Tag Archives: schedule

Organize Your Time ~ Maximize Your Efficiency

If you are a committed worker, you certainly have your little tricks to maximize efficiency and increase productivity. Also, you should be aware that saving time is quite important. Let’s go through some productivity tips that might be helpful.

Organize Your Real Time

Remember that the time marked by the clock and real time don’t always match. Basically, it is important to remember that real time is the time devoted to work, which should always be your point of reference. If, for instance, you have 8 or 9 hours, you will probably be able to use 6 of them to complete your job, considering breaks, loss of attention, phone calls and distractions. “6 hours” is your real time. Be realistic with respect to the time available and you’ll be able to offer realistic deadlines.

Organize Your Effort and Your Calendar

Small sprints are very efficient. When you have a big project, break it up into a series of smaller goals. This will ease the pressure and it will also allow you to be more efficient, as Gantt demonstrated. Furthermore, use your calendar in an intelligent way, so that it will contain all the relevant data without requiring excessive attention. There are many programs that can save you time, energy and stress, you should learn how to use them. If you use Google Mail, for instance, you can opt for Google Calendar. You can also try Streak, it is very easy to use and extremely helpful. Plus, there are all kinds of applications that help you synchronize the calendar with your smartphone.

Organize Your Working Life

Productivity is measured not only in terms of operational skills, which constitute only a small part of your working life. Brainstorming, meetings and research sessions are, in fact, extremely important too. You have to make sure you leave enough time for these activities, because creativity and knowledge are essential if you want to maximize your productivity. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, if you spend enough time thinking you will do things faster.

Also, close anxiety and worries out of the office. Among the many distractions that characterize a working day, there are many small things that are related to your personal life and that can deeply affect your productivity. Finding a good school for your children, knowing they are safe, hiring a trustworthy person to take care of the house and finding a reliable company to look after your yard (here is an example, if you are looking for a good one), are all ways to increase your inner peace and your productivity.

Knowing that you will return to a clean, welcoming house with a garden full of flowers and colors, and having the certainty that your children are happy and safe, will free your mind and will save you a lot of precious time that you would otherwise spend preoccupying for everything and everyone. Your productivity and your efficiency are truly the consequence of your skills but never forget to take care of your emotions. We are, and we will always be, much more than workers: we are human beings.

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Too Many Things to Do! Your Brain in Overload

Clutter can take the form of too many things to do with too little time. Clear your schedule by removing the things that are not your biggest priority. Focus on the 3 things that will really move you toward your BIG goals. Try it – you will feel a huge sense of satisfaction and much less frustration!

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Myth #4 About Clutter and Getting Organized

Myth #4

Clutter is always a messy business!

In my world and in my book, I call clutter muck. Very often clutter is not visible.  This is also why as a professional organizing generalist, I organize space, time, data and objects. Muck is anything that makes you stuck or unable to move forward. It does not have to be messy or a pile of junk. It can be an overcrowded schedule or an old belief that no longer serves you.

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10 Things We Can Do to Become More Balanced

 10 Things We Can Do to Become More Balanced

I recently listened to a Lorin Beller Blake, a very successful entrepreneur and dynamic keynote speaker at the Moms in Business Unite Conference and wanted to share her tips with you to help you achieve more balance in your life:

1.      Quality time with family.  Choosing to pick up my daughter from school each day is one way I choose to have quality time with her every single day. So, choose quality time with family. It does not have to be long. A few minutes each day is invaluable.

2.     Book it!  I also put in my calendar my work out schedule on a weekly basis.  That schedule is just as important as my work, if not more important! Schedule things that you typically let go by the wayside if you are committed to impact your life here.

3.    Daily goal review.  Look at your goals on a daily basis (or at least weekly) and be sure that, within your week, you create the time and space for each area of your life.

4.    Three goals per day.  Set only three goals each day taken from your goal sheet or “to do” list – no more. Meet your commitments to yourself (more on this later in the book, SPLASH!). Accomplish those things early in the day and then allow the rest of your day to unfold naturally.

5.    Keep it simple!  People think that in order to have more fun and recreation in life it means more vacations! Crazy! What could you do every day for five minutes that is pure joy and fun for you? It might be to walk outside and notice the flowers, stop and really listen to the birds, or bring a massage therapist into the office every Friday for everyone that wants to partake. Bring fun and joy into every day, rather than put it off for the next vacation! Bring a tiny bit of the feeling of vacation into your world today. It changes the feeling of the day.

