7 Things You Can Do to Add One Hour to Your Day

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time-management-clock

Is this your typical morning? Your alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. You are due to be at work by 9:00 a.m., which is about a half-hour ride. For all intents and purposes, you have two hours to get yourself and your family up and out of the house with time to spare. However, your clothes are not selected or pressed, you forgot where you put your keys, the kids are not cooperating, and nobody seems to remember what is expected of them after school. So what happens like most mornings? You waste 15 minutes looking for something to wear, 10 minutes looking for keys and about 15 minutes explaining your wants. You should be leaving home by 8:15 but you finally exit the door at 8:40. How do you feel when you get to work? Are you focused, centered, and ready for what comes your way? I did not think so. And to make matters worse, you found out when you got to work that the promotion you knew you were a sure in for, went to someone else.

What went wrong? Perhaps your disorganization at home affected your performance at work. We wear many different hats in the workplace and in the home. However, at times, the hat on the head says office, but the stress and distraction in the heart and mind says home. Therefore, unless you get organized in the home, it can affect your performance in the workplace.

As organizers we often tell people to jumpstart their day by using the first 15 minutes of the workday to organize and prioritize their work. A really good jumpstart however, would be to take a good look at the things that eat away at your time in the mornings before you leave home, organize it, and allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes to reflect on your day before you – now get this – not run through the door to catch your train, but walk through the door. When you enter your office knowing that all was taken care of on the home front, you can take the time to do exactly what you did at home. You can get organized, and then proceed.

To help you have a good morning which in translation is a good organized morning try the following:

1) Select clothing for work the night before. (Save 15 minutes)

2) Put the car keys and house keys in the same place each time you enter the home. Make sure small children cannot reach them. (Save 10 minutes)

3) Choose a permanent place for your children to put their homework when finished. (Save about 10 minutes)

4) Allow easy listening music to wake your children up each morning. Or, sing to them to get them up. (Save about 10 minutes of whine time)

5) Save your voice. Set up a schedule and have weekly family meetings so that each member knows what is expected of them daily. (Save 10 minutes)

6) Make sure items you have to carry with you each morning are left near the door. (Save 10 minutes)

7) Prepare lunch night before. (Save 20 minutes)

Well, would you look at that? You are actually saving more than an hour. What a bonus!

I would love to hear from you. In addition to the above, what are you doing to save time each morning?

 

“Well, It’s About Time!”

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time-management-2

What is the longest you have waited for someone before you start to get annoyed or even worried? Sure, you’ve followed all the experts’ advice – When you must wait, occupy your time with some reading, needlepoint, or crossword puzzles. However, when there is that one particular person who keeps you waiting all the time, how much reading, needlepoint, and crossword puzzles can you do? There is no emergency. She isn’t stuck in traffic. She’s just late. And, when she arrives, she nonchalantly says, “Hey girl.” No apologies, no excuses, just “Hey girl.” Inside you are boiling, but with a half-baked smile you reply, “Well, it’s about time!”

It is about time. It is always about time. Everything we do is connected to time. Can you imagine what our lives would be like if the earth’s rotation around the sun changed by a few hours every other day or every other week? Can you imagine the chaos airlines would experience if each pilot took off at will? Or, can you imagine what a disaster your dinner party would be if you decided a 20-minute recipe should cook another 20 minutes?

Now that we’ve put time in perspective, let’s consider why we treat this precious resource with such little respect. I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons – Our attitude and our choice of words (which of course affects our attitude).

Attitude: It has been said, life is 10% of what happens to us, and 90% is our attitude towards what happens to us. The same problem may affect two individuals. However, you will get two different reactions. It is no different with time. We each have the same 24 hours in a day – every day. Yet, some get things done. Others don’t. It has a lot to do with how time is viewed. Is time viewed as the enemy? There’s just never enough time. You can’t find the time. Time runs out. Time escapes you. If that is your view, then time is the enemy. On the other hand, however, time is a friend when it is viewed as an asset, your most important resource, and money in the bank.

Choice of words: Many experts refer to disorganization, people interrupting, the telephone, paper mail, email, and all things social media as time bandits, or time stealers. If they are time bandits and that is our thinking, that means our time was taken without our permission. We are the innocent victims. Here’s a news flash! There are no time bandits. Bandits usually take things without a person’s knowledge. However, we know when we’ve stayed on the phone too long. We know when we’ve stayed at the water cooler too long. We also know we did not plan our day properly so now that report is a day late. What might be a better choice of words? Time wasters. And, who is wasting the time? We are. When we change our choice of words, we in effect change our way of thinking.

What do you think about time?

And oh yeah, about that friend who keeps you waiting- let her know that you are giving her a grace period of no more than 15 minutes past the agreed time to meet, and if she hasn’t shown up, you’re leaving.  “Bye, girl!”

It’s a New Year – You Can MEET Your Goals!

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Meeting Goals 2015

(This article was previously posted January 2015)

It is that time of the year again. It is the time when we set new goals and new resolutions. It is time for out with the old and in with the new.

One good thing about starting a new year is it makes you feel that you get a do over. If it did not work last year, you can start all over again in the new year. If you are one who set the same goals year after year only to have them fizzle out by March or maybe even by February, make this the year you break that cycle and begin to MEET your goals. It all depends on what and how much you are willing to invest. To help you succeed at meeting your goals, why not consider the following:

Money – Many goals require some investment of money regardless of how small the amount may be. So, do the math to determine how much it will cost you to meet your goal. Also, ask yourself, Will it break the bank? Do I need to borrow the money? And, are loved ones who might be affected by this investment, on board with me? How will I get them to buy in?

Emotional Energy – When setting goals, we don’t usually plan how much emotional energy we might have to invest. Thinking ahead on how much emotional energy we may have to put into meeting a goal can be the biggest deciding factor as to whether we succeed or not. When the energy output and input is positive, we are good to go. However, what happens when the energy output is negative because the energy input is negative? Think about it. How do you feel when you don’t get the support you are expecting from others? Or, how do you feel when you get so close to meeting your goal and you have a setback? Oftentimes, it makes you want to give up, doesn’t it? So, to stay on track, minimize negative emotion by deciding ahead how you will choose to react or respond to Negative Nellies, naysayers, and setbacks.

Energy Management – Energy management is just as important as time management, if not more important. You may have all the time in the world to do something but absolutely no get up and go to get it done. Your energy is zapped, kaput, gone! So how do you manage your energy in order to meet your goals? Develop a good exercise routine. Eat well. Get enough rest. Take breaks as needed to recover. Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project, whose methods I absolutely love, says in his book, The Power of Full Engagement – We must learn to live our own lives as a series of sprints – fully engaging for periods of time, and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray to face whatever challenges confront us. – He went on to say – When we expend energy, we draw down our reservoir. When we recover energy, we fill it back up. – (end quote) Schwartz applies this principle to our mental and emotional energy as well.

Time – We are all leading and living busy lives. So where can we find the time to meet our goals? Sometimes it may require sacrificing a little bit here and there. And sometimes, it may be just a matter of cutting back on things that eat into our time. First, and foremost, get organized. Nothing eats into our time more than disorganization. We lose an average of one to two hours each day looking for misplaced items. Also, try cutting back on time spent on the internet, social media, watching television, and talking on the phone. Try getting up earlier than usual to work on something related to your goal. And just say, ” No”, to persons who constantly infringe on your time. Can you imagine the amount of time you will find to work on meeting your goals when you try any or all of the above suggestions?

Have a productive year!