I recently led a webinar (you can access it here.) There’s a few things we can do that will (actually) make a difference & help us truly KICK BUTT as an entrepreneur.
I decided to write this because they’re THAT important. I’d love to know that a million (or more) women are living this powerfully. I know, I’m a dreamer 😉 but it’s possible!
There’s a lot to cover so let’s jump right in. I’ll also be hopping right along so grab your notebook & write everything that comes to mind as your reading. Take your time if you can, but if not, quickly jot down the first things that pop up & keep moving through the steps. You can’t do this wrong & you can always come back to it.
If you’re tired of hearing this, hang in there because I’m going to share NEW stuff with you, & if you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you need to hear this.
The cool thing about clarity is that when you know exactly what you’re clear about, it cuts out all the other time-wasting, energy sucking distractions. Which boils down to:
It’s imperative to your success to know what’s MEANINGFUL to you. Not to your partner or your kids or your boss or your clients – to YOU. Take the time to write out your vision, your desires, your loves in life.
What do you truly enjoy doing?
And now, get very clear on what it is that you DON’T enjoy doing.
Write down all of these tedious, tiresome things. Are there areas or activities that you’re just not good at? We all have them, yet we continue to keep doing them. I’m sure you’ve heard that clever saying “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over & over & expecting different results.” That’s what we’re doing when we do these activities & it’s insane to think we’ll enjoy anymore than we currently do.
Here’s some more insight on this: Our lives will not stay the same if we keep doing the same thing over & over. If you don’t like what you’re doing & you keep doing it – your life will actually get worse. There’s a constant change happening in our lives. While it might feel like we’re at a standstill, we’re moving in the direction of less joy. This will affect our health, our relationships, everything.
Don’t wait for a wake-up call!
If it seems like I’m making a big deal out of a small thing, this is often how people get diabetes or some other threatening circumstance. If there’s a small voice in you & you know things should be different, it’s time to listen to that. If you don’t, the small voice gets a little louder, you become a little more uncomfortable, you keep doing it & the day comes when your back is up against the wall. That voice has become a very loud alarm that you can no longer ignore. Don’t wait, let the small voice guide you!
Start wherever you’re at…
Get super clear on what you want to create, what life, lifestyle, business – take the time to get clarity on this. Having a vision & a plan, no matter how minimal, will always serve you immensely.
Once you have your list of what you love, it’s time to do the Rocking Chair Test. This is an interesting way to see if the life you think you’ll love is actually meaningful to you on a deeper level.
Rocking Chair Test
Imagine yourself at 80 years old. (You’ve aged beautifully, by the way!)
You’re sitting in a rocking chair (I like to imagine myself looking out to big beautiful mountains with a sunset-painted sky.) As you rock in your chair you reflect back over your life. Think about what you wrote, what you’d love to be doing. How does that feel?
It’s surprising how many times I’ve thought something was important & was a goal worth achieving, only to realize that it’s not as important as I thought it was. The Rocking Chair Test helps you to see the bigger picture & get a clearer perspective.
When you’ve simplified what you truly love, what will really matter when you’re rockin’ away at 80 years old….
I want you to think about WHY it means something to you. If you know why, you’ll absolutely figure out the HOW. (Lots more on that in other posts!)
2. Time Management
Now look at the list of all those activities you don’t love but you keep doing. Day after day, week after week.
Because you HAVE to?
No, you don’t.
Stay with me on this.
If you don’t have to & you don’t want to – then WHY are you spending your precious time on this planet doing them?
Look at the list of things you DON’T love. Get honest with yourself. Why are each of these activities something that you NEED to do?
Now….ask yourself: Why are each of these activities something YOU need to do?
What can you do to simplify those areas? Below is a list of suggestions to start this process. It’s for the things that take up TIME in our lives but they don’t have a lot of purpose (meaningfulness) but they need to get done. The ideas will help you begin to negotiate the amount of time spent on them. But first…
Limited & Unlimited Resources
Let’s take a detour & consider our most valuable resources as entrepreneurs – Time, Money & Talent. Can you guess which ones are limited resources & which are unlimited?
