29. Empowering Women Through Time Management: Reclaiming Harmony in Work & Life

Aubrey and Tara are joined by Megan Sumrell, Founder of ThePinkBee app and Time Management Coach for Women. Megan’s calling is to shift work-life overwhelm toward balance and empowerment through her TOP Planning System. Megan shares her story from working in single-hood to managing the overwhelm of a full-time career while navigating the role as a mother. Telling her story of how she reclaimed her work and life balance, she also shares communication tactics, systems, and productivity tools that will be sure to restore balance and harmony to your work and home life.

About Megan Sumrell:

Megan is a Time Management Coach for Women and helps them move from overwhelm to empowerment through her TOP Planning System. She is on a mission to stop the hustle culture and help women reclaim real Work+Life harmony using realistic and feminine planning tools and systems.

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Show Transcript

Tara: I’m Tara Claeys. 

Aubrey: And I’m Aubrey Bursch. Today we’re joined by Megan Sumrell. Megan is a time management coach for women and helps them move from overwhelm to empowerment through her top planning system. She’s on a mission to stop the hustle culture and help women reclaim real work and life harmony using realistic and feminine planning tools and systems. Welcome, Megan, we’re so excited you’re here. 

Megan: Thank you. I am thrilled to be here today. 

Tara: Yeah, I can’t wait to chat with you and hear more about what you do. I’m a productivity geek, and have tried so many different things, some of which have worked and some haven’t. So I can’t wait to hear about your process, but let’s start if you would, just by telling us a little bit more about yourself and how you got started in this field.

Megan: Yeah, I did not, you know, wake up, or at six years old, I wasn’t saying I want to help women with time management when I grow up. Right. Um, actually I wanted to be an astronaut forever. But my background is actually in the software space. So I was a math major. So shout out to all the math teachers out there, and fell into an IT career that I was in for over 20 years. I loved it, to kind of sum it up. I was called what they call a software quality architect. I would go into large scale software organizations help them rebuild their systems so that they could deliver software better, faster, cheaper. And I really did love what I do or did. And I got married later in life and therefore started a family later in life. And I could remember. Like those days where I’d be in Target as single Megan. And you’d see the mom at the end of her day, looking a little frazzled with the kids. And because I thought I managed my time and my life so well, I’d be like, oh, that’ll never be me. Well, yeah. Fast forward to the Megan as a mom. And, to put it bluntly, I just felt like the wheels fell off when my daughter was born. Everything, all the tools, systems kind of organizational stuff I had used, they stopped working. And I was, you know, juggling this working, full-time being a mom and then also working on building a different side business at the time. And there was this day, my daughter was about three and I had, you know, finished up work early to get her to the park. Was that beautiful, like fall crisp day here in North Carolina. And I’m pushing her on the swings and the mom next to me says, “what do you do for fun?” I just paused and in the moment was like, I don’t, I didn’t have an answer. And it rocked me to my core that I didn’t have an answer because I couldn’t remember when I stopped being able to answer that question. And I went home that night and I can just remember I was in my closet crying. Cause sometimes as moms that’s like the only place you can go for some privacy is in your closet. And I was sitting on the floor, just really sobbing. Cause I, I was looking back over my life and thinking I felt guilty because I finally had all the things I said I wanted to have. And I was fundamentally unhappy because I lost myself in the journey of serving others and waking up and getting as much done as I could all day and then collapsing into bed at night. And I think women and moms in particular, we get stuck in this, it’s just a phase mentality. I was like, this isn’t a phase like this is not good. And that was really the catalyst to have me realize you do this for a living, Megan. You go in and look at people’s systems and processes. Why don’t you flip the mirror around and take yourself on as a client and so I threw all of my planning systems away, and really rebuilt from the ground up. And friends and family started noticing I was very different. I was happier, more rested, more myself again. And so some local women networking groups invited me to come speak. I started sharing with them what I was doing. And after time I just went, this, this is my calling in life. So I left my corporate career and that is my mission and passion is to make sure if any woman gets asked, “what do you do for fun?” you have, you have at least more than one thing to say. 

Aubrey: I think I can relate on so many levels to your story. And I, and many of our listeners can too. A lot of our listeners are, you know, women and mothers. And so that what you just described there is so realistic and happens. And I’m sure as we’re looking at, you know, what’s happening now, with the many responsibilities people are juggling at home and work, especially women and mothers, you know, I’d love to know given your experience and this calling that you have, like, what are some tips that can help women gain more time and feel less stressed?

Megan: Yeah, there’s, there’s so many little subtle things, but at the heart of all of it is learning to embrace a weekly planning process when it comes to how you’re looking at: here are the 8,000 things that I either want or have to get done, and here’s what the next seven, the realities of what the next seven days look like. And a lot of the planners and even planning systems. I mean, I went through all of them in my younger years, the Franklin Covey’s, the Heisman, I’ve done all the trainings. And so many of them teach this, “okay, at the start of every day, sit down and pick your top three, and then you’re going to work through them.” And bottom line is that really that doesn’t work for most women, because if I am waking up and saying, okay, what am I going to do today? Like, let me start thinking about it. It’s too late. Cause I’m now in reaction mode, I’ve got the kid, I’ve got the job, the text, the this and it’s like the fire. Yeah, you got your fire hose out and you’re just trying to put them out all day long. Instead, if you can sit down, I like to do mine on Sunday. There’s no rule to what day you do it. When you’re in a quieter place, you’re calm. You’re not in the thick of it. And you can take the realities of here’s all my commitments for the week. Here are the constraints that I have to work with. Here’s all the stuff. Now what realistically can I get done? And when can I best fit it in to kind of get that alignment to maximize my best time. And so I have an entire, I have a basic process, which is a five-step process. I have an advanced one, that’s a 10 step that really shows people, how do you create a realistic, weekly plan so that at the end of the week, we can celebrate what we got done instead of beating ourselves up for while I didn’t get these 20 things done on my list. When the reality is you were trying to fit 40 hours of work into a 24 hour day, day after day after day. And it just, it sets you up for a feeling of failure, right? 

Tara: Yeah, for sure. There’s so many things going through my head and I- similar journey in terms of, trying to do too many things and, and having a, to do list that’s pages long and trying to be, you know, realistic about all of that. And I have read the books and tried the planners and tried the timers and done all of that and also, you know, working a job. So trying to fit that into all the life stuff. I, I really appreciate what you’re describing and I think many people have gone through that. For me. I’ve also found that planning and Sundays and planning my week ahead is a, is a real key to my peace of mind. And to feeling productive because you can, you know, you can lay out what your appointments are that are scheduled and look at your free time. And there’s all different ways to approach that. And so it’s made a huge difference for me just in terms of my purpose that I feel like I have in, in my family, in my work and my community, because you can fit all those pieces in when you stop and just step back and look at that on Sunday. So I love the idea of looking at your week ahead and I I’m totally on board with that. Talking about making that plan and having, having tools that you use. As we said, we’ve tried all the different planners and I’m sure, I’m sure there’s some personal preference, right?

Tara: Yes. It’s in the eye of the beholder on what works for you, but for you, can you tell us more about the tools that you use? And I know you have a planner that, that you offer as well. So if you can describe what makes that different? 

