Budget Your Bouquets

Daffodiles and whote tulips.

Do you love cut flowers?

This week’s #tiptuesday is about refreshing an early spring vase.

The shops are full of daffodils and tulips at the moment, which combine beautifully. However, daffodils last longer and have a more upright habit than tulips, so when you create your display, budget to replace the tulips after about a week, when they have flopped. (Next week I’ll share what I did with the original red and gold tulips from this display).

Flowers are known mood enhancers and because they have a short lifespan they don’t end up being clutter or visual noise. 💐

Originally posted to Instagram.

Screen Use and Eye Health

Carnations and gypsophila in a vase on my office windowsill.

How often do you look up from your screen?

For eye health, the 20:20 rule is helpful – every 20 minutes we should look up from our computer screen and refocus our eyes on something at least 20 feet away.

I know this – at one point many years ago I was even the librarian for a specialist online library for eye health – but I really struggle to apply it!

Over the winter I started putting cut flowers in my office, to remind me that spring was coming, and I’ve found them a real benefit in making me look up more frequently. The light catches them at different times, so I actively want to look at them – then I look out the window at the garden and of course that’s more than 20 feet away, because I’m upstairs!

Because the flowers change frequently, they’re always a new thing in my line of vision – and they won’t become clutter because they only have a short life span.

Do you have any tricks to look up and out frequently when at the computer screen? I’m always looking for new things to try!

Originally posted to Instagram.

Time Management: Delete That Email App

Are you always “on”?

This week’s #protip is about mobile email management.

I know how hard it can be not to be constantly available – one infamous Christmas Eve I can remember my Dad losing his rag with me for answering a student email in the veg aisle as people fought past me to grab the last of the Brussels sprouts. But I also know the joy of my life now, in which I don’t check email outside work hours.

Deleting email apps is one of the most freeing actions we can take in modern life.

Here are 3 reasons to delete email apps and 3 suggestions how to do it:

📧 Our time is precious, and study after study has shown that human beings are more productive when we have some leisure time in which we switch off from thinking about work.
📧 We can’t be fully in our physical environment if we split our attention between it and the requests people make of us in our online world.
📧 There will always be certain emails that we can’t action away from our office. We may check email to deal with things quickly, but that one email we cannot action will prey on our mind and eat our attention until we get back to the equipment we need to answer it.

🤹🏻‍♀️Even if you work for yourself, your work doesn’t own every second of your day. If it’s useful to you to have email on your phone during working hours, delete the app each evening and reinstall each morning – keep your free time free.
🤹🏻‍♀️ Almost all email systems have webmail. It’s more of a pfaff than their app, but it means if you really, really, REALLY need to check, you still can. However, the pfaff of it stops the temptation to “just take a quick look” while you’re waiting in a queue or for a friend. It’s always much healthier to look around at your current environment than dive back into work.
🤹🏻‍♀️ If you’re in a situation in which you are expected or required to be available via email ALL the time, perhaps it’s time to start a new job search. I know that Christmas Eve when we almost didn’t get our brassicas was a big red flag to me. For financial reasons, it took a while to actually leave that workplace but the decision to do so was made that interrupted Christmas Eve.

Originally posted to Instagram.

Top Organising Product

For National Organising Week 2020, APDO shared Professional Organisers’ ‘Top 10 Organising Products’, and, unsurprisingly, the No. 1 choice was “Boxes you already have”, and their blog post asserts, “the right organising product in the right place can make a big difference to storage, efficiency and aesthetics.”

Here’s a recent reuse of an existing storage vessel in a client’s home, which has worked well for them both practically and aesthetically: