Updated: Jul 21, 2022
One of the questions I am asked most frequently is "how do you get everything done?"
While I am always flattered, it's been a process to master my routine and figure out how to make everything work. I'm a corporate exec and original team member at a start-up that's scaled to 1,000 team members, and 9 locations in 6 states over the last 8 years. I've also run several successful coaching and consulting businesses, and a nonprofit, simultaneously over the last 12 years. I volunteer regularly with my favorite charities, and most importantly I'm a wife and mom of three very active kids! To fit all of this in and maintain any level of sanity, I had to figure this out!
I realized early on that structure and consistency were going to be critical to maximizing productivity and getting things done. I (eventually) acknowledged that I had to get out of my own way and ask for help as soon as I identified a need. I also do a pulse check regularly on my schedule to make sure it's still providing me the ability to get everything done well that's on my to-do list.
It's been a busy season of life recently but I took some time to reflect on where I am in relation to where I want to be, and it's been SUPER helpful as I've prioritized my goals and created an updated schedule now that the school year is about to start.
I also made a list of non-negotiables to help give me the structure I need to stay on track.
Here's what I've committed to:
⚡️ Prepping the night before for the morning so I can be as productive as possible before the kids get up. This means having a to-do list ready, lemon water prepped, coffee scheduled to brew, journal accessible, and laptop charged so I don't waste time in a pre-caffeinated fog wondering what I need to do next. Pretty much everything on the to-do list for the day is also on a master weekly list that I complete on Sunday. A "zoom out" of the week helps me prioritize each day based on due dates, urgency, etc.
⚡️ Sticking to my morning routine, including exercise and fueling my body properly with my favorite protein shake, vitamins, and supplements so I have energy and can get everything done while keeping myself healthy and strong. My Vitamix has truly become one of my favorite things and I look forward to my morning smoothie to get me started. Most importantly, I fill up my "cup" first by doing something that lights my soul on fire before jumping into work-related tasks or checking emails. It's amazing how much more energy I have and how much more I enjoy the rest of my day when I've done something for me in the morning.
⚡️ Clear boundaries and the confidence to say NO to anything that isn't in alignment with my goals. This one has been HUGE! Anytime you don't do this, you're giving someone permission to push your boundaries again. 2020 gave us all a different perspective about what we do and don't want back on our agendas. Be honest with yourself and evaluate where you're spending your time and with whom. Set your boundaries and stick to them!
⚡️ Scheduled time blocks for tasks that have to get done that day and the commitment to not allow interruptions unless it's an absolute emergency (Pro tip: do the thing you don't want to do first so it's out of the way and you don't procrastinate.) Tasks will expand to the amount of time you allot, so if you're struggling to get things done in a timely manner, try attaching an amount of time to the task that it needs to be completed within.
⚡️ Shutting down from dinner time and on, so I can be present with my kids and give my brain time to rest.
⚡️ Not canceling on myself. It's easy to keep bumping things to the next day/next week, but if it's on the list of priorities for the next level, I will make daily progress until it's done. 🙌🏼
These are just a few examples of what has worked for me over the years and what I know will help me be successful as we head into the school year. The most important thing you can do is evaluate where you are vs. where you want to be. Then, figure out what needs to get done, and take an honest look at your schedule. Oftentimes there are time leaks throughout the day, but with a little pre-planning and structure, you can maximize your day!
What do you do to help you stay on track? Let me know! I am always looking for new tips and tricks to optimize my day and life!