Can you get more productivity out of YOUR 24 hours? Lauren Midgley, author of 3+ books, speaker, and consultant, helps clients with productivity and strategies to manage their life choices better, leading to more fulfilled and happier lives.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
The Best Time Management Approach With Lauren Midgley
Beautiful day, you beautiful souls. This is Charla Anderson, host of The Charla Anderson Show, collector and connector of fascinating people, and every one is fascinating, especially YOU! We’re on the Win-Win Women Platform. It’s the only live global interactive platform for women. It’s expanding greatly. For anyone who has something to share with the world and would love to have a platform, we are certainly expanding and looking for new hosts for this dream and vision to have 24/7 in all languages around the globe for people in every culture to have a community. Join us or ask me. Send me a message if you’d like more information about that. We’re also on Podetize podcast and all kinds of streaming services.
I have a special friend now. Lauren Midgley is going to be my guest, but first, as you know, we almost always do a little introductory mini-vacation, a little 22-second meditation that will help us and me get grounded and more centered. What we’re going to do is breathe in calm for seven seconds. We’re going to hold for four seconds. We’re going to breathe out gratitude for eleven seconds. Would you join me with that, please? Here we go. Hold at calm. Release and breathe out gratitude. Thank you.
I’m honored to have my special friend, a good mentor that I’ve known for a long time now. We met in networking several years ago. I retired from Delta in ‘08. It was around that time I was introduced to Lauren Midgley. This is my 25th show. I’m like, “I can’t believe this is happening.” She was my first guest on my first radio show. That was in 2011. We’ve known each other for a while. As with most of our relationships, they ebb and flow. I’m grateful to have you back with me, Lauren. I’ve always admired you and watched you stand in that strength and that power, making a difference everywhere you go. Thank you for being with me.
Thanks, Charla. It’s an honor to be here with you. You are a connector and collector of people. I always love the people that you know and all the efforts you’ve been doing to communicate and collect people. It’s awesome.
We’re all in this world together. The most important thing to me is loving people who and where they are, loving them through these unsteady times, and sharing hope and overcoming, as we all have, and I know you have, and how that can translate into making a difference to the next person and how we can lift them up, share our love, share our light, and offer hope and encouragement everywhere we go, every step of the way. That’s who you are. Tell us more about who you are in this world, and we’ll talk about what you do.
Who I am in this world is a person who loves to empower people in how they utilize their time. Charla, you and I have talked about a lot of situations where time and dreams are important. Oftentimes, we don’t find that we have time for those dreams to make those dreams happen. I like to help people look at how they use time and how they can use it better. Most times, people have got a good thing going on.
It’s not that it’s to turn their whole life upside down, but in looking at that, I find that if they get clear about how they use their time, they can find ways to find time, chase that dream, honor that dream, or do things that feed their soul and ultimately reduce stress and become better people. That’s what I truly enjoy doing. You’re right. We met probably in 2011. I remember the first time I met you, sitting next to you in Tony Allison’s class. We got talking, and I was fascinated by you and your message to people as to empowering and how to be better people. You and I are on the same path. Slightly different messages, but they are synergistic.
Time management is self-management to make the most of those same 24 hours that we all have. We only have the same, but it’s fascinating to me to watch someone who is incredibly productive and gets many things done in the same 24 hours. I know that that message is so incredibly needed. I’m fascinated by that. Given the name of your books, you’ve got the It’s 6:00.
It’s 6:00 AM & I’m Already Behind! 30 Strategies To Get Caught Up In A Crazy Busy World. I wrote that back in 2014 and 2015. It came out in 2016. I do speaking. I speak to groups of all types, corporate, nonprofit, and women’s groups. It’s interesting to stay connected with some of those people that I’ve spoken to or who’ve read the book and how it can impact someone’s life. I feel like I’m the messenger to help somebody get clarity about that. As I said, “Follow that dream or make certain things in their life happen that weren’t happening.” That makes my heart feel good.
Give us an example of some results that you feel have come from your book and your messages.
I was speaking to a women’s group and mentioned this concept. It was true then, and it’s still true now. That is knowing our capacity each day. What I mean by that is how much time do we have to do our tasks? We might be at work for eight hours a day, we might be a work-from-home entrepreneur. We may have meetings scheduled and emails to do. It is looking at your schedule and knowing what I can realistically get done now. Many times, we set ourselves up to fail. We take on too much for the day, or we think we can get more done than we can. At the end of the day, we feel bad, and we’re thinking about all the things we didn’t get done.
A couple of months ago, I was speaking to a group here in the DFW area. It was a two-hour presentation, which is a little bit longer than I normally do, but we had a break. This lady left during the break, and she came back before we got started. She showed me these two clipboards that she had. One was her personal clipboard. The other one was her business clipboard.
It was 2014. I had shared a worksheet, which is also in the 6:00 AM book, and she said, “I printed out that worksheet. I’m still using it to this day.” What it was, was capacity of how do you figure out what am I doing now about how long is it going to take me to do those tasks or what I want to allow for? She stayed in check and didn’t overload the capacity sheet. It was her to-do sheet. It was interesting. I don’t remember meeting her, but she was in one of the groups I had spoken to and is still using that now. I was like, “My gosh.” She said, “Yes, it changed my life. I was much better able to balance the two, the personal sheet and the business sheet.”
The word capacity is something I love. Some people who don’t have the capacity to clean the house well are seen not to have that capacity. It’s a great word for the time management aspect or the personal management you’re talking about here. How do you suggest overcoming that constant overwhelm we seem to feel? Now it is crazy busy. We’re all busy, but I don’t know if we’re effective.
Another way is, how do we stay sane in the insane world around us? My true belief in this is that all that we can “control” is what’s happening now. I can plan for a week from Friday or next month, but now, my mind, my attention, attention management, or my energy management is, “What’s happening now?” If I am clear on what I can accomplish now and maybe underestimated a little bit. I feel good that I had a great day. I set out to do certain things and got those things done.
One other concept is coming out in the next book, and this is an interesting one. I’ll share it real quickly with you, and it’s the 1%. The thought here is if you take 1% of your day and intentionally plan it, think about it, choose, and decide, it could be in the morning. What that represents is fourteen minutes. In our total day of 24 hours, we have 1,440 minutes available to us. Some are sleeping, working, and discretionary.
The thought here is, can I take 1% and start my day with coffee, tea, or quiet time in the morning and take that time and think about it intentionally? What do I want to get done now? It feeds my soul. Who do I need to connect with? Who do I need to honor? Give yourself that time. Oftentimes, we wake up, grab the phone, jump into email, and get started. We don’t plan or take time to think. The concept is that 1% of your day is fourteen minutes.
That’s huge to me. In fourteen minutes, people go, “That’s nothing.” It’s everything if you use it intentionally. That’s the second word. You’ve got capacity and intentionality. I’m going to go back and find your book because I know I have it. I got to read It’s 6:00 AM & I’m Already Behind book again to remember how to take action on those things that are important to me for that day. You are a master at it. I’m grateful to have that story about that lady still using it. That’s got to be gratifying. You call it work-life choices rather than balance. What’s that about?
If you think about balance or the way a lot of people think about balance, and I think about it is 50/50 work life. In reality, work is 8 or 9 hours a day, and life, on the other side, is eight hours of sleep, which is important. We don’t want to forego and do less sleep. We want more sleep. If you think about how many discretionary hours we have available to us to do things that we want to do, it’s a small amount of hours or time. When we waste it, we’re not in balance. There are many articles and people that are burned out based on their lives and what they’re doing. Part of that is sometimes they’re working many hours.
I believe in throwing the word balance out the window and thinking about choices, which goes back to that whole intentionality. It’s like, “I know I’m at work for eight hours. I need to be there fully present to do my job. I need to sleep for eight hours. I need to be fully present to do that sleep. Beyond that, I’ve got meals, commute, and all those other things, but I need to make the right choices.” I use the word feed my soul. When we don’t make those choices, or we make choices that are non-intentional and non-thinking, it could be like, “I’m going to binge-watch TV.” You can do that. Is that the choice that you want to make that night for that reason? If you do it six nights a week, that’s a lazy choice.
You might ask the question, “What am I avoiding doing? What am I trying to drown myself?” What I’ve noticed is that those things that we are avoiding addressing don’t seem to go away by watching TV.
I spoke with a lady after that event. She described her to-do list in her life and how busy she was. She was the president of a rotary chapter and a women’s group. She had rescue dogs and five rescue cats. This woman was busy. She had twenty to-do lists that she was managing. She was talking about the fact that her husband was not happy that she wasn’t home much and she was busy. I asked her. I didn’t know her. I thought I was a bit bold, but I said, “What are you avoiding? Don’t answer that. I want you to think about it. Are you avoiding the relationship with your husband? Are you avoiding things, and you’re filling every crack of every moment in your calendar because you’re avoiding something?” You’re right on, Charla.
You’re avoiding your soul and heart-centered call. We don’t take time to be still, and no. Take 22 seconds of that to meditate and breathe some calm and gratitude. We avoid facing what’s not right. It’s easier to keep busy rather than look at the stop. Sometimes, I’ve got a situation. I’m witnessing someone almost self-destruct. They don’t want to hear it. They don’t have the capacity to stop and go, “Thank you for those words of wisdom to help me get back on the path.” They don’t necessarily want to do that.
The other question I asked her was, “What are you willing to give up? Are you willing to have some downtime or some space in your life? If your big thing right now is being the president of Rotary, that’s awesome. It is a great service organization. The question becomes, “Can you let go of the strong activity in that women’s group you were leadership before. Can you dial it back a little bit?” It goes back to those intentional choices, the capacity, and getting clear. That’s what I do and how I help people. It is by saying without judgment, “If you want to do it, do it all.”
You wouldn’t be listening to this conversation if there wasn’t something going, “I wonder if there’s a better way.” Sometimes, people get their self-worth from being busy. The self-worth is to look at what she’s doing. Is she happy doing it? Does she need that uplifting compliment like, “You’re busy? How do you do it all?” It raises their self-esteem. Maybe not their self-worth. There’s a difference there.
What happens is you wear yourself out. Eventually, what is it? The body keeps the score. It does catch up with you. I like to say, “Are you committed to non-essential tasks that don’t serve your life?”The body keeps the score. Eventually, it does catch up with you. Click To Tweet
I was visiting my son, whom I hadn’t seen in a while. He’s a Marine in DC. I was there. I only turned my computer on one day because he didn’t have internet or good cell service where he was. I’m like, “It’s still here. I’m always busy.” The way I say it is there’s never nothing to do. It’s not like that’s right that you had a couple of defining moments in your life. I witnessed a little bit of this that led you to focus on helping others use their time better.
The first defining moment, and this goes back to the body keeps the score, was breast cancer in 2014. It was a year of seeing doctors going through chemo, radiation, and three surgeries. It does redefine things for you as to who becomes important. It causes you to think about time a little bit differently. I would encourage those reading to think about whether it’s happened to you or somebody close to you. It doesn’t have to be cancer. I call it a health event, but it becomes your wake-up call.
The second one was that I was in the corporate world for many years before I became an entrepreneur. During COVID, I ended up back in the corporate world working. By choice, I decided to do that. I hung up my entrepreneur shoes for a few years. What I found fascinating and a key lesson here was that I jumped right back into the twelve-hour workday, which I had espoused like, “Don’t do that.” From the first go around with the corporate many-year career, it was like, “Lauren, you work many hours. What was wrong? You didn’t need to work that many hours. Don’t do that.” It led me on the whole productivity path and helping others not do that.
Back in that environment, it was easy. That was the key lesson for me. It was easy to slip right in to think, “If I pour more time into it, I’ll get more done. It’ll look better. I’ll do better.” The reality was I didn’t have the boundaries in place that I needed, but I made the choice to work those hours. Looking back on it, I was like, “Whoop.”
It led me to something that a framework that was three things. One is mindset, boundaries, and communication. Mindset is the choice of, “No, you don’t need to work twelve hours. If you’re not being effective at what you’re doing, there’s too much on your plate, or they’re asking you to do many things, make a choice of how to deal with that. Create the boundaries of, “No, I’m leaving the office at 5:00,” or, “I’m not working weekends.” Last is the communication. How do you communicate to those around you that these are my choices and boundaries? I see those as defining moments because when you think about burnout, it is prevalent now. It’s easy to be in that culture and environment and get burned out, but you’ve got to make the choice.It’s easy to get into the grinding culture and get burned out. Ultimately, you have to make the choice to move on. Click To Tweet
Everything is a choice. I say it often, “Where we are is all we have.” We don’t have a last-second. We can’t change one last minute that we worked overtime that we shouldn’t. We cannot change one thing that has happened since let there be light until now. We can only change. If it’s something’s not working, we get to make a choice to move forward. We are living facing that. What we should have done or wish we had done rather than now all I have to make a different choice. I could choose the next step to move a little further towards what’s fulfilling for me rather than what’s fulfilling for others.
I’m using this time management. I’m witnessing. There are a lot of people that are entertained. The entertainment that this is the truth I see. There are many people’s values. You tell someone’s values by how they spend their time, money, checkbook, and calendar. Nobody has a checkbook anymore. Entertainment seems to be the highest value I’ve noticed in a younger dynamic.
All this being busy all the time with screen time, games, or what we eat is all about entertainment as a high value in their life, which I’ve never had. It doesn’t mean I am better, but it’s something to witness, watch, and wonder if it’s keeping people busy. We’re keeping people so busy that they don’t have the idea that they’re not taking time for themselves at all. They’re entertained, but they’re not having fun.
There’s a great book called Stolen Focus. The author talks about the fact that the whole tech industry is geared for us to stay on the devices longer, stay connected, and stay engaged with potentially mindless things. It’s under the guise of entertainment. It was all designed because the longer we’re on those tech devices in video games or social media, the more money they make.
The more money they make, the more disconnection we end up having in real life and with real people. I’m playing with these other friends. I’m like, “What if you went outside and dug in the dirt for a few minutes.” I want to shift gears back to something. I always ask, “What’s your favorite quote?” You said there’s a quote you put in your book, “Finish each day and be done with it.”
It’s from Ralph Waldo Emerson. It captures the essence of productivity. The quote goes like this, “Finish each day and be done with it. You’ve done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt, crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. Begin it well, end serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Back to what you’re saying, “Be here now.” You’re present now. There’s nothing we can do about yesterday.
What I’m trying to impress on some young ones around me is, “Where we are is all we have.” We might as well love it. Upset, draws upset. We get upset about something. We repeat it and relive it. Several years down the road, you’re going, “Remember that guy that cut me off.” Your whole life is living from these stories you made up about something that happened, and they’re leading your life. You made an F in seventh grade. You are like, “I told you I was stupid.” You’re still playing off that same story you made up about making a bad grade.
There is all that stuff and every bit of that in the blind spot in the back of your brain that’s driving your future. We can start peeling those layers of the stories we make up away so that our future is unlimited possibilities. We can start stepping into those. I know our days are made up about something that went wrong. What that does is continue to reinforce what went wrong. It makes us maybe into complainers or something along that line. That is very true. This moment is all we have. You might love it.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Michael Singer. I bring him up a lot. I discovered him in 2023. He’s a ‘70s hippie who wrote The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment. He’s an incredible hippie who became a multi-billionaire because he did what was in front of him. He said, “No to what his brain was telling him, which is always trying to keep you safe. Yes to something that was presented.”
I have loved his books because his method is something that upsets you. Relax, you’ve got that moment. Matt Kahn says, “If something upsets you, bless them and move it on.” Michael Seniors says, “Relax, release, let it go, and deal with what’s in front of you. You can deal with it from a calm demeanor rather than this upset.” I feel like that fits in here somehow
The Untethered Soul is an incredible book. It’s one of my favorites.
For me, not to have found that until 2023. I’m always doing The Four Agreements and all these amazing books. I’d heard it, but I’d never taken that on. The Surrender Experiment I liked because he tells how he did it and his life story. How many of us could benefit from letting go of the upset at the moment and not having to continue telling the stories over and over again?
It’s like living in anxiety, but it’s self-induced because you keep reliving that event. Back to your point earlier, you can’t change that event. Living with anxiety affects everything you do and the interactions you have with other people. It affects how productive and happy you are. You are right. Release and let it go. It’s easier said than done. Going back to choices, being mindful, and intentionality is like, “That happened. I didn’t like it at all. This is a new day moving forward.”
It’s a new muscle. It’s a practice. It’s not a flip of a switch. Although I think we can flip switches. I’ve got my book Split-Second Transformation: Change Your Words, Change Your Life 31 Daily Practices submitted to publishing. I feel like there are moments we can flip a switch and shift.
It’s not that you don’t care that that happened or the upset happened. You do care, but you’re not letting it define you.
It’s not defining you and your whole future. I believe that we all carry those stories. They start when we’re about 4 or 5 years old. Somebody says that they brought a new baby home to my family. I’m like, “What’s wrong with me? I’m not good enough.” I’m sure that there was all that. When I was four, why did they need another one? They called me the love child. Time always goes fast. I want people to be able to find you. I want people to know where to get your books.
The title of the next book is It’s 5:00 PM & I’m Still Not Done. It’s the next in the series after the 6:00 AM book. It’s the thought of, “I’m still not done, but I need to walk away.” The elements in this book are all about work-life choices and being mindful of that intentionality. From when I wrote the first book to this next book, I’ve had lots of opportunities to have lots of conversations with a lot of people. I’m digging deeper into this whole topic of how we use our time and how it can be effective.
The best way to reach me is LaurenMidgley.com, which is my website. Lauren@LaurenMidgley.com is my email. If you send me an email, I’d love to send you a free electronic version of the upcoming book because I am collecting advanced readers. It’ll come out as an eBook first, and I’ll have it published. I’m happy to share.
The book is coming out. What’s next for you? Where are we headed?
I continue to speak. I get called to speak in front of groups. I love that because it has a bigger audience and an opportunity to share the message and get people thinking about how they use time. I’m continuing that path of speaking and doing the book launch. That’s what’s ahead for me. Thank you for asking that.
When intriguing opportunities present themselves, and you say yes, things show up. I showed up with a radio show. Now I’ve got a TV show. I say yes to intriguing opportunities. I even had you as a mentor officially for a little while. I love that. Are you familiar with Benson Agbortogo? He is one of my mentors that I love dearly. I hadn’t seen him in a while, but he has a thing about, “Where you are is all we have is the way I say it.” He’s like, “Keep breathing free oxygen.” I say, “We’re on this side of the dirt and we’re in Texas.”
When we can count our blessings in that way and recognize that I don’t know why he came to mind, but you both are such precious pieces of my life and growth phase. This has been a lot of fun. It always goes too fast for me. I’m grateful for you and your time. Do you have any last words that you want to share?
One of the last words I’d like to say is, as you look at your life, think about, instead of doing more, how you can do less, be more intentional, and live life. The PS to that is what you said. Say yes to the opportunities that make sense, but don’t say yes to the opportunities that are filled in time.
There’s no lack of opportunities. It’s the intriguing ones, or the important ones is something that piques your interest. That is when you start saying yes. The reason I say that is that it starts drawing everything to you to make things happen. You are beautiful. I love you so much. I’m grateful that you’ve chosen to grace me with all your presence. I look forward to reconnecting, catching up, and having some coffee or wine.
I want you to know that you guys, whoever’s reading, are perfect exactly who and where you are in this second. There’s nothing you can do that will make you more or less loved by God. If God is love, he can’t be not love. Receive that and know that you are exactly perfect. The only place to start from is where you are now. I also would love to let you know that you are blessed. I always say, “Choose joy.”
About Lauren Midgley
For the past 13 years, Lauren is a speaker, author, and consultant who has written 3 books, spoken on 100’s of stages, and consulted with 100’s of clients on the topic of Productivity and Strategic Business Practices. She believes that when we are more able to take control of how we use our time, then we are much happier and fulfilled. She is working on her 4th book, with a working title of “It’s 5pm and I’m Still Not Done: How to improve Life Choices.
I’m Charla Anderson, host of The Charla Anderson Show, Collector, and connector of Fascinating People (and EVERYONE is Fascinating!) on live TV, streaming, and podcasts. As a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, a retired award-winning flight attendant, Olympic Torchbearer, a personal development junkie, an Inspired Speaker, a Published Author, and Your Courageous Coach, I want to share my passion for living life full-out, saying YES to intriguing opportunities, and encouraging YOU to do the same. Let’s jump on a discovery call and get to know each other. Find all things Charla at CharlaAnderson.com/links.
On The Charla Anderson Show, We discuss Mindset, How much Your WORDS matter, Princess to Queen energy, mantras, HOPE, Faith, Miracles, Overcoming, and much, much more, including learning from amazing guests.
Everything Charla: https://CharlaAnderson.com/links/
Live show every Wed at 1 pm CT.
https://WinWinWomen.tv/show/the-charla-anderson-showThe WATCH Button turns green at 12:58 to join the live show. Also streamed on Roku, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV.
All replays are on my website, https://CharlaAnderson.com/tv-shows/
Become YOUR OWN Show Host: https://WinWinWomen.com/ref/Charla
Build your own website with amazing support: https://CoursePlatformAcademy.com/cpacharla/
Nutrition, Energy, Health, Vitality, Focus, Collagen, Brain Health: https://www.Zurvita.com/charla/en/us/