How I Easily Save Time Each Day

Save TIme Every Day with the Moment App

In my work recovering from my chronic procrastination and in teaching others to do the same, I have found that learning how to save time is essential.  When we use our time mindfully, we are better able to resist the lure of procrastination and we are able to find more satisfaction across each day.

The more we figure out ways to save time, the more we feel:

  • empowered
  • calm
  • focused
  • capable
  • centered
  • grounded

But there is more. 

The more we learn how to use our time mindfully, the less we feel:

  • distracted
  • harried
  • overwhelmed
  • incompetent
  • out of time

Time appears to expand when we are mindful of our time and when our focus is clear.  The opposite happens when we fall behind schedule, are worried about the future, and feel unclear and overwhelmed about what to do next.  Time contracts when we feel stressed.

How I Easily Save Time Each Day by Using the Moment App

I had been hearing about the Moment App, a free tool that tracks how much time users spend on their phone.  I figured I should give it a try, since I’m game for any productivity-enhancing app.

I approached it with some resistance — the resistance of seeing how much time I was ACTUALLY spending on the phone.  You might know what I mean here.

I made it a promise to myself to go through with the experiment by announcing on Instastory that I was going to use the app.  That sealed the deal.

Then I worked a full work day with the Moment App tracking my phone use from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm.  The results were: 

1 hour and 24 minutes of screen time and 19 pickups

The results didn’t blow me away (either in a good or bad way), so I decided to continue using it for a few more days.

Now those results I paid attention to. 

I initially saw my phone time go way up — probably because it was the weekend.  And it went up substantially.  Enough to make me take note. 

Then after another few days, I realized the extra self-awareness I had because of the Moment App encouraged me to curb my phone use.  My self-awareness was now switched to “ON.”

Whenever I just wanted to linger on the phone a little longer I didn’t. 

When I had no specific reason to pick up the phone I didn’t. 

Bam.  That right there probably saved me an hour a day.  Pretty sweet.

I encourage you to move past your own resistance to looking at your own behavior and life.  I highly recommend the Moment App, but if you have some other way to examine your actions more closely and to save time that works for you, do that. 

I’d say there are few investments better than those that rescue your time.

Enjoy having more time and more freedom in your day.

Before You Go

What will you do with all of your new-found time?  Take advantage of the time you will save with the Moment App.  I’ve designed the TIME TRACKER sheet to help you plan your actions and ensure you’ll feel good about what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day.  The TIME TRACKER sheet will encourage you to be strategic about your planning and to be mindful of what you do and don’t do.

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How to Use Your Schedule to Find More Time for Yourself

Use your schedule to find more time for yourselfTime is very tricky.  Time can slide by us.  Time can get away from us.  We can throw time away.  We can crave more time.  We can even arrange our schedule so to make more time for ourselves.

Fascinating.  (Let’s do that last one.)

I want to help you feel like you have control over your time and that you have enough time to do what you want and need to do.  Fortunately, the process for getting sanity in your schedule is neither complex nor out of your reach.  You can do this.  It does take a bit of planning though.

How to Use Your Schedule to Find More Time for Yourself

Step 1. Download and use the Emergent Task Planner

The Emergent Task Planner

The Emergent Task Planner (a free download)

The Emergent Task Planner is a single sheet free download from David Seah.  Grab your Emergent Task Planner here.  Use it to organize your activities over a single day, plan your priority items, track your time usage, and keep tabs on your entire To Do list.

You will feel more connected to your plans if you write them down and if you see them written down. You will feel more inclined to get something done when you see the range of things you have to get done laid out in front of you in an organized way.

Gone are the days where you just hope that your tasks get done before the end of the day. You’ve got a plan now.

Step 2.  Commit to Accurate Scheduling

Here’s where the planning starts to pay off.

Get in the habit of assigning a time for each of your to do list items to be done.  Build upon that habit by making sure you do things as you have planned.  Each task has its own time slot.  You will know what to focus on just by looking at your schedule.  No need for confusion or indecision anymore.

This step will be difficult to follow through on at first if you have been Procrastinating for a while.  Just stick with the idea and practice of accurate scheduling and take things day-by-day.  You will soon be able to work in synch with time instead of feeling like you are always falling behind.

