I was weeding my garden this weekend; a chore I don’t particularly enjoy, but I had let it go for a few weeks and it was in dire need. I set out with the intention of doing the whole thing, but after an hour crouched over with my hands in the dirt, I came to the conclusion that I would have to finish it in another session.
This isn’t the first time that this scenario has played itself out. It’s a pattern I repeat every single year I have a garden. I love the spring, with its fresh awakening from the winter, and I'm eager to get flowers and herbs planted! When it comes to maintaining it though, I have many reasons for why it can be postponed, such as the garden is in full sun and I can’t possibly be weeding at any time other than early in the morning or later in the evening after the sun has set. However early morning is when I go to the gym, then meditate, then oh yeah, get ready for my clients! And evening is when I make dinner, hang out with my daughter, catch up on some things around the house except gardening. But in order for the garden to thrive, it really needs to be weeded or else the weeds choke out the beauty and the hard work I put into it in the beginning.
The truth of it is that if I consistently tended to the garden, it wouldn’t be such a big job every few weeks. With small efforts on a consistent basis, it wouldn’t be a situation of pushing myself to exhaustion, needing to recuperate, then being eager to push hard all over again, repeating the cycle. Like, this isn’t sustainable. This is how I got into burnout. To be clear, weeding my garden didn’t burn me out, but this pattern did. As I wrestled with leaving the garden unfinished, I was brought back to times in past jobs where I ignored physical cues and pushed past my health boundaries, that’s when I decided the rest could wait. It doesn’t all need to be done right now.
But even if it doesn't have to be done right now, why did I let it get to that point? How many times have I allowed "weeds" to get out of control in my business or my household? I thought of certain aspects of my business and my clients’ businesses that were a reflection of this. Even writing this blog on a regular basis is something that I have been putting off for months instead of creating a consistency in my routines that allow me to have a creative output to share with my clients. And I coach my clients that consistency is key! Many clients keep putting off seemingly small components of their business systems that, if in place, would create much more ease, professionalism and consistency for the simple fact that it’s a small thing and they’ll “get to it soon”.
That's when another important aspect to consider shows up; if I really don’t like it, I can hire someone; I have before. This can be hard for folks who like to have control over every aspect of what goes on, but when you factor in the amount of time it might take you to accomplish something (especially if you've neglected it for a while), then think about how much your time is worth, perhaps it’s much more valuable to hire the kid down the street to pull out some weeds, mow your lawn or paint your deck. If it’s data entry for your business, there are virtual assistants or businesses like Fiverr that can work on a per-project basis. How much is your time worth? What can you outsource?
Whether it’s running a business or a household, where is consistency missing from your life? Where are you doing work that could be done by others? Where can you outsource so that you can begin showing up to the super juicy parts of your life with the consistency that YOU deserve to finally make that shift in your life, your business, and your relationships?
I know that for me, one thing I can do immediately is find a local teen to get those weeds out of my garden and free up the mental space to create consistency in much higher value areas of my life and business. This is one of the things I include in self-care because it's not always about spas and mani-pedis, even though those are pretty great too.
Have a great week!