How to Optimize Productivity

Optimization…the new “buzz” word of the day. Everything from your car, to your computer, to even your wardrobe needs to be optimized, in order to get its best possible use.  However, when it comes to getting things done, completing a task or project, it is essential to “optimize” in order to be productive. How many times have you set out to do a task only to be interrupted by others, come up short on time, or simply burnout before the assignment is complete? In order to “optimize” your productivity make sure you factor in the following key components into the process….

O-Outsource as much as you can. Get others to help you. If you are not an expert in a certain area, seek others who are experts.

P-Plant barriers. Put barriers in place that will guard against taking you away from focusing on the project.

T-Timelines. Set timelines to complete the project.  

I-Identify Interrupters. Recognize those individuals, situation, etc. that cause interruptions.

M-Minimize wasted time. Quit trying to multi-task. Stay focused on the task at hand.

I-Incorporate breaks. Taking small breaks can help improve your concentration and improve performance.         

Z-Zap notifications-Turn off email, Snapchat, Twitter, notifications, etc. These can distract and take you off course from finishing the task.

E-Embrace enjoyment. Find time for the things you love. It does not have to be all work and no play.

What 3 action steps do you need to take today to maximize your productivity?

business-idea-534228__340.jpg

The Empty Nest-Finding Joy in an Empty House

What a precious gift it is to be a mother. The joy and pain that comes along with being a parent, is priceless and something not to be taken for granted. However, there comes a day when our job descriptions change and our duty as a caretaker ceases to be no longer. The day in which our babies leave the nest, and begin their life, as a young adults. Bitter sweet, to say the least… but something that happens to every parent sooner or later.

As I watched my son collect his possessions last summer and pack the car for his first year of college, thoughts of sadness and joy filled my heart. For the past 18 years, I have watched this young man grow from being a boy to a man. I have cared for him when he was sick, taught him how to ride his bike, helped him tie his first bowtie, endured riding with him as he learned how to drive a car, and  listened well as he walked through various relationship breakups. Now it was time….this young man was about to spread his wings and fly.

It is normal to feel a sense of grief when your children leave the nest. After all, for 18 years they have been a huge part of your life. Feelings of sadness will be present, feelings of emptiness will be experienced, and feelings of joy will be right around the corner, as you look towards the possibilities of new beginning, in your life and in your child’s life.

Tips on finding joy in your empty nest

Allow yourself to grieve. Although you are not “losing” your child, you are letting go of something you know and love. Give yourself permission to grieve and cry, is normal and expected.

Find other parents experiencing the same transition. There is comfort in knowing others are going through the same experience.

Give yourself time. Do not rush. Within a few weeks, you will adapt to your new family dynamics.

Take time to reinvest in your relationship with your spouse, if you are married. Schedule date nights, go on a vacation, etc. If single, find some activities you enjoy and spend time meeting new people in those activities.

There is a time for everything under heaven. This is one of those times. Letting your eagles fly is the beginning of a new adventure…..not only for them, but for you too.

graduation-2038864__340.jpg

 

 

 

Certainty in the Uncertain

Nothing in this life is certain! From day to day we do not know if we will be here today or  gone tomorrow, if our jobs will be secure, our finances stable, or if our friendships will remain intact. There is no guarantee for anything…..We often live in a state of confusion, worried about what will happen, what may never happen, or what could potentially happen. We spend our lives consumed with the “what if’s”.  But… what “if” you could live your life being certain in the uncertainty? What would that look like? What would that feel like?

Certainty is the firm conviction that something is the case, it is reliably true, and definite.

Instead of building our lives on those things that can be taken away. Why not build it on the one thing that is reliable and true?

Life is constantly changing, but one thing that never changes is God. In the midst of our ever changing lives, He is the steady constant that never changes. Yet when we are faced with adversity we often run to those things that are uncertain, those things that can be taken away. Why not place your hope in the one who is certain, the one who never changes?

Where will your road of uncertainty lead?

What things, people, or ideas have you placed your certainty in?

question-mark-3849347__340.jpg

Stressed Beyond Measures

Have you ever felt like you can never get a break? The car dies, the kids are late, the in-laws show up and the dog needs a bath, all in the same day!

You feel as if you have been run through the ringer and look as if you have been rode hard and put up wet. You finally find time to go on vacation, only to realize you need another vacation to recover from all of the laundry you have, when you return.

Today’s women are more stressed than ever before. You would think with the invention of technology life would be easier and faster. After all doesn’t the microwave make dinners faster? Doesn’t the Smart Phone turn finding a babysitter into ease, with just the click of a button on an App? Sure technology has made things easier, but if we take a closer look we will see, the faster and quicker we make our lives, the more opportunity it gives us to fill our time with other “things” that rob us of joy, max out our calendars, and strip us of our energy. Faster is not always better, quicker does not come with ease, and easier has its limitations.

When was the last time you “really” sat down and became STILL?  

When was the last time you cast your cares upon Him?

Life will always have stress. However, there are practical ways to elevate the degree stress plays.

1.       Invite God into your world. Cast your cares on him because he cares for you. Make time for prayer.

2.       Maintain order. Organize your day, your week, etc.. Eliminate things that rob you of time and energy.

3.       Factor in exercise during your day. Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals trigger positive responses in the body.

