Time Management

How To Make it a GREAT Day

No…. it isn’t Monday but I do love this picture!!!!!

Mornings are not my best time.  I used to LOVE them.  Yup, I was one of those crazy people who was on the go from early in the morning till I crashed at night.  Then I got OLD!  LOL.  No actually MS hit. Now,  I wake up in an MS fog which takes like an hour to fade away.  I used to say, “Don’t talk to me until I had my coffee”, now it is “Don’t talk to me until I can clear the fog”.

Despite the fog, I do everything I can to make it a GREAT day!  Some days are easier than others but I am determined to make the most of it.

How do you start your days?  Do you set the alarm to get up early (maybe an hour before everyone else)?  Are you full of motivation and anticipation for the day ahead or are you dragging and dreaded what might be.  Despite the struggles which come with MS, I usually have my days planned out in some detail – where I’m going, who I will meet, what work I will get done and even some white space on the calendar for those unexpected curve balls called life.that-wonderful-monday-morning-feeling-L-56cqQ9

Yup, it is all about the Law of Attraction.  The reality is your negative (dreading) thoughts are killing your productivity before you even start your day.  I know some days are tough.  Some times it feels like every day is a Monday.   I try to keep a positive attitude.  Do you let one bad day, set the tone for the rest of the week or even the next few days?  So, are you looking to make a change?

To be honest, when I decided to make the most of every day, I actually took control of my life’s direction.  Now, before you start the negatives of why you CAN’T do these things, give them a chance.  Remember baby steps are what help change the chaotic into the manageable.  I don’t always do them all perfectly BUT I give them my best shot.

#1 REST

Allow yourself to really slow down and unwind.  Maybe it is a glass of wine or reading a book or a bubble bath or a massage or watching endless episodes on Netflix?  Why not, right?  I know, you have a MILLION reasons but a little self indulgence lets you take some well earned rest.  Your weekends (days off) should be different then your work week.  It allows you time to forget the stresses and strains of being a busy woman on the go.  You get to recharge so you are ready to start all over again.

#2 LIVE POSITIVELY

You need to practice this one daily.  I know those inner gremlins are screaming at you.  I know you have bad days.  I have them too.  The first thing I do is remind myself my life is not this one day.  STOP and be grateful for the things in your life.  It will help you  to appreciate how good life really is. Your thoughts, your words, your status’, your tweets, your Facebook posts should ALL be positive. You wont be perfect but if you do your best; it will have a huge impact on the way you live your life.sunshine1

#3 RISE EARLY

I have talked about this before…Getting up early is the most motivating and self satisfying thing you can do.  When I used to wake up before 6am; I knew it was going to be a really great day. Devotions done by 6:30AM. Coffee and a shower and I am at my desk by 7:30am.   Why so early? So I can be done in my office by 10 to enjoy time with hubby.  Days like these, I am unstoppable. My mood is upbeat and I feel energized because I have been productive.  Okay, so things have changed slightly with the onset of MS BUT on those days when I am up early and am ready to go – my outlook is so much brighter.

#4 MAKE LISTS

This is more a part of my life since the MS but I have to admit, I LOVE seeing things checked off.  I make lists to ensure I don’t miss any thing and everything gets done.  It is also a great way to set-up my planner so I don’t over schedule or over commit myself.

#5 TAKE REGULAR BREAKS

Yes, this actually is the key to being productive on any day.  By taking a regular break, I get fresh eyes and enthusiasm.  Planning all my tasks out in small increments helps too.  It ensures I am not working non stop (or running around) for long hours.  This is how I avoid the afternoon sugar and feeling lethargic so my productivity suffers.   Take a tea break.  Go for a short walk.  Take a power nap.  Read a little in your favorite book.  You will see a huge difference in the rest of your day.

So, what are you going to do to make a difference in your day which will ripple into making a difference in your week?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

 

Hope Wissel

How to Organize Your Great Ideas

Thank you Christie Browning for these AWESOME ideas..

 I used to think I was the person who took ideas and made them happen.  Over the last year or so, I have become an idea person.  The problem is, I get the idea – maybe write it down and then forget about it.  Or I get obsessed with it and go over board doing everything in my power to make it happen.

Can you relate?

