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How many times have you ended the week feeling like you got nothing done? Perhaps it feels like there’s just too much on your plate… but I’m going to give you a bit of tough love and say, who put all those things on your plate?
I know it’s a tough pill and I promise I mean well – in fact, I struggle with adding more than I can handle to my own plate at times as well. I think it comes with the territory of being an ambitious online entrepreneur LOL.
Thankfully, there is a little hack that’ll help you stop overscheduling yourself and only assigning the right amount of tasks to your daily schedule. And this little hack comes in the form of two questions for you to answer. Tune in to this episode to learn what two questions you’ll need to answer to stop yourself from overscheduling.
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(Note: This is a formatted AI-generated transcript to make it easier for you to read through, but is not an optimized blog post. Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors and filler words – it’s just how I speak LOL)
How many times have you ended the week feeling like you got nothing done? Perhaps, it feels like there’s just too much on your plate. But I’m going to give you a little bit of tough love and say.. Who put all those things on your plate? I know, I know it’s a tough pill and I promise, I mean, well.
In fact, I struggle with adding more than I can handle onto my own plates at times as well. And I think he kind of comes with the territory of being an ambitious online entrepreneur. Don’t you think? Thankfully though, there is a little hack that will help you stop overscheduling yourself and only assign yourself the right amount of tasks to your daily schedule.
And this little hack comes in the form of two questions to answer. So are you ready to know what these questions are? Let’s dive in.
Hey, I’m Lucy Reyes, your host of the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, where I’m on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you focus on all the right things and kiss overwhelm goodbye. Here, you’re going to learn strategies that will boost your productivity so that you can scale your online biz and impact lives sooner. It’s your time to shine! So let’s get started.
My Current Scheduling Experience
Hey, hey. Welcome back to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, episode 13. So right when this episode airs, I would have just wrapped up a launch for my signature program, Level Up Your Biz with Trello.
And for the launch event, I hosted a free challenge, which whew, like that was a lot of work, having to plan out a full challenge in less than a month, because I decided late in July to host one.
While planning a summit and having to keep this podcast up and running with new episodes. I definitely needed to work on my scheduling, which is what sparked today’s episode.
And you know what, for some reason, I picked my challenge and my launch to happen on my son’s first week of school. So, yeah, my time was so, so limited.
Why We Overschedule
And although I always say that we have the same 24 hours in a day, I know that the feeling of not having enough time is still very much there for many of us, including myself.
So, you might also have other things going on in your business or in your life besides your business. Maybe you’re back at work teaching, or perhaps you never even left work because you’re not a teacher, so you don’t get the summers off. And you’ve been running your business alongside your full-time job.
And not to mention all your other priorities and distractions that creep up. So for that reason, it’s so super important that you’re intentional with your time. And I don’t mean to try to cram in as much as possible in your little time.
No, that’s not what I’m saying. Because how many times have you tried to do this with the hopes that you’ll get more done, but you only end up over-scheduling yourself and feeling burnt out?
Yeah. It happens plenty of times too, but there is a way for you to be able to stop over-scheduling yourself and be a bit more realistic with what you can actually accomplish or get done within a certain time period.
Related Post: 5 Things to Stop Doing to Reduce Overwhelm
A Two Question Hack to Stop Overscheduling
So to figure this out, there’s two main things that I recommend you schedule your business tasks around and that’s what we’ll be covering in today’s episode.
And in order to do this, there’s two questions. Two questions that I want you to think through and I want you to answer because when you are able to answer these questions, it will make it a little bit easier for you to stop over-scheduling yourself.
So the first question is: how much time do you have to work on your online biz? And I’m talking about how many days a week and how many hours per day are you able to dedicate to your business?
It doesn’t have to be the same. You don’t have to work two hours a day or four hours a day consistently. Like that is not what I’m talking about. But it would be really, really helpful for you to mark down, whether it’s on your calendar and just say, okay, this is how much time I have to work on my online business per day.
Are you taking Sundays off? Great. No worries. Are you not working on weekends either? Okay, perfect. That’s fine.
The purpose of this first exercise is to know how much time you truly have to dedicate on your biz on a given day. And they can change even by week. It would be a little bit easier if it doesn’t, but you know, life happens. I know. Everything changes all the time, but it’s good to have a rough estimate.
However, I will say that the amount of time that you have to work on your online business isn’t the same as how much time you wish you had to work on your online business. Okay. Those are not the same thing.
Avoid Burnout When Scheduling
You want to make sure that you are still giving yourself plenty of time to rest. What we don’t want here is for you to be like, oh, you know, I work until 5:00 PM. I get home. I cook dinner. I clean up, I put the kids to bed by eight. And then I stay up working on the online business from nine until two in the morning. And then I’m back up at 6:00 AM.
And you only gave yourself four hours of sleep. Like that is not sustainable. That is going to lead you straight to burnout, which is something that we want to avoid.
We talk about it in an earlier episode about how burnout is not very good and how you can avoid it. And that is one of the ways is by giving yourself plenty of rest.
So the amount of time that you wish you had to work on your online business is very likely not the same amount of time that you should probably be dedicating to your online business.
And I know that it can be hard to be like, oh, like I’m currently working, you know, six hours a day even though I’m staying up really late, but I can handle it. I can handle it. I know, because that was me. That used to be me.
