Time management tips for better Executive Functioning


EF Management Tips and Tricks – Part IV
Time Management Systems to Develop into Habits

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
PART FOUR: In support of The Executive Functioning Series

Quick Review:

In the introduction to this part of the article, I went over some of the concepts underlying the systems approach and why it works.

Basically, systems and habits help us conserve cognitive resources for when they are really needed. I added the caveat that nothing works for everyone any more than one size fits ALL very well.

For those of you who have the motivation and time to figure out how to make an “off the rack” outfit fit you perfectly, be sure to read for the sense of the underlying principles and tweak from there to fit your very own life.

If you can’t “sew” and are disinclined to take the time to learn (since most of us have trouble keeping up with what we are already trying to squeeze into our days), remember that I offer systems development coaching, and would love to turn my attention to your life.

I am going to warn everyone one last time that few of my clients ever really hear me the first dozen times, so don’t be too surprised when the importance of some of these Basics float right past you too.

The sooner you make friends with the basic concepts – and put them into place – the sooner life gets a lot easier, more intentional, and a whole lot more fun.

FIVE Underlying System Basics

Found in Part-2
1.
Feed Your Head
2. Structure is your FRIEND
3. Nothing takes a minute

Found in Part-3
4. Write it down (any “it”)

In this section:
5. PAD your schedule
PAD-ing: Planning Aware of Details™

Don’t forget, as you read the final principle:

Each of you will, most likely, need to tweak to fit.  However, some version of all five underlying concepts need to be incorporated into your life (with systems and work-arounds in place and habitual) before challenges recede and strengths have more room to present themselves in your lives.

No pressure — let ’em simmer in your brain’s slow-cooker.

As long as you don’t actively resist you will be one step closer to getting a handle on that systematizing to follow-through thing.

So let’s get TO it!

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

HOVER before clicking – often a box will appear to tell you what to expect

5. PAD your schedule

Does your datebook look like your life?

Wait! I think I need to back up.

Use a datebook – any one of the bazillion formats on the market that appeals to you. The simpler the better.

For the same reason I was thrilled when Mark (from Part-3) finally decided to try writing things down, it is my experience that paper calendars and day planners work miracles that computerized versions do not. (More later about why – take the coaching meanwhile)

NOW, back to my original question: Does your datebook look like your life?

If you are like most of my clients, the answer is, probably not. If all I could learn about you came from studying your datebook, it probably looks like you live a life of leisure.

When I look at most datebooks (sadly, even my own, many days), I see A LOT of what the art world calls “white space” — punctuated by a measly few “appointments” written next to the time they start.

So, WHAT? — do you crawl back into bed between those one-line items?
Dissolve into nothingness, perhaps?

PAD-ing: Planning Aware of Details™

  • How LONG are these “appointments” likely to take?
  • What about travel and transition time — at BOTH ends?
  • How long does it take you to get ready, and when do you plan to do THAT?
  • What things must you have with you? What must you pick up while you’re there?
  • When do you need to conclude “Appointment #1” to begin to transition to the next thing on your agenda? (What IS that, by the way?)
  • What’s involved to ensure that “Appointment #2” goes relatively stress-free?
  • Are those items reflected in your datebook?

Hit the Highlights

It’s NOT the best idea for those of us with “alphabet disorders(EFD, TBI, PTSD, ADD etc.) to go into a great deal of detail IN our datebooks. Same thing is true for those of us for whom any of the Executive Functions are starting to slip. That is NOT what I’m suggesting you do with the questions immediately above this paragraph.

I AM suggesting you mark out 30 minutes, for example, for “Get ready for 3 PM appt,” and 15 minutes for “Leave NOW” IN your datebook. (Yes, it will take most of us 15 minutes to walk out a door!)

Reservations Required

Think of PAD-ing like reserving a room in a hotel: there are only so many rooms, so the hotel staff needs to know when to stop taking reservations to avoid a late-night pile-up in the lobby.

If you don’t reserve the time IN YOUR DATEBOOK, you are likely to say yes to more “reservations” than you have “rooms.”

And you’re highly unlikely to recall that those rooms need to be readied, as you leisurely attend to some other little detail.

