Connect With Me

Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

Connect with me on FacebookConnect with me on TwitterConnect with me on LinkedInConnect with me on YouTubeConnect with me on Twitter


Sign-up for free monthly e-newsletter and get "Organizing Tip 101" series as a thank you bonus!

Buy Linda's book at her Amazon store for Autographed Copy!

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.

Available in paperback or eBook for Kindle, Nook, iPad or iPhone and Sony Reader.

Professional Organizing

Need some help? Linda's company, Oh, So Organized! provides professional organizing services. Click here to learn about our unique Client Loyalty Program. Visit the Oh, So Organized! website for organizing tips, resources, videos and more. Make this your year to get organized.

« Is It Hammock Time? | 10 Clutter Solutions »

5 Biggest Time Challenges

You’ve heard it before. The playing field is level. We each have 24-hours in a day. That’s a big number, isn’t it? In addition, we have 365 rounds each year. That’s 8,760 hours per year to make our own concoction of work, fun, and relaxation. With all this time, why do we feel unproductive, overwhelmed, stressed-out, and time poor? Here are common time challenges and some strategies for overcoming them.

1. Overscheduling – Life is not dull. There are so many meetings, extracurricular activities, and social events in addition to the regular responsibilities that you feel perpetually frazzled and busy. There is never any relaxation time, other than when you sleep.

Tip: This might be the time to introduce “no” into your vocabulary. What can be removed from the schedule to give you some downtime?


2. Ambitious List Making – Massive doesn’t even begin to describe the length of your lists. You are overwhelmed by your ideas, projects and to-dos. How and when will you accomplish everything?

Tip:  Adjust your expectations. As items are checked off, new ones will appear. Don’t let that de-motivate you. Instead of focusing on completing the entire list, shift your perspective. Work your list by selecting the two or three items that you will get done that day. Reframe what completion looks like.


3. Lack of Planning – You prefer to just “go with the flow” and not plan your time. This isn’t working for you. The day ends and you haven’t accomplished what you wanted to. Consider the good enough method of planning.

Tip: Don’t plan every minute. Instead, create large time blocks in your schedule that are devoted to certain types of activities like returning phone calls and emails, doing errands, spending time with family, and “me time.” Yes…block out time for just you! Review the loose plan before the end of each day. Adjust as needed.


4. Not Focusing – Distractions . . . Let me count the ways. There are children, pets, phone calls, TV, email, texting, Internet searches, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Don’t get me started about Pinterest (my personal new favorite social media addiction, oops I mean site!) The supply of distractions is endless.

Tip: Two words: Establish boundaries. Whether the distractions are digital or human, it’s essential to set parameters. Remember those time blocks I mentioned above? Incorporate into those time blocks some “tech-less time” or whichever distraction needs the boundary. Experiment with effectively using parameters to maintain your focus.


5. Under Appreciating – You’re doing a lot. You’re moving through the days at lightning speed. You’re done and on to the next thing before pausing to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished. This exacerbates your frenzied feelings.

Tip:  Gratitude is powerful. It shifts our thoughts to a positive place. Allow yourself to slow down long enough to reflect and appreciate. That can include acknowledging our accomplishments, being grateful for our loved ones, or enjoying the sweet scent of spring.

What is your biggest time challenge? Is it one of these or something entirely different? I’d love to hear from you. Come join the conversation.





PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (12)

Linda, wonderful post and always a great reminder to recheck, regroup and move on.
With so many activities - from family to work and learning - it's easy to get overwhelmed and I am making it a point to work towards balance even if it means less work. It's not an easy choice, but I am grateful is one available to me right now.
I will keep your advice fresh in my mind to remind me that I'm on the right track.
Have a wonderful day!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelena Alkhas

Fabulous post by Linda - love it! Such a great way to look at 5
of the 'Typical Time Teasers' & sprinkle on a seasoning of perspective
with timely tips to help us right back on track. Thanks for sharing your
enlightened experience with us Linda! :-)

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrant Willcox

@Helena- Balancing work, family, and personal development is not easy, but it sounds like you are listening hard to figure out what that right mix wants to be. You are open to what's possible and I know you will make it work. It's always great to "hear" your voice. I appreciate you for stopping by and sharing with us.

@Grant- Getting back on track can be done at any moment. That's the good news. So great to have you join us. I always enjoy hearing your point of view...Mr."infectiously positive success coach." Your description says it all!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Powerful! Love that you have my favorite "under appreciating" on the time challenges list. It is really true that appreciating takes time.

My biggest time challenge is making the most of rejuvenation time. When an opportunity to just enjoy the moment comes, a few other ideas dart into my head. After reading this post, I am ready to be grateful for the moments of spontaneous rejuvenation time that come my way!

Thanks for sharing!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Hi Ellen! Thanks so much taking the "time" to join the conversation and for your feedback about appreciating time. You mentioned that your biggest challenge is rejuvenation time. I can see a shift in your perspective about it from your comments. Sometimes even a small moment of pause and reflection can give us that much needed "ahhh." Looking forward to hearing more.

June 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Wonderful post. Am printing this out for my office wall as a reminder. Thank you Linda for posting.

Very cool, Heather! So happy you found this post helpful and that it gets a "wall spot" in your office. It's an honor. Thank you.

June 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

My biggest challenge is getting to things that take me away from my computer. Today I am pleased that I made a point of vacuuming my entire apartment and hanging three pictures in my office - two things I've been putting off. As a bonus, these activities led to others: changing the vacuum cleaner bag, taking a bunch of pictures and frames that had been stuffed in a plastic bag which is now torn and packing them in a box which fits on the shelf, and throwing away an unfinished craft project that I've been moving around for years. Oh, I also found a home for the wonderful pet first aid kit which Heather sent me this week!

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Hi Janet- We do so much at our computers these days. Getting away from them is essential...not just because of the other things we need or want to do, but also for our mental well-being. Congratulations on all the non-tech things you accomplished today! It must have been something about today because I spent much more time doing non-tech things and really enjoyed it. That screen can be downright captivating if I'm not careful.

Thanks for joining in the conversation and for sharing your biggest time challenge.

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love the "reframe what completion looks like" a great list Linda

August 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Several years later, I still struggle with stepping away from my computer. I've just returned from a laptop-free vacation (I did have my smartphone and tablet, but had email paused so I wouldn't be tempted to go there) and it gave me some needed encouragement to find other ways to spend my time.

July 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- Isn’t it interesting to revisit this question six years later? And let me just say, thank you for being a loyal and engaged part of this community. I love that you continue to return and share after all of these years. Kudos to you for having a laptop free vacation with a pause on your email too.

July 17, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>