Are you eating your frog?

Hope you’re having a great week so far.

This is a timely reminder for all of us to Eat the Frog.

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If you’ve forgotten about the principle, here is my article where I explain it some more.

By the way, your free printable, the Eat the Frog form, is waiting in your welcome pack when you sign up to the newsletter.

If you don’t like loose pieces of paper, ignore the printable.

You can simply discipline yourself to start your notebook each day by writing the date at the top, listing your 6 items, and THEN only adding the numbers 1 – 6, in terms of priority.

Let me know if you’re using the form by tagging me @marcia0608 or simply use the hashtag #goalswithmarcia or #organisingqueen on instagram.

Smart phones – blessings and curses

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I love my iphone probably more than I should.

I don’t have the typical problems of ignoring people in front of me while I play with my phone, check “likes” and comments on instagram or facebook but it started to bother me that I was wasting so much time on Facebook every morning. At least 30 minutes because I’m a contributor not just a consumer (in other words, I comment on people’s posts and engage fully).

Those 30 minutes add up – 3.5 hours a week equals 14 hours a month which means at LEAST one extra book I could be reading.

So I deleted the Facebook app.

I happened to mention this to an ex-boss the other day who was quite horrified.

“How do you check your Facebook then?”

“The old-fashioned way,” I replied, “when I pop on at night from a real computer and keyboard for a few minutes”.

I’m not saying I won’t add the app back again but I’ve told myself I need to leave it off for at least the whole of April (it will probably be about 6 weeks by then) and let’s see how I’m feeling about it then.

Have you had to delete any apps off your phone when you found them eating into your “real” life?

Jump onto Facebook and let me know about your phone addictions :)

5 reasons I still love my Kindle after 3 years

My hubby asked me to send a book to his Kindle and when I went into my account, I realised today is my three-year anniversary with my Kindle.

It’s been love at first sight :)

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Well, three years in and I still love my Kindle like nobody’s business!

  1. No clutter – I have over 200 books on there…
  2. So easy for travel – this is the actual reason I bought it… in the pre-Kindle days I would carry a bag of books with me…
  3. One-click buying. No more finding a convenient time to go to Exclusive Books to get a book I want. I pop over to Amazon and buy there and then (if under $10) or put it on my wish list until I can’t hold out anymore
  4. It’s light even when reading a 500-page book
  5. I love that I can do nothing else on it but read. No disturbances from Facebook or Instagram notifications popping up like when I read something on the ipad’s Kindle app.

In case you’re interested, I’ve bought 165 books in the 3 years (don’t ask how much I’ve spent!):

  • 2011 – 42
  • 2012 – 52
  • 2013 – 54
  • 2014 – 17 so far

A small % of those have been gifts (probably only about 15 – 20 overall).

Do you have a Kindle?

Have you finished reading all your physical books?

PS I really only have one gripe about the Kindle – it’s never as satisfying taking a photo of the Kindle as of a “real” book ;)

PPS In the interests of full disclosure, I must confess I now have monthly “read 5 – 10 Kindle samples” on my goals lists because of how easy it is to keep downloading samples and never doing anything with them :o

Are you making time for your life?

I’m really loving the cooler autumn weather so much.

We had about 12 or 13 non-stop days of rain early in March which was, honestly, terrible, especially since it’s so unusual for this climate.

Although after about a week, I actually googled and saw that it’s perfectly normal for Jhb to have a lot of rain in March. next year I won’t be so surprised :)

We do have a summer rainfall pattern but it’s more of the afternoon thundershower variety. There’s nothing quite like a highveld storm.

So this endless rain really was getting to a lot of us natives and definitely to me too.

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The MINUTE the rains cleared up and the weekend arrived, I grabbed the kids, my cameras (DSLR and iphone) and out we went for an autumn walk.

It was glorious.

45 minutes that totally recharged my soul.

Walking in crunchy brown leaves…. taking photos of the light falling on yellowing leaves…seeing my children play and laugh during golden hour.

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While the kids were chattering away, I wondered why I don’t do that more often – just grab hold of all opportunities and make the most of them.

And I thought it’s probably because we tell ourselves (fibs) that we don’t have time, or there are more important things to do.

It’s probably true that there are other things to do but let me tell you this – I’m one of the most productive people I know and I still ALWAYS have a list of things I want to get done.

Some nights I suppose I could do some more work but I choose to play with my photos instead. To preserve memories. To print and put them in albums. To read. To phone a friend and talk for an hour.

What are you NOT making time for in your life?

Think about that question seriously.

What are you NOT making time for in your life?

Why not?

Do you feel a genuine need or is it a “should” in your life?

If it’s something you really want to do, make the time and do it.

If it’s a “should”, maybe you need to consider letting it go, so you can feel free of guilt for constantly not getting to it, whatever it may be.

I would love to hear your answers.

Please pop over to Facebook and tell me what you’re not currently making time for in your life.

PS Did you get your copy of Simplify your life? The link is at http://www.tinyurl.com/marciasimplify

Bookshelves – before and after

These bookshelves were driving me nuts.

Mostly they stay organised but as I remove books to reference something and quickly just put them back (while the light is off as this is actually the kids’ bedroom), they start looking horrible.

