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By Carmen Coker

Everyone's got one of those tasks that never seems to get done, no matter what. You know you are in trouble when you start to joke about it, laughing at your failure to accomplish the task. Making light of the situation takes the sting out of the fact that you have procrastinated yourself into Never Never Land.

Yet, when you ignore tasks you should do, that doesn't mean they leave your mind. They remain nagging little thoughts that may:

  • Keep you awake at night.
  • Distract you from other tasks and projects.
  • Become enablers for excuse-making.

Think of all the things to which you have given lip service, or mind service, about getting done - but subsequently, you pushed them aside for something else, or perhaps nothing at all.

"How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'." ~ Martin Luther

Never, nada, zilch, zero. Have no doubt that those results are the only results that procrastination will give you.

Today's challenge is to break free of the procrastination that has become a vicious cycle in your life. Pick one task that's been eluding completion for too long now - and just do it!

Get Bigger Results | Instead of picking one task for the entire week, pick one task for each day of the week.

Great advice as always Carmen! 

Carmen Coker, a former U.S. Air Force officer turned professional organizer, helps individuals clear the clutter that holds them back from living their best life. Claim your free copy of 7 Days To A More Organized YouTM at http://lessonsfromorganizing.com/want-your-story/ - and reduce the clutter in your life in one week or less!

 

 

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8 C/C Large Flap Men's Wallet w/ BriteLite by MyWalitOn an episode of the TV series Seinfeld, Jerry ribs George about his overstuffed wallet – it’s so full, that George sits on a slant. While it’s generally a good idea to keep receipts in your wallet, there is a limit. Go through your wallet and sift out the receipts you actually need to keep. You can get rid of expired coupons and old appointment cards, and transfer information from business cards to the contacts section on your cell phone or computer. Your back will thank you, and you won’t have to worry about your wallet exploding. 

 

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"Laughing at our own mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it."

- Cullen Hightower 

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By Naomi Cook

So...we just said hello to Baby New Year and now we've suddenly been rushed off to face Uncle Sam!  Yes, it's that time of the year again; time to get your documents in order and send off your returns, and sometimes even more money!   My wish for all of you is to get a nice big check to do something fun with, but even if you don't, the feeling of getting organized can sometimes give you a natural high.  Yes, I am an organizer and of course I'm going to say that, right?!  It's true for everyone though!  Use the following tips to get all of your papers and receipts in order and implement them now for your 2013 return. 

1)        Invest in at least 1 tickler file.  If you run a small business out of your home, like me, then get a second one.  You'll be able to reuse these every year.  Usually there are 2 different options with tickler files, those labeled January through December and those labeled in categories such as dental/medical and rent/mortgage.  With the one labeled monthly, slip receipts and statements from each month into the corresponding pocket.  Conversely, with the one labeled with categories, slip all receipts and statements into each corresponding pocket.  Or just find whatever tickler file that you can and create your own labels!

2)       Start to sort.  Pull out that shoebox of receipts and piles of statements and invoices!  Separate them by month or by category depending on the kind of tickler file that you are using. 

3)       Check your mail closely.  You should have been receiving your W2s and 1099s, investment statements and things of that nature since the beginning of the year.  Be sure to call employers if for some reason your copies have not arrived yet.  Put them in their own pocket in the front of the tickler file, or if there is no room, use a binder clip and attach them to the front of it.  The ticker file should have a flap that will keep those covered when it is closed. 

4)       Print statements out.  I know it can seem like a waste of paper, especially if you have signed up for online statements for all of your accounts, however, if you go to a tax preparer or accountant to have your taxes done, they will most likely be needed.  Aside from the bank statement and your year end mortgage statement, print out, or ask for invoices from your doctors, dentist and pharmacy.  That way if your receipts have gone missing, you will still have invoices of what you paid. 

5)       Call your Tax preparer or Accountant.  If you use one, you will want to call them now.  The closer is gets to the deadline, the less time they will have to help you.

