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Time Management Tips for Thriving Wellness Entrepreneurs

wellness business coaching for online and local in Encinitas, CA | Wellness business coaching for online and local in San Diego, CA
wellness business coaching for online and local in Encinitas, CA | Wellness business coaching for online and local in San Diego, CA

Hey there wellness entrepreneur, welcome back.

Today, we’re going to be talking about Time And Schedule Hacks. Also, you can wake up, have a business and have a schedule that you just love to work in, you don’t feel that pressure, you don’t feel that overwhelm, and so you can also have a life that you love to go to and can participate in and outside your business.

Because I know, part of the reason that you wanted to start your own business is so you can have more time freedom. And let’s make that a reality. This episode is a combination of strategies. Yes! So, some specific time and schedule hacks. It’s also about mindset, because, you know, that combination of mindset and strategy, it’s my jam! You really need both.

The Importance Of Clarifying And Deciding For Yourself Your Normal Working Hours

Okay, so the first thing is really clarifying and deciding for yourself what are your normal working hours. So if you have a full-time job, for example, maybe it’s deciding three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, you work two hours in the evening from 6:30 to 8:30pm, and that allows you to make sure you still have resting time outside your normal job times. And that gets you six hours a week of quality time working in your business. It’s enough time to see clients and do client-generating activities.

It’s plenty of time. Or maybe you work when your kids are at school, and it’s between the hours of 9:00 and 1:00, for example. Or maybe you’re full-time like me, so you have more of a 9:00 to 4:00 schedule.

I actually decide I work in my business on Mondays, for example, but I don’t work with clients on Mondays and Friday afternoons. I work a half day on Friday, because Friday afternoons, I do a lot of simple day trips with my daughter or just bonding time with my daughter. She actually loves to go to Trader Joe’s and look for that monkey Rocco, and get a lollipop. So even if it’s normal tasks like that, we have fun on Fridays together, and I don’t work weekends. So make sure when you’re defining your schedule that you have working hours, which can be client hours and non-client hours.

Like for me, on Monday, I have no clients, but I am working in my business, I actually get dressed, and I show up, and I go down to the shed, and I work in my business. Or sometimes, I like to start on the couch, especially if my daughter’s home, and it allows my nervous system to stay calm, and I feel more creative. And I’m getting really good productive work done, like planning a podcast or planning some social media content for the week or an e-mail. But I’m in a more relaxed mode. So, it’s actually more creative and more impactful.

So decide what that means for you. Maybe it doesn’t mean getting dressed. For me, it does mean getting dressed because I just feel more awake and more put together. But you get to define all that means. But you also want to clearly define for yourself when you’re not going to work. And that does not mean just not working with patients or clients, that means you’re actually not going to work, you’re not going to open your laptop.

For me, when I say I don’t work Friday afternoon, I don’t work weekends, it means I don’t take out my laptops that whole entire time. I don’t do any work-related tasks. I don’t do admin tasks. I don’t do anything work-related.

The only thing I may do is respond to a click reschedule text, if it’s a Sunday, and someone needs to reschedule for later in the week. And I can do it quickly. Or I might journal some things, some things that maybe came up during the week that I just kind of want to work through and process and take my time and sip some tea and coffee while I do that and do it outside and just enjoy that moment of connecting and understanding myself a little bit better. That’s something I might do on the weekends. But I’m actually not doing work tasks.

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So, I find that some of my clients will come to a call and they’ll say, “Oh yeah, I took the weekend off,” and then they tell me all the things that they did in their business, back end related, but they didn’t clarify it as work because they actually weren’t treating patients or working with clients. It’s still work. And it’s going to tax your brain, and it’s going to tax your energy, even if it’s not client- or patient-related work.

And if you’re feeling exhausted or on the brink of burnout, then that might be one of the reasons because you’re not truly taking time off to rest and just let your working brain go so it can replenish and refuel your creative sources because you’re not tapping into those or problem-solving skills, because you’re not having to strategize things.

