It’s a Newsletter!!!


Hello all.  There is no post this week only because I’m working on getting the newsletter set up to go out on the 28th of February….. Not much time left and I want to make sure I dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s (easier sentence to say than to write).

I am also working on some research regarding how the paralegal profession will be impacted by all the machine learning that we keep hearing about.  The past couple of months this has been the topic of conversation around the office and recently, while working with one of the paralegals on my team to set up her goals for the year this question came up.  Let me ask you, is this something you are thinking about?  What is your number one concern?  How are you preparing for when the time comes?

Anyway, the newsletter comes out on the 28th and the next post will be out on Saturday.  Sorry about the confusing schedule but I’m hoping to get things back to normal as I get myself ahead a bit.

Have an awesome week and I will see you soon.  Please if you are not subscribed to email list, do so now so you can get the newsletter in your inbox.

Thanks again



What is Calendar Blocking


Last week I published a post about my travels into calendar blocking.  It’s been a struggle but one that I am pretty sure I’m going to win… or better yet that I AM winning.

I didn’t realize, until I was speaking with some of you on Facebook last night that some of you may not be familiar with calendar blocking and I think it’s worth sharing here what it is and how I use it.  I hope you try it and if you do please let me know how it’s working out for you.  I’d love to hear.

what is calendar blocking?

Calendar blocking is taking the things you have to do and putting them on a calendar so as to give them a designated time to be done.  I know we all have heard that the only things that should go on a calendar are events.  If you really think about it, aren’t to-dos or tasks things that need to happen?  and if they need to happen, in my mind they are events.  If I need to get something done I have to make sure that I have time in my schedule to get it done.

Things on a to do list are great.  I love my to do lists and I love being able to cross them off at the end of the day.  I feel so productive when I look back and see all the check off marks.  As great as I feel about looking at my checked off items on my to do list at times I can make myself crazy with the amount of things I think I can actually get accomplished.  Having a very large to do list makes me overwhelmed and honestly drives my husband insane because I can be very compulsive and feel like I need to accomplish everything on the same day.  Some things are more important than others and not everything on that list needs to get done….. Get a grip Ana…..

By taking those things on the list and placing them in time slots on my calendar/schedule I can actually see how many things I can actually accomplish.  It also makes me assess the list and actually figure out what it is that I NEED to do and what are things that perhaps can wait a few more days or sometimes even months.  Figuring out my priorities at the end of each day help keep me productive and keep the needle moving forward without driving myself and those around me completely insane.  It also helps me with making sure that I don’t burn out….. and in a way keep some sense of work/life balance (if that’s what you call it).

How I calendar block!


On a weekly basis I review my goals and my calendar both for work and personal and begin plugging in things that I know are going to happen.  For example, I know that every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I have to get up at a certain time and be out of the house in order to catch the train by a certain time.  So that goes on my calendar as recurring appointments.

  • Wake up
  • shower and get ready
  • coffee and morning pages
  • leave the house
  • Train

I also know what time I have to catch the train at night and what time I get home.  That also goes on my calendar as a recurring appoint.  Then I add any hair appointments or doctors’ appointments that may be coming up.  At this point the calendar is a bit fuller and I can see where I have time to plug in other things.

I know I want to read and review at least one book per month so I try to schedule reading time.  I also know that I want to make sure I have time with my husband so I schedule time with my husband.  I know that part does not sound very romantic but honestly it’s less romantic if you wind up not having time for your husband if you are all over the place trying to get through your to do list.

On a daily basis I review my schedule at the end of each day and prepare for the next day.  I know it sounds a bit much but doing this at the end of each day allows me to reschedule anything I know I won’t be able to get to as well as make sure that any appointments that were originally scheduled in the beginning of the week have not been canceled or changed.  We know things change often so having this time at night to review makes sense to me.  It also allows me to get things out of my brain so that I’m not thinking about them when I’m trying to sleep.  I really like sleep and if I can help not have that interrupted you better believe I’m going to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal :).

I also have a full-time job and as we all know meetings and court dates get rescheduled often which in turn may mean that doing that one thing tomorrow may not make sense anymore so why not replace it with something that may be more urgent?

Why Calendar Block?

Calendar blocking is not new.  Ben Franklin actually used it.  Maybe he wasn’t as anal as I am and kept things more general, but nonetheless he saw the importance of scheduling things.  If you want to keep things more general like Ben and if that’s what makes sense to you, by all means.  You should arrange and develope your own form of calendar blocking.  The goal is to help you achieve your goals and be happier and more relaxed.  Hey, it worked for Ben!


Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law?  it’s not really a law but it might as well be.  The “law” states that “work expands to fill the time allotted.  To me this means that if I don’t schedule a time to complete a task I’m going to be working on that task for as long as I want…. or as long as I allow myself.  When will I know that I’m done and I need to move on?  I don’t so I just keep going.

Have you sat in a meeting that seemed to go on forever?  That is the perfect example of the law in action.  Digressing for a bit here.  I have started scheduling my meetings for only 30 minutes.  if we need more time then I find time on the calendars for another 30 minute session but I have realized that if I schedule an hour we will talk in circles for the full hour and other work is not getting done.  We can more often than not accomplish our goal in 30 minutes.

The same is true for your to do list.  When you allow yourself all day to do the things on the to do list more often than not the tasks will take longer because there’s really nothing telling your brain to stop the task.  Your brain, at least my brain, feels like I can just take my time.  By putting that task/appointment on my calendar I know that I have a limited amount of time to get the thing done.  If I want to achieve a goal then I’m going to make sure that I get that done because right after that there will be other things on the calendar that are just as important to me.

Yes, I schedule time for a bubble bath, relaxing time and television time and I make sure I stick to it by setting alerts to remind me that it’s time to get to the next task.  Go ahead, laugh….. my husband does so far this is keeping me on track.  Calendar blocking has helped me greatly in being able to achieve my goals and I’m sure it’s going to help me achieve my goals in the future.

Some things I’ve achieved with calendar blocking (just for your reference)

  • I began working at one of the largest financial institutions in the world;
  • Received a promotion within two years;
  • Started Paralegal Organization at that institution in 2016;
  • Expanded the Organization to our international offices in 2017;
  • Started working with non-profits to organize local events for fundraising;
  • Another promotion and lead a team in 2018;

I am not saying all this to impress you.  Believe me, it’s been a whole lot of hard work. I am sharing this to show you that if you want to make things happen the best way to do it is to make sure it’s on your calendar and that you are dedicating as much time to it as you can possibly do.  If it’s important to me, it’s going to be on my calendar.  You better believe that.

How do you achieve your goals?  What’s your secret?

Thanks for reading!





Calendar Blocking or To Do List?

I do both — How do I do both?  Well let me tell you how it works?

Calendar Blocking!!!!!

Are you sick of hearing about calendar blocking?  It seems like everyone is talking about this these days.  When I first started hearing about this I was sure it was going to be great.  I immediately took out my calendar and began blocking time to do things.  It was great.  it was like my to-do list came to life.  It felt as if everything I needed to do completely fit in one day.  By the end of the day I had realized that maybe I had put too many things on my calendar and I felt as if I was running like a chicken with my head cut off and to accomplish everything.  I felt rush most of the day and even though I think I was very productive I really didn’t have much to look back on.  There were things that had been moved and now I didn’t know if they would have been crossed off and there were things that just remained but I really had not finished them.  It was a mess and my brain felt tired.

I gave up and went back to my tried and true method of having a to do.  Which If I’m going to be truly honest it is not ideal either but it seemed to work for what I needed.  I like to see how much I accomplished.  I get a sense of accomplishment from crossing things off.

In the midst of this frustration I had an idea……..

It doesn’t have to be one or the other

What a concept!!! Just recently I realized that it does not have to be one or the other.  The calendar blocking method works with the to do method perfectly well.

This past month I have been keeping a master task list where I jot down all the things I want to accomplish and then on set times (weekly and daily at the end of the month I plan on doing a monthly review as well) I open up my calendar and the to do list next to each other and start figuring out what will fit in my schedule for that week or for that day.

Why I use both the “to-do list” and the calendar blocking methods?

The To Do List:  I like to cross things off and know what I did throughout the day.  one of the downfalls of the calendar block was that if I did not get to something I would move it forward to a different day or a different time but there was never that pleasure of crossing it off it was done.  It began to feel like I wasn’t doing much.  I know I can go and look back at my calendar is see all the things but that just wasn’t enough for me.  If you are like me and you like not see things crossed off, the calendar method can feel anticlimactic.  It doesn’t have to, though.

The Calendar Blocking Method:  The thing I found most frustrating about the to do list is that I was not able to figure out how much time I would have each day and sometimes I would start with things that I thought would take less time in order to get more things done.  Good plan right?  But what if the thing takes longer than expected?  what if you misjudge and then the most important thing doesn’t get done because it was actually the thing that was going to take a bit more time but because you thought the other thing was going take less time you prioritized that one other thing first not leaving you any time to complete the one thing that was really the most important?  Ugh!!!! did this make any sense?  let me know if this doesn’t make sense and I will try to clarify it.

How do you do it?  How do you plan and organize your day?  What is working for you?  Do you use a calendar blocking method, a to do list or both?  Or none?  Let me know.  I would love to hear from you.

In the mean time, be well and I will see very soon, I hope.


Promoting Others in the Field and Other Changes on the Blog

I know it’s been a long time since I got on here and chatted with you all.  My days at the office have been really long and by the time I get home the last thing I want to do is turn on my computer again and write more.  Most nights I feel like I don’t even have the brain power to put a coherent sentence together much less a whole new article.

I have been working with some of my readers to put together a series of writings by you, the readers.  In a few weeks there will be an article posted written by a paralegal at a law firm in Florida.  My goal with this blog has always been to promote the profession and the professionals.  As paralegals, we can use all the help we can get to tell others about us and about what we do.  So, if you want to be featured and and tell others about you, what you do, what you like or not like about the profession, please send me an article and we can work together to highlight you and your achievements.

This blog is written for you and now it’s also written by you.  I’m super excited about this new series and look forward to learning about each and every one of my readers.

Thank you all so much for your support all these years and for you patience when life gets the best of me and I go missing for a few months.  I will try to be better but right now I’m not sure I can promise an article every day.

Another thing I’m thinking about is to do a new feature about how manage my time, plan my day and organize my crazy busy life.  Between my fundraising (I am currently working on a non-profit for women and girls), my day job (working at the legal department of the financial firm), my personal life (which honestly has taken a back seat) and this blog (which is so far list) and my planner creations (I’m a paper person and I really love planners and planner functional decorations) I have a lot of balls up in the air.  Sometimes things fall through the cracks and I’ve learned that I cannot beat myself up for allowing that to happen once in a while.  All I can do is make sure that when I do something I do it well and I’m providing a benefit to someone.  If I can accomplish that I declare it a win.

So, the next couple of weeks you will some changes, some additions in the format of the posts and maybe some added pages to encompass all these areas of my life in one spot.  I think that will make it easier.  I will ensure that I keep them all in separate categories so as to not make you read things you are not interested in reading.

Looking forward to being back more often and engaging with you all more one on one basis.  I do hope you get involved.

Thank you


Decisions on Coming Back to Blogging

I’m not promising anything since every time I promise to be back, life takes over and I go months and months without posting.  It shouldn’t be this difficult but apparently it is.  I know that this is what I want to be doing but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to come home from work and sit in front of this computer to write some more…. then there are other times when I could actually do it but there is really nothing of interest to share.

As most of you know I have three blogs.  I thought it would be best to keep them all separate since they are all different aspects of my life (this post will be posted on all of them).  The Paralegal in Camelot is a blog about my professional life.  Living in Camelot is a blog about my home life, my adventures into a healthy lifestyle, natural cleaning products an tips, discussions natural medicine (I’m not a doctor so don’t take my discussions as professional advice.  Those are just my thoughts), my dabbling in yoga and meditation, etc.  Then there is the Vegan Paralegal.  I have been trying to go completely vegan for over a year now and something always seems to derail my mojo.  That blog is my travels into that world and how I manage the obstacles……

All of these blogs have been so neglected.  I really want to dedicate more time to all of them and am really trying to figure out how to best do that.  Please be patient with me and when I can figure out a way I promise (and this promise I can keep) you will not be disappointed.  You will have great content and great ideas and a very supportive person on your side….. I just have to figure out how to get there and not derail my entire life.

If you have any ideas I would gladly listen to you.  Please let me know how you manage if you are managing the same issue.




The Vegan Paralegal

This weekend I decided to start a new blog.  Originally I thought about incorporating it into this one but then I decided that some of you may not be interested in seeing anything non-pralegal related.  Wordpress makes it really easy to start a new site so I decided to split the two.  The Vegan Paralegal is a diary of my discovery of a vegan and healthy world.

The Paralegal is not going anywhere, I’ll still be posting here and hopefully on more of a regular basis (I’m working on a schedule).  The new blog, The Vegan Paralegal, is here on WordPress (I just love WordPress) will feature articles about eating as a vegan, taking steps to become more eco-friendly, and being generally healthier.  I’m hoping to talk about exercise, diet and overall a more holistic lifestyle.

I hope you will go and look around.  Remember that it’s all new to me to there will be some mistakes made and I’m looking to all of you to set me straight.  I’m sure I’m not the only paralegal interested in planet friendly stuff and certainly not the first vegan paralegal.  So come on over and help me out.  I’m sure together we can and will make a difference.

Hope to see you there.