Nov. 22, 2022

Why You Should Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time

Why You Should Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time

As an online business owner, you’re going to experience seasons where you feel like there just isn’t enough time. But the key to growing a business — even when you’re busy — isn’t managing time. It’s learning to manage your ENERGY and in this episode, I’m giving you the inside scoop on how!


As an online business owner, how many years have you gone into the holiday season saying, “This time will be different. I’ll balance the busyness AND finish the year strong!”?


Truthfully, this was always my hope, but rarely my reality as I tried to grow a business AND juggle everything else.

Until I learned that the key was NOT managing your time, but rather managing your ENERGY — and this is exactly what I’m breaking down for you today!

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER: 

  • Why learning to manage your energy is the secret sauce to getting through not just the holidays, but any busy or unexpected season
  • The two types of time you have and why understanding them can help you grow a business
  • What you have control over as an online business owner and how to harness it

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.

 

FOLLOW The EffortLESS Life®: WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM 

 

LOYAL LISTENER DEALS & STEALS:

Ready to learn how to create, launch, and leverage your message into a top-ranked podcast of your own? ENROLL NOW in our brand new short course: How to Start a Profitable Podcast and get $50 OFF right now with code SAVE50! Guaranteed to shorten the learning curve and save you hundreds of hours of headache, trial, and error.
____________________________________________________________________________

Making Interviews Better: Guestio is the world's only marketplace to find professional guests and platforms —  CLICK HERE to let Guestio know we sent you!

 

Some product links on this site are affiliate links, which means we may earn a nickel or two for any affiliate purchases you make (at no additional cost to you). We only recommend products that we use and/or personally trust, so you can browse with confidence.

© Copyright 2022 | The EffortLESS Life®

Transcript

Courtney Elmer  0:00  

Welcome back, you're listening to the System's Made Simple™ Podcast. This is episode 149. And at the time of this recording, we are about to head into the holiday season. Drumroll please, because we know that this season can be one of the busiest, most stressful, most taxing seasons out of the entire year. So if you are listening to this at the time that this episode drops on the podcast, and if you're in the US, then Thanksgiving is  a couple days away. Or maybe you're listening shortly after this episode dropped. And we are about to head into the mad rush of the Christmas Hanukkah, Kwanzaa new year's season. 

 

Courtney Elmer

And for years in my business, I used to say, Oh, this season will be different. I'm not going to find it in this season, I am going to push through these last two months of the year, I'm going to juggle everything I'm gonna finish the year strong. And inevitably, what would happen, I wouldn't finish the year strong, I would go through this season feeling so stressed, so overwhelmed and wind up so burnt out by the end of it, that it would take me a full month to recover in January. And one day I realized I was approaching the holiday season the wrong way, which actually created more stress, not less. And I figured out what to do about it. Which is why in this episode, I'm going to teach you my approach to navigating any busy and stressful season in your life or in your business, whether it's an expected one, like the holidays, or an unexpected one, like when a stomach bug goes through your house, or a relative is in the hospital. And I'm going to show you exactly what to do to navigate the seasons with confidence. And with ease. That's all coming up next. So stay tuned.

 

[INTRO]

 

Courtney Elmer  4:00  

Now, as I mentioned at the start of this episode, we're headed into the holiday season at the time of this recording. And traditionally for my family at least the holiday seasons have been among the most stressful seasons that exist. Last year. We were sick for a solid month in December I kid you not I don't know what we had. It was awful. It went through the entire family. We all had it for about two weeks, each overlapping in there a little bit that by the time the holidays were behind us. Elena and I looked at each other and we were like we need a vacation. 

 

Courtney Elmer

So we booked a condo at the beach at the very last minute literally left, went to the beach for a week  to regroup. Which meant that all of my New Year's planning got pushed to January. And by the time that I was back home back on my feet back in my groove and all that was done it was almost the end of January. I didn't get my feet fully under me until the second month of the year, which means I didn't you realize that first month of the year, as well as I could have as well as I wanted to. Now, the year before that, I lost my voice for three days straight. No other symptoms. I literally woke up two days before Christmas, and I could not speak. It was the most bizarre thing. I had to text Alan for everything. And he was getting so annoyed with me. He's like, can you really not say anything, and I would open my mouth and no sound would come out. And it lasted for three days. And then I got my voice back and everything was fine. But we're so weird.

