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The Spark! Blog by Suzanna Kaye

Time Management: The Best of the Basics

time management Nov 18, 2019
 
 
By Ruth Zeman

Step ONE: Do the biggest nastiest task first. Eat that frog!
I don't know about you but if I have a big nastiest ugly toad looming over my day.... it makes everything harder. I've built it up into something paralyzing.

Doing that tiny but nasty little frog first, I'm a success! I feel like a winner!

Also, you are already quite productive because you have to identify which task is the frog. It's amazing how wonderful this time management tip is!

BATCHING

Computer work, emails, phone calls, project work. This is four different types of work, requiring your brain to flip from one thing to the other. Draining your mental energy.
While it's not a huge amount of time, if you can be within one system you can complete more tasks altogether without brain drain. Allowing you to focus more.

I even schedule my batching so that I know the time I'm going to fill. Check out my bullet journal or rocket book posts to learn more.

FIRE TIME!!

A huge concept. Planning for things...

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Fully Experience the JOY of the Season

Uncategorized Nov 15, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Do you find yourself missing out on the Joy of the Season due to being run down, over busy, or just blah? You're not alone. For all the sparkle and presents, the Holiday season can be hard.

I previously mentioned the book The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. Well, she's also the author of The Happiness Project. In that book, she mentions that the secret to fully experiencing happiness has three parts.Anticipation, being in the moment and then looking back with gratitude. Being in the field of professional organizing, I can add that all that is fine and good, but if your spaces are overwhelmed then you will be, too. Regardless of how hard you try to be in the moment.

How can you tell if your spaces are sucking all the JOY out of you?

Easily enough. Next time you're out, get into a peaceful frame of mind and then consciously step into your space.  Let yourself be open and listen to how you feel. Stepping into your home, are you welcome? Do you want...

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Traveling with Kids

Uncategorized Nov 13, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Traveling with kids is for the BRAVE. They present a whole new adventure. 

Kids come with extra details that you must absolutely pay attention to! I learned this the hard way..... Trust me when I say the story is too much for your delicate hearing. Plus if I told you we'd all need drinks and we're trying to stay sober for this, so pay attention....

Babies.

They need diapers, wipes, strollers, toys, the pack n play, a mommy strap on sling thingy, a car seat, or do they? While it's true you don't want to get caught without the diapers and wipes there are still ways around this.

Diapers and Wipes are available all over the world. You can buy them anywhere. You don't have to pack a month's worth in your suitcase. If you're visiting family you can easily ship to them from Amazon. Or ask them to go to the store in advance of your arrival. (send them a picture of what you need along with instructions)

This goes for formula and all other forms of baby food. Snacks...

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Let's Get Real About Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Uncategorized Nov 11, 2019
by Ruth Zeman
 Seriously, we need to talk about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
 
’Tis the season to shop! And, if you think I’m about to tell you not to shop - don't hold you're breath, I’m not. I give you permission to shop as much as you want!! (I know - I will be kicked out of the Professional Organizer Club for this one. Totally worth it.)

 
BUT….. (please tell me you knew this was coming)……

Shop intentionally.  

 What does this mean? Basically, don’t buy things just to buy things. I know, it's so super tempting. Especially on Black FRIDAY!!! All those great prices on new stuff. Fancy stuff that you'd not normally even think of buying. However, that shopping high often fades as soon as we get home and put away the things we bought, and can often lead instead to guilt in the long run.
 
So here are some ways to shop intentionally:
 

- Have a list!

Even if it’s a fun shopping day you...
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Time Management Tools We Love!

time management Nov 08, 2019
 
By: Suzanna Kaye

I've shared tips before and you can find them on this blog, Facebook or YouTube but this time I want to go over my absolute favorites! 

I've mentioned a ton of tips and the point isn't to use them all. It's about finding solutions that work for you! So please don't let all these tips and tools overwhelm you. They really aren't meant to be used by one person in one day but rather tools you can pick and choose from to be your best you.

 

Sometimes my brain is like kittens on red bull and I need help staying on task. Focused.

This week my brain is all over the place. I'm having a hard time focusing which in turn leads to procrastination. Which is a great segway to my first tool!

A humble timer.

The key here is to pick one that does NOT tick. Ticking just feels like a time bomb. Don't add anxiety to your tasks, go for the silent timer. I use this in different ways.

