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Ep #94: Managing Your Time Like a Boss

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If you’re a long-time listener, you’ll know that having total freedom to live my life and spend my time the way I want is a huge priority to me. It’s the very reason I left my corporate job and created the business that I have today, but it required taking a close look at how I spent my time.

I used to think creating a schedule and planning my time was going to sever my freedom. But now, when I can work three days a week, take vacations when I want, and can plan maternity leave, I know it’s the best thing I ever did for myself, and I’m teaching you how to manage your time like a boss so you can do the same. 

Join me as I share the 5 guidelines and rules I follow to manage my time at the highest level possible. Getting uncomfortable and exploring what works is going to be part and parcel of this process, but I promise, you won’t regret it on the other side when you’re spending your time doing what you truly love. 

The next round of Anything but Average opens on April 6th! For exclusive sneak peeks of the portal, the program, and the community, click here to join the waitlist! 

The next round of the Anything but Average Coach Mastermind opens on February 23rd for the spring of 2022 class! If you missed out on this current round, make sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss out!

What You'll Learn on this Episode

  • How I make decisions with my time.
  • The power of structuring your time and setting a schedule. 
  • Why I was so resistant to creating a schedule for myself.
  • 5 guidelines I use to manage my time at the highest level possible. 
  • Why you have to get comfortable with saying no to things you want.

Featured on the Show

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE

Click to Read Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Anything But Average podcast where I will teach you how to create a coaching business one step at a time. I’m Lindsey Mango, a life coach passionate about helping you create the life of your wildest dreams by creating a coaching business. Let’s get started.

Hello, and welcome back to another week and another episode of Anything But Average. Guys, how are you? It’s official, Anything But Average enrollment closed yesterday. I just want to welcome the new members, as well as if you want to join the next round, we will reopen again April 6th.

For exclusive sneak peeks of the portal, the program, the community, what kind of coaching goes down inside the community. Five minute clips of the live coaching sessions, as well as some bonuses like how to start saving for the next enrollment go to lindseymangocoaching.com/anythingbutaverage. Click the button that says join the wait list.

I am so excited. I’m recording this podcast months in advance. It’s actually not even Thanksgiving yet. But I am so excited as I look ahead at my calendar. This coming weekend is my baby shower, as well as my maternity shoot. And I have to say, right now in this moment, yesterday was the first time that I kind of had that feeling where I was like, “I feel like I just need like a second break from having this thing in my stomach.” Just being honest here. Like where I felt a little uncomfortable.

And so I’m just sending good vibes to myself when this episode goes live, because I’m like oh God, I still have, what? Right now I have 18 weeks to go, 17 weeks to go. By then I have a feeling my belly will be pretty large. So let’s hope. I’m just going to send some good vibes to myself at this time.

All right, so let’s jump in. Today what I want to talk about is how to manage your time in a way that works best. In a way that allows you to thrive. I actually talked about this a little bit on my Instagram stories and got so much feedback. And it is something that I’ve been pretty skilled at doing. I know I have a lot less on my plate than some of you, I’ll probably come back and re-listen to this episode once the baby’s here.

But even when I had a full time job, and I was growing my business and I had a lot on my plate then, I was really good at managing my time. And even now that I only work not even three days a week, I still manage my time at a super high level. Which gives me lots of free time, lots of freedom. And the ability to execute major tasks as a CEO of a business, like getting these podcasts done so ahead of time and just being prepared for when the baby comes and all of it.

So I spent some time thinking about what really works for me in terms of managing my time. And so I’m going to walk through some of those things. But before I do that, I just have to offer something. When I first left my corporate job and got that taste of total freedom, there was a period of time where I just kind of started letting myself do whatever I wanted around my client calls.

And it’s really interesting, because when I first left my job I used to wake up at 4:30am to go to the gym before my work. And then I would work on my business before I left for my job. When I left, I continued to get up at 4:30am. And at one point I was like, why am I doing this? I don’t have to do this anymore. So the pendulum kind of swung to the completely opposite direction where I just stopped scheduling anything and kind of just flowed with everything throughout my day.

And I started to realize there was like no structure to it, I started to realize that that didn’t personally work for me. I like to have a good balance of structure and free time. And so I just want to offer before I jump into this that you have to figure out what really works for you when it comes to your time. You might work a little bit better with a little bit more free time or a flowier schedule, you might work better with structure.

There’s no cut and dry right or wrong way to do this. So see this as an experiment, but I’m just going to give you guys my own personal decisions and how I make decisions with my time so that you can apply them and try them out and figure out what really works for you.

Now here’s what I will also tell you, there was a point in my business as I started to really grow that I got coaching many times and I even had a conversation with Chris where I wanted to get a little bit more serious about how I was planning my schedule. And I was so resistant to it, because I felt like having a schedule was going to sever my freedom.

And freedom is one of my highest values. Having total freedom to live my life and spend my time, the way that I want is so huge for me. And I know it’s huge for so many of you guys, because that’s why you’re here doing this.

And so I just wanted to share that there was probably a year and a half or two years where I was so resistant to it. I literally felt like a child in my body, I would like bawl my eyes out because I was like, “I don’t want to create a schedule, it’s going to be terrible.” I thought it was going to turn my business into something that I hated.

And so I had to spend some time coaching myself and growing through it. And the thing that really got me over the edge to start really structuring my time more productively is that I realized it would give me more freedom. I realized that when I didn’t plan things into my schedule and just like content, or especially as a CEO now, like meetings with my team, and planning bigger projects.

If I wasn’t building that into my calendar I was actually eliminating my freedom, because while I felt like I could do whatever I wanted during the day, I was thinking about the fact that I had these things I needed to do. And I didn’t have time blocked in my schedule to actually do them. So it felt like there was always this cloud floating around with me.

And when I started to see scheduling and like planning my time as freedom, that’s when I started to really get on board with it. And I will tell you guys, today I have so much freedom because of how I manage my time. Because I put things in my calendar and commit to them, and stick with them, and follow through. That is why I can work three days a week, take the holidays off, plan for maternity leave, all of the things, because of this.

So it took me a while, I felt like I had to put my big girl panties on and really step into a CEO role. But I will tell you, it’s the best thing I ever did. So if you have resistance to it, I actually have an episode that came out the week of Thanksgiving. I forget which number it is, we’ll link it in the show notes, about resistance and how to like get through that.

So if you feel resistance to this, I would definitely listen to that episode as well and revisit that so that you can dig a little bit deeper and look at why. Because ultimately, you planning your time is for you. It’s for your ultimate freedom, it’s for creating the life that you want.

When I sat down and started really evaluating how I schedule and plan my time, I realized that there were some really powerful decisions I made for myself now today, with the life I have and the schedule I have. As well as when I was balancing my corporate job and my business and all of the things at the same time.

And so I kind of laid out those decisions or those rules that I set for myself. And I kind of think of them as guidelines that allowed me then, so if you’re new to business and you’re juggling kids, and a job, and your coaching business and it’s a lot. Or you’re even where I am, where you’re kind of leveraged out in your business and your businesses growing, I want to share these rules and these decisions with you and these standards with you so that you can use them as a guide to make your own decisions so you can manage your time at a high level. So we’re going to walk through each of them.

The first thing that I realized that I do, and I did when I started my business, was I got really clear on my top priorities. And I have to say, this wasn’t something I like sat down and was like, “Here are my priorities.” It was something that kind of just happened authentically in my brain. But I would recommend sitting down and spending some time thinking about it.

And so I came up with like five clear ones for myself as I look back on how I did this at the beginning of my business and how I do this now. And I limited it to five. And I think that’s really powerful, and if you have to limit it to six, or whatever it is. The reason why it’s important to do this is
because you could have 20 priorities, and that’s how you’re going to overwhelm your time. Then they’re not priorities, they’re just things you want to do.

We are talking about the top most important five things in your life that you give your time to. And the reason why this is so valuable when it comes to managing your time is the rule that I set for myself today and back then, throughout this entire process was that I only spend the majority of my time and energy on these things. And anything else that falls outside of these things does not get my time or energy.

So I didn’t have these written out but I think back and my business is always a top priority. I’m not putting these in any specific order. Myself and taking care of me. My family/relationships. And to me like I think I could only say– I mean eventually when our daughter is here right, like being a mom. Those are really like the most important things. And so everything gets planned around that.

