Happy Spring! Let the decluttering begin…



Somebody recently asked me (with a bit of skepticism) if I really think decluttering makes a difference.

Yes, I REALLY do believe in clutter-free living – not sterile, super-tidy, or extreme minimalism – just an organized system for the things you love and use.

Clutter has a negative effect on some pretty important intangibles in the course of a day:

  • moods
  • productivity
  • energy level
  • creativity
  • focus

Clutter is anything that doesn’t serve you, but takes up space in your world.  We all know what a distraction smart phones can be while we’re using them, but did you know your phone doesn’t even have to be in your hand to decrease your cognitive abilities? According to two studies from the University of Southern Maine, “the mere presence of a cell phone can reduce the quality of your task performance.” For tasks that demand full attention – try putting your phone out of sight.


If you want to organize your workspace but don’t know where to start, later this month I’ll have a step-by-step mini-course available – The Organized Workspace. The course is designed around simplicity: simple systems, broad filing categories, visual cues and being very selective about what items to keep.


Remember to Bring Inspiration to Your Office Space


Personalizing your workspace to make it more inspiring is just as important as setting up filing systems. I’m working with a client now who is an amazing gardener (a Master Gardener!) and talented sewer. After we finish getting her office in order – 2 additions will be, vases for garden clippings and a bulletin board featuring her vintage Simplicity pattern designs.

Here is a fun article written by my daughter for Business Insider - The unusual items Mark Cuban, Oprah Winfrey, and 10 other successful people have in their offices - that should help spark your creativity in personalizing your office. Don’t forget the fun factor when setting up your workspace.


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


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


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.


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