How Do You Do It? Part 3 – Elimination Not Balance
“Distractions destroy dreams.” Of all the quotes in the world, this is the one sitting next to my computer at work. Friends, I am constantly distracted! I mean, this morning I couldn’t even get out of the house remotely on time because my phone was lost -- had been since yesterday-- and I couldn’t text the babysitter to let her know I was running an hour behind. I had been searching for this thing forever, only to later find it, literally, laying on the floor in the middle of the living room, inches from where I had laid down to look for it under the couch an hour before. How could I have missed it!?! Because I was distracted by a million other things: dirty dishes, crying kids, broken robots, messy house, crazy hair, unbrushed teeth, unpacked lunch, and forgotten breakfast to name a few.
This is a problem. I am an adult and yet I struggle SO HARD to complete basic tasks in reasonable time-frames. I’m talking 30 minutes to answer an email kind of slow. Is this just me? Can anyone else relate? I feel like I’m working a million hours a day and yet, standing still half of the time not moving forward. Something has to go…
I wrote that over 3 months ago. Something had to go and I refused to let it be my standards or expectations. So alas, the reason you haven’t heard from me for awhile, SOMETHING HAD TO GO!
I love being a part of Someday Wellness and I love doing this blog, but the reason I started this particular post back in August/September and am just finishing it now is that you can’t do everything. God asked me to say “yes” to coaching volleyball. I did, and it was wonderful, but it was also dang hard. Hard to say no to my kids that I didn’t have more time to play. Hard to tell my husband I was too tired for adult time. Hard to keep up with my massive amounts of grading. Hard to tell my sister, sorry your on your own, and hard to keep it all together.
I once heard someone say that “champions don’t have balance.” That has stuck with me for quite some time. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not okay with mediocrity in most areas of my life. I want to be the champion. Good, isn’t good enough. I want more. I want to be great at what I do. But...how do I make that work with the demands of being a mom, a wife, a full-time teacher, a coach, a friend, a sister, a dreamer, an innovator, etc.? Well, let’s be honest. I can’t. I couldn’t. And reality check, you can’t either. If you devote more time to one thing, the scale tips. You can’t ever really balance all the tasks and all the jobs because if you give your full attention to everything, you’re really devoting yourself to nothing.
Throughout my volleyball season my assistants and I had many late-night conversations about how well we were managing “balance.” We weren’t perfect, but our self reflections on how we were living our lives and prioritizing when we were being pulled in a million different directions helped us stay focused on the big picture.
For part 3 of How Do You Do It? I’d like to call your attention to the following matrix derived and made popular by Stephen Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There are four quadrants in the matrix. Note that some tasks may fall into one category on one day, and move to another at any given time, but if you can start to identify which box you’re living in, you can take steps to move forward in the direction of your dreams.
Important and Urgent: These are things that need taken care of immediately. They are essential to reaching YOUR goals and cannot be put off until later. These tasks are your main priority. This box is where you should be spending most of your time!
Important, but NOT Urgent: Things you need to take care of, but that can be scheduled for another time. This might include scheduling a workout, finishing lesson plans for the week after next, getting an additional accreditation or degree, and meal prepping for the week.
Urgent but NOT Important: Things that you might feel pressured to respond to or complete (pending your personality type), but are distractions keeping you from your goals. Typically items that fall into this category can be delegated to others.
Not Important and Not Urgent: Things you want to do, but don’t benefit you in any way. This includes things like binge watching a T.V. series, Facebook stalking an old friend, or picking out the perfect snap chat filter.
If you’re anything like me, my “Do First” box always seems to be overflowing. I struggle with delegating and putting writing things off as “not important,” yet, it is a necessity for personal and professional growth. Know what you value. Yeah, work goals are important, but are you still being a good mom and a good wife? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “If I don’t do _____, then it won’t get done.” Or, “If _____ does this, it’s not going to be the way I want it.” Well… yes, that may be true, but does it really matter? If it does, do it yourself. BUT, if on the last day of your life you aren’t even going to remember, is it worth your time?
Champions don’t have balance, they prioritize. So reevaluate that next to-do list. Limit your anxiety and stress by asking yourself if what you are doing benefits yourself and others, or if it’s just a frill. Prioritize things that bring you joy, are essential to your work/personal success, and that help you feel good about yourself. Eliminate or hold off on things that don’t need done today. Build relationships of trust so that you can delegate tasks. Surround yourself with people that don’t distract, but enhance your dreams. Know that it is okay to say “No.” Your Someday depends on it.
CHECK OUT THIS AMAZING, FREE, PRIORITY MATRIX!!! I AM IN LOVE
And for all you Business Babes check out the Business Matrix.
Much Love, Kylie Hein