Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lush Landscapes In Tucson at Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort

Waterfall pool peaceful and beautiful!

Another view of the waterfall pool

A beautiful prickly pear cactus

View from the veranda outside our room

Article Included In Mom With Twin Girls Blog!

With my Google alerts, I could see that one of my articles was included on the blog of a young businesswomen with twin daughters. How fun is that? I also have twin daughters who are grown and have children of their own. Here is the link to her blog and my article.

Mommy Inc Blog

Friday, September 28, 2007

* Success Secrets: 7 Tips For A Fully Engaged, Exuberant Day

7 Tips For A Fully Engaged, Exuberant Day
by Suzanne Holman

We cannot do anything to increase the hours in a day.

Time management? Who can accomplish that? Time just keeps on keeping on throughout each day. We have control only of what we do during our 24/7 each week.

Being fully engaged is essential when we are working to make wise choices in using our mental, emotional and physical energy for optimal productivity. Making the most of our brainpower keeps us thinking clearly and creatively. That is what makes the difference in how productive we can really be.

"Companies with higher than average employee engagement scores enjoy 15 percent lower costs due to higher productivity" PeopleMetrics . Here are seven tips that can move you in the direction of being fully engaged.

1. Start your day with premium fuel and continue throughout the day.

Eating a healthy breakfast gets your metabolism going and sends needed fuel to the brain. And choosing some protein as part of your breakfast can give you a kickstart even better than caffeine. Protein boosts your dopamine level that stimulates brain function.

2. Create your intentions for the day.

Getting a clear picture in your mind of how you'd like to see the day transpire is a powerful tool. It's more than just having a to-do list of items to be accomplished. It's actually stating how you would like to see things happen during the day.

3. Observe your own and others' emotional states for greatest effectiveness.

With that awareness you are more likely to have a rational response rather than a reaction coming out of your own emotional reaction to what someone has said or done. Taking that moment for observation can save hours of effort trying to mend a working relationship.

4. Be fully focused on each task rather than multitasking.

Multitasking can negatively affect your emotional state and your immune system. Studies have shown that our brain actually shuts down one function to do something else. We are fooling ourselves to think that we can effectively perform two tasks at once.

5. Incorporate some physical activity throughout your day.

Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly keep their brain functioning at a higher level due to the increased blood flow to the brain. Take short breaks throughout the day just to stretch and move around. Also plan more extensive exercise a few times a week.

6. Debrief your day and really acknowledge your accomplishments.

How often have you been down on yourself at the end of a day, thinking about all that things that you did not accomplish instead of focusing on what did get completed? You can do this in your head or for an even more powerful effect, take a moment to list your acknowledgments to yourself. When we ramp up the attention to those positive things in our life, it keeps us going in
that productive direction.

7. Prepare for sleep and make sure you get enough.

Our brains are not ready to fall asleep immediately after leaving the stimulation of the computer screen. And although we sometimes fall asleep in front of the television, watching television is not a good way to move into restful sleep. If you have problems falling asleep and staying asleep, you might try an exercise that works for some people. Name the states, working your way up and down the coastlines and across the United States. This is challenging enough to keep your mind from worries of the day, but boring enough to allow you to fall asleep.

Are you ready to be fully engaged for your optimum productivity? Get a free strategy session, assessment, and weekly journal to get you started! Suzanne Holman, MAEd is your Productivity Coach at

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Five Fantastic Facts That Can Help You To Have A Good Night's Sleep

Have you ever been lying in bed, unable to sleep as you anticipate the following day?

September brings memories back to me of experiences throughout many years of school.

Were you at all like me, lying awake the night before the first day of school, wondering who would be in my class, who would be my teacher, and whether my outfit was the right one? These are big issues to a child about to start a new year of school.

What issues keep you awake at night now? Do you have problems that you find yourself trying to solve during the night? Many people struggle with sleep most of all on Sunday nights as they think about starting the new week. If you have things on your mind at bedtime, take a little time to write down your thoughts before sleeping. Even keep a notepad near your bed so that you can write a few notes if something occurs to you while lying in bed. Moving your thoughts from your brain to paper can help to put your mind at ease.

If you are having problems having peaceful sleep for any reason, it can have negative effects on many parts of your life and your physical and mental health.

Taking some precautions can make all the difference.


Yes, S & S. That stands for sleep and sex. Experts tell us that when we do anything else in the bedroom, it can lead to sleep problems. Forget about working in the bedroom. Use your computer and watch TV in other parts of the house.


Having a consistent sleeping and waking schedule can help your body develop a regular sleep cycle. When we sleep in on the weekends, it can disrupt this cycle and cause insomnia. Getting up early on Monday morning can also be more difficult because you have reset your sleep cycle for a later wake up time.


