Are you optimizing the time you have to work in your business by planning ahead? In this highly requested episode, I’m sharing exactly how I organize and schedule out my week, beginning with a big picture overview and detailing it down to the day! Listen in as I highlight my planning process, important routines and rituals in my business, and hacks for staying focused.
Today’s episode is brought to you by my Scheduling for Success 101 Workbook and Video Training. Scheduling for Success is my signature time management training, designed to help you create an ideal schedule that works for you. Get even more out of your time when you sign up for this valuable training.
Managing your time as an entrepreneur can impact the success of your business. We only have so much time in a day—yet we have such big shoes to fill as a small business owner. Let’s walk through how I personally manage and schedule my weeks!
Before we dive in, I want to disclose that there truly isn’t a right or wrong way to manage your time—everyone is different. Additionally, I don’t believe that there is a “set and forget” system that you’ll find that you’ll never have to look at again. The approach I’m sharing today is what works for me personally, yet I also reevaluate it periodically to make sure it’s working best.
One of the most important reasons that you should be intentionally scheduling and managing your time as a creative entrepreneur is to avoid burnout. As I mentioned before, you have a lot of responsibilities and roles to fill within your small business, which can easily become overwhelming. When I first got started in my business, I hit burnout a few too many times, ultimately leading me to speak against it and for time management. If you can get ahead of burnout, it’s the best case scenario.
When we’re looking at organizing and outlining your schedule, we want to start at the high level, big picture overview to ensure we’re appropriately planning for your work and life. This means we’ll be looking at the year first.
You can grab my preferred year-at-a-glance wall calendar here.
In looking at the full year, I start by marking off any time that needs to be marked—both personal and business. Once you’ve reviewed the full year, we’ll take a look at each quarter. This will help you review what’s going on in a quarter, which months are busier than others, what to watch out for, all so you don’t over-schedule or over-commit yourself.
Grab Kat Schmoyer’s Yearly Wall Calendar for 2022 here.
Once you’ve planned out the big picture year and quarter, you can go by month, but I for me, the magic happens in my weekly planning. When looking at your weekly and daily plans, you can implement a really strategic scheduling strategy for yourself.
In looking at your week, mark off time for specific tasks for your business on specific days—similar to batching tasks, but a little more flexible. Within my own business, I’m looking at themed days such as Mondays for marketing, Tuesdays for education, Wednesday for meetings, Thursdays for financials, and so on. If you don’t assign these themes to your days, it does take up brain space.
Once you’ve assigned those themes for tasks in your business, next you’ll want to assign time limits for each so that the rest of your time on those days can be committed to the other tasks of the week (client work, big picture tasks, and more).
One of the biggest perks of being a business owner is having the flexibility to control your own time—we get to make our own schedule. Having this flexibility is great, but you’ll need to plan for it by blocking off personal time within your days of the week.
This could mean incorporating a morning routine, a mid-day workout, and an afternoon routine to wind down your day. By blocking off that time, you’re not allowing for calls, emails, etc to interrupt your time.
While I’m a pen and paper person, I also have a digital calendar. While this may feel overwhelming, I’ve built a system that works for me.
I start with my paper planner on the weekly view, include my tasks for the week, and use that to track my progress. Then I’ll use my Google Calendar for blocking my time—allowing me the freedom to not over-book as I have a few ways that people can book time with me online.
Essentially, I’m getting detailed in my paper calendar, but managing my time within my digital calendar.
If I didn’t carve out the time, it would fill up with other things. The biggest lesson here is to honor your time like you would honor someone else’s.
Grab The Appointed Planner here.
When referring to morning and afternoon routines, they’re also known as check-in and check-out routines for your business. These are important in separating your business and personal life so they don’t bleed into each other—especially when you work from home. Having these set in place will help you maintain a better balance in your life and business, while also helping you manage your time well.
Check out my episode about morning routines here.
Now that we’ve established some really healthy routines, scheduling prompts, and plans to manage your time in business, what happens when you sit down to work and you have no focus?
I’ve created a few rituals that will help get me into the work mode by lighting a candle, taking a few deep breathes, and setting a work timer. Another ritual I’ve created for myself is to refocus by taking a pause from work, making a cup of tea, clearing my mind, and doing a five minute stretch. You can come right back into work with more brain-space and focus.
In addition to these hacks, I’ve also found a hack in using a timer cube. This timer cube can sit directly on your desk, flip it to the amount of time you want to work, then dive in with focus on that work until that timer goes off. This allows you to get at least that amount of work done; if you want to keep going you can or give yourself the space to take a break.
Grab my favorite timer cube here.
If you’re a visual person, make sure you pull out your own calendar and scheduling tools, then review your year, quarters, and weeks to implement these scheduling tips. Plus, let me know what you think about incorporating my rituals and hacks into your routine to find focus.
If you’re looking for more help with your time management, make sure you check out my Scheduling for Success 101 training and workbook!
Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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