In today’s episode, I will be sharing with you how it was like for me to raise both my business and my babies at the same time and how this challenged me to be more flexible with the schedule that I have set for myself. As a morning person, I am so used to working and getting things done in the morning. But as we all know, life happens and schedules don’t always go as planned, and I had to shift from being a morning person to having to do work much later in the day.
This transition was obviously a big adjustment for me, but it did teach me to be more flexible and be more open-minded to the disturbances of life.
And so, I want to share with you the 5 steps that helped me stay grounded to what’s really important, do the most in my business, and honor the season in life that I am in.
Here are the 5 steps:
- Check your calendar and set your goals and vision
Set realistic goals for yourself and for your business, and block important events and tasks in your calendar. If it’s on your calendar, it will actually get done, plus you’ll know that the actions you’re taking are linked to your goals and getting you closer to your vision.
- Allow room for changes in your schedule
Always ask yourself, “If I suddenly couldn’t work next week, would everything fall apart?” If the answer is yes, do your best to be ruthless and remove the things that do not actually need to be on your list. This will make more space for creativity to flow and to keep on-task for your long term goals.
- Be ruthless in protecting your energy
This is the beautiful part of having your own business. You can set your own rules, and that means that you do not have to respond to your emails and DMs within 24 hours! Set-up an autoresponder with some frequently asked questions and let them know that you will get back to them within 48 hours instead. If possible, allocate an entire day or half day per week to admin activities so you can do them all together and protect your energy for the rest of the week.
- Ground yourself in the present moment
Sometimes I struggle to ground myself in the present moment in juggling family life and work life. So something I like to do is picture what my life would look like in 10 years and picture myself reminiscing about how it was 10 yrs ago and realizing how lucky I am to actually be in that present moment now.
- Be grateful for every challenge that comes your way
Every challenge that comes your way is specifically designed for you. These challenges were sent your way for you to learn and grow as the best version of yourself. So be grateful for them, because this means that you are about to become a much better person when you get through it.
Using each of these steps together allows me to more easily adapt to the changes that come my way while raising both a business and babies. If this resonates with you, I encourage you to try them out, see if they work, and of course always tweak to make it work for the unique season that you are in.
If your goals aren’t realistic, if your actions aren’t realistic, you’re just not going to do anything. Or you’re going to disappoint yourself because you don’t hit those goals.Justine Haveland
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Justine (00:01): Hello, you guys. And welcome back to this week's episode of the Wela podcast. So this episode was really inspired because I had I'm currently in this really like weird schedule for my business. I have never been somebody who works at night and right now, because of a bunch of different circumstances, you know, my girls being toddlers, the fact that it's light out until 10:00 PM, because as I'm recording this it's July and it's summer, so it's really hot. And on top of all of that, we just kind of come to the end of all of the COVID lockdowns. And, you know, if the girls had a sniffly nose, we'd have to keep them home for 10 days. And so there hasn't really been a ton of consistency in my everyday life. Pretty much since I started my business. And in the beginning it was, it was a given right.
