Back in February I wrote a post listing my New Years Resolutions for 2016 (if you haven't read it, check it out here). My list is short, just two bullets: Be present. Be intentional. That's it! Sounds simple enough, right?
While having a list of two resolutions is WAY easier to remember and remind myself of than the list of 10 or more that I normally have, it has been a challenge to get out of the habit of trying to multitask with everything all. day. long. Some days I have done really well focusing my time and energy into the projects and people that need my attention, spreading the love in an intentional and present way... but there have been some days that I have failed miserably at it all. It's so hard not to fall into the trap of thinking that by doing more at once, I'm being more productive. When in reality, the things I'm doing while multitasking don't get done as well as they should be - like spending time with my family or growing my business. That, and I don't get as much done in a week because I'm distracted with everything else I'm busy trying to do!
Here's what I have done so far that have helped me stay on track and see the difference being intentional and present has made on my life:
Getting Ready for the Day in the Morning
Okay, so we all know that the uniform of a stay-at-home mom, employee or business owner is a bun, yoga pants and a t-shirt (not sure what you men out there wear!) ... sometimes no pants at all if you know you don't have to leave the house. Totally get it. If you are anything like me, though, not getting dressed for the day is like telling my body that I have the day completely off and I might as well stay in bed. I have noticed a HUGE difference in the productivity of my day if I get out of bed and get into clothes that I would be confident leaving the house in. I brush my teeth, brush my hair, and by doing all of these things, I let my body know that it's a new day - not time for bed! In turn, I find that I have more motivation and energy to get my day going in a productive direction!
Getting Emails Done before Little Wakes Up
I would definitely consider myself more of a night owl than a morning person, so it's been tough to get in the habit of waking up before Ayla does to get caught up on emails. By getting up even a half an hour earlier and answering any emails I can answered before I go get my little one from her crib, I am able to focus on her better in the morning, and shorten the list of time sensitive to-do's so that when nap time rolls around, I get more time to work on bigger projects.
Having a Plan for Days Off
When I began focusing my business to couples and weddings, I was pretty naive to the reality of just how much time out of my summer I'd be spending on wedding prep, travel, shooting and post-wedding editing/blogging/albums/ect. Summer doesn't last long here in Montana, and it's SO easy to wake up one morning in the fall and realize that you didn't get out on the lake at all, went camping once, and vaguely remember going to a family BBQ on the 4th of July... That's what my summer looked like last year, and for someone that LOVES hiking, camping, and BBQ's - it was heartbreaking!
This year, my husband and I knew we each had busy summers, so we designated Sundays as our Fun Day - the one day of the week we'd take completely off to spend with each other and our families. We make a plan for the day and we follow through with it. Camping. Hiking. Swimming. Boating. BBQ's. Bike Rides. Road Trips. Date Nights. House Projects... It's been a night and day difference from last summer! We had more time off last year, but have done way more with our time this year - like hiking to the top of Saint Mary Peak! (click on the photo below for a little better view)
Be INTENTIONAL with your time off so that you can be PRESENT in your time on. Be INTENTIONAL with your time on, to be PRESENT in your time off.