Three Free Tools To Master Time Control

Time.

Ugh.

It’s not even real.

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via Giphy

Time is our imagined human tool for measuring the “when” of things. Meanwhile, the rest of the universe continues to exist in its endless unfathomable fashion.

Yet, here we are. Keeping count of what was and what is coming, meanwhile, what’s real is our present. The here and the now. That’s where you are and where you always will be.

Thanks for sticking with my after that philosophical rant. On to one more move you should take to draw out your authentic success, and that is to find a way to control time. Not Time as in all of it, but your time and the relationship you have with it in the present moment.

Do you lament what could have been, but just seems to keep slipping further away?

Do you fret over the future that’s not quite there?

While both are human emotions, both these feelings deceive us into thinking we’re doing something about it, by just thinking about it. Meanwhile, our bodies are frozen from our thoughts and we are not living, dancing, creating, acting or doing any of the wonderful things we could be doing.

Live, create, dance and do all the wonderful things you are meant to do!

So, a challenge to take is finding your special system for helping you feel in control of your time. To start, here are five free tools to try this year. Check them out and comment below on what your five favorite tools are!

Workflowy

I may have posted about this app before. Why? Because it’s so useful. It’s a site I started using to help me organized as I homeschooled myself through high school. Keeping track of classes, college admissions, and a part-time job seemed like a lot to me back then. Now, damn near a decade later, and it’s simple design still helps me keep track of a scheduled that has tripled in activity and accountability to others.

How to Use It

Write down the major domains or roles in your life (professional, entrepreneur, community leader, baker, etc.) then under these domains write your goals and visions that you hope to achieve. Then as time goes on, update and take notes as needed. Let your big ideas and visions lie here, instead of dwelling in your imagination and taking up mind space.

Google Calendar

Once you’ve gotten the larger chunks of your life sorted out, it is time to hone in on your average day. As shared in the last article, assessing your time honestly will help bring you clarity. Once you have some and identified space in your schedule, you need to update your calendar and then make absolutely sure the big things you care about (as jotted down in your Workflowy) actually have space in your week or day.

It is incredibly easy to say you’ll get around to doing something and then letting it slip away. There is a stronger commitment to be made when you put it on your calendar.

Remember

Use some of the white space on your calendar for your self-care and free time. By tending to yourself, you will prolong your journey and avoid potential burnout on your path to success.

Kitchen Timer

This is an app I have on my android, but actual kitchen timers work too. If you ever need to get a jump on something, but instead find yourself procrastinating, set a timer for 10-15 minutes and agree that it’s okay to stop there.  You will be amazed at what can be accomplished in 15 minutes, and many times that work you wanted to do becomes less of a hassle once you have started it.

Try this Quick Tip

If you’re online or the work is to be done online, type in “15-minute timer” into the Google Search bar for a quick timer option.

These three truly make up the foundation of a filled life. Of course, you’re more than encouraged to fill your toolbox with what works for you. The trick is to find the tools you return to and commit to sticking with them for 6-12 months.

Comment below: What tools do you recommend for mastering your time?

Until next week – Zinga

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Free Up Your Time on Your Path to Success

There was probably a point in your life when you had more time than you do now.

Time and freedom to buy the entire Simsⓣ town or spend all day with friends at the mall, but then something shifted. You emerged hungry for the fulfillment of your true purpose…whatever it may be. And as you claimed it, soon the encounters and opportunities for you to will blossom before you…and soon…you may find yourself busier than usual. Then while you grow in experience your life pivots too, you may find yourself married, with greater family/community responsibilities, or just committed to what some may think is a full plate.

You know better, you’ve got this, but you also get the fact that there are so many hours in a day. If you had more time, you could do more and still build healthy relationships with yourself and others. While time is only a figment of the human imagination, it is still a valuable tool for measuring our movement through the day. If you find yourself searching for more time to focus on your higher-order priorities then you’ve found the right post.

You can find more time in your day, some ways are easier than others, but we’ll go over some that have worked for me in the past decade or so. Check out below for ways, by challenge level, to free up more time so you can continue seeking your authentic success.

