My friends always say that I don’t know how the hell you got all that done. And I know that I’m very passionate, I know it’s probably, you’re rolling your eyes being like she’s passionate about productivity, I am.
Busy as a bee seems to be the best way to describe many of us. We seem to have more and more that we are juggling, which makes it seem like it’s impossible even to have a little bit of time for ourselves. So let’s chat like old friends at a quaint, cozy cafe, talking about our lives and sharing productivity, time management, and organization tips. I have been a single mom for 20 years to go to college, climb the career ladder with two babies, and become a program manager at an IT consulting company. I also went to business school while raising my grandson and am now here to share everything I have learned on being productive with a full plate with you. Welcome to the Productivity Pie Podcast.
Hi, everyone, my name is Shevonne, and I am the host of the Productivity Pie Podcast. This is the first episode. So I am so happy that you’re here checking out the first episode.
I am not gonna lie to you. I’m a bit nervous. But I wanted to create this podcast to share the productivity tips and hacks that I have learned about by reading books, blogs, and other people sharing their advice and how I’ve adapted it to my life, which has really helped me, especially in my career. So I wanted to share that with you and also introduce myself. So I guess let’s go ahead and get started with the introductions. So before having kids, which was 20 years ago, I was so disorganized, messy; if you had seen my car, you probably would have fainted. I had a horrible credit score because no one really taught me about personal finance. So basically,
I was a young twentysomething, and you could say that I was a hot mess. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I had to change my life; I had to change my outlook. And I had to make sure that I was able to be successful for my child to not need anything, which was very important to me. So I sat down, I started reading as much as possible. Back then, it was the beginning of the internet as we know it now. So there were not that many articles online in 2001. Or I guess it was. Yep, it was 2001 because I was pregnant for 10 months. So it should be like 2001 or 2000 when I got pregnant, but
I just sat there and just try to learn as much as possible, how to have goals that I felt, and how I could start getting everything done that I needed to get done for my son to have a good life. And as well as get out of the horrible debt and just the low credit score that I had. So that is precisely what I did with the resources that I found. I created a vision for myself five-year plan, and then I broke it down into a yearly plan. So at that point, I did not know about breaking it down even smaller than the yearly plan, but at least I broke it down to a year. And with everything, you’re always going to get better. Like if you continue practicing it, learning, and understanding a topic, you’ll get better, which is what I’ve been able to do. So that is exactly what I did. And then my daughter was born, so I had two kids. And I finished college. And it was kind of funny because I would go on campus, and I went to George Mason University in Virginia. And man, those tiny seats they have were not made for someone pregnant, of course, like it’s not like a bunch of pregnant women go to college, but I had to sit sideways, and it was so uncomfortable. But I did it because I knew that I had a reason to do it.
I went to college, I got a job as a technical writer, which I wanted to be because since I was 17, I was working as a helpdesk administrator or a system administrator later on. And it was just not something that I really loved. I hated the irregular hours. I hated the fact that people looked down on me, and I just hated the fact that I was basically crawling
underneath people’s desks to help them with their computer issues, which sometimes you had to do.
I remember there was another group, a group of technical writers. And for some reason, I thought that they were the cat’s meow; I just thought they were the best thing ever. And I knew that I wanted to eventually be like them. And so, after I went to college, which I went for English with a specialization in technical writing, I became a technical writer. And then after I
think, like five years, or so I was working at khaki, and I got the opportunity to be a business analyst. And I love that because I was able to provide the feedback or the requirements to design a solution for people and help them in that way. And so I really loved it. Like, I just love the fact that it wasn’t just like writing documentation. I was also helping guide people and be that liaison between the stakeholder and the IT team and build the solution. So I thought that that was really fun, and I loved it. And I did that for a few years. And then, the opportunity came for me to be a project manager. And I really took my time to make that decision. Because
it’s different. When you’re an individual contributor, you’re only really focused on yourself; when you’re a project manager, you’re a people manager, basically, and you’re helping people,
grow their business, grow their careers, help them on the career path, and just be a mentor for those people. So it wasn’t something that I just took lightly. And it irks me so much when I see someone in a management position that just got there because someone liked them. And they are a horrible manager. There’s nothing wrong with being an individual contributor. People sometimes go into management because they think, oh, I’ll make more money. I have seen some individual contributors make way more money than managers. So it’s not something that is; eventually, you have to take that path; you can be an individual contributor, especially if you suck with people.
It’s been over 10 years. I got my PMP, my Scrum Master certification, even got the foundation ITIL certification, and now I’m a program manager. And I’m very proud of myself, because
the majority of the people, there’s like 50, plus people on the team, they’re all majority of them are men. And then on top of that,
I think that out of the 50 people, there’s probably like, two women of color. No, there are three. There are three women of color on that team. And I’m one of them. And I’m one of the program managers, which makes me feel so grateful, and sometimes makes me feel a little teary-eyed to think that I went from being this young woman pregnant had no idea what the hell I was doing, what was a total hot mess. And now I’m a program manager and IT consulting company with almost an 800 credit score. I am very proud of myself. And
that is something that I always try to remind myself of, especially when I’m feeling down. Everyone is always going to have a moment where they’re feeling down. You can be the happiest person; you’re still going to have that moment. And that’s when you have to remind yourself that you’ve gotten as far as you have.
And throughout my career journey, I have tried so hard to be present as a mother. I had my kids in multiples, boarding activities,
also had different summer camps because I wanted them to experience different things to understand what they want in the future. So I was constantly driving them around to various activities. Just trying my best. And now that I’m older, one piece of advice that I can say to parents is
there is no perfect parent. And yes, it’s great to read parenting books. I still do. But I’ve now realized that there is no perfect parent, and you have to do what’s best for you and your kids, which is something that when I was younger, I didn’t. I always felt tons of guilt. I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I saw all these like two-parent families and the dad helping out, and unfortunately, my kids didn’t have that, and then.
That I felt terrible about. But now I’ve realized that I did the best I could. And I shouldn’t keep beating myself up because, yes, my kids did a lot. They went to a bunch of extracurricular activities. I’ve always tried to get them, tutors. If they were struggling in school, I champion getting them IEP s, especially my daughter; it was just a horrible experience trying to get the school to approve an IEP for her. I’ve had them in therapy, especially my daughter, who is a survivor of sexual abuse, which
I found out years after it had happened. And that is something that we’re still struggling with. She was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which I found out later, is the childhood version of the personality disorders, which is borderline personality sociopath psychopath in narcissism. No one had ever told me that we’ve had some just awful experiences with different therapists. But even with that, I still am an advocate of therapy. But we’ve definitely been around the wringer. She wasn’t able to deal with her trauma. So she was constantly running away. So I was dealing with that as well. I had to deal with her constantly running away, trying to get her in different mental health programs, her not wanting to do it. And eventually, one thing that I realized was, I didn’t want to keep pushing her to do that. And she gets to the point that she hates therapy so much that when she gets older and she wants to do it, she still has in the back of her head that she hates us so much. So I stopped pushing her on that. But it’s been a journey; it’s been very hard at times. She became a teen mom; she decided she didn’t want to be a mother. And so now I’ve taken custody of my grandson, and I’m raising him. And I have definitely learned through that, that people tend to blame the parent and say, like, Oh, that’s why their kid turned out that way. And now I’ve realized that that’s not usually the case. Different factors play into how a kid develops, how they grow into an adult, and their decisions. I’m not saying that I was perfect. Like I said before, there is no perfect parent. But I also know that I tried my best, and I wanted to get her the help she needed. The only good thing that has come out is that I now have this amazing little grandson. And I’m definitely applying what I’ve learned with my kids with him. I will see. But yeah, so even with all that, trying to climb the career ladders, I was able to get it all done. And it was because of all the productivity hacks, all the tools, all the stuff that I learned through
just different avenues. And I know one thing that my friends always say is, I don’t know how the hell you got all that done. And so
I know that I’m very passionate. I know it is probably you’re rolling your eyes being like she’s passionate about productivity. I am because if it wasn’t for being productive, I wouldn’t have been able to be present at work, be present for my kids, especially one who was deaf, desperately needing it, and also now being present for my grandson. So this podcast will be all about what I have learned. I’ll be talking about productivity time management organization. I’ll probably also sprinkle in there what I learned as a leader and as an online student, so I did do an online MBA program. So I want to share that. I want to hear from you all.
here. Any questions that you have any topics that you want to discuss. I would love eventually to have people be guests on the podcast. I’ve
listened to a bunch of podcasts. And I love when they bring guests in who have another level of expertise that the host doesn’t have, and they’re able to teach as well from that angle. So I think that’s great, and that’s definitely something that I plan to do in the future.
I think this podcast is for that busy professional who is just struggling feels like they just don’t have any time for themselves. Feels like they’re in a hurry.
a hamster wheel and they’re just spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning. And when they wake up, they feel like they’re on Groundhog Day. And they feel like there’s never an end to this mundane life that they feel like they have. And I don’t want you to feel that way. I want you to wake up and smile, doing what you love to do, being surrounded by the people you want to be surrounded by. And so that this podcast is for you.
The promise I will make to you is that I will be open, I will be present. And I will be honest. And believe me,
I don’t ever want you to think that I have got everything in check 100%. And that’s why I shared everything that I shared right now. Because everybody’s life, they’re dealing with something. And so the thing that we need to recognize is that we are dealing with stuff, it can be anything, but we just need to learn how to deal with those things and be able to still strive to have the life that we want. So that is my promise to you on this podcast. So this upcoming month, I want to start talking about the different productivity apps that I’ve used, the different methods that I have heard about and I have tried to apply, and if they were successful or not. Overall, what I have also done as a manager of a 50 plus team, and what type of productivity tips I have applied. So that is what this upcoming month will be about. But I am really excited. And so I know that I’ll just keep improving, improving, improving. It won’t be perfect at first, but I’ll eventually get there, please. I love feedback. Give me your feedback. And I’ll make sure to apply it because if you give me that feedback, and I’m able to grow from that, that is all I can ask for. So I will talk to you next week. Thank you for listening, and I’m excited to start this journey with you.
Thank you so much for listening to the productivity pod podcast. Be sure to visit productivity pie comm to access the show notes, check out the videos, check out the other content. And also, if you can, please subscribe, give it a five-star rating and review, and I will talk to you next week. Bye for now.