How I Do Less to Achieve More

Thanks so much for your engagement with my blog last week. You have been telling me that you want to live a life of true success — not of shallow achievement and shiny objects–but one full of the good stuff–the real stuff. You want to get great results, have great relationships, and maintain a resilience that will sustain you for the long-haul. You want to live a truly great life.

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I have spent decades collecting understanding of the true meaning of personal and leadership success. As a Christian counselor with professional experience in neuropsychology, I have developed a whole-brain process that can help you use more of your brain to help you get this goodness into your life at the point of performance–when you create your plans for your everyday life: this is Think Time Planner.

As promised, today I am going to share with you how I do less to achieve more.

One of the classic characteristics of people with ADHD is impulsivity. In the area of goal achievement, this means that when you see something that needs to be done, you feel you MUST do it NOW!

As a result, many of your efforts are fragmented in a million directions, and you struggle to get results.

It feels like this: “I worked so hard all day long, and I still got nothing done!!”

If you are going to achieve your peak performance, this will never work. You simply cannot spend your important energy like that. You cannot afford to be exhausted and not get results.

Here’s how I do less to achieve more.

Following is a part of my process no one else is talking about:

I separate my ideas into two phases: Dreaming and Deciding.

First, in the Dream Phase, I dream big and get all of my ideas on paper in the Dream Phase of my Think Time Planner. Here, I have a place to immediately act on the idea that came into my head–without ruining my day with an impulsive 5 hour task that “has to be done now!” When an idea pops into my head, instead of DOING it NOW, I satisfy my impulsivity by WRITING it NOW…as an idea in the Dream Phase. I don’t have to do it now “so I don’t forget it.” I write it down.

Next in the Decide Phase, I evaluate which actions will get me the most results in the direction of my vision. I DECIDE what to do…

Here’s how:

Research tells me that about only 20% of my actions will give me about 80% of my results, so the LAST thing I want to do is write everything down and attempt to do it all. This would almost ensure that I suffer exhaustion with not much to show for all of my effort. I have a lot on my plate, and that’s just not going to work in my full life. I need to spend my energy carefully–so I get my best results.

So, now you know my secret to do less and achieve more.

First, separate your ideas from your actions.

Second, decide which ideas will give you the most bang for your buck before you commit to do them.

BUT IT’S NORMAL TO WORK FROM DAWN TIL DUSK. I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR!

Sure, it’s true. Many entrepreneurs wear busyness as a badge. But, chances are, these entrepreneurs are not getting their best results. Sure there are busy-seasons, but watch out or busy seasons follow other busy seasons and simply become a way of life. The truth is that being busy is the opposite of being intentional. It’s reactive instead of proactive. The better way is to pause and evaluate the best use of your energy–not to run yourself into the ground to get results.

Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way!

Here’s what Kelly had to say the year she launched her business:

“Think Time has been giving me tools to use my time better, without compromising my priorities of time with family. It has given me the space to visualize and dream. It has also helped me evaluate more and think about the areas the need pruning. I am cheering you on!!”

When was the last time you heard of an entrepreneur launching a business and feeling great about their time management and family priorities? Think Time is next to magic!

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Okay, as promised, next time, we will talk about relationships! We have hinted toward the importance of nurturing relationships along the way today but next week, we will deep dive into that topic. I am going to share a perspective you probably have not heard in your other entrepreneurial groups. You won’t believe how important this is!

If you have found today’s content valuable please share this blog in your ADHD and entrepreneur groups.

Is Time Slipping Through Your Fingers?

Here are three ways you can make it concrete.

One of the struggles of people with ADHD is not “feeling“ the passing of time as other people do.

Time feels much more interconnected and complex. It’s not just the passing of minutes and hours; it is the complex interconnection of emotions, relationships, and accomplishments.

Even though time feels like a complex thing that is hard to grasp, what you feel is actually more simple.

As a person with ADHD, you probably feel time in two categories – “now” and “not now.”

This can lead to excessive impulsivity and/or excessive procrastination—making prioritizing and achieving tasks in real time more difficult.

But there is hope!