6)       File!  Whether on line or by mail, make sure you get your envelopes postmarked before the post offices close on Monday April 15th!  Or plan now to schedule an extension with the IRS.

Do the best you can and I hope the leprechaun leads you to your own pot of gold in the form of a big refund check! 

Thanks, Naomi!

Did you enjoy this article? Give it a cheer!

 

 

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Tax OrganizerNow that it's February and you have all of the documents you need to complete your taxes, there's no excuse for not getting your finances squared away. Here are three steps to streamlining the process:

Manage Your Paper: even though we live in a digital world, doing your taxes still requires large piles of paper - paycheck stubs, bank and credit card statements, receipts from big-ticket items and home improvement projects, investment statements and IRA contributions.

As you gather all your documents for this year's tax submission, get rid of outdated documents to make room in your file cabinet. Throw away any receipts that have already been reconciled, or that belong to things you're not planning on returning. Move financial records from prior years to an archive box to store them on the off-chance you receive an audit, but where they won't clutter up your frequently-accessed files.

Make a Checklist: before you assemble your tax packet, make a checklist of the documents you'll need. Then match each form to the additional documents you need and cross it off as you put it into your tax organizer.

Get Professional Help: unless you have a degree in accounting, it's most likely that doing taxes in the modern world is more of a headache than it's worth. By the time you factor in two incomes, childcare expenses, home business records, and investment incomes, you have a mountain of paperwork to climb that can suck up your free time for weeks. (No wonder it's so tempting to procrastinate on taxes!)

Using tax software or enlisting a professional accountant can help relieve much of the burden, and preparing your documents beforehand can cut back on extra trips back and forth.

You're only a couple of steps away from peace of mind. Tackle your taxes today.

 

 

 

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"When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace."

- Dalai Lama 

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We're three days away from Valentine's Day - have you made your plans yet? Here are some things to consider:

  • Surprise - if you're planning on surprising your romantic interest, be sure to let him or her know beforehand. If both of you plan surprises on the same night, then one of you will go home disappointed. Even if you plan your night together, you can still throw in a surprise or two.
  • Reservations, Transportation,- once you have things planned out, confirm those plans to make sure things go smoothly. Making sure that your restaurant table awaits, or that the limo is there to pick you up after your bottle of wine, can make all the difference between a romantic evening and a bust.
  • Soundtrack - pick out a romantic soundtrack for the evening - whether its traditional romance songs or music that you both love. Setting the right mood helps turn an average night out into a romantic Valentine's Day getaway.

 

 

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By Joshua Zerkel 

As a business owner, you've probably already been faced with one of the biggest challenges - staying organized and productive.

Realizing that you need to make time to get yourself organized is one of the biggest steps to getting organized.  It isn't enough to simply say, "I'll file that stuff later."  Later never comes.  When was the last time you had a bunch of free time to get organized?  Yeah, me neither. 

The first step you can take to getting organized is to schedule some time once a week to work on your office.  Make it a small amount of time, like 30 minutes or an hour.  Keep it manageable, with an end time in mind.  Don't take a whole day off of work to get organized - it will seem too overwhelming and it won't get done. By focusing on a little at a time, you will get more done and have a sense of accomplishment. 

So how do you get started?

Start with the number one thing that bothers you every day.  For example, I get a ton of email and before I know it, my inbox is over 200.  So one of my organizing goals is going through my email inbox and going through each email and deciding what to do with it.  Some of the emails will be deleted, others will be filed, and some I need to reply to.  What is it that bothers you most each day? Start working on getting that organized and under control, and then move on to the other parts of your business life that could be better organized.

Action Steps for this Week

1.       Schedule some time on your calendar to get organized - make an appointment with yourself!

2.       Make a list of your top 3 organizational challenges

3.       Start with your #1 organizational challenge and make a plan to work on it.  For example, if you want to clean out your email inbox, your goal should be to reduce it by 25% each time you work on it until it gets to xx (this number is the number of emails you feel are manageable).  Everyone's goal is different -- some people want zero emails in their inbox, some feel comfortable with 50.  Make a goal that's right for you!

