Why My Planning Systems of 20 years No Longer Worked

blog Jun 15, 2021

For 20 years I used a set system to plan and manage my time.  Over time, that system started to fail me.  It happened slowly so it took me some time to realize it.  I was seeing less of my family, having less time for myself, and no life outside of work.  I went to bed exhausted and woke up still tired.  

My life was on this crazy cycle of work, motherhood, stress, rinse, and repeat.

Once I had my wake up call, I got into action to create the TOP Method that I use today!  This new method had to be put in place in order for me to truly achieve work+life harmony.

If you are feeling “stuck” in the hamster wheel of exhaustion, please know that you do not have to stay there.

Before we dive in, let’s acknowledge that technology was not what it is today.

My old life (as in 25 years ago), I had a work-issued pager for emergencies. When the pager went off, I had to find a payphone to call in if I wasn’t at home. (Yes, that’s how old I am).  Back then, I didn’t have to deal with the relentless accessibility that we all have today.  People thought twice before paging.  Emergencies were truly that...emergencies. 

After comparing my old time management systems to my TOP Method, there are 2 key things that stick out to me as to why these old systems no longer work:

  1. All the traditional productivity and time management programs I took back in the 90’s and early 2000’s haven’t changed much today.  They aren’t addressing the fact that we walk around with computers in our pocket 24/7 and are accessible all the time. By failing to merge technology into your systems and processes you lose the opportunity to leverage it to your advantage and you end up not being able to turn work off.
  2. The TOP Method acknowledges that women are juggling many hats at the same time.  Some can include work, business, family, motherhood, caregiver, etc. The traditional time management systems were geared toward managing your time in an office working 9-5, 5 days a week.  In today’s world, we are having to blend and integrate our lives. 

When you are trying to manage your time, prioritizing tasks, and figuring out how to juggle everything, the systems and strategies need to accommodate that. They should be able to guide you and give you tips on how to integrate all parts of your life.  If your current systems do not, you need a new one!

Everyone deserves to have Work+Life Harmony.  

You may have heard about my Top Bootcamp. I run this periodically throughout the year. As you read this, I am about to start one, so go check it out at www.megansumrell.com/topbootcamp.  If a bootcamp isn’t running at the time you read this, get on the waitlist for the next one!  In these bootcamps I break down the systems and processes that not only work in a traditional work setting, but also integrate everything else in your life.

These systems include paper and technology and the TOP Method works no matter what stage of life you are in.  

Hopefully, I’ll be seeing you inside the next boot camp!  If you have already been through it, drop your biggest take-away in the comments below!

Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram at Megan Sumrell for getting on top of all things, time management, organization, and productivity. 

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