The Productive Woman 007 – Perfectionism & Productivity [podcast]

_podcastTemplateHaving high standards is a good thing. Striving for excellence is a good thing. But taken to extremes, these can become perfectionism, which can paralyze us and prevent us from accomplishing the things that matter to us. The key is to find that balance that lets us enjoy the process and the results of our efforts.

Tip of the Week: Take advantage of online shopping to save time and energy.

Tool of the Week: The Organizing Store (online resource for accessories and tools to organize your space).


  • What is it?
  • What impact does it have?
  • How can we overcome it?

A few resources for more information:

14 Signs Your Perfectionism Has Gotten Out of Control,” by Carolyn Gregoire, on The Huffington Post.

Perfectionism Test, Psychology Today online.

Psych Basics: Perfectionism, Psychology Today online.

4 Difficulties of Being a Perfectionist,” by Jennifer Kromberg, PsyD, Psychology Today blog, November 7, 2013.

Perfectionist Traits: Do These Sound Familiar? Are Too-High Expectations Wrecking Your Inner Peace?” by Elizabeth Scott, M.S., updated June 3, 2014.

Your turn: Has perfectionism (or simple fear of failure) ever made you miss out on an opportunity? Do you have a suggestion for how to blast past perfectionism and get things done? Please share your thoughts in the comments section under this post.

How else can you participate?

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom
Email me

The Productive Woman 006 – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieving Our Goals [podcast]

_podcastTemplateEven if we go through an intentional process of setting our goals, we might face obstacles in our efforts to actually achieve them. Being prepared for those obstacles helps us overcome them. In this episode we continue our discussion of goal-setting, looking at some of the obstacles that may interfere and some of the things we can do to overcome those obstacles.

Tip of the Week: Use a timer to motivate yourself (or your kids?) to get started on a task you've been putting off, or stay focused on one task when many others fight for attention.

Tool of the Week: – a website and app (iOS and Android) to help you develop good habits that will move you toward accomplishing your goals.

Topic of the Week: Obstacles–and how to overcome them

  1. Choosing the wrong goals.
  2. Fear (of failure . . . or of success).
  3. Overcommitment.
  4. Perfectionism and unrealistic expectations.
  5. Disorganization and/or poor time management.
  6. Lack of support (or self-sabotage).
  7. Physiological issues.

Some general steps to help keep you on the right path:

  • Review your goals regularly — several times a day.
  • Schedule an appointment with yourself each week to review and re-evaluate your goals and the progress you've made — celebrate even the tiniest step in the right direction!
  • Keep yourself motivated
    • Put a note on your computer screen or bathroom mirror:

What have you done today to make your dreams come true?

    • Collect inspirational quotes – create an inspiration/motivation board on Pinterest. See some quotes I like on my Inspiration board and my Food for Thought board.
    • Find an accountability partner.

Your turn: What obstacles do you struggle with when trying to achieve your goals? Can you share a tip — something that helps you overcome one of these obstacles and make progress?

Don't forget to subscribe to The Productive Woman in iTunes or on Stitcher, and join the conversation at The Productive Woman on Facebook.

I look forward to getting to know you!

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom
Email me

The Productive Woman 005 – A Step by Step Process for Setting Goals [podcast]

Continuing our series on goal-setting, this week we talk about a step-by-step process for setting goals.


Tip of the Week:

Don't rely on your memory. Make it easy to write things down when you think of them, so you don't have to use energy or attention trying to remember or worrying about forgetting.

Tool of the Week:

Drafts for iOS. A great app that lets you quickly capture any thought or idea and either save it for later processing, or send it immediately to your calendar, task manager, or any of a dozen other places. It's for iOS only, but there are some Android-friendly alternatives to Drafts.

Topic of the Week: A process for setting goals

  1. Choose a time (or series of times) when you can spend some undisturbed time focusing on this process.
  2. Gather some materials – notebook and pen, calendar, beverage of choice, notes from your session spent identifying your key roles and relationships, your guiding principles (listen to episode 2 for more about this).
  3. Spend a few minutes praying, meditating, or whatever you do to calm, quiet, and focus your mind.
  4. Review your priorities/guiding principles–the areas you've identified as important. Look at the long-term objectives you've identified.
  5. Consider your calendar. Given your schedule, commitments, and obligations, how much time can you realistically devote to pursuing new goals?
  6. In each of your key roles/relationships, where do you want to be a year from now? Convert the general objective into a SMART goal.
  7. For each of these long-term (year) goals, brainstorm steps to get to the outcome you want.
  8. Take a break, then come back and review your list. Which goals to you have the resources (time, energy, enthusiasm, money, etc.) to pursue now?
  9. Choose no more than 3-5 goals to focus on at a time. Try for balance–don't focus on one area to the detriment of other priorities, but respect the season of life you're in.
  10. Make sure you have a meaningful why for each goal you choose: why this? and why now?
  11. Save the list of the others; you'll come back to them later.
  12. Write them down and keep them handy, so you can review them daily, refine them as you go along.

A helpful resource: The Front Nine: How to Start the Year You Want Anytime You Want, by Mike Vardy.

What about you?

Can you add to or improve the goal-setting process I've described? Share your suggestions, or your questions, in the comments.


Remember to “like” The Productive Woman on Facebook, and subscribe to The Productive Woman in iTunes or on Stitcher. And you can help others find The Productive Woman by leaving a review in iTunes.

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom
Email me

The Productive Woman 004 – Setting Goals That Matter [podcast]

_podcastTemplateFollowing up on our look at the big picture in episode 2, this week we begin a short series on goal-setting. This episode looks at what a goal is, and how it differs from a dream or an objective, and suggest some ways to set yourself up for success.

Tip of the Week: Keep a gratitude list, a list of both large and small things you are grateful for. This helps you remain grateful for your present even while you're working toward building the future you want.

Tool of the Week: Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results,  a great book by Stephen Guise.

Topic of the Week: Setting Goals That Matter

  • A goal is more specific and action-oriented than an objective or a dream.
  • Good goals are SMART
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable (or Attainable)
    • Realistic
    • Time-bound
  • Be smart and strategic about setting goals
    • Focus on your highest priorities, and choose only 3 to 5 goals at a time to work on
    • Have a meaningful why for each of your goals–knowing why you're pursuing a goal will help you keep going when you get tired or distracted
    • Make sure your goals align with your values
    • A goal can't contradicts your other goals
    • Be balanced in your goal-setting – remember the roles and relationships we talked about in episode 2, and choose goals that reflect those various priority areas

In the next episode we'll talk about a step-by-step process for identifying and prioritizing goals. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions to, or leave a voice message by clicking on the pink tab at the right-hand side of the website.

Remember you can subscribe to The Productive Woman podcast in iTunes or in Stitcher. Click on the links here, or on the icon in the right-hand sideboard of the blog.

And don't forget to join the conversation at The Productive Woman on Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom

Email me

What If You Fly?

I've started a collection of inspirational quotes I find on Facebook. Lately the ones that have caught my attention relate to overcoming fear and stepping out in faith toward accomplishing my dreams.

IMG_0486As I've written before (for example, here), most of my life I've been afraid to try new things for fear of failing, and even more, fear of looking foolish in front of other people. I've missed so many opportunities because of fear.

IMG_0485The older I've gotten, though, the more I've realized life is too short to sit on the sidelines, watching everybody else have all the fun. So although I'm still afraid a lot of the time, I've been trying to drag myself out of my comfort zone, swallow hard, and try things instead of just dreaming. Like the podcast I launched earlier this month.

IMG_0506It sort of comes down to this question: Am I more afraid of failing, or more afraid of reaching the end of my life, looking back, and saying, “If only . . .”?

IMG_0509For now, it's the latter.

It's still easy for me to think about the things that could go wrong, about the ways I could embarrass myself, especially when I choose to attempt something new in a public arena. But I'm trying to remind myself to focus on the positive–the wonderful things that could result, the joy I could experience (and maybe bring to other people).

IMG_0773Yes, when we dream big and step out in the direction of our dreams, failure is a possibility. But oh . . . what if we succeed?


What about you? Is there something you've dreamed about but been afraid to try? What amazing things could happen if you try and succeed? What could I do to help you take a step toward giving it a shot?

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom

Email me

**Honor and credit are due to the unknown artists created the beautiful graphics in this post. I only wish I could be that artistic.**