Baby Steps Can Lead to Big Changes
Do you remember the 1991 film What About Bob? where Bill Murray plays Bob Wiley? Ok, I know I just dated myself. I’m thinking of the scene where he has to take baby steps to the elevator so that he can then take his next series of baby steps to the next milestone and then, eventually, reach his goal.
Getting to the point where you reliably and sustainably work less can be much like Bob Wiley’s journey. For you to take the first truly “unplugged” vacation you’ve taken in 5+ years, or to take off every Friday, or have three weeks of paid vacation, it takes baby steps.
Here are a few tips to get you taking those baby steps.
1. Begin with the end in mind. Create your ideal calendar first. You may want to create this as a “ghost calendar” in Google Calendars, which you can turn on and off, comparing to your existing calendar as you take steps toward your ideal calendar.
Things to keep in mind when creating your ideal calendar:
- Start with making time for your desires (that we spoke about in the past three newsletters.) Budget time for things like working out, social/alone time, a weekday off, creativity time, and other things you deeply desire.
- When are you most fresh? Consider scheduling your most “brain-intensive” activities during these times.
- Make time each week for Dames Power Partner™ or Dames Power Pod meetings.
- Use an online scheduler like Calendly/Acuity and create & use different meeting types.
- Schedule time to work ON your business and IN your business.
- Don’t forget lunch breaks and brain/bio breaks.
- Put in the recurring meetings you know you have and want to keep.
I’m a big fan of Kate Northrup’s Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Ambitious Women approach and plan my month according to my cycle (times when I have the energy to be “outward” planning, recording videos, extrovert-ing more than usual and time when I need to focus on “inward accomplishing tasks.”) You can do this in accordance with the moon if you no longer have a cycle.
2. Start taking incremental steps toward your ideal calendar. You may begin with taking off one Friday per month, then work to two Fridays, etc. You may need to schedule a week’s vacation six months in advance and buy the tickets now so you don’t try to weasel your way out of doing what you truly desire. You are worth a vacation. You did NOT start your business to work 24/7.
3. Take imperfect action and schedule regular time to review. You may do great adhering to aspects of your ideal calendar for one season and then “suck bilge water” the next, as my mom would say, slipping back into old habits. Be gentle with yourself. You’re building new neural pathways. In these review times, you’ll become aware of these recurring habits. The important thing is not to beat yourself up but to encourage yourself to get back on track.
Remember, you are worth living your best life. You are in charge of how you live your life and run your business. You are loved. You are supported. You’ve got this. We are thankful for you!