Episode # 33 - How Do You Spend Your Time?
After recently being asked when I would be taking off for the holidays, and realizing I had almost no downtime planned, I started thinking about how I spend my time. As I started thinking about how the last few months with all the crazy going on have played out, I was reminded that this is not the way I wanted it to go going forward. How do I want to spend my time? It’s so so important yet it’s rarely included in our goals when we are planning. So I am going to be intentional about choosing what I spend time doing and making it part of my goals this year.
Here are the things we cover:
Featured on today's show:
- Episode #12 - Delegate Not Abdicate
- Episode #21 - How to Delegate So You Don’t Lose Your Mind
- Episode #29 - Teaching Your Systems
Quotes from today:
- “I fall into that trap of ‘I can’t take any time off because…’”
- “I’d be on vacation and have to hope that none of my clients had an emergency while I was at the zoo.”
- “I suck at doing nothing. It makes me feel like a bum.”
- “When there’s no time off built into the calendar it all just becomes a big blur.”
- “Most times when you’re goal setting for the year, you forget to ask yourself how you want to use your time.”
- “If you say, ’I can’t possibly hand that off to my team,’ that’s just bull. Don’t be a martyr for your business.”
- “When clients say, ‘How about we set that up for Monday morning or Friday afternoon?’ I say, ‘Nope.’”
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 33. A little while ago, maybe I was on a coaching call group coaching with a bunch of people and the coach running the meeting. Her first question to everyone was, when is your last day of work for the year. And I thought I don't know, December 31. And then everyone else on the call said things like December 18, December 11. I was like, wow. And it didn't even occur to me to take off time. There were a lot of people that were just going to be they clear their schedules for the end of the year, and they weren't working through the holidays. And it didn't even occur to me to do that. And I think that is because of the way my brain works and the way I work for better or worse. I think a lot of us do this. We don't even try to book a vacation, right? Like when we were in corporate, we got our three weeks or whatever. And then we would plan those because we wanted to get away from work for a week. But then when you start doing something you really like, you maybe don't want to leave as much. Or you feel like you are the only person that can do the thing, which I fall into that trap a lot where you're like, well, I can't leave because there's no one else to do this thing I want to talk about today, that mindset of we can't ever take a vacation, or we can't ever take time off. Because that comes up a lot with business owners that I talked to, a lot of people want to hire me because they feel like they can never take a moment off. They want me to come in and get their operations all set up and systems set up so that they can run their business without being there every second. Like that's a big selling point for my services is to be able to take time off. So planning time off for me for vacation always seems like a good idea, right? I always want to do that. Like going back a couple of years, I didn't really have the team in place to be able to be like guys, I'm out.
So there were people that helped me with certain things. But there were other things that I was the only one doing and hadn't given them to anyone yet or there was no one to give them to yet. So we would go on vacation to whoever it was, I would work a little in the morning, I worked a little at night to keep up and check in. And hope that my clients didn't have any crazy emergency while I was at the zoo. Not a really effective way to go. But at that point I was so in the hustle mode, I didn't understand how to take time off. And now, this last year planning for vacation really, it seems like a good plan. But like not my biggest concern, because I was not going anywhere. We weren't going to take a week off and go anywhere, because we weren't going anywhere. And that became real easy to not take a week off. And I mean, I couldn't go out and hang out with my friends all the time either.
We couldn't go out to restaurants and hang out or whatever. So the whole idea of escaping and going somewhere really kind of cut out the need in my brain I think for vacation. Add to that. The fact that I suck at doing nothing. I don't need to work all the time. I'm not like a crazy workaholic. But sitting on the couch all day makes me feel terrible. It doesn't. It doesn't relax me, it invigorates me it makes me feel like a bum. And like I have to I'm gonna have to work so much harder tomato ketchup. Even if I am gardening or doing something else yesterday. I was Saturday I tried to do nothing. And then Sunday, I couldn't stand it anymore. And I ended up cleaning a bunch of things which I'm not one of those people who needs to clean all the time. But there's Christmas stuff everywhere. And the presence or in places that you like all the mess and I felt better if I just straightened up a little like I was useful. And that's a big mindset thing as well. So there's this whole like we're not going anywhere anyway, why bother going planning a vacation? Then there's this all I suck at doing nothing and I want to sit still anyway so let's log as many hours doing all the things as we can. But the problem is it all becomes a blur and I need a break. I'm getting cranky and overwhelmed and I'm supposed to be resting like this is supposed to be a quiet couple of weeks. And it's not because I can't sit still. July was this really chill month where I would work and I would get my stuff done but nothing was crazy. Then August hits and clients go crazy. September October. I think by the end of September. I'll be fine. Be back to normal. But it doesn't go back to normal. In fact, I brought on a new client. And then I brought on a team member and and and and when there was no time off built into that it was just a never-ending blur. And I tell you all of these things because right now I am trying to plan for the next year and figure out all the things that were kind of crappy this year.