 

Courtney Elmer

 And then the year before that, I was so sick that I missed Christmas church services with my family. I was literally at my parents house, sitting in my dad's recliner feeling so dizzy and so weak, they all went without me. I barely made it through Christmas Day. And I tell you these stories, because chances are, you've been here too. The stress of the year catches up with you. The kids are home from school, you've got family in town, you've got all these additional things on your calendar, , these additional plans, these additional commitments, and you try to do it all. And you do your best you do your best to make it all work. But inevitably, something always seems to fall apart. 

 

Courtney Elmer

And usually what gets back burnered is our business. And that makes you feel more stressed and more overwhelmed. Because as a business owner, you are hyper aware of everything that isn't getting done. And I used to think, okay, maybe I can plan better this year, maybe I will get up a little earlier, I will be more disciplined, I will utilize my time better, I will time block, I'll map out the projects that I need to do. I'll set aside time the last week of December when it's quiet, to plan and to strategize for the year ahead. And time and time again, it never worked out. But the question that I'm asking you here in this episode today is why? Why does this happen? I'm sure you've wondered the answer. Why can I not seem to get it all together? Why does it seem to go this way every holiday season?

 

Courtney Elmer

 But the short answer is because you've been trying to manage the wrong source of your productivity. But in order to understand why it hasn't been working the way that you intended it to the way that you want it to, we first need to talk about the sources of productivity, the pros, the cons, and the pitfalls to avoid. What I'm about to say may sound unconventional, because it is most entrepreneurs mistakenly think that if they only had more time, the more productive they would be that if they only had more time, they could get more done. If you're listening to my voice  now, how many times have you said this to yourself? And the truth is your productivity is not a product of time. It's a product of energy. This means that time and productivity are not linked. Let me explain what I mean by that. 

 

Courtney Elmer

Take a look at your calendar. What do you see? I mean, if you're looking at the same calendar that I'm looking at, you should see seven days with 24 hours in each . Okay, good. Making your working hours, probably somewhere between, I don't know, six and 10 hours a day. I mean, I really hope you're not working more than 10 hours a day because if you are you need to outsource ASAP, but we will have that conversation in a different episode. My point is, we all have 24 hours in a day How many times have we heard this Oprah has 24 hours in a day your Amazon Prime delivery man has 24 hours in a day, you have 24 hours I have 24 hours. We all get the privilege of choosing to make time for what's most important to you. But what happens is most entrepreneurs instead of choosing the highest pain most impactful activities they fill their time with low level low payoff activities that rob them of their most valuable asset time itself. And Iran Do you have something else to add robs you of your energy and your focus. 

 

Courtney Elmer

Now the world is going to offer you one solution.  learn these strategies for time management. So you can learn how to manage your time and be more productive and get more done. Okay, it seems logical enough  So you go out looking up new strategy for time management, you Google it, you're looking on YouTube to see what other people are doing. You go out and buy a snazzy new planner, or maybe you try to time block your schedule and implement different strategies for time management. Heck, there have been 1000s of books written on this very topic. But none of them work, why the planter doesn't work, the time blocking isn't effective. The tactics and the strategies that you read in that book, and in the next book, and in the book after that might work for a little while, but they rarely last. 

 

Courtney Elmer

So what most people do, most people go out and try to find new strategies for time management. Well, that one didn't work, let me try this one instead. But instead of finding more hours in the day, all you wind up with is feeling more overwhelmed. Which may lead you to believe that something must be wrong with you because other people seem to have their act together,  Why have these time management strategies that you've tried not worked? When the reality is the very system of time management is a broken system. Let's use my calendar as an example. So my son is in school, from 830 to 230. Every day, I drop them off at 830 on the dot, and I'm there to pick them up at 230. So by the time I factor in drop off, and pickup times, and lunch, that means I have about five solid working hours in every day. That's it. That's the limit, I can only fit what fits in five hours, then uncapped. 

 

Courtney Elmer

And for years in my business, I used to think, gosh, if I could  have more time, I would get more done. If I could work 10 hours a day, imagine how much faster I'd grow be able to grow twice as fast. And the problem with that mentality is that it's broken. If I only have five hours a day, and I depended solely on time to grow my business, but another entrepreneur has 10 hours a day. And compared to them, they're able to grow theoretically twice as fast, how fast you think I grow, if I only have five hours a day compared to someone who has, quote, unquote, more time. Not very fast. But it's not because I have less time. It's because time itself is a limited resource. And when you try to grow or scale by relying solely on limited resources, your growth is going to be limited. So naturally, one way to leverage your time is to add more people to the equation to get more support. Let's get some systems in place. Let's hire some people, systems, people tools, those resources are unlimited. There's no limit to the amount of people you can have working for you. There's no limit to the amount of systems you can put in place. There's no limit to the amount of funnels you can build are things you can automate or technology that you can use to make your life easier.

 

Courtney Elmer

 But let's say you're in a place  now, in your business where you can't go out and hire someone full time. You're bootstrapping it. I mean, yeah, for sure. As nice as it would be to have someone full time you're  not in a position to hire anyone full time and maybe not even part time. So how do you leverage yourself? When there are only so many hours in a day? Well, you can try to manage your time you can try to block the hours. But let's  cut to the chase here, can we no matter how much I try to block those five hours, there are still only five hours to block. This is what I really want you to get here. That's my point. Time is time is time.

 

Courtney Elmer  14:00  

So why don't we try to manage it. Because the reality is, time cannot be managed. Time can only be utilized. And the real reason that time management strategies don't work is that the strategy of trying to manage time is a broken strategy. Time is what it is, you have what you have and it's up to you to work with the time you have or against it. You can work in flow in a flow state or you can go against the flow forever racing against the clock. And we all know what that feeling is like and it is not a pleasant one. The people who lie on their deathbed wishing for more time Time are the people who never learned how to work with the time they had. 

 

Courtney Elmer

And this is where I see so many overworked entrepreneurs, literally giving away their power, saying, I don't have the time, which becomes an excuse to rationalize why you don't have the results you want. Yet, you do have the time, you have 24 hours on the clock every day,  like me,  like everyone else. But when you choose to make the mistake of filling your time with low level low payoff activities, then you will experience the feeling of not having enough time to get to the higher level higher payoff activities. And because your focus and energy will then be stuck on the time you don't have, that will be how time shows up for you. It will be how you experience time, all the strategies for time management in the world will not help you until you really begin to understand this. How you currently think about time, is how it will show up for you.

 

Courtney Elmer

 If  now you're thinking I don't have enough time, then you are going to experience not having enough time. Whereas if you think I've got plenty of time to get this done to get done what I need to get done, then you will experience having plenty of time. So there's bad news and good news. The bad news is I've already said it, we cannot manage time. Don't waste your money on any more time management books or strategies, or fancy planners, or anything else out there marketed to you under the lie that you can manage time. That's the bad news. But the good news is that it's not about finding better strategies for time management. It's simply about first learning how to think about time differently, altogether, so that it can start showing up differently for you so that you can start experiencing time differently. And second, learning how to utilize the time you do have more effectively. Because you cannot control time. I wish we could, but we can't. But what you can control is how you utilize the time you have. 

