With all the things that make it seem like there’s never enough time, it’s amazing any of us get things done. So how is it that between carpooling kids, working with clients, keeping in touch with our friends, eating, sleeping and relaxing are we able to manage this dance of life? When we add extra projects or responsibilities, the dance becomes even more frenetic.
My spring business goal was to redesign my Oh, So Organized! logo and website. I began my organizing company almost 20 years ago when our daughters were babies. I’ve had the same logo since 1993 and website since 2001. It was definitely time for a change.
Working on this redesign has been exciting and at times frustrating. Mostly, though, it was an opportunity to step back, take a fresh look and work on this long-term goal. I assembled a wonderful design team. My heartfelt gratitude goes to logo designer Ron Romain of Ron and Joe and web designer Betsy Cohen of Positive Element. They brainstormed, discussed, worked and reworked until we got the right look and feel. I am grateful for their enthusiasm, creativity, expertise and humor. I couldn’t have accomplished this without them.
What struck me, though, was that during the project, all of us were juggling our time. We each have our own businesses, children, spouses, friends, daily responsibilities, monkey wrenches that throw us off track and an unending host of interruptions, emergencies and serendipities. So how did we do it? There were some common threads we all used to manage the project and our time.
- Parameters – We defined the scope, timeframe, budget and expectations. When things strayed off course, we brought things back on track through reminders about the parameters.
- Focus – We each had many other responsibilities and distractions, but when we put on our “project hats” we focused only on that. We gave each other the gift of 100% attention.
- Flexibility – This was key for all of us. Between working in different time zones, client meetings and juggling kids, flexibility was essential. That translated into some unusual working hours and negotiations for times to check in with one another.
- Communication – Thank goodness for email. While some work was done on the actual telephone, the bulk of our communication happened through email. It allowed for clear and direct communication of images and ideas. It also helped each of us better manage our time by being able to respond and work around our other responsibilities.
- Patience – We allowed each other enough time and patience to let Linda “experiment” with just one more color, font or layout. I slowed myself down enough to realize that the waiting and developing was well worth the outcome. While you always want things done yesterday, the snags or delays that happen during any project are part of the process.
- Reason – Knowing when to get some sleep. Knowing when to say no. Knowing when to stop for the night. While we all worked hard, we also knew when enough was enough.
I’d love to hear from you. What is essential for your time management juggle?