Monday, April 25, 2011

Time Management ... How You Say It

This morning I got up knowing I had to write sixteen pages. I slogged down to the kitchen, made coffee, watched the news, played with the cat. Obviously, avoiding my work. LOL

So I sat down to write a time management blog and read over last week's blog on goals...(still procrastinating) and it hit me. If I say, "I have to write sixteen pages today..." I procrastinate. If I say, "My goal is to write sixteen pages today..." I want to sit down and write those pages to accomplish the goal.


I've been studying things like this for years and I've long recognized that sometimes how you say something is as important as what you say.

For instance, if you say writing is hard, you will probably avoid your computer all day (except to read email). But if you say, I enjoy the challenge of writing a good scene and today I have a doozie of a challenge ahead of'll be more apt to go to your office to accept the challenge.

At least I will. Because I've clicked in with something in my psyche. It's almost like I've turned the key of my internal engine. I now WANT to work becuase I like a challenge.

I think everybody has different buzz words, different things that motivate them. I love to be challenged. Maybe you don't. Maybe you like the excitement of a new scene or the sense of accomplishment when you're done.

Whatever rings your bell...hone in on it. Figure out the words that motivate you and use them. If you like a challenge, call your day a challenge. If you like excitement, call the day's work exciting. If you like a sense of accomplishment...remember that you don't get that sense unless or until you have an accomplishment.

That actually takes us a a great time management tip called linking emotion. But that's next week's post!

Today, figure out your buzz words. Figure out what makes you want to work and use those words to motivate yourself. Because the best time management occurs when you actually get to work.

So motivate yourself!

Happy Monday...


PS Thanks for the fabulous sales on THE BABY PROJECT! If you didn't get your copy, you can still order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at eHarlequin...and don't forget Kindle. I just got one for my birthday and spent an hour at Starbucks (where they have wifi) loading it with some great books. I will have plenty to read forever! LOL

Also, the prologue for SECOND CHANCE BABY is "up" in the What Came Before Section! New ezine is also available with this months craft lesson, Lesson 3 of THE POWER OF QUESTIONS. It's a great lesson! So click on the ezine link!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday must be time management tip day!

I had a really bad week last week. And I have a book due in a little over a week, so today's time management tip is going to be simple.

Set goals.

Goals? Really? How is that a time management tip?

Close your eyes. Stop and think about how many times you did something pointless last many times you wasted time. I'm going to guess lots.

My theory is that people don't waste time because they enjoy tossing their life into the trash bin one hour or one day at a time. We waste time because nothing pressing is nudging us forward.

Goals will nudge you. Goals will also force you to organize. They will guide you and direct you in creating to do lists. They will force you to look at your days, weeks and months and find spaces of time that you can use to accomplish the wonderful thing -- goal -- that's driving you.

So...if you don't have goals...daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, one-year and five-year goals...set some.

If you don't know over to my website page. There's a nice little Goal Setting workshop.

Take charge of your life, instead of letting it run roughshod over you!

Happy Monday!


PS...THE BABY PROJECT has been released! If you've read the book and you're intersted in book 2 of the Babies in the Boardroom series, SECOND CHANCE BABY, there's a prologue up on my website. It's in the WHAT CAME BEFORE section. It's a wonderful little scene that didn't make its way into the book, but gives you a great snap shot of Nick Andreas!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not panicking is my favorite time management trick

This morning I woke up to a phone call from my sister who told me one of my favorite uncles died. A little later, I learned that the Harlequin Romance line is getting a new senior editor. On the news, a few minutes ago, the weatherman told us a cold front is about to slam into our warm front (which we were coming to love) and the result could be thunderstorms with possible 80 mph winds.

Through it all, I paid the month's bills, polished fifty pages and taught an online class.

That probably doesn't sound like much of a time management trick, except...flip it. What if I'd gotten all that not-so-good news and panicked?

What if I'd let it all get to me and hadn't gotten anything done...I'd be 50 pages behind tomorrow and that would just ... well, suck.

My friend, Karen Rose Smith (who writes for Special Edition) has a saying...Control the things you can control.

Sometimes when life really isn't treating you kindly, the best thing to do really is sit down and get your work done. Not panic. Not stress out. But control the thing you can control...your work.

