Design Your Dream Schedule
The concept of prime hours stems from the understanding that every human is unique in their creative and productive flow. While there may be common hours that people are productive (*cough* in the morning *cough*) There are also those who work much more brilliantly late at night or early afternoon. As a culture reliant on most people working a similar schedule we’ve done our best to develop a common schedule that suits production while ignoring the needs of the individual. Beyond just productivity, there are even certain kinds of tasks that we may perform better at certain times of day. Pay attention to yourself and stay in touch with your natural rhythms. This is the key to a work life that feels easy, productive, full of natural momentum and blissful.
So, how do you determine your prime hours?
Reference your time tracker worksheet.
When there are chunks of time that continuously show up as stalling or resentful of your work then evaluate and make changes. Are these also associated with specific kinds of tasks at those times? Often, people find it hard to be creative in the afternoons, and will find that their prime hours for being creative are early morning or late at night. If you find yourself always feeling creative during a certain time frame, make a note. If you are super social during a specific timeframe, maybe that’s the time to schedule meetings. Etc.
What to do with that information:
Pocket your time.
Once you’ve determined your prime working hours, I encourage you to begin pocketing your time. Break your to-do list up by category and schedule those time blocks into your days/weeks. The three categories that I suggest are:
- Creative work
Example: A client who has a ton of creative content to put out, which focuses best on that work in the mornings, and does well with logistics in the afternoon may set up a schedule like looks like this:
Monday: 9am-12pm: creative
Tuesday: 9am-12pm: creative
Wednesday: 9am-12pm: creative
Thursday: 9am-12pm: creative
Friday: FREE DAY
I believe that every entrepreneur should have a free day in their work week. A day where they don’t take meetings and they don’t put too much expectation on themselves. I love seeing this on Fridays because it gives you the space to wrap up your to-do list from the week, go out of town for the weekend or even just do nothing at all. It’s your day. I also recommend not taking meetings on Mondays. Devote the first day of your work week to setting the tone for your week, knocking out the behind-the-scene action that needs to go down. If we give our first day away we are very likely to drown in our meetings and lose track of who is setting the tone for our work and schedule. ( Spoiler alert: it should be you.)
But, what if no one can work with my schedule?
One of the first things that comes up when I tell people to only take meetings during certain hours, to limit the amount of times per day that they check their e-mail, etc. Is straight up fear. Fear that they will lose their client base, that no one will want to work with them, that they will be seen as too difficult. However, if you are inspired, effective and on-top of your work, people will respect you and the hours you have available. You don’t go to Starbucks when they’re not open and write off the entire company, they’re just not open. It’s the same for you. Here are my top two secrets for making creating the schedule of your dreams easier on you and your clients.
We’ve touched on this before. But, seriously, always explain your changes and why those changes are necessary. Bring it back to how it will benefit them in the long run, because it will definitely benefit them in the long run!
Use a scheduling service
When it comes to your meetings, use a service to schedule. I use acuityscheduling.com. This will only show certain appointment times available. You have the choice to open that schedule up, but, otherwise, when those appointments are gone, you’re booked! No more going back and forth trying to get the right time and having to explain why you don’t take Thursday morning meetings, it’s just as simple as them choosing the time on your calendar that best works for them and you go from there.
Use the Dream Schedule Checklist
I’ve created a handy dandy checklist for you. This will walk you all the way through creating your dream schedule. Download, use it and then communicate it to your clients and future clients via newsletters, blog posts, etc.
Try it out!
I want you to give it a week. Try your dream schedule for one week. Hopefully that can be the week coming up, but, if you have a few meetings in place already, then block off a week in the future where you will give a try.