Route 101 / Where to Start

Route 101 is a mini series exploring ways to organize and better our lives through creating empowering and feasible routines. Read up on the series here.

Besides making them stick, knowing where to begin when it comes to forming new routines is knowing where to start. What should your routine look like? Better yet, what does a routine even need to consist of? I think the idea of having a routine, let alone having to create one, can be extremely intimidating –it seems like something only those “highly together” folks can establish.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The most disorganized, scatterbrained, agenda-bashing person can benefit from creating routines the aid the flow of their day. Routines are simply repeated practices that you implement to add a bit of structure and order to your life. They can be as active as taking a weekly yoga class or as simple as waking up a few minutes earlier to enjoy coffee at your kitchen table.

CLICK TO TWEET: Creating routines does not have to be a complicated process. Simplicity is best. #Route101

Here are some things to consider when you’re ready to form a new routine, and how I used these things to help form my own.

What are your needs?

Before you start forming new routines, step back and consider what you need throughout the day, week, month, ect. Do you need more energy starting the day? A clear mind to get started on your tasks? Help getting those small, administrative tasks (emails, invoices, scheduling) done and over with?

My needs / I took time to write down certain areas that I was struggling with, and pulled my needs from there. I noticed that I was going to bed with a lot of anxiety, which caused me to wake up still feeling tired because my mind didn’t really have the chance to rest. Without a doubt, that feeling would follow me throughout the day and cause me to have serious trouble focusing.

My routine fix / To combat that, I knew I needed something to calm me down at night, and wake me up in a good state. I started by changing how I fall asleep. I ditched watching Netflix and opted for a dark room with my Rain, Rain app on in the background. I also threw in about 15-25 minutes of yoga before bed, and sometimes in the morning to help calm me.

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Route 101 / A Mini Series

The last time I launched a feature mini series was a few months ago when I covered spring cleaning for bloggers. That series was wildly successful, and I received great feedback from so many readers! This time around, I decided to focus on something less blog related, that would still be useful to everyone.

With back to school happening soon for many of us (including myself) and the end of the summer season approaching, vacations are ending and it’s time to jump back into regular routine. For me, that means slower blogging, longer days and a full course load.

Route 101 is a mini series which focuses on how to sustain a more organized life by creating solid and productive routines. Now, I know some of you may be thinking: routine is boring, dull, predictable. But I disagree!

A good routine allows for flexibility, spontaneity and diversity in your days. Making the smallest change can alter the outcomes of your entire week. When I follow my own routines, and implement systems that work in those routines, I’m much less stressed during the day, and incredibly organized.

Click to tweet: Up your organization and productivity w/ #Route101 – a mini series on organization through routine via @AmberSB_

Route 101 will cover: where to start, converting tasks to routine, staying disciplined and adding flexibility. Overall, the series will be 4-5 posts long, and shared over a month with new posts each week or so.

But before we dive into creating organized routines, I want to hear from you all, so that I can adjust the series accordingly! What do YOU struggle with when it comes to creating routine? What makes it hard for you to stick with a routine? 

Feel free to leave a comment, or tweet me with the hashtag #Route101 (link is tweetable). I’d love to answer all of your questions over the next few posts in the series.

Five Tips for a Smooth Rebrand

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Happy Tuesday, everyone.

I know that things have been a litter quieter around here than usual, but it’s only because I’ve been pouring my all into the rebranded blog. I’m so incredibly happy about how the project is coming along, and finally have a set launch date and details that I will be sharing soon. It was really important to me that I take my time with this project, and let things happen organically so that they felt right.

Today, I wanted to share some insights that this second rebranding process has taught me. When I rebranded the first time to bring And Yes To Joy come to life, there were definitely times I struggled. And to be fully honest, the launch was rushed and it took me a while to get past some of the smaller details that I had overlooked. I’m having a much easier time this time around!

I’ve also noticed that I am not the only blogger rebranding! I’ve taken a few surveys and seen lots of posts and comments about tons of creatives making changes to put their most authentic foot forward online –how exciting for us all!

So, if you’re in the process of or considering a rebrand, here are five tried and true tips to make the process go much smoother.Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning / Refresh Your Blog

I’m pumped to be jumping right into the Spring Cleaning mini series that I announced last week. Today, I want to focus ways to do a little spring cleaning job on your blog. I know that your blog may not be the first area you think could use a good “cleaning,” but trust me on this one.

Maintaining a blog requires a lot of work, and sometimes we tend to allow things to fall by the wayside if they aren’t a persistent problem at the moment. I know personally, I overlook a few things every now and then in the name of saving time. But just because it isn’t broken per say doesn’t mean we should attend to and fix it!

I’ve broken the blogging clean up into sections, with a check list of action items at the end of each section. Pull together all of the check list items into one master list for a go-to blog clean up guide that suits your needs!

Clean Up Your Old Posts

After you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve likely made a few changes, found your way and started to produce higher quality content. Go back into your archives and see how those older posts are holding up. Do the links and images still work? Is the information still relevant? Does it even make sense to have that content in your space?

Before you do a mass delete of all your old content, ask if there is anyway you can reorganize it into something new and useful. If some of those old posts are oldies but goodies, spruce them up a bit! Then, create an “old favorites” post or a “best of the blog” page to keep the content flowing and share-able.

Old Posts Checklist:

_ All images are still working and look good
_ All links still work properly
_ Content is still relevant to your blog/ information is still accurate
_ Create a “favorites” or “best of” post/page to keep the content circulating
_ *Re-share a post or page after you’ve revamped it!

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Organization // The System Method

Some of my favorite posts to write here are about organization. One Summer, to support myself through an unpaid internship (which I loved) and life in general, I worked as an organizer, helping to get a woman’s sewing room and office into better condition. Nothing makes me feel better than putting things in their proper place, labeling – and don’t get me started on color coding. I love order, and and creating systems where order takes precedent.

As enthusiastic as I am about organizing, it does not necessarily mean that I am the most organized gal on the planet. Sure, I do a pretty good job day-to-day, but I definitely wouldn’t give myself a 10/10 for consistent organization.

My trick, and key to staying above water in the organization game is: the system method. I’ve always known that I do this, but I didn’t really realize that it was a “thing” for me until reading this post by Laura.

I have a system for almost everything I do – for logging inspiration and things that I’d like to think more on; for creating graphics for the blog; for studying and organizing my school work. I have a way, my way, and I make sure that each system is working effectively. This is what I’m calling the system method.

I’ve already shared about controlling the need to compulsively buy tools to help create a feeling of false organization. Well, the systems method helps to take what you have, and use it to the best of its ability.

So, where do you start? How does the system method work, and how can you create your own functioning systems? I am SO glad that you asked. Let’s dive in.Continue Reading