Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


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Flowers in the attic!

Do you remember that book series that was so popular in the ’80’s?  Flowers in the Attic.

The story of Cathy and Chris, two teen-aged siblings forced to live in hiding in the attic of their grandparents’ as their mom and grandmother hide them from their evil grandfather.

The first book came out in 1979 and was written by V.C. Andrews and I remember reading it when I was around fourteen and fifteen years old. It was a whole series of twists and turns, lies and love and tar in Cathy’s hair.  I’ve always remembered the tar.

The movie came out in 1987 and I remember not being able to wait to see it.  Only to be disappointed, of course…the movie is never as good as the book.

 

Why am I reminiscing this afternoon – – because my attic is so clean right now, that I could easily house two teenagers and their twin siblings.

I have an organized attic!  

How is it going on your word of the month?

Recall – this month’s word – ORGANIZE.

I’m wondering how it is going for you?

Two weekends ago I started organizing my attic.  I pulled everything out, sorted through things I didn’t want or need or use anymore.  Then I put everything back in order of “to store and keep” “luggage and other things I need a few times a year” and “seasonal”.  It feels so good!!!  Or course the rest of my house is still a mess as I sort through more stuff and get it ready for Craig’s List or sending it off to the Good Will.

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Looks like my attic threw up in my living room. Geez that’s a lot of stuff!

I hope you’re working on three projects that need organizing.  They don’t have to be as huge as an attic clean out.  Maybe you have a junk drawer that needs some organizing.  Maybe your bathroom closet could use some help – throw away all those expired medications once and for all.  Or maybe you’ll tackle your filing system like I plan on doing for my next goal.

Quick! – list one thing in the comments below that could use some organizing in your home or office.  What would it take for you to get started on it this afternoon?

 


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To Organize…

A number of  years ago, I called my mom to ask her for a recipe for her famous Sausage and Bean Soup.  She didn’t give it to me right then – we decided that I could get it the next time we talked.   We continued on our conversation for about ten more minutes and then it was time to go.

About a minute and a half after we hung up – – my phone rang again.

…it was my mom.

…with the recipe.

My mom is a really good cook.  I even dedicated my eBook to her.  She made a home-cooked meal almost every night that we were growing up.

She also has quite the recipe collection.

Yet, it was no surprise when she called back so quickly and had the recipe ready for me to transcribe.  You see, my mom is also quite organized.  I’ll spare you how we had to maintain our sock drawers while we were growing up.

My question to you is – how long would it take you to find a recipe?  Or the manual to the garage door opener?  Or your tax paperwork from 2003?  Or your sunglasses?

This month our Word of the Month is – Organize.  So let’s do just that.

I challenge you to pick three things that you have been wanting to and meaning to get organized over the last weeks, months, years – – and get them done!  It is still the very beginning of the month and you have plenty of time to accomplish this!

Why three?

Well – five seemed like too much and three was the last number of the year (13).

But in reality, if you haven’t done whatever it is you are planning on tackling with this month’s challenge – it is most likely because

a. you either don’t want to do it or

b. it is too big to do in one day.

Three seems like an achievable number of projects to complete in the month.

I would encourage you to find projects that need to be done (don’t pick something you routinely do like put laundry away), identify the supplies you’ll need and set some time aside either daily, every other day or weekly.  But schedule it in.  That part is important.  It is because you haven’t made time for it in the past, that you haven’t gotten it done today.

Go – block off some time on your calendar right now.

 

I’ll wait!

 

Great!!!

Now – I invite you to share with everyone in the comments below or on my Facebook page.  What are you going to tackle?  I can’t wait to hear what’ s on everyone’s agendas.

Let’s do this!!!

Happy Tuesday!

~Amy


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Pick a word, any word!

I stumbled across an interesting concept a few weeks ago while I was surfing the web.  Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, you pick one word to focus and inspire you throughout the entire year.  Have you heard of this before?

A couple of websites where I learned more about this idea are My One Word and One Word 365.

I love the idea  – and I’d love to capitalize on it for our purposes here.   Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. I can’t do a “one word” challenge for a year – clearly that would plagiarizing since it is already being done.
  2. To be really honest, I’m not sure I could come up with just one word that I could revolve my entire year around…that sounds like a lot of pressure; what if I pick the wrong word?
  3. And since we’re being honest, I think in my attention span wouldn’t last with an entire year with just one word.  I’d be lucky to make it to March.

Do you recall last week when I  wrote about enough talk – let’s start doing?  Here’s what I propose.

I’d like to challenge everyone to one word a month.  Unlike the above challenges where you get to pick your own word, I’ll be presenting a word for each month that will help us be more productive and  help us “find more minutes in our days.” 

My vision for this challenge is to offer my ideas, my personal progress, and suggestions on how to accomplish our word.  But I’d also love to  hear how people are grasping their one word for the month.  Share your story, ask some questions, encourage with your ideas.  Let’s start a conversation and see where this takes us.

I’m inspired by these ideas of focus – let’s get focused in 2013!

Happy Monday to you!!!

Amy

OH – – you want to know what the word of the month is for February?  – – Organize   ….I’ll explain more tomorrow….

 


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Back to school ideas

WOW!  Hard to believe that the summer is almost over.   Soon, my blog hiatus will be coming to an end too.  I’ll be back at the beginning of September bringing you daily time-saving tips.

But in the meantime, I thought I’d revisit some previous blogs I’ve written about back to school ideas and share then with you today

 

This tip written in August of 2010 is still a great idea for taking the hassle out of  the  I don’t know what to wear blues.

https://amymunns.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/school-days-tips/

 

This tip written last year helps with back to school clothes shopping.  This experience doesn’t have to be a bad one.

https://amymunns.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/could-it-be-back-to-school-already/

 

The final tip written in 2011 helps get your calendar organized.

https://amymunns.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/back-to-school-calendar-tip/

 

Hope you and your kids have a wonderful and successful school year.

