How to fill in your calendar

September 21, 2017
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How To Fill In Your Calendar

 Once you decide on a calendar you like, it’s then time to fill it out starting with the big picture of your year and then diving into the daily details.

Start by filling in the year’s major events, such as holidays, birthdays, and vacations you have already planned.

Once you have your year’s big milestones mapped out, you can move on to filling out your activities month-by-month. Fill out whatever you do on a regular basis and any events for the month that you have on hand.

Start with regular recurring events such as book club or monthly meetings for an organization you belong to. Then schedule your extracurricular activities such as exercise classes, soccer practice, any additional activities with multiple dates attached.

Next add in your appointments, like trips to the doctor, the dentist, or the hair salon.

Once you have mastered your month, it is time to look at your weeks. Break our your weekly schedule for work or school and weekly household errands and tasks.

Finally, you are on to the daily details. Record your day-day routines for work, exercise, chores and more to make your days run more smoothly.

Calendars take regular maintenance to keep you on track. Whenever you get a schedule or make an appointment, it should go on your calendar. Keep your calendar close by, and make it fun and easy to use. The more you use your calendar, the more on top of things you’ll be.

Want more help with your time management? I offer coaching and I have an online course coming in September 2017 called Simply Fabulous. Watch for more information on my Facebook page SimplyOrganizedYou. Not on Facebook? That’s ok, send me an e-mail or call me for more information heather@simplyorganizedyou.com 404-825-2105

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Why should you use a calendar?

September 7, 2017
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Why Should You Use a Calendar?

One of the biggest mistakes I see my clients make is they try to keep their schedule in their heads. Pretty soon their brain is full of dates and details, they reach critical mass, and they can’t keep everything straight. They forget appointments, important dates, and critical deadlines.

It’s time to get everything out of your head and onto a calendar.

Calendars Prevent Information Overload

Your brain was not designed to keep track of all of your appointments, deadlines, and commitments. Productivity guru David Allen likens the brain to a computer and warns that we only have so much “Psychic Ram.” Our minds can only process so much information at once.

Calendars are Great Planning Tools

In addition to being a great place to keep important dates and information, a calendar can be a great planning tool as well. Before plotting out what you are going to accomplish for the day or week, you should survey the landscape of your calendar taking into account all of your commitments.

If you have a light calendar day, you can knock out a lot on your to-do list, but if you have a day with back-to-back meetings, appointments and/or errands, that is going to affect how much you can get done.

Calendars Help You Prioritize

Getting items out of your head and onto your calendar also makes it easier to prioritize. When you keep two tasks or activities in your head, your brain gives them equal value. The more you add to your mental calendar and to-do list, the harder it becomes to judge their importance, which can lead to you becoming overcommitted.

When you keep all your commitments on a calendar, you can see what is already on the books before taking on a new appointment, project, or task. You will be able to quickly and easily judge how much time you have and determine which commitments you should keep and which activities you should not agree to in the first place.

Using a calendar will help you prioritize and plan the important aspects of your life letting you make time for what is important to you and allowing you to live life to the fullest. This habit will help you stay cool, calm and collected, and is, in my opinion, the first step to organizational bliss.

Want more help with your time management? I offer coaching and I have an online course coming in September 2017 called Simply Fabulous. Watch for more information on my Facebook page SimplyOrganizedYou. Not on Facebook? That’s ok, send me an e-mail or call me for more information heather@simplyorganizedyou.com 404-825-2105

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Finding the perfect calendar for you

August 27, 2017
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Calendars: Finding “The One”

One of my top time management tips is to fall in love with your calendar.

A lot of us neglect our calendars, having an on again off again relationship. Let’s face it. If your calendar were your significant other, they would have kicked you to the curb long ago.

Just like you wouldn’t marry the first person you meet off the street, you need to find a calendar that fits your personality and lifestyle.

If you are currently flying solo there are many options for calendars that will make you say “I do.”

If you are a big picture type, a paper planner or paper wall calendar might be right for you. Paper calendars let you see your whole month or week at once. This option also allows you to express your creative style with colorful pens and stickers.

If you prefer a more high tech solution, a digital calendar may be for you. These come in many forms from online systems to smart phone apps. Digital calendars are great if you need to sync across multiple systems and platforms, such as your smart phone and work computer. Digital calendars also make it easy to set up recurring appointments.

For those of you who are part of a couple or a family, you will want to go with a calendar option that everyone in your household can access.

Dry erase calendars are very popular for families and can be posted in a central location for all to see.