Most ideas which fizzle out probably should.  They would be the ultimate Pinterest fail (at least in my case).  But sometimes there are some really good ones, I don’t want to lose track of.  Maybe the timing is wrong or worse the ideas keep coming to the point I am on overload.  Overload and MS are definitely not a good mix!!!  I then end up not taking action on anything or implementing any of the amazing ideas.

Are you someone who has a lot of ideas but struggles with keeping them organized or putting them into action?  Thanks to Christie, there are some suggestions for you…. I am going to try to start organizing my ideas, so I can move into action mode and ultimately make them happen!  Want to join me?

#1:  Dump your brain

I have been to MANY trainings where we have done this at the start of the session to help us focus.  It is a great way to just empty the mind-clutter without losing the great ideas! YES, it is possible.  So, grab a notebook and pen and start writing!  Keep the notebook on your desk,  your nightstand or wherever as long as it is close so when an idea hits, you can write it down. Get the thought on paper and stop depending on your brain to remember!  My brain is useless for this.  LOL!  By writing them down, you have a written record of your ideas.  Believe it or not, some of them will overlap and work with ones you have already had.  Also, by writing it down, you can review them when the “aha moment” passes to see if it is really a great idea.  Maybe you will pass on it now, but who knows in a few years, it might be doable.

#2:  Organize the madness

Having ideas is a great ….BUT every brain dump needs a little bit of organization.    I use color coding in my planner, so why not use the same principle in organizing my ideas. Create a color reference for each category. My categories are:

  • Blue – Personal (medical in my planner)
  • Pink – Business
  • Yellow – Family/ Household
  • Green – Financial
  • Orange – Spiritual

Once, you jot down an idea make sure there is enough information (not a book, just a few sentences) so if you come back to it, you remember what you were talking about.  Now, highlight it with a color.  In a “perfect world”, all of the ideas would be together in a notebook by category.  Yup, I’m so not there yet.

#3:  Plan to take action

So every idea I have doesn’t get acted on or do I even attempt.  There are some ideas  which die the minute I wrote them down or when I come back to look at them with a fresh pair of eyes, I think… “that ‘s crazy!”  I still keep them around in the never ending notebook because you never know, right?  The truth is, you will be able to tell from a brain dump which ideas will work at at that moment and which ones you need to hold on. The ideas I want to work on, I transfer to my planner and start planning it out. I figure out what steps I need to take to get started.  I identify what needs to happen. Then… jot dates (a basic timeline) or I prioritize what needs to be done first, then second, etc.  Unfortunately,  identifying a budget has always been last on my list.  If it is going to cost money,  I find someone with a more practical head to talk with about it so I don’t go off half cocked.

Organizing your ideas is a way  to help you stay focused on what needs attention now. I “squirrel” a lot lately so using this system has helped.  Be sure to ask yourself, “What needs to happen first?”.  “What projects have I already started I need to finish before I launch another idea?”  Sometimes ideas are great, but need to wait until other things happen first.  It’s easy to get distracted when something is new and exciting comes along, but the reality is, you will never actually cross a finish line or reach completion on an idea if you keep jumping around.

We all have goals, visions or even are why, right?  So be sure the idea you want to launch gets you closer to your goal, to your vision for your life, your business or your finances?  If it does, then hold onto this idea.   If it isn’t a perfect fit, push it to the bottom of the priority list.  Keep your list alive but updating it and reflecting on it regularly.

How do you organize your ideas?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Favorite Products

Are You Planner Challenged?

 

Over the years, I have flip flopped from paper to digital.  I have bought LOTS of paper planners in search of the perfect one.  The one which allows me to put “everything” in one spot.  It has been a challenge.

I have tried Erin Condren. Nice but a little pricey for me

I have tried digital but I always manage to forget to look at the calendar except when I am adding thing to it.

I have tried the ARC system from Staples.  Liked it but it was really heavy when I was trying to carry a whole year of weekly & monthly sections.  Of course the load got lighter as the months passed and I took out pages.

I tried the “inexpensive” ones from Target or Walmart.  Just not enough space for everything.

Many years ago when I was in the non-profit world, DayTimer was my best friend.  I loved it.  It didn’t seem practical as I added my direct sales business to the mix of things.