 

 

I’d planned to attack these shelves a few weeks before I did but, as you know, things come up. And this is a project where I needed the kids out of the way.

So one Saturday when Dion took them to their swimming lesson, I was ready. I had exactly 45 – 50 minutes to get this done as the swimming teacher lives less than 5 minutes’ drive from our place and the lessons are 30 minutes long.

I cleared off each shelf, dusted and cleaned, and let the shelf dry while I sorted and organised. So satisfying!

The shelves stayed the same with all the unread books on the bottom section (the idea is that seeing them will motivate me to actually read them…) but this time I rearranged them by colour, just for fun!

 

Lovely and neat shelves again!

Even those men are doing the happy dance :)

I’m still on my mission to clear most of my physical books.

To date, I have these three shelves plus one other which has 6 unread fiction (my goal is to get all of those read this year) and a ton of non-fiction.

Are you still collecting physical books?

PS I realised this weekend that on Friday I’ll have owned my Kindle for THREE years (best decision ever) so look out for my post on my Kindle :)

Quarter 1 goals recap

Friends, can you believe 3 months of the year have already passed?

I’m kind-of speechless.

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I’m doing okay so far. 11 out of my 51 goals are done, which is 22%.

That’s very slightly under where I should be by now.

In true “Marcia” fashion, I’ve already identified ways to get a head start on the next quarter – there is one thing which I’m working on which will accomplish 3-in-1, and if I just book the holidays for the year, I’ll get those sorted too :)

Another “easy” win is to focus on reading the 6 remaining physical books I have on my bookshelf – yay!

Things that have gone exceptionally well…

  1. our holiday in Ballito – good family time, 10 photo walks and actual reading and relaxing too. Also all business planning for the year got done.
  2. training the consultants at my church – 5 weeks of awesomeness, reminding me of just how much I love training and doing workshops, and best of all, equipping God’s people for ministry.

Things that have not gone as well

  1. getting into a regular work-out schedule
  2. work goals

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How has your first quarter of 2014 been?

Anybody feel like they also need a holiday? :)

Let me know on Facebook :)

Some reading for the weekend

I’ve decided to make this a monthly feature on the blog.

It’s not going to be all pretty, perfect pictures and Pinterest-worthy spaces. Rather, I want to make you think differently with posts that inspired me or challenged my thinking about living a fuller, more intentional life.

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Do you need a fresh financial start?

How to love your home

Thoughts on balance

I think Laura Vanderkam is a time pessimist

And here’s my post on time optimism and pessimism

Which was your favourite post this month?

Pop over to Facebook and let me know.

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The most popular question on how to simplify your life

The biggest question I’ve received over the years on simplifying your life is this:

What is the ONE thing I can do that will help simplify my life as quickly as possible?

Do you know what my answer is?

Learn to say no.

STOP

Seriously, it’s that simple.

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- When you say no, you stop overcommitting.
- When you say no, you begin to have white space in your life.
- When you say no, you stop bringing more stuff into your home… stuff to clean, store and organise.
- When you say no, your kids have more time to just PLAY as kids should.
- When you say no, you have time to read again, and to create.

It’s simple but I know it’s not easy.

This is one of the key lessons of the Simplify your Life ecourse.

How good are you at saying no and creating simplicity in your life?

Have a look at the Simplify your Life info page  especially if you need some help learning to say no.

And then please pop over to Facebook and tell me, on a scale of 1 – 10, how easy is it for you to say no? Or…. send me a quick email.

 

White space… of the physical kind

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, one of the actions she takes is to leave a shelf bare and clean, and not feel the need to fill every shelf with something.

I talk a lot about this with respect to time but I must confess, a physical shelf in my house without nothing sounds like a dream :)

But then we reorganised some things, tossed other things and we had TWO shelves free.

The kids had too many stuffed animals on their beds so I put some of them on the bottom shelf and then placed some wooden toys on the top one, mainly for decoration.

It’s not an entirely clear shelf but I can feel how this could become addictive because of that feeling of having the peace of space. It’s a little bit like how I don’t like ornaments in my house because I feel like I can breathe better.

Do you have empty shelves in your home?

When did you have your last errands day?

Happy Human Rights Day!

Hope you had lots of white space today.

Ballito starred-246At the beginning of the year I made a list of things that had to get sorted out. There was a lot on that list…

  • post office
  • phone calls to many different service providers
  • hairdressers
  • errands – returning things, exhanging other things for correct sizes, etc.

I had about 20 things on the list (I call it a life admin list) so I sent it to Dion to see if he could take care of any of them. He took about 5 things off so there were still 15 things on that list.

Instead of having all of those things hanging over my head and merely chipping away at them, 2 – 3 errands a week, I decided to take a day’s leave to tackle that to do list – an errands day, if you want.

I was organised at the start of it and just went about the day, ticking things off that list one thing at a time.

It was fabulous.

I got it all done and even managed to relax a bit in the afternoon.

If you’re feeling like there are a ton of to-dos hanging over your head, I thoroughly recommend taking a day and dedicating it to errands to get it all done.

Have you ever taken an errands day?

How often do you take an errands day?

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