5 Steps To Make Your Dream Schedule a Reality
Are you spending 100% of your time working on your business?
If you asked me this question 6 months ago, my answer would have been YES. I was spending all my time working on my business, doing mostly everything on my own with little time for breaks and personal time.
I was drowning.
I got pretty burnt out by the time the 6 month mark rolled around. I didn’t have any time or motivation to work on new proposals, or put time and effort into looking for new opportunities. Heck, some days I even forgot to brush my teeth - true story, folks.
I’ve put together this blog post to help you - the freelancer, business owner, solopreneur that does it all without asking for help.
Asking for help is okay.
You don’t need to do everything on your own, and it’s okay to ask for help! For me, the biggest thing that was holding me back from organizing my schedule and outsourcing some of my workload was that I couldn’t find any time in my schedule to even sit down and think about outsourcing.
I’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you take control of your business, and realize how you can save yourself from drowning in your daily task list.
Step 1 - Take a Break to Reflect, you deserve it!
Since I realized I had no time in my schedule to manage these tasks I knew I had to make time.
Think of this as an investment in yourself, and your business. When I first made the decision I was going to take two weeks off I was super worried. How would I book clients for the next quarter? Would my existing clients be worried about me taking a break, and pull out of projects? No and No, to both of those answers. The result of taking a break actually doubled my monthly profits. Once you gain clarity of your business, you’ll be rewarded.
Can’t afford to take two weeks off? I get it, everyone’s financial situations are totally different, and maybe you don’t feel like you can take a whole two weeks off. If this is the case for you, try carving out at least one day a week to allow yourself to get reorganized and gain clarity.
Step 2 - Analyze Your Time
Two weeks before I decided I was going to take a break, I started really analyzing my time. I track all my time in Clockify, and it was truly an eye-opener to see the things I was spending time on, and what tasks weren’t getting enough TLC.
I realized I wasn’t spending nearly enough time on things that were important to me, like taking long walks in the park with my doggo Lilly, making nutritious meals, spending time with my partner, exercising - basically all the things that make you human being. I was a business-owner machine.
Step 3 - Make a Big, Fat List of Your daily and weekly Tasks
If you don’t use a time-tracking app that does all of this for you, then you can use pen and paper to start jotting down what things are keeping you busy throughout the day. Here are a few examples of things that are on my daily to-do-list
Checking and responding to emails
Social Media Engagement
Posting on Social Media
Working on Client Projects
Cooking a Healthy Meal
Step 4 - Analyze Your Task List and Make Time for Things That Have Purpose
Now that you’ve made your big, fat list of all your tasks, grab a coloured marker and start circling tasks that you feel good doing. I like to circle these in a green marker, to visually see all my feel-good to-do’s.
Now, take a different coloured marker and start circling all the tasks that you don’t feel good doing. These are what I now call, icky tasks.
Now, take a different coloured marker and put a star beside tasks that you could outsource or automate.
Then, make a separate list of things that you’re NOT doing, but you’d like to start. I like to prompt this response by asking the following;
What would be one thing that you could do every morning that would set you up for an awesome day?
What is one thing that would make you a lot happier if you added it into your daily schedule?
What is one thing that would make your client process easier if you added it to your schedule?
You should now have four lists; a feel-good task list, an icky-task list, a list of your tasks that could be outsourced or automated, and a new task list of things that you’re not doing, but would make your day a million times better.
I’ve created a little decision making method below (based off of time-saving guru, Tim Ferris’ version) that should help you figure out whether or not a task is a best use of your time:
Step 5 - Start Scheduling Your Ideal Work Week
The key to scheduling is blocking off time. I like to break things down on a weekly basis, so I started envisioning my perfect week. You can use any calendar app to track this, my personal favourite is the Google Calendar.
By freeing up my time and gaining clarity through a much deserved break, the result was freeing endless hours in my schedule to focus on things that matter most to me. I now wake up every morning feeling refreshed, and excited to conquer my to-do list. I also have empowered other entrepreneurs by hiring top experts to help me with my business needs. It’s truly a win-win!