Don't Put Off Your Life..... LIVE NOW!

"I'm going to change my life, find a husband, get a better job, join a gym, earn more money, travel the world, have kids, get a bigger house, swim with dolphins, climb a mountain, read all the books on my list, play with my kids, organise my wardrobe, meet with my friends, look after myself better, clean my kitchen, learn to drive, go to a festival, cook for a dinner party, bake a cake for my child's birthday, get more organised, wear make up, start a business.....
WHEN I HAVE MORE TIME!"

One of the reasons I am SO PASSIONATE about time management (which let's face it - can be seen as quite a boring subject, although I never think so!) is because applying time management techniques to your life means that you CAN do all of the above EVERY DAY - not just 'some day in the future'!

I have always been someone who lives life to the full. I'm 35 years old and hope to be here for many years to come but God forbid if I dropped down dead tomorrow at least I'd go with no regrets. I have lived, I still have a very full life, which I cherish and don't for a second, take for granted.

It saddens me when I hear people saying what they will do 'one day'. Because 'one day' is now. Why put off till tomorrow what can be done today?! This is what my mother used to say to me about homework when I was at school but I think it works well in this context too.

I remember when I was a kid, there used to be clothes that we wore for 'Sunday best'. It wasn't until I became an adult and challenged this little habit that I realised I should just wear my nice stuff whenever I wanted - every day! What point is there in constantly waiting 'till I was going somewhere' before I dressed up? I'm a fashion loving woman! Part of the fun of fashion is getting all dressed up with nowhere to go! Plus who doesn't feel nice when they are dressed well? A little secret part of me deep inside would LOVE to go and collect my daughter from school today wearing my wedding dress which is lovingly boxed in the loft! It was the dress I wore when I was the Queen for the day. I was invincible that day - everyone at the wedding was there to wish me and my husband well - they all came out and made the effort for us! No photo was taken until I was ready! The party didn't start until I got there. Wow! What a fantastic day that was and that dress just makes me feel all those things every time I try it on (which isn't that often but I try to get it out on my anniversary!!) However the sensible side of me tells me that it isn't a good idea to get my daughter wearing that dress, because of the way it will end up throwing a spotlight on her, and kids being kids, it won't generally be in a positive way.

When I was at school in the '70s and early 80s, I remember one of my friends had a very trendy mum who wore these great yeti style knee high boots with her slim leg jeans. She was blonde and slim and looked a bit like Agnetha from ABBA. Now I am a school gate mum myself, I look back and admire the woman for her style, individuality and wearing exactly what she pleased. But at the time as an impressionable 6 year old, I remember how we all used to whisper "Look at Isabel's Mum" behind poor Isabel's back. She just looked so different to the rest of our mums, but with maturity and hindsight, I now know this to be a good thing. She was her own person. However I still wouldn't want to subject my daughter to those whispers - if I turned up looking like the Runaway Bride!

I do however firmly believe in seizing the day and wearing whatever the hell you damn well please if it isn't going to interfere with the children! A couple of years ago I won the chance to broadcast my own 2 hour radio show on BBC Radio Leeds, after winning their "Search for a Star" competition. I was so proud of myself, and when I went to the studios to record the show, I decided to wear my wedding day tiara, because once again I felt like a 'Queen' that day! Here I am wearing my fancy head-dress in their studio!

The funniest thing for me about that day however was that whilst I got a few 'double takes' when I walked round the building, no-one actually asked me about the tiara or said anything about it! I'm sure they thought me eccentric!! I did tell them that I was wearing it because I was technically the Queen for a day again and they understood!

Basically the point of this rant is to say "Go For It!", Live your Dream!, whatever it is in this world that you want to do - then DO IT! And don't hold back.

It is a crying shame if we put off all the possible pleasure we could be reaping when we live the life we choose, for the sake of waiting until everything is perfect, or we lose 5lbs, or when we get the next promotion.

Life is for living! Manage your time to do what you want - the only real success is to live life your own way.

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and make a commitment to read and enjoy the tips in this blog!

Detox Your Home for your Sanity!

This week I've been on a detox - but not with my food, I've been detoxing my home!