The working all the time that being stressed out that something wasn't right. Because I worry, I'm a worrier. I wake up at four in the morning, sometimes I'm worried that I didn't do a thing. So I'm trying my very best right now to work on how I want to spend my time next year. Most times when your goal setting for the year, people talk about revenue goals, or a number of clients or number of downloads on your podcast, like whatever those things are those metrics. But most times we those things that they come up with, at the end of the year, like the 20 questions you should ask yourself, very rarely does it ask you how you want to spend your time. And after the blur of 2020, I'm sure all of us spend our time doing things that we didn't want to do, or in the way that we didn't want to do them. So many times, we want to do something else, but we couldn't because of the situation. Or because some of us were working so hard extra hours just to make ends meet through the craziness. And some people were just stressed out all the time, probably, you know, drinking too much or eating too much because they didn't have much of a business going on. Or your business was so crazy good. Because you were the thing that everyone needed right now that you spent all of your time working and you didn't see your kids. For this end of this last week of 2020s episode, I kind of wanted to talk about how are we spending our time going forward? Because we are all a little cranky, a lot of people are cranky, a lot of people are stressed out. I think the biggest thing is that kind of figuring out where we're gonna put our time. I am trying my best right now to pay attention to how I feel about different things I need to show up for. What do I like doing? What do I not like doing what's okay for now, but I don't want to keep doing it forever. What have I missed out on? What has aggravated me to have to do? What do I miss? I mean, I miss leaving my house. I miss going places, I miss restaurants, I miss vacations. As much as I want to say I can pick the time I spend on that. It does matter about how the pandemic is going. If we're on lockdown, it doesn't matter how much I want to go on vacation. It's not happening. But there are a lot of different things that we can control. I will say right away, I tend to go on the martyr route that, Oh, I can't possibly take off time because this is really important. Or I can't possibly give this to my team member because no one knows how to do it. I'm the only one. Well, I can't possibly. It's bull. It's complete bull. And I keep pushing that myself on that. Do I really need to do this myself? No. The answer is almost always No. Do I have to record this podcast myself? Yes. And that's one of a handful of things. I literally have to do myself. Everything else can be given to someone else, in some other way, taught that way prepared in some way. So my first thing is going to be stopping the martyr routine. And trying to be much more intentional with my time. Looking at what I actually do every day, do I actually have to do it at all? Like does it have to get done at all? Because some things are like that, that would be nice to paint the house, but it doesn't really need it right now. Then there is the will this needs to get done. But I don't need to do it. And then there's Oh no, that I need to do like hanging out with my kid that I need to do. So making those kind of decisions intentionally. And they can be like, I want to do this. Like I want to spend time with my son, I want a garden. I want to build time in for that because it makes me happy. That's my relaxation is being out my garden puttering around seeing what's growing, that makes me happy. So building in that time as my self care kind of thing that I'm trying to figure out what worked. Last year, the last I guess like six months. I have not had any client calls Mondays or Fridays. So those were only four if there was when I was coaching with the do certification. That was a place where they had Friday meetings, and that was fine with me because that was a special thing. And it was also had nothing to do with me. So they already picked up Fridays. And I was okay with being a part of that wasn't a huge amount of time. But when clients say Oh, how about Monday morning? Nope. Having Mondays and Fridays gave Me a chunk of time where I was not going to be interrupted by calls, I could get my own stuff done. Or like I could go and hang out, there was a good chunk of summer, where Fridays at noon, we were at the beach, there was a great little bar. Not that far from our house, we could get a beer, they had a, like a barbecue food truck there. So you get like ribs and a beer, and there was nobody there yet. And we could hang out, we didn't have to worry about pandemic, people sit at beach for a couple hours, and then go home. And that was like every Friday for a while. And it was wonderful. And by the end of August, that stopped because I had all this work to do again. So that is a thing where I'm like I want to be able to leave at noon on Friday. Because that was pretty great. was pretty great to kick out. And then to think Well, yeah, this is the whole reason I have my own business, right? I don't want to work all the time every day like I'm in corporate anymore. What schedule do I want to work? Do I want to work at night? This was a big thing. I never worked at night before. When my son was in school, my husband was in an office, I worked within that schedule. I was very strict. I was very good at time blocking. You know, I knew exactly what minute I had to be up and in the shower to get everybody out the door, get the laundry done, go to the grocer, all that stuff.
