Work Smarter, Not Harder.

A picture quote by Michael Altshuler illustrating how you can work smarter that reads ‘[The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.]’

The term “Time Management” is an oxymoron, if you really think about it. The truth is, time cannot be managed. Time marches on its own schedule and the clock continues to tick.  Time is out of our control, but we are in control of what to do with our time. If you need to cross things off your to-do list, it’s important to prioritize tasks and divide your time between different activities. The key to greater productivity and performance is to work smarter and not harder. But the question is, how do we work smarter and not harder?

Prioritize. If you find you’ve bitten off more than you can chew with your to-do list, it’s important to prioritize your tasks based off urgency and importance. Focus on the urgent tasks first and set aside the non urgent tasks to do later. Delegate and divide your tasks!

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Signs of an MS Flare

Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) means dealing with flares. Flares occur when symptoms worsen for at least 24 hours. To be considered a flare, it also must occur 30 days or more after the last attack.

We wondered what cues your body gives you about flares. We asked our community on Facebook, “How can you tell that you are experiencing an MS flare?” We got more than 250 responses, so it is clear that there are many ways flares affect you.

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No Time Like The Present

By Lauren Kovacs

Just do it.  I am full of cliches.  I admit I lean to the dork side at times.

Time is of the essence.  So grab your life by the horns and go.  Time management is a key to MS.  Sew it into the core fabric of your life.  Nourish it like a sensitive plant. No last minute Lucy here.

Build in extra time.   I hate rushing.  Now is not the time.  Be the turtle. Take your time and don’t rush.  I drop more stuff, if I rush.  If I wait for an intention tremors to pass, I can do it.  Find your own rhythm. 

For example, I often get up two to three hours before mass (church).  Makeup, hair, clothes, medicine and breakfast. My “Barbie arm” and a leg often are stiff. I never know how easy or hard dressing for church Might be.  “Get errr done” as they say.

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Little Things

By Doug Ankerman

Time management?  When one has multiple sclerosis?

Good one!

That’s like asking if you would rather walk on broken glass…or hot coals?

You see, I HAVE the time.  I no longer work and my obligations are few, so time is no prob-lemmo.  Management, on the other hand, well that’s where MS fudges things up. 

Because despite all my pre-planning, organization and visual run-throughs, I am always behind.  Or so it seems.

Always longest in the shower.  Pokiest to get dressed.  Last to the car.

Trying my darndest, MS is the speedbump I struggle stepping over.

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Goal Management Instead of Time Management

By Stacie Prada

Time is fixed and passes at its own pace.  Goals can grow, contract, adjust and evolve.

Often advice for time management includes instructions to make lists, dedicate time for tasks, be organized, get up early, multitask, do more, and just generally be different than you’ve been.  While some are good suggestions, the attempt to fit an individual’s unique experience into a fixed and uncontrollable passage of time can miss the mark. It can be overwhelming and unrealistic when not considering a person’s specific life circumstances, obligations and health.  When already feeling like there isn’t enough time, the advice to do more can feel offensive. 

Time management seems to inherently approach the future from a perspective of scarcity.  It is true there is only so much time in the day, the week, the year, and a lifetime.  Each moment passes whether we’ve spent it intentionally or not.  Even so, I’d rather approach the future with a feeling of abundance.  There is limited time, I have limited energy and abilities, and I also have the opportunity to fill that time in ways that fulfill my needs and goals. I can do this by being clear about my immediate and long-term needs as well as my goals in each moment and for my life.

Time management advice recognizes that it can be a project to fit everything in, but it often forgets it can be effort to fill the time.  I’ve had both in my life, and at times they’ve paradoxically co-existed. There were fast-paced workdays where dedicated, productive accomplishments never seemed to put a dent in the backlog, and there were evenings with long stretches of solitude where loneliness was at the ready to dominate my head space. The daily schedule of surge and stagnation with such severe contrast was exhausting. That experience is telling for how different needs and goals dictate different choices and solutions.

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Tick Tock.. Tick Tock..

Time stops for no one. We often do not realize how fast the clock is ticking. But soon days turn to months and months to years and valuable time is long gone by. It is important that we use time wisely and set our priorities right. Here are some tips on how to accomplish your work and use time in the most effective way:

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I’ll do it tomorrow, maybe  

Scrabble tiles spelling out Why Not Now as a tip to combat procrastination

Whoever said procrastination is the thief of time was not joking. It takes much longer to delay a task than it does to buckle down and complete it. But why do we procrastinate if we know that it is probably a bad idea?

Being productive is not only a matter of planning our day. Being productive means setting that plan into motion. Too often, I have waited to complete a task and chosen to tell myself tomorrow will be a better time to start. Even in writing this blog, I experienced procrastination. I told myself, “Tomorrow I’ll have a better idea, tomorrow I’ll be more inspired,” because tomorrow always seems to be a better time until it isn’t.

Most of us consider procrastination to be a problem that stems from lack of planning, poor time management, or even laziness, but procrastination is much more than that. Although there are many contributing factors, such as lack of motivation, research shows that we tend to delay or postpone doing tasks that we perceive as unpleasant.

Joseph Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, identified three basic types of procrastinators, each with different motives:

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Unwind & De-stress

It is without a doubt that today’s fast-paced world can be stressful. Between balancing work, family and social obligations, it can be hard to set aside time for yourself. By learning how to relax, you can soothe your body and mind, heal from your daily dose of stress and devote some much-needed time for yourself. Luckily, when it comes to strategies to relax, the easier the better! Setting aside 10 minutes of your day is all you need to calm your mind and body.  Here are a few relaxation strategies that may be helpful.

Breathe. Breathing techniques are one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to relax immediately. And the best part… this strategy can be done anywhere!  All you need to do is take a deep breath in and slowly breath out and repeat steadily for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing and feel the tension release from your body.

Connect with nature. Spending just a few minutes outside is all you need to disconnect when you feel stressed. Go for a short walk, or simply sit outside. You don’t necessarily even have to be outside either; listening to nature sounds or looking at scenic pictures can help you relax.

Write down your thoughts. Journaling offers an abundance of benefits – from reducing stress to sparking self-discovery. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, jotting down your thoughts can help release these emotions, while also recognizing how you feel.

Plug in music and zone out. It’s no secret that listening to our favorite song is an instant mood boost. I find music as an outlet; a way to take my mind elsewhere and de-compress. Listening to soothing music can help quiet the mind, but choose whatever may bring you joy and relaxation.

Take charge and control your stress by learning how to soothe your mind, body and soul. We can’t control environmental factors, but we can control how we react to them.

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