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The Three P’s of Time Management

Do you ever wonder how some people get so much done in a day, a week, a month a year while others seem to always be overwhelmed?

Do you think they have something you don’t?

Like a magic wand or something?

They don’t.

Part of the reason is because of impeccable time management. Part might be because they don’t put as much on their plate and part is definitely because they are organized.

Check out this short video on “The three P’s of Time Management and then read on for more timely tips.

Give these Three P’s to Time Management a try and let me know how you do.

P # 1: Process. This is where I recommend doing a mind dump. Write out everything that you feel you have to do or that your feel needs to be done or that you want to do. I am talking everything. Clear your mind of all the “to do” lists, appointments, responsibilities. Keep writing in no particular order.

Take a good hard look at each item on that to do. Is it really that important? Can it wait? If so, for how long?

Be sure to put dream items on there like going to yoga.

P # 2 Prioritize. So you have your master list of things you feel you have to do, need to do and want to do. Now let’s look at that list and put an A beside the line items that only you and you alone can do. For example, go to your job or breast feed your new born. Attend yoga. Read a report or help a child with homework

Put a B beside the line items that you could do if you really had to however they are items that could be delegated. House cleaning, ironing, laundry. Or they are lower priority items for example social media surfing.

Now put a C beside the items that for sure you can delegate. Items that if they did not get done by you the earth would not stop. Example: make homemade jam or cookies.

P # 3 Picture. Picture your weekly plan sheet filled in with exactly the things on it that you want to do, need to do and have to do. Starting with your highest priority which would include time for you. Picture yourself having great time management. Picture yourself taking time to relax or time for yoga. Picture yourself being on time for all of your appointments.

PS: Book your 15 minute discovery session today to find out your biggest time buster

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604-520-9550

By |February 16th, 2017|Blog, Self Care Organization, Time Management|0 Comments

Emergency Preparedness. Be Ready. Be Organized.

Heaven forbid that any of us finds ourselves in an emergency situation.

Being the Girl Guide that I am, it is always best to “be prepared.”

Take a look at this short video on Emergency Preparedness so that you too can be ready and be organized.

Then read on for the following guidelines.

#1 Make a plan:  Take 15 minutes to make a family plan. Plan how you will meet or get in contact if you are not together at the time of the emergency.

Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows all possible exits from each room and from your home.

Keep copies of your plan in your emergency kit, your car and on your phone.

Have a neighbourhood plan. Are there people on your street or in your building that require extra help?

#2 Know basic first aid. Make sure your emergency kit has all the necessary items like band aids, swabs, rubbing alcohol etc. Keep a kit in your car and one in your master emergency kit.

#3 Make copies of important documents. Birth and marriage certificates, passports, licences, wills, land deeds and insurance. Keep these copies in your safety deposit box and or at a friend’s. Keep an up to date photo of all family members including pets and keep those photos both inside and outside of your home.

#4 Make note of any special heath needs. Keeping a record of medications required, allergies and medical conditions. Keep a copy of this in your emergency preparedness kit and on your phone.

#5 Have emergency contacts in your phone. Put ICE beside their name so authorities know “in case of emergency.”  Keep photocopies of these contact numbers in your kit.

#6 Dairorize to update your kit once per year.  Change the water, batteries, food and update any contact info.

#7 Safe home instructions. Make sure your carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, fire extinguisher are in working order and that your first aid kit is well stocked.

Have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home and know how to use it.

Know how to turn off your homes’ water, gas and electricity. Keep shut off instructions close by.

#8 Keep a small amount of cash on hand. Cash machines, debit and or credit cards may not work in a time of emergency.

Emergency Kit

Basic Emergency Kit:

  • Water
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, protein bars, dried nuts and dried fruit. Replace once a year.
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery powered flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Spare keys to your house and car
  • A copy of your plan and contact information
  • Candles, matches, lighter.
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each person
  • Warm blankets
  • Toiletries
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Utensils
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Basic Tools such as hammer, screwdriver, work gloves, dust mask and pocket knife.
  • A whistle
  • Duct tape.

