Ep. 86

How to Get Time Back in Your Business with Team Interact

This episode features Interact’s CEO, Josh Haynam, Growth Manager, Jackie Aguglia, Digital Marketing Manager and Host, Jessmyn Solana, Social Content Manager, Jesy Nelson, and Customer Success Manager, Damarish Pacheco.

In this episode we will cover a few topics around how you can get time back in your business:

  • What do you spend your time on in a day that gives you great value for time?
  • What do you spend time on in your day that gives you less value than expected for your time?

Curious Which Time Saving Method is Right for You? Take the quiz we created with the content from this episode!

Hey everybody. Welcome to Well Back To The Grow Podcast. Since we’re doing this every week now, the whole crew is here today. Yeah. Gosh. Every time I say that, I’m like, if someone’s missing, I’m gonna feel so bad, but today the whole crew is actually here and I’m not missing anybody. So what we’re gonna talk about today is time.

And the number one thing that we’ve heard from our customers since the beginning, and all of you probably have numerous stories about customers talking about this to date is, I just don’t have time. I don’t have time to build a quiz. I don’t have time to, you know, do marketing. I don’t have time for this, that, and the other thing.

And the thing that I think. A vicious cycle about that is that when you don’t have time to work on your business, then you get stuck doing the same things over and over again, which makes you kind of sad and unmotivated, and then you don’t have time to work on your business again. So then you’re just stuck, like you’re stuck there forever and it’s like this endless loop of like, I can’t get out of where I.

But I don’t have time to think about how to move forward. So I guess I’ll stay where I’m at. But then it’s a year and then it’s two years and it’s three years, and you’re in the same place. So anyways, I think we will take an attempt at chipping away at this time issue today. And the main premise that we have, which comes from the coach that a lot of us meet with mark, is.

What are the things that we do that give us better than expected results from our time? And I would also add what makes us feel excited? Like, oh, I finished this task and now I feel energized to do the next task. And then what things make us feel demotivated cuz it’s like something that we don’t want to do and also, The results from our time are less than what we would expect, like we put in time and then it’s like, ugh.

Like I really didn’t get as much out of that time as I would want. So that’s kind of the table setting, and I’m gonna take a risk and just throw it out there and see what happens. And then if no one, no one wants to jump in right away I can ask further questions so we can get the conversation. We need to get like a talking stick.

So we just hold it up in the video. I’m gonna talk next. I actually, as you were talking, it reminded me of this meme that was on, I don’t know, Instagram or Facebook a few years ago where it started out as you have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce, so make the best of it. And then a couple years after that, people were saying, actually, you don’t have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce because she has a whole crew of people behind her, you know, doing her hair, doing her makeup.

They pick up her, you know, dry cleaning, or they do her laundry for her, they make her meals. So she has time to do all these extra things that, you know, presumably make her more money. But it’s not the same as somebody who’s building a studio in their, I don’t know, one bedroom apartment or studio apartment, and they have to produce the entire song themselves.

They have to adjust their vocals themselves. They have to do all this different stuff that Beyonce just doesn’t have to do. And I think it really relates well to. Entrepreneurship because if you are, I don’t know, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, he has an entire company full of people to do the work that he needs them to do.

Whereas if you’re a small business owner online, you are the person handling your booking, you’re the person talking to your clients, you’re the person doing the actual work to deliver to your clients, and you’re also trying to work on your own business. In order to get yourself out there and have that same reach.

So it is really important to kind of figure out, you know, how do I manage my time in a way that I can effectively do all those things but not burn myself out. So I have a perfect follow up to that because this is something Beyonce would have to do and Josh, as you were going through that question in the beginning, this really stuck out to me.

Again, it came from Mark, our business coach, and everybody has to just take a break. Like I know that wasn’t the answer that you were expecting, but what we all have to do at certain parts of our job, in our careers, just in our life is stop and take a break. And a lot of times when, cuz I tra. Changed roles that Interact, right.

So I started with one-on-one coaching and then went into the community. When I transferred to that job or that, that, that role, a lot of the people I was already working with one-on-one kept trying to reach out to me one-on-one. So it was eating up a ton of my time where I couldn’t focus on community.

And then same thing, when I moved from community into the affiliate program, people from the community were reaching out to me one-on-one because I wasn’t there to answer them in the community. But that was eating up a ton of time and I wasn’t able to move on to the affiliate program. But in every single case, when I.

Or took a week off or maybe even just the day, right? It sort of. Not responding to those people right away. They had to find an alternate solution. And that was sort of my way of getting to focus on, okay, when I came back, I also kind of, especially after a week vacation, right? You forget what was top priority when you left and when you come back you have this new set of priorities of, okay, let me catch up, and these are the things that are most pressing, so I need to work on them.

