On Getting Things Done: Ashton Lynne Haywood
Sydney Greene, #BBATX committee member and curator of this year’s WORK session, When Busy Isn’t Better, spoke with Women Who Werk founder Ashton about her habits to establish a good work flow, when to say “no” vs. when to say “yes”, and how she takes care of her busy life as a business owner, a mom, a soon-to-be wife, and a badass woman.
What kind of support do you wish you had when you were just starting out?
I’ve always been very fortunate to have a solid network of people to support my endeavors. However, it wasn’t until this year that I fully gave myself permission to accept the support. I’m a very independent woman so asking for help is sometimes very hard. However, by being compassionate with myself and practicing gratitude, I have come to accept that support is a crucial part of success and now, I gladly take it!
How do you exercise personal and professional patience?
Not rushing into things because I’m scared of what others may think or because things aren’t happening on the timeline I thought they would, has been a hard but much-needed lesson. In my journey to live a life I love, I’ve learned that in order to become my best self, it’s crucial to exercise patience in all areas of my life. Learning to pause and really think things through has really helped me make fewer decisions that I end up regretting. Giving up control to go with the flow doesn’t come easy for me, but I know it’s a must if I want to live in alignment with my goals and legacy.
When do you know it's a "yes?" when do you know it's a "no?"
Between my intuition and inner circle, I rarely make decisions that I’m not prepared to deal with. For me, a “yes” or “no” comes down to what I feel. I have a very strong intuition and I know when something isn’t right. A “yes” feels good and I’m comfortable with what comes after accepting the task or challenge. I also have a great inner circle that I run things by so that helps a lot.
What are your thoughts on concepts of work/life balance?
Work/life balance looks different for everyone. I have two businesses so I have a full schedule. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I’m going 100 miles per hour. While I have to work pretty much every day of the week, what gives me balance is the manner in which I work. I have a very flexible schedule that’s built around supporting myself and my family. I work at home, I have the luxury of working with clients on my schedule and I’m able to be there for my family whenever they need me. For me, it’s a perfect balance.
How do you take care of yourself?
As a badass woman, mom, soon to be wife, and business owner, I have a very full life. I constantly have to give to others and this can be really draining. That’s why I make it a point to take care of myself daily. Whether it’s holding a meeting while taking a bath, taking an extra nap, stopping work to play with my son or cooking my family a healthy meal, I constantly look for ways to fill my cup so I can be there for others. I’ve learned that if I run myself into the ground by only worrying about others needs, I won’t be fulfilled and if I’m not fulfilled, I won’t be happy. My happiness is so important because, without it, I can’t be the woman I’m here to be.
What's something you've unlearned lately that you're grateful for?
I’m a big planner and I love to create the “perfect” scenario in my head and then flesh out my ideas to see if they are feasible. For me, it’s fun and exciting. However, I’ve learned that having a strategy is good, but things aren’t always going to go as planned and so it’s better to have more of an outline of what you want versus a drawn-out blueprint. By learning to be grateful for the things in my life (especially people’s support), I’m working hard to unlearn the need to control and be inflexible. I’ve learned to trust the process no matter how tough or uncomfortable it is. Things always work out the way they should so why worry?
Do you have any daily habits that are crucial to your workflow?
I have found that making time for myself helps my productivity and focus. I get way more work done when I take time for myself than when I focus solely on work. Because of this, every day, I make a habit of doing something for myself. It can vary from a journaling session to a bath to getting a manicure, getting out in nature, etc. Just anything that makes me feel good and allows me to step out of away from life for a bit.
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