Today we are talking about finding rhythm. No, it's not a blog dance class. We're talking about finding rhythm when it comes to time management. I am joined by
Alexis Greco, a fellow army wife, home school mom, network marketing leader, and now she's on a mission to support women both in and out of her company by helping them find rhythm so that they can increase efficiency and decrease stress. You’re going to want to grab a pen and paper If you don't already have one nearby because I promise you you're going to get something out of this that is going to help you free up your time!
First I asked Alexis to tell me a little bit more about herself and her backstory. How she became an expert in the field of finding rhythm.
Alexis says “I have been a lifelong entrepreneur, so since I was just a little kid I have loved the world of entrepreneurship. I have been in network marketing for
fourteen years and after every training, someone would come to me and say “how are you doing this with four small kids and your husband's in the army, like how do you make all of this work?” and of course I would always answer them and I started to realize oh there's a theme to this. I'm not perfect, I mess up, but there are certain things that I do that create little easy hacks, easy tips, easy strategies and I started to notice they were like a rhythm. So I just decided instead of just serving the women that say yes to buying a starter kit to my team, I'm going to serve all entrepreneur leaders, particularly moms, and teach + support them in finding rhythm for their home and their business.”
I then asked her, why rhythm? What makes rhythm unique and why don't you use the word balance?
“When I think of balance I think of balancing on a balance beam, or you have a scientific scale and so you're kind of giving maybe fifty percent to professional, fifty percent to personal. You're trying to figure out how to make them evenly weighted and that's just not what I found to be true in life. At least for me as a mom, entrepreneur, wife, friend, and volunteer. So I chose rhythm because it does have an ebb and flow. We are the common denominator between being the business owner and a wife and a mom and all those things and everything in between and so we have days where we need that ebb and flow of when we are pushing hard for a goal or child gets sick and we need to that ability to be able to go back and forth and not fall into that cycle of shame and guilt at the same time.”
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Tell me more about how you lead people to rhythm and how rhythm can help people support their goals.
“One of the things that we look at and start with is where are they right now. What are you struggling with, where are you feeling that tension and what in areas of your life, and where do you want to go? What are your business goals, what are your personal goals, and then we break down what's happening in between? Are you in a cycle of shame and guilt because every night you go to bed and you think ‘there goes another day, I didn't do what I said I was gonna do.’ and so we first detect those things. Then when we break that down and begin to implement those practical strategies & rhythms. We will say, instead of being in that cycle of shame and guilt, what if we tried “this”? and what I notice is it's not a number one or number two thing and it changes everything in a day. It is the small tiny insignificant shifts that feel like it’s not going to matter. But after they build upon each other day after day, we can look back in a couple of weeks or months and think- ‘look how far I've come, I'm doing it, I have it, I'm being successful in my home and in my business.’ and no it's not perfect but we just start to implement those small strategies first so it can support them in all areas of their life."
Could you give me an example of one of the small strategies? Say I come to you and say “my life is a mess, Alexis help me out.” What is one of the first things that you notice, or something that's really common that you notice, amongst your clients?
“One of the top strategies that we work through to find that rhythm is a brain dump, it's not the most attractive name and you've probably done it before. But what I find is we forget many things. We write down all of our to-do’s for our business, or the house or trying not to forget the birthday present for the birthday party on Saturday, the meal plan, the laundry. But I like to take an extra step when I work with my clients and I do something with them called a mental walk. So after they have written everything out everything in their head, I have them mentally walk through their home. Because all the things that are still stuck in our brain are the things like ‘I need more toothpaste and I need to wash my
makeup brushes and drives me crazy that my pillowcases aren't matching and my linen closet is a disaster.' We hold all of those things and the more that we’re holding in our brain, the less space that we have to think creatively and to strategize for our businesses. So I ask them “I want you to close your eyes and mentally walk through your house”. So for me, I start at the farthest point of my house, my master bath. and I envision myself in the shower walking through the shower, then the vanity, then in our master bedroom, walking down the hallway. and I'm all these things that are coming to mind I'm putting them all out on paper. That allows you to start with a clean slate. Everything is out of your mind, everything is on paper, and that is something that feels small but it really makes a difference. That you now have a clean starting line.”
What else can a “brain dump” help someone with other than just giving us more free time?
“After you do the brain dump and you look at everything, 1. You can actually mentally breathe, and feel okay, and you look at everything and you can start to categorize it. So maybe it's something that you automate, maybe eliminate it, maybe you delegate it, or you find a way to simplify it. What I like to do is after everything's out on paper (I do it once a week as well) then I look at my planner and I write in the boulders of my schedule. The non-negotiables of the things that I'm doing for work and for personal, and then I see how does my brain dump fit
into that because I have the tendency as an overachiever to say “I'm gonna put everything on Monday and get everything done by ten o'clock on Monday morning” and that's just not feasible for me! but because I can look at my calendar, I can remind myself ‘look you don't have a babysitter on Monday and you have family coming over Monday night for dinner ‘ so it allows me to be realistic when I'm taking all of those to-do and those appointments and plugging them into my calendar and that is going to a quite into you feeling empowered. I can do this. I'm not gonna wake up Monday morning with a to-do list and thirty-two appointments in my day. Which I already know I'm not gonna be able to do, but it's such a long list I have to get it done but instead you can say, “no, I'm gonna plug it into the days that it needs to go, and I'm gonna feel empowered waking up because I know I'm going to do these things on this day, and those things on that day, instead of everything on one day.”
