Has anyone called you a control freak? I get that all the time! I feel as a business owner it is super important to create a schedule and stick to it, allows yourself some grace to adjust things, and we all know life happens and things come up. I always say stick to your schedule at least 85% of the time. So, yes I do feel like I am a control freak because I like my schedule! From home life to business.

My mom and niece were just in town for a week and I was able to get most of my work done before they came so I could enjoy time with them, but I still had a schedule each day of the things I HAD to get done, like write my blog, do a video, client work etc. I gave myself the grace to have fun and I got my work done before, as soon as you fall off the scheduling wagon it is so hard to get back on track. Think of your schedule like a diet, how many times do you start a diet and do great for a week or two and then something comes up and we fall off, it then takes us weeks, sometimes months to get back on track. By creating a schedule for yourself and sticking to it, it allows your business to run so much smoother. You know what needs to get done each day when you have time to check emails, work on projects, play with your kids, run errands, videos, all those things as an entrepreneur we have to do each day. You are creating a plan for success!

Here are 5 reasons having a schedule are important:

1. Your S.M.A.R.T Goals become real

Remember back in January we spoke all about S.M.A.R.T goals and what we wanted to accomplish for 2018? If one of your goals was to increase your clientele by 20 clients, or increase your video subscribers to 1000 then on your schedule you should mark out time to network, make calls, send a newsletter to past clients or potential clients, make videos and ask people to subscribe. By putting something on our schedule that we want to accomplish helps us succeed with our goals.

2. Stop spinning your wheels

Do you ever feel like you have this imaginary list in your head of things you need to get done and then 5 minutes later you forget and you are walking around for an hour saying “What was I suppose to be doing?” I know I can’t be the only one this happens too. Within your schedule create a ‘To-Do’ list this can be a daily ‘To-Do’ or weekly, whichever feels better to you. This then allows us that space to write down those things we need/want to get done and we stop spinning the wheels in our head and forgetting.

3. Life happens – be prepared

We all know as business owners life happens, a child is sick, an unexpected event pops up, maybe you are not feeling well. Anything can happen, by being properly organized it is easier to adjust your schedule. When you are able to pre-plan and pre-work to get things done earlier you are allowing again that grace period of these unforeseen life events that come up.

4. Everyone is on the Same Page

When you are able to create a well-crafted schedule for personal life and business life everyone can be on the same page. Each person knows what they need to do and when. You know what needs to be done to accomplish your goals and maybe what your team needs to do or even family. You are creating the foundation for your business and on that schedule or plan, you are also setting guidelines for others. I know having a schedule or plan doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but when you are a business owner and entrepreneur a lot of fun, shiny, new things that I like to call SQURRIELS show up and DISTRACT YOU!

What I am getting at is having your schedule and plan set you know what you need to do and when and so does everyone else. End-goal . . . less stress for you!

5. Keeping Track

Again I know I can’t be the only one who can’t remember what I did last year or even last week at some points! When you have a schedule, whether it be a day planner or Google calendar or even a Google sheet like I use, we write down all of our meetings, activities, and To-Dos. This allows us to track what we were able to get done each day, week, month and year. This makes it easier for you to keep track of your goals. Going back to point 1, if we wanted to get 1000 new subscribers to our YouTube channel and I looked back at our 2018 schedule or plan I could see I did 5 videos per week and that increased our subscribers past 1000! Or whatever your goal may be.

It is important to add your benchmarks to your schedule for your annual goals as well, to make sure you are sticking to them and are on track. Schedule them out, let’s say June we want to have over 125 videos on our YouTube channel and 500 subscribers. When that event pops up on my Google Calendar I would know YES! I am on track and have surpassed that goal, or I need to work harder to make sure I meet the goal before the end of the year.

Tools to help you with your scheduling

Google Calendar

Google Sheets

Wunderlist

Todoist

ScheduleMaker

What is it like as an entrepreneur? How have you found ways to keep your life organized?

