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Archive for February, 2012

I’m cheating just a little here….I didn’t write this post….but it was so good and felt like it was being written for me, about me and all about me…LOL!!  So I had to repost it.  I have a sneaky suspicion that this might just describe a few others of you out there!!!  (ps….thanks to my mom for sending this to me….I really needed it!!)

Stop the Splatter! How to Reclaim Your Attention and Get More Done

by Christine Kane woman looking up from laptop

Have you ever been at home all day when there’s nothing in the fridge?

You open the door. You poke your head in. You hum a little tune and look around. You sigh. You grab a handful of pine nuts. You go back to your desk.

About an hour later, you’re hungry.

So you go back to the fridge and look again. Nothing new has appeared. You pull out some black olives, put them on a saucer, and go back to your desk.

You think, “I should go out and get something to eat.” But you don’t. A part of you is convinced that a solution will appear. Maybe a Sous Chef will arrive at your door.

Amazingly, this doesn’t happen.

Eventually you’re back at the fridge. You look in. Then, you close the door, reach up to the cereal cabinet and grab a handful of Kashi…

What happens in this scenario is that you eat all day, but you never feel satisfied. By 5pm, you’re strung out, unfulfilled, and you wonder why.

Here’s why:

You ate. But you never actually fed yourself.

We do this exact same thing with our attention. We dabble in random things. But we never really commit to anything.

I call it Attention Splatter. It’s when you mindlessly and half-heartedly splatter your attention on non-activities. But you never fully engage.

Remember this: Your attention ultimately feeds you. It feeds your heart and your mind. This is why it’s so important to notice what you give your attention to. This is also why splattered attention leaves you unfulfilled. You never actually feed yourself.

The most common Attention Splatter culprits are:

– Email

– Cell phones

– Clutter

– Facebook

– Television

– Endless Google searches

If you are prone to Attention Splatter, here are seven ways to feed yourself and get more done.

1 – Have no more than three priorities for the day.

There’s only so many things you can get done in a day and still enjoy the day. Get into the habit of spending five minutes each night deciding what one thing you want to get done the next day. Ask yourself, “If I only accomplish one thing tomorrow, which one thing would make me most happy?”

2 – Know the task before you sit down at the computer.

This is a must. When you don’t do this, you can get lost in the millions of non-items that any computer has to offer.

Assign tasks. (i.e. “Clean out email folders”) Assign times. (“From 1pm to 2pm”) Stop as soon as the end time arrives.

3 – Put an end to activities that leak.

Make a list of “leaky” activities, and stop the leak by scheduling these activities. (As opposed to letting them take over your day.)

For instance, instead of letting email leak all over your day – all day every day – schedule email as an activity at a certain time each day. Every activity should have a home – a space for its completion. Otherwise, you set yourself up for a full day of splatter.

4 – Leverage your small slices of time.br />
It’s easy to look up at the clock and see that you have, say, 45 minutes before an appointment and think, “Well, I don’t have time to do anything substantial. So, I guess I’ll just go on line.”

Turn your thinking around! Learn to fit constructive things in to small slices of time. It’s amazing what you can complete in a short focused slice of time!

5 – Use your intention.

Before you begin any activity, set an intention for that activity. Intend your desired outcome and how you want to feel during the activity. This is the ultimate act of creativity.

6 – Get rid of anything that doesn’t feed you.

Incoming emails, group emails, magazine subscriptions, news aggregate feeds, TiVo, memberships, unread books…

The list of incoming stuff goes on and on.

Get your life in order. Get rid of anything that doesn’t feed you. If you subscribe to it, ask yourself why. Start letting go of stuff. Doing this one thing has helped me create a home and office environment that is healthy and sacred. Be ruthless about keeping the incoming stuff to a minimum.

7 – Be present in your down-time.

When you take a nap, take a nap. When you take a Saturday off, really take it off. Don’t spend the day obsessing about the things you should be doing. Turn off the computer. Get out of your office. Go away.

Fully disengaging from all of it for fun is imperative. Plus, this will allow you to return with renewed energy and attention!


Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription athttp://christinekane.com.

WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?

See Christine’s blog at ChristineKane.com/blog.

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I have been very neglectful of my daily journal this past week……but I have posted a new daily journal post finally!!!  (Look at the top of of my blog and you will see a tab called “Daily Journal”!!)

I will also be posting some new posts here on the blog that I am currently working on!

So stay tuned!!

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Well, as you might possibly have noticed, I’ve been MIA for a few days.  There are some really good reasons and one not so great reason.  Let’s start with the good stuff first (I always have liked eating my dessert first)!!

I am finally, finally, finally done with my classes…..and for those of you who care to know…..I didn’t pass them.  I’m not proud of that, but it was a choice of losing my mind or letting go.  I chose to let go…..I’m working real hard on that concept these days.  This was a hard one for me as I have been on the Dean’s List since I started school and I hate the bad example I have set for my children…..but……letting go, letting go, letting go.

