Creating Realistic Goals

I have a bad habit of setting up unrealistic goals for myself. 

There’s nothing wrong with setting goals that stretch you, but be careful to not beat yourself up during the stretching process. 

I am working on a writing project that is definitely stretching me!

The project is helping a phD candidate in an electrical engineering program turn his research into a written dissertation. 

Reading the material and translating the data takes time–which means that setting realistic goals is important. 

I’ve been working on this project less than a week and I’ve already logged in 5 hours. 

Setting realistic goals keeps you and your project collaborators on the same page. 

There’s also no shame in being honest about your limitations and potential time constraints. 

I already know that having this proposal completely finished by Friday (what we agreed upon last Saturday) will not happen. 

I am working diligently to get as much done as possible, but I have also communicated this fact to my employer, the student. 

What I am learning as I begin this journey is that you can never go wrong in planning and goal setting by telling the truth. 

Random Tuesday

I haven’t posted anything random in a while, so here we go!

  • Am I the only one who thinks about improving my vocabulary after hearing a good speaker/teacher?
  • I caught myself making a list within my list today…that’s too many steps, Audra. 
  • I will download 2-3 apps to test run and then delete them all the next day. Most apps are time suckers! But they all look so cool in the App Store…
  • If someone is wearing socks and sandals, I CANNOT stop myself from staring at their feet. (I’ve seen it a lot this summer time.)
  • The one thing I enjoy about summer is the weather is very predictable. It’s always just hot and I never have to carry a sweater! 

Now it’s your turn. What are some random things you’ve had on your mind recently?

Getting rid of locusts

It’s easy to get sucked into time wasting activities. 

For example, I have to be careful to not let YouTube videos suck me into spending hours doing nothing productive.The struggle is real…

Paul told the Christians at Ephesus to [Be]careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

Matthew Henry’s commentary on verse 17 says:

Good Christians must be good husbands of their time, and take care to improve it to the best of purposes, by watching against temptations, by doing good while it is in the power of their hands, and by filling it up with proper employment.

Joel 2:25 is a verse Christians love to quote:

The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost
    to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts,
the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.”

I’ve seen grown people cry over this verse…

And it’s truly an awesome verse because God is merciful when we completely miss it.

Most of us, like the children of Israel, waste our time on things that eat up our fields and take away opportunities.

My encouragement to us all is to not wait until the locusts, i.e the time wasters, strip our fields before we start getting serious about managing our time. 

If you see a locust, squash it!

Ask the Lord to help you stay on track. 

This is not about legalism, either.

Don’t get busy doing a bunch of stuff out of obligation, thinking that religious activity is like a can of locust repellent.

When I talk about asking the Lord for help, I mean to ask Him to open your eyes to the people who could benefit from you making the most of every opportunity.

 

 

 

Practicing Contentment

Part of settling into a new job is organizing your work space. 

When I first started working for Storage Depot, I spent 2 days organizing my office. The work space would simply not do!

Of course, you would never throw things away without asking a supervisor. My boss was very supportive of my reorganization, which was encouraging. 

I don’t have much organized in my new office because I just moved in today. My antsy, get-things-fixed-now nature wants things to speed up.

I’m trying something new though….

It’s called waiting.

Okay, okay waiting is not a new concept, but I’m not one to wait around for long. 

I’ve been so busy with various projects that getting my office situated is the last thing on my mind. Plus, my training involves 5 people, which means I have to work around their schedules.

All of these factors are forcing me to see what’s really important: Getting the work done. 

Moving from a temporary work space to a messy work space has not bothered me. Too much is happening to care!

How does this crazy glimpse into my mind help you?

This whole experience has me thinking that impatience causes us to miss out on good things.

When this room is cleaned…

When this job is finished…

When I get back from vacation…

…then I will be satisfied.  

The only problem with completing one “when” is that the next “when” is right around the corner.

How about being content now? 

Your current situation won’t stay unresolved for long.

Move on! Get happy! 

Maybe there would be greater job satisfaction if more people thought this way. I have no proof to support my theory, but it makes sense to me.

 

 

 

The Overcommitment Trap

It is really easy to overcommit, especially if you’re a person like me. 

I want to help people. 

I want to encourage them in all of their endeavors. 

I want to not say no…

And here is the rub: I can’t say yes to everything. 

Overcommitting stresses you out and it guarantees that your best intentions will fall short because of other spinning plates. 

So, how do you keep yourself from overcommitting?

By keeping your priorities straight. 

My first priority is being a student at Rhema. 

I didn’t move out to Tulsa, Oklahoma for any other reason. There’s nothing wrong with helping, volunteering, and working–I just can’t lose my focus. 

Everything else I do can’t take away from my training or else I’m missing out on why I came. 

I’m primarily reminding myself of these truths tonight because I have already been tempted to overcommit.

Though, I hope my personal reminder will encourage you to make wise choices with your time as well. 

Crash landing

I just crash landed back into reality. 

The weekend was amazing and there’s much to do now that I’ve scouted the land, so to speak. 

Reality is mean isn’t it?

I barely walked in the door before my mind was filled with the many things that need to happen in the coming week.

This is the trickiest part of any transition. 

There’s so much to do to prepare for what’s ahead and yet you want to and need to finish well where you are. 

The emotions of crash landing hit me hard.  

Excitement and sadness mingle together, along with a dose of calendar reality. 

Life goes on. Time ticks away. And I can’t help but wish everyone and everything would slow down for a minute. 

Honestly, I have a difficult time with the messy middle of transitions. 

God is so faithful, though, to walk along beside me and to encourage me to keep going, to press in. 

Yes, the future is bright. Yes, there’s a lot to do. 

I am choosing, however, to look ahead while soaking in the goodness of my present. 

I am not leaving here in a hurry.

 I will cherish the time and all the reasons I have to be thankful. 

Navigating the freelancing universe

freelance 2I want to talk to you about freelancing and small business management.

I’ve had several freelance gigs over the last few years. And freelancing is not as easy as people think.

Being a business owner of any kind means that all decisions fall to you.

From client acquisition to invoicing to taxes, a small business owner has to juggle the sometimes stressful administrative side with the fun loving “this is my dream” side of things.

Thankfully, administrative work comes naturally to me, but many small businesses fail because their owners struggle with the bookkeeping and the mountains of paperwork it requires for tax purposes.

Not everyone has an aunt who’s an accountant either.

Freshbooks to the rescue!

They are offering a free 30 day trial of their cloud accounting software.

Send professional invoices, track your expenses, and get paid faster.

Keeping track of the numbers just got easier.

I highly recommend Freshbooks to all of my friends who are small business owners.

This company is growing superfast and their tools will save you time, which means you can earn even more money doing what you love.

Check out this infograph that explains the freelance universe in a fun way.

Take advantage of the free trial and let me know what you think.