Emergency Vehicle Kit

  • Blanket
  • Candle and matches
  • Extra clothing and shoes
  • First aid kit with seat belt cutter
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Food that won’t spoil
  • List of contact information
  • Radio and batteries
  • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
  • Warning light or road flares
  • Water
  • Whistle
  • Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road maps
  • Sand or salt
  • Tow rope and jumper cables.

Let’s hope we never have to use any of this information or items.

To all of our safety.

PS: What’s your resolution for this year when it comes to clearing the clutter and getting organized?
Book a free 15 minute mentoring session to discuss a game plan.
604-520-9550
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By |January 17th, 2017|Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Videos|0 Comments

What To Do With Business Cards

How often do you go to a networking event only to return back to your office with a mitt full of other people’s business cards?

You then have the best of intentions to sit down at your computer, fire off a note to each persona nod connect with them on social media.

A few days go by, a week, two weeks and then a month. Then 6 months and maybe years. Those cards are still sitting on your desk or by now they may have found a new home in one of the drawers or a box.

You still have the best of intentions to contact them however you feel like too much time has gone by.

Do you even remember these people and would they remember you?

Probably not.

So why not follow these simple Getting It Together Tips on “What to do with business cards” after watching this short video.

Tip #1: Be realistic. How many people can you truly connect with at one networking event?  It is better to get one or two really great connections than a handful of cards and not know anything about the other person or their business.

Tip#2:  Schedule follow up time in your calendar. Follow up is one of the most important things you can do in your business and one of the things most entrepreneurs fall short on.

Set aside 15 minutes per week whereby you will follow up with the people you met at the last networking meeting. Connect with them on Social Media, send them a quick note and/or give them a call.
Make sure you have a purpose for connecting. Is it to discuss future business ideas, book an appointment to exchange services and/or give them a referral?

Tip#3: File the card. Do you like to be paperless or do you still like to have a Rolodex?  Either way, once you have dealt with the business cards it is time to file them away. If you are paperless you probably have a scanning system in place. Take 15 minutes each week and scan the cards and then recycle them or if you still want the card, file it in your card holder system.

Don’t have either of these set up? What a perfect time to get your 15 minute FREE discovery session. We can chat about the best system for you and I’ll give you my most favorite app.
Send an email to Rowena@gettingittogether.ca  to book.

PS: The best time to start a new system is today. Don’t go back on all the years worth of business cards. If a card is a month or so old follow these steps. Anything older than that needs to be recycled unless you are going to connect on Social Media only.

By |December 14th, 2016|Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Videos|0 Comments

Practice Mindful Shopping: Be A Conscious Consumer

Would you like to know the important tips to conscious consumption without regretting personal choices?

Are you concerned about the future of our earth and where all “this stuff” is going to end up?

Most women like to shop, wouldn’t you agree?  You might be like me and only enjoy window shopping while travelling because of the bright lights, overcrowded racks and disarray displays or you might be the type of woman who only shops online or are you the type who can hardly wait for the weekend so you can meet a friend and power through the mall?

Either way, you will want to be a conscious consumer instead of being consumed.

Take a quick look at this short video on Mindful Shopping and read on to get Getting It Togethers’ Top 5 Simple Tips

Tip1: Buy on need not price. Marketing gurus have us figured out. They know we can easily get drawn in to the “buy one get one free” or “buy one get one at 50% off.”  This is not the reason to purchase. Buy what you need. Period. If you’re feeling drawn in, walk away. Go have a coffee and think about the item. Do you really need it? Can you financially afford it? What is it really costing you if you purchase it? Disagreements with a spouse, crammed closets, guilty feelings, regret?

There will be times when you are feeling weak and end up with purchasing mistakes. We all have them. Give those items away or sell them. This could be clothing, gadgets, etc.

Tip 2: Work from a list. A conscious consumer has a list of items they need. Keep this ongoing list in your purse or phone. This includes grocery shopping.

