Getting back to business

WRITTEN BY: Kelsey Ramsden

I’ve never been too good at sugar coating aside from icing cakes, so I’ll just come right out and say it…..YAY for the end of my summer schedule!

I don’t know about you but I feel a bit of guilt every year when I get less than what I could have done over the summer and, although I want to get back to normal, I also fear the tidal wave of stuff I have been ignoring a bit while the sun seemed to be calling me more than the book-keeping review or project planning was.

I’m thrilled when summer comes and there is space for parties and time off and loose-goosey plans that are kept or cancelled based on weather…..I love that stuff, when it starts. Here I sit, some 12 weeks into this season and I am ready to drop the guilt of low-productivity summer and hit it with high gear fall, get back to business and get some sh*t done. 

Here is how I prepare myself and my calendar for maximum ROI to get back to business:

(1) SCHEDULE – I get a large white poster board at the Dollar Store and book out the entire year ahead, kids events, family trips, PD Days, birthdays, you name it I schedule the heck out of it. I am not a natural scheduler and used to think that schedules stripped me of freedom so I avoided them like the plague. BUT, I found out that schedules give me freedom, to see where things ebb and flow and to plan far in advance to ask for help when I need it. Plus, then I can communicate our year ahead to the kids, because I travel a lot for speaking, It’s important for them to see when Mom is home and away.

(2) HELL NO I make a lit of all of my commitments, boards I sit on, school committees, volunteer things, and so on….and I cull things that no longer bring be the joy of service or have a deep rooted purpose that aligns with my goals. I just say hell no, and then communicate that with a lot more diplomacy to whomever I need to in order to free up space for things that do bring me joy or get me closer to my goals. Maybe it’s being 43 now and I’m growing into myself, but I’m just not willing to be a yes-woman to everyone else’s needs and wants for my time. 

(3) HECK YES – This is when I make a hitlist of the goals I have for the next 90 days and break them down. This is also where my true type A no bullshit personality shows up….I put the most challenging things I do not want to do right at the top of the list and I tackle them day one, week one of the kids going back to school. Its an onslaught ….that I have prepared for. Here’s the secret, pre-draft the letters and emails you want to hit send on for those tough things and then sit on them for two days…..let it all sit, simmer, tone down and strategy up, and then circle back to edit the night before the big day when you hit send. I love getting right to the heart of it, and always feel so much better when the big clouds are cleared away first.

(4) REVOLUTION Against the norm here (and often), I don’t start a revolution of getting back to the gym and eating healthy all of a sudden or starting to journal every day and every other things I need to start fresh again all on day one. I create an evolution revolution…..and book slow starts back to all of the routine things, one thing, one week at a time. I’m too experienced in my own shit and I know that when I heap on the pressure to be back to 100% on day one, I will fail and then get so pissed at myself, I throw the baby out with the bathwater… for me, It’s a graceful revolution time of year, baby stepping my way back to badass.

I am not sure there is just one way to get back to business, but for me, this works…..oh, and creating a list of great books to read that will keep me going. Here’s what I have on my list for this fall:

War of Art by Steven Pressfield (a re-read every September for me)

Be Here Now by Ram Dass (I’m getting deep into this self love thing you all have been telling me about for years but I thought was flaky and now am totally converted – so that’s what this one is about for me)

Age of Opportunity by Laurence Steinberg (New science about the adolescent mind and how to understand your teen. I’ve got one going into this and I am finding I can’t relate to the 12 year old mind like I used to when I myself was 12. Was highly recommended to me by a teacher friend who I respect big time.)

One Last Talk by Philip McKernan This one is for those who want to do some deep work…..and become liberated. I am giving one of these Talks in October and it’s a cool movement I think the masses will hear about in a year or so which is just starting to swell up now. I might even host my own, so if you are interested in speaking at it, let me know.

What to Do With an Idea and The Little Engine That Could – I know people have a perception of me that is pretty boss and badass, but these two selections open the kimono to let you know I am actually a kid at heart. I read my favourite two children books every September too because they remind me of how damn great I can be when I stick with it and trust in my ideas.

If you are facing a ‘What’s Next” kind of fall for your career or life….I encourage you to check out my book, Success Hangover: Screw your status quo. Ignite your next act. Feel alive again. I just released the audiobook and it’s pretty good to great if I do say so myself.

Here’s to you and getting all you want when you get back into it.

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