Now I have to tell you, if you want your business to be a success, you have to have that in your top priorities. You can’t treat your business like it’s this little side gig and expect it to give you amazing results. So check in with yourself If your business isn’t falling in one of those top five priorities.

Now, again, in my life today in my life back then everything that falls outside of those things, I eliminated or I figured out how to outsource it. So I’m going to give you guys an example back then and I’m going to give you an example of today.

Back then, when I was really pressed for time because I was working full time and building my business, cleaning my house used to be really important. And then it wasn’t. I just decided I was going to do the best I can and if it was messy, it was fine. Because I also knew that that busyness was temporary. I knew eventually I would leave my job and I would either take that money and hire somebody to do it, or I would have more time in order to do that. So I eliminated that.

I also used to get asked to play on volleyball leagues a lot because I played college volleyball. And that didn’t fit into my priorities, that didn’t feel like it was really something for me. So I said no.

And so you have to get really clear and get comfortable with saying no, with eliminating some of these things that you’re like, yeah, of course, you want your house clean. But if that’s not in the top priorities while you’re building it, while you’re doing this, you might not be doing that all the time. You might be asking for more help. You might hire somebody to do that.

So that’s what it looks like back then. What it looks like now is that I hire– I have plenty of time to clean my house, but I don’t want to. That’s not one of my priorities. My priority is to have it clean for myself, like that’s a gift I give to myself, I enjoy that. So I hire somebody to do that. I also still get asked to play on volleyball leagues sometimes. It doesn’t bring me enough joy to want to do it. So I say no.

My schedule very much still aligns with that, like those top things. And even though I have a lot more time, the rest of it is spent doing things for me. Things that I enjoy, things for the people that I love and care about. So I would get curious with yourself, what are your top priorities? What things are you doing that don’t fall into those priorities?

And you might have to get coaching on it, you might have to coach yourself on the discomfort of letting go of those things or saying no to the other things. But it’s going to be what’s best for you, your time, your energy. And what’s best for that is best for everything, it’s best for everyone involved. So that’s the first thing, get clear on your priorities.

The second thing I actually already kind of covered but get clear on what’s important and what falls into those priorities and what needs to be put into your calendar, and eliminate everything else. I think about this as Chris and I talked about delegating on his podcast, Relentless Growth. And I think this is what makes me so great at delegating is I value myself and my time and my energy so much at such a high level, because I know that I am at the center of all of it. My relationships, my business, my coaching, all of it. And if I’m not taken care of, nothing else is taken care of.

So it does require a high level of like really believing in your own personal value, to let go of a lot of things that you always saw yourself doing or think you should be doing. And you have to really believe that you are worthy of that, which takes some growth. But once you get there, then it’s like you only have to– I only spend time doing things I enjoy, I want to do, and things that only I can do in my business.

So really the second thing is take the priorities you list out, eliminate everything that’s not on them or outsource them to someone else, and focus only on those things. And I put that stuff in my calendar.

So like today, I don’t have to put working out in my calendar because it’s just such a habit for me. It’s just who I am, I don’t need to put that in my calendar. But I block time in my calendar for creating value in my business, like creating content in my business. I block time in my calendar for meetings with my business manager. I block time in my calendar for coaching.

And this is something we dig even more into in the mastermind, is managing your time, making sure that you’re building your schedule in a way that helps you create the life you really want as well as the business you want. But I block time for that. I leave open space for fun for myself in the mornings, and that is how I utilize those priorities to build in my schedule.

Now the third thing that I do is I’m really realistic about how long things take. So I used to be the person who would like put 27 tasks on one day.

And then I would do like three of them, big tasks in my business for example, and like there was no way I’m getting to the other 24. Now when it comes to like small to-dos, I can punch those out really fast, I know myself really well.

So this is also, like I said at the beginning, an exploration and like learning yourself. The third thing is I’m really realistic about how long things will take me. I know that I can only do two really big projects or things in my business a day. I know that the days that I’m coaching heavily, I’m not going to be working on a whole lot of other projects.

