2013 was the year I joined the team; the brand online team, that is. My boss was pregnant, lived in France, and was soon (very soon) to go on maternity leave. Little to my knowledge we were in the middle of a very big project.

This was the 4th site redesign I was involved in, and I was confused.

“How did I get to this place? How did I get in the middle of another site redesign.” I was in the middle of the restroom and those were my thoughts.

Soon I would be spending hours upon hours including late nights and sometimes weekends on this redesign. By the end, I’d had it.

Daily View - Work/Life Balance Planner
Daily View – Work/Life Balance Planner

But I’d also developed a habit, the to-do list.

Lists and more lists

While I’ve always been a “list” person, I noticed my dependence on a list intensified as the project intensified. I was beyond creating the occasional project list that lived with it’s respective project or the daily to-do list that may go on to the next day. Instead, I was at a point where lists were coming out of my wazoo.

There was the project (or projects within a project) lists. There were the priority lists. There were the red flag lists. And then there were my infamous lists…the monthly, weekly and daily lists.

I had literally started writing out monthly, weekly, and daily lists. And over time, I noticed the beauty. The beauty I found lied in 2 things…

1) Successful prioritization. As I saw things more holistically, I was able to better prioritize what was on my plate. And pairing that list with my daily calendar, I was better equipped to not tell someone yes or no, I was able to help put requests in their place, whether it was request for task work or requests for meetings.

2) Self-care. During this time, I also realized a need to take care of myself. Like I said, I was spending a ton of time working. Therefore, I had to make concerted efforts to take care of myself. Whether that was to exercise, sleep or simply turn off for the weekend, I knew I needed to find work/life balance.

Additionally, thanks to a friend, I’d been introduced to printables on Pinterest. (Printables are essentially cute to-do lists, life planners and so on.) While I printed these lists for a while, I felt daily printing was a waste. I also didn’t feel the printable I enjoyed using was the most professional design.

Because of this, I moved on to writing out these lists on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. As you can imagine, this got old. And this is when the planner process began; mid 2014, I started designing the planner.

Single chicks don’t want a mommy planner, but moms and pops can use this too

This planner was designed for a unique type of person. It’s not a mommy/family planner. It’s not a date/appointment keeper; we have phones and other devices for that. It’s for the boss lady or man; the person who is focused on successfully managing a hectic personal and professional life while also making a commitment to take care of themselves.

This planner is for:

  1. People who get ish done without going crazy operate on to-do lists and successful prioritization.
  2. People who want to know what to say yes to and what to decline.
  3. People who know and value the importance of making time for family, extracurriculars and others, and
  4. Most of all, people know that to be the best they can be, they have to take time to take care of themselves. So if they have to be deliberate about self-care time, so be it.

 

Find out more about the work-life planner and pre-production by following me on Instagram and Facebook.

And starting next week, you’ll be able to order online. In the meantime, take a look at (or order) some of the pre-releases.

You’re on one side of the table. Your potential customer is on the other side. Your job…the pitch.

You have this one in the bag.

You tell them all you can do, and your prospect is definitely impressed. They’re drawn in with each word. They see it – how you’ll benefit their organization.

You’re even ready for the questions and requests that come your way. “Yes, Mrs. Smith, as a matter of fact, we can do that. There would be a small increase in cost, but we definitely can work it into the package.” (It doesn’t really matter what the “it” is. You can handle it.)

Then it came in slow motion. That request that you’re not ready for. However, instead of being transparent, you confidently say, “Yes. We can do that too.”

Liar. You can’t. For one reason or another…you don’t have the time, the expertise, the technical know how, or other resources to get it done.  But you said “yes,” and now you’re stuck. And even worse, your reputation is on the line. If you aren’t able to deliver, you may be screwed.

How could you have prevented this?

Just say no. If you aren’t ready to handle the customer’s request, be honest. Tactfully, let them know you can’t deliver what they’re asking for. Even if you lose the potential customer, you’ll keep your integrity, and your organization’s reputation won’t be tainted. Remember…you’ll always be able to pitch to more clients.

He Who Over Promises & Under Delivers

Being overly ambitious results in over promising and under delivering. As stated earlier, this will result in a huge blemish on your organization’s reputation – especially if your organization is a repeat offender.

There are several options that you can take in order to avoid being one who makes promises in which you can’t deliver:

1. Say no. As stated before, if you can’t do it, just say no. This doesn’t mean you have to let the prospect walk away unfulfilled. It just means you may have to seek 3rd party assistance to get the job done.

2. Be realistic with yourself. Know what you can do and what you can’t. Make sure you’re realistic about what’s on your plate, your skills, your resources, and what the amount of time it takes to complete what’s being requested.

3. Set customer expectations. Communicate timelines and needs in advance. Then continue communicating throughout the execution. Give status updates, communicate roadblocks and definitely give your customers opportunities to provide feedback.  Remember, you are in a partnership with your customer, and great  partnerships result from effective communication.

4. Be open to constructive criticism. Maybe you think you’re delivering effectively. However, your customer base doesn’t. Give them a chance to let you know. Allow your customer to give you feedback, both while you’re in teh process of completing a project

5. Obtain necessary skills or resources. If you find you are low on time or missing a certain skill or expertise, outsource the parts of the project in which you need help. If you’re budget doesn’t allow this, it will be better to say no than to get into a pinch. ~ On the other hand, if you’re simply need to enhance skills – such as presentation skills, design, writing, etc. – get training. Consult or hire an expert or seek out the proper education to help with development.

Reach for the Stars…

We’ve all heard this – and it’s not bad in theory. We all have goals. And this is great. However, if you’re ill-prepared, you will get burned. So, before you have to stop, drop and roll, make sure you have the skills and resources necessary to prevent unwanted blazes from down yonder.

Live, love & proser,

Regina