Why do I use a Planner? What is Bilateral Planning? How are Pageant Queen Principles incorporated?

A planner is more than a calendar.

A planner is a tool to help manage projects.  

Those projects can vary from keeping your house in order, to operating a business from home; from keeping your ministry accountable and out of the red, to balancing school and work life.  

To-do lists can be as varied and unique as individuals are, therefore a system for managing those tasks should be designed to meet those needs.

My unique need for a project management system, which I call a planner, came as a result of losing my cognitive abilities.  My memory, both short and long term, were affected. Read the story here.  As I began the arduous task of rebuilding my life, I quickly realized the need to relearn many skills that had once been second nature.   

At that time, my sister introduced me to the creative community of decorative planning and I quickly realized my brain worked differently as it healed.  Some days, analytical tasks like reading, list making, and counting were too difficult or incomprehensible and I leaned heavily on the creative skills associated with the right side of the brain and could surround myself with light and laughter.  Other days, color and sound were distracting and overwhelming, causing anxiety and sending me into a panic attack so I leaned towards quiet, solitary activities that gave me a sense of calm and order like reading or listmaking.

I began studying how others approached project management for productivity.  Soon, I discovered that while humans use both sides of their brain for different tasks, we have a natural bent towards relying on one side or the other.  Some of us are more artistic in nature and operate from a right-brained perspective. Others are more analytical in nature and operate from a left-brained perspective.

Before the trauma that led to a cognitive decline and memory loss, I believed myself to favor a left-brain perspective and therefore engaged in traditionally left-brain activities, rarely pursuing those requiring a right-brain nature.  During the healing process, I read much on the subject of neuroplasticity and how to “remap” the brain by continually challenging myself to learn new things. I learned, through trial and error, how to work through the anxiety and panic of not being able to think through, and therefore follow through, with simple activities.  

 

Bilateral Planning is HOW to plan for productivity and success.

I needed to have a project management system that worked with my brain whether I was able to think with the right or left side on any given day.  I believe this approach helped me heal quicker and regain much of my former cognitive abilities. While experimenting with different ways to “remap” my brain and learn information, I created a project management system called bilateral planning.

Bilateral Planning is a system of task management that allows for flexibility while maintaining efficiency.   I utilize a framework for left-brain task and time management in addition to a space for creative thought processing.   This system has allowed me to accomplish goals that would have otherwise been out of reach.

Take this quiz to discover whether you are left or right brain dominant.

 

Pageant Queen Principles are WHAT you plan.

Incorporating Pageant Queen Principles within the Bilateral Planning framework creates a balanced system for efficiency, productivity and ultimately, success – whether your goals include capturing a crown or corraling a kindergarten class.  

Join me on my YouTube channel as I share techniques for creating a system that meets your needs.  Be sure to download the FREE printables so you can plan along with me in upcoming videos.

 

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KONMARI | Clothes

I have a confession…my clothes and closet have always been the least organized part of my life.  But thanks to Marie Kondo and her method of “tidying” known as KonMari, I now have a JOY-FILLED closet and am on my way to applying her technique to all the other areas of my life.

And I decided to document my process and progress to help me stay accountable and complete the task.

I have purchased the book  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and started reading it but was first introduced to it and the KonMari method through Laura at HowtoGYST

While I do not have Netflix to watch the new series where Kondo helps people “tidy up” I decided to set my YouTube to Laura’s KonMari playlist and get to work organizing my life!  The first category recommended by Kondo is “Clothing” so that is where I started.

Join me as I spark JOY, declutter and change my life with the magic of tidying up!

 

 

 

Identifying Cognitive Impairments

“We can not solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.”
Albert Einstein

I am not a Doctor.  I am an expert in me…an expert of my body.  If I learned anything from the journey of losing and then regaining my cognitive abilities and memories, it is this…
My body is wiser than my words are available.
When I struggled to string together words to form coherent sentences, my body continued to communicate information through the five natural senses and what is identified as the Sixth sense.  It was through this communication with and through my body that I understood my mind was not working properly and eventually, what I needed to do in order to return to a healthy state.  I believe this wisdom is available to everyone, in and through their own body.  I recognized this wisdom as God, ever present and guiding me through the darkest days. While I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that I was not alone, I did not always feel that way. As a result, I decided to raise awareness and educate others on the issues surrounding brain health.