Tip 3: Do your research. A conscious consumer looks for the best price, ethical manufacturing and or can it be previously loved? Let your fingers do the walking or better yet if your kids are old enough get them to research for you.

Buying second hand saves so much on the packaging especially when it comes to kids’ toys.

Borrowing an item from a friend like their power washer or canning supplies.rl3

Tip 4: Know where you will be storing your new items. If it is clothing, that means an item or two needs to come out of your closet before this new one goes in. If it is a big blow up water toy or a large Christmas decoration you need to think about where this will be living.

rl1What about a case of water? Can you refill your own water bottle and save on storage, the environment and money?

Tip 5: What is the purpose of purchasing this new item? Will it bring you joy for the purchasing instant or will it bring you continued pleasure? Do you need it or is it a want?

How will you spend your spare time now that you’ll be shopping less?

What will you do with the extra money?

PS: one of the best documentaries I’ve seen is “The Real Cost” check it out on Netflix and let me know your thoughts.

 

 

Collections VS. Clutter- are they the same or different and how to tell them apart

Did you start the collection or did someone start it for you?

Is the collection something that you love to look at?

Do you use the collection?

Did the collection happen by accident and then get completely out of control?

Check out this short video on Collections VS Clutter and then read on to find out the difference.

Collections and clutter are 2 different things.

Clutter is an untidy collection of things where as collections are several “like” items intended for display or investment.  A collection can be untidy if it is not stored, displayed or cared for properly.rl3

* Is this collection something you started? In the case of Mary. NO! Her parents thought it was a good idea for her to have an owl in her office. Then a friend and then another friend. Never once did my client buy herself an owl. She did not start the collection nor did she ever intend to have an owl collection. This is important to note.

* Do you like the collection? My client thought it was ok to have one or maybe 2 owls in her office however by the time I started working with her she was not happy with the takeover of owls. They were everywhere and it was looking too cluttered. This is where a collection starts to become a problem. Another client of my inherited a salt and pepper shaker collection. She had at least one hundred pairs and only used one!

* What to do with the collection? In the case of Mary she was ready for a change in her office. She had enjoyed the owls for many many years. We decided to keep her top 3 favorites. The one from her parents and 2 other neat looking ones. The rest we put in the hallway of the university with a sign that said “free”.

* What happened next? The interesting thing is that all the people walking past her office door thought she was leaving the campus. They did not understand why all of a sudden she wanted to get rid of the owls. It made them a little uncomfortable at first until they heard she was just going for a change.

All the “free’ owls were gone by the end of the day. They each got a new home in several other offices. Mary can go visit her owls any time she likes!

* How to stop a collection. If you no longer like the items you are collecting (or someone started collecting for you) or if they have taken over, it is time to put a stop to it. This can be a little delicate especially if family and friends have always bought you something to go with your collection. It is an easy gift giving idea for them and now what will they do? You will need to let EVERYONE know that you are no longer collecting XYZ. Instead you would prefer they give you consumable items or donate to a charity of their choice in your name. Let them know you are downsizing. This might even give them permission to start downsizing too.

Some collections can be sold on EBay, Craig’s List or at consignment stores. Some collections can be passed down to other family members. Unfortunately some collections end up in the land fill. Be careful what you start to collect. Be mindful of what type of collection you start for others. Is it something you will enjoy for years, does it have a purpose or value? Once it starts to take over, become a dust collector or not serve you any purpose it is time for it to go.

Check out these two pictures of collections nicely displayed and enjoyed by the owner.rl2rl1

I like to collect interesting people, memories and cash! How about you?

Hoo Hoo Hoo do you know who has not had their FREE 15 minute phone consultation?

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By |October 12th, 2016|Blog, Home Organization, Travel Organiztion, Videos|0 Comments

How To Create New Habits

 “Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
– Anonymous

Would you love to just get up in the morning and be able to do whatever you want whenever you wanted to do it?

If you are retired I bet you can live like that. If you are running a business and or running a household I know you can’t live like that without major consequences.

