Whether or not you use a CEO Schedule, prioritizing how you use your time is essential, but it’s easy to resist following your well-crafted schedule when the way it’s designed doesn’t actually feel good or align with your energy.
So while it sounds simple in theory, the practice of creating a schedule that actually accomplishes the goal of managing you and your time can be much more challenging.
First of all, why do you need a weekly schedule if I just admitted I don’t use a planner? Ah, here’s the catch: I do follow a schedule, but I don’t bother with a planner to tell me what to do each week. Instead, I’ve set my week up so I do the same things each week.
Using a CEO Schedule can allow you to:
- Stress less
- Get more done in less time
- Follow creativity and instincts more frequently
So why do you sometimes rebel against your carefully crafted calendar?
Because it’s missing more advanced, nuanced variables that can make the difference between a schedule you follow in theory or in practice.
Go further and start incorporating the following ideas into your time management plan to help you align and maximize your schedule even more fully.
1 | Follow Your Energy
This tip brings a more feminine perspective to time management, but I believe it’s essential for everyone to track and notice how their energy ebbs and flows throughout the day.
If you’re intentional, you can actually track your energy. It might take just a day or you might find value in tracking your energy for a week, especially if you’re creating or enhancing your CEO Schedule. Logging what you notice is recommended.
Ask these questions throughout your day or week:
- When is your energy the highest?
- When are you the most focused?
- The most productive?
- When is your energy the lowest?
- What time of day do distractions more easily creep in?
In your log, don’t just note the times of day. Also pay attention to the situations surrounding changes in your energy, such as:
- Energy boosting or depleting activities.
- Notice how food or beverage affect your energy
- If energy waxes or wanes when you interact with certain people
- Environmental stimuli that boost or dampen your energy
Noticing how your energy is affected and making adjustments to your CEO Schedule can enhance your creativity, idea generation, productivity, and overall mood. It’s worth it to consider ways to tweak your schedule when you can see evidence of the benefits the changes can have.
2 | Throw Out 20th Century Shoulds
The day and age of the 9-5, M-F white collar work week is dead. As a 21st century CEO, you have the power to choose when you work. You can align your working hours with your energy, but it’s important to actually remember this so you can address any guilty feelings that pop up.
You don’t have to sit at your desk for a prescribed amount of time or have a rigid routine that doesn’t allow you to live your life. So what if you have to work late on Tuesday night? Start later Wednesday morning to compensate. Want to work on the weekends? Go for it.
It’s also essential to apply a similar level of grace and flexibility to your team members. Whether contractor or employee, each person who cares about your business and works alongside you to check off big goals need respect.
Using team member Kolbe strengths to ease communication and align schedules is key. When each person is using their strengths and in their zone of excellence or genius, you can ensure that work will get done, even when it’s done on a 21st century schedule.
Here’s the key: balance time worked with life demands and energetic needs. Especially as global events continue to affect our day-to-day choices, there’s no perfect formula for work/life balance. Flexibility and adaptability are prized skills when it comes to time management.
3 | Schedule Work Blocks and Batch Your Time
There are 6 Energies of Entrepreneurship:
- Content Creation
- Edge Work
- Self Care
- CEO Time
Everything you do in your business will fall under one of these categories. Understanding these energies, and intentionally batching tasks that share the same energy into one work block, will save you so much time and improve your productivity and focus.
For example: Content creation takes a different type of energy than Fulfillment (AKA: doing “client work,” for me, could be facilitating a Kolbe Team Week). So, I’ve separated my days into work blocks based on energy output and when I am going to have the easiest time completing those tasks based on my energy flow.
Leverage your CEO Schedule and designate work blocks for each of these energies based on when you’re able to perform them best in . Assign those work blocks based on type of activity and when your energy level will match it.
Success Tip: Notice when you’re most productive during the day and schedule your high energy work during those times.
Then, batch your work.
What kinds of tasks can you batch? So many, in both your business and your life! Errands. Emails. Meetings and calls. Team support. Reach out. Meal prep… The list goes on.
Batching requires thinking ahead, but you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to get everything done.
At the beginning of the week (or end of the current work day), look at the days ahead. In your weekly schedule, mark down specific tasks you will do on specific days.
For me, I try to have consulting calls on Tuesday and Wednesday (because they energetically align) and do my errands on Thursday when no one is out. That way, I’m not scattering my focus about.
There’s a general outline I follow and don’t have to think too hard about it, like a daily habit of taking a vitamin and brushing my teeth.
While my daily tasks will change week to week, I can set up my weekly schedule of work blocks once and know what energy I need to bring for each day.
4 | Address Interruptions Proactively
Family and business must find ways to co-exist. Sometimes business obligations must take precedence over family, while the inverse is also true. If you’re working from home, it’s essential that you communicate with your loved ones so they understand your work schedule, even if it has to change or adjust on a daily basis!
The same goes with team members. How many times have unexpected interruptions from team members, time-sensitive requests, or unanticipated questions knocked your plan or the day off course. What kind of boundaries or systems can you set up to help reduce these occurrences? Understanding each team member’s Kolbe A™ score can help to create ideal systems to address interruptions so everyone can thrive.
I remember when my husband used to think I could just “run to the store” in the middle of my workday, or my aunt thought I could have a cup of tea with her on a random Tuesday afternoon at 2pm.
I’m grateful that working from home has become more understood, even if it’s just a temporary norm, but that doesn’t mean that everyone in your life realizes you’re actually working when you’re wearing your house slippers.
Training your loved ones to understand when you’re working ensures that they A) know they can’t run to you for every little thing because you are focusing on running your business and B) will eventually learn to solve their own problems, thus bolstering self sufficiency to a greater degree in the future.