This Blog Spot is from a guest blogger who is also a personal friend and colleague of mine – Beth Beutler.

Beth is an author, speaker and communications/marketing specialist with a background of ministry and office leadership for over 20 years in local churches. She is the owner of H.O.P.E. Unlimited, helping other people excel. Her mission is to creatively encourage, equip and engage people toward a growing and fruitful life and relationship with God and others, excelling for His glory. You can read more from Beth at

Here is the second of three blogs she wrote about her initial coaching experience with me:

Stephanie and I, along with another dear friend, have written a book together. We’ve also become good friends and enjoy helping and encouraging each other. There was one point where I asked if I could schedule a time with her to work through the idea of keeping projects–and a busy life–in more order. These posts share my experience being coached.

My time with Stephanie turned into about a three-hour discussion, where she asked a lot of the right questions. A good coach actually helps YOU discover the answers and needed action points to move forward on the challenges that face you.

I thought it might be fun to share with our readers three main takeaways I got from the experience that are very practical in nature. These takeaways uniquely fit MY life. You may not get the exact same conclusions if you talk with a coach.xperience being coached.

Last week I shared my ‘Takeaway’ #1: Understand the difference between the types of writing I do. 

This week, I want to share ‘Takeaway’ #2: My Ideal Morning. 

Stephanie helped me define for myself what an “ideal” start to my day would look like, and what it would take to see that happen more often than not.

For me, we determined that I need about two hours to allow time to awaken, get ready, have quiet time, have an adequate transition time (i.e. to pack up stuff for the day) and have some moments for a short time in the home office to take care of small, but important to me–daily tasks.

The office time was the obstacle a lot of times, because I’d end up getting distracted and it would expand to fill more than the allotted time. So we determined that I may need to pre-do some of those daily tasks on the days of the week where an outside requirement (such as a business meeting) required me to leave at a certain time. The other option is for me to be very disciplined about getting on the computer just for a very limited time on the days I need to head out, so I get out the door on time. That can mean having everything else done–and I mean everything–so once I step away from the desk I am literally heading out the door.

One other component of this was to try to do some client work first thing one morning a week and hold off on my personal/business list of administrative/communication tasks until after that has been completed. I tried that the first week and it felt great to have that responsibility finished early in the day! I still struggle with this one though, I admit.

I’m also thinking more strategically now about whether I need to work ahead on a morning task if I expect the next morning to be tight. One week, I’d forgotten about one possible addition to one morning that week. It happened, but it all still worked out fine.

I think in part, just by thinking intentionally, we get a little more disciplined and can reduce some of the stress we create for ourselves.

Next week: the third of Beth’s blogs about her coaching ‘take-aways.’