Megan: Yeah, the key to a, what I believe makes a successful planner is, well, there’s a couple of things. First of all, it cannot be a daily planner. Like if, if you are in and I used one for a long time, I had the Franklin Covey daily planner for like 15 years. And here’s what would happen, again, you’re in that reactive, I’d sit down, here’s my plan for the day. And then the next day, how would I spend the first 10 minutes? Rewriting all the things that didn’t get done on Monday now onto Tuesday’s page. And then by Friday, I’m like, I swear, I’ve written this list five times and one day it hit me. I was like, how much my life am I wasting rewriting the same stuff from page to page to page. And there’s a bunch of other reasons why daily planners lead you to be over committed and overwhelmed. So first and foremost, you need to have a planner that gives your week at a view. And if it has the weekly and daily, throw that one out too, that’s a waste of paper. All you need is your weekly view. Now, with the weekly view, it can’t be one of those where each day is an empty rectangle. Like it needs to have the times with it. So like the layout of my planner, and there are other planners like this as well, where each day is a column. And then it actually, mine starts at 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM. So that in every 30 minutes slot, you’re able to write down how you’re spending your time. Because again, if you just have an empty rectangle for Monday and you’ve got 10 things in there, well, was that realistic? Was it not? How are you working at around, you know, the layout is, is tough. So that is really the number one thing I tell people, get a weekly planner that has the times, and is a week at a view. And for some people, the first question is digital or paper. Are you going to be a digital planner or a paper planner? And the real difference there is what your lifestyle is. So when I was in, in a corporate job, staring at three huge computer monitors all day, every day, Google Calendar was my central planning system because the monitor so big. So I could see my week at a view and really plan. Now, my life is so fluid. I’m at my desk very little half the time where I am making yes, no decisions about how I’m spending my time, I’m not in front of a monitor. So that’s why I now use full-time a paper planning system because I can, I can take that with me anywhere., And I also have a digital version of it on my iPad, so I can truly, if I’m going on vacation, just bring my iPad. But it’s that week we get a view and it makes it a lot more fluid. So that’s the number one thing I tell people is, “where are you when you’re making decisions about your time?” Because if you’re using this tiny little screen size on your mobile device, that is not going to work well because you just can’t see enough information to make a good choice.

Aubrey: So interesting, I appreciate that. And I have a question, this follow-up question. So let’s say you’re, you know, a mom who is doing all the things and maybe has the calendar on the phone and then is looking to switch to like maybe the week view and like either online or digital or paper- what are some mindset shifts that have to happen? Because I’m just thinking like sometimes productivity and planning and everything like that. Like you have the things, but your mindset isn’t where it needs to be in order to embrace the changes. And I’m sure having run the top program for so long, you have sensed that there are some common challenges that women have to overcome. Could you speak about that a little bit and that mindset along that? 

Megan: There are so many, and I think the first one is understanding, well at least what my definition of productivity is, and it’s interesting because people say you’re a productivity coach. And I said, no, I’m not. I made time management coach because people confuse the two and think they’re the same thing. And they are not, I know some highly productive people who do not manage their time well at all. And I know people are very good at managing their time who aren’t very productive because they’re not good at alignment side of planning. So when I talk about productivity for me, the definition is getting the most important things done in a way that doesn’t stress you out. That’s it. Which might mean you’re getting one thing done. So first taking that step back that, “guess what? We’re not in a race, you’re not competing against your neighbor to check off more on your list than they did.” And to realize that at the end of the week, if you can say, I got the most important thing done and the 20 non-important things done is going to make you feel a lot better than having more checks off. So I think that’s the biggest mind shift to make is figuring out what you’re going to lean into. When you think about how you feel productive at the end of the week and how you’re going to celebrate that. The second is learning that our mobile devices. Are a fantastic resource, but they cannot be the tool that we use to run our lives. And it’s hard because we walk around the computer in our pocket, right? And I can remember, one of my first jobs. This is how old I am. It was a big deal because I got issued a pager because I was in charge of a software system that it would go down. 

Tara: Was it clipped to your Franklin covey planner, was it clipped to the cover of your Franklin covey planner? 

