delegation

Ep 116: Everything Back-to-School, Totally Systemized & Simplified

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This episode is a little different. It is actually the audio from a live class that I led on social media. And it is jam packed with some serious value. I’ve got everything that you would need for the back-to-school season and beyond. This episode is about systems, organization, and a streamlined, simplified approach to handling incoming paperwork, email systems, extracurricular activities, routines & rhythms, meal planning, and how you decide what is worth your time and what isn't. So, whether you have school-aged kids or not, this should be helpful! 

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Processing incoming paperwork and emails

  • Life-hacks to make mornings easier 

  • Simplified meal prepping 

  • Solutions for your family’s “drop zone” 

  • How to decide what’s worth your time and what isn’t

  • Setting a seasonal intent for your family 

  • Teaching your kids responsibility 

  • Maximizing the fringe moments with your kids

  • The benefits of a digital calendar

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you’er surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

Unburdened lightens your load so you can live abundant, well, and intentionally focused on those who matter most! It’s the overwhelmed mom’s guide to a simpler motherhood.


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.


Hey friends! Oh my gosh! This episode is packed with some serious, serious value. It's longer than my usual episodes because it's actually the sound pulled from a really big live class that I held on social media. So, if you missed it or you just want this for the future, here it is for you! 

It is seriously packed with everything that you would need for help for the back to school season. But this doesn't even have to be listened to when it's just back-to-school. It's systems, organization, and a streamlined, simplified approach to handling: incoming paperwork, alerts, events from the school, your mail, your regular life, email systems, before and after school routines, and how you decide what is worth your time and what isn't. 

What about extracurricular activities? How do you decide what your kids should do and what's not for right now? What about obligations like being the “room mom”? And you have all of these feelings like you should be doing more? How do you weigh out to say, “yes” or “no” to those things? What about simplifying lunches, meals and just everything if you have school-aged kids?

It's really, really jam-packed. 

So, I'm going to let it play for you now, but please know that this is for everybody. Amy, she's on Team Allie and she was at the live to be admin in the chat for me and she texted me afterwards, “Oh my gosh! That was so good! I don't have school-age kids yet and I got so much out of it!” Her oldest is 2, so just so you know, this is for everybody. But it was so good and I didn't want to let it fade away into the cyber universe, so I'm sharing it with you here today. 

Alright, so here's what's going on: My name is Allie Casazza and I help overwhelmed women, particularly mothers, simplify their lives so they can spend more time focused on what matters and less time on the side-note things. The things that are supposed to be “extras” that support the life you want to live, but if we're not careful they can tend to completely take over and “maul” us and then all we're doing is the side-note stuff like cleaning up and meal prep. Then, all those things that are supposed to support a great life end up totally taking over and distracting from it. 

So that's what I do. I think it all starts at home. I love to get people started with clutter, but then that spills over into calendar, schedule and all of that. My personal opinion after years of doing this for myself and with other women—leading these online programs that I create and coaching women to take action—my belief at this point is that home-decluttering is Step One and that everything kind of stems from there. Then, from that place, the next step would be to apply this kind of minimalistic approach to your schedule, your life, the way you're living, and the way you're spending your time. 

So we’re gearing up for August to focus on that Step Two, because a lot of you guys came to the How To Declutter Your Home In Two Weeks live trainings that we did, and a lot of you guys have come to join Your Uncluttered Home and you're getting your house simplified and doing all of these great things and you're ready for Step Two. Step Two is all of this kind of stuff. 

It's back-to-school season so it (accidentally) works out perfectly, and I think that we should take advantage of that and make it happen. 

If you haven't decluttered your home yet, it's okay. But just know that you can set up rhythms and routines and simplify all you want but you're not going to really see a huge difference if you don't declutter first. That's a tough truth and it's a little disappointing when you just want to get things lighter and you haven't started yet. Everyone has to start somewhere and it does matter where, okay? 

Part of the thing that I do in creating these online programs is I passively coach women on their own time because it's all prerecorded and automated. Sometimes we'll add in an accountability group so that they can talk to me live and talk to each other as they're all working towards the same goal. But basically it's like passive coaching because everyone's in different time zones, in different countries, and it's a really cool setup. 

So, essentially what I create are these passive coaching programs for women who want to simplify. We do Step One, Your Uncluttered Home, and then Step Two would be Unburdened. If you find this episode helpful (which it’ll be super deep and really helpful), Unburdened is times a hundred. So, if you've ever been wondering what's the difference between the programs, that's the difference. 

Unburdened is life stuff: systems, rhythms, and getting things done in a way that serves you in the life you want to live. I hope that makes sense. Okay, let's get started. 

The first place I want to start with is paperwork because, whether you have kids or not, paperwork is always coming in. But when you do have kids it absolutely increases, right? We get a ton more papers just by the fact that we have kids. 

You send your kids to school and in come the papers—announcements, activities, all these things they're sending papers home for. If you homeschool that can mean even more paperwork than if you don't. What do you do with all the paper? A lot of schools are doing a more digital setup where it's email-based but that can also create clutter. 

We're going to talk about how to handle it in a way that is helpful, life-giving and feels attainable. Sometimes people share decluttering tips or organization systems and you know you’re not gonna keep that up. My least favorite thing in the world was when I moved into a two-story house for the first time and looked for tips for how to handle when things are downstairs that belong upstairs. Things were making a mess at the bottom of the stairs because no one was going up and putting things away. And all of the tips were like, “Oh just be disciplined. That’s the rule. We go upstairs and we put it away. Don't be lazy. We just go upstairs and put it away.” 

Maybe I'm lazy, but I'm not going to go upstairs to put something away when I'm staying downstairs. And I know that I could tell my kids to do that all day, but it's going to turn into a nag session and a fighting match that I don't have time for. So, I had to create my own solution. I put a basket at the bottom of the stairs instead and that is where things that belong upstairs go. At the end of the day, we bring it up and we empty it. 

I like to do things like that. I like to take whatever is not working for everybody and I'll just figure it out for all of us and then share it. That's what we're going to do today.

So, I'm going to teach you my system for incoming paperwork. I know everyone's getting started with back-to-school, maybe your kids have already started. I homeschool my kids. Emmett goes to school a few days a week and the other kids have programs that they go to a couple of days a week, so I'm kind of half in and half out. But it doesn't matter because there's a system that I have that's for everything: mail, random papers (like when you write a note down on a post-it and you're like, “I'm not going to remember that; I’m going to lose it,” or you write it in your journal and you don't want to forget it, so you’re like, “I'll rip it out and put it here”). I have a system for all paperwork ever and this will absolutely work for back-to-school. 

Okay, here we go. 

The first thing you need to do is basically create an “email inbox system” for physical papers. So, the first thing you're going to do is get yourself a physical box. Mine is tin or metal and I got it from Target. It's white. It matches my house. And it's super simple. It's like a magazine holder. So, you're going to get a physical inbox and this is your home, this is your landing zone for paperwork that comes in. Okay? 

The other thing you're going to get is one of those normal folders that you can just get for school or whatever. Get whatever color and pattern you want. Mine says “follow up” on it. The folder is going to live inside of your new physical inbox. 

Okay. So, Step One, buy a physical inbox. Step Two by a little folder. Now, I’ll explain how this works. 

When the kids go back to school or if they already have, you will need to process all the papers. I'm going to show you how to set up a normal weekly rhythm for processing incoming paperwork, but when your kids first go back to school, you're probably going to have an extra amount of papers, so you're going to want to process them all right away and then start your weekly rhythm, okay? 

I have one day of the week that is my physical inbox processing day. It used to be Sunday, because we have our Sunday meetings. I don't know if you guys have heard that podcast episode or not, but Brian and I have a Sunday night meeting before the week starts and I thought, “Oh this goes in perfectly with that. I'll just do it then.” But it didn't go perfectly with it because I don’t want to process mail and big decisions like that on Sunday night when I'm not usually in my calendar, I'm definitely never at my computer, and sometimes mail comes and I need to update an insurance problem or something. I'm not going to do that on Sunday night. 

So, I moved it to Friday. It's the end of the week. I'm wrapping things up. I usually have team meetings on Friday; I'm wrapping up work. I'm in my office. I'm in that mode of let's get things done and wrap it up so we can have an amazing weekend because we take Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for our weekends here. So that's my mental process. 

Pick a day. Don't overthink this. Just pick a day. What day of the week is going to work for you? It's okay to pick a day and then move it later. Just pick a day. That day is your processing day. 

Make it fun. Brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee or tea, get a juice, or whatever. Sometimes I'll go and get an iced latte and bring it home. Make it a treat. This shouldn't be a burden. It shouldn't be a big ordeal. It should be something you look forward to. You have a system. You are being an action-taking, problem-solving lady. You’re the CEO of your home and this is the day where you organize, systemize, and handle that crap that would stress you out otherwise. 

You're going to sit down and go through things. You are going to process piece-by-piece. Open the mail, look at the school flyer, whatever it is. Look at it and you're going to be processing that. What is this paper? What's the point of it? What action needs to be taken on it, if any? 

Sometimes the action is a quick action, like adding an event to your calendar. Other times it takes a little more time. Maybe it warrants a response from you or maybe it warrants a conversation with your spouse about what decision you want to make about the idea that this paper is presenting to you and your family. 

Whatever the action is, do something immediately. If it is a quick action, do it immediately. Add an event to your calendar or add a task to your to-do list or make a reminder of something. Do that right away. You look at the paper and you're like, “Okay, 5K for the kids' elementary school project on September 5th. Yes, I want to go to that. I'm putting it on my calendar. I'm sending a teacher an email. Yes, I want to do that.”  Now, done, processed, finished, trash. 

If it's not a quick action that you can take, if you need to think about it, pray about it, talk to your husband about it, talk to your kid about it, or whatever, then you're going to put it in the “Follow Up” folder. This folder is for following up on things that aren't quite closed and also for decisions you haven't quite made. Your goal every processing day is to put as little amount of papers in this folder as possible. Any time that you can take immediate action and make it a quick task, do that. But if you must, put it in this folder, okay? 

This is just a place for you to come back to. You know that your physical inbox is empty because you processed things, but these are things that you are not quite done with yet. If you need to come back to something in the middle of the week, like maybe you send an email to somebody and then you have to wait for them to email you back, that paper is a reminder of what you emailed them about and all the information you might need. So you put it in that folder. 

You could take a picture of it and make it digital if you want. To me, I'm coming to this zone of my house when I'm dealing with incoming things, so I just want it all in one place. I don't want to take a picture of it. I'm already minimalist. I've already taken pictures of tons of stuff. I don't need another iPhone folder. This is already here. It’s just easier for me. Does that make sense? 

Let's say that you get a piece of mail and it's something from your insurance. Something happened and it lapsed or something and it's Saturday. Okay, well that sucks. You need to follow up with that. So, you reach out to them. You call them. You leave a message. You email them or whatever. That's going to go in here because it's not finished. It's not processed all the way yet. When things finish processing, when the decision is made, the action is taken, the issue has all panned out, then you can put it in the “done” pile, shred it, throw it away, or whatever. Okay?

When you are in a rhythm like this, there are really not a lot of things that you will need to take immediate action on. Everyone usually freaks out, “Once a week? But what if I receive it on Thursday and it needs an immediate response and I can't wait til Friday?” Well, usually there's a note on the envelope, “immediate action required,” or a pink slip or yellow slip or something in there. It’s okay to break your own rule and respond to it or whatever you need to do. But usually things can wait until Friday, so once a week is enough. It'll be fine. 

The goal here is whatever the action is, take it immediately if it's quick. If it’s not, add the action to your to-do list and put it in your “Follow Up” folder to reference until it's completely processed. 

Your new inbox processing day is now a nonnegotiable. Okay? Because if it's negotiable, you're going to get all inspired and you're going to be like, “Oh, Allie told me to do this. I'm going to go do it.” But when life happens, you're not going to take action. And then you're just going to have this pretty inbox sitting there and it's pointless. You need to make this a nonnegotiable. Put it on your calendar. Set alerts to go off to remind yourself for 30 days until you have formed a habit. 

You need to understand that you are going to be overwhelmed, you're going to cause yourself so much stress, you're going to fall back into that hot mess mom culture that we don't want to be in (that's not where we belong and it's not necessary) if you don't get a system in place. 

This is the part where everyone has excuses: “Oh, there's no day of the week...Well, I'm not good at things like this.” And this is my favorite one: “This won’t work for me because of [insert reason.]” Anything can work for you if you make it work. If you decide that you don't want to be a mess, if you decide that you want to process things, it will work. 

