Poor time management is the invisible anchor that can easily weigh you down. If you've ever felt that your days are slipping through your fingers, you're far from alone. It's a common issue. This is where intentional planning enters the scene and saves the day. It’s your ticket to turning chaotic days into structured success, especially crucial for you, the go-getters in the coaching and digital course creation worlds.
So today, you and I are going to dig deep into the common challenges that make unplanned days a productivity nightmare, so you know what to avoid.
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Then, I'll introduce you to a transformative, but simple strategy that will help you plan with intent, One Focused Hour at a time. This roadmap is designed to help you take control, break tasks into manageable pieces, and finally harness the elusive power of focused intentional time.
Ready to do this thing? Then, let’s dive in.
The Struggles of Unplanned Days
Unplanned days can feel like you're navigating through an endless maze with no way out. It’s frustrating, stress-inducing, and let’s be honest, freaking exhausting!
I was the official poster child for overwhelm at one point in my entrepreneurial journey — all because I just winged it every day.
Once I better understood the consequences of not planning, I was able to change my mindset around it. This allowed me to reclaim my time and sanity.
So let’s begin there — with understanding some common culprits that derail you when you don’t plan your day.
The Weight of Overwhelm
Picture this: a gargantuan, undefined task that sits on your to-do list like a boulder. The very sight of it can paralyze you.
Overwhelm is stress magnified. For female coaches and digital course creators, this can be particularly debilitating. You're juggling multiple hats — mentor, content creator, marketer — and when everything feels important, paralysis sets in, turning even small tasks into mountains.
The Battle with Distractions
Ah, distractions — the pesky flies of the work world. For coaches and digital course creators, distractions aren't just social media or a noisy coffee shop. They're unanticipated client calls, last-minute changes to digital content, or dealing with technical glitches.
Each interruption doesn't just cost you minutes but mental energy, throwing off your game for a much longer time than you'd like to admit.
Lack of Prioritization
When your day isn't mapped out, every task seems equally urgent, or worse, equally unimportant. A lack of prioritization can make you a hamster on a wheel—busy but not productive. It's a straight path to inefficiency and missed goals. And missed goals are missed opportunities.
Decision fatigue is real, and it's stealthy. The more decisions you make, the harder each one becomes. On an unplanned day, the multitude of choices can sap your energy before noon.
- “Should I work on my course content or answer these emails?”
- “Do I want to post this on Facebook or LinkedIn?”
- “Would it be better to use Kajabi or Katra?”
- “Am I in the mood for tuna or chicken salad?”
And on and on it goes?
Before you know it, you’re mentally drained, making each subsequent choice that much more exhausting.
Reactive Mode vs. Proactive Mode
In a world of dings, rings, chimes, and buzzes, it's so easy to be reactive. You jump from one email to another, respond to messages, and end the day feeling busy but fruitless.
Proactive work is where the gold is, but unplanned days can rob you of this precious resource. Instead of setting the agenda, you become a slave to someone else's, and that's a disservice to your gifts and talents. Not to mention to your clients and customers.
An unplanned day can easily ooze into personal time. This is dangerous territory, especially for female coaches and digital course creators who may also be caregivers, partners, or parents.
When you can’t draw the line between work and life, both suffer. You end up in the fast lane to Burnout City, and trust me, it's not a place you want to visit.
Every moment spent without intention is a moment lost—whether it’s time you could've invested in self-improvement, relationship-building, or revenue-generating activities.
A lack of intentional planning means you're losing time, money, and opportunities to grow, connect, and thrive.
Fragmented Focus and Mental Clutter
When your focus is fragmented, your mind becomes a cluttered space, filled with random thoughts competing for attention.
You've heard of multitasking (or as I like to say, “How to do many things wrong at the same time.”) but let's introduce its dreaded evil twin: context switching.
Context switching is the mental gymnastics of shifting from one task to another and it’s a notorious productivity killer. On an unplanned day, you’re not just doing less. You’re also feeling worse, perpetuating a cycle of unproductivity.
The Downward Spiral of Productivity
If these consequences haven’t convinced you to be more intentional with planning your day, let's connect the dots and see how these consequences create a downward spiral in productivity.
