When you run your own business, creating a structure and schedule can feel more overwhelming than freeing. There are limitless options and only so many hours in a day. How do you do it all? And is that even possible?!
This struggle comes up a lot with my clients, and I’ve experienced it in my own life too.
I’ve learned that you can do it all, but you can’t do it all at once.
Most recently, I found myself trying (and failing) to add in more time for writing and creating content on top of everything else I was doing. I wanted to do it ALL, but I just couldn’t seem to find time to implement my new ideas.
IS IT HUMANLY POSSIBLE TO GET IT ALL DONE?
I wanted to create space for more creativity, so I decided to do an audit of how I was currently spending my time. As soon as I did, I realized that everything I want to do doesn’t even fit on paper!
Note to self: if what you want to do in a day doesn’t fit on paper, it’s not going to fit in real life!
Seeing everything laid out was eye-opening. It helped me have more compassion for myself and appreciate all that I’d been doing. Of course it’d felt like so much, I realized. Because it was!
Note to self #2: You’re only human!
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
It was time to get really clear about what would and wouldn’t be a part of my daily and weekly routine moving forward. It was time for a schedule upgrade!
I looked at everything, prioritized my list, and one by one started letting go of or scaling back activities that weren’t as relevant anymore. That last sentence sounds short and sweet, but this was not an easy process for me!
Turns out, I was pretty attached to my old routine. It was comfortable. I knew what to expect and it was working, after all. I mean, even networking events had become less terrifying! [Click here to get my 10 tips for overcoming networking anxiety!]
Maintaining the status quo was tempting, but (thankfully!) my desire to grow prevailed. The discomfort of learning to navigate a new normal is worth it, because I’m opening up to bigger possibilities…and I want to see what happens when I honor that path!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Does your schedule reflect where you’re headed, or more so where you’ve been? Does it honor your current (personal + professional) needs? Does it feel aligned? Is there room for expansion?
Take a moment to sit with those questions, and check in with yourself. It’s so easy to stay on autopilot, but when we intentionally direct our energy and focus, we are truly unstoppable!
Do a schedule audit, and see if how you’re spending your days aligns with where you want to go next – and who you want to be when you get there.
HOW TO UPDATE YOUR SCHEDULE
1) Sit with the questions above for a few minutes, and write down what comes to mind.
2) Look at your notes and notice any patterns, especially around how you’re feeling called to spend your time. Compile a list of any new tasks that you’d like to start incorporating into your routine.
3) Add all of the tasks you currently do to the bottom of this list.
4) Put everything on your list in order of priority (this will probably be the hardest part, but I recommend limiting yourself to 10 minutes max to avoid getting hung up on this step).
5) Assign time frames to each item. Be generous and give yourself a time and a half for each task to avoid over-committing yourself.
6) Divide another sheet of paper into days of the week, and – starting at the top of your list with the highest priority items – assign each task to a day of the week until each day is as full as you’d like. Any tasks left on your master list (that didn’t get assigned) are the ones to consider cutting out of your regular routine.
7) Check in with yourself and decide if what you’ve assigned to each day feels doable. If not, starting at the bottom of each day’s list (with the low priority item), scale back your commitments until you have narrowed down your working hours to something sustainable.
A NEW NORMAL
I get it if there’s any part of you that’s reluctant to give up the old schedule (and especially tasks that have previously generated business for you). That’s certainly how I felt! And, as a head’s up, there may be some trial and error as you figure out your new normal too. That’s to be expected, and in my eyes, it’s a small price to pay for taking your life and business to the next level.
Let me know if you give it a shot, and if you have any questions, feel free to send me a message or drop a comment below! I’m happy to offer some tips and guidance to try and help you out :)
The best is yet to come,
P.S. Shoutout to my friend Alison, who suggested I share this process! I wasn’t sure if anyone would care to read about it (and maybe nobody does, ha!) but here I am anyways, pulling back the curtain on how I’m navigating the growth in my business. I hope you found it helpful!