Working all day, 5 days a week can leave you feeling depleted, frazzled, and without time for hobbies, personal projects, or social events.
I knew I didn't want that for me and my business, which is why I'm sharing exactly how I created a 4-day workweek that's just as, if not more effective than working all 5 weekdays.
You'll get all the steps do create your own ideal week in this episode, and don't forget to download your FREE Ideal Week Planner!
In this episode we're talking about how I manage my schedule so that I only work four days a week.
I'm excited to be talking with you about how I manage my schedule my week and my time so that I only work four days a week right now for my business.
I mentioned this on my Instagram stories a week or two ago and I got a lot of feedback and questions from people about how I do this.
I'm self employed, so how do I manage my time so that I don't work all day, every day, seven days a week?
And so I wanted to go ahead and let you guys know about what I've decided to do to make this possible because this is something you have to do intentionally. It's not something that just happens by accident.
When I decided to become self-employed again, I knew that I wanted to work less. I really value my time, I value having flexibility and spaciousness in my time.
And so this was something I went into being self-employed right from the get go, knowing I wanted to start out not working five days a week and working much less than I used to as a full time employee.
Ideally I actually want to be working three days a week, but for now I felt like I wanted to start by just taking Fridays off and being really consistent about working Monday through Thursday and not working on Friday.
So in order to make this possible I had to get really intentional with how I spend my time from Monday to Thursday.
So I'm excited to dig into that today and share with you what those decisions are, how I've put boundaries in place to make this possible and how you can do something similar in your life in business as well.
And just a reminder here, I've only been self employed again for a few weeks at this point so I am sure my exact schedule will evolve over time.
I'm still tweaking it. I'm still figuring out what works for me, but I wanted to go ahead and share what I'm doing right now and how I'm doing it so that you can apply this to your life and business as well.
Creating Daily Themes
Okay, so first let's talk about what my schedule is right now and how I've structured my week so that I can only work Monday through Thursday.
So what I've done is for Monday through Thursday, I have designated each day to have its own theme and I only work on certain things during those days.
So at a high level, Monday is when I do internal meetings, creation, administrative work, and learning.
Tuesday is when I do creation. It's my main creation day and I'm open to external calls on Tuesdays,
Wednesday and Thursday are exclusively for client calls. So this is when I have all my one on one coaching calls, my 90 Minute Intensives.
That is my coaching call day that's on focused on Wednesday and Thursday. And then Friday is a free day. So this is when I do personal appointments, rest, do some more learning if I want. Or if I'm inspired. I will let myself work on Friday if I'm really inspired.
But the key is that there's no tasks for me to do on Friday, so I get to do whatever I want on Fridays.
So at a high level, that's what each day is a theme is.
Now I want to get a little bit more specific because not only does each day have a theme, but I have set blocks of work time for each day to kind of give me some additional structure and boundaries and helped me maintain this schedule.
So on Mondays between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, I have a weekly meeting with my virtual assistant and I do administrative work.
And then from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM I do any kind of creation, whether it's a podcast or writing emails or anything creation, creating new coaching programs, anything creation is between two to five.
And I also do learning during this time too.
So if I am going through my certification program or I'm in any kind of course, this is when I set aside time to do some learning on my own.
Now this general structure of 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM is what I do for every single day.
So on Tuesday 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM is creation time, no meetings, no other expectations.
This is dedicated creation time and then two to five is also a creation time, but I'm open to external calls so if I have any calls with friends or my coach, I try to do it between Tuesday between 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
WEDNESDAY + THURSDAY
And then Wednesday and Thursday, like I said, are both coaching call days.
So I have availability with my clients between 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM and then any gaps that I have, if I'm not completely booked out that day, I'll either just let myself take a break, I'll prep for upcoming calls, or again, if I'm inspired to do any kind of additional work, I will.
But there's not an expectation because coaching calls are really amazing, but they take a lot of energy and focus.
And so I leave myself open to spaciousness on those days outside of the client calls.
So that's what my week looks like right now.
And again, I'm sure this will change over time. Anytime I'm working on a new schedule like this, there's just going to be tweaks and changes that pop up as I live and breathe this schedule.
So even right now, I'm kind of starting to see that external calls on Tuesday afternoon isn't really great for me and I might switch that to a Monday thing.
So we'll see. It's all about just starting with this schedule and then letting it breathe and sit with it and tweak it as you actually try it out and see what works and what doesn't.
