EP 07: 4 Non-Negotiables You Need on Your Calendar as a CEO (or working) Mama

February 1, 2022

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An expert OBM taking the operational mental load off agency owners so they can become better leaders.

Meet Jillian

Join your host, Jillian Dolberry, your “pocket online business manager,” in bi-weekly episodes of The Grace-Filled CEO podcast, the resource you’ve been waiting for to manage all the parts of your life.

Jillian speaks directly to the woman wearing many hats (you know you’re living at least some of them): mom, wife, and caretaker … or boss, a writer, a daughter, a sister, a friend, even a CEO. If you’re going to succeed at any or all of them, it’s going to take a lot of work! And Jillian is here to show you exactly how, with timely conversations and solid resources, sprinkled with a little grace for you, your work, and all of the roles you fill! Find this and more on The Grace-Filled CEO podcast.

Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts or at You can also continue the conversation with Jillian on Instagram at @jilliandolberry.



You are listening to episode number 7 of the Grace-Filled CEO Podcast. Thank you for being here and listening in. I am so so grateful you chose to spend this next 10 ish mins with me. If you are a mama that works super hard and does all the things for everyone, this episode is going to be so very valuable to you. We give so much of ourselves to important things and not so important things. This is your permission to sit down, reevaluate and realign with your values. This is going to be good! Let's dive in.

This episode is sponsored by my free resource, Manage Your Boundaries, Energy, and Time Like a CEO. Because I know you're a busy woman and you probably don't have time to read a 50-page e-book or watch a 20 min video, I have summed this resource up in an audio format (with a transcript of course). In addition to that, it comes with a guided diagram to walk you through where you are feeling the tension in your business and action steps to take to resolve it in a healthy way, as well as email scripts to communicate with your clients through points of tension or conflict. Who doesn't want that?! Feeling that constant pull like you are giving too much of yourself to your clients, but not sure how to NOT do that? Start with this resource. The link is in the show notes!

Can we talk about calendar fatigue? My calendar looks like a skittles factory. You may not understand what that means if you don't color-code your google calendar like I do, but that may need to be it's own episode! ANYWAY – There is a lot going on there. A lot of appts, a lot of commitments, a lot of reminders and birthdays and meetings…. TO NAME A FEW. We have calendars for my husband's job schedule, his business schedule (no those are not the same) and the kids and their activities. Are you tired yet? I AM!


My point is, there is a lot going on in each of our worlds. Let's be gracious of that when dealing with people, but also let's be gracious with ourselves! And let's do our due diligence in making sure we have some boundaries and safeguards in our calendars for the times when invites and activities are competing for our attention against the things that truly matter. There are so many calendar hacks out there and some have been really helpful in my world, but hacks don't protect you from saying yes too now, and not saying NO enough. Today I am going to share with you the top four non-negotiables you as a working mama need on your calendar. These 4 things will not just give you MARGIN but they will help you protect what's important.

The first thing you need on your calendar as a CEO or working mama, is CEO Time.

What does CEO time mean? Well first of all, you know, you've heard me say it time and time again… your business should be what you need it to be to serve your family and same goes for this CEO time. So many things can fall into this, but the point of this time is to BE the CEO. Carve out that time in your calendar where you aren't wearing all the hats, you're just wearing one. The CEO. The Boss. The CEO is not the person who works 60+ hours a week, takes care of all the things, works all the time and has to sacrifice a lot of important moments for the sake of the business. I mean it certainly can be. But that's not WHY we got into business and it's certainly not what is going to keep us in business. In fact that way of doing things is going to burn you out quicker than you can say 6 figures. So let's wipe out that stigma about CEOs. Instead let's talk about us. Working moms who take charge of their calendar, time and future. We get to choose how we spend our time. We get to choose when we say no. We get to choose our own hours. A CEO is someone who started something and is committed to growing it the right way for them. They make hard decisions and say no to say a better yes to something else. They show up for what aligns with their values.So when you are building out what your CEO time looks like, make it reflective of who you are as a CEO. Do you need 3 hours of your time to read a book? Do you need to map out some internal processes for your business? Do you need to set up a counseling or coaching session? Do you need to listen to a podcast while you do the dishes? I have a highlight on my instagram stories about how I spent a CEO day in the past if you want to check that out. In my current stage of business, this looks a little different though. I have two different formats for a CEO day.

