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Coaches Go Social: How to Stay Focused When You’re Full of Ideas

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“We are in charge of our time!”

I am so excited for this week’s guest! She’s really after my own heart. This week we are talking about time management. 

I bet you started your business with the great idea of helping others with your skills and services. You thought of a great process/system/way of being that will help people with their life and career. Then you had success with that. 

And then you thought of another idea. And another idea. And another idea. 

So how do you keep all of those ideas in check and not get yourself off track? 

My guest, Minette, is an artist who helps other creatives/artists/entrepreneurs stay in their zone of genius and create a business that’s sustainable so they can stay on track. 

She’s going to help us to leverage all of our good ideas all the while staying focused and connected on our business goals. She’s going to help us see that we don’t have to push those ideas to the side. We can still integrate those ideas and be creative while staying focused on our business. 

Dr. Minette Riordan has been in business for 19 years! She’s had so many businesses during that time, and the common theme has been TOO many ideas and not enough time. She is always happy to talk about how to manage ideas and not let them get overwhelming.

For 11 years, she owned a publishing company that created a parenting magazine in the Dallas, Texas area. It went from a tiny quarterly magazine to a monthly newspaper where it was circulating 50,000 copies a month around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It was all about time! 

But Minette was on the edge of burnout more than she realized because it was such a deadline-driven business. So she sold that. Moved to California and started coaching. She had no one telling her when things were due anymore! 

For her, there was this external crisis when there was no one to say, “You need to get this done now.” She never missed a deadline once in her 11 years of publishing. When she started her own business, she struggled with the lack of structure. 

This is a problem she has personally worked through, and for the last 9 years, she’s, almost exclusively, works with other creatives who are building businesses. She works with every kind of entrepreneur you can imagine. She believes every entrepreneur is creative, btw! 

We are both in agreement that being an entrepreneur is the ultimate journey in self-growth. In her own journey, she’s hit so many walls and so many limiting belief stories. One of her limiting stories was about time. 

In the sense that she never felt like she had enough time, and there also has been the very constant masculine energy of push and hustle. It’s taken her years to dismantle the thought that she doesn’t need to push so hard. 

One of her favorite mantras that has really helped over the last few years has been, “The more I play the more money I make!” 

So building in more play and more time off in her calendar has increased her productivity and her profitability and her own pursuit of happiness. 

Play has been limited lately because of the pandemic, but Minette shared that a few weeks ago she had four of her best friends come to her home in Santa Barbara for art camp! They took garden and beach walks, and they spent a lot of time painting in her backyard and at the beach! 

What fun!

Okay, so what is time management? Literally? 

Minette shared a dictionary definition with me: It is the predictable control an individual can exercise over a series of events. 

What Minette loves about that definition is that we 100% have control over our own schedules as entrepreneurs. 

Sometimes there are external deadlines when things are due. But for the most part, and Minette admits she needs this reminder all the time: We are in charge of our time!

We get to decide when we work. How much we work. How much time we take off, and so much of it is just remembering we are at choice with how much we are filling our calendar every day. 

One of the biggest mistakes Minette has made in her coaching and creative mentoring over the last 9 years has been overfilling her own calendar with people. 

Minette works from home and as an extrovert/ambivert, which can be lonely. She loves people so she overfills her calendar with people because she needs that connection. 

Though, she’s learned that her best secret is to write herself into her calendar first! And she makes sure she puts blocks of time in her calendar for her own creative projects. The projects that are really going to move her business forward. 

It’s really about the customization of your own systems in a way that aligns with your lifestyle. 

Another place she loves to start talking about time management with people is that time management has to start with your “Why.” 

Minette says Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why is still one of the best business books out there because it is so essential to be clear about why you are doing what you are doing. 

That “Why” helps you get clear about what has to get on your calendar now! And the things that can be pushed off a little bit. And what is it that you are working toward? 

What Minette loves about the “Why” is that it is a great tool for discernment for what really matters. If you have ideas, you can plant the seed of that idea in Evernote or a Google Doc or in a journal so you don’t lose the idea. You can still hold the idea. But save implementation for later.

One of the things entrepreneurs struggle with is when we have an idea we want to implement it right away. Then all of the sudden we are trying to implement 50 things at once and that’s what makes us crazy. Rather than looking at what our highest priorities are, especially those money-making activities and asking ourselves: “What’s going to move me forward right now?”

Is it this new idea? Or is it okay to just plant the seed? When you plant the seed, it works like magic. It gets nurtured. 

Minette gave a personal example of an idea she planted 7 or 8 years ago that is just now coming to fruition. If she had implemented it right then, it would have taken her off track of what she needed to focus on. Now is the right time. A partner has appeared. Things are in alignment. 

