Some reading for the weekend

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I’ve been waiting to use this photo since October last year ;)

1. Engage the core

IMG_48442. Creative people have to say no

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3. How powerful people at the White House get things done

(I love the decision matrix on this post)

 31 days of enough time

4. Click the Add to Cart button below to buy 31 days of enough time for only $1,99.

The price increases on 1 April. Thank you for your support :)

 Add to Cart

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5. On 30 from Elise Cripe

(I loved what she said about growing older so much I referenced it in my last workshop :))

Which was your favourite link?

Next time I’m going to recommend some podcasts :)

PS All photos by me

{Living intentionally} Capsule wardrobes – part 3

Capsule wardrobes |www.OrganisingQueen.com

Part 1 and Part 2

Let me give you some capsule wardrobe feedback from (our) summer.

I have very little I can wear to work at the moment for a few reasons:

1. My workplace is exceptionally cold. So much so I gave in and bought a black flow-y shawl-type thing that I leave at the office permanently (except to be laundered every so often). I survive the cold for about 30 minutes in the mornings before I have to put on the shawl. So it really doesn’t matter what I wear… all people see is this black top.

This also means I haven’t worn any of my nice summer jackets that I’d normally wear. Except when I’m out seeing clients.

Before you helpfully tell me to report it and sort out the aircon, let me add that I’ve done it all. ALL. The aircon guy has yet to avoid me when he spots me… but we’re fast getting there.

2. I’ve only been wearing pants due to the cold. The pants started looking a little… old… but in true female fashion, I really don’t want to buy more pants til I lose another 2 kg :)

All this means is that I’ve been super bored with my wardrobe. I only have about 5 – 6 suitable (based on the cold office) things in rotation.

Thank goodness we have Casual Fridays!

Capsule wardrobes |www.OrganisingQueen.com

As for casual clothes, I seem to be in a grey/ yellow/ blue and coral/ blue phase at the moment, and I’m going with that.

I returned a few things I bought that were outside the colour scheme because when tags are still attached to clothes two months later, clearly you’re not into them…

I have plenty casual clothes still… so I’m very actively employing my method of decluttering madness, which is … every time I wear something and it irritates me, out it goes :)

So that’s where I’m at with this capsule thing for summer – mostly bored but enjoying weekend dressing!

The weather is getting delightfully nippy in the mornings so we’re fully in autumn now.

I’ll keep track of the clothes I wear for the cold weather (outside and inside), and post another update in a month or so.

Now tell me, have you tried using a capsule wardrobe? How’s it working for you?

Capsule wardrobes |www.OrganisingQueen.com

You know all those things you want to do?

You should go do them.

Every year as part of my goal-setting process, I print off the pages from Leonie’s planner and I go play with the 100 things to do this year pages.

You do know there’s no rule that says you can only do goal-setting in January, right? I start and end goals throughout the entire year.

In fact, I just started a new goal last week – to start a project with photos of doors captured on my photowalks. Some might say a quarter of the year is gone, what’s the point?

There’s plenty of point.

Live intentionally |www.organisingqueen.com

Kendra did ballet for one year and that was a push. She was not into it at all so she stopped and decided to do actionball instead.

I wanted to get some photos of her in her ballet clothes before she outgrew them so I put it on my list.

And then one not-so-very-cold winter’s day, we got her dressed up and headed for the gym (because I liked the beautiful light in one of the studios) to take some photos.

Do you know how these photos thrill me?

I love that I got photos of her in her ballet clothes, I love the light, I love that I can now take photos that I love, and I LOVE that I got to do something I wanted to do.

So those things that you want to do?

Go do them.

I need more time

I’ll help you create the time on the Help! I need more time course. It starts today – sign up now.

What are you waiting for?

If you don’t do something different, next year this time you’re still going to have a pile of books unread, your big kids’ baby books undone, and not know how to use your big, fancy camera.

Join me for Help! I need more time.

Today’s the last day to register.

A guide to purposeful time management

Help! I need more time

The autumn session of Help! I need more time is now enrolling.

This course is an invitation to take 15-20 mins a day to think about what you want your life to look like, design that life and then put concrete, practical, actionable steps into place to get there.

