Becoming a girlboss was on my radar in elementary school. I remember telling my parents that I “wanted people to pay me to think” so that I could come up with ideas for them. Even at the age of six and seven, I wanted to make people’s lives and businesses better.
So here I am, late twenties, working my girlboss life, ready to celebrate a year of existence of this business. It’s been an awesome year in this business, preceded by a few incredible years of being a full-time girlboss for other companies.
The biggest thing I wish someone would’ve told me starting out? I need to guard my schedule like I do my life.
My team knows that if something isn’t on my schedule, it doesn’t get done. It must be on my calendar in order to come to fruition. Otherwise, I don’t remember or make the time, and it gets filled with other things. I literally have my workout, my lunch, my time to go over my budget, and more, all in my calendar. It’s the only way I’ve been able to create the life I desire, to travel as much as I want, and to still be there for my clients, while taking care of myself and honoring my boundaries.
Being a scheduling master has allowed me to:
Complete graduate level education at PAX
Travel as much as I’d like -- Hawaii for two weeks was incredible
Visit the build of my parents’ house as much as I want
Have coffee dates with new friends in Phoenix
Network successfully, and follow up in-person with those I meet
Feel less stress about my workload
Get my house cleaned professionally
Keep a consistent workout schedule
Have integrity around my boundaries with others -- when I say I can or can’t do something, I mean it.
Because I protect my time, and my energy, I’m no longer worried or stressed about what my day holds. I know exactly how much time I have, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. No double-booking. No attempts to be in two places at once -- or on two calls at once. It’s amazing what happens when you lock down your time.
Here are a few of my best scheduling tips for living like a girlboss:
Decide your working hours. We have such a tendency (yes, me too) to want to work all the time. It’s not healthy, and it leads to burnout -- fast. Make an effort to reduce burnout by creating your working hours in advance. Be realistic. If you need to work a few hours in the morning, take a 2-hour break for lunch and a breather, and then finish up your work in the afternoon and evening, that’s ok. Even if it’s not your ideal hours right now, commit to setting your hours in your calendar. Working fifteen hour days is not normal even for a girlboss that’s growing her business. That just leads to adrenal failure, upset emotions, and an unhappy you. All things we’re trying to avoid.
Block out your regular activities. If you work out, block that out. If you go to coffee every Saturday morning with your girlfriends, block that out. If on the 12th of every month you have a networking meeting, block it out. Go over your text messages and your prior commitments, and add them. If you don’t, you’ll forget. I block out my regular travel months in advance, Chiropractor appointments Tuesdays, and I work out Monday through Saturday at 6am sharp. These are all in my calendar.
If you travel a lot, make use of google’s time zones feature. I religiously do this for clients, because it prevents their appointments from migrating to a different time zone. If I’m in Arizona, setting for someone in NYC at 12 noon, unless I set their time zone, it’ll show up at 3pm for them. They’d be 3 hours late for their appointment -- and I’d be in hot water with my client. No thanks. The time zone feature removes this possibility for error. Stop trying to calculate. If you’re traveling to Miami from LA, put your appointments during your trip in the right time zone. Then you won’t be confused.
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to do things. If you know it takes you an hour to get ready in the morning, don’t leave yourself a half-hour. Be honest with yourself.
Talk with your assistant about what you want your ideal schedule to be. If you don’t have an assistant yet, write it down in a journal or in your iPhone notes. Would you like to only work Monday through Thursday? Do you want to start the week with a Monday morning yoga class? Maybe you don’t want any appointments before 10am. Would you like more social events? Would you like to actually work out every morning? What about time for your friends and family? Get them on your schedule too if they’re important.
Color code things, and use different calendars if necessary. All of my calls are blue on my calendar. This way at a quick glance, I can see whether or not I’m going to be on the phone a lot in a particular day/week. Any dates with myself or with others are purple -- that way I can see those at a glance as well. I have a separate family calendar, so I can keep track of when my family (parents, sibling, etc) are out of town, traveling, or have a big event that I need to remember. Use what works -- for me, keeping my family’s life in a separate calendar works great.