The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

-Mark Twain

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve caught myself feeling like a victim to time.

WHERE did it go?

Argh, I’m a few minutes late…again!

What time is it already?!

Have you ever wished for a few more hours in the day, or wish you could leave it all beyond and whisk yourself away on a retreat? Why is it that some people seem to get everything done effortlessly and others feel that time constantly eludes them? The secret to managing your time well isn’t working more hours. It is about prioritizing the important things and learning to use the time you have more efficiently and effectively. The secret is working smarter, not harder.

Some of us, by nature, organize and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us play first and work later. It is important to first recognize which type you are and whether your style is allowing you to have the life you really want. Maybe you are super-organized at work, but burned out because you don’t know how to make time for yourself. Maybe you are naturally a less organized person who knows how to relax, but you are dissatisfied because you aren’t fulfilling your goals and dreams. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though – having no structure at all does not equal “freedom.” I’ve seen others, myself included, fall into that trap before.

To paraphrase Anodea Judith in Eastern Body Western Mind, If you have an unrealistic attachment to freedom, you’ll have an unwillingness to accept limitations long enough to manifest your own basic needs, subsequently leaving you feeling trapped (the very thing you least want!). She says it wasn’t until she “accepted limits with grace” that [she] found any prosperity for herself. “The essential paradox here is that we must accept limitation in order to transcend it.”

So, I suggest that rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, realize that time management is an area of your life that you can strengthen. Like a new muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. To help you get started, here are some steps to streamline your days at work and at home. Try the first one or two that jump out at you:

  • Allocate time for planning and organizing.
  • Create to-do lists that are realistic, not intimidating. Use only one to-do list.
  • Under-schedule your time: Leave time for the unexpected and for interruptions. When you estimate how long something will take, add on a third of that time.
  • Schedule your time in a way that reduces interruptions that lower your productivity.
  • Practice the art of intelligent neglect: Eliminate trivial tasks.
  • Prioritize what is most important and do that first.
  • Consider your biological prime time: At what time of day do you work best? Plan to do your most important work at that time.
  • If you say yes to everything that comes your way, learn to say no.
  • Try this mantra for meditation, “I have all the time that I need.” And see what it feels like to actually believe that.
  • Ask for help and delegate.
  • In the evening make your to-do list for the next day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper. Leave work with a clear head and a clean desk.
  • Acknowledge yourself daily for all that you have accomplished. (Think gratitude journal (key section in the now-on-Amazon.com Just Roll With It Wellness Journal, by the way!)

Also take a look at the two biggest hindrances to using time effectively: procrastinating and lacking purpose. We usually procrastinate when a task seems too daunting, too large or too complex, or when we feel we won’t be able to handle it. When you get that “deer in the headlights” feeling, try “chunking” or “block scheduling:” break the large task into smaller, manageable action steps and start with the first one.

We also often drag our heels or use our time inefficiently because we are bored, unengaged and uninspired. The most effective people will tell you that they love what they do and are aligned with a greater purpose. When it comes to managing your time, you may need to ask the larger questions, “Am I doing what I love to do? Am I doing something meaningful to me?”

As you strengthen your new time management muscle, keep your focus on getting organized so that you can live the life you came here for. Instead of being a chore, good time management can be your ticket to more fun, greater satisfaction and a vibrant, exciting life.

Food Focus: Root Vegetables

The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.

Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity . Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar and moods, and alleviate cravings.

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Recipe of the Month: Roasted Root Vegetables

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25-35 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

2 parsnips

2 carrots

2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga

1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in your favorites, like squash)

olive oil

salt and pepper

herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)

 

Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.   Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.

3.   Place in a large baking dish with sides.

4.   Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil.

5.   Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.

6.   Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.

Note: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.

 

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Get Even Healthier!

Want to learn how to make positive choices in your own life? Want support in creating your healthiest, happiest life ever? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about!   The next Semper Sarah Retreat is 15-21 July 2017 in Nosara Costa Rica. Get full details for this women-only retreat at www.SemperSarah.com/Retreat

About Me

I offer counseling services for individuals and couples in the areas of dynamic holistic health and personal effectiveness through specific practices that build resilience like self-care (which includes emotional wellbeing, mental health, stress management), social support (finding the right tribe and utilize it as a resource within our meaning-making of life), and spirituality (which includes big life stuff like finding your purpose, living your service, and practicing your faith). I take an interdisciplinary approach to behavioral health utilizing both my Master’s in Social Work as well as my Holistic Health certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the only school in the world that integrates over 100 of the latest nutrition theories with coaching and business skills. Together, you and I collaborate to find the focus that’s right for you. It can include one or some of the following: nutrition, therapeutic yoga, healing from trauma, or peak performance. I have a passion to help you shift your behaviors to develop lifelong, sustainable healthy habits and a deep understanding of your mental, physical, and spiritual needs. We’ll work together to create lasting changes to your health, energy, and well-being because “small changes make big differences!”