Ask Mikey Michelle Arana

Dear Mikey,

I have three kids, am happily married to my husband of 24 years, and I just got promoted in my 14-year career for the third time. I could not be happier and more thankful than I already am.

The only problem I am having is my time management. I am fine at work because I don’t take my work home with me. The problem I am having is at home.

With the three kids I have soccer games, Girl Scout troop meetings, church functions, karate matches — you name it. With my husband, I have company dinners (he is a partner at a firm), social dinners with friends, and we also take care of my mother-in-law on a regular basis. That is not to mention the church volunteer work that I myself do, along with household chores, cooking, and did I mention that I am also a gym rat?

Between the promotion at work, and my kids getting older at home, and even my husband traveling a little now for work, things have gone from comfortably busy, to absolute craziness at our house.

How do I manage all of this without slacking in anything at the same time?

— Life in the Fast Lane


Dear Life in the Fast Lane,

It is all about prioritizing your “to-do list.”

Start by putting a list of everything that you have to do on a regular basis in front of you. I know what you’re thinking, what about the extra things like games, dinners etc.? We will take care of that next. Make two columns on a separate sheet of paper; one for needs, and one for wants (what you need to do, what you want to do). Now, start plugging in tasks to each column. 

The trick to doing this is to be 100 percent honest with yourself. Just because you really want to watch TV on Monday night, doesn’t mean that it should go in the need column over your turn to host your daughter’s Girl Scout troop meeting. Have the meeting because you committed to it, but have your TV record a show so you can watch it later.

No one is saying that you have to sacrifice things you want to do or would like to do, it’s just a matter of knowing what takes priority over other things that should come first. 

So once you finish plugging your tasks into your two columns, manage your time throughout the day to where you are getting the tasks you need to get done first, and then if you have time, start doing things that you want to do.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at

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