from Nan Russell’s It’s Not About the Time
There are many types of pain. Feeling overwhelmed, chronically exhausted, or unable to stretch non-elastic time to t what needs doing is one kind. So is wanting to do one thing and having to do another; knowing the people you love most feel low on your priority list; or giving up hope you’ll ever move toward that life dream.
When you believe you can time-manage yourself out of that kind of pain, which is what I tried for years, life tends to offer its version of a wake-up call: head- aches, illness, anger, outbursts, insomnia, overeating or drinking—you name it. If the pain gets bad enough we seek change.
Consider whether you’re ready:
1. Do you want to move away from the pain of over- whelmed and busy-busy-busy?
2. Are you willing to try something other than more time-management techniques that treat only symptoms?
3. You consider with an open mind that your time- problem isn’t about time.
Consider the statements below. If you’ve had enough and want to change it, check it. If it’s out of control sometimes, but more okay for you than not, leave it blank.
- I’m tethered to work 24/7/365; people can reach me via cell anytime and they do.
- I use at least part of the weekend to catch up on work.
- My life and responsibilities are over owing my ability to get everything I want done.
- I don’t have any time to think or be creative and that hurts the quality of my work.
- I have out-of-control numbers of unopened emails and just ignore some.
- I need to delegate more but have no time to train or hire anyone.
- My New Year’s resolution was to improve work-life balance and I broke it in weeks.
- Significant others in my life complain about my lack of time and attention.
- I feel at the end of my rope more days than not.
- I can’t remember the last time I unplugged and relaxed, even on vacation.
- I feel compelled to check my phone every few minutes to make sure I don’t miss something important.
- I know that stress and pressure are affecting my health and well-being.
- I keep hoping things at work and home will change.
- 14. There are so many things I’d like to do, but I just don’t have time to do them.
Self-scoring: Only you know if something is too much, too little, or just right for you. However, typically if you checked eight or more, i.e. more than half, there’s a consistent problem that time-management alone is unlikely to solve.
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Nan Russell is a business-time management consultant who has met her share of talent in need of direction. Her latest book, It’s Not About the Time will help you harness your talent and put it on what matters to you the most.
Stop twirling and learn to prioritize and say no. Learn what has meaning and where you should put your focus, never allowing just anyone to pull you off your course. Life happens. But with It’s Not About the Time, you have new tools to accomplish YOUR wants and needs.
In your hour consult, you’ll talk about:
- Your goals, immediate and long term
- How you spend your days
- How you should spend your days
- How to set boundaries and use time
- How to do what you love for more hours everyday
- Have a good life that matters to you and the people you care about
Is this a conversation you need to have?
Email Beth@LisaHaganBooks.com or Lisa@LisaHaganBooks.com to join the contest.
Entries should be received before March 15, 2017.
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from Keep It Short by Charles Euchner
To give clichés life—to make them fresh and original again— find something surprising to add to them.
Too often, we use familiar ideas without really under- standing their meaning. We repeat phrases and ideas carelessly.
When we overuse expressions, we live in a fool’s paradise. We cannot hold a candle to the halcyon days, our salad days, when we suited the action to the word and revealed the naked truth. But we give short shrift to language, writing with neither rhyme nor reason. And we lose such stuff as dreams were made of, at’s neither here nor there, since these expressions are dead as a doornail. Coming full circle, we realize, more in sorrow than anger, and it’s a foregone conclusion that overuse of such terms is a fatal vision. So, in one fell swoop, we throw cold water on it.
All of those expressions come from Shakespeare. ese expressions once expressed ideas with freshness and originality. But used over and over, they have lost their vitality. Too o en, we use these clichés not because they express ideas well, but because they o er a simple way to say something. ey let us say something without thinking.
Remember you want to make the reader see, feel, helpless, harmless. Milo’s dead.” By using the slack, disinterested tone of a gumshoe, Lynch moves us away from sickly sentimentality.
