Update your schedule for fall and the holidays
Kids have been in school for a while now. And maybe you are having trouble getting into the groove of fall. I get that. This is my first fall in Florida and the temperature is still 85 degrees. It's gorgeous outside. And I'm having a hard time adjusting to the fact that it's fall. That's why today I'm going to share why you should update your schedule for fall and the holidays. I'll also show you tips on how to do just that.
Looking at the calendar right now can be a bit overwhelming. It's almost Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. You need to get going. You are feeling stuck and probably having trouble getting into the groove. If that is the case, your schedule needs a reality check. You are probably still operating on a summer schedule.
Three things that you need to update your schedule for fall and holidays
I want to give you three things to think about with your schedule so that you can have a schedule that reflects your reality. This is something I do multiple times a year. Typically, I'll do this in the fall, right after the holiday, and one in the summer.
You should at least do this twice a year. Once for when your kids go back to school. And then once for summer. You might also want to think about doing this when your kids are on longer breaks, such as Christmas and Spring break.
When you update your schedule you need to manage expectations
When you update your schedule you need to manage expectations. The first thing you need to do is be realistic about the time that you have. You can do this in Excel, a piece of paper, or Google.
What you will do is block off the time that is a given in your day. Even if you think every day is different, there are certain things in your day that are the same every single day. If your kids are in school, the time you pick up and drop-off your kids is the same every single day. If your kids are in activities, typically those are the same every day.
Anchors in your day
You don't give enough credit to how stable your schedule is. Many things are the same every single day. We call those things the anchors in your day. For me, my anchor during the day is my lunchtime. Lunchtime is pretty much the same time every single day within like 15 minutes.
Avoid this biggest mistake when you update your schedule
Your anchor might be the pickup or drop-off time for school. Any time between your anchors you can block off for other things. Make sure though that you don't forget to account for drive time though. This is probably the biggest mistake you can make when you are planning your schedule. And then you wonder why you are feeling rushed and overwhelmed. So make sure you block off the time when you need to leave so you can stop work, get in the car, and go pick up your kids.
This will help you feel so much more relaxed because you've built some breathing room in your schedule. So you need to make sure you are being realistic about what's already on your schedule.
How to make your weekly planning easier
If you use Google calendar you can make all your anchors and standing appointments recurring. This way a lot of your week is already planned out before you even sit down and look at the week. Make those pickup/ drop off appointments recurring, as well as any other activities.
The beauty of recurring activities on your digital calendar is that it's easy to move. So make sure that you're realistic about the time you have. And put in everything that you can think of that has to be in your calendar.
Update your schedule for holidays
Now, what I want you to do is go back and put in time for the holidays. Since you are less productive during the holidays, you need to make sure you are scheduling things. So if you need to have to shop online, make sure you put that in your calendar. If you don't put it on your schedule it will not get done.
Think about if you are going grocery shopping, or taking days off. You need to decide if you are going to work the day before Thanksgiving. Are you going to work on Black Friday? Are you going to work that week? Because you need to start blocking this time off so that you know what time you have.
Now, think about what your plans for the December holidays are. What are you going to do to celebrate? Are you going to be doing something special? Your kids are on vacation if they are in school, so don't forget that. Be realistic about how you are going to spend the holidays and what time you have.
Look at your schedule for the rest of the year
Now, look at your calendar for the rest of the year. And start blocking things off. For us, the week between Christmas and New Year is pretty crazy around here. First, there is Christmas. Then the 27th is my son Erik's and my birthday. We also typically promote Bookkeeper Training School that week. It is insane and crazy. But I love it!
So for us to truly enjoy the holidays and our birthday, we need to have everything done before that week. And the only thing I am doing during that busy week is going live and answering questions.
Make sure when you look at updating your schedule for the rest of the year, that you are realistic about the time you are taking off so you can make sure you have everything done and ready before that time. Doing this is incredibly motivating and will help you get stuff done.
Know your why when you update your schedule
When you know your why and you update your schedule, you're planning you're time off. When you're realistic about your schedule, and when you see that time off and what's going on during the holidays, use that to motivate yourself. To determine what are the most important things that you need to get done so that you can have that family time. And you can have that during your holiday time. Also, make sure you build some rest time during the holidays. Because the holidays can be stressful. Get that rest time on your schedule!
Think about your client’s work. What do you need to get done? Do you need to get any marketing done for your business? Are you doing any promotions during the holidays? Get all those things on your schedule right now, so you can start running.
I'm a big believer in what gets scheduled gets done. So if you are not getting the things that you want to get done, try scheduling them.
We have this running joke in Bookkeeper Training School. I tell people that if you don't like putting working on your calendar, then put down deep work. For me, deep work is when all my notifications on my phone and computer are off. I'm focused on what I'm doing, whether it's recording, generating content, or whatever.
So that's what deep work means. Everything is off. Don't bother Kristin she's in the zone. If you don't want to put deep work on your calendar then put "Meeting with Kristin" on there. So that whether you're working on Bookkeeper Training School, building your business, whatever else you need to work on. Put on the calendar that you are meeting with me to block off that time on your calendar.
I would love to see thousands of women all over the country that have "Meeting with Kristin" on their calendars. So if you do that, take a picture and tag me @allkristiningram on your posts. That will work for both Instagram and Facebook.
Make sure you have all the most important tasks on your calendar. Get everything on your schedule. Be realistic about your time and what you need to do. And let's finish this year strong.
Work your business around your life
If you notice, I'm having you schedule your life first. And then you are working your business around that. If you don't do that, your admin junk will fill all the time you give it.
One of my goals is to be in my office as little as possible. And what I find is that if I give myself two hours or if I give myself six hours, I'm probably going to get the same amount of work done. You might wonder how that is possible. But the longer I'm in my office, the less productive I get. However, if I'm short-targeting my work in two or three-hour bursts, I can get a lot done.
Reward yourself for your hard work
I typically do my weekly review and planning on Sunday. But this Sunday we want to go to Disney. I'm recording the podcast on a Friday. So I need to get as much done as I can so that I can enjoy Sunday. When I'm thinking about what the rewards are, I get more done.
If you're not rewarding yourself for all your hard work, you need to get that on your schedule. Whether it's quality family time, something for you, rest, reading, or whatever you need to recharge and reward yourself for the hard work you're doing.
Please do that. I want to see that for you because doing all this hard work is not worth it if you're not seeing any rewards for it. And they don't have to be monetary rewards. They can be going to the library and getting the book you want to read, take a long, hot shower, go for a walk with your kids, or ask someone to watch you kids so you can take a walk by yourself. But find something that is for you and make sure that you put that on your schedule as well.
So be realistic about the time that you have you. Be realistic about the times you need off. Determine the most important tasks and get those on your schedule right now. Because what gets scheduled, gets done.
Please let me know in the comments below how updating your schedule is going. If you have any questions you can fill out the askkristin.net form, where I might do a live or a podcast to answer your questions. Or you can join the Small Biz Mama Community on Facebook and get your questions answered there.