We’ve been spending a lot of time at Create & Cultivate HQ discussing how we can best show up for and support our community during this uncertain time. Community is at our core, and connecting with others through one-of-a-kind experiences is what we love to do. While the world has changed, our mission has not. We’re committed to helping women create and cultivate the career of their dreams, which is why we’re proud to announce our new Ask an Expert series. We’re hosting discussions with experts, mentors, and influencers daily at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm PST on Instagram Live to cure your craving for community and bring you the expert advice you’ve come to know and love from C&C. Follow Create & Cultivate on Instagram, check out our Ask an Expert highlight reel for the latest schedule, and hit the countdown to get a reminder so you don’t miss out!
We’ve all been known to “rise and grind,” but as we’ve had to learn the hard way, activity is not the same thing as productivity—it’s time to bid adieu to the “I’m so busy” mantra. More often than not, attempting to tackle a never-ending to-do list just leads to feeling stressed, burnt out, and, ultimately, unfulfilled.
In this installment of our Ask an Expert series, we asked Whitney A. White, the creator of Take Back Your Time, to share her expert time management tips. Ahead, she breaks down four critical mistakes that are holding you back from living the life that you want and the actionable steps you can take to break these bad habits and get more out of your days.
Mistake #1: Taking pride in being busy.
“Stop thinking that working like crazy and being exhausted is some kind of badge of honor.”
“When you’re on the verge of burnout, you’re less efficient, less effective, and way more prone to mistakes. You are juggling so many different balls that, at any moment, they could all come crashing down.”
“If you keep doing this, you’ll be trapped in the anxious feeling that everything could fall apart at any moment.”
Step #1: Prioritize outcome over activity.
“Focus on outcomes over activity. When you get off that hamster wheel and focus on outcomes, you can stop being busy and getting the most important things done.”
“Prioritize achieving the goals that really matter and taking pride in accomplishing what you truly want to do.”
Mistake #2: Trying to tackle to never-ending to-do lists.
“Stop feeling like you need to do every single thing that ends up on your to-do list.”
“We all intuitively know that some things are more important than others, but when we’re trapped in the realm of the never-ending to-do list, getting anything done feels like an accomplishment.”
Step #2: Nix low-value tasks.
“Not everything on your to-do list absolutely has to get done. You want to be investing your precious time in the tasks that are truly most important in your life.”
“This will give you the brain space to focus on high priorities that really matter. You will start to feel empowered. Remember, you have a choice in what you do with your time.”
Mistake #3: Thinking only you can.
“Get over feeling like no one else can do as good of a job as you can.”
“Because you think no one else can do as good of a job as you can, you’re afraid to let go. You end up convincing yourself that you have to do everything yourself.”
“By making this mistake, you walk around with the weight of so many responsibilities on your shoulders.”
Step #3: Delegate, delegate, delegate.
“You are not the only competent person on the planet.”
“When you delegate, you can reap the benefits of applying laser-like focus to the tasks that truly matter to you.”
“True focus feels like you are operating at your peak level and you know that nothing can get in your way.”
Mistake #4: Sacrificing what you can’t get back
“Stop believing that you have to sacrifice your health, wellness, and happiness in the present in order to get where you want to go in the future.”
“When we over-index in one aspect of our lives and neglect the others, we end up feeling unfulfilled because there are parts of ourselves that we’re not letting flourish.”
Step #4: Give yourself permission to prioritize your own happiness.
“Start believing that you actually deserve to be happy, regardless of whether or not everything on your to-do list gets done.”
“Enjoy your life today in the here and now. Invest your time in the ways that you really want to—you don’t want to be grinding all the time just to feel unfulfilled.”
“That feeling of freedom and personal fulfillment is truly priceless.”
About the Expert: Whitney A. White is the founder of Afara Global, an organization that helps startups, corporate innovation teams, and nonprofits launch and scale new products and services. She is also the creator of Take Back Your Time, a transformational coaching program designed to help business leaders get on a clear path to achieving the goals that matter to them most. Follow her on Instagram.