pink highlighter checking off to-do boxes with text over the image that says "If something had to give this week, what would it be? Or, does everything that you want to get done this week have to get done? Does that result in frustration because you have important projects or tasks that don't get completed every week? After all, unexpected things come up (good and bad) and things take longer than you thought they would. Which means other things don't get done."

Does everything that you want to get done this week have to get done?

If something had to give this week, what would it be?

Or, does everything that you want to get done this week have to get done?

Does that result in frustration because you have important projects or tasks that don’t get completed every week?

After all, unexpected things come up (good and bad) and things take longer than you thought they would. Which means other things don’t get done.

But how do you prepare for things you can’t plan for?

Let me share a little about how I plan things.

I have a list of tasks to be completed each month (you can read more about it here), and I assign these tasks to a week each month.

For example, I schedule most of my social media a month at a time. So, it doesn’t HAVE to be done until the last week of the month, but if I don’t get to it for some reason, then the first week of the following month won’t have posts until I’m able to get to it.

To prevent this, I schedule creating my social media posts for the third week of the month instead of the last week. This way, if I don’t get to it for some reason, I can do it the following week with few issues.

I called it a “Controlled Failure Point.”

The idea of a controlled failure point is to have points of failure that cause minimal ripple effects. 

In my social media post example, if something needs to give on the third week of the month, that can be it, and the only repercussion is it’s a higher priority task the following week.

It might feel wrong to plan for things to go a bit off the rails, but this is how you prepare for the things you can’t plan for.

You have nothing to lose and sanity to gain.

If you’re wondering what your “Controlled Failure Point” might look like, ask a question in the comments below.

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #119 / Annoying or motivational? "We all have the same 24 hours in a day."

Annoying or motivational? “We all have the same 24 hours in a day.”

Is there a quote that most everyone finds super uplifting or motivational, but it just does NOT do that for you? It might even annoy the heck out of you.

I’d love it if you left me a comment with the quote and why it bugs you.

“We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How are you spending yours?”

Or sometimes it’s written as: You have the same number of hours in the day as Einstein/Mother Teresa/Steve Jobs/Beyoncé/etc.

UGH.

Intellectually, I get that I’m supposed to hear that and think something like “YES! I can do anything I put my mind too!”

Instead, I’m transported back in time.

Back to when I was about a year in my business and heard this for the very first time.

I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. My business was making negative money while I was doing A LOT of work.

I heard this quote and wanted to cry or scream.

All those other people had created success with their 24 hours, but I had put myself in debt, worn myself out, saw NO path out, and deeply felt whatever the opposite of success is.

I felt guilty that I hadn’t figured something fundamental out that they seemed to know and I compared everything I knew about myself to everything I knew about “successful people.”

And boy, oh boy, I judged myself harshly under that light.

Here’s the problem: I didn’t think about all the overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, self-doubt filled days that those “successful people” had.

I only saw their successes.

But I compared my worst days to their best.

And I couldn’t help but feel like someone ahead of me on the path said “catch this great tidbit of knowledge that I’m tossing to you” and I looked up just in time for a brick to hit me in the forehead and knock me to the ground.

Ouch!

Next time can I have a hug instead?

What would have been helpful, had I had the ears to hear it, was a gentle reminder that I was comparing the messy day-to-day that I felt I was slogging through to the perfectly lit and cropped picture that someone else was sharing.

Which reminds me of a couple of other quotes:

  • Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.
  • Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.

Final thoughts:

  • If a motivational quote really bothers you, it’s okay. And it could be an indicator that you’re stressed or overwhelmed, which is valuable knowledge. Once you recognize it, you can do something about it.
  • If you share a motivational quote and the other person doesn’t hear it the way you do, don’t make them wrong about their interpretation. But do notice it and get curious. You might ask how they interpreted the quote and have a nice discussion about it. And they might leave feeling a bit better!

All this talk about my frustration with this quote has made me wonder if there’s a quote that you’ve beaten yourself up with in the past OR if there’s one that transports you back in time, in a positive or negative way.

I’d love it if you’d share it in the comments below.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #119

The gift and necessity of failure

Spring is definitely coming. And with it, you’ll probably start seeing more bicyclists.

Have you ever seen someone just learning to use a bike where their shoes clip in?

From what I understand, the benefit is it allows you to continue propelling the bike forward with the upward movement of your foot, as opposed to only the downward movement.

But you have to learn how to use that system. And you’ll fall a few times in the process.

And once you learn, in the spring when you pull your bike out again, you might have a short period where you have to relearn the system.

What happens if you don’t allow the “failure” of falling over? You don’t go anywhere on that bike.

Failure in your business is the same.

That failure allows you to move forward faster later.

I talked about this and other aspects of failure in this week’s Wednesday Live with Evie about the gift and necessity of failure, You can watch it below.

Wednesday LIVE with Evie #15


What are your thoughts and feelings on failure?

Here’s a quick outline of what I shared:

  • How business is like riding a bike
  • What failure teaches us
  • Why failure is absolutely necessary

And if you want to catch the next Wednesday LIVE with Evie live, head over to Facebook and like my page here (that way you’ll receive a notification when I go live).

The role of failure in business

I was reading through posts in various Facebook groups I belong to and start reading a longer post.

In the middle of it I see this statement, “People don’t fail, systems fail.”

I found myself smiling and saying aloud with love, “OH honey, I fail All The Time. It’s a good thing.”

I own my failures.

The times that I’ve failed have been incredible teachers to me.

Have my failures sometimes been a system failure (or lack of system)? Yes.

And I’ll still own them as MY failures.

Because they are.

The biggest problem I see (and have experienced) with failure is when we use it to beat ourselves up.

Let’s maybe stop doing that (yes, much easier said than done).

So, this week for Wednesday LIVE with Evie let’s talk about the gift and necessity of failure.

You can find that replay here.

What are your thoughts about failure? Do you think it’s necessary?
Comment below and let me know!