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Hi, I'm Brooke! I'm a believer, wife, mama to two, Oklahoma photographer, and photography business coach.
I help photographers grow profitable full-time businesses from home.
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Do you feel overwhelmed with life and business? In this episode of the Five Star Business Podcast, I’m sitting down with Lisa Lizotte as she shares practical habits you can implement today to say goodbye to the overwhelm for good!
Brooke: In this episode, I’m talking with one of my sweet business friends, Lisa Lizotte. We’re going to dive into decreasing overwhelm you feel in your life and business. How many times has someone asked how you’re doing, and you want to scream, “I feel overwhelmed! I’m running in a million directions.” Today’s episode is for you! Lisa, can you introduce yourself to the listeners?
Lisa: Hi, Brooke, thank you for having me. I’m so excited to talk about overwhelm because I was there myself two years ago. I took on too much running my at-home business, momming, homeschooling, all of the things. I became very overwhelmed. Thankfully, I found what works for me, and I can’t wait to share it with your audience.
I’m a work from home mom but I used to be a public-school teacher. When I had babies 13 years ago, I decided to give up my teaching career and stay home with them. That led us to homeschooling. I never thought I would homeschool, because homeschool kids had a reputation of being weird. God led us on this journey, and it’s been hard.
There were days I would’ve loved to send my kids to school and work all day long. I love getting behind my computer and working. But by trying to juggle everything, I felt very overwhelmed. I knew something had to change.
I’m married to my sweet my high school sweetheart for 17 years. We have a small farm in Florida, some farm animals, and a garden. I launched my podcast last year and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.
Brooke: We have a lot of similarities in our background and plenty of differences too, which I love. It just goes to show that we can learn different things from each other. I believe that everyone has experienced this overwhelm that we are going to be talking about.
A lot of people will say things like, “I don’t have time for that. I can’t add another thing to my to do list.” People are feeling the overwhelm. There are three different areas of overwhelm: home, marriage and self. Let’s uncover how to restore our sense of peace and replace our overwhelm with joy, and all of those things.
Lisa: I encounter a lot of women who don’t say “no”. They take on all of the things and become the “yes mom”, the “yes entrepreneur” or the “yes wife”. They tend to say “yes” way too much. In order to cut the overwhelm, you really need to step back, reevaluate your capacity and define what that is for you.
Personally, in my home, I’m a minimalist. I used to have a lot of farmhouse, country decor. But I became overwhelmed by all of the stuff and all of the clutter because I had maxed out my capacity. My capacity is very minimal. That is all I can manage effectively. We are managing a lot. But we’re not doing it effectively or efficiently. We’re just managing and drowning in the amount of responsibility we have.
So, I had to really step back reevaluate, “What’s good for Lisa?” I need to think about what’s good for me. I don’t need to look at the Pinterest mom, who’s really crafty and doing all the scrapbooking. Cutting that out, was important because in my baby season, I could not keep up with things like that.
I ended up becoming more of a minimalist, because I realized that is how much I can handle. My shelves can only hold so much to look at, I need whitespace. I can only handle so many toys, because I have to train my kids to pick up the toys.
Step back, reevaluate your capacity in the season you’re currently in. If it’s not helpful, and it’s not necessary, then it’s not needed. If it’s not helpful, and it’s not necessary, then it’s not needed. Everything in my home needs to be useful and necessary to be used.
It started with the physical stuff, decluttering my space and getting really minimal. Then it led into creating boundaries with my commitments and activities. Deciding how much I’m going to let my kids do volunteering at church, how much I’m going to volunteer and how much I’m going to say “yes” to. I would love to be able to drop off food to a mom who just had a baby. But I know that’s not in my capacity. If I do that, I’m going to be overwhelmed. I’ll complain and do it begrudgingly and not peacefully.
Evaluate your capacity when you feel overwhelmed. What is good for you? Anything that doesn’t fall within your capacity to effectively manage, start weeding it out start setting boundaries.
Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. Too much candy makes you sick, too much TV makes you sluggish, too much summertime makes you bored with summer. God gave us seasons for a reason.
If you have to reevaluate your capacity, start with your home and your mental health, what’s surrounding you. If you’ve taken on too much, and collected a lot of stuff, if you’ve said yes to too many obligations, then reevaluate your capacity. What can you effectively manage and start setting boundaries and weeding things out of your life?
Brooke: I realized, as you were talking that I actually coached about capacity, and I never really thought about it that way. I defined it as availability, what you can handle. But that is exactly what capacity is. Whether you’re talking about your home and how much stuff you have, or how much whitespace might be in your calendar, or how many clients somebody can actually handle, I love the idea of capacity.
It’s such an easy thing to grasp and ask ourselves what that looks like in this season. I love that you brought up seasons because that’s very biblical. We often talk about how seasons will shift and your priorities will change season by season.