There are weeks where I have to move the day. Whether I'm just so exhausted I forget, or I'm out of town so I have to do it on a Monday. It doesn't matter. The point is there’s space in my calendar to handle my life, to make decisions, to go through the mail, to respond to things and it all works out. 

Then you get to feel like your to-do list is crossed off. You responded to those emails. You answered those papers. You committed to this event and not that one. You were on top of it and you did something about it. Okay? 

Email basically works the same way except it's already an inbox just digital. We took the physical inbox idea from the idea of how email works. Email is just already set up for you. What I want you to do in your email is I want you to set yourself up with three new folders. Basically any email system that you use (I use Gmail) will allow you to make subfolders in your inbox to categorize different things. 

I want you to make three new folders (or labels, tags, however your email system works):

  • Respond Today—I have a rule where I don't respond to almost anything right away. I will put it in the “Respond Today” folder and wait and just think through it or talk it out or whatever. 

  • “Respond This Week” 

  • “To Reference Later” 

I got this idea from my friend, Stacy. She's amazing. It's brilliant. I've had this setup for a while now and it works so well because it keeps you constantly at “inbox zero.” Your inbox can be such a complete crap show and it doesn't need to be. 

I immediately label everything either: “I need to respond to this today,” or “I can respond to this later this week,” or “I need to just save this information because I might need to reference it later.” 

You can get as deep as you want. You can have subfolders. I have subfolders underneath: 

  • Reference Later/ Receipts, 

  • Reference Later/ Giving, 

  • Reference Later/ Business Tips I want to see later but I want to save. 

You can do whatever you want. So, you might have “Reference Later/ Kids School.” Or Reference Later and it's all general and you can just search to find stuff. So, that’s how you are going to organize this. 

Use “Unroll Me” to originally purge your inbox. Say you get emails from Anthropology—I mean, I don't know why you want to unsubscribe to those because their emails are just so beautiful, but let’s just say you want to unsubscribe from Anthropology. Search for “Anthropology,” select one, “unsubscribe” from it and then go back and select all of them and delete all of them. It will take you time, but you can also use subscriptions like “Unroll Me” and things like that. Do the original purge and get to that “inbox zero” and organize everything else by folders in your inbox. Okay? 

That is how we're going to handle both physical and digital incoming information. Especially for those of you who might have ADD, or a lot of kids, or just a lot going on, having a system like this is ingenious. It takes the problem out of it. I literally put everything in my digital or physical inbox. Every day I check the mail and I put it in there. Then on Friday I go through it. 

If I write down an amazing business idea on a post-it note while I'm cooking dinner, I take that post-it note and I put it in the inbox. So then, later, when I'm processing on processing day and I see the post-it note, I'm going to open up Asana where I keep dreams and ideas and I'm going to put this in my “ideas” list in Asana. Now I can throw the post-it note away because I processed it. At the time when I had the idea I physically couldn't get to Asana so I just jotted it down. You guys, if you do things like this, this is the answer to all of the things. 

Sometimes I will empty out my purse because I've shoved random gum wrappers, post-its, pieces of paper with ideas, thoughts, and to-do lists in there because I couldn't get to my phone at that moment. I will empty out my purse of all the things I jotted down and put it in the inbox to process later. 

Sometimes I voice-memo myself on my phone and I will put a post-it note in the inbox as a reminder to process voice-memos. So, when I'm processing I'm like, “Oh yeah! I voice-recorded some ideas and things I needed to do,” and I'll go back and listen to my voice-memos and then I'll make it a to-do list or just do it right away. Okay? 

When it comes to the morning time, I think the overwhelm is because there's so much to do. The kids are sleepy. You've got to wake them up. You've got to feed them. You have so much to do that it becomes this tornado of chaos and you end up sending them out the door while you’re yelling and you aren’t who you want to be as a mom. And that is absolutely the worst feeling ever. It sucks. 

I know that's not how you want to be. I know that’s not aligned with who you are as a mother. It just comes out sometimes when you're really, really busy. There’s a rush and there's a consequence if they're late all the time. You look really bad and you're embarrassed. You just wish you could get it together. 

Here's the thing that nobody does that is going to solve a lot of that upfront: Count backward from the time that controls you. What I mean by that is: count backward from the deadline. So, if you're homeschooling and you say, “I want us to start school by 9:00 AM every day, otherwise it's just going to take too long and it's not going to work,” then that is the time that controls you. If your kid’s school starts at 7:45 AM then that's the time that controls you. When I say “the time that controls, I mean: “When do you have to be there?” Or “When do you have to be done?” 

I like to give myself an extra 10–15 minutes because I know myself and I know my kids.

So, whatever the time that controls you, select it. Add a little “give” if you want. Then you move backward. If you have done this multiple times, you have kids that have been in school a few years, you probably just know that it takes 30 minutes (or however long) for everyone to get dressed and brush their teeth. And it takes 15 minutes (or however long) for them to eat breakfast. You might already know. Take those time increments and count backwards. What time would that mean that you've got to be up and going? I would even add another 10–15 minutes to that and that's your wake-up time. 

How far is your drive to school? How long does it take you to get ready? How long does it take your kids to get ready? If you don't know, test it out. Estimate what you think, and then keep tabs. It's a little bit extra in the morning, but if you give yourself some extra time, you can jot it down in a journal. How long does it take? That kind of data—that's power right there. You’ve literally got data on how your family does their mornings. That's amazing. That's so powerful for you to know. Knowledge is power, right? That's how this works and these are the kinds of little tweaks that nobody else is doing. 

So, from there decide what everyone's wake up time is. Is yours going to be earlier than theirs? Is there anything you would like to get done in the morning for yourself before the day starts? All of these things will factor into what time you wake up. If you calculate that and it's an ungodly hour and you're like, “I'm not getting up at 4:00 AM” or whatever it is, then you have a choice to make. What things are you willing to drop? And let me also tell you this, the most helpful shift you can make is to ask yourself, “What could I possibly get done the night before?” 

Act as if this were a game of “Who can get the most stuff done the night before?” and the prize is $1 million. Think about it like that. I bet you can think of so many more things than you ever have before, such as: 

  • Laying out the outfits and shoes, that's a given. 

  • Making lunches. 

  • Giving your kids showers and baths so they don't have to do it in the morning. 

  • Having their backpacks packed, and everything ready to grab and go at the door. 

  • Having your dinner ingredients chopped or things in the slow cooker. Whatever you could chop, slice, dice for the slow cooker and put in the fridge the night before. 

  • Make breakfast the night before, and only make breakfasts that can be easily eaten and still be yummy the next morning. There's so many ideas on Pinterest for that. I'm not going to provide you with any; go look. 

  • Set your coffee timer 

  • Maybe have your quiet time the night before when the kids are in bed and asleep and you're just sitting there. Don't turn on Netflix. Read your Bible. Journal. Read a book. Pray. Go for a nighttime walk. Maybe you could implement some peace the night before and then you just wake up and go. 

What could you get done the night before? How much can you cut from your morning? All of these things are going to help you. 

Then when you know what your morning must-do’s are—these are the things that, no matter what, must get done in the morning—you use those things to count backwards from the time that controls you. Then you know about how much time you need. And you can test and tweak it, but I think that you should give yourself a little bit extra time too—at least 10 extra minutes. 

I feel so much better when I know that I've given myself an extra half-hour in case Emmett decides all-of-a-sudden, “Oh! I can't get my shoes on,” and does this weird lazy drop thing that he does. Anyone who knows me in real life knows what I'm talking about. He'll just drop and he's suddenly “paralyzed” and just can't do anything for himself. It's super annoying and I'm not going to have it, so I have to do the whole, “Emmett Finn! Get up right now!” thing. So, I feel really good when I have an extra 25-30 minutes and I'm not having to yell and freak out. I can have my kid do a toddler-drop situation and not freak out. 

The main goal for me is to not be freaking out. I just want to be calm. I just want to be the mom that I want to be. Sometimes it's a total botch and it doesn't happen. But when you prepare and you are an action-taking, problem-solving woman, then you've solved a lot of the problems before they even start. You took action. You know you tried and everyone just has bad days and that's okay. 

Okay, so let's talk about a few quick tips for making meal prep really simple because time at home in the evening is often limited. I was just talking recently with my friend Kendra Hennessy (I think some of you guys probably know her and follow her) about how everybody tends to think you have to have a brand new, amazing meal, especially at the start of the school year. We all go into it like, “I'm going to be like June Cleaver. Everything's going to be perfect. I’m going to have this amazing meal because I have these new routines in place.” Routines that we all know you're not going to stick with for more than two weeks because they never work. We've got to solve the actual root problem so that our routines can stick. Right?

You don't need to have a different meal every night. I have friends that rotate two weeks’ worth of meals constantly and that's how they are. I feel like I'd get sick of things, but they don't and that works for them. Does that work for you? What can you do? 

Crockpots and Instant Pots are life-changing. They’re lifesavers. They’re serious, serious, serious help.

Instant Pot. I love it. Pre-chop and prep the ingredients. If you're like us and you need to cook a lot of things from scratch for health reasons or just your preference, then pre-chop and prep the ingredients the night before, or even the week before, freeze them and then saute them up to defrost and then cook. 

There's so many things you could do no matter what your dietary restrictions are, no matter what you’ve got going on to simplify meal planning. Get the meals ready the night before. Set a takeout night on the hardest night to cook. What is the night that you pick up the kids late from school because they had something extra and you had to rush? You don’t even go home, you just go straight to the sports or whatever. What is the night of your schedule that is just the worst? How can you flip it around and make it positive? Is it that the kids look forward to eating out and you budget for that because you know every Thursday you’re eating out? 

On the night that you guys choose to have a takeout night or a “no cook” night, find a place where the kids eat free that night and go there. If you have time to go into a restaurant, that's a great option. But if you're choosing that night because it's crazy and you can't go out to eat and sit in there and eat, then just order from somewhere and take the load off yourself.

If you guys don't have a ton of extracurricular activities, just pick a night that you tend to kind of poop out. What is the day of the week where you're like, “Man, I'm really ready for the weekend. I’m done.” Is it Wednesday? Thursday? Is Monday really hard because you're coming back from the weekend? Pick a night to simplify. 

Maybe you have frozen pizzas in the freezer and you just pull those out every whatever night that is. Maybe you order pizza, order takeout, get Uber eats or whatever, but pick a night to give yourself a break. Plan on that. 

I'm not a meal planner/teacher. There's Pinterest for a reason. There's so many other things. If you have Your Uncluttered Home, you’ve probably got the bonus of The Minimalist Meal Planning that comes with it. Go to that. Use Hello Fresh, or whatever you want to do. But just know the biggest takeaway is that meal planning is an area that we overcomplicate so much. 

Stop over-complicating meals. You don't need something new every night. You're doing a fantastic job. This is the place with a lot of wiggle room. There's not a lot of wiggle room in other zones. Your kids have to be at school at a certain time. There's not a lot of wiggle room there. There’s not a lot of wiggle room after school either. Simplify your meals. There’s so much wiggle room there. You can make it so flexible. 


Hey beautiful friend! Pausing this content right now because I want to talk to you about something that is currently open and is super temporary. I don't want you to miss out!

 Do you ever feel like you are just stuck in the mud? Every day feels like you're sinking in quicksand and you can’t get out? No matter how much effort you put in you just sink further and further? 

If life feels like it's just heavy…maybe you've decluttered, maybe you've simplified your home but life, your calendar, and your schedule just really feel heavy and you wish that you could implement minimalism to that part of things just like you did with your house. I am so excited if you’re saying “yes” to this because Unburdened is open! 

Unburdened is the second course that I created. It is basically a tool and resource for you to use to pull yourself out of that pit and do it a whole lot faster than if you did it without help. 

Basically, Unburdened will help you set boundaries for your phone, your technology, yourself, and other people, to make space for what matters. 

It'll help you take ownership of your time. We're going to gut your calendar and clear the clutter in your life and your schedule, create your ideal day and set up daily and weekly rhythms (which for those of you who don't do routines and you can never make them stick, this is the answer because I'm like that and this is literally my biggest secret.) 

I'm so, so excited! 

Step 3 in this program is you're going to implement a plan for doable self-care because you can't give your family water if your well is all dried up, right? 

And then Step 4, you're going to get purposeful in your day-to-day, because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, right? This stuff matters. 

Unburdened only opens up twice a year for enrollment. This is your chance. Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife. The doors are open! It's a $99 program.

