How to move the needle with your own work-life balance routine.
I know we just met, but let’s be real with each other.
You are not a morning person.
You have never been a morning person.
But low and behold, your alarm is beeping its satanic ritual tune because you have guiltily bought into a miracle 5 am morning routine as the cornerstone of your entrepreneurial success.
Stop with the self-sabotage, already.
We are all wired differently. There is a reason some of us feel our best in the morning (aka early birds) and others come alive in the afternoon and evening times (aka night owls).
Right from birth, our personal biological clocks are already wound. Genetics establishes a person’s “chronotype,” which is pegged to when his or her body feels up and at ’em.
Why is this important? By ignoring this fundamental truth, you will follow the newest herd mentality of how to operate your business and life, creating unnecessary barriers obstructing your natural skills and abilities to be fully recognized.
The adage playing to your strengths never holds more truth then at this very moment. You can’t play to your strengths if you are tired, stressed out, and anxious. Why take someone else’s lead when you have already proved you can call the shots? It’s the difference between having a Worker vs. Leader mindset.
I too, fell victim to this same mindset trap. The stress, guilt, and work-life constraints to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 9 am was taking its toll on me. I was mentally and physically exhausted by noon. I was overeating and over-caffeinating to compensate. When I would come home, I took out all my pent-up frustration out on my family. If I was going to be this miserable working for myself, why didn’t I just stay at my 9–5?
That’s when the foghorn for the impending burnout storm began sounding in my head.
I left my 9–5 because I was tired of being treated like just another worker conforming to a set-up that was not in my best interest. I was ready and willing to set my own course. To decide my own destiny or fate. So why in the hell was I blindly operating on a set of rules I hadn’t yet vetted for myself?
I know why.
I was completely overwhelmed with all the other decisions I had to make as an entrepreneur. As a result, I lazily fell into a routine rhythm that others were spouting off as, “This is the way to entrepreneurial success and salvation.” Just as meticulous as I was about my business plan, I should have been even more adamant about how I would healthily and successfully move the needle with a vetted-out routine.
The first thing I did I decided to do was envision how I would set up my perfect workday that harnessed productivity and emotional sanity. I treated myself with the same care as I did my clients. I began asking detailed lifestyle questions to formulate an intentional healthy living and work-life balance plan.
Lifestyle Questions for Mindful Productive Routine:
What do I need to do to not feel rushed in the morning?
How much sleep do I need to feel rested?
What meals should I pack to energize me throughout the day?
What’s the most efficient way to exercise?
How do I align my day to stay focused on the immediate ROI tasks?
When should I schedule staff time?
When should client appointments and calls be scheduled?
This simple self-evaluation helped me quickly determine what I needed daily to show up as the person I wanted to be for myself, my family, my staff, and clients. I certainly didn’t want to be known as the frazzled owner alienating everyone around her. To show up as a caring and competent leader in my life, I landed on 4 daily routine musts: Fostering positive mindset, physical health, professional growth, and work-life balance for my family.
I’m a visual learner so I created my own outline system of drilling down exactly what I needed in my day to day to create a routine that played to my strengths and skills. My routine constants became known as my Pillars. Over time, each Pillar blossomed into committed actions known as my Routine Items. To stay committed and motivated to my new routine, I went one step further and followed up each Routine Item with a Business Deliverable.
My Mindfully Productive Daily Routine:
Pillar #1 Mind Body & Soul Wellbeing
Routine Item: Prepping healthy meals and snacks.
Business Deliverable: When I eat healthy, I am mentally and emotionally happier.
Routine Item: Daily scheduled exercise time.
Business Deliverable: When I move my body, I have energy the entire day.
Routine Item: Daily scheduled mindful breaks.
Business Deliverable: When I unplug my creativity, focus, and patience stay fresh.
Pillar #2 Showing Up A Caring Present Partner
Routine Item: Leave the last 45 minutes of the day for uninterrupted reflection and goal setting.
Business Deliverable: Leads to a focused next day. By leaving work at work, home can be home.
Routine Item: Being present for each other.
Business Deliverable: A kind, patient, and loving partnership.
Routine Item: Be each other’s cheerleader.
Business Deliverable: Lean on each other for support in all things.
Pillar #3 Be Purposeful:
Routine Item: Align ROI tasks at the beginning of the workday.
Business Deliverable: Taking advantage of a rested and fresh perspective.
Routine Item: Schedule emails, meetings, and other interpersonal tasks after ROI tasks.
Business Deliverable: Not allowing outside(r) urgency or distraction derail my strategic alignment or movement.
Routine Item: Enact a big picture thinking mindset.
Business Deliverable: To avoid knee-jerk decision making and burn-out.
Pillar #4 Be Flexible:
Routine Item: Eliminate unnecessary rushing, barriers, or pressures (i.e. I can work out at 8 am or 3 pm — but I will not fill this slot with something else).
Business Deliverable: When I am not rushed or forced into specific time slots, I stay laser-focused and productive throughout the day.
Routine Item: Planning with the intention of shifting.
Business Deliverable: My need and want for speed to market.
Routine Item: Expect the unexpected with staffing.
Business Deliverable: Emotional intelligence is the truest sign of leadership.
My present routine was a coupling of time, commitment, mindset, and habitual changes to organically arrive at what my own steadfast mindfully productive routine. Your routine will and should evolve with you and your business’ ever-changing needs. By landing on the secret sauce that gives you that edge, you’ll become unstoppable in whatever you want to accomplish in life.
MY HUSBAND WAS HOSPITALIZED WITH COVID-19
How the Coronavirus rocked my world.
My husband and I flew back to Kentucky to visit with family during Christmas. It was a jam-packed week of parties, visits, last-minute shopping; again all very typical since moving to Florida over eight years ago.
On the last day, we both felt run down, mildly flu-like. We brushed it off as exhaustion and put on a good face for our family before our flight back home. When we arrived at the airport, we learned our flight was on a 4-hour delay. As we waited for our flight, my husband began to feel more and more ill. When our plane finally arrived, I was never more happy to have a nonstop flight.
The next day we both stayed in bed to sleep and recover. While my symptoms were very mild, my husband was only getting worse. His persistent dry cough and shortness of breath kept him up throughout the night. He had insatiable chills and warm baths only momentarily eased his discomfort. His teeth chattering was terrifying to watch at times. When my healthy 40-year-old husband’s heart rate spiked to 150 bpm, I rushed him to the emergency room New Year’s Eve.
Thankfully, it was early evening and could be seen right away. After running multitudes of tests for the flu, pneumonia, and his heart, the doctor and nursing staff were baffled. Their prognosis was, “You have a really nasty virus your body is trying to fight.” So much so, it had affected his heart rate to spike. We were sent home and told to hydrate and rest.
It still took another two weeks before my husband really felt well again. As a precaution, we were encouraged to follow up with a cardiologist due to his abnormal EKG reading at the hospital. All the heart tests came back in the normal range allowing us to finally put this behind us, or so we thought.
By March, my husband and I knew he had COVID-19 back in December. His cardiologist who treated him was 95% certain he had it based on his symptoms and how his heart was affected during the virus. So we have stayed self-quarantined since mid-March for the safety of our family since he has now surpassed the anti-body immunity time period.
It’s funny how once you start writing with one angle in mind, how your whole perspective can change just, like, that?
I sat down with the intention of explaining what I do daily to keep a positive mindset during self- quarantine. But this experience has really enlightened me on how incredibly grateful I am of our situation.
I believe living in Florida saved my husband’s life. If we would have been living in a cold-weather state during this time, we may have had a far different outcome. My mind continually plays back to actor Nick Cordero’s story. Also learning that certain nationalities (he’s half Iranian) are more susceptible to be hospital-bound with this virus, we are very lucky he recovered like he did. My husband is my soul mate, my best friend, my partner in this crazy world. I can’t imagine my life without him. I can never be more grateful for how this experience has brought us even closer together.
