Category Archives: time management

Here’s What I Know About You

Here’s what I know about you.

You’re exhausted.

You’re feeling pulled in too many directions.

There’s too much on your plate.

And you are tired of feeling this way.

You desire the time to spend with your kids without thinking of all the tasks not being done.

You desire to know that you’re completing your work tasks in a timely manner and that you’re home for bedtime each night.

You want something to change.

I have just the thing! Work with me!

If you give yourself this gift of time, you can expect to learn how to:

  • Shift your mindset from I must do it all today to I am going to focus on these specific tasks today.
  • Identify the right tasks and priorities to focus on each day. The tasks that are moving you, your business (or career), and your family forward.
  • Uncover where your time is going and why.
  • Create simple routines and systems to keep your life running smoothly from day to day. And get your family involved!
  • Learn to say no to any commitment or task that isn’t a ‘heck yes!’ from the beginning.
  • Be more proactive with your time. No more spending your days putting out fires.
  • Shift your routines as life changes. Because you know things change.

Schedule a call with me to talk about how you can make these changes in your life!

Your future self will thank you!

What Are You Escaping?

I know my life is reaching a point of overwhelm when there are too many post-it notes. When I feel like all I’m doing is creating to-do lists. But not actually doing any of the tasks on the post-its or lists.

When this happens, I take a few minutes to get all the tasks and ideas out of my head. Then figure out what really needs to happen right now, today, or this week.

When we have a sense of our commitments, it’s easier to say yes or no to something. If it’s a work project, we can talk about renegotiating deadlines. If it’s a volunteer commitment, we know if have the time to give. If it’s our kids asking to do one more activity, we can have a conversation as a family about whether it makes sense or will lead to more overwhelm.

How many things have you said yes to in your life because:

what are you escaping
  1. Didn’t know how to say no at the moment?
  2. Felt obligated to do it even though you really didn’t want to?

Remember that every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else.

And sometimes we have to say no to something that seems like a great opportunity because we know that there’s a better one out there. (Or, we know we need to leave breathing room in our schedules). Make sure that yes is worth it.

I want you to design a life that you don’t need to escape from. One that doesn’t have you dreading every Monday. Where you aren’t resentful of the activities you and your family are committed to outside of work and school.

It’s a life full of activities and tasks that deserve to be there.

This takes time and reflection, both of which I know you feel you don’t have enough. But we can change that, together!

What Do You Value?

Really, what do you value?

One of the reasons I do this work is because I value time. Yours and mine.

You’ve heard me say this before, moms do too much.

We are told that in order to have it all, we have to do it all.

And I don’t buy it. And I’m on a mission to change this.

I want moms to feel like they have time to have fun with their kids. To spend time with their partner and their friends. And to not feel guilty about all the things that aren’t getting done while they’re out having fun!

Yes, parenting is hard. Yes, it’s often exhausting and overwhelming.

But we don’t have to spend our days simply flinging from one task to another without end.

So if you value your time and you’re ready for things to change, let’s talk. Schedule a Get On Track call today.

moms do too much

And if you’re still coming up with excuses, here are a few reasons why scheduling this call could be just the thing you need!

  1. Feel pulled in too many directions? No more days of too many tasks on that list. You know what your priorities are and how to approach each day, no matter what it throws at you.
  2. Think there’s not enough time to do it all? Create time to spend with your family and on yourself. Watch a movie? Yes please! Spend a weekend away with friends? Heck yes! Know things are getting done and create time for fun too.
  3. Grumbled at that work project your boss just gave you? You know how to break it down into small steps that are achievable. You’re ahead of the game now!
  4. Tired of all the activities? You were just asked to be on the PTA. Your kids just asked to join yet another sport. You know if it fits in with your life and whether it’s a heck yes from the beginning.
  5. Is life constantly throwing changes your way? You got this! You know how to evaluate what’s working and what’s not and shift routines and systems as needed.

