Last week I got a text inviting me to a neighbor’s 40th birthday zoom call. Poor girl, I thought. A milestone birthday in quarantine. That’s not fair.
Then I read the fine details and it said to plan on staying on the call for an hour and a half. What? I liked this girl but spending 90 minutes of my Saturday on a Zoom call with strangers (I didn’t recognize any other number in the group text) no thank you!
I peeked at my calendar and smiled. The call landed on the day we leave for vacation.
Saved by the calendar. (I love my digital calendar. Here's a guide on how I've set it up.)
What if that space in my calendar was free? Have you ever said yes to something just because your calendar was empty? Stop that!
Let me introduce you to time chunking (aka time blocking). Its a system for making appointments with yourself every day so you can focus your energy on the most important things. Divide your day into blocks forcing...
How often have you wished for more time? Time to watch the waves crash on the beach with your family, time to finish the project before the deadline, or time to work on your passions.
There was a calendar proposed in the early 1900s that gave us 13 months. No joke! The Kodak Company used it until the late 80s.
I can’t wave the magic wand and create time, but I can share the wonder of moving to a digital calendar. Right now you’re about to click away because you’re already using that calendar on your phone. But are you getting the most out of it?
Color-coded categories allow you to assign different calendars to the unique roles you play in life. Purple for mom, green for self, and yellow for business. Plus, it adds some pops of color.
Every other Thursday at 4 pm, my son has to get allergy shots. I only had to put this into my calendar one time and tick the little...
Somehow you drug yourself out of bed at 5 am to capture those golden hours of the morning while the house is quiet. Determined to make progress on your top priorities, you take a seat at your desk.
Then you sit. Staring at a blinking cursor, and your mind replays the events of last weekend. Why did you discuss conspiracy theories with your friends at the BBQ? “Now they all think I’m a nut job. I need to call and apologize,” you say to yourself.
STOP! You’ve just spent ten minutes reliving last Saturday and you’ve made zero progress on the content calendar that’s due tomorrow. You did not get up before the sun for this.
You need to keep focus, but how?
Let’s look at some tactics to get you into that blissful flow state.
I’ll go first and admit I’ve eaten lunch at my desk more often than not during workdays. In the name of productivity,...
Every night before bed, I grind coffee for the next day. I’m a coffee snob and fresh ground tastes so much better. The grinder is LOUD and would wake up my household if I set it off at the crack of dawn when I get up.
If I forget, then I’m stuck drinking instant coffee. GROSS!
The coffee grinder is a key player in my shut down ritual. It sets me up for a great day. The rest of this ritual includes reviewing my calendar for tomorrow, choosing my top 3 priorities, and setting my clothes out for the next day. All of this takes only a few minutes.
The morning brings another set of routines. I start with coffee (of course) while it’s brewing I meditate. A fresh cup of coffee in hand, I settle into my cozy office chair and read. Then I will journal and if there’s time left before the clock strikes 6:30 I will stretch and stare at my inspiration board.
We define routine as, “commonplace tasks,...
Variety is the spice of life, but when’s the last time you grabbed the pepper grinder?
We all get stuck in ruts, especially with making progress on our goals. There you are at the bottom of a deep well. Sitting in the dirt. Looking up to the greener pastures above. You’ve tried to claw your way to the top, but you just keep ending up with your butt on the ground and dirt beneath your nails.
It’s time to change your game. Here are some unusual time strategies that just might work:
I saw that eye roll. Keeping a log is the death of so many diets. I will ask anyway. Try it for just one week.
Here’s a list of apps to make it easier. Or, you could just take notes the old-fashioned way. Whatever you chose, this will give you a detailed look into how you spend your time and where it’s wasted.
This goes against what that little voice in your head is telling...
What do you want to be when you grow up? As a kid, you answered that question all the time. And the sweet response of “ballerina” or “astronaut” brought smiles until sometime around puberty.
The sweet girl that aspired to be a ballerina may pursue a career in dance, but what does that mean? Even for a Broadway star, there’s more to life than what happens on stage.
So the question becomes, what do you want out of life? This is a deeper question. The adult version of “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be happy” is a common response. But, what does that mean? What makes you happy?
Life planning is living life by your design. You put in the big rocks of what is important to you before someone else claims your time. Learning how to create a life plan is much like creating a business map to guide your company’s...
You pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee and head into the office. It’s Monday morning and you have a to-do list that could take you into next month to complete. Plus, take Parker to the dentist today at 3 pm. Taking a deep breath, you turn your attention to your computer and start checking email.
Now it’s 11 am and you haven’t checked a single thing off your list.
There’s got to be a better way. And there is... it’s called prioritizing.
Before you click away, hear me out. Has anyone taught you how to prioritize?
Let’s try going through that Monday morning routine again. Instead of brushing aside your extensive list of tasks, you take time to plan. Look at your calendar and the blocks of time you have available to cross things off the list.
Starting out your...
What is going on with the coaching industry? There are coaches to help your high schooler apply to college. There are coaches that teach you how to use specific software applications. If you want to get great at something… there’s a coach for that.
We’ve been struggling with getting our kids in bed before we want to pass out lately. Yep, there’s a coach for that too.
Is there a coach for the frantically busy? Someone to ease your mom guilt and give you the tools to seek a purpose in the everyday?
Yes, it’s called productivity coaching. Here’s why it’s life-changing:
The power of an outside perspective. Remember when you were trying to perfect your pike jump in high school? You would practice over and over in front of the mirror at home, but it wasn’t until your coach pointed out that your arms needed to fully extend did you nail it.
The same goes for your personal...
Today I will take you back to science class. Don’t worry, we won’t dissect anything. The smell of formaldehyde still brings back images of large toads and awkward safety goggles.
Just a brief lesson on the autonomic nervous system and how it regulates our internal organs. This system has two sets of nerves, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
The sympathetic nervous system regulates the fight-or-flight response. When you are working from home and the kids fight in the next room, you lose focus on responding to that email. Your heart pounds and all you want to do is jump out of your chair and run down the hall to scream at your kids. That’s your fight-or-flight response in action.
Now picture yourself at the beach. You’re lounging with your toes in the sand. Feeling relaxed listening to the waves crash and watching your kids play happily building sandcastles. This state of bliss is your...
“Mommy, what are we doing today”
“Why do we have to go?”
“Who else will be there?”
“How long are we going to stay?”
I thought this Spanish Inquisition style questioning would end after the toddler years. NOPE, this was a conversation with my teenager.
Each day I work through a to-do list, with little thought to WHY. I love the thrill of checking tiny boxes. This interrogation seemed like a waste of time until I discovered my daughter is a Prioritizer. That means she needs to gather data on what she has to do so she can focus on the most important thing.
This “AHA moment” was thanks to this assessment that helps you find your personal productivity style. Go ahead, take it. Who doesn’t love personality tests?
Did you take the test? What’s your style? Prioritizer/Planner/Arranger/Visualizer
We take for granted that each of us has...