You might prefer a shared digital calendar such as the calendars by Apple and Google, where you can invite others to see what’s on your schedule and multiple people can add events.

Both options can be color-coded for each family member. This let’s you see at a quick glance who has what commitments for the week.

Having a hard time choosing? For you commitment-phobes out there, it’s not considered cheating to see more than one calendar at the same time. For instance, you can use a paper calendar for long-term planning and a digital calendar you can access from your phone for scheduling on the go.

Ultimately the best calendar for you is the one you will use. You won’t know what system is right for you until you play the field and find one with the right chemistry.

So, go ahead and take the plunge. I can guarantee there’s a calendar out there that will be the perfect match.

Want more help with your time management? I offer coaching and I have an online course coming in September 2017 called Simply Fabulous. Watch for more information on my Facebook page SimplyOrganizedYou. Not on Facebook? That’s ok, send me an e-mail or call me for more information heather@simplyorganizedyou.com 404-825-2105

 

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8 Things Professional Organizers Do Every Night Before Bed

October 28, 2016
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03_things_personal_organizers_do_every_night_before_bed_charge_devices_leonardo-patrizi

iStock/Leonardo Patrizi

I was recently quoted in an article by Kirsten Clodfelter in one of my favorite magazines, Reader’s Digest. See Kirsten’s full article at http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/professinal-organizers-before-bed/

Here is my tip from the article:

Power up your devices each night before unwinding. “I put cell phone and other electronic devices on a charging station I keep near the entrance of my house,” says Heather Rogers, author of A Simplified Life: How to Achieve Order and Calm So You Can Reclaim Time, Energy, and Control. This way, I never forget it and my devices are always fully charged.”

 

Need help? Overwhelmed? Call us 404-825-2105 or e-mail heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

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Procrastination – How’s That Working For You?

September 20, 2016
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do-now

This is a photo of file folders taken at a client’s home recently. They had a file box and inside one file labeled “Do Now” and another “Do Later”. After laughing for several minutes and guessing what would be in the folders, we discovered documents from 3 years ago in both. I see this daily in my work with clients.

It is clear that they were (and still are) trying to come up with a system, tackle their mountains of papers and simplify their lives. The problem is we all tend to put off the things we do not want to do. My favorite part of this filing system is when is “now” and when is “later”? If you are truly going to tackle something “now” there is no need to create a file for it right?

When it comes to paper and especially mail, go through it immediately. The moment you bring it in your house (or in the garage) have trash, shred and bins or folders ready.

  1. Throw away your junk mail – do not keep it
  2. Shred any items you don’t need that have a social security, bank account or credit card number on them.
  3. Put the rest in bins or folders marked for each family member or in order of importance
    1. Weekly = bills to pay, rsvp, permission slips, etc.
    2. Monthly = items to file
  4. Have alarms set on your phone/ calendar to empty your bins every week and do it!

The longer you put things off, the more stressful and overwhelming they become. Do it now, check it off your list, sleep better!

If you need our help tackling something you’ve been putting off, call us at 404-825-2105 or email heather@simplyorganizedyou.com.

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Using Time Management Tips to Gain 6 More Weeks Back!

February 3, 2016
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freeorganizer

So today was Groundhog Day and I presented my time management tips and tools to a group at the East Cobb Library. For those of you unable to attend, I’m giving you the handout my audience received. I will also be posting a link to the presentation video soon. Please contact me for any questions or help 404-825-2105.

TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS & TOOLS:

Drop Zone:

  1. Create a space near the entry of your home for your family calendar, keys, hooks for backpacks, charging station for cell phones and iPad, baskets for shoes and a mail center.
  2. Every night before bed, make sure all homework is in backpacks and all items in drop zone for the next morning. You can also lay out clothes, prep snacks & lunches night before.

Calendar:

  1. Have a family calendar (monthly or quarterly) displayed somewhere so everyone can see it easily.
  2. Color code it for each family member and put everyone’s activities on it each day (try to pick one day per month for the family to sit down and fill out the calendar for the next month). Make sure the bus schedule, school activities, permission deadlines and all after school appointments are on the calendar.
  3. If you prefer electronic, use a system that can sync with your spouse or kids and update it regularly.

Routine:

  1. Set up a weekly routine for yourself and your family.
  2. Try to keep a set meal time, homework time, bath time, bed time and play time. Even if it doesn’t happen every night, if you try to keep to a schedule, it makes your evenings and your mornings easier.

