Monthly Archives: February 2011

5 Ways to Add 10 Extra Minutes

Do you ever find yourself wishing you had more time so you could do the things you enjoy? Finding the time to relax and unwind is crucial to achieving balance in your life. Here are 5 ways you can add 10 minutes to your day:

  1. Prepare for your morning the night before

  2. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a moment to sit at the kitchen table and enjoy a nutritious breakfast, a hot cup of coffee and read the newspaper instead of running around in a rush trying to get yourself and everyone else ready for the day? Try doing a few things the night before instead of in the morning:

    • Set up the coffee maker. If it’s a fancy one, program the timer to go off 10 min before you wake up.
    • Pack your lunch (and/or the kids’ lunches)
    • Lay out the clothes and accessories you plan to wear
    • Take a shower
  3. Limit your time on social media sites

  4. Sometimes these sites can be a dangerous time drain. There have been times when I sit down to check my Facebook or Twitter, and before I know it 30 minutes have flown by! Don’t make it a habit to compulsively check these sites every hour. Limit yourself to two or three times, and don’t let it go any longer than 10 or 15 minutes.

  5. Get help with household chores

  6. As they say, “many hands make light work.” Create a teamwork system for after dinner clean up or a quick house straightening. You’ll be surprised how much faster you can get things done with a little help.

  7. Don’t enter a store without a list

  8. Create a shopping list and stick to it. If you enter a store on a mission, you won’t waste time wandering around trying to remember what you need.

  9. Avoid the “Where are my keys?!” scavenger hunt

  10. Pick a place to put your keys or you phone and make it a habit to put it there every time. When you do this, you don’t waste time searching through pants pockets or calling yourself trying to locate your misplaced things.

What would you do with 50 extra minutes in your day?

To a happy, healthy, productive life!



Filed under Balance, Personal Productivity, Time Management/ Organization

What does your workspace say about you?

Whether it’s a little cubicle or the corner office, our workspaces are a place we spend a lot of time. For those of us with desk jobs, you likely spend more time at your desk than you do in your own bedroom. As you spend time there, it begins to become a personal space that reflects your work style or even personality. Is your workspace a serene, orderly environment conducive to productivity, or does it look something like a war zone?

You may be thinking, “Why does it matter what my workspace looks like? I’m the one who works there.” Even though you may be the only one who uses the space, you aren’t the only one who sees it. Unfortunately, whether it’s an accurate reflection of your work or not, your workspace, because it is so personal, can create an impression of the kind of employee you are. So, take a look around. What does your workspace say about the way you spend your time there?

Do you have stacks of miscellaneous papers? Post-its all over the walls and monitor? Dirty lunch Tupperware or food wrappers? This type of workspace gives the impression that you have a lot on your plate, and that you spend a lot of time (probably too much) at your desk. A disorganized, messy workspace gives a negative impression and may create an invalid perception of your productivity and quality of work. You probably wouldn’t invite your boss over to a messy home; the same mentality should also apply to your workspace.

A tidy, well organized workspace not only promotes focus and productivity, it also gives an impression that you are on top of your work. Piles of unfiled papers and random unused objects and supplies on your desk can be distracting and make it difficult to find what you actually need. By keeping your workspace clear and staying on top of your paper filing, you create constructive energy and a positive image.

If you take a couple minutes before you leave the office to put away the things that collected there during the day, keeping your workspace organized will be simple task. Sometimes this means just putting everything in that handy “junk drawer” until you have more time to file or sort properly, but ending the day with a clean workspace means starting the next day with a clean slate and is an easy way to manage impressions in the workplace.

To a happy, healthy, productive life!

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Filed under Professional Productivity, Time Management/ Organization

What Does Balance Mean to You?

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
-John Lennon

In my mind, balance is a healthy mixture of have-to-do’s and want-to-do’s on your To Do list. It’s not healthy, mentally or physically, for your life to be overrun by all the things you have to get done. You have to make an effort to incorporate the things you want to do into your schedule or it becomes dominated by your obligations. Imbalance can also occur in the reverse scenario in which you find yourself spending too much time lounging and putting off the things you need to get done. In either case, imbalance causes stress, anxiety, and negativity.

