March 2011

Rosally Saltsman took on a daunting task – record her challenges with money and how overcoming them could help others. She succeeded. Her book is a wonderful combination of spiritual and non-spiritual inspiration. She draws inspiration from ancient sources, such as Proverbs, and relatively modern sources (e.g. Theodore Roosevelt, p. 13 of her book).

Rosally’s focus is managing money. I found the book really about managing our life’s struggles and growing from them. On page 8, she writes, “Every struggle is full of meaning and all meaning makes life all the richer. Wealth is not determined by how much money you have but by how much knowledge you have.” Her optimistic outlook is refreshing. Using affirmations helps us think positive and keeps us focused on our goals.

At the end of her book, Rosally reminds us that, “More than anything else, belief in yourself is the most important factor of this whole equation. To know that you can take the challenge, and rise above it, step by step, cent by cent, dollar by dollar, commitment by commitment. That’s the key.” Whether we’re money-challenged, or have other challenges in our lives, belief in ourselves is the key. Then we can take on that challenge and, indeed, rise above it.

Thank you, Rosally, for sharing your financial challenges and solutions with us. To find out more about Rosally, visit


Does it really take me only five minutes to email a network colleague? Does that include writing, editing, and proofreading? And what if I want to include a link to an interesting article? What about networking meetings or interviews? How long is the meeting? What’s the travel time – both ways? Does that shopping errand really take ten minutes?

I don’t know about you, but I notice I don’t always look at the whole picture when I figure the time for a task. A two-hour network meeting can really be a four-hour block of time, when I include travel time (especially here in Los Angeles)!! And that five-minute email may actually take me fifteen minutes. And I need to remember that the ten minute shopping errand is almost never ten minutes!

Do I want to “do lunch” with a friend? Sure! I simply need to figure travel time and time at the restaurant.

I need to look at the whole picture when I’m scheduling my day or a specific activity. That way I notice what’s realistic. And once I allow for the right amount of time, I will be on time, won’t feel rushed or overloaded, and if it’s a social event, I’ll enjoy my friend’s company.

How long does a task really take? That depends on several variables. If the task is a meeting and I’m driving, I need to factor in travel time (to and from), as well as time at the event. If it’s a business meeting, include networking chat. And if it’s a mundane task like shopping – remember that the check-out lines take time!

What are your tips for scheduling your tasks?

There are often multiple priorities that vie for my attention. Some examples: activities I scheduled, demands from others, or events that are completely out of my control (visualize blizzard conditions and streets haven’t been plowed so you can’t get to work).  Then there are multiple priorities that seem to demand my attention simultaneously. How can I manage these activities? How much can I multi-task? Do I need to multi-task and if so, is that really an effective way to get things done.

I manage multiple priorities best when I write them down. With the list clearly in front of me, I can prioritize. Then, if someone asks me to take on another task, I add it to the list and give that person and idea of when I’ll be able to assist them. By looking at the clear list, I determine whether or not I multi-task. Lately, I’ve discovered that when I try to accomplish two tasks simultaneously, I don’t give my full attention to either and the results aren’t stellar.

(Granted, there is an exception: I can listen to a recorded lecture and do housework!)

What’s the solution? Concentrate on what’s in my control, which is the activity or task in front of me at the moment. That way, I feel focused, and I give everyone the attention they deserve. Let the other stuff wait its turn.

Oh – and one more point: Keep the list in front of me!

I spoke with some writer colleagues over the weekend. Our common challenge is finding time to write. Each of us writes for a different audience and at various frequencies. We have many varied commitments in our daily lives. Yet, we each want to write regularly.

A few years ago, I wrote every weekday morning for ten minutes. I called it my free-flow writing exercise, modeled after Julia Cameron’s morning pages. I exercised my writing muscles, my brain started working, and my energy began to flow – think, “Start your engines!” And my engine revved up for the day! And there was a side benefit: I developed the beginnings of several short pieces from the free-flow writing.

My work schedule changed suddenly, and I wrote at random times. Some days, it was the morning. Some days, I wrote in the evenings. And then there were stretches of weeks where I ignored the pen and paper (or, more correctly, the computer) completely. I realized recently that I miss the starting my day with writing. My current morning schedule is so hectic – where can I find the time?

The search for writing time is on!