* Please respect that the purpose of this blog is for my own motivation and to provide support to the creative, entrepreneurial, free-thinking online community and that is it’s only intent *
“If you change, everything will change for you. Don’t wait for things to change. Change doesn’t start out there, change starts within…All change starts with you” – Jim Rohn
“When you talk about it – it’s a dream, when you envision it – it’s exciting, when you plan it – it’s possible, when you schedule it – it’s real” – Tony Robbins
I was listening to this talk by Tony Robbins the other day (yes I am back on the Tony Robbins train!) and he mentioned the above words. My schedule has been all over the place. I have been trying lots of different things. What I find really hard is that you get on a good schedule and then you go on holiday or take a break and it throws everything off. Whenever you go on holiday, get sick or take a break you get way off your game. Life pays no attention to your perfectly planned schedule and it is always going to be throwing unexpected things at you! In my last post, I mentioned creating that environment for success. You and only you are responsible for creating your best, most productive work environment!
When you first start a platform/business it is going to just be crazy the first few months are just crazy. I am now at the point where I am just maintaining what I have created and working to get traffic and constantly up-level everything! It is really exciting to create and launch something but you then have to figure out how to keep that excitement going, constantly keep it interesting for yourself and continue to create momentum. I just redid my schedule for the millionth time last week so I thought I would share some tips on what is working for me and some things that I am planning to work on.
1. SET GOALS:
So important. You have to create regular challenges to work towards. Otherwise, you can become a bit apathetic and demotivated. Break your big goals down into super small ‘mini’ goals that are able to be easily achieved on a weekly/daily basis. You are not going to build a six-figure business in a month or even a year, but perhaps it might happen in five years if you get really clear on your goals and do the small daily action steps towards what you want. Schedule your goals DIRECTLY onto your calendar (sorry David Allen!), you need to create the appointment with yourself to get it done!
2. FIGURE OUT YOUR NEXT ACTION:
Every project will have the next step of action (you might even have mini-projects within your large projects that will have next actions). Sometimes when we write out huge to-do lists for our lives or business we can get really overwhelmed and stuck. The only thing you need to think about in order to move a project forward is the next action, the next step and then break that down. Again this comes back to entrepreneurs often being big picture thinkers and you really have to create happiness with everyday ticking off those small next actions. You gotta learn to love the journey! I really recommend ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen – It is all about creating systems around getting those daily actions/to do’s ticked off and has no focus on the big picture. Again schedule your next actions directly onto your calendar, you can edit and change them around as you want (I use and recommend GCal).
3. EAT YOUR FROG:
Tick off something really important crucial to your long-term success first thing in the morning. As we go about our day we can get decision fatigue and it is hard to really get to that high level of creative thinking. First thing in the morning is the perfect time to tick off something that is more high level and uses more brain power. I have found that the first step to creating success in the morning really starts the night before. Get organised, clear your space, have planned EXACTLY what you want to achieve the next morning, write it down or schedule it on your calendar, do some light, gentle exercise and meditate. Meditation is so important basically you want a nice, blank slate for a good night’s sleep! It will make such a difference to your level of motivation and your ability to get up early!
4. RETAIN YOUR FOCUS:
Be really, really strict about what you let into your reality each week, particularly on ‘work’ days because it can completely destroy your focus. There is hugely crazy stuff going on in the world at the moment. Don’t get into a rabbit hole of researching, pondering and reading all about the crazy, sick stuff going on. It’s what the media wants you to do. You can care, we all care! But don’t spend a lot of time following the news, it will completely bring you down and suck the life out of you. Focus on your reality, your goals, and the positive change that you plan to bring in to the world. I have actually decided that from now on Mon-Thurs in order to be super focused I am not going to allow anything negative into my reality and that even goes for watching stuff on Netflix (I will save that for the weekend!) I have done this before and it is amazing what a difference it makes to your focus, flow and motivation.
5. SCHEDULE SIMILAR THINGS AT THE SAME TIME:
You want to keep your brain power for high level, creative work not following a crazy, different schedule every day. As much as possible schedule everything around the same time every day. It is a process, particularly if you have kids and they have a bunch of different activities! But ideally plan to have dinner at the same time each night and then plan your exercise, evening routine around that for example. Plan to go to sleep and wake up at the same time. Now, this is difficult but I strongly think that this as much as possible this should happen on the weekend also (and something I will be working towards!). If you have a late night I think it is better to have an afternoon nap and then stick to your usual bedtime. It is all about creating habits, often the weekend messes up all of our good work so as much as possible still stick to some sort of a relaxed weekend routine so come Monday it’s easier to get back to task.
6. SCHEDULE IN ‘ME TIME’:
If you don’t put regular self-care into your schedule you will eventually burn out. Starting something new can be incredibly draining, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Emotionally, mentally and physically. As well as regularly scheduling time for relationships. Good relationships and support will be integral to your success. And probably the whole point of your ‘why’! Everyone needs to be concerned with their mental health. When you are mentally healthy it has a flow on effect and you also help the other people around you to create good mental health.
7. PLAN ADVENTURES INTO THE EVERYDAY:
Having a solid routine is great! But don’t be afraid to mix it up once in awhile, work someplace new, plan something new to do each weekend, plan in those weekend escapes, try a new yoga class, go to the beach (anytime is a good time to go to the beach and get all of those brilliant negative ions!). Plan free time into your schedule to have downtime, dream, take a walk and just enjoy your life and all that you have created right now! We can get really stuck doing the same things and living the same day over and over, so mix it up. Don’t let your work take over your entire life, stay balanced!
I follow the ‘Planning With Kids’ guide to creating a weekly schedule. I have been doing this for years. Basically, I create the ‘blueprint’ on google drive of an ideal week (where nothing changes, which never happens!) and then I ‘time block’ on my Gcal. I want to get into individually time blocking eg. instead of just ‘work’ scheduled you will have exactly what work goal you want to achieve blocked out. I was using the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ for a long time, but I am moving away from scheduling my work in one big block and plan to break it up more into three-hour chunks. After I have tried this technique for awhile I will definitely do an update.
Check out the calendar time blocking technique from Paul Minors.
Thought of some more ideas 😉 If you are really stuck with initially knowing where your time is going and how long everything takes you to do, complete a weekly time audit and write down what you do every 1/2 hour or so for one week. That will give you a good blueprint to base your new weekly schedule off of.
Another very important thing is to schedule time to take care of your space and take care of your life. You might want to block out a regular time for housework, errands, supermarket, paperwork, kids admin (takes so long!). A clear and organised space is really important for our motivation and success.