I Hope I Can Get Everything Done!

Have you started your day with this feeling?

You have learned all of the tricks.  You have used your “productivity planner” to write down your three most important tasks; however, you are still not sure you will be able to get everything done.

At Think Time, we say, “Don’t stop there!”  If you only identify your top priorities, and stop there, you may unintentionally have your opportunities for success stripped from your hands.  Keep reading to find out how to avoid this time trap.

Stressed young businessman

This is where Think Time diverges from the typical “productivity” day planner.  Most day planners ask you to identify your top three items and wish you well.  Think Time’s comprehensive system takes you QUITE a bit further.

In this blog, we will introduce you to just one of the ways the Think Time system boosts your chances of accomplishing what is most important to you.  Whether you own a Think Time yet or don’t, you won’t forget this practice once you’ve learned about it.  It is truly a game-changer!

cropped-Classic-19.jpg

In the dream phase of Think Time, you will notice a tool with a lot of circles of various sizes.  If you look more closely, you will notice three large circles and several smaller ones.

This is the Rosebush Tool.

Tools Pictures The Rosebush

With the Rosebush Tool, you will not only identify your top three priorities, but you will also actively identify the lesser priorities that threaten to steal your limited time, focus, and resources.

How does it work?

When a master gardener grows prize-winning roses, she first identifies the roses that are the most robust–that carry the most potential to thrive.  She then carefully prunes branches from the rest of the rosebush to funnel the limited resources of the bush to her chosen roses.  Making tough calls, the gardener prunes dead branches, old branches, weak branches, and even good branches that simply are not the best.  By pruning, she protects what is most valuable to her.

AdobeStock_92945487.jpeg

As you #taketimetothinktime, you also take time to identify those things that can get in the way of accomplishing your high priority goals.  Here you make the tough decisions and the hard calls.  Here, you actively take things out of your life to make room for what matters most.

AdobeStock_42834100.jpeg

Here is how it works.

First, identify your top priorities for the time period you are think-timing.  Second, identify what could distract you from your goals.  For instance, some things are on your calendar because they were important two years ago but they really are no longer relevant today.  Some other activities are good activities, but when you look more closely, they simply don’t generate results.  Some are simply bad habits that steal your time while others may actually be other people’s responsibilities.  Do a quick assessment of your activities to see what you need to prune to protect what matters most to you.

Take a look at this example from a day in the life of a manager.

Tools Rosebush for Coaching

This manager had three top priorities: completing a set of revisions for the owner, finishing the “who’s on what” plan for the next stage, and finalizing a presentation.  Using the Rosebush tool, he is proactively anticipating interruptions, distractions, and time-stealers that could come his way.  By actively pruning these before beginning the day, he prevents countless hours of frenzied activity focused on the wrong things and proactively protects what matters most.

Here is a sample Rosebush tool from a stay-at-home mom who is trying to finish a painting, maintain an orderly and clean home, and preserve family time at night.

Tools: Rosebush Tool Coaching sahm2.jpg

Now, take a moment and try it yourself.

What are your top priorities for today or this week?  How much do you really want to accomplish them?  Identify your prize roses.  Tools Pictures The RosebushWhat could potentially get in the way of accomplishing what matters most to you?  Now make the tough calls.  Label the “other roses.”   What do you need to “prune?”

How did it go?

When you take time to prune, you prevent lost opportunity and protect what matters most to you.  Without taking this critical step, your top priorities may suffer from unintentional lack of focus and attention.  Don’t let this happen to you and your priorities.

Take Time to Think Time.

Christine Wilson

DSC_1107

Blog Highlights

Identify your top three priorities.  #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Actively identify the lesser priorities that threaten to steal your limited time, focus, and resources.  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Some things on your calendar are no longer relevant today. #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Some bad habits steal our time.  #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Some activities simply do not generate results.  #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com

What could potentially get in the way of accomplishing what matters most to you?  #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Make the tough calls.  #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

*To delve more deeply into “letting go” to make room for what is most important we recommend two resources for further study.

  1. Necessary Endings by author and psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud.  The chapter on “pruning” was the inspiration for Think Time’s rosebush metaphor.
  2. From the perspective of a seasoned professional organizer, we recommend SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Julie Morgenstern.

Success in the (Not So) Small Stuff

They found me!  Oh no!

Recently on Facebook, I have been greeted by “Sponsored” pages that start like this.  “Four years ago, I lived in my parent’s basement.  But, today, I live in a Manhattan high rise.  I am so successful.  You can be too!  Keep watching and I will tell you how I did it.”

