Get yourself in gear for the new year! Don’t we all wish we had more time? What if we could find ways to be more efficient with our time? Anna Dearmon Kornick, host of It’s About Time Podcast and time management coach, joins us for a conversation about how we can use strategies to make more of our time every day. Anna teaches us how to think of our schedule as a puzzle and implement a weekly planning session. Anna helps busy people(like you!) spend time on what matters most. Her mission as a Time Management Coach is to equip busy people with the ideas, encouragement and tools to live and work with confidence, clarity and intention.
Find more from Anna at annadkornick.com, abouttimepodcast.com and on social media @annadkornick.
The following is a rough transcript provided by Otter.ai.
Hi y’all welcome to hustle humbly. It’s Alisa and Katie and we are two top producing realtors in the Baton Rouge market. We
work for two different companies where we should be competitors. But we have chosen community over competition. The goal of our podcasts is to encourage you to find your own way in business. So stop comparing yourself and start embracing your strengths. Hi, everyone, it’s episode 22. Welcome, welcome. You know what they said once we get to 20 you’re stuck with us. Right? That’s Jay says there are two milestones in podcasting, episode eight and episode 20. And if you get to 20 you’re golden. What happens in episode eight. It
just shows that you made it to the point most people don’t make it to
right. So put that in your in your database. Okay, now, you guys we have you may have heard just now. We have a guest today. We have Anna kornek. And she is a Time Management Coach. And we’re going to actually let her tell us who she is. Go for it.
Thank you so much for thank you so much for inviting me to spend time with you all today. It’s it’s been a super fun day. Whenever I walked in the door, I felt like I already knew the two of you just from listening in on your podcasts and following you on social media. So it’s an honor to be here with you and to talk with your listeners. So my name is Anna Dearman, kornek. And yes, I am a Time Management Coach. I work primarily with busy professionals and I help them improve their time management skills and work in life so that they can stop feeling overwhelmed and start spending time on what matters most to them
are amazing, very needed in our industry super needed in our industry. And what’s cool is Anna has a podcast. Yes. Called it’s about time, which
I think is like one of the most clever podcast names.
I love a good pun. Yeah, that a pun, I guess. Yeah, it’s about. But Anna before we record our recording her interviewed us. Yes. So you’ll have to tune into her podcast on February 3. It’s about time. Yes. To hear our interview with her. Yes, it went very well. I think it went very well. So fun. It
was It was super fun.
we’re so happy. Okay. You want You want me to go? Yeah, you’re just gonna go? Yeah. Okay. And so your podcast just now we’re recording this obviously, early, but your podcast just started? Yes, it came out with five episodes. Initially, I listened to several of them. They all had amazing topics. And I think the one that really stuck out to me that would be most useful for realtors off the get go, because everything you said was useful. But the weekly planning session, you know, realtors know, their weeks are all different. But I would love to hear your take on how to implement that into a career or a business that is not so structured on time, like every week is different. Where how would you use that? Sure. And
before I dig into weekly planning sessions, and what they can look like and how they can specifically be used by you guys that have more flexible schedules. Let me tell you a little bit about the podcast. Oh, please do so it’s about time is a podcast about work life and balance. And you might have noticed that it’s not about work life balance. Because I’m not entirely sure that that’s a thing. It’s yeah, it’s more of a juggling tightrope walk, have spinning plates. And I don’t want to, I don’t know, push a narrative that there’s this level of balance that we all should write, aspiring to achieve. And that really, balance is more of a feeling. Yeah. And it’s a feeling that’s different for everyone. And you may not know a precise recipe for how to achieve or like that work life balance in your life. But you know, when you feel out of whack Yeah, and you know, when something’s gotta give and something’s got to change. And, you know, when I look at, you know, our lives, when I look at the hustle and bustle of work and family, when it comes down to it, the most important non renewable resource in our life is time. And our how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. And when it comes down to it, it’s all about time. And so that’s where the name of the podcast came from. It’s about time because literally, that’s it’s everything. And I really have found that with our plan, you’re kind of lost Yeah, you know, you’re kind of like a rudderless sailboat just kind of floating life is just happening to you exam. Next thing you know, all this time has passed. Yeah, and you haven’t done anything. What did you do with it? And so a weekly planning session, which I talked about in episode four, is one of my top recommendations, which is why I thought it was so important to include right off the bat and episode about a weekly planning session, what it is and how you can create one yourself. So to give you an overview, a weekly planning session is a time to During your week that you stop, and you make a bunch of decisions at once. And it can look different for everyone. For me, and what I typically recommend is that you take a moment to stop to look at your calendar for the week ahead, to identify any tough spots in your week to do meal planning, to do a grocery order to identify any childcare that you might need if you have kids. And then just like I said, to sit and make a bunch of decisions at once, rather than scattered out across the week, because the last time that you want to make a decision about what’s for dinner is when it’s 645. And everyone’s cranky and hungry. Your weekly planning session is the perfect time to get that done. And it’s especially helpful for folks like you who have more flexible schedules, you know, you you don’t exactly have the same set, you know, report to an office commute their commute back nine to five behind the desk, and having that time to really sit and to reflect into picture, what the next week is going to look like, we’ll help you step into that week, already having identified the worst case scenario already having self problems, and you’re much more calm and capable. Because you’ve already thought through how your week can go.