According to information provided by the CDC in “Cognitive Impairment: A Call to Action, Now!” There are now more than 10 million family members providing unpaid care to a person with cognitive impairment, a memory problem or a disorder like Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. As I type this, the numbers are growing and possibly includes you or someone you love. Nearly 16 million Americans are living with cognitive impairment.

What is cognitive impairment?
Cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday
life. Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe. With mild impairment, people may begin to notice changes in cognitive functions, but still be able to do their everyday activities. Severe levels of impairment can lead to losing the ability to understand the meaning or importance of something and the ability to talk or write, resulting in the inability to live independently

What causes cognitive impairment?
Cognitive impairment is not caused by any one disease or condition, nor is it limited to a specific age group. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in addition to conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and developmental disabilities, can cause cognitive impairment.

What are some common signs of cognitive impairment?
• Memory loss.
• Frequently asking the same question or
repeating the same story over and over.
• Not recognizing familiar people and places.
• Having trouble exercising judgment, such as
knowing what to do in an emergency.
• Changes in mood or behavior.
• Vision problems.
• Difficulty planning and carrying out tasks,
such as following a recipe or keeping track of monthly bills

Alzheimers, dementia, PTSD, and strokes are just a few neurological diseases and disorders that can affect cognition and memory. Some causes are well known, well funded and actively researched. Others may not be. Lesser known disorders or side effects from medications may not receive much attention and therefore struggle to gain awareness. Thus education may seem limited leading to the perception that treatment and prevention are all but impossible.

I hope to shift thinking.

If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the above symptoms, please contact a medical professional and know that you are not alone.

Ancestry Organization

If you have followed me here or on any of my social media platforms for any amount of time, you have learned that I enjoy researching my family genealogy.  For the past year and a half, I have worked towards a system of organizing my research that marries my love of mixed media and traveler’s notebooks.

There is no ONE way to organize your genealogy research as each system is as unique as the person (and their family) compiling it.  Whether you choose to keep your records in a digital database (i.e. Ancestry or Family Search) or in a paper file, there are a few fundamentals that will help you collect information.

Start with your parents and grandparents, while they are living.  The obvious information to record is

  • name;
  • birthdate and location;
  • parents names;
  • spouse and children

Using a notebook or my Family Record Booklet, identify what you already know about your family.  Be sure to capture the family stories that could die with them.  

Once you have interviewed your closest living relatives, you will need to decide what information you do not have and you want to learn about your ancestors. 

Using forms provided by your digital genealogy database or my Ancestor Research Booklet, select an ancestor to learn about and begin organizing your records.

Decide what you want to learn.  Begin with ONE question?  Trust me when I say, without a clearly defined search objective, you could climb up and down your family tree looking (and finding) information and be left with a pile of paperwork that can leave you frustrated and with more questions than you started with.  What do you want to find?

Once you have identified what you want to look for, identify why do you want/need to know this information?  Having the answers to these two questions will help you in your search.  Often while looking for the answer to your the first question you will discover new questions to ask.  Write them down.  Create a list of research questions.  Do not get distracted with the new questions…again, trust me on this point.  Your ancestors are not going anywhere.  Once you have answered the first question, you can look for information to answer the next, and next…you are bound to discover lots of questions to ask in your research.  

Finally, prepare a research log.  Knowing where you have previously looked for information will save you untold hours and headaches. 

Are you new to researching your family history or have you been tracking down clues for years?  How do you organize your material?  I would love to know how you organize your research.  Find me on FaceBook and Instagram and share your tips and photos with the hashtag #TheOrganizedMiss

 

 

 

Life is an EXPERIMENT …

In keeping with my goal of providing FREE printables for you to use in your creative endeavors, planning or as little encouragers to give to others (as I do with my monthly mailers)…I have designed this card for the month of August.

I had a lot of fun painting the original piece.   If you have followed me and my journey for any amount of time, you have learned that I LOVE creating art, especially mixed media using recycled materials.

This image is not exception.  I have been obssessed with saving junk mail envelopes to repurpose in my art projects.

I recently grabbed a larger envelope that had been delivered to my mailbox containing advertising specialty items.  And spent a relaxing evening plopping paint all over the ourtside of it.

PaintyEnvelope

Then, I uploaded the artwork to the computer to continue creating digitally.  By the time I had finished, I had created several elements to use as a digital kit for a junk journal class I am teaching.