Blog Highlights

“I have been able to maintain balance, stay connected, and achieve results during a super full season.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“Long term wins get us further than money could any day.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“I am taking care of myself so I can take care of others and maintain energy for the long haul.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“I now have confidence that important events and people will be remembered and celebrated even during seasons in which life is very full.”  Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“Think Time has helped me to maintain balance during what could otherwise be an extremely stressful time.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

They proceed to walk around videoing themselves walking through luxury homes and sailing on yachts while the wind blows through their hair.  All the while, they tell me the story again and again.  “Once I was a loser.  Now I am a winner.  You can be too!  Just be sure to keep watching.”  I never watch long enough to find out if they actually share how they did it.  I don’t think they ever really say.

I think they found me because I do a lot of research for Think Time on living your dreams, fulfilling your purpose, time management, success, goal achievement, and the like.  But, you will not see a video like that from me.  (If you do, kindly send me this blog in a couple of years and tell me to get a life!)

Fellow Journeyer

No, I am a journeyer alongside you.

To me, Think Time was a happy discovery and a blessing.  If you don’t know how Think Time began, you can read it here or listen to it here (select “Think Time as a result of the creative process).  By taking time to Think Time, my ability to accomplish what is important to me has skyrocketed.  By creating clarity around my intentions, the distractions of life that usually paralyze me are not even having an impact.  I am accomplishing what is important to me like I have never been able to before.

dollar-3-1500792

While making money is something worth celebrating, it is not the central measuring stick of success.  Think Time has a broader definition of success.

1dkwwn1dr-s-danielle-macinnes

Let me share with you what my successes have been just today.

Maintaining Balance

I am in my third trimester as we are renovating a new house for a move.  Our fourth baby is due in only 5 weeks, and time is tight.  For the past several weeks, I have chosen “health” as one of my “prize roses” on my Rosebush Tool.  It serves no one—and especially not our sweet baby—for me to be stressed, to skip exercising, to miss sleep, or to eat poorly.  By empowering me to focus on what matters most, Think Time has helped me to maintain balance during what could otherwise be an extremely stressful time.

FullSizeRender-5.jpg

Practically, by choosing to prioritize health, we have committed to few outside activities, allowed others to help us, and hired professionals to tackle some renovation work we would have otherwise tried to accomplish ourselves.  During this season, I am also getting full night’s sleep and taking needed rest breaks throughout the day as I work toward my goals.  By prioritizing my health, I am taking care of myself so I can take care of others and maintain energy for the long haul.  (Remember.  I am about to be taking care of a newborn SOON!  I cannot deplete myself now!)

Staying Connected

As I was taking a big bag of recycling to the bin this evening, I remembered my neighbor’s recent engagement.  I remembered that I wanted to celebrate huge moment with a gift!  This also prompted me to remember two other important events in the lives of friends and colleagues that I wanted to be sure to celebrate.

 

Immediately, I walked back inside and went straight to my Think Time to write these three events on my “to be” Concept Cloud. As I take time to Think Time, valuing not only results but also relationships is included in my planning process.  I now have confidence that these important events will be remembered and celebrated even during a season in which life is very full.

Achieving Results

My third Think Time takeaway from today is that I think differently as I do…everything.  Specifically, today, instead of getting lost in the packing process and feeling overwhelmed, I worked toward the visions that I had intentionally created in my mind.  What end result was I seeking?  In the areas in which I was intentional, my whole being worked toward the pictures in my mind.

FullSizeRender-3

This week’s Think Time Envision Box features a “wild success” sketch of boxes stacked halfway to the ceiling in a room that does not have furniture.  I have worked the past two days toward that vision.  I have been selling furniture on my Facebook groups, loading items to be donated, and packing boxes with a consistent energy and focus that cannot be broken.  I have rescheduled appointments, resisted urges to reminisce, and simplified my schedule to achieve this vision.  For some people, this may not be revolutionary.  For those of us who struggle to focus and to produce results, it’s amazing!

Success in the (not so) Small Stuff

Well, I didn’t say, “I was a loser.  Now I am a winner.  You can be too.”  But, I did say that in one day, I was able to maintain balance, stay connected, and achieve results during a super full season.

IMG_2081

I call that success.

These are the long term wins that get us further than money could any day.  At Think Time, we focus on bringing our long-term goals into our daily lives.  When we look back on our lives, we don’t want to see that we missed what was important because we were “too busy.”  We don’t want to neglect important relationships.  We also don’t want to look back wondering what, if anything, of value we accomplished.

It is our hope at Think Time that when we get to the end of our lives, we can all say, “I lived my life to the full.  I lived on purpose.  I loved those around me.  I did important things that only I could do.”

These are my thoughts.  What are yours?

 

 

DSC_1107

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

 

When Life Throws You a Curveball…Hit a Homerun!

