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Time Management Tips

PEP offers periodic time management tips sent directly to your email. If you wish to be added to the mailing list please click here and send PEP a message you wish to be included.

Most Recent Tip:

What are the personal habits you do daily to make your life better?

You do have some habits you are currently doing well and we all have habits that slip us up or get in the way of making progress. If you need more ideas after reading this, please do contact me. Happy to chat. If you change nothing how are you going to make your life better?

Some ideas to consider:

*Begin each day (and remind yourself throughout the day) with the thought "look for the positive in all situations" or "how can I find joy in my life

*Have some kind of time management tool (other than your brain) to assist in your staying focused using only your brain is not a good option. One can get distracted easily just thinking much less planning. Planning is a critical skill that everyone should use.

*Remind yourself you are a HUMAN BEING not a human doing, it's not always about doing things it's more important to BE PRESENT/IN THE MOMENT. The more research that comes out about multi-tasking the more the studies show that multi-tasking is not a good thing. Being present with whatever or whoever you are with helps with the management of your time and energy.

*Have a gratitude journal or note things of what you are grateful for. There are so many aspects of your life that you take for granted.

*Your cell phone, computer, are tools, not the end all be all. So many people are distracted with their device they miss the present moment.

My intention with these periodic reminders is to challenge, guide, and educate you with ideas to consider, to help you best use your time.

THANKS for your time!


"Sleigh bells ring.....are you listening......."

We hear some much music during the Holidays that it is sometimes hard to listen to ourselves. What's the tune you are listening to? With all the music we can listen to on a daily basis, often we don't monitor the "tune" in our heads. Just like we can change the station and listen to another kind of music so too we can change the tune in our heads.

If you don't monitor the "tunes" in your head i.e. the beliefs and thoughts you have, the "tunes" will continue to play and you will create a result that you didn't want.

I recommend living in the present moment....this is a continuous process. CONSCIOUS LIVING.

What you think about on a regular basis manifests. So focus on what you want to achieve or have in your life and it will begin to happen!


Are you having an "affair".............With your apps?  Your smart phone?  Your Facebook updates?  Or other devices that light up and make life a little more exciting?

Have you ever considered how much time you spend wasting time with your apps, devices and other electronic technology?  I know "wasting time" is a relative term here but keep reading if you are looking to gain some time in your life and reduce some stress!  I often hear comments from people complaining that they don't have enough time.  But have you ever considered how much time you spend on your computer, smart phone or other device that lights up and engages you? Now I am not saying using these electronic devices is a bad thing, but what I am saying is perhaps you spend too much time and brain power concerning yourself with them.

Questions for you to consider:
    *Do you consider it OK to use your device during a family meal? During a meal with a spouse or close friend?   First date?  Would you use your device if you were meeting with the President, Pope or some other very important person?
    *What does it say to the person in front of you that you are interacting with--this conversation I am having on Facebook is more important than the one I am having with you?
    *On vacation can you leave your device in the off position or do you "need to check" even while you are on vacation?  Isn't the point of a vacation to de-stress, relax and get away from the day to day concerns?
    *Where is your attention focused as you read this sentence? Are you reading this or have you in the past 20 seconds allowed your brain to go somewhere else and miss the present moment?
    *Have you ever allowed yourself to be distracted by a mobile device while driving?

Consider how many times in a given day you log onto Facebook to check on or post updates. I'm sure we all know people who post updates about them going shopping or to the movies or playing Angry Birds and then they wonder where their time went--or maybe they don't even consider the "time cost" of these activities.  I find that often people are "busy" but really not focusing on the important things or items in their day that contribute to their success.

Am I against technology?  Of course NOT!  Do I post to Facebook and Twitter?  YES.  Do I allow my brain energy to be drained away with these electronic "affairs"?  I try not to but this is a work in progress, just like you are!

As a human BEING, not a human DOING, you have the power to chose how you use your time/energy and brain power to interact with technology.  So if you would like to end your "affair" with your apps, keep in mind that you DO have the choice to do so! You CAN modify how you spend your time with your apps and devices.

Let me know what you think about this post.


Time Tips:

Self Management | Belief Management | Take Charge
Simplify | Quotes and the Application | Take Back Your Time
Clean Up | General Tips | Fun | Facts to Ponder

Self Management

Welcome Fall!

But does that mean to you that the fun is over? Or that life becomes dreary?  For many people Fall is their favorite season.

But since we can't control the weather we have to learn to enjoy what we have been given.


