• Michele Boutin

Time Feels Different in the Fall

Updated: Sep 21


The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. -- Mark Twain


As we bid farewell to my favorite of days… the lazy summer, “Oh, what ever shall we do with this day” days, autumn is tiptoeing in with chillier and much foggier mornings, sprinkling subtle hue changes across the landscape while stirring thoughts of starting the fireplace a blaze with a glass of red in hand; mmm... there's a splash of excitement that often feels a bit like New Year’s.


As the earth is preparing for slumber, in some ways we are embracing nostalgia, yet rousing novelty. There is a sense of fresh starts, hunkering down into new schedules,

and the eagerness, or perhaps dread, to organize in the hope

of staying on top of the piles of “to dos.”


I'm fairly certain that I am not not alone in wishing for more hours in a day. When our 3 children were in the throes of elementary to high school, our calendar was filled with various school drop-offs, carpooling, play dates, school events, extra curricular activities, and sports. I used to wonder why it appeared that some people seemed to get everything done effortlessly while others appeared that time constantly eluded them. I remember saying to myself, "Slow down… you haven’t dropped the ball yet. Do one thing at a time, do it well, and move on to the next.” Yes, talking to myself did help!

Through my business training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I became privy to the secret that managing your time well isn’t working more hours, but rather the secret is working smarter, not harder. It is about prioritizing the important things and learning to use the time you have more efficiently and effectively.

Some of us inherently organize and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us play first and work later; I am mostly the first, but shake it up a bit when I get out of routine. It is important to first recognize which type you are and whether your style is allowing you to have the life you really want. Maybe you are super-organized at work, but burned out because you don’t know how to make time for yourself. Maybe you are naturally a less organized person who knows how to relax, but you are dissatisfied because you aren’t fulfilling your goals and dreams.

There isn’t a right or wrong, so rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, realize that time management is an area of your life that you can strengthen. Like a new muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. To help you get started, here are some steps that I have taken away from my training to streamline your days at work and at home.

Try the first one or two that jump out at you:

  • Allocate time for planning and organizing.

  • Create to-do lists that are realistic, not intimidating. Use only one to-do list.

  • Under-schedule your time to leave time for the unexpected and for interruptions. When you estimate how long something will take, add on a third of that time.

  • Practice the art of intelligent neglect an eliminate trivial tasks.

  • Prioritize what is most important and do that first.

  • Consider your biological prime time. At what time of day do you work best? Plan to do your most important work at that time.

  • If you say yes to everything that comes your way, learn to say no.

  • Ask for help and delegate.

  • In the evening make your to-do list for the next day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper.

  • Leave work with a clear head and a clean desk.

  • Acknowledge yourself daily for all that you have accomplished.

Also, take a look at the two biggest hindrances to using time effectively: procrastinating and lacking purpose. The procrastinator, like moi, usually procrastinates when a task seems too daunting, too large, too complex, or when I begin to feel overwhelmed and think I won’t be able to handle it. I have learned that when I get that “deer in the headlights” feeling to “chunk” down the task(s): break the large task into smaller, manageable action steps and start with the first one. Many of us also often drag our heels or use our time inefficiently because we are bored, unengaged and uninspired. The most effective people will tell you that they love what they do and are aligned with a greater purpose.


When it comes to managing your time, ask yourself these questions:

Am I doing what I love to do? "

"Am I doing something meaningful to me?”


As you strengthen your new time management muscle, keep your focus on getting organized so that you can live the life you came here for. Instead of being a chore, good time management can be your ticket to more fun, greater satisfaction and a vibrant, exciting life.



Roasted Root Vegetables

The smell is divine & the taste is delicious!

Who does this recipe really belong to? I see variations on the web, on televised cooking shows and in numerous magazines, and I have been roasting root vegetables for years. Roasting root vegetables provides a wonderful side dish when in colorful cut pieces or roughly mashed, a quick reheat to add to the next day's lunch, or broth can be added and then pureed into a soup; such versatility! I usually just use whatever root vegetables I have on hand, but if you want to plan ahead, here is a good and easy combination:

  • Carrots (don’t bother peeling)

  • Parsnips (ditto)

  • Beets (“)

  • White Potatoes (“)

  • Yams (“)

  • Onion and garlic are great additions

Cut all vegetables approximately the same size, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a non-processed salt (I like Himalayan pink salt), ground pepper & Herbs de Provence or any fresh or dried herb combination. Roast on a heavy bottomed baking pan in a 400 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes depending on how large or small the vegetables have been cut. You can stir with a spatula off and on throughout the roasting. You will want the vegetables to be tender with a bit of caramelization (that’s the yummy part!).

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