Monica Marie Jones
Designate Your Days
12 days straight.
That was the number of days that I’d worked in a row when it finally hit me that I was doing too much. Since I had only ever associated stress with negative events, I hadn’t accounted for the impact that positive transitions and exciting new opportunities would have on my mental and physical health. In the absence of this intention around how I spent my time, my exponential personal and professional growth caused my life to drag me. I quickly realized that this grind culture was a recipe for burnout, exhaustion, resentment, and ultimately neglect of the people and things that mattered most.
This tipping point inspired my practice of designating my days. It all started with my non-negotiable self-care Saturdays. Initially, my only objective was simply to do no work. This meant no speaking engagements, participation on panels, or anything else that required intellectual effort. I declared that Saturdays were for me. This increased my joy and productivity so much that I decided to let it spill on over into self-love Sundays.
Over time, these practices caused momentum which has given birth to my current plan:
No Meeting Mondays. I spend Mondays focused on writing and creativity.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are for my coaching and consulting clients.
Wednesdays are dedicated to my Mindset Mastery Movement group coaching community.
Fridays are made for early endings. This means no business after 3:30pm at the latest.
Saturdays are for date night after indulging in a day full of self-care.
Sundays are for self-love and laundry. (Which strangely both soothes me and makes me feel accomplished.)
In the past, I was afraid because I thought this would make my income decrease, but the opposite happened. Dedicated time to rest, think, and create led to more high-quality and high-value offerings for my clients and community. I was able to work smarter instead of harder by building and streamlining systems, activating automation, and delegating tasks that felt like drudgery. This didn’t happen all at once. It was a slow and thoughtful process that unfolded over the past three years.
As you ease into designating your days, here are some strategies to help you reclaim your time and ultimately your life.
Color-Code Your Calendar. When I opened up my Google Calendar as a guide to plan out my month in my Passion Planner, I was delighted to see a sea of yellow. I started this color-coding system because work was completely engulfing my days. In addition to assigning different colors by client or project, I designated yellow for things that felt like sunshine. This could be anything from workouts to conversations with friends that I enjoyed. Anything in yellow was something that was just for me. This held me accountable to making sure that I did things to enrich my soul instead of spending the majority of my time working. Anytime yellow gets too sparse, I know it’s time to plan some activities for self-preservation.
Schedule Time to Work. It’s easy to fill your days with meaningless meetings that take away from the actual time you need to get the work done. This week, I looked at all of the major tasks that needed to be accomplished and I blocked off chunks of time each day dedicated to working on each one. If you really want to be creative and held accountable, schedule virtual co-working sessions with friends or colleagues. Log on to the online platform of your choice and share your objective at the beginning. After the hour, or whatever time you set aside ends, take turns sharing what you’ve accomplished and celebrate together.
Reel In Your Robot. Just because so many things are technology-based these days, it doesn’t mean that we are robots. Block off buffers throughout your day for bio breaks and for connection with others on a human level. I also love to work in a good afternoon nap right around 2pm which I know is the time where my brain takes a dip daily. Honor your body by listening to what it’s trying to tell you and giving it what it needs.
This week I challenged you to designate one day for something that is meaningful to you. If one day feels too overwhelming start with one hour. You deserve the love, energy, attention, and intention that you pour into others daily.
I am reclaiming my time.
I am a human first.
I am engaging in activities that feel like sunshine.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide