200 Lessons Learned from 200 Episodes of Work + Life Harmony
Can you imagine the transformation your work + life would undergo if you learned to DITCH work-life balance and aim for work + life harmony instead? That's precisely the journey we've embarked on together over the last 200 episodes of the Work + Life Harmony podcast! As we ring in this milestone episode, I take a reflective pause to distill some vital lessons learned along the way.
Tune in, as I reminisce on the critical necessity of preparation, the magic of a well-structured script, the need for systems for regular tasks, and the perils of procrastination. But, the icing on the cake is the revealing of how a robust and supportive team can turbocharge a podcast's success.
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All right, be honest with me. When you started listening to this, did you happen to notice what number was next to this podcast? Because, friends, this is the 200th episode of the Work + Life Harmony podcast, so I'm doing something a little bit different here today. Let's just go ahead, jump in and get started. 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, I'm juggling #allthethings 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. Wow, here we are the 200th episode of the Work + Life Harmony podcast.
When I first started this podcast what three and a half-ish years ago I certainly never really thought about what I'd be talking about for this many episodes. But here we are, and so as I was reflecting on what to do here with this kind of milestone show, I thought that this would be a great opportunity for me, as I was thinking back on everything that I have learned while. You know, when I first started this podcast, it was just me. I was doing absolutely everything for it to now. Here we are, 200 episodes later, and I have the most amazing team supporting me, and all I really have to do is come up with the content that we're going to be, that I'm going to be sharing here, and actually record the episode. And now it feels magical to me to have an entire team supporting me and actually getting the podcast out to all of you so that you are here listening to it. So, as I was kind of reflecting back on my journey with this podcast, I thought this would be a fun opportunity to share with you four life lessons that have really been hit home for me as someone that runs a podcast. I'm going to be telling you kind of how it relates to the podcast, but then how I'm translating this into what I think is a really good life lesson, if you will.
So here is number one, particularly with a podcast, the first thing that I came up with was an important lesson I've learned is the importance of having an actual script outlined before I come on to actually record my podcast, and I really think that this translates well into life that we think about. If there's anything that you are doing that is of value to you, that you believe is important, that deserves your best effort, treat it that way and be prepared. Now I will be honest. Early on in my podcast there were episodes where in my head I was like, okay, I know what I'm gonna talk about, but because I didn't have a rough outline of the script that I wanted to follow, the podcast episodes did not land very well and when I go back and listen to them I kind of cringe a little bit. But again, that was a lesson I had to learn that if there is something that is really important to me that I want To show up and give my best effort to it means I need to take the time to really sit down and be prepared, right? So bottom line with this one is don't wing it on the things that matter to you. All, right, okay, and yes, I am here looking at my notes as I read this or as I record this. The second life lesson I have learned from now recording here we are our 200th podcast episode is the importance of having systems in place for Tasks that you do regularly. All right, so again, when I first started recording the podcast, I was kind of learning as I went, and it felt really clunky and very heavy Every single week as I was working to get the podcast episode out the door, because I was trying to remember what all the pieces and parts were.
There's a lot that goes into actually getting the podcast live once you've actually recorded it. Well, now, because we've been doing this for so long, my amazing director of operations, Taryn, has a fully documented, step-by-step process that is built into our project management software. It happens I like to say, auto-magically. So with every single podcast episode there's a template that just gets created. It lists out every single step that we need to take. There's instructions, with videos where needed, to show people how to do it. So if someone new comes in to support the podcast, they can jump right in.
And, friends, when you take the time to really think through and clearly create a repeatable system for anything that you do regularly in life, two amazing things are gonna happen. One, it's going to save you, overall, thousands of hours of time. Right, because I don't ever waste time. We don't ever have to waste time Thinking and trying to figure out what do we do next, right. And secondly, it makes sure that nothing falls through the cracks. So, because everything is clearly outlined. It is a well-oiled machine. At this point, it is fully systematized. This means that we are able to get it done much quicker and we don't forget anything. So that is my life lesson number two Create systems for the things that you do regularly. Now.
