Planning: One Big, Powerful Secret for Finding the Time You Need!

Planning is ChoosingPlanning, or more specifically, time planning, is the kind of topic that you’ve probably read about on lots of time management blogs.

In fact, you may be tempted to stop reading because  [Read more…]

Productivity Boosts: Try This Tip and Tool for Finding Time

Productivity Tip and ToolProductivity is on many people’s minds when Monday rolls around. How do you enter the new week?

Do you set aside time to review your plans and to-do lists?  Do you move ahead planfully to maximize your productivity – or do you jump right in and sort things out later? [Read more…]

Resolutions or Plans: How Do You Frame Your Goals for 2013?

resolutions or plansResolutions are on many people’s minds as 2012 winds down and a New Year gets underway.  But how do resolutions work for you?

For many – or maybe most – of us, resolutions boil down to what one person recently posted,  [Read more…]

Find Time to Really Do Your To Do List -3 Powerful Time Tips

Finding time to complete the items on your to-do list is an ongoing challenge. Sometimes those lists become so challenging in and of themselves that we want to avoid them … and that’s not a good idea!

Have you run into problems with managing these lists for yourself? I have a friend who jots ideas and tasks on scraps of paper and sticky notes, putting them in her date book as the day goes on.  she captures a lot of material that way, but, as you can probably imagine, by the end of most days that date book looks like it’s filled with confetti! Sometimes the notes fall out, or get covered by other notes.

So, yes, it’s a challenge to keep up with it all.

That’s why I encourage any and everyone to take time — even just five minutes — at the beginning and end of the day, to plan, prioritize/consolidate, and review your list (or lists).

Each piece of this process is important, so let’s focus on each separately with these 3 Powerful Time Tips:

Finding time to plan is like scanning the landscape from up in the air. You need to get the lay of the land, note any barriers, and decide on your route. Really, what you’re determining is how you’re going to travel through your day.  This is the most important part of your process – without it you’ll be embarking on your journey without a compass– and I guarantee, you’re going to get lost!

When you’re navigating your day, it’s really important to know where you’re starting, where you want to end up, and the major intersections and turning points along the way.

Having a plan doesn’t mean that there won’t be a need to make changes as the day unfolds. It simply gives you a map. Ideally your map will include alternate routes for any unforeseen contingencies.  You don’t need to go into a lot of detail about those routes, but it’s important (and reassuring) to know that they’re there.

And don’t forget the “Times 2 Rule” when you plan! No matter what the task, it’s good to assume that it will take at least twice as long as you predict.  (And what a gift to yourself, if you end up with a little extra time at the end of the day!)

Finding time to prioritize and consolidate your tasks is another very helpful time management skill to develop. Again, you needn’t spend a lot of time on this. As you look at your plan for the day or your To Do List, highlight the three tasks that you absolutely want to accomplish on this day.

Also, if you’ve got any tasks that can easily be put together, be sure to connect them. This might include things like errands that involve stops close to one another, putting all of your computer-related tasks in the same time slot, etc.

And if you maintain your To Do List or Daily Plan on a computer you can rearrange your tasks as you consolidate and create your priorities.  Having a clean list makes things a little easier and less stressful for yourself.

Last but not least, finding time to review at the end of the day is very important! It gives you an opportunity to tweak your to do list for the next day, adjust your priorities, reflect on any lessons learned, and let go of it all as you had to bed.

Letting go is a wonderful gift that this process allows you to give yourself.  As your head hits the pillow, you can release any worries that you might be carrying, knowing that they are on your list and will be addressed in the morning.  Your sleep will be more restful, and you’ll have more energy as your day begins!

So, are you ready to start really DOING what’s on your To Do List?  Consider giving these 3 Powerful Time Tips a try … and I’d love to hear how it goes for you.

And here’s something more to consider.  You can now access our Time Finder posts in real time … right on your Kindle.   Try it out for 14 days FREE!  You’ll receive new content wirelessly, on your Kindle, every time we post!

So, what if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up for your FREE Finding Time Success Kit. It puts 3 key tools for your time success right into your hands! Claim it and see how you can recharge your energy, reduce overwhelm and frustration, and come to learn that 24 hours really ARE enough!

Let’s explore time together …

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Finding Time to Outsmart Your Nastiest Time Gremlins!