I look forward to chatting with you!

You Are Not Your To-Do List

That’s right, you are not your to-do list!

Our society will have you believe that your worth is wrapped up in how much you get done each day.

I’m here to tell you that it’s not.

Your worth has nothing to do with how clean and organized your house is.

you are not your to-do list

It has nothing to do with how much you get done each day.

It’s not even connected to how many activities your kids do each week or how good they are at any of them.

And it’s most definitely not connected to whether or not your kid’s clothes match when they leave the house (or if they brushed their hair).

You are not your to-do list.

You are worthy simply because of who you are.

From One To The Next

As I write this, I’m sitting on the couch, still drinking coffee (and still in my PJs). The kids are at school (my husband has morning drop-off).

Looking at my to-do list for today it has more than simply work tasks on it. I need to change the sheets, get my kids signed up for swim lessons, and schedule a dentist appointment.

One of the reasons moms are so exhausted is they’re never just focusing on work or just focusing on their kids.

You are constantly switching between tasks. And that constant switching is exhausting. You’re never focused on one thing. There are many things rolling through your brain.

You likely thought of 6 things you need to do today just while reading this email!

The mental labor of keeping a household running is exhausting and overwhelming.

So, what can we do about it?

First, start with a brain dump. Get all the tasks and ideas out of your head. Your brain was not meant to hold more than 4-5 ideas at a time. You don’t need to remember that you need toothpaste, write it down and stop thinking about it!

one to the next

This step alone is helpful. And it can be overwhelming to see all those tasks listed in front of you. You don’t have to do all those tasks today! I promise.

Having them documented helps you categorize them. So you can run all your errands at once instead of going to the grocery store or Target 5 times over 2 weeks.

The other tip I have for you is time blocking. Have certain times of the week or day when you complete certain tasks. I have Monday morning blocked off for all my marketing tasks. I have a checklist of everything I need to do. My calendar is blocked so people can’t schedule appointments with me until after 10am. I sit down and work my way through my checklist.

Same for laundry. I have certain days of the week I do laundry. I’ll do the occasional load if necessary. But for the most part, if your laundry isn’t in the laundry basket when laundry is done, it isn’t getting clean!

What can you time block for yourself this week? It could be a work task or a household chore.

Dads Don’t Babysit

When you see a dad at the playground with his kids, what’s the first thing that goes through your head? Is it different than what you’d think about a mom at the playground?

When your partner takes care of the kids for an afternoon while you run errands or hang out with some girlfriends, what is going through your mind?

dads don't babysit

When I or my husband heads out for an evening with friends, the other one is fully in charge of the kids. That means if there’s a meltdown happening as I head out the door, I leave. Because my husband is also a parent and he can handle it. But I’ve had friends bail on dinner because one of their kids was having a tough time going to bed.

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. If you feel your kids need you, then give them that attention.

But if you’re staying because you don’t think your partner can handle it, let’s talk about that.

There is this double standard in our society. When dads do something like take their kids to the park, we see it as this hero move. Oh, look at him, spending time with his kids. He’s such a good dad.

Yet, I could guarantee you we don’t say that about moms. When we see a mom at the park, it’s not a big deal. We’ll judge her for being on her phone or not playing with her kids. Maybe the kid falls down – it’s the mom’s fault. Not just what kids do.

My husband doesn’t babysit. He’s not a hero for taking the kids to the park or sitting down to play legos with them. He’s a dad. This is what parents do.

I’ll stay off my soap box for how our society has created this mess and how we feed right into it as parents.

But remember this, dads don’t babysit!

Do You Use The Word Busy As A Defense Mechanism?

“Busy is just a euphemism for being so focused on what you don’t have that you never notice what you do. It’s a defense mechanism. Because if you stop hustling—if you pause—you start wondering why you ever thought you wanted all those things.” ― Jodi Picoult, Wish You Were Here

I was talking with several parents about all the after-school activities they were doing. And someone said she does all the activities because everyone else in her neighborhood did too. What if she skipped out on soccer and her kids missed out spending time with the other kids on the block?

And while I can understand that mentality, what if there are other parents doing the same thing? What if out of five families on the block, only 2 of them enjoy soccer. And the others are doing it because they feel like that’s the only way for their kids to have friends or spend time with others?

What if one of them stopped for a season? Chose a different activity? Or let the kids ride their bikes instead of attending a structured activity?

Jumping off the hamster wheel can be scary.

It’s easy to fall into this pattern of doing what we’ve always done. Of taking on the activities of those around us. Believing that by cultivating our kids skills they will grow up to be successful adults.

And we don’t spend much time thinking about it because we feel we don’t have the luxury of that time.

Our society has us constantly striving for the next best thing. We rarely take the time to evaluate what we’re doing and if it’s what we really want.

My challenge for you this week is to take even a few minutes. Take 20 minutes and evaluate all the activities in your life.

  • Think about how you want to be living your life. What do you want your days to look like? What memories do you want to have when you look back on your kids’ childhoods?
  • Write down all the activities you and your family are doing (outside of school and work).
  • Do these activities fit within what you want your life to look like?
    • If yes, great!
    • If not, how can you let them go?

By taking the time to evaluate the activities in your life, you will likely find something you can let go of. You’ll get some time back in your schedule to focus on something you truly want to be doing.

You’ll find that there isn’t clutter in every crevice of your day!

And your future self will thank you!

P.S. Ready to take this further? Schedule a Get on Track call.

Are You Often Striving For Perfection?

Do you have such high expectations of yourself that you feel like you are never living up to them?

That you are constantly striving for perfection and it’s never enough?

Maybe you spend time late at night cleaning the house so it’s organized and clean all the time.

Or you stay up late perfecting a report for work, a presentation you’re giving, or an email you need to send a client.

Maybe you worry that you’re not doing enough for your kids. That they’re not in the right activities that are going to get them in to the right college.

And you feel like it’s never enough and that you are failing every day.

It seems like if we don’t meet our expectations, we question ourselves, not the expectations.

When maybe it’s our expectations that are the problem.

I think it’s society that’s setting us up for failure.

One of the things I focus on in my client work is designing a life that you want. Not living like society or social media tells you.

But focusing on what’s important to you and your family.

Instead of striving for some version of perfect that society is telling you to strive for, clarify your own version of success.

striving for perfection

What are your goals? And what small step can you take today to move toward them?

What short-term tasks can you let go of to focus on a long-term goal? It might be letting the laundry sit for another day while you do some research on spending a summer in a foreign country. It could be hiring someone to deep clean your house once a month so you can spend time hiking with your family.

Ask yourself if the world will stop spinning if the task isn’t done perfectly. I’m guessing the answer is no. So maybe good enough or done is OK.

Don’t waste your days living someone else’s life!

Define your own success!

If you’re ready to figure this out in your own life, schedule a Get On Track call.

Did You Know That You Make 35,000 Decisions A Day?

Did you know that people make over 35,000 decisions a day?

This is why, when it’s time for dinner and you haven’t planned it, you have wine and m&m’s and feed your kids cereal (there’s nothing wrong with this, on occasion, by the way).

Moms already have enough on their plates. There’s no need to make life more complicated.

Having some basic routines and systems in your days and weeks help simplify things. Remove decisions where you can.

35,000 decisions a day

Have a menu that repeats every 2 weeks. You have chicken every Thursday. The spices and sides can change, but you know roughly what you’re eating. Every Monday is something vegetarian. Keep a list of meal ideas so you can easily plan those vegetarian meals without too much thought.

Have certain days of the week for laundry. Or, do one load a day. Figure out what laundry routine works best for you. I wash clothes on Sunday and sheets / towels on Fridays. I have a friend who does one full load (from washing to putting it away) every day. Figure out what works for you and your family and stick with it.

