Let’s forget about all the mompreneur reasons you need to get ahead of your own schedule and think about all the practical business reasons, starting with making room for growing your business by shifting away from working IN your business to working ON your business. How can you do that if you are barely able to keep up with the day-to-day demands? When are you going to focus on the important instead of the urgent?
Remember how you kicked it into high gear to get ready for your big family vacation or how you powered through the aftermath of sick kids at home for a week straight? Do that, but instead of being motivated by sheer adrenalin, motivate yourself by the promise of something better: growth, freedom, happiness, less stress. Pick any or all of the above. It all starts with working ahead of your deadlines and creating that extra space in your calendar.
How to Start Working Ahead in Your Calendar
Start With Routine Tasks — Take a look at all the things you do on a daily or weekly basis. Take your weekly company newsletter or client attraction blog post, as an example. Instead of writing those each week, batch them together and write 3 or 4 at a time. Not only will this remove this task from your to-do list for the next month, it will save you time as you handled them as a single task instead of 3 or 4 separate tasks.
Pre-Plan Regular Deadlines — Sit down with your clients and map out an action plan that covers the entire next quarter, identifying the key milestones and deadlines. Now take that map and look at your own calendar and find ways to get a month ahead so you aren’t always right up against a looming deadline. You will appreciate the extra space and your clients will thank you for being so on top of things.
Shift to Big Time Blocks — Instead of handling things on a daily or weekly basis, try to batch those tasks together. So, for example, if you need to place product orders every week, prepare all the orders for the month, leaving yourself a bit of flexibility to adjust the orders later in the month in response to inventory. Even better, find a way to automate these types of routine tasks that require a lot of time on your part.
Become a Deadline Dictator — Consider those self-imposed early deadlines set in stone. Where most people get into trouble when trying to work ahead is they hit an energy slump and instead of pushing through to hit that deadline, they slack off because it isn’t the REAL deadline. Don’t let yourself get into the habit of missing ANY deadlines, including early deadlines.
Master the Mini Task — Find ways to use those extra minutes waiting for lesson pick-up or between conference calls to work on your tiny task list (tiny tasks being all that little stuff that clutters up your calendar, but still has to get done at some point). Tackling them in a single work block is one strategy to get them done and out of the way, but another is to fit them in between your big to-do’s, almost like a little break.