When I decided to open my studio suite three years ago, my biggest motivator was to have a better work life balance. But, I quickly realized the tricky part of being both a service provider AND a soloprenuer.. Figuring out how much to work in the business, on the business, and oh yeah! Have a personal life, too.
Here's the dilemma. When working behind the chair, it's dedicated time with clients (rightfully so). Then, you have to factor in the extra hours of work to keep the business running and marketing yourself. How on earth do we get everything done and not feel like we are constantly treading water? How do we find the time?
"Time is our most valuable nonrenewable resource. If we want to treat it with respect, we need to set priorities” -Albert-László Barabási
My friends. There is no perfect example of work life balance. Finding that balance is a constant journey and never a final destination. But, the first thing you can do is look at TIME as a precious resource. Then, be more intentional with how you are spending it.
Start With The Pain Points, Then Work Backwards
You can’t buy more time, you can’t borrow more time - all you can do is make room for it. And the best way to do that? Identifying what priorities and goals your time is best spent on.
I find that it's best to start with these questions:
what tasks take a lot of time that you don’t need to be doing?
what things do you hate doing, procrastinate on or stress you out?
Answering these two questions can bring a lot of clarity to the ways you don’t want to be spending your time. And help you work backwards to solutions. For example, are you answering client correspondence all hours of the day? Embracing online booking, and not having to play phone tag, might lighten your load. Make it a goal to run your business on autopilot or outsource as much as possible.
I love this quote from the book, Essentialism:
“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.” -Greg McKeown
But, how do you know what your time is best spent on? Or what the “right things” are? To me, it's anything that that will create immediate impact or change. Or anything that grows and propels your business forward. I try to always view my to-do list at hand with this lens.
Now you know what your time is best spent on and what your most important priorities are. So, how do you delegate time to getting them done?
This is where CEO days comes in. I adopted CEO day at the beginning of 2019, and it's been a GAME CHANGER for me! What is it, you might ask? It’s essentially identifying your weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks + priorities. Then, blocking out time on your calendar to get them done.
I schedule my monthly tasks on the first Monday of every month and it only takes me about 1.5 hours. Some examples of what I do on CEO day:
review profit/loss statement for the previous month
categorize previous months transactions in Quickbooks
review financial + business goals
create my Instagram/blog/email “content calendar” for the next few weeks
The accountability of having this time blocked out on the calendar is CRUCIAL! In fact, I look forward to CEO days because it feels like I have a strategic, mapped out plan of action for the next month.
Create Boundaries + Build "ME TIME” into your schedule
I know a lot of us feel like we have to be ultra productive on our days off getting work related activities done. Look, there will always be items on the to-do list. Rarely will you end a day feeling like you got everything you possibly could “done.” And that’s where boundaries come in. Set a time limit on work and stick to it. Honor your ME TIME. I think this is a huge component in finding a better work life balance! Honestly, you bring your best self to the table when you’ve had time to rest and recharge.
Being able to have white space and day dream keeps us innovative. Having down time is nothing to feel guilty about, and is vital in having a sustainable career.
Take a look at your schedule currently and inventory how you are spending your time - both personally and professionally! What tasks can you delegate or outsource? What could you streamline and automate?
I’d love to hear if you adopt CEO days into your schedule, or if this article helps jumpstart you on managing time and finding balance - tag me in your posts or stories on Instagram!
I’m here to cheer you on, my friend!