Archive for the 'Productivity' Category

Published by Kelly Wilson on 20 Aug 2018

Thriving vs. Self Actualization – A Challenger for Maslow’s Hierarchy

I recently saw an article about Maslow’s loss hierarchy of needs on LinkedIn.

The first time I saw this concept, I was a psychology major in the late 1980s. Though the concept seemed interesting and was presented in a dynamic way, I was always confused by the phrase self-actualization. What does this really mean?

Fast toward to today and still think this is a fuzzy concept. But now, I’ve lived through enough good and bad experiences to propose an alternate viewpoint. My hierarchy is called Hierarchy of a Better Life or the Pyramid of Thriving.

Here’s what it looks like:
BD-BL Hierachy 8x8Relationships make up the biggest part and most important part of this model.

The foundation is a person’s relationship with his or her creator. After all, the One who made us knows what He had in mind for us from the beginning. We wouldn’t be here without God and He wants to be at the center and life is better that way. Ironically, people who don’t believe in the God of the Bible still may believe in the idea of a power bigger than ourselves. If we are grounded in this, everything else can be handled.

The next most important relationship is the one I have with myself. (And the one you have with your self.) We rarely think about it, but we are always in a running conversation with ourselves. I am always with me. And what I think about myself affects everything else. It shapes how I relate to others, what I do and what I even think is possible. If my relationship with myself is adversarial it’s like having and enemy in my heart. And if I could learn to be a wise cheerleader for myself, I could do so much more.

The next tier up represents my relationships with other people. These include loved ones, family members, friends, coworkers, teammates, neighbors, adversaries and even strangers who I might be sharing the road with in my vehicle. Much of life is affected good and bad by these connections. In my hierarchy I would encourage people to proactively think about these relationships and figure out plans and strategies to help them be a mutually beneficial as possible.

Productivity is level four. It covers the gambit of “stuff” that people need and want to do. It includes cooking dinner, doing homework, exercising, changing diapers, finishing tasks for my job, writing books, feeding the homeless, taking out the garbage, sewing costumes for my daughter’s musical, etc, etc, etc.

All this stuff takes on new meaning when we think about our to-dos as it they connect to the levels below. So I exercise to take care of my body, so I can be around to see my children get married and have their own children. I try to excel at work so I can have enough money to cover the items that I need to manage. Most nights, I cook dinner at home, so my husband has healthy meals to help manage his diabetes. I write a blog so I can share the lessons I am learning with other people who I don’t yet know, to help them avoid making the same mistakes I have made, and etc, etc, etc.

Productivity often provides the resources to fuel the other levels.

I like to say this hierarchy helps people thrive by connecting the everyday activities our meaningful relationships, which have the potential to be eternal.

The cherry on the top of the Better Life pyramid is joy (or enjoyment). Sometimes joy can be challenging to explain. I often think of it as a continuum that goes from fun moments to the pleasure of good circumstances to a steadfast delight in God, despite the circumstances.

Joy enables the other levels to be better, like cream makes coffee even better.

Using this hierarchy has helped me personally go from a life that seemed broken and impossible, to a life that has meaning and consistent times of relational connection, productive service and laugh out load loads of fun.

If this sounds intriguing to you, please contact me www.betterdaybetterlife.com.

Published by Kelly Wilson on 14 Jun 2017

Make ‘em feel loved: How to bake a cake from butter, sugar and flour…

A few days after coming home from the grocery store my younger son, Kyler, said “I feel so loved when I see cranberry juice in the refrigerator.”

I smiled. Kyler loves cranberry juice. But he is the only one in our house who drinks it. When he is home from college, I buy it. I was good to hear that it shows love.

I think my husband feels loved when he smells homemade baked goods in our oven. That’s how his mom showed love. She regularly baked cakes from scratch.

After we got married, when I would take a box cake out of the cabinet he would ask me what was about to do with that. Then he would call his mom to make him a cake. This actually made me jealous, so I set out to learn. She tried to teach me, but she was a cook who didn’t write recipes down and since I didn’t grow up baking from scratch, I didn’t learn well that way.

I was determined to master this skill and I tried dozens of recipes and made lots of cakes that smelled like cake, but they were NOT cake. They were like corn bread  and only smelled like cake. Then eureka! I finally found a recipe that worked.

Cake

That was over 27 years ago. I found my go-to recipe in Woman’s Day Magazine. It was a winner! The first cake that was really a great cake. It has been a staple over the years. I bet I typically bake this cake every other month or so. It gives me (and now you) a way to celebrate and show love. Please make it for “Father’s Day” to show your appreciation! Cooking from your heart is a great way to show kindness.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

(You can make half the flour whole wheat to make a healthier cake)

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Two sticks of butter

Two large eggs

1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake post 3

Directions:

Grease (with butter) and flour a large Bundt pan. Set your oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the water ad cocoa powder into a small saucepan. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the water/cocoa. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle boil and the butter melts.

Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl.

Carefully pour the water/butter/cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients and stir. (The whole  mixture usually cools down enough so that the eggs don’t cook when added. But if it is still really warm, let it cool down.)

