4 Smart Student Strategies

student organizing


The school year is well underway.  It’s time to think about how successful your student strategies are.  Are you getting the grades you want? Are your strategies helping you work smarter not harder? If the answer is no to either of these questions, check out these 4 smart student strategies to make a difference.


Get in a groove

Great routines help you get the grades you want.  A routine is a daily habit or series of habits.  This includes recording your homework in a planner or on your smartphone, getting started with your homework at about the same time each day, and finishing up at a good time to get in bed.  Routines are not easy for everyone, but a timer and smart phone reminders can help too.  Be sure to have a great planner for school and a clock in your study space.


Study space

Your study space needs to be distraction free and inviting to help you make the most of your study time.  A distraction free environment means clear of clutter and easy to work in.  Your family dining area or office can be one of the best spots for this.  Your room is usually one of the worst spots for this.  Set aside your devices or use the tech tools below to stay on track.  Set yourself up for success by pulling together all your tools and set up a space that works for you.


Plan for your papers

Many schools are going paperless with online tools to learn. However, we still have some  papers no matter.  Create a paper management system that works for you.  It can be a single binder with tabbed slash pockets or an accordion file.  Have a small file box with hanging files for each subject for papers that you have finished with but need for later. Start a routine of refreshing your paper plan and filing these papers weekly.


Tech tools

We love our smartphones and there are many tools we can use.  Here are some of my favorites:

Know your style and know how to study.  It’s not just about spending the time, it’s about making the time valuable. Take a quick learning styles quiz to learn about your best modality to study.  You are ready to make the grades you deserve by learning more about yourself.

3 Tools to Check Your Productivity



Having a great tool makes any job easier. When it comes to productivity, your tools help you become more aware of what you accomplish and help you staying focused. These are 3 of my favorites for both home and work.



RescueTime runs in the background of your computer all day every day.  It tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day as well as detailed reports.  The tools also permits you to block certain elements to be sure to stay on task.  RescueTime gives me an analytical view of how much time I spent on my computer on different projects.  With new perspectives comes changes in behavior.



StayFocusd is  Google product that helps you configure your access to different websites and the internet in general.   It has a timer that helps you set amounts of time permitted online or on specific sites.  No more surfing the net or looking at social media rather than getting your work done on the computer.  It’s difficult to undo too!



We all have goals, but some are much harder to achieve. That’s where Stickk comes in.  With commitment comes goal accomplishment.  Stickk has a commitment contract to help you acknowledge what it’ll take to accomplish it, and leverage the power of putting money on the line to turn that goal into a reality.  You can track your progress, post images  your journal and invite friends to commit to accountability.



These three tools are just some of the tech ways to help yourself be more productive. Not all of my tools are tech and some of my favorites are simple notebooks.  Whatever is your trusted tool, work with that.


What are your favorites?



Check out my pinterest page High Tech and Technically Organized.



10 Ways to Procrastinate and NOT Get Anything Done




It’s 5 o’clock and you are wondering, “what did I accomplish today?”  Maybe it’s even Friday and you are wondering about the week as a whole.   Maybe you are thinking why didn’t I get anything done?  There are so many ways to procrastinate.


  1.  Check your email over and over all day. Start your day with email.  Don’t make any decisions and leave everything in your inbox.  According to research, we check email for as long a time as we binge watch a tv series.
  2. Not feeling up to getting the day started? Check on facebook, instagram, or pinterest to have a little fun. An hour slips by before you know it.
  3. Make everyone else’s priorities your priority.  Their work is urgent and your’s can be on the back burner.  Answer everyone else’s requests first.
  4. Jump from one task to another.  Let’s start this project, move to another and another.  Research shows multitasking appears and feels productive, but the results can show otherwise.
  5. It’s already 11 am. You’ve missed your best work time.  Why get started now? Just take an early lunch.
  6. Don’t make a list for tomorrow. You can do that once you get in the office.  There’s no time for a list and why decide on what’s tomorrow’s priorities.
  7. Don’t schedule in tasks.  No need to set a time to accomplish a task when you can  just do it when you’re in the mood.
  8. Schedule a lot of meetings, have no agenda and be sure to start late.  It’s a great way to fill days without getting anything accomplished.
  9. You’re too busy to take care of yourself.  Be sure to get in bed late, don’t make a meal plan or take time to rejuvenate. Put yourself last on the list.
  10. Never take a vacation. You’re too busy to take time off.  You haven’t accomplished enough to take a vacation.


Maybe you have other areas you can procrastinate to add to this list too.


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10 Common Mistakes when Organizing

common organizing mistakes



Even with the best of intention and efforts, your organizing may not be making a difference. You may have tried many times to get organized, but for some reason your home is cluttered.  It may be that one of these common organizing mistakes is a problem.  Check out these solutions for common organizing mistakes.


Plan your work and work your plan

Too often we jump into organizing and find we have made a bigger mess.  Take a few minutes to think about what you would like your organization to look like, what you need most, and what routines will keep it organized.  A little pre-planning makes all the difference.


More bins = more organized

It’s not about having more storage. It’s not about having the right bins.  Hold off from buying bins until you have worked through and decluttered your space. Then you are ready to decide on storage options.


Difficulty decluttering

We start decluttering, get everything in a bag, and it stays at your entry or in  your car for weeks.  Make decluttering easy with an easy way to drop off your donations.  Have a donation bag set up in your home for regular drop offs.  The easier it is, the more you will donate.

Zig zag organizing

You start in one space and realize you need to bring stuff to another room.  You head there and – oops – that space needs work too. Labeled as zig zap organizing, you will see the most success if you remain in and worn on only one space at a time.  Place the stuff at the door with a post it note on it.


Too much coming in

Even the most organized home suffers when more and more is brought in to the space.  Start an awareness of how much you purchase, why and when you purchase items.  By creating a barrier to more stuff, you are able to establish organizing systems and routines.


Label, label, label

It can be surprising how much labeling a space makes a difference. Everyone knows where items belong and can put them away.   Labeling keeps you organized.


Daily distribution

It’s easy to stash and dash. That’s when you get a new item but regretfully never put it away.  Set up a daily distribution time to reset your personal and family organizing, put items away and put away the bags they came in.


Paper, paper everywhere

Keep your paper together. It sounds overwhelming, but keeping it in one spot helps you sort, recycle and keep the important papers. When paper gets spread out, all of a sudden it’s everywhere.  Create one designated spot for mail to come to and sort.  Triage it daily and work on your papers weekly.

Keep it all, just in case

We don’t know what paper we might need to we keep it.  We think we might use something, and we keep it just in case.  It’s time to make a decision and decide what to eliminate.  Basic questions to ask are these.   When will I use it again? Do I have another good one?  Would I purchase this again today?  Don’t let indecision keep you from being organized.


Team up

Organizing is hard work! Don’t go it alone!  Gather up a team, whether it’s your family, church members, office colleagues or hired help. When  you work together you make more progress and have fun too.


Are you struggling with getting organized? Post your question or problem here for a solution.


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October is the time to start your Holiday Organizing

holiday organizing


Santas have been in Hobby Lobby since July. Orange and black fall decoration organizing bins just arrived at retailers.  Should we celebrate Halloween first before jumping into the holiday spirit?  As surprising as it seems, the best time to start your holiday organizing is now.  There are some basic elements to the holidays that make it easy to organize now and enjoy the season.


Organizing Your holiday lists

Year after year we follow many of the same holiday traditions.  Why not start your lists now?  Some easy to start lists are gift giving and holiday card lists.  These lists are typically the same each year, however starting early gives you the opportunity to review, add and delete from these lists. An early start affords you time to break these lists into smaller chunks.  Gift giving can be more manageable and even tweaked to become a gift of experiences.  Holiday card lists include dates for picture taking, stamp purchases, addressing cards and then mailing.   Getting an early start is one way to be sure you are ready when the holiday rush starts.


Organizing your holiday experiences

The holidays are jammed with get- togethers.  Focus on what’s most important to your family by talking about your holiday experiences. Reflect back and focus forward on what will be the highlights of this year’s holiday season.  Get online early to purchase tickets for events, purchase airline tickets, and set calendar dates for what’s most important to your family. Simplifying your holiday experiences will make every experience more meaningful.


Organizing your holiday decorations

Decorating for the holiday season can be overwhelming. It can be downright Grinch – like when families clash over Christmas trees and outdoor light displays. Start early with your holiday decorating. Take it room by room, inside and outside, or create family teams to tackle different spaces in your home.  Take out your decorations early to see what you are ready to part with and ready to display.  Giving yourself the gift of time to decorate can be one of the most fun parts of the season.


You may still feel a little bewildered at this early start to holiday organizing. But year after year my clients reflect back that they wished they had started earlier on their holiday organizing.  You can start organizing with your Pandora Christmas music playing in the background and your wassail simmering on the stove.  October is the best time to start  your holiday organizing.


Check out my pinterest Happy Holidays tips!

10 Tips to Live the Life You Imagined

live the life you imagined




“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.”


We can spend our days not following our dream or our path.  Move forward in your personal direction by having a plan for your day.


1. Start the day with meditation, exercise or spiritual pursuits. It will start you on the path you want for the day.

2. At the end of each day write down your 3 most important tasks for the next day. You will start the day knowing and being productive.

3. Let go of activities that have become meaningless or lost value. Not really into knitting but now love cross stitch? No longer biking or lifting weights at home? Not loving the volunteering you used to love? Share them with other who love that activity.

4. Create a routine then ensures connection to others. Have a weekly Sunday supper with your family. Call your Mom and Dad every Tuesday when you drive home from work. Go to the waterpark with your grandkids every Friday afternoon.

5. Practice an attitude of gratitude. Write a thank you note, text to say thanks, and start a phone conversation with a thank you.

6. Be fabulous.  Keep only clothes, shoes and accessories that make you look and feel fabulous.  Have nothing in your home or office that is you do not believe to be useful or beautiful.

7.  Take good care of yourself.  Eat and hydrate well. Nourish your insides with water, fresh fruits and veggies. Get a great night’s rest.

8.  Take extra care to be kind to yourself.  When a bump in the road happens, graciously accept it as a small stop rather than the end itself.

9. Pace yourself.  Build in transition times during the week, between activities and meetings and between the week and weekend.

10. Surround yourself with positivity.  Nurture and support others and accept the same in return.



It’s truly about not only creating a life you envision, but acting on your plan too.