Episode # 82 - The Magical "Catch-up Day"
How many times have you thought, “If I just had one day to catch up on this work I would be ok.” But let me guess that day never comes and you are always behind. I have been here, friends. In this episode we’ll talk about why the day never arrives, how to finally get things done by using your schedule instead of a list, and why you should consider never doing anything from that list in the first place.
Why does this magical catch up day never arrive?
- Because we never make time for it.
- We don’t schedule it
- We need help
- There are things on this list that don’t need to be done at all really.
So what should your process be for looking at that list? Ask these questions in this order:
- “Does this need to be done?”
- If “Yes” then “Do I need to do it?”
- If “Yes” then schedule it.
Welcome to the Get Your Act Together podcast. I'm your host, Kelly Reynolds, ops strategist, and agency coach at the Reynolds OBM agency. This podcast is all about building well-run and profitable businesses so that we can create the lives we dream of.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode 82. Let me ask you something. How many times have you thought in your head, if I just had one day to catch up on this work, I'd be okay. Just one day, like I get it all done, I could get caught up. And then I'd be okay. But let me guess that day of catch-up never actually comes. And you're always behind. Whether this is with your business and work, or if this is with stuff you thought you wanted to do with the kids, or you want to clean up the basement, whatever the thing is, whatever the thing is, you feel behind on this catch-up day would just solve all of it. Right? I have been there, friends. I am in it. Today. I am recording this podcast. And the first thing in the morning to a hell day. I have gotten messages and emergency things from clients. I have a full buffet of things. I have personal things I have to go do in the afternoon. And then evening. It's this whole day of like, How can I fit all the things in and try to just get through my day? And I will totally catch up tomorrow. Right? This happens a lot. I feel like we always are going to catch up on the easy week, on this catch-up day, whatever it is, we're going to make it up. But why does this magical catch-up day never arrive?
One is because we never make time for it. If we get a day that we don't have all the things, we don't have any calls, even if it's afternoon, right, like a whole afternoon, a whole Friday afternoon with no calls. The first thing you're not going to think is oh, I should totally sit down for four hours and drudge through my receipts or make some SOPs if you're not like me, or go clean the basement on a sunny, beautiful summer afternoon, right? We keep saying if we get a free afternoon, we're going to do this except on a free afternoon, we want to go outside, we want to go do something fun. So we put off catching up on all of the things for another day. For this magical catch-up day that we're going to somehow have a lot of times, things that are going to be on this magical catch-up day are also the things that have been passed along for a while now. And you think, Well, you know what, they're not that important. And I'm gonna, I can bump them another day. And then you go to the thing that's more fun, or that is more important. You'd rather go build something or do something that's maybe more fun. You don't want to actually do this stuff. So you're gonna keep bumping it. And especially if it's our own work, most of us are service providers, right? And we like to surf and make sure everything's running well or the thing is done. And we can totally push our own stuff off though. client work we wouldn't do. But our own stuff, totally, we could get to that tomorrow, oh, I could do that on a Saturday afternoon. But that Saturday afternoon does not consist of this work. It consists of something else more fun, or something more important.
Part two of this, we don't schedule it. We don't make time in our schedule for this, this whole list of work that we are going to catch up on, and everything's going to be really nice. It has to fit in after we have scheduled our entire lives. Right. So we take all the calls and all the things and we run around with our kids and we do all the things. And we hope that this catch-up day will fit in somewhere after we have scheduled everything else in our lives. And if you're like me, there's a lot of things going on in life between business and family and my garden right now it's March, I spent a whole weekend planting seeds and doing all this stuff downstairs in the basement, I have this whole setup there. That's way more important than figuring out if I have all my statements, like downloaded, like, I'll get to that later. So we don't schedule it and we hope that's just gonna fit in somewhere but it doesn't because it needs time. A lot of these things that are on our catch-up list are just things we need to sit down for an hour and focus on and that's hard when you're trying to shoehorn it into something else. This is a big reason I think this happens.
