Posts belonging to Category Time Management Tips

Time management – why do people continue to fail

Time management – why do people continue to fail – it’s not what you might think it is!

You might think it’s because someone:

  • has not found the right system or
  • hasn’t taken the right course or
  • is undisciplined or
  • is disorganized or
  • is crazy or
  • is plagued with character flaws

Not so . . . time management, as with all other things we learn during our lifetime must have the right foundation.  The right foundation to anything we do or are in our lives is firmly established in our thoughts.  How do we acquire those thoughts?

How we perceive ourselves and the world has been a slow process of learning from our parents, teachers, society as a whole, books, observations, school, courses,  etc.  All this information gathering occurs throughout our lifetime but especially as children and collectively, it determines how we will behave on any front in our lives. 

It is how we think of ourselves which determines how we do things.

So it is with time management – we can have the very best system in the world at our finger tips but if our thoughts are not focused on the right target, then nothing will work for us – nothing.  We can pay $15,000 for a course on time management or $20,000 for coaching or $1,000 for great software but if we simply don’t have the right approach to time management, nothing will work – nothing.

Time management – why do people continue to fail?  Because we don’t think our time is our own!  

We believe our time belongs to everyone else in our lives

Why?  Because we’ve been trained to think that way.  And we’ve been trained that someone else will create the structure for us – because they have for most of our lives.  Parents and/or nannies and day care workers structure our activities when we’re very small.  When we get to school, the education system determines what we do and when we do it and then most people get a job.  The employer structures our time – when we will arrive, when we will take our breaks and when we will leave – and even what they need for us to accomplish.   And every other group a person belongs to adds more structure – when church services are held, when meetings are held for your volunteer organization, etc.  Well . . . yes . . . otherwise how could we operate as a society?  Perhaps that’s true but we really don’t know, do we,  since we don’t know any other way.

The time problem, however, is personal.  And if our time is “wild and wooly” then it affects our health, relationships and our confidence – we begin to see ourselves as out of control, unable to manage our lives – most people don’t face time management because they know subconsciously that the problem is within them – deep in the psyche – and who wants to go there?  Who has the time?

If we don’t take the time to take control of our lives – our time – (without time there is no life), we get what we get – sometimes lives of quiet desperation. 

What’s the first step?  Putting ourselves first – always – with every decision we make on where we are spending your time.  What is our most cherished pay off?  How well do we know ourselves and our relationship with time?

It’s the most difficult thing for the majority of people to do – very, very hard.  Why?  Because it means that WE are NOW  in charge of the structure of our lives!  What a foreign concept for most people!

I know it exists for sure because I see it all the time with small business people and my own personal experience – the most difficult problem with becoming an entrepreneur if you have never been one is creating your own structure – that’s why most people give up owning their own business – it’s too difficult to create a structure that works for them – one that makes money – they’ve been “trained” in the opposite direction!  Most look for a job when the reality of owning a small business sets in – structure around earning money – there are no guesses – we know what time we have to spend and how much we’ll earn – built in structure.

Be sure to look for my series on small business coming soon – as is usual for me, this series will contain some revolutionary notions – sometimes complete departures from the “same old stuff” you’ve been told about small business.  In the end, though, these “notions” will save you a lot of time, money and energy!

Lorraine Arams
Foundation? One piece is setting goals
Here’s a new system which will help you succeed
where you may have failed before – complimentary – at





Do Goals Limit You?

Do goals limit you?  Have you ever even thought about that question?

Last night, I took a break and watched some famous chefs telling people about great foods in US restaurants.  At one point, an interviewer asked one of these successful chefs about goal setting.

The chef replied something to the effect, “I don’t set goals.  They limit me too much”.  That got me thinking because I know that to be a great chef, a person needs to be very creative and continuously learning.

I had never thought about goals limiting an individual.  We’ve been taught that setting goals is imperative to success.

I thought about it.  In a way, it’s true.  To set goals and ride after them does limit a person from pursuing whatever “pops up”.  However, whatever pops up might send a person into a multitude of directions and they end up nowhere.

But what had made this person an acclaimed chef?  Was it a desire, a goal to be a great chef? 

It’s likely true that this chef had not set any formal goals because the main goal absorbed the whole being.  To be a great chef, of course, a lot of training is required from the right instructors at the right schools, work in the right kitchens, get known by other chefs, and then, eventually, create a definitive, winning style. 

