For Step Two we’re going to be focusing on your ideal workweek. By carving out some space to really discover how you’d like to be spending your days in your business, you can hopefully start to see what’s working, what’s not, what you’d like to change, and how you really want things to look and feel along the way.
Below are five exercises for you to work through that will hopefully be a jumping off point for you to discover what your ideal workweek truly looks like in this season of your life.
Write your workweek commandments
To start with, I think it’s great to explore what your workweek commandments are, as these can help to really guide and centre you in your work along the way. Workweek commandments are boundaries, guidance, and mantras you set for yourself to refer back to whenever you want to remember how it is you really want to show up in your business along the way. Here are five of mine:
1. No matter what gets done today, I am enough
My self-worth is not defined by how productive I am each day. It doesn’t serve me to live in a culture where being enough is hinged on an external source of validation. No matter what gets done and is left undone, I am committed to living in a culture of enough in my work and my life.
2. Be in this for the long haul, not for the instant gratification
If I pursue instant gratification alone, I will never build strong foundations in my business and my life. I’m in this journey for the long haul and I will sow seeds now that can be reaped along the way, instead of obsessing over instant wins on a daily basis.
3. Leave people better than I found them
Whether it’s through the work I do with my clients, a simple email exchange, or through the content I share online, my core goal is to show up and always play a positive and encouraging part in someone else’s day. In every interaction I have in my business, I want that to be the guiding focus.
4. I have to live it to give it
I cannot truly be of service if I’m running on an empty tank. I cannot encourage and support others to live a wholehearted, fulfilling, and impactful creative life if I’m not also do that myself. My number one job is to live what I’m here to give, so I can truly show up and be of service along the way.
5. Show up wholeheartedly each and every workday
When I’m showing up in my business, I want to do it with a wholeheart. I want to show up 100% and give the best I can give that day. There’s no room for a half-heart in this journey. Showing up wholeheartedly isn’t the same as hustling myself into the ground for the sake of it: it’s honouring the energy I am able to give to my work and showing up fully when I’m working in my business.
To write your own, ask yourself:
- What boundaries, mindsets, and mantras do I want to guide me each workday?
- What core values do I want to honour when I show up in my business?
- What do I want to remind myself of each workday so I can run my business in a way that feels good to me?
What does your ideal day look like?
Now it’s time to start visualising what your ideal day looks like. Ask yourself:
- How would I love to spend my first hour of the day?
- How many hours a day would I love to work?
- Where would I love to do my work from? Home office? Kitchen table? Coffee shop? Co-working space? The couch?
- How would I like to space out my workload throughout the day alongside breaks and downtime?
- What would I love to be wearing throughout my workday? What would my ideal “uniform” look like?
- What kind of sounds and smells would I love in my workday? Coffee? Background noise? Birds chirping outside? Silence? Your favourite candle burning?
- How would I like to spend my lunch break?
- How would I like to tackle my inbox and manage my social media channels?
- How would I like my client management to look and feel?
Something to remember here is that you might have more than one ideal workday. If, for example, you have different responsibilities on different days - if you have some days where you do client work, other days where you work on the business - you will want to explore what an ideal workday looks like for each.
How do you want to feel throughout your workday?
Once you’ve started to discover what your ideal day may look like, the next step is to start thinking about how you actually want to feel as you navigate your workday. Ask yourself:
- How do I want to feel throughout my workday?
- How do I want to feel when I’m creating products/content/whatever my awesome creative work is
- How do I want to feel when working with my clients?
- How do I want to feel when I’m making decisions in my business?
- How do I want to feel at the end of the day?
Hopefully what you can start to discover here is how it is you really want to feel while you’re making things happen in your business along the way.
What are the essentials you need for a happy and productive workday?
Now to get a little more practical, it’s time to explore what the essentials are that you need for a happy and productive workday. Ask yourself:
- What do I need each workday to be healthy, happy, and productive?
- What workspace do I need available to me so I can thrive and get things done in my business? With what I already have available to me, how can I make it work best for my needs right now?
- What do I need to cultivate in my routine and prioritise so I thrive along the way?
Maybe you need easy and healthy lunches that will fuel you each workday, or a workspace that is quiet and tidy and set up exactly how you like it, or access to a co-working space so you can build community around you, or maybe you need lots of plants and greenery so you can feel connected to the things you love the most - it will probably be a mix of some of these and many more that will shape up a happy and productive workday for you.
Map out your ideal workweek
Now it’s time for the fun part; mapping out your ideal workweek. Taking everything you’ve discovered in Step Two so far, you’ll hopefully now be equipped with the knowledge you need to really cultivate and make space for the kind of workweek you truly desire in your business.
- Outline your typical workload each week, from clients, to content creation, emails, social media management, and anything else on your to-do list
- Look at your weekly calendar like it’s a blank canvas. Forget everything you’ve already built so far in your routine and ask yourself - how do I really want this to look?
- Play around with different ideas - from what days you’d like to work each week, to what days you’d like to take off, to how you’d like to spread your workload out throughout the week, and then the specifics of how you’d like to spend your days
- Don’t forget your lifestyle stuff too - whether that’s adding in daily dog walks, or gym sessions, or coffee dates with your favourite people, or whatever it is that lights you up as a human each week
Start to map out what you’d love your Monday through Sunday to look like, how you’d really like to be spending your days both working in your business and downtime living your life too, and how you’d best like to manage and tackle your workload each week.
Next up we’re going to explore what might be getting in the way of making your ideal workweek a reality right now, and how you can move forward and actually make it happen...