All Posts by Noreen Music

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About the Author

Owner of Organize My Space Calgary. A Trained Professional Organizer passionate about helping you become free from clutter and disorganization both at work and at home.

Facility Calgary Interview
Dec 04

Facility Calgary Interview with Noreen Music

By Noreen Music | About Me

Facility Calgary Interview with Noreen Music

On December 1, 2020 the latest edition of Facility Calgary was released including an interview with myself and Mark Kolke, Publisher.

You can read the full interview here.

Facility Calgary is a news, commentary & perspective - financing, deals - commercial real estate, infrastructure and oil & gas newsletter that has been published by Mark Kolke since July 1999.

Feel free to sign up to receive this in-depth and highly informative newsletter here.

Get to know more about me

The interview goes into detail about my family, commercial real estate career and Organize My Space Calgary so you can learn more about me.

I thought I would round out the article with a bit more about my work history so here goes!

My work history

I am an accomplished property management professional and I dedicated my entire 3-year career to the commercial real estate industry in Calgary, Alberta.

I successfully managed all types and classes of real estate including office, industrial, retail and residential on behalf of large institutional organizations such as O&Y Enterprise, Brookfield Properties, GWL Realty Advisors and Oxford Properties.

Customer service and sustainability

In my various management roles, I had a deep passion for customer service excellence, sustainability and master strategic planning. 

I am well known for my trailblazing programs and innovative projects with far reaching positive impact within the company itself but also the commercial real estate industry as whole. 

One example of this is the comprehensive waste and recycling program created at Centennial Place. It was the first of its kind in Calgary and across Oxfords portfolio and continues to set the bar today with a 92% diversion rate. This program is considered best in class by the City of Calgary and it won the Corporate Leadership award in 2017 from the Alberta Recycling Council.

Volunteerism

Volunteering and giving back has always been a must for me. I was the longest standing member of the BOMA Calgary Industry Standards and Recognition committee and I served as a committee member, vice-chair and chair for over 15 years.  


The ISR committee is responsible for updating the Certificate of Excellence/TOBY/Earth/Pinnacle award criteria at the local level, judging the local award entrants and the awards event itself.

I was also a national and international judge for the CEO/TOBY awards for over 10 years.

PS - This is where I met Mark Kolke many years ago!

Awards and recognition

2009 – Gulf Canada Square won both the local and national BOMA Earth award with unprecedented scores

2012 – Received Malcolm Bryce award from BOMA Calgary for volunteerism

2012 – Centennial Place won both the local and national COE/TOBY awards in its size category

2013 – Won inaugural Customer Service Award at Oxford Properties

2014 – Took Centennial Place from a LEED Gold Core & Shell certification to a LEED Platinum EB:OM – currently the only Platinum certified EB:OM building in Alberta

2017 – Centennial Place & Eau Claire Tower – Investment Deal of the Year with NAIOP

2017 – Centennial Place won the prestigious Corporate Leadership award from the Alberta Recycling Council.

Credentials and affiliations

  • Alberta Real Estate Associate license (parked)
  • Received Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation in 2015
  • Received Facilities Management Administrator (FMA) designation in 2018
  • Active Commissioner For Oaths in the Province of Alberta
  • Disney University graduate in Leadership Excellence, Innovation and Customer Service
  • BOMA Calgary
  • Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)
  • Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI)
  • Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA)
  • Real Estate Institute of Canada (REICA)
  • Professional Organizers of Canada (currently chair of National Nominating Committee) 

Okay that's enough about me!

If you need my help or have any questions for me regarding my residential organizing services or my Productivity Mastery Program, complete the contact form below and I will respond back to you within 24-48 hours.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Closet Organizing
Dec 03

Step-by-Step Closet Organizing

By Noreen Music | Organizing Tips

An Organized Closet

A well organized closet is a dream.

It makes your morning routine so much easier. Your clothes stay in better shape because they're not all jammed in together. You wear more of what you own because you can actually see what you have.

Schedule time in your calendar to take a day and clean out your closet.

You will love it.

