Welcome to Episode 11 everyone! I’m so excited and so grateful that you’re here with me today. In the spirit of continuing to move on through the Corona Virus situation that we’ve been handed, I wanted to record this podcast about two hours of your week that are the most important in terms of you getting exactly what you want and creating at the absolute whatever you want to create in your life at the HIGHEST level – whether that’s in your work or in your personal life as a mom. If you schedule in these two hours that I am going to talk about today, you will be set up for success. I’m going to tell you a story about my own journey towards high productivity, what these two hours of time are, and how to make the most out of them. Let dive in!
Click here to listen to the full episode.
Before we get started I am going to tell you a little bit of my own history and my own journey towards high productivity and creating a life that is very conscious and deliberate. If you didn’t know this, I’m a mom and a wife, but I’m a life coach and an entrepreneur and I’m still in my day job. I’m an actuary in a corporate job. I am wearing a lot of hats just like you, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. When you feel like your schedule is out of control or you’re overwhelmed or you just can’t get to it all.
I’ve got you.
I used to work this corporate job at a more than full-time pace, meaning I worked probably about 60 hours per week and now what I want to tell you is that because of everything that I’ve learned, because of who I’ve become, because of this journey of increasing my own capacity to create at a very high level, I’m doing the equivalent of a full-time job in that company, but in three days per week, I want you to stop and think about that. I’ve basically cut the amount of time that I’m spending to create a very similar level of results in half.
What’s really important about that is because I’ve created space and time in my life to be able to coach and be an entrepreneur is what is allowing me to make the highest, most valuable contribution to the world that I can. I figured out how to make space for that in my life and that’s really what I want to help you do as well. So if you’re right now a full time working mom and you feel like you’re just working too many hours or too much, I want you to know that it is totally possible to cut that back. More importantly than that, however, the ability to create a balanced, sustainable, fulfilling schedule in life is not about the amount of time that you have.
The real solution is not more time for all of the other things.
Here’s what it really is:
It’s you and who you are in your hours.
That was the biggest lesson that I learned. Yes, I did choose to go part time in this job, but it was only because I love coaching so much that I wanted to do it on a more full time basis. I want to help you and all the other working moms stop their struggle with the too busy and being overwhelmed and miserable. It’s really my mission to help all of you be able to get to the point where you consciously and deliberately create the life that you really want and to get you out of the overwhelm and out of the too busy. This is so important and I know this to be true: Our kids are watching us. I learned recently that they’re creating the story of who they are in their experience all the way through age 23. 23 is when the prefrontal cortex is completely developed. So I want us as moms to be living as the example for our kids.
What story do we want to be showing them? Do we want to be modeling for them as their brain is developing and it’s creating those beliefs about themselves and about the world? That is so important to me because I feel like the next generation is the generation that is going to take off and create an even better world for all of us.
So today, what I want to teach you about are the two most important hours of your week. This is the podcast episode that literally has the capability to change your schedule and your life. If you implement what I’m going to teach you. These two hours are the one hour each week that you schedule for planning your schedule and the one hour at the end of the week where you evaluate it and you celebrate your success. Now I’m going to break down each of these hours separately so you know exactly what to do in each of them.
But the very first decision that you need to make is to decide where these go on your calendar. I’ll just give you my own as an example, but you have to decide what makes sense for you. For me, m y one hour planning session is on Sunday. Sunday is one of those days that I just set aside to really recharge, to nourish myself, to rejuvenate. Part of taking really good care of myself is the one hour that I use to plan my whole next week. I really like to go to bed feeling completely confident and in control and that I’ve got my plan for the week. When I wake up on Monday, I don’t have to think about it. All I have to do is look at my calendar for what I had already decided to do.
Then I have my evaluation hour. I love to do this Friday afternoon so I evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, and then I celebrate. I celebrate whatever success that I find in my week. So all you need to do right now is just decide where those two hours go on your calendar, what real estate do they get? It doesn’t really matter what it is, just decide and put it on your calendar. You could always change it. If it doesn’t work this week, you can change it for the next week.
So let’s dive into the planning hour. I’m going to give you a step by step of what you’re going to do during that hour. At the end of the hour, what you’re going to have is your entire schedule laid out for the whole next week. That is the result that you’re creating. You’re creating your weekly schedule in this one hour planning session.
