Because I Have it all Together, and Other Lies I Want You to Believe About Me

7 Work from Home Tips You Won’t Hear Anywhere Else

Let’s be honest, life has taken a sharp turn from where we were just a few short weeks ago. Many of us find ourselves working from home for the first time WITH our kids underfoot.

If you find yourself tripping over laundry, sharing a desk with your three-year-old’s cheerios, and seething quietly at your significant other, all while getting nonstop texts from your boss or co-worker-these work from home tips are for you.

First, I’ve worked from home for several years with a plethora of children. I normally scoff at “work from home” articles because they make too many assumptions.

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“Create a Workspace”. “Minimize Distractions”. “Turn the TV off”. “Create a set schedule.” This is great if you’re a robot or live alone. Many of us don’t have time, space, or silence in our homes.

Here’s some real work from home tips you won’t hear anywhere else.

1a. Ignore the idea of “morning me time” and “set schedules” if you are not wired that way.

Morning people have no problem making “me time” in the mornings. Night people do. If we asked morning people to make 8-10 pm the time to do their most difficult tasks of the day, they’d think we’re nuts. Yet this work from home tip is touted everywhere in regards to making early mornings the time to do your most productive work.

“Set” your schedule to what works best for your own body and your own family life. If you know you are completely worthless between the hours of 2pm-4pm, embrace it. Do other tasks. Go for a walk. Prep dinner. Take a 20-minute nap. Don’t plow through. It’s a waste of your time and your company’s money because you won’t be productive.

“Set hours” from 8 am -5 pm also may not work for your kids. If you know they fall apart and start fighting around 3 pm-(Ok more like 8:00 am, 8:10 am, 8:35am…) there’s no point in yelling for the next 45 minutes. (I’ve tried it with zero positive results.) Instead, stop working during that time each day and engage with them.

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1b. You’ll Struggle with Motivating Yourself to Work- Especially with the World Burning Down Around You.

If you are a person who is super chill or freaking out, you may find yourself waking up at 11 am after binge watching, “Baby Ballroom” and crying yourself to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. You’re going to need some motivation. Like a paycheck as your motivation.

Here’s the simplest motivation mantra you can use, “I’m never going to want to work-so I might as well do it anyway.”

So easy. Totally works. “I’m never going to want to exercise, eat healthy…be your friend…”

In addition, give yourself grace because you will be under a tremendous amount of new stress. You are unable to think clearly and be “productive” when you are stressed. 

You hear this advice over and over again, but it works. Take a deep breath. Several. All the time. Anytime you start to feel anxious or angry. Breathe.

AND, get outside in the fresh air if you can for at least 20 minutes. (That’s easy for me to say since I live in Colorado.) However, if you have a balcony, rooftop-anything, get outside. It boosts your vitamin D, your serotonin levels, and will calm you down.

If you can’t go outside, I love the “Calm” app.

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Do yoga…with the dog and your kids in your face-it works great. Just don’t be shocked when you’re doing a “Downward Facing Dog” and you get a glimpse of what’s living under your couch.

2.    Communicate with Your Boss Regarding Expectations, Boundaries, Etc.

In a perfect world, because this is a unique time, there should be some flexibility and space for growth, failure and adjustments. If your boss has no idea how to manage remotely here are some great questions to ask:

-Can I adapt the hours I work to find the right rhythm for my job while balancing my family? I think these times work best….

-Can I adapt the times if we find they are not working?

-What is the best way to communicate? (Text, email, phone call, Slack, etc.)

-If I get a text or email from you at random hours when I’m not scheduled to work, are you expecting an immediate reply, or can I respond when I’m “back on the clock”?

-What is the best way for us to communicate with each other to let you to know I’m getting my work done, etc.? (Example, weekly one on one zoom call, end of the day completed task list, etc.)

-Because this is a new and challenging time, if I find I’m a struggling with balancing everything or adapting, who do I talk to? Are there resources for me through HR, etc.?

Just like all relationships communication is key. Also, just like all relationships, unmet or unclear expectations are a relationship killer. Addressing these types of questions upfront can help “flatten the curve” when it comes to miscommunication, hurt feelings, or resentment.

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AND, if you find yourself now communicating only with email, texts or a project management software-feelings will get hurt. Exclamation points, curt responses, etc., are breeding grounds for miscommunication. Having that group discussion upfront regarding the need to give everyone the “benefit of the doubt” in their communication, can once again, help “flatten the curve”.

3.    Banish the Idea of a Monday-Friday Work Week or a Definitive Line Between Work and Home Time if it Doesn’t Work for You.

If you have the ability to set your own hours or work for yourself, you may find with kids at home it’s easier to work less per day with a longer week.

I work most days for fewer hours. It works best with my kid’s schedules, the fact I’m on the road speaking a lot, needing creative time, or I’m simply mentally or physically exhausted. (I’ve almost died a bunch so I listen to my mind and body.)

