Posts Tagged ‘time management’

You own your time!

I was watching a show on the weekend where Harry Belafonte was being interviewed. He was being asked for advice on how to be a social activist today. Of course, Mr. Belafonte has had a lot of experience as a social activist from his work during the civil rights movement to fighting apartheid in South Africa. The person who was speaking with him thanked his and he said something that has stuck with me – he said the pleasure was his and that time is the only thing can give anyone since it’s the only thing he truly owns.

I believe that’s a powerful statement. Do you feel like you own your time or do you feel like someone else has control over it. I know that my greatest points of frustration were times when I felt like my time wasn’t my own. I wasn’t consciously choosing where my time was spent. I was doing things that other people wanted me to do, or things I thought they wanted me to do without considering whether it was the best use of my time. By the time I figured out it wasn’t time well spent, I had already too far gone.

When I’m at my most fulfilled, I’m doing the things that are important to me. They’re either things that bring me joy, or things that are going to bring me closer to achieving my goals. The sweetest spot, is when the things that I’m doing that help me get closer to my goals are things that I enjoy J

I believe there are three things you need to do in order to really own your time:

  1. Get clear on the mission and vision for your life
  2. Know what your priorities are and why they are important to you
  3. Set boundaries based on your priorities

When you have these three points covered, you have clarity on the activities that are a good use of your time. You know what to say yes to and what to say no to. You reduce feelings of frustration and overwhelm which has a positive ripple effect on your relationships!

Regardless of how much control you feel you have over your time right now, the good news is that things can always change for the better. You want to take back control of your time? Get comfortable saying no. Create a plan for how you want your day to go and be mindful of interruptions and distractions. Ask for help.

Want some help getting started? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary, no obligation call with me today!

How I made June my most productive month

I’m not typically one to brag, but I’m pretty proud of myself and my accomplishments over the last 6 weeks. After canceling my live event in April, I was determined not to allow it to make the first half of the year a bust. I wanted to feel like I had made significant progress and I had 2 months to do it.

After licking my wounds and following up with everyone involved in the conference, I decided to take my own advice and pulled out my Level Up Journal. It’s a tool I have that prompts me to think about my 90 day goals, outline a plan and then tracks my progress twice a day.

As of today, I’m 2/3’s of the way through my first 90 days and feeling like a superstar 😉 Here’s what I’ve accomplished so far:

  • Posted 2 videos on my YouTube Channel
  • 2 speaking engagements (1 in-person, 1 in a Facebook Group I was invited to do a talk for)
  • 9 podcast interviews completed
  • 3 podcast interviews as a guest
  • Facilitated 2 workshops (in-person and online)
  • Weekly Facebook Lives on my business page
  • Launched my podcast!!!

How did I do this? Well they haven’t mastered cloning yet, and no one’s added an extra day to the week or a couple extra hours to a day, so it wasn’t anything magical 😉 I would say the big thing has been clarity and focus. I knew I wanted to launch my podcast and I knew that I wanted to do more videos in order to expand my visibility, so here’s what I did:

  • Set daily intentions for what I was going to do to get me closer to my goals
  • Set 2-3 daily tasks that were “must do’s”
  • Reviewed my progress and identified what wasn’t working on a daily basis
  • Made time for gratitude and positive thoughts
  • Didn’t allow set-backs to discourage me – kept my eye on the prize
  • Set a deadline for the podcast launch and announced it publicly to hold me to it

The crazy thing is I believe that I could have accomplished more if I really wanted to! These last 2 months have made it clear to me that it’s never about time. When we know what we want and have an idea of how to get started, all we have to do it take consistent action! The plan isn’t going to work itself and no one is going to do all the work for you.

If you want to achieve your goals bad enough, you will find a way and the time needed to make it happen. You won’t allow anything to distract you and any disappointments you may encounter won’t derail you. If you’ve been struggling and feel like the first half of the year wasn’t what you hoped it would be, let’s chat! You can schedule a time for a free, no-obligation call here.

Living the simple life

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Hanging out at the beach! 🙂

I’ve been in Jamaica for almost 2 weeks now. Taking 3 weeks off will make this the longest vacation I’ve ever taken. I’ll admit I had some hesitation about taking this much time off even though 2015 was such a busy year and I kept saying I needed to unplug for a while (of course you see the irony in that since I’m clearly not unplugged at the moment!).

