Power Seating & 25 Pounds --- Gone!

In 2.5 months, I reached my goal of losing 25 pounds! I'm still astonished by how great I feel and how easy it was to lose the unwanted weight.  My health was being impacted by the excess. Many friends and colleagues are surprised that I could lose the weight. Not that I wasn't capable but that I had the weight to lose.  I guess I hid it well.

Here are some of lessons that I am continuing to learn from this that I would like to share with you.

  1.  Goals matter! Having something to strive towards makes a difference.
  2.  Understand why you want to accomplish the goal. In my case, first & foremost was to improve my health and feel better.  Looking better in my clothes was secondary.
  3.  Having a coach to offer support, guidance and motivation (thank you, Amy  Goober!) was hugely important and a key to my success.
  4.  Having 4 "Yeses" to TimeFinder's Honesty and Reality Check meant that I was in the "zone" and my mind and heart were ready to go for it!

TimeFinder's Honesty and Reality Check

      • Do I really want to make it happen?
      • Am I being realistic?
      • If necessary, am I willing to work at it over a period of time?
      • Am I willing to re-evaluate and make adjustments to my current activities?

 I am happy to work with anyone who has a goal that they want to accomplish or that has been alluding them.   Professional or personal, including a weight loss, I'm here!  

Power Seating:

3 Strategies in Choosing Your Place at the Table

Many dynamics can influence your influence when you run a meeting.  Some effective meeting strategies include a well thought out agenda, preparing for the meeting and communicating the purpose and goal.  One influence that tends to be overlooked is seating for success. Where you sit and where other are seated can greatly impact getting your desired outcome from a meeting.

If you are leading a meeting, here are 3 strategies to position yourself for success:

  1.  Sit at the head of the table or opposite the most important person or people you most want to influence during the meeting (not at opposite ends of the head of a boardroom table - kitty corner works).
  2.  Face the door so you can see who is entering at any given time; no need to turn around or away from the table because of a distraction.
  3.  Avoid putting potential antagonists sitting face-to-face. Seat them side-by-side or away from each other, while keeping potential talkers or those who may cause you problems during the meeting close to you.
Power Seating 4X6 # 3.jpg

If there are certain meeting VIPs (your manager, client, etc.) that you want to have near you, seated strategically, arrive early to hold a seat for them.   If you aren't assigning seats, place a folder where you would like that person to sit and when they arrive, show them to their seat. Seating is a subtle nuance.  Add this to your tool box of strategies to lead a great meeting.

Posted on April 20, 2017 .

Finding the Rainbow Connection!

"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work."  --- Unknown

I love this quote.  Its message is crystal clear;  when given the opportunity to slow down, take it.  When we have difficulty seeing the opportunity then it's time to look deeper within.  

We can hold our cell phone up and take a picture, capture a moment in time and  but it isn't the same as being in the moment, experiencing  joy, elation and wonderment in real time.  It can be difficult some times to stop, look around and share the rainbow momentwith someone else, but of course, it can be done. 

It's not my intention to sound preachy.  I see too often (and I'm sure you do as well) what a hurry we are in.  So I'm asking you (and me) to be proactively anticipating, not only during upcoming holiday events, but everyday to slow down, put the cell phone away and be there.   When can you stop and look at the rainbow right in front of you and share that moment before it fades away? It can be as simple as  a smile, sharing an anecdote, hug, song, dance or kind word.  It doesn't have to be a moment with a child, although we are all children when you come right down to it.

Thank you for taking a to read this.  Wishing you a happy holiday season and a successful, rainbow-filled 2017.

Posted on November 28, 2016 .

Perfectionist Paralysis

Perfection is overrated.  Don't get me wrong, there are times when perfection does matter.  People's names, numbers for a budget, legal documents or proposals should be without spelling and grammatical errors. However, many documents or emails are rewritten and re-edited and rewritten unnecessarily.  This can waste a lot of time.

Moving Beyond Perfectionist Paralysis 

Perfectionist paralysis is the inability to start something or do something because a situation isn't perfect or you may not be able to do it perfectly.  For example,  I began offering "Controlling Your Clutter!, a free webinar (see below for our next date).  As much as I want it to be perfect, I'm not totally comfortable with the technology and "talking" to space -- I can't see anyone participating even though I have a list of who is on the webinar.  I could have waited until I was "perfect." But if I waited until then, there would be no webinar.  I had to jump in.  Even sending out my newsletter -- I know that there will probably be some mistake or a way for me to say something differently or better or someone will opt out.  But what is gained by not sending it? 

Mistakes happen.  Most of you saw my recent "Ooops" with an incorrect webinar registration link. When I do something or send something that isn't "perfect," I grimace and grouse for a bit, learn from it and, (sometimes with great difficulty) let it go. 

Overcoming perfectionist paralysis was necessary to get my book to my publisher or I'd probably still be writing and editing it.  Fabienne Fredrickson, founder of the Client Attraction Business School says, "Most successful people do it poorly until they do it well.  You can't wait until it's exactly right.  The product of your quest for perfection...is paralysis."

Time Tips:

  • Be honest with yourself as you evaluate whether something truly needs to be perfect or you can let it go and it's good enough. This doesn't mean you can "mail it in" or do something that's just okay; it's recognizing when something really is okay. It's your realization that when something is taking way too long could be an indicator that you need help or to move on. 
  • Ask yourself if your pursuit of perfection might really be procrastination. I had a client proclaim that she was a perfectionist. She needed to work on a project, but she was waiting for the "right time" to begin it. As we talked more about this, we realized that she wasn't a perfectionist but a procrastinator. 

A friend complained because she wasn't able to walk an hour every day (which was her

goal).  I asked how long she was walking.  She explained that she wasn't walking at all  

because she wanted to walk an hour.  I asked if she had 20 or 30 minutes.  She replied, "yes."  I said, "then do 20 or 30 minutes."  She started walking!

Are you really striving for the perfect time to do something or start a project, or are you merely justifying putting it off?  It doesn't have to be "all or nothing."  

Is your perfection impeding your productivity or slowing down your team or co-workers in getting their work done or completing a project?  Is it preventing you from pursuing a goal? Don't get entangled in perfectionist paralysis.  Let it go!

Posted on August 6, 2016 .

A Routine Adjustment

I love routine but some routines stop working or need tweaking.  Please watch this short (two and half minute) video and see if you need a routine adjustment.



Here are a few routines that may need a routine adjustment:

  • Morning routine to work, to school, class
  • Bedtime routine for parents, children, students
  • Meetings with team/staff:  Many clients have cut back from weekly meetings to biweekly
  • Going to the gym
  • Transitioning from work to home
  • Opening emails before doing any other work

What routines aren't working for you anymore?  As with our goals, diet, health, work habits, and more --- taking some time to reevaluate and make adjustments, keeps us finding ways to better ourselves and our lives.


Posted on May 2, 2016 .

4 Strategies for Prioritizing!

Do you have to prioritize your work?  There must be an app for that.  Of course there is an app. If you choose to use such an app, does that mean you can stop prioritizing your work?  Of course not! 

Apps cannot take the place of you thinking through your work and how important something is to get done.  The app still needs your input and you still need to rethink and reevaluate what you are doing throughout the day.  So apps aside...

It is necessary to prioritize to get your most important work done.  When you do, it feeds your energy for the day.  That's one reason to begin your day with your priority.  And here's more motivation. 

- Fewer competing demands during the day because you are knocking of the things that need to get done.

- It's easier to go home at the end of the day if you are working on less important work later in the day.  If you start a priority later in the day (that you knew you had to do), it makes it more difficult to leave work.

- You come more mindful of how you are measured when having your performance review; making sure you are working on those items that your company wants you to focus on and accomplish.  If you are an entrepreneur, you still have to answer to someone, even if it's you.

Here's how to successfully prioritize: 

  • Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to plan the next day identifying your priorities.
  • As you begin your day, ask yourself, "If I can only do one thing today and one thing only, what would it be?"  That one thing is your priority.  Remember, if you have two priorities (or more)  then neither are a priority, one must be the priority.
  • Identify why the priority is relevant; what's the impact of not doing it. 
  • Be realistic.  Creating an overwhelming to-do list can  sway you to do unimportant "small" tasks to get them off your plate leaving less time for your priority. Keep the day focused on those tasks that are important and necessary

Staying focused in today's world of distractions, including social media, instant messages, email along with jobs that encompass so many different tasks, skills and projects is challenging.  Become more aware of what you need to work on and what you allow to distract you.   It's how you self-manage your reactions that will keep you on top of your day and staying productive.   Step back, breathe, and weigh your options before you react.  How you do react will impact your priorities.

Posted on May 2, 2016 .