Nonetheless, the goal had been set, informally – in the chef’s head at the beginning of the journey – destination:  great chef.

If you know anything about becoming a chef, you know that becoming a great one is all consuming – a person lives, breathes, thinks and is totally absorbed in food and food preparation – it’s a vocation almost – they’ll do it for free if they have to!  The dedication and hard work is far beyond any other profession on the planet!  It’s not surprising – look at all the pleasure they bring to other people and the satisfaction of becoming so good at what you do, you know in your whole being that you are consistently creating the best you can create!  They know too that not all great chefs become well-known or make millions of dollars but they do it for the love of it – true love – like few other professions can boast.

So . . . yes, this chef did set a goal – but not formally.  And this chef achieved that goal and continues to achieve it because it’s  forever evolving – some goals are like that – the goals never really end during a person’s life time.  And chefs never retire – they just keep on cooking all their lives!   But, without having set that initial goal to be a great chef, this person may have ended up being a plumber!

Does goal setting limit you?  Yes – it does – to achieving what you want. 

Is that a good thing?  It can be as long as you know what you want.  If you don’t know what you want, then setting goals can be as devastating as not setting them. 

Like the chef, when the right goal is set because that’s what you really, really want, then the momentum begins, the energy is directed – it’s like a car – when you know the route, you steer the car in that direction and propel it forward to your destination by stepping on the gas – the car doesn’t wonder all over the road, backstreets nor in the opposite direction.  There might be some stops along the way, some detours and some pot holes, but, you get there.  It’s the same with goals – set and go – expect things to get in your way but you know what you want at the start. 

Lorraine Arams
Struggling to achieve your goals? There’s a new
complimentary system for you at:

It’s Monday – Are You Smiling? You Should be because . . .

It’s Monday – and you should be smiling!!!  You have a great new opportunity to make yourself feel great about you and your world by Friday!

Look at the possibilities – this is like “candy lane” for adults – the start of another week – your great opportunity to look at what happened last week, tweak this week to align more with your goals and . . . .

  • learn something new about getting along better with people at work
  • start a new project
  • take a new class on something that interests you
  • make a “splash” somehow –
  • refreshed from the week-end, let your imagination soar – what would be a great accomplishment this week?  When you get to Friday, what one thing would you really feel good about accomplishing? 

Write it down – put it in your computer calendar as a recurring event – and plan out on your computer calendar how you’ll get that one thing accomplished this week!

Bragging rights on Friday – write me and let me know what you did!  I know you can!

Now do you see why you should be smiling since it is Monday!

Lorraine Arams
Trouble achieving goals? Get this
complimentary system for making them happen at


Use What You’ve Got – It’s Likely All You’ll Ever Need!

computer mail box

It can do so much more!

This week I looked at Microsoft Outlook in the series, “Use What You’ve Got – It’s Likely All You Will Need”.

If you’ve been reading along, I hope you are convinced that, often, we have the tools we need already but we just don’t realize the options available in the programs.  Why?  Because we’ve been using them for so long for one purpose that, when we need to do something new, we naturally will look elsewhere.

For personal and small business use, Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office Professional is all anyone really needs for basic operations.

From this series:

  • you know you can list a bunch of “to dos” on the Task list and that you can incorporate those tasks into your calendar by dragging and dropping the tasks into your calendar.  Create a task, put a date on it and drop it into your calendar – that simple!
  • recurring event reminders can be put into your calendar so you never forget a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion again or even regular meetings you attend in business or as a volunteer
  • you can drag and drop your incoming emails into your calendar to retain the information in the email and set up the appointment in your calendar
  • the contacts section of Outlook can easily serve as a contact management system where you can record all kinds of interesting information about people, connect files to those contacts or other contacts and put contacts into categories for easy access as a group; and, of course, you can group people from the contact list too for fast email
  • print out the calendar in the various formats if you wish or sync it with your PDA or cell phone for easy access to all the information

The two I touched on but didn’t expand upon are the journal and notes.  Instead of using the comment box in your contacts, you can connect a journal to that contact and list any information you wish to record for that particular contact – very handy for projects where you can record email meesages, meeting cancellations, meeting requests, meeting response, task requests, task responses or even documents such as Access, Excel, Powerpoint and Word documents – check it out it might have something for you.  It’s not perfect but it can be helpful for small scale applications.

