Guest Post by Nina Insinna, Founder of ninaclocks and this month’s Time Management Expert.
If you need to get something done, ask a busy person.
At first, it doesn’t make sense. After all, we’re ALL busy, right? But how organized are we….. Aha – that’s the rub. When we look around, we find a lot of stressed people, including ourselves. But an organized person is much more PRODUCTIVE than a ‘busy’ person.
At different points in my life I have been that organized, productive person. Raising my family on my own at a young age had its challenges and when my older daughter began college, I decided it was time for me to do the same. One semester I was taking 15 hours of class, attending weekly Toastmaster meetings, active in community theater, working, tending to my family. The secret? I was doing everything I loved to do, wanted to do, and the pieces fit into my daily life because I wanted them to. There was no struggle. But as one of my favorite philosophers says, “I can’t run at this pace very long.” Life is always there to rearrange!
Someone asks us to take on a task, volunteer, attend an event….we respond, “I’ll try”. Those words evoke feelings of pressure and stress. (And often we do NOT make the effort to do the task, attend the event because it was one more thing we had to put on our plate.
In addition to my mom, I had 2 friends that were great role-models.
We’re given a gift of 86,400 seconds (moments)/day to create our lives. That should make us happy, but again, it seems to have the opposite effect.
So what can we do to get the best out of our day, our life?
Probably the easiest thing to do it to make a list of what needs to be done each day. Make it the night before if that’s easier. And have FUN with it. Here’s a tip I learned from one of my friends decades ago: Put ‘make a list’ at the top. When you’re finished, go to the top of the list and cross it off. I still do that when I have a lot to do!
And be consistent. Maybe you need to make 2 lists: Have to do/ want to do….Many people work from home these days- don’t mix family and business: 2 lists: work / home.
Take it a step further- how long will it take to do a task? Put it into increments. EX: Work: make /return calls (40 minutes); check business email (20 minutes); work on marketing (90 minutes) DO NOT check personal email, FB, video games. Instead, give yourself break time between your tasks and stick to it. Best not to even go there, if you are easily distracted.
Another kind of list (Step 1): write down what you do each day-alarm goes off- when you actually rise; bathroom time, exercise, FB, surfing, email, games, all the way through the day.
NOW: make a pie chart. You will be astounded. And chances are, you will want to beat yourself up. Please don’t. Or if you do, mark how long that takes and see what a piece that takes out of your pie.
Finally- Cell phones: Mine has a feature called ‘voice mail’- really! We think we have to be there for everyone who calls, but the truth is, the phone is there for OUR convenience, not the caller. Yes, even a business call can be returned in a few minutes- not in the grocery store, the middle of a conversation with a person in front of you, and certainly not while driving. In my mind, when a business call goes to voice mail, it shows you are busy. That’s not a bad thing. You can even record a message that says, “I may be with a client, givingthem my full attention, as I will you, when I return your call as soon as possible.” If I were that caller, I’d find that message to be refreshing, even reassuring.
Now, smile and get started!
Thanks Nina for your great Tips & Strategies!
If you’d like to order your own ‘Ninaclock’ – click here.
They’re only $25 for my readers and you get Nina’s book – ‘Marlee’s Moment’s FREE!