6.    Acknowledge.  Take two minutes out of each day to acknowledge someone, either at home, at the office, or both. Doing this has us switch our energy to what we are truly happy about rather than things that frustrate us. Acknowledge those around you; it changes the tone of the day!

7.    Bold Actions.  Take a bold action every day toward a big goal. Progress makes us feel productive. It makes us feel that we are in a state of action and makes us feel in charge of our world. Bold actions are key to balance. Take a bold action in each area of your life on a regular basis.

8.    Health and Fitness. Years ago, I was in the fitness industry. We (mistakenly) make people feel like workouts need to be an hour to an hour and a half long.  This is really not true for basic good health. Dr. Mehmet Oz, cardiac surgeon and co-author of YOU: The Owner’s Manual and YOU: On a Diet (among others), debunks some of the ideas we used to have about fitness, including:

•    Increase your heart rate only 60 minutes per week! We need this for peace of mind anyway. That can translate to taking three (3) 20-minute power walks a week. Take the break to do this during work hours if you can. You need it!

•    Walk 10,000 steps daily. (Wear a pedometer to see if you are close!) Park a few rows out in all parking lots. Take the stairs, not the elevator, and you’ll quickly make headway toward reaching 10,000 steps.

•    Work in only five minutes a day of stretch/flexibility exercises! (I do this with my daughter when she wants to get on the floor and play.)

•    Incorporate strength training into your workout schedule. A total of 30 minutes per week is sufficient!

9.    Simplify! Throw things away. Be clutter free. Messiness and accumulating “stuff” creates negative energy that truly leaves us feeling more heavy, more unbalanced, and adds to our “to do” list. I am a huge believer in creating clutter free space!

10.    Stop multi-tasking! Yes. Stop! We think that this allows us to get more done.  But really, it makes us crazy!  Do one thing a time and do it well.  Let’s get more mindful about whatever the task is at hand. Love the task at hand.  When we multi-task, we do not fully enjoy anything we are doing.

 

So above I shared HOW we can get more balance in our lives… now, 10 tips on BEING more balanced!  It IS a state of mind as well!

  1. Breathe.  Really breathe, deep down to your toes. Fill your entire chest cavity. If you actually put one hand on your chest and one on your belly, both hands should move if you are truly breathing.
  2. Slow down.  I find this one challenging, but when I get conscious enough to be aware of the silly speed at which I am moving, I breathe, slow down, and life magically changes!
  3. Notice our surroundings.  When I do the first two steps, I realize, “Ah, the wind is blowing, the chimes are singing, the water on the lake is calm, the sun is out, the air is warmer. When we do this, we begin to engage all our senses and, in doing so, life is more balanced.
  4. Acknowledge each other.  This was also part of the doing list, so that must mean it is ultra important!  But acknowledgement is not just something to do; it is a way of being.  When we get out of our own way enough to be able to see how others are being and what they are doing, we can acknowledge them. This actually starts with a way of being in order to do it well and consistently.
  5. Yes or no?  Be clear, conscious, and aware of “choice” in every single thing you are saying “yes” and “no” to. This guarantees that you will enjoy life more. It is when we fill our lives with “shoulds” that we begin to resent the world and ourselves.
  6. Be Silent. Among the noisy world find silence. I notice silence at a red light. I notice silence after asking a question. I notice silence in a gaze. I notice silence while waiting for a plane. The world is a very, very noisy place. But if we actually look for the silence, it is everywhere. And in that silence, work-life balance is found.  “Go quietly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence…”  – From Desiderata, written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920’s
  7. Be in the moment.  Moments matter. In work-life balance it is the moments that matter. My husband and I both work from home. Our lives are busy and fast-paced. Phones are ringing and we are constantly having our own conversations in our offices. Even so, we can sometimes walk past the other person, have our eyes meet, and say “hi” without saying anything. That is a moment. Or, there may be a time when he is on the phone and he reaches out and touches me when I know he is focused elsewhere. In that moment, he is letting me know I am noticed – and that matters. Create moments! This creates work-life balance. Creating moments does not take away from the time in your day and does not take any planning at all. It only takes thoughtfulness and care for humans in your world, and nothing more really matters. One more thing about moments: Don’t only create them only when you feel good – create moments when you don’t! You’ll be surprised how it gets you out of your “funky mood.”
  8. Be grateful. As they say, create an attitude of gratitude.  I remember that when my daughter was three years old, we began ending our day together asking, “What are you grateful for?” She was three and she got it!  She would tell me two things she was grateful for and I shared mine with her. We have continued to do that and it is a fun way to spend time at the end of the day.  For an entire month, she told me she was grateful for the “puppy that JoJo gave me.” Other days, she says: “I’m grateful for you, Mommy,” and she gets to hear that I am grateful for her. She hears that I am grateful for others – for things we do, things we have, and experiences we create. I also tell her things I am grateful for about my work. I tell my colleagues in conversation what I am grateful for rather than finding something to complain about. It is amazing how it quickly changes the tone of the conversation! Try it!
  9. Be joyful about the little things.  We tend to skip over them but stop and be joyful about things that you are truly joyful about. Celebrate in that moment.  This is much like gratitude but slightly different. It is about bringing joy back into your life consistently. I notice how many people don’t laugh any more, and when something is funny we chuckle. Live out loud and laugh out loud!
  10. Reflect.  Notice your life. Notice your body. Notice. Notice. Notice. Be curious. It is amazing how much of life we miss and how much you’ll see by just reflecting. It is the only way we see our progress, others’ progress, and the world’s progress. Reflect. Notice. Be curious.

