Archive for the ‘Time Management’ Category

Easy Beef Stroganoff Crockpot

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Looking for great comfort food? Throw in crockpot and enjoy the rest of your day. I have a small crock pot but you can easily double this. Cans of soup aren’t the best, just use this once in a while when you are rushed or need a break. it is also economical because you use stewing beef.

1 1/2 – 2cups (adjust to your likes) stew beef
1tin Golden mushroom soup (This works better than regular mushroom soup)
1/2cup water
1chopped small onion

Add ingredients to crock pot. Set on low for 6 to 8 hours. No need to brown meat. If fatty I cut it off.
Serve over brown rice or whole wheat egg noodles. Some times I add sliced mushrooms. I think you could use cut up chicken breast or thighs.

#43 House Selling and Cleaning

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

So I’ve never been a neat person. I like clean but as far as things on the counter, beds unmade,  clothes unfolded, that’s okay with me. I have always had better things to do. I know it’s all in our priorities, and mine were never on an immaculate house.

Well now we are selling our home, have it staged and it must be show-home ready in one hour, I’m finding that there are some quick tricks to keeping it tidy. No more eat something and put it away later. “Do it now” is my motto.  Before my poor husband is out of bed I’m making it and punching the pillows to make them plump and eye-catching.

“No, don’t sit on the bed!!!” I scream. “It will wrinkle.” “What you want another shower?” “Okay you did run the marathon this morning and are a little stiff, but don’t leave water marks and heaven help you if you forget to squeegie off the tiles .” I think he wonders where his wife went.

I’m hoping these new habits stay with me in a little less intense way when we get to our new home. I do like the look of the house when I come in. I certainly use my time differently now. No baking – it’s way too messy -  again my husband isn’t happy, but more time for shining and polishing. I even ironed the drapes!!! Besides we didn’t need the calories in those brownies or cookies.

I’m doing things differently and it is rather interesting how detail-oriented I can be, when I have to be. No more chat, I’ve got to run and shine up the bathrooms!!!

#41The Sandwich Generation – Egg Salad Squashed!

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Caregiving for aging parents, babysitting grandchildren, getting a house we’ve lived in for over 36 years ready to sell and buying a condo apartment had me feeling rather squashed last week. I understood I was a prime candidate for a sandwich generation photo option.

I loved every minute of each adventure it’s just that as I age I’m not quite as resilient as I used to be. Add in a few unexpected mini crisis and there are not enough hours in the day to complete needed tasks.

The question became, how to pick and choose and still feel good.  When I was honest with myself, I could elimnate some of the things like make my bed, cook from scratch and vacuum. So I  made a list, checked it twice and priorotized.  I stopped using drastic words like horrible, worst, never and I began to reframe my self-talk. It wasn’t the worst day of my life, it was an amazing day where I could see two of our grandchildren plus my parents all in one day. Once this was done I smiled, counted my blessings and carried on.

The grandchildren were a much needed tonic as little arms squeezed me tight, I had a great visit with my parents when I dropped off the medicine that was needed immediately and you know what? Our house is still here, needing a little tender loving cleaning care. It will happen…. When I’m ready.

So I poured myself another cup of coffee, sat down and admired the snow capped Rockies and the magpies chatting in our mature trees. This was a good day. A busy day and very good.

# 38 Lower Expectations Forgive Yourself

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Are we as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends? That’s often a question I ask. If we aren’t kind to ourselves how can we expect others to be kind? Can we forgive ourselves for our mistakes? We all make them. Can we sometimes complete taks that aren’t perfect? Remember that good enough is often good enough.

Too often we set our personal expectations so high that not even Superwoman or Superman could meet our goals. Whether it is for our relationships with others, or the work we do, it’s time to consider just what we are asking of ourselves.

  • Is it realistic?
  • Will it matter in five days, five months or five years if “it” is not quite perfect?

These two simple questions, will give you a gauge to assist you to set realistic personal goals that are specific, attainable, measurable and have a time limit. Whether you are at work, caring for aging parents, children we must stop and care for ourselves. You are worth it!


I Got It! #32 Want To Enjoy Change?

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

I’ve just spent two days with the fabulous Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert and author of Pop!

The workshops were sponsored by the Calgary Chapter of CAPS and what a mind expanding experience.

I am thinking about all the interesting people I met and the words I heard and then puzzling how to put it all together into a “what’s next” for Joan. Aren’t I just the luckiest person to have that opportunity?

Change is like riding in a white water raft – you are floating along enjoying the scenery when all of a sudden you hit a wild rapid and you hang on for dear life and eventually make it through to hit those lovely calm waters again. Ahhh….. relax and then you start to anticipate the next rapid and begin to prepare……change – it is fun, exciting and it is scary.

Today I’m going for a three hour coaching session with Sam. I can’t imagine what I will come away with – it’s sort of like Christmas when you meet with Sam. You know it’s going to surprise you – you just don’t know how. It’s always thought-provoking and thoughtful in a way that causes you to smile and you go away with  an “I can do it” attitude.