That’s amazing. I feel like so many people want perfect. They want work life balance, they want it to look a certain way. They want to have the least amount of stress, but they’re stressing themselves out trying to achieve less stress. And then they think like it’s supposed to look a certain way. And then in our industry, it never looks that way. Now, no matter how hard we try, it just doesn’t look that way. No. And then it’s nice, because you you said you know we are flexible. But that doesn’t mean easygoing. And just like the time in the world, flexible means things can be moved around. But I think sometimes take flexible to mean like, Oh, you’re Realtors you make your own schedule. You know it? It’s like clients are demanding. And if you have a lot of clients at one time, your flexibility is limited to their demands. Yes. And so how can you? How can you have a set schedule? So when it doesn’t go perfect, like say that you look at your week, and you make these decisions? And then as the days pass, the decisions have to change? Like, how do you get through the change? Without just beating yourself up and letting it all fall apart? Yeah, had losing every major.
You had your weekly planning session, you made your perfect plan. And you’re so excited about the week and then everything starts flexing. Yeah, flexible schedule. Yeah.
So I love this question. And one thing that you sort of brought up is that sometimes having flexibility is even more difficult than having a structured work schedule. Because it’s all up to you. You’re the person who is in charge of wrangling yourself. And having that level of autonomy can be really tough for some people. And then when everything goes off the rails, yeah, that’s when it’s so critical to know your priorities, okay, and to be crystal clear about who you are, and what you’re working toward. Because when you ever you reach that point on Wednesday, when everything has just blown up, and you know that you know, the rest of your week is going to look crazy. You have to be able to know quickly. Okay, these are the things that are most important to me if I have to cut 20 If I have to cut 75% of my to do list for this week, what are those remaining most important things? And those have to be driven by your goals and your priorities? Yeah, which makes setting goals even more right. And then the second piece is to have a reset ritual. Oh, so I think it was a Alyssa Did you say in an early episode that sometimes when everything just goes crazy?
I never she’s my bridge. He’s the bridge driver. I drive over the bridge.
Remember it? Yes. So you guys are gonna have to if you haven’t Reset Tool, yes. If you haven’t listened to the episode, it’s a mindset episode number three, where you talk about how when things go crazy, you get in your car and you drive you drive across the Baton Rouge bridge and sometimes you get off at Lawndale or Allen and sometimes you go all the way to Lafayette Yeah, now, we all might not have enough available time to make a drive to Lafayette and back but having a reset ritual having something physical that you can do to reorient your mental mindset is so key And that can be. It’s so funny. I think one of the first times that I made this recommendation, I was talking with a physical therapist, and a lot of how her day goes is based on how other people in her practice, manage their time, right. And she realized, as we were talking that her recent ritual is to go in the supply closet, close the door, and just take a few deep breaths. So maybe maybe it’s not going for a drive maybe for you. It’s shutting yourself in a closet and hanging a few deep breaths. Maybe it’s listening to pump up song. Do you remember Veronica Corning stone in Anchorman? Oh, yeah.
Well, I wanted to ask, I like that you brought up the reset ritual, because in one of your episodes, you talk about your startup ritual and your wind down ritual. And I thought, like it was the perfect analogy that you used about taking off the jacket putting on the cardigan, Roger. Yeah, and just like, you know, it’s a physical thing that meant symbolizes what’s going on mentally talk about that a little bit. Sure. So,
in Episode Five, I talk about a few different ways that you can add more structure to your work day. And it really goes beyond work, too. But one of those recommendations is to create a startup and a shutdown routine. So these are basically two routines that serve as the bookends of your day. The startup routine is a series of steps that you take that get you into the right mindset to start working. And on the opposite end, you’re winding down or your shutdown routine are the steps that you take that help move your mindset for work brain to not work brains, so you can be present with your family or your friends or your non work activities. So you don’t continue to mull over and think about things like computer tabs, like refreshing over and over again.
Okay, I want to jump in here. i Because Realtors live in the always in work mode. Yeah. Always. From morning till we shut our eyes at night and probably wake some people up in the middle of the night going, oh, did I get the termite certificate? I don’t like it all the time. I love the I love the startup and the shutdown ritual. And I have a question about what would you say to what can you do outside of the shutdown ritual, when make rules for the things that you’re allowed to pop in after that, because I can’t say that I’m doing my shutdown ritual at 5:30pm. And I’m not going to do one single work thing until I start up again in the morning and do my whole ritual. So I mean, can you hybrid that in some way? Could you have some items that are allowed to be popped in? But what are your thoughts on that? Yeah, definitely.
