10 Life Hacks for When You are Overwhelmed

Hand Writing HELP on Whiteboardby Tamera Lynn Kraft

No matter how well organized we are or how well we plan, life sometimes throws us a curve ball. An illness, family emergency, or a million other things can steer us off course, and there is nothing we can do in those times but hold on tight and ride the wave through it. Here are ten life hacks to help you when those things happen.

lists-freeMake a list of things to do. Even when you don’t have time to do your to do list, it helps to write everything down. Then go through the list and cross off everything that doesn’t have to be done. Write an L for later beside everything on the list that has to be done but can wait until your past your emergency mode. For the rest, decide what you can delegate to others.

Hire help. Sometimes it is worth spending a little money to free up your time during emergencies. There are lots of companies that are willing to mow your lawn, run your errands, do your shopping, and clean your house. You can even take your laundry to the laundry mat and have them wash, dry, and fold your laundry. You may consider these services luxuries you can’t afford, but remember this is a temporary fix to get you through a tough time.

Say no. You are in emergency mode. You don’t have time to take on any new projects no matter how worthy they are.

24-1013tm-cart-professionalsGet your family on board. Explain to your husband and kids what’s going on. If you have close friends, get them involved too.Tell them you may not be there for them like you usually are and ask for their help. Also ask them to pray for you.

Give yourself permission to not be perfect. When you are in emergency mode, let your motto be “good enough is good enough.” Perfection is for people who have more time.

Use essential oils in a diffuser. This really works. I recommend Young Living Joy or Peace and Calming.

Have a cup of tea. While coffee might energize you temporarily, it will also make you nervous and on edge. Tea calms the nerves and makes everything better.

Exercise: Common sense says you don’t have time to go to the gym, but exercise helps stress levels come down and will keep your on task.

raising-handsWorship: Crank up the worship music and play it while you are doing what you need to do. Also take some time out to worship God. God will redeem the time you spend in His presence.

Ask God for peace and joy. God can give you peace and joy in the most difficult times. Peace and joy are not based on your circumstances but on God’s mercy and grace.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t Set Those Goals…

by Carole Brown

Whalists-freet, you say? And you have a right to ask. I wanted to grab your attention, so hence the partial statement. Here’s the sentence in its entirety:

Don’t set those goals TOO high!

Again, you might very well ask, why on earth not, especially coming from you who always advocates goals and lists?

Okay, I agree with that, but I want to throw out there some caution. Here are some reasons why I encourage you to be careful when setting your goals or making those lists:

  • When I make lists/goals I try not to make them unattainable FOR ME. I don’t include on my lists: “Paint room, wash windows, clean bathrooms, write 5000 words–today! Nope, I KNOW I can’t/won’t do all that. For one thing, I’m not much of a painter. Another thing, I hate washing windows, although I do get to it a few times a year–under pressure. I’m a slow writer, so 5000 words is pushing it for me. 

Now I mighcan-do-freet make a list like this: Clean bathrooms, write 1000 words, do one blog post, prepare supper, pay bills. 

 I know me. I know my limitations. I know I hate taking down the Christmas tree, so hubby begins right after Christmas encouraging me to work on it. I know I really don’t mind too much cleaning the bathrooms, so that’s a feasible goal. And if I attain more than a thousand words, than I’m flying high today!

So set reasonable goals.

 

  • Add some fun items along with the dreaded ones to make your list more appealing to your emotions and senses. Intermingle them. Try doing one hated chore right after or before a pleasant one. Reward yourself with a small piece of chocolate or some other read-on-vacationfavor when an unpleasant one is finished. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many unpleasant tasks.

It’s far better to finish five dreaded items a week, than end the week feeling depressed because none of the twenty got done.

 

So, Intermingle on your tasks lists with both pleasant and unpleasant tasks.

 

  • God’s Word encourages us to do our REASONABLE SERVICE–not outlandish tasksbible-free that are out of our reach. But he also wants us to be good stewards, faithful in our work, disciplined. So I would encourage you to find and use as your motto a scripture verse/passage that you can refer to as your guide to making your lists a habit, an influence in seeing the need to be profitable in our daily chores and chosen paths, and a blessing to you as you diligently do your work every day. 

No, we might not accomplish everything, every day. We’re human. Faulty. And life happens. Don’t let failures discourage you, but count them as lessons. Push ahead.

So, find a scripture that keeps you motivated.

