The One Selfish Mistake You Are Making With Your Time

Selfless means thinking less about yourself and more about others.

The most important word in this definition is “thinking”.  

We have interpreted this definition to mean that if we do less for ourselves that we are selfless and that’s what it looks like to be a “good” Mom, wife, boss, employee.

But we have this all wrong.

It’s not about doing less for ourselves, it’s thinking about other people.  And when you are stressed out and overwhelmed and frantically rushing from one thing to the next because your schedule is out of control, you are not thinking about anyone but you. 

It’s the opposite of what we think it should be.  

By not creating time and space in your schedule for yourself, you are being selfish because what happens is that you run around, thinking only about you and what you have to do next, what you didn’t get done, it’s all you, you, you

When you intentionally schedule time in your calendar each week for yourself, you automatically become more selfless.  Taking care of yourself is the most selfless act you could do because it frees up mental energy that you can direct to your kids, your family, your work, and your dreams.

This is one of the most important skills you will need to learn to bring back balance into your life and stop overworking.  

Yes, this is a skill. It’s just that nobody taught it to you before now.

To begin practicing this skill – start small.  If you haven’t been scheduling any time for yourself, then you don’t want to start by scheduling a 2 hour massage.  It’s too big of a leap and you probably won’t follow through.  So, choose one small thing for each day or at least 2 to 3 days this next week.  It could be 15 minutes of reading or journaling, a 15 minute walk, or even sitting in silence by yourself for a few minutes meditating.  It doesn’t matter the activity.  

The most important part is that you put it on your schedule first.

This time is scheduled first and everything else gets scheduled around it.  This is how you guarantee that you MAKE time to take care of yourself every week.

The other requirement for this to work is that you honor this appointment you have made with yourself.  Don’t override it with someone or something else.  Think about it like it was a doctor’s appointment for your child or some other appointment that you wouldn’t dare miss.  

Because it is.  It is a meeting with the CEO of your life.  

Be selfless this week and schedule time for you, first. 

Want more help in creating your dream schedule?  I’m here to help you make it happen.  All you need to do to take the next step is CLICK HERE to grab your Free Planning Session with me.  In this one on one call, I will take you through my Before and After Process where we will dive into what’s not working with your current schedule, what your dream schedule looks like, and how to make this dream schedule your new reality in 2020.  I’m so excited for you to finally schedule your work life so you get to live the rest of your life.  

The One Skill You Already Have As A Mom That Will Boost Your Productivity

Remember that time in your life – before kids (BK)?

Do you ever think back to BK and wonder what in the world you actually did with your time?

If you are anything like me, you realize how sloppy you were then with managing your time.  It was just easy to be lax with it.

But not anymore.

And that’s one of the amazing things about being a working Mom.  It’s an opportunity for you to up level your productivity game.  

And I’m here to help you do it by teaching you the most important productivity skills.

The first one?

Plan your time at least 24 hours in advance.  

This is important for two reasons.  

First, you make better decisions when you make them in advance.  When you are in the moment making a decision, you will most likely choose the thing that “feels” easier or better, not what will help you get the right things done. 

It might “feel” better to go answer more emails. But what would really move you ahead is completing that project that has a looming deadline.

When we make decisions in the moment, we are more likely to use our “toddler” brain.  This is the part of the brain that is driven by what feels good in the moment. 

Think about your toddler or when you had a toddler.  What was he driven by?  What he wanted in the moment.  The cookie, the toy, the shiny object at the checkout line in the grocery store.

Toddlers don’t make decisions for what’s best for themselves.  They make decisions to feel good in the moment.

When you plan your time at least 24 hours in advance, you are using the adult part of your brain.  This is the part of your brain that thinks about what is best for you, in the long run.  It’s the Mom part of your brain that will say no to your toddler even if he throws a fit because you love him so much and you know what’s best for him.

Here’s the other thing.  

When you constantly have to make decisions in the moment, it drains your energy.  As a working Mom, how many decisions do you make in an average day?

4,963.

Or at least it “feels” like this many.

