Archive for the ‘Distraction’ Category

To-Do, or Not To-Do

 

Is your To-Do list the bane of your existence? Or is it an effective time management tool? Those of us list-makers find that writing things down can alleviate possible memory issues, such as going to the market and leaving without the most important item, or packing for a trip to a beachside resort and discovering you forgot to pack a swim suit.

 

But some people personify the To-Do list and hear it relentlessly nagging with “you should…” or “when are you going to…” If you have a list with countless items and you don’t begin because you don’t know where to begin, you are likely to have thoughts like that run through your head.

 

Why not find ways to effectively manage your to do list?

  1. Categorize items
  2. Prioritize items in each category according to things like due dates
  3. Estimate roughly how much time, and when you can realistically attend to the high priority tasks
  4. Schedule them in your calendar as appointments

 

If you still feel that your To-Do list is more like the Grim Reaper constantly hovering over you than a helpful reminder of what you’d like to get done, how about a Not-To-Do list?

 

In her article “To-Do Lists are Great but Do-Not-Do lists Might Be Even Better for You,” Caroline Liu argues that a Do Not Do list lets you dump (or limit) the things that are keeping you from what’s really important. This list makes you look at all the things that you do do in your day and say, “this is not worthy of my time, I’m not going to do it any more.”

 

The key thing is to NOT. DO. THEM. ANY. MORE.

 

Three Tips for Managing Holiday Madness

Man in Santa Claus hat loooking depressed about his finances

Have you noticed that the winter holidays are starting earlier each year?

Even as days grow shorter and colder, calendars are filling up with all kinds of festive events and obligations. While our wallets aren’t getting any fatter, marketing for the “big” winter holidays is inescapable. We’re bombarded with ads and invitations to buy, buy, BUY. A whirlwind of parties, shopping, eating, and visiting families engulfs us. It all takes an emotional toll even as they allege good times.

Most creatures practice some form of hibernation during the winter months. In contradiction to nature, we humans rev up the action. You can protect yourself from the physical and emotional stress by following these simple steps:

  1. Learn to say no. It’s not mandatory to:
    1. do everything (Try, “Oh, jeez. Looks like I’m already committed then.”)
    2. see everyone (The above idea can work on this one, too.)
    3. eat whatever is offered (Choose what you really, really want and go for small amounts.)
  2. If you’re experiencing the anniversary of a loss in November or December, give yourself time to grieve.
  3. Try going a week without the newspaper, television, or social media… okay a day. A vacation from advertising and news can make a big difference in how you feel.

 

But if, for whatever reason, the season gets you down…don’t be afraid to see a professional. Help is always available. If I can’t help I’ll do my best to provide qualified referrals.

Time Will Tell – Tools that Organize your Thoughts & Time

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Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You have a great idea in the shower and then forget it by the time you’re dressed.
  • A task you thought might take an hour actually takes three.
  • You sometimes get so caught up in one thing that you’re late for something else.
  • Prioritizing your schedule to address all your To Do’s feels impossible.

 

Solutions exist. I like things to be simple and easy to use so these three tools have passed muster. They are Aqua Notes, Time Timer, and Planner Pads.

 

www.myaquanotes.com says, “If you find that some of your best ideas and insights are generated in the tranquility and solitude of the shower…then AquaNotes® is for you! These waterproof notepads help you capture and preserve your ideas before they’re forgotten!” The 40 sheet, refillable pad suctions to your shower wall and even comes with matching pen.

www.timetimer.com has a line of timers, watches, and applications that helps you stay on track. Set the amount of time you want to spend on a specific task and have a bright visual of the time gradually elapsing so you know when you’re getting to the finish.

www.plannerpads.com has both paper and electronic easy-to-use systems that help you organize, prioritize, and schedule in ways that make sense.

 

Even the websites are user friendly. Check them out. Let me know if you start using any of them and tell me about your experience.

Are You Ready to Take a Stand for What You Say You Want?

There’s a life changing concept I want to share with you. It’s based on a line in the 1976 movie, Network. In it, the news anchor rants to the television audience, “Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’”

Maybe you’re not quite mad as hell, but perhaps there are things in your life that you’re tired of, frustrated with, given up on. Maybe you think you “should” do something, but you haven’t done anything yet and you don’t have a plan.

we only regret chances we didn't take comment illustration design graphic

Things don’t change just because it would be nice if they did. And you’re not necessarily going to do something differently just because it’s a good idea. But if you’re ready to take a stand for what you want to do, or be or have and commit to that…well.

John Assaraf said, “If you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient; if you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.” Yes, change might be a bit of a challenge. So what. Lance Armstrong put it well when he said, “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.”

So I challenge you to take a stand for yourself. Use this quote by Paul J. Meyer as your affirmation. “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”

Here’s how it works. First, you imagine yourself doing, having or being what you say you want. Want it so bad that you have that commitment to do whatever it takes. Make sure you truly believe you can make that happen, and that you deserve it. Finally, create a plan and work it. Work on it every day. Get support if you need it. Do it.

The Last Newsletter You’ll Ever Read

newsletter blog

Okay, this is not a promise. It’s more of a thought exercise.

What motivates you to read newsletters?
Do you look forward to useful tips, new information, special offers, upcoming events?
Do you open and read all the newsletters that arrive?
Do you anticipate the arrival of any of them?
Do you delete any unread?

I don’t know your situation, but I receive newsletters from people I barely know as well as from colleagues. Reading takes time and for most of us, our time is valuable.

There are three newsletters I read every time. Invariably they contain information I can use. A few others are interesting to me on occasion and I briefly scan them. And for the rest…there is a link at the bottom of every newsletter that lets you “unsubscribe.” (I hope I’m not shooting myself in the foot here).

So if time management is a concern for you, deciding how you can best use your time is important. If you are already using your calendar and focusing on your priorities (some of you know these are your “big rocks”) when and where do activities like reading newsletters fit for you? Deciding what’s important is important. If the information or education that arrives in a newsletter could have value, great. Look at your schedule and see when you have some time you can set aside for reading.

My intention is to provide a useful tip to you every month, along with a notice or two. If there’s something you’d like, please let me know. My goals is to give you information and tools you can implement.

Newsletter tips not enough? Contact me for that complimentary coaching session I offer.

Now Where Did I Put My…?

Lost Keys in the Freezer

My keys are in the freezer???

Does this ever happen to you? You’re carrying a few bags of groceries from the car to the house. Later that day, you’re in a hurry to leave again and your keys are nowhere to be found.

There are only so many things you can fully attend to at a time. When you’re engaged in a conversation, or have ten things on your mind something as “trivial” as where you set something down may shoot right past your short term memory.

My uncle Leon would have his glasses pushed up on top of his head. After looking all over the house for them, he’d offer me a quarter if I could find them for him. Easiest quarters I ever made. Like Leon, everyone misplaces things from time to time-you put your keys in your pocket because you’re carrying a few bags, hang up your jacket and later wonder where your keys are, or put the remote control down to get a snack then return and cannot find the darned clicker.

Two solutions:

1. Create places where you always (okay almost always) put certain items, like keys, phone, wallet, shoes. It’s kind of like having the address for them. Once you develop the habit, chances are you’ll find your items where they belong.

2. Calm down. For when you don’t put things where they belong, even if you’re in a rush, stop. Sit down. Close your eyes and breathe. Think about what you were doing when you last had the item. Recreate your steps. Do this as calmly as possible.

How do you decide where something “belongs” anyway? Where is the first place you generally look for the item? If there isn’t some place that seems obvious, pick a place a build the habit. I have a client who has to know where her keys are even if she cannot find anything else. Whenever she moves, the first thing she does is decide where “that place” is going to be for her keys. Even when she comes into the house with arms full of groceries, her keys always seem to land in their place.

Have you ever put something important in a safe place and then forgotten just where that place is? Again, having a special safe place that you use all the time can make a huge difference. Trust me. I still haven’t found two – hundred dollar bills I put safely away last fall.