As we re-enter the world in some fashion after being locked down or nearly locked down for more than a year, I wanted to talk about some of our most-basic-but-important relationships as humans.
Like it or not, you’ve got a relationship with time, with money, and with energy. We’re going to address each of those relationships with an eye toward improving each one in a tiny series of coaching podcasts, starting with time. Truth be told…
Time is your friend.
My saying ‘time is your friend’ might feel like a bunch of bullshit. Because you have 3 meetings, 4 car rides, and 72 emails to conquer today, and that even doesn’t include your ‘real’ work. You might feel as if time is scarce or as if time is your most hated enemy. You might feel as if you don’t have enough time, no matter what you do or how hard you try to find time for yourself and your interests. You might have experienced so MUCH time in pandemic that you’d like to skip a year or two in response. You might feel bored by time, stressed by time, or just plain pissed off that time is not within your control.
Let’s talk about simple ways to to help you feel less like you’re free falling through your days.
This podcast episode will help you enjoy the time you’ve got by being fully present with what is, rather than stressing about the 84 tasks you haven’t done and the fact that you haven’t yet watched Ted Lasso. (Spoiler alert: THAT SHOW IS AMAZING.)
When befriending time, remember: structure is not the enemy. Unstructured free falls through time are the enemy.
If you’re anything like me, I know how hard you fight structure of ANY kind. I know you don’t want to do any activity every single day, let alone something USEFUL OR HELPFUL FOR YOUR LIFE every day.
You know that having a precise calendar with scheduled work tasks and clear boundaries around your work time would be useful. But you can’t seem to change your days. You wake up, get to your desk at some point, and then wonder what to do…so you check your email, get overwhelmed by the amount of communication ahead of you…and start scrolling. Or reading emails without answering. Or bouncing from tab to tab, vaguely ‘working’ but without any real sense of direction.
Another day lost to overwhelm.
For the full monty on time and structure, I’ve got you covered. The Structure That Doesn’t Suck podcast series will help you create structure from the ground up in your life, whether you hate structure with the fire of a thousand suns or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, know exactly what you’ll be doing at 3pm on Tuesday six months from now.
Part One helps you figure out which of two time types you fall into and recognize your most basic patterns. Part Two helps you sort your priorities and get shit DONE. Part Three loads you up with tips to help maximize your time, while in Part Four you’ll dream big and nail down some concrete plans to help you move forward with structure AND priorities in place. Part Five wraps up with making parameters for your Next Big Thing to unfold, this time with structure in place from the beginning!
Not ready for the five part undertaking of Structure That Doesn’t Suck?
Here are three ways to befriend time right this instant.
TIME HABIT OF MAGNIFICENCE #1: Schedule hard tasks of all kinds.
Much of what doesn’t get done by peeps who own their own businesses is truly boring shit.
For my coaching peeps, those hard tasks tend to be accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing, and most anything related to money. (Sales, marketing, and pricing can also fall into this category!) Because they avoid the tasks, each one grows in size, making them EVEN MORE FANTASTIC TO AVOID.
If you hate bookkeeping and you’re a month behind, it’s a task you dread. Make that six months of no bookkeeping and FUCK IT I’LL START A NEW BUSINESS INSTEAD OF DOING THIS WORK.
You can avoid that FUCK IT I HATE THIS reaction by scheduling regular time to do any and every dreaded business task.
Schedule regularly designated days or times each month to do hard things.
In KK on Tap, we have Get Shit Done Days to help with this! We meet at 10am to tell each other what we’ll be working on, then go at the bullshit tasks we’d rather not do until 2pm, when we meet again to talk about what we’ve accomplished. (And fling confetti. Obviously.)
The ‘we’re in this together’ momentum makes even the most mundane of tasks celebration worthy: we didn’t want to do things! We rallied and did them anyway! Hooray! (To be clear: we clear *four* hours to work. *Four.* So much of what we dread doing as business owners takes up headspace for months, but takes minutes to complete!)
Schedule recurring hard tasks so you don’t have to think about ’em.
