by guest author Natasha Vorompiova
Are you at your upper limit—or even over it—in terms of your time and energy?
Restore your sanity with my simple method for having powerfully productive and creating a realistic calendar.
The ability to keep yourself on track is what differentiates those who succeed from those who don’t.
TWO TRICKS USED BY ENTREPRENEURS WHO MASTER THEIR TASKS AND HAVE TIME TO ENJOY THEIR PERSONAL LIVES
These happy, successful business owners often make themselves publically accountable, especially to people they greatly admire. Wanting to look good in their eyes inspires them to stay on point even when distractions emerge. There are so many ways to do it: exchanging e-mails to share their big projects, getting on regular Skype calls to spread the word, send tweets with updates or, what my accountability partner and I do, creating a tracking sheet in Google Drive and checking off our to-get-done items as we go through the week.
Another favorite strategy is cultivating an overpowering necessity for powering through even the biggest projects. Some people like to tap into their ambition—their desire to show the world they can triumph over any obstacles in their way. Fear is another motivating force. I know some entrepreneurs who power up by thinking things like this: “If I don’t make it happen, we’ll lose our house.” Others gain momentum through envy: “Oh, so-and-so’s guest post was featured on a website with a huge audience! I’ve got to get the projects A and B completed. I bet the case studies will help me to create a winning pitch to be featured on that site!”
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO CREATING YOUR CALENDAR
These steps are going to prevent you from burning out and allow you to balance your business with your personal life.
1. BREAK IT DOWN. How many hours a day do you really need to devote to your business? How many hours do you need and want to devote to your personal life?
This breakdown doesn’t have to be final, it’s not a tattoo. During a launch, most of your weekly hours will go towards business. When your child gets sick, you’ll need to give yourself more time to tend to him.
Let yourself start by experimenting. You can tweak things as you go along.
2. LIST IT ALL. Create a comprehensive list of tasks for both your business and your private life. All too often, entrepreneurs let their businesses take over and only tend to their personal life if there is any time left over. Including the personal within our planning strategy increases the chances of our actually enjoying this amazing part of our lives.
Start with creating a comprehensive list of everything you do. For a few days keep a piece of paper on your desk or have a running Word document to jot down those tasks.
Use a table like this to help you get the ball rolling.
Go through your list and use Google Calendar to schedule recurring tasks:
Scheduling blocks of time for each action will help ensure you’re not exceeding the number of “available” hours for that day and keeps things realistic!
4. BE FLEXIBLE. I don’t live in a bubble. I know that crises occur and more often than not things don’t happen in the order we planned them.
Treat your calendar as a guideline. Switch around the items that don’t have to happen at a specific hour. Highlight the priority items and organize your days around them. Leave some time for emergencies. On your weekly schedule, make sure there are 2-4 hour blocks available to handle crisis situations. If nothing goes awry, you’ve got a nice bonus of extra time. If there is a crisis, you’ll have time to deal with it and your weekly schedule won’t be totally ruined.
5. DO WEEKLY REVIEWS. At the end of each week, review your schedule and plan the items that don’t happen on a regular basis.
For example, if you have a launch coming up, block out some time to create an outline of the content, draft a sales page and write a list of layout instructions to your web person.
Do the same for your personal items. Maybe you need to schedule attending a birthday party or a visit to your grandmother.
Assessing your availability on a weekly basis will help you avoid overcrowding your schedule or overcommiting.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Refer to this flowchart and pinpoint which steps you could implement this week. (click on the image to view a larger version.)
For more ready-to-use systems like this
one download your FREE Systems Chick’s Guide
to Transforming Busyness Into Business.
Natasha Vorompiova is the founder of SystemsRock, architect of business systems that work and a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach. Her clients are small business owners who start their businesses with passion and a desire for freedom, but find themselves stuck and buried in day-to-day operations. Natasha creates systems that ensure clients get more done in less time and pave the way for greater profits and long-term success. Check out the FREE Systems Chick’s Guide to Transforming Busyness Into Business for simple ways to grow your business.