Even though I’ve been doing work while away, I have to say it hasn’t been the same as doing work at home. First of all, I turned off my mobile service on my phone, so there are no calls coming in (the blissful silence!). I do have access to the Internet, but I don’t feel the need to check it all the time, and I’m really doing work at my leisure. No rush, no pressure, just when the inspiration hits.

I’ve taken morning walks in a park close to where we’re staying and even hit the beach a few times. The last 10 days have been a nice mix of relaxation and productivity. It makes me wonder if I can bottle this vibe up and bring it back home with me. Is it possible to simplify life without beaches, sun and palm trees?

While the long term goal is to live in this kind of setting, I’ve been thinking about how to recreate this energy when I get back home. 2015 was a year of busy-ness for me. It seemed like I was on the go non-stop; events, workshops, and trade shows peppered my calendar throughout the year. Not all of my busy-ness was productive though. Upon reflection, there were times when it seemed like I was busy just to be busy. This is something that I am changing in 2016. I don’t want to be busy; I want to be effective and productive.

What’s the difference, you may ask? For me, the difference is in using my time wisely. It’s about being clear about my intentions, what I want to accomplish and having a clear plan in place to make it happen. Flying by the seat of my pants used to be a way of life for me, and it’s time to make a change. I want to be more proactive this year, clear on what I am working towards and establishing priorities so that I remain focused regardless of what’s going on at the present moment.

Busy is overrated. Being too busy can lead to burnout. Stop being busy and focus on being productive. Make time for quiet contemplation. Be clear on your intentions each day. Turn off the phone and the computer for an hour or two. Spend time with loved ones, do something that brings you joy. Don’t wait for a vacation to enjoy life. Give yourself permission to do it now. You’ll be glad you did! ♥

Unfinished Business

I watched the movie Unfinished Business on the weekend. I won’t give too much of the movie away in this post. If done is better than perfect quote by Sheryl Sandberg facebookyou haven’t seen it and need some inspiration and motivation, you should definitely watch it!

This movie made me think about things in my own life that I’ve left undone or incomplete. So often we have dreams and goals that we start off very gung-ho about, and then life happens. Whether it was starting a new workout routine, healthy eating habits or starting your own business, how many things have you started but never seen through to the end?

This isn’t about beating ourselves up about it when it happens, it’s about looking at why they happen. Maybe you missed a workout, or indulged in something you knew wasn’t good for you. Too often when we make mistakes or things don’t go our way, we’re ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We give up without really putting our full effort and commitment into what we were working towards.

When this happens, I always feel incomplete. I look at that unfinished goal with regret. In the past, I’ve walked away from completing goals not because I didn’t want to achieve them anymore, but because I couldn’t see a way for it to happen. If there’s anything that I’ve learned from my own experiences and those of my clients and others around me, it’s that the way to make your goals happen is to focus on the goal and the “how” will reveal itself.

Sometimes we have to stop waiting for perfection or for the stars to align perfectly and just do it! I do believe that we can always find an excuse not to do something, but that’s just what they are, excuses. Many of the things we come up with in our minds are not actually factual. They are often based on fears, limiting beliefs, low self-esteem and/or self-confidence.

If there’s something you want to do and the opportunity presents itself for you to do it, take advantage of that and go for it! Don’t overthink it. Take some time to quiet the mind and listen to your inner guidance. You know what the answers are, we always do. We just have to trust ourselves enough to do what we are being called to do.

Life is a gift and time is a precious commodity. Do the things that are important to you. Don’t live a life of regret. It’s never too late to go back and finish those things that we have left undone. I had been trying to write a book since 2010. When I finally got in done in 2013, it was one of the most rewarding feelings. It can be done, it will be done, so why not start today? ♥

How are you using your time?

My experiences have taught me that it isn’t about how much time you have; it’s about what you do with it. How many times have you said that you would love to do something, but you just don’t have
BRIXXXenough time?
The truth is that we make time for the things that are important to us. The challenge is to be clear about what your priorities are at all times.

The challenge with our priorities is that there are usually 2 sets: what are priorities currently are, and what we would like them to be. If the two are not aligned, we experience frustration and overwhelm because we never seem to have time for the things that are important to us. We’re afraid of what it would mean for everyone else if we make our needs top priority.

We feel pulled in many directions because of the different roles we play: as a parent, a spouse or partner, son or daughter and business owner or employee. Each of these roles requires our time. Of course, there are always times when we can feel like we’re in the middle of the perfect storm, where everyone needs us at the same time. It can be a challenge not to feel selfish when putting our own needs above those of others. I dedicated an entire post to the subject earlier this year.

