Situations like finishing two outfits and a wedding dress in 24 hours doesn’t occur everyday, but it happens far too often for me to be ok with it. I can do better. As a recovering perfectionist I have a couple of tools that I’ve been using to help me stay sane. But before I get into the tools, I want to share an idea that has helped me. I finished a book about a month ago called Essentialism. In it the author said something’s that have stuck with me, two of which are below. First, he said:
when we try to do it all, we find ourselves making trade- offs at the margins that we would never take on as our intentional strategy. When we don’t purposefully and deliberately choose where to focus our energies and time, other people- our bosses, our colleagues, our clients, and even our families- will choose for us, and before long we’ll have lost sight of everything that is meaningful and important.
he went on to say…
To discern what is truly essential we need space to think, time to look and listen, permission to play, wisdom to sleep, and the discipline to apply highly selective criteria to the choices we make.
What I took from this is that the word “NO” can be my friend. Or, saying “sorry that doesn’t work for me.” Not to be mean, selfish or uncaring but to keep my sanity, my health and keep up the commitments I have already made my priority. I am learning to narrow my commitments and focus my tasks- which isn’t easy. So until I get to the point of ‘essentialism’ (I’m getting better) I have tools that help me stay on point.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember jack!
Don’t ask me what I did last week, even yesterday! I know its sad- over commitment syndrome is what I call it. There are always so many things going on, committing everything to memory is nearly impossible. So I keep everything in my personal database.
I’m a techy person, so anything I can comfortably put on the computer/ phone – I will. I use Bento- a personal database that syncs between my computers, phone and ipad. They discontinued it back in 2013- traaaaadegy!- but I love it so much I still use it a few times a day. It’s starting to quit on me so I’m on a quest to find something new. I came across tapforms which I’m testing out now- I’ll let you know how that goes. It has similar features, the most important being organization, syncing and encryption (yes- I’m paranoid-and a conspiracy theorist, I’m not going to make it easy for you- pause- but that’s for another post.)
Another app is Evernote, which is great for research and keeping track of everything I’m doing between computers and devices. Dropbox is for files, what evernote is for notes and research. When I’m designing, building websites or researching summer camp for the kids- I save the current project files I’m working on in dropbox so I have access at the touch of a button (as long as there is wifi).
Every woman, mother, wife, business owner needs a calendar digital or otherwise.
What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done! Point blank end of story- and if does, you have to move around everything that was. I use ical on my mac- but I’ve used google calendar which is ok- but like a said ‘conspiracy theorist’ and big brother google already has too much of my info- they don’t need to know where I be and with who- know what I’m sayin’.
As you can tell, I’m a mac person so ical is seamless and I thrive on simplicity (essentialism- I’m coming for you). The fewer things I have to figure out the better. Like all the other apps ical syncs between all devices and because my memory is shot- I need access to my information and schedule at all times.
As much as the apps and books and everything else that ‘helps’ with the chaos of life- nothing helps me more than my foundation. My family. Without their love and support, none of this other stuff matters. A good support system is what every professional women needs. Because when everything hits the fan, and it will, they will be there to help you pick up the pieces.
Below is a link to everything mentioned in this post, hopefully the apps/ book will help you as it’s helped me.
Essentialism ~by Greg Mckeown
tapforms (mac only- paid)
iCal (if you use mac it comes with your computer/iphone) (free)
Google calendar– if you don’t use mac (free)
What helps you stay on point? Let me know in the comments!