I am going to share with how to plan your own retreat day because my retreat days have totally changed my life.
For the last few years, I’ve been building a business while working a full time day job and teaching part time. At first, it wasn’t too bad because, you know, you don’t have too many clients when you first start out.
Now, I have always been a good time manager but this working fifty hours a week and growing a business certainly requires a lot of time, a lot of energy and a lot of focus.
I’ve experimented with fitting my business into my life in a few different ways. Weekends, early mornings. Even on my lunch break at my day job. But without a doubt, retreat days have been the best way for me to truly be productive while working full time.
The idea behind the retreat day is to set aside time to work on your own projects and your personal development. I suggest you plan a retreat day at least once a month.
Now, of course, I spend most of my retreat days working on my business.
No business? No probelm.
They’re also great for creative people who need to focus on their work or other personal projects and goals you might have.
Here are my tips for preparing and maximizing your retreat day.
Set an agenda
I include a starting time, an ending time, set times for each activity or task and, of course, meal + break times, just like a regular retreat.
Don’t just hustle, learn
Even though it’s super easy to get bogged down in a to do list, what makes retreat days unique (and not just, you know, work days) is the focus on development and learning. For me, that meant learning WordPress, Mailchimp, and other tech I needed to run my business and setting aside time to read material on coaching strategies, etc.
This is also the time that I do most of my writing, including newsletters and blog posts and work on my e-book and online course. I always leave time for a little brainstorming too. I always feel accomplished and motivated after a good writing session so I always include this in my retreat agenda.
I always schedule an hour for tasks like invoicing clients and updating my social media pages. Think about what this might look like for you. Maybe it’s editing or sending out pitches, if you’re a writer. Maybe it’s uploading product images and desriptions to Etsy. Batching mindless tasks together and getting them over with saves me a lot of time.
Say no to any invites that come up when you have a retreat day planned. If you live with others, let them know your plans in advance so your time isn’t interrupted. Honor the time that you’ve decided to focus on you and what you love! And when you’re done working (because even if you love it, it’s still work, right?!), definitely make the time to relax and enjoy the rest of your weekend. For me, that means putting the laptop away!
Don’t obsess over the details.
My retreat days are usually 6-7 hours long but they really don’t have to be.
Four hours could be a really great length for a retreat day as well. You can get a lot done with a 90 minute agenda.
Although I haven’t done it yet, I think it would be fun to do a retreat day with some friends, for extra accountability (plus you can do something fun and social afterwards to celebrate!).
Retreat days have been a realy gamechanger for me. I get to set aside time for what I love, be productive, be creative and learn new things. They’re really adaptable for any side project or hobby.
Have you ever tried a retreat day? What are your strategies for making time for what you love to do?