It's been a busy week afterall!

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On Monday I instituted a brand new time management schedule and then life outside came to a standstill. Southern Louisiana saw snow and sleet! Hubby was even forced to sit this one out at home. And, when that happens, any schedule I have seems to fly out the window. After a short recess, I got back on schedule and I have to say, my week was a lot less stressful when I followed my schedule.

I am an organizer and when I say my favorite saying is everything should have a place and everything in its place, you can be sure I mean it – even time. Yes, time! That’s where my schedule came in. Everything had a place and everything in its place. Exercise and tidying up the house had a place. Sitting down and writing had a place. See where I’m going with this? I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but if you tend to have a zero attention span the way I do, it works.

I didn’t even feel stressful today when I deviated from my schedule and used my work and writing time to grocery shop. I even found a little time to play. I have become obsessed with every card or sticky note in my planner being something other than what it is – and that is straight lined! I came up with the idea of using one of my many Martha Stewart punches and making eyelet tracks down the sides of my sticky tablets. As you can see in the photo, I haven’t quite mastered matching the sides. I’ve tried upside down and right side up and turning it over while punching the second side, but for some reason it isn’t working. It’s not that important, but sooner or later, I’ll figure it out. Meanwhile, aren’t they cute? Also, you can see by my planner, the week ended up being quite busy despite the adverse weather conditions.

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Other than working on three book reviews that I’ll have up before the weekend ends, that was my week. Hope you’ve had a great week as well.

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Time Management Follow-up

Is that a catchy title that makes you want to read this post? No. I guess not. But, in my defense, my brain is a little fried from doing the number thing all day. My business computer crashed a couple of weeks ago and spent some time visiting the Geek Squad. While it was having a vacation, I was having to pay bills and conjure up make-shift invoices.

Now, the computer is back, safe and sound, and with its data fully restored which means I’ve been hard at work inputting numbers and more numbers, and did I say NUMBERS?!! I am a confessed numberfobic (I think I just invented that word.) I do not even count change, I break a dollar – yes, I am one of those. Please do not ask me to do math without a calculator and someone to help. Seriously!

Did I mention I had my computer back with all its data? I think I did. That’s all it had. I’m not complaining, well, maybe a little. It has been an adventure to say the least to get my computer up and running – even with all its data. I had data, but no Quickbooks to pull the data into any order. I had data, but no Microsoft Word, in which to read the data. I was on a mad hunt for several days trying to locate a Microsoft Office 2007, which is the only thing that would work on my computer. Someone finally located one for me on eBay and it is now ensconced on my computer and I’ve been updating lease agreements and excel spreadsheets for the past two long days.

Considering the amount of time that I spent googling trying to find something compatible (I can beat a dead horse like nobody’s mama), please do me a favor and do not tell me of an easier way that I could have installed or located Microsoft Office. I truly do NOT want to know. It would NOT make my day.

I digress. Getting back to the topic at hand – time management – it sort of worked today, or would have worked today – had it not been for Hubby needing to stop at the bank on his way to the job site, and him not deciding that until this morning. So, instead of getting up at my set time and doing my morning routine before sitting down at the computer, I was immediately thrust into a work environment and have been there ever since.

Since I spent most of the day doing business work and not writing, I am taking a break and writing. It is so nice to be finished with numbers for a couple of days – it’s Southern Louisiana and if you haven’t heard, we are in the midst of a winter storm. This is unusual for this part of the country, so the area is virtually shut-down – at least says the sheriff and parish president.

There is a curfew and I think the only reason people are adhering to the curfew is because it is actually frigid outside. People are out in hurricanes around here so you can safely say it must be the cold keeping them in. Even my two German Shepherds are nesting down in the garage. They wouldn’t even go out to potty!

Texting and Facebook and Tweeting haven’t taken a break though! I’ve had friends and family texting videos and pictures of snow to me all day long. lt’s a virtual winter wonderland elsewhere while here it is a sleet frozen mess. That’s how I  know I’m finished with numbers (did I mention how much I hate numbers?) for a couple of days. No one is going anywhere unless it’s an emergency.

UPS dropped a pillow off yesterday. Keep up now. I change subjects fast – whether writing or talking (ask anyone who knows me. It doesn’t mean I’m not waiting for your answer, because I am, but while I wait I have a hundred other things I need to say.) I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I had ordered that could come in such a big box. Turns out it was a pillow, a heavy pillow. I had forgotten that a company had contacted me to review their pillow. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to review products on my blog, but after they contacted me for the fourth time, I figured why not. It’s a free pillow and the emails will stop. I have to admit, I will be reviewing this pillow. I had the best night’s sleep last night – ever.  (So companies? Keep those request coming in.)

The Emily + Meritt Icon Needlepoint Pillow
The Emily + Meritt Icon Needlepoint Pillow (Photo credits: PB Teen)

I normally sleep on a feather pillow. I love to punch and push and fluff my pillow and then sink into it to sleep. I am hard on pillows. This is a pillow that is made of rubber pieces and made to feel like a feather pillow – only much MUCH heavier. I smashed and punched and fluffed and then sank into it for a great night’s sleep. I like this pillow. So…I’ll be promoting this pillow quite soon!

