A Week Without Think Time

I have said recently, “If we close Think Time, I am printing enough to last me for the rest of my life because I am not willing to live another week without it.”

Truthfully, my life swallows me up in a minute without Think Time.

It is too much for me.

I am a stay at home mom with a business and four young kids (the youngest is 6 months), married to a man who is excellent at what he does.  And, you know as I do, when you are excellent at what you do, you continue to receive promotions—which is another word for more and more responsibility.  So, life is demanding for both of us.  Every minute counts.

Well, we had just finished two weeks of “tummy bugs,” and I was so excited to get back out in the real world and live life again.

Then, I got sick.

Now, it is one thing for the kids to be sick.  It is hard.  It is challenging.  It can stretch me just about more than I can take on top of an already full plate.

However, it is categorically another event for the entire family when Mommy is sick.

This weekend, I came down with strep throat.

Thankfully, this time the worst of my sickness was over the weekend, but I was in bed for a full day, and I was not even considering thinking on a higher level to do my Think Time.

So, like it or not, Monday rolls around.  I am still sick, and now I am caring for four kids too.  So, Monday, I did not do my Think Time.  But, I did make it to the doctor.

Tuesday, I am a little better having started medicine the day before, but still under the weather and still not even thinking about Think Time.

Wednesday, I feel like all of the to-dos of the world are crashing in around me.  Everything feels urgent and important.  Over the past few days, I accidentally promised more than I could deliver to several people.  I just think I can do more than I really can.  I felt like I was swimming in undone tasks—unclear what to do first.  I was making some traction because of good habits stored up over time, but it wasn’t enough.

The biggest clue for me that I am out of balance is when my three year old asks me to play with her multiple times, and I answer her multiple times that it is not the right time to play.

That used to happen a lot.

For years, I felt swallowed up by tasks all around me just staring at me.  All of them seemed completely urgent, yet they were not why I gave my notice at work to BE at home.  These little people were the reason.  Yet, for some reason.  It.  Seemed.  So.  Hard.  To.  Get.  To.  Them.

So, those familiar feelings were creeping in yesterday.  I recognized the red flags, and I pulled an audible.

On top of everything, I could feel the weekend already upon me.  I have special plans for the weekend that required some careful thought to execute well.

So, when the baby went to sleep for her afternoon nap, I grabbed the opportunity!  I sent the big kids outside to play with strict instructions to have fun “outside.”  I kept the window open and peeked out often, so I could still hear them and monitor them, but I was focusing in.  I needed clarity.  Fast.

I grabbed my Think Time, my fine point Sharpie pen, and my big box of Prismacolor pencils and set to work.  Because I had some real time details to quickly assimilate into my calendar, I also had my Mac open.

Within about 20 minutes, I could feel the clarity opening into my life.  Another 10, and I was in the game again.

I knew I was back when I sent an e-mail to postpone an appointment that clearly was not priority in a week that resembled a mile-high burger with sickness on one end and big plans on the other.

Life was still full, but I was back in the driver’s seat—ensuring that it was happily full, but not stressfully overflowing.

I have had many moments like these since starting Think Time.  Sometimes I feel as if my head will just burst with the pressure.  Then, I grab a few moments of uninterrupted down time with my Think Time.  And, my life literally moves from chaos to calm.  It can take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes depending upon what is going on to get re-centered in the middle of the crazies, but those breathers make all of the difference.

And, just because this is a stay-at-home mom example doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply at the office.  Everything I do here, Keith does at work.  We both lead teams of people with all types of personalities toward a common vision.  We both have deadlines.  We both have meetings.  We both have interruptions.  We both need to refuel.

We both need to maintain perspective and plan ahead or everything really will crash in on us and on those who depend on us.

If the phrase “moving from chaos to calm” strikes home with you, it is because it has struck our home first.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

The struggles are VERY REAL.

We live them every day.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

So, next time you feel the crazies coming, be sure you @taketimetothinktime to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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Christine Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

 

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Blog Highlights:

Life is demanding.

Every minute counts.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

Take time to Think Time to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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For people who want more time to focus on what matters most.

Free e-book “How to Live Your Purpose” http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Shop Think Time Purpose Planners at think-time.com

 

Just Start!

One of my favorite entrepreneurial concepts is found in a small and practical book called Just Start.

Written by seasoned business leaders from Babson College, this book debunks myths about a curious group of people–serial entrepreneurs.  Many people imagine entrepreneurs testing ideas in a laboratory and perfecting them over and over again before finally releasing them to the public.

Not so.

After studying serial entrepreneurs, the research team discovered that people who started successful business after successful business had one thing in common–they started.

They most often started small–only investing what they were willing to lose.  Then, they learned…and adjusted…and, launched again.

Then, they learned…and adjusted…and, launched again.

This process gives the benefit of real-time feedback and data that can never be gained in a laboratory.  Each idea was sharpened by real feedback from real life and real people.  Because they never invested more than they were willing to lose, they always won.  They either found out quickly and cheaply that the idea was not going to fly, or they gained invaluable feedback that sharpened their product or idea so it could launch to the next level.

