Organizing Tips for Creative Types :

The System Is The Solution, Michael Gerber.

Creating more systems in our lives does reduce anxiety, however if you are experiencing a different variety of anxiety at the prospect of taking your creativity and writing it down on the back of a postage stamp know that you are in good company, same too for organizing your home. 

Many of us feel initial resistance to boxing ourselves in. Think back to the time when you finally cracked the code on that perfect chocolate cake or when you finally worked out how to get your newborn to sleep. Or your morning cup of coffee, the way you explain to the barista to add the honey/splenda/ sugar when it is hot/ cold/ lukewarm and to not forget the soy  and to always/ never  shake it all up.

The beauty of these systems you already have working in your life is that you have discarded what does not work, you have worked out what works beautifully and you have chosen to stop reinventing the wheel.

So stick with me here, the  beauty of incorporating more of these system is that it will free you up to use your mind however you feel fit to without  being dragged down by the tyranny of constantly reinventing the wheel. Think of yourself magically turning into Michelangelo whose hands finally are free to paint after months of holding paint pots.

So rather than feeling constrained that you are being forced to live a life  devoid of color and spontaneity feel comfort in the notion that the saved energy from not constantly reinventing the wheel will free you up to add any amount of color into your world.

The same magic that your unique way of taking your coffee gives you can spread over into all aspects of your life. And the next time you are behind someone in line at Starbucks who cant quite make their mind up as to what they want …. and you hear their ‘humming and haaing’ and feel their anxiety you will nod sympathetically and be grateful for the simple systems in your life.

From plastic envelopes for your children’s puzzles to meal planning and beyond, these systems will free you up, not restrict you.


No more food for thought … Your meal plan ….. on an index card.

Scanned image of standard 3x5 notecard / index...Image via Wikipedia

I often get asked which book or website I recommend for meal plans. Hear this one ladies – get an index card, the last thing you need is a website to give you more choices.

Step away from the cook books, websites and from the notion of perfect.

Think back to the past few suppers you felt proud of, weren’t too time consuming and everyone ate. Add a starch, soup and salad

Write them on the index card along with the name of the protein. So Monday might be Fish : Breaded salmon, pasta, broccoli & lentil soup.

Keep your protein topics as your golden rule, so from now on Monday nights is fish night. Have tilapia next week if you want a change. Just limit your choice of choices and stop making decisions, just focus on the issue at hand which is getting the supplies in advance, cooking the food and carrying on with the rest of your day.

Yes you can bulk cook, yes you should use your crock pot, sure you can change your supper if you have the time to make some herb crusted fancy fish your husband loves. Just remember – it’s the decision making that is stalling you – it’s paralysis by analysis.

Refer back to your index card each Sunday and get ahead ….. now that’s food for thought !

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Systemize Your Life

Upcoming week - bokehImage by KrätzschePhotography  (happy with you!) via Flickr

Spontaneity becomes are rare treat once our responsibilities get high enough.

The more systems we set up , the smoother the ride. Consider choosing a set time for the following : Date night, dry cleaning drop off /pick up, grocery shopping, library visits.

Once those have been automated consider adding more. Contrary to popular belief it is not automatting your life. It’s actually quite the opposite.

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Can you afford to waste a dime of time ???

Time is money and quite frankly right now, we don’t have the luxury of wasting a dime of time.

As a nation we are tightening our financial belts, let’s brush up on our time management skills too.

Be honest. If you know you have been a little lax with time in the past, worry not, now it’s fashionable to learn new tricks. Hey, 2 years ago I bet you never thought you would be clipping coupons either.

Suze Orman recently gave this advice about getting out of debt “Stay calm, know your rights and focus on developing a strategy to get out of debt”.

These wise words can be applied to time management.

Stay calm
Don’t feel bad about time wasting tendencies, in today’s high tech world it’s hard not to get drawn into the mesmerizing worlds of online gaming, Facebook and TV.

Know your rights
You are able to reboot your time keeping metabolism. It’s never too late. Think of all those people that loose hundreds of pounds. They lost it calorie by calorie, you can lose it minute by minute.

Develop a strategy to get out of time debt.

Here are five golden tips

1) Markets waiver. Don’t expect perfection.

2) Make a budget. Get a planner of your choice to have a dual function. Firstly to write down your to-do’s in categories. And secondly to log your appointments and write down your chunks of time to focus on specific work. Make sure to include something fun for each day too.

3) Keep saving. When working, minimize interruptions by turning off your Email, Facebook, twitter and text notifications.

4) Petty cash. Allow yourself a reasonable amount of time in the evening to waste. Set the timer and Facebook or play online backgammon to your hearts content … until the timer rings. Then tell yourself that you’ll have the same reward tomorrow night.

5) Review your investments. Look back over your day and see which areas you made the right choices in and in which areas you need to have greater control tomorrow.

Like changing any habit, this isn’t going to be pretty. But just like the time you saved those quarters until you could change it in for a dollar, the end results are well worth the discipline.

{Many thanks to Lisa Mark and Monica Ricci for the Facebook chat that inspired this blog.}

Do You Ever Feel Like Kicking Yourself ?

Do You Ever Feel Like Kicking Yourself ?

Chances are you do, because most of us do. If only I would have thought things through. If only I would have paid more attention. If only, If Only , If Only …….

If only we knew it all, if only we were superhuman. But we’re not.

So next time you catch yourself wanting to kick yourself, consider simply allowing yourself to be human and instead of kicking yourself play all that ‘kicking energy’ forward to take you closer to the place where you want to be.

A Self Discipline Aha Moment

Q : I’ve recently begun to sleep through my alarm. Any tips for enhancing self discipline ?

A : Self-discipline is the key to cracking the code on many of the nasty little mental habits that keep us feeling miserable and out of control. It’s a simple fact of life that the more you practice anything, the easier it gets. If you practice sleeping through your alarm, it gets easier. If you practice getting up, that gets easier, too. Try implementing more self discipline in one area of your life and watch it spill over onto other areas too. Remember : Your brain learns whether you are trying to teach it or not.

Have a question that’s niggling you ? Send it to Rivka at