My recent survey of Project Me subscribers and social media followers revealed that the #1 life area you’d like to improve is your Productivity and Time Management. A whopping 70% of you said you’re interested in my upcoming online course to help with this area of your life and I want you to know, I’m working on that right now. Improving your productivity not only brings you more calm, it’s also a natural way to free up more time and energy for the people and the things you love.
I don’t want you to have to wait to get started, so watch this short video to hear about a very special mini-training I’ve created to boost your productivity and time management ahead of the busy holiday season. Doing this one thing transformed my own productivity overnight![more]
This article is also featured in the Huffington Post.
Dreaming about all of the extra hours you’ll have with the kids back in school? Determined to get on top of your to-do list and have space in your day to do more of what you really want to be doing?
Here’s the truth. Those ‘extra hours’ will disappear into the ether if you don’t watch it.
That’s exactly what happened to me back when my youngest began nursery school.
I was thrilled to have three bonus hours a day to get stuff done. I imagined my amazing life with an additional 12 hours a week!
But it wasn’t long before I felt just as busy as ever.
Two years later when he started ‘big school’, I conjured up more images of what my life would look like with all of the ‘extra’ time I’d have.
I’d create filing systems, put photos in albums, finish the baby books, learn Spanish, train to be a yoga teacher, do volunteer work….
But that time evaporated too.
Here’s what I’ve finally learned (and I hope this fast tracks you through the process):[more]
Do you dive into each day without a game plan? Are you easily sidetracked? Do you procrastinate on the important (but boring) stuff, then kick yourself when the day’s over and you still didn’t manage to get it done?
Wouldn’t it be great to arrive calm, prepared and on time to everywhere you needed to be? To feel happy and connected. Grateful for another amazing day – and looking forward to another one tomorrow.
The secret to this involves a little light planning at the start of each day. Instead of just doing whatever’s in front of your face, it’s time to Design Your Day.
I created this printable day planner to help busy mothers stay focused, stop wasting time and be more mindful as you move about your day. No more going off-piste!
The feedback I get on this Design My Day Action Sheet. is phenomenal! (I’ll share some it further down.) I’m now working on a lovely spiral bound version that’ll be up for sale on Amazon later this year.
I’ll walk you through each section of Design My Day here:[more]
In my post Get Rid of Clutter, I promised to share the inspirational story of my mother who got rid of all of her material possessions.
In honour of her 70th birthday…. Here’s some inspiration to have less things and more freedom.
About 27 years ago my mother sold her big house in Minnesota, all of her furniture and her car and relocated across the country to California. (Sleeping on my sofa until she found a place of her own!)
As a single lady whose kids had flown the coop, she was ready for a new adventure.
She bought a pickup truck and meagrely furnished a small one-bedroom apartment, including mismatched dishes and silverware from charity shops.
She became a true minimalist and loved the freedom it gave her.[more]
Are there pockets of clutter in your home that are dragging you down?
Do you struggle to downsize your collection of books, DVDs or Tupperware? Just in case those missing lids ever turn up…
Find it hard to let go of clothes in case they come back into fashion or you lose or gain weight? Feel guilty getting rid of things that were given as gifts?
As I prepare for my upcoming move back to London, I’m in major ‘get rid of clutter’ mode. When we packed up and moved to Madrid six years ago I donated dozens of bags filled to the brim to our local charity shops. I gave away piles of books, clothes, baby and household items as I had no time to organise a sale or figure out eBay.
It was amazing to start fresh in a new house. After unpacking I was delighted to find empty shelves and plenty of drawers to spare.
So how is it that just six years later we’ve amassed so much stuff again?
I’m finally reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo after previously writing it off as being a book about precision folding and talking to your socks. Well, there is some of that, but the deeper underlying message is actually a good one.
Only keep things in your home that spark joy.
This is of course easier said than done, but in the spirit of another fresh start, I’m giving her KonMari Method a go.[more]
I’m thrilled that Project Me has made a great list of 25 Must-Read Personal Development Blogs, especially given that I share the bill with one of my personal faves, Gretchen Rubin.
Gretchen first came onto my radar several years ago with her book The Happiness Project. She’s as fascinated with happiness, human behaviour and habits as I am!
I once spent five consecutive days sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, surreptitiously observing and writing down where people chose to sit and which magazines they shuffled through. The following week I did a similar same thing in a cafe.
Before you assume I’m some kind of weirdo, It was for my sociology class at university.
Gretchen’s latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives, explores how habits affect your life in both good and bad ways. She uses herself, her friends and her family as guinea pigs to test out various theories, which makes it more fun to read than the other books on habits I’ve delved into – and never quite finished…
I especially love her Four Tendencies framework to help people understand how they tend to respond to expectations, both inner and external.
