Countering the #FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) trend, Tonya started out the JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) when she felt that she’s made for more than just being a stay-at-home mom. She started a business that empowers women to become more productive about the things they’re passionate about. But what is truly empowering about her advice is that her concept of productivity is not about doing more– it is actively making a choice to miss out on a lot of extra noise/clutter in our lives. Not the clutter in our closet necessarily, but the clutter of being pulled in a many different directions and saying ‘yes’ out of obligation instead of out of wants. And that is how JOMO came to life.
Now Tonya earns 7 figures from her business, with her husband sitting across the desk working with her because she actively chooses to miss out. That brought happiness to her, and you, and all women deserve that. How does she do it?
Finding Your “Yes!”
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that productivity is having more to do, without considering the actual impact of those tasks in our lives. Thus no matter what we do, we are unfulfilled because we do things out of obligation. But productivity needs to be centered around YOU, and customize your productivity to work for YOU. That is also why productivity has failed so many people— because they try to modify who they are to work for the system, when instead it should be you and your priorities at the center. The system should be working around YOU.
Discovering your “North Star”
Your North Star is your mission, your vision, and your core values— it guides you into questioning certain task as to why you do it, how you do it, and where you want to go. Take the time to dive in and dig deep to understand what your North Star is. It lights up the path on where you want to go, and allows you to filter your decisions. Before you say yes to something, ask yourself, “Does this fit my North Star?” “Does this make me excited to get out of bed?” “Does this lead me to where I want to go?” Because we can’t know what our yeses unless we start within ourselves. You have to figure out what you really want to do and anything that doesn’t fall under your North Star is a “no.”
The Levels in Your To-Do-Lists
Sometimes our to-do-lists are taking us anywhere but where we want to go. Are you starting to notice now that your to-do-list is most of the time just a long jumbled list of tasks we add on our day (that never seem to be completed)?
Toss out the to-do-list and do a priority list. It takes the same amount of time as we create our to-do-list, but instead we are creating with intention. When we write down our tasks, remember the following levels according to Tonya:
Escalate – these are tasks that are important but is also urgent; they are aligned to your goals but have a deadline
Cultivate – these are tasks that are important but don’t have a deadline. This is where a lot of our personal growth happens: things like taking a course; signing up for a class; sitting down and creating a budget for your finance, and etc. However, these are tasks that are usually toss aside because it is not urgent or a “screaming fire.” Take the time to cultivate things that would lead you to your goals, because it means investing in your future.
Accommodate – these are tasks that are urgent, has an immediate deadline, but not necessarily important and not aligned to your North Star. You feel compelled to do them because they are urgent. A lot of our to-do-lists are filled with these kind of tasks.
“But these are just too overwhelming”
Overwhelm is NOT having too much to do. It’s NOT knowing where to start.
And the beauty of priority list is that you start at the top and you work your way down. You know exactly what to work on next. And when you know what to work on next, you feel more powerful and successful in doing your tasks.
To enrich our productivity, start with escalate, cultivate, and then proceed with accommodate when writing your to-do-lists.
Handling the Immediate Tasks
It is indeed important to go for our goals, but you still got to pay the bills, right? You still got to do the laundry, the dishes, and so on. But here’s the answer: simplicity. We tend to use so much of our brain power stressing on immediate chores like laundry (for crying out loud.) And that is why it is important to simplify tasks like bringing a member to your team; not just at work, but also at home. Why not let your kids do their laundry? You’re not just helping yourself take up some space, you’re also helping them to not become totally reliant. Another effective way of simplifying things is to develop habits/automation/routines.
The beauty of habits is that we do them without us thinking about it. In fact, 40-45% of your daily actions everyday are habits. Like brushing your teeth, washing your face. We don’t have to spend/stress a certain amount of our day thinking about doing those things. Now don’t worry about ‘forcing’ yourself to create one. You are already primed for habits, it’s just a matter of creating intentional ones. It might take some time at start, but once you get those set, it becomes so much easier in the long run! Remember the following as you create your habit:
- Articulate the habit that you want. Will this simplify your immediate chores? Will this habit help you grow personally? How will this habit mold you into the person you want to be? In your morning routine, try to stop and think of what do you want to happen in your morning. Take into account what would nourish you and help you create a ‘win’ to start your day.