The post Christmas mess hangover has been sticking around - the kids still have bits of packaging from the toys everywhere and we need to clear out the old stuff that they no longer play with. Plus the festive season makes the household dustbin collections irregular anyway but the recent freak snow meant that the Council didn't send them round at all for 2 weeks and our recycling bins are overflowing!

All this clutter has been building up in my home and the corresponding niggly 'anxious' feeling has been building up in my brain, making me just want to throw everything in a skip and have done with, but of course what I really need to do is just have a sort. Out with the old and all that. So this week that is exactly what I've done!

I went through each room, putting everything in its place and creating new places for the new stuff. Plus whilst I was at it I had a re-jig of all the electrical plug extensions, removing the old mobile phone chargers for handsets long gone, and making sure that surplus plug sockets got a plastic 'kiddy safe' cover.

I made up two bags for the Charity shop, 2 bags of my son's outgrown clothes for a friend with a younger son, repaired several items of clothing that were ripped, ironed on school uniform name tags to my daughters stuff, threw out the chipped drinking mugs, recycled loads of scrap paper and found new uses for 3 pieces of furniture that had outgrown their old use in my house - they now have a new purpose in a different room!

It's been a crazy week but I'm feeling calmer. I have a bit more to do but I can see light at the end of the tunnel now so I'm happy! I think we all need a de-clutter every now and then. I firmly believe we should let go of what we no longer need or no longer serves us, and make room for the new - and I don't just mean 'stuff'. I am also thinking about getting rid of old habits that no longer serve us and making space for new opportunities.

I had an excellent horoscope this week too so my clear out comes at the right time! The prediction read that I'm entering a cycle of opportunity where everything I've been working for is about to come to fruition! Sounds nice doesn't it? I'm glad I shifted the old - make way for the new! Bring it on!!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and make a commitment to read and enjoy the tips in this blog!

Review - FLIPS - they're 'Flippin Great!'

It's a sign of the times when I give my 7 year old a few books that she can read on her Nintendo DSi and I tell her that when I was her age I read these books but they were actual paper books back then, and the reply I get back is "Booo-riiing!"

However she did start to read the much loved books by Enid Blyton from this new range of interactive books for children - FLIPS, which is a collection of books for the Nintendo DS series. (www.flipsbooks.co.uk)



We tried out Enid Blyton and it was fun for me to read with my daughter for a while and tell her all about Moon-Face and the other characters that lived on the Faraway Tree, but she soon wanted to read all by herself and immerse herself in the various characters.

Good points:
The book is still as charming as ever - 30 years later! And now it comes with 21st Century advancements like sound effects on certain bits of highlighted text. Plus I'd rather her be developing her reading skills than mindlessly watching tv so we were both happy with this activity!

Bad Points:
Ar first my daughter had to bring up a box on the lower right DS screen to click to turn book pages which was a bit of a faff as it covered up some text making it difficult to read. However within 10 minutes whilst I was still turning pages the hard way, my 7 year old had discovered that you can turn pages by gliding the touch screen pen along the screen to 'flick' the page over which ever way you want to turn.

You get 6 books in the one game cartridge so there is enough to keep them entertained on long car journeys without taking up the space - next year my boy will have a DS too so I'll need to get him some stories suitable for pre schoolers - I can't wait to see what comes out by then!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and make a commitment to read and enjoy the tips in this blog!

10 Ways to Get on Top and Stay on Top in 2010!

It's a New Year - time to flush out the old and bring in the new! Ditch the habits and thought processes that don't serve us any more and begin some new, more productive habits, so here are 10 ways to get on top and stay there this year!

1. Set goals.
The main way others can 'steal' our time or we can waste it is to drift along without a certain destination. If you have a clear idea about what you want to achieve this year - whether business or personal, you can make sure that you take the steps to make it happen! If you have focus about where you are headed, it's less easy to be steered off track.

2. Inform your Mind.
Make sure that you are putting top quality information into your mind so that top quality thoughts and actions come out. Read widely, become well informed. If you are struggling to manage your time, get educated on the subject! There are lots of books out there on this subject but you can get a FREE e-book called "Get more done in less time" by downloading your copy at http://www.effexis.com

3. Automate your routine.
This one is not just for the office! It's easy to set rules on your email Inbox so that things happen automatically, but do this for your life too! If you find that bills get paid late, set up Direct Debits and schedule time once a month to sit and record everything so you know where your money is. If you find that you constantly run out of milk at home, organise the local milkman to deliver. If you wear skirt suits for work and need hosiery, get Silkies or a similar company to deliver what you need each month so you don't need to 'think' about it. If you are always forgetting birthdays, buy cards at the start of the month for all the birthdays that month and diarise when you need to post them. Work to the 'need to do' date which is several days earlier rather than the actual birthday date which is too late to get a card there. Look at what doesn't work in your schedule and find a way to automate it.

