I have a few questions for all my entrepreneurs out there – let’s see of any of these apply to your current work life!
- Have you ever felt like you’re on a treadmill with WAY too many things to do and no way to catch up?
- Do you feel like you’ve got so much to do that you can’t relax enough to allow your creative energy to flow?
- Are you tired of feeling anxious and stressed out trying to juggle everything and not having the time to do any one thing well?
- Do you often find yourself running late, rushing from one appointment to another, continually apologizing for not being on time?
- Do you feel like if you could just get more organized you could be doing a lot better in your business and making more money?
If you said yes to any or all of the above I’d say that you’re a typical entrepreneur. One of the best aspects of having your own business is the ability to run the show and have total control of what you’re creating – without having to answer to anyone. And while this can be the most rewarding aspect of having your own biz – at the same time it can be the most frustrating and stressful aspect.
Why? Well having a boss in many ways makes it easy for us – we simply do as we’re told and there’s a whole less emotional attachment to what we’re doing. When we’re the boss we tend to want to be in control of everything and our focus and attention gets pulled in a hundred different directions. I know mine does. In addition, without a boss hanging over us we tend to avoid doing the things we don’t like and sometimes those are the things that are going to make us the most profit.
The truth is we can’t run a successful business if we’re not focused and diligent with our time. We have to follow a plan and have good tools that we can use on ourselves when we see our attention being hooked by Facebook or every cool new marketing technique, or if we’re not saying no to all the people who are pulling on our time and attention.
KEEP A GOOD CALENDAR AND DON’T OVERSTUFF STUFF IT!
Here’s the low-down: No business person should be without one – at least no sane one! There is no way you can possibly be really productive and focused in your business or life without it. I know what I’m saying right now sounds extremely simplistic but I’ve been doing this for over 11 years now and it still amazes me how many coaches do not use a calendar, never mind an actual calendar system – which BTW I feel is the absolute, bar none, can’t do without, secret to any successful person’s life.
I’d like you to ask yourself when looking at your calendar or pile of notes – is your list reasonable? Are you creating your day to purposely fail – in other words is it obvious that there is no way in heaven or hell that you can possibly do everything on your list? It’s important to determine if you’re working hard to sabotage yourself and if so your awareness and self-honesty will help you make another choice.
Also, when you make your list, are you one of those people who as the day goes on keeps adding more and more things onto the list until you can’t keep on schedule and everything is running over, going from one appointment into another until you feel like a hamster on a treadmill with anxiety setting in?
If you’re doing that, you are what I call an official “calendar stuffer” – and that habit can only create drama and stress and needs to stop now! Let me give you an example of this so that we’re really clear here. Also, your agenda needs to be YOUR agenda, not a list of everyone else’s agendas and chores that they’re too lazy or busy to do themselves.
KEEPING YOUR DAY TIME-BLOCKED
Now I’d like to talk about using a time-blocked calendar for organizing your entire day so that you build in management and money making activities into your business along with making sure you add in personal time and family time. If you don’t have time for fun and rejuvenation in your life, your passion for your purpose will fizzle out and you’ll be questioning why you’re doing what you’re doing. And none of us want to be there.
So what is a time blocked calendar? Simple. It’s a calendar that allows you to group tasks that use a similar part of your brain together so that you function at your highest level of productivity. This is extremely important from both a medical and practical point of view.
Let me explain. For most folks, they work best when they organize their day according to right brain and left brain activities. Because one of the fastest ways to shut down your creative process is by doing a bunch of technically minded activities and then trying to switch over to creative ones regardless of which is your dominant brain side.
To be clear, your sequential, time-oriented left hemisphere is what you use to get your analytic tasks done in a day and your intuitive, emotional right hemisphere is basically in charge of your creative work. Each of us have a dominant side but we still all must use both every day.
To put this in a practical application, imagine you want to write a book or create a blog post or work on a package or product you are creating, or write the text for a video series you want to film – all these kinds of tasks should be time-blocked together because they are creative and will require more of your right brain’s participation.
The same would apply if you have to answer emails, do some work figuring out email sequences in your InfusionSoft program, catch up on your accounting, or make some tweaks on your website – anything technical using your analytical left brain should also be blocked together.
Think about it. When you’re working on bookkeeping, do you find it easy to then sit down and start writing creatively? I strongly doubt it. It’s difficult to be in a creative place after your brain has been analytically grinding for hours.
The creative process is about letting go of your thinking and being what I call a channel. That means your connection to infinite consciousness, God, Spirit or whatever words you’re comfortable using, is open fully, and your mind is quiet and receptive. Remember what I shared earlier about what I discovered about myself when my mind was quiet?
Once the mind is out of the way and your internal dialogue quiets down, the channel opens and inspiration strikes as a knowing and then you use your mind to translate that knowing into concepts that others can understand.
When we engage in doing technical tasks that require thinking – that closes the channel. So then, all your creative activities are best scheduled first thing in the morning when you’re fresh out of dreaming and at your most creative and open. You can also encourage this state by taking a break from the technical and going for a hike and getting into nature or by going on a nice long bike ride. Those activities quiet the mind.
If you need to talk to clients, a certain kind energy goes with that type activity, I call it “presence,” and those calls are best done back to back. That way you are in “serving clients mode,” out of your own mind and concerns, and totally present for them. This is also a creative right brained state and you want to make sure you don’t scatter client appointments throughout your day if you want to be at your best.
Most people who have a hard time focusing and getting their work done are suffering from a poorly constructed day filled with a mish-mosh of random activities. For example, they might answer a few emails, then they’re doing some technical work, then they’re running an errand, answering a sales call, and then trying to sit down to do something creative.
Even if they had these activities neatly defined in their calendar and followed them to the “T” they could have gotten almost twice as much done if they had laid their calendar out not by the day, but by the week – time blocking everything in their day so their brain could work in the most efficient and focused way.
In other words if on Tues and Thursday mornings there were 3 hours blocked out just for creative work and then if Mon, Weds, and Fri mornings there was time to do technical work that alone would make a huge impact. Errands or going to the gym could be done in the afternoon when we are typically at a lull because movement wakes us up. If we then make sure we have some emergency and personal time built in that would make the week picture perfect!
Of course there are many other tips and techniques for getting your life more manageable. But the bottom line here is that there’s no reason for any of us to be creating stress, anxiety, and overwhelm in our lives. None. You just have to take action today to make some changes in the way you organize your life – for sure it will be WELL worth it! Let me know if these suggestions worked for you!
To your audacious life, Sheri Rosenthal
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