So how does a mother of seven (yes, seven) manage kids, work and the universe? Please let me know. But seriously, you are in the right place if you feel like the world around you is spinning, with too much to do in too little time.
Life has a way of getting really, really complicated—and so I make time management really, really simple. Whether you are a mom, an entrepreneur, an employee, or an empty-nester, you find life throwing things at you. Come learn from my mistakes and (finally) get it all together.
I promise I wont tell you to arrange your cans in ABC order, I just want you to stop reinventing the wheel and sneak in some fun and a power nap once in a while.
I promise this won’t lead to arranging your spices in alphabetical order. I just want you to stop reinventing the wheel and sneak in some fun—and a power nap—once in a while. After all, it takes less energy to be organized than to be disorganized!
Here are some of the most common questions people ask me:
Were you always organized?
No way. Ask any of my childhood friends: no one will remember me as a neat freak. My room was always a mess, but I always knew where to find everything. I also displayed some OCD-like tendencies, for example cataloging all my books at a young age, or creating detailed study plans for school assignments. My friend Lucy recalls my color-coded study plans and copious amounts of chocolate—although she does not ever remember seeing me actually study.
How did you get started in the time management business?
I was losing my mind. The few skills I employed to feed, clothe, and house a husband and two children did not work when my family size grew—and included a special-needs child. I still am disorganized by nature, but having so much to do has forced me to learn how to navigate it all while retaining my sanity. Better time management=more sanity. Also, it keeps me from turning into Crazy Mom, an incarnation I’d rather keep at bay.
How do you do it all?
I don’t. I write lots of lists, manage my interruptions really well and drink lots of coffee. I also wake up mega-early, which helps. Just don’t attempt to speak to me after 9 PM.
What is a typical day in your world?
5 AM Wake up/Write/Exercise
6 AM Cook supper/Organize something a small area that is bothering me/Garden
6:30-10 AM Get kids up and off to school/One therapy run [total=3 carpools]
10 AM–12 PM Go to local Starbucks and do 10 prioritized items on my list/delegate other tasks to virtual assistant
12-2 PM Continue working/Lunch with or without friend/Power nap
2-5 PM Second therapy run
5-8 PM Kids home/Homework/Bedtime routine
8 PM Off-duty: relax and regroup
Which other time/space management people do you admire?
Tim Ferris, Julie Morgenstern, Martha Beck, Peter Walsh, Suze Orman (money management is the first cousin of time management), David Allen of GTD fame, Michael Gerber of the E-myth, Juliet Landau Pope and my clever Twitter friends.
What are a few time-management tips you treasure?
1. Manage those interruptions.
2. The morning starts the night before.
4. Write down the key 10 items you want to get done tomorrow.
5. Don’t confuse efficient with effective.
6. It’s all about retrieval: if you can’t find it, you don’t own it.
7. Don’t put it down—put it away.
8. Also, I aim to have an echo in every room.
What are the best and worst parts of being a time-management consultant?
The best parts involve helping people lower their stress levels and be kinder to themselves (and others) by applying a few basic skills. Their newfound self-confidence is addictive. I also feel that I am doing my part to help children have nicer parents. That is a good thing, since one of them might one day direct my nursing home.
The worst parts have to be the hypocrisy I feel when I teach one thing and end up doing the exact opposite when my life collapses that day. Or when strangers complain to my husband that their spouses are now throwing everything out, and my husband nods empathetically while sharing the story of how I discarded our (stained) couches while he was away at a convention.