Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Five Most Common Daily Distractions

Distractions can be found in every aspect of our daily lives - both personal and professional. From phone calls to emails to text to meetings, unexpected interruptions can have a major impact on your productivity. That's why it's crucial to have a plan for keeping your productivity on track. To help and inspire you, here are five common daily distractions and ways to combat them.

1. Email....So Many Emails

It's not just the constant barrage of emails coming in, it's also the unreasonable expectation that you should respond to emails quickly. Try setting aside specific times during the day to check and respond to emails. You may also find it helpful to set boundaries with work-related emails, such as not responding after-hours or on the weekends.

2. Phone Notifications

It takes the brain an average of 23 minutes to get back on track after a distraction - and our phones buzz on average once every 12 minutes. No wonder it's so hard to stay focused! When you really need to focus, try putting your phone on silent and turning off unnecessary notifications. Just like with email, set specific times you'll check your phone during the day. If you find yourself still tempted to check your phone during hours you need to be focused and productive, you may find it best to leave it in your bag or even in a completely different room if you work from home.

3. Task-Switching

Task-switching, also known as multitasking, has actually been found to hinder productivity. Rather than trying to do multiple things at once, the most productive individuals focus on just one task at a time. If you've been a multitasker for a long time, you may find it challenging at first to just do one thing. Meditation can be a great way to retrain your brain to focus on the task at hand. Working from a prioritized list of tasks and taking short breaks throughout the day can also be effective ways to boost productivity.

4. Friends and Family

We all have people in our circles that unfortunately seem oblivious to the fact that we have our own agenda and things to get done. Whether it's a chatty coworker at the office or your mom dropping by during the day because you work from home, setting boundaries will help you stay on track and avoid unnecessary distractions. Be polite but firm, and if you want, offer an alternative time and/or place to get together.

5. Getting Distracted by Personal Duties

With so many people now working from home, it can be tempting to try and do some personal tasks during work downtime. It's best to set aside work hours for specifically focusing on work, and non-work hours for personal tasks. If you do choose to complete personal tasks during work hours, set aside blocks of time and use a timer to keep you focused and on task. Avoid doing this too often however, because it takes the brain a bit to regain focus after changing tasks and that time adds up!

The five common distractions we've outlined in this article can be extremely disruptive to our productivity. However, with a bit of organization and mindfulness, we can overcome these interruptions and stay on task. Utilizing the tips we've provided, such as setting aside specific times for checking emails or responding to texts, focusing on one task at a time, and taking breaks throughout the day, will help you boost your productivity and avoid unnecessary distractions.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

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Sunday, September 10, 2023

Tips for Getting Organized So You Can Better Plan Your Day

In order to be productive, it is important to get organized. This means creating a system where you can easily find what you need when you need it. It also means setting aside time for the tasks that are most important to you. A little bit of organization can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.

There are several ways you can go about organizing your tasks and responsibilities, and we've included some below to help you get started.

1. Set goals

Setting attainable goals can help you stay focused and productive. It's easier to organize your work into manageable tasks when you set specific goals with steps and a timeline. Be sure to create both short- and long-term goals to keep yourself on track!

2. Track progress

Tracking your progress is a great way to make sure you are accomplishing your goals in the timeframe you planned. It's also a really good way to keep yourself motivated - when you see how much progress you've already made it's a lot easier to keep going! You can also use progress tracking to help you figure out what times of the day and week you are the most productive and schedule your most important tasks for those times in the future.

3. Use a planner

A planner is an excellent way to assess the efficiency of your work schedule. You can use a planner to track your daily, weekly, and monthly goals and activities. You're more likely to achieve your objectives and recall important details when you keep a record of what has been done and what is coming up in the future.

There are many types of planners (also called agendas). Some planners have a space for every day, while others are weekly or monthly. Think about what kind of planner would best suit you and your work. If you work on your computer often, you could also consider using a digital planner or app.

It doesn't matter if you use a paper planner (yes, they are making a come-back!) or a digital planner - but the secret of being successful is using something to track you goals, to-do lists and your progress. 

If it's written down - it will more than likely get done - as opposed to just "thinking that you should do it...".

4. Create to-do lists

To keep up productivity throughout the day, try using a to-do list. To-do lists are simple yet highly effective lists that may assist you maintain focus throughout the day. Write down important activities on your to-do list and organize them by priority.

For example, you could place what you need to accomplish before the end of the day at the top of your list and what can wait until the next day at the bottom.

5. Keep a clean environment

You should be able to quickly and easily find everything you need and want in an organized workplace. This helps your workflow be more constant. Putting objects back where they belong, keeping personal things separate from work stuff, and straightening your work area every afternoon are all examples of keeping a clean environment. A clean workstation makes staying productive much easier.

Clutter in your workstation is a big distraction. Remove any thing from your workplace that you don't use on a regular basis. Tidy up your work area at the end of each day and declutter once a week in order to keep things clean and organized.

6. Clean up your email

If you’re like most people, your inbox is clogged with messages. Cleaning up your mail keeps it organized and makes it easier to locate important messages.

Create labeled folders in your email to manage all of your messages and filters to automatically organize new emails into their appropriate folders. Labeling emails helps you stay on top of replies and keeps important documents together in one location.


The goal of being more organized is to help you work more productively. When you're able to focus on your tasks and complete them in a timely manner, you feel better about yourself and your work. There are several tips listed here that will help you get started with becoming more organized and productive. Start out trying one or two at a time and see how they work for you. Remember, there is no one right way to be organized. Do what works best for you so that you can achieve your goals.

Organizational Consulting Services

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Sunday, September 3, 2023

Breaking Bad Habits: Planning for Setbacks

Having a home that is decluttered and organized takes a lot of work. It starts with a vision of what you want your home to look like. And then you need to create a plan on how to get there.

But for a lot of people – it also starts with breaking their “bad habits” (unlearning them) and learning “new habits”. Something as simple as not dropping your coat and backpack on the floor when you walk into your house – and putting it into a designated spot instead.

Once you have decided that you want to make changes to your home and life – people tend to go full speed ahead – usually without a plan – and then come to a grinding halt when things don’t go as fast as they thought they would or they become totally overwhelmed. 

 And then the guilt sets in….

Breaking bad habits can be a challenging and often frustrating process. It can be easy to fall off the wagon and revert to old habits. But it's vital to remember that setbacks are a normal part of the process and can actually be an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Here are several steps you can take to plan for setbacks and get back on track.

Forgive Yourself

It's important to be kind to yourself when you experience a setback. Don't beat yourself up or dwell on the mistake. Instead, recognize that it's a normal part of the process and move on.

Take a Break

Sometimes a setback happens just because you’re overworking yourself. Often you can put things right by going for a walk, or working on something else and coming back to the issue with a clear mind. Planning for frequent breaks will help you minimize the number of setbacks you experience.

Evaluate What Happened

Take some time to reflect on what led to the setback. For example, did you have a particularly stressful day that made it harder to stick to your habits? Did you get caught up in a social situation that made it difficult to resist temptation? Understanding the root cause and triggers surrounding the setback will help you develop strategies to prevent it from happening again.

Set Specific and Achievable Goals

Clear goals keep you focused and motivated as you overcome setbacks. Be sure to set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Be Flexible and Adaptable

Setbacks are a normal part of life. It’s vitally important to be flexible and adaptable in the face of them. If something isn't working, be willing to adjust your plan and try something new.

Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Stress majorly contributes to setbacks, so it's imperative to find healthy ways to manage it. Choose healthy options that are proven to work, like exercise, meditation, or talking to a therapist.


Don't let a setback discourage or derail your progress entirely. Instead, use it as an opportunity to start fresh. Set a new goal and make a plan to achieve it. Don't worry about how long it will take – just focus on taking small steps in the right direction.

Seek Support

It is helpful to have someone to talk to when trying to break a bad habit. A friend or family member who is supportive and understanding can encourage and help you stay motivated. You can also consider joining a support group or working with a coach or therapist to help you overcome your challenges.

Stay Positive

Getting discouraged during a setback is common, but staying positive and focusing on your progress is important. Remember that change takes time, and it's okay to have setbacks along the way.

