How to Get it All Done

I don’t care how many of you roll your eyes at this…I SAW BRITNEY, BITCH! And girl looked fiiiieeeeerce!

I loved the show, although I know at least one person was disappointed:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/EatWatchRun/status/93874234882920448″]

I’d love to show you pictures from the Nicki Minaj and Britney concert, but all of mine came out like this:

So head on over to Meals and Miles where you’ll get a full recap and some slammin’ pictures.

How to Get it All Done

Last week, as I was frantically trying to get some projects done so that I could pack for our weekend, I turned to Lucas and said:

I HAVE to learn how to say no.

The problem is, I absolutely love being busy.

In a normal week, I’m working 40ish hours a week, working out 4-5 times, writing daily or twice-daily posts here, running the #Fitblog chats and now, the #Fitblog Presentations, juggling a couple of freelance gigs and sitting on several planning boards for conferences and events. Oh, and did I mention that I’m speaking at several events this summer and fall, including the Healthy Living Summit in a month?

That doesn’t leave a lot of time for just BEING. You know, sitting on the couch reading a book or watching mindless TV.

And yes, it can be overwhelming. But I have a pretty good system for balancing it all, and here’s how I make it work for me.

(Quick note: it’s not lost on me that many of you do all of the things I listed above PLUS raise children, travel and more. Believe me, although I have a busy life, it’s nothing compared to some of you … and I am in awe of YOU.)

1. Lucas might not agree, but I do know how to say no.

And recently, I’ve been saying it a lot, especially to projects that either don’t interest me or don’t compensate me. Usually in a nice, polite way (with the below tweet as an exception.)

[blackbirdpie url=”!/kwidrick/status/93112517047488512″]

I’m not super greedy, and I do all (most!) of my social media projects for no compensation (or in the case of #Fitblog, at my own cost). But if it’s something that will take a lot of my time and energy, and will prevent me from doing other work, I do think it’s fair for me to ask to be compensated. And I think it’s fair for YOU to be compensated. And not (God help me) just in free products.

2. I find and embrace every shortcut that is available to me.

Tweetdeck for organizing my followers and followees (I’m almost at 10,000!); Mail Chimp for creating and scheduling newsletters. Google Docs for sharing and collaborating on projects and lots and lots of WordPress plugins to make posting a breeze.

3. Sweat is a stress-buster.

The best thing about working out is that for me, it accomplishes two things: keeps me in shape and lets me leave my stress on the floor. Even after a bad run, I feel better. And even when my muscles are too sore to pick up a dumbbell, I feel like I’ve crossed something off the list.

I work out before work, after work, on weekends — whenever I can. And I schedule those sessions just like I would for meetings, and when possible, I turn down events that prevent me from getting my sweat on.

4. I’m surrounded by support.

Lucas has never given me grief for working out, even when we have to schedule personal plans around it. My boss encourages me to blog, tweet and embrace all of the latest social media tools because he knows that when I have space to experiment, I am better at my job. I have circles of friends who are bloggers, runners, triathletes, etc., and I can turn to them at any time.

BTW, Lucas truly is a rockstar. He takes care of the animals (I have never once changed the litter), cleans the house, mows the lawn AND works two jobs. He should be the one writing this post.

5. I truly, truly love what I do.

Sorry, guys…I know it’s not as helpful as telling you about the latest technology or marketing plans, but I never really feel like any of the stuff I do is a burden, because I love it all. It goes back to #1. Yes, #Fitblog takes me several hours a week to organize, but I know that for hundreds of people, it’s the highlight of their week. Yes, working 8 hours a day and then going to the gym for 2 hours means that I’m away from home a lot, but it also helps my spirit soar.

I sometimes joke to people who ask me how I juggle it all that I don’t sleep, but that’s not true. I sleep about 6-7 hours a night and often sleep in on Sundays. I only have one cup of coffee a day, and I don’t take any crazy drugs to stay wired.

So, that’s how I make it work. What do YOU do to balance all of the stuff you’re on the hook for?

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  1. says

    I have a tendency to over-do it as well! Most of the time I’m happy to stay busy, but for a while I definitely found it catching up with me. I have to do most of the basic things in order to swing it: prepare a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday, set a bedtime and stick to it (I had a really hard time with this for a while), and physically schedule workouts on my calendar. They’re the same basic steps that everyone tells you to do, but if I don’t stick to them then I tend to hit the overwhelm zone.

    My other latest thing is to embrace crockpot cooking, which is doing wonders to free up time in my evenings :)

  2. says

    Holy cow ~ you are a super woman right up there with every mother on the planet!! If I’m busy doing the things I’m passionate about and truly enjoy then I don’t mind being busy from sun up to sun down. I think a big secret is sleep and you my friend get more than I would have guessed! If I get a good 7 hrs a night then I am good to go, go, go all day long!

  3. says

    We definitely have the same mindset!

    I love being busy and while I DO say no and my family is a priority, I try to squeeze in as much as I can. I think it is incredibly important to balance your life with your passions — and it’s good to have more than one. I do rely on my friends and family to help me along — but I think that’s also a perk to being involved in so many things – you make new friends and you meet new people willing to help you out.

    As for the kids things — it’s just another layer that you learn to balance. My secret with them is that they go to bed early! I also don’t stress about them doing a million activities. I try to do things they love every weekend and let them be kids. It’s completely quality over quantity for me (although they are ALWAYS with me in my heart/brain/thoughts no matter what I am doing).

    I could sleep a little more (lately I’ve been getting 5 hours — I really need 6-7), but there’s plenty of time for that when I get older :)

  4. says

    Katy – I am so grateful you wrote this post – I am an attorney in private practice, and also maintain a blog, have other responsibilities, do yoga 5-6 days a week, work out 2-3 times a week – and I keep saying no to stuff and feeling bad about it. This was so good to read.

    One of the things that I do not do enough of is comment on blogs and engage in social media. Your blog has been such an inspiration for that. I look forward to meeting you at HLS :)

  5. says

    This is an especially timely post for me, as I’ve been especially busy these past couple of weeks. I feel like some things are slipping through my fingers, or that I’m not paying enough attention to various projects … in other words, I’m getting the job done, but am I doing it well? It’s something that I think we all end up struggling with at some point or another, but I think you’ve got some really good tips there, especially the point that you get SLEEP. I honestly don’t know how people function on less than seven hours of sleep, and it always makes a difference in my productivity levels.

  6. says

    I am just now getting to the point where I will tell people no. I think it really takes a lot of maturity to say no and put yourself first. That being said, my husband has been great about understanding when I need to get things done. We haven’t had an exciting Friday night in weeks due to marathon training, and he’s ok with that. Of course , I am completely ok with him playing tennis four nights a week because that is his outlet and his passion., even if that does mean I sometimes eat dinner alone.

  7. says

    Great post Katy!

    It’s actually ironic that you posted this – maybe something in the air? Because a couple of weeks ago I posted a post, “Finding Balance In My Life” where I basically admitted to the blog world (and subsequently, my friends, family, church members and pastoral-relations committee) that I haven’t been taking care of myself and need to snap out of it.

    Hitting post was so incredibly freeing that day and I’m so glad that I did it. The out pour of support was amazing and it’s also forced me to pay attention to life and how I was taking care of myself.

    Honestly – there are days when I make choices. There are days when church comes first and I don’t blog or tweet as much. There are days when my blog posts are quick and more of a check-in. There are days when I take work home with me – or also days when I make the conscious decision, “This can wait until tomorrow.”

    I really love what I do – at the church, in my marriage, in my quest to be healthy and in my blog. I don’t want to give anything up, so I really just try to find points of intersection for all of them.

    Also – never underestimate the power of staying hydrated. :) It helps.

  8. says

    I’m like you – I LOVE what I do so it rarely gets overwhelming feeling like work. I do make sure to balance it all out in certain ways though – I get up early to have time before the kids are up to do work. I utilize timers like crazy to stay on task during my nap time work opportunity. I usually do some extra work at night. I have learned to say no to particular things. And Peter as a support system is HUGE.

  9. says

    I’m glad you picked a tweet without a spelling mistake. 😉 You know, everytime I post a tweet on my blog I think about you and how I’m doing it wrong. LOL I need to self host!

    When I’m overly busy, I get everything done by taking away from my personal life or time with my husband. He does NOT appreciate that and I need to knock it off.

  10. says

    I am so jealous! I saw Britney’s tickets on Groupon for Orlando but couldn’t make up my mind in time and missed the deal! Love her…especially the old “classics” like “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and “Sometimes”.

  11. says

    So glad you did this! I need to just stop stressing and ENJOY. I’m always so worried about getting it all done that I think I am my own worse enemy!

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