Our 20 days together  will be spread over 6 weeks with a one-week break mid-way for breathing space, to catch up or for Easter holidays :)

You’ll get a daily email 4 days a week for 5 weeks with a link to a lesson and worksheet. By the end of the 5 weeks you’ll have a powerful arsenal of tools in your toolkit and a plan that works for you.

Registration is happening over here – come join us!

Testimonial

I have been taking Marcia’s Time Management Course for a few weeks now and find that it has been very helpful in improving my time management.

One of the most helpful aspects of the course was keeping a log of where I was spending my time. This was really an eye opener for me, and I found that I have been much more aware and focused in this area. That one aspect alone has increased my productivity.

Marcia’s style is direct, clear and concise and to the point – exactly what you require in a time management course.  I look forward to receiving my email every week.

Claire O’Dea
Carlow, Ireland

What leisure time looks like for most women

I’m reading (well, listening to) the most fabulous book at the moment – Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte.

I’m going to be talking lots more about this book probably for months to come because it is just that good.

In the beginning of the book, she meets with a time researcher who analyses time logs. He tells her that she has nearly 30 hours of leisure a week, just like most women.

Of course she’s shocked because it certainly doesn’t feel like it. And 30 hours? Really?

Therein lies the rub.

Leisure time for women | www.OrganisingQueen.com

1. Let’s talk about those 30 hours.

The research shows that leisure time for women is made up of tiny bits and pieces of time. Schulte calls this “time confetti” – don’t you love that visual?

I’ve written about The 15 Minutes before, and how we need to use those 15-minute blocks because we’re not going to easily come by huge blocks of time, especially when the kids are pre-schoolers.

Leisure time for men, on the other hand, often happens in huge chunks… a morning or day of golf, watching TV for hours a night, going out with the boys, etc.

Ladies, the only way we’re going to stop having mere time confetti is to intentionally create big chunks of time.

E.g. going for my Spanish dance lesson one night a week is a chunk of time.

Leisure time for women | www.OrganisingQueen.com

2. Now let’s talk about how it doesn’t feel like we have 30 hours of leisure.

Even if you do have the time, if you don’t feel like you have it, you won’t enjoy it as much. Like when you’re rushing around from one plan to the next. It doesn’t feel at all leisurely.

So the trick is to consciously create time, be intentional about taking it and do things that bring you joy.

Questions for you:

Do you think you have 30 hours of leisure time a week?
Do you consciously create chunks of time to do things that bring you joy?

Isn’t it time to start?

Tell me one thing you’re going to do differently this week, even if it’s to write on a post-it note, “I have 30 hours of leisure time a week”

Gretchen Rubin and the 4 tendencies

Help! I need more time

Long-time readers of my blog will know I love Gretchen Rubin’s work.

I loved reading The Happiness Project and while I didn’t enjoy Happier at Home as much, it was still worth the read.

It just so happens that she’s got a book about habits coming out tomorrow and wait for this – the cool thing is that writing about the 4 tendencies has been on my editorial calendar since the beginning of the month, and I just checked Amazon to look for a picture and I see it’s releasing tomorrow. Too cool.

This book is about habits and how to create ones that work, and the loopholes we use to get out of good habits. I personally can’t wait to read it and I’m wondering if I should just get the audible version and listen to it on my way to and from work. That is a topic for another post – my foray into audio books …

Anyway, the real point of this blog post is that Gretchen’s been blogging about a theory she calls the 4 tendencies for months and months, maybe even longer than a year.

I’m firmly in the camp of finding out your MBTI profile, your love language, and any other sort of style going around :) so when she first came out with these things, I tried to find my tendency.

I thought I leaned one particular way and it was indeed confirmed when I took the test two months ago.

I am an Upholder.

It’s all about how you respond to expectations – both inner and outer. I find this FASCINATING (and so true) and I would love to know if you’re an obliger, an upholder, a rebel or a questioner.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, so go read Gretchen’s post and take the free quiz to find your tendency. 70 000 people have already taken the quiz.

When you’re done, please come back and tell me what you are.

Did your tendency resonate with you?

PS The links to the books are affiliate links. You won’t pay any more than you will going directly to Amazon but I’ll get a few cents per book if you buy through my link. Thank you for supporting this site.

