10 Responses to “Simplicity in Action: Diane”


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  1. Diane, I love that these are non-digital! Your daughter and her friends must have made those people’s day. What fun!

    I love the kitchen timer and use my microwave for this purpose. It really works. The stove timer is even better because it forces me to get up and turn it off, so I’m then able to take a guilt-free break with my mastermind team which consists of my husband and me. We head out for an afternoon tea.

    Your group sounds delightful, organized, and beneficial to all! Thank you for sharing your tips!

    • Diane Elkins

      Tammy – I feel like one of the few remaining fans of non-digital productivity solutions, reading your first comment made me so happy! I love your idea of using a timer that forces you to get up to turn it off – and how nice to have tea with your husband to look forward to for a break!

  2. Bill M

    Nice list.

    I do way too much #2 and have no #7. I’m real good with #4 too. I pile papers everywhere!

    • Diane Elkins

      The piles of paper are a big problem for all of us – they just keep growing and growing. Using an in-basket on the smaller side and keeping your filing categories broad – make it easier for filing and finding papers.
      How many to-dos do you write down daily? What seems to be a good system for you with regards to a to-do list?

  3. I have the tendency to overlook the importance of inspiration. While I am not in a particularly creative field (yet), I do need the occasional break to recharge. I am more likely to keep my nose to the grindstone, surely at the expense of my productivity and enjoyment of my job. I know that a small break to get some fresh air, chat with a coworker, or even just do a few stretches while glancing at inspirational photos or quotes such as you mention would give me a boost. Thanks for the reminder :-)

    • Diane Elkins

      Feeling like you have to be productive all the time is something I’m guilty of as well! It’s a tricky balance to find – but the timely and occasional break is both energizing and inspiring.

  4. I have never seen a “vision board” before. I had a board on the wall in front of my desk when I was a student, but that was merely a wall that was filled with to-dos and receipts and maybe a picture or two, but more of a random collection of things. Your vision board looks really inspiring and makes me wanna have one too :-)

  5. Diane Elkins

    Jessica – I love vision boards! Making them is as much fun as the inspiration you gain from them all year. A friend and I spent a weekend creating our boards and talking about our plans for 2013 – they help keep me focused on my goals and priorities. Let me know if you end up making one – I would love to see it!

  6. Thanks for this! I think I’m going to need to start writing out my top to-dos. With so many things to look at on my phone, sometimes the things I need to get done get lost.

    A kitchen timer! Brilliant! That would be perfect for both my 3 year old and I. I’ve tried to use my phone before for quick 5 minute cleanups but she doesn’t understand the concept. I think a physical kitchen timer is just the ticket.

    • Diane Elkins

      Very cute idea to use the timer with your daughter! I think it will add a fun element to the cleanup – and at that age she’ll even have fun setting the timer. The habit of writing and posting (where you’ll see it throughout the day) 3 daily must-dos has been a tremendous help to keeping me on track – I hope it works for you!

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