Apparently, the theme for blog posts these last few weeks is reflection. If you read last week's post
, I reflected on what I have learned being a full-time entrepreneur for six months. This week I'm sharing how we managed a REALLY shortened work schedule with the girls home this summer.
Before I get into the tactical details, I want to share a quick story. As a coach, I feel like it is REALLY important to share your wins. It helps build credibility and authority. But along with those wins, it's also important and one of our core pillars to share behind the scenes and what actually happens to make those wins comes to life.
One of the things I love about this blog is that most of the time they are written in real-time. Like a week or so before it is posted. This week I had a call with one of my mentors. We were just catching up and I was sharing that I was making a decision on what mastermind to join next. (If I am going to run one, I like to be in one too!) We both equally agreed how important they are but then pivoted the conversation to the cost. In what world is $100k/an hour normal? I am exaggerating but at some point, there is the diminishing law of returns, right? Some of these major masterminds are like the price of a house. To be a good coach you don't have to charge $500K/hour. And to see the results you want, you don't have to share how much money you make in every reel.
Impact Over Income
One of the things that I value about this mentor is she really helped me learn to put my ideal life and schedule before my income. Before this summer, we worked hard on visualizing what I specifically wanted my days to look like. Not the vacation days, but the actual normal days. What time would I wake up? How did I want to spend my mornings? Who did I want to work with? What were we doing as a family?
Before I jump into the actual steps we took on how to create a shorter work week, I want to give you a little perspective. Sometimes it isn't about the income but the impact and the actual life you are choosing to live. Going into the summer, after working in corporate for 22 years, I knew that my goal was honestly to do less. I love summer. I love everything about it. And I also love the sunshine and water. Maybe it is because I am a Pieces, but I literally could sit at the pool for eight hours a day. The beach would be my preference but hey, we are in Ohio. Back to the plan, I wanted to intentionally spend the summer with family and I didn't want to be on zoom calls all day. And while everyone's schedules are different, these are some tactical things anyone can do to better take control of it.
How to Take Control of Your Schedule
- Set boundaries and block your calendar. If you read this post, I mentioned that I used the tool Calendlly which is a scheduling tool along with Google calendar. Going into the summer I blocked out my calendar so that I only had meetings from 9-12. You can use this tactic now. When do you want to work? Design it right now. It doesn't mean the schedule was perfect, but setting boundaries was one step I could take to get closer to the ideal schedule. How can you manage your blocks of time better? Or set boundaries with clients of when you are available? I actually manage my "time blocks" for meetings six months at a time. So I already have holidays blocked out, our quarterly vacation, and more. Try it. You can always change it! I always say it is SO much easier to add to your calendar than take away.
- I had to say no. This is NOT easy for me. But I had two goals this summer: one was to work less and the other was to launch our mastermind and clean up some behind-the-scenes operations. In order to do both, I couldn't do much else. I want to say yes to everyone. To every collaboration, to every event. To every activity. But in order to hit my goal and not exceed my capacity, some things had to be put on pause or outsourced. The key questions I had to ask were:
- Does this need to be done right now?
- Can someone else do it?
I honestly find that these questions can be applied to anything.
We decided on two paths: 1) We outsourced some behind-the-scenes technical help and marketing 2) I created business hours to do the rest.
- Set Business Hours. This gets me to point #3. I talk about this all the time in CEO week which if you haven't taken the challenge you should, it is free - just go to www.hollymariehaynes.com/ceoweek, and it's five full days of running your business in 1-2 hours a day. It is basically the formula that I used to get to where we are today. The formula in CEO Week has two themes. The first one is set business hours. When are you going to work? We designed our entire summer around me working from about 6 am to 10 am give or take a bit. Yes, I said 6 am. But here is why. I am not a night person. And my brain turns off at about 2 pm. So for me early is better. And no one bothers me! I have pretty much stuck to these business hours for the last three months. It gives me the afternoons free with the girls, weekends off, and lots of pool time.
I share these three tips because they were the most pivotal in our schedule change. But going back to #2, you have to know what you want and have a SUPER clear vision of what that is. So when someone asks you to do something you can literally say 1) Does this need done right now? 2) Can someone else do it?
Do you love these tips? Take the Productivity Personality Quiz to get a Netflix-style binge-worthy resource list to help you find your focus and that is customized to you! Take the quiz here.
Honor the Season You are In
You have to honor the season that YOU are in order to get to your next season. Just because Beyonce is launching her new program in two weeks doesn't mean you have to too. Or vice versa. If Beyonce is on her 4-week yacht vacation and you are in the middle of launch season, you aren't going to stop to take a vacation, right?
Think about the season of business you are in and what that means for your schedule and what you want your schedule to look like. Honor your capacity for where you are right now. Are kids going back to school? Maybe you have more time to work. Kids' schedules are crazy. Maybe your business hours are the weekend only.
Scale based on the schedule that works for you and your priorities. And remember, your way is the right way.
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!