In the last few weeks, I’ve become unbelievably obsessed with planning, plotting, scheduling, and time managing the shit out of my life and business.
I’ve literally made it my business to challenge how much I can accomplish, to remain positive in the face of overwhelm and to push myself to (and past) my own limits in the interest of growth.
Slow clap for trying.
Have you ever done this?
- Overloaded your plate with projects and work because you have lots of ideas and you’re excited about all of them?
- Taken on too much because you know you’re a rock star… so, if anyone can do it OBVIOUSLY it’s you?
- Blocked off chunks of time in your day to get shit done and allotting specific hours to specific projects (that’s the ONLY way to get it done, right?)…
If you’re even a teensy bit as (driven/ambitious/motivated/insane) as I am, I’m going to guess that you have. Because you want to feel useful, you want to feel productive, you want to contribute. And the more work you do, the more you are helping, living your purpose, and maybe even generating extra income depending on what that looks like for you.
But babydoll, this shit just doesn’t always work.
Personal confession time: between this noble attempt and the Thanksgiving holiday this week I took a hard nosedive into stressed-beyond-repair. (Thank god for prescription migraine meds, or I would be out of commission for the rest of the weekend!)
Here’s why this doesn’t fucking work… and what I recommend instead… and I swear, I’m taking my own medicine this time too.
1. What will make YOU happy?
Maybe you can get it all done. Maybe you can clear some decent cash. Maybe you can even maintain a high level of quality in your work… but are you feeling happy? Or are you resentful, exhausted, burnt out, or running on fumes? I actually have a targeted method of telling if I’m over extended, and this is it: am I laughing at my own jokes? Because usually, with the amount of bad jokes I tell (they can’t all be winners, people), I can at least make myself laugh. If I’m not laughing… I know something is wrong.
So think about YOU on your best day. What does that look like for you? And what immediately changes in your energy or reactions when you’re stressed? Use that as a cue and ask yourself… what has to change, and what do I need to let go of, in order to feel light again?
2. Stop making your calendar a game of Tetris.
Gaming is cool, and I highly recommend some mindless Candy Crush if you need to unwind. But turning your time management into allotted blocks that move around is fucking stupid. Because time just doesn’t work that way.
I’m not going to go into some metaphysical tirade about how not all time is the same but listen: NOT ALL TIME IS THE SAME. You know how sometimes you have an hour where you just plow through your entire to-do list without blinking an eye? And then sometimes you stare at the computer screen like it’s a bad, foreign film with no subtitles like WHAT DO I DO WITH YOU? Yeah… that’s real life. Sometimes time is productive and sometimes it isn’t. And that’s OK. So what works better? Following the rule of three. Three projects per week, three items per day, three tasks per hour – and let go of the non-priority stuff. Get stuff done during the hours you are MOST productive and let the rest GO.
3. Don’t try to do everything alone.
Instead: delegate work, hire out, and schedule some time for support. Because you’ll need it. And when you do get that support, LISTEN to your friends and family. Even if you want to be a stubborn, overly busy, workaholic superwoman… these people know you best and they’ll tell you to slow the fuck down! And here’s the thing: they’re right. There’s some legit science behind this, and when I do the actual research I’ll be sure to share it with you, but what matters is this: you’re not always THE best at doing what’s best for you. You’re not programmed to be selfish. You’re programmed to care – and thank gawd your friends and family are programmed to care about you – so listen to them.
(Special shout out to my girl Erin Lindstrom who saved my ass this week by helping me get off the Hot Mess Express.)
And in honor of taking work off of your plate, Erin and I have created a one-stop-funnel-shop. OOoohhhh yeahhhh. If that sounds like something you need help with, you can get the deets right here.