REFOCUS CHALLENGE - WEEK 1 - SELF PRIORITIZING

Welcome to Week One of the Refocus Challenge! Over the next four weeks you will take time to refocus on your priorities. We often complain that we don’t have enough time to do it all. We are constantly trying to balance everything at once, we end up defeated, overwhelmed and unsure. This challenge will inspire you to take control of your schedule and focus on your priorities.

Just a little back story: I wear many crowns that I am proud of - I’m a wife, a mother of two, a creative entrepreneur and I work 40 hours a week for my employer. Not only that - I’m a friend to many, a sister, a cousin, a daughter and a grand-daughter. Just listing all of that, can be overwhelming. If I can be honest, I’m not perfect. It may take me two days to return a call from a friend. There are times when my home is in chaos. I often feel like a horrible mom, because my kids love McDonalds (and hell…I tend to have a quarter pounder on the weekend). I’ve learned that by having grace with myself and focusing on my priorities – that things are good. Things may not be perfect, however, life is good.  If you’re reading this now – you have shelter, you have a phone or computer, but most importantly – you are alive and able to take control of your life, your mindset, and your well-being.

Let’s get into this week’s lesson – Self Prioritizing.

List Priorities –

We all heard the phrase, you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s true – we have to take care of self first. This was the hardest lesson for me to learn but it’s the most necessary one to follow.

What are your priorities? List them down. Go, grab a sheet of paper and list what your priorities are for yourself?

Granted our priorities can tend to look like goals for ourselves. For example, I’ve listed my priorities below:

  •  eat well
  • workout
  • be a good wife
  • be a good mother
  • have my “me time”
  • work on my business
  • monitor my finances
  • maintain a clean home
  • maintain relationships maintain my 9 to 5

Break Priorities Down –

My priorities are pretty vague but overall everything listed above are my key priorities. Now, it’s time to dig deep (ok, Shaun T).

On a separate sheet of paper, write your first priority. Underneath your first priority listed, I want you to brain dump everything that comes to mind. List everything in association with the priority, basically break the priority down. For example, I’ve listed my priority breakdown below:

Priority – have my “me time”

  • time for prayer and praise
  • time for reading
  • time for watching my favorite shows
  • time for journaling
  • time for beauty – eyebrows, spa days at home, manicures, pedicures and hair washing/styling
  • time to visit target, dollar tree and other stores
  • time for online shopping

Once you break your priority down then answer the following questions. The key factor here, is to be extremely honest with yourself when answering the following questions.

  1. Why is this a priority?
  2. How do you currently make this a priority?
  3. How can you improve to make this a top priority?
  4. When can you make this a priority?
  5. Are you sure this is a priority during this season in your life? Why? Or Why not?

Schedule Priorities –

Once you have broken down your priorities and you understand why they are important for this season in your life – we must schedule them accordingly. We all have the same 24 hours – how do you use yours? Do you feel like there is not enough time in the day? Do you refuse to become a morning person to work on your priorities? Do you press continue to play (when Netflix says would you like to continue - when you should go to sleep and not continue watching House of Cards)?

On another sheet of paper, list the days of the week out including weekends, then write out 24 hours for each day. (see Monday example below) First, block out your sleep schedule. How many hours do you need to function? 6 to 8 hours is a good starting point for most. I prefer 7 hours but 6 hours is fine most days. Next, block out your work time, include time for getting ready and travel time. Granted everyday is different, but this is a good starting point to view how many hours you have each day that you can dedicate to your priorities. Each day you may not be able to dedicate to all your priorities. Theme days will help to dedicate your priorities to certain days of the week. For Example, Sunday is our grocery shop and meal prep day. We do our very best to meal prep on this day, this is a key priority for our family.

Monday –

12AM (midnight) - Sleep

1AM - Sleep

2AM - Sleep

3AM - Sleep

4AM

5AM

6AM – Get Ready for the Day

7AM – Travel

8AM - Work

9AM - Work

10AM - Work

11AM - Work

12PM (Noon) - Work

1PM – Work

2PM - Work

3PM - Work

4PM – Work/Travel

5PM

6PM

7PM

8PM

9PM

10PM - Sleep

11PM - Sleep

Take a look at the Monday example above, I have 7 hours of time that needs to be dedicate to priorities. (note – it’s a good idea to schedule in “do nothing moments” just to stay sane) From experience, be realistic with your time and your energy levels – you want to avoid burn out. Let’s see what a typical Monday looks like for me. (see below)

Monday –

12AM (midnight) - Sleep

1AM - Sleep

2AM - Sleep

3AM - Sleep

4AM – Rise, Travel to Gym

5AM – Gym and Travel home

6AM – Get Ready for the Day

7AM – Travel

8AM - Work

9AM - Work

10AM - Work

11AM - Work

12PM (Noon) - Work

1PM – Work

2PM - Work

3PM - Work

4PM – Work/Travel

5PM – Dinner w/Family

6PM – Homework w/kids + Clean one area in home

7PM – Playtime w/kids

8PM – Kids Bedtime + Time w/Hubs

9PM – Flex Time (Sleep, Me Time or Spend more time w/Hubs)

10PM - Sleep

11PM - Sleep

Be mindful of time that you take for granted. At work, I have two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch break every day, that may not seem like much but that totals to – 5 hours for the whole week. 5 hours! Once I dedicated my breaks at work to my priorities – I enjoy my days in the office more. I’m proud that I’m using my time wisely. I usually spend one 15 minute break on a walk outside (if the weather is nice) and I will chat with a friend. It’s a win-win, I’m getting in exercise and maintaining relationships with friends. The other 15 minute break and 30 minute lunch break, I dedicate to my business or blog. I will plan my week, email clients, schedule social media post and etc.

This week’s lesson we discuss self prioritizing. We listed our priorities, we broke them all the way down and we scheduled them in. I would love to hear from you along the journey, share with me on Instagram (tag me @starlakaymathis and use the hashtag #ReFocus2017) Also, share with me on Facebook and Twitter (tag me @starlakaymathis and use the hashtag #ReFocus2017). Help a sista, brotha and cousin out and share this with someone that could benefit. Plus, they would make a great accountability buddy along the journey.

Thank you and have a great, adventurous and productive week!