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The Psychology of Driving; What Lane Do You Play In?

highway-lanes_optDo you love to drive on an open freeway, crank up the music, and just let it rip?  I do, especially by myself.  I can sing and shout and let it all out, and most grateful that I have no audience.  Trust me, it’s not pretty.  Just the other day  I was cruising while singing along with the classic rock song on the radio, ” Life is a highway, I wanna drive it, all night long,” and it made me think…

Just imagine for a minute that “life” is a highway, and that the lanes signify not only how we navigate our car, but how we move through our lives. It’s about how we steer the “course,” and maneuver all the bumps and crazy turns.

The 3 lanes of a highway provides us with different options for speed, and that allows us to find our individual comfort lane.  The left lane is the express lane and perhaps appeals to a more self-assured nature, the one who is apt to take more risks;  enjoys flirting with danger and less inclined to adhere to rules of the road.  This driver is comfortable with the fast pace, or is in a constant hurry, racing through the day or perhaps, their life.

The middle lane could be considered the safe lane and I suspect the most popular one for the average driver.  Not much to think about, just straight ahead, slow and steady. Complacent, not inclined to change much or make impulsive decisions.

The right lane, while a transitional one (because eventually, every car must exit),  is ultimately the safest lane and therefore the most desirable lane for an overly cautious, timid, or nervous driver.

In any case, some of us choose to pick a lane, and remain there for the duration of our drive. Others might be too impatient for that. You know that driver, the chronic lane changer, often weaving in and out of lanes and always jockeying for position. This driver is not afraid to change, but perhaps lacks consistency, and is apt to change more frequently, rather than sticking to a plan.

As we explore this metaphor, it’s clear that driving styles can certainly be very revealing about one’s character. With some deeper introspection, it’s really just another way to see ourselves.  A bird’s eye view from a different perspective. Having another opportunity to learn how we manage our life is another opportunity to stop and self-evaluate it. Slow down, step on the brake, or maybe even impose a complete stop. And possibly, change direction altogether.

Perhaps you’ve never thought about the psychology of driving before, but if you pay closer attention, it may potentially change the way you look at yourself and how you think about timeThe way in which we drive can speak volumes about the risks we take and the choices we make.  These styles may conceivably reflect in our lifestyle/work-style.

I believe there is a connection.  What kind of driver are you?

  • Do you fully stop at stop signs, or roll through them?
  • Do you ignore speed bumps?
  • Do you race through yellow caution lights?
  • Do you obey speed limits?
  • Do you comply with Do Not Turn on Red signs?
  • Are you a respectful driver or are you guilty of road rage?
  • Tailgater or horn honker?


So next time you get into the driver seat, ask yourself? Who’s really behind the wheel? Are you playing in the fast track, playing it safe, or tend to be a bit more cautious?  Pick a lane, any lane.  Remember, it’s a choice.  Take control.  Your highway, your life.  Drive it at your own speed.








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The Key to Smart Holiday Shopping

So much to do with so little time? On a limited budget with an endless gift list? Regardless of income, purchasing holiday gifts can be doable and less stressful if you exercise effective time-management.  Things change from year to year, but the one thing that should remain as a standard imperative is organizing your holiday goals.

Whether it be party planningor gift shopping, making lists and committing to them is still one of the best ways to focus during a harried holiday season.   Don’t leave home without it!

Shopping any retail store at this time of year can be overwhelming. The sensory overload sucks you in; the twinkling lights, ringing bells, and piped in Xmas songs resounding everywhere are intoxicating.  This is designed to overwhelm you and divert you away from any real focus.  Intentional for the unprepared consumer.

At first, the holiday music does exude a certain welcomed measure of glee. I admit that it puts me in a good mood, but after continuous weeks of shopping, the incessant melodies can become unnerving. (It’s not just me, I hear this from the salespeople that have to endure it all day!) But it works like magic. It lures the crowds and feeds the frenzy.

Warning: If you have don’t have a specific person in mind on a list, you will find yourself roaming aimlessly for hours and most probably exit, confused, distraught, and empty-handed.

Go home, make a list. Jot down the friends, family, etc. for whom you need to buy gifts for, estimate how much you’re going to spend for each, and carry it with you so you can refer to it while shopping.  Have an agenda and destination in mind (on paper, or on a smart phone) before you go shopping.

