Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Science of Being Happy and Productive - Recap

One of the many benefits of attending the ICD conference are the fantastic sessions offered. One of the sessions, The Science of Being Happy & Productive at Work by Ayla Lewis, is full of ideas that I want to share.

Ayla shared various studies that showed that happier people are healthier and more creative, energetic, productive, resilient, cooperative, social, and engaged at work. Wow! I know that when I feel upbeat, positive, and grateful, I can more easily stay focused and not fearful. Who knew this is really backed up by science. Ayla's four main points were:
  1. Practice Positivity:
Science tells us that when we practice positivity by being optimistic, visioning our best possible future, and focusing on the positive, our happiness factor increases.

    2. Flow to Goals:

Make sure your goals have milestones. Savor and celebrate the progress. When you focus completely with no multitasking for about 20 minutes or more on a task that is challenging but possible, you end up in a state called flow. Multitasking can ruin that flow and make you miserable and stupid.

     3. Subdue Stress:

Science states that how we cope with stress has a huge effect on our well-being. Even how we think about stress is important. We can see that some stress is good. Stress gets our heart beating and we breathe harder. This can get us moving toward reaching a goal. It is important to use effective coping strategies, however. The strategies that Ayla named were physical exercise, connecting with a friend, mindfulness mediation, and viewing stress as energizing.

     4. Revitalize Relationships:

Prioritize people. Happiness is contagious. We all have mirror neurons which give us that ability to understand each other and catch emotions from each other. It is important to interact, forgive, be kind, and express gratitude. Even just acting like a happy person can make you and others actually feel happier!

For more depth on her presentation, check out http://firstround.com/article/Heres-Why-Founders-Should-Care-about_Happiness.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Clutter vs Calmness

These past few weeks I have been doing a lot of organizational work in classrooms. One of the big things I have been tackling is visual clutter. Everywhere you look there is "stuff". Stuff on counter tops, stuff all over the teachers' desks, stuff hanging out of bins - you get the picture.

We have had conversations about not having out material that you are not using this week, having designated containers for different types of paper (homework turned in, homework graded, administration paperwork), corralling all supplies and only having out what is needed now.

I try to get across that all of the visual clutter will cause stress and lack of focus.

The same is true of our homes and offices. Just sitting in a cluttered room can cause stress. There is too much to look at so you can't focus. There are too many things out that are reminders of tasks you have to finish (or even begin). It is also a reminder of how much work you've got to do if you want your house or office clean.

Even if you box things up and stick them in the closet, garage, or attic, you know they are there. Several years ago, I finally got up in my attic and attacked all the boxes of papers (all old and mostly archival) hiding up there. After clearing out old bills, tax documentation (over 7 years old) and some memorabilia, I felt mush lighter. The figurative weight of all that paper had been bothering me even though I could not see it. Now, every year I look through that paper in the attic and get rid of even more.

Clutter that is lying about is usually deferred decisions. It's easier to put something down "just for now" than to make a decision about what action is needed and follow through. So when that daily influx of mail comes in, immediately toss and put into the shred box the obvious. Then at lease once a week, deal with the remainder.

Then take the time to zone by zone go through your home and declutter your space.

Make your home/office/classroom a decluttered space. You will find it very centering and calming.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Keeping the Fountain Full

My life/business coach, Wendy Watkins, once shared how important it was to keep adding water to our fountains. If we don't add this water, the fountain will get low of water and the pump will burn up. Of course, she was talking about taking care of yourself. She also personally helped me chose a daily goal of ending my day with some reserve of energy. I have this intention posted on my vision board.

However, sometimes I forget. I try to complete that one more thing. I try to wiggle in one more client. I try to polish that presentation just a little bit more. And on the weekends, I try to complete that one more project at home.

When I allow this to happen, I get tired and grumpy. I also get careless and make mistakes. I'm more likely to get sick.

Awareness that this is happening is key. Scheduling at least 2 days a month with my husband where we sleep late and do fun things together if very important to me. On nights that both my husband I are home (no meetings, choir, etc.), I try to stop office work around 6:00. We try to walk together on as many days as possible. All of these habits help fill my fountain.

I'm very lucky that I love my work. I am also very lucky that I have a wonderful husband that supports me and a family that I love. My friends are fantastic! It is also important that I love and take care of myself. All of this keeps my fountain flowing freely with a delightful sound. I have this fountain in my office and it's soothing sounds relax me. But, I do need to fill it every day.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Time to Organize Your Workshop and Garage

In September the weather begins to cool down. We start to put away our summer equipment. This is a good opportunity to set aside some time to organize your workshop or garage zone. Even if you do this zone once a year, it can easily get disorganized and cluttered because it is so easy just to open the door and drop something "just for now."

Before you start your project, take a good look at the way it is now. What is working (don't mess with that area) and what is not working. How do you want to use this zone. Do you plan to:

  • Park your car
  • Store trash cans/recycling
  • Store gardening tools and accessories
  • Pot or repot plants
  • Work on projects and store tools
  • Store bikes and other sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear
  • Store outdoor entertainment supplies
  • Store extra products
Now bring everything outside. If this is a large or very filled area, do it by sections. Sort like with like. Note what is broken or what you have not used in the past year. Get rid of these items or make a note to replace them. Get rid of expired seeds or old chemicals. Give away or sell tools you no longer use. Tool Bank is a great place to donate tools for community projects. http://toolbank.org/

Next decide where to logically place your zones. You want to place items that you use frequently near entrances. As you group your items in each zone, look for containers to hold small items together. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves. A flat basket can hold gardening tools. Use shelves, pegboards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers because, for sure, you are going to want something that is in the bottom container. Label containers that are not clear.

Knock down the cobwebs, sweep the floor, and start putting things away.. You'll be amazed at how much  room there is now that all the items have ben bunched together and stored away.

Now reward yourself. A hot shower and a cool drink might be just the thing.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Teaching Organizational Skills to Young Children



As a professional organizer, I spend a lot of my time teaching or transferring organizational skills to adults. Many of these adults have children who also need this help.

Diane Quintana (CPO, CPO-CD) and I have been aware of the importance of teaching young children organizational skills. Diane and I met when we were both working with the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) in the schools program. This was a program that went into schools and introduced elementary children to some of the basic organizational skills. We were sad to see this program fold.

Taking matters into our own hands, we co-authored two books - Suzie's Messy Room & Benji's Messy Room. These books were written for parents and children to share. We took some basic organizational strategies:
  • Break projects down into small manageable steps
  • Sort like with like
  • Cull collections
  • Assign a place or home for belongings
  • Reward for jobs completed
We then applied these strategies to the task of cleaning up a room. These same strategies are applicable to any project the children (or parents) take on.

We have gone on to develop presentations for parents on teaching organizational skills to their children and have developed activities for the children. We feel this is also something that should be taught in the schools as well as at home.

For more information, please contact me - jonda@timespaceorg.com or 404-299-5111.
To order books, check out my web page - http://timespaceorg.com/books/ .

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Michael Phelps and ADHD: A Success Story


Michael Phelps has been outstanding this year at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I believe he is the most decorated Olympian of all time.

What I recently learned is that Michael Phelps has been diagnosed with ADHD since he was 9 years old.

His mother, Debbie, who taught middle school for more than two decades, worked with Michael and his school to get him the extra help and attention he needed. When Michael struggled with behaviors and academics, his mother looked for ways to use his strengths and interests to find solutions. She helped him overcome his hatred of reading by giving him the sports section of the paper and books about sports to read. She got a math tutor that used word problems tailored to Michael's interests. She and Michael developed visual cues and signals to keep Michael aware of consequences of his behavior. When he was 10 she came up with the signal of making a "C" with her hand that stood for "compose yourself." Every time she saw him getting frustrated, she'd give him the sigh. She shared that she realized her really "got it" when he gave her the sign once when she got stressed making dinner!

Many people use physical activity to help control their ADHD. When you are physically active, your brain releases lots of neurotransmitters, which increases the attention system's ability to be regular and consistent by spurring the growth of new receptors in certain areas of the brain. This has many good effects like reducing the need for new stimuli and increasing alertness. (Michael Lara, MD in The Exercise Prescription for ADHD in CHADD's Attention magazine)

Michael Phelps has said that he found that swimming and competition helped him maintain his focus. Michael took something he loved and used it to shape his life. Here is a lesson where we can all benefit.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Would Virtual Organizing Work for You?





One of the services I offer is virtual organizing. Many people are not sure how this works and if it would work for them. Let's explore those topics now.

How does virtual organizing work?

  • First we have a free phone consultation to explore if this would work
  • If we decide it will work, you fill out a questionnaire that helps solidify your intentions and goals for the sessions
  • If appropriate, you send pictures of the areas we target
  • You develop your vision of what the area will look like and how you will feel
  • We brainstorm all that needs to happen to reach your goals
  • We set up a completion date and develop a timeline
  • Each session we refine the plan and you put dates on your calendar to complete the tasks
  • As the organizer, I hold you accountable, help you prioritize, and make suggestions as well as keep you motivated
  • Once the goal is reached, we develop a maintenance routine
Would this work for me? Yes, if:
  • You can work by yourself and are motivated but want/need some guidance and accountability
  • You realize that organizational help is important but you are on a budget
  • You are comfortable communicating via phone, email, skype, and can send emails with photos
  • You are creative and need custom-tailored sessions
  • You are not physically close to professional organizers but still want their help
For more information visit my web site http://timespaceorg.com/services/ or contact me by email (jonda@timespaceorg.com) or phone (404-299-5111).



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer