One thing that every entrepreneur seems to agree on the importance of is carving out time to work ON your business. No clients, no appointments, no email interruptions, just time to focus on the bigger picture planning and decisions.
For years I'd block off Mondays and/or Fridays as no meeting days so that I'd have a built in day or two to work on my business if I needed to. As life and business got busier, these days would tend to be spent in the nitty gritty of day to day business to-dos. No, I wasn't meeting with clients, but on Mondays I would typically end up answering emails, working on client deliverables and plans, and prepping for the appointments for the rest of the week, and on Fridays I'd wrap up any client followup and usually clock out early. Even though I had this unscheduled time in my calendar, because I wasn't prioritizing spending time on the bigger picture operations of my business, that kind of planning fell by the wayside until I'd book a retreat or “workcation” and get out my normal environment to do some of the higher level planning.
The problem? So many ideas and plans had built up that I couldn't get through it all and in some cases, I'd missed opportunities because the timing just didn't work and I didn't realize.
And so the CEO Day was born.
CEO days are one day every week that I spend working on my business. They're typically on the same day every week to make things easy. If I know that every Tuesday is typically a CEO day, I'm able to set myself up for success by planning out my Monday and Wednesday accordingly in advance. If there's a week that Tuesday won't work because of travel or time off, I move the CEO day to a different day or (rarely) I skip.
Here is a sample of my CEO Day Schedule and Parameters
7am Nurse Dean or Pump
7:15am-9am PERSONAL TIME
Go Back to Bed
9am-11am Work ON Business
No Client Meetings
No responding to emails or texting clients
Work on Marketing strategy
Work on Improving Client Experience (Tech, Process, Gifts, Etc)
Brainstorm High Level Content (Social, Podcast, Blogs)
High Level Course/Program Strategy/Tweaks
11am Nurse Dean or Pump
Send Emails and/or texts to any team related to morning strategy
Tweaks to Profit First Allocations or Business Financial Planning
High Level Calendly/Schedule Tweaks
Noon to 2pm WORKING LUNCH
Lunch home or out with Bobby
If home, this can involve doing a training or course together
Talk business strategies, share about morning, bounce ideas off each other, big ideas
Pencil and paper only UNLESS watching a training on one screen
2pm -5pm Work ON Business (break at 3pm to nurse Dean or pump)
See Parameters from morning session
Can also record videos or pod to test ideas
Prepped in advance/sheet pan from COEAW so we can eat with Dean by 5:20pm
Continue lunch brainstorming and conversation while nanny cleans Dean up after dinner
Spend time with Dean after his bath, nurse by 6:30pm, then nanny put Dean to bed
6:45- 8pm WRAP-UP
Final Biz Wrap up if needed
Last minute personal tidying kitchen + workspaces, day debrief, quick email check
Planning for tomorrow
8pm – Bed NICKY + BOBBY TIME
Watch a movie
Have a drink
Having a full day to work on your business is really valuable, but if you can't swing it I recommend a half day or a several hours chunk. The key here is to do this BEFORE you have any appointments, client meetings or check ins and to make sure not to check email. Part of the reason I schedule personal time at the beginning of the CEO day is that it puts you in the right mental space. You're well rested if you chose to sleep in a bit, or you had breakfast, got in a workout, got to read, got dressed, etc. You already feel accomplished and in a good headspace because you took care of what you needed to the day before and because you haven't jumped right into work, there shouldn't be any fires to put out, steal your attention, or throw off your day. Yes, things always happen. But not every week. And if something is consistently blowing up your CEO days before they start- you have another important problem to correct, right?
I get my best ideas when I have space to think creatively. And because I'm expecting to be high level on CEO days, I constantly get ideas during my personal time that I'm excited to get to by the time 9am rolls around.
Sometimes, we work through lunch and end the day early. Sometimes, we work through lunch and straight through until 5pm. Sometimes the second “Work on Your Business” slot becomes a “Work IN Your Business slot”. The key is prioritizing time to get the bigger picture things taken care of on a weekly basis so that you're maintaining the health of your business and can grow more efficiently.
Having a CEO day has always worked really well for me when life gets crazy. What they look like changes, but they are always valuable.