Adam - Hello and welcome to the digital upline show in this episode, our client success director Meredith discusses how to manage yourself in time as an entrepreneur, and how to maximize the value of each hour you spend on your business. Here we go.
Meredith - Friends are nothing. Planning is everything. Right, plans are nothing planning is everything. And that's the same with your time management, you can have a plan for your time, but actually executing on that plan, and using the time the way that you said you were going to those are two entirely different things.
You can have all the intention you want in the world, but then you've got to have the action to back that intention. And so that's a little bit about what we're going to talk about tonight.
I'm so not used to doing these slides as well. Okay, cool. So, what makes time management challenging. Hey, let's talk about why this is kind of like, sometimes the sucking sound like the vortex of time just enters into that so if you guys feel like that, comment below I'd love to know like, Do you ever feel like time is just sucked away from you like you look up and all of a sudden it's like Thursday or all these things you meant to get done, just aren't happening for you.
Have you guys felt like that lately, I'd love to know, hopefully it's not just me.
But why's that? Well, number one is competing priorities right. Every day, we are just bombarded with competing priorities, and we constantly need to juggle those priorities, and as humans, we're actually not really designed to do that, we're really pretty simple thinkers and, you know, there's all these studies that have been done out there about whether or not you're actually effective when you're multitasking.
And what we've come to find out is apparently multitasking is horrible, the more tasks, we're trying to do at one time, the least, the less effective. We are at any one of those tasks right so how are we supposed to juggle all of these priorities. Another reason that time management can be really challenging is that our plates are so full, they are overflowing.
Right, there's always something else coming up, and you have a choice when you look at it, I don't happen to look at this negatively. And you know I hear people complain like Oh, things were so simple you know, all of us that grew up in the 80s I'm an 80s kid, you know all the things are so simple back then you know I could let my children ride their bikes down the street and I could do this, I can do that and they're like, you know, all the style Jack about the past.
I mean, that's great, that's fine, our plates are full today, because the world is evolving with so many fantastic opportunities. It's like a smorgasbord of amazingness right you get to have all of these things that are coming your direction, all of these opportunities, and you get to sort through them and figure them out but because of that, like, if we were at a salad bar like, like the salad bar of life can I even call it that, but like if we were to salad bar, we would have like this little slot and it would just be this massive mound and like mushrooms would be falling off the sides and and stuff like this, you know, our plates are so full they're overflowing. It's a beautiful thing, but it makes managing our time, tough I don't know Adam, do you ever feel like that like your plate is just so full.
Adam - Yeah, I've never I've never thought of it like a salad like, like, it's like spilling over but but yeah yeah so yeah seriously I mean just with you know especially with just so much communications like especially with, with social media, it's like we're just bombarded with communication and messages and everything it, it definitely uh you know gets, you know it's a lot to handle it to manage.
Meredith - Totally. It is, it is and that's my third point here is that also stuff just happens, right, stuff happens and there's not anything that we can do about it I was getting ready to take a client call, I think it was like three Fridays ago, and I had scheduled this call for four o'clock in the afternoon, which I totally and completely should have been able to make I was excited to talk to this client, you know, wrap up my week Friday at 4pm. I do some driving of my small people in my life in the afternoon and I took my daughter to a course, and it took me 90 minutes to get home because of an automobile accident and three different construction projects that I had to drive through, when it should have taken me like 20 minutes. Right?
What can I do in that situation, you know, so I pulled over I messaged the client and just said, Hey, I'm not going to be able to meet with you until about 430 Well, stuff happens in a horrible auto accidents it shut down the entire freeway in our city. You know, what are you gonna do, but it still makes it challenging right, because then I had to juggle the rest of my day.
You've got to be in a position though where that's a minimum, and not a regularly occurring thing, right, and we can help you to do that today. Another thing that makes time management challenging as other people's right I think we talked about this last week where, you know how often are you interrupted if you work from home, what are the demands that other people are placing on you, are there people in your life that you know don't understand why you're pouring so much time into a side hustle a side business or building whatever it is you're building maybe even full time, they, they want your time.
Of course they do because they love you and they want to spend time with you, but you've got to be able to create boundaries around that otherwise time management's challenging. Another reason we're humans. How many of you have ever dropped a comment if you're willing to admit this one. How many of you have ever been like, I'm just gonna check my phone really quick. I'm just, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna check my phone really quick before I work on this one other thing.
And then like checking your phone really quick burns into like 30 minutes of this. Well I just checked these but now I'm just gonna jump right in. I'm just gonna check that just really quick, to see if I got a DM back from that one person who was you know trying to buy that one thing for me on marketplace. Right, and then now all of a sudden before you know it, half an hour of your day has gone by, and then you're scrambling for the rest of the day.
Adam - Yeah, the next thing you know, the next thing you're like checking your credit score and just cuz I said I look at my email once and now I'm like looking at my credit score like.
Meredith - Right, right, because knowing your credit score important point in time is a massive priority. We need to know that like point in time all the time, which honestly is funny, because the last point here is technology.
Technology has the ability to make our lives so much more efficient, but it also has the ability to steal so much of our time, as my example that there goes with you know just scrolling through your phone so let's just admit it agrees time management can be challenging, and is one of those things that you can either choose to own it or it's going to own you.
So what can you do to better manage your time, right, and we're going to go through each one of these five things. So here they are, you can have a planning process like Dwight said, My bro Dwight, it's not enough to have a plan. You need to have a planning process. Do you need to have annual and monthly goals, you need to have a weekly prioritization process have a morning and evening ritual, and you need to guard your time with your life, right, because really, what are the two biggest assets that you have in your life, Adam, what do you think there?
Adam - Well, your time is definitely one of them. I'm not really sure. The other one.
Meredith - I think it's your health, right, because as soon as your health is taken or as soon as your health degrades, things are completely different. Right, so you have your time and you have your health. So you, you have to guard your time, you only have so much of it here living this life and if you're not guarding it and doing what you want with it. All of a sudden, you know, Tuesday, turns into your you're 18 years old and you're retired, right, if you're not careful.
Adam - Real quick before, before you move on just want to welcome Mary from the Bronx, welcome welcome Mary, Antonio. Antonio from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. German pres from Mexico City but lives in San Antonio, Texas. Welcome, welcome Mark he's from Georgia, and Marquise marquees also said, daily, you know about just about like
when you asked about distractions.
Meredith - Oh yeah, for sure. For sure. Well welcome everyone. We're so glad you're here so I love to know too if you have a planning process that you absolutely love, because we're going to talk about that here a little bit and Adam talked about some of this last week, but it's really important that you have a planning process. It's not enough to sit down once a year, and write a plan and have it really pretty.
And then, you know, tuck it over here on your shelf, and never look at it again, right, that is the complete shame of creating a plan, but I also believe that planning is like a budget and a forecast, right, this is my analogy for your plan, you guys ever written a budget, either for your family or your business.
As soon as you write the budget, it's wrong. And why is it wrong, because things are organic and things change around the budget, and that's why we have a process called forecasting. Right, it's the forecast that matters. Your budget is like your plan, and it matters and you need to create one but what you have to get really good at isn't necessarily making sure that you've got to plan exactly right, but you got the process of checking in on the plan and working the plan and managing the plan to continually, that's what you really need to get right.
So how can you do that, Well, it's perfect time of year right now, do not wait till January, create annual goals. What do you want next year to look like. You already know what you want this year to look like and maybe it got totally derailed or maybe you like completely killed it, right, maybe you made, you know lemons out of lemonade out of lemons right maybe you did this year, but you've got to create annual goals, then you've got to break those goals into quarterly goals.
From there, you've got to align your strategies and tactics with your quarterly goals. And then and only then can you break it down into months, then weeks and then days of what you're going to do, but it's a process to work backwards. Right, start with the big, and then work that process backwards, and have a discipline around reviewing it regularly, which we're going to talk about, you know, I know you are a huge fan of, you know the discipline of creating a plan do you have a process that you follow each year.
Adam - Well yeah I mean I mean maybe not necessarily for each year, but it's like every every time I go into, you know any anything new any new time period, you know, I'm, I'm planning and it's just something that I've just, I have made it a habit over the year was like, hurt over the years is like when I come into a new year, you know I'm planning the year when I come into a new quarter.
