Organization expert Rashelle Isip joins me to talk about ways we can take control of our schedules and our space, making time and room for the things that matter most.
Take Control and Make Your Time & Space Work for You
In 2011, Rashelle Isip founded TheOrderExpert.com, a resource for people who want to tame the chaos in their lives, take back their schedules for themselves, and get more things done during the day with less fuss. In our conversation, Rashelle shared how she manages her own life and time, and shared some great tips and resources for the rest of us.
A little about Rashelle
Rashelle Isip is an organization, time management and productivity blogger, author, and consultant who loves bringing order and balance to people’s lives. She is founder of TheOrderExpert.com, a lifestyle site featuring practical tips, ideas, and inspiration to help people be more organized and productive. In her spare time, Rashelle enjoys ballroom dancing, working out at the gym, reading mystery novels, and baking.
A typical day
Rashelle usually gets ready for the day around 7 a.m. and is at her desk at home by 9 a.m. At that point she might work on a blog post or administrative duties. She likes to take a real lunch break and then spends the afternoon working. During the day she may work with clients in person or remotely.
It's easy for Rashelle to get sucked into something that looks interesting to her rather than focusing on the work in front of her, simply because she has many interests and a desire to learn. She has learned to say no to herself and her pursuit of knowledge, reminding herself those things will be there tomorrow, but that there are other things she needs to take care of right now.
Rashelle works on being self-aware and finds that if she prepares a to-do list ahead of time it helps her to stay on track. She will use the fullscreen setting when she is writing, silence her phone, and turn on some music to drown out distractions. Rashelle uses simple tools such as a timer on her cell phone, closes her email accounts and any other unnecessary programs, and works on her task distraction-free for an hour.
It's a challenge for many women to feel like they always need to be multitasking. Rashelle recommends thinking about multitasking in a smart way. You can keep things in motion that don’t require your attention while you are working on something else. You don't want to be constantly distracted, though.
Productivity tools Rashelle uses
Automating social media posts is helpful for Rashelle. She uses Facebook’s schedule button to schedule her Facebook posts for a specific time, and tries to post them ahead of time for the coming month. She also recommends using Klout to save articles and schedule the posts ahead of time. She does the same thing with her Twitter posts with a program called Buffer.
She also loves to use Later to schedule Instagram posts. She receives a notification on her phone from Later and can use a chart to schedule her posts. By doing this, she minimizes the time she spends in social media and the likelihood she will get distracted by looking at other things. These tools are especially helpful if you are running a business all on your own.
Rashelle uses Traffic Wonker to schedule Pinterest pins. She uses Canva for book covers, a header or sidebar image. It’s an easy way to create a really nice looking photograph with text without having to be a graphic artist.
A paper planner is Rashelle’s favorite way to keep track of her to-do’s and lists. If she is scheduling her day or planning, she remembers better if she writes it down. It feels like a mindfulness exercise for her. Rashelle likes to use her favorite planner and pen, and likes the feeling of closing her planner at the end of the day. She likes the Gallery Leather planner for month-to-month to planning of her blog posts. She knows she is in blog territory when she opens it.
She also likes using Moleskine notebooks for taking notes and journaling. She uses a folio hardcover notebook to collect motivational quotes and sayings. She makes an entry in the notebook when she hears something that inspires her. For her, it's another exercise in mindfulness because she has to write things down and has a goal to write everything in cursive in this notebook. She writes them in chronological order, so they reflect her progression in life and when she needed to learn or hold on to at that point in life.
As Rashelle works with people, she often encounters individuals who don't understand the difference between decluttering and organizing. They don’t always understand the concept of decluttering prior to organizing. This is one of the biggest challenges she faces when helping people to organize. It's difficult for people to sort through their belongings in order to really get organized.
In addition to helping people organize their stuff, she helps them to organize their time. Most people tell Rashelle, “I have no time.” She says many people don't realize they have the ability to control their schedule. She suggests that they block out some personal time so they can do those things. People often ask, “Can I do that?” Sometimes it seems like it's selfish, but they need to take a step back so they don't get overwhelmed. She suggests that we remember that life isn’t about being stressed out.
You deserve time off to rest, recreate, and restore yourself. ~ Rashelle Isip”
What happens on a day you feel gets away from you?
Rashelle admits that some days do get away from her, when something urgent and unexpected pops up and her plans have to be pushed to the side. She's realized that she has to acknowledge the reality and know that tomorrow is a new day. She says that part of being in balance is that you have to balance the things that come your way, and everything isn’t always going to be in perfect order. If you work toward keeping on track 80% of the time, the other things that pop up won't keep you from meeting your goals. Realize that plans sometimes have to change and certain tasks just aren’t going to happen on certain days. On the other hand, sometimes the unexpected can work to your benefit. For example, if an appointment gets canceled, perhaps consider taking that time for yourself instead of thinking how you can fill it up. “Consider that time a gift,” Rashelle suggests.
Last Words on Making a Life That Matters
The first thing that Rashelle recommends is to put yourself first and think about your goals and if what you are doing at the moment is helping you to reach those goals. Make sure that the tools and resources work for you and your personality. Don’t try to be a digital calendar person if you are a paper planner person. Do what works for you.
What's on the horizon for Rashelle?
Rashelle is launching a course called “How to Plan a Great Event in 60 Days.” She has a lot of experience with this as she was once a public relations executive and an event coordinator who organized many events all over the country. The course will be similar to her book by the same name, and can be used to plan a wedding, a corporate event, or a big event. The course will help people define the purpose of their event as well as the plan logistics such as budget, transportation, keeping track of those helping, vendors, etc.
What do you think?
Did any of Rashelle's suggestions resonate with you? Or do you have any questions? Rashelle and I would welcome your feedback on this episode. Share your comments and questions in the comments section below or on The Productive Woman's Facebook page, or email me.
Connect with Rashelle:
On her website – free productivity downloads and information about her books!
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