And so I would say, And actually I’ll, I’ll say this too, and I’m not gonna say this good as Mark does, but he had in one of my first coaching sessions that I did with him, this analogy, if you were an author and you wrote a book, or rather you were writing this book and you had an eight hour workday as the time progressed in the day, you wrote fewer words per hour.

So, I don’t know, let’s just say you, were you working eight hours and by the end of the eight hour day you wrote like 500 words when the other author took, I don’t know, two hours in the morning to write 400 words, then took a four hour break in the middle of their day to go fly fishing. Definitely Mark reference, cause he goes fly fishing, I don’t know anything about fly fishing, right?

But he took a four hour break to go fishing or doing something that you love and then came back for another two hours and wrote another 400 words. You just wrote 800 words compared to an eight hour day that you wrote 500 words. And when he told me that analogy, I was like, whoa, I need, like sometimes we really do just have to slow down.

Like what is it that’s so pressing on your time that you don’t have time to make a quiz or market it or do something else for your business? A lot of times what you’re so busy doing doesn’t have to be done. Mm-hmm. I also think it’s too low of an interest. Oh, sorry. Go ahead. Well for all those listening out there, I think I have a different take just because of my personality type.

And I find it very interesting hearing you guys express what you’re saying because I’m very routine oriented and very structured based, and that’s sort of like my comfort zone for me to be able to work productively. And I think my everyday looks a little bit different from like Jessmyn’s and Jackie’s, right?

I have to be. In my office space, compartmentalize from the outside world for me to really like hammer into what I have to do, number one. Number two, I have to write down like sticky notes or I have to write down on my, on my calendar, like this is what I’m Duke from like 10 to 11, and then from one or three, this is what I’m gonna do next.

And that sort of holds me accountable. And also helps my mind shift to, oh, I was just doing this. Let me then now shift to my next task and then let me just shift to my next task. So it’s sort of like for all of those business owners out there it’s just sort of trying to find the structure that works for everybody.

Everybody’s different. I mean, obviously hearing you guys, everybody has a different structure. And also one thing that I learned that has helped me tremendously just in my career field, And previous jobs. It’s just being open to feedback. Like you just have to be open to feedback, take it in with a grain of salt.

It’s not about you. It’s about what people want, what customers need, and you have to have intention behind that and just. Try it, you know? And so that’s something that’s really helped me not take anything personal. I at least try not to, cause I’m still human at the end of the day. And move on from it.

So that’s sort of like, I found that interesting. When I was hearing you Jackie and Jessmyn talk about it, I was like, oh, you know, but that’s my take. I don’t know what you, what else you guys think? I kind of feel like. More like Demaris in that sense too. Like you guys are talking about how important it is to take breaks and I feel like I have a really hard time taking productive breaks.

Like Yeah. Most of the time I feel like when I’m like, okay, I should probably take a little break, you know, go for a walk or something. I feel like I’m procrastinating because usually that is what I’m doing instead of making it you. For me, I’ve found that even if it’s like kind of a grind, I’m like, no, I need to sit down and knock this out.

Even if I’m behind my desk for three hours and phones off, everything like that works so much better for me. Yeah. Like it makes it so much harder for me when I walk away from it because I feel like I have to, I should finish it or get to a point where I’m comfortable taking it. But I know, like my sister, she like, you know, middle of the day, she’ll be like, oh yeah, I’m gonna run out and get my nails done, or like, do something.

Then she can come back and dive into work. Like for me, that messes up like my rhythm, like finding your own rhythm I think is so important and seeing how that works for you. But breaks might not work for everyone. You have to figure it out. Oh, you know what? It’s funny. My definition of break is like, oh, I’m gonna go grab me a snack from downstairs.

Mm-hmm. Cook a little lunch and then come back up and then come back to work Mo you know, something like, that’s my definition of break. When I think of it, when I think of vacations back to Jackie Point, it’s like, okay, I’m getting, I’m getting very close to burnout. I’m gonna need to just like take a step back.

Like unplug completely. That’s when I started thinking like, I need like an actual 2, 3, 4 day, whatever it is, vacation to unplug. So it’s so funny to hear you guys think of like how everybody works differently. Sorry, Jackie. So to me it’s more of like when you take a break, it’s physically doing something else to kind of rest my mind.

Because if I try to sit down in front of a computer, And force myself to work on something. My creative juices are just draining. And then I can’t get anything done at the end of the day. So if I am like, you know, okay, I can’t, I don’t feel like doing anything, let me fold my laundry, right? Like it’s kind of resting my mind, but I’m doing something that I don’t have to think about so I can come back to doing my laundry.

