Ready for some real talk? The best and simultaneously funniest compliment I receive from people is “you’ve really got your sh!t together.” It’s the best because it makes me feel like I must be doing this whole #adulting thing pretty well for my clients and friends to feel like I’ve got things under control. It’s the absolute funniest because I most definitely do not. So, how do I make the craziness of life stay on the rails most days or at least appear to? Hands down, it’s my weekly schedule! (Second would definitely be my obsession with to-do lists but that’s another story.)
Trust me when I say my schedule can be a monster to nail down some days and by no means have I perfected or figured everything out but I can say I’m in a much better place and feel the need to share how I got here with you.
Somewhere between running a business, working in Corporate America full time while traveling internationally, keeping up with our home, trying to have a social life and a whole lot of other things I realized my weeks were running me instead of me running them and it had to stop. I became aware of how much I thrived on routine and while there never seemed to be enough time, I needed to find a way to master the hours and the days I did have to get the most out of them. Enter, the One Crafty Miss Master Schedule Template! It sounds super fancy but really it’s a glorified Excel document that changed the way I worked, played and relaxed each week. (Yes, actually scheduling relaxing works!) After sharing how I stay organized every week on Instagram and showing how I create my schedule, I received a ton of messages and comments to share the template. So, here we are, friend!
You Aren’t Sure What Will Work, But I Promise You Know What Won’t
Two years ago I remember making a joke to my husband one evening that I should join the circus because I feel like I’ve become a professional at juggling more than anyone thought possible. (Ok, it didn’t get a laugh but it opened up some good conversation.) Do you remember the old Energizer Bunny commercials with the rabbit that just keeps going and going and goinggggg? That’s how I felt. I definitely didn’t feel like a cute bunny either- I felt like I couldn’t breathe if we’re being honest. I was trying so hard to get out of a career that didn’t fulfill me and chasing one that I knew I was meant for, but wasn’t taking the right steps or allowing myself to breathe to get there. I wasn’t just trying to pour from an empty cup, I was scraping at a broken one.
Everyone talks about different parts of their journey while running their business where they realized something had to change and ohhhh do I know mine.
I was getting ready in the morning to get to my day job when I received a text message around 8:30am asking me if I was still coming to an 8am meeting that day that I had obviously forgotten about. The meeting involved three other women who were probably all waiting for me and was something I had committed to weeks prior for my business. I immediately felt like I was going to throw up and texted back some bogus excuse and said I’d be on my way. As I ran back up the stairs to grab my laptop bag and the rest of my things my husband could tell I was freaking out and asked what was wrong, to which I literally threw everything down on the ground and yelled “I can’t do this!” and went hysterical crying. It was completely dramatic but 100% how I felt in that moment. I couldn’t breathe and I knew that how I was running things was insane for anyone. I was over committed to the point where I was falling short and couldn’t keep all of my commitments straight. The worst part was, that nobody around me really knew how much it was effecting me.
That night my amazing hubby sat down with me and we went over all of the things I was involved in an committed to. We talked about what was really getting me to where I wanted my business and life to be and spoiler alert, a lot of things didn’t make the cut. Sometimes you need a reminder of where your time is going and how it’s going to effect the big picture.
Bottom line? You may not know how to make things work yet but you definitely can tell when something isn’t working. I want you to think about the difference and what that looks like for you. It may be something drastic that is weighing on you hard right now like it was me or it could be a few simple things that you know need to change to make things feel a little easier.
Figure Out What You’re Working With and Start There
The low point I just shared was about two years ago and I’ve learned a lot since then and have made a lot of changes to help manage my anxiety especially when it comes to running my business. In particular, over the last 6-8 months, I’ve challenged myself in a lot of ways to focus on what’s important, what’s actually moving me forward, what success really looks like for ME and not for anyone else. And all those things (PLUS some major emotional support from my inner circle) helped me change things. I’m working on things that really feed me as a creative and putting my time towards people and commitments that I don’t feel forced into. And THIS is what I want for you!
When you learn to say “no” more, you get to say “yes” to things that really deserve your time and energy. That can absolutely be the biggest game changer- especially when it comes to scheduling your time.
Remember, that you have to start somewhere! For me, after attending Kari Robert’s time blocking breakout session at Creative at Heart conference last summer I was hooked and knew I needed a weekly schedule I was more intentional about. As you open the Master Schedule Template I want you to think about all the things you put your time towards every week. Really focus in on the nonnegotiable time slots that aren’t optional- or at least aren’t at the moment. Make a list to help you before you enter them in. This will include things like daycare drop off/pick up for your little one, weekly team meetings, church service, standing client appointments, etc. Challenge yourself to look hard at what and when those events take place and make sure each commitment is something important and necessary to keep every week. Now you can go ahead and plug in those times per week day in the template.
Once those time slots are accounted for, you’ll have a better picture of what your days look like and the space to include things in your weekly schedule you have control over.
Create a Weekly Schedule Plan and Embrace That it Will Change
You know the old saying, we make plans and God laughs? Totally true, but I’m going to go ahead and say it doesn’t mean he’s laughing every week, right? Don’t let the fact that you know your plans can change keep you from making a plan to begin with! Total rookie mistake in this Type A Creative’s opinion! Close your eyes and think about the things you want and need to make time for each week. Fill in each day of the week with time slots assigned to those commitments.
Here are some tips to help you fill out the balance of the Master Schedule Template:
- Input all nonnegotiable weekly appointments and obligations (work start time, fitness classes, pick up or drop off for kids, weekly team meeting etc.)
- Review any open space left between these times and fill in as needed with other tasks to include in your week during those time slots (side hustle hours, time to work in your studio, meditation, trip to the dog park,etc)
- Remember to leave some negative space as a buffer in your day! You can even mark these as “free time” or “TBD” or just blank.
- Schedule intentional self care time in your weekly schedule. This can be reading, taking a nap, journaling, a morning walk – something for YOU.
- Play around with color codes for personal vs. work vs. family vs. meetings etc. It helps visually to see how your week balances out and make changes if needed.
Remember that this schedule is meant to keep nearby whether bookmarked in your browser or printed and placed near your desk. By no means, is it meant to be the permanent blueprint of which you plan your entire life by. Instead, embrace it as a guideline for each week to give you some structure and help you find a flow that really works for you. I’ve changed mine several times during different seasons of my life. When I was working my marketing job while running One Crafty Miss, it looked different than it does now and I’m sure it will be revised many more times to fit the needs of my lifestyle. Make sure you do the same! Try to follow the new weekly schedule you create for about two to three weeks and make adjustments as you realize somethings may be better on different days or during different times.
I’d love to hear how the Master Schedule Template works for you and your week! After you download it and create your own version, let me know what worked for you and if you found yourself being more productive or discovered anything new in your week! You can shoot me an email or a DM on Instagram or leave a comment on this post. Don’t let your week run you, friend. You are more in control of your time than you realize, even when it feels beyond challenging. I’m here to remind you that you’ve got this! Jump into the rest of this year feeling stronger and more intentional than ever.