Business + Publicity

How to prioritize YOU + grow your business

March 10, 2016

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As a busy entrepreneur, I’m guessing you find time for all your personal appointments and self care like I do: whenever you can squeeze them in to your already packed schedule- if ever.

I’ve recently started taking a different approach because I realized the old way wasn’t serving me or my business— and I have a feeling you could use this strategy too.

It started a couple weeks ago when I purposely created a workday that looked like this:

8:00 Drop-off Jane at school
8:30 Starbucks
9:00 Spa- massage appointment
10:15 Carryout breakfast from my favorite restaurant
10:30 – 11:30 Enjoy breakfast while leisurely catching up on emails – get ready for the day
12 Swing by the office to work for a couple hours, return calls/emails
2  Pedicure – while doing some inspiration/biz journaling
3 Pick up Jane from school and stop for frozen yogurt to top it off

I know what you’re thinking… when does she get any work done?! That’s a pretty self-indulgent day.

Yeah, I guess it kind of was. But that’s the point!

Don’t get me wrong- I went into this day a little nervous, wondering if it would work the way I was hoping it would… and I certainly didn’t mention my cushy day to my husband or friends… at first!

What ended up happening though, once I settled in and gave myself full permission: I was able to truly enjoy the day, guilt-free, because I knew it would actually increase my productivity and help my business!

And here’s how:

My old strategy worked like this: I’d spread out all my personal appointments throughout the entire month- like haircuts, manicures, doctor appointments (I have one every two weeks now that I’m in the third trimester!), dental visits, lunch with a friend, even yoga classes since working out isn’t currently a daily activity in my life (win some, lose some).

All of these appointments would take up random hours here and there on my calendar all throughout the month, creating fewer wide open days on my schedule to really focus on work.

I’d spend most days switching from work mode to “appointment mode,” distracted and rushing around from place to place, never really feeling present or capable of truly enjoying the more relaxing yet necessary little luxuries- like a haircut.

Most of the time, I just put off making appointments altogether. Sound familiar?

I even had a monthly massage membership that I treated myself to this pregnancy and went nearly 5 months without scheduling massages that I had already paid for! I felt guilty making the time and it just wasn’t convenient to fit into a workday.

But now, I take the batching method that I’ve been applying to my work schedule and apply it to my personal appointments, too

I’m setting aside half a day once or twice a month that is dedicated to my personal wellness and I book all of those appointments in that time. I mix the really relaxing ones (like a massage) with the necessary (like a doctor appointment).

It leaves far more days open on my calendar to focus on big projects and work and it energizes me with inspiration and motivation to hit the ground running the next day (heck, all week!) at work.

If you don’t currently dedicate time each month to taking care of you, then you should try scheduling a dedicated personal wellness day.

Now, if you’re sitting there thinking: “Sounds nice but I truly, literally, do not have the time for this!”

Then you should probably take a closer look at your relationship with time. My friend and mentor Pete Brand wrote about this topic:

The most interesting thing about the discomfort we experience due to “time,” is that it doesn’t exist. 

“It is a concept that we humans have created, and for some reason we’ve allowed this concept to grow into a “thing” that causes us far too much pain and suffering.” 

If you’re struggling with being a victim of ‘time,’ give his post a read.

Once you’re ready, the process is really simple:

Just batch all those appointments you’re going to spread out during the month anyway and book them all on the same day or break it down to two half days if it helps you maintain better work flow.

I think you’ll also find that it not only helps to create a more efficient schedule, but it increases your focus and productivity by separating work / personal time, while honoring time just for you.

The result: a refreshed and recharged entrepreneur, parent & spouse!

I’d love to know- Do you currently set aside time for yourself in batches like this?

Or do you have it spread all throughout your schedule, or do you put it off altogether because it feels too indulgent or unnecssary? <— if that is the case, ask yourself: What is it really costing you (and your business and family) in the long run if you don’t prioritize you!

Now, open up your calendar, pick a day and start booking those appointments!

 

  1. Lauren says:

    This is so inspiring, thanks!

  2. Amanda Brand says:

    I can so relate! I have a spa gift card from almost 2 years ago I haven’t used. Thanks for the friendly reminder to make my wellness a priority.

    • Emily Richett says:

      Yes, go book that appointment— And before you leave, book your next one for the following month! This is something I never used to do because I didn’t know my schedule that far in advance… what if something important with work comes up on that day/time? But then what happened is that I never would call and book or by the time I did, there was such long wait that I would say, forget it. Now, I enjoy getting the reminder email a few days before an appointment and more often than not, it works out and I can go.

      Enjoy!

  3. Pete Brand says:

    Great post Emily, and thanks for the kind words! I’ve found the most challenging thing for me was the guilt I felt when it came to taking time for myself. It’s not easy to shake the habit of believing that people are judging me and thinking I’m self-centered for doing so. The crazy thing is this is a story I made up in my own head and somehow began believing was fact. The bottom line is anyone who thinks you’re self-centered for taking care of “you,” is probably just jealous and wishing they could get over their own “head trash” and do the same or themselves. 🙂

  4. Denise says:

    As a busy executive, I was used to bringing work home on a regular basis. Nights and weekends would fly by. I have changed my philosophy and priorities. Life is too short and we need to make time for ourselves – even during the work day if/when possible! There are times when I try to squeeze in a 10 minute walk around the block and feel so much more productive when I’m back at my desk. Thanks for the great insight and reminder for us ladies not to feel guilty for taking a bit of time for ourselves.

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