I Don't Do It All (And You Don't Need To Either)
I get moms all the time asking me how I do it all. Well truth be told, I don’t. I’m always sharing that you need to focus on getting done what’s most important. But if I focus on what’s most important, it means I am not doing other things. So today, I will share what doesn’t make the cut. And in past blog posts, I've talked about focusing on the most important things. But I never really shared what I don’t do.
Let’s start with my confessions. I am not a super woman nor a super mom. I am a regular mom who is very purposeful (and very passionate) about how I use my time. I am clear on the most important things in my life. Click here if you haven’t figured out the most important things (MIT’s) in your life.
Now, even when you are clear on what’s important to you, you will sometimes miss the mark. Because sometimes life gets in the way and you need to go with the flow. it’s like taking a road trip. Sometimes, you might take a side route but eventually you should still get to where you want to go if you follow the right map.
There are 52 weeks in a year
24 hours in a day
So, the question is how are you going to spend them?
At the beginning of every day, I sit down and write the three most important things I need to get done for that day. I will of course get done more than three but those are the road map to where I want to go.
So, what don’t I get done?
Well I spend lots of time taking care of how I feel on the inside. I eat healthy, exercise and meditate. But I don’t spend a whole lot of time on the outside. It is not unusual to see me with a messy bun and no make up. I rarely get my nails done and don’t get my hair colored as much as my hairdresser thinks I should.
Now, I think I’m going to do a lot of "shoulding" on myself in this post which I don’t normally recommend. It does you no good to should on yourself. If you want to do something, then do it. If you don’t, then let it go. As I share my list, notice your own "shoulding". Chances are, you will at some point, go “oh she should do that” or “I should too”.
So yeah, I don’t spend a ton of time on the outside package. I let my hair air dry in the car on the way to work and I rarely go shopping for clothes. Don’t get me wrong. I love having stylish new clothes. But I rarely find it important enough to take the time to go shopping.
What else don’t I do?
There are a number of things I don’t do that I really wish I did. I am terrible about writing thank you notes. My mom taught me right but I’m just not great at actually making them happen. Similarly, I’m not great at buying birthday cards. I over think what would be a creative and thoughtful gift so much that I end up buying something generic at the very last minute.
I don’t do projects on Pinterest or anything artsy craftsy. I love that stuff but don’t have the time for it. Once in awhile my artsy girlfriend Jen, brings me in her craft dungeon to create something magical. I always love doing it but definitely don’t if she doesn’t make it happen.
I am terrible about running errands. So buying cards, returning things, getting the car washed...well it is never at the top of my list. Luckily I have a husband who is very good at errands. And even luckier is this internet world we live in where I can do almost everything from my computer. Running errands sucks up a ton of time. If you are going to do them, make sure to batch them at once. Keep a to do list that has your “outside” errands so you can get them done in one full swoop.
What else don’t I do?
I outsource a lot. I am now at a point in my career that I can afford to outsource a housekeeper to come to my house once a week. I use Amazon Fresh to deliver my groceries. I use Amazon Prime to deliver everything from dog food to my makeup. I’m even trying a clothing delivery called Le Tote since I hate going shopping. I even have a full time virtual assistant. Every time I outsource, it gives me the time to focus on what’s most important. It helps someone else thrive at the business they are in. If I had to do it over again, I would have outsourced things much sooner.
I have my kids do a lot. And I think they could do a lot more. No, I don’t use my kids like little servants. I think much of my job as a parent is to teach them to be self sufficient; that means they need to be able to do things for themselves. And I think that the definition of mom doesn’t mean that we do everything. So, we are a team. My kids to laundry, dishes, set table, take out trash, pick up dog poop, make their own lunches and more. Of course it depends on the age of your kids. But there are things that even toddlers can do. The other thing you need not to do is expect it all to be perfect. Because it won’t be.
What else don’t I do?
I am very purposeful about this next one. I take as few in person meetings as I can. Don’t get me wrong, I have in person meetings every day. But I don’t give them to everyone who wants them. In person meetings take way too much time. When someone approaches me, I will first respond via email if that can work. Then I will set up a brief call or Skype call. If I said yes to every in person meeting that came my way, I would never get anything else done.
What else don’t I do?
I am never the room mom and am rarely the team mom. I am a work sharer. I volunteer but offer to share positions with other moms. I have been an art docent for years where I just go once per month. I also don’t drive my kids everywhere. With two kids in sports, that takes up a ton of time. I set up carpools so that I just have to drive once or twice per week.
I don’t do a lot with my girlfriends, which kind of makes me sad. But I feel like my time with my kids is so precious that I am very careful about not giving it up. I have a standing girls night once a month that gives me a fix of estrogen and my village for the month.
Now this next thing is something that I wish I did even less off. Anyone guess? It’s Facebook. If you are on of the less than 1% of moms who are not on Facebook, then stay off. Be strong. Facebook is fun and connecting and I love it for my business. But it is so bad for my time. I go in there with a purpose and find myself watching video’s and liking cute pictures. I am working on being very purposeful with my Facebook time. I am now putting on a timer, getting in and getting out.
And finally, as a business owner, I not only don’t do but I can’t do a lot. I have far more ideas and wishes for my business than I have the time and money to do them all. There are many great ideas that I have to say no to, or not right now. It makes me feel better if I can at least keep those ideas safe on a list and can keep checking in on them the next time I’m strategizing for how I’m going to use my year.
If you have trouble focusing on your most important things, sign up for the waitlist for when my course Success Sprints: Master Your Time opens again for enrollment.