Five Ways to Ease Tension at Work

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Most of us want to enjoy positive relationships in our workplaces, yet the workplace is often a source of relational frustration. Here are five tips to help you mitigate some of the tension that occurs in workplace relationships.

Understand personalities. Begin to study the people you work with. What makes them tick? What ticks them off? Over time, you can see patterns and learn to smile about some tendencies. You can also develop strategies when you know what you are dealing with. For example, if your co-worker is very talkative when you walk in the door, plan your arrival time to be a bit earlier than him or her so that you are already busy at your desk when they come in.  Have a boss that is a quick mover and decisive? Don’t go into his office with information that will take several minutes to download. Tell him what you need from him in a bottom line fashion, and then ask if he wants rationale.

Accept that everyone is different. This is not new advice. But we often have trouble making the connection between saying we understand this concept and living it. If you feel a rise in your blood pressure whenever someone thinks differently than you do, you might want to begin to examine why it is so important to you to be around Yes people. Successful companies invite respectful disagreement. It often helps create new ideas and solutions.

Find something to be thankful for. Watch for coworkers to do something well and thank them for it. Make it a practice to say “thank you” at least a couple of times a week. (Don’t overdo this or it will seem insincere after awhile. This is usually not a danger in most workplaces though.) People crave a pat on the back, and encouragers often receive kindness and cooperation from others in exchange.

Engage in non-work conversation. I know an individual who has build great relationships with people she regularly needs info from. They are willing to break their necks for her because she simply treats them well and engages in reasonable conversation with them that does not always center just around work. Yes, you can overdo workplace chit-chat, but relationships are fluid and personal/work lives will intersect no matter how much you try to divide it. So instead, build bridges and relationships that will naturally lead to productivity.

Lighten up. Feeling irritated more and more often lately? Is it possible that YOU are at least part of the problem? Step back and think about why you think the world is against you (or your coworkers.) Be willing to see the hard things about yourself and make some changes.

While we can’t create perfect workplaces, we can do our part to make them more pleasantfor ourselves and everyone else.

Remember:  This is the post that was shared when my Boost Your Workplace Morale book came out. (Note that some promotional info no longer applies, but there is still helpful and fun info!)

Benefit from: My book, Boost Your Workplace Morale gives lots of practical ideas for easing tension at work. You may also be interested in my “Strife vs. Peace” workplace Bible study download. Only $1.99!

Engage: What causes the most tension at your workplace? People, workload, or lack of resources?

Also enjoy (note: I have looked over these articles but this does not mean I endorse all content on other sites):

Seven of the Most Dangerous Words in Time Management

CA-task list

Take note:

It’s funny what you can learn about a person’s day via Facebook.

Here’s the status one of my friends put up (sharing with her permission):

My Day: Wake up and and tell myself to write two stories, find a missing tax file, and fill out a detailed form. Then leave the house for six hours to go to a consultation and then run all kinds of errands—since I’m out anyway. (Do you ever do that?) Now I’ll have to leave again in an hour to take the cat to the vet for a followup. In the end, not a great day for writing two stories, finding a missing tax file, and filling out a detailed form.

My friend fell victim to seven of the most dangerous words in time management. (I can relate.)

What are they?

“While I’m here I might as well…”

Any of the following sound familiar?

  • While I’m in town, I might as well go to the dry cleaners.
  • While I’m in the break room, I might as well wash the dishes.
  • While I’m filing this paper, I might as well pull out those old files from last year.
  • While I’m talking with my boss on the phone, I might as well check my email.
  • While I’m working at home, I might as well get five loads of laundry done.

Maybe you are more disciplined, but sometimes I’m a victim of believing that multi-tasking is generally a good thing. I haven’t fully bought into the current mindset that multi-tasking is more harmful than good, although I’m starting to wonder if it is.

The problem with these seven words is that although they sound efficient (after all, isn’t batching tasks or errands a good thing?) they generally derail us. Here’s why:

  1. They lead to unplanned tasks. Notice it doesn’t say, “When I go into town, I plan to (list.)” It’s, “While I’m in town I might as well (list).” Big difference. A spontaneous, as-you-go approach can sometimes lead to more stress, kind of like picking up extra items at the grocery store that weren’t on your list, and your receipt is much bigger than you budgeted. You are often better off making a plan first.
  2. It leads to unrealistic expectations. Just because we are in proximity of a task, doesn’t mean this is the best time to accomplish it. We often think it will only take a few minutes but it often steals more time away than we thought it would.
  3. It keeps us away from other tasks--ones that were planned and prioritized. In the example above, my friend had important tasks planned. But she got derailed by what looks like the efficient batching process and handling things as they come up. In the end, it left her priority tasks undone.
  4. It derails our focus. Spontaneously adding on more tasks takes our minds off the things that we were planning to get done.

