Hope Wissel

How To Be More Productive in the Morning

imgres   monday morning

It’s Monday morning…. which one are you this morning?

I really do enjoy Monday morning.  I look forward to the day because #1 I get to spend two days with my hubby and #2 I look at it as a new beginning.

I get that not every is a morning person and if I suggest that you can become one, you would probably throw something at the computer, right?  The truth is that a few simple changes to your routine can help you to be so much more productive during the day.


1. Get enough sleep – Enough sleep is different for everyone.  For a LONG time, 4 or 5 hours was enough for me.  Now, I feel the most productive when I get at 7 hours.  To be more productive in the morning, once you know how many hours of sleep is ideal for you – figure out when you need to go to sleep.  I LOVE getting up early and being in my office by 6AM so I found going to bed at 10PM works for me.  I can get up at 5AM after 7 hours of sleep.  Does that happen every day? NO! But I try to make sure it happens 80% of the time.  Remember the 80/20 rule?  With the additional hours of sleep, you’ll wake up feeling fresh and happy. Simple enough, right?


2. Write down a to-do list – Think about all the things you have to do the night before and write them down. In the morning, you’ll know what you have to do, and organizing your time will be way easier.


3. Be motivated – Find a reason to get up in the morning. For example, you might want to wake up early to fit in a morning workout, or to have some extra time to cook a healthy breakfast.  I get up early to squeeze in some quiet time to write and work on my business.


4. Take your time – Don’t rush!  Give yourself plenty of time. Nothing is worse than running out of time and not being able to do everything on your to-do list. Give yourself time to wake up, get ready, drink your coffee and prepare for the day ahead.

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5. Have a playlist – Start your morning with some music. This will help you wake up in a good mood, and make you more motivated throughout the day.  I love singing out (often off key) to some of my favorite songs

What do you do in the morning to help you be more productive? Exercise? Meditate?  Share YOUR best tip with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel

When Your To-Do List Makes You Hyperventilate

Today’s blog is courtesy of Karen Ehman:

“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 (HCSB)

I grabbed my mango-mint iced tea, a spiral notepad and pen and headed to my backyard deck.

Settling myself into a lounge chair, I began to tackle the chore that was before me: writing out my to-do list for the week. Although my notepad was whimsical and my pen was laden with bright purple ink, these organizational objects couldn’t cancel the dread I felt about having to think it through, write it down and then execute the many tasks before me.

My life as a wife, mom, worker, daughter, neighbor, church member and friend brings me much delight. I get to watch my son play football, help my adult daughter look for her first house and work on projects with others that I love and believe in.

However, my life also brings me lots of “to-dos”: Purchases to make. Closets to organize. Paperwork to complete. Phone calls to return. Research to be done. Pots and pans to scrub. Kids to shuttle. Parents to check on. And on and on it goes.


Sometimes — when I get my list all scrawled out on paper — instead of feeling energized with a game plan, my emotions go into panic mode. I’m almost afraid to look at the list since it seems monumental. While most of the tasks in and of themselves aren’t too difficult or time-consuming, when viewed as a whole, they seem like a massive mountain I’ll never be able to scale.

And then, on top of the panic, I also start to pout. My mind starts looping the “poor me” soundtrack that results from just looking at my list.

Poor me … I have to mop the floors.

Poor me … I have paperwork to finish.

Poor me … I have to drive and get groceries.

Poor me … I have to run my son to practice.

Poor me … I have to work on the computer for a few hours to finish this project.

Poor, poor, pitiful me!

Today’s key passage addresses this “poor me” mentality by giving us a fresh perspective as we go about our work: “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men …”

Three words jump up at me as I stop and ponder this verse:

1. Whatever.

Whatever I do. Not just the tasks I enjoy, or the work that brings me recognition or the duties that I find also fun, but WHATEVER I do is to be done …

2. Enthusiastically.

Enthusiastically is defined as “done lively and with great interest; wholeheartedly, sincerely, energetically and earnestly.” Hmmm … I’m not so sure that describes my attitude as I tackle the “whatevers” on my to-do list. How about you?

3. Lord.

It is the Lord himself we are serving as we enthusiastically check off our “whatevers.” Not a husband. Or kids. Not a boss or the committee chairperson. We are serving Jesus Christ Himself as we work.

How about we hit the re-start button when it comes to taking our lists from “to-do” to “It’s done!”? Let’s not panic. Or pout. Rather, let’s loop thoughts through our minds Colossians 3:23 style.

In other words:

I don’t have to clean my house. I get to clean my house — because I have a place to call my own, while many are homeless or displaced. And I am serving the Lord Jesus as I clean.

I don’t have to fill out this team permission slip. I get to fill it out — because my child is healthy enough for physical activity and has caring, volunteer coaches who give of their time. And I am serving the Lord Jesus as I write.

I don’t have to drive and get groceries. I get to do this errand — because we have enough money to purchase provisions and we own a car, so I don’t have to walk. And I am serving the Lord Jesus as I shop.

We don’t have to. We get to. And thanks be to God that we do.


2 Chronicles 15:7, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (NIV)