The Most Wonderful and Stressful Time of the Year!

ChristmasPresentsWhen my daughter, Michele, was three years old, she stayed home with Daddy while I went Christmas shopping with a girlfriend. Of course, we didn’t get started shopping until we had put in a full day’s work. When I finally got home well after 10 pm, my girlfriend and I walked through the door with our arms full of packages and shopping bags.

All of a sudden, my little girl pops up, puts her finger to her mouth and says, “Shhh, Daddy’s sleeping!”

It was one of those moments where I was totally frazzled and exhausted but couldn’t help laughing hysterically. Now that I think about it, I wonder if there was a concierge to do my Christmas shopping for me more than 20 years ago!

According the National Retail Federation, American families will spend an average of $684 on holiday gifts this year. That’s a lot of stuff. And a lot of time shopping.

Even if you do most of your shopping online, it doesn’t happen in one sitting. You also have to open packages as they arrive at your door and keep everything organized.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who wraps gifts as they buy them, so you should set aside at least a couple of hours for wrapping. Of course, you have to buy wrapping paper, gift bags, tape and tags.
Is your card list up to date? Has anyone moved? Are you planning to design and order cards with photos of your kids or grandkids? You’ll have to allow an extra week or so to have them printed and shipped before you stuff them in envelopes, address them, add postage and bring them to the post office.
Most people pull the Christmas tree out of the attic or basement around Thanksgiving, which begins the monumental task of decorating. From outdoor lights to antique figurines to stockings hung by the chimney with care, decorating can take a full day or even a weekend.

HolidayDessertsAre you hosting out-of-town guests? That means you can’t dump everything in the spare bedroom to get it out of sight. The room has to be clean, and you should probably put fresh linens on the bed.

Are you hosting a family gathering or planning the office holiday party? Time to start figuring out the menu and a schedule for cooking and baking. If you’re in charge of the office party, I hope you’ve settled on a venue by now.

I really hope you’re rewarding yourself with a vacation during the holidays. Some people think it just adds to the stress, but once you book the flight and accommodations, figure out airport transportation and pack, it will be totally worth it.

Welcome to the holiday season! It’s the most wonderful – and stressful – time of the year. But we can help. Contact us so we can help you create a to-do list and let Time Well Spent take care of some of these tasks for you.

Why Put Off Till Tomorrow What We Can Do for You Today?

All of us have been guilty of procrastination.

Whether it was work you didn’t feel like doing, an exercise program you didn’t feel like starting, a phone call you didn’t feel like making, or a tedious little task you’ve been avoiding like the plague, everyone has put things off from time to time.

The problem with procrastination is that you’re assuming you’ll have time tomorrow to accomplish the task you should be doing today.

That’s not always the case.

How many times have you felt like you’ve finally gotten ahead of things at work, only to have an avalanche of stuff fall onto your lap in a matter of 15 minutes? At the bottom of that avalanche is that one thing you could have gotten done but chose to avoid.

Suppose you need to do a few things around the house, but you decide to put it off until the weekend. By some miracle, you have no weekend plans for the first time in months.

Then life throws you a curve. Your son or daughter tells you on Friday that they need your help with a major school project that’s due Monday, and a big storm leaves a foot of leaves on your front lawn.
So much for the free weekend.

Procrastination is a pattern of behavior, at work or at home, that leads to stress, burnout, frustration and feelings of guilt.

If you have a tendency to put things off, you can do one of two things. You can eliminate the option to do things tomorrow by sticking to your to-do list and forcing yourself to do them today.

Or you can hand your to-do list to Time Well Spent.
Procrastination
If you don’t want to cram so many things into one day, you want to avoid certain tasks completely, or you would rather spend time doing things you enjoy, call us.

A concierge and personal errand service like Time Well Spent exists to fill these needs. We specialize in to-do lists. Our job is to give you the time and freedom to do the things that make you happy – or make you money.

If you can’t seem to find enough time to do the things you really want to be doing, let Time Well Spent create that time for you.

After all, why put off till tomorrow what we can do for you today?

My Story from the Front Lines of the American Heart Walk

My girlfriend was the picture of health. She worked out every day and ate the right things. In her mid-50’s she had a major stroke.

At first, I was mad. She had just been to the doctor for a physical checkup and was given a clean bill of health. She was far too young and her health was far too strong for her to have a stroke.

It was a long road back. She was forced to relearn simple things that we take for granted. Although she’s still partially paralyzed and unable to drive, I’ll always be grateful for one thing.

She lived.

This November, seven years after her stroke, I look forward to flying down to Florida to see my friend and going on a road trip through Savannah, Charleston and other places throughout the South. I don’t know if she would be here to enjoy this trip with me if it wasn’t for the incredible work of the American Heart Association. Continue reading

How Breathing Life into a Decrepit Bathroom Changed My World

BathroomTowards the end of my career in the glamorous world of New Jersey state government, I was moved back to the main office building where I started my career. In fact, it was the very same floor where I began working for the state 30 years earlier.

Although the building had been improved through major renovations over the years, I noticed a few things that bothered me.

First, I realized that the ladies’ restroom was exactly the same as it was when I was in high school! It even had the same big lounge chair that people would lie down on if they felt sick.

This whole scene made me a little sick. The entire bathroom was disgusting.

The next thing I noticed was that the women who used this ancient bathroom didn’t talk to each other. They didn’t even say “hello.” We saw each other all of the time, but we didn’t really know each other.

Even though I knew I was reaching the end of my rope with the state, I was determined to not let this situation bring me down any further. Continue reading

You’re Given Vacation Time for a Reason. Use it!

Parent and Daughter wading in oceanAt the beginning of the summer of 2013, I wrote a blog post about why you need to plan a vacation now. Now, with summer 2014 winding down, it looks like there will be a lot of vacation days left on the table. Again.

According to a study from GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications and the U.S. Travel Association, four in ten employees will not use all of their vacation days. And people wonder why they always feel tired and stressed.

So why aren’t people taking vacations?

  • 40 percent of respondents dread returning to a pile of work after vacation.
  • 35 percent say nobody else can do their job.
  • 20 percent are worried that taking time off will make them seem replaceable.

That last one infuriates me. People shouldn’t feel like their jobs could be jeopardized because they take a week for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, this type of insecurity is often driven by the company culture. Continue reading

What Is the Deal-Breaker that Causes You to Quit Your Job?

What is the Deal-Breaker that Causes You to Quit Your Job?Towards the end of my career in state government, I was forced to take a pay cut. After 30 years on the job, civil service decided my job title didn’t match my job description. As much as I felt like I was being screwed, it was something else that put me over the edge.

The way I and other employees were treated by management ultimately made me decide to move on. We were micromanaged. There was no flexibility. Even in this age of productivity-enhancing technology, management was clinging to this “be at your desk from 9 to 5” mentality.

My experience mirrors the results of a recent study from BambooHR, a human resources software provider. Not surprisingly, the most common reason for leaving a job is career advancement.

However, the biggest deal-breakers that affect employee happiness and retention were all related to work-life balance. The top four deal-breakers were: Continue reading

What You Should Know if You Plan to Hire a Handyman

HandymanFixIts

Handyman services are becoming more and more popular in New Jersey as homeowners seek to save time and money on repairs and upgrades. If you need to replace a window, repair a fence, fix a few loose tiles on the bathroom floor and paint the living room, a good handyman should be able to handle all of these tasks.

However, you need to be very careful about who you hire to perform work in and around your home. Here are three key points to keep in mind. Continue reading