Okay, so now that we've talked about what my schedule is, let's dig into how you can create your own schedule and the tips that I have for you on how you can maintain and stick to a schedule like this and not break your own rules.
Step #1: Create Themed Days and Blocks of Time
Okay, so my first tip for you when it comes to creating your own schedule is to model this similar structure where you have themed days and then blocks inside of those themes.
That we have a really clear expectation of ideally what you're working on at certain times, but mainly it's to help you identify what you're not doing during certain times.
So I know that Wednesday and Thursday are my client call days, so I am not going to schedule client calls on any other days of the week.
And by creating these rules for yourself, it's really what's going to allow you to stick to a schedule like this.
So it's okay, we're not about being perfect here, so it's okay if you say, oh, I'm going to work from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM and you end up doing like 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM or 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
It really doesn't matter, it's more of giving you that baseline to go off of so that you don't schedule external calls on every single day of the week and lose the opportunity to stay focused.
So we want to create some theme days with blocks inside of them.
Step #2: Decide Your Priorities with Your Schedule
The next step is to identify what your priorities are. I have some really clear priorities that might not be yours.
Mine are to have a spacious morning and a really long lunch break.
So even if I'm waking up between 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM like I usually do, I really want to have just as much time as possible in the morning to take care of myself.
So some days that might mean sleeping in other days, that might mean a long journaling session or going to the gym and working out.
I've found that just by having a spacious morning, I feel really happy and productive and energized and just feel really solid during the day.
The worst thing that I can do is have a rushed morning. It just ruins my whole day.
So I knew when I was creating the schedule that I wanted a super spacious morning.
So even if I'm waking up at 5:00 AM I don't want to start working at 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM. I really want to wait to start working until 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM.
I also love having a really long lunch break because I have found, again, I just don't like feeling super rushed.
So I want to have two hours for lunch because that means I have time to take a nap. I can eat a lunch, I can eat something healthy, I can read a book, I can take a little break or I can go run an errand, get out of the house.
It just gives me a lot of options in my day.
So it was really important for me to have a spacious morning and a really good long lunch break so that I have that time to kind of reset in the middle of the day instead of just like going and feeling burned out and run down at the end of the day.
So identify what your priorities are.
Maybe your priorities aren't having a long lunch break. Maybe your priority is ending work early and you'd rather do a lot of focused work early in the day and wrap up at three or two. That's awesome.
But identify what those priorities are for you so that you can incorporate those into your theme days. And your blocks.
Step #3: Set up Boundaries and Rules
The next step is that boundaries and rules are key to keeping this up like we've already talked about.
You have to have boundaries and rules in place, in order to actually stick to the schedule.
You have to know what days you're taking external calls on, what days you're not. You have to know what days you're doing, internal calls in which days you aren't, which days you're doing client calls or anything like that.
If you're a service provider, what days you're actually really head down and focused on delivering your services and your work.
Identify what those rules are.
When you stop working, when do you start working?
When your lunch breaks?
How long do you want to work at any given time?
Maybe you like to sit there and just power through for four hours, or maybe you only like to do one hour at a time.
Identify what those boundaries and rules are for you and make sure that you actually acknowledge them and not only incorporate them into your schedule, but build a system and a support system around it so that you can maintain that.
So there's a few ways that I do this.
So for me, with my client calls, I only want to take them between 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Wednesday and Thursday.
So in Calendly, which is what I use, I make sure that that's the only availability I have for calls.
And what's great about that is I don't have to actively enforce this every time I'm trying to schedule something with a client.
Instead, I get to just send the link to my client, they get to see all of the Wednesdays and Thursdays I'm available for the upcoming two months and pick the slots that work best for them.
Not only does this make sticking to my schedule easier, it also gives me a real clear sense of when I'm booked out, which is really important and it allows me to make my client lives easier too because then they don't have to go back and forth with me on scheduling things, and it just is a much easier process.
So when it comes to scheduling anything like client calls or coaching calls or if you do break through sessions or even external calls, use a scheduling app so that you can just send a link to someone and your boundaries are already in place there and they can see them in pick what works best for you.
I'm actually going to start doing this as well for my external calls because I have a lot of calls with some business friends and I'm trying to do more friend calls like that and build stronger relationships with my online friends.
And right now I've been totally guilty of just scheduling those willy nilly throughout the week.