Note to my children if you are reading…..letting go DOES NOT mean not giving it 100% effort FIRST!!!

So now that I am finally done with the mind sucking drudgery of school and done with the hair pulling experiencing of moving, getting settled and handling all the myriad of things that come with moving and relocating…..I can finally settle down to business.

My plans are finally starting to firm up for the next 6 months…..they have changed a few dozen times so I can’t promise that anything is in stone just yet….but I’m excited.  I can FINALLY start planning!  I have started looking for a van and will be selling my car in preparation for the first leg of my new “vocation”!!

The plan as it stands now is this:

  • The first 3 weeks of April my mom and I will drive in tandem to the South Carolina/Georgia area and just meander around to wherever we damn well please 😛
  • Then I come back for my brother’s wedding at the end of April.
  • The week after the wedding my mom and I are, again, driving in tandem out to Nebraska (meandering again along the way) where we will visit with friends/relatives, help my sister get her stuff out of storage so it can be transported back to Virginia via my oldest son and attend a wedding.
  • By the time we arrive back in Virginia with my sister’s stuff in tow it will be full blown summer here in St. Michaels, MD (where I’m using my sister’s house as a “home base”).  I will be staying here for a while at that point because this is the best of the best times to be living in this area!!  I have many, many “summer things” that we do every summer and I am looking forward to participating with my family.  AND St. Michaels in SUMMER….who the heck wouldn’t want to do that??!
  • In July I am planning a trip to California with my children for their collective birthdays.  They chose California but we haven’t decided where just yet.
  • Then sometime around the end of the summer my mom and I will be traveling together again.  This time we will be traveling across the northern states out to California and then back across the southern states.  The purpose of this trip is to work on an idea that we have both been brewing in our heads for a long time. We will be visiting relatives from the Anderson side of the family and working on an “Anderson Family” book.

So there it is….like I said it might change again…..but it is finally at a firm enough point that I feel confident in making actual plans….so that is a good thing!!

Now for the not so great reason I have been MIA….I have been having a lot of trouble with my wrist lately.  I had surgery on my left wrist in 2009 for a torn tendon (which is a huge part of the reason why I was unemployed for so long).  Of course you are probably thinking it is my left wrist that is bothering me so much (and you would be partially correct)…..but no it’s even worse….it’s my right wrist.  Since I am right handed and my left wrist still bothers me I am now looking at a double whammy.  I spend about 95% of my life on the computer (which of course is the reason I’m having problems) so to have both of my wrists bothering me is not a good thing.  Not to mention the one small, itty, bitty, little issue of me making my living (whether on the road or in an office) on the computer.  I have dug out all my old wrist bandages/guards/cuffs etc in the hopes of trying to ward off the inevitable. I am icing, and resting, and heat padding, and elevating and all the other things that are recommended…..but in the meantime….in the back of my head…..I’m furiously thinking of things that don’t involve me being on a computer…..just in case.

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The crisp bite of Diet Coke first thing in the morning – the feeling of cool sheets in the Summer – singing at the top of my lungs in the car – the smell of pine needles in the sun – my son Zachary’s infectious humor – afternoon naps – cookies – Gerber Daisies – stretching – rainy days in bed watching movies – my son Joshua’s beautiful hair – the smell of vanilla – watching snow fall from inside a warm cozy home – the way my younger brother is so protective of his older sisters – crossing off my to do list – the feeling of sun on my face – driving down country roads to see where they lead – the  stationary cha cha – the way my sister and I can exchange looks and know exactly what we are each thinking – Berts Bee’s chapstick – riding on the Scrambler at the carnival – the feeling of my hair on my back – the way my mom supports me unconditionally no matter what my crazy ideas are – laying on a boat in the sun rocking on the waves and drifting off to sleep –my son Joshua’s sensitivity – exploring a new town – looking at old pictures – dancing till I can’t breathe – the first kiss – laughing with my sister at all our inside jokes – when the temperature outside is the perfect caress on my skin….not hot and not cold – belly laughs – my son Zachary’s lovableness – the way I feel when I have had a productive day.

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Reminder

Don't Forget - Check Out My Daily Journal

Don’t forget that I fill out a daily journal on the “daily journal” page.  It does not show up as a new post when I write on it so you have to check it every so often for new entries.  If you are wondering how things ended with the entire debacle of the trashed furniture I have continued to write about it in my journal!  You will find the Daily Journal as a tab at the top of the page.

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Vindication

Today I went and talked to the rental office about the furniture they smashed up and threw in the dumpster.  I completely expected them to say “sorry for your luck chump” but I was really surprised when the guy I was talking to shook his head in horror and said “that is my fault, I told them to do that, normally we send an abandonment letter”.  Really…..how interesting!  They wanted to know what the cost of the furniture, Comcast equipment and a power chord for my TV came to and said they would call me back later today.  In the mean time I looked up the law considering personal property when a home is supposedly abandoned (which it was not by the way) and they were completely in the wrong.  So I do feel very vindicated today but it doesn’t bring back furniture that I loved…..I know it’s silly, I’m having a hard time myself understanding why I’m reacting so strongly to my furniture being smashed up…..it’s not like it was a family heirloom or some major personal memento….but it just hurts…I loved those pieces and it feels like a violation.

