Please Don’t Tell Me How Busy You Are

BusyMom2I say this with love…and a complete, empathetic understanding of your overscheduled life… but you’ve got to stop blaming your decisions on your busy calendar. If you can’t get together for coffee, tell me you have other plans. If you can’t manage to deliver something you’ve promised a hundred times, admit that you’re a disorganized mess and ask me to extend some grace. If you are chronically late to pick up your child tell me there’s a conflict in your schedule or that you haven’t quite figured out how long it takes you to get out the door with a new baby. I would understand that. I could relate to that.

But please — for the love of all things sacred to moms on this planet — don’t tell me how “busy” you are. Don’t list all the things you have on your plate, apologize half-heartedly and expect me to cut you a break. Not because I don’t care or because I don’t believe you. And not because I think I’m busier than you are. Trust me, the last thing I want to see is women competing for the title of Most Busiest Mom – because being busy is not a good thing in my book. It’s not something I brag about or something that I’m proud of. It’s something I battle on a regular basis.

Let’s Be Honest

When you tell me you’re too busy, you’re saying my request (or your commitment) is not important. And that’s ok – as long as you’re honest about it and tell me that up front. Don’t let me wait around for you — expecting you to deliver on a promise. Don’t let me count on you, only to be disappointed. Don’t beg me to make exceptions and jump through hoops to accommodate your busy world, as if the rest of us don’t live there with you.

Let’s face it – moms are busy people. And we tend to take on more than we should. We’re all in this mess together. We created it ourselves. And we tell ourselves it’s only here for a season…so we will muddle through…because someday we’ll miss it. I get that. And I agree we should embrace the chaos of our responsibility-filled lives and enjoy the blessings of motherhood and all that this season brings. But we can do that with honesty and grace and kindness. Without blaming others, letting people down and expecting sympathy or special treatment. And perhaps more importantly – without feeling like we’ve failed. [Read more…]

The One Thing That’s Wrong With Your To-Do List

To Do ListI flopped into bed, exhausted and emotionally wiped out. It had been another one of those days that seemed to go in a wildly different direction than I had planned. A late school bus threw us off schedule and everything else followed suit – forgotten lunchboxes, car batteries that died, dinner that was overcooked, a troubling phone call from a friend and soccer practice that was moved to another location 30 minutes before it started.

As I melted into my cozy mattress, I began to mentally list the things I had not accomplished – the long list of To-Do’s that didn’t get done. There was a pile of dirty dishes still in the sink…a load of laundry that never made it into the dryer and would certainly need to be rewashed… a looming client deadline that would now require me to pull some late nights… and several errands that simply had to wait until tomorrow.

I felt like another day was lost. I was so discouraged that I was now “behind schedule” once again. Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we obsess with tackling our LIST and feel like a failure when we don’t GET THINGS DONE?

We measure our success based on how much we accomplish. How many miles did we run this morning? How quickly did we shower, make lunch and get the kids off to school? How many tasks did we cross off the list at work? How many phone calls did we return? How many bills did we pay? How well did we get that orange juice stain out of the carpet? And how much did we save with coupons at the grocery story?

I don’t know about you, but when I rock these tasks (heck, even when I simply complete them haphazardly), I feel like a huge success! I go to bed at night feeling accomplished. Validated. Feeling like a GREAT mom! These are all good things to accomplish – as long as they don’t come at the expense of truly BEING a great mom (or wife…or friend…or sister…or daughter). [Read more…]

Keep Doing What You’re Doing

Smiling office worker showing thumb upDo you ever get bored with your business? If you’re like most moms you never really get bored – you don’t have time to get bored! But you may grow tired of doing things the same old way. You may no longer be thrilled by the challenge of your work. You might find yourself looking around at other businesses or new technologies or “fantastic” opportunities and wondering, “Hmmmm, maybe I should give that a try?”

If that sounds familiar, then you’re in good company. Most of us entrepreneurs are constantly exploring and learning new things. That’s why we are successful out on our own. Like flowers, we know there are only two choices – grow or die. And we prefer growing.

But sometimes we use growth as an excuse to avoid doing the work. I admit it – I catch myself doing this on occasion. I sit down to work on a project that I’ve been planning for a long time – something I know will be successful because I’ve done it before. And as soon as I start, I get distracted by an idea…something pops in my head or across my screen… and I get excited! So I start researching and brainstorming and dreaming… and the hours pass by quickly as I dive into my NEW, EXCITING IDEA! I’m convinced THIS is exactly what I need to make a change…to shake things up…to grow.

What I don’t realize is that my NEW, EXCITING IDEAS usually come at the expense of old and boring tasks. And those old and boring tasks might actually work well in my business. They might actually produce results…and generate leads…and earn revenue. But because I’m so attracted to the challenge of continuous change, I’m blind to the fact that I’m already doing exactly what I should be doing. While I might THINK I need a bright, shiny idea, what I actually need is the persistence to continue with something proven and familiar.

So how do you know when it’s time to try something new or if it’s best to keep doing what you’re doing? [Read more…]