How to fight back:

  1. Use a timer. I advocated this in another blog post, but a timer is a great friend. Many of us have smart phones now so it’s easy to find a timer app to suit you.
  2. Use lists ruthlessly. When you think of something else you could have done “while I’m here” jot it down on a task list and stick with your original plan. The very act of writing it down will help you pause long enough to think it through.
  3. Retrain yourself. You probably go through similar errand loops or task sequences weekly. When you get that spontaneous urge to add something to your current process/errands, make yourself add it to the list for NEXT time instead. This will help you retrain your brain to be comfortable with waiting, knowing it will get done in the next cycle. You’ll learn to trust the system you set up.
  4. Give in–sometimes. In other words, add enough cushion into your calendar that if it really WOULD be practical to add that extra errand “while you’re there” it won’t derail your day completely.

Revisit: 5 Ways (Some) Multi-tasking Can Work for You 

Benefit from: Here’s an app we use for managing grocery shopping. My husband and I can sync it so he can always have the latest version of the list. But you have to add things to the list as you think of them to make it work!

Engage: When is the last time you got derailed by “While I’m here I might as well…?”

Also enjoy (note: I have looked over these articles but this does not mean I endorse all content on other sites):

Please share this article! Thank you!

Three Steps to Overcome “Paralysis of Analysis”

Timer screenshot

Think about:

There you sit, staring at your desk. There are piles of work–reports to write, messages to return, letters to type–you fill in the blank.

You’re paralyzed in thought because you don’t know what to do next. They all seem important, urgent even. Experts call this paralysis of analysis. Here’s the Wikepedia definition:

“Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises.”

So how can you use a timer to get moving when faced with several options? Here are three suggestions.

  1. Set a timer for five minutes and do something that will reduce your stress. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish in five minutes. At the very least, organize the piles of work so your desktop is less cluttered. Go get a fresh cup of coffee. Use the restroom. Wipe out those 10 emails that feel like mosquitos hovering. Just be prepared to STOP after 5 minutes. (This also applies at home. Keep yourself in one room for five minutes and pick up, gather, etc. before moving on to another. That’s a tip from our book, Organizing from the Heart.)
  1. Set the timer for three minutes to think through what larger project you are going to do now.Take the momentum you got from your five minute sweep and pick one project to direct it to. Make sure you have everything you need nearby to attack it. Don’t overthink it. Maybe you do need to do the urgent thing that is due in two hours. But if there isn’t anything due within two hours what’s the most important thing? What will either make you feel less stressed, or will contribute most to the advancement of your business today? Ask yourself: in two hours, what will I be most happy about having gotten done or gotten past?
  2. Set the timer again, this time for a longer period that allows you to accomplish a good bit–or all–of the task. For example, if you are supposed to pre-load social media updates for your company for a week, and it usually takes you 30 minutes, set the timer for that and stay focused on the task. If it takes you an hour to write a weekly report, set it for 60 minutes and get to work!

When you’ve completed step three, go back and repeat the process as needed throughout your day!

A timer is your friend!

Remember:  Here’s another post about using a timer: The 7 Minute Organizing Challenge

Benefit from: A timer app that I have found helpful is Alarm Clock Xtreme. Photo above is a screen shot of one of the screens.

Share: which of your colleagues would benefit from some encouragement about prioritizing and getting things done? Share this with your friend or networks today and tell them to subscribe to receive 11 Strategies for a Less Stressful, More Productive Workday – a free printable!

Join in (at the blog or on social media): When’s the last time you used a timer? Why? Was it helpful? Join the conversation at the blog or on social media.

Also enjoy (although I have looked over the recommended blog posts by other bloggers in my “Also Enjoy” section below, that does not mean I endorse all contents of any other website/blog you link to from my site):

7 Strategies to Help Professionals Stop Stressing Over Meal Planning

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Take a look.

