We see a lot of people struggling to accomplish their daily tasks and long-term goals, even though they’re spending hours upon hours a day working. Although they’re putting in an incredible amount of work, they’re still not getting the results they want.
In this episode of Influence by Design, I chat with my husband and business partner Leon, about the importance of effective time management and focus for coaches who want to grow their business. We discuss the strategies, tools, and ways that we achieve better time management based on our experiences and the experiments we have run within our business.
As business owners, it’s easy to lose track of time when trying to juggle multiple tasks at once. Without effective time management, tasks can take longer than necessary to complete which means the business can easily plateau.
Having the ability to focus and prioritise tasks is key to ensure you’re focussing on the things that will move the needle and help you achieve your goals faster.
If you want to know more about effective time management strategies and make the most of whatever time you have to scale the business, this episode is for you.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- The impact of poor time management and lack of focus in business (03:59)
- The triggers of poor time management that you may not be aware of (07:22)
- The Time Management Matrix and the effect of operating in the wrong quadrant (09:25)
- Strategies for effective time management (15:45)
- The importance of getting clear on the outcomes you want to achieve (19:11)
- Why delegation equates to freedom (21:37)
- The limiting beliefs that could be hindering you from delegating (24:25)
- Tools and Tech that support time management and productivity (27:45)
- The value of self-care and taking breaks (35:05)
- Leon’s and Samantha’s advice to improve time management (38:40)
- “The more that you can get clear on your priorities and goals, the easier it is to manage your time.” -Samantha Riley
- “Sometimes it’s not just the time it takes to do the task that’s the problem. It’s the space it takes up in your head while you’re thinking about it, and it’s slowing you down from doing what you’re meant to be doing.” -Samantha Riley
- “Prioritizing your own well-being is probably the best way to manage your time efficiently.” -Samantha Riley
- “Stopping for a minute and just pausing makes a big difference.” -Leon Flitton
- “If you’re the face of the business, it’s not your job to be doing all the work in the background. You should be at the front operating in your zone of genius.” -Leon Flitton
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WHERE TO FIND LEON FLITTON
- Website: https://yourpodcastconcierge.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leonflitton/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leonflitton
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChatWithLeon/
CONNECT WITH SAMANTHA RILEY
- Facebook: Samantha Riley
- Instagram: @thesamriley
- LinkedIn: Samantha Riley
- Twitter: @thesamriley
Samantha Riley (00:00):
It’s really important to remember that someone else’s urgency isn’t actually your urgency. It doesn’t need to be for us, that it’s up to us to put boundaries on our time and not get caught up in their emergency.
Leon Flitton (00:15):
Being busy doesn’t actually get you a long way, in the essence of being efficient. The first thing is his takes comes back to planning. So if you can plan your time blocking, it’s a great start, and then add in what’s a priority, so that it doesn’t become urgent as well, so you can actually stick to your plan.
Samantha Riley Intro (00:37):
My name is Samantha Riley, and this is the podcast for experts who want to be the unapologetic leader in their industry. We’re going to share the latest business growth, marketing, and leadership strategies, as well as discussing how you can use your human design to create success in business and life. Inside and out. It’s time to take your influence, income, and impact to the level you know you’re capable of. Are you ready to make a bigger difference and scale up? This is the Influence By Design podcast.
Welcome to today’s episode of Influence By Design, I’m your Thursday co host Samantha Riley and today I have asked my husband Leon Flitton to join us for this episode, we’re going to talk about effective time management and focus. And we want to share some of the things that we do in our business, because we need to make sure that we use our time well and focus because we have multiple businesses. So Leon, Welcome, and thanks for joining me today.
Leon Flitton (01:34):
Thanks for inviting me
Samantha Riley (01:35):
back. Well, you know, I kind of like having you around.
Leon Flitton (01:40):
Lucky for me,
Samantha Riley (01:42):
lucky for both of us. So we are going to discuss time management and being focused, because what we’ve noticed in our time is that sometimes we’re more effective. And sometimes we’re less effective. We’re not robots, we’re humans having a human experience. And a lot of what we’re going to talk about, we have experimented with some of the things we haven’t implemented and had not so good results. But I think that we want to share this conversation, because hopefully it will help other people because we see a lot of the people around us, our clients or the people that are in our world, some are achieving really great things. And some are really struggling just to, you know, to get things done. Yet at the same time. We’ve also noticed that these people aren’t sitting back and doing nothing, nine times out of 10. They just like busy being busy all day, but just not seeing the results of the work that they’re putting in. Yeah,
Leon Flitton (02:43):
and I just want to say before we get too far into it that not everyone’s in the same boat. You’re not mine to be like Richard Branson, when he just lifts for entrepreneurship. Let’s look at like a single mum, though. They’ve got a lot of responsibilities on their plate, and they’re trying to be a single mom and run a business, they’re not quite going to have the same kind of time spread that someone like I know for Richard brass is going to have absolutely, they’re lazy at all, they hadn’t had him set not lazy at all different challenges.