Our sleep patterns of feeling sleepy at night and awake during the day are regulated by light and darkness. Strong light, like bright outdoor light is the most powerful regulator of our biological clock. Even on a cloudy day, outside light is brighter than indoor light.

This sunlight helps our internal biological clock to reset each day. Sleep experts for anyone having problems falling asleep recommend an hour of morning sunlight.


Sleep researchers disagree on what the optimal temperatures are for best sleep. What is most important is that the temperature is comfortable for you. Generally, a slightly cool room is best. This mimics what happens inside the body as our internal temperature drops during the night to its lowest level. This is usually about four hours after sleep begins. A hot sleeping environment can lead to more wake time and lighter sleep.


Exercising 20 to 30 minutes a day often can help people sleep better. Working out too close to bedtime may interfere with sleep. Try to get your exercise about 5 to 6 hours before going to bed.

These are all pretty simple actions to take to insure a good night's sleep. If you are still having problems sleeping, you may need to consult a sleep expert to see if you have a sleep disorder that may be keeping you awake.

If there are concerns on your mind that are hindering your productivity, it may help to get some support. Suzanne Holman is your productivity coach, located at Visit the site for free resources including a strategy session to get you started!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Create A Positive AND Productive Visit In A Home With Small Children

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the deck with tall pines all around
A cool breeze blowing through the house
Distant water views
Hikes through mountain-covered areas
Kayaking in still waters
Sounds like a stay at a wonderful resort, doesn't it?

Yes, my stay in the Northwest for ten weeks away from the hot Phoenix sun was delightful. I had the opportunity to get to know three of my grandsons very well. It was great sharing in family outings. I continued to work in my business as an exuberant productivity coach.

Anticipating the visit, I had concerns as to how I would be able to keep up with my business. Although I wanted to help with the children, I know I needed some structure to know when I was responsible and when I would not be. Giving thought to how to make the time enjoyable for everyone made all the difference!

Whether you are visiting with your children and grandchildren or with other friends or family who have small children, here are seven tips for making the shared time a wonderful experience:


Take the time to discuss expectations for the visit with the parents of the children.
How can you be a support to the family while you are visiting?
Would it be helpful to watch the children so that they can have time to do things they don't usually do?
What work obligations will you have during your stay?
What kind of working conditions do you need to arrange?
What are the options available for an office environment in the home or somewhere in the area?


Take earplugs with you and let the family know you will be using them at night or when you would like quiet time in your room. This not only gives you a break from the constant activity that goes along with small children, but eases their concern of the children being excessively noisy at inconvenient times.


If you'll be staying for a while, you may want to buy your own phone so that you won't be carrying their cordless phone into your room for a call. It's easy to forget to return it to its usual location and family members may be frustrated trying to find it when a call comes in. Also, if you'll be making long distance calls, buy a phone card and use it so that your long distance charges don't show up on their account. Using a cell phone is even better. That way you are not tying up the family phone line.


Decide with the family which meals will be eaten together and when there will be a night where the children eat early and everyone else just pulls together whatever is interesting to eat.

Offer to prepare some of the meals and find out what foods are most appealing to all members of the family. Be certain to clean up after any food preparation.


Learn what the rules of the house are for the children and what routines they are used to. This is important so that you can keep with what they are used to. Being respectful of their rules will not only be appreciated by the parents, but will also help the children feel more comfortable with having a guest if expectations are consistent.


Be respectful of your own time as well as the hosts. It is important that you do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your business obligations. It is easy to feel that you need to put aside your needs for the benefit of the household. This creates uneasiness for everyone if you are not being responsible for yourself.


Retiring to your room for a period of time before actually going to sleep is a great way to unwind for everyone in the house. It gives the parents time to themselves and gives you time just to be with yourself. You might want to put in your earplugs or IPOD and read or watch a DVD on your laptop with headphones so as not to disturb anyone else.

If you are having challenges in connecting with your adult children and grandchildren, it may be helpful to create some strategies with a coach. Suzanne Holman is your productivity coach, located at Visit the site for free resources including a strategy session to get you started!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What’s The Big Deal About Sleep? Some Solid Facts

We've been hearing all our lives that we need to get to bed to get our sleep. So what's the big deal? Are there really any big consequences to cheating ourselves out of adequate sleep? Let's look at some solid facts about the subject of sleep.


