We are a time management company
that specializes in the art of helping you
prioritize, organize and simplify your life so you
can stop managing time and start living.

Why 7 Minutes

Taking 7 Minutes every day to think... Taking 7 Minutes in the evening and 7 Minutes in the morning to decide how you will spend the minutes […]

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Our Philosophy

Time is life. We are a time management and productivity company helping people and businesses organize their lives. Life is experienced in minutes […]

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The Science

Time management is the process of choosing the length of time you will consciously and deliberately focus your attention on accomplishing […]

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The Strategy

The strategy of time management requires the allocation of attention, determination and perseverance. Time management is a skill and […]

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The 7 Minute Life gives you a structure and a framework to take 7 minutes a day to think about and plan how you will choose to spend your time. 

Improve Your Time Management in 7 Minutes

24 hours in a day. 1440 minutes in a day. 1% of your day = 14 minutes. 7 minutes in the evening-7 minutes in the morning.

With The 7 Minute Life you will learn how to leverage 1% of your day to: think, clarify, plan, prioritize, and choose how you will spend the remaining 99% of your time.

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1440
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The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner

Watch this 2 minute video to find out more about The 7 Minute Daily Planner

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Procrastination: The Cost of Pleasure vs. Pain


7 Minutes - 4 Quandrants action-procrastination pleasure-less pleasure

 

Procrastination can be summed up in five words: "I will do it tomorrow."

Procrastination is the conscious act of focusing your time and attention on pleasurable tasks and deliberately putting off important tasks until a later time.


Note from Allyson:

Many of you know I have ADD. Procrastination is a daily battle for me. The four quadrant chart shown above is my personal attempt to understand why procrastination is such a powerful problem for millions of people across the world. Let me walk you through this graphic illustration.

Procrastination can be seen as the polar opposite of taking action, and every decision for how we will spend our limited time is placed on a continuum of pleasure versus pain.

This is an overview of the four quadrants:

Quadrant 1: Pleasure and Procrastination
This section is shown in the bottom left of the chart. This quadrant explains the enticing combination of pleasure and procrastination. The definition of procrastination is choosing to focus your attention on pleasurable activities at the expense of neglecting important projects. The motivations for procrastinating include: having a lack of direction,  not knowing what to do first, working on low value activities that take very little effort to complete, and talking about how you plan to accomplish a task rather than completing the project. Distractions such as email, text messaging, and social media should be viewed as "time thieves." Even planning and focusing too much time on researching how you need to work on a project is a form of procrastination. And, the most obvious reason we struggle with procrastination is that the work we need to do is not fun.

Quadrant 2: Procrastination and Pain
This section is shown in the bottom right of the chart. This quadrant deals with the core issues of why procrastination is a constant mental battle. Pain is a gift. Pain protects our physical bodies from harm. However, the pain I share in this quadrant are problems that can be corrected. Moving from chaos to clarity, developing self-motivation and drive, focusing on helping your teammates and co-workers, cleaning up your surroundings, and working from a realistic time frame are individual skills that dramatically improve personal productivity. And, even more importantly removing this type of pain from your work and home life creates an environment of personal growth and fulfillment.

Quadrant 3: Pain and Action
This section is shown in the top right of the chart. This quadrant is where we begin to believe we have a right to procrastinate. When faced with staff meetings, long hours, no clear deadlines or milestones, being assigned to work on tedious and uninspiring tasks when you believe you are not given enough time is demoralizing and painful. It has often been said, "Successful people are willing to do what the unsuccessful people choose not to do." Perseverance and grit are the character traits needed to plow through these obstacles. Taking action that moves your company forward is often painful. Yet, the people we call gifted are willing to push through pain. Consider the unimaginable pain of training for the Olympics, the fortitude of what it takes to become a neurosurgeon, the number of hours musicians spend practicing, and the constant risk and failure required to create new innovations. Pain and action create strength and motivation.

Quadrant 4: Action and Pleasure
This section is shown in the top left of the chart. This quadrant is for individuals who develop new skills and embrace the concept of continual learning. Don't we all want clear objectives to lead us, giving us the freedom to work on important tasks that bring out the best in us? We all want to be a part of a team where communication and collaboration provide the opportunity to accomplish challenging goals. Positive action does bring internal pleasure, but as I age, purpose is becoming more important than pleasure.

Purpose is the opposite of procrastination. Purpose can not be boxed into a quadrant on a chart.

  • Purpose is what you do for others
  • Purpose is using your gifts and talents to change the world
  • Love is the foundation of purpose

 

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Improve your Time Management by Improving your Personal Technology Skills

Are you wasting time every day trying to figure out which button to push on your computer?  Take a class to improve your technology skills.  You could reclaim an amazing amount of time by knowing how to effectively utilize simple computer tools.


