Time-Management and Scheduling

If you are stressed out, and trying to figure out how to be more productive and efficient with your time there are three things you must use to be successful. They are: (1) an individualized 90-Day Action Plan, (2) a Weekly Must-Do List, and (3) a Daily Plan of the Day.

  1. 1.       90-Day Action Plan

How will you know if you are more efficient with your time if you do not have a plan to follow the goals that are most important to you? A 90-Day Action Plan is a detailed plan that puts your dreams and visions for what you believe will make you successful in life into action. It is based upon your preferences, talents, and desires to fulfill your potential—whether it has to do with developing your personal interests, relationships, professional advancement, spiritual growth and/or achieving balance.

So the first step is identifying where you are going and how you will get there. It takes a minimum of 90 days to begin adapting new habits. As you identify long term goals, you then make it manageable by focusing on what you can change within the next three months. How will you know where you’re going or if what you’re doing will get you there if you haven’t taken the time to spell out what you want and what is important to you?

  1. 2.       Weekly Must-Do List

Within the 90-Day Action Plan are action steps. For my clients we often chunk into daily tasks, weekly actions, and monthly activities. The key here in your first 90-days is to figure out your pacing. How quickly do you want to move out of your comfort zone, experience new things, and change to align with your vision? Next, you have to figure out how adept you are at setting mini-goals for yourself. After you identify your action steps, and you’ve inputted the steps into your planner or monthly calendar, it is helpful to utilize a weekly list.

On this weekly list you write down the things you must complete by the end of the week. This helps create a theme and to focus your attention on the things which absolutely have to be done to keep you moving toward your goal. You fill these activities in for the upcoming week, and then schedule other activities around these MUST-DO activities. This quickly sets your priorities. From here you learn the art of saying no to people and resources that may be draining your time and energy away from what’s important to you.

  1. 3.       Daily Plan of the Day

The weekly list focuses your attention, where the daily plan keeps you accountable to actually completing the action steps. When you first start out you can easily become frustrated when you over- or under-estimate how long it takes you to complete the activities you identify as being essential. However, using all three lists lets you stay focused on your long-term goal, while also planning for life’s unexpected events. If you get sick, injured, or you’re waiting on someone else’s schedule, creating a daily plan for each day lets you adapt to the uncertainties while still staying focused on your end results.

Utilizing a coach to help you create and implement your 90-Day Action Plan keeps you honest. When we begin to get overwhelmed, we often let things slide. Not so with a coach. They will trouble-shoot with you if there are any setbacks. They also use testing and measuring to pick up on your patterns and trends that you may not be able to see objectively by yourself. The only way we get better is if we build new skill sets by learning new things, and then making them habits. As you learn how to set your priorities to manage your time more effectively, these three tools: the 90 Day Action Plan, a Weekly Must-Do List, and a Daily Plan of the Day ensure you stay focused on what really matters to you: fulfilling the vision of your best possible self.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Why Women Prefer Influence Over Power

By Joanne Cleaver | September 29, 2010

Since 1981, Joanne Cleaver has been reporting on all aspects of business for national and regional newspapers, magazines and websites. Numerous magazine and industry “best employers for women” lists use the equity index she developed to rank companies according to the presence (or not) of women in their executive ranks. She also leads the research firm Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., where her team measures and supports the advancement of women in accounting, cable, finance and other industries. Yes, she has an opinion: that when women fully engage in all business operations, companies will make more money in more ways.

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Why don’t women want to embrace the P word?

That’s P as in ‘power.’ Men don’t have that problem. They love it, which explains the entire Gordon Gekko franchise.

When consultant Maddy Dychtwald started looking at the rising economic power of women, she wasn’t surprised to detect their aversion to the ‘P’ word and corresponding affection for the ‘I’ word: influence. That’s why she named her book “Influence: How Womens Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better” (Hyperion, May 2010).

But she thinks that women are in the process of redefining influence and power, precisely because they are becoming more comfortable with their power. Power is about “owning, individually, and taking control. Influence is about taking that power and running it out all over the place,” she told me in a recent interview. “The three stages of economic power are survival, self-sufficiency, and influence with corporations and politicians. That’s the next step women will take.”

This year, with women becoming fully half the workforce, we’ve reached a tipping point; despite spotty traction in getting to parity in management,  Dychtwald thinks that the long-quantified “three women” dynamic on boards will catalyze womens’ widespread rise to senior positions. The “three women” dynamic is that one woman on a board (typically a group of 12 to 15) is a token. Two women often spark conflict, but when there are three or more women, collaboration breaks out and women substantively affect group dynamics and decisions.

Simply by being aware of that dynamic women can leverage it, she adds: “Use your influence not just for your own career, but for those around you and for your company and its direction.”


Do Women and Men Have Different Remote Work Styles?

By Wayne Turmel

July 5th, 2010 @ 3:45 am

Everybody knows that men and women think differently in a lot of ways. But do those differences matter when it comes to working remotely and managing remote teams? According to Sally Helgesen, it matters a lot. Managers who don’t appreciate those distances can do themselves, their companies and those employees a great disservice.

Sally is the author of “The Female-Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work”. She cites scientific studies that show how a woman’s brain functions in different ways than a man’s.  How they differ is important, particularly for managers who might not be aware of these conflicting world views or assign value to behaviors that don’t get the desired results.

According to Helgesen, one major difference is that women tend to be highly skilled multitaskers, while men are able to concentrate on one thing for more concentrated periods. Neuroscientific research confirms this, and women often take pride in their ability to handle a ton of things at once. This is a plus and a minus, for women and for those who manage them.

“I believe it’s a core reason that women can tend to over-commit. Those who manage women remotely can benefit from understanding this, especially since excessive multi-tasking can lead to burnout and inhibit creative thought,” she says. Managers need to watch out for signs that someone is stressed out.

On the flip side, a man’s ability to focus on one thing for a long time can be seen as beneficial, but it can also lead to tunnel vision and an insensitivity to people and behavior not seen as “mission critical”. There’s also a tendency to believe that the amount of time spent on something equals better results, something that is often not true as short bursts of concentration tend to bear better fruit than agonizing over something for extended periods.

One major difference between the sexes that really impacts managers is that women are (in general) more likely to speak up if they’re unhappy about their immediate circumstances and environment, while men tend to suffer in silence. (Helgesen’s term for it is ” men will suck it up and tolerate a lot more for a lot longer”). This doesn’t mean that the woman’s complaints are without merit, or that men don’t experience the same misery and are equally unhappy. But if a woman mentions that something is wrong, she might be seen as a complainer by her male manager. Conversely, a female manager might take a man’s stoicism as being uncommunicative or not proactively trying to improve a situation. Such value judgments can seriously harm a working relationship.

Without the daily contact and familiarity of working in the same location, it can often be difficult for managers to really understand what’s going on with their team. One person’s laserlike focus is another person’s antisocial moping. A willingness to abide short term discomfort for long-term goal needs to be balanced with a willingness to change and improve the current situation.

Understanding how gender impacts behavior is only one more reason good leaders take the time to get to know their people and look at results, not at specific behavior that can be misinterpreted.



How Do You Define Success?

Every individual has a different definition of success. As you go through the coaching process of identifying what your goals are and how you would go about achieving them in a step-by-step manner you often find that your desire or yearning brings you closer to the talents you were innately born. When you begin to peel back the layers of dissatisfaction, much like you would when peeling back the rough, dirty exterior of a vidalia onion—you will see there is a fresh sweetness to your inner passions and purpose for life. You work past and through your fears to a state of living where there is a balance of work and play. Stress levels go down, you embody Joie de Vivre, and your excitement for life is contagious again.

There comes a point in a coaching relationship where your coach may ask if the goals you are setting for yourself are ego-driven or something deeper. When your goals are tied into fulfilling your passions they are generally linked in to how you can use your talents to contribute back to the communities that are important to you in your life. Ask yourself:

  • What really interests me?
  • What do I get fired up about when I see injustices being done?
  • What lessons have I learned from my setbacks?
  • When I thought I was going in one direction and that door closed—what door opened?
  • If I had all the time in the world, what would I like to do best with and for other people?

When people make shallow goals they often find dissatisfaction and resistance to obtaining what they think they need or want. A more well-rounded way to establish successful goals is to tie those goals to our gifts, talents, and abilities. It is then our lives become fulfilled and purpose-driven, because we are connected into building up a community that is more than just our petty wants or materialistic desires.

“Comparison is the enemy of contentment.” –Kenneth Boa

Materialistic goals are typically ego-driven. A good coach will help you identify how to divorce your desire from your ego, so that when you are setting up your 90-Day Action Plans to achieve your goals—the goals are coming from a genuine place of fulfilling the vision you have of yourself at your very best potential. As you pull out what you will be doing on a daily basis that will enable you to share your talents today…you just may find that your definition of success is clarified.

Even if you have set quantitative and monetary aims, instead of the goals being driven by pride, self-aggrandizement, or recognition, they will be focused on how your strengths will be giving back and connecting you in to make the world you live in a better place. You will then turn from the fear and resistance your ego has been throwing up to hinder you from achieving your absolute potential. Instead, your actions and decisions will be coming from your genuine self. It is in this reframing of how you are living your life, you will find that success has always been here as long as you spend most of your day in the activities that are your talents to share.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo


Is your lack of Gender Intelligence impacting your stress levels and your ability to manage stress?

John Gray, Ph.D’s , original work, Men are from Mars Women are from Venus, has touched many men and women around the world with its simple, but powerful message that men and women are fundamentally different….. and that knowing those differences and consciously applying that knowledge is guaranteed to improve our relationships, stress management, communication and sales.

But how many of those people are actually using that knowledge of gender difference to improve their lives and businesses?

Mars Venus Coaching is a global business dedicated to helping men and women to be more effective by becoming more gender intelligent.

In his recent book, “Why Mars and Venus Collide” John Gray, Ph.D. helps us understand how the Mars and Venus differences affect our management of stress.  He explains the brain structure and functioning and the effects of different hormones in management of stress.

Do you know…

  • The role cortisol plays in stress?
  • That women have a limbic system that is 10 time larger than a man’s?  What does that mean and what are the implications for our management of stress?
  • That men and women approach a daily to-do list differently?  Why does that matter?
  • Why women need to talk when they are under stress?
  • Why understanding the role of testosterone is important for both men and women to know?
  • That men’s irritability and grumpiness can be understood and managed better?
  • What oxytocin is and why should we care?

These and many other questions are addressed in the Mars Venus “Practicing Safe Stress” workshops.

Ed Wykman, Mars Venus Coach



Investing in Women

A discussion on the economic benefits of investing in women with Sandra Lawson, Dina Powell and Lisa Shalett.

<a href="http://www2.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/women-and-economics/investing-in-women/index.html?cid=PS_01_19_07_99_01_01#] Investing in Women“>http://www2.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/women-and-economics/investing-in-women/index.html?cid=PS_01_19_07_99_01_01#] Investing in Women

Ninety percent of all revenues that women gain in their enterprises are reinvested into society, into educating their children, into healthcare programs…It’s a very interesting moment in this issue of investing in women and in women’s empowerment globally.

– Dina Powell

There are very few topics in economics where people are in agreement over what should be done and the benefits of doing it, and this is really the only one that I have seen. So much so that people now say let’s stop talking about the benefits of investing in women. Let’s just do it and let’s figure out how to do it well.

– Sandra Laws


Finding Success in Failure

The key to life is resiliency. Our ability to dust our knees off, figure out how we fell, and how we can prevent ourselves from falling over that exact same log again is part of the equation. The other part is being able to analyze how we ended up with a different result than we intended, and how to grow from this learning opportunity.

“It takes sixty-five thousand errors before you are qualified to make a rocket.”

–Werhner von Braun

As I found the two quotes for this article, I had to struggle with whether or not I even saw setbacks as failures. Part of my resistance is because I chose early in life to see everything as a growth opportunity. When I’d fall off my bike, I’d get back on. Lesson: don’t ride head-on into a curb it will rise to meet you. As a military child, I’d notice if I was a little too introverted at one school, then when we’d move to another school and I’d put my fears aside and work at being more extroverted. As a result I was class president one year, vice president the next, varsity lettered in 4 sports, and bounced through 4 high schools, became a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, and then a Marine Corps officer. I survived 25 plus moves and we’re still counting the moves for my husband’s military career.  That’s why when I say the key to life is resiliency, I say this because we are always growing and changing. Change is our only constant reality. Regardless if you live in the same place your whole life, or move around and start over each move like me—the satisfaction, zest for life, success, and joy in life is in embracing this constant state of change and renewal.

If you are having trouble finding committed relationships or in pursuing a goal to completion. We’ve all been there. The way you move through and past whatever fear block you’ve thrown in your way is to learn new skills and then try them out. You won’t know if they work until you use them and see for yourself if it works for you.

“Any many can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.”

–Marcus Tullius Cicero

The only way to cope better with the downs (and ups) is to increase our resiliency skills. This is done through:

(1)     Learning more assertive communication,

(2)    Being able to use emotions as an intuitive tool to indicate when you or someone else is out of sync with harmony, and

(3)    Understanding another’s point of view through gender intelligence.