I'm super excited to get you guys in there and help you reach success in the change that you're seeking for your schedule, your routines, and how your days go because this is the kind of stuff that's so exciting to get to work on once you've simplified your home. 


Let's talk about “the drop zones.” The entryway, places that your kids tend to drop stuff like their shoes, their backpacks, sports equipment, like just everywhere. This is tactical, practical stuff. 

First of all, I don't think enough can be said for hooks and baskets in the entryway or your “drop zone.” Some people come into their house from their garage. Some people come in entering the kitchen. Some people have an actual mud room. Some people are like me and they come in the front door and there's not really a mudroom, but they made an entryway for themselves. Whatever your situation is, where do you guys come in? Where do things tend to get dropped? 

Listen, let me just save you a lot of effort and freak outs. Wherever the drop zone is right now, wherever your family tends to dump stuff, that is always going to be the drop zone. Don't try to change where the drop zone is. I personally don't think it's worth the effort. It is so much harder to change a habit. This is just the way your family seems to use your home.

I think we should just see that the drop zone is the drop zone and create a system there. So, unless it's a terrible place and you just have to change it, I think it's better to just make it work instead of changing the habit because you're going to end up nagging and being like, “Dang it! I told you don't put your stuff here!” And we don’t want to go down that path. Just accept that the drop zone is the drop zone and set it up so that the dropping isn't a problem anymore. 

This is kind of the same idea I mentioned earlier of how I put a basket at the bottom of my stairs where stuff collected. Instead of telling my family, “New rule! Nobody drops things here. Everyone takes everything upstairs when you're done. I don't care if you're staying downstairs, go upstairs and put it away,” the basket came into play. Because, otherwise, it's just not going to happen. I'm not going to do it. So how could I expect them to do it? I need to get stuff done and move on. I just need somewhere to put my thing until I'm ready to go upstairs and put it away. So, I put the basket at the bottom of the stairs and that's where we put things that go upstairs. 

At the end of the day we have our nighttime family rhythm (Unburdened—it's opening soon— teaches all about rhythms) where we do a quick 15-minute, whole-house pickup as a family. And part of that is emptying that basket and putting things away upstairs, then putting the empty basket back downstairs at the end of the day. 

So, what is your drop zone going to look like? Do you need hooks for backpacks? Do you want a basket or bin for shoes? A bin for sports equipment? You can have hooks for backpacks. A bin for shoes. I hate shelves for shoes because the kids never lined the shoes up on the shelf and it ends up piled. Instead of piled on the floor, it's piled on a shelf. So, we just got a metal bin from Target and we all just throw our days’ shoes in that bin and it works great. 

You could do hooks for backpack and jackets, a bin for shoes and then a basket for sports stuff, so that it's basically on a wall altogether. It looks super organized and pretty, but it's housing all the drop zone stuff. 

If you guys just naturally come in through the garage when you come home that's even better, because you don't have to have it in your house. You can make a mud room wall in your garage and everything's out. That's amazing. If you don't come in through the garage, you have to just ask yourself, “Where is the drop zone?” Is it in the kitchen? Is it in the front of the house? The front door? Where is it? What is going to work? And get creative. 

Another great thing to look up on Pinterest is faux mud rooms and things like that, but I suggest you stop trying to get your kids to hang stuff in the closets (unless they already do) and just start noticing, “Okay, where’s the drop zone in my house? I'm going to create a storage solution right around there so that I don't have to change the habit, and we're all happy.” 

You might also consider doing what I did and putting your physical inbox (that we talked about earlier) in the drop zone as well. That way you could have the kids hang their backpacks on the hooks, pull out all the papers their teacher gave them and put it right there. Then the physical inbox is already in the drop zone and they're putting their papers in there for you. You know where to go and get your physical inbox when it's time to process. 

Let's talk about saying “no” and extra commitments and all of that. Classroom parent stuff, being the “room mom,” classmate birthday parties and being the mom that brings the homemade cupcakes, extracurricular activities, just all of the things that we feel obligated to do. 

If you guys came to the two-week class that I hosted multiple times, or if you have had me teach you about decluttering, you know that the first thing I say you need to do when you're walking into a room you're going to declutter but you don't know where to start is that you need to set the intent for that room. This is a really, really beautiful way to make decisions in your life too.   

I'm not going to tell you right now to set the intent for your family. I think you should, but I'm not going to tell you right now to decide what your core values are. That's a really big discussion and I think it's important that we all do those things, but that’s not so much what I’m talking about when you're prepping for back to school. I think, right now, it’s important to just set the intent for this season for your family. 

For example, and I think a lot of you guys might do this because whenever I talk about it people are like, “Yeah, thanks for saying that. We do that too.” For our family, we kind of flip flop. We will head into a really restful season. The intent that we set for that group of months or weeks or whatever is set to be in “rest mode.” It is full rest mode. We say “no” to everything and we just rest. 

We just came out of a really big rest season and now everyone's noticing that I'm back. I'm doing multiple webinars a week. I'm doing all these things. We're getting ready to open up the doors to Unburdened again and do this great big launch party with everybody that's joining this time around. We're doing all these big things because I just came out of a season of rest. We're getting back to homeschooling. The kids are going to start baseball soon. I love baseball season because we don't do it every season. We take rests, so when it comes back around, I'm ready and excited and I can't wait. I'm not fatigued because we also did soccer and now we've got to go straight into baseball. 

Set the intent for every season for your family. What do you guys need right now? Do you need rest? Do you need structure? Summer’s over and you’re like, “Everyone's bored. We all feel like we're going to kill each other. We need structure.” What is the intent that you're setting? 

How do you want your kids to feel the end of this season or the end of the school year? What do you want them to be like? How old are they? If I really sat down and spent 10 minutes or so on each of my kids and I thought, “Okay Bella first. What do I really want for Bella this school year? I really want her to feel confident in overcoming some learning disabilities that she struggles with. I really want her to continue to love reading. I want her to create a group of friends, and I want her to just feel more confident in general.”  That's a really great intent and every decision that I make will either align with that or not.

Just like we set the intent in a room before we declutter, we set the intent for this season of our families’ lives before we say “yes” or “no” to things.  And when you're in a room and you're decluttering and you have set the intent, that is going to help you make decisions about what stays and what goes, because you say, “Well I wanted this room to feel like this. Does this item help with that?” Yes or no? It's simple. 

Same thing with your calendar and your schedule. If you set the intent for this season of your family and it’s rest, then you’re going to go ahead and pass on football this season. You're going to pull out of that. Cancel. It doesn't go with your season because that's not going to be restful. There's multiple practices a week. There’s games, maybe some travel. It’s a lot. It's not rest. So it doesn't align, right? It makes it so much easier to say no. 

It makes it easier to ask yourself things like, “Will saying ‘yes’ to this serve my entire family and align with the intent that my spouse and I set for this time?” If not, are you willing to push that intent back? Probably not a good idea. 

I also think it's worth asking yourself why you’re considering this commitment. Why are you considering being the room mom? Is it because you feel guilty because you work and you feel like you should? There’s something in there to work through. Heart issue alert, right? Is it because you're controlling? Is it because you love it and it's something that you want to do? Great! That seems like a green flag to me. Thumbs up! Ask yourself, “Why am I even considering this?” There's such an easy pull to say “yes” to everything. 

I also want to give you guys freedom. We don't put our kids in things all at the same time. They take turns. Two of the boys will be doing baseball, but we're not doing horse lessons for Bella right now. She's going to have to wait. There's give and take. And if they ever are doing things at the same time it's not in the same time frame, so it’s not like Bella is doing soccer, Hudson's doing football, and Leland and Emmett are doing baseball. So, there's two different baseball teams in the afternoon, plus a horse lesson in the afternoon, plus a football practice in the afternoon and we all have to split up. I don't do that. We're a family. We're together. 

If Bella's horse lessons are in the morning on Wednesday and Hudson's piano lesson is on Thursday mornings and is a part of school, great, then they can all do their things in the same season because they don't overlap. But I'm not willing to spend time apart from my family and do the crazy run around thing. Not at all. The boys play baseball in the same league, so even if they're on fields that are next to each other, we're all in the same place together. We might need to take turns watching each team, but it creates togetherness. I want my intent for my family in every season to create togetherness. Do you see what I'm saying? Set the intent. Where do you want to go? 

Remember my favorite quote by Annie Dillard, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” These are the decisions, ladies. These are the decisions that you're making that are going to create how you're spending your day-to-day, and that's going to end up being the life you live. That's going to end up forming the childhood your kids will look back on and say, “My childhood felt really busy,” or “It felt really happy,” or “It felt really balanced.” This matters. 

If all of the decisions you're committing to will mean heading into a busier, fuller season, okay; it's good that you're noticing that. Are you just now wrapping up a really restful season? If not, it might be too much. It might be exciting to look at all this structure like, “Okay, good. They're out of the house. They're going to school,” or “We're starting our homeschool year. We've got our new curriculum. We're going all in. We have baseball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we have Karate on Wednesdays, and we have the…[whatever.]” It might look good and you might feel like you're doing your kids a huge service by making them so cultured and putting them in different things, but you’re really, really not. 

You're going to poop out. If you don't have enough space in your week to call it off, to take an afternoon to breathe, to just be a family, order pizza, and just chill together for your kids to catch up on homework, it is too much. It's too much. 

Let's talk about delegating and getting your older kids involved as much as possible. I'm just going to do a quick note on this. My goal is to raise good people, confident people, capable adults who will be an addition to society and will make great spouses. But they are currently children, so they're in training and there's so much grace, but ultimately when they're done and they're all baked and heading out into the world, that's my goal. So, I need to teach them—graciously—how to manage their time, their things, their responsibilities by giving them responsibilities in the first place. 

I need to teach them teamwork and help them learn how a home runs smoothly, right? And it runs so much more smoothly when we're all doing things together. Yes, Emmett—and the things that he does—is not really helping me, but it's not about that. It's about teaching him, “Look, you matter. You have a say. You have a job here and we need you to pick up the toys. Thank you so much. You're doing a great job.” 

You know the older kids (Bella’s 10, Leland's 8) they do the dishes and they help with the laundry. Those are big things and they’re finally at a point where they really do help me. And so, communicating that, giving them those responsibilities, and showing them, “Look guys, you chose to play instead of doing your chores and now we need the dishes washed for this meal.  So, now you have to hurry up, and it's a bummer.” Just showing them that, teaching them that. 

I'm really, really big on bringing the kids into things. I'm not big on the whole idea of a massive chore chart—all of these responsibilities and consequences without any teaching. I think it's unruly and a little harsh. Then the mom freaks out and is like, “Who washes a dish like this? Get back here and do it again.” It’s like you never taught them how to, you showed them once and that's it. Of course, I make mistakes and I yell and I have freak-out days, but in general, I really, really am big on teaching, showing, talking to them and understanding that it's my responsibility to teach them. It's not their responsibility to know how to do everything. 

I really don't like when there's talk, especially in the Christian circle, about kids and chores. It's very harsh, almost demeaning and demanding. You guys know what I'm talking about? Kids need to be taught. They need to be talked to. They’re people. Respect is mutual. We're all in this together, and I'm wanting to train them to be good humans. Yelling at them and expecting them to know things that they couldn't possibly know because they’ve never learned is not doing that. 

I think you should ask yourselves, “What are my kids capable of doing?” Think about what they're doing in school. They're given so much responsibility. They're doing homework. They're learning big things. They can probably do more than you think they can. Just try it. Say, “You know what? I'm going to give you the job of after dinner dishes,” and see how it goes. Be with them. Show them. Teach them. If you want to do monetary gain for doing chores, do it. That's your call. 

For us—just to give you guys an idea if you need help—we don't do paid chores. I think that we are all a team and we're all here to help. However, there is a list of extra work that if somebody wants to do, there is an attached payment for and it's like $1 or $2, so they do earn for extra things. And I really like that setup. It's worked really well for us. But you guys do what you want. 

I also think it's possible if you have kids who are a little bit older, to give them the breakfast role. We've done this in our house and it's great. Having the kids be in charge of making or grabbing a really simple breakfast for themselves. My kids get their own breakfast unless we're having a special family breakfast because we won't be together for dinner, which we do sometimes especially if I'm going to travel that night or whatever. 

Some really simple breakfast ideas like cereal and fruit, oatmeal and fruit, pre-made smoothies packed with nutrients that you made that they get out and have. Toast and hard boiled eggs. The hard boiled eggs are pre-done and they just make toast and put butter on it themselves and they eat their breakfast. Things like that. Teach them that responsibility. Obviously, this won't work for super little kids. 