So when you make a plan for your time, ahead of time, you are really being kind to yourself.  You are taking care of tomorrow you and helping her use less mental and emotional energy and preventing her from the drag of decision fatigue.

Here’s your homework for this week.

Plan one thing on your calendar each day, at least 24 hours in advance.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing.  It just has to be a decision made from the adult, Mom part of your brain.  

Maybe it’s as simple as going for a 15 minute walk tomorrow.  Or making dinner for your family one night this week.  Or date night with your spouse.  Or completing that one thing at work that has been nagging at you.

It doesn’t matter what the thing is. The important part is that you practice planning in advance. The more you practice, the better you will get.

You already have this skill and you are using it every day as a Mom.  You just didn’t realize it’s also a skill that can help you in your productivity. But now you do. So go be the Mom of your time.

Want even more help with getting the right stuff done in less time so that you have the time you want with your family and to take care of yourself?  Just join my Facebook group, “How To Get It All Done” by CLICKING HERE.  In this group, we talk all things productivity for busy, working Moms.  It’s my mission to teach you the tips, strategy and mindset shifts that have led me to reducing a 50+ hour/week corporate job to just 3 days a week and to build a successful coaching practice in just 3 days a week.  Join us and let me know what your biggest struggles are in balancing your Momming and working by messaging me in this group or emailing me at neill@neillwilliams.com.

The Real Solution To Not Having “Enough” Time – You Haven’t Heard This Before

The real solution?

Believing that you have plenty of time.

That’s it.

Now, this sounds simplistic.  And it is.  But it’s not easy.

Your brain is designed to find evidence and proof in the world for what you believe.  So if you start to believe that you have plenty of time, that time is an abundant resource, your brain will go to work to gather the evidence to support this belief.

But, at this point you probably don’t believe that it’s true.

So, I’m going to give you some help in how to see it as truth.

The first step is to look at the facts.  You have 24 hours in a day.  And to be completely fair, you have 16 hours in a day if we carve out 8 hours for rest.

What are you doing with these 16 hours?  If pressed, could you give an accurate account of your 16 hours each day?

If not, it’s curious why you believe that you don’t have enough time in the first place.  It could be equally true that you have plenty of time.

The best way to figure out how you are spending your time each day is to complete a time log or time journal for a week.  I suggest logging your activities and time spend in 30 minute increments.  If you do this for an entire week, including the weekend, you will have awareness on what you are spending your hours on each day.  Do you like what you find?

The second step is to consider how you have plenty of time – for the right things, just not all the things.

You can objectively evaluate this question after you complete your time log.  What are your “right” things?  Who and what are most important to you?  Is this in alignment with how you spent your time over the past week?  If not, consider deleting out the wrong things and capturing back that time. 

This one action of deleting CREATED time in your schedule. 

And this is just the beginning.  

When you learn how to master your schedule, you create a life where you have plenty of time for everything you want.

If you want more help in learning how to stop overworking and getting more of the right things done, in less time, just join my Facebook Group, “How To Get It All Done”.  We talk all things productivity and time management in here and I give you tons more free resources that will help you become a time boss.  My mission in this group is to help you and other busy, overwhelmed working Moms learn how to plan for productivity so that you can get your work done in less time and have the time you want to take care of yourself and your family. 

These 90 Minutes Are The Secret To Mastering Your Schedule

As you reflect back over 2019, can you say that you were a Master of your schedule?  Did you get everything you wanted – done?  And in a way that was not frantic and rushing and stressful?

If not, I have great news for you.

It’s just a scheduling issue.

Leaning how to Master your schedule means you get to be in charge of it.  And the pathway to get there is planning for productivity. 

As a busy, working Mom you have kids to manage, bosses and clients to navigate, a spouse and a million other things coming at you every day so it will seem impossible to get 8 hours of uninterrupted, distraction free time.  It’s just not realistic.  

And this is unnecessary to get started mastering your schedule.

Consider carving out just 90 to 120 minutes each day or at least a few days a week for high productivity.  This is your Magic Time.

If you do this right, you can get more done in this small sliver of time than most people get done in an entire day.

Here’s how to make sure you do it right.

