What would you do if you could get 10 hours a week back in your business?
So many small business entrepreneurs are running fast toward burnout.
It's tough being the CEO and wearing "all the hats" inside your business. Women entrepreneurs, especially! (My wife and several others I know take it to a whole new level--they are amazing!)
No matter who you are, if you own your own business, then you are the CEO.
And I'm on a mission to not let your business run you. Life is too amazing to spend it behind a laptop 24/7!
Let me share a story with you about how one of my clients took charge of her day and freed up 10 hours a week!
I'll walk you through the 5 steps she took in her business to find the freedom she wanted. She's just getting started, but the progress she's made in the past six months is amazing!
One of my clients recently freed up two hours a day during her workday to spend however she wants.
She's an entrepreneur CEO of her own business. And about seven months ago, we started talking and working together and she was overwhelmed by everything in the business. She had no time. She had no energy.
Frankly, the business was so exhausting she was at the point of contemplating hanging it up.
She was considering doing something else, getting out of the business world completely. Not being the CEO of her business, any longer, but just going into real estate.
Something had to change. There was a nagging feeling asking her how much longer do I have to do this? At what point will I start to be able to enjoy the fruits of my business?
It did change…it got a lot better.
I want to talk to you about five things she did, and you can do to, to get back the freedom that you crave.
What would you do with 2 extra free hours in your day? You might want to spend it crushing out more work, or heck you might want to spend that time taking the kids to school or reading a book, going for a walk, going for a run.
These are the five things she did that you can do in your business to free up some time for yourself.
Because I believe as a CEO, you have to be selfish.
You have to be selfish in a healthy way so that you can put yourself in a position to best serve others. Because if you're drained and tired and you have no energy, what good are you going to be to those that you're leading and working for?
So, here are the five things that you can do as CEO, the leader of your business, to free up two hours of time for yourself each day.
The first one is clear accountability. You must create clear accountability for every single member of your team.
Do they know the seat that they sit in and what owning that seat really looks like? Are the expectations explicitly clear to them and do they know what is most important for them to be focused on in the business everyday? Do they know what their objectives are?
If your business doesn't have clear roles defined for every single seat in the business, then the key phrase you’ll often hear is “hey, we all wear a lot of hats around here!”
Oftentimes that means we haven't really clarified the hats we wear. So we just kind of trade hats throughout the day. And it's crazy. It's crazy.
No wonder some business owners find it hard to have any time when everyone's wearing a bunch of hats. It’s a circus.
You know that's not serving you as the business owner and what WOULD serve you is getting clear accountability for making sure everybody is crystal clear on the seat they sit in. This is what ownership looks like.
And you as the business owner, then being able to get out of their way and let them do it. And it's powerful when that happens. So that was the first thing she did
She created clear accountability for the entire organization, her whole business, including herself.
Without clarity of her role, she knew she’d be meddling in everybody else's stuff. So, she had to be clear on where her role began and ended.
The next thing she did was to crystalize her 90-day priorities in the business. Everyone in the business knew what they were and were radically focused on them.
The third thing she put in place for herself was time-blocking.
She started blocking off the first two hours of every morning, and this is where it all started. It was scary. She literally had to move around some meetings. Up until this point, every morning was filled with touchpoints with her team.
This wasn’t serving her. She told me, “by the time I get out of all my meetings, I'm drained and I have no energy to do the work that I need to do.”
If you realize something you're doing, isn't serving you, isn't serving your energy, isn't setting you up for success, then you have that opportunity to change it.
And when you start to choose what does serve you, you become a lot more productive, not only for yourself but for your team.
She totally flipped the script. She said, my energy is the highest in the morning. Okay. Well then let's use that time to get the most important work done. And let's put the meetings in the afternoon.
She made that change. This isn't a prescription--It worked for her.
You might be the complete opposite. But the key takeaway here is she found what served her and she rearranged her calendar.
She now time blocks her mornings for deep work, two hours a day of working on the business. She told me things like:
I now feel energized knowing that I made a difference today. I’m the most important thing done by 10 AM.
I feel like I'm making progress for the first time in the business in a very long time. And now I have a lot more to bring into her interactions with my team.
Number four is batching her work.
She stopped multi-tasking between emails and creativity. That just doesn’t work. You can keep flipping channels!
The blocks on her calendar became intentional. There was time set aside for emails, meetings, and all the management stuff. She also had time on her calendar for creative and generative activities for the business.
The fifth thing she did was all about mindset.
She realized she had an unwritten rule that she had been living with her entire life. And that rule was, “I SHOULD be working from eight to five.”
She's the CEO of her own business. She was working more like five to nine every day, but there's this feeling of, I should be working eight to five, even though now I just opened up two hours of my calendar to spend it however I want. I still should be in the office from eight to five.
She could choose how she uses her time. There were times where her work was done at three o'clock Her team didn't need her, but there she was checking her email.
You know how it is, always feeling the urge to grab the phone and check it. Then checking on the computer as if they're two different inboxes.
She was basically just “checking” email and reshuffling the paperwork when what she really wanted to do was leave the office and pick the kids up from school and surprise them.
I don't know if that's ever been you like, ah, just feeling like you can't leave the office.
That's not serving you because there's been plenty of days where you’ve had to work till 1 AM!
You know, it's not that she's lazy. It's the farthest thing from that. It's just that her eight to five rule for her was keeping her from choosing how she really wanted to use that time.
If there’s one thing from COVID that we've learned though, it’s that spending more time with our kids and our family, working from home is providing a lot more work-life harmony.
Time is less of a thing because you don't have that ball and chain effect of being in the office.
Have you ever been at the office and worried about other people's opinions.
What will people think of me? If I leave the office at 3:30 PM. You don't have that working from home. As a result, you’re able to go through your day with a lot more energy, you're more productive, and connected with family.
Why can't we bring that into the business world, into the office?
So that is number five is you need to know the rules you’ve written that might not be serving.
Rules like, “I should be working eight to five. If not, I'm lazy. If I don't work eight to five, then that makes me less committed.”
I mean, these are the things we think, which are complete BS, but that's what we tell ourselves.
So we lock ourselves in our office, even though we're not really doing anything.
It's time to write some new rules. Become more aware of what those old rules are. Are they serving you?
You can write it to say whatever you want…so what is going to serve you?