Step 3. Avoid overwhelm

Procrastinators are accustomed to feeling overwhelmed.  Overwhelm can take so many different forms including:

  • not having enough time
  • feeling incredibly anxious
  • feeling pressured by expectations from others
  • not being organized
  • being exhausted from lack of sleep
  • not knowing what to do next

Keeping your activities organized with the Emergent Task Planner will help you avoid overwhelm.  Accurate scheduling will also help you to to feel calm. You can take the planning one step further by making sure you make room in your schedule for proper rest and breaks, good meals, socializing, exercise, and sleep.  When you arrange your schedule mindfully, it will support your progress and sense of well-being throughout the day.

Make sure you remember to plan sanity into your schedule.  We cannot function like robots because we are not robots.  We need to take care of ourselves first, before we can do good work for ourselves and others.

Step 4.  Eliminate anything unnecessary

In order to have sanity in our schedule, we need to have a To Do List and a Not To Do List. We need to make decisions about what to eliminate and to make them wisely.

These decisions can feel tough, because many of us like to cram every.little.thing.under.the.sun into our schedule.  It can feel fun to try everything, but if we are being real, we need to come to terms with the truest of truths — we cannot do it all.

Consider what you might do without, so you can have more sanity for yourself:

  • binge watching television shows or movies
  • monitoring the news constantly
  • reading the entire Internet every time you pick up your phone
  • worrying and second-guessing
  • saying “yes” to everything

I know, it’s a tough list to think about.  It might be tougher to take this important step of cutting something out of your schedule.  Please know that your decision to manage your time more carefully will actually bring you more enjoyment and freedom in your life — not less.

When you make good decisions about how you use your time, you will end up feeling like you have more time to use.  You’ll need to trust me at first on this one, but that’s okay because these strategies really work.

Love your schedule, love yourself

You might feel some resistance to the idea of using your schedule to combat Procrastination.  After all, there are so many factors that make it seem like Procrastination is here to stay.  But, as we all know, Procrastination is the thief of time and a pain in the a**, and time is truly precious.  So let’s start moving so we can kick Procrastination out the door.

Let’s remember to be kind to ourselves as we try new techniques and ideas.  Let’s not get overly frustrated when things don’t feel like they are going perfectly from the start.  It is important to stay the course.  Love your schedule in order to love yourself.  The rewards of finding productivity and flow after leaving Procrastination behind are tremendous.  Don’t miss them.

Related reading:  

7 Tips to Help You Become a Master Scheduler

 

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My Latest Greatest Secret Weapon for Getting Things Done

A secret weapon for getting things doneGetting things done is a high-priority item for me since I’ve recovered from chronic Procrastination.  Alongside my recovery has been an avid interest in exploring tools, tricks, and apps that might help me to get things done more quickly and easily.  I want to share with you my latest and best find, which has helped me in small ways that have yielded tremendous results.

The app is called Magnet.  As far as I can tell, it is an app that is used for laptop or desktop screens, and not smartphones.  But that’s great, because Magnet will change the way you work on your laptop or desktop.

What it does is simple.  Magnet enables you to click your work to the left/right/bottom/top of your screen so you have room to view another part of your work on the other available part of your screen.  Basically, the app allows you to split your screen so you can see different sets of information on the same screen without having to toggle between tabs on your computer.

Wham!

Here’s a sense of what Magnet can do with what’s on your screen:

Magnet is an app for getting things done!

This is such a timesaver.  But what I have found is that it makes my efforts to create a new blogpost or on-line course (or anything I’m writing on my laptop) so much easier.  I can stay in “flow” with my course of action because I don’t have to switch my brain off in order to find another piece of information from another tab.  This app proves that a simple idea can have the most powerful effect.

I hope you’ll take my word on this one and give Magnet a try.  Use it to multi-task (#shiver), to toggle between tasks, or manage your empire.  Enjoy getting things done with ease and of course, the extra time that comes with that.  Boom!

P.S.  If you use a PC, please research options for split-screen apps or options for PC users.  Working without the need to switch back and forth is wonderful.

