Archive for Organizing Tips

Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

We are just days away from the frenzied holiday celebrations. With a little time and some energy as well as the tips below, you will be able to enjoy this bountiful season; get the control back into your life which in turn translates to less stress.

Start early!

Budget: Make an intention and don’t over extend yourself. Avoid large interest payments by paying off your credit card bills in full.

Make a separate to-do list for each project.

Cook/bake ahead and freeze. Prepare a single item every opportunity that you have during the month of December and then freeze it.

Delegate: There is so much that needs to get done. Take the workload off of one person and have everyone pitch in.

Set time aside for yourself: Save one hour per day to remove yourself from the stresses of the holiday and nourish yourself which will ultimately increase your productivity.

Get adequate rest: Proper sleep and exercise are the best stress busters.

Focus on the present: Whether you’re baking, writing out cards, wrapping presents, traveling or taking a walk, focus on the present. Being mindful of the moment helps you reduce stress and feel more at peace.

Set manageable expectations: Stress has been described as the difference between our expectations and reality.

Don’t forget what the holidays are really about. Families being together, spirituality, gratitude, and fellowship with friends are among a few. These are certainly more important than what we sometimes focus on.


5 Personal Work-space Organization Tips

Article Written by Connor MacNeil, WAM Enterprises LLC

I hear it all the time: There’s never enough hours to get all my work done! Unfortunately, I can’t provide you with the answer to time travel, but I can offer you a few tips to help maximize your time spent actually working. Working at a start-up has left me with a list of never ending tasks, teaching me the lesson that organization is necessary if your goal is to maximize efficiency. I’m here to offer you some of my advice on this matter, so, here are my 5 Tips to Maintaining an Organized Work-space.

1. Organize before clocking out:

Everyone loves coming home to a freshly made bed, so why can’t the same apply to your work-space. Tidying up your desk before leaving work allows you to start the next morning with a full head of steam, and let’s be honest, if you’re having one of those mornings, the last thing needed is another distraction. If you’re able to keep an organized work-space it will help to maximize personal productivity from the moment you sit down for work.

2. Keep a To-Do list:

I don’t care how smart you think you are, it’s not logical to keep all your priorities organized in your head. By creating a To-Do list, it allows you to visualize the amount of work that is on your plate, keep track of important tasks and gauge your progress as you cross off completed items. Include everything on this list, from the biggest project to the smallest task; crossing them off feels good and will help keep you motivated. Update this list every day before leaving work in order to keep track of your progress and in turn this will help you reinforce tip #1.

3. Don’t eat at your desk:

Eating at your desk creates clutter, plain and simple. Think about how many objects you have on your desk. Personally I have 6 items (laptop, monitor, mouse, to-do list, cellphone, notepad), and if I were to eat at my desk, that number would almost double with the addition of sandwich, napkins, drink, silverware or chips. Although this may not seem like a big deal, maintaining a clean work-station is just another way to maintain a high level of productivity throughout the work day. Finding different snacking hot-spots allows for those much needed, stress relieving breaks from your desk that are crucial to keeping a clear head.

4. Folders on your lap top:

I’ve mentioned one of my desk items is a laptop, which also happens to be my most utilized one. As a marketer, keeping my laptop internally organized is crucial to my success. Strategically organizing documents, graphics, videos and more from multiple clients enables me to find any single file in seconds. As a result, I am a huge advocate for desktop folders. Through the use of folders, I almost funnel myself right down to the exact file that I am looking for. For example I create graphics for various clients so that I have a folder titled Clients Graphics; within that folder are folders labeled with each client that I have done graphic work for, and within each client folder are more folders labeled website images, blog images, etc. This allows me to find exactly what I’m looking for at the drop of a dime.

5. Keep up to date with emails:

Finally, the dreaded email inbox. Working at a start up requires me to wear a variety of hats, which also leaves me with a full inbox 50-75 per day. To stay on top of this and not create a backlog, I abide by two rules: delete at least 1 email every time I check my inbox (most of the time it ends up being multiple) and create folders for different clients or projects (just like my desktop). By cleaning out your inbox, it reduces the chances of accidentally missing an important client email or not being able to find an important message from your mother or boss.


The Collision of Culture, Thanksgivukkah

thanksgivukkahThis year, for the first time in our lifetime and not for another 79,000 years, the first night of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving. There will be a food mash-up commemorating the staying power of the Pilgrims and the exceptional valor of the Jews. Imagine the luscious smells and mouthwatering tastes of sweet potato kugel, challah stuffing, potato lutkes with apple cranberry sauce combined with a traditional Thanksgiving menu.

