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Priority Pyramid & a Printable

"You can do anything but not everything."
~ David Allen

I wear many hats...wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, nurse, coach, maid...I could go on, but I won't.  With so many hats to wear and requests coming from every direction, it's easy to get carried away and overwhelmed with activity and life.  Then there are things that I want to do for myself...believe it or not, they do exist.  How can I keep it all straight?  It's hard, and over time it may change.  I can do anything but not everything.  This week I finally organized my priorities.  The principles I learned in doing so can apply to your priorities in life as well as how you prioritize organizing your home.  Anything that needs prioritizing can be applied to this method and will give you a clear order in which to accomplish what needs to be done and to cut out what is unnecessary.
I read an article the other day {I'm really bummed that I cannot remember where so I can link it up} and it talked about how we approach our priorities.  Instead of listing them out or ranking them from top to bottom, this blogger approached her priorities as a pyramid.  The most important priorities listed at the bottom as the foundation and the less important priorities laid above to build structure and balance.  When thinking of a pyramid, the foundation is the widest {and represents the most time consuming} whereas the less important priorities get narrower {and should require less of our time}.  I loved this approach!  But wanted to dig a bit deeper.

Good ol' Google to the rescue.  I did a quick search for priority pyramid that led me to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a psychological theory that prioritizes a humans most basic needs.  That was great to know and all, but how did that connect to my own life's priorities?  The same principles applied.  Build upon the foundation of what is most important and the rest will fall into place.  It reminds me of scripture...

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to you as well."
~ Matthew 6:33

Taking those principles, I did some soul searching and really thought about how best to spend my time.  It's something that I had been struggling with for a while, and especially since I began blogging.  I needed to get my priorities in order so that I could function to the best of my abilities and balance my life out.  Taking the time to do this would then help me to plan my days into how much of my time should to go to certain things.

The Priority Pyramid is made up of 10 layers.  The most important becomes your foundation and every other priority gets laid on top of that, all the way up to 10.  The lower the layer, the more time is required; the higher the layer, the less time is required.

For my own sanity, I began to apply these first to my life's priorities since that's what was on my heart.  I approached my life's priorities in terms of my relationship with...{fill in the priority}.  The first half was super easy and obvious, but the last half was a bit harder and really needed some thought.  Being the overachiever that I tend to be, listing out my life's priorities wasn't good enough.  I had to also list ways of fulfilling those priorities.  The words in yellow represent the most important actions I can take to maintain that relationship, followed by other action words to focus on.  As you can see, I didn't even have a 10th priority.  I guess you could say I was making room for margin in my life {really, I ran out of ideas}.

If the thought of prioritizing your life seems too large to wrap your head around right now, that's okay.  Taking baby steps is the key to achieving life's larger goals.  Start prioritizing something tangible, something you can see, arrange, organize.  I took the "home" layer and created a Priority Pyramid for that specific category using the same action words to fill in the pyramid.  As you can see, it didn't fill up the whole pyramid, and that's fine.  Don't feel like you must complete each layer.
Are you ready to take your priorities, run them through the wash and see how they come out?  Once you lay out your priorities, compare it to how you actually spend your time now.  It will likely look like a diamond or a snowflake {I know mine is majorly disfigured}.  Use that to shift your approach to the way you manage your time.  Getting caught up in the unnecessary is easy to do if your priorities are not in order.  Organizing your priorities is one gift that will make life more balanced and reveal what is truly important in the day to day. 

Have a go at your priorities!  Whether they be life, home, work or blogging, it's an investment of your time that will return discernment, peace and stability to the aspects of life that are most challenging.  Make sure to date your pyramid so you can look back on it to check yourself or restructure when new opportunities come your way.

