This year has been all about creating routines and a weekly structure that truly works for me and my family. You see, my partner works shiftwork, which means that literally every single week is different for us – and I’m left to work around his shiftworks and make our life work. So in a way for the past 13 years I also have done “shiftwork”.
I can tell you, if you try to combine shiftwork with a more or less Mon – Fri 8 – 5 business and also two school age kids and a toddler, then it starts to become really difficult to create a solid structure, yet alone building momentum in the business, committing to regular weekly meetings and appointments and to move the business forward long-term.
As a coach who’s offering 1:1 coaching sessions – weekly or fortnightly – it becomes even harder if not every week is the same. When my kids started kindy full-time and then school, I was finally able to commit to something of a routine. But you know what happened then? We had another baby and I was back to square one…
So at the beginning of the year, we decided to engage an au-pair ie. a live-in nanny. This allowed me to create a weekly structure and routine and basically stick to it, no matter what. I could finally commit to offering weekly sessions, always at the same day and time, which are convenient for my clients. I could commit to weekly exercise sessions. I could create a weekly schedule that would ensure I get everything I needed to do done.
But here was the second issue. Now I started to being at the office A LOT but still not feeling like I was getting a lot of momentum build up. There was always something else “urgent” to do. I guess that comes with the territory when you run 3 businesses. There is always something to do. There is always some tail-catching to be done. There is always something else. Often my own business and the tasks that would create momentum in building my business long-term would be put on the back-burner.
You might be wondering what tasks I’m talking about.
I’m talking about consciously engaging and connecting on social media. I’m talking about blog writing. I’m talking about creating new offers and services for my clients. I’m talking about that book that I’ve been meaning to write. All these things a) take time out of your day and b) take time to build momentum with but are so darn worthwhile when you do them and do them well.
But I always found another excuse. ‘Cause one of the problems with these tasks is also that there is a teeny tiny bit (read: a whole darn lot) of resistance in getting these done. There is so much self-doubt, so much over-thinking, so much fear that makes my brain scrambling for any – literally any – excuse to get them done.
It’s like when you plan to exercise but it’s hard work to drag your bottom out of your warm and cozy bed in the morning and to gym class. This morning for example I had my first yoga class in ages and you know what? I was actually hoping that when I got there they’d say the class was cancelled / full or anything in between so I wouldn’t have to go and do it. But you know what? I wasn’t cancelled / it wasn’t full or anything else. So I had to do that. More about that in another story, though.
Back to that momentum thing I was trying to explain to you.
The reason why I’m telling you all this is: I had to come up with a way to ensure I would do the tasks I kept putting off.
So I created a new routine – one that would actually work for me. I also created a couple of visual reminders to help me along the way (nod if you know what I mean when I say “multiple notebooks / journals / stationery addict… which in this case is not a positive thing).
I created my sheet of “Daily Priorities Checklist” and this is how it works.
On this list are things that I’ve mentioned before – the things that will build momentum over time, the things that will grow my audience organically and in a sustainable way, the things that I want to desperately include in my DAILY routine, the things I want and need to get done no matter what.
So say my kids are sick, the aupair is away, Rod’s at work and I need to stay home with them. That’s ok. I might not get anything “major” done but I still have my tiny but mighty list of daily priorities handy that remind me of the important things that will help me build momentum.
So you might wonder what is on my list of daily priorities – 11 in total. There are things like – put up a new Insta post, comment and like on other’s Instagram posts; engage in Facebook groups, check in with clients (I do that daily with my on-going clients); writing for 1 hour and moving my body for a minimum of 30 minutes.
So there you have it.
I just love this system so much as I know it works. I also use this approach with the daily priorities with my ongoing clients. We define these in our first sessions, then I remind them and check in with them every day to see if they’ve done them and are making progress on them.
If you want to give this a try, too, I invite you to get this free blank template that I’ve created. All you need to do is slot in your daily priorities.