What I have learned in all my years as a professional time management/productivity expert is that habits and I mean good habits produce the best results.

As humans we thrive best on routine.

Routines are a series of good habits and willpower

Cultivating consistent good habits will help lower overwhelm.

For example, if you have the habit of going to the gym each morning or doing some form of physical activity each day you will reduce your stress which will reduce your overwhelm.

If you consistently cultivate the good habit of preparing healthy well balanced meals you will not feel rushed at meal times.

Let me explain, because habits are really not that hard to keep if the outcome is far greater than not having a habit.

Most habits require a little thinking and yes a little planning.

When you are preparing your evening meal think and plan ahead as to what you will be taking to lunch the next day.

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while you know that one of my tips is to wash all of your produce when you bring it home from the store before putting it in the fridge. This is a great habit because it then allows you to prepare your evening meal and lunch for the next day with ease not with overwhelm.

Habits are best kept when they are non negotiable.

As one of my very smart clients said to me “it is all about discipline “that is hitting the nail right on the head. So how do we capture discipline? When the pain of remaining the same is far greater than the pain of change. You know the people that have a heart attack and then their discipline to change and make new habits is so great there is no stopping them.

Check out this short video on How To Create New Habits and then read on to get all the tips.

How do we go about sticking to our habits? Follow these Top 3 compelling Getting It Together Tips.img_2529

Tip # 1 Desire. You have to have the desire to want to stick with your habit. For an example, I have some challenges with my neck so my desire to have a healthy pain free neck has made me cultivate the habit of going to the gym each morning and stretching out my body and strengthening my muscles. Or the desire to have a happy dog means you walk them daily.

Tip # 2 Determination. Our mind is a very strong muscle. We can strengthen it to become so determined that there is no stopping us. Look at how we were all so determined to walk and to talk as toddlers. How determined are you to get things done before going on a vacation? How determined were you to fit into your wedding dress? Use this same determination to create your habits.

img_2538Tip#3 Discipline. Why is it that some people have more discipline then others? Is it in our DNA? Can we learn it? If the payoff is great and we want something bad enough we will cultivate the discipline. (For example: taking vitamins) This does not mean we will be perfect all the time. We will fall off the rails sometimes however we know that with strong desire and determination we will get back on track.

If it takes less than a minute to do something, get in the habit of doing it right away,

Not all habits are good ones. For example biting your nails, smoking or over drinking. To break a bad habit you need desire, determination and discipline as well as replace it with a good habit. Try 10 deep breaths every time you go to bite your nails. It will change your thought process and hopefully get you on track with having well manicured fingernails.

By |September 13th, 2016|Blog, Home Organization, Self Care Organization, Videos|0 Comments

De-cluttering vs. Staging: Getting Your Home Ready for Sale

75% of Canadians classify their home decor as current while 45% call themselves pack rats.

Which category do you fall into?

Today the real estate market is hot however, that does not mean your home will sell in a flash.

Make yours stand out from the crowd by watching this short video on De-cluttering vs. Staging then read on to get all the great tips that I offer.

Getting It Together’s Top 3 Tips on De-cluttering

De-cluttering Tip 1: Donate, sell or toss any items that are no longer serving you. Fine china set; large vases, furniture etc. Keep only what you need to stage the house and what you need for your new place. If you are not sure where you are moving to, you’ll need to make some executive decisions.

De-cluttering Tip 2: Pack seasonal items, clothing, sporting goods, Christmas decorations, entertaining items from the kitchen etc.

De-cluttering Tip 3: The front hall is the first impression. Make sure the hall closet has only two or three coats in it and a couple of pairs of shoes. Keep the front entrance clear.

Clutter is overwhelming to prospective buyers. It might be invisible to you but not to new eyes.

Getting it Together’s Top 5 Tips on Staging

When you think of staging think of a hotel room.

No candles, no personal photos, minimal furniture.

You will feel like your house is bare but to the prospective buyers it will look inviting.

Staging Tip 1: Take down all personal photos. For one thing, this protects your privacy and for another, the potential buyers want to visualize their family photos in the space.

