Do you ever wonder where your time goes? Do you ever feel completely drained but don’t understand why? It’s probably time to do an audit. I realised the importance of doing regular audits on my life and business a few years back. Like tracking time, energy drains and to do lists. It has made a huge difference. However, in order to make the most of your audit, you need to be prepared to make some life changes. Here are 5 audits that can change your life and practical strategies for how to implement changes to improve your health, income and relationships.

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  • Time audit: Complete at least a week-long time audit and note any discrepancies between perceived vs actual time spent working.
  • Energy audit: Fill out “gives me energy” and “drains my energy” lists, then take steps to minimize your biggest drains.
  • People audit: Evaluate your closest relationships by making a list of the 10 people you spend the most time with. Identify anyone on the list that seems to drain your energy.
  • Calendar audit: Audit your calendar for the next 3 months and remove any items that feel unnecessary or don’t align with your goals. Make room for important tasks.
  • To do list audit: Sweep through your existing to-do list, removing any items that can be deleted, delegated, or postponed. Tackle remaining high-priority tasks.

Resources Mentioned

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EBT553 – 5 Audits to Complete for Better Health, More Money and More Meaningful Relationships

Intro  00:01

Hey food bloggers. Thank you so much for joining me in this mindset and self-care focused episode here on Eat Blog Talk. One of the reasons I started a blog talk was to hold a space to talk about the importance of mindset and self-care. Being an entrepreneur can be a lot. If we are not taking care of ourselves, then getting actionable information about SEO Pinterest or whatever else is all moot. I will meet you back here every Wednesday to discuss various mindset and self-care topics. So you have the energy and space to tackle the rest.

Sponsor (Kristina Cadelina)  00:34

Are you wanting stunning visuals that make your food creations come to life, or you have so much on your plate that photography is the last thing you want to think about. I’m Christina from when Salty and Sweet Unite, and I’m a passionate food photographer, ready to transform your business by providing spectacular images for your delicious recipes. I have an eye for detail, composition and food styling. Also, I’m a food blogger myself, so I understand the need for good process shots and heroes to help promote your recipe. So why outsource your food photography, it will give you time back to focus on aspects of your business that you really love. So if you’re ready to take this next step, let’s connect. Reach out to me at [email protected]. And let’s schedule a consultation. So we can start to create your vision.

Megan Porta  01:36

Hello food bloggers Welcome to this self care and mindset focused episode of Eat Blog Talk. Thank you so much for being here. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about five audits to complete for better health, more money and more meaningful relationships. I know that the word audit can be a trigger for some people, myself included having just gone through a rather annoying IRS tax audit. That’s the best word I can think of. But I think this word carries an authority and a level of importance, which is why I decided to use it. There are some areas of all of our lives that I believe should be audited periodically, in order to reach maximum efficiency in both our lives and our businesses, and to have better health to make more money and to have more meaningful relationships. Audits are examinations of situations or processes, right? They show us what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong. So that we can course correct, we can make changes and end up in a better spot than we’re currently in. The first audit I performed on my own business and life happened about five years ago or so. It was transformational, I will never forget it. I did the audit out of desperation. At the time, I was not seeing any forward progress or movement. In honestly, any area of my life, I felt like things were really stagnant in my business. And in my personal life. I wasn’t being efficient with the work I was doing and what I was focusing on, all around in every area of my life. So if you’ve never done any of the audits that we’re going to talk about in this episode, I recommend that you start with number one, it’s the most important in my opinion, and then move through all of them in the order that they’re presented. Take as much time as you need for each. But you should be able to complete all of them within a few weeks at the most if you’re really dedicated to doing this. And I really, really recommend that you do this process. At the end of going through all of these audits, your life will be so much improved, I promise. The first type of audit is the most powerful. It’s the one I performed five years ago. So let’s get right into the different types of audits.