So you need time where you’re actually planning to take it off. So decide for you. You need at least one full day during the week. Two is better. For me, I found that two and a half is best for me right now.

And in the evenings daily, you need time off, especially if you’re having trouble sleeping, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, it’s probably because you’re working up to the very last minute before you go to bed. So there’s no time to turn off the brain. There’s no bedtime routine, which calms your nervous system, and lets go of thoughts or worries or your to-do list.

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I can’t tell you how impactful this will be. And sometimes it is had. This is the mindset strategy piece where you have to remind yourself of the importance and the benefits of taking time to rest because it might feel very uncomfortable in the beginning. I know it did for me when I first stopped working weekends because I used to work seven days a week, I used to work a crazy schedule from 6:30 in the morning, until 9:30, 10:00 at night. And it was very uncomfortable in the beginning to take that time off, to plan it into my schedule.

And even if I was at the house, and my daughter was not home, and my husband wasn’t home, to not take out the laptop, and instead do something for myself, like go for a walk, or just read a book, or just hang out in the sun, which I just love to do. But it was very uncomfortable to do that at first. Now I love it. So stick with it and remind yourself of the importance of this planned time for rest.

It might take several weeks to recharge your batteries, and replenish your nervous system, but when you do this consistently, then you will be so much more productive in your week, because you’ll have more energy, you’ll have more brainpower to problem solve, to be creative, you’ll get more done in a shorter amount of time.

And then the work that you do, which we’re going to go over what work that is, will be more impactful.

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Planning Your Schedule

So number one is you’re going to plan that schedule of working hours, client hours, admin hours, and resting hours. And it doesn’t have to be super exact. I’m not a rigid schedule follower, but I do create structure in my week overall.

So, I’ll tell you how I figured that out for myself. But first, for right now, plan it out, ideally in an ideal world. And then you just have to try it. You just have to go into your week, and you have to try it because some aspects of that schedule will work, and sometimes things need tweaking and refinement, and troubleshooting. And that’s just part of the process.

And also notice when you don’t stick to your schedule, what comes up? What were the thoughts? Why did you work outside those lines past four o’clock when you said that you weren’t going to open the laptop past four and you were going to prep your dinner so you could have a nice relaxing dinner with your family? Why did you end up on your laptop till 5:15, and then you had to call for dinner out because you didn’t have time to prep it and make it, and now you’re feeling guilty because you didn’t have that home-cooked meal that you wanted to have with your family. Instead, you’re eating some greasy fast-food meal. Right?

So what happened there? What were the thoughts that led to you overworking? That would be an example of overworking. Maybe it’s people-pleasing. Maybe someone wanted to get into the schedule last minute, and you said, “Okay, sure. I have a four o’clock at a spot available,” and then that session went over, and next thing you knew, it was 5:15 and everyone’s home starving, ready for dinner and you had to order it from takeout. Maybe you don’t feel worthy of taking that time for yourself to give yourself that luxurious rest time and luxurious time to do something that your soul craves, like cooking dinner for your family.

I love cooking dinner for my family, and I always make sure to plan that into my schedule. Maybe it’s not weekly, it’s definitely not nightly, but it’s several times a month. And that fills my soul.

Must Read: How to Stop Overworking with Olga Lacroix

Maybe you’re being too rigid with what you think that you want to do and what you think that you need to do. And you’re trying to force yourself to do it every day. Maybe it doesn’t need to be so rigid. How could you find more flexibility in what you want to do? Maybe it just feels, as I mentioned before, maybe it just feels uncomfortable, and you’re avoiding that discomfort.

That’s what happens with a lot of my clients. These are things that a lot of my clients really bring, and we work through, and we shift the mindset, or we try to create new believable thoughts so that when the four o’clock hour comes up, when there’s ideally wanting to be at home preparing the dinner for their family, when their brain wants to tell them, “Oh, just one more thing,” they’re able to say, “No, nope, I plan this time for myself,” and they’re able to stick with it.

