Friday, November 21, 2014

5-Minutes to Clean - The Shower

One of my pet peeves is washing my hair and knocking the shampoo and conditioner off the shelf.  I feel like a clumsy ogre.  I also get grossed out by the mildew ring that is left by bottles sitting too long in the shower.  So I tried one of those handy dandy shower organizers.  But it kept sliding down the pipe and hanging on to the shower head.  It would not only startle me while I was rinsing my hair, but all of the bottles and the razor would go flying.  Not very relaxing.

So here's my little trick.  3M Command Strip have a wonderful shower product.  Here's a shower hook that can hold my caddy on the opposite wall.  I can rinse my hair without being startled by falling hair products!

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A word about the items pictured:  My kids are now able to bathe themselves.  I squirt some shampoo/body wash on a rag and they can wash themselves.  It's wonderful!  Sometimes there are a bit dramatic about soap in their eyes - solution: goggles.  Sometimes they don't believe me that there is still suds in their hair - solution: hand mirror.  Sometimes they can't use the same rinsing cups because they don't like the color - solution: multiple cups for my divas.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Extreme Productivity

Organizing and productivity seem to go hand in hand.  When you organize your life, your home, your office, your productivity and efficiency seem to increase naturally.  I am an organized person and wanted to explore more ways to increase my productivity.  Any time I want to learn more about a topic, I check out my local library's web catalog (after a Google search, of course).  When searching productivity in the database, this is the first book to appear.

This book was a gem.  Robert Pozen is an amazing man, highly accomplished and a wonderful writer.  I learned so many new perspectives in this book.  He's broken the book into five sections: Three Big Ideas, Productivity Every Day, Developing Personal Skills, Managing Up and Down and Pursuing a Productive Life.  Each section is broken into chapters with specific topics and each chapter is followed by takeaways.

One of my favorite sections was Developing Personal Skills.  Instead of suggesting the reader improves their reading, writing and speaking skills, Pozen leads the reader through activities.  He teaches specific skills by adding excerpts of articles and speeches to analyze.  He takes the reader through his writing process and shows ways to improve speeches.  I found this whole section helpful.

I found this books so interesting and valuable, I suggested it to my husband.  He's a very busy man with a full time job and a small business on the side and rarely has time to read a full book. Still feeling that this book would be helpful, I suggested he read the introduction, conclusion and takeaways from each chapter to get the gist of the book without investing the time.  I got the idea for this abbreviated reading from Chapter 7: Reading Efficiently.  See, I'm already putting the knowledge from this book into use!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Increase Productivity with Apps

There are a few apps that have helped me to stay organized and efficient with my time with my family and business.  Here are some of my favorites!
Google Keep
I love Google Keep!  I keep it on the main screen on my little Android.  With one little click I have access to all of my notes.  I keep to-do lists, books to read, things to buy at the store, ideas for blog posts, financial goals, anything on my mind goes into Google Keep.

Google Calendar
I have my appointments, my husband's schedule, my sons' appointments all in this little app.  I also have reminders of things like my boys' library days, so I can make sure their backpacks have their library bags.  

Outlook - business email
gMail - personal email
  Small business owners know that they are always on call.  Having these two apps with notifications make it easy to answer any questions and schedule appointments from anywhere.

Linked In
Meet Up
Linked In and Meet-Up help me stay connected to social media and better network, both necessary for business owners.

Here's a new app that I have recently played with.  Lift is an app that helps you build new habits by meeting daily goals.  Daily exercise, quality time with your children, eating healthy, meditation, flossing are just a few of the goals you can work toward.  Join a group and click each day you achieve your goal.  There are email alerts, friends you can encourage and articles to inspire.  I love this app!