Monday, March 28, 2011

Manic Monday: Are you a mouse or an eagle?

In her happy happy book, The Joy Diet, Martha Beck writes about the necessity of being able to alternate your perspectives between Eagle Eye and Mouse in a Maze.

Eagle Eye is when you are able to see the big picture, what you are really working for, what life is really about. When you look at your day/week/month/year from the Eagle perspective, you have a mission for yourself, for your time. Eagles love vision statements.

Mouse in a Maze is being able to see the obstacles and details of this moment, this step, at this time, this thing that needs to get done. Mice love to-do lists.

Our personalities are usually bent in one direction or the other. But, according to dear Martha, if we really want to live happy, joyful lives, we need to be flexible moving through our maze while also rising above it to see where we are really going.

Manic Mondays are essential for me because I have to have scheduled disciplined time to manage my to-do list. It is my natural bent to ignore paperwork and instead work on mission statements, creative projects and help others set and reach their goals.

I have awe-inspired appreciation for my friends who are good at getting things done. In fact, I could not do my life without their skills supporting me in my visionary life. But, if checking it off your list is the way you mostly manage your life, you may need to schedule structured time into your week to stop and look at what significant purpose you are moving toward. Where I have to teach myself to put down my books and my journals, other people may need to dedicate time and focus to picking up some books that inspire them, or commit to journal for even 20 minutes each week.

Be encouraged in your strengths! You are doing good things and getting good things done but don't let those strengths steal your joy. I am thrilled to have found this fun Beck-inspired journal : click HERE for some simple fun ways to keep joy in your life regardless of if you choose to take your journey by foot or by flight.

Where is your stronger skill set?
Are you good at getting things done?
Are you a pro at seeing the big picture?
Who can you ask to help you with your weaker skill?
How can you use your skills to help support someone else?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Manic Monday: losing an hour...or more

"I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me
at once." ~Ashleigh Brilliant

Anyone seriously feeling the loss of that hour?

I usually feel at least an hour behind, so I sort of feel like everyone else joined my boat today. Except some people don't seem phased by the LOSS OF AN HOUR at all. As if they have so well-managed their lives that even a depletion of one of our precious 24 hours does not rock their world. I do not write this blog for them.

This week I received an email that changed my life. It was only 3 short sentences.

"I only check e-mail once a week.
If your email is a timely manner, please call or text me.
Thank you."

(If you know that song, that line will be more fun for you :)

Isn't it amazing when you witness someone else living a life that you did not even know you were allowed to live? Check my email once a week? For real? Could I continue being productive? Could I stay connected? Could I get everything done that I am "supposed" to be getting done with out checking my email, um, every 15 minutes?

First of all let me say, I love email. I love the internet. I love my iphone. I love blogs. I love facebook. I am even beginning to love texting. (although, I still can't figure out the twitter.)

When I was a teenager, I lived in a isolated environment. When I was a stay-at-home mom with my babies, I was very isolated. I don't do isolation. I am the kind of person who begins to wither away when I lose touch with the big wonderful world out there.

I love people and I love the opportunities that technology offers me to stay connected with my friends and family even though we have crazy busy lives and we live scattered all over the world.

and in case you didn't get the message, that is a BIG BUT...

staying connecting is exhausting. Staying means you never get a break. Staying means you walked into the world of being connected and you took off your coat and shoes and you decided to stay. In fact, you decided to change into your comfy clothes and snuggly slippers and you really stayed. connected. all of the freaking time.

Every text, every email, every phone message, even the messages between other friends that have nothing to do with me bling through on my phone. And if they are not blinging at me, I am checking to see if I missed anything while I was going to the bathroom or blow drying my hair.

I would worry that you might think me neurotic (me? neurotic?) except that I know I am not alone. This is, in fact, the world we live in. And I thought everyone lived in this world until I received that profoundly simple email this week.

I am on a Manic Monday Mission to explore how I could use my beloved technology for all of the ways it enhances, improves, and simplifies my life without letting it steal more hours from me than day light savings time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Manic Monday: all the time I need

"We never shall have any more time.
We have, and we have always had, all the time there is."

~Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 hours a day
(found in Slow Down and Get More Done by Marshall Cook)

I was awake before the kids this morning. For some reason I thought it would be the perfect morning to create a flyer for my business. Only to realize I needed some serious graphic design skills that I do not have. Then I thought I should update some information on my web site. And I sort of deleted my website. But then I found it. Right at the time that I was supposed to be headed out the door to officially start Manic Monday doings. I had forgotten to eat, was still in my pajamas, and I had not even started to prep and plan the day for my kids.

Oh, the mess I am! I quickly got dressed and gulped down a protein drink. I must have ran up and down my steps 8 times remembering, forgetting and then remembering again all the things I needed to have on hand to actually get my to-do list done today.

How did it get to be 12:41 pm already?!?

Well, here I am. Thankful beyond belief for a space in my schedule, not only to get things done, but time to figure out what it is that I really need to get done.

Some of the tips I am learning on how to focus and accomplish things in my crazy life:

1. when I think of projects, ideas, etc. write them down on a list, don't dive right into the project
2. look at my calendar and find spaces of time to dedicate to those particular projects
3. write down people's names next to those projects in which I may need their expertise
4. do some research and know exactly what I want before I purchase products and services
5. realize that there are only so many hours a day (even on Manic Monday). I can choose to use this time to work on a project OR catch up on several little things on my to-do list. I cannot do both.

Today is a little to-do list kind of day.

To do Today:

1. send of an important payment
2. make some bank deposits
3. calculate mileage for 2010
4. schedule a time and list resources for creating flyer
5. follow up on several emails regarding new office space
6. read today's chapter in
Five Minutes on Monday

Although I am kind of "wishing it was Sunday because that is my fun day," I am also learning that (in Hebrew) the word for work is also the word for prayer.

"Both {prayer and work} are seen as instruments of personal and social change which, when operated in harmony, reinforce each other. Just as we pray for the blessing of spiritual sustenance, we work for the blessing of physical sustenance."
Five Minutes on Monday by Alan Lurie)

Whether you are spending your Manic Monday working on a big project or attending to important details, I pray that your work brings harmony and sustenance to all areas of your life!