I wrote this blog post over a year a half ago, the examples in it aren't true in my life anymore (Conversation Piece is no more, we don't focus on our online store at Chelsea's, I don't work 13 hrs a day because I don't need to, to feel accomplished [this was a major break through!]) but the content is so good I wanted to share it again with you! I thought about editing it, I actually even started to, but I stopped myself. Because I am working on pushing things out in this world, providing content, even when I'm not 100% happy with it. Why? Because I want you to see that things don't have to be perfect in order to share them. So, here we go!
Who can relate to the title of this blog?
"I just have to get through this first.... then I can take more time for myself."
"I just have to get Chelsea's Boutique back on track and I can move forward with growing it online again. I just have to get through the opening of Conversation Piece and I can get back to working out and meal prepping again. I just have to get through Style and the City, being gone for a week in Lake Tahoe, Dallas market, training the new manager and the weird schedule of the 4th of July being on a Tuesday and I'll be able to get back to taking time to gratitude journal in the morning, read before bed, mediate and work on my art."
I am guilty for every. single. one. of those statements above. The past 8 months of my life have been those constant statements.
So, even though my schedule has been jam packed for at least the past 4 months. Even though my average work day has been around 13hrs. I still go to bed every night feeling this low sense of accomplishment because there's so much to do and never enough time to get it all done. I like to call this, 'the curse of the entrepreneur'.
If I were to pole 100 entrepreneurs and ask them if they go to bed with these same thoughts, I guarantee the feedback would be close to 90 of those 100 people agreeing with the statement. The reason the other 10 disagree? Because they've done this gig for a VERY long time. They've been through those feelings once before in their lifetime, but they're polished now, and they know exactly how to fight through those feelings of 'never being or doing enough'.
Let's get real for a minute. There are never enough hours in the day and there will never BE enough hours in the day to check off every last task on your to-do list. So how do we get through this constant cycle of wanting to get it all done but never having enough time?
Honestly, I'm not 100% sure. But what I am sure of, is that I'm not alone. I've read books and articles and listened to sooo many podcasts on this exact issue and I'm going to share with you some ideas and techniques I'm starting to implement to help me in the right direction.
This idea comes from my beautiful friend Sarah Werner and her podcast: The Write Now Podcast with Sarah Werner. In episode #55 she breaks down time blocking and gives you more insight into how she uses it to get things done. Here's the episode: http://www.sarahwerner.com/how-to-prioritize-your-writing-wn-055/
For me, this has been a life changer so far. I constantly feel like there's so much to do so sometimes it's almost like I'm frozen and unsure what step forward I should take first that I have a hard time even beginning something. So, I've started breaking down my weeks, days and hours.
My schedule goes something like this:
Monday - Chelsea's Boutique - team meetings & individual meetings
Tuesday - Conversation Piece - team meeting & marketing
Wednesday - Chelsea's Boutique - floor set up, marketing, newsletters
Thursday - Style by Chelsea - blog posts, marketing, newsletter
Friday - Chelsea's Boutique - ordering, prepping for the weekend
Saturday - 1/2 day of relaxation, painting, working on personal goals
Sunday - Prepping for the week - time blocking, housework, meal prep
And then within each of those days, I time block out my entire day. So, for today, my schedule looks something like this:
Now, this may seem monotonous to you, maybe even a little overwhelming. My goal to you, just try to do it for one day. Don't plan out your entire week into every hour, just start with tomorrow, or Thursday. But do it, implement it into your life, and I promise you, you won't regret it and you'll be surprised by how much more you actually get accomplished in a day.
Start with a Full Tank
Make sure you're starting your day on the right foot. That you are getting up with plenty of time in the morning and you're not feeling rushed or in a hurry. This will make a HUGE difference. When I am able to get up early, have a cup of coffee, hit the gym, do my gratitude journaling and reflect on the day, that's when I have the most productive days of all.
Turn your notifications OFF
Okay, this one may freak some of you out, but it's a total game changer. I turn OFF those constant notifications I get on my phone and almost always have my phone set on vibrate. Tried calling me and I don't answer? Shoot me a text and don't hear back from me for hours? No, I'm not ignoring you, I'm head down and focused on what's in front of me because I'm not concerned with my phone and all the little dings it makes.
You don't need to be updated every time someone posts a new dog photo on Facebook, or you get a new junk email or group text alert.
SHUT. IT. DOWN.
Every time I get interrupted by a notification on my phone I lose work time. My mind stops, processes the information that just came across, I usually have to dig further into it and by the time I try to figure out what the heck I was doing before the notification came in, an hour has already been wasted and I'm deep into Youtube videos or going through the infinite scroll of Pinterest.
We've all been there. Stop it before it happens. Set your phone to receive important notifications, like phone calls from your kids or business. And for heaven sakes, turn off all social media notifications. There's even some awesome apps out there that can help you with this! Check out AppBlock, an app that allows you to block certain apps for specific days or times.
Take a Minute, or Thirty!
When you feel like you're falling behind or your to-do list keeps doubling for the day, the last thing on your mind is taking 30 minutes to just simply go on a walk. Stop what you're doing, get into nature, play a video game, hit the gym or whatever it is that helps get your mind refocused or re-set, and just do it! Know you have a big, stressful day coming up? Schedule a 30 min relaxation into your day, because if you're like me, if it's not on my calendar, it does. not. happen. Period.
Give Yourself Grace
This is the last tip and definitely the most important one. Have some grace with yourself. It's okay to take a day off here and there, it's okay to binge watch netflix for a few hours, and it's certainly OKAY and needed to remind yourself just how awesome you are. You, WE are incredibly imperfect humans and we need to give ourselves grace for all of those imperfections and for not getting it all done and accomplishing it all, right now. Please, put the hammer down, stop beating yourself up. (This one, I'm still really working on)
So, there you have it. My top 5 tips on getting it done. Stop with the "I just have to get through this first...." comments. Stop making up excuses and reasons as to why you're not tackling that to-do list, accomplishing those goals and making your life so freaking incredible!
My promise to you? (and I hope you'll keep me accountable) A new blog post every two weeks. Because this part of my life, writing these posts, inspiring others and talking from my heart, this is what fills my cup to the brim. And I don't want to keep putting it off to keep getting everything else "done."
Until next time,
"Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path" -Mark Batterson