ridiculously Easy Way To Save Time

Monday, February 1st, 2016

A Ridiculously Easy Way To Save TimeYou can be an encouragement to others – share this on Facebook or share this on Twitter with your family and friends!

Do you find that you are constantly tangled in a web of too-many-things-to-do, rush-rush-rush, and no-time-for-just-me?

You wouldn’t be alone. Studies show a whopping 78% of people wish they had more time to “smell the roses.” You also shouldn’t be surprised. With all the demands of a busy life, it’s common to feel that:

  • Your to-do list only gets longer, and longer, and longer.
  • Your home, work, and life responsibilities are overwhelming.
  • You can’t truly rest because there is simply too much to do.
  • You need a vacation, but who has time for that?
  • And the most common of all…You just don’t have enough *&%$#@! hours in the day.

Here’s the thing: I’m willing to bet, if you scrutinize your schedule, you will find tasks, projects, commitments, appointments, or other that are…avoidable. This could mean they are temporarily avoidable, allowing you to reschedule for a better time, or it could mean that they are permanently avoidable, allowing you to eliminate them altogether or delegate them to someone else.

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” ~ Lin Yutang

Today’s easy organizing challenge is to leave something “avoidable” behind. Look at your to-do list or planner, and ask these questions of each entry:

  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it urgent?
  • Is it important?
  • Does it support my priorities?
  • Does it support my goals?
  • Can it be deleted?
  • Can it be postponed?
  • Can it be delegated?

Warning: So this is ridiculously easy. Like, making a Pop-Tart®-easy! In fact, the more times you do it, the easier and faster it becomes. But, sometimes during this process, feelings of guilt, perfectionism, and ego may bubble up.

Recognize any of these? So-in-so is counting on me. I’ve done this for years, why stop now? I already gave my word. Someone else could do this, but I want to get credit for it. No one can do this better than me. I don’t trust anyone else to get this right.

These feelings can have a strong pull – if you let them. DON’T. Don’t accept your excuses, don’t give into your fear, don’t let the devil on your shoulder get its way. If necessary, drink some virtual Gatorade® and get a big kick of Win from Within. (Really, when you see what these champions have overcome, you’ll probably feel silly for even letting these feelings get in the way of your time-management success.)

Once you’ve made your wise decision(s) about your schedule, don’t look back! Simply relish the freedom of letting go…

Want bigger results? Instead of picking one thing to leave behind for just today, pick three things each day for an entire week.

Ready for more time in your life? Download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Productivity Planner™ right now, and start saving 90 minutes (or more) every day…even if you think time management is a myth!

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved