It’s September. The weather has shifted to 20 degrees cooler in the Pacific Northwest. We have gray skies and rain. Kids are back to school. Boot season has reluctantly started and I am back to grabbing a jacket on my way out the door.
I started ramping up on a new, exciting project in August and have officially hit a busy season. This means I am stretching beyond my comfort zone, am experiencing rapid personal growth, and am being picky about what I say yes and no to.
We all have busy seasons. It might be a big project at work, taking the kids to a new school, the holiday season, etc. Below are a few ways that I navigate my busy seasons.
Say no when you know you need to shift focus
I am a planner, which means I enjoy booking things many months out. However, while working a full-time job, being an entrepreneur, and doing big projects outside of work, my planning doesn’t always work out. I’m learning to be more mindful of committing at 100% far in advance.
The fact of the matter is, there are so many interesting events, causes, and get togethers available that sometimes it can be challenging to know where you’ll be on that day. During my busy season, I do my best to keep my calendar clear. With that said, sometimes I overestimate what I can do and need to pull back. This means communicating to people who I told I could do something with, for, etc. about where I’m at and pulling back.
Remember your priorities
Identifying priorities is the first step to remembering them. I worked with a coach to help me identify mine. My top priority is health – so that I can stay healthy and feeling well. My second priority is my husband. My third priority is my family and friends and my fourth priority is work. Now, these priorities are fluid but if I get into one – like work – for too long, I know it’s time to switch.
I think of a sailor tacking the sails when the winds switch directions. Fortunately, I am aware and know when I’ve been focusing on one priority for too long. None the less, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to let go and switch right away.
Build in time away
Get away from the work. Schedule a date with your honey. Go for a walk. Meet a friend for coffee. Getting physically out of the house helps me relax and reset between things that need to get done.
Shift your schedule
I use the early morning to do personal development work. This gives me a steady foundation to work from. I practice meditation, journaling, and gratitude. I get up earlier to do this work. What I’ve noticed is, without this time, I’m not as focused or as centered.
Communicate about where you’re at
Keeping the lines of communication open with your loved ones is crucial during a busy season. They may not understand but as long as you’re being clear about the time you need to do what you need to do, the better off your relationship with them will be. Make sure some of your built in time away includes focused time with them.
In order to do big things in the world, you’re going to have times when you’re learning new things, you’re stretching beyond your comfort zone, and dedicating big chunks of time towards the big things you’re doing.
When you’re on the other side of the growth, the project, the busy season, you’ll be glad you faced it head on and took the risk. Plus, the more you do it, the more you’ll learn how to navigate the busy seasons while having the lifestyle you want. But, until you do, you won’t learn how.