5 Strategies to Stress-Less Holidays

Making lasting memories for you and your family around the holidays can be a tall order, never mind taking the stress out of them.  Can it really be done?  Yes!  With each decision you  make as the holidays approach, be mindful and deliberate; think about what you are doing.  Do you want your family and friends to see you as harried, rushing around, stressed and overwhelmed?  What message does this send when you struggle to be in the moment?  What can you do to take charge?


1.  Holiday-Focused To-Do List.   Get organized as you approach the holidays.   Do your holiday shopping and preparation and stay away from holiday schlepping by dodging the last minute rush. Determine what tasks need to be accomplished.  Planning now will make the holiday season less stressful, more relaxing and fun.  Some examples:

- Gifts (or deciding to send donations or other alternatives)


                what to buy



-Holiday Cards



                writing notes & addressing

- Meal preparation


                 assigning dishes  or other tasks that guests can prep or help with

                write shopping list



- Decorating the house

- Volunteering to help those in need

2.  Have a plan.  After you make your list, determine when you will do each task.  If necessary break each task down into small, bite-size steps and then put the steps into your calendar or planner.    When you go through the holiday season approaching each task feeling in control and with joy, you will create positive lasting memories for you and others.  

3.  Calendar your time with others. Spending time with your kids, family or friends is an easy way  to create enduring holiday memories without scrambling.  Have time blocked for you and your kids, family and friends. Have specific activities that you can do together that don't cause stress.  Look at your holiday to-do list and choose an age-appropriate activity that can involve your kids.  Or plan that pre-holiday (or post-holiday) dinner with friends.  Make sure to get these activities in your calendar.

4.  Keep your expectations in check.  In other words, when going out shopping, if you choose to shop in a mall or shopping center, expect to have difficulty parking, that the lines to pay will be long, that people will be rushing and not paying attention to what they're doing.  Anticipate what can happen and try not to act surprised or frustrated by circumstances that you know are common to this time of year. When you have a realistic expectation, you will find it easier to deal with it.

5.  Future planning. Create a "template" of activities  using a spreadsheet, word doc or app, including menus and gift lists so that you use to make future holidays less stressful.

As the holidays approach, think about ways to simplify.  Too often the preparation for holidays can take away from our reasons for celebrating.  This year can be less hectic and more enjoyable.   Whether you plan or you wing it, the best memories are those that are created when we are present and focused on those around us;  allowing laughter and joy to emanate.

Posted on May 2, 2016 .

You Think You're Helping --- Think Again!


You're deep in thought, working on a project when all of a sudden you look up and see one of your direct reports waiting in the doorway to get your attention.  Needing your help, you stop what you're doing, listen to the question and give him the answer that he needs. 

Are you helping your team when you come to their rescue? If you think that you are, think again. What you're actually doing is perpetuating a problem by being the "go-to" person for answers. 

Interruptions are consistently considered one of the major distractions that impede productivity.  Yet managers routinely let themselves be interrupted in order to help their team move forward.  In the short term, the work gets done but is there a negative long term impact to the manager and to individuals seeking help?  Yes!

What is the best way to help a member of your team?  One killer strategy is to let them learn to find answers on their own; give your employee the opportunity to grow, develop, and add value to your organization.  It won't happen if you are their crutch.

Understanding the reason(s) this happens will help eradicate the recurrence.  Here are some possible causes:

- Additional training is needed

- Lacking good documentation or reference information

- Laziness -- it's easier to pick up the phone, walk down the hall or send an email

- Information is not being shared

- Not knowing who the appropriate "go-to" person is

- There is always someone else who gives the answers

- It's easier to have someone else do the work

- Fear of making a mistake

- Not understanding the level of authority they have to make decisions

Finding a Win-Win Solution:  GPS

GPS usually stands for global positioning system, the navigation system that gets us from one place to another.   GPS can also help navigate you and the person you are managing to stay on track.  TimeFinder's GPS stands for: Goal, Purpose, and Scope.  Communicating the GPS of a project or recurring work sets someone up to succeed, become more independent and self-reliant.

Breaking Down GPS

·  Goal. Determine the objectives and set the goals.  What does the work you are delegating look like when it is completed?

·  Purpose.  Understand the purpose, the "why" of work in which you are involving someone.  That's how you get buy-in on a project.  Explain how the work fits into a project.  Explain how the work fits into the bigger picture of the team or company goals.

·  Scope.  What can you share?  Examples include deadline, format, who will see it (audience), budget, available resources (people or information), decision-making authority, who else is involved, capital, equipment, facilities, standards, and your involvement.