We talk about achieving balance. That was one of the very first episodes that I released on this podcast. My definition of what balance and capacity is was wrong. It’s not that you’re equally showing up to everything. It’s that you’re deciding and giving the correct proportions of time and attention to the things that matter the most in your season.
This whole idea of capacity is amazing. We can ask ourselves this through our work, our home, our marriage and our motherhood. That is the first tangible action step for the listeners right now, ask yourself, “what is my capacity in each of these areas?” Let’s dive into three of these areas. So, Lisa, how do we begin to identify the overwhelm in our home? How can we actually tackle that overwhelm?
Lisa: We’ll definitely dive into these three. But I want to do a book plug really quick, because I just recently finished a book on Audible, called Essentialism. It helps you define what is essential. It’s an amazing book, Greg Mckeown. I highly recommend it if you feel overwhelmed to the point where you need direction on what’s essential and what’s important in your life.
Even if you want strength in setting your boundaries, that book is going to help you because it’s going to help you identify what’s essential. You’re going to start weeding out all of the things that are non-essential. It does go into some business, like what does a non-essentialist do in business, and what does an essentialist do in business. So I think it’s a great book to read, I highly recommend it.
Let’s dive into the three different areas to tackle when you feel overwhelmed and we’re going to start with the home. Your home can be very overwhelming and maybe you don’t know where to start. I am a professional organizer by trade. That’s what I help people do online and in person.
People want to focus on decluttering and getting organized. But really, it boils down to your habits and specifically, your daily habits. I can go into a home or help you declutter your space. But if you don’t have good habits in place, it’s just going to go back to the way it was and the overwhelm is going to set in again.
Adopt a reset mindset if you feel overwhelmed by your home. Instead of letting it all pile up and eventually cleaning it up on Saturday (so, batch cleaning or batch tidying), I “reset” before I move on to another activity, or transition to a different task for that day. Reset and clock out of the activity or task. Reset this area or workspace in your home, and then go on to the next thing.
A lot of us have ADHD when it comes to this. We tend to jump ship all over the place and we’re left with various piles all around our home and workspaces. But we really need to stay focused on one area, one task, reset it and move on.
In homeschooling or in education, we have the Montessori model. Children are taught to reset their play space before they move on. As we become adults, we lose this skill or this idea of resetting our space before we move on.
I do a daily reset at the end of the day. This includes five different areas of my home. The kitchen is my main hub of my home. So, I always make sure my kitchen is reset. The dishes are completely done and put away. We don’t use our dishwasher because I train my kids to wash, dry and put away as we reset all day long. So, that’s one of the daily habits that I’ve taught my kids to do.
I reset the high traffic areas in our home which includes where we store our shoes and our living room. I get the kids involved in this because they’re usually the ones on the couch watching TV. When speaking to my kids, I say “reset” and I don’t say “clean up”. I only use the word “clean” when I’m getting them to actually use a spray bottle and a rag.
“Reset” just clicks in their mind, “oh, I need to put it back where it was, the pillows have to be reset where they were, the blanket has to go back where it was, the remote control needs to go back where it belongs.”
Then, reset the kids’ rooms. When we tuck our kids in at night, we have them reset their room right then. We don’t let the sun go down without resetting their room. Make it a habit for them to reset their room in the morning time as well.
I work from home and have an office. When I’m done for work for the day, I make sure that I reset the space to set me up for success for the next day. I write out my to do list and the top three goals that I want to get done the next day. Then, I reset that space so it’s more welcoming for me the next day.
My children have workspaces as well, because we homeschool. We reset their space and lay out their homeschool books for the next day so it’s already ready for them. They know what they’re going to do the next day without me having to badger them to do it.
The last thing is I reset my to do list because I don’t like to carry around everything in my brain. So, I brain dump everything that I think that I need to do. Then I prioritize it based on what actually needs to be done.
Brooke: When I first learned the daily reset from you, it was life changing. In fact, I tell a lot of my clients to do this too, if they get to the point where they feel overwhelmed. I’ll ask them to define what is actually causing the overwhelm, and depending on where it is, I bring them back to your daily reset.
I reset my kitchen every day. The day that we don’t do it, I wake up and I’m really disappointed in the morning that I didn’t do it. So, I love the practical idea of resetting your space. The state of my home is the state of my mind. I am not productive when I see things scattered and stuff is everywhere. I can’t get any work done or play with my kids. Because all I can think about is house looking like a train wreck. Your daily reset is life changing.
Lisa: Your podcast serves a lot of mompreneurs and entrepreneurs at home. All of you want to get into your work block quickly. What happens without a daily reset is that you end up spending all your time tidying up your home and cleaning up the messes. By learning these habits, decluttering everything and getting it down to your capacity and then putting these habits in place, you’re going to get into your work block more peacefully and on time every day.
