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Procrastinate Later

Posted by capcityspeakers on April 7, 2016

by Christine Cashen

MessyOffice

As I look around my office, I see the land of unfinished projects: kid’s artwork meant for scrapbooks, client files stationed on my desk to remind me to send a special thank you note, info from conferences waiting for action, and randomness that needs to be filed (but should be tossed instead).

Do you live on SOMEDAY ISLE too? Someday I’ll have time to make those special memory books. Someday I’ll purge the paper that I don’t need. Someday I’ll tackle my “that would be nice to do” list. Of course, all of this hinges on the dreaded phrase, “When I have time!”

Suddenly it hit me — I’m waiting for time that really doesn’t exist. Phantom Time. That is, time that will always be replaced with more important tasks. Always.

However, it is not a lost cause. We can do some things to jump-start into action:

GET THE URGE TO PURGE

Learn to let go. Take one drawer, one kitchen cabinet or one office cubby that makes you crazy. Set a timer for 20 minutes and go to town. Be tough on yourself. Do you really need this? If you haven’t touched an item recently, maybe it isn’t that important. It’s like when you get ready to move, and you realize that you haven’t unpacked boxes from your previous move. Years have passed and obviously you haven’t missed the contents. Sell, recycle, donate — it feels great!

YOU’VE GOT TO MOVE IT MOVE IT

Remember the line from the kids movie, Madagascar? You really do have to move it! Don’t just shuffle things from one side of your desk to the other. Get rid of clutter piles. Take action. Do it. Delegate it. Or dump it.

TAKE A PICTURE — IT WILL LAST LONGER

Who says you have to keep every art project your kids create? Take pictures and put them in a photo book from Shutterfly. What will your kids do with a box of their handprints and macaroni sculptures when they are adults? A book takes up less space, collects less dust, and is far easier to enjoy.

GO SET READY

Okay, make the decision to go and do it. Set a time and space. Get ready to release yourself from the guilt. Escape from SOMEDAY ISLE. Don’t procrastinate today–do that later. Give yourself a break, and beware of phantom time. The time is now. Let’s go!

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Done is Better Than Perfect

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 14, 2015

by Christine Cashen

Rocks

As the holiday crunch rolls on, I am in full panic mode. Cards to create, teacher gifts still to buy, long distance gifts awaiting shipment, monthly pictures for our family calendars yet to be selected, and every night I sit bolt upright at 1AM, because I’ve forgotten to move the frickin’ Elf on a Shelf. Wait, not only do you have to move the Elf, you also need to find something creative for him to be doing!? Pinterest, anyone?

Hold on…here’s the thing– I waited on our cards because the pictures didn’t look that great and I questioned my card idea (we did a Duck Dynasty take-off– don’t ask). I held off on the calendar because I could’t find the right picture of my sister-in-law for the month of May. I didn’t ship the presents because I wanted a few more useless things for the nephews’ stockings. STOP THE MADNESS!

My engineer “voice of reason” husband calmly tells me that if the calendars don’t arrive until Jan 1st, the family will still love them. Will my nephew notice that he doesn’t have the same amount of plastic crap in his stocking as his brother? Well, maybe, but he’ll get over it. If the Elf isn’t doing something wildly creative, does it make me a bad mom? I think not.

In stressful times, DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT. BTW, this does not count for bridge builders and brain surgeons, as well as others who are responsible for wildly important tasks. This is for those of us who put undue pressure on ourselves over trivial matters. The holidays should be a fun time of year. But, every time I see a mom relaxing at Starbucks drinking a latte, and she asks me, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I want to smack that latte out of her hands along with that smug (I handmade my presents this year) smile. Anyone with me on this?

Time for a wake-up call. As a motivational speaker, I know that it doesn’t matter what happens to you; it is how you respond that matters. Clearly, I’m getting sucked into the minutiae. Join me in shifting your perspective. Let’s make time to do truly meaningful things — connect with an old friend, personally deliver a thank you card or buy a gift for someone who is truly needy.

Put the jolly back in the holiday. You’ve heard it before, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and it’s true! Done is better than perfect. Boxes shipped. Cards out with average pictures. Baked goods for the school party from the grocery. The Elf in a boring pose. It’s all good.

This season, give yourself the gift of not being perfect. You will still end up on the NICE LIST, keep your sanity and make other around you merrier too.

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BUSY is a Four Letter Word

Posted by capcityspeakers on August 12, 2015

by Christine Cashen

sorry_were_too_busy_graphic1Is your life rocketing by? People often say (when I say ‘people,’ I mean me), “Where is time going?!?” Who the heck knows? Every time I turn around I get a “due for a dental visit” postcard. Wasn’t I just there last month? Six months seem to pass like six weeks. Are you with me on this? When a new season hits, it is always a surprise. Wasn’t it just Christmas? Valentine’s Day? July 4??

