Category Archives: Time Management

Just Do It-Vision Boards, Habits and Making a Plan..

The phrase “Just Do It” is famous.  It is supposed to inspire us to get over all obstacles and get it done.  Easy words to say-not so easy to put into practice.

I am a person of many interests and activities (those that know me will agree). To some, I have a lot of adventures and get a lot done.  I do, but for me I am consistently frustrated with doing the things that I should do.  Not the should dos like housework-the should dos that I WANT to do and are good for me but I am not consistent.

At the beginning of the year I took a great Vision Board Class at Decide Differently I had to choose one word for the year.  I chose Deliberate.  I chose that word because I wanted to be deliberate on how I chose to spend my time/money/resources.  I did not want time to get away from me-wasted in front of the television or rescuing pets on Facebook. I wanted to be mindful of financial resources-using the library first instead of just buying the book. Tithe on a regular basis (God has blessed me with so much), and to think about my resources.  If I have things I do not need/use-give them to someone who does need them or can use them.

VisionBoard

I realized at vision board class that things will not get done unless there is a plan to get it done. Thank you Shakti Sutriasa for such a great class. At the bottom of my board I have dream it-plan it-do it. That made sense to me.  I can say I want to walk weekly-but what’s the plan? I also realized that if I wanted to make more time for something, I had to take time from something else.  So I made a more-less chart. It made so much sense. This list has helped me to see my time as something I CAN manipulate to some degree.  Below are some things I struggled with and the plan I used to resolve it.

more-less

Writing: I love writing but was not getting it done. My excuse-my journal was too big and I never had it with me. So I switched to a Moleskin.  Now it is with me all the time.   I use it to write the plan for the day (rather than on scraps of paper) and as a diary. I saw a video called The Bullet Journal. While I have not adapted everything, some parts have been very useful to me-like the index. I now carry my journal everywhere and a lot is getting written-all because of a plan. The moleskin for Jan/Feb of this year has more than my whole journal last year. After I filled the moleskin I bought s set of three pretty little notebooks and am using them now. Thanks Mychele for telling me about the Bullet Journal Video!

moleskin    index  notebook


Supplements: I love my doTERRA supplements.  When I take them, I have more energy, my body systems are more efficient and I eat less (Slim & Sassy). I KNOW this, yet days would go by when I was not taking them.  I would put them in a little carrier to take on my days out (to take at lunch) and then I would not do it. A couple days in I would wonder why I was dragging, all clogged up, and eating junk food.  My husband is  amazing taking them-morning, lunch, dinner, bedtime. My friend Sandie Bowen finally told me her trick.  She never packs them to take out for the day-she puts them in a bowl on the counter.  Then they are there every time she walks by.  If she doesn’t see it and act-her husband reminds her.  This has helped a lot-a pretty bowl by my coffee maker. Thanks to Sandie & Marty for helping me get a plan in place.

Art/Creativity: I was not getting anything artistic/creative done.  It made me sad-especially since I had a room filled with paint, beads, paper, and cloth. I would see my friend Mychele (who has two young children) getting all artsy and I wanted to be there! This is very much who I am and not to do it is like slow death. Every day I would intend too.  Then I would start reading email, catch up on Facebook, start some wash, do some business and before I knew it-time to make dinner. This went on for months.  Then after talking to my friend Mychele (I was talking out loud-she was listening) I came up with a motto-Mornings are Mine. I was always going to do those other things…so put my things first.  This simple thing was LIFE CHANGING! I found when I spent the morning writing, sewing, painting etc..that when it came time for the other things-I was a JOYFUL person.  Not only joyful but I seemed to be in super speed. I was not dragging through-I was efficient and I was getting things done for myself and for the family/business. I told Marty and as always, he was okay with my choice.  I didn’t realize how much until we both visited Sandie.  I said to her, “I don’t think Marty gets the ‘mornings are mine’ concept but it really has changed everything for me! Marty’s response, “Oh no honey, I get it.  I WANT you to do your art first”. Thankful for a supportive husband and artsy sister Mychele. Mychele inspires me by posting what she is up hopefully I do the same for her!