Improving your time management will boil down to one intentional choice:

  1. you can choose to create an "educational budget" for continual learning
  2. you can choose to remain frustrated and waste time everyday struggling with technology

A Short List of Common Devices and Programs


Note from Allyson: Lynda.com is my primary technology learning source. I have added clickable links to the appropriate locations for common devices and software in the list shown above. These are online video courses vary in length and are broken down into short segments. Each course has exponentially increased my knowledge and productivity. I am not receiving any form of compensation for this endorsement. I am only a long-term fan.

About Lynda.com

Lynda.com is a leading online learning company that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

Membership Plans Offered by Lynda.com

Lynda.com offers a variety of membership plan options beginning with Basic Membership cost of $25 per month. Click Here to view the membership plans and their costs.

 

 

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Five Ways to Increase Your Attention Span: #1 Stretch

People often ask me, "Allyson, how can I improve my time management? I am always distracted. It is like I am spinning in circles. I need to learn how to increase my attention span."

How to Increase Your Attention Span

Paying attention and learning how to focus your total concentration is a skill, not a personality trait.

Your attention oscillates throughout the day. Here are FIVE common-sense ways to increase your attention span to improve your time management and daily productivity. Understand the concept of attentional oscillation:

    • Stretch
      Humans are not built to sit at their desk all day. As your body tires your productivity eventually hits an invisible wall. Stretching increases your blood flow and can kick start your ability to complete the project or task you are working on. Stand up. Raise your arms above your head as high as you can and stretch.
    • Sleep
      The National Sleep Foundation recommends that an adult between the ages of 26 - 64 requires seven to nine hours of sleep. (Click on the link below the image to read the entire article and enlarge their sleep chart.) You can improve your attention span by choosing to sleep.Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 10.41.11 PM

http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

  • Food
    When you are hungry it is difficult to pay attention.  Your body has a hierarchy of needs. The need for food is stronger than your desire to finish a task. It is almost impossible to concentrate when  your subconscious thoughts are generated from your stomach and not your brain. Keep healthy snacks in your office and eat small portions of food throughout the day.
  • Water
    Are you really drinking 64 ounces of water everyday? The human brain needs hydration to function.
  • Stress
    Procrastination, distraction, interruption and indecision create stress and anxiety in your daily work. Ruminating about what you should have done yesterday or worrying about the report due tomorrow means you are focusing your time, your energy and your attention not focusing on what you should be doing right now.

 

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The following paragraphs are from an interview with Joe Hardy, PhD, the senior director of research and development for the company that runs Lumosity:

“Joe Hardy, PhD, is the senior director of research and development at Lumos Labs, a company that develops computer programs designed to improve attention, memory, and cognitive processing speed. When I asked Joe about the brevity of the average attention span, he pointed out that attention is the dynamic allocation of your attentional resources. It is how you select and process specific information for dynamic and changing periods of time.
I am not sure there is a correct answer to how long a person can pay attention,” he says.
“Maybe the way to ask the question is ‘How does performance change over time as you are working on a particular task?’ The bottom line is that our ‘attentional resources’ oscillate over time; your ability to focus your attention goes up and it goes down. It’s not just that you have a limited attention span, but also that your ability to focus your attention oscillates based on your stress level, what you have eaten, how much sleep you have had, and even if you find yourself ‘bored’ with a particular task. The good news is, science is discovering multiple ways to cognitively train your brain to help you increase your attention span, your memory, and your focus.”

Excerpt from:
The 7 Minute Solution:
Time Strategies to Prioritize, Organize & Simplify your Life at Work & at Home
by Allyson Lewis
(Simon & Schuster, 2011)

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How to Have More Time in Your Day!

We find the most common questions we hear from individuals include: how can I learn how to stop the distractions and interruption is my day, I have way to many distractions, why am I procrastinating, how come I am so disorganized, I need more time, I need a lot more time.

  • "I don't have enough time."
  • “If I only had more time."
  • "I  am overwhelmed."
  • "I am stressed."
  • "I have too much to do."
  • "I will never get this project finished on time."

Imagine getting to the end of the day and being able to say, “I did everything, I said I would.” That is a great feeling. Do you ever get to do that? If you’re not doing that regularly then you may have overestimated how many projects, tasks and activities you can realistically finish in a single day.

The bottom line is that we all get the same 24 hours and 7 days a week. You can’t add to or take away from these. Highly productive people don’t think about needing more time, instead they optimize the quantity of time they have.


When you regularly find yourself saying, "I don't have enough time."

