Moms and business owners everywhere are in full swing “busy” mode this time of year,  trying to create balance and the elusive perfect calendar system. Time management is the cornerstone to easing that stress and creating a life you love.   Time can be made simple with reflection, goal setting, and a system. This system allows us to align with our core values, the agreements we make with ourselves, make a plan and time block.   

                                   “Time will go whizzing by whether we decide to plan or not. “

It is easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities even with our goals written out with the best intentions of reaching them. All of a sudden, six months or even six years have flown by and you’ve not made the progress you wanted to make. You’ve stopped reviewing your goals, let alone writing new ones!  We’ve created this system of checks and balances to help you create ‘time’ to do this!

 As a business mentor and coach, I’ve discovered that identifying your core values is important to experiencing fulfillment in your life. If you are not aligned with your priorities and values, your focus is off kilter and the negative results reveal themselves mentally and physically.  The simple task of identifying your core values can help you recognize what “isn’t quite right” in your life or business right now. 

When we honor our core values, we honor who we are,where we are going in life and where our priorities are.

Put it into practice:   Core Values 

*Write down a running to-do list (like you may do normally) 

*Now look closely at  what top 3 themes come out?

“Self-Care, workouts, meal planning, cleaning, work tasks, family time, time with friends”

Or maybe: 

“Being a good parent and wife, working towards work goals, and taking care of my body, mind, or finances”

Now identify your top 3…….

1., 2., 3., 

Hint:  you can still have a running “to-do” list …. it feels good to check things off!

But we need to ALWAYS  do our top three things first. Now write a new to do list and see how it feels different to have these values at the top of the list.

Personally, I was in full blown career-mode with a long distance job, five kids, and felt crazy busy trying to do EVERYTHING. That’s when I discovered how critical this piece was to living a life you love.  Most women can relate to the dilemma of running on empty and feeling like your to do list gets longer every day…not shorter.  

Chunking tasks together and identifying the top three tasks with aligned  values has been a lifesaver for me …Lindsay Goss-Honnold, Nurse at Diabetes Center describes that her work with this type of strategy to be something that she is implementing on a daily basis.  These practices have allowed space for her to not only prioritize and chunk time, but to help her feel more in control as a creative with a fast paced work environment and help to control her self -proclaimed scattered tendencies.

 The second practice :   AGREEMENTS 

The agreements we make with ourselves help us understand why we let ourselves off the hook and how a “no” to others without guilt is important in honoring ourselves and our identified values and goals.

WHAT AGREEMENTS HAVE YOU MADE WITH YOURSELF AND LET YOURSELF DOWN IN THE PAST?

Example : “I know one of my core values is self-care,  but I let myself off the hook when I don’t work out’.

WHAT ARE THE EXCUSES I USE TO LET MYSELF OFF

Example: “I was too busy”.

List your new agreements that are aligned with your core values that will no longer allow you ‘off the hook’:

  1. 2.  3. 

 “Getting organized” was one of my failed New Year’s Resolutions every year! Creating a system for Time Management skills that works is the key to freedom and to living the lifestyle you desire. 

Putting it into Practice : Time blocking – Master your daily calendar 

Now that you have identified your core values and agreements,  these tasks – your non-negotiables – need to go into your calendar first in an effort to create a system of time that is aligned and centered.  Time blocking is just scheduling your to-do list against your calendar. You block off the time you’ll be working on a specific thing ahead of time, and during that time, you work on that thing.

Adrienne Violette, Underground Catering Co-Owner, stated that understanding time management and how to use time blocking effectively with her core values work has created a feeling of freedom. She feels done at the end of the day and previous to this practice her ‘running to-do list’ as a busy wife, mother, and business owner ran her. 

I know firsthand, working with thousands of women, that this is a pressing topic…work-life balance. It is easy to believe that achieving it is all about a meticulously organized schedule and throwing on your Superwoman cape so you can be everything to everyone. Ladies… it’s time to throw away the cape. We do not need to set ourselves up to achieve these impossible standards then cry tears of exhaustion with a list of to-dos we just cannot possibly keep up with. Balance is not something you can achieve. It’s something you DO. Balance is a verb. 

This system relies on the clarity of your core values, agreements with yourself, time blocking, and creating balance on your own terms through a system of checks and balances.

**This article was featured in Yellowstone Valley Women’s Magazine. The issue is on shelves now! Sign up here to get this magazine delivered to your home!