Episode 42: Habits, Routines, & Boundaries to Keep Your Sanity

Healthy habits and daily routines are a huge part of how Lesley has “more hours in the day than anyone else” (as Kate puts it). Today we’re sharing in detail all about the daily, weekly, and family routines and schedules we’ve implemented, and also the boundaries we have in place to keep us sane. Grab a pen and paper – you’ll need it.

Episode 42 Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • [11:08] It’s good to keep your kids in a routine – they need predictability and consistency, they need to know what to expect plus it makes everyone’s lives easier
  • [14:10] Using a physical timer that you can see and hear can be a helpful cue for young kids to know when it’s time to move on to a different activity
  • [14:58] To give you an idea, here is how Lesley’s kids’ routine looks like:
    • 7:00 – 7:30 AM – Breakfast, getting ready and dressed
    • 7:30 – 8:30 AM – Playtime
    • 8:30 – 9:30 AM – Screen time
    • 9:30 – 10:00 AM – Snacks
    • 10:00 – 11:00 AM – Outside playtime
    • 11:00 – 12:00 PM – Screen time
    • 12:00 – 12:30 PM – Lunch
    • 12:30 – 2:30 – Nap time/quiet playtime 
  • [16:11] During the afternoon, they get another hour of TV and another hour of playtime. It’s good to break the day up so the kids are moving and resting
  • [16:47] Having a routine gives kids a sense of control and calm – it has worked great for Lesley’s family
  • [18:44] Another helpful tip is to batch your days, meaning you allot certain tasks for each day
  • [18:49] For example, Monday can be “Money Monday.” Any finance-related work, paying bills, checking in with your accountant, happens on Monday.  If something money-related comes up on a different day of the week, you can just schedule it to revisit it in the future
  • [20:43] If you have not tried it yet, batching your days is great to establish weekly routines in a way that makes sense for you
  • [21:13] For business owners and designers, being overwhelmed is usually attributed to having a lack of prioritization because everything feels urgent
  • [23:50] What’s great about batching is that you can design it in a way that benefits you. If you don’t like receiving calls on Mondays, you can block that off for other tasks
  • [25:14] You need to take ownership of your time and the boundaries you place in your life 
  • [26:26] If a potential new client contacts you outside of your preferred communication channel, direct them to the right platform and let them know that is how they can reach you moving forward 
  • [28:14] Learn how to set boundaries by following your working hours. You don’t want to set up the expectation from the beginning that you are at the beck and call of your clients 24/7
  • [29:57] Setting a consistent and strict bedtime is a good way to start
  • [31:40] Waking up reactive to your kids instead of proactive can ruin your whole day. Waking up an hour before them will make you feel prepared plus give you extra time for yourself
  • [33:16] If you struggle with making your kids stay in bed till a certain time in the morning, look into getting a digital clock with a visual cue that signals when they can get out of bed
  • [35:13] If you tune in to audiobooks or podcasts in the morning, you can listen to it in 1.5x speed for a more efficient use of your time
  • [36:15] You have a choice – it’s either discipline or regret. Those are really your two choices when faced with any decisions
  • [38:01] Start out your day with the 5 by 4 method: List out your 5 most valuable priorities for the day, 5 goals, 5 habits, and 5 things you’re grateful for
  • [40:10] Ask yourself – what’s today? Sit quietly, what do I need to know and be aware of, what do I need to do. This is helpful to see the bigger picture and meaning of things 
  • [43:16] Aim to make social media a strategic tool of your business and life. Set aside time during the day and don’t let it swallow your day
  • [44:45] Get real and intentional with your time. If something non-urgent comes up, you have to stick with the plan for your day. It’s all about being proactive!
  • [46:35] Taking a second and not reacting to things as they roll your way is an important habit to get used to. Otherwise, you’re not in control of your day and you’re not running your business like a CEO
  • [48:37] Have a shutdown routine in place – closing all your tabs, going over your to-do list of the day, taking a sneak peek of your schedule for tomorrow, tidying up your work area, turning off your lights, shutting the door
  • [54:10] If this is new to you, setting boundaries is very hard in the beginning. But it gets easier and becomes more natural the more you do it
  • [58:26] Other boundaries you can implement as you see fit: automated schedulers for incoming new clients, no texting with clients, no bringing your kids to work
  • [1:04:29] There is no perfect schedule. Do your best but you have to be flexible, especially during these times
  • [1:05:01] Don’t forget to make time for friends and loved ones in your schedule!

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