I needed a monthly calendar to look at the big picture, I need space during the week to schedule appointments along with space to make notes for my to do list.

I saw the Passion Planner about two years ago, about $35 but they always run lots of specials.  It provided me with some structure to set goals (long and short term), review how the month went and space to dream.  It looks professional and comes in two sizes to make it easy to carry.

At Thirty One’s National Conference, they introduced a planner just for consultants.  I was a little skeptical since I really liked the Passion Planner.  We were given an opportunity to purchase it and try it.  So in mid-October it arrived.  I sat my Passion Planner on the desk as a back up.  I wasn’t ready to let go. But after two months of using my Thirty One planner, my Passion Planner is now sitting on the shelf.  I know, you are wondering why I bothered telling you right?

Well, during Customer Appreciation Month which started on Tuesday morning, Thirty One is offering a paper planner to our customers in two options in the Exclusive Celebrate You style! Each planner is made to order by an outside printer, therefore we cannot guarantee that this item is delivered by December 25th

What type of planner do you use?  What are your biggest challenges in finding a planner which works for you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Time Management, Unclutter Your Life

Busy Mom Tips

Hopefully by now you have settled into a routine after the back to school craziness.  Are you wishing you could put an “out of order” sign on your head and run away?  Thank you to The Peaceful Mom for the inspiration for today’s blog…

Are you searching for a way to get it all done and stay sane?  Do you wonder if it is even possible to do that?  Is your to-do list growing while your time seems to be slipping away?

I know my daughter is grown but I do still run into days like this.  I think I still suffer from the same overwhelm I did so many years ago juggling work, business and family.  Here are some tips from the Peaceful Mom and me.

#1 – KICK MOM GUILT TO THE CURB

It is okay if you don’t get everything done.  Let me repeat “it is okay NOT to get everything done”!  Some things can wait.  Yup, I still suffer with mom guilt.  🙂  The best way for me to get things done is to set THREE tasks a day as my top priority.  I used to do this when Belinda was growing up.  Picking just one or two things to get done during the week while I was working full-time and being mom taxi.  I seemed to forget how well it worked until a business coach, Desiree Wolfe suggested the same thing for my business.

Some tasks can wait, it all depends on what needs attention at the moment. I have started using my Passion Planner for more then just keeping track of office hours, weekly to dos, business stuff and medical appointments.  I am using it to list my 3 things for the day.  I love the fact it has space to make lots of notes  as well as a spot to celebrate “good things which happened”.  Now, I am sure you could accomplish more than 3 things in a day BUT for those days when getting 3 things done is a struggle, you will want to have this system in place.  Sometimes the list looks like this:

Yup, when brain fog sets in, this could be my list of things to do.  The biggest accomplishment is no losing my temper and on some days it is a true miracle.

#2 THINK TINY

Do you have “time pockets”?  You know the 5 or 10 minutes while you are waiting for the kids in the school line or washing some dishes as you cook dinner.  I like the term “time pockets” instead of multi-tasking.  Pick a task to do while you are waiting (one which will only take a few minutes)… waiting for the kids, waiting in line to check out, waiting for your gas task to be filled.  How many time pockets do you have and how can you fill them to get more things done?

#3 – CHOOSE YOUR TOOLS

Busy moms need practical, functional tools to stay on top of all the details. Let’s face it we are not only juggling our own stuff but things for the entire family.  I use a paper planner, the calendar app on my phone and Notes on my phone.  I talked about my Passion Planner.  It is where I dream big, set my goals and priorities then create a weekly plan to pull it all together.  I use my smart phone calendar to set notifications and keep track of appointments because it is linked to my iPad and my MAC.  The benefit of Google Calendar is you can keep everyone’s stuff organized then share it with everyone across all devices.  You need to find a system which works for YOU.

#4 – MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF

I take time each week to plan for the upcoming week. My planning time is Sunday evening and I plan out:

  • My Calendar: Set the goals, projects and top priority tasks for the week and time block on my calendar.  I also prep for the week for posting on all of my business pages with CinchShare.
  • Meals:  Planning for meals is a BIG help for busy moms.  Since I only cook twice a week, it is not tops on my list.  
  • Money:  This is now part of my Sunday night routine.  Review the bills which need to be paid and figure out what the budget will be for the week.  

