177 3 Tips To Lighten Your Load
Struggling to keep up with an overwhelming workload? I'm determined to help you discover how to prioritize your time and actually lighten your load to achieve Work + Life Harmony.
Tune in as I share strategies that can help you make better decisions about what we say yes and no to, and can help you have more time to do the tasks that only YOU can do.
In this episode, I'm covering:
1. How do we get clarity on our time budget and maximize our productivity
2. What strategies can be used to prioritize our time and lighten our load
3. How can we get comfortable asking for help and delegating tasks
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All right, guys, here's a fact. You may not want to hear it, but it's a fact. You can't do it all. We can't do everything. We have limits.
Time is not finite. And so today, I want to instead of talking about here's tips and strategies to get more done, let's talk about how the heck we lighten our load, knowing there is a point at which we just simply can't do any more. So I want to share three strategies with you here today to help help you get clarity around what you can handle and then what we do to actually offload some of the stuff that we are currently responsible for in our life. So let's go ahead and jump in.
Welcome to the Work Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner, teaching all things time management, organization, and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife, and just like you juggling hashtags all the things while running multiple businesses and a family, guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed out.
There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning, and organization to skyrocket your productivity so you can have Work Life Harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you. And if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my Work Life Harmony assessment.
All you have to do is DM me on Instagram at Megan Sumrell with the word Harmony, and my team will send it right over.
Hey, there. Welcome back to the work Life life Harmony podcast. Today, I want to dive into three very specific tips that can help you lighten your load. Now, what do I mean by lighten your load? Let's face it.
The vast majority of us today feel like at the end of every day, there just never is enough time to get it all done right. There's a reason why the word overwhelm is one of the most popular search words for women that are looking to find better ways to plan, manage their time, to try and figure out the secret sauce to get it more done in less time. Well, this is why I think it's really important for us. Instead of focusing all our energy on trying to figure out ways to get more done in the day, I want to change the story today and instead talk about how do we get less done in a day? Meaning how do we know what to offload?
All right, so let's dive in with tip number one. One of the first things that has to happen in order for us to really be able to lighten our load is for us to have a clear understanding of what our time budget actually is. Now, this may sound obvious, but it isn't. And you may be thinking, I know what my time budget is. I have 24 hours in a day.
Yes. But we don't, right? We sleep. We have commitments, all of that. So the best analogy that I could give for this is if I sent you off to the grocery store with a list of stuff that you needed to purchase and handed you a $20 bill, and you went through the store and you grabbed all the things on the list and put them in your cart.
And then you got to the checkout line and they rang you up and it was $50 worth of groceries. But you're standing there with a $20 bill. Do you think they're just going to let you leave the store with $30 of free groceries? Of course not, right? They're going to say, you got to go put $30 of food back.
You only have $20. Well, the same needs to apply to how we're thinking about our days, weeks, months, et cetera. The vast majority of us are walking around each day not knowing what our actual budget is. We are walking around thinking we've got $50 when the reality is we only have 20. And the reason why this is happening is because we don't have the right tools or systems in place that allow us to clearly see with absolute clarity what our available time is every single day, to work on the things on our list, all of those things that are grabbing for our time.
The best way for you, there's two things that you can do to help you really get clarity on knowing what is your actual time budget on any given day or week. First is, and this is where I start, everybody inside of my top program is running a time audit. Now, there's good ways and bad ways to actually do time audits. The purpose of a time audit isn't to make us feel bad or to make us nitpick on how we're spending our time and all of that. It's just to give us clarity on where our time is going.
Realistically, how long do things take? What are the activities that I need to do on a daily or weekly basis? All right, so a time audit is going to help you uncover how you're spending your time, similar to if you were to pull up your credit card statement and go back and look at where all the money went, right? So it's just a data point. Now, the best way for you to start your week with a clear view of knowing what your budget is, again, is with weekly planning.
Guys, I just can't emphasize the importance of this enough. Now, weekly planning has to be done in the right way, where we are clearly capturing all of our current commitments and the pockets of time throughout our day, where we are in motion, but not able to work on the things on our task list, right? I call that our unavailable time. So an example of that in my life is my mornings. From about six to 830, I am in motion, but nothing on my task list is getting done.
Getting family up, I'm making breakfast, I'm getting snacks done, I'm walking the dog, I'm getting shower, all that kind of stuff. But so many of us don't have the tools to see that, and so we're always thinking we have more time than we do. So the reason why knowing our time budget helps us lighten our load is that it provides us with the knowledge to make better decisions about what we say yes and no to. One of the reasons why our load can be so large is because we're saying yes to too many things, because we don't realize we don't have the time budget for it. So this is why knowing what your real time budget is is going to allow you to lighten your load because it helps support you in saying no to the things that you need to say no to.
