In her book, “Whatever Works for You,” Deborah McVay-McKinney guides her female readers on how to survive a busy life while maintaining a peaceful lifestyle.
McVay-McKinney explains how to juggle the demands of a career, home and family and delivers it with a casual, talking-with-a-friend-over-coffee tone. She emphasizes the detailed importance of staying organized and encourages readers to keep to-do lists, prioritize events and tackle the hectic holiday seasons and special events.
In an effort to make her book different than other self-help books, McVay-McKinney says she wanted to make it enjoyable to read by expressing stories of everyday life.
“Many self-help books begin by explaining why people are disorganized or what may have happened in their past to make them feel overwhelmed,” she says. “My goal was to provide a quick reference with useful tools and easy steps to get things accomplished.”
McVay-McKinney wants her readers to know that women often feel an overwhelming sense of pressure from everyday life, and there’s one common bond that can get them through it: having a strong sense of faith.
“Each morning, I look for a way to do something kind for another,” she says. “When I do, my days are always more rewarding than I could have made them on my own. I’m a firm believer that with God, all things are possible.”
As for herself, McVay-McKinney enjoys a busy schedule and keeps busy through work, volunteer time and her church. For every season of the year, she creates “to-do lists.”
“The holiday season arrives the same time every year, so why should we be stressed about getting everything done?” she asks. “By my late 20s, I began to realize that never had a year gone by when I wasn’t ready. And even if I hadn’t been, what was the point if I couldn’t enjoy the season?”
Although maintaining an organized lifestyle is important, McVay-McKinney emphasizes the importance of taking a step back from life’s demands and remembering to give time to those closest to you, as well as yourself.
“Take time to prioritize and schedule time for yourself,” she says. “Read a great book, meet a good friend for coffee, or take a long walk. Give yourself that gift, and the rest will fall into place.”
>> In addition to reading her book, McVay-McKinney advises women to discover their own way to manage their life. There isn’t one method that works for everyone.
“We’re all individuals and should determine the best practices for our own personalities,” she says. “Whether simple or elaborate, there’s a unique way for each of us to find order, while enjoying life. ‘Whatever Works for You’ is the underlying message.”
In last summer’s Akron Life Best of the City 2013 Issue, McVay-McKinney was named Best Author and Best Entrepreneur. Because these titles were reader-voted, she says this recognition means a lot to her.
“It’s an honor to know so many readers took the time to vote for me in these categories,” she says. “Many of them used this as an expression of their appreciation. I’m extremely grateful to them all.”
“Whatever Works for You” was released in fall 2012 and has since gained national recognition. It’s a best-seller on inspiringvoices.com and is available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.
Besides being an author and a life management speaker, McVay-McKinney is the owner of Time to Spare LLC, a corporate and non-profit event planning and custom gift service that works with businesses and organizations throughout Northeast Ohio. She’s also a publicity chairperson for the Bath Business Association and an Ambassador for The Greater Akron Chamber. McVay-McKinney also works with several volunteer groups and serves on the Youth Board of Bath United Church of Christ.
McVay-McKinney is working on her next book, which focuses on successful fundraising. Its format will be similar her current book and will include “how-to” tips and brief stories.
>> Even though McVay-McKinney has a busy lifestyle, she looks forward to spending time and sharing special moments with her family and friends.
“We were blessed by the addition of a grandson last spring, along with many nieces and nephews,” she says. “My daughters are a constant source of joy, I’m happy to have a wonderful husband of many years and friends too many to number. And two cats who remind me daily of who’s really in charge of my schedule!”
/ Writer Samara Sands is a senior at KSU working on her bachelor’s in newspaper journalism.
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