The same thing is true in life. We must learn to adapt to the constant changes that are happening to us. Just like in nature our life is a process of changes and our challenge is to adapt and thrive with the changes. Nothing in Nature is static. Even rocks have constantly changing molecules! So why it is that we humans strive to keep things the same and mourn or stress out over the constant changes?

I encourage you to thrive on the moment and enjoy the moment. You can certainly evaluate and learn from the past and prepare for the future, but you must be present during the moment that you are in. Otherwise you may miss the moments of your life!

Your own stimulus package!

We all have heard enough about the economic stimulus package at this point. But the question is what are you focusing on? If you believe what you hear in the media, the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. Pardon the expression. But what are we hearing about? All the glow and doom. Where do we hear about the positive things going on in the world? Are there good things going on in the world? Of course there are! We just don't tend to hear about them from the media.

It's time to take over your own "stimulus" package!

Now I am not speaking about a financial one, but it could assist in this department as well. I am speaking about a self management one. Remember that there is no such thing as time management, it really is self management. So we need to "stimulate" our self management skills. For instance if you feel stressed, working on your release of stress thru better use of self talk could be helpful. If you are challenged in the financial arena, what are you focusing on in your brain? All the gloom and fears you might have? Well that is not what you should be focusing on. Perhaps if you can put together a short term plan to get you thru this challenge it will work out that way? Notice I mentioned "challenge" not "you lost your job and now what" or "you have debt"? 

Your internal dialog is important to control and keeping it positive is important.

Focus on what you want and NOT what you don't want!


Have you put "spring" into your Spring!?

With the beginning of Spring upon us one could take this as an opportunity to do some Spring Cleaning. But I'm not speaking about the kind you do around your house, but the kind you do in your head.

We all operate under various belief systems and many of them are great, but some of them may not be contributing to your success and enjoyment of life. Of even worse they may be contributing to your stress level. For instance one might have the belief that you have to do everything and can never refuse a request for your time. While this is admirable, it is a receipe for stress and disappointment. Perhaps a better belief to install is that you do the things that are important to you.

In today's busy 24/7 environment it is critcally important to reflect and evaluate and stay focused on the important things in your life!

Remember you are the programmer of your beliefs and as the programmer you can change them!


Everybody seems to get motivated around New Year's Day and set for instance a new years resolution. But since you are not like most people since you are reading these tips, you know that to improve yourself or to gain time you need to work at it on a regular basis. I also know that life is sometimes difficult to manage and one might slip back into old habits.

So I am offering a new way to support your changes. I am now an affiliate of ThinkTQ and have a free opportunity for you to consider. This is the real deal and something that I would not offer if I did not believe in it. So please check out the below text and if you are interested sign up for the free program and be sure to use my affiliate number (110920) this is how I get credit.

I hope you take advantage of this offer and if you have any questions or would like some local support as you work thru the program, please contact me.

Thanks for your time.
Craig

This company (ThinkTQ.com) has developed a new training system that helps people achieve their goals sooner (personally and professionally) -- by giving you the tools to immediately produce better results. Their starter package costs nothing but 2 minutes of your time.

To introduce their new product line, they are giving away 10 million audio CD training programs covering different areas of your performance: setting goals, making plans, team-building, organization, time management, your attitude, etc. 

You should get one before they run out! There's no obligation to purchase anything.

The idea is to simply choose one area of your performance, either a major strength... and make it stronger... or a limiting weakness... and eliminate it. Either way, this program focuses on personal improvement in a whole new way.

They have all kinds of simple on-line tests, assessments, workshops and a Daily Lessons in Excellence email training program that really works! I highly recommend it.

To sign up, just go to http://www.ThinkTQ.com/Gift

Enter this number in the Gift Certificate box: 110920 (this is how I get credit!)


"When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us." Alexander Graham Bell

So which door are you focusing on? It seems that the media spends most of its time on the negative, gloom and doom door. But is this an accurate representation of the reality of life? No. You have the choice of which door you can open. So focus on the positive in your life. Make a daily list of all of the positive aspects of your life and keep in perspective the negative.

Yes, it is true that there are plenty of "bad things"-- or things that we perceive as bad-- but how much of an impact these events have on our life is your choice!

Your expectations greatly influence how you perceive your circumstances , and they also influence how events unfold in your life. For instance, if you are stressed out you view everything that happens in a more negative light. The opposite is also true; if you feel good, you tend to view events in a positive light.


Try going through a day with this thought in mind: "How am I going to be pleasantly surprised today?" With this expectation that life will go well, you open yourself up to the possibility of abundance . Then, in the evening take a few moments to review your day; you will be surprised at how your expectations come true.