Walking: They say the simplest exercise is walking.  When I retired, Marty wanted me to make a goal for myself to walk three miles a day.  My friends though he was mean.  I knew he was caring-he knew I loved being outside, he knew I wanted to be healthy, he knew I wanted to stretch myself.  A month into retirement, I was still not walking.  Then I met my neighbor Cindy. I told her I recently retired and asked her if she was the one I saw walking all the time.  I told her I need a plan to get walking.  Her response, “I walk three miles a day.  Want to walk with me?. Just one of God’s little blessings.  Having someone to be accountable to really helps. So thankful for Cindy and what she has brought to my life.

Time Slipping: Did you ever go on the computer-intending to spend 15 minutes there and suddenly an hour hour passed? No…never! A timer is my new best friend. I will set the timer to spend so much time in an area and then move to the next.  I also think backwards.  If I have to leave the house at one, then I shower at noon, pack the to go bag 11:30, stop what I am doing at 11…etc.  This really helped.  I would often work on something till the last minute and then rush out of the house without the things I needed. Sound too regimented? You make think so-until you have that day when you cry out of joy for feeling successful!

Television: Yes I like television and I have favorite shows.  I do tape them, have not seen a commercial in forever.  Also I use television as my down time.  I have the computer set to go off at ten. Then I try and make myself sit on the couch.  I put on some serenity oil to calm me down and move towards sleep.  One thing I love though is where my desk/television are.  My desk is behind the couch where my husband sits to watch television.  I have a direct view.  Why is this important? I can sit at my desk, answer emails, write notes, or complete a project and watch a show at the same time.  I know, we are supposed to live in the moment but I am not willing to give up television completely nor am I willing to spend hours watching it while doing nothing. My next project is to set up a little writing box near my seat on the couch-so I can easily write notes during my TV time.  Real notes..instead of email. It’s a plan.

Out and About-It is amazing how a trip to the library can eat hours of my day and cost me money.  I have to get dressed etc, to go there.  More than likely I will stop somewhere else. Then I’ll get hungry and grab lunch. Next-go home and put everything away. By then-I am shot and find it difficult to be productive.  I now stack my days.  I choose days to not leave the house.  On the days I do leave, I pack several appointments/errands into the day. WOW-this was a game changer.  Sure I ‘m exhausted when I get home-but I would have been anyway.  This Wednesday I’ll make Thirty-One deliveries, meet two friends at different times at Barnes & Noble.  Thursday I will go to a class, see a friend and her new baby, meet another friend at dinner. In between I will pick up dog food and do other errands!.  This plan works and has given me more time!

Resources: Besides your friends and family, there are books and other resources that can help you.  I already mentioned The Bullet Journal.  I must now mention Gretchen Rubin. She is one of my favorite authors.  I have preordered every book she has written.  I own every book she has written in hardcopy and on audible (so I can listen again and again).  After I started writing this months ago, I received my preordered book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I ordered it not knowing much about it.  Come to find out-it’s about habits.  I LOVE this book and truly need to blog a review about it. This book reinforced thoughts I was already having.  It also gives a lot of great ideas on developing and or/breaking habits.  As I write this, I think I will plug it in again for a listen while I work in the kitchen. To me, a lot of what we struggle for to “Just do it” has to do with either making or breaking a habit.  I think you will find this book a great resource.

I could go on and on.  I do want to note a recurring theme.  I did not develop all these plans on my own.  It started with the vision board, then different people/things (Sandie, Marty, Mychele, Cindy, Bullet Journal, Gretchen Rubin) that really helped me. Being vulnerable about what you struggle with will often get you the support you need. The funny thing is-if you tell me your struggles…I can probably come up with a plan for you.  If I tell you mine, you can probably help me.  Don’t be afraid to reach out.

I will still struggle at times and get off course.  I know one thing though, using Gretchen Rubin’s Words….I am Better Than Before!

Your turn:

What struggles have you solved with a plan? Please share-it may help someone else.


What do you still struggle with? Someone may be able to help you!

God Bless you all in your endeavors.  I would love to help if I can! Feeling powerful makes me want to help others feel the same way.

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Time…

Originally posted on blogger 6/8/12

Who doesn’t struggle with time management?  My friends always act like I am superwoman because I get so many things done. Obviously, I only share what I do get done-not what I don’t.  They don’t know how many times I start one project switch to another and another.  I plan to go to the computer for one minute and end up spending thirty.   I’m very organized-that’s not the issue. I have so many interests and so many things I love doing it’s hard to find time to do them all.  I’m never late for work, I always meet my deadlines or appointments but the things I want to do always come last.

