Woodlands WCE member Jessica DeVerse is no stranger to challenges in life. From having a child with Cerebral Palsy to one with ADHD, she has learned to face adversity and draw from her personal experiences to help others. Her compelling story and the way she created a business to to support and bring joy her clients’ lives makes her one of Woodlands WCE’s Most Inspiring Women.
DeVerse was adopted by loving parents at six moths old and moved often for her father’s work. By the age of 9, she had lived in six different states. In her last move, she fell in love and met her future husband. “I was blessed to have a childhood full of adventures and had been allowed to dream big. At 15, living in Southern California, I met the love of my life. We grew up together. When I was 17, he joined the Air Force, and for the next three years we racked up extraordinary phone bills, sent love letters that required stamps, and anxiously waited to hear ‘You’ve got mail!’ At 20 we were married, had our first baby girl and moved to a small town in Wisconsin,” said DeVerse. Although they had a plan, this was yet another of many times her path in life would change. “We always expected I would be a full-time mom; it just happened sooner than planned. Together we decided to rework our priorities and set new goals. I would say reflections of our childhoods influenced every decision made.”
DeVerse started her first business based on her love of working with kids. She began to learn and implement time management skills with the new business. “In line with my new set of priorities and goals, I opened a state licensed childcare. I earned all the necessary certifications, training and licenses and to be successful and compliant; I had to be a master at time management and schedules.”
Through working with children, DeVerse discovered ways to create a plan and schedule for others. “I learned the key is finding their true why of the issue, coming up with a plan, and always be looking for ways to make their experience even more positive and be willing to adapt. My desire to fit the puzzle pieces together transferred over to helping others adjust in their lives so they can more fully enjoy the gift of time.”
Her skills for adjusting to life and sticking to a schedule were further tested and honed after having her second child. “We had our second daughter a few years later; she was born early causing a physical disability. Not only did I further realize the need to continuously adapt priorities and goals, I learned how important a schedule was,” explained DeVerse. “Her success depended on my ability to keep up with multiple therapy schedules daily, medications, appointments, and research. I also had the responsibility to provide excellent care for the children in my daycare. We were a big family, and I was determined to bring joy to everyday routine, no matter the setback.”
Although very busy, DeVerse has a passion for learning. “I have taken several certification courses on time management, CBT, Love and Logic, WCI life coach certification, and happiness coaching. I have many hours of continuing education in lesson planning and other areas that have helped set a foundation. I studied business at UW and a private Dupont college and I am always sneaking in classes due to my curiosity.”
Her love of learning has continued to strengthen her business. “I am continuously reading and listening to the new, best, guaranteed, proven way of achieving the ultimate fulfilling life and guide to happiness. There is so much thoughtful information and many effective tools available, but I don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach.” Continued DeVerse, “I believe it has to do with what season of life you are in, what your priorities and goals are and your particular life situation. I like to meet my clients where they are, walk through a process with them that fits where they are in life, what their needs are, and help them come up with tricks they can implement right away to tweak the way they respond to situations and adjust as needed.”
DeVerse takes a holistic approach to meeting her clients’ needs. She understands from experience there are many different challenges in our complicated lives. “When I meet with clients, I have a few tools I use to get them thinking about their life as a whole — encouraging them to think of the big picture and bring to light areas that could use attention and focus. I ask them why they called me and what they are hoping to gain from our time together. Often through talking, they find the original reason they sought my assistance is not the root issue.”
DeVerse’s time management style has changed over time with what she has learned. “I used to look for a style or system that was good enough and tried to force my life into it. There are many well-designed systems, planners, and programs, but not all are well-designed for me; where I am in life right now. I am always reassessing the systems I use and making sure they are helping me plan for and achieve the life I desire.”
DeVerse knew she had to teach what she had learned to help others improve their lives after witnessing so many women struggling like she had struggled in the past. “Seeing beautiful, hardworking, loving, capable women frustrated and overwhelmed and seeing how it affected their self-esteem and self-worth because they ‘weren’t getting enough done,’ ‘not making enough progress,’ or ‘so far behind’ breaks my heart. We all deserve to live a life of purpose and joy. Sometimes we need the insight of others to see we are being unrealistic in our expectations of ourselves or point out an easier way to plan for success.”
DeVerse truly enjoys teaching others about time management and shares the following tips. “Look for the time suckers in your day and either train yourself to reduce/eliminate them or schedule time for them. Make a list and work on one at a time. I often hear people talk about the vortex of social media or time spent online. There are many ways of tracking your time. I suggest taking a screenshot every time you start scrolling and when you stop. You can go back at the end of the day or week and see exactly how much time you have spent scrolling. You can then consciously give a time allotment in your schedule for social media, and stick to it.”
DeVerse’s personal routine includes intentional planning so that her day can run smoothly. She starts the night before with a wind-down routine that includes going through her planner. She then adjusts her schedule as needed based on how her day went. “I backfill anything that was not originally planned, move and reprioritize tasks as needed, and brain-dump anything that I ‘can’t forget’ so I can sleep easier. I have a morning routine, and I typically start working between 9:30-10:00 a.m. My brain takes time to boot up in the morning, and I have learned what times of day are best for me to be efficient.”
One of her favorite time management tools is the Miracle Time Cube Timer. The different timers help her stay focused for a chunk of time and forces her to take small breaks during the time she has blocked for a task. She found that the timers on her phone were actually a distraction, since it would invariably lead to her checking for messages. Another one of her favorite personal time management tips is to utilize SMART goals and block schedule systems. Her favorite planner is the Full Focus Planner.