Samantha Riley (03:12):
Absolutely. And I’m really glad you mentioned that, because this is not about sort of having anyone feel shame about not being able to get done what they want to do. We wanted to have this discussion to help people have the most focus and be able to use some effective time management strategies in whatever time that they have. Because like you say, some people have more time than others, you know, those memes where it says, you know, we’ve all got 24 hours in the day. And you know, if Richard Branson could do it, why can’t you? Well, we don’t all have the same opportunities, and nannies and home help and CEOs in our business. So, you know, our situations are all different. Yeah, they are totally different. So having poor time management and lack of focus, like let’s talk about some of the ways that they can manifest in business, because I think that we need to have a look at the symptoms first before we can start to reverse engineer and think, oh, maybe things aren’t going as well as we thought. So what are some of the things or what is one of the things that you see manifesting in people’s businesses?
Leon Flitton (04:21):
I think the number one thing that I see is probably that I feel like that they’re not getting like the results that they should be getting but I feel like it’s they’re not getting for example not getting like leads and clients coming through so they’re not filling their funnel, that kind of thing. So I think it’s you know, we’re in business to grow the business and it’s not growing so that’s probably one of the first things that I see there.
Samantha Riley (04:42):
Absolutely could do I agree. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to a business owner that you know, that doesn’t say hard. I’d love to I’d love more leads and clients. So yeah, I definitely see that. Probably the second thing and I mentioned already is people that are just like busy, busy, busy, busy. You know You’re working 1214 hours a day, but getting to the end of the day and not having anything really tangible to show for it. I see that and it breaks my heart.
Leon Flitton (05:10):
Yeah, absolutely. Another thing that I worry about, and I see a lot of people is burning out. And I know that that term is thrown around a lot. But it’s I’m sure it’s real.
Samantha Riley (05:23):
Oh, it’s definitely.
Leon Flitton (05:27):
But I think it might manifest itself in other ways. You might say, you’ve burned out like you’re tired, but what are you feeling with those, you know, being burnt out? So lack of purpose, you know, obviously, you’re just exhausted because you’ve been working too much. But in other ways, you can be like showing up in making poor decisions. And in probably the worst case, you’re actually walking away from the business. So people just quit because they get burnt out. But could that have been prevented? Yeah, somehow, you know, so how could they have stopped the burnout? Yeah, yeah. What could they have done differently?
Samantha Riley (05:58):
Absolutely. And I see that a little bit in some feelings of resentment for the business. Yeah, I was just chatting to someone yesterday. And I can’t remember if I saw it, or heard it, or I was chatting to someone I can’t actually remember. But I remember someone saying, I started to feel resentment for my clients. Now, I can really relate to that. And I’ve talked about on this podcast before, when I sold my dance studio back in 2011. That was the reason I sold it because I was starting to feel resentment towards my paying customers. And I knew that it was time for me to walk away and do something else because it was not their fault at all. And in actual fact, it was my poor time management. And it was my lack of boundaries that was making that happen. So could I have prevented it? Yes. But I also think that it was just, it was just the timing, but might have
Leon Flitton (06:52):
been done. But it was the timing. I’m not particularly woowoo, so to speak, but I do believe there’s an energy transfer. And I think that feeling that resentment would be bad for your business from just an energy point of view. So
Samantha Riley (07:07):
100%, there couldn’t be anything more polarizing than having the business owner pouring this energy of I don’t even want you here all over the place. Yeah, good point. We don’t want that. So let’s talk about some of the causes and the triggers. Because there is, you know, a lot of things that will come up. And we’ll see from two ends of the spectrum, we’ve got, on one end, procrastination, and a lot of people talk about procrastination, and leaving things. But at the other end, we’ve also got over commitment. And I actually find it interesting that most of us have can be on both ends of this spectrum, that whilst we’re procrastinating on something, we can also be over committing at the same time and saying yes to too many things. And this is all got to do with this with a lack of clear priorities and a lack of goals. And I think that the more that you can get clear on your priorities and goals, the easier it is to manage your time.
Leon Flitton (08:12):
Yeah, absolutely. I was just thinking about that. So I was getting a bit polarized by the whole, I remember, like advocating on my previous career, and are always over commit. And then you know, I always get myself in trouble that way. Alternatively, the procrastination part, I remember some days where we’d have not much work on. For some reason, we still end up rushing at the end of the day.
