“It’s almost always our thinking that is holding us back.” Leslie Randolph, founder of The Coach Chronicles, shares a technique to change the cycle!
Hello, friend. I am Leslie Randolph, and I am a confidence coach for women and teens.
So many of my mama clients believe they don’t have enough time. They have endless to-do lists. They can’t get everything done. They are always dropping the ball somewhere.
While all these statements FEEL true, I can assure you they are not. They are simply thoughts we think and, when we think them, we feel overwhelmed, out of control, and anxious. And when we feel those feelings, we rarely feel motivated, determined, and focused to tackle our to-do lists.
Can you see the cycle?
When we think these thoughts (“I don’t have enough time, I have so much to do, I can’t get everything done”) we usually prove ourselves right and then those statements feel even more true. Like proven facts that we have no power to change.
But we do have the power to change them, and it starts by simply changing the thought pattern.
What if, for today, you chose to believe you would get one thing crossed off your to-do list? If you aimed to accomplish just one thing, then how would you feel? You’d probably feel confident, empowered, or capable versus overwhelmed. And from there, you would probably accomplish the one thing you set your sights on. You can prove THAT thought true, and start a different cycle.
So much of my coaching focuses on mindset shifts like the one above. Rather than teaching my clients HOW to do something, we explore WHY they aren’t doing something or WHY they are taking a different action that sets them even further from their goals.
It’s almost always our thinking that is holding us back.
Just for you mamas, I’m sharing a technique I often recommend to anyone struggling with time management. This process may seem tedious at first, but if you implement it that overwhelmed feeling and anxiety will lessen, procrastination will be a thing of the past, and productivity will take its place.
Why does this technique work? This approach gives you a chance to assess what and who gets your most valuable asset – time. Schedule your week, collect that “data,” and notice if you love the way you spend your time. If you don’t then figure out what can change so that you are living a life you love and prioritizing what matters to you.
Here we go!
- Carve out an hour to plan your weekly schedule. Make this a sacred time – turn off your notifications so you can focus, close the door. I like to do this on Sunday or first thing on Monday. It sets the tone for your week.
- Write down EVERYTHING you want to get done that week. Personally, professionally…as big as organizing the garage or finishing a report at work, to something as small as picking up the dry cleaning. Get it out of your head and onto paper.
- Ask yourself what else? Add to the list. There’s more (there’s always more) – get it all out on paper. What about that email you’ve been putting off or that call you need to make or appointment you need to schedule? Want to binge a new Netflix series? Need to order something for kids’ activities? Write it down.
- Determine how long each task will take and allocate a time frame for it. Here’s a concept you will need to get your head around – you can determine how long something will take. Give yourself an hour and it will take an hour. Give yourself all day and it will take all day. Just decide how long each task will take.
- Go to your digital calendar and add in all items and allocated time frames STARTING WITH YOU TIME. This reminds you and your calendar what is most important – YOU! Your workout. Your journaling. Your quiet time. Your coffee hot in the morning. The things that refuel your tank but you never think you have time for. Add that first.
- Then schedule one to two hours each day of focus time. This is sacred time where all notifications are off and you get to focus COMPLETELY on the task at hand. This time is dedicated to COMPLETING a task. As an example, focus time for me is where I am writing and finishing a blog post. Determine what that is for you. Are there bigger projects at work that require a dedicated chuck of time? It might be the ME time we talked about above or organizing the garage. Or perhaps you want to start a blog or a podcast. Use the focus time to complete a project.
- Fill in the rest of your week. Block out time for meals, school pickups, errands, social scrolling. All of it. Be intentional and thorough.
- See what can actually wait until next week. We have a tendency of thinking everything needs to be done NOW. Ask yourself what the priorities are and plan accordingly.
- STICK TO THE CALENDAR NO MATTER WHAT! Do the thing you don’t want to do in the moment because you said you would! This is how you build trust with you. And when you trust you, overwhelm and anxiety aren’t as dominant. You know you have your back, you know you are in control. You are honoring your word to you.
Assess on Friday:
- Write down three accomplishments from the week. What can you celebrate?
- Did you do what you said you would do? Why or why not?
- What lesson did you learn that you can apply to next week’s planning?
Let me know your thoughts about all of the above. I am here for all your questions (or complaints 😊). Hope you find this tool helpful! If so, reach out and let me know.
Lots of love,
Leslie Randolph is a life coach and the chief wisdom officer at The Coach Chronicles where she shares lessons learned from being a coach, a mom, a business owner, and an eternal work in progress.