 

Excellent organizing advice Josh, thanks for sharing! You can find more pro organizing solutions from Josh at Custom Living Solutions, or see more space-saving organizing solutions from FranklinCovey.

 

 

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It’s one of the age-old questions: what do you get your loved one for Valentine’s Day? The gift options range from mundane chocolates to expensive trinkets, with so many chances to misstep. If you’re looking for something beautiful, thoughtful, and useful, check out these fine organizational products:

Bags and Binders For Her – if she’s looking for something to carry the many things she takes with her each day, these will help her stay both organized and stylish.

Sophie Clutch by Urban Junket

Sophie Clutch by Urban Junket

Park Avenue Laptop Tote by FranklinCovey

Park Avenue Laptop Tote

Park Avenue Binder by FranklinCovey

Park Avenue Binder

Liza Laptop Tote by FranklinCovey

Liza Laptop Tote

Liza Wire-bound Cover by FranklinCovey

Liza Wire-bound Cover

 

 

Bags and Binders For Him – whether it’s replacing the ratty wallet he’s had since high school or giving him a new place for his laptop, these fine leather solutions will make him look good.

Havana Collection Men’s Simple Wallet CC Flap by MyWalit

Havana Collection Men's Simple Wallet CC Flap by MyWalit

FC Basics Nappa Leather Binder

FC Basics Nappa Leather Zipper Binder

Hazel Crest Leather Double Compartment Laptop Case by McKleinHazel Crest Leather Double Compartment Laptop Case by McKlein

 

Manhattan Laptop Bag by Manhattan Portage

Manhattan Laptop Bag by Manhattan Portage

 

 

Tech Care for Her – packed with bright colors, fun patterns, and useful features, these cases and covers protect and enhance her devices.

Rope Dye Kindle Case by Mercado Global

Rope Dye Kindle Case by Mercado Global

tyPillow ™  for iPad, iPad 2 & The New iPad by Accessory Workshop

tyPillow for iPad, iPad 2 & The New iPad by Accessory Workshop

Julia Big Girl Portfolio by Urban Junket

Julie Big Girl Portfolio by Urban Junket

Peanuts Portfolio Case by iLuv

Peanuts Portfolio Case for iPad 2 and The New iPad by iLuv

 

 

Tech Care for Him – designed to provide sophisticated, form-fitting protection, these accessories keep his iPad safe, powered, and projecting.

Feather for iPad Mini by Incipio

Feather for iPad Mini by Incipio

Wanderfolio Luxe by Speck

Wanderfolio Luxe by Speck

56 Series Noise Isolating Earphones with Microphone by Audiofly

56 Series Noise Isolating Earphones with Microphone by Audiofly

Nomad 7 Solar Panel by Goal Zero

Nomad 7 Solar Panel by Goal Zero

 

 

The Little Things For Us – One of the greatest parts of love is sharing the small things in life. These small but thoughtful gifts come with optional engraving, letting you show how much you care.

 

Clicks by iPop

5-pk Clicks by iPop - Little Hearts 4-pk Clicks by iPop - Love 4-pk Clicks by iPop - Valentine Treats

Sentiment Ballpoint Pen by Cross (Engravable)

Sentiment Ballpoint Pen

Tech 3+ Multifunction Pen by Cross

Tech 3+ Multifunction Pen by Cross

Apogee - Ballpoint Pen by Cross (Engravable)

Apogee - Ballpoint Pen by Cross

The Wisdom, Wit and Teachings of Stephen R. Covey by Stephen R. Covey

The Wisdom, Wit, and Teachings of Stephen R. Covey Hardcover by Stephen R. Covey

Leadership Memo Mousepad by FranklinCovey

Leadership Memo Mousepad

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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"Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition."

-William Osler 

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