How To Design Your Day as a Creative Entrepreneur

Are you tired of days slipping through your fingers without achieving your creative goals?

If you are, this might sound like your typical day as a creative entrepreneur:

→ You wake up in the morning with a sense of excitement and purpose, eager to tackle the day ahead in your business. 

→ But all too often, reality sets in, and you find yourself caught in a whirlwind of distractions, urgent emails, and endless to-do lists. 

→ Before you know it, the day has come and gone, leaving you frustrated and unsatisfied, wondering where all your time went and why you haven’t made progress on your creative projects.

Worse yet, managing your business finances, marketing your offers, tending to client communications, and handling other necessary administrative tasks often suffocate your creative spark.

And I get it.

You’ve probably resisted scheduling out your days in the past because the idea of structure and systems can sound restrictive and rigid. 

As a creative, you crave spontaneity and flexibility.

But what if I told you that on the other side of that structure is a work schedule that will actually allow MORE creativity instead of less?

It may sound counterintuitive but it’s true!


  • Jumping into your day with creative energy that flows freely. 
  • Never again being interrupted by the chaos of disorganized schedules or endless distractions. 
  • Feeling accomplished and satisfied as you tick off the tasks on your to-do list, knowing that each step taken is a step towards fulfilling your goals.

The key? 

Designing your day!

When you design your day — and even your week — intentionally you can impactfully channel your creative nature!

In this blog, you’ll learn how to tap into the full potential of both your creativity and productivity by strategically designing an ideal-for-you day so that instead of feeling overwhelmed and spread thin, you feel focused and in control. 

Design Your Ideal Day In 6 Simple Steps

Designing your ideal day as a creative entrepreneur doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be intentional. In the next several steps I’ll guide you through reflection prompts, tools, and strategies that will help you define what your ideal day can look and feel like. 

While we are focusing on your ideal day, the reality is every day will likely need to be a little bit different (i.e. Mondays and Fridays may involve different tasks) but as a starting point, focus on your overall vision so you can get clear on what an ideal day should include for you to feel successful and fulfilled. Later, you can get more granular as you map out your ideal week or month.

Let’s jump in!

Step 1: Reflect

Before putting anything into action, you need to reflect on how you’d like to design your day. I like to approach this process as a blank canvas or an empty page – similar to how you probably prepare for creative tasks or projects in your business!

Begin by getting crystal clear on your ideal work day. 

(Don’t forget to be realistic while also allowing yourself to dream a bit!)

You can do this by asking yourself a few key questions:

  • When do I want or need to work? (Keep in mind this may change seasonally or as your goals and priorities shift over time)
  • What kinds of projects am I willing to take on? How many at a time and how often?
  • What does a successful day of work and play look and feel like? (The more specific you can be, the better!)

Clarity around what you want to do, don’t want to do, and must do will help shape how you prioritize your time in the upcoming steps.

Step 2: Identify Your Non-Negotiables

Non-negotiables can include any commitments or appointments you have each day that you MUST do. For example: standing client meetings, drop off/pickup for your kids, doctor’s appointments, and sports practices or games.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What are my non-negotiables? (AKA – the things I have to do each day for my business? For my personal life?)
  • What parts of my day are within my control and which are out of my control?

Sure,  you might wish you could just paint or write or design all day in your business. But the reality of being an entrepreneur is there will always be mundane but necessary tasks to tend to (just like dentist appointments will always be an unpleasant but necessary part of your personal life)

The goal is to weave them in so that you can tackle them consistently without allowing them to totally take you away from the creative work you set out to do in the first place!

Then, allow rhythms to support you so they don’t feel like such a heavy lift! 

Rhythms serve as the consistency and structure that hold your systems together, dictating when and how often tasks are performed. They provide regular support to your business ops. 

Some examples of rhythms could include:

  • Tending your books each month.
  • Checking in with your clients on Voxer for 30 minutes at 2 pm every Tuesday (be specific!).
  • Planning your social media content quarterly.

Once established, these rhythms become ingrained and contribute to the overall efficiency of your business. Eventually, your rhythms will begin to build your days for you. When you are intentional about where your time is going and create rhythms to support those non-negotiables, that’s where the magic happens!

Step 3: Find Patterns

Now it’s time to take inventory of where your time is already going so that you can decide where you WANT it to go more often or more consistently.

I recommend you complete a time audit to identify patterns (you can snag my FREE Time Audit tool here). 

Audits aren’t exactly sexy, but they provide REAL insight (not just assumptions) and tangible data you can use as a solid grounding point for this design-your-day exercise. 

This info will help you make informed decisions about when and where to focus your energy.

You’ll be able to notice patterns and answer questions like:

  • When are you most productive? 
  • When are you most likely to be able to focus without interruptions? 
  • What naturally fits into your schedule? 
  • What small tweaks can you make or what tasks can you group to make your day easier to manage and more efficient? 

Let your goals, values, and priorities guide you as you decide when and where your time and energy are best focused. It’s the key to staying aligned. 

COO Tip: Color code your activities to help you see the patterns. (This is especially helpful if you are a visual person like I am!) For example, try using orange for family time, purple for client time and meetings, blue for priority items, green for fitness, and red for time wasters!

Step 4: Reserve Time On Your Calendar

If it’s essential to your work or a priority in your creative or personal life, you need to block it off on your calendar. I find that time blocks and batch work can help you concentrate on important tasks without the interruptions!

I like to think of time blocking as appointments you schedule with yourself to complete specific tasks. It’s all about treating your daily to-dos and responsibilities with the same level of commitment you would with your clients or team members

By reserving specific blocks of time in your schedule for focused work, you create a powerful structure that allows you to laser-focus on your most important tasks. 

Time blocking can also include batch work. Batch work takes time blocking a step further because it’s all about grouping similar tasks together and tackling them in those focused blocks of time. Instead of jumping from one task to another, you dedicate a specific period solely to a particular type of work. This can help you minimize distractions and stay on task! 

For example, you could allocate one block of time to respond to emails, another for content creation, and a third for meetings. This way, you maintain that laser focus and optimize your productivity.‌

When done well, both time blocks and batch work will allow you to take control of your time and feel confident that nothing is on your calendar that you haven’t allowed to be there. Sometimes this means you’ll need to get comfortable saying no so you can really take charge of your calendar. 

With practice and consistency, you’ll become more discerning with your most precious, non-renewable resources: your time, energy, and attention.

COO Tip: To help you better stick to your ideal daily plan, zoom out so you can see your whole week at once! Print your week and hang it somewhere you can see (i.e. in a spreadsheet, select the cells you want to print, then “print” and choose “selected cells” in the dropdown) OR go right ahead and add these time blocks to your calendar!

Step 5: Get Your Priorities Straight

Now that you have clarity around what you’ve been doing, what you want to do, and what you need to do you may still be caught up wondering what to focus on first. 

Figuring out how to successfully prioritize takes time, but you can get better at deciding which tasks will move the needle in your business by using the Three Movers Technique

This strategy involves brain-dumping your tasks, ideas, and projects upfront. Get everything out of your head and onto your to-do list. Decide what tasks are absolutely essential, which would be nice to get to time permitting, and which you can either outsource or ditch altogether! 

Next, you’ll want to take your brain dump and identify the top three tasks that you can focus on each day (or each week). These should be the tasks that will have the most significant impact on your business or personal life. 

Lastly, assign each one to a time block. When the Three Movers Technique is used in tandem with time blocks, your efforts can be even more impactful! Assign one to each of your time blocks on each day. Then, when that time rolls around, focus ONLY on that one task until it’s done! 

When you know what to focus on, you’ll be able to make significant progress in your creative work. Plus, you’ll cut down on wasted time significantly! Time spent task-switching AND deciding what to do can easily lead to wasted time and lots of non-priority attention suckers!

Ask yourself each day, “What 3 things can I do TODAY to move my business forward?” 

Implementing this strategy consistently throughout the year will bring noticeable shifts in how you allocate your time in different seasons of life and business.

Step 6: Give Yourself Grace

We call this an “ideal” schedule for a reason. In a perfect world, this is how things would flow. But we live in the real world, not a perfect one, so things will inevitably pop up, projects will take longer than expected, and you will get pulled off-track sometimes. 

That’s OK! 

Just remember you have a plan and come back to it to reset yourself whenever you need to!

To avoid burnout and improve well-being, proactively incorporate breaks into your day and implement strategies that will help you set and maintain your boundaries

Neglecting time for rest can lead straight to burnout and anxiety! Rather than pushing yourself until you’re desperate for a pause or jam-packing your schedule with tasks to suck the productivity out of every moment, proactively incorporate breaks into your schedule. 

Building in breaks will allow you to catch your breath before feeling overwhelmed and overworked. 

Consider setting aside dedicated time throughout the day to…

  • take an actual lunch break (yes, that means away from your desk),
  • step outside for a refreshing walk around the block,
  • or simply do some light stretching to get the blood flowing.

Another way to support your well-being and reinforce boundaries is to use the Bookend strategy. This is a strategy I use every single day in my business. 

I start and end my day with tasks that help me warm up before distractions from the outside world start to seep in, and cool down as I button things up and transition into family time for the evening. 

Your bookends will likely look different than mine, but for me, my morning bookend involves:

  • checking emails,
  • responding to clients on Voxer,
  • reviewing tasks for the day,
  • and prepping for any coaching calls.

My end-of-day bookend involves:

  • making notes for things I need to follow up on the next day,
  • finalizing notes from the day’s coaching calls,
  • updating my PM system (ClickUp),
  • and tidying up my inbox.

These bookends help me tie up loose ends while reinforcing boundaries as I transition from work time to personal time and back.

Quick Disclosure: The ClickUp link I shared is an affiliate link, which means when you click the link and make a purchase, it won’t cost you more, but I may receive a commission for sharing this with you. I promise I only ever share what I use and love, so I’d be sharing this with you anyway!

Take Control of Your Time

By designing your day intentionally and implementing these effective time management strategies, you can harness your creativity and boost productivity. You’ll be better able to focus your attention and make progress towards your entrepreneurial goals while still leaving room for the spontaneity and flexibility you crave as a creative.

If you’re looking for more structure and support as you reclaim your time and build out your days more intentionally, be sure to click here to download my FREE Time Audit tool. Start tracking your time so you can make adjustments, notice trends, and optimize your time wisely. It helps you be more productive within your working hours to maintain your boundaries while working towards your creative business goals.


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