4.       Eat healthy and get proper sleep.  Balanced eating and adequate sleep are essential for maintaining a healthy body.

5.       Avoid negative stressors. Set boundaries up for those people who create negative stress in your life.

6.       Renew your mind. Read God’s Word, spend time with those you love, take a few minutes to refresh your own soul.

stress-2902537__340.jpg

 

 

 

 

ȧ (���

Comparison-The Robber of Joy

Yes, I do it too from time to time…. compare myself to others, to see if I measure up.

Against what? I am not sure!

So why do we continue this self-defeating behavior over, and over again? Perhaps it is because we want to be accepted.  We compare our selves to those who give the appearance of what we want to be. We want to “fit in” with the world around us. We want to be “like the other.”  Never being content with who we are and what we have.

The world teaches us success looks a certain way, large homes, nice cars, beautiful figures, booming careers, etc. Time and time again, we fall for this “idea” of what success is supposed to be. Comparing the haves of this life, to the have nots.

Comparison breeds either discontentment or pride. When we see what others have and compare it to what we do not have, discontentment can form.

When we compare ourselves to those who do not have what we have, then pride is birthed.

Neither discontentment or pride are fruits of the Spirit. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone around you remember…..

You will never be “like” someone else. Be yourself.  You were fearfully and wonderfully made. You are loved just the way you are.  Be who God has called you to be.

Be grateful for what you have. Every good and precious gift is from above. Be thankful for even the small things.  

Perception is not always reality. What you see in others may not always be true. Do not allow your perception to fool you!!!

 

Who or what are you comparing yourself to?

How is this comparison stealing your joy?

thWVMQ3WWI.jpg

Called to Coach

Each of us have a calling, a God given talent or gift to offer others. Never would I have imagined my journey would have led me to becoming a Christian Life Coach. In Called To Coach, by Janice LaVore-Fletcher, I am thrilled to share my story as a contributing author, along with 50 other amazing coaches, who have followed their calling. On sale now at Amazon.com. Also available through direct purchase from Oaks Grace Coaching.

8DQTMtqg.jpeg.jpg

Where Does the Time Go?

There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a day, yet there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. There are deadlines to meet, bills to pay, children to feed, and errands to run. Figuring out how to fit it all in can be overwhelming, taxing, and discouraging to say the least.

As women, we often take on more than we can handle, volunteering for too many committees, running kids back and forth to practice, playing tennis with the girls, scheduling lunch with a friend while wondering, where did the time go?  

Time management is not about “time” at all. Time management is about how you manage YOU! Each of us are given the same amount of time each day. How we chose to “manage” that time is up to us. Learning to manage time well involves, skill, motivation, and determination. There will always be “tasks” to do. However, if you MANAGE well, you might find extra time for those things that mean the most.

5 Steps to MANAGE Your Time

M-Make a list/check things off

A-Assign priority to Items

N-Know how to say NO!

A-Align your personal core values with your actions

G-Guard against interrupters and intruders

E-Enlist the help of others

 

What items do you need to put on your list today?

Which task will produce the greatest reward?

Who or what might be interrupting you from accomplishing your goal?  

 

hurry-2119711__340.jpg

Obstacles Vs. Opportunity

Some see the glass half full, while others see it half empty.  Some people are pessimist, while others are optimist. Which one are you? How do you face each day? Do you see things as obstacles or opportunities?

As we journey through life, we face different circumstances daily. We become overwhelmed with family obligations and burdened with responsibilities. Each day can bring its new set of troubles. However, could it be what we see as obstacles in our lives are God’s opportunities for our growth and maturity? Could it be, the sovereign God of the universe has allowed the trials you face today to grow you into becoming the woman He knows you to be for tomorrow? After all, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).

What obstacles do you face today? What is God showing you through those obstacles? How can you change those obstacles into opportunities for your own growth and maturity?

 

Which Way Will You choose?

Which Way Will You choose?

CPR for the Anxious Soul

Have you ever felt that sense of dread, the overwhelming feeling of doom? Your world is caving in and you do not know how you will ever dig yourself out. There are deadlines to meet, clothes to wash, homework to review, doctor's appointments to get to. Where is the "Calgon" when you need it? It’s in those moments fear and anxiety can over take and make even the most doable task seem too overwhelming. As the flight attendant instructs,  "always remember to place your oxygen mask on first." But how often is that really done? 

When feeling anxious remember to do your own CPR

C - CHALLENGE YOUR ANXIOUS THOUGHT

  • Ask yourself if you are allowing yourself to fall into catastrophic thinking.

  • Ask yourself what is the basis of your thoughts being true.

  • Ask yourself if this is an actual thought or is it a fact.

  • Ask yourself if you are 100% sure what you think will happen.

  • Ask yourself what would friends say about your thoughts.

  • Ask yourself if you are confusing a possibility with certainty.

  • Call your "Healing" people. Those who are there for you, who can empathize and not judge.

P- PRAY

  • Pray and ask God to help you through your anxious moments.

  • Pray for another family member or someone else who is in your life.

R- RECITE/REDIRECT/REFOCUS/RELAX

  • Recite Scripture, poems, quotes.

  • Redirect your thoughts.

  • Refocus your mind.

  • Relax and breathe.

Do not fear I will be with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Is.41:10). 

dont-panic-1067044__340.jpg