What is the one thing you wish you had more of in your life?
Most women entrepreneurs I know would say one of three things: time, energy, or money. And what many successful entrepreneurs have found is that with the right combination of time and energy, the money will follow.
Easier said than done, right?
Maybe you’re juggling a full or part-time job to make ends meet while building your business. Or you’re in the entrepreneur game full-time but aren’t sure where your time is going, and the “4-hour workweek” dream is slowly slipping into 12 hour workdays. Or the demands of family and home life make it hard to focus on doing what it takes to take your business to the next level.
Believe me, I get it—in the past year alone I’ve juggled working rotating nursing shifts at a hospital, planning a wedding, continuing my doctoral education in nursing, and building my coaching business.
It wasn’t long before I felt like I was underwater—it seemed like there was never enough time or energy to do the things that my heart called me to do. Every day felt like a battle against the clock and my calendar.
This wasn’t my dream of creating my own business and living la dolce vita.
So I decided that it was time to give up the fight. I knew that I had to transform my relationship with time—to treat it as a supportive friend instead of a sworn enemy—if I was ever going to achieve my dreams.
And guess what? Time started to love me back. When I saw time as an asset instead of a constraint, I had a surge of energy in my business, my work, and my life. I crushed goals and had more fun than I had in months.
So if you’re tired of feeling constantly behind in your work, looking at your calendar and wanting to run away, or just want to make your experience of everyday life more fun, you must transform your relationship with time.
Here are 5 powerful steps to making your friend and not your foe.
1. CREATE A “TIME LOG” FOR A WEEK.
Warning: this will blow your mind. For one week, record exactly what you’re doing, 24 hours a day, every day. Productivity studies show that we often think we’re working more than we are, or have less free time than we actually do. You’ve got to get grounded in reality and know how you’re actually spending your time in order to know where your energy is going.
2. SEE IF HOW YOU’RE SPENDING YOUR TIME MATCHES YOUR PRIORITIES AND GOALS.
It’s often not what you’re actually doing, but how you feel about what you’re doing that creates a feeling of time scarcity around your daily activities and goals. Make a list of the 10 most important priorities and goals in your life, and then use your time log to add up the hours you spent on each item. What you focus on grows. Are you focusing and spending your time on what is important to you? You will always feel time-starved and unproductive if how you’re spending your time doesn’t match your priorities and goals.
3. FIGURE OUT YOUR FLOW.
What time of day are you most creative, and when do you lose your focus? How often do you need breaks? Are you a night owl or early riser? When you conform your time management to what naturally works best for your brain and body, life feels much easier. Use your time log data to help you see what patterns work best for you if you don’t already have a hunch in this area.
4. CRAFT A SCHEDULE THAT ALIGNS WITH YOUR PRIORITIES, GOALS, AND PERSONAL FLOW.
Given your current situation, what would your ideal day, week, or month look like? Get out your favorite planner or calendar app and plot it out. Let yourself dream big here—if you want to make time for a massage every Friday but don’t know how that could happen right now, just pencil it in. Sometimes just allowing yourself to see it written down in your schedule is enough to get the possibility wheels turning.
5. START SAMPLING YOUR DREAM SCHEDULE.
Pick one or two things to change this week that would bring you closer to your ideal schedule. When you start allocating and re-arranging time to match your priorities and goals, your life starts to match your dreams. Maybe this week you decide to work on your business before you go into your bridge job because you’re way more creative during that time of day. Or, you can try making Saturday nights date night for you and your significant other. And who knows, maybe next week you’ll schedule that Friday afternoon massage.
Once you realize that you are in control of your time and get clear on you want to spend it, scheduling becomes an exercise in personal power, freedom, and fun. You deserve to have a fulfilling personal life and a thriving business—and we need your work in the world!
It’s your time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Audrey Vanim is a health coach that helps busy women create more energy so that they can make their mark on the world and create a fulfilling life—their very own dolce vita. Audrey is a registered nurse whose work combines the latest in nutritional science with the best of what the Italian lifestyle has to offer. Learn more about Audrey and her work at audreyvanim.com.