Time Management vs. Self Management

April 19, 2008 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By

After reading and ruminating on the book The 4-Hour Workweek for a few months; I’ve been keenly aware of how I spend my time. Time, unlike money, once spent can never be recovered and so I guard my time more fiercely than ever these days and really watch my boundaries. Putting boundaries on my time and allowing people, things and stuff to enter the forcefield is more of a conscious decision at this point in my life.

We really cannot manage time, we can only manage ourselves in the space of our time. That means getting very clear on what to do and what to drop and what to outsource and what is important and what is urgent and what doesn’t really matter that much at all. My business partner often says, “If you don’t have enough time, you don’t have enough team.” I also think if you don’t have enough time, re-think the things you’re stuffing into that time and make hard choices.

To help manage myself in my time, I use a color coding system in my hard-copy Daytimer. I also use a Google Calendar so my virtual assistants can see my schedule and when I need time, I just block it out on the schedules so nobody else can grab that time slot. I use a paper method as well as digital because I’ve had many computer gremlins and I need to know I have a back-up system in case the computer or internet goes down. Select colors that represent personal, professional, deadlines, obligations etc. If one color is dominating your schedule – analyze why that is and make changes.

Since moving to the beach, I’ve decided that I won’t take any incoming calls or work until after 9am. A purposeful choice that this is the time zone in which I live and just because the East Coast is up and running, doesn’t mean I need to be at my desk by 5am so they can call me at their convenience. I’ve also adopted the motto – no more rushing. I’ve rushed to catch planes, make deadlines, be available to everybody’s emails and calls for over 20 years and I needed a break, hence no postings for a couple months while I decompressed after I moved out to California. I realized it was me allowing all those other things to take my time and it was only me who had the power to take back my time. It’s our choice.

I’m reminded of the demonstration I saw about time management in a workshop – by having sand represent all the little schnitzy things you need to do and having ping pong balls represent the things that matter in your life. If you fill a vase with sand and then try to put in the ping pong balls, they won’t fit. But by putting in the ping pong balls first – putting the things that matter most to you first in your life, then pouring the sand into the vase; the sand fills in the empty spaces and everything will fit in the vase. It fits snugly, but it fits and anything that doesn’t fit is only the sniggly things that don’t matter so much anyway.

So how are you managing yourself inside your time zone? My friend Kathie makes phone dates to catch up with friends – she uses her beach walking time to talk on her cell with good friends so she can exercise while talking. My friend Beth uses her treadmill time to chat. A realtor buddy takes no incoming calls before 11 – he reserves the morning for himself. I’m working on only taking calls and appointments Tuesday – Thursday so I can have Mondays and Fridays completely to myself. I’m not totally there yet, it’s a work in progress, but I’m conscious of it. If I need to do things on these days, then I’m blocking out time during the week to do as I choose.

I will not get to only working 4 hours per week- I don’t thing I would even like to choose that. I truly enjoy what I do and it keeps me energized. Often people ask me if I work “full time”. Full time and part time are mindsets of the W2 working world. As an Entrepreneur, I just do my life. I have several companies and I just do some more than others as things dictate. Sometimes I focus on my work 60 hours in one week and sometimes 3 hours in one week – it all depends on what is happening in my life at the time – go with the flow. Entrepreneurs don’t do rules very well.

So how do you set your personal boundaries, your time boundaries and how do you manage yourself within the time you have? What is your time zone? Are you in the zone in the mornings or evenings? When are you brain dead and when are you most sharp and creative? Work your stuff around your bio-rhythms and when you are most productive and be very conscious of who and what you allow inside your boundaries in order to keep your energy for the things that really matter most.

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London Times Features Fun at Work – Good Times Lead to Good Business

September 17, 2007 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By

I’m thrilled to announce an interview I did for a recent article in the London Times on the business of fun at work. We’re ready to get the British energized and pumped up for some play in the workplace. People all over the world are finally getting it that work made fun gets done and good times lead to good business.Check out the full article below or click on the link.

london times, fun at work, workplace fun, fun, stress management, gail hahn

London Times Online

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The Rest of the Story: Banner the Guide Dog, Larry & Southwest Airlines

July 25, 2007 | Posted in Leading Hartfully | By

With the help of my speaking buddies, Beth Terry, Steve Tyra, Terry Brock and of course the star attractions, Larry Colbert and Banner the wonder dog. Here’s the rest of the story in their own words about what happened that Friday the 13th with Larry, Banner and the Southwest Employees who showed their true colors in a life or death situation.

Check out the happy ending to this heart-warming story about compassion, teamwork, humanitarian and heroic efforts and doing the right thing on YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=YZ17L8j6bsY

Truly inspirational efforts on everybody’s part to come through in a difficult situation.

Even the canine community pulled together. Here’s the card my Madison sent to Banner as well as a photo of Banner enjoying medical leave lounging by the pool in his colorful bandages. If you want to send a card to Banner, click here:

larry colbert, banner the guide dog, southwest airlines, get well soon


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Big Picture or Little Picture View of the World

April 12, 2007 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By

Do you have a big picture or a little picture view of the world? Are you stressing over the administrivia or are you focused on the big picture of your life and your career? Take a look at what types of things stress you out – are they the small details, the perfectionism, the imperfect people, the gray areas on the outskirts of the black and white? Sometimes we make our own stresses and create our own energy drains by focusing on things that have less impact than the power we are giving them.

