time management

How to End Time Stealers & Manage Your Time Better

By Karen Lynn

When you are trying to balance growing your career with taking care of your family, it is nearly impossible to fit everything you need to do into a 24-hour period.  You may find yourself looking at the clock and realize it’s later than you thought it was, and think “Where did the time go?”  We have all been there.  However, if you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day every day, you may be struggling with time management.  These 7 tips will help you use your time more efficiently so you can get more done and feel less stress!

Plan Your Day
Too much time is spent not sure what to do next or feeling scattered.  You get to work and you spend 10 minutes sitting at your desk not sure where to start, or you dive into one project, then halfway through you start something else.  When you get to your office, before you start sending emails or making calls, plan out your day as a combination to-do list, and schedule where you can determine what you need to do and schedule the time to make it happen.

Prioritize Your Day
As you create your daily plan, make sure you set your two or three highest priority items at the top and get those done first.  Not only is this great for taking care of your business, but it gives you a great sense of accomplishment!  Don’t set more than two or three items as high-priority though, or you’ll stress yourself out.  Getting in touch with a distributor about a missed shipment and vacuuming your office rug are not on the same level of priority.

Shut Off Social Media
Social media can be amazing, but it can easily turn into a huge time waster.  A one minute tweet about your business can turn into liking friends’ vacation pictures and taking quizzes about what type of person you are based on your astrological sign.  If you use it for your business, use a site like Hootsuite to create a few days’ worth of content and schedule your social media posts, or block out a time each day to post on social media and follow up.  

Take a Lunch
Spending all day plugging away at work seems like you’ll get more done than if you take breaks, but that isn’t necessarily true. Your brain does need some down time, and you need to re-fuel.  Schedule your lunch for a specific time.  You will naturally work more quickly to finish projects before your scheduled lunch time than if you were planning on eating while you work or skipping it altogether.  Plus, when you return to your work, you’ll have a refreshed mind and outlook.

Set Boundaries
If you work from home or you receive a lot of interruptions from others while you are working, those interruptions can eat into your productivity.  Stopping your project to take care of something else, then having to find your place and get back into it is a major time-stealer!  If you struggle with unnecessary interruptions, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.   This doesn’t work if you have customers or clients who need you and you need them, but it helps with children and co-workers if you work in an office.  If you worry about hurting feelings, but you can’t be interrupted, tell the person, “I want to devote 100 percent of my attention to helping you, and I can’t if this project is hanging over me.  Let me finish this, and I can give you my full attention.”  

Avoid Multi-tasking
Trying to do two (or more!) projects at once seems like a great idea, in theory.  However, dividing your focus actually takes an overall longer amount of time than if you would have done one task first, then the second one.  You are also much more likely to make an error if you divide your concentration and having to correct it will waste even more time.  Start a project, finish it to completion, then more onto the next thing.  If you get an unavoidable interruption, focus on that until you can transition back to your original project.

Delegate Tasks
It’s easy to slip into the “I’ll do it myself” mindset.  You know that when you do something, it is done to your specific standards, and it’s hard to let go of that control.  However, if you have employees working for you, you hired them to help you.  Let them help you.  The same goes for kids, too.  If you’re tired of coming home to a messy house, even the smallest child can help pick up the mess.  Don’t be afraid to let others shoulder some of the load.

For more information and great tips on how to de-stress your busy mom life, click here to sign up for my free newsletter and receive a free gift. I also offer a free complimentary phone session if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity and de-stress your life.


Karen Lynn is a certified Life & Holistic Health Coach and the founder of CoachKarenLynn and the creator of the “From Frazzled to Fabulous” programs. Which helps mom entrepreneurs find health, balance and an amazing life of their own design.

Karen Lynn mentors mom entrepreneurs to create time in their busy days, so they can feel focused, relaxed and productive in their business & their lives. As a single mom who has worked in both the corporate world, and has owned own businesses, Karen understands the challenges that busy working moms are facing these days.  She designs her programs to fit easily into a busy moms lifestyle. She is a Certified Life Coach and Holistic Health Coach, with 10 years experience in the Health & Wellness field.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Managing Overwhelm And Finding Your Zen

By Paula Bailey

Respond to emails. Create new content. Brief VA. Develop new product. Make sales target. Check client agreements. Tweet this. Automate that.

Business can be so busy and so very overwhelming at times!

Ever find yourself in a big mess by mid morning, stressed out by what to do next because everything seems to be vying for your attention and feeling like you’re almost frozen by the overwhelm of it all?

You are not alone! After years of dealing with these feelings myself and now helping other ambitious business owners also conquer the emotional rollercoaster that is running business, I have some key tips for managing the overwhelm and elegantly bringing some zen into your busy day.

Seek First To Understand
Understand what overwhelm is. When we feel the tendrils of anxiety slowing curling around our gut it’s useful to know that overwhelm is really your mind projecting you into a future - a future that doesn’t even exist yet. A future that doesn’t ever have to exist either. Accepting this without judgement on yourself opens the gateway to being able to glide through those moments in business.

Play Observer
Rise above it. With your new knowledge of what overwhelm is, if you catch yourself going ’there’ change it up. Rather than living in it and letting your mind run rampant, rise above it. Literally. Imagine yourself in the clouds. Rise above your body for a moment and look down at  yourself. Play observer. Notice that you are not really in this non existent future and that you can choose to remain present.

Follow These Steps
Now that you are a little more present, follow these steps to move from chaos to zen.

  1. Be Still: Cease everything you are doing in that moment

  2. Now: Feel the seat beneath your bottom. Feel the floor beneath your feet.

  3. Breathe: As you tune into these sensations, slow your breathing down. Take a deep breath in, BIG breath out. Inhale, then exhale….