When an employee comes to you for help, avoid the knee-jerk reaction of answering their question.  Instead ask for their solution.  Keep asking open-ended questions like, "What do you think would be the best way to handle this?"  "Where do you think you could find answers to your questions if I wasn't here?" "How would you like to resolve this?" When they have a viable solution, reinforce their abilities.  Encourage them that they didn't need you and are capable. 

The IKEA Effect

When we figure out something on our own and know that we've done our best work, we take pride and satisfaction in our accomplishments.  For example, it's easy to see the pride in a child's eye when they've done something on their own or the feeling of satisfaction we get from completing a DIY project.  This is  referred to as the "IKEA effect."  The lesson of the IKEA effect,  in business, when managing and leading is the same.

There's a difference in supporting someone vs. doing it for them.  It's important to understand where and when to draw the lineEmployees who get the work done and learn to be self-reliant, will take pride in their accomplishments and be your most valued employees.

To be a good business owner, leader or manager, it's necessary to let go and let others grow. Communicate effectively, build confidence and display trust!


Posted on October 16, 2015 .

"Spring" Into Action!

Formula for Getting Organized:  

Process = Progress!

Is a daily, weekly,  monthly or quarterly cleanup part of your routine? Do you spend many late nights or weekends going through a piles of paper? If you don't want to spend your valuable off-hours getting organized, here are some tips to start the process.

Begin by streamlining and simplifying. By combining the cleanup of surface clutter (instant gratification) along with the file drawers (critical long-term success) you will start to see progress.

  • Establish  criteria for throwing paper away.

    •   Do I really need this? Will I ever look at it again... Really?

    •   Can I get it from another source (Internet, library, other pack rats)?

    •   Does it really require a response?

    •   Will keeping this help me accomplish my goals or further my career? Will that help my customers/clients?

  • Schedule small blocks of time -- take one pile from your desk and go through it--then stop. Next time, clean out a portion of your file drawer.  When you're done, schedule another cleanup.

  • Commit to the process.

  • Be consistent.

If you get impatient because it's not done and it's taking longer than you wanted, remember this is a process. It took a long time for the files to bulge and paper to build up.  Remind yourself of opportunities you missed because of lost or misplaced information.  An organized office is a luxury, it's a necessity. Time lost because of clutter is costly.

Posted on March 23, 2015 and filed under Clutter, Personal Productivity.

National Clean Off Your Desk Day!

Jan. 12 is National Clean Off Your Desk Day.

To avoid a cluttered desk, I recommends not keeping things you don’t use routinely on your workspace surface.  Take a look around your office, cubicle, or work area.  Do you have adequate work space? In other words, is there an uncluttered work surface - commonly referred to as a desk - where you can work? What can you remove, archive, store or re-adjust to make your work space work? Many times, small adjustments can create a more usable work surface.  Take inventory, make the most of your space.

Here's some strategies if you have a cluttered desk?

Having a clean, uncluttered desk space is essential to sustaining energy, productivity and focus.  Begin by streamlining and simplifying.  As work arrives, the surface of the desk gets more difficult to see, which is natural and at times necessary, but sometimes the visual clutter isn’t just the paper.  Many work spaces, are not just overflowing with piles of paper, but also with telephone(s), computer, mouse, mouse pad, vertical files, organizers, stacked horizontal trays, and the list goes on.   Start by cleaning up surface clutter, and you will feel instant gratification.  It becomes visually pleasing to see what was once cluttered now nice and neat.  But it is just as important to tackle clutter in drawers or cabinets; even though you can’t see it, you know it’s disorganized.


Why should you clean off their desk?

Having an uncluttered work space will leave you feeling energized and more productive.


How should you file papers?

The reality is that you may have to "touch" each piece of paper more that once and go against the OHIO rule (Only Handle It Once).  It's how you handle it the first time that makes the difference between clutter or organization.  When there is a lot of desk clutter, the best way to begin is to gather it up, making one or, if necessary, more piles and go through each piece of paper and use DAFT.  Here's a method of sorting through papers and clutter to help you decide what to do with it: DAFT. The letters stand for the following:


D: Distribute or delegate. Give it to the person who should have it.

A: Action. Attach a task to the clutter by asking, "What is the next action I need to take?" For example, you receive an invitation and need to RSVP.  Decide when you will reply and put the to-do in the task list on your planner or calendar (electronic or paper).

F:    File it or put it away (and do it now!).

T:   Throw it away. The wastebasket is your friend -- it is like a pet and needs to be fed.


Where should you put everything?