And so I'm actually going to set up my own Calendly link for external calls and make sure that it's only on the days of the week and the times of the week that I can do them, and that way I can stick to that boundary and not make excuses and exceptions every single week.
Because as soon as you make one exception, you end up making exceptions for everyone. And so this is something I'm going to start doing as well.
I also do this when I'm scheduling interviews for people on the podcast.
I make sure that it only reflects the day of the week and the time of the week that I'm doing my interviews so it all fits with in my schedule.
So definitely use something like Calendly or Acuity to help reinforce these boundaries, especially when other people are involved in taking up time on your calendar because you don't have to actively enforce it. It's being reinforced for you.
Step #4: Communicate your Boundaries and Rules with your Team
The next thing you want to do to help keep these boundaries and rules in place is to communicate this to your virtual assistant or any team members you have, not only for accountability but in case they're scheduling something for you too, or maybe they're assigning tasks to you.
I have told my wonderful VA / OBM Bev that I don't do tasks on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
So if she has any administrative tasks for me, if they are core creation tasks, any of it, it has to be a Monday or a Tuesday task or it's not going to get done.
So we've set that expectation in place.
That way she can not only like logistically support me with that schedule by assigning tasks to me on certain days, which is really clear expectations of when I can deliver something and when I can't and hold me accountable to when I schedule a friend call on a Friday or a Monday.
She can remind me like, "Hey, I saw you made that exception, just a reminder, we don't want to do that."
So it's just really helpful to have other people supporting you in that and sure, you can make exceptions when you really, really need to, but again, you just have to make sure that's the rare exception and not something that you do all the time.
And when it comes to boundaries and rules, you have to make sure you just don't feel guilty about holding true to these.
It's okay if you have to schedule things farther out in advance to support your ideal schedule and to feeling really good. And this is just a thing you have to decide.
You have to decide that these rules are good, these boundaries are worth it.
This is why I'm doing it, and it's okay if I can't talk to my friend for two weeks instead of right now.
Or it's okay if I can have someone interview on the podcast for three weeks instead of this week.
Like these things are okay.
It's okay to put yourself in your needs and your schedule first, but it is just an intentional thing you have to commit to holding a true and not feeling guilty for.
And sometimes that's hard for people, but a big part of this is just not feeling guilty about it.
So it's easy to not feel guilty when it's being reinforced for you, which is why the past two things are really important by using a scheduling app and communicating it to your team.
Step #5: Stay Flexible
And my last tip for creating a schedule like this for yourself and sticking to it is to observe what works and what doesn't work and stay flexible when you're trying out a new schedule.
If you realize that your designated content creation day is not a day you're ever inspired to create, then change the day.
It won't be perfect the first time you try it and that's okay.
You're, you will always be changing, your moods are changing, your life is changing.
This schedule should change as well over time.
So like I said, I've already identified a few things even in the schedule I outlined with you guys ...I've learned so far that even though I set aside Monday as a content creation day, I'm just like never inspired on a Monday to really do heavy content creation. At least right now.
Monday's for me are a great day to meet with my team to do some administrative work, do some planning.
I'm great to do planning and brainstorming and learning, but it's not a day so far that I've really been able to sit down and record content or like record a video, it just hasn't been flowing for me.
Tuesday's are my like flow day. I can just create so much content on a Tuesday.
So that's something I might tweak um next week once I'm back home from vacation.
But for now I'm just sticking with it and we'll see how it goes.
But that's part of this is just fighting yourself experiment. Set a schedule, stick to it, live in it for a week or two, but observe and make tweaks after you've observed for a week or two.
So that's how I manage my schedule and time so that I only work four days a week and I work within really clear boundaries and expectations and stick to the schedule.
So I hope this has been really helpful for you. If you want to create your own ideal week schedule and be sure to download my free Ideal Week Planner.
I have a whole workbook on how you can create your own ideal week and the exact process I go through to create the schedule for myself.
So if you want to download this, you can just click the button below or go to MeganMinns.com/idealweek and you can download this planner and get it to your inbox instantly.
If you decide to implement your own ideal week like this, I'd love to hear from you on Instagram stories. Feel free to tag me and let me know how you enjoyed not only this episode, but how you're enjoying and using your own ideal week schedule and I just would love to hear from you.
I hope you enjoyed this episode and I will talk to you next week.
Thank you for listening!
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