Archive for the ‘Time Management’ Category

From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
November 04, 2014 at 11:41PM

Unplugging from the Stream

Question tonight is  …
How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes? Do you remember it? Did you start with the “bunny ears” method, or pick up the standard method first?

Question from 2014-10-22
_What part of pop culture do you wish would just go away? _ 

Answers that I received were reality tv and hipsters.  I agree with reality tv, but I would just be happy if someone would do away with skinny jeans … they are frightful 😉

My personal pick for the piece of pop culture that I would do away with would be gauges. I don’t have anything against people doing what they want, but I truly believe that a lot of folks with incredibly large ones are going to regret it later in life, and it’s REALLY hard not to stare at them, ya know?  Think about the fellow who put them in his cheeks so that his teeth show. He must have a ridiculous amount of drool on his pillow for one thing, and who wants that???

My answer to last night’s question of
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

+Elon Musk  – srsly  I’m in this Performance Psychology doctoral program right now, and I’m starting an MS in Space Science in January, and if I survive, then I’ll get a Master of Aeronautical Science in Human Factors and Safety in Space right on top of those two, while earning a CISSP and PMP certification in the middle somewhere.

I had given up on really doing anything worthwhile with my life, but I’ve done everything that I set out to do over the past 15 years, and after my visit to NASA last year … after sitting around shooting the shit with Astronauts and NASA engineers, scientists, and PR peeps at a little watering hole in Houston, it clicked that hey … I can still do this … it’s not too late … I. CAN. DO. THIS.  So, I am.

I have several reasons why I chose Elon Musk as who I would like to be my mentor. First of all, he’s crazy smart, successful, he’s a creative thinker, a problem solver, he thinks long-term, and he thinks BIG!!! That and he owns a space technology company who I would work for if NASA falls through 😀  He has many important qualities that I am looking for in a mentor, and I think that he would provide good advice and possibly sponsorship for my research. If Elon falls through, then I am still looking …

I was really productive at work today, plus I finished an assignment over lunch. At the end of the day I stood up, and I felt …  satisfied … maybe even happy … about what I got accomplished today.  I really like that feeling of having completed everything; of being able to walk away from work with no unfinished tasks dangling in the back of my head and distracting from my enjoyment of the evening. It feels GOOD to be productive, and I smiled almost all afternoon as I saw everything coming together and item after item dropped off my to do list. It’s feeling especially good tonight because I’ve not been posting how I like – I’ve been rushed, and I’ve enjoyed going back through and responding to comments and getting a more substantial post together tonight.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that this lasts 🙂

Questions from a few different nights that I haven’t answered yet are listed below, and I’ll work my way through them over the next few nights. I answered one extra tonight, so I’ll keep doing that every day or two until I get these knocked out … I have some fun memories associated with these, so prepare yourselves for long posts when I answer 😉

1) What was your favorite food when you were little? Is it still your favorite?  Was there a food that you couldn’t stand that you like now?  Any foods that you didn’t like then and never will?

2) Did you ever threaten, or even prepare, to run away from home when you were a kid?  Do you remember why?  Did you pack anything?  Did you make it out of the house, and if so, how far did you get?

3) Have you ever been given a present that you hated/disliked? What was it?  Who gave it to you? What was the occasion? How did you react – could they tell that you didn’t like it?
Have a great night, fellow +Plussers, and Ride the Stream while I dream 🙂

#unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #photography #productivity #dreambigorgohome


From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
October 30, 2014 at 01:00AM

Unplugging from the Stream

Questions tonight are …
What was your favorite food when you were little? Is it still your favorite?  Was there a food that you couldn’t stand that you like now?  Any foods that you didn’t like then and never will?

Questions from last night were:
Did you ever threaten, or even prepare, to run away from home when you were a kid?  Do you remember why?  Did you pack anything?  Did you make it out of the house, and if so, how far did you get?

I’m gonna pile this one on with the one below, and make a nice long post out of the answers to both at some point.  I have a huge assignment tonight, and no time to write out my answer – gotta write a paper instead …

Previous question that I will eventually answer  😉
Have you ever been given a present that you hated/disliked? What was it?  Who gave it to you? What was the occasion? How did you react – could they tell that you didn’t like it?

Left work at lunchtime to get my homework finished, and here I sit at 1:00am just getting started … le sigh

Today is now day 29 (YAY!!!) of my favorite month which culminates, as I’ve mentioned many, many times now, in my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my next Halloween themed photo can be seen below …

Have a great night, fellow Pressers, and sweet dreams 🙂

#unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart   #darkness #night #photography #halloweeniscoming   #eileenshalloweenproject   #october   #october2014   #halloween   #halloween2014   #vegan #veganrecipe   #photographyproject   #zombie   #samhain   #celticnewyear

From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
October 29, 2014 at 03:06AM

Unplugging from the Stream

Questions tonight are …
Did you ever threaten, or even prepare, to run away from home when you were a kid? Do you remember why? Did you pack anything? Did you make it out of the house, and if so, how far did you get?

Questions from last night were:
If you could have been a child prodigy what would you have wanted to be skilled at? Why?

I really wanted to play the piano but I hated practicing, and I was a good singer. I had no idea how to pursue becoming a professional singer, though, so I never pursued that. I was NOT, however, a child prodigy, and I don’t think that I would have chosen that. I think that if I were to choose now, that I would have chosen to be a Math or Physics prodigy … or a mind-reader, or empath … either of those would have been both a curse and a blessing, but think of how far someone who can consistently demonstrate either mind-reading, true empathy, or both could take us in the study of our brains and future capabilities!!!

Previous question that I will eventually answer 😉
Have you ever been given a present that you hated/disliked? What was it? Who gave it to you? What was the occasion? How did you react – could they tell that you didn’t like it?

I felt wide-awake and alert almost all day at work today again, but by the time I got home, I was falling over tired and took a nap. I woke up at 1:15am, did a quick homework assignment, and now I’m here doing my final post for the day.

The time change should help me a bit because that will be a two rather than three hour difference, so I won’t be working at such extremes in school. Yes, I KNOW that I should set an arbitrary time to be my deadline, but it doesn’t matter if I try to do that … I still KNOW that my assignments aren’t due until 2:00 or 3:00am, and I end up being on that schedule while trying to work on Eastern time … it’s interesting and has been a bit difficult to adjust to, but I’m getting there 🙂

Today is now day 28 (YAY!!!) of my favorite month which culminates, as I’ve mentioned many, many times now, in my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my next Halloween themed image can be seen below …

Have a great night, fellow Pressers, and sweet, batty dreams to you all 🙂

#goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #humor #halloweeniscoming #eileenshalloweenproject #october #october2014 #halloween #halloween2014 #bats #batty #ozzyosbourne #ozzy #photographyproject #zombie #samhain #celticnewyear

Organization Makes for Improved Efficiency and Performance

Well, I got up in the middle of the night, and I completed my (small) assignment with two minutes to spare, getting it in at 2:58am, which equates to 11:58pm MST, and is just under the wire for my assignments. It could possibly have been interesting reading, but I was in a hurry. I do have another related essay due this week on the same material, though, so I will take the time to read it more thoroughly tomorrow.

One of the reasons I got into performance psychology is that I really love psychology – I find it fascinating, and I’m looking forward to learning more about it. I really want to give it the time it deserves to be cemented in my mind, but that wasn’t going to happen today. I’m in this for the long haul, and after my first course ended, I knew that I needed to make some changes. I’ve been having a horrible time with my sleep and energy levels, however, and I haven’t been up to taking the steps needed to get everything in order to help me succeed.

That changed today when I went to take a nap this afternoon. I felt tired, but for 15 minutes or so I just lay in bed looking around my room and thinking about what needed to change or move or be removed in order to help me function more efficiently. A plan came together in my head, and all of a sudden I was energized and ready to do it!

My younger son came in to help me, and we moved my furniture around, swept, wiped down walls, emptied trash, and I have a much better set up in half of my room. That’s the important half for now – the place where I can work and keep my work related materials organized. The other half is filled with shelves and bins and clothing that I will start noodling on now. I don’t like how my clothes are arranged, and I have a number of bins full of random stuff – two boxes full of electrical cables, chargers, jumpers – many of which are orphaned, but I have orphaned hard drive enclosures and the like, so I don’t dare toss the lot until I pair everything up. Really, it’s more like 3/4 of my room is complete as we tackled the bathroom today as well, and it feels a lot better to me to come in here now.

I had a huge issue with my desk in that my chair keeps going missing, and rather than continuing the war of the desk chairs with the kids, I now have my desk set up in the corner of my room where the bed is close enough to use as a chair, and it can double as a nightstand. My table on the other side of the bed toward the bathroom, and is now the family charging station with multiple hookups as well as where I organized a number of perfumes and hair care products for ease of access by my daughter and me. There’s room in the bathroom for the actual products, but both of us always walk outside to use the hairspray, mousse, gel, and perfume because we need the extra space to flip our hair around or down then back up, and we both walk into clouds of perfume rather than actually applying it to ourselves. The products, then, inevitably get set down on my table while we go back in to rinse our hands or finish up with whatever other preparations we are making.

It just made sense to go ahead and arrange for them to be there instead of piling them amid a bunch of other external hard drives, vitamins, magazines, and other items that I am now keeping on my desk/nightstand on the other side. There’s plenty of room in the boys’ bathroom for all of this stuff AND the required maneuvering, but … it’s the boys bathroom, and we girls just don’t go in there …

This is probably incredibly boring, but I like a good system, as it frees my mind up to think about other things, and eliminates a lot of frustration like when my face lotion or chapstick or earrings get lost amid the piles of mail and other items that had collected over the months. I have an entirely separate table now for mail.

When I had surgery earlier this year, I bought myself a hospital table, so that I could use the computer and eat in bed. I knew that I would need it for a few weeks, but hadn’t given much thought to what I would do with it after I was better. It has been sitting on the other side of the room holding a fan, random bits of mail, a computer that I am refurbishing, and, of course, has had many articles of clothes tossed upon it 😉

The shelving unit that was relegated to the back corner of the room is now out next to the window, and is accessible from the front and both sides which makes it much easier and more useful. Under the window along the side wall is the bed table which is now holding two of those nice cloth-covered boxes – one to sort mail, and the other for additional vitamins, supplements, painkillers, safety pins, needles, a tape measure, extra deodorant, spare keys, spare change, and other random items … basically a junk drawer, but fairly organized … for now …

I also have cables for my monitor and laptop charger that are long enough to allow me to either sit at the desk in a normal position, or I can turn around and lean back in bed while still using the big monitor on the desk. Overall, I’m extremely happy with the change, I’ve enjoyed walking into my room today, and I feel like it will be easier and more pleasant to tackle my work from here on out 🙂

From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
October 21, 2014 at 04:23AM

Unplugging from the Stream

Questions tonight are …
What was the apartment or house like that you grew up in? How many bedrooms did it have? Bathrooms? What was your bedroom like?

My answers to the night before last’s questions
What cartoons did you watch/like best growing up? Were Saturday morning cartoons your favorite part of the week?

As I mentioned last night, last Saturday was the end of an era, and the first week since about forever ago that the main networks didn’t show cartoons on Saturday morning.

I used to get up ridiculously early on Saturday mornings to catch Casper.  He came on at 6:30 or 7:30am, and if I got up too early, then I had an interminable wait staring at the fuzzy screen until the channel came alive 15 minutes before.  I watched the Superfriends at 11:30am (not sure why that stuck), The New Schmoo was on at 10L00am, I think, and there was Johnny Quest, Scooby Do, and Hong King Phooey, and Bugs Bunny, and Land of the Lost (not a cartoon, but c’mon), The Pink Panther, Underdog, H.R. Puffinstuff  (yes, I am admitting this publicly), The Jetsons, Mr. Magoo, Shazam, Sigmund and the Seamonster, Captain Caveman, that thing with Lamb Chop … whew … this is NOT an exhaustive list … but man – that was the highlight of my week to get to watch all of these, and sometimes I would flip back and forth because I couldn’t decide which one to watch.

When I was a little older I watched G-force, Speed Racer, Two Stupid Dogs, and many more, and my all-time favorite was Underdog when I was little, and later on The Tick 😀

I took a marathon nap again today,  although much shorter than yesterday.  I am definitely splitting my days up with a long nap, work, another long nap, homework/posts/stuff around the house. I was incredibly productive at work today, and that always feels good.  I struggled, however, with my homework assignment, and I was two minutes late with it   My freaking internet went out again, and the 5 minutes that I had to spend getting that back up and running literally put me 2 minutes over the deadline.  Grrrr

Yeah, I know that I shouldn’t be cutting it so close, but dangit – I had it ready to submit and the connection dropped.  How do you plan ahead for shit like that?