Planning for setbacks is an important part of breaking bad habits. You can overcome setbacks and progress towards your goals by forgiving yourself, evaluating what happened, restarting, and seeking support. So don't get discouraged – keep moving forward, and you’ll live a better life through positive habits sooner than you think.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

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Monday, August 14, 2023

How Much Is Enough ?


How much stuff do we really need? How much is enough?

Do we really need 50 pairs of jeans? Or 50 pairs of shoes? Or 100 shirts? Or every new toy that comes on the market?

How many toys can a child play with at once? How many of their toys do kids actually even play with - once the novelty wears off?

What percentage of your clothes do you actually wear? Be honest! Most people only wear about 20 % of their clothes. A lot of people have clothes in their closet that still have the tags on them. Or if the tags are off the clothes - they still haven't worn them.

For a lot of people it's the "thrill of the hunt" - the "high of the buy". And then they quickly forget about their purchase.

Look around your home. What percentage of the things in your home do you actually use - on a consistent basis?

How much of the stuff is just "taking up space"?

Try going from room to room - and quickly look at the items in the room - and if you haven't used the item in a long time (or don't even remember having it) - maybe it's time to move it into the "donate" box (everyone has one - right?).

You might be surprised how quickly that box fills up!

Before you take out your credit card and buy more "stuff" - take a step back and think "do I really need this" and "do I have a specific place to put this". If the answer is "not really" - put that credit card back in your wallet and walk out of that store!

Having too much stuff in your home doesn't create a sense of calm. Your home should feel peaceful.

Clutter is noisy - so don't add more clutter to your home! Enough is enough.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

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Monday, July 31, 2023

5 Minute Organizing Ideas

5 Minute Organizing Ideas to Get You in the Habit

Pick one and ONLY one of the following challenges. Set a timer to see how much you can accomplish in just 5 minutes:

1.     Organize your sock drawer

2.     Organize your underwear drawer

3.     Organize your bra drawer

4.     Tidy up your scarves, ties, belts or caps

5.     Take all the shoes from the foyer and put them away

6.     Load the dishwasher

7.     Unload the dishwasher

8.     Start a load of laundry

9.     Put away the dry-cleaned clothes

10.   Put away toys outside (or in the play area)

11.   Put away stuffed animals

12.   Make your bed

13.   Organize one bathroom drawer

14.   Organize your skirts by color

15.   Organize your pants by color or style

16.   Organize your business shirts by color

17.   Organize your tank tops or sweaters

18.   Tidy up your bathroom

19.   Tidy up a bedroom

20.   Tidy up pillows around the house

21.   Organize one shelf in your pantry

22.   Organize one shelf in your freezer (toss expired items)

23.   Organize one shelf in your fridge (toss spoiled items)

24.   Tidy up your desk

25.   Tidy up your kitchen counters

26.   Tidy up your car

27.   Tidy up your garage counter

28.   Tidy up your tools

29.   Tidy up the shed

30.   Tidy up the front or backyard

31.   Prune a shrub

32.   Pick up some leaves

33.   Set up/take down holiday decorations

34.   Organize the mail on your desk (file, pay now, toss)

35.   File the mail in your ”To File” pile

36.   Pay your bills (online or write a few checks)

37.   Mail all your bills

38.   Empty your purse and reorganize it

39.   Organize and toss newspapers and magazines

40.   Organize your coupons (toss expired ones)

41.   Empty your Spam, Junk e-mail and Deleted folders

42.   Remove pictures from your digital camera

     43.   Plan meals for the week 

     44.   Organize your makeup – throw out old makeup

     45.   Organize your nail polish – throw out dried out bottles

     46.   Organize your coat closet – only current season coats should be in there

     47.   Organize your junk drawer

     48.   Organize under your kitchen sink

     49.   Organize one kitchen drawer

     50.   Clear off your coffee table

Congratulations! You have made your very first step toward a more organized home and a happier life. 

Sometimes, household organizing tasks seem so overwhelming that we don’t know where to begin. By breaking things down into 5-minute tasks, you will soon see how easy it is to make some real progress.

Be proud of yourself and celebrate how much clutter and disorganization you have tamed in just 5 minutes. Take a coffee break, go outside, write your accomplishments in your journal, and share with your friends. 

