Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I really don’t want to do this. But I am able to, so I guess I can’t really not do it.”
Here are some examples:
- Cleaning your house
- Doing yard work
- Creating social media posts
- Meal planning
- Packing your kid’s lunch
- Taking your kid to a birthday party
- Doing your own nails (or hair, facials, etc)
- Writing blog posts or your newsletter
- Customer order fulfillment
- Fill in the _________ with other drudgery
I’m guessing there’s something on the list above that doesn’t spark much joy in your life. But, you figured it has to get done, and either you’re not “busy enough” to justify not doing it, or that you felt you SHOULD do it, as if there’s something truly noble about cleaning your own house or doing your own yard or writing your own emails.
Let me ask you, if you fast forward to when you’re 65, will you look back on this particular task and think, “Remember that day the yard edging was perfect? Man, what a contribution to society that day was!”
Or, “Remember that time I stood around for two hours while watching other kids eat pizza? That made an amazing impact on who my child became!”
Or, “Man, that one customer service email I answered – that changed a client’s life!”
Um, probably not.
Now, if any of the above activities are something you enjoy, I’m not talking to you! If you love meeting other parents at birthday parties, put on your party dress and GO! If doing your yard is a relaxing hobby and a source of pride you look forward to, buy some more gas for that mower!
What I’m talking about is the stuff that we feel like has to get done, BUT:
- we don’t love it
- we’re (probably) not great at it
- it zaps our energy
- in the big picture, it doesn’t really matter who does it as long as it gets done (e.g., it doesn’t matter if I clean my toilet or my lovely cleaning lady does it , as long as the toilet gets cleaned)
We all need more time and space in our lives, amirite?
THIS stuff is where there is room to take back space and time.
I’m giving you permission to start to do this – TODAY – before you’re at a breaking point.
Often, we feel like we can’t justify outsourcing this stuff if there’s any possible way we can still do it, because somehow there’s more honor in doing it ourselves.
And when we add on this little boring and tedious task here, and this long and annoying job there – that’s when life gets so full that it feels like there’s space for nothing.
Let me tell you about a conversation one of my clients recently had with her co-parent.
“I don’t have time to do dishes,” she said.
“It only takes 15 minutes!” he replied.
“I know. I don’t have 15 minutes FOR DISHES,” she said.
That is not her best and highest use.
In that same 15 minutes, she could be:
- playing with her daughter
- helping a member on her team
- doing a quick workout
- using a creative burst of energy to finish some design work she enjoys for a new project
- taking a damn nap!
- reading a fascinating article that gives new ideas for her business
Do you notice something about this list?
- Only my client can do each of these things (I know other people can play with your kid, but not and you get to enjoy the interaction)
- They create an impact on something meaningful in her life (being a parent, leadership of her team, her health, using creative energy, learning for her biz success)
Every single one of these activities uses her time and energy in a way that is her best and highest use, at that moment.
So, what are your best and highest uses? In your business? In your life?
Find those things, and then give yourself permission to say no or outsource the rest, even if you don’t feel like you’re packed so tight on time you “have to” yet.
When it’s still possible for us to do something (even if it means we have to be a little rushed, stressed, or stretched thin), it’s as if we think “Well, who am I to not do ________________? Who do I think I am, the queen?!”
But when you allow yourself to dedicate time to your “best and highest use, you create space for in your life for:
- meaningful time
Amazingly, these things often end up leading to more money too, because they bring out our most brilliant selves.
When I was pregnant, my OBGYN asked me if I wanted an epidural during labor and childbirth. I hesitated. She asked me why I seemed unsure.
I told her that part of me felt like I “should” want to do a natural childbirth because I “could”.
She looked at me and said, “Some women want to have that experience. That’s great. If you don’t want to, that’s great too. There are no gold stars in heaven for experiencing pain during the birth of your child. You don’t get more points. So just choose what feels right for you.”
Well, holy shit. No extra points.
Don’t we secretly think we get “more points” if we do something like make cupcakes from scratch rather than buy them? When ultimately the thing our kid was most jazzed about and will talk about for years was the Wonder Woman toothpicks we stuck in the top?! But more points for us! Even though we didn’t sleep. There are no points for sleeping. (sarcasm – please sleep).
If you are feeling pressed in life, these kinds of tasks are the first place to look.
Look at what’s scheduled for your day. How much of that is your best and highest use?
- Things that move your business forward in a real way
- Things that build your relationships
- Things that sustain your health
- Things that make you happy
- Things that fulfill you
Make more room for this stuff by getting rid of the stuff “you can, so you should” do.
It’s ok to do this before you feel like you’re dying because you’re so overscheduled. I’m giving you permission, right now, to take control of the things that take your time and your sanity so you can sink your teeth into the juiciness of what makes you come alive.
Because you are the queen of this one life. ????
The more of it you spend in the best and highest use zone, the more ease, fulfillment, and peace you’ll create.
Give yourself permission for that.
I promise, there are no points for scrubbing the toilet or making the cupcakes from scratch. None. While you outsource those tasks that zap your joy, there is life to be seized and savored.
That’s the stuff that you “can so you should” do.
How are you going to make room for it in your life?