What would your life look like if you took control of it? Imagine your perfect day at work and sketch it on a piece of paper. How would the day start and how would it be structured? Would there be specific times for meetings and other times for executing? Where does professional development fit in? Can you see that some days or part of days may need to be focused on specific tasks and goals?
What do your off-days and times look like? Where and how do you like to recharge?
Does this feel too structured for you?
I work with a lot of business owners and many have a strong independent streak, relishing in the ability to design a business and lifestyle that suits them. Surprisingly, many of them don’t enjoy that freedom and here’s why.
Unstructured days and calendars leave us in reaction mode. Good intentions, not on the calendar but in our head, get wiped away by the tyranny of the urgent. And everything is urgent and important if priorities are not established. So we end up living and working in reaction mode wondering why we never get to the things that are important to us even though the calendar creates the illusion we have the time and opportunity to address those priorities. What does your calendar look like?
Most find that setting structure to the week helps. It may mean deciding that Tues-Thurs are days for client meetings. Monday afternoons for internal meetings and Friday to get things complete, wind down the week and plan for the next. Within the day, we can also structure work to vary the rhythm. Focused work on a project for 60 or 90 minutes, followed by phone calls or meetings changing the rhythm and varying the pace.
For many, getting the priority items complete early in the day or week, ensures they get done and provides a boost of confidence (Done!) and energy for the remainder of the day. It also provides flexibility for the interrupters and derailers that always come along. Instead of dismissing the day or week as lost, handle the event and then return to the calendar. There will be some reprioritizing and perhaps some dates or deadlines to be extended. Having already established a structure you’ll be better prepared to get back to the priorities for your work and life.
Do it! What do you have to lose? You have everything to gain in taking control of your calendar and life!