Keep pace. Don't fall behind. And procrastination won't whisper in your ear that you're so far behind you might as well not even try.

Ah...Now, I'm pushing a few buttons, aren't I?

Absolutely. How many of us are familiar with that voice that tells us we might as well grab a bag of Doritos and watch TV because we're so far behind we'll never catch up? Probably most of us.

Why? Because most of us can keep going until we fall behind. Then that time thief procrastination just kills us...because we dispair of ever catching up, we fall even further behind.

So, don't panic. Control the things you can control. When something bad happens, and you're tempted to step away from your desk for a few hours of pacing and wringing your hands...don't.

Control the things you can control. Do your daily page count. Wash the dishes. Make dinner.

You'll be glad you did.

Happy Monday.


PS I even accidentally put my underpants on inside out, which according to the old ladies who played bingo back when I was one of the ticket sellers (about 40 years ago!), is a good luck thing. Put your panties on inside out (accidentally, not deliberately) and keep them on inside out and you will have good luck all day.

Didn't work.

Gamblers are crazy people.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


This was supposed to go up last Monday...Since I missed it, I intended to post it next Monday...but today I decided to compromise. We'll post it on Saturday!

Okay...We hit the highlights of Motivation last week, talking about how we all need to be motivated to get anything done.

But another powerful force is vision.

How do you see yourself? Or maybe better asked...Who do you see yourself to be?

Are you a mom first, career woman second? Are you an empty-nester, looking for new breath of life for the second half of your life? Are you a lawyer? And nothing else?

I ask that because people who define themselves by their careers frequenly have shallow personal lives. (Ouch! That's not good!)

Conversely, people who describe themselves as a mom first might find themselves mothering their co-workers. (Equally not good, if you work in an environment where co-workers don't want to be mothered!)

You must have a balanced vision of who you are.

I'm a wife and mom, writer, sister, friend, teacher. I put writer third because I have to make a living. That has to have a high priority, but it really shouldn't come before wife and mom.

Still, there's more to vision than that. When I close my eyes and see myself this summer, I see me at the beach. Why? Because I love the beach, but also because I know we cannot afford a beach house unless I get my tail busy and write!

So that little 'ol vision is a good one to get me to sit down on the chair and write. I loves me some beach time in the summer. But I don't get it if I don't work.

But there's vision beyond that. Some times you have to create a picture in your head of who you would be ideally. If your life were perfect, what would it look like?

I see myself in a cherrywood kitchen, dressed in a suit, reviewing notes, about to go to a conference to be a keynote speaker.

But I don't stop there.

I see myself getting on the plane...sometimes with my husband traveling with me. Sometimes with my husband and son traveling with me. I see us laughing at the airport and on the plane. I see us arriving at a cool hotel, everybody eager to either get to the pool or go sightseeing.

Then I see myself giving a really wonderful keynote speech. In that speech I talk about what it takes to be a successful self-employed person. I talk about budgeting. I talk about not hyperventilating when the big offer, or you've-made-the-NY Times-list call comes. I talk about dedication to wonderful, powerful writing. I talk about devotion to really great characters. I talk about loving and appreciating the readers and never shortchanging them.

And when I run that vision in my head several things happen in my heart. Yep. My heart. First, I do renew my dedication to my readers. Then I feel really good about the fact that my husband and son support me...because they do. Then I really, really, really WANT to write.

That vision energizes me. That vision renews my spirit. And that's why it's scripted the way it is. That vision is designed to remind myself of my duties and responsibilities, even as it shows me some rewards.

But more than that, it reminds me of what is possible -- if I work hard, if I remember who I really am, what I really want to accomplish.

That's the power of vision.

So if you have a little spare time this morning, close your eyes, picture a perfect day, picture yourself being the person you really want to be. Don't forget your family. But if your vision only focuses on family, don't forget your career.

You are not just a mom/dad, wife/husband, doctor, lawyer, writer, or secretary. You are a full person. You should be balanced. Your vision should reflect that.

And trust me, if it does, if you can create a vision that emcompasses who you will be able to look at the vision when you're not quite as eager to be a writer (or mom, dad, sister, secretary, writer, doctor) and your vision should encourage you!