Thank you for coming over and deciding to take a POSITIVE first step in getting your over-booked life under control!
Fortunately it IS possible to gain the skills to totally turn your day around from being a treadmill of tasks, to a focused and well-organized list of actions you’re excited about getting done – and most importantly – that you CAN actually get done! So lets get to it!
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First it’s critical to get clear on what you’re filling your day with. I’d like you look at your calendar from last week very carefully. Is your list reasonable? Are you creating your day to purposely fail – in other words it’s obvious that there is no way in heaven or hell that you can possibly do everything on your list?
Also, when you make your list, are you one of those people who as the day goes on keeps adding more and more things onto the list until you can’t keep on schedule and everything is running over, going from one appointment into another until you feel like a hamster on a treadmill with anxiety setting in?
If you’re doing either of the above – then you’re creating drama and that needs to stop now! Let me give you an example of this so that we are crystal clear here.
I asked my client Cindy to give me a list of her tasks for a typical week so that I could see why she has was having so much trouble focusing on her business and getting anything done – considering she insisted that she was very organized.
The idea was to see why she always was feeling so anxious, stressed, and uncreative in her business. The picture you’re looking at is a reproduction of her actual calendar for the week. One of the most obvious things you can see is that she’s one of those folks who makes a list and then as she goes along keeps filling in things along the way. She’s what I call an official calendar stuffer!
So one of the first issues with Cindy was to get her to realize how much stress she was causing herself by not sticking to her original plan. Her original plan was not bad – she was careful to time her tasks so that she could get them done plus have a little extra emergency time built in – that is before she went and stuck all that extra stuff into her day.
The question to ask yourself now is whether or not your calendar resembles Cindy’s in any way, shape or form – and if so – you now know you need to strip your calendar of anything other than what YOU need to get done. Your agenda needs to be your agenda not a list of everyone else’s agendas and chores that they’re too lazy or busy to do themselves. Let others deal with their stuff and learn to say NO so you don’t stress yourself out.
My second tip is: use a time-block calendar – seriously. Now we just talked about how to create a list of activities that you can actually get done in a day. But the best way to get those items done is by organizing them in a manner that is most efficient according to the way your brain functions. Let me explain.
For most folks it’s best when they organize their day according to right brain and left brain activities. One of the fastest ways to shut down your creative process is by doing a bunch of technically minded activities and then switching over to creative ones.
So if you know you need to create a blog post or work on a package or product you are creating, or if you are writing the text for a video series you want to film – all those kinds of creative tasks should be time-blocked together.
If you have to answer emails, write your weekly newsletter, do accounting, or make some tweaks on your website – anything technical using your analytical brain – they should also be blocked together.
The creative process is about letting go of your thinking and being a channel – doing technical tasks requires thinking which closes the channel.
So then, all creative activities are best scheduled first thing in the morning when you are fresh out of dreaming and at your most creative and open. This will have your brain working in the most productive way and will drastically cut down on the amount of headaches you experience in a week!
If you need to talk to clients, a certain energy goes with that kind of activity too, I call it “presence,” and those calls should be made back to back. That way you are in “serving clients mode,” out of your own mind and concerns, and totally present for them.
Looking back at Cindy’s calendar we can see that with the way she has her calendar arranged there’s no way she’s going to be able to be creative or present for her clients.All her free creative time is late in the day when she’s probably experiencing an energy slump and already has done so much technical work that she can’t get her right brain to engage.
Simply by reorganizing Cindy’s calendar into time-blocks that make sense, she can be open to her creative flow and not feel stressed to create later in the day when she’s tired and running behind.
And now here is my third and final juicy tip! My suggestion is to ask yourself REALLY HONESTLY which tasks can be done by someone else other than you. Are you just telling yourself that you’re the only one who can do these things, because I doubt that’s true!
Are you being stubborn and controlling, not wanting to let go of having everything done your way and only your way? Most folks I work with argue with me on this one and will insist that only they can do x,y + z – or that it takes sooooo long to tell someone what to do that they might as well just do it themselves (this is a personal favorite of mine).
Truly, the art of creating an excellent schedule involves learning to delegate everything that’s not your genus both in your life and your business. Think of it this way. What are you worth an hour? If you’re worth $200 per hour for example, and you’re doing menial errands and tasks that an assistant, a college student or even your own kids can do for $10-20 an hour then you’re wasting your time and disrespecting yourself.
By going over Cindy’s calendar there are definitely things that her kids could do that would take the burden off of her allowing her to become more productive and increase her income. By doing that she would be able to hire more help and take even more nonsense off her plate so that she becomes totally focused on what she loves to do, which makes her the most money, and most importantly – makes her heart sing!
So what do you think about these three tips? Do you find yourself guilty of engaging in one or even all of the behaviors I discussed? If so consider yourself typical.
Thankfully there is a cure for this condition and just following the 3 tips I discussed today you will find your sanity level goes up at least 50%. Of course there are other tips and techniques for getting your life more manageable (like saying NO more often!) but we only had time here for my favorite three.
If you feel like you could use some further help in getting your schedule and life back on track, and if you’ve had it with stress and anxiety in your life – you’re welcome to connect with me for a free “Obliviate Overwhelm” 30 minute consultation, I’d love to help.
It would be wonderful to have the opportunity to get you more productive and feeling less anxious and stressed so you increase your income and sanity at the same time! If you’re interested simply make an appointment here.
The bottom line is that there’s no reason for any of us to be creating stress, anxiety and overwhelm in our lives. None. Life today is fast paced enough – we don’t need to add to it by trying to get the impossible done in a day and then by trying to argue for our right to do so.
Sometimes we’re just blindsided to what we’re doing and it helps to have an objective prospective on what we’ve created so that we can get clarity and a plan. That way we can be more present for our clients, ourselves, our family and our friends.
So let’s make the choice to stop sabotaging our success, and up our level of awareness about what we’re creating in our lives. I’d love to hear your opinion on all of this and what is your favorite technique for keeping your life out of the overwhelm zone!
To your success,