organizing your workspace

Organizing Your Workspace with The Simplifiers

Let’s talk organizing your workspace…

Would you consider your office calm or chaotic? Do you find you can be productive at your desk? Does your workspace set up work for you? Or are you often working in another space or wasting time searching for documents, files, or supplies? Read on to see how organizing your workspace can help you with productivity and time management. And a bit of sanity.

Last Summer, I appeared on the UK-based podcast The Simplifiers with host Mary Baird-Wilcock. Mary and I discussed where to start creating a system to organize your space, how to manage paper, and how to maintain your efforts.

Even if you feel completely comfortable in a chaotic workspace, a few tweaks here and there will help you with efficiency and productivity. And show your boss you care. 😉 You can watch my interview with Mary below:

Here are some of the highlights from my discussion with Mary:

Creating Organizing Systems in Your Workspace

  • Organizing your space is personal to your style and preferences. If something isn’t working for you, tweak it or try something different. There is something out there that will work for you.
  • Keep it simple at the beginning. Baby steps make creating new habits easier. And it will be easier to maintain.
  • To figure out your personal system, start by figuring out the basics you NEED to do your work. Put those items in the closest proximity to your workspace.
  • Next, figure out what items you use occasionally. Things you access on a weekly or monthly basis. Those items can be placed further away from your primary workspace. But still convenient enough to access when you need them.
  • Finally, determine what items would be rarely needed. Create a space out of the way for archival and reference items. This way you have them on hand if you need them. But they aren’t cluttering up your prime workspace.
  • Schedule a specific time to organize and reset your workspace. This will ensure you can follow all the steps of pulling items out, sorting like with like, purging what you don’t need, and assigning where items will now live.

Just because a system is working, doesn’t mean it couldn’t work better.

Organizing Paper in Your Workspace

  • Touch paper as few times as possible when it arrives on your desk. Break it into 3 categories:
    • Recycle or pitch items you know you won’t need or need to address.
    • File or assign items that have a specific place or person to process them
    • Determine a course of action for items that need attention. Consider using desktop files with action words for the labels. Words like “email”, “call”, or pay work well.
  • Determine your best method for storing paper. Are you a piler or a filer? It doesn’t matter how you keep it. Just create a specific place for items to go so you, and those in your office, will know where to find it when you need it.

Organizing is about retrieval of information at a moments notice.

Organizing Maintenance for Your Workspace

  • How do you maintain the space you’ve spent time organizing? You have to make the time to do it.
  • Schedule time for regular resets to refresh the space. It is also a great time to tweak systems to make sure they are working for you.
  • The more often you reset the space, the less time it will take.

You do not just get organized…it’s the development of organizing skills.

Organizing your workspace will help you find what you need. It will help you do more in less time. You will feel more in control and less stress. Organizing your workspace is always worth the time investment.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Free Self-Care Ideas for Moms

10 Free 10-Minute Self-Care Ideas for Moms

Self-care…you know you need it. But do you actually DO it?

I am the first to admit that self-care is often pushed to the back burner by kid needs, husband needs, house needs, work needs, client needs, pet needs…all the needs. Self-care always seemed more like something I would get around to eventually if I had time. But I never had the time.

Then last Fall I felt like I cracked. All this putting out but never stopping to refill took its toll on my mental and physical health. Ok, universe. Lesson learned.

Want to know a great part about slowing down and recognizing my need to take care of me? I realized it didn’t have to take a long time. I realized it didn’t have to cost a fortune. Of course, it could. And of course, I should treat myself. But there are also things I can do on a daily basis that can help me care for myself that take very little time and no money. They are things I can do with my kids so there is literally no excuse.

And that list of 10 free 10-minute self-care ideas I brainstormed last Fall is what I would like to share with you today. It helped me with my mental and physical health at the end of 2019. It helped me maintain a positive outlook during quarantine. And it will continue to help me take care of me into the future. So I can continue to take care of everyone else.

Watch or read below…

Mindset Self-Care Ideas

Mindset work is crucial to my daily well being. Not sure why it took me so long to realize how much my thoughts, positive or negative, influence my daily actions. But once I realized this, I knew I needed to work on my mindset regularly to stay healthy, stay positive, and move forward in my business.