But also to add to Jackie’s point, cause I actually had that same conversation with. The way he explained it to me too is like, you know, we have, as a society, we have this idea of an eight hour workday, but some days you’re gonna be a hundred percent and then the next day you’ll be 50. Then the day after that you might be 80, and then you might be 70.

And it’s always fluctuating. So you kind of just have to like, go with the ebb and flow of how you’re feeling that day. So if you get more. In two hours and then you stop to like go do laundry or get your nails done. And then you can come back the next day and maybe it takes you four hours to do the same thing, but like as long as you’re getting your work done, then you’re just, I guess, taking care of yourself more, a little bit better.

But I could also totally understand the idea of once 5:00 PM hits, I don’t wanna be anywhere near my computer. Yeah. And I totally used to be that way. And part of me, Phil, is so Damaris what you said. I was trying to, like, when I was trying to be more productive, I would block out time of like, okay, from 11 to 12 you’re gonna do this task on your, on your to-do list.

From noon to one, you’re gonna take this task, then you block out a lunch break. Then from two to four you do that. But then to Jesy’s point, I’d be so into the thing that I was doing and I wasn’t quite finished yet. I just had to finish it because it was easier. Out in the mindset, like sitting there just to bang it out, then to walk away and then have to get back into it later.

So I see what you’re saying. And so what works and agreed Damaris, what works for one person might, you have to find your own rhythm and like what works best for you. And so for me now it, and I tried to, and this is another like direct answer to your question, Josh. Productivity apps waste so much of my time because I spend so much time trying to figure out how to use them.

And then I don’t. Using them or I use them wrong or just takes longer. So that is a huge time suck for me. So that doesn’t work. Scheduling out the hour thing never works. Cause I would get so off schedule because the probably bear would get distracted. That’s probably like just my own personal biggest pitfall, shiny object syndrome.

And so what works for me is now, rather than trying to find a specific time of the day on my calendar to get this thing done, is I have my to-do list. And then in that day or in that week, I say, okay, I have the energy for this thing right now and I can cross it off, right? Because I think Where I get the most overwhelmed and stuck is when I have all these things in my mind of like, okay, Jackie, you have to do like these five things, let’s say.

Right? And I wanna get them done by the end of the day, but I promise you every time I try to just sit there and finish those five things, it takes me. Two times at least longer to get them done. Whereas if I just walk away, do something like Jessmyn said to clear my mind or just not think about work, come and, and maybe I’ll just so that I don’t get out of that mindset, right?

I’ll write them down of like, okay, you need to do this for the affiliate program. This is the community, this for strategy calls and this for ai. Right? Walk away and come back. I have my list. I know what I need to do. It usually takes me like 15 minutes to finish something that I thought would take hours to do.

When I’ve sort of reset myself in that little bit of a break. So yeah, totally. You have to do what works for you. But I totally hear where you’re both coming from because I, I still am that way. I’ve just learned now in practicing this, that the best thing for me to do is have my to-do list, but not tell myself the specific time that I have to do them.

Cause you all see me on Slack sometimes. I’m responding to you at like two in the morning cuz I can’t sleep. Or I like, I don’t know, slept in, or maybe I travel so I’m on a tour that day or something. So I just find the time where I have the most energy for the thing. And that’s where I do the job the best.

And I also get it done the, the quickest. Yeah. And another thing I wanna sort of point out, because I think it’s important, I think I’m the only one with kids here in this, during this growth podcast, and I know a lot of business owners, Arthur, are sort of juggling kids, marriage partners, other things, right?

And so for all of you that do have kids it’s very important for me to have quality time for with my daughter. And so I try to find. A schedule that works for me that would also allow time with her and with time with her. I mean, by like undivided time, right? Like not worrying about, oh my God, I have to go back and finish this thing at work.

Or I have to go back and like finish this, this whatever it is that we have going on. And so for me, just to sort of give you guys some context, you know, we’re, we’re currently working on a four day schedule, right? But I, for me, it works better if I work like on a four and a half day schedule because I shorten my days out a little bit.

But then I work half a day on Friday, and the reason that works out for me is because I have to be off at a certain time to give my daughter right a little bit more time. But then I can make up that time let’s just say Friday. Because I won’t have her, so I’ll be able to make up that time and be more concentrated on my work task.

Right? And so it’s just really about, just like time management for your family or whatever works for whatever situation you have going on. And everybody’s different. You know, my, my daughter goes to school from, I don’t know, let’s just say nine to three, whatever it is, and I try to work around that at the same time, making sure that my.

Being done and done effectively. So it’s just like, it’s, everything is sort of balanced out. So I think time management is super, super important. That actually makes me think of maybe time management isn’t the right word. It’s more like priority management. You know, you need to understand IAnd like, like what are, what are the priorities?

