Creating Capacity (How to stop over-scheduling yourself)
How to stop over-scheduling yourself
If work keeps spilling over & you always seem to have way more to get done than you actually have time for, you're going to want to learn how to set your capacity.
Setting your capacity is just like selecting the right sized bowl when you want to bake a cake.
You would never expect a cake mix to fit inside a cereal bowl and yet you expect yourself to finish 15 hours of work in an 8 hour work day.
You wouldn't blame the cake mix for not fitting. You wouldn't think there was something wrong with it. You'd just put it in a bigger bowl!
Same with you and your time. It's not that you aren't efficient enough. It's not that you just can't focus. It's not that you need more hours in the day.
You're just over-promising your time because you aren't setting your capacity FIRST. That's it! It's an easy fix, I promise.
The best time to do start doing this work is right now. Do not wait for a fresh start on Monday. It won't be any easier then.
First, look at what you've already committed yourself to this week.
Is there anything that you really don't want to do, truly don't want to make time for, could be done by someone else?
Think outside of the box here. Your knee-jerk answer is going to be NO.
When I do this work with my clients and (gently 😉 ) push them to move past their knee-jerk no and think creatively, 99.9 times out of 100 they see at LEAST one thing that they could move, delegate or eliminate. Usually it's several things.
Just start with this week for now.
From there, look at your time. How many hours do you already have scheduled? Make a rough estimate, it doesn't need to be exact.
How many hours is it?
& how many hours do you WANT to be working? (In the future, this will be your STARTING point - this is a big part of setting your capacity - right now, we've gotta work backwards)
& how much white space is on your calendar? NOT INCLUDING your time off of work. That ... does not count.
- A goal I have my clients shoot for is around 25% white space and 75% working space (NOT including lunch).
If you're nowhere near that number - don't worry. This is a "work up to" goal, not something you need to implement all at once.
- If you're over 75%, block off your remaining free time (omg I know, you hate this suggestion. You WILL thank me later. That's a guarantee.)
- At the end of this week, repeat this process for NEXT week and the following week. It will get easier the farther you go out.
- And from there, the work is saying no to new requests, telling people that you're at capacity, and/or delegating work out.
Protect that white space in your calendar like it's your job.
The work I do with my clients is helping them make white space in their calendar so they can work up to 75% (learning how to recognize opportunities that you aren't seeing now for creating lots more white space - it's there and I can't wait to help you see it, too. And once you see it you can't unsee it.)
Then, we work on HOLDING that white space (learning how saying no to requests confidently)
And finally, we work on maintaining that white space until it's your habit (right now your habit is to overbook yourself - you can create a new habit of giving yourself breathing room each week)
When you do these three things you can expect to:
- Confidently take on work projects on because you know for a fact that you can handle it, you know you'll get it done when you say you'll get it done because you know you'll have the space in your day to focus and get it done
- Be more productive while you're at work. You'll know exactly where to start, how to stay focused, and you'll always know what to do next
- Leave work on time AND leave work at work. So you can actually recharge and enjoy your downtime
If this sounds like you, I'd love to help. Your next step is to schedule your free consult here.