How to create a schedule (even if you’re a creative soul who hates structure) that prioritizes YOU and the money-making actions in your business.
Plus, I share two vital tools to organize your time. I share some details about my Soul Vision Planner as it’s one of my favorite planning tools. I know I’m biased, but for a good reason!
IMPORTANT NOTE: I use to completely resist making a schedule or following any sort of structure. My creative rebellious self refused to do it. BUT, this structure creates freedom and peace. So if you’re resisting all of this, I invite you to try it on.
Uh-oh, what is this dread?
I remember looking at my full calendar and feeling it… dread.
From starting with no clients when I started my business, to then having a full calendar with clients, interviews, speaking, hosting events… it was always the big vision. So when it happened, it was not what I pictured it would be like.
In fact, I started resenting it all.
Why was I resenting this full schedule I had worked so hard to create?
- I was still placing my value on how much I did and accomplished and NOT on who I was and the inherent value I bring by being me.
- I was chasing a dream I thought I should want
- I didn’t trust that if I took care of myself and honored my need for rest and creativity that my business would succeed.
That constant hustle led to burnout in 2012, which thankfully opened up the way my soul wanted to create my business and that’s the space from which I share these tips with you.
Below, I share the specifics on my favorite tips to create a schedule that works for you and to make sure you schedule time to CREATE what matters most to you.
Two Tools I Highly Recommend:
One is having an online calendar like Google calendar and the second is to have a pen & paper planner to do your planning on.
A little self-promo here:
I created my Soul Vision Planner because I couldn’t find a planner that had everything I needed: annual, monthly, and weekly plan, money tracker, habit tracker, a place to vision, and a simple way to map out my top priorities each day. Plus, it had to be beautiful and the perfect size I could easily put into my purse or use when I travel without weighing a ton.
I am SO excited to share with you that I have a second batch of my Soul Vision Planners available again. There are about 60 available (at the time of posting this) and I’m not going to be printing another batch until I release the 2021 design this November.
It’s not just a planner – it’s a system to consciously create your life and business in a beautiful spiral-bound book + online resources that lead you through how to create the life and business you desire.
“This planner is a must-have for any business owner who desires to feel joyful, fulfilled, and connected with their business. Not only is the physical planner design beautiful and functional, but the trainings and digital resources included with your purchase are pure gold.
I’ve bought so many planners before that ended up collecting dust because I didn’t know how to use them to their fullest potential or because they weren’t quite what I needed – the Soul Vision Planner makes space for both business and marketing mapping, as well as personal life and self-care space, and the way Angella walks you through exactly how to use it with the online resources makes this my new favorite business and creation tool.
Angella has created a brilliant system to vision, map, and take action on everything you’re working toward and desire. I HIGHLY recommend!”
I put all of the tools I’ve used for years in ONE place interspersed with my original art and expansion questions to activate possibilities in your life.
The entire system is only $98 USD + shipping. (Free shipping within the US.)
Now, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of your online calendar.
Why am I sharing this in so much detail? Our mental and physical health are too important to fill our schedule with other people’s priorities. Also, if you don’t schedule the things that create the vision you have for your life, it won’t happen.
Look at your schedule and you’ll clearly see where priorities of your time are and aren’t matching up to what you truly desire.
But Angella, I have a really full life… (I can preemptively hear people say this as they read this.)
When my clients with kiddos tell me that my schedule is completely unrealistic for them, I totally hear that. I have no kids, no pets, and I have a quiet home office. I do manage to keep a few plants alive, though.
Start where you can and adjust what I’m sharing in a way that’s practical for you.
The key here is to prioritize yourself and your business just a little bit more. Ten minutes a day if you have to start there.
Don’t take the exact schedule I share with you below as to what you should do. Do what works for you. It will feel like a stretch in the beginning, until it becomes a habit.
And even then, your boundaries will get tested from time to time.
For those of us who have been taught that our value comes from serving others and not putting ourselves on our priority list, it’s a big stretch to put ourselves first on our own schedule.
If you aren’t scheduling time to create, rest, and honor your physical and mental health, it will catch up to you. And no, being busy all the time doesn’t equal “success.”
1. Block Out Your Personal Time Off
This goes first! your business fits in your life, not the other way around.
2. Block Out Your Personal Priorities:
- meal planning & prep
- date night/family time
- friend time
3. Block Out Your Business Priorities:
- Monthly money date (I call it a date because that feels way more fun than a meeting)
This is where I update my wealth plan, which has all of my financial projections, bills, income, and sales; and get stuff to my bookkeeper.
You can download the template that I use here in a Google Sheet.
