The Power of Six…

Back to school season can bring a good place in your year to reflect on the past 8 months and vision for the next months to come. Can you create a new routine?  Of course you can!  With the power of six.

In 1918 Charles Schwab hired Ivy Lee to increase productivity in his steel company.  Yes, almost 100 years ago they dealt with the same issues we have today regarding how to make the most of your time each day! Lee agreed to meet with each of his leadership team and told Schwab his day of meetings would be free – and, in 90 days he could send him a check for whatever he thought the time was worth after seeing results.

Lee received a check.  $400,000 in today’s economy for teaching the executives the power of 6.  It works because it is simple enough to work, makes you make hard decisions, it can be immediately implemented, promotes single-tasking, and it is easily shared.

What is the power of six?

  • A list of SIX items to complete the following day.
  • Your list should be specific:  book 3 parties, make contacts, or clean house doesn’t work. “Call Susie, Joan, & Maggie” with phone numbers or” Dust family room” is best.
  • Once your list of six is created, prioritize them.  This removes the hard place of knowing where to start.
  • This list also keeps you focused.  Having broad tasks or feeling the need to multi-task is eliminated.
  • Any items not accomplished are moved to the next day and have high priority numbers.

This plan isn’t rocket science.  But, it does create momentum!  It’s amazingly simple to implement, can be started anytime, and is easily replicated by people in your business or family.  Grab an accountability partner and put the Power of Six in place for you!

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Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This

Beth's New Normal

bad dayToday is one of those days. You know what I mean, you’ve experienced them. A co-worker has been given a traumatic diagnosis, my mom has been given a new tough medical hurdle to jump, a friend’s fiance (that she prayed and begged God to provide her for years) passes in his sleep. Today is one of those days I truly shut my office door and begged God to help me accept that he is in complete and total control and I have to trust Him.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do kids get cancer? Why does tragedy strike at the most horrific times, and why does it seem to avoid the mean people in life and attack those trying to make a difference. The reality is tragedy strikes ALL of us at some point. It’s where we choose to go during the storm that truly matters…

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Easter… it’s no bunny business… (pun intended)…

It’s an exciting time in the life of The Church.  Easter! The Celebration of the prophecy, the gift from the Lord, the ultimate sacrifice from Christ to each of us.  To celebrate a horrible, painful death may sound odd. But without understanding the pain & death, you can’t understand the amazing and miraculous resurrection! This is what we celebrate!

We talk much about networking, businesses, products, and services.  But, a foundational block of our Networking Group is faith.  He has the ultimate plan for your business and for your life!  If you’d like to celebrate Easter this Sunday and don’t have a place to go, reach out! Network in a new way!  Many of your Gurlz for Gurlz friends would love to have you join them at their place of worship.

I’m attaching the words to one of my favorite songs.  The words are powerful and message is clear.  Happy Easter Gurlz!

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sins curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a lifes first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

I will stand, I will stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground, all other ground
Is sinking sand, is sinking sand
So I stand

Songwriters
KOCH, DONALD A. / CRAIG, ANDREW SHAWN

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

10 ways to spend 10 minutes… wisely…

Recently my 6th grader brought home a paper from school that strikes fear in the hearts of parents everywhere. Science. Fair.

Seriously?! Again!?  So, off we went to search out ideas and marry them to her passions and interests.  One idea that we all found interesting and caught her attention was in regards to time.  The premise was – does time seem to pass differently depending on your age?

She took a male & female of various ages (from 6-80) and put them in a bathroom for with no clock, cell phone, or watch.  When they came out of the space they had to tell her how long they had been quarantined.  While all were in the room for 4 minutes… the results were staggering.  The older the person, the shorter the time appeared.  Just like when we were little and Christmas seemed to take forever to arrive – and now it seems to come faster and faster… it really is true!

