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On recognizing & accepting limits and living my priorities

On recognizing & accepting limits and living my priorities

The first half of 2016 has been both full (in a good way) and busy (in a not-so-good way), and as we headed to Florida last month—on the heels of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, which had me work 12+ hour days for a week straight—I was determined to reprioritize, strengthen my boundaries, and regain focus on the {seven} most important people in my life.

I’ve been to burnout and back already, and I have no desire to go there again. I don’t like myself—or the way I treat my husband and kids—when I’m in that place.

That said, I do love to work, and I can confidently say I’m really good at my job. But over the past couple of months, it became obvious that I was slipping back into an unmaintainable schedule—working too many hours, taking on too many projects, and losing track of my priorities.

I first began working for Ultimate Bundles in part because I needed to move away from the role of entrepreneur where there’s always another idea begging for your attention. But because I work with such a creative team, ideas flow freely, and when I have the skills to get the job done for an exciting new project, it’s hard for me to keep my boundaries in place.

You may remember that my main goal for 2016 is to win my girls’ hearts. Between the unexpected “fullness” of 2016 and the busyness of the last couple of months, it was clear that I was losing sight of this goal and heading in the wrong direction.

With all of that in mind, I asked for a meeting to reevaluate my hours and commitments. That meeting went exceptionally well, and I don’t at all take it for granted that I work for a company that values priorities, family, and healthy boundaries.

On recognizing & accepting limits and living my priorities

Through this process, I learned (or was reminded of) a few important principles for any entrepreneur:

1. Be willing to delegate.

I’m awful at delegation. While some of it is about control and wanting to make sure everything is done exactly the way I would do it, some of it is just simply a lack of skill in foreseeing those tasks in order to be able to delegate them before a deadline. And, honestly, I enjoy a lot of different tasks (administrative, design, and even busy work), so I don’t always want to turn the task over to someone else.

But to avoid burnout—at work or at home—it’s critical that we delegate, which means planning ahead to know what tasks are coming up and who else could do them, finding people you can trust to do the job well (even better if you can find someone who will take ownership of the task and not just walk through the steps), and actually turning over the reins.

2. Just say no.

As I mentioned, this one is hard for me too. Often, people are sincerely asking me if I can take on a project, not pressuring me to say yes, and when I do say yes, they (rightfully) assume it’s because I really have the bandwidth and skills to take it on. But I hate to disappoint, and I’ve been an entrepreneur long enough to know that you can get anything done if you pull an all-nighter, so I say yes much too often. This past month I’ve been reminding myself to take a few extra seconds to really evaluate my availability before accepting an additional project.

3. Reevaluate often.

I probably should have done this sooner than I did, but once I took a hard look at my schedule and toll it was taking on my family, I knew things had to change. It’s important not to wait until things are so out of whack that you’re falling apart (or screaming at your kids) to ask for help, though. I love the idea of having a monthly review day, not just to look at my schedule and what’s coming up but also to look back and evaluate how the previous month went and whether it aligned with my priorities.


On recognizing & accepting limits and living my priorities

In May I was able to take a fair amount of time off and—thanks to my new schedule—fit in my hours around trips to the pool and wildlife preserves and lunch with the family while we were in Florida. Now that we’re home I’m working around our school hours but feeling much better about my ability to do that, get the job done, and still make time for appointments and playdates.

The bottom line is there’s never enough time for everything I want to do, but life feels much more peaceful when my priorities are in order!