Finding time can sometimes feel like a race around countless roadblocks that pop up, can’t it?

One of the trickiest obstacles you’re likely to encounter as you journey through your day is best described as the collection of personal challenges that I call Time Gremlins.  Just as you’d expect from their name, they tend to be crafty trouble-makers … and because they’re so hard to see, you may run right into them at full speed.

Oh, and they’re especially difficult to sidestep when you harbor doubts about their very existence … so read on, I think you’ll find this helpful …

In my experience, Time Gremlins are real, AND they are universal. What do I mean by that?  I mean that they’re hiding out inside of each of us at all times.

If it’s clarifying, you might think of them as the voices of your time issues.  Whatever you find most challenging, when it comes to time management, those gremlins stand ready to exploit and amplify.

You know you’ve bumped up against your time gremlins when their messages sabotage your priorities, tangle your plans, and spoil your pleasure in your time choices. Because they’re invisible, these voices inside you often can run riot – that is, until you intercept them.

To block each one, it’s important to be patient with yourself.  This is hard work, and you will advance … all the better if you take it one tiny step at a time. As you become more and more skilled in battling your time gremlins, you’ll be very pleased with the results! So let’s begin to look more closely at this.

How Can You Start Recognizing Your Time Gremlins?

Well, for starters you need to know where to look.  Being tricky creatures, your Time Gremlins usually hang out in your blind spots.  Things like unexamined feelings and ideas about time are great grist for Gremlins!  They might be ideas or messages that you’ve carried from childhood.  Wishful thinking also provides a fertile breeding ground for these crafty critters.

Bottom line: Their effect is universal. They steal your power! And they feel like they’re outside your control (although they aren’t, of course).

Stay tuned … In my next blog post I’ll provide a quiz to help you identify which Time Gremlin is currently blocking your progress.  Once you recognize the culprit you are well on your way to outmaneuvering your gremlin and no longer letting your plans be foiled!

For now, simply note when your plans mysteriously lose momentum or direction. Pay particular attention to the times when you can’t put a finger on what went wrong. Even jotting down a few sentences will help you recall the incident, and then you can use these examples when filling out the upcoming quiz.

Are you inspired to address your time challenges so you can find more time and increase your effectiveness, efficiency, enjoyment … and heart-based success?

Then, I invite you to explore Secrets of Heart-Based Time Management – my chapter in the book I co-authored – Stepping Stones to Success!  In it I share my proven system for harnessing the power of your mind, your body and your spirit to help you explore your patterns, clarify your values, identify and prioritize your goals … and create your path for achieving them.

The in depth interviews contained in this book provide practical and heart-based ideas to get you moving as you embrace yourself and your own uniqueness!  As one reader has said:

In fostering a climate of ever-expanding and deepening discovery, Paula’s system offers solutions that are founded in self-knowledge. They have a resonance and a wisdom that I find to be very unusual in the time management sphere.  Jordy Cornog, Canterbury, NH

You can give yourself the gift of this wonderful resource today, and get started on your journey toward success, Stepping Stone by Stepping Stone …just click this link to get the details!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up for your FREE Finding Time Success Kit. It puts 3 key tools for your time success right into your hands! Grab it and see how you can recharge your energy, reduce overwhelm and frustration, and come to learn that 24 hours really ARE enough!

Let’s explore time together …

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Finding Time: Is This Discipline or Rigidity? Some Tips on How to Tell

Finding time to get everything done requires that you do some planning.  If you don’t, you’ll be at sea in the midst of a floating array of seemingly random (and demanding) tasks, priorities, and dreams.

And planning requires both focus and flexibility.  I emphasize flexibility because so often, when we develop plans, our attitude is that we need to stick to them no matter what!

There’s a whole world of difference between disciplined follow-through and rigidity. Think about how you feel when met by someone else’s rigid response to a change.  Do sparks fly?  Do you seethe inside?  Do you feel responded to or rebuffed?

That’s what can happen when your PLAN becomes your priority … rather than whatever your priority actually was to begin with.  When you’re moving toward rigidity, you are becoming so committed to your PLAN that you let other parts of your life suffer. Relationships can be the first casualty.

So how do you learn to tell the difference between when you’re being focused-but-flexible and when you’re being rigid in your daily living?