Samantha Riley (08:33):
Isn’t that weird? And sometimes you can be, I think, when there’s not a lot on, you can just cruise it so much that it’s almost like you find it really difficult to get the job done. Even though you’ve got a lot of time. It’s not always that you’ve got this massive time crunch. Sometimes you’ve got a lot of time, but instead of just getting the job done, and then you know, going out for a coffee or you know, going outside and reading we can just stretch this tiny little task that we’ve got to do out over the whole day. And you just get so frustrated. Oh, yeah. Am I talking about me here? Oh, man, I know all the things
Leon Flitton (09:12):
on Facebook I put up again. Oh, man, exactly.
Samantha Riley (09:15):
Shut that tab. I remember back in the day, when I had my very first business coach, he showed me the time management matrix. And we use this in our business and I’d love to share it. A lot of people will probably have heard about it. There’s probably some people that haven’t heard about it. So I think that we should talk about the time management matrix and the four quadrants of where you are and first quadrant is urgent and important tasks and I love the way you describe this so I’m gonna let you say it because it cracks me up when you say this.
Leon Flitton (09:53):
Oh, I think this is actually last minute.com Yeah,
Samantha Riley (09:57):
say are you yeah Leon will say you operating in last minute.com Yeah, this is where we’re operating in defense mode all the time. And we’re never in attack mode, not that attack. I actually don’t love the word attack. But if we were talking about a football game, there’s defense and attack. But I don’t mean that, you know, oh my goodness, we’re here to attack. But these urgent and important tasks, the crises and the emergencies that land in your plate, where it’s like, Oh, my goodness, we’ve got to get it done. Now. It’s like the fires burning. These are the pressing problems, the deadline driven projects, and you know, anything that has to happen last minute. Yeah.
Leon Flitton (10:38):
And the thing is, it’s what you’ve done previously, to this, that’s actually caused it to be a crisis. So it’s like you said about attack? Well, there’s been no attack. There’s been no planning. Yeah. So that’s how it’s ended up. Why that? So?
Samantha Riley (10:52):
Yeah, there is, you did mention this is with everything else, that’s not planned. But there is one little thing that I do want to mention here. And I was talking about this with a friend last night, who was telling me oh, my goodness, I can’t get you know, X, Y, Zed done. And I sort of delved into why this was, and it was because, you know, this person was reaching out for a meeting, or that person was reaching out because they needed something. And I said to her, it’s really important to remember that someone else’s urgency isn’t actually your urgency. And I think that we really do need to put up some boundaries in this quadrant. And understand that just because it’s important and urgent for that person over there. It doesn’t need to be for us, that it’s up to us to put boundaries on our time and not get caught up in their emergency. 100%. Glad to agree.
Leon Flitton (11:46):
Well, I was just thinking that sounds great. It’s because they’re operating in that, you know, the wrong quadrant themselves. They’re then trying to like, push it over onto you. And that can be your problem. But that’s their monkey. It’s like,
Samantha Riley (11:58):
Absolutely, absolutely. Like, Let’s not drag it into our quadrant, because that’s not where we want to be. All right. The second quadrant is the not urgent but important tasks. This is where we do want to be operating this is where we’re always in preparation, planning and prevention, where, you know, relationship building, were doing things in a timely manner, were doing the important tasks that are going to move the needle on our business, but also going to be able to do that so that we’re able to take out that recreation time, or that relaxation, time to look after ourselves as the CEO of our business.
Leon Flitton (12:39):
Yeah, so I think, you know, just the way that most businesses work, if we could operate in this, like, you know, this quadrant in quadrant two all the time, it will be so much less stressful for a lot of us.
Samantha Riley (12:51):
Absolutely. I mean, Let’s not lie, actually, this could be my limiting belief. I personally don’t think it’s possible to always be operating in this quadrant, because things do go wrong.
Leon Flitton (13:03):
Maybe it depends on what your boundaries are.
Samantha Riley (13:05):
Maybe Maybe, let’s talk about quadrant three, this is the urgent but not important tasks. These are oh my goodness, these are the things that annoy me so much. It’s those interruptions that take away my focus. You know, it’s the phone ringing. And you know, when I’m in the middle of something, or it’s a meeting that I don’t feel that we actually really need at that time. It’s the pressing matters that aren’t really that important.
Leon Flitton (13:36):
Yeah. So in the corporate world, this will be your boss calls a meeting about having a meeting. Oh, it’s only because he called up but it’s not really important.
Samantha Riley (13:47):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it could be.
Leon Flitton (13:55):
Well, tell us about calling meetings.
