Most of my clients are professional women, and they are mostly in their 40s and 50s - just like me and my friends.
I know from personal experience how they are feeling: tired, overwhelmed, chaotic, out of control, and not sure how or where to start making changes.
One place that can be easier to start making changes is your work life - since you are usually not as emotionally invested at work as you are at home. And your work colleagues are usually not as emotionally invested either: picture in your mind how it would go at home if you threw out all your sweetie's old, outdated clothes. Now contrast that with how it would go at work if you threw out old, outdated client files. Big difference, right?
Here are 4 ways you can make your work life easier. Believe me, I know change is hard. I know it's hard to incorporate new things into your routine. But please, think about trying just one of the four at least, and see the benefits for yourself. I know they'll work because they work for me, and they work for my clients.
1. Daily Planning Time
I know you're already busy. I know you feel like you don't have enough time in your day to do what you already have on your plate. How are you going to fit in anything new? But think about this:
Every minute you spend in planning saves you up to ten minutes in execution.
That means blocking off just 10 minutes in the morning to plan your day can save you over an hour and a half later on. I bet there's something you'd really like to do with extra time - like sleep! Or generate new business, or work more deeply with the clients you already have. You get to create that time for yourself, and you get to choose how you use it.
2. Weekly Planning Time
Your daily planning time of 10 or so minutes is really just for planning that one day. Your weekly planning time of 30 to 60 minutes is for planning out your whole week.
Think about - and write down - every single thing you have on your mind as a to-do. Then, go back over your list and mark off anything you can put off until next week, or that you can delegate to someone else. Next, rank everything that's left. What is most important? Least important? Finally, put all your tasks in your calendar right now - starting with the most important - so you have a specific time to get each thing done. If you run out of time, you know that at least you'll get the important stuff done.
You're only one person, and you only have so many hours in a day. Make sure you're working on those things that are the most important to you.
3. Monthly Planning Time
So, you've mastered your daily planning sessions and your weekly planning sessions - now you're ready for monthly planning time. These monthly sessions are your strategic planning time. They're less about making sure you get all your to-dos done, and more about deciding what your long-term goals are.
When you take the time to plan, you feel a sense of control over your life. And that's huge.
Where do you want to be in 3 months? Six months? A year? Your monthly planning session is the time to consider these big thoughts, and to decide on the steps you'll take in response. Give yourself a whole morning, or a whole Saturday afternoon, and take the time you need to be strategic.
I know that taking time to take care of yourself feels like being selfish. But really, self-care is the very best thing you can do, not only for yourself, but for everyone you love. Self-care tends to improve our immunity; increase positive thinking; and make us less susceptible to stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotional health issues. And that helps everyone. So, please take time every day to do something that brings you joy. Otherwise, what are you working for?