Define Your Time: More Than Just A Time Management Course

Define Your Time is more than just a time management course.  It's a new way to look at your life.

Last November when I went to Pinners Conference, I attended a class about how to make the most of your time.  The speaker, Nicole Carpenter, founder of MOMentity, gave us 10 tips for getting more done and most of them were easy enough that you could implement them the next day if you wanted to.  If I had to guess one of the top 3 things most people say the don’t have enough of, it’s time.  It’s elusive.  It goes by too quickly.  It’s viewed as either your enemy or your friend.  It’s something we don’t have control over.  Or do we?

After the class finished, I approached Nicole and asked her if she would be interested in a collaboration.  I loved her upbeat, positive attitude and her enthusiasm was contagious.  A week later, she emailed me and asked if I’d like to participate in her upcoming Define Your Time course: a four week workshop where you work through four different modules, attend training calls and complete homework assignments.  While I feel like I’m pretty good at managing my time and staying organized, I also recognized the opportunity to learn some new skills to help me manage my life even better.

I received the Define Your Time course for free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Define Your Time is more than just a time management course.  It's a new way to look at your life.

Nicole is a mom as well as a business owner, so she totally gets both aspects and how life can get crazy and out of control.  From her website:

“I know you are overwhelmed and, on some days, losing your mind! I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to love your kids to pieces but be unhappy with yourself (and even your life). I know what it’s like to FAKE HAPPINESS and be TOTALLY DISCONNECTED from your kids.  I even know what it’s like to WISH FOR DIFFERENT even when others would say what you have is pretty great.  Do you feel this way? It’s OK, there is a way out! Out of disconnect and out of overwhelm. MOMentity is here to help moms lost in motherhood realize they can both love themselves and their family and teach them a process that can make it happen.”

Doesn’t she sound like someone who “gets it”?

The class started and it was a fairly small group of women.  Some had taken the course before and others, like me, were new.  Nicole does a great job leading the calls and making sure everyone is able to share their thoughts, questions or concerns.  Nicole is so sweet and completely genuine.  She is passionate about helping women and is motivating to listen to.  She really knows and believes and applies everything she teaches.  She is also super real and not afraid to share the times when she has trouble, even with her own program.  I really appreciated this because it made me feel like even if I were to get off track, that I could jump back on board and keep moving forward.

For me, the most helpful part of the course was the first section where she lays the foundation for the following modules.  Define Your Time isn’t just about giving you a bunch of tools for time management, although that is part of it.  It is about figuring out your own values, where you currently spend your time and where you want to spend your time.  Once you’ve laid all that out, then you build on that newer, stronger foundation as you move forward with the other modules.  The reason I liked this portion of the course so much was because I realized that where I was spending my time and where I wanted to spend my time weren’t in alignment.  As a result, I was conflicted with how to best manage my time.  It was actually a very eye-opening experience and it’s something I’m still reflecting on a month after I finished the course.

Overall, I thought the course was very well put together.  Nicole does everything she can to help you be successful and apply her methods and tools to your own life.  She makes everything very personal and applicable and helps you think about time in a different way.  After taking her course, I feel more in control of the time that I have available because I have the tools I need to make time work for me instead of the other way around.  Define Your Time is a great option for anyone looking to get control of their life and make some positive changes using proven tools.

If you’d like more information about the Define Your Time course, click HERE to go to Nicole’s website.

Do you feel like you’re good at managing your time?  What areas are hardest to manage?

Finding the Balance Between a Clean House, Happy Kids and Your Sanity

Finding the Balance Between a Clean House, Happy Kids and Your Sanity--great tips on how to find balance at home in these areas.

Today, like most days, I was straightening up the house—putting away toys, starting the laundry, cleaning off the counter—with my kids trailing behind me.  From the 3 (almost 4) year old: “Mom, what are we going to do today?  Where are we going to go?   Can I watch a show?  Can we do a project?”  The questions keep coming, like they do from curious preschool-aged kids.  And then there’s me, trying to answer the questions as they’re asked, still while trying to clean up: “I don’t know what we’re doing today.  We’re not going anywhere until the house is clean.   No, you can’t watch a show right now, I need you to help me clean up.  We’ll do a project when your brother’s asleep.”  Meanwhile, the 19 month old is pulling out all the toys I just put away and dumping blocks all over the floor.   Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

While browsing Pinterest one day, I found a little diagram that looks like this:

Finding the Balance Between a Clean House, Happy Kids and Your Sanity--great tips on how to find balance at home in these areas.

And I laughed at the truth of it!

Do you want a clean house and your sanity?  Then forget having happy kids.

Happy kids and a clean house?  There goes your sanity.

Your sanity and happy kids?  No clean house for you.

Of course, we need to have all of these things at some point or another, but achieving them all at the same time can seem like an impossible task.

Here are some of the things I’ve found that help me:

Write it down  
I am definitely a task oriented person.  I like lists and I like checking things off my list.  I feel much more likely to do something if I’ve written it down, almost as though it makes me more accountable.  The times when I feel like I’m not getting anything done are generally the times when I’m not making my lists.   I think the reason this helps is because it gives you something you can actually see.  And then when you accomplish the things on your list, whether it is one thing or five, you feel good, which is positive reinforcement and you are more likely to keep doing it.  I talk all about how I use a paper planner to help me stay organized in this post.

Finding the Balance Between a Clean House, Happy Kids and Your Sanity--great tips on how to find balance at home in these areas.
Take advantage of naptime  
Many days, when my kids lay down to take their naps, my initial reaction is to sit down for a minute and just breathe.  There isn’t anything wrong with this. In fact, breathing is good for you and kind of essential to your well-being! *wink*  But sometimes I sit down in front of my computer and start browsing my newsfeed or watching videos on YouTube, and the next thing I know, my kids are waking up and I’m feeling stressed out again.  Any kind of release I had is gone.  However, if I set a limit for myself, such as a certain amount of time browsing Pinterest or watching a couple of videos on Facebook, and then get up and do some of the things I’d rather not do, I feel like I get them done a little faster because I have regained a little piece of my sanity.

Accept offers for help  
This one is really hard for me.  I don’t like admitting that I can’t do it all myself.   But let’s stop and think for a minute.  How many times has someone offered to help you, and you could really use it, but you brush it off and tell them you’ll be fine?  I would guess that everyone has done this at some point and regretted not letting someone, who is truly willing, help out.  So the next time someone offers to help you, whether it’s by watching your kids for an hour while you run to the store or coming over to help with a project, take them up on it!

Ask for help  
Sometimes we can’t wait for someone to offer their help, so instead, we need to ask for it.   Just like accepting offers for help, it might be a little uncomfortable to ask someone for the help you need.  A couple of options to consider:

  1. You can pay for a sitter to come, maybe even on a regular basis, so you can get out of the house and run errands without your little people tagging along.
  2. You can work out a system with friends/family.   You watch my kids for an hour, I’ll watch yours for an hour on another day.  Win, win!

 

Finding the Balance Between a Clean House, Happy Kids and Your Sanity--great tips on how to find balance at home in these areas.

    Make it a game  
    Growing up, I remember having a regular list of chores that needed to be done before I could go out and play.  The faster I got them done, the sooner I could do the things I wanted.   Sometimes, if I was dragging my feet, my mom would turn on the stereo so the music filled the house and then me, my sisters and my mom, would dance around as we got our chores done.  It made it so much more enjoyable and created some fun memories too.   I still do this, both with my own kids and by myself.  (Grab your dish scrubber and sing your heart out, friend!)  Another thing we’d do is put a timer on and see how many of our chores we could get done before it went off.  It sounds a little Mary Poppins-ish, but it’s true!   If you can make something fun, it doesn’t seem like work and it will likely get done faster too.

    Find what motivates you  
    There have been days where it isn’t even lunch time yet and I’m counting down the hours until my kids go to bed.  On these days I find that I have to try extra hard to find the balance I need to make it through the day.  So I ask myself: What will motivate you?  What will help you move forward through the day?  It’s different from day to day.  One day I remember getting into my secret stash of chocolate–the really good stuff–and telling myself that I could have one piece at the end of each hour until my husband got home.  And guess what?  It worked!  Other days, it is knowing that I have my weekly dance class in the evening that gets me through the day.  Think about what motivates you and use it to your advantage.

    While I am far from perfect at doing these things all the time, I’ve found that when I do, the odds of my sanity staying in tact, a clean house and happy kids all happening at the same time is much more likely (at least for a little while!).

    What do you do to help keep balance in your life?