Lisa-tvshowJust finished segment on @Fox40News with anchor Bethany Crouch on to-do lists. Lots of fun! Looking forward to doing some future segments.

Bethany said they’re hoping to bring me back. She wants to try to do a regular segment on the show with me as the expert. That would be amazing. But I don’t want to get my hopes up because she probably says that everyone. 🙂 She’s very charming…

The station’s producer contacted me to come to the studio and talk about how to actually get things done on your to-do list – to make your day more productive. She heard that I was presenting on this topic at the American Marketing Association of Sacramento Valley on July 23rd and wanted me to share some tips with viewers in advance of my presentation.

“To-do or not to do?” – the perpetual question that races through your mind as you try to figure out how to navigate your to-do list and actually get things done. So how can you make leeway without stressing yourself out?

Watch this segment where I share some tips with Morning Show News Anchor, Bethany Crouch, about to-do lists.

Hope it helps you to be more productive and get those to-do list items done!

(Sorry, there’s a short advertisement before my 3 minute segment)

Time is one of our most precious resources. Yet we battle daily to make the best use of it. This presentation addresses how to get more done in less time with less stress by maximizing your productivity and setting priorities. Learn to pinpoint where you need to take control. Improve your comprehension and focus and more effectively perform when juggling people, paper, and priorities. Topics Include: self-assessment, tools of time management, how to say no, project lists and to-do lists, conquering procrastination, the myth of multi-tasking, and dealing with interruptions.

I have found that among its other benefits,
giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
~ Maya Angelou

Many of these products and services are part of official affiliate programs which pay a referral commission to me based on any purchases you make through these links. However, that is not the reason I recommend them. I only recommend products and services that I believe are of high quality, value, and will benefit you in a tangible way as you improve your home, office, and life.
The Help Kenya Project

This is a Westchester County, NY based charity that focuses on helping the children of Kenya. They collect donations of used computers, books, clothing, sports equipment, and other supplies and ship them to Kenyan schools and libraries. In return, they ask that the recipients plant trees to combat deforestation and provide children with a place to rest and play out of the sun.

It’s incredible how valuable the book or computer you might be throwing out is to a Kenyan child. By providing Kenya’s students with science, English, and computer skills, they give them a much better chance of finding good jobs later in life. It breaks the cycle of poverty by helping Kenyans to help themselves. This is a charity that truly leaves a lasting impact.



National Cristina Foundation

Linking Life to its Promise.

The National Cristina Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the support of training through donated technology. For more than two decades, it has encouraged companies and individuals to donate computers and other technology, which is then matched to charities, schools and public agencies in all 50 states, Canada, and in many countries around the world.


Vietnam Veterans of America
VVA accepts donations of household goods and clothing in 30 states in the continental United States. To make a donation, please refer to the state map. Identify your area and call the phone number referenced.


Tangible Karma is a donation tracking service that gives you a chance to see the difference your donated goods can make in the world.  At Tangible Karma their mission is to inspire and motivate you, to transform items that are hindering your life into valuable gifts that could make a meaningful difference in the life of another.


Overseas Coupon Program Did you know that expired coupons can be sent to troops stationed overseas and they can use them for 6 months after the expiration date?  If you find this idea redeeming, go to OCPNet.org and get the details. It’s 100% legal and each overseas base has a USA address so it is a local mailing. Save your coupons, even if they are expired to help out our troops!


DisposeMyMeds.org is an online resource to help you to find medication disposal programs at the local independent community pharmacy near you.

Your local community pharmacist has knowledge to ensure the safe and proper handling of your medications, from dispensing to disposal.


Recycle These Items That You Never Thought Of…

Vintage Doorknobs, Radiators, Windows and Mantels
Donate or sell classic architectural elements to salvage firms or restoration projects. SalvageWeb is an online ad space that links buyers and sellers all over the world; here you can buy an Art Deco church chandelier, or unload a clawfoot tub after renovating your bathroom. Baltimore-based Second Chance Inc. accepts salvage donations and trains low-income people in the art of “deconstructing” buildings.

Toothbrushes
The Radius Original Toothbrush has a handle made of cellulose, an organic fiber. (Radius also recycles the handles of its battery-operated model once the battery runs out.)

Foam Packaging
Lightweight “peanuts” made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) contain 25 to 100 percent recycled material.
The Plastic Loose Fill Council has a “Peanut Hotline” (800-828-2214) you can call to find local recycling centers, including chain-store shippers such as Pak Mail and The UPS Store. To recycle large, molded chunks of EPS used to cushion televisions, air conditioners and such, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.