Okay, so this is where something that I call a philosophy of technology use comes into play. And it’s kind of like you said, it’s creating rules for what you’re allowed to do. And rules are just another word for creating healthy boundaries for yourself. Yeah, because, you know, as entrepreneurs as, as people, because even your listeners who might be a nine to five, you, we can’t be in work mode all the time, we have to have a time to refresh, we have to have a time to rest because it’s during that rest and that time of refreshment, that we’re able to renew our creativity. And if if you’re not being creative, if you’re not able to solve problems, then you can’t be successful in business or in work. So that off time really is so critical. But what I would recommend is, if you do go that extra mile to create your startup routine, and you create that shutdown routine, you know, what are you allowed to do during those off hours? And it’s really sitting and thinking, Okay, what what is healthy, what is acceptable for me and for my family, because, you know, it may be completely fine in your life to get yourself to Inbox Zero while you’re watching Real Housewives, you know, in front of the TV in the evenings, right? Maybe your significant other is totally cool with you having your laptop out. One really neat thing about personality assessments is that I know that my husband’s love language is quality time. And so that’s made a really big impact on how I spend my time in the evenings, right? Because I want to be sure that I am there for him in a way that helps him feel that there’s quality time so my rules for technology use in the evenings or popping into work are going to be different from someone else’s. Yeah, some really good rules of thumb though, are to go Stay away from all blue lights, about two hours before bedtime. And that’s really the only hard and fast rule that I would recommend. But other than that, it’s really thinking through okay, what what boundaries do I want to create for myself? I worked with a client recently, a coaching client recently, she’s a nurse. So she has a very irregular, unpredictable schedule. It’s a little bit different from being a realtor, because she’s not necessarily getting calls at 2am. But from week to week, she doesn’t necessarily know which day she’s working right. And she’s in graduate school to become a nurse practitioner. Wow. Yeah. And so she’s got a lot on her plate right now. She’s a newlywed. And so we worked together to define what her philosophy of technologies would be. And she decided, so maybe this is some inspiration for some of your listeners, she decided that she would do no schoolwork after 9pm She would put her phone away at 930. And there would be no phone use in bed. Wow. Because those were things that she struggled with personally. So you really have to know yourself and know which which rules are which boundaries are going to make the most sense for you. It’s funny,
because I do have boundaries with what I’ll respond to, and things like that. But what I’ve noticed lately, and it’s something I’m currently evaluating is, I can say, I’m not going to answer in this in that, but just seeing it come through gives triggers that that anxiousness of like I need to respond, I need to respond. And that’s torture.
Right? That that’s an agent survival skill.
Really? Yes. Okay. So good. This is like,
it’s completely normal, hey,
you’re completely No,
it’s okay, that we’re hardwired. And our brains just haven’t caught up to the level of technology that we have now. So there’s this book called Digital minimalism by Cal Newport, oh, my gosh, it’s a really great audible listen, if you have time in the car or on the commute, but he actually talks about in this book, and gosh, now I’m hoping that I’m referencing the right book, but that during, you know, primitive times, if we didn’t immediately respond to social outreach from other members of our tribe, we risked being ostracized Oh, wow. Like losing them totally using them. Totally. And so this, it’s primal. It is, oh, my gosh, this is that this need that we have to respond instantly. We’re hardwired that way. What’s what sucks is that all of the app developers like Silicon Valley knows, yeah. And they’re creating programs. They’re creating apps, and they’re creating games that that, that take advantage of Yeah,
it’s making me realize that if I’m doing this to eliminate stress, it’s not that I just can’t read. I can’t just not respond. I need it away. Yeah, right. I need it like not in the same room as me. And that’s the only way I’m going to be able to watch my show with my husband in peace. Yeah. Because if I see it in the corner of my eye lighting up, it 100 scenarios run through my brain. And it’s like, I’m sticking to my boundaries of not an answering but at what price now I’m just like, stressed, I’m not present mentally, because I’m wondering what’s going on, right. But then if you just put it away, you don’t even see it. And I’m realizing the last couple of weeks that I’m really needing to just
put it away, right? Yeah, I want to say something. I go to lunch with lots of different people, friends, colleagues, whatever. I never like on occasion. I mean, I’ll put my phone out, but down, I set it to silent and I have no clue who’s contacting me. But sometimes, you know, you need your phone or for whatever it says it like you’ll start small. Don’t say I’m never going to touch technology after 7pm and just say okay, let’s try just going to lunch and not checking my phone the whole time. Did that kill you? No. Okay, great. Maybe tonight, you put the phone away 30 minutes early instead of don’t go straight for two hours. Right.