How to organize your closet step-by-step

  1. Pull everything out of your closet, dressers, armoires, wardrobes.
  2. Deep clean closet and inside of furniture/drawers.
  3. Sort all items by type.
  4. Keep only the clothes you love, actually wear, fit well and are in good repair.
  5. Declutter and organize your handbag/wallet collection.
  6. Anything you are not keeping goes into consign, donate, trash/recycle piles.
  7. Evaluate your closet storage organizing solutions – do you need a new closet system or just a few baskets, containers and hooks?
  8. Decide what to hang and what to fold. Dressier clothes want to be hung and casual clothes lend themselves more to being folded.
  9. Hang and arrange items (blouses, dresses, slacks, shirts, suits) from light to dark. Or put the color you wear the most at the front with the least worn color at the back. You can also hang clothes by type & within each type, organize by color.
  10. File fold casual clothes (t-shirts, shorts, sweaters, jeans, underthings, work out wear, etc.) and arrange from light to dark or most to least worn in your dresser drawers.
EXPERT TIP: Use slim, felted hangers to save a ton of space in your closet. Keep a set number of hangers to control volume.

Closet organizing tips

  • Put out of season items in storage. This helps not only with saving time and space but it’s also a great way to purge what you don’t wear. 
  • Out of season clothes can be stored in labelled bins under your bed or in a basement closet ready for the next season swap.
  • Use closet shelves for accessories such as handbags, hats, bags, belts, scarfs, nylons. Put each category in containers or shelf dividers that fit the space to keep everything neatly organized.
  • Use the vertical spaces above and below your closet rod.
  • Install hooks in hard to reach or unusable areas such as the wall behind the closet door for accessories (scarves, belts, hats, necklaces) that can be hung up.
  • Over the door organizers are also a great way to store off-season shoes or accessories.
  • If you have room, place a chest of drawers inside the closet.
  • Designate a spot where unwanted items can accumulate for donation when full.
  • Every time you put your laundry away, tidy and purge as you go to maintain your newly organized closet.

I hope you love your newly organized closet!

If you would like more tips on keeping your home organized, download our free guide:

Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Evening Routine
Dec 03

Evening Routines to Keep You Organized

By Noreen Music | Organizing Tips

Evening routines will keep your busy life organized and more productive the next day.

Clean your kitchen as you cook

When you're finished cooking dinner and you sit down to eat, there should be very little left to clean up. 

Wash dishes as you go. Clean up spills on the countertops and stove as they happen. Put ingredients back into the fridge or pantry where they belong when you're finished with them.

This evening routine ensures that one of the main areas in your home will stay clean and organized at all times.

Do the dishes and shine the sink

It may seem like a small thing, but if you don't stay on top of the dirty dishes, they pile up fast. Plus they are harder to clean once they've been sitting there for a day or two.

There is great satisfaction knowing that your kitchen is clean at the end of the night. Your sink is empty and clean. The dishwasher is humming away. You can walk away feeling good about going for a walk or taking a bath or watching some TV or cracking open a good book. 

You won't ever feel guilty about leaving a mess behind or experience that awful feeling the next morning seeing a disaster.

As strange as it may be, a clean sink has a powerful effect on your mental state.

Try it and you'll see what I mean.

Prepare for dinner tomorrow

We've all been there. 

You come home from a long day at work and you have nothing planned for dinner. You're tired and you just don't have the mental capacity left to think about what to make for dinner.

Well, the kids have to eat so you look in the freezer and ask yourself "What am I going to do with the chicken?!"? Ugh. It's still frozen and you have no plan. 

So what do you do instead? Order in? Eat a bowl of cereal or a bag of chips? Or worse yet, you make nothing. Then you're starving 3 hours later, binge eat anything that isn't nailed down and have a crappy sleep because you feel sick.

I've done this too and it's not pretty.

What's the simple solution? Make it a routine to take the chicken out of the freezer while you're making dinner the night before. 

Having a plan increases the odds you will follow through.

Plus your wallet and your waist line will thank you!

Do one load of laundry

This evening routine is golden because who likes to face mountains of laundry on the weekend when you could be doing a billion other fun and relaxing things??

