Boost Productivity and Balance: Start with the Big Tasks First – Wellness

Boost Productivity and Balance: Start with the Big Tasks First – Wellness

When we asked Elizabeth Faye how she creates some balance among the many competing needs of our lives—family, work, clients, marketing, social media—she gave us a great visual to hold onto.

“It can be hard in the digital age as a service-based provider to find balance,” says Elizabeth Faye, a hairstylist turned coach.  “And although I may not have the perfect answer, I do have some advice that has helped me.  I invite you to play with these concepts to get curious about how you can create more harmony between your personal and professional in a way that feels good and aligned to you.”

To illustrate, Faye used the imagery of a jar that is filled with large rocks, pebbles, and sand. 

“If you put in the sand and then the big rocks and the pebbles, everything’s not going to fit,” Faye explained. “But if you put the big rocks in first (these are your personal things, your values, the things that matter most to you), then you put in the pebbles (maybe this is your clients, your work, all the other things you have to do and show up for that are really important), and then the sand (the nice to haves, not need to haves) you can fill that jar. This is how you can build a life that is in alignment for you.”

Blue rocks spilling out of a glass jar

Let’s Talk About That Jar

 “Something I didn’t do for years was to put my own personal values first and foremost. That means pre-blocking out time for family trips, vacations, kids sports, time for my own rituals, and alone time, time for date nights, time for holidays, taking off time to visit family, whatever those things are, I block them in first and foremost. This is something I call Quantum Year Planning.”  

Here is how Faye fills that jar….

What you’re going to put in first is the big rocks. This is your mental health, your spiritual, your emotional, physical health, all of that’s taken care of.  We’re now getting into like occupational, you know, vitality and health here is these are the things that keep your business going, your obligations and responsibilities. You’re going to be able to serve from more overflow doing this because you feel taken care of. Putting yourself first and so these pebbles are really important and this may include Instagram. This may include time for showing up for your marketing, making time to batch some content, to make some reels, to get back to DMs because these are things that support the flow coming into your business.

So when I have first blocked first and foremost myself, then I’m able to look at this and go, okay, maybe you need four days a week for clients, maybe you need three days, and maybe you have three days for clients and one day’s a CEO day, and on your CEO day is when you put prep and batch content and you get back to people on these things.

So the next thing I think of is the pebbles.  The pebbles, these are your obligations and responsibilities. This is taking care of your clients, creating good customer service, being there for your team if you have one, you know, showing up and being the best that you need to be. Taking time for continued education and learning new things to become masterful at your craft. All of that. This is so, so, so important. This is what keeps the needle moving in your business and your life. All these things.

And then we have the sand. This is all the additional things that we’ve taken care of ourselves. These are like the nice to haves, not the need to haves. And maybe you have a family trip planned but you want to go on an additional one. Maybe you, um, you know, have some education already planned but if you have time you’re going to do a little bit more. You know, whatever These extra things are you know, we’re gonna put them in they kind of fill in the cracks, right? They’re kind of the extra things that we get to do but like we have all of all of the basis is covered for our personal health, our spiritual health, our family, our values, our business, all of that’s taken care of. And so these are things that you know, it’s okay if they roll over to another month or even sometimes another quarter or another year and that’s okay too.

Final Words?

The last thing is to not take this sh*t so seriously; if you need to take a break, take a break. You’re going to be more creative if you can find the fun in it and this also serves your business.

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