Balance can mean different things for different people. For the housewife, balance might be making the time between loads of laundry and taxiing kids to read a good book or go to the gym. For a business professional, balance could be regularly making an effort to completely unplug and focus on a hobby or even just watch a movie without interruption. It’s so important to be able to unwind and relax and take a moment (even if that’s all you can spare) to enjoy life.

When you create balance in your life, you have the opportunity to release stress and turn your focus to something other than work. Balance includes making time not only for yourself but also for the people in your life, whether it’s family, friends, or a significant other.

Here are some tips for achieving balance:

  • Achieving balance starts with setting your priorities. Identify what is most important to you; what do you value?
  • If you ever find yourself wishing you could do something, make time to do it! Pencil it into your schedule and make a commitment to yourself to make it happen.
  • Treat your want-to-do’s with as much importance as your have-to-do’s.The things you do for pleasure are often sacrificed to make more time for your obligations. Either schedule around them or save it for a different day, but don’t let the things you have to do take 100% priority in your life.

To a happy, healthy, productive life!

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Filed under Balance

The 3 Steps of the To Do List Process

I have chosen to title my blog “The Power of the To Do List” because I want to show you how something as simple as a To Do list can change the way you organize your life. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the To Do list is an all-powerful, magical secret weapon that is going to solve all your problems and end world hunger. It’s more about the process of creating the list and then tackling it that empowers you to be more productive and efficient with your time.

Here is the 3 Step To Do List Process that has the power to organize your thoughts and make your day more productive:

Step 1: Visualize

Put everything down on paper. All those things you are trying to remember, appointments, phone calls, meetings, due dates, and errands, write it all down. Don’t worry about the order or importance yet. Think of it as a brainstorming session. Write everything you have to do and when it has to be done. Being able to visualize your tasks gives you a better perspective of your actual workload. When you no longer have to try to remember all the stuff you have to do, it frees up space in your mind to think more clearly about how to get it all done.

Step 2: Prioritize

Now that you have everything down on paper, start a new list beginning with the items that need to get done first. During this step, keep in mind the time commitment required for each item. Sometimes quick tasks can be moved up higher on the priority list because they can easily be knocked out. On the other hand, don’t slide longer, undesirable tasks to the bottom of the list because this is a dangerous road to procrastination. You should end up with a nice structured list of To Do’s that gives you a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished and in which order.

Step 3: Conquer!

Start at the top of the list and begin tackling it one item at a time. Each time you finish a task, cross it off. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from conquering a To Do list. Whether it’s a thick black line through the whole item or a big red X at the beginning, everyone has their own way of checking things off the list.

A To Do list is just a visualization tool that allows you to simplify your thoughts and make your daily tasks seem more manageable. The fastest way to make the list smaller is to just get started so you can start crossing things off.

To a happy, healthy, productive life!

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Filed under Personal Productivity, Time Management/ Organization

Let’s get organized!

Let me start by asking you a few questions…

  1. Have you ever forgotten something important because you had so many things on your mind it slipped through the cracks?
  2. Have you lost sleep because you can’t stop thinking about all the stuff you have to do tomorrow?
  3. Have you arrived late because you didn’t plan ahead?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions, don’t worry, you are not alone. We live busy lives full of tasks and obligations, and the more booked our schedules get, the harder it gets to stay on top of it all. This is why I’m starting this blog. My goal is to provide you with useful tips and strategies that will help you get your life organized. There are so many tools available, from the simple To Do list to complex software applications that can help you manage your daily schedule and time efficiently. I plan to cover many of these in the future in hopes that you will find what works for you.

Once you have discovered this, you will find that you are no longer relying on your mind to keep everything straight. You will be able to plan according to your priorities and move through your day like a well oiled, task accomplishing machine. The most important reason to organize your life is so you can achieve something that is key to maintaining sanity…Balance. This is a topic that I also plan to emphasize often. It is vital to have balance in your life. If you are able to effectively manage your time, you will be able to squeeze in the things you enjoy. Life doesn’t have to be all about the things you have to do today, it needs to include those things you want to do too.

To a happy, healthy, productive life!

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Filed under Personal Productivity