Please share any tips, tricks, or apps you might secretly use to rock your productivity. We’d love to know!  Remember to join the Procrastination Coach Facebook Group for camaraderie, support, and information on getting things done if you haven’t already.  Let me know how I might be able to help you in your efforts to get rid of your Procrastination in the Facebook group. Finally, to receive access to a Free Resource Library for Procrastination Coach readers, please click this button  –> Click Here to Get Access

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What Can Minimalism Offer to Procrastinators?

A look into how a minimalist lifestyle offers the recovering Procrastinator many more choices for freedom, growth, and personal calm.

 

Why all the fuss about Minimalism lately? How might it be relevant to you in your attempts to recover from Procrastination?

My plan today is:

  • to describe some of my own history with Minimalism and how it enabled me to embrace Procrastination recovery;
  • to share some things I learned this week after watching a screening of the Minimalism: A Documentary about the Things that Matter;
  • to recommend some wonderful bloggers who offer great content and inspiration for people looking to make positive changes for themselves; and
  • to inspire you to give Minimalism a try.

My own relationship with Minimalism

I haven’t written much about the actual steps I have taken to recover from Procrastination, but I can tell you that going simple and minimalistic was the very first step I took.

When I simplified my belongings, I stopped tripping over my stuff. Literally stopped tripping. That was a plus.

After that, I became more effective in the mornings, because I didn’t have to get through as much stuff. Another plus.

Soon after that, I started worrying less, sleeping better, and making better choices.

I really could go on and on, and I will because I think it’s important to share these growth points:

  • I was clearer mentally
  • my schedule became saner
  • I commuted to my office with a sense of calm instead of with a sense of dread or a panic about being late
  • I began to look more put together, because all of these small steps and decluttering led me to look that way
  • I was able to spend more time — really good time — working on the projects and relationships that mattered most to me
  • I explored more methods to break away from Procrastination
  • I started this blog!

Need I say more????

What I learned from a documentary by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists

I had the pleasure of attending the screening of the movie Minimalism: A Documentary about the Things that Matter this week.

*Now imagine me making a two thumbs up gesture.*

The documentary was informative, eye-opening, enlightening, and well-crafted. The love for the message of Minimalism was obvious throughout. The film drove home the message that we all have tremendous power over our own choices, and our choices matter so much.

Here are some of the lessons I took away from the film:

Minimalism allows you to work on your personal development. It takes the focus off success for success’s sake and puts the spotlight on the things and people that are important to you.

“Minimalism is not a radical lifestyle, it’s a practical lifestyle.” — Joshua Fields Millburn, of The Minimalists.

When we adopt a minimalist style of living, we come to value what we have instead of feeling anxious about what we don’t. That process of learning how to add value to our lives without pulling out our credit cards feeds our sense of well-being. We can develop our sense of personal freedom when we are not weighed down by our need to hunt (for stuff) or by the latest marketing message or throw-away fashion trend. We have enough => We are enough.

And now, my groupie fan-girl picture for your viewing pleasure #likemeetingtheBeatles:

The Minimalists and Me

What does this mean for you?

As with recovery from Procrastination, going minimal is a step-by-step process, where you learn more about yourself with each step. You go against the well-worn grain by making these changes, but these changes re-instill your sense of gratitude for the life and opportunities you’ve been given and those which you’re about to have.  That’s a plus.

You gain confidence in yourself and in your choices. Another big plus.

Yes, you get so much from going minimal. Funny, right?

If you’re struggling under the burden of Procrastination, I very sincerely encourage you to explore what Minimalism has to offer.

As promised, a list of helpful resources to get you started in your exploration:

One final resource is MY MINIMALISM START, a planning sheet I put together to guide you in your first steps towards trying out Minimalism.  Everything on the sheet is doable within the space of a single day.  It’s simple and practical.

Click here to receive the MY MINIMALISM START planning sheet to help you get on your way today!

It seems I have a lot to say about a movement that tends towards the minimal.  I think you’ll find when you try going in this direction, like I have, that embracing the tenets of Minimalism brings you energy, focus, and spirit like crazy.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

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How to Develop a New Habit and to Break Old Ones (with a Free Download)

Habit Tracker

Repetition is your friend.  Repetition allows you to get comfortable.  It allows you to feel at ease in your performance.  It allows you to preserve your mental space for more complex matters you need to concentrate on. But sometimes, being able to repeat certain behaviors seems to be a very hard thing to accomplish.  There are many reasons for this:

  • we forget
  • we get busy
  • we get distracted
  • we lose faith in our ability to keep our behavior on track
  • we get bored when we think of the idea of having a “routine”
  • the excitement wears off

One habit that has been supremely hard for me to develop is meditating in the morning. We’re talking years of on-and-off “trying” to meditate.

I decided to design a printout for myself to keep track of what I was and was not doing for the last week in July.  This printout was meant to satisfy my desire to put pen to paper and to “see” what I was really up to.  I listed four activities, including meditating, that I was interested in remembering to do on a daily basis and one activity that I wanted to remember to avoid.

The habit tracker sheet allowed me to wake up the next day feeling no resistance to the idea of meditating.  My mind was already primed to think I was going to meditate.  I had made a plan and I was going to check off that box no matter what.  I learned it didn’t really have to be a do-or-die kind of situation.  I just meditated.  And that felt slightly better than staring at my meditation pillow and running a few circles around it like I usually do.

Why don’t you try tracking your habits too?  If you are game, print out the August Habit Tracker Sheet that I have made for you to use.  My suggestions for using the August Habit Tracker Sheet are as follows:

1. Limit yourself to five habits that you would like to work on.  Getting overwhelmed never helped anyone make good changes.

2.  Enter three tasks that you would not want to forget to do on a daily basis.

3.  Enter one new habit that you would like to try to be consistent with, e.g. meditation, walking in the morning, writing down ten ideas for your business, reading for twenty minutes.

4.  Enter one old habit that you would like to avoid doing, e.g. eating sugary foods, random apologizing, impulse buying.

5.  Have fun filling in your daily boxes.  Do it your way.  You could circle the number in the box, x it out, fill it in, color it in, or make a check mark.  Go crazy.

6.  Feel the flow of your new habits start to take hold.  Stick with the August Habit Tracker Sheet and keep going.  Realize that you are stimulating the broader habit of completing what you set out to do.

Have you developed any systems of your own for keeping yourself on track?  I’d love to hear about them.  If you enjoyed this post, please share it with those you love and/or follow me on Twitter for more ideas on how to get past Procrastination in your life.

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There’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

Your dissatisfaction can go now.There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.

I’ve been trying mightily to train myself to let things be.  This is harder than getting a Ph.D. in Psychology y’all since I managed that but still struggle with the other.

Many life moments have brought this important life step to my attention.  Facing loss, illness, stress, and unwelcome surprises.  Watching some people let things be so magically and watching others spend every spare second figuring out what to worry and stress out about next.  Wanting to get clearer on my own life’s purpose while also trying to reduce any sense of heaviness or burden in it.

Getting into this as a practice of daily living has been interesting so far.  I have tried to be more mindful of my approach.  Simplicity helps.  Limiting how much I worry helps. Believing everything will be alright helps.

There’s an essential anxiety about living.  Tension in every moment perhaps.  Fill it or let it be?  So many of us choose to fill, fill, fill.  Letting it be seems like a loser easy way out.

But there’s the rub.  We’ve been faked out.  We Procrastinators stop functioning because we get scared or frustrated or too busy or freaked out or bored or befuddled or apathetic. We respond to the moment by listening to our feelings about it rather than to the moment and what it calls for.

So here’s what I’ve been meaning to tell you.  You needn’t worry.  You needn’t struggle to find out the gazillion ways you know this moment doesn’t suit you or isn’t perfect.  Your dissatisfaction can go now.  It might leave slowly, but it can definitely go.  And you can handle what is in front of you.

And here’s something I’ve been telling everyone I can: listen to the James Altucher podcast, episode number 119 with Michael Singer — The Surrender Experiment.  It’s a great discussion of how to work the letting go and accepting mindset.  Enjoy.

What do you have difficulty accepting?  Which feelings prevent you from being okay with what is happening around you?  What can you decide to let go of?  Please share some thoughts with us here.  Best wishes to you today.  