Samantha Riley (13:59):
And then we’ve got the fourth quadrant, which is not urgent and not important. And this is that busy work. This is just sitting at your laptop doing I don’t know what opening up every single tab under the sun, but just flitting between them on trivial activities, and spending time on escape activities. So this is the procrastination piece coming in. This is real time wasting stuff.
Leon Flitton (14:24):
That’s where Facebook scrolling crazy.
Samantha Riley (14:27):
We don’t do Facebook scrolling. I actually I’ve got to say very rarely these days, will I Facebook Scroll of jumping or do what I need to do and I’ll jump out because yeah, I have been known to scroll. Actually, I’ll tell you on tick tock. I have been known to get up a little ad that says, Are your eyes tired? Have you been scrolling for too long? Look at the time our oops, the answer to that would be yes. It’s like a vortex ever seen that? Oh, now you’re shopping We are Yeah, I have seen it. Yeah, I was operating in this quadrant. We don’t want to be here very often. No, no, actually, we don’t want to be here at all.
Leon Flitton (15:11):
No, it’s not a good place to be. But we do know that, as we said before, operating in quadrant two in the being planned, prepared, and actually doing valuable work at the right time is where everyone be operating.
Samantha Riley (15:25):
Absolutely. So really, you know, these poor when we’re operating in the other three quadrants, and not using our time efficiently having a lack of focus, it means that we’re unable to efficiently use our energy, it means that we’re not getting the results that we want, and ultimately, our business isn’t growing. So let’s talk about some of the strategies that we use and some of the tools that we use in our business to manage our time, because this is something that you and I have been really sort of leaning into, well, we’ve always leaned into it. But I would say, probably the last six months, would you agree we’ve really dialed this in, because we’ve got so much to do, and really had the conversation of alright, we need to make sure that we’re making the best use of our time and getting done what we need to do. So this is really the last six months, we’ve made this a real priority.
Leon Flitton (16:23):
Yeah, and I think I Googled this, but the most unproductive time of the day was 2:17pm. And I bring this up, because I know that trying to do creative stuff at that time of the afternoon, makes it super difficult. So I think as per time blocking in this case might come in. So I think that’s probably one of the biggest things that I learned was, what do I put where in the day. So
Samantha Riley (16:47):
yeah, and I, I’m glad that you brought that up, because a lot of people talk about morning routines. And I know that going back would have been three or four years ago, I really lent into, wow, let’s have a morning routine. And let’s be super duper efficient entrepreneurs, and let’s journal when meditate and work out and do all of the things, you know, at some ridiculous time of the morning. And what we were finding, or what I was finding was that you a didn’t really want to be a part of it, and you wanted to stay in bed. And what I was finding was I was using up the time of the day where I was most productive. So by the time I finished all of these activities, I’d actually used up my most productive time of the day. So I’m not saying don’t do a morning routine, like if it works for you 100% Do it. I’m all for creating your life and your business sort of suits you. The reason I’m talking about this is because once I realized that I was wasting my most productive time of the day, what I did was flipped the day around. So now and you join me now we stay in bed just a little bit longer. And we get up we have a coffee, and we jump straight into it, which is not what a lot of people do. But this works for us that we jump straight into doing our emails, getting our jobs done, getting our tasks off to the team, seeing what’s coming from the team overnight, and really setting up our day and getting straight into it. And then really by lunchtime, we sort of we have lunch, and that’s for the rest of the afternoon, we go a lot slower. That’s when we read, we sit out in the sun or we go for coffee, or we go out for lunch. You know, sometimes in the late morning, we’ll go to the gym, but we’d really don’t like to go to the gym earlier and use up that real productive time.
Leon Flitton (18:36):
Yeah, and this is also a good point to make, again, that it’s what suits us. And that may not suit what you’re doing. Yeah, but this works for us. And I’ve got friends that are night people. They might sleep till 10 o’clock, and they but they are almost like awake all night. Yeah. And that works for them.
Samantha Riley (18:55):
Absolutely. So figure out what works for you and fully own that and make sure that your routine supports you to be able to do your best work and be the most focus that you can be. Let’s talk about prioritization because this is something we were talking about earlier, where if you don’t prioritize, it can be really busy being busy. And this is something we still do experience that like I said, we’re humans having a human experience. But something that we changed probably about six weeks ago has really helped us a lot. And that’s instead of writing a massive to do list at the beginning of the week, we say what is the number one outcome that we want to achieve this week? And then each day, what’s the one thing that we could do today to make sure that we achieve this outcome? And it’s amazing how many of the tasks that we were doing in our business previously, are just always getting pushed to the side and we’ve realized they’re probably not as important as what we thought they were. Yeah, and as a
Leon Flitton (19:58):
most of these things are like that. They could be quite a large task as well. But by being able to break it down into that one thing per day and just get that one thing done, then you can, you don’t even realize, but you can just see it like happening. And it’s just awesome. Boy, you know what? That task is actually complete or that job’s complete? Are you moving on to the next one going back here? Well, now we can go further. The next one thing that we need to be doing so the big outcome?
