I hear it all the time…
“I’m so overwhelmed with stuff to do I feel like my brain is going to explode!”
“I can’t take time off. I’ll have twice the work to do when I get back.”
“Self-care? I don’t have time for it.”
I know when I’m not mindful of my schedule and what I put into it, I can easily slip into behaviors that create overwhelm and scattered focus. Someone sends me a link to something that looks interesting, I click on it and next thing I know, I’ve spent an hour checking out this shiny object that wasn’t part of my plan. Yikes!
When I calculate what my time is worth, that’s a big chunk of lost income.
So when I made a serious commitment to grow my business, I implemented a calendar management strategy that keeps me on track to reach my goals and still enjoy life. I’ve been able to work fewer hours, get more done and increase my income at the same time.
Here are 3 reasons to get control and your calendar and the activities that go into it:
1. When you are in control of your calendar, you feel focused, deliberate, in-charge and get results faster.
2. Having good time boundaries keeps you out of overwhelm and reduces the need for to-do lists.
3. Being in charge of your schedule insures that the things you value most and the non-negotiable activities always have a place in your day, week, month and year.
Ready to get in the driver’s seat of your schedule? Learn my 4 super smart steps to regain control of your calendar and eliminate overwhelm.
Put the Big Rocks In First
The big rocks are the activities or events that are most important to you. Put those into your calendar first, whether they are personal or business-related. Begin with dates you know – conferences, vacations, school days off with your kids, for example. This is a great opportunity to add and commit to things you’ve wanted to do but would otherwise put off because of your busy schedule.
Block Out Specific Time for Specific Activities
One of the best ways I know to get the important things done is the block out specific time for specific activities in your calendar. For example, if your goal to speak two times per month, you’ll need to block specific time to do research and outreach. You may choose to block 30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-10am and nothing else happens during that time. When the time is up, you are done, regardless of how much progress you’ve made. Tip: Use a timer!
Have Clear Boundaries
Whatever gets placed in a time slot gets honored and respected by you and others. Your time is sacred. Treat it that way. You may need to put a “Do not disturb” sign on your door, let your phone go to voice mail, close all programs on your computer, except the one you are working on or say “no” to someone who wants your attention. It’s a lot like having horse blinders on and it will keep you focused and on-purpose.
Contrary to what you might think, you can’t do it all by yourself. Whether it is asking a neighbor to watch your kids, hiring a virtual assistant, bookkeeper or housekeeper, or training your team to do what you do, asking for help is one of the savviest and goddess-like ways to create the time and space you need in your calendar build your business and enjoy quality personal time.
What are your strategies for managing your calendar? Leave a comment below.