What’s your idea?

Is there a way that you can start small–only investing what you are willing to lose?

Launch it, but hold it loosely.  Allow it to come back changed–only to launch it again.

Can you create a Version 1.0 and get it in front of the world?

Go ahead!  Get it out there!  What do you want to create?

Go for it!

Christine M. Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

 

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Start small. @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Investing only what you are willing to lose. http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Launch, learn, adjust, launch again. http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Sharpen your ideas with real feedback from real people.  http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

What’s your idea? @thinktimetweetshttp://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

What do you want to create?  Go ahead!  Get it out there!   http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Go for it!  @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

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For people who want more time to focus on what matters most.

Free e-book “How to Live Your Purpose” http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Shop Think Time Purpose Planners at think-time.com

Take the Pressure Off – Break Your Goals Into Smaller Steps

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” That is, only “if you break it into smaller steps,” says Jon Acuff.

It is important to dream big to allow your mind to identify what is dear to you.  However, it is equally important that you approach your strategy for goal achievement in a way that works.

In his new book Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, Acuff discusses findings from his research on goal achievement and shares some counterintuitive strategies that really work!  He says they might even feel like cheating!

The bottom line is: lofty goal-setting alone will not lead to the success you want.

Acuff shares his findings: “The most effective exercises were not those that pushed people to work harder. The ones that got people to the finish line did just the opposite— they took the pressure off.”

Why is this?

Acuff explains, “Because the sneakiest obstacle to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all. That’s why we’re most likely to quit on day two, ‘the day after perfect’—when our results almost always underper­form our aspirations.”

Acuff recommends breaking big dreams into smaller steps.  For instance, if you want to lose ten pounds, try aiming for five first.

Acuff explains that we usually judge goal achievement psychologically in a pass or fail framework.  So, if we lose 8 pounds when our goal is 10 pounds, we feel like a failure and become discouraged instead of looking at the gains (pun intended) we have truly made by losing 8 pounds!

So, try losing five pounds first.  Then, try another five after that.

Think Time Purpose Planners are designed with this research-backed method of goal-achievement in mind.  Rather than only having daily, weekly, OR monthly time segments, all Think Time Purpose Planners contain the following: one yearly, four quarterlies, twelve monthlies, and fifty-two weeklies.  In addition, the Think Time process of Dream, Decide, Do and Review inherently encourages envisioning, editing and execution.

…So, you can dream big AND organize these dreams into manageable steps that boost your motivation to achieve them rather than dry up your energy.  With Think Time you take action and make traction with your smaller steps while keeping the big dreams in mind!

Christine Wilson

LPC, Co-Founder of Think Time

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Blog Highlights:

Approach your strategy for goal achievement in a way that works.  @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/o3lS30f9F8M

The most effective goal achievement exercises take the pressure off. @authorjonacuff http://ow.ly/o3lS30f9F8M

Think Time’s process of Dream, Decide, Do and Review inherently encourages envisioning, editing and execution. @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/o3lS30f9F8M

Dream big AND organize these dreams into manageable steps.  @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/o3lS30f9F8M

With Think Time you take action and make traction with your smaller steps while keeping the big dreams in mind! http://ow.ly/o3lS30f9F8M

 

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Think Time Life Leadership System

For People Who Want More Time For What Matters Most

Free E-book: How to Discover Your Purpose

Shop now at think-time.com.

Your Spiritual Life: Life’s Ultimate Questions

According to a recent Gallup pole, an overwhelming majority (85%) of people in the United States identify themselves as having a particular religious preference.

Whether we believe or do not believe, many of us would do well to evaluate the fundamentals of why we do or do not.

Have we absorbed the ideas of those around us or have we truly gone deep to make our beliefs our own?

When you see the “spiritual” Concept Cloud in your Think Zones, in addition to brainstorming ways to incorporate your spiritual life into your plans, consider taking time to think-time some of life’s ultimate questions.

 

Following is a hodgepodge of a few questions to get you started.

Who am I?

Why am I here?

What is the meaning of life?

What happens after death?

If  God really does exist, what does that mean for me?

 

It might take any one of us a lifetime to pursue these questions.

Have fun going deep as you #taketimetothinktime, and let us know how it goes.

Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

For People Who Want More Time to Focus on What Matters Most

Shop Purpose Planners at think-time.com

1. Newport F. Religious Identity: States Differ Widely. Available at http://www.gallup.com/poll/122075/Religious-Identity-States-Differ-Widely.aspx. Last accessed March 18, 2015.

 

2. Newport F. Estimating Americans’ Worship Behavior. Available at http://www.gallup.com/poll/20701/Estimating-Americans-Worship-Behavior.aspx. Last accessed March 18, 2015.

 

3. Kosmin BA, Keysar A. American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS 2008): Summary Report. Hartford, CT: Trinity College; 2009.