Sigh. I had just finished a very full day working at home and my brain was drained. I was trying to wrap things up by 5:30 and then still had to think about making dinner.

5-6:00pm is a tricky time for me. I’m starting to get hungry. I’m feeling the pressure of not having the task list to the point I wanted it to be by now. (In other words, done.)  I am trying to eat healthier foods more often. And cooking dinner doesn’t feel like a relaxing hobby. So what’s a busy professional to do?

Come up with a strategy.

Sometimes half the battle is won in planning. It’s easier to execute good habits when you’ve taken the time to strategize. So here are seven ideas to help you combat the stress that can come with meal planning.

1. Assign themes to specific days.

Here’s an example:

Sunday: Spend/Social/Simple Sunday (go out for lunch, spend time with friends, have simple meals like leftovers or maybe do the big family meal)

Monday: Meatless Monday (roasted veggies, salads, fruit dishes or quiche can be a healthy way to start the week and provide leftovers to use as sides the rest of the week)

Tuesday: Timer Tuesday (any meal that can use an appliance with a timer, such as a crock pot)

Wednesday: Wing It Wednesday (everyone is on their own…eat leftovers, have cereal, or I guess you could get wings!)

Thursday: Tureen Thursday (Anything that would cook up in a pot, such as soup. This is also a good way to throw in some leftovers from earlier in the week)

Friday: Fun/Finger Food Friday (quick fun stuff like pizza, sandwiches, etc.)

Saturday: Spirit/Social Saturday – (as the Spirit leads, time with friends)

2. Establish healthy routines. There’s nothing wrong with having a power smoothie every morning as your breakfast, if that works for you. So what if others would think that is boring? Find healthy versions of food themes mentioned above and use them. For example, you can make or order healthier versions of pizza. Only stock food that is reasonably healthy. If there are no chips in the pantry, you’ll find something else to eat.

3. Plan ahead. It’s a good idea to plan your meals at least a week in advance. I’m training myself to also plan my lunches and snacks, which can help me consume healthier items than just grabbing something.

4. Always make a little extra. Leftovers are great for next-day lunches and if you make a double portion of some types of meals (like pasta), you can freeze half for another full supper in a couple of weeks. This is helpful no matter the size of your family.

5. Utilize your freezer. Depending on your family size, you may want to get into the “cooking for the freezer” movement and stock up for several days or even weeks in advance. You can also pre-freeze cut up onions and veggies to throw into stir fries, soups and casseroles and have bags of frozen fruit ready for making homemade sherbet or to throw into smoothies. I freeze breakfast portions of steel cut oats, scrambled eggs, and cut up pancakes and fruit to grab as a light breakfast when I’m going to be working in an office away from home.

6. Carry at least one healthy snack with you at all times. Sometimes just staving off that feeling of hunger can give you the strength to then cook a healthier meal.

7. Save money when eating out. Watch for coupons, frequent customer cards, and savings books. We bought an Entertainment book for a fundraiser and have had fun tracking our savings. So far we’ve saved over $100 in about six months using coupons from that book during times when we would likely have gone out anyway. Plus we’ve gotten to try some new places.

Engage (at the blog or on social media): How do you usually handle meals during your busy work day?

Think about:

Why is it important to take the time to strategize about areas that cause stress for you?

Does your company encourage healthy eating?

What snack can you share with your colleagues this week that will bless them?

Do you follow a meal plan for your personal life?

Does your spiritual life play into what and how you plan for your food needs?

Do you agree or disagree with the following quotes?

acts food

Paul Prudhomme Food

 

 

Sources: Acts 2:46      Brainyquote.com

Remember:  Last year I participated in a 15-day food detox. Here are 12 things I learned from the experience.

Benefit from: I highly recommend the services and resources provided by Chris DeHollander Health Coaching at Nourish2Live. She uses a variety of means to encourage us to live in a more healthful way.

Share: which of your colleagues would benefit from some fresh ideas or reminders about meal planning? Share this with your friend or networks today and tell them to subscribe to receive 11 Strategies for a Less Stressful, More Productive Workday – a free printable!

Also enjoy (although I have looked over the recommended blog posts by other bloggers in my “Also Enjoy” section below, that does not mean I endorse all contents of any other website/blog you link to from my site):

Goals 2014: Where I Succeeded and Failed, Part 2

One of my targets from some recreational shooting.

