If you’re like me, going from one season into the next can be equal parts exciting, exhausting and overwhelming. This time of year gets me excited for the return to rhythms and routines of the school year for my kids. (A lot of this excitement comes from my love of school supplies and living vicariously through them with back to school shopping, but I digress). I love the start of football season and bonfires. And I cannot WAIT for cooler weather so I can resume my weekly practice of making bone broth and soups again. 

The whiplash of early morning school drop-offs, keeping up with everyone’s after school schedules, and planning (then preparing) dinner 5 nights a week can be exhausting. Throw in growing a business and other normal life stuff, and suddenly I’m overwhelmed and September’s only just begun. I’ve learned that I need a transition period to get my mind and body prepared for the routines of the next season. Yes, I fully realize we’re already into the new season now that school has started, but I’m a slow transitioner. 🙂 

Enter The Lazy Genius…

In early August, Lori Ellen loaned me her copy of Kendra Adachi’s The Lazy Genius Way. It has eased me into this new season in the kindest yet most pragmatic of ways. One of Kendra’s principals for “embracing what matters, ditching what doesn’t, and getting stuff done” is to Essentialize. She says, “True fulfillment comes from subtraction, from removing everything that distracts you from what matters, and leaving only what’s essential.” I cannot adequately articulate how much I needed this statement going into this new season of life. 

Photo by: Harmonie House Images

See, I have a tendency to overcommit and say yes to allllll the things. I don’t want to disappoint and I don’t want to miss out in my relationships, both personal and professional. Always saying yes doesn’t work well for me – at all. Prioritizing what matters most and learning to manage (and essentialize) my time accordingly has been vital to me feeling calm and sane during these busy weeks of a new season. Our girl Kendra lays out a 3-step plan to Essentialize: 

1. Name what matters 

2. Remove what’s in the way 

3. Keep only the essentials

Essentializing in My Personal Life

One way I’ve found this essentialism mentality to be helpful in my family life is when our kids get home from school, they put their phones on the kitchen counter for a few hours. It helps them get into the habit of stepping away from the noise and distractions. It helps them to choose to spend their time differently. What matters is:

  • their mental health
  • for our family to feel connected and bonded after being away from each other all day.

And, for the love, putting their phones down helps get that homework completed on time – which totally matters!

“True fulfillment comes from subtraction, from removing everything that distracts you from what matters, and leaving only what’s essential.”

-Kendra Adachi, The Lazy Genius

Essentializing in Business

For Harmonie House, Lori Ellen and I are implementing essentialism in a few different ways. One of which is marking on the calendar and planning out our blog posts for the upcoming quarter. We’re working on growing our SEO and it’s literally essential that we put time and energy towards blogging. We’ve started setting aside a day each quarter to brainstorm blog topics. We then schedule a chunk of time to write them out. Believe it or not, this actually matters to the growth of our business. It will help us to move some “marketing eggs” out of the Instagram basket and into other baskets that are essential for our business. 

Here’s Your Homework

Ok, so in the spirit of back to school season, here’s some homework for you. Keep those 3 steps in mind. Think through parts of your business or home life that could use some essentializing. What would it look like for you to take a small step today towards essenitalizing those areas?

As with most things, it takes me some time to find my rhythm. I’m by no means the expert in essentializing now that I’ve read Kendra’s book. Y’all should see my kitchen pantry. It’s a mess (but when I’m ready to start that little project, guess what? I’ve got a plan in place)! 🙂 But instead of feeling the familiar overwhelm creeping in, I’m finding myself entering this new season hopeful, expectant, and a little more prepared than previous Septembers. Life will inevitably feel a little sideways at times, but I’m confident that keeping the practice of essentialism – naming what matters, removing what’s in the way, and keeping only the essentials – will help me to maintain a sense of grounded presence both at home and in my work.