Dear Email, I Need an Hour

artI remember using dial-up to get to the welcome screen of AOL. The excitement of dialing in would make me smile, and then to hear that familiar voice say, “You’ve Got Mail”, was great. Fast forward a couple decades and the newness is long gone, and email is just a part of our lives.

In the past, I would wake up and within five minutes I would grab my phone and see if there were any missed calls, texts, and then emails. As soon as I opened the inbox I was immediately focused on its contents. I would grab my laptop, bigger screen, and sit on the sofa and dig into the contents of my inbox. Before I knew it at least 30 minutes, more likely 60, would be gone, and I would feel a bit stressed.

Then in early October my boss, Kim, was telling me about a speaker she heard who talked about not doing email for the first hour after waking up. She went on to explain that one hour can make a huge difference in our productivity level for the rest of the day. I like to try new things to be more productive, and thought I’d give it a go.

At first it was hard, and I cheated a day or two that first week. I decided I needed to put my phone temptation out of reach, and placed it on the end table in the living room. Moving it from my nightstand made a big difference, and helped me start a new morning routine.

I’m an early riser, and instead of sitting down to work on emails, I’m getting things done. It isn’t always something big, but just to have time to empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, write a note, and to get cleaned up for the day without worrying about that inbox, is amazing.

I was sure there was more information about waiting an hour, and while Googling the subject I found some good articles, blogs, and even entire books on the subject. One author, Julie Morgenstern, wrote in her book, “Never Check Email In The Morning”, that, “there is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes”. I agree, and the email can wait.

… & That’s Just the Way I Want It

007We’ve all heard the inspirational quotes like negative in, negative out, positive in, positive out. Some think these types of sayings are hooey (yes, I just used hooey, a much under used word). These types of phrases make a lot of sense to me, and are necessary to keep my overactive imagination in check. They also help me focus more on the positive aspects of a situation.

You see, I’m a worrier. I’m not an every day the sky is falling worrier. However, when something happens I cannot understand, cannot fix on my own, and cannot control, I worry. I worry about the hundred questions that race through my mind. You know what I’m talking about, the what if.

I bring this up because I’m in the midst of playing this what if mind game with myself. This morning I started to wind myself up again and began to worry when I decided to thumb through some old quotes. It said that the words we speak, no matter if meant innocently, can have an impact on not only that moment, but that day, and even long term. Again, negative in, negative out.

Example: How are you today? Answer: Not so great. Now here is where the quote comes into play. After you say your answer, add “and that’s just the way I want it.” Example again: How are you today? Answer: Not so great, and that’s just the way I want it.” You see where this is going.

So, to get out of my what if state of mind and be more positive about the situation I have going on, I will be thinking this quote and keep myself in a better place.

Update: I originally wrote this entry on Tuesday, here it is the weekend, and my situation has not been resolved. However, the statement, “and that’s just the way I want it”, has proved a very good tool against the what if’s.

Essential Odors in the Home, Part Four

Here are a few essential oils that help reduce musty, stale, pet, and smokey odors:

Bergamotoilbottles

Grapefruit

Lemon

Lemongrass

Lime

Mandarin

Orange

Sage

Tangerine

Any of the essential oils can be used on its own, my go to is lemon. I’m a huge fan of citrus, and to my nose lemon smells clean. However, I know lemon doesn’t do it for everyone and to get a unique odor eliminating blend just mix a few of the oils together.

When a space needs freshening use this blend in a diffuser, or mix in a dark glass spray bottle with 4 ounces of water.

essential oils and medical flowers herbs3 parts rosemary         3 parts bergamot

5 parts lemon

If a large area is affected by odor the purchase of an organic pure blend is possible. An example would be Purification which contains citronella, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, myrtle, and tea tree. Use it in a diffuser or mix with water in a dark glass spray bottle.

If Purification is not available there is another organic pure blend known as Purify that is made of lemon, lime, and pine. This can get rid of odor quickly, and can be used in a diffuser, spray bottle mixed with water, or even in homemade cleaning solutions. If mixing either of these oils with water use 30 drops of oil to 8 ounces of water.

If the odor is in a specific area, say the garbage disposal use 2 parts lemon, 2 parts lavender, 1 part rosemary.

There are an unlimited amount of blends that can be created and used for odor elimination. Get a beginner set of very good essential oils, dark glass spray bottle, diffuser, and have some fun.

Read the other entries in this series: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

Essential Oils in the Home, Part Three

diffuserMy preferred method for using aromatherapy in a home to get rid of odor and to set the mood is with a diffuser. Over the years I have used several kinds and have two I really like.