My electric blanket quit working this fall, or more accurately, my control (dual controls) stopped working. I have always been very careful with the controls, making sure they didn’t knock against the bed posts (four poster bed), etc. Then, one day it happened. The control literally barely knocked the bed post. Evidently, it was looking for a reason to take a nice long rest because it quit working.

The blanket is old enough now that replacement controls are non-existent – so says the abrupt woman who answered the phone at the company I called. She then informed me I could purchase the same product directly from them for a cheaper price that I could purchase the same blanket (which they sold) from Lands’ End. She was a little pushy and asked me why would I want to purchase from LE when she would give me the website and a 20% coupon off of a new blanket. Because of her attitude, I was really leaning toward hanging up the phone not ordering the product, but I took down the information and headed over to the website to check out the products.

I’m kind of glad I did. Instead of purchasing another blanket, I purchased an electric heated mattress pad. Oh My Goodness! This is so much better than a blanket. Because the heat is between you and the mattress, once you turn it off, you stay warm ALL night. Seriously! The blanket always cooled off quickly and I am thinking it is because it is exposed to the cool air. I look forward to going to bed at night when it’s cold. The heated pad also acts like a heating pad and that feels great on my back.

That’s about it for me today. Tomorrow, I am back on the wagon as far as the Time management Schedule. I really enjoyed my schedule on Monday. I had my day mapped out and it wasn’t stressful. I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to, even with the chaos caused by the business I had to take care of.

Hubby has just finished peeling and chopping apples. I think I’m being summoned to the kitchen to cook something good, so that’s it for tonight.

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? I just love when readers leave a comment, so feel free to say hello!

In the event you are interested in purchasing an electric blanket or mattress pad, this is the information I used. I am not affiliated with the company, nor do I receive a commission. I just like the product – so far.

Pillows, Pads, and More

8501 Tower Point Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28227
United States
Phone866-522-7219
Web site:http://www.pillowspadsandmore.com

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Time Management – Formulating a schedule

With the new year underway, many people are still trying to conquer that elusive schedule. Well, I’m no different. I’ve been perusing blog posts about setting up schedules and there were a number of them that I found quite helpful.

I’ve always followed a makeshift schedule of sorts, but felt it was time to really lock in a more productive time management system that worked for me. Flying by the seat of my pants just isn’t working anymore. As organized a person as I am, my lack of attention span is forever getting in the way. I am a person who needs structure, and I found myself really needing to lock down a timeframe that allowed for my attention to be corralled for periods of time in order to get what needed to be done, done, yet something that would allow some flexibility as well.

One of the blogs I was looking at was Organized Jen. She has developed a great chart. It actually looks like a chore chart I came up with a few years ago. Using her model, I developed my own schedule. Keep in mind that it is not a schedule that is set in stone and it doesn’t mean I won’t deviate from it on occasion – I plan on working friend time into each week in place of work – it simply gives me a picture of my week. Also, there are days when I have meetings or unexpected things come up, so it definitely is not a do or die schedule. It will also no doubt go through some primping before it’s done, but for now, I think it will work for me.

Keep in mind, when planning your schedule, my schedule will not be perfect for you, but it might be a perfect prototype from which to tweak. We are all different people with different needs and various things going on in our lives. You may not even need a schedule. With my lack of attention span getting in the way of productivity, I desperately needed to try something different.

I am generally a person who looks at minute details (as in list everything), so coming up with broad weekly goals was a bit different. After much deliberation, these are the goals I came up with.

Weekly Goals

Work Goals

 Maintain a regular posting schedule (I’ve become lax here)

Stop work by 4pm (let something other than my blog have a front seat)

Less/no work on weekends (other than reading) (I’m a book reviewer too)

Work on home improvement projects weekly (Hubby and I have loads of these)

Personal Goals

Daily chores (I have a break-down schedule already)

Exercise 45 minutes five days a week (really trying to be good about this)

Family Time (Hubby and pets)

Keep up with household duties (no procrastinating – lots of !!!)

After coming up with the big picture, I was able to develop my weekly time management schedule to work with my day. To further harness my inattentiveness, I gave myself blocks of time in which to complete my tasks, and then set up a schedule to accomplish these tasks. I then studied the schedule to see if it was doable – for me.

After completing my new time management schedule, I sat down and transferred some of the information to my planner so that on Monday (today) morning, I had a plan I could work with. So far, it’s working really well – but then it’s only been one day. I know – you are laughing – but probably not as hard as I am.  You have to start somewhere and today was mine.

I’ll be reporting back each week with little tweaks as needed to let you know how my schedule is working for me. And, as I said, it has been working today. I didn’t sleep well last night so I was a little late getting out of bed, but everything has gone smoothly. I used to sit down first thing at the computer, but this morning, I followed my new routine and it has been truly delightful. I am not feeling stressed at all. I am doing exactly what my schedule says I should be doing. The photos below are not the best, but they will give the general idea of what my schedule looks like. I couldn’t figure out how to bring a word doc in. The actual information is not important to anyone but me, but the form might be helpful.

