As we near Independence Day in The United States, it reminds me that this day symbolizes Freedom. As Entrepreneurs, many of us start our own businesses so we can have more Freedom in our lives. I am a big proponent of creating a schedule that allows you to have that Freedom you crave, and I have found that it takes planning and intentionality to really maximize your time and freedom. z
Most people think that creating a schedule doesn’t sound very freeing, but trust me, after 14 years of being an entrepreneur and mastering a freedom schedule, I have more time off and play time than I have ever had, all while having a full, thriving coaching practice. The structure I create allows me to get my stuff done and clock out by 3 pm every day. (noon on Friday!). With my free time, I love to go for hikes with my dog, Nora; go to yoga; read at least a book a week; write and spend time with my husband (who works 3 days a week himself) and friends.
So here are my four top tips on creating a Freedom Schedule:
1) There are 4 months each year that have 5 weeks. Block out a week in each of these months automatically for vacation, way in advance (I recommend at least 6 months in advance). Then block out at least another 10 business days in chunks of 1-2 days for long weekends. If you are meeting with clients on a regular basis, doing this planning in advance won’t disrupt your client activity at all and you will be able to schedule around your blocked time.
2) Create client specific days (working “in” the business) and business development/marketing specific days (working “on” the business). I recommend that you spend at least 20% of your time on business development/marketing activities and splitting this time into two half days. I recommend having 2-3 client days where all you need to do is be fully present with your clients. I also reserve Thursday afternoon to talk to my Strategic Alliances, my coach, and my peer coach. This creates a wonderful flow and feeling of spaciousness in your work life.
3) Put all your to-do’s right into your calendar to make sure you block sufficient time to work on them. As an example, I work “on” my business on Friday mornings. If I get all my tasks done in my calendar, I get to head out and play by noon. It is a great incentive to stay focused and get things accomplished efficiently. If I don’t finish my work, I have to stick around and finish my tasks. I don’t allow myself to clock out until everything on my calendar for the day is complete.
4) I plan workshops and retreats in places I want to visit and then can write it off as a business expense. I also have worked from Maine, Lake Tahoe,Vashon Island and Bend, Oregon. With today’s technology, you can work from anywhere if you plan for it properly. This change in geography also keeps me alive, fresh and focused as a coach.
So creating a Freedom Schedule was Key #1. To hear about the 3 other keys to having freedom and prosperity in your business, make sure to tune in to my interview on The Adventurous Entrepreneur Video Summit!
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and insight!