3 ways to make time for your dreams & priorities

Like many Geminis, my brain is basically a 24/7 idea factory powered by over-caffeinated psycho elves.

I meditate and I get an idea. I take a walk and I get more ideas. I hop into the shower and, uh oh, more ideas. (Showers are especially dangerous for me. Maybe you can relate?)

I fill notebooks and documents with all of my “genius ideas” for new blog posts, new e-courses, new service packages, new workshops and retreats I want to lead… as well as “passion projects” that won’t necessarily generate more revenue, but just sound insanely fun and rewarding.

But then comes the tough part: choosing and planning. 

Choosing which ideas to pursue now and which ones to tuck aside for later (or never)… and then planning intelligently so that I can make time for everything I want to do.

When people moan to me, “Ugh, I never have enough time left at the end of the day for blah blah…” or “I really want to do blah blah, but I literally have NO time!” I can definitely sympathize with that dilemma. I get it. Time is limited. Blah blahs are infinite.

But you know what? If a psycho-elf-brain-idea-volcano Gemini like me can learn how to choose, plan, and make time for important shit, then so can you!

I think we can all agree that “I don’t have time…” is one of the most depressing sentences ever and I bet you’re sick of hearing those words come out of your mouth.

Here are 3 ways to manage your time better (and make time for your dreams and priorities) even if you are an idea-crazed Gemini like me. 

These time-wrangling practices save my ass on the regular and help me to create a chilled-out flow for my personal life and business. They may seem “simple,” but as we all know, simple practices are usually the most effective!

1. Come up with a visionfor your entire year… before the year begins. 

In September or October of each year, I sit down with a pile of notebooks, a stack of Kringles (buttery, flaky glazed pastries that are local delicacies here in Milwaukee), some good music, and one goal:

To choose my “vision” for the upcoming year and write it down.

This isn’t about writing down a long, detailed, dull “business plan” filled with lots of minutia that I’m just going to forget. I keep my vision super simple. It’s usually a bullet point list with 5-7 items.

For example, for 2015 my vision was to…

– Continue operating like a world-class Tarot reader and entrepreneur, delighting my customers to the max. (Always my #1 priority!)

– Paring down my business mentoring services and making them even more accessible by creating some new, super-affordable options for cash-strapped people. (Aka: the people who are really struggling and who really need some support!)

– Give back to my community by mentoring young Tarot-preneurs (at no cost) inside The Tarot Brainery.

– Indulge in a small handful of passion projects that feed my soul, like my Tarot by the Mouthful food-and-tarot collaboration with my friend Kyle.

– Lead one ultra-small, intimate retreat to help spiritual entrepreneurs get organized and dialed in for a successful 2016.

– Travel a bit less, spend more time at home with my sweetheart, and rock out two major speaking gigs so hard… that they invite me back next year. 🙂

The end.

Pretty simple, right? Just a short and sweet “to do” list of my big intentions for the upcoming year.

If I sense that my list is getting too long, I remove an item or two. I don’t want to overload my calendar. I want to leave a little room for spontaneity and fun, spur-of-the-moment ideas and experiences, too.

Most people come up with a general “vision” for their year, like I do, but then fail to do the next step, which is to…

2. Schedule all of your V.I.S. in advance.

Having a clear vision for your year — and writing it down — is great. But don’t stop there! Next, I highly recommend scheduling all of your V.I.S. in advance.

V.I.S. = Very Important Shit.

Aka: the essential pieces and projects that must get done!

Personally, I like to schedule my V.I.S. for the upcoming year way, waaaay in advance. I’m talking: up to a whole year in advance.

In September or October, around the same time that I’m figuring out my vision for the upcoming year, I also sit down with my calendar and start scheduling.

I schedule my “office hours” (times when I see clients) in advance.

I schedule my monthly “writing dates” with my word-coach and editor in advance.

I schedule my “production time” (times where I sit my ass down and create materials for new courses and workshops) in advance.

I schedule my product launches, retreat dates, and speaking gigs in advance.

I schedule downtime, family time, and vacations in advance, too.

All of the major pieces and projects that I intend to rock out in the upcoming year…

all get scheduled. 

And of course, I use a combo of Tarot and astrology to help me choose the most auspicious dates for everything!

Seeing my entire year — with all of my Very Important Shit — mapped out visually on the calendar is essential for my over-cluttered brain. It helps me to identify places where I might be overextending myself (“Product launch plus a speaking gig in the same weekend? Nope. Don’t think so.”) so that I can make sane adjustments well ahead of time.

Scheduling all of my V.I.S. in advance doesn’t mean that every single hour of every single day is rigidly pre-plotted (like, “At 8am on August 20th, 2016 I will eat a banana muffin, have three sips of coffee and write one blog post!”) Yuck. No. It just means that I have an overall sense of when (during the year) I intend to focus intensely on certain projects, when I intend to rest, and what order I intend to knock everything out.

This simple pre-scheduling practice has been a LIFE SAVER for me. If you don’t already do this, or something similar, I’m begging you: try it.

3. Dont guessat how long certain things will take you. Test to find out for sure.

When I released my new Tarotcast and Entrepreneurcast services earlier this year, I figured, “Doing each one of these Tarot / astrology forecasts will take me… oh, about five hours.”

After doing a couple of test-run Tarotcasts with guinea pig clients, I quickly realized that I’d been way off with my estimations. Five hours? More like ten. I had to refine my plan a bit, raise the price for each ‘cast to make it fair and appropriate, and schedule fewer sessions so that I could hit my deadlines for each client without over-extending myself or cutting into my personal / family time.

Testing is key. So many entrepreneurs and service providers (including yours truly!) grossly underestimate how long certain “projects” and “services” will actually take to deliver. We often forget to factor in things like back ’n forth emails, research, proofreading, formatting, invoicing, and follow-up emails after the work is complete.

Rather than “guessing” at how long things will take you, test to find out for sure.

Then re-calibrate your plan accordingly.

This will prevent messy, miserable time-management disasters and “I don’t have tiiiiiiime!” dilemmas.

To recap:

1. Come up with a “vision” for your entire year… before the year begins.

2. Schedule all of your V.I.S. (Very Important Shit) in advance.

3. Don’t “guess” at how long certain things will take you. Test to find out for sure.

If you do these 3 things on the regular, your planning and time-management will be so much smoother.

You’ll have fewer “OMG I’m sooo busy!” panic-attacks and you’ll enjoy your work (and your life!) so much more.

You’ll also have a way of determining what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to as the year rolls along. If a surprise invitation comes your way and it seems cool, but really doesn’t “fit” with your overall vision for the year, or conflicts with one of your pre-scheduled V.I.S., it’s probably a “no.” Maybe next year, yo!

Creating a sane plan for your year and cultivating healthy time management skills is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. 

It’s also one of the best ways to ensure that you’re consistently delivering the highest-level quality of work to your clients, customers, or colleagues. No burn out, resentment, missed deadlines, or ass-dragging. No ma’am.

Take it from a formerly-crazed Gemini:

Once you learn how to choose a vision, set realistic time frames for projects, and pre-schedule your intentions in advance, you’ll never go back…


PS. Itching to map out your business plan for next year, but feeling overwhelmed with way too many ideas? Not sure about which direction to take your business? Feeling alone in your entrepreneur isolation-hole? I’ve got the balm for your woes… and it’s drizzled in chocolate.

Join me in Milwaukee for The Soulful Proprietor Retreat — Saturday, October 3, 2015 — and let’s spend a day figuring out your business vision for 2016, editing down your to-do list until it’s sane and humane, and using Tarot and astrology to choose the most auspicious dates for everything you want to do!

I’ll provide a beautiful sanctuary for you to think, write, and plan, with gourmet catered meals, copious amounts of chocolate and local pastries, chill music, yoga breaks, and guidance throughout the day. I’ll also whisk you from your hotel to the retreat venue and back so that you can enjoy your day, hassle-free. You’ll be surrounded by a small, intimate coterie of smart, spiritual people who get you, care about you, and want to see you succeed. Inside this room? Nobody thinks your work is “woo woo” or “crazy.” Everyone is rooting for you to win.

I have room for 8 participants at this cozy event, so don’t wait too long to snag a seat. The doors for registration close on September 16th.  Read all the delicious details on the retreat & book a seat right here: https://www.thetarotlady.com/soulful-proprietor-retreat/

See you this fall!

soul proprietor

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