I have the privilege of working with some of the most incredible creative entrepreneurs in my coaching business. Their work spans the creative spectrum from blogging to coaching to photography, but all of the women that come to me have at least three things in common: they've built a business that is thriving beyond their biggest dreams, they're exhausted - and they're not willing to accept that as their reality anymore.
It's easy to fall into old ways of thinking, even when you're an independent and modern creative entrepreneur. Society teaches us that growth always has to equate to more time, to more effort, to stretching ourselves even thinner. Jot this down: it is possible for you to continue to grow your creative work in the world while still enjoying your life. All it takes is some intentionality and awareness.
The number of hours you have in the day is finite - so time management isn't really the issue for most of us. If you feel like you're lacking focus, like it's a struggle to complete all the projects you've got your hand in, or like you're too exhausted to grow any further then your real struggle is getting a grasp on energy management. The good news: I'm breaking it all down for you here, and it's really simple to do!
Break out the paper (or digital!) planner.
There's something about putting pen to paper that helps me remember all of my appointments, so I'm an old school gal in this regard. The important thing here is to start with a blank slate for the week ahead.
Pencil in all of the meetings, appointments and deadlines you have for the week - anything that is time linked.
Resist the urge to pencil in tasks - we'll get to that later. I want you to focus here on anything that requires you to be at a certain location or in a meeting with another person. Don't forget to build in travel time, if necessary!
Ask yourself, does this bring me energy or does this drain my energy?
onsider the topic of the meeting, the person you'll be working with, and how many commitments you've got that day already. Write a + next to the commitment if it refuels you, and a - next to it if you know it will feel draining.
Plug in some re-charging activities where possible, and shift anything that isn't working.
he key to this method's success is in getting honest with yourself. Have a day full of back to back client meetings? Don't pretend you're going to feel excited about sitting down to write an in depth project proposal at the end of it. Can you make time for a fifteen minute walk to break up the day? Can you add in some mindless admin work at the end of the day, rather than something that demands a ton of your creative energy? Stick those bigger creative projects before your draining activities of the day, or right after you've had a chance to refuel.
Some incredible refueling ideas: take a walk, grab a coffee with a friend, stretch, have a dance party, read a chapter of a book you're in to, sit quietly, let your brain just zone out. Anything that will give you some pep in your step when the refuel time is up!
Tweak and repeat.
ny time we're working in a template like this, we're not aiming for 100% success right off the bat. If you nailed it perfectly in week 1, you wouldn't even need this template, right? I always tell my 1:1 clients to focus on implementing techniques like this in a 70/30 fashion. If you follow it even 70% of the time next week, you're going to see a massive difference in how you feel AND in your productivity levels!
Loving this technique? It's just one of many tools I use to help my clients intentionally create a lifestyle for themselves outside of their business! I want you to feel free, full of ease and to bring some joy back into your life. Learn more about working with me directly here!