Well, first you have to figure out what are the main priorities of my business? You know, what do I, what are my goals and how do I get there? And then you have to figure out what are my main priorities today? Versus something that can get done next month or something that is an ongoing project that I just need maybe an hour a day to do, and I need to make time for that specifically because I think when you, I mean at least something I’ve always struggled with is, I always call it time management.

I’m always like, I feel like I’m not managing my time properly and. You know, some days I feel so busy, and then other days I feel like I’m literally doing nothing and I’m getting paid to do nothing. Josh don’t even listen to me say that, but I’m just kidding. But it really feels that way sometimes because sometimes you, you get, you have these priorities, you get it done.

And I think that’s where You know, kind of what you’re saying, Damaris, we’re like, you don’t wanna have to think about it, come later, but it’s because you’re so good at figuring out, okay, well I have these specific hours and of those hours, my priority is to get a, b, c done. So as long as I get those three done, or as long as I get a done today, then I can have that quality time with my daughter, which is having a healthy work-life balance.

Yeah, 100%. I agree. And that brings up a really good point. Everybody has really good points and I have an idea that we’ll run with maybe if everybody’s on board, but the point that you brought up Damaris, about we switched to a four day work week. And so, I mean that’s probably something that a lot of people are curious about of like, wait, what?

You cut out a day and you’re still, you know, getting your stuff done and you know, operating as a healthy. So I think that’s an interesting one to kind of double click into. But what I was hearing and I was kind of just writing down, Everything that everybody said. So I’m gonna read back the highlights and then let me know if I missed anything.

Josh, before you read, I just wanna make sure everybody knows when we say four day work week, we weren’t asked to work ten four hour days. We literally cut off a whole entire day of work because I think a lot of companies, when they say, okay, everybody we’re doing four day work week, you’re expected to work those extra days Monday through Thursday or whatever days you’re working.

Right? But that’s not the case for us. We’re, you can call it a 32 hour work week if you want. We. Expected to make up the time from taking this fourth day, this fifth day off. Yeah, very good point. Very good point. Because I did have a job, well an internship once where it was like that and like four day work week, but you gotta be here 10 hours.

I’m like, yeah, that’s Or be summer hours. Yeah. Yeah. Summer hours means you have to stay here during the whole time that it’s light outside. Good point. Good point. Okay, so here are the broad categories, and I grouped these all together. And I credited who came up with them, so I want to dive into that more.

But broad category number one is take a full break, like a vacation. Like this is where it’s like, I think what I was hearing is like you’re burnt out. You just, like, your productivity is gone. You need to take like an actual break. Second one is to prioritize. So figure out like what needs to get done today, this week, this month.

Third one is time blocking. So, you know, putting things into buckets of when they need to get done or how to get ’em done, something like that. And then the fourth one is flexible. Which I think is a good term for the four day work week thing too. Which basically just means like you’re saying you know, I need to get these things done and it needs to be within this kind of general timeframe, but not gonna hold myself to a certain standard high level.

Did I miss any big categories?

I hope. Yeah. I don’t know if this falls under priority or prioritize. God, I can’t speak prioritizing, but I think what came to mind was a healthy work-life balance when Damaris was talking about making sure she had quality time for her daughter. Cause I think like, you know, it’s one thing to make sure that you think about your priorities for work, but you gotta think of your priorities for life too.

Hmm. That’s a good add-on to prioritize. That one was like a little stuck between prioritize and flexible. Yes. Yeah. Maybe it’s kind of both. I agree. And I, I could, I could elaborate a little bit on that. Like, for me specifically, and I know there’s a lot of people out there that are trying to. Get their businesses going and they have all of these other things that they have to do which can sound like a lot.

And it’s super overwhelming if you sit there and just sort of like dwell on the idea of like, oh my God, I have to do this and I have to do dinner, then I have to do that. Then I have to do thi, you know, it just seems like a lot, but it’s just like taking a step back, going back to priority and time management or flexibility.

It’s, you know, when we switch to these four day week work weeks I had to have a conversation with myself and I was like, is that realistic for me? Am I gonna be able to just fully work four days and not, and have three days off? You know? And I think I have control issues anyway, but that’s a whole other topic for those out listening.

So I had to sort of think to myself like, am I okay with shortening my days off a little bit and then working half a day on Friday? Is that an option for me? And. It worked out for me. You know, I don’t have my daughter that day. My partner is at work whatev, you know, I have time to sort of just really hammer in on the tasks that I didn’t get done for the week or whatever that is.