“If it’s not in your book, it’s not in your life!” ~ mgh

My clients and students have heard me sing that little ditty since 1994. In an upcoming post in my Series about time structures I’ll go into a lot more detail, but for right now, let me say this:

When your time is not scheduled, your life is not your life.

Without a written reminder of what you meant to be doing with your day, most of us have no choice BUT to careen, moment-to-moment, from consideration to crises to conflict — burning up our cognitive resources as we attempt to cope.

If you’re like most of us, when someone says, “Do you have a minute,” looking at a full datebook will go a l-o-n-g way toward motivating you to say, “Not really – how about tomorrow at 2-pm?”

And if THEY are like most of us, they are a lot more likely to go away and stop distracting you if they have seen a datebook with more than a few isolated appointments dotting its pages!

Related Post: The Condo Concept of Time Management

4 Padding Tips that will probably work for most of you

Below are four more comments about “PAD-ing,” with thanks to Dr. Ari Tuckman for his books, writings and podcasts; I compiled a few of his tips below (Intros mine – his words in “quotes”)

  1. PAD with time from the day BEFORE: “In order to avoid starting the day late and allowing it to snowball, make a point of getting to bed on time, then getting out on time. Many morning problems really start the night before by getting into bed too late or not doing what’s needed to be ready to roll. Keep the morning routine as simple as possible and do some things the night before.”
  2. PAD with built-in catch-up time: “Build slack time into your day to absorb unexpected over-flow from various activities.”
  3. Keep a lid on PAD-ing Optimism; think worst-case-scenario vs. best, then PAD: “Avoid best-case scenario planning and build in time for unexpected events, transitions, and breaks. Then pad it a little if it’s something really worth being on time for.”
  4. PAD your ‘IN ORDER TO’s: “Create a schedule ahead of time of what gets done when. Count time backwards—for example, ‘To get there by 2:00, I need to park by 1:50, leave home by 1:20, and start getting ready by 1:10.’

ONE last thing . . .

My clients have often said that planning sounds like too much work, or that it would take too much time, or that the idea of doing this for the rest of their lives is daunting. So they are reluctant to begin.

Well guess what? Most of you won’t have to do it forever once you have built your intentionality muscle and developed some habits that put most of the things that used to trip you up on autopilot.

You will find it increasingly easier to stay on the path you intend to travel without a lot of agita (or planning) because you have actually changed pathways in your brain to allow you to DO what you intend to do to keep your days on track.

But you will probably find it oh-so-difficult to do unless you change what you are doing NOW. Take the time to build those new habits to build those new pathways.

Take the coaching!

Remember, if you want some personalized help with accountability and developing those habits, that is what I DO. And I’d love to do it with you.  Get in touch if you want to talk about it.

One last time — questions for you:

If you’ve already tried any of the techniques suggested in this 4-part article:

  • Were you able to develop the habit of using them?
    How long did THAT take?
  • How did it go? Where were the glitches?
    Any stoppers?
  • Did you make any tweaks you can share?

If you haven’t:

  • What are you doing NOW – and where are the breakdowns?
  • What can you share that already works well enough?
  • If you had to use one of these techniques, which seems most likely to work for you? How come?

Ring in below, so we can learn from each other —
EVERYBODY has in-sights to share!

© 1996, 2012, 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)


AS ALWAYS, if you want notification of new articles in this Series or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too).
STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this article (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)


You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

Other Related Articles on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

Related articles around the ‘net

BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

81 Responses to Time management tips for better Executive Functioning

  1. dgkaye says:

    Great info here as always M. So important to stay organized,especially that we all seem to be living life at lightning speed. Rushing out doors without eating, putting mascara on in the car, and attention focused in too many directions definitely calls for some padding down. I like to check my calendar each night to see what’s on tap for the next day. Do I have a doctor’s appointment? I’ll pack up my pills and whatever else I need to bring and place them beside my purse so as not to forget. Going grocery shopping? I’ll take that running list I have going weekly of items I’m running short on and place it in my purse.
    If I don’t do these things, surely they’ll be forgotten. So do I pass? Lol 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • With flying colors – lol!!! You not only have developed great systems, you have developed the HABIT of using them. I so appreciate it, since it leaves some time to visit and comment here. Thank you.