Maybe you have a scarcity mindset, maybe you have a fear of not bringing in enough money so you’re always trying to hustle and get one more thing done to try to bring in that next client. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to prioritize, so you feel like you have to get everything done now, so every task on your list is urgent. So there’s no way that you could not do all of the tasks, so you end up working overworking pretty consistently.

Must Read: How to Become a Confident Practitioner

So the key here is to define your working schedule. And then notice when you go over that working schedule and figure out why.

So another reason why people go over that ideal working schedule is they’re not planning actual time off. So we talked about that and highlighted that, but make sure not only are you planning rest each day, rest each week, but think once in a while, you got to view your big picture schedule.

So a few months from now, maybe even you look into the whole next year so you can plan your family trips and vacations. I find that when I have them in the schedule ahead of time, and right now, my daughter is in grade school, so I have the benefit of knowing pretty much when we’re going to be taking our vacations because that’s when she has time off of school, then I can prepare ahead with scheduling my client calls. So I don’t have to reschedule as many people because I’m not taking as many last-minute trips where I already booked people in the schedule, and now I got to find them a new spot. I pretty much only do that when we sometimes do take last-minute trips, if life happens, life throws us curveballs.

Like recently, we went to Florida, which was unplanned. Or sometimes we just feel like we need a break. So we might take a longer weekend than normal. Of course, do that when your body and when you desire to do that. But also see if you can plan ahead as well. It does help with taking the pressure off of having to reschedule everyone, which does take a lot of time and energy.

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Figuring Out What You Need

So part of creating that ideal schedule for yourself is really figuring out what you need. So as I mentioned before, I crave structure in my week overall. I like knowing that, okay, pretty much except for Fridays, where I take the half day, but most days, I’m going to either start work at eight, and do nine to five or something in that neighborhood. I like looking ahead, and I like planning out my walks in my yoga classes that I love. Sometimes I need to add in doctor appointments, like right now, I have some extra scans I’m going through because I had a red flag pop up in one of my labs. So I like knowing the basics of my schedule of how much time I really need each week to adequately care for myself.

I put in my client calls so I know how many client blocks of time I need to have. I put in the bare minimum essentials that I need each week. I check the major bear minimum and things that are going to keep my business afloat and keep bringing clients in. But then, beyond that, I don’t like scheduling every 30 minutes or 15 minutes. I don’t like looking at my schedule and seeing every minute of the day blocked off for certain tasks. It makes me feel like I’m confined or as if I’m an employee in my own business instead of being the CEO. But that’s just me. Some of you might like to schedule your schedule out every minute or every 15 minutes, every 20 minutes. You know exactly what you’re working on. It doesn’t work for me. So instead, I block off.

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I love blocking off time, like two to three hours, and I just put creative time in my schedule. I don’t really have a specific purpose other than I know what I’m going to prioritize in that week, so I have a general sense of what needs to get done.

Like, for example, I’m planning for a webinar that I’m doing in August, it’s now June. And so when I block off that time, I know I’m going to be working on the registration page, for example. And here’s another tip, I always schedule more time than what I think I need to get the task done.

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Often we feel pressured or overwhelmed because we underestimate the amount of time that a task or a project may take. So I blocked off more time than I think I needed. And I have some other tasks that I can get to, like e-mails if I actually have more time, but I’m not feeling I have adequate time because the webinars are until August, so I’ve adequate time, where if I use all of that time to work on the registration page, for example, then I can get to the e-mails next week, because I have plenty of time.

So when you give yourself the luxury of space and time, then you won’t feel pressured to get it all done, which goes back to one of those mindsets, of feeling like everything is a priority, and you feel really overwhelmed with having to do everything right now.

And again, it might take a few weeks to get into this rhythm, because everything does feel like a priority right now. And you actually might have a lot of balls or plates that you’re spinning in the air. And that happens for each of us. But I find that usually in those types of situations, they’re temporary. So just take it a day at a time until you get through that and start to plan things ahead of time, as much as possible up until that point.