Read MoreJustine (00:51): I had newborn twins, a newborn business, literally raising a business and babies, you know, brand new at both roles, not really knowing what I'm doing. And so I really did expect that things would feel a little bit hectic, but it would be worth it in the end to, to try to, you know, build my business at the same time as, as having my twins, because going back to corporate world is just, was just not an option. So I was willing to do whatever it took. So I sort of expected that, but I think I had this naive idea that around, you know, 18 months or even like two years old, my girls would be in daycare and then, you know, I would have a little bit more help and I'd be able to work kind of during normal business hours. And obviously none of that happened for various reasons. Justine (01:32): Right. And so what ended up happening was that around 18 months, two years, as I've told this story before, so I'll just kind of whip through it is that we left the city, that we were living in to move to a really small town. So my husband could leave his job jobs, part me and my business, and give me a little bit more time to work. And that was great. We had a few months of that. Things were going well. And just as my husband was planning to go back to work, COVID hit. And so since the beginning of COVID, I've been in this, you know, extreme mode of like do do, do, do do. And the biggest reason is because my business supports our family and still does. And so I didn't really have a choice and it, you know, it was something I was very honored to take on that responsibility, obviously, but at the same time, it wasn't something that I necessarily had planned in that way. Justine (02:16): And so through the last three years, I've, I've had a bit of a baseline schedule because of twins. You know, things are done at a certain time. If you're listening to this, no twins, like you'll understand that eat at the same time. They could change at the same time. They nap at the same time. And you don't really do things based on if they need it. You just kind of do it because that's a schedule. It's what we're taught in the hospital, especially if they're in the NICU. And so I have had this like baseline sort of schedule to my, to my life, I think in a way. But then obviously, you know, client calls or working on the business and doing different things like that have had to change based on the season of, of life that my, my girls were in. Justine (02:54): And then also just whatever the heck was going on in our, in our personal lives, especially with COVID and just all the changes that have happened in the last couple of years, really. And so throw this time, I started off by not taking it well, when I have changed my schedule, it was incredibly stressful. I would try to like force the old schedule to stick around. I didn't really want to, as soon as I would get into the flow or get into a groove and everything felt good, something would change and I would need to change the schedule. And it was so hard for me at first, because I didn't really have things in place to help me shift my mindset around the changes, but then also actually be kind of setting up a couple of things that I'm gonna share with you guys today that, that really now, when things get crazy or I have to change my schedule, suddenly it doesn't phase me nearly as much as it did before. Justine (03:50): And I actually see it in a positive light now, which I'm going to share with you guys. And so the inspiration for this episode is because right now, like I'm a, I'm a morning person. I've always woken up really early. My husband and I wake up super, super early, so we can have time together in the morning. I would, in the past, when I was working one-on-one with clients as a service provider, you know, you're working to your clients timelines. And so I had east coast clients. So I would do their calls at like 5:00 AM Pacific. And then I had clients in Australia that I served through agencies that I was contracting to at the time, and I would talk to them in the evening. And so I had this sort of like schedule that was typically planning and I just sort of went ahead and did it. And it all revolved around me going to bed pretty early, like around eight o'clock and then waking up really early. And then I knew that if I did that, I would just sort of get everything done. And so up until recently, we were, I was always getting up early in the morning. Justine (04:53): And so the inspiration, so the operation of this episode is really because recently I've had to shift working kind of normal hours, I would say like more on the early side. That's when I tend to be the most creative, the most I'm able to concentrate and shift those kinds of core hours much later in the day. And the reason for this is because right now it's summer, it's really hot. And my girls have been up really late because it's, it's hot, it's bright out until 10:00 PM. And it's really just not an environment where they are sleepy, even with blackout blinds. It's really not that blackout. And now that their toddlers are a little bit more aware of like the little kids they're over three years old, they're really aware of like, what's going on. It's not like before where they would just go to sleep as time go to sleep. Justine (05:45): And so, because of this sort of like perfect storm of they're older now, and it's summer, and it's laid out, they're going to bed much later than they ever did before. And at first we thought be a bit of a phase, but now it's been going on for so many months. And I mean, there's still a few more months left until it's going to start to get dark earlier. And so I've had to go ahead and just officially shift my working hours to very late at night, which I am not used to doing. And if I had, would have had to do this in