Do you stick to your schedule? As much as you want to? Today’s episode is going to help you get to the root of why you might struggle with this (join the club!) and how to really find the perfect sytem to keep your life organized.
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Hey, welcome. I’m so excited you’re here. I am gonna tell you really quickly at the top what I have available for you right now.
I hope you’ll choose to do one of these things or all of them. Why not? The first thing I have is my affirmation card deck is ready to go, and this is, All my wisdom put into the cutest, most beautiful card deck you’ve ever seen. You can go to smooth stones coaching.com/cards to order those. They are going to change your life if you take the cards and use them and read them.
Take the challenges and the thoughts and beliefs that I offer to you and use them in your everyday life. You will see a change. I promise you it’s gonna be so good. You are gonna find joy. And that’s why I called it Cards for Joy. Second thing I got coming up on September 15th, it’s a Wednesday morning. I have a masterclass for you.
It’s called Should I Have Another Baby After Loss? ’cause I know how hard this question can be for so many people. So whether you’re already trying to conceive, um, whether you’re. Debating or whether you’re not even sure yet. Why don’t you just register and come and see what comes up for you. I’m gonna give you so many tools to help you make this decision with confidence, and I know that’s what we all want because it can seem really difficult, but I’m gonna show you how.
It doesn’t have to be. It’s gonna be so good. So come to that. My last thing I wanna tell you about is I am starting a group for October. It’s a group coaching and. It’s gonna be so good. I know October can be a really emotional month. We’ve got pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, and then we’re also heading into the holidays and Halloween, and sometimes we just need a little bit of support.
It can be even a really overwhelming month if you’re, you’re doing things and talking about your baby more and feeling those vulnerability hangovers. So come and get some support with some friends and with some coaching. We’re gonna meet every week. It’s gonna be so. So good. You can go to smooth Stones coaching.com/october and.
Sign up there. I asked a few weeks ago on Instagram what you wanted to hear on the podcast and time management was one of the topics suggested, and I think this is a great season to talk about it because for most people, fall is a time where we have a bit more structure in our lives and more things we’re trying to make sure we are getting to.
And then we’ve got the holidays coming up and our calendars are getting more full. We want to have systems in place to help us stick to our schedules, but. We’re not gonna start with you getting out your calendar and a pencil right now. I first just want you to take a minute and think about why you want to manage your time more effectively.
You might say it’s to get more done or to stop being late, or to be more organized so everyone knows what’s happening in the family, but why do you want to do these things? Everything we want is because of how we think It will make us feel. How will you feel if you get more done? How will you feel if you procrastinate less?
How will you feel if you get to everything you have on your calendar on time? You probably wanna feel accomplished, in control, and proud of yourself, but I also want you to look at this another way. What will you not be feeling if you can manage your time better? Less stress, less overwhelm, less embarrassment from being late or forgetting things, less out of control.
So this is really the key here. This is where we get to the root of what’s going on where. We don’t like these negative emotions. We don’t like rushing, yelling at everyone on the way out the door. We don’t like how everything goes down when we aren’t sticking to a schedule. We don’t like being with ourselves when we’re like that.
We don’t feel aligned with our own values. And so the solution we go to over and over is to try a new system, a new planner, a new app, a new CHO chart, and a big calendar on the wall. We read a book, we listen to a podcast hoping to find the perfect way to schedule, and it works for a while when we’re excited about it.
But more often than not, we find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed and procrastinating again, because this is like putting a bandaid on a broken leg. It’s not the right fix. Because whatever schedule we pick is our circumstance. Whatever time we show up to an event is our circumstance. What day of the year we complete our holiday shopping is a circumstance.
It’s all just facts. And facts don’t make us feel anything. It’s what we are thinking about that creates those feelings. Thoughts are the key to everything and the questions to ask when you notice that you are feeling something negative about your current time management situation are, why is this a problem for me and what am I making this mean?
Let’s use an example to illustrate this. Luckily for me, I have a lot of personal examples to pick from. Last night, I didn’t sleep very well, and this morning my husband went to work super early and I hadn’t set my alarm. Usually my little kids wake me up and they did, but it was about 7:14 AM and I usually get up at about six 40 with the alarm, which gives us plenty of time to get everything done that we need to do before school.
One of my children had picture day to day, and I noticed that she had failed to wash her hair as I had requested a day earlier. We had about 20 minutes until our normal departure time. At this point now, I give you a pretty neutral explanation of what was happening, but I have many options as to how I could react.
So option number one is total freakout. In this case, I would feel frustrated because I start thinking things like she should have listened to me. If she had, we wouldn’t be in this rush. And I’ve asked her to set her alarm a thousand times. I make it mean that my kids are the reason I’m in a rush and feeling frustrated.
I make it mean that I’m failing as a mother because if I was a good mom, my kids would be ready and her mornings would be leisurely, right? I make it mean that we’re gonna be late, and that’s terrible. I. I don’t have time to do her hair and that’s obviously a disaster. Maybe there’s something wrong with me.
I mean, successful people get up way earlier and work out and have some quiet time to think, read scriptures and journal. Then they make big, healthy breakfast for everyone and sit around the table and chat. Getting up early is where it is at, and maybe I worry about what everyone will think of me sending my child to school, looking like that on picture day.
And all these thoughts are just coming at me. Our brain on default will offer us so many reasons why this is bad. And in frustration I might yell, be short with my other kids, miss family prayer, blame instead of help and end up not showing up as the mom I want to be. Can you see how making this.
Situation mean that I’m a bad mom, and I’m telling you guys, that belief is so deeply rooted in so many of us that it shows up everywhere. When I do that, I end up acting against my own values as a mom. If you find yourself in situations like this, I just want you to notice what is happening. Notice what you are thinking and feeling, and how that causes you to show up.
Notice what your results are when you think that way. It might not be this exact situation, so just do a thought download about a recent time when you felt a strong negative emotion about something in your schedule, and just see what comes up when you ask yourself these questions. Why is this a problem for me and what am I making it mean?
And remember, it’s always about you. Even though this story involves my child, I am the creator of my experience, and so my thought work should be all about me, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, my results. The reasons we want to go to situations that are creating negative responses is because that’s where we can get some insight.
We can see the places we aren’t creating the results we want more clearly there. We never wanna judge ourselves for this. Don’t pile another layer of pain onto something you are already feeling bad about. Use curiosity to analyze like you are a neutral observer. This takes practice. At first. You’ll have to do it after the fact, but if you keep at it, you’ll be able to catch yourself in the middle.
And then with more work, you’ll be able to create the experience you want on purpose by choosing it before the who. I didn’t shower last night when you told me to moment arises. I wanna take a minute and talk about blame. And yes, blame is important to time management. As soon as our brain notices what it deems a problem, it immediately starts looking for something to blame.
So it can be very powerful to take some time to free. Write down the reasons you can’t stick to your schedule and see what comes up. It could be your kids, your boss, your alarm, the amount of items on your calendar, your hormones, your phone and social media, how much sleep you got. So many of the things we want to put blame on are outside of us, and it seems easier to blame it on them because then we don’t have to take responsibility for our own choices.
But it’s so disempowering because that means if I wanna stick to my schedule, then I need all the people around me to make that happen. For me. I need nothing unexpected to happen. I need eight perfect hours of restful sleep in a row. I need complete order in the world in order for me to stay on task.
But we know that’s impossible. And honestly, it would be pretty boring. We especially blame all the systems we’ve tried. We tell ourselves that they didn’t work. Of course they don’t work. It’s just a method of planning your time. It’s you that created the results you got. You have so much more power in your life than you think, even with all the other moving parts.
So if it’s all on me, then I must be, the problem is usually where we want to place blame next, and this is where you need to, again, ask yourself that question, what am I making it mean That you’re never on time, that you don’t finish projects, that you can’t stick to any schedule you try for more than a few weeks.
That grief has really killed your ability to get things done. What does that mean about you? It’s probably some version of, you’re broken, there’s something wrong with you, you’re disorganized, you’re not good enough. Everyone else has it together, but not you. And all of that feels terrible. If you put those kind of thoughts in the self-coaching model, you end up stuck in a not so fun loop where you feel bad, you don’t show up how you want to, and you prove your thoughts true.
Over and over. Then you can’t move forward. So we don’t wanna blame ourselves. We want to love ourselves right where we are. Hot mess express is not a problem. Let go of the need to blame and just let it be what it is. Just a bunch of humans on a planet doing the best they can to navigate life, but we can take responsibility and take back our power to create the experience and the growth we want.
How do we do this? We’ve already talked about the first steps, which are recognizing our thoughts and beliefs and stopping the blame cycle. Once we are more aware and we’ve let go of a lot of the drama around our schedule, that’s where we can get some leverage. But remember, if our goal is to manage our mind so we can feel better, Then we can do that with any system we choose.
Or with no system. Shift your goal from sticking to a schedule to showing up as the person you want to be and the person you want to be. Can be anything. Your past doesn’t determine your future, so it doesn’t matter what you’ve been able to do before, you’re looking ahead and believing on purpose. While you’re thinking about who you wanna be, I’ll go back to this morning and tell you another way to look at what happened.
Remember, my middle schooler and I are both up at a certain time and we have plans to leave for school at a certain time and it’s picture day and she did not wash her hair the day before. When I peel back the drama and the blame, and I don’t make it mean anything, I have some choices to make. What’s more important to me, clean hair or being on time?
Do I want to make the situation worse by not handling my emotions, or do I want to just roll with what’s here in the present? This one is really important because it’s so easy in these moments to be everywhere, but there. All up in yesterday and what should have happened all up in the future, imagining the picture and imagining that we will be late, et cetera, et cetera.
