Becoming more efficient

Becoming more efficient

Time management isn’t about finding more hours in the day—it’s about making the most of those you have. The best thing that you can do to manage your time is to stop hunting for spare minutes and start thinking about how to become more efficient. When facing a task that just doesn’t seem to fit into your tightly packed schedule, there are a few questions that you can ask yourself: How can I complete this task in less time? Sometimes we are so busy looking for an extra thirty minutes to complete a task that we don’t realize that it could be done in ten. Make sure you aren’t over-researching, over-analyzing, or just plain over-thinking what you’re trying to do. Some fish will grow to fit the size of their tank. Tasks will do the same thing. If you’re convinced that putting the groceries … [Read more...]

4 Principles to Keep Your Space Neat and Tidy

4 Principles to Keep Your Space Neat and Tidy

There is a distinction between being “neat” and being “organized.” For example, the Denver Water Board, one of my clients, brought me to organize a “National Clean off Your Desk Day” (yes, there is such a day!) contest. This “holiday” always falls on the second Monday of January each year. We had three categories: most organized, most improved, and messiest office. I took “before” photos of each person’s office. Next, I gave a seminar on getting organized and putting systems in place. Contestants had one week to get organized. Then I took an “after” photo. We posted the “before” and “after” photos on the employee cafeteria wall, and employees voted on the “most improved.” I, however, was the sole judge of the “most organized” and “messiest office” categories. I went to the office of a wo … [Read more...]

Break Larger Projects into Smaller Tasks

Break Larger Projects into Smaller Tasks

Let’s say this is your to-do list for a Saturday: • Water plants • Pay the mortgage bill • Buy new reading group book • Return socks to Wal-Mart • Put up new border in James’ room Which of the five things will you most likely have accomplished during the day? If you’re like most people, you’ve completed everything but the last—the one you’ve had on your list for five months. Most people are inclined to knock off the little items first, rarely getting to the bottom of the list and getting the “big” things done. Why? “Put up new border in James’ room” is too big. So is “Get photo albums arranged.” So is “Get balloon down stuck in eighteen-foot high ceiling fan.” Each involves multiple steps. If you don’t break them down, you will not be able to systematically crack at them. You must … [Read more...]

Best Practices of the Resident Social, Child, and Family Coordinators

Best Practices of the Resident Social, Child, and Family Coordinators

I’d love to hear from the men on this one, but at least in my circle, why does it seem that the woman is the social coordinator in the family? I’m not kidding when I say my husband wouldn’t have any friends if it weren’t for me. We wouldn’t have any couple friends, either. I’ve tried to sit back and see if John would reach out to our couple friends to schedule a get-together. But even when he and the man in the couple are close, no dice. He’s perfectly willing to be told, “We have a dinner date tonight” and go with the flow. Kind of makes me crazy, but I do get to see who I want, when I want, so I’m not exactly complaining. BUT being social coordinator does put an extra responsibility onto my already-full plate. Here are a few ways I handle these responsibilities that might be helpf … [Read more...]

Make Productive Use of Driving and Commuting Time

Make Productive Use of Driving and Commuting Time

Travel time can seem like wasted time! I like being a passenger in a car much better than a driver because I can observe the scenery, read a magazine, and catch up on phone calls. As the driver, you can’t do anything (safely) that requires your hands or eyes. You’re strapped into your car seat without much to look at except the bumper in front of you. So there’s nothing you can do, right? Wrong! Try these activities during long commute times: Use the phone. Now I’m one of those people who get aggravated while people are chatting away on their cell phones while driving…generally because they’re not, well, driving. Many people have no idea how slowly they’re going while they’re on the phone. Plus talking on the phone has proven to be unsafe, and many states have passed ordinances agains … [Read more...]

Control Your Technology…Don’t Let It Control You

Control Your Technology…Don’t Let It Control You

Today’s children spend an average of 15 hours a week watching television, playing video games, and surfing the Internet. Is there any wonder why childhood obesity has risen at alarming rates? Laptops, PDAs, pagers, cell phones…the technological devices that were supposed to make our lives simpler are taking away our lives. We’re working harder to keep up with our own inventions. The “always available” nature of technology wreaks havoc in some people’s personal lives. The price of being available 24-7 is the loss of time for loved ones, reflection, relaxation, and spiritual growth. It’s time we asserted control over technology and used it to enhance our lives, rather than robbing our lives of sacred time. Limit your television watching. When I was a child, I was allowed to watch two hours … [Read more...]