Tag Archive | organise

I love lists

Lists are good. I couldn’t survive without my “To Do” list at work, my shopping list or my holiday packing list. So why are they so helpful?


1. Free up valuable mind-space so we can focus and get on with the things that matter.

2. Help us to stay on track and avoid becoming distracted by things that are less important.

3. Allow us the satisfaction and pleasure of crossing items off the list when complete giving a tangible sense of achievement.

4. Help us to feel more in control and realistically aware of the challenge facing us.

5. Help us to remember the important and urgent things that need doing and enable us to prioritise effectively.

6. Act as an aide-memoir should we run out of things to do.

7. Provide a written record of what we have done during the day/week. Many tasks are forgotten and a record shows how productive you have been even on days when you think you haven’t done much.


Life is all about how you handle plan B

I like to plan. If I have a plan and I am organised I can prepare myself for all likely eventualities and I find that coping is much easier when I have a Plan B up my sleeve. Sometimes however I don’t have the will, the wherewithal, the inclination or the energy to plan and it becomes a chore.  I avoid it and stupidly I let things drift, living day by day and  moment by moment. That’s not a recipe for success for me. Quite the opposite it usually heralds disaster.

The past few months have been a “disaster” for me. Stubbornly refusing to plan my work schedule, my travelling, my eating, my exercise, my “me” time led to me being in a very dark place for a while but there is light at the end of the tunnel. A few days off to break out of the rut and to give myself time to review Plans A & B has worked wonders and I feel much stronger, emotionally more in control and now able to see a way forward out of the gloom. I won’t go so far as to say that peace and equilibrium is restored as that would be tempting fate but life is certainly looking more rosy than it did just a few weeks ago.

Onwards and upwards.

Doing things differently (4) Declutter

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo da Vinci

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” -William  Morris

Gandhi could count his possessions on his fingers. Objects he could not live without. I cleared out my handbag the other evening and the great Gandhi would have been horrified. I fluctuate between planning for all emergencies and minimalist. I hate dusting and cleaning and so I don’t have much clutter around the house but my personal clutter fills drawers, cupboards,  a double garage and attic.

I have to admit that I do feel better in myself, certainly more in control, when things are in their place neat and tidy, organised and catalogued. It helps my mood, and avoids me spending wasted hours searching for stuff right under my nose.

De-cluttering needn’t be the huge task of tackling everything at once. Not a good idea. But broken down into smaller tasks, de-cluttering a drawer, a handbag or rearranging a bookshelf can be immensley satisfying and manageable for most.

What do you do with the stuff that you no longer want or need? You can give it to charity, recycle, sell it on E-Bay or, if you want to have some fun time with your friends why not hold a Swishing Party?

How do you decide what to get rid of?

What would you save if you had a house fire?
Apart from essential items, what couldn’t you live without?
Does it fit? Is it useful? Do I love it?

A weekend is an ideal time to start de-cluttering and you can get the whole family involved. Kids love having a garage sale selling toys and games no longer wanted and you may have a budding entrepreneur waiting in the wings!

Give it a go.

De-cluttering Tips

Zen Habits-15 Tips

Zen Habits-18 x 5 mins Tips

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Moneysavingexpert-selling on Ebay

How do I stay focussed?

An interesting question for someone who fluctuates between the upbeat, confident and “kick-ass”, get things done mentality, and the gloomy, depressed, couldn’t-give-a-damn mode. Depression is unpredictable and strikes at random so unless you have Plan B waiting in the wings it can catch you unawares when “focus” is not in your vocabulary.

In good times focus comes naturally. I am  an inquisitive, energetic, interested, passionate, fun, devoted, loving employee, wife and mother. Jobs get done effortlessly, birthdays and Christmas are remembered, holidays are booked way in advance and everything is in its place and under control. This is focus.

When depressed however things are very different. It’s hard work. There is no focus. You flit from thought to thought, task to task nothing finished, no conclusions, no plans, birthdays and Christmas overlooked. Friends and family are disappointed and you feel disillusioned and upset by the lack of progress.

How do I manage this periodic inability to concentrate? I plan,plan, plan. Then I plan some more.

During the bad times, my days are divided up religiously into sections. From the time I get up to the time I go to bed everything I do has a time limit and its own window of opportunity. There is no room for surprises or unplanned events. It is the only way to get through the day and get everything done. It requires discipline, advance thinking and lots of lists and timetables.

But it works for me.

This is what Patrick Lindsay has to say about Focus in his book, “Be Happy”


It’s so easy to dissipate our energies,
to dilute our creativity on too many tasks at once.
Virtuosos apply all their skill and energy
to one aim at a time.
Select your key tasks.
Concentrate on one at a time.
Avoid distractions.
Marshall your skills.
Direct all your energies at your target.