Organising your friends

Keeping in contact with friends |www.OrganisingQueen.comI have a spreadsheet with a list of all my friends (not Facebook friends, real friends) down the first column, and then the months of the year along the top.

The purpose of this spreadsheet is not pure nerdiness, but it’s to help me keep contact with the people that matter to me in life.

My spreadsheet is set up to default to red if I haven’t yet seen a person for the year, and the minute I enter a date when we had a social, the red (conditional formatting) disappears.

I resisted doing this for a while but then finally, I gave in to my nerdy self and accepted that I need “help” to track these sorts of things.

These days I update the spreadsheet every month on Goals Night, and use it to “target” some friends if I haven’t seen them enough.

I’m usually happy-ish to take on this responsibility because I realise most people don’t have a spreadsheet.

Or do they?????

Do you have a spreadsheet or similar?

How do you keep track so you’re in regular contact with your friends?

Would you like a copy of my book?

Hi friends

I’ve had a few queries about people buying a copy of my book from me.

It’s available on the Kindle, in PDF and a physical (real) book. With the Rand even weaker than before, I do think it’s a good idea for me to order a box of books and then I can send to you via South African (tracked) mail.

If you’re local and you like a physical book to highlight and write in (I do the same to my non-fiction), let me know if you’re interested. I won’t hold you to it – I just need to get an idea of how many to order. The book, postage and packing will be in the region of R125 – R135 all inclusive (I just need to go get prices of the bubble wrap envelopes and what postage currently costs before I confirm).

One of my very faithful readers (Hi Laura!) told me in the past that she reads my book every time she needs a kickstart to organise her home. I love that it is inspiration – thrills me :)

Live Organised | www.OrganisingQueen.com

If you’re interested, leave a comment here, on instagram, on facebook or email me on marcia@organisingqueen.com.

Thank you!

{Weekend inspiration} Phone stacking

I’m listening to an audio book at the moment. Thrive by Ariana Huffington.

I’m still trying to figure out my groove with these audio books but while that’s happening, I keep a notebook on the seat next to me in the car and jot down a few keywords that will hopefully help me to remember what I was thinking afterwards when I try to blog about it.

I said hopefully because the other day I looked in my work notebook and I had absolutely no idea what my own notes meant :o

Phone stacking | www.OrganisingQueen.com

In talking about being addicted to our phones, she mentioned a new thing which I think is a fabulous idea.

Apparently when a group of people get together for supper/ lunch/ whatever, everyone tosses their phone onto the middle of the table. The first one who grabs their phone to do anything – take a call, send a message, take a photo, etc – has to pick up the bill for the whole table.

Fabulous idea to keep focussed on connecting with friends or family, and not on the devices.

Phone stacking | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I often forget to take out my phone because of too much talking but I’ve got to confess – if the light is perfect and the food looks photogenic, I’m usually the one taking a picture. I won’t post it to Instagram right there and then (unless the friend I’m with goes to the bathroom), and sometimes not ever, but light + pretty = photo :)

Still, I really don’t like wasting money so if my friends and I agreed on rules like this, I’m sure I wouldn’t grab my phone.

What about you?

Would you be picking up the bill?

PS There are only 24 hours left til the pay what you want sale is over.

Whom do you envy?

I know I’m on a bit of a Gretchen Rubin kick but stay with me.

Guys, her podcast is so, so good.

I listened to one this morning where they asked this question:

Whom do you envy?

www.OrganisingQueen.com

They spoke about how, if you envy someone, you need to ask yourself what it is about that person that makes you envy them.

Then, flip it around and say, “how can I create this in my life?”

Isn’t that great?

I thought about how, on Instagram, we see all these beautiful images of lives well-lived, well-travelled, well-organised, well-parented :) and it’s easy to get a bit envious sometimes.

But what if we said, “ok I envy this person’s life because they travel  a lot and I want to travel”.

Next – how can I create more travel in my own life?

(and this is where we set goals and make a plan :))

www.OrganisingQueen.com

Just knowing which way you want to go and firstly, naming it and getting clear on your intention is a great place to start.

I chatted with some work colleagues briefly this morning and the one girl was saying she’d love to take a sabbatical for about 3 – 4 months but she doesn’t think she’d be able to do it.

I said, “I did it, and I thoroughly recommend it. You can do it!”

It might not be next month but you set your intention, narrow your focus and you just start working towards it.

I guess my point is this – don’t just envy – identify what it is you’re envious about and start taking action to get there.

What kinds of things/ people are you envious of and can you pinpoint why that is?

PS Oh, my financial freedom e-course is still on the pay-what-you-want sale til this Saturday.

Gretchen Rubin’s strategy of convenience

Gretchen Rubin talks about the strategy of convenience in her new book, Better Than Before.