Look at how your desk is arranged.  Decide where you want your working surface.  Due to the design of your office, you may not have much choice.  Is your computer taking up more room than it needs because of its location on your desk?  Can you move your computer or phone(s) or other large, electronics tools to give you more space?  Do you use the office supplies you keep on the desk, like stapler, tape dispenser, paper clip holder, pen/pencil holder or files regularly?  Can you move things you don’t use routinely from your work space surface and store any of these items away in a drawer?  If you have shelves, are you using them effectively?  Is there space underneath the desk to hold a file or storage unit on wheels?  Look around, what can you remove, archive, store or re-adjust to make your work space work?


Before you begin, think about how you want to organize, and write it out on paper.  For example, the top file drawer in my office is dedicated to my daily projects.  The middle drawer is dedicated to my monthly reports.  Before you start emptying things out, have a thought-out written plan in place.  


What can they do to keep organized all year?

Now that you have a plan to reduce the clutter, keeping the clutter at bay it the next challenge.  The solution is to have a strategy that’s easy to remember:  CHER (not the singer).  The letters stand for the following:


C: Convenient.  You need to find a practical and convenient place to store the things you need regularly.

H: Habit.  Make putting things where they belong a habit or ritual.  Be consistent, and you’ll never wonder where you put something.

E: Easy to maintain.  Once you have made something a habit, it no longer requires a lot of thought or time to put things away.  The process becomes effortless.

R: Resilient  over time.  Your system will survive the test of time.  Because it’s resilient, you can update it, review it, and revisit it when something doesn’t seem to be working.  The goal is to have it work for the long haul.  


Use this strategy and you will be organized all year and you can ignore National Clean Off Your Desk Day in 2016 and beyond!

Posted on January 7, 2015 .

The Best Gift of All!

January (2008) I received a beautiful email from a client who I worked with many years ago. Even in 2014, we stay in touch, speaking every few weeks.

Subj: Happy New Year 
Date: 01/09/2008 10:02:43 AM Eastern Standard Time 
From: JSawler 
To: Mitzi@TimeFinder.net 

Hi Miss M -

Thank you for your New Year wishes - I send the same to you.

I hope your holiday celebrations were wonderful.

Guess what I asked for as my gifts from family and friends - time ! That's right, the amazing Miss M gave me another idea this year - If anyone complained that they wanted to "BUY" me something, I would just tell them that time was money, only even more valuable.

These are some of the gifts I received: 

  •   Time alone with my grandson 
  •   A promise to have a Sunday afternoon dinner/or breakfast once a month for 2008 with our dear neighbors who we never spend enough time with 
  •   An out of state friend donated 1 hour biweekly to a local Boys and Girls Club type facility to read to the little ones. 
  •   An elderly friend is donating time on the telephone with other shut ins each month 
  •   Time with me to teach me how to improve my basket weaving techniques 
  •   Shorter but more frequent telephone calls when I am not feeling my best (from my friends mom in AZ) 
  •   A week long Springtime visit from my NY daughter and granddaughter - just for us girls.

Got to say, this is one of my best holiday gifts in many years.

Just thought I would share.

Joan E. Sawler 

Let me tell you a little bit about Joan. Joan is an wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.  She values each and every day not just in words but by her actions.

The reality is Joan has not been well for many years with Behcet's Syndrome. Most of us have never heard of it but the results are very debilitating. Through all of her pain, Joan maintains her sense of humor. She is remarkable.

I held on to this email to share it with you at just the right time and that time is now. Before you read her email, let me tell you a little bit about Behcet's Syndrome.


Behcet's syndrome is categorized as an auto-immune disease although it does not follow the usual pattern for other auto-immune diseases. It often takes years for doctors to make the diagnosis.

The immune system attacks itself which produces unwanted and highly exaggerated inflammation throughout the body. The syndrome brings on extreme exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cardio vascular and digestive problems, sharp and overwhelming pain in joints and organs, and often blindness and stroke due to vasculitis. Numerous, harsh medications somewhat lessen the painful symptoms and exhaustion but can bring along their own difficult side effects. 

Posted on December 23, 2014 and filed under The Real World, Personal Productivity.

Stand Out!

Stand Out!

Position yourself or your company to stand out. Here's a simple, yet effective, time tip that can help you stand out from others. 

Just On Time!

The holidays are just around the corner.  It's About Time! would be a great holiday gift for friends,family and business associates. Here's the link to Amazon to place your order.

It's About Time! has received a five star nod of approval from Clarion Review and another great review from Kirkus Review.  Kirkus called

It's About Time! a book with "concepts relevant enough to be applied to any lifestyle that requires scheduling, task lists and goal setting."


Do you need a speaker for your next conference, association meeting or corporate function? To learn more, contact me at:  Mitzi@TimeFinder.net or781-444-3220.


Since the beginning of September, I've had many opportunities to be interviewed on radio stations across the country including WCCO-Minneapolis, WEOL - Cleveland, nationally syndicated "Something You Should Know" with Mike Carruthers and more.  You can hear many of the interviews on my website's media page

Posted on November 18, 2014 .

3 Time Myths Debunked - 2 minute video

Debunking Three Time Myths

1.  I do my best work under the pressure of a deadline.

2.  I can do things quicker and better than my team.

3.  I don't have time to plan.

Just On Time!


It's About Time! has received a five star nod of approval from Clarion Review and another great review from Kirkus Review.  Kirkus called

It's About Time! a book with "concepts relevant enough to be applied to any lifestyle that requires scheduling, task lists and goal setting."


Do you need a speaker for your next conference, association meeting or corporate function? To learn more, contact me at:  Mitzi@TimeFinder.net or781-444-3220.


Since the beginning of September, I've had many opportunities to be interviewed on radio stations across the country including WCCO-Minneapolis, WEOL - Cleveland, nationally syndicated "Something You Should Know" with Mike Carruthers and more.  You can hear many of the interviews on my website's media page

Posted on October 11, 2014 .

Is September the New January?

Labor Day in the U.S. marks the unofficial end of summer. Originally Labor Day was organized to celebrate the American labor movement and the economic contribution that working folks were making to the economy.  Now it's a three-day weekend that seems to indicate that "labor" will gear up and it's time to, once again, get serious about work.  Summer vacations are over and the school year begins.  It's a time that many consider the start of a new year; a new beginning.   


More meetings are scheduled, decisions that were put off because of summer can now be considered and job searches begin in earnest. Family schedules rev up as calendars become dense with sports, dance, gymnastics, music lessons and after school activities effecting a family's time together, especially at mealtime. 


Around the "official" new year, resolutions abound.  The discussions of vows of change take place in magazines, newspapers, talk shows, social media, amongst friends and more.  Those who set resolutions tend to be looking at ways to self-improve, primarily focused on weight loss, health, exercise, the cessation of smoking or a variety of "bad" habits.  In addition, the desire to get organized, be a happier, more patient, "better" person, or become financially stronger can be added to the list of possible resolutions.


September is also a new beginning.  It has a different feel.  There's a different kind of energy.  It's time to get back to business.  And for those with children, it's the return of the hustle and bustle of getting everyone out the door in the morning with homework, school projects, signed forms to be returned to the school, equipment at the ready.  And it goes on. 


Is the hustle and bustle you experience a bad thing?  Does it causes undue stress that, in reality, can be lessened?  Do you embrace the pace or are you looking for ways to drop it down a notch or two?


If you want to make things different, whether you have children or not, you will most likely need to make some tough choices of what is important to you and/or your family.  It may be that your child plays only one sport per season, takes only one dance class per week or you resign from a committee or board that you are currently on.  The key is to understand where your time and your family's time is going and make sure schedules are doable, realistic and hopefully fun.


Take an inventory of your time and your family's time. 

  • Does the quantity and quality of time you spend in various activities align with the things that are important in your life? 
  • Are your life's priorities at this moment in time clear to you and to your family?
  • Are you and your family in agreement about those priorities?
  • Is there enough time for homework, when your child works best, isn't exhausted and can remain focused?
  • Does your family have unstructured time? 

Here are some practical steps you can take to take the reins in the September new year.


1.  Make a list of all family activities, including those that you would like to be doing. Estimate the amount of time they take; including commuting back and forth as well as the time at the activity. 


2.  Using a calendar, map out the schedule of activities. Look at the calendar and use your ability to anticipate. Is the schedule doable or going to create stress? Prioritize the list of activities and their importance to your children and determine what activity or activities can or should be removed.


3.  Regularly sit down with your sons and/or daughters and go over their daily     assignments and projects.  Help them get in the habit of effectively using their assignment book or planning tool when age-appropriate. You are showing support by discussing how they can accomplish what they need to do; breaking things down into small, bite-sized doable tasks and scheduling them into their planner.  You will better understand their assignments, deadlines and possible obstacles in completing school work.  You are also teaching them an important life skill, planning, that they will benefit from for years to come.


        4.  With calendar in hand, have a weekly "family" meeting to review the week's events,         ensure no activities have been missed and all can be coordinated.  


Taking these steps is sending a positive message to your family:  planning will keep them focused on their priorities and help them throughout their lives.   Make this "new year" the best year for you and your family.

Posted on September 18, 2014 and filed under Parents.

Back To School 2014 Special Edition (Video): Organizing Tips for School Artwork, Papers & Vacation Photos

As my family and I were driving back from our camping vacation in Maine late last week, the leaves were changing color and the air cool and crisp. Even in August, I could feelAutumn. And with the coming of the fall season, school begins in the U.S.

This special edition of OnTime is a video interview with a wonderful mom , Kimberly Campbell, who has conquered the onslaught of her children's school work.  She has a system for sorting through and doing something special with these treasures.   

Even if you don't have children returning to school, she shares great ideas on what to do with vacation photos and more.  

Our "official" September issue of OnTime, entitled, "Is September the New January?" will be emailed later this week.  

In my last edition of OnTime, I announced the release of my book, It's About Time! It is available on Amazon. My official book launch will be on Thursday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton, MA.  I'll be reading from It's About Time! and signing books. Refreshments will also be served!  Please join me for this special event at 82 Needham St, Newton Highlands, MA.

As I wrote It's About Time! I kept in mind that I was writing a book for people with little time to read it. It's About Time! is packed with useful and life changing tips and strategies offering a fresh approach, A to Z, for everyone  -  time-stressed or not.

Here's the link!

Watch this short video and to learn some:  Organizing Tips for School Artwork, Papers & Vacation Photos

One Final Time Thought!  

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

Pablo Picasso


Posted on September 3, 2014 .

Exciting News & Interruption Spoiler Alert!

I have exciting news to share with you.    My book, It's About Time! Transforming  Chaos into Calm, A to Z is out and  available on Amazon!    When the first  copy arrived in the mail, it was  an  amazing feeling to hold it in my hand. What made it even more special was giving my son the very first printed copy!  He was so much a part of this journey.

As I wrote It's About Time! I kept in mind that I was writing a book for people with little time to read it. It's About Time! is packed with useful and life changing tips and strategies offering a fresh approach, A to Z, for everyone  -  time-stressed or not. 

The first review from someone who purchased the book is in.  "This is a truly helpful book, and one that - kudos to the author - doesn't take a lot of TIME to read! There are helpful next steps, and literally hundreds of actionable tips inside. I consider myself pretty organized, but within moments of picking up this book I had found ideas for making life smoother. Grab it now!" 

Here's the link!  

Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."  My hope is that I have done at least one.  Let me know. I would love your feedback.  Thank you! 

 Exciting News & Interruption Spoiler Alert!

n a recent interview with Nancy Michaels on her Reinvention Breakthrough Teleseminar, (listen to  Mitzi's interviewone of the listeners asked a question about interruptions.  It seems she was constantly being interrupted by co-workers or folks she managed and unable to get her work done. 

When this issue comes up and it comes up quite often in just about all of my Escaping Your TimeTraps:  TimeFinder's Productivity Tool Box workshops, I ask three questions to open up the discussion:

1.  What can you do in the moment?

2.  What can you do to get back on track?

3.  What can you do to prevent the interruption?

The question of prevention is the one that will have the most impact in the long term.  In order to prevent the interruptions, ask, "What are the causes?"  Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Lack of training or cross training.
  • The level of authority they have is vague.
  • Lack of good documentation or reference information.
  • Laziness -- it's easier to pick up the phone or walk down the hall or email to get answers.
  • Information isn't being shared.
  • Not knowing who the appropriate "go to" person is.
  • You are always the person who will give the answers.
  • It's easier to have you do the work.
  • Fear of making a mistake.
  • When someone needs a break, you're a good person to talk to.

When you begin to understand why you're being interrupted, you can work on various strategies to minimize interruptions that recur.  For example, if you readily answer one of your direct reports questions, try tossing the question back to them.  Ask, "What do you think you should do?"  "What should be your next step?"  Listen to their response and confirm that they've got it and should go ahead.  Or support them  by asking questions to help them think it through.

When you give someone the answers and don't let them think for themselves, you become their crutch.  You create a situation where they will just come to you.  You prevent them from growing and you also lose time to get your own work done.  Instead, build someone's confidence and leverage your time.

Take a step back and see what you can do to prevent interruptions and improve your productivity.

One Final Time Thought!  

