I feel like I should be singing, “It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you without a dope beat to step to” in Aaliyah’s voice! Well not dope beat but dope blog and not step to…read to…??! Trying to make it fit! Aliyah was a R&B artist and that quote was the intro to one of her greatest hits after she had returned from taking a hiatus from blessing her fans with her music. Just in case you didn’t know, I was an Aaliyah fan so I felt some kind of way when she was on break but also was very happy to get back to my “same old two step” and singing off key to her soulful lyrics and beat when she returned! I hope that my followers feel the same way now that I have returned to blogging.

Creative writing is one of my favorite occupations. It just flows and gives me an opportunity to connect with others in an authentic way. I took a break from this the occupation of blogging because writing got real in my doctoral program in January! I had to get it together in order to move from all core course completion to capstone. Chapters 1-4 had to be approved or else we would need an extra semester to do capstone and although I truly LOVE Boston University (BU), a sister was not trying to add on another semester if at all possible.  So, I crunched down and got it done. I got it done while still being a wife, a mom, involved in service, working at Duke as a faculty member in the new OTD and running a few businesses-Therapeutic Solutions, Low Vision Rehab Solutions (with a partner in training), Faison Consulting and investing in real estate which includes helping with the renovations.

Being able to accomplish multiple innovations is not unique to me. I watch Shark Tank religiously –of course I do, I am a serial entrepreneur! It is not unusual for me to see entrepreneurs go into the Tank who are juggling multiple roles. The last episode I saw included a female entrepreneur who was a mother, a wife and a full time ophthalmologist. She had created a new type of hair roller. After she shared all she did, one of the Sharks asked her how she did so much and her response was something like this, “As one person I am able to accomplish what three people can accomplish in a day.” BOSS! I loved the response because some people are wired and able to shift to do more than the average person. It is one reason why I NEVER like to tell students that they cannot work in school. I worked three jobs,  kept my grades up and got an award upon completion of both programs. When I was told I could not work, in my mind, I was like “Aw-ight BET!” because I had to work. I was sending financial aid home so people could get cars! The ability to do be productive depends on the person, their experiences, their grit! Here are three tips I want to share that have helped me with being super productive:

  • Get up early! I try my best to get up before everyone else and go into the phases of the Miracle Morning-Silence, Reading, Writing, Affirmations and Exercise. There is something about rising early, having that time to myself that makes my day go so much better than if I had rolled over and continued to hit the snooze button.
  • Create checklist. Each day I set intentions in terms of what I want to accomplish in certain categories. My categories are based on what’s meaningful to me and inclusive of priority occupations. Below is an example of what these categorial intentions may look like for a day and how much time I think each will take:

Health-Spiritual-Read a chapter in the Bible, go to Yoga, fill up water bottle, make 2 veggie/fruit shakes   1.5 hours

Wife-Make reservations for Friday date night -.25 hour

Mom-Sign up son for camps, pick a Disney movie to watch, follow up with coach, make 20 minute meals x 2- 1.75 hours

Doctoral work-Write one paragraph-.5 hour

Business-Meet with COO, Go over financials, Call two contractors for check in, Email Zoom links for meetings, Participate in faculty meeting -3.5 hours

Real estate-Scan market for next investment -.5 hours

Fun-Wash and play with dogs, go for evening walk with girlfriends, watch a Disney show with youngest son  2.5 hours

Self-care-Grooming, Make hair appointment and massage, Check candles (candles and music is a nightly routine) .75 hour

Service-Give out 2 food bags that I carry in my car, tithe to church -.5 hour

Total-11.75 hours

If I got up at 6a then all the above could be accomplished before 6p and I would still have time left in the evening. Of course, things do not necessarily go each day exactly as planned and some days self-care may take up half the day while meetings may do so on other days but my point is that planning around meaningful occupations allows me to be pretty productive. I may not have as much time to scroll social media or keep up with the latest episodes of the trending sitcoms but those are not my priorities—not that I don’t engage in those because I love looking at FB pictures and Blackish but those just come after I get through my list—most days 😊!

  • Last but certainly not least I believe that I am able to be extra productive because of supernatural faith. I believe God has put me in many roles that allow me to have impact in others lives and for that reason I am afforded the ability to do above and beyond what I can even say, do or imagine! One day I asked a CEO who grew a company to serve 30,000 people how she did it and she responded, “I don’t know!” and started laughing. She said I just kept focusing on meeting needs and I looked up and this is where we are! I have seen her in media being interviewed for the work the organization has done based on her leadership and she always gives credit to God. I echo her gratitude to God for allowing me the amazing opportunity to be a wife, a mom, to serve, to give, to love and live a life of abundance!

I want to end by saying that everyone has different callings. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do everything someone else can do. You are uniquely You! There are also different seasons and certainly some seasons are more productive than others. When I had a premature infant, he was a priority—I worked 15 hours a week and asked for that boundary to be put in my contract for a year—work no more than 15 hours per week. The point of this blog is to just remind you that strategies exist that can help you be more productive but you choose when and how that works for You! So, I needed the blog break to increase productivity in other areas which by the way I did accomplish (I virtually participated in graduation on my 45th birthday while cheering on my son as a committed soccer mom-see one of my grad photos below–When I look back over my life!!!) but I am back now, what about you? WUD (What you doing-I have young texters in my life!) to stay productive?

Here is a link to an article with 8 productivity tips for entrepreneurs: 8 Essential Productivity Tips for the Busy Entrepreneur | Inc.com

It’s good to be back! As you can see, I wrote a mini book!

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