History Repeats Itself in March

….or at least for me it does, and especially since 2013.

History Repeats Itself in March

I had anticipated March to be busy this year with two trips planned (one to SXSW and one to Beaver Creek, Colorado); I don’t know why I didn’t prepare better for the month of travel, though.

In 2013, I had three separate trips planned in different parts of the country: San Francisco, DC area, and Colorado–that was the start of my family’s annual ski trip in Colorado. On top of that, my parents also spent some time with me in Denver that year in March…so I remember that year being super busy. However, my first business wasn’t doing so well by that time, so I didn’t have much work to think about then.

I had two trips in March of 2014 and only the ski trip to think about last March–but again, still, I didn’t have much work to think about.

Hopefully this Texan town is truly happy. Seen on road trip to Austin, Texas.
Hopefully this Texan town is truly happy. Seen on road trip to Austin, Texas.

This year has been very different from the previous three years: lots of forward motion happening with Hashtagitude PLUS two trips equals a frazzled, nonstop-working Helene.

But, this has been an enjoyable month though–lots of reunions with friends at SXSW and spending quality family time at Beaver Creek. The best news of all is that I’ll be able to come back up to Beaver Creek on Saturday to celebrate my niece’s birthday with the rest of our family (minus my younger brother); that’s what makes all this hustle and stress worth it.

It’s important to know when to pause work for those priceless moments.

Why You Should Take a Time Out

Taking time off when your brain stops working: best tip for productivity!

Admittedly, I am grateful for how jam-packed my schedule has been so far this year: better to have a lot of work to complete than sitting around twiddling my thumbs. Still, as predicted, I ended up hitting a figurative wall soon enough, and that was today.

It’s been a challenging week and month: the projections I had for the business have so far not panned out and I’m feeling the pressure from myself (and my Inner Critic) to sign on a new client. I guess I am my own worst boss, although I am working on becoming gentler with myself.

Well, even though I am my worst boss, I went ahead and took the second half of the day off after I found myself sitting and staring at my to-do list for way too long. My brain essentially shut off around noon and I felt that was the signal that I needed to just walk away from the computer and take some time to relax.

I find when I get into moods like this, I just need time to myself. Since I have a dedicated desk at Modworks now, I am always surrounded by other people–which is a good thing for productivity!–and when I am moody/burnt out, I just want to be alone. A phone room won’t cut it–coming home to the apartment with the cats helps me out though (yes, #crazycatlady).

Kitty is all curled up like a ball--exactly how I felt today by noon.
Yup. This was EXACTLY how I felt today by noon. Kitty has the right idea ;)

Tonight I am feeling much more refreshed, thankfully. Tomorrow is another packed day with meetings, workshops, etc.–but hopefully this time off today has helped me feel better prepared for the full day.

 

Respecting Time & Relationships

If you're not following through with your commitments to others, how does that reflect on your character?

Throughout my life, I feel like I have mostly been respectful of others’ time, making sure I arrive early to meetings/work/etc. In this day and age, it’s easy to alert the other party if I *am* running late, but I try my best not to do so. I’m human–so I don’t have a perfect track record–and I don’t enjoy the look on the other person’s face when I see that I am so terribly late and essentially disrespectful of their time. I feel a great sense of shame when this happens to me and remind myself to not do this again next time.

Understandably, not everyone operates the same way and everyone has different values. Over the course of only the past couple of months, I have realized that I need to distance myself from those who don’t respect time: those who are consistently late to meetings/events/etc. and those who cancel last minute. I understand that life comes up, and things DO happen, but still–it reflects badly on the person when they cancel last minute. I have heard many kinds of excuses: didn’t know where to meet (it was in the Google Calendar invitation….), traffic, something happened at the business, etc. Time is valuable, and that time reserved for the canceled individual could have been allotted towards something/someone else.

In the end, these individuals do me a favor and remind me of why I shouldn’t do business/be friends with them: if they don’t respect my time, then they clearly don’t respect me (even if they wouldn’t admit this fact to my face). As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

 

Off to a good start

My January's already filling up! Crazy!
My January’s already filling up! Crazy!

I’m quite surprised: 2016 is already starting off on a good and busy note. This week has been nonstop that today, I just had to take an afternoon nap to catch up on the sleep I’ve fallen behind on all week. I can’t recall quite a busy January in the last five years, so this is definitely welcomed. My calendar’s filling up for the month, making me tell prospective clients to start booking for February already.

Despite the fact that January IS my birthday month, I have felt in previous years that the month is generally slow and a bit depressing: no big holidays going on and even though most people are in the whole “New Year, New YOU!” mode, people aren’t doing much/fall off that bandwagon soon enough.

This January is already feeling good–and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month has in store for me, let alone the rest of the YEAR. I have great hopes for this year…up-leveling for sure!

Hope your week has been going well as well, readers!

#CrazyCatLady Helene & Kitty say hello to 2016! ;)
#CrazyCatLady Helene & Kitty say hello to 2016! ;)

That’s a Wrap, 2015!

Unexpected snowstorm in Denver in mid-December.
Unexpected snowstorm in Denver in mid-December.

Over the course of this month, I’ve enjoyed reflecting back on all that has happened this year, and how far I have actually really come along this year (it’s really mind-boggling to me how much GOOD has happened this year). In case you missed my entries from the month:

  1. Part 1 of 4: Financial Peace University & Turning 30
  2. Part 2 of 4: Hashtagitude + Working With My Coach, Kelly Lynn Adams
  3. Part 3 of 4: Better Health & Crochet
  4. Part 4 of 4: Speaking Engagements & Vacation in NYC

So, now what? What are my goals, my “resolutions”, my plans for 2016?

I feel like it’s been a few years since I’ve seriously thought about resolutions around the New Year: for 2015, I just made a list of things I planned on doing rather than saying they were even goals or resolutions. For 2016, I am doing the same, and focusing on broader topics rather than “Do x 10 times”:

  • Better time management and “work-life balance” – I definitely know that I suffer from being a workaholic and being my own worst enemy/toughest boss I’ve ever had. I want to be better about really taking time off for myself and to spend more quality time with Ryan. In fact, this past week I have taken time off since I worked a bit much around Christmas! My youngest nephew kept asking me, “Why are you STILL working?” Yikes!
  • More time with more quality people, both online and offline – Negativity wears anyone down, and I know especially for myself, I get weighed down when I’m around super negative people, whether in-person or even through social media. Yes, we all have our challenging moments, our moments of sadness: not saying I want to be around sunshine-y people 24/7 either! I just don’t want to feel like I am constantly picking others up.
  • Saying “NO” just a little more – Related to my first point above, I need to not spread myself thin so much! Have to focus on taking care of myself and my time better.

The clock will strike midnight soon in NYC, but I’ll be up for another couple of hours to ring in 2016 in Denver with Ryan. Here’s to another amazing year!