Staging Tip 2: Clear kitchen counters. A big bowl of fruit or fresh flowers is inviting. Put your toaster, coffee maker and knife set away in the pantry when you have a showing.

Staging Tip 3: Repair. Go around your home on your hands and knees. Look for scuff marks, dents and any other repairs. Do you have doors that squeak? Taps that drip? Time to get those fixed.

Staging Tip 4: The outside. Does your home need a little TLC? How is the garden looking?

My house could have used a paint job. I had to weigh the pros and cons of getting it painted prior to being put on the market. I opted to not paint. In the end that did not make or break the deal. If you decide to paint, keep paint colours fresh and neutral.

Staging Tip 5: Keep everything squeaky clean. That means the inside and outside of windows, base boards, ceiling fans, inside the oven and fridge, floors, walls etc. Prospective buyers look everywhere. Make sure your home smells fresh by using some essentials oils in a diffuser.

Staging is done so the prospective buyers can visualize their belongings in your home. If your place is filled to the brim, they subconsciously cannot picture living in it. Some prospective buyers many even want to purchase your furniture if it is staged properly.

You can stage by simply tossing most of your belongings in boxes and paying for storage or you can de-clutter, downsize and then stage which means you will have a stress free move. It also means you will not have to deal with all “that” stuff in your new home.

Which would you prefer?

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How to Organize Your Kids

Is clutter affecting your health or the health of your children?

Do you trip over toys, backpacks or had a stack of papers fall all over the place?

Many kids today feel stressed, rushed or disorganized. They have so many activities and more demands on them at school that the more organized they are the better.

Kids need to be kids…..however, living in a disorganized environment will cause stress at any age not to mention the affect clutter has on your health.

There is also a level of embarrassment that comes with living in chaos especially if your kids want to have their friends over.

Check out this short video on How to Organize Your Kids and then read on for Getting It Togethers Top 5 Tips

Tip #1 Monkey see…Monkey do.

If you want order in your home, you need to teach it to your children.  Kids feel important if they are a part of the solution – not the problem. Get them involved.

Tip #2 Kids can get very confused if you say to them “go pick up your toys” when they have toys all over the place. That is why it is best to have a toy “zone” Keep all their toys in one area of the home. Why not try this great tip when it is time to get your kids to clean up their toys?:  Have them go through the toy zone area and pick up only red toys; then, when they’re finished that, have them go and get all their blue toys or all their Lego.  This keeps things simple for them and clutter free.

Tip #3 Is it time to donate some of their toys?  Get your kids involved in the clearing of all their unused toys.  Put them in a box for the less fortunate.  They can do the same thing with their clothes and so can you! (If your children are really young you might want to do this tip while they are sleeping or at a play date)

Tip#4 Keep things simple when shopping for school supplies. Are there things from last year that can be used again this year? Backpacks, paper, pens etc.

This will save money in the long run if your children are taught how to reuse. It will also save you shopping time.

Tip #5 Have a basket for each child that holds  their school notices, backpack and homework. Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to see what notices need to be signed and returned. This will save the rush first thing in the morning. If you are rushed and stressed chances are your children will be to. The morning sets the tone for the day.

To keep things clutter free and organized for the kids Birthdays, Christmas, Grad, etc., why not try the following bonus tip:

Ask family and friends to donate money to one of your child’s favorite Charities.  Get your children involved with the Charity so that they can see first-hand how their “gift” is being put to use.

Imagine how easy it will be for you and your children to attend a Birthday party in the future.

In the mean time teach your children “a place for everything and everything in its place” and that “less is more”. The “less is more” concept sure helps on the pocket book. I am sure that once your children get organized and clutter free, you will find they are less stressed, have a better attention span and are happier and healthier. I’ll bet you will be too!

PS: Tired of papers all over the place? Check out the 1to31 organizing system

www.gettingittogether.ca/products

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By |July 12th, 2016|Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Videos|0 Comments

How To Set Priorities

Do you feel like you are putting out fires all day long?