It’s tax season and focusing on numbers is something we all need to do, but getting crazed if your account is 94 cents off isn’t such a big deal in the scheme of things. Of course waiting until the bitter end and not leaving yourself wiggle room can also make you crazed. Step back from some of the situations you find yourself in and see if you’re stressing out because you’re focusing on little picture stuff. Perhaps you need to take a look at the big picture and if the stressors that are affecting you now will really matter in the scheme of things a few weeks, months, or years from now.

The big picture sometimes can pull us through the little picture stuff when things get tough – keeping our eye on why we are doing what we are doing can keep us going. Are you focused on big picture stuff or little picture stuff most of the time? Are you drowning in details or do you have paralysis by analysis? Is it taking your eye off the main goal and draining your energy? You may want to hire out your little picture stuff and have someobody else who loves doing it do what they love and allow you to keep your energy focused on your big picture. It can sure help your sanity – especially at tax time. We can all use a little energy boost at this time of year.

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Practice Safe Stress, Relax & Renew Your Vitality

May 24, 2006 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By

Are you sometimes feeling that you’re on your last nerve? Have you been looking for a proven way to relax, refresh, and renew yourself? I was in a conference session with the makers of the Holosync system and I was blown away by their research and successful results and you will be too. I just had to share this secret with you to practicing safe stress.

It sounds like science fiction – it is science, but it is not fiction – it’s a very real process that helps you sleep better and your aliveness, vitality and energy increase and your quality of life will improve rapidly. Now there is a way to effortlessly meditate more deeply than a Zen monk, dramatically accelerating the meditation process and create profound changes in your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Studies show that 70% of our internal dialogue is negative and this system helps counteract those thoughts that are keeping you stuck in negativity.
The Holosync Solution ™ aides in increasing your mind-power and dramatically raises your threshold for stress. We feel stress when things in the world come at us faster than we can assimilate and handle at one time. Those who have had trauma in their lives at younger ages have a much lower threshold for dealing with these stresses than those who haven’t experienced such trauma. The coping mechanisms when we are pushed over our threshold show up as anxiety, anger, depression, overwhelm, sadness, substance abuse and many others…..doesn’t that sound like the American culture?

By using Holosync, just putting on headphones and sitting with your eyes closed listening to the calming sounds, your threshold is pushed higher and higher the more you use it and your dysfunctional feelings and behaviors happen less and less often and it becomes less often that environmental stresses affect you. Many people experience dramatic improvements in a few sessions, then even more in a week or two and certainly after a couple months, your stress levels will be dramatically decreased and you will be much better able to handle what life throws at you in a more relaxed, less anxious, more centered peaceful state and be more connected to others. You can try this incredible system for an amazing one-year, no-questions asked, money-back guarantee. Check out this dynamic product by Bill Harris at Holosync.

Backed by a mountain of scientific research—and proven results for thousands of users, the proprietary Holosync audio technology placed on CD’s beneath soothing music and environmental sounds will help you get results faster and with less effort than you ever dreamed possible and it’s all guaranteed. Bill has researched this system for 18 years, plus 12 years of other scientific research before him. There are over 160,000 people in 172 countries using this system and not one person has reported any negative results – it’s heartily endorsed by doctors, naturopaths and mental health professionals from around the world. There is no risk at all – except the risk of not having a better life with less stress by meditating and slowing your brain waves to the theta and delta states, which bypass the filters of your left brain in order to achieve greater clarity and easier changes in belief patterns.

Here are some of the ways you’ll benefit:
* Stimulate the creation of new neural pathways between the right and left hemispheres of your brain, balancing your brain and leading you to a high-performance state scientists call “whole brain functioning”.
* Dramatically improve your learning ability, memory, intuition, creativity, and your ability to focus, concentrate and think more clearly.
* Create true quantum leaps in your personal self awareness.
* Significantly lower your stress levels and lower your levels of harmful brain chemicals related to stress.
* Create remarkable improvements in your mental and emotional health—even in areas that have stubbornly resisted change with other approaches.
* Dramatically increase your production of vital (and very pleasurable) brain chemicals related to your longevity, well-being, and quality of life.
* Test drive it yourself, you’ve got nothing to lose, except some stress…. Holosync Meditation.

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Keep in Touch With Online Snail Mail Cards

May 2, 2006 | Posted in Living Hartfully | By

I’m on FIRE with excitement over another new way to keep in touch with everybody. Having moved about 13 times in about 20 years, it’s hard to keep up with everybody. I’ve just signed on with Send Out Cards – a fantastic way to keep in touch with clients, customers, partners, friends and family with the click of a mouse and it sends a real card they can hold in their hands from their snail mail box. You can customize the inside with your own greeting, your own photos, and your own handwriting and signatures. I even have Madison’s paw print as her signature. They give you 4 signatures in the program. All this for around a buck a card – and that even includes postage. All the cards are created one at a time, stuffed into envelopes, stamped, and mailed out of Utah – all you do is select people from your contact manager – which you can import from your other contact managers, create a message, click and send. No more going to the card store, waiting in line at the post office, or finding stamps…you can send a card in less than a minute. The longest time it takes is to select from the more than 5000 card styles they have. I will soon have my own personal collection on the site – I’m creating as fast as I can! Check it out – it’s awesome. Cards can only be mailed to US addresses…I think they can do APO’s, but no overseas mailing. If you want to test-drive the system, let me know and I will set you up with a free gift account – I will even pay for the postage.

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