Two-Tip Tuesday: Digital Detox Challenge



iphone Glued to HandLast week I accepted the challenge of a digital detox. Inspired by an article written by Aarona Ganesan, my favorite coach, Jill Keuth started a group on Facebook to support brave souls taking this plunge. The concept is taking a break from your digital addictions. It started as not touching your phone for the first hour of the day upon awaking, but also addresses wherever you have electronic addictions throughout your day-to-day routines.

This past week, I have made some pretty big behavior shifts, ranging from not checking email in bed, to looking at Facebook during mealtime, to canceling cable. Note: this is not a requirement, just something I have been pondering for a while, and finally did it! And let’s face it, no one should start checking email before their first cup of coffee, just sayin.So, here is my challenge to you: Explore where you can add stillness and quiet to your day. Only you know your issues in the digital wasteland. So, try to eliminate something. Today’s tips will help you with a little digital detox of your own, and add to the challenge.

Relax Melodies AppRelax_Melodies

Sometimes it is challenging to sit in complete silence. As I’ve been playing around with different meditation techniques, I’ve noticed that it is much easier for me to sit in stillness with a little background noise.

Relax Melodies (free app for Android and Apple), is a fantastic way to create a variety of sounds ranging from basic white noise, to a babbling brooke, to a roaring rain storm.

You can compile multiple sounds on top of each other and control the volume of each. There is way to save them into your favorites, allowing you to keep track of your favorite renditions.

In addition, there is a timer setting, allowing for you to time your meditations, go to sleep listening to ocean wave bliss, or even set an alarm for the morning.

Warning: Creating sound combinations can add to your digital addiction. So, try to keep it simple in the beginning, and even consider using the pre-composed melodies.

Eliminate Notifications iphone Notification Hell

Having email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other notification on my phone is a huge challenge for me. Part of it is my OCD to keep my screen clear of blaring red numbers begging to be opened, but it is also a constant distraction. I constantly feel compelled to open an app the second a new notification pops up.

The simple solution?

TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS!

It sounds so easy, but it is slightly painful to do. Just remind yourself that there is a pretty good chance you will be receiving emails and social media updates all day.

Set a specific time aside to check all of your email, etc. at once. This will not only help with efficiency, but can aid in removing some of the glue attached between your phone and your hip.

If this isn’t a big enough challenge, try taking social media apps off of your phone all together. See what it is like to eat a meal without looking at your phone.

Try it for a week…I dare you!!

As always, I want to hear from you! Hit REPLY and let me know what you are cutting out and how it is going!

Two-Tip Tuesday: Travel Edition



Ka'anapali, MauiAs I began to pack for my annual family vacation a few weeks ago, I realized the ridiculousness of the multiple lists and stray papers strewn around the house when getting ready. Every year we take the same trip and essentially bring the same things, with a few modifications.

As much as the loving list maker that I am, I figured it was probably time to get a new system.

Are you a seasoned traveler, or do you get pains in your stomach and night sweats the week before a trip at the thought of getting your family packed and shipped off to your destination?

This weeks’ tips are a few simple ways to help the panicky sort bring some semblance of balance and order into your packing regiment.

 

Packing List Apps packing list app

Packing lists are a given so why reinvent the wheel every time you take an excursion?

Of course certain items change depending on the type of trip you take and the time of year, yet there are basic necessities to always pack, regardless of your destination.

Try managing your lists on an app like Evernote, which allows you to create and store lists, notes and travel documents that can be accessed from all your devices. This solves the challenge of thinking of something while away from your handwritten list, so you can add to it while you’re mobile.

There are some great apps out there designed specifically for packing, as well. Check out Suitcases for $0.99. Another great one, PackPoint, is free (and for both Android and iPhone).

Of course there are many more like these. As always, please let me know your favorites!

 

Packing Cubes EagleCreek Packing Cubes

I learned my lesson the hard way this time. I usually try to pack my kids in their own suitcase and a separate one just for me. But since one bag didn’t make it onto the plane last year, I decided to try spreading everyone’s clothes between the two bags, just in case.

The result? Utter chaos and clothing mess when we reached our destination. Although we stayed just a few days on the first leg of our trip, I destroyed both bags searching for certain underwear and the “right” beach cover-up.

The solution? These handy-dandy packing cubes! I’m sure you’ve seen them before, and quite frankly, in the past I mocked their over anal-ness.

But now I see the light.

The cubes save you from unpacking and repacking several times—or from making a mess while digging. These particular ones from the Container Store come in different colors. You can find different shapes and sizes, in different brands, anywhere.

Have you tried them before? I’d love to get your opinion!

Two-Tip Tuesday: Summer Organization



Container store storage bins

Although it snowed in my part of the world a few days ago, summer is right around the corner, or so I’m told. Here are a few tips to get your home in order before the onslaught of “bored” kids take over your space, creating chaos and disaster.

Seasonal Gear Swap

This may seem like a no-brainer, and with winter taking it’s sweet time lingering around, but it’s time for the seasonal swap (if you haven’t done so already).

Take stock of those winter hats, scarves, gloves, and boots, etc. and purge what will no longer fit or be worn the next year, before storing. I have finally given into the fact that my kids know their own style and won’t wear something they don’t like. So, before purging, they sit with me to make a keep or donate pile. It clears the clutter and saves aggravation for the next year.

When you bring out the summer gear, try storing it in attractive containers that can close. This will eliminate the feeling of clutter just by containing those towels, water guns and goggles with a closed-off lid.

My favorites are still the Container Store, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, but there are plenty more out there.

chore chart

Summer Chore List

Once school is out, your kids will have a lot more free time on their hands. Now is the perfect time to sit down as a family and divvy up jobs and chores. If you don’t have kids, there’s no better time like the present to re-evaluate with your partner.

For me, new seasons bring new beginnings and changes. So, regardless of your home situation, it’s always a good time to re-asses. I know summer doesn’t technically begin for another month, but around here, it’s the day the kids get out of school and the pool is open, thus bringing new chaos to the house.

Instead of ordering everyone around and assigning jobs, let the whole family participate and take ownership. This can be a great way to bond and will more than likely help things get done without nagging or 1,000 reminders. Oh wait, guess that’s nagging too.

Click here or on the image above for a free chore chart download.

As always, I love hearing feedback. Please let me know what you think, or feel free to share any ideas of your own

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