Now, the second tip around helping you lighten your load is to prioritize your time first on doing the things that only you can do that no one else could be doing for you. And this is especially true if you run your own business. Now, again, this sounds obvious, but here's what typically happens. We are so busy being busy, we're trying to make every minute count, right? Maybe you've got a list of things that you've got down that need to get done today, and we just start looking through the list and cherry picking off and just, okay, I'll do this first.
I'll do that without ever thinking, do I have to be the one to do this or could this be somebody else? So what happens is we often pick kind of the low hanging fruit, the things that are maybe easier, the things that don't require that much brain power, maybe the things that we like to do. We're busy all day long, we're in motion. But then at the end of the day, we're stuck looking back at the list and going, oh my gosh, I still have these two or three things and these have to get done and there's no one else that can do them but me. When you could have that day, perhaps chosen to not do some of the other things that somebody else could have done and actually prioritize the time for the things that you and only you can do.
Because when we just operate in default mode, we find that oftentimes we fill up a vast majority of our time doing things that other people could be doing and then waiting at the end. And now we're left with all the things that only we can do. And so now we're staying up late getting up earlier, trying to get them done on the weekends, so on and so forth. So when we prioritize our time and first do the things that only we can do, then that lightens our load, which ties into the third tip and sets us up to be able to, number three, get comfortable asking for help and or delegating. Again.
Sounds so simple, doesn't it? But this is something I personally still really struggle with for a number of reasons. The reasons why people will come to me and say I can't get help. First, they assume help means outsourcing, meaning that they have to pay for help. You absolutely do not always have to pay for help, right?
If there are other people in your house you can reallocate who's doing what, that way you can trade, you can barter. There are a lot of different ways that you can get help without actually spending money on it. So don't think that finances are the reason why you are overburdened and that your load is too big. All right? Now, another reason why getting comfortable asking for help can be hard is a lot of times it's just faster.
It's just easier if I just do it. Oh my gosh. The time it would take for me to explain this or walk someone else through it, it's just not worth it again, because we feel so rushed, right? And the truth may be in the short run, it does take longer to train, teach, or start to offload something onto someone else. But then once they've learned it, the long term benefits will pay off time and time and time again.
Recently, I offloaded some of the household chores by introducing my daughter to doing all of her own laundry. Now, the first couple of times it was incredibly painful, right? Teaching how all the machines work and the different settings and this and that. I'm like, oh my gosh, I could have had this done by now. But after multiple sessions, now I'm out.
So now my load is lightened. I took the short term hit up front, but now that's completely off of my plate. But again, this is where number two and number three work so well together hand in hand. When we prioritize our time for the things that only we can do, it really helps to shine the spotlight on what are the things that I can start to think about how I get off my plate to lighten my load and then determine, what does that help look like? Is it me teaching somebody else how to do it?
I know a lot of families when it comes to kids, will do a hey, they come to my house one afternoon, they go to yours one afternoon. So that way now you have more time. It may be a bartering or trading of work or responsibilities with somebody or it also can come in the form of maybe you free up some finances by stopping doing one other thing to pay for another. So when we a little over a year ago decided to get some help with house cleaning, we sat down as a family and made the agreement of we could free up some money by eating out less to then pay for the house cleaning. So there are a lot of ways that if you really take the time to think about how can I get help and get comfortable with that, oh my goodness, that can 100% help you lighten your load as well.
So quick recap three things that you can do. First, you have to know your time budget, what time is available because that will show you realistically you can't do everything on your list and helps you start to get better at what you say yes to and what you say no to. Second, prioritize your time first on the things that only you can do to then help highlight where opportunities for you to offload things. And then number three, get comfortable and creative in terms of asking for help, I'm here to tell you you can't do it all we can't. And so the sooner we recognize that and get okay with it and then start making choices on what we are going to do, it will lighten both your physical load and your mental load.
And friends, that is what work life harmony is all about. Now, if you're really interested in that, number one where I was talking about really understanding what your budget of time is, right? And I mentioned we do a lot of work on that inside of the Top program. If you have not had the opportunity to catch my free training on how to plan, manage and organize your life, even with a crazy and unpredictable schedule, please come find me over on Instagram at Megan Summer. Shoot me a DM and just say training, and then that way we can get the link to that over to you right away.
Have a fantastic day getting on top of all things time management, organization and productivity doesn't have to stop just because this episode is over. If you want one, tap access to all of my training and current top podcasts, go to the App Store or Google Play and download the Pink B apps. One word the pink b. It is jampacked with simple yet powerful tips and strategies to get you out of Overwhelm and into Harmony. And if you have a question you want me to cover on a future episode, go to itunes and ask your question in the podcast review section.
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