One thing that can help you better manage your time, and your life, is to externalize time in a concrete format.

Your goal is to make time less like oil and water flowing through your hands—hard to define and grasp and more like Lego bricks with purposes, and concrete beginnings and ends.

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To do this, I recommend engaging the visual-thinking part of your brain.
Here are three ways you can use visual thinking to make time more tangible.

  1. Use a Time Timer. Decide ahead of time what time you want to finish a task, walk out the door, finish a speech, etc. Set your Time Timer for that time. The diminishing color communicates more effectively to the ADHD mind than an analog timer. It’s really effective.
  2. Time Block Your Routines. Practice timing your regular activities and keep track of how long things actually take in a chart on a Free Space page in your Think Time Planner. Once you have a pretty good idea of how long these activities take, time block and color your routine activities into your Routine Worksheet. You may prevent problems as you discover that your 30 minute workout actually requires an hour with prep time and a shower afterward.
  3. Sort your To Dos. Once you have selected your most important tasks, separate them into the three categories in the Decide Phase of your Think Time Planner: immediate, short term, and long-term. But don’t stop there. Color the immediate column red, the short term column yellow and the long term column green. By visually separating these into these three categories – you can “see” what you need to attend to immediately, what helps you make tomorrow smoother, and what will help you toward your long term goals.

Don’t fall victim to impulsivity or procrastination ever again!

Use color as you plan to help your brain process and prioritize important tasks so you can feel the confidence you are getting the right things done.

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The One Thing Entrepreneurs with ADHD Need to Succeed

You have a powerful brain, but you have a problem.

It’s hard to control your mind.

Yet, this is exactly what you need to succeed.

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Dr. Edward Hallowell is a world renown expert in the ADHD brain, and he loves working with entrepreneurs. After decades of working with entrepreneurs with ADHD, he notes there is one mistake that entrepreneurs with ADHD make that keep them from being successful.

The ADHD mind is so powerful and has tons of energy. The difficulty, he notes, is in directing the energy.

Dr. Hallowell says it is like having a Ferrarri engine with bicycle brakes. You have so much power–as much as an engine in a Ferrarri, but the design of your brain is not geared to slow yourself down so you can control the energy in the most effective path.

Your mind is like a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell

As a psychiatrist and expert in ADHD, Dr. Hallowell refers to himself as a “brakes specialist.”

As an entrepreneur with ADHD, you have an important task in front of you every day, and you need your creative and powerful mind to accomplish it. However, the brakes of your mind are insufficient to control the power.

This may translate to you being on too many social media platforms, diving in without a business plan or strategy or being off to the next thing while accounts still need to be paid.

Dr. Hallowell says that the one things entrepreneurs with ADHD must do to succeed is to direct their energy.

Direct your energy.

Dr. Edward Hallowell

To have success in your business, be sure you have a strategy to direct your energy.

This is what I mean when I say “don’t just dive in…take time to think-time, and get more time to focus on what matters most.”

When you take time to think-time with your Think Time Planner, you intentionally direct your energy. That is, you choose to use your best energy–not in a million directions–but toward what is most important.

Getting the most important things done is what drives results.

So, to skyrocket your results as an entrepreneur with ADHD, take time to think-time with your Think Time Planner. Just one hour a week can dramatically transform the other 168 hours.

Because Think Time Planner is designed with your brain in mind, it helps you have an outlet for your creative energy while getting the clarity you need to succeed.

Don’t let your powerful mind control you.

Instead direct your energy by using your Think Time Planner this week so you can find time for what is most important and get your best results.

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Are You Constantly Interrupted?

When I was launching my business, I did not know what I am about to share with you today. I wish I did because it would have helped me find soooo much more time…AND I would have been able to be more present with my family during that time!

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Most entrepreneurs with ADHD feel like they need to be available or respond immediately to get their best results. There is a sort of “NOW or NEVER” feeling that is ever present.

When a notification pings, you jump to answer so you can be helpful and available. If you are aware something needs to be done, you try to “knock it out” right now. But, somehow your efforts splinter and you don’t make the traction you want.

While everyone loves to hear immediately back from you,

reacting to just one notification

or

responding right away to that one e-mail

or neglecting to create uninterrupted time blocks for deep work…

may be stealing quite a lot from your results.

You may be thinking, “It’s just a minute. Not a big deal, right?”

Wrong.

The latest research shows that just one interruption can cause up to 23 minutes of lost productivity. You hear me right.

That 5 second glance at Instagram.

23 minutes of lost productivity.

That one e-mail.

23 minutes of lost productivity.

Responding to a quick unscheduled “got a minute?”

23 minutes of productivity.

And this is not just my opinion. This is what the data shows. And this is a LOT of unrealized time. So, if you are looking for more time, try to use the power of focus through uninterrupted time to get the traction you need.

To improve your productivity, use this neuro-time-hack to boost your productivity with your Think Time Planner. Set aside blocks of time as you think-time and do your deep work. Turn your cell phone off. Shut the door. Let everyone know when you will return (& honor your commitment).

Here are a few practical ways I set aside uninterrupted time:

I use a Time Timer. The visual impact of the red color diminishing communicates more quickly and clearly to my ADHD mind. All of a sudden, I can “see” what 10 minutes is. If you haven’t tried this yet, you’ve gotta. The science behind this simple tweak is similar to the strategies you use in your Think Time Planner to communicate more effectively to your ADHD brain. It’s a game changer! Get a Time Timer if you don’t have one yet!

I use noise canceling headphones. Because the ADHD mind is more open to distractions (through the senses), I find reducing the input into just one sense (hearing) can really help me focus. I pair it with music to fit the activity, or if the activity is physical, I listen to an online course or a podcast. (Important Note: If you are caring for children, do not use this technique. Being aware of the nuances of the sounds around you is key to keeping the kids safe.)

Set aside time to be interrupted. Time block “responsive time” to “walk the floor” and respond to needs. Set aside time to be with your family or your team proactively. You will both build into your relationships as well as prevent a lot of crises this way.

As a homeschooling mompreneur, I try to start my kids’ mornings with a lot of personal attention, ideas, and inspiration, so when it is time to play their minds have a lot of “fodder” with which to imagine and create. I start with a huge block of interruptible time, so when I need to focus without interruption for a small amount of time, I am more likely to have success. 

When you create your plan with your Think Time Planner, set aside blocks of time to do your deep work. Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Let everyone know when you will return (& honor your commitment).

Don’t let interruptions steal your focus and results anymore.

Say “no” to interruptions, and “yes” to your dreams and goals so you can…find more time to focus on what matters most.

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How to “Manifest” Your Dreams and Goals

Have you heard people talk about the life-changing experience of “manifesting” their dreams and goals?

Well, I don’t exactly call it “manifestation,” nor do I credit an impersonal universe; however, I do believe people are getting great results.

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I’ll tell you why.

What a lot of people call “manifestation,” I call it “visual thinking”–visualizing your goals so clearly you can FEEL them.

There are great neurological reasons why this practice works.

I discovered the power of visualizing and drawing my completed goals over 5 years ago–conducting an educated experiment I was pretty sure would work…

And, it did.

Better than I could have imagined.

It frankly blew me away.

Here’s what I believe is happening neurologically and why it works.

Research shows that when you visualize something so clearly that you can FEEL it, your brain gets to work to bring that vision to a reality–and here’s the cool part–even when you are not consciously thinking about it!

So, think about going throughout your day. You have literally tens of thousands of inputs. You simply cannot respond to all of them if you are to effectively tune into your tasks and be productive. So, your brain has a built in design to help you filter through all of these inputs to make your decisions–all day long.

(Now, some of us ADHDers respond to external stimuli more than others, of course, but generally speaking, this is how it works.)

AND.

Guess how many decisions are made on a subconscious level!

95% of them!

WHOA!

That means that your brain is saying “pay attention to” or “ignore” before you even consciously process 95% of what is going on around you.

So, if you want to start noticing more opportunities each day to achieve your dreams and goals, you need a proven strategy to help your brain recognize them and bring them to your attention.

You need to help your brain help you!

You need to help your brain help you!

Christine Wilson, LPC

How do you do that?

Here are 3 steps you can take:

1. Set aside regular uninterrupted think-time. Starting with just 5 minutes can get you started. The brain is more receptive and effective when you are calm. When you are stressed, it moves into fight, flight or freeze. So, if you are writing your goals on the fly, you may as well kiss them goodbye. Instead, place your phone on airplane mode and “sit with yourself” for a moment as you allow what matters most to surface.

If you are writing your goals on the fly, you may as well kiss them goodbye.

Christine Wilson

2. Visualize what you want. Really experience your dreams. See yourself completing your goal. How do you feel? What do you see? Employ as many of your five senses as possible to clearly visualize this accomplished goal. When you experience your dreams and goals viscerally, it gets to work to bring them to reality. Research shows that your energy, focus, and motivation toward your goals increase with the practice of visualization.

3. Draw it, mind map it, use color, and add words. The visual thinking techniques I curated in Think Time Planner to help you apply the above two steps are drawing this vision in your Envision Box and concept-clouding (brainstorming) using your 5 Sensing Tool. This creative process engages your whole brain and really communicates to your brain in a way it can understand a whole lot better than writing words alone.

This three step process engages several parts of your brain: the visual processing part where ideas originate, the deeper parts of your brain where your emotions are stored, right brain creative thinking and left brain analytical thinking. That’s how Think Time Planner helps you use your whole brain strategy for achieving your dreams and goals. Promise me you’ll never plan with words alone again!?!?!? Please!!!

Promise me you’ll never plan with words alone again!?!?!? Please!!!

Christine Wilson, LPC

By clearly envisioning your dreams and goals, you have “primed” your brain to focus on what matters most in a distracting world, so in the midst of your crazy busy life you can increase your chances of noticing what you “intend” to notice.

With this type of clarity you can feel, you should begin to find more opportunities to live on purpose and achieve your goals–even in a distracting world. To literally BRING YOUR DREAMS TO LIFE.

By clearly envisioning your dreams and goals, you have “primed” your brain to focus on what matters most in a distracting world, so you are more likely to notice what you “intend” to notice.

Christine Wilson

Opportunities to fulfill your dreams and goals surround you. Help your brain help you by preparing it to focus on your dreams and goals amidst distraction.

Set aside uninterrupted think-time.

Visualize your completed goal.

Draw this in your Think Time Planner.

Stop missing out on the opportunities in your own life.

Get the thinking skills you need to fight distractions and get results.

In my signature course Cut Through the Noise, I teach my full Dream, Decide, Do, Review Process in depth to help you immediately apply the best purpose and productivity strategies for entrepreneurs with ADHD on the market today.

A little think-time can change your life.

Claim your seat today.

Don’t let distractions get your best attention. Learn the thinking skills you need to succeed. Enroll in my Signature Course today.

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You Don’t Have to Exhaust Yourself to Get Great Results

Do you ever work from dawn til dusk and still can’t find time for your dreams and goals?  

There is nothing worse than being exhausted after a long day of hard work and not having the results that you truly want to show for it.

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Here are a few things that can help you find time for your dreams and goals—even if you are already busy from dawn til dusk. 

1. Identify what your dreams and goals are. This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised that you only have a vague sense of what you want to accomplish–not clearly defined goals. To get more clarity, ask yourself, “What do I really want? At the end of this week (or month or quarter), what does wild success look like?” Choose up to three things that matter most to you and draw them in your Think Time Planner.

2. Evaluate what activities in your life support these dreams and goals. You do a lot of things in your life–checking off a million boxes. Did you know research shows you can check off a ton of boxes and still be unproductive? This step can prevent that from happening to you. I want you to identify which activities drive the results you want most. Separate these activities out. To achieve your dreams and goals, put them on your calendar first. If you can’t now because you have too many commitments…look ahead in your schedule and find your nearest available time block in the future. Write it in.

