Posts belonging to Category Time Management Tips

Time Management – Pretend That You’re Retired Every Day!

Pretend that you’re retired every day!

People wish themselves into stress – they wish they were here and they wish they were there.  They wish things were different and they wish they were somebody else.  They wish and they wish.  It would seem that some have spent their whole lives wishing.

Today, one of my neighbors said she had changed her mind about a trip she was about to take.  The weather is so beautiful now that she decided to stay home and wait until worse weather comes along.  She said she could change her mind about departure day because she was retired now.

It struck me as odd why she thought she couldn’t have done it when she was working.  As a manager, team members often wanted to change their booked vacation time for whatever reason.  If it was possible, of course, a change in plans was fine.

What’s even more odd is that we don’t always get to do what we want to do when we want to do them in any case, retired or not – life just isn’t like that.  How many times have your plans been changed due to unforeseen circumstances – weather, accidents, illness, tragedy, etc.

Let’s say she decides on a day to leave.  She gets into her car and a few minutes down the road a truck hits her car – she won’t be able to go on her trip.

If your work is so stressful as to cause you to “wish”, be unhappy or paralyzed to live your life as you would like to live it, find another path.  You may never get to retirement and, if you do, you might not like what you find!

More and more there are retired people living in our complex.  At first, they’re happy.  Within a year, the “shininess” of the “new life” wears off.  They twist themselves into balls trying to figure out what to do with themselves next.  There is only so much golf they can play, and only so many trips they can take.  Often isolation sets in as friends move away or die, family members are working and busy, and grandchildren grow up.

The happiest retirees are the ones who were ready with another “job”. They work at another full-time, part-time or seasonal job or a small business of their own,  do what they love to do and are happy to be involved as they always have been throughout their adult lives.  Often, they volunteer too but, sometimes, that doesn’t last too long either because they are asked to come on staff.

This is my advice to you today:  make every day a “retiree” day – do what you want to do. What does that mean?  It means that you do what you do because you know why you’re doing it. For instance, if you’re working at a company five days a week, you’re working there because you like working there or the pay is exactly what you want or the benefits are the ideal for you – the payoff is now – today! Know why you’re doing something  – the bigger picture of your life – and focus on the why – you’ll find yourself much happier, you’ll feel freer and better able to cope with the downsides – there is a downside to everything.

And you’ll find that you are able to ask for what you want.  You may not always get it but you’ll feel free to ask. I think it’s that freedom which people crave – they’ve always had it though they just never thought they did.

If you are not doing what you want to do because there is not good reason to be doing it, stop.  And stop wishing things were different.  Change course.  Make and work on a plan to get you in a place where every day is a day you’re doing what you want to do and you know why.

This today is all you’ve got – make the most of it!

Lorraine Arams

Can You Produce Magic Immediately in Your Time Management Strategy

Can you produce magic immediately in your time management strategy?

What do you think would do that for you? Is there a word or a system or gadget which could magically add time to your day and satisfaction to your soul?

Yes, there is.  It’s tiny. It’s something we don’t do well and often enough.  Added consciously into our time management repertoire, it can give back a lot of  time.

What is it?

N – O – that’s it “no”. Most of us hate saying it – no matter how we “frame” itour first impulse is to say yes. It is those many “yeses” which eventually create havoc with our time management.

People want our time. They need to get something done and they would like y help. They ask. We accept. Another chunk of time is taken out of our schedule – could be 5 minutes or an hour – it all adds up!

Your boss wants us to work late.  Your children want us to attend an event – our spouse wants to go out to dinner – our parents need help with their eaves – our siblings each need help with something we’re good at doing – our friends want hang out time  –

think about it – all these people want a chunk of our time and yet we’re just a party of one with only 24 hours in a day!

How could we ever possibly fit all the demands into our schedule?

The answer: we can’tit’s impossible though most of us try to do it – we try to please everyone by acquiescing to everyone’s demands for our time. Is it any wonder that people get short on time?