As a productivity and goals coach for mothers, it’s useful for me to understand if the person I’m working with needs my accountability (ie: a kick up her backside to make sure she follows through!), or if she’ll rebel against that and needs to do things her own way. Others respond better to lots of useful information. Once they have the facts, they make decisions they trust.
Since we’re all different, self-understanding is the key to reaching our goals and mastering our habits.
You can take Gretchen’s online quiz to find out [more]
How often do you sit down with a pen and paper, do a little assessment of the different areas of your life and see what needs some planning or figuring out?
Maybe you need a strategy for organising your home, getting into a fitness routine, having more fun with your partner or friends, or doing more things just for you? Family life may flow easier if you spend a little time creating some written rules or charts so you can stop the nagging. Perhaps you have a business idea swirling around in your head, but you never take the time to explore it properly?
When you’re constantly caught up in the day to day whirlwind of life, you fall into bed every night without any chance for planning or reflection. Then the next morning you start the whole crazy routine all over again! That’s why this date with yourself is so important.
It’s too easy to spend your downtime getting sucked into social media or mindlessly surfing the web. Having a monthly Project Me Date With Yourself will help you feel more organised and on top of life. You’ll become a pro problem solver and the expert of you and your family.
Once you get on top of the day to day stuff, you’ll have more headspace to dig deeper into your goals, dreams and future plans. You’ll get to know yourself better and understand what brings out your best version of you.
So, when’s that first date with yourself going to be?
In the comments below share your take-aways from this post. When are you going to schedule it in that first hot date with yourself?
To receive the Project Me Life Wheel®, pop your name and email into the box below. (I’ll never share your details with anyone.)
The results of your wheel will give you a starting point for what steps to take next.
I’m passionate about helping you find a happier balance. Take this free gift – and let me know how it works for you.
Do you ever get bogged down with little daily decisions?
Deliberating back and forth about two options takes up a lot of valuable head space that you can’t always spare.
Forget about pondering over things in your already bogged-down mind.
For easy(‘ish) decisions, nothing quite beats a good old Pros and Cons list. Don’t write it off as being too simple to work. You may be pleasantly surprised!
The next time you recognise that you’re playing a decision back and forth in your mind, whip out a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and put the pros and cons into two columns. When one column easily outweighs the other, voila! There’s the answer.
Of course the sheer number of reasons in one column doesn’t always outweigh one major reason in another.
This is when it’s good to get clear about your values and what’s truly important to you. Decisions made from the heart usually feel better than ones made only with your head.[more]
Feeling peeved that your hubby’s not pulling his weight on the domestic front?
Are you left to do the lion’s share while he’s got his feet up watching TV?
Constantly nagging and feeling resentful that he doesn’t just see what needs doing and pitch in without being asked?
Last week I wrote about how to get your kids to help you more. This time it’s about getting the help you need from your partner.
It’s frustrating to live under the same roof as a fully capable adult, but feel like you’ve got another person to pick up after, cajole and cater to.
Resentment builds up until it drives a serious wedge between you.
Studies show that couples fight more over who does the most cooking and cleaning than anything else – except money.
So, how to get your husband to help more around the house?[more]
Are you tired of feeling like the family slave? Do you feel like if you don’t do it yourself, it’ll never get done?
Wish your kids would pitch in and help, but feel like they’re too young or it’s not worth the battle trying to get them to do it?[more]
Looking at your massive to-do list and feeling like everything has to be done now? How do you prioritise? Where do you even begin?
I’ve got a magic wand to make it better – my Magic Matrix Action Sheet!
This is a new spin on an old favourite (by productivity guru Stephen Covey) and it works every time. You’ll get a clearer picture of what’s really important – and what can wait.
Have a stack of these handy so you can whip one out whenever your head’s in a whirl.
‘But it all feels important and urgent!’
It won’t feel that way once you’ve done this:[more]
Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of family photos you have sitting on your hard drive, unorganised and unloved? Do you worry that one day you’ll lose them all and your children will have no photos of their childhood? Do you love the thought of having family albums but don’t know where to start?
In the digital world that we live in it’s so easy to get our photos out of control. We go on holiday and rather than coming home with 36 photos on a roll of film you then take to get developed, you come home with hundreds of photos (with dozens of the same thing!) that you keep on your hard drive and never do anything with. Perhaps you share some on Facebook or print a few out and frame. But the rest just sit there unloved.
If you follow my simple 6 step plan you can take control of your photos forever. And if you have years (or decades!) worth of unorganised photos, don’t worry. Just start from now and you can gradually go back and sort through your old photos. Just make sure you take control of it now![more]