How Theme Days Can Help Work from Home Entrepreneurs Succeed

Feb 24, 2023

How Theme Days Can Help Work from Home Entrepreneurs Succeed

Feb 24, 2023

Whether you’ve been working from home since 2020, or you took the leap years ago, the challenge of balancing your work and life to-do lists when you don’t have the structure of going to an office can be daunting.

If you’ve ever worked in an office setting, you might think that working from home is all sweatpants, snacks, and afternoon naps ( glorious, right?) — but you’ll quickly realize that some structure is necessary if you want to run a successful business, stay productive, and make progress on your goals.

In 2015, I was a brand new baby entrepreneur that was juggling having a toddler with zero experience managing my own time and business.

Time blocking made me feel like a failure because none of my tasks seemed to magically fit into my best guess of how long they would take.

I didn’t understand client boundaries and would answer emails at all hours — trying to squeeze every little task in between the cracks on nights and weekends (or at the playground with one eye on my phone and one on my kiddo).

It took about 9 months before I felt burnout creeping toward me. And while “burnout” is the buzzword of the last couple of years, it has always existed for those of us trying to make it all happen with too little structure or boundaries.

What I realized was that while I needed structure to be able to plan my week as best as I could and not be led around by my email inbox, I needed a system that was going to be flexible enough to allow for life’s unexpected hiccups (i.e., sick kiddo).

Theme Day Planning Method

Theme Day Planning Method was something I created in 2015 after not finding any time management or productivity systems that worked for my needs. I was a busy mom, trying to build a business, and was on a quick path to burnout.

The basic principle of the Theme Day Planning Method is taking the list of all your to-do’s and grouping similar tasks together into “theme buckets”.

Then you decide which days you are going to focus on each theme bucket.

For example, your Monday theme might be “content creation”, Tuesday is “client work”, and so on.

And while there will be other tasks throughout your day that must happen and don’t fit in with the “theme,” you will be able to set aside focused blocks of time to work on whatever tasks do fit into your daily theme.

When you have a dedicated, focused block of time to work on tasks that are all similar, you’ll literally get more done in less time.

Theme Day Planning is not a planner — it’s a method of planning that will help you with:

  1. context switching
  2. boundaries
  3. work/life balance
  4. goals

Context Switching

Context switching is the biggest, sneakiest struggle that Theme Day Planning Method will help you with as a work-from-home entrepreneur.

Context switching is when you shift focus and attention between tasks and/or activities. While you appear to be doing multiple tasks at once (”multitasking”), you’re actually just doing all those tasks poorly.

Think of the last time you watched a training video from a course you bought while you were trying to clear out your email inbox. How much did you actually absorb and learn from the training?

There are many articles and studies out there now on how destructive context switching is for our brains and our productivity. Here are 5 diagrams that show how context switching saps your productivity.

By focusing similar tasks together into theme days, you’ll be able to maximize your productivity and get into that flow state with your work.


The second benefit of Theme Day Planning is it enables you to set better boundaries for yourself and others.

About 2 years into my business, I discovered the need for “no meeting” days in my weekly schedule. Since I’m an introvert, having Zoom or in-person meetings is a big energy drain for me and requires a different mindset and focus than something like content creation.

I implemented having Mondays and Fridays as no-meeting days so I could use those days to focus internally on my business and stay in a creative mindset. Bonus: it’s also really nice to know I have 2 days in the week where I can dress down and stay barefaced with a messy bun.

Entrepreneurs are passion-driven people and it’s so easy to let your ideas and projects take over every waking moment. Theme Day Planning helps me create better boundaries for myself around how I spend my time.

I decided to have Saturdays be a “no-device” day, and it’s been amazing to truly unplug for a day every single week. Most Saturdays my phone doesn’t even leave the charger in the living room.

Work/Life Balance

While the term “work/life balance” is overused, it’s still relevant to illustrate how Theme Day Planning helps you improve in all aspects of your life.

