The Productive Woman 001 – Starting the Journey [podcast]

_podcastTemplateWelcome to the first official episode of The Productive Woman. In this episode I share a little about who this podcast is for, why I created it, what I'll be covering, and what the format will be. I also offer a little information about myself, so you can decide whether you think I'm someone you want to spend half an hour or so with each week.

Tip of the Week – Learn about the importance of good, secure passwords in protecting sensitive information in your online life, and what constitutes best practices in creating and using passwords.

More information available in this article: How Secure Is Your Password?

Tool of the Week – What is a password manager, and how can it make your life easier?

1Password

LastPass

One of my favorite techy podcasts, Mac Power Users, did a whole episode earlier this year on 1Password and password security. If you want an in-depth discussion, check it out at Mac Power Users Episode 173.

Thanks to my amazing husband Mike for creating and recording the theme music for The Productive Woman.

If you enjoyed this episode, I hope you'll consider subscribing in iTunes so future episodes will automatically download to your favorite podcatcher.

Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome. Write to me at feedback@theproductivewoman.com, or leave a voice message by clicking on the pink tab at the right-hand side of the website. You can also 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

The Productive Woman 000 – Introduction [podcast]

_podcastTemplateIt's been six months in the making, but with much fear and trepidation, I share here my first, very short, very rough “pre-episode” of The Productive Woman, a podcast created to help busy women find tools and encouragement for managing their lives, their time, and their stuff.

Much more to come in the future, and future episodes will be of better quality, but I knew if I didn't just get this done and out there, rough as it is, it would never happen. At some point soon I'll figure out how to get this into iTunes, so if it ends up being something you find useful or interesting, you'll be able to subscribe there in the “podcatcher” of your choice.

If you have questions or topics related to productivity, time management, organization, or technology related to those things, do share them in the comments, or send me a voice message through the tab on the right side of my website. I do want to hear from you.

 

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

Email me

Goal-Setting and Rest

Are you a resolution-maker? A goal-setter? How's your new year going so far? Is it off to the start you hoped for?

As I've mentioned before, I spend time at the end of each year reviewing the accomplishments and events of the year just past, and imagining possibilities for the year to come. I love to set goals and work toward achieving them. I am an admitted productivity geek.

dreamstime_l_25458594I believe it's important to make wise and productive use of our time, to use the gifts God has given us to accomplish the things he's put in our hearts.

But the hazard of setting goals and focusing on being productive is that we can become too future-focused, too production-focused. We can come to identify ourselves by the things we do, the goals we achieve, the accomplishments we rack up. We can wear ourselves out trying to do more, reach higher, and miss the opportunities to savor the here and now.

Being productive is good. But it's also important to enjoy the people and experiences that come into our lives. It's even more important to remember that we are not what we do. Whether practicing law or writing a novel or cleaning a bathroom or curing cancer, the things we do–no matter how worthwhile or admirable–should not define us. And there is much to be lost in the constant striving to do more, achieve more.

IMG_0013I don't advocate abandoning the practice of setting goals and working toward achieving them. I am, and probably always will be, a productivity geek. (I'll be launching a podcast on the topic in the very near future.)

But I am trying to remember that I am not what I do. My identity is not found in my accomplishments. I'm trying to remember to not be consumed with building a life for the future that I don't make time to enjoy the life I have today. And I was reminded recently that life shouldn't be about constant striving to do more, be more.

After all, Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

What do you think? How do you find the balance between being productive and enjoying your life?

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

Email me

Summer’s End and a New Adventure

2013-08-06 05.37.49Are you as surprised as I am how fast this summer–this year–is flying by? It's August already! Here in north Texas we're enjoying triple-digit temps this week–the forecasters are promising Dallas highs to hit around 106 degrees in the next day or two! Ikes–I'm glad my day job keeps me indoors!

As the summer winds to its inevitable end, I'm committed to using as much of my “free” time (that is, time when I'm not working at my day job) to finish my novel, so a lot of other things are falling by the wayside for the next few weeks. But there are two quick things I wanted to share with you:

First, as a reminder, I am giving away four books this month. If you haven't yet read my recent post about good summer reads (which didn't go out to my subscribers due to a glitch in the feed), be sure to click over to that post, read the brief summaries of the four novels I recommend there, and leave a comment at that post for your chance to get a free copy of the book of your choice. The list includes really wonderful novels by Beth Vogt, Julie Klassen, Pamela Meyers, and D.M. Webb. You won't want to miss this opportunity!

2013-08-06 05.30.31Second, I'm taking the plunge and starting a podcast! Working on the first episodes now. It's going to be focused on productivity and time management types of topics, helping women find ways to create the lives they dream of and accomplish the things that matter to them. I envision it as being short episodes with practical, useful information–something you can listen to while running errands or cooking dinner or taking a walk. I hope to include interviews with inspiring women about how they manage their busy schedules, etc. I haven't yet set the firm date for the first episode to go live, but it'll be soon, so if you're interested, be sure you're subscribed to this blog, because my blog readers will be the first to hear about it. And if you you have any questions related to organization, managing time, etc., I'd love to hear what they are so I can perhaps address them in coming podcast episodes.

Questions for you–please share your thoughts in the comments. I'll be choosing one commenter to receive a special prize!

  1. Do you listen to any podcasts? (Do you know what a podcast is?!) If so, which ones, and what do you like about them?
  2. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to organizing your life and stuff, or managing your time and tasks?

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

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We Fear Change

Okay, maybe you don't fear change. But I do. I like predictability. I'm a planner, and I like to know what to expect.

But of course that means that when something unexpected happens, I tend to react . . . poorly.

As part of my determined effort this year to be more positive (as a means to being more happy), I have been thinking a lot about how I react to change, to unexpected events. I continue to struggle to put a positive spin on things that throw a monkey wrench into my comfortable plans, but I'm sure trying.

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During my commute this morning I listened to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Back to Work, in which a couple of really smart (and pretty nerdy) guys talk about a variety of subjects that interest me, such as productivity and communication. This podcast probably wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea, but I find them interesting and usually pretty funny.

Back to Work logoToday's episode, though, surprisingly hit me right where I live. One of the hosts, Merlin Mann, talked about his initial reaction to being selected for jury duty–it was going to mess up his life for a couple of weeks, and he was not happy. But he went on to use this event as an example of a different way to react to events that disrupt your life. He gave me a new way to think about change that I think will really help me going forward.

If you struggle with finding positive ways to look at the disruptions and unexpected crises of life, I encourage you to listen to this episode of Back to Work. (The really good stuff starts several minutes in, so please keep listening past the opening minutes, which probably are funny only to those of us who listen to the podcast regularly.)

If you listen to the podcast, please come back here and leave a comment telling me what you think. Either way, how do you feel about change? Do you love it? Fear it? Resent it? How do you cope with unexpected events?
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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . . 
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom
Email me