So it’s awhile into the new year and you didn’t set or have already broken your New Year’s Resolution. Well, all is not lost. You can still make the improvements you desire. You just need a logical approach instead of the “quick fix scheme” mentality.

First one needs to understand that changing behavior takes time. A new habit takes at least 21 days of consistent repetition for it to become set. And if you take a day off during the habit formation then the next day you pick the new habit up again is day one! If the habit that you are trying to change has an addictive quality to it, like smoking or food, the habit formation period could be as long as 35 days!

The other factor that will impact how successful you are in forming the new habit is your desire and the reason you want to change. A burning desire can overcome many obstacles and a weak one will wither away. Acknowledge the reason why you want to change, write it down and visualize the results you want. Daily support is needed in your efforts to change. Perhaps the assistance of a personal coach could assist in your development. Visits to personal development websites such as this one or reading a personal development book could help solidify your path to the new you.

Don’t let a bump on your road to success deter your progress. Acknowledge what happened and move forward, just don’t look back unless you want to go that way!

Here’s to your continued improvement and positive energy.


 

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are very familiar words we hear  this time of year. But when was the last time you really thought about them and what each means to you? Do you take them for granted? Most people do, but people who want to live a rich life don't.

Life..... Do you life your life to the fullest? Do you have a plan to achieve the things that are important to you? Do you take care of your life, both from the standpoint of taking care of your health and taking care of the people and things that are important to you?

Liberty...... Is defined as the right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing. So how are you using your right and power to create the life that you desire to live?

Pursuit of happiness..... What is it that makes you happy? You are only as happy as you allow yourself to be.


So the new year has begun and I want to ask you: what have you done differently to make this year better than last year?

Perhaps you thought about or even set a New Year's Resolution. Or maybe you have thought about some goals, but you have haven't written up plans to do anything about them. Well this email serves to remind you that it is up to you to make things different.Remember that for a new habit to be formed it takes 21 days of consistent repetition. If you take a break during this habit formation period, the next day you pick up the new habit again it is day number 1! So remember, to win a marathon it takes more than one step! 


It is really quite amazing how my two dogs remind me to live in the moment.  Barney and Scrubbs are Maltese brothers who just turned a year old. When I am in my home office they sometimes are in there with me. Today they reminded me to enjoy the moment by spending some time with them on the floor. Of course they just want to be next to you. 

So how does this relate to be making the most of your life? Well, often one either lives in the past or the future and misses the present. Just monitor what is going on in your head as you read this email--perhaps you are concerned with what is going to happen sometime in the future or are reliving some event from your past, all the while missing the present moment. To become a better self manager (remember time management is really self management) one needs to manage the present moment to the fullest.


It's the time of the year to begin to close out last year and look forward to next year. As part of this process of reviewing and setting goals in the many aspects of your life, don't overlook the system for organizing your life. We offer The Organizer. To find out more information about the system, please click on "The Organizer" button at the top menu of this page. Please allow for the various images to load and then you can view each of the parts quickly. 

If you already have a system that works for you, but want to make your life more effective, perhaps a few coaching sessions could help. Personal coaching is a great way to have some objective guidance or gain some additional skills to help you become more effective. Coaching sessions are custom designed to you and your life. Please contact us for your free 20 minute session!


So busy on the road of life that you don't have time to know the direction you are headed? What will happen down the road when you find out that you took the wrong path? If you don't know where you are going you will never know when you get there!

Being a good time management person is not about doing the wrong things quicker. It's about doing the right things in the first place. Decide where you want to end up on the last day of your life in each of your Seven Vital Areas: health, family, financial, intellectual, social, professional, and spiritual. Then work backwards and determine what you have to do each year, month, week and day to get to where you want to arrive at the end of your life.

When you know where you're going and what you have to do each day to get you there, you'll automatically become a better time manager.


Who is the fool? On this day when people play practical jokes on others, I want to remind you that time management is really an oxymoron. We all have the same amount of time each day. So we really cannot manage time. Time management is really self management.

Self-Management is the process of maximizing our time and talents to achieve worthwhile goals. There are several things to really focus on.

Process: Self-management is ongoing; it is not something we do only once or occasionally.
Time and talents: These are your unique personal resources which you alone can manage. In essence, they are all we have to offer and all we can really manage.
Goals: These are the outcomes of your efforts. Your planned achievements.

So remember, time management is self management and you are the only one who can make the choices to maximize the time you have.


New Year's Resolutions
With the closing of one year and the beginning of another many people evaluate their lives and decide to make a few improvements. If you are one of these people, I have a few suggestions to help make your New Year's resolutions stick.

