TIME MANAGEMENT

As a former teacher, time management was extremely important.  I was a special educator working with students with multiple disabilities.  These students thrived on a set schedule, routine, and consistency in their daily school day.  I always posted the schedule for the day on the board and the expectations. By doing that, I was, for the most part, able to alleviate some behaviors that would be centered around the unknown.  This was particularly affective for students with autism.

The definition for time management is “the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively”.  It is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.  Good time management enables us to work smarter, not harder, so that you get more done in less time.  Failing to manage your time can damage your effectiveness and may cause undue stress.

Time management is an important part of the organizing process.  Often, we get distracted while performing a task and thus the task is left not completed.  This can get frustrating.  Our lives are often “cluttered” with things we want to do and things we need to do.  The first step in effectively managing your time, is to prioritize the projects or activities.  By that I mean to list all the things that you need to do and things you want to do.  Then determine what needs to be done immediately or later.  Overplanning can cause stress as well.  I would recommend limiting 2-3 needed tasks done daily and maybe 1-2 tasks you want to do.  A person that does not have good time management skills may need to write down a daily “to do” list.  Once a task is completed, you would check it off your list.  This provides a sense of accomplishment.  As you begin to develop your daily list and method of completing these tasks, it will become easier and you can see that your day will be more fulfilled!! 

There are many strategies that can help one with using their time more effectively.  Some people prefer to use their phones and some prefer paper and pen methods to manage their time.  It’s important to always keep your calendar up to date with upcoming appointments, events and activities.  Lastly, always start your day with a clear focus of expectations, minimize distractions, have a task checklist and focus on high-value activities!  As my previous principal always told us, “and don’t forget to take time to smell the roses.”

Extended Treasures

Relocating has it’s challenges! Inevitably, you wind up in your new home and begin to question yourself:

“I had no doubt that this must come with me; it means a lot to me and I can’t let it go.”  The point is that it brought you joy in your former state of being, your former home. The question now is, “Does it bring you joy now?”  The answer to this critical question (be totally honest with yourself) determines one of several paths you may now explore.

You can sell it, gift (donate) it, or re-purpose it; even if the answer is ,”Yes, it does still bring me joy …”

If it is not “working” with your current situation you can donate or sell. Hold a ceremony, take your time, and thank it for the pleasure it has shared with you! Then allow it to share the same with others of this life …

~   Let It Be   ~

A more palatable option is to allow it to extend its life by re-purposing. Everything Old Is New Again can be your mantra! Exhaust the number of options at your fingertips! Discuss options with others, check out creative sites like Pinterest, Real Simple (magazine) and perhaps take a chalk painting class!

When you extend your mind to new possibilities the result can be life changing ~

 

The pictures shown here of Karen’s Early American dining room set (which belonged to her husband’s parents) was re-purposed in their new home that complements their coastal theme decor.  She used farmhouse chalk paint and washed with tea stain and silver wax on hardware!!

Cookie Making Organization

I love Christmas time and especially making homemade cookies to share with my guests during the holidays and to give them as gifts to my family and friends!  I usually make at least 7 kinds of cookies! I recruited two friends to help this year and they graciously agreed.  In turn, they also got to take cookies home with them, as well.  I decided to double the cookie recipes to allow for plenty for each of us.

After locating the recipes the next step was looking at the ingredients.  First, I did an inventory of the things I had at home, then made a list of items that need to be purchased at our local grocery store.  Each of the helpers agreed to buy items from the list and they were asked to bring them on the cookie making day!

The next step was to set a cookie making day on a convenient date for each of us.   When that day came my friends arrived at the designated time we set and each was given a fun apron to wear, snacks, drinks, and all the items needed were ready to use! The types of cookies and their respective recipes were made available for each of us to view. I even had Google Home play Christmas carols to set the mood for our day together!

The kitchen was arranged by zones.  Next to the stove, zone 1, I placed the baking sheets, pot holders, and spatulas, the baking zone!  The next “zone” or zone 2 was the cookie making area.  This zone had 2 mixers, mixing utensils, bowls, measuring cups, and measuring spoons, readily available for use when needed!  Zone 3 was the ingredients zone.  I placed a portable table in the middle of the kitchen, since I don’t have an island, and had all the ingredients needed for all 7 cookies.  The ingredients were organized by wet and dry ingredients.  For example, flour, powdered sugar, sugar, oatmeal, baking soda, etc . were on one end of the table and on the other end were the “wet” ingredients; eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and such.  Zone 4 was the cooling zone.  Once the cookies were baked, the cookies were transferred to cooling areas that were placed on wax paper.  The last zone, zone 5, was the packing station.  Once, the cookies were cooled, they were ready to be placed in containers.  I mostly use cookie tins over the years of cookie making.  I ask my friends to bring containers to take home their cookies.

Each of us, had assigned tasks to do so we never got into each other’s way.  For example, two of us mixed the ingredients while the other person manned the baking and cooling zones.

We had a great day of cookie making and my biggest recommendation is to be organized and prepared before your friends arrive to help!  The day flowed without a hitch and a good time was had by all!  The cookies  tasted pretty good, as well!!!

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Zone 4

Zone 5