Step One: Do a brain dump of all the things.
What are all the things that you want to do, that you think you should do, that you need to do? I want you to give yourself a good 10 to 15 minutes to get it all out of your brain and onto paper. Remember, your brain is not meant to store information. It’s meant to process it. So get it all out on paper so that you can see it. This is going to be a comprehensive holistic list for your entire life – not just your work stuff. So I want you to include everything on it. What do you want to do for the kids? What do you want to do for yourself or for your spouse? Include all the doctor’s appointments, the dentist appointments, orthodontist appointments. Everything. Keep asking yourself else. What else? What else? Until you feel like you’ve dumped it all out on paper.
Do not spend time editing here. We’ll do that part later. For now, you just want the list. If this is the first time that you’ve done this, your list is going to be pretty big. So I don’t want you to be freaked out about that. It’s totally normal and expected. You’ve never done this before so you have a lot of things that you’ve been using your brain to store and we’re getting it out of storage. So clean out all the back corners of the storage unit. Pick up all of the boxes, open them all up, get all of the stuff out where you can see it.
Step Two: Edit and clean up the list.
I want you to look at that list that you created. As a human with agency, you get to say yes or no to every single item on the list. You’re going to make those decision to cross off anything that you don’t want to do, and that your 100% okay with the consequence of saying no to or not doing. So step number two is to edit and clean up the list.
Step Three: Prioritize the list from one to ten (or however many items you have on your list).
What is most important down to what is the least important? If there’s a project that’s due this week, it should probably be at the top of the list.
And here’s something else. Not everything on the list is going to get scheduled for the coming week. So don’t freak yourself out and think that everything on this list now has to go into the next seven days. We’ll schedule the entire list, but some of the things may be on the calendar for next week or next month or next quarter. Right now all you need to do is decide what’s most important, give it number one and then number two, and so on down the line until everything that’s left on your cleanup edited list has a priority number assigned to it. That’s step number three.
Step Four: Decide how much time you’re going to allocate to completing each item on that list.
So you’re assigning a time value to each of the things on the list. And what that means is you’re telling yourself that this is the amount of time that I’m giving myself to complete it. So now you can pause for a second. I want you to look at the list and see if you need to maybe chunk some of the bigger things down into some micro steps. For instance, if you had a project on the list and you just put a project, maybe there are four or five steps that need to be completed in order to get the project done. I want you to take the time to list out the micro steps of all of the things that you need to do to complete the project. This is going to give you a way better gauge of how long it should take you to complete that thing.
And then what you do is you assign a time value to each one of the micro steps. This is the best way to get a really good gauge on time. Chunk out any of the bigger items on the list, into the micro steps, assign a time value to every single item and then all you need to do is put it all on the calendar, right?
Step Five: Put it on your calendar
You already prioritized everything so you can put things on the calendar in priority order. And put them on there with a specific date and the time value that you already gave in the last step. You might notice that some of those things are not going to fit into this week and that’s okay. They’re going to have to get real estate on next week’s calendar or the week after.
While you’re adding stuff to your calendar, I want you to take advantage of the magic time that I taught you about last week. You have those buckets of time already in your schedule. I want you to take the things that are going to require the most of your brain that are the most important and schedule those into your magic magic time buckets. This is where we’re filling in the detail of the magic time buckets by exactly what you’re going to complete in that time. Again, think about really important things, things that are high priority, not necessarily urgent, but things that are going to move your work and life forward and move you closer to your goals. After you do this, you’re going to see that everything that’s on your list is on the calendar. It all has a time. It’s all going to get done.
This is going to settle your brain down and you’re never going to have to ask yourself the question, “How am I possibly going to get this done?” If your boss came to you )or maybe you’re your own boss) and they asked your, “When is this project going to be completed?” All you have to do is call up your calendar and see when the very last step is done and give them the exact date and time. That is amazing. That is so different than the way most people approach their life in getting things done. I hear people say this all the time, I just don’t know when it will get done as if they’re not in control of the answer of that.
You’re 100% in control. All you have to do is schedule for it. Just plan for it.
Step Six: Follow your plan.