Sneakers/Tennis Shoes
Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns used athletic footwear (no cleats) into a material called Nike Grind, used to surface playgrounds, running tracks and outdoor courts. Or send your still-wearable athletic shoes to Shoe4Africa, which forwards them to athletes in developing countries.

Toys
Ask your local shelter for homeless families or battered women if they accept gently used toys. The Salvation Army and Vietnam Veterans of America also take used toys. Adult-appropriate items such as board games can be sent to troops overseas through www.AnySoldier.com

Wine Corks
Yemm & Hart, which produces recycled building materials, turns used corks into floor and wall tiles.

Motor Oil
Recycled motor oil can find new life as a lubricant or fuel. The American Petroleum Institute estimates the electricity created with just 2 gallons of reused motor oil would power the average home for nearly a day. Preserve used oil in a clean container with a secure, leakproof lid. You can recycle the used oil filter, too. Earth 911 has a list of motor oil recycling centers that’s searchable by ZIP code.

Prom, Bridesmaid and Formal Dresses
Charities like the Glass Slipper Project accepts donated gowns, shoes and purses to provide free prom wear to low-income teens. Another great resource is Donate My Dress, which is the first national network to bring together local dress drive organizations across the U.S. Books such as “Always a Bridesmaid: 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Dress” offer tongue-in-cheek recycling advice to every woman who has a hideous gown buried at the back of her closet.

Eyeglasses, Frames and Cases
The Lions Club and Give the Gift of Sight Foundation collect used eyeglasses for needy people around the world. Donate your glasses at one of 17 Lions Clubs recycling centers, or at chains such as Pearle Vision Center, LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut.

Computers, Cell-Phones and Other E-Waste
The EPA maintains a list of charities that accept used electronic equipment. Staples, Office Depot and Best Buy offer in-store e-waste recycling — Best Buy also recycles used appliances. Dell, Toshiba and Sony lead the way in recycling computer products. Donate cell phones to organizations like The Wireless Foundation. Ship old videotapes and DVDs to Ecodisk or Greendisk.

Radio Shack Electronics Trade-In Program

Have electronics to trade-in? Use Radio Shack’s Trade-In Program!

You go online to http://www.radioshack.com/tradeandsave and indicate what items you wish to trade. Items must be in working condition. The site will determine the trade-in value of your items and create a pre-paid shipping label for you. You print off the shipping label, affix it to a box, pack your items and mail it to Radio Shack free of charge. When they receive it, they will mail you a Radio Shack gift card.

Electronics
Electronics improve the way we live, work and play. But, there’s one place where electronics should have no impact — the environment. Through responsible use, reuse and recycling of electronics, the consumer electronics industry and consumers can protect and preserve the environment — together. Many organizations offer free recycling of used electronics, so it’s easy to be green. Check out the following sites, which offer ways to sell or recycle your used electronics.

http://www.Gazelle.com
http://www.MyBoneyard.com

“Personal experience tells me that never emptying our time is like never emptying our garbage cans, our bladders, or our digestive tracts.
Do those images disgust you? Good. I want them to. The archetype of the virtuously over-busy person is so ingrained in our social mindset that it takes strong language to knock it loose.” ~ Martha Beck

Do you ever wake up feeling stressed just thinking about your day? Phone calls, emails, errands, and appointments. These days it doesn’t matter how early you wake up, the fact is you will already be behind schedule. Because time in our culture is moving so fast. It’s like a race to get to the end of the day so you can look back, and say “Look at all those things that I did. Now that was a busy day.”

Staying busy, but not productive, is the curse of our times. As the actress Lily Tomlin so eloquently put it, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

Here are some typical phrases that you may hear today: bigstock-The-word-Everything-on-a-To-Do-45656401

“I am so tired, I can’t remember the last time I got a good night’s sleep !”
“I’m drowning over here!”
“Oh my God, I’m crazy-busy!”

Somehow, these expressions are intended to demonstrate cultural value and importance. They are uttered out of habit, for attention, or worse, because someone is truly spiraling out of control. Take a good hard look at what these words are really expressing: lack of control, stress, and in the extreme, death! Wow… Is this what you really mean? Is this the language you want to be saying to yourself and sharing with others?

