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Ep118 Transcript: Time Management Tips – Quick Fix Friday
Sarah Scott: If you are somebody who is multi-passionate, how do you find the time to fit all of your passions into a day, a week, a month, a year? We talk a lot about how we can get more done in a year than we realize, but less in a week. In this quick Fix Friday episode, we’re gonna talk about time management and how that can work around your multi-passion.
Andrea Vahl: Hello Dreamers. Welcome to the Late Starters Club, giving you the inspiration mindset and tools you need to start something midlife and beyond. Remember, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Sarah Scott: In episode 116, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Vahl, your podcast host, and when I tell you she is a busy woman. I am not kidding. She is an actress, a standup comedian, an author, a business owner, course creator, world traveler, and. Oh, there’s probably so many more. I always keep forgetting. But she does all of these things at the same time.
And one of the first things I had asked her was, what is your productivity hack? How do you fit all of this stuff into a very limited amount of time? And I think she basically told me that one of her favorite sayings was “Bite off more than you can chew and then chew it.”
Now, don’t get us wrong, that doesn’t work for everybody. So I wanted to give you a few tips on how you can manage your time better. So that you will have the time to prioritize all the things that you want to be able to do with your life.
So one of the first things that Andrea talks about is this idea of putting the big stuff in first. So if there are big projects, if there are big things that you need to do, Fit those into your schedule first, and then put all the little stuff around that. That way you know that you’re going to get those big things done and that they are not gonna get sidelined because all the little things took up too much of your time.
One of my favorite tips that she has is that she sets herself deadlines and not fictitious deadlines, true and honest deadlines that are out there to the public. Things like she schedules a webinar long before she knows whether or not she’s actually gonna be able to do it. She’ll book a race before she’s even trained for it. She will go out and put these things on the calendar and make sure that it is a very public declaration so that she knows that regardless, she is going to have to show up at that date and time to do that thing. And that then motivates her to move into getting the things done that she needs to do so that she meets that timeframe.
I know for me, this is something that I have done in the past. Only sometimes I put fictitious deadlines and say, oh, I’m gonna do this thing by, you know, Friday and well, because nobody else is invested in it. Well, nobody else is invested in it. So I can actually modify what I am doing.
With Andrea, these are real and true goals. She really truly puts it out there like we will advertise things before she’s absolutely ready to, and that then drives her towards that goal and drives her to getting that done.
I think one other part to this too is that she sets herself up for consequences. So if she does find that there are things that she’s dragging her heels on things, she’s having a hard time being motivated by where even the deadlines themselves aren’t getting her there, she will set herself up with a pain point.
So ask yourself. What is so painful to you that you would do anything to avoid it? So for one example she gave in the podcast, it was a friend who said she’d go streaking through the neighborhood. That must have been a high enough embarrassment level for her to want to avoid having to do that. It certainly would’ve been for me.
For Andrea, sometimes it’s monetary. She will call me up and say, Hey, if I don’t get this thing done by 10 o’clock, I’m gonna pay you an extra a hundred dollars. No sweat off my back. I’ll hold her accountable to it, but she then goes ahead and it makes her more motivated because she doesn’t want to have to let go of that. She doesn’t want to have to let go of that money, and that works for her.
So look, to set yourself up with some consequences. What is something that you don’t want to let go of and put that in there so that that way it keeps you motivated and keeps you working towards those goals.
I think one of the other things that is so helpful, at least I have found for myself is to block out your time for certain activities. So for example, I only take calls in my business two days a week. That way I know that I can have all the disruptions throughout the day for a call every 15 or 30 minutes, and I’m not really planning to make any big headway on any projects because I know that there’s going to be this level of interruption. So look to do that.
But one of the biggest pieces to doing something like that with your time is that you need to constantly respect those boundaries that you’ve put in and make others respect them too.
So for example, if I have a client who has a meeting on a Monday, and then they say, oh, I wanna reschedule with you for Wednesday. Wednesday’s a project day for me. So regardless of what works for them, will always push back first and say, you know, I have availability on Thursday. Can we meet on Thursday instead?
99% of the time they will tell me, yes, absolutely. And they will take my new offer for a new date on a time that works for me in the way that I’ve respected my schedule and we just move forward from there. So look, to really make sure that if you want to try to do this time blocking that you respect your time just as much as you want other people to respect your time.
Sometimes I think as entrepreneurs or just as people, We tend to let others dictate where our time goes, so we need to stop that and we need to dictate where the best places for our times are so that that way we can open ourselves up to all the different things in this world that we want to try to do.
One of my last tips on this is do not multitask. So I’m huge, so guilty of multitasking. Um, I have a thousand tabs open. I will be working on one thing and suddenly I’ll remember I need to do something on this project over here. And I’ll say to myself, well, this thing over here is going to take me like 30 seconds to do and this thing’s gonna take me another 30 minutes.
And so I will inadvertently jump over to do something else. It is such a bad thing to do because you are shifting gears in your mind and that constant shift back and forth of energies and thought process actually delays your time even more than you realize. So a couple of things that I tend to do. I try to close out all of my browsers, especially anything that’s got chat or email or anything that’s gonna gimme a notification.
And I have this really great timer on my desk that is blocked out in different. Intervals. It’s not quite a palmetto type of thing, but it does do like 15 minutes or 30 minutes. So I tell myself, I’m going to focus on a task for 30 minutes. I set that timer and I work until that timer goes off. So I try not to even allow myself to be as distracted long enough to look at the time to see whether or not that’s something that I am ready to wrap up. So that might be really helpful for you too. When it comes to multitasking is to only set a set amount of focus time. So then that way, you know, okay, I’m focusing on one task and then once that’s done, go ahead and run off. Um, a side tip to that, I always keep a piece of paper nearby so that if I do happen to have a little squirrel that goes running around in my head about a task that I need to do, I can go ahead and write that down and I know I haven’t missed it.
Finally, if you are somebody who is multi-passionate, who has so many things going on in their life that they’re trying to control and trying to fit into their schedule, please don’t forget to schedule in some downtime and rest, even though we are constantly going after the things that we’re curious about, the things that are fun, the things that we’re passionate about, and we wanna put our energies toward that.
We have to also remember that we have to allow our energy to rest so that that way we have more of that to go forward later on. So please be sure to schedule in a little bit of time to rest. And I wanna thank you all for allowing me for the takeover this week. It’s been a lot of fun and I will see you in the next Late Starters Club podcast.
Andrea Vahl: Hope that was helpful, and make sure you grab the free guide Top Tools for Late Starters on the website at latestartersclub.com and let’s turn dreaming into doing.
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