Here are my 9 micro-habits for more peace, joy and time freedom as a freedompreneur, ie a person embracing entrepreneurship as a spiritual quest.
1. Morning Enrichment (1hr)
I haven't used a morning alarm since 2013, by design. I refuse to jack up my nervous system 5 days a week. I wake up when I wake up. Lift the blackout blinds to let the light in. Play an audiobook for 30min, since it doesn't involve opening my eyes. Lounge in bed for another 15min. Then take 15min to make a superfood smoothie (with 14 superfood ingredients). My coaching clients only start midday, so I'm good. #fullpermission #lifebydesign #nourished #ididitmyway
(I used to listen to an audiobook for 15min, meditate for 30min, then make my smoothie in 15min. As my soul maturated, my work, my writing, and leisurely walks by the beach or in the forest have become my meditation, so I haven't needed to sit to "officially" meditate .)
2. Phone Permanently Silent
My phone ringer has been on permanent silence since 2013. Not on vibrate, but on silence. I turn it on, obviously, if I'm expecting a call or arranging a meetup. Otherwise, it's silent and:
- face down during my creative blocks (from 2-4 hours). Woot-woot to zero distractions!! 🥳
- face up during my day-to-day.
Nobody died. Well... except for my dad, but not because my phone was silent. My silent phone did not cause his death. He passed away because it was his time. From lived experience, even if people die and you can't be reached, life does go on. The human spirit is infinitely more resilient than the human mind gives it credt.
And one day per weekend, it's completely turned off. Until this day, I've gotten back to every single person that needs getting back to, so I'm good.
3. Standardized Client Alerts
Thanks to my Busyness/Freedom Tracker (which I lead/teach in Unleash Your Freedom), I only offer client coaching sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The night before, I switch on alarms for the corresponding session time, then I'm good. No more anxiously watching the clock. I'll be rung when it's time to hop on Zoom. #simple #iterations
4. all notifications turned off
Also since 2013, I've run a successful six-figure business with AAAAAALL phone notifications/badges turned off, except for phone and Whatsapp. Laptop is even better, where ALL notifications/badges are turned off, no exceptions. Again, nobody died. I didn't lose any money nor opportunities, as fear would have us believe. Instead, I reclaimed so much peace, creative genius, magnetic joy that brought more effortless prosperity and time freedom to me.
5. Simplified Calendars
I operate my entire empire with three separate Google Calendars:
- One for time/location dependent appointments (my assistant copies my flights from my TripCase calendar into this calendar, and adds "buffers" for transport to/from airports to prevent any double-bookings)
- One for my team where they can see my Busyness/Freedom Tracker creative blocks, business development blocks, so they know when best to catch me and when not to interrupted
6. Synchronized Bookings
I use Acuity Scheduling to allow prospective clients to book a Clarity Session or partners to book interviews with me. Acuity is synchronized to my above time/location dependent calendar. Back-and-forth emails and time wastage can RIP.
7. Pre-Scheduled Lunches
It's interesting how we'll show up, rain or shine, to an appointment with someone else, but won't listen to the hungry signal from our own body. So I decided to outsmart my ego's suppression of that hunger signal. I pre-scheduled an hour for midday nourishment. It's like a date with myself or an actual lunch with an actual friend. I don't get hangry, but I get sleegry (sleepy hungry) and I just don't like it. It doesn't feel good. I want to feel good.
If you want a magic carpet ride, you must treat the carpet well. Otherwise, it will fall apart at the seams and land you in the emergency room (again).
8. A Zero Inbox
Every Friday, I clear my inbox down to zero e-mails. It's pretty easy, given that my team don't use email, only Asana to communicate. Since 2013, I also unsubscribed from everything, except for my clients' newsletters. Again, nobody died. I didn't miss out on anything. When I felt the impulse to check on a beloved teacher (eg. Brené Brown), I did and I got a seat at their trainings.
Then whatever is still in my inbox, I quick sort by asking:
- Is this an appointment? If yes, book it / update calendar.
- Is this a client update? If yes, copy relevant text into their file.
- Is this a task? If yes, add to Asana projects, tasks or sub-tasks.
- Who can I delegate it to? Assign Asana tasks to anyone other than me (unless it's a project I really love and want to keep for myself 🤩)
- Is this an idea worth keeping? If yes, park it in Asana under "Parking Lot" project
- Is this a <1min reply? If yes, reply right here and now. Then delete email. (You can peacefully delete because all important info will have been captured by the above steps).
- Did I do my part and am simply waiting for the other party to confirm? If yes, then move email to "To be deleted" folder. Twice a year, delete anything older than 6 months. Eg. I sent my bank checks. There's nothing else I could superhumanly do. I trust that the bank will confirm within the 2-4 weeks that they promised.
- Delete everything else.
For my first year in business early 2012 to early 2013, I kept a "For Later" inbox folder for anything that didn't fit into the above 8 sorting streams. I NEVER, EVER went into that folder. Ever. So I stopped and just applied rule 8: Delete everything else. Again, nobody died. I didn't die. So we're good.
This saves our nervous system from overwhelm by not hyper-inflating one email into 16 tasks just because we've read that same email 16 times.
I will NOT be my inbox's bitch! It's the same as saying, "I will not be other people's bitch!"
Then I only check email once or twice a day. My clients know I'll reply within a day or two. So, we're good!
9. Tidied up in Asana
I write everything down: tasks, ideas, book recommendations, taglines, story threads, etc. I don't expend any energy on memory retention. I write it all down in Asana. Then once a week, usually on Tuesdays (since I don't work on Mondays), I do a quick sort to place each item into their projects: Business Dev, Book Writing, Personal, Shopping List, Parking Lot, etc., or into their "departments": Marketing, Product Development, Website Upgrades, Client Management, etc.
Practice these 9 micro-habits iteration after iteration, fuelled by your personal Why/purpose, and you'll be so free you won't even know what to do with yourself at first!
Live fierce and free,
(First Published Jul 12, 2017)
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May these liberation tools and reclamation stories inspire and guide you to navigate time, identity, and creativity, gracefully and joyfully. xo Ella
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