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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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« 7 Ways to Get Motivated | Time for Wonderful »

Time, Panic & Stopgaps

Photo by Linda SamuelsBefore me, sparkles of light reflect on the Hudson River. Sounds of birds conversing and the hum of cars passing in the distance and an occasional train whistle punctuate the quiet. The sun is hot, but there's enough of a breeze to act as a natural fan. The day has been filled with a mixture of writing, coaching preparation, radio interviewing, bill paying and phone calling.

When it came time for a lunch break, I opted to combine eating and writing with enjoying this gorgeous summer day. The day has been my own because I set aside the time. So often, we have to plan our to dos around all our other responsibilities. I like having days when my time is more intentional and I don't have to negotiate with other obligations and appointments.

How do we view our time? I like to build in stopgaps where we carve out time to focus on specific things. This prevents us running from appointment to appointment, putting out fires, feeling overwhelmed and never getting to do what we most enjoy.

Slowing down a little and being intentional, gives us the time to breathe, think and plan. It affords us the time to implement the plans without the panic. Then we can enjoy the process and our time even more. Carving out a "desk" or "personal" day every so often, helps keep us focused and better balanced.

Ironically, I did have a moment of panic today. I was about to prepare for an upcoming mentoring session, which involved reviewing and updating a computer document. To my horror, not only was the document missing, but also was the entire electronic file folder containing one hundred documents. After searching my computer, I realized that I must have accidentally deleted the folder when I was cleaning up my computer's desktop the night before.

Fortunately, the potential catastrophe was avoided. I regularly back-up my files using Carbonite and Time Machine. I immediately contacted Carbonite to see if my files could be retrieved. Within fifteen minutes, the files were found and restored onto my desktop. Can you hear my big sigh of relief?

Having a back-up system in place is very much like building stopgaps into your schedule. It helps keep panic to a minimum. Emergencies and the unexpected will happen. When you are reviewing your calendar, consider reserving time just for you to stop, regroup and refresh.  

How do you create time to rejuvenate and refocus?

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Reader Comments (4)

Lovely post on how to use planning to ensure you're building a life you can love!

July 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeeAnne

Thanks so much for your comment, DeeAnne. I always enjoy reading your wonderful blog at One of my favorite posts you wrote was called "The Art of Slow." I think that was the title. Fabulous stuff.

July 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I like having a combination of intentional time and then the "oops" time. If I have a few open spots each day, the "oops" do not become catastrophes. This is what you are sharing! How to plan you time, but not be rigid. Thanks for sharing a strategy that can work for many people!

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

You've nailed it, Ellen....planning time, but not being too rigid. This allows space for the "oops," as you put it. It also gives us time to breathe and slow down. Thank you for stopping by to add your perspective to the conversation. It's always great to hear from you.

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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