Know Where Your Time is Going

The simplest of all is to first analyze and assess your typical week. Try your hardest not to change anything you would normally do and just keep track of your activities by the hour or half/hour. This honest assessment will help you understand the flow of your day and potentially identify some time sinks.

Do you come home after work and hop on Facebook for 3 hours? Is the first thing you do in the morning is play a couple of rounds of Call-of-Duty? Find gaps in your time, and places where you spend time doing low-priority activities. Next, make the decision to shorten or replace these slots with your top priorities.

Commit to Smaller Increments

Switching from the broad view to the specific. What is your main goal for freeing up time? Just how much time do you need to achieve this goal and by how soon? Set realistic numbers for the goal you want to accomplish. For instance, if you’re studying to become a real estate agent, but can’t find the space to study for 2 hours in the day, switch to 30 or 40 minutes to start. Set a timer and then congratulate yourself for sticking to it. Have your bare minimum amount of time to spend on an activity and commit. As you grow comfortable focusing on your passion regularly you will find your time will expand.

zinga hart a quote the river swells from the little streams

Set your priority boundaries

A lot of time can feel pulled away when you begin to commit to something you are not truly interested in doing. While some things may have to be done, you need to consider what brings you joy and pleasure, and what you really are not committed to doing. If someone is requesting something of you that goes outside of your priorities then consider letting it go. This can be more challenging because if you’re used to saying yes to everyone, they may be taken aback by a no, but be honest with yourself and others and you will save even more time in the long run.

Freeing up time in your schedule may or may not be an easy feat, but if it is to find more time for your greater search for success then it is a worthy challenge. While there are many other ways to free up time, these are some of the small adjustments you can make. What challenges do you have freeing up time in your schedule?

If you’re interested ask me about the time discovery worksheet I created to help analyze where your time is going.

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Looking to the future and other writings.

Last week, I wrote about small moves you can take to plan for 2017. I hope you get to read it. This week, I’m just put some free-thought in response to what I wrote.

Why?

Well, I took this week to publish on the Pulse. I do that sometimes for my small business owners and community leaders. [Find my other writings from 2016 there 🙂 ]

So here we go:

Building off of 2016

2016 was a tough year.

Firstly, America’s existential crisis, was definitely a point of concern. I do hope we can find unity again.

Personally, this year I stepped up my presentation as a leader. As an INTP, I am super comfortable hiding behind my work. Look at the good work I do and let’s move forward to do more. As an employee or an assistant that makes me ideal, but as a leader of a budding non-profit, it is completely ineffective.

A leader listens to their community and responds in-kind. While I was always strong at the listening part, this year I really boosted the response part. They asked for more presence I created a monthly newsletter; more engagement – we added meeting activities and in-between events; more communication – we revamped our meetings, developed workshops, and gave even more details reports! All of this I would have never found the energy to do, if it wasn’t for their need.

A leader listens to their community and responds in-kind.

Yet, learning the balance between being present as a leader and finding energy as an introvert, was no simple feat. I learned to say no to wasteful-time sinks, yet so no to work during my agreed-upon free time. I listened to my body and gave it rest when required, and I never over-loaded my day, making sure to be aware of my meeting availability over the course of a month.

In 2017, I hope to be more present in the world of higher education. While, I love writing to help us all find our personal success, and running local and online economic empowerment initiatives, my true passion is higher education. Shifting how we draw out the success of adults from a systemic level will truly help achieve my vision of showing the world the trillion-dollar value of education. I hope to find time to meet with people during my professional career at the university, and eventually present myself on a person that likes to build communities that form a culture around the love of  self-development.

That long conversation…

When I meditated on my self and my higher purpose, I found that I finally feel as if I shifted into the groove of being passionate about what I produce. Now it’s a matter of producing consistently and intelligently.

So, I want to be even more efficient with my time in 2017 and to find ways more meaningful ways to connect with the people I care about more often.

