Raise your hand if you started your business because you wanted freedom.
Maybe it’s time freedom, or money freedom, or freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want—to live your life the way you choose.
Now, raise your hand if what you ended up with is the exact opposite of freedom.
Maybe you feel like your business has taken over your life. You never have time for anything BUT working in your business.
If any of this sounds familiar, I want you to know you’re not alone. Desiring some level of freedom is one of the most common reasons people start businesses. And, getting sucked into your business to the point of feeling like all you do is work, work, work, is also very common.
So, what to do? How do you fix it?
Well, before we get into the solution, let’s dig into the problem a bit more.
For a lot of entrepreneurs, especially creative, spiritual entrepreneurs, the last thing you want is to schedule your time. Maybe you even come from corporate, where your life was controlled by calendars and appointments and meetings, and argh!
You’re your own boss! If you don’t want to write that blog post Wednesday morning than, by God, you don’t have to!
Besides, you should be inspired to write your blog posts, right? So, doesn’t it make sense to keep your calendar open to write that blog post when inspiration strikes? And, in fact, doesn’t it make sense to do that for everything in your business? Simply leave your calendar open and do only what you feel like doing and what you’re inspired to do?
The problem is—well, there are a few problems with that strategy.
First, if you’re waiting for inspiration to write that blog post, you’re likely going to be waiting a long time.
Which means, you won’t be marketing your business on a regular basis. And if you don’t market your business on a regular basis, your cash flow and income will suffer. Which means you’re suddenly going to be in the “oh sh*t” cycle of marketing, as you rush around frantically to generate prospects and clients and buyers.
But, it gets even worse. If your schedule is all “loosey goosey,” driven by what you “feel” like doing in the moment or what you’re “inspired” to do, you run the risk of leaving everything to the last minute. And, that means late nights, lots of stress, etc.
So, what’s the alternative? Scheduling every last second of your day? Just the thought of that sends shivers up your spine, right? What a depressing and discouraging way to run a business.
To start, no, you don’t have to follow some strict discouraging and depressing time- management system. In fact, today I’m going to share three keys to setting up your day, so you’re able to get things done with grace and ease, as well as honoring your creativity.
Key #1. Structure gives you freedom. The way around scheduling every minute and “loosey goosey inspiration strikes” is to structure your day.
This can look a lot of different ways, but one of the most successful I’ve seen is to batch your time.
So, maybe Monday is your administration day—the day you meet with your team, review, organize your office, maybe even plan out the rest of your week.
Tuesday and Thursday are call days, so you batch all your client calls on those days.
Wednesday is creative day, so maybe that’s the day you leave open for writing blog posts, creating programs, and all that creative type work.
And maybe Friday is catch up day—a day where you can catch up on anything you need to. So, maybe you catch up with your writing or your calls.
See how this works? You have a structure and you have tasks that need to get done, but you have the time and the spaciousness to play in the moment.
Now, for this to work, you need the next two keys:
Key #2. Setting boundaries. Now, it’s true: emergencies can and will happen, and there are days where you’ll just need to drop everything and deal with something.
But, most of the time, the things that are distracting you aren’t true emergencies.
This is when setting good boundaries will help you stay on track.
Keep calls on calls day, and don’t let them start migrating to your creative days. Do your creative work on creative days, and don’t let yourself get distracted or sucked into some sort of drama.
(Worried about inspiration not showing up on Wednesday? If you actually set aside a day to be creative, and YOU show up on those days to be creative, it’s remarkable how your muse will also show up to support you.)
While, yes, you’ve given yourself a structure and space to “play” in the moment, you still need to actually get the work done. So, allow the structure to actually support you.
It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? So why aren’t we all doing it?
Because we need the third key …
Key #3. Doing the inner work. If you find yourself struggling to focus and not procrastinate on the things you know you need to be doing, it’s likely you have one or more blocks getting in the way.
Mindset blocks happen when your subconscious is not on board with the direction you want to go. So, if for instance, you have some blocks around growing your business or making more money, every time you sit down to work on marketing, you find yourself screwing around on Facebook or watching videos like that cute one of the elephant playing with the birds (love that one).
And suddenly, the day is gone and you haven’t done any marketing for your business.
That’s why it’s essential to stay on top of your inner game, and keep working through those blocks, because they WILL pop up.
My suggestion to stay on track is to have a morning practice (such as meditation or journaling or praying or visualization or some sort of physical activity … or a combination of those things). Over time, you’ll rewire your brain so the block is no longer an issue.
If it’s a big block, you may want to consider some deeper work—I cover a lot of deeper mindset exercises in my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, or you can work with a coach.
If you’d like more on how productivity and getting more done, make sure you keep an eye out for my brand new “Love-Based Goals” book, coming December 2017. Plus, you may want check out my “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back.”