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The Freedom to Choose

So, last Monday was interesting…

It was a gorgeous frosty morning and I was out early walking my dog Milo (quite slowly, as he’s thirteen now). It was going to be a beautiful day and the Lakeland hills were calling me!

So, I did something I don’t usually do. I decided to spontaneously head out to the hills for the day. After clearing the immediate work I had to do, I quickly re-assigned work I had planned for the day and headed off up Blencathra.

This Week’s Focus: Implementation

I thought it would be helpful to outline some of the techniques and working practices I utilised to be able to do this:

Work/Life Boundaries.

I have made a concerted effort over the last few months to really create ‘boundaries‘ around what is work and what is life. Very hard when you work freelance… from home.

At Inbound in September, it was a privilege to hear the wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert speak. In her keynote, she explained how she has defined those things that are a priority in her life as sacred.

How do you make something sacred? Simply create boundaries around it.

Anything inside is a priority to you and thus sacred. Anything outwith that boundary is not, and should not, impact on what is sacred!

Task Batching.

All my tasks are batched, categorised and allotted time to complete them. When I mentioned ‘re-assigning’, this was the process of re-allocating the time block I had on Monday and moving it to another spot in the week.

Heck! The evenings are dark and cold now autumn is here, I can complete the work then. So exchanging a few evenings in place of a glorious day outside was an easy decision to make.

Week Planning.

By planning my weeks ahead, I was able to see everything I had scheduled for the week and could see the gaps (and capacity) I had available. So, I literally dragged and dropped the blocks of scheduled time in my calendar to another spot.

Also, because I plan my weeks, I had prepped work for Tuesday the week prior so heading out on Monday wasn’t too disruptive.

Freedom to Choose.

I, like many of you, decided to pursue self-employment with the dream of freedom. But, over time, this vision somehow slips out of view. Before long we are working all the hours available.

We all have a choice. A choice not to work when other priorities (those that are sacred) are presented. A choice to break away from the day to day to focus on the tasks that will benefit us in the long term. A choice to ensure work is never at the expense of our health or relationships.

With a bit of planning and organising, YOU can choose to have days like this too!

Your Task this Week.

Figure out what is sacred to you. List YOUR priorities. Then think about the habits and practices you can implement and integrate into your days to ensure you have time for your priorities.

Give it a try this week – and you’ll find yourself with more freedom to choose.

This Week’s Insights:

Plan Your Week Effectively and Achieve Your Goals

Do you ever sit at your desk on a Monday morning and wonder where to start? It’s usually with your emails, right? I did exactly the same thing until I learned how to plan my week effectively. Now, I’d like to share with you how you can plan your week effectively too – and why. Because it’s not just a case of knowing what you need to do. It requires a massive change in mindset too.

HOW to Have Better Work-Life Balance

It’s quite shocking that two-thirds of British people are unhappy with the amount they work. But it’s great that so many are changing their habits and seeking to have better work-life balance. As I have said before, the term itself is half the trouble. If you are really seeking to improve your work-life balance, ditch the ‘balance’ and bring boundaries on board instead.