PPS Please spread the word about Help! I need more time. It starts next Monday and if it’s not for you, I guarantee you have a friend who needs this. Thank you!

Edited to add:

I just saw Laura Vanderkam posted about this too. She shared an interesting thought in her post about Upholders, since Gretchen is one, Laura is one and as I said above, I am one. Apparently, so is everyone who writes about goal setting, time management, habits, and the like.

Use your {gift wrap} stash

I recently took Elise Cripe’s Use your Stash course.

This course specifically talks about using up scrapbook stuff. I had washi tape, some paper (really not much at all – 3 pads about 2/3 finished) and quite a bit of Project Life cards. I don’t have any other fancy embellishments and whatnot.

Aside from the ideas to use up things, I took one key thought with me (and I’m paraphrasing)

You can’t just use the stuff as you normally would. You have a stash. So go BIG!

True, right?

It’s like with emails. If you keep piddling away and doing 5 a night, you’re never going to get it sorted. Make a new folder and drag all 14 000 in there, and start fresh. Ah, doesn’t that feel good.

Use your gift wrap stash | www.organisingqueen.com

Anyway, back to the stash.

I’ll share in future weeks how I’m using up the rest of my things but today, I want to talk about gift wrap.

I’m one of those people who lovingly and carefully folds up gift wrap to re-use. I also re-use gift bags (hopefully no-one has yet received a gift in their same bag :)).

I realised that even if we go to 15 parties a year (which is a lot, because I guard our time very well), we would NEVER get through all these gift bags.

So I’m using up the stash.

 Use your gift wrap stash | www.organisingqueen.com

Here’s how I’m doing it besides in the normal manner of presenting a gift:

  1. I used gift bags for goody bags for the two Let’s Do This workshops. I actually loved it because everyone’s was different and it was just more fun! I now only have Happy Birthday bags left but who cares, right? Happy birthday it is!
  2. If I have to pass on something to a friend, they get it in a gift bag :) More happiness!
  3. I put all the gift wrap in a huge wastepaper basket in my study and told the kids they could use any of that paper to craft, and they did. Somehow kids don’t have that same reticence to use up “the good stuff”. They’ve cut, pasted, coloured and gone through that entire bin of paper in a month.

Do you have a gift wrap stash?

Did this post inspire you to start using it up?

There’s something about me and a list

My master to-do list, that is.

I have always loved having a master list.

I don’t like the same master list to taunt me for very long so I usually make sure I get through it after a couple of months.

master to-do lists | www.OrganisingQueen.com

The types of master to-do lists I use:

Life admin

This is the list with things like book car in for a service, make dental appointments, get sliding door fixed, etc.

House projects

When there seem to be too many notes on the life admin list relating to the house, then I start a house projects list. We are not big DIYers and our (old) house is feeling unloved in certain areas so there are a lot of niggly bits that need to be sorted out, hence the 9 items on it.

Business to-dos

This list has projects on it have have a very long deadline, usually things I would like to get done from my goals list, not things that need to get done now. Things from the important and not from the urgent quadrant.

My amazing virtual assistant, Trisha, knocked one of our to-dos off the list in just an hour the other day and I’m pleased to tell you that you can now buy a copy of 31 days of Enough Time for just $1,99.

Add to Cart

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Photo projects

These will include things like which month’s photos need to be printed, project life stuff, photos I need to take of projects (like the list in the picture on the top), which folders I need to edit, photos I need to send to friends, and so on.

The blog

I add things to this list like posts to write, layout changes I need to attend to (I need to add pics of the other books to this sidebar —->>>), and so on.

master to-do lists | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Why a master to-do list?

It enables you to do a brain dump when you’re feeling overwhelmed (one of the best ways to stop the feeling of overwhelm)

Here are four other reasons

Over to you.

Do you use a master to-do list?

What do you use them for?

If you haven’t already signed up to my newsletter, do so. There’s a master to-do list in the welcome pack. And bonus – I now have all the freebies on one page on the website, for your convenience. The link and password are provided automatically by the system when you sign up. If you’re already signed up, check last week’s email carefully … near the bottom… for those details. Have fun!

