My Organizing Obsession: Color

 

Organizing by color

 

Have you noticed how colors make us feel? It might be the color of your favorite outfit or the bright blue sky against a white cloud.  Color makes a difference for me and my clients and that’s how it became my organizing obsession.  I love that color makes us happy and helps us be organized and productive.  Here’s my long list of why I love color.

 

Categorizing

Color creates distinctions in how we view organizing and productivity. My clients rely on visual cues to help them create a category and maintain it. When filing, use files that are designated by color.  An example of this is using green files for money or financial related files.  Your filing system might be notebooks and you can use the green notebook for financial documents.  Each category for filing can be a different color and represent a different area of your filing.

 

Color is a common choice for categorizing clothes. You can easily organize your closet with ROYGBIV, colors of the rainbow. Use a single colored hanger to set off your color clothes or use a certain color hanger for a certain type of clothes. It’s remarkable how happy you feel when you enter your closet and how easy this is to maintain.

 

Big families often categorize their kiddo stuff by color. Assigning a color by kid makes it easy to keep their stuff together. As a twin, my color was blue and my sister Ann’s color was red.  For families, you can assign a color using waste baskets, laundry baskets, hanging files or whatever you need to keep organized.  It’s great for your family calendar to keep color coded by kiddo what’s happening this month.

 

It’s easy to use color for productivity too.   In your calendar and on your email, this is an easy way to categorize your tasks.  Not every task needs a designation. Your most important work or who you work  with can be a single color to keep your calendar simplified.   A key of your categories organizes who does what, your big picture goals, or important information from a colleague or boss too!

 

Color = happy!

Client after client has told me how they love and use color too. More often than not, I hear “I use yellow because it makes me happy.”  We pair happy colors with happy thoughts and happy outcomes.  When you think of the color of a space you work or live in, let’s make that space happier, more organized and more productive with a happy color.  That coat of paint might be all you need to be more effective and efficient.

 

Color coordinated baskets appear more organized. It’s a simple camouflage technique for areas that get a lot of use. Pair two happy colors in a space to maximize the organization there.  It establishes organization in looking coordinated and organized.  Carrying a color between two spaces is a visual clue for their connection.

 

A word of warning here on where I don’t use color: my label maker. Simple, single color labels make it easier to read. I use only white labels with black letters to make my labels with my label maker.

 

 

How have you used color to keep more organized?  If  you haven’t check out my pinterest boards to see how!

 

Check here for more of My Organizing Obsession!

ADHD Resources

adhd resources

 

When I start working with a new ADHD client, my first step is to share resources that will help them, their family and their colleagues understand more about ADHD and brain based conditions.  I am a student of all  things ADHD. I love gathering practical tips, information and resources.  Sharing ADHD resources is what I do!

 

It was exciting to attend the CHADD and ADDA conference, known as the International Conference on ADHD.  It’s billed as “your one-stop shop for a world of expert insight on the latest in ADHD treatments, advancements, research, and more.”  It was a 3 days of powerful learning from authors, consultants, researchers and professional organizers.  Attendees are clinicians, social workers, productivity and organizing professionals, and those with ADHD.  I’d like to share a bit of what I learned and some resources for you to learn from as well. Each of these presenters offers programs, books and other options for learning more about your ADHD.

 

Research

Ellen Littman, PhD spoke on the topic of Females with ADHD Across the Lifespan.  The presentation focused on women’s research and the interplay of neurology, genetics, hormones and social conditions.  Her research highlighted how executive function, the ability to organize, plan, initiate and complete tasks was different than the same scenario for men.  As a practitioner, this information explained much. My takeaway was how important it is to share with my clients that the ADHD brain is different in a good way.

 

Stephanie Sarkis, PhD talked about More Than Just Medication.  Ms Sarkis shared how nutrition and exercise play important roles in self care.  If you have not had success with your medication, follow Ms. Sarkis to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and healthy supplements.

 

Relationships

Melissa Orlov presented the topic Diminishing Anger in Relationships Impacted by ADHD.  Ms. Orlov is a well known author on marriage and relationships.  The presentation focused on communication, strengths and practical tools. Ms. Orlov shared practical ways to diminish feelings of anger and improve communication.  Here I learned that by focusing on how to best communicate is based on how two individuals weave their partnership.

