Back to school has always been a time to re-organize, re-prioritize and re-invigorate the promises and accomplishments that have somehow lost steam during the long hot summer. If you have children then, no doubt, you have been preparing for the school year to begin since the beginning of August; but even if you don’t have children, this is the time of year that schedules do change and it’s your opportunity to check your priorities and the name at the top of your list should be you.
Looking Out for Number One
No matter if you have a family or you are a single business owner, today we all have responsibilities and obligations that take up much of our already overscheduled days; it is at the end of those days that you need to make yourself a priority. If you are so determined to get everything done and feel totally drained at the end of the day, only to dread the beginning of tomorrow, this is your wake up call to put you on the top of your list.
Scheduling ‘You’ Time
When you schedule your day how much time do you schedule for you? Most people will say they just can’t make the time, or worse yet, it’s just not possible; but if they fall ill or were incapacitated for any length of time, somehow things would just work themselves out. Before you crash and burn, start scheduling You time. This means you may need to re-schedule a conference call, or cancel a play date for your kids. If you are not prepared to make yourself a priority, why should anyone else?
“Don’t be a time manager, be a priority manager. Cut your major goals into bite-sized pieces. Each small priority or requirement on the way to ultimate goal becomes a mini goal in itself.” ~Denis Waitley
We all have the same 24 hours in each day, yet some days seem to fly by and our plate is just as full at the end of the day. We will never get to finish everything, call back everyone, complete our to-do lists for both work and home — well, not unless you’re superhuman. You can however make compromises that will allow you to be highly effective at work and with your family. I had an associate whose son was delivering a speech for school and there was a major meeting at work he couldn’t miss. The teacher allowed my associate to watch the sound check rehearsal, giving him the opportunity to support his son and still be available at the work meeting. Sometimes our schedules just don’t allow us to be there for our families, but making the effort to compromise makes all the difference in the world and the memories much sweeter.
Developing your Support System
There is nothing more comforting than to know there is a group of people who have your back. This includes your family, babysitters, dog walkers, virtual assistants, and all of those people who can and will support you and your family when your schedule just won’t permit you to be in two places at once. This can be costly but in the long run it is well worth it to have your loved ones cared for while you are unable to be there.
This is also a time saver, so that when you do get to be with your family and loved ones, you are actually spending quality time with them rather than frenetically trying to get everything done only to rush off to the next appointment.
Learn to say ‘No’
We all multitask and often times over-commit ourselves in our careers as well as for our families. No one wants to be the bad-guy, or the heavy so agreeing to bake 60 cupcakes for our kids open house, or saying you’ll stay late to help finish a project at work may seem like a minor inconvenience but winning those “points” will actually end up burning you out. Saying ‘No’ is about taking back your power and controlling your schedule.
So remember, it’s not just the leaves that are changing this season; schedules are shifting with kids back in school and this means you need to make the most of your day by taking care of number one (you)!
“Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority.” ~Tom Hopkins
Alisa Weinstein is a certified coach, business executive and entrepreneur. As owner of Coaching Element, she supports other entrepreneurs to create businesses starting with focus, vision and action. She serves clients through individual and group coaching, seminars and public speaking. For more information, please visit www.CoachingElement.com, or e-mail Alisa@CoachingElement.com