 Clarification

From some of the comments and insinuations that I have received over the past 2 months when I have talked about my plans I have come to the realization that I need to clarify something.  Perhaps I did not really make this very clear from the beginning.

 I did not quit my job, give up my apartment and become penniless on purpose so that I could become a digital nomad.

In fact the exact opposite is the case.  After 10 months of working at a temporary job that was supposed to become permanent the company decided to eliminate the position.  I really liked the job and was very excited about becoming permanent.  I loved my apartment…..I was so happy to finally be back in my own place and have my belongings around me again.  I was very content with the way things were going.  But that was not to be my life….life took a turn….again!  So this is me making lemonade out of lemons.  This is me saying “crap, here I am again with no job and no money….what do I do next” and trying to make the best of it.  But don’t get things twisted…..I’m not upset about how things have turned out….I’m excited and it really does hammer home the meaning of …

Things Happen For A Reason

Lesson

There is a lesson that I want to point out to everyone…..one that I have learned in the past but don’t always remember…..one that saved me again.  When you have something unpleasant to do, it is best to just face it head on and get it over with.  When I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to pay my rent I wanted to run and hide and stick my head in the sand.  I wanted to slink away in abject humiliation.  I dreaded having to go into that office and tell them that I couldn’t pay my rent.  I just knew they would look down their noses at me and consider me scum….I knew it!!  But I forced myself to go in there and talk to them, to explain the situation…..I didn’t act defensive (it wasn’t their fault I couldn’t pay my rent) and I owned up to my problem and made sure they understood my sincerity when I said that I intended to do what I could to fix things if I could.  And lo and behold they didn’t look at me with contempt and derision…..they actually thanked me for coming in and talking to them “because when renters come in and talk to the landlord they get in less trouble” (those were their words exactly!).  I did the same thing today with the furniture…..I knew they were going to look at me like I was crazy for objecting to my furniture being destroyed when I owed them thousands of dollars….I just knew it.  But I faced my fear of walking in there….I kept a cool head and once again was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  I need to remember this lesson a lot more often!

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Today started out ok – just more homework – but it ended badly!

Today the lady who was going to buy my bed frame met my son at the apartment to pick it up.  However, when they went into the apartment they found everything gone.  They found not only my bed frame (that was antique, beautiful and cost me about $900) but also a TV Armoire that I have had for a very long time and 2 bookshelves broken to smithereens in the dumpster.  Apparently the apartment complex felt that I had abandoned the apartment and so felt free to go in and remove items and trash them.  Not only did they trash the furniture but I had a pile of Comcast equipment that I was going to return to Comcast tomorrow that is missing…..in that pile of Comcast items was the power chord to my TV that I bought less then 9 months ago which I now cannot use because the power chord is gone.

I am absolutely beside myself.  Not only am I now missing $175 that I sorely needed but I am probably going to be charged by Comcast for the missing equipment and I now have a $200 TV that I cannot use.  On top of all of that I am grieving for my furniture…..I loved that furniture….I had it for a very long time and I dragged it with me from place to place.  I was only willing to part with it because it meant that I would have money to fund a dream……now I don’t have the money and my treasured items have been trashed. I feel very violated.

I don’t really know if I can even do anything about it.  What I haven’t mentioned on this blog, because I have been a little embarrassed about it, is that since I didn’t have the money to pay my rent I had the option to break my lease and leave or be physically evicted.  When I talked to the rental office they said that in the long run it would be cheaper for me to be evicted rather than break my lease.  So that is what I chose to do.

My court hearing for the eviction was for this coming Wednesday.  At the last minute I had a change of heart (I hate saying that I was evicted…..it just feels slimy) and decided that I would turn in the keys and it would be considered breaking my lease.  I moved everything by this past Tuesday but left the furniture there because I had people coming to get it.  I was going to turn in the keys on Saturday but was delayed so planned on going tomorrow instead.  So, since I assume the maintenance men don’t work on Saturday or Sunday, they had to have come sometime between Wednesday and Friday.

I’m guessing that when I go in there tomorrow to complain and to turn in the keys they are going to say that I abandoned the apartment.  When your in the middle of moving and you still have stuff in the apartment I’m not sure how that can be considered abandonment especially since it had been less than 3 days.  And I really don’t understand why they had to trash my belongings?  Someone could have used that furniture.  I just don’t get it and it makes me sick.

For the record…..I know I’m the one in the wrong…..I haven’t paid my rent…..and I will have to deal with those consequences.  I was upfront with the apartment complex about my situation, I spoke with them several times about what was going on, I talked to them about the whole process……I didn’t slink off into the night with my tail between my legs…..I owned up to my faults……I gave them my forwarding address so that they could forward me the bill and I will pay it when I’m able to.  I just don’t think I deserved this.

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