Ever wondered how professional, busy women ‘fit everything in’? Welcome to the next interview in my ‘She’s got time for WHAT?’ series.
I’ve spoken with these gorgeous ladies and they’re shared their days with me. We’re covering things such as:
- What they do
- How they do it
- When they fit everything in
- Personal boundaries
- Time for themselves
- Favourite tools
- Productivity and efficiency secrets
Introducing – Samantha Leith
Tell me a bit about your business
I am the CEO and Founder of a party plan jewellery business, named after my daughter – Elodie Rose. It’s probably my 4th ‘real’ business, and the one where I feel I have finally come home.
Do you have a ‘typical day’? Or are most days different?
Most days are typical. I find I get more done and am happier with less crazy days. Although, too much same same can make me bored out of my brain!
How does your average day look, from the minute you wake up to the minute you go back to bed?
Up at 5-5:30. Me time – exercise, or meditation, or reading. I try to do all, but very rarely fit it all in.
6:30 my daughter wakes up, so it’s us till she goes to school. I’ll try to do things like washing, prep dinner etc also during this time.
8:30 – do the 1hr drive to my office, listening to a selection of different podcasts.
I try to segment my day. Writing, phone calls, boring shit, strategy, meetings etc. Chunks work best.
Most days leave the office by 3pm to get home to Elodie.
A couple of nights a week, I will have meetings, parties networking etc. I also then might do an hour before bed, but I’m an 8hr sleep girl, so I try not to.
Do you feel like you fit everything in? Or do you finish your day thinking you should have done so much more? Please chat a bit about that.
Not very often :-( I have a perpetual To Do List, although I am getting more realistic with that.
My mind wanders, I get bright light syndrome, and often will simply just try to do too much. I’m kinder to myself about that now though.
Do you specifically do anything – on a regular basis – that you believe really contributes a lot to your success?
I do a lot of visualisation – I’m so clear on my future and the future of Elodie Rose, and I reflect on that constantly. I also have a Dory ‘just keep swimming’ attitude that helps.
I read A LOT and constantly go to seminars, listen to business, motivation and lifestyle audios. I try to always surround myself with positive people – that are business owners also. I have found that your friends, that have always been employees, just don’t get it, and I understand that. In this kind of growth phase though, you need to be around people that get it.
Does managing your time come easily to you? Have you always been that way?
I have always been a multi tasker, more than 1 job / business / project at a time kind of girl. But whilst, I seem to manage my time well, I don’t believe it’s always the most productive use of my time. I’m the kind of gal that can launch a website, host a party for 100, sing at a wedding, and work a fulltime job all in the same week. I do it all – but it’s not all done as well as it could be.
Do you have time for your friends? Your family? Your health and fitness? Please tell me a bit about that.
I make sure I have time for really critical people:
My mother – who lives with us since getting sick a few years a go
My power posse of girlfriends
It’s probably in that order. Since losing 50kgs, I am taking better care of my health & fitness, but could do way better on this. I try to make sure I do 1 social thing a week, and I have date night every week – 1 with my partner and 1 with my daughter.
Do you have boundaries regarding your own time? How did you come up with those? Do they work?
My daughter has recently been spending more time at her dads, so on those weeks, my ‘office’ hours will be longer. I try not to work when we are home together, but will sometimes have calls, networking, Elodie Rose parties etc that creep into our time, and I hate that. That’s pretty much it. If I am home I want to be 100% present.
Do you ever feel like procrastination gets in the way of achievement? Or are you very regimented in that regard? Please tell me a bit more about that.
I was an award winning procrastinator – is there an award? Maybe I should research that….. Research, list making, social media, news etc. I love to procrastinate. It means you don’t finish something, which in turn means you can’t fail – you can dream about how good it could have been. These days I set myself alarms when I have to be really focused, and I limit my time on social media etc. I’m still a ‘planning queen’ which, when not done correctly or for the right reasons, is just another form of procrastination.
How do you structure your time on social media? Do you feel like it ‘gets in the way’ of achievement? Are you addicted to scrolling and refreshing? 🙂
I allow myself 3 x 15 min chunks a day on social media. Not including if I’m setting up posts, ads etc. These days though, I get someone to do most of that. It can be an addiction, and can feel like your being inclusive, but it’s not.
I make 1 phone call a day to a friend these days – that’s the real social media.
It also helps that I focus on the social media I like. I still don’t understand Twitter, so I barely touch it for example.
If I want some absolute brain relax time, I may lose myself on Pinterest for an hour, but that’s ok if it’s not everyday.
If you were asked to track your week, hour by hour, how do you think the outcome of the tracking would compare with your estimates of what you spend your time on?
I have done this in the past – and used to do it will all my coaching clients. I haven’t done it for over a year, so may get a rude shock. I’m motivated to do it again this week, so we’ll see, I think I mainly underestimate ‘reactive’ time – fixing things, responding to things etc.
Do you have any favourite productivity tools?
Calendar (of any type)
The timer on my iphone
There are a gazillion apps, and I have tried lots of them, but even that can sometimes just be another way to procrastinate ‘I’ll try a new tool’. Then by the time you’ve set it up, you haven’t done the 5 critical things you wanted to get done.
For anyone who struggles with time management – what would be your one big piece of advice for them?
JDI Just Do It!!
I have a 5 x 5 x 5 rule.
5 Goals (projects etc)
5 To Dos for each
5 Days a week
What percentage of week do you currently spend on ‘you’?
Probably 8 hours a week – not too bad.
What percentage of week do you wish you could spend on ‘you’?
I would like to up it to 2 hours a day, everyday, and have 1 pamper session every week, instead of trying to cram waxing, nails, hair etc in every few weeks when you are feeling desperate.
I recently booked in all my treatments till the end of the year, which will make this easier.
Thank you gorgeous Sam for sharing your wisdom with us! I love your 5 * 5 rule. Awesome!