 

RECAPPbaseball2-freeING:

  1. Set reasonable goals.
  2. Intermingle good and bad tasks together
  3. Find a scripture for encouragement.


I believe if you follow these three simple steps, you’ll find a greater satisfaction each week. Remember, reward yourself. Stay true to yourself and God. Allow time for fun. You’ll be batting a high score.                     I believe it!

Happy goal-setting!

What to do when Life interrupts your Goals and Resolutions

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Schedule Word Circled on Calendar Appointment ReminderOn January 2nd, I was so pleased with myself. I had made great plans for the new year, scheduled my calendar and time, and made a to do list to get things done. I was on task and feeling great. On Wednesday, January 4th, I’d blocked out the day to take down my tree. On Friday, January 6th, I planned to spend the whole day celebrating my anniversary and had scheduled things so I would get my to do list for the week done on Thursday.

Then Life Happened!

depositphotos_6867023_originalLife for me came in the form of the stomach flu that hit the evening of January 3rd. I don’t normally get sick, and I hadn’t had the stomach flu since I was in my teens. I was unprepared for how hard it would hit. When the worst of it was over three days later, I decided it was a momentary set back. I would get back on track. I was naive to recover so quickly. It was a full week before my fever broke, and I felt up to doing anything or going anywhere. Even now, I’m still weak and a little out of sorts.

Whatever life event happened to mess up your plans this year, I understand. These are things we can’t control no matter how great our plans. But there are lessons to learn during these times of our lives.

Person Holding Sign Spreading Word of GodGod is in control. I’m not. Sometimes I like to pretend I have it all together, but I don’t. Neither does the perfect Christian sitting in front of you in church. The truth is those who have it together are ripe for God humbling them. And that’s okay. Knowing we rely completely on God and can’t do anything on our own is a good place to be.

Blogging conceptDo what you can. When life interrupts your plans, it’s not the end of the world. God will get you through it. If you can’t do everything you planned, do what you can when you can. My tree isn’t down yet. Physically I’m not ready to tackle that, but it should be soon. I am up to working on my blog posts, so that’s what I doing. I’m doing what I can when I can, and not worrying about the rest.

Regroup. After life throws up on your plans and things start to get back to normal, it’s important to prayerfully regroup. If normal has been forever altered, adjust accordingly. You may have to cut some things from you list or you may have to adjust your timelines and due dates. That’s okay. What is not okay is throwing up your hands and giving up.

God is still in control. When life happened, it didn’t throw Him for a loop. It’s time to get back to work and trust God with all of your life.

How has life happened to ruin your plans this year?

Lack of Proofreading (Hilarious) Fiascos

By Carole Brown

Hilarious Titles: Doesn’t Anyone Proofread anymore? We all read hilarious topics that make the wrong kind of sense. And it is hard to catch everything–especially on deadlines! But these “take the cake” on hilarity. Enjoy, and remember some writer, somewhere made these mistakes, and take a lesson. Proofread. Then again. Smile.

gun-free
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter 
(Wow; he’s miraculous!)

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says 
(Da,do you really think so?)

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers 
(Now that’s taking things a bit far!) 

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over 
(Uh, what was that?) 

miner-2 free

Miners Refuse to Work after Death 
(No-good-for-nothing, lazy men!) 

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant 
(See if that works any better than a fair trial!) 

War Dims Hope for Peace 
(I can see where it might have that effect!) 

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile 
(Ya think?)
thermometer-free
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures 
(Who would have thought!) 

Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide 
(They may be on to something!) 

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges 
(You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?) 

lightening-2 free
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge 
(He probably IS the battery charge!) 
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group 
(Weren’t they fat enough?) 

astronaut-free
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft 
(That’s what he gets for eating those beans!) 

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks 
(Do they taste like chicken?) 

Local High School; Dropouts Cut in Half 
(Chainsaw Massacre all over again!) 
doctor-free
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors 
(Boy, are those are some tall doctors!)

A Writer’s World of Impossibilities

When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, or completing a multitude of tasks or facing an unknown, difficult situation . . .
a sick sense of failure falls on me.
 

 
Me: (What a daunting task! 
Can I ever get it done?
I fear not . . .) 
 
I know I can never do it.
This happens every time.
 
Me: (Every single time.
Never fails but the haunting fear of failing hovers
like a bird of prey . . .
taunting,
teasing,
assuring me I’ll never get it done!)
Then, gradually, I write one page . . . do one task at a time . . . or reach out for encouragement . . .
Take another step. And another.
One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate,
and I eliminate the possibility of never finishing.
 