I'm planning the quarter when I come into a new month, I'm planning the month when I come into a new week I'm planning the week when I come into a new day, I'm planning the day it's like, it's just something that, you know, I was like, There's no way I would, you know be where I am with without, you know, doing that, and it's not even anything like I mean, to me it's all it is just making lists right it's just like making lists of like priorities and like answering questions and then, you know, but but yeah I mean it's like, it's like yes, starting starting big and then working backwards. It's like macro to micro.
Meredith - Totally and I love that you say that it doesn't have to be fancy right I think sometimes we think like oh my gosh this is another thing to do and I don't know how to create a plan. Yeah you do. You know how to create a plan, you know what you want. Then ask yourself, Okay, what's it going to take to get there, what am I going to have to do to get there and how much time is that going to take and how does that play out over this month to this week, this day this year.
You know what you want, sit down and start spending time with that. If you're not sure what you want, I would, I would suggest get a journal and start, you know, journaling about what you want your future to look like journal about how you want your business to grow, and the ideas and the things that you would put into a plan will then become pretty clear, but you've absolutely got to have some kind of a planning process, Because if you don't have an overarching idea of what you want to do then how can you possibly know what you're doing like Thursday at 530. Right.
You know, it's always related. So you've also got to prioritize your week, and each week, you've got to determine this, what are the most important actions for the week. What is non negotiable. So there's an acronym in my, my family, I don't think I've shared it with you guys before my dad is a manufacturing engineer, and very process oriented like super super process oriented, And he has two acronyms that he's always used with me when it comes around to being organized, and when it comes down to having a plan and tracking results, and the one that he would always say to us when we were when we were kids.
On set, we always went to church on Sundays so we had to like take a really good bath on Saturdays right like you know really like with the hair and like everything and like the whole thing, and this, this experience was called as mo a major overhaul, you had to have a mo. So my dad was saying to every Saturday after dinner, kids in CO on the MO.
When he went and it was it was a no choice option NCO, so you've got to decide in your week. What is non negotiable. What are you going to complete, no matter what, no matter how many times you get derailed and traffic, no matter how many sick kids do pick up at school no matter how many you know distractions come your way with a client or a teammate that needs your help. You have things in your week that you are going to accomplish, no matter what, like you're not shutting down shop for the week until that task is complete.
If you have those every single week, you will move towards your goal much more consistently. If you don't have those non negotiables, it is so easy as an entrepreneur, because, who are you accountable to other than you. Right, just you. So it's really easy to kind of be like oh well you know I can let that slide into next week and let that slide into the next week. It's really easy to do that because you haven't really made a commitment to anybody other than yourself. But then you get caught into that spiral where you didn't commit to yourself so then now for you're gonna beat yourself up for not meeting your commitment.
So that's a real slippery slope to get into. So every week determine what is most important that you must do what is non negotiable, like Adam suggested last week, what are your learning goals, and what are you going to concentrate on each day. Right. All of this is related to ultimately managing your time very very specifically.
So, how about a morning and evening ritual?
This is all about setting yourself up for success, right, this is all about setting yourself up for success. If you do not have a morning ritual and an evening ritual here are the recipes for you guys to follow, and you can make them whatever you would like them to be, but if you ask the most successful people, they will tell you that they, in any industry, they will tell you that they have rituals that look something like this before you bought your ritual, you also need to understand though that your environment matters, right?
If you are in a cluttered environment if you do not have a dedicated space if you have not done what you need to do to create a space for yourself to complete your work, it's probably going to be easier for your time to slip away from you because you're not in control and feeling centered in your environment so please make sure that you've got a great place to work, your morning ritual should include no technology, do not roll over at, you know five o'clock in the morning when you wake up and start checking your messages and get into the social scroll. If you sleep with your phone by your bed because you use it as an alarm, turn the alarm off, but then shut the phone off, right?
You do not need that for the first hour, that you're awake, because not where you should be concentrating should spend that time getting yourself ready for your day with gratitude with meditation with division. And I also believe with exercise. Right. All of that needs to play in. Then in the evening, your ritual should really be about wrapping up your day. This is the time to review your goals for the week, how are they going.
