Effective time management is important in any profession, and being someone in the coaching profession is no exception.

Balancing work and life, in my opinion, is a learned skill. It’s about developing good habits, having a plan of action, asking for help and learning how to say no.

Here’s some insider information to help you conquer the seemingly elusive work-life balance:


Have (and use) your calendar

I’ve talked in previous posts many times about the importance of having a great calendar system set up (here’s just one example). It’s at the top of this list because I truly feel it’s the most important tip.

Paper or digital, it doesn’t matter which one you use, as long as you use it. Everything you have going on should be in it!

The blog post I refer to in this tip fully explains how to set up your calendar for optimal time management, so please be sure to check it out.


Know when to say no

This is something a lot of women have trouble with, and it really interferes with effective time management.

Whether it’s guilt or the illusion that we really can do it all, it’s impossible to please everyone, so there really is no reason to try.

This may require baby steps – but I promise that as you do this more and more often – it truly does get easier. You may falter a bit at the beginning but stay strong!

If it’s not a “HELL YEAH”, it’s a no. A wise woman gave me this advice a few years ago and it’s truly been one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. I hope someone else out there appreciates it as much as I do!

I have a handy article that helps you with saying no in a wide variety of ways for a wide variety of situations.


Schedule in buffer time

We’ve all had days where we’re running from one activity or appointment to the next, with no breaks. Stop the madness and incorporate this tip into your time management toolkit:

Start scheduling some time in between activities or appointments. This will be largely based on the type of activity or appointment you’re working with.

One example would be Zoom meetings – most of my clients place a buffer time of 15-20 minutes in between their calls. This gives them a chance to refill the coffee cup and stretch a bit.

Make sure you reflect this buffer time into your calendar, as well – it’s just as important as the activity or appointment itself.


Don’t be afraid to cancel

Things pop up. Illness happens. A bad night’s sleep happens.

You should never feel like you can’t cancel and/or reschedule something.


Take personal days

Effective time management also includes taking personal time. A lot of companies grant this to their employees, which is fantastic! But for us freelancers (or those who work from home), sometimes we experience some guilt. “I work from home, what am I whining about?”

Here’s the thing – if you don’t take personal days, you’re forgetting WHY you decided to go into business for yourself. It was to have the freedom that ‘working for the man’ failed to provide.

Schedule these into your calendar ahead of time, or if you’re experiencing a slow day, skip off early (put your out-of-office on). Get a pedicure. Go to lunch with a friend. Window-shop. Take a walk in nature. Any of these things will do wonders for your mental health.

Would you add anything to this list? I’d love to hear your ideas! Email me at info (at) deniseriches (dot) ca.