(some eternal productivity wisdom via Ron Swanson of Parks & Rec)
One of my repeated lessons this year (I know I’m a stubborn student but I think I’ve finally learned it, let’s all cross our fingers) is that I have a touch of a tendency to overload myself.
Here’s what was on my docket for September:
- a two day trip for a business conference I’m speaking at
- moving two days after getting back from that
- visiting my family for a week for my birthday not even two full weeks after moving
- doing a free Kindle promotion for my birthday for Rock the System
- the planning workshop (both doing it, and promoting/marketing it)
- getting everything set up for the Kickstarter to turn my planners into physical products, so that it could run in October
All of this in the wake of/at the tail end of (though I’m almost out of the woods – *knock on wood*) a two-month-long medical drama. (But not the good kind, like House. I am still processing and will probably write about it soon, though maybe not here – I haven’t figured out the best venue for that, yet.)
Are your eyes bugged out yet? Yeah. Mine are too, in retrospect.
Last week, on a call with my mentor, I laid all of that out and said that I wasn’t sure how to get all of it done while staying focused in any way.
She listened – which was probably a stressful experience in and of itself because lawd knows the worse I’m feeling the faster I talk – and then said (roughly paraphrased):
Michelle, what I ask myself is: “Have I got so much going on that I have to half-ass anything?” And if the answer is yes, then I take something off my plate.
Cue the angel song.
It’s such a simple question, but it makes things so clear – and it strikes really close to home for me.
One of the reasons – the main reason, really – that I am so big on systems and planning is that because taking care of those things frees up your mind so that you can create truly great things in your business, blow your customer’s & client’s minds in the best way possible, and fulfill your potential as a creator & biz owner.
I have incredibly high standards for myself (clearly) and I don’t necessarily hold other people up to those high standards (or I would probably not have any friends at all), but those high standards are a result of my deep-seated drive to do great work.
There’s a reason that this manifesto hangs over my work desk – the last two words on it are “be indelible”, which is something that rings so true for me it’s probably going to be my left foot tattoo to match this one.
In case you’re wondering, the dictionary definition of “indelible” is:
- making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like
- that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m here. And it’s why you’re here too.
To be indelible. To leave a mark. To be so good they can’t ignore you. To change peoples’ lives for the better. We’re here for a reason, and when doing work worthy of that reason, there’s no room for half-assing.
Which is to say:
- I decided to chill the fuck out and cut myself some slack
- The Kickstarter is now going to run in November
- I’m still gonna do the free birthday promo for Rock the System but I’m not going to stress over it
All of that lets me show up fully for my clients and to put as much love + attention + time as I want into the planning workshop. And you know, gives me some room to breathe, which is important considering the massive clusterfuck my poor body has had to deal with in the last 2-3 months. If I’m too busy not sleeping enough to function because I’ve overloaded myself and am working so hard I’m letting my self-care systems slip, then nobody gets to experience my great work, they just get to experience the wildly frustrating experience of talking to Incoherent Insomniac Michelle. (She’s like Dream House Barbie but with even longer pauses between sentences and with more under-eye circles. Also, crankier.)
So now I’m going to turn the question on you:
Are you trying to do so much you’re going to have to half-ass something?
And if so…what are you gonna do about it? Like, today. Right now. Make a decision. Follow through. I believe in you & I know you can do it.
PS: Like I said – one of the reasons I teach planning and systematizing is because taking care of those things frees up a huge amount of your time + space + energy to focus on your great work. If you’re currently on the hamster wheel of doing things but not moving (which is not conducive to getting important things done), and you want to get off, then check out the one day planning & systems workshop. Runs on the 20th. Five seats only. Hit me up if you have any questions.