 

Courtney Elmer

So the question you must start asking yourself shifts from? How do I get better at time management? How do I utilize the hours I have in a way that helps me hit the priorities on my list without anything falling through the cracks? million dollar question  And to answer it effectively, it's going to require you to understand that there are actually two types of time. There's Chronos and Kairos. Now Chronos, is what you and I tend to think of when you think of time, the clock, your watch the time on your phone, it's the way the clock counts that time. At the time that I'm recording this, it's 11:15am an hour from now it will be 12:15pm. Chronos is the way that you tell time. And it's important in the sense that it's certainly helpful when you have a meeting scheduled or you're getting married or you've got a haircut appointment or a dinner date or somewhere you need to be at a certain time. 

 

Courtney Elmer

But the problem with Kronos is that most overworked entrepreneurs get stuck here thinking that because there's only 24 hours in a day, that there's never enough time because they're overscheduled. And nothing more can fit into those 24 hours, nothing else can fit. They're limited by what the clock says. But the reality is, there's another type of time altogether, which you've likely had an experience of before, but maybe you didn't realize it. And it's when the clock stops. It's when you're in a flow state and time passes and you pick up your head and you go oh my gosh, for an app that was four hours,  or two hours or five hours. You didn't even know Time was passing because you were so present and you were so so immersed and so enjoying the process of whatever it was that you were doing, the clock stopped for you. And this type of time is called Kairos time. 

 

Courtney Elmer

So I want you to see if you can think of an experience recently, where you were in that flow state, you were doing something you loved, maybe it was playing a game with your kids, maybe you were baking, or painting or doing something creative. Maybe it was an experience of sitting down to write that email to your audience, or to create that content, or to write that copy for your sales page. And at first, you thought it was going to be hard. But then you got into the rhythm of it, and you really connected with your ideal client. And the words  started to flow out of you. Kairos time is like reaching this place where you're suspended in time the clock moves, but time stops. And you experience the beauty of living in the moment. This state of presence is a state that most of us chase, but rarely achieve. It's the state that most of us want to be in every day, because it feels good. But we're so focused on what happened in the past what happened this morning, what happened last night, or we're worried about the future, I've got this big meeting coming up, I've got this client that I've got to get deliverables out for. We're so focused on what the clock says and on the time you don't have that it prevents you from living fully alive. In this present moment.

 

Courtney Elmer

 If you're listening to my voice,  now, chances are, you've had an experience of this kind of time, it was blissful, it was enjoyable. You want to experience that, but you don't know how to get there on a daily basis. So instead, you spend your time in a race against the clock instead of in a state of flow. So when you ask the question, how can I get more done in less time, which is the root of all time management questions, and I hate it, because it's the wrong question to be asking. This is a question that's based purely in Kronos or clock time. So throw it out the window, we are exiting that question out, we are crossing it out of our vocabulary, it is not allowed back. Okay? Because what you need to be asking yourself is what induces a flow state for me? What gets me into that flow state? And how can I prioritize my work day to experience more of that?

 

Courtney Elmer  23:02  

What triggers that flow state? What are the activities? I enjoy that get me into that flow state now, you might answer creative activities. Courtney, I love to read. I love to garden, I love to exercise, but that's not going to help me achieve my business goals. Okay. What I want you to find is, what do you do in your business that brings about that same state of flow. For me it's teaching, I can sit down and record a podcast episode. And y'all we might be here for two hours if I wasn't keeping tabs on Chronos time on the clock out of respect for your time. But for me, when I get in the zone like this, time passes, I lift up my head and I go, Well, that was a great day flew by. But it was so enjoyable. That was so fun. Same thing happens when I teach a workshop. Same thing when I step on a stage.

 

Courtney Elmer

 It's amazing how quickly the time goes by when you are enjoying the process of what you're doing. And yes, there will always be things in your business that you don't totally enjoy. Comes with the territory. But can you develop the discipline of savoring the process of it? In my head when it comes time to plan episodes, I don't like the planning of it. I like to sit down and talking with you of it. But the planning, not so much. But I know that I need to plan the episode in order to get to the point where I'm sitting here talking with you. So I've developed the discipline of enjoying the experience of planning because I know that it unlocks. What's next it unlocks that full low state for me. So again, sure the clock might say one thing. But it's your experience of the clock that matters here. Because your experience of the clock is what will determine how you're experiencing time itself.

