How to Work your Calendar so It Actually Works for You (Real-Life Example)

I had a powerful interaction with one of my newer clients recently, as a result of a time management process we went through together  

When I first start working with someone, we usually go through an intake form followed by a kickoff call. One of the things I ask on that form and on the call is what the biggest pain point in their business is. A lot of times that boils down to something to do with either the systems or processes in their business or their team. With this particular client that I was working with, her biggest pain point was her calendar and more specifically managing her schedule. 

This is a common pain point for a lot of entrepreneurs. After all, we are quite known for our full schedules, right? At the point I join my clients’ businesses, they are usually around the high 6-figures to 7-figure mark in their business. Even at that level, they are still doing or managing a lot of the day to day running of their business, like team operations and sales calls.

They may also be managing a small sales team and sometimes even sending their own email broadcasts. So, inevitably their schedules are quite full, and finding time for things like self-care or family is a real struggle  

For my client, though she had a system in place, something was not just working for her. She felt like she was always running from one thing to the next and constantly behind schedule with things like client calls. That consequently leaves a bad impression in people’s minds and may have a negative impact on your integrity.

The first thing we did on that intake call was walk through what she wanted her ideal schedule to look like. What did she want her day to look like? For instance, she was taking client calls every day of the week. The ideal scenario would be to dial that back to two days a week. She was also doing group calls on the weekend thereby taking time away from her family. The would have to be rescheduled a day during the week, making that 3 days for client work during the week. 

One of the things that we realized was missing from her schedule was sales follow up. Anyone who knows anything about business and sales knows there are so much power and money in follow up. She was basically leaving a lot of money on the table by not having sales follow up calls built into her schedule!

After the intake form and kick call, we scheduled yet another call, this time with my client’s VA in attendance as she was a vital piece to the new schedule we were building. On this call, we literally opened up her calendar and went through it block by block. 

This was the three-layered process we followed:

Essential tasks

What were the tasks that only she could do? What tasks that drove her towards her goals or towards revenue? Those tasks were deemed essential and needed to be part of her schedule. So the first thing we did was to figure out what those tasks were and how to organize them on the calendar.

Delegatable tasks

Next we looked at what was on her calendar that someone else could do. For instance, what could she delegate to her VA? In my client’s case, she scored high marks in this section as she was great at delegating to her VA, who in turn was quite efficient.

Deletable tasks

The third layer was looking at what did not need to be on her calendar at all. There were quite a few of these tasks that were no longer even relevant. Getting rid of those was easy. 

But there were some tasks that we had to make a judgment call on whether to take them off her calendar completely because they weren’t really contributing to her goals or her revenue. 

The result of walking through this process together was hours more of time in her calendar.

Now, here’s the part that made all the difference to me: at the end of that call, my client put her hands on her face and started crying. It felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders! You could see and feel the relief and gratitude flow from her. Even I got choked up at some point because I’m truly passionate about helping my clients achieve their goals.

This is a true story but one I’ve seen play out with a lot of entrepreneurs. We sometimes don’t know when to stop!  It’s normal to start out doing everything in your business but when you start to build a team, it still proves hard to let go of tasks, especially when you think that you’re the only person that can do them.

But just imagine for a minute: the hours of time you can potentially buyback…the peace that replaces overwhelm…

That moment when my client got emotional was a powerful one for us all. No doubt, the process works! Every entrepreneur should go through it as often as possible, perhaps every quarter or even monthly to avoid the annoying build-up that is bound to occur over time. You too can conquer your calendar!

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