“Why Would I Schedule Time for Joy?”
“Happy wife, happy life,” and “When mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!”
What do these two phrases tell you?
To me, it shows how crucial women are in their families and communities. We are the foundation. And what happens when that foundation starts to fall apart?
Here’s the problem. Conversations with Vixens show that 8 out of 10 can’t remember the last time they felt pure joy, and 9 out of 10 don’t have time for themselves. These foundations are cracking.
When you’re the backbone of so many aspects of your life, it means that breaking down these foundations results in poor relationships, poor business performance, lower productivity… The ripple effect is strong.
So what can we do about it?
So, how do we get back to Joy? And why should we?
Taking time for yourself is clearly crucial. I don’t have to tell you that it allows you to recharge and get back to YOU. Because you’ve probably experienced that; think about it. What was the last thing you did where you found yourself saying, “Wow, I really needed that.”
Maybe you spent time with your friends, or you went on a date with your significant other. Or maybe you just had 10 minutes of time to sit, breathe and be present (yes, sometimes it really is that simple).
Whatever it was that gave you your energy back, take note of it. How can you have more of that in your life? Here’s the trick a lot of us get stuck on; self-care isn’t necessarily the hours-long trip to the spa. (Though it can be!) Sometimes it looks like going out to lunch, dancing around your house (one of my go-tos), or settling in to read a book you really enjoy. It looks different for all of us.
Here’s what I want you to do. Look at your calendar. Is it color coded? (That’s the one of the first things I have my clients do.) Think about a color that brings you joy. Something you really love. For me, that’s pink. I only use the color pink for putting scheduled time for pure JOY on my calendar.
This makes it easy for me when I’m looking at my week–if I see no pink on my calendar for that week, I know I need to schedule some time for joy to make sure I’m not burning out and losing all my energy.
“Time Management isn’t the Answer.”
“April, I have tried time management. The digital calendars, the to-do lists, the project management programs. It doesn’t work.”
I hear you. I used to feel the same way. But I like to say that managing your time is really about managing your energy. I mean, if you don’t manage your time, you’re going to end up doing a ton of (probably draining) tasks on the fly, and you’re going to end your busy day feeling like you didn’t really accomplish anything.
Another thing to think about is, have you ever gone out to dinner with friends, or spent time with your family, but the whole you’re thinking about that one thing you really need to do? Whether it’s responding to that important email or completing a series of tasks, it means you’re not being fully present in that energy-giving moment.
And if when you’re resting, if you’re feeling guilty about it or thinking of all the things you “should” be doing, then you’re not truly resting.
Remember how I said that I color-code my calendar? I have other colors for team activities, creative work, admin… I’m essentially grouping like-activities together. Another thing I do (and some people might think I’m crazy for this one), is that I put everything on my calendar. When to wake up, when to eat…
And as crazy as that sounds, if I’m putting even the small tasks on my calendar, like answering the important email, then it’s already done–which means I’m NOT thinking about it during my time for joy. ;) Make sense?
Oh, and another thing…
As entrepreneurs… We’re all busy. I mean, if we weren’t it would probably be easier to find time for ourselves, right? And sometimes, our family, our friends… They don’t really understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. So when it comes to our time, and our energy, we have to protect ourselves.
Has someone ever asked you to do something with them, and you’ve thought, “Well, I really actually need to do X, Y, Z…” But you said yes anyways? (Only to then beat yourself up for it later.)
Setting boundaries around our time is just as important as managing it. Because that scheduled time to meet with your team or work on a creative project means nothing if you don’t honor it.
When we talk about time boundaries, is there someone you can think of that’s constantly infringing on your time? For me, there was once a period of time when my mom was calling me every day in the middle of my work day.
Now, I love my mom. I love talking to her every day. But I had to set the boundary that she couldn’t continue calling me in the middle of my day or I wasn’t going to get any work done. So I put the sandwich conversation method to use. I started off by telling her how much I love her, and that she’s the best mom in the world. Then, I asked that she not call me in the middle of my day, and followed up by suggesting that I call her at the end of my day so that I can get my work done and we still get to chat every day.
I use this story because most people would be mortified to have this conversation with a family member. They’re often the hardest people to set boundaries with. But setting boundaries is a muscle that you’ll have to practice using to get good at.
Is there someone you can think of that you need to set boundaries with? How can you approach that conversation to get your time and energy back?
Put it into Action
Now that we’ve covered time, energy, and boundaries… Do you have a plan in mind on how you can get back to joy? If you're interested in
Create a specific color for joy in your calendar. During your beginning of the week planning, take a glance at your calendar. How many times do you see that color? Is it enough time for you to reset and re-energize?
Put everything on your calendar. When you know everything has a time and place where it’s sure to get completed, you won’t be worried about answering that super important email when you’re resting, and you can be fully present.
When you commit to doing certain tasks at certain times, set graceful boundaries to make sure that time isn’t infringed on so that you can fully focus.
Think a business coach would be helpful in getting your time back so you can scale your business and build the life of your dreams? Let's chat! In the spirit of giving this holiday season, I've opened up spots on my calendar to chat about your goals, obstacles, and unique challenges.