My work life is more fluid and a lifestyle, as opposed to a structured schedule. This works for me.

If you’re structured-I almost just made you spit out your coffee with this work from home tip.  Not everyone operates best-especially at home-with high amounts of structure. A certain amount of freedom for some people is not just for fun-it’s actually important to their overall mental health. Be open to the fact people operate differently.

4.    You’ll Get Lonely, Overwhelmed and Make Bad Choices.

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High amounts of change in a short amount of time with zero time to process, is a recipe for some hardcore mental/emotional struggles.

If you’re an extrovert, the initial excitement of nixing your commute while working in PJ’s will quickly wain when you realize your lonely and have no one to talk to. Recognize this WILL be an issue for you. Set up “coffee dates”, “Game Nights”, “Girl’s Night In”, via video.

In regard to work, a “happy hour” Friday’s at 4 pm may be a great way to wrap up each week with your team to check in and see how everyone is doing and set the game plan for the following week.

If you’re an introvert, the crowded house with lack of ability to process or take in your surroundings may cause you to have moments of complete overwhelm. A movie, laying down for 20 minutes, or locking yourself in the bathroom with a book for 30 minutes may be a saving grace. (Pro-tip: If you lock yourself in the bathroom shove a rug under the crack so the kids don’t slip their toys, fingers and notes under. Then put your earphones on so you can’t hear them whisper and breathe since their faces will be smashed up against the door….)

You may overeat. Over exercise. Over drink. Over yell. Under work. Under communicate. Under- get out of bed. You’re probably going to have some meltdowns…daily.

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When you find yourself “over” or “under” anything you’re trying to medicate your negative emotions. 

When you’re starting to shove your hand down the chip bag, or start to clean the kitchen counter for the 307th time that morning-STOP and take note of your emotions.

Then:

-Acknowledge that it is OK to feel the way you feel. 

-Give yourself a certain amount of time to be angry, sad, scared, etc. It can be 10 minutes. Even a day. 

-When your literal time is up, it’s time to pull up your bootstraps and get back out there and deal. No excuses. Eat the chips while cleaning the kitchen counter….in moderation.

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5.    The House Will Drive You Crazy.

WARNING: I’m going to make a politically incorrect comment on this work from home tip. (I also acknowledge that I’m not addressing single parents in this portion. I was a single Mom for a bit. It’s hard. VERY hard. That’s for another article.)

Back to being politically incorrect: My firsthand experience with the men in my life is MOST (not all) men can work and not think twice about the house being a mess.

My husband has ZERO problem grabbing his laptop and guitar and heading to the basement to work while the house is in utter turmoil.

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I cannot work when I know there’s dishes rotting on the counter, laundry that needs to be changed, crumbs on the floor…and divorce papers that need to be filed….I just can’t. With kids at home 24/7 this is a legit problem.

On the other hand, my husband can’t work with music playing, chaos, etc. He goes down in the quiet. I can tune it out.

A nicely decorated, distraction free, dedicated workspace is great if you have time and money. Most of us don’t. Think outside of the office box. If you need distraction free, can your garage, laundry room (yes, laundry room) or even bed work?

If there’s simply no place, can you rotate hours with your significant other of 2-hour shifts of child/house care, while the other works? One gets the bedroom, while the other works on the schooling and the mess.

As far as household chores, with kids at home, the chores are never done. Here’s some things we do at my house:

-My husband and I both spend 30 minutes of housework before we “go to work” in the morning.

-We split the housework based on what we “both don’t mind doing”. Neither one of us has the “I love housework” gene. Instead, we break it down by what he doesn’t mind doing too much, and what I don’t mind too much. Then we negotiate on the “we both hate doing that”. Oddly enough, I love doing yardwork. He hates it. He doesn’t mind bathrooms. I hate it. Saturdays he’s cleaning toilets and I’m working on the lawn and we “both don’t mind doing it”.

-I get up and move around as a reward to myself every 90 minutes. During those 10 or 20 minutes I rotate the laundry, let the dogs out, do the dishes, etc.

-At night, when all the kids were still here, we had a “20 minute clean up time”. We set the timer for 20 minutes from 8:00 pm – 8:20 pm. Everyone was responsible for picking up their own items from the main living areas. (Kitchen, living room, bathrooms, etc.) If there was any time left, they spent it on their rooms. We always got everything picked up because there was 7 of us. 7 x 20 literally saved me hours of time.

Keep the end in mind. I used to clean non-stop and I still get distracted. With most of the kids graduated, looking back those times of household chaos really are sweet memories. I miss the matchbox cars and playdough crumbs all over the floor. Someday you’re house will be too clean. Like your Grandma’s house that smelled of mold and Pledge. Recognize it’s hard, but remember it’s temporary. Too temporary.

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6.    You will Hate Your Spouse, Roommate, Children, or Significant Other…Maybe Even the Cat. (The Cat Already Hates You So the Feeling Will Be Mutual.)