3. Find the time stealers. Most productivity planners skip this step. Don’t miss it! Goal achievement research suggests that if you stop with positive thinking alone, you can actually decrease your chances of achieving your goals. You may be over-optimistic and fail to take the measures to safeguard your goals. Don’t let this happen to you. Take a moment to identify what in you and what in your schedule could keep you from achieving the goals you desire. Now, create a plan around your obstacles. When you complete this last step, you are now on your way to looking back on your days with satisfaction, not regret.

“Think Time, for me, has been a lifesaver. We moved to a new city last year, are starting a new business, and have a two year old, a one year old, and a one month old. Think Time has taken my life from being absolutely insane to ordered, beautiful, and manageable. It has helped “up” my internal satisfaction level with what I accomplish each day. Super impressed with (and grateful for) this product.” 

Mary, pastors wife & mom of lots of young children (up to 5 now!)

Remember: you don’t have to exhaust yourself to get great results.

A little think-time could just change your life. 

Sincerely,

Christine

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7 Tips to Avoid the Productivity-Killing “While I am At It” Habit

Have you ever set out to complete a task and instead of actually finishing the task, gotten sidetracked by things that you did “while you were at it?”

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This “while I am at it” phenomenon happens all the time to entrepreneurs with ADHD. You have a lot of responsibilities and an abundance of attention. You also struggle to immediately recognize the significance of different tasks–they all seem equally important. So, everywhere you look something needs to be done, and as a person with ADHD, you want to do it right now.

Unfortunately, this habit of doing things “while I am at it” fragments your best efforts so you don’t get traction toward what you originally set out to do. Even if you do get several things done, your most important tasks still do not get done.

Everything we know from productivity suggests that doing even a very few “most important tasks” can far outweigh doing a million inconsequential tasks. (I talk more about that in my course Cut Through the Noise.)


To get your best results in a distracting world, you want to stay focused on what matters most and be sure to get those precious few things done. But how?

Here are seven things you can do to help your brain focus and achieve what matters most.

  1. Know where you are going. The first thing you want to do is begin with a vision of the ultimate result you want to see. (Key word: WANT.) The ADHD brain is more highly motivated by goals that are internally derived–not externally “forced.” So, find out what compels you and craft a clear picture of where you want to go. Beginning with the end you desire in mind will add a lot of clarity to your week and help you prioritize.
  2. Clarify your most important priorities. Before you go into a day, week, month, or a year, clarify what three things you most want to accomplish during that time frame. One of the significant aspects of the ADHD mind is that many tasks seem equally compelling. Don’t get sidetracked from an important task simply because you have not clarified that it is a priority. Take some think-time to identify which high results actions will get you quickly to the vision of what you want most.
  3. Write it down. Research shows that simply writing your goals can boost chances within the general population of completing tasks up to 42%. For people with ADHD, it is especially important to externalize your goals–making them concrete and visible. With your Think Time Planner, you can record your most important tasks on your Rosebush Tool and break them down into actionable steps with your To Do Concept Cloud.
  4. Know your why. When you get clear on your motivation for completing a task, you are more likely to recognize and overcome the obstacles that get in your way. Help your brain process and fall in love with your inner motivation for completing your priorities by drawing a picture of your “why” in the “Motivation” column of your Prioritized To Do List in your Think Time Planner.
  5. Address the obstacles. Did you know that positive thinking alone can actually decrease your chances of achieving your goals? That’s right! Recent research out of NYU on goal achievement shows that you must also address the obstacles within yourself and create a clear plan around them. So, don’t just reach for the stars. Create a plan to overcome your real life obstacles. With your Think Time Planner, you can address the obstacles with your Rosebush Tool, your Concept Clouds, and your Routine Worksheet.
  6. Time slot and highlight your tasks. Decide when you will do these things. Estimate the time these priority tasks will take. Add more time because people with ADHD often underestimate how long things will take. Then, whether it takes three minutes or three hours, schedule time on your Calendar Tool in your Think Time Planner. To help your brain process that these are critical tasks requiring action, color them red or bright orange.
  7. Celebrate your success by checking it off! In the busyness of life it is easy to work really hard and simply keep going to the next thing. However, when you just keep moving forward, your brain misses out on the opportunity to recognize that you have completed the task you set out to do that is connected to your larger goal. Engage your brain’s reward system by checking the task off your list, coloring in a box, or enjoying a bite of dark chocolate. Taking time to celebrate your achievement of important tasks can boost your focus and energy for the next step.

Opportunities to achieve your dreams and goals abound in your day to day life, yet it is easy to get pulled off track by lesser things. Don’t let distractions steal what matters most. Apply these seven ADHD productivity hacks with your Think Time Planner so you can avoid the “While I am At It” Trap and achieve what matters most—even in a distracting world.

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Here’s How to be PRESENT for the Holidays

I’ll be honest with you.  I don’t like it when the stores decorate for Christmas “too early.”  

My family and I just walked into a popular gift shop and restaurant last weekend, and were disappointed to see it was already decorated for Christmas…in October! 

Even though I was happy not to see Halloween decorations, I wasn’t ready for Christmas quite yet!

That is why I hesitate to talk about today’s topic…because I think of the Season as sacred…and part of that is keeping it between late November and the first of January.  

I don’t wanna see it—“even in my peripheral!” (Brian Regan quote.)

But I am compelled to talk to you about the holidays today, and here’s why:

The most important thing about the holidays is not buying presents–it is BEING PRESENT. Yet, in the busyness of the season, it can be so hard to do.

Years ago, I did not know this, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things you can do before the Season to help you to be more fully present during the Season.  

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I learned these secrets years ago from my special guest on The Think Time Show today Marcia Ramsland, and they have changed my life. 

As a Professional Organizing Coach, mother, and grandmother, I can assure you Marcia has hacked the holidays. Even just one of her 7 tips can dramatically change every holiday season for the rest of your life. 

So, you can be present and FEEL the magic of the holidays. 

So your loved ones can feel more love from you. 

So you can energetic, rested and rejuvenated. 

And, as always…

So, you can get your best results without driving yourself into the ground.

Join us today at noon or get the replay of today’s Think Time Show so you can learn Marcia’s 7 Planning Tips to Help you Have a Smooth Holiday Season. 

Register here: http://ow.ly/Bg4C50BXYCa

Sincerely,

Christine

p.s. Don’t let the distractions of life get in the way of your dreams and goals. Buy a Think Time Planner or start my course today!

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How to Find Time

Time is the great equalizer.  Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week.  While of course many factors influence success, one thing you can always control is how you spend your time. If you can find more time, you can influence the money you make, the relationships you have, and even your ability to fully live your purpose.

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How can you find more time? Here are three practical steps you can take today:

  1.  Know where you are going and why. In my opinion, the number one mistake people make in not finding time is not clearly defining what they want. Clarity helps you to recognize opportunities and creatively find solutions around your obstacles. By defining your “yes” you also define what is “not yes”–those little distractions that steal your best energy so you are left without energy for what matters most.
  2. Say “yes” to a very few things.  No one likes to say “no.”  However, if you casually say “yes” to too many things than you may unintentionally be saying “no” to the best things. Don’t fall into the trap of wondering where your time went while your most important dreams and goals remain on hold.
  3. Give every minute a name. Just like you would create a budget for our time, be sure you have a plan for how you want to spend your time. You could call it your “time budget.”  Use the Routine Worksheet in your Think Time Planner to create your Dream Routine that will help you achieve your ideas and goals.
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What are some ways you have found to find time?

This month, we are talking about how you can find time, energy, and focus for what matters most.Next time, we will talk about how to protect your energy.  Don’t miss it!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC Co-Founder, Think Time  

p.s. Don’t let the distractions of life get in the way of your dreams and goals.

Buy a Think Time Planner or start my signature course today!

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Let’s Keep This Idea. But Let’s Do It Later.

Often, when we have an idea, we think we need to act on it right away. This is not always the case.

This simple belief can get us in so much trouble and stress out our lives and mess up our schedules.

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Many many things can be delayed and can be just as amazing–if not better–for it. 

If you feel a little overwhelmed or busy, look at what is on your calendar. What can you delay? 

Take some think-time today to ask this question and see what you notice.

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p.s. Have you ever wanted to have a life-coach, but didn’t know where to start?  A little think-time can change your life.

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