It’s essential that we all become very comfortable with saying NO. And sticking to our guns – no means no!

It’s a word that most people don’t know how to use very well because we’ve been told that we must:

– keep our jobs at all costs

– keep our spouses happy

– spend time with our children

– spend time with friends and family

and soon . . . we run out of time and everything suffers. Why? Because no choice is consciously being made – it’s just a blanket acceptance. Yes, of course, everyone uses “no” once in a while but, generally, not often enough.

One day, we wake up on empty. We’re tired, frustrated and feel deprived – life is passing us by and our goals seem further and further away.

Becoming comfortable with saying “no” allows us to CHOOSE – it’s the only way –

Are the choices easy? Of course not, otherwise we’d all know which option to choose easily, effortlessly.  Let’s face it – to someone else, what they are asking for is important to them – sometimes it’s urgent – sometimes it’s an emergency – to them!  Is it urgency or an emergency for us?

To get to the point where choices are easier to make here is a tip:

Take your schedule for an entire month and book in everything YOU need and want including travel time to work, work, exercise, meals, rest, sleep, hobbies, etc.  each and every day.   These are non-negotiable – don’t give any of this time up for anything or anyone else failing a true emergency.  Now, you know exactly how much time you have available for everyone else – book accordingly.  You’ll be amazed how creative you’ll become!  More than anything, you’ll feel so good about your life!

That’s it – it’s that easy and that hard!

Lorraine Arams

Social Media – Do We Need It?

Social media – do we need it?

Do we need to connect socially online for personal and business reasons?  Millions of people seem to think so or do they?  Is it the “herd” mentality that is fueling the latest and greatest or is there some purpose, some real purpose to connecting through social media sites?  Are we connecting – really?

The internet, is, even today, the modern “wild, wild West”. People uncomfortable with chaos find the internet a mystery and, often, find using the internet more time consuming than helpful.  They find a lot of junk on the internet and have to wade through massive amounts of sites before actually finding the answer to their question – most times it’s easier just to call someone you know might have the information.

500,000,000 people have flocked to Facebook.  The irony here is that only half that number are regular users. (think how small 250 million is  since our world population today is approximately 7 billion people – that’s only really 3.5% ).

It’s the same for other social media sites – so many people have signed up because “it was the thing to do” and also discovered “the thing do do” was a maze to get around and very time consuming. For instance, there is an expression on Facebook, “fan page”.  People would go to Facebook and want to set up a “fan page”, but they couldn’t find it.  To get to a fan page, you’d have to get out of your account and go to the sign up page of Facebook and find the link there – for most people, how would they know to do that?  Would it have made sense for Facebook to put it in your profile as an option or on the menu along with Wall and other menu items?  That would be too simple!

Another person I know was urged to start a group on LinkedIn.  After the experience of setting one up which she was told would only take a few minutes, she doesn’t want anything to do with setting up another group anywhere – it consumed so much time because the steps simply were not clear to her.  The group is set up and working but to her it was not worth the effort. It has provided no real benefit to her business but regularly eats up her time.

Many small business people have given up – it’s just way too time consuming to learn, figure out and keep up with all these social media sites.  There are major differences in how they operate and the lack of clear menus, clear instructions and lack of help in most cases makes it an exercise in futility often.

Why are social media sites so confusing? In my opinion, it’s because all these sites are being set up by young “techies” with no life experience outside the technological world, no understanding of how to relate to non-techies.    As the popularity grows because it’s discovered to be the latest and greatest, so does their staff but they are still all technologically focused not consumer focused.  What makes sense to them simply doesn’t to the rest of the world – it’s an insular world.  Even Google, a milestone in internet research, merely reflects a numbers game today which can be manipulated.  Often, the worst sites get top ranking not because of their great content but their owners know how to manipulate the factors involved in getting ranked.