Have a list of things to which you will say no. This is important. Shiny objects. Clothes you don’t need. Toys your kids don’t need. Activities and commitments are just one more thing to keep track of. Figure out what’s important and say no to the rest!

The point is to take as many decisions as possible out of your day. Because 35,000 decisions a day is just too many!

Your future self will thank you!

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Hard

Do you have days where you feel like you missed a class on how to be an adult?

Where the to-do list is overwhelming and never-ending? And you wonder if you’ll ever feel on top of your game?

I know I have!

This is why I created Stride Productivity and my virtual community, Stride Together.

Because being a mom is hard. Being a mom while also working a full-time job or running your own business is hard. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, it’s hard!

And I want moms to know they’re not alone.

I want moms to know what it feels like to not have clutter and tasks in every crevice of their day.

To make time for fun.

To spend quality time with their families.

And to have a sense of control.

It is possible.

If you want to learn more, schedule a Get On Track call with me today. Let’s talk about how to help you stop feeling so exhausted and drained.

She Wanted To Help Me

How did it get so messy? Does a pack of wild animals live here?

Big sigh

We were all picking up toys and clutter so that we could more thoroughly clean it. My 5-year-old daughter refused to participate. She’s 5. She’s stubborn and she’s not going to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

So I let it go and we all moved on.

A little while later, I hear her saying she’s cleaning up to help me. Because mom needs it.

Now, I understand that often our kids do stuff around the house to help mom. Mom’s the one who manages the chores and house cleaning (more on why this is a problem at a later date.

But I didn’t like the way she said this. I didn’t like that she was only doing it because mom was mad.

We are a team in our household. Keeping the house clean and organized is not just mom’s job. It’s everyone’s job. Because we all live here.

We don’t clean the house to make mom happy. We clean and declutter the house so we can find what we need and don’t get ants.

Everyone participates in keeping the house functioning.

Here are some ideas to get everyone involved:

  • Make it fun. Don’t tell your kid to go clean their room. Their brains will shut down and it won’t happen.
    • Help them play the seek and sort game.
    • Turn it into a game. We play basketball with my kids’ laundry. You can do the same with any toys that go into a bin. (side note, don’t use bins with lids.
    • Have kids race against you (never against each other. Siblings are already competitive enough). See if they can put something away faster than you.
  • Make it easy to put things away. (Lids add one more step).
  • Have special time with them first.
  • Do something fun together as a family once you’re done.
to help me

If your kids are older, these same guidelines apply. Get them to participate. Ask them how they want to participate (and skipping out is not an option).

Build routines around decluttering and cleaning.

Keep it small. We clean half the house each weekend so it’s not overwhelming. We pick up most of the mess each day so it doesn’t get overwhelming.

Everything has a home, so it’s easy to put things away.

How cluttered your house gets is up to you and those who live there. What is your level of acceptance of mess? I don’t have the energy for a spotless house every day. I do like a weekly reset.

Figure out what works for your family.

Spend some time this week talking with your family about how to start working together to keep the house functioning. Pick one of the above ideas and put it into action!

Where Do I Even Start?

In this beautiful book I read with my kids, Suzy is told by her mom to pick up her room. Her room is such a mess that she’s not even sure where to start. She feels overwhelmed by the mess. What should she do?

Have you been there?

Have you ever taken a look at your kitchen, the piles of kids’ toys, your to-do list for work, and just stood there?

Overwhelmed and unsure of where to even start?

where to start

I have.

The endless lists. The piles that keep appearing, like a game of whack-a-mole. The dishes, laundry, kids’ toys. The emails, slack messages, interruptions. The work projects.

Where do you even start?

Do what Suzy and her mom do. (and what I do with my kids when their toys are all over the house).

Play the seek and sort game. Pick one task, one list, one subject. And start.