Megan Porta  04:01

 Number one is time audit. I am a huge proponent of the time audit. I actually talked about this all the time on the podcast, and in my mastermind other groups. This is especially important for entrepreneurs but I think every human who breathes and has a pulse should do this audit and at least twice a year, ideally, quarterly. A lot of people get hung up on the annoyance of completing this audit because they haven’t yet experienced the positive impact it has on one’s life and business. So here’s my plea to you to push past the annoyance and do the time audit. You will not be sorry. Doing this will lead to insight clarity, a streamlined and efficient life and business and everything else I mentioned earlier better health more money more meaningful relationships. Trust me on this please I beg you to do it. To complete the audit you will need As a way to track your time diligence with tracking your time and one week, I personally love and use the toggle app. It’s spelled T O G G L. It is a free app, it syncs between desktop and smartphone. So it’s really handy you can use it on the go, you can use it when you’re sitting at your computer working. You can also easily categorize projects within the app. So for example, home family time specific work projects, such as blog, podcast cookbook, etc. You can get as detailed as you’d like and super easily. Or go the old school route and carry a notebook and pen with you wherever you go for a week. using a tool like toggle is especially handy because after you’ve logged your time, you can create reports like get organized in a single click. With a notebook and pen, you’re going to have to go back through and sort through the information yourself. So it’s not as handy when you’re actually getting to the point where you’re performing the audit. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter how you log your time, as long as you are logging your time. I always recommend logging one solid week have time to start and choosing a relatively normal week to do this. You don’t want to log your time when you’re on vacation, for example, or when you’re sick or something is just off about the week. If one week seems like too much, do three days, but I hate to even say that because I really think that it’ll benefit you the most. If you can do a solid week. Log everything you do. This might seem like overkill, but the more you log, the more data you’re going to have at the end of the week, and the more insights you’ll be able to glean from it. Here’s a really quick example just off the top of my head about a day that I might log up at 6:30am. Get boys ready for school categorizes family, from 6:30 to seven. Workout This is categorized as self care from seven to 7:45. Walk self care from 7:45 to 8:30. Okay, I’ll stop saying the times but just give you an idea, shower and get ready for the day. Meditate, prep for podcast interviews, complete podcast interviews, and then I categorize those under Eat Blog Talk, lunch selfcare. Edit photos for the blog published posts for the blog, evening time with family categorized as family dinner prep, categorizes home, walk with the Elijah around the neighborhood, family etc. So every little thing you do even if it’s driving to pick the kids up from school, log it all, it’s all going to be data that’s going to help you in the end. 

Megan Porta  07:53

At first it might not come naturally to constantly be logging every minute of your time, you’re going to forget a stretch here and there. And that’s okay, you can go back and log retroactively. And toggl it’s really easy to do this. And of course, on a notebook, it’s easy to do as well. So once you have a week’s worth of data, you are ready to analyze and perform your audit. Things you’re going to look for are how much time did you spend working total? And then ask yourself? Does this align with how much time you thought you worked total? Also look at how much time you spent working on individual projects. And ask yourself again, does this align with what you thought also analyze self care, your downtime, your family time, time sleeping, prepping food, and anything else that rises to the surface in your analytics once you are looking through that data.

Megan Porta  08:54

Now write down any discrepancies that you see or other observations about your time logged. When I completed my first time audit, I remember being absolutely blown away by the discrepancy between how much time I thought I was working each week, and how much time I was actually working. It felt like I was working 50 hours or more a week. And this is what I told people when they asked me when in reality after my audit, I saw that I was actually working 30 hours or less a week. That is a huge difference. If there’s a huge discrepancy like that you need to know so you can get to the bottom of why there’s a discrepancy. I do these time audits regularly now. In fact, I just completed a six month long time audit. I don’t recommend everyone do this. But I’ll explain in a bit why it was really helpful for me. Every single time I do a time audit, some sort of clarity finds me and I’m able to adjust my projects, my downtime, my self care time, my work time etcetera as I need to and after each one I become a more efficient human, which also means I’m a healthier human, who is making better decisions, more money, and who has more meaningful relationships. It all starts with the time audit. After doing this, other things will start to fall into place in ways that you can’t even imagine or anticipate. Most likely, once you’ve completed your time audit, a few glaring things will stand out to you. Maybe you will find that you’re spending way too much time in your email inbox each week, resulting in you fine tuning your processes and or outsourcing email to a VA. Perhaps you’ll discover like I did that by the end of the workweek, you feel like you’ve just worked a million hours when you actually only worked 20 to 30. If this is the case, you need to get to the bottom of why you are feeling so depleted. Or maybe your audit will show you that you are on Instagram scrolling mindlessly for 10 hours a week. This might result in setting timers for yourself each day. So you don’t exceed I don’t know 20 minutes a day on Instagram, which will leave you with hours of extra time every week to spend with loved ones in the evening or start a new work project or whatever else you really want to spend your time doing. So do the time audit, write down your observations and things you would like to change based on your audit. Some changes will be easy to put your finger on. Others might feel a little bit more nebulous. The remaining audits that we’re going to talk through in this episode will help. 

