Remember Everything That Ever Happens

Sometimes a funny thing happens when you hang up the phone after an important conversation. You forget everything that just happened!  Haven’t we all been there?  I know I have.  I have a fail proof way of dealing with this.  I take notes on life.

Almost every time I’m on the phone — I take notes.  Even if it’s not an “important” call — I jot down words, phrases and questions that come up.  This way I pay better attention and really focus on what’s being said.  And I don’t lose track of my follow up questions.  It turns out you don’t even have to really take notes — you can just doodle.  There was a recent study in Applied Cognitive Psychology that found people who doodle were 29 percent better at a memory test than people who didn’t doodle.

I also use the “note-taking technique” during meetings and when I read magazines.  If I don’t — I move on to the next project and poof everything I learned goes out of my head.  I’m constantly writing down tidbits I want to remember, websites I want to check out and ideas that I have.  It helps you to think about what you’re doing and be mindful — remember multitasking is impossible!

Rules for Decluttering Your Home

I recently cleaned out my closet and it felt so good. It’s so much less stressful in the morning. I’m now able to easily find outfits without having to navigate through old clothes and empty hangers. I feel empowered! You can too — here are some rules for decluttering your closet and every other room in your house from organizing expert Lori Greiner.

For Every Room in the House

• Keep focused and select one area at a time. Tackle the room from beginning to end before jumping into another.

• Don’t hesitate, eliminate. Take a day or even a few hours to review what you need and what you really don’t.

• Buy smart. Furniture should have storage areas where possible. This will efficiently maximize space.

• Get a filing cabinet! Everyone needs one to organize bills, important documents, photos, magazine clippings, etc. Read more

Multitasking Is Impossible

I used to think I was a great multitasker. But then I learned that it’s impossible to multitask. It’s possible to juggle a lot of projects at the same time but not to multitask. If you multitask you never really focus on the task at hand so your attention is scattered. It can be very dangerous too — how many times have you been driving and then realize you don’t even know how you got to your destination because your mind was elsewhere.  Being mindful of what you’re currently doing will help you accomplish more.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Just Say It: Sometimes when I have a hard time getting started I will repeat in my head over and over the task that I want to accomplish. “Write tomorrow’s blog, write tomorrow’s blog, write tomorrow’s blog.” By doing this – I stop and listen to myself and actually start the project I want to do. It’s like you’re clearing out all the other noise and reminding yourself what needs to get done.  You need to train yourself to focus.

2. One Thing at a Time: Paying attention to each task you do will make you more efficient. Instead of bouncing around from one thing to another – finish what you’re doing first.

I recently produced an interview with Rep. Tim Ryan about his book “A Mindful Nation,” which is all about mindfulness and being more aware of your surroundings. He told a story about UCLA coach John Wooden whose first lesson to his players would be how to put on their socks. He did this so they paid close attention to the act of putting on their socks before each game – that way they would avoid getting blisters. It’s the simple things that are the most important.

3. Reward Yourself: It’s OK to bribe yourself every now and then. ☺ Sometimes all you need to do is “talk yourself into” doing one task. For instance – if you finish cleaning out the garage you can get a manicure or massage for your hard work.

4. Make Time for Yourself: Be sure to schedule “me” time on your to-do list. This could be watching your favorite show or listening to music. But by putting yourself on your to-do list and not worrying about any other task during that time – you will be much happier and productive.

Free Stuff For Moms

Smartphones are one of the best tools busy people have at their fingertips. Using my iPhone is like a lifeline.  Sometimes I don’t know how I went grocery shopping or caught a bus without it! This tool is especially useful for moms — juggling it all!

I’ve tried many apps and have written about Astrid in the past because it’s such a spectacular to-do list app. The most unique thing about the Astrid app is that you can share your lists.  My friends and I share lists of things we have to remember to tell each other.  It’s great for making the most of our visits.

Astrid is doing a bit of sharing itself.  They’ve just announced a contest for moms!  All you have to do is use the app and tell them why you love it.  How has it made you more productive, successful and efficient? They are giving away gifts like spa certificates, onesies and premium accounts to the best answers.

Click here to find out the full rules and get a chance to grab some free stuff!  Good luck moms!

Don’t Let Your To-Do List Bully You!

Do you sometimes feel like you are being bullied by your to-do list?  You’re not alone.  Even I feel that way sometimes.  But the key is taming the to-do list to allow you to check everything off of it.  It takes discipline and know how.  I was recently interviewed about to-do lists and how to take charge of your to-do list. 

A lot of times people set themselves up for failure with their to-do lists right off the bat.  What I mean by that is that you put too much on your list.  You put unrealistic things on the list that you can’t possibly accomplish!  Don’t do that!

Here are few things that will help you get your to-do list done:

1. Make bite-sized lists

2. Be realistic

3. Ask for help

4. Don’t mix your lists — to-dos aren’t the same as life lists.  Know the difference

5. Read my other tips here