See you in a couple of weeks!

~Amy

 

 


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Word Up Wednesday – – Delegate

It is interesting when I looked up the official definition to this word….all I found were links to the upcoming elections.  Well – DUH – Amy – we are in an election year and there is lots of talk about delegates.

But I’m looking at this word as in – delegate – – like to assign part of your workload to someone else.

Delegate: v;  to send or appoint (a person) as deputy or representative.

I think one of life’s most valuable lessons to learn how to delegate.  Yet, I feel , for small business owners, this is probably one of the hardest things to learn and to do.

For me, when I was running my own business I had a couple of issues that set up hurdles for me to delegate:

  1. I was very independent and felt as most small business owners, that I was able to perform every task needed for my company.
  2. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford delegating my workload to others.

Both of these situations are very common lines of thinking when I talk with other small business owners.  And one of the things I like about being a small business owner myself and now consulting with small business owners is the “I can do it” mentality.  But careful to not let this get in your way of yourself.   Yes, it is probably true that you can do “it” – whatever it may be.  But too many “its” and the service or product that you offer will begin to suffer.

It is important to take stock in the things in which you excel, the things  you with which you struggle and the things which you don’t like doing very much.

For example: when I wanted to convert my business from a sole-proprietor to a Corporation, I know in my heart and my mind that I would have been able to figure all that was needed to do this.  I mean, I have a BA in Business.  Surely, that should give me a leg up on knowing what to do.  But, I also admitted to myself that:

  1. I am not a lawyer, and
  2. I didn’t have the time to learn what was needed. Even from all I learned in college, I didn’t learn the intricacies of setting up a corporation.

So I allowed myself to hire a lawyer to handle this part of my company.  That was probably the best idea I ever had.  Not the becoming incorporated part (although that was pretty smart too), but the hiring a lawyer part.  He told me things about what was required that I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

A client of mine hates to do invoicing for her company.  I suggested she hire a bookkeeper to come in and do all her financials once or twice a month.  She did so and now she doesn’t put invoicing her clients off until the last-minute.  She saves herself many minutes each month not to mention the headache she doesn’t get anymore.

For personal or home management, it is important to realize where you can delegate certain tasks too.  Delegating household task can be to hired help, like a babysitter or a house cleaner.  But it can also roll into your kids.  Heck I’ve even delegated mouse patrol to my cat – – I mean – there are just some things I won’t do!

Seriously, there is no reason our kids can’t do household chores these days and I’m always amazed at parents whom I talk with that say “Junior can’t do that”.  And I ask…”have you had him try?”  I think kids as young as three should be delegated things to do.

WORD OF CAUTION!  I have learned it is best not to “delegate” household chores to your spouse or partner.  This gives the wrong impression that you are really in charge and/or have some superiority over your significant other.  It is best to use words like “share” or “let’s combine our efforts”.

One last thought – – trust.  It is important to trust the person to whom you delegate jobs.  Whether it is a co-worker you are asking for help on a project, an employee or a contractor…if you don’t trust them, they will fail.  And – it is oh so important to be specific in what you are looking for and when giving the details of the assignment.

Did you know I can help you with finding ways to delegate some of your tasks  – – and we’ll find more minutes in your day!  Give me a call…I’d love to chat and get things rolling.

Happy Wednesday!

~Amy

PS – we had a pretty good day, yesterday,  on our 100 for May challenge….will you help me sell 100 copies of my eBook, Making Time for Dinner this month?  Buy your copy today and ask your friends to do the same.  And thanks!


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Tips on Tuesday – Birthday Cards

Happy May!

Don’t you love receiving a birthday card?  I do!  I love seeing all the cards displayed across our mantle and I keep them up there for a couple of weeks until I take them down and tuck them away.

I think the art of sending birthday cards has fallen by the wayside with technology and hectic schedules.  But if you love receiving cards, I’m sure people would love to receive one from you.

And it is really quite easy to do.  And it takes just a little bit of planning.

Use the first day of each month as your jumping off point.  On this day, sign, seal, address each card you wanting to send out.  Write the date in the spot where the stamp will go.  When the time gets close, place a stamp over the date and stick it in the mail.

If you prefer to send eCards, many of these have a time set option where you can  put the exact date of delivery.

Then plan ahead for next month.   Make a list of whose birthdays are coming up and stock up on cards.  Then you’ll be ready for next month.

Over time this will become your habit and you’ll feel good about remembering your friend’s special days.

Happy Tuesday!

~Amy


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Tips on Tuesday – – The case for a clean closet

Here’s a question for you….how clean is your closet?

One of the biggest things I like to talk with people about when trying to find more minutes in their day is the importance of having organized systems.  When you are organized it not only takes less time to find things, it is less stressful on your mind.  What do I mean by that?

Well – it is simple – which of these pictures is easier on your eyes?

OR

 

I hope you picked the second one.  The second, cleaned version, is so much easier on your eyes and your mind.  Instead of mentally having to decipher what’s going on in that mess of a space in the first picture, the second photo is calming.

I personally find I can’t work – be it in my office, the kitchen or my car – if the areas are trashed.  I find it too distracting, too maddening to sort through papers and piles to find a clear space to work.  I notice my focus isn’t as clear and I easily get discouraged or overwhelmed.

If  you are struggling with everyday tasks and finding yourself always wishing  you had more time or were more focused to get things done…try clearing your workspace…even if it is just moving the piles off to the floor for a bit.  Test this idea and see if that doesn’t also clear your mind.

Need help setting up a system to stay organized?  Let’s talk.  I’d love to help!

~Amy