Find More Time : How to Get Things Done at Home, Organize Your Life, and Feel Great About It
You have a sink full of dishes to wash, three loads of laundry to do, seventeen bills to pay, thirty-six e-mails to answer, a big stack of novels on the nightstand you'd love to read, and zero minutes of free time. You can't add more hours to the day, but Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(r), will help you make the most of the time you have and get things done.
The Productivity Pro(r) helps you determine what you have under control and where you need to improve. Are you good at managing your bills but can't find time to exercise? Do you get your kids to all their activities but end up constantly behind on laundry? Laura Stack shows you how to improve every area of your life.
Whether you need help on just a few things or feel like your life is totally out of control, Find More Time will help you organize your space, time, and information to reduce your stress and create and sustain a productive home environment, so you'll have more time to enjoy your life.
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June 12, 2006
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Excerpt from Find More Time by Laura Stack
Mastering the First Pillar--
Without a plan, life just sort of happens to you. But with a plan, you'll make sure your daily activities support what you want to create next week, next month, next year . . . until, at the end of your days, your activities will have contributed to creating and living a successful life. You don't want to accidentally create your life. Your plans should be purposeful, so your life moves in the direction you desire, based on your ideal vision for yourself.
My father is a veteran, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force. I'm proud of my Daddykins (my pet name for him) for all the years of service he gave to our country. Thanks to Dad's success, I'm a veteran, too. Only my war wasn't the Gulf War, Afghanistan, or Iraq--it was the turf war that comes from moving a lot as a kid.
Today, when people ask me about my childhood "home," I think about the pink bedroom in Colorado, the yellow kitchen in Ohio, the whitewashed porch in Texas. I've moved nearly thirty times in all and hated every single one of them. The fact is, moving is a traumatic experience--considered the third-highest stressor behind death and divorce.
So I survived by taking control of what I could. I became a master at packing and organizing. Before the movers had finished unloading the van, I had my room up and running. And I'd already moved my Barbie and Ken into their house. Every stuffed bear, bunny, and unicorn was neatly arranged in precise formation on my bed--exactly as they'd been in the house before--at attention for the Colonel's inspection. My friends used to laugh at my perfectly clean bedroom, my compulsive list making, and my overwhelming urge to organize.
But these experiences helped me with my life plan. The upheaval of my childhood taught me how to create order out of chaos, which laid the foundation for my work today. My background helped me build the systems I use today as The Productivity Pro(r), teaching professionals how to spend their time moving closer to their goals in work and life.
You must also have a clear plan for your life's goals and dreams. When you clearly define your priorities and work productively toward them, you'll be able to accomplish your goals sooner. Planning reduces crisis and lowers your stress; buys you a night of rest, without you lying awake, thinking about tomorrow; gives you time to assess whether your schedule for tomorrow is realistic; and allows you to start each day feeling confident and ready. You have your marching orders. All you have to do is--march!
PLANS quiz item 1
1. Have a personal mission statement for my life.
Who Am I? Where Am I?
Unless you're independently wealthy, you must work in some capacity. Some people don't get paid for their work in dollars but still contribute significant value to their families or communities. Some people work because of a calling to be a missionary or social worker and may not receive a lot of money for that work. Other people are paid very highly for their work outside of the home. But your work is just a part of your life. You need money to provide food, clothing, and security so you can do important things with your life. You work to live; you don't live to work. You are so much more than what you do for a living! Be careful not to get caught up in what you do, lest you define yourself by your job. To remind yourself of this truth, first create a personal mission statement that will help you evaluate how to spend your time.
A personal mission statement is an essential written document that helps you make decisions about the way you spend your time and evaluate your choices. It guides you in the right direction when you're faced with many choices. Defining your values helps you describe where you want your life to go based on your ideal vision for yourself and your definitions of success.
To write your mission statement, sit down in front of a computer or grab a journal and pen, and write down the most important values in your life: for example, health, happiness, justice, spirituality, family, truth, love, happiness, and so on. Then write a paragraph about each one to define what that value means and how you would determine if you successfully lived according to that value. Ask, "At the end of my time on this earth, how will I know if I've succeeded in life, not by anyone else's standards, but by my own desires and expectations?"
Here's my personal mission statement as an example:
First, the most important thing to me is my relationship with Christ. My success is first measured by how I serve the Lord with my time, talents, and treasure. I make decisions based on what Jesus would want me to do, not what I feel like doing. Second, I am a faithful, encouraging, supportive wife. I will be a loving, caring, and nurturing mother, sometimes even sacrificing my own needs to ensure my children's are met. I work to live, not live to work. Lastly, I take care of myself physically, so I will have the energy and ability to work for the Lord and my family.