When you take the time to plan, you will find the week goes some much smoother.  Include scheduling the planning time on your calendar so you don’t make excuses.

#5 – BUDDY UP

Carpooling can be a life saver for the busy mom.  Team up with someone to share the mom taxi role.  You take the kids to practice, she picks them up.  You watch her kids so she can run errands and then swap so she watches yours.  Remember we don’t have to do it ALL!  Teaming up with other moms gives everyone a break.  No help?  Why not limit your kids extra activities and your extra commitments.  No, it won’t make you a bad parent!  

The BIGGEST tip is to remember what is really important and stop obsessing over little things.  For many years, I felt guilty for leaving Belinda a daycare from the time she was 6 weeks old BUT when things came together and I was able to quit my job to work at home, I realized what was important.  She didn’t remember spending days at daycare when she remembers (I hope) is the time we spent together while she was in HS and my schedule was flexible.

Remember you are doing the best you can do with everything on your plate.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Do You Have a Focused Weekly Plan?

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No this is not a sales pitch for Passion Planners even though it has saved my life more than once.  This is about having a simple, focused, and consistent schedule whether it be for you, your family or for your direct sales business.

As women, we have at least three or four balls juggling at all times: work, children, home, direct sales business and oh, course there is our life on social media, right?  How quickly do your best laid plans for the day go array when you get lost in the black hole of social media?

Yes, it is FRIDAY and I am already talking about next week.  WHY? Because I have found when I take about an hour or so on Saturday or Sunday to plan out the upcoming week, this get done.  I know, many nights you fall into bed feeling like you worked your butt off but yet feel like you got absolutely nothing accomplished. Been there, done that and have more than one t-shirt!  Some weeks, my planner looks like this:unknown

Nothing written in except maybe a doctor’s appointment or two.  It is the weeks like this when I squirrel.  Running around putting our fires and trying to get something, anything accomplished.

Squirreling find come with the MS – the truth is I have squirreled for years when I worked from home.  A load of laundry here, wash the dishes there, oh and I went to look for something in the “junk drawer” so I spent time cleaning it out.  For women who work at home (not just in direct sales but also as moms and wives), having a focused plan each week allows us to get so much more accomplished with time to spare.  Yes, you can have spare time to just sit and enjoy your coffee before it gets cold!

As we head into November which is the true start of the busy holiday season, I am trying something new (for me).  I have heard it a million times but always found a reason NOT to do it.  A simple “days of the week” system to help you stay focused and work your biz (or your home) with intention.  This is a system you can tweak to fit YOUR needs but at least give it a try…..

Me Monday:  A clear focus starts with a strong personal business.  Spend the first day of the week working on your personal calendar. That includes booking parties, scheduling Facebook Party posts and hostess coaching for up-coming parties. When your calendar is full, you’ll feel more confident and ready to tackle the rest of your goals. Go you!

Team Tuesday:  Follow up with sponsoring leads and set coaching calls with anyone on your team who wants more support.  Being an effective coach is about asking the right questions, being a good listener and stay in the reality zone.

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Win (Woohoo) Wednesday: This is the day for me to connect with my team and my customers.  I am planning to celebrate the past week’s accomplishments, give reminders on upcoming events and encourage different aspects of training linked back to the weekly calls hosted by the company.  This is also the day I am going to introduce our “team consultant of the week”.  This will give team members an opportunity to get to know each other building a stronger bond of support.

Thank You Thursday: Keep your hostesses and customers coming back by saying THANKS! Use graphics on Facebook Parties, Facebook Live shout outs to your $500 Club Hostesses ($500+ Parties) and handwritten personal notes to all. Don’t forget to include a reminder to send referrals your way for a bonus gift!

Follow-Up Friday: Congrats! You made it to Friday and you had a focused, productive week.  Take some time on Friday to follow-up with anything left on your to-do list and get ready to enjoy the weekend..

Mind you, in the midst of this focused plan, emails and social media seem to be missing, right?  The truth is, my notifications for Facebook are turned off on my phone and on my computer.  When I am working in my office, I close both my email and my social media windows.  Then I set aside some time to check them and respond BUT only for a short period of time.

What are you best tips for staying focused when working your direct sales business OR managing your household.  Share them with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!