- Content Creation (writing posts, newsletters, recording audios/videos)
- Content Distribution (if you don’t have a team member to do this then you are sending the emails, posting the memes, etc. and this takes time so block it out)
- Marketing Planning
This is actually creating your plan on a monthly and weekly basis. Start with your annual plan, then go to your month, then break this down to your week. (The Soul Vision Planner walks you through exactly how to do this.)
- Marketing Implementation
DO NOT PUT THIS WITH THE PLANNING (this is the time you’re actually DOing the marketing: networking, sales calls, follow-up, reaching out, creating your webinars/lead generation activities, etc.)
- Team Meetings
- Client Time – The time you are working with clients, hosting events, etc.
- Email and social media (I now block this time out otherwise I’m too distracted by checking my inbox and social media throughout the day)
- Sales and follow-up
If you’re starting to get overwhelmed at this point, there are two things to consider here:
- Hire help (you’ll probably never feel ready to afford it, so you choose it and the resources show up; now you’re free to focus on the money-making actions and the work you love to do)
- Take an honest look at what’s not getting done in your business and what you’re prioritizing instead. Chances are, there’s busy work and Netflix nights you can reprioritize.
4. Feel Into Your Rhythm
Now, it’s time to designate blocks of time for all of this stuff. You’re not scheduling actions for every second of the day.
What days of the week do you designate your client work? What hours are you available for clients?
Do this from the space of what feels good for you? Not a morning person, don’t schedule 8am calls. You need a break in the afternoons? Honor that!
Every business is different. A realtor is going to have very different hours than a health coach. A succession planner who works with busy legal firms is going to be very different than someone who creates curriculum for home-school parents.
Choose your rhythm. It creates a container to help you prioritize what really matters and that generates the results you desire.
For example, here is what my schedule looks like:
- I block out all of the time off for 2020 like my Solstice time (December 15-January 15), my birthday week, family vacation.
- I then block out retreats and events I’m hosting and attending, including travel time and adjustment time especially if it’s a big time-zone difference.
- Monday is my marketing, accountability, and writing content day. It’s also when I meet with my team. (I don’t work with clients on Mondays or Fridays.)
- I block Fridays as my ME day. This is when I schedule haircuts, doctor appointments, lunch with friends, massages, acupuncture, etc.
It’s the day that I can pick up my niece from school and we can have an afternoon together.
It’s also my overflow day so anything I didn’t get done during the week gets done before the weekend. I like how it feels to have any left-over tasks completed before the weekend and I don’t have to carry it over to Monday.
- My client work is typically on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from the hours of 12-4 pm. When I have focused time for clients like this, I’m totally present for them.
- I schedule my meditation, movement, and breakfast in the mornings to be complete by 10 am.
- Then here is the best part: I have the last week of every month blocked out for my CREATE time as you can see below with the yellow blocks. This is when I do the bulk of my marketing planning, writing, creating products like my Soul Vision Planner, and upcoming products like a journal, art, a card deck, etc.
I need blocks of time with NOTHING scheduled to rejuvenate and follow the energy. This is the time that I contemplate what I’m creating. I notice when I’m diligent with these blocks of creation time, it also helps me to have the courage to go for the things I really desire.
Space to create = courage to say yes to what desire.
5. Geek Out with Color-Coding
Color-coding everything helps me to see exactly what is happening.
Light green – movement when I’m not working out at home (yoga classes, etc)
Coral – travel time
Dark green – money-making actions (sales calls, lead gen activities, follow-up, speaking, podcast interviews, etc) If don’t see dark green (making money actions) a minimum of three times per month, then I know I need to add more lead-gen activities to my calendar.
Dark blue – client sessions, group calls, anytime I’m working with a client, events I’m hosting
Purple – self-care including date night, lunch with friends
Sky blue – business priorities (marketing, mastermind call, etc.)
Periwinkle – default appts if I don’t make time to adjust the color
Yellow – Create week
After experiencing burnout and after learning that I’m a Projector in Human Design, I need downtime. I thrive when I blocks of time in my calendar that literally say, “nothing.”
Take some time to put YOU and what matters to you on your schedule.
If an hour is too much, start with 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at what you get done when you take time for you.
Your mental health will thank you. Your family will thank you. Your clients will thank you. And your bank account will thank you.
How do these two tools (a planner and the online calendar) work together?
Create the vision then put that vision into your calendar.
All-too-often, people lean too heavily on one over the other. They vision and plan, but it never gets in the calendar. Then they spend their days REACTING to their schedule vs consciously creating it.
On the flip side, people who focus solely on their calendars often get focused on busywork that doesn’t connect to the bigger vision they have for their life and business. Before you know it, months and years go by and you’re not really moving toward what you really want.
A great planner and a calendar are BFFs. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Tequila and lime. You get the idea. 🙂
Congrats, you got the end of this epically long blog post.