How to plan your working week
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Join me for my short bite about how to plan your working week. This episode came from an amazing question from one of my Pretties. In this episode we’ll talk about the difference between planning when you’re in a 9-5 and self employed. Which is more challenging?
Everyone’s week will look different depending on where you’re at in your business, what you want from your time and how your life looks. We talk about the realities of building a business and finding the best approach that works for you.
Hi Pretties, in this mini bite, I am going to answer some of your burning questions that I have been given. Thank you guys for giving me these in our amazing free Facebook group community The Social Pretties. I’m going to jump straight in, because we’re all very busy. And the first question that I was given was from our lovely prettie Bethan, and she asked how best to plan your working week.
So, this is a great question and this is something that is always under constant review for me. I always look at the way in which I’m working, and try to figure out some sort of balance. When I was in corporate work life balance was something that was talked about quite regularly, and actually I realized that, under the conditions of a nine to five, the work life balance is so much more difficult than if you have autonomy over your own situation right like if you have your own business, and you get to choose how and when you work. Of course there are always going to be restraints, so you’re always going to have your responsibilities. If you are the type of business take take on big projects, there’s going to always be those times that are really busy that you know in your calendar, you know there isn’t much negotiation.
So it’s about really having a good understanding of what your work entails now depending where you are in your entrepreneurial journey. This could look very very different to you than it does to somebody else, and I don’t want to give you the illusion that where I’m at right now is standard. Because I can, I could sit here and I could say oh so I plan my working week around my children so that I can go and collect them from school still, and I can you know still make dinner a couple of times a week and still be mum. And that’s, that’s great. Yeah, that’s so lovely a thing to be able to say, but in truth, that might be true right now but definitely wasn’t true when I was initially building up my businesses, not, not when I was building up the first one, and certainly not whilst I was getting this one and the agency up off the ground. There have been many, many weeks where I have worked more hours than I would have done if I’d have had a nine to five. There have been many, many times and I do not, first of all, this is not a recommendation, if you can avoid it, please don’t do this, don’t take it as advice from me that this is what’s always necessary. It’s just what was necessary for me. And there were times when I had to do all nighters, I had that much work on, that much to do, I was a solopreneur, and I say solopreneur people think that’s a strange thing because we’ve had the agency. But, what you’’ve got to remember is that when we were building our agency this is a collaboration between us and our amazing team, and they take on client work like now I have a team for beyond the door like now I have a team for me but when we were first starting, I was managing everything, not just for me but for other women, as well. So I was actually managing more than just doing your normal solopreneur setting up their business right. I was setting up my business as me and I was also setting up and continuing the workflow of business through the agencies so it was a lot, it still is a lot, but now I have a team of amazing people to help you with that but this is all stuff that’s happened in, in time, it’s not something that just happened overnight, we definitely didn’t wake up one morning and go, Oh, I can just work a 20 hour week this week or if I can just work a 10 hour week this week. I know it may look like that. And I just want you to know that the journey didn’t always look like that, it wouldn’t be so wrong of me to say here, you know, my current experience, people know that we were out in Spain and we stayed out in Spain for a couple of months and we were able to still sustain our businesses, and enjoy life and live that kind of nomad lifestyle. But that didn’t happen overnight but it definitely wasn’t the beginning of the story. So it does depend where you are in your journey, it depends where you are with your business but my best advice on how to plan your working week would be to consider the things that are non negotiables.
So for instance, if you have client work, you do not ever want to let your clients down. I know, I know that I’m preaching to the converted here, but for those of us who have a service. We don’t want to let our people down, I mean the whole point that we get into these businesses is because we find joyous, you know emotions and fulfillment in helping people and doing the work that we do. So think about your non-negotiables, think about things that can and cannot be moved around, what’s flexible and what’s not flexible. Priorities are very very important, and it’s one of those things that lots of people struggle with figuring out what to do next. I have quite a scatty ADHD behavioural brain, I’d like to skip between things, and if something begins to bore me then I struggle to concentrate like I’m when I’m in it and I’m in my zone of genius. I’m a little bit like Dr Strange in my own dimension and that’s fine but after a little while like I need to skip to something else. So recognize your own behaviours, recognize your own strengths. Are you the type of person that actually finds an amazing amount of your genius zone? If you’re very, very focused, or are you the type of person who needs to flit a little bit from task to task. There’s no right or wrong way here, this again is one of the beautiful things about working for yourself and having your own autonomy, is that you get to decide how that works for you and you can tailor make your week, your working day to fit your needs and to suit the way that you like to work or how you work best. That’s definitely something to consider.