Megan: Oh yeah. Well, except for what I was out and about, then it was clipped on the inside of my, my, my pants, which was tricky as a woman, you know, back in the day where we wore pantyhose and all of that to work, like how you carry this thing around when you were in a dress? But it was connected to this piece of software that I was responsible for. And you know, you’d be out on a Friday night and that pager would go off. Well, then I had to go find a payphone cause we didn’t, I mean, mobile, mobile devices weren’t around, but here’s what was so great about that, which is so different from today’s world. You know, other than the pager, which it went off very rarely when I left work and went home. Work did not follow me home, right? And when I was at work, home wasn’t eeking in there because you didn’t have computers at home. We didn’t have all of these devices. Well, I’m a lover of technology. And so while the phone opens up so much freedom for us, it also puts a tremendous sense of feeling like we’re people can get at us all the time. So I really work with everyone to help them understand. Your mobile device is a resource, but you have to be in control of it. It shouldn’t send you any, like basically I told them your phone should never talk to you. So my phone is always in silent mode. I never get any notifications that show up. And then our phones are sophisticated enough, I have it set up so that if my husband, my child or the school calls or texts that’s the only time my phone makes a sound. So then if I hear it, I’m like, oh, hang on, I’ve decided this is important enough to interrupt my day. And so if we can get our head around the fact, that just because we’re accessible does not mean we have to be available 24/7 to everybody at us. Then that is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in saying, “I don’t need to answer that text right now. That can wait.” And that’s why my phone doesn’t talk to me. I have set times of the day I check in to say, now I am available to go and respond to anything, you know, any notifications or stuff like that, that have come with my phone. But I think those two biggies getting your head around what it really means to be productive. And then you controlling your mobile device instead of letting it control you- are two of the biggest wins you can get early on.

Aubrey: That’s huge. I want to make a quote card of that and stick it on – everywhere. I feel like it’s that, that, you know, we have this, this amazing little computer and yet, you know, is it really taking away from living our lives and doing the things we need to do? And what you said just resonated so much with me. So thank you, I appreciate the reminder. 

Megan: And I mean, I know it’s easier said than done, right? Do I have to catch myself? Of course I do. I’m human, right? But the more, the more aware of it we are, the easier it is for us to say, I don’t need to do that. Like I can wait, right? 

Aubrey: I have a follow-up question to that. So I’m wondering, you know, COVID and the last few years have not been easy on anyone, but certainly I would say, well for, certainly for people working in the academic world, it’s, it’s been incredibly challenging. Also, if you happen to be a parent or a mom, and you’re juggling the things at home, certainly there’s a lot going on there. I’m wondering, what have you seen happen with women, especially in the past two years in terms of how they’re feeling and what sort of challenges they’re up against and what sort of support they’re needing or opportunities they have moving into this next year?

Megan: Yeah, I think the biggest thing, and I mean, I went through this myself as well when the pandemic first hit is just that the lines of work and home are completely blurred. There, there is no I’m done with work now at home, because everybody is at home. And so it feels as though, I know for myself and I’m still, I’m still a work in progress on this, but all the women that I’m talking to is this sense of feeling like I have to do everything and it’s a “have to”, and it’s an “everything”, you know, I love, I’m all about women empowerment and I love this movement of we can do anything, but somehow the we can do anything is being turned into, so then therefore we will have to do everything. And, you know, maybe if you’ve had some more traditional roles at home, those are being challenged. And then even for the, you know, the teachers out there, my heart goes out to you because, you know, I’m, I’m on the home side of it juggling, initially the virtual learning and now every day, are we virtual? Are we not? And so there is a tremendous amount of, you know, I feel a sense of responsibility to support my daughter’s education in a way I didn’t before the pandemic hit, because you know, they’re having to learn my daughter wasn’t computer illiterate before this, but now that’s where everything is. Textbooks are like, all of that stuff is gone. So the parents are feeling this burden. So I know as I am one, we’re leaning into these poor teachers, even more going, for the love of God, where do I find her homework on Google classroom? Like, why can’t I find this? This is very frustrating. And so then you’ve got these poor educators who are now not able to teach in the way that they know is amazing and bring all of that to the table because of all, all of the virtual and technology challenges and everything that then I know a lot of my teacher friends are like, yeah, well, I come home and I’m spending my entire afternoon trying to help either the kid or the parent because of the tech. So then, but they’ve also got kids at home and then they’re trying to support theirs as well. And this is where I just feel like there’s no clear delineation between I’m now done with work and now I am at home, because we all want to pitch in and help each other out. And so I think it’s, you know, some of the changes we had to make here in our house was just a real kind of sit down in a review of roles and responsibilities and say, we have to start over. Let’s forget the, “but you’ve always done the school drop off,” and like, we have to start over and really look at, you know, with your job, with my job, with the needs, for our kid, with the uncertainty with school. We need to get a clean slate here and get some new roles and responsibilities. And I think the sooner that families can sit down and have that conversation, the better, because this is the new normal, right? Everyone’s like, oh, it’ll be back. No, we don’t, no, chaos and uncertainty is the new normal. So let’s put some systems in place at home that makes sure everybody gets downtime. Everybody has time to refuel. Everybody has time where they get to be fully present at work or fully present at home instead of meshing it all together.

