Make Your Dream Schedule a Reality (and get your life back
Inspired by this month’s Moms Making Six Figures Podcast where I sat down with Kelli Day, Founder and Owner of Elevate TC Services, mother of 2, wife, Crossfitter, cancer warrior, and livin’ life enthusiast to discuss how she transitioned from an established career in real estate as an executive assistant to creating and growing her own business as a way to get back her most precious commodity—her time. As a new mother, armed with the support of her husband, Kelli launched Elevate TC Services with a simple goal: to match the base amount of the position she’d left behind. Once she matched (and exceeded) her previous income—she realized the best benefit of business ownership: being able to create and maintain her dream schedule.
If you’ve recently left the corporate world behind to start your own business, or if you’re already a successful business owner or employee but your schedule is far from what you’d like it to be (and is currently a reflection of your client’s dreams as opposed to your own) there’s no better time to pivot and establish boundaries than now.
Start with your dream work schedule.
Really. Have you ever given yourself the permission to consider what your dream schedule would be, or have you simply endured the status quo and “9 to 5” because you didn’t let yourself dream of other possibilities?
- In your dream schedule, what time are you waking up each morning? What time are you going to bed?
- How many days are you working each week? How many hours are you working on those days?
- Are you working in-office, remotely, or a combination of the two?
- Are you engaging with clients directly –if so which aspects of engagement— or are you behind-the-scenes?
- Are you managing every facet of your work and personal life or, are you delegating, hiring out, and outsourcing tasks to remain in your zone of genius?
- How much vacation time are you taking during the year?
Write down and visualize your answers. If you can’t endure the thought of a 40-hour work week for another minute—take ownership of that! How many hours do you want to work? Hate the thought of being tethered to your devices on vacation? Make that clear too. When you’re getting the itch to accomplish your dream schedule, move onto the next step.
Determine your why.
In order to do the heavy lifting required to make your dream schedule a reality, you need to know the why behind your dream schedule. How will protecting your time through boundaries reflect what you value most?
For example, Kelli loves skiing and being in nature –knowing that she wanted to live her life to the fullest (even if meant hitting the pillow HARD at night) was worth it. She designed a schedule that took years and seasons of sacrifice to attain, and one that now means early work mornings in order to spend her afternoons and evenings living life with no regrets.
What outcomes will your dream schedule afford you? You’ll need to revisit your Why often in order to achieve your dream.
Next, get organized.
Using a brain dump, list out every task you complete within your workday and work week. Get as specific as possible –include commute time, errands to support your business, meetings, working lunches, social media, e-mail, etc.—identify and list all of the tasks beyond your actual scope of work.
Now streamline those tasks. Where are there inefficiencies, frustrations, and tasks that could be better orchestrated.
Better yet, determine the tasks that can be hired out, outsourced, or left behind altogether.
Let people know.
Now it’s time to let the people who are going to be affected by this change know. Be specific in what the change is going to look like (and expect pushback) be ready with a response that reiterates their value and importance and offer something in exchange.
For example, if you’re no longer going to meet with them in person on a weekly basis, open a twice weekly check-in via e-mail.
Hold strong to your why and expect some friction. Your dream schedule means that theirs is no longer the most important.
Make a date with yourself (actually schedule it on your calendar—quarterly, twice per year, etc.) to determine what’s working and what needs to be modified to continue getting one step closer to attaining a schedule that reflects what and who you value most.
If you’re starting to become resentful, find yourself daydreaming of a four-day-workweek, or stopping work altogether to and becoming an expat—it’s probably time for a touch base.
Following the Great Resignation, entrepreneurs and employees have been rewriting the rules on work-life balance. Play your hand while all the cards are in your favor and hold firm to your boundaries—your superiors, your clients, and your customers will make your schedule for you (and over-extend your time) if you don’t write it and protect it yourself.
“Time isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing.” — Miles Davis