He: What does your day look like?
She: I don’t know I’m going to have to make it up.
This was a regular conversation I had with my husband/business partner throughout the decades of my successful sales career. While nobody else scheduled me, I did live out of my Daytimer, Palm Pilot, or Iphone calendar. My hours were determined by my to-do, to-see, to talk-to list. The days I made up were the ones without appointments already. I had made those days up in advance.
Now, as I am starting a new venture there is not the momentum of projects to keep me in the flow. I am truly making up my day.
SCHEDULE SOMETHING DAILY
The most rewarding weekdays are when I am busy interacting with people or producing something creative. Your rewarding day, you get to make up.
What is key to that rewarding day is to have an appointment, something on the calendar that has me touch someone. When I am out or in action, it facilitates more of the same, creating that momentum. One task, accomplished, gives me energy to do another.
FIND YOUR ROUTINE
I heard a woman say “After three years of retirement, I have finally gotten into a routine that fits me.” Hers was to work on her garden from 7-9AM on Mondays and Tuesdays. The rest of the week was other occupied. My routine includes auditing one class a semester at Florida Southern College. This term the class is Middle Eastern Politics, next semester, I hope to get into beginning acting. They don’t have my demographic in that college class, so I might get that part.
HAVE SOME FOCUS
Have you ever NOT had the experience of reaching for your smart phone to do something and gotten distracted by what pops up? The destroyer of focus are the phone interruptions, computer notices, news alerts that lead you down the rabbit hole. Facebook can be rationalized as work, but don’t confuse “Busy” with “Productive”.
In this 24/7 techno world we live in, it is important to decide what time to work and what time is personal. Uninterupted family time is a gift to yourself and the ones who love you.
Where is it that is your productive space? An office in the home, the kitchen table, an office out of the home, Starbucks, Catapult? Mine is an office in my home, even though I have an office at Executive Plaza. What isn’t my productive space is in the Florida room answering emails while watching the news. Included in LOCATION and TIME BLOCKING is to bunch your errands and appointments close to each other or on a path like the UPS driver, she never makes left turns.
It is important to have a plan of something to look forward to: hence the Vacation. This time is crucial, even if your life looks like a vacation. That is the time to disconnect and VACATE. You will accomplish more by taking that time to get bored, even, than you will by staying connected. You will give your mind time to incubate on problems to solve and your body to be in different motion. If you have a spouse that cannot do this without going into hard jerking fits, then take a cruise or leave the country……AND don’t get international phone service or buy the WiFi package on the ship.
Life goes on without you. Both my partner and I discovered that our business went on without me for a year when I took a sabbatical to take Coach University classes on the phone and later when he left for 7 months to focus on another business. AND the business continued when we both left after selling it many years later.
YOUR TIPS WELCOME
Whether you are retired, starting a business, in sales, in transition, or a stay at home mom, you are your own boss. What do you do that gives you energy? What tools do you use? What activities have you added when you came into a new phase of your life? Let’s start a dialog.
By the way, the list should not include any “SHOULDS”. I am certainly not going to make up my day to include cleaning out a closet, just because I should.