Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to finish all your client work, do the grocery shopping, and clean the house, let alone take that bubble bath you’ve been craving? You’re not asking too much. You just need more time-freedom in your life and business.
If you want to create more time for self-care, hobbies, and rest, the first step is prioritizing time-freedom in your schedule.
What Is Time-Freedom?
I’ve always been a morning person, but when I first started my business, I found myself working in the mornings, through the afternoon, after dinner, on weekends… My “work hours” slowly increased until I found myself at my computer whenever I wasn’t running errands, spending time with friends, or sleeping..
Looking back, I can see that the problem wasn’t exactly my workload but my system for managing it. In short, I hadn’t created enough time-freedom in my business or personal life.
Time-freedom is the concept of intentional free time, time that can be spent on things that fulfill and reinvigorate you instead of things that drain you.
Time-Freedom in Your Personal Life
In your personal life, time-freedom means…
- A social calendar that doesn’t overwhelm you but gives you things to get excited about
- Systems that keep your home tidy and your fridge stocked without stress
- More time and energy for long-forgotten hobbies and new ventures
Time-Freedom in Your Business
In your business, time-freedom means…
- Creating systems and processes that allow you to get more done in less time
- Limiting your one-on-one work and meetings to a level that feels manageable
- More time to explore new business ideas, pursue your education, or just relax
4 Tips for Achieving More Time-Freedom
Ready to start creating time-freedom in your own life and business? Here’s how!
1. Set official working hours.
Being your own boss is pretty magical, but it comes with its own set of challenges. One of these is that there’s no one telling you when to start and stop working. Because of this, it’s really easy to start answering emails over breakfast or working late into the evening to finish your to-do list.
If you want to be your own boss, you have to act like a boss. Set yourself official “office hours” when you’re expected to be at your desk and actively working. Then, share those hours with your team and clients. That way, you won’t feel any pressure to answer an after-hours email because your expectations will have already been communicated.
2. Block off the white space in your calendar.
Whether you love or hate time blocking, this trick is revolutionary when it comes to creating more time-freedom. Here’s how it works:
Once you’ve got your official work hours set, consider how much time you’ll need to accomplish all your other regular life responsibilities–like running errands, cleaning the house, going to the gym, all that fun stuff. Then, block off your leftover time in your calendar with a label like “white space” or “free time.”
While it might seem silly, creating an actual calendar event for your free time makes it harder for your other responsibilities to bleed over into that white space. Plus, when you see that event on your calendar, you’ll start getting excited about whatever you’re going to fill it with–be that reading a new book, taking a bubble bath, calling a friend, or just relaxing on the couch.
3. Create a pre-work and post-work routine.
As a business owner, it can be difficult to switch from “CEO brain” to “regular person brain” when I shut down my computer for the day. That’s why I’ve created pre- and post-work routines that help me get into the right headspace while also getting things done around the house.
My pre-work routine consists of doing my regular morning routine, making a cup of tea, checking my emails, and writing my to-do list for the day. It’s quiet time I use to get myself energized and ready to work.
My post-work routine consists of journaling about my day, shutting down my computer, and then doing a quick sweep of my apartment to tidy up any clutter and run a dust rag over the surfaces. This is also when I’ll transition into whichever of my evening chores I need to do next, whether that’s a more in-depth cleaning project or getting dressed to go out.
These routines prevent me from spending my pre- and post-work time frazzled and frantic. They help me focus, and in doing so, they help me create more time to do the things I want and need to do.
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4. Practice saying “no.”
Creating more time-freedom really comes down to setting and maintaining boundaries. When I first started my business, my calendar was full of social events I wasn’t excited about, calls with new clients I didn’t want to bring on, and to-do list items that could have been outsourced. In short, I was saying “yes” too much.
When you learn to say “no” to obligations that don’t serve you, you free up so much time and energy to use for things that do. Instead of grabbing coffee with yet another LinkedIn connection, you can plan a brunch date with your closest friends. Instead of bringing on a client you aren’t a good fit for, you can spend more time serving the clients you already love working with. And the best part: You have more free time to rest, relax, and practice self-care.
Want to create a life and business you love?
For step-by-step instructions on creating time-freedom in your life and business, check out my new mini course, The Time-Freedom Blueprint!