Time Ticking Away?

 

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This morning on the way to work, that depressing song by Pink Floyd was playing on the radio – you know the one:  Time. David Gilmour sings: “Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time; plans that either come to naught, or half a page of scribbled lines. . . .” (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pinkfloyd/time.html)

I can relate. Time is slipping by like sand through a sieve. But what the heck can we do about it?  We certainly can’t stop time.  However, we can: manage it, savor it, and make the most of it.  

Managing time:

Focus Better with these Simple Tips

6 Ways to Set Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

The MindTools website provides 60 time management tools readers can use to “conquer time.”  

Savoring time: 

The Simple Thing that Makes the Happiest People in the World So Happy ( a worthwhile read if you can ignore the annoying pop-up ads at the site) 

 

 

Letting Go of Stuff Day

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 36 – 3/25/15

According to the Gone-ta-pott website, the 4th week of March is National Clutter Awareness Week, and March 25th is Letting Go of Stuff day. (Looking for fun and weird holidays, many of which you didn’t even know existed? Look no further than Gone-ta-pott.) 

Bea is going to celebrate this holiday by de-cluttering her home office. (This may take more than a day, however). She’s a big believer in clearing out the clutter – a few years ago, she actually wrote a song about how clutter was driving her crazy!   Her house is relatively organized, but her office?  Not so much. 

Her computer desk and the area surrounding it are filled with manila folders, half-read books about health and wellness, research notes, scraps of paper with ideas scribbled on them (that’s what happens when you get an idea in the middle of the night and have to write it down somewhere!)  There’s a table in this room, covered with more books, papers that haven’t been filed in her filing cabinet, magazines, photos to be scanned . . . . oh yea, there are also cobwebs.  Bea only notices those when her hubby points them out.  

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It drives her crazy and clutters her mind – and with a cluttered mind, she can’t get anything accomplished.  It also seems like the older she gets, the more she wants to simplify her life – she notices that there’s a lot of stuff in her house that she doesn’t even use! 

Decluttering for vital aging?  Yes m’am. “They” say (the experts, that is) that organizing your space can also help your mood and your mental health.  Take a look at this article for some tips on how to declutter not only your personal space, but your mind as well.  (Life Organizers is a pretty cool site:  it provides a ton of organizing advice, tips, checklists, etc.  

 Some scientists state that clutter can negatively affect focus and concentration.

On the other hand, some argue that people with messy workspaces may simply be more creative than their neater neighbors.  

What about you?  Do you like to surround yourself with stuff, or do you prefer to de-clutter? 

 

 

Bea’s Productivity Boost

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Bea had a goal for Labor Day week-end – Her goal was to actually accomplish something. But where to start?  That was the question.

First, she actually made a decision to become more productive.  Usually on week-ends, she makes a half-hearted attempt to do something that needs to be done; say, cleaning the house.  But soon, the siren call of her computer beckons – and before you know it, she’s updating her Facebook status, “liking” things her friends are posting, or (horror of horrors) attempting to complete a level on her newest game:  Pet Rescue Saga.

Once she actually made the commitment to productivity, she said “no” to multi-tasking; the bane of her existence!  Actually, multi-tasking is the bane of productivity.  We’ve all been programmed to believe that in order to accomplish a multitude of tasks, we need to do them all at once!  This my friends is an outright lie, perpetuated by our employers, who want to get the most work out of as few people as possible.

Finally, she sat down and focused on completing one thing at a time. She cleaned up the clutter in her computer room/office. She rolled up coins (she’s been saving her change for several months), and found something satisfying about adding up that change – for a whopping total of $124.  She and her hubby rearranged some furniture and created a computer workspace for his future designing ventures. Then she wrote an article for an article database, taking an hour and breaking it down into 10 minutes chunks of time.  She used each chunk of time to complete a specific writing task for that article.

Ok, so the stuff Bea completed may not be earth shattering, life changing breakthroughs. But it IS stuff she simply wanted to get done.  It made her feel happy to be productive (goes to show you how pitiful Bea’s life is, right?).

Want to become more productive?  Take a look at these tips:

From Robin Sharma’s blog:  21 Tips to Becoming the Most Productive Person you Know

From the New York Times:  Relax! You’ll Be More Productive

 

 

Four Self-Improvement Blogs

Want to empower yourself?