I’m glad the sun is shining in my heart and in Calgary!

I Got It! #23 Ice Breakers for Groups

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I am preparing a hand-out for a talk I’m giving and decided to put together my favourite ice breakers. They are large and small group activities that promote fun-learning. Some help listening skills, how it feels when change happens and ways to find common ground with a group. Here is an easy one. If you would like the hand-out please subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll be happy to send them out.

What’s In Your Wallet?
Choose one item in your purse, briefcase or wallet.
Tell your partner why that item is significant to you.

I Got It! #15 Why Do Bad Things Happen – Reframe!

Friday, March 25th, 2011

One of my favourite coaching clients recently lamented “Why do these things always happen to me?” We both smiled and she said “Okay I know you are going to tell me to “reframe and carry on.” Bad things happen to us all and we are the only ones who can say “this too shall pass,” or “in the scheme of things will it matter in 5 minutes or 5 months.” “I must simply build a bridge and get over it. ”


I Got It! #13 Looking for Ways to Lower Stress, Save Time and Improve Relationships?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Writing Got It! 21 Tips Communication Tips for Busy People and seeing it to completion takes patience – never one of my strong points. I like to do things quickly and move to the next. To think that at the end of August I had the book complete and 7 months later, it is finally out. I wasn’t sitting still during that time. It will soon be on Amazon and in the Kindle format.

There was lots to do. A group of my friends read the book and gave feedback, then there was editing, rewriting, approvals, checking and rechecking. Thinking about the cover design and title and working with a designer was interesting.  Then approving what words would go on the back cover, looking at the lay out and where there needed to be text breaks all took time and careful thought.

Plus because this is a joint venture I was working with a fantastic team at Strategic Book Group so again, others with much more knowledge in many of these areas than I have were part of the decisions. I enjoyed the fact we were a team and I had others working with me. My last book was self-published so I was on my own and the first book I wrote was with a publisher and I had very little control so this has been a new experience.

I still haven’t held Got It! in my hand. I can’t wait. Soon, very soon.

I Got It!#10 It Not Now, Then When?

Monday, July 19th, 2010

People often say they wish they could do something. Instead of wishing, why not make a plan and get at it? I have been working on a book about communications for the past two years. At various times I would devote two or three days and then life would get in the way. “The book” sat in a folder, often calling to me, however, it seemed all I could do was pick it up, read through what I had written and then I put it down again. I never got at it.

Finally I decided that I was constantly being distracted by “The Book.” It was like a virus, slowing me down because it was occupying a larger and larger part of my mind. I couldn’t get rid of it. So in June I put away most other things and devoted time to see it to completion. What a relief to finally put to paper what was circling in my head.

I hired one of my favourite editors to help me out and together we have created a product I’m proud of. Now the difficult process of finding a publisher begins. If I had continued to ignore the negative self-talk of “I should” or “I wish” I think my productive time would continue in a downward spiral. Now that I have that job completed, I am ready to tackle the next challenge.

How did I do it? Simple. I said to myself “If not now, then when?” Each Monday I wrote goals for the week. I make sure they are attainable and have a time limit. I even add in a time for relaxation which I never used to do. While I’m not always successful in completing what I set, at least I have goals and writing them down helps to keep me focused. When something new appears, I am better able to make a decision as to what I tackle and what I can add to next week’s sheet.

Is something occupying valuable space in your mind? Instead of stewing about it, and saying nasty things to yourself, make a plan right now. Yes right now! Say “If not now, then when?” and get to work. Ask yourself, What can you do about it? How? When? And get at it! It worked for me.

What projects do you have to complete? Let me know how you are doing.

I Got It! #6 Finding Balance – Reframe your priorities

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

I finally decided to take me own advice and prioritize my “things to do list” and give myself time to ask, ‘is there a better or different way to do this?’ For 34 years I have hosted my mother-in-law’s birthday party. I love to entertain and cook and today is her 82 birthday.

Friday I did a half day workshop and tomorrow I am leaving to do two days of presentations in Toronto. I love to do workshops and seminars. Preparation takes time and after it takes me at least one day to re-energize and get ready for whatever is going on next.

In the old days I would have ‘done it all’ most likely at my own expense. Not so today. Saturday I did some work in our yard and went to spend time with our grandsons. Today I made time to go to church. In the old days I would not have taken any ‘me’ time.

Just because ‘you’ve always done it that way’ doesn’t mean it works for you now. Make a quick list of everything you have planned for tomorrow. Is there a way to create some time for reflection, exercise and laughter? What can you do differently and still attain the same results?

I do a 1.5 hour workshop called “Finding Balance in Off-Balance” times – over the past year I have begun to incorporate the 7 step program into my daily life. It is making a positive difference.

How do you find balance? I’d love to hear.