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reVised Coaching (VLOG episode #1) - Time management how-tos that work

By Christie Browning 

**Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Christie's book, "Kick The Clock"

When we talk about getting control of our time and working to achieve harmony, it is important to consider what you can manage. If time can't be changed, we need to focus on what can be adapted to our goals, lifestyles, and choices. Let me introduce to you the “Three E Concept,” – three categories that will help you attack your time in a controlled, focused and efficient manner.

First on the E-list is “Electives.”

When we feel as if we are losing control of our time and our schedules, many times it is simply because we don't know how to decide where our time should be spent. And many times it is because we can't say “no,” when we necessary. Do you remember going to high school or to college and being told what core classes you had to take and given the option to choose a certain amount of electives? The elective classes were completely up to you. Choose to take them or not.

Choosing how to spend our time works the exact same way. There are some things that we don't have a say in, such as sleeping. We all need rest. However, there are other things we don't have to do, but we elect to spend time on them. The trouble comes when we don't know how to choose or we don't realize when we've picked more electives than we have time for.

Second is Managing Efficiency

It is vital to become a master of efficiency when negotiating your time. We can come up with all kinds of shortcuts, but ultimately what will make you more efficient boils down to you. Your choices, once again, will make the difference.

You set the pace-- I have preached this sermon over and over again, but it is worth repeating. You don't have to be available 24 hours a day. You do not have to respond immediately to every Facebook notification, text message and the other hosts of beeps, tweets and sounds your cellphone, laptop and tablet make.

You know just as well as I do, that nothing pulls your focus and eats up your time like logging onto Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I love these sites as much as the next gal, but when I am needing to use my computer for other things, it is best that I not click on the latest and greatest update. Somehow social media manages to move time at warp speed and before I know it, hours have passed.

I set the pace of my day by controlling when I choose to respond to emails, voicemails and social media notifications. This is a tough discipline, but a vital one. When you decide to pick the time to attend to these things, you immediately become in control of your focus and attention.

Care to prepare -- Another thing I do to work efficiently is to plan ahead and prepare often. I start my morning off with plenty of time to get ready. I try to not rush around like a mad woman, but take time to shower, dress and eat breakfast each morning.

I schedule time to take lunch each day. It's easy to work right through the lunch hour, but if nothing else, that break in the day gives me a chance to catch my breath. At night, I stop working on projects or housework in time to unwind with a good book, wash my face and prepare my mind and body for bed.

I also try to prepare lunches, gather the items I need to take with me in the morning and pick out clothes all the night before. It makes the morning less stressful. The same concept is applied to projects, goals, deadlines and anything else in life or business. Prepare ahead of time. To be efficient, procrastination is your most deadly enemy. Set a time on the calendar or your daily planning sheet and stick to it. This discipline is vital to ensuring you work smart, not hard.

The last on the E-list is "Energy"

 When it comes to top performance and making the most of your time, your energy is key to get the most quality results. Energy can be expanded until the day you die. However, time doesn't change. As women, we thrive and operate at our best potential when we have four complete sources of energy:

1.     Physical energy – A physical ability to do what we need to do

2.     Emotional energy – A positive and healthy soul

3.     Mental energy – Focused efforts and a clear sense of purpose

4.     Spiritual energy – A source of motivation to do what which moves or touches you

All of these work together and influence each other. To achieve the best, all four areas should be working at a healthy level. All areas should receive its due attention in order to be maintained at a healthy state. That means when considering our electives, we need to schedule in time to refuel and recharge.

 Physical energy -- Exercise expels pent up energy and stress in a healthy way. Something about physical exercise clears our minds, restores energy to our bodies and keeps us feeling balanced. When tough days hit and strain our emotions and our mind, we naturally get tense and worked up. Those drains can open us up to illness and infection. So, the healthier you are physically, the better you will be at combating sickness, and the stronger you will be to persevere through bad days.

Do you think what you eat has an impact on your energy? Yes!  Don't believe me? Run up against a woman who hasn't eaten anything and is “hangry” - hungry and angry. When we are hungry and not fed properly, our energy is drained. What we eat also shows up in our mental well-being. Stuffing our faces with fatty foods and caffeine beverages can inject us with a boost, but in the end we crash and can't focus. There's a reason for that. It is very important to eat healthy, eat regularly and not skip meals.

Emotional energy -- To keep our emotions in check, it is important, vital, crucial and imperative that you take time for you. I know you have heard this reasoning before, but we aren't so good when it comes to putting it into practice. There's a saying, “he that sharpens the ax falls more trees.” There is so much truth behind that old advice.

You can work really hard and chop down a lot of trees, but if you don't occasionally stop and sharpen the ax, eventually you will have to work harder for that ax to cut the tree down. So often we tell ourselves that we can't take a time out for us... there is so much to do, we shouldn't take a day off of work, we shouldn't take time away from the family. But the reality is, we will be much better off if we take that time for ourselves.

Mental energy -- Positive in means positive out. If you fill your mind with positive messages and materials, you will produce positive words and actions. I highly recommend journaling in order to keep your mind clear and focused. It helps me re-align my thinking with my goals when I start to feel discouraged or downhearted. Journaling is a great way to expel emotions, thoughts, dreams and ideas in a safe manner. It keeps the mind sharp and allows creativity to flow.

Another important aspect to mental energy is sleep. As important as sleep is, it is the one thing we are the quickest to neglect. Did you know that poor sleeping habits can cause weight gain, diabetes, diminished muscle mass, and increase signs of aging? I don't know about you, but those things alone make me want to hit the hay right now!

Sleep is crucial to keeping your mind focused and geared up for the tasks at hand. To be efficient you want to have a mind that is capable for the challenge. Drifting to sleep, daydreaming, forgetfulness – these all create inefficiency, the direct opposite of our desired outcome.

Spiritual energy -- This is not going to be a sermon on the importance of faith or religion. However, I do feel that one aspect of my life that keeps me going is my faith. On the other hand, your spirit is more than corporate worship.

It is about the guts of you, your soul, the inner woman. She needs attention... she needs to be filled up and motivated. What makes your soul swoon, moves you to emotion, strikes your inner core? Those are the things that make you tick. Those are the moments that make you feel alive. Whatever that is, tap into often! Don't lose your identity in the process of chasing life.