Ever feel like you’re super busy? Wishing for more hours in the day? Yet, at the end of the day or week you wonder what you’ve really gotten accomplished… Yep. I’ve been there all too often, too. It’s the trap of not being intentional about how we use our time—trying to do too many things, not prioritizing, and subsequently losing focus. And in the end—we just feel burnt out.
It’s incredibly frustrating to realize we have a fully packed to-do list, yet somehow remain completely unproductive. It’s not that we’re not doing anything. It’s not like we’re sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through Facebook all day. No, it’s just sometimes, without a clearly defined plan in place, we end up spinning our wheels doing busy work.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s something I wish I had mastered a long, long time ago. It’s a method I use that, I’ll admit, takes some getting used to, but once you do, it’ll be a life-changer.
HOW TO MASTER THE SCHEDULE
The word schedule might sound like a dirty word to some of us. We’re entrepreneurs for a reason. We want freedom. Freedom to work and live the way we want. We don’t want to be tied down to a rigid schedule, right? We thrive on flexibility…to a point.
What if I told you that a strategically planned schedule will actually free up more of your time?
Below I’ll share my system for creating a daily schedule that allows me to get the most from the time I spend on my business. It’s truly been a life-changer for me and I hope it’ll help you, too!
But before we get to the system, I believe understanding the “why” of anything is super important for follow-through. If I know why I’m doing something, I’m more likely to remain committed. So here are 6 reasons creating a schedule is beneficial.
- Provides a clear overall picture of what needs to be done in your day.
- Prioritizes tasks that will help you reach your goals faster, helping you to narrow your focus immensely, which allows for greater overall success.
- Relieves the feeling of overwhelm. You’ll build your schedule with an understanding of how much time you need for each task.
- Breaks down a big goal into mini goals. Any time you can break a big project or goal down into smaller steps, the ultimate goal won’t feel quite so daunting.
- Helps you to stay on track. It’s easy to get side-tracked, but having a roadmap to follow enables you to stay the course.
- Allows you to see roadblocks in advance so you can redirect and re-strategize before the potential issue becomes too big and overwhelming.
Okay, now that you understand some of the reasons why a schedule is important, here’s the system I use to create my schedule.
- DEFINE GOALS: Decide what you want to accomplish in 30, 60, or 90 days. These are the things that are critical to your success as an entrepreneur. That may include signing up 3 new clients in the next 30 days or building an email list 5,000 strong within 90 days or even finishing the book you started to write. List your biggest goals first. (Hint: This is where your business plan can be super helpful.)
- DEFINE THE STEPS TO REACH EACH GOAL: Break each goal down into mini-goals. Ask yourself what steps need to be taken to achieve each goal. For instance, if one of your big goals is to build your email list to 5,000 subscribers, then you’ll need to note your daily list building tasks. Or, if you want to finish the book you started writing, then committing to writing 500 or 1,000 words a day might be what you need to focus on.
- CREATE TIME BLOCKS: Determine how much time you’ll need for each task and dedicate a block of time to it. These blocks of time will help you to stay focused and stay on task.
And a few bonus tips:
- TRACK YOUR TIME: Take a week and track what tasks you’re currently spending time on and how much time you’re spending on them. Find out where the time-sucks lie and get rid of them.
- INCLUDE NON-BUSINESS RELATED ACTIVITIES: When you create time blocks, be sure to include breaks (and actually stick to them - don’t work through lunch!), family time, and recreation/exercise time. By adding everything to your schedule (even non-business related activities), you will be able to see the big picture much more clearly and identify problem areas quickly.
- COMMIT: Stick with it! It will take a while to get used to (trust me, I fought it tooth and nail at first), but in the end, it’ll be totally worth it. I promise!
Now it’s your turn to create your own schedule and create the life and business you want! By being intentional and focusing on what’s actually important rather than what feels urgent at the moment, you’ll quickly reach your goals and find the freedom you were striving for in the first place.
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