Me: (Smile)
–John Steinbeck

10 Ways to Spring Clean without It Devouring Your Life

Spring is almost here. If you’re anything like me, you’d rather enjoy the nice weather than be cooped up in the house doing heavy cleaning. But it’s something that needs to be done. Here’s some of the things I’ve tried to keep it from devouring my life and my time outdoors.

1. Make a plan. Spring cleaning goes better if you make a plan of attack. Write out a list of what you need to do and the order you’ll do it in. This link will take you to a site to help you make a plan for cleaning and organizing your home.

2. Start at the front door. The easiest way to Spring clean is to start at the front door where company sees and move from room to room until you’re finished.

3. Have three bins or boxes marked Put Away, Give Away, Store, and a trash can for throwing things away. It will be much easier than having to stop to put things where they belong.

4. Avoid distractions. Let family and friends know this is the time you’ll be Spring cleaning. Turn off your phone, and don’t answer the door. And don’t turn on the television or check FaceBook or you’ll whittle away the whole day.

5. Turn on some loud music. It’s much easier for me to clean when I’m jamming to my favorite music.

6. Get family to help. After all, they live there too. Decide on a week for your family to help you. Then give them each a list to complete in that week.

7. Have a yard sale. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something if you have a yard sale at the end of your project. It will empty the house of clutter and fill your pockets with spending money.

8. Make plans for meals. Use your crockpot or order pizza. You won’t feel like cooking after a day of cleaning.

9. Spread it out. There’s no law you have to do all your cleaning in the Spring. Decide on a room to clean every month. Or download the My Home Routines app or use the app online at this link.

10. Hire help. I’m serious. It costs an average of $25 an hour for a housecleaner to come in and do your heavy cleaning. For $100, you could get everything done but the organizing and be free to enjoy your life. Isn’t it worth the $100?

Now that you’re done inside, enjoy the beautiful weather.

10 Ways to Keep Social Media from Demolishing Your Day

Most of us have been guilty of it. We get on Facebook, Twitter, PinInterest or GoodReads for a moment, and before we notice, it’s been hours and our plans for the day have been demolished. It’s especially hard for those of us who work at home and set our own schedules.

I know because I have a real problem with being drawn in by all the Internet has to offer. If I’m not careful, my plans to have a productive day writing will be demolished by the social media monster. It’s a battle I have to keep on top of.

But cancelling our Facebook accounts isn’t always the answer. Social media is important for promotion, keeping up with friends and family, and giving us a break from time to time.

Here’s 10 tips to keep this monster called social media under control.

1. Combine social media accounts. Most accounts, like Facebook and Twitter, make it easy to combine and interconnect. Do this, and you won’t have to keep up with multiple accounts. Just post a status on one media, and it will post on every other media.

2. Use Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a free online social media management program. There’s a paid version if you need it, but most people don’t. You can post a status on Hootsuite and decide on which media pages it will post. It also has a scheduling feature and is fairly easy to set up.

3. Turn off all game apps on Facebook. If you enjoy playing one game, then turn off all the apps except for that one. To do this, every time you receive a notification for a game from a friend, click on the X beside it. It will ask if you want to turn off all notifications for this game. Click yes. Also go to the left column, and click all apps. Then click the X beside the apps you want to delete. You’ll occasionally have to do this again because new games will pop up all the time, but it does help considerably.

4. Schedule a time to do social media. It might be a half hour in the morning or evening, but it will help.

5. Turn off notifications for social media on your iPhone. It’s very tempting when your phone is alerting you that someone you know just ate supper to be sucked back into it.

6. Go on regular social media fasts. Social media is addictive. It helps to keep that addiction at bay to have regular times where you spend a day without social media.

7. Turn off the Internet. We tend to think we can resist getting online while we’re hard at work, but it doesn’t work that way. Social Media is much less tempting if we have to work at getting to it. Use a program to keep you from being distracted by the Internet while you’re working. Freedom is the best one out there and only costs $10. Of course you could do it for free and just turn off the Internet connection.

8. Take a walk. The easiest time to get sucked into social media is when you’ve been at the computer for hours and need a break. When this happens, instead of clicking Facebook, get up from the computer and take a walk or do some other exercise. You’ll feel energized when you come back instead of drained and guilty.

9. Use a timer. Some people like to be on social media for block of time. Others like to check it a few times a day for only a minute. Either way, it draws you to stay on longer. Set a time period to be on social media, then set a timer when it’s time to get off. Here’s an online egg timer you can use.

10. Use accountability. Track how much time you spend each week on social media. Partner with a friend to ask each other about how much time you’ve each wasted. It does wonders when you know you’ll be asked to account for your time. You might even be able to call it quits on Candy Crush.