Everyone’s struggling with sudden change and everyone will handle it differently. This means the best AND the worse will come out of all of us. You will hate everyone and everything at certain points-especially your spouse or significant other.

My work from home tip, before the big blow outs-know it’s coming and make it fun.

-Have a talk where you openly acknowledge things are a wee bit stressful during this time.

-Share the negative side of how you handle stress. (This could be you get angry, depressed, withdrawn, lash out.) If you unsure how you handle it poorly, I’m sure your S.O. will be more than happy to share the negative side of you.

-Then really think about what it is that you need during those moments. Do you need to go in a room and do 20 minutes of push-ups to physically get the anger out? Do you need to go scream in your pillow, or have a good 10-minute cry? Once you’ve come up with some ideas, let everyone in the house know. This way, when you blow up or completely shut down, they know what’s happening and to leave you alone to go do what you need to do.

-One fun idea is to write each person’s name (or have your kids’ draw each of you) on separate pieces of paper. Then post it on the fridge or a wall. Have another piece of paper that says, “Today I feel”, and have strips of paper with emoji faces on it. Everyone posts what they’re feeling each morning. (Passive aggressive tip: you can always stomp over mid-day and change it while staring at the person who’s making you crazy.)

This can be a non-threatening way to get a pulse on how everyone is doing. It’s fun for the kids, but it will also give you a world of insight on each of your family members.

-I know this seems weird, but the above idea is also a great way to check in on your team if you are a boss or a manager. You can have everyone at a set time in the morning do a “today I’m feeling” and then text a gif. It can be fun, but you’ll also know who to check in on.

It may feel goofy or uncomfortable to you or to some on the team, but the idea is really about care. You care about them as individuals and want to support them during this time. It will also help mitigate issues and improve your bottom line. Stressed or unhappy employees aren’t productive. Cared for employees, are not only productive, but committed.

7.    This Can Be the Greatest Thing That Ever Happened to You and to Your Family

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My most important work from home tip:

We get lost in the day to day. Most of us don’t “live” we just survive our list of “to do’s”.

Family life is the same. It’s carpool, work, groceries, cleaning. Now amidst all the chaos of everyone home, or the loneliness of just being with yourself, this is an opportunity to learn about yourself and those you’ve taken for granted.

You are about to learn so much you didn’t know about one another, including yourself. This is a good thing.

Yesterday, I saw a mom walking her school age son up the road. He was having so much fun, because it was something special. Being together. Just him and his Mom. Between work and school-they normally wouldn’t have that precious time.

These moments for our kids can be life changing. Make these moments count.

If you are alone, now is a really great time to evaluate yourself, what you want/need in your life, relationships, work, etc. Write the life out you want. Take a hard look at what needs to change.

When the clouds part and the sun begins to peeks through again, my hope is that people will slowly enter back into life knowing what truly matters. Just like I did the first time I got up out of the hospital bed.

Your relationships at work, home, friends, and extended family can be what makes life both bitter and sweet. Acknowledge the bitter but choose the sweet.

These next weeks can be the greatest thing that ever happened to you by being around those you love and stretching yourself to be a better person.

Sending you literal well wishes.

Kindly, Stacy P.

Stacy Pederson top funny Colorado denver female funny motivational keynote speakerStacy Pederson is a Colorado based Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker. If you need help navigating your workforce through stressful times click HERE:

 

 

 

 

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I Spent a Weekend with Uber Successful People and Here’s What I Learned

I spent a weekend with uber successful people and I learned some habits and common character traits they all share.

First, a little about me. I didn’t rub elbows around “successful” people in the way we tend to think of “success”. (More on that later.)

Here’s Me:                                                                                                     

 

Keynote Speaker Stacy Pederson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the house I grew up in:

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Currently 77% of students attending the school district I grew up in are on free or reduced lunch with test scores far below the nationwide average. (Hence-my inability to spell.)

Poverty was pervasive, but my positivity propelled me forward.

 

 

Here’s me ↓ on my 21st birthday exposed to the “high life”:  

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Here’s me now : (On a good day…with photoshop.)

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I went to college. Did well. Went through some challenges. Almost died a bunch. Now I do some crazy things far beyond what I ever thought was possible.

However, you can see from the above photos, “success” was not handed to me. It often feels like a foreign concept.

What is success anyway?

I define success as living a life that is congruent to who you are as an individual. That’s a fancy way of saying living a life that makes you happy because it embraces who you are and what matters to you. This looks different for all types of people and I admire that.

I’ve sat with people in their doublewide trailers who were happy. They were successful in living a life that honored them and their families. I’ve also sat in many multi-million dollar mansions and experienced the same. We’re all human. We’re all trying to figure this “life” thing out. Success looks different for all of us.

However, for today’s purposes, I’m defining success as those who have done well in their businesses and careers. 