These are several of the most common culprits for not having enough time in your day. You are:

  • Over-committed to projects that are not in alignment with your role or position in your company.
  • Unable to keep commitments
  • Constantly renegotiating meeting times due to conflicts
  • Missing critical deadlines regularly
  • Too tired to manage basic chores at home
  • Double or triple booked on evenings and weekends
  • Find yourself saying, “I overwhelmed, anxious and stressed.”

For every action you take there is an opportunity cost. In other words, each time you choose to do something you are ruling out other possibilities. Given the fact that you have a finite number of hours.

Click on the Weekly Schedule PDF below. Look at the tasks you need to complete in the next week, schedule when you will do them, and mark off a realistic amount of time it will take you to start and finish each task or activity. You need to be selectivity in what you choose to do each day.

You cannot do it all.


6 time management tips to simplify your life and free up more time.

1. Simplify

Okay, it’s time to make some choices. Something is going to have to go, to make space for the things you really want. Something is going to have to go to make room for activities that produce the results you want to see. Don’t think of these as losses, rather consider them investments in the best version of yourself.

2. Pass it off

Delegate, outsource, ask a favor, trade with someone else, or whatever you can do to get low priority tasks out of your hands and into someone else’s. Keep in mind that a task you dread is likely something someone else loves. They might even do it better than you.

3. Ask for help

Even if you can’t get entirely rid of a task, adding hands to the task may expedite it off of your list. We have laundry folding parties in my home.

4. Prune

Some tasks are just time drains, such as, habitually checking Facebook, or channel surfing on television late at night. Also, some tasks that seem important on your list may not be missed even if they don’t get done. Let’s face it, if a task has been rolling over from one todo list to the next for weeks how important could it be? Prune it. Cut it off.

5. Quit

Sometimes quitting a commitment is far better for everyone than holding a position that you are ineffectively maintaining. You will be free from the guilt of not getting the job done and the board, committee, or organization you resign from will be free to replace you with someone who can dedicate the time needed to the task.

6. Renegotiate

Sometimes, you don’t need to quit, but you may need to renegotiate the level of commitment that you have. For example, a monthly commitment may need to become quarterly. Guard your docket with filter questions: Once you have established your priorities, purpose, and goals before saying yes to anything, ask yourself, “Will this move my goals forward, or is it only going to be a distraction?” That type of question is what’s known as a filter question. As you become clearer on what is truly valuable activity, you will find it easier to say no.

Conclusion

"I don't have enough time.", is a reality. The 7 Minute Life believes time management and productivity are NOT about accomplishing more every day. Our time management principle is to learn the skill of doing less so you can focus your full attention on accomplishing the right activities.

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Increase Your Productivity - Ask For Help

Asking for help with a task our a project is one of the tiny "micro-actions" we talk about at The 7 Minute Life.

Here is a best practice to improve your team's:

  • time management
  • productivity
  • efficiency
  • product management
  • goal attainment
  • loyalty
  • and, moral

Can you really increase your productivity by asking for help?

Yes! How many times during an average work day do you spend trying to figure something out? You instantly know that "you don't know" what needs to be done or how to figure out the next step you need to take to accomplish the task or project you are working on completing.

It can take more than an hour to remember how to use the needed software, or where to find the old documents that you could use as a template.


The 7 Minute Life Time Management: Your Highest and Best (stroke and copyright)

Your Highest and Best

What is the best use of your time right now. Are you working on tasks and projects you love to do and have the strengths and aptitudes to complete them in an efficient manor?

The Importance of Knowing "Your Highest and Best"

The 7 Minute Life is a time management training and coaching company. It only makes sense that when you are working on projects you love to do, your productivity will instantly increase.

When you are assigned projects in alignment with your personal strengths then you find challenge, excitement and fulfillment in your daily work.

How to Use this Powerful Time Management Worksheet

  1. Click Here to Download the Highest and Best Worksheet
  2. Schedule a time for yourself and your entire team to complete each section of the exercise.
  3. Make sure each team member writes down at least ten statements for each section:
    - what do you love to do at work
    - what do you believe are your personal strengths
    - what are your "highest value activities"
    - and, how would you like to be rewarded at work
  4. Take time to break into smaller groups and review your
    answers and discuss your thoughts about what you
    have learned about each other.

