3 Tips for Time Management

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What I hear most when it comes to people not being able to achieve their goals or focus on themselves is that they don’t have the time.

Let me tell you, it’s not about having the time, it’s about creating the time.

I know this from experience.

I used to be the person who “didn’t have the time.” But then I reevaluated the situation, took a step back, and realized I did have the time, it was just how I was managing my time. I wasn’t being productive, I wasn’t being organized, and in turn, I didn’t have the time to spend on the things I wanted to be occupying my time with.

That’s when I started the work. In order to make the time, you have to put in the time. It’s not something that will change over night. You will need to put in the work in order to see the results.

Throughout my journey with time management, I have had a lot of moments of trial and error. Because I want YOU to be able to make the most of your time, I have put together my Top 3 Tips for Time Management for you to test out in your own life!

One thing to keep in mind with time management -- what works for one person, may not work for another. So take these tips and try them, but know it may not be the best way for you, personally, to manage your time. Mess around with the tools I give you, and see what can happen! One thing I do want you to keep in mind is, things will not change over night. So do not try these tools only one time and think, “Oh, that didn’t work for me! Time to move on! Time management isn’t for me!” Again, put in the time to make the time!

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Without further ado, here are my Top 3 Tips!

1. Prioritize

Set aside five minutes to sit down and brain dump EVERYTHING that you need to get done. And when I say everything, I mean everything! Even if you need to quickly grab the laundry out of the dryer, write it down. The importance here is to get everything written out so you can actually SEE what it is you need to get done.

Once you’ve brain dumped it all, look back over your list and with a highlighter, different colored pen, etc, go back through and mark the Top 5 things that NEED to be done that day. If there’s more than five that need to be done, still stick to ONLY five. This will allow you to prioritize and get done what is MOST important! If you manage your time in this way, you are bound to have the time in your day to go back to your list and schedule in those other tasks needing to be done!

2. Time Block

After you have determined your Top 5 Priorities, look at the time you have available to work with. For example, if it’s an evening after work perhaps you have free time from 7:00-9:00. If it’s a Saturday morning maybe you have time from 9:30-11:00 before you meet your friends for Brunch. Whatever day, whether AM or PM write out the free time you will have.

Next, look over your Top 5 Priorities. Schedule these in to the time that you have. Say for example my Top 5 Priorities were : clean living room, move laundry to dryer, write a blog post, take the dog for a walk, journal. It’s a Saturday morning and I have a couple hours free before meeting a friend for lunch, my time block may look like the following:

9:30-9:45am Move Laundry over to Dryer

9:45-10:00am Journal

10:00-10:30am Write Blog Post

10:30-11:00am Clean Living Room

11:30-1:30pm Lunch

2:00-3:00pm Walk the Dog

Notice how I was able to fit in my Top 5 Priorities, all before evening hit. My example is just that, an example. By no means will yours look exactly like this. It will depend on the tasks, how long they take, and the time that you are allotted in your day. Make it your own, but make sure it’s realistic!

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3. Track your Time

My absolute favorite way to track my time is by having access to it, ALWAYS. What better way than having it on your wrist, right?! I’ve even noticed that on days where I forget to put on a watch, I find myself turning my wrist to check the time. Anyone else with me there?! My absolute FAVORITE Time Piece to wear is my watch from JORD. Not only is it easy access to the time, but it is absolutely gorgeous! (And I’m able to change the band given my outfit, win win!) By constantly having this Unique Time Piece on my wrist I am able to track my time, all the time! And what better way to manage it?!

You can pick up your own JORD Time Piece by clicking here!

I would absolutely LOVE to hear how your testing out these Time Management Tips! Cheers to more time!

How To Care for Yourself this Holiday Season

The Holidays bring joy, excitement, and special time with loved ones. They also bring anxiety, stress, and direct our attention to others, instead of ourselves. While it is very important to focus on your loved ones during the holiday, it is JUST as important to focus on you. By taking the time out to focus on yourself, you are able to show up for others in a more powerful way than if you are getting burnt out focusing on them.

This year, don’t let that be you.

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Schedule in Time Just for You

Whether it’s 5 minutes to read, 30 minutes to exercise, or anywhere/anything in between. Make this a non-negotiable to every. single. day. Like I said, it can be as short as 5 minutes, but you MUST schedule time in for yourself. Pick something that brings you ultimate happiness, decide how much time you can dedicate daily to doing that task. What’s important here is to be realistic. If you know you cannot dedicate 45 minutes a day to a work out, don’t make that your ‘just you’ time. If you do, you will not see the positive impact it will have, and you will just feel more stressed for not completing your task.