I’ve met a lot of successful people in my life. Celebrities. Writers. Athletes. This past weekend was jam packed full of them. I’ve noticed a difference in habits and character traits of those who are successful in their business compared to many who I grew up with.

Here’s 10 things I’ve learned from hanging out with successful people:

1. Successful People are Really Really Good at What They Do. 

Here’s me ↓ last weekend with successful person #1, Michelle Robinson.

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Michelle has written a gajillion books and runs a top-notch marketing company. She’s also a freaking genius when it comes to publishing. She’s not just good at what she does-she’s REALLY good.

Successful athletes, business owners, speakers, etc., aren’t satisfied with being mediocre. They don’t rely on their natural talent alone. They take their natural talent and push themselves to be better.

Successful people are on a continuous journey of learning followed by putting what they’ve learned into practice. This constant state of striving for improvement means they’re not just good- they’re excellent at what they do.

2. Successful People Under-Promise and Over-Deliver.

Michelle was scheduled to spend three hours with me. She spent seven. She way over-delivered. Now DON’T go hiring her and expecting her to do the same for you. I’m sharing that because I find truly successful people put the customer first. They genuinely care about the customer’s outcome over their own pocket-book.

Are you over-delivering in your business? If not, what areas can you begin to deliver more value than promised that won’t overtax you? What area can you over deliver that makes you, your customer, and your overall business better?

3. Successful People Have Fun!

Jeff and I with successful person, Michelle, and successful person #2, Michelle’s husband-Kevin, singing Karaoke. ↓

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Colorado motivational inspirational keynote speakerBurnout sucks. I’ve been there. Many successful people have been there, too. They’ve pushed their businesses to the point of personal break down.

Because of this, successful people make time to enjoy THOSE they love and doing WHAT they love outside of their business.

You can, in fact, work yourself to death. Success is not about a high profit company. Success is about being a whole person in ALL ways.

 

4. Successful People Have Overcome.

Every successful person I’ve met has a story. That story is usually not a positive one. Successful people have failed. Lost money. Lost marriages. Lost relationships with their kids. Lost their identity. Lost hope.

Yet, they’ve learned to overcome. Something happened where they were able flip the switch from flat on their face to rising to first place.

This makes success sweeter. Which is why:

5. Successful People Appreciate What They Have Even When They’re Striving for More.

6. Successful People Have LOTS of Energy.

After a full day of business and fun, I spent the next morning teaching speaking skills to a group of highly successful people. (I forgot to take a picture.) They fully encapsulate the habits and character traits I share.

Next, we were off to a lunch with successful person #15. (3-14 were in the speaking class.) Successful person #15 Esther Spina.

Here’s me ↓with Esther…I looked and felt rough.

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I like this ↓ highly filtered picture better.

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I will not share Esther’s age. Let me just say-it makes Jennifer Anniston and Jennifer Lopez look like child’s play. You would NEVER guess her age. Not only because of the way she looks-but because of her energy.

The very first potluck I ever went to with successful people was VERY different from the country church potlucks I grew up with. There were no “Ms. Fanny’s Baked Beans”, “Aunt Helen’s Butter Mac & Cheese”, or a slew of desserts topped with good ‘ol Cool Whip.

Instead, there was a variety of fruits, vegetables, salads, humus, fish (sushi), nuts, a little whiskey and wine and that about sums it up.

Successful people take care of their bodies through diet and exercise-not simply to look a part-but to keep their energy levels up. They know that diet and exercise affects their performance level just like an athlete.

Most successful people I know are avid runners, bicyclists, skiers, golfers, or travelers. (I know because I see their Facebook posts from my couch.) They do so to keep sharp, de-stress, and be at their best.

7. Successful People Are All About Relationships.

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They say it’s “who you know” and there is truth to that. However, not in the way you may think.

Most successful people I’ve met have wanted to introduce me to someone they felt could help my business. Successful people are connectors.

Rarely, if ever, do successful people become successful completely on their own. They had mentors, teachers, etc., who helped guide them. They love doing the same for others.

It absolute thrills me when I get to connect people knowing they’re a great fit for each other’s businesses.

There is a HUGE difference between USING people to get ahead vs. VALUING relationships. (Key word: “value”.)

8. Successful People Are Givers.

The next morning my husband and I headed out to spend the day with successful people #’s 16 – A LOT. Including someone I deeply admire – THE Jeanne Robertson.

Jeanne was having a show in Denver.

My Husband and I ↓

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Backstage with ↓ good friends AND Jeanne.

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Scott Friedman (the successful nice guy in the yellow) had thrown Jeanne a birthday party the night before. Jeanne (as legend told) performed at her own birthday party and then proceeded to give advice on the speaking business to those who came to celebrate her. She is a giver.

Scott is a giver-he gave me the tickets to her show!

While backstage, Jeanne explained to us what stories she would share and why, and mentored/gave advice on her business. She did this up until they told her she HAD to get changed because the show was going to start.

