I have always been a time management and scheduling junky, however over the past 4 months (Has it only been 4? Yes, March- July is only 4 months but it feels like 4 years!) I have really had to re-evaluate how I spend my time. I have no doubt that many people are in this boat and for some, the transition has probably been easier than for others. Despite my love of schedules I have to admit that this was a rougher transition than I would have thought.
I fellow book club member had posted this article in our Facebook group titled “What to do When You’ve Got Too Much to Do (Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand)“ and I thought it offered a great perspective and some good advice. We all have a lot going on in our lives, we have our family and friends, our work life, our hobbies and passions, and just generally taking of ourselves. I know that I am often guilty of the ‘just cram it in’ mentality. I also know that mentality leaves me feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and easily irritated.
What I love about this article is that overall this is not earth-shattering news and it provides clear directions, while leaving enough discretion to make this work for you.
Dump it all out.
Start with a blank slate.
And only when the bag is truly empty can you put the pieces back in.
One by one. And in strict order of importance.
After I read the article I realized that my process has always been some variation on the rock, pebbles, and sand method. That is what I mean by there is no earth-shattering news. Life is always a series of trade-offs and making sure you are doing things that are a priority for you, so everyone’s jars will be similar but yet different. This exercise helps you identify what is a priority because you need to acknowledge that you won’t fit it all in, time is finite.
The thing is that you don’t need to fit it all in, let that sink in for a minute. You do not need to do it ALL. You get to define what is the right balance for you, so that means you look at your social media for business and decide that you don’t need the three accounts that one or maybe two is enough. You say that some other business owner has three I need three too, no you don't. Don't worry about them cut back to what is right for you. Take the time to tune into what you need and what you can do well, remember that other business owner doesn't have your life.
That may seem counter-intuitive, but if you pare things down to what you identify as your priorities you are less likely to feel overwhelmed in general. There will still be moments of being overwhelmed, but you will be able to accomplish more overall.
Putting It Into Practice
Read the article and do it, identify your rocks, pebbles, and sand. Don’t worry about what someone else may think of your jar, think about your life and your business. Customize your jar to reflect your personality, beliefs, and passions. One customization that I am considering is having different jars for different seasons, I will take my rocks from jar to jar, season to season, but I know at some point I will have a different mix of gravel and sand. The gravel and sand are going to be representing different things that I enjoy doing, additionally, there is more daily ‘work’ at certain points of the year. An example:
- Summer – less ‘work’ I don’t have to pack lunches, check homework, get the kids out the door at a specific time.
- School time- more ‘work’ packing lunches, checking homework, taxi work to and from school and sports obligations.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment on my Facebook page. Are you feeling overwhelmed and ready to fill your jar to help you create and live the life you want?
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DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.