Along the way you pick up more insight and awareness to what really matters to you, what you’re passionate about, and how you can align yourself with people and places that will enable you to realize your dreams.

If you are stuck making the same mistakes the way you learn is by seeking out new interpretations and answers. By allowing yourself to be vulnerable you let in the possibility of others helping you grow. In letting new ideas and people into your life you gain a new way or friend that arms you for the next setback. Leaning temporarily on others who have the knowledge, experience, and compassion can spur your growth faster than going it alone. Coaches in this way are phenomenal, because they are right there with you and your fear. Learning how to work past the resistance to try again or try something new is a beautiful journey with success as part of the process.

What is so exciting about rising from failure is that over time, as you learn how to grow from setbacks; you learn that as one door is closing, another will always be opening. And the quicker you see a door closing and embrace the closure instead of resisting it, there is less pain, the setback can be more objectively seen as a growth opportunity (and not an attack on you or your ego). This always leads to a better reinvention of you and how you are able to connect and respond more intimately with all those people and things you care about.  Success is yours if you are willing to embrace and grow from what’s holding you back from experiencing your absolute potential.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations


Feeling Overwhelmed?

Are you burned out from doing too many things all of the time? Here are four things you can do on a daily basis to proactively feel energized and stress-free. There is one question you need to ask and remind yourself of daily to help you reprioritize what’s important to you. What is your strategic objective? The second thing you must do to feel and be on top of things is to prioritize what must be done and finished each day. And the third thing: work your to-do list. If you’re thinking, “yeah, but I already do this” or “right—that’s not gonna work.” The one thing you may have forgotten to include on your to-do list is: PLAY! And play is non-negotiable, it’s even more important than your dentist appointment or paying your bills.

Let me explain.

Tip #1: What is Your Strategic Objective?

Another way to ask this is what is your purpose in life? Or another way is to look at the patterns in your life of lessons learned…and ask yourself what are the themes that consistently run through your life? For some people it may be to help others, or to grow well-adjusted kids within an in-tact family, or to pursue your talents in a job that pays well and lets you find balance.

If you can identify what motivates you to accomplish things that make you feel complete and successful in life—you can then cross off anything on your calendar that is a TIME WASTER. If you’re doing something that doesn’t fit with your vision for yourself, then don’t do it. If you have to do it, then figure out a way to relate it to your strategic objective. Otherwise you will wind up grumpy and dissatisfied or like you’re always doing for other people. If you don’t know what your vision, strategic objective, or life purpose is—explore. Find it. And then make sure 80% of your day is taken up with doing activities that relates to this purpose.

Tip #2: Create a Weekly To-Do List AND Daily Plan of the Day

Items needed: Calendar/Planner, Weekly To-Do List, Daily To-Do List, Pen, 20 minutes 1x/week, Partner and/or Kids (if you’re in a relationship and/or raising a family)

On your calendar put down any appointments or things you have scheduled involving other people/work/exercise/meal preparation/bill paying/kids.

Then look at the next seven days. On your Weekly To-Do List write out all of your to-do’s that relate to your strategic objective first. Then write out the activities from you calendar.

Looking at this list highlight or circle those that are urgent—meaning they must be completed this week. Underline or highlight in a different color those things that are important.

If there are things that are neither urgent or important, then send regrets or reschedule to a more open week.

Tip #3: Create a Daily To-Do List, 7 days a week

Items needed: Weekly To-Do List, Daily To-Do List, Pen, Highlighter(s), 15 minutes each day

Block out 2-4 hours each day for YOU. This can be done in increments of 5 minutes or in 2 hour blocks. This time you are blocking out is for you to do stress-reducing activities aside from working out. These stress-reducing activities are for you to spend time EVERY day slowing down the pace, and doing activities that rejuvenate and refocus you. They are non-negotiable. And it doesn’t work if you save up for rainy days. Your body needs this TIME to slow down and replenish it’s stress-reducing hormones.

Each evening before you go to bed make a daily plan for the following day of what HAS to get done (i.e. your URGENT items). If you didn’t finish something from the day before, it goes to the top of your list for the following day.

In the morning re-visit the list you made from last night.

If you’re working with a coach, then your strategic objective would also incorporate visualizing the KPIs you’ve set for yourself and your identified goals.

Tip #4: Play

Take your lunch breaks, drop what you’re doing when you begin to feel overwhelmed or stressed out and do an oxytocin-producing activity if you’re a woman, or a testosterone-producing activity if you’re a man to flush the stress-producing hormone, cortisol, out of your system.

Seize the day.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations