How often do you take complete breaks from work? No email, no checking your business bank account, no discussing work with spouse or colleagues?
I recently took a 4-day camping trip with my father and grandfather. We don’t know how many more trips like that we will have with our parents and grandparents, so I am making it a point to do it yearly for as long as I am graced with their presence in this life. Don’t take it for granted.
I took all four of the days as Free Days in which I did not check my email, bank accounts, social media, etc. I told my team not to contact me and if the building was burning down, call 911 not me.
I also didn’t bring any reading material that was work-related or close to it. I didn’t speak about work with my father or grandfather. Now, I wasn’t totally rude, and I would just give them a brief answer and try to change the subject.
I also didn’t respond to any texts or calls that were work-related.
That my friend is a Free Day.
How did I get to this point of being able to take Free Days? As a business owner we tend to live, sleep and breathe our business. All times of day and all days per week. To the detriment of our health, stress, and loved ones. And believe it or not, to the detriment of our business.
I could never imagine being able to do this until I joined Strategic Coach in 2013. The first principle they teach us is The Entrepreneurial Time System®.
Let me give you the breakdown of this life-changing system that I am still trying to perfect.
The Entrepreneurial Time System®
Maximize productivity, preparation, rejuvenation, and balance in your life by restructuring your time using a simple system of Free, Focus, and Buffer Days™.
What is it?
A tool that provides a system to divide your time into Free, Focus, and Buffer Days that results in creativity, variety, and higher productivity in every aspect of your work and personal life.
This is a Free Day, a 24-hour period completely free from work-related problem-solving, communication, and action.
“Most people think of Free Days as a reward for hard work. I don’t. Free Days are a necessary precondition for achieving success and optimum productivity”.
Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach
A tool that allows you to have powerful money-making days where you focus only on your best opportunities and relationships.
Maximize your productivity by focusing on your top three money-making activities.
Strategic Coach realizes it’s impossible to do Focus activities 100% of the time in a day, so they say 80% of the day's activities are geared to those 3 top money-making activities.
For myself, my top 3 Focus Activities
Treating Patients (and doing those pesky patient notes)
Marketing, Content Creation and Networking
Working with/for my Chiropractors who are in our Academy
Trust me, I still struggle with the Focus Day and sometimes get lost in email, paying bills, and other Buffer Day™ Activities.
A concept that allows you to prepare for Free and Focus Days™ so you feel confident and have dedicated time to clean up messes, delegate, and learn new capabilities.
When and how to use it:
So you can clean up energy-draining messes.
To increase your confidence so you can take truly free Free Days™, and feel prepared and confident on Focus Days.
To give you time to build your team around you and delegate non-Unique Ability® activities.
As a treating Chiropractor, I know it can be difficult to have an entire day set aside for Buffer Days. Many times, you are treating patients 5-6 days per week. Treating patients is a Focus Activity, not Buffer.
What I have done to mesh the Entrepreneurial Time System with Chiropractic, is to look at it as blocks of times.
For me, I treat patients all day on Monday and Thursdays. Those are Focus Days. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I have half days. It becomes a blend of Buffer and Focus. I do Buffer in the afternoon on Thursday and morning on Wednesday. I don’t treat patients on Fridays, so it is a buffer day.
To be clear, on Buffer Days, you can do some Focus activities like Marketing, etc.
As for Free Days, I try to take 1 Free Day per week. I don’t have kids, but when I do, I will convert to Sat and Sun Free Days most likely.
When I take vacations, I totally check out. I have taken 6 European/Asia vacations where I have checked out for two weeks at a time without one iota of work being done. I can’t tell you how refreshing that is and how it recharges my batteries. Even the 1 Free Day per week recharges my batteries.
I know it sounds impossible, but if you work towards proper delegation, planning and team development you can easily do it. And your business, creativity, health, and relationships will improve.
Many people ask me how I get so much done and stay somewhat sane 😊 This is how.