  1. This time is spent on the Important but Not Urgent things in your work.  This is from Stephen Covey’s Quadrant.  These are things that would really move the needle in your work – it’s that big project or initiative that you really want to get to but because it’s not screaming at you, it just hasn’t gotten your time or your attention.  Think high level, strategic, goal producing tasks and activities here.  You can start by doing a quick brain dump of all of the things that would qualify as Important and Not Urgent.
  2. Find your Magic Zone.  This is the zone of time during your day where your brain is the most energetic, your productivity is the highest, where you can get into your creative, flow state the easiest.  For most of us, this is the morning time but there are also people whose magic zone is the afternoon or even evening time.
  3. Schedule your time blocks during your magic zone.  Decide ahead of time when these will be and schedule them on your calendar.  These appointments you just made with yourself are non-negotiable, just like your kids’ doctors or orthodontist appointments.  And these time blocks are focused, deep work time – with ZERO distractions.  No notifications on your phone or email, a closed door at the office, phone on DND.

If you follow these 3 principles in scheduling this magic time into your day, you will start to become the Master of your schedule.

You will get more done, in less time when you PLAN for PRODUCTIVITY.

To quote Mando, (my boys favorite show right now), “This is the way.”

If you want more help in becoming the Master of your schedule, I’ve got you.  All you need to do to take the next step is to grab your FREE 45 Minute Planning Session with me (CLICK HERE).  This is a one on one session where I will take you through my Before and After Process  which is designed to diagnose what isn’t working in your schedule right now, what you really want instead (work less hours and get more done, take one day off each week – just for you, weekly date night, work only during school hours??) and how our work together is the bridge for this gap.  You don’t have to keep doing the same things you’ve always done.  In fact, this is the one thing you can do to guarantee yourself that nothing changes.  When you are ready for a change, join me in your FREE Planning Session.  (CLICK HERE

The Simplest Way To Reduce Overwhelm and Worry In The “Busiest” Seasons

This is a very busy time of year.  As a working Mom you have all of the regular balls to juggle – work, Momming, wifing, and now you have the extra balls that come with the holiday season – gift buying, gift wrapping, baking, parties, not to mention Elf on The Shelf (I’m convinced that this was created by someone who was not a parent.)

So, if you notice that you feel more overwhelmed and worried about how you will possibly get it all done, I have a few tips I want to share with you that will help.

First, clean out your mind of all of the things.  

The simple act of making a To Do List is really the act of cleaning out all of things that are swirling around in your mind – that you should do, that you “need” to do, that you want to do.  This frees up some mental space for logical thinking and planning. 

Next, remind yourself that you don’t have to do it all.

After you have your To Do List, consider how you can constrain it.  

What can you DELETE from it right away?  These are things that you really don’t want to do and that you are okay with the consequences of not doing.  Maybe it’s cutting out one of the holiday parties, maybe it’s participating in just one charitable event, maybe it’s choosing not to buy gifts for a few people.

What can you DELEGATE?  Consider employing your elves or budding entrepreneurs (kiddos) to help out.  They can wrap gifts, help with the Christmas cards, decorate, etc.  I am hiring my son to wrap gifts for me this year.  It’s a great solution because he wants to make money and I have a job that he can do for me that is extremely helpful. This is a win-win for both of us.

What can you DEFER to a future Christmas?  Maybe you wanted to put up an extra set of lights this year but does that really need to happen right now?  Can you just put it into your planning for next year?  What is truly essential?

The rest of the list gets scheduled.  DECIDE how much time you will allocate for each item, plug it into your calendar, and then just follow your plan.

If you do the planning properly and follow your plan, there will be no reason to feel overwhelmed or worry about not getting it all done.  You can just look at your calendar and see that it’s all as good as done.  

And that means – you get to sick back and ENJOY yourself through all of it.

If you are ready for more help in the art of planning to schedule your work life so that you get to LIVE the rest of your life, I’m your girl. CLICK HERE to join us in the Facebook Community, “How To Get It All Done”. In this group, you will get access to tons of free resources and mini trainings all designed to help you learn how to master the art of planning so that you get the freedom to live your life, exactly as you want. See you in there.

