Archive for priorities

Why you need a Project Box & a Master To-Do List

Do you have unfinished household projects lying around? I can tell what my clients’ projects are at a glance – there are light bulbs that need changing; clothing that needs repairing; pictures that need to be framed and hung; and gifts that need to be wrapped. They are sitting out on the counters, tables, and floors, all waiting to be done. But they aren’t getting done. Why not?

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7 Ways to Make Resolutions Fun Again

Do you hate making resolutions?

Do they seem like a colossal waste of time because you figure you will probably just give up on them after a few days or weeks? Well, you’re not alone, and you’re probably right…that is, if you only make them impulsively after a few drinks on New Year’s Eve!

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Are you too busy to live your life?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-chicken-image15981374Once upon a time I was taught the Transcendental Meditation technique. It’s a mantra-based meditation that is done for 20 minutes twice a day, but that is not my point. The thing about the training that keeps coming back to me is this frequent admonishment:

If you are too busy to meditate, then you are too busy.

As a time management consultant I now believe this concept can be applied to ANY activity in life that is important to you:

If you are too busy to _________, then you are too busy.

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Wanna know my #1 time management tip?

Time Management TipI love helping my clients spend more of their time doing what they want to, and less of it doing what they have to!

I give them lots of time tips (well, I actually coach them through a whole customized program), such as:

 

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No More Holiday Card Guilt!

No more holiday card guilt!I love to send and receive holiday cards! My Thanksgiving weekend ritual is to take inventory –while relaxing in front of the fire, with a glass of wine, snacks, and some Christmas music — of my friends, family, clients, colleagues, and those who have been helpful to me throughout the year. It’s a natural extension of counting my blessings. I use the cards I receive as decorations. In my Albuquerque home, my office is open to my kitchen, dining room and living room, so I tape them to my filing cabinet!

But the very last thing I want to do is to make anyone feel inadequate in the card-sending department! Who needs that kind of stress? Two friends posted on Facebook one year about receiving their first holiday card of the season. One wrote: “I love, love, love going to my mailbox this time of year! Doin’ a little dance!” The other wrote: “I think it is too early for sending Christmas cards. Maybe it bugs me because I haven’t even made my list yet.”

Here are my suggestions for alleviating holiday card stress and guilt:

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The Chinese Menu Time Management Technique

Chinese Menu Time Management fortune cookieAre you familiar with the Happy Family Chinese-American restaurant meal? Choose one item from menu Column A, one from Column B… and with six you get egg roll…?

Well, that’s how I manage my time. Allow me to explain…

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Getting Things Done (GTD)

200px-Getting_Things_Done GTDHave you ever procrastinated doing something because you were afraid it might take a long time,  or lead to even more work, or make your brain hurt? And then, when you finally did it, it was easier and faster than you thought it would be, and you wondered, “Why didn’t I do that sooner?”

I just read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (affectionately known as GTD by legions of followers), by David Allen. No, I hadn’t read it before, although I had certainly heard about it and seen his flow chart. When clients ask me what I think of it I say, “Um… it’s very popular…and it’s compatible with what I am going to teach you.” And then I hope I’m right. (more…)

Clear Your Mind and Get it All Done… Sooner or Later

2013-05-21 06.40.52I know how to get stuff done, and I can teach you how, too. I have tools and systems for all the stages of workflow (collect, process, organize, review and do). I have an inbox and project lists which I clear and review weekly. I say no to activities that don’t support my goals and priorities. For the most part I capture and process new tasks as they occur to me, adding them to my Master Project List or scheduling them on my calendar. I have a notebook handy for capturing stray thoughts when I want to stay focused on my current activity and not worry about losing the thought.

But life happens. Sometimes I get lazy, or sick, or preoccupied, or I’m traveling, or busier than usual, and stuff piles up (physical and mental clutter), and I start to get overwhelmed. (more…)

How to Live and Work by Design, not by Default

Living and working BY DEFAULT means choosing the easiest path, either by unconsciously resorting to bad habits, or by maintaining the status quo. Sometimes we seek to avoid the conflict that can come with making a change. Sometimes we feel we have no choice in the matter. But I’m with Henry Ford, who said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”

Those who live and work BY DESIGN notice when things aren’t going well, and make adjustments accordingly. They live more calmly, purposefully, and mindfully.

Here are some examples: (more…)

Does Progress Equal Happiness?

Last year I decided I wanted a mantra/slogan/motto/theme. Something that I could fall back on to keep me motivated and — dare I say it? — happy.

As a fan of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project (book and blog), I know that many things can contribute to one’s happiness, from kittens and rainbows and enjoyable activities, to personal relationships and spirituality. I know that deep, abiding happiness is not the same thing as momentary delight. I also happen to know that organizing, and being organized, makes Gretchen very happy! (more…)