Transcription of the Do All The Things episode of the podcast Doers Shakers Makers with Sierra Bailey.
[00:04] If you’re listening to this podcast, chances are pretty good that you are the type of person who wants to do all of the things and is always looking for more things to be doing. Today on the podcast, we’re going to be talking about how perhaps to juggle doing all of the things and what happens when you have all of these things on your plate. My name is Sierra Bailey. Welcome to Doers Shakers Makers, a podcast for go-getters inspire you in your business and life. Thank you for joining me today. So if you’re listening, as I said at the beginning, chances are that you are a doer. And the downside of doers is that we are constantly looking to do more things. We may be one of those people that say yes too often? It depends on how you look at it. I think that probably most of us say yes because we’re excited about new projects and we really like doing them.
[00:56] And as long as you’re doing things that you love, I mean really, if we can figure out how to manage it and why not? All right, so let’s talk about maybe why we want to do all of the things? I think a lot of it is what I touched a little bit on a few seconds ago and that is that if we’re doers, maybe it’s that creativity that is constantly being tapped, maybe it is the fact that you want to help people. Maybe it’s just that you have a touch of the ADD or ADHD and you just are inspired by things coming at you from all different directions. Whatever it is, there are a lot of us out there that get really excited to do new projects and we’re not always stopping the other things we’re doing when we decided to take on something new.
[01:43] So it becomes quite the juggling project here and I’m not necessarily going to talk about like having it all. I’m not talking about how to balance your free time and your career and your family and all of that, in today’s episode. I’m more talking about, when you want to work on multiple projects, how to make that happen and you know, I say to people all the time about reading books. I like to read a lot of books at once, but I can only handle one story at a time. I read let’s say one fiction and then a handful of nonfiction because as I explain it, it’s similar to reading the newspaper, you’re coming in and out of articles and things like that. So I say that because when you have a lot of projects on your plate, it’s kind of the same, in that you can be developing one and putting that story together and figuring out how it fits into your life at a time.
[02:35] But you really can be managing a few other projects and doing things that you already know how they go while you’re kind of developing this one story. So multiple projects, there are many things that require a project getting going. There is the story part that I was just talking about and that comes in that figuring out how the project work, setting up the project, putting your role, all of that. Then there is the day to day execution of it. Some of these projects that you get involved with, I myself, I’m coming off of a very large nonprofit fundraising bike ride for MS that I am a part of every year. There are cycles with it. So the front loading is kind of the getting the new committee together at the beginning of our year, which is basically starting in June and meeting the new people and getting them set in their roles and getting everybody on board with what our timeline is for the year.
[03:33] So that is an example of setting up a project. So if you are somebody that is on committees, if you run boards, things like that, you’ll understand this type of project. And this is a lot of what doers take on. We say yes to being on committees and I will say, there is merit to saying no and a lot of things in life that we as do or say yes to probably should be looked at and you should consider, am I saying yes because I really want to be involved in this or am I saying yes because I feel like I had the skills to help and therefore I should be helping? Derek Sivers is famous for saying if it’s not a hell yes it’s a hell no and definitely assess a new project when it comes your way and maybe say, oh I don’t necessarily think that this is really something that I want to be spending my energy. But as a doer,
[04:20] I bet a lot of those projects are hell yeses so we’re just going to go on and say everything that we’re talking about are things that are okay for you to be doing that you really want to be involved in and we need to make this work. To continue on with the kind of the committee board type project. Once you get the initial get you going because usually, it’s either around a calendar year or around an event that happens once a year. Of course exceptions to the rule, but we’ll just say in this case, that style of situation. All right, so if you want to be involved in a big project involving something where you’re going to have an end result once a year. Yes, the beginning of the year takes a lot of effort to get it set up, but then you’re coasting most of the year.
[04:57] A lot of it is just having the meetings. For example, being the chair of something, I usually am preparing for the meetings, making sure that I’m reaching out to the committee and asking what they want to contribute to the meeting, putting together what we’re going to discuss and then facilitating the actual meeting and then sending the notes as follow up to everybody on the meeting and the other people that have to be checked in for it that do other parts of the event. In particular, in this case, that doesn’t require that much of my mental bandwidth. It’s kind of a process that I go through every single month throughout years so I can have many other things going on while that’s happening. In the case of an event, you then also have to remember that the two months leading up to that event, you are insanely busy for it.
[05:39] So to be really careful of when you have multiple projects going on that you don’t have that insanely busy time overlapping with other things. So I’ve actually turned down projects where I’ve said to people, oh it all will come to a head in early April? I’m not going to be able to be involved in that because I know that I’m involved with this other thing, blah, blah blah. Something to consider is if you’re on a board of something that meets every month and is kind of a, for example, I’m on the board of directors for local networking group type things. Those we just always have things going on. There’s never one big event that we’re working on with one of them. It’s just a weekly group, so we’re meeting to make sure that everything goes smoothly, that the group has adequate membership, that people are involved, things like that.
