Somewhere between running a small business, working in Corporate America full time while traveling internationally, keeping up with our home, trying to have a social life, and a whole lot of other things, I realized my weeks were running me instead of me running them, and it had to stop.
Something tells me that you can relate!
Over time, I became aware of how much I thrived on routine and while there never seemed to be enough time, I needed to find a way to master the hours I did have to get the most out of them. Creating a weekly schedule that helped show me where my time was going and where I needed it to go truly helped create the positive shift I’d been looking for.
Not being intentional about your time is preventing productivity
Two years ago, I remember making a joke to my husband one evening that I should join the circus because I felt like I’d become a professional at juggling more than anyone thought possible. (Ok, it didn’t get a laugh, but it opened up some good conversation.) The truth was that there was so much on my plate at the time that looking back, so many things didn’t even need to be there. Some obligations weren’t necessary and things my time was going towards weren’t helping my overall goals for my business or my life.
When you sit down to look at what your time is going towards across all categories, it allows you to get a bird’s eye view. It’s too easy to get busy doing a million different things that seem important, when really none of us want to be “busy,” we want to be productive. Carving out time to create an outlined schedule for your weeks helps you be intentional about what you are spending your energy on during each portion of your day.
You Aren’t Sure What Will Work, But I Promise You Know What Won’t
After hitting some pretty tough bumps in my business feeling like the Energizer Bunny who never quit, I sat down one evening and reviewed every single thing my time was going towards. I was honest about what was really getting me to where I wanted my business and life to be and – spoiler alert – a lot of things didn’t make the cut. Sometimes you need a reminder of where your time is going and how it’s going to affect the big picture.
Bottom line? You may not know how to make things work yet, but you definitely can tell when something isn’t working. Think about the difference and what that looks like for you. It may be something drastic that is weighing on you hard right now, or it could be a few simple things that you know need to change to make things feel a little better. Challenge yourself to view your time the way you do your money, and you’ll see how different life is when you start to budget your time.
Figure Out What You’re Working With and Go From There
One of the best feelings is when I’m working on things that really feed my soul, and when I’m putting time towards people and commitments that I don’t feel forced into. This doesn’t mean there aren’t obligations and commitments in there! As you begin creating your weekly schedule, think about all the things you put your time towards every week.
Focus on the non-negotiable time slots that remain the same regardless of the other commitments and additional time spent elsewhere. Make a list to help you before you include each of these. This may include things like daycare drop off and pick up for your little one, work hours, weekly team meetings, church services, standing client appointments, and more. Look hard at what and when those events take place and make sure each commitment is something important and necessary to keep every week. Now that those things are accounted for, you have the space to include things in your weekly schedule you have control over.
Create a Weekly Schedule and Embrace the Fact That It Will Change
You know the old saying, we make plans, and God laughs? Totally true, but it doesn’t mean He’s laughing every week! Don’t let the fact that you know your plans can change keep you from making a plan to begin with! Building an intentional schedule, including things you need and want to make time for each week, makes such a difference.
By no means is it meant to be the permanent blueprint of which you plan your entire life, but embrace it as a guideline for each week to give you some structure and help you find a flow that really works for you. Don’t let your week run you! You are more in control of your time than you realize, even when it feels beyond challenging. Start creating your weekly schedule and jump into the rest of this year, feeling stronger and more productive than ever.