Interview With Paula Eder from The Time Finder
Meet Paula Eder from The Time Finder. I have been a reader, and occasional commenter of Paula's time management blog for a little while. Paula has been a life coach for over 35 years, so she knows a thing or two about achieving life balance!!
So lets get the inside scoop on Paula Eder...
Michelle: Hi Paula, thanks for sharing your time with us today. Please introduce yourself to readers who may not be familiar with you, and please use this opportunity to tell us where we can read your work and what services you have to offer?
Paula: Thanks, Michelle - I'm so pleased to be here. My name is Paula Eder and I'm known as "The Time Finder Expert." For more than thirty years, I've coached individuals, solopreneurs, and small business owners how to successfully align their time choices with their life goals and core values. I expanded into the on-line world about 4 years ago when I founded Finding Time, LLC. Through my HeartBased and SpiritDriven Time Management System, I mentor my clients to address their time management challenges by integrating their compassion, values, and problem-solving abilities. My goal is to help busy people to make authentic time choices that lead to business and academic success, personal growth, vibrant health, and positive life changes. Please feel more than welcome to visit my website at Finding Time and my blog at The Time Finder
Michelle: You live, eat, and breathe organization, managing time and getting more out of life. What first inspired your passion in time management, and when did you decide to devote your life to it?
Paula: Wow - that's a great question! I'd say it really began for me when I was very young. I learned from my family just how important it was to put each moment to its best use. Making every minute count was a value that I saw modeled daily. So I learned at an early age how to be as productive as possible. And I've applied and expanded on those lessons throughout my life.
In addition, through my work over the years, I've seen the difficulty that people of all ages can encounter as they strive to master time challenges. Ultimately, I came to see that everyone's issues in this area present different faces of a universal struggle to use time most effectively, and I realized that I passionately wanted to help people make deeply fulfilling time choices.
Finally, I've always been fascinated by time. It's like a blank canvas! It's pure potential. Every human experience occurs within the frame of time. It's pretty incredible to think about - at the same moment when you or I might be doing something mundane like eating, someone else is experiencing a death or a birth. Hundreds upon hundreds of life-changing events are taking place around the globe - even as we make our way through each of our "normal" days. I find that synchronicity fascinating and compelling.
As I often say to the people who work with me, "The way you use your time is the way you live your life!"
Michelle: You have been involved in life coaching for nearly 35 years, what made you get involved in that and how have things in the life coaching industry changed since you began?
Paula: I would say that what got me involved in coaching, to begin with, was a desire to help people, to share what I had learned through my work and experience, and to do it in a way that involved the whole person. That is key for me!
I so love this integrated process! Often a great deal of energy is bound up in people's unresolved questions. It takes courage, compassion, and persistence to stay with these questions. And as my clients work toward finding their own unique answers, an enormous amount of vitality is often released.
One of the things I most love about life coaching is seeing the ways that making progress in one area reawakens enthusiasm for very different challenges in other areas! Sometimes, in the process of their work, people reclaim dreams they had set aside long ago because they have now developed the skills to move forward.
As you can imagine it is often very inspiring!
In terms of what has changed since I began, I'd have to highlight the internet and the expansion of coaching practice into on-line venues in various forms. This has exponentially increased the possibilities, enabling coaches to reach out and communicate in ever-wider circles.
The potential is very, very exciting!
Michelle: What would be your top 3 time management tips you would share with someone who has just started to get into managing their time better?
Paula: That's a great question. My practice includes a range of activities and ways of engaging with the material, depending on the person. I may work sequentially with some people, helping them create a series of action steps for a complex challenge. Or I might help others hone in on one facet of an issue that's got them procrastinating! Either way, an open-ended and holistic approach leads to many more benefits than people can ever imagine when they first embark on this journey!
So, the top three time management tips I would offer to someone who is getting started with time management are:
If you feel like you spend most of your time putting out fires or responding to other people's priorities, you are approaching your time from a reactive place. And, bottom line, if your choices around time are reactive it will always be hard for you to create a plan and stick to it. What can you do when faced someone else's urgency? It's important to put on the brakes ... Assess, Decide, and then DO! Don't confuse being proactive with being rigid; and definitely don't confuse being reactive with being flexible! To become proactive while remaining responsive, look within to decide what time choices work the best for you. Your first challenge is to avoid being put on the spot.
Boundaries are absolutely essential! They hold your priorities and protect them from others' demands and distractions. And, you can learn to set and maintain effective boundaries through practice and repetition. Communicating your boundaries effectively is also a skill that can be learned and perfected with practice.
Finally, revitalizing your productivity and enthusiasm with gratitude is a powerful, life-changing practice that I heartily endorse and encourage. I love what I call "The 3 Gratitude's" Exercise. It demonstrates your profound power to transform your energy immediately - which in turn transforms your relationship with time!
Each night, right before sleep, list at least 3 things you feel grateful for. These blessings can be anything you notice and appreciate. Review and learn from your lists. As you do this, your actual power in the here and now evolves in significant ways.
Michelle: Thanks for taking the time to share your answers with us all today, just one more question! I quote from you "Time, like money, is value-neutral - it's how we choose to use it that defines us and shapes our lives." How have you used time to shape your life? What have you done with your time?
Paula: Wow - another great question! To answer that, I would first say that I go back to the statement I quoted earlier: "The way you use your time is the way you live your life." I certainly apply that to myself and to my own unique relationship with time.
I know, in the core of my being, that time is finite and concrete, and that on some level, every choice that I make is a time choice. Every single time choice that I make, no matter how small or large it may seem, shapes my relationship with time. In the same way that the quality of one's personal relationships is shaped by the quality of choice that one brings to them, so, too, the quality of the energy one brings to making time choices affects one's relationship with time (and therefore with life)!
I am in a constant process of looking at this, and developing ever deepening self-intimacy as I do! My relationship with time becomes increasingly organic and internal, and I am better able to place myself in the moment, being fully present, and feeling and expressing gratitude for my environment, my choices, and my life.
It's an ever-expanding process of going deeper, and seeing the ripples move out, through time!
As you can see, developing a relationship with time is inseparable from deepening your relationship with yourself. By working to integrate and align your values, you come to appreciate the gift of life more and more profoundly.
It is a back and forth journey. You travel inward to align your values into a hierarchy of priorities. Then you apply those priorities as time choices to your daily life. As you do this over and over, you develop a congruence/steadfastness that is deeply satisfying.
Well folks - that was Paula Eder from The Time Finder. Paula blogs about time management and about how to achieve life balance at The Time Finder, and also offers life coaching.
Thank you Paula for agreeing to an interview, and sharing these excellent time management lessons with us. I loved this tip "Becoming skilled at establishing and communicating boundaries". This is definitely a take home lesson.