On this episode of Rhodes to Success, I interview Julie Gray, who is a holistic time coach. Julie goes beyond traditional time management to guide time-stressed executives and entrepreneurs through a powerful process that results in more guilt-free time, focused productivity, and the rejuvenation of your mind, body, and spirit. She is the author of Digital True For You Time Management Workbook and co-creator of the 21-Day Time Makeover Program with Self Magazine, as well as a featured time expert in the Washington Post’s Time Hacks section. During this episode, we discuss to-do lists, work hours anxiety, finding your anchors, email management, productivity tools, and external triggers.
Main Questions Asked:
- What is holistic time management, and how is that different from a time management expert?
- What are your thoughts on to-do lists?
- What are your tips for entrepreneurs who work from home?
- What are your email management tips?
Key Lessons Learned:
Holistic Time Management
- Includes a traditional approach.
- In order for systems to ‘stick,’ it is necessary to look at the whole person.
- Time management is not just how you manage your time. It is also how you manage your energy, emotions, relationships, and communication.
- There is no such thing as a cookie cutter time management system.
- Every person behaves differently and has a different preferred work style, flow, and rhythm to his or her life.
- There are a lot of different ways that are helpful, successful, efficient, and effective to use to-do lists.
- Drill down to 1, 2, or 3 things you can do today.
- Feeling overwhelmed is an indicator that you need to get stuff out of your head and onto a list, as you have too much backlog.
- Make sure to separate your to-do list from a reminder list.
- People will do a ‘brain dump’ and feel overwhelmed, but this is often a list of things you don’t want to forget rather than a to-do list.
- What makes a to-do list is that you actually know you have the time to do those items.
To-Do List Tips
- Draw a horizontal line across your to-do list.
- Everything above the line is what you have to get done and you have the time to complete it. This forces you to prioritize at a high level.
- Everything below the line are things you’d love to do but don’t have to be done within your time frame.
- Think of this as have to/want, now/later, or to-do/reminders.
Work Hours Anxiety
- What are the activities you need to do that make it feel okay to work less?
- You are going to be more productive when you take breaks.
- Schedule your work hours when you know you are at your best for client calls, interviews, and writing. This is an element of mindfulness that will inform your schedule over time.
Find Your Anchors
- Anchors are the activities and times in your schedule you consistently adhere to.
- Let your anchors inform your schedule as a framework and arrange your work around the anchors.
- Everyone falls somewhere along the continuum between spaciousness and structure.
- If you are not fitting something in, then it’s not a high enough priority in your to-do list.
- Cut the cord when it comes to notifications. This is really distracting and energy draining.
- It can take your brain 15-20 minutes to get back to the level of concentration it was at prior to interruption.
- Any time we can an email or text, we get a boost of dopamine and the pleasure of someone communicating with us.
- When you are on email less, you get less email.
- Processing and checking email is not the same thing.
- The managing of email takes less time.
- Examples: Check email at 9, 12, 5, or check email once an hour for 15 minutes.
Manage ‘Off’ Email:
- Shut down the notifications and sounds in order to be ‘offline.’
- This naturally pushes email to where you can process it in batches.
- We are at the saturation point of productivity tools.
- The system behind the tool is what is more important than the tool itself.
- People get caught up in the ‘perfect tool’ trap.
- A compelling external trigger is when other people are dependent on the fact you get certain things done.
- It’s possible to bookend high-priority tasks with external triggers.
The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/thedangerosmakemusic
Links to Resources Mentioned
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