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Get Creative When You Feel Like Procrastinating

Today, I thought I’d model what I sometimes do when I’m feeling unable to follow through with my regular routine.  I have a general expectation for myself that I write and publish at least one blogpost per week.  Some weeks that expectation is a no-brainer to fulfill.  It sometimes can even be pleasurable.

Other weeks, for different reasons, the idea of writing something new and (hopefully) interesting makes me want to crawl under the nearest rock.  I may not be feeling focused enough.  I may have other obligations I need to take care of.  I may just be plain not feeling up to it.

Generally when I feel like I’d like to delay writing, somewhere, somehow there is a feeling of fear lurking.  It might sound like “this post won’t make a difference to anyone.”  Or it might just as easily sound like “this post might make a difference to someone.”  Either way, I end up feeling some resistance to moving forward.

And here’s the part where the drumroll begins and I show you today’s solution to my resistance — some pinnable quotes I got from Pinterest.  Ta dahhhhhh.

Feel the Fear

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Small Steps

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The Struggle

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I decided to turn to Pinterest for some inspiration for me and for you. I’m not generally a Pinterest user because I tend to feel dizzy and overwhelmed by all the visual input there and because I think Pinterest might be a little too easy for me to Procrastinate with.

But I have been itching to try different things in my posts. So I did something new, got creative, and got going on Pinterest. I found many inspirational quotes I wanted to share, and realized the ones I was drawn to really matched my message about Procrastination and Procrastination recovery.

In the process of collecting pins, I forgot to take notes on where the pins originated, and so you’re only seeing a few pins here. Though the results of my efforts were scant, I’m glad I went through this new journey to find another way to create a post.

What creative alternative route can you use to sidestep some of your own resistance? Has there been something you’ve been curious about but have not begun to explore?  

Use the pinnable quotes I chose to share here to guide you.  You will feel fear, but you can work your way through your fear.  You can take a small step today and the next day to continue making your overall efforts that much stronger. You will feel a twinge of difficulty and struggle (as I did with Pinterest) when you try your new idea, but you can then turn that into part of your new story.

Add something to your toolbox for working today.  It might be something you learned on Twitter or Pinterest.  You might use video.  You might do an interview instead of just relying on your own voice.  You get the idea.  Go have fun and try it out now.

For further inspiration, I’d like to share a wonderful post by Crystal Moody, who happens to have designed my Procrastination Coach website and logo.  In it she outlines 100 ideas for creativity and productivity.  And she and they are great.  Enjoy.

MORE NEWS TO SHARE:

Free Webinar

I’m offering a free, informational webinar on Wednesday, June 24th at 9:00 p.m. EST. Follow this link if you’d like to learn more and/or register for it.

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Step of the Day: Get Yourself Organized via the Trello App

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There are so many times in life where simplicity seems to be the answer to our most complex problems.

One tool I use to keep me on top of my to-do list is the Trello app. I strongly and heartily suggest you download the Trello app immediately. You can use the Trello app on any and all of your devices, and any information you enter into the Trello app will be synched across your devices.

I first learned of the Trello app from the Zen Habits blog. I figured if the blogging king of simplicity, Leo Babauta, uses the app, it should be good for me too. And it is.  I have a view of everything on my plate on one screen.  I also have the capacity to slice and dice my to-dos until they are in shreds.

The app is designed with simplicity in mind. Your screen view will be of white vertical lists arranged from left to right. You get to decide how many lists you want to keep. You get to decide how to categorize them. You get to decide which order to you keep (or don’t keep) them in. Within each list, you will keep individual “cards,” each indicating a single task (or event or thing to remember or whatever). You get to decide how to prioritize and to organize each card.

Whenever I try to describe how well-designed the Trello app is, I get a little frustrated. My descriptions inevitably end up being more complicated than the actual process you will go through when you get your hands on the actual app and play with it. And it is like play. And who wouldn’t want to inject a little more play into their work?

If you’d like to get a more detailed look at how the Trello app looks and works, please read my recent Lifehack article. For some great ideas on how to use the Trello app to its potential, please read this piece too.

I hope you get as excited about the Trello app as I have been. Do you have any suggestions for other apps I should try? Do you have simple solutions for your own work that you’d like to share?

