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Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Author Jan Christensen Talks Time Management
I’m excited to welcome author Jan Christensen to Thoughts in Progress today to talk about time management and her new release, BURIED UNDER CLUTTER, the second installment in her Tina Tales Mystery series.
Someone screams inside the old, neglected Victorian house next door, and Tina Shaw runs to find out what’s wrong. A woman bursts out the door saying her aunt is dead. Murdered. Tina notices that the hallway is piled high with cartons. Later when the woman begs her to help clean up the house, Tina hesitates. She’s just begun a career as a professional organizer, though, and her hands itch to start on a new job. As Tina sifts through the clutter, she finds clues the murdered woman left behind. She learns the woman was rich, and all her relatives are suspects. But when the will is read, Tina and her family also become suspects. After her mother is arrested, Tina begins investigating in earnest with the help of her boyfriend, Hank (the Hunk). Will she find out who the killer is before her own life is put in danger?
Now please join me in giving Jan a warm welcome as she talks about time management. Welcome, Jan.
Mason asked me to talk about one of my passions—time management. That, my family and friends, writing, reading, and personal organization are what interests me the most. So, I’ve studied all those subjects over the years (yes, including family, friendship, and reading).
Time management is something that affects all of us, especially in today’s world. The faster we can zip through unpleasant chores and have more time for our passions, the happier we’ll be.
To do a good job of it takes knowledge and planning. Self-knowledge is very important. For example, when do you have the most energy during a day? That’s when you should do the most important things on your goals list. When does your energy lag? That’s when you should schedule those routine, even boring, tasks that don’t take a lot of thought or energy.
If you are a procrastinator, a perfectionist, low-energy, in a lot of pain, handicapped in anyway, you can have difficulty managing your time if you don’t allow for your particular situation. Once you learn how to overcome or compensate for problems by getting one-on-one help, if needed, or studying/reading about it and working on it, then you will better be able to accomplish what you want to do in the time available.
After that is when the planning comes in. The most important points I’ve read and heard about are these:
1. Make up a to-do list daily.
2. Pick three or four things you want to do each day—for example, personal care/exercise/eat right,
your work (for pay or volunteer), your environment, social activities with family and friends, financial matters, etc. Once those important items are finished for the day, you can relax and do whatever entertains you, guilt-free. And yes, guilt can arise from goals you want to accomplish you’ve set for yourself.
3. Find your most productive time of day and do the most important things on your to-do list then.
4. Decrease stress by eliminating all unnecessary things from your life, whether that means clutter, toxic people, situations, or anything else.
5. Try to move around more. Set a timer if you sit a lot to work, and get up every hour for ten minutes. Do a chore. Stretch. Make a phone call standing/walking around. Anything to get the blood flowing again. Make a list of all the chores you can do in ten minutes. You can keep a clutter-free, clean house using this method. And be more productive when you sit down again to work after the break.
6. Think efficiently. For example, it’s smart to run all your errands once a week, using lists. It’s smart to vacuum the whole house at one time (even if in ten-minute increments) instead of pulling the vacuum out and setting it up every day to do a different room. Same for any other cleaning chore. If it involves supplies and equipment, do those at one time or at least on one day. Arrange your kitchen and office in a work-flow pattern.
7. Handle everything that comes into your house as soon as you can. Put things you’ve bought away immediately. Handle the mail the same day it arrives. Clean out your purse, wallet, and the kids’ backpacks when you and/or they get home.
8. Habit is destiny. For everything you want to do every day, from brushing your teeth to cleaning up the kitchen before bed and making that bed in the morning, make it routine by doing it for several weeks without a day off. The more things are habitual, the less you have to think about them and the less your mind will suggest you don’t do them.
These are the major items I can think of to help you make the life you want. Here’s my favorite quote: A successful life does not result from chance, but rather from a succession of successful days. Make every day a success, and your life will be incredible.
Jan, thanks so much for joining us today and sharing these helpful tips. I can always use more help when it comes to getting organized and these points can help do the trick.
Now here’s a bit of background on Jan.
Jan Christensen grew up in New Jersey. She bounced around the world as an Army wife, and in Texas when her husband retired. After traveling for eleven years in a motorhome, she settled down in the Texas Coastal Bend.
Her published novels are: Sara’s Search, Revelations, Organized to Death, Perfect Victim, Blackout, and most recently, Buried Under Clutter. Jan has had over sixty short stories appear in various places over the last dozen years. She also writes a series of short stories about Artie, a NY burglar who gets into some very strange situations while on the job.
Thanks so much for stopping by during Jan’s visit and be sure to check out her latest release, BURIED UNDER CLUTTER. Are you organized when it comes to home and work? Do you have any organizational tips you’d like to share?
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon. I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites. If you are an author looking for a review or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards. I'm also the Literary Publicist @ MC Book Tours! Stop by and check out the services to help promote your latest release.