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]
Most busy mamas agree that there are just never enough hours in the day to get it all done. Can you relate?
Last week in my Monday Motivator newsletter I gave out this little written assignment to my lovely subscribers. Please join in!
Grab a piece of paper (or create a note on your phone) and write down three things you don’t have time for. Just the first three things that come to mind.
1. I don’t have time for _________________________________________.
2. I don’t have time for _________________________________________.
3. I don’t have time for _________________________________________.
Once you’ve done that, read on. (no peeking!)
Do you adore cooking and dreaming up new ideas for ways to feed your family?
I spend as little time in my kitchen as I can possibly get away with.
I’m amazed at mothers who food blog or are professional meal planners and seem to have the whole feeding their family thing down to a science – and love doing it.
How do they have time to do all of that cooking and take photos and write about it?
Meanwhile I’ve got my head in my hands moaning, ‘Oh why do they need to eat dinner every night?!’
I vaguely remember a time when I did enjoy cooking. I bought recipe books, clipped things out of magazines and was always trying new dishes.
Clearly it was only a phase.
Three years ago things got bad. I flew blind at the supermarket without much of a list. I never seemed to have the right ingredients to put together a meal everyone liked. I felt like a failure at feeding my family.
So I set myself a goal to get my act together in the kitchen.
I’ve come in leaps and bounds in the Planning department, I now have a system for Meal Planning that works.
Every Sunday I sit down, bite the bullet and just do it. And if I ever have a week that I don’t do it, I deeply regret it and it doesn’t happen again for a long time.
It’s great to know what I’m going to cook for dinner every evening and that I’ve bought the ingredients to make it (hurrah!), but now it’s time to tackle my next challenge.
Too often I don’t get started on the prep side of it early enough. I tear myself away from whatever I’m doing, dash into the kitchen, only to realise what I’ve planned to cook takes more time than I’d thought. I end up with cranky kids begging me for a pre-dinner snack to hold them over while I rush through it – begrudging every minute. Not a lot of love going into that food.
My avoidance of the kitchen needed to be addressed. Resenting and begrudging it doesn’t make it any easier, nor does procrastinating and leaving until the last moment.
I knew I needed to overcome this hurdle, so I scheduled in some solution time last week to hash it out on paper.[more]
Anyone else go all weak at the knees about stationery? Highlighter pens, Post-It notes, paper clips and notebooks – I’m a kid in a candy store in a shop that sells funky, colourful supplies.
Combine that with my love fill-in-the-blank worksheets and I’m in my own kind of bliss.
The concept of this very website came out of my idea to create a binder folder with colour coded tabbed sections for each area of my life.
I figured it was kind of like project managing a new house build with organised sections for plumbing, electricity, interior design and outdoor landscaping.
My life needed sorting out in so many different areas, so I broke it down into – family, health, personal growth, fun, money, etc.
I felt a Project ME coming on….
Naturally I headed off to buy some supplies![more]
I’m a self-confessed App Freak. My favourites are productivity apps which can be used on my desktop computer as well as syncing to my phone.
I love productivity apps that make my life flow a little smoother. I test them out before deciding which ones are worth it. A few make the final cut – and these three I can’t live without.[more]
How does your home make you feel? Is it your sanctuary – or does it bring you down, make you feel heavy and lost?
The stuff we have in our lives has a huge impact on our state of mind. But when it comes to clearing the clutter and getting organsing systems in place – sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. We get overwhelmed by the bigger picture, have no idea where to start – and end up doing nothing.
I guarantee that if you follow this Decluttering Masterclass you’ll be well on your way to an organised, clutter-free home – and an easier life.[more]
It’s easy to let the demands of motherhood tip you in one direction, leaving other parts of your life sitting on the back burner.
You don’t realise you’re neglecting your self care – even when you become overwhelmed and short fused. You don’t see that your man needs attention, until you start drifting apart. Without enough fun, friends or personal growth – you get into a total rut. Take your eye off the ball with finances, organising or cleaning – and suddenly you’re in a deep mess.
So how can a busy mama find a better balance in life when there’s always so much that needs attention?
First you have to know, balance is not about giving the same amount of energy to all areas of your life simultaneously. It’s more about being aware of what needs your focus at any given time and recognising the symptoms of feeling out of balance before things get out of hand.
It’s all too easy to let some areas of your life fall off the radar completely while you’re too busy with everything else.
The good news is, I have the key to helping you get back into balance fast. [more]
Not knowing what you’re going to make for dinner sucks. So does sitting down and meal planning for the week. But which is worse?
Dinners don’t have to look like they came out of a foodie magazine. Even if you hate to cook, you can make healthy meals for your family that don’t take a lot of time or effort. All you need is a bit of forward thinking – and that means meal planning.
I go in waves. When I do it, I feel organised, in control and proud of the meals I make. I wonder why I don’t just do it every week. Other times I’ll sit with my blank meal planning chart – and come up empty. I’ll half-heartedly shuffle through my recipes, feel annoyed that I’m wasting time and finally head off to the supermarket without a game plan.
Food shopping without a plan means buying random stuff. Within two days I run out of crucial ingredients to make a proper meal, end up pulling pizzas out of the freezer – and have to do more food shopping (grrr….).
I’m on a roll with meal planning now and ready to share my streamlined system for making it fast and easy to do every week without fail.[more]
Ever feel like other mothers have got it together more than you? Wonder how they manage to make it all look so damn easy? I’ve got something special for you here. Proof that even those mothers we tend to put up on a pedestal aren’t perfect and have their struggles just like anybody else.
I asked 18 truly busy mothers to tell me which life area they struggle with the most (Love, Family, Health, Productivity, Personal Growth, Money, Work or Fun) – and what they do (or try to do) to make things better.
I was blown away by the variety and honesty of their answers. It just goes to show the balancing act we all face. Let’s learn from each other and find new ways take on our challenges and find more happiness.
Busy mamas unite![more]
Does this ever happen to you? You have a problem – maybe it’s just a niggle or perhaps it’s a full blown issue – and you simply don’t know where to begin to solve it?
You stick it in the back of your mind as best as you can, but of course it’s still there – gnawing away at you.
Little niggles have a way of chipping away at your happiness. They keep returning and take up a lot of valuable headspace.
Bigger problems eat your time and energy, snowballing and creating knock-on effects in other areas of your life.
If you’re used to complaining about problems or burying your head in the sand and hoping they’ll go away, it’s time to get proactive!
A few years ago I developed a system for my own problem solving and it really helps me reframe problems as challenges. Now I take action and get to the bottom of things before they start spreading like wildfire into other areas of my life.
Here’s the Project Me 3 step system for figuring it out. [more]
Got stuff on your to-do list that’s been hanging around for-ever? Half-started projects lingering around indefinitely? Are you the Queen of Putting It Off?
A recent Project Me survey found that procrastination is a top struggle we all face. It either induces guilt or puts you under a stupid amount of pressure by leaving things until the last minute. Crazy making!
Having stuff on your to-do list for days/weeks/months weighs you down, nags at you and makes you feel guilty.
So how do you stop thinking about it and just do it?[more]