When working on multiple projects and wearing multiple hats at the same time it is normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Juggling your job, your side hustle, family and social life while still keeping on top of errands and making sure you and your home don’t look like a complete mess can sometimes feel impossible.
As a multi passionate person myself I know exactly how hard it can be to keep on top of it all and that’s why I’ve put together this complete roadmap to blocking out time and help you get on top of all your tasks and goals.
First of all, what does multi passionate mean?
Being multi passionate means you have multiple passions, as well as multiple skills. This usually results in multiple hobbies, projects, ideas and often several businesses.
Marie Forleo came up with the term multipassionate entrepreneur to describe herself. As a multi passionate creative she doesn’t fit neatly into one career box and gets equally excited about many seemingly unrelated things.
How do I schedule my workload as a multi passionate entrepreneur?
Over the past 3 years I’ve been successfully running a design business and a travel blog, all while travelling full time.
Update: I’ve recently swapped travelling for this blog right here (thank you Covid!).
Ever since I read Do Less I’ve been fascinated with the concept of cycles so I decided to do an experiment. I came up with a system of rotating themed days and weeks which made it incredibly easy to stay on top of my to-dos and on track to achieving my goals.
Creating themed days and weeks, as well as batching similar tasks together really helped me keep on top of it all, but adding rotation to this schedule really took it to the next level.
How to organise your days and be productive as a multipassionate entrepreneur
If you’re struggling to keep on top of your many passions or think there’s a better way than burning out, then this system of rotating focus days and weeks is for you!
Pay attention to your energy levels
Have you ever noticed that some days you’re feeling super motivated and get to the end of your to-do list without any problems and then other days you struggle to cross off the simplest tasks? And did you notice those days sometimes turn into weeks? Well I sure did!
As soon as I started paying more attention to my energy levels and scheduling tasks accordingly, my life changed for the better.
Guess the afternoon slump is something we’re all too familiar with, but I’ve also noticed that in the days just before my period and on the day I got it I was absolutely useless. I could sit in front of my computer for hours and achieve absolutely nothing. So the first thing I did was to stop working against my body and used this time for some much needed self care and rest instead.
I know it sounds counterintuitive to rest when the goal is to be more productive, but our body and mind need some time to regenerate.
Schedule your personal goals and your social life first
It is important that you give your own wellbeing and your personal goals the attention and time they need and deserve. Are you training for a run? Then set aside time for running every day. Does Sunday brunch with your girlfriends bring you joy? Then block that time out for them. Does gardening help your anxiety? Block out some time for it! Do you feel refreshed and centered after your yoga class? Block out the time for it!
I like to schedule my work around my personal life and not the other way around. That’s a big part of the reason I chose to become an entrepreneur instead of clocking in at someone else’s office. I love having the freedom to prioritise what makes me happy and when i don’t have to give up things that matter to me, work feels a lot more enjoyable.
List all the tasks, projects and goals you’re working on
Start by writing down the major projects and goals you’re working on. Then list all the milestones, deadlines and recurring tasks for each one. Take this opportunity to assess all of these and eliminate anything that isn’t urgent or important.
- Is this really important or is it just busy work?
- Can this be simplified, outsourced or automated?
It really helps if you write down how long a specific task takes to be completed and how often it repeats.
I usually have 4-5 different projects/ventures running at the same time and a bunch of other tasks that need to be performed weekly or monthly. I’ve managed to streamline my business and client work to the point where I was able to do 70-80% of the monthly work in one jam packed week. Similar with the travel blog, although this one needed more ongoing maintenance.
Group and batch similar tasks together
When grouping tasks keep in mind how much time they take and how often you need to perform them. Depending on what you have going on in your life and your preferences you could choose to block out time by project or by task.
For example you could have a blog writing day when you sit down, mute your notifications and write blogs for your main business and for your side hustle. Or you could have a day when you focus on your main business which you use to write blogs and schedule social media, and then a day when you focus on your side hustle only.
I chose to group tasks by project rather than by task which helps me stay focused on the project goals and minimise time needed to refocus on a different project.
Define your themes and rotate
Have a look at the groups you created and decide how you could create themed days or weeks to best accommodate for them and allow rotation. This step might take a bit of trial and error before you hit the sweet spot.
My cycle has 4 weeks, yours could only have 2 or as many as 6 or even 8 and you could even have one theme repeating more often than others.
This is how I chose to theme and rotate my weeks:
Week 1 focus: Client work
In week 1 I’d focus on client work. This could be a branding project, ongoing maintenance or a retainer project.
Week 2 focus: Travel blog
In week 2 I’d write blogs, edit photos, schedule social media posts and create enough content to last me most of the month.
Week 3 focus: Branding business/Client work
I set out to work on my design business in week 3 and was supposed to use it to focus on networking, marketing, updating my own website etc. In reality that didn’t work out too well and more often than not I ended up using this time to do more client work and only did the basic accounting and backups for my own business.
Week 4 focus: Rest and explore
This would usually align with my period since that’s when I struggle working the most. In this week I’d take some time to chill, binge watch Netflix and journal, as well as go out and explore new places.
I also took those same themes and applied them on a how I plan my days. No matter the week’s theme I’d spend some time on each of my ongoing projects on their designated day. This way I make sure the urgent tasks get done in a timely manner. I also reserve a day to focus on the week’s theme.
My week days look a bit like this:
Monday: Client work
Since I take Sundays to unwind, Mondays are my most productive days and I use them to work on my most profitable task – client work. The client projects I work on can change from month to month and even week to week so it’s never boring.
Tuesday: Explore and take photos
After spending Mondays in a super focused and super productive way I like to spend Tuesdays in a fun and creative manner. This usually includes sunrise or sunset missions and taking photos for our travel blog. Tuesdays tend to be quite flexible and vary a lot. Depending on how far we go and how long the mission takes I’ll do a few more hours of work on the weekly focus.
Wednesday: Travel Blog
Most Wednesdays I’ll spend a big chunk of the day editing photos from the previous day, answering emails, planning trips, as well as on social media and creating any missing content for the month.
Thursday: Branding business/Client work
The day I’m supposed to work on my own business and instead spend mostly on client work. I’m only human after all.
Friday: Week’s focus
I’d spend Friday working on whatever the weekly focus is. So on week 1 I’ll do some more client work, on week 2 I’ll prep a month worth of instagram captions for my blog etc.
Saturday: Catch up & errands
By the time Saturday comes around I’m usually pretty spent and brain dead so I reserve Saturday for mindless errands, catching up with friends or exploring a little bit more.
Sunday: Rest, prep and plan
It’s funny how ingrained the Sunday rest is in our nature. Thanks to the flexibility of my work I could easily spend Sundays working on my blog and take Wednesday off, yet I choose to take a lazy day on Sundays. I also set aside a couple of hours every Sunday to review my week as well as plan and prep for the week ahead.
Why does rotation work for multi passionates?
Having a focus for each week and each day helps you handle the multiple passions and create mental clarity. This in turns helps you focus on the task at hand. Since you know you already have a day set aside for all the other to-do’s it becomes easier to focus on what really matters and you avoid jumping from task to task.
By paying attention to your energy levels and scheduling your private life first you can create a schedule that works for you instead of against you. And by using the themed days and weeks, scheduling and planning becomes a breeze.
Think about all the projects you’re currently working on and your recurring tasks. What will your focus days and weeks look like and how are you going to cycle them?