There’s a huge reliance on forums as a help alternative.  It doesn’t work because it’s a big waste of time too. Search for the forums – then search within the forums – and read post after post which simply doesn’t give you the answer you want.  Why?  Because you didn’t use the right word!!!  Oh, yes, a person needs to have exactly the right “word”, otherwise, it’s a maze of finding one simple answer.  Time consumed on forums can be enormous.

And the FAQ syndrome – there are few which are helpful.  It’s another maze of a few questions with a few answers which generally doesn’t give you what you want.

People give up on social media. They have an account but never, ever use it.  The refrain is always the same:  “I’ve got an account but I don’t use it.  It’s so confusing.  I don’t see the point and I’m doing fine without it.”

Do we need social media?

Obviously, the answer is not really. People are still conducting business quite successfully without social media as there are many businesses who successfully promote their business.

For most, it’s still much easier to put an ad in the paper to put one on Facebook or Adwords or any other medium and a lot less stressful.  I find a lot of businesses advertising on Craigslist and Kijiji as well as other classified sites – it’s easy for the advertiser to put up an ad and easy for potential customers to find you based on a search – they don’t have to be your “friend”.   And big business is still advertising in magazines – have you noticed how large some popular magazines are – loaded with advertising.  Why?  Because it reaches a vast audience of people interested in that particular sphere, not just people who have chosen to sign up or not.  It could very well be that newspapers will see a revival for that reason alone – ease of use and the ability to reach far more customers for their particular type of business.

People still meet with one another, text, email one another  and talk on the phone because people have found it easier to communicate using those basic, useful down-to-earth, easy-to-use mediums for connecting.

Personally, I like parts of social media and I do believe it has a place in promoting business.  It also has a place for personally to share pictures or stories.  Social media mediums have a long way to go in simplicity of use and simplicity of connecting.

Some have said that these mediums are for those who have grown up with it.  That’s not true either. A couple of teenagers I know went with the crowd using Facebook but found their cell phones were much more useful in connecting with their friends – it’s immediate!  They’ve abandoned their Facebook except for sharing pictures, invitations or general stories; they meet friends at the mall or talk on the phone for hours – as it has always been.  They text too and that’s it.  They don’t have to login hoping someone is online too – they text and the other party is immediately notified of the message.

Social media is a useful tool but it has a long way to go before it becomes the norm either personally or in business.   Is it for you?  Ask yourself:

Is there a return on the time invested?  Is that return make enough of a difference to warrant the time required?

It may be.  Could a simple website do the same thing?  Perhaps.  Would offline promotion work as well?  Perhaps.  Today, likely the answer:  a combination online and offline promotion.  Networking, face-to-face remains the best connection of all, bar none as it is connecting personally – face-to-face is always best!

Do any of us really need social media?  Only you can answer that question. If you want to discover the possibilities, I would suggest getting some help to get started because the time consumed learning it on your own far exceeds its usefulness especially for a small business person.

Start with YouTube for video training – it’s the best place and it doesn’t cost a thing. Beware of people who want to charge you a lot to teach you or to take on your social media “involvement”; one university wanted $450 for a course on LinkedIn – ridiculous!

Go to Youtube, follow along with the video and use the social media for a while to see if it’s for you.  YouTube has videos containing information from how to sign up to advance uses.  If you try to get the help on the social media sites themselves, you might end up pulling out your hair!

If you have questions, please contact me at moc.emiteziwnull@ofni.

Lorraine Arams

Why is it a Good Idea to Use Time Management on Week-ends?

It’s Friday!  The week-end has arrived!

Freedom for two whole days!

Why would you use time management on week-ends?

Why?  Can you think of any reason to constrain the little time that you have to be free?

I use to think, “I’ll do what I want when I want”.  I love to be spontaneous.  However, I soon found that spontaneity has a downside too – sometimes, I would spend the week-end doing what I want only to be left with an unsatisfying feeling on Sunday night because “things didn’t work out” as I had imagined!

When you’re working, “staying alive” keeps you hopping along all week long — getting ready for work, getting to work, working and attending to personal needs and responsibilities such as exercise, family matters, finance, eating properly, etc.  We even add a little socializing in there!  No wonder that we look forward to Fridays!