On top of running my business, I was really structured. And then when everyone was home, that I wouldn't have the window. And I miss that structure. There's something to be said of like, nobody wants to structure because they want to have freedom. But the problem is, when it's all a blur, and you don't know where you are ever, and everything is just all the time. It's not freedom. It just feels gross and yucky. I just feel like I'm never doing enough. But when I had a to do list, and I said okay, well between 11 and three today, I've got to get these 15 things done, or whatever it was, I had them done. And then when that list was done, I was done. I would get up from my desk and walk away, I go pick up my son from school or go make dinner, something like that. It clear delineation. So I didn't feel like it just was never ending work. And it's something I miss now because I've gotten into a terrible habit of kind of moseying through my day. And being like, what am I doing now. And always just feeling very unsettled. There's that great feeling when your to do list is done for the day, that clean cut, like I'm done, I'm out. And I missed that. Because now I've been working all over the place. I never worked at night, I never worked at my family home. That was my rule. I worked when they weren't home so that when they were I could actually spend time with them. And now there's been an enormous amount of time where I am kind of always working, because they're always here. They never leave. So I come out to my office, I do the really important things like record podcasts and my quiet time. But other than that everything's kind of a blur. So I've been working, sometimes I'll have my computer in my lap and 1130 at night. And you know what, I have to make a decision about whether I want to keep that going do I want to spend more time during the day with my son when he's here, and then work at night. That's totally cool. But I want to be more intentional. Instead of like, crap, I get nothing done today. Now I have to work at 11 o'clock at night. I'm also looking at what kind of calls and meetings I have. I usually air on the side of less meetings is great. So many people. And this is I think a corporate layover, corporate Lego hangover. I think this is something that comes from corporate where there's like a weekly meeting, and there's no reason for it. There are definitely people who can do weekly meetings, and they're very useful. People come with an agenda, they come with questions, let's discuss what needs to go, blah, blah, blah, blah, doesn't leave. Then there are the meetings where you show up, no one has anything talked about, and they just, you know, bullshit for a half an hour. That drives me crazy. It's not productive. Don't have a meeting every week, if there's no reason to have a meeting every week, if you have something you want to talk about, just make a meeting. So if you're gonna have weekly meetings, make them efficient and useful. And I am looking at those meetings now. Because I had a ton a ton of meetings on my calendar for a while. And I've paired a lot of them back like you don't need this meeting. There's still some on my list. But I feel like I'm down to the point where the ones that are there are useful. Because those useless meetings that are just drudgery, they kill your energy and then you just want to be done for the day after that. And if the meetings at 11 o'clock in the morning that makes it hard because you're just going to create a cranky mood for the rest of the day. I am going to be much more intentional about my meetings and what I'm putting on my schedule. Because I also want to be doing much more strategic mapping. For any of you who don't know what strategic mapping is, it is a way that you break down your mission vision values, and then your goals for 90 days, you would come and you'd have calls with me. And then we figure out what you want to do for the next 90 days, and then break it into the each month, and then really break it all out. So you have a plan. I love doing that. I love getting on calls with people, I'm really talking about their business and helping them to see like what they should be doing or what they should be working on. Or let's be serious, you're not going to get seven launches done in a month, or those kind of things and really coming up with a plan so they know where they're going. And I love doing those. And I'm not doing enough of those because I'm hanging on to work that I don't love. So I want to be doing more strategy calls more strategic mapping planning for my clients. And I want to do less of the day to day ball that this meeting is useless calls, that it's just good for my brain, I want to focus on the work I really love doing. I need to get back to my time blocking from before and that is going to look a lot different.