Have them help pack their lunches the night before and then come up with a plan to give that responsibility over to them. Have them pick out their clothes the night before. I've taken this as an opportunity to actually teach my kids how to form an outfit that's socially acceptable. And it's been great. My kids totally know how to dress and I love it, because you guys, if you follow me for a minute, you know that I love that kind of stuff. I've taken that opportunity to teach them like, “Okay, this isn't going to work because you’ve got navy on navy, so we need to pick something green or white. You really don't want to do black and navy.” I've taken the opportunity and it's been great. Make it fun. 

Okay, let's shift into ways to maximize time spent together in the evening. I know we’ve got a lot of work-out-of-the-home parents with kids in public school, private schools that are trying to squeeze in dinner, homework, bedtime routine all in an hour or two, so we need to get into where are the fringe moments that you have and get into quality time over quantity time, which is all that matters anyway, and how we can streamline. 

There is so much to be said for a bedtime ritual. This is such a sweet time. I know you're exhausted. I know you're pooped and you're done. Just so you guys know that I'm human too. Brian got the kids this book from a Navy Seal that wrote a children's book (which is questionable already; it seems like it would be disturbing, but it's not.) And it is the longest children's book ever written in human history. Literally feels like I'm reading the Bible out loud. It is so long. Also, I don't like books that have very little writing on the page, so you're turning the page every second. It seems like a lot of work. Maybe I’m lazy. But it is the longest book in history and the kids, of course, loved it. 

After I spent five weeks glaring at Bryan with the evil eye because he bought this book for them, I decided we're done with this book. The book went “bye-bye,” and I hid it. I don't want to sit and pour into my kids, read them this giant story, and hear their hearts. I'm tired. Go the frick to sleep, people. But having said that—so you know, I'm a normal mom, I'm tired and I don't want to do it—it only takes a minute. 

Put the long Navy Seal book away and don't read at all. Go and sit on the edge of their bed. If you just make a minute to listen to them, hear their heart for a second and just make space for them to feel, that's what kids want. That's all they want. They can share with you without the stress of knowing that there's a rush to get somewhere. 

Earlier in the evening, there's just so much rush, even if you don't have extracurriculars. There’s dinner, homework, stress, and sibling rivalry, and you yelled because you’re just done. At the end of the day, that bedtime moment is really a sweet time. 

But I think we overthink it like it’s got to be a story, a prayer, and this long, overdrawn-out thing where you're just like, “Look, am I a terrible mom that I don't give a crap and I don't want to do that?” No. You’re not a terrible mom. You're just normal. 

I think it's just about simplifying it. Make it a minute, just a moment. Sometimes I'll go in, sit on the edge of the bed, and just ask, “How are you feeling about tomorrow? You ready for a new day?” And just see if anything comes up. It’s just a minute. Usually there's nothing. But every-once-in-a-while one of the kids will be like, “Something weird happened today and I just feel really bad and I want to talk.” They'll start to talk to me about somebody who said something and it hurt their feelings or whatever. And if I hadn't just made a second, it wouldn't have come up. 

And you know what? I will hide the really long books all day long and I might really botch the bedtime prayer because I want it to last about 2.5 seconds, but I will always create space for my babies to just have a moment with me. And I can do that. We can do that. No matter how much we worked in a day, no matter how tired we are, we can do that. 

So, just simplify it. Just make it a second. It's a wonderful sweet little pocket of time that we can cultivate. 

The next part in maximizing our time together in the evening is to never be afraid to reevaluate the things that you've said “yes” to. Not to talk about the podcast the whole time, but there's another episode called It's Okay To Change Your Mind, and that's what this is. There's no shame in backing out of a commitment. You don't want to do that all the time, but if that's what's going to shift, if you're going to learn a lesson from that, back out of it. Just be better next time. It's okay to back out. 

Every day is time on this earth. Time with or without your family that defines where you guys end up. So don't waste it pushing through until the end of a commitment that is toxic to you and your family simply because you said you would do it. That's ridiculous. 

Bouncing back to some of the practical stuff, I also want to highly encourage you guys to use the Google calendar or iPhone calendar, something color-coded to keep track of your practices and appointments. That's just the way to go. Color coordinated helps so much. Put events on your calendar, not tasks. Have a separate place for your tasks. You can even get something that syncs with your calendar so that tasks show up in a different color. 

On my Google calendar I have reminders in bright green that every Friday is physical inbox processing day and it's also the day that Brian takes the cars to get cleaned out. We get our cars cleaned and detailed so they feel clean and nice. We're paying for them for a reason. It's a nice car and it feels really good and clean like our house does. So, that's a reminder not an event. An event is at 2:00 PM on Friday you have a doctor's appointment, or for me at 1:30 on Tuesday you are doing a live training. Don't clutter your calendar with ideas, thoughts, to-do lists. Don't do that. Have those separate. 

Let's get back to the idea of Sunday night meetings. Sunday night meetings are basically when Brian and I will come together, we'll sit together and we will just look over the week. What's going on? What do you need from me? What do I need from you? How can we support each other? How can we make this week simpler? Where are the really heavy days? 

For us, Tuesdays are always a really heavy day. It’s a really big day of work for me because it's technically my Monday. I'm always really excited and inspired to get back to things on Tuesday, so I really go all in and have a really thick, heavy, long work day where I'm working all the main part of the afternoon. I'm working all day. Where are the cracks? What could we do to make this better? All of that. 

Consider adding Sunday night meetings to your Google calendar into part of your weekly rhythms because it's a really great way to reconnect. We keep this separate from date night because I don't want date night to be a CEO/COO planning session, which it can feel like if you talk about these kinds of things there. I want date night to be just fun. 

On Sunday night we stay at home, we get the kids busy and we go over everything, get on the same page. This is so important for you to feel like you're not running crazy. You know what I mean? It's so, so helpful. 

Consider adding a Sunday night meeting. Go over all the things. Pull out your calendars, ask how you can support each other. It gets you on the same page in a really positive, action-taking way. There's a whole podcast episode and blog post about that. You can get that freebie, go listen to the episode if you want. There's a lot about it because it's so helpful. 

Okay, I just want you guys to know before we go, if this helped you at all, you're going to frigging love Unburdened because it is a masterclass for your entire life. Your entire schedule, your rhythms, your routines, how your life is flowing and going, all condensed into a boot camp style, masterclass for everything. There are life hack tips in there like the basket at the bottom of the stairs, tons of stuff like that. 

I help you completely set up rhythms. I don't like calling them routines because it's not routines. Routines don't really work for me. They never stick. But I found a way to create rhythms that do stick because they're just attached to things that I'm going to be doing anyway. Every day I wake up. Every day I eat lunch. Every day I get ready for bed. So, I attach the things that need to get done to those things. And then they're just natural rhythms. They are almost more like habits. 

And so, I teach you how to take that idea and set up routines where you need an actual routine, but set up rhythms where routines just aren't sticking, but you've got to get these things done for your life to feel like it's put together. I walk you through that in your entire life. 

It is a deep dive masterclass. It’s pouring into all the things like this about fixing your life, your calendar, your schedule, how your days feel like they're flowing. You walk out of Unburdened feeling a million times lighter. I think it's one of my favorite things to teach you guys.

Unburdened is only $99 too. Your Uncluttered Home is a higher price point. It’s so much bigger, thicker, and a huge undertaking, and Unburdened is less money, less time and packs a huge, powerful punch. 

And again, it only opens once a year. So even if you're not ready to do it right now, just get in while you can. The price usually goes up, and it's closing for at least six months, probably. I think, looking at my year, maybe more. 

But anyway, love you guys! We're done here. I hope this was super helpful for your back-to-school needs. 

Homeschoolers, if you didn't get what you need it's because the Simplify Your Homeschool course is legit every single thing that you'd ever need to simplify your homeschool. So, head over there and get that. 

I love you guys so much. Thanks for hanging out with me and I'll talk to you next time. 


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 115: Trial and Error: Ways I Tried to Simplify My Life

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This episode is fun to share. I don't try to simplify everything, but sometimes when something is taking a lot of time or feels a little bit too much, I'll ask myself, “How can I simplify this?”. I thought it'd be fun to see the “bloopers” side of simplifying because there are definitely some things that I've tried that I thought would simplify my life that just didn't. In this episode I’m sharing some of those things and talking about what I learned and how I adjusted. So, let's jump in!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The beauty product meant to simplify that turned out to be super complicated

  • How delegating too much in her business has had negative consequences

  • The adjustments she has made to her laundry routine

  • Why prioritizing exercise in the morning wasn’t a good fit for her

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you’er surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

Unburdened lightens your load so you can live abundant, well, and intentionally focused on those who matter most! It’s the overwhelmed mom’s guide to a simpler motherhood.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.


Hey friend! There are things mentioned in this episode that I know you're going to want to look up and links you're going to want to click. So just so you know, you can find anything mentioned in this episode at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/115.

This episode is fun to share. I have been thinking a lot about this. I don't try to simplify everything. I think that the world thinks I try to simplify everything because I'll get questions like, “Where does minimalism and simplicity come in when it comes to this?” And it's like it's my job and I've never even thought about that.

So sometimes you guys are way deeper into this than I am, but I just sometimes think when something is taking a lot of time or feels a little bit too much, I'll try to think how can I simplify this?

Sometimes I do that with something and it doesn't work out, so I just thought it'd be fun to see the “bloopers side” of simplifying because there are definitely some things that I've tried that I thought would simplify my life that just didn't. And then just kind of talking about what I learned and how I adjusted. So, let's jump in!

One of the first things that came to mind when I was thinking about this episode (actually, this is what sparked this episode) is eyelash extensions. Have you guys heard of these? I thought they were super creepy, scary, and would hurt to get put on when they first came out and I was just like, “No! Get away from my eyes!” But then I learned how it works and I saw people getting them and their lashes looked perfect all the time.Somebody told me what a timesaver it was, they don't have to wear mascara, and it was so great. And so, I thought, “Hmm, what the heck? My eyelashes are pretty dark and they're not super short or anything, but I definitely have to put mascara on in the morning and like, that might be cool.”

One girl, this blogger that I follow, she told everyone that her lashes keep her from wearing mascara and she likes that because it's a little bit more natural. She didn't have to wear so much makeup right around her eyes, and they're so dark and full that she doesn't have to wear eyeliner. I don't really wear that much eyeliner or I just do one brush across to make my eyes look a little bit more open. So I was like, “Okay, cool. That might simplify. If I didn't have to do eye makeup that would be great. I’d just do my face, my eyebrows and that'd be great.”

And so, I went in and I got them done. I was all excited and...it was just kind of a bummer. If you sleep on your side or stomach, which I do (I sleep on my stomach usually), your face smashes into the pillow and my eyelash extensions would get all bunched up and weird. I'd have to get this really light cleanser and put it on one of those little eyelash brushes and try to brush it out and it just wouldn't really work right. They looked kind of funny.

And they fall out. Obviously, your real lashes fall out on a regular basis so when they fall out, the extensions fall out because they're attached to your lashes. It definitely didn't hurt or anything at all to get them put on. But the eyelash extensions themselves, they just weren't really working out. They bunched up and they fell out.

There's some that are super intense, like they're really dark. They're just a lot. I just had regular, more natural eyelash extensions, just a little bit darker than my regular lashes. That's what the place that I went to offered. I just didn't really like the look of the other ones because they seemed really fake and just a bit much.

But there were times for date night or if I was going to be on TV or film something that I would want more of a pop and the extensions wouldn't get the job done, so I'd add some, extension-safe mascara. And I was thinking, “Well, now I'm doing mascara.” I don't know, it just wasn't great.

Also washing my face…I love washing my face at night, getting my makeup off, getting in the shower and just washing my face. I'd wash my face and splash it with water to get all the wash off. And what's the next thing you do? You dry your eyes off. I'd have to be really careful not to wipe the extensions too hard so they didn't come off. It was just a lot. I don't know. I didn't like it.

I also noticed that because I got pretty natural-looking extensions (just because that fits my style), my real lashes looked about the same. It just looked like I had a great mascara day and that just wasn't worth it to me. And the cost of the extensions, it just wasn't worth it.

The only good thing that really came out of the extensions is that I now know that they don't work for me. But I also got to know the girl who did my extensions and I really liked her. We became friends and I would look forward to our conversations. She's a really great girl, so that was cool.

But I don't know, I dropped them. I let them fall out. And the girl that does the lashes, she went on a vacation for three weeks and while she was gone, I just decided not to go and find anyone else cause I wasn't super jazzed about the extensions anymore. I just let them fall out.

