I’ll admit it …. I tread quite a fine line in my life.
I’ve always described myself as a born organiser, living my life through a continuous series of lists and never leaving the house without a bulging diary, notebook and selection of pretty pens.
But there’s good days and less than good days – and I often find procrastination creeping in. My husband would agree! There are still lists, but the jobs often just get transferred from one day to the next – if they’re not urgent or life changing!
Running my own business as a sole trader means that scheduling is essential but it can be difficult. Writing your schedule is the easy part and there are many useful Apps to help us with this. The difficult part is actually sticking to your schedule each day, and not letting things slip too much.
Since I’ve been self employed I’ve become a big fan of flexibility. One of the great benefits of working for yourself is the freedom to come and go as you please, and juggle tasks throughout the day to suit how you feel and who you meet.
But, and it’s a big but, distractions are the enemy, particularly for home-workers. It’s easy to lose rhythm, put things off and then find ourselves living in a constant frenzy of catching up with ourselves and our schedule.
I am convinced that procrastination is the enemy of innovation.
If we are in a a constant state of running to catch up, we will never have that blue sky time where ideas just bubble naturally to the surface and we feel inspired to start new projects. We will always feel out of control and panicky. And I say this because I spend large amounts of time feeling like this.
Maybe the trick to transforming our mindset is to take a good look at ourselves, our personality and our work style – and then set realistic goals – work hard and achieve them, whilst being relaxed with ourselves and leaving some much needed space.
One of my Christmas gifts was a book I’ve been dying to read “Grace not Perfection” by the amazing Emily Ley and I can’t wait to get stuck into it. Florida based Emily describes herself as Creative Director and Team Captain of her business ‘Emily Ley’ and although I’ve never met her she is one of my online business inspirations. She does beautiful, and very successful branding like no-one I know, and it ticks all my boxes.
Emily Ley is a boutique lifestyle brand that embodies the inviting personal style and traditional sensibilities of its Founder and Creative Director, Emily Ley. The brand inspires women of all ages to build joy and simplicity into their lives through intentional choices, purposeful plans and playful experiences. The collection, built on the pillars of simple design, classic style, fresh colors and playful details, features organizational tools, office necessities, stationery and family-centric gifts. www.emilyley.com
Emily and her team write a regular blog which I follow and on the subject of successful scheduling they offer 3 helpful points to help us stay on track.
“These are a few tried-and-true things that have worked for us, and we think they just might work for you too.
1 Identify your obstacles. The first step to keeping a schedule is figuring out why you weren’t able to in the past. Was your schedule too demanding? Were you underestimating the amount of time it would take you to complete a task? Once you determine what it is that’s keeping you from staying on track, you can fix the problem and keep it from coming back!
2 Write it down + keep it out. When you write something down, it creates a standard and gives you something to work towards. If your schedule lives inside of your head, you’ll be more tempted to slack off and get out of your routine. Keep it out where you can see it (in the kitchen, on your desk, in your handbag, or wherever works for you!), and look at it often. Just visually seeing your schedule throughout the day can do wonders for helping you stay on track.
3 Give yourself some grace. Not every day is going to go how we plan it, and that’s okay! Being a good partner, parent, friend, and son/daughter means sometimes putting off your schedule to be there for your people. Remember: if you get off track, tomorrow is a new day. Don’t rent out heart or brain space to guilt. Get some rest, pick yourself up, and start again. You’ve got this.
We’re well into February and New Year resolutions are long gone, probably broken before we made them – let’s resolve to be strong in our scheduling every day. Get the work done, move the business forward, and then enjoy some rest.