Archive for the ‘Time Management’

Coupon Collecting - Spend Smart

Mini #90
Available 9/3/09

In Mini #85 we completed a Master Spending Diary to help consolidate information and begin taking control of spending. In this Mini we will work with your Master Spending Diary to find the best deals, clip smart, and organize coupons. You will also learn some “coupon collecting secrets”–such as manufactuerer’s coupon lists, printable online coupons, online-swaps and more.

Since this Mini refers to terminology from #85, it is strongly recommended you complete #85 first, or in conjunction, or you will not have the tools to make the most of this Mini.

Creating a Month of Magic

Mini #88 - September Featured Mini
Available 9/3/09

Includes Audio
and Month of Magic Worksheets

Special online event with Brook Noel: Join Brook Noel from 7:00PM-8:30PM on September 23rd for a special chat event.

Often when we think of making change we think BIG. Sometimes SO BIG that we paralyze ourselves from taking action. This Mini is designed to show you how simple taking positive steps can be–and how a well thought-out plan can help you promote and maintain balance, contentment, joy and organization.

In this Mini you will create a special set of “10 Minute Cues” using a template that encourages you to give a little focus to several important life areas. These cues will then become a grab bag for creating a month of magic. Each day you will choose a 10-Minute Magic Prompt at random and paste to a calendar. You will be amazed at how much magic you can create in a single month with a little concerted effort!

Shop Smart: Building a Master Spending Diary

Mini #085

One of the best steps we can take to save money is to learn to shop smart on life’s essentials. Most often when we think of curbing our spending we look to extraneous purchases or luxury items. While there is no harm in evaluating those habits, it is important not to overlook the everyday necessities to make sure we are getting the most bang for our buck.  A master spending diary can help us

  • purchase smart
  • take advantage of sales
  • look for better alternatives
  • avoid over-buying
  • avoid excess trips because we “ran out”
  • find out which store has the best deal

In this Mini you’ll complete a template to create your Master Spending Diary.

Mapping Out A Creative Space

Mini #83

When engaged in the creative process, it’s common to find ourselves surrounded by creative materials. This is fine and natural—until we find ourselves surrounded by materials that have nothing to do with the project at hand. These “extras” soon take over our working space and we all too often succumb to the temptation of “scooping” them into a pile—or moving ourselves to a different space. This move-or-scoop process is then repeated—and goes on indefinitely—unless we take control of space and design a creative area that supports our project priorities.

In this Mini you will learn how to synergize time and muse to create a creative space and efficient system for organizing (and working on) your arts and crafts projects.

Organizing and Inventorying Arts and Crafts Supplies


With all the little pieces and parts involved in arts and crafts, often we spend much of our creative time trying to find a specific item, or sorting what we have. This disarray also poses a challenge to our creativity, since the time involved in retreiving supplies may use up all the time we have.

In this Mini I  share ideas for effectivly organizing and storing arts and crafts supplies. We will also review how to create a catalog-inventory for punches, fabrics, stamps, and other large collection.

* Adapted from my ebook Step-by-Step Arts, Crafts, Stamp and Scrapbook Organizing

Conquering Electronic Clutter

Mini Makeover #76

13 pages

While electronic clutter does not pile up on our desktops like paper clutter, it can impede our effectiveness and ability to take action. This Mini will help you to work through creating an effective file storage system for your computer. This Mini covers creating effective file trees within folders on your computer to locate different types of information easily.(It does not include email routing, since each person may use a different email program–although the premise could easily be applied to email as well.)

Chore and Reward Systems that Work


A family functions at its finest when all participants contribute and take responsibility for at least some of the maintenance work required…. but… that concept and reality often collide. Getting kids to help routinely can be challenging and quickly turn into an area of tension (spouses included!). In this Mini I share a new chore and reward system I created that creatively encourages responsibility and encourages kids  to excel with rewards or recognition in direct proportion to contribution. This system works for all ages and can be used regardless if you are trying simply to instill responsibility or looking for a system for fairly basic monetary rewards. The system can be created with simple supplies such as scissors, index cards and a stapler.

Mind Mapping

Mini Makeover #70

8 pages

I have used Mind-Maps for the past 18 years for various purposes.  Mind Maps can help us

break through creative blocks
discover solutions and new approaches to challenges
facilitate thinking outside the box
take notes (great for right-brained learners)
help us break down a project into manageable parts

What is a Mind-Map?
Wikipedia defines a Mind-Map as: “a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.”

Mind-Maps are most often used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making. Buzan, a pioneer of the Mind-Map, claimed that the mind map utilizes more of the right and left brain hemispheres. The process of using words and diagrams utilizes attributes of the brain that are often not found in standard writing. This technique has been successfully applied to note-taking for students and brainstorming for companies.

In this Mini we will work through a general mind map and then look at ways to apply the technique to the aforementioned areas.

Creating a Mini Goal Grab Bag

Mini #68
6 pages

“Historically more than 80% of resolutions are abandoned by late February, Many women believe they are doomed before they begin. A resolution becomes another pressure in an already pressure-filled life.

As I waited for the clock to strike midnight this year, I was deep in thought about this challenge we face when reaching our goals. With statistics like these, it seemed creating a resolution is a way for many people to procrastinate on the very thing they resolve to do for another year.

If you have been discouraged by goals and set them half-heartedly or not at all, then the technique I present in this Mini offers a new approach for creating fun, Mini goals. You can use this technique to set goals for a week, a month, a quarter or an entire year. It is a great technique for regaining focus that flows with life.

How to Break a Bad Habit

Mini #67
13 pages
Includes positive and negative reinforcement worksheet, habit analysis, and obstacle exercise

Almost everyone has some habit in their life that robs their day-to-day life of a little (or a lot) of joy. Sometimes the habits are obvious—overeating, procrastinating, over-spending, drinking too much caffeine, smoking—other times they are less obvious like avoidance of health-enhancing behaviors (exercise), making excuses, spending too much time on a computer, blaming others, getting angry quickly, not taking care of ourselves… just to name a few.
Over time the word “habit” often becomes synonymous with “excuse.” We begin to feel that we cannot change an area because it is a “habit,” and stereotypically habits are hard to break. However, if we have the power to create a habit, then we also have the power to un-create it. How do we know if a habit needs to be broken? When it begins to negatively impact our relationships, self-esteem, finances, career, or any other area important to us, then a habit has become a hurt.
Habits are not formed overnight, but through repetition. Each time we repeat a behavior, whether positive or negative, we strengthen neuro-connectors in the brain. Fortunately, science has shown that we can “rewire” our connectors and thus rewire our habits. Breaking a habit takes focus, awareness and intention, since we need to turn off the “autopilot” we have created and make deliberate new choices.
In this Mini I’ll walk you through the science of breaking a bad habit. Of course reading the Mini is only the first step. Taking deliberate action on each step over a realistic period of time will be the key to unlock your life of negative habits.

Creating a Goal Poster

Mini #64

Many people think “day dreaming” is a useless exercise – they may be right – but I can guarantee that visualization is not a useless exercise. Visualization is the practice of vividly and clearly envisioning something you wish to manifest in your life. The clearer this image in your mind, the more likely you are to see it in reality.

Visualization in terms of our goals is very important. We must have a crystal clear vision of how it will feel to live this goal to get us through the obstacles that will undoubtedly surface. In this Mini we work through the process of creating a Vision Statement for your goal and then illustrating your goal with a goal poster.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Mini #63

Most of us are great at setting goals; in fact, we are goal-setting experts. We have set goals a thousand times or more. What we are not so great at is reaching them. In order to help ourselves reach our goals, we need to concisely state our goal and make sure it is a  S.M.A.R.T.Goal.

This Mini takes you through the five components of creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely; and helps you create a goal that gets the year off to a smart start.

Refueling: Creating an Energy Map

Mini Makeover #60

6 pages plus
Energy Log Worksheet
Energy Mapping Printable
Online Sleep Quiz

Tired or being tired? Wondering how to give your energy a tune up? This Mini will show you how to track 17 different energy-influencing factors to see how they impact your day to day energy level.

The Mini begins with an Energy Log Worksheet. This daily inventory provides the basis for determining how to improve your energy. The second part of the Mini shows you how to convert these logs to the Energy Map–which is the fun part. The Energy Map works like a graph chart, quickly showing the trends in the highs and lows of your energy.  We wrap up with an Energy Map plan to continue collecting information to create a solid foundation for enhancing your energy.

Adapted from the online course: High Energy Living

Easy & Economical Holiday Decorating

Mini #58

15 pages

Tis the season to deck the house and this Mini will walk you through quick, easy and economical ideas to create a winter wonderland.