Megan Porta  11:38

Number two, energy audit. Remember my huge discrepancy between the numbers of hours worked and how I felt. This has been a theme for me for the past five years. In fact, every time I do an audit, this is one of my observations that comes up. In my recent six month time audit, I consistently worked 20 hours per week on average. In my brain, this sounds delightful like I should be balancing and prancing around my home with bottomless energy and so much extra time and energy to do the things that I want to do. But after working only 20 hours per week, I felt during those six months. In general, like I had just run a marathon or two plus worked for 10 days straight with little to no sleep. This is actually why my time audit was so prolonged. I really wanted to get to the bottom of why I was feeling so depleted after such a digestible workweek. Within my time logging, I started making secondary notes such as two hours spent on the IRS audit, nap needed afterward, or finished work early feeling stressed about x situation. So when I looked back at my time log, I was finding all of these instances that were depleting my energy. In that six months span a lot of energy drains had crept in. What did I learn from all of this, I learned that I needed tighter boundaries. This is a constant theme for me. I learned that I needed to step up my meditation, I learned that I needed to start talking about things more with people I trusted. I learned that I needed to lovingly confront situations and sometimes people head on in order to not stew and overthink and overanalyze so dang much. From this data, I make tweaks, repeat, repeat, repeat. It is a never ending journey. But I’m at becoming a more efficient and healthier, happier human every single time.

Megan Porta  13:46

After completing your time audit, some energy drains might be really obvious to you. If not complete this exercise. Open a Google sheet and write, “Gives me Energy” at the top of one column and “Drains my Energy” at the top of another. Set a 15 minute timer and just start writing. Consider work tasks, projects, thoughts you have throughout the day. People activities, places ideas, music, sights, sounds, smells, anything that comes to mind. Print your “Gives Me Energy” list out and hang it somewhere you can see it often as a prompt and reminder to do more of those things. Now go through your “Drains My Energy” list item by item. Ask yourself for each item. Why am I allowing this into my life? Pull out your top five biggest energy drains and journal out that question. Why am I allowing x into my life? An alternative to this would be talking through it with a therapist or a loved one. Now make a plan to remove each thing from your life. Do you need to delegate the strain to someone else? Do you need to hire someone to get help with it? Do you need to acquire a new skill in order to handle the drain better? Maybe you need to make time just to clear your mind so you can deal with it better mentally. Here’s an example. One of my recent drains was worrying about and way overthinking a relational issue. This strain took me out for nearly a week. I’m not kidding. How can I remove this from my life, I need to be more bold when dealing with relational issues. So I have been working on this, I’ve been very diligent about it. Because I’m tired of being drained in this area. I have been using my husband, thank you hubby as a test subject. With this. When little things come up between us, I’ve been making a huge effort to gently but assertively address the issue with him instead of ignoring it and running from it and hoping it’ll get better. And this is helping to build up my muscle for just dealing with issues as they arise with other people who I might not be so comfortable with. 

Megan Porta  16:13

Something else that helps remove relational drains for me is meditation, it helps to clear my head. So I’ve been really upping my game with this. And I’ve just been working on letting crap go. This is a constant theme for me, where I will get something in my brain, and I’ll keep it there. I’ll obsess about it. And it’s so hard for me to release it. So letting go of the BS is at the top of my priority list. Going through this energy audit might take you a bit, it’s not a 10 minute exercise. If you really want to get to the bottom of and fix or eliminate your drains. You have to commit to working through it, I promise it’s worth the effort. Everything gets easier when you don’t feel depleted. 

Megan Porta  17:00

Three people audit, this topic is touchy. And I always try to tread really lightly when I talk about this. Because I don’t want to hurt any feelings. And I don’t want you to feel like you’re gonna hurt people’s feelings. So I will be gentle in talking about this topic. I say it all the time. People are everything. It is so true. Having a large circle of high quality kind, humans in your life is going to make your life and success in your business exponentially better and easier. It’s going to bring you so many good things. But what if you have low quality, gossipy toxic humans in your life? Well, it can honestly just deplete you it can drain you and lower your quality of life. After completing your time and energy audits, you may have pulled out some people who drain your energy. Keep those people in mind also do this. Write down the 10 people you spend the most time with or talk to the most is anyone on that list stand out as an energy drain, pull out the ones that do sometimes these people are family. And this is kind of where it becomes tricky. You can’t ditch family all the time, unless they’re like really, really toxic. So I have found that this is the trickiest category, because you kind of just have to make it work. But I believe that no matter what, there’s always something you can do to minimize the energy drains people cause you. Sometimes you just need to set better boundaries, this is the case most of the time for me. Other times you might have to have a difficult conversation. Or maybe you need to start ignoring certain behaviors or comments from people that goes back to my letting things go situation. And sometimes you just have to stop associating with people. I had to do this recently. And it’s really hard. But let me tell you, life becomes so much more easy when you let those toxic people go who are absolutely not serving you or showing up for you in any way whatsoever.