 

Technology

Judith Kohlberg, shared information about ADD and Digital Distraction.  Here Judith shared proactive tips to work productively with alarms, structured work spaces and technology that helps.  Ms Kohlberg reminded me the power of timers. There are many different fun timers on your phone, such as the bomb alarm and the AidaReminder that can help remind you, help you transition or help you create a new routine. Ms Kohlberg also reminded us to expand your idea of organizational support to include other people, such as a professional organizer, body double, tech tamer or ADD coach.

 

Productivity

Terry Matlen MSW presented Distracted and Disorganized.  Ms Matlen asked audience members to share their own sure fire ways to conquer distraction and disorganization at home and at work.  Audience members appreciated learned from each other.  In Ms Matlen’s audience, I learned that my clients with ADHD are resourceful, creative and can get the job done. It’s up to you to set the structure that works best for you.

 

Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton CPO presented Three Common Mistakes People Make about Time Management.  Cris’s engaging presentation included time for the audience to review their best work time and slot in how to be more productive.  It’s much easier to accomplish more by using your high energy time, setting boundaries on distractions and helping others set  up these systems in compliment to your productivity.

 

Want to be immersed in learning about ADHD?  The International Conference on ADHD is the place to go!

 

Learn more ADHD tips here! Join my newsletter! 

 

9 Ways to Make Habits Stick

make habits stick

 

 

The new year brings with it the promise of a great start! It’s not always goals that are our focus, it can be habits. According to Charles Duhigg, habits are the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives.  It’s where we set ourselves up for success in making small, daily patterns that lead to our final goals.  However, it’s all what holds us back. Too many times we fail to get our habit to stick and we don’t have the success we want.   Your new year goals may include habits that have to do with weight loss and healthy habits or organizing and better productivity. Here’s a few ways that help our habits stick this new year.

 

Plan your work and work your plan.

It’s that famous saying, a “dream is without a plan is just a  wish.”  Not only do you need to make a plan, you must write it down. By working through the steps,  you can see where your success starts and failure is not an option.  It’s in the details that you will find that most success in planning your work.  Your plan also includes the words you tell yourself about your new habit.  Positive self talk trains your brain to think and act on your new habit.  Your brain will believe what you tell it!  Plan your work down to the details to be sure you know when and where you will do this new habit.

 

Start with a micro habit

What’s the smallest first step you can take to create a habit? It’s a micro habit.  Break your habit into the tiniest first step and get started with that piece to set your habit into consistent motion.  Getting to the gym requires getting the clothes for the gym, or your sneakers for your walk.  Eating healthy means making a list of healthy food options.  Start your organizing with a daily declutter of 5 items or setting up a box for where decluttered items go.  Get the smallest step done and then add the next step.

 

Connect the dots

The best habits occur in succession. One dot leads to the next.  Start with an existing habit that naturally connects to a new habit.  If you want to take your vitamins each night, leave them by the toothbrush where you brush your teeth each evening.  It’s easier to go to the gym if it’s on the way from  your work to home.  It’s called hooking a habit  See where you can connect the dots.

 

Rewards of new habits

It’s an age old way to create a new habit, however it could work for you. What reward will you give yourself for a certain number of successes with your new habit? What is enough of a reward?  How will you measure your success to get that reward?  There’s an app for this too!

 

Get motivated

Are you inspired by blogs, podcasts or books? Here’s a few references to learn more about habits.  There’s always one small life hack that can make learning one new habit easier.  These experts on habits can give you insight into what to do next, how to be successful and why habits matter.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Book by Stephen Covey
5 Strategies for Building New Habits, podcast by Michael Hyatt
Productivityist, podcast by Mike Vardy
10 Things to Avoid, blog by Zen Habits
How Simple Mini Habits, by Tiny Buddha

Limit choices

Research shows the more choices we have, the harder it is to stick to our plan and create a new habit. If we have too many options, we lose track of our original habit we are creating.  Start with your new “rule” for your habit. That rule should be unwavering. It’s a rule like, don’t order french fries with your meal or drink water with every meal.  The more you practice the one choice you give yourself, the easier it is to create that habit.

 

Assess obstacles

What obstacles are in the way with creating a habit? Is it a time issue, a money issue or another issue? When you assess the obstacle you can break through what’s holding you back.

 

Design your space

Creating a space the encourages your success helps make habits stick. How so?  Set up your space to flow from one habit to the next. If you want to take your medicine at bedtime, place it by your toothbrush.  Have a water bottle always handy to be sure you drink 8 glasses a day.  Your running shoes and clothes should be packed and ready to go each day to be sure you get there. All these small space designs can help you stay true to your habits.