First one needs to remember that making any behavioral change takes time. Studies have shown that a minimum of 21 days of consistent repetition will help the change stick. If one stops the new habit during the 21 day habit formation period, the next day one begins the new habit it is day number ONE again! So remember installing a new habit takes at least 21 days of consistent effort. Also one wants to have some motivation to help with the change. For instance if you want to get more time in your life, then what will you do with this extra time once you achieve it?

So what changes do you want to make? How are you going to make them? Have you started to plan out your goals for the year?


Happy Labor Day!
This holiday celebrates "work." So what are you working on? Who are you working for? Many times we lose sight of why we work and why we do what we do. A part of effective self-management is the concept of balance. So how is your balance? Do you work too much? How do you spend your time? How do you know?

Keeping a time log for a period of a week or two helps point out how you spend your time. If after keeping a time log you notice patterns that you do not like. You can change it. Remember who is control? YOU ARE! You are the only person that can do anything about it. Of course others can help you, but when you really think about it you are the only person that can implement the change.


If you are the kind of person who makes a news year's resolution, remember that it takes at least 21 days of consistent repetition for a new habit to become part of your life. If you take a break during the habit formation period, the next day you restart your new habit it is DAY 1! If you have not tried setting a new year's resolution in the past, please try it. It is a great way to gradually change your behavior. You are the master of your own destiny. Use your personal power to create the life you wish to live.

Make sure you clean out your personal organizer/calendar system soon. It feels great tying up loose ends and filing them away. If you don't use a system, I encourage you to begin to use one. There are several good options available. If you are not sure which would be best for you, please contact me and I will help you figure out the best solution for your lifestyle.

Take some time in the next few days to set your goals for the year. This is not a difficult, painful or fattening process. Just something that takes some effort on your part to visualize the things, experiences that you wish to have. And then to follow through with your plans. Remember that research has shown that about 5% of the population actually set goals. So put yourself ahead of the crowd and design a life that you can be excited about. There is no point living a life that is boring. Remember, even a dead fish can float down stream!


The events of September 11th have shaken all of us. I will not dwell on the horrible acts of that day, but use these events to remind you of the concept of important versus urgent. As we discussed in our class, we all have the same amount of time each day, but do not know when our time is finished. Unfortunately the recent events point our own mortality. What important things do you have on your to do list that you have not yet finished? Too often we deal with the urgent things, phones ringing, emails arriving, coworkers at our desk and do not spend enough time on the important things that are not necessarily urgent. Since September 11th have you asked yourself the question, "What is most important to you?" I know I have.

These times we now live in are very uncertain and the long term impact of these current events is yet to be determined. I encourage you to continue to evaluate your life, the people, the things and the activities that make up your daily life and focus on the most important, not the urgent.


Belief Management

Have you put "spring" into your Spring!?

With the beginning of Spring upon us one could take this as an opportunity to do some Spring Cleaning. But I'm not speaking about the kind you do around your house, but the kind you do in your head.

We all operate under various belief systems and many of them are great, but some of them may not be contributing to your success and enjoyment of life. Of even worse they may be contributing to your stress level. For instance one might have the belief that you have to do everything and can never refuse a request for your time. While this is admirable, it is a recipe for stress and disappointment. Perhaps a better belief to install is that you do the things that are important to you.

In today's busy 24/7 environment it is critically important to reflect and evaluate and stay focused on the important things in your life!

Remember you are the programmer of your beliefs and as the programmer you can change them!


"When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us." Alexander Graham Bell

So which door are you focusing on? It seems that the media spends most of its time on the negative, gloom and doom door. But is this an accurate representation of the reality of life? No. You have a choice which door you can focus on. So focus on the positive in your life. Daily make a list of all of the positive things that are a part of your life and keep in perspective the negative things.

Yes it is true that there are plenty of "bad things" or things that we perceive as bad but how much of an impact these events have on our life, is your choice!


Your expectations greatly influence how you perceive things but they also influence how things unfold in your life. For instance if you are stressed out, you view everything that happens in a more negative light. The opposite is also true; if you feel good you tend to view things in a positive light. 

This being said, try going through a day with this thought in mind: "how am I going to be pleasantly surprised today?" With this expectation in your mind, that things will go well, you open yourself up to the possibility of good things. Then in the evening, take a few moments to review your day; you will be surprised at how this comes true.


What do you see happening in your world? Do things seem to be getting better or worse? Do you feel primarily hopeful or fearful? In "A Course in Miracles," it is written: "Seek not to change the world. Seek rather to change your perception of the world."