Within this Mini we will look at:

  • 6 ideas for Creating Holiday Centerpieces
  • Cornerstones of Holiday Decorating
  • 4 simple necessities to add a festive touch
  • Christmas Cards as Decoration
  • Garlands Galore: 10 Creative Ideas
  • Often Overlooked Decorating Ideas: Sounds & Scents
  • Pomanders
  • Advent Wreath Tradition
  • Christmas Crackers

The Mini includes additional links and resources for celebrating the season!Adapted from the 10 Weeks of Christmas Course

Beyond Magazine Madness

Mini #59
7 pages

If you are drowning in magazines or have piles of magazines you think you might need “someday” then this Mini is for you. In this seven page Mini we work step by step through creating a personal reference system to transform piles of magazines into efficient reference tools.

The Mini begins with a challenge to sort your magazines into three categories and then guides you through how to process each of these of categories to create a customized system for managing what was once a paper pile.

Adapted from Everyday Paper Piles and Paper Piles & Files

Reality Routines

Mini #57
Includes Reality Routine worksheet

Please note this Mini will not be available until November 7, 2008.

Recently I have had quite a few conversations with women about their Master Task Lists. I found that many women assumed I followed my Master Task List to a tee.  In one conversation I began explaining that the Weekly list is what is most important to me and receives 90 percent of my energy. The 2x a month tasks, monthly tasks, and quarterly tasks are all those I hope to get to (and often do) but they are not my focus. By focusing on a solid weekly routine the longer term tasks tend to be much more easy to manage because my life is managed. I may not get everything done, but I get what is most important done.

Then there are the times when life goes haywire. The unexpected trip, or unexpected guests. The overtime at work or the problem with a close family member.  The unexpected illness or the emotional rollercoaster. During these times a solid weekly routine is one tool that can help us keep our sanity and stay above the chaos.

This Mini takes you step by step through building your weekly “Reality Routine.” This is not a routine based on everything you WANT to do, but based on the “anchors” that help you stay sane, maintain balance, and feel good about home and self. By the end of this Mini you will have created a solid routine and run it through the reality test.

From “To Do” to Done: How to Effectively Break Down (and manage) a Project

Mini #51
In the Make Today Matter Toolbox we learned about projects and tasks. Projects require multiple action steps to complete and often stretch out over a period of time or require the involvement of others. Learning how to break down a project into realistic action steps is the first key to accomplishing that project.; learning how to give your plan a “reality check” is the second key and the third key is implementation and revision.

In this Mini you will be ecnouraged to choose a project you are currently working on and then work through a series of assignments to break that project down and learn the project management tools to get it done.

This Mini is perfect for….

  1. Anyone who has a lot of project management as part of their personal or professional life.
  2. Anyone struggling with all the paper involved in a project
  3. Anyone who finds they tend to “stall” on projects and need proven techniques to keep them moving forward

Mastering the Nightly Reflection

Mini #049

13 pages
Includes Nightly Reflection Checklist

Early on in the Toolbox we cover the importance of a Good Morning. Thousands of women have seen the Good Morning practice change the course of their days. The Nightly Reflection is the partner of the Good Morning. It provides a way to “wrap up each day and be done with it” as Emerson says.
.A Nightly Reflection allows a person to recap, release stress, and give thanks for the day while also preparing for the day ahead. However mastering the Nightly Reflection isn’t always easy because:

  • It is unfamiliar
  • Many of us are tired at the end of a day!

In this Mini we are going to work step-by-step through the process of Mastering the Nightly Reflection so you can confidently implement this practice to decrease to stress and find more joy in each day.

Back in the Groove

Mini #45

It was fun to develop this Mini because it emphasizes the part of the Make Today Matter Life System that is most important to me. When I created MTM, it was very important to me that it contained a contingency plan for when “life happens.” I wanted women to know that when life happens and you cannot login as often as you would like or the Toolbox Steps seem a million miles away—it’s okay. You are not behind. You are right where you should be and MTM is ready for you—no matter where you are.

This Mini is designed for two audiences in particular:
1.    Women who completed the Toolbox but worked quickly or did not fully implement each Step.
2.    Women who have been away from the program because life happened and are looking for some guidance to get “back in the groove.”

During the first seven days we review and focus on the 5 essential practices to build a solid daily foundation. During the second week we walk through how to make the most of your Make Today Matter Membership and use the site to match your goals and priority areas.

Monthly Planning Step-by-Step

Mini Makeover #44 - Monthly Planning

This 11 page Mini focuses on monthly and long-term planning. We work step-by-step through how to incorporate long-term items into the MTM Foundation learned in the Toolbox. In addition we add and review a couple of new tools to your system–the Appointments list and Dates & Deadlines printable.