Highly successful people give willingly and freely the wisdom they have learned through their own trials and success.

The two key elements that have brought me to a certain level of success is: 1.  I have always valued and taken advice. 2. I’ve given back freely to whoever I could.

9. Successful People Are Positive Open-Minded Thinkers.

After the show, we went to dinner. I sat with a famous athlete, a New York Times best seller, and someone who runs a trophy worthy non-profit that does a whole lot of good in this world. I forgot to take a picture…

Casual conversation can be interesting between successful people. The two things that are consistently prevalent are positivity and an unusually amount of open-mindedness.

Successful people are open to new ways of thinking or doing. They also consistently believe the best is yet to come. Instead of concentrating on protecting what they have out of the belief someone is out to the get them. (i.e. the government, other businesses, people with different views in general) they focus on possibilities.

Conversations center around new business ideas, technologies, family, or goals for the upcoming year.

If controversial topics come up, such as the dreaded conversation/relationship killer-politics-there’s a genuine desire to hear from the other person’s point of view. I like this trait.

 Then they strive to learn about it from others.

10. Success is a Lifestyle.

We’ve all heard of those who have won the lottery or received a huge settlement and then, sadly, a few years later have lost it. Perhaps this is because success appears to be a lifestyle not a place of arrival.

Age does not seem to dictate when a successful person ends their career. Rather it’s a time and  place for new possibilities. I hear it over and over again in conversations with successful people. They’re starting new businesses, creating new goals, making shifts, but they have zero desire to quit living in the way they’ve lived. This doesn’t mean financially, this means in their day to day life.

Striving for improvement, consistently learning, trying new things, taking time for fun, valuing relationships, taking care of one’s body, navigating new challenges, being grateful, being open-minded, being a generous person are all lifestyle related. It has nothing to do with numbers.

Here’s the kicker:

Studies show the above character traits are key elements to becoming a happier person. These same traits also lower stress. By adopting the above, you have the potential of creating and running a successful business AND living a happier, less stressed, life. Who doesn’t want that?

If you choose to adopt the above traits and habits you’ll be the next successful person I’ll have the pleasure of being around. (You’ll have to remind me to take a selfie with you. I always forget.)

 

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Stacy Pederson is a Colorado based Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker. She’s almost died a bunch. She loves to be hired for events, so….if you’ve got one-click HERE:

 

 

 

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How to Write Your Blog When You Don’t “Feel” Like It

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me know when you figure it out, because this blog posts shows I haven’t.

The End

Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational speaker…which is ironic when it comes to motivation. When Stacy’s not blogging, she can be found in Colorado overeating, sleeping and feeling guilty about all of it. You can learn more about her dysfunction at: StacyPederson.com.

What to Do if You’re About to Lose Everything

With over a 90% failure rate in business, it’s hard for me to believe there’s not a slew of people out there feeling desperate…and scared that they’re about to “lose everything”.

First, if you are one of them, I want to say that I am truly sorry you are going through this. It’s no fun. It hurts. It’s scary. BUT, my goal by the end of this article is to give you a little glimmer of hope.

I’ve lost it all. Well, almost. I’ve never lost my kids and for that I’m eternally grateful. I’ve lost my 1st marriage, my home, my job, my health, my ability to walk, my friends, and for a time-I felt like I lost my sanity.  Continue reading “What to Do if You’re About to Lose Everything”

How to Be Happy- Dealing With People Who Are Condescending

Do you have someone in you’re life who you’re never quit sure if they’re being naughty or nice? Someone who says potentially hurtful things in such a polite, smiley way, you can’t tell if they’re being genuinely helpful or hurtful? If they’re being condescending or giving a compliment? Do you ever have that moment where you’re taken aback because you honestly don’t know how to take what was just said?

I do. I’ve never been quick on my feet when it comes to people’s intentions. I tend to see people through a positive lens. Sometimes it’s YEARS later before I finally come to the recognition-that  person was actually being a jerk. What!!??

Perhaps it’s a blessing I’m slow on the uptake. Why? I’m even slower in the moment with a comeback. I’m one of those who, months later at 2 a.m., my head pops of the pillow with the most brilliant reply. Then I have what I call my “Comeback Fantasy” where I get to visualize the entire conversation with me saying what I wish I could have said. And-not to brag or anything-but in my fantasy-I’m freakin’ brilliant.

So what do you do when you have one of those condescending people in your life (assuming you’re forced to be around them by blood, business, or your other BFF’s).