These four  blogs can make that happen:

The Self-Improvement Blog (written by Irene Conlan, MSN, PhD)   In a nutshell, this blog is all about taking care of yourself and finding your own happiness.  Categories include: Self-Improvement, Health and Happiness, Coping Skills, Self-Esteem.  You can find the Irene’s Self-Improvement Radio Show on this blog.

Pick the Brain (edited by Erin Falconer – with 200+ contributors) This blog focuses on self-improvement, focusing on “personal productivity, motivation, and self education.” I enjoyed her articles:

Live Bold and Bloom  (written by Barrie Davenport, a blogger I’ve admired for several years) Barrie is a certified Life Coach, who knows what she’s blogging about!  Categories on this blog include Relationships and Self-Improvement.  Try her free download:  The Bold Living Starter Kit

Barrie also created a course titled Simple Self Confidence, 30 Days to Personal Empowerment $127 for the 30-day course.

Dumb Little Man  Jay White (Pen name) started this blog, and he’s invited readers to submit articles and share their tips and ideas. This blog offers readers “Tips for Life,” and includes a variety of categories, including: Personal Development, Motivation, Earning and Saving Money, Health and Fitness and more.

Recent posts include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I Read Zen Habits

I recently found a great blog written by Leo Babauta. It’s called Zen Habits, and Leo describes it as “about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives.” I like the blog’s crisp and clean layout, which underlines Leo’s commitment to this simplicity. I also enjoy Leo’s writing style. 

Leo includes a “Beginner’s Guide to Zen Habits,” where he points out the most popular posts on his blog.
 
I printed out Leo’s “Simple Living Manifesto,” because life often seems to stressful, so filled with stuff to do – that I start wondering what’s important and what isn’t! Why am I running around like a hamster on a wheel?   
 
Leo’s “short list” from his Simple Living Manifesto mentions just two items:
 
1.Identify what’s most important to you.

2.Eliminate everything else.
 
And his long list identifies how to do those two things.  Since the list is long, (72 ideas), Leo suggests choosing the ones that apply to your life, and focusing on one idea at a time. 
 
I’ve also referred to Leo’s post that talks about motivating your way out of a slump, when I’ve suddenly hit a brick wall and can’t think of a single thing to write about mindset.   
 
So if you’re looking for a little inspiration, a lesson on how to simplify your life, or simply some good reading, you might want to give Zen Habits a try. 
 

Keep Pushing On – You CAN Do It!

 It’s been my experience that setting goals is usually not a problem for me.  I’ve always been okay at starting stuff.  I’ll get an idea in my head about something I want to accomplish, I’ll be excited about it, and I’ll start out like a bat out of you know where. 

The most difficult part, however, is the finishing part.  There have been many times in my life when I’d start a project and for one reason or another, give up on it.  I would:

  • Lose my enthusiasm
  • Get lost in self-doubt
  • Try to accomplish too much at once, losing my focus

Here’s an example of something I started a couple of years ago and never finished.  I decided I wanted to write an E-book, self-publish it and make a ton of dough.  I was excited and enthusiastic – I was going to write a book about “Happiness,” that elusive goal we’re always reaching for.  I told all my friends I was going to do it – I did a ton of research – I developed a survey and asked my friends to send it to their friends so I could get other women’s input.  And I did start to write it.  I got maybe a couple of dozen pages written.  Then that old self-confidence wavered.  I got scared.

It sounded lame to me.  It sounded preachy.  It sounded like every other book about happiness out there, and you know as well as I do, there’s a ton of them out there!

Yet, I still want to write that E-book! 

So I’m not giving up on my dream to write to be an author.  I just decided to take a detour and start this blog.  I wanted to find my voice, and see if I could build up a readership.  I wanted to write from a humorous viewpoint – and find out if others thought  I was actually funny. (I crack myself up, but could I crack others up?)   I wanted to do something and stick to it!

When I get discouraged, I read books by Napoleon Hill or W. Clement Stone, two of my favorite “positive mental attitude” authors.  At night, before I go to bed, I listen to inspirational CDs that I ordered from Brain Sync to “retrain my brain.”

When I lose my motivation, I try some tips from Leo Babauta’s Get Off Your Butt  post from his Zen Habits blog, which, by the way, is a cool place to go to learn how to become more productive. Terence Young wrote 7 Tips to Get You Motivated (I like tip #3, “Get a timer and tell yourself you only have to work for fifteen minutes, which has worked for me).