Cooking:

1.Weekly meal plan and grocery list

2.Cook several meals and freeze

More Tips:

  1. Stop procrastinating: Set a timer to do 20 minutes at a time & Start with most difficult
  2. One task at a time and complete
  3. Multi-tasking (if you must: one physical and one mental at a time)

While pumping gas:

Clean out purse/ wallet/ car

Check e-mails and texts (return and delete)

While talking on the phone:

Fold laundry

Unload dishwasher

Clean out a drawer

  1. Learn to say NO
    1. When you say yes – you say no to something else

Time Saving Websites and Apps

www.ThredUp.com (10-80% / clean-up bag)

www.Unroll.me (unsubscribe to all sites or get one e-mail per day)

www.parents.com (chore charts and meal planners)

Doctor on Demand APP (24/7 access to physician)

Groove Book ($2.99 for 100 4×6 photos printed)

TIME SAVED USING TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS:

Getting organized = 7.5 hours/ week not looking for stuff

Planning (make a list, menu)= 10 hours/ week not wasting time (1 hour of planning saves 10 hours of doing)

Outsourcing & Delegating = 20 hours/ week spent on items you want to do

Websites & APPs = 18 hours/ week not couponing, re-reading junk e-mail or going to the doctor

TOTAL = 55.5/ week = 2886/ year = 8/ day

 

 

 

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Simply Organized is Having a Contest!!!

January 16, 2016
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Simply Organized is having a contest. You can win $300 worth of our favorite products PLUS A 1 HOUR TIME MANAGEMENT SESSION WITH HEATHER ROGERS!

To enter, please click on the link below. We will announce the winner in two weeks (January 30th).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!!

If you need us in the meantime, call us at 404-825-2105 or e-mail us at Heather@Simplyorganizedyou.com

 

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Back To School Made Simple

July 21, 2015
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books

Can you believe it’s only 3 weeks until the kids go back to school?  Don’t panic! Simply Organized is going to make it simple this year. I’m speaking Sunday July 26th from 2-3pm at the Cumming Library on how you can simplify your back to school this year. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. SHOPPING

SCHOOL SUPPLIES:

Most schools have the list posted online for each grade. You can also buy “packs” from most schools which include all needed supplies.  I recommend you print out your list and shop at home first. You probably have tons of paper, pencils and more left over from last year. Gather everything on the list into one place and check those items off.  The rest can be purchased at any retail store and most have great deals right now.

(ex. Crayons, Ziplock bags, glue, scissors, folders, paper, pencils)

CLOTHES:

Make time to have your children try on the clothes and shoes they wore last year to see what fits.  For the first couple of months (at least in the south) they can probably stay in their summer clothes but go ahead and make a list of their fall and winter wardrobe needs now.

(ex. NEED Shirts: short sleeved #4, long sleeved #4, pants #5, shoes #1, socks #5)

2. SCHEDULE/ ROUTINE:

freeorganizer

FAMILY CALENDAR:

You should have a dry erase, paper or electronic shared calendar for your family.  Each member should have their own color. Place all activities on the calendar including after school, trips, sleep overs, teacher meetings and weekend plans.

ROUTINE

Even if every day is a little different, families thrive on schedules. Have a PLAN B for days with after school activities and a PLAN C for weekends.  To combat confusion and set expectations, use the following daily routines:

Wake up time (ex. 6:30am) eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth

Out the door time (ex. no later than 7:30 am)

Home work time (after school ex. 3:30-4:30) play time, chores

Dinner time (ex. 6:30 pm) then game or tv, bath, brush teeth, read story

Bed time (ex. 8 pm)

3. ORGANIZATION

A place for everything and everything in it’s place – right?  Start these good habits with your family now and it will save you time and stress later.

DROP ZONE

Every person in your family should have their own hook and or basket near the entry and exit of your home.  Even if you do not have a mud room, you can easily create this area around a storage bench, breakfast room, laundry room or garage. This is also a great place to put a family calendar.

mudroom 2

Each night before bed: all homework is completed and put into backpacks near the exit.  Make lunches (or let your kids do it), snacks and even breakfast the night before and have it in the fridge ready to go.  Lay out your children’s clothes (or have them do it) the night before. Keep their shoes in their closets with their clothes or in a storage bench or basket near the door. Use a charging station for all phones, laptops, etc. and plus them in before you go to bed. Keep the charging station near your keys. Do the same thing every day and you will not be frantically looking for your keys, phone, shoes and homework every morning before school.