Take a look:

If the target above were referring to last year’s goals, it would pretty accurately show how I did. Last week I started confessing how I did on goals in 2014, sharing where I hit the bullseye and where I went off-target. This week, I’ll finish up my report and tell you how I’m approaching goals for 2015.

Recreational 

I had set several specific recreational goals. I didn’t fully accomplish any of them, but I did do a few. I have a hard time with hobbies sometimes. I tend to get bored easily, but I’m coming to a point of embracing being a dabbler–that IS my hobby. 

  • Target shoot 12 times. Partly accomplished (four times)
  • Make two scarves Partly accomplished (made one)
  • Make nine bookmarks Partly accomplished (made four)
  • Play flute (for myself) 12 times Hardly accomplished (played once)
  • Play disc golf with six times Somewhat accomplished (played twice) 

Relational

  • 12 intentional times with friends/socializing at least once a month. Accomplished. We accomplished that goal through regular lunches and a regular “couples night out” plan. It’s important to carve out time to be with friends.

Environmental

  • Do 25 specific, small organizing tasks, mostly around the house. Partially accomplished. I did 19.

Professional

Overall, I feel satisfied with how last year went. However, I am changing my approach a bit this year, and here’s how. I hope some of thiese ideas may be helpful to you.

  • Tracking goals through an app called Goal Tracker. Since I have a series of apps I look through in the evening before bed, this is a logical way to nearly daily check in on my goals.
  • I reduced the number of goal areas to seven, not ten. Within those areas are no more than three actual goals. So I may have a similar number, but they are categorized more realistically.
  • I am aligning more with my personality. Instead of shooting for 100 intentional activity times again, I am tracking steps (and step equivalents) and recording my steps daily. I have a goal to get to a certain average number of steps a day by December. I think this will work for me because I can do exercise in smaller spurts throughout the day. I have added a goal of at least 50 episodes of one particular type of exercise though, which I’ll also record in step equivalents. It is half the number of last year, but still ambitious.
  • I’m combining a couple of goals. I mentioned in last week’s post that I’ve played my flute more this year than all of last year. That’s because as part of my quiet time, I decided to play through a hymnal this year, taking in the rich theology in the verses at the same time. This is combining two important goals.

I don’t feel bad about the goals I didn’t make last year (except maybe the weight.) A lot of good things happened last year and new chapters started. It was a GOOD year and I’m grateful. I am not the sum of the goals I accomplish. 

Engage (with the online community via blog comments or social media):

What changes are you making this year to help you accomplish your goals?

Think about (for personal reflection or discussion with colleagues)

Business Value Key Word: Discipline

Source: Brainyquote.com

jimrohn109882

Isaiah 41:10

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1. What goal accomplishment from last year are you most proud of?

2. Has your organization adjusted any goals for this year based on performance from last year?

3. In what way has discipline, or lack of it, impacted your personal or professional goals?

4. In what ways do you need to rely on the Lord this year as you try to accomplish goals?

5. Are there some goals you need to toss this year?

Remember:

This blog post recounts my experience having a shooting lesson with Gabby Franco of Top Shot fame. I learned some things that can apply to goal setting–and life. It might help you, too!

Benefit from:
BWM CoverIf one of your goals is to improve the morale at your workplace–and you can do this even if you are not “the boss”–my book Boosting Your Workplace Morale gives lots of practical, hands on ideas for blessing your co-workers and building teamwork.

 

 

 

 

Share: Who in your circle of influence would benefit from knowing about goal setting tools like Goal Tracker? Share this post with them (or your networks!) today!

Did someone forward this to you or share it? Get your own free copy of 11 Strategies for a Less Stressful, More Productive Workday and receive these posts each Monday in your own mailbox! 

Goals 2014: Where I Succeeded, and Failed-Part 1

 

goal sheet

Take a look:

It’s January. Time for a fresh start right? Resolutions, plans, goals. How many did you accomplish last year? For that matter, how many have you kept going these first couple weeks in January? Research shows that the majority of people scrap their resolutions, some in as little as a few weeks, some within six months.*

Last year, I’d say I successfully fulfilled about 50-60% of my goals. I’m fairly pleased with that, but also see where I fell short. I decided it might be helpful to share where I succeeded or failed, and my takeaway for this year. I hope this encourages you in your own goal setting. I’ll spread it over the next two posts to keep the length reasonable and because January is a great month to consider this topic. I’m really coming clean here and you are going to get a glimpse into my personality…

