Being Intentional with your time: Balancing All The To-Dos
You could hear the desperation in her voice as she listed her to-do list to me. 2 businesses, kids, a husband, pets, and whatever counts for self-care all folding in on her, all reminding her that she’s not good enough. “The list of to-do’s is too long every day to stay caught up with, How do I allocate my time across businesses and everything else?“
I felt her pain as soon as the words came out. As women, we feel like we have to do it all. To create, to care, to run a million miles an hour. But the truth of the matter is, you CAN’T do it all.
I don’t say this to make you feel bad, or to take away your dreams. I say this because there are seasons for different things in our lives. There is only so much energy we can put forth which means that we have to be intentional with what we say “Yes” to.
Start with Prioritizing
Create a list of all the things you do. The projects you work on, the responsibilities you have–Starting a garden, raising kids, managing the household, running multiple businesses, doing yoga teacher training, etc. Look at the things that take time from you and see if you can outsource. them or if you can save them for another time in life. Can you ask your husband to take on more responsibilities when it comes to the household, can you afford a nanny, or do you really need to be growing two businesses?
Being intentional means saying no. It means focusing on your biggest dreams and letting go of the rest. It also means that this time right now, might not be the time for this. Even though building business #2 isn’t a good idea now, doesn’t mean you can’t do it in the future. This season just isn’t the season for it.
Create Tangible Goals
Look at your big goals for 5 or 10 years from now. Now break them down into tiny steps that will help you get there. (You can learn how to do this in my post How to Create Goals for Your Life + Business.) By getting clear in your goals you can create clear intentions for your day to day and see what makes the most sense to be working on. Like I said, you can’t do it ALL, at least not right now. So figure out what will lead you to your biggest goals and set the rest aside for now, it’s only distracting you from your real goals.
I don’t remember which CEO did this trick, but I love. Every evening they would write on a sticky note 3 things that needed to get done before everything else in the day. They could be work related, family related, or about self-care. It was simply 3 tasks that were the utmost importance for the next day. No other things could start, until those 3 things were done.
This is a great way to prioritize. We all have a running list of 100 things to do but just going down the list and checking things off isn’t always the best use of your time. Start with the three things that are a must and then work on the next three.
Systems are what save you time, they reduce brain power. When it comes to scheduling on social I have specific themes I post about and have them outlined in Asana so that I know exactly what to post on each day. (You can grab my Instagram planning breakdown in my freebie library!) I also batch create like a boss. Blog posts, newsletters, social posts, etc. are all created in one sitting to work out as many as I can. Schedule off 1-2 hours to do this and try and get as many finished in that time as you can. This also saves a TON of time in the long run.
Aside from themes and batch creating, I have automated systems with 17hats that allows me to set reminders for follow ups, send emails, contracts or invoices, and track my time for client work. This tool has changed the way I do business and saves me more time that I could have imagined.
Be Intentional with Your Time
From spending time with family, to build the brand of your dreams, it all comes down to being intentional with your time. When you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. What are you saying no to? Decide on what things matter the most. What actions are you taking actually serve your business and help it grow and don’t just feel like you’re getting things done? Where are you seeing the conversions? Focus your limited time on those things and add in the other potential strategies later when you have more time or help. Carve out time to be with your family, to create memories, and to break free from your work. This is why I suggest investing time into personal projects.
Most importantly, make sure you are saying YES to YOU! Making time for yourself to recharge, to rest, and to tune in is one of the most important things you can do during your week. It ALWAYS needs to be at the top of your to-do list. 1 thing for you, every single day. You can’t make time for it all. So choose the things that will get you closer to your dreams. What will you be saying yes to today?
Katie Leigh is a brand strategist and photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. Her experience as a former graphic design and former marketing director provides a unique perspective when it comes to your brand. Whether you’re looking to find out more about your user’s experience with a brand review or want ongoing brand strategy support with a 1:1 package, Katie Leigh will give you confidence in your brand so you can connect with your audience and grow the brand of your dreams.