Happy Organizing!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest

*** check out the Products tab for self-paced workshops, planners and more....   

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Unsubscribe and Clear Out Your Email Inbox


In todays world of technology and everyone being connected 24/7 - it can get a bit overwhelming with the hundreds of emails that can appear in your Inbox everyday.

Whether it's your business account or your personal account - sometimes it seems like the emails just won't stop coming! Keeping up with email is a never ending challenge. 

A lot of people like to enter contests so that they can win money or houses or all kinds of great prizes. Some people sign up to receive email from various Blogs. Some people sign up to receive notices from stores about new merchandise or sales. It all adds up to getting inundated with emails and special offers.

And once you sign up for one thing - it seems to multiple the amount of emails you get.

The take away for all of this is - "be careful what you sign up for".  If you just "have to" enter all of these contests and get on store mailing lists - maybe consider creating an email account specifically for that purpose. This will help separate out the "junk / store email list" emails - from personal emails.

If you are not interested in those contests / stores / Blogs - anymore - unsubscribe from their list.

Make it a habit to delete your emails after you have read them or dealt with them.

If you have hundreds (or thousands) of emails in your Inbox - try to set aside a 10 miinutes a day and delete as many emails as you can. Or set up a certain number of emails to delete each day - for example - "deleting 20 emails a day". It can be overwhelming to think about your hundreds (or thousands) of emails - but if you delete a few each day - your Inbox will be a lot less overwhelming.

And after you are done with that.....don't forget to delete the emails in your "Sent" box also!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest

*** check out the Products tab for self-paced workshops, planners and more....   

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Simplify Your Life

How Living Simply Can Improve Your Life


Are you feeling overwhelmed by the fast pace and complexity of modern life? Maybe it's time to embrace a simpler lifestyle. Adopting a minimalist approach offers numerous benefits for your mental and emotional wellbeing and your overall life satisfaction.


Studies show that simplifying your life is the key to leading a more content and fulfilled lifestyle. Living simply allows you to cultivate mindfulness. It also reduces distractions, provides mental clarity, and puts you back in touch with your authentic self without the clutter of external influences.


Let’s explore several compelling reasons why living simply can truly improve your life.


Boost Your Mental Clarity


When you declutter your living space and reduce the number of possessions you own, you also clear your mind. Less clutter in your surroundings leads to less chaos in your thoughts, allowing you to think more clearly and make better decisions.


Save Time and Energy


Simplifying your life means eliminating unnecessary tasks and focusing on what truly matters. By prioritizing your time and energy, you create more space for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. This leads to a more efficient and satisfying daily routine.


Reduce Stress and Anxiety


A life full of clutter, commitments, and distractions is a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. Streamlining your life and focusing on what's essential reduces the sources of stress and anxiety, allowing you to find inner peace and tranquility.


Improve Your Financial Health


Embracing a simpler lifestyle often means cutting down on excessive spending and consumerism. With fewer material possessions to maintain and a focus on frugal living, you can save money, pay off debts, and create a more secure financial future.


Enhance Your Relationships


When you prioritize simplicity, you'll naturally have more time and energy to dedicate to the people you love. Focusing on meaningful connections instead of material possessions strengthens your relationships and creates lasting memories with your loved ones.


Promote Environmental Sustainability


Living simply goes hand in hand with being more eco-conscious. When you consume less, reusing and repurposing items while embracing a minimalist mindset, it significantly reduces your environmental footprint and contributes to a healthier planet.


Foster Personal Growth


Simplicity invites introspection and self-discovery. As you let go of unnecessary distractions, you create space for personal growth and self-improvement. As a result, you'll develop new skills, explore new passions, and evolve as an individual.


Now that you know the remarkable benefits of embracing a simpler lifestyle, why not give it a try? Will you take the first step towards transforming your life and experience the profound impact that living simply has on your wellbeing, relationships, and happiness?


Remember, the journey to simplicity starts with a single decision – prioritizing what truly matters in your life based on your principles, morals, values, and goals. So, what are you waiting for? Your journey begins now. To get started on the road to simplifying your life, ask yourself: “What can I do without?”


Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest

*** check out the Products tab for self-paced workshops, planners and more....