Have you seen Tidying Up with Maria Kondo? This show speaks my language. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve reveled in the act of cleaning out my closet! I love the feeling of weeding through the things that brought me joy at one point but no longer do.
In Tidying Up, Maria helps a family, a couple, or roommates get rid of their clutter. She has a system to help them go through different sections of what they own – clothes, books, sentimental items, etc. What the people end up with at the end of the show is similar to the feeling I have after cleaning out my closet – lighter, mental clarity, and free!
One of the reasons why her method is so impactful is because it’s broken down into manageable sections. When we are tackling something that overwhelms us and we have no idea where to begin, the key is to start somewhere.
Over the past few months I spent about 200 hours working on the Leading with Authenticity show. I’ve had a lot of questions about how I was able to manage this while also having a full-time job, a husband, and a life. Below are a few things that keep me organized and able to manage my time effectively.
#1 Chunk it Out
As often as I’m able to, I chunk out things I need to get done. For example, for the show, I allotted time to research experts I wanted to interview and a different time to send them emails. The time allotment takes trial and error, especially when it’s something new. I would love to say I always stick to my timeline but sometimes I go over the time I say I’m going to allot. However, as I get used to what I’m doing, sticking to the timeline gets easier.
During the time I’ve allotted to the work, I focus only on that. I don’t multi-task. I don’t procrastinate by dusting the shelf in the corner that I notice as I start to work. I settle in and I focus. I make a commitment to myself that I will continually focus for the time I’ve allotted.
If focus is a challenge for you, set a timer for 20 minutes and agree to focus during that time. If that doesn’t work, find someone to help you be accountable to finish what you agree to do – a friend, a coach, or an accountability partner.
#3 Schedule Time to Celebrate Wins
Whether it’s a date night with my husband, a night out with friends, or indulging in a night of Netflix, I make sure I schedule in time to rest, relax, and celebrate the wins.
During the 200 hours I put into the show, I was constantly working with my mind. What I mean by that is that there were several times that my thoughts challenged what I was doing – why are you doing this? will anyone care? are you going to find anyone to be part of this show? etc. To help my mindset stay strong and positive, it helped to celebrate the wins along the way.
Success is not possible without relaxation and reflection. I start my weekdays early – usually at 5am. The reason why I do this is because I start my day with personal reflection. I wouldn’t be able to tackle big goals without this time and I build it into the front of my day so that I start the day off in the best way possible.
#4 Find Help
I absolutely have help. I communicate with my husband what I want to get done and the time I estimate it to take me. He helps by making all of our dinners (oh my goodness I am so grateful for this, thank you so much Eric!!!), pitching in with the laundry, and we both keep our house tidy.
For the show, I hired a virtual assistant team. If I were to guess the total amount of time I would have worked without their help, it would have been at least double. They helped me by setting up a calendar for me to schedule conversations with experts, putting together promotional packets, setting up webpages, scheduling emails, etc. While I could have done these things myself, it made so much more sense to have someone do this who knew exactly what to do. This freed me up to focus on things like finding who I wanted to interview and what questions I wanted to ask them.
I also surround myself with people who are challenging themselves to make a difference in the world. These people typically have lofty goals and are doing things outside of their comfort zone. Having a community of people to bounce ideas off of in a similar situation offers perspective.
I’m a huge advocate of having a coach or a mentor. Right now I’m working with a coach who has done online shows before. She helps by offering her insight and what worked for her, which gives me new ways of thinking.
Priorities are really everything. If I don’t have a priority to take care of myself and get to the gym, I won’t do it. My health is my top priority because, without it, I’m not here.
My husband is right behind health. I keep this in the forefront of my mind when I want to do just that one last thing that keeps me from spending time with him. We’re lucky because we both prioritize communication so if I am running long, I let him know. I also make sure I make it a priority for us to spend time together.
Now is a great time to consider your priorities. Write down what you think they are and then notice how you live your life according to them. Does one need to move up on your list or do you need to create more time for another?
When you tackle your projects, your desires, or your clutter a little bit at a time, you’ll be able to finish what you want. Know that other things will most likely distract you along the way but if you prioritize what you want to get done, find help, and make sure you reflect and celebrate your accomplishments, the distractions will slowly fade into the background.
© Chelsea Behrens