 

Get your cue

Charles Duhigg’s strategy relies on a “Habit Loop”  that includes a cue for your habit, the routine of the habit and a reward for your habit.  Your cue can be an alarm or a post it note.  Your reward can be just about anything from meeting a friend for coffee to soaking in a bubble bath.  Using this strategy works from the basic reward premise of us as humans.

 

This topic has been on my mind a lot!  Here’s more ways to make your habits stick.

Morning Routines That Calm The Family Chaos

 


 

Last week we joyfully subbed in for our kids as we got our grand kiddos off to school. While we had this job full time many years ago, it’s a new world currently to keep mornings calm and productive.  It’s takes planning and organization to get the day started with positive energy and organization.  Here’s some tips we learned for morning routines that will calm the family chaos.

 

Do as much as you can the night before

I share this news a lot!  Do as much as you can to prepare the night before. That means setting up a station for making lunch with clean lunch boxes, prepared snacks all set, and your napkin note ready to put in the lunch box.  Backpacks should be completely ready at the back door and all devices charging in a common charging station.  While this may be difficult after a busy and long day, it has huge pay off.

 

Get to bed early

It’s tempting to complete unfinished projects or have “me” time at the end of the day.  The quiet evening helps us feel more productive and less distracted.  It definitely derails the next day if you go to bed late.  The later it gets, the harder it is to get to sleep too.  Be sure to get in bed early so you have a great night’s rest. Morning will come quickly and you need the energy and brain power that getting to bed early offers.

 

Start early

Busy parents benefit from getting an early start. Get up 30 – 60 minutes earlier than your family.  That early start is a positive for you.  You have undistracted time to focus on yourself. Its the time you can devote to exercise, devotionals or your gratitude journal.  It gives you time for yourself and gets you ready for the day both physically and mentally.  You can be dressed and ready and then ready to work with your family.

 

Family huddle

Spend the last few minutes of your time together finalizing all the details of the day and giving encouragement to your family.  Take 5 minutes to go through each kiddos back pack and be sure it’s all together. Spend 5 more mintues sharing how it’s going to be an amazing day, how grateful you are for each kiddos’ gifts, and giving a big hug.  You and your family benefit from a positive send off.

 

It’s a blessing to you and your family as you start the day with positive energy, a calm spirit and a well organized family.   Work at your routines to create easy ways for these 4 tips to be a part of your daily routine. A little organization has a big pay off!

 

 

More family organizing tips here! Join my newsletter!

 

18 ADHD Routines for 2018

 

Adhd routines

Reliable routines are the structure that create easy, productive, organized lives.  The routines that support those with ADHD help them manage their time, be productive, stay organized and keeps life running smoothly.  Start with baby steps this year with these 18 ways to create routines in you and your ADHD family.

 

Routines for a cohesive family

ADHD families crave organization. That is space and time organization.

1. Host a family declutter time each week. Make letting go of stuff a priority by letting go of some items each week.

2. Family meetings are part communication, part coordination and  part fun. Everyone adds to the family calendar so everyone knows this week’s plan.  It’s time to acknowledge successes, talk about family values and have some fun too.

3. Spend time with each of your kids by yourself with just one kid.  Daddy -Daughter Dates, Girls Days, and Boy Bonding times are all times that are one on one special dates for your kids.

4. Keep a family calendar everyone can access. It can be google calendar or a paper month at a glance calendar. Update it daily and during your family meeting. Everyone appreciates knowing what’s coming up.

 

Routines that create a team

Working as a team is one of the best ways to support ADHD for yourself and your family.

  1. Know your strengths.  Look at what you and your family members do best. Find team members in your family and routinely acknowledge what they do best.
  2. Partner with family members to accomplish family responsibilities.  Write up a family chore chart to assign and remind family of who does what when. Be specific on your chart on deadlines and outcomes.  If it’s dishes, then “dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher by 9 pm.”  This way everyone knows how to complete the responsibility.
  3. Look for additional team members. Who can be a part of your extended team?  Can you add on a homework helper? Are there  church youth groups or a women’s support group that you and your family can be a part of? The additional energy of a new teams or team members can have positive benefits in terms of skill and perspectives.

Routines to ask for help

Asking for help means you are seeking out what you need. It’s an asset to be able to ask for help, knowing there are many ways to accomplish a task.  When you have run out of tools, it’s always good to ask for help.

1. Identify how you ask for help routinely. Do you find an answer online, ask a friend or refer to online resources like Houzz?  Knowing what your “go to” source for information builds a routine for you to use regularly.