I am a person that chooses to live a full life, in the sense that I enjoy running a thriving business and the work that it entails, pursue personal passions and hobbies, love to travel, and spend time with friends, family and colleagues. However, I feel that some major things have shifted, starting with the loss of my beloved mother in 2010, and then continuing since I relocated from NY to Northern California in July 2012. Although I’m one who enjoys having a full plate, I’m learning more and more to be at peace with the open space that not being “crazy-busy” provides. It’s not always easy, trust me. But I am choosing not to win the “crazy-busy” contest.

I was speaking with a friend a few months ago. At one point, my friend commented “Wow, you’re so busy. How are you doing it all?” My response? “I don’t really like to say that I am ‘busy’ anymore. ‘Busy’ is so negative. Now, I like to think of it, and describe it, as living a full life on purpose.”

This conversation led me to think about how things have shifted for me over the last couple of years — especially when it comes to the word “busy.” You see, when I deliver my keynote to audiences on life-work integration, I talk a lot about this concept of how crazy-busy has become a badge of honor in our society. And how the only way to stop it is to take notice, change our la nguage, and change our behavior. So, I decided to start with me.

This has been a full year; for me personally, for my husband who is in the midst of a demanding veterinary residency in internal medicine, and for my business. I’ve traveled quite a bit for speaking engagements throughout the U.S., immersed myself in the launch of my new online learning platform LMG University, coached and consulted with clients near and far, enjoyed lots of bicycle riding in my new Northern California area, got back on stage to perform in an amazing production of Les Miserables, and enjoyed meeting new friends and colleagues in the area. Some might call this “busy.” I call it intentionally engaged and living a joyfully full life — on purpose.

“Busy” is stressful (even the energy of the word itself!). It has this powerful ability to take over one’s focus. People often claim that the main thing stopping them from fully realizing and achieving their dreams is that they ar e too “busy.” But busy is a conscious choice. “Busy” and “I have no time” (yes you do or you wouldn’t be alive… but I digress!) are excuses that are, sadly, here to stay. We have to get better at calling ourselves out on this. We have to prioritize, own our choices, watch our language, and value our precious time. We have to be intentional and purposeful.

I am being totally honest when I say that “busy” still creeps in for me sometimes (that little bugger!). But in those moments, I catch myself and quickly change my language and try to change my mindset. I try to kick busy to the curb and replace it with conscious living, which may still mean a full life, but not one that feels negative or will win me any badge of honor for the “crazy busy” contest. That’s one contest that I am purposefully hoping to lose!

We all have goals — or in New Year’s parlance, resolutions. We all have visions of what we’d like our lives, careers, and business to be. For many people, thinking about what you would like to change and transform is the easy part. The tough part is actually turning those goals and visions into reality.

There are many strategies for creating the life, career, or business that you want. Each strategy involves some type of reflection and planning. You know that you need to prioritize. Failing to do so means that everything gets equal weight. But how do you determine what’s important and gets more of your attention?

My favorite exercise is to jot down a list of everything that could occupy your time, energy and resources, and then ask the simple question of each item: Yes or No? I call this creating your Absolute Yes List and Just Say No List.

For some people, the best way to determine what to focus on is to start by listing all of the things you DO NOT want to occupy your time, energy, and resources. This becomes the basis of your Just Say No List, which is made up of the things you absolutely know you don’t want in your life, career or business. Starting with the No List is often a great way to purge, eliminate, shed, or release. It can feel freeing and creates space in your mind for focusing on the things you DO want in your life, career or business. The items that go on your Just Say No List should come easily. They are the ones that sap your energy, pull you away from your core interests and greatest desires, have proven time and again to be a waste of time, rightfully belong on someone’s else’s list, or are loaded with guilt and negative energy. Say good riddance and put them on your No List! Doesn’t that feel good?

For others, starting with the Absolute Yes List is easier. If you already know that you have some things that you are itching to try, do, and manifest, those items go on the Yes List. Add anything that you want to create space, time, energy and resources for. If you know it is a priority, it goes on the Yes List. Remember, this is an Absolute Yes List. Not a wishy-washy, should-coulda, maybe, someday, we’ll-see list! Don’t worry about how you will get it done, or even when. At this stage, your job is just to categorize whether it is an Absolute Yes or a big fat No.

You will probably have a pretty robust list on both sides (at least I would hope so!). The goal is to make quick and efficient, but meaningful decisions, about whether something is a Yes or No. The more clarity you have around whether something is deserving of your time and attention (a Yes item), or is something you know you don’t want in your life (a No item), the better off you will be. It is the gray areas, the Maybes, that often cause the most strife. Therefore, the goal of this exercise is to be as emphatic as you can be, to whittle down the Maybe List as much as possible. Or, better yet, don’t even allow yourself to have a Maybe List! Try to make a decision. I like to say if it isn’t an Absolute Yes (which is a pretty strong yes), then it usually belongs on the Just Say No.