"Many people feel they must multi-task because everybody else is multitasking, but this is partly because they are all interrupting each other so much."  Marilyn vos Savant, American magazine columnist (Parade Magazine) and author; formerly listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest IQ." 


Posted on September 3, 2014 .

Developing good habits in your children

Dr. Rosina McAlpine,  author of Inspired Children and creator of a positive parenting program based on good practical parenting advice and parenting tips for raising well balanced and capable children with great information on child development interviewed me  on "Developing Good Habits in Your Children." 

This two-part episode on Dr. Rosina's parenting channel is filled with tips and ideas for parents regarding routine, organization and time strategies.

Part I

Part II


Yesterday, I had the privilege to speak at a religious school graduation. The graduates were completing 7th grade.  As I was preparing my thoughts and started writing, I realized, very quickly that what I was going to say applied, not only to them but to all of us.  Here is a revised version of my speech.

Milestones.  According to the dictionary, a milestone is defined as a significant event in life. Today, all of you have reached a milestone.  You are soon to be graduates of the Sandberg Religious.  It is one of many milestones you will reach during your lives.  Bar or Bat Mitzvah, getting your driver’s license, entering high school and graduating and hopefully going on to college – and the list goes on and on.

Reaching milestones and attaining goals and accomplishing what you set out to do is important and quite special.

Did you know that as soon as you start to think about a goal or talk about it or write it down or see yourself accomplishing it…you’ve started on your trek?

And as important as goals are, what I would ask of you is to be mindful of the process…the journey of reaching your goals…each step along the way.

Many years ago I clipped out a short story from the newspaper – The Station by Robert J. Hastings.  I loved it so much that I put it in my wallet and when I open my wallet, I see it and remember the message I got from it.  It talks about our lives as a train ride and uppermost in our minds is the final destination and when we reach the station, we will find happiness and joy.  But on our trip, there are lots of stops along the way and delays…but we must get to the station.

Here is The Station.*

The Station by Robert J. Hastings

TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

"Yes, when we reach the station ,that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!"

From that day on we will all live happily ever after. Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is an illusion--it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener.

Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

The message I take from The Station is that if we don’t enjoy the trip and all it has to offer, appreciating each and every day—reaching “the station” is empty, as is the journey.

Don’t forget about how you got to where you are and keep looking forward to where you are going.  And as you look beyond today’s graduation, your energy, positive attitude, resolve and a plan of attack will get you to all of your next milestones.  One of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite writers, Anonymous is:

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes.

It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.”

You can and will create that spark and you will see extraordinary results throughout your lives.

*I didn’t read The Station to the graduates; I thought I would include it for you.


Posted on May 28, 2014 and filed under Goals.

Recess, Naps and Time Out: Not Just For Kids Part II: Naps!

Sleep researcher James B. Maas coined the phrase “power nap” for the 20-minute workday snooze that invariably leaves nappers refreshed and more productive.  Taking a power nap can restore alertness and memory and relieve stress and fatigue according to the National Sleep Foundation.

  • Bring a mat to work
  • If you have an office, turn out the lights and close the door
  • If you work in a cube, find some privacy.  If necessary, use your car.
  • Talk to an appropriate person at work to discuss the benefits of napping.
  • Only nap for 15-20 minutes – any longer will negate the purpose for the power nap by making you sluggish and groggy.
Posted on May 10, 2011 and filed under Personal Productivity.

Recess, Naps and Time Out: Not Just for Kids Part I: Recess!

As a part of their daily routine, young children take naps, have play time during the school day and are distanced from certain situations to help them settle down. Can the same benefits, a child receives by recess, naps, and time out be reaped by grownups facing the challenges of daily life in the 21st century? Yes! Our ability to stay productive, and recognize our need to retreat from certain situations will improve our focus and energy while reducing anxiety. Recess

Just because we’re a little older doesn’t mean we don’t need an outlet to reduce pressure. Play allows us to expand our imaginations. Too often we get so caught up in, “I have to get it done…I have no time…” We hold ourselves captive and in doing so lose our creative imaginations. As our obligations build, our need for an escape, even five minutes, grows.

 • Keep your recess short – between 5-15 minutes.

 • Schedule time to shoot the breeze with a friend at work you tend to talk to when you need to be working.

 • Bring a deck of cards, board games, crossword puzzles to work and find someone who will play with your or play by yourself.

 • Find an outside activity that you enjoy; put a baseball glove, putter, tennis racket and ball, kite, model sports care, etc. in your car and find a good place for your recreational activity.

• Take a walk.

Posted on May 5, 2011 and filed under Personal Productivity.