Megan Porta  19:14

It’s one thing to have awareness about your people drains. But it’s another thing entirely to act on making things better. I think this is the hard part because we don’t want to offend people. We don’t want to upset people. We don’t want to cause strain and relationships and families and friendships and friend groups. It’s hard thinking about potentially doing something like that. So it is something that a lot of people, myself included, avoid. But if you want to improve your life, it’s something that you’re going to have to do. Fill your life with high-quality people who uplift you encourage you inspire you, and who are kind humans. If you have low quality people who bring you down and add toxicity to your life. There’s less room for the high-quality people just remember that number four calendar audit. After completing your time audit, there are probably some things screaming at you from your calendar that you didn’t see before. If that’s the case, awesome. make tweaks to your calendar as needed. And we’ll talk a little bit about how to do that. If nothing really stood out to you, then do this. Open your calendar and closely look through the next three months. Pull out anything that makes you feel icky, or that doesn’t align with your goals. Can you remove that thing? Maybe have someone else do it for you? I have to share memory with you because it was a momentous point in my journey as a budding entrepreneur. A few years ago, I remember making it to Friday afternoon one week and felt like someone had just run over me with a huge truck. I was exhausted, like, I could hardly lift my fingers to log into my last Zoom call of the week. I remember feeling totally brain dead as I got onto this call. I had agreed to join a call with a few other bloggers just to quote chat. We were talking about maybe Pinterest or something I don’t remember honestly, what I do remember is that I had this distinct thought, Why am I here? When I got off the call, I opened my calendar and looked at it. And I counted 21 calls that I had been on that week. Some of them were podcast interviews, which are super important for my business, non negotiable, I have to show up for those others were mastermind calls also non negotiable, I have to show up for those as well. But most of the calls that I had attended were calls that I didn’t need to be a part of. And I realized that I had said yes to every person who had asked me for my time that week, resulting in absolute exhaustion. That week was a turning point for me born from my desire to never feel like that again, I became much more intentional about what I allowed onto my calendar. Now I can say that I’m super strict about what gets put on my calendar, I don’t do anything that I don’t need to do or want to do. I also protect certain days of the week, as well as certain seasons of the year. I do not schedule calls on Fridays, unless absolutely necessary. And I do minimal work and calls on Thursdays. Summers are also very protected for me. So while I do work in the summer, it’s very minimal. And I tried to get on as few calls as humanly possible in the summertime. So when looking ahead at your next three months, pull out anything that doesn’t feel right. When you see it, you’ll know it’ll make you feel icky inside, audit it, what can you do to either remove it from your calendar, delegate it to someone else, or get through it and just make a plan to not repeat it. I suggest doing this every three months or even once a month, and keep honing in on only putting things on your calendar that you need to do and want to do. By the way, I didn’t touch on actual like blogging tasks that might be on your calendar. The same applies to that. Not just calls, but what are you actually working on that aligns with what you need to do and with what you want to be doing. tweak, tweak, tweak this is a continual process a constant journey, it’s never going to be perfect, honestly, but you can make it better month after month after month. 

Megan Porta  23:40

Number five, To Do List audit. Last but not least, let’s audit our to do lists. Do you keep a running list of things to do that grows over time. I know a lot of entrepreneurs who operate this way myself included. Every once in a while I do just a thorough audit and sweep through my to do list when it starts to overwhelm me, or when it gets too long to fit on a single page. I know it’s probably time. This feels so good. And it’s a great way to declutter, I’m such a proponent of decluttering, and opening up space for better things to come into your life and your business. And to be put onto your to do list. If you have a to do list already. Okay, that’s great. This is a perfect place to start. If not write out as many things as you can think of that you have to do in relation to your business and your personal life. Once you have everything down, pull out the following things that can be done in less than 30 minutes. Things that someone else can do for you and things that can be deleted or at least put on the backburner. Next, do those things that can be done in 30 minutes now today or tomorrow. Delegate the things that can be done by somebody else and remove those things that can be eliminated. cross them off your list that always feels so good. If you’re just putting them on the backburner, make a note in your calendar to revisit in the future, so you don’t forget about it. Now what is left, make a plan for the remaining to do list items, maybe put dates next to them, knock a few of them out today, after this simple audit, your list is going to be way pared down, it’s going to be less overwhelming, it’s going to be more digestible, less of an energy drain, it’s going to help you feel better, have more clarity, and focus, and it’s not going to require much time from you. Make a note in your calendar to perform these To Do List audits at least once a month. Such a great way to free up mental and business clutter. 

Megan Porta  25:47

Okay, that is all I have. For the audits. Let’s recap the five audits to complete for better health more money in more meaningful relationships. And honestly, I could have added so many more positive benefits here. But for the sake of shortening the title, that’s what we’re gonna say. Number one, do a time audit the most important thing if there’s only one thing you do from this audit list, do this one. Number two, energy audit also very important. Three people audit for calendar audit and five, To Do List audit. If you made it all the way through all of these audits, please reach out to me I’d love to hear how it went. If there were any insights that you didn’t expect clarity that you received after doing them anything at all, please share [email protected] I love hearing from you guys. Have a wonderful week ahead. I will see you back here next week friends.

Megan Porta  26:45

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