the past, it would have just been too much for me to handle because I was so set in my ways. But now I sort of go about things in a way that is a little bit more flexible and open-minded, and I see things in a different way. Justine (06:32): And I've gone through this process enough times now to see the power that it has when it comes to creating a schedule that actually suits the season of your life. And so I want to share that with you guys today, and if this coming at the right time, I'm super excited. If you are like never stressed out and get all your work done, then this episode's probably not for you because this is definitely something that is most relevant to someone who is feeling like they can't quite keep up with everything. And they w like kind of wish they felt more flexible, but feel like the only way to get things done is to be rigid. If that makes sense to you, then this is the episode for you. So I have sort of, I guess I say five tips, but it really it's sort of five steps. Justine (07:14): Cause I do do them in this order that I want to share with you so that I stay grounded as to what's really important. And at the same time, do the most that I can in my business while honoring the season of life that I'm in. Because even though my girls are three, now, they're still so young and they're not 10, right? We still have many years of them being kids. And so creating a way a system, essentially for me to kind of like go through certain steps, to deal with changes going on in a graceful way, knowing that it's still going to be many, many years before I don't have so many disturbances. And really if we're honest, like these disturbances it's just life, right? If it's not your kids, it might be someone in your family where you need to care for someone or, you know, a pipe burst in your house and you guys have to stay in a hotel. Justine (08:06): Like there's always going to be things that happen. And so creating a way for me to ground myself in these changes has been really important. So these are the five things that I do, and I hope that they help you if you're in a similar situation. So when I have to make a change and I know or know change is coming, I'm going to have to change when I, my working hours are, if I know one of the girls are going to be home where there's family coming and you know, I'm not going to get as much work done and things like that, anything that's really going to deviate from my typical, or I guess my ideal, if you'll call it schedule because I'm not sure there is a typical schedule. The very first thing I do is I look at what it is that I have on the calendar for this particular month. Justine (08:48): And so we won't go into detail in this episode, but what I do is I always create a really detailed vision. I turn that into because in and out and NLP, which I use to create my vision and set my quote unquote goals, we call them outcomes. And so go through create my outcomes and get things on my schedule and basically open up my calendar every day and you know, oh, okay, this is what I'm doing today. So step number one is assuming that you have a way of creating a vision and creating goals, and then getting those onto your calendar. If not, there's going to be another episode about that, but this is where these tips sort of start. So what I do is I open up my calendar and I look at the month ahead and I think to myself, okay, so what is it that I have committed to doing this month? Justine (09:34): And what do we have coming up? And then I'm like, okay, right. Yeah, family's coming at the third week of the month. And I kind of put anything in, I opened up the school newsletter for, for my kids. And I see like, okay, what's going on this month? Like, do I need to be prepared for anything? And I kind of get that on my calendar. And then once that's done, I think to myself are the actions that I have committed to on my calendar realistic. And I will, you know, right now that out of everybody that I've worked with out of all my students, all my clients, even my friends that, you know, I have conversations with other online business owners that I've become close with over the years. The number one thing that gets in the way of amazing people achieving their goals or their outcomes is that they're unrealistic about what they can actually achieve in any given day, any given week, any given month. Justine (10:22): And I can't remember who said it, I feel like it's Tony Robbins or something that says people underestimate what they can do in a year and overestimate what they can do in a day, or it's something like that. And it's so true. I had heard that before, but I saw it like come to life in front of me countless times. And what I find happens is that people aren't realistic. And so instead of saying to themselves, you know, I'm going to spend the next three months creating my evergreen funnel. They'll say, I'm going to get it done in six weeks. And it's just not realistic. And I think this comes from a lack of tuning into like, you know, intuitively what, you know, you can get done. But if you can't quite tap into your intuition around how much you can actually get done and be truly honest with yourself, and you're at the point where you're just constantly not hitting your goals, then I would suggest downloading a free time tracking app, actually track yourself doing what you do in your business so that you can honestly look at the data. Justine (11:24): It's not even from a place of intuition, but a place of data and say, how long does everything actually take me? And am I being realistic thinking that I can do this, this and this and this in a day. Right? So number one is you want to open up your calendar and this is what I do. I open up my calendar and I think to myself, okay, what's going on? What do I need to account for? And