And while my real lashes were growing in, I wore those magnetic ones (once I figured out how to put them on right. I'm glad that no one was filming that because that was a process). I really liked them and they looked great. I found some natural ones that looked like my real lashes and they were fine. So, now my eyelashes are back and I'm just wearing mascara like a normal person.

But what I learned from this was not everything that seems like it will simplify your life actually will. And that's okay.

Another thing that I have done, this is kind of a general one, but another thing I've done to simplify my life that sometimes doesn't work is delegating too much in my business.

So, I know some of you, we've worked together. I've got some business coaching clients now and I love working with you guys. It's amazing. And I've been talking more and more about business here on the show, on my platforms, and on Instagram and stuff.

One of the biggest core beliefs I have about being a business owner is that I believe that your business should be built around your lifestyle and not the other way around. So, I like to think, “What life do I want? What lifestyle do I want?”

I want to be present with my kids. I want to be able to drop everything, go grab lunch and go out for a midday drive. I want to be able to have Legoland days with my kids and have fun in the summer, fall or winter, no matter what the school schedule is, no matter if they're taking a break from school or not.

I want to be able to take trips and vacations. I want to have the freedom to be a mom and to be present and have fun. And I want my business to support that both in terms of my schedule and my money. So that's how I view things. And because of that, I delegate a lot.

I basically have the perspective in my business of, “Why is this on my task list? Does it have to be on there? Does it have to be done? And if so, does it have to be done by me?” And if the answer isn't, “yes, yes, yes, yes and yes,” then I remove that item from my task list and either give it to somebody on my team or remove it completely because sometimes we think things need to get done and they don't actually need to get done.

Delegating is amazing and I really believe it's the key to having joy, happiness, and honestly, success as a business owner. The more I delegate, the more successful I am. And I think that's because I have more white space in my brain. I just feel happier. I have more space to come up with fresh ideas, come up with new product ideas, and new marketing ideas.

No one really talks about this but I think it is possible to delegate too much of certain things in certain seasons to where it leads to a disconnect. Here are a couple of examples that I'm willing to share with you guys about this.

One area where I found myself delegating too much in order to try to simplify my life and my schedule was with my finances. I delegated basically everything in my finances.

I have a CFO. She's an accountant and she watches everything. She makes sure that everyone gets paid. She's in charge of payroll. She watches what's coming in and what's not. She knows what our bottom line is. She knows when to tell me that we're getting too close to that or otherwise it’s okay if we're getting way above that or whatever. She just watches the finances.

Then I have two other people who are along with her because I don't think that you should have just one person in charge of your money. I think that that's where things get scary, people get hurt and stolen from and all that nasty stuff. (Not that I don't trust my CFO—if she's listening, you're amazing! You're doing great).

But you don't want to be stupid, right? You want to be smart.

I've shared before, Brian and I have had quite a money story. If you have not listened to episode six of this podcast, go back and listen, because it is the story of our business and how we went from our past life to our new life through the business that we started.

I have struggled with money and looking at it, even if there is a lot of it or a little of it. It triggers me. I've shared a little before in the past that I had been diagnosed with PTSD by my therapist a couple of years ago. I was having night sweats and recurring nightmares about the repo guy banging on our door and taking our car away—the panic attacks that I used to have. Money and me have been through quite a process.

And even though I had healed from a lot of the money stuff and a lot of money blocks and issues that I had, I just really didn't like dealing with money. So, I delegated it pretty much completely. And then I would check-in and we'd have monthly meetings about what's going on. I looked at the profit and loss reports and just saw what was going on. 

But then I started to cancel those just because I knew everything was fine. I knew everything was going well, but I just didn't want to look. I just didn't want to look at money at all. For a good chunk of time there was this season where I wasn't connected to my money at all. And that disconnect led to a disconnect from my money and a drop in revenue.

I wasn't connected to the cause and effect. I wasn't connected to the fact that I'm sharing a message and that message is helping people. And people are paying me to honor the fact that I helped them and to dive deeper into what I can teach them. I'm seeing that money create jobs, create revenue, and take care of my family. I got disconnected from that and that had negative consequences for sure.

It wasn't healthy for me to delegate all the way in that area because I have had a difficult money story. I needed to be connected to it. So, I learned from that. And now, I'm in my personal bank account and our business bank accounts every single morning and I am very involved in what's going on. I check in with what we've made each day.

I listened to a podcast that my COO sent me. It was an interview that Tim Ferriss did with the CEO of Walmart and the CEO of Walmart checks in on what they made the day before every single morning. The CEO of Walmart. I think it's pretty safe to say they're making a lot of money and he checks in every single morning. And so, I realized that if the CEO of Walmart is looking at the finances, then obviously looking at the finances doesn't mean you only look if you don't have any money or if you don't have enough money.

I was lying to myself subconsciously because of my issues with money and saying, “Well I don't have to check cause we're okay. Everything's okay.” I used to have to check all the time because I needed to know if I could swipe for gas or not. But now I know that we can swipe for gas and everything's fine, so I don't need to check. Like checking your bank account equals you're poor and broke and you have nothing or you don't have enough. And so, by not checking, I was not only avoiding money and comforting myself in that way, but I was also comforting myself with this lie—this subconscious lie that I was telling myself—that if I didn't check our bank accounts, it was because I didn't need to, because we had everything that we needed.

The money is there whether I'm looking at it or not, and the disconnect that I had from the cause and effect of how I make money caused a drop in revenue, caused a lack of connection. It caused just a big disconnect. It caused a gap in my business, in my mindset, and in my energy.

I really believe that when you are a creative business owner like I am, your business and your revenue is a reflection of where you are personally. So, when I was avoiding money and pushing it away, delegating all of it, delegating too much in that area to other people, I was not connected to that flow of money into my life. And I really believe that it caused a negative drop. So, that is what I learned there.


Hey guys! Okay, so in this episode we're talking about how not everything that you will try to streamline in your life will work out. I have had multiple things that I tried to simplify in my life that didn't work out, right? That’s normal. It's just trial and error, but you've got to be flexible and try, try again.

One thing that has always been the answer for me in simplifying my life, making things easier for me to maintain, and creating more space for me to focus on what really matters to me is setting up simple rhythms for my days and my weeks. 

I have daily rhythms and weekly rhythms in my life. Rhythms are basically what happens when routines and habits have a baby, and they're perfect for people who tend to not stick with routines. You say you're going to live a certain way, stick to a routine, and then it falls away. You fall off the bandwagon and it doesn't stick. Rhythms are so much easier because they're attached to things that you're going to do anyway.

If that doesn't make any sense to you, but you know that you like me, you trust me, you want to learn from me, and typically what I say works really well for you or makes a lot of sense to you, you're going to want to check this out.

Rhythms keep things running. What has to get done always gets done. They are the secret. This is what I teach in my second course, Unburdened.

Unburdened is only available twice a year and it is currently open. I'm so excited!

Unburdened is basically Step 2. If you have simplified your home, you've simplified your stuff and decluttered a bit, and you're really wanting to simplify your life, your calendar, your schedule, get some boundaries in place, start living a healthier life, have things that need to get done just on autopilot, set up your life and your schedule to work with you just like your home works with you when you follow my process and philosophy of minimalism, then Unburdened is going to be perfect for you.

Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife. Alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife and check it out while it's available.

It's going to go away again for over six months, so now's your chance!


Also, another time I delegated too much in order to try to simplify was in different areas of my business. I was really scrappy when I started my business. I had to be because I didn't have any money even for bills and food, let alone to hire somebody to help me with my business that I was starting.

In the beginning I learned everything about everything. I knew everything about Pinterest marketing, Instagram and Facebook marketing, and the backend of everything. I learned how to code my own website. I learned everything about creating opt-ins, web pages, lead pages, and growing your email list. I knew everything by myself and I didn’t hire until I absolutely had to because I was scared to. So, I knew everything back in the day.

That helped me a lot because I could know when somebody was screwing me over or trying to charge me too much for doing a job that I knew how many hours that would take. I knew how much effort that would take. It really helped me.

But that was years ago and as the years went by and I grew, Pinterest changed, social media changed, the rules of tech and the way things work changed. I was delegating things—which is good, you need to delegate things—but some things I delegated a bit too much and didn't check in enough.

I believe that knowledge is power. So now I'm reading books about all the different things in my business—even if somebody else does them—because I want to know the latest and greatest tips for running Pinterest, running social media, doing Facebook Ads, growing your email list, and all these things.

I don't just read about what I'm doing. I now read about everything that has to do with my business so that I have a hand on what is going on. And I do that now because I delegated too much and it led to people getting lazy and not doing their job well. Then they would be the ones that knew how things worked and I wouldn't really know how that area of my business worked, so I would feel a little trapped in the relationship with them and like I didn't have control. That lack of control, it just wasn't good for me. It caused panic and it removed peace from my life and replaced it with stress.

So, I do think that delegation is one of the things that I believe in the most for anybody, but especially a business owner. I think that it's the key, like I said, to freedom and living the life that you love while also having a business that you love. But I do think that you can delegate too much in the wrong areas and no one really talks about that.

Another thing that I've tried to simplify in my life that didn't work is my laundry routine. I actually have an episode about my laundry routine. It's awesome and it's super helpful. If you haven't listened to it, I will link to it in the shownotes so that you can listen. I had a great laundry routine but, as life does, things shifted and my season of life just kind of changed. I was looking for ways to create more peace and more time in my mornings so that I could do enjoyable things in the morning. I was moving out of this time of waking up and getting things done and really wanting to just simplify everything that I could.

I had hired a couple of girls from the youth group at our church to do some things around the house for me. They were thankful for the money and I was thankful for them saving me an hour or two a day. And so, I said, “I want you guys to start doing my laundry for me. And I was so excited. I thought I was going to simplify my life so much and it actually didn't.

They were only able to come for an hour a day, so they weren't able to wait for the load to finish, switch it and follow through on a load of laundry. So, me delegating to them and giving that to them led to the laundry sitting and it was just kind of messed up. It just wasn't going well. I don't know. It was weird.

I was also really worried that they were going to shrink my stuff. And girls, if you're listening, I love you. You're doing a great job. I know you never shrunk any of my stuff. But I was just worried. I'm thinking about my Free People tops that I use for speaking engagements that are so delicate and dainty. I was terrified they were going to shrink stuff, bleach stuff, or mess something up. This was an afterschool job that they just had an hour or two a day, so they weren't able to really complete a full load of laundry and it made things worse. It just made things harder.

So, I adjusted. I realized that this wasn't helping. I realized that it was just making things harder. I didn't even really need to get my laundry off my plate. I was just looking to up-level as a woman and as a CEO, and if there's something that you can have done for you so you don't have to do it, then why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you simplify?

But, my laundry routine was so good to me and I ended up going back to it. Go listen to that episode. I ended up going back to it. The only thing that changed is I do my laundry, but I have the girls fold it.

When they come over after school for an hour or hour and a half, they do a couple of things. They dust, pick up, and do a couple of deep cleaning things for me. And then they fold the laundry that I did the day before. That's it. They're just folding it and putting it away. And that saves a little bit of time, a little bit of effort for me. My kids put away their own laundry, but they put away mine. I have to hang up my delicate shirts so when they're dry, they come over, get them and hang them up for me. They put Brian's clothes away. They put my clothes away. They put Emmett's clothes away because he's little. But that's it for the laundry. 

What I learned from this is sometimes simplicity just needs an adjustment. Maybe the thing you simplified isn't working. That doesn't mean that it's a trash idea and you're stupid and you don't even know how to simplify. It just means sometimes it needs an adjustment.

The last thing I tried to simplify in my life that didn't work was getting my exercise out of the way first thing in the morning. 

Now this is just me talking to you guys and sharing. This isn't even fully thought through. I'm just sharing some things with you. This might be a thing that was a problem in my season of life. It might not be a “this-sucks-permanently-thing,” if that makes sense. 

For a while back in January—I think it was the end of January—I decided that I wanted to work out because I was eating really well and not feeling healthier. I was feeling really sick. I was definitely not at a weight that was healthy for my height at all. I was just not feeling good. I was not fitting into my clothes and I just didn't feel good at all.

I was having weird pains and I was just like, “You know what? Maybe I'm over 30 now and I just have to work out more.” So, I signed up with a trainer friend of mine and I started going to her in the mornings. I would get up really early in the morning (which I was already doing anyway), and I would go immediately and work out. It was good for a little while, but over a couple months’ time, after the ‘honeymoon phase,’ I started to feel really, really unhappy about it. I started feeling really resentful—not of my trainer or anything, she's amazing—but of doing this thing. It was sucking my joy away from me.