This may sound unnecessarily elementary, but without a list, you can get easily distracted and side-tracked and perhaps be in danger of buying something you don’t need. If you stay on task, you won’t be shocked when the credit card bills arrive because YOU managed it.

Being prepared and organized will guide you and prevent you from getting in over your head. This ought to be a joyful time, so do your best to make it so. Make it a joy, not a job. Be merry, not stressed.

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Are You Too Busy For Your Own Good?

Everybody’s busy.  Who do you know that is not busy?  It’s the new normal.  Just ask anyone, “how are you?” and I’ll bet they’ll reply with a “good,” and add a boastful “busy.” It has become an aspired status that implies heightened productivity and success.  But we must pay attention to our individual capacities and be mindful when we reach our max. Too busy can be counterproductive and unhealthy.

Especially this time of year, we all have so much on our plates.  As if we had any extra time, the holidays just wring us dry of whatever spare time we might have.  But take note…there is good busy and bad busy.

The good busy is immersing yourself in the holiday festivities in a healthy way.  Work hard, play hard, shop smart.  Finding the balance between the every day and the added holiday to do’s, and finding the joy in the busy. Embracing the spirit of the holiday and not getting caught up in the consumer mania is easier for some more than others. The good busy people are able to resist the romance of over -acquiring. Staying focused helps them buy practical, buy less, and reduce the overwhelming holiday stress. They are enjoying the holiday frenzy.

Now for the bad busy.  We all are busy with our  jobs and/or just normal daily responsibilities.  No need to drown yourself in work commitment, holiday shopping, and operate in full throttle 24/7.  We are fragile.  Indeed, we are stressed, pressed for time, and overwhelmed, but we cannot be our best selves if we are constantly pushing the envelope.

In truth, being a workaholic and a shopaholic can prove to be fruitless, exhausting, and lead to burn-out. With the additional holiday pressure to get everything on your list done, you can easily drown in overwhelm and get caught up in a bad busy cycle.

What if I told you that if you stopped being so busy for a minute and relinquished a bit more more time to organize and manage your lifestyle better, you’d actually have MORE time? 

Here’s some helpful tips to reduce the bad busy;

  • Simply make a list of all the things you have to do, but then review the list again.  Now check off the things that only YOU have to do and delegate the rest. Figure out how to cut out a step. Do those things you love to do, and get help with the things you hate to do.
  • No need to spend the time or money on expensive wrapping paper.  Have the store wrap for you, or use shopping bags and stuff them with tissue paper.  Use stick-on labels instead of attaching gift cards. A huge time saver.
  • Simplify the complicated.  If possible, stay out of the stores and shop on-line. Avoid the long lines. They only add anxiety.
  • Don’t struggle with the “perfect” gift.  Buy gift cards.  They are always appreciated and they eliminate returns.
  • Buy clutter free gifts.  They are the most precious of all. Give the gift of time. Buy concert tickets, dinners, dance lessons, or spa treatments.  Be creative with your “love” gifts. They need not be expensive, just thoughtful.
  • Buy baked goods this year or store bought food, if this is too stressful for you.  Don’t feel guilty about it, your holidays will not be less happy.  Focus on the celebration with family and friends.
  • Forgive yourself if you didn’t have the time to send out holiday cards.  Don’t stress about it, let it go. It’s not the worse thing in the world. Maybe next year.


These are all small changes you can make to free up some more time to have fun!  Remember, “done is better than perfect!”

If you can’t enjoy this festive time, what’s the point? Now that you’ve  got a minute…Come join the conversation.  Are you good busy or bad busy?


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Regrets, I’ve Had a Few, But Then Again Too Few Too Mention

It’s about that same time now, each summer we repeatedly have the same regrets.  It’s about the third week of August and we all get a sense that the summer is over, and once again, we didn’t get to do all those things we promised ourselves we would.

How does this happen?  Year after year, it’s the same ‘ol thing.  We start with the kick-off of Memorial Day weekend, and we’re thinking we have the whole summer in front of us. Then, in what feels like an instant, it’s July 4th that sneaks up on us, and boom…it’s somehow August.

Summer camp is over, college students are beginning to migrate, back to school supplies are everywhere, and we slide into a panic because we can smell Labor Day. It’s actually here.

Reflecting on my personal summer, I would have liked to;

  • work less inside and catch more sunshine
  • go to the beach more than once 🙁
  • golf more

Other than that, no complaints.  I’m content with my Summer bucket list.  As always, just wish the summer was longer.