So here’s the thing that I’ll say though, is that different, different people require different methods. In her book better than before Gretchen Rubin talks about different methods for starting and keeping good habits. And one of the things that she recognized is that most people are either abstainers or moderators when it comes to giving things up. So she herself is an abstainer. So when it came to eating healthy, she gave up sugar and never looked back like cold turkey, cold turkey. That’s my husband, she gave it up. Taner can just like he’s an extremist. Yeah, he’s like all or nothing or nothing. So and that works for him and that works for him.
He can’t do this. dabble, dabbling in it.
So other hand, on the other side, there are moderators
I’m just loving that there’s like science to all these feelings I have. Yeah, there
you go. Okay, so moderators do best whenever they can have like, a little bit at a time. So if you were to tell a moderator just, you know, put it away, they would go, they go crazy. But a moderator would do well regulating, okay, I can look at Instagram for 30 minutes before I brush my teeth, and that that’ll be enough. But it’s like, they’ve got to have that little bit in order to not go crazy. Everybody’s different and, and that that’s why the most important thing to figure out that to figuring out how time management works for you, is to know yourself.
So you mentioned autonomy. And I wrote that down to ask you to just talk about it. Because it may not be a word everybody knows the definition of. And I thought it was so important for anybody that self employed or realtor. Anyone that has to make their own schedule. Can you talk about that? Definitely. Okay.
So autonomy is the amount of control that you have over how you spend your time. And typically, the further you are in your career, the more autonomy or the more control you have over how you speak. Hold on. Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. The further along you are in your career, the more control you have over how you spend your time. Yes, that’s it. Yeah. Okay. Because let’s be honest, no one likes to be micromanaged. No, sometimes having a little bit of structure can be can be good. But once we get too much structure, we feel stifled, we feel smothered, we feel just controlled. You know, one thing that I think is really cool about the two of you is that you’re a part of a larger organization. Right? Yeah. And while they may not dictate how you spend your time, on a regular basis, you still have, like, community or you still have common goals, and you still have some structure there. So you’re able to create kind of a happy medium with these different environments. So
can you have too much autonomy?
Too much autonomy? Would
that get into like control freaks?
So much autonomy? That would be like having complete control over how you spend your time? Yeah. So never have that. You fail? Because your clients control your time? Yeah,
you guys do have the client piece? Yes. Because your clients are controlling your time for some portion. So you don’t have full autonomy of your time. But the part that isn’t designated by a client, you do not have a supervisor or a person telling you what you have to get done. Yes. How to structure your day. Yes. If you show up to closing without something, your broker isn’t gonna like, no,
there’s nobody, it’s up to you. You have all the account. And that’s where I think the level of success comes in. When I was listening to you talk about this, it made me go, I feel like a lot of realtors are missing this piece. And it kind of goes hand in hand with accountability. Like, are you holding yourself accountable? To do what you know you need to do? Yeah, like if you set a goal to in January hand write letters to every past client and being like, Hey, guys, if y’all know anyone that needs to buy or sell a house this year, send them my way. I’d love to have a referral and 2020 Are you going to do it like people love to dream and come up with good ideas, but then actually doing it and sticking to it? There’s nobody there to be like, did you do it? Right, right. Well,
I think that the whole a lot of realtors get into real estate for a flexible schedule for their Oh, all about autonomy, I get to do everything I want to do anything I want to do. But they don’t have that, but they don’t do anything right or, or they tried to do everything. And so they do nothing. Well, and I just That’s why I asked about us.
I got a really great question. Last January at a speaking engagement in Dallas Fort Worth a realtor stood up and asked a question about you know, I am basically in control of my time. And I have all of these great ideas for marketing. But I don’t I don’t get around to doing them. How would you recommend that I make myself do them? What did you tell
her? How do I make myself do things? Yeah, what’s the answer? Well, I
told her that well, first, you have to get clear on why you’re a realtor in the first place. Okay, okay. Perfect to know your why. And so then you need to get clear on what your goals are. So what are you working toward? Okay? And keeping those goals in front of you, because if you aren’t revisiting your goals on a regular basis, out of sight out of mind, you will you’ll find yourself falling into old patterns and you won’t be working toward what it is you’re trying aiming to achieve Yep. So in addition to knowing your Y and knowing your goals, I mean, I recommended that she look realistically at her schedule and decide how many hours a week do you want to spend on marketing. And you may not spend the same three hours a week, or however many hours doing marketing activities. But as long as you get those three hours in somewhere, you know, think of your schedule, not as this like linear thing, think of it as like a puzzle. And if you start with the things that are already scheduled, like appointments that are scheduled meetings that are scheduled, and those don’t move, that’s when you have to start filling in the blanks, right than anything else, start filling in the blanks with everything else, you know, when am I going to fit in my three hours of marketing. And then the last piece is having someone hold you accountable. Because it’s so easy for that marketing time to come up on our calendar, and to do something that we feel is more important in that moment. And then we’ll never get around to that marketing time.
And I think too, when you’re talking about like your purpose and your why that should be what drives you. Yeah, and a lot of the realtors that get into the industry fail. And a lot of the ones that fail, I have found they didn’t make it because they didn’t have to. They were either still on their parents paycheck. Yeah, they had a wealthy spouse, or we’re in survival mode used to just getting by paycheck to paycheck, that that’s just where they were comfortable, not really comfortable. But that was what they’re used to. They were surviving not thriving, they were just surviving. And it’s like people, if you have to, if you’re like rock bottom, I have to make this work. All of these things are depending on it, you make it work, right. And I think that when people lose sight of their purpose and their why it’s hard to do all the things that you know you need to do, but then you’re just gonna live in that that surviving mentality and you’re never going to get ahead. It reminds me of something that a friend of mine told me a few years ago he was completely commission based in his job wasn’t a realtor, but completely commission based in sales. And he was always just getting by just always getting by and nothing was ever really growing. And so he downsized his apartment from maybe a one bedroom to a studio. And then all of a sudden, he was making even less Yeah, he was just covering they’ll just getting
by getting by, because it’s as if he had this mindset, where his enough was just covering right that basic. And there’s no real need for him to do more. So somehow business wasn’t as good,
right? That’s a good analogy, though. Even like, you know, the fish in the fish tank. Yeah, you grow as big as your tank and i What do you need? And he didn’t have
any real goals? No, he wasn’t working toward anything bigger than just,
he just needed to survive.
I have a question about you talking about revisiting your goals? Yeah. Do you do that every day? Do you do that once a week? Do you put that in your weekly planning session? Like timewise? Yeah, how often are you
and keep in mind this airs January Oh, six. Yeah, that’s what January January 6, that we’re like, almost a week into the new year. Everybody is all about a goal all about everybody’s hard and their goals right now. Because it’s a new year new you first weekend
they’re trying to get their time together to they’re gonna tuned in, like, how do I do this?
Your episode calls that a great time. But
yeah, how often? Okay, so
I, I take time, I guess to give you the full run of how things work for me is that I take time every December to set goals for the upcoming year. And I look at things in terms of quarters of the year and the year as a whole. So I know that in order to achieve this for the year, I need to do these activities each quarter. And I also make sure to space out the timing of my goals because there’s nothing worse than hitting the ground running in January and trying to start training for a marathon and start a new diet and open a new business write a podcast and oh, let’s start trying to have a baby and yeah, everything that’s 2020 We get so excited. But that’s a real easy way to get completely exhausted and quit everything right Gosh, and so I make a point to space out the timing of my goals. But I every month Yeah, I review every just all of the goals that I’ve put together to make sure that I’m on task to make sure that these goals are still relevant at the beginning of 2019. I wanted to start a YouTube channel Okay. Hello. to podcasts instead that sounds similar. And sometimes things change. Yeah. And I did spend several months learning all about starting a YouTube channel. And I don’t consider that lost or wasted time. No. But then things changed and hear your change. And here we won’t
get for you for listening to that. And knowing, well, you know, maybe podcasts is what’s on the agenda for me right now. Yeah, just
a reminder that your goals don’t have to be written in concrete. Oh, they should it the last piece because we’ve gone from yearly to quarterly to monthly. I actually write down my top five goals every day before I open
my laptop. Like for that day? No, for life, just okay.
I think that’s awesome. So I
didn’t do it today, because I didn’t get here. I didn’t open my laptop until I got here with you guys. But if I do I sit down. And right now my top goal is I create consistent weekly content. That’s a good one. That is good. And so once I am a few months into the podcast, and have proven to myself and have confirmed that I am creating consistent weekly content, I’ll knock it off. And then you go on to something else. And then another goal will be my top focus. Yes. So and having each of those goals, front and center every day. Good. They they keep me focused, they make me make the right decisions, right in the direction of those goals, because I’m revisiting them. Yep. Every day. I love that. That’s amazing. It’s really good. And it only takes maybe 30 seconds, because I’m like scribbling them down, you know, easy, because it’s more about the action of revisiting them and physically writing them. Right. And
you have to write them down for them to come true. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you really do. You have to write them down.
I’ve mentioned this before, I think but my husband’s very into, like, instead of setting a goal of, you know, 10 million, set a goal to hand write so many cards or something like that, like he’s very, like, focused on the tasks and the results come naturally. Yeah. And that’s kind of what you’re saying, like by having the goal written down, it motivates you to do the task? Yeah. Like the things that don’t, you don’t see immediate benefits from right away. But you have to do all these little things. If you want to meet the big thing. Yeah. And that’s what’s so hard about big goals is that they don’t happen overnight. They take time, they take consistent action, they take dedication and take perseverance when it gets hard. And so if you lose sight of your goals, and you don’t stay focused on that result that you want, it’s really easy to just chase something shiny. Yeah. And get completely derailed. Yep, for sure. Mm.
Hmm. Yeah, think about that for a minute. Okay, I have, I’m just like thinking, I have so many things that I want you to talk to us about. But I know we’re not going to get to all of them. And we might have to have an episode too. Because I’m here for us. It’s very important information. But I think one of my biggest time sucks and problems is getting stuck in my email. Yeah, the constant email refresh and the dealing with whatever’s in my email before my goals and before my to do list and before everything. Like do you have some tips for email? Or just general setup of your day?
Yeah. What about like email text? Like the things? We always say that email is like, the things that people need from you. When somebody needs something, they email you or they text you or whatever? Yeah, but like, what about my to do list? Yeah, like, what about what I mean? Yeah. So how do you manage that?
Sure. So and my line of work is different. It’s so much different from being a realtor, but I also have to be very cause cognizant about distractions and letting other people dictate my priorities through email. Yeah. And so the tips that I give regarding email aren’t going to work for everyone, right. But I would love to hear which of these you think could be applicable to realtor life? Oh, yeah, let’s hear you like this. So I never check email first thing in the morning. I my startup routine does not involve checking email
that should apply to all realtors, I think so. I think it’s doable.
checking your email is the easiest way to get completely derailed and to let someone else’s priorities dictate your day. So I will not open email until or I recommend not opening your email until you have written your top five goals. assessed your task list for the week ahead, looked at your calendar for the day and identified your top three priorities.
It makes me sad because I know so many people, their alarm clock goes off while they’re still in bed. They roll over and they open their email. Yeah, it makes me sad because it immediately starts your brain. And then like while you’re trying to get your kids ready. You’re thinking about that email, like Yeah, so our office recently had someone come talk about this. So I’m kind of like into it. I’m doing pretty good right now because of this. But they say Like until you’re mentally ready to handle it. Don’t check it, right, because you can’t do anything about it, if you’re reading it at 7am, because right now you have to go get your kids ready, or you have to go feed your dog or you have to go take a shower, like you can’t, there’s no point in reading right now, because you can’t do anything about it. That’s so you have to wait until you’re either at your desk ready to handle whatever it says, Okay.
And for the moments that you do slip up, I recommend having a really simple flagging system in your email that you can use on your phone. And in your inbox. Okay, I use only two flags. And I recommend using only two flags, one called action item, and one called in progress. Okay,
I don’t know what these are.
Let me tell you about. Okay. So in Gmail, for instance, you can add labels, yes. It’s kind of like the folder system for Yeah, no. So you can add labels, and you can change the color of the labels. And so let’s say you slip up, and you open your email real quick while you’re putting on makeup, and you see something and you’re just like, oh, my gosh, I really need to respond to this, but I can’t right now. But I don’t want to forget about it, when I sit down at my computer. So you just add the action item tab, action item label to it. And then whenever you get to your laptop, boom, it’s there. And you know that that’s a priority item. So you don’t lose time by sitting down and rescanning everything. And so let’s say you’ve dealt with whatever that action item thing is, but you’re waiting on a response from someone and you don’t want to lose track of that. You want to make sure you follow up, you change it from action item to In Progress, maybe make it yellow, so it stands out and it stays in your inbox stays in your inbox. And so whenever you’re doing your email time, which I’ll get to in a second, you’re able to scan and see, okay, these are my action items, I need to take action. Okay, and these are my in progress. So I’m waiting for a response on these from someone else. So those are, again, keep it simple. It’s not having seven, eight different labels and 37 different folders, right? Yeah, that’s when things get complicated,
right? When you over organize your organization, yeah, you end up spending clutter. It’s digital clutter.
I had a client once who reached out to me on a Sunday and said you would be so proud of me. I just spent eight hours organizing my email. Oh, no.
Oh, no, you’re like, Whoa, eight hours.
Oh, what a waste.
All the things we can
do. Right. Yeah. So that’s just to say keep it simple, right. But I mentioned email time. Yeah. So instead of having, you know, notifications that are going off constantly and constantly, you know, pulling for your attention competing for your attention. I recommend turning off email notifications on your phone done. Already done. Yeah, turn off notifications, and schedule time in your day. That is specifically meant for email time. Oh, there’s this really great stat. I’ll have to find it for you. Okay, good, how much time it takes for modern knowledge workers. So that’s like realtors, PR people just like people who aren’t doing physical. Okay, so yeah, knowledge workers, how much time it takes them to process new information each day. I don’t want to say it’s like 90 minutes, or something like that. It’s so it’s there’s a lot of time that needs to be spent categorizing new information that comes in in the form of emails and messages. And so the way that you keep from the way that you stay ahead or stay on top of it, is by having scheduled email time, right? I recommend your scheduled email time following out around 11 o’clock, okay, because this is typically after you’ve been able to knock out your first priority of the day, okay. Remember, we want to start our day by identifying like our top, you know, 123 priorities. Okay, knock out your first priority, and then you see what the world needs from you. Okay,
I like that. How long is an appropriate ish email block time block? iser.
I’d see if you could get through it with 30 minutes. Okay. Yeah, that’s good. That’s I can do a lot in 30 minutes. Yeah. Like before we recorded today, you interviewed us We interviewed you. So we have been recording all day. And I knew before I even pulled up into Katie’s house I was like I need to clear out my email. And I just stopped at starbucks i It literally took me 20 minutes. It wasn’t long, but now I can start my day. Now when we finish recording it’s probably going to take me 30 or 40 minutes to clear out because it’s been a huge chunk of my day that I haven’t looked at it, but I’m pretty sure no one will have died.
No, I don’t think so. No one’s gonna Okay, so how many email blocks would you say are appropriate and are sort
of recommend two I would recommend one at around 11 o’clock for 30 to 45 minutes and then secondarily I would recommend one near the end of the day, it could even be a part of Have a shutdown routine. Okay, yeah, no, do one last I like scan flag things for tomorrow. And this doesn’t mean, let me you know, do all of the things that need to be done yeah, in the email. It just means, you know, let me scan let me pull the action items that I need to do and then
anything time sensitive Exactly. When you talked about your shutdown ritual. I was like, I need one of those. But then I was like, wait, I kind of have one. Oh, good. Because at night, I, before I shut it down, I do clear everything out. I make sure that anybody that needed something today is taken care of. And I will not get in the bathtub. Until it’s just like, all cleared out. Okay, then after I get out the bathtub, I don’t want to open my computer. I don’t want to open it, you know. So, again, life is not perfect. And we’re not here to say absolutely not, you know, every day is different. And sometimes you get an offer a time sensitive offer late at night. But I also want to encourage the other realtors out there listening and other entrepreneurs out there to be the person that people want to work with. Yeah, because you respect their time. Don’t be the realtor that texts other Realtors at eight or nine o’clock at night, you know, just nobody. Nobody wants to work with that person. No.
It’s such a disregard for someone else’s time. Yeah, I on occasion will get text messages from a client of mine, either early in the morning or late at night. And I’m just they don’t know they. I just feel like it’s disrespectful in a way but they don’t see it that
they don’t. And if they knew that it was Bob, they would just feel but that’s why it’s important to us to let them know that yeah, that they they’re aware they stop or you could even say hey, I’ll is it I’ll get this for you first thing in the morning.
Speaking of making others aware and letting them know if you use Gmail. Gmail has an add on I think it’s called that you can download called Boomerang. Okay. Yes, so about it. Most people know that Boomerang is a like an email add on that allows you to schedule email to send later and Outlook I believe has deletion built in. But boomerang allows you to schedule the email to go out later. Or you can choose to boomerang an email and have it pop back in your inbox whenever you’re ready to deal with it. But another really cool feature that was recently, somewhat recently released is called inbox pause. Oh, and with inbox pause, oh, man, you can like press a button to pause your inbox. And it will send an auto responder to anyone who emails you during that pause time. And I have seen this in action with some other entrepreneurs that I know and their auto responders are written in such a way that just makes you want to work with them who will say you know, like, hi, thank you so much for reaching out. Because my time right now is focused on serving my clients to the best of my ability. I will I pause my inbox until 3pm. And like she is just letting you know, lays it all out. You know my inbox is currently paused I look forward to reviewing your email at 3pm. And then she even explains that you know, as a partner, you can even say like as a busy realtor, I do I do my best to be as present as possible for my clients during the work day if you are an XYZ I look forward to but anyway you can just you lay it all out there in that auto responder and it just it may not work for everyone but it’s a really it’s a really cool i’ll let you
know like today when I know that from 930 until two I’m pretty much I’ve been unavailable today. And knowing that it’s there that they’re getting some kind of response that just lets them know so they’re not wondering where that you’re not ignoring them. Honestly, you guys on on shoot day or recording day can do something like, Hey, I’m spending x time to x time today recording six new episodes.
