Find Us On:

NOW with over 3000 Members!!!

Uncategorized

Don’t walk this thin line!

Have you ever struggled with getting stuck in moving forward because you needed everything to be just right?

Maybe you stayed at a job too long? Are you sticking out a relationship because it will be too difficult financially to go it alone? Perhaps you haven’t started a project because you don’t know where to start or not sure what you need?

Often we find ourselves in a holding pattern waiting for perfection to strike before we take action. We freeze up in anticipation or fear of failing, doing something wrong, or looking silly. When we act like this, we in turn, invite more of this into our lives.

I am sure you can relate to that downward spiral… I personally have gotten stuck in it over this last month. With making some changes in my business I found myself striving for perfection. I wanted all of the offerings to be just right, I wanted all of the messaging to on point. I could put anything out until I had it all completely perfect. Well what happened? I did pretty much nothing — no blog posts, very few videos, little talking about what I was doing… or hoping to do.

In turn, this being stuck striving for perfection has put production, growth, expansion on hold. I feel like everything around me has come to a screeching halt!

So what is the answer then? How do we get ourselves out of this search for perfectionism… which by the way… perfect does not really exist! I know I have been chasing after it for nearly 30 years and have yet to find it in just about anything — not consistently anyways!

What I have found to work much better is to strive for excellence! Now some of you may be going, “wait Jess isn’t that the same thing??” No, it isn’t. You see excellence reaches to be extremely good! There is room for improvement. Additionally, what I have found is that when striving for excellence you can be more in the moment — it allows for you to focus on the now.

I have always found perfection to be a long-term, overall sense of being and way of life. That no matter what you did in this moment there were always so many more moments ahead of you just waiting for you to mess up and screw up your perfect streak.

When we focus on excellence, we can zero in on multiple different areas of our life at once without ever feeling like we are failing at all of them.

So where can you focus on practicing excellence in your life??

  • Mindset/Thoughts – are you thinking positively, being a proactive-problem solver, focusing on results, and encouraging yourself every day?
  • Communication/Words – are you building others up, are you saying what you mean in a clear and concise way, do you talk about positive, contributing ideas?
  • Actions – are your actions in alignment with your words, are you living in your values, have you helped someone today, are you creating the world you want to see?

be-the-change

When it comes to our family, friends, co-workers and strangers we interact with, we can be their guiding light! We can show them how to make changes. We MUST be the leader who initiates the change in our worlds. Some may be resistant at first, but those who come around are truly the ones we need around us to make a difference in the world (ours and the bigger world).

So I challenge you to strive for excellence in the individual parts of your life and let go of reaching for perfection. Let us know how your life starts to change when you change your focus!!

Time Flies

Are you wondering what happened to your days? Where did it go? How do you get back more time, etc. There are some great ways to start recognizing what is the problem with time management.

We all only have a finite amount of time. We each are given the same 24 hours each day. How is it that some people can accomplish so much more? And some people are running around with their heads cut off and never get anything accomplished? So how do some people have such good time management skills?

This mostly has to do with knowing and setting priorities and then standards, expectations, and boundaries for those priorities. But there is a little bit of work that needs to happen before we get to that part. Here are the next steps toward understanding where your time goes and how to start regaining productivity in your life.

First, we need to understand if we are allotting enough time to our activities. Perhaps we think something will take us 30 minutes, but in actuality it takes us 45. Equally as important we need to understand why things take us so long. Does the task require more of our time and attention? Or does are we getting interrupted or are dealing with a lot of distractions?

Generally, speaking we all like to believe that we can be good multitaskers… That we can answer email while on the phone, listening to a game while we write a report, etc. This, however, could not be farther from the truth. We can not give both tasks our full or even half of our attention. When we try and go back and forth between two things, or worse do two things at once, we are actually only giving 40% of our capacity to either task. We lose so much focus in trying to switch back and forth.

So before you go trying to change all of your habits and the way you do things, they first is to simply observe and record how your day typically goes.

For at least one week, but 2 is better, carry around the following template and each 30 minute section write down what you did. Try to make note of what your distractions where and roughly how much time they took up within each block. If you really want to dig in, feel free to just carry one day at a time so you can be detailed in your experiences.

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
6:00 am
6:30 am
7:00 am
7:30 am
8:00 am
8:30 am
9:00 am
9:30 am
10:00 am

Print out a full copy here. Schedule_5_Day_Landscape_24_Hours

Ideally, before you do this exercise you will be estimating how much time each task should take you. Then you can see if part of your problem is poor time estimation. Additionally, by going through this process you will see what your biggest distractions are and can start planning on how to minimize or eliminate them. Next time we will talk about how to recognize these distractions and how to eliminate or minimize them so you can get the most of your time and make it productive, too!

Want to Improve Your Focus and Productivity? Try Massage.

Every one of us from the lowest employee to the highest CEO, and everyone in between, has occasionally suffered from a lack of focus. We may get tired, groggy, anxious, or stressed and our ability to concentrate (and therefore, be productive) starts to slip away. Instead of chugging down another sugar-laden energy, or trying to stamp out your stress with another chocolate bar, try massage instead.