Strive for More…

My greatest dream for 2017 is to grow Limitless Ambition’s (the non-profit) and Empower NOW’s (the network) community and to find better ways to serve their success.

On the blog, I hope to hone in and help you take meaningful moves to build your authentic success.

My fantasy is to head to an international beach for a week, something blue and sandy.

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A week will do.

Honing in…

To review, serving others is going to be a key focus for 2017. I will shift from putting the work first to putting the heart first and instilling it into my intents and actions. Should be an interesting shift for a get-it-done girl like me.

Action Steps 

  • Call at least one friend and one family member per week.
  • Provide high-quality help to least two small businesses a quarter.
  • Give away highly valuable resources that I know others would find help on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Offer one highly-useful workshop, webinar, or tool per month to help people grow the authentic [small business/nonprofit] success.
  • Set a budget for a beach trip and save 🙂
  • Have lunch with one new or familiar colleague at least twice a month.

So there’s the quick personal plan for 2017. What are some action steps you want to take during the next year? Comment below!

zinga hart one more move prepare your 2017 plan brand planning

Prepare Your 2017 Plan

 

It’s that time of year. The seasons dipping into colder weather, the final days of 2016 quickly rolling in and holiday plans are brewing.

Many of us could look back at 2016 and find genuine moments of disappointments, successes, and plain ‘ol despair. Yet, even with the waves of life, we, success seekers, remain positive that our destiny for personal greatness is still unfolding before us. So, we prepare, and the New Year is a great time for reflecting and revising our plan of action.

Here are some simple ways to prepare your plan for 2017.

  1. Build off of 2016 (or the past in general).

    If you have ever had a flurry of New Year Inspiration, surely you have set aside plans and goals to achieve. Go back to these, see what worked, look at what didn’t and revise as needed for 2017. Add on to the work you’ve done before, instead of starting from scratch.

But what if I must start from scratch? Check out my earlier post on developing a personal strategic plan.

2. Have a long conversation…with yourself.

 I’ve always regretted how discussions with your Self have gotten a completely negative reputation. The conversations we have with our inner voice, help guide us as we grow through life. Not comfortable with your inner voice? Debbie Lyn Toomey, writes to start the relationship with your inner voice you must trust,train, and love. Trust that your inner voice exists, train yourself to engage in discussion with your inner voice, and when you speak look for the words of love and kindness.

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3. Strive for More.

Daydream with someone you trust and allow yourself to build outside of your current situation and then build towards that vision within your current capacity. Stretch and grow within reason by planning big, and acting accordingly.

4. Hone in on your purpose. 

Steps 1-3 were about building and collecting feedback. Now after you’ve have done a thorough amount of research is it time to narrow down what you are doing into a clear and complete thought. Share your synopsis with someone so that it is clear to them as well. Clarity is key.

5. Set a few goals and follow up with actions to take. Now that you have your clear view of forward in 2017, shift to thinking about how you will move  towards this vision. Add those steps. Be intentional about making your shifts bite-sized, so you can easily adjust as life pivots before you next year.

Let’s make 2017 your next best year! If you’re a woman open to planning online, join us.

zinga-hart-remember-these-three-maxims

Remember these Three Positive Maxims to Keep You Moving Forward

I’ve always liked maxims.

max·im
ˈmaksəm/
noun
plural noun: maxims
1. a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct. (Google Search)
When you find yourself having to make sound decisions followed by quick action, you notice you start to build a mental shorthand that helps turn the bets in your favor.
What are some maxims you like?
1. Just do it.  – Attributed to Nike.
My number one. Like seriously, ask my sister and my tattoo artist.
Such a simple reminder. If you find yourself wanting to do something, something important, and something that fits into your final vision, then do it. You can plan, think, talk, dream, and research all your life OR you can take those efforts and put it into getting the work done. Both paths take your energy, but only one truly fulfills you. You gain your substance when your energy expended, so put in that work.
2. Begin with the end in mind. – Steven Covey
You might be thinking, “Zinga…you just said NOT to plan…”  and I’d say…whoa there. Planning is critical to your success. How do end anywhere you want to go? The first step is knowing where you want to go.
So when you find yourself facing a decision that might stop you from moving forward, take a moment and reflect on the greater vision you are working towards.  For instance, as the president of Limitless Ambition, I actively think about our vision of building a positive network of women. When I find myself faced with a difficult decision I have to make on behalf of the organization, I consider, “Will this contribute to building a positive network of women?”
Consider what’s hindering your next success step forward, what’s your solution for overcoming the obstacle? Does the solution align with your final success vision?
3. Every drop fills the bucket
 This is a good thought for when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the gravity of the project. Sometimes, when you are ready to contribute to your promised time to move forward on your goal, you might need to break down your tasks into even simpler steps.
zinga hart a quote the river swells from the little streams

Another way to say it.

It’s okay. As long as you do it (see #1) you are gaining ground. Figure out ways to break your goal down into the simplest steps as possible for the day ahead of you. Celebrate when you accomplish it because you are coloring in your vision of success.
What’s a saying you keep close?
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How Writing an Ebook Automatically Boosts Your Microbusiness Success

We are doing an exciting new challenge for our meetup group this month! Many of us are small business owners or nonprofit leaders and writing for planning, marketing, or sales is something that we will always do.  So inspired by NaNoWriMo we are spending time writing an ebook, which roughly half the word count of a nonfiction novel.

Some of us are still participating in the novel challenge as well because honestly, we are a really flexible group! Write what you want as long as you write is what I say!

Why? Well, there is something very powerful about writing AND even a  good rough draft it helps improve your business.

Here are some good reasons to write:

Long-term marketing tool:

Where do your customers get to delve deep into your business or organization? If you are a micro-business, like I am right now, a lot of the delving deep comes from one-on-one meetings. Imagine giving your community a review of what you do by giving them a book that explains their problem and/or how to solve it. Having a place to point clients, customers and investors so they get to know your brand better and saves hour long meetings for priority initiatives.

Long-term strategy tool: 

When you write, as a focus on your purpose, you have to think it through. The act of writing allows you to actively reflect on the deeper connections that you know exist in your business. Writing allows you to realize your subconscious guide in a safe way. Have a mapped out philosophy behind the product or service you offer is a safe step towards playing out your business before taking a bigger risk.

Teach others 

Sometimes people are not fully prepared to use your product or services. By organizing an ebook you give yourself and your community a logical path to the solution you provide. Use your ebook to educate others so they are prepared to work with or buy from you.

Save Time

Break down the ebook (25000 words) into 25 (1000 word articles) An article for every week for over 6 months or an article a month for two years!! While fresh content is useful, having a backup reservoir of posts in the form of a past ebook can save you a lot of content production time.

There are four good reasons, although I am sure there is plenty more! If you’ve written an ebook for your business before drop a link to it in the comment section and share how writing it has benefitted you. 

Self Transformation Takes Time

We grew up watching Extreme Makeover and other 1-hour shows that would have us believing that life turns around in a few scenes and a couple of commercial breaks.

Yet for those of us on the authentic success journey know that living our purpose is  hard work.

dancing woman self transformation with zinga hart small business coaching and web design

Designed by Freepik.com

We embrace that hard work and all the feelings it brings with it: the discomfort, the anxiety, the sense of not knowing, and the knowing of our finite time left. The hard work is as much a part of the success as the spoils.

Every day we take another step towards the vision we set in front of us, until one day, we are there. We arrive at where we set out to be, and suddenly  we realize the transformation that was always taking place. We look back and see the strength we gained, the friends we earned or lost, and the experience we earned all along the way.

So if you feel like your transformation is not taking place, step back and reflect.

Go back ten years, what did you want to do then? How are you living it now? What have you fulfilled and what are you working on lately?

Find where you have transformed and appreciate all the changes you will continue to go through on your journey. That’s just one more move for you to take.

Want a reflection buddy?

Post is a part of the Daily Prompt Challenge Transformation