A Balanced Schedule Takes 5 Easy Steps! What does having a balanced schedule mean to you? Does it mean that at the end of the day you feel productive because you crossed everything off of your to-do list? Does it mean that you were able to manage your time to fit in work and exercise? Does it include time to prepare healthy, home-made meals for you and your family? As your Time Management and Productivity Coach I can tell you that your schedule doesn’t know the difference between your personal and professional time and activities. If you want balance you need to create that in your weekly schedule and build in flexibility (unscheduled) time. You need to be able to prioritize, make choices, and set healthy boundaries. Here are 5 Easy Steps for creating a more balanced schedule: 1. Sleep – Set up a regular wake up and go to sleep at night time. Stick to it! An adequate amount of sleep every night is key to good health, mood stability, and productivity. Use your waking hours to create blocks of time for the core areas of your life. 2. Stop it! – Stop doing the things that you don’t need to do, have to do, or want to do. This is a key time saver. When you realize that you are doing something that isn’t necessary, out of habit, and that you and no one else appreciates it’s easy to let it go. 3. Delegate, hire, share – Have someone else do the things that you don’t need to do but have to be done. They might do it better, faster, and with more enjoyment. Again, this is an important time saver because now you can focus on the things that only you can do. 4. It’s all good… read more →
Time Management My organizing tip today? time management first, and then get your “stuff” organized. Time management is the key to getting organized. When you manage how you use the time that you have available you will be able to organize your priorities, create a plan of action, and identify the resources that you will need to get it done. Time management skills also allow you to decide the most efficient way to get things done. You can think about time the same way that you think about a space. If you put too much stuff into a space things will spill over, get lost, and be forgotten. Your schedule is like that space, it can only hold a certain amount to be effective. If you want to get organized you will need to make the time to do it. You are creating a specific block of time to organize and not do something else. As a Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach I hear people say that they’ll do it when they have the time. Hmm, when was the last time that you had an unexpected extra 2-3 hours to get organized. Even if you did, would you know where to start? Summer is almost over but it’s never to late to get organized. Do you need more information about time management and how to get organized? Call your Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach for more information!
Productivity Coach Tip: Use Deadlines As a Productivity and Time Management Coach I can assure you that using deadlines will help you improve your productivity and overall time management. Some tasks and projects have deadlines, for instance, there is a deadline for enrollment and registration for school, for purchasing holiday gifts, and for filing taxes. Deadlines can work for you if: You believe that you work better under pressure. If you are rule-driven. If you are a people pleaser. But what if something doesn’t have a deadline and you are still having difficulty getting to it? Productivity Tip: If you believe that you work better under pressure create a deadline for any project that doesn’t have one. Your brain will believe that you have to meet the deadline. If you believe that you have to meet this deadline it will prompt you to get started and get it done. Using deadlines can reinforce time management skills such as planning, time estimation. These skills are critical to your personal and professional success and not only your productivity, but your credibility.
Feeling Organized What does feeling organized mean to you? Think about how you feel when your space is organized and clutter-free. Imagine what an organized day feels like. I love to write about the benefits of organizing to motivate and inspire you towards that clutter-free lifestyle most of us crave. An organized life feels… Calm Productive Energizing Healthy, and Spacious. The disorganized life in contrast feels stressful, overwhelming and chaotic. The worst part of long-standing disorganization is that for some people it becomes the norm. I was just talking about this with a friend and describing how some people become accustomed to living in chaos and clutter and that making change is too scary for them to seek help. There are so many resources out there for you if you want to take the first step and make a change. NAPO (the National Association of Professional Organizers) is our professional organization. As a NAPO Personal and Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach I encourage you to explore their national website, and your local chapter’s website. Ask yourself if you are ready to start feeling organized and get out of chaos. Take baby steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed. If you want to try it yourself, read an article or book that describes the organizing process.
Organization skills yield amazing personal and professional benefits. As Personal and Professional Organizer I help you stay on track by keeping you focused (and motivated) on the benefits of honing your organization skills. Organization skills include decluttering, organizing, managing and maintaining your space as well as your schedule. The benefits? So far I’ve talked about the ability to: Focus – with clarity and direction. Plan effectively. Track progress. Revise your course of action. Adapt to life transitions. Balance workload and priorities. Manage time realistically. Access information, items quickly. Maximize space and time. Create safe environments. 10 More Benefits! Save time – for important relationships (including yourself). Boost productivity – efficient use of your mental and physical energy. Enhance self esteem – your sense of control when you feel and behave more organized. Impact credibility – with others personally, professionally. Monitor spending, income, expenses – improved planning and decision making. Choose – how to use your available time with more intention. Delegate – allow others to do the things that you do not need to do, that they want to learn, that they are good at doing. Streamline – your processes and maximize your results. Schedule – time for all of the core areas of your life. Maintain – a healthy environment that is easy to keep clean.
Mindful time management and patience – practice How are mindfulness and time management related? Think about how often or when you become stressed about your time. Mindfulness embraces patience, an attitude or mindset that can be cultivated. It requires practice, at least for some of us, because we expect instant results. We are continuously bombarded with information. We expect instant solutions to problems and answers to questions. We want to get places quickly and without delay. Do you find yourself losing patience in any of these everyday situations? • When you are stuck in traffic, • waiting in line, • when you can’t get a Wi-Fi connection or • when you make a call and are on put hold? One of my tools as a Time Management Coach is to incorporate mindful attitudes in my work with clients. For instance, let’s agree that we don’t have control over time; we can’t slow it down or speed it up. However we do have a choice about how we spend our time and how we respond to situations that impact our time. Here are some ways that you might be able to cultivate the mindful attitude of patience and think about those some of those situations differently? • “This is my opportunity to practice being patient and I appreciate it.” • “I realize that getting angry and feeling stressed will not help this situation.” • “I remember to allow extra time in case these things happen.” Notice how that feels instead? Perhaps your heart rate slows down and your muscles relax. You might take notice of things around you that you don’t usually pay attention to and enjoy seeing them. What positive difference might it make in the outcome of the situation? Changing your responses or attitudes can take some time to… read more →
Time Management and Scheduling As a Time Management Coach I teach a variety of tools. The most versatile one at your disposal is scheduling. You can schedule everything from meetings to some of the to-do’s on your list. If something doesn’t have a deadline you can create one and put it in your schedule. Time management and increasing productivity isn’t about filling every waking minute with something to do. Being able to create even a small space of time to be still and to reflect is a great way to re-organize. Give yourself permission to let go of the “should” and embrace the “may” this month! Tip: Schedule unscheduled time.
If you are familiar with the practice of mindfulness you might have heard the term, “Beginner’s Mind”. In Full Catastrophe Living Jon Kabat-Zinn describes this as “a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.” (2013) He goes on to explain that the beginner’s mind enables us to be receptive to possibilities, and to get unstuck from our automatic thoughts and perceptions. I love how this applies to the work that I do as a Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach in San Diego. In this first of three posts let’s look at how this attitude, a beginner’s mind, might be useful and apply to time management and productivity. Remember that you are adopting a perspective of seeing your use of time as if for the first time… • Look at a blank weekly planner as if you have no obligations. • What would your perfect week look like? • How much time would you block off for your priorities? The beginner’s mind allows you to assess how you might use your waking hours to meet your core needs and priorities. Realistically we all have obligations, standing appointments and other responsibilities. But imagine how dedicating at least some time in your schedule for the important things would make you feel and improve the quality of your life.
Personal Organizer’s Time Management Tips for Work-Life Balance As a Personal Organizer I help others to manage their time in order to have more of a work-life balance. Time Management is NOT about getting more done and cramming every minute of your waking day. Time Management is about achieving a work-life balance by creating time for activities that benefit your quality of life, well being, and your relationships. As a Personal Organizer who specializes in time management coaching I remind others that “your planner doesn’t know the difference between your personal and professional time commitments!” The Time Management coaching process starts with the assessment of what is working, and what is not working. From there, we create a weekly plan that is realistic and adaptable. Planning enables you to make decisions about scheduling and how to use your time effectively, this includes scheduling unscheduled time. Sounds great, right? Read on for more information. Effective planning requires you to organize: Your tasks and commitments, work with deadlines, and break the larger tasks into smaller, more management mini-projects. Let’s look at the basic process and steps for planning. Step 1: Write out each of your goals Step 2: Break them down mini goals or projects Step 3: Determine the action steps – everything that you need to do to accomplish each goal or mini project Step 4: Estimate how much time the goals and mini projects will take; schedule adequate time on specific days for each one Example of a DYI mini project 1. Goal: organize all photos into albums by groups (family or work), individuals (family and friends) starting with most recent photos by the end of June 2015. 2. Purge: discard photos that are duplicates or blurry. 3. Sort: create boxes for photos in each group or individual category. 4.… read more →
How long will this take? How to reorganize your life! This month is the perfect time to check in with your goals for 2015 and develop a strategy for how to reorganize your life. Did you intend for this to be the year that you would be more organized, more effective with time management, and be able to achieve your goal for increasing productivity? How you are doing? Are you feeling overwhelmed or frustrated because you are not even close to achieving your goals? If your to-do list growing instead of shrinking that is a red flag. Admit it, you are probably struggling with winter doldrums, waning motivation, and feeling somewhat discouraged. Don’t give up because I have loads of suggestions and tips that will re-ignite your desire to get and stay organized. Take a deep breath and sit down with your planner for at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. This is your first step in getting re-organized. Organizing is a process, just like getting fit. You aren’t finished when you get organized (or fit). Life happens and unexpected situations come up so it’s important to not only maintain your organization but to refine and adjust. It would be similar to achieving your fitness goals and then not continuing to work out or challenge yourself, right? Easy step #1: Review. Reviewing your goals (this is not the same as a to-do list) is similar to assessing your inventory. Eliminate any of the ones that you’ve accomplished or no longer consider relevant. Easy step #2: Create a deadline. Some goals have deadlines, for example, taxes are due in April. Create a realistic deadline for goals that do not have one. Learning to estimate how much time tasks take is the key to success. Easy step #3: Prioritize. It’s overwhelming… read more →