Techy Tuesday: Find My iPhone

Loosing an item is annoying.  In a house with toddlers, loosing an item is inevitable {and still annoying}.   We loose things around here all the time, but eventually {sometimes months later} what's lost is typically found.  Finding an item is often a testament to your organizational skills, other times it's luck.  When it comes to toys and socks, playing the lost and found game is not a matter of life and death; however, when it comes to our cell phones {especially our smart phones}, it is a matter of some urgency.  We keep a lot of information on our smart phones, so when they are lost, it stirs up panic and increases our blood pressure.  Read on to see how I use technology to bring our blood pressure back to normal with a very useful app.
Find My iPhone

One evening, my hubby and son were playing.  All is well and good.  Our son loves to jump on the couch that my hubby rests on when he gets home from work, even if he's is still resting on it.  Later that evening, Grandma and Grandpa stop by for a visit and before you know it, it's bedtime.  After putting the boy down, hubs and I like to catch up on our shows or watch a movie together and just relax.  This night was no different.  After a couple of hours in front of the television, we head to bed ourselves.  What happens next is where the excitement begins.

I usually take my phone and iPad with me and hubster does the same.  Only tonight was different.  The dreaded question...
Him: Where's my phone?
Me: I don't know, where did you put it?
Him:  I thought I put it right here.
What happens next?  Frantic searching through the house, retracing steps, wondering if our visitors took the phone by mistake, and suspecting the phone may have be left in the car.  It's late and we're tired.  We did not have time to go on a rescue mission for the phone, but it was necessary.  We decide to call the phone so it can reveal its hiding spot, and as the hubby goes back downstairs to listen for it, I remember {as I tend to do} that we have an app for that!  I call the phone twice in a row and hubby is not hearing it.  It must be on silent.  Why are phones always on silent when you're trying to look for them?  Lucky for my hubs, he is married to a techy freak who previously set up all our phones to be found in the event that it one day is lost {organizational skills...yup}.  I use my techy skills to quickly download the app {not sure why it wasn't there before} and within a matter of minutes what's lost is found!

The whole episode lasted a good 20 minutes, but it could have gone on much longer if we didn't have the foresight to set up our devices on iCloud.  Can you imagine?  We could have called Grandma and Grandpa to see if they may have taken the phone.  Then they start searching and backtracking through the night.  Hubby could have gone out to check every crevice of his car.  It goes on and on.  But thanks to this techy fab app, all it took was twenty minutes.  It would have been even faster if we had remembered to look there first, and if I had already had the app on my phone.  Lesson learned and app downloaded and ready to go.

Find my iPhone is an app that works with iCloud.  If you have been following the blog for a while you know that I heart iCloud for all the wonderful things it can do.  Finding your iPhone is just one of those amazing things.

First thing to do is to set up your iCloud with each of your devices.
Multiple devices supported under iCloud service
Second, make sure each device has the Find feature enabled {found in Settings}.
Find My iPhone enabled in device settings
When your phone is lost, simply open the app and tap the device you want to find.  Once there you have several options: play a sound {will sound even if the phone is on silent}, remote lock and remote wipe.
Options when using Find My iPhone
Finally, go find your phone.  In our case, I chose to play a sound and display a message "Here I am!".  Then hubby went downstairs to go look for the phone while I checked the map.  The map below is in hybrid from, so that I could see if it was actually in the house or out in the parking lot.  As you can see, it was in the house.
Hybrid map view for Find My iPhone
Fun Fact:  If you go back and look at the time stamp on each of the images all {except for the iCloud settings image} were taken as our lost and found episode was taking place.  I hope that shows you how much I think of you readers {wink, wink}!  Even in all the chaos, I knew this would be a great Techy Tuesday post!  Thus is the life of a blogger!
Loosing things happens and is usually unavoidable.  Finding things, as in this case, takes foresight and preparation.  If I didn't have the foresight to set up all our devices when I first set up iCloud months ago, misplacing the phone would have been much more serious.  Our lost and found episode took about 20 minutes because I still had to go back and download the Find My iPhone app on my phone.  In this episode, I wasn't as prepared as I could have been, but if this ever happens again, know that this app is on all our devices now!  