Crack the eggs and mix them into the batter until incorporated well. Next stir in the yogurt and vanilla.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes.  (Test for doneness after 32 minutes, by inserting a toothpick near the center of the cake. If it comes out wet like batter, cook for another 5-7 minutes. If it comes out like the cake is baked, remove from the oven.)

For the icing, I place a half a bag of powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. (I use the Domino Confectioners 2-Pound Bag)  Then I mix 2 teaspoons of cocoa power with 3 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer I begin to blend to sugar with the chocolate milk a tablespoon at a time. Once this starts to come together as a thick icing, I add a pat (1 tablespoon) of butter for creaminess. This is some what of a delicious art, because you may have to add more milk or sugar to get the consistency you prefer. But the tasting makes it worth every iteration. Once the cake cools, spread on the icing and hope your people don’t cut the cake, before you can take a picture and post it on social media.

When you bake this cake, I hope you will feel like a particular person from the New Testament. Her name was Tabitha, which means “gazelle.” She was known for doing simple things that greatly blessed the people around her.

“There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas.) She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor.” Acts of the Apostles 9:36 NLT

Happy Father’s Day

Kelly

 

 

Published by Kelly Wilson on 09 Jan 2017

Arranged, Tidy, Organized… Yes!

Ironically I’ve not yet seen a top ten list of New Year’s resolutions for 2017 or 2016 from a professional research organization, but in 2015 Nielsen reported that 18% of people want to get more organized and I would guess that holds true every year.

As a person who helps people achieve their goals, I know this is a common one that makes a world of difference. Knowing where your stuff is, when you need to get to it, saves time, money and reduces stress. And having a comfortable and attractive place to live or work makes life better. When I work with clients to help them improve their level of being organized, I use principles from the Bible, because they work.

I wish all of the concepts were laid out in one place. But like many specific topics, they are spread throughout the Scriptures and this makes perfect sense because the Bible has 66 books, by 40 authors and was written over a span of 1500 years.

That said, if you are seeking to get your home, office, calendar and life tidy, logically arranged and functioning effectively please contact me for help and in the meantime, here are a few principles from the One who created the world and all its systems:

You are to bring in the table and set out the things that belong on it; then you are to bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Exodus 40:4 (NET)

Your grandmother was right… have a designated place for everything and then put things in their designated place.

Most clutter happens because people don’t know what to do with our stuff. (This happens to everyone I know, myself included.) For example, my daughter brings home papers from school and in the old days they would sit on the kitchen counter. But now we have a designated school binder. It has the wonder pocket tabs.

img_1707 binder-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Papers that we need to keep for information, or to study for a test, etc., go into the binder and then the binder goes on a cabinet in the kitchen, right it is used. Other papers get tossed or recycled. If she has a cool drawing of project I may take a snapshot of her with the item so we have a record and then it get tossed and she has a really special item she has a keepsake box in her room or it might even get framed and hung.

It does take time and diligence to create a logical “address” for the stuff in our lives, but it is well worth the effort and is key to being organized. In the verse above, God is giving Moses a very detailed set of instructions to set up the place where He would meet with His people. And though our spaces are not as formal as that place, our homes and offices and classrooms and vehicles, etc., will function better if we know where things are and they are logically organized.

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Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NET)

Use your time wisely.

I use to waste time “browsing” online stores for items that I didn’t need and likely couldn’t afford. I’d plan to search for 10 minutes and 60 minutes later, I was mad that I got caught in the time-waste-vortex, because God’s know I have too much to do.

Using my daily calendar helps me waste less time. I think about what I need and want to do, then schedule time to do it. This might include some online shopping, but I try to set my phone timer so that 10 minutes stays as 10 minutes. I use mu calendar for important things and urgent things alike. Reading my Bible first thing in the morning is very meaningful to me. So is watching University of Cincinnati Basketball, which is date night quality time with my husband when he asks me to watch with him. And yes I the usual work assignments and appointments .

Most importantly, I find that praying about how God wants me to use my time, invites Him into the process and He helps me to get more done.

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Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)

Be focused and balanced…

I love this verse. In a nutshell it says, that a stable stays clean if there are no oxen, but during Bible days oxen were needed to make a living. To me, that means that some amount of clutter is evidence of a productive life. And cleaning, stooping, composting, etc., is required. So yes, you have a laptop or pots and pans or exercise equipment that enable you to do what you need to do. Just arrange them so they are well cared for and positioned attractively.

It is wise to be balanced regarding possessions as you pursue a well-organized life.

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Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)

Get help from a friend or professional to get organized if you need it. I need help with many things because they are not my area of expertise. I am grateful for those who provide support. And – I am grateful that some people are willing to forgo other things or risk embarrassment in order to hire me to help them get organized. I help them to succeed.

It is a privilege and a joy to see a space go from dominated by clutter to arranged, tidy, organized… Yes!

I hope these principles will encourage you to achieve greater organization in 2017.

Kelly

 

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