Prioritizing Your Calendar For What’s Truly Important • Financially Simple

I’ve often said that being a business owner is not for the faint of heart. You’ll undoubtedly encounter setback after setback, and you’ll definitely miss out on some of those special moments in life. As an entrepreneur, you pour all of your time and energy into the business so that you can watch it thrive. But have you done so at the expense of your own well-being? You see your health declining, relationships failing, and your overall well-being dwindling. As a business owner, maybe you’ve optimized your time in the office, but are you prioritizing what’s most important in your life? In this entry, I’m going to look at the importance of prioritizing your calendar to make room for life outside of business.

Follow Along With The Financially Simple Podcast!

This week on The Financially Simple Podcast:

  • (00:56) Block scheduling for efficiency

  • (02:49) Should your business be the most important part of your life?

  • (06:15) The three big rocks

  • (10:34) Efficiencies and boundaries

  • (13:01) Some simple rules

  • (15:40) Scheduling lessons learned from the COVID closures

  • (17:13) Pause and “calendar” your life this year

A Pervasive Problem Among Entrepreneurs

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen business owners on social media, boasting about the number of hours they work. Every day, there’s a different post with someone proclaiming that they’re “making things happen,” or that they’re working “75 hours today.” I see these posts and I have to ask myself, “Why?” Either you just love what you do (as I do) or you’re a slave to the business you’ve created. Either way, it isn’t sustainable.

You see, a study by Inc. found that 70% of business owners work at least one weekend per month. Similarly, The Alternative Board revealed that 19% of entrepreneurs work 60+ hours per week. Still, another survey discovered that only 57% of business owners take vacations, and 67% of those that do take vacation time check in to work at least once per day.

What’s the point? Well, with all of that work, it’s highly likely that business owners are neglecting other areas outside of their businesses.

Friends, your business is a key part of your life, but it shouldn’t be the most important part. You must also prioritize the areas that influence your physical, relational, and spiritual health. As the ancient Greek physician, Herophilus, said, “When health is absent, wealth is useless.”

So, how can you avoid losing the most important things in your life while pursuing the big aspirations entrepreneurs have? This is only possible when you prioritize those things first. We can figure out the rest because we’re entrepreneurs and we know how to get things done.

Identifying Your Three Big Rocks

As an entrepreneur, your business is extremely important. I mean, there’s a reason business owners display similar bonds with their companies as parents and their children. But your business can’t provide you with all you need. Among the top side effects of a poor work-life balance are damaged family relationships and problems with physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

You see, if you don’t prioritize your calendar to allow time for the things that are important to you, you will lose them. Recent data suggests that the divorce rate for entrepreneurs is between 43% and 48%. Friends, this is shockingly higher than the national average of 14.56% in 2022. But why?

Now, there are many factors that go into a divorce, but when you’re looking at the increased divorce rates of entrepreneurs, you can’t overlook the amount of time spent in the business. For every moment you’re working on the business, that’s a moment you’re not working on your relationships. The same is true of any area of your life that gets put on the back burner for your business. This is why I like to block my schedule to make intentional time for the “three big rocks.” These are the three things you value most outside of your business.

In my own life, my faith, family, and health are my “three big rocks.” They’re non-negotiable and I won’t allow anyone or anything to deter me from pursuing them. So, what are the rocks in your life?

Prioritizing Your Calendar For Efficiency and Boundaries at Work

Let’s look at some examples across different industries to understand how entrepreneurs can manage their time more effectively.

Schedule Comparisons across Industries

  1. Financial Advisors: In the financial advisory space, no more than about 50% of the average advisor’s work week is spent on direct client activity-related tasks, and barely 20% of their time is actually spent meeting with clients.
  2. Dental Entrepreneurs: Dental entrepreneurs spend the majority of their time working on patient care. According to, full-time dentists in private practices spend approximately 36 hours per week in their practices, of which roughly 33 hours per week is spent treating patients. However, as a dental entrepreneur, the time spent on back-office and administrative tasks can easily bleed into other areas of your life unless you have a dedicated manager who handles these tasks in your business.
  3. Construction Industry: Entrepreneurs in the construction industry face their own time-management challenges. The 2023 State of Residential Construction Industry Report shows that 61% of construction businesses allocate less than 25% of their time to work on their businesses.

These numbers aren’t surprising when you consider that the average entrepreneur spends 68.1% of the time working “in” their business—tackling day-to-day tasks, putting out fires, etc.—and only 31.9% of the time working “on” their business—i.e. long-term goals, strategic planning. But entrepreneurs are losing more than time they could be spending working on their businesses. Poor time management can also cost us the things we value most.

Prioritizing Your Calendar to Make Room for the “Three Big Rocks.”

So, how can we prioritize our calendars to make room for each of the “three big rocks” in our lives? In my own life, I don’t work on the weekends. That time is for my family and my personal and spiritual well-being. But I realize that not everyone can do that.

As entrepreneurs, we shouldn’t worry about if we will get the job done. We have the drive and tenacity to make it happen. It’s in our DNA. Therefore, if you block time for your three big rocks during normal working hours, I feel confident that you’re still going to do what needs to be done in order to get the job done.

For example, let’s say you want to prioritize having dinner with your family on Tuesday evenings. You must block off that time in your calendar. Maybe each Tuesday you’re unavailable from 5 PM to 8 PM. You might end up going to bed a little later that night to get your work done, but you’ve made sure that you’re also nurturing the relationship with your spouse and your children. The same thing applies across the board. No matter what your 3 big rocks are, you must schedule time to focus on each of them.

Now, some of you are saying, “Justin, I can’t take time away (even for a few hours). Things just don’t work when I’m not pulling the levers.” If that’s true, then you have a ton of company-specific risk and you need to prioritize building systems, processes, and a team that can execute them in your absence.

Wrapping Up…

Friends, what are your priorities outside of business? Is it your health? Faith? Family? Perhaps, it’s a hobby or serving a particular group in your community that you’re passionate about. Whatever they may be, making time for the big rocks in your life must be non-negotiable. Your business and its problems will still be there when you return to work.

Taking this step requires having proven systems and processes in your business. Reach out to our team to learn more about how we could help you get there.

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