Well, first off, have you thrown your judgment out the window? Follow-through builds trust and is very, very important.  However, follow-through “no matter what” means that you are not really taking responsibility for exercising judgment and making adult choices.  Circumstances sometimes DO interfere with our plans.  That is a reality of human life.

So, being realistic about your planning and factoring in some flex time can leave space for the unexpected and can actually PROTECT the flow of your day!

When you are feeling rigid, view it as a red flag.  It’s telling you that you are trying to focus but have lost your balance.  This can happen to anyone!  When you notice this happening, take a deep breath and step back.  Ask yourself …

  • “What are my central commitments?”
  • “How can I adjust to what is happening in this moment?”
  • “Is there anything I can let go of right now?”

Maybe you will shift things around; and maybe you won’t.  The important thing is to check in with yourself and own your choice.  The red flag helps you pause and readjust your perspective.

Focus and flexibility are skills you can build! As you do this skill-building, you’ll find that self-reference is one of your best allies. Keep checking in with yourself to find your balance.  You’ll feel more and more comfortable and agile, as you navigate your day by flexing here, and holding firm there.

Finally, always reflect on your results – not with a critical eye, but with friendly objectivity.  This allows you to build on your experience and deepen your trust in yourself and your judgment.

Do you find it easy to feel balanced when it comes to focus and flexibility?  Or do you fall back on rigidity to maintain your boundaries and get things done?  Ready to try something different?  I’d love to hear your experiences with this whole area … and what you think!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up for your FREE Finding Time Success Kit. It puts 3 key tools for your time success right into your hands! Grab it and see how you can recharge your energy, reduce overwhelm and frustration, and come to learn that 24 hours really ARE enough!

Let’s explore time together …

Finding Time to Revise A Holiday Tradition? Just Ask Paula!

Finding time to create templates so that you can efficiently follow through on your holiday tasks, routines, and traditions is an excellent, time-saving tool.

But how do you find time to keep your templates up-to-date?  And what do you do when you want to revise them … but you’re not the only person affected? That’s exactly the question we recently received from Janet Smith, writing from Providence, RI:

Dear Paula,

I have really appreciated your posts and e-zine articles about how to use templates to move through the holidays with greater ease.

For several years now, I’ve been thinking about suggesting a change in one of our family rituals. This may bring up feelings for others, and it also would mean changing the templates.

How do you suggest I go about doing this?

Sincerely, Janet

This is a great question, not only for the Holiday Season but for any time that you are considering a change in a routine or tradition … a change that will involve others and which they are likely to have feelings and opinions about.

Dear Janet,

It is positive that you are willing and open to changing your holiday traditions. As our lives evolve, it is important to consider this possibility.

You are correct in noting that others are likely to have feelings about this.  Any change in routine will generally bring up feelings – and that goes double (or maybe even triple) for the holidays.

So, one thing to consider is that it is helpful and important to not initiate a change right when the holidays are upon you and your family. Instead, I would suggest that you select a more neutral time – say, July – to propose any changes. This way, the emotions from the holiday season are less likely to interfere with making decisions.

When you propose your change, also solicit ideas from all who are involved. Make concrete suggestions about the changes you would like to see. Encourage feedback, discussion, and alternative proposals.  And it is important that you do all of this with a genuinely open mind.  The change that you have proposed may not, in the end, be the one that everyone agrees on.  Will you be okay with this?

Once the changes are agreed upon, you can go ahead and modify your holiday template to reflect the new traditions.

I suggest that you also make copies of this template to share with interested family members. It will help confirm the consensus and prepare everyone for the new rituals.

Finally, please let me know how it goes for you – I’d love to hear!  Hope this is helpful to you in your holiday planning, and throughout the year.

Warmest regards,


Want to learn more about finding time to make more proactive time choices – not just during the holidays but throughout your year?

You can still sign up and access all of the excellent information that we covered in our Teleclass on November 16th. Dr. Melissa McCreery and I discussed “Holiday Thriving: How to Take Charge of Stress, Overwhelm, and Overeating During the Holiday Season. For some practical tips for staying on track with your healthy lifestyle while decreasing your stress, sign up and we’ll send you the FREE MP3!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up for your FREE Finding Time Success Kit. It puts 3 key tools for your time success right into your hands! Grab it and see how you can recharge your energy, reduce overwhelm and frustration, and come to learn that 24 hours really ARE enough!

Let’s explore time together …