Now I don't I can't just say okay, from nine to three I work. It's not the same as it used to be. I also don't want to lock myself in my office all day and not see my family like they're right in the door in my house. And then to not see them all day like I don't like a man in an office. I don't want that either. So how do I want to break up my day? How do I want to schedule meetings? And what kind of stuff do I want to be doing voting my time to like, obviously, I want to do strategic mapping and more strategy. But I also want to do things for my own business. And I usually have the tendency to push my own stuff off in favor of my clients. And then all of a sudden, I haven't looked at my own company's things and weeks, my marketing plan, podcasting, things like that, like I want to do things for my own business. This year, I started the podcast. I also put together my first digital product, which is the tool of the New Year numbers, tools to help small businesses kind of get their numbers and their finances organized. So they can see what's happening in their business. And I love it. And I've had great feedback from that. But I haven't done very much with it. I have barely told anybody about it. I want to tell more people about it. But I also want to build other things that can help small businesses get their like systems together. There's been an idea in my head for months, and I haven't done it yet. And I keep thinking okay, okay, I'll get to it, I'll get to it because I pushed my own stuff off. So I want to be much more intentional with the things I want to spend time on for Reynolds will be on. These are all these kind of ideas that have been swimming around in my head, all these things that I'm trying to notice what I like and what I don't like, and then start deciding what I want to do. It is such a jumble in my head, and I'm kind of just riffing on it all here. I don't really have a plan. And I don't even have an action plan for you at this point. I think I'm at the point right now where I'm really just in this like researching what my brain is thinking space, and trying to figure out what I want, what I don't want. And trying to figure out how I want to work. Do I want to take time chunks of time off? I probably don't like maybe a week if we're going to go somewhere. But like, I don't want to be home for a week doing nothing. I know that sounds crazy. But that's just not what doesn't make me happy. If I could do a little work every day. During the week, maybe three days, maybe I go three, four days a week, and I work. And then I have afternoons to spend in the garden or mornings suspend the garden when it's really hot out or things like that, where I'm working. And I get that in my head and I feel accomplished. But at the same time, that's my time off is daily instead of in big chunks. I don't know yet. So how are you spending your time? What do you want to do? Do you want to take big chunks of time off? Do you want to go slow and steady? Are you just so crazy right now that you're listening to all of this like hell, you're insane. I could never take a minute off.
May I suggest going to the delegation podcast? I'll link to in the show notes. delegation and hiring have some help. That has been a huge, huge help to me. And the reason that I am in the middle of the day right now recording podcasts instead of having crazy clients calling me every five minutes. Not that any of my clients are crazy, but you understand the emergency of it all is what I meant. So how do you want to spend your time next year? Do you want to work all the time? Do you want to see your kids? Do you want to just grind out you can totally kill this year in revenue? Like what is the thing you want to do? Instead of just picking like a big ass number for your revenue and being like alright, that's what I want. What do you really want to do? So many times we get wrapped up in like the numbers of it, and the corporate, I'm gonna get this much money that I think we forget, the whole reason we were doing this is for freedom at all. So we're here on the clock. Kind of doesn't make sense if that's not what you want. So I am going to work this out, and I will be letting you know how it works out. I'm kind of working through my goals this week. And I have a meeting with my husband tomorrow, where we're going to sit down and be like, Okay, what are our goals this year? Because it's not just business goals, like my life goals to like, what do we want to do? What kind of things do we want to do? What kind of goals do we want to do? How much do you want me to work? How much do you want to be working? Like all those kinds of things? I'm in a real factfinder mode right now. And I love it. And I have no idea how it's all gonna work out. But I think you kind of have to figure out what you want first, right? I think I hope so. Otherwise, this whole business if it's not what I want, why am I doing? Are you doing it? Alright, go think about how you want to spend your time and I'll talk to you next week.
Thanks for joining me this week on the Sink Handle podcast. I can't wait to do all of this again next week. Make sure to visit us at reynoldsobm.com for the show notes on anything we talked about today. If you love or you mostly like the show, please subscribe and rate us on iTunes so we can help more people avoid the Sink Handle.