Building That Rest Time For Yourself

But in the yoga world and in the massage world, because I’ve been in both now for a few decades is that there are massage therapists and yoga teachers or healers are sometimes known as flakes, and often I find that yoga teachers, massage therapists, healers, aren’t sticking or showing up consistently to their classes, or to their schedule shifts or if you’re entrepreneur to your working hours that you put for yourself, because that schedule, that rhythm just doesn’t fit well for you.

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So if you’re a yoga teacher, or a massage therapist, where you work in the spa, or, as an entrepreneur, you want to stay consistent in your schedule, and do have a schedule week by week.
You’re like, “Well, then how do I not flake?” So it’s building in that rest time for yourself and figuring out, “Okay, how does my mind work? How does my body work in terms of brain and focus capacity?” Maybe each person will have the amount of yoga classes, the max amount of yoga classes you can teach in one week before you feel burned, or clients or focus productive time, we all have our ceilings and caps, and you need to honor and respect those. And it may shift overtime.

I used to have a lot lower capacity for clients per week. And because I’ve gotten better in my practitioner skills and holding space and cleaning my energy and not taking on what’s not mine or overthinking or over-analyzing, now I can work with a lot more patients and clients per week without feeling drained than ever before.

So know that you can say, “Oh, I only want to teach two yoga classes a week or have 10 clients a week.” That’s fine. Respect that, honor that. How can you make that work with your revenue goals, and know that over time, that may change as well.

But it’s not about being a robot and forcing yourself to show up each week in a very certain or particular type of way. It’s figuring out what you really need and honoring your rhythms.

Figuring Out When You’re Losing Your Time

Another time hack is really figuring out when you’re losing your time. So, for example, I did a time audit. And actually, you can do so too on the website. If you go to the Schedule Help, it’s a free, short, 20-minute training, it’ll walk you step by step on how to do a schedule audit.

I found out that I was losing a lot of time in transitioning. So meaning that when I finished a block of client calls and was trying to transition to writing e-mails, I was not doing it well. Sometimes, it would take me 20, 30 minutes, or more to do that transition. And I got curious about this with my own coach.

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Here’s a mindset strategy, and I realized that after three sessions of working with clients back to back, my brain just needed a break. So I built that in now. I take a 10 to 15-minute break, and it might mean just going out and sitting in the sun, hearing this again, or maybe I do hop on social media and I do mindless scrolling. What I actually like, because I like going in and liking my friends and my followers posts, I like commenting on them and engaging and connecting. So it’s somewhat mindless, but it also feels supportive. And I do that for 10, maybe 20 minutes, and then I get to the next task.

Having Your Next Task Pre-Prepared

Here’s the other hack. I make sure I have that next task pre-prepared. So in the morning, I look at my day coming up and I see the blocks of time that I have in between client calls. And I figure out which tasks I’m going to put in those free times.

So that way, I don’t have to think or deliberate on what to do next, because that decision-making in the moment, it really chews up a lot of time, especially if you’re trying to go from clients or patients sessions, to now more of an admin task. It’s a different brain power or a different use of your mind.

So if you have to decide what to do next, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed and feeling like everything’s a priority, it’s going to suck your energy. So try to do it, maybe it’s the night before when you look ahead, or for me, I have the most energy in the morning. So I do it the morning of because I feel that I can make powerful decisions at that time. And so I don’t have to decide. I can just look at my sheet, and I see the next task after I give my brain a break, then I go to the next task. I’m much more productive in that task. So that task becomes more impactful.

Some Hacks To Help You Shift Your Energy

If you still feel like you’re having trouble getting into the rhythm of that admin tasks, like writing e-mails, or creating social media content, then it might have to do with your energy or your mindset. So here are some suggestions to help shift your energy.

For me, I love to think about the one person that I’m talking to and how the one suggestion, maybe it’s via an e-mail or social media content, could help them and make their day easier. That just lights me up.

