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What Gets in the Way- When you are Designing Your Day?

You get up. Get ready. Today is an open book. Today I have a little time. Today I am not booked solid….I can “finally” catch up.

Sound familiar? Does it work? Many times – no.

What gets in YOUR way? Sue West and I explore this as part of our Perspectives Podcast Series. Listen here: WHAT gets in your way? or read on.

Sue: Well, whether we like it or not, we have arrived. It’s 2014, another ball has dropped, and we are hearing, and could be feeling, “this year will be different”. But is that little voice in your head saying….really? Why should it be any different THIS time?

Carol: Hi, this is Carol Williams, productivity coach at EpS, Efficient Productivity Systems.

Sue: And this is Sue West, AD/HD and life transitions coach

We have joined together as the Design Your Days Duo for this series of audio interviews to give you short, “use today” pieces of advice, in 5 to 8 minutes. If you like this podcast, please LIKE our Facebook page for tips on your news feed several times a week.

Carol: As you may know, Sue and I take participants in our Design Your Days workshops through our unique process of What, Why, Wants and How. Today we’re going to focus on WHAT – What gets in your Way when you are designing your day? We’ve chosen two of the most common themes we hear and we’ll offer strategies for effectively addressing those WHATS.

Sue: “I know I am at my best, when I’m feeling organized.” That’s what a client said to me about her business and about her life in general. She went on to say “I’m an organized person.”  “My business started growing. I wasn’t really paying attention; I was just getting the work done. Now, I turn around and yikes – I’m lost and overwhelmed,” So I asked what gets in her way of getting back on track, she said this:

“I don’t know how to prioritize. It ALL seems important.” And that was a familiar statement.

If this sounds like you, here are key questions to start designing your own solution:

  1. You need one place to put everything, so that you have an accurate picture of everything you need to do, BEFORE you set priorities. How well is your “capture” tool – paper or technology – working for you?
  2. How often are you looking at your list? Should be morning and end of day, plus if something big changes during the day – not an email hijacking your priorities, but a bonafide reason to change priorities set earlier in the day.
  3. What makes something a priority in your world? This you may have to notice for yourself as you sit to review your list tomorrow. For example, today, my highest priority items went like this: scheduling several client meetings, talking to a prospective client for awhile, answering a few questions about my Board work, interruption by the new person who will be doing the plowing at my house, writing my mother with info I’d promised because she only has email two days a week, and writing this podcast, because we both wanted a day or two to review and practice. So, my priorities were based on: client relationships, future client potential, response time standards I have for Board emails, the knock at the door by Mike, my mother’s constraint of the two days, and a deadline Carol and I decided on. See it’s not just money and deadlines; it’s more complex, and quite unique to each of us and what’s going on in our world.

Carol: Sometimes we hear about how “holidays” get in our way. We hear something like, “If it weren’t for all the “extra” of the season, I’d be more organized”. The solution lies in learning from those experiences. Since we are now past the holiday season (even though I WAS humming at the beginning of this…yes…) it’s still fresh in our minds. What could we have done differently to ease the stress a bit, as we look back? Record this in your new calendar for 2014 in a place where you will see it at the end of October. That’s right, start planning right around Halloween for what’s to come. When you make the time to reduce, eliminate, or delegate some of the tasks associated with the holidays, while embracing the traditions you hold dear and allowing time for those, the season will be much more joyful and you will emerge on January 1 feeling ready for the new year.

For example, I have a client who has recently downsized her home. Many of the family’s belongings that relate to “annual” decorations are kept in a storage facility. She recently recounted a meltdown that she had in December when finding that she had 8 bins of holiday “stuff” to find a place for. Much of it was given to her by a well-meaning relative. Her husband gently suggested that they choose only 2 bins and leave the other 6 in storage, at least for this year. They decorated together that night, and delighted their children in the morning. The message here is “How Much Stuff Is Enough?” Are your memories weighing you down? If so, find ways to let them go and get the extra weight OUT OF YOUR WAY.

Sue: To wrap up, we just provided two examples of What might Get In Your way when designing your day. If these struck a chord with you, we know you’ll get much more benefit from our Design Your Days workshop on Friday Jan 31 at 9 am at the Center of Health Promotion in concord. Register by calling them at 603.230.1121. Or you can check our Facebook page, Design Your Days, which has the signup link too.

In the next podcast we hit the next question, WHY? as we will continue to move through the Design Your Days process. At the end of about 12 podcasts, you will look back and find that we’ve provided an excellent overview of our process.


If you cannot attend our January session, we offer the Design Your Days workshop to YOUR group of business owners, so please contact one of us for more information and to get us on your schedule.

Again, you can find us on Facebook as Design Your Days or contact us individually through websites:

Sue’s is

Carol’s is

If you found our advice valuable, please consider sharing our podcast or blog with colleagues and friends.


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