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Do you feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to happen?  It is easy to wake up with a calendar that is a completely filled in – no open white space (or breathing space anywhere).

There are weeks when I have days of back to back appointments, yet, I still need to find time to create content and classes for you.  Sound familiar?

Some of the strategies I teach my clients are to focus on what makes you money and not get distracted by shiny objects.   Hiring a team also helps.

But, at the end of the day, most coaches are not managing their time correctly.  And, it is costing them clients, time and money.

Makers vs. Managers – Where Do You Fit?

A few years ago,  I read an article in Fast Company about how most creative workers are managing their time all wrong.

There are two paradigms to scheduling?—?the MANAGER and the MAKER. The manager’s day is cut into 30-minute intervals, and they change what they’re are doing every half hour. The maker’s day is different. They need to make, to create, to build. But, before that, they need to think. The most effective way for them to use time is in half-day or full-day blocks. Even a single 30-minute meeting in the middle of “Make Time” can be disruptive. 

Most creative people (and I count coaches as creators because at the end of the day we are selling our knowledge and intuition rather than physical products), need maker time, but their schedule is filled with sessions, sales calls and management meetings.   Add to this, travel and time management becomes a real issue.

The solution that works for me is to work primarily off my calendar and to designate blocks for certain kinds of calls.  My coaching calls are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, one right after another.  I do sales calls (which require a different kind of energy on Thursdays).  I leave time on Mondays and Fridays for travel, but also for scheduling long blocks of uninterrupted “Maker” time that allow me to think and to create the best possible content for you.

Do these blocks shift?  All the time.  And, that is the key to making a Manager/Maker schedule work.  If something comes into a block that doesn't belong there you can move it to another empty space on your calendar.  The most important thing is to make the most of your “Maker” time.

Making the Most of Maker Time

Here are some hints for making the most of your precious creation time:

  • Turn off all distractions.  This means no e-mail, no Facebook, no TV blaring in the background.  Ideally, you should leave the house if you think someone is going to interrupt you.  I have a client who rents a hotel room in town and barricades herself in for two days.
  • Come in with a plan.  Make sure you know what you are doing before you start “maker time” don't waste time trying to plan.  You are creating.
  • Mise en place.  Chefs make sure they have all the ingredients ready before they start creating.  You should do the same thing.   Make sure that you have all the materials you need ready before you start working.
  • Make it fun  Think of your maker time as a big adventure.  If you like candles, light them.  Bring your favorite foods,  music that you love.  Anything to take really good care of yourself as you bring on your brilliance for your business.

What are your best time management tips?