Before I say how, I want to connect back to a blog I wrote a few weeks ago about how Sometimes you Gotta Say NO! I listed four reasons why you often have a hard time saying no and six questions to ask yourself so you know when to say yes. It’s such an important topic because time is so precious and often time is what we are striving for. FREEDOM OF TIME!
Even following my own advice I got myself into a situation when I felt overwhelmed with my scheduled and was wondering – why did I do this to myself?
Let me give you a little context. I had a second child in December so now with a three year old and a two month old, plus a thriving business I was limiting when I went out.
As much as I LOVE being a mom I was longing to go out into the networking scene again. I wanted to meet other women in business. I wanted to lead my networking group Dynamic Women in Action and I wanted to speak at Mom CEO Academy where I’m a partner. So when I knew my in-laws where coming for a visit I said yes to all invitations that were presented to me. Well at least those that met the requirements of those six important questions.
My 5-day week had:
- 1 lunch strategy alliance session
- 2 networking events over a meal
- 1 afternoon workshop
- 1 mastermind call
- 1 presentation I gave
- 1 DWA meeting I facilitated
- 3 clients
- and 1 fundraising lunch
Do you do this to yourself? Pack your schedule so full that you have no time to breath? This happened to a client of mine this week who just felt so overwhelmed that didn’t think she could get through it all. Like she was just going to shut down or wanted to crawl into bed.
I have to admit that I LOVED being at each event. They filled me up, they made me laugh and they got me back into the networking and professional life I was craving. However, I list what I did to show the insanity. Not just for it being a lot of events in one week, but also since I was nursing my two month old every three hours. That was the game changer.
Hindsight though taught me two things: I am capable of taking on a lot and surviving, but also that I now have a NEW NORMAL.
That means that while I could do it all, and did get through it all - I don’t enjoy having a full plate for that long.
I gorged on events.
SO what do you do in this instance?
Here are 3 steps to not getting yourself to this place of schedule insanity:
1. Ask yourself how you feel about your current schedule. If it’s good test if you want to add in anymore items. If it’s not good, ask yourself what you need to remove or push to another week.
2. When it feels good. See what that schedule includes. Ex. how many meetings, how many days with client calls, how many hours of travel etc. and when in the week these things happen. This is your NORMAL LEVEL OF BUSY.
3. Then for upcoming weeks or periods of life that include something else that needs your attention like an illness, a course, a death, or any other stressor or milestone scale back.
Not everyone is the same. Some people feel that two nights out a week is enough while others think that’s an easy week. There’s no judgment here. Just figure out level of busy works for you and schedule for that so you can avoid scheduling insanity.