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The 30/30 App: A Free Tool to Boost Your Focus and Productivity

The 30/30 App

I have been very excited to share my love for the 30/30 app for some time.  I have been busy telling the people in my off-line life about it first.  Now, it’s time for me to tell you about it.

How the 30/30 app works:

First of all, this app is beautifully and smartly designed.  It is almost a no-brainer.  With just a few taps, you can identify the items you need to get done, sort them in lists, set the proposed time frame for completing each one, and then have a count-down timer to help you accomplish the items in the time frame you’ve selected.  There are options for shrinking or expanding those time frames as needed also.

So…this app effectively operates as a to-do list, a timer, and a type of accountability coach.  Magic.  And it’s free!

How the 30/30 app has helped me specifically:

I think the first thing I realized after starting to use the 30/30 app was how damn fast time actually moves.  Time does fly.  Of course, it also reminded me how I am susceptible to miscalculating how long things will take to accomplish.  Yes, miscalculating too little time rather than too much.

The second realization I had was just a reminder of how I hate, just hate, to set something as a priority.  You see, the to-do list on the app allows only one item to be at the top of the list at any given time, thus forcing you to work on what is at the top of the list.  This is NOT how I typically work #randomashumanlypossible.  I have found that there is much to be gained in concentrating on one thing at a time with the help of the 30/30 app.

Another benefit of the 30/30 app for me is being able to make rapid progress on my to-do list items.  I have found myself utilizing this app more for the mundane tasks that I need to remember and to get done, rather than the big kahuna tasks.  The 30/30 app helps me to get my tasks in order, in front of me, and out of my way.  It is amazing how an app can create the sense of urgency that many of us need to get anything done.

If you can’t tell already, I love this app and have enjoyed using it very much.  Enjoy your expanded sense of time after using the 30/30 app and then help me spread the word.

 

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Breaking Free from Clutter: A Conversation with Diane Elkins of PositiveWorkspace.com

Clutter is a topic of endless fascination for me.  Perhaps that’s because I seem to be constantly staring at it.  I have spent the better part of many, many years trying to get a handle on my clutter problem, as I know deep inside my clutter-burdened heart there is a clear-headed, clutter-free person inside.

With the help of the passing of years, a burst pipe that led to an involuntary home renovation, a dumpster, and the wisdom of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (affiliate image link), I am actually closer to being clutter-free than I have ever been before.

While discussing Kondo’s book with my friend Diane Elkins, professional organizer and blogger at PositiveWorkspace.com, I decided it would be wonderful to interview Diane so you could get a glimpse of how she works with her clients.  Diane is truly a gifted and inspiring person.  I know she loves being a part of the significant life changes her clients make when they clear their lives of clutter.

A Conversation with Diane Elkins of PositiveWorkspace.com

What is your impression of what makes keeping one’s space in order so difficult for so many?

It’s usually a combination of (1) not having a designated place for storing items and (2) having too much stuff that’s accumulated over many years.  Once you purge all of your unneeded possessions and are left with just the things you love and use, it’s simple to decide on a logical system for easy storage and retrieval.  These simple systems become automatic to your daily flow and will happily motivate most to maintain their tidy living spaces.

What is at the center of your own approach to having a sensible, positive workspace?

Simplicity.  Simple systems, broad filing categories, visual cues, pretty and inspirational mementos, and being very selective of what items I keep.

Can you describe the impact organizing one’s workspace has on productivity?  On one’s attitude?

Clutter is distracting.  It produces physical and unconscious chaos.  Not being able to find what you’re looking for is one of the most frustrating experiences for a lot of people — including me!  Clearing clutter and being smart about managing our surroundings is something we can all have control over to vastly improve our day-to-day lives.  A clean, organized, streamlined space is freeing.  It spurs creativity, it saves time, and is truly inspiring.  You feel better and work smarter when you’re proud of your workspace.

What is the transformation process like?

It always gets worse before it gets better, which is a big part of why so many people opt not to start.  We’re emptying closets and drawers, clearing our filing systems, going through books, magazines, and mail — most of us have a lot of stuff and my job is to help my clients identify what they want to keep and how to get rid of the rest.

Why do you think having the support of a professional like you might be critical to achieving success in this area?