Anyway, it got me thinking… as adults sometimes we don’t think 10 minutes can give us much.  We let them pass without thinking.  We blink it away mindlessly watching TV, on social media, or not getting into a project for fear we can’t finish.  But, there are some amazing things to do for your mind, body, and spirit in 10 minutes!

1)  Read a few pages of a book!  Whether it be about business, a romantic comedy, or The Word the information and time given to the pages could make a significant impact.

2)  Savor something!  Do you throw down a cup of a coffee in the morning? Mindlessly guzzle bottles of water? Really enjoy the depths of a small piece of dark chocolate?  What if you allowed yourself to let your taste buds really have a work out?!

3) Pat yourself on the back!  Take a minute to take a mental checklist of the days (or even morning’s) accomplishments!

4) Get where you are going early… or leave early and enjoy the ride! Seriously. When was the last time that happened?

5) Send 3 texts of encouragement to someone that may need it!  You may not even know they do… but, good gravy, they will love to see that message when their phone dings!  Or one quick phone call.  Tell that person you have a 3 minute window and wanted them to know you were just calling to give them a loved-filled-shout-out!

6)  Pray. Yep, just give Him a shout out or reach out, but let Him lear from you.

7)  Do a QUICK chore.  Think it will take 30 minutes to clean the bathroom?  Well, just wipe down the counters or mirror.  Take out the trash. Go to fridge and throw out 3 things.

8)  Freshen up.  Add a little lipstick, perfume, lotion, eye cream… Just something for you to make the rest of your day a little brighter!

9)  Write a note.  An index card for a family member when they have 10 minutes before bed.. would be glorious. A dose of blessing for both of you.

10)  Laugh!! Jump on youtube and enjoy a funny video!  Be careful and guard your heart (and eyes)… but, enjoy a bit of humor.  A bit of Tim Hawkins, kids flipping off a trampoline (landing safely), and so forth can be just what the doctor ordered.

As adults we can feel like 10 minutes doesn’t amount to much.  But, they can be a long investment in a child’s world.  So go back to those days, every once in a while, and enjoy!!

BE Intentional…

Not long ago someone asked me if I could share a message with the world, what message would I share.  A thousand things ran through my mind at once.  Jesus, faith, family, and more.  Yet… a common thread spoke more clearly… BE INTENTIONAL.  Be. Intentional.

Be intentional with:  The Word, your words, service, giving, love, smiles, listening, receiving (make a note: not everything on Facebook is written about you! lol), hugs, relationships, faith, laughter, family, friends, choices, time, and resources!! Just to name a few.

We BE all the time, right?  (grammar police, bear with me… I’ll turn it around in just a minute!)… We BE:  wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, dishwashers, taxi drivers, care givers, cheerleaders, maids, cooks, laundry sorters, budget keepers, time managers, nurses, and… let’s be honest… sometimes we BE wishful thinkers, regretters, mourners, grievers, and even quitters.

Today you have decided to BE INTENTIONAL with something. Is it something that will add positivity to your life and help you grow physically, emotionally, spiritually, or mentally?  Jim Elliott said, “Wherever you are, be all there.”  So let’s be intentional about being ALL there… with how we BE.

Today… join me, as I BE:  brave, strong, focused, goal-oriented, achievers, dream catchers, proud, happy, free… and INTENTIONAL!!

Pared down…

Back in the fall I had the privilege of listening to John Maxwell, live.  It was amazing.

I had read his books, enjoyed his tapes, even watched youtube clips.  But, I knew seeing him live was going to be something to remember! It really was a great evening.  I was reminded of it last Sunday during a particularly touching sermon at church.  What connected it for me?  The verbiage? A particular quote? A concept?

No way. I had to pause both times! Well, let me explain.  I am a note taker. I can’t hardly place a Chinese take out order without doodling on a notepad or make a note. It’s just who I am. So on both of these occasions, I found myself writing almost every word. I wanted to savor the phrases over and over.

