How to set boundaries
Are you a parent who runs your own business or works full-time (or overtime)? Then you’re going to love the person I’m about to introduce you to.
As a mom of twin girls and a 6-month-old Goldendoodle, and as a productivity coach and business consultant, Brittany is no stranger to plate-spinning. Despite — and likely because of — how busy she is, Brittany is on a mission to help entrepreneurs work smarter, not harder, so they have the freedom they first started their business to find!
It’s so important that entrepreneurs, especially ones who also work full-time and/or have children, are given the tools and skillsets they need to really create space and freedom in their days. Nobody wants to feel tied to their desk and laptop 24/7, right?
Let’s dig into what Brittany and I discussed, including her 3 Ps of productivity and how they can help you avoid burnout.
How does one become a productivity coach?
As a teenager, Brittany’s friends thought she was the weirdest in their group. Why?
Because she LOVED planning! (Relatable!) But that love of planning led to her first job in the wedding planning business, and then into corporate planning. Since she was the type of person who didn’t quite fit into that corporate box, though, Brittany was fired from her second job.
Which ultimately was a blessing in disguise because it allowed her to lean into what she truly loved: logistics and organization!
She started organizing homes for people in her area, and began to give them systems to get their homes in order. But as a fresh business owner, she knew there was a lot she didn’t know.
Enter: Brittany’s first business coach, who showed her that those systems skills would be an amazing thing to teach small business owners, especially in the online space. Now, she gets to help service providers get their systems in order to expand their impact. As she points out: we start businesses for IMPACT… not because we want to run a business.
The blessing of a layoff
When Brittany was first let go from her corporate position, she took a few days to get over the shock. But as she sees it, that layoff was actually a blessing.
Because it gave her the push she needed to start her own business and create the life she’d always dreamed of.
So if you’re going through a transition like this, whether you were laid off or not, Brittany says that the first place to start is with your mindset. If you don’t have an iron strong mindset as an entrepreneur, it WILL take you down.
How does it all work?
With twins, a dog, a social life, and a business helping OTHER people run businesses, I had to know how Brittany manages to make it all work.
The answer? “It’s a lot of systems and a lot of time-blocking.”
She knows that you have to design your lifestyle first, and then put your business into it. Most entrepreneurs will design their business first and force their life to fit around it, but that only leads to burnout.
Brittany’s able to have spa days in the middle of the week, Fridays off of work, and more thanks to her expert systems and approach to time-blocking that gives her the space to live her life first and create a business that fits around that.
Life will keep happening no matter what. It’s never going to stop until you take it upon yourself to create boundaries around work and life. Brittany might work Fridays sometimes, but because she’s put a plan in place to block off those days consistently, working on a Friday is always a choice.
But how do you take the time to step back when life just keeps coming?
Systems are self-care
Honestly, systems are self-care. It’s up to you to find the time to plan out your days and weeks to make SURE you have time and space.
Even if you only have 15 minutes, take that time and plan out the next two days. It’s a mindset shift that requires you to begin taking that space for yourself — and then everything else will work out!
When you have systems in place for business or life, you’re freeing up time, space, and mental energy to dream up new things! Maybe you’re reorganizing the kitchen, or coming up with a brilliant new plan for getting dream clients.
Brittany uses an Amazon Echo to help organize her life. They have reminders set up to tell the kids when they have to be ready to go to school or to bed, a checklist for their morning and night routine to make sure everything gets done, and use the Echo to create a grocery list as they run out of items (instead of having to sit down once a week and go through the fridge).
Essentially, anything that can be systematized is so that she doesn’t even have to think about it.
Additionally, Brittany uses Asana and shared calendars to organize her household! Yep, seriously. She assigns herself and her husband household and family tasks in Asana throughout the week, which means that they easily know what needs to get done and when.
If something isn’t in Asana or Google Calendar, it’s not happening. But the biggest thing Brittany urges all business owners to do is streamline as much as possible.
The less projects you have, the better. Project management tools can easily become overwhelming. But what you need to do is pick the one that works and be consistent with the system you set up.
Seriously, a system is only good for as much as you use it.
How to be productive without hustling
To Brittany, productivity is simply a tool that helps you reach your goals. It’s not about how much you get done and can check off your lists. You might get 50 tasks done in a day, but if none of those tasks moved you toward your goals, that’s not quite productive.
Instead, productivity is about how much a single task moves you toward your goal.
What you need to do is find a productivity system that works for you… and just STICK to it! Humans crave novelty, and it’s easy to get caught up in the latest productivity hack or trend. But if you’re always hopping from routine to routine, you won’t get much done.
My friend Shanna Hocking also talks about taking one bold move a day so we’re not stuck in hyper-productivity (aka false productivity).
The 3 Ps of productivity
This was the biggest game changer for Brittany’s life, business, and goals. She started using the “3 Ps of productivity” and they made it easier for her to reach her goals without constantly feeling like she was running up an icy hill.
Process: process everything from the day and make action items
Plan: plan out your day or week so that you know what’s coming for you and you can hit the ground running
Prepare: collect the materials you need to execute your plan
When you have a routine like this, it allows you to really step away and explore the fourth P: being present!
Now, building this habit might take you 30-45 minutes a day. But eventually, you’ll get so fast that it only takes you 15-20 minutes!
If you want to learn even more about Brittany’s productivity system, you can explore her website here to create more space in your everyday life and business!
In this episode, we talk about:
- How Brittany fell into systems management by accident
- What it means to stay in your zone of genius
- How to create systems around your life
- The 3 P’s of productivity
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- The Key To More Productivity & Joy: How To Get Better Sleep With Becca Campbell
- What Keeping A Garden Can Teach You About Productivity
- Priorities Vs Productivity: Choosing What’s Most Important
- When You Work Full-Time And Run A Business: Productivity & Sanity Tips
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