I know that many people say to me, “Barb how do you get it all done?” From the outside it looks like a lot, and it is, but from the inside it doesn’t feel that way. I want to share three things with you that help me manage everything and still spend time with my family.
First, I know I have been sharing what I have been doing, but I thought I would make a list for you so you can get an idea of time required and commitments.
- BLITZ Business Success – coaching, EClub, speaking, training, travel, events, clients, contractors, marketing, etc.
- Personal Development – my coach, travel, online, reading, exercise, meditation
- College Teaching – two classes, prep, printing, office time
- Advisory Chair – preparation, meetings
- EB Council member – meetings, travel
- eWomen leadership member – accelerated networking, leadership meetings, facilitation
- Family – dinner, events, holidays, programs, shuttle
- Church – volunteer, teach, committee
- Your Business with Barb – weekly TV Show – invite guest, organize, prep, show
Your list will be different but I know it is likely as full. I want you to know that sometimes I am rushed and sometimes I am not, but my stress level is very low almost all the time.
The first, most important thing to do is plan how you will be able to manage everything you do. Like planning for your business you need to plan for your life as well. I’m not suggesting you need a full written plan, but there are a few things you need to know in the concrete sense.
- How much time do you have free?
- How much time does each activity take?
- What times are negotiable and which are not?
When you are making a decision to take on new work, new clients, new volunteer time, or a new direction you need to be very aware of how much time you have to spare. Be careful to take into account everything you are doing so that you don’t say yes to something that takes away from your commitment to something or someone else.
Related Topic: Weigh Your Decisions: The right choice at the right time
This is my specialty. The assistant producer of my TV show says she loves to work with me because I am so organized. Really it is because I am so lazy. I did not want to have to do the same things every week and spend time thinking about them, so I wrote a standard template letter for my guests to give them all the information for the show, what I needed, where they had to be, and what to expect. All I have to do is put their name and the show date/topic in the body of the message and CC the producer. It took me over an hour to write it initially and go back and tweak it with suggestions and feedback, but now it takes me about 10 seconds to get people the information they need.
Create a process around everything that you have to do over and over and you will save yourself incredible amounts of time.
Let it Go
I cannot get it all done, always. This is the key to know and not get upset about. I made the eWomen meeting every month down in Toronto for 7 months in a row. I have to drive 1.5 hours to get there, so it is a 6-7 hour commitment. I love the meetings and the people so it is also worth my time. In September I decided to take on two courses at the local college. Teaching entrepreneurship is a dream, plus it also pays. So when I realized I now could not make any meetings on Wednesday or Thursday nights I was initially sad. Then, I let it go. I will be there every time I can, and I will focus on my priorities to be able to do that, even when it means I cannot.
If you have a conflict, choose the one that most aligns with your priorities and passion and let the other one go. If you find you cannot make any of the meetings then it may be time to step away from the commitment completely.
Remember, if you take care of yourself you will be well enough to take care of others, but if you try to take care of everyone, no one will benefit, especially not you.