4. CHORES

Kids love having a few responsibilities and they love helping mom and dad.  Depending on the age and maturity of your child, most experts recommend you start adding 1-2 tasks each year starting when you feel they are ready.  Most kids can start with making their bed, brushing their teeth and picking out their clothes.  When you think they are ready, add setting the table, clearing the dishes, unloading the dish washer and making their own lunch to their daily or weekly chore chart. This makes them feel proud and helps you out at the same time.  The chore list below was found at www.thirtyhandmadedays.com. You can customize it and print it out.

chorelist

Back to School should be a fun time. It’s a fresh start and a new beginning for you and your kids. Try to get the task completed early so you can enjoy it!

If you need any help with organizing your home or your time, please contact Simply Organized at 404-825-2105 or email us at: heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Organizing is cool!

February 17, 2014
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oprah

 

So far, I have seen Organizing as the main topic in three March magazines. Redbook has a great article on managing your time, Reader’s Digest devoted their “what they won’t tell you” section to Professional Organizers and Oprah’s theme is “De-Clutter Your Life 2014!”  in the March issue of O. I’ll give you my favorite parts of each of the three articles.

redbook

 

In the Redbook article on managing your time, they state an opinion I agree with:  “We’ve convinced ourselves that extreme busyness is a virtue.”  I find this to be so true in our current daily lives.  It’s an American theme that we work too much as mentioned in this fact: “Office culture rewards extreme hours – Americans work longer days and have the least vacation time of any country.”  So what is the solution? The article suggests having no more than seven items on your to-do list (which is all our brains can handle).  Also, prioritize your lists and leave the small stuff (folding laundry) to 5% or less of your time.  I say,  instead of feeling guilty if you are not running crazy 24/7, try to schedule yourself less.  Say no to the extra committee meeting or volunteer job every once in awhile and turn all of your technology off for an hour each evening and half a day on the weekends for family time.

readers digest 1

 

The “13 Things Professional Organizers Won’t Tell You” in the Reader’s Digest article includes a few of my favorite organizing tips for clients. #8 is do not waste your money on a storage unit. “You could buy all the stuff that’s in there for the price of the annual rental fee – and that doesn’t include the cost of the moving truck.”  #10 is about having a home for all of your belongings.  My advice to my clients is always: if you know where everything goes and spend five minutes a day putting things where they go, you will never have to spend hours trying to find items you’ve misplaced or waste money re-buying things.

Oprah has Peter Walsh giving advice in her March O magazine.  My new favorite quote from Peter Walsh is also about having a home for all of your belongings. He says “everyone has a place in their house for forks. If you found a random fork in the bathroom or under the couch, you’d immediately know it didn’t belong there and would return it to it’s drawer without another thought. Everything in your life should be this easy to put away. If an item occupies no specific location when it’s not in use, it becomes clutter.”

Some more quotes from Peter Walsh: “That ugly sweater your mother gave you is not your mother.” “When you put things into a pile to deal with later, you have lost the battle.”  I hear both of these excuses from my clients every day. They are afraid to part with a gift because it might hurt someone’s feelings but the person who gave you that gift was not intending it to become a burden to you.  The second quote is pure procrastination. Deal with it now so it does not become stress later.  This is especially important when it come to mail.  Deal with it immediately, don’t let it pile on top of a counter or surface it doesn’t belong.

I am thrilled to see organization getting so much attention in mainstream media and print.  Being  organized is now the cool thing to do.  It’s also a great way to make your life less stressful and increase your time so you can spend time doing what you love.

If you would like some help with your time or clutter management, give us a call at 404-825-2105 or e-mail heather@simplyorganizedyou.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Time Management

March 19, 2013
Time Management
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With our increasingly busy lives, I wanted to take a moment to try to simplify them for you. I have listed several tips below that should help you add more time and less stress to your life. As always, if you need help, please contact me at 404-825-2105 or heather@simplyorganizedyou.com.

Time Management

  • Focus on one thing at a time and complete that task
  • Multi-task only one physical (ex. On phone and fold laundry)
  • Set reasonable and attainable goals (only a few per day)
  • Block off time on calendar (include drive time)
  • Do not procrastinate (set a 20 minute timer)
  • Do not over-commit = it’s o.k. to say “NO”

Have a Routine

  • Set dinner time
  • Set homework, bath and bed times (prep clothes night before)
  • Set up carpool = 2-3 days per week (school, sports, parties)

Errands

  • Try to get a couple done on your way to work, school or on your way home
  • Get your prescriptions where you buy your groceries
  • Keep your lists in your car so you can check them off each day

Cooking

  • Weekly meal plan and grocery list
  • Cook several meals at once and freeze
  • Use the crock pot for cooking while you’re away
  • Let kids prep b-fast and lunches the night before

 

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