 

Courtney Elmer

 And the more you spend in Kairos, and the less you spend worrying about Chronos, the more you'll be able to get done in a day, the more accomplished you will feel. And it'll feel easier and more effortless to tackle the things that are on your list, particularly in busy seasons, in your life, and in your business. Which brings us back to the whole point of this episode, which is how do we navigate those busy seasons? I'm here to tell you  now, it is not about blocking your time better? Because would you rather spend your hours in that flow state and know how to access it on demand versus feeling like you're always in a race against the clock? 

 

Courtney Elmer

And if your answer is yes, let's continue because by now, I'm imagining you might be going okay, Courtney? Yes. But how? Tell me please, how do I access this flow state more often, because sometimes I find myself there. And it's great, but I don't know how to get there. And the key difference between the entrepreneurs who are always in a race against the clock versus those who operate in flow is really simple. Because those entrepreneurs, the respected thought leaders that you look up to and admire, who operate from that flow state, don't try to manage their time at all. Instead, they focus on managing their energy. Because unlike time, your energy and your emotional state is something that you have complete and total control over. , when you feel tired or rundown, you don't need someone to tell you that, , when you feel alive and energized. , when you feel alive, and energized. , when you're feeling sad, or happy, or confident, or bold. You can close your eyes at any moment and ask yourself, How am I feeling  now, when you can get a read on where your energy is at any given moment. 

 

Courtney Elmer

So the first step here is to throw out the garbage strategies for time management that you've tried unsuccessfully, and instead focus on becoming a master of managing your energy. And those entrepreneurs who succeed in business those who start from zero and go on to have the massive success and create these multi six figure businesses and seven figure businesses. They're not successful because they found some groundbreaking strategy for time management.  No, they're not. They become masters at managing their energetic state and their emotional state. And what breaks my heart is seeing entrepreneurs like you with a huge vision, a huge desire to make the world a better place to help people is to see you burn out on the path to your dreams because you don't know how to manage your energy Well, or that you even need to be managing it at all. Because a lot of people when they hear energy management, it gets dismissed, it sounds kind of woowoo or we chalk it up as Oh, self care. Yeah, I don't have time for that. But this couldn't be further from the truth. 

 

Courtney Elmer

Managing your energy simply means tapping into how you're naturally wired to work, optimizing your schedule so you can utilize your time most effectively. And developing the discipline to avoid the things that distract you from the high priority tasks on your list. I'm going to say that last one again, because it is so important. Listen closely. develop the discipline to avoid the things that distract you from the high priority tasks on your list. It also means being attuned to your body and giving it what it needs when it needs it. Which can be hard to do. So the other day I'm sitting at the kitchen table and our son  now is learning to read He's four and a half. And he is so eager, we literally drive around town and he will read letters off of signs to me and asked me what the word spells so I don't know if you remember Hooked on Phonics. I did that updating myself here I did that when I was a kid. And I remember loving it. I don't know what the exercises were what exactly I did, but I  remember having a very positive experience of it. 

 

Courtney Elmer

So literally The other day, I'm scrolling through my Instagram and there's an ad for Hooked on Phonics, haven't thought of this in 30 years. All , but it's back. And it's better than ever. And they have an app now and workbooks and all these things. And the ad was for a $1, one month trial. I'm like, What the heck, this could be really fun, because our son is one of those kids who will push himself and push himself and push himself and get so frustrated with himself when he doesn't get something  away. So I know for something like learning to read, or something that's going to require a lot of focus and concentration. It's got to be fun for him. He's got to not feel like he's working hard. So we get the app, we download it, we turn it on, he is loving it.

