Hi guys! This weekend I had a chance to be a part of a panel at Midtown Yoga’s Wellness Summit. I wish all of you could have been there because it was a really incredible day. Meditation, a sound bath, hearing different speakers, healthy bites, CBD cocktails, and obviously can’t forget the Merrimon-Wynne grounds–SO GORGEOUS!
I had the opportunity to speak on one of the panels called “The Juggling Act: I don’t know how she does it.” I will be the first one to say that I definitely do not have it altogether, there are still days where I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Just being honest here–no one is superwoman! But I do feel like over the years I’ve had to learn how to “balance” my blog, working 12 hour shifts at the hospital, a marriage, being a dog-mom along with the other demands of the day to day. (I say balance because I don’t think balance really exists, it’s just choosing what to prioritize in that season). So I wanted to share some of my biggest tips along with those that the other two women on the panel shared (@MAalleninteriors and @marcherobinson).
-Identify Your Top Priorities. When you get clear about where it’s the most important to spend your time, making day to day decisions about how to spend it becomes a lot easier and it ensures that how you’re spending your time aligns with your current goals. At the end of the day, there are only so many hours and you can’t be everything to everyone. I would recommend sitting down out outlining your top 3-4 priorities in this season and then look at your schedule and ask yourself, does my schedule align with what I’m saying my priorities are? For example, if you say your priorities are taking care of yourself, your marriage/relationship and your business–does your schedule reflect that? Do you have time planned for you to meditate, workout, to spend time with your partner, and to work on your business? Or are you going out with friends every Friday and Saturday night when you actually should be spending time with your partner or working on your biz? This isn’t to say you can’t do those things that aren’t on your top priorities, but that’s not where the majority of your time should be spent.
For example, when I was working at the hospital and running my blog, I had very little free time. I knew that my priorities were taking care of myself, my marriage and growing my blog/business. So that meant that I spent a lot of weekends working versus going out with friends. Does this mean I never went out with friends? Of course not! But it did mean that I made sacrifices to focus on the current priorities in that season. So maybe I’d go out to brunch with everyone, but then I’d go home after to work versus spending the day out with them. Everyone’s priorities are different and they will likely change with different seasons in life, but this a good exercise to help you realize how you’re actually spending your time vs. what is most important to you in this season.
-Make Time To Prioritize Yourself. This is important!! I think women especially have the tendency to want to do everything for everyone else and forget about taking care of themselves. In order for you to show up for your spouse, kids, friends, family, your business–for ANYTHING–you have to take care of yourself. You know the saying–“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” And this is so true. How are you supposed to show up for others if you can’t show up for yourself? @MAAllenInteriors has 3 kids and wakes up at 4:30 every morning to have time for herself, to pack her kids lunches, etc. and then once the kids are off to school she does a yoga class sometimes followed by another workout. She knows that yoga and exercise are a really important part for her overall wellbeing so she makes sure that always happens. She carves that time out for herself before starting work for the day. Bottom line is, know what allows you to show up as your best self and make sure you’re making time for that. Maybe it’s an hour in the morning to sit in the quiet and drink your coffee, a 15 minute meditation session, a 30 minute workout, taking the dog for a walk, etc. It doesn’t necessarily have to take a ton of time, but you need to make sure you’re doing something for yourself.
-Ask For/Hire Help. I remember when I was working as a nurse relatively full-time still and also trying to manage my blog. One night in particular I just broke down. I got home from the hospital around 8pm and just went straight to bed and basically cried myself to sleep. That may seem kind of dramatic but I think we all have those days–where everything just feels like it’s too much and the only thing you can do is cry. I woke up the next day and vowed to never feel that way again. That day I hired someone to help.
Admitting you need help, isn’t weak. It’s smart and makes for more efficient, productive, and less stressful days. Like I said earlier, we aren’t superwoman–there are only so many hours in the day, we only have so much energy, and we just can’t do it all as much as we’d like to. MA for example has 2 nanny’s and has a personal assistant. I mean, how else could you raise 3 children and run a successful business?! And this isn’t just about hiring someone. It’s about being okay asking for help in general. So maybe it is hiring someone, or maybe it’s asking your spouse, family or friend for help. Like I said earlier, asking for help isn’t anything you should feel bad about. It’s the smart thing to do!
-Find Ways to Save Time & Add Convenience. Even if you don’t need to necessarily hire someone, looking for ways to save time and add convenience to your life can free up that additional time for you to focus on what really matters. Meal prepping and/or food delivery services were something that we all talked about. Stephen and I love using Home Chef, and several of our friends have their groceries delivered on a regular basis. On days that are especially busy, we do things like take the dogs to day care so it’s just one less thing to worry about. Try to think of things that can consume a good amount of time and see if you can outsource it or plan better (ie. meal prepping) to save time during the week.
-Time Block. This is a tip I didn’t get time to share on the panel but it has been super helpful for me on days that are especially busy. If you’re not familiar here’s how it works–basically plan your day out by the minute. I know it sounds tedious and maybe unnecessary but trust me on this one, it’s a huge help and will increase your productivity ten fold. So here is an example of how the first part of my day may look:
7am Wake up
7:10-8 Take the dogs out, have breakfast
8-9:45 leave for gym/workout
9:45-10:30 shower/get ready for the day
10:30-10:45 second breakfast
10:45-12:30 write and publish blog
So you get the gist! This will help alleviate any distractions. Do this the night before so you can hit the ground running the next day!
-Use An App To Organize. Several people have recommended using the organization app Trello. I personally haven’t used it (but I did just download it!) but apparently it’s pretty good for making lists. From what I understand you can also add people to the lists which can be helpful. So for example, you could have a running list for the grocery store so if you happen to go by there you know exactly what to get vs. taking the time to call or text your husband/boyfriend/roommates and being like, “Did you need anything/what to we need?”
-It’s Okay to Say No/Ditch The Guilt. One of the things in Brendon Burchard’s book High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way (which we just did a podcast on), talks about how whenever you’re asked to do something your first response (in your head lol) should be no. Then you should convince yourself why you should say yes/why it’s a good idea. The point behind this is you have to guard your “yes’s.” You don’t have time to do everything, you don’t need to do everything, and not every opportunity is a good opportunity.
I’m not a mom so I can’t really speak to “mom guilt” but one of the girl’s in the audience asked MA about this since MA works full time. She says that she dedicates 1 hour a week to volunteer at her daughter’s school but she doesn’t take the time out of her workday to drive back and forth to drop them off. She was saying that when it comes to feeling guilty, she just doesn’t let her mind go there; it’s not a productive use of energy to spend time thinking that way. And if anyone ever says to her at her daughter’s school anything about not seeing her around she replies, that’s because I work (insert hand claps). Marche brought up another good point on that–you should be surrounding yourself with other women that hype you up and encourage you to do what’s best for you. So one, don’t judge yourself, and two don’t let others shame you into saying no, not showing up at your kids school for pick up/drop off etc. YOU DO YOU!
-Live By Your Calendar. This is something my manager has taught me and it took me a while to get on board but once I did it has made life run a lot more seamless. Basically everything goes on my google calendar. Phone calls, meetings, dinner dates, appointments, travel, ordering groceries, etc. Every night before going to bed I check what the next day has so I’m not blindsided the next morning. Stephen and I also share a google calendar so I can see everything that is going on for him too. Putting everything on your calendar will alleviate a lot of stress because you won’t be trying to remember everything/worried if you’re missing something. Plus, you can save time by planning everything accordingly!
I think the biggest thing to remember is that we all have days where we feel like we are super disorganized and failing LOL that’s normal! But if your can implement some or all of these tips they can make your days run a lot of more smoothly overall! If you have anything to add to this list please share with all of us below 🙂 xx C