Have you ever felt the panic of loosing a phone?  Did you have an app like this to save the day?  Share your episode with me!  Don't have an app to help find your phone?  What are you waiting for!?!  Go get one and tell your friends to get one too {I did}!

Techy Tuesday: Flipboard

In my previous posts, I share about how to use technology to organize our time, our tasks, and our inspiration.  This Techy Tuesday is all about taking and soaking in technology.  Don't you just wish that you could take everything you love to read like your facebook news feed, favorite blogs, and the latest headlines and put them all in one place?  Well, you can...with Flipboard.  Flipboard has been on the tech scene for a while now, but I'd like to share with you how I use Flipboard to keep up with my favorite techy updates and keep current on world events.
Imagine taking all your favorite magazine subscriptions, website bookmarks and social media news feeds, putting them together and smashing them into a clean looking, easy to use app all for the sake of a better reading experience.  That is Flipboard in a nutshell.  Flipboard is a great {free} app that will enhance the way you read.  If you ever wondered what to do with that fancy new iPad you just bought, this is it.  First developed for the iPad {and recently optimized for the iPhone}, Flipboard takes all the sites {and apps} you might normally go to for the latest in news, weather, blogs, and facebook and twitter feeds, and puts them all together in one place so you can go from reading your friend's latest status update, to reading up on the latest political crisis in one tap or swipe. 
Flipboard home screen
With a quick link to your social networking accounts, your news feeds will now show up on Flipboard for your to see and even interact!
Twitter Feed on Flipboard

Looking at photos of your friend's recent vacation looks gorgeous on Flipboard, and notice there are icons for you to comment, like and share right on Flipboard!  Each entry you make here will show up on your facebook account making browsing and interacting a breeze!  The only thing you are not able to do is update your status from Flipboard.  Status updates will have to be done directly from your social networking site or app.
Facebook friend's photos laid out beautifully on Flipboard

Even if you can't update your status from Flipboard, look at all that you can browse from here!  Everything from your news feed, your wall, and even visit your friend's wall or your favorite fan page!  All done with a tap!
Lots of ways to see your Facebook account on Flipboard

Whether you're a loyal one or two blog follower, or a dozen or more blog follower, your blog will look great laid out on Flipboard.
Blogs on Flipboard

You can even link up your blog reader to Flipboard and see all the latest posts from your favorite bloggers all at once!  And if you want to comment on a post, or enter a giveaway, there is an in-app browser that takes you to the blog site or you can also open the post in Safari.
Google Reader in Flipboard
News and current events are not exactly on the top of my reading list, but seeing the headlines on Flipboard does make it easier to do and nicer to look at.
See the headlines through Flipboard's eyes

Exploring is my favorite part!  It's what has fed my techy cravings and kept me up to speed on the latest and greatest in technology.  My two favorite content categories are Apple News and Apps.  Apps has helped me to discover lots of wonderful new apps to try and always lets me know when apps go on sale or become free!  These and the many other content categories are what they at Flipboard call "curating" content from several sources {website or blog} to get you the best feed of information in that particular category.
Content categories curated by Flipboard
As a mom, there are rare moments when I can find 5 or 15 minutes of "free" time.  In order to make the most of that short window of time {before getting back into mommy mode}, setting up Flipboard feeds will be the best investment of your time.  When you get a quick moment, open it up and read away.  I love how the content is laid out so nicely, like reading a digital magazine of your personalized content.  If I want to catch myself up on what is happening with my family and friends, or if I want to venture into something new, this makes it so simple to do.

Taking in technology and making it fit in to your life {and not the other way around} is what makes technology truly great.  Flipboard has made a reader out of me!  But wait, there's more!  Earlier, I mentioned that Flipboard has recently optimized use for the iPhone; now, you can get the customized content on your iPad onto your iPhone, so you can read on the go!  Or, if you don't own an iPad, you can start up on your iPhone and take advantage of all the great features of Flipboard.  The only difference between the two platforms is that on the iPad you would swipe from right to left {as if you were turning a page}, and on the iPhone you would swipe up {as if you were flipping a notepad page with your thumb}.  Here's a look at the home screen from an iPhone.
Flipboard home screen on an iPhone
Are you a Flipboard user?  What other ways do you use Flipboard?  Never heard of Flipboard?  I hope this has given you a new way to get your read on!  Try it!  It's free {and so fun to use}!