Perspective is something that can be changed with practice. Are you always stressed out or look at the negative side of a situation? You can change your perspective by stopping the thought that you are having and challenging the assumption and refocusing your attention on what it is that you wish to be feeling or thinking. Remember this skill is a new habit and is something that is going to take some work.

Take Charge

Now that Fall is here, will you be reflecting upon the passing of the Summer season and checking in on your progress towards your goals? I'd like to encourage you to spend some time in the next few days reflecting upon what was good about the Summer and what things/events that you participated in were the most memorable.

Then, thinking ahead to what you would like the Fall to be about. Some things to consider, spending more time with family or friends, planning a day out to enjoy the Fall color (that is if you have leaves that turn color.)

Remember life is made up of memories that you create. So take charge and make your life a memorable one!


Handling Change
As the seasons of the year begin to transition I am reminded of how our lives are constantly changing. Your response to life's changes is critical in the amount of stress you have. Richard A. Swenson, M.D., offers the following equation to explain the impact of stress on our life. E + R = 0, where E = Event, R = Response and 0 = Outcome. Although we may not be able to control the event, we do have control over our response.

So, monitor your response on a regular basis and you can handle change more effectively! The way you label an event impacts your response. Remember you can even label stress as something positive, neutral or negative.


Does it seem like there is no way out from underneath all of the emails, junk mail, and information that you have to deal with on a regular basis? Do you get stressed out about the information overload?

Accept the fact that the paperless revolution the computer was supposed to give us never happened, and actually has expanded the amount of information one needs to respond to. So what can you do? Challenge your response to the situation and always stayed focused on the goals that you have. You do not need to get stressed out because you have a lot to deal with. With so many "things" to handle, the only way to do this is to be systematic and have a plan to help guide you.


The end of Summer is near. So how was your Summer? Will you be reflecting upon the passing of the season and checking in on your progress towards your goals. I'd like to encourage you to spend some time in the next few days to reflect back upon what was good about the Summer and what things/events that you participated in were the most memorable.

Then thinking ahead to what you would like the Fall to be about. Some things to consider, spending more time with family or friends, planning a day out to enjoy the Fall color (that is if you have leaves that turn color.)

Remember life is made up of memories that you create. So take charge and make your life a memorable one.


Friday, October 24th is "National Take Back Your Time Day". This event is a nationwide initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment.

For more information about Take Back Your Time Day, please go to http://www.simpleliving.net/timeday/

I want to use this day as a reminder for you to remain focused on what is most important to you. It is up to each of us to maintain control of our time and how we use it. Perhaps this Friday you can eliminate one "I should do that" on your to-do list or plan to spend time with the people that are important to you.


Simplify

Is it possible to survive or even thrive during the Holiday season? Yes it is! The holiday season brings with it its own set of unique challenges. Between shopping, holiday decorating and other preparations, your life could spiral out of control if you let it. NOTICE if you let it. You do have control over how much you do or over do during the holiday season. No one is forcing you to "shop till you drop" or "decorate to beat the Jones."

Now I didn't say this was going to be an easy task. I too have many of the same challenges. But I take the whole season as it comes. I plan the activities and enjoy each of them as much as possible. We Americans so hype up the holiday season that when it actually arrives we tend to be let down. How about this year you think "KISS" (keep it simple, stu---) Enjoy the moments because memories are made up of a series of special moments and if you don't participate and enjoy the moment you will be left with stress, frustration, and maybe even the check!


In speaking with many individuals I have found that many people have difficulty transitioning this time of year. Summer is usually a time for a more relaxed approach to life through vacations or having different routines. During the first part of September many of our activities begin again. Children go back to school and the other activities that they are involved in resume. Adults are challenged on many fronts to stay on top of things. But where is this all leading to?

Have you taken any time to reflect with your family members where they are headed with the activities they are involved in? Have you ever discussed what it means to be a part of your family? Have you as a family set up time to be together? How do you protect your time together?

Remember life is like riding in a car. Do you have a roadmap showing you where to go, or do you just drive? Which seat are you in? Are you in the drivers seat, the back seat driving, or in the trunk?

I encourage you to spend time reflecting on your direction of travel and changing it if you find that you are headed in the "wrong" direction.


The dangers of multi-tasking

As our workloads continue to increase so to does our tendency to "multi-task," doing more than one thing at a time. While your computer is great at multi-tasking, your brain is not programmed that way. So beware of trying to do two things at once, especially if they are complex or require your undivided attention. Studies indicate a drop in efficiency between 30 percent and 50 percent on the individual tasks performed while multi-tasking. So only use multi-tasking on a limited basis and increase your effectiveness by focusing your attention.


Summer is the time for nearly 25% of Americans to move. I too was part of that percentage. Hence the lapse in these periodic tips. This move has given me a chance to put into practice many of the ideas that I teach. And so far, things have worked out.

As with any move there are things that don't go the way you thought they would. You could get stressed out when things don't go as planned. Or you could use the concept of "this is inconvenient" and change your perspective and feeling about the event. Many times over the past few weeks I have used this technique and it really takes the
stress away. So the next time things are not going the way that you would like, challenge your view of the situation by thinking "this is inconvenient" and then change your perspective and feelings about the event to the way you would like to feel.


End of Summer Blues
What happened to the lazy days of Summer? It seems that life is speeding up again with the return of students to school and other Fall activities resuming. Are you feeling stressed out?

One way to combat this stress is to realize that the important things will get done and you will continue to need to prioritize your To Do items. Even more so under stress! Remember that stress is your response to an outside stimulation. So your response can be changed if you want it to be. Coordinating the things you can control greatly impacts the amount of stress that you inflict upon yourself.


The Roses are Blooming in Milwaukee in December!
Yes you read this correctly. There are several rose bushes in my neighborhood that are still blooming. (This is an extremely unusual event, since most Decembers we are buried in snow.) I noticed them on one of my walks with our dog Macy. Had I not have to stop and clean up after her, I may not have noticed this incredible sight.

I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you to indeed, stop and smell the roses! As preparations for the holiday season accelerate, we need to be reminded to take time and to live in the present and enjoy the moment. There is always enough time to finish the important things. So stay focused on what is most important. Keep in mind during your daily planning to ask yourself the question, "What is most important to me."


Quotes and the Application

From the 1914 classic the 'Conquering Yourself' manual.

All progress of the individual is a matter of inner unfoldment. Life moves from within, outwards. The germ or vitality is always at the center, not on the surface. The growth of the tree or the plant, of the animal or the fruit, is not that of adding on the outside, but a supply from the inside. The individual determines his own position in life, according to the amount of intelligent effort exerted. It is for this reason, that people NEVER WILL BE EQUAL, because there are those - the majority - who will not work to acquire this Inner Power You, then, must rank among the Great, or the mediocre.


"For the joy of enjoying, and the fullness of living, are found in the heart that is filled with Thanksgiving."
Helen Steiner Rice

As a time management trainer I am always teaching the skills of managing yourself in relationship to your use of time. These skills may also be used to monitor and change your thoughts and feelings. I challenge you to reflect on the opening quote and apply its wisdom.

May Thanksgiving for you be more than just an occasion to eat lots of turkey and may you always have a heart filled with thanksgiving.


Don't be like a rider who gallops all night and is never aware of the horse that is beneath him."
Sufi mystic, Rumi

The holiday of Thanksgiving is great opportunity to give thanks for all aspects of your life, both the good and not so good. It is all part of your life. Take this opportunity to be grateful for everything and express it. You have so much to be grateful for, even though you may not think so. You have a life, family, friends, the list goes on. So even though it may not seem like you have things to be grateful for, you do!

Please remember this not only on Thanksgiving, but everyday of the year!


"More time equals more life!" Craig Bodoh

Wouldn't it be great if we could all get some extra time? But the truth of the matter is that we all have the same amount each day. The trick is to stay focused on the things that are important to you and that you are passionate about.

So how does one go about this? On a regular basis you evaluate your goals and values and reduce the amount of distractions you have from them. For instance, how many activities outside the home are you currently involved in? Everyone I speak with seems to have way too many things going on in their life. Remember that taking care of yourself and others that you are responsible for takes effort and should be your number one priority.


The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how you use them." --Unknown

Life is made up of experiences that challenge our view of the world and what we are made of. Often we view a set back or a challenge as something that is a negative. But these experiences can help us view the problem from a different perspective and make us work differently.

So stay focused on the end result and use the information to better achieve your objective.


"Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters."
--Nathaniel Emmons

So which habits are helping you and which ones are getting in the way? Remember that "time management" is really self management. Self management is made up of choices that you make, whether conscious and unconscious. We usually can make a conscious choice with little effort, but the unconscious choices (the habits) are much harder to change. If there is a habit that is slipping you up, you can alter it with conscious behavior changing. Remember that it takes 21 days of consistent repetition for a habit to become part of your life. If you stop the habit formation period, the next time you return to the new habit, it is day 1 again!

So who is the master, you or your habits?


"To Do or Not To Do, that is the question."
The famous quote from William Shakespeare, "To be or not to be, that is the question" can be paraphrased to help one be more effective. If you don't daily use a "To Do" list, you can increase your effectiveness by 25% just by beginning to use one. When a task presents itself you need to put it on your to do list and prioritize it in relationship to your values and goals.

The other way the famous quote can be used is in regards to the importance and urgency of any particular task. Remember that there is a huge difference between importance and urgency and not everything that rings, buzzes or beeps is important. Too often we neglect the important things because they are not necessarily urgent. So begin to ask yourself the question, "how important is this item, or how urgent is it?" The answer may help in giving the task its priority.


"Don't just count your years, make your years count."
--Ernest Meyers

With the recent marking of a birthday for me (still under 40!) I want to remind you to make your years count. We can too easily get side tracked from our goals. Remember no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. So make today count. Work on your goals, spend time with people that are important to you, savor each moment and laugh along the way.


"When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us." --Alexander Graham Bell

So which door are you focusing on? It seems that the media spends most of its time on the negative, gloom and doom door. But is this an accurate representation of the reality of life? No. You have a choice which door you can focus on. So focus on the positive in your life. Daily make a list of all of the positive things that are a part of your life and keep in perspective the negative things.

Yes it is true that there are plenty of "bad things" or things that we perceive as bad but how much of an impact these events have on our life, is your choice!


Take Back Your Time

Free time from the government! You heard right! Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend. What are you going to do with your free time this weekend?

Remember on Sunday early morning, October 29th you gain an extra hour by turning your clocks back an hour. So what are going to do with that extra hour?  Most people just sleep it away or party it away. But I challenge you to do something productive with that extra hour. Instead of waiting to set the clocks back, give yourself the extra hour somewhere else during the day instead of at night!  And enjoy the hour with family or friends or by yourself. That way you can appreciate the free gift from the government!


This Sunday, October 24th is "National Take Back Your Time Day". This event is a nationwide initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment.

For more information about Take Back Your Time Day, please go to http://www.simpleliving.net/timeday/

I want to take this opportunity to remind you to take care of yourself by protecting an hour a day. This hour could be used for exercising, eating healthy, de "stressing." In our fast paced, fast food, overworked society we are becoming overweight and sick at a growing rate. If these factors are impacting your life, where are you going to be in the future?

"Remember an hour a day could keep the doctor away" Suzanne Schweikert


VACATION TIME
Vacation time is productive time, as much as work time. No, you’re not selling anything or working on those important projects but you are charging up your batteries to make your return to work more productive. We’re not mindless machines that can function forever. Time at the job dulls us out over time.

And we don’t have to all do it the same way. Some like taking their vacation time a day here and a day there, while others prefer to take a full week or two at a time. However it works for you, be sure to take your vacation time. It is productive time and you do deserve it.


TAKE THE TIME
Too often we wait until we have the time to do what we really want to do; read a book, exercise, or develop a hobby. The problem is, we never get the time to do hardly anything. Instead, we have to take the time. Like regular exercise, schedule the time for those “want to do” items, otherwise your week will be consumed with the stuff you “have to” do.

Stay in the driver's seat, not the shock absorber!


Clean Up

Its that time of the year when its pleasant enough to open up the house and give the house a good cleaning. Now many people complain about not cleaning their house much because it "takes too much time." The way that I look at it, "takes too much time" equates to you value other things more. Since we all have the same amount of time each day, it comes down to the choices you make throughout the day.

So when you don't keep your living areas clean, you're really saying you value other people and things more than you value yourself! Now think about that! Who is the most important person in your life? You are and then the other people you feel close to.

So I challenge you to keep your living areas clean and in order and to care for yourself and then the other people in your life. If you have dust bunnies on the floor, then you are fostering their development more than your own well being.


General Tips

Everyone complains that there isn't enough time. Well the truth of the matter is that the important things always get done. The challenge to good self management is staying clear about what is important; not just getting everything done. There is so much that one could be doing, the task of staying focused is very difficult.

Perhaps asking yourself the question, "Is this the best use of my time?" on a regular basis will steer you back to what is truly the most important thing to do. Remember not every ringing phone or pop up email needs to be handled immediately!


No time to plan?

Too busy, right? Then plan to be reacting and coping with others' plans for you! If you do not take a few minutes each day to think about your goals and commitments, and how to best achieve them, then you remain in the reactionary mode versus the proactive mode. Being proactive about the people and things that are important to you assures that you will be making time for them.