now that I know what's going on this month, are these actions really? So that's number one. Number two, once you have looked to like, okay, are these things realistic? Maybe you move things around. Maybe you take something off this year. And you're like, no, you know what? I'm not going to launch my podcast this year, or I'm not going to focus on getting in 10 publications this year. Justine (12:06): I'm actually going to do that in January. And just let it go. If your goals aren't realistic, if your actions aren't realistic, you're just not going to do anything. Or you're going to disappoint yourself because you don't hit those goals. Okay? So number one is in order to adapt to the challenges that are going to happen no matter what, and adapt to changes in your life, you have to make sure that everything on your schedule is first and foremost, realistic. Second, you have to look at your list and think if, if something comes up that prevents me from working for an entire week, say the first week of the month, say something comes up and you can't work entire week. What would you do? Is it at all possible to move? What things are like mission critical, where you would actually like stay up late at night to do them. Justine (12:51): And then could you move the remaining things to the next one? If the answer is no, then you really, we have to take a look at what you're asking of yourself and think what I asked this of an employee, would I ask this of a contractor? If you wouldn't ask it to someone else, you shouldn't ask it of yourself. So you have to be respectful of your own time and your own capacity. And also plan in, okay, if I can't work this entire week, then what would I do for me personally, what I do is I have actions that are, you know, creative work, things that I'm really doing on two or three days a week, one day a week, I have calls and yeah, the other day, a week I have admin. And catch-up now the way it is right now in my schedule is that I actually have two calls. Justine (13:35): One's on a Tuesday and one's on a Wednesday. So what I've done is blocked off Tuesday and Wednesday morning for calls and I've split the admin catch-up day over Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. So I just know that Tuesday and Wednesday are for calls, catch up an admin. That's it it's really clear to me. I'm not going to go try and work on a sales page on those days. So I know that my creative work, the actions that are working towards my goals, working towards my outcome. That's what I'm doing on Monday, Thursday, Friday. So then if I think to myself, okay, if I can't get anything done, other than attend those calls, then I've got those two catch up admin days. That's fine. Those three action days. Can I get that action into the following week in those catch-up days? Am I able to do that? Justine (14:17): Or, or would I be able to move things around? Is there something, you know, action-wise that implanting the next week that I actually don't know? And I don't spend too. I do too much time, like diving into all the possibilities, because then again, it's, you know, it's diminishing returns now you're spending a ton of time planning things that might not even happen. But the purpose of this, the second step is to think to yourself, if I couldn't work one week, would everything fall apart? Because if the answer is yes, then your schedule is too jam packed and you're not allowing for changes. And when you don't have that space, that's when you start to feel a little bit anxious or you start to feel like you want to procrastinate because there's too much to do and stifles your creativity and it staples your motivation. I find for me, sometimes just the mere act of saying, I am not doing this one thing this month and taking it off my list because it really wasn't that important, but it, you know, it was like a project. Justine (15:15): I said I was going to start, but it's not mission critical. Just taking it off my list. Suddenly I feel so creative and so focused. And I get everything on my list done rather than if I kept it there. And then I just stared at my list for two hours cause I was overwhelmed. So second step look, is it so busy that it, you couldn't work one week? It would all fall apart. If so you really have to reevaluate how much you're getting yourself to do every single weak and possibly cut some projects out that are not mission critical. They're not part of your current offers. They're not going to be what puts food on the table. Just get rid of those extras. Those are things that you can think of next quarter. You can plan those out at a different time after you've done that. Justine (16:03): I want you to think to yourself, am I being totally protective of my time? And so I recently, because of all the changes I've had to make, I've been working a lot later because my girls are up and it's just a very bizarre schedule that I'm not used to keeping. I've been overly ruthless with my energy. And so I do have a virtual assistant who checks my emails, flags things puts emojis, gets them all organized, tells me what I do and don't need to check and sort of, she protects me from all the things I don't need to, and that's been going on for a while, but still up until recently was always checking my DMS and would answer DMS from anyone who messaged me because just how I run my business. And, and I know that just the, the mere act of clicking and opening Instagram instantly drains me partially. Justine (16:51): A bit of my energy has gone just from seeing the app and then going in and talking to people where usually it is a positive conversation, but you also get people sometimes who aren't so positive. Maybe they went through your free workshop and they are upset because they can't afford your program. And they kind of tell you this life story where