 

Courtney Elmer

 And of course, the first day he wants to do it like three times he asked month, can we practice reading Mom, can we practice reading, and I knew that I had to really pace it with him, because I know his tendency. And I know that he can get overwhelmed easily, even though it feels fun. So by the third time, my husband was home, we're sitting at the table, our son's so excited, showing us all the things that he learned. But when he got to the part where he was reading the little story, he wasn't getting the words  away. And he got so frustrated. And you could see the tears kind of welling up in his eyes, and he was getting angry. And I said, okay, but let's take a brain break, you need a break. And then he got mad at me because I said he needed a break. And so I let him experience those emotions. And then we sat down, and we talked about it.

 

Courtney Elmer

 And I said, Listen, buddy, I feel the same way when I'm working. Sometimes, the words  don't come. And that's when I recognize, hey, I need to stand up, I need to walk away from my desk, I need to go get some fresh air, I need to come back to it later today or tomorrow. And every time I do come back to it. And the words flow  out. It's  there. I said, so we need to practice the same thing. And mom and dad are here to tell you that we're not putting the game away, because you can't do it. Or that it ran out of time to do it for the day, we're putting it away. Because this is supposed to be a fun experience. And we're noticing that your brain  needs a little rest. And we're teaching you the value of taking a rest. This is literally the conversation I'm having with my four and a half year old son. I think he got it and he went on to do something else. And when we came back to it the next day, it was like nothing had ever happened. He was happy to do it.

 

Courtney Elmer  32:37  

And we are the same way. But how many of us when we get to that point of frustration, push through it. We keep pushing, we keep pushing, we keep trying to  crank it out. And it doesn't work. It's crappy. We look at that a week later or a month later. I Gosh, y'all if I go back to some of the emails I wrote in the early days, in those times where I was  cranking it out and read those to you Oh, we would both have a really good laugh  now. , it makes me think of the migraines that I get sometimes I've had them since I was a teenager, mostly without rhyme or reason, despite all of my efforts through the years to try to figure out why what's triggering them. And of the triggers that I discovered I'm able to control most of those, sometimes they pop up out of nowhere. And I  have to deal with it. 

 

Courtney Elmer

Now up until a couple of years ago, I didn't have any medication or anything that I was taking for the pain. And these headaches would literally cost me two to three or four days on my calendar every week. And if you're someone who experiences migraines,  all too well what they feel like they are debilitating. So I saw neurologist a couple of years ago, and she prescribed something for me to take as needed. And I was like if this helps me to function, because prior to that I didn't have I wasn't a mom, I didn't have a little boy to take care of. And now as a mom, I can't be in bed for four days. I have a family that needs me. So I have this medicine and it's been a lifesaver. I take it whenever these migraines come and it helps with the pain. But what it doesn't do is take away the toll that the migraine still takes on my body. 

 

Courtney Elmer

And so when that happens, even though the pain is mitigated, I still have to take breaks, I have to nap I have to not work out I have to take it really easy. And it used to be so hard to do. But now I know that my best work is not going to be done in those times. So take the day, take the nap manage my energy. Another thing that I do is I have gotten in the habit MIT of not checking my inbox first thing in the morning, putting parameters in place to stop myself from getting dragged into my inbox, which next thing , you pick your head up, and it's two hours later and not in a good way in order to protect my energy, and I share all these stories with you, to give you real life examples of the importance of protecting your energy. Because if we  continue to push through and push through and push through, we will not produce our best work, we will feel overwhelmed and frustrated and exhausted, and it won't be fun. It won't be fun,  And I am all about work should be enjoyable, you should enjoy what you're doing. 

 

Courtney Elmer

But all of that to say this does come with a caveat. Because energy management is not a cure all. It's a give and take. It's a dance, because energy is also a limited resource, you only have so much of it to go around. So when the busy seasons come in your life, you might have less of it. And in those seasons, you must make it a priority to protect your energy more and utilize your energy and your time more delicately during those seasons. And another thing I want you to recognize here, it is not possible, nor is it normal to operate at 100% every minute of every day. I know that's the expectation in our culture. I know that's the expectation on social media. I know that's the expectation that we as entrepreneurs show up 100% of the time at 100%. And yeah, sure, some days you might feel 100% Other days, you might feel like 80%, maybe other days 50%. And what it doesn't mean is that you don't show up  because you can't show up at 100% or beat yourself up because you're not operating at peak capacity like you do. 

