Organized365: July

The halfway point of 2018 has arrived!

Reflect on the goals you have achieved. What have you accomplished that you had not anticipated? What goals remain?

Focus on developing a plan for moving forward and then implement!

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With the 1st half of 2018 in the past, take time to reflect on your goals and the tasks that remain ahead. This compilation of our June tips can help:

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Counting Bathroom Content (300,000) con't from June

Two guest bathrooms reveal quite different content.

Basics in one = 16 items. Content in 2nd bathroom = 28.

Revealing more than just how many things we have, this part of the count shed some light on how the different bathrooms are used. Location impacts use. The bathroom near our guest bedroom contains more items. It is outfitted to ensure guests' comfort.

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Make sure you know where your appliance instruction manuals are located. Gathering them together in one spot is memorable and makes them much easier to find when needed.

Don't get caught unprepared. Having to conduct a search for a misplaced booklet under pressure is frustrating.

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Don't let picnic pressure cast a shadow on your holiday. Build on a combination of prepared and semi-homemade items to bring your party together. Relax, savoring a summer day enjoying family & friends.

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Things that Count (300,000)

The control box for your well pump. Normally, I would not count this as it is part of our home's structure but now that it is not working, it has my attention. So does the manual that comes with the new control box count as an additional item as well?

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Count Skyrockets (300,000)

To date the belongings count has been quite reasonable however we are about to embark on clothes and book counts. A sharp increase in numbers is sure to follow.... What items make up your biggest collections?

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Dressers - In & Out of Season (300,000)

One shared dresser, good sized but still surprised with its 280 items. The socks were counted in pair but 'holy smoke' there were a lot of them. A search for holes did not reduce the number significantly.

The realizations that come with this counting adventure are not necessarily mind-blowing but are interesting. Many of my socks are worn only under very specific circumstances, for example only with a particular pair of shoes or a particular form of exercise.

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Back-to-School on the horizon!

Start watching now for school supply items that are on sale or unique. A backpack, lunch bag or pen/pencil holder purchased while on vacation will boost your child's morale throughout the school year. Track your purchases to avoid overdosing on highlighters and forgetting pens. Spreading your purchases out over the next month or so avoids an overwhelming 'one and done' shopping spree and doesn't hit the wallet all at once.

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Hope Chest (300,000)

Reduced from 5 items to 1. Discovered ancient pillows stored for use when overrun with guests. Never used when overrun during the past year+. Out go these pillows. As the count moves into low traffic areas, I anticipate more opportunities to eliminate unneeded, unloved items.

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Optimize Your Day

Take advantage of a business appointment and schedule lunch with a friend while you are in the area. Run errands to businesses on the same side of town. Reviewing your schedule and anticipating needs increases efficiency and allows you to get the most out of your time.

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Book Shelves!! (300,000)

Books in master bedroom = 84. Other items on shelf 15. There are 3 other bookcases to get to in the days ahead. The Wolf Lake Little Free Library has a deep pool to draw from once the counting ends and the reading resumes!

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Closets (300,000)

Master closet count = 471. Shoes counted as a pair, hangers not counted. Starting to see how a different counting system would allow count to reach 300,000. My count will not get close but not because I'm a minimalist. Counting this closet reminds me that there is still some clothes weeding to do!

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Strategic timing is everything. (Morning routine)

Providing puppy with a last bathroom break before you head out the door in the morning is not the time to introduce a new harness. You will be frustrated, flustered, and most likely late.

Josie's new harness took a half hour of multiple adjustments to get right. She was too distracted by trying to chew the front clip to realize that I was hoping she would go to the bathroom once we were outside.

Happily, we had plenty of time to mess around. Getting new equipment is exciting but timing is everything for a successful introduction. This lesson will translate nicely to the humans in your life as well.

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Counting Sheep?

Up at night worrying about tasks left undone or worse forgotten? Take a step back to look at your work/life balance and identify challenges that are causing stress. Once the problem has been named, solutions can be put in place to address the issues moving you toward more restful nights.

Pulled2Gether can help! Contact us today.

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Have you adopted a 'productivity' app? Technology is intended to save time, provide efficiency, and reduce work loads. However, it is what you chose to do next that makes all the difference in your quality of life.