Behind the scenes

I know I feel like each and every day I am running around like crazy. Taking my daughter to school, client work, networking, videos, errands, letting the dog out, house chores, you name it! I have been an entrepreneur for 10 years now, WOW time flies! It can be hard to balance work and life, some nights you are working late, some mornings you are up early, trying to fit everything in in one day! To be honest with you I have really been an entrepreneur at heart since I was 5 years old. I would travel back to Michigan each Summer and started helping my grandma and grandpa in their H&R Block office in Oscoda, MI. I helped make coffee, answer phones, once I learned how to read they had me filing paperwork, getting forms, speaking with the customers and from that moment I knew I wanted to own my very own business. The joy of having my own clients, my own desk, my own business name it was so exciting to me!  Once I set out on my own in 2007 I have been like the energizer bunny who just keeps going and going! I really don’t know how to STOP! I love working, I love having a busy schedule and learning new things. I feel that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to keep yourself busy with the right things, set your goals, be organized and set boundaries.

Who’s with me as a female entrepreneur we wear many different hats during the day. I can be on a conference call while changing laundry or letting the dog out.  We have to organize the family schedules, work schedules, and fun schedules. People have NO clue what goes on behind the scenes of your day to day life!

Being Organized

I have always been organized in life, ask my mom! I love things neat, clean and organized. I have realized over this past year, life is NOT always like that. We have been going through a remodel of our house and it has been a bit challenging. We have contractors in and out all day, trying to organize their schedules is like trying to find a taxi in New York!

I try really hard to remain ORGANIZED, but sometimes I feel like I am just overwhelmed. I am shifting my schedules and my day around to find time to write blogs, make videos, and take calls. It’s easy for calls because they CAN’T see my office or lack of space for an office. When I do my videos I NEED a nice clean background, that can be hard to find right now. So, what I guess I am trying to get at it, it’s ok to be disorganized once in awhile. It has shown me the importance of setting that foundation early on in my career of being able to adapt to different situations and know what I need to get my work done each day. You just have to be a little creative some days.

A few tools I found to keep my family and business organized:

Google Calendar – Everything I do is on my calendar! I can invite my husband to family functions or my business partner Caitlin to team calls. I can color code each of my calendars, from networking, personal, writing, videos, etc. It keeps me on my toes. I love when things are color coordinated, so this is perfect!

Google Drive and Google Pictures – these allow me to share documents with my family and business life.  I can have different folders for personal and business. I have my daily task sheet on Google Sheets for everything I need to get done each day, our client information, social media posts and more. I am able to share documents or folders with the people I want. The thing I like the most is I can access the items from any device I own! It makes my life SO much easier.

It is important to find these systems to put in place to help you stay on track. As an entrepreneur we can get lost in creating our own schedules so staying organized and setting boundaries is key!

Putting systems in place and being able to delegate

One thing we have earned over the past 10 years is we can’t do EVERYTHING! In order for our company to grow we needed to find people to help with daily tasks, maybe twitter followers, Facebook Likes, Content writing, etc. We wrote down one day things we LOVE to do for our clients and things we know we need to do, but not in love with it. We then reached out to the local colleges and found interns to help!  We have been able to put systems in place for each client on what needs to be done and when. how much time it should take and when the project should be complete. We were then able to implement these systems with our interns and now contractors. By putting these systems in place it allows us to be able to create a schedule for what we want to get done and the flexibility for our team to work when they can.

Don’t get me wrong this did NOT happen overnight, it took us awhile to find the right people and what the right tasks were for them, we have had about 7 people work for us and some didn’t work out, some went their own ways but still keep in touch and for our interns they all ended up getting awesome jobs, thanks to us!

It’s like that motto, “You have to spend money to make money” well in a way it is true. If you try to manage everything in your business you will limit yourself. Start making lists of the things you love to do in your business and the things that you don’t love. Maybe like your books, calls, networking, social media, etc. Then start looking for other businesses that offer those services. Ask friends or even post to Upwork.

It is scary taking the first step to delegating something, trust me coming from a control freak, nothing is the way you do it! HAHA Once you find the right person or company it takes a BIG weight off your shoulders that is one less thing you have to worry about and you know it is getting done.