Tara: Yeah, it’s an excellent point. And I think a lot of our listeners, they work in schools and many of them have their kids in that same school or in different schools. So for them, it’s actually triple because their job is the school, is the home. And so I think they’re probably feeling this even more so because that they’re, they’re always at school because their kids are in school, in the same school or, it’s just something that they face all the time. So I think definitely something that’s weighing heavily on, on our listeners, especially-

Megan: I’ll say, you know, I’ve had some of my daughter’s teachers. I appreciate it. They are very clear at the start of the year on their boundaries, around communications with parents and the ones that have really stuck to it and set their boundaries and honored it, as a parent, it’s almost freeing because I know, yeah. I, I don’t feel bad sending an email at six o’clock at night to that teacher, because I know that teacher’s not checking their email because they’ve made it very clear with me. These are the boundaries in which you can communicate with me. And here is when I will check and respond. So it’s opened up freedoms to me to not feel bad. I know they’re not going to deal with it till the time that they’ve set. So I would just encourage, you know, all the educators listening, set, set your boundaries with your families and be oober clear with them. And then hold them. Cause the minute you don’t, the minute I get that response at seven, whether you realize it or not, I’m now expecting it next time, right? And I’m going to be like, why didn’t they respond? So you have a right to, to walk away from work and be fully present with your family. And we’re, we’re fine with that, you know? 

Tara: Yeah. Even if you see the email at seven, schedule it to send in the morning, don’t send it right away. 

Megan: And I do that with my own clients as well, you know? Cause there may be a night where I’m feeling like working or whatever. And I will just say, I am not either not responding to that to the morning or I’ll write it up and queue it up to send in the morning as well. 

Tara: So I’m going to move on and talk about mindfulness a little bit, because that’s what we like to talk about here. And I’m going to throw in my own experience as part of this question, talking about mindfulness, when it comes to this planning, this idea of planning and time management, a few years ago, my kids are grown and so they don’t live here anymore. And so I’ve had to kind of go back to the drawing board a little bit in terms of how I plan my time, because they’re not part of my daily plan anymore. And so I really took a big step back and, and not just planning my week or my day or even my month, I used a process called the 12 week year, but I, 

Megan: I know that book, I love that book. 

Tara: I love it too. And I actually set big goals. Not, not these are my to-do list, but how do my, how does my to-do list support these big goals of who I want to be- James Clear, another shout out to another great book, Atomic Habits, talking about like the kind of person that I want to be and the things that I need to do to support that and how I fit those into my weekly plan is a very mindful thing. So when I look at my day or my week for me, I, I have to do that top level plan before I can even get to the other stuff. So that’s my approach, but I’m curious for you how mindfulness applies to what you do and how you might also apply it to people who are working in a school everyday?