Know That It’s Okay to Say ‘NO’

There is SO MUCH going on during the holidays. From family to friends, to work obligations, they’re there. And they don’t go away. Some people thrive off all of these events (I particularly, am one of those people, so I get it.) If you’re on that train with me, great. Attend all the events! But I will admit there are times when the idea of going out for New Year’s Eve or attending that Ugly Sweater Party just does not sound appealing. And I know there there are plenty of you out there who feel the same. In these times, know that it’s okay to say no. Everyone is busy this time of year so people get that you will not be able to attend everything, and that’s ok.

Take a Moment and Show Gratitude

When times get overwhelming and you’re dealing with the holiday stresses, take a deep breath and be grateful. Think things along the lines of “I’m grateful I have family to spend the holiday with.” “I’m grateful I am able to provide my family with a holiday meal.” “I am grateful I have so many friends in my life that I have multiple celebrations to attend.” All of these people and things are in your life for a reason. Even when things get hard, be grateful you are able to even have that experience at all. Just a reminder that not everyone gets those opportunities.

Happy Holidays!

If you’re really looking forward to focusing on yourself this new year, I have just the thing for you! The 6 Week Journey to Re-Aligning you Personal Values is officially here! During these 6 weeks you will find clarity around your values, integrate self-care patterns into your daily routine, and leave the challenge rejuvenated and excited for your newfound love of life!

If this sounds like just the thing you need, click here to learn more!

Featured Blogger Jenn from TeachLoveAutism - Saying No in Education

We all do so much and in so many different aspects. We work in our classrooms, we have family, we have hobbies, some of us have second jobs and the list goes on. I think teachers are just overachievers by nature and they always feel like they need to take on more. That’s where this post is stemming from.

I often am the person that you see that is part of three committees and always volunteering to help out with the different events in my school. And by no means do I want you to applaud me because, I am finding that it’s burning me out. I have had some time to think about this over the summer. Am I really making a good choice by taking on so much? Does it make me a better person or a better teacher if I continue to take on all this and spread myself so thin?

All I know is that I am an all or nothing person, I hate when I take on a task and I can’t give 110%. That’s just who I am and I have learned this about myself at this point in my teaching career. I have really thought about why it’s important for you to sometimes say “no” to some of the responsibilities we get laid in front of us so let’s dive in.

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The first thing you can do is actually figure out what you just can’t do. This sounds weird, but hear me out. You need to think about the non-negotiables in your life that you would never be willing to give up. For example, I am never okay with missing out on something for my children, so if the committee, dance, or group is expecting me to give up that time continuously, it is very easy for me to say “no”.

The other aspect you can look at is the longevity of the task you are being asked to do. If you are asked to plan and prepare a school dance this is once and done, that can be very different from being asked to commit to a year-long committee with multiple meetings a year with extra work on the side.

Lastly, look at if this task is going to ask you to provide some kind of monetary input to it. If you are a first year teacher struggling to pay your college loans, new car payment, and apartment rent then you may not be ready to help pay for a new initiative at your school. Sometimes you have to say “no” because you aren’t in the right place to say “yes”.

THINGS YOU CAN DO:

So, we talked about things you shouldn’t do and I want to end this post with the things that you can do to help yourself make the decision to say “yes” but, in a more productive way so you won’t regret it later.

Try thinking about the concept of the task and if it stresses you out, then it probably is not for you! Think about the committees and tasks that are with your passions and try to figure out a way to be a part of them. Even if the committee is full I bet they would be happy to take on one more person and especially if it is someone that loves the content. If it is something you are passionate about it, you are more likely to enjoy it too!

Lastly, if you don’t see the committee or event of your dreams at your school then take some initiative and do what you are passionate about and create it yourself! Talk with your administration about it and see if you can come up with a plan that you can get approved. I have done groups that incorporate my students with their peers more, or things that involved an assembly topic that I love.

I hope that these tips will help you to say “no” to the things that are draining you so that you can dive into saying “yes” to something that you are passionate about. Here is a little image I created to help you decide if that committee or dance is a good fit!

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Lastly, be prepared for the next post in this series because I am actually going to give you tangible ways to say “no” and help you with wording it so you don’t guilty.

Thanks for reading and lots of love!

Jenn

www.teachloveautism.com

@teachloveautism

My Health Journey

So. Where to begin? Let’s take it back to high school. When in high school I never really thought much about my health and fitness. I truthfully ate whatever I wanted, without thinking twice. I was able to get away with it at the time, though, because I was staying active through my school activities.

