Intentional time during the week

Over the holidays Dan Miller had a great podcast about saying no. I think that saying NO is one of the most important things that you can learn as a business owner.

The second big thrust (and the one that I’m taking to heart starting now) is to be more proactive about scheduling my week.

Dan was kind enough to post his weekly schedule. Go take a look at it and listen to the episode to really dig into where I’m heading.

That typical work day

I get up and get the kid ready for preschool on Monday morning. Then I sit down at my desk around 8am and start on my first task of the day.

Sometimes it’s dealing with servers and code for clients, sometimes it’s writing for this site. It’s rarely checking my email though occasionally I let email creep in to start my day despite my better judgement.

Around 11am my daughter is back from preschool and I stop to see how her morning went. Often we have an early lunch since I’m stopped already and then I head back to work on ‘something’.

My afternoons vary. Sometimes it’s writing, sometimes it’s code. Usually it’s email at 1pm and 4pm.

At the end of most weeks I feel like something was just a bit off.

Off

I wasn’t able to get to some of the writing I had hoped to get to.

There is a bunch of personal coding projects that didn’t get touched.

Client tasks are left sitting.

Partially it’s because I didn’t say no enough. I think I’ll always struggle with finding the NO balance.

Part of the reason is due to having a ‘random’ week. I don’t know what type of tasks I’ll be doing Monday and Tuesday and…

I just know I’ll be doing something.

My tasks sit in a big pool of things to get done and at some point I hope to get to them all with no real plan for the week. I let many of these tasks dictate their order by the biggest fire around at the moment.

Way too often that fire is not actually the task that I think is the most important thing to make my business better.

Unavoidable

I think that some of this will be unavoidable given the field in which I work. At some point a client server will go down and they will call me to fix it.

That fix-it call will pull me away from whatever else I was doing and onto the fire for the client.

I think that being intentional with my weeks will help me feel like I’ve accomplished more, since I have actually set aside time to do the things that I think are most important for my business.

Starting with intent

Starting January 6th I’m going to have a weekly schedule.

Monday morning will be 3 hours of writing from 6am till 9am. 9am till 11am is for reading and self-improvement like taking courses.

11am till 12pm is lunch

12pm till 4pm is time to work on the client project for the week.

Tuesday mornings from 8:30am till 10am will be time for calls from any new clients. If no calls come up I’ll be working on my main client work for the week.

11am till 12:30pm is for recording The Freelancer’s Show.

Afternoons will be client work till 5pm.

Wednesday will be for client work all day.

Thursday mornings will start at 6am and be for personal projects till lunch time.

Afternoons will be client work till 5pm.

Friday morning is my turn to take our daughter to preschool which gets me home around 8:45am.

9am – 11:00am is the mastermind group I’m involved in. It usually only runs till 10am maybe 10:30am but I’ve got notes to record on our site and videos to render and put up of the recorded meeting. I catch up on my receipts for the week while the video is rendering.

11am – 2pm is time to ride my bike which is my 2 wheeled sanity check.

2pm – 4pm is personal time which means coding or reading or could even be hanging out with my family.

Trying it out

I admit that I’m going to be trying this out and I’m in a great season for my business to do just that. I have no official big client projects till the middle of February.

Right now I’m just working on some hourly stuff for clients if I have time while we wait for the new baby to join us.

Working on hourly stuff right now will mean I can track hours and make sure that I’m able to put enough time into client work and ensuring that I can provide proper value to clients.

The goal is to be intentional with the things that I think will take my business to the next level which is writing and some of the personal coding/writing projects I’ve got going.

When I haven’t been intentional about putting time into personal stuff, it’s the first thing to go. I don’t want the things I’m most excited about go by the wayside as I build other people’s ideas.

How proactive are you with your week?

photo credit: melodramababs via photopin cc

2 Comments

  1. Niki Brown January 15, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Definitely guilty of not planning and structuring my weeks. Need to make more time for learning and improvement.

    • Curtis McHale January 15, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      Yeah that is one of the big changes I’m making. Specific time to put in to myself for learning.

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