And so that schedule worked out for me, you know and back to Jessmyn’s points, you know, it’s, it’s important. For me to have that quality time, especially talking through, we have actually a business coach, which is probably something that we should highlight. He has been super helpful trying to determine these sort of important points that matter a lot in our lives.

That was one thing that he sort of like, we sort of talked through like what works for you where you’re not gonna feel burned out, you’re not gonna feel overwhelmed, you’re not gonna feel like, dang it, like you’re checking a box. You’re coming into work. You know, like what works for you. And so that was sort of a conversation you I had to have with myself.

Right. Luckily, I have amazing bosses, Josh, Annie, Matt, all of you guys that just, you know, are open to that flexibility, so that’s perfect. Because that was what I was gonna ask us to do. So you already got the first one. Oh, okay. I was gonna ask us to define each of these categories, and I think that was perfect.

Tell me if this is like a summarization of what you’re saying. So I think we can connect, prioritize, and flexible work and call it the ability to prioritize what matters in life to enable enjoyable, efficient work. Mm-hmm. Yeah, I like that. Cool. All right. So we have number one, this is our quiz results of our quiz called How can You Get Back Time?

Then we’ll run through our AI after this and we’ll put it in show notes. So that’s number one. And then let’s jump into, I like the time blocking one cuz I think we’re a certain percentage of people depending on your personality type. That’s, that’s a big thing. So does anybody want to take crack at defining what time blocking?

I instantly think of Jessmyn or Jackie cuz I look at your guys’ calendars and you block off everything with your times. Like two hours for this, three hours for this. I definitely don’t do that. But you guys, I am always in awe when I look at your calendars, so I’m curious. The biggest hack that I would say for that is to not time block the specific thing that you have to do.

Mm-hmm. But like overarching tasks, that adjustment. I don’t know if I’m saying that right, but what I mean is like That’s correct. I know, especially traveling, I know when I’m gonna be able to be in a quiet room and have calls, so I will block an entire day sometimes just to have calls. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna be on calls all day long, but it means nothing.

Well, I guess it means that my priority that day is to get on all of these calls that I need to get on with certain people rather than, cause this happened. What am I trying to say with strategy calls, right? I sort of opened up my calendar and 15 minutes would go in here and 15 minutes would go in there, and then a few hours would go in over there and they were sort of all spread out between each other, which I tried to do for the convenience of the customer, but it was so inconvenient for me.

And even though sometimes I would have like hour, time, hour blocks of time in between those strategy calls, I couldn’t get anything done because I had to, you know, wrap up from the first call. Start, you know, researching for the next call, nothing else could happen. So then I was like, okay, I’m only gonna take strategy calls on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays.

I think that’s how it started, or something like that. So I guess what I’m saying is you want to not block out specific, like smaller amounts of time for specific tasks, unless sometimes you need to, sorry if that’s a confusing answer, but in for the most part, block. Entire day is devoted to a certain thing or like chunks of hours, a couple hours to get this thing done because there are gonna be things that come up.

Maybe you get a Slack message that’s really pressing, or I don’t know, an email from somebody that you’ve been waiting to hear from for a really long time and you don’t want them to get away. You know, something like that. So you’re allowed to do other things in those blocks of time. This is actually not probably the best definition, but I guess final answer, what I’m saying is block out longer pieces of time to do overarching.

Rather than trying to fit in, okay, I’m going to email this person back between this hour and this hour kinda thing. Yeah, so Google Google Calendar for those who use it now has, this is my favorite feature. You can like mark time as focus time or I think like I originally used out of office time, but then they implemented focus time.

So for me, Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday in the mornings from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM are all blocked off for focus time. So it’s strictly just projects, answering emails once the projects are done. And honestly even getting to drink my coffee in peace rather than being on a call early in the morning where my brain’s more creative, but it’s not like I’m not ready to socialize, I guess you could say.

And then I reserve the afternoons as open time for calls for anybody. And then I also. Put out of office from 12 to one, specifically for lunchtime. So no one’s allowed to talk to me during lunch because it’s a full on break that I take in the middle of the day. Thursdays, however, are completely open because, kind of alluding to what Jackie said, like, you know, there is part of me that wants to have convenience for our customers.

So if I’m constantly like, well, I’m only available Eastern time on in the afternoon. Every single day. That’s not convenient for people who are in different parts of the world. Whereas if I open at least one day because my job is a little bit of half and half, it’s half project, half calls, then I can give that convenience to someone where like, hey, if, if you absolutely need to do, do a call at a different time, like my Thursdays are fully open.

I think traditionally locking time, the way people have talked about it was what Jackie was kind of saying, don’t do where it would say, From eight to 10, I’m going to edit this blog post that came through as a draft, and then from 10 to 12 I will you know, check my emails and respond to these.