Rather than running out of time to work on your social media posts and doing them in front of the TV on Wednesday nights, set up a recurring event that gives you time to do your marketing during regular work hours. Same goes for writing your newsletter, holding a sale, or meeting with your accountant!
Schedule it, schedule it, schedule it.
The more willing you are to schedule at least some of your work time, the freer you become to enjoy the rest of your work life!
No more dread and freaking out about all that shit you’re not doing.
No more guilt about avoiding your accountant.
No more vague sense of nausea about the paperwork you haven’t filled out.
No more wondering whether your clients are mad at you because you haven’t done what you promised.
Put it on the calendar, then do the work when the time comes. You got this.
Need help with this topic? Check out That’s What She Said episode 204, The Quietly Subversive Three-Hour Work Day.
Next up: the constant hustle. One of the traps of owning your own business is getting to a point where you’re working ALL THE TIME. You’re always working or thinking about working. When you do have time off, it tends to focus around holidays, other peoples’ needs, or both. In the interest of breaking that pattern, let’s talk about our second habit…
TIME HABIT OF MAGNIFICENCE #2: Schedule things to look forward to all over the place.
Begin by taking days off for no good reason.
Of course you’ll be at the family Christmas this year, complete with the gift buying and cooking and prepping and cleaning that entails! But what about taking off a random Thursday in October for no good reason?
We often think we have to have a Very Good Reason for taking time off, when in actuality we can enjoy days off without any ‘real’ reason at any time.
We’re adults, aren’t we?
To schedule random days off, simply take a look at your calendar of choice and mark three full work days in the coming six months as OFF. Then honor them. I did this by sprinkling some Wednesdays and Thursdays OFF in the next six months, and I can guarantee that Future Me will be happy AF. (Also: if you haven’t yet watched Ted Lasso, this is a perfect place to binge watch! FOR NO GOOD REASON!)
You’ll be tempted to take the days back, to make them super productive or project-oriented, or to schedule work tasks *only in the morning* because you feel guilty about having time off.
Please don’t do those things.
Give yourself the gift of a full, glorious, 100% responsibility-free day off. JUST BECAUSE.
TIME HABIT OF MAGNIFICENCE #3: Turn your goddamn phone off.
Your phone does not love you. It cannot hold you and will not attend your funeral. It is a machine that stimulates our brains but severs us from our bodies — to our detriment.
Turning your phone off during the work day can help you focus. Turning it off when you’re not working can help you be present with all that is happening in your life. Either way, turning your phone off for sixty minutes a day will create freedom from the constant checking-picking-up-replying-scrolling patterns we’ve made during pandemic!
👉🏻If you’d like to cut your phone usage by 50% or more each day, check out Space. Space is a 21-day email class that will help you take back your time and attention with small, action-oriented daily activities.
A recent student of Space, Laura, said: “The internal space is DEEP AND WIDE! I feel like a huge, sprawling, muddy energy disease has been removed from my system. There is so much more space to feel potential and to take action. I have space to have slow mornings, take naps, play some video games, sit outside and enjoy the sun and flowers and STILL GET MORE WORK DONE than I ever did before because I’m not on my phone.”
If the thought of having random days off, time without your phone for an hour each day, and scheduling tasks can’t even BEGIN to touch the time issues you’ve got going on in your business, please consider working with me through KK on Tap biz coaching.
I’m actually what they call time affluent — meaning that I don’t view time as a scarce beast coming to eat my life and soul. When we work together, I can help you find, create, and enjoy time in ways you can’t even imagine at this very moment.
THE RECAP. TO BEFRIEND TIME FROM HERE:
🔥Schedule time to complete at least 3 tasks you’ve been avoiding.
🔥Schedule 3 random, you didn’t earn them days off in the next six months.
🔥Turn your phone off for an hour as often as possible.
🔥Check out Space if you’d like to cut your phone time by 50% or more. (The average person gets back FOURTEEN hours per week!)
🔥Listen to the Structure That Doesn’t Suck series if you’d like to go deeper into befriending time!
P.S. Ever feel like you’re doing it wrong, where it = everything? Read this next.