What To Do When Nothing Goes According To Plan

You are a busy working Mom, an entrepreneur or high achieving professional woman. You have a life. And guess what? That life is going to happen.

You would probably love nothing more than to be able to control all of it. I know, I’m with you. But you also know that this just isn’t realistic. So, what do you do when LIFE HAPPENS

the kids get sick,

there’s a snow day at school,

your husband is running late and can’t do the soccer or ballet pick up,

people NEED you for stuff that was not in your plan?

The goal is not to learn how to plan in a vacuum. The goal is to become a RESILIENT planner and time management ninjas, in spite of all that life will hand you.

This starts with your mindset. There is a shift in how you think about your time that makes all the difference. And this shift is from “I don’t have enough time” to “There is plenty of time for WHO and WHAT matters most.” And this is where priorities come into play.

The second piece of handling the unexpected is DECIDING YES OR NO. Priorities make the decision of whether to say YES or NO to this unexpected thing easy. If you have your priorities top of mind when the unexpected happens, you don’t have to spin out thinking that you can’t get it all done or you don’t know what to do and waste emotional energy in the overwhelm and frustration of not getting to follow your plan.

Instead, you get to look at your priorities and ask yourself if this unexpected thing is something you want to spend your time on – is it one of your top 5 priorities? If yes, then do it. I would offer that this is what it looks like for you to get it all done because you are taking care of things that are your highest priority. And sometimes this means taking the day off to hang out with a sick kiddo. Productivity and getting it all done is not delegated just to your work life. It takes into account your entire life and your priorities. If this thing is not in your top 5 priorities, you can just say no. Saying No is hard but it is one of the skills that can skyrocket your productivity and save so much time.

When you truly believe that you have plenty of time for WHO and WHAT matters most, the Yes or No is obvious.

The last step in handling the unexpected is to set up a protocol for the most common unexpected events in your life. Review your last 6 months. What things came up in your life that you didn’t expect or plan for? (As a side note, this is a great exercise to look at the math of the unexpected. Were there really that many things or is it just drama your brain is creating to keep you from making a plan? The math will reveal this answer to you.). Are these things you didn’t plan for one time things or are they situations that are likely to be repeated?

One of your kids probably got sick unexpectedly. And this is likely to happen again. So, what is your protocol for handling it? Maybe you ask your husband to stay home, maybe you have a back up babysitter or nanny, maybe you work from home that day and schedule one or two priority things to complete while your sick kiddo is napping. The lesson here is that you GET TO DECIDE. And you can decide right now so that you don’t have to waste time in decision making mode when this thing does happen.

Deciding ahead of time is your best plan for your highest levels of productivity. The next best plan is to be resilient in managing the things you didn’t plan for or expect.

Planning and productivity are the gatekeepers to freedom. The more masterful you get at these skills, the more freedom you will create in your life.

If you are ready for some more help with planning and productivity – how to schedule your work life so that you get to live the rest of your life exactly as you want, I’m your girl. And I have tons more great resources for you to get started on this. All you need to do is join my Facebook Group, “How To Get It All Done” by CLICKING HERE. See you in there!

The Most Powerful Force In Your Life – It’s Not What You Think It Is

If I were to ask you what or who is the thing that shapes your life or creates the results you have, what would your answer be?

The most powerful force in your life is your ability as a human to consciously and intentionally make a decision.

Most species on the planet do not have the agency that we have as humans in making decisions ahead of time.  This ability to make a series of decisions to create a result or a goal or some outcome in our life is delegated to the human species.  

It’s so awesome.

Yet many of us squander this most powerful aspect of being a human and living the human life by delegating our decisions to the world and other people.

It looks something like this.

Saying yes, when you really mean no.

Putting that social event on your calendar that you are totally dreading attending.

Going to college and getting a high paying corporate job – because this is what smart people do and it’s the path to “happiness”.

Pretending you are the person that you think the world and other people will “Like” in order to validate yourself or feel good about yourself.

Working tons of hours because you think this is what “hard work” looks like.

When you make decisions based on what you THINK the world or other people THINK you should do, you end up with a life that is completely disempowering and dissatisfying.  