In 2014 I created a visual sheet to track my goals in 10 areas (see photo.) I tried to refer to it regularly throughout the year. Here’s how I did:

Spiritual

  • Complete two New Testament reading plans.  Accomplished.  Takeaway: using a Bible app like YouVersion and reading it in bed upon waking before even getting up is a great habit
  • Complete two full Bible studies. Accomplished and actually did one more. Takeaway: I enjoy carving out additional quiet time and my personality is naturally motivated about some things, so this was not too difficult. These were done personally, not in a group setting so I could go at my own pace and it didn’t have to be done every day.

Mental/Professional

  • Read 30 books.  Somewhat accomplished (read 20). Takeaway: I do better with a “finish goal” rather than a “total goal” in some cases. See next item.
  • Finish one book per month Accomplished.  Takeaway: this idea has worked for me for three years now, and I plan to continue it. I usually have more than one book going at once, sometimes spanning a whole year. So the “finish” style of goal is more motivating to me.

Financial

Finish step three of Financial Peace (build a 3-6 month emergency fund.) Not accomplished. Not even close. Takeaway: Since I was  underemployed for much of the year, our finances went into somewhat of a reversal. That is changing now. You have to understand that external situations can impact your goals, but you shouldn’t give up on them entirely.

Donational (This could’ve gone into financial, but it also included a goal about volunteering so I separated it. Is “donational” even a word?)

  • Give over $____ (the amount is private) Accomplished. Takeaway: consistently budgeted/percentage-based giving is a good habit for us.
  • Volunteer for two events. Accomplished. One was a speaking engagement for a non-profit and the other was joining the board of Life in Abundance and helping them.  Takeaway: the goal was reasonable and reachable.

Physical

  • Participate in 5K once per quarter.  Sort of accomplished. Three times I walked the equivalent either with a friend or on a treadmill, one time I worked a 5K as a staff member (can that count?) I never reached my time goal nor participated formally in an event, though. Takeaway: sometimes goals are a bit too lofty. At least I did do some exercise shooting for it.
  • Do 100 international activity times of 30 minutes+. Accomplished! Takeaway: amazing what you can do when motivated by extra spending money in January if you reached this goal in 2014.
  • Lose 10-15 pounds.  Can we not talk about this one? Total failure. Not only didn’t lose, but I ended year 11 pounds heavier. Takeaway: Even when you are eating healthier, whole foods, you have to watch portions, and you have to be active to keep the calories reasonable and the weight off. Ironically, with the extra free time I  had, you’d think I could have attacked this goal more. It’s possible that emotions played into NOT attacking it.

So, overall, I’m relatively pleased with the journey with the above. Yes, I’m disappointed about the weight, but I’m already slow-but-steady headed in the right direction for 2015. I’ve already played my flute more times in the new year than I did all last year (and I’ll explain why in the next post, along with sharing the results of the remaining goals.)

Engage (with the online community via blog comments or social media):

What goals have you established for 2015? Are you on track, or already falling off?

Think about (for personal reflection or discussion with colleagues):

Business value key word: Achievement

Image: Brainyquote.com

goals

 

Psalm 127:1

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1. As a company, do you have specific goals set for this year? This quarter? What are they?

2. Do you think goal setting is a good exercise, or not very valuable given the number of people who don’t follow through?

3. What are three reasons people may not follow through on their goals?

4. Can you be encouraged to have accomplished even part of a goal when you don’t get the whole thing done? Why or why not?

5. Consider the two quotes shared above. What do you think about them in relation to goal setting?

Remember: Here’s a post about Setting Goals with Your Team

Benefit from: Michael Hyatt has had several posts and resources on goal setting over the last weeks of December and into January. *Here’s a link to the post where I got the stats mentioned above. Why You Shouldn’t Be Making New Year’s Resolutions.

Share:  Which friend of yours came to mind when you read this post? Pass it along!

Did someone forward this to you or share it? Get your own free copy of 11 Strategies for a Less Stressful, More Productive Workday and receive these posts each Monday in your own mailbox! 

