Whether we’re coming fresh out of a salaried role or have spent years out on the road as an independent, it’s easy to default to the monthly view.
Just like a calendar, the month is the most easily understood timeframe. No time differences to manage, or weeks starting on a Sunday vs a Monday.
Monthly makes sense – after all, it’s when our outbound payment obligations usually land.
Mapping monthly keeps us buttoned up and on top; we can pretty accurately make the plans for our spending and the spending of our time.
Monthly lets us see the regular cadence of revenue we need to cover our bases (hopefully with a little extra saving up or splashing out).
But for all its well-meaning design and manageable mathematics, as independent professionals the monthly view can do us a disservice.
In fact it plays a trick on us. It narrows our view, distorts our focus.
Instead, we can take our internal calendar view and switch to annual.
We lose the specificity and the safety blanket that monthly gives us, but we gain the optionality to go after something more, something better – both for ourselves and the people we’re serving with the work we do.
The annual view frees us up to think strategically, to invest time into the things we really want to build.
Our mindset starts to shift, our horizons begin to open, and our periscope tilts positively upward.
Sure, we need to switch back to monthly view every now and then – if we’re not meeting our obligations and keeping enough resources at hand then we cause ourselves stress, anxiety and pain. No one benefits when that happens. Monthly view is always there to check when we need to, and check it we should.
But when we default to annual view, something happens.