You decide against yourself.

If this is you, I have great news for you.

The antidote is simple.

Make different decisions.

We hear so much about work/life balance and how to achieve it.  Here’s what I want you to know.  If your life feels out of balance in any way – it’s just a decision making issue.  That’s it.

Now this is simple, yes.  But is it easy?  For most of us who have lived our lives for other people – no.  

But it is 100% worth it.  It’s so empowering and liberating to know that you get to decide – on all of it.

It’s your superpower as a human.  To Decide.

What will you do with this superpower this week?

When you are ready to make decisions about your schedule so that you are living a life that reflects WHO and WHAT is most important to you, I’ve got you.  Work/life balance is just a decision making issue.  You can get started today by making the decision to join my Facebook Group, “How To Get It All Done” (CLICK HERE) to learn more.

Failure Means You’re Doing It Right

For those of you who are high achieving perfectionists (myself included) you probably want to throw up at the thought of failure.

So when I tell you that failure means that you are doing it right, it’s probably a tough sell.

But here me out.

It is the pile of failures that actually makes us strong enough to succeed.

Think about when your child is first learning to ride a bike.  They usually fall a few times.  But it’s what they learn in the falling that gives them the information they need to ride WITHOUT falling.  They have to do and experience the failure in order to succeed.

I know this intimately because the life of an entrepreneur is filled with failure.  Like every day there is at least one failure to contend with.  And my perfectionist tendencies made this almost intolerable for awhile because I would make it mean that I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t do it, that success just wasn’t possible for me.  I contemplated quitting – so many times.  And in fact, quitting would be so much easier. But I’m not a quitter. So. . . .

Here’s what I’ve decided to do with failure instead.

Celebrate it.  

Because I know that with each failure, I am learning and getting closer to my success. And because of this, failure is my new BFF. We hang out – all the time. And I’m learning to love her.

I see failure in my clients every week.  We work together and create a plan for their time and then something happens that we didn’t plan for and they want to give up.  Or they didn’t follow the plan that we made and they tell themselves that they just can’t do it.  Or they fall back into their habit of procrastination.

When this happens, I know we are one step closer to success and I am so excited for them.  Because it’s all of these little failures that they get to bring to me each week that we break down to figure out the why.  When we know the why, we can solve for it.  And then we rinse and repeat every week until we get to a week that was a total win.

But the win comes from sticking with the process, through all of the failures and believing that it’s the process of failure that ultimately creates the success.

Consider this – if you aren’t failing, either your goal isn’t big enough or you aren’t getting any closer to success.

Let’s start setting big goals, ones that excite us and energize us and then throw failure parties.  Let’s retrain our brains how to think about failure and use this as an example for us and our kids about the role of failure in success. Failure and success are intertwined.

Go Set a Big Goal. Then FAIL. So you can WIN.

If you want more help in taking charge of your time so you can take charge of your life, I’m your girl.  I created a FREE 5 Day Training in my Facebook Group called “How To Get It All Done” and you can access it for free just by joining the group.  CLICK HERE to join.  It’s the perfect time to start planning your time for you and the life you want because the holiday season is upon us and the world has plans for you and your time.  If you don’t plan it first – it will plan it for you.  See you in there.

Scheduling Your Time For Your Priorities Does Not Mean You Spend All Day At The Spa or Yoga

What matters most to you?

This is the very first question I ask a new client when she comes to me and wants me to help her fix her schedule or help her get more done in her life.  I ask her to DECIDE on her Top 5 Priorities.

This decision does not get to be made from the “shoulds” and “need tos”.  It is made from authenticity and what she really wants in her life, independent of what other people might think about it.  Because when you prioritize based on what you think the world wants you to do or other people think you should do, you end up in the same place as not deciding at all – out of alignment and dissatisfied with the life you create.

This is the most important question because it is the lens through which we begin to schedule her time.