Do you feel like your time is never your time?

At the end of the day do you wonder what you really got done?

 

Take a look at this short simple video on “How To Set Priorities”

Then read on to get the top 4 quadrants to getting things done.

#1 Urgent/Important:

You wake up in the morning. What is one of the first things you do?

Is it urgent and important? If you are like most people it is….going to the washroom J

Then, getting washed up, fed and out the door to work. These are “must do’s”

These tasks have timelines if you want to be on time. They are urgent and they are important.RL1

Waking up in the morning and checking emails is “not” urgent or important.

Don’t get me wrong, your emails could very well be important; however do they need to be responded to before you have even taken care of your personal needs first?

What other “must do’s” do you have on your list of things to do?

(Oh wait a minute, you don’t have a list?) Let’s start there.

Do yourself a favour and write out your 6 most important things (6 being the magic number) you must do for the next day. These are things that only you can do. Then put these “to-do’s” in either the first or second quadrant.

#2 Not Urgent/Important:

This is the best quadrant to work from.

These are things that are important to you. Quality time with your family, exercising, clearing out the clutter, downsizing your aging parent’s home, spending time with friends, getting your taxes done. Achieving highly productive work activities without the sense of stress.

If you procrastinate on these above items they get moved to #1.

For example: Your Doctor orders you to start taking care of yourself, your parents pass on and now you are left with downsizing their home, your friends get resentful because you never make time to see them, your kids complain that all you ever do is work or your marriage is in trouble because you are having an affair with your mobile device. Your boss is yelling at you for the overdue reports.

Impeccable scheduling will eliminate the above examples.

#3 Urgent/Not Important:

Checking personal emails every single time the notification goes off. Note to self; turn the notification off.  Instead, set aside 2 times per day to check your personal emails.

Responding to texts the second they come in or worse while driving.

Answering your phone even when you are not free to talk. Like while you are with family and friends, while you are at dinner, while you are in the shower (yep, someone did that to me once)

Saying “yes” when you really mean “no”.

Anything that is a creative avoidance to what you really need to be doing and want to be doing.

#4 Not Urgent/Not Important:

Anything that is taking valuable time away from what you really want to do in life.

Watching endless TV, playing endless hours of video games, getting screen sucked, attending functions that are not contributing to your professional goals, attending meetings without an agenda or timeline, talking on the phone to a negative person who is not willing to take action to change their life and so on.

Don’t get me wrong, we all need some down time. Is yours in proportion to the rest of your life or are you using this quadrant as an escape?

PS: Are you still feeling time strapped? Connect today and receive your FREE weekly plan sheet. I will go over the best way for you to manage your time.

Know anyone who is always late? Share the love by sending this link to them.

www.gettingittogether.ca

Places You Should Never Store Anything

One of my goals is to keep my clients safe. I think you would all agree this is a good thing.

Having too much clutter can really be dangerous and unsafe.

Think about if there was a fire. Would you be able to get out of your home in a timely, safe manner?

If paramedics needed to come to your home, would they be able to safely enter?

Do you have trip zones?

Take a look at the short simple video on “Places You Should Never Store Anything”

And carry on reading the Getting It Together Top 3 Tips.

#1: Never store anything above your bed. You might think having floating shelves about the bed is a good idea until something falls off of the shelf in the middle of the night and hits you in the head. Ouch!

This goes for your kids rooms as well.

I see it all the time. A book shelf above the bed or a shelf for stuffed animals (ok, not so bad as they would not hurt you) even still; I do not recommend any shelving above a bed.

#2: Never store anything under the bed. Just think of all the dust that will collect unless you are willing to remove all the items under the bed once a week when you vacuum. I see a lot of people store spare blankets or clothes under the bed.  Do you really need those things? Have you long forgotten they were there? Is it time to pass them on with love?

#3: For sure, never store anything beside your furnace and hot water tank. Repair men need to be able to get to these at a moment’s notice.  Has your hot water tank ever leaked? You know what happens then and it is not pretty. Keep these areas clear.

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