Keep Calm-Smile On: 

-Some people honestly have no idea how they come across. Continue reading “How to Be Happy- Dealing With People Who Are Condescending”

35 Things for Your Kids to Do in the Summer While You’re Working

 

If there is ever a season for zero productivity, internal rage, self doubt, lack of self control, and overall inadequacy as a Mom-preneur (work from home Mom who is an entrepreneur) -it would be summer. Summertime at my house begins with visions of my children in summer dresses frolicking freely in a flowered meadow. Me- smiling as I watch them contently while sitting on a hand knit wool blanket from Ireland with my laptop resting softly in the shade and money flowing freely into my bank account.  Reality usually sets in sometime within the first week of summer. Reality includes  screaming matches through closed doors at my kids….and me ingesting one….ok sometime two…entire bags of BBQ potato chips while getting some…a little…ok sometimes ZERO work done in an entire day.

I work from home…thankfully….unfortunately…(My kids would give you that exact same response.) Below is my typical summer work day I have expertly honed through the years:

-Go to Wal-Mart. Spend a fortune to have a “cheap” summer. Items include bubbles, sprinklers, plastic baseball bats, bug catchers, sidewalk chalk, kites, and any other shiny bright object that appears to have more than 10 minutes of entertainment value. All items must be foldable, collapsible, etc., as they will end up in a filthy heap in my garage that no one will touch after the first week of June.

-Create schedules, sticker charts, “mommy’s working” note for my office door

-Explain to the children the “rules” of when they can bother me and when they can’t

-Make a calendar of all the fun things we will do when Mommy’s not working

-Close my office door to work…and listen to the children start to fight

-Open the door to find out what’s going on. Get them re-situated. Close the office door and listen to them fight.

-Open the door and bring out a new shiny bright object for them to play with

-Close the door and listen to them play for 2 seconds…then fight

-Open the door, yell, slam something new down on the table for them to play with

-Close the door and listen to them complain that they’re bored

-Open the door, kick them outside

-Close the door and watch them fight outside my office window

-Open the window, scream at them to stop fighting because the neighbors can hear them. Close the window and watch them flop down like dejected sloths melting in summer heat and complain that they’re bored.

-Work for 2 seconds and hear a knock on my window. Listen to them ask me to come back inside. I shake my head no. Repeat 872 times.

-Let them back inside 10 minutes later and watch them collapse in a heap in front of electronics

-Close the door and feel guilty I’m working instead of spending time with my kids

-Open the door to see what they’re watching and make awkward conversation. Feel guilty that I’m spending time with my kids instead of working. Go back in my office and close the door.

-Listen to them fight over electronics. Open the door and scream at them they’re lucky they don’t live in a 3rd world country. Give them a lecture. Make them do a chore.

-Go back in the office. Feel guilty. Stress eat. Glance at the time. It’s 9:17 am.

-Repeat hourly…for three months.

I decided I needed some work  “productivity hacks” that were better than what’s previously listed when it came to keeping my kids entertained for little or no money while I worked. I did some extensive scientific research…by posting a sign on my Facebook page…for advice. Here are a few of my favorites from friends and some from “SuperMoms” on the Internet who lie about how perfect their parenting skills/home/and children are:

  1. Library Summer Programs
  2. Geocaching OR painting and finding rocks. Here is an example:
  3. https://www.facebook.com/groups/300625560293159/?fref=mentions
  4. Vacation Bible School (Lots of churches host these and they are extremely inexpensive and a lot of fun. Look for giant VBS signs when you’re driving outside church buildings.)
  5. YMCA-(Usually have internet so you can work while kids swim, do programs, etc. Ours has a coffee shop so I can actually host meetings, too.)
  6. Art Club
  7. Sports Camps through non-profits
  8. Go for evening walks
  9. Flex your work hours to fit in fun
  10. Hiking, biking, swimming, anything that’ll wear them out physically. J
  11. Make summer books. (Love this.)
  12. Use 50% off regular item coupons from craft stores.
  13. Make slime. http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/homemade-slime-recipe/
  14. Have them make a movie or video with smart phone then watch at dinnertime. Let them use costumes, music, edit, etc.
  15. Match reading hours for Youtube/Video game hours. Example: for every 30 minutes of reading-they get 1 hour of Youtube.
  16. Set up the big tent in the living room. Let them do “camping” overnight.
  17. Have them make homemade board game. Check Pinterest for lots of ideas.
  18. Check local bowling alleys and skating rings for free or nearly free summer bowling programs for kids. Lots have Wi-Fi.
  19. Free E-book for kids on Amazon
  20. Free Lego club for kids
  21. Home Depot, Lowes and Michaels free or nearly free classes for kids
  22. “Photo Walk” through Apple
  23. Microsoft Youth Spark
  24. Whole Foods Kids Cooking Class
  25. Bass Pro Shop Summer Camp
  26. Chores
  27. Volunteer to help an elderly neighbor with their yard. (Can get list of “shut-ins” from local fire department)
  28. Search for local free or nearly free day art camps
  29. Free summer movie nights in the park
  30. Sprinkler
  31. Homemade slip-n-slide
  32. Good ol’ fashioned bubbles
  33. Free printables for kids http://funcheaporfree.com/2016/06/100-summer-activities-for-kids-free-printable-included
  34. Babysitting Co-op
  35. Work while you vacation. I do this A LOT. We’ve spent over a month on the road so far this summer. There’s wifi pretty much everywhere if I need it. I schedule certain days to work where the kids are at the pool/beach, etc. and certain days for fun. OR work in mornings, play in the afternoons. I use this to book my travel: http://bucketlistvacations.tripspin.com/snap
  36. Hire a “Mommy’s Helper” for a few hours each morning, Cheaper than a babysitter or nanny.

