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Three Tips to Minimize Time-Suck

*Editor’s Note: On January 11, 2010 (date change), Debbye Cannon will host a fabulous Time Management Webinar to help the women of WE to get unstuck, save and spend their time in more fulfilling, profitable ways. Sign up at


We all know what time suck is.  It’s when you set out to do a few tasks that you estimate an hour or two to complete.  The next thing you know, it’s evening – your day is shot and your list is longer than when you started!  Here are three tips to help you STOP wasting time and end the overwhelm.
#1 Batch Your Activities
What I mean by that is grouping types of activities together. For instance, try to get all of your errands together and completed in one circuit.  Or, if you are decorating the house, do it room by room, rather than the whole house in one chaotic effort. (Personally, I find that just a little overwhelming!) Last year, I even packed my Christmas decorations away room by room. For other holidays, I have one box for each throughout the year, and in that box, I collect everything that has to do with that holiday — cocktail napkins, the candles that go on the table, stationary, party invitations, cupcake liners, or even spices that maybe you only use for recipe during one particular season of the year.
#2.  Skip the To Do List
I think to-do lists just give us all a big long feeling of guilt and overwhelm because you have this long, long, long list.  My husband is a big to-do list maker, and when I ask him about something he says, “It is on my list.” It’s not very comforting (or successful).  Instead, when you think of something you need to do, put it on your planner or calendar. Give it a time and a date! Forget about, “I am going to do that some day,” because Someday is NOT a day of the week!  Your appointed day for your task can be flexible, in fact, write in pencil. Don’t feel like you have to be really forced to do it at that particular time, but if you are not reserving time to get it done, chances are it is not going to happen.
#3.  Practice Positive Self-Talk
One way to truly lose time is to spend it feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, or worse, actually criticizing yourself or repeating the same negative story over and over.  If you find yourself thinking about the holidays and getting anxious long before you open a box or make a gift list, stop and look at the story you’re telling yourself.  Then, try a new one! “The holidays are a time when I enjoy my family, I am going to relax, and do a little bit of catch-up and clean up and get ready for the New Year.” Now that’s a story I’d enjoy hearing over and over!
Simply Yours,

Debbye Cannon

Debbye Cannon, author, speaker and simplification strategist consultant simplifies life for women internationally. With a diversified background as a military wife, mother, home educator, caregiver, entrepreneur and grandmother she’ll make your life SIMPLY BRILLIANT. Find more SMARTcut® Solutions at

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