Process your emails (not just read them, but respond, delete, file, figure out the next action).

Find that one task that’s been lingering on your list and do it.

Find all the tasks that will take less than two minutes and see how many you can do in 30 minutes.

Identify the next step on an important work project and take it.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on that task you have been avoiding.

The point here is to pick one spot, any spot, and tackle it.

And, if you’re really struggling, put all the tasks on separate sheets of paper in a bowl and draw one out. Do it. Repeat.

Seek. Sort. Start.

Your future self will thank you.

This is a true picture of my kid’s old playroom. It was amazing how quickly they made a mess to the point that they couldn’t play in it! And we had to pick one spot, one toy category, and start cleaning up! Life can feel this messy sometimes, huh?!

Watch As She Bends But Never Breaks

In the song, Surface Pressure, from Encanto, we find Luisa singing the following lyrics.

I take what I’m handed, I break what’s demanding But

Under the surface

I feel berserk as a tightrope walker in a three-ring circus

Under the surface…

I’m pretty sure I’m worthless if I can’t be of service…

Pressure like a drip, drip, drip that’ll never stop, whoa

Pressure that’ll tip, tip, tip ’til you just go pop, whoa-oh-oh

Give it to your sister, it doesn’t hurt

And see if she can handle every family burden

Watch as she buckles and bends but never breaks

Luisa is singing about how she feels so much pressure and is wondering if she can handle it.

She’s always been expected to be the strong one in the family. And the family and town keep throwing tasks at her and expecting her to take more and more on.

She feels herself crumbling under the pressure. She also starts to realize that she doesn’t always have to be the strong one. That she doesn’t always have to take everything on. That she’s more than the strong one. And she really needs a break.

Do these words resonate with you? Do you feel the pressure of taking everything on yourself?

You take everything that’s thrown at you. You bend but never break.

But underneath everything, you feel a bit berserk? Trying not to crumble under the pressure? Feeling like your worth is wrapped up in service to your family?

Maybe you too are developing a twitch in your eye from the pressure.

Know that you don’t need to carry the weight of the world by yourself. That you and your family are a team. You work together.

Know that you don’t have to do every task on your to-do list today.

One of the things I work on with my clients is making sure that what’s on your list belongs there. Today and long-term. You don’t have to say yes to everything.

The world will continue to tell you that your worth is wrapped up in your task list and how you serve your family.

I will continue to tell you that this isn’t true.

If you are curious about what it would be like to work with me, schedule a Get On Track session!

Are You Still Making Their Lunches?

In the movie Bad Moms, Amy (played by Mila Kunis), has taken on so many tasks in her family. She does her best to make her kids’ lives magical. She does their homework. Makes their breakfast. Makes their lunches. Drives them to all their activities.

She does it all.

And she’s exhausted.

At one point, after she’s realized how hard she works and how she’s done doing all the tasks, she tells her kids to make their own lunch. They look stunned. Mom has always done everything for them! And now they have to do something for themselves.

And you know what happens? They figure it out.

Yes, they grumble a bit. They leave a mess in the kitchen. But they make their own lunches.

Moms have been told, over and over, that in order to show our kids that we love them, we must do everything for them. From making fancy breakfasts every morning to packing their lunches, and maybe even doing their homework.

Go overboard for the holidays with decorations, gifts, food.

Throw elaborate birthday parties.

We sign our kids up for so many activities and schedule numerous playdates.

Because society has told us this is what we’re supposed to be doing. That this makes us good moms.

When in reality, it makes us tired and resentful. And makes our kids rely on us for everything.

Now, I hate making lunches. Always have. So I taught my kids from a young age how to make their own.

Do they make a mess? Yes. Do they help clean it up? Yes. Are they getting better at it? Yes.

We make it as simple as possible. Pack snack-size containers with raisins and goldfish on the weekends so that they’re ready to pack (the kids help with this too). Keep ingredients to make sandwiches on hand. Have a list of easy-to-make lunch ideas. And we work on making lunches together, after dinner each night.

