Organise your work more effectively so you have more time in your personal life Photo: Thinkstock
The best tip: "Laura’s advice to dedicate weekends to my daughter was spot-on. During her last visit, instead of putting her in front of the computer while I worked, we went to the park. I also shaved about 15 minutes off my commute by leaving a few minutes later than I normally do."
Post-makeover progress: "I was surprised Laura thought I was already doing a good job managing my time. It made me realize that my life, though busy, is filled with the people and activities I love. That thought alone made me a lot less stressed about my schedule."
The Too-Busy-to-Get-Organized Mom
TIME-CRUNCHED SCHEDULE "I work up to 12 hours a day, and things at home are just as busy. My children are involved with sports, music and Scout troops, and have mountains of homework they need help with. I feel like I’ve morphed from a mom into a taskmaster: I’m constantly telling them, ‘Finish your spelling, clean the table, get ready for soccer.’ At night, I often end up catching up on work e-mail when I could be spending quality time with them. There isn’t a second in my day that isn’t occupied. It leaves me absolutely exhausted. On top of that, all my mail piles up, and I frequently discover I’m late on a payment or forgot to sign a permission slip. But I don’t have the time to figure out a system to get on top of things."
What she puts on the back burner: "Getting organized, both personally and professionally, and relaxing with my children."
Productivity pro: Ruth Klein, branding and productivity coach; author of Time Management Secrets for Working Women
1. Start the day in a better way.
Elizabeth is so busy "doing" that she doesn’t have a moment of peace. The result: She’s constantly frazzled, which wreaks havoc on her productivity and ability to manage time. The fix: Each morning, she should take ten minutes to sit in silence, breathing deeply while planning for the day.
2. Create a paper plan.
Organizing papers rarely takes more than 20 minutes a day—if you keep up with it. Here’s a system that can help Elizabeth get on top of hers.
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