Welcome everyone! Today's post will be a bit different than the usual fare in that I am the host of the first 'Make Your Life Easier' Blog Carnival. If you don't know what a carnival is, let me explain: (excerpted from BlogCarnival.com)
A Blog Carnival is a particular kind of blog community. There are many kinds of blogs, and they contain articles on many kinds of topics. Blog Carnivals typically collect together links pointing to blog articles on a particular topic. A Blog Carnival is like a magazine. It has a title, a topic, editors, contributors, and an audience. Editions of the carnival typically come out on a regular basis (e.g. every monday, or on the first of the month). Each edition is a special blog article that consists of links to all the contributions that have been submitted, often with the editors opinions or remarks.
There is so much stuff in the blog-o-sphere, just finding interesting stuff is hard. If there is a carnival for a topic you are interested in, following that carnival is a great way to learn what bloggers are saying about that topic. If you are blogging on that topic, the carnival is the place to share your work with like-minded bloggers.
Blog Carnival is the place to come to find carnivals you are interested in, to submit your blog articles to carnivals where they belong, and to organize and maintain carnivals.
I have participated happily in several blog carnivals in the past and I decided I would create one of my own! (any blogger is welcome to submit to the next carnival: MYLE Blog Carnival)
I want to thank all the folks who contributed and I apologize that I was not able to include everyone. Your energy is appreciate with the post!
Make Your Life Easier Blog Carnival #1
The first blog that caught my eye is Brian Kim's posting from his blog, BrianKim.net. As someone who struggles daily with ADD and staying in 'unitask', rather than 'multitask' mode, his words really hit home. Thank you, Brian!
My favorite quote:
Above my computer on my desk, I have a quote printed out in big bold letters that reads “STAY FOCUSED ON THE SUBJECT AT HAND”. I then have another quote printed under it that I think sums up the gist of this article.
“Do not scatter your powers. Engage in one kind of business only, and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until your experience shows that you should abandon it. A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last, so that it can be clinched. When a man’s undivided attention is centered on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at once.” – Barnum & Bailey.
Truer words never spoken...
the next blog is another Bryan (spelled differently!): Bryan Fleming's blog is theoretically a personal blog, but he mainly blogs about personal finances and investments. I love the posting on his Millionaire Savings Club, and how to save money by stashing away $3 a day. Even I can do that! And I am going to start tomorrow (didn't get to the bank this weekend). Thanks, Bryan! I'll keep you posted.
photo courtesy of the U.S. Dept. of State
We hear a lot about the value of delegating, but many of us just don't know where to turn to find the services or experts we need. Over at Productivity Cafe, Susan Sabo gives several helpful suggestions on where to start.
Maricar Macalincag at Keeping the Castle displays an amazing Japanese video on how to fold a shirt. I don't think I'm even going to try! (have you seen the one with the guy shaking his shoelace tied?)
Life Coach and blogger Auralia Williams offers this lovely report on some soothing ways to take a break from the hectic pace of our lives. Ahhhhhhh. I especially like her suggestion to take a bath with lavendar and rosemary essential oils, now that's the break for me!
artwork courtesy of Bathtub Art Museum
Gee Whiz! I want to quote the whole posting! Laura, over at Organizing Junkie (check out her gorgeous new blog design!) outlines the PROCESS (an acronym she has coined to help the wayward stay orderly) of getting and staying In Perfect Order. Laura says: (click her name for her Three Minute Wisdom interview)
organizing is a PROCESS, one that may need to be repeated periodically to get your space working for you as effectively as possible. As your needs change, you may find your current system isn’t working for you any longer and that’s when you need to simply go through the PROCESS again but this time you may get away with only having to do a couple of the steps. Do not get discouraged if your system doesn't work for you the first time. Expect it. The only way to know if something is going to work out for you is to actually use the system for awhile. Time will tell. If the chaos and confusion didn't subside then try again. It will get easier once you become more familiar with what works for you and what doesn't. I generally need to go through the PROCESS whenever I purchase something that won't fit into my designated areas.