they're having these hard times. And, you know, obviously there are different things that we do for people who are in tough times. And we have kind of like, you know, in the background, extended payment plans and different things like that. So it's not that, you know, I, I don't want to be a service or help where I can, but it's not something that I want to read on a Monday right before I'm supposed to write a sales page, right. I want to really ruthlessly protect my energy on my action days and save checking DMS for Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons when I'm doing my admin, my catch-up and my VA now checks my dams and tells me if there's something from a current client or some, or, or a prospect who is asking specific questions that maybe she can't answer about our programs. Justine (18:00): Other than that, I don't look at it until my days that are designated for it. So ask yourself if you're being totally ruthless. And if you tell yourself like, well, I have to respond and you don't have to do anything. This is likely just corporate mentality conditioning, where we feel like we have to respond within 24 hours. And I'll also tell you that it's also a lot more common for women to feel this way, because as women, we naturally have this tendency, I would say that for the most part, I have worked really hard to not be overly people pleasing throughout many, many years of my life, but I still have it conditioned in me that it is polite and agreeable and necessary to respond to people within 24 hours. And maybe there's some people that would still agree with that. But personally, especially with this online business world, I don't think it's necessary. Justine (18:51): I would never expect someone to respond to me within 24 hours and we all have lives. And like, that's why I built my online business and that's how I'm going to run it. Right? You make the rules, this is the beautiful part of having your own business. Right? We get all the hard stuff we have to pay our own paychecks. No one is paying our healthcare. No one's paying our vacation. We have to deal with all that test stuff. So we should also enjoy not having to reply to emails in 24 hours if we don't want to. Right. So if you don't have a VA, then definitely just make sure that you check those on designated times, probably at the end of the day. Even if you have to do it every day, do it at the end of the day, or at least make sure that, that, that one really important creative thing you need to do is done. Justine (19:32): So after you've done that, you're super realistic about what's on your calendar. You're being ruthless with your energy. There's two more things that I want you to keep in mind when you feel like it's really, you're struggling to keep up with the changes and different things going on and you're feeling a bit like it's going to be hard forever. So one of the things that I like to do is I imagine that, and these, these last few things I only do in the moment, right? So the first three things of making sure that my, my goals are realistic and they're on my calendar. And then checking to make sure like, if, if I couldn't work one week then what, everything crumble. And then am I being ruthless with my time? I do all those things at the beginning of the month. That's like a check-in that I do, but then the next two things just happen in the moment. Justine (20:20): So when when something comes up and I'm feeling like, oh my goodness, like, you know, I feel like I'm pulled in this direction, in that direction. I vividly picture myself sitting on the couch with my girls in five years. They're like nine, 10 years old. Like, there'll be like nine years old, I guess, almost nine years old. And it's Friday. And they come home from school and I am under the impression that we're going to like get pizza and like watch a movie or play a game or do something like that because that's kind of what we do now. And that they say, oh no, mom, it's okay. I'm going to go to my friend's house. And then my other daughter says, yeah, I'm going to go to my friend's house. And I'm kind of like, oh, okay. Like, of course, like, you know, the, yeah, that's fine. Justine (21:03): And then they get picked up and they go, and Tom comes into the living room is like, oh, where are the girls? And I tell him that they've gone to their friends and he's like, oh yeah, that's right. I picked your, how I would actually feel in that moment. And in that, in my picture of myself there, in that moment, I picture myself reminiscing to now reminiscing to the past where they were three and all they wanted to do was see me. And all they did was knock on my door and all they did was want me to come over and pick them up and how in that moment in the future, I would be wishing it was now. And that just grounds me in the present moment and makes me realize that I am in this moment, that I am going to think back on later and wish I was in. Justine (21:41): Right. And that's what I do to instantly pull myself back into the present moment and appreciate the season that I'm in. Even with all its challenges. There's also this kind of reverse amazing part where, you know, my toddlers are obsessed with me and it's not going to last forever. So that's one of the things I do in the moment to help ground myself in the present moment and feel really, really excited for the season that I'm in. And then the last thing that I do, and this is definitely something that I have just committed to ruthlessly over the last little while. And I've been doing this for a while. This last step that I'm about to share with you, but I haven't, it hasn't been 100% of the time until very recently. And after doing it, not very recently, maybe like I would say maybe three to four months, but now it's just habit. Justine (22:41): And it's the most freeing