I can’t tell you the number of times my overwhelmed women business owner clients come to me because they feel like their schedule is running them into the ground. Each day is carefully constructed with each minute booked (or double-booked) so that if one little thing does not go as planned, everything goes askew. They feel (and sound) breathless as they recount all that is happening, everything that needs to be done, and how it just feels so out of control!
My peeps are smart, intelligent, competent, and achievement-oriented women. They know deep down that an electronic or paper calendar can’t actually hold them prisoner or control their life. Why a calendar doesn’t even have opposable thumbs! They know where the delete key is on their keyboard. Their mouth is quite capable of saying the word No. And yet, like a hamster on a wheel, they try to keep on running. Deep down they know this isn’t going to work, but somehow if they feel if they could just work harder things will magically get fixed.
I know this feeling and I’ve been that hamster. Sometimes I can still be tempted to throw on my hamster suit and run a few laps. Then it hits me like a brick – This way of navigating life or business does not work. There was a time while building my business that I let everyone and everything control me. I was burning the candle at both ends and busting my butt with no respite. Just Do-Do-Do! And Go-Go-Go! Saying, once I finish <insert the blanket project, client work, marketing step> THEN I’ll have time and space freed up. Guess what? It never happened. This was the trend that went on and on and on for months and months and months until I started to burn out entirely. I hated my business, myself, and anyone who crossed my path.
When I hit bottom I was finally willing to admit the truth (with a little arm twisting because I can be THAT stubborn):
Trying to do it all and let my schedule have its way with me simply does not work. It is not profitable, it is not sustainable, it is no fun, and certainly is not scalable.
That is why only you can take back the reigns and choose how you invest your time and energy. No one is going to do it for you and someone else is always going to want a little extra from you. You get to choose when and what you can give. You get to choose what you consider “work hours” and you get to choose what becomes “family time”, “play time”, “me time”, etc.
Things are not going to change unless you step up to the plate and change them. You wanted to be in charge when you went into business for yourself, so here’s one of those challenges known as opportunities.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Just working harder will not magically fix your overwhelm or lack of results.” quote=”Just working harder will not magically fix your overwhelm or lack of results.”]
First Inner Awareness:
1) First take a good hard look and be honest with yourself: does your schedule feel out of control and/or suffocating to you?
2) Do you find yourself complaining, blaming, or otherwise hoping something will change because you simply yearn for more space (mental, physical, emotional, and practical) ?
Now Practical Action:
3) Get clear on what your desired schedule looks like. Be honest about what you actually want, not what you think you should.
4) Start to ease your way into creating that framework on your calendar right now. This will involve:
- Letting some things go.
- Setting boundaries.
- Saying no.
- Getting really clear on your business model, systems, and pricing, so you can do what you commit to in the time and space you desire.
It might feel scary but I guarantee you my clients whoop with great relief when I help them break free of the bondage they’ve put themselves under.
If your calendar is holding your hostage, your business cannot be as healthy as it could be. Learn how to prioritize when everything is a priority (free)!
3 thoughts on “Is Your Calendar Holding You Hostage?”
I remember when you used to say "once I finish THEN I’ll have time and space freed up." We were too peas in a pod. So glad that we've both been expanding past this lifestyle so that we still can be!
Ahh the tantalizing sound of "soon" or "when" . . . If not not now, when? I like to think I have control, but something always pops up . . . like a speaking engagement on a Sunday that suddenly interferes with, dare I say… unexpected yet needed time with family and friends… 'and we breathe', make amends and start fresh and yes, reschedule the speaking engagement… Perfect topic for me today… Thanks,
So glad it hit home Loren! And sometimes it's not about canceling the gig, but creating plenty of restorative space before and after so the other important things (family, friends, self-care, etc.) don't get lost.
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