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Own your calendar before it owns you

I was talking with a client the other day about her calendar. Specifically, my client is a high performance individual and incredibly engaged with every facet of the organization she leads. We got to talking about scheduling time off and vacations…or, frankly, taking the time to debrief about everything else going on in life. 

How many of us just go and go and go and the schedule is busy, busy, busy? We go to meetings and learn from all these people who have great things to add value to our work…but then, we never take the time to get quiet, debrief and then implement all the good stuff we’ve learned.

How many of us have a super busy calendar…and the calendar owns you versus you owning your calendar? I can feel it right now…you TOTALLY understand what I’m saying! Now, hang with me here and don’t sheepishly shy away from finishing this post because you’re feeling guilty for being one of “those people.”

Most of the high performing individuals I know think about taking time off as the absolute LAST thing they should be doing. I get it. I was once like that too…until I became so burned out at work, was a crabby mom to my kids, and wasn’t taking care of myself.

I used to be the type of leader who would let my staff take time off first and then I’d try to figure out a time that’d work in between all the things. However, here’s the crazy part…that time never ever came. I went years without taking a day off. Even if I had a sick kid, I’d take my child with me to work or bring my work home. 

I quickly found myself in the rut of everyone else planning my calendar for me versus me planning my calendar. In other words, I needed to take the bull by the horns and take charge of my life FIRST…and I did, and I’m gonna teach you how to do it too!

I was listening to a Rachel Hollis podcast the other day and she was talking about how there’s NO WAY you can be a peak performer at work if you’re not spending at least 30 minutes moving your body every day, drinking water, practicing gratitude…and there were a few other things she mentioned as well. But, you get the gist…you gotta take care of you in order to be a high performer with your business, with your kids and spouse…and all the other things we do too.

So, here’s the deal, sister (and a few bros out there too!). Here’s where the rubber meets the road.

I want you to get out your calendar and book one day a month (or an afternoon/morning a month) for you. Use this time to debrief and think through all of the meetings and people you’ve met over the month…what information have you learned that is useful and can be implemented in your business or organization? Use this to time to think…think about your next steps in life and work. Think about how you can improve with all the knowledge you’ve acquired. I promise you: all of the meetings and busyness won’t be of benefit if you don’t practice this. 

Ok…here’s the other piece of this puzzle you need to think about too. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY for taking time for you. Just because you may work from home one afternoon or at the coffee shop instead of the office does NOT mean you’re not working. You need to stop those voices in your head that tell you, “everyone knows you’re not at the office” or “my employees saw me leave at 1pm today and are likely talking about me.” You’ve got zero space for those voices to exist when you’re operating in peak performance.

However you decide you need to spend your time – BLOCK IT. Block the time on your calendar NOW before your assistant or anyone else blocks it for you. 

Then, give yourself some yourself of the guilt, and be that fierce leader you’re meant to be.

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