Category Archives for Aligned Time Journal

time management tools

11 Proven Time Management Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs

I love talking about time management, goal setting and productivity. What started as a desperate search for more balance, has become a long-standing fascination with this question: What does it take to do what matters – important, critical, world-changing work – without burning out or procrastinating?

This question has driven me to read hordes of time management and productivity books, purchase dozens of journals and planners, and ultimately, create a time management system and journal of my own: The Aligned Time Journal!

how to learn time management

The Journal Launches on TUESDAY but is available for pre-order now!!! Wooooooohooo!!!!!

To join in the fun, I asked 11 of my most successful entrepreneurial friends to chime in with their best productivity advice.

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time management tools

How Time Management Saved My Life

Almost six years ago on a beautiful spring day in April, I checked myself into the hospital, certain I was having a heart attack. I was stressed, maxed, exhausted, and BEHIND. And I was hounded by my time management failure:

  • Failure to keep up with the endless emails, tasks, reports, and deadlines that would proliferate after I fell asleep with my computer on my lap at midnight.
  • Failure to advocate for myself when the workload became unsustainable, as 8 projects became 10, and 10 became 14.
  • Failure to protect ANY of my time in support of my mental and physical well-being. Eating, sleeping, exercise, and “downtime” were a luxury I told myself I couldn’t afford.
  • Failure to be a nice person, a kind wife, a patient mother, or a functioning adult.
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How To Make Progress On Your Goals

Have you had the experience of setting a goal (like: get more clients, stay ahead of my paperwork or taxes, reach out to members of my network, or write a weekly blog) and then done NOTHING about it? 

I’m not talking about setting a goal that you actually have no intention of pursuing (Hello, “10 pushups!”).

No, I’m talking about a goal you care about, would love to accomplish, and in fact, fully intend to accomplish. 

And yet, despite all that interest and commitment, nothing happens. I call this Goalnesia, because its so mysterious and feels completely out of your control- like selective amnesia.

I’m very confident that you have had this experience, because I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t. In fact, if you are like many of the people I’ve worked with, you may have had this experience so often that you’ve developed a story about how you are “just plain lazy.”

That’s not true, by the way. People who declare themselves “lazy” are almost always either overcommitted, tired and in need of a break (which is wildly different), unmotivated or confused (which is entirely fixable), or are doing an incomplete job of managing their new goal (which is simply a matter of process).

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Accumulation not transformation

It’s Time to Believe That You Can Change

The prevailing cultural belief about change is that it comes when people are “ready” or it comes only to those who are “worthy” or “special.”

That’s not true, and it’s time to let it go.

You can be better tomorrow, even though you’re weak, imperfect, and only partially (if at all) “ready.”  The only thing special about people who change is that they are willing to change.

You can be special like that, too.

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How to Be Grateful, Even When Times Are Hard

About a year ago, I was up to my ears in full-scale burnout.  I hadn’t had a real break in months and the pace of work seemed to be ever-increasing.  What I remember disliking the most about that time was how generalized my unhappiness was. Everywhere I looked was more work; I just couldn’t see the joy.

One Saturday, my son (who was 3 at the time) was standing on our coffee table wearing star-shaped glasses, holding a crayon like a microphone, singing “Let it Grow” from The Lorax.  I, on the other hand, was obsessively conveying some story to my husband about how something had happened and then someone said something, and then something else happened (you know that story, I’m sure. It’s NEVER interesting.). He looked at me and said “Ok, I hear you, but right now- look at this.” and he physically turned me around to face my son.

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It’s Time to Be Awesome! – Rainbow Dash

The kids (as you know) are home for the foreseeable future. One unexpected benefit of this (in addition to random, mid-day hugs) is that I get to hear the soundtrack to their current movie obsession over and over and over again. Lately, it’s been “Hey Siri, play the My Little Pony: The Movie Soundtrack.” Mostly (to be honest), I just tune it out… but every now and then one of those songs will make its way into my brain and get lodged.

This time, it was “Time to Be Awesome” by Rainbow Dash. She’s talking to a group of parrot pirates encouraging them to stop doing the bidding of the Storm King, and instead do their own AWESOME thing. It’s catchy, and worth a listen (click here).

(My favorite lyric is “Hey Scallywags, it’s time to be awesome!” 

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How To Give Up On ‘More’

Every time I run a group program—EVERY SINGLE TIME—the one topic that emerges from the group is time management.

The ask usually goes something like this:

“How can I do everything that I already do, AND these practice building things that you are teaching us.”

OR

“I was feeling overwhelmed already. How could I possibly add anything more?”

Embedded in these two questions is a tiny, destructive kernel that will stop your time management efforts (and your business building efforts… and your happiness) in its tracks.

Can you spot it?

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Why Time Management Can Be So Overwhelming for the Self-Employed

There are two kinds of people in the world: those whose work is mostly or entirely dictated by outside forces and those whose work has to be driven mostly or entirely from their own choices.

Think of the first group as all the people you know who have JOBS. Even those who have high pressure, high paid C-level jobs have the boundaries of their work largely set by organizational priorities.

The second group can best be summarized as people who are, to a significant extent, self-employed. This can include the partially self-employed like therapists who have a private practice on the side of their agency job, or side hustlers who offer services or consulting outside of their full-time, corporate, or non-profit jobs. Or it can be the entirely self-employed, like therapists and coaches in full-time private practice or founders of small to medium-sized companies.

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effective planning and time management

How to Conjure Time Out of Mid-Air

Jim Henson, the iconic creator of The Muppets, was known for three big personal traits:

  1. A zany, seriously offbeat sense of humor
  2. A gentle and generous manner
  3. A drive to beat the hands of time.

Jim Henson learned at an early age that time is fleeting.   When Jim was only 20 years old his brother and good friend, Paul, was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 23. According to his family and friends, this fundamentally changed Jim’s time frame.

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