I have to pull out all the stops in the summer to stay on track because I have a hard time staying on track with large open blocks of time-just my luck. There are a few tricks I do use that help me.  Maybe they’ll help someone and I hope others will share some of their tricks.

Working Backwards: This sounds strange but I came up with this because of work.  After students went home – I’d settle in to do my paperwork and such knowing that I have to leave at a particular time.  Then I would get so involved in what I was doing, totally immersed, all of a sudden I am grabbing my purse and keys and running out the door. Then I find out I’ve left without my shopping list, my journal, or the project I had planned to take home. So I started working backwards. As soon as students leave, I put everything that is going home in one area.  Then when I am ready to go, I have everything. I do this on my big errand days in the summer as well.  I put all my lists, coupons, cooler, and other items together first-with a plan of attack, before I start doing anything else. Working backwards has saved me so many times because I am constantly trying to do just one more thing!

Outlook Calendar: I use Outlook email and calendar at work and home.  I put as much as I can on there. When I add a doctor appointment, I put it on my work calendar (if within the school year), my home calendar, and my husband’s work calendar. I do the same for husband’s appointments. This way if one doesn’t look at their calendar, we can remind the other.  We know what the other is doing on a given day in case we need to schedule something. I also sync this to my iPhone.

Yahoo Groups:  Years ago I set up a yahoo groups for coffee club- my girlfriend group.  I set it up because we were always planning activities together. When I sat down to e-mail everybody, I had to make sure I didn’t forget someone.  I love the group because when I send an e-mail out saying I want to go see a movie -everybody sees it.  When someone responds with the time they can meet, everybody sees it.  Everybody knows what’s going on.  There is also a calendar included. I can put birthday and other reminders on there for everyone.

I also have yahoo groups for my book club group. There are only seven of us and we rarely e-mail each other within the group (totally opposite of coffee club). The calendar feature for us is invaluable. We often choose our books six months in advance. I take that information home and put it all on the calendar. I can include the book title, the hostess, and hostess contact info. I set it up to remind people two weeks ahead of time and three days ahead of time. I can set up six months of info in just a few minutes and never have to think about it again. This has made my life easier. No more worries about forgetting to send a reminder.

Dragon Dictation: This is a free app on the iPhone. Right now I’m sitting in the parking lot waiting for my husband and I am speaking into my phone using the app ( I  just had to close the window so a passerby didn’t think I was crazy). When I’m done I can e-mail it, send it as a text, post to FB, or twitter. You can also copy the text and paste into any application. I most always email it to myself at home. I put Dragon Dictation e-mails in one folder until I need them. This is a great app for me as I don’t write longhand because I’ve had carpal tunnel surgery.  After a few sentences my handwriting is messy and my hand cramps. Even if I am sitting at home with other options, this is my best way to get a lot of writing down.  Once on the way to school, I composed an email to teachers and sent it to myself.  When I got to work, I pulled it up, did very little editing and sent it out.  What a timesaver! The only downfall to the app is that it does not save your information. It only records for a short time.  This blog was done in twelve sections.  I just numbered each one as I sent it. Note: Sending an email while driving is as bad as texting.  Obviously, I only do this if I am sitting in traffic.

Pampered Chef Timer: I know there are other timers out there but I like this one best. I can clip it on to go with me. If I set it for thirty minutes and it beeps-I press stop. The thirty is still there for me to press start again. I use this at home as I’m constantly getting off track-especially in the summer or when I have a huge block of time to manipulate. For all the people that say I’m amazing- if you spent one day with me I could burst your bubble quickly.  I am fragmented as I go from one thing to the other. At the end of the day, a lot of great things get done but I often feel like I’ve failed because they weren’t the things I had planned on. I may get ten things started but none of them got finished. I use the timer a couple ways.

