One of the things I constantly seem to do is over commit and spread myself too thin. Why? Because I find it hard to say “ NO”. I want to do everything and be able to help everyone that asks, but in reality I cannot. I found that out during this last year so I decided to take a step back in 2014 and learn what I can do to still help those that are in need but in a way that I am not over-extending myself in the process.
I decided to take a much needed break from social media this past holiday season. For me it was necessary as I was completely exhausted, stressed beyond my limits,and noticed my personality changing. It made me want to shout from the rooftops “LET ME BE!” and to tell people that I have a life outside just the portion they could see. I took the time to do things that were fun, spent time with family and friends, and the cutest little munchkins on the planet. I baked, and hosted holiday parties, but most importantly, I enjoyed the season. Yes my spirit came alive this year.
We are all guilty of this; I’m notorious for spreading myself too thin. It will catch up with you if it has not already. So what can you do about it? Here are some tips I hope will help you not only be able to say “No” but to also understand that it is ok to do so. You achieve success not by working, more but working less. Simply put, trying to do too much doesn’t work. If you prioritize your time and attention, and focus on the most important things, you will accomplish much.
I learned these tips from a leadership conference I went to a few years ago when I was working in the corporate world so glad I recently stumbled across my notes, and it makes absolutely perfect sense to me. I also think these are applicable for those of us who are stay-at-home Moms as well. When you think about it all we want, and are looking for, is the ability to balance our lives.
- Instead of a “To Do List” make it a “Should Do’s” list
- Family comes first. Often we bury ourselves so much in our work that it bleeds us dry. I don’t know about you but as the trainer I heard speak on this very topic said, “I want my business to allow me to support and love the life I want to have”. So often we allow work, and responsibilities to consume us that they eventually take over; leaving us running around trying to fit in our own lives somewhere in between.
- Put all family appointments on your calendar: Working out, picking up the children, children’s activities, personal time for you, and date night with the husband Anything that needs to be scheduled goes on the calendar.
- Whether you work at home or outside the home, schedule time one or two days a week strictly to get caught up. We are all guilty of saying “I don’t have enough time in my day to get things done.” I hear that everyday. Take some time to answer non-urgent e-mails, return phone calls, do your blog writing, plan your projects and, get caught up with what’s on your plate. Do not plan appointments on these days, and if you choose days that are at the beginning and end of the week it leaves you time in between and, most importantly, time to enjoy the weekend.
- Time blocking. This is when you block time for your business clients. Another great tip I heard was when you meet a new client for the first time, and after a contract has been signed, block out, and schedule any future appointments in order to get them on the calendar right away. This allows you to see what free time you do have. This will also be of benefit for the stay-at-home moms.
- When meeting with a client(s), schedule your meetings for the same day/time each week. It makes it much easier for both of you to remember.
- Some of your clients may need you in person, but not everyone does. What you can discuss over lunch or coffee, you can usually discuss over the phone or via Skype. You will save yourself not only drive time but also wasted time.
These are just a few of the ways you can find some organization, and balance in your life so that you’re not spreading yourself so thin. Saying “No” is hard, but in time, you will be better off, and your own family and lifestyle will not suffer because of it!