Why I’m Not Reading Through the Bible this Year

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Take a look:

For several years now, I have used a Bible reading plan to read through the entire Bible or the entire New Testament in a year. In 2014, I provided a weekly set of questions to help busy professionals take some time with God’s word. (Here’s a link to all 52 of the posts in case you want to use them to travel through the New Testament this year.) This near-daily Bible reading has become a habit, but this year I’m not reading through the entire Bible (or through one Testament), and here’s why:

I want to go deeper. It’s great to read daily for distance (as my church puts it) but I felt led this year to slow down and absorb what I am reading. This ties in well with my selection of the word “mindful” for my word of the year for 2015.

A through the year plan can become a checklist. Like many busy professionals, I love to check off my to-do list. A daily reading plan can become a checklist, and less like a treasured visit with a friend. I’m sure I’ll still have somewhat of a checklist mentality (I’m not giving up all plans) but staying away from reading through the whole Bible this year may help it become less task oriented. I’ll be able to explore other plans. I use the YouVersion Bible app, (you can find me there as “bbeutler”) and there are so many unique plans on it, that I look forward to exploring some of those.

It parallels what my church community is doing this year. On December 28, one of our teaching pastors spoke about the reading plan the church was going to use this year. When he first started, I was a little disheartened anticipating another “through the _______ in a year” plan and I didn’t want to feel like I would be missing out. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the church was recommending a “storyline” approach (check it out here) covering the full story of the Bible but not hitting every book. So this is a confirmation to me about my choice this year.

No matter what your faith tradition, I feel it is valuable to spend some time in the Bible every day that you can, no matter how busy you are at work, if for no other reason than its principles being excellent for business. Apps like YouVersion can help you take your Bible with you. I encourage you to select a Bible reading plan that works for you, and not jump into something you may not feel you can reasonably do.

Engage (with the online community via blog comments or social media):

How do you take some time each day or each week for Bible reading, study, or some other form of inspiration?

Think about (for reflection alone or discussion with colleagues):

Business Value Key Word:  Inspiration

2 Timothy 2:15

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Credit: Brainyquote.com 

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Why is it important to take moments each week to receive some inspiration through a source like the Bible or other solid sources of wisdom?

  1. What sources of inspiration do you find most beneficial?
  2. How does taking time to reflect on ancient wisdom help you in your work?
  3. What do the quotes above mean to you? Do you agree or disagree with them?
  4. What one thing will you do this week to get more inspiration into your life?
  5. How is your business/organization being intentionally inspirational to your clients/customers/members?

Remember:

Here’s a link to a page that contains all 52 blog posts that walk you through the entire New Testament.

Benefit from:

My book, A Light for Your Path, provides a question for each chapter of the Bible. It’s a great way to go a little deeper in your personal reading and it’s designed in a way that allows you to start any time.

Share: 

What person came to mind that would benefit from this week’s post? Share this post with your networks or forward it to them today! New subscribers will receive 11 Strategies for a Less Stressful, More Productive Work Day.

 

A New Year, A New Approach

Happy New Year Readers!

value statement larger

I hope as you take some time to reflect back and look forward that you will experience hope and joy. I am grateful…2014 was an exciting year with several blessings and opportunities I didn’t expect.  One of the things I’m thankful for is that this past fall, in good part to having been able to attend the Platform Conference, I felt direction on what HOPE Unlimited should be about in its current chapter.

HOPE turns 10 years old this year (April 20 officially)–Wow! Those who have been with me from the beginning have seen me cover a lot of topics and I trust, be a source of biblical encouragement as well as practical tips.  I’ve been helping office and overwhelmed professionals excel all along, but often my topics were quite eclectic. I now feel directed to streamline HOPE from “Helping Other People Excel” to “Helping Overwhelmed Professionals Excel.” This is my “new” (well maybe more focused),  mission going into the new year:

“I am a virtual assistant, consultant, author and speaker. I help principle-centered yet overwhelmed professionals maximize their time, connect well with others, and take charge of their priorities so they can excel and enjoy bringing hope and value to the world around them.”

This is coming about in part due to my increased activity as a virtual (and when appropriate, local) assistant and consultant as well as opportunities to lead workshops and continue writing.

I’ll still be providing helpful content via the blog, but I’ll be being more strategic about the topics, to make sure they provide practical help for busy professionals while still retaining alignment with biblically-harmonious principles on which this business–and the organizations of many I work with and for–is built.