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Time Management – Weekly Schedule
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Work Schedule and Weekly Goals

Here’s a look at how it translates itself to my planner.

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The right hand page shows the blocks of time to coordinate with my chart. 
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On the left is my weekly schedule which already includes appointments to be worked into the schedule.

Hopefully, I’ve inspired some of you to develop your own Time Management Schedule if you don’t already have one. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know what is working for you.

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Is that my Fossil bag you're peeking in?

Yes, I have reached a new low or plateau – whichever way you want to look at it. I’m blogging about the contents of my purse – and this is making me laugh. There is just something about the contents of a purse that intrigues women.

I have been on a mission to locate the perfect bag (for me) for so long I can’t remember a time when I haven’t. I think I may have stumbled on to it at last – the perfect bag I mean; the Fossil Sydney Shopper. This is the most amazing purse as far as I am concerned. It has loads of room on the inside and holds all of what I refer to as my necessities. There are also multiple inside pockets for organizing, and the straps are a great length.

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I carry a number of things that I couldn’t possibly do without when I leave the house. I must have my personal planner – of course. I also use it as a wallet. There are a number of sections in my planner, but the most important are the section with my money and cards, and then my calendar, which I use for making appointments while away.

Next, I have a pencil bag, and a little monogrammed pouch for all of those little items you don’t want rolling about in your bag. This pouch also makes changing bags so much easier. I have my pepper spray – of course – who leaves home without that? I also have my flosser (in the toothbrush case) and my keys, along with my cute little Hello Kitty glass case. It’s winter so I carry a neutral color pair of gloves (my matching ones are in various coat pockets.)

The two smaller pouches (blue and little birdies) hold my ear pods for my iPhone and my iPhone charger. That’s about it, unless I toss in my Kindle last-minute.photo 1 copy 5

All of my gear fits quite nicely with room for a water bottle if I want to bring one along. If I adjust everything really well, I can also squeeze my 13″ laptop into my bag. I don’t carry it around often, but should I want to, there is room for it in the bag.

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Hope you enjoyed the tour! As the little green lizard (?) says “What’s in your wallet (bag)?”

 

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A Peek at how my week is shaping up and a DIY!

I have a dark corner in my kitchen and it drives me absolutely crazy! Hubby has a difficult time understanding this because I don’t seem to need light anywhere else. I am perfectly content to only use lamps in the house, rather than the overhead lights. Maybe it’s the ambiance. Who knows?

But, the kitchen, especially this corner (the only corner) is another story. I need light. I want light. And I had light – until the bulb burnt out – AGAIN! Hubby has been busy trying to finish a rent house that I am close to renaming “Murphy’s Law”. Seems the guy has  moved in and grown roots. Anything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. I’m sure you know the drill.

But, getting back to the light – this is not the first time it’s burnt out. Hubby installed these two pot lights (as I refer to them) under the counter only months ago and already they have both burnt out. They aren’t cheap so I’ve decided to just return them and ask for new ones. I am really tired of buying new lights every few months. Hubby’s back was bothering him and I can be very impatient at times. Who, me? Yes, me. I see a problem. I see a solution. I want it done. Case in point. Light burnt out. I have a new one. It needs to be installed.

I decided that it couldn’t be all that difficult to do. Before I met Hubby, I was quite an efficient woman. I decided with the long hours he has been working, it might be a good idea to become a little more independent again. Being old-fashioned works for us. He’s the man. I’m the woman. He does the man things. I do the woman things.

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After a little contemplation, I finally figured out that since the housing was already installed, there must be a way to only change out the guts.

I was correct. I even cut and connected the cord to the new plug. It is amazing how simple the quick connects are. I can’t wait to use this new-found knowledge on other things. I’m an accident waiting to happen so that might not be so good. But, getting back to the light, I managed to do everything right, only I was having trouble snapping the little light into the casing. I was matching up the holes with the piece on the light and therein lay my error. I should have just shoved it up and it would have snapped into place. I was being a little too correct and technical.

The light works and needless to say, I am one proud person! And, let there be light once again!

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It is also the corner where I keep my jar of cup cake liners. For the past several years I’ve just shoved them into the jar haphazardly as I’ve purchased them. I was sort of partial to the riot of color going every which way, which is unusual for my personality. The other day I had about five minutes to spare and decided to empty it out and reposition the papers. I think I like the stacks now. It provides color in the corner of the cabinet. There are some plain papers to the back of the jar that I actually use.

And, now a sneak peek at how my week is shaping up. I have been into using pink and aqua and blue lately when decorating my planner. This week, after visiting with a friend who absolutely loves bright colors, I chose an orange – quite a difference from my usual pastels. I think I am kind of liking it for a change.

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I also found some really cute free printables at Lime Tree Fruits http://limetreefruits.com/freebies/. Who wouldn’t want to write out a grocery list on this cute design or keep track of expenses?

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So that’s my week on this Monday. I’m sure the calendar will be filling up as the week continues. How’s your week shaping up and what type of planner are you using these days?

Stay tuned because on Wednesday I’ll be giving you a sneak peek at my Fossil bag and what’s inside!

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