As someone who is working a full-time job alongside growing a business, planning my time is an essential thing that I have to do for myself. In this post, I am talking about the importance of challenging the self-limiting beliefs that stop you from showing up and doing things that matter. I share my goal-setting system and how I plan my content for the month ahead - blog posts, podcast episodes, newsletter and social media posts.
I am currently studying for Level 5 in Coaching and in one of the recent workshops we talked about limiting beliefs and the importance of challenging them, in ourselves and in our coaching clients.
One of the most classic ones is - I don’t have time. How many times have you said that one? I totally feel you if you have a full-time job, family, busy social life and a house to look after. And we all have different seasons in life, sometimes we just have to get our heads down and keep going. Maybe you just started a new job or just had a baby, of course, life will be complicated and busy. I get it!
But I do invite you to start gently challenging yourself when you say to yourself that you don’t have time. Ask yourself some good questions, here are a few as an example, feel free to use them or create your own:
What do I spend my time on?
What is important to me right now?
What I would like to be spending my time on?
If I had an unlimited amount of time in my day, what would I like to do with it?
What is stopping me from spending time on things that matter?
These questions can help you to start unpicking, what is hiding behind this limiting belief.
Energy zappers or energy leaks
Because yes, our lives are busy, but we also often waste a lot of time and energy on things that we don’t even notice. How much do you spend scrolling social media before bed? How much do you spend worrying about what people think about you? How much do you procrastinate? I like to call them energy zappers or energy leaks, and they all add up. Start addressing them and you will be amazed how much more time and energy you have.
My personal struggle
As I said, I do have a full-time job but I am happy to work from home most of the time. I have been in my role for over 4 years now, so I am quicker at certain tasks which allows me to create pockets of time that I can spend on my personal projects instead. One thing that I have been really struggling with and that sometimes gets in the way is the feeling of guilt. Mostly for spending time on personal projects instead of doing even more work, instead of sitting in front of my laptop 9-5 every single day.
But I have to remind myself, that if I was working in the office I would spend a good chunk of time chatting to colleagues, checking social media or staring into space, or whatever else people do in the office. It is insane to expect myself to be productive every single minute of every single day. So by being to optimise my work, I can do it quickly now and that allows me to spend time on other things.
How I plan my time
Some of the things that really help me is setting very specific goals. I am a big fan of setting quarterly goals. There is a great book 12 weeks work year, that I highly recommend and they talk about treating each quarter as a year and setting goals for three months at a time rather than only annual goals.
Once I set my goals, I always break them down into smaller steps. If my goal is to grow my podcast, I break it down into how many interviews I want to record, how many solo episodes, how I am going to promote it, what new channels I can explore etc. I set very specific goals and then set deadlines for them so I can review and keep myself accountable, this way I know what I need to complete each week. So if I am feeling creative, I can look at my planner and do what is needed this week, instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the possibilities that are open to me. Make sure that you write all of this down - paper or electronic, whatever you prefer.
Something to be mindful of - don’t set too many goals. I normally aim for three business goals and one well-being or personal goal. If you set too many, it can be hard to find what to focus on and you can feel quite overwhelmed by your to-do list.
Basically, what we are trying to do here, is to create an artificial system that mimics a working environment where you are your boss, who sets priorities and goals and then assesses them.
Now after I have my goals set, I create a simple content calendar. I am normally aiming for a blog post and a podcast episode every other week. Then I aim for at least two letters for my subscribers a month and three insta posts per week. This might feel quite a lot, but I can batch create most of these things and schedule everything in one week.
So ideally I like to record, write and schedule all my blog posts and podcast episodes a few weeks in advance, so that way all I need to do is to promote them on my social media. With newsletters, I tend to recycle the set-up, so all I need to do is write a little message and swap links to the most recent content.
This system doesn’t always work but I am never hard on myself if I miss something. Life is busy and the last thing I need is to make myself bad for being behind on goals that I have set up myself…