I had this struggle for months in my business. I WANTED to dedicate some portion of my work week to planning and reflection, and to taking stock of how I was progressing toward my big goals. But it just wasn’t happening. Because I was really flipping’ busy… you know, doing the stuff that PEOPLE PAID ME FOR!
It was maddening. I was watching my students and clients feel more relaxed, more focused, and create a more dependable monthly income by taking a step back and delegating their marketing to me. But I couldn’t do the same. Because I was too busy doing my actual work!
No time to meet new potential clients, no time to strategize. No time to reflect on whether what I was already doing was working.
I couldn’t even find time to vet an assistant who could have helped with some tasks. Yet I was working all day. I was waking up at 5 am or working from 8 to 10 pm in order to get it all done. So I knew there weren’t more productive hours in the day. I had to figure out how to reshuffle. I had to figure out how to drop some things.
That was just a couple of months ago.
I’d love to tell you that I magically solved this problem and now I work for 4 hours a week and make loads of dough. Nope! But here’s what I will say.
This ain’t an advice piece. (Reminder: I don’t write those.) But since I’m going through this right now, I wanted to give an update about how I took the very first step to getting out of Emergency Mode. The very first step isn’t to drop everything. The very first step isn’t even to start a log and track how you’re spending your time.
Step 1 to stepping off the hamster wheel: I had to allow myself to believe that I deserve more.
“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” I had to “admit that I had a problem.” All the hackneyed phrases.
Well, guess what?
For me that was absolutely the truth. Friends, business buddies, my husband… all were full of smart suggestions and teeny-weeny totally non-threatening tips I could have used to slow down and make room for the creative side of growing my business that I said I wanted.
But I couldn’t hear it. I was too busy feeling sure that all my clients hated me and that if I just stopped for a day, that pause would trigger some kind of cascade that would signal the end of my business.
Then one day, I had an epiphany that allowed me to realize I deserved more. (I had slept 10 hours in the previous 4 days, and I was supposed to be on “vacation.”) Here’s what it was: