How to Avoid Scheduling Yourself into Overwhelm Nation / by Chel Wolverton

3706820404_3726ce14cbRecently I had a potential client contact me to discuss working together.  The biggest issue she was having at the moment was scheduling meetings & speaking gigs while still making time for writing, client projects and personal stuff without feeling like she was losing opportunities. When you're trying to balance your life with the personal, the professional and middle of the road stuff that brings you joy, it can be difficult.  For myself, guilt plays a huge role in how and when I schedule things.  For someone else, it might be scheduling around family time and making sure you meet those expectations as well.

Whatever your scheduling craziness turns out to be here are a few tips that I want to share.

Don't schedule on the go.

Don't be tempted to put that one little thing on you calendar when you're out and about.  Or blindly schedule anything before you check calendars.  Almost anything can wait until you're at your desk. It's better than making things crazy in your life, which leads to total overwhelm nation.

Don't schedule too much in one day.

Okay these seems like a no-brainer, but it's a point I want to make.  I can count numerous acquaintances that do so and I always advise them to stop.  No, you shouldn't schedule yourself with just enough time to get to that next thing.  Especially avoid double booking yourself driving long distances to two or more things in one day if possible. (Yeah, sometimes with some jobs, it can't be helped.)

I get it. You want to pack as much into life as you can.  You don't want to miss that really cool opportunity. But we both know, your mind needs downtime.  Schedule wisely. Which brings me to my 3rd point...

Pace yourself.

You also need to do client projects, work on personal projects and just HAVE A LIFE.  Schedule your days and consider the flow of the week as well as the day when putting things down.

A couple more notes, specific to my client (she hired me!), but that might help YOU.

She needs to write a lot.  She gets paid to write a lot.  I advised (ordered?) her to set aside one day a week for nothing but writing.  No calls, no driving, no meetings, or projects.  She's just to write that day.

Find your date for a comfortable cutoff.  Say within 1 week.  When you get a call, email, DM, regarding that cool opportunity, if it's before that date.  Pass.  There will be emergencies and things you can't turn down, but don't heap on an already full schedule.

In the end, this helped my client so much that I decided to share it in hopes that it'll help anyone else having scheduling issues.  So, What tips and tricks do you have for scheduling?

Photo by iBeeCortnee