Like only Frank Sinatra can say it, “I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway and more, much more than this, I did it my way .”

Do you have summer bucket list woes? What things did you hope to accomplish? Looking back, would you change anything now? Did you manage your time well?

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Just Counting Down for Summer? Or Will You Make Summer Count?

Is Summer your favorite time of year?  It is definitely mine and I’m so elated that Memorial Day is finally here. This weekend always seems to usher in the splendor of summer.  We wait so long for its arrival and at this point in time, we are encouraged that there are far more summer days ahead of us than there are behind us. Summer is fun… it’s happy.  Azure blue skies and the sparkle of sunshine can make an ordinary day, a spectacular one.  Even after a long day’s work, just a walk outside into a summer’s night can turn a stressful day into a calming night.  With the longer days, I think we all are delighted to run the extra errand, take a drive, walk, or do just about anything, because it’s still light outside.

We wait 9 months for summer, best not to waste it.  Let us make every day count.  So perhaps before the weeks slip away from us, we should think about how we are going to use our time.  Are we going to merely frolic in the lazy days of summer? Or are we compelled to accomplish something significant on our summer bucket list?

I read this book “168 hours: You Have More Time Than You Think,” and it changed how I look at time forever.  It was eye-opening to realize how many people do not utilize the extra hours of their days in a week.   Yes, everybody has extra hours of down time when they are not sleeping or not working.  Nobody works 24/7 (168 hours), it would be physically impossible. Too many of us are unaware that there are so many valuable hours that can easily slip by.

Here’s how this thinking can change your life too.  Back to our summer plans.  Crunch the numbers; From Memorial Day to Labor Day there are 14 weeks.  If you do the simple math and multiply that by 168 hours (24 hours in a week),  you get 2352 hours.  Now that’s some big chunk of change, don’t you think?  If you are lucky and get 8 hours a night sleep, then deduct another 784 hours.  And  if you work 12 of those 14 weeks, subtract roughly about 480 hours, which leaves you well over 1000 glorious extra hours of  leisure time!!  OMG, you’ve hit the lottery.

Summertime is precious.  Organize it.  Make smart choices.  Manage your time because you own it , it’s yoursPlan your bucket list and aspire to satisfy it.  Spend your hours doing anything you enjoy doing;

    • Make more time for your family and friends.
    • Ride a bike.
    • Take a hike.
    • Read the book you’ve never have the time to.
    • Create a new hobby.
    • Rise early before the dawn.
    • Bask in the sunshine of a summer day.
    • Catch the beauty of a brilliant sunset.
    • Plant, grow a garden,
    • Paint a room.
    • Be ambitious and clean out the garage, basement or attic.
    • And yes, maybe even take a delicious nap on a hammock.

Enjoy the priceless summer hours, you cannot take them back in winter.  Make them count now and optimize your time.

For me, summer energies me…the days are longer, the sun is brighter, and I want to get out and do something.  This is Your  time, Your summer.  Ask yourself this… what will you be doing with all your hours?

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Time is Telling But What is it Saying?

Tick-tock…Tick-tock.  Are you running late or running behind?  Ahead of schedule or catching up? How many of us are actually on time?

We rely on our watches to watch “time“. It is fundamentally the only universal reference we have to measure a day. We are governed by time. Who doesn’t wear a watch or carry some sort of device to manage their time? It functions as our own personal alert system to remind us when we have to do just about anything. Time doesn’t only punctuate our mealtimes, appointments, or travel;  it organizes all of our life activities.  It is our ultimate life tracker.

But the interesting thing about time is that we all regard it differently.  Some of us adhere to it fastidiously, while others pay it little respect with a more nonchalant attitude.

I believe that time is our primary executive tool to function everyday and it’s what connects us to one another, like a universal language. Time has exponential value.  And so when we lose track of it, it can easily tumble into a domino effect and disturb all spheres of our lives.  Think about how many infinite and costly consequences there can be as a result of time not being on our side.

Things happen. There are appointments to make, schedules to keep, planes to catch, and time zones to calculate, and if there is one small glitch in the system, it can all go very wrong.  If it’s something that you can control, then be accountable.  Of course, there are always unforeseen circumstances that are clearly out of your hands.  It can be as insignificant as oversleeping (your bad), traffic (unpredictable and excusable, or perhaps you didn’t allow yourself enough time?), or as serious as an unfortunate accident.  In any case, any one of those scenarios can spill into late appointments, missed plane connections, or even the most severe of consequences.

