As I was relaxing this weekend, I gave quite a bit of thought to how we can become burned out all too easily. As we are in a service industry we are busy tending to the needs of our clients all day long. We stay late, come in early, we never say: No!
Think about how much we give of ourselves, our time and talent. A lot of us haven’t learned to set boundaries. So my advice, set a schedule and stick it. If you are all over the place in this realm you will surely get burned out much more quickly. It may seem like a great idea to have open availability but this can lead to huge gaps in your day that can lead to apathy and then to frustration.
Limit Your Schedule
Honestly, it’s better to start with a more limited schedule. When your schedule is limited in the beginning, you will fill your schedule, remaining busy and energized. When you are open you may have an appointment at 9:00 am and then nothing until 3:00pm. What the heck do you do for all those hours in between? If you live close to work it may not be that big of a deal but if you drive a distance you now have created a tricky situation. Wear and tear on your vehicle, more gas used driving back and forth etc…all lead to more expense and more frustration.
When you are building your schedule start with the busiest day of the week. For me Thursday has always been my busiest day. So for example, when my Thursday was fully booked, I added a half day Friday and a half day Tuesday. As I built up my clientele I added hours to those half days.
Slowly I built up my hours and schedule. There are still times of the year that it is slower, so when that happens, I reduce my hours again and add back as the business warrants.
Don’t be afraid to tell your clients what you have available instead of letting them dictate your schedules. Take care of yourself so you have the energy and passion to continue on your path ad take the best care of your clients. It all starts with you!
For more tips on how to deal with gaps in your schedule, read this article.