But, for the love, I was being held back – hindered – slowed down!! Yes, sweet readers, my bracelets were keeping me from my ink-joy flow.  They were jingling and getting caught on the spine of my journal. Amazingly frustrating.  So, I had to pare down. Get rid of the extra and make room for new and fresh.

The silliness of bracelets, journals, and great pens really got me thinking. What other parts of my life do I need to pare down to make room for something fresh & new?  Am I missing a great word or fresh idea because “normal accessories” are easy and comfortable?

Do you need to make some room for a new word? A fresh idea? Something GREAT?! Oh yes, it’s right there in front of you… so throw those bracelets in your purse and listen up!! Get ready to be changed!!

Book Review: The Better Life Book

We love this blog by our gurl member Beth Wyatt. Enjoy!

Beth's New Normal

I have an addiction to self help books.  I’ll be the first to admit there is something simply tantalizing about seeing someone make something out of nothing, and make that something rocket into amazing!   However,  there are few times that I actually finish these books.  Honestly, often I find the person’s writing to lack genuine appeal, or simply find their ideals to far fetched to stomach.  Often I’ve done this guilt dance where I continue to read a bit out of guilt, after all I committed when I purchased the book, right?  Then walk away disgusted with my wasted time and efforts.

The Better Life BookThe “Better Life” Light
This past week, however, I was blessed to read “The Better Life Book” by Rosemarie Francis.  This book is a power house of nitty gritty honesty, hope, and joy with a shot of, “Go girl! You got this! “ It’s…

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Fresh Month… Fresh Year… Fresh Disappointment…

Have you bought a new planner for 2015?

Have you made a handful of Resolutions?

Have you pinned a dozen dinner, savings, or cleaning ideas from Pinterest to implement?

Have you stood in the middle of the house and shouted to the four corners – THIS will be MY year?!

Yeah, me too. And, last year. And, the year before. By February (at the latest), we have battled a snow day or two, a case of sniffles, or a Grey’s Anatomy marathon and we are off the routine and quickly give up.

SO… is there a way for it all to be different?  To find our true North and stay focused for that path the ENTIRE year? I believe there is. What if… maybe, just maybe… we take that new planner and implement something each month? “They” say it takes 4-6 weeks to create a habit. Let’s try to create many new & exciting habits this year that will add joy, peace, and blessings to our homes & businesses.

1) Grab your 2015 planner.  Take a minute and look for a day that would work for each month. The first day seems like a quick & easy answer, but, maybe it’s the 15th or 2nd Tuesday that may work well for you month after month. Once you’ve found it, highlight it!

2) On each of those highlighted days for the next 12 months, give yourself a goal, resolution, or mission.  Be intentional!! Want to walk more for exercise? Start that in March or April when the weather starts to warm! Want to meal plan? Begin in the summer with fresh fruits & veggies! Want to organize more? Start in January or February when you are indoors more anyway!

3) Give yourself a month to really focus on each resolution.  Then, by the time the next month’s highlighted date rolls around, you are ready to attack a new plan and add it to your routine!

4) Just like New Years Eve & New Years Day — CELEBRATE! Celebrate each and every month your BIG steps in creating your new good habit and build excitement in what you are going to implement in the month to come! This could be a meal out with a friend, phone call to your accountability partner, or blissful latte/dessert. Just be sure the celebration is part of the plan.

Imagine a year full of successes. Imagine a year with out disappointments & frustrations. Imagine knowing what you what to keep, change, or discard.  Imagine celebrating each and every step and ringing in 2016 knowing you have created a pattern where you are in control.  You can DO THIS!  We can do this.  Join me.

Seeing the wind…

Do you know the definition of FAITH? It’s the belief that something you cannot see is going to happen.

What is the definition of FEAR? The belief that something you cannot see is going to happen.

We get to make the choice everyday of whether or not our belief is in Faith or Fear! We make this choice with our families, our businesses, and even when feeling like we are ready to take a new journey! Are you going to ask, share, or offer out of fear of rejection or hurt feelings? Or in FAITH that you are just doing what you love to do and want to share the blessings that come from it?

Matthew 14:29-31 reads He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

This is one of my favorite verses.  While Peter was showing faith by stepping out of his boat, he allowed fear to creep in.  The part of the verse that says “but when he saw the wind” catches me every time.  Can we really see wind? Or just feel the effects of it?

The very wind that Paul put his faith into to move his boat, turns into the very thing he fears the most.  Isn’t that the way it goes? One small shift in perspective can make us live in FAITH or FEAR.

Please know my heart, I struggle with the choice too! Some days are easier than others. BUT, when I choose FAITH, I know the “thing” works! Faith in others. Faith in my talents & abilities. Faith in my journey!  Faith in the one who brought me this far.

I am choosing FAITH. Will you? How? Share!

Balancing Act: Balancing Motherhood and a New Business

As the mother of a rambunctious 7-year old boy, a teacher and a woman trying to start her own business, I know how difficult finding time can be. Yes, we have the same amount of hours per day as Beyoncé, but it doesn’t always feel like it.

Here are five ways I’ve found to work on my business plan without sacrificing time with family:

  1. Combine Activities – I read writing books on the stationery bike. I come up with story ideas while walking or driving. Sometimes, my son just enjoys me sitting next to him when he’s engaged in other activities. He finds my presence comforting. I’ve written articles with him sitting in my lap playing Minecraft, and next to him on the couch while he was watching Scooby Doo. Then we go outside and play baseball and read books, and I put the technology away.
  1. Limit Internet Time – Using social media and responding to email is key to promoting your small business. But, I often find myself going online to contact potential clients and three hours later I am looking up brownie recipes. So, I set a time limit of 1 hour and make a list of what I plan to accomplish online. A sample day’s list: 1. Contact two potential clients. 2. Set up Twitter account 3. Add organization to LinkedIn profile 4. Add new article to my website. When I finish the list, I get off the internet. If I come up with some other brilliant task I need to do online, I write it down to do the next day. I realize depending on your job, this might be difficult. It’s still a good idea to consciously think about what you plan to do on the internet. It saves a lot of time for living in the real world.
  1. View Your Week as a Whole – I find it challenging to work on all facets of my life in a single day. But, it is entirely manageable in the context of a week. If I go to coffee to network on Tuesday night, I take my son to the park on Wednesday night. If I can’t make it to yoga on Friday because I’m going to my writing group to edit my article, I take an extra walk on Friday afternoon and go to yoga Saturday morning. I have what I call Strategic Sundays where I plan out the following week and try to fit in time for work, family, and myself. Things always come up and don’t go as planned, but the week model allows for more flexibility.
  1. Find Mom Friends in Your Field – I get my best ideas from other writers and teachers. I have a neighbor who teaches English. She also has a son my son’s age. We go to pumpkin farms and the pool. The kids play and have a great time while we talk. If you can find another mom in Gurlz forGurlz or at your workplace who you click with, playdates can be a great time for everyone and an opportunity to generate new ideas and bounce them off a new friend.
  1. Do What You Love – When I turned 40, I resolved to stop doing things I don’t like to do and do more of the things I love. That said, I still do laundry and clean the bathroom, but I say no to tasks that I was doing just to look good. I used to make cupcakes for my son’s school every time they had a party, but it took up a lot of time, and I didn’t enjoy doing it. Now, I use store bought cupcakes – and the world hasn’t ended. I used that extra hour to swing on the tire swing, and I think we’re all happier for it.

These are just some of the ways I’ve found to spend time with loved ones and grow my business. What about you? I would love to hear other ways people have found balance in our busy world. Contact me at melissa@melissamccaughan.com.

 Melissa McCaughan is a freelance writer, Journalism instructor and mother. Check out her freelance writing services for small businesses at http://www.melissamccaughan.com.

melissa