It’s Not About Time Management

Fellow over-schedulers please raise your hand!

For over 5 years I worked full or part time and built my coaching business on the side. When I left my commissioned/traveling/leadership (AKA intense!) role and moved into a job that let me work from home, I had visions of a clearer schedule, morning walks and having more time to breathe. Just like I had those same visions when I moved into the part time version of that work from home job…and just like I did when I left the part time job and went full time in my business.

It probably won’t shock you to realize that those visions didn’t last long – any of the times I made those professional changes.

Even recently, I was talking to a good friend and colleague. We do a Friday check-in and I shared that my schedule had been feeling crunchy again. I’d noticed for months that I would say, “Next month will be clearer.” and then the next month would come and my schedule would be just as full. Now, let me say that I write this with huge gratitude for the work that I do, clients with whom I work and organizations who hire me to speak. What’s also true is that filling my schedule isn’t the way I do my best work and all of those people who I just mentioned deserve my best work; my best self and so do I.

I preach about breaking out of the cult of busy-ness for a reason. Riding the over-scheduling tide is my default and I’ve known that for a long time now. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy pattern to change. There’s a lot I want to say “yes” to right now and it’s critical to make sure I’m on that list.

It’s not a color-coded-schedule/time-management-system thingie (or more coffee!) that helps.

It’s getting clear on why I do this…and it’s pretty simple. As BrenĂ© Brown so aptly said – it’s hustling for worthiness. There’s an ego boost that comes from having a full schedule. It makes you feel important and useful. That feeling doesn’t suck. What does suck is not feeling like I’m showing up for myself in the best way.

You know what else doesn’t suck, though?
Noticing when this pattern starts to creep into life again WAY before I’m actually burnt out.
Knowing what I need to get back to feeling how I want to feel.
Knowing my worth so deeply that I make those choices…even when sometimes old habits creep back in.

As another year winds down (side note – it is SO true that as you get older the years go by more quickly!) how is your schedule feeling? Did you have visions of putting yourself higher on your list back in the Spring or Summer? If you’re feeling tired from the old busy-ness creeping back in, join me in finding a little time that’s just for you. Step away from the cult of busy and into your own self-kindness.

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