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Northwest Arkansas learns to make ‘seven-minute difference’

Sunday, January 22, 2012  
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More than 220 Network of Executive Women members learned how to take small steps toward big changes at the sold-out NEW Northwest Arkansas networking event Jan. 13, 2012 at the Embassy Suites Northwest in Rogers, Ark.

Members heard from Allyson Lewis, author of The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes, who offered advice for clarifying goals, improving time management and creating repeatable processes that help give life meaning. Lewis shared her personal experiences, focusing on a common challenge for NEW members -- having too many things on her to-do list, never getting them all done and being pulled in too many directions to be effective. The author challenged attendees to spend seven minutes at the end of each day to make a list of a few important things that support their personal goals to accomplish the next day.

"Allyson helped me see that it's not about fitting more into my day, it's about prioritizing and managing my time and energy on the things that mean the most to me,” said NEW Northwest Arkansas Co-Secretary Machelle Selbe, vice president of Gifford Operating Co. "I learned I need to discipline myself to not perpetuate stress with unfinished tasks. Strive to complete or execute at least three to five meaningful activities a day, stay focused and have courage to change old habits even if met with adversity. [Allyson encouraged us] to live every day in honor of a commitment to a purposeful and meaningful life and not get caught up in reaching the finish line so much that we miss the adventure and journey in getting there.”

NEW Northwest Arkansas marketing and publicity committee member Kim Tisdale said she learned that time management isn’t about doing more. "We can’t do more,” said Tisdale, manager of asset and expense payables for Walmart Stores. "It is about focusing on the most important things first. If you don’t have a written plan, it is easy to get distracted on little things and run out of time to complete the high value, high impact things.”

Each day since the event, NEW Northwest Arkansas Public Relations Chair Mary Lea Dinwiddie, vice president at JWT/OglivyAction , has thought about something Lewis told the group: "Get up every morning and choose to see your world through gratitude-colored glasses.”

Among the companies represented at the event were Campbell Soup Co., Clorox Co., Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, Walmart/Sam’s Club, Sara Lee and Unilever.

Author Allyson Lewis (center) joins NEW Northwest Arkansas officers (from left)
Machelle Selbe, Amber Kramer, Katie Berner and Gina McFarlin.

NEW Northwest Arkansas committee chairs (from left) Alicia New, Lee Esmond,
Cammy Jo McCain, Tanya Dixon and Katie Holley network at the Jan. 13 event.

NEW Northwest Arkansas committee chairs Mary Lea Dinwiddie, Amelia
Dziwanowski and Kim Tisdale came away with time management tips.

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