Late last week I simply scrapped my plan for what I was going to share with you about this week. Instead, I’m going to give you the raw, honest truth about how this business coach lost control.
I had great plans for my week last week. I had time blocked my schedule and left space for me to create content, network, meet a friend for drinks after work, take my daughter to a doctor’s appointment, and even get ahead on a few things as we plan to leave in a few days for vacation.
Instead, my week ended up with me being so overscheduled that 4 days last week I didn’t have any breaks between meetings…from 7:30am – 5pm. No time to eat lunch and I barely could find time to run to the bathroom. Instead of being ahead on my content creation, I am a week behind on video blogs and still owe two articles to a magazine I’m writing for. I showed up late and left early to two networking events. I had to bail on drinks with a friend in order to fit a client in for a late reschedule of an executive coaching session. I took a client call at 9pm (which I almost never do because it interrupts into MY family time). I worked until midnight on three different nights to try to get caught up. Oh and that doctor’s appointment for my daughter? Well I booked it online while I was multi-tasking and it turns out that the Wednesday at 2pm appointment I booked, it was for Wednesday, 8/18 not Wednesday, 6/23. So I lost the productive time of my afternoon AND she didn’t get seen. All in all, I felt overwhelmed and like I was barely keeping my head above water.
By Friday, I was spent. Emotionally and physically. I couldn’t do any more. I was exhausted and my brain felt like it was no longer giving me good information. This is not how I normally operate. This is how my schedule felt when I was working in corporate America…out of my control. Truth be told, this is what most of my clients’ schedules look like when they first call me for business coaching help. I think what felt worst was that I felt like I should know better. I teach and coach on these things! So how does this happen?
First and most importantly, I stopped holding my boundaries. Last week, I said yes to EVERY request that came in. Yes to moving previously booked sessions. Yes to grabbing “a few minutes” on my calendar. Yes to starting 4 new clients all in the same week. I even said yes to not one, but two requests for late Friday afternoon meetings. (This is a big deal because I block my calendar off after 12:30pm every Friday as my development and recharge time.) Just two weeks ago I did a live stream all about the power of saying no and I talked all about holding your boundaries and protecting your time for what you need to accomplish. I simply didn’t say no. I did not value my time or my priorities or the commitments I made to myself.
The point is, we all are going to fall down sometimes. Even the best of us. The ones who have been teaching time management and productivity strategies for years. It happens. Things get away from us. We try to accommodate customer requests. We take on too much. Perhaps we procrastinated a bit on the hard things the week before. This is exactly why I think it’s important for me to talk about it today, openly and honestly. None of us are perfect. We all have lapses. The important thing is that you don’t let that slow you down or discourage you. Instead use it as an opportunity to reevaluate and move forward better and stronger.
For me, I’m reassessing why I said yes when I should have said no. Was I fearing letting people down? Was I slipping back into a moment where I deprioritized and devalued my own needs and worth? I’m also looking at my processes. Why was I so far behind on content creation when my goal is to be at least two weeks ahead? What is the client on-boarding experience like and what expectations am I setting for them around my availability and rescheduling procedure? And honestly, I need to go back and look at what I have said yes to that perhaps I need to go back and say no to.
I share all of this with you to show you that when you have a week like this, it isn’t a failure (as long as it happens infrequently). It is a setback. It is a learning moment. It’s a signal that you need to stop and reevaluate. And oftentimes it is growing pains showing you that your business might be at an inflection point and moving into a new phase of the business life cycle. Sometimes when things appear to be falling apart they may actually just be falling into place.
If what I just described sounds more like your typical week than the anomaly then it’s time to give me a call. This is not what running your business should look like. It’s time to find out how hiring a business coach can help you get your time and overwhelm (mostly) under control. You can book time for us to have a quick complimentary chat at www.empoweredleadershipcoach.com/schedule.
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