Here’s an example from my own life.  My Top 5 Priorities, in order are:

  1. My Self Care
  2. My Husband
  3. My Son
  4. My Business
  5. Fun and Social Life

This list changes over time.  A few years ago I didn’t have a business so it wasn’t even on the list.  That’s why it’s important to revisit your priority list periodically – because it does change and you want to make sure that how you are scheduling your time reflects what is most important to you right now.

Now, this is probably where I have lost a few of you.  You might be thinking that if Self Care is my number one priority that I must have tons of hours in my schedule for it.  And this is where I think we have gone wrong in scheduling according to our priorities.

The number one priority does not necessarily get the most AMOUNT of time.

There isn’t a one to one relationship between the number of hours and the priority level.

Here’s what I teach my clients about scheduling their time according to their priorities.

The activities for the number one priority go on the calendar FIRST.

So, for my example, the activities for my self care go on my calendar before anything else.  And then the activities I plan for my husband and I to connect go on the calendar NEXT and so on, down the list.

I still have more hours on my calendar each week for work than I do for self care or my husband or my son.  But, the most important distinction and the thing I want you to take away from this is the order in which they get plugged into my calendar.  The time I spend working on and in my business gets plugged in AROUND the time I already scheduled to take care of myself, connect with my husband, and be a Mom.

This is what’s different about what I teach my clients in how to schedule their time.  But this distinction is everything.

So this week DECIDE on your Top 5 Priorities and start plugging your time into your calendar or planner in order – according to this list. This is how you will begin to start creating and living the life you really want – the one where you get it all done and you have time for your family and you.

I am on a mission to teach other busy working Moms how to take charge of their time again so they can take charge of their lives so I started a Facebook Group for us.  I’ll be doing a 5 Day FREE Training ‘How To Get It All Done’ in this group starting Monday, November 18th.  This training is a simple, 5 step process that I teach my clients on how to schedule their time to get it all done so they have the time they want for their families and themselves.  We are about to hit the craziness of the holiday season and I want to make sure you have the tools you need to handle all of it and ENJOY it.  If you are a busy working Mom who struggles with her time or her schedule, this group is for you.  Just CLICK HERE to join.  See you in there.

Boredom Is The Key To Getting It All Done – Here’s Why

It’s easy to get things done and be in high productivity mode when we feel inspired and excited and energized.

You have probably experienced this before.  Some call it a flow state.  It’s when everything is easy and flows and you are so in tune with it and focused that you are completely unaware of anything else. 

This is an amazing space to be in and to create from.

But the truth is that you will only feel this way about half of the time.

And what happens with the other half?

Many of us waste this other half with the excuse that we “just don’t feel like” doing . . . .

And then we go do something else that feels better, in the moment. 

I think we have bought into the idea that we have to feel excited and inspired and “good” in order to follow our plan or do that thing we put on our calendar for Tuesday at 9:00.  And then when we don’t, we think something has gone wrong. And then we just abandon our plan.

But if you do this every time you feel bored or unmotivated, you are wasting about 50% of your time.

The key to capturing this back and using all of your time, for you?

Allow yourself to feel bored and unmotivated and get to work anyway.

No, this will not be as fun in the moment.  But at the end of the two hours when that thing on your calendar is completed, it will feel amazing.

You have to decide that what you really want is that future moment when that task or project is completed, more than you want to feel better right now by getting a snack, going on a Starbucks run, checking out FB or IG. 

You DECIDE to delay gratification instead of choosing immediate gratification.

It’s just like weight loss. Instead of choosing to eat that snack that’s not on your plan (which would feel amazing in the moment), you choose to skip it for the gratification you will feel when you step on the scale and are 5 pounds lighter.

Being productive is energizing and motivating. So when you follow your plan, even when you don’t feel like it, you get to feel so proud and accomplished. But you have to choose this, intentionally, over what feels good in the moment.

This week, be bored and unmotivated and Get It All Done – anyway. Start capturing back your other 50% so that you are using ALL of your time FOR YOU.

If you want more help with Getting It All Done so you have time for your family and you, I’ve got you. Join me in a FREE Planning Session (CLICK HERE). This is a one on one call where I will help you plan your next day, week, or project. Learning the strategy behind planning your time to work for you is the first step towards taking charge of your time so you can take charge of your life again.