RACHEL HOLLIS HAS NOT FAILED YOU
Don't forget how she helped you rise.
Last week NY Times best-selling author, thought leader, & life-relationship coach Rachel Hollis announced her divorce from husband Dave Hollis after 16 years of marriage. I was astonished at the hate and aggression I read from fellow writers and fans about this distraught woman’s divorce news. I read that one fan felt duped embarrassment and betrayal. There was another writer depicting Rachel as, “…not being so real after all.”
The whole scene to me eerily plays out like another famous woman we all know who was charged and convicted of heresy. Rachel Hollis certainly hasn’t come close to the sacrifices made by Joan of Arc, but I found the comparisons of these two women’s traits and situations quite canny. Both women’s rise was quite remarkable considering their humble start in life. Joan was a peasant girl with no military experience who led the French victory over the English. Rachel was born into a rural Pentecostal family who rose to the ranks of her male self-help counterparts with a google search bar and an intentional mindful living philosophy.
When a fellow movement sister has fallen, why do we turn our backs and set her afire with hate? I want to scream through the computer screen, “Our fellow Joan is burning, do you have any compassion?”
Those calling Rachel Hollis out as a fake has clearly forgotten all of her amazing contributions to the women empowerment movement as a whole. It’s a very short-sighted view of what this self-made woman has achieved for herself and what she’s made possible for other women like myself to follow in her path. Lucky for Rach she can’t suffer the same cruel demise as Joan for her so-called trickery. Relationship coaching is like 1/20th of what Rachel provides to its readers, followers, and fans. So, to say now you can’t respect her as a leader or mentor is completely absurd.
When Tiger Woods cheated on his wife, fans and critics never discredited him as being one of the greatest golfers the world has ever seen.
Rachel Hollis is indeed very much admirable. She challenges women’s mindset on what they should be, act, or say according to societal prejudicial standards. She hasn’t shied away from a challenge beginning with her move to Los Angeles, CA to make her own way. She built and ran a successful LA wedding planning business servicing several high-profile celebrities. She overcame her debilitating anxiety. Rachel is a published fiction writer and New York Times Best Selling Author with her book Girl Wash Your Face. Rachel Hollis persistence and passion has become a million-dollar brand in a once male dominant self-help space. THIS is what women empowerment and leadership look like.
As a regular listener of Rachel’s Rise Podcast and the Rachel and Dave Hollis Rise Together Podcast, they have been crystal clear about their sex life, past addictions, and other very personal struggles. I also have to ask what real benefit would it have been for Rachel or Dave to divulge months leading up to the official announcement they were on their way to divorce-Ville? Especially since I’m 95% sure they didn’t even know themselves. A woman who is on the verge of divorcing her husband is not going to promote him as CEO of her company.
Rachel and Dave Hollis’ philosophy of being mindful partners and parents for their family is still very much relevant — married or divorced.
I don’t believe there are many in this world who have thought or put as much mindful action toward a marriage than Rachel or Dave Hollis. For someone who has been married for 17 years (together 25) when we allowed non-certified professionals to give us advice on marriage, it never ended well. The Hollis dissenters will counter its fair game when you parlay yourself as a thought leader preaching you got this, when in fact you don’t. But whose to say divorce means defeat?
How can I ever trust Rachel’s advice again?
If your trust or loyalty toward Rachel Hollis still wavers, remember back when you first read one of her quotes, bought her book, attended a live event, or listened to a podcast episode. What did she help you with? Hope? Joy? Liberation? Cheer? Patience? How to laugh again? Remember that feeling your girl Rach gave you in that exact moment you needed it before you turn your back on her. Now is not the time for what have you done for me lately kind of thinking. Her divorce will be a true testament of her strength and our Warrior needs support from her fans and fellow movement sisters now more than ever. Don’t forget how she has paved the path for you and other trailblazing women to lead their own charge, write their own story. Let’s honor her courage and send her love by letting her know she does, in fact, got this.