On a journey ‘from frazzled to focused’

Caroline_CVR-2As one who often feels more frazzled than focused, I jumped at the chance to attend a recent lecture featuring Rivka Caroline, author of “From Frazzled to Focused: The Ultimate Guide for Moms Who Want to Reclaim Their Time, Their Sanity and Their Lives.”

As the mom of three young boys – ages 3, 5 and 7 – with the oldest just starting the weekly homework phase, which introduces a whole new time management challenge – I knew I could use some of Rivka’s time management tips.

As I skimmed through her book before the lecture, which was hosted at Kitchen 18 by Chabad of Scottsdale’s Jewish Women’s Circle, I noticed that it seemed to offer solutions to some of the challenges that I’m facing today: “practical solutions for outsmarting clutter,” “Time management tips for working smarter” and “hitting that delete button.”

One message that Rivka delivered – in a calm, humorous way – was that being organized isn’t about having your spices organized, but your priorities. You need to decide what your priorities are and then schedule your time to make sure you’re focusing on those priorities. For example, do you really need to have your cell phone on to receive emails at all hours?

Last weekend, my youngest son threw my smartphone on the floor, rendering it useless. Gone was the chance to, no matter where I am, check email throughout the day, refer to my calendar, visit Facebook to check on the status of people I otherwise have no contact with and have access to my list of contacts.

My husband set up an old Blackberry phone for temporary use until I get a new phone and so far I’ve gone through one week with it. If somebody texts or calls me, I save their information to the phone, but otherwise I haven’t set up anything else. After a few days of being disoriented, I got used to not checking my phone every few minutes. And you know what? It was actually kind of nice.

“’From Frazzled to Focused’ was written with the overwhelmed, stretched-too-thin, sleep-deprived mom in mind,” according to the book’s introduction. If that’s you, you may want to check it out!


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