      But then, anybody who accomplishes as much as you do would HAVE to be an A+ systems developer. 🙂

      You brought those “make up on the way” days right back – lol. For the most part they are behind me now, since I rarely wear it anymore. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Lol, thanks. I couldn’t resist using the old ‘mascara’ line, but truthfully, I’ve never done that. So glad I’m getting A’s in your classroom! 🙂 xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve never done it when I was the driver, but I used to do it at stoplights when somebody else was driving. Not on roads where we were likely to be bumped from behind, however – and only with a female driver (more likely to understand how TRULY important it was to “give me a verbal” before putting the car in motion again!)

          Still, risking my eyesight for thick black eyelashes was pretty darned foolish!!!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            LOl, the crazy things we did for vanity. 🙂 xo

            Like

            • Nice to be beyond that phase, isn’t it? (for the most part-lol)
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • dgkaye says:

              Most def! 🙂 xx

              Liked by 1 person

  2. daisymae2017 says:

    Thanks for this post. Everyone needs it. Reblogged this on http://daisymae2017.wordpress.com and shared on LinkedIn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU, Crystal. Much gratitude for sharing this post with your community.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • daisymae2017 says:

        Your Welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  3. daisymae2017 says:

    Reblogged this on WELCOME TO CRYSTAL'S SITE(ORIGINALLY COUNTRY LIVING) and commented:
    Interesting and Informative Post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Since retiring, one of the tools I was most relieved to leave behind was my planner. My assistant filled in my appointments and I did my best to make as many of them as possible.

    For the past few years, my “schedule” has been far more lax. I have been incredibly selective about any commitments I make that will impact on my time, or require me to leave home (unless I’m out hiking or traveling).

    Now that my blog is taking off, I’ve realized that previously well-honed time management skills have atrophied.

    Perhaps it’s time to invest in a new planner. Your advice, once again, is clear, well thought out, and very appealing. Thanks Madelyn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No wonder you jettisoned the whole idea on retirement. You had to dance to a drum-beat that wasn’t of your own making for YEARS.

      Now YOU get to choose what you do with your time. And if you don’t, blogging will eat your life – lol. (I’m still working on it myself.)

      The point of planning is to tailor your life fit your goals – especially the ones that are FUN and relaxing!

      Great comment, Gabe. Thanks so much for making time to visit. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, I generally sleep until my carer rings the doorbell. I don’t book anything until at least 1pm giving me plenty of time to get going. Then it’s Game-On! I do use my diary for appointments, when bills are due, income is due and when it’s convenient to pick things up when I’m in the vicinity of shops, so I better use my time out and about. But I don’t need to schedule every living breathing moment. I can deal with a little flexibility. I like to think you would be proud. Cheers,H

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your tweaks, Helen. One might assume you don’t really need to schedule, when the opposite is actually true. When it’s a hassle to get out and about, you really don’t want to make more trips than necessary just because you don’t write it down.

      Proud? It sounds to me like you could teach the class!
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  6. Christy B says:

    Ah, and here I thought I was outdated by having a paper calendar ~ I’m feeling better about that now!! I’m also thinking I need to put in “slack time” as you call it into my day. It’s just go-go-go otherwise. By including that downtime I would allow for projects that take longer than expected and also allow myself a bit more time to relax. Thanks M as always. I hope your weekend is going well xx The EF series has taught me a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to let me know, Christy. And NOPE you are certainly *not* outdated!

      Hope your weekend is lovely so far and gets even better every minute.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Michael, you are a reblogging ANGEL – thank you so very much.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  8. -Eugenia says:

    👍👍Excellent, mgm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woo hoo – two thumbs up! Thanks so much, Eugenia.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The date book is a saving grace for us to keep on track and we use it to the max. We don’t account for every minute but we do note most for the purpose of seeing where we’ve been so we know where we wanna go. Each morning and evening we review perhaps just to justify why we are tired but we like the justification, lol. The hard part though are those regular unscheduled interruptions that we so enjoy but do add a wrinkle once in awhile. Great post Madelyn. We loved the joke Dolly noted above.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your system sounds perfect for you. The tricks, as you’ve discovered, are 1-not to get too attached to staying “on track” every single moment so you can enjoy (or at least accommodate) those moments life throws your way, and 2- to review and reschedule daily.

