If you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you might already know: all in all, I don’t work very much compared to many entrepreneurs.
Now, I’m not saying I spend hours playing fetch with my puppy on the beach instead of taking care of clients! Au contraire. Everything gets done when it needs to, business is booming, and I have plenty of time to relax and do the things I enjoy.
So, what’s my secret for getting it all done and having a life?
Simply put, I’m a calendar ninja.
I use my calendar like it’s going out of style — and I’ve been doing it that way since I was 19. Needless to say, I’ve turned it into something of a science over the years.
Maybe you think you’re good at calendar management (and maybe you are), but chances are you’re like many women I know, working your ass off, spending hours at the computer, and still not seeing the results you’d expect for the hours you log.
And if that’s the case, I bet I have a few tricks I can teach you for making things much, much easier. So please, read on…
Steal This! My Rock-Solid System for Getting It All Done (and Having a Life!)
Today, you get to be my client (for free!), as I walk you through the exact steps I use with my private clients when they’re trying to get it all done without sacrificing their sanity.
To get started, grab a blank piece of paper and a pen. Hold it in landscape orientation and draw seven columns, one for each day of the week. Then follow the steps below to become a calendar ninja.
Step 1: Write down all of your important personal appointments and commitments
If you want to have a life, your life has to come first! Put down all of your weekly personal appointments and commitments onto your paper.
If you pick up your kiddos from school at 3, mark that down. If you get massages on Fridays and meet friends for coffee on Tuesdays, mark those down. If you want to play on the weekends, cross off those days!
Step 2: Decide what hours you want to work
If you want to have a life, you must start prioritizing that life. That means putting solid boundaries around your work hours. So, when do you want to work? Mark those times on your calendar.
For example, right now, I generally work Wednesdays from 9-5 and Thursdays from 11-3, plus a few hours Monday afternoon and Friday morning. I share this so you’ll know it’s absolutely possible to sustain a multi-six-figure business without working insane hours…. if you know how to be a calendar ninja!
Step 3: Write down all your work appointments and commitments
Now that you know when you want to work, start filling in your appointments and commitments. When do you want to…
Yes, you are going to mark down exactly when you’re going to work on each task (plus any others that apply to you). This is essential if you want to get everything done!
My personal recommendation for you: How to Get It All Done.
Step 4: Massage it
Now that you’ve got everything in your calendar – personal and business commitments with clear time boundaries – see if everything fits. Chances are that your first pass through shows that you’re trying to do too much in the hours you want to work. This means that you need to massage your schedule a bit. Until we look at reality clearly, we will keep tripping up on what we think we should be able to accomplish, as opposed to what’s realistically possible.
Play around with your weekly calendar until you find a combination and a schedule that will work well for you.
Need an example? Here’s the default schedule I use as a starting point with my clients.
Step 5: Put it all in your calendar
Once you’ve nailed down a workable schedule on paper, put it in your official calendar. I use Apple’s standard calendar software, but you can use whatever works for you.
Step 6: Follow it obsessively and adapt accordingly
It’s time to follow your scheduled plan. After all, the current chaos you’re experiencing isn’t really working for you… otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far into this article!
Learn to work within the schedule you created. You’re creating new habits here, including turning off your computer at the end of the day and getting those massages in on Fridays!
Even though you have a set schedule, things happen. So when something comes up on Monday during the time you’re supposed to be blogging, you must move that blogging time block to another spot in your calendar! If you’re blogging each week, that block must find a new home. However, having this kind of “move the blocks around” flexibility means you can’t schedule every single minute of every week. Be sure to give yourself some wiggle room and not schedule yourself rigidly to the minute. That’s why in the sample schedule above, we have time every day for administrative tasks and tackling your to-do list.
Test your schedule for a month. The more you follow it, the more you’ll get done and the more you’ll love this level of scheduling. After all, it’ll enable you to have the business and the life you want. And when that happens, you’ll officially be a calendar ninja like me and my clients!
Like this approach? Please Tweet about it!
Ready to schedule?
When you schedule your days correctly, you’ll be shocked how easy it is to stay on track, get more done, and increase the time you spend relaxing and doing what you love.
Besides, isn’t it high time you left your office for a little fun? A neatly organized schedule is your ticket outta there.
Now, I want to hear from you! Tell me…
Are you overwhelmed with work in your business right now? Would a more structured approach to your days and week be your ticket to streamlined successs?
How often do you utilize your calendar in your business? Do you feel like you’re using it to its full potential? Why or why not?
Let’s talk about it in the comments below. And, happy scheduling!
My personal recommendation for you: Steal This! My Simple System for Getting Killer Testimonials