I like this one, Billy, you can tune in here. Yeah,
here’s the link. To that I should look into that. That was an awesome tip. That was
an awesome tip. So one thing that you said in a previous episode of yours and I wrote it down is that boundaries help you produce the best work possible. Yeah. Without Boundaries. Even if you think you’re just working, working working. It’s probably crappy work, right? Well, you’re sloppy rundown, you’re rundown. It’s not work that you will be super proud of. But when you actually have boundaries in place, it allows you to operate at full capacity when you’re on your own and you can just be fully engaged in that. I mean the law of diminishing returns kicks in once you work past A certain number of hours your work isn’t even productive anymore. Right? Just being fake
There was another law you talked about. Yes. With the filling your, your work. Yeah. What’s that one Parkinson’s Law? Talk about it? Sure. Do that, yeah, do that Parkinson’s Law
states that work expands to fill the time allotted. So if you, you remember back in college, when you would wait until the last minute to study for a test, you would cram at the last minute and make it work. But if you’d always, somehow it always worked somehow. Because when you’re when you have time constraints, you’re able to focus on what really matters, instead of like piddling and messing around and wasting time. Now, it’s not exactly healthy or productive or possible in our work lives now that we’re outside of college due to do that level of cramming. But that’s why time blocking is so critical. And time blocking is literally creating appointments in your schedule to do certain things. Yes, like, if you were to say, Oh, I’m creating a time block tomorrow, to spend an hour and a half from two o’clock until 330. on marketing, that you spend that time doing marketing, you have a clear start time you have a clear in time and you you just get done what you need to get done. Whereas if you don’t have boundaries, if you don’t create time blocks, if you don’t have a schedule, everything just kind of expands and there’s no start. There’s never caught up. You’re never caught up and you it just never feels finished. Yeah, so you’re never able to rest. And if you can’t rest, then you can’t recharge.
This is where most Realtors live. Yeah, yeah. This is what I witnessed. I witnessed it day to day, you can tell just from one cup of coffee, how their brain is on the inside. It
seems totally counterintuitive. Oh man do better by working less. Yeah, yeah. But it’s creating those boundaries that allow you to actually get stuff done.
That’s also that makes sense. This was good. That was really good. Like, jot that down? Do you have anything left that we didn’t get to?
The only thing I have written down and it kind of goes back to when we were talking about turning off your phone or telling clients to email you or whatnot? Is that you said in one of your episodes, setting expectations makes you easier to work with? Yeah, yeah. Because if you respond one night at nine o’clock, but not the next night at nine o’clock, it confuses people. They want to know, Well, can I text her at night? Or can I not? Sometimes she responds, sometimes she doesn’t. And so by setting those expectations of how you communicate best, like the people that know I communicate best via email, probably love working with me because they’re like, I just email her and I get this great response back, you know, I like but expectations and boundaries are not career killers. Oh, they’re like career enhanced enhancers. They’re amazing. Yeah. And I think that we just have to help our realtor friends understand that? Yeah. Because they’re just not it’s hard to. It’s hard to think that working less will increase you but it does
it for sure does. I wanted to also say, I know that sometimes as Realtors we just kind of blow off some like more traditional type thinking about structuring your work day or time blocking or, you know time management because oh, well, we don’t get to do that. Because we don’t rule our time. You know, somebody else is ruling us. I think that you can be flexible within what you’ve given us to work with. So like, let’s say a weekly planning session. Yeah, Alyssa is already doing this. When she goes to her open house. She plans that next week. So that’s awesome. She’s at the open house. She is she’s not busy. She that’s her time when she’s doing her weekly planning session. Like you guys have to think outside of the box to make these things still work within your business. Correct. I think that’s good. All right, Anna, what else do you think we need to know about Tom?
Because we are out of time.
I think that we don’t know what to do now.
Yeah, well, we may do a follow up. Well, I know that was so much so much great information. And Realtors need this. Yes. Okay.
Tell everybody where they can find you because they can just go listen to all these episodes. We keep referencing.
Yeah, yeah, sure.
So the podcast is called it’s about time. And you can hear it anywhere that you listen to podcasts, iTunes, Google podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify. You can head to my podcast page, which is about time podcast.com. And I would love to be Instagram friends. Yes. And my instagram handle is Anna D as in dog, Anna de kornek K O R and IC K so I really look forward to getting to know you and chatting with you over there. Yeah, help us get our time back. So yes, please. So we end every episode with a toast. Oh, yeah. So
we let our guests to Who’s who they would like to toast or cheers to? Yep. Do you have anybody in mind? Yeah.
Okay, so I would like to make a toast to my graphic designer. Oh, good Sierra of Sierra Designs. Okay, um, I just, you know, when it comes to being in business as an entrepreneur, as you guys know, it’s so critical to have good partners. Yes. And Ciara has been a fantastic partner to me. And about a year ago, I worked with her to put together like a branding toolbox and she helped me pick out colors and fonts and just all this stuff that I would have never been able to come up with myself. So perfectly captured, you know, who I am and what I stand for. And as a result, I’m able to use those tools in the toolbox to now create graphics and just my own stuff without having to go back to her every time love it.
Any efficient Yeah, so
cheers this year for ya how worrying me with that ability. I love it. And also,
look up Sierra, because your graphic design is beautiful.
It is so great.
We’re literally going to cheers even though you have no pairs share Sierra cheers here Alright, that’s it. Goodbye everyone. No Bye. I love you your sis,
thank you so much for tuning in to the hustle humbly podcast. Let us know who we should toast to for the next episode. Be sure to follow
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