After you get home at the end of the day and you're changing out of your work clothes, fill one hamper.

Before you start making dinner, put the one load of laundry in the washer.

When dinner is almost done, put the laundry in the dryer.

Once dinner is done, fold and put away that ONE load of laundry.

Just think about what else you could do if you didn't have 5 loads of laundry to do on Saturday!

Small steps done consistently is the key to staying organized and on top of your household chores using these easy evening routines.

Tidy up before bed

Tidy up the common areas of your house before bed. Fold the blankets on couch, have the kids tidy up their toys, put any projects away you were working on.

Just a quick 5 minute tidy up is all you need because your kitchen is already clean!

Have a shut down ritual

Structured evening routines are good for you and good for your kids. 

As life gets crazy, you can all rely on the fact that some things stay the same. That being said, routines aren't meant to be rigid and inflexible but supportive and positive.

Do whatever helps you shut down to be ready for a restful and restorative night's sleep.

Read. Talk with a friend. Do yoga. Meditate. Take a quick shower. Journal.

Life happens so if your preferred routine doesn't happen, if you don't feel like it or maybe your kids need a bit more of your time and attention, that's perfectly okay.

Go to bed on time (on early!)

We all know by now how important sleep is.

Set your phone alarm to remind you when it's time for bed.

Resist the urge to watch that next episode of your favourite show. Don't keep scrolling through Instagram.

Your sleep, your health and how you function the next day is far more important.

Nightly habits are good for your kids.

Implement these suggested evening routines and you will appreciate the structure, confidence and improved focus it will give you and your entire family.

Teaching your kids to have an evening routine will actually help them cope with change as the structure is good for their mental health.

Set you and your kids up for success with these high-functioning and healthy household routines!

Learn more about organizing strategies for your kids.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

The Gift that keeps giving
Dec 01

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts

The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

Peace and Calm in Your Home

Now more than ever we are spending a lot of time in our homes. This should be the one place that gives you a sense of peace and calm. 

For many, however, their homes just don't provide the support and soothing environment they need because of clutter and disorganization.

Happiness is NOT Your Stuff

Happiness is not found in a dollar store cart overloaded with cheap stuff or online Black Friday or Cyber Monday "deals" or yet another Costco run.

Shopping might provide a quick high but this is quickly overshadowed by feelings of guilt or regret and the need for yet another fix.

You deserve to live in spaces that you can breathe deeply in.

An environment that you are proud of and enjoy spending time in. 

A home that reflects your personality and also functions well.

Make the decision to start 2021 by clearing and organizing your home to allow light and freshness to flourish!

What a gift!

Give the Gift That Keeps On Giving!

Click on the link below to order a Gift Certificate today and give the gift of organization. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving plus the bonus of no added clutter!

>>PURCHASE GIFT CERTIFICATE<<

Our December sessions are full but we are taking bookings for January 2021 so don't delay!

Our Gift to YOU!

Check out our FREE resource guide Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season to help you get a jump on all those organizing projects.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 19

Overcome Productivity Overwhelm With These 5 Keys – Claim Your FREE E-Book HERE!

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Productivity Mastery

Overcome Productivity Overwhelm With These 5 Keys

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day with a well prepared routine, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

Do you know what? You CAN.

Here are the 5 key productivity mastery secrets.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery program, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm E-Book HERE!

Now that you have seen the elements of the 5 keys to productivity success, I guarantee you will find the powerful information in the Productivity Mastery e-book extremely useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm 
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive 
Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to book your FREE 30-minute call directly in my calendar and I will help you work through one of your productivity frustrations from the 5 keys.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?

If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).

I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 18

Productivity Mastery Key Five – Routines

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day with a well prepared routine, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Five - ROUTINES

Weekly Planning Routine

Once a week, sit down and review/update all of your lists. It could be Friday afternoon (my recommendation), Sunday night or Monday morning.

Based on what you identify as your highest priorities for the upcoming week, *
block the appropriate amount of time in your calendar to accomplish these tasks. Do not name the calendar with the specific tasks you have identified - only block "Project Time", "Client Care", "Accounting/Admin" and so on.

At the end of every day (my recommendation) or first thing every morning, 
quickly scan all of your lists and write on a sticky note or in your paper planner the 1-3 top most important tasks you must complete that day.

Another tip to stay super organized is your email inbox, paper inbox, paper filing systems and all tasks lists should mirror each other as much as possible.

If you have time in the day, scan your lists again to see what else you can cross off but if you don't have the time, you know you will or have accomplished what is most pressing.

Keep capturing tasks from all of your various sources (emails, incoming paper, meeting action items, verbal requests, customer phone calls, etc.) and grow or shrink your lists as you complete tasks, get new projects or as things change.

Your lists are dynamic and reflect the ebbs and flows of your work and home life.

*The calendar blocking technique is discussed in our blog Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Weekly planning routine
Setting Morning & Evening Routines

A productive day starts the night before.

Think about your current evening routines. What can you do the night before to make your day as stress-free and organized as possible?

End the day well. Review your master action list to pull out your top 1-3 priorities for tomorrow. Prepare the files you will need for tomorrow's projects or meetings. Review and block your calendar. Clear out your email inbox. Clean off your desk.

It is important to start your day as prepared as possible by planning ahead of the day and to clear the slate at the end of the day to give you a fresh start the next morning.

Being organized in advance keeps your stress levels down as you feel confident in your preparations.

You will set yourself up for increased productivity and calm with the morning and evening routines you establish.

Daily habits
Evaluate Routines

With the fast paced nature of business, shifting expectations, and changing priorities your daily routines, and productivity work practices must also change to keep up.

In fact they are changing right now whether you want them to or not!

This is why our last step is challenging what's working for you and what's not by examining your newly established routines, and productivity practices.

Think about these 3 things – what’s right, what’s wrong and what’s missing.

It is important to regularly assess and adapt your activities to make sure they are as effective as possible.

Evaluation shouldn't just occur at the end of your Productivity Mastery journey. It's a continual process to ensure you are growing. learning, and tweaking your processes, and practices to maintain your hard earned productivity levels for the long term.

Structure equals FREEDOM!!

Evaluate routines

Congratulations!

You have now completed the Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm and you are an unstoppable Productivity Master!

Making these powerful changes to how you work has a domino effect on living better overall.

All of the time and energy you have spent working on and mastering these 5 keys has contributed to your improved performance, reduced procrastination, and alleviated stress in the following ways:

  • More productive, efficient, and much less frustrated at work.
  • Workspace feels calmer, more spacious, and in control.
  • Immense sense of pride and sense of achievement in what you have accomplished. You feel happier and healthier.
  • You are no longer overwhelmed, weighed down or held back by inefficient work practices.
  • Better prepared to face the future and the changes that will come.
  • Less stressed as you have established solid priorities, practices, and routines that keep you calm and in control.
  • More energy and time to spend with the people you love.
  • Created space where you can experience the freedom to pursue your passions and creativity.
Productivity Mastery 5 Keys

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organized and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to download your copy of this valuable resource.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 18

Productivity Mastery Key Three – Commitments

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Three - COMMITMENTS

Smart Calendar

Ok so it's not actually your calendar that's smart, it's how you set it up and use it that is smart! 

Here are the basics of calendar set up and what I teach my one-on-one coaching clients.

Fixed Calendar

Move to a fixed calendar by blocking your projects or recurring tasks when your brainpower is at its peak (and when it's not).

This could mean that your deepest thinking or focused project work is blocked in your calendar first thing in the morning.

Meetings, client calls or any other work that doesn't require your brain to be at its peak, gets booked later in the day, for example.

Theme Calendar Batching

Use themes in your calendar for recurring tasks to batch similar work such as "Marketing Mondays", "Catch-All Fridays" or "Writing Wednesdays".

This is a great way to get a lot of work done in one area as you are super focused on the specific task at hand. 

The other advantage to calendar batching is when you know the work you need to do in a certain area is already scheduled in your calendar for Monday for instance, you can confidently put that task aside until Monday. 