Painty Book

This is a page from the inside of the book.  The cover was created using the large painted envelope cut down to a 6″x9″ size. The pages inside were made from paper I had left over from previous projects, and recycled materials, as well as the digital elements I created on the computer from the painted envelope.  The above photo shows a page in the junk journal that showcases some of the repurposed items, (scrapbook paper, old book page, clothing tag, and painted art).

I have challenged myself to find multiple uses for the art I created.  As ususal, I used the art for my monthly birthday card mailers and then sat down to work on more digital items to include in the kit I am designing for another upcoming class.

The resulting image is a 3″x4″ journal card you can download for personal use.

LifeIsExperiment_JournalCard

In addition to printing as a journal card, the image can be resized and printed as postcards (I PRINT 4 TO A PAGE AND SET THE PRINTER TO FULL BLEED).

I would love to see what you are making…and how you incorporate this design in your art, creative spaces or planning.  Please tag me on social media an show me how you are using it.  I can be found online at:

 

Morning Routine|Free Printable

“Behind every impossible achievement is a dreamer of impossible dreams.” -Robert K. Greenleaf

“Your brain has the ability to change and develop physiologically, and it does so based on how you use it. You have the ability to strengthen and develop your brain by thinking about a compelling future for yourself, by regularly and repeatedly thinking about an inspiring vision where you emotionally connect with the life you desire. You can train your brain to act on your vision just by thinking about it. The first step is creating an inspiring vision and learning how to stay connected with it.” – from 12 Week Year

For me, training my brain to act on my vision is found in the routines.  We are creatures of habit and as Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.” 

What you think about – you bring about!  

This happens whether you are being intentional with your thoughts and actions, as with following a morning routine, for example.  Or whether you are unintentional with your thoughts and actions, which by the way turn in to habits…

the habit of sleeping in because you can … 

the habit of taking a shower whenever you think about it … 

the habit of sitting on the couch all day, because “Why not? I have no where to go.”… 

the habit of self-imposed isolation which can and does, lead to depression.

For the 31 Days of Planner Fun Challenge, I am sharing my morning routine with you here along with a free printable you can use in your planner to help you get started with creating your own morning routine.  Or if you already have one, perhaps this can help you keep it front and center whether you actually place it in your planner or hang it on your wall next to your bed so you see it each morning (I may or may not do this) 🙂 

I find scheduling my morning routine into my planner helps me stay accountable to myself, my vision.  The truth is, whether you have a morning routine or not, your body and life will show it.  Having a routine will help your brain TRUST that you will take care of it…this goes for other routines as well, evening and sleep routines, work routines, family obligations and chore routines, the list can go on and on.  

When your brain trusts you, it is free to turn off the “flight or fight” survival mode and focus on strengthening and growing in the areas you are being intentional about. Your vision and goals become a reality when you are less stressed or have an effective routine for dealing with stress.  

A morning routine can help to start the day in an optimal state.  I focus my routine on three areas of my life, Being, Body, Brain.  Actually, all of my planning and routines revolve around these three categories.  

When I am consistent with my routine, I am more alert, engaged, productive and able to handle the stressors of life.  Because let’s face it, stress happens but how we respond to stress determines the outcome.  

Download your FREE PRINTABLE here and tag me on social media with how you are implementing it.  

Join me this month for all things planner related, OneBookJuly2018 and 31 Days of Planner Fun on social media at:

Facebook and Instagram as @theorganizedmiss

YouTube @Deanna – The Organized Miss and check out

31daysplannerfun

It’s time for One Book July !!

HIP HIP HOORAY!!  If you are not cheering along, it may be because you have no idea what I am talking about…Read this history of One Book July that will get you up to speed with this year.

Allow me to be the first, or the first of many, to welcome and introduce you to this wonderful, one month experiment that will help you organize, categorize, calendarize and all around improve productivity!
 
I will be sharing my journey, using a #bilateralplanning approach, along the way.

Whether you are already well ensconced in a system that works for you, or your system is made up of a thousand pieces of paper and post it notes, I believe One Book July will teach you something new about yourself and your planning routine!

I am excited to see what I learn through the experiement of One Book July this year!

Are you planning on participating?  Please find me on social media and tag me, I would love to see what you are doing!