Wow, maybe truer words than THESE were never spoken! How can I decide???
Credit and Debt Repair Specialist Anne Hilbert of Stop Bad Credit lays it out in seven simple steps. Here are some great ideas and information that you probably didn't even know about your credit score and how to improve it. This posting is a classic!
Step 3. Reduce your credit card balances
A big factor in calculating your FICO score on your credit report is how much money you owe on your credit cards relative to your total credit limit. Generally, it's good to keep your balances at or below 30% of your credit card limit. Consider enrolling in a debt management program if you are reaching the maximum limits on your credit cards or can only afford to pay the minimum amounts due each month.
Anne has been helping me become more conscious and responsible around my personal finances and she can work with anyone in the US!
Human Being Curious blogger Jim Caruthers offers us some ideas about why it's so hard to make a real change without a deep committment:
Have you ever wanted to change something about yourself or your life? So why haven’t you? Usually there’s a reason why a human being tries to commit to something, and fails. And usually, the reason they’ve failed is because the commitment they’ve tried to make is just too big. So if you want to commit to something that will potentially change you’re life for the better, follow these simple steps, and I think you’ll be surprised at the results you get.
Jim explains that if we devote just 30 days to the different behavior, we have a better chance of deciding if the new way of being or doing things is right for us, as opposed to thinking we are making the change for the rest of our life. I also like his other suggestions of watching what we say: (from Three Simple Word Exchanges that Will Change Your Life)
Replace the word “Can’t” with your choice of one of two words; “won’t”, or “I’ll try”. When we say the word can’t, what we’re really doing is eliminating all our accountability, and at the same time all our power. Think about it; if you say you can’t do something, you’re no longer responsible, because it’s impossible! I can’t (oops, I said it!) think of very many times when an individual couldn’t replace the word can’t with something else. This is especially true for people in customer service. If you say that you won’t do something for somebody, it sounds much different than if you say you can’t, and it’s probably closer to the truth than you’d like to admit. Think about it; the last time you said "Sorry, I can't help you", was there really absolutely nothing you could do? Try it out. See what happens. Also, when you tell someone that you'll try, oftentimes that's all they really need to hear, even if you come back to them and say it can't be done.
To feed the metaphysical/practical side of me, I love Raymond David Salas' Zenchill.com, power tools for mind, body and soul. In this post, Raymond teaches us a technique that he started using for letting go and letting the Universe manage your life. What a concept. I know each and every time I do that, it turns out so much better than when I keep my deathgrip on the situation! Here's what he does each day:
Let the Universe manage it.
I have always been a big list maker. I write down all of my work, projects, and thoughts for the day. I usually make my lists on the back of my “page-a-day” calendar pages. Nothing fancy here. No comprehensive time management planning system for me. Yet, I have managed companies using these so-called “archaic” methods.
Here is the madness to my method (…ahem):
I begin by writing “Things I Would Like The Universe to Manage and Take Care of” at the top of a blank piece of paper. A variation of this might be “God, I surrender to You now all of the following. Take care of all of this for me now.”
Next, I list all of the pressing things on my mind and in my thoughts in that moment, including goals, desires, and intentions; tasks, “to-do” items, work, and other projects; health, relationships, and finances; fears, doubts, worries, and other challenges.
The key for me is to not hold anything back. I just let it all out. As I do this, I notice that my energy shifts. I feel lighter and freer as I completely empty out my mind in this way. If you have ever kept a journal or diary, you can probably relate to this feeling.
And then comes the hard part...he lets go! Hat's off to you, Raymond! I'm going to try that technique.
And last, but certainly not least, is my friend and sister organizer in New Jersey, Ariane Benefit, weighing in with a few great tips for helping you make sure you know how to get out of the house fast! Ariane, you are AWESOME!
and once again, thank you to all the contributors that I wasn't able to link to. Please try again with a new post next time: MYLE Blog Carnival.
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ Jessica -:¦:-