Take some time to enjoy this exercise, and design a life, career or business that’s a great match for you. You will often need to tweak or course correct your lists as things change. That’s okay. But having your lists as a starting point will serve you well as you can use them as a litmus test to measure all requests, obligations, tasks, responsibilities, and to-do’s against. Try to embrace both the planning process and the changes. It’s how we grow — in life and in business.

There’s still “Time” to sign up for my upcoming course, Make Time for This! Effective Time Management through Pace University’s Professional Development Program. This event is open to the public, so come join me. Click here for details and to register.

Time is one of our most precious resources. Yet we battle daily to make the best use of it. This workshop addresses how to get more done in less time with less stress by maximizing your productivity and setting priorities. Learn to pinpoint where you need to take control. Improve your comprehension and focus and more effectively perform when juggling people, paper, and priorities.

Topics Include:

  • Self-assessment
  • Tools of time management (calendars/PDAs/daily planners)
  • How to say no
  • Project lists and to-do lists
  • Conquering procrastination
  • The myth of multi-tasking
  • Dealing with interruptions.

The Details:

Date: Friday, May 11, 2012
Time:
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Pace University Midtown Center
551 Fifth Avenue at 45th
New York, NY
Tuition: $195 (includes all materials)

Click here for details and to register.

Do you often miss personal and professional deadlines? Do you feel frustrated due to failing to carry out your priorities?

Then join me for “Time Management” at Pace University’s Professional Development Program on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 from 9 am – 4 pm at Pace University Midtown, 551 Fifth Avenue at 45th Street, New York, NY.

Time is one of our most precious resources.  Yet we battle daily to make the best use of it.  This comprehensive workshop addresses how to get more done in less time with less stress by maximizing your productivity and setting priorities. Learn to pinpoint where you need to take control.   

Topics Include: Self assessment, tools of time management (calendars/PDAs/daily planners), how to say no, project lists and to-do lists, conquering procrastination, the myth of multi-tasking, and dealing with interruptions.

If you are ready to tackle the time management beast, click here for more details and to register.

Hope to see you there!

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by freelance writer Anna Vitale for her article, Overwhelmed? Getting Organized Can Make Your Workspace Work For You, which appeared in the Missouri Lawyers Weekly on August 31, 2009.

The Missouri Lawyers Weekly is a publication that is primarily written for, and read by, the legal profession. However, Ms. Vitale’s article discusses organizational challenges faced by any professional with an office! She interviewed me, along with another organizational expert, and offers solutions that are practical to implement.

Check out the article here for some great advice on how to overcome overwhelm at work!

To-do lists. Just the name of them sounds exhausting. They have become the thorn in many of my client’s side. Whether they are written in long form on paper, or maintained electronically on a computer or handheld device, they cause much stress.

And here’s one reason why. Most people unknowingly combine their master to-do list and daily to-do list together. This one act causes the list to become lengthy and overwhelming, which in turn almost guarantees failure. The person with this massive all-in-one to-do list will either abort the list altogether, or try desperately to get tasks done, all the while feeling inadequate and like a failure due to his or her inability to accomplish the items on the list.

What to do (yes, pun intended!)? Keep ‘em separated!

Create a master to-do list and a separate daily to-do list.  The master list includes tasks you plan to and want to get to, but cannot accomplish in one day, similar to a project list.  Your daily list is only made up of the tasks you intend to, and can realistically accomplish, in one day, which is usually only about 3-5 items.  The daily list puts your master list into action on a daily basis. That way, you get the satisfaction of actually crossing off your daily to-do’s, but have a more comprehensive list so you don’t forget tasks you need to tend to at some point later on.

Here’s an example. You need to do a home renovation project like paint your basement. Your master to-do list reads: paint basement. But the daily to-do list will break down that master item into several separate entries over a longer period of time.

  • Monday: choose paint color
  • Tuesday: call 3 painters for estimates (this is called delegating, but let’s save that for a future blog post!)
  • Wednesday: clear furniture from area to be painted
  • Thursday: buy paint.

Get the picture? The master to-do list names the project and the daily to-do list breaks out the action steps in a manageable, reasonable and realistic manner in order to accompish that project. That way, the items actually get done. And isn’t that what a to-do list is supposed to be for anyway?