Samuel Beckett uses clichés in playful ways to make them fresh. He writes: “Personally I have no bone to pick with graveyards.” And then, describing the odor of graveyards, he added that he will breathe in the smell of corpses “when take the air I must.” In her memoir of family suicide, Joan Wickersham freshens a stale image: “Cal may have had pots of family money, but my husband didn’t even have a small saucepan.”
Whenever possible, though, avoid clichés. Lush detail—observation of sights, sounds, smells—helps to create original expressions.
Nack could just say, “I thought about that horse day and night. I couldn’t get Secretariat out of my mind. It popped up no matter where I was or what I was doing” Zzzzzz. Instead, Nack uses compelling images to show how Secretariat shaped every minute of his life.
Write like Bill Nack. Always look for the fresh images—ideas that are familiar, but which other writers have not used before—to help the reader experience the scene –
smell, taste, touch, imagine—and think of more familiar the images, the less you will engage your reader.
“Cliches,” Geoffrey Hill notes, “invite you not to think.” Cliches give use easy, lazy was of expressing our- selves. As Hill notes, “you may always decline the invitation.” When you feel tempted to use a cliché, stop. Get in the habit of considering how to state a point simply—or think of a fresh, original way of making a point.
To avoid the dreariness of clichés, play with them. Start by looking at its literal meaning. Porter Abbott explains:
When the orator urges his or her auditors “to strike while the iron is hot,” how many of them see the sweating blacksmith at his forge and feel his magical transmutation into new meaning? The answer is none. But when one tramp suggests to another that “it might be better to strike the iron before it freezes” the original vehicle is revived in its literal state.
Taking words literally reveals the cliché’s original insight. When you do a genealogy of clichés, you discover vibrant images that can be revived.
When you change the context of cliché, you can give it new life. In a memoir of his life as an undertaker, Tomas Lynch writes about the death of a neighbor: “Milo is dead. X’s on his eyes, lights out, curtains.”
For more details on Keep It Short, click on the title.
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from It’s Not About the Time by Nan Russell, Lisa Hagan Books, 2017
While we don’t react to stress the same or feel the same things are stressful, most of us still get stress wrong. We believe it’s harmful, when in fact, the right kind of stress is helpful. Consider these facts:
- The right stress is good for you! Stress expert Bruce McEwen of Rockefeller University identified three types: good stress, tolerable stress, and toxic stress. The stress most of us have, most of the time, isn’t “tolerable” or “toxic” stress, but good stress. Stanford researchers found: “a confrontation with a co-worker, the pressure to perform, a to-do list that’s too long— are not the toxic type of stress that’s been linked to serious health issues. Short bouts of this type of everyday stress can be a good thing.” Who knew an impending project deadline could be good for you?
- There are benefits to stress. Firdaus Dhabhar, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University, along with a team of researchers, found not only that moderate, transient stress heightens our immunity, but “short bursts of stress can paradoxically enhance memory and learning.” We optimize these benefits with no stress periods
Life Happens—Dealing with Stress, Change, & Being Overwhelmed
interspersed with “regular hits of acute stress,” i.e. short-lived stress. While chronic stress can be toxic, acute stress can be protective and helpful.
• How you view your stress matters. Studies involving 30,000 civil service workers in Britain found “heart disease and mortality rates increased steeply with every step down the ladder.” Low status and lack of control were key factors in that disparity. But, even more interesting was their discovery on beliefs. Those who believed stress impacted their health, regardless of their job or initial health, were found within the 18-year follow up to have double the risk of heart attack. A large U.S. study found the same result about stress beliefs and health. Bottom line? If you view your stress as detrimental, it’s more likely to be. If you believe stress provides you with life’s energy or consider it “a kind of engagement with life,” as health psychologist and author Kelly McGonigal puts it, that thinking will serve you better.
To read more about the book, click on the title It’s Not About the Time. To engage the author, click on the name Nan Russell.
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