 

Courtney Elmer

Sometimes what it means is on those days, no matter how you're feeling, you simply do what you can and let it be enough. So I was telling you about these migraines, I had one about a week ago that lasted for four days. And I took my medicine I had rested the first day and the second day, I had a scheduled workout with my trainer. And deep down I felt pulled to cancel that workout. And maybe not to not do it. But  to move it . Like I should have  texted my trainer and been like, Hey, I'm  not feeling it today. Can we push this to tomorrow or next week?  And he'd probably been like, yeah, of course, listen to your body. But in my head, I told myself, I needed to do it. I wanted to do it. But I didn't listen to my body. I told myself, I should do that workout. I looked at my calendar, and I didn't see another time Chronos time to fit it in. So I went. Now normally in our culture, this is a glorified, doing what you said you were going to do. 

 

Courtney Elmer

But the truth is, the workout sucked. I gave it what I had. But what I had was not much. It's the equivalent of trying to write that email when your brain is fried. Or to crank out that sales page, what you really need is to step away from your laptop and get some fresh air. And I pushed through that workout. But it was not enjoyable. It was a grind and my trainer knew it. He had to modify the whole frickin thing. What I should have done from the get go was simply ask to reschedule. But I had a moment where I was totally bullheaded. And I chose not to listen to myself. And what's important is that when we have those moments, because we fall back into our old habits of pushing and grinding and hustling our way through, that we forgive ourselves and that we learn from it because times like this are going to happen. And it's not about avoiding them. Or about beating yourself up when it happens, but about learning from it.

 

Courtney Elmer

 And I know now okay, Courtney next time you feel that way, call and reschedule the dang workout, it's not worth it. You'll have a much better experience of your workout when you're feeling better. And most of today's recognized and respected thought leaders know this. They practice this and the honest ones will tell you that they do because building a business isn't glamorous. You don't always see what goes on behind closed doors. You don't see the boring work. And what you also don't see are today's influencers taking a break. Not because they don't take it but because they don't share it unless they're on some kind of fancy vacation. No Of course, then they want to post that on Instagram.  You see through it . And I can tell you this, if you want to be seen as a recognized thought leader, this is an unavoidable step on your journey, learning to manage your energy, and not your time. So what I'm going to share with you next is going to help you the next time you face a busy season in your life in business, whether it's an expected one or an unexpected one. And the first step is to notice the season that you're in to notice full stop, notice that you are in a busy season, the next step is to accept that everything might not get done. And that's okay. 

 

Courtney Elmer

Which leads you to step number three, which is where you have to prioritize what has to happen. And let go with the rest for now, in our project management software, my team and I, we literally have a board in there called the holding cell. And it is where all of our ideas that pop up in the course of a day, a week, a month, go. If it's not priority, we let it go. We keep it there. So we don't forget. But we park it there and we let it go. And we stay focused on what has to happen. And then when we get to our next quarterly strategy meeting, we review what's on that list. And we may implement something then. But not in the moment. That's how you get distracted. So notice, except that everything's not going to get done, prioritize what has to happen, and then work with the way you're naturally wired. Chances are, if you're like me, you love self assessments, you've probably taken some of them. And most of us are wired to have the most creative brain power in the mornings. So I'm  gonna go with that for this example. But certainly, I'll caveat this and say, if  that you're wired to do your best work in the evenings at another time of day  modify what I'm about to say to fit that we use myself as an example here. I do my best work between 9am and 12pm. For me, I know that this is prime time to utilize clock time. Well, I'm recording this episode  now during that block of time, because I know it's when my mind is the sharpest.