An example of this is that there is sunlight all over, but it can be difficult to feel it. But if you use a magnifying glass you can focus the power of the sun into a VERY strong beam of light. So too can one's efforts in one's life be harnessed with the power of goals, to take the steps necessary to make them come true. If you don't do anything about what you want in your life, then you will be doing things that others want for you in their lives.


Make the most of your time behind the wheel.
Most people spend in excess of 30 minutes driving to and from work. Many of us listen to the radio or music, or sit in silence. Why not consider using this time to further your development? You can purchase (or better yet go to your local library and pick up) audio tapes of interest to you. Many libraries offer the option to browse its collection online and then you can pick up your selections at a later date. I have been inspired and educated by many of the audio tapes I have listened to in my car.


A single list.
The average person uses 13 different ways to manage their time. (And averages are made of extremes, so some use many more!) Lists of things to do, piles on the desk, stuff you remember in your head, and little stick-um notes everywhere often create more confusion than direction. No wonder then, that so many complain they don't experience a basic control over their day.

I recommend using one tool (like a Daytimer, The Organizer or a Personal Digital Assistant) for everything, business and personal, all in one location. Have all your "to do" items there and all of your appointments and scheduled events in that one source. This simple process will help you to better maintain control of your day, you will be able to get more of the important things done on your day, and as a nice bonus, it will help to reduce stress.


Summer is for..........
Finally we have "Summer" here in Milwaukee. And not too soon since the Summer Solstice is in three days. I feel Summer is a time to reflect and enjoy the outdoors. Which brings up the topic of balance. Time Management/Self Management is more than just making up a good “To Do” list for the next day. Time Management/Self Management is the daily exercise of maintaining balance in all of our many dimensions because if we get out of balance in any one area, it could sabotage our success in the other areas.

For example, if we neglect our health, that may well interfere with our social life, our family life, and our professional life. We need balance first as the foundation for daily success.


Time adds up.
Part of maximizing your time is periodically taking a look at how you use your time. Look at both your personal and professional life to see where you are losing time. If you found 15 minutes a day, that equals 78 hours per year. Streamline procedures and processes and you will increase your efficiency.


Spring Has Sprung or Just Slapped Us In The Face!
What happened to the gradual change of seasons? Here in Milwaukee it seems like we went from Winter to Summer in a matter of a few days. I even had to turn on my air conditioning in the house today! With the sudden awakening of "Spring" you may want to take the opportunity to do some Spring cleaning. For instance, clean out the closet or a file cabinet or some other area that has gotten out of control. Remember you can break a large task into to little pieces or make a appointment with yourself to do the project. I just took care of one of the four file drawers in my office and will attack the other three another day.


The lazy days of summer are going by quickly. Here it is already after the 4th of July! Summer is a time when many of us take it a little bit easier. And have time to enjoy the many activities that are a part of the summer. In addition, during these lazy days of summer, we have time to reflect.

So let's take some time and reflect on your life. Are you where you want to be? Both personally and professionally. If there is an area that you are not satisfied with, what are you going to do about it? Remember, that during our time management seminar, we covered the area of goal setting and you have a format to follow. Why not take some time this summer to set some goals for the fall. It seems easier to set quarterly goals than long range goals. But get the process started!


FUN

Irish for a day? Many people become Irish for one day on St. Patrick's Day. Why is that? Well, the holiday is all about celebrating what is good and having fun. So if you can be Irish for one day, could you start a new time management habit for one day? Of course you could. Maybe today you could start using a to do list, or you could start planning your day, or you eliminate one time waster. What ever you choose you can do it for one day and then the next day too!

Erin Go Braugh!


Trick or Treat!
As we celebrate Halloween I'd like to remind you of the "trick or treat" of your time. The "trick" is to make the most of it since we all have the same amount of time today, but do not know if we will have the same opportunities tomorrow. The other part of the "trick" is to live in the moment. Too often we spend a lot of energy worrying about the past or future and then we miss the present. The "treat" is taking control of your life and what you have in your life through better "self management."


Facts to Ponder

Simplify and Save or Gain Time! A lot of time can be wasted each day because we do not have simple systems or any system in place for repetitive tasks. Most people can save at least an hour a day, 5 hours per week, and 250 hours per year (that’s like re-capturing six work-weeks over the next year) by systematizing and simplifying what they do!

For example, using a single tool to manage our time such as an organizer, PDA or some other calendar system, working in an organized, uncluttered work area, maintaining our contacts list, and scheduling regular maintenance for ourselves are some of the simple habits we can create to buy us more time every day.


SOME INTERESTING FACTS

So how are you going to stay focused? Have a plan of what you want in your life and what is important to you and work your plan!

 

 

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