Bea’s Book Recommendations:

Bea’s Blog/Website Recommendations:

I love to be inspired and motivated!  Do you have any favorite motivational books, quotations, or blogs? 
I’d love to hear about them.

Bea, not giving up!
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Taking Time To Focus

I’ve often been guilty of blaming a “lack of time” as an excuse for not getting things done.  But when I really think about it, that isn’t my problem.  No, my problem is not lack of time, but rather, lack of focus

I’ll think to myself, “Okay, today after work I’ll do some research on the internet on that topic I want to write about on my blog.” Or I’ll say, “I’ll spend Saturday afternoon writing several posts so that I won’t be writing them at the last minute.” 

But it often doesn’t work out that way.  I simply get distracted.  I’ll sign on to the internet and I’ll see those AOL news blurbs on my home page and jeez, doesn’t that one about Sandra Bullock and her hubby look interesting? And oh my gosh, Ricky Martin has come out of the closet!

Then of course I just have to check my two email accounts to make sure I don’t miss important notification that I’ve won the South African lottery, and if I just send King So and So a check for, say, $5,000, he’ll send me my millions RIGHT AWAY! And how can I take the chance of missing a very important forward that I have to send to 10 friends or I’ll have bad luck for life. *Gasp.

And of course there’s Facebook – which wouldn’t be that bad if I hadn’t foolishly signed on to become a farmer at Farmville. I cannot go a day without checking my crops! My hubby and I were out of town this week-end and when I came back I had 20+ (count ’em) gifts waiting for me from my farming friends! Me, farming?? What’s that all about?

Finally, right after I sit down at my computer to write a great blog post, I start thinking about all the other stuff that needs to be done – like start a load of wash, load or unload the dishwasher, empty the dryer and fold clothes . . .

Jeez, it’s a wonder I ever get any writing done!

Distractions, my friends, will ruin my ambition to become a famous writer.

If I can ever pull myself away from all this stuff,  I can read this post by Henrik Edberg and learn about the importance of focus. He states that “what you focus on – both in the long term and in your daily life – makes a world of difference.” Henrik also talks about how to improve focus.

The Success Conscious website provides some great tips I can use to improve my concentration here.

Sam Horn, author of a book called ConZentrate, talks about five FOCUS tips in this article.

If you could use some tips on how to improve your productivity, check out my time management post. (Hey, maybe I have to read that post again!)

So what about you?  How’s your focus?  I’ll happily read your comments – but first I have to check my emails!

Time Is On Your Side (Not)

This is the thing I hate about getting older: Time goes too darn fast! It’s downright scary.

Remember when you were in elementary school and the school year went on forever?

As a freshman in high school, senior year seemed a hundred years away. You could barely hang on until you reached sixteen so you could drive.

After you graduated, you couldn’t wait until you were 21 – yea, then you’d be an “adult.” How cool would that be?

When I was young, I tried to run up that hill of life, in a rush to reach all those milestones. What the heck was I running for?  When I got to the top, I slipped, and started rolling down the other side, faster than a speeding bullet!

When I talk to people my age and older, we often ruminate about how quickly time goes now. We can’t figure it out, and we can’t stop it.

Sigh.

So here I am, pondering how to manage my time, and father time is laughing behind my back. (OK, he’s laughing in my face!)

Since I can’t control how fast time is going, and I want to accomplish so much, (you know, before it’s too late!) I have to learn to be more productive with the time I do have.

We all have the same amount of hours in a day, but did you ever notice that some people get a lot accomplished with those hours, while others of us simply can’t find the time to get anything done?

I never seem to get “around to it.”

I never find the time at home to do all those things I really want to do:

  • Organizing the basement.
  • Filing important papers.
  • Organizing family photos onto CDs.
  • Working on my writing projects.
  • Reading all the books on my “Gotta Read” list.

How about you? Do you say to yourself, “If only I had more time, I would (fill in the blank).”

There is hope, you know. Even if we can’t control how fast time goes by, we can take charge of our time.

I like Sam Zolin’s “6 Simple Tips to Improve Personal Productivity.”

Get tips for organizing your time at work and at home here.

Managing your time can also help you manage stress.

And of course I don’t want to forget to stop all my activities once in awhile and just BE.
Be present. Be happy. Be content just being alive.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Check out Salvatore Vuono’s portfolio at:
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