 

Courtney Elmer  42:34  

So learning to work with the way you're naturally wired, will already help you utilize the time you have better. I could have chosen this morning to check my email and respond to email and all the notifications that we have in our student group and all the DMS that come in. But had I done that I would have utilized this prime time, effectively, because then 12 o'clock would roll around, I'd stop and take a break for lunch. And then I'd have about an hour and a half left before I have to pick up my son from school, and my brain would have already been taxed. It wouldn't be prime time for creative, important work. So work with the way you're naturally wired. And to do that requires you which is the fifth and final step. To reduce distractions, you got airplane mode on your phone, use it. If you're afraid you're going to miss a call, allow those through if it's your kids school, but nothing else. Pause your Slack notifications, let the team know you're going to be out of office for a bit.

 

Courtney Elmer

 Pause your inbox, there is an app called Boomerang that we love. And it gives you the ability to pause your inbox, it will literally hold all messages. And it will not deliver anything to your inbox until a time that you set. It's amazing. Because inevitably, we are creatures of habit. And when we're feeling bored, and when our brain is looking for an out or a hit of dopamine, oh, let me  check my inbox. See if there's anything there. Let me  check my social media,  how many of us have done it, my hand goes up, I'm guilty. And I've had to put parameters in place to counteract my natural tendencies. If my brain is getting to a point where I'm  kind of hitting a wall, my natural tendency is to go check my inbox for a distraction. So I've paused my inbox that way, even if even if out of habit, I opened my inbox and I look at it, nothing new will be there. And it's a reminder. And to that point, log out of your social media apps. So when you reach for your phone, it stops you from checking it. And if you can't log out because I know Instagram will delete all of your draft reels if you log out which drives me crazy. Keep your phone in another room. That's literally what I do. 

 

Courtney Elmer

And because I use all Mac products if I have A call that needs to come through it will come through on my laptop. Otherwise, everything else can wait. And then Dr. Don the Pas de resistance, use the 20 minute sprint method. If you've never tried this before, try it. And let me know how it goes for you. I find that when I need to get my most focused work done, this method is so effective, what you're going to do is you're going to set a timer for 20 minutes. Okay, before you start the timer, you're going to spend five minutes planning what you need to do in that 20 minutes sprint, so get everything that you need. If you need passwords to log into something, if you need a new cup of coffee, if you need your notebook or your client notes, whatever it is that you need, gather all that get that already in your five minute prep time, then hit the timer. And during those 20 minutes you go, you work and you work and you work and you don't let anything distract you for 20 minutes. 

 

Courtney Elmer

And then when the timer goes off, you pick your head up, you step away from your desk, you walk around your house, or go outside for a minute, get some fresh air. And you think about how did that sprint go? Could I have done anything differently? What would have made it better? What do I need to do next time in order to make this the best sprint ever. And then you do it again. And you repeat that for whatever time you have. So sometimes when I'm catching up on work on the weekends, because Saturday is like my quiet creative time, I can get out of the house, I can go to a coffee shop, the boys are doing their thing. And I can sit there and I can work for a couple of hours. And so let's say I have two hours well I will plan for Sprint's because by the time you factor in the prep time and the break time which is so important, don't push through and do and back to back. You need that break, because it sets you up to be ready for the next sprint. And I will plan out what I'm going to do in those four Sprint's and it is amazing how much you can get done. 

 

Courtney Elmer

So if you've never tried that before, try it and let me know what you think. All , I've given you a lot to think about here. A lot. So what I want you to do is I want you to take one thing, one thing that I said in this episode, and apply it and to hold yourself accountable. I want you to DM me what that one thing is on Instagram @theCourtney Elmer and let me know what it is you're going to apply. Whether it is prioritizing your schedule to work with the way you're naturally wired and tell me how specifically you're going to do that. Whether it's trying that 20 minute sprint method I  gave you whatever it is, DM it to me, I want to know. And coming up next week on the show, we're going to talk about why your program isn't selling like you want it to and how to fix it. And it's perfect timing for this because at the time of this recording, we're about to move into a new year. So if you haven't hit your sales goals or your revenue goals like you expected this year, now is the time to make these simple fixes so you can hit the ground running January 1. All , I will see you back here next Tuesday. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.