It's like a domino effect. One tiny push and everything can come tumbling down.
The Cumulative Effect
Imagine each issue — overwhelm, distractions, lack of prioritization, decision fatigue, reactive mode, work-life imbalance, opportunity costs, and fragmented focus — as individual bricks. On their own, they're heavy, but when stacked together, they form a wall that's nearly impossible to scale.
It's the cumulative effect of these issues that wreaks havoc on your productivity. And that’s not the half of it.
According to a study by the University of California, Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain focus after a distraction. Multiply that by the number of distractions in a day, and you're losing hours, not just minutes. This is time that could be spent on high-impact tasks or having a life outside of your business.
The Emotional Toll
But it's not just the tangible loss of time that’s a problem. There is also the emotional weight that comes with it. The frustration of knowing you're capable of so much more, but feeling trapped in a cycle of unproductivity.
For many female coaches and digital course creators, this can lead to self-doubt and questions about your own capability, which is emotionally draining and confidence-eroding.
The Loss of Revenue and Relationships
Finally, the lack of intentional planning causes so many lost opportunities.
For coaches, perhaps it's the potential clients who went elsewhere because you were too swamped to follow up. And for digital course creators, maybe it's the course that's still not finished because you're drowning in administrative tasks.
The downward spiral of productivity doesn't just cost you time, but also opportunities, revenue, and even relationships.
I’m making this point not to add to the overwhelm, but to paint a clear picture of why intentional planning is essential.
The good news? This cycle can be broken.
The Transformative Power of Intentional Planning
Now that we've examined the pitfalls of unstructured days, let's pivot to the solution—intentional planning. This is not just another hot, trending topic mind you.
Intentional planning it's a practical approach that can revolutionize your workflow and mental well-being. And for female coaches and digital course creators, this is especially pertinent.
What is Intentional Planning?
Intentional planning is the deliberate process of allocating specific time slots for tasks that align with your short-term and long-term objectives. It's not about filling every moment with work, but rather it's about meaningful work that propels you forward.
It's the difference between being busy and being productive.
For female coaches and digital course creators, intentional planning is the cornerstone of productivity. It’s your game plan for the day, detailing what needs to be accomplished to move the needle in your business, while also taking into account your mental and emotional well-being.
Why Intentional Planning is Essential for Female Coaches and Digital Course Creators
You're not just managing a business. You're also managing a brand, an image, a multitude of relationships, and let's not forget all of the personal responsibilities and relationships. Oh! And, of course, if you’re lucky, your own “me” time.
The juggling act is real, and the stakes are high. Below are a few ways intentional planning becomes a game-changer for you.
As a coach, your client interactions aren't just transactional — they're transformational experiences. Intentional planning ensures that you are fully present in each session, offering the best value because they get the best of you.
For digital course creators, crafting impactful content and serving a community are critical. Without a solid plan, you may find yourself creating content just for the sake of it, rather than producing work that genuinely helps your audience. Or you may not fully show up or have the energy to serve.
Time for Strategy
Both coaches and course creators need strategic thinking time to scale their ventures. Intentional planning helps you carve out these essential moments.
Notice, that doesn’t say “work-life balance.” That’s because there’s no such thing! Harmony is a much better word. It implies a more fluid relationship between work and life roles.
Intentional planning facilitates this through good time management, focusing on essential work, and setting boundaries. Ah! Sounds better already.
Being reactive, constantly distracted, or overwhelmed doesn't just harm your business — it harms you. Intentional planning is an act of self-care, a way to preserve your mental and emotional health.
Intentional planning isn't a luxury. It's a necessity for the unique challenges you face. And the best part? Implementing this approach is simpler than you think.
One Focused Hour: Your Blueprint for Intentional Planning
Now that you know the struggles caused by an unplanned day, the need for solutions, and the undeniable advantages of intentional planning, let’s dive into the how-to of intentional planning with an actionable solution: One Focused Hour.
I’ve shared how to work more effectively with the One Focused Hour System in another post, so I won’t go into all the detail.
What’s important to know now is it’s an elegantly simple yet incredibly effective strategy that goes beyond basic time management.