Megan: So two things, first I want to circle back on your, on your comment about, you know, those big things and then having the daily plan support with them. I always say that my planning system is what I call a bottom-up instead of a top-down approach, because most productivity planning, they do start you with, “okay, let’s get your visions, let’s get your dreams.” They get you all excited about it, right? And then you break it down into an action plan and then you get home and you never get started because your day-to-day is a hot mess. So I start with people at the weekly planning level and say, we have got to get you out of churn and out of a state of reaction first, then now we’re in a position to say, okay, what are those big dreams and goals? Because now you’ve got the framework in place that now you can pull those activities in because you’ve got space for it. And so I would encourage anyone listening if you feel like, “yeah, what’s the point in having these big goals? I don’t have the time for it.” Pause on that for now, and then that’s where you need to spend your time is getting out of the weeds so you have that. And when I think about, you know, my approach to mindfulness, when it comes to time, is I always like to walk people through an exercise of figuring out how much is one hour of their time worth. And it pains me, usually. When I get a large group of women and we do this because there’s always women in there, they’re like, “I don’t know, maybe 10 bucks an hour.” And I just, I want to weep for them because our time is worth, so, I mean, you can’t put a price tag on it, right? But I’ll walk them through an exercise and say, let’s write down everything, all the roles that you serve. You know, whether it’s your job then, if you’re the primary caregiver, okay. Babysitter, the chauffer, you’re cooking, you’re doing the cleaning. Maybe you’re running the finances for the house. So I’m like, we list all those out and I’ll say, okay, now, do you know what the hourly rate for all of this as if you were to outsource it? Some of these are hourly rates at 400 bucks an hour, right? So then we go through that and then we add it all up. And lo and behold, everyone’s like, what you mean? My time is worth like 450 bucks an hour. Yes. Yes it is. And when you can own that or even higher, cause honestly, I think it’s even more than that. How you approach your, any moment that you’re in, I’m always asking myself, let’s say, I said my time was worth 500 bucks an hour is what I’m doing right now. If someone were to hand me $500 and say, I’ll trade you. Is it worth it? Sometimes it’s a jolt to me to be like, Megan, what are you doing? This is not, you’re not present. You’re not, you’re not invested in what you’re doing. You’re wasting time. Whereas other times I, Friday night, movie night is sacred at my house. We are snuggled on the couch. We were eating popcorn. We’re in our jammies. We’re watching a movie. And if someone walked in the door and said, I’ll give you $500, I’d be like, heck no, This is far worth so much more than what anybody could come in and hand me at any given time. And it’s, it’s the simplest way I can think to relate time to money, because I think, you know, sometimes when we put that dollar value on things, we feel more invested in it, but that also really helps you hone in on your priorities on where you’re going to spend your time. So when I’m looking at a week where I’m really full and I see very little time for something, and I’m looking up against a list of 80 things I want to get done, when I can bring that mindset to it, it helps me zero in on. Okay, well, I’m going to shoot for these maybe four. These are the four things I see happening this week. And I wouldn’t trade that $500 to get those done. And for women that are struggling with feeling their worth, sometimes this is a great way to give them a little bit of a pep talk on just how worthy and worth full their time really is.

Aubrey: Thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate that. Time is so precious and especially if you’re looking at your children and how quickly that time flies by when they’re growing up, understanding the value of what you have to offer in your time and using that as a tool. That’s just amazing. And I appreciate- 

Megan: I mean, it’s hard. I mean, when you’re playing your six hundredth game of Candyland, I’d probably be like, dear God, give me $2 and I’ll trade you for that. But, but not for the, not for the presence of the moment. I wouldn’t trade that special time for that money. So, yeah. I mean the, you know, you gotta get your head around some of it, cause it doesn’t mean everything is fun, but it’s more what that time represents.

Tara: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. I’ll also say that, in terms of the bottom-up to top-down planning, for me, when I did that, it was at the time in my life where all of that busy stuff went away, because my kids were gone. So there, you know, I think there’s also an opportunity at different points in your life where you can start to start fresh and do that big thinking it’s, it’s been life-changing for me. Yeah. And it helped me deal with the sadness of losing that mom job, right? 

Megan: Yeah. And I just, I want to help as many women as I can not have to wait until that, right? Because if you can’t have those, if you can’t answer the question, what do I do for fun? Or what, what, what goal are you working on? That’s not okay. That’s not something we should ever have to put the pause button on ever. 

Aubrey: Absolutely. Well, we’re at this time in the show where we like to ask our guests certain questions. So are you ready to dive in? 