Taking on more tasks to fill the time you have freed up means your stress will remain unchanged or even increase.

Be intentional about the choices you make. If getting more done at work is what you hope to achieve, wonderful. If you hope to free up time for family & friends or time for self care, protect its use and enjoy your time gained.

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Heard a promotion to 'leave things undone' as a quality of life improvement. I am drawn to the basic concept but feel the need to add qualifications.

What would you leave undone? Share from the trivial to the profound.

My first thought...stop peeling potatoes before boiling to mash. #HomeCooking

I'm all for 'planned abandonment' as long as it is well considered.

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Welcoming Guests

If your guests are staying more than one night, include them in your daily activities and routines. Have them join your book club discussion if they are readers. Providing the title in advance allows them to participate fully and is an opportunity to share your life more fully.

Take them to your regular hangouts and explore that new spot you have been meaning to get to. Relax, enjoy the company but don't be completely dislodged from your normal routines.

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Address Stressors for Relief

Having identified stress inducers, determine what actions will alleviate the problem.

What changes are necessary? What change do you want? What change are you able to implement on your own? What will require the support of others?

Identify a starting point for making changes to your stress/anxiety triggers.

Map out a timeline of steps to be taken to achieve your goal. Concentrate on making the steps doable. If they are too large they will be overwhelming. Taking small steps will allow you to make progress quickly without feeling overwhelmed.

What will your first step be? Be realistic in your expectations for progress. This process should alleviate stress not cause it.

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Stress Relief Journey

You have identified stressors, determined what changes you are able to make, now follow your plan. Try to eliminate distractions. Note and revise your plan to accommodate any obstacles that were not anticipated. Use the structure you have in place to help maintain your focus.

When you encounter new or unrecorded challenges have a place where you can save your ideas so that you can come back to them after the current plan has been executed successfully.

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Keep 'em Active

Have an energetic youngster in your family? Whether human or canine, burning off energy makes everyone happier.

Time outside is critical. Make the world your playground. City living can make tiring out a pup challenging.

Find a dog training facility that features classes designed to help. Both you and Fido will enjoy activities ranging from tracking to puppy parkour. Enjoy your adventures and the quiet that comes from having a tired family.

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Meet the Unexpected Head-on

Taking a page from the book of the professional cyclists racing in the Tour de France. When the unexpected happens, whether a crash or mechanical issue, the first rule is not to panic.

Staying calm, taking the action necessary to move forward, and carrying on makes a huge difference in race outcomes.

When you face similar challenges, don't get bogged down in the moment. Consider how you can keep moving forward. Taking action is empowering and gives you the confidence to trouble shoot and refocus in a calmer frame of mind.

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Is it your habit to arrive at meetings either just under the wire or even late? This behavior is not only annoying to colleagues, it is damaging to your professional reputation.

Identify and address circumstances causing the delay with more than a vow to do better.

At Pulled2Gether Consulting, we help you determine what your obstacles are and develop tailored solutions to get you and your reputation back on track.

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Struggling to manage traffic into your email inbox? Tips for controlling and responding to email messages abound. An often overlooked strategy is to set up filters for regular messages that never require immediate attention. Examples include weekly newsletters, meeting reports, organizational updates, etc. You may also want to filter messages from specific individuals a strategy that can draw them to your attention for immediate action or put them on hold.

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Don't Let Inbox Zero Disappoint You

Striving for an email status of inbox zero allows you to develop strategies for handling messages effectively throughout your day. However, the implication that you can attain and maintain zero messages in your inbox denies the reality of a constant flow of messages. Use email management strategies to develop habits that will promote ongoing control over your inbox.

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Whether managing food prep or presentation set up, accepting assistance from family, friends, or colleagues is smart. Not only does it lighten your work load, it makes you approachable when others need assistance in the future. Take advantage of this time to connect and build relationships.

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Meetings: A Double-Edged Sword

Successful meetings rely on constructive interactions from both facilitator and attendees. Even a slow moving, unfocused meeting can be saved with a bit of effort on the part of attendees. Well considered questions can help facilitators stay on track and move forward to meet objectives.

Similarly, attendees behaving badly can derail even the most carefully planned meeting. Check yourself and make sure you are doing all you can to ensure that your presence at a meeting promotes successful outcomes.