The One Focused Hour System is about smart, intentional planning that leverages small pockets of time to get big results. Adopting a system like this will create movement and momentum in your business.
The 3 Steps of One Focused Hour
The One Focused Hour System consists of three core components:
1) Create Your Game Plan
In this step, you plan in advance of work. You should be thinking about upcoming deadlines and due dates. Plan your tasks based on the priorities, not busy work.
A plan isn't restrictive. It's liberating. Know your tasks, set your goals, and visualize your day. With this clarity, you can tackle even the most daunting tasks in bite-sized pieces.
2) Build Your Fortress
To build your fortress, you’ll create a “Distraction-Free Zone”. This step isn’t only about a dedicated physical space to work. It's also about creating an environment that is free of as many distractions as possible so your mind is free to focus.
Imagine having a space, be it private room or your kitchen table, where the moment you walk in, your brain automatically switches to ‘work mode'. A place you can get your most important tasks completed. That’s the power of a dedicated space .
3) Dive Into Action
Armed with a plan and a Distraction-Free Zone, you're now set to conquer your tasks using a modified Pomodoro Technique. Unlike the traditional method, this version includes prep time, giving you room to breathe and re-adjust.
For each one-hour block, you’ll spend 5-minutes intentionally planning out your tasks for the hour and collecting any materials or programs needed. Next, you’ll take action on those tasks with 25-minutes of focused work, then a 5-minute break, and followed by another round of 25-minutes of work.
Using this structure, stack up to 3-hours together before taking a longer break.
Benefits of the One Focused Hour System for Intentional Planning
Now that you know how the One Focused Hour System works, you might be wondering how working one hour at a time benefits you. As a coach or digital course creator, you may think that taking small, intentional steps would keep you from making real progress.
And that’s fair. I get it. This is a new way of thinking. And changing your mind and your habits aren’t easy. Especially when you’ve been busy hustling hard doing “all the things.” It may seem logical to just work harder to get everything done.
But let me ask you this: How has working harder been working for you?
I bet not so great. But look, no one is saying that you shouldn’t put in your best effort. Hard work is fine as long as you are getting results you want and aren’t sacrificing your well-being in the process.
If you’ve been feeling like you’re all over the place, not knowing what you’ve actually accomplished day in and day out, then you are definitely wasting time and effort.
A system like One Focused Hour will actually help you save time and make progress.
This isn’t the only benefit, though.
Expert Time Leveraging
You don’t just ‘do tasks’ but you master them by allocating dedicated time slots. This allows you to pour 100% of your expertise, energy, and attention into every endeavor. You’ll end up getting more work done over time using a system like the One Focused Hour.
Client and Content Excellence
Think about how it would feel to dive into a coaching session or content creation sprint with complete focus and preparation. Your clients will notice the difference and your content will resonate more deeply.
Everyone else will wonder how you seem to effortlessly get so much done while keeping it together. But you’ll know why!
By being intentional, you're better able to balance your professional commitments with your personal life. This is crucial for avoiding burnout and maintaining quality in all aspects of life.
Proactive Over Reactive
With One Focused Hour, you shift from fire-fighting mode to a proactive stance. Your days are more predictable, less stressful, and far more productive.
Use the Power of Intentional Planning to Make Real Change
Are you ready to make a real change in your approach to work? Yes? You’re awesome!
The next step is to download your copy of the One Focused Hour Cheatsheet and Organizer.
I've engineered this strategy to be easy to implement but highly impactful. Once you have your copy you’ll be set up for immediate success.
With One Focused Hour, you're not just ‘getting things done', you’re also evolving into a more productive, satisfied, and balanced individual. That sounds good, right?
In a world that never stops demanding your attention, intentional planning emerges as a beacon of sanity. It's not just about filling in a schedule. It's about curating a life. Your days should align with your dreams, and the One Focused Hour Formula can help you make that alignment happen.
Remember, the path to success isn't a sprint, but rather more of a purposeful stroll. Simplicity is your friend.
Start with just one focused hour and see where it leads. It’s time to take that first small, manageable step toward a more fulfilling life. Take a breath, set your timer, and give yourself the gift of one intentional hour at a time.