You’ve heard the saying if you don't run the day, the day will run you. Years ago, a business coach taught me that if you don't schedule every hour of every work day, you won't run your day. I’ve practiced this method for 12 years and it is the habit that keeps me organized, focused on my goals, and aware of how I spend my time. If it is not on my calendar, it won't happen. Can you relate?
I am a BIG fan of a paper calendar. Many of you purchased our GRIT & Gratitude calendars at the beginning of the year. I don't keep a calendar on my phone or computer. That method simply doesn't work for me. I tell everyone: find what works for you and stick with it. Don't schedule in too many calendars: work appointments on your phone, family calendar on paper, for example. It ALL needs to be in one spot.
I often get asked to share my scheduling with others. Here is an example of a day:
7 AM: kids prep for school
7:30 AM: smoothies/celery juice
8 AM: out the door to school
9:30 AM: income-producing activity (IPA) for my business (calls, meetings)
11 AM: team work (conference calls, coaching calls, team meetings, trainings)
12 PM: quick lunch break, walk with Gus, audiobooks
1 PM: out the door for preschool pick-up
1:30 PM: home, snack, nap prep for Kolie
2 PM: IPA, again
3 PM: team work
3:30 PM: school pick-up
4 PM: snack and time with the girls
5 PM: dinner prep
6 PM: dinner with family
7 PM: quick family walk, activity with Gus
8 PM: baths, showers, bed
9 PM: review the day, make list for tomorrow, coaching/training call
Yes: I schedule every hour of every day. It works so well for me. When someone asks if I can meet or schedule a call, I know exactly when I can fit that in. Don't explain yourself! Remember: you are running YOUR day. “I'm sorry, I am busy at 1 with an appointment, but I can talk at 2. Does that work for you?” I don't tell them my appointment is preschool pick-up, snack, snuggles, and fun (one of my favorite times of the day!) I don't need to disclose every detail; they just need to know I am busy and I have time for them built into my calendar later that day or the next.
When I built my real estate business, I did it with two young girls. I never apologized for my schedule or my availability. Maintaining a busy schedule of appointments shows people how successful you are. If you are adding value for people, they will meet with you when you are available.
Don't leave wide-open gaps in your schedule thinking you will do your IPA or other important activities then. You won’t. You will fill up that time with "busy work" and allow all the distractions to pour into that space. You must schedule to stay on top of and make time for what is truly important to your top three priorities. Look: our schedules will look VERY different and they should. But if you wonder why you can't accomplish in your day what other people accomplishing in their 24 hours, you will quickly realize how much time you are wasting, especially when you write it down.
Remember your goal: YOU run the day; you don't let the day run you!