2. Notice indicators that you are redy to ask for help.  You may feel worn down physically, feeling emotionally drained or have brain fog.  In knowing and acknowleding when you are ready for help, you are creating a routine and indicator for yourself.

3. When you are ready to ask for help, have a limit to define what lengths you will go to in order to find assistance. You can search endlessly for the help you need. My personal example is the number of inquries, that being 3 inquiries for a need I am having. I find 3 ways that I can get the help I need, interview and get started.

4. Find team members at work who you collaborate well with and. trust their judgement. Team work at work helps you start and finish a project and brings synergy and an improved end product.

 

Routines for delegating

Regular delegating requires practice.  It starts with knowing what baby steps you can delegate and then communicating with all parties.  The best delegating includes what you don’t like to do, since often it’s not being accomplished currently.

1. Delegate household tasks like lawn mowing and house cleaning starting with outside help once a month.  Just the once a month boost from these outside helpers gives you time to accomplish tasks only you can do.

2. If you don’t like to cook, delegate dinner to a routine with healthy options.  Dinner can be certain foods for certain days like Takeout Taco Tuesdays.  It can be prepared by assigning the protein to a grilling partner,  your husband.  Delegate the chopping by picking up salad at the salad bar in the grocery store.

3. Hire a laundry helper for certain days of the week.

4. Delegate at work by assigning a small part of a project to your assistant.  Have a check in every other day while you are practicing delegating.  The more you create trust and communication while delegating, the easier it gets.

 

Routines to maintain self care

Self care can be the first routine that lapses. We are not always good about taking care of ourselves because it may feel unnatural, it may be difficult to jusify or because it simply falls off our radar.

1. Keep the same bedtime night after night. Your sleep schedule and routine keep you going day after day with a great night’s rest.

2. Schedule in protected time for yourself. Parents need time together to nurture their relationship.  You need time away to rest your brain, gather your thoughts and generally regenerate.  This weekly routine can include quiet time in whatever form you prefer.

3.  Find fun. Creative brains need fun too!  It’s hard to get away from the idea you may not have accomplished all your tasks, however it’s important to get aside fun time for you, your family and your partner to spend time together.

 

Routines are hard to establish and even hard to be consistent once established.  Take the first steps by creating the routines, then setting up solid reminders that help you. Those reminders can be alarms, timers, check lists or any fun way you can keep your routines as consistent as possible.  A day or two may slip by on your routine, however jump back in as soon as you can.

 

More on routines and being productive here!  Join my newsletter here.

 

 

17 ADHD Tips for 2017

17 adhd tips

 

 

Living successfully with ADHD means learning about creative ways to use your strengths.  Peter Shankman, founder of the Faster Than Normal podcast, says that using  your strengths is what makes the difference in living an ADHD life with meaning.  These ADHD tips include some of the most important areas I have learned from my clients. These areas as the priorities help you set your daily activities and guide you through the day.  Here’s 17 ADHD tips for 2017 just for you.

 

At Home

  1. Keep a family calendar for everyone to access. It can be a paper, dry erase, or digital calendar.  It’s everyone’s job to add to it all the time.
  2. Keep it simple.  Declutter with regularity. There’s always more coming in as you know.  Have a declutter bag available for you and your family to drop items in and take away once a month.
  3. Plan partnerships in getting responsibilities done at home.  Stick together in partnerships or everyone working as a team to make dinner, do laundry, take out the trash or any home chore so that it gets done quickly. Make it fun with music, dancing and laughing.
  4. Keep the conversation positive and coachable. Begin conversations between you, your partner, or your kids with a positive, learning, coachable communication style.

 

Relationships

  1. Partner with your partners.  Work as a team with your partner or spouse in home responsibilities.  At work find partners who help you be accountable, set deadlines, help you start or help you finish a project.
  2. Spend time one on one with others. Vitamin C, vitamin connect as Dr. Edward Hallowell talks about, is the critical element for ADHD.  Be sure you are connecting regularly and prioritizing relationships.  Play, physical connection and communication are all ways to manage ADHD symptoms better.

Parenting

  1. Set up positive learning situations. Every misstep is an opportunity to learn. Process with your child where the learning is.
  2. Set up simple systems for you and your child.  Keep spaces and routines as simplified as possible.
  3. Homework happens! Hire homework help for your child with a tutor, a homework helper or a local teen.
  4. Limit video games and online distractions. Use blockers, set up a common charging spot, and establish a one hour video free time before bed.

