8 Easy Ways to Stay Productive as Your Own Boss

Working for yourself is all fun and games until you start having one-sided conversations with your cat…then you might need a little motivation. 😉

That being said, this past month marks my 1 year anniversary of working for myself! WOOHOO!!!! Cue the fireworks, people!!

My career choice – God’s career choice for me – has been nothing short of His gift for my soul.


I can’t imagine a day now without exercising my creativity through writing. And neither can I imagine a day without playing with my favorite littles in the whole world outside of a classroom…talk about the best inspiration!

So, best part about working for myself? No one tells me what to do.

Worst part about working for myself? No one tells me what to do.

I’m sure it’s with that in mind that lots of people ask about what my work day looks like. 

“How do you stay motivated?”

SO – aside from becoming a cat lady and hounding instagram with pictures of Tuck – here is a list of the ways I’ve learned to not only stay productive, but to really thrive in my unique (and 1 year strong!! eek!) working environment.


8 Easy Ways to Stay Productive as Your Own Boss

  1. Wake up early.

  2. Establish a routine. (But if you’re a creative, make it a loose routine. Give yourself some leeway and grace for the mornings when you’re in the ZONE and don’t want to take that scheduled break or when you’re enjoying making pumpkin bread and the work can wait for thirty more minutes.)

  3. On that note… work in chunks of time and take breaks. I do it this way: 45 minutes of straight work, then 15 minutes of a break that has nothing to do with whatever creative project I’m working on. Like, laundry. But I don’t usually do that. Because….laundry. (Side note: I’ve even read that if you work in a regular office from 9-5, you’re more productive if you work in chunks of time, too, even if your break is simply walking to the water machine and back.)

  4. Text a friend at least once during the day – this provides human interaction during the work day because…the cat doesn’t count.

  5. On a similar note, if you don’t work from a rented office, get out of the house at least once a day! Even if it’s just to Target. Scratch that. Don’t go to Target. You’ll spend $300. Go to Home Depot instead…?

  6. Complete the hardest task first thing! (Not my favorite tip. But it’s true.)

  7. Exercise – with somebody! Endorphins and extra human interaction?! Jackpot!!! (Another side note: this great exercise program called Piyo is literally the bomb-dot-com.)

  8. When your established routine says it’s the end of the day, STOP. Don’t overwork and burn yourself out! Your work will be there tomorrow. I promise! 

“And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God…” Col 3:23, MSG translation.

Now go and have a wonderful and productive day!

Blessings to you,


follow-up to “the scariest question of all”


Your comments, heartfelt prayers, texts, and messages have absolutely humbled me and you have filled my heart to the BRIM with joy and encouragement!

*read original post here*

It also blew me away how we are not alone.

The overwhelming and beautiful response to my story was “Hey. Me, too.

Me, too.

If only I could share with you how many beautiful “me, too” hearts there are.

just some beauty for you

just some beauty for you

No wonder the Lord had his last meal with his best friends. Community. Being together. Being unified. Knowing that “One of the disciples, the one whom Jesus loved dearly, was reclining next to him, his head on his shoulder” John 13:23, msg version, emphasis mine.

Knowing that the Lord’s friends leaned on Him the night before He gave Himself up for them. Knowing that we lean on the Lord. Knowing that we enjoy the warmth of friends on our shoulders just as Jesus did.


All that to say, I’m so thankful for the community of believers around me.

Thank you for humbling yourselves and sharing with me your “me, too” stories.

Your beauty and radiance in Christ stuns me.

If you shared your story with me and you don’t know the warmth of Jesus’s shoulder yet, I will be praying for you. You are dearly loved.

If you didn’t share your story with me, but it’s there in the deep place in your heart, guarded close, I will be praying for you, tooYou are dearly loved.

The warmth of Jesus’s friendship can go to that deep heart place and trade joy and gladness for the ashes of insecurity (Isaiah 61:3).

Priceless Resources for All:

This sermon, “Insecurity,” breathed the life of Jesus into so many hearts a few Sundays ago. I’ve never posted a sermon. This one cries out to be shared. The pastor, David, shares his own battle with Insecurity, and explains how Jesus pulled him, pulls him, out of it. It’s amazing and relatable and true.

I think it’s 40 minutes…listen on your walk, your treadmill run, it’s worth it.





If you are one of the beloved hearts who still isn’t sure about Jesus, who’s questioning, that’s okay.

Jesus likes questions. Because you ask them. And He likes you.

This resource below answers a lot of those questions. It’s not flashy. It’s just a chance for you to get answers in a zero pressure situation by listening to the questions and answers others before you have had. Questions I have had, too.

