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Essential Summer Routines: Boosting Business, Health, And Relationships

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June 19, 2024

Productivity

There are so many topics we could discuss this summer, but I am particularly excited about what I’m going to share with you today. This blogpost is all about what I’ve been up to in my life right now. I was so eager to talk about it that I reached out to my marketing assistant and asked if I could squeeze this in. We ended up rearranging everything to make it happen.

Today, I want to talk to you about the summer routines that are helping me navigate the season—balancing my business, staying healthy, and strengthening my marriage. These three things have always been important to me, but recently they’ve taken on even greater significance. To keep this brief, the goal of this blogpost isn’t just to tell you how to implement these routines. Let’s have an open, raw, and honest conversation about how my systems, routines, and life need to change and adapt to support the realities we face.

I don’t just use these systems to be organized and insanely efficient but rather rely on routines, a home management system, and a business task management system. These tools help me operate at my highest capacity, and that’s why I want you to incorporate them into your life as well.

Listen Below For The Entire Episode On The Systemize Your Life Podcast

The Importance Of Summer Routines For High Functioning And Focus

I want you to show up and function at your highest capacity, so when you sit down to work, you’re not getting distracted by Instagram or TikTok videos when you should be editing or checking emails. I want you to make dinner with your kids or go out with your husband without having your phone in your hand. These are things I strive for myself, and for some reason, this summer in particular, I feel more called to live this way than ever before.


I know everyone feels this way. It’s why people are sick, tired, unhappy, and why their lives aren’t progressing or growing fruitfully—they’re stuck in a rut. I have my own areas of sludge in my life, and that’s what I want to talk to you about.

It’s why people are sick, tired, unhappy, and why their lives aren’t progressing or growing fruitfully—they’re stuck in a rut.

Summer Routines To Grow Your Business, Health, And Marriage

Today, I’m going to talk about three specific areas and routines that are truly helping me grow my business, stay healthy, and strengthen my marriage. Over the past six months, these aspects have taken a hit. Starting in December, we faced a lot of challenges, and then more difficulties arose in January with my business. By February, I felt the need to shake it off and put life back together. March, April, and May were all about trying to get things back in order. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to look forward—not at the damage done, but at what I want things to look like moving ahead.

And the truth is, this will continue to happen in both my life and yours until the day we die. It’s something we always have to deal with, which means we must use systems to help us get back on track, grow, be effective, be efficient, and operate at our highest capacity.

Revamping Summer Bedtime Routines For Productivity And Balance

Here’s what’s happening this summer in my house. First and foremost, my personal bedtime routine has taken a massive hit. This has always been my go-to. I love waking up early in the morning, and I also love staying up late at night. Not that I’ms a night owl or a morning person—I’m both. I want to be awake all hours of the day but also love sleeping, and I sleep really well, but I love doing things. Being active and productive or doing nothing; that feels really good too. I just like what I’m doing over here. But truth be told, you have to have parameters on those things, or you get yourself in trouble.

Bedtime routines are getting a hard revamp. I’ve talked about this in years past on the podcast, but if I’m being really frank, my business has grown exponentially, and I have a lot of team members. We had some serious turnover, and I had to work to get other people to do what they needed to do, to be able to provide for them and support them. I also had my own tasks that needed to get done. As a result, my bedtime routine would take a hit every single time, and then I’d sleep in the morning. This, in turn, affected my morning routine, which then impacted my work blocks. So, the three things we’re going to talk about right now are my bedtime routine, routines surrounding work, and routines surrounding my morning.

Establishing A Firm Bedtime Routine To Enhance Summer Productivity

So the first and foremost is the bedtime routine. For me, I’ve got the kids dialed in, laser-focused. I’m great at that. What I am now doing, and this is the hard and fast rule, is no longer allowing phones upstairs. Phones are banned from the bedroom, period—everyone’s bedroom, including ours. This is the biggest change, and it’s going to stay that way. We’re getting a new alarm clock, the Hatch alarm clock. It’s a beautiful investment at $160, but I believe it will significantly impact my life and truly change the trajectory for my children. Removing my phone from the bedroom will help me fulfill the vision I’ve had for the past six to eight months. I’m committed to showing up for this now.

When I decide to do something, I commit to it fully and don’t talk about it until I’m actively doing it. That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re using my daughter’s Yodo player as an alarm clock. If you have a Yodo player, it’s a great, more affordable option. It turns on a light in the morning and plays gentle music, while the cell phones stay downstairs, plugged into the Aro box. If you’re not familiar with the Aro box, it’s a device we discussed in a previous episode with its creators and founders. It logs how much time your phone spends in the box each day, creating a friendly competition within our household.

So my new bedtime routine will involve getting into my room with enough time to wind down properly. Just as I coach everyone else, I have to coach myself into spending 15 minutes before bed to relax. It has always been about 15 minutes, but it became inconsistent. Most nights, I found myself feeling super sleepy on the couch watching TV, which turned into a pattern.

Eliminating Phone Distractions To Restore Bedtime Peace

Blaine resisted this change for a long time, saying that watching TV was how he checked out and needed to unwind. I challenged him, asking why we need to check out. Why do we constantly fill our brains with noise that doesn’t matter and is often detrimental? He admitted that was a valid point. I reminded him that long ago, before electricity, people lit fires and candles, which emitted natural red light therapy. In contrast, today’s constant bombardment of noise, especially from social media, is overwhelming.

And I realized, we could spend six hours a day following all the health advice and routines we’re supposed to, but the truth is, we just need to break our obsession with being so present and alive in our phones. I just want my life back, and this isn’t about my podcast or my business; it’s about being more present for those things. My husband mentioned the need to be available for everyone outside our home, and I’m done with that. It’s time to focus on the people within our four walls.

I’ve tried plugging my phone in across the room, and it does help. It gets me out of bed when the alarm goes off, but then I end up carrying it with me during my morning routine, and I see how it distracts me repeatedly. So now, as part of my bedtime routine, my phone gets plugged in, and my goal is to leave it in that box most of the time. I want to use it only when necessary, keeping it out of my daily routine as much as possible.

Exploring Work Routine Adjustments And Internet-Free Phones During Our Summer Routine

Now let’s talk about routines, specifically my work routine. One night, Frankie, Blaine, and I were sitting on the couch doing research. We have an Apple TV and Mac products, so we can share our screens and work together. Often, we use this setup for projects like Christmas shopping, but this time, we were researching cell phones designed with no internet. We explored all the options for making an iPhone safe, as well as alternatives like Gab Phone, Bark Phone, Pinwheel, and others.

There are many options, and I’m really excited about them. Off topic, but I heard that Nokia is coming out with a non-smartphone, which is nostalgic for those of us who remember Nokia being the cool phone back in the day. I’m hopeful that the younger generation can make it cool again to not have the internet in their pockets, because life is so much better without it.

Adjusting Work Routines And Managing Digital Distractions

So anyway, we’re doing all this research, and while looking at my phone settings, I noticed my daily usage of social media was sometimes zero for weeks because I delete the apps. I felt proud of myself for that. But then I looked at my Voxer usage and realized, son of a gun, I just replaced one thing with another.

Right now, let’s discuss my working routines. I’ve always maintained strong boundaries between work and home. I do most of my work, if not all, from my laptop, and I stick to my designated work blocks. However, sometimes, especially when my husband isn’t home at night, I find myself working more. It’s a slippery slope. Occasionally, I’ll use that work block or a morning Power Hour, but I never work while my kids are around living their lives. This has been really effective for me.

However, I’ve been using Voxer on my phone to get questions answered and communicate with everyone working with me, including all of our interns. I recently looked at my daily average and saw it was over two hours on Voxer. Frankie even commented, “Yeah, Mom, you’re always on Voxer.”

And I was done. I knew I had to make a change. So, I immediately deleted the work Voxer app off my phone and set new expectations for everyone on the team. For those who don’t know, Voxer is a platform that acts like a walkie-talkie. It allows for seamless text and voice messaging back and forth, and you can even recall messages if you need to. It’s very convenient, but it was taking up too much of my time.

Streamlining Communication And Task Management In Summer Routines

We have marketing, operations, and student success channels on Voxer where we communicate. It’s extremely effective for remote business settings because it allows for quick and easy communication without needing to type everything out. However, this led to me having conversations while I was preoccupied with other things because all I had to do was talk. My kids constantly heard me having these conversations, which were educational for them, but it also created a problem.

So, I changed that. The work routine I set up this summer to help grow my business involves me and my team adhering to new boundaries. I told them, “Look, we all love working with each other and enjoy talking to other adults every day. But your family is just as important to you as mine is to me. So please stop voxing when you’re not working.” If this means things slow down, so be it. Your families are more important. I need to lead by example, not just for my family but for my entire team. Everyone was so grateful, and I didn’t know what to expect, but the response was overwhelmingly positive.

I’m really happy with the idea of the tortoise and the hare and being the tortoise in all regards. What I’ve learned is that by not relying on constant communication, I am relying on my operating system. You may be familiar with Asana, Trello, ClickUp, or Notion—these are all task management software options. Here, we use MeisterTask. I started using MeisterTask when it was just me, and it has grown with me to support the 10-plus people who help with our operations. However, it’s just a tool. To make it work effectively, you need to understand your workflows and the system you’re using.

Developing Reliance On Structured Summer Routines

So, the point is that I’ve developed a complete reliance on the system I’ve created within our workflows. This system starts with our cockpit, which is our central hub. It then extends into all areas that support our inbox, programs, projects, events, and content. Everything we do here operates through this system, with all workflows interconnected through the cockpit. As a side note, this is what I teach in TOBOS, with the foundation of it covered inside Systemize to Scale.

Through this process, I’ve refined another level of what I’ll be teaching other business owners, and I’m thrilled about it. Do we still use Voxer? Absolutely, but only during my designated work times. I no longer check it before or after those periods. 

There were some challenges we had to navigate. Certain team members sometimes need to reach me outside of work hours for things like passwords, and that’s okay. We had a few tough moments figuring out how to handle those situations, but we worked it out. Now, I am truly only working during my actual work blocks. The result? More is being accomplished than ever before, and I am all for it.

Cultivating A Mindful Morning Routine

The third routine I’m focusing on is my morning routine, and it’s been wonderful. This has been the easiest one to fix now that I have my bedtime and work routines in place. It’s happening organically and naturally. I’ve really wanted to prioritize my health for various reasons, so I started walking and running in the mornings. Sometimes I walk, sometimes I run, and I get a quick workout in.

I’m also making sure I’m fully present and nourishing myself first thing in the morning. When I get busy or stressed, I tend to stop eating rather than overeating, which is just as detrimental. Both extremes can harm your body and well-being.

I’ve been able to get up in the morning, and without my phone in my room, I can start my day the way I want. I might reading, pray, and journal. This allows me to begin my day intentionally. One of my visions is for my children to see me dedicating my life and time to something tangible, visible, present, and real. I don’t want to just rather be absorbed by my computer or phone. I don’t have my whole life to make this change for them; none of us do. We have to make the most of the present moment.

Reflecting On Faith And Family Values

When I was discussing this with Blaine, he mentioned that we fix all these things, and I agreed. But we also draw great inspiration from the Bible as a faith-based family. One of the people we admire is Daniel, who had extreme dedication to his faith. That’s what I aspire to. What do you want extreme dedication to? What do you want to be unwavering in? When your kids see you, what do you want them to see you doing every single day?

It’s such an incredible opportunity for us to change who we are. We also get to give our children the foundation, tools, security, and confidence in who they are by being grounded in something outside of the cyber world. So, I challenge you to take this episode and just think about it. Reflect on what it means to you. If you feel compelled to write something down that resonated with you, go ahead. But mostly, I want you to ponder it. Think about it a lot. Whether you’re on a long walk, driving, or in the shower, contemplate it. Consider that one thing in your life right now that you’re tired of. What came to mind when I asked, “I’m so sick of my kids watching me do…”?

Wrapping It Up…

Because that’s where you should start. Don’t worry about all the other things. Use the rest of the summer as a playground to explore and experiment. If you fail, it’s not actually failing; you tried something and learned from it.

If you do end up putting any of these tips into place, I’d love for you to share them within our vibrant Facebook community or come over and visit me on Instagram. Not only will it serve as a piece of accountability for you, but it will also encourage other moms who haven’t yet taken action on what they’ve read. And remember that we would LOVE to see you inside of Systemize Your Life as a VIP student!

Thanks so much for being here with me!

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