If you ever wonder where time is going, consider your wonder a gift. Just having the realization is key. [The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?] In that moment of clarity, STOP and evaluate whether you are in control of your time, or is your time controlling you?

The key is to look hard (really hard!) at how you’re spending your time. Me? True confessions? I’m a Mashable/ Buzzfeed junkie, which leads me to click on another story, then another…oh look, an article on 10 ways to avoid procrastinating! I also admit to an ongoing Facebook addiction, as well as a growing fixation with Pinterest.

What about you? Are you watching Law and Order reruns from 2003 when you want to learn conversational French? Are you complaining that your boss doesn’t appreciate you and wishing for a new job, but sending ZERO resumes out?

Now I truly believe we should allow ourselves SOME time for these mindless dalliances. Some downtime is good, right (check out my Downtime is not a Crime post)? But clearly I need to set limits. Do you?

So next time someone asks you what’s new and you start into your rant about how busy you are, think about what you’re really busy with! Everyone you talk to is busy. If you complain about being BUSY,stop it. You can fill your time doing a lot of things, but it doesn’t mean they are important.

The next step? Decide to do something. Recognize and stop time thieves by
Becoming a Time Tamer:

• Take a moment to evaluate time wasters and replace them with things that are important
• Activate time limits for web surfing and social media. It is easy to click your way into a 3 hour time void. Stop checking, start doing.
• Mark time for YOU on your calendar. Stop overscheduling (this goes for your kids too!) and actually schedule rejuvenators – exercise, meditation, quiet time.
• Eliminate the YES SYNDROME – you can say NO more often.
• Remember to be in the moment – it truly is a present to be in the present.

Don’t wait for time to slow down. It won’t. Take charge today and tell time what time it is! Isn’t it about time?

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Reservations About Humor?

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 13, 2012

by Christine Cashen

When people think about humor, it usually relates to telling jokes, or situations where you double over in laughter. To me it’s more than that – it’s about having (and making) fun in the ordinary and often dull routines in everyday life.

For example, after dropping the kids off at school, I dread coming home to the disaster in my kitchen. Often times while cleaning up breakfast dishes and lunch prep chaos, our chocolate lab will plop down nearby with a heavy sigh.

In my effort to put off re-combobulating the kitchen for as long as possible, I call his name – Murphy – and then I hide behind the counter. When he scrambles to his feet, a chase around the center island ensues. Yes, I play Hide & Seek with my dog. Don’t judge me. It’s great fun and gets the blood flowing — for both of us.

Another fave in our family is the “Restaurant Name-Game.” Last week, I took my son on a lunch date to one of our favorite places, Which Wich. You build your own sandwich, turn in your order and write your name on the bottom of the bag. For kicks, we always put random names, like “Dude,” “Happy,” or “Tired Puppy” (that one would be mine). It is always a kick when the young employee yells out in a bland voice, “I have a turkey for… Tired Puppy.”

This can also backfire. My brother and his wife were going out for dinner and made reservations at their favorite restaurant. Also a goofball, he made the reservation using the name “Hungry,” and mentioned this was a special evening. At the end of their evening, the restaurant brought them a complimentary dessert with (in chocolate writing), “Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Hungry!”

How can you add fun to your daily routine? One thing is for certain – humor makes memories. Figure out ways to make the mundane into something memorable. Get out there and use humor to make the ordinary extraordinary!

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Are We There Yet?

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 7, 2012

by Christine Cashen

On our car trip in Michigan this summer, it wasn’t long before the kids started asking the universal car question –-”Are we there yet??”

Knowing we still had a long way to go, I had to quash this line of questioning straight away. “Yes, we are exactly where we need to be.” This bought us a little bit of silence as they tried to figure out what I was saying. That was my answer the next time as well. They stopped asking.

As annoying as Are we there yet? is when my kids ask it again and again, I’ve found that many adults ask that question throughout their lives. Am I there yet? I will be there when I graduate from college, get a job, get married, have kids, when kids move out, change jobs, make X number of dollars, retire, etc. So many of us wait for a certain event to happen before we believe we’ll reach our destination of happiness and contentment.

Stop.

You are exactly where you need to be. If you don’t like where you are now, think like a GPS: recalculate and change direction. But whatever you do, take time to enjoy the journey. You’ve probably heard the saying,Wherever you go…there you areAnd you are. Enjoy.

 

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