This is the time for you to take stock of what you got done that day. Did you have any non negotiable that had to get finished that day. Is it done yes or no if it's not done then you know after dinner you're going to be coming back to your desk before you can close up for the night, right, based on that you can prioritize your next day. And then make sure again that there was no choice option items are closed out my dad would be so proud of you saw this and low accuracy down there in the bottom. But Adam do you organize your morning and your evening something like this?
Adam - Yeah, absolutely, in like the last couple of days, and I don't know I you know some days or, you know, or, like, the days that I do make the morning ritual, the days that I really like nail the morning ritual, are always my most productive days so like today and yesterday I absolutely nailed it like by eight o'clock in the morning, I had, you know, I, I, Yesterday I went on like a five mile bike ride, I came back I you know I did I did my morning formula which is visualization and, you know affirmations and things like that.
I read, you know, maybe 2025 Like I read a chapter in the book that I'm reading, you know a little bit like a little bit of meditation, and in this morning I didn't do the bike read this morning but I did like yoga, I did some yoga I've got kind of a yoga practice, which is kind of like combining some of the meditation with you know with with exercise, so I nailed the morning routine and had some super productive days yesterday and today.
And then I you know I wouldn't I would say I really don't have the greatest like shut down ritual right you know right right now. One thing that I used to do as as kind of an evening ritual is kind of like, you know, cool down ritual was I would write in my journal. And there was three questions, and it was one question was how many people that I share my business with today, but how many people that I talked to about my business today.
The next question, How did I show up in my business today. And then the final question, how can I make tomorrow better than today. No journal journal that is like abs like every day at the end of the day, and it would really you know, it'd be a real look in the mirror, actually, of like, if I'm, if I'm doing kind of divided if I'm being consistent with what I say I want.
Meredith - For sure, you know, I call it, winning my morning, Like if I have a day where I win the morning, meaning that I get my I get up when I said I was going to I do my meditation I do my gratitude journal I do my morning formula, I have my plan for the day. I have a time each morning set aside where I complete the most important task of the day, and I complete that most important task of the day, that's usually project related.
How does my dog do that so I do that, before anybody else in my house is awake. So no matter what I can say that I've won that morning, days when I do that the rest of my days goes so incredibly well. Right, days where I don't do that it's a complete, complete, like complete disaster. Right, so set the tone for your day, and you know I love that. These are flexible rituals, right, these aren't things that you necessarily have to follow exactly what Adam does or exactly what I do.
Maybe you like to exercise in the evening, it doesn't matter what I'm encouraging you to do is have a ritual, right, have something that book is your day. It could be two minutes, literally, but it will make such a massive difference for you when it comes to ultimately being able to control and manage your time, because that's the next piece we're going to talk about but before we do that, I'd love for anybody that's watching the live to tell us like, what do you do in the morning.
Do you have a ritual Do you have something that has made a huge difference for you, because your idea might spark somebody else that's catching us here tonight. Live or even in the replay to kind of improve their ritual to, you know, one of the things that's really important to us with the digital offline is that we're creating a sense of community here, so Adam I don't know if we've got any other comments or pieces you want to bring up there.
Adam - Well I think there's a little bit of a lag so I don't think anybody's had time to answer that particular question yet but but but German did mention, I have not implemented it yet, haha, but I read the book called the 12 week year I feel like I've heard of that. It's an amazing tool that I plan and read every three months, like a year. That's the first time I've heard of that before that's that's really interesting.
Jessica is asking Will there be a replay after this is done, yes there will be a replay by Jessica it's just going to be, you know, it's alive so it's just going to be in the group after, but that's that's all, that's all what we got for tonight.
Meredith - You guys do have something we'll come back to that here in a second because I do want to actually walk everybody through an exercise here in a minute that's related to the last point that we've got. So guarding your time with your life, right here. Here are some tips to guard your time with your life. This top one was really hard for me to learn and I would say that for me personally, this is still something that I'm in practice with.