{Live intentionally} Why I date my kids

At one point many years ago (isn’t that funny? I say that and yet the kids are only 5 and a half!), Dion and I decided that it would be a good idea for each of us to spend 1:1 time with each of the twins.

To be honest, in the early days it was just more practical to divide and conquer errands, but a lovely by-product was that each twin was much better behaved when they were with just one parent than when we were all together as a family.

(this is still true today)

Why I date my kids | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Then I attended a love languages workshop, LOVED the concepts, and put them into practice with both kids.

The results have been so amazing I went to get myself certified :)

I’m holding two love languages workshops this month – one on Thursday 19th from 7 – 9, and one on Saturday 28th from 2 – 4 pm, and you are invited to attend.

There are 5 love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gifts, and physical affection.

Read more here and sign up if you’re interested.

Do you know your top two love languages, and those of your spouse and kids?

Why I date my kids | www.OrganisingQueen.com

The one-on-one dates enable me to engage with my kids in the ways they need me to show them love.

They’re different (obviously) as your kids are different so they need to be shown love in different ways.

How this plays out for us:

  • I put these two habits on my goals list every month: date with Kendra, and date with Connor
  • That step ensures I get them done.
  • Sometimes we have definite things we want to do, sometimes they say “Mummy, next time we have a date, can we do ____?” but mostly I discuss it with each of them.
  • We decide on a date for the date :) and we make it happen

Interestingly, sometimes we might go to the same place for our date but I engage with each child differently depending on their love languages. It’s such a part of life for us now that it’s completely automatic.

If you’re not currently spending 1:1 time with your kids, I know you might be pushing back (some people would say I don’t have enough time), but just give it a try.

Some tips to date your kids:

  1. adjust your mindset of quantity vs quality – yes, it will take longer to “get things done” but you and your child will both enjoy connecting so much more
  2. you don’t have to spend any money – my kids like to craft, bake or cook with me
  3. ask your kids for their ideas – one of mine often suggests a walk around the neighbourhood
  4. use events like Easter/ Christmas/ Valentine’s to do themed dates – another of my children always suggests that we make pancakes for any special event :)
  5. if you have to shop for some clothes for that child, make it into a date by tagging a cup of tea/ milkshake/ juice onto the end of it

Do you date your kids?

What are your love languages?

Can you guess what mine are? I’ll post them in the comments :)

{Friday Fun} What’s in my handbag?

What's in my handbag? | www.organisingqueen.com

Maybe it’s just me but I’m always super curious about what people carry with them.

I even have a friend (the one in the photo on this page) who doesn’t even carry a handbag!

I can’t even! :)

In case there are other handbag freaks out there just like me, I thought it would be fun to show you what I’m currently hauling around in my handbag.

This is the most expensive handbag I own and I promised myself when I bought it ten years ago (after selling about 10 other bags :)) that I’d not buy another for YEARS.

I didn’t quite make it, but I bought a lot less than before!

I still love it and it helps that it’s very photogenic :)

What's in my handbag? | www.organisingqueen.com

front view

What's in my handbag? | www.organisingqueen.com

side view

What's in my handbag? | www.organisingqueen.com

back view

What's in my handbag? | www.organisingqueen.com

In the front pocket, my iphone and car keys

What's in my handbag? | www.organisingqueen.com

in the back pocket, I keep some pens, my flash drive and a highlighter

What's in my handbag? | www.organisingqueen.com

this is the inside. Those pockets for the old-style cell phones are obviously too small now, so I have tissues in the one and I usually carry the bottle of nail polish I’m wearing with me (because if a nail chips, I twitch til I can fix it) in the other pocket. It also holds my diary, a very slim notebook, my make-up bag and my (matching) wallet.

Now I want to see your handbag and, if you’re brave, show me the inside :)

Post your pic on Instagram and tag me @marcia0608 and #organisingqueen and #whatsinmyhandbag

Let’s have some Friday Fun :)

What’s the oldest handbag you own?

Do you swop yours out as your mood changes? Or do you stick to one til it’s falling apart?

PS Also, the perfect handbag/ 5 ways to store handbags/ This method worked for a very long time but I need to show you my latest, genius idea in a post soon :)

PPS exactly 5 months til my next birthday!

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