Ever feel like there’s far too much to do every single day, and in no place on this earth would you ever be able to stop multitasking long enough to put a group of tasks together in a day? You’re constantly running here and there, taking all the kids to and fro, cleaning up and picking up 24/7, just to turn around and find yet another mess that you thought you finally got a hold of. You have clients that need to be invoiced, responded to, and cared for, so this side hustle you’re trying to do isn’t a complete waste of your time. Things are piling up to make your stressful days seem like the norm.
The good news is there is another way. You can completely flip this lifestyle you are living right now on its head. You can have actual fun, and have full freedom in your life with your time, so your life can run like a well-oiled machine. This blog is going to give you tried and true tips so you can make sure your life is not a train wreck causing burnout, but rather a source of energy, joy, and massive productivity. It’s time to dig in deep, ladies. Let’s get started!
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
A Free Resource to Get Started
Did you know I have a completely free resource (actually I have a few), but the one I’m going to point you to today is where I got the idea for this blog. I had a member of my free workshop reach out to me and ask “How do you know what tasks to put in your time blocks?” The answer that I gave her is part of what we’ll be covering today. Actually, we’ll be going a lot deeper than I was able to answer in an email.
My free workshop is at chelsijo.co/getorganized. It’s only about thirty minutes and you can chat with me! Sometimes I’m there live, and even if I’m not there’s a little message that pops up to let you know. This workshop is such a great way to dive in deep and get into the bones of what I do. It’s the perfect place to start to transition from stressful days to smooth days.
Going from Stressful Days to Smooth Days
Before we break down the three tips I have for you, I want you to know that there are only three main parts to my entire time management life. Everything that I base my world upon is basic on purpose. There are too many ways we overcomplicate things that make it too difficult to stick to. I intentionally crafted this system to make my life simple. A long time ago I did not live that way. I had SO much going on, so I started digging into using systems to help me in my life. I have been able to really dial into these main three parts.
These three basics are my time blocks, my fundamental needs, and the routine stacks inside of the time blocks. I have learned that these three components are the answer to life’s stressful days and feeling overwhelmed. They tell you exactly what you need to be doing. These have helped me create a well-oiled machine for my day. The new thing that I have added to these three is habit tracking. This gets into the little details of the day, and my performance every day. I want to live this life in every moment to the fullest. All of these micro parts of my life, I am able to look at and address because I have been so dialed into the macro part of life.
This well-oiled machine can be broken down into one big analogy- which I don’t do a lot. But I have to tell you this one so you can see and feel what it looks like to live your life out according to these three big pieces of having a systemized life. If you are one of those people that needs to see it visually broken down, go watch the free workshop!
Stressful Days Feel Clunky
Have you ever played with dominos? You or your children? If you haven’t just type it into YouTube. There are some mind-blowing videos! This is what this well-oiled machine should look like. Your day, every single day, is supposed to roll like dominos. I mean you wake up, that tips the first domino, and then every single other part of your day is automated and stress-free. You don’t even have to think about it. It just tips, and tips, and tips every other domino thereafter until you go to bed at night. That is what your well-oiled machine can and will look like.
You get up in the morning and your day just flows. You don’t have to constantly be thinking “what’s next, who’s supposed to be where, what did I miss?” And then your life feels really heavy and days are stressful when they shouldn’t be. Life is not a burden. Your children are not a burden, and your job is not a burden. Your house, husband, cooking, cleaning, none of those things are a burden. You can have a well-oiled machine. Your life can feel like that.
How To Start Those Dominos
I could go on about how great it feels when your days go from stressful to smooth, but what I want to get into is this domino effect. The tips that I’m going to give you are going to tell you how you can put these dominos into place. What do you imagine happens when we are prepared and set up those dominos? How do those dominos get set up in the first place? Who is going to set them up for us? Well, your kids and your husband sure aren’t! I’ll be very frank about that! My husband doesn’t set up our dominos. If I tell him to grab the dominos and put them in place, will he help? Absolutely! Do I hope and wish that he will know at some point that he will know on his own? Yes, but he may or may not. It’s not consistent.
This is my responsibility, and I choose to make it my responsibility. If you’re reading this, you too have decided to make it your responsibility. We share that. What I want you to know is that my responsibility feels like a well-oiled machine because I set up my dominos before I need to be rolling them. I set up all my dominos so that I can tip them, and it’s automated.
When Things Don’t Go As Planned
Does life get behind sometimes? Absolutely, but I will have set up enough dominos in front of me so I can get ahead of it so those dominos keep rolling. I am always trying to be ahead of the game. I’m always thinking about the next time block, the next day, the next quarter, or the next month. I’m always looking a little bit ahead. I can’t always perform that type of preparedness because what happens when someone gets sick? What happens when something outside of your control moves one of your dominos? What happens when something interjects? There are so many things that we cannot control with our children, houses, and spouse. Kids are always getting sick! Maybe you’re at odds with your spouse, and things aren’t rolling well.
There are so many things that we have to know and understand are going to happen. That does not mean you will fail at this. What it means is we have to improvise, adapt, and overcome. Sometimes we set up our dominos and we feel really good about them, and then when we tip it we don’t understand why our day isn’t rolling. So what do we do? Do we go AWOL or panic? Cry? Kick our feet? Maybe, but should we? No. We need to improvise, adapt, and overcome.