I also love to be creative in the problem-solving and the creative process of writing or creating content for you. What helps when I’m thinking about that person, I also like to put on relaxing music more on the slower relaxing side. Sometimes, as I mentioned before, it’s helpful to just move your body and get any stagnant energy out. I also use essential oils, uplifting oils, that help to get the creative juices flowing.

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Earlier in the day, I think about what I wanted to accomplish that day. And so when I bring that energy to the task, I think about what I want to accomplish for that specific task. So if I’m creating an e-mail or social media content, it might be to connect, it might be from a place of service, of helping that one person make their day a little bit easier. Or my task might be to get more clients and grow my business. And that’s okay too.

Sometimes as healers, coaches, and practitioners, we always think about service-based. We’re in a service-based industry. So that’s normal. But if you’re an entrepreneur, you also have a business. So it’s normal to want to help grow your business and earn more revenue, don’t feel guilty about that, that will be an energy and drain suck.

Importance of Knowing Your Bare Minimums

So if you want to focus on that, then focus on that. Be yourself. As I mentioned before, what helps guide my priorities for the day and for a week, and for a month is knowing my bare minimum is in my business.

Now I taught a whole workshop on that. It’s the Summer Of having Workshops. So you can hit your highest revenue months over the summer and have fun too. So if you haven’t watched that yet, you can go watch the replay because you can apply that strategy to be on summer too if you’re just feeling overwhelmed in your day-to-day schedule. But in this workshop, I talk about the bare minimums and making sure when you’re planning out your week that you always have time in your schedule for those.

How do you know what to choose for your bare minimums? Well, if you work with clients and patients, then probably your bare minimums is the direct work that will bring in more consultations or bring in more clients which will lead to more revenue.

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So I’m not talking about your website or logo or business cards or any of that. I’m talking about what is actually going to bring in the clients. So talking and connecting with people, making sure those are the priority in the schedule first.
So for me, my bare minimums are whatever is direct in bringing in clients, it’s also nurturing my audience since I do have an audience now, things like podcasts I do every week. And also, one of my bare minimums is, of course, making sure I’m delivering to my paying clients. So showing up to client calls, and any other work that’s directly client related.

Everything else, like writing blogs, or working ahead, like writing future e-mails and such, all those are a bonus. Knowing your bare minimums is key when you have shorter schedules or life happens. Like for me, when we had to take off time to go to Florida unexpectedly or when I have to go through more Lynch syndrome testing because things pop up.

A Buffer Space In Your Schedule

What goes well with this concept of the bare minimums is having buffer space in your schedule. This is different than what I mentioned earlier regarding blocking two to three hours in a week, sometimes more than that, where I just write out creative space, and I work on the week’s priority.

Buffer space is actually you’re putting in blocks of time, whether it’s one hour, two hours, and you’re not scheduling anything in that. And that’s for those days, because they’re going to happen when your kids are home from school or camp. Or maybe you get a call from school or camp, and you have to pick them up early. Or maybe you’re sick yourself.

How will you plan that for yourself? Do you have flexibility in your schedule where if you have to pick up a kid early from school, you can move those tasks or client calls to your buffer space, and you have room in your schedule to shift that too? It takes a lot of pressure off. So plan in buffer space.

And as I mentioned before, with your tasks, plan in more time than you think you really need for them. All of these ideas will help you to create more spacious, time freedom so you don’t feel pressured that you have to get everything done now.

Conclusion

Read this blog a few times, send it to a friend that might need help with their schedule, get curious, and support each other during the process. Because as I mentioned earlier when you’re making these changes, sometimes it doesn’t feel comfortable. It might even feel scary in the beginning. But if you have a friend you’re doing this with, then you can help each other through that time.

And, of course, I’m here for you. This is the work I do in the Awakened Business Coaching Program. I will teach you this successful scheduling system. We’ll break it down step by step with the strategy and mindset awareness so you can have a business and a life that you truly love.
I’ll see you next week. Bye for now!

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Alison McLean

"I help the Entrepreneur reduce stress and live a more fulfilled and balanced life."
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