Disclaimer:  I was not paid to post this feature on Flipboard.  This is my personal experience with the app.

Ultimate Blog Party: Hi My Name is Ferly

This post is in participation of the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.  These twin bloggers have created a time and space where bloggers can discover new blogs, connect with other like-minded bloggers, and build relationships.

This is a special post for me.  I might even venture to say this post marks a milestone for me as a blogger.  It may be a small step, for some, but it is an important step for me, and I'll explain why.  As if putting myself {and my home} out for the www to see wasn't scary enough, add to that the eye of other bloggers {many of whom are much more experienced than me at this blogging business}.  Scary as it may be, as I mentioned earlier, it is an important step for me as well.  As a blogger in my rookie year, I need all the support I can get and who better to learn from than other bloggers!  So here I am ladies!  I cannot wait to make connections {and friendships} with you talented and experienced {even not so experienced} bloggers.

For those of you who follow the blog and are not bloggers yourselves, please do read on.  This post will allow you to get to know me a little better, learn what drives me, find out what my goals and dreams are for this blog, and hopefully keep you coming back.
Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Born, raised and currently living and mothering in Southern California, I am a happy go lucky gal who loves to laugh, encourage and organize.  My hubby works for a living while I have the awesome opportunity to stay home and raise our son.  Both sides of our family live in neighboring counties, so we get to spend lots of time with family.  Some of our close friends are scattered across California and others out of state {and everyone in differing life stages}.  But when we do get to spend time together, it is always a blast, greatly missed and much needed.  I feel very blessed to be surrounded by the people in my home and family life.  It keeps me on my toes, laughing hysterically, and loving the journey of life.

My passions encompass all things organizing, encouraging, techy and pretty.  Blogging seems to be a natural fit to implement all these passions together. I am enjoying this blogging journey so far and the feedback that I've gotten from readers has been so kind.  It humbles me and drives me to continue to improve.

Gifts We Use 
to grow {stretch ourselves}, love {our family and home}, and serve {others}

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."

It wasn't until recently that I even discovered blog world.  Once the blog bug bit me, I was hooked and started this blog shortly there after.  What started off as a way of keeping myself accountable to my New Years resolution to clean house, quickly became more for me.  It became my way to reach people I might never reach without a blog, to encourage others to dream as a family, and to create an easy way for others to organize their own homes.  It has taken quite a bit of time to learn the basic art of blogging and I'm just getting started.  

Building content and posting consistently are my main goals for this year.  Another is to begin making real connections with other bloggers and make my way into the blogging community.  I have high hopes for this blog and I know that I cannot do it alone.  That is why this post is such an important one for the blogger in me.  I'm venturing out of the comfort zone of my own blog and testing the waters of the blog reef, so to speak.  Blogs and bloggers from all walks of life, in different stages of blogging, swimming through the busy corals of the internet; and me the little lone fishy trying to make my way into a school of fish that will guide, protect and nurture me into bloggy adulthood.  Big step for a little fishy.

My dream would be to take this blog into a full time career.  Right now, I'm cultivating the soil and planting seeds.  I've always told myself that as long as God continues to give me inspiration for the blog, I would continue to blog.  I still stand by that and know that whatever His plans are for this blog, they're probably much greater than my own plans for the blog.  My job is to work hard and trust.  And I hope that my hard work shows and that it keeps readers coming back.
Thank you for sitting through my rambling and investing your time in getting to know me.  That alone makes my heart soar.  If you are new to the blog and would like to follow it regularly, please subscribe via RSS feed or via email. Spend some time looking at my popular posts, see my latest pins, and read about the techy in me.  I hope this blog gives you gifts you can use to grow, love and serve.

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