  • Infants: 16 hours
  • Teenagers: 9 hours
  • Adults: usually 7-8 hours or as few as 5 hours to as much as 10 hours
  • Pregnant women: early in pregnancy need several more hours a night
  • Elderly: need as much as younger adults, but sleep less soundly so need more


REM sleep was discovered in the study of infants around 1953. This is the type of sleep when dreaming takes place, usually about two hours a night. There is an increased production of proteins during this time.

REM sleep stimulates the brain regions that are used in learning of certain mental skills.


Without adequate sleep our nervous systems do not work properly. Our memory is impaired and our ability to do math calculations is reduced. Sleep-deprived people tested by using a driving simulator performed as badly as or worse than those who were intoxicated.

Sleep rests the portion of the brain used in our emotional and social functioning, allowing us to be at our best after the night.


Animal studies have shown that sleep is necessary for survival. Rates died by the age of 3 - 5 weeks instead of their usual life span of 2-3 years when they were deprived of sleep. They also developed low body temperatures and body sores indicating a compromised immune system.

Human hand-eye coordination has been shown to be very poor in a sleep-deprived person.

Getting adequate sleep encourages the production of the human growth hormone that helps to build muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones. Sleep is one of the simplest things people can do to avoid accelerated aging.


Driver fatigue has been blamed for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1500 deaths each year. Sleep deprivation magnifies alcohol's effects on the body, causing great impairment. The National Sleep Foundation gives some guidelines for determining if you are too drowsy to drive:

  • You have trouble keeping your eyes focused.
  • You can't stop yawning.
  • You can't remember driving the last few miles.


Are you making your sleep a priority in your life?

If you have been skimping on your sleep, how has it been affecting you, your work, and your family?

What self-care steps can you take to optimize your body and brain?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Is Your Work Causing Sleep Deprivation? - 7 Possible Ways

Do you feel drowsy during the day or evening?
Is tiredness affecting your daily activities on a regular basis?
Do you fall asleep often when you sit down to relax?
Are you irritable with others around you?

If you answer yes to a couple of these, most likely you are sleep deprived.


Staying at work way beyond the normal eight hours is the biggest determinant of how much sleep Americans get in a typical day. Overtime is a common occurrence in many industries. In the culture of many organizations, to work just eight hours could actually be considered skipping out early. Mathias Basner, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine studied 47,731 Americans. He found that those who worked longer hours found time for other activities by shortening their sleep hours.


When you have concerns on your mind about work, it can be difficult to sleep at night. In order to combat this sleeplessness, many people have an alcoholic drink or take sleeping medicines to fall asleep. The problem with these is that you have lighter sleep and don't have the REM phase of sleep that is so restorative to the brain.


When you are working at times when you normally would be sleeping, you disrupt your circadian rhythm. This rhythm is the cycle your body repeats day after day. Shift work sleep disorder has effects very similar to jet lag. Shift work affects people in various industries: medicine, production lines, technology, telephone service reps, transportation. We also need light in our days to produce the melatonin needed for quality sleep. Having to sleep in the daytime when you are on a night shift deprives you of sunlight.


Travel time, including time sitting in traffic, can take up a large portion of your day. It could be considered one of the hidden costs to living out in the suburbs. To make up for the loss of those hours, it's tempting to shorten sleep time. Fatigue caused by the lack of sleep can make the commute dangerous as well as stressful. Sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 100,000 automobile crashes a year (National Sleep Foundation).


What a wonderful technological advancement to be able to log into your work computer from home! Or is it? When does work stop and leisure begin? Working on your sofa with your laptop while trying to participate in family time is not effective for either activity. And how tempting it is to continue work in the quiet of the night to catch up on what you didn't feel complete from your day! To transition from working at the computer to falling asleep can be difficult also, resulting in an even later start to sleep.


Working long hours and not taking breaks during the day can lead to too much time between food intake and poor food choices. Late business dinners or dinners with clients can mean a very full stomach when heading to bed. This can have an adverse effect on the quality of your sleep.


Exercise is often forgotten with not enough time or energy left over after work demands are met. And exercising too late in the evening can also make it difficult to get to sleep. Getting up early enough in the morning to exercise can be a real challenge when you do not have enough sleep during the night.

If some of these factors are influencing your sleep, you may want to look for solutions that can help you move toward taking better care of yourself. Over a period of time, the effects on you from sleep deprivation build up and can cause a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional problems.

If you have employees, be aware that these challenges to their sleep and other self-care can be very detrimental to their productivity and attendance on the job.

If you are ready to take some steps toward improving your own or employee self-care, a business coach can offer the support you need. You can find a free assessment, a complimentary self-care starter session, and a weekly Exuberant Productivity journal at Suzanne Holman, MAEd can be your own personal productivity coach!