Every night when I'd be going to bed, I would start to dread the next morning and that is not where I want to be. That is the opposite of what I believe, what I teach, and what I want. That was when I knew like something was off.

Side note: I did not lose any weight from working out. I did not feel much better at all. I came to find out that my ovary syndrome that I've had since a teenager was back and flared up really bad, and I was sick. I needed to balance my hormones. That's a side note. Story for another day.

But anyway, it was so frustrating that I was doing all this work and not feeling any better, but also my mornings were ruined. I realized that I missed my mornings and my morning routine. You guys know my morning routine, my morning ritual, I missed it. And so, this wasn't serving me.

So what I did was, I switched to doing my exercise in the middle of the day or just at some point in the day. It was something that was on my to-do list, not on my schedule. Does that make sense? My schedule is like, “Hey Allie, you have to be here at this time. You have to go live with Kendra at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. And then, after that, you have a doctor's appointment.” There are appointments, events, things that are on my schedule, but my to-do list is things that need to be done when I sit down to work or when I decide I'm going to do them. Make sense? So, moving my body became a thing on my to-do list. 

At some point in the day, I'm going to be ready for a break. If I'm homeschooling the kids, I'm going to want to break from that at some point. If I'm working, I’m going to want to get up from my desk and take a break. Whatever it is I'm doing, I going to want to take a break. When I take that break, I grab a water bottle, I get my tennis shoes on, and I go outside. I take a long walk, or a really short brisk walk, or I'll sprint with the kids in the backyard, we'll play kickball at the park, or I'll just do some squats and pushups while I wait for my snack to be ready or whatever it is.

I moved that there instead of making it this big hour-long thing—plus the drive time, plus the waking up and getting ready time–first thing in the morning. By the time I got home, it would be 8:00 a.m. and I'd have to start to get ready for my day because my work day normally starts at 9 or 10, depending. My whole morning ritual had to get nixed because I had to get up and go exercise and it just was a joy-suck for me.

I was trying to simplify life by feeling better and getting my exercise done right away. But what happened was it backfired and it sucked. I'm glad that I did it for a little while because, first of all, I learned a lot about how to work out and work my body really well, and my trainer taught me some really great moves to do. I definitely felt empowered by getting that done for a short season of time, but then it started to drain me.

What I learned from this is that it's okay to change. That’s another podcast episode to go back to. It's okay to change. It's okay to change your mind. It's okay to need to pivot. (Pivot! If you don't get that, I'm sorry. It's a “Friends” reference).

I also learned from this that sometimes simplicity is fitting things in when it works day-by-day and not being super scheduled and rigid. And you guys, I've talked about this so much because I am generally not a super organized, scheduled, rigid person. I love being spontaneous. I love being able to do what I want as things come and go and fly by the seat of my pants.

And pretty much every time I get super rigid I get out of it because it doesn't make me happy. It just makes me feel stuck. And I think there is a way to balance the things that need to get done and having rhythms and routines that serve you without feeling super rigid and stuck.

So, those are some things that I've tried to simplify in my life that didn't end up working, and what I learned and how I adjusted.

I hope that this makes you feel super known, understood and seen. It's okay. Life is real.

Sometimes you see somebody online talking about something and you think that they're perfect in that area and in every area of their life. And that's just not the case. And if they say it is, they're lying. I'm not saying that it’s perfect. I'm being honest with you and sharing the behind-the-scenes simplicity bloopers.

I hope this helps, makes you giggle and see that you're not alone, and maybe feel a little inspired to adjust in the area of your life that hasn't been working for you.

Love you guys!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 091: Delegation & Automation For Moms

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Delegation and automation are hot topics in the business world, but they can also be applied to our personal lives - especially as mama’s! You don’t have to do it all! You can delegate to people outside of your home or you can delegate to your kids. You can automate things you know have to get done (like laundry and dishes) in order for your home and family to run smoothly. Trust me, delegation and automation will bring you so much freedom! And I hope this episode causes you to reflect and take action in some way to bring those things into your life!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • What delegation and automation look like in your home.

  • How pride, fear, and control hold mom’s back from delegating things in their homes.

  • Things you can delegate to your kids.

  • Ways you can automate everyday tasks and chores.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hey, beautiful friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show and the first one of 2019!

Okay, so I moved this episode around, tweaked what the topic was going to be, and moved my editorial calendar around a whole bunch because I really wanted to start the year off well.

There's so many important topics that have been on my heart lately that it's really hard to narrow it down and choose what's going to make the cut. What's going to become an episode? What's going to become a blog post? What's going to be a livestream or an email? You know, what's the final cut gonna look like?

This episode has really been a personal life lesson for me and it's been something that's been constantly on my mind for weeks and weeks. I needed it to be an episode so I moved it up to the top for January and here we are.

I'm really pleased with this choice. I think it's going to be really great way to kick off the year.

We're going to talk about delegation and automation for moms. Delegation and automation are things that are really hot topics in the business world and that’s where I picked up on this idea of, “Oh my gosh! Everything doesn't have to be done by me - in my business.”

So really quick, just kind of a background…when I first started my business…if you guys have listened to Episode 06, you know our story. How we were super broke, poor and struggling and really under the thumb of oppression in our lives especially with the finances. And so when I started my business, I didn't have the option of delegation and automation because I didn't have the budget for it. I had to just pull myself up by my bootstraps and figure out the cheapest way to do everything and that involved it all being done by me.

But as I grew and my business became successful, I was able to branch out and took the huge, scary risk of hiring my first team member, my VA named Kena, who's still with me after all this time. She's awesome. If you've ever emailed me, that's who you're getting. So “Hi!” Kena, if you're listening!

Learning and growing as a businesswoman, I began to learn about productivity hacks, delegating to other people, and hiring team members. Paying for tools (some of them even actually being free). Getting my hands on tools that could automate things that I was doing over and over again that didn't necessarily need to be done “live or fresh” every single time, and things that didn't need to be done by me. And business has taught me that.

And it applies to everything. Business has taught me to do what only I can do and delegate or automate the rest. And that's a really huge life lesson.

So, whether you're in the business world or not, if you're a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling mom, work-at-home mom, work-outside-of-the-home mom, or you’re just a young woman who's listening to my show…It doesn't matter how much you have going on. If you're a woman in this modern world, especially if you are a mom, you need help.

So, here's the big question that I want to be a ‘light bulb’ moment for a lot of you. I want you to ask yourself this question…about everything in your life, everything on your calendar and on your task list: Does it really have to be done by me? Does this task really, truly have to be done by me?

A lot of the time it doesn't. I just want to be honest with you guys and share. I had so many pride issues come up inside myself over that question and over this issue in my personal life.

With the business, after I got over some money mindset issues and realized that I'm not going to go broke and lose everything if I hire somebody to help me with something. And actually, the more I hire, the more I delegate, the more I give tasks away, the more successful I am, and the business is, and the higher our revenue becomes because I'm focused on the things that I'm really good at. The things that make the business money. The things that bring more people into the business, bring more clients and customers.

I started to learn all of this stuff about delegating and automating things in my business, and started thinking I can apply this to my personal life and I think it could be really great.

But when I started to do that in my personal life, I just had a lot of issues come up in myself. And really the root of all those was pride, fear and needing to be in control.

I didn't really realize it at first, but what it came down to was that I felt like I had to do it all in order to be a good mom or a good wife. And I really struggled with that. And as I struggled through that over the last two or three years, probably mainly the last two years, I noticed how many moms share that struggle and even more so than I did.

I noticed so many moms won't even do things like hire a sitter so they can have dinner out with their husbands every once in a while. While we all have exemptions to this…maybe you have a child that has really high special needs and you really can't leave or you have a special circumstance…usually though, that's not the case and it comes down to a control issue.

It's this underlying fear of, “What will everyone think of me if I admit, through my actions, that I can't do it all? Or if I come clean and show I'm not actually doing it all?”

There's this thing happening online, specifically with social media, that's basically ‘curated imperfection.’ When social media first really took off and over the last few years, Instagram specifically, has become a place where there's this thing called ‘curated perfection’ and it's like the ‘perfect’ everything in every photo. And you know what? I get upset when people use that as an excuse for their own unhappiness when somebody loves photography and has beautiful photos and they're like, “Oh, you're fake.” It's not fake to take a beautiful photo. The fact is beautiful Instagram feeds capture attention, gain followers and it's good for your business. It's good for your brand and all of that.

But what I mean is ‘curated perfection’ where it's so fake and there's nothing real. Even your caption is so overly perfect. Really? Is this really how your life is? I just can't believe that. Like the type of people that you don't even know what a really hard day would look like for them because they never are very real and raw.

And that's not everyone's calling; I am not blaming them. But it kind of had caught fire and spread. All over social media there was this overly perfect curation of bliss and nothing real.

And then we swung the other way and now there's this thing called ‘curated imperfection’ where everyone's all about (I'm using quotation marks with my hand sarcastically right now) “being real.” But really, you still look great when you supposedly have no makeup on? It’s like you staged it. You faked it. It’s like that joke about Beyonce…I woke up like this…and it's like seriously? It’s practiced and curated imperfection and that's not really helping anyone. It's actually making everyone feel a whole lot worse.

So with that comes all of this guilt around what if I was really real and raw and I just came clean and was like, “I really can't do it all.” It's not about making a silly Instagram post bashing my own mom skills in a joking way. But really like I can't handle cleaning my house because I just started a company. Or I work outside of the home 60 hours a week and my son is going through a rebellious stage and I'm overwhelmed by that and I don't know what to do. My marriage is on the rocks and I'm trying so hard to just get through the days. My house…I can't keep up with it and I need help. I need to hire help for that. And then feeling guilty about that because everyone else seems to be doing it all or you’re feeling expected to do it all.

And I could go on a major tangent about this - it’s not right that this is how we've been made to feel by society - but I won't go on that tangent cause there's plenty of people doing that and you could look it up yourself.

But really that's the underlying issue. It's about control. And what is everyone going to think of me if I really admit that I can't do it all? If I delegated all these things that I “should be doing?” How will that look? Will my kids grow up and think, “Oh my mom didn't really do that much.”

These are all fears that I have had and that I've talked with other women, specifically working mothers, about and they have. And I see this all the time. My job is to be immersed in the world of moms and this is what I'm seeing.

And so I just want to speak to that really quick before we dive into how you can delegate and automate your life a little bit as a mother. I just want to say that I've been there and I want to be really raw with you guys. I have cried many tears, feeling frustrated, feeling ‘less than.’ Feeling like I'm in this battle, this tug of war between making my life easier and doing less things really well, rather than trying to do everything and not doing it very well at all, and holding onto the pride of ‘I can do it all.’

What frustrates me so much is that everybody knows that social media is a highlight reel even though I am pretty real with you guys. I share behind-the-scenes things, and I'm honest about struggles and mistakes. I mean that's what my blog and my podcast is about. Getting out of the muck and the mire and stepping into abundant life in the middle of the messiness of real life. Right?

But I'll still get messages like, “How are you doing all this work in your business and it's going so well? And you're in all these interviews, on all of these different podcasts and all of this media? And your kids are homeschooled and you and your husband go out every week? How are you doing all of that?” I’m not. It's the result of a lot of people being on my team. That includes my husband and my kids. My kids are on my team and I'm on theirs. I have an actual team on my business. I have a girl, not a girl, a woman, a mom of two who's awesome and who's listening to this right now because she does all my podcast stuff as well. Ashley.

Let's take Ashley for example. Ashley is on retainer for a set amount every month and she has two jobs. After I hit ‘stop’ on the recording button here on my podcast, I send her the raw file. She makes sure that it goes to the editor and that he edits the episode well. She listens through all the way to make sure there's no mistakes and then she uploads it into the platform that we use. She gets the episode out on time everywhere that it needs to go. She makes sure the show notes are written and they're written well and that they flow really well with the episode. She also does my press. So her sole job is to get episodes up. And she reaches out to people, podcasters and media executives, and she gets me everywhere. That's her job. There's one person whose sole job is to work full-time doing those things.

So, of course, it looks like I'm doing all these things, and I'm getting all these interviews. That I'm everywhere and I'm doing all this stuff. I'm not doing any of that. I just show up for the interviews. And even that, I have one day a week that I say “I can handle doing interviews on this day, but if it's not gonna work then, then let's just not do it.” It's not worth my time, even if it's a really big deal. Because I've got four kids and I'm adopting another one. I homeschool and I'm working. There's limits. It just looks like it's not. Does that make sense?

