OF YOUR LIFE
By Jane Pauley
Staying on track when
there’s no one looking
over your shoulder
In 30 years, I never had a bad boss,
though I had more than a dozen boss-
es, including one who threw things.
Only one gave annual performance
reviews, and mine weren’t “Keep up
the good work!” But his good opinion
mattered. I was lucky with bosses;
I liked them all.
motivate yourself? Take this
KNO W THE GOAL
“Write a business
card with your ideal
identity on it,” says
Then strive to work
like that person.
TIME YOUR TASKS
Notice the hours
when you think the
most clearly, says
a certified personal
your most challenging work then.
Carve out work
e-mail and phone,
says Robert Ditt-
mer, author of
151 Quick Ideas to
Manage Your Time.
but his morning routine is not. Shower and think, shave and dress, oatmeal
and raisins, scan the paper, grab the
keys, and go to work. Every day.
I remembered my aunt, who began
every day with a crisp routine. Even
in retirement, before her meditation,
a modest breakfast, and a crossword
puzzle, she looked smart and ready to
go, whether she was going anywhere
or not. It set a tone for the day of
intentionality and purpose.
A few months ago I put a new routine to the test. I laid out my clothes
at night, as I had when I used to “go
to work” instead of to my own office.
In the morning I made the dog wait 10
minutes while I put on some makeup,
so when I sat down to coffee, I looked
like someone who had somewhere to
go. And I even found myself eager to
get there! I arrived at my office with
focus and energy. Better start-up does
produce better follow-through.
I think my new “boss” will benefit
from regular reviews (for example,
she could stand to set clearer goals).
But as for the job itself, I’d emphatically say it “exceeds expectations.” ;
TOP LEF T: ANDRE W ECCLES (S T YLIST: ANN CARUSO—THE WALL GROUP; HAIR: JAMES MCNALLY/
MARIO DIAB SALON; MAKEUP: GREGG HUBBARD); ILLUSTRATION BY MATTHEW HOLLISTER
Award-winning journalist Jane Pauley is
AARP’s Your Life Calling ambassador.
Watch Jane’s Today show segments—about people
reinventing their lives—at