4. Buy in bulk.
It's often cheaper and also means you always have 'stock' either in the office or at home. Like the birthday cards above, get them in bulk - not one at a time. I buy my son's nappies in bulk, wash powder, shampoo, loo rolls! We never run out of any of these items! It's easier to re-stock an item when you are out and about and the 'pressure is off' rather than running out of toilet paper whilst on there and having to be creative about how to solve that problem!

5. Keep all your appointments in one place.
The most obvious solution for this is a diary. I am trying out a Mums Office diary> which has sections for my children too - rather than my usual personal organiser with a 'page a day' view. The 'old' way means I have lots of space to list my activities and 'must do's' but it is heavy and bulky to carry. The new diary is certainly lighter and I love the different sections for different people, but I am finding that I need more space in each 'day' section to list everything I need to! Check them out at www.mumsoffice.co.uk. If you don't have or want a diary, then a kitchen wall calendar or cork board are the next best thing. I'd like to try out the new O2 Joggler to see if this piece of hardware is as exciting as I think it sounds, so if I get chance, I will review this for you as a busy, 'hands on', business owning, plate spinning mum - for all the other busy, 'hands on', plate spinning mums!

6. Daydream.
Allowing yourself time to daydream, think, meditate, be still and quiet is essential in staying productive, focused and 'on top'. We tend to spend our days in processing mode, doing the do, getting things done, ticking off tasks, but our brains also need downtime to dream, drift, chew over matters, think random thoughts. You may have hear of 'left brain, right brain'? How one side of the brain is creative and free flowing and one side is methodical? We need to exercise both sides regularly. I get my daydreaming time doing lengths at the pool, but you might think better in the shower, fire-gazing or in a bubble bath. Whatever works for you is fine, but make time to do it!

7. Get others to help you.
Tech savvy kids (ie most kids) will love to learn personal organisation by creating their own calendars to document their week. My 7 year old can use a computer and knows she has swimming each Thursday so it shouldn't be too hard for her to create her own calendar at the first ever interactive and customizable calendaring and chore charting system for children! Check out My Time Calendars for more information.
http://www.mytimecalendars.com/

8. Stay tidy.
Try to keep a tidy desk, ordered home and neat wardrobe, so you can find things easily and not get 'bogged down' by visual noise. If you have piles of post and paper everywhere - get a filing system, recycling tub and a shredder and use the 'one touch rule'. ie, you only handle each piece of paper once. It takes discipline to get into the habit but it will serve you to develop this habit so go for it!

9. Avoid Vampires!
By this I mean the life sucking, draining, 'nothing is ever good enough', always moaning, vacuums of positivity that are walking around on two legs and are never happy unless they are whining. They just take the drive right out of you and encourage you to wallow in their pit of procrastination. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

10. The final way to get on top in 2010 and stay there is to believe in you.
Treat yourself as well as you treat other people, and I don't mean buy yourself lots of things! Just listen to your body and mind and allow yourself to rest when you need it. Trust your gut reactions, even if you cannot explain them, don't second guess yourself. Believe that YOU only want what is best for YOU, so don't fight yourself - get out of your own way!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and make a commitment to read and enjoy the tips in this blog!

Happy New Year

I had an awesome Christmas and New Year - hope you did too!
I'm a very lucky girl - I got two of the gifts I was secretly hoping for! A fantastic make up case like professional make up artists use and it has different sections for brushes, eye colours, lipsticks etc - now my make up is REALLY organised! I also got some black UGG boots which are the comfiest, softest boots you have ever worn in your life!

What did you get? Any real 'hum dingers' under the tree?! Do tell!

...... Being organised saves time, money and boosts your productivity. To keep up to date with the latest tips on self organisation, follow this blog. Organise yourself by clicking in the 'Follower' box to the left of this post and show the world how savvy you are!