When running a service-based business, it can be hard to find time to work on your business outside of serving your clients. It’s super important to take time to evaluate, plan, and execute for your business outside the day-to-day operations of running your business and serving your clients.
If you’re only focused on client work and not strategically planning and executing for your own business/brand, you’re essentially a freelancer not a service-based bosslady.
Each quarter take time out to evaluate where your business is going. This can be a few days or just a single day, but make space to intentionally evaluate what is happening in your business and what you want to be working on for that month or quarter.
I personally utilize both monthly planning days and then a longer quarterly planning week. Now for the planning week, I don’t block the full week from client work, but I set aside time throughout the week to focus on my business.
You can read more about my week 13 (my quarterly planning week) in this blog post.
Each month, I do have certain metrics I track, and I take the time to document those, re-evaluate my strategy and plan out my weeks for that coming month so that I’m scheduling in time for things other than serving clients, this is part of my CEO day which I talk about more below.
It can be hard to make time and mental space to work on projects of your own when you are hyper-focused on client work, onboarding new clients, and all the everyday tasks that keep your business running. That’s why when you do have an idea for a new service, marketing campaign, or something else that you want to execute, you really need to create a project plan to make that idea HAPPEN.
I know so many entrepreneurs who carry around these fantastic ideas but often find themselves laying them to the side, saying “when I have time.” Here’s the thing, that time is not going to just one day appear, especially if you are in a growth phase of your business (ie, you are getting new clients regularly). You HAVE TO CREATE THE TIME!
So when you have that idea, sit down and craft a plan to make it happen. Schedule in time to make that project move forward and make it part of your calendar that you take just as seriously as client deadlines and meetings. Know what steps you need to take to make that idea a reality and schedule in time to execute those steps.
Once I create a project plan, I try to schedule in one to two hours each day to work on that project. And that project becomes part of my 90-day plan.
Read about how I approach 90-day planning in this post.
So people define CEO days; differently, some people use CEO days as planning days, some use to do updates in their business or play catch-up.
For me, I have a CEO day once a month to plan out the month ahead, do my metrics for the month, look over the 90-day plan and make sure it’s aligned, and then use the other time to work on any smaller non-routine tasks that might need to be tackled.
Smaller tasks might include updating Instagram bio, creating a new process for something, researching a new tool, updating website copy, etc. These small tasks are things that can get lost in the “when I have time shuffle”, and are small enough not to require more than an hour or two to execute.
My CEO day is the day to re-align and look at the bigger picture in my business, plus get some of those nagging someday tasks done or play catch-up/clean-up if it’s been a crazy month.
Block scheduling can be more than just physically the block of time you might put on your schedule; it can also be about giving yourself the mental space you need to focus.
Each week I block off one day (Wednesday) to focus on stuff for my own business, whether that is tackling parts of a project plans, personal development, or creating content. While I might communicate with clients and check emails, this day, I try not to dive into any major client work, and I don’t schedule any appointments on this day.
Is this the only day I work on my business? NO, but this is the day I’ve given myself permission to make sure my work comes first, and I can mental tell myself the client to-do list can wait another day. BTW some people might also call this a CEO day; I feel like that term is used for a lot of approaches. For me, this block day is about doing not planning/evaluating so different from my idea of a CEO day.
Time blocking has been a game-changer for me since I’m an obliger, meaning if I know it’s for someone else, then it’s more dominant than doing things for my own goals. But having this routine once a week gives me that mental space to make the time for my business goals.
If you have a problem with making at least one day a week for your business, you need to look at boundaries with clients and how you are setting deadlines, you do have to create that space.
I hope these 4 techniques help you create more time and intention to grow your business. I’m all about serving my clients and helping them grow their businesses, but I also know that I want my brand and business to be more than just the hours I spend with and on client work.
If you have tried these techniques before and still find you are having trouble spending time beyond client projects, I encourage you to book a chat with me. I’m happy to give you some tips plus I have a few packages that might help you maintain a more strategic focus in your day-to-day business operations.