The Washington Post

Time Hack Project

To raise healthy adults, this stressed-out mom realized she needed to be a better role model

Her biggest revelation through the time hacks, she said, was realizing that she didn’t give herself time, because she didn’t value herself. And her biggest motivation to change that, she said, is recognizing the kind of role model she wants to be for her children.

How this Millennial stopped his non-profit career from taking over his life

In a country where long work hours are the norm, non-profits can be among the most notorious – the people who are drawn to work in that world tend to be passionate and driven, and the work is never ending. “Perhaps, being so young, he thought working more hours than necessary was the norm,” Heisler said. “Giving him permission to draw boundaries around work was powerful.”

This young single mother was racing through life. Here’s how she learned to stop.

“I used to work crazy hours, put the kids to bed, and work another four or five hours,” she said. “Now, I have a clearer sense of what’s important. I’m much more refreshed when I come into the office. I’m discovering it’s so much better to work eight super-focused hours, than 16 tired and distracted ones.”

How to really work from home

Though “certainly not perfect yet,” Melissa is no longer panicked, stressed and feeling guilty all the time because she now has specific times to pay attention to what’s important. She’s actually doing better work because she’s able to focus and finish. “I always felt such a desperation to work, because I didn’t know when I was going to fit it in,” she said. “Now that I’m not feeling stressed, it’s easier to tackle any challenges that arise.”

How a devoted young teacher narrowly escaped burnout and got her life back

“When we love our job and find what we are doing to be important, we often create unachievable expectations for ourselves,” Heisler said. “Re-evaluate what you are doing and what you really need to do. Look for the quality, not quantity of work. Stop equating hours with doing a good job.”

How this Millennial learned to keep her work at work and finally go on that date night with her husband

Colleagues are noticing a change. “After two weeks working with Melissa, people started to say, ‘You seem more centered,” Rice said. “I felt I was listening more, rather than frantically jumping from one thing to the next. I feel like I’ve been able to differentiate between what’s critical and high priority, and the things that can wait.”

How a caregiver learned to care for herself – by lowering the bar

Think of exercise as a gift. Not work. If exercise becomes one more thing on the To Do list, it’s hard to get and stay motivated, Heisler said. “It’s more about having the intention to exercise than having a resolution,” she said. Setting the intention is an easier way to start, rather than feeling the pressure of keeping a resolution, and the disappointment if you can’t.

We helped this woman conquer her fear of failure to write a book. Here’s how.

Melissa Heisler’s TOP TIP: “Not moving forward is often a symptom of a larger problem. Take a few steps back and look at your life. What is working? What is not? Where is there tension, conflict or stress? Many times once some emotional issue is resolved, the work moves forward naturally.”

‘Everywhere I look is clutter.’ Can we help this woman get her life in order?

Melissa Heisler’s Top Tip: “Break overwhelming tasks into manageable chunks. And do a little bit everyday. Just 15 minutes a day can start to make a big difference over time.”

Vamos A Mexico

We just ditched our crazy, work-obsessed American lives to build a dream life in Mexico.

Over the past few years, my husband Dan and I realized that we were living to work, not working to live . . . Over the years, as we fell in love with Cabo and the people of Mexico, we began to wonder: What if there was a better way to live than the American dream?

To find paradise, we had to let go of our possessions

Before we could make the leap into our new life, we first had to deal with the stress of leaving our old one . . . in order to make room for something new and beautiful in your life, you have to allow yourself to let go of things.

We are not the only ones who have taken to the road to reinvent our lives

We were pioneers, striking out where others dared not tread. We were looking for a better, more meaningful life with the hope we could make a living in a new country. We were taking a risk without any assurance as to what this would mean for us in the short or long term. We had to let go of our stability and most of our possessions. We were free and unfettered. It was just my husband and me and the open road.