Lisa: Now let’s talk about when you feel overwhelmed in your marriage. If you’re anything like me, you love to work and you’re excited about it. If you’ve been home with your kids, and you now have this business that you’re doing, it’s probably your hobby. You can become a workaholic on it. Maybe you’re always trying new things.
Sometimes we lack the time boundaries for ourselves, and that affects our marriage. Our husbands end up not feeling like we’re engaged with them. We’re not giving them attention. I know a lot of people give attention to their kids and to their business and he’s getting the leftovers. Your kids are going to move out one day and you’ll eventually retire from your business, but hopefully your husband is going to be around for the long haul.
We took divorce off the table long ago. I want to have that fairytale marriage, I really do. I need to invest my time and full attention, not from behind my phone, but really giving him the attention that we need to have and maintain a good marriage.
This means communicating well with your husband. As moms who have businesses, we are probably the people or the type of women who are very direct and like to take charge. Sometimes we can be that way towards our spouses. Try to communicate to your husband with a sweeter tone.
My husband has brought this to my attention before. He said, “I don’t mind what you’re saying to me, but I don’t like the way you say it.” I’m like, “Dude, you’re 38 years old, you should handle this.” But really, I want to create that fairytale marriage. By just changing my tone, it makes a huge difference.
You can get your spouse to help, be on board, support your dreams and also have mutual dreams. But when you’re communicating your needs in the home, just change your tone. Play the damsel in distress. Yes, you could probably do all the things. You’re perfectly capable. But let him be your knight in shining armor and come in and rescue you.
Don’t be the whiny wife, who’s been home with the kids all day and say, “Here’s the baby, it’s your turn.” Give him the attention and say, “Hey, kids, you’re going to have to wait because I’m going to spend some time with Dad.” He’s going to feel like he’s the king of his castle, and that you’re the damsel in distress, and he’s going to come in and rescue you.
Set time boundaries and respect them. It’s easy to be a workaholic. We’re so excited about working on our business, creating the website, social media content and everything that we start to work from our laptop in her bed.
Having time blocks and time barriers is going to be really beneficial for your personal care and it’s also going to show your husband that he’s important to you. You’re allowing space for him to enter in and be with you. Because if you’re on your computer, he’s not going to want to interrupt. He’s going to feel like you’re distracted or he’s bothering you.
Set those hard time boundaries and decide when you clock out from your work. Is it at four o’clock? Is it at eight o’clock? When is your prime time to work? Be efficient in your time block, and then clock out for the day.
Brooke: Marriage is one of those topics that I feel like you could be on one side of the spectrum or the other. We’re talking about overwhelm. But I feel like there are going to be listeners who feel very underwhelmed in their marriages. I’m speaking from experience. I think everything that you said is so important for both sides.
You’re either overwhelmed, or you’re underwhelmed, but you’re trying to get into the center where you feel balanced. You feel like you are giving your time and attention and it’s filling your cup and you’re filling your husband’s cup. I have been the business wife who will sit behind her computer for hours and just get lost in it. I’m the same wife that has a problem and is repeatedly told about the tone of my voice. So, I’ve been there
Marriage is a big growth aspect. Having open communication has truly transformed our marriage. You can’t just walk around with expectations and disappointments and emotions and then never tell someone because that’s when you get into blow up arguments. It’s really important as uncomfortable as it is to have open and honest communication and doing it at a time when it’s actually appropriate.
Boundaries are huge and I still struggle with this, but I’ve gotten so much better. I make sure that every single day I hit the three things that matter most. For me that’s business, did I do everything I needed to for the day, my motherhood and marriage. Everything else is extra for me at this point.
My kids do go to school and I am looking forward to back to school because I thrive on routine. When summer comes, I feel like everything is off and that’s when I feel overwhelmed. During the school year, it’s a lot easier for me to be able to feel balanced in all of these areas.
We all struggle with managing time for ourselves. This is a topic that makes me roll my eyes sometimes, because there’s a very non-biblical way to approach this. You can make it to where you’re serving yourself rather than caring for yourself. For me, I skip episodes that talk about this. But I think this is important, because I know you’re coming from it from the deep place of your heart and knowing that filling your cup back up is not to serve yourself.
Lisa: Okay, so we’re going to talk about implementing personal care when you feel overwhelmed. I agree with you, that the whole movement of self-care, especially on social media has become idolatry. They talk about hair and hair extensions and getting your nails done, which there’s nothing wrong with that. But that is in itself, false self-care. Self-care is your body, soul, spirit, your mental well-being. It’s everything that makes you efficient for living your life.
I was a stay-at-home mom. I quit my career, became a mom and completely just gave and gave and gave. Never taking anything for myself that provided for my personal needs and self-care. I felt like I lost myself. I lost the person that God uniquely made. When we take on the identity and the name of mom, we lose the person we were as teenagers, and the person we were in our 20s. We take on the self-sacrifice of everything that we have to do as a mom.