So get really real with yourself about how long things take. Otherwise, you just set yourself up for failure by pretending you’re going to get 27 tasks done or pretending that the kids never need you in the middle of the day. And you’ll always set yourself up for failure and feeling like you’re behind and never getting it done. So be real about how long things take you. Be real about what your life actually looks like and build time in for that.

The next thing, it’s really like a belief about myself, is that I always do what I say I’m going to do. That doesn’t always mean I get it done exactly perfectly in the amount of time I set for it. Usually, I’m pretty good about my podcast, but I’m recording this a couple days later than when I thought. But I always finish and do what I say I’m going to do. That level of self-trust allows me to be a little bit fluid in my schedule, but also highly committed to what I say I’m going to do.

And because I have that level of self-trust, I also have the freedom and flexibility to move my schedule a little bit if I need to. Because I know if I move it, it’s not just going to not happen. It’s going to happen, just maybe in a little bit different of a time frame than I thought. So it’s like I’m committed to the what, I’m flexible in the how.

So I do what I say I’m going to do. If you don’t have that belief in yourself, that’s something you’re going to want to work on. Start small, start with one thing and committing to that and building that trust with yourself that you’re going to do what you said you were going to do.

Then because of that, this is what I had shared on my story, when life happens, especially being pregnant when I’m exhausted and I’d planned to record the podcast, I trust that I’m still going to do the podcast. But I might move when I’m going to do the podcast. I might take the little block on my schedule and move it three days over for a time that I really trust and know I’m going to get it done. I’m going to take that time and be flexible with myself and give myself that time and space.

The next thing I do when it comes to time, is I make sure I bring awareness to whether I’m moving something around from resistance or just from desire. Meaning some of you guys do this, and I’ve seen myself do this. Maybe you have a big project or something that you’re really like scared to do or is uncomfortable. And you just keep moving it on your calendar, moving it on your to-do list, doing everything else but that thing.

You have to pay attention. Are you doing that because that’s just the best decision? Or are you doing it because you’re resistant and uncomfortable? When you know the difference, you know whether you need to sit down and coach your ass, or get coaching in the ABA community or in the mastermind. Or that you’re good with a decision and you just need to follow through with what you said, like that you moved the day.

But pay attention. Because if you just keep moving it because of resistance, I promise you the resistance or the discomfort is not going to go away no matter how many days you move it. And it either will end up not getting done or you put yourself in a pressurized situation where you have to get it done and you don’t actually get to coach yourself through the growth.

The last kind of rule or the last thing I do with my time is I never beat myself up for how I spent it. Our brain loves to think that being mean to ourselves and making ourselves feel crappy and regretting something is the best way to make you pay for it so you never do it again. But it’s not. It’s not useful.

So I just have this standard and rule for myself that I never beat myself over up over how I spent my time. I might get curious about how I spent my time and why I spent it a certain way if it wasn’t maybe the most productive way or how I wanted to spend it. But I will not beat myself up for it because I know that I don’t make good decisions from there. I make short term changes when I beat myself up, and then I beat myself up again. And it just doesn’t work.

So what if you, today, made the decision you’re never going to beat yourself up about how you spent your time, it’s already in the past, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to be curious, you’re going to be open to learn, and you’re going to know that every day you get to choose again.

So that is how I manage my time like a boss. This is how you can manage your time like a boss. As you can see a lot of it is going to bring up opportunities for growth like letting go of things like a clean house and letting go of tasks and delegating them to other people, which looks like letting go of control for a lot of people. It looks like being okay with saying no to things. It looks like being open to look at your resistance. It looks like growing in your belief in yourself and your commitment and follow through. It looks like learning how to not beat yourself up.

But when you do all of that, that’s when you build a life that you get to take Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays off, the week of the holidays off, still hit all of your goals. Enjoy that process, get things done ahead of time, spend time with the people you love, and that is what an Anything But Average life is truly all about.

I love you guys. I hope you have a beautiful week. I’m excited to hear how you implement this in your life and your business. And I will talk to you next week. Bye.

If you’re ready to take this work deeper and create your own coaching business, join us in Anything But Average where I will walk you through the step by step process to become a coach, start your coaching business, and start signing clients. Go to lindseymangocoaching.com/anythingbutaverage and I will see you on the inside.

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