… gonna end up throwing the stupid eggs away …

Today is now day 20 (YAY!!!) of my favorite month which culminates, as I’ve mentioned many, many times now, in my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my next Halloween themed ANIMATED photo can be seen below …

I stopped to snap this on the way home, and then I kept not being happy with the processing, so I tried again, and again, and again until I had seven versions.  At that point I couldn’t decide which one I liked best, so I just animated the lot, and shared them all 🙂 Turns out that those don’t work here, so I changed to the static images …

Have a great night, fellow Pressers, and many sweet dreams 🙂

#unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart#darkness #night #photography #halloweeniscoming#eileenshalloweenproject   #october   #october2014 #halloween   #halloween2014     #photographyproject   #samhain   #celticnewyear #pumpkins #animated






Time Management

I reference the video below in this discussion, and it is well worth watching.  It may be that you won’t use all of his examples, but he definitely got me thinking about things that I could do to improve, and areas where I am still inefficient.  With the course week changing from Monday through Sunday to Thursday through Wednesday, I have had to reassess my previous methods of completing my assignments, and strangely enough, I think that I enjoy having the week end on Wednesdays.  I feel like I am actually getting a break on the weekend where before I worked through the entire weekend, and spreading the work out over the entire week is giving me more time to prepare meals, and eat with the kids 🙂
Randy Pausch Lecture: Time Management
“Why is time management important to you professionally, academically, and personally? After reading “Dr. Ronald Berman on Time Management,” and viewing the video at the conclusion of the article, how will you change your approach to time management using that information?”

Image by Kittycatty – available on

Time management is essential to maintaining a balance among the various areas of my life.  In my job, I have organized my work such that I rarely ever take work home.  Nor do I check my work email outside of work hours except under extraordinary circumstances such as a large software project go-live event for which I am responsible.  My current position of project manager over what are sometimes enterprise-wide information technology projects for a company employing more than 20,000 individuals at more than 600 locations means that not only do I have to manage my own time, but that of others as well.  It was not always the case that I left work at work, but it has taken years of effort to find a system of time management that allows me to be successful in my current position while rarely feeling overwhelmed.

Academically, I have just completed two degrees online over the last four years, and I feel that I this shows that I have a solid method of time management in place in order to succeed in this program as well.  There are many items on Dr. Ronald Berman’s list in our assigned reading this week such as keeping a to do list, writing down ideas as they occur to me (I call OneNote from Microsoft my peripheral brain, and the online version can be accessed from just about any device or browser available.), backing up my files, and mapping out the entire course’s assignments in advance are just three examples of items that I do currently (Berman, 2011).  There are some item on his list that I need to add to my current plan such as actually writing it down, and I plan to print his list and refer to it often, in order to maximize my time utilization (Berman, 2011).

In my personal life I have three children with whom I enjoy spending time, and we have scheduled activities such as dinner out every two weeks and a movie once a month that we all enjoy.  I enjoy photography, and spend several hours on the weekends driving to local spots with one or more of my children to shoot when weather permits.  Digital paintography or photo editing consumes at least one evening a week and a few hours on the weekend, and I post the results of those efforts to a daily blog.  For the next ten weeks I will also be facilitating a Project Management Professional course in preparation for the exam I will be sitting for in December.

My friends and family call me crazy for tackling so much, but I thoroughly enjoy my life, my family, my hobbies, my friends, my work, and my education, and I am steadily working toward and attaining my goals.  One of the things that struck me in Randy Pausch’s lecture (2007) was that he mentioned killing your television.  We do have a television, and my children and I watch movies together on it occasionally, but other than that it collects dust.  I originally bought it for my boys to use for their game system, but they prefer games on the computer.  We haven’t had cable television in more than 10 years, and we’ve never missed it.  There is so much to do and see and learn and discuss, that I believe many more families would be happier without one. My life is a happy one with my time filled from morning to night with those things that are important to me, and time management, as Randy Pausch (2007) pointed out, is the key that makes juggling all of my activities and responsibilities possible.



Berman, R. (2011). RES 811: Dr. Ronald Berman on Time Management. Document posted in Grand Canyon University PSY801-O103 online classroom.

Pausch, R. (Presenter). (2007, November 27). Randy Pausch lecture: time management. Retrieved from

from Instagram: