October 07, 2013

Lesson 109: Developing Transferrable Skills (Making Time at Home Matter)

Click, click, click. Move the mouse. Click. Oh, that looks interesting. Click. Hmm, dead end. Back to the beginning.

Click, click. Really?!?! Click. Cool. Back to the beginning.




How much of your day is spent clicking around the internet trying to find something to amuse your mind? Something to look at? Something to read? Something to laugh about?

Be honest.

Probably a lot of time.

Though I have found a surprising sense of purpose since coming home full-time (no more seminary) and though there are lots of productive tasks to accomplish during the day, I still find myself click, click, clicking around the internet.

I don't think all clicking is bad. If you didn't click,you would never read my blog.

Thank you for clicking over here!

But, I have recently been thinking, what else could I be doing with extra time? Or rather, how can I make the time I spend doing my daily activities (including clicking) more valuable?

One suggestion I've recently heard is to spend that time developing transferrable skills.

What is a transferrable skill?

Transferrable skills are skills that serve a variety of purposes in many aspects of life. They are practical and tangible, and the more you have, the more marketable you are as a person.

Examples of transferrable skills include: public speaking, organization, management, interpersonal relationships, efficient budgeting, event planning, presentation, writing, and networking.

It all sounds so business-like, but even as a stay-at-home mom, I (and you) have the opportunity to work on a regular basis in all these areas.

Public speaking: Practice reading your children's bedtime stories well. Effective storytelling is a powerful tool. Take small opportunities as they arise. Introduce a speaker at church or teach a Sunday School class. Consider every chance you get to speak in front of a group of people important.

Organization: Do I really need to flesh this one out?

Management: Menu-planning. Manage your family with thoughtful scheduling. What is the proper amount of commitments for your family during the week? What can you all handle as people and still function with excellence?  Delegate chores. Even the littlests ones are capable of some responsibility.

Interpersonal Relationships: Call your friends. Ask smart, thoughtful questions on play dates. Take advantage of car rides to either call someone or talk to your kids. Pursue your husband.

Efficient Budgeting: Talk with your husband about finances. Know what is coming in and where it is going. Do some research about finances, saving, financial planning. Spend and save your money well.

Event Planning: From birthday parties, to neighborhood dinners, to church functions. Help in these areas.

Presentation: Work on making things look pretty, whether its your dining table centerpiece, your garden or your webpage. Aesthetics are of some importance.

Writing: Blog. Journal. Write letters or emails. Force yourself to use proper grammar (at least occasionally). Read well-written material.

Networking: Follow-up with people you meet. Be intentional in the places you regularly frequent whether with your deli girl, your UPS man, or your child's teacher. Make eye contact and talk to people. Go to mommy groups and talk to people. Ask questions and listen to answers. Offer your skills and services when they are relevant to a need.

This is just a small sample of ideas. Other skills that are transferrable include cooking, musical talent, photography, and gardening.

The point is that your time matters. Clearly being a mom is important and fulfilling, but some people (including me) really need intellectual stimulation. This doesn't mean we need to leave our homes. We simply need to be thoughtful and intentional in them.

So my advice: click, click, click ... with a purpose. And if you find nothing interesting, turn the computer (or phone) off and consider working on developing a transferrable skill.

Lesson Learned: There are a lot of worthy skills that I can be honing during my time at home.

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