Requests that people are sending me. But it doesn’t always work that way because sometimes projects take longer or sometimes they don’t take that long and now you blocked off two hours for it where you could be doing something else. And I think the reason for that, why that’s not good, at least for us too, I’m.

Speaking for you, Jackie, but correct me if I’m wrong, is that it’s really hard to do that switch where you’re like, oh, now all of a sudden I have a whole hour and a half, like what should I do? And it’s hard to do that switch into another project, whereas like if you just block off focus time and you’re like, okay, I have these three projects that need to get done.

I’m just gonna make sure I finish the first one and then go into the second one. And the third one is kind of a, I guess, for those tasks, the least priority. So if I get to it tomorrow, then that’s gonna be number one on my list for tomorrow during focus time. Yeah, I guess I think a big part of this, cause something that I, I wouldn’t suggest is you’re blocking enough time to do these projects, right?

But then you’re like, man, you have shiny object syndrome and you don’t actually do the thing. So like the point of time blocking is so that you get this thing done. But I think what I learned in. I mean, practice it. That’s the first thing that you can do, is just, maybe that’s what you want. Like Damaris said, she likes to have things in specific schedules, right?

Like she has to pick her daughter up at a certain time of the day. So maybe for her it does make more sense to say, okay, from 10 to 12, I’m gonna answer chat, and then only from 12 to 1:00 AM I going to. Do this other focus on this other project. Right. So number one, yeah, just practice it and see what works for you.

Because I think what I wanna make sure gets included in this definition of time blocking is that you do prioritize, or rather you do focus on this one thing to get it done because that’s where. You become less productive when other things are distracting you from just getting this one thing done.

It will take you so much. That’s what I was saying with the strategy calls. Trying to squeeze something in in between the calls would never work because I was too distracted by other things that were taking attention away from just doing something that probably, usually, honestly, when I would. Test this out and I, I say test it out.

It wasn’t even like that when I would just do it, it would take me like 15 minutes, 20 minutes to do something that I thought might take days or hours or even weeks Sometimes, like, well, I’d have to go through this whole list of people to figure out X, Y, and Z, but if you just like block am an amount of time where you, I silenced my Slack.

I literally have silenced my Slack. I don’t see email popup notification so that I can just focus on this thing and I, you’ll get the thing done so much faster. That’s what time blocking will do for. Depending on the way that you wanna do it. I think that’s perfect. So here’s my synopsis. See if this sounds right.

So, set aside future time for key tasks so you know they will get done By doing that, you buy yourself time to focus on what needs to get done in the immediate or take a break slash rest. Yes. Cool. All right. We have two results. Now we gotta do the third result. And this is a very key thing that yes, I’m to, I’m not really this is a key thing that happens that I wanna highlight it for anybody that’s trying to build a quiz.

So what I’m realizing as you guys are all talking, is that prioritization goes into all of the results. So rather than making it its own result, I think it’s key to all of these. And then the way that you would get one of these results is based on other factors, but no matter what fact, what result you get, prioritization is still key.

So we won’t make that its own result, but we’ll include it in the description of each result. Okay. So what does it mean to take a full break? That’s what I’m calling, like the vacation one. Hmm. I think Jessmyn and Jackie would be the best for this one. I’m still working on that. I know. I’m, yeah. I would just say whether it’s a full vacation, whether it’s a day, whether it’s a lunch break, whether it’s a 15 minute walk around the park, taking a break means you are completely removed from doing that thing.

Don’t have your computer open. I try to stay off my phone so that I’m not also on another screen. Right. I’m not having, like, I, I’m not doing anything that relates, let’s talk about work. I’m not doing anything that relates to work. I’m completely disconnected from you guys being able to talk to me and from me being able to talk to you and also regardless of what you’re doing in that break or how long it takes.

Yeah. I would add to that, like setting the expectations before you leave. I don’t know if how that can go into the definition. You know, I think we all have this understanding of when someone’s on vacation, we don’t expect a response until they get back. But if you’re at a larger company or you work specifically one-on-one with clients, it’s good to set the expectation that like, Hey, whether this is like setting your auto response or like letting them know before you leave, I’m going on vacation for X amount of days.

I won’t get back to you until X date, which doesn’t have to be the day you actually get back. You can set it for two days later, three days later, allow yourself time to actually catch up, which I include as a part of the break because something that I experienced, I mean before I started doing this practice was I would go on vacation and come back with a lot of anxiety and it was really like, like I was dreading coming back to work, which you never wanna do and you wanna come back to.

And feel actually rested when you take a full break. So I would also include maybe feeling actually rested on your break. Yeah. And sometimes like Jesy and Damaris and Jesy, sorry if you were gonna say this, but like sometimes. Your vacation can include work time. If you don’t want to feel like, like a little bit, right?

Like if you, if you don’t wanna feel that anxiety of coming back to work with a thousand emails, especially if you’re the only person in your business, you’re the O, you don’t have people to triage, you know, or answer for you. You’re the only person there. Sometimes they might make sense for, Hey, I just put the kids to bed, so, you know, or, well, someone else, I don’t know.

I don’t have kids, so I don’t know why I’m making this reference. But you know, hey, well this thing, maybe I’m sitting in an airport, I. If I’m sitting on an airport, in an airport about to get on a plane, right, but I’m on vacation, then sometimes I might pull out my phone and check my emails just to see what’s going on.

If there’s something I can quickly and easily respond to, or in that moment, it would, my time would be better spent replying to it now than waiting. I don’t know if I’m on a week vacation, waiting a week to get back to this person and letting these other balls drop because. They need an answer, right?

Sometimes that that’s priority, but like whenever you are taking the break, you’re disconnected from work. So if you need to schedule work time into the break, then fine, that works. But maybe a better definition instead of like setting expectations would be setting the boundaries of your break.

Because like Jackie said, like setting a boundary could be, I’m disconnected, but it could also be I’m disconnected. But when I’m here, I will answer you. I also think a big part of it is kind of like setting yourself up for success with anything. When I am leaving for a big break, you need to leave projects in a way that you’re not thinking about them.

You know, do what you need to do in order to feel good about stepping away. Don’t leave them half finished heading into a weekend. Like, you know, take that extra 30 minutes if that’s what it takes to get it done and you’ll enjoy your time off so much more and come back feeling so much better to hit the ground running.

So just doing all the little things, even if it takes a little bit of extra time to like, make sure that you’re good to go. We’ll make your break so much better. Or if you can Reassign it to someone else. That also works. Yeah. Too. Whatever you have to do. But I feel like putting in that little bit of extra work makes a huge difference.

Mm-hmm. I like that. And also ask yourself like, is something gonna start on fire? I, sorry, to make this analogy be like, will somebody die if I don’t? Fix this thing before I go, right? Like sometimes it’s okay to just let a project hang out for a minute, you know, without you doing every little, like finishing every little.

Single thing because a lot of times I, I think I made this, I, I said this on the podcast last time. I work East Coast Time. Well, actually I don’t really work in any specific time zone, but you guys are all in Pacific Time, so all I’m, but I’m always online before you guys usually. And so there have been times where I complete work before you all get online, and then as a company we decide, hey, we’re gonna change this thing.

And so for me to rush and finish this stuff, that was like sort of hanging over my head, right? That wasn’t. Start a fire, if I didn’t touch it, it nothing would’ve happened. And also I just wasted time because now we just changed the direction of what we were doing. Right. And I didn’t actually need to do those things.

So like, don’t, also don’t feel like, yes, I totally agree, Jesy. Cuz I just went on vacation. I took a week off a couple weeks ago and I did, I had to like sit down for a few hours and just bang out some stuff because I knew I wouldn’t be, it would be hanging over my head the entire week. And I would’ve tried to like, Fully keep coming back to it every day.

And that’s not a vacation, that’s not a break. Mm-hmm. So if you need to do that, do that. But also, if something doesn’t need to be done right now, don’t do it. Like how many emails do we all send that like, someone’s like, thank you so much and all you send back is like, you’re welcome. Have a good day.

You don’t need to send that email all the time, or ever. Sometimes, you know, like it’s okay to not respond to every single email or do every little, single, single. I think part of the preparation also starts much earlier too. Like when, I mean, I’m gonna be gone for four weeks. So preparation for the sabbatical started what Jesy, like two months ago we started kind of already talking about like, okay, what projects.

Need to be completed before I leave or like, what ongoing projects can you take on and if you can’t take on, do we need to reassign to somebody else? And just like being prepared for that time so you can leave without having to think about it, I think is super important. But don’t do it the day before you leave.

Well, I kind of have a, a thing that, something I wanna add on. Cause I think I’m gonna, I’m gonna work in progress. I’m in between like, Jackie and like Josh probably, I’m like right there in the middle. And Mark, our business coach, the way our conversation started now, it’s sort of a running joke, but like when I first started working with him, our, our tagline is like, Damaris has no chill.

So that was sort of like me at the beginning. So now I’m trying to like, I’m like, I’m like a little more like, I’m like making some headway, but for, for, for those that have sort of. Unplug control issues or whatever you wanna define it. What’s worked for me is if I really need to unplug, definitely like, you know, I have Jared, who’s my pre, who I’m his.