Number three, we need help and we don't get it. If you think that you can sit down on a Saturday afternoon while it's sunny and everyone else is having fun and catch-up on all the bookkeeping you have avoided for the last year to get ready for taxes, it is not going to happen. Or if it does, it's going to be a miserable afternoon. Maybe the bookkeeper that you should have hired, would get it done in a whole afternoon. But they're really good at it, and they know what's going on. Getting help to get these things off your plate is key, if they have to be done, and it is not your favorite thing to do. Or you're not good at it. Or it's just like, you know, those things that you just you as soon as you think you have to do them, you get like this anxiety, like, Oh, I'm not gonna do it, you put on this block, like, it's like, oh, it's like a kid with broccoli, like, oh, the broccoli is not so bad. But they like thinking about it beforehand is the worst part, right, avoiding it. And all of that avoiding all of that. They are not getting it done for people who like to get things done. It's this overwhelming failure, and anxiety about the thing that you know hasn't gotten done. It's the guilt of it, right? And sometimes we just need to get some help. Like, we think we can do all the things. And then we don't get all the things done, because there is no possible way to get 30 hours' worth of work done in one day when you're actually going to sleep some too. So if we set ourselves up for failure, we get this anxiety and overwhelm, and then we feel really guilty. And then we like, we don't get it done, because it's impossible. So we don't get the help we need. I do this all the time. I want to make all of the bread in our house. That's insane because I have other things to do. And my bread is sourdough and it takes forever. Why would I do that? Right? When there's a nice bakery, I can get some good bread. There are silly things you're like you do not have to do all the things because they will not happen. And you'll feel like crap. So delegating helps avoid that plus your stuff gets done. And that's nice. It's nice, you just get there and you're like, Oh, look at all this stuff. It's done. Wonderful.
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There's a fourth thing that I want to bring up as well. There are things on this catch-up list that don't need to be done at all. And I know that might sound shocking, but we put things on our list. And if you're like me on Sundays, when everything goes crazy, and you take that list, and you have gotten nothing done today, you just add it to tomorrow's list. So tomorrow is already busy. So there's no way all of that's gonna get done. And you just keep rolling these things. And some of these things didn't need to get done when they were put on the list. You felt like oh, that would be fun. Or maybe that'd be useful. And it might have needed to be done in the beginning. But now that you've bumped it a month, it definitely doesn't need to get done. So whatever's on that list, you don't need it. And looking at that list and saying, Oh yeah, I don't need this. cross that off. So here is what I'm offering to you today. Mostly because I needed to remind myself of this today. I'm totally recording this podcast as an out loud reminder to myself that I need to do all of these things today. So I don't lose my mind. I want you to go through this little flowchart. One, does this need to be done? Does this task need to be done? Is it bookkeeping, you have to do your taxes? Yeah, yeah, you probably have to do it. The IRS really likes them, the books are good and they get their money. But if it's something like something else, it doesn't need to really be done. Cross off the list. Just take it off. It doesn't need to be on, you can even cross it off and make yourself feel better. Like it's done. Okay. Does it need to be done? If it's no, cross it off the list. If it's yes, the next question you need to ask is, do I need to do it? If the answer is no, which I gotta tell you, most of the time it is not finding someone else to help you. Now that could mean, a kid gets another chore, right? Like emptying the dishwasher? My son's doing that. Now? That's really nice. I don't have to do it. Could it be cooking? Maybe you have, like, the home delivery? Does it work? Do you need a virtual assistant? Is it a bookkeeper? Like we're talking about before? Like, there are things that you're gonna say, Oh, I couldn't possibly do that myself. But I want you to think it through, do you need to do it? And if the answer is no, get help. It is worth every penny. Anxiety is so expensive to your brain like that, that overwhelm, it just robs you all day of feeling better. So if you can pay someone else to help you, and not be full of anxiety and guilt, would that be okay with you? Would it be okay with me? Now, if you ask the question, do I need to do it? And the answer is yes. Okay, there are definitely things I need to do today, then schedule it, do not hope that the day magically goes the way you want it to and that everything magically gets done. Take your calendar and block it off. Whether it's on Google Calendar, or a paper planner, whatever, you need a damn piece of paper, right, like, right at the top, like 9 am, I need to do this. And it will keep you on track. It's Parkinson's Law, the task will take the amount of time you give it, if you give yourself two hours to do something it will take two hours. If you give yourself an hour to do it'll take an hour. So if you know you need to get these five things done, then give yourself a time block for each thing. And it has to be done by this. Schedule your day out. What do you need to get to? The funny thing is we do this a lot. We schedule things, but we don't schedule this stuff in, we schedule a whole bunch of stuff. And then hope this fits in later. So if you really think this is something that one needs to be done, and you need to be doing it, then you need to put this on your schedule and block it off, and then don't bump it for something else. There are an enormous amount of things going on here, right, there's like anxiety, worry, not thinking our business is important enough that always thinking clients' work is more important than our own things like that. There's a lot at work here. I get that. But we need to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves. I just spent a month with my hands. Not working right. So I wasn't gonna tell the story, but me as well now, because I think it plays in here really well. I am one of those people that doesn't like to sit still. I like to go go go, how many things can I fit into a day. And it's usually to my detriment. I don't take care of myself in that way. I'm full of anxiety, because of all the things I have to do. But I put all those things on my plate. And I'm working on that.
So a couple of weeks ago, I was doing something in the basement. And that was I was purposefully not working too hard. Like I didn't wanna hurt myself, because I tend to do that. I do too much. And then I'm sore the next day, and I'm useless. So the next day I wake up and my wrists and my thought are like my whole thumb joint is on fire, like that huge, inflamed mess. And I think it doesn't even feel like it's a pulled muscle, it feels like it's on fire. And it's both my hands the exact same way. And I'm like, I know, I didn't do too much. And it's really weird that I'd hurt my hands. Exactly the same way at the moment. I was like, alright, I'll just rest. So that was it. I woke up Sunday with it hurting. I rested that day. Like I couldn't hold a pencil. I couldn't write it hurt. I couldn't grip anything. I couldn't wash dishes, because you have to hold the dish with one hand and the sponge with the other. So I felt incredibly useless. As you can imagine for someone who wants to be useful all the time. So my husband Brian, wouldn't let me touch anything. My, eight-year-old was like getting things from me and not letting me do anything. He kept yelling at me for touching things and trying to do things. And this went on like this for like two weeks. And it freaked me out. Because I do everything with my hands. In the garden, I bake. When I brainstorm or think things out, I have to write everything down. If you've ever seen a live with me in the group or anything, there's like pieces of paper everywhere. Like the calendar pages, I have a whiteboard, I need to think by writing and I couldn't and it freaked me out. And of course, now I start thinking “what terrible thing has happened to me”? I tell you all of this because basically my system was just overloaded. My immune system and my nervous system were overloaded. And I really believe that my body was like you know what if you will not sit down and rest if you will not take care of yourself. I'm going to make your hands not work so that you can't do anything and it sucks. So I have given up caffeine which is rough, but Hey, what are you gonna do, and I started doing this acupuncture team, and my hands are way better, like, instantly better. Two days later, after acupuncture and off coffee, I had a headache for three days, but my hands felt better almost immediately. And what I want to say to you is this whole thing about this magical catch-up, this like guilt that you have that's going on this overwhelm, it will just follow you until you sit down and deal with it. My hands work now because I'm chilling out. And it's really hard. But I am taking more time to say okay, none of these things need to be actually done. I don't need to do these things. I don't need to have this perfect. I'm asking for more help. Which is hard, especially for my house. Oh, that's really hard. But asking for help. I'm also making time. I am scheduling time on my calendar to say these three hours are for bookkeeping, CEO time, whatever it is. So that I can make sure that the things that are important to me are on my schedule before the rest of the world takes over my schedule. I wasn't gonna tell that whole part. But I feel like it is a real-world example of why we need to take better care of ourselves. And not just rely on this magical catch-up day to fix it. Because it won't, it will never come. Unless we make it. We have to take care of ourselves. We have to take the initiative. And I get it with schedules and kids and all of that it's overwhelming. But that's why it's even more important to make time to get these things done. Get help, or just say I need to do this and cross it off. I know how hard this can be. I had to give up coffee. That's how bad it was. For me. Coffee is one of my favorite things in the world. I didn't give up coffee completely, but I'm drinking decaf. And that's not exactly as pleasant. So I know how hard this can be. But I know that it just made me feel better. And I hope that it will make you feel better, even if you can just do a little bit at a time. Alright guys, take care of yourselves. I'll see you next week.
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