How to Create Your Perfect Vision Board

One of my favorite pieces in our whole house is a bulletin board/chalkboard from Pottery Barn (PB Outlet, to be exact). We saw it on clearance and thought, “hey, we’ll use it for something.”
Flash forward five years, and I have used it for everything. It has been such a great investment for our home and life. It has helped us with school assignments, scheduling, decorating, and just looking cool.
And if you don’t want the one from Pottery Barn, you can always find similar pieces on Amazon, IKEA, and Target’s websites!

Here’s how I’m currently using it:

The first week of Summer Break, I took the time to really sit down and evaluate my goals. We’ve met some big ones in the past couple of years (buying a new house, getting a new job, having a baby), which is super exciting! 

But reaching big goals can also make you feel like, OK. Now what?!
So, I made a really elaborate mind map that started in my Passion Planner and eventually took up NINE blank pieces of paper (I mean, it’s Summer Break).

Then I collected happy little pictures from my life:

– I printed pictures from my life that make me happy (friends, travelling, celebration).
– Lilly 5×5’s from Instagram to add some cheerful colors (with all the money I’ve spent on Lilly, I didn’t think they’d mind).
– Quotes I made on the Little Moments App by FatMumSlim (probably my favorite photo editing app ever).

– I also added notes and cards from people I care about. These are uplifting to read and a great way to start or end the day!
– I finished it off with clipping happy little phrases out of catalogs/magazines.

Each picture represents a specific goal: 

On the back of each one, I took a Sharpie and wrote the small goal that it represented. That way, when everyone else looks at my board, all they see are pretty images… but I secretly know that each one stands for a certain goal that I’m working towards!
As the year has gone on, I’ve added images and notes to the board. I don’t take anything off, I just tack, staple, or tape the new images right on top (I usually just try to cover up the darkest colors). Once I reach a goal, I add a photo of it, such as a photo of a travel destination, or my baby boy!
While the bulletin board is the “inspirational” part, the chalkboard part actual “productive” part! Over the years, I’ve used it for inspirational quotes, to do lists, Post-It calendars, weekly planning, etc. Here’s what it currently looks like (sorry, it’s a little smudged)!

The best office supplies to make it fit your needs!

-I love, love LOVE the Expo Neon chalk markers. They’re usually like $17, but I found a really great deal on them at Office Max last year. So I bought 4 packs, and I still haven’t used them all!
-I’ve also used them to write right on the front of our stainless steel fridge and to make a faux stained glass window in our guest bathroom.
-Sticky Notes are great for making your chalkboard into a calendar, too! I like the $1.99 pack from Target for this!
-I’ve also used Washi Tape to make a Priority Quadrant… which was really helpful in grad school!

No matter what stage of life I’ve been in, having a vision/inspiration board has made it feel less chaotic… hopefully, it will work for motherhood, too! J

Do you use a board like this to keep you on track? How do you use it? What are your favorite supplies?! Share them below! 

Study Strategy: Just Get Started


Sometimes, when you have a big paper or project due, it can be difficult to know where to even begin. 

In grad school, we often had pages that were 30+ pages. At the beginning, I remember thinking, “This is insane. How can I even find a starting place?”

So, when you’re faced with a project that’s huge and ominous, what can you do? 

My best answer is to just do something. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. It can be as simple as formatting the Word document or scribbling down a quick outline of your ideas. 

In fact, this first thing you do doesn’t even have to make it to the final product! The point is to just get started

Here are some reasons it’s important to get started:




By simply starting a task, you are more likely to complete it. 


I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate being interrupted when I’m trying to complete a task. Have you ever noticed that unfinished tasks kind of stick with you? It’s because of the Ziegarnik effect

You see, once you start a project (even a small one) your mind creates this nagging need to finish it. When things pull you away from your task, you just experience this great need in your mind to go back and accomplish it. 

So, by simply starting on your huge project, you’ll become invested in it and actually start to care about finishing it! 



Do a little bit each day, as early in the day as you can. 


Look at that overwhelming paper or project and break it down into sections. For example, I would break down a basic paper into Intro, Point 1, Point 2, Point 3, Conclusion. Then just focus on one section of the paper at a time. No need to overwhelm yourself for no reason!

Then, schedule in some time to just get started on one of the sections. Since I usually write my intro and conclusion last, I would focus on Point 1 first. Work on this for 20-30 minutes a day until it’s finished. Then move onto the next section. 

Try to schedule these 20-30 minute work times as early in the day as you can. There are less distractions in the morning. Also, the longer the day goes on, the more likely other people are going to give you stuff to do. Then you’ll really be feeling the Ziegarnik effect!




Objects in motion stay in motion. 


I don’t know a lot about physics, but this rule is pretty easy to understand. Just like objects that stay in motion, we also tend to keep going once we’ve started. It’s why we have terms like “on a roll”, “in the zone”, “hit my stride”, etc. Once we start, it’s easy to keep going. 

Something that is so cool about teaching is seeing how children (even 5-year-olds) can get “in the zone” and become super focused on what they’re doing. The other day, one of my Kindergarteners was at my teacher table and I planned to work with him for 10 minutes. 

Once he got started, he kept wanting to just keep going. He ended up working on math for 30 minutes straight because, once he got in motion, he stayed in motion. As long as you break your project down into manageable chunks, once you start, you’ll stay in motion, too! 


(If you want to read more about the Physics of Productivity, check out this post by James Clear)



Start your task in 2 minutes or less. 


“But that’s impossible!”, you might think. 


No. It’s not. You can do it! Think about the thing you’re dreading the most right now. What is one step you could take that could be done in 2 minutes? Could you open a Word document and create your cover sheet? Or type in your header? Bam. One step accomplished! 

Maybe you could just do a quick Google search of your topic and read about it for 2 minutes. I bet once you start, you would find something interesting that would make you want to keep going! If it’s math homework, just do the first problem! 

Once you start that task and feel that momentum, you’ll feel motivated to keep going! Keep working until you lose your momentum. Take a short break, then come back and do more! The nagging feeling of your unfinished product will keep pulling you back in once you start!



Focus on 1 thing at a time. 


Don’t try to do several parts of the project at once. Create a list and work through it. After you’ve completed the first section, move on to the next section and give it your undivided attention. 

If you have a lot of other things going on (like other classes, work, etc.) remember to focus on each on of them in their own time. Men tend to be better at “compartmentalizing” than women are. However, with practice, you can train your brain to stop trying to multi-task! 

I make a really big effort to only focus on one thing at a time. I would rather give 100% of my attention to one thing at a time, then set it aside and give 100% to something else. This is why I don’t answer personal texts at work and I don’t bring work projects home (anymore)! 

You don’t have to be able to complete it all at one time! You don’t even have to be able to complete one part of it at one time! You just need to break it down and start where you can! Perfectionism can hold you back, too. Remind yourself that “Done is better than perfect!”


What productivity tips do you have for tackling big projects? Have you tried any of these techniques? If so, how did they work for you? Share your experiences below! 


Follow Organized Charm on Tumblr for study and productivity inspiration! 

6-Minute Miracle Morning Routine


I’ve been working on a new morning routine lately. 

I recently went to a Junior League training event on the “6-Minute Miracle Morning”. 

This was based on the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, who has a really, really inspiring story! 

The event was super helpful as far as just knowing WHAT to do in the mornings to set yourself up for success! And while brushing your teeth and getting dressed will certainly set you up for success, the 6-minute morning really focused on preparing your mind for the day ahead. 

Hal used the acronym Life “SAVERS” to help us remember the categories. 

Here is what they stand for:

Silence (meditation)- 5-10 minutes of silent meditation each morning. There are plenty of meditation apps out there, if you need help getting through it. However, thanks to the fact that we’ve pretty much all been to yoga at some point in our lives, this shouldn’t seem to crazy. Simply focus on breathing in and out for 5-10 minutes and deflect any distractions!

Affirmations– 10 minutes of repeating affirmations to yourself. The example that the presenter gave was Muhammad Ali. He is almost as famous for his affirmations as he is for his boxing. He told himself that he was the greatest every day… and he became the greatest!

Visualization– 10 minutes of visualizing yourself achieving your goals. I actually just used this to visualize myself having a productive and organized day… but it can also be used for long term goals, too! 

Exercise– 10-20 minutes of exercise. Tone It Up has a morning “Booty Call” on their website and app. These are quick morning workouts that really do boost your energy throughout the entire day!

Reading– 10 minutes of reading. Probably not a Gone Girl-esque novel, but something a little more uplifting, like a book on positivity or a daily devotional. 

Scribing (journaling)- 10 minutes of writing. 

In order to turn this into a 6-minute morning routine, simply shorten the time of each activity to 1 minute! 

I started this routine this morning and, since it was my first day, I spent 5 minutes each instead of 1 or 10. I wanted to make sure I felt like I accomplished a lot, but also got through everything in time to still look decent for work 🙂

Do you have a morning routine? Or have you ever tried the Morning Miracle? If so, tell me about it in the comment section!