When we aren’t clear on our priorities, it’s easy to get distracted. We spend our time doing things that can’t and won’t get us closer to achieving the goals we want. Lack of focus not only gives us “shiny object syndrome”, it also makes it a lot easier to react to putting out other people’s fires. Being focused on what’s important to us makes it a lot easier to know when to say no and when to say yes.

When you know what your priorities are, you know what to focus your time on. The next time you catch yourself saying that you don’t have enough time, ask yourself is this important to me or not? If it is, make the time. It might mean waking up earlier or cutting down your television watching, but you do have the time, it’s just waiting for you to take advantage of it! ♥

Where does the time go?

It’s a question we hear often.  Whether it’s reconnecting with a friend after a long time, or seeing how quickly a niece or nephew is time-quotegrowing up, we are frequently reminded that time is passing by, regardless of what we’re doing with it!  Where does the time really go anyway?

If you’re like me, there are days when you can’t believe how much you got done.  It’s almost as if you were able to slow down the speed of time in order to get the most out of it.  However, there are other days, when time seems to be on fast-forward, and you feel like you were just getting started and the day is already over.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer those days when time appears to slow down and I’m able to cross many things off my to-do list and tasks that once seemed impossible are completed with ease.  What makes those days different from the days where it seems like nothing gets done?  For me, it’s about clarity on my priorities for the day and an action plan to get things done.

When you are able to block out distractions and focus on what needs to get done, it’s amazing how much can be accomplished.  Setting priorities helps you to manage your time more effectively.  When you know what’s important, it’s easier to say no to the things that pop up and try to make demands of your time.  It also helps you to move on when you’re stuck on something, because you know that there are other things that you can direct your energy to (which often helps in the solution seeking process).

We’re often left feeling like we don’t have any control over time, and that in fact it controls us.  Even then we can be guilty of taking it for granted, acting as if we have all the time in the world to do the things that matter to us.  This doesn’t have to be the case.   We just have to find a way to master our use of time.  We need to be honest about what we’re really doing with our time and if we’re using it to the best of our abilities.

We make time for the things that are important to us.  If you feel like you don’t have enough time to take care of the things that are most meaningful to you, it may be time to check your priorities.  Those things that are most important to you should get some of your time each day.  The things that are less of a priority can get your time a few times a week or for the month.  Clarity on what’s important to you is the first step to making sure your time is spent in the way you want it to be.  Isn’t that better than constantly wondering where the time went and feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything?

If you want help making the most of your time, join me on June 21 for my virtual workshop, Prioritize Your Life.  For more information and to register, click here.

Are you ready to rock 2014?

Can you believe that there are just 3 more days left in 2013?  How’s your plan for 2014 going?  If you haven’t started yet, don’t New_Year_wallpapers_Golden_new_year_2014_051646_worry, there’s still time!  You don’t have to plan out your entire year right now if that seems overwhelming.  Try starting out with a plan for the first 90-days of the year, and take it from there.

I’m trying something new for 2014.  I bought a dry-erase wall calendar and I’m plotting out all the things I want to do in the New Year.  I’m blocking off vacation time, events that I want to attend, as well as tentative dates for my workshops and other events I plan to host.  It may not seem like a big deal, but as a recent full-time entrepreneur, it is definitely helping me out!

When I left my full-time job this summer, I had a plan – write my book.  After that project was complete, I felt a bit lost.  I was so used to the day-to-day routine of a full-time job that I wasn’t sure how to cope with answering to myself as the boss!  I have gone back to doing something I had lost sight of in the last year or so – writing weekly to-do lists.  This has helped me to manage my time better and be more mindful of identifying the tasks that are going to help bring me closer to the achievement of my goals.  Having a calendar that outlines the next six months, never mind the entire year, gets me excited about all that I already have planned/scheduled and totally motivated to fill in the gaps!

I’m sure we’ve all heard it said that a goal without a plan is just a dream.  If you didn’t achieve all that you wanted to in 2013, then it’s time to rework the strategy for the New Year.  Make a plan, be flexible with it, and don’t forget to stay focused on the end result that you desire!  Remember to celebrate your accomplishments along the way and believe that all that you want for the New Year is possible!

If you’re looking for more tips and tools to make 2014 your best year yet, then join me on Monday December 30 for my complimentary webinar: 5 Keys to Making 2014 Your Best Year Yet!  Register here to get the call details.  2 lucky winners will receive a free download of my new book Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve! ♥