I don’t know what, what do you call it? Predecessor or people, whoever had the role before. I don’t know how to say it. Yeah, definitely. Then I would definitely ask him for support. Like, Hey, I really need you to help me take care of this. Prefer for min, like smaller breaks where it’s not like super unplugged.

I think to help. Our control issues for all of us that have control issues is just having sort of control over that one task that you have. So just to give you guys an example is like I, I do a lot of the support chat features for air, right? And me having control of that is su super, super important to me because then I get anxiety if I have somebody else take the wheel, if I’m supposed to be taking that, that project on myself, unless I’m completely unplugging.

So it’s like just sort of having your own. Time to respond when you feel comfortable versus then allowing somebody else to take over that completely and then you just getting anxiety over that. I feel like it’s like counterproductive, right? So I don’t know if that’s a helpful response, but that’s sort of like something that I’m working on and it’s sort of kind of helped me.

My mental issues more at ease, but I say Damaris, I say kudos because you’re, you’re currently practicing, practicing this so that you can figure out what works best for you. And I remember when we went on our last offsite, it made more sense for you to actually take maybe an hour or two of the offsite days.

Yeah. Or sometimes on the weekends or when you got back to monitor the chat and, you know, maybe respond to a few things or answer a few things. But that’s, but that helped you have a better. So that when you weren’t, you know, answering the questions, you weren’t worried about like, oh my gosh, what’s happening where I don’t have a control over this?

Or what am I gonna come back to? Or what did you come back to? You know? Yeah. Hundred percent different ways that we do this are gonna be different for you. You guys listening like right, like whatever works best for you is gonna work best for you, but I still think at the end of the day, you taking a break is unplugging from.

The work, it doesn’t mean that you are not coming back to it or that you’re not getting the work done. We’re all getting the work done. But when you’re taking a break, you’re not, you’re, you’re actively choosing not to be online. Maybe you could call it, since we’re probably talking to everybody who works online, but you’re not focusing or working or doing anything that relates to your business, you’re unplugging

that is really. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, and I’m trying to synopsize it. I think what I have is to give yourself an extended amount of rest from the mental effort of work, because as you all pointed out, like in this age and with the work that we do, it’s, it’s really about the mental effort.

I, I think that’s like the right wording for it. And then you can do this by setting clear boundaries from your. And by setting yourself up to actually be able to take a break from your work. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Nailed it. Yeah. Cool. All right, well we have our three outcomes and we’ll run that through the AI and put that in the notes.

Cuz that’s actually an interesting quiz. How, how, how can you get time back? Because I think depending on where you’re at, it’s probably. Like one of these was better for you, right? Like, cuz there’s probably periods of work where it’s like, it’s just not practical to take an extended break or you don’t even want to like, I’m, you know, onto something really great and I want to see it through, but I’m also burning myself out.

So then I need smart time blocking. Or it’s like, no, I’ve been going really, really, you know, hard on work for like three years and I need to take a full break. And that’s like a different person. Or like, I enjoy my work and I’m, I like what I’m doing, but I just need to be, need to be able to prioritize more of what matters to my life.

And then you would do the, the flexible work. So I think that’s really cool. That wasn’t the intention at the beginning of the podcast, but it made perfect sense. As we’re talking, I’m like, oh, this is why people do quizzes. Yeah. So go, go ahead. No, I was just gonna say, I just love how we, how Josh turned this podcast into like, oh, let’s just make a quiz now.

Like, this is perfect. Like, and we have the three outcomes and say, sure. It worked out. Makes sense. I was gonna say that like, I think in, in our sort of fields too, in our industry, A lot of saving time or getting time back has to do with spending money or doing something extra. But really all you have to do is like, take a second and figure out how to actually take care of yourself and that’s how you get your time back.

That is a very good point. I think that no one makes money off of that, so no one’s gonna tell you that. Which is my view of life in general. People only tell you to do things that they can make money off of. But yeah, I think. That’s honestly a great way to end it. We’ll have a very abrupt ending on that note.

All of this is, is more mental and simple. Or Jess, if you have a better way of phrasing that, we can end with that. Nope. Not at the top of my head. If you put me on the spot, you’re on the spot. You must do it. Cool. Well thank you everybody for being very open as always. I think that’s like what makes this company tick.

And it’s also what makes this podcast tick is just everybody shows up as, you know, their their actual selves. And that’s. Commendable. So I appreciate that and we will sign off here. I don’t have a cool closing, so we’ll just end it. It’s good to, hi everybody. Bye.

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Jessmyn Solana

Jessmyn Solana is the Partner Program Manager of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Jessmyn loves binge watching thriller and sci-fi shows, cuddling with her fluffy dog, and traveling to places she's never been before.