Sponsored by Triumph
I received an email recently from a Styling You reader asking me how I get everything done in my day.
Truth be told, I don’t always get everything done. I don’t always tick off all the tasks I set myself. And I don’t always feel like I’ve got it together in every aspect of my life.
I’m a wife, a mum, a business woman, a friend, a daughter and a sister.
That’s a lot of roles to juggle.
And I don’t always do a good job of juggling them either – even with the best of intentions.
I do, however, get up, get dressed and give each day a good go.
I do know that I work better to a plan but I also know that the plan can sometimes be my undoing.
You absolutely cannot control everything that might take the plan off course. You can only control how you react when the plan needs to change.
What my planning does for me is provide a structure for me to fall back on when things go off plan.
Planning is not for everyone but if you’re wired like I am, then it sure is like a security blanket in the busy, crazy and fun life that I’ve created for myself.
How I plan?
1. Our family is all linked to a shared iCal calendar on our phones. This means that we know where each other is up to. If we have an event, work trip or school activity come up, we can add to the calendar and check for any possible clashes. Everything is synced to iCloud so we’re all notified straight way.
2. Every weekend, I sit down and plan out what dinners we’ll be having in the week. See this post for how I do it.
3. Every weekend I plan out a guide as to what outfits I will wear for the week ahead, taking into account any events or travel I might have on. I also like to vary it up between colours and neutrals; casual clothes and more dressy outfits. So pre-planning helps me more successfully “shop” my wardrobe. I write down those outfits in the Notes on my phone and reference it each morning. This saves so much time and minimises the whole “staring blankly at your wardrobe situation. I don’t always stick to the plan – a girl has to allow for mood changes.
4. I deal with school emails and notes as they come in. Whether that’s sending back permission slips or adding events to the calendar. My youngest is at a new school this year. He’s Year 5 but it’s a high school campus so there is a LOT of communication to keep on top of. If it piles up on the kitchen bench, it just becomes too big a job and stressy as things fall through the cracks.
5. I make time to spend with my husband and my family. Sometimes this is scheduled because logistically it has to be but other times it’s just being conscious of giving time and energy to the most important people in your life on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Mr SY and I do regular date nights or date nights in. My adults “kids” live out of home so once a month we aim to have a family dinner at home or at a restaurant. They both work and study so this takes a bit of calendar wrangling to make happen but it’s so worth the wrangling. My youngest has always been my little mate, spending “mummy days” with me on the days he wasn’t at kindy before he started school so, as he gets older, I make sure we still get a few of those.
1. I use a number of planning tools for my business – both old school and new school. Every Sunday evening, I’ll sit down with my written planner (it’s from Passion Planner) with its weekly view and map out the week here with pens and highlighters. The planner I use also has spaces in that week for personal and work priority lists. I find this great as my personal and work can overlap A LOT.
2. For myself and my small admin team, we use the Asana app, to share and assign tasks on different projects. It works on desktop and on our phones. I’ll also add my own tasks in here, breaking each task down into its separate element with separate due dates. These are then synced to my iCal calendar.
3. For blog content organisation I use CoSchedule. I have a team of freelancers who write for me each Friday, as well as a digital marketing assistant who works remotely for me to manage these writers and schedule their content and social media around that content. All of this can be done within this WordPress plugin. It’s also fabulous for me for content planning as I can see a month of blog post draft ideas in one view, ensuring that I keep variety in my content around the regular features.
1. I’m very fortunate to have the support of a fantastic husband who pitches in and does as much around the home as I do. We both work long hours so this is evenly split.
2. We have a cleaner come to the house weekly to do all the major cleaning stuff – floors and bathrooms.
3. My girlfriends – the mums of my youngest’s school mates – are amazing. We support each other and help with pick-ups and drop-offs when any of us might be working or away.
4. My kids have always had age-appropriate chores assigned to them to do around the house so they’ve grown up knowing they are appreciated for that because running a household is a team effort. Sure, there are more than a few grumbles from time to time but I know I’ve already raised two adults who know how to clean, wash clothes and cook for themselves. And the youngest’s apprenticeship is coming along nicely.
1. I have a part-time admin assistant who comes to my home three mornings a week for about six hours in total a week. This has been happening for just over a year now. She makes my working life so much easier, handling things that previously I’d either let build up or spent weekends (family time) doing.
2. I have a digital marketing assistant based in Melbourne, who as I said above, works remotely for me, helping with freelance writer management, the weekly email newsletters and our regular multi-draw competitions.
3. I have another virtual assistant who helps out when the Styling You shop is running to ensure orders get to suppliers and customers receive their tracking numbers.
What gets me off track?
So, you’d think with all that structure, organisation and support in place that I’d never get off track, wouldn’t you?
There are absolutely situations in life that you can’t control, despite all the planning in the world. In those times, the plan helps me deal better with the necessary changes because I can see at a glance how I might need to shift things round to still get done.
I’m good at that.
What lets me down is my major weakness.
I’m easily distracted … oops, what was that? An email notification? … sorry, where was I?
I used to hide my easily distracted tendencies under the guise of multi-tasking, almost wearing it like a badge of honour.
Truth is, it’s not a skill that I should celebrate.
It’s the number one reason, why I don’t stay on task and don’t tick off all the personal and work to-dos in a week.
My One Word Declaration for 2016
Which leads me to this wonderful initiative from the good people at Triumph.
The Triumph One Word Declaration is a movement aimed at creating inspiration and intention for the year ahead through a one-word affirmation.
I’m big on affirmations at the best of times but I do like the idea of choosing one word and making it the foundation of everything you do in – or have planned for – the year ahead.
A mantra to live by, if you like.
Drum roll … this is my word for 2016.
FOCUS is the word that is going to keep me on track.
It’s the word that’s going to make me switch off my email and only check it twice a day, ditto with my personal Facebook.
It’s the word that’s going to make me start a task and finish it, without letting myself get in the way of it.
It’s the word that’s going to help me switch off from my work and create more meaningful family, couple and girlfriend memories.
It’s the word that’s going to help me stay in the moment and to appreciate that that’s where I need to be right now.
Focus is a strong word but so is Triumph.
The Triumph brand has been uplifting women for ? years and I’ve previously talked up Triumph bras here and for good reason. The range is extensive so it’s possible to find bras to suit a diverse range of sizes and shapes. My go-to everyday bras are the black and nude Fits Me Balconette t-shirt bra.
Together with Triumph, to celebrate the One Word Declaration initiative, I’ve got a $150 gift card to give away to one Styling You reader.
Here’s how you enter:
1. Head to the Triumph One Word Declaration site, type your one word in, upload a photo (it doesn’t have to be of you – for example, it could be a object or place that has meaning to you) and choose a font and colour. Download and save your image to your computer or device.
2. Once you have your image saved, leave a comment below by adding the photo (click the camera button) and an explanation about why you chose the word.
3. Share your one word photo on social media, using the hashtag: #myoneword (you can share direct to Facebook or Twitter from the One Word site. For Instagram, you’ll need to upload your saved image direct into the app).
Entries open on Tuesday, February 23 at 4.30am (AEST) and close on Tuesday, March 8 at 5pm (AEST). Australian entries only, sorry. The winner will be judged on originality and creativity (please include your one word photo with the comment). The winner will be emailed and their name will be published here. Entrants must include an email address when the filling in the commenting system below to be eligible to enter. Full terms and conditions here.
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