The first is the Raindrop 2.0 Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy By Organic Aromas. Wow, that’s a mouthful. I like this one because it only uses pure essential oils. It doesn’t use water that will dilute the oil, and no water also means no mold. It uses no heat that can edit the purity of the oils, and has a rainbow of colors that can be turned on or off.  The only drawback is also it’s greatest quality. By not diluting the essential oils it will use more, which means buying oils more often.

hibiscusThe second diffuser I use is the Smiley Daisy Essential Oil Hibiscus Diffuser. (another long name) I really like that the unit will run for over 6 hours and will automatically shut off when the water level gets low. It also has two different mist modes, and uses 5 to 7 drops of essential oil to make a room smell good. Overall, this is a great diffuser for someone who wants to get started using essential oils in the home and wants a quality product without breaking the bank.

It seems there will be a part four to this series, so I can share some aromatherapy recipes to get rid of smells and to bring positive energy into a space.

To read the other entries: Part OnePart Two, Part Four

Essential Oils in the Home, Part Two

Essential oils are a natural way to get rid of odor in your home. They can also be used to set mood, spirituality, physical well being, and even in your day to day beauty routine. There are countless ways to use and mix essential oils to meet a users needs. In this post I will share a recipe and a way to deliver the aromatherapy into a home to get rid of smell and to set the energy tone.

homemadesprayFirst, it is important to know not all essential oils are created equal. Some manufacturers cut the oils with ingredients that degrade their purity, and others make synthetic oils. It is best to get an organic oil that is cold pressed or steam distilled and contains only pure aromatic plant oils. The best way to find pure oils is to look at the ingredients on the bottle, which should be dark amber glass.

Now that I’ve shared a very basic idea of how to buy essential oils, the next step is what to buy to get started. Citrus oils  are best for a home with heavy odors and needs to be perked up with energy. These essential oils include tangerine, wild orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon. On the flip side of the coin if a home has odor and the user wants to introduce calming properties to the room then lavender would work best.

Not everyone wants to spend a lot of money to get started with essential oils. The oils can be pricey and to start using them can be expensive.  An inexpensive method would be to use the essential oil as a room spray. Take a small glass spray bottle with 3 to 4 ounces of water and add 10 to 15 drops of the essential oil. Swirl the mixture gently and just spray in the room and/or area that needs freshened.

I think that is enough for this post which means there will be a part three. Coming soon!

Read the other entries in this series: Part One, Part Three, Part Four .

Do What You Say

fixxI don’t like when I let the day to day things bother me. I try to see the good in people, and believe being positive can make a tremendous difference in my life. So, I am a bit annoyed that I let this past week get to me.

I dealt with people who lied, broke their word, misrepresented themselves, and simply didn’t follow through. I know most of us have to deal with these same situations day in and day out. However, why can’t people simply do what they say they are going to do?

That reminds me of a song (I’m dating myself here) from the 80’s by The Fixx. It it still a fave album of mine, “Reach the Beach”. The song I am referring to is “One Thing Leads to Another”. Cy Curnin on vocals, Jamie West-Oram on lead guitar, Adam Woods on percussion, and Alfie Agius on bass.

The lyrics, although written about politicians, can easily represent the last seven days. I think I’ll take a bit to listen to The Fixx and look forward to the new week. As long as I do what I say, that has to be worth something.

Do what they say, say what they mean

One thing leads to another

You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long

But then one thing leads to another

One thing leads to another

Then it’s easy to believe

Somebody’s been lying to me

But when the wrong word goes in the right ear

I know you’ve been lying to me

It’s getting rough, off the cuff I’ve got to say enough’s enough

My Disorganized Organization

disorganizeI’m a bit of an organization guru. I like things tidy, I like things in their place, I like to make sure all the necessary information is noted correctly on the proper page. I have been this way for as long as I can remember.

Recently, I had a phone call and jotted a few notes on a post-it. I was busy so didn’t transfer the information. I put the post-it in my notebook with all the intentions of doing it later. Then another call, which resulted in another post-it. The days got busy and I was keeping my deal files up to date, but in the evening, when I usually update new, old, and current client information, I simply kept the post-its. This continued for about a week, and now I’m blogging about the post-it madness instead of transferring the information to the locations that are waiting to be updated.

With all this disorganization what is one more night of procrastination? There is always tomorrow to get it done and to get rid of the blank post-it notes so I don’t add more. Perhaps this really isn’t my fault. Maybe, just maybe, I can blame this mess on the person who gave me the post-it notes? Hmm, he’s sitting with me on the sofa. Nay, as much as I’d like to pass the post-it blame, it’s on me.