I’ll be experimenting with blogging once a week, sending you a comprehensive post early Monday mornings that will be made up of the following components:

  • Take a Look: thoughts and practical help toward “overcoming overwhelm” (and whatever else I feel like sharing.)
  • Engage: a question inviting you to comment or engage with the online community in discussion on the blog or social media
  • Think About: a business value “keyword” such as integrity, intentionality, compassion, etc. a Scripture, a quote and three to five questions for personal reflection or discussion with colleagues.
  • Remember: links to resources or past blog posts that will complement the post
  • Benefit from: link to a product or service I offer, a recommendation of someone you should know or follow, or a post by another writer that I think is beneficial.

I’ll also continue the monthly “5 on the 15th” as a quick list of tips and links to valuable content you may want to visit (or re-visit.)

“Asks”

Would you please do one or more of the following?

  1. Share my content with others. Encourage people to join the email list to receive a free printable (current subscribers can get it here.) Tweet, share and pin my posts.
  2. Drop me a line. Let me know what topics concern you as an overwhelmed professional. Tell me what you want to see more (and less of) in the blog. Share a tip or idea.
  3. When you shop at Amazon, link through my blog first. Save it in your favorites and search for your first item using the box in the sidebar.
  4. Engage.  Let’s help each other by participating in discussions at the blog or via my social media channels. I’ll be sharing the posts in various places and you’ll have opportunity to give your opinion and ideas regarding the weekly question wherever it’s most convenient for you.
  5. Surprise HOPE with a “Happy 10 Years” birthday gift of $10 (or more) from time to time in 2015.  If you’ve enjoyed my blog/social media posts and free resources through the years, this is a great way to show your support. I don’t have a formal “membership site” anymore, but enjoy continuing to provide content that will help you. Any gifts will be considered income to me and taxes will be paid on them. They are not tax deductible. Send your check made out to HOPE Unlimited to PO Box 80424, Simpsonville, SC 29680. 10% of all birthday gifts will be donated to a non profit organization such as Life In Abundance, which offers counseling and coaching to women who may be feeling overwhelmed in some way. I serve on the board of this organization.

THANK YOU!

Let’s strap in and enjoy what great things are coming in 2015 during this 10th year anniversary of HOPE Unlimited. Starting next Monday, there will be some helpful posts on helping you overcome overwhelm! See you then!

 

 

Happy New Year & a brand new free printable

Looking forward to serving overwhelmed professionals in 2015! Watch for more details, but in the meantime, I have a brand new free printable for subscribers. To get your PDF of 11 Strategies for a Less Stressful, More Productive Workday subscribe to the blog. (If you are already a subscriber, click here.) Please pass the word.

Happy New Year

Coffee Break Bible Study (and a closing message): Revelation 12-21 #bgbg2

As you know, the Coffee Break Bible study posts have helped you travel through the entire New Testament in 2014.  I hope it has been a blessing to you!

In order to finish with the end of the year, this post takes all the remaining chapters of Revelation and gives you questions for each one.

Please take note of the final question…the most important one of the year! I would be happy to dialog with any of you about what it means to know Christ as your personal Savior.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Read Revelation 12.

How do people overcome evil?

 

Do followers of Jesus have a spiritual enemy?

 

Read Revelation 13.

 

What is required of saints (in verse 10)?

 

What is happening in your life right now that requires “patient endurance and faithfulness?”

 

Read Revelation 14.

 

Who might the 144,000 be?

 

Consider verse 13. What deeds would you like to follow you after you pass away?

 

Read Revelation 15.

 

Mediate for a few moments on verse 3.

 

What do you picture of God’s glory here?

 

Read Revelation 16.

 

How do you feel about God’s wrath?

 

How does verse 7 reassure you?

 

Read Revelation 17.

 

What do you take from this imagery?

 

Are there areas of your life in which you are unfaithful to God?

 

Read Revelation 18.

 

Why is it important to remain in step with God?

 

What will Babylon experience?

 

Read Revelation 19.

 

Use some of these verses to spend time in praise to God.

 

Picture verse 11 in your mind. What would that be like? Rejoice!

 

Read Revelation 20.

What will happen to Satan in the end?

 

Although salvation comes without works, will the work we do also be judged?

 

Read Revelation 21.

 

What do you learn about a “new heaven and new earth?”

 

What does verse 22 mean?

 

Read Revelation 22.

 

What are some coming blessings of God reigning?


Write out verse 17. Have you accepted the free gift of salvation?