Of course, the dinner of scrumptious culinary treats and lovely laid tables is not the only custom celebrated on this day. The excitement of lighting the first candle on the Menorah and the exchange of gifts brings a sparkle to this gastronomical event.

Organizational expert, Peter Walsh, suggests 10 steps to a stress free holiday.

1) Get enough sleep

2) Shop when others are not

3) Make room for new gifts by purging unwanted items

4) Set a budget

5) Prepare your children

6) Prepare as much food ahead as possible

7) Splurge on cleaning and/or other services i.e. Judie Kaplan Personal Concierge

8) Ask for help and delegate

9) Set a deadline for shopping and wrapping

10) Learn to say no to overnight guests’ demands

HAPPY THANKSGIVUKKAH to all. May your holiday be blessed and plentiful!


Are you Ready for Back-to-School?


Hopefully you have had a restorative summer and are prepared for back-to-school. For most parents, the new school year involves changes in routine and adjustments, sometimes one or both are challenging.

The goal is to ensure that life runs as smoothly as possible. Below are a few back to school organizing tips that might resonate with you.

Your school calendar placed in a central location is a good start. Incorporate that into your work calendar so that planning is made easy. This can then be transferred onto a shared calendar online so that “everyone is on the same page”. Jot down all the meetings, back-to-school nights, sports schedules/events, etc. Anything that is going to impact you and/or your family should be written down. Do this as soon as possible!

Schedule vacations and time off. Once you have had the chance to examine the school holidays, early dismissals, school trips, etc. that affect you, put in your time-off requests. Those times are commonly requested by other working parents so you want to make certain that you get your request in as soon as possible.

Stock up on extra supplies so that you don’t have to make mad dashes after a long day at work for that report cover that you child needs for the next day.

Provide back-up lunch money. Stick money in your child’s backpack in the beginning of the school year so that in the event that he/she forgot their lunchbox, they have the option of buying lunch.

Clear the clutter. It’s always a good idea to check your child’s backpack every day or so and purge school papers. If something is important, save it and file it. If not, toss it.

Place a bin by the door for necessary items for that day i.e. gym shoes, instrument on music day, show-and-tell items, snacks, clothing, etc.

Family conference. A ten minute meeting once a week is an ideal manner in which to share the plans for the week so that there are no schedule clashes. Discuss who has what going on!

Savor your children and have a wonderful, safe school year!






Westchester Personal Concierge Recovers Hundreds of Dollars!

A Personal Concierge need not only run errands and do your shopping! The value of employing one is limitless. All that is required of you is to select the task that will give you back the gift of time in your day, and make the phone call that will change your life.

For Suzie, a senior who is disabled, hundreds of dollars were recovered from various insurance companies, both medical and non-medical. We were relentless with phone calls, faxes and correspondence to recoup the dollars that she paid that were ostensibly owed by her. In actuality, these dollars were not her responsibility, and with research and perseverance, they were recovered for her.

Unknowingly, when Suzie received a bill from her medical group, etc. for a copay or a balance due, she diligently paid it. The medical group (and others) did not bill her secondary, and therefore the balance due was sent to Suzie. This also applied to providers who did not participate with Medicare. She did not have the awareness, nor the know-how, to submit the forms to Medicare or her secondary for reimbursement. Doing this, many times for her, hundreds and hundreds of dollars were reclaimed to her from Medicare and her secondary insurance carrier.

Suzie also had a Personal Injury case pending and was unable to comprehend the nuances that were necessary for her to hold others accountable for payment. For instance, one example is that she took taxi cabs to providers, and the understanding was that the insurance company would reimburse these fares back to her. We filled out forms and filed them with her insurance company and voila, all that money now sits in Suzie’s bank account as opposed to her insurance company.

These illustrations are simply a few that indicate to you the value of the engagement of Personal Concierge services. Suzie is like a changed person each time that we conclude our appointment with her and is so grateful. She doesn’t feel as though she has lost her independence but rather has gained the trust and assurance that someone is in her corner and looking out for her.

This speaks volumes, in just one area, the manner in which a Personal Concierge can enhance your life. Saved time is not the only metric that matters. There is also the mental stress factor. There is a sense of freedom that is gleaned by aligning with someone who can give you back the gift of time in your busy life, the ultimate time saving reprieve.