Managing Time to Create More Time

How often do you wonder if there will ever be enough time in the day to complete your to-do list?   If you find yourself running in circles most of the day, feeling incomplete and exhausted at the days end, then a simple tweaking of your time management will be worth the effort. If done correctly, you may even feel you now have more time.

Reality: There are enough hours in a day. Problem: How we use and perceive them.

clock - time management

Whether you work in the house, out of the house, or even if your job is to run the house, you know all about overload. If you are a stay at-home parent, once the morning rush of getting the children off to school is complete, the busy part of your day really begins. With laundry to do, errands to run, bills to pay, and volunteering at the school, there is barely time to finish the list, let alone have some time for you. If you head to the office each day, you find yourself in the same challenges, only with an added commute. And if you have a home-office, one more thing gets added as you struggle to find the line that separates work from home.

Regardless of what you struggle with during the day, the key is to manage all aspects tightly enough that you are able to distinguish the start of the day, from the end of the day and that at all times, you feel in control and balanced.

So what can you do create that balance for yourself?

  • Look at your calendar with a pen in your hand. Before the week begins, look at your calendar and prioritize what needs to get done. Instead of creating a list of everything, write the list in order of importance.
  • Use real time. Actually write in the time, especially for the things you don’t care for doing. Ex: 1pm-3pm cold calls, 10am-11am house chores. When you add it to specific times during the day your brain is more apt to complete them, just as if it were an appointment. You can even add reminders to your phone!
  • Be realistic about your time. For instance, if the children get on the bus at 9am and arrive home by 3:30pm, does that mean you want to have every minute accounted for? Add in some extra time for the unexpected and don’t forget to pencil in lunch!
  • Me time. Now that you have the pen in hand, when will you fit it in? If you’ve worked outside the house all day, but would love to take an exercise class or hit the basketball courts, commit yourself to which days you will exercise straight from work, and which days you will go straight home. Involve your family or spouse in the plans you make so they can help you stay committed to your goals.
  • Volunteer time. Keep in mind that you are volunteering to be helpful, and that you should feel good about it, not resentful. If it takes away from what you need to get done, consider volunteering less frequently; perhaps once a week, or every other week. They will appreciate any time you give and you will be happier to help out.

Most importantly, know that you are human just like everyone else, and even with the best intentions; some things cannot get done in a day. Instead of feeling guilty, look at all the things you did accomplish and move everything else to tomorrow’s calendar.

Turning Inbox Madness into Productivity

Is your inbox flooded with thousands of emails that come in faster than you can delete them? Do you find that a quick visit to check the inbox leads to an instant overload of your senses? Sometimes losing hours of needed work time? Do you often look at the clock and wonder where the day has gone?

blog - email overload

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then it is time to begin managing email communication, rather than letting it manage you!

With some simple adjustments, you will become more efficient, effective and productive.
Start today:

  1. Help readers focus on the your message by making subject lines specific and using prefixes and suffixes to communicate your purpose.
  1. Compose succinct text using bullets, headers and short paragraphs.
  1. Send fewer, better-targeted emails by reducing the use of CC, Reply to All, and Forward.
  1. Identify the people with whom you share the most email and discuss these techniques with them.
  1. Use rules and subfolders within your inbox to automatically route and organize messages.
  1. Turn off all visual and auditory new mail alerts.
  1. Set your program to bring in new mail every 2 or 3 hours instead of “As they arrive”.
  1. Unsubscribe from all email lists that you don’t read at least 75% of the time.
  1. Spend 5 minutes a week to manually block mail you don’t want (but which slips through your spam filter) by adding them to your “Block sender” list.
  1. Easily view Threaded Conversations to see all the emails in a given discussion grouped in chronological order. View – Arrange by – Conversation; then click the square to reveal all the emails under each thread.

 

 

*SuccessTrack

I Write in Search of Answers.

I am a writer. I feel the urge to write, just as I feel the urge to go to the gym. I need the clearing of my mind, the tapping of my fingers against the keyboard, creating some sort of healing and mental therapy that I can’t seem to really grasp. But I write.

Although lately I notice I have been avoiding my keyboard altogether. I can hear the keys whispering my name, haunting me with the amount of days that have passed since my last session of tap, tap, tapping…but I ignore it. I pretend I am too busy. I pretend that my new fixation of meditation and praying for answers is enough.

But it is not.

I am a writer. I yearn to write but when I do, I don’t look for answers from some far away space, or higher power; instead, I look to see what my fingers will tap out. What words my brain will transform into thoughtful ideas on a page, eventually giving me hope and inspiration…all the while simply regurgitating thoughts deeply imbedded in my heart.

Yet I have evaded my laptop in the past few weeks, as my mom rounds the corner of being a survivor of stage IV pancreatic cancer…for 2 and a half years. Given just 3 months to live, she has carried on for 2.5 years! I have felt a gratefulness everyday to witness her strength, her courage, and her will to survive, even when all of the odds were against her. Her tiny little body, her beautiful face, the twinkle in her eyes…the miracle of survivors that she had become. I didn’t take a single day for granted. I counted each moment with her as one grand celebration of life. Bowing down to the earth for having her at my wedding, my younger sons high school graduation, my older sons college graduation, for sharing daily memories as well. Not a day has passed since her diagnosis that we haven’t spoken. Changing ‘how do you feel?’ into ‘What will you do today?’

Two and a half years has felt like a day, maybe a week, or maybe even a month. But not nearly enough.

I have been grateful not only for all of the days, but also for each of the memories that life has allowed us. I have leaned in to what life has given us and embraced my faith, my belief in miracles, and my trust in the universe to only give us what we could handle. Yet even after all of the gratefulness, as we round the corner and watch her grow more and more in pain, I can’t help but feel cheated. Surely I knew this could not go on forever. Surely I knew how this story would end. Surely I knew what ‘deadly’ meant. Surely I knew there would come a time when she might just say she has had enough. But I held on with belief in my back pocket.

In the beginning I just prayed for more time. Then I would beg for specific events: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, celebrations, and holidays…it seemed easy. Prayers were answered over and over again.

But now, I feel the struggle between being grateful and selfish like a noose around my neck, slowly making it harder and harder to breathe. Where once the answers to my own questions have come easily, now I am fearful to even ask. Fearful of what I will hear.

I do not know how I will live without her. I do not know how my life will look when I cannot hear her sweet voice whenever I need her or she needs me. I do not know how it will be to not hold her hand in mine. To not hear the stories about her day, her worries, her life. I do not know how it will be to not hear her say ‘I love you.’8 nanny profile

She is my mamma. My best friend. My inspiration. My hero. And today I found the courage to write, not because I know how I will live without her, but because I hope and pray that having her embedded deep inside me…will be enough to make me feel that I never really have to be without her.