Use Your Project and Master Tasks List to Block Your Calendar

Use your *project and master task lists to help you plan your weekly and daily calendar. Your master task list has everything on it you need to do broken out into categories, types, and prioritized. so you are able to quickly see what time in your calendar needs to be scheduled in.

Other than recurring tasks, booked appointments, meetings, birthdays or other reminders, don't schedule tasks in your calendar too far in advance.

I suggest only one week at a time. Your master task list is an ever-evolving thing and we all know how quickly priorities can change from week-to-week, day-to-day and even hour-to-hour.

Resist the urge to put every little task in your calendar. Only block it in bulk with generic titles such as "Project Work", "Research", "Client Care".

*We cover this topic in detail in our blog Productivity Mastery Key Five - Routines.

Don't Over-schedule Your Calendar

Leave "white space" in your calendar for travel time, all of those unexpected things that inevitably pop up, family time, fun time, downtime and self care.

We all tend to believe we can accomplish more than we actually can or our tasks won't take as long as they actually do.

When we leave breathing room in our schedules, this allows for those times when we need wiggle room.

This is your life and your calendar and you are now smartly in control of it!

Smart calendar set up
"Un" Committing

Remember your vision? Now is one of the times to refer back to it.

Review your current calendar entries. 

  • Is everything on your calendar an absolute necessity? 
  • What commitments can you let go of?
  • Are you making casual commitments you don't really mean?
  • Does your calendar closely mirror what you have already identified as your most important work from your project and master task lists? 
  • Is what you are committing too actually going to move you closer to your big vision?

Everything in your calendar should make you say "Heck, yes!".  Okay, maybe not every calendar entry will make you feel this way (I'm looking at you unnecessary work meetings!).

The point is that your time is precious and you must set clear boundaries around what you commit your precious time to and don't allow the agenda of others take precedence over your priorities.

Un-committing your calendar
Meaningful Meetings

Meetings are probably one of the worst productivity  and time wasters ever.

That being said, there are some meetings which are necessary and meaningful, but the vast majority of them are big time suckers. Meetings are literally where your productivity goes to die.

Before you consider setting up a meeting and adding to you and your team's calendar clutter, ask yourself:

  • Do we really need a meeting? No? Well then don't.
  • Could I email this information instead? Yes? Then don't hold the meeting!

If you have determined that a meeting is necessary, follow these steps to ensure your meeting is meaningful and productive.

  1. Prepare an agenda.
  2. Invite only those people who are crucial to the conversation.
  3. Respect the time of others by starting and ending on time.
  4. Keep the meeting as brief as possible - not all meetings need to be an hour.
  5. If possible, book all meetings in the afternoon so your best brain power is used in the morning!
  6. Assign meeting roles.
  7. Capture all action items, deliverables and next steps.
Alternate Meeting Ideas

Try micro meetings (10 minutes or less), standing/walking meetings, quick in-person or virtual huddles where only 3 questions are addressed.

Your productivity will thank you.

Meaningful meeting

Productivity Mastery Key Four - EMAIL CONTROL

Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Four - Email Control as we discuss the fourth key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.

Email control....either run the day or the day runs you.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organized and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to download your copy of this valuable resource.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 18

Productivity Mastery Key Four – Email Inbox Control

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Five - EMAIL CONTROL

Email Inbox Control - Clean Up
Mass Deleting & Filing

The fact is, at least 80% of your emails do not require any real significant action on your part so get comfortable using the delete button.

A word of caution however....be ruthless but not reckless with deleting. DO NOT read each email in its entirety - at this stage you are focusing on weeding out all of the unnecessary noise and the emails you don't need to do anything with.

Sort & delete emails by FROM

Sort & delete emails by SUBJECT

Sort & file emails by DATE

Processing Emails One by One

Now that you have mass filed and deleted, you should only have about 20% of your email backlog left. This is where you sit down and process each email one by one. 

Email control
Email Inbox Control - Set Up
Set Up Processing Folders

Action Folder

Read Folder

Holding Folder

*Check out our blogs Productivity Mastery Key One - Prioritize and Productivity Mastery Key Two - Task Management.

