Let’s begin by setting the context for this piece- I have been struggling with this blog’s content. This space started off as a creative outlet for me to document my styling preferences and let my mind run unbridled. I am however coming to the realization that I don’t necessarily have the inclination to talk about white tulle skirts or bralettes in detail -yet I still love to take pictures of said white tulle skirt and bralettes. Since this was holding me back from coming back to this space that I am so fond of, I have opt to change up the format to accommodate my current headspace. That said all outfit details are at the very bottom of this post for your reference.

As I work on becoming more efficient with my time and on this space-I opt to share some of my tried truths on how to potentially improve your life’s admin’ work and stay on top of your to-do lists. If you are anything like me, each morning begins with intent-intent to be more efficient with my time, knock-off stuff from my to-do list, hit all my deadlines, respond to the exponentially growing emails (I need to flatten this curve 😊), catch up with; piling text and WhatsApp messages, social media (especially Instagram!) and my favorite reads, polish my French, plan for this blog, exercise? attend class, run a household-all the while being a present mom, friend, and human (while taking on Gary Vee’s advice to crush it!). Unfortunately, the day ends with several unaccomplished/abandoned tasks, an even longer list of stuff to do, low-key looser feelings, and a personal commitment for a better outcome the next day-rinse and repeat.

With a preference for sanity over mental breakdown -I’ve done some digging to figure out how to declutter my mind, make myself more functional, efficient, present and productive (I will get to the 1,234 emails). Below are easy to implement systems and apps helping me manage life administration

Public service announcement: These are my personal observations and preferences; I am happy to discuss them- you are not obligated to follow them. Use this as base-adopt bits and bobs as suits your lifestyle and current challenges.

A) Apps:

  1. Trello: This for me is the organization gold standard. You can potentially organize your entire life using this single app. With easy to follow customizable templates to help efficiently organize each life aspect – meals, work-life, editorial content, weddings, incoming work requests, the next baby shower. Simply put, this is a visual personal assistant that is so far handling my meal planning, blog content, work-related tasks, next house move, and collaborated projects (with the option to add a project member). With the clutter shifting from my mind to the app, I generally have more headspace to think and better productive outcomes. As a certified cheapie-I am using the free version (of course)
  2. Headspace: Yes, I am a cheapie and yes, I pay a monthly subscription to this app despite piggybacking off someone else’s Netflix account. I am trying to calm myself down -enough to explain just how this app has flipped my life. Let me start with the basics. I have previously wrestled anxiety, I have had panic attacks at work, in traffic at home, I have had extended periods of lack of sleep and I somehow came to meditation as a solution. But -what exactly is meditation? This is where Headspace comes in – it is a meditation app that is helping me exercise mindfulness – the ability to be fully present in the moment.
    Mindfulness has been proven to help reduce stress levels, sadness, improve focus, and awareness – outcomes likely to improve productivity. Secondly, I have been bringing my two-year-old into my daily meditation practice -and if you know two-year-olds…you want to kill them some times. This guy has occasionally been smack in the middle of a tantrum and I will remind him to take a breath and (drum rolls please!) will pause take a deep in-breath (with a failed out-breath). In that calm moment, I am able to communicate what needs to happen. The app covers many topics including, anger (manages my impulse to kill said two-year-old in some instances), loss, stress, loneliness, kids’ practice, mindful eating (I know!). With a 14day free trail -I highly recommend it.
  3. Keep notes (Google):  I consider these my digital post-it notes (yes, I am aware there is a sticky note app-call it preference). I track my shopping list and a great outlet for a midnight mental offload.
  4. Audible: I love books, but then I do not love to read them. Audible gives me access to audiobook so I listen to my favorite authors without thumbing through any books. (Should you be a reading purist-onto the next app). For the rest of us with limited time and uneasy attention, spans-this was made for us!
  5. Password manager: Now how is a password manager going to help you be more productive? simple, you need not remember any password (save for the phone lock and desktop access password). If you have committed the fundamental blunder of using the same password on more than one platform (stop, drop and roll). Please update your passwords and use a password manager to track all your passwords – as well as recommend hard to hack into passwords for your online profiles. With fewer passwords to remember, you’ll potentially have a better headspace for game-changing action
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Meanwhile, behind the scenes…

B) Systems:

  1. Proactive vs Reactive approach to emails: I have done away with the urge to respond to each email that hits my inbox. My experience being that this sets me off the course of my priority list. Reacting to incoming emails has in the past redirected my day’s course, confused, and even upset me! Instead, I now have specific blocks of time within which I read, respond, and prioritize my actions from incoming emails.
  1. Planning for the day in advance: Planning for the coming day the night/evening before eases the mental load – ready the day’s outfit, pack a lunch, settle on the must-dos for the day and review your priority list. Doing this eases your ability to get up early and defines what you commit time to over the course of the next day. Having too many tasks to do before settling down or starting the commute to work is likely to inhibit the will to get-up early. Additionally, having visibility of your priorities the day before will inform what you agree to get looped into over the next day’s course
  1. Journaling: This is pretty straight forward. For any overwhelmed moment – I get to writing, penning down everything that is floating around the mind – I think of it as a mental purge – I keep going until every random thought is on paper. I then Look through the musings and take a few minutes to place each thought in its rightful place; input actions into appropriate apps, set reminders, call that friend, etc.
  1. Browser setting: Set-up your browser so it launches with pages that keep you motivated-favorite blogs, websites, authors. As an example I read a movie reviews/critics most mornings -I can’t explain why this simple morning routine makes me feel so badass!
  1. Action: Simply start. You need write a paper/report, apply for that job-just begin! With the wisdom you cannot finish what you have not begun. Initiate an action-however small it is -it certainly an action in the right direction. You have 1,234 emails? delete ten and unsubscribe from five automated newsletters you never read anyway! -a step in the right direction is obviously better than no step

{White Tulle skirt: Missangelsmile | White converse – thrifted  then hand-decorated by M_Voi  | Grey double-breasted blazer – thee_target | Camel tone heels: my shoe guy (he, unfortunately, doesn’t have any web presence -yet} |  Camel tone leather jacket: Foschini (SA)  | Baby’s stuffed monkey & Rubik’s cube -The game |  “Vogue” clutch bag – gifted |  Similar outfit –here |  

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