 

Below is a handwritten copy of one of my recent "Highest and Best" worksheets:

 

7 Minutes Allyson's Highest and Best

 

What I Love to Do At Work:

  1. Write
  2. Create the unimagined
  3. Help people financially
  4. Help people learn
  5. Have and lead and amazing team
  6. Connect people
  7. Design products
  8. Market
  9. Sell
  10. Dream
[one_half_last]
My Strengths:

  1. I don't fear failing
  2. I am an optimist
  3. I am a leader
  4. I am smart
  5. I can inspire others to take action
  6. I believe in my work
  7. I have ADD (therefore) I have lots of ideas
  8. I have capital
  9. I believe BIG and wonderful things
  10. I believe God's hand is my guide[/one_half_last]
My "Highest Value Activities" Are:

  1. Read the Bible / Pray / Seek His Direction
  2. Create a Goals / Roadmap
  3. Assign tasks to specific people
  4. With deadlines and expectations
  5. Work / delegate to an administrative assistant
  6. Sell / Contact new people
  7. Connect now
  8. Talk to influencers / be mentored
  9. Create the coaching program
  10. Create our joint venture launch

[one_half_last]
I Like to be Rewarded By:

  1. I want my office to be completely organized
  2. I want others to work
  3. The work is the reward
  4. I want to include my children
  5. Sharing Hope with others
  6. Teaching / Traveling
  7. Value = Financial Success
  8. Giving money away
  9. Verbal affirmation
  10. Acts of Kindness[/one_half_last]

Personal Note from Allyson:

Working through this "Highest and Best" worksheet every 90 days is a profound reminder of four signification aspects of our daily work that affect much more than my productivity and efficiency. When I am assigned and working on tasks and projects that I love to do, have the strengths to accomplish, know what I value as my the best activities I bring to work and know that my teammates clearly know the rewards that encourage me - the outcome of this is:

  • My work is meaningful and I believe it is making a difference in our company and the people we serve.
  • The projects I am asked to work on are challenging and interesting to me and these activities make my work more of a mission than a job
  • Having everyone on my team know what I believe are my "Highest Value Activities" let's them know how I would like to spend my time moving our company forward and adding value to our friends, fans and other people looking to The 7 Minute Life to improve their time management so they can re-connect with the values, priorities and purpose that is most important to them. When I know I am working on my "Highest Value Activities" I completely re-engage with my daily work.
  • And, finally there is no doubt that I am a self-motivated person. And, having a clear view of my rewards creates an urgency and excitement to complete each of my projects

The opposite of all of this is finding yourself working on a project you "HATE" to do, knowing you do not have the knowledge or strengths to accomplish the tasks (this feeling fills you with stress and anxiety and frustration), having no idea of how you can use one of your "highest value activities" to focus your attention on accomplishing the task you have been given to complete, which means that project will not be completed on time or with the information needed to move your business to a higher level.


The answer is to know your team members.

If you have been asked to work on a task you hate, ask a person you know would love to work on that very same task to help you.

If you become frustrated and angry because you can't figure out what you should do next, ask the person who has the aptitudes and strengths to mentor you through the sequences of completion.

Do not be afraid to ask for help.

Asking for help is one of the best time management tips.

 


 

 

The 7 Minute Life is a time management speaking, training and executive coaching company.
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_MG_1893 copyCalling all supporters and friends... We want to feature you on our website!

Submit your photos and story to:
info@the7 minutelife.com

We want you to share your story of what The 7 Minute Life has meant to you.

We are building an entire section of our website featuring friends and supporters of The 7 Minute Life. Sharing real stories to encourage one another and to help us spread our mission.

We are looking for long time advocates as well as those new to The 7 Minute Life time management workshops, books, planners, coaching, tools and ideas.
________________________________________________________________________________

We will need a photo of you in real life (not just a head shot) working, walking, being with your family, working on a hobby, coaching a baseball team or volunteering with your favorite charity. These are some examples:

 

What time management stories should you share? I believe time management is "life management." By sharing our stories of life together we will be able to share a message of hope.

tsml smiling faces people

 

Send us your story.
Help us spread the message of The 7 Minute Life.
You are the reason we exist!

Submit your photos and story to:
info@the7 minutelife.com

These are sample questions you might answer - feel free to add any other information you would like to share. What we are looking for are stories and these questions will serve as a guideline for these beautiful stories.

  1. What is your profession?
  2. Why do you want to improve your personal time management skills" and how were you introduced to the 7 Minute Life.
  3. Describe what difficulties you were facing that led you to look for time management tools and strategies.
  4. What is the one tool/tip/strategy that you would recommend to the people reading this?
  5. What is the one tool/tip/strategy that you continue to use in your daily life and has now become a habit as a result of the 7 Minute Life?
  6. What do you enjoy most about your life?

I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

Submit your photos and story to:
info@the7 minutelife.com

Allyson


 

For years I wanted to go skydiving. The photo below was taken of me skydiving in July of 2014. I loved it.

"Life is a journey. Journey On!"

BW Allyson Skydiving copy

PS We can't wait to see the extra creativity when you shoot a quick 2 minute video from your cellphone and talk about the 7 Minute Life!

Submitting images and stories to info@the7minutelife.com
will serve as permission to feature you on our website and social media outlets.

The 7 Minute Life
a time management speaking, training and executive coaching company.

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