Whether you’re a new coach or you’ve been running your online business for a while, figuring out the best way to structure your day and plan your week can make a massive difference to how you feel in your business, to how you get to show up and generally in how much enjoyment your business gives you.
Here’s some tips to help you structure your days as a coach for maximum productivity, joy and wellbeing.
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Getting out of the 9-5 mindset
When we begin working for ourselves, particularly if we’ve had a job before, it can be easy to find yourself stuck in the 9-5 mindset.
Society generally expects us all to work 9-5, five days a week – but one of the most amazing things as a coach is that we get to set our own hours.
The tricky thing is when all we’ve known is working 9-5 it can take a bit of getting out of that mindset to feel good about working less or working more flexibly.
I used to feel guilty if I wasn’t sat at my desk by 9am and it wasn’t until a friend reminded me that I was my own boss now and I get to work when I want that I really embraced working flexibly.
Having some routine and boundaries
The flipside of the 9-5 mindset is having absolutely no routine or boundaries to the point that it becomes hard to show up for your business.
I’ve had weeks where I’ve ended up doing housework or meeting friends for coffee a little more often than is actually useful.
So while flexibility is great, we also need some helpful routine and boundaries – how much structure you need will depend on you though and this is something fun to figure out in your business as it grows.
Working with your energy ebbs and flows
We will all have a unique pattern of energy ebbs and flows – whether that’s day to day or week to week. Women and others who menstruate will often find that their energy levels are different at different times of their cycle too.
Instead of pushing through, structuring your day, week and even month to work with these ebbs and flows can make you more productive overall.
Perhaps you know that naturally your most productive time of day is evenings, then giving yourself a lie in and working late is totally fine – even if it’s not what a lot of others do.
You get to do what works for you!
Working around your commitments, responsibilities + wellbeing activities
You also get to arrange your days and weeks around your commitments and responsibilities.
Whether that’s dropping kids off at school or nursery, attending to parents or anything else that’s important to you, look at how your week can flow around these things.
The same goes for things that benefit your wellbeing – whether that’s exercise and time at the gym, massage appointments, doing EFT, journaling etc, you get to include these in your week too!
Client free days
Client free days or non client facing days are absolutely essential in my business and I honestly think most coaches need at least one. Depending on the nature of your niche and your work, whether you’re introverted or extroverted etc you might need more or less client facing time.
Having client free days means you get to have focused and uninterrupted business time on things like marketing, projects and activities that will move your business forward like creating a new offering and also just being able to have some white space in your week.
How to take all of this and change how your days and weeks are set up
Step 1 – write down what’s not currently working.
Step 2 – Try an ideal day exercise – I talked about how I approach ideal day exercises in this post on Intentional Living
Step 3 – Write down a ‘wish list’ of what you’d like to include (or exclude!) in your days and weeks based on your ideal day exercise. It might not be that you can work around everything, so prioritise according to what’s most important to you. Also consider your energy ebbs and flows.
Step 4 – Decide how structured you need to be – some people need more of a routine and structure, if this is you, try time blocking in your calendar or diary – for example Monday afternoons are for marketing activities, Wednesdays are client days etc. Use time blocking to dedicate time on some of those wish list items
Step 5 – Get your calendar or diary out and bring together everything you’ve looked at so far and create a plan. Like I said, it might be that being structured is what you need at the start and then you can be more flexible but do whatever works. Maybe you start by finding blocks of work time and then decide what you use them for.
Step 6 – Look for tools and systems to make it all easier – an online scheduler and booking system is sooo helpful when it comes to keeping set days for clients as the system can be set up to only show clients availability when you want that free. Notion is one of my favourite tools for planning and generally being organised. It might be that this exercise highlights that you need to outsource some tasks to a VA or that perhaps you need to scale some things back to fit everything in.
What my days and weeks look like as a coach
As someone who’s been working on this stuff for a while I thought it might be helpful to share a bit of what my weeks look like as a coach.
I currently work 4 days a week, generally between 9am and 3pm although some days I don’t start until 10 or 11 and I might work till 4pm and do an hour after the kids bedtimes if things get busy.
- Mondays are marketing and generally getting organised for the week days
- Tuesdays and Wednesdays are client facing days and days when I do client work
- Thursdays are for projects that move my business forward, or they end up being catch up days on anything that needs doing that wasn’t done earlier in the week. I might also schedule in a CEO date on a Thursday once a month for planning and generally checking in with myself
Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays all have a similar pattern as my daughter goes to nursery on those days. My son is dropped off at breakfast club and my daughter at nursery at 7.30 and then that’s my exercise window so I tend to do some kind of movement – run, Peloton, yoga etc followed by a shower and then breakfast. Then I’m at my desk around 9ish. On Thursdays I’ll often meet my friends for a coffee at 9am after the school run and not start work till 10.30.
On Tuesdays my daughter is with my Mum, so one of us will take my son to school and then my Mum takes my daughter to her house at 9am so I don’t get an exercise slot in on Tuesdays.
I try to always take a lunch break and most days I’ll do some EFT before I start for the day. I tend to have a bit of an energy dip mid afternoon so I try to keep tasks that energise me for that time – like recording episodes of the show, recording Reels etc. Anything that requires focus or deep thinking I try to do earlier in the day or a bit later when I get my second wind!
Fridays I take off to spend time with my daughter who is two, once she starts school I’m going to try to keep Fridays as white space for other things instead of filling it up with lots of work tasks.
And that’s my work week!
I’ve found that this structure works for me really well, it’s not so structured that it feels suffocating, but it’s enough structure and routine that it feels supportive.
I’d love to know, how do you structure your day and plan your week as a coach? Do you plan in client free days? Let me know in the comments.
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