Here’s the link:


Blessings and joy in Christ to you today,


when i asked the scariest question of all

I would love to share a bit of my story with you…

Here’s why.

I was nervous to lead worship last week.

But it wasn’t the good, excited kind of nervous.

It was the nervous that happens when thoughts creep in like, “What if they decide I’m not good enough to come back and do it again? What if I choke up there? What if I sound bad? What if they think…?”

And these are not worship-leading thoughts.

And they bothered me. I knew I couldn’t lead worship like that, but I also knew singing to the Lord and inviting others to sing with me breathes life into my heart.

I couldn’t surrender to those thoughts, so I prayed.

And just like He promises, Jesus bent down low to my quiet plea and came near.

He whispered gently, quietly, the question I simply couldn’t ask myself.

Because at first, it was literally the scariest question I could face.

It was the question He used to unlock my heart and set it free.

“What if they do decide you’re not good enough, Beloved? What if you do mess up? What if you don’t sound your best? What if they never invite you back?

Who are you, then, Beloved?”

And I swallowed hard in the realization and My heart popped out of my chest and the house I’d built upon shifting sand was gone.

Where to put my house, my identity? Where to place it? MyLANTA, is there nowhere on this Earth safe enough, secure enough, to rest in who God made me to be?

No. Blessed truth, no.

Not here.

May I share a bit of my story with you? It seems I’ve been in a sort of identity crisis for lots of (most of) my life until now.

I had a very comfortable childhood, a wonderful family with loving parents who are still together to this day.

I had an even more comfortable growing-up and teenage life, which Michael informs me is weird.

I loved high school. I found my placemy identityand I built my house upon it.

I led worship at our FCA and at youth group. I was the guitar-playing, singing chick who loved Jesus and loved singing to Him and that was my identity.

I had awesome friends and they were my identity.

I was crowned homecoming queen, and that was my identity.


Needless to say, I was a pretty confident girl headed to college but whose confidence and identity was built upon a foundation of sand.

I joined a sorority. And all of a sudden, I wasn’t the only homecoming queen.

I was literally surrounded by homecoming queens.

The sand started to slip.

My grandfather passed away.

My loving family looked different to me now.

Death happened.

More sand slipped.

I tried out for the worship team of my campus ministry.

I didn’t make it.

I wasn’t a worship leader anymore.

The sand slipped.

Lots of friends headed a different direction than me.

I wasn’t in my friend bubble anymore.

And the sand was gone.

And all through college, my Jesus walked with me and picked up my broken pieces, but still I was so insecure and couldn’t figure out why.

Andrew Strickland Photography (19 of 53)

Fast forward to post-college, and I became a teacher. My new identity. My new house to in which to rest my heart and yet it was built upon sand again.

It seemed pretty secure until I was told with the harsh words of misdirected anger that I simply wasn’t good enough, and was laid off.

I taught for a bit longer elsewhere, and then became a writer.

Relief, a new identity.

Positive feedback came with my first book, and my house upon sand seemed golden.

And then, I found a book so similar to mine that I had to put my project on its shelf and start from scratch.

My timeline of publishing books for children wasn’t panning out the way I had planned.

What if I never publish a book? Who am I, God?”

This cry of my heart came to a head when I was asked to lead worship last week.

And then Jesus, upon His throne of mercy, stooped down to me in a pew as I prayed and cried and He whispered,

“You are mine. I am yours. You’re identity is Me.”


“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrews 6:19.

The eyes of my heart were opened in sudden seeing. Seeing freedom. Seeing the Rock on which to build my house of identity for the first time.

Jesus says, “I will never change. Therefore, who you are, my sheep, my heir, will never change. Rest in Me. It’s why I came, Beloved.”

And I cried with relief and the joy I cannot even describe, and I made this list.

It has become my freedom banner.

My identity is not…

a mess up, a worship leader, a good girl, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an author, a nanny, a teacher, a friend, a pretty girl, an ugly girl, an anxious girl, a control freak, a worryer, popular, unpopular, a right girl, a wrong girl, a discerning girl, a faithful girl, a musical girl, a successful girl, a lazy girl, a fired girl, a hired girl, a homecoming queen, an outcast.

My identity is…JESUS.

I. Am. His.

Andrew Strickland Photography (28 of 53)

If you’ve ever felt insecure, (so that’s like, 100% of us, I’m assuming), I encourage you to make a freedom list of what your identity is not…ending with Who your identity is. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Blessings to you and forever security in Him,