So … when I was asked to write a blog for our new Pink Dust website, my initial reaction was: ‘Oh my gosh, another task to complete and add to my already over-crowded ‘To Do List’! A blog … how am I, Samantha Jane Lopes, going to write a BLOG!) this task has remained on that list for, what seems like weeks now, and keeps getting written down on my hand as my “do to TODAY” (please tell me that some of you ladies do this as well?) So, as I looked down at my hand today I said to myself: ‘Sam, today is the day, just write the darn blog!!”
As a full-time working mom, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, PA, executive house-keeper, friend (and the list goes on and on) the re-occurring theme in my life is … 24 hours a day is just NOT ENOUGH. In a world that seemingly gets busier with every passing day, how many times have you felt that there simply aren't enough hours in the day?
Since starting Pink Dust with my partner Tammy and designer Tash a little over 5 months ago, the little bit of extra time that I did have before seems to have dwindled down to “zippo”. One would think that I would be upset about this, however, I have to admit that now that I am doing something that I am so passionate about, I really don’t feel like I am “wasting time” but rather “savouring time”.
Is it hard at times? Yes!
Do I struggle balancing spending quality time with my husband, Jeff and my 3½ year-old daughter, Paige? Yes!
Do I get home after a full day’s work at my “full time” job? Yes!
Would I change it? Hell, no!!
A friend messaged me the other day saying: “You are amazing. I don’t know how you do it all?” In my head I was thinking ... ‘You fool. I’m not amazing. I am an idiot who has taken on too much and is drowning. However, it did get me thinking … I may not be “amazing” but perhaps I could shed some light on how I manage my time to make the most out of the 24 hours I have in a day. These are my top five tips (some I have got down to a fine art, others I am still working on …
Make lists. I have a list for everything in my life. A “Today To-Do” list; a “Long-term To-Do” list; a “Shopping” list; a “Birthday” list … and the lists go on and on - but for me, the best part about my lists is the glorious satisfaction of completing a task and scratching it off … ahhhhhh, best feeling in the world!
Schedule the heck out of your day. Perhaps this is the ‘Executive Assistant’ coming out in me, but I feel like if you plan and schedule your day properly, you can really achieve so much more than procrastinating throughout your day trying to get things accomplished. Scheduling is in effect “forward thinking” to a fine art – anticipating everything you need to get done in that day and ensuring you have enough time to do it.
Learn how to Say ‘No’!! This is the toughest one for me and my one rule that I still haven’t quite got right yet. “No” is a full sentence and doesn’t require justification or explanation. There will always be another request, another favour, another obligation or project you could add to your already overloaded plate. So, sometimes its ok to say ‘No’ and not have to explain yourself. Full stop!
Spend more quality time with family. This rule a ‘golden rule’ for me! It’s very easy to get sucked into work priorities and household chores … but, family is everything (#1 Pink Dust Rule) and sometimes you just have to take an hour out of your chaotic day and re-charge with the ones you love.
Don’t neglect your self-care and your mental health. Learn to take time out. This is another rule that I sometimes battle with. As women, we are constantly on ‘go, go, go’ mode and when we finally sit down to rest, we hit burnout. Looking after one’s self is one of the most undervalued and yet most important things we can do for ourselves as women. This is why a night like #LadiesNightOut is so important - because, for just those few hours on a Wednesday night, we are not moms, wives, bosses, assistants, sisters, etc. - we are just women. Women spending time with other women. And for me, personally, it’s like fuel for the soul!!
So that’s it ladies! Hopefully, sharing my life – warts and all – encourages all you women out there to be less hard on yourselves and kinder to yourselves … after all, you are all awesome women and deserve ‘you’ time and time out and don’t let anyone tell you any different.