  1. Meditation – This has truly been the biggest game-changer for me in terms of mental health. I used to be afraid of quiet. However, now I see it’s necessary. Call it what you want: meditation, prayer, stillness, quiet time. Just take time each day to breathe and stay present. Don’t focus on what did happen or what will happen. Focus on now. I use the Calm app but there are several options out in the forms of apps, YouTube videos, and podcasts to help you quiet your mind.
  2. Gratitude Journal – It is so much easier to recognize and invite in abundance if you take time each to show gratitude for what you have. It can be as simple as writing 3-5 things on a sheet paper before bed. It can be a discussion around the breakfast table with your family. I personally use the 5 Minute Journal app on my phone. Above all, recognize what you have, big and small. It brightens your mood and helps boost your immune system. Who doesn’t want that?!?
  3. Writing Affirmations – Wanting more is a great motivator. But not when it grates on your self-esteem or ability to show thanks for what you have. You need to appreciate who you are. All your abilities. Affirmations go hand in hand with gratitude to show you how blessed you are. They help you see all the positive traits you can share with the world. And they can reprogram your subconscious mind in a positive way and help you achieve the life you want. (All that from a little daily dose of affirmation…wow!)
  4. Writing Goals – While writing goals may not feel like it falls into the traditional “self-care” category, it does if you write them as if they already happened. Just as with affirmations, writing goals in the past tense will train your brain to believe you already have accomplished that goal. Rather than inserting the doubt that you can complete it. What amazing thing did you do this week?

Physical Self-Care Ideas

Don’t worry…they aren’t all exercise-related. 😂 These self-care ideas include physical activities that you do to help get the blood flowing and improve your mood. But speaking of exercise…

  1. Move Your Body – Even if you aren’t a fan of traditional exercise, moving your body is an important form of self-care. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Set up an obstacle course with your kids. Stretch. Dance. Park your car at the end of the parking lot. Swing on a swing. Rearrange your furniture. Do jumping jacks. Raising your heart rate release dopamine which makes us feel good. But raising your heart rate doesn’t need to be running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or taking a spin class. If you’re feeling disconnected or in a funk, move your body.
  2. Deep Breaths – On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are times when we feel stress and anxiety that we need to slow down. Sitting quietly (you can hide from your kids in your car, I won’t tell) and taking 5-10 really deep breaths while focusing on the inhale and exhale will help to increase your oxygen supply. It helps to lessen stress and anxiety. It can improve your attention span and lessen physical pain. Next time you feel that flutter in your chest, you know the one, find a quiet place and breathe.
  3. Laugh, Really Hard – When was the last time you had a good, hearty laugh? It seems so easy and yet we underutilize this form of self-care. I mean, when was the last time you were stressed, anxious, or sad after watching your favorite comedian or funny movie? Studies have shown laughing can help boost the immune system, ease anxiety, relieve stress, and diffuse anger (I’m looking at you, social media). Take a few minutes to watch funny animal videos or your kids make faces. Watch your favorite funny movie. Read a funny book. Laughter truly is the best medicine. 🤣🤣🤣

Activity Self-Care Ideas

In conclusion, we will discuss activities you can do by yourself or with your family. It’s less about strengthening your mind or getting your heart rate up, and more about doing something you love. Perhaps even with people you love. Or alone…trust me, I’m not judging.

  1. Reach Out to Someone You Love – When was the last time you got non-bill mail? Or a phone call instead of a text? We are simultaneously more and less connected than ever. Feeling disconnected? Phone a friend. Want to express gratitude? Write a thank you card. Miss social interaction with friends or family who are far away? Schedule a group call. Take the next step to create that connection. Social interaction helps to maintain mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Communication with those we love releases dopamine to improve your mood. But we can’t sit and wait for people to reach out to use. Make the call. Send the email. Send the letter.
  2. Make Something – Lots of wiggle room in this suggestion based on your idea of fun. For instance, you could bake something. Craft something. Sew something. Color something. Paint something. Build something. Write something. Engaging in creativity can boost your mood and help you feel accomplished. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The simple act of creating boosts your immune system and increases your happiness.
  3. Read – If you’re a reader, do you make time for it? Reading improves your focus, mindfulness, and connection with your family. By reading fiction before you sleep, you can help improve dreaming (which is important for your brain). Reading with your children establishes quality time and builds a positive relationship with reading and books for them. Not to mention, if you enjoy reading for whatever reason, you should do something you enjoy.

And there you have it. Ten ideas that won’t cost you a dime that you can do it 10 minutes or less to improve your mood, relationships, and overall mental well-being. Which one will you do? Is there something on your list that I missed? Comment below and share how you will incorporate self-care into your routine or other ways you can improve how you take care of you.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Working Mom Productivity - Wake Up Early

Why You Should Wake Up Early

I love waking up at 5:30am. Yes, you read that right.