Self care

  1. An early bedtime for kids and adults makes for a more productive, happier day.
  2. Protein is important! Have protein at each meal for a brain boost.
  3. Double up on exercise and connecting.  Take a walk with a friend or go to a yoga class. Exercise, talking, laughing and processing information all work well together.

Learning about ADHD

  1. Check out ADDitudemag.com for webinars, podcasts, blogs and other easy to access information.
  2. Read and comment on  your favorite blog posts.
  3. Join a Facebook Closed ADHD group.
  4. Join a local support group such as ADDA-SR.  Check out their website at ADDA-SR.org.

 

Just choose one tip that can make a difference for you today, this week or this month. A single tip is the best first step to living a successful life with ADHD.

 

More tips here!  Check out these 15 ADHD tips!

Change what you imagine, change your reality

Change what you imagine, change your reality

 

 

“Our entire experience on this planet is determined by how we chooses to perceive our reality” – Jen Sincero, author of You are a Badass

 

Change what you imagine, change your reality.

 

Have you written a “story” about your productivity? Does your story sound like this?

I never….

I should….

I can’t….

Are you feeling paralyzed, unproductive, and stuck? The stories we tell ourselves are what we hear from past experiences or other’s neagativity.  Are you ready for a new story?

 

Writing your new story

I am a believer in new perspectives and alternative endings.

 

The adage, glass half full, comes to mind.  It’s how we perceive our reality that helps us rewrite our story.  The glass half full starts with gratitude.  Be grateful for the tiniest of things.  Rewrite your story first by thinking about gratitude.

 

Essential to your new story is support.  Support that helps you find your new perspective with clarity.  Surround yourself with people who think like  you do.  These are the people who understand that new stories come from learning, bigger picture thinking, and whole hearted bravery.

 

There’s learning here.  Where did you get stuck?  Dig deep then. What’s behind being stuck? It comes from many different perspectives, including perfectionism, fear and negativity. Lock into the perspective that held you back. Identifying obstacles clears your path.

 

Use your strengths. Think about how you process information and record what you have completed? By assessing, you are building in a knowledge base for yourself.

 

Here’s your new story

Here are new perspectives giving you hope. Be tenacious and move forward inch by inch. Surround yourself with support of a team who believe in you and your work.  It isn’t easy, and learning comes along the way.  You will accomplish your work.  You wrote your new story.

 

I’m here to partner, support and help you write your new story!  Let me know when you are ready to begin.

 

 

 

 

 

This is why following through on the Organizing Continuum helps you live the life you imagined!

organizing

 

Getting organized is a continuum, a work in progress,  a journey not a destination, and a learning experience. In my work with clients, I see that there is a definite starting place for my clients that begins with organizing skills and new perspectives. Clients learn basic skills to help them get organized and be productive.  I coach them to see new perspectives about themselves, their stuff and their time.  I am thrilled to acknowledge their gains as they progress through the organizing continuum.  If you are new to organizing, here’s how the continuum progresses. The time for the continuum depends on you.

 

Everything needs a place

It’s the basis of all organizing. It’s the age old adage, a place for everything and everything in it’s place.  All the items in your home or office need a specific spot.  That’s where they are located, put back and retrieved when used.  The first step in getting organized is having a place for everything. Yes, EVERYTHING. You can start by assigning a function to each room, what you need to do that action, the items needed, and then the storage of the items.  Overall, each item will have a home and a place as a result.

 

Everything needs a time to attend to it

Not only does everything need a place, everything needs a time for it to be worked on, worked with or returned to it’s spot.  You make breakfast, retrieve dishes and cookware, wash it and return it to where it was placed.  If you are doing your taxes, you need to gather documents, work on them, then store these whether paper or digital.  When you work, you go to your digital documents, work, and save it to a digital spot.  All things, papers, or digital documents need time to work the work and store appropriately.

 

There’s a place for your stuff, however it’s not worth the time to attend to it.

This is when your discerning decluttering really kicks into gear.  It’s not that you don’t have space for an item, how important is it to spend time getting it to where the place is? How many do you have already or do you need? Our time is the most valuable commodity we have and we can let go of items just so it’s not as time consuming to put them away.

It’s not valuable enough to find the space for it.

Here’s where you begin to assess a “just in case” perspective. Is the possibility of use a good enough reason to keep an item? The Minimalists have this perspective.  If it costs less than $20, and you can get it in 20 minutes, do you need it in your home or office?  Finding the value of keeping an item helps you move forward in this continuum.  It’s about prioritizing your time and space.

