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2009-06-08

A Peek Inside My Heart: Performance Review Results

A Peek Inside My Heart
Image by Sukanto Debnath

So about that performance review.

Yeah.

So I did it.

And it was indeed both painful and encouraging. Just like I said it would probably be.

Today I'm going to invite you to walk with me through my performance review. A brief summary of it, anyway. Care to come in and have a cup of tea?

I do have a job description written--the tool that makes the performance review possible in the first place. If you'd like to read my job description, you can find it here. Having a job description made it pretty easy to walk through the process. Well, easy in the sense that I had clear direction for evaluation, anyway!

I did ask my husband to join me in the process. To be honest, I think it would have been a little painful and a little encouraging going through this on my own--having my husband be part of the process definitely made both of those feelings more intense. Still, it was incredibly valuable to get his insight and opinion. He can see some things more clearly than I can--both the positive and the negative.

Then we launched into the evaluation questions:

What am I doing well? What are my strengths? Is there a way my strengths could be utilized even better?
This part was easy. We both agreed that our house is a very different place to live in now. It's generally well ordered and peaceful. Laundry, dishes, dinner, etc, are all pretty well taken care of. We have had some "moments" here lately, but Keith pointed out that those are due mostly to our season--I'm at the end of pregnancy, feeling quite fatigued some days, and a little foggy in the memory department.

All in all, I'm doing very well with organizing, planning, and managing. And that says a lot, people!


What area(s) might need more attention? What are my weaknesses? How can these be strengthened?
Girls, this was the painful part. It was completely clear to me what my weakest area was. My children. The part in my job description where it says: "To train, love and nurture my children as God my Father does with me." This was definitely not getting the attention it needed.

Keith and I talked at length about the fact that the boys really need some serious focused attention right now. We have been blessed with the privilege and responsibility of raising one child who is God-designed with a very strong will. I've been feeling the need of late to make teaching, training and loving him and his brother the area that receives my biggest amount of energy and attention.

In fact, I have realized that for at least a season, I am going to need to make everything else in life almost as simple as possible, so that I can spend very, very focused attention on heart issues in my boys.

With the habits, routines, and structures we have in place, I feel that we will be held in good stead, as we scale back to the basics. For me, this is going to mean being an even better manager of my time. I'm going to have to use the time before my boys are up and after they are in bed very wisely. It will mean learning how to better include them in daily chores so that we work on things together, and I can more closely monitor heart attitudes and the actions that stem from those attitudes.

For my sweet little blog (and this is one of the hardest parts for me, I must admit), it will mean scaling back considerably as well. This blog has been so beneficial to me, because as I have written out my thoughts and what God has been graciously been teaching me, it has solidified those things in my heart and mind. It has spurred me on to excellence in many ways. I think it has also been an encouragement to others who have been in my shoes.

But it does take time to write, and my responsibility to train my children in righteousness is far more important eternally. So, for now, I'm going to be scaling back to writing twice a week and also including my Saturday links to share--though, even those posts may have fewer links, since collecting them does take time.

My hope is that with more focused attention on fewer posts, the quality will still be high and Heart(h) Management will continue to serve as an encouragement to others who are in the field of homemaking just like me.

Keith also pointed out that he felt we could use more time together. I heartily agree. I'm writing this ahead of time, but by the time this post publishes, we will have had our very first weekend away alone together since before children. Five years. Five years, people! This also means being more intentional about guarding our evenings together and seeking to get our littles in bed a bit earlier in order to have more time together in the evenings.

Is my job description truly adequate to give me direction, or does it need tweaking?
I'm happy to report that my job description served me well. I think it definitely covers what my priorities should be. It was certainly adequate to help me see the weaknesses that were present.

Is there a tool I could use that would help me significantly in my role?
I told Keith that I really felt like a new digital camera would really help me. I'm not sure he bought it. (Well, I know he didn't buy the camera, but I'm pretty sure even the idea didn't impress him much.)

However, one tool that has been helping me immensely of late is a little Firefox Add-On called TimeTracker. If you struggle with how much time you spend online like me, I highly recommend this little tool. Once you add it on, there will be a little clock in the lower right hand corner of your screen that will show how much time you've spent online that day. It pauses when there isn't any online activity--even if the window is still open--and I've found it to be very accurate. Accurate enough that it definitely motivates me to get off the Internet! And that is certainly saying something. Try it!

Is there a new area I have the time, energy and freedom to branch into learning?
In short, no. As I've already stated, things are going to have to be scaled back--not ramped up--right now. I will, however, be spending my reading time in some good books on loving and training my children well. Here are some on my list: The Shaping of a Christian Family, Hints on Child Training, Don't Make Me Count to Three, The Mission of Motherhood, Heartfelt Discipline, Shepherding a Child's Heart, and The Duties of Parents.

It's a pretty ambitious list, but I've already read several of them, so for some of them, it will be just skimming through a second time to refresh myself.

What is one habit that, if developed, would help me most in my role right now?
There are two habits that I have been working on for about two months now. I've seen some real progress, though I still have a long way to go.
1. Consistent, daily time with the Lord in His Word and in prayer.
2. Limiting my time online--my biggest time waster by far.

Once we had waded through these questions, we moved on to the compensation part. Well, not really. Although, if you're reading this, honey, I really do think a new digital camera would suit me just fine. Our going away weekend together will definitely be a special treat, though. And I think that the rewards I see in my children will also make this process very worthwhile.

So, that's it in a nutshell novel.

I wanted to share all of this for a couple of reasons. First of all, I wanted to keep it real. I wanted you to know that I really do try to actually do the things I write about. Furthermore, that, as my performance review clearly shows, I'm not anywhere near perfect. Secondly, I hoped it would encourage you to do this yourself.

After all, eternity is at stake when it comes to our families. Evaluation. It's still a good thing.

4 comments:

Erin said...

Very encouraging! Thanks for sharing how the process went. Just wondering, is Keith enthusiastic about helping with these types of things? I hope you had a wonderful, refreshing weekend!!

steadymom said...

Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt response and being so vulnerable.

I would also recommend to your reading list - How to Really Parent Your Child and Grace-Based Parenting. Two of my favorites.

Jamie

christinnjon said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. It is actually very encouraging. Keep moving forward and don't look back!

Also, tomorrow I am opening up my very first giveaway for a parenting book you may really like. It's not on your list, but it's an excellent one. Be sure to come by and check it out if you get a second. I'd really love for you to take a shot at winning it. :) Hugs!

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Wow I love this! Thank you for sharing it. I know I could benefit from doing a similar exercise! I am so guilty of getting spread too thin and I need to be constantly coming back to what is truly important to my husband and me.

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