Right, I've gotten better at this, but I'm certainly not perfect at it yet and it's the art of saying no, like, it's actually okay to say no, it's okay to say no to doing things that you don't want to do. It's okay to say no to doing things that are going to compete with your priority. It's okay to say no to doing things, even if you feel like it might disappoint someone, right.
Because if we aren't grounded and centered in the decisions that we are making with our time, then we're going to show up with regret, we're going to show up with bitterness, we're going to show up and not have the joy that we really want to have when we're doing whatever it is we're doing. And then when we go to sit back down and do the thing like let's say that you decide oh yeah you know I didn't get that thing done this week I said I was going to but I'm going to go hang out with my friends on Friday night anyway.
Right and let off some steam and then I'll get around to doing that task again on Saturday morning, where you go and you do the thing with friends, you know, which now is probably like a zoom cocktail party or something. and then you know Saturday morning you roll around to go do the task, and now you're probably not even excited about it, right, because you've let yourself down. So ask yourself like am I saying yes to things that aren't really serving me.
And what are they? Why am I saying yes to them? What would it look like if I said no to them? And you know I found a perfect example of this, I was a member of a networking group for a really long time, and it was great for my business, it was great for relationships. It was great for so many things, but with the pandemic, the network meeting went entirely online. And it just really lost its effectiveness.
And my membership in this group was up this coming January. And I just kept hanging on to the group, you know, and it's an early morning meeting and I would have to get up and kind of shift my, my winning my morning for this meeting every single Wednesday.
And I like it just wasn't really serving me anymore. And I thought to myself, I'm like why am I hanging on to this until January, just because there's some time commitment around it, you know, if it's not working for me today. How many, how many you know, hours a week is this group taking up my time right now is not the most effective use of my time.
And so I said you know what, I'm going to I'm going to walk away and it was the most freeing experience and I have been able to use those three to four hours a week that I normally would have poured into that networking group, so much more effectively in my life in my business, then I was over the summer when I was just kind of like showing up half heartedly.
Right. So, where are you maybe kind of bleeding a little bit of your time in an activity that's not serving you, the way that it should? That's the kind of benefits next example, but another great example of this is TV, right. I mean I like can't wait for the next episode, or the next season of Ozark to come out either. But yeah, I love that show. But I have to prioritize that in my life much differently I can't, I can't binge watch that every night for a week. Right, it's not done work. So what's not serving you figure that out. Just get rid of it.
Adam - Take a Sunday, just watch the entire season on a Sunday.
Meredith - Yeah, right. I mean, you know, or, or use it as a way to reward yourself right for something for something that you've done and say like yeah okay my, my Friday night when I get that, you know, no choice options activity done, then I'll get to watch that next episode or whatever you can use little things that you really are looking forward to as a way to reward yourself with time.
Anyway, so next step okay, create a habit of asking how much time somebody has. So this is something that a mentor taught me that has been so effective in particular, I'd love to know how many of you do some kind of phone work, as far as like closing a sale closing a deal, do, do some kind of zoom or phone interview process application process and meeting, right.
We've talked before in our sales boot camp about posture being one of the really big things that determines whether or not somebody should do business with you. This not only is this a great tip to increase your time management is also a great tip to increase your posture. Make a habit of asking somebody Hey Adam before we get started today I just want to know how much time do you have available?
Right, I've shows that I respect him, but it also shows that time is valuable to me. On the flip side, number three here, let's say I get on this call with Adam and I don't ask that Adam could say to me hey Meredith, I know you just got started, but do you mind if I interrupt real quickly. I've got about 20 minutes today, is that going to be enough for you know for you to do your best job right. Is that going to be enough for you to do what, what you need to do in this timeframe. So now he's showing me Hey, my time is really valuable.
Make sure that you respect it. And I love this question because how many times have you gotten a calendar invite for something and the person just slaps an hour meeting in there because that's what their iPhone sets the meeting time. Right, so then because it's in your calendar for an hour, you're like, oh well I have an hour for that, rather than saying yourself, Wait a minute, what's the context of this meeting, how long should it take, how can it be effective.
What am I going to try to accomplish in that, gosh, we could probably get this done in a 15 minute conversation rather than having it just, you know, squirrel away an hour of my day.