I bought the Audible version and will listen to it after I finish listening to my current book.

(incidentally, interesting fact – the thing I spent the most of my discretionary income on in February is…. audible.com purchases :))

But I remember reading a post on her blog and I’ve just found it for you here.

The theory is that to create a good habit, one of the strategies that will help you is if you make things extremely convenient and in so doing, hopefully you’ll create that good habit.

When I talk about this in my workshops, I call it setting yourself up for success. But same difference.

I can think about two examples in my life: one fairly old and one exactly 21 days old today.

I’ll talk about the old one now and the new one next week.

Strategy of convenience |www.organisingqueen.com

We go to gym as a family every Saturday morning.

We give ourselves no excuses. Doesn’t matter if we’re late (we very often are), we’re cold, we have 50 other things on the to-do list, we just do it. I told Dion a few weeks ago that it’s such a slippery slope to fall out of the habit; I just don’t want to take a chance.

Some days we’ve only made it to exercise 40 out of the 60 minutes, but we go anyway. Say it with me – 40 minutes is better than nothing!

I need a lot to get going for exercise in the morning as I’m the furthest thing from a morning person you could find.

I set everything ready for gym – my bottle ready with water, my Weigh-Less folder (we pop in on the way), my Granny Smith apple for straight afterwards. I also put out my takkies (sports shoes) with socks, gym pants/ shorts, T-shirt and sports bra.

When I wake, I literally roll out of bed, get into my clothes and I’m ready after a few minutes in the bathroom.

Strategy of convenience |www.organisingqueen.com

It occurs to me that this is exactly what I do so I don’t forget anything in the morning – I also (mostly) set out clothes, but I definitely pack lunch and my bag every evening without fail. I can’t stand to forget something important just because my brain’s not sharp in the morning.

Two questions for you:

How do you use the strategy of convenience in your life?

Can you think of a habit you need to cultivate where the strategy of convenience would help you?

My first pay-what-you-want sale

Today’s sale is on the 10 steps to your financial freedom e-course.

10 lessons, 1 a week, delivered to your inbox to work through in your own time.

Read more here.

I’m not bragging but I do believe God’s gifted me with wisdom in this area.

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It’s a pay what you want sale, but the minimum amount is $15. The e-course normally retails for $37.

Happy financial freedom :)

My 5 favourite podcasts

On Wednesday I wrote about how I’m using more audio in my life.

One of those things is listening to podcasts so it’s only right that I share 5 of my favourites with you today:

1. Elise gets crafty

I love this podcast and have listened to it most consistently. She is a goals girl like I am and I love listening to her talk on creativity, business, goals, etc.

ELISE GETS CRAFTY

2. Hopeologie

The Nester, her sister and her dad. LOVE this one. I am really tempted to subscribe to get their paid podcast too. If this 20-something minute one is so fun, imagine a full-length one :)

Hope*ologie

3. HappierGretchen Rubin and her sister

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

I listen to this one with Dion in the car because it’s short – between 20 and 25 minutes – and super fun. Give it a try.

Best? Gretchen has amazing instructions so hers was the easiest podcast for someone like me to subscribe to :) That’s how I learnt about the podcast app.

I mentioned on Wednesday that I’ve just bought her latest book. Here’s the 4 tendencies post too :)

4. The Lively Show

A new-to-me blogger, I don’t know why, but she is amazing. Like my younger, more successful sister :) because she talks about living with intention too.

She really has a great interviewing style and I so enjoy listening to these podcasts.
The Lively Show

5. The Big Boo Cast

This one is pure fun. I love Southernisms so I really just listen for the accents while tidying my study and so on :) But I have read each of their first books

The Big Boo Cast

I don’t subscribe to all of them in itunes because when a new one is released it gets downloaded (and chews up your storage) immediately.

Tell me about your favourite podcasts.

How I’m using audio to work for me

I’ve mentioned before how I’m a visual learner.

60% of us are visual learners, by the way.

It turns out though that if you use audio and visual content together, you can increase your goals effectiveness :)

Using audio books, products and podcasts |www.organisingqueen.com
Here are a few ways I’m using audio:

1. Audio books

A few months ago, Modern Mrs Darcy wrote a really great post about audio books answering all the questions I didn’t know I had :)

I wasn’t convinced that listening to fiction was going to work for me but I’m always willing to give something a go, so I decided to try getting some non-fiction.

I signed up for Audible‘s gold membership and got my first book, Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map. It was a great one to start off my experiment – Danielle has a fantastic voice and the book is not too long. I think it was about 6 hours.

After that I was hooked.

I couldn’t wait for my monthly membership day (24th of the month) so I bought a book sooner (Overwhelmed) and devoured it.