After I tweaked and improved using Theme Day Planning Method weekly, I started applying the concept monthly as well. Every month I have several days that are entirely focused on one area of my life that’s important to put love and attention on. They are:

  1. CEO Day (goal review, planning, stats/analytics)
  2. Batching/Scheduling Day (creating and scheduling marketing posts to go out for a month or more)
  3. Hooky Day (a personal day during the week where I do whatever I want between school hours, like shopping, a massage, or Netflix)
  4. Kiddo Special Day (a fun day for one of the kids usually involving a movie, lunch, and ice cream — we switch kids every other month)
  5. Date Night/Day (this one has been difficult due to not having a regular babysitter, but we try)

Try scheduling these Theme Days into your month and see how much it improves your own work/life balance.


The last (but not least) important improvement Theme Day Planning Method helps with is your ability to set and achieve goals. Let me use a common financial literacy example to illustrate how.

If you have multiple balances of credit card and/or revolving debt, you’ve probably heard the concept of how to “snowball” your debt payoff.

You pay off as much as you can every month on your highest-interest debt first. After that debt is paid off, you take that payment and “snowball” it into your next highest-interest debt. And so on and so on until your debt is completely paid off.

I can attest to this method and how quickly it helped hubby and I pay off our revolving debt over 10 years ago.

Now let’s adapt this concept to goals…

As an entrepreneur, you might have a set a few business goals, but you also probably know the goal that will do the most to move your business forward and build it.

If you set aside a Theme Day for the most important goal that you’re working on, you will achieve that goal faster.

It’s simply a matter of less context switching, boundaries with your time, and being in the flow of something that’s important to you.

Succeed with the Theme Day Planning Method

Theme Day Planning Method is a way to think about how to best plan for what’s important to you as a work-from-home entrepreneur.

  • By grouping similar tasks together into specific days of the week, you’ll eliminate as much context switching as possible and get more done in less time (yes, really).
  • By using Theme Days to create boundaries for yourself and others, you’ll protect your schedule and energy in a more effective way.
  • By using Theme Days in all areas of your life, you’ll build in prioritizing time for yourself, your family, and your business in a way that helps you be present and focused.
  • By dedicating Theme Days to your most important goals, you’ll pay off that “debt” faster and translate your long-term goals into weekly actions.

If you’re not quite convinced, I have one more real-life example for you.

In 2021, our daughter was in 2nd grade and we had decided to do a 100% online school curriculum with her.

I saw her struggling with the context switching of doing 5 different school subjects a day, and I struggled with her having to constantly interrupt me as I was trying to work from home and be her teacher.

Halfway through the year, it dawned on me that if I used my own Theme Day Planning Method for her weekly school schedule, we might be able to have a totally different (better) experience.

We chose one subject to complete each day (that was the whole week of work for that subject). So, Monday was Math, Tuesday was Science, and so on. Using Theme Day Planning starting in January, she finished her entire 2nd grade school year in April with a 97%. AND she had Fridays off for play and activities.

Imagine if we had started the school year in September by using Theme Day Planning … she probably would have finished by winter break.

If an 8-year-old can finish her school year 2 months early with a 97%, imagine what using Theme Day Planning Method could help YOU accomplish in your business (and life).

You can learn more about how to think about, learn, and use Theme Days to plan your week in my online course: Theme Day Planning Method.

If you’re exhausted trying to juggle all the things, and you can see burnout coming like that 5-car pileup on the freeway, Theme Day Planning Method will:

  • pull you out of overwhelm and feeling like you’re never done
  • get you crystal clear on your priorities and how to schedule your week
  • give you enough structure with boundaries and planning, while still being flexible enough for when life happens

All in less than 2 hours, so you can implement what you learn today.

And you’ll learn how to use it with any paper or digital planning system you prefer.

Click here to reserve your class

Cara’s Bio:

Cara Chace is a productivity and business mentor and the creator of the Theme Day Planning Method. She lives her passion: showing women how to navigate life priorities while building a business they love. She’s been balancing her aversion to rules and bosses with the need for structure since 2013 when she had her first child and took on the role of social media manager for Megadeth and their 13 million online fans. After realizing being a work-from-home entrepreneur was the best fit for her life, she built a digital marketing agency from scratch, had another kid, navigated constantly shifting priorities, moving houses, and life demands…and made it her mission to Work Better and Live Well.

Instagram: @carachace/

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