There is lots of different ways in which you can create little plans for yourself so one of the very, very popular ones that is banded about is time blocking, time blocking only works if you give yourself an achievable list, and you give yourself a time blocking list that has the real time amount something will take on it. I’m a bit of a bugger for making lists that are maybe 20 tasks long. And one of the tasks will be a three minute task, and one of the tasks will be a three hour task, and the satisfaction of ticking them off is lost, because the three minute task is done very quickly and easily, and the three hour task is a big task. And I only get the same tick, like I only get this same reward. So do think about how long something actually takes, and don’t make your lists too unachievable if you, for your to do list doer for sure. The other thing I like to consider is, I like to think about, I am hesitating in saying this, I’m going to apologize for anybody who may be triggered or offended by talking about females cycles. But I also like to consider my period, there you go, I’ve said it, its out into the ether, depending where I am, that month, in terms of hormones, in terms of fatigue. It can make a massive difference on how I feel, how focused I can become and actually my hormones really truly affect me and there are certain times of the month where I try not to book in live trainings or one to ones, because I know I can get myself a little bit tongue tied, I can get brain fog, and also, my energy. I don’t know what this is about, you know the slightly introverted side of me, or whether it’s to do with my cycle but my energy just drains, so quickly. And I have to go and recoup, I have to go and take some time, and sleep and eat well, and to just rest, just, just rest my soul a little bit, so that I can recoup. So, I mean, that is a personal choice as well but I like to track that, I like to look at that and I like to think about that when I’m planning my monthly plan. My working week, my monthly week Just see what it is that I’ve got going on with things like that.
Then I also because I am a little woo, I like to know what the moon’s doing man. I like to know what’s going on up there, what the lunar energy is and what is occurring. I find it absolutely fascinating. And I also truly strongly feel that things that you believe in have power, whether that is because it is an internal power to do with your mindset and your outlook and your perspective, or whether that is a real life universal energy that you subscribe to, I don’t judge anybody on what they believe, I don’t care as long as it works for you. And that’s something that I like to think about in my working week as well. So, I may find myself giving myself more me-time, during a new moon or a full moon, to allow myself to have some personal rituals in the way of setting intentions. Writing gratitude lists, taking a nice bath and just relaxing and honoring my own space to rest. Yeah, I have all of these little extra things that I do to kind of take care of myself. Taking care of myself, is a fairly new concept, which is ridiculous for somebody well into her 30s to be considering that self care is like a new thing, but I used to think self care was brushing your hair and brushing your teeth and, you know, just, just maybe making sure that you had seven hours sleep, and drink a glass of water a day. Now I realized that for me self care and it needs to be planned into my working week to take care of me. My self care actually sometimes it’s just being by myself and having the opportunity to be with my thoughts or getting fresh air and actually going for a walk. This is something that I’ve neglected for a long long time that I’m starting to bring into my working week. And that is my best advice when it comes to these types of plans, your strategy for your week. Think about your priorities, think about what it is that you need to do but also try to consider yourself. There is absolutely no point in having your own business and having the autonomy to do what you need to do for yourself, if you’re always last in the pecking order. And of course if you have responsibilities if you have a family, or if you have certain times of the week where you have to be somewhere, then that’s okay that I’m not suggesting that they need to be negotiated on, but figure out the things that can’t bounce and have to be done that week, and structure what you can around them.
The other thing I would suggest for those of you listening who are service providers, or online business entrepreneurs if you’re giving live webinars, one to ones, trainings or anything such like is to potentially bundle your live days together, and then give yourself an admin day, or a day where you don’t have to go live or you don’t have to be on stage, if you will. That’s really worked for me. I love having an admin day and granted at the moment we’re so busy I haven’t had an admin day like that for quite some time. When I do I love to just have an admin day, and drink coffee and sit in my pajamas and get all of the bits and bobs done behind the scenes that, you know, isn’t outwardly visible, but it’s very very super important to my business and needs to occur and needs to happen. I love that. And also this can be, like, pick your shiny bright days to be the days that you’re going to go live or record podcasts. Today’s a bright shiny day and make sure that you’re kind of honoring your natural energy, whatever that is, and lean into it, lean into it and plan your working week so that it really suits you. And then once you’ve got that structure and you’re happy with it, because it does require testing it does require some play. So try lots of things and see what works for you. Once you’ve got it, and you’re happy with it, then don’t negotiate it you know if somebody comes in and wants to work with you and it’s like a last minute situation, and it’s the difference between you being able to go to the gym that week or the difference between you being able to cook dinner for your family, or the difference between you getting an extra couple of hours sleep. Don’t do it, because it’s a slippery slope. And you need to have those really important for you and for your business boundaries, and you are, you’re actually doing yourself and your people a disservice by allowing yourself to be not manipulated but possibly monopolized by other people’s situations and other people’s timeframes and other people’s priorities, your priorities are your priorities Pretties. You do not have to take on everybody else’s priorities, and you can design your week, you can design your life how you want it to be, and stick to it so that it works for you.
So I hope that that will be helpful to you when you’re planning your next working week and I will see you next time pretties bye, bye.