*Bonus: #36. Become independently wealthy. Hire 12 nannies. Fly them all to Paris with the kids for the Summer while I get numerous plastic surgery procedures done. Facetime them periodically…so I can listen to them fight. Then hang up and let the Nannies deal with it.

I have found these mindsets helpful:

-Remember kids don’t need to be “entertained” twenty-four seven. It’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own when they’re bored.

-I automatically know summer will not be my most productive months. I try to remember that when I’m feeling guilty about not getting tons done. My kids are only hear for so many years, and I want to spend time with them as much as I can…well-I MAY have moments where I want to spend time as little as I can…but for the most part-I want to be with them and I need to plan my work year accordingly.

-Boundaries are ok. It’s good to lead by example and show the kids the value of working hard. They learn by watching what you do, not by listening to what you say. If you want your kids to know how to work, you yourself have got to do it.

-Give yourself grace. We all have “Mommy Meltdowns” behind closed doors. There’s no such thing as a “SuperMom”. We’re human and we fail. That’s ok.

-Support one another in our Mommy endeavors. No haters needed. Mom’s hate themselves already. We don’t need other people pointing out our imperfections. Find a supportive group you can be real with, encourage each other and help each other out.

Now-if you’ll excuse me. I need to open my office door and yell.

Stacy Pederson Funny Motivational Inspirational Humorist Speaker

Stacy Pederson is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

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If You Are Not Incorporating These Into Your Speech – You Are Losing Your Audience

To learn more speaking tips subscribe to Stacy’s blog or contact her directly.

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Video Transcript:

“Hi. My name is Stacy Pederson and I’m falling off my stool. Let me sit up straight. All right, that’s a fabulous intro. But my name is Stacy Pederson and I’m a funny speaker, a clean comedian, and acting and speech coach. Today, I want to share with you learning styles. What is learning styles? We all learn certain things different ways and how I discovered this was I used to teach children acting. I created curriculum for an acting school that I co-founded. Then I also was involved in children’s ministry for many years and I wrote a lot of the curriculum for that. I discovered that there’s really three specific learning styles of how we can take in information and retain it.

You’ve probably heard of it, but just in case you haven’t there’s auditory learners, which is listening, there is visual learners, which is seeing, and then there is kinesthetic learners, which is kind of a tactile, you have to move, you have to be doing something in order to retain information. So for you, if you recognize that you fidget a lot, that’s me, I’m very kinesthetic, if you have to write certain things down or you won’t remember even if you never looked at your notes again, or you got to move like pace in some way in order to retain information, you’re kinesthetic.

If you need to see something visual like you’re listening to the radio and you have a really hard time paying attention, podcast, things like that, are not your thing you either need to read the book or you need to see the video. You need PowerPoint slides to be able to retain the message, then you’re visual. Then if you love listening to podcasts and anything that doesn’t require you to move, or you can totally track with a speaker without even really needing to see them, there’s a good chance you’re auditory. A lot of people make the mistake when they give speeches and really just focusing on the auditory with an occasional PowerPoint slide. I have a really hard time. I’m totally ADD, if I was gonna be honest.

So for me, I have such a hard time paying attention especially if it’s anything longer than 20 minutes. That’s the average attention span, really, is they it’s 20 minutes, but it’s actually shortening with each of the generation’s coming up younger and younger. So if you’re gonna be talking for 25, like a Ted Talk, or 60 or a 90-minute keynote or presentation, you’re gonna lose a lot of people in the room if you don’t switch up your learning styles. So do your PowerPoints help? Absolutely. PowerPoint slides can help as long as they’re not super boring and it’s just words on the screen reiterating what you just said. If your PowerPoint slides are nothing but bullet points it’s not helping. You’re gonna want to think outside that PowerPoint box and come up with something visual.

If that’s not something that comes easy to you then I recommend hiring someone or asking just someone that you work with or someone you know that’s a little more creative, that’s a little more in tuned to visual arts then I would ask their opinion and their help because something like a really powerful image can really stick in the minds of the visual learner. That’s something that they’ll walk away with, remembering that particular image and that’s how they’ll remember your takeaway point is because of the visual you gave them, not just words on a screen. That also comes into play if you should choose to use props.

