How to make progress when you have zero time

I’ve been waking up at 4am regularly again.  This means that I don’t have enough time during the day and my mind wakes me up thinking of everything I need to get done. Our schedule is too packed, I’m too busy and I’ve noticed things are starting to pile up because I don’t have time to make the progress that I normally do.  I’m too busy, have zero time and it’s stressing me out.

I bet you’ve felt like this too – your schedule is full, your place is a mess and your stress level is rising.  I encourage you to take time to make necessary adjustments to continue making progress, even if you have zero time.  If you do this now, you’ll have a better chance of improving your schedule, your stress level and your sanity.

Remove things from your life.

When you look at your schedule, what do you see? I’ve got a packed work schedule and a packed free-time schedule. And it isn’t working for me.  I don’t have time to think if I’m running from one meeting to the next. It made me realize that I needed to start removing some things from my schedule, from my thoughts and from my life.  After taking a long look at what I’ve been doing, I started to make changes.  I’ve removed important, valuable things from my schedule.  Some of them weren’t easy to remove.  All of them were necessary to remove.  I could tell it made a difference as my stress level decreased with each removal.

I encourage you to look at your schedule right now.  How can you get others to help you? What can you remove? What adjustments can you make? The more you choose to focus on the most important things, the more you’ll start to realize how your schedule shouldn’t be filled up with the other things.

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Finally clear the clutter in your life

The holiday season is over and as I looked around at my house, it was full.  Full of clutter.  Those little piles of harmless things that creep up on you and take over your life.  I thought as a self-proclaimed organization expert, I was immune to this problem.  Wrong, wrong, wrong! I put away 5 things at a time regularly and eliminated my problem (again) and I know you can do it, too.  I promise, it’s easier than you think.

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Success Secrets Revealed!

Want to be more successful? You have the power to make this happen.  When you start to manage the small things in your life, they add up to bigger things and soon you’ve built a reputation and a strategy for success.  See what you can change to incorporate more successful strategies into your daily routine:

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Use bonus minutes smartly.  Think about all of the wasted time in your day and start to get rid of it step-by-step.

  • While waiting for the microwave to finish, I load the dishwasher.
  • While waiting for my computer to warm up in the morning, I put my lunch in the break room fridge and fill my water.
  • While waiting in line, I update my task list.
  • While waiting for meetings to start, I sign invoices or approve employee work.
  • While waiting for my computer to power down, I pack my take-home bag and straighten my desk
  • While waiting for my exercise class to begin, I do 10 rock-and-roll to stand exercises (this one is tough stuff) or use the spin bikes.

Every wasted minute you have could be an opportunity for you to get just a few more things done – you’ll have to think about what to do, remember, these are bonus minutes.  You can smartly multi-task with items like these, so when you’re ready, you can devote your full attention to what really matters.

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Family Information Center that works for you

You and your family have a lot of information to keep organized.  Between activities, appointments and tasks, managing your family information can seem like a full-time job.  Keep your family organized by creating, updating or enhancing your family information center into the active storage area you’ve always needed.  With these easy strategies, you’ll be able to keep everything together and just where you need it.

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Find a visible location that works for you.  We keep all of our calendars, newsletters, coupons, notes and items in our Family Information Center located in our kitchen.  Since we’re in this room so much, it makes sense to have this important information stored together right where we see it every day.  Find a place in your house that you can keep all family information and supplies together and educate everyone else to do the same.

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15 minute Victorious Veg-Out Solution

We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference.  Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.

I had a little bit of free time a few days ago and I wanted to watch my favorite binge-TV show: NCIS.  Not just one episode, I’d prepared for a 3-hour mini-marathon.  But I knew there were things I needed to get done (just like there always are). Try this simple, effective solution to get your mini-projects done.

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Make a List of your Mini-Projects. For the first hour of the TV show, I worked on my mini-list of projects I needed to do that could be done quickly and easily for the next few hours.  I needed to put groceries away, start our bread machine and tidy the house.  All of these projects could be done in little bursts of time.  When you need to get a few things done, start with a to do list so you can stay focused on the task(s) at hand.

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15 minute Clean Kitchen Solutions

We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference.  Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.

I love reality competition shows like Top Chef, Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef and Food Network Challenges.  I’ve noticed that with each of these shows, there’s a common denominator for the winners.  A clean kitchen.  And they do it while they’re in the competition of their lives.  Luckily, we can use the same knowledge to quickly and easily make the kitchen a no-stress environment.

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Need Motivation? Get back on track

Ever have one of those days where everything seems to be pulling you away from your goal? Today is that day for me.  Nice weather, computer problems and my favorite time-waster TV show is a 24-hour marathon today.  Not much motivation to work on my organization blog.  But earlier this year, I set myself a goal of one post per week, so here’s to digging deep to find the motivation to keep going.

A while ago, I read a great blog from a friend, TJ Sullivan that struck me.  TJ writes, “It’s all about step two.  It’s easy to get started, but it’s harder to keep things going.”  I’m pretty sure that is where the saying comes from, “when the going gets tough, the tough keep going.”  Step one isn’t easy, but it’s the remaining steps–the devotion to the goal–that can wear you down and make you think about giving up.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

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Set your eyes on the prize.

I love writing and I love organizing, so my blog goal this year seemed like a natural move.  But I’ve reached the point in the season (or the semester) where I’m ready for a break. Not just from blogging, I really want a break from all of my goals.  I’m tired. Laying around watching TV and eating sugar (I’ve found form doesn’t matter–cupcakes, candy–all good) seems like the way to go.  But I know that I’ll be disappointed if I don’t stick to my goal and have changed things up a bit to give myself the motivation I need.  I’ve switched one day of running to exercise bike, so I can look at my Pinterest page at the same time.  And I’m going to watch my TV show marathon, right after I finish this post.  By giving yourself a reward, or switching things up a bit, it’s much easier to stay focused on your goals.

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