It’s partly my nature. I’ve never been “officially” diagnosed, but the evidence is just too clear to ignore: I have ADD. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a short attention span and an inherent impatience when things seem to be taking too long to materialize. Finally, as an adult, I figured out there’s a name for it!
But it’s more than that. As a work-at-home mom, I find that I’m always trying to navigate the tricky balance between pursuing work goals and being flexible and available for the needs of my family.
I’ve had to be very deliberate about focused and realistic goal setting. Over the years, I’ve learned some strategies that help me to break down those goals into simple, manageable steps that don’t bore or overwhelm me.
Whether you’re a super-focused mom (bless you!) or one who struggles to keep from going down rabbit trails (like me!), I believe these methods will help you as you formulate your goals:
- Go to the Boss. I’ve learned the hard way that when I pursue goals without consulting the Holy Spirit, I just spin my wheels. I make it a habit to go to Him and ask for clear direction. And He never disappoints. He either gives me a peace or a sense of uneasiness that serves as my guide.
Years ago, I found this verse and have been using it as inspiration as I seek His will in my work and ministry: “Whether your turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it. ‘” Isaiah 30:21 Read More→
It’s so simple, but revolutionary: Taking a break from work is the key to getting more done.
I’m not just talking about a break from physical activity. I’ve found I’m even more in desperate need of a mental breather. The chaos that goes on in my tortured little mind is exhausting.
This has been a radical concept for me. It doesn’t make sense, does it? We think that if we rest, we’ll fall behind. Forget something. Lose productivity. I have a very driven personality, so the thought of relaxing tends to make me stressed. I’m not sure how to do it. Yes, I have issues.
But something changed this past Easter Sunday.
As I pondered Christ’s incredible sacrifice, I felt led to pull the plug on all my normal activity that day and just let my mind focus on Him. I kept the computer shut down. No checking email or Facebook. No doing “just a little bit of work” to get a head start on the week. I resisted the lure of the remote and fought off the impulse to watch “Chopped.”
It felt strange – this mental rest – but I liked it.
At some point during the day, I realized I felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time. And I heard a voice inside me say, “Why don’t you do this every Sunday?”
So I have.
It has had some amazing results that I didn’t expect:
1. I’m more focused and disciplined during the week. I never worked a lot on Sunday, but now I don’t leave it as an option at all. Since I now know that everything work-related needs to be done by Friday or Saturday, I tend to stay on task better during the week. Read More→
My feet have barely hit the floor and I begin to feel the pull of my often lengthy to-do list. Appointments to keep. Deadlines to meet. Phone calls to make.
Some days, I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Moving frantically, but not really getting anywhere. Other times, I’m making progress in my work life, but feeling like life at home is falling apart. Or visa versa.
It’s not how God intended us to live.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
God has a plan for our lives, moms. And that plan is accomplished in the choices we make day-by-day and moment-by-moment.
His plan would never drive us to be frantic or neglect our families. His plan is perfect. He assures us that His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light.” (Matt. 11:30)
And that’s the plan I want to follow, don’t you? It’s the one that leads to the peace and purpose we crave.
So, how do we live and work with God-driven intention instead of me-driven insanity?
Here are three things that I’m finding valuable as I pursue God’s plan for me:
• Start the day with His Word. Once the alarm goes off, the pull to “go” and “do” for me is incredibly strong. I can easily be off and running – in all the wrong directions! I have always tried to spend time with God in the morning. Sometimes that’s been fairly easy to do. Other times, it’s seemed nearly impossible.
The best method I’ve found for making it happen regularly is to get up 15 minutes before the rest of the family. For me, this habit has made all the difference. It allows me to read Scripture and to center my heart and my mind on Him — before two teenagers get moving and life gets crazy. Read More→
We had a dream.
Once, years ago, when we first became work-at-home moms, we envisioned happily typing away at our computers. Our adorable children would be frolicking at our feet – blissfully playing amongst themselves. Maybe they’d be reading, doing puzzles …
Then, we woke up.
Both of us had highly unrealistic expectations of the quality and quantity of work we could do with small children at home. Years later, with teenagers, we’ve found that not much has changed.
We still feel the continual tug of war between the piles on our desk and the needs of our families.
Because our kids, no matter what their ages, still need us. Beyond that, they want us. We’re wise moms to realize this and take advantage of it.
To be honest, most of the time we fail miserably at keeping up a good solid rhythm. Work happens in great spurts of creativity. A lot of times, it seems like the needs of home and family can be postponed. From bitter experience, we’ve found that too much of a “that-can-wait” mentality can come back to bite us.
So, how do we work with passion and purpose, free of that feeling that we should always be doing something else other than what we’re doing at that moment? Read More→