Time may be our life compass but that doesn’t mean you cannot steer your own ship.  Be the captain of your helm.  Plug in the coordinates of your life and manage them.  Use time as your organizer, not your ruler.  And ask yourself this; do you control time or does time control you?  Do you play with time effectively or do you live on the edge with time?  Evaluate, pay attention,  and you’ll see….time will tell.



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Finding the Happy in Hard Times

One of the all time over-stated and under-utilized motto is,  “When you get lemons, make lemonade.” But how often do we take active measures to redirect our path in the face of adversity?

Life can be hard and often unfair. We must work hard at cultivating our own happiness.  Whether it’s caused by financial struggles or amidst any other trying circumstance, self pity or idleness is not a productive way to confront despair. Don’t be  a victim, be proactive.

The adage, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” is truly an inspirational one and has always resonated with me.  It’s all about perseverance.  There is always a silver lining to every bad situation, and so we must gather our survival tools to diffuse and minimize them.  One simple coping tool is to prioritize.  In the midst of the difficulty, step away and take stock.  What things are you grateful for? What is important to you?  Find the happy in them.  Focus on the positive, not the negative. Gain control and reverse the momentum.  Adjust your attitude.

As this is my 100th blog post, this feels like a milestone post.  It gives me pause for some significant personal reflection.  I want to thank you the reader, for visiting, commenting, and your continued follow.  Know that my content comes from an authentic place, and I draw from my own personal and professional experiences.  I share with you my organizing expertise,  along with my heart.

For me,  health, family and friends are paramount in my life.  So for now, no matter how hard and challenged the days are ahead, I find the happy through my family and friends.  It is my life-balance.  These are my vital anchors.  What are yours?  How do you cope with your hardships?

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How Are You Managing the Holiday Havoc?

It’s that festive time of year again, and for most, a very busy and hectic time. We all have so much on our plates.  But guess what? Despite the challenging economy, the holidays are still coming.  Some of us may resist jumping in just yet, but eventually, we all get captured by the holiday spirit.

No doubt about it, holiday mania can be very overwhelming and stressful.  Let’s see…we have Chanukah and Xmas presents to buy for our friends, family, and business acquaintances. Add to the list, the local favorites, i.e. manicurist, hairdresser, postman, etc.), or perhaps a favorite teacher or receptionist.

Additionally, you might have a secret Santa grab bag to buy for a business or social event.  And whether it be business related or just casual gatherings, there are holiday parties everywhere, which may inspire you to shop for some new and  trendy party clothes.

Ugh, humbug…are we done yet?  Nope, not quite. But don’t stress.

Here are some tips that might help you cope with the madness;

Holiday Shopping:  Go home, make a list. Jot down the friends, family, etc. for whom you need to buy gifts for, estimate how much you’re going to spend for each, and carry it with you while shopping.  Have an agenda and destination in mind (on paper, or smart phone) before you go shopping.

Without a list, you can get easily distracted and side-tracked and perhaps be in danger of buying something you don’t need. If you stay on task, you won’t be shocked when the credit card bills arrive because YOU managed it.  Chances are, if you have don’t have a specific person in mind on a list, you will find yourself roaming aimlessly for hours and most probably exit, confused, distraught, and empty-handed.

Holiday Gift Wrap: Let’s address all the wrapping paper, ribbons and bows already in your inventory.  They can create a huge mess if not properly organized. Consider all the new incoming wrapping paper. Those little gift cards (or stickers, even better) are a MUST for labeling the gifts, especially if you want to ensure that Aunt Shirley doesn’t get Uncle Ted’s tie.  Manage the chaos by labeling everything, and create a gift list so you can keep track for next year too. There are convenient wrapping paper storage containers like this one to organize your holiday wrapping all year long.  Perfect for a top shelf or under the bed access. There are many more options available at the Container Store.

Holiday Decor: Start early. Hopefully you have some kind of storage system already in place for retrieving all of your holiday decor, so the prep won’t be that crazy. But if you’re wondering where you put your favorite tablecloths, Chanukah menorah, or tree ornaments, this could be a stressful process.  But it need not be. Change it up this year and purchase storage bins for your inventory and box them with “like” categories, and label the contents.  Designate a consistent spot in a closet, garage, or attic. Next year will be a breeze!