So you have to understand everybody that you feel inferior to…it's all in your head and you're letting that happen. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So stop consenting. Let's stop this BS game that's pointless and pitting us up against each other instead of making us a community.

I want you guys to know how imperfect I am. How often I break down and yell and have to apologize to my family for my words and my actions. How many times I get overwhelmed and feel like I went in too deep in over my head. Like this mission that God has placed in my lap is too much for me and He picked the wrong girl and I can't handle it. Like I can't handle the mean comments that come my way all the time. Worse, like I can't handle the kind comments that come my way all the time. Like I don't deserve this and I can't live up to it. It's a mess, you guys. It's a total mess (I want to say another word than mess, but I'm sure your kids might be listening so I won't say that) but it's just a total mess. It's a total poop show. We’ll say that. And it's hard.

I just want you guys to know that that's where I'm at. That's my heart and it is hard to let go of control. It's really, really hard, especially when it comes to your kids. I can delegate in business all day long, but when it comes to my home, when it comes to our meals, my kids, it's hard. It's a pride issue. It's a fear issue for sure.

I'm just going to share some things that I have learned that have helped me. Maybe some of this will work for you and apply to you. Maybe it won't. Maybe some of it won't fit your budget. Maybe some of it won't fit you at all. Maybe you don't need as much help as I do. But I just wanted to share my heart and be raw with you guys for a few minutes and then just share some things that have worked for me and hope that it encourages some of you to maybe consider letting some things go. Getting some things off your plate so that you can focus on the things they do need to be done by you.


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One thing that I have seen some women doing…We haven't gone this route, but I've seen it work really well. I even read a blog post about it recently and I was like, “Oh, I need to add that to this episode’s notes because that's such a good idea.” One of the hardest things about being a mom…If you're a working mom, you go to work or you get your work done all day. For me, my work schedule is very light right now. It goes through ebbs and flows, where it will be a really full work season and then a really light work season. For the last six months or so it's been pretty light. Just working for a few hours, a couple days a week, which has been awesome. But even then - just the weight of my business - being the CEO of it and doing the tasks that I do need to do, doing live streams and energy-draining things, going to work and doing my thing. And then doing the school with the kids, even if it's just part of it because Brian does most of it…It's a lot.

And one of the hardest things is getting dinner on the table at the end of the day. I've really finally come into my zone with meal prepping once a week. There's a blog post about that. I will link to it in the show notes if you'd like to read it. I had a lot of trepidation around meal planning. I didn't like to decide what we're going to eat ahead of time. I was afraid of it and really avoided it. But I've kind of just opened my arms to it because of the place that I am at and the place that my family is at and the way our lives are so full right now. It just needed to be done. So, I tried it again. I figured it out and I love the way that I figured it out. So there's a blog post if you just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/091, you can read that blog post.

But one thing that I've seen other women do is really neat. And that is they set up a ‘meal swap’ with other moms in the area. They prepare their meals a few days ahead of time. They prepare extra and then they swap with other moms. Then the next person does it and they do it too. Everyone's taking turns making a bunch of food and it's way less often than it would need to be if you were only doing it for yourself. So that's really cool. And I really liked that.

Also, a meal service as an option. There's even more affordable options out there. It's not like you have to hire a private chef to come in and do your meals or anything. There's Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. Those are great if you don't have a super specific diet. We do have a really specific diet and I haven't really been able to find something that I felt was worth the cost, really well-sourced, and that fit our special diets in our house, so those haven't worked for me but they are a great option if that's what you want to do.

Also hiring a Mommy's Helper who's just looking for extra cash. Maybe somebody who's in college that has a flexible schedule and a go-getter attitude. Somebody who's trustworthy or recommended by someone that you trust, if you don't know the person.

Mommy's Helpers can also be great if they're in high school and you just want them to come watch your kids for a little bit even while you're still at home getting some other things done. Instead of hiring a nanny or somebody who this is their career and is really expensive, Mommy's Helpers are great. They just want a little extra cash and they just enjoy kids. They enjoy helping. They're great. So if you have like an ‘in’ with somebody that you trust or that's recommended and they're just looking for some extra cash, that can be a great option. I think the key when you're asking for some help from somebody like that is to delegate to them small at first. So, give them a little bit and then grow that into more until you've completely given them certain tasks.

I think the key is, in business and personal life, communicating what your desired outcome is super clearly. What result would make you think that they did this job fully and well? Tell them that. Nobody can read your mind. So when you're delegating, especially if you're new at it, you've got to get really clear and communicate what is it that you're looking to be done here? How can they do this job and have you say, “Oh my gosh! You're amazing!” What would that look like?

Instead of saying, “If you could just help me get the kids ready for bed and then just hang out here for an hour while I run to the coffee shop and get a little work done, that would be great,” tell them…is it going to make you super upset if you come home and there was toothpaste all over the kids' bathroom counter and they didn't wipe it down? And the clothes they wear for the day are just on the floor instead of in the laundry? Are you going to want them to run the dishwasher or clean up after dinner? Be specific and communicate what you want from them. That is such a key to good delegating.

Also, let's talk about delegating to your kids. Bella is my oldest and at the time that I'm recording this, she's 9. She'll be 10 in February. My kids are a little bit older. I definitely don't have super little kids anymore. I've got 9, 7, 6 & 4. I'm at a point where I've been delegating to my kids for a few years now. But I want you guys to understand, even if you have younger kids, start them somewhere right away, even if it's not super helpful to you.

Delegating to your kids is so huge in raising helpful, self-assured kids. Seriously. Do not let the frustrations that come with teaching your kids to do things instead of you doing them yourself keep you from raising them this way, because it is frustrating and it takes a lot of patience, but don't let them get away with that. They need to learn to do things, to contribute and to be helpful.

This is a strong statement, but I really stand by it. I think one of the saddest things that I see in the way that today's kids are being raised is that parents are not giving them enough. They don't have to help. They barely have to contribute. It's a huge praise-worthy thing when they just get decent grades and don't smoke cigarettes by the age of 11. It's super sad and I think that responsibility goes a long way.

We just got back from a family vacation and we stayed at an Airbnb and the kids did their chores, even there. Of course, it was lighter because it wasn't our house and it’s not the same setup, but they swept up after meals. They washed the dishes and they did what they needed to do. They picked up their clothes and put them in the laundry bag instead of just throwing them on the floor by their suitcases. I think it's really important to raise kids who contribute. It is such a huge blessing for you as the mom and then also for the people that they end up living with as adults, whether that's roommates or if they get married. It's really important to raise kids who contribute and that's a really big core value for me.

It's crazy because I'll go over exactly what I've delegated to my kids, but it's not insane. I'm just giving them basic things that they can absolutely handle for their ages. And when people come over, they'll see the kids doing their chores and they're like, “Oh my gosh! My 20-year-old doesn't even do that!” And I think it's messed up because they're living in the house. We're a team. We're a family. We're supposed to contribute.

When you're delegating to your kids, just like if you were delegating to somebody else, like a Mommy's Helper or something, be really clear and straightforward. Don't expect the kids to know how to do it. I used to struggle with this really bad. I've learned so much, but it's really hard for me to not just expect my kids to know how to do something basic.

You have to remember that these are children and they're new here. They're new to the world. They've never had to do this before. You've been washing dishes for years. They don't know how to wash dishes. It's not common sense to them that all the stuck-on food be off before they load it into the dishwasher. Actually, common sense…you would think the dishwasher would get it off, but we all know it doesn't. You have to rinse them off first.

Be really patient. Take a deep breath. Be clear and straightforward. Communicate. Show them and set your expectations, audibly, to them right out of the gate. Be super patient in the beginning. Delegating to your kids is probably not going to be time-saving at first, but in the long run it will be. So, just remember that.

One example of something that I delegated to my kids really early on - I used to make their beds in the morning. We would pick up together in their rooms and I would just make their beds for them. One day they got a little older and I was like, “Why am I still doing this? This isn't a great use of my time. I could be downstairs making breakfast while they make the beds and then come downstairs to me.” So, I showed them how they make their beds. Then the next day I watched them as I walked them through it, but they did it. I was reminding them like, “Hey, you know, make sure you tuck it in. Make sure that the bedspread is on straight. Make sure it looks great.”

Then the next day I let them do it themselves and went back upstairs and checked their work. For example, Hudson - I remember he always had a really hard time being patient, following through and doing something well. He still struggles with that. I could totally tell he threw the blanket on and didn't really give a crap and that's normal for kids. And so instead of being like, “This is a joke! Get in here!” I tried to stay positive and constructive and say, “Okay, bud. What could we do? See? Let’s straighten it. Here, make sure that tag goes in this bottom corner.”

It's not about being anal and being super controlling and expecting perfection (because we all grew up with a kid, a friend, that had a mom like that and we don't want to be that mom) but it's just about showing them like, “I expect you to give some effort. And I expect you to help. And this is how you do this thing correctly. I'm not going to be crazy about it and make sure that it's wrinkle-free and perfectionistic, but I expect you to put some effort in.” You can tell when your kids are really trying (they're kids so it's not perfect) and when they're just being lazy and are not giving any effort. So, staying positive and constructive and showing them how to do it correctly.

Then after it's good and you've showed them, communicate your expectations and communicate the house rules really clearly. Talk about, “We're a family. We're a team. I expect this of you.” And then live out that expectation.

For example, you know my kids are normal. They're human beings. If I am ever upstairs doing a load of laundry and I peek into the boys’ room and I see their beds were unmade and there's laundry on the floor, I'm going to go get them and bring them in there and talk to them and say, “This is not cool, man. This is not what we do. This is not helping. This is not contributing. This is a mess. This is not how we treat our space,” and I'm going to make sure that they make their beds, pick up the laundry and pick up their room. It's consistently doing that, even when I'm in a rush. I'd rather be late to something then let that mess sit there and let them get away with that. Because my job is to train them up and teach them to contribute and that's super important to me. Or at the very least go to the thing that we were late to and then when we get home, first thing, “Go in your room and do what you were supposed to do. This is not cool.”

Also, I've never really been a huge fan of Chore Charts and systems like that. I think that they're just hard for me to maintain. They’re hard for me to stay on top of. But a little while ago we got this really cheap whiteboard Chore Chart at Target. It's got little magnetic star stickers and just enough space to write each kid's name and their main chores and using a star system. Now, not all the kids care about it, but most of them really care and they want to get those stars. The reward system works really well, especially with Leland. He is super competitive. He loves to meet goals and he loves to have a system like that.

We put it in the kitchen where I can see it. I see it all the time and because I'm seeing it, it reminds me to use it. We have a system where if you do your chores every day for a week, you get 30 minutes of extra game time on the weekend (because the kids are allowed to play with their video games and technology on the weekends.) That's awesome. That works really well. If they were younger, we would probably do a piece of candy or something like that, but it works super, super well.

So, that's how I've delegated to my kids. I know some of you are probably thinking, “Well, how do I get them to stick with it and how do I stick with it?” And there really is no easy answer. The fact is it's really just about I decided what I wanted for our family. I know it's going to be hard and sure, I mess up. But I'm pretty dang consistent. I'm not mean about it. I don't freak out and yell every time. Sure, sometimes I do, but I'm not a psychopath about it. I just say, “Guys, this isn't cool. You're not going to get a star today. You didn't do your stuff. In the morning, you need to get up and do stuff right away or do it before you go to bed. You don't get that star because you didn't do it. I asked you to contribute and you didn't. That sucks. That's not how we do our family.” I don't lose it on them and yell and make it a huge deal, but it's just expected. It's just a calm, firm, steady expectation in our family that everybody helps.

So, let's go over some things that I've delegated to my kids to give you guys some ideas.

Things that I've delegated to my kids in the past and present. Taking care of pets. Making their beds. Doing the dishes. I never do the dishes anymore. Maybe if somebody is sick I will, but Bella and Leland do dishes the completely. And it's awesome because I hate doing the dishes. The kids' laundry - Bella's started to do her laundry and the boys’ laundry. Definitely have some exceptions, like their karate ghee (that's what the karate robes and outfits or are called.) They have to be washed in a really specific way, so things like that, no. But just getting her in that habit of helping and teaching her how to do the laundry.

All the sweeping and vacuuming is done by the kids. Just general picking up the house. We have a bin by the stairs that we put things in when they belong upstairs and we're not going upstairs. So that way stuff's not out or in a pile by the stairs of ‘this needs to go upstairs.’

I've talked about this before, but emptying out that ‘by the stairs’ bin and putting everything away upstairs where it goes, that's the kids' responsibility. If it's my and Brian’s stuff, they'll just put it on our bed.

