With a desire to take conversations from Melissa Johnson's popular lifestyle blog, Best Friends For Frosting® to a new, engaged level of fun, Melissa launched the “Best Friends For Frosting®” podcast. This joyful podcast encourages listeners to become the very best version of themselves and to celebrate a life they love inside and out. Can’t wait to see you there!
I feel like I am ALWAYS racing against the clock – drop offs, pick ups, phone meetings, cleaning the house, home renovations, creating blog content, making meals, and the list goes on. And having to juggle all of these things definitely used to make me feel frazzled 24/7! But, I’ve learned to embrace it and have picked up a few tricks along the way that I can’t wait to share with you!
Realize Time is the Best Gift You Can Give Someone:
This is the #1 most important thing that you need to be aware of on a conscious level. Those text messages you’re replying to, coffee dates, every time you say ‘yes’ to something, you are saying ‘no’ to something else.
Guard Your Time Wisely:
I used to say ‘yes’ to coffee dates with surface relationships before I would say ‘yes’ to “me time.” You know how they say: put your oxygen mask on first and then take care of everyone else? It’s so true! It’s also sort of like being nicer to the cashier at the grocery store than your spouse behind closed doors. We HAVE to put ourselves first and a big part of this is guarding our time wisely. What if we said ‘yes’ to the things that brought us joy the same way we said ‘yes’ to the stranger we were trying to please?
Establish Routines that Work:
Having go-to routines will make you more productive and will help you to know exactly what to expect. It’s sort of like meal planning when you’re on a diet. Every morning, I make my bed and somehow I find my way to the Starbucks drive thru (LOL). It sort of happens naturally as a force of habit.
Make a To-Do List on Paper Every Morning:
If I don’t have a to-do list in hand, I get nothing done. I somehow find my way on Instagram scrolling through other people’s feeds, my mind wanders, I stay in neutral in my Inbox replying to every email and before I know it, I feel like I got NOTHING done. When I make a to-do list, it helps me keep my eye on the prize. I am an old school pen and paper kind of girl. I jot down what is most important, then categorize each task in order of importance, and I hit the pedal to the metal. One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is taking a gel pen out and crossing something off a to do list – which is why I cannot shift to the electronic side. But if jotting a list in an app or your notes helps you stay more productive, more power to you!
Swallow the Frog:
LOL! I have already taught my 8-year-old, Charlie, this and he applies it all the time. “Mom, I don’t want to get my haircut but I guess I’ll do that first before we go to the playground because I want to swallow the frog.” In other words, knock out what you dread most so it doesn’t hang over your head all day! If responding back to sponsored blog post emails gives you the first dread, tackle all those busters OUT of your Inbox and get on with your day. Figure out what causes you the most dread on your to-do list and knock it out first.
Make a Goals List:
Have another list going that lists your goals and check in to make sure they’re staying on your radar over time. Andy and I started doing this, and it’s been a game-changer. I keep a Google Doc that I frequently update and print out each week for our weekly meetings. This lists tasks that are more long term, but we don’t ever want to forget these tasks either. This list comes out once a week and we go over the status of each item. Sometimes we push a task on our to-do list and nail it. It’s always SO fun to cross these off the long term lists and they normally take more time to complete.
What is working for you and what is not? This is like a bird’s eye view snapshot of your life and business operations. From meal planning, office hours, morning routines, to how we’re running a household, I like to look at this head on and use it as a roadmap to stay on track. For example, last month what worked really well for me was doing laundry every 2 days, waking up at 5 AM instead of 6:45 AM, having weekly phone meetings with my Editorial Director, Molly. What did not work really well for me is having a lax schedule where my work cut off times were not as desirable (hello mommy guilt), not having a set homework time for Charlie, making lunches the morning of school instead of the night before school and the list goes on. It’s so important to evaluate your own processes in life and business as they both truly go hand in hand. Inner stress creates outer stress and vice versa, so it’s really important to me to keep our ship running as smooth as possible so no one gets “sea sick.” 😉
Cut Off Time (if possible):
If I don’t have a cut off time, I lose track of time, my day feels unstructured, and I am trying to do it all. If you haven’t noticed, I am addicted to progress. When I feel like I am moving mountains, I feel on top of the world. With that momentum, I just keep going! This is not always a good thing and can often conflict with my personal life so having a cut off time is HUGE! My goal is to cut off by 3:30 PM.
Whether you’re asking for help within your own 4 walls of your home or have a little extra stash to delegate where you can, this is a game-changer. First you need to identify what causes you the most dread or where your weaknesses are. If only bookkeeping or cleaning the house could fire you up as much as doing what you love most right?! But that is one thing that others don’t ever tell you about entrepreneurship! You have to wear many hats of things that excite you and do not excite you. This is where you get clear with yourself about the things that cause you the most dread and delegate where you can. I don’t like taking the trash out so I gave that task to my 8-year-old, Charlie. I can’t stand mopping, so Andy knows that’s his gig. Andy hates doing laundry, so I took that task on. I am not great at editing blog posts after I write them, so I have an Editorial Director. Delegate in the small places you can to make everything else that much more fun!
I cannot stress this buster enough! We live in such a busy world where we can’t get away from dings, chimes and alerts. It’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole on our iPhones, Facebook newsfeeds, and the list goes on. This is where your list comes in – keep your eye on the prize! Many times, I have put my iPhone on airplane mode so I don’t get distracted. I often leave my iPhone in the kitchen when I go to bed so that I am not tempted to see how many likes my last Instagram photo got. 😉 Raise your hand if you’re guilty too. LOL! I hide alerts on group texts that are frequently updated or even from friends who send me a large amount of texts – sorry! 😉 It can be so hard to stay present, but once you’re aware and identify your main distraction triggers, you will be golden.
Take Care of Yourself:
Remember the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup, you have to take care of yourself too.” It’s so true. If you’re not taking care of yourself best, you’re going to be winging it and operating on a second class version of yourself for everyone else (spouse, kids, business). I remember trying to wake up at 5 AM the week of daylight savings time. By the end of the week, I was so exhausted and needed a break. I knew I had to take time to care for myself! It will make you that much more refreshed and ready to rock when it comes to business and life!
Even after becoming a CEO, educator, and podcaster, I’m still the down-to-earth girl next door. Building a profitable business is absolutely doable with the right mindset and the right amount of passion, and I can’t wait to share all I’ve learned with you!