Samantha Riley (20:26):
Well, what’s really interesting about that is how good do you feel when you achieve your goal for the day? You’re like, Wow, that feels so good. And how often do we go? Actually, let’s just get one more thing done. Other than Oh, my goodness, our tasks, you know, our to do list is never ending, you start to get really down on yourself, where we’re flipped it. So it’s like, wow, we did it. Cool. What else can we do today?
Leon Flitton (20:49):
Is it dopamine? Is that what you get from like completing the task? So you get rising, so you can do you want more, but then you feel energized? Rather than rushing to try and finish off the task, then running late, then getting over tired? Yeah, so it’s kind of it’s flipping the script on that one. So
Samantha Riley (21:05):
absolutely. And really, by spending time and getting that one outcome done, we can, and we will often do this, we’ll be clocked off by 11 and say, Hey, let’s go. We often go for a walk and get a coffee. And then we’ll go grab some lunch, and we’ll walk home. And you know, that might be a to what we might do spend two hours out of the day. But we know that we’ve done that one thing that’s going to move the needle on the business,
Leon Flitton (21:32):
and percent. Love those days.
Samantha Riley (21:34):
I love those days, too. Let’s talk about delegation. Because when we talk about what’s your favorite, my favorite delegation, hang on,
Leon Flitton (21:45):
this is your favorite thing. Delegating oh,
Samantha Riley (21:49):
what what’s my favorite delegation, that doesn’t even make sense? It is
Leon Flitton (21:53):
my favorite favorite delegation is but delegation is your favorite thing to do. So
Samantha Riley (21:57):
it is my favorite thing to do. And interesting. I was having a coaching call with a client last week. And she came onto the call really sheepishly and said, Sam, I think you’re going to be not happy with me today. I haven’t actually done any of those things that I committed to last week. And I went alright, well, you know, before we have a discussion around what went wrong, let’s talk about what went right. What has been done. Now, here’s where it gets really interesting. Every single thing that she had committed on doing actually had been done, but she hadn’t realized that because I taught her how to delegate it. So we had to have a conversation around her being the CEO of the business means that she’s just the one that is making sure everything gets done. She doesn’t actually have to do it herself. Massive epiphany for her. So at first where she was all sheepish, and like, I haven’t done anything. I’m like, No, you were super smart. You made sure that everything was actioned, you didn’t personally do any of it yourself. But guess what all of these boxes are ticked? And she just went, ha, sweet. What are we going to do next?
Leon Flitton (23:04):
What a great problem to have or delegate it too much?
Samantha Riley (23:07):
Absolutely. There’s no such thing as delegating. You know, you can’t build a fortune 500 company, and be the CEO and do it all yourself. It is not possible. No, not all of us want a fortune 500 company, I get that. But who doesn’t want more freedom, who doesn’t want to have the choice? Where Yeah, you could spend time in the business. But if you didn’t want to, because you weren’t feeling it today, or you decided you wanted to go visit, you know, family interstate or in a different country or go on a holiday that you couldn’t just go yet tomorrow, I’m going to go do that. That’s what it’s all about me is setting up our business so that anytime you can just go I don’t want to do it today. And you don’t have to. But it’s still being looked after. So having a freedom business doesn’t mean walking away from the job totally. What it means is having the ability to have the business keep running without you doing it.
Leon Flitton (23:59):
100% is that many way we can work from anywhere? Or many places
Samantha Riley (24:03):
anyway? No, no, one of our clients send us an email just the other day didn’t change. He’s like, I want to have my business many where it’s where we’re, we’re running it anywhere in many places. And I was like, Oh, I love that word. We are going to be using that all the time. We want to be many were.
Leon Flitton (24:21):
So So what do you think is the thing that stops most people from actually using delegation?
Samantha Riley (24:30):
I think that there is a couple one is people saying it’s faster to do it myself. And I’m going to come back to this in a minute because I’ve got lots to say about this. And number two, no one can do it as well as I can. No, I’m going to call some BS on both of those. Number one, it’s faster to do it myself. Well, it might be once but what if you’re doing that task two times a day? How much time is that over two years, so it might be fun. ask you to do it today for yourself. But when you add up the other time today, and the two times tomorrow and the two times the next day, and the two times the next day over a long period of time, you start adding up those hours, and it could be a lot. So anything that you’re doing more than three times I say delegate it. And yes, you do have to slow down to maybe create a process, maybe you have to get it out of your head. And maybe you’re pushing back against doing that, because it does take time. But it’s worth it in the long run, we want to do the sprint and hand it off. It’s like the relay, we do the little sprint hand off the baton, and then take a rest rather than run the marathon forever, like I know which one I’d rather do
Leon Flitton (25:44):
is it that’s a short term pain for long term gain that was in 100%
Samantha Riley (25:48):
want you to tell them the first time totally once you get into the rhythm of understanding how to delegate it gets faster and faster. It’s being able to delegate well is a learned skill. So you do have to practice it like any other skill. So get into understanding how to delegate and delegate and with my clients. One of the first things when they come on board working with me is I help them to get into a routine of delegating every single morning as the first task of the day is what have I got on my plate for today? And what can I delegate right now so that I can email, whoever you know my team and get off my plate. So now it’s on their plate, and I don’t have to think about it anymore. Because sometimes it’s not just the time it takes to do the task. It’s that space it takes up in your head while you’re thinking about it. And it’s slowing you down from doing what you meant to be doing.
Leon Flitton (26:45):
Yeah, I was gonna say that it’s like renting space in your head, when you have 10 tasks to do for the day, if you can like get eight of them, or seven of them gone off and delegated. You’re gonna go over it two or three.
Samantha Riley (26:55):
Absolutely. So and when you when you delegate, it means that you can spend the time that you need to on the highly important tasks that we were talking about earlier, the ones that are going to move the needle on your business that only you can do. And as a coach that is showing up. It’s you know, is coming up with our frameworks, our trainings, podcasts, guesting, you know, facilitating coaching, that’s what we do best. So that’s where we want to be doing creating relationships and cross promotion, partners, all of those kinds of things is what we need to be doing, not fiddling around for five hours trying to make a pretty Canvas social post. Yeah, I see you
Leon Flitton (27:34):
love that. If you’re the face of the business, it’s not your job to be doing all the work in the background, it should be at the front.
Samantha Riley (27:40):
Absolutely. So we’ve talked about a lot of strategies there. But there’s also a lot of tools and technology that we can use in our business to help us lots of apps and software and tools. Let’s talk about just a couple of the ones that we’re using our business because this hasn’t been an easy journey. We’ve done a lot of trial and error. And it’s taken us a while to kind of land here. So for project management, we use air table with our team, we were using Trello. But I’m much preferring air table. I really like air table,
Leon Flitton (28:15):
and some of these types of project management tools. It has to suit your style and your business. So it’s not a right or wrong. Yeah. But picking the one fits best in your business and probably with your tech stack, I suppose to
Samantha Riley (28:29):
Yeah, 100%. If you don’t enjoy using a project management tool, you won’t use it. That’s what I’ve learnt. Because there’s a couple that have big name, sort of project management tools, as you I’ll just come out and say one of them is Asana, a lot of people love it. And it works really well for them, which is why I used it. And I didn’t use it. I had I had it sitting on my computer, but I didn’t use it because I didn’t like the way it worked. It was clunky for me. Air table I use all the time. So there’s a something to look out for. If you’re not using it, it probably doesn’t work for you
Leon Flitton (29:04):
to say one of the other things that we do use. And communication is big, right? So it’s like so we found that slack works for us and communicating with our team.
Samantha Riley (29:15):
What I love about Slack is our entire team is remote. So we’re all conversing over tech. And what I like about Slack is being able to have the different channels, so we don’t all get the notifications if we don’t need them. So having the different channels means that I don’t need to be overwhelmed with a conversation that’s got actually nothing to do with me. That’s what I really love about Slack.
Leon Flitton (29:39):
Yeah, just remember to put your notifications on site. We’re doing a podcast interview.
Samantha Riley (29:43):
Yes. There’s probably some podcasts of mine where you hear that little clip. So I remember. I actually I remember being with a friend and her daughter had one of the notifications. She’s like to have slack Sam. My dad has that he has his phone We use a tool called Zapier, which is an automation tool which zaps or sends information from one piece of software or tech to another. We use this a lot to automate information being moved. So for example, we can take if someone emails us that information from our ticketing system automatically gets zapped over to air table so we don’t even have someone moving that information over. We use Zapier for so many different things in our business so that it doesn’t need to be double handled. I don’t think that our project manager would love to be working in our business.