Eventually, they’ll be able to pack their lunches without help.

What’s something that you can start teaching your kids to do on their own? Something you can eventually move off your plate, onto someone else’s?

Yes, it might get messy. Yes, it might take some time for your kids to learn. But in the long run? It’s better for all of you!

Reply to this email and let me know what you are going to start working on with your kids?

Your future self will thank you.

P.S. Want to learn more about what it’s like to work with me? Schedule a Get On Track call!

Dirty Dishes and The Invisible Load

We run our dishwasher a lot. There is often a clean load in the dishwasher, with even more dishes sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be dealt with. So many dishes!

so many dishes

At some point, I realized that I had it in my head that my husband expected me to deal with the dishes. Yes, we both work from home. But my schedule is more flexible. So, of course, why wouldn’t I be the one to deal with all the household tasks too?

Sound familiar? As moms, we take on all the household tasks because it feels easier that way. Without thinking about it.

In reality, it wasn’t that he expected me to do it. He wasn’t thinking about it at all. He was focused on work. And he would deal with the dishes later, after work, while he was making dinner.

I read an article in the Atlantic about how men and women are equally messy. But men don’t notice as much. Women feel a lot of pressure to keep their spaces clean and organized and pretty. Ourselves too. Now, I will leave space in here on how we feel more in control of our lives when we’ve cleaned and purged our house. I too clean and organize when I’m stressed out.

But, women are conditioned from a young age that keeping the house and family organized is our responsibility. Our worth is wrapped up in it. Women operate on a different time scale than men. So it appears that we take it all on because men won’t. When men just haven’t been conditioned to deal with it as quickly as women.

And the pattern continues. Women take on the tasks because we think men aren’t going to do it, instead of letting them do it in their own way. Then the men just stop doing tasks around the house, because the women do it all anyway. And the exhausting cycle continues.

And our kids see this. They see mom doing all the household chores and the organizing of schedules and planning of everything. And they grow up thinking that’s how it’s done.

It’s time to change that narrative.

I realize that I’m asking women to take on one more thing here. I’m also asking women to get their partners in on this. To start having these conversations together. To start shifting the dynamics in your house to more equity. Where everyone in the household is involved, down to the youngest child.

When my kids complain about not wanting to do something around the house, I remind them that we all live here. We all contribute to the household and we all need to work together. And then we read a book titled The Great Zooberry Debacle: A Tale of Many Hands.

Start paying attention to when you take it all on. When you are the one worrying about everything and feeling like people are judging you if things aren’t perfect.

Your future self will thank you.

When you’re ready to stop feeling pulled in too many directions and add a sense of control and peace to your days, schedule a call with me, and let’s talk about my coaching programs.

Some Days It Never Ends

Some days, it never ends.

Get the kids up.

And get breakfast ready.

And help the kids pack their lunches

And remind the kids to put those lunches in their backpacks, not the counter.

And get kids out the door to school.

some days it never ends

Then start my work day.

And then remember we need to figure out what’s for dinner. And maybe buy groceries.

And add 3 more things to my task list for work.

Some days, it never ends!

It feels like the task list never gets shorter.

Some days the list truly gets longer!

At times it feels like we’re failing. Maybe you’ll try a new tool or hack and it’ll work for a while. But you eventually find yourself back where you were, overwhelmed and overcommitted. Feeling like it’s never enough.

Sometimes we wonder if we missed a class in school on how to do this thing called life.

I assure you that you did not miss a class. You are not failing. Our society has led women to believe that in order to have it all we have to do it all.

When dads don’t get paternity leave, moms simply get better at doing all the things. Not because they’re better at it by nature, but because they’re the ones doing it every day.