We are in the age of planners.  Planners are great when you know where you are going, you are where you want to be, and you understand what needs to be done.

foko4dpxamq-eric-rothermel.jpg

But, what do you need when life throws you a curveball?

Do you need to better organize your overflowing list of to dos?  To put everything in little boxes on your planner so that you can see them better?

No!

You need to clarify what’s most important to you and get rid of the rest!

You need to make space in your life for where you’re going and what matters most to you…now.

You need to evaluate where you put your limited energy and time.

dy6cuvvx_v0-tyler-thomas

When life throws you a curveball, don’t throw in the towel.

These are the times that drive your focus toward what matters most and toward where you can have the most impact.  Embrace these days and get ready for positive change!

How do we go about doing these things? 

colors-32

First, identify what you really want.  No one really lets go of anything until they have a clear view of where they’re headed. No one lets go in a vacuum.  Clarify your vision.  And, when you clarify your vision, dream big!  Ask yourself what “wild success” looks like.  As the cheesy cliche [that I love] says, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars!”  Dream big and don’t edit yourself.  Purpose and productivity guru, Michael Hyatt, says, “Build your dreams to be bigger than the obstacles.”  The obstacles will certainly be there, but your dreams can definitely be bigger than them with some thoughtful preparation.

Second, let go of what is obsolete, irrelevant, or good but not the best.  So often, the best is is squeezed out by things that used to be important to us, by things that are trivial or by things that are good but not the best.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Take time to evaluate what matters most to you and actively create space in your life for these few things.

Third, clarify what is within your control and what is not within your control.  When life throws us curveballs, it is easy to spend a lot of energy spinning our wheels on the “what ifs” and “if onlys.”  We can get caught up in unproductive thinking about what other people could or should do.  Instead, let’s focus on what is within our power to change.  My thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviors, and choices are in my circle of influence while an endless other things are outside.  Tell yourself, “This is my new reality.  Now, what true impact can I make with the steps that I take?”

When it is time to grow, the best thing to do is clarify your vision and let go of things that are obsolete, irrelevant, or good but no longer the best.  Focusing on what you can control will give you the most result for every action you take.  Use these three steps to identify what matters most to you and to clear space in your calendar and in your life to focus on what matters most.

But, wait.  There is one more thing.

55xd_uiuyee-ahmadreza-sajadi.jpg

Fourth, expect change.  Life is fluid.  It is always changing.  The clouds are always moving.  The earth is always rotating.  The universe is ever expanding.  Nothing stays the same.   So, be poised as you move forward to continuously reevaluate your vision, your priorities, and what is within and not within your control.

Then, the next time life throws you a curveball, you’ll be ready for it.  Hit a homerun!

p_ndm0ua3lg-antoine-schibler.jpg

The best blogs are dialogues.  Please comment below.  Are you in a season of personal change?  Do you have a personal vision for what could be next?

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

DSC_0290

Co-founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Choosing Purpose over Perfection

I write from a peaceful, quiet hotel room 15 stories above the Fort Worth skyline.  Keith and I are on a little getaway weekend.  It is part birthday celebration, part babymoon, and part taking time to think time and discuss our lives together on a deep level without interruption.  (Thanks, Mom!)

dz2jlc81e-g-christopher-jenseth

I just hung out with the “personal” Think Zone concept cloud for a while.

unnamed.jpg

 

As I brainstormed, I was struck with how much I need to grow this year!

What was I thinking starting Think Time when I was so imperfect!?!  I easily could have taken a year to focus on learning in each major area of growth to refine myself before launching.  Maybe in five—or twenty—years, I would be ready!

But.

I didn’t.

And.

I didn’t.

On purpose.

In this move of choosing to launch Think Time, I chose purpose over perfection.

Woman looking at her reflection

I asked myself, “What can only I do in this world?

 

Then, I brainstormed.  I acted.  I gained feedback.  I acted again.  I refined.  I acted again.  I kept learning and growing.  I acted again.

 

Out of this milieu was born a collaboration of my personal and professional experience, my personal and professional research, and my unique personality design as an innovator.  It seemed at the time that only I could launch Think Time.  I mean, who else was going to bring together such a diverse compilation of creative thinking exercises, a passion that each life has an irreplaceable purpose, and the refinement that productivity practices bring?  It was a sort of odd and strange combination, but it seemed essential to me.  Any of these pieces without the others left something major wanting.

cwzkvbzveaakoni

I did not have a background in marketing.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a lot of time.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a lot of money.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a sales personality.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have…well, quite a lot…

But, I did offer what I had, and I did launch.

And, I do not regret it.

