Do you find yourself in a constant state of overwhelm? Do you feel like your to-do list is never ending and that it’s impossible to get everything done? It may be that what you need is less doing, and more planning. Planning can be the highest form of self-care because when we plan our days out, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to do things for ourselves. And especially as a mom and entrepreneur, it really comes down to knowing when you need to do what you need to do for yourself, your family and your business. That way, you’re not always feeling scattered or guilty because you’re constantly working instead of spending time with your family. And this week, I have tips on how to really build planning into your schedule so that you can keep your priorities straight. You’ll know you have time to be present with your family, and when you’re working, you won’t feel guilty. The only way to really enjoy the best of both worlds is with effective planning.
Design Your Work Around Your Life
The first technique I suggest is that you should build your work schedule around your family. The reason you started your business in the first place, especially if it’s a lifestyle business, is so that you can integrate your family activities into it, right? So take a moment to write down everything that you have to do personally. Since we’re talking about self-care, you have to prioritize taking care of yourself. That means including exercise, sleep, and time for transitions. And transition times are important, because I find when I’m really busy and I don’t have enough time to transition. I’m late to most events as a result leaving me feeling even more anxious throughout my day.
Lastly, you want to always make sure you block out vacations and special events as far in advance as possible, for example anniversary, birthdays, weddings etc. You want to make sure you work your business around your life. I usually have all of these dates set by October of every year for the following year as I compose my annual plan.
Plan to Plan
In addition to my annual, quarterly, monthly planning, every week, ensure that you have one hour to plan for the following week. And usually that’s done in the last hour of the last day of work. My last day of the week is Friday, and I usually end work around 4pm. So my planning usually happens at 3pm. So if you do that planning, then you can really go into the weekend, if you choose to take the weekend off, free from worrying about everything and anything. While planning is a big subject that we could talk about all day, for the purpose of self-care this technique has helped me the most.
Then, to ensure that I’ve been really productive while working, I plan focus time on my calendar. That means you would give yourself two hours, every single day to do focus work, meaning no interruptions, no phone, no extra activities, no multitasking. And that time is to do the most important things for your business. It’s a time to rely on where you know you’ll be your most productive and clear. Usually for me, this means early mornings or right after breakfast. It’s great to know when you work best, and for many moms, it could be early in the morning after a full night of sleep. This is a great opportunity to get to know yourself and how you best operate.
Chunk Your Activities
Another fantastic strategy that’s really effective is what we call activity chunking. And that means doing similar activities in one fell swoop. For example, on my calendar, I only host meetings on particular days. Usually those happen towards the end of the week on Thursdays and Fridays. I have a lot going on Monday through Wednesday. Tuesday and Wednesday, I usually see clients back to back. Monday, I generally stick to administrative tasks like team meetings. So since I have my admin and client fulfillment tasks set on certain days, Thursday and Friday allow me the time to network, attend meet and greets, or any meeting I need to schedule that doesn’t fall into the other categories.
Your brain needs time to adjust between activities, and that’s why activity chunking is so effective. When you’re not working on similar activities you are using different parts of your brain. Hence, it takes more time for you to transition so you’re not as productive as you could be.
Overall, I highly recommend planning in your schedule and ultimately it is the highest level of self care you can facilitate. Because when you are in alignment with your priorities, you’ll find that you have time for yourself. You can relax because you know that everything is taken care of. That’s why planning is the highest level of self care in that sense. Also, when you are doing all the planning in one sitting once a week, you’re not wasting time deciding day-to-day what you’re going to be doing. You already have a plan of execution put together the previous week. You can produce more work in a shorter amount of time. Ultimately, that means you have more time to spend with your family and yourself. So I highly recommended taking some time to map out all of your to-dos, figuring out what you need to do, delegating the rest, and making a serious game plan for your week. Need some more tips? Let’s talk about it. Schedule a FREE session with me and together we can map out a plan that works best for you.