Out of control?

 Chase and the Seals - Santa Barbara

Chase and the Seals - Santa Barbara

Have you ever felt like you're out on the open seas being tossed in the waves, vulnerable to oncoming ships and sea life? I have. In fact, that's exactly how I felt when we took our kayak out of the Santa Barbara harbor to see the seals perched out on a buoy. The farther out we went, the larger the waves, the more water we took on, and the faster the huge ships came at us. Once we had circled the seal-laden buoy, I was ready to head for the safety of the harbor.

Dictionary.com says that "control" means to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command. There's a lot in life that we can't control; the threat of a terrorist attack, a suffering economy, traffic, and the choices of those around us. Scott and I couldn't control the waves, the ships, or the choice of a seal to use our kayak as a play toy. What we could control was the direction and intensity with which we paddled.

Life can often feel out of control. Today's Timely Tips are designed to help you paddle toward calmer seas in today's busy times.

Here's a pic of the seals and our son, Chase, on a calmer day. We didn't dare take our camera/phone out of the Ziplock on our stormy voyage! 

TIMELY TIPS - Control What You Can
  1. Write down your top five life values and use them to determine what you keep and let go of in your schedule, home, and office.

  2. Schedule time on your calendar with your spouse/kids/friends. Just because it's important, doesn't mean it will happen automatically.

  3. List and commit to your "No-Matter-Whats," the few things you decide that are important enough to do daily/weekly even when life throws you a wrench. 

  4. Set boundaries for tech tools i.e. turn your phone on silent when working on a project, schedule specific times and time limits to check email, Facebook, surf the net, etc.

  5. Know where your car keys are all the time - assign a specific pocket in your purse or briefcase. If shared, use a hook by the garage door or a spot in a drawer where everyone places them when not in use (a small act with big returns when it comes to reducing stress and wasted time).

  6. Plan your meals ahead a week at a time.

  7. Prepare for the next day's activities the night before, choosing wardrobe, preparing items for errands, gathering paperwork, packing kids' homework in backpacks, etc.

  8. Schedule a 10-minute buffer around appointments.

  9. Set up a system for incoming mail and long-term filing to avoid paper piles.

  10. Attend the Organizing Your Paper, Space, and Life class! : )