      Is Miss “bug-bites on top of bug-bites” back from her trek down the Appalachian Trail? I hope you are planning to share about her most recent adventure. Inquiring minds are eager to hear.

      If you’ve already posted about it, leave us a link, please (or leave one when you do).

      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes we love those moments life throws are way. As Chuck noted in his comment, retirement relieves so much stress.

        “Miss ‘bug bites'” lol, is still on the trail and from the last message is exhausted. They packed on more miles this time and at one point water nearly ran out. God love her for doing it and she’ll poke me for sure when she returns but the comforts of home are nice, lol. I’m sure she’ll be putting something together although I don’t know if there’ll be too many pics because they try to reserve cell power for the “in case of” situations. I can’t imagine dialing 911 while that black bear is trying to get your sandwich. I’ll have to ask Gabe that one. Glad being with you on this journey Madelyn.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You guys are some of the best appreciators on the web!

          I had a similar reaction to not wanting to burn up cell storage during a recent power outage that lasted from 7pm until almost 2AM (a thunderstorm took out a “center” of some sort, so thousands of us were affected). No worry about bears, however. 🙂

          Not being able to run the fans or AC was the biggest challenge, so I opened windows and doors and Tink and I went out on our little porchlet until it was quite dark. (We were treated to a DOUBLE rainbow once the rain stopped).

          Once the sun went down I got out a few of those battery-powered candles and worked on lists, etc. by artificial candlelight, feeling for all the world like Abe Lincoln in his cabin days. I finally gave it up and went to bed, awakening shortly after to the sudden noise of fans, AC, the pings of my computer, etc. – not to mention all the lights coming back on. YAY!

          The mosquitoes really liked it when the rain stopped 🙂 – and the fact that dinner was just inside the open windows, easily accessed through warped screens. My sympathies for EVERYONE hiking!
          xx,

          Like

          • LOL, there is so much for us too appreciate isn’t there especially when we look at folks like you that pour your heart into researching topics so we can learn and grow. Like your electric outage story my big crisis the other morn was forgetting to switch on the coffee pot timer so I could wake to a hot cup. Then there is Audrey and crew having to climb out of their piñata like bed, grab the cook stove and supplies hung in a tree 100 yards from camp hoping the bears didn’t get it just to make a cup that she has to share with the bugs, lol. She’s really gonna wack me about this one. Those campers sure are incredible folks deserving our sympathies. I bet Tink and Emma are glad they didn’t go camping.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yep- Tink’s idea of camping is staying in an modernized cabin, and his idea of a hike is a walk in the nearby park. 🙂

              I’m not exactly a Grizzly Adams sort myself – at least with car camping you don’t have to hang your food and pray!

              But NO COFFEE when you awaken?! Now that’s a crises-level hardship.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’m thinking Emma and Tink are cut from the same bolt of cloth, lol. Those Grizzly Adams days were fun but like you said its nice waking in our travel van and turning on the burner for some perked coffee. And yes…. no coffee is a crisis and don’t forget a cinnamon bun with it.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I haven’t found a GF cinnamon bun that’s worth the calories – but I have VERY fond memories of those huge ones I used to buy at airports (every single bite!)

              HOWEVER, as long as the coffee is not instant, even tho’ I have my preferences, I’ve never met a cup I didn’t appreciate fully. (Cooling off with a mocha/coffee slushie thickened with soaked Chia Seeds as I type)
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yummy, yummy.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Cinnebon – isn’t that the name of that airport store that sells those huge amazing cinnamon rolls? I know they have retail shops too, but I used to come across them most often in airports – following my nose.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, I too remember Cinnebon. They hit the world in a big way but went away. They were like Krispee Kremes. There is something about the flavor and the cream cheese icing, mmmm. Now I think I read somewhere or maybe it was a dream that they are extremely nutritious, low fat, low cholesterol and cardiologist recommend them, lol. At least this is what I’m telling myself.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah right! In our dreams. I don’t like KKs normally, but when they are freshly baked and still warm they melt in your mouth. I can do some serious damage until they cool!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’ve got a few of those battle scars, lol.

              Liked by 1 person

            • When I was performing in Nashville for a month, the cast had a ritual of visiting the nearby KK after every show. OMG – it took me over a month to lose those pounds after the show moved on to cities where we weren’t so easily tempted. Even my costumes were tight until I did. But did that stop me in Nashville? Not on your life. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • LOL. They are soooo good aren’t they. Lots of gym time to lose those suckers, lol. Some habits are hard to break.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Especially when one is surrounded by folks that are encouraging it! Community is key.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Advertising sure does grab us at our weakest points.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Ain’t it the truth! The only good thing I can say about most of it is that there’s so darn MUCH “push marketing” that I finally concluded I need to avoid *all* of it. 🙂
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • We know what you mean!!! That is the point we reached.

              Liked by 1 person

            • We’ll get better ads as time goes by as increasingly fewer people even look at them because people are simply OVER the way they handle them now – *especially* on YouTube!!!

              Though there was one lengthy mattress ad I actually watched all the way through recently, simply because it was so clever (they vamped on The Three Bears and broke a lot of eggs on inferior beds). The lead actress was exceptional. I wasn’t even mattress shopping, but I know I’ll take a look at Purple when I am. VERY effective and quite charming.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Love your description of the mattress ad and has us laughing. Its true though how they pull us in so sweetly. You are right though about people catching on to ads and fewer people are not letting ad campaigns sway us as easily.

              Liked by 1 person

            • The Ad Agencies of the future will have to be very different – and most likely web-based. Nobody’s watched TV commercials for years now – thanks to technology! And product placement hasn’t hit it’s stride subtly enough to influence choice.

              I did a shortish stint on the PR side of a smallish ad agency to finish college. The Ad guys (and they *were* guys) were blatant – PR is subtler. 30 years later, I wonder if much has changed.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Don’t ya just love the way they use product placement. We always smile.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’ll bet M&M/Mars kicks itself for turning down ET – and Reeses Pieces is smiling still.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Ain’t this the truth.

              Liked by 1 person

  10. Chuck says:

    Hi Madelyn,
    I enjoyed your piece. I’m so glad I’m retired and don’t have to deal with time management. My organization had someone come in once a year and teach a course for the newbies and a update for the others. We had a paper system contained in folder that connected, calendar, to notes, to project status, etc. It worked great and kept team members connected. My last few years, they converted it to a computer system and it was even more effective. My only problem was sometime I spent too much time keeping the time management system updated, that got behind on the actual tasks. I’m glad to be retired and don’t miss it at all. LOL Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Chuck! Thanks for this comment.

      I know what you mean about needing a time management system to have time to manage the time management system – lol. When an entire workteam needs access, updating takes a great deal more time than tracking for a single person – it’s actually more of a “team management” system.

      Professionally, I’m not fan of those complex tracking systems — I doubt that they are worth the total hit to productivity for each employee to track productivity to that level. I’d offload the task to a team manager and let the team do what you hired them to do – with, perhaps, the use of a quick (single-page) checklist system if you simply must standardize tracking.

      Many brilliant and creative ADD/EFDers I’ve coached struggle with time-sheets and billing already! I’ve been hired to coach that little chore alone!

      Personal time management is more streamlined (meaning for home management vs. work requirements) — more like a calendared to-do list, and worth developing. Many people report getting A LOT more done at home when they were working, while day drifts into days of undone to-dos once they retire.

      If you can afford the protracted “vacation” functioning after retirement. the important things are moving forward relatively well, I’d say you’ve already reached “good enough.” If services are being disrupted, you are frequently eating junk-food because you run out of food supplies since grocery shopping has become frustrating, and/or late fees are chronic, etc., that’s a sign that a management system is probably necessary.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

  11. noelleg44 says:

    As a forced multi-tasker for many years, I not only had a calendar filled with dates and activities, but I wrote out a schedule for each day so that I could insert things that came up and add things I did to remind myself – and carried it around with me. Now my calendar is largely empty – the white space = writing and swimming time. Household activities I don’t schedule but I do make a mental list each night before I sleep about what needs to be done the next day. I guess I am in love with lists!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for ringing in here, Noelle – and you underscore an important point. There is very little “start-with/stay-with”” in systems for life-management.

      Since you have a background of years of strict calendar management, you’ve internalized your system. Most folks like you have no problem with white-space in your datebooks because you already have habits and boundaries in place and know what you want to do with the unscheduled time.