  4. Gratitude: As you notice the seat and floor beneath you, acknowledge the support they give you. Tune into the infinite support that is around your every second of your day.

  5. Reflect: Keep breathing and your reflect on this moment now. This perfect, now,  silent moment.

  6. Ask: What do I move forward on next? Choose one small thing that you can complete today. Begin it now with the commitment to complete it today.

  7. Peace: Continue on with your day knowing that you can come back to this now moment any time you need by using these simple steps.

I hope this helps to provide mindful peace in those times when business seems to be chaotic and overwhelming. Remember you always have all the resources you need to be make your awesome business the success you desire!

Paula Bailey is a mindset and performance expert for ambitious women in business. Known a the ‘Sassy CEO Strategic Planning Queen’, she teaches her clients how to build and scale their businesses using a unique mixture of mindset, consciousness, performance and planning strategies based on the fastest start companies on the planet. You can find her at paulabaileylive.com

4 Time Management Strategies for Writers, Artists and Creatives

By Elaine Calloway

Ah, time management—that elusive thing we attempt to harness but somehow it eludes us. Like a butterfly refusing to be caught in the net, time escapes from us at a rapid rate. When we do finally take a breath and glance at the clock, we think, “Where did all the time go? How can the day be almost over when I haven’t gotten much done?”

I’ve said these things plenty of times. And I’ve beaten myself up and sworn I would never get on social media first thing in the morning again. And guess what? Some days, I still do. But I’m getting better.

Below are some tips to let time work FOR you, rather than against you.

1.     Determine your “Best Self” time.
Figure out when your brain is at its most alert, least stressed and ready to work. For some people, it’s first thing in the morning before the day’s chaos pushes its way into our minds. For others, it’s late at night when everyone else has gone to sleep.
Determine your best time and then GUARD it with everything you have. If you’re more refreshed in the morning, get up an hour earlier to tackle your goals. If you’re a night owl, let the kids listen to a children’s story audiobook an hour before their bedtime, and then use that hour to get a jumpstart on your plans.
Do the essential chores during a time when you are not at your mental peak. Laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. actually allows your creative brain to think, which helps you when you do sit down at your most productive time.

2.     Postpone Social Media.
For your prime creative time, stay off social media. I know, this one is a struggle. It’s so easy to just grab that morning cup of Java and click the button to check email, read through some funnies on Facebook, check Twitter, etc.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned, though. Doing what seems like a relaxing task actually isn’t relaxing. The information (even the cute kitten photos on Facebook) gets into your brain and leaves less room for your most creative self to flourish.
There’s a fantastic book I’m reading called Your Brain at Work by David Rock. One thing he mentions is that the creative space in our brain, the prefrontal cortex, fills up quickly. He compares the amount of brainpower able to handle creativity to a performance stage. Once you have the social media, the worries of the day, the thoughts about what to fix for breakfast, etc. creeping onto the stage, then there is less room for your book, painting, or other endeavor.
We need to remember that the stage is a finite space, and we must choose who has the right to be onstage at any given moment. The author, David Rock, gives great recommendations on how we must manage our “stage” every day in order to be most efficient.
So remember: Social media is a great outlet, but only AFTER you finish your creative tasks.

3.     Keep a Notebook for Distractive Thoughts.
Our brains know how to distract us, to keep us from achieving our goals. We must manage our thoughts to be able to be our most effective. Keeping a notebook handy is ideal for this.
Whenever I sit down to continue writing one of my books, the inevitable happens: I get ideas for other books. This is a common procrastination technique, but I’ve learned how to tackle it and keep working. By keeping a notebook nearby, I jot down the idea that won’t let go, and then I immediately get back to work.
Jotting down the distractive idea does two things. First, it gets the pesky thought out of our heads and onto paper so we can continue working. Second, it gets the thought off our “stage” so we are free to choose what other work to put on our stage as we move toward our goal (be it painting, writing, photography, etc.)

Managing Your Time

4.     Use the Pomodoro Technique.
I love how popular this technique, and the phone apps for it, has become. Years ago, the most prolific writers recommended using an egg timer to time several writing sessions of 20-40 minutes. The Pomodoro has taken this a step further.

So, what’s the Pomodoro Technique?
It’s basically a timer that allows you to work in short increments, taking a break between sessions. Our brains are able to focus and work more productively because we know the task time limit will be short.

  • First, set the Pomodoro timer for 25 minutes.
  • Work exclusively on your task until the timer rings.
  • Take a 5-minute break and stretch.
  • Set the Pomodoro for another 25 minutes, followed by another 5-minute break.
  • After 4 Pomodoro sessions (2 hours), take a longer break for 20-30 minutes.
  • Repeat as desired.

You can download apps for the Pomodoro online or for your phone. I use Clockwork Tomato for Android, which is a free app. Browse the Google Play store here.

Using these 4 strategies for time management will help you stay focused and get more creative tasks done. Building a habit takes 30 days, and practicing these techniques will help you form good habits for time management.

Soon, you’ll be able to hold that elusive butterfly of time management in your hand. And the world will thank you for the creative gifts you have to offer!

Elaine Calloway is an Amazon bestselling author of paranormal fiction/ghost stories and a speaker on self-publishing and how to become a successful author. She has several online courses available for authors: The Writer’s Bootcamp – Your Complete Guide to Writing Your Book in 30 Days, and Marketing for Authors / How to Gain More Readers. When she’s not teaching self-publishing, writing or sleeping, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family and her very spoiled black-lab mix. Connect with her online at www.howtoselfpublishyournovel.com or www.elainecalloway.com.