Finally, Here are some tips from women who have created businesses models based on the 30-hour work week:

  1. Have written and well known company values. The values should be discussed regularly and actually run the company rather than the people.
  2. Reduce or eliminate personal use of technology during the workday, i.e. email, cell phone, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  3. Allow work from home and pay by project rather than hourly, OR reduce full time salary slightly and reward based on quality and bottom line rather than just hourly.
  4. Have weekly planning sessions for teams.
  5. Be thoughtful about the amount of email that is sent internally. Use face-to-face communication rather than email for basic communication.
  6. Utilize leadership and leader behavior to increase the level of communication among the team.
  7. Allow for leaders to emerge at every level of the company.  Breed creative thinkers and problem solvers.
  8. Negotiate contracts on a work week that is shorter.
  9. Have set contact hours that are less than the ones you actually work.
  10. Take vacation/time off often. If you schedule it, it happens!
  11. Everyone in the company should have goals in all areas of their lives.
  12. Maintain a state of freedom and choice versus the thought that life is all work.

 

Lorin Beller Blake is an inspirational and powerful leader of women business owners. Since launching Big Fish Nation – a set of creative tele-programs, books and tools designed to guide and empower women business owners – in 2001, she has served thousands of  ‘Big Fish’ and helped empower them to realize their ideal lives – not just as successful, prosperous entrepreneurs, but as women who feel balanced and fulfilled on all levels.

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How To Stay Organized and Have More Time for Yourself

How To Stay Organized and Have More Time for Yourself

Dear Kathi,

How do you get started when organizing seems like a big elephant looming in the background? I have so many things going on in my life and I have many different images. At work, I spend my energy trying to please other people, I come home to another set of people to nurture, playing chauffeur for the kids and meeting my husband’s expectations.

I guess the real question is when do I find the time to get organized and also spend time nurturing myself? I know that everything I touch at home demands thought and resolution. If it is an item in my closet, I have to think about if I need it and if not, should I donate or consign and on and on… How can I come home and approach my items without too much mental drain?

Veodia, Oceanside

Veodia,

You present a two-fold question. You are already a step ahead because you are aware that all your possessions demand energy. Knowing this is the beginning of controlling what occupies your time and enters your living space. That is always the first step.

Once you understand that every item within your home demands energy from you, you are much more diligent about what you let into your home environment. For example, a new pair of shoes demands much decision-making; Do you need to make room and get rid of another pair of shoes so the new ones will fit into your closet? If so, which pair should you discard? If not, where will they live while not on your feet? How much did they cost? Did you have the money to spend or was it the result of a terrible day of overspending to feel better? If so, in addition to the decision energy, it’s possible that the shoes could create a guilty feeling every time you glance at them in your closet, so in the end might not be a good addition to your wardrobe. These are only a few of the examples of how possessions can zap your energy.

