Working 5 to 9: Lists, Lists and More Lists

I feel like anyone who has a hustle or business is always creating lists. And not just your run of the mill to-do list. But, big picture lists, breakdown list, brainstorming lists, resource lists, connections list, some other made up list, just lists, lists and more lists. It seems like there’s never an end in sight with all that needs to get done.

And yet, these lists that can overflow, that can feel so suffocating and overwhelming are also a brain dump process we’ve elected to use to strategize our next moves. And by now, we’ve all heard the science behind writing down our goals.

Oh, you don’t think to do list are goals? When we talk about short term goals, to do lists are the shortest of the short term goals. And they’re not very ambitious. They simply revolve around getting a task done that we know how to do or know we can do. Probably why they get brushed off as not much.

But lists aren’t the evil they sometimes feel like. They’re a rudimentary process system we always find ourselves going back to when we’re planning or developing. And although they arent always fun, tweaking our list creating process can elevate how we plan and better execute.

Want a better planning process. Create better lists.

Working 5 to 9: Down Time

There’s nothing like some down time when things are slow. You can get caught up. You can get things in order. You can catch on personal things. You can even do laundry. But down should be used wisely in between clients. And, depending how you look at it, down time be an assorted bag.

Trust me, I love when I have nothing pressing or due, but that also means I don’t have any extra income coming in. So when I get a little down time in between clients, I either prep or rest. I don’t try to overthink my down time, which sounds a little weird, I know but it’s true.

Rather than overwork myself, I brainstorm. I right ideas down. I take notes. Nothing more. If not any of that, I literally rest. I get caught on sleep. I enjoy a glass or two of red wine. In cooler weather, I’d enjoy a few cups of herbal tea. I watch an inspiring or listen to something inspirational like a TED Talk or speech. I focus on making that time about shifting my thoughts and being in positive mindset. And it’s so important to try to remain positive as possible. Juggling multiple projects, work and pretending to have a life… down time is a good thing.

WHEN…You Think You Have Down Time…

You really don’t.

You have work-on-the-business time.

When I’m not seeing a notary client or writing, I’m working on my part time business. I’m working my marketing — online, offline and word of mouth. I am brainstorming new ways to reach prospect clients. I am working on other hustles.

I am always trying my best not to let a valuable moment go to waste. I would hate to have had chance to crush an opportunity but didn’t because I was Netflixing. Don’t get me wrong. I take time out chill and come back to it all, but I also remind myself to stay focus on the goal. Trust me, I watched Birdbox too. I wasn’t part of the crazy challenge though, but I was feelin’ the movie.

When it was over, I went back to brainstorming ideas for the notary business.

Down time is research time. Idea time. Planning time. And testing time. Follow up time. Respond to emails time. It’s never truly down just “down time”.