Confession – I tried listening to a work of fiction too and after about 5 minutes, I was done. I found that I want to read fiction by myself. Maybe it’s because I’m a fast reader? I don’t know.

Using audio books, products and podcasts |www.organisingqueen.com
Some precautionary notes:

1. Download your book in a wifi zone.
2. Turn off “use cellular data” on your phone before listening otherwise the download will use up all your data (unless that’s not a problem for you – it is for me)
3. Make sure your phone is charged before driving anywhere. One afternoon after work, I jumped in the car, turned on my book and my phone lasted just 5 minutes before the battery was flat. Do you know how frustrating that is?

I’m really enjoying my commute these days (something I never thought I’d say) simply because I can learn something while driving and I don’t have to think about the traffic.

This is the crazy part – some days I even hope for a few minutes longer in the car if I need to finish a chapter!

2. Audio Bible

My favourite Bible app, simply called The Bible has an audio built in. I listen in the car and I then read the same chapters at another time.

I’ve found that doubling up helps things stick in my mind much better than just using the one method of learning.

Using audio books, products and podcasts |www.organisingqueen.com

3. Podcasts

Podcasts work for me much the same as my audio books do except they’re “lighter” in content (or maybe that’s just the ones I listen to).

I’m really enjoying listening while driving, and also while cooking or tidying, if I’m alone in a particular part of the house.

I’ll be posting a list of some of my favourite podcasts this Friday. Do come back to take a look.

4. Bonus – Audio products

There are many audio products out there (teleseminars and so on) that can help solidify your learning too. I’ve listened to many on goal-setting and also business products like How to charge what you’re worth :)

I have a couple in the store like Break out of overwhelm, 7 steps to organise your office, and there are two audios in the Organise your Time ecourse. Have a look here and take your pick.

Have you joined the audio bandwagon yet?
Which books do you recommend?

P.S. while writing this article, I bought another book, Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before. Can’t wait to listen!

PPS I think I need to join my friend, Beth, on a spending fast in May. Don’t you think it’s a fabulous idea? The last time I joined her I broke my Exclusive Books monthly habit.

So, March was interesting…

March was… interesting.

Goals review | www.OrganisingQueen.com

This is called Peasant’s Bread. I’ve pinned the recipe on my baking board —>>

Work was/ is super crazy, so much so I went in last weekend and worked a full 7 hours uninterrupted. It was great though because after that stint, I was more up to date and I slept beautifully. The previous two nights I’d had over an hour of restlessness which is not like me at all, so I needed to do something.

If something isn’t working in your life, don’t wait for things to go completely off the rails. Instead, do something to take action.

Goals review | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Highlights and lowlights

  1. Got some work done in our garden (much more to do).
  2. Took 5 photowalks with the kids bringing our total up to 14 as at the end of March.
  3. Tried 3 new recipes (recipes are on my cooking and baking boards). The cooler weather is great for getting in the kitchen again :)
  4. Michael Buble. The concert was FABULOUS!
  5. My average sleep for the month is 6 hours 58 minutes. I’m thrilled that I’m at the 7 hour mark. Not going on Instagram before bed helped a lot.
  6. Read 7 books! I’m going to blog a bit more this month about this book.
  7. Booked a last-minute holiday.
  8. Cancelled both Love Languages workshops due to lack of interest. I am still not sure what the problem is and this is the thing that is concerning because a few years ago, my relationships workshops were the most popular :( Of everything I offer this is probably the most fun to the general population (and super-useful). Thoughts and ideas?

Goals review | www.OrganisingQueen.com

For April

  1. I’ll be talking to a group of Johannesburg bloggers on Creating a beautiful life so I need to get clear about exactly what I want to say and prepare that talk.
  2. Decide on dates for next workshops, and advertise.
  3. Get my sleep average up to 7 hours 15 minutes per night.
  4. Keep moving and getting outside. April is one of my favourite months. Not only is it our anniversary month, but it’s Easter and Freedom Day. And AUTUMN in full swing. The leaves are just beautiful at this time of year.
  5. Try another 3 recipes.
  6. Finish photo organising for March

What happened last month for you?

Tell me just one thing you want to do in April.

I’m on holiday!

Happy April everybody

It’s school holidays so we’re on a mini-break in a beautiful part of the country renowned for forestry. This holiday is part of one of my goals for the year (to take 3 family holidays).

I actually took a couple of photos of the trees but they’re all blurry. Turns out taking pics from a moving car is more challenging :) This one was a bit better but if you’re on Instagram, follow me at @marcia0608 for much better photos.

Happy April

I haven’t done my goals for the month yet. How about you?

How did March go and what do you have planned for April?

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