If you're like me, getting off track, (Facebook anyone?), in order to stay on top of work I...

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10 Best Gifts for Teens!

gifts Nov 01, 2019
 
By Suzanna Kaye

These are not in any special order just so you know. I mention in the video where to get these items, most of them are available on Amazon. However, I'm not an affiliate of these products and I haven't linked to them this time cause I want you to stay here.... and not click away.

1. Cord Organizer. Frankly, we all need one of these.

2. Sprocket HP photo printer. These are tons of fun!

3. Solar Powered Backpack. Useful for powering phones and laptops this is a great lifesaver! My guy has one and loves it.

4. Music for the Car - an FM / Bluetooth transmitter. Get them in the habit of not using their phones while driving. Use a separate device.

5. Custom Lighting. For their TV, computer monitor, headboard, whatever. Get creative!

6. Cell phone magnet. Either with a dashboard connector or an air vent magnet, these are genius. Consider getting more magnets because you can put them on the wall outside the shower, by the bed, on the wall to create a charging station. It's...

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Not So Scary Minimalism

Uncategorized Oct 25, 2019

I don’t know about you, but I live in Florida, which no matter where you are in Florida makes most people think immediately about Walt Disney World. I’m no different in that respect. Right now, it’s Halloween season which means, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween. In the parks on any normal day, you’ll see more Disney t-shirts on tourists and locals than you’ll see anywhere else in the world. However, this time of year, they take it to another level and come in full costume. It’s wonderful. It’s fun and delightful. 

So is minimalism. 

Stick with me, I’m not crazy or trying to make you join the awkward cult of throwing things away. In the same way, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween fun lets people take doing Disney to another level, minimalism is taking organizing to another level. 

It’s surprisingly just as fun. 

Minimalism is a way of thinking and living just as much as it is a design designation. When...

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The Caffeinated One

minimalism Oct 04, 2019
 

By Ruth Zeman

I don't know about you but there is something magical about morning routines that include coffee.

Okay, your morning routine can include tea and still be magical... if you insist.

No matter, what we're here to talk about is functionality! You might drool over those perfectly designed coffee/tea stations on Pinterest but when it's 6 am do you really care if all the mugs were turned the same direction when they are all still dirty in the sink?

I thought not.

So instead of just making this part of your home something to brag about let's make it something that functions well. Which is totally braggable too, FYI.

Let's start with where - where is your stuff?

Is your stuff, mugs, sugar, coffee, pot, all in one place or scattered about the kitchen? This makes a time difference.

I understand your kitchen may have been configured a certain way at one time but it's not against the law to move things. I promise. Feel free to use more than one cabinet. The point is to...

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Organizing Memorabilia

organize Oct 01, 2019
 

By Ruth Zeman

Organizing precious memorabilia can leave most of us shaking in a cold sweat. Afraid to do anything in case we mess it up! 

 
Between knowing what to save, how to save it and who it was from, the decisions that must be carefully made seem never-ending. This can make dealing with our memorabilia very stressful.

It's enough to tempt the average person to light a match and just watch it all burn.

You're above average. You've probably never had such an irresponsible thought. Trust me, it's tempting.  However, you need to deal with this before our lovely Florida weather makes the decision for you! Otherwise, mold, heat, humidity, will destroy our precious photos, lovely dresses, and fabrics. See below how professionals deal with these issues (in the video).

 

After watching the video, I'm inspired to press flowers. Aren't you? What a simple, inexpensive, yet extremely romantic way to make a moment in time precious. In our high-tech world, it's...

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Organized for SCHOOL! 5 Tips For Better Grades

productivity Sep 23, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

No joke. You can do this.

Sure you can put organizers in your locker but that's not really what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about better grades because you're organized people! Yeah, better grades! Seriously. Here we go, 5 tips that will help you get better grades: 

Let's start with your BackPack.

You absolutely need binders and folders.  Then you have to put your paperwork INTO the folders, in the binders. This is not rocket science but we all have our moments. I've seen the odd paper slipped into a bag and I know it's wrinkled beyond recognition in moments. The extra step of putting the paperwork into the proper folder and keeping your papers in a binder is key. Your papers are then crisp and easily located when needed. This makes for a better presentation, which makes for a better grade.  Trust me.

Binders with Folders

Since I'm already here, let me tell you about binders and folders. This is a very simple system. Put in a folder per class....

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