      Interesting that you got hooked on the list habit – lol. Have you reached the point where you make mental lists of your mental lists? 🙂 Kinda’ like counting sheep – lol.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  12. Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie provides us with a wonderful and practical plan for making your day productive and as stress-free as possible. This is helpful for anyone who wants to own their own days! Please, read on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • GREAT introduction to this last part of this article, John, and thanks so much for the reblog. LOVE the “as possible” admonition at the end. Structure can only do so much – lol. Lack of same can do much more, however, and in the wrong direction!
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed, I have the blisters on my rear that prove how painful it can be to live by the seat of your pants! Great article, Madelyn!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Blisters – lol – I bet you spend a fortune on pants, too. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • I rob a bank at least monthly! John Howell is my getaway driver!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Now THAT is a scary duo. Sitcom worthy visual. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lol!!

              Liked by 1 person

            • 🙂

              Like

  13. to use a data book is a super idea… I have one …and it sadly looks like my life… there is not much white space, there is chaos… think I need such a ringbook where I can remove the pages and the things I want to forget LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mom’s is one of those ring-binder deals – a DayTimer™ which she has used since she was a puppy (18 is a puppy in human years). But she needs to throw things away! She puts those datebooks and ALL the page on a shelf, year after year. She says it is better than a diary (whatever THAT is!)
      Woof! TINK

      Like

  14. All of these are excellent strategies and very well presented, and all of them remind me of an old joke: How many psychologists to you need to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change.
    I sincerely hope that your excellent posts make some dim light bulbs want to become bright!

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOVE that joke! One of the best things I ever learned was that it would 15 minutes to walk out the door – lol! I’m with you, Dolly. Life can be SO much better with just a bit of knowledge, help and structure. Thanks for underscoring the importance.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      • That was my mantra to parents of my students: love and structure!
        With your articles, you are making the world better, one word at a time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are so encouraging in your comments – and I SO appreciate it, Dolly. Love your mantra – did they listen?
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Eventually, some of them… It’s the same with the impact of your articles on your readers: eventually, some of them will be affected in a positive way.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Like Chinese water torture – lol. We keep the drips coming. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • LOL

              Liked by 1 person

            • 🙂 Happy Hebrew Birthday, Dolly!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you again and again!

              Liked by 1 person

            • You’re welcome again and again!
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  15. For me the concept of padding comes naturally, but I’ve been known to yank the padding when I’ve need a bit more time elsewhere. And that just might be the problem. Also, I do like paper calendars for the office and it took time to adjust to the electronic calendar version. These days I function fairly well with electronic calendars, BUT…when I ran a carpool with other mothers I became a bit type A and created a monthly calendar that we could follow. Perfect decor for the refrigerator. This way we could remember our girl’s schedules and who was picking up or taking! Whew! I’m glad my daughter drives these days! But I do miss all the chatter from these sweet girls! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have NEVER met a mommy who didn’t miss those sweet younger days – even tho’ life gets easier in some ways once they’re old enough to drive. They grow up waaaay too fast, don’t they?

      Good for you for “adjusting” to the electronic calendars. Most of my clients (and ME – lol) end up distracted for days (only half kidding!) by the “while I’m at it”s. Thanks so much for reading and ringing in.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes they do, but I still have a four year old hanging around. I’ll have one more gig as carpool mama. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Do your best to enjoy every moment – even the days you want to drive off a cliff lol! 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lol…oh some days are a little crazy. But little hugs and loves you are the sweetest. So I’ll just occasionally hang from a cliff.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Funny image. A cartoonist would have a ball with it!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Headline: Mom Hangs from Cliff to Avoid Demanding Toddler! Lol. That is a funny image. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • It is – how I wish I could draw. I so admire the talents of cartoonists who can make a point at a glance (and make us laugh while they’re at it).
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  16. Another great post, Madelyn. I start every day with a to do list and I always have. I schedule travelling time into my on-line diary. So my life should be organised, should it? It is all the unexpected “urgents” that pop up nearly every day that derail everything but at least I can re-write all the things that I never got to the day before easily from my list. That is life I suppose.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have an entire household to contend with — including kids who need more time and attention than the “norm.” The goal is to schedule and to TRACK, not to make sure you complete “on schedule.” We do what we can — progress not perfection! If I accomplished everything you do I’d be thrilled.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: