Clear the Clutter, Unclutter Your Life

Managing Distractions

I can’t believe Christmas is just two days away – well, Christmas Eve is tomorrow.  I have been sort of a Grinch at home this year – no decorations until last Sunday but I did get some shopping done.  Yes, I squirreled but what else is new, right?

Last Sunday at church,  the first hymn was “Hark the Harold Angels Sing”.  I know it is “herald” but my grandfather always said it was his song and yes, his name was Harold.  I knew then, it was going to be a service I needed to pay attention to.  As we moved through the holiday songs, I found my thoughts drifting to the things I wanted to get done, the people I was missing (Belinda not being home for Christmas) and then BAM!  The sermon was on “managing distractions”.  I knew this was just for me.

The brain fog from MS causes me to get distracted easily, memory is short or sometimes nonexistent and sometimes I find it hard to concentrate.  But the reality is, even without MS, many of us have difficulty managing distractions.  Think about how you or your kids do/did their homework.  Do they need the music or TV on leaving you wondering how they can possibly concentrate?  Or do they need silence?  These days, I need silence.  I get easily distracted but there was a time when I could have the TV on or music and actually remember what I was supposed to be doing.  Do deadlines cause you to focus more?  Is one of your tag lines, I work better under pressure?

#1 Identify Inevitable Distractions

Distractions are going to happen – they always do.  So why not expect them – if they come, you are ready but if they don’t you are ahead of the game.  I can remember when I was a work at home mom, distractions happened and I was never really ready for them.  The TV was too loud or a million questions came just as I was working on a grant.  Then there was the “I’m hungry” cry.  Yes, I miss those days but the distractions are different now.  I start a project or work in the office and thoughts of 10 other things which need to be done in the house enters my head.  Before long, I have squirreled into the “this will only take a minute” project being completed distracted from the work I was doing.  I’m sure I am not alone especially during this busy holiday season.

#2 Learn to Discern the Main Thing

SMACK!  Distractions sometimes pull us away from our main focus – family!  We get bogged down in worrying about having lots of time with family while we miss out on enjoying the quality time we do have with them.  What is your main focus this holiday?  Is it buying the perfect gifts, planning the perfect meal or enjoying the moments with family and friends?  I always “talk” about family being the most important thing to me – tops on my list.  Yet, I find there are times when I place other non-important things before spending time with them.  My focus turns to working in the office to make money to pay bills or being busy in my business (notice I didn’t say working my business).  Yup, I am one of those struggling recovering workaholics….

We have identifying the distractions, so how do you manage them, right?  You got this, it isn’t as difficult as it may seem if you are intentional about it…

#1 Clear the Clutter

No, I don’t mean the clutter in the house!  I mean the clutter in our heads.  Maybe you need to write a list or delegate chores or maybe decide not to do certain things at all – however you do it, JUST DO IT!  Prune your schedule. Control spending.  Weed out the things which aren’t the main thing.  I am working on calendar blocking AGAIN so I block out time needed to work versus time I will spend with family.

#2 Don’t Let Distractions Distract You

We know distractions will happen BUT don’t let them distract you from your MAIN THING! If the most important thing for you this holiday season is family – spend time with them, enjoy them. STOP watching the clock.  STOP worrying about if the house is clean enough or whether there is enough food or how you look.  Enjoy the moments….

The main thing is to make the Main thing the Main thing

This Christmas is different for our family – Belinda in North Carolina, missing my Dad, hubby working so others can spend time with their little ones  has left me trying to figure out how to embrace the change so I can focus on my main thing – FAMILY!  Grateful to have dinner on Christmas Eve with my step-mom and half sister then spend Christmas Day with my mom and step dad as well as my hubby.

What is distracting you this holiday season from enjoying your “main thing”?  When the holidays are over, will you have wonderful memories of the moments shared even with the distractions or will you regret being too busy to have enjoyed your “main thing”?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Get Happy!

10eae984669647899619dc535dc30e2f

Happy Monday morning!  I know many of you are dreading this day.  I mean who wants to go back to the J-O-B, right?  You got an extra hour of sleep with the time change this weekend so you should be relaxed and happy. I know it is a far stretch for a Monday morning but work with me….

Are you letting your emotions rule this morning?  Are the ruling emotions, the ones making you feel yukky or less productive?  I mean how productive can we really be when we feel yukky!

So,why not kick start this Monday with some things to change you mood, so you can “get happy.” Pretty much instantly.  Yes, even on a Monday morning headed to work.

Studies show we are more productive, create better relationships and have more success when we are happy. If you are struggling to be productive or to get the results you want, try getting happy first!

Try these life hacks to ‘get happy’!

  • Start your day happy.
  • Do something first thing in the morning which makes you happy.
  • Dance to your favorite music
  • Talk a walk
  • Spend time with God
  • Exercise
  • Smile

What starts your day ‘right’? images

Take a time out.3802280a

Finding yourself frustrated, angry or down? Stop and do something to ‘snap you out of it’.
You will be far more productive if you stop and ‘get happy’ than if you try to slug on through.

Check your environment.

Does clutter stress you out? Clear out one room and go there!
Did you know citrus, orange, lemon, and grapefruit, bring out positive chemical reactions in your brain? Try using essential oils in these scents. Put them on your pressure points or diffuse into the air. Go to the real thing, eat an orange and leave the rind on your desk.
If it makes you happy to be outside, move your phone and computer to the deck and work outside!  Whatever is making you uncomfortable, change it up!

Be around happy people.

Who makes you feel good whenever you are around them?
Be intentional about who you spend time with, and know who you can call to lift you up. Commiserating may seem like a good way to support others, but it won’t help them be happier.  Take a few minutes to create a happy list. These are the things you can do to “get happy.” When you are feeling unproductive, pick one and do it! Happiness is good for your soul.

So go ahead, get happy!

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

 

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Unclutter Your Life

2 Minute Rule

imagesTGIF!  I am enjoying the mountains of North Carolina spending time with family.  Tomorrow is football at Western Carolina and tailgating with the Stray Cats.  It has been a long time since I unplugged and I desperately needed it.

Today’s blog is a great tip from Barbara of Simplify Days.  This is a tip you can use in your business or in your personal life.  This is a tip that is easy to teach your kids so they can learn time management early.

I don’t know about you but my week is usually full of trying to pull off the most simple tasks in a short amount of time. From changing a light bulb to responding to an email to sorting mail, a load of laundry or loading the dishwasher.   Some tasks just seem to sit and sit.  My one touch system for paper didn’t seem to work as well for projects…….

So, why not try the 2-minute rule?

The 2-minute rule comes from the widely recognized leading expert on personal and organizational productivity, David Allen. David is the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.b3c9036f019b4ea1bbbe45f24b3b6870

The 2-minute rule is simple to follow and can make a huge difference in day-to-day life.

Here’s the rule: if a task will take 2-minutes or less DO IT RIGHT NOW. I am a list person and tries to make a plan.  The problem is that I spend way too much time in the planning mode.  The 2-minute rule kicks me into gear and helps me knock out those simple tasks. Instead of writing things down to complete later, the 2-minute rule helps me actually get things done instead of just written down.

No, I have to admit, I do push it to a 5-minute rule…. WHY?  Because even the simplest emails take a few minutes to write.  I know I can’t change a light-bulb in 2-minutes. I work really hard to complete right then if it will only take just a few short minutes !

I started doing this before we left on vacation and I was amazed at how much I got done.  Instead of making a list and then crossing things off…I had a completed list which made me feel AWESOME!

200_s

I challenge you this week-end to try out the 2 (sometimes 5) – minute rule and see how it works for you. If a task will take less than 5 minutes DO IT.   If you are planning out your week and remember a task that will take less than 5 minutes DO IT.  An email comes through, you can quickly respond to, DO IT RIGHT THEN.

I have to be honest, I was skeptical.  You will be surprised at how much you’ll able to get done and how often the simple act of getting started with a short task will keep you moving through a productive day.

I can’t wait to hear what you think….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

5 Habits to Improve Your Quality of Life 

196922-Happy-Hump-Day-Everyone

Yes, it is Wednesday and it is time to focus on YOU!

If you are like me, you are bombarded with “stuff” from the time you start your day.   From e-mail, television, interruptions or requests, something is constantly vying for your attention. What’s the result? The best laid plans for the day are tossed by the wayside and by the end the day, I am left wondering where the time went.  I get it – it’s life, some days are better than others.

The problem is that when it becomes the norm, it can leave you frustrated, scattered and ineffective. I don’t know about you but when I am feeling that way all of the time – there is  chronic stress and a lack of fulfillment, a low level of happiness and my physical health is a mess.  An unhappy momma (or wife) does not make for a happy household, right?

Did you know that what you do FIRST makes all the difference in the world to your day? Do you want to be more productive? Do you want to increase your energy level when your plate is full?

It’s all about what you choose to do first.  What you do the first 30 minutes you’re awake, the first 30 minutes at work, and with the first portion of your income ensures that no matter how overloaded you are, your most important priorities will not be lost in a sea of distractions. When you do the things that are most important to you first, you free up energy for everything else on your list. Be intentional. Make it easy to accomplish “first things first.” Make them automatic.

Here are five simple things you can do “first” to improve your quality of life right now:

1. Tackle the looming project.

Maybe it is a report you need to finish, a meeting you need to have, or a project waiting for your attention – get started early in the day.  Block out the time – whether it’s 15 minutes or four hours – and DO IT!  Believe it or not, once that is done, you’ll have more energy because that burden is lifted.

8496582A0000

2. Connect with loved ones.

Start the day with a kiss, a hug, or a phone call to someone who matters to you. These are the things that tend to get lost when our schedules get busy.  Instead of letting these loving gestures diminish. we need to increase them! Staying connected to others is one of the most important ingredients for well-being.  I have even found that when I take a break and spend at least 30 minutes with hubby (no distractions) before he goes to work, I am way more productive.

3. Drink a bottle of water

First thing in the morning, before you even put your feet on the ground, drink a bottle of water. Sit it by your bed before you go to sleep. Drinking water first thing in the morning gets your system moving and your metabolism kicking.

4. Meditate on what you are grateful for.

While drinking that bottle of water, why not think about all of the things that are good in your life. “Whatever things are good, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, think on these things,” the apostle Paul wrote.  Research shows that expressing gratitude has health benefits and meditation actually changes your brain chemistry for the better. So first thing in the morning, pray a prayer of gratitude.  This will also keep start the Law of Attraction for the day.

5. Save some money and give some away.

For some you are already letting the negative inner gremlins rear their heads, right?  This is a tough one for many.  The truth is that if we don’t give or save money when it first comes in, you’ll rarely have much left over to do. But somehow, when you give first and save first, your spending becomes aligned with your goals. That’s because you’ve made your goal – saving and giving – your top priority. Set up automatic debits from your paycheck or checking account so you don’t even have to think about it!  This was a tough one for me too!  The truth is that when I set up the auto debits from my checking account, it happens and then I don’t think about the money in the savings account.  Start with $5 once a month but start.

I challenge you to put first things first. See what a difference it makes for you and then share it with us.  What priority is not first on your list of actions today?  I can’t wait to hear from you…

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!