E55 – Joel Hawbaker / Founder, Coach at Real Life Leading

Being part of a blended family can have many challenges. As Joel Hawbaker’s specialty, he helps not only provide support for these families, but also has One Big Tip to share about how he stays organized in the midst of living together in complex families and situations.

The Complexity of Families

While wearing many hats as a teacher, speaker, and life coach, Joel Hawbaker’s passion is for individuals in what are called “blended families.” This term encompasses families with parents that have divorced and remarried, families with step-siblings and step-parents, as well as families of adopted or foster children.

As part of a blended family himself, Joel is passionate about teaching others like him how to live more cooperatively and positively in their family situations, especially as he sees this need in the classrooms where he teaches. According to him, the best thing about what he does is “to be able to share a positive message about complex and often difficult family situations.”

Like many people, Joel has a lot to juggle in his busy life and his One Big Tip for staying organized is to use a daily checklist to keep track of your daily tasks to complete.

The Importance of Checklists

Joel started regularly writing lists in college, and as his world became more busy and crowded, his need for them increased. The simple act of writing things down is especially important for Joel. “If I don't write it down,” he says, “it doesn't exist in my world.”

Writing things down can be personalized to an individual’s preferences in different formats, from digitally planning to writing things on color-coded Post-It Notes. Joel happens to be a very analog person and recommends physically writing out things you have to do every day due to the satisfaction of marking something out with a pen when something has been done.

Whatever method you choose, it is also important to learn how to manage the tasks that you have with your current level of motivation. Joel states that as his motivation and time varies, his productivity in completing tasks also varies between whatever he can accomplish fastest, or whatever is going to take him the most time.

Though it seems simple, for those who don’t regularly use checklists, Joel is confident that getting in that habit can have a noticeable impact on how people approach balancing their time when completing tasks and activities.

If you would like to get in touch with Joel about boosting your productivity, visit his website www.joelwhawbaker.com or he can be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as Joel W. Hawbaker. In addition, if you are looking for more information or guidance about blended families, Joel has created two websites pertaining to this topic: www.reallifeleading.com which focuses on leadership with humility, and also www.stepdadding.com which addresses many questions and concerns people may have in relation to these families.