What is essential in your life?
As I was outside doing my walk, I was thinking about what I wanted to talk to you about. This is something that is so important. And it has been my guiding focus for, I would say probably the last, maybe five years. When I started to do this, my business took off, my life got to a place where I am happy with it. And it's the concept of figuring out what is your essentials list. Figuring out what is essential in your life.
I got this concept after reading the book "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown. He also has a podcast and his audiobook is really good too! The concept of essentialism, is basically the disciplined pursuit of less. I think so often you're trying to figure out how to add more.
Determine what is essential in your life
I've been asked how I fit everything in. The problem is not about fitting everything in, it's about determining what your must do's are. I would love to get to my desk by 7:30 am. And I found out that it's not been happening, because one of my essentials that I feel I have to do every day is go for a walk. What are your essentials and how are you going to fit them in to your schedule?
One of my essentials is to go for a walk. Another one of my essentials is being there when Erik wakes up from his nap. Because when Erik wakes up from his nap until dinner time, or until the time I teach my courses, that's mommy and Erik time. I absolutely love that time. That's not the only time I see him during the day, but that's Erik and mommy time. We both know that and we both enjoy that time.
Going to bed at a reasonable time is another one of my essentials. So my top three essentials are my sleep, my walk and my Erik time. And when I see that my house is a mess, or that I have so much work to do, I sit there and thing if it's something that is going to impede my sleep, my walk or my Erik time. Cleaning the house is not more important than those three things for me. Which is why I think it's so important to figure out what the most important things are in your life and structure your life around that. Because if we don't, then our kids, spouse, and health all fall by the wayside.
Why determining what is essential in your life is important
It was interesting. As I was listening to Essentialism, one of the things they talked about in the book is to imagine that you are a stove with four burners. And your four burners are:
- work (could be volunteer work, your mission, etc)
Now if you want to be successful, you can only have three. If you want to be really successful, you can only have two. And so what are they?
As I think about my essential, and about how I want my days to look like, the thing that I notice is that my work is becoming less and less of my day. Because I really want to nurture my family, and friend relationships. I also want to nurture my health.
When I talk about health, I'm talking about physical, mental, and spiritual health. Because I think that all of those arenas are important. And so when I sit down to think, and look at my schedule for the week, I need to make sure that I'm seeing all four things on my schedule. And they might not be in proportion. I would say the biggest parts of my week are family and work right now. But I I'm always checking in to make sure that my health is on there, through my walks, good eating, reading, and exercising my mind. And then I check to see if my friends are on there.
How to add the essentials in your life to your schedule
I want you to think about what things are essential for you. And then I want you to look at your schedule and put those things on there. If you want something just for you, how are you going to do that? What is that going to look like? Because if it's not on your schedule, it's not going to happen.
You need to make sure to check in with that schedule on a regular basis.
I'd love to know what are your essential things and how are you going to put those on your schedule? I know you have a lot going on, but once you start thinking about your essentials and getting them on your schedule, then it's easier to figure out how to make those other things on your plate more manageable.
One thing we have implemented is the Fly Lady way of house cleaning. She has a whole system of how to clean your house and keep it clean in small bursts throughout the day.
Many times you are looking for things to be perfect, but that means that nothing ends up being anywhere near perfect because we're having a breakdown. As women, we tend to struggle with perfectionism on a regular basis. And so it's important for you to sit down, step back a little and do something, even if it's not perfect. At least it's done. I can't remember who said it, but "perfectionism is the enemy of done."
Once you've figured out the essentials in your life, you can figure out how to make the rest work
So once you figure out what's essential, you can then figure out how to make the rest work. If you hate making dinner, look into quick Crock-Pot meals, or frozen dinners that you just pop into your Instapot or Ninja Foodi. There's all sorts of options.
If you haven't gone through and done my Mother of All Time Course yet go through and do that.
We can't keep doing it the way that we're doing it. Because you're just going to go nuts. You're under a lot of stress, and there's a tremendous amount of stuff you have to get done. If you don't start thinking about the most essential things, and the most important things to manage in your lives, you won't ever feel you're getting anything done. Know that it's not a balance. Those essential things are not going to be equal.
How knowing the essentials in your life help set priorities
But you have to figure it out, because if you don't know what's essential in your life, then you think everything is essential. And you try to give the same priority to everything that comes on your plate and it causes it anxiety and depression. Because when you think that everything is important, you're constantly going and you're constantly worried. And you're constantly in a state of almost panic. You can't be like that. Your families need you.
I hope that when you make that essential list that you are on it. When you fly, they always say put on your own oxygen mask first before you help anybody else. And so if you're not taking care of you, you can't take care of anybody else.
Let me know what your essentials are in the comments.