Angela Breidenbach is a multi-award-winning inspirational speaker, popular conference presenter, and author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life and the new Kindle release of Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guideposts, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, Montana. Angela Breidenbach on the web: http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com, http://www.GodUsesBrokenVessels.com, and http://TheFaithGirls.com on Wednesdays each week.
Visit her Christian Speakers Service page for speaker bookings.
Six Shortcuts to ProductivityNo matter how much you know or what plans you make, you can’t defeat the LORD.
Proverbs 21:30 (CEV)
Try these six shortcuts to productivity as we explore reaching our goals in 2012. I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas, too. Our best resources for ideas on high productivity are one another. But the power behind our productivity is the Lord.
The first and most important step in reaching goals is to write down your annual or long-term goals. Then all else must be examined against the goal. In the plan, if those you love are left out, the successful completion will be dusty dry. Make room for family, friends, and worship so you won’t be alone when celebrating success.
One other vetting point: If you
attempt reaching your goals without asking for God’s guidance, expect
many delays and derailments. But, hey, we learn from failure, too. Just
ask Saul or David or . . .
• Prepare for the day in advance. People who achieve a lot on a long to-do list have written down their daily goals first.
• Prioritize daily. Once goals are written, decide which are the most important. Do those first. It’s amazing how quickly the rest fall into place.
Tip: Another option for
overwhelmingly long lists is to choose all the two-minute chores and do
as many as you can in one hour. The list shrinks and you feel energized
by the production level. Suddenly the rest of the list is possible.
• The old “less housework” trick. Here’s the deal, most people get worried about this concept of less housework. Rather than panic about a dirty house, choose a few tried-and-true techniques to combine housework with improving mental creativity and physical activity. Both will protect your life and your work long-term. While writing, set a timer for every ninety minutes. Get up and run the vacuum on one break, do the dishes on the next, wash the tub on another. The next day swap out the chores for sweeping, folding laundry, and running the trash to the curb. You get the picture. After three to four of these ten- or fifteen-minute breaks, your house is clean and you have refreshed your mind and body.
Tip: Set your mind on using
these cleaning breaks as exercise. Focus on proper form by tucking your
tummy, tightening your glutes, and putting elbow grease into the motion.
• Delegate! Make a list of those chores that anyone can do. Divvy the list out to the other household members in order of ability. Post the list on the refrigerator and require a check for those chores completed. Hold your family members accountable and institute a reward program for children, not allowance because this is about being a part of a family and a team. Remember to add cooking and cleanup after meals. When it’s your turn to do the cooking, make extra that can be reheated through the week for quick lunches or fast dinners.
• Exchange support meals with others. Everyone wants to bring a casserole after a death. But the support often isn’t needed as much then as when we are stressed out to the max. Why don’t we offer this help to one another when it’s really needed? When on deadlines or during intense stress periods (for nonwriters), create a team of friends for a Titanic Dinner Club. Go to lunch with several friends and brainstorm how this could work for your group. Four to five meals showing up on a really stressful week could be exactly what you need to propel you toward success. Be a good friend and send up a flare for help when you start to become overwhelmed, giving the grace of at least one day’s notice of help needed.
Important note: You must also commit to being a lifesaver.
Tip: Take that a step farther and create a club that meets once a month and makes enough meals to store in all participants’ freezers. A great day with awesome friends frees up a lot of days when you are feeling very alone.
Tip: When you have free time,
prepare in advance by putting meals for your family in the freezer and
an extra one for the next Titanic lifeline call.
Tip: Check your daily schedule. If the activities in the daily schedule are not those that help you get closer to your real goal, the activity needs to be assessed. Ask yourself outloud, “Why am I doing this?” Answer yourself out loud. Does the answer sound like an excuse, justification, or just plain silly? Begin to extricate.
Now it’s your turn. What are your ideas to raise productivity?
Email me at angie.breidenbach [at] gmail [dot] com
On deadline? Always battling the clock? You can dip just about anything in chocolate and it says love.
Critical issue: Time.
Chocolate Chips, one bag or as needed.
Melt in microwave and dip. The trick is to melt on 50 percent power and stir often. Melting chocolate can be destroyed on too high of a heat. Be patient for the three minutes or so it will take to melt at 50 percent power. The other trick to chocolate treats is never to freeze them. Freezing chocolate can create white fissures, and the delectable won’t look so delicious.
Dippers that store well:
Homemade cookies, ginger and chocolate chip are nice, but so are peanut butter cookies
Almonds or other nuts
Dried fruits like cherries, apricots, pineapple
Dippers to eat within a day:
Strawberries, washed and dried
Bananas, these can be frozen for just a short time
Carmel corn drizzled with chocolate (it can last longer, it just doesn’t)
Now you experiment and see what fun dippers you can come up with to share.
One of my favorites is to cut out gingerbread cookies in the shape of hearts. Dip them in chocolate. Add a dollop of fresh whip cream and double dip. Mm-mmm. Says love. Serve with coffee or tea for the perfect moment with a friend any time. Then talk about your most recent fav book read. What’s a more perfect moment than that?