It’s hard to know where and how to get started, and either the task feels so daunting that it never gets done, or people get used to their clutter and have no idea of how much better life could be.  I will get them to where they want to be.

Having a knowledgeable and trusted partner to work through the emotional steps of clearing clutter and getting rid of items you have become used to having around, even though they interfere with productivity and happiness, assures that the task will get done.

There are a lot of decisions to make and I love being the support person who gently but steadily moves folks through these hard decisions and changes.  I know what’s ahead for them and it is incredibly rewarding to be helping people move towards a new and much-improved reality.  Overwhelm, frustration, and stress eventually change to excitement, clarity, and joy.

What do you think people don’t know about the power of working clutter-free but would benefit from knowing?

Working in a clutter-free space is empowering.  Your thoughts, actions, and time are free to focus on the professional and personal goals most important to you.

How have you seen the decluttering process affect people in other areas of their lives?

This is the question that makes me smile the most.  I did not anticipate the incredible ripple effect on lifestyle such as, increased energy, enthusiasm, business growth, and everyday healthy changes with diet, exercise, and sleep.  This is the most rewarding part of my work and why I love what I do.

How are Procrastination and cluttered lifestyles interrelated?  How can we assist Procrastinators to get a move on in this area?

We all have messes and it’s rare that someone will make tackling their clutter a priority.  Most of us will procrastinate and until we purge our stuff and learn some simple organizing systems and habits for storing our things, it will always be the dreaded task.  I recommend starting by purging all items that you no longer need or love.

Please give us a sense of how you work and the kinds of clients you’d be interested in working with.

I start by listening, asking questions, and listening some more.  Learning the biggest frustrations and problem areas for each client and having a clear picture of how they envision their ideal space is the only way to start.

I then compile a custom detailed plan identifying what I hear the priorities being and how we can fix them.  My clients must commit to consecutive weekly sessions until the project we’ve defined together is complete.

I give my clients “homework” between visits (the tasks don’t always get done, which is fine), but I like to provide the opportunity for people to work on the projects they can do independently to keep the organizing process affordable.

I respect that everyone has their reasons for keeping certain things and I will never tell anyone what to throw away or donate, but I will give my thoughts on why it might be best to let something go.  Once we get going and are in the flow of organizing and seeing results, it becomes very easy for clients to make smart decisions about what to keep.

I only work with people who are ready for a big change and committed to the task at hand.  I’ve learned over the years that it’s a waste of everyone’s time if there is resistance or hesitation.  Trusting me and the process is the only way to see results.

Important Information on How to Work with Diane

If you’ve been telling yourself for years that you want to get organized but haven’t made any progress due to a busy schedule or not knowing how to start, or are feeling stuck and frustrated by the lost time and stress caused by your piles of clutter and paper, here are five ways I can help you get a fresh start and new outlook:

1.  A Consultation.  Let’s talk about your biggest areas of frustration and your vision for the ideal organized space.  I will compile a custom plan with simple solutions for solving your organizational challenges, including product recommendations and e-mail support.  $125

2.  Phone Support.  A consultation, custom plan, and four consecutive weekly (30 min.) phone calls with homework assignments.  $225

3.  In-Person Support.  A consultation, custom plan, and 10 hours of on-site support, over 3 consecutive weeks.  $545

4.  Monthly Accountability Support and Upkeep.  Fend off the piles by staying current and up-to-date with filing systems and supplies.

5.  Coming soon… a Mini-Online Paper Organization Course with tips, simple solutions, and product recommendations for living clutter-free at home.

How to Contact Diane

I’m Diane Elkins.  I love being the person behind the scenes supporting fun, busy, talented (but overwhelmed) people find simple solutions to their organizational challenges.  I started Positive Workspace in 2011 to share the simple solutions, favorite products, and basic filing systems that helped me enjoy the benefits of a simpler, more organized home and happier days.

I am committed to researching and finding the best products and resources available for you.  Read my blog for helpful tips and simple strategies for saying goodbye to your clutter and paper piles.  Or contact me to discuss your specific challenges.

Thank you Diane for giving us so many great details about the brave work you do.  Best wishes to everyone in your own journey to clutter freedom.

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