Freedom and time. The two things we all want more of in our life. It’s why my coaching clients come to me and why people invest in my course, Fabulous Foundations. They want to have financial security and be able to live a life they love – doing the work they’re passionate about and taking time off when they want/need to. Just like I do.
Guess what? I have freedom. I wake up each day and do the work that I do best and that I enjoy. This is my life. I designed it and turned it into a reality by putting in the work. The best bit? You can do the same.
Freedom gives you the time to go after what’s important to you. It allows you to grasp opportunities with both hands. It lets you listen to your body when it’s telling you to rest and it ensures you don’t feel guilty for not working, in favour of spending time with your family and friends.
If you’re reading this right now, I know you’ve got big dreams and goals. I don’t have all the answers, but I know where you are right now and how you can create more time and freedom in your life. And it’s closer than you think. BUT you have to take action.
The secret is to apply your productivity. Today I wanted to share 4 steps to having more freedom and time in your life through focusing on what needs to be done to get you to where you want to be. This is how to do it:
1. Focus Your Attention
If you’re working to complete a task, turn off all distractions. That sound your phone makes when you get a notification or the sound your computer makes when an email comes through – I call this Shiny Object Syndrome. While you may want to be able to respond immediately to clients or customers to delight them with your efficient communication, the gratification of doing that is only short in comparison to how you’ll feel when you’ve completed a step that brings you closer to your goals. Nobody expects us to be online and available 24/7 (if they do, you NEED to set boundaries and expectations through a contract!) so keep your attention on what has to be done, and check in with notifications/emails at set points in the day.
This applies to your personal life, not just work. It’s much easier to get your laundry done when you’re in your kitchen or utility room, instead of doing it in front of the television. You can write a blog post in no time if the only tab you have open is the document you’re working on.
Remembering your big why will also help you to focus your attention. Not sure what that is? Try defining what success means and looks like to you!
2. Create Blocks Of Time
We hear so much about multi-tasking but the truth is humans cannot multi-task well. When you do more than one task at a time, you lose focus and certainly don’t give it your all. So task one thing at a time and give yourself enough time to do it. Blocking your time is such an effective way to have more freedom and time in your life. You can use it for any work task or personal activity. Using time blocking works because you literally schedule your whole day for the things you need and want to do.
My clients tell me that changing this one area in their business makes the most difference as they no longer feel panicked that everything won’t get done and negative about how much there is to do.
For instance, if they want to spend the first part of the day working on their own brand, they can block that time out. Or, if they prefer to get a workout done at the end of their workday, block that chunk of time out. By blocking out your time, you stay on task, focused, and you’re getting sh*t done!
Start with a large task first, preferably the thing you least want to do. Add in small amounts of time for looking at social media and looking at emails but use the big blocks to actually get those big tasks done.
Fill out your whole week in this way so that everything is slotted in. This will make you feel more in control because rather than doing one task while thinking in your head “but I still have to do X and Y”, you can relax knowing you can fully concentrate on this task because you have time scheduled on Tuesday for X and Thursday for Y. You are back in control of your time.
Obviously, emergencies will crop up and your schedule might not go exactly to plan but by starting in a good place, it’s more likely to.
3. Stay Energised
In order to have more freedom and time in your life, you want to move through your tasks at a quick pace and at the highest performance. So you need to stay energised. Get enough sleep, drink water, stand up every hour, exercise – these are all great energising strategies. You might think you don’t have the time (or freedom) to do all these things. Make the time. If you truly want freedom, you can do it.
I’m not going to tell you not to work long hours when you’re launching a new product or service, starting a new business or are going through an uplevel process. However, working every hour on your business means nobody gets the best of you – not your partner, not your friends, not your children and not your business as you will suffer burnout. So be strict with yourself and give yourself a cut-off time to stop working. This is hard for any entrepreneur but if you get into bad habits, it will be much harder in the future!
By having too many projects on at once, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Keep your priorities in check for each day, week and month. And if your productivity is suffering? Let something go.
Often we add lots of tasks to our to-do list that aren’t “must dos” or are just passing ideas. Use your planner to keep your priorities in front of you for each day – then create a to-do list for each. If there are items that crop up that you need to get done, add them to a “future” or “other” list. This means you won’t forget good ideas and you’ll still accomplish all your tasks.
Tasks on your list should be tangible – you should know when you’ve completed them by breaking them down as much as possible. It may seem like more work this way, but it helps you to evaluate whether they really are intentional for your business/life.
Remember – this won’t happen overnight. It’s a process. But I promise you’ll get there. We talk about time management in more detail in Module 2 of my course, Fabulous Foundations – you can sign up here to be the first to know when the doors re-open! Or, if you need more accountability, join GSD Society – my monthly membership for ambitious and determined women like you, where I share resources, guest expert training and personalised support in my private Facebook group for JUST £22/month. Click here to learn more.
You might also like: 25 Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs (How to Break Bad Habits)