Adam - So don't even, don't even get like don't even go into a meeting, unless there are, there is a specific outcome like what is the meeting about what are what are we going to accomplish, because otherwise they could just drag on for an hour and you, you might not even get anything done.
Meredith - Yeah. Have you heard of that book death by. Now, there's literally a book, it's much more on the corporate side of things, it's called Death by chain? So yeah, I mean, so important to control those things, and, and use it as a way to make sure that you've, you know, God, God, the best time, spend going on for yourself. Meetings are great but if they're ineffective and then they fall back into category one right here it's okay to say no.
Adam - Yeah, I had a mentor who used to say like he would get you would get on the phone with somebody, and it would be like, like, like he would answer the phone, and he would just say, What can I do for you in the next five minutes. And it's like it forces them to get to the point, and I also love like from Tim Ferriss. The Four Hour Workweek. He said that when he had an office job I absolutely love this, when he had like a you know like a, like it's like an office job.
He said he would put his headphones on, and he would pretend like he was on the phone, and if somebody would come, you know, somebody would like come over to his desk like ask him something he would, you'd be like, you'd be like, yeah like like like like yeah, what can I do for you, and they're like, Oh, it's okay. I'll just come back later, he's like, No, just tell me right now, because it was forced them to get to the point.
And so he's like to pretend that he was on the phone so that so that he can say no, just tell me now, just so that they would they wouldn't like waste a ton of his time like people that are like, like, talk, be like, entrepreneurs that are at the top of their game are ruthless about their own time, like you, like they're like, like that like, you might think of that like what can I do for you in the next five minutes, some people might see that as a rude. They don't see that as rude, they've see that as like I am, prioritizing my own time, my time is very valuable, and I need you to get to the point.
Meredith - Exactly, and you know I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. You know we have we, if we want to be effective and if we want to achieve our goals and if we want other people to respect our times, we have to respect our own time to start with, right, put those things in place so another one that I think is really important is to understand how long tasks, really take right how long does something really take you to do in reality I know this is a huge one for me.
I have a tendency to sometimes think I can get way more accomplished in a single day than I can actually get accomplished. Like I overly aggressively plan the number of things that I could do, and then I find myself disappointed if I didn't get them all done, because maybe some of the things I'm doing are new or maybe some of the things I'm doing are different or maybe I'm still learning some of the things I'm doing.
So I don't really understand how much time they're going to take. So, start jotting down like you know there's actually some really cool tools you can use there's one that's called Total time tracking app, things like that, start tracking like if there's something new that you're going to do or if there's something that you do repeatedly every single week, from the time you start doing it until you stop just for a couple weeks in a row track how long it takes you, because you might be surprised, it might be taking you longer or it might be taking you less time as you're growing into efficiency around your work.
But when you understand how long it takes, then you can have some better expectations set for where to put that into your schedule. Right, but if you're just kind of winging it, If you're not really sure how long it's going to take you, then it makes it a little bit harder to manage that time. The last one in this section before we go on to this. The last thing we're going to talk about tonight is building buffers. Right. Have you ever had a day where you're booked out like half an hour or half an hour.
Half an hour half an hour. Half an hour, right, building buffers, if you're using a scheduling tool like a Calendly or schedule one something like that for meetings, there's buffers that you can build into your appointments, but also build those buffers and breaks into your day. Right, otherwise you will schedule right over the top of yourself, and, and that that's not okay with all of this I should also say that there's one big caveat to this, don't tolerate people who show up late.
Right. You know, if you've got a meeting or a time set with someone and you open up that zoom and you're sitting there and it's three or four minutes after the hour I don't just sit there and continue to wait for them. Right, that's an automatic reschedule in my world, if you're not there within I give people five minutes, if they're not there, then they, they don't get to time that day. Right off my schedule, they're welcome to rebook, again, life happens things happen, but I can't sit here and wait for you to show up when I have a whole lot of other things that I want to accomplish in a given timeframe so we're gonna jump into this last thing, which is about how to do a little bit of time blocking.
But Adam before we do that while I change the screen, maybe you've got something else that you want to share in relationship to that,
Adam - I do I do, yeah. Well, we also have a question too that I think is new but but but I will share something first, I had a I had an old client student that I worked with years ago, and I remember one thing that he said was, he's like, I can't. He's like, I can't be effective, working from home, because when I'm working from home, my, my wife is always asking me to do things around the house.
And it's like, and I had to tell them like okay, the problem is not that you can't be afraid to work from home because your wife wants to do stuff. The problem is that you have not sat down with your wife and communicated the importance of this time that you have that you have to be working on your business. It really is a good question, like I think you mentioned it earlier, it's like, it's like a question of commitment and priorities like I feel like if he actually was committed and he was it he knew 100% that this is what I am doing like, I'm going to figure this out, come hell or high water, right, he probably would have had that communication with his wife, he probably would have, you know, or you know, he would have, he would have sat her down and say hey look, I need this time, and here's how.
Here's why it's important for us for our future together. Right, you need to enroll your family members in the fact that this time is blocked off, and it's for me to build, build the business, and it is good. Here's how we're all going to benefit as a result of it. Right. So, so that came to mind but then Jessica is also asked a question that I think is perfect for you.
She said yes that's my problem because I'm a mom, lol. So, I intend to, like, you know, prioritize and make it and make it a priority right, I intend to. So I intend to let Mama Bear come out when I shouldn't say no. I'm, you know, I'm like I shouldn't I shouldn't be saying no to my kids, because I, you know, I'm, I'm working on my business but I don't say no to my kids is.
Meredith - For me that I get that completely. I worked from home now for this you know it's cool Adam, and, like, eight years ago. Today is the day that I left my corporate jobs.
Adam - Congratulations
Meredith - Yeah, I was like talking to somebody and I was like wow, I cannot believe it's been eight well eight years ago yesterday, I guess. So today was like eight years ago the first day that I was like, free from the corporate, the golden handcuffs anyway. So I guess that's so much, because there's a component of guilt that comes into that right. And I, I really had that honestly actually more when I started working from home than I was working in corporate, because when I worked in corporate I went away.
You know I left I went to a location, my children weren't standing there with their you know sweet looks on their face and their, you know toy that they wanted me to play with or their cup that they wanted fill their, you know, whatever it was right, they were off doing, doing their day and I was off doing mine and so when I was home, the time I had with them. I would concentrate on them when I got home right you know what they didn't realize is that after they went to bed I got back onto my computer and worked every day from nine until midnight.
But either way, I think it's actually a little more difficult for moms and dads, because we're all in the same boat. When our kids are right there, right. So, one of the things that I would suggest that made a huge difference from difference for me was, decide what that most important thing is that you can accomplish today and get it done before your children get out of bed.
Right. So, my window every morning is from 630 to 730, and that is my window to get the most important thing of the day, whatever it might be maybe making this presentation for tonight, maybe posting a new ad maybe launching an email campaign, Whatever my highest priority is for the day.
I have that hour set aside to be just that thing. So then no matter how squirrely your day gets with your kids, how far interrupted you get, you can have the most important things done. The other thing I would say there is like yeah, you've got to enroll them in what it is you're doing and I'm totally cool with bribery.
So I don't know if that works in your family with your kiddos or not, but I have a, you know, I'm fine saying hey if we have a good week if you can let me work that we can get Starbucks on Friday, or when they were younger, I actually had like a toy chest in my office, and they can earn a toy out of the toy chest you know like just something small.
If, if they were able to concentrate on their tasks or their activity so I think there's a reward component in a room, it can work a little bit better too. But you do have to say no at some point so last thing here and you know this is a type of worksheet is a type of thing that we give to our, our coaching clients in our expert accelerator program but I'm showing it to you guys all today. So this is a time walking worksheet, and we start out by having people actually track their time, right,
So my clients in the program that are struggling with time I'll say create something like this. And I just want you for a week to track what you're actually doing right, what were you actually doing what time did you actually get up. What time did you actually start working. And so, what were you doing, and they'll often surprised at they're working a lot less than they thought they were right, they're not working as much as they thought they were, there's a lot of time that's getting squandered.