Over time, this leads moms to feel like we need to take on everything related to the house and kids, on top of running a business or growing our own careers. Because we’ve been led to believe that this is what good moms do and nothing will happen if we don’t take care of it.

But when both partners are involved with the household and raising of children, life is richer for everyone.

Getting everyone involved in a household doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t happen by putting up a chore chart or reminders.

It takes time. Conversations. Family meetings. Work on everyone’s part.

But it can happen. This is the work I do with my clients. The work we talk about in my community.

Want to get started? Go here.

If you’re wondering if you missed a class on how to do life, let’s chat! Schedule a call with me!

Your future self will thank you!

The Holidays Are Here!

The holidays are here! Are you ready? 

The pandemic is still complicating things. It might still be a year for social distancing and smaller parties. Or more of staying at home and visiting friends and family on Zoom. 

the holidays are here!

Regardless of how you spend the holidays, here are a few ideas for thriving, not surviving. 

Simplify

Maybe you’re one to go overboard for the holidays. Everyone gets gifts. You mail cards to everyone you know. And your family is wearing matching PJ’s in the photo that’s on the card you send. 

Before you go nuts, take a minute and step back. 

Make a list of everything you do during the holidays. Look at the list. Examine it. 

Do these tasks make you happy? Or are you doing them because you feel you need to? Are there a few that you can skip? 

Pick the few items that make you happy. Cross the rest off.  No one will notice! 

Ask

Ask each family member to pick one activity they enjoy and want to do during the holidays. 

Schedule it. 

Stick with the activities that your family enjoys. Skip the rest! You will all be happier. 

You do not have to say yes to every event that comes your way. If you love attending all the parties and it fills you up, then go! 

But realize that might not be true for everyone in your family. Or you. And that’s ok. 

Say yes to the events that you and your family get the most out of. 

When you’re overbooked, you don’t enjoy the holidays. It feels like one thing after another and before you know it, it’s January and you’re left wondering what happened. 

Being intentional about the events and activities you take on helps you feel present at each of them. Sinking into the fun of the moment. 

Simplify Some More

Are you hosting a meal? What can you do to make it easy? In our family, the person hosting makes the main dish and everyone else brings a side dish. Everyone signs up for something so we don’t end up with 6 side dishes of mashed potatoes. And it takes the pressure off the host to not be in charge of everything. 

Maybe it’s never been done this way in your family. Maybe it’s always been on you to make the holidays happen. That doesn’t mean you can’t request a change. At least start the conversation. It could be as simple as everyone else bringing appetizers or desserts. 

After The Holidays, Evaluate

In January, spend some time thinking about what worked and what didn’t work in December. What did your family enjoy? What do you wish you had skipped? Take notes and put them somewhere you will find next November. 

Try a few of these ideas this year. The key is to only do the things that make you happy. Don’t wear yourself out doing everything! Doing a few things allows you to enjoy those activities and tasks and get the most out of them. 

If you want more ideas on how to simplify your life, sign up below!

    Around The Next Bend

    Years ago, my husband and I went hiking in Acadia, in northern Maine. As we were coming back down the trail, we kept thinking that the trail would end around the next bend. Around the next bend, we’ll be back at the car. This went on for some time. It seemed the trail was never going to end! 

    around the next bend.

    We still joke about it. It’s become a mantra in our lives whenever something seems to be taking longer than it should. It’ll end around the next bend. 

    Maybe this is how you feel about your to-do list. That you’ll get through it soon. It has to get shorter sometime, right? If you just keep chipping away at it. Skipping sleep. Not taking breaks. 

    Around the next bend. 

    Let’s be honest. In this case, it’s not going to end around the next bend. There will always be something on our to-do list. It might feel more manageable some days or weeks. But there will always be tasks. 

    I’m not telling you this to make you sad and feel defeated. I want you to make the realization that it’s ok to take a break from the list. To put something fun on it. Or even put it in a drawer for the afternoon and go do something for yourself. 

    Then, after that break, come back and let’s talk about how to handle the never-ending list. When you really feel like you don’t have the time to deal with what’s on it. Or to even make a dent in the list. 

    Where do you start? 

    Start with a brain dump. Take 10 minutes and write down everything that’s floating around in your head. All the ideas and tasks. Find the post-its and notes you’ve left everywhere. Get them all in one spot. Pull out tasks lost in your emails. 

    Once you have all the tasks in one place, it’s easier to see your priorities. It can’t all be a priority, so you’ll need some guidelines here. Ask yourself the following questions: 

    • What are the quickest / closest deadlines? 
    • What is making my business money? 
    • What project do I need to get started on soon? 
    • Are there tasks on here that I can delete or delegate? 

    What are the next steps? 

    Next, write out each step, as small as possible for all your projects. This helps you get moving on your projects because you know the next steps. 

    You can’t claim you don’t have the time, because you can make the time for small steps. 

    What are your goals and values? 

    Another place to start from is understanding what’s important to you. When you know your goals for your business and your family, you can easily identify the tasks that get you there. Anything else can be deleted. 

    Say No

    The next part is learning to say no. When you know what’s on your plate, you know if another project or client is the right fit. 

    Remember, future you is just as busy as today you. Only say yes to something in the future if you would say yes to it tomorrow. 

    Saying yes to a big project means saying no to something else. 

    Maybe a goal of yours is to spend more time with your family or on exercise or to create another part of your business. Saying yes to a new project or client might take away from that. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it. 

    That to-do list might never end, even around the next bend. But you can take back control and deal with it in a way that works for you. So the trail doesn’t feel so long. And you can enjoy the scenery along the way.

    If you want more ideas on how to deal with that never-ending to-do list, sign up below for weekly tips and tricks!

      Let’s Evaluate

      Do you spend your days crossing tasks off your to-do list and making plans and going and going and going?

      Sometimes, we need to stop. Take some time to check in with what’s working and what’s not. Ask ourselves questions and really reflect on what we’re doing.

      I know. I know. You don’t have the time.

      But, what if taking this time helped you create more time?

      Take some time, even 15 minutes, and ask yourself the following questions.

      • What commitments have you taken on in the last 3 months? Are they working for you? Or do you need to find a way to let them go?
      • Are there routines that need to shift?
      • What do the next 3 months look like? What projects do you need to plan now?

      Want to get started on this? Schedule a call with me or download this PDF.

        What Are You Escaping From?

        What are you escaping? 

        I know my life is reaching a point of overwhelm when there are too many post-it notes. When I feel like all I’m doing is creating to-do lists. But not actually doing any of the tasks on the post-its or lists. 

        When this happens, I take a few minutes to get all the tasks and ideas out of my head. Then figure out what really needs to happen right now, today, or this week. 

        When we have a sense of our commitments, it’s easier to say yes or no to something. If it’s a work project, we can talk about renegotiating deadlines. If it’s a volunteer commitment, we know if have the time to give. If it’s our kids asking to do one more activity, we can have a conversation as a family about whether it makes sense or will lead to more overwhelm.

        what are you escaping from? overwhelmed woman with too many people asking things of her.
        How many things have you said yes to in your life because you:
        1. Didn’t know how to say no at the moment?
        2. Felt obligated to do it even though you really didn’t want to?

        Remember that every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. And sometimes we have to say no to something that seems like a great opportunity because we know that there’s a better one out there. (Or, we know we need to leave breathing room in our schedules). Make sure that yes is worth it. 

        I want you to design a life that you don’t need to escape from. One that doesn’t have you dreading every Monday. Where you aren’t resentful of the activities you and your family are committed to outside of work and school. 

        It’s a life full of activities and tasks that deserve to be there.

        If you’re feeling resentful and want to figure out a way to change this, let’s talk

        This PDF will help you too! 6 Steps to Peace And Accomplishment