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Holly Yalove, president of AMA Knoxville, welcomed participants to this virtual event. AMA Knoxville brings together marketing minds from Knoxville and surrounding counties for professional development, networking, and educational opportunities. The chapter also invests in future marketers by awarding scholarships to marketing students at the University of Tennessee with our Eagle Endowment. Holly recognized the AMA board of directors, volunteers, and annual sponsors (Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Larson SMB Consulting, and HumblePod) who make these events possible.

About the Presenter

Samantha Lane is a time management guru, with past work in advertising, public relations, higher education, and wellness. In 2014, she experienced a life-changing surgery that shifted her perspective on life. After years of juggling full-time careers and passion-based side-hustles, Samantha started Origami Day to help others bring balance to their busy lives. She now teaches individuals and companies how to be present in life while being more productive through tested strategies and proprietary tools. Samantha holds a BS degree in Public Relations from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from King University. When she is not helping others make the most of their time, Samantha spends her days enjoying life with her loved ones. 

Have you ever stopped to think that how you spend each day is how you spend your life? If you are not happy with how you are spending your days, read on!  Samantha’s top 3 time management tips for work-life balance will help make a change in your life with tactical next steps. 

Top 3 Time Management Tips for Work-Life Balance 

You might have heard the phrase “how you spend each day is how you spend your life.” This is true for each of us, but became especially clear to Samantha when she experienced life-threatening medical complications that made her face her mortality. She realized that she wasn’t happy with how she was spending her days and set out to make some serious changes.

 The tenets of her approach to a balanced life include:

  • Work may be a necessity, but life is the priority
  • We can be present in life while still being productive
  • We are happier and more productive when balanced
  • Time is finite

With these principles in mind, Samantha created a three-step system that we can all implement into our daily lives to find a more peaceful and purposeful balance between work and life.

Tip #1: Prioritize

When everything is important, nothing is. We cannot do everything and certainly cannot do everything well, so we must decide which tasks are most worthy of our finite time resource. We must prioritize. But how do you know what to prioritize? First, you must set a goal for yourself. Keeping this goal in mind will allow you to determine which tasks are priorities and which are not.

For peace and productivity, you must prioritize and decide what is the most valuable way to spend your time. Talk with your family, supervisor, etc… about where they hope to see you focus your time and consider the following in your decision:

  • Performance Metrics – What is it that you are being graded on? Prioritize those things that will move the needle and be the most impactful way to spend your time
  • Eisenhower Urgency Matrix – A useful tool to help you determine which things in your life are urgent vs. non-urgent and important vs. unimportant

Tip #2: Plan

Planning is a way for us to work better. Through planning we can accomplish more with less effort and utilize things like flow where outputs exceed inputs. Create your days strategically to get more done in your days with less time. A plan creates intentionality, which helps you become proactive instead of reactive.

Samantha recommends dedicating time on a specific day every week to do your planning for the coming week and avoid the “Sunday scaries” that many of us know all too well. For her, Friday afternoons are a dedicated plan time. She does a weekly wrap-up to ensure she’s completed everything she needed to do during the past week, schedule her next week, and then move into the weekend with a sense of peace.

Samantha also shares how she recommends planning to make the most of your time:

  • Start with what you know – Begin by marking off time that you already know you’ve committed to or tasks that are required (both personal and professional).
  • Then add what you hope to do – What additional tasks do you need to do? What other things would you like to do during the week? What would you like to get ahead on?
  • Digital reinforcement – Samantha believes there is value in paper planning because digital calendars give you the opportunity to plan infinitely and we do not have infinite time. But because we live in a digital world, this reinforcement is helpful. For example, if you have a meeting, you might send a calendar invite with the Zoom link to other participants and add it to your own calendar as well.

However you choose to do your planning, make sure that it helps you be more productive with intention.

Tip #3: Protect Your Plan 

We know that plans are constantly changing but it’s important to protect the plan you’ve made whenever possible. When confronted about a plan change, ask yourself, “Does this need to be addressed right now or should I stick to my plan?” If your answer isn’t a HECK YES, it’s a no (or a not right now.) It’s up to you to decide whether the unpredicted need is something important enough to sacrifice something else in your plan.

Saying no isn’t something that comes easily for many of us, so in order to help us protect our plans Samantha provides the following tips: 

  • Let the person making the request say no for you. – Instead of meeting the request with an outright no, ask them if this is something that’s needed right now and if you’re the only person who can do it. In many cases, they’ll relent and find another way to fulfill their need.
  • Practice! It’s not comfortable and most often, we are not confident in saying no. Learn to make it part of your dialogue.
  • Use this resource from Origami Day to learn additional methods for gracefully declining a request

With these tips and techniques in mind, look at your own life and see how you can benefit from intentional prioritizing and planning. We can all benefit from a little more balance.

If you enjoyed this virtual event, we invite you to join us on Thursday, December 2nd for an evening of member socializing and networking! Our holiday networking social will also serve as a drop off location for Second Harvest donations in support of their mission to end hunger in our community.  Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holiday-networking-social-second-harvest-tickets-169100109981?aff=ebdsoporgprofile 

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