I am so thankful that today, only one year after an initial launch, sales teams who want to excel even during trying times, CEOs who want to envision the next decades of their company, newly released prisoners who want to move forward toward their goals and not backward to repeat the past, parents who want to make the most of the time with their kids while they are still young, high schoolers and college students who want to pursue their goals amidst a plethora of pressures, young entrepreneurs who want to build their businesses while maintaining life balance, managers who want to better envision the future and lead their teams, and my family and I are able to dream big for the coming year—with the hope of actually bringing our dreams to reality.

Each of us is able to better envision the future.  Each of us is confronted with the choices that we must make if we are to live with a focus on what is important.  Each of us has the tool to empower us to “do” our dream in the most effective way possible, and each of us can constantly grow through reflection and daily gratitude.

I will admit, it is a more humbling way to go.

…to launch a dream before it is perfect.

However, if I can just get over myself and my “need” to be perfect, I can grow and people can be truly served.  In this way, I can live in such a way that I can be most in touch with reality.  Real life gives feedback—both positive and negative—in a way that preparation and thinking without action never can.

When I take time to Think Time, I am actively taking my ideals and constantly rubbing them against the sandpaper of reality.  Here, they are tested.  Here, they are refined.  Here, and only here, will they become truly beautiful.

AdobeStock_125409001.jpeg

What are your dreams today?  Is your fear of imperfection holding you back, or are you ready to dive into the refining fire of life’s real time feedback.

AdobeStock_60101445.jpeg

Do you choose purpose over perfection?

 

I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below!  What are your thoughts?

DSC_1107

Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-founder of Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

On Envisioning…

On Envisioning…

Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “I have a dream!”  Stephen Covey encouraged, “Begin with the end in mind.”  Mark Miller of Chick-fil-A identifies “Seeing Into the Future” as the first characteristic of a servant leader.

Envisioning what you want is critical to achieving any type of success.

Watch this!

Clarity is simply a prerequisite for goal achievement. 

Unfortunately, most planning systems neglect this critical step. They are more responsive in nature, and as a result you end up living everyone else’s life instead of your own–simply because you lack clarity on where you ultimately want to be. 

In the “Dream” phase of Think Time, you have the opportunity to visualize what you want.  

“What if I don’t know what I want?”

We are glad you asked.

So often, when we are honest with ourselves, we don’t know what we want.  We at times need a guide to prompt us to unearth those desires that lie just beneath the surface.

Let Think Time be that guide.  Think Time walks you through a variety of thinking tools that empower you to unearth your vision in full-color, with clarity.   The tools are laid out in a creative, yet logical, format to help you see clearly what is most important to you.  You can think of these tools as a good friend asking just the right questions at the right time–leading to that “Ah-Ha” moment.

Would you like to try it?  

Take a moment right now to consider an area of your life.  You can choose anything you like–perhaps a relationship, a goal, or an important event.  Now think about it within a timeframe.  For instance, ask yourself, “Five years from now (or five weeks from now), what do I want to see in this area of my life?”  

Grab your favorite pens or pencils and start drawing.

Think big. 

Don’t edit yourself. You want your dreams to be bigger than your obstacles.  So spend some time here and clearly envision what you really want.

Sit with this for a while and see what other connections you make.  What details do you add?  

Congratulations!

You have just begun the dream phase of the Think Time process!

Did you like your Think Time 101 mini-experience?

If so, please share it.

 

What is your dream? 

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

DSC_1107

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Seize the Day

 

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow

For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow

So quiet down cobwebs

Dust, go to sleep

I am rocking my baby

And babies don’t keep”

—Ruth Hulbert Hamilton, 1958

 

No one could prepare me…

…for how fast this would go.

 

Everyone told me.

I believed them.

But you still couldn’t prepare me.

 

Just yesterday, I snuggled my tiny helpless newborn in my sling.

She had the cutest dimples in the world.

 

Now, she knows the US presidents and collects and grows seeds…constantly.

She wants to learn cursive.

She is remarkable.

Dreamy.  Imaginative.  Creative.   Strong.

She will be six this spring.

 

 

Last week, I saw my cousin.

He and his wife will be fifty soon.

Now, this is turning over a new leaf.

Weren’t we just playing together as kids on the Florida family farm?

Fifty?

Does life really go that fast?

 

Think Time could easily have the tagline Sieze the Day.  It is today that we are alive.  It is all that we really have.  And, it is a lot.  Think Time helps us to dream, to stay focused on what really matters to us, and to absorb life while we are living.

 

These days are screaming by.  Each one faster than the last.

Today, when my little girl says today, “Look, Mommy!” will she have my attention?

 

I bet today she does.

 

How will you seize the day today?

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

DSC_1107

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.