Then we go through a process where we say okay, daily, weekly, monthly, what is, you need to list what are the things you need to do each day, what are the things you need to do each week, what are the things you need to do each month. And then we go in and we actually schedule them in half an hour blocks. So for example, if you knew that every day you wanted to do some social media postings and social media common and team, engaging with your group or whatever.
And that's not something that has to happen between like your best hours of working in the day when you can take appointments and meet with clients, or meet with prospects for your business are usually afternoons and evenings, so you're going to want to knock out that social media time in the morning.
So you would come into one of these time blocks, and you would put in like social media, social media, social media, I'm going to do that every day, from, from 930 to 10 o'clock. That's my timeframe.
I know how long it takes. I'm going to do my daily posts, I'm going to do my daily comments, I'm going to do my daily, you know engagements in the groups that I'm part of, and I'm going to knock that off and I'm going to get it done right, then you've got things you need to do each week, like maybe you schedule your social media, or maybe you write your content for your blog or you record a podcast or whatever piece it is you're doing, you say okay I'm going to do that this time every day.
And you can actually start to really organize your dates. I know Adam has a content day, so he has one day where he's like okay today is the day I'm gonna write like every Tuesday, that's my day I write, it's where I do my email, where I, you know, get the content created that I'm going to use the following week, so you can begin to use a system like this and there are tons of tutorials on line of you can take this concept of like time blocking really really far.
But this is enough right here, just a simple word or XML template, broken out in half an hour time increment, fill it out, according to what you're going to do and do you actually see if you can follow along with it, plan in your lunch plan in your parenting responsibility, you know, maybe you want to take a break each afternoon and play with your child for 45 minutes. Put it in here. And when you, when you put that in here and you do it be 100% dedicated to doing that task for whatever it is you're doing during that time, that is all you're doing.
Right, so when that time's up, you move on to the next thing. So, when I said that entrepreneurs that are just absolutely killing it, are just insane about blocking their time, like they might be blocking literally at 10 and 15 minute increments throughout their day, but they're doing that in order to just effectively maximize every minute that they've got.
So, I'm a huge fan of using something like this and putting it into your calendar, even if you're using an electronic calendar, but this has been a lifesaver for me, and something that just I think you got to give it a try and see if it can make a difference. So out and that's everything I had to share tonight about time management. I don't know if we've got any more questions in the chat or not but I think I'll stop the share for right now.
Adam - I think that having boundaries is probably the biggest thing that most of us just probably need to get better at. I know for me personally I have always been somebody, I just don't want to rock the boat, I don't want to cause controversy, I will say yes when the answer should be no, and I think it's because I don't want to dissapoint people.
I say yes and then I just don't do it, or I'll tell them later that it totally didn't work. From so many people that I have coached, boundaries are so crucial. Boundaries for people, you know like the guy I said he couldn't be effective because his wife always wanted him to do something when he was at home and that's why he couldn't be effective. That's an issue of boundaries, but even shutting your phone off in the morning so you can have some quiet time to meditate or journal, that's putting boundaries on that.
Another very successful entrepreneur and successful mentor I had a few years back, he said that he would have these date nights with his wife and he would plan these elaborate date nights, and they would be great, The next day he said my wife called me while I was at work and she said "hey honey I just wanted to tell you I had such a great time with you last night" and he goes don't call me at work, yeah I got it but not cool to call me at work.
He had this elaborate conversation with her afterwards and said look when we have these date nights I would not dream of taking a work phone call. He was just so ruthless, I mean he had an 8 figure business of course he did, he was so ruthless about his time that he's not going to allow any of his work time to bleed into his personal life and he is not going to let any of his personal life time bleed into his work time.
That's how ruthless you need to be with the people in your life and your time because that's just how you have to be. We are in such a distracted world, if you want to be effective you have to set those boundaries.
Meredith - Yeah absolutely and to me that is also the art of being present, and I know we talked a little bit about parenting today but it's true in your business. When you want to time block and when you are able to really know what it is you want to accomplish each day, then you are able to be present in that activity, and the distractions start to fall away much more easily. We are pulled in so many directions, we actually have to train ourselves to have that discipline and it doesn't happen naturally.
I think alot of entrepreneurs think that its just going to happen but it doesn't you actually have to intentionally make this part of your process and your day.
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