Article by: MaryEllen | Monday, November 26, 2012

By MaryEllen Tribby

“You play so much tennis, I don’t understand how you have time to run your company.” This was a comment made by my sister-in-law the other night at dinner.

Now, she certainly is not the first person to say something like this to me.

As a matter of fact, colleagues, clients and friends often ask me about my schedule. They marvel in the amount of work I get done. Yet they see me playing tennis, attending school functions for my kids, taking them to sports practices and enjoying date night with my hubby each week; and then, wonder why they can’t do it.

Well, the truth is they CAN and should do it. As a matter of fact, anyone can do it. You just need to understand how.

So, for the first time ever in Working Moms Only, I am going to reveal my minute-by-minute schedule of each day of the week. This way you can start getting the most out of your days!

All Tasks Are NOT Created Equal

Before we start, you need to acknowledge a couple of things:

1) The concept of being productive is not about time management. No one needs to manage their time, the reality is that if you want to be productive (which in turn leads to success) you need to respect your time.

2) Being busy and being productive are two different things. They should not be mutually exclusive, but the sad fact is they are for most people.

Too many people believe they are not worthy of success, therefore squander their time. And, they feel like if they are pushing papers around or answering emails they are productive. The truth is none of that matters.

My Personal Schedule

When I first started taking private mentoring students three years ago, there was one request that every single one of my students made. And that was “Will you describe your day to me?”

Now, please keep in mind these students paid me tens of thousands of dollars. Yet, this was consistently the one thing they wanted to know.

Why?

Because they wanted to replicate success – period.

So, let’s go through each hour of the day . . .

Monday through Thursday:

4:30 a.m. to 5:45 a.m. – I wake up and write. I do not check emails or eat, I just start writing. This is creative time. I write my Working Moms Only issues or work on my new book – which will be released next summer from John Wiley and Sons. (I know shameless plug) I also work on my children’s books during this time.

5:45 – I wake up my oldest child (my 14 year old daughter) for school and make her tea. She is old enough to get herself together for school on her own. And, hubby is there to make her breakfast.

5:50 to 6:45 a.m. – Read. I read two newspapers; the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. I read a couple online newsletters and a couple of business and marketing blogs.

6:45 a.m. – I kiss #1 good-bye.

6:45 to 7:30 – I wake up kid #3 (my seven year old daughter) and get her ready for school and make breakfast.

7:30 – I kiss #3 good-bye

7:30 – Wake up my 12-year-old son (kid #2). He is old enough to get himself together for school on his own. And hubby is there to make him breakfast.

7:35 to 8:15 a.m. – Walk our crazy boxer Coco. Many people ask why I walk the dog. The answer is simple – because I like to. The mornings are beautiful and I can smell the ocean.

It gets my blood flowing and allows my day dreaming to start. This is the time of the day I get my best ideas.

8:15 to 8:45 a.m. – Eat and go over day with hubby. I usually have a protein shake or scrambled eggs for breakfast. I love eating protein in the morning. When I don’t, I can feel the difference all day long.

8:45 a.m. – Drop kid #2 off at the bus and drive to tennis or the gym.

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.(on Monday’s and Wednesday’s) Play tennis. I am very fortunate that my tennis club is literally six minutes from my house, so I do not waste a lot of time in the car. Many of the ladies I play tennis with often stay later than 11:00. However, I set my alarm on my iPhone and when it goes off, I leave.

On Tuesday and Thursday, I go to the gym. The gym is also only six minutes from my house (just in the other direction).

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – shower and prep for coaching calls.

12:30 to 1:00 p.m. – Eat and go through emails. I generally like to have a BIG salad with lots of veggies and some lean protein like chicken or tuna.

1:00 to 3:45 p.m. – Work on business. This could be coaching calls, marketing, product development or meetings. Whatever I need to get done.

3:45 p.m. – Drive to pick up kid #3 from school.

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.: Finish up any work that needs to be done. At this time kid #3 sits with me at the end of my desk and does her homework. It works out so nicely. She understands that it is quiet time, but if she has a question about her homework she can ask.

5:15 to 6:00 p.m. – Dinner with the entire family. You may be saying wow only 45 minutes, well you will see why in a minute.

6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Monday through Thursday my kids have either sports practice or CCD. I usually take kid #3 while hubby takes kids 1 & 2. During my drive time with #3 we talk about her day – it is one of the most special times of my day. While I am at the field while she practices I read. I see so many parents just sitting there. They are talking on the phone of playing games on their iPhones. I read. I read business books, marketing books, novels, and biographies. I am so grateful for this time to get my reading in.

8:00 to 9:00 p.m. – Drive home, get through all homework with kids and get them ready for bed.

9:00 p.m. – Tuck #3 in bed.

9:00 to 10:00 p.m. – spend time with #1, #2 and hubby,

10:00 to 10:30 p.m. – Make the kids’ lunches for the next day at school and make my lunch for the next day as well.

10:30 to 11:00 p.m. – Answer any important emails and review and revise “to do” list for the next day.

11:00 p.m. – Lights out!

Friday:

Friday’s are my “ME” day. Dan Sullivan likes to make sure every entrepreneur has one “FREE” day a week. I prefer to call it my “ME” day. My Fridays usually start out exactly the same as Monday through Thursday.

I leave for tennis at the same time. But, Fridays are match day. So my team plays another team in our tennis league. Afterward we all have lunch together. After tennis, I do the “me” things. It could mean getting a manicure or a facial. It generally includes going to Whole Foods or volunteering at one of the kids’ schools.

Saturday and Sunday:

The weekend days revolve around the kids’ activities. This is everything from sports tournaments to school carnivals to friends’ birthday parties.

However once we know about an activity, it goes directly on the family calendar so everyone in the house understands what’s going on.

We do have consistent activities each weekend, which include:

Church
Date night with Hubby
Sunday family dinner with extended relatives
Family walks with Coco (the crazy boxer)

I know you must be thinking that this is a busy life. And, admittedly, it is. But, it is also the life I have chosen and the one I respect. I respect it so much that I want to make the must out of every moment of the day.

This is why I am so methodical and why I can get so much done in a single day.

You have likely noticed some items that were not on my schedule like watching TV or cooking and cleaning.

Well, TV is very limited in my house. However, we do love our sports. During baseball session you will always see a Yankee game on in the background. The same thing during football session – there is always a game on.

As far as cleaning goes – no way. I work hard and my time is valuable. It would be crazy for me to clean my house while I bill out for my consultation services at $1,250 an hour.

And cooking – truth be told. I was never very good at it. Plus hubby loves to cook and he is great at it.

Now, it’s your turn . . .

I want you to schedule your day, right now. Do exactly what I just did and see if there are items on your list you can either, eliminate or delegate. Then send your schedule to me at MaryEllen@WorkingMomsOnly.com – I will be happy to review it and give you suggestions on how you can increase your productivity, which in turn leads to increased success.

I will review it publically in Working Moms Only.

Go do this now. You can either control your day or your day will control you. The beauty is that the choice is yours.

Now, if you’re feeling stressed that your current job or career doesn’t allow you the flexibility to create a schedule that works for you, don’t worry. There is a way to set up your life so that it works for you. In fact, I’ll share exactly how I created this for myself in a special report that comes out tomorrow.

Be on the lookout tomorrow for an email with access to that special report! You won’t want to miss it.