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20 Oct

Marry Yourself Monday: Get Organized for “National Get Organized Month”

20/10/2014   |   No Comments »   |   Posted in Mother

Yes, it seems we have a National [fill-in-the-blank] day for just about everything. (Seriously, there is a National Vodka Day?) But we have to say, this National Get Organized Month (October) could have its perks. Feel free to swipe some of our simple strategies to stay ordered and organized:
  1. Utilize silent mode. Your cellphone is meant to be a tool that works for you…not add to your workload. Set block hours where you will leave your phone on silent to concentrate on other tasks or stay present with those you are engaging with. Your brain waves and attention span will thank you.
  2. Gut your space. To make this gutting process more enjoyable, feel free to incorporate a glass of your favorite wine (if you’re organizing at home obviously) or your feel-good playlist for motivation should you be organizing at your office…then go to town nixing what you no longer need at your immediate or upcoming disposal. If you are a sentimental soul and actually want to save the 14 pictures on your desk or the 11 old wedding invites in your desk drawer, allocate a special “keepsake box” that can dually serve as a decoration and reminiscent stash. Feeling iffy about tossing the 34 business cards you didn’t follow-up with from your last conference? Start ONE “Black-hole” drawer and limit your follow-up or afraid to toss material to this one, solitary drawer.
  3. Make a generalized schedule. Sticking to a detailed schedule is pretty intimidating and quiet honestly, a little impossible. Life happens after you dot the last “i” on your agenda after all. Instead, categorize your daily activities with the feeling state you actually wish to accomplish such as: “Monday morning: spend first 2 hours on motivating tasks, Monday mid-day: get creative, Monday afternoon: get results, Monday evening: reignite writing project, Monday night: connect with Molly.” In each “to-do” you did not list a particular task, only an end result. You are not saying “Reply to all emails first thing in the morning,” – you are giving yourself space to engage in tasks get you energetically motivated during your early morning hours. (Wording it this way may actually empower you to feel motivated to reply to all those emails). You aren’t saying “Have dinner with Molly” – you are saying you wish to connect with her –how you do that is up to you. When you feel you have options and flexibly in accomplishing your goals each day, you are more apt to do them.
  4. Get in touch with your inner Honest Abe. A lot of stressors in our life come from duties we self-created because of a sense of obligation. Write down your responsibility list and see what authentically calls to you. Do you truly like being a helping hand at the weekly soccer game or were you guilted into that role? Rally your inner troops to do some obligation cutting if necessary.
  5. Trust and allocate. Maybe last year it would have been bad news if your son handled the vacuum cleaner, but this year is a different story. Perhaps you are able to allocate several tasks you are currently taking on solo-style. The office intern could perhaps handle the monthly expense spreadsheet or your high school neighbor could provide a cheap tutor to help kids during homework time while you get caught up on other things.
  6. Set online reminders. Our virtual alerts are the new post-it-note. A simple task addition (which takes less than a minute) will automatically remind you as often as necessary. Never forgot another birthday, meeting, or deadline again!
  7. Practice self-control. Are there websites, email or morning talk show clips all vying for your attention span? There is an app for that –literally. Several apps allow you to type in the address of a site you wish to not visit and add the amount of time you wish to ban yourself from the particular virtual zone.
  8. Use the Leap System. This is a metaphorical way of saying avoid procrastination by utilizing your one, great leap of mankind and just jump into it – no thinking about doing it –just actually doing it. Take the first step and you’ve entered the Leap System. Now, it’s too late to turn back, you’re now actively in motion with your project.
How do you stay organized? Have a secret organization weapon you’d like to share? Do tell!
Electricity is really just organized lightning.George Carlin

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17 Oct

Pay it Forward Friday: Photo Album Gratitude Project

17/10/2014   |   No Comments »   |   Posted in Barbara McNally

Recently an article in Yahoo! showcased how digital cameras have amplified the amount of photos we take and see on a yearly basis –in fact, this presentation claimed that as many as 880 BILLION photos will be taken in 2014 if we continue on the current trend. That's a lot of “1, 2, 3…SMILE!” going on. But let’s take it back to the days before the digital tidal wave –the days when taking a picture required film and you only had 24 exposures at a time, so you chose your captures wisely.   A time when a “selfie” was a joke your friend played on you when you left your camera unattended because they knew how coveted each exposure was and could picture your humored irritation as you sifted through your newly developed prints. Instead of a virtual wall, pictures graced a household wall, and if the Kodak moment didn’t make the “wall” cut, they found their home amongst other snapshots inside a photo album. This week, take a walk down memory lane and look at some of your old “film” picture albums. Note the people who made up your memories during this point in your life. You will probably see some faces you haven’t thought of in ages. Good! That is all part of our experiment this week. Notice any role model figures that conjure a “feel good” sensation in you. Perhaps it was your old tap-dance instructor, a kind neighbor, your favorite babysitter, a grade school teacher or a coach of yours. Make it a priority to attempt to reach them this week. Thanks to the internet you can get Nancy Drew with the assignment and let your inner detective shine. Perhaps they are empty nesters or in a nursing home and would love the surprise of a card from you thanking them for the fond memories and gratitude for their presence in your developing years. Even if the years have taken them to their eternal home, a card to one of their children may be just as valued –to know their beloved parent was held so highly may be something their spirit needed to hear. There is something to be said for those who graced our “film days”. They were obviously worthy of our sacred exposure reel then, so most likely your surprise thank you will resurge the importance of their impact on your life – after all, pictures are worth thousands of words. May two of them always be “thank you”.

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Barbara McNally lives in San Diego where she supports organizations and sponsors activities that help women explore their potential for freedom and individuality. To further this cause, she started a foundation called Mother, Lover, Fighter, Sage. Open to receive and ready to give, Barbara continues her own journey to freedom with a daily zest for living large. READ MORE>>