In This Issue
Note From Tonya
15 Minutes a Day
New Creative Tools from WLW
Vickie Hallmark's Master Muse Earrings
Feature Article
Are you a Master Fly Herder?

February 22, 2011

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Note From Tonya

Clutter, piles, mess and overwhelm...... Oy vey!

At the end 2010, I reviewed my year. I made new goals, spent time soul searching and deciding on my Compass Words. Oh I was ready to go get 'em!

Then off to one trade show, then another other, add in "life happens" and things get piled up. The overwhelm of things to do and the level of disorder in my life increased exponentially. It was all caused by disorganization and excess.

One of my favorite lines in the movie The Devil Wears Prada is when Meryl Streep turns to Anne Hathaway and says "Where's that piece of paper I had in my hand yesterday?" Do you ask yourself this more than you care to admit? Would you feel better if you were organized and could free up the chi in your environment?

I don't know about you but it's about this time of year that I get sick of the mess! I can only take so much. Not to complicate matters of course, but it's also nearly March. Time to start gathering our receipts and figuring out our books because Tax Time will be here in a blink of any eye.

But wait, I've got good news. All we need is 15 minutes a day. I know that even I can find 15 minutes a day, how about you?

Once you've gotten things straightened up, those 15 minutes of maintenance will keep you sane. As my coach last year said, it's all about systems. Systems in our life are the key to control and success.

I've tried many systems. I find simplicity works best. I really like the 4 D approach to conquering the amount of information that comes into my life, whether it's through email, mail, or just the massive amounts of information that comes to my desk daily. It's easy to manage and follow. I'll share it in this weeks feature article.

I hope you will take a 15 minutes a day to join me in getting organized before March. You've got 6 days to get things cleaned up. If you think it will take you 6 hours, that's just one hour a day. It's possible! Just think of the rewards. Ohhh...I'm ready to improve my environment's energy, how about you?

Creative Blessings,


New Creative Tools Arrive at Whole Lotta Whimsy

Feature Article

Om...Om....inhale, exhale...oh that feels good

Balance. Do you experience it?

Or is the "busyness" in your life creating overwhelm and chaos? Like gnats flying around your head, buzzing your ears.

Do you end the day wishing there was more time, or that you could have gotten more done.

You just need time management. It's simple right? Sadly, nope, that's not the answer. We cannot manage time. It's like herding flies. Impossible! We can only manage ourselves.

I hear from many artists, and women in general, they feel overwhelmed. They are consumed every day doing tasks that seem urgent and important. I understand this all too well.

Day in and day out, we maintain this habit of "busyness". When given the chance to reflect on our real goals and desires, and to evaluate whether we got done the things that are truly important to us, we experience feelings of frustration and disappointment. We are just too darn busy doing the unimportant and non-urgent tasks....until now.

How can we realign with our deeper and true desires?

First it starts with our environment. We can simplify, organize, systematize and get off this merry-go round.

Part One: Get Clarity

Take out a notebook or pad of paper and do a brain dump, preferrably on Sunday nite. Write down all the things you need to do, have to do, and want to do for this week. This should include everything from washing clothes, grocery shopping, bill pay, shipping, creating inventory, exercise, setting up twitter account, updating facebook, researching out that new web platform, SEO tips, etc.

Now take a clean piece of paper and fold it into fourths. In each corner write:
urgent and important (UI), important but not urgent (INU), urgent but not important (UNI), and not important or urgent (NINU).

Evaluate each item from your brain dump and put them into each quadrant. Be tough! Really tough! You are the gatekeeper.

Next, number them in priority and assign an approximate time it would take you to complete per week to each task (5 min per day x 5 = 25).

Highlight the top 3 priorities from the first three quadrants. Notice you aren't highlighting anything from NINU.

Part of this exercise is clarity. Getting clear on what is really important in life. Simplifying is always good. Does it really need to be done? Would life stop or would you be crushed if you crossed off that item, forever? Then do it. less "must do"! Ahhh, relish in it. Happy dance!

Part Two: Processing the "Stuff" and Defining the Next Step

The Four D's:

You need four real or digital bins/folders. How about a rolling cart with 3 drawers next to a trash can.

Label each one:

  • Dump It
  • Delegate It
  • Defer It
  • Do It

Again you are the gatekeeper. Instead of setting that pile of mail in a stack on your table or desk after getting it from the mailbox, take that extra 13 minutes a day to process it now. You'll thank yourself for not creating chaos on your desk.

I find post-it notes essential! When items come in, if it's not a Dump it or Do it, then I attach a post-it note to it. If it is a Delegate it, I can write a note to the person on what needs to be done. If it is a Defer it, I can write a note of what needs to be done and when, and how much time it will take.

Apply these rules to your inbox (desk and digital). Each morning you spend 15 minutes deciding which "D" bin it belongs in. Whew...doesn't that feel good?

Next week we'll cover Part Three: Systems/Scheduling for your Do it bin and your lists.

Until then.......get balanced, conquer chaos, and empower yourself! Just say no to herding flies ;-)

Master Muse

Check out Vickie Hallmark's Metal Clay Earrings with Syringe Cloisonné FREE TUTORIAL this week!

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Tonya Davidson is an artist, entrepreneur, coach and mentor. She helps other artists better their techniques and business skills by empowering them to live creatively from the inside out. Her ezine goes out to over 11,000 subscribers. If you want to learn to create a life you love, sign up for a FREE subscription at Be sure to check out her blog at for more articles like this one.

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