Flash forward a bit to my freshman year of college. You’re thinking it right now, right? The Freshman Fifteen. WRONG. Try the freshman twenty five. That’s right. In about one year I gained twenty five pounds. How? Easy. Continuing to eat whatever I wanted, but having no idea what the gym was. The most activity I ever did was walking to and from class. Truthfully, I don’t remember it all happening as it happened SO fast. I truthfully think I was oblivious to it as it was happening. In my mind it WASN’T happening.

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My sophomore year of college I started to become very uncomfortable with my body. I was constantly unhappy but put on a brave face. It took me awhile before I actually took action. I over heard people talking about the app, MyFitnessPal. We can say my health and fitness journey started here. I began tracking my food, going to the gym, and drinking more water. It took awhile, and a lot of hard work, but I began to regain that confidence and happiness that I had once had. I was losing weight and feeling good. Notice I said feeling ‘good’ not feeling ‘healthy.’

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Because of the comments I was getting and the confidence I was feeling, I kept losing more and more weight and found myself around 100 pounds. This phase of my life included daily hour cardio sessions (if not longer) and limiting my diet to 1,200 calories a day. I was constantly tired, hungry, and irritable, but was motivated by that number on the scale. So I kept at it. I had achieved what I wanted, right? Losing weight, looking ‘skinny’, and feeling noticed. Little did I know this was NOT being healthy. At all.

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Once I realized that number I was seeing was MUCH too low, the next step was putting ON weight. I discovered weight lifting and macro counting. This was a good chunk of my life. About three years to be exact. Over this time I gained about fifteen pounds. I stuck to this way of living as I considered this very healthy. And no doubt it was, but my BRAIN still wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t viewing health and fitness for what it was. I was still viewing it as a number. Not the number on the body scale, but the number on the FOOD scale. This consumed me.

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Finally, at the start of summer of 2018 I told myself it needed to stop. No macro counting, no calorie counting. I also spent the summer ‘training’ for a half marathon. I hated it. But I kept doing it. Why? It wasn’t serving me in the way I wanted it to, and I wasn’t enjoying myself. Why spend the time on it? So now, as I write this. I have a NEW plan. If I want to feel strong I go lift. If I want to get my heart rate up I do some sort of cardio. What matters is that I’m giving my body what it needs. No matter the form of movement it comes in. I’m nourishing my body with the foods it needs and treating it with the foods it wants. There’s a very happy balance. Has the scale gone up? Absolutely. But am I happy? Hell yes.

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What’s most important is that I take care of my mental health, before the physical. Life is about balance. What’s important is for you to listen to your body and what it needs. If it needs rest, give it rest. If it needs greens, eat a salad. And damnit, if it needs pizza give it the pizza. It’s about moderation. Are there days now where I wish the number on the scale was lower? Definitely. I’m human. BUT I’m happy, I’m healthy, and no experience in life can EVER be measured by a scale.  

3 Ways to Get Back on Track After a Rut

Ever found yourself in a rut with your routine? Whether it be getting to the gym, reading daily, weekly coffee dates with a friend, or any other aspect of your life you find yourself lacking in currently?

If your answer is yes, NEWSFLASH: You are NOT alone.

Rut’s are common in everyone’s life. Including those people you see in your daily life or on social media who just really seem to have their life together. Trust me, they have their moments. Rut’s are a natural part of life. It’s how you get out of that slump that matters.

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When I find myself in a rut, I follow these three simple steps to get back on track.

1. Set Goals

Goal setting is soooo important! There’s something powerful about writing down what you want and seeing it right in front of you constantly. Writing goals does take practice, especially if you want to do them in an effective way. I won’t get into the process of goal setting right now, but if you’re interested in learning more my friend, Hannah, wrote a blog post for me on how to effectively set goals. You can check that out here.

2. Hold Yourself Accountable

The people who are in your circle want you to succeed. If they don’t, than you don’t want those people around you anyway. Find an accountability partner. Someone else who is looking to get back on track is a great place to start. If you happen to find that no one else is in a rut in your life, pick the person who will be your biggest cheerleader. Let them know your goals and how you’re going to accomplish them. Check in with them frequently, so that you don’t fall of track. You’ll be much more motivated knowing that someone will be there to give you a kick in the butt if you don’t get it together, trust me.

3. Effectively Plan WHEN

WHEN in your day are you going execute your goal. In the morning? Set your alarm. At night? Write it in your plan book. Whenever you plan to do it, however you plan to schedule it in, just DO IT. Again, if you write down when you are going to go for that run or when you’re going to read the next chapter in your book, you are more likely to actually do it. Plan a realistic time that you know you’ll be able to stick to and get it done.