a tickle of words to create smiles

Posts tagged ‘Time management’

Make Time…for YOU!


Make time for those things you truly want to do. Worry not. The things that need your attention, will get it, but with more joy! The key is to schedule your time with balance in mind. I have found this to work really well for me! I find that I am getting so much more done because I am able to put forth more enthusiasm and energy to all my tasks because I scheduled in some “fun”.

I know during this time of year is a season of preparations, parties, shopping, decorating and loads of busyness. It does not have to take the wind out of your sails if you take the time to take a breather or two daily. And, yes, life happens when you make plans.

So, keep it flexible. You already know what you need to do. Just include an activity or two that will give you a spark. For me it is creating art to music. One song takes 5 minutes maximum. With a bit of set-up and clean-up, it is a total of ten minutes; and, wow, I am ready to do the next “need-to” task. What activities can you “squeeze-in” that will make you blissful? Balance is the solution!

Be Gentle…

We can be our own worst enemies. I find myself wanting to accomplish so much and then mentally berating myself for not meeting my daily goals. I have the choice to be gentle with myself and celebrate everything I did do! I have found that I am doing other worthwhile activities that were not even on my mental to-do list (Aside…I made a typo just now, and it read do-do list…maybe that is exactly what it is). In an article I wrote back in February I suggested creating a Ta-da List.

The point of that article was to share a couple of tools to help us gain a sense of accomplishment by creating a mental shift. The first thing we did was reorganize our way of thinking on “what we NEEDED TO DO” and then  we proceeded to reinvent or recreate the familiar honey-do/to-do lists into something fun. We discovered the best way to get anything accomplished was to create a visual organizer or map to help us focus on the main item or items among all those daunting tasks that vied for our attention.  This was a mental shift from the standard To-do List to a Map of Hocus-Focus, which made it fun and fanciful. (for more go to To Do or Ta-Da?)

This is a lovely way to be gentle with myself and others. Another fabulous way is to accentuate the positive in our lives. It is uplifting to appreciate all the wonderful people, things, and events that have taken place and count our blessings. It stirs enthusiasm and it can be self-inspiring to spark the energy we need to get us through the challenges and tasks at hand. How are you gentle with yourself and others?


Have you been KEEPING your New Year’s Resolution?




Have you been KEEPING your New Year’s Resolution?

First of all what are resolutions? Resolutions are those decisions you make that you wish to follow through. I resolve…solve again? It is making a firm intention or a determination; it is a formal expression of opinion or intention. Let us work with the definition that involves the word intention. When you made your intention for the year…

1. Were you specific; did you delineate? Instead of saying I will be fit in 2012, define how; for example: I will add 10 more minutes of activity a day and eat more fruits and vegetables instead of white breads and pasta; instead of saying I want to write more this year or I want to write a book this year, set out a plan of writing 3 to 5 pages a day.

2. Have you been taking small, baby steps and/or five-minute starts? For example: taking 5 minutes to plan a meal or to write a paragraph or to walk around your home to get in a little activity.

3. Did you visualize your end result? Such as visualizing yourself fitting into elegant outfit or holding a finished product.

4. Did  you seek help or support? For example: Join a fitness club or program; get a writing coach; or find good writing prompts.

5. Did you get a buddy to keep you on track? For example: A fitness witness or scribe tribe who will keep you accountable.

6. Did you reflect often as we are doing now? Look back on the progress you have made and the accomplishments through the year (graph your progress). Yes there may be moments where you slip up or do not follow through; but, the overall sense of accomplishment is there. You are making the effort. And it is never too late to get back on the wagon.

7. Have you celebrated your mini-victories. Be sure to pat yourself on the back for each day you are moving towards your goal and intention for the year.

September 1st is on Saturday; a great day to reexamine your intentions and reactivate your plans to get to your end-of-the-year goals. 4 months left in the year, that is 122 days plus the four days more days left in this month. Break it down into bite-sized, easy to swallow chunks. Some progress is better than none! Yes, you can follow through on your intentions. You will succeed!

What are the Big Rocks in Your Life?

I have used the following parable in my own workshops and seminars on and off for years. I was reminded of it again today and I felt compelled to share it here on my blog today. The original author of this is unknown; however, Stephen Covey used it in his book, First Things First (1994) on pages 88-89. 

What are the Big Rocks in Your Life?

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz” and he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone in the class yelled, “Yes.”

The time management expert replied, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”

By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them answered.

“Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?” “No!” the class shouted.

Once again he said, “Good.” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life, time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these big rocks in first or you’ll never get them in at all. So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the ‘big rocks’ in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.

To Do or Ta-Da?

To Do or TaDa? That is the question. (21st Century Shakespeare?). To do do do, ta da da da, is all I want to say to you. Tee-hee, do you remember that Police song, “De do do do, de da da da”. The point of this article is to give you a couple of tools to help you gain a sense of accomplishment. How? you ask. Well, the first thing you get to do is to reorganize your way of thinking and proceed. Are you familiar with all those honey-do and to-do lists we make for ourselves and our loved ones? NOW, is the time to reinvent or recreate them into something fun.

The best way to get anything accomplished is to create a visual organizer or map to help you focus on the main item or items among all those daunting tasks that are vying for your attention. A mental shift from the standard To-do List to a Map of Hocus-Focus, which is a fun and fanciful way to get you through the day or week. Here is the fun part; take a standard sheet of paper in portrait position and fold it into thirds.

In the upper third of your map, create a word splash of everything you want to get done that is weighing down on your mind. If you have color markers or pencils handy, then by all means, make it colorful. Don’t leave anything out.

Then in the center part of your map, doodle a circle, heart, star, an “X” (because “x” marks the spot) or whatever suits your fancy. Make it large enough to hold one or two tasks to focus on for the moment, day or week. In that circle, heart, or whatever shape you decided, write the one or two items you really want to focus on and get done.

In the bottom third of your map write how you want to feel and/or how working towards  your goals make you feel. Leave space at the bottom to write down a 5- to 10-minute activity that will bring you back into your focus or joy. This 5- to 10-minute activity can deep breathing, stretching, walking, reading or listening to music. It can be anything that brings you happiness. NOW, examine your Hocus-Focus Map. How does it make you feel? Refer back to your map as often as you like. This will help to center you. It will bring you back into focus (and joy). 

Ta-da is an exclamation of triumph or pride; it is often used to express accomplishment after a daunting task or project has been completed. NOW, is the time to celebrate YOU. At the end of your day, flip your Map of Hocus-Focus  over to the backside, turn it 90-degrees and make a Ta-da List (by Ellie Di, Headologist). List everything and anything you did over the course of the day (or week). Everything counts! NOW, relish in the accomplishment. Ta-da! Bravo! You did quite a lot!!! 

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