Notes come in handy everywhere – especially for directions to get somewhere which is tricky or for instructions you want to keep about how to do something on your computer you only do once in a while or keep information about some topics – often we don’t want to keep an entire email but we might want to start notes on a topic – resource and quote.  There are so many applications for this and they are available everywhere.  By category, they can be quite helpful.

As you can see, there are  many possibilities for using Outlook personally or professionally.  What parts you use and how you use them is quite individual. Now that you are aware of some of the more “obscure” options on Outlook, I hope you will save yourself  time, money and energy by looking for the options available to solve your need.

At the very least, use Tasks and Calendar together as well as incoming email with the Calendar to drag and drop the email into the Calendar.  This latter one is really important – we don’t always remember why we set an apppointment or all the details we wanted to discuss.

If you have a small business, the contacts section is indispensable for recording phone calls, attaching related files and accessing all the documents pertaining to an individual through the search feature can save you a lot of time.  Complete the contact details – you’ll be glad you did because you can access those details before or during networking events and wow people with what they think you can “remember” about them!  Very impressive!

And do look at the other programs in Microsoft Office to create the documents you need – the possibilities are enormous, more than one person can ever know.  Microsoft site itself is a great resource as are YouTube, Google Videos and just general search on Google – you’ll be amazed at what you find!

Lorraine Arams
Make your dreams come true –
set your goals – make them happen –
a complimentary system for you at

Use What You’ve Got – Outlook Calendar is likely all you need!

All the pieces in one place!

Use what you’ve got –  Outlook calendar is likely all you need! 

In terms of time management, focusing everything in one area rather than using multiple systems at once is the most efficient.

Many people using Outlook don’t realize how useful the calendar can be or don’t know what’s it’s for.  Many people still use a manual calendar along with an electronic calendar or don’t use the electronic calendar at all which is, I think, I big mistake.

Here are the benefits to you in using Outlook Calendar:

  • You can drag and drop emails into your calendar to set an appointment time with clients and friends.  Often a date is set a long time ahead of time, and, often, especially if we have a lot of appointment, it’s difficult to remember what each appointment was designed to do.  With the email within the appointment screen, it’s easy.
  • Multiple views pf calendar – you can set the view to be whatever you want – appointment area only or appointment area with date navigator or appointment area with Task list or all of them at once in the calendar view. 
  • Mutiple views of your appointments – Today, Today and multiple days, Work Week, Month – all printable – much less expensive than buying a paper calendar and everything is up to date. 
  • Set recurring events so they are never forgotten eg meetings, activities, etc.
  • Holidays can be included automatically in the calendar for the country in which you live or for all the countries with which you do business with or have family and friends – you’ll be able to send greetings for these holidays – what a great way to stay in touch!
  • Create group schedules, plan meetings, send out meeting invitations as well as set options for response to others who requests meetings; make meeting changes easily
  • Maintain multiple calendars eg one for business and one for family viewed side-by-side and share calenders with others ; with the reminders option set properly, reminders of appointments will pop up on your computer or PDA or phone (need to sync)

Some would say – I like paper.  Print out your schedule in the format you want – once a week, every day – whatever you want and put it into a binder – you can buy pre-punched printer paper.  You can print out the view of each appointment too if you have included the emails in the appointment screen.

What happens if you’re away from your computer and you need to set an appointment time?  Set it in your PDA or cell phone or write it into your paper copy (make sure though that you update your computer version when you get back to your computer if you don’t have a PDA or cell phone option)

Take a look at the Options too –  you can set up your calendar the way you want it – 5, 6 or 7 day calendar, the hours, font, and a whole host of other tweaks.

How does this save you time? 

  • Being able to see your month, week or day at a glance, shows you clearly where you need to make adjustments ahead of time rather than stress yourself to the nth degree because too much was crammed into a particular week or day.  There is no question that this alone will diminish your stress because you can re-arrange work and appointments more effectively.
  • Simply being able to set up appointments with others automatically is great.  All you do is use your list of contacts and a request is sent to multiple parties instead of multiple phone calls, voice mails or multiple emails – handling all the voice mail and the multiple emails consumes a lot of time.
  • Having everything in one place is best – never again forget to transfer information or look at the wrong calendar and miss appointments or double book your time because of it.  One system –  it is clear what time is available and what is not.

So . . . Use What You’ve Got – can you see how useful Outlook Calendar can be to you to save time, energy and diminish your levels of stress? 

Microsoft Office Standard 2007 FULL VERSION

 Lorraine Arams
New way to set goals and make them happen
complimentary copy at


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