Making sure that they get their daily reading time in. They're supposed to read 30 minutes a day. Pulling weeds and helping with the yard. Taking out the trash cans.

Basically, it just is what it is. This is the expectation. This is how it's been set. We definitely talk to them. Our form of discipline usually with the kids is just sitting them down and having a serious one-on-one talk about what's going on. If it's their attitude, what's going on with your attitude? If it's not meeting expectations with helping in the house, then we talk about that with them. Maybe there's a consequence like no video games that Saturday or whatever is feeling appropriate for the situation.

But laziness is just not acceptable. And that goes for all of us. They are being raised by a mom who started a seven-figure empire with $50 and no help. And a dad who slaved away at a job that he hated, that treated him like crap, fourteen hours a day, six, sometimes seven days a week, for nine years. Laziness is not in our blood and we don't do that. And that's how we're raising the kids. So we handle laziness, cutting corners, and basically letting us down by talking to them and saying, “You know, hey, what's going on? This isn't cool dude. This is not how we do things in our family. What's going to help you?”

For Bella, she needs to ‘wake up’ and have breakfast and get her day going and then she'll do her chores and do them really well. Leland likes to get them done at a certain time every day and he likes them to be done so we can enjoy breakfast, so he does his stuff right in the morning. Of course this isn't perfect. Nobody does the same thing at a certain time every day.

Trust me, if you guys are listening to this, I think just the fact that I'm talking about these things is going to put the idea in your head that everything's like super rhythmic and perfect, but if you were hanging out in our house for a week you would see it's totally normal and it's really chill. But there's just that expectation of ‘everybody helps’ and at some point in the day everybody helps.

Moving on from kid stuff, let's talk about other types of delegation. Little tips on delegating that may or may not fit your budget that have helped me and that I've seen other moms do that have helped them a ton. And not even moms, women. There's a one woman in particular that we're Instagram friends and she doesn't have any kids. She's married, doesn't have any kids. She has an online business as well and she has a personal assistant. This girl runs errands for her. Makes returns for her. Does grocery shopping for her. Things like that, so she can focus on her marriage and her business and that's great. Us moms…we need that too.

A personal assistant is something that you could get for $12 to $15 an hour, and really you're not going to spend too much because those things don't take up a ton of time, especially if that person is not carrying around a bunch of kids with them, like I would be if it was me. We have someone that does help, if we need it, with things like errands and making returns. I usually do my own grocery shopping because of the ingredients that we need. But you get my point. You can hire somebody to do those things. Those things don't need to be done by me. Running simple errands. Picking up cleaning spray. Making returns to the mall for shoes that didn't end up fitting my kid. That doesn't need to be done by me.

Obviously, a housekeeper. Their price range really varies with that, but you could find someone that fits your needs and fits your budget. Negotiate with them, like, “Hey, if you could come every week instead of every month, can we work something out where it's a better value?” A lot of them do that already. Even just somebody to come and do the deep cleaning for you once a month, that would be so great. Right?

Truth be told, I have housekeepers that come every Monday. They used to come once a month, then it was twice a month and then I was like, “Screw it. I need a lot of help here.” I don't do any of the deep cleaning anymore. It's really just the kids doing their chores and us just doing daily maintenance, like picking up and laundry. The housekeepers come every Monday and give us a fresh start for the week and it's awesome.

It's money well spent because I have sanity. My house is clean. I don't have to worry about if there's going to be something embarrassing streaked on my baseboards that's two years old because somebody is looking out for those things, and we have a routine where once a month they do really detailed things. They get the dust off our fans and they run a Swiffer across the baseboards for us. They do the detailed things every now and then. They do the weekly detailed maintenance for us and that's new for us and it's awesome. It's been just such a good investment for us. So, if that fits your budget, obviously that’s a great thing to delegate because cleaning your house does take time.

If you can't afford a housekeeper, I highly recommend Kendra. Kendra Hennessy is a dear, dear friend of mine. She runs motherlikeaboss.com and she basically does what I do, but for cleaning and running your housecleaning in general and she's awesome. She has amazing tips to simplify the process and make it easier. We've done some webinars together so you might already know who she is, but I will link to her website in shownotes because if you can't afford a housekeeper, go spend the fee for one week of housekeeping and go get her course because it's amazing. I will link to that in the shownotes for you guys.

I actually am an affiliate for her courses because they're so freaking amazing and we've done webinars together so I've seen inside of her courses. I've even taken some of them. Super, super helpful. So, there's that too.

Another delegation tip that we touched on in the beginning of this episode is meal services. If your budget can handle it, and this is where you're at, you can hire a full-on chef to come and prepare meals for you once a week…like that exists. And then of course, Hello Fresh and Blue Apron and things like that that deliver your food to you and it's all chopped and prepped and you just have to cook it and prepare the actual meal. There's a lot of different options for that. I think there's even a couple of Vegan and healthy ones that I've heard about, but at this point we're just not there anymore. I’m not using those right now.

There's a lot of things to just simplify your meals. You can get groceries delivered now. There's so much you could do.

Moving away from all of that, I want to talk about the fact that sometimes delegation means delegating to yourself ahead of time. It's not that you're delegating it to somebody else, it's that you're delegating it to yourself now so that you can have a more peaceful future. So, not waiting until the last minute to do something important and causing herself unnecessary extra stress.

Maybe one example is Christmas shopping online in November from your couch, with a glass of wine, for everyone on your list and then just calling it done. It just takes a little bit of preplanning and thinking. I have a lot of things like this and Christmas shopping is just one example.

I have gotten in the habit of having this one night in November where after the kids are in bed, Brian and I sit together and we turn the fire on, we watch a movie, we pour some wine and we online shop for everybody on our list. We've got the people on our list that we need to get presents for. We know what we want to get them or if we don't, we have some kind of idea. We have a budget for each person and we just go online. We order the grandparents, you know, canvas photo prints of the kids. We order candles. The kids’ presents from Amazon. We have the kids make their lists early. Each kid gets three presents. We know what they are, they're ordered, they're on their way and it's just done.

Maybe one day in December we'll have to go out and get a couple of small filler gifts.

For example, I usually go to this small shop in Oceanside where I live. I don't live in Oceanside - Oceanside's near where I live. That's what I meant. My friend owns this adorable little small shop called Roam in Oceanside, California. I'll go there and I'll get a couple of small-shop gifts for friends. They're just a little bit more special, a little bit more unique. They’re locally made and they have earrings and jewelry and stuff there. I'll get a couple of things for my mom, my sister, my best friend that lives in Florida.

So, there's a couple little things like that, but getting that Christmas shopping done online from my couch in November for basically everyone on my list is a huge stress reliever.

So, do you see what I mean? That's maybe more automation, but it is kind of like delegating to yourself for the future. It's delegating to your past self and just giving yourself the time and space to think about something.

All that means is just putting it on your calendar. Even right now as you're listening to this…stop, go open your Google calendar, go to November of this year even though it's super far away and just put that in your calendar. From now on, the third Saturday in November or the first Thursday in November is going to be the night that you do that with your husband. You just online shop for Christmas presents. Just make it a tradition.

Just think about that. That is something that will simplify your life immensely and all that is is just thinking ahead. So much of our stress comes from not thinking ahead.

I've got four kids. I'm homeschooling. I'm running the business. Of course, I can't think ahead. My brain can't even process what I'm doing tomorrow. But it's about giving yourself a little space to think, “Okay, what in my life is causing stress in this season?”

A couple of years ago I did that around the holidays and it was Christmas shopping. So, I figured out a rhythm that I could set for myself to make it not so stressful in coming years. Now I've got that November shopping routine and it's awesome!

So, see? Plan out some white space for you to take a drive, go for a walk, go to a coffee house and just sit and contemplate your life in this season you're in right now. What's not working? What's making your stomach turn with stress? How can you make that lighter for yourself in the future? Those are things you can put in your calendar as ‘blocks of time.’ Do it right now. The next time you have an afternoon that you can just have your husband hang with the kids or hire a sitter or something, go get yourself some lunch, bring a journal, bring your laptop, and just reflect and ask yourself, “What's going on right now? What can I do to lighten my load? How can I make this time next year much better?”

Another example of this kind of delegation to yourself is getting your kid's party supplies when you're at the store two weeks before rather than having to make another trip to go get party supplies. This is where my Sunday planning comes in super handy. I don't do this religiously every single week in full, but close to it. It's definitely a really steady weekly rhythm that I have.

I think there's an episode about this. If not, there's a blog post. Either way, there's a whole resource about this. I will link to it in the shownotes for this episode. Again, alliecasazza.com/shownotes/091. I’ll link to that so you can read it.

But Sunday planning is basically a time on Sunday nights where I just get ready for the week. I think everybody has at least something like this, but this works really well for me. Sunday nights I get my planner out and I make our grocery lists, make our meal planning. I do all that. I go to the grocery store, usually on Sunday night or Monday morning, but Sunday night I'm planning so I can look ahead and think, “Oh, okay, look, Bella's birthday party is coming up. I'm going to be at Target getting cleaning spray and whatever else I need on this day so I'm going to get her parties supplies while I’m there.

See, it's just giving yourself that white space to have a freaking second to be still and quiet and think ahead. It's something that us moms just do not get unless we force it and it's something that we should force. You should give yourself at least one hour of quiet reflection and looking ahead so that you can get a clear head and think.

When you do that for yourself, you're going to be like, “Oh my gosh! I'm an amazing mom. Look how on it I am!” Because you gave yourself a little bit of peace and quiet to look ahead and think, “What's going on this week? How can I make my life easier?” And you're going to notice, and you're not going to be, “Oh, I went to Target without a list and now I have to go back in because I forgot that I needed to get Bella sweater. Oh, I needed to get dog food (or whatever it is).”

The same goes for automation. You can save yourself so much stress by automating the things you know you have to get done without a doubt in order for your home and your family to run smoothly.

So, laundry. I've talked about my laundry routine a ton. There's a separate episode about that. If you need it, it will be in shownotes because I can't remember right now what episode number it is, but I have a laundry routine. Basically, I never have to think about laundry anymore. It just gets done and never really gets behind unless we're traveling.

Automating dishes for yourself, if your kids aren't old enough to do them for you. Automating your grocery shopping. Automating your calendar management. Automating your family schedule. Automating your homeschool curriculum planning.

Even automating date nights - no backburner marriages here, right? We are going to make date night happen and we're going to prioritize this relationship because it matters. It's the foundation of our happy family and it's important that we say this is the night we hang out alone. We treat ourselves to dinner out or coffee out or even just a walk at the park for free, away from the kids with a sitter or a family member to watch the kids and put them to bed for us.

That's the biggest thing. For me and Brian, date night is not date night if we come home and we do the whole bedtime routine. The whole point of date night is to be away and get a break – together. Focus on each other and get a break from the whole bedtime routine and it's awesome. If we ever finish dinner early and we're ready to go home, we will stay out until the kids are in bed and then just come up and kiss them goodnight real quick before we go to bed because you need that break.

It doesn't matter what your budget is. It can be done in one way or another. But just imagine if you had some set time once a week to be alone with your man and you went and you just did something together. If it's having dinner, seeing a movie, getting a cup of coffee or tea, taking a walk by a lake or something by your house - whatever it is. Just walk around your freaking block - it doesn't matter - but you had time to be out alone, talking, pouring into each other, spending time together and skipping the nighttime routine, what freedom that is? That is such a gift. It's so important.

These are things that we can automate and say, “These things need to happen in order for our relationship to stay good, for our home to run smoothly, for our family to feel in sync and like everyone has everything they need.” Those are the things that you need to automate because if they don't get done, things get crazy and there's no reason for that.

If we can just think ahead a little bit and give ourselves that space to do so, things will be so much smoother. That's a gift that you can give to yourself and to your family.

So, your action step for today, after this long episode is how can you automate the things that need to get done? How can you delegate things to other people? What's stressing you out? How can you make this season of your life less stressful next year or the next time it comes around? Get some time to reflect, even if it's just at home after the kids go to bed with some headphones in. Do something today. Take action in some way today.

Don't forget! Girl, you better tag me on Instagram. I want to see what you're doing. I want to see that you're listening to this episode. I want to see what you’re doing and how you’re taking action on this…by brain dumping into a journal, what are you stressed out about? What can you delegate? What can you hand off to somebody else? How can you get over your pride and your controlling like I did and I'm still doing and let go of some things so you can do less better? Share with me on Instagram. Allie_that's me. I want to see!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

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