But I started asking myself, “Who is Lisa now? What do I enjoy? What do I like?” It hit me when I turned 30, I’m 38 now, but I went through a midlife crisis at 30. I thought, “Oh, my goodness, all of the fun things and all of the great things in life happened in my 20s. What’s left of life? There’s nothing left to look forward to.”
I got the house, bought the car, got the career, had the kids, everything. And I thought life is over. There’s nothing left. At 30, I started thinking about myself. I realized that nobody else was. Everybody else was thinking about themselves and what they liked. Nobody was thinking for me. So, I started thinking about what I like.
I took piano lessons. I got on YouTube and learned how to French braid. This seems like silly stuff but at the time, I wanted to feel alive again. I wanted to challenge myself and to get back to who God uniquely made. I have dreams, desires and passions. This is biblical because God uses each individual person to serve a purpose and a calling in this world.
Yes, my calling was motherhood. But there was more to me than just self-sacrifice of being a mom. I had to really discover who Lisa was again. Getting back to thinking about yourself, not in a selfish way, like hair and nails. It’s beyond that. It’s discovering who you uniquely are. What are the gifts and talents that God has given you? Allow yourself time to build on that.
So that goes into time blocking, which is life changing when you feel overwhelmed by everything going on in life and in your business. I learned how to time block my day and be efficient with my time to prioritize my essential needs and become my own best friend. Let the goal of a better tomorrow, drive and motivate you to take action today. That goes back to the reset for me. If I don’t do it now, my tomorrow self is going to have a bad day.
I’m going to get my butt out of my bed and just go clean my dishes and put them completely away before I close my eyes at night. Because I want myself to have a better tomorrow. Think about this idea of being your best friend. Would your best friend stand in front of you and tear you down, saying how ugly you are?
That’s something else that I learned how to do is to think of myself as being beautiful and being pretty. A lot of us, especially as Christians, think it’s vanity or not being humble. We can’t call ourselves pretty or think of ourselves as being beautiful. God created us. He created this artwork. How dare we say that we’re not beautiful.
We wouldn’t tell our daughter or our best friend that. So why are we having that negative self-talk for ourselves? Time block your essential needs, have positive self-talk and keep in mind that you are your best friend. Let that motivate you to take action today to have a better tomorrow.
Brooke: I’ll be 29 by the time this airs, I feel like I’m at that quarter life crisis of “oh my gosh, like, I do the same thing all the time.” I don’t have any hobbies, and the friends have kind of dissolved. My husband and I just had this conversation over the weekend about finding things that you enjoy doing, It is a little more difficult because we live in a teeny, tiny town and we don’t have all the options.
But I’m making notes of, “What do I enjoy doing? What are the things that light me up? When were the best times that I laughed so hard, what did those look like? That has really encouraged me to get back to those and actually make time for it.
One thing that I realized working over the last eight years of running a business, especially with a photography business, is that I used to book sessions and work and work and work. That was my face-to-face interaction with other human beings. That was my excuse to go out and do something different. I really enjoyed it and I was also getting paid for it. I felt like that was a win, win. But over the years looking back, I never created space. I never said “no” and never did a lot of these things that we’ve talked about today, especially with boundaries and time blocking.
I found myself no longer getting invites to anything, because I always said “no”. It’s very interesting that over time we start realizing what we need. You brought up such good points, especially figuring out what our essential needs are when we feel overwhelmed. Scheduling ourselves on our own calendar. You brought so much fire today. I know you have a whole lot more to say. Your podcast is amazing, especially for those of you really wanting to build habits in your home, and through your relationships as well. Lisa, what are your podcasts called? Where can people connect with you further?
Lisa: Yes, I’m going to touch on what you said, and give people some ideas. Do things that don’t earn you money or have the potential for networking, you’re not even looking for clients. Just do things that fill you up. You could take adult dance class, schedule lunch and meet up with friends. Learn how to become a better friend. These are things I share over on my podcast.
My podcast is called the Habits and Home Show. You can go to habitsandhome.com and find all the things over there my blog, my podcast, my services, and as well as a freebie that we’ve been talking about, which is my daily reset checklist.
If you are struggling and feel overwhelmed with managing your home, with being your best friend, go over there and print it out. Laminate it, put it on a clipboard, put it in your kitchen, and check it off every day until it becomes a habit. It is life changing. It has been for me, and I know it will be for you.
Brooke: Yes, go get the daily reset checklist. It will change your life and be your first step in the right direction if you feel overwhelmed so that you can feel present, joyful, at peace and all of those things. Lisa, thank you so much for all of this. This was so good. I may have to go back and listen all on my own once we publish this episode, just because you hit on such amazing thing.
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