Sometimes when I am coaching a leader or business owner who is overwhelmed with their schedule, I often recommend the “Doctor” model. Most are surprised by this suggestion and have no idea what I mean. 

Let me explain to see if it resonates with you…

When you attempt to make an appointment with a doctor, have you ever been given only select days and times for appointment availability? Absolutely! And why is that?

  • Doctors may have a clinic schedule, a surgery schedule, a schedule for rounds, etc. Days and times are blocked for each.
  • Doctors schedule vacations just like the rest of us – rarely are we told when the doctor is out of the office or leaving early.
  • Doctors prioritize additional training and attendance at professional events to advance their skills – taking them out of the office.
  • Doctors are parents too – and they often take time to attend after-school events with their children.

When you are told that your doctor isn’t available, you wind up accepting other options, don’t you?

What if you started handling your own schedule like a doctor does?

  • Block days/times for certain activities and don’t take meetings during those blocks unless it is something you need or cannot avoid.
  • Plan your vacations and make them non-negotiable with plenty of notice and planning.
  • Map out the professional networking or training/development events you wish to attend and block out the times to ensure it happens. 
  • Make time to attend events for your family and friends, even if you must get away early. 
  • Take a long weekend every once in a while – simply to recharge.

I used to be riddled with guilt and worry about what others would think. At the end of the day, you need to set an example by getting things done AND taking time for yourself. Prioritizing getting your work priorities accomplished AND being able to share they are done well will be key to feeling good about the adjustments you make to your schedule.