 

There are many easier ways to find the stuff you need.

You have wrangled your stuff to get it stored and put away. Now you realize that there are many easier ways to find what you need, whether it is stuff, information or paper. You are entering the continuum where you start releasing more and bringing in less to your home and office.

 

Living with less is rewarding.

Life is feels less overwhelming, more about experiences, and you are living the life you imagined.

 

Organized and stay organized.

Your life is about living, not about stuff. You stay organized because you know what is important to have and what to release.  Congratulations on accomplishing the real goal of being organized!

 

Sharing this continuum helps you start on your organizing and productivity journey!

Here’s more posts to help you too!

And join my newsletter to start on your organizing continuum.

One ADHD Family, Five Planners

 

1 adhd family 5 planners

Back to school means back to planners.  Planners are what keep families and individuals sane during the school year. It’s where we keep dates, deadlines, meetings and ideas. With ADHD, having a great planner is a must.  When I work with families, one of my first ways to make a difference is to recommend a planner.  In one family I work with, all the members know the value and are excited about using their planners.  Here’s the story of one ADHD family, five planners.

 

Mom’s traditional planner

Mom uses a traditional, month at a glance calendar.  She is working 2 part time out of the home jobs and her “family manager” mom job.  Mom loves to quilt and is a member of a quilt guild too.  Her calendar keeps her on track with where she should be on what day.  Mom like the month at a glance view to keep from being overwhelmed.

 

Big sister’s creative calendar

Big sister is starting an advanced degree. Her schedule includes a part time job and part time school.  Big sister’s calendar is customized for her routines, like cleaning her apartment, and self care, like hydration.  Big sister has a combination, daily, weekly and monthly calendar system bound together in a spiral.  She loves that all her priorities are in one place.

 

Little sister’s  Agendio planner

Little sister is starting her final college years, works a busy part time job and attends college full time.  She found a daily planner overwhelming and uses a template in Agendio to create a weekly/monthly planner.  She keeps her syllabus in her planner, as we as uses time blocking to keep up with her schedule.

 

Little brother Academic Planner

Little brother is beginning college.  While not a big fan of planners, Little sister has highy recommended this as a crticial element for colleg success.  Little brother uses order out of chaos academic planner because it’s big blocks to enter information.

 

Dad and his digital planner

Dad keeps all his information digitally.  He views it at wor on Outlook and checks his phone at home.

 

The big take away from this family is:  Use a planner that works for you and be productive!

5 Simple ADHD Time Management Tips

5 simple adhd time management tips

 

Do you feel there’s not enough time to get important work complete?  In the corporate world, a “perennial time-scarcity problem” afflicts executives all over the globe. In small businesses, owners wear many hats from marketing to providing services, which can stretch anyone and everyone.   Here’s 5  simple ADHD time management tips to help you be productive and get stuff done.

 

Write down your 3 Most Important Tasks each day.

Start your day with your 3 most important tasks.  Look at your calendar, your tasks, your projects and your goals.  Look far enough out to assess how much time you need for these.  Either written or digital, your tasks should be prioritized by your Return on Investment. Pick what has the biggest impact for your work.

Set a power hour and eliminate distractions.

Set and protect one hour during your most high focused time of day.  It’s important to know when you work best which is when you work most effortlessly and with flow.  A single distraction can set you back 20 minutes so turn off electronics, shut your door, put up a note on your cubicle or have a colleague catch distractions.  In one hour you can accomplish so much!

 

Use a timer to get started.

A timer is a great motivator for you.  Set your timer for 15 minutes to get you going.  Timers are part of the Pomodoro technique, a well-known productivity method with intervals of 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break. RescueTime is a free tool to record your time online by tracking websites and applications.  It helps you understand where you are using your time each day. It’s an automated time for your online time.

Assess the amount of time needed.

Whether it’s a task or project, a general idea of how long to accomplish will help.  There are two truths to this: that we may not know how long and work can expand to fit the time we give it.  A rough estimate, then doubled, can be a guide.  It will help you realistically project completion.

 

Time block your time.

Every task and project needs an assigned time to accomplish.  Block your work in chunks, assigned to specific times.  Scheduling is required to get stuff done. Your schedule can include routines that happen weekly at the same time.  These routines can carry you through what seems like small insignificant administrative work, work that you may have been trying to squeeze in.

 

While we can’t really manage time, what we can do is use better tools to be productive.  Choose just one of these tips to get started on making time work better for you.

 

Need more time management tips?  Join my newsletter here.