Thursday, July 9, 2009

Taming Time

I had no idea that when I made that post yesterday on our facebook page that so many of you would respond. It seems that time and kids keepsakes are hot topics with people.

You 're all correct to be concerned about how to manage your time. Without proper time management nothing else will be easy to accomplish. What's important for you to know is that there is no blanket solution that will cure your time management problems. If so I would be filthy rich!! There are things we can discuss that will help you understand more about your needs and how to address the problem.

The first step in taming time is to make the decision that you are going to do it! You will not succeed if you cannot commit to the process. For some, this means getting family involved. Tell your spouse or a friend that you are going to tackle this project and would like their help. I have always felt that motivation and accountability add tremendously to success.

There is so much to say on this topic it overwhelms me!!

I highly recommend that you invest in a planner. Take the time to sit down and figure out what works for you. Why do you show up to certain things on time? How do you find the time to get on facebook? If we are honest with ourselves we always find the time to do what we really want to do. How bad do you want to get all of the things on your to-do list done? For me it's not nearly enough!!

I read a time management book by David Allen called Getting Things Done. He wrote about something in this book that has changed my to-do list forever. He said to have a notebook or place for a master list of to-dos. From that master list you should only add things to your daily calendar that you are completing. At first I though this was ridiculous. Add another step?? Was he crazy? I am reading this book because I have too much to do!!

But I thought, "Heck I'll try. What's the worst thing that could happen?".

Well, I tried it and it was amazing. I realized why this was so important. He was building my decision making ability. I had a list, and I had time. Now I had to learn what to choose from the list and place it in my planner as I was getting it done. This added to my self-confidence when at the end of the day I would look at the page in my planner and rejoice in what I HAD accomplished, instead of looking at a page full of things I didn't get to.

Do you see? This practice has made even me a better manager of my time. I use the same principal with my clients when we purge. I make them decide on each thing we are going through and after so many hours they begin to break down and realize that they can get rid of excess and that they don't want to be in this situation again.

Another tip is to be very careful what you have on your list. I have talked about learning to say no. It is so hard for some people to say no. I spoke with a dear friend today who told me she was back on anti-depressants because she was so worried about other people and their problems that she was anxiety ridden. Can you believe this? I bet you can. I bet you may even do the same thing. So many women take on more than is necessary. I know that as a working mother I want to show the world that I can do it all!. I don't want anyone to think that my children may suffer because I choose to work or that I can't get it all done because I have too much on my plate.

Why do we care? Do you know what the sad truth is? We are all having the same feelings and so worried about what others think. So if we are all doing that, then how could any of us have time to judge us the way we fear? The answer is, they can't, they are too busy worrying about who is judging them!

Be realistic about how much you can get done. Too many times we overestimate or underestimate the time it will take to do something depending on if we want to get it done. Break projects down in to smaller more realistic portions and you can control the time you spend on them better.

Decide what time of day and how you work best and play on those strengths. I am a morning person. I do most of my daily planning before the kids get up and when I am at my sharpest. I also know that I am motivated by the buzzer. On the days I do a thorough house cleaning I use the kitchen timer. I set it for 30 minutes and suddenly I am energized and in a race to see if I can finish before the buzzer goes off. It must be the competitor in me. You have to start figuring out who you are and what motivates you.

Be honest with yourself. I always know as soon as I say, "I'm going to take care of that after the kids go to bed" that means I'm not going to do it. Once I wind down and tuck the kids in, I am pretty much good for nothing. Don't commit yourself to things you know you can't or won't do. All that you accomplish is creating negative feeling about yourself and your lack of follow through.

I could go on and on but this blog would turn into a book. I promise that if you send me a question I will answer it. You can manage your time and I will assist in making that a reality any way I can. I do coaching over the phone through The Clutter Prescription if any of you feel like that would be a good option for you. You can talk to me once a week for a check-up for only $29/mo. Go to for more details.

What you should also know about me is that I am diagnosed ADD and manage without medication. I have also been organizing for over 10 years for people and during my 6 years of owning a Professional Organizing Firm I have been asked to speak on this topic more than any other! That means you are not alone!

May you believe in all your potential and keep it organized!

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Amanda M. LeBlanc, CPO
The Amandas of Organized Affairs, LLC

1 comment:

william said...

Hello Amanda and friends,
I've never blogged before!
I'm making the leap because I was so excited to read your taming time article/bloggicle/entry whatever it's called in a blog.
I want to be an organizer "when I grow up" and can retire from my job as an elementary school librarian. I'm 57! and have been teaching 21 1/2 years. I LOVE organizing! How did you train professionally?
My e-mail address is Would you e-mail me?

Marilyn Watson