The easiest approach is to take small steps on a regular basis. Make a list of your intended projects. Divide these tasks into five-minute time chunks. Try to do at least one five-minute session every day. Choose a regular time based on your family schedule. Stick to this pre-determined time as close as possible every day. Some moms can steal five minutes when they first arrive home because the kids aren’t home yet. Some moms can focus for a few minutes just before sleep because the house is quiet. Whichever time works for you is fine as long as you commit to this standing appointment with yourself every day.

You can accomplish a lot in five minutes. Some nights you might be able to focus for 10 to15 minutes and other nights it will be all you can do to focus for five. Even if it is only five per night, you will see a shift and your elephant of chaos will shrink down to a mouse. Results inevitably happen with consistent effort.

The same holds true for nurturing yourself. Commit to spending at least fifteen minutes a day doing something only for you. Maybe it’s simply a soak in the tub, curling up with a book, or sitting in the park for a few minutes on the way home form work. Again, with consistent daily quiet time for yourself, you will feel less overwhelmed. Your family will benefit greatly from your time spent alone. You will be more effective at work, as a mom and as a wife when you give yourself daily quality quiet time to nurture yourself.

I would also suggest planning a pre-designated night out with your girlfriends or colleagues. If possible, create a schedule that contains a once-a-month free night for you and a free night for your partner, taking turns spending time away from the family.

It is also very important to build in a date night at least once a month where you and your husband can spend time catching up and nurturing your relationship together. These nights sometimes require a lot of energy to coordinate but always pay off in the long run.
Thanks for writing and don’t hesitate to write with any other specific questions.

Please submit any additional questions or comments below in the comment section.

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7 Healthy Habits for Entrepreneurs

7 Healthy Habits for Entrepreneurs

Take time to schedule and manage your emails and phone calls

a. Never check email or voice mail first thing in the morning

b. Schedule regular times to check emails and stick to it

c. Read recent emails first

d. Allocate the amount of time you will spend and stop promptly

e. Create email signatures to sign off with one    click

f. Read it, delete or move it

Pre-plan and then plan again – keep your eye on your large goals

a. Plan next week either on Friday afternoon (business) or Sunday evening (mom)

b. Plan your day before it plans you!

Set your intentions and goals for the day in advance of that day

The day before, the night before or in the morning before you begin your tasks for that day

c. Allocate specific time slots for recurring tasks, do them over and over at the same time each week

Gasoline, banking, grocery shopping

Calls, reports, marketing

Arrive early for appointments

Spend the time you wait for others to plan what you want to accomplish in the meeting

a. This will decrease your stress level

b. You will appear poised, professional & in control of your schedule instead of harried and disorganized

Umbrella Your Day

(create chunks of time for related activities)

a. Divide your main responsibilities into 5 days, for example:

1. Planning Day – (Friday or Monday)

2. Current Large Project

3. Outside Appointments, Errands

4. Bills / Paperwork

5. Research

Create an exit area in your office for all items that need to leave your space.

a. Place things there as you find them.

b. Choose an area on your desk or credenza that is positioned towards the   door

Create ‘To Do’ Lists

a. Complete the three most important tasks each day before you move onto anything else

Take Control Your Papers

a. Check it, move it into a predetermined place off the counter until you are ready to take action

b. Handle it only once before you work on it

Learn to say NO

a. Don’t volunteer until you take a moment to determine whether      you have the time to fulfill the commitment

b. Give yourself permission to reconsider commitments

Delete unnecessary tasks from your schedule that detract from your BIG picture goals

c. Don’t automatically respond to another person’s  problem / fire before you determine whether it is going to foul up your agenda

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Learn How Maximize Your Efficiency by Creating an Umbrella for Each Day on KUSI News

Time is a finite resource. Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day and the same amount of days in the week. When your schedule is overbooked, the result is often subtle. Minutes and hours evaporate each day from your life. (more…)

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Seven Tactics To Create More Time For Fun

Fun

1. Learn to say NO

“Life is a journey, but it is not a race. Do yourself a favor and slow down.” Richard Swenson, MD

  • Don’t volunteer until you take a moment to (more…)
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Table of Contents – How to Master Your Muck

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Moms can use technology to create more time

One busy mom at the Blue Suit Mom / Logitech event yesterday said that she uses technology to create more time.

She employs online banking, smart phone connections and her online calendar to track bills.

She and her husband also sync calendars together on Outlook so they keep track of who is going where and when. What a smart mom!

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