Week-ends should give you more of what you want – right?  Right! It’s possible with your friend, time management!

Answer this:


Do you want to spend time with your friends?  Do you want to sleep in Sunday morning?  Do you want to play some sport?  Do you want to visit relatives?  Do you want to entertain?  Do you want to work on your hobbies?  Do you want to sit on the beach?

What is it you want to do?  And they ask yourself why. When you know the why, you’ll understand the reason you want to do these things and it’ll become very easy to “choose”.  Did you find some things are related to what people expect of you?  Is that satisfying?

If you use time management, it’s actually possible to combine the many things you want to do!  For instance, say you want to see your friends and you want to spend the afternoon at the beach too.  Plan to do both together – you could even invite a relative or two!  Why plan?  If you don’t, others likely have filled their time and simply are not available to be with you.  Make sense?

Fit in everything into your week-end that you want without going crazy, though. Some people try to cram so much into a week-end, they’re exhausted at the end of it and still haven’t really done what they wanted to do!  Each and every week-end is a special time to do what you want to do – use it wisely!

Why should you use time management on week-ends?  To nourish and satisfy yourself, your soul, your being – the fabulous you! And when Monday morning arrives, you want to feel great about how you spent your week-end!

Lorraine Arams

Are Time Management and Knowledge Connected?

Are Time Management and Knowledge Connected?  Have you ever thought about that question?

I present a workshop to would-be entrepreneurs on time management and organization.  If you’ve ever had a business of your own, you’ll know that how you spend your time as “your own boss” is much, much different than the way you spend your time as an employee.

As an employee, there’s a job description and everyone else working in the same environment has theirs.  You all work together towards generating positive results for the enterprise for which you are employed.  Within the context of that job description, time is spent doing what you’re suppose to be doing and connecting with others as needed.  Each of you manages their time according to the work which needs to be accomplished in your own area, your own job description.

As “your own boss”, especially if you have never been your own boss before, you simply don’t have a clue.  Why?  Because much of the knowledge you need to run your own business is knowledge you simply don’t have!  Simple!

If you’re an engineer, you know how to do the job of engineering but how about the job of promotion, accounting, setting fees, contracting, sales, web sites, social media and a host of other areas which the entrepreneur needs to master in their own business.  Creating a budget and reading financial statements are often overwhelming to new entrepreneurs because everything is so new to them – how can they predict the future of a business they’ve never owned before when there’s no history on which to substantiate numbers?  Most people, even if they have had to deal with financial statements before in their jobs, have only a micro understanding of what the numbers mean especially if someone else was responsible for the budget.  In your own business, you need to understand thoroughly what the numbers mean and the story being told.

How can someone possibly manage their time when they don’t know what they’re suppose to be doing?  They cannot.  It’s impossible.

For instance, if someone said “make a chicken soup from scratch” and you don’t know how to cook, how would you know what to do to make a chicken soup from scratch.  You’d have to ask someone who knows or you’d have to find a recipe to follow.  Either way, you’d need the knowledge.

Knowledge is paramount – know-how – if you know what to do and how to do it, it’s much easier to manage your time – step 1, step 2, step 3 and when the steps don’t quite follow, you know what to do about that too because your knowledge and experience will give your brain the ability to come up with a solution.

Next time you see hours passing by and you still haven’t produced anything worthwhile, knowledge is likely the missing link.  The same happens with new employees.  Often managers are bewildered why a new employee isn’t performing.  Good training is likely the answer because once a person knows how to do a job, generally, they can organize themselves to get it done.

If you’re having problems with your time management at work, sometimes it’s useful to determine whether or not you have the knowledge required to do the work efficiently. If so, find the knowledge or the people to help you.

Time management is intricately connected to what you know, to knowledge and to experience. That’s why experience is so valuable – experience is knowledge gained outside of the book learning – the creative side of learning.

Lorraine Arams

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