One day might look like:

  • Bible study
  • ordering groceries
  • getting a massage or pedicure
  • reading a book or catching up on my favorite Tv show
  • taking a bath in the middle of the day – which has always felt like a luxury because hello – no interruptions!
  • grabbing lunch with a friend
  • or planning out something fun for my family

While another CEO day may look like:

  • Checking in on my internal team.
  • catching up on internal team tasks
  • Building funnels for my own business
  • Planning for the next hire
  • Developing new resources to share with you
  • Brainstorming future ideas and offerings
  • Executing internal projects
  • Managing my business finances
  • and so much more.

The idea is that you are working ON your business or ON yourself and not just running around getting things done. It can look like either of those ideas or a mixture of both. I oftentimes do a combination of taking care of myself and my business. Because let's be honest, I want a pedicure and to plan out next quarter! For me, it makes sense for this to be a whole day but it can be just a couple of hours. What works best for your schedule is the best option for you. Just make sure you protect this time. That means putting it on your calendar and being stingy with what gets to come into that time. There are only a few things that should interrupt that time and those things are straight from your list of values. For example, a sick kid, a family emergency, or a personal need all come before this CEO time. An example of what shouldn't creep in is meetings.

No meetings! Do I need to say it louder for the people in the back? NO MEETINGS!

The next thing you need on your calendar as a CEO or working mama, is a routine to take care of yourself.

This can mean so many things, but let me be real with you. For years, I didn't take a lunch break. After I left the corporate world, I was free of so many things that weren't for me, but one thing I missed? Lunch breaks…. and paid sick days! But mostly lunch breaks! We get so busy and in the zone trying to make the most of the time that we have and we work through our lunch more times than not. Taking care of yourself is not limited to lunch breaks, but it is a true practice and muscle to strengthen. Ever more reason to put it on your calendar. What does this look like exactly? Create a filter or a calendar you can turn on and off, in your calendar of choice (I use google cal). and outline your day. What routine will you follow that protects your time and supports your lifestyle.

Using my routine as an example, here is what it could look like.

From 5:30-6:30 I wake up and get ready for the day

6:30-7:00 I help get the kids up and ready for school.

7:00-7:30 is My coffee and bible study time.

7:30-8 is my overflow time. I have a buffer to take care of things, finish up my study, or make another cup of coffee.

8-11 is my first work block.

11-11:30 or 12 is my lunch break/workout time.

12-2 is my 2nd work block

2-3 I am picking my son up form school

3-4 I am wrapping up anything outstanding and prepping for the next day.

Now that is really detailed, but its to be though of an example of getting the right rhythm of my days and a routine that includes the things that are most important to me. Same rule applies to you. What rhythms or routines can you try and put into place to protect those much needed times. Real talk for a second, showers, food and connection. (among other things) are basic human needs. Not luxuries. I feel like someone needs to hear that. Give yourself the time and space to fulfill your basic human needs.

The next thing you need on your calendar as a CEO or working mama, is time to work.

I mean you knew I would get there right? We have to do something that's making money in our business! For a lot of us that is client work! Client work is important and deserves a spot on your calendar, again for the purpose of protecting it. Everything you do will try to compete with something else if you let it. Map out what those times are for you and try to stick to them. IF for some reason you cannot stick to the times you've outlined, change it!! Make it work for you.

Lastly, the thing you need on your calendar as a CEO or working mama, is FUN.

Make time for FUN! Girls nights, coffee chats, retreats, small group, birthday parties, celebrate important moments with your friends and family or take a vacation! ENJOY the fact that you get to choose what takes up your time and how your schedule is organized. Last Summer, I saved a portion of my Mondays (which are my CEO days) to get out on the water with my family. We have a kayak and paddle board and we just love being out there relaxing and having fun as a family. What is that for you?I would love for you to share with me how you organize your calendar and what works for you! Tag me on instagram, or email me directly at hello@jilliandolberry.comi hope these tips are helpful to you and meet you right where you are today. I also hope that this episode spreads hope to you as a working mama. Its not an easy thing that we do, but I tell you, with people behind you cheering you on, it makes it so much more fun! So thats what I'm here to do… share all the deets about all the tips, and cheer you on. Talk to you soon friend!

Alright friends, that is it for this episode! If this episode was helpful to you, I would encourage you to share it with a friend who you think it would resonate with and of course share with me how this episode impacted you. Find me on instagram @jilliandolberry

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