Holiday Entertaining:  If you are hosting, I’m guessing you are frenzied with the endless amounts of money exhausted on holiday decorations, party goods, table settings, home decor, food, etc. Plan your menu ahead, and create a detailed shopping list to follow.

Visualize the actual dinner table and backtrack on how to create it. Break it down into smaller steps so you can maintain control throughout the planning and minimize last-minute anxiety. Write it all down so it is out of your head and onto a piece of paper.  It’s so easy to forget the simplest things when your brain is over-burdened.

Be a smart shopper and buy decorative holiday decor that will endure another season.  Pack it, preserve it, so you can store it away in your new storage bins.

Even if you are not hosting, there will additional spending on bringing a hostess gift, cooking a dish, baking, or purchasing some delectable pastry. Plan for it and schedule it to happen. Avoid the multiple runs to the liquor store (for that person you forgot to buy a gift for) and keep extra bottles of wine or vodka handy. Be prepared.  FYI, alcohol is the gift no one ever returns, lol.

Holiday Travel:  And if you are one of the fortunate ones that are also packing for a Xmas vacation with the family, it will require an even greater sense of organization.  The key to getting through all this merriment without having a meltdown is doing just what Santa does…making a list, jotting it down, and checking it twice.  Yep, lists, lists, and more lists. Better still, devise a standard checklist to refer to for all future travel.

Holiday Parties:  These are the fun things to keep track of, so keep an organized calendar and mark down all the dates you want to schedule in the month. Set up reminders to alert yourself to respectively RSVP and avoid double-booking. Of course, there will be some parties you’ll want to go to, and others you’ll have to attend. Prioritize and check off as you go.  If you’re on a budget, shop for clothing that can cross over for both business and casual attire.

Organize your holiday. Manage your time. Prepare by sticking to a daily plan and prioritizing tasks. Decide this year to make the holidays both joyful and productive.

Be merry, not stressed.  You choose.





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Is Your Refridgerator Cluttered?

Does your fridge look like this? Do you need to take out at least 6 items to get to your favorite drink or snack?


And when it’s time to put the stuff back, it never fits quite the same, right?  It’s like a food jigsaw puzzle…lol


So if you are not an expert juggler, it’s time to organize that cluttered fridge and maximize its space.

This is my favorite new product.; Interdesign Fridge Binz. You can find them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  No more hunting for the pickles, deli meat, or yesterday’s left-overs!

Interdesign Fridge Binz Stackable Clear Plastic Bin

Interdesign Fridge Binz Stackable Clear Plastic Bins


These clear bins pictured above are a great way to manage a variety of different food groups, while keeping your refrigerator looking organized and appealing. They are available in different sizes;  single, double, beverage, and egg compatible.  This not only eliminates the stacking of incongruous shapes and spillage, it aids in the challenge of returning an item back to a designated space.  Even food should have a special home! All cheeses can be contained and spreads can be more easily found.  It’s ideal for corralling cut-up fruits, flavored yogurts, and kid’s snacks.

The best part is that the bins are portable and stackable; just slide them out with the handle and find what you need easily.  Everybody in the family will know where to look to find their favorite foods!  I even suggest to store “like with like” and use them how you eat; e.g. put pita bread, hummus spreads, olives, etc. all in the same appetizer bin.

The great benefit of these bins is that they are so easy to clean and prevent the fridge shelves from getting sticky and gummy.  You can also still opt to store your condiments on the fridge door, but often the jumbo sizes don’t fit.  In my house, I have such a huge assortment of mustard, there’s little room left for anything else. I need an exclusive bin just for mustard! 🙂

Most likely your refrigerator shelves are adjustable, so they might have to be altered to accommodate taller items.  Use the double bins to group larger categories. Store all veggies together, lettuce, with all other accompaniments of a salad . Makes it so convenient to chop a salad quickly and efficiently.

You might even consider labeling the containers for the family. Especially great idea for left-overs since you want them to be found, not lost.

Below is another version of the same product concept.  My client uses these to organize her daily dinner ingredients. I prefer the clear bins better because you can see what you have more readily, but you get the idea.

The days of trying to shove food back into the fridge haphazardly are gone!  When you’re starving…you want what you want, when you want it, and you certainly don’t want to start a scavenger hunt searching for it.

Eating just got more fun!  Bon appetit!





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