5 minute read

TIME MANAGEMENT

TIME MANAGEMENT by: Brittany Dixon

It’s a concept that most of us spend our entire adult lives trying to figure out. We all have the same 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It’s how we spend that time that makes a difference if we are hitting our goals and fulfilling our lives.

I want to first introduce my Days By Design method. This is a framework that I put together for myself, my students, and my clients to allow them to build businesses without burnout. This method would also apply to someone who was in the workforce and not in entrepreneurship. You will want to come back to this framework each time you have shifts in your schedule and reevaluate these areas.

Then I want to give you some actionable tips for adjusting your schedule when seasonal (or life shifts) happen.

Lifestyle By Design

Most people design their days backward. They fill the calendar with work and business appointments first, before blocking out time for family, self-care, personal development, relationships, and other lifestyle habits. Doing this may seem like the way to go when you are building your professional career but it can be a recipe for disaster and burnout.

I believe there are 6 Lifestyle Buckets that you should be blocking off time for. Make a list of 2-3 items in each of these categories that you want to be spending your time on. Below are some examples:

Family Weekly family board game night Weekly family learning time

Financial Saving % each month Paying off debt

Fitness (Health, Exercise, Diet, Self Care) Monthly spa day Walking 3-5x per week

Friends (Relationships) Monthly dinner with parents Monthly dinner with siblings Monthly girls night

Fun (Travel, Entertainment) Plan 1 big trip per year Plan 8 camping trips

Fulfillment (Personal Development & Growth) Read 2 books per month (1 personal/1 business) Listen to 1 podcast per week

Once you make a list of what is important to you, you need to block off time on your calendar for each of these things. Set those things on repeat and make sure you take the time to do them. Putting the personal and lifestyle items on the calendar before business or work will ensure that you are taking care of yourself and not creating an environment for burnout.

Business (or Workforce) By Design

Now back to work. How can we design our work schedule and calendar in a way that feels good? Where we have work/life balance.

You will want to think about your big picture vision first. You need a roadmap that you will follow in order to ensure you are reaching your goals and fulfilling what you want out of your life.

What is your 3-year vision? Where do you want to go? What do you want your professional life to look like in 3 years. If you own a business, what is your revenue, how many are on your team, and what products and services do you offer? If you work for someone, are you going for a promotion, will you be moving companies, and is your workday fulfilling?

What can you do in the next year, to help you get closer to your 3-year vision?

What projects or initiatives are you working on this year that you need to plan? How can you create a system to keep track of all of your tasks that need to be done for these projects?

Routines By Design

As humans, we thrive on routines. Hints the reason for this article talking about tips for adjusting to the seasonal schedule shuffle.

Here is an example list of routines that need to be set up as recurring events on your calendar. Block out the time on a weekly basis so that you can be sure time is allotted to the things that are most important.

Morning routine. Evening routine. Journal time. Self-care time. Personal development time. Family activities. Vacations. Personal travel. Business travel. Weekly financial check-in. Administrative time. Weekly planning time. Fridays off. Weekends off.

Ok, so you used the Days by Design method. You have crafted a schedule and calendar that fits your goals and lifestyle.

And then, a seasonal shift, a lifestyle change, a drastic change or event happens, and everything that you just planned, changes.

I want to provide some actionable tips for shifting your schedule when things change. This could be a shift to the summer schedule with the kids at home, the kids going back to school, a change to remote work, or anything else that disrupts the regular flow.

When you are feeling overwhelmed with your schedule, look at these things:

Take a deep breath - grab a piece of paper and brain dump everything in your head.

Review your calendar, does everything get you closer to your goals? Delete what doesn’t fit anymore.

It’s ok to say no! Don’t feel guilty for protecting your boundaries and needs.

Make sure you are adding buffer time before and after appointments - everything takes longer than it should to prepare for and wrap up.

Color-code your calendar for personal vs business/professional. You can plan your days better this way.

Create a new schedule for that specific season - go through the Days by Design method and see what that looks like for this new season. (For example during the summer - I cut out spa days because I do a lot of other self-care activities.)

Remember that this is a SEASON. Things will go back to a normal rhythm.

We all have the same 24 hours a day. The way you design it and manage it will be the way you are able to reach big goals and dreams!!

Brittany Dixon

Brittany Dixon