Leon Flitton (30:44):
So there’s, there’s two things to Zapier as well, because yes, you want to automate as much as possible for efficiency. But something that’s super repetitive, like getting an email from, you know, one app to another, for example, there’s less chance of an error or something being missed. If it’s automated, and it’s getting triggered, you’d know that it’s going to be going there. And so someone having to sit there and do some real menial kind of data entry kind of tasks. So there’s there’s two fold to that. So and Zapier is great for that kind of thing.
Samantha Riley (31:14):
Absolutely. Brain FM is another tool that I use to get me into a creative state as fast as possible. And also to help me stay focused. I was just funny story, I was writing my book in an extremely busy place last weekend, I had a couple of hours to kill, where I didn’t have enough time to get home. So I was sitting somewhere that really could have taken my focus away, but I put my air pods in, popped on brain FM, and I completely forgot where I was, it was like I was in this tunnel, or I had the tunnel vision of just absolute focus on getting some words on a page. So 100% Love brain FM, not only to stay focused, but just to get you in that creative state as fast as possible. Yeah,
Leon Flitton (31:57):
the other thing, and then I’m not an expert on this by any means. But you only have a certain amount of time to actually stay focused and get the job done. So I think we try and sticks 90 minute blocks, for example, maximum.
Samantha Riley (32:10):
Yeah, I think around about 90 minutes is the time or it might be 60 minutes. I’m not 100%. Sure. But again, like I was saying at the start of the episode, everyone’s time is different. Because I know a lot of people talk about 60 minutes being their max. I found when I set brain FM for 60 minute blocks, I was always it’s almost like I had my thoughts cut off. And I found it harder to get back into flow, where I personally found that a 90 minute block was better for me, because I pretty much emptied my head after 90 minutes. And I was starting to wonder. So find out what’s your flow state? And what’s the best time for you? Yeah, so I was gonna say you’re laughing at me for some reason, I’ll find out why
Leon Flitton (32:53):
was everyone slightly different? So you know, some people might actually get into the zone for two hours, and might be better off doing 45 minute bursts and being super productive. Having a break and then hitting it again. Do we just found that 90 minutes for us was a really good time, which is probably great, because we’ve worked together? Because 90, I was gonna say
Samantha Riley (33:17):
it works out well for coffee breaks doesn’t.
Leon Flitton (33:20):
Yeah, so but yeah, like you’ll find a sweet spot.
Samantha Riley (33:23):
Absolutely. One of the other tools that I’ve been using a lot is chat GPT. And I’m only using it for one thing at the moment, I know that there’s a million things I could be using chat GPT four, but really, at the moment, I’m using it to generate ideas really quickly. So for podcasts, Episode topics, or for training topics, or just creating bullet points, I’m not using it for anything major, because I still know that my IP and the way that I think and my expertise is very unique. And I want to be able to bring that in. But I am using chat GPT to speed up the process of getting something started.
Leon Flitton (34:04):
I think it’s 100% and efficiency tool. And it’s just great for getting you going because I know what it’s like if I sat down to write a blog post, for example,
Samantha Riley (34:12):
oh, I’ve seen you do that I’ve seen you stare at a screen for time, a really long time.
Leon Flitton (34:20):
You know, if you think about if you have a blog post that you’ve written that you come and then you re edit it, how long that takes you as opposed to actually writing it from scratch. So and that’s that’s the kind of thing that chat JPJ is great for as well. So, and there’s a lot of other apps out there. There’s a huge amount but chat DBT works really well for that kind of thing. So it’s about efficiency and getting started getting moving. You know if we do a 90 minute block and I sit there for 60 minutes trying to work out what I’m doing with a blank screen. I’ve only got 30 minutes to write it. I’m probably not going to get it nailed. Yeah, no,
Samantha Riley (34:53):
you you have a terrible case of blank page. I just don’t you
Leon Flitton (34:59):
try blinking but that’s Some, okay, that blink if that doesn’t work.
Samantha Riley (35:04):
I want to talk about the role of self care, and the importance of taking breaks to maintain focus and productivity. Because I think of when we think of productivity, we’re thinking of like doing things. But to be able to do things, we actually need to take things away. And I really feel that prioritizing your own well being is probably the best way to manage your time efficiently. Because when you’re well rested when you’re feeling physically fit, when you’re mentally and spiritually full, and you’re on your game. So I just want to quickly talk about making sure that you have these two states of working in and working out in your life to make sure that your productivity is up. And by working in it’s things like meditating, you know, maybe even going and sitting outside and just, you know, lying and watching the clouds or, you know, this morning, I finished recording a podcast episode and I walked out and saw you Leon sitting in the sun just reading a book. I was like, Oh, it’s so peaceful. That you’re, you know, you were preparing for the day in your own way.