[06:23] So in that kind of case basically once I onboarded and was part of that board, it’s a pretty smooth process except for I know that I have meetings every month on a particular date. I know that I have tasks because I’m on that board that occurs every week for a certain, it’s about two hours a week, so as long as I take into account that amount of time I can have other projects going on. You know a lot of this is time management. It’s just figuring out when you have things going on if you like I said are on boards and things that have meetings. A lot of it is just making sure you have adequate time scheduled before and after the meeting and for the meeting. That is just simple time management and a lovely calendar is useful for that. But let’s say something more like you want to have multiple projects for your business.
[07:06] I actually have worked with a client who is a content creator and she gets really excited about new projects and is very creative. To think that she can’t take on new and different projects because of all this stuff she’s working on really would make her not want to work or be excited about her work. And that’s the last thing you want. So we talk a lot about making sure that her, you know, podcasts and writing content for other people and all the things like that have maybe seasons. She also has art involved and things like that. So in a situation like that, you want to make sure that your creative output is more attuned to the projects that you are working on, like at certain times of year. So I recommended maybe your podcast have a season so that you are not having to constantly be doing creative output for that, which leaves you time to do other things.
[08:00] If you are doing something like my former life as a jewelry designer, I would have seasons of shows. I would have seasons where online was being pushed. You know, I wanted to try new things. I would make sure that I was not taking on, let’s say a speaking opportunity in the middle of my busiest online time because there’s just so much you can handle at one time. So you’re kind of managing your projects so that they’re not overlapping during your crazy time. There are some things that are totally beyond your control though. For example, if you are in a maker, handmade situation, shows happen at certain times of year, there’s no way around that. You have to, therefore, make sure that everything else can take a backseat and know in your own mind, what are the things that I can pull back on when these are getting really busy just so you’re not feeling so overwhelmed that you burn out or that you go through a complete anxiety, attack, meltdown every time that it happens.
[08:54] As I said, I’m coming off of, I mean yesterday was the final day of our huge event of the year and I was presented with a few speaking opportunities that came up this month and I wasn’t going to say no to them because they happened seasonally and they have scheduled times. I mean that’s a lot of the problem, that if you are being asked to participate in things, you’re on somebody else’s timeline. So I just made sure that I prepared stuff ahead of time for those and kind of juggled my time a little bit around that, because this time of year, which is kind of late spring, early summer, is when a lot of people try to have their events before the summer starts. Which brings me to the beauty of summer. Now I, in my former business owning life, for many years would get really upset. And even when I knew better, I still got upset.
[09:42] I was not immune to these feelings. But I would get a little traumatized over slowness and I would think that I was failing and you know, whatever. But in reality, I learned that those doldrum months, and when I started tracking the cycles of work and I knew that I would be a little bit slower. Those were the times where I could take on new projects and I could do new things. So that’s a great part about starting to pay attention to when things are busy and not. Like I said now after running the committee where a few of these big events happen, I know now when the times of year are slower for that and I can onboard to a new project that I want to do. Now, there are definitely also things that you want to take into consideration if you own a business let’s say, or are just somebody that likes to do a lot of things, not running things and not things that are your projects but participating in things.
[10:33] It is really great to know where your personal priorities are and what is important to you and it will help you figure out what your hell yeses are and your hell nos are. So for example, I don’t enjoy Twitter that much. I’ve kind of poked in and out for years, but I keep a Twitter account with my username so that I own the name that matches my URL and all of that. I don’t use it. I’ve just given myself permission to not do that. I never used Snapchat, so these are just two things that I did not even ever worry myself to do. A few years ago I realized that I was not reading quite as much as I want it to be reading, “so little time, so many books”, that kind of thing. And so I thought to myself, I don’t enjoy TV enough for it to take up this much time.
[11:18] I canceled Netflix, I stopped watching any TV. I haven’t watched a TV show now in I think about a year and it just freed up time for me to be able to read more. So there are things like that. Again, time management practices, that can help give you time to do more projects. I’ve recently realized in my world of networking, I talked about this in a prior episode, that I’m not great at the evening networking events. Just with my schedule right now, my mornings are early and I’m really tired. I don’t talk to people that much. I’m way better high energy for the first like eight hours of the day. So I try to not go to many networking events at night because I’m not really on, I’m not enjoying myself. I’m probably not giving my best version of myself to people so it’s not really helping anything. And understanding where my priorities are for like what my values are and what I’m interested in accomplishing.
[12:07] That helps a lot. A few years ago I was asked to be on a board of directors or a school board for an elementary school. I don’t have kids. I was asked to be on it by a friend of mine who does and who is a real connector and gets people involved and she was really excited to have me help out. They really needed a non-parental person and she kind of saw that I would be a fit and all of that. It was like the longest two years of my life and I hated every minute of those meetings. Mind you, my friend ended up stepping off the board and she left me there, which was not nice but understandable. She has a lot going on. I really realized in retrospect like, oh you definitely failed. Like that was something that I should never have said yes to. And it was my own fault for not really assessing and not just saying right from the beginning, like don’t get involved in that.
[12:52] It was not a hell yes, it was a hell no. And it was not something that I gave my best to because I was not interested in it. So it was not really fair to the person that asked me to be on it, even though I thought I was doing something to be helpful to her. It wasn’t. It was just my saying yes because I felt bad saying no. And that’s not a reason to say yes. So really when you’re taking on new projects and when you’re doing new things, make sure that they’re really what you want to be spending your time on and involved in. Because it will show to everybody. Also, something to keep in mind as you’re doing like projects that take work. Not just like participation in a group thing, but if you are wanting to, for example, let’s say you want to start a podcast, so this is my second podcast.
[13:38] I learned how to do a lot of this stuff on the first one that I had a lot of the website part and the putting things up and how to host and all of that. But I did have a co-host in my first podcast and he did the sound engineering part and was really good at it. I didn’t even have to think about it. He would just give me the finished MP3 and then I would go from there. So when I started this podcast, I’ve done sound engineering in the past, but a really long time ago and I’m not really familiar with the current software and all of that. So I knew that in starting this new podcast that some of it would be really easy to me because I, fortunately, had already done it before, but some of it would be a big learning curve and a big-time commitment.
[14:20] So I did start the podcast during a time when I knew I had a month to have not craziness to start it and get going. And now as I’m recording, coming off of that really busy time, it all worked out okay. This morning I’m exhausted, I’m recording this, but I’ve now learned enough that it’s not so daunting to be recording because I’ve kind of learned how to do it. If you’ve been listening to these, you know, the sound quality is still improving because I’m definitely not to the point where I’ve mastered it. But it wasn’t as horrible too, I wasn’t like a new project in the middle of my exhaustion. I had already gotten my kind of motivation and gotten the ball rolling while I was so, you know, not exhausted post-event. So there’s a lot with managing a lot of different projects and doing a lot of different things that definitely are part of time management.
[15:09] But I will also say that some of it has to do with making sure you’re giving yourself adequate rest and not trying to do stuff with every waking minute of the day. It’s really hard for me to do so I hear you if you’re glaring at your phone right now while I’m saying these things. But a lot of it is accepting that I have to have downtime as I mentioned, I don’t watch TV anymore, but in the evenings, and I think I’ve talked about this before, I work on jigsaw puzzles in the kitchen. There Is always a really big one going and I listened to true crime podcasts and that’s my unwind quiet time of my sanity, I really have noticed a difference in my mental state once I started doing that. I read before bed and I make sure that on the weekends I have one day that I call silent Saturday or silent Sunday and I don’t necessarily not talk to people, but I don’t plan meetings.
[15:59] I try to not leave the house and I spend the majority of the day quietly reading at home or doing chores around the house, like doing laundry and cleaning and things like that. It gives me one day a week to kind of get reset for the next week and two, it’s just a way to not have my brain thinking all day and not having my body like running around doing exhausting things. I don’t wear makeup, no stress of what time I do things or what order I do things and sometimes I’ll pop into my office for a few minutes to do a task, but I try to make it so I don’t so that I’m excited to start going Monday morning and not to be working. But these are all just really my personal experiences that I’ve had with this. By no means is everything that I’m saying, something that will work for you.
[16:42] But I want you to think about if you feel overwhelmed because you’ve taken on too much, you know there are maybe some things that you could work on time management wise to sort that you should also listen to your body and your mind. If you’re feeling exhausted, you need to make sure that you’re resting a little bit more. If you are feeling burned out, maybe you are giving too much and not doing stuff for yourself that you are excited about. I brought this up before. It is a proven statistic that about two hours a week of volunteering for something that really makes you feel good can help mentally a lot in that area. But a lot of it is about doing stuff that you’re excited about. So if you’re actually in the position where you’re not having enough projects or saying no to things because you think you don’t have the time and then really you’re disappointed in what you’re getting done and the things that you’re working on. To maybe think about how you could move things around so that you are able to say yes to things.
[17:43] There’s nothing worse than being creative and being frustrated that you don’t have time to get your outlet and to do the things you want. There’s only so much time that we have in our lives, and I’m sure that many of us are constantly having that battle between the things that we have committed to and getting things done that you feel like you should be doing. And getting to the things that you want to, I’m always here if you ever want to have a conversation about any of this because I love to chat with fellow doers about what we’re trying to do in our lives. All right, so I’m losing steam at the end of this episode. It’s probably time to close it up and to get a little bit of rest. Thank you for joining me today. My name is Sierra Bailey and this is Doers Shakers Makers, a podcasts for go-getters. If you enjoyed this, please subscribe. If you’re listening with apple podcasts, rating and reviewing helps me get found. If you want to give me some stars, that’s fantastic, but I’ll back next Monday to keep you inspired and to get you doing shaking and making.
The Doers Shakers Makers podcast is hosted and produced by Business Strategist, Speaker, and Writer, Sierra Bailey. Have something to say or want to say hi? Send Sierra an email.
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