In a 1996 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, participants were divided up into two groups: one group who received a 15 minute chair massage twice a week for 5 weeks, and one group who were only asked to sit and relax for 15 minutes twice a week for 5 weeks. While both groups did experience increased relaxation and reported a less depressed mood, the massage group also experienced:

  • enhanced alertness
  • lower job stress
  • lower anxiety
  • and increased speed and accuracy on math problems

Clearly, massage has more benefits than just “feeling good”. Who knew that you could both be more relaxed and more productive simultaneously? But if your workplace doesn’t provide employee chair massage yet, never fear! You can still get many of the benefits of massage therapy through self-massage techniques. Just keep a tennis ball in your desk at work to roll out any tight or tired areas during the day. You can use the wall to help you in those hard-to-reach spots between your shoulder blades. Or you can lie on the floor with two tennis balls at the base of your skull to help release tension in your head before a headache sets in. Give it a try for 10-15 minutes every day, and see how much more alert and focused you can be at work.

Tame Your Closet

For some this is a quick and easy process. For others this may seem daunting and nearly impossible. Have no fear there is actually a very easy way to do this, so that it does not seem overwhelming to you.

Depending on the amount of clothing you have, how dispersed they all are, your willingness to make a quick and final decision many of you will need to plan ahead for somewhere between 5-10 hours. This is in part because you have not yet honed your decision making skills around decluttering, you will probably get side tracked (its normal when you do not have a professional there to help), and for many there will need to be some time to collect ALL of the clothing. YES ALL! Seasonal stuff, stuff from the laundry, things hiding in cars, other people’s closets, under the couch, etc.

Well now that you are all thinking I am crazy, talking about all of your clothes… you are probably wondering well how the heck am I supposed to do this??

Before we start we need to set some criteria…

Remember, I believe there are only 3 reasons you should keep anything:

  1. It brings you joy
  2. It enriches your life in some way
  3. It has a specific and immediate purpose

Bonus: You can set some expectations for yourself now, too. Example: I will minimize my number of shoes to no more than 30 pairs. I will donate 2 garbage bags worth of clothing. I will only keep the amount of t-shirts that fit in this drawer. I will get rid of anything bigger than my current size.

Make space to create your piles:

  • Keep (bed, couch, or table)
  • Donate (Box, or clearly labeled bag)
  • Consign (not necessary, but some people like to try and get money back for their items)
  • Toss (regular old trash bag works great)
  • Action (these items need a new button, to be dry cleaned, or taken in)
  • I Don’t Know — This one is important, but you must be sure to NOT over use it (another box, basket, or another small space)
IMG_20160520_185312

All of my tops. pants, dresses, and scarves. This is the start of the process.

Now that we are ready physically and mentally, let’s get started!

Break your wardrobe down into categories: primarily tops, bottoms, under garments, accessories. If you have an overwhelming amount of clothes you may want to consider some of the following sub categories:

  • Tops: tanks, t-shirts, going out, long sleeves, collared, sweaters, sweat shirts, etc
  • Bottoms: dress shorts, casual shorts, dress pants, jeans, khakis, pj’s, etc
  • Undergarments: socks, under ware, bras, sport bras, tights, stockings, long johns, etc
  • Accessories: belts, hats, scarves, belt buckles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, watches, ties, etc

Take everything from one category (main or sub) and pile it up in the area you have created for sorting. Be sure to take everything off hangers.

IMG_20160520_184437 - Copy

Now, one-by-one pick up each item. Yes, you must handle each item! You will make a decision about the item and place it in its appropriate place.

Mindsets to be aware of:

  • I spent so much money. Please try to keep in mind how much joy and excitement someone else if going to receive from this new to them item.
  • I have not even worn this yet. It is easy to see something with tags on it and regret your decision to buy it or try to convince yourself you will wear it soon. If it does not fit into the criteria above, let it go.
  • Maybe I will fit back into this. If you are holding onto multiple sizes because your weight fluctuates be sure that you are restricting how much you hold onto in either direction and that at whatever weight the clothes you keep you LOVE.

When setting up your clothes organization in your closet keep these ideas in mind: (You don’t have to follow them to a T, but they really do make a difference)

  1. Keep like with like together (long sleeves, dresses, skirts, tanks, etc)
  2. Longest items on the left of your closet; shortest to the right
  3. Darker colors on the left side and move right to light colors

EXAMPLE: My closet:

  • Dresses
  • Business jackets
  • Zip up, long sleeved sweaters and tops
  • Long sleeved shirts
  • 3/4 length sleeved shirts
  • Short sleeved tops
  • Tank tops
  • Sweaters (I hang these special, check out the video)
  • Skirts
  • Business pants

IMG_20160520_184524 - CopyIMG_20160520_200104

  1. Keep like with like
  2. Try to make all of your clothing stand up vertically, instead of piled on top of each other horizontally
  3. Put darker colors to the back of the drawer and getting lighter toward the front of the drawer

IMG_20160520_200241IMG_20160520_200138IMG_20160520_200229

Be sure to take care of your action items.

  • Take the garbage out of the house.
  • Put donations in your car to go to your favorite charity place.
  • Put dry cleaning in the car to be dropped off.
  • Anything that needs buttons or repairs, be sure to put that into action.

Enjoy your new found clothes organization and the benefits that it brings!

  • Enjoy more time in the morning
  • Love the way you look and feel every day
  • Know that you made someone else very grateful because of your donations
  • Feel excitement over the ability to bring in new pieces that are right for you
  • And so many more!!

Bathroom Organization

I have a confession to make… This week I was having my carpets cleaned, and much like most people I felt compelled to run around my house like a crazy person cleaning before they got here. Some how this turned into organizing my bathroom (well mostly linen closet), too. Of course, because I did this in such a hurried, unplanned fashion, I do not have a video or before pictures to show you. I will however let you know what I did. I personally like doing bathroom organization because they are pretty quick and usually… USUALLY… there is not too much weird stuff kept in there.

For most rooms, the cleaning that gets done with organization is basic surface cleaning. However, when talking bathroom organization, I try to encourage a full clean while you are in there. There are enough things that you let sit for a few minutes in between projects that it works out nicely and then you finish up with the bathroom. Generally speaking depending on the size of your bathroom if should take 1-3 hours for a full bathroom organization and clean.

My bathroom is split into sections — the tub and toilet are in their own closed off area and the sink, vanity, and linen closet are in their own section that can be closed too. Because both areas are relatively small I just work on them together.

Know what you like.

Before you start it is very important to know what you want your space to look like, how you want to use it, and what is feasible for your home. Do you like clear counters, but your family cannot function if they do not see their stuff right in from of their face? Personally, I struggle with this conflict for myself. I like clear surfaces, but there are certain things that if they are not right in front of my face, I will just forget about them.

Be on the look out for pretty storing options. 

Decorated boxes or trays, pretty three tier trays, wall decor jewelry storage, etc. These items may even be in your home and you do not know it. Pintrest is a wonderful thing! These are all great ways to make the space more organized and beautiful, while helping the space clear of clutter, but still visibly accessible.

Ready your supplies.

Make sure you have your cleaning supplies handy. If you have a hand held vacuum definitely have that at the ready. Garbage bag for garbage, box for give-aways, and containers for sorting and storing. Personally, I love cleaned out food containers, jars, etc for storing items in the bathroom. You can always decorate these to your style to make them visually more appealing.

Start high and work your way down.

Getting started it is always best to work your way from top to bottom. I personally like starting with the medicine cabinet because usually this is where we can see an immediate success. Many of us completely over estimate how long medicine lasts for, meaning our cabinets are completely cluttered with medicine that will no longer work, or even make us sick if we tried to take it.

Be respectful.

Often times the bathroom has many people’s items in it. If this is the case try and have everyone around to help with their specific stuff, at different times — just like there can be too many cooks in the kitchen there can also be too many organizers in a bathroom.

Go through the household/family items first. If it does not fit into this general category try to make individual piles for people outside of the bathroom for them to sort through. You will have to decide for yourself if you want to get rid of their out of date medicines and such for them or have them do that. In some households this is no big deal, or actually beneficial because that person would hold on to it regardless, but will never know that it is missing if it is not there. Contrarily, you have those people (like me) who can pretty much account for everything they own and expired or not will be coming to you looking for it.

Category or space

I go back and forth about this distinction. I think for time sensitivity it is easier to go through area by area, and adjust for excess afterwards. Honestly, having to look through the house for every single hair tie, bobby pin, and comb when you have 3 girls in the house sounds exhausting. In the bathroom I encourage go through space by space and being conscientious about what you might have in these categories in the other areas of the house. If you think you have it else where be sure to leave extra space to account for what you will find else where.

Linen closet

In bathroom organization the linen closet is usually the most crazy part of the bathroom. Many of us just pack a bunch of stuff in there. We often have more than we need for our homes and families, and if anywhere, this is the place where the weird stuff might be hiding.

Have of making your linen closet work best for you has to do with folding. When we understand the dimensions of our closet versus the things we put in there, we can make amazing things happen. Be sure to check out our videos of how to fold fitted sheets and towels.

Limiting your stuff

Being honest with ourselves about what we use and how often we use them can make a huge difference in what keep in out homes, especially our bathrooms. Do you seriously need 15 towels for 2 people? What about the 40 wash clothes, 20 cleaning rags, 5 deodorants, 8 shampoos, etc? If you have the space to store things you are going to use, and eventually use up and get rid of, perhaps its ok to hold on to those things, but do keep in mind how long they are good for. Will you get to use them before they expire? If not consider making an in kind donation to a homeless shelter, putting some of this stuff in a bag or purse and put it in your car for the next homeless person you see on the street, see if a neighbor or friend could use it.

The actually process is much the same as any other room.

  1. Remove everything from one area
  2. Sort by category
  3. Check to see if it is still good
  4. Make sure it brings you joy, enriches your life, or has a specific and immediate purpose
  5. Be sure to clean out the area you took things from
  6. Return them to a place that fits where and how often you access said items. If you hardly ever need them and the item does not expire it can go on a very high or low shelf in the back. The things you use regularly keep them toward the front and where they are easily accessible.

    Linen closet after

    Linen closet after