Leon Flitton (36:18):
Yeah, yeah. And that’s something that while since meeting you, they’ve actually started doing more of and working in particular with things like, you know, reading or actually just stopping for a minute to actually not do anything. And I suppose it’s kind of that’s my meditation, but just stopping for a minute and just pausing. Makes a big difference.
Samantha Riley (36:38):
makes a huge difference. Is that sharpening the axe, right? We could keep going, going, going, but many times, that’s actually going to slow you down in the long run. So that’s the working in but also working out, you know, get into the gym and lift weights. Is that a dopamine thing? To? You? I think it is. Yeah. Whatever. Whatever. When you go to the gym, lift weights feel good. You walk out and you’re like, Yeah, let’s do this. You know, if lifting weights isn’t your thing, then you know, what is your thing? Is it dancing? Is it you know, going for walks in nature, is it swimming, but get out there and and work out in some way?
Leon Flitton (37:15):
Yeah, so something that’s really cool about where we live is that we are quite often you know, that the guys that we know, they’re quite often out there surfing or mountain biking. But I think we can do both when you can, you know, you can be out in nature and mountain biking. How cool is that? Yeah.
Samantha Riley (37:30):
Yeah. Oh, actually, I was just about to say killing two birds with one stone. But what a horrible way to say, doing two awesome things at once. kill anything. I was gonna say I’m gonna take that quote right out of my vocabulary right now. Good plan. Absolutely. And nurturing relationships, spending time with friends, family, and taking time out specifically to spend with your significant other is really, really important. I know. For us, we spend a lot of time with family and friends. But we also make sure that the date night is in the calendar, and we never miss man. We don’t ever say, Oh, we’re a bit busy this week. Let’s just do date night next week. It’s a it’s in the calendar. We’re doing this, you know, we have our breakfast every Monday after the gym. We always go out for dinner on other nights of the week, you know, that date nights in there? Locked in the calendar? Yeah,
Leon Flitton (38:25):
that’s important to have boundaries on those things. So if that’s just a given as to happen every week, and I think it does, because that’s what my belief is. But yeah, that needs to happen.
Samantha Riley (38:35):
So yeah. 100%. So final thoughts, Leon on this topic of time management and focus, you know, out of everything was spoken about? What do you want to leave people with so that they can really improve their management of time and focus on growing the business?
Leon Flitton (38:57):
Yeah, well, look busy, being busy doesn’t actually get you a long way. And in the essence of being efficient, the first thing is takes comes back to planning. So if you can plan your time blocking, it’s a great start. And then also, on top of that, if you can do time blocking, and then add in what’s a priority? Yeah, so that it doesn’t become urgent as well. So yeah, you can actually, you know, stick to your plan.
Samantha Riley (39:25):
I think for me, the biggest takeaway that we have implemented, is having that conversation either on Sunday or Monday of what is the number one thing that we want to achieve this week? And each day before we start asking ourselves and committing to well, what’s the one thing that we need to do today to get us to that goal for me that’s really been a game changer. Because I’m a very people that know me know that. I’m a go getter. I’m very, you know, I get a lot done. But having that hyper focus, to not get caught up in doing things that are necessarily going to move the needle has been a real real game changer for
Leon Flitton (40:04):
Yeah. And just one quick tip on that is Don’t cheat planning at home in the office like going in somewhere.
Samantha Riley (40:10):
Yeah, totally make it fun, make planning fun, because otherwise you just don’t do it because it feels like it feels like a punishment.
Leon Flitton (40:18):
Yeah, yeah, be bit more creative and get out there and do something different. So absolutely.
Samantha Riley (40:22):
So hopefully, you’ve taken some ideas from our conversation today. Take action on some of the strategies or the tools that we’ve discussed in this episode. And we’d love you to share your own experiences and your tips for effective time management and focus. Because you know, that opens up a conversation, something that you do will be different to ours, and that might help someone. So Leon, where can people connect with you? So you can check
Leon Flitton (40:47):
me on Instagram at Laughlin? And how about you said
Samantha Riley (40:51):
yes, saying connect with me on Instagram at the Sam Riley. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot and share your main takeaway and share it in your stories tag Leon and I so that we can share it with our audience. And let’s really open up this conversation.
Thanks for joining us today for another episode, and we’ll catch you next Tuesday for another episode of the Influence By Design show.
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Influence By Design podcast. If you want more head over to influencebydesignpodcast.com for the show notes and links to today’s gifts and sponsors. And if you’re looking to connect with other experts who are growing and scaling their business to join us in the coaches, thought leaders, and changemakers community on Facebook, the links are waiting for you over at influencebydesignpodcast.com
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