Adapting to the Unexpected for Stressful Days
Here is what is so beautiful about this process. If you can get your life to be this well-oiled machine that will tip like dominos, you can set up ten dominos and tip them and that part of your day will roll. You can always count on that being an anchor in your day. Then you also get to learn. You get to grow. You get to be better at the job and the responsibilities you’ve taken on. Then you find another stack of dominos to put into your life.
That’s all I’ve done. I’ve started putting routine stacks in parts of my day that are filled with all the tasks I need to get done, and I have chunked them down to setting up each section of my day. There is no perfect order to how you set these up, it just depends on what your family needs. If something happens and someone gets sick and ALL my dominos get annihilated, I can scoop up the pieces, pick them back up tomorrow, and look forward to my next set of dominos. How soon can I get back on track?
Sometimes we have major life events where weeks go by and there are no dominos. That’s OK! You still know how and what dominos you need. It’s really that simple. Now that I have drilled that image into your brain, let’s talk about the three tips I have for you!
“If you can get your life to start to work like a well-oiled machine, you can set up ten dominos and tip them and that part of your day will roll. You can always count on that being an anchor in your day. Then you also get to learn. You get to grow. You get to be better at the job and the responsibilities you’ve taken on.“
#1 Focus on One Set of Dominos at a Time
Get this in your head. You just need to focus on where your dominos need to stack, and how far apart you need to stack them. Let’s just look at one part of your day. You’re not thinking about the whole day. You’re not trying to make your whole life perfect. Stressful days do not go away instantly.
Maybe it’s starting with your AM block. A great way to figure out where to focus first is to ask where are you at your weakest. Where are things falling apart at the seams? Where are you losing the most time or where is the biggest point of friction or conflict in your day? What is making you have stressful days? For example, if it’s your AM block (from the time your kids get up until your kids are off to school or when you’re done homeschooling them, or when you go to work) you need to just focus on what’s going on in that time. Yours might only be thirty minutes. Maybe it’s super quick before the kids are on the bus.
Ask yourself, what are the things you need to line up so you start the first domino with kids waking up, and what’s the next thing that has to happen, and everything after that? Each thing that needs to happen is a domino.
#2 Do Not Worry About Having Everything Perfect
Do not worry about having the perfect day, the perfect week, or the perfect planner with erasable highlighters. Perfectionism does not exist in the world. It is 100% something we create in our mind because what you deem as perfect in your world, someone else would think is heinous. There is no ideal perfection of anything. It does not exist, It’s only something that happens in our minds.
What you think is a perfect day, is not a perfect day for me. It’s not a perfect day for your husband or kids. So get over the idea that the specific planner you are trying to put everything down perfectly will happen. You’re not going to get it perfect the first time. You are actually going to have to work on it and try. It’s not about having that perfect thing in our minds that we hold onto. That perfectionism has to be released. You have to start holding onto different thoughts that help move you forward.
Ask yourself, what is my focus right now? If it’s the AM block, tell yourself you’ll build everything else out after, but for now, you’re just focusing on what happens in this one focal point. That is an amazing place to start there. You don’t have to make it any bigger than what you can handle right now. It’s OK if it’s not perfect. You will grow over time, and grow into something that feels just right for you!
#3 Get Good At Setting Up Your Dominos
What I mean when I say, get good at setting up your dominos is that I want you to become a powerhouse! Every day all you’re thinking about is setting up those dominos. That is your life’s work setting up those dominos and being prepared. I will be so transparent when I say that so much of that is my life’s work that I have to work on being OK when the dominos aren’t set up, and still able to set things in motion. Stressful days happen when we feel out of control and overwhelmed.
I’ve gotten a lot better at this because my husband is so fun, and loves to do fun things. I’m learning to have a little more fun- like it’s OK to have fun without a domino. Now that my kids are older, I have a little bit more leeway. When your kids are younger, there are so many more dominos to keep in place. Getting sleep, and making sure you have everything they need feels like a lot more when they’re younger. There are so many more things to do when your business is young too! There are a lot more dominos in there.
Where You Want to Be: Smooth Sailing Instead of Stressful Days
What I want you to think of right now, is getting really good and skilled at setting up dominos. It will take a while to set them up in the beginning, but think about getting to the point where it doesn’t take you that long. Maybe it will take a while in the evening to get ready for the next day so your morning routine block is ideal the next day!
I want you to get to the place where you’re really good at setting up your dominos. If you don’t even know what your dominos are yet, go back to tip #1, and start there. Keep working through that more and more until you can get to the point where you can say you’re great at setting up your dominos.
This may feel really hard right now. Or that it’s so much work to get there. You have two options. You can do that work on your own or you can join my community. If you watch my workshop you’re going to learn all about this method. You’re going to learn about everything I do in order to make this my life. Almost 600 other women have made this their life too!
You don’t have to do this alone. You can have a well-oiled machine, and you do not have to have clunky, exhausting, and stressful days! Go to chelsijo.co/academy and check out the opportunity to do this with me and my community and coaching!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I learn more about Routine Stacks and Time Blocking?
Transitioning from consistently stressful days to smooth days happens when you use routine stacks and time blocking. To learn more about how to implement those in your own home check out the Systemize Your Life Academy. I created the Systemize Your Life Academy so you can access the exact systems I use to juggle kids, a marriage, a house, and my business. When you learn the Systemize Your Life Method you become efficient and productive which allows you to have the balance you need to grow in your business without drowning in your home.