Time management is one of those things that we, as women, often struggle with. Some of us end up taking things on to please others that bump our priorities. Others have all these goals in mind and we want to do the best thing possible, but end up scattering our energy. We also tend to wear multiple hats, which makes us busier than we mean to be.
So, time management is key because it ensures we are doing the things that are most important to us. By creating a schedule, we allow ourselves to feel that we have time for our goals, our work, our personal priorities like family and friends, as well as just have some time to just sit, so that you can really truly feel like your best self.
One of the tactics that we use with our coaching clients is the “ideal schedule.” It allows them to schedule their lives in a way that mirrors their priorities, goals and objectives. I, Manpreet, personally don’t like schedules. I don’t like routine. But I found that using the ideal schedule method really allowed me to feel more freedom within the structure I set, including more space and flow. It has encouraged me to focus on the things that are important to me and led to my feeling that I was in more in control of my life in various ways.
To implement this method, first make a list of all the most important things that you would want to spend your time doing on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. For instance, if we’re looking at finances, we can add in a monthly review of finances at the end of the month, a weekly review of your receipts to make sure they are being tallied, and then set a time to do your budget for the year, with a quarterly session to do a variance for the budget. You can capture the key components of your process for each area of your life, including personal health appointments. If you’re like me and want acupuncture appointments every week, you need to schedule it in. Once it is in your calendar and booked with your therapist, you will have a much more difficult time avoiding taking this time for yourself. I do the same with allotting time for reading and meditation, as well as setting date nights (with myself when I’m single or with a partner when I’m dating someone).
Accounting for these different components allows us to have the safety of structure that we won’t miss anything.
You can also do this with your business. Maybe Mondays are your blogging day, so you block out the time to write. Tuesdays are research or networking, so you find that those are the days you’ll set up your business development meetings. Wednesdays you block time to update your administrative structures and Thursdays you meet with clients. Whatever is going to work for you, set out those times in your schedule.
A deeper benefit of the ideal schedule method is that it allows you to understand what else you will make time for and what your priorities are. What do you do if you see extra space in your calendar? Do you fill it with the things you love? The people you love to be around? The things you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the time for? We often operate in a scarcity of time caused by our lack of control of what comes up in our busy, busy lives. This simple exercise will show you is that when you are more organized, you do have the time that you never think you have.
The ideal schedule is something I strongly suggest that you take an hour to do for yourself. Once you have that framework, you update it every 6-months as your priorities and goals shift, or every four months, if you operate on quarterly goals. It has helped me make sure that I am reaching those goals and actually blocking out time in my schedule to reach my goals.
As a leader, it’s so important to feel that you are still taking time for yourself as that’s what allows you to show up for others. It goes back to the airplane analogy: When you put your oxygen mask on first and take care of yourself first, you are actually able to help other people.
We know that all of you are here to create more impact. To achieve the impact that you deserve and want, you need to align to your truth and connect to your best selves. Creating an ideal schedule is a great way to do that.
If you’d like to see a sample of an ideal schedule or you would just like to talk a little bit more about how to balance various priorities in life, please sign up for a 30-minute complimentary coaching consult today.