Now here is the challenge. I want you to not make any adjustments or changes outside of this planning hour to the schedule for the next week. When you go to your planning hour for the next week, that’s when you can make changes. But after this planning hour is done, your schedule is set. This is the way that it’s going to go down over your week. This is where the real challenge is and where most productivity and planning systems break down. They don’t teach you the skill of follow through because that skill is created through cultivating a productive mindset. Most people don’t know how to do this but that is exactly why I’m doing this work and this is why what I do with my clients is different than what most other people do in the world in terms of time management and productivity. This is where my life coach training fills in the gap. It completes the circle and adds that missing ingredient. So for now, just know that this is the last step of the planning hour. The follow through. And if you find yourself really struggling with this one, I’ve got you. I’m going to do a podcast episode soon, all about it.
At the end of your planning hour, your entire week and parts of future weeks will be scheduled. Okay? That’s the goal of the planning hour. You get everything out of your brain, you assign it a time value and a date. It goes onto your schedule. You know where and when everything is going to be done.
What’s the second most important hour of your week?
Now the second most important hour of your week is the evaluation and celebration hour. You’re going to do just that. You’re going to evaluate and celebrate, but in a very specific way.
For the evaluation piece, you’re going to analyze the schedule that you created for yourself at the end of the week and you’re going to ask yourself how well it worked. Was it really effective in the way that you planned? You’re going to ask yourself these questions to find the answer to that:
+ What worked.
+ What didn’t work.
+ What did I learn?
+ What will I do differently next week?
These questions are important because your schedule, just like you, is a work in progress and you’re never going to figure out the ideal formula without evaluating it each week. Figuring out what actually worked really well and what didn’t, and making those refinements and those tweaks to create that blueprint that works exactly for you.
You and your life are unique and so your ideal schedule will also be unique. It’s going to be individualized to you and your specific needs and your specific life. That’s why it really doesn’t make sense to just send out a blueprint, a template for a schedule that would work for everybody. It doesn’t work that way because the schedule is a reflection of you and the life that you want to live.
Now the second piece to this hour is to celebrate. If you’re a high achieving woman, you’re just like me, and what we tend to do is we achieve a lot and then we just kind of run past the winds and the things that we create and we don’t stop and recognize or celebrate what we had actually achieved.
So I want you to find three wins in your week. What felt amazing? What did you love? What did you do or accomplish that blew your own mind? Once you have your three wins, I want you to really just celebrate yourself for those wins. Recognize how amazing and what a bad ass you really are, and then celebrate yourself with something amazing. My coach recently asked me to create a list of 20 things that I could do to celebrate my accomplishments, and it was such a fun exercise that I’ve now added it into my program. So I want you to try it out. I want you to make a list of 20 ways that you can celebrate when you hit your goals or you accomplish all the things you set out to.
For me, it’s things like an extra long walk with my dog, It’s going to a yin yoga class. It’s taking an afternoon off in the middle of the week. It’s giving myself some extra white space or going to a coffee shop and getting a really special coffee or maybe even going shopping for an hour or two. Think about all the ways that you could celebrate yourself. Some of them will take you more time than others. Some of them will cost money, some of them won’t but the whole idea here is that you take a second to pause, that you recognize how amazing you really are, and celebrate the wins that you created during your week.
This is going to make scheduling even more fun and it’s going to light up your brain a little bit because you’re going to be thinking about, “Oh my gosh, that was amazing that I just did that. I get to celebrate myself on Friday or on Saturday” So this hour is really an opportunity to learn so that you can make refinements to your weekly schedule.
These two hours of your week should be included as part of your non-negotiables. Go add them into your schedule right now as recurring weekly appointments with yourself and go plan, evaluate and celebrate this week and see what amazingness you can create by just adding these two hours into your weekly schedule.
If all of this makes sense, but you want my help in showing you exactly what to schedule, how to do it, and how to follow through for your own personal individual situation, you need to grab a free productivity booster session with me. In this session. I’m going to take you through a process that’s designed just for you. I will show you exactly what’s not working and how to fix it. If you want to grab one of these, all you need to do is click here.
If you’re loving what you’re learning on this podcast, please subscribe, rate and review it by clicking here. Alright, have a beautiful, productive, unbusy week my friends! I’ll see you next time.