I am not proud of this story …
This week, I caught myself underprepared and stressed because there is no freaking way I am going to get “it all” done in time! For me this week brings an online course launch, a new podcast episode, the beginning stages of two new books and, of course, taking care of my 1:1 clients and raising four little girls (and the list goes on)!
If you are anything like me, you want to do a good job with everything you do, but when your plate is this full, that seems nearly impossible. When things get this crazy it is easy to let overwhelm take over and just shut down. And you know what? Sometimes I do just shut down. Not for long and not for good, but sometimes I have to just step away from it all and regroup.
Overwhelmed and unproductive.
Do you ever feel this way? How many times have you found yourself so overwhelmed by your to-do list that, rather than being productive, you stare blankly at your social media feed? Or maybe your drug of choice is a Netflix binge. Personally, I say screw it and go for a pedicure — in fact, I did just that yesterday. Whatever it is, clearly you are using your time in a way that doesn’t align with your priorities. And a nasty side effect of misusing your time is knowing it and then there is that nasty feeling of shame that washes over you. Yuck.
Do you feel like you are continuously running behind? Like you are playing a perpetual game of catch up? Do you see others that look like they have all of the time in the world and are still productive? Wondering why this can’t be you?
Here’s the good news!
It can be you. By trying a few new things and being really honest with yourself you can get out of this head game with yourself and really do some extraordinary things.
When my clients come to me in this headspace, I have them take stock of how they want to spend their time. We deep dive into what feels bad, what would feel better, and how we can get them to their desired goal! This is all deeply related to actions – the actions they want or need to be doing in order to push them, happily, in the right direction. We then compare that to what actions they are actually taking – or, in some cases, what are they doing that no longer serves them!
Remember, you are NOT stuck.
I developed this handy little “Action Brainstorming” worksheet (download it now, my gift!). But, before you get started it is super important to figure out what you really, truly want. How do you want to be spending your time? Do your systems, processes, plans, and desires all fit into buckets that make you happy?
Then start list making! This worksheet helps you identify what you want to do with your actions: Stop, Do Less, Keep doing, Do more, and Start. Everything fits into one of these categories!
Let’s break it down even further.
These are the things which you need to cut out entirely. Checking email every 15 minutes is not serving you. We all know it so stop doing it! It’s important to halt things that do not move us forward as people or as business owners.
What do you need to cut back? What are the things on your list that you know are good but, maybe don’t need to happen constantly? For me, it was blogging! I did not need to be blogging weekly and it was seriously stressing me out to do so. Now I do it twice a month and it feels great!
This is your sweet spot. You’re taking action and doing so at an appropriate level! Good job! Be sure to note it, honor it, and build it into your schedule!
Where can you focus more time and energy? Which areas could afford more intention? These are areas that you straight up know need your attention but you have been putting them off for one reason or another. Want to talk more about this? Set up a virtual coffee chat with me and we can dig in.
This is the most exciting space. What are the things that you know (really, deeply know) will move the needle for you? Areas where if you focus on your energy, jump in and simply begin, the potential is truly unlimited.
The Time is Now
It’s true, I am not proud of the story I shared at the beginning of the post. But I am proud to know that I can get myself out of this mess. I am not stuck. All of us have a million and one things to do at a time and only 24 hours in a day. Setting some time aside to really access what is working for you and what you want to shift will help you optimize your time. This worksheet will help you get moving in the right direction. Complete it now, and reassess frequently.
The future is YOURS!