  1. To keep from being overwhelmed: I have always found that I put things off because I think I can’t do it or it will take too long or because I don’t know where to start.  When I came home from vacation I dumped everything on the dining room table-brochures, maps, my  activity totes. Every time I saw the pile I put it off but it bothered me.  I set the timer for 30 minutes and it was done! Sometimes a daunting task is completely finished because I’m trying to beat the clock. If it’s not completely finished it is a lot less intimidating. This is a great thingsto do with kids when cleaning their room or dividing the day into work and fun.
  1. To Stay On Task: In one day, as all women know, there are too many tasks. You could spend all day on the computer doing different things and they would all be important but there are other things that need to be done. I set the timer and switch tasks: cleaning a room, answering email, cooking, doing work for my business.
  1. To have Fun: I am a workaholic in many ways. I love organizing , cleaning, and purging.  It may take me a while to get to it but when I do I am relentless and I get so involved I do not stop. I actually schedule fun time to break away.  I may take the dog for a walk, play on the computer or read (other than walking the dog I have done nothing else yet).
  1. To eat: I admit I set the timer today so I would eat breakfast and after that set it for lunch. I get so immersed in what I am doing I could go from 6am to 5pm on nothing but a cup of coffee.  This is not good for me.  I should be having small meals and drinking water all day.

Monday I was home all day and I did not use the timer.  I spent all day on the computer-no games.  I was cleaning emails, cleaning files, doing work related to many jobs that I do-all important things but there was so much more that needed done. I knew I worked hard all day but it did not look like it and in many ways I felt like I failed. Thursday I was home all day and did use the timer and accomplished more than I thought I could. I was excited and felt like I had accomplished something and it looked like I had as well.

NOTE: I believe I first heard about using a timer through Flylady.

These tricks that work for me.  I’d love to hear your comments and any tricks that you use.

Another thing I have always wanted to do is to schedule a block of time for myself that I would use differently every day-Monday writing, Tuesday beading, etc. But I have not gotten that far yet. Has anyone done this?

April 16, 2015

Your Turn: What are the favorite things you use to help with time management? Please share-as I know many struggle with this!

 

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I want a wife…

Originally posted on Blogger 6/4/12

My husband and I watch a lot of shows that some people may find surprising: one of them is Sister Wives. Thankfully, husband admits that one wife is enough-he doesn’t need another.  Personally, however, I would LOVE a wife-for ME!

Don’t get any funny ideas- that doesn’t mean that I know longer want a husband, it just means I want a wife like me. I want someone else to worry about all these things once in a while so I can just be me.

Every day my head is swimming with all the things I have to do and all the things I want to do.  As with most cases, the things I want to do come last. I get up every day and there is wash to be done. I have to keep track of groceries so I have things to cook and pack for lunch. A quick stop at the grocery is never quick.  By the time I finish that and stop for gas and get home-it is late.  Then when I put the groceries away I have to clean the fridge a bit and organize the pantry it gets later.  Cook dinner and clean up and start thinking of the next day. By now, I just want to sit down.

This is why  I don’t get in my bead room as often as I like or write as often as I like.  I am a very organized person-that is not the issue.  I have many interests and things I like to do-oh okay-that COULD be part of the issue. I find life exciting and I want it all!!!

If someone else took on my wife brain for a day though, the things I could CREATE!!!

With summer here I am going to try and see if I can create full days with no duties so that I can spend time doing what I like to do.

Surely some time management and scheduling is needed.  I have actually come up with a few tricks that work for me. But that is another post.

In the meantime, I need to get to work!

Disclaimer: I love my husband and I love being his wife.  All my wifely duties are mainly self-imposed (being an over achiever is not fun). Being a wife is a full time job and I could easily be a stay at home wife and I would NEVER be bored.  Meanwhile, if you know a wife I could hire for a few days let me know.

 

April 16, 2015

Your turn: If you could have a wife, what would she do?

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Blogging

Originally posted on Blogger 3/11/08

I have thought about blogging FOREVER!!! I am one of those people that is writing constantly-in my head that is. As tough as my self-critic is…I often say to myself, “wow-that’s good. Get home and write it down”, then I don’t. This is so frustrating.

I say I love writing, but do not make enough time for it.

So then…I bought a mini tape recorder. It is not much bigger than a lighter. You know-so I could carry it, talk into it, and not forget the good stuff. Well-I have not read the directions.

I am just a little ADD. I have just a FEW projects going on, just a few interests.

In any case-this could be a start. I do have a great new desk-positioned in the right spot and a great computer……so I have no excuse.

And…I guess I have a lot to say. Maybe it is nothing you want to hear but well-it is important to me. It took me a long time (actually a lifetime) but I have learned to not be afraid to show who I really am no matter how people may see me. It has taken a lot of work to get here and I kinda like where I am.

So before I close my first blog…a big hug goes out to my favorite red-head. You never know how one thing you do can influence someone else. Thank you for being the inspiration in starting-FINALLY!!!

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