Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Planning Ahead

Today I was having lunch with Helen, the office assistant who works with me. (By the way, Biaggi's in Cary has an amazing gluten free menu). We were talking about time management and how everyone of us has to find our own ways to manage time.

Last spring I went a little crazy with my time management. Every weekend I would plan almost every minute of the coming week. I was starting my doctoral work, dealing with health issues that I did not understand, had my full time ministry position and was branching out in new territories of ministry. While it worked for me at the time, it was exhausting. And, as anyone else in ministry knows, there is no way to completely predict what every week will look like.

There was one little trick I began in the spring that I have held onto, which is what I was sharing with Helen. As a woman, I know that part of the image I display to others is done with the clothes I wear and I believe it is important to be intentional about my image. While my image is not who I am, it helps to convey who I am to others.

So, on Sunday evenings I spend a little time planning out my clothes for the week. I'll try on clothes and accessories. I think about what activities I have throughout the week and plan my clothes accordingly. (For women, what you wear conveys a message before you open your mouth but sometimes it is just most important to be comfortable) Then I line them up in my closet, including the appropriate shoes and accessories. In the mornings, I rarely find myself with the conundrum of "having nothing to wear." Of course, I may change my mind but don't do that very often. It has been a huge time saver for me and helps me to feel confident throughout the week.

Think about your schedule. What are the things that are eating up your time? Is there any process you can make more efficient with a little planning?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Angry Birds

I have never been much for video games. I know I am dating myself with this, but when I was in elementary school, we got an atari. One of the old ones that were made to look like they were made out of wood paneling. While I enjoyed a good game of Qbert or Ms. Pacman, I did not play the games like kids do today.

However, I have recently been turned onto a game on my iphone called Angry Birds. I blame a fellow campus minister for my recent addiction. This week, if I've had a free moment, I am trying to get to the next level. The premise of this game is that these annoying green pig-like creatures stole eggs from some birds and now they are angry. Each level features the pigs in some contraption that you have to destroy by flinging the angry birds from a sling shot.

The key though is that these green pig-like creatures mock you the entire time. I think honestly that's what keeps me going. When I fail a level, they mock me with snorts and laughs. I find myself pushing the button to play the level again without even thinking.

In our lives, we all have green pig-like creatures in the form of people who are hoping we will fail. You know who they are. In my life, they come in many different forms. Those that do not completely trust me, those that work to undermine my leadership, those who are waiting for me to fail.

I love to surround myself with helpful, positive people. The ones who are encouraging me, believing that I can achieve anything. The reality is however, that without the "pigs" in my life, I would not achieve as much. The reality is that we all need the "pigs" of life to push us forward. While the reality of having people in your life that are secretly, or not so secretly, hoping you will fail can be daunting and even painful at times, these people keep us from getting complacent. They keep pushing us forward.

Surround yourself with people who love you, support you and believe you can reach for the stars.

When you come across the ones who are not positive, just imagine them as green pig-like creatures and allow their "snorts" and "laughs" to push you forward, achieving new levels of success.