Scheduling is the new BlackDec 28, 2018
I am pretty much a scatterbrain, and if it’s not in my diary, then I will forget to do it. But as my workload increases, it is even more important to make sure to be organised.
My new website is under construction, and I am busy filling it with content. It’s easy right now - I am on holiday, so sitting down and typing a few pages between making cups of tea and playing Uno with the girls is leisurely done.
If it's in the diary, it becomes reality
But when it gets back to daily routines in the Big Smoke in the new year, this is a different matter. So here I am, filling my fancy new planner with not just my yoga teaching schedule, but also with nutritional and exercise goals, scheduled me-time, daily meditation and yoga practice, team and client follow-ups and time-slots for new essential oil classes.
Going with the old adage ‘proper preparation prevents poor performance’ and setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals and to-do lists have made a huge difference in the success of my business.
Whether you are self-employed, a multi-tasking parent working part-time from home, or starting a new business while you are in full-time employment: If you just try and crack on with it with just a vague plan, it is likely that you soon will reach burn-out.
I know, because I tried.
The first thing to fall by the wayside inevitably is self-care. Which is the biggest mistake ever. If you are not operating from a position of mental and physical strength, you’ll get flustered at first, and eventually stressed and depressed.
As you have seen above, my work is pretty varied, and before scheduling, my day would pan out like this:
Roll out of bed at 6:30 am, 30 minutes later than planned due to super tiredness. Forfeit yoga, substitute with 10 minute meditation, during which I try to remember where I put the consent form for my daughters school trip and did my first client cancel, or was that next week? Get up after 3-5 minutes because I really have to find that form.
Too late for a shower, shout at everyone to hurry, can’t find anything, forget my oil routine, hastily apply whatever is handy in the car on school run.
Realise I’ll be busy from 10am and have an empty fridge, so quick shop-stop to buy something vaguely resembling healthy dinner. Still not sure if 1st client cancelled, but by now had enough of running and reward myself with double shot latte and a quick check on Instagram and Facebook in a cafe.
That was entertaining, but now it’s 9:45, oops, race back home, teach yoga all day without my own practice (bad. Like, super-bad). In-between classes I call the plumber, the piano teacher, find the form and email it to the teacher, follow up 2 prospective clients. Phew, they didn’t answer, good, didn’t really have time to talk to them anyway, but I feel that I have done something.
3pm, I realise I forgot to eat, have a cracker and an avocado while talking to one of my team members on the phone.
When the girls are home from school, I sit down for a break (Instagram again, like, it’s needed, right? Then realise that I only answered half of all the texts and direct messages, and didn’t get a hold of the plumber. End up spending my valuable family time on my phone saying “5 minutes” every time my daughters try to talk to me.
Prepare dinner, teach one last class, more SMS, spend the evening learning, have that shower, and finally start responding properly to emails. That, mixed up with bedtime routine, taking the occasional 2 minutes to interact with an equally busy husband, more learning, watching educational videos, I finally manage to sit down and relax at about 10:30, and because I don’t like screen time just before bed, I read or come up with new recipes until midnight.
Sounds productive and healthy? I think not. While I had fun all day, I was constantly behind with something. I was close to burnout after a surprisingly short time, and something had to change, quickly.
I first looked at what I did not strictly need in my daily routine. I stopped being available for everyone, and carefully arranged a new, cohesive teaching schedule. Then, I made the list: Things I need to do every day, once a week, and monthly. And wrote them down. And if paper is not your thing and you prefer digital, that's perfectly ok too.
So now, if it’s in the book, it will be done. And if 9-12 is reserved for writing, then that’s not the time to deal with the plumber, laundry or Instagram. Morning practice is not negotiable, and neither is a weekly bath during the daytime (ever tried having a relaxing bath with your kids in the house?)
Make sure to schedule time for the boring stuff that you normally try to fit in between other, more important jobs. I love the new Screen Time feature on my iPhone - it was a bit of an eye-opener to see how easily I hopped from my calendar to social media. And UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES negotiate yourself out of self-care - you need it.
My business took off once I spent less time on it. That may sound contradictory, but now that I am more focused and have a goal, I know what I am working towards.
I dream big for 2019! How are you preparing yourself?
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