Set Up Reference Folders

Set up reference folders into larger buckets with NO sub-folders (and definitely no sub-sub-folders).

A smaller number of folders ensures you make quicker decisions about where to file an email when you are processing your inbox plus it leaves fewer options and makes it easier to look for an email in the future.

Email set up
Email Inbox Control - Processing Emails
Process Emails 1-3x a Day

Your email inbox is where new emails land and are waiting for you to process them, that's it.

*Schedule in your calendar 1-3 times a day to keep your inbox at zero. Resist the urge to check your emails at any other time unless you are expecting an urgent message. We only do this to procrastinate on work, when our brains have decision fatigue or to look busy

Clear the handful of emails that have accumulated in your inbox since the last time you checked and you will always be at zero!

*Read our blog Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments to learn how to set up your calendar so you never miss a beat.

Either run the day or the day runs you.

Process emails

Productivity Mastery Key Five - ROUTINES

Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Five - Routines as we discuss the final key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily habits.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to download your copy of this valuable resource.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 15

Productivity Mastery Key Two – Task Management

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Two - TASK MANAGEMENT

Task Management Key Concept - One-Track Mind

It is technically impossible for your brain to multi-task so don't even try. Trust me, it doesn't work and it causes more issues than it solves.

Use one task management system for all areas of your life - work, life, kids, home projects and so on.

Trying to keep a handle on all of your various tasks when they are scattered around everywhere or from memory is just not effective. 

That being said, you should take breaks and switch the project or content you are working on occasionally to keep your brain active. 

What is is not recommended is to try and do two or three or six things at once. You will not be effective, productive or accurate with any of them.

You need one master action/task list to draw from when planning your weekly and daily tasks and blocking your calendar covered in our blog Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments.

ONE well thought out, comprehensive and powerfully crafted master list driving your day-to-day work is what will move the needle on your goals, outcomes and your success!

Task Management One track mind
Task Management - List Types

In our first blog, Productivity Mastery Key One - Prioritize, you went through the effort of identifying, listing, prioritizing and "big picture" categorizing all of your tasks.

Continuing on with the great work you did under key one, let's finish defining and polishing your master action list so you can start putting it into action!

Project List

A project is something that has more that 3-4 tasks involved to complete it so it is these specific items that go on your project list.

A separate project list is important because it 
shows you the scale of exactly what’s on your plate.

It also helps with scheduling your calendar as you can determine if you have 5 hours in your calendar to work on projects or 5 minutes to knock off some quick to do's.

When it comes to naming your projects, name them something inspirational or what you would like the end result to be.

Keep the items on your project list high level. Don’t get too detailed as you will flesh out all of the finer details over time when you sit down to plan your week. 

If you get too detailed with your lists, things will change over the coming days, weeks and months so adding too much detail at this point is a waste of time. 

Think bigger picture here.

Master Task List

Your master task list is all of your other tasks not related to a project and need more than 2-5 minutes to complete. There should be one action per line but again, resist the urge to be too detailed.

You can categorize your master task list even further such as location, people, attention level needed, calls to make, etc.

There are many ways to categorize tasks - it depends on your tasks and what works best for your life and work style.

Do not include recurring or repeating tasks, deadlines, reminders, doctor appointments or special occasions on your master task list. These get set up in your calendar and a reminder will automatically pop up.

The only caveat to this rule is for example, when a family members birthday is coming up. You can list on you master task list "Birthday card for mom", "make dinner reservations", etc. when the appropriate time comes.

Pending or Holding List

A pending or holding list is your list tracking all of the things you have delegated or are waiting for an answer on.

It could be a response or a decision you are waiting for or you need to follow up on a sales call or an outstanding payment from a client. 

Watch/Read/Listen To List

An optional list I find handy is a watch/read/listen to list.  

A friend might suggest a great Netflix series, your mentor recommends a business book to read or you hear a song on the radio and want to download it to your playlist.

Idea Parking Lot

An idea parking lot is where you put all those great ideas you have whose time has not come so you don't lose them.

Good lists will keep you focused on the right things at the right time.

Expert tip - makes notes on the go by sending yourself a voice note, jot it down on the notepad on your phone, send yourself an email or use an idea capture app like Braintoss (I use this app daily). Then when you get back to your desk, act on your note or put it in your task list to do later.
Task Management Organizing lists
Task Management Concept - Eat the Frog

This is a concept I use myself when I procrastinate on a project or task.

Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a frog, you can go through the rest of your day knowing the worst is behind you.

Your "frog" is that task you are putting off. When you "eat the frog" first thing, you are actually retraining your brain over time to beat procrastination.

Overcoming procrastination is important because when you tackle those ugly projects every single day, you WILL accomplish your goals and ultimately realize your vision for your life.

My business coach, mentor and dear friend, Shane Fielder, Founder of Samurai Innovation always says "Small steps, done imperfectly, lead to monumental results." So true, Shane, so true.

Eventually your ugly frogs will start to taste like chicken.

Task Management Killer - Distractions

Distractions will knock you off your productivity game every single time. It is critical to your productivity to ruthlessly eliminate and manage distractions.

Social media, YouTube and Google are all designed to keep you hooked and going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole.

While it's fine to check your Instagram or watch a how-to video on YouTube in your leisure/break time, if you need to focus on getting your important work done, these distractions are huge time wasters.

All those incessant dings, pings, pop-ups and notifications are another way we squirrel. Turn them off.

Work in a dedicated space. If you don't have a separate office, that's ok. All you really need is a flat work surface, a bit of storage space, access to an electrical plug, task lighting and a good chair. Set yourself up in a your bedroom, the basement or in any corner of your house that is away from the hustle and bustle.

Put your phone on airplane mode (it's okay to let calls go to voicemail). Block your calendar. Disable all pop-up notifications. Close the 23 open browser windows on your computer. Shut your office door. Make sure the kids are busy or looked after.

Task management distractions
Now What?
  • Every project and task from all of your various sources is on one list.
  • All of your tasks are categorized and prioritized.
  • You have organized your tasks into 3 - 5 different list types.
  • Next step is to put these killer lists to work for you by setting up your calendar and focusing on your planning routines!
  • Read the next posts in this blog series to master your productivity!

Productivity Mastery Key Three - COMMITMENTS

Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments as we discuss the third key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.

Commitments.....your time isn't the main thing, it's the only thing.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to download your copy of this valuable resource.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

WFH Series - Routines for Success
Oct 01

WORK FROM HOME SERIES – Organization & Productivity Solutions: Routines for Success

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Organizing Tips , Productivity

Have you established daily routines that keep you organized and productive while working from home?

Do you plan ahead for the next day the night before?

Work From Home Series

We are creatures of habit so it is important to maintain your work from home weekday routines as close to your normal work schedule as possible.

It is okay if you need to tweak
 some of your habits and routines to ensure working from home is a success for you.

Determine ahead of time when you will work by maintaining regular hours, keeping in mind that one of the many benefits of working from home is your ability to be more flexible.

Your daily habits and routines will make you or break you when working from home.

Organizing & Productivity Solutions: Routines for Success

Keep Your Same Morning and Evening Routines

Keep your same bedtime routine and go to sleep at the same time.

Get up on time (or early!) and get ready for the day. You don't necessarily need to wear a suit, nylons or your best jewels, but do your hair, put on a bit of make up and wear clothes you wouldn't mind answering the door or going outside for a walk in. 

The exception is if you have a video/virtual meeting - keep it professional by always looking the part even when working at home.

Maintaining your normal morning and evening routines while working at home will keep you from feeling you are on holidays and you will be super productive by getting a ton of work done!

Build Transitions In (and Out) of Work

Your previous morning commute not only physically got you to work but it also gave your brain time to prepare for work.

Just because you’re not traveling outside of your home to an office doesn’t mean you should stop a regular routine to start your workday.

Possibly you read on the train/bus or listened to music, podcasts or audio books on your commute. There is nothing stopping you from doing that same routine at home. Or you could change it up now that you are home and have breakfast with your family, walk the dog, workout or meditate.

At the end of the day, your commute home did the opposite. You had time again either on public transit or your vehicle to unwind and mentally process the day leading into your evening at home. This gives your brain time to reset and helps you transition back into your personal life.

When working from home, find something that will signal the end of your work day and the beginning of your personal time.

Go for a walk or to the gym. Watch the news. Change into your super comfy casual clothes. Do something that helps you decompress.
 

A Stress-free Day Starts the Night Before

Think about your current evening routines - what can you do the night before to make your next work from home day as focused as possible?

  • Do you set out a work outfit for the next day depending on any outside meetings or video calls?
  • Have you prepared a healthy breakfast/lunch/snack so you're not wasting your time during the day cooking?
  • Do you get your morning coffee/tea/breakfast ready after doing the dinner dishes?
  • Are your gym clothes set out for your workout tomorrow?
  • Should you set your alarm half an hour earlier so you can spend more time easing into your work from home routine?
  • Have you established the practice of journaling, meditating/praying or reading before lights out?
  • Do you go to sleep at around the same time every night and get a good 7-8 hours of restful sleep?
Being organized in advance keeps your stress levels down as you feel confident in your preparations.

You can't control a lot of things in this world but you can control how you set yourself up for success while working from home.
 

Routines to End Well

How you end your day is just as important as how you start it such as:

  • Keep the last 20-30 minutes of your day for tidying up any loose ends.
  • Jot down any last-minute tasks on your to-do list.
  • Make sure your email inbox is at zero.
  • Get any meeting notes ready for tomorrow.
  • Clean your desk off and tidy up your home office.
  • Organize your project folders and tasks in order of priority ready to start fresh in the morning.

Log Off at the End of the Day

Once your work is done for the day, tidy up, shut down and walk away.

Working from home makes it even more important to log off and set good boundaries.

We all need time with family, time in nature, time to exercise, time for self care, time for fun, time for creativity, time for our souls.

Make Your Routines Personal

Above all else, figure out what works best for you. 

Sometimes the answer is obvious, but other times you might need some inspiration from other people who are in the same boat.

Seek out a supportive community of other people who work from home, either in your company or online.

Working alone has many benefits but even the most introverted among us need social interaction. Stay connected and social with team members and colleagues, family and friends.

Evaluate regularly what is working with your routines so you tweak them as needed. Work and personal circumstances change therefore, your routines should also be adapted in response.

Work from Home "Homework"

  1. Create a work from home routine that fits with your life.
  2. Decide how you will transition from home into work and from work back into your personal life
  3. Challenge yourself to stick to your routines as much as possible!

Special Work From Home Offer

For a limited time, we are offering a personalized and professionally prepared Work From Home Plan for only $95+GST!

Your Work From Home Plan includes:

  • 60-minute virtual "in-home" workspace assessment
  • Personalized 10 point organizing & productivity plan
  • 90-minute virtual implementation session
  • 30-minute virtual evaluation call
Work from Home Offer

Book Your Discovery Call

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

Be sure to take advantage of this valuable offer while it is still available.

Our Gift to You

Included with your personal Work From Home Plan, is our exclusive 33-page Productivity Mastery E-Book as our gift to you.

Your personalized Work From Home Plan, along with your copy of the Productivity Mastery E-Book, will provide you with powerful stress-busting organizing and productivity solutions to make your work simpler and your outlook more peaceful once you start working through them. 

You cannot buy our Productivity Mastery E-Book as it is only available to our Work From Home Plan clients (valued at $19.99).

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

Additional Resources

Here are additional Freedom Living blogs and many other valuable resources for even more support on your organizing and productivity journey.

More Work From Home Blog Posts

The first blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Physical Space.

The second blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Digital Space.

The third blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Managing Distractions.

The fourth blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Getting It Done.

Book Your Discovery Call Today!

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

We promise your personalized Work From Home Plan will transform your spaces from frustration to freedom and you will become a Productivity Master!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

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