When you are the CEO of your business (Yep that’s you, girlfriend!), you need a schedule. A schedule ensures that you are in charge of your time and your daily tasks, not the other way around. Think of this as a fail-safe method to keep you proactive rather than reactive.
And yes, that is true even if you’re a creative person who may not like people telling you when, and on what, to work. I promise, having structure will allow for even greater creativity. Trust me on this. You can do anything you want within the bounds of the schedule, like a dog enjoying the safety (and unabashed fun) of a fenced in park or yard.
I learned long ago that I prefer not to need to plan at all. What I mean by that is… I like to have a structure set up that doesn’t change. My week is set and nonnegotiable. All my decisions are made for me, and that leaves my brain with time to solve problems and serve clients.
My coach, Laura Wright taught me this amazing tool. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re done for the day, then realizing you had to deliver something… like, yesterday. Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t forget about that task you need to take care of in a few weeks. Having a set schedule where I don’t have to make choices has helped me reclaim my time and ensure everything is taken care of. Rather than giving myself a handful of options of what I could do, I look at my calendar and say, “It’s 10am on Tuesday. Time to coach.” No exceptions.
It is not complicated to set up your own CEO schedule, it just takes a little planning. Then, you’re free to be flexible inside the structure. Here are a few steps to get you started.
If you want your schedule to work, it has to work for you. Why go through all the steps of setting up something that you know you’ll never use.
You may be someone who needs to work on a Saturday because you take off Monday. Or you prefer to work 30 hours a week instead of 40. Or you need to start later on Tuesdays to get your kiddo on the bus. Whatever your framework is, think about the boundaries of your working time and create a structure around those hours.
Next, think about the main types of tasks that you need to complete in your business each week. They may look like:
It’s important to note that these areas are general and flexible. You aren’t picking exactly what you’ll be working on within your content creation work block, only that you have one on Thursday afternoon.
When putting together a CEO schedule, think about the tasks you could batch together. Schedule all of your client fulfillment for one day when you’re in that zone, all of your content creation on another, your marketing and sales calls on a third, and so on.
This is a key feature of the CEO schedule: figure out what works for you. If you are more creative in the mornings, schedule a work block in the morning. Follow your energy and work on things that have a similar feel in terms of energy.
I always leave a day open in my schedule for a Clone Day. This is a day you leave completely blank in your weekly schedule to accommodate those unpredictable things that come up. For example, if there’s a day in the week where I’m traveling or something is happening in my life that I can’t do my typical day, I can clone that day into the free day on my schedule.
That way, my week stays on track and I know that I don’t have to cancel or rearrange anything on my Clone Day. This is also a great overflow day if you need to catch up with anything or close open loops.
At the end of each day, have a block (even 30 minutes) where you close any loops from the day and assign your priority for the following day. That way, when you sit down at your work tomorrow, you’ll know exactly what you have to focus your time on.
When I got going with my CEO schedule, I forgot to account for the task that was causing all the timing challenges in my day. I forgot to block time for Voxer. I spend hours on Voxer every week, but I didn’t put it into my schedule. I didn’t understand why I was so exhausted until I realized, “Oh, I’ve been trying to stuff ‘Catch Up On Voxer’ into spare moments in the day.”
If you notice you’re missing a key task in your business, revisit your schedule and make time for it. You may also want to revisit your CEO schedule after a few weeks to make sure the structure is working for you. The change of the months, seasons, or moon is a great time to check in and see if you need to shift anything.
A CEO schedule is free-flowing and it’s also pretty structured. This ensures that you’re hitting all the main areas of your business that need attention. It gives you everything you need to be successful when it comes to client fulfillment, marketing, sales calls to keep the client roster full, and keeping the balls in the air.
If you want to see a CEO schedule in action, watch this video inside my Soul. Strategy. Success. Facebook Group or schedule an intensive with me to create one of your own!