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  • Kelsea Koenreich

Building A CEO Schedule with Time Freedom

I have a passion for  time management, especially when it means helping busy moms reclaim some time for themselves outside of work. It's all about guiding them through the process of rediscovering who they are beyond their work.


Many of us mom entrepreneurs and founders, often feel that time freedom is a dream and just that. We're constantly playing catch-up with never-ending to-do lists. What we lose sight of a lot of times is that we have control over our time and how we spend our time.


I remember the pre-kids era when structure seemed unnecessary. My business was flexible, and I took advantage of all the freedom it offered. Then came motherhood, and with it, a rude awakening. I found myself stretched thin between work and trying to be the mom I wanted to be, which left me feeling frustrated. Finding a way to blend entrepreneurship with being a present mom was a journey born out of necessity.


Over the years, through trial and error (and the addition of two more children!), I stumbled upon a crucial realization: dedicated space for everything we do is essential. While sacrifices are inevitable, we tend to roll with constraints, thinking they’re set in stone. But being a mom doesn't mean we're tethered to our circumstances; we always have a choice.


Work-Life Separation = Enhanced Productivity


Welcome to the concept of work-life separation—a nuanced approach that recognizes the inevitable overlap between our professional and personal roles. Instead of chasing after an impossible balance, we adopt a strategy of creating dedicated time blocks for each aspect of our lives. 


Embracing structure, although sometimes challenging, is what ultimately cultivates freedom and flexibility. Contrary to popular belief, spontaneity isn't the key to freedom—structure is. By defining specific time blocks for different tasks and responsibilities, we liberate ourselves from overwhelm and enhance our productivity. 


Often we confuse freedom and flexibility with spontaneity. Spontaneity as a mom is more difficult. We can't even leave the house without making sure that all of our kids are taken care of, et cetera. We need structure to promote the freedom that we want. Freedom is about the ability to do and be who we want, and structure creates that freedom by allowing us to adjust dedicated time blocks on our calendar as needed.


I remember talking to one of my clients, she has five kids and was talking about work when her kids were all home while she was solo parenting. I told her it’s possible but understand if you do that, you need to go into it with the expectation that you are going to be interrupted and it's probably not going to be your best quality work. So I didn’t put tasks during that time period that really require her to be detail oriented or she’s going to be frustrated from being interrupted. Structure also creates more organization so that we do better quality work.


But implementing change isn't without its hurdles. Fear often holds us back from setting necessary boundaries. Transitioning to a new schedule requires courage and accountability. The longer we rebel against this structure that we need, the more overlap that happens and that overlap is what creates a lot of overwhelm.


Breaking it down into manageable steps and seeking support along the way are crucial strategies for success.


Tactical Time Management


To create your schedule, you first need to identify what you want. Ask yourself these questions; 

What hours and days do you want to be working? 


What hours are most ideal for your family? 


For me, I like working during my kid's school schedule. I have two kids that are in school from eight to three, and so my work hours are typically nine to three. When my kids get home from school, I'm done for the day then I get to transition into the role of being mom.


After you write that down, you're probably gonna think: well, that's not possible. Now I want you to ask yourself; 


What fears do I have about the boundaries that I'm gonna need to set to adhere to this schedule that I want? 


What fears do I have around setting the boundaries that are going to need to be set?


Fear is a part of the growth that you're experiencing. Making these choices is going to be the thing that keeps you around long-term. I have been an entrepreneur for 12 years now. I've been here for a long time, how did I do that? It was because of decisions like this. I made decisions that were hard in the moment, I had conversations that were uncomfortable for me to have and set those boundaries. Recognize that a transition in your schedule and aligning your schedule to work for you is not something that's going to feel good or be comfortable for you at the start. 


Next, you have to figure out what changes you have to make to get it. This is where people get stuck thinking these changes feel too hard. Don't let yourself look at this schedule that you would love to work and say you can't.


When I design new schedule changes like this for my clients, I always tell them that there is a transition period. Don't get stuck looking at what you want because it feels so far out of reach. Everything that you do that's a bigger change is created from a bunch of small changes. Ask yourself,


What are small incremental changes that you can do to get closer to that goal? 


Can you stop your end of day by 30 minutes? 


Every little bit matters and just because you may not be able to go all in and cut your hours from 50 to 30 right now, can you cut from 50 to 45? Lay out any sort of phases that you need.


Now, here's the other side of this. These tactical pieces of this aren’t going to work if you don't address the fears around those boundaries and ask for accountability. If you address your mindset behind making the changes you laid out, and if you can ask for the accountability that you need, then you're gonna be setting yourself up for success. 


Here's how you can design a CEO schedule that empowers you to reclaim your time:


  1. Designate one day a week with no meetings or calls: This CEO day allows for strategic planning and business development.

  2. Create space between meetings: Avoid back-to-back appointments to prevent burnout and promote mental clarity.

  3. Establish daily focus areas: Assign specific roles for each day of the week, such as CEO tasks, client-focused work, and administrative duties.

  4. Prioritize work-life separation: Embrace dedicated time blocks for work and family, allowing you to be more present in each role.

  5. Seek accountability: Get support from fellow mom founders, family, or mentors to uphold boundaries and navigate the transition effectively.


Crafting Your Ideal Schedule


Remember, your schedule should align with your priorities and aspirations. It's a reflection of the life you want to lead, both personally and professionally. By embracing structure and setting boundaries, you pave the way for greater fulfillment and success in all areas of your life. Be patient with yourself and celebrate each small victory along the way. 


Ready to take it a step further and craft a schedule tailored to your life as a leader and a mother?

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