5 ways to give your brain less to think about, so you can focus on what matters

DSC05613

The constant flurry and availability of information at work, and life in general, makes it challenging to focus. Distractions and interruptions are something we are all learning to manage effectively in order to make the most of our time and creativity.

Daniel Levitin, bestselling author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, says:

“Highly successful people have learned to maximize their creativity and efficiency, by organizing their lives so that they spend less time on the mundane, and more time on the inspiring, comforting, and rewarding things in life.”

Here are some of Levitin’s suggestions for creating the calm that comes from simplifying your daily routine:

Give things a place.  Use bowls, trays, hooks, and baskets for your keys, wallets, and purses. Keep a tote by the door for outgoing mail, packages, and dry cleaning. Storing and retrieving becomes automatic.

Create visual cues for remembering important things.  Posting a note on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator, or placing an empty milk carton in your car, will jog your memory when you’re in the flow of your daily routine.

Focus.  Try setting a timer for 45-50 minutes and work on one task without interruption. Research says you shouldn’t intersperse little tasks (like checking email) throughout your day.  Allocate a couple blocks of time each day to take care of the smaller tasks.

Don’t over-organize. “The obvious rule of efficiency is you don’t want to spend more time organizing than it’s worth. If you’re finding things quickly enough as it is, then don’t go to all the trouble.”

Don’t dilly-dally over things that don’t matter. “Figure out what your time is worth or what you and your company stand to gain or lose, and figure out how much time is worth investing in the decision.”  Prioritize.

Conquer Clutter

design-clutter

It’s time to put a plan in place. Getting your tasks and projects in order and making an effort to stay organized is a momentum changer. For affordable solutions and creative ideas contact: diane@positiveworkspace.com or 704-236-9181

7 Solutions to Kickstart Your Year

After a weekend of excessive inaction due to a series of setbacks, reading this quote Monday morning was the turning point to clarity and a much-improved mindset.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage… get busy.” Dale Carnegie

Knowledge of what boosts your mindset can have tremendous effect on your outlook and success. Here are 7 Solutions for better results in the upcoming year.

  1. MusicCan the Right Music Make You Feel More Powerful?
  2. You Are What You Eat, It’s True
  3. Self-Care: Indulge Yourself by Adding One Splurge Item   
  4. Good Sleep, According to Science
  5. A Clean Desk
  6. Trigger WordsSimplicity is one of my Words for the year; it has a calming effect when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  A trigger word is also helpful when wanting to stop negative thoughts.
  7. Money: Make A Promise to Take Control of Your Finances Organized paperwork can create a dramatic change in how you interact with your money. Personal Finance Book List 

Happy 2015!

A new year is a fresh start.

JB

You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward; start small and be okay with imperfection.

1.  Get clear and get organized. “A cluttered desk mentally exhausts you by restricting your ability to focus and limits your brain’s ability to process information,” according to a Princeton University study.

2.  Set personal goals that match your values, and see the opportunities for growth and joy on the path to your goals.

3.  Make lists. “Lists are concrete reminders of your hopes and desires, and are a wonderful tool of empowerment.” Richard Branson

The year is yours. What will you do with it?

A believer of choosing “words” over resolutions to accomplish my goals, here are my words for 2015:

  • Simplicity
  • Curiousity
  • Fun
  • Effort

 

The Pursuit of the Right Things

LKN-PMApplying a more selective criteria for what is essential is always beneficial — but even more so this time of year, with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaching.  Gaining control of your choices and identifying what is most important, will make the holidays more enjoyable for you and those you celebrate with.

Greg McKeown doesn’t believe in having it all or doing it all, and his new book Essentialism offers advice for getting more out of life by doing less:

“… the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter.”

Helping my clients embrace the idea of living with less is the first step in organizing their spaces. Whether downsizing or wanting a more creative and organized workspace — removing the visual clutter, clears so much mental clutter.  If you need help getting started or a plan for learning to live with less, contact me at diane@positiveworkspace.com.

What is most important to you?

 

Failure: Learn From It and Try Again

PM-M2

Learning to deal with setbacks and failures is something we can always improve on. In this interview with Marie Forleo, Cathy Collaut discusses her 4-step system to overcoming devastating setbacks and the kinds of conclusions that are appropriate and inappropriate to draw, as a result of them.

Here is an overview of the 4 Steps:

Step #1 –  You must learn to deal with setbacks and failures with clarity, constancy, and confidence, if you’re going to live a life worth living.

Step #2 –  Successful people fail just as often, if not more, than unsuccessful people. How you respond to failure is what’s important.

Step #3 –  Celebrate the effort, not the result. Genuinely applaud yourself for trying.

Step #4 –  Don’t let specific failures become global; confine your conclusions to this specific “try”.