feeling in the world. So here's what, here's what it is. Here's the last thing that I want you to keep in mind when you come up against challenges that make you feel so, like you don't have control over your schedule, that you, you know, you just can't quote unquote, hold it together. Or, you know, you just, can't juggle all the things and you're disappointing yourself or whatever the case may be is that every single challenge that you ever get, every single one that comes your way has been specifically designed for you. Every challenge that life throws that the universe throws at you is specifically designed for you to grow. That's the purpose of your challenges. All of the unique challenges that happen in your life are designed for you to grow. And the only way to actually benefit from that maximum growth, where you're up leveling and you're, it's like a quantum leap and all of these amazing things are happening in order for that to actually happen. Justine (23:41): You have to feel 100% grateful for all of your challenges, the ones you're having right now, the ones you're going to have in the future and the ones that you've already had, even the ones that are incredibly painful that have nothing to do with business. And this goes beyond the scope of this episode, but all of our challenges are designed specifically for us to grow and become the best versions of ourselves that we can in this lifetime. And so, however, big or small your challenges are. I want you to know that looking at it as, wow, this is what I say to myself in my head. Now, when things are coming up, when just this perfect storm of events happens and I'm, I'm sitting there just a little bit stunned, like this happened, then this happened and this happened, this happened. And I sit there and think, wow, what is this opportunity that's happening right now? Justine (24:28): This is such a massive challenge. Who am I going to be on the other side of this? And I start to feel a bit like curious and excited to see how I'm going to approach the challenge, how I'm going to come out the other side and then what person I'm going to become after that and bringing myself through that makes me feel basically like I never the victim, like I'm cause you were not right. But of course there are times when you're in the moment that you feel, you do feel that way. Even a first split second. And so having this actual rooted belief that all of our challenges are designed for us specifically to grow in that if we don't feel grateful for them, we're missing the opportunity to grow. And it's we're still gonna experience the challenge, but we're not going to get the growth out of it. Justine (25:20): What's the point. Why not? If you have to experience the challenge anyway, why not go into it already feeling grateful and excited to see who you'll become on the other side. So that, I mean, it kind of feels a little bit more worth it, right? Really simple way of putting it. So you guys, those are the five things that I do. Three of them I do on a regular basis, the first three, and then the last two, which were that I really picture my girls in five years, which helps me ground myself in the present moment, as well as being truly grateful for all my challenges. Those last two are the ones that I do in the moment where I'm feeling challenged or pulled in multiple directions. And since adopting these and really living and breathing them and improving upon them right, every month, I'm like, what can I improve about the way I've managed my energy and my mood and my business and my finances and everything every single month. Justine (26:15): How can I make a bit of an improvement this month? And as I look back, these are the five things that I do in order to manage all of the crazy challenges that life throws my way and how I manage to adapt to the changes that come with raising a business and babies, especially around schedule and, you know, especially with social media and we're constantly comparing ourselves to what other people are doing. It can be just so easy to forget about all the amazing things you've done or accomplished, or that you have planned to do. And just start to focus on the things that you're not doing, or you don't feel like you're doing enough of. So I want you guys to know that whatever is going on in your life right now has been designed for you. And the best thing that you can do is to follow your own version of these five steps. Justine (27:05): Start with those five steps if they work for you, but create your own version of the steps that you want to take yourself through on a regular basis, as well as when things are in the heat of the moment, so that you can adapt with confidence throughout raising a business and your babies and enjoy the process. So you guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode as always send me a message, share a screenshot of this episode in your stories. If you want to share with me any of your takeaways. And I really, really hope that this came at the right time for somebody who is needing to hear this. And I look forward to seeing you guys in the next episode.
Hey, I'm Justine!
Like you, I always craved complete freedom. But I got the message that a well-paying corporate job was the best bet for a happy life. So I went to business school, worked at top consulting firms... and hated every minute of it.
I started my first online business in 2017 as a way to escape the corporate world. After helping 100+ small businesses automate their sales and marketing, I knew it was time to shift away from purely trading time for money.
I attempted to create a course, but the idea of live launching, pre-selling, and delivering the content live was simply not possible while I was home full-time with my twins. So, I created a $27 offer and set up paid ads to sell it on autopilot.