Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Moms need their space, too!

All too often I find that busy moms don't have a dedicated work space to call their own. As busy as that job is - I think it's critical that whenever possible, a mother identifies a home office space where she can set up shop and efficiently manage the family's activities. I think people tend to forget that a busy family sometimes needs to run like a business; scheduling appointments, managing schedules and activities, coordinating health care and education, planning vacations, supervising homework, arranging for household repairs, paying the bills, and keeping the pantry stocked are tasks that only scratch the surface of the full responsibilities. And that doesn't even take into account a mother's own business/work responsibilities, volunteer activities, and her own hobbies and interests. It's easy to underestimate the space that is required for managing all of this.

This is not to say that you need to dedicate a full room to a mother's home office; but shared space on the kitchen table just doesn't cut the mustard.

One of my clients is a busy mother of two who is learning how to prioritize her own time and interests, and limit her volunteer activities (which is not an easy thing to do). We had the luxury of a spare bedroom that was being used for storage and was full of clutter. We cleaned out and set up a fantastic office just for her. And now she's getting more done in less time, and finding that she can choose to put her energy into things that really matter. We even included a family wall calendar so that the kids can support her in managing the daily schedule of activities.

Whatever your home space allows, finding a place to set up your office as Family Manager is a great first step in having everyone recognize the importance of the role and the full set of responsibilities on your plate - so that each family member can support you in their own ways.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Unemployed? Get a free planner!

On April 24th and 25th, Franklin Covey is offering free planners for those who have recently lost a job as a way to get a "leg up" on organizing your time and planning your life. Here is the email promotion that was sent:


Lost Your Job?
FranklinCovey Products Gives Those Unemployed A Boost

FREE FRANKLIN PLANNERS on April 24-25, 2009

WHO: Individuals who recently lost their jobs are invited to visit a FranklinCovey store nationwide or call the FranklinCovey Call Center at 800-654-1776 to receive a free 2009 Franklin Planner*.

WHAT: FranklinCovey Products is giving those who have recently lost their job a leg up during these recessionary times. Individuals recently unemployed can receive one 2009 Franklin Planner for free by providing the names of their last employer and supervisor, and the date they were laid off.

WHEN: Friday, April 24 (in-store and call center) and Saturday, April 25 (in-store only)

WHERE: Your local FranklinCovey store (Friday and Saturday) or the FranklinCovey Call Center at 800-654-1776 (Friday only)
Find a store
Call Center hours are Monday-Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm MST

WHY: Getting organized for a job search can ultimately save much time and frustration. Having one place to track all information, contacts, appointments, job leads, and interview notes can make a job search less stressful and more productive. Planning and organization are an integral component of a job search. FranklinCovey products and tools can bring focus, direction, and a sense of purpose to an individual's daily decisions and can help lessen the panic that surrounds a job loss. Capturing details and committing them to the planner will free up the job searcher's mind, reducing the stress associated with juggling lots of details. Sarah Merz, CEO of FranklinCovey Products, said this is FranklinCovey's way of helping out in a tough economy. This free FranklinCovey product event is a natural extension of the company's corporate philosophy to help people achieve everyday greatness.

ABOUT: FranklinCovey Products helps individuals and organizations achieve greater productivity, effectiveness, and success. For more information, please visit www.franklinplanner.com.


* Offer limited to supplies on-hand and specific products. Customer must pay shipping & handling if free planner is requested through the FranklinCovey Call Center. Offer not valid online.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

The "Low Energy" List

I went to a fantastic workshop yesterday put on by an organization called EnvisionAction. One of the participants was talking about the fact that she is learning to recognize her periods of high energy (best productivity times) and low energy throughout the day. And she plans accordingly. She saves certain tasks that don't require a lot of thought or physical activity to do during her "low energy" times, like emptying the dishwasher.

I think this is a great reminder for us all that it can be very useful to monitor yourself and your work habits throughout the day, and to plan around your own natural highs and lows. By saving certain tasks for your down time, you can still get things done and feel a sense of accomplishment. And similarly, by tackling that big proposal or detailed project when you're at your best, you'll actually get it done faster and better. Maybe you get a bit of food coma after lunch and can't concentrate as well as you can first thing in the morning.

Another great idea is to keep a list of things you'd love to do if you ever find the time. Then, when a meeting gets canceled or you find yourself with an unscheduled block of time, you can choose something off of this list and make the best use of your found time.