Whew, this week has been busy! And I am guessing it has been busy for you too, because you are a Mama CEO and we have lots of *stuff* that needs to get done.
A marathon day putting the finishing touches on my Mama CEO Planner, our last few summer adventures and the start of second grade for my son (my daughter doesn’t start for another 13 days…but who’s counting). While juggling kids and my business; my husband has also been super busy at work, I have a full private client load and I’m starting the prep for the launch of my next round of the Mama Mastermind.
I am sure you are just as busy.
One question I often get asked is when you are am when you have a million things that need to get done and very limited time to get them done (so basically every Mama CEO,)
“Should we spend time planning, or do you just need to get down to business with every free minute we have??”
This is a great questions and although I am a planning addict, I’m going to tell you you need both.
There are times (ok most times,) when setting aside time to plan is actually going to save you time in the long run. But there are definitely other times when you need to put the to do list aside, put your earbuds in and get s#*t done.
Start with a plan
I always recommend starting with a big plan. I like to plan my goals for the next 90 days and then the week by week action steps I need to get there. This takes a considerable amount of time up front, but once it is done, each week you have have a very clear picture of what you need to do to move you towards that big goal. You don’t waste time weekly remembering what still needs to get done, or save everything for the last minute panic attack.
Get out of overwhelm
Spending time planning is a sure fire way to get out of overwhelm. When I am in a place where I feel like I have a million things that need to get done, I start to shut down. I have a hard time focusing or choosing a task to work on and I usually end up watching cat videos on facebook (and it also seems to always result in me raiding my kids candy stash…I’m not the only one right??)
Close down some tabs
When I hold that mile-long list in my head, my brain is too full trying to remember the list to actually figure out HOW to do any of the tasks. Its like your computer with too many tabs open and it starts to run really slow, the same happens in your brain. Getting the list out of your brain and on to paper and then making a plan for when each step needs to get done, allows you to shut down all your brain’s tabs and just open the one that you need to focus on. This spends up your processing and saves you time.
Another common sans-plan scenarios is being overly ambitious with what you can accomplish in a given time. Your baby goes down for a nap and you plan to get 37 things done, when you only do three, you feel like a failure, or like you are bad at time management. But really, you were just not realistic with what projects could fit in the time you had available. By knowing the time a task will take and exactly when you will work on that task, you can realistically plan your day for success.
But, there are definitely time when you need to put the planning aside and DO.
There is a quote that says, “planning without action is a daydream.”
You have to put your plan into action.
Feel the Fear…And DO
Sometimes planning can mask fear. The feeling (sometimes subconsciously) is if you are still putting your plan in place for that scary next big project, then the project hasn’t failed. Sometimes you have to just leap, put the finishing touches on the project and call it done.
While I am a big advocate of focusing each day on your most important tasks, there is something very cathartic about just crossing stuff off your list. There are days I set aside an hour or 2 to just do all those little niggly tasks. Where my sole goal is to get as many things off my long list as possible, even if that means the most important thing goes undone for a while (or the whole day) Sometimes getting that list shorter is the best motivation to getting the big things done.
What about you? Are you a planner or a fly by the seat of your pants kinda girl?
If you are a planner, or want to be one, I invite you to check out my new Mama CEO Planner.
This year long planner is designed to help you plan out your big business goals and break them down into week by week tasks to make sure they get down with out sending you into overwhelmlandia. The planner also allows you to keep all your business AND home obligations all in one spot.