Do I want to believe that we can’t have clean hair and get to school on time or maybe be open to the possibility of both? Also, I can watch my thoughts because really middle schoolers are not known for getting up early and making sure they look pristine according to me. I mean, clean is relative, right?
Especially kids versus adult opinions. And there are always retakes, in fact. We already did a back to school mini session with my friend, who is a photographer, so I’m not even planning to buy these school pictures. It will only be in the yearbook. And when you look back at your middle school yearbook, terrible pictures are kind of the best.
I completely let go of what anyone else will think. Don’t have to go there. Easy peasy, because I’ve worked on that a lot. I focus on her and how I want to be, so I send her to jump in the shower. I get everything else ready for her that I can. While she does that, we get out and blow dry her hair. I don’t worry at all about doing a fancy style.
She doesn’t want that. It’s fine. We keep the bar right where we want it and we make it to school with plenty of time. Nobody is freaking out. We have a B minus morning and that’s that. I don’t have to dwell on it or use any emotional energy about it the rest of the day. I’m human, so I complain a bit about the school drop offline, but other than that, things turn out pretty well and I can just keep on going.
Tomorrow. If I wanna do things differently, I will, but I give myself tons of compassion and I don’t judge myself. The difference between the two reactions I’ve shared today is that one ends up being really emotional and the other one is more of a blip. Because when your mind is well managed, you just don’t spend a lot of time in the drama.
In the first, I am not the mom I want to be in the second. I’m fully into being the mom. I am the one who sometimes gets up at 7:14 AM. It still manages everything that’s important to her, and lets the rest go. The one who takes responsibility for her own emotions, the one who chooses what’s truly important.
And it’s just not picture perfect hair today, whatever that means, because actually I can just decide that it was perfect, just right, A realistic snapshot of a moment in my child’s life. You see, you have a lot more energy to actually get organized and stick to your schedule when you aren’t using all your energy, being upset at yourself, the people around you and the world in general.
Loving yourself as you are and accepting the reality of your life right now are the ways to become a person who sticks to her schedule. I’ll give you a few more rapid fire tips on how to build a schedule that really works for you. Write down the five things you value most, the most important things in your life.
Now look at how you are spending your time. Do they match? No judgment if they don’t. This is just information, but if you wanna feel more aligned, you need to calendar the most important things first. This is often the opposite of what we do. We have all the stuff on there first, and if we have free time, we’ll think of something to do with loved ones or our pets or whatever.
But you can schedule in rest, family time, self-care, body care, self-coaching and coaching with Amy appointments first, because that is what gives fuel to everything else. These things shouldn’t be an afterthoughts. We squeeze into our busy lives. Try it, put them first and see what changes. Start small. You don’t wanna overhaul everything at once, especially if you’re grieving.
It’s just not likely to stick. Make new habits easy and doable as you accomplish them. As you stick to your schedule, you’ll start adding evidence to your belief that you can actually do this, and you’ll be able to see the good results, which will help you continue on with your plans, even on the days that it’s challenging.
Plan for interruptions. Just build them in, especially if you have living children. When you build them in, you take away the drama because interruptions are going to happen. Someone will get sick. Someone will need you only to tie their shoe. The dog will eat the couch cushion. You’ll have a flat tire and so on.
Just plan for it. Then treat yourself like you would treat another person. You wouldn’t no show on your dentist, and most people don’t even like going to the dentist. So if you make a plan, show up for you with as much commitment as you would if you had an appointment with someone else. And my last time management tip is to stop trying to multitask.
Studies have shown it just doesn’t work. Our brain does best one thing at a time. My only exception is listening to this podcast while you do something that takes no brain power whatsoever, like folding laundry. But really, if you can plan tasks and do them in a focus way, you’ll be able to check them off your list much faster.
One thing at a time. Do it till it’s done, then move on. This is another way you free up that mental space that we also desperately want. Things generally take less time than we think. Our brain makes it into this big deal, so we avoid and procrastinate and that whole time it’s there stealing our energy when if we just did the thing, it would be done.
And one more last bonus tip. Tasks will fill the time we give them. You decide how long something will take and then make it happen. My example for this is always crisis cleaning. Sometimes we look at our house and we think it’s overwhelming and it will take all day to get everything done that we wanna do.
And then your mother-in-law calls saying she’s on her way over, and somehow you get it all done in less than an hour. I’m never gonna tell you the magic system that will work all the time. Life changes and evolves and so do you. But the real magic is watching the way you are thinking, letting go of drama, and becoming the person you want to be.
Believe in her even without any evidence. Then start small. Put the most important things on your schedule first. Remember that you have all the power and as always, be so compassionate with yourself. You are doing a great job and you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Aim for B minus time management and notice what changes for you.
If you really want to dive into learning these skills, you can get relief from the overwhelm you feel every day. Come join me in my three month coaching program. We work one-on-one to help you become the mom you want to be to all your babies. Just go to smooth stones coaching.com to sign up for a free consult call.
I can’t wait to meet you. Have a great week. We’ll see you next time.