Even though I’m a mom who values every minute of sleep I can get…I love it. The benefits of waking up early by far outweigh the occasional bleary eyes.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…You’re tired of scrambling, switching tasks, and never crossing items off your to-do list. I can totally relate. A little over 2 years ago I suffered from the exact same thing. Spinning my wheels constantly but never moving forward. Until I discovered the art of the morning routine.

I never thought of myself as a morning person. And when my coach suggested I start waking up before my kids a few years back, I laughed at her. Turns out, she was right. I now relish the quiet way I am able to start my day my way.

How Waking Up Early Helps You

When my coach suggested I wake up earlier than my kids to get things done, I thought she didn’t understand my mom life. I mean, getting up earlier means I have to go to bed earlier. And evening are the only time I can see my husband. Plus, what could I possibly do in the wee hours of the morning that could benefit my day? I mean, the brain fog was bad enough when I woke at 7:30 am, the thought of 5:30 am was crazy.

But I was willing to give a little. Soon I was waking a half-hour earlier than my boys. I was having my coffee quiet and replying to emails. Or posting on social media. Next thing I know, I’m waking at 6:30 am to edit podcasts, plan live chats, or create pins for Pinterest. And here we are 2 years later waking up 2 hours earlier with a full-fledged morning routine including all kinds of work and even self-care…which was sorely lacking in my life previously.

Do you find yourself lacking self-care time? Needing time to work in a more focused manner? Just looking to get more done around your house? Maybe give waking earlier a try.

How Waking Up Early Helps Your Kids

I’m not the only benefitting from my improved focus, self-care, and productivity. Turns out when I spend a little time on myself, I’m a much better morning mom. You moms know what I mean. The frantic “where are your shoes?” “What do you mean you have homework still?” “Will you eat something, please?!?” kind of mornings. I went from multi-tasking mom to mom who has conversations with her kids at breakfast.

It turns out, my kids want to have good mornings too. They aren’t trying to be jerks and interrupt me while I’m writing emails. They want me to show an interest in their day. And I want to show an interest in their day. I feel like I can fulfill their need for engagement because I don’t feel pressured to work and mom at breakfast.

So not only does my waking early help me with productivity, it helps me spend focused time with my boys in the morning. I can have my coffee while they eat breakfast without rushing to write and email or post on social media. We all can start our day in a positive way.

I’m even contemplating moving my wake-up time to 5 am once the sun starts shining earlier here in the Midwest. I see so many personal and productivity benefits to my morning hours, I want to take every advantage of my focused mornings. How about you? What’s your wake-up routine like?


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Working Mom Mindset - Mom Guilt

How I Flip the Script on Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is real.

Like for real, real. But recently I started to reframe this working mom guilt I had in a more positive light. I can tell you that my husband does not feel guilty about working. So why should I feel guilty about setting aside time to work on my business or work with clients when my kids are around?

That’s what prompted me to explore reasons why I love the idea that my kids see me working from home. You can watch or read below…

1. I want them to see an entrepreneur

My kids know I wake up early. They see me working on my laptop when they sneak out of their beds at night. They know I work hard at my business because they see it day in and day out. But they also see that my dedication pays off. I love that they can see the return on my investment in hard work. And that when they grow up, if they have an idea for a business, hard work and dedication can lead them to their own successful business doing something they love.

2. Every day is “Take Your Kids to Work” day

It’s not just one day a year that they get to see what I do or learn about the different aspects of my job. It’s nearly every day. I can teach them about editing podcasts or videos. We talk about how marketing works (and why we won’t let it work to buy that toy they want. 🤣) I demonstrate time management (some days better than others) because I have “work” hours and “family” hours. Every time I work in front of my kids is a chance to teach them a skill they could use in the future or inspire them to learn more.

3. It teaches them patience

As a work from home entrepreneur, there are times when mama’s just gotta work. I can’t settle every little argument or drop everything to play race cars. And that’s ok. I make time for these things. I’m more intentional with the time I spend with them because I focus on being present during “family time”. Teaching them to wait or hold on has had great benefits. They can entertain themselves like no other 6 and 8-year old I know. They know if I say “when the big hand gets to the top, we’ll go to the park” that I am true to my word. Trust me, there is no accountability like a 6-year-old who knows there’s a park visit in his future. They learn to give me space, respect my work hours, and we enjoy our time together when mommy’s work is done.

Do you struggle with mom guilt? Do you have a strategy for keeping it at bay? I’d love to hear more about how you balance working mom life with family mom life in the comments below.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.