- Proceed to finding that cue to create the habit. Say, after brushing your teeth, you want to create the habit of flossing your teeth. You should then put that dental floss right next to your toothbrush. In that way, you’re attaching the deed of dental flossing to your already established habit of brushing your teeth. The key is to find that trigger to your action.
- Find a reward after doing the habit. When you do so, it would trigger that gratification of doing a certain activity and it would be difficult to break something that feels “good.” Eventually, in the long run, you wouldn’t be needing the reward, but rather it becomes an activity that you do every day.
- Because it is easier to cheat yourself out of the good habits, create accountability from yourself and from an external community. Try scheduling those ‘target’ activities a week or month before. Then build a sense of community around those activities- like those fellows in your yoga class. When you have those same people around that activity, you’ll want yourself to show up, right? You don’t just create external accountability, you also create friends who can lift you up. On the side note, you need to get yourself off of that ‘guilt.’ We’re going to have our bad days, we’re all going those days where we stumble. And we need others to lift us up to motivate us forward. We have to strip aside the facade of perfection. Stop pretending that everything is all sunshine and admit when things are difficult, and from there we can lift each other up.
The Five “Ps” of Time Management
As some guests and I have discussed before in our previous podcasts, many people unecessarily wear that “badge of busy” – when it only drains our minds into thinking that we have no time to do things that are meaningful to us. In her book, Tonya gives us a glimpse of the “Ps” that would help us get in control of our time.
- Purge – write down on paper ALL the things that are swirling on your mind. Consider it as a dump to clear out your mind. Do this at least once a week, and you can do this with your family so you can share the things that bother you, or at least the things you want your family to achieve.
- Process – leave at least 10 mins a day to listing down what you want to accomplish for the day. Because mapping out your entire week would lead to inconsistency, as oppose to planning achievable things for the day.
- Prioritize – look at your list and sort out what goes to your escalate, cultivate, and accommodate. This allows you to do tasks that truly matter.
- Protect – your time. Consider your time as sacred. Yes, we may think we have an abundance of time, however, we only have 24 hours in a day. We will have the time to do things that we want to do if we CHOOSE to do those things first. When you become mindful of how you spend your time, you easily remove distractions from your life.
- Propel – Take some time off in a day to think about what are your wins for the day. What are you grateful for? How did you feel about your day? Are you stressed out? What are the things you want to improve on? From there, list down the things you want to accomplish for the following day. When you write those things down and it’s the first thing you see in the morning, you will see all your “wins” the day before, and you will know where you will want to go for that day.
We need collaboration and eliminating the sense of competition and get back to this authentic connection with the community. It is a mindset of abundance to lift one another up. The Joy of Missing Out is not just a book, but a movement. It is important for women to know that they can say “yes” only to things that would work for them, make your ideal day your every day, and say no to things that no longer work for you. You no longer have to ask for permission. It is granted to you.
Tonya Dalton is a productivity expert, writer, speaker and founder of inkWELL Press Productivity Co, a company centered around productivity tools and training. She will release her first book, The Joy of Missing Out, with Harper Collins October 1st. Tonya’s messages about business management, productivity, and the pursuit of passion have impacted thousands and inspired her to launch her podcast, Productivity Paradox which has surpassed more than a million downloads. Her podcast regularly ranks in the top 50 of all business management podcasts on Apple Podcasts. Tonya has been featured on Real Simple, Entrepreneur, Inc., Apartment Therapy, Lauren Conrad, and HGTV among other places. In 2019, Tonya received the Enterprising Woman of the Year Award and was named North Carolina’s Female Entrepreneur to Watch by The Ladders.
Instagram and Twitter: @tonya.i.dalton
InkWELL Press’ IG, FB, and Twitter: @inkwellpress
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