Props are something that you have on the stage that you either hold in your hand, that would be called a personal prop, or that you can use to demonstrate a visual with that helps share the story, that helps bring home the point. Basically, to be used as a metaphor. That can help visual learners as well. For tactile learners, this is where group engagement can help where you have them break apart and discuss around their tables because they’re actually get to move a little bit. Taking notes, a lot of people don’t take notes anymore because they’re typing either on their phone or their iPad. But it actually requires the handwriting to be able to retain some of that. So this is just one of the things I’ve been using in one of my recent talks about …

One of my talks is that how to be happy when your life is a mess. One of the key elements of being happy when your life is a mess is something called flow. So what I did was I just came up with this think business card. As you can see, this is the back. Then when you flip it over it just says it’s always a good idea, which I think on this screen it’s gonna read backwards. But basically through this exercise that I tell them they have to write something down that is always a good idea for them to engage in when they’re struggling. So it would be like go for a hike or play a sport or you know, pull out a musical instrument. It’s always a good idea. But it’s the actual act of writing that helps those kinesthetic learners take the point home.

How I know this works is I just gave a speech … Well, I gave two speeches this week and both times I had a couple people come up to me and say, “Wow, that card,” and that’s what they talked about. That was their takeaway and how they were gonna keep it. I knew that they is a really good chance they were kinesthetic learners because they didn’t talk about any of the other stuff. They didn’t talk about the visuals, the logos, the images, or any of the other stuff. So that’s something that you’re always gonna want to incorporate is are you hitting those three learning styles. If you’re not and you’re just focusing on auditory then you’re losing 70% of the room sometimes. So you’re gonna really want to pay attention to that.

Again, my name is Stacy Pederson. You are welcome to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to have more speaking tips if you are a sales presenter or an executive or you give speeches, deliver speeches, maybe even an author trying to get into the speaking circle. If you could follow me there or on my blog at stacypederson.com. If you’ve seen any of my other videos, you’ll hear me say, “That’s Pederson with a D.” P-E-D not Peterson. You could follow me there. I always have a link below because nobody can ever spell my name. So three learning styles, make sure you’re incorporating those. Thanks so much.

 

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How to Be Happy: What to Do When You Dwell in the Grey

How to Be Happy

She had two white plastic lawn chairs, a large steel pot, one mattress wet from the rain, an orange bucket, and one remarkable painting. I was nervous. I’d never been in someone’s home where I couldn’t speak the language. My friend, who was semi-fluent, sat and spoke with her. As they conversed, my eyes darted around her home.  My eyes fell to the large gaps in the floor where water, mice and any other sort of varmint could run freely in and out. There were missing cinder blocks where the tin ceiling attached to the walls allowing rain and wind to blow in. Several of her children sat politely on the wet mattress on the floor. They were sporting their bright yellow Vacation Bible School t-shirts they had worn faithfully for three days in a row. The orange bucket sat in the corner. I knew the bucket was used for bathing, as I had seen several children being scrubbed down, underwear and all, while standing inside a small plastic bucket of their own.

In stark contrast, above the white lawn chair, hung one remarkable painting. It was at odds with the rest of the scene. Brilliant colors, fine details, an expression of class and beauty.

Continue reading “How to Be Happy: What to Do When You Dwell in the Grey”

Top 19 Confusing “Motivational” Quotes / Tweets to Mess With Your Followers

 

Seems everyone has an Inspirational / Motivational quote they plaster all over their social media. Have you ever read a motivational quote that made absolutely no sense? 

I had to get in on the fun.

Here’s 19 “Motivational” / “Inspirational” quotes you can use just to mess with your followers: …(Why 19? Just to mess with those of you who need it to be 20…)

 

 

 

“LOVE is a 4 letter word that spells ‘LOVE'”

 

“My Darkest Hour is When it Dawned on Me I Had Been Kept in the Dark.”

 

“Tomorrow is another day. Different than today. Tomorrow will become today and today yesterday…don’t worry about that part.”

 

“Live everyday as if it were your last-because-if I had it my way it would be.”

 

“Failing forward gives you momentum-even though it’s face down.”

 

“Whoever laughs at you when you fall, is probable a PE teacher.”

“A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single tweet or snapchat post.”

 

 

“Dance as if everyone’s drinking.”

 

Enjoy the little things in life because, if you’re a millennial, it’s probably all you can afford.”

“Perfection is only a path mediocre people take. Perfect people don’t need a path.”

 

“Be yourself…only better.”

 

“Success does not come from winning. It comes from really good P.R.”

 

“Keep your chin up, your head held high, and your best foot forward. It makes you look better in your pics.”

“Happiness comes when your automatic deposit is no longer pending.”

 

“Life is like football. It requires hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and an occasional $20 million contract.”

“Only losers understand the true value of a win.”

 

“I have found if you genuinely love life-you’re a little off.”

 

“To live is to let go. So hold on tight to your dreams.”

 

“Beware of a man who is charming. Charm is spelled ‘C-Harm'”.

 

Stacy Pederson is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

 

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