A little story:
I (April) was feeling a bit overwhelmed recently. It’s summertime. We have four children at home with us all day. Eric and I just launched this website after so many years dreaming about it (yay!), and we are working on about five really important projects.
I have a tendency to want to do everything…right now, so I make lists and charts, and I work myself hard.
I think we would all agree that there’s nothing wrong with having a strong work ethic, but what happens when the expectations we set for ourselves start to weigh us down?
What happens when the lists you make start to feel like a form of slavery?
Do YOU ever feel like even though you get a lot done, you should still be doing more?
This podcast features a discussion Eric and I had while we were aligning our goals and getting on the same page. (He even offered to light my lists on fire…)
We talk about how to establish routines and expectations that feel exciting to us–instead of simply living a life that parallels a circus full of monkeys (Eric references this quote pictured below).
In this podcast, we’ll challenge you to assess your routines and expectations and see if there’s some way you can reduce your own stress.
As you’re listening, if there’s any advice you’d like to offer to us and the LearnDoBecome community, we’d love to hear it!
P.S. The image above is actually something you can buy from Amazon and hang on your wall. We may have to hang this in our kitchen. Click here or on the picture for details.
Candi kidd says
I love you April! I think you and your husband are a great match and balance each other well. My husband and I have had MANY identical conversations. I’m working through the same thing. I have had two insights recently.
1. I recently read “better than before” by Gretchen Rubin. I think you would enjoy it and I definitely think you (April) are what Gretchen calls an upholder. And so it would make sense why you would utilize systems much more than your husband. I feel the same way about systems… Sometimes they set me free and other times I feel chained to them. I LOVE The MTO way of doing things because it allows me to be consistent which I mentally need and flexible too when I am “lifed”
The second is I’m experimenting with suggestions from the popular book “the one thing”. I read the book and then was talking with a lady I know that appears productive yet centered(odd combination 😉
I was shocked when she said that she plans one focus for each day at the beginning of the week and how much it adds up. I was very resistant to this idea (even after reading a book on it) but I will say that I’m shocked how many huge things were knocked down this week without all the normal stress.
April Perry says
Candi, you are a fountain of knowledge. Love your book suggestions! (I’m going to order both!) These ideas are beautiful.
Kelly Smola says
What is the MTO system?
This made me smile, because it sounds like a familiar conversation between my husband and I! I often feel just the way April does…needing direction and goals, then feeling like I am not doing enough!! And my husband often has to remind me to see the good I am doing and feel good about it. I think, for me, it is about slowing down and being with my family when THEY need me. Not waiting til my list is done and I have free time….or some scheduled moment. But when they ask, I need to put things aside and focus on what really matters, and then feeling good that I did it and chose the better part, no guilt because the toilet is still dirty. But balance of course still comes into play….always. 🙂
April Perry says
Thank you, Jeannette. Love everything you wrote. 🙂
Jen G. says
Thanks for discussing flexibility. At the beginning of summer, we all wrote out SMART goals, and made plans to complete them. We made progress on some of them, but after a couple of weeks, I got a strong impression that we needed to work on some personal goals that aren’t as “measurable.” And regarding April’s clipboard, the only thing I listen for in the podcasts is whether it sounds like she is smiling. It sounded like she was laughing this time. I sure was! 🙂
April, I normally don’t comment, but after following PowerofMoms for quite some time, I’ve come to trust you. And I want to tell you that. Unfortunately, many blogs have lost my patronage because they seem transparent. By that I mean, even if they have great content, I feel like they’re trying to lure me, and thousands of other, into clicking all over their blog so that way they can make more money through ads or other deals because they’re “so popular.” They include filler content just to keep their stats up, even if they don’t have anything amazing to share. So, although I’d love to hear a podcast from you every week (because you have such great ideas regarding how to accomplish wonderful things with your life), I respect you even more that you don’t treat your readers like a paycheck. I hope that feeling continues. And thank you (and Eric) for this blog. I’m excited to “architect a life of excellence.”
April Perry says
Ash, that means SO much. We hope our community will always know that the reason behind all of this is because we want to be helpful to others. (Please let me know if you ever feel like we’re getting off track!) I’ve had many experiences like the ones you’ve described. Running an online platform requires you to walk a very fine line. It takes a TON of work, and there has to be a way for all that work to be compensated (sponsors, ads, programs, etc.), but at the end of the day, the most important part of this is the relationships we build through the process. So glad to have you with us!
Love it! So great to hear you and Eric together … and very relatable. Yes, I have my clipboard, too but learning to let go a bit. Feels good 🙂 And although I’m more like you in that regard I think Eric had a good point about looking around and comparing ourselves to what everyone else is doing. I think women look around a lot more.
April – your writing at Power of Moms helps me think about things. I love your essays. You share so much of yourself and have created a meaningful online community.
Yet – you sometimes feel like you’re not doing enough. I feel that way sometimes, and it’s not a good feeling. It’s not that my family is putting the pressure on – it’s me doing it to myself.
The lists and routines DO help me, but they can feel overwhelming. . .
Like Eric, my husband doesn’t want me to fret – but he appreciates what I do. Our styles usually complement each other.
How do we do our best without overdoing it?
Sometimes it helps me to think of “routines” rather than “schedules.” For me, routines are process-focused, and schedules are outcome focused. Posting on a blog every Wednesday is a writing schedule, but spending 30 minutes writing every day once the kids leave for school is a writing routine. Maybe by doing that, you end up with something to post on Wednesday, but if it’s not good-to-go, you’re still making progress.
April Perry says
Beth, you are SO wise. I love that suggestion. I can do routines. And I love the idea of being process-focused and not outcome-focused. GAME CHANGER right there. Thank you!!!