The third one is this, and it all has to do with don't wait until the last minute. Now, if my mom's listening to this, she's probably laughing that I am now giving this advice I've shared with you all before. My mom has always said when I was younger, if procrastinating had been an Olympic sport, I would have been a multi-year gold medal winner. So, yes, I see the irony in me now talking about not procrastinating, but as it applies here to the podcast, the way we really lean into that is we are always recording our podcasts Way ahead of schedule, all right, and we are not waiting until the last minute. So when you think about the things in your life that have due dates, that you really don't want to miss, right, the worst thing that we can do for ourselves is to wait until the last possible minute to get it done, and I think we all know why there's so many things that could happen.
Number one what if something goes wrong? Right. What if I record a podcast episode and Something happens and the digital file gets corrupted? Right. And what if we have to get this thing, like, produced in a matter of minutes? We wouldn't be able to do that if we were waiting until the last possible minute. So, first of all, is it helps prepare us in case some unexplained event happens. That means it doesn't run completely smoothly.
The second reason why and this was something I had to just learn the hard way is the quality of what we produce, regardless of what type of work we're doing. When we wait till the last minute, it's just never going to be as good, because you're anxious when you're right up against the wire, right, you've got the cortisol firing, you might be feeling a little bit nervous and when we're operating in that mode, the quality of what we produce just isn't good enough. So, as I'm actually recording this, I'm recording this several weeks before you guys are now here listening to it. So with the podcast, we always have a goal of being at least one month ahead, and that way something happens. Maybe I get sick, maybe someone on the team gets sick, we don't have to worry about. Is this podcast going to drop on Tuesday morning? Because it's 100% ready to go weeks ahead of time. So again, mom, if you're listening, I heard you all those years telling me to stop procrastinating and I promise I am doing much, much better Now.
The fourth and final life lesson that I want to share with you here, as it relates to things I've learned on doing the podcast, is understanding that not everyone is going to be your person or your people, and that's okay, and I've really had to learn this in two ways with the podcast. Number one is there will be people that will listen to the Work + Life Harmony podcast and they will send me a message telling me why they don't like it and usually the reasons they don't like it. That first it hurt, but now I'm totally okay with because what I'm realizing is they're not the people that I am here to serve, they're not the people that I desire to help with this podcast. So if they don't enjoy it, then that means that's actually a good thing, because it means I am talking to the people that I want to serve and not trying to accommodate absolutely everybody. Now, the second way that this applies to this that I've had to learn on the podcast is the importance of really trying to vet guests that I have here on the show. We get a lot of people reaching out asking to be a guest here on the Work + Life Harmony podcast and we go through a lot of questionnaire with them and then, if we feel like we're going to have them on the show, we make sure we try and hear snippets of them talking, et cetera, beforehand to make sure that they are going to be a good guest, meaning we put a lot of time and energy into vetting them Now, every now and then someone looks great, sounds great, we schedule the recording and I've actually recorded podcast episodes with guests before that then we have never aired because at the end of it we realize this just isn't really going to serve all of you. So, again, being comfortable with the fact that everybody is not going to be your people and to be really discriminating around who you bring into your inner circle Right, we are really starting to lock down and getting very particular about who we bring on to the show so that we can better serve others.
So again, here's a recap of four life lessons that I have learned through now recording here our 200th episode. First one if it's important, treat it like it is, come prepared, all right, don't wing it. The second one anything that you do regularly, invest the time in creating a clear, easy-to-repeat system. It's going to save you hours of time. It's going to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Third, don't wait until the very last minute to begin work on something that is of value to you. All right, don't procrastinate. And don't wait until that very last minute, because you're going to set yourself up for possibilities of failure, disappointment and producing things that just aren't of the quality that you want. And then, finally, remember it's okay to be discriminating in both who you bring into your inner circle and who you choose to help and serve, because when we get really refined with that and when we get comfortable with the fact that not everybody is going to be our person, that means that we are now going to better be able to serve the people that we genuinely feel we're put here to help the most. So, again, from the bottom of my heart, I just want to thank all of you that have been longtime listeners with me back from episode number one, and I just want to celebrate with you that we have arrived here at our 200th episode of the Work + Life Harmony podcast. I hope you have a fantastic week and I am looking forward to another 200 more episodes with you.
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