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Just 8 years ago, I was earning $14,000 a year as a preschool teacher. We had a comfortable life and I was living in my comfort zone. But then I made the life decision to get into sales as my own boss with a network marketing skin care company. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today I run a multiple six-figure business and I employ a team, as well as lead a 7-figure team of other saleswomen across the world. I participate in a mastermind and coaching myself. As a coach, I lead daily trainings and help develop other women in their own businesses. I show up for my audience on social media. I also have a great marriage and three amazing kids. Somewhere in there, I also manage to have a committed fitness regimen and a spiritual practice.

The hotshots in my Level Up Challenge often ask me:

  • “Wow Heather, what planner do you use?”
  • “How do you get it all done?”
  • “Can you teach me what calendar system you use?”
  • And every once in a while… “how did you get so lucky?”

How the heck DO I get it all done? And how the heck did I go from $14k a year to that first $14k month and then to my current level of success? Is it my magical time management?

Sort of.

My one time management tip is this: just say no. And say no without guilt.

My time management is not about my colorful sticky notes, my day planner, or my favorite highlighting pens. It’s about clarity, focus, discipline, and saying no. In that order.

It’s not about my colorful sticky notes, my day planner, or my favorite highlighting pens.
It’s about clarity, focus, discipline, and saying no. In that order.

The bigger your goal, the fewer your options.
Overnight success happens over many, many, many nights….and early mornings.

If you have a big goal (and I truly hope you do!), you need to remove distractions and non-essential activities. When you single-mindedly focus, you don’t get to do all the things and honestly, balance will go by the wayside for a while.

I believe that we can have it all, but not all at the same time.

When I was building my business from absolutely nothing (I didn’t even have a single social media account), I had to pour all of my focus and intensity into it. When I reached my first six-figure year in business, I was also homeschooling three children. I was also building my network and spending 10 hours per week (not even including drive time) meeting 10 new women over coffee!

During that time, I was not:

  • Camping during Idaho’s beautiful summer weekends
  • Working out at the gym (or at home)
  • Volunteering in my kids’ classrooms and activities
  • Enjoying happy hours on the patio with my friends
  • Having weekly date nights with my husband
  • Giving up on myself, even when I wanted to quit

Now let me be clear. Those activities are all important for a healthy, vibrant life. But when you’re finally committed and taking action toward your big goal, there are not enough hours in the day to do it all. I accomplished so much – and still do accomplish – because I focus with intensity.

Now that I’ve achieved a level of success (and by the way, I’m not at the “finish line” of success, I’m always reaching for my new level), I make time for exercise, for each member of my family, for friendships, and for everything that brings me joy.

While I’m at the point now in my business where I have the balance that I worked so hard for. It took years of building that business, learning along the way, and saying no.

Time management is about discipline and priorities
Okay yes, there are techniques and tools that I use to be highly productive. I batch tasks such as social media. I delegate to my team. I hire help in many parts of my life and business.

I have learned to delegate what I can and to buckle down and do what I need to do myself. Without guilt and without excuses. Is there a shortcut to time management? Maybe. But I’d wager that if there was a shortcut, it would still involve learning to say no.

Say no so you can say yes to something bigger.