Megan: I’m ready. I’m ready. 

Aubrey: All right. What are the most important things you do to grow personally and professionally?

Megan: So I read, I read a lot, and I, I am not a, audible book for some reason that doesn’t work for me. So I need the physical book. I consume a ridiculous amount of podcasts. That is my, what I call good version of multitasking. So when I’m folding laundry, I’m listening to podcasts. Sometimes I walk with silence. Sometimes I listen to podcasts and most importantly, I have time for myself. I plan it. I prioritize it and I honor it every single week. And what that looks like, just, I let it kind of whatever mood I’m in, I’m in, but I just, I’m always, always looking to consume information and learn. Just never stop learning.

Tara: Yeah. Great advice. Thank you. Okay. We’re going to do some rapid fire questions here before we sign off. So if you could put one book as mandatory reading for in the high school curriculum, what would it be? 

Megan: And this is from a very selfish place. I would encourage any educator teaching young girls to read a book called Raising Worry-Free girls. Anxiety really is an epidemic with our, get emotional about this, cause my daughter battles this a lot. But that book is incredibly insightful into what these young girls are navigating right now. And to give a little glimpse in that. Um, it’s amazing. 

Aubrey: I’m definitely reading that. Thank you, I appreciate it. I have a young daughter as well, so, it’s always on my mind. I feel like they’re facing so much more than I had growing up. So thank you. Um, okay. What is one app, I’m so curious for your answer, what is one app you could not live with? 

Megan: Okay, well, jokingly shameless plug, my app. So I have an app in the app store. ThePinkBee that actually gives a ton of free training on it, shows you how to do my weekly planning, all of that. But I, I build it, I don’t actually consume it. The app I use the most, other than my, chatting with my family is Trello. So Trello is my go-to tool for juggling everything in my brain. And then I use that tool to bring into my weekly planning, but there’s an app for it as well. So when I’m out and about, and I remember the thing or have the idea, I add it right into Trello. So if I didn’t have that, I’d have to revamp one of my processes for sure. 

Tara: Great, okay, next question. What are you reading right now?

Megan: Actually just yesterday, I just started Brene Brown’s new book, Atlas of the Heart. So I’m very, I’m only a couple pages in, but I’m really excited about it. 

Aubrey: Oh, how fun, I love it. What is one great piece of advice you’d like to leave us with? 

Megan: I would, and to just stay in line with my whole mission on work-life harmony is to really encourage everybody to, to embrace this idea of striving for harmony and not balance because this whole work-life balance movement, whether you realize it or not is leading you to overcommit and to overwhelm. Because when you think about balance, we think everything has to be equal, right? So we’re starting to carve up our day and we’ll, if I do two hours of work, then I need to be present for two hours with my kids. And then two- and that just leads us up to be, it’s a recipe for failure. Instead when we can embrace this idea of harmony that over the course of time, whether it’s a week or a month, you may need to lean in 95% into one aspect of your life for a day or two, and then step away and lean in somewhere else. And I like to think of the analogy with it, of like an orchestra when you listen to them, play, it’s so harmonious and beautiful, but all the instruments aren’t getting equal play and they’re not all playing at the same time. And so to really think about how you can be, give yourself permission to step away from certain things at certain time and not have everything be balanced.

Tara: Great analogy. I love the orchestra analogy, thanks. Megan, it has been a real treat to have you with us today, and I really appreciate all the advice and thoughts that you shared with us. Where can our audience find you online? 

Megan: So I’m easy to find. It’s just Megan Sumrell, both Instagram and Facebook. I do a ton of trainings, videos, and then also I would encourage you to go download ThePinkBee app. There’s no spaces in it. So it’s just ThePinkBee all one word, and you’ll get a glimpse into seeing exactly how I do my weekly planning. And then I’ve also got a whole little training in there on how to set up your phone to minimize distractions and maximize productivity as well. So that’s been a fun one for folks.

Aubrey: Awesome. Thank you, Megan. 

Tara: Thank you so much. Thank you. Alright, bye-bye.  

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