But I’m telling you it is not worth it because you’re still going to burn yourself out. You’re not going to be able to think straight, and then it’s going to be even harder to come out of it. So let’s think about how much time you can actually work on your business per day, that gives you plenty of rest. Okay.
And the second part of this is going to make it a little bit easier to actually get more done, even if you have to work a little bit less each day.
So question number two is how long does it take you to complete each task that you’re trying to schedule? So remember when I said earlier, how many times have you tried over-scheduling yourself?
Maybe you said, okay, on Monday, I’m going to work on Instagram and Facebook group. And I don’t know, one more thing. And you’re like, oh, that’s only three things on my list. I can do that. And then Tuesday you’re like, okay, I should have finished Instagram and Facebook group and Twitter.
And then Tuesday, I’m going to work on, I don’t know, a blog post or something. Right. And so you feel like, okay, I only have three things scheduled, like I should be able to handle that. But if you don’t know how long it actually takes you to complete certain tasks, then it’s going to be very, very hard for you to assign yourself a realistic amount of time to get the task done.
So maybe in your head, you’re thinking, oh, it only takes me about 30 minutes to get my Instagram posts up and scheduled, when in reality it might take you two hours. And every single time that it takes you longer, you’re kind of like, oh, it took me longer because this happened, or it took me longer because that happened like, that won’t happen again.
Has that happened to you before where you kind of like, you know it took you longer than expected? But you kind of brush it off to be like, oh, it was just because of this. It was just a little hiccup. It won’t happen again. And then it happens again, but you already forgot that it happened last week, too.
Track Your Tasks
Yeah. So one way to kind of get around this is to actually track the amount of time it takes you to complete certain tasks.
Now, I know that this might be a little bit annoying. And I don’t mean to say that you have to do this every single day or every single time, but if you’ve never tracked how long it takes you to complete certain tasks, or if you’re constantly over-scheduling yourself, then that’s a good sign that maybe, just maybe you should track your time.
At least for maybe the next two times that you complete a task, you can track the amount of time that I took you to complete it. And so when you do this, you’ll have a much better idea of how long it’s actually taking you to get a task done.
So whatever the task is for you. So you’re saying I want to get my Instagram posts done. Then track the amount of time that it takes you to complete the entire task and then just write it down somewhere. And then track it again to see if it’s a pattern.
Is it how long it takes you? Maybe you can even take notes and say, okay. Um, I had to step away for, I don’t know, five minutes because my kid interrupted me while I was in the middle of scheduling my Instagram post. And so make a note of that.
And then when you track it again the next week, you’ll be able to see and compare, okay. Is this consistent? Am I consistently taking 45 minutes to complete this task? Or is it actually kind of varying?
And so that is when taking notes along the way also helps. So when you know how long it takes you to complete certain tasks, you’ll then be able to kind of fit them into the previous question of how long are you giving yourself to work on your business per day?
Because let’s say for example, you know that on Mondays you only have two hours. You only have two hours to work on your business.
But if you were just assigning yourself 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 different tasks, not knowing how long it actually takes you to complete them, then you’re going to over-schedule yourself for the entire week, and everything’s just going to keep getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back. And by the end of the week, that’s when you feel like you got nothing done.
So instead, when you know how long it’s taking you to complete certain tasks, you’ll be able to fit them into your weekly schedule in a Tetris type of style.
But it’ll still be a lot easier and more manageable for you to see like, okay, well I know it takes me 45 minutes to schedule my Instagram post. I only have two hours on Monday, which means I have about an hour and 15 minutes left so you still have this additional time to complete another task right.
So you’ll have a little bit better idea of how much you can actually handle per day. So when you bring these together, when you know how long it takes you to complete these tasks, and you’re able to start assigning these to yourself.
You can add it into your planner or your planning system, because now you’re going to have a much more realistic schedule of what you can actually get done. And so I do all of my planning inside of Trello, inside of one of my planning systems.
Which, if you’re not familiar with what I refer to as strategic systems, definitely go back and listen to episode 11, where I talk about it.
But that is where you can start adding in all of these different tasks, but any planner will do whatever you’re currently using will work just as fine, because at least you’re going to be scheduling yourself the right amount of tasks each day.
So knowing these two is really what’s going to make it easier for you to create a realistic schedule for yourself. One that you can actually follow through on. So hopefully that is something that you will give a try.
I know it’s not like something super easy that you can just be like, oh, flip a switch. And now it’s magic. It’s going to take a little bit of work, but I promise you that it will be worth it.
So tell me. Is over-scheduling something that you struggle with? If so, then you will want to head over to cheerstoproductivity.com/pdf to grab my free Weekly Planning Guide where I reveal some additional secret scheduling strategies to help you with this.
But until then, I am curious if you’ve attempted to track how long it takes you to complete certain tasks or if it’s something that you’re willing to give a try. Take a screenshot of you listening. Tag me on Instagram @cheerstoblogging and let me know.
Thank you so much for listening to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast with me at Lucy Reyes. To see the complete show notes and all the links mentioned in today’s episode, visit cheerstoproductivity.com/13. And before you go, make sure you subscribe wherever you’re listening so that way, you know, once the next productive chat is released. Talk soon and cheers to your productivity and success!
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