How does someone who really likes to plan, create margin(blank spaces in your day for tasks or situations that may come up unexpectedly)?
“For me, I am a home school mom, have four kids seven and under, my husband travels frequently and if he's not traveling he's gone from early morning typically to dinner or after bath time. So I desperately need that white space because if I fill every minute and every hour of my day I will go insane by lunchtime, it's just not going to be a good situation. So one of the things that I found, and this was taught to me from one of my mentors, she said split your day into three parts and work two of the three parts. So maybe it's morning afternoon and evening or maybe depending on your schedule you do five parts, you do early morning and late evening and you don't fill every part of that day with work. So maybe you’re working two of the three parts or three or four of the five parts. So how I find margin practically is let's say I have two or three things I want to do in the morning, I leave the afternoon for margin and white space and I know I'm going to do some things after the kids go to bed. I allow that margin which you could even consider that breathing room in your schedule where if those things don't happen in the morning time, and for me, I don't mean between eight and nine o'clock the way this season of life I'm in right now morning for me is between seven AM and twelve PM. So if they don't get done in that morning time I'm able to just move it to the afternoon and/or move it to the evening. So I just give myself that breathing room even in those three parts of the day when I take the brain dump and I put it into my schedule I just have to remind myself where's your margin keep your breathing room because if you have small kids you know if something goes haywire the whole day can go into a tailspin. so I think that's really important especially for moms.
What advice would you have to those multi-passionate entrepreneurs who are also moms and also doing the nine to five and doing all the things and wearing all the hats who don’t even seem to have time for margin space?
“The first thing that comes to mind is sometimes you must slow down to speed up. You know Sara if I was talking to you I would say let's talk through your brain dump let's make sure you're getting everything out and looking at that and automating as much as we can. and delegating as much as we can. There's time constraints, there's budget constraints, work within that. Is there anything we can
eliminate? Is there anything we can simplify? That way we are we are not taking things away from your business but we are making sure only you are doing the things that you can do. So let's say we got through that and then I say “Sarah, what are what are the boulders for you?” In the mornings, if you need to be at work at seven-thirty what's important to you in the morning? Do you love that morning routine with your little one and is that like that sacred time and you don't want anything to come around that? Okay, so we're gonna put that there. and if you said well you know she doesn't wake up till later, she's good, five minutes we get up out the door, she goes to school, maybe we might look at putting some margin for you in the morning. Then if we need to switch that around we would look at the night. What I find is when we honor our priorities, at least what I'm learning and what I am and seeing others that I'm working with, is the space for the other things, it's there. there's like an overflow when you honor those priorities when you're not just rushing by your children in the morning because they're an inconvenience to you not getting your to-do list done.
For those of us who know there's no rhythm in their calendar, there's just task vomit all over their planner. What are one or two easy things that we can do today to make a tangible change moving forward?
“Well I would definitely reference the brain dump again, so I'd say get out a piece of paper dump your brain, do that. It does not need to be pretty most of the time mine is not, and if you're a colored marker, colored pencil girl you know color categorize it so you can see after everything's down what goes where. One of the most valuable things I think when it comes to my schedule is sometimes it's easy for me just to open up my schedule and look at emails and look at my Instagram DM's and make sure everything's plugged in, but what you could do right now is you could look at your schedule and just stop and think for a minute. What do I want this week to be like? how do I want to feel at the end of the week? and if you're not wanting to feel exhausted if you're not wanting to feel tired then make the appropriate choices for that. That might look like ‘you know what I'm gonna make sure I'm in bed thirty minutes earlier' or ‘I'm gonna get up ten minutes earlier' and it sounds silly but I've had to remind myself before to check with my husband for his schedule. Or check with your spouse. and so that could be a very tangible thing that especially as moms and entrepreneurs we're just going going going going, you don't have that conversation if you're married. because when you do start to have that joy in your day and you end the day feeling like ‘that was good I did it' that is that part of your Cup is gonna overflow into the next day it into the next day."
So Alexis if people want to know more about rhythm and how to find it in their home, in their life, in their business, how did they get a hold of you?
"Instagram is my jam! I am also on Facebook, but either on Facebook or Instagram. I'm @alexistgreco and I am in my DM's every single day, except Sunday I have that locked up it's part of my rhythm. but I am in there every day and just send me a voice message or type out a message and say "Hey this is what I'm running into what would you recommend" and I would be glad to work with you through that so I can support and encourage you that way and we can figure out what's going on and what strategies could you implement."
I love that and I hope that people come talk to you because even just following you has been life-changing even this conversation has been great so thanks again for joining us today and we will talk to you again soon!
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