Believe it or not, you have unlimited talent. You have an incredible amount of gifts that you’ve only scratched the surface of. If you don’t already know this, take another moment to jot down just a few of your talents right now. Come back to this one if you’re struggling with it. You absolutely have talents that are extraordinary. Gifts & qualities that make up who you are, they are as unlimited as you let them be.
The other unlimited resource we could potentially have is money. Yes, money. You can create money, lots of money if you wanted to. People far less competent than you have done this a million times.
You can lose money & get it back. It’s a resource that can be replenished.
Which leaves Time.
You cannot lose time & get it back. Please hear that statement. You can’t lose time & get it back. It can’t be replenished.
Time is a resource that each of us has that is limited. We only have 24 hours in a day, months come & go, years pass, we don’t know when our ‘time is up’. As a 44 year old & now a mom, I’ve discovered the TRUTH in “the days are long but the years are short.”
This doesn’t have to be scary. When we can focus on time being a limited resource that once used is gone, then we can open our minds to bigger possibilities. We can take more risks. We can act more courageously.
How To Create More Time in Your Schedule
GROCERY SHOPPING – this is important. We need food. Eating out is great, but again, consider the amount of time you’re using for this. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, they offer FREE delivery within 2 hour windows. It’s part of your membership. The minimum is $30 & the only additional expense is a tip for the driver (usually $5 – $15) & that tip is def worth it. Also, once you’ve placed orders, it makes it easier to place new orders as all your items are saved. There are also other apps like InstaCart, look into these trending options & decide what works best for you.
CLEANING – we feel better & achieve more when our homes are clean. The Feng Shui, the organization, the lack of cobwebs 😉 it all goes into clearing our minds & energy to do more. Find someone through Care.com or ask for referrals. If budget is an issue then ask for the price you’re able to pay. Keep looking for the perfect fit so you feel amazing when they go on their merry way & you’re not breaking the budget to squeeze it in.
LAUNDRY – again, a necessity & if we find ourselves spending time on it that we could be using to do other more valuable activities, consider an alternative. You could ask the cleaning person you’ve hired to do one or two loads while they’re there. You could also try a convenient little app like Washio.
BOOKKEEPING – do you own a business & spend too much energy & time on this? Do you enjoy it? If not, find a professional. Again, someone you can afford & who you feel really good working with.
Some of these professional services may take some time to find the right person but the end result will open up so much for you!
CHILD CARE – For me, I had to create more time if I wanted to devote any time to my work. As a stay at home mom, it wasn’t easy & it was a transition, one that I’m still navigating. If you’re in this boat, try Care.com, a reliable babysitter, YMCA, or any resource that will provide child care so you can rest easy knowing your little ones are in good hands.
PET WALKERS – Similar to child care, if walking your dog or taking care of them during hours you could be making money & creating an extraordinary life, find some help on Care.com or ask other pet owners for referrals.
BUSINESS ACTIVITIES – Some other areas to consider besides bookkeeping are Marketing, Social Media, Website Design, etc. Look into Fiverr.com, Upwork, Virtual Assistants. Business Activities – use a ……..
VIRTUAL ASSISTANT – Once you have clarity for what you know needs to be done & what you don’t need to do yourself, find a virtual assistant to complete those tasks. Or an in person assistant. I could write SO MUCH MORE on this but then this article would be like 3000+ words (yikes!) I’ll devote a future post to this one.
ONLINE SHOPPING – I know, a tricky one. Too easy to spend spend spend with just a click! Or is that just me? It’s also important to support local businesses. Either way, think of ways you can utilize this tool to create more time in your schedule.
STREAMLINE YOUR PROCESSES – Find an automated platform to help you send emails, create landing pages, offer customer service. Make sure you have a branding board so when you have live assistance, they just need to follow a template. Consider ALL the ways you can streamline. There’s ways & you’ll find them if you just become willing to let certain tasks go.
Implementing these tools might not feel amazing overnight but they WILL create big shifts & you’ll start living a life you’re CREATING rather than one taken over by day to day responsibilities.
How to spend the time you DO have?
No matter where you’re starting from, consider what’s most important to you. Go back to the list mentioned above, the things you LOVE. These are the things to spend your time on.
If you’re happy doing what you love, how might that look in your life?
Are you with friends more? Your kids? Loved ones? Traveling?
No matter what, BE in that time 100%. Get comfortable with putting your phone away, turning off distractions & being present. Laugh more, love more & be more. These are the times that will replenish you, they give you a boost in creativity. If you have one foot in the happy places & one hand on your phone, you’ll never get to experience the pure JOY of LIFE.
Effective time management for business:
Now that we’ve gotten tons of clarity. How does your work time look? Here are some of the best ways to spend your time as an entrepreneur:
PLANNING (15 minutes per day) – Success happens when we plan for it. Start your month, your week & your days with a plan. No need to pack it full, there’s ALWAYS going to be unexpected variables.
MARKETING – Even if you have support with some aspects of marketing, it’s super helpful as an entrepreneur to get comfortable picking up the phone, meetings in person & sharing with as many people as you can exactly what results your clients experience from working with you. I’ll find another article I wrote on how to say what you do without being salesy or annoying.
CLIENTS – Nurturing these relationships is a perfect use of time. Just remember, quality over quantity. Don’t let needy or demanding clients get in the way of building other customer relationships.
DECLUTTER (15 minutes a day) – This is great for anyone who has clutter. Please tell me it’s not just me. I prefer nice, clean, white, open spaces, however, no matter what, it’s a (short) matter of time before I notice there’s more stuff collected again! The best way to stay on top of this is with consistent, measured increments. You don’t have to spend all day, just set your timer & get whatever you can sorted through & MOVE ON.
CALL MENTOR – Staying in touch with your mentors, coaches or people who are doing what you want to be doing will help you learn & grow more.
3. Self Care
Believe it or not, Self Care is a huge factor in kicking butt. And simplifying your life! When we take care of ourselves, & make it a priority, we have what we need to set boundaries & to get so much closer to a life we LOVE. Here’s ways to incorporate more self-care in your routines:
MINDSET – Get your perspective right before begin your days & activities within the days. It’s going to save you lots of time & energy.
MEDITATION – Well worth the time it takes to do it. Meditation creates more clarity, confidence, creativity & totally helps you to kick butt 😉
OXYGEN MASK – What needs to happen for you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first? In the webinar that inspired this post, I share my personal experience with this. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can access it here.
SPIRITUAL FOOD – How are you being fed spiritually? Meditation & prayer are helpful. What other ways can you include more loving spirituality in your life?
HEALTHY EATING – Speaking of food, put this one at the top of your list. It helps your brain to stay clear & keeps your stamina strong. Among many, many other benefits.
EXERCISE – Personally, not a big fan, I just find ways that make it fun (& easy) for me. I walk the kids to the store using the stroller. I pull out my yoga mat, I take a few classes here & there. Occasionally if I’m stressed I might do some jumping jacks to release the nervous energy. Find something that works for you.
NURTURE – What kind of self-talk or self-love do you practice? Are your relationships nurturing? Very important to your self-worth & kicking butt!
SOCIAL TIME – We talked about this above, does the vision of your life include more time with friends? This is an act of self care. It helps you live longer & happier. Build your relationships & find new ones!
There’s so much more to say about Self Care! I realized this article was getting very looooong so I’m trying to keep it short. Not really, but hopefully you found lots of ideas & inspiration in here for what you need to simplify your life & kick butt!
What helped you the most? Comment below & let us know. What tools will you be using? What strategies could you start right now? And where were you falling behind in self-care? What can you do TODAY to make YOU a priority?