It’s important to still make space for ideas. Minette stresses the importance of having a physical space to put those ideas. She is a big fan of Notability on her iPad. Google Keep is a good one too. As long as you have a particular place for new ideas. You don’t want to lose them! 

Minette emphasizes this by sharing a part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. In Elizabeth’s example, she shares a story about two writers getting the same “download” for a book idea. The one writer wrote that book. Elizabeth didn’t. 

These ideas are kind of floating in the ethers, and we need to welcome them in! The more you welcome the ideas in and plant them, they can take root and sprout more new ideas. Dream boards are great as well! 

It’s really important to remember that you have a choice for WHEN you implement these ideas. And the implementation of a new idea has to be connected to your overall strategic plan for your business. 

Minette is a big fan of asking the questions: “How do I manage my time today? What should I be focusing on? All in relation to the goals and dreams for the quarter, year, etc. She’s a big fan of the 90-day plan. 

You must make a date with yourself to get all of the details of your business done, like checking analytics every month. Make a date! 

What are the activities that will make you money or nurture you that aren’t making it on your calendar that aligns with the business you say you want? Get them on the schedule! 

To-do lists in the style that they have been created are totally worthless in Minette’s eyes. They increase overwhelm and don’t create calm because they are chaotic. 

Minette recommends once a week or once a month doing a massive brain dump of everything that’s in your head. Make it fun! Do it on a big whiteboard or big sheets of paper. Use colorful markers. Add doodles too! The more play you add to your time management planning the more fun you’ll have and the more likely you’ll do it!

A brain dump is step 1. 

Step 2: Separate personal from business. Treat your business like a business. You can always do laundry in the middle of the day for a break! That’s fine! But treat it as a mindful activity instead of checking off a task on a to-do list. 

On the business side of things, the biggest “aha” Minette has seen from her creative clients, is that people put projects not tasks on their to-do lists. 

Minette gives the example of starting a Facebook Live show. That’s a project. That can take anywhere from 3-6 months. Your list should have bite-sized tasks that can be done in the short-term, not big longer-term projects! 

Minette provided a personal example. She had “Complete Lead Magnet” on her to-do list. There are a lot of tasks that need to get done to accomplish that.  A project like “Complete Lead Magnet” when not broken down into manageable tasks puts people into instant overwhelm. 

When Minette broke “Completing Lead Magnet” into bite-sized chunks she nipped procrastination in the bud, and she was able to get started! Projects create procrastination when they are not broken down into bite-sized chunks. 

If you are willing to put in the extra time around your planning, it will save you a ton of time! 

Minette quotes Brian Tracy as saying “10 mins of planning a day saves you 2 hours of effort! 1 hour of planning will save you 10 hours of doing!” 

This all comes back to: What do you need to focus on at the moment that is going to move you forward both personally and professionally? 

So many of us talk about the things we want to do. But so few of us actually commit. You should plan it and put it in your calendar until it becomes a habit. 

You have to change your relationship with that activity. But first, we have to make a daily commitment. Your productivity will increase. Your procrastination will decrease. And you’ll have more time in your day to think about those new ideas! 

Minette has been teaching these things for decades, and she still struggles with this! We all do! 

When Minette is planning, she plans in two-week increments. She has to remember to put herself first in her calendar. Put your most creative time in your calendar first so you are using that time for your own work. 

Just to recap some of Minette’s favorite tools: 

Planning

Time blocking – putting yourself in your calendar first

Managing your to-do list with your brain dump 

Create your daily Big Six – You only put six things on your to-do list every day that will move you forward. It doesn’t mean you don’t get other things done. But you commit to the six things that are going to move your business and your life forward. You commit to doing them before you go to bed at night. This one thing has created massive shifts for clients that she works with over and over again. 

By minimizing what you do, you maximize productivity every single time. It works like magic, and it is a huge relief to be able to check off those six things. 

On Teachable, Minette has a six-week course called Fierce Focus. It walks you in-depth about everything we’ve talked about. It starts with a super fun quiz called, “You’re Unique Productivity Style” It helps you understand why you struggle with time management. 

We want to make sure you are creating a beautiful blend of who you are being and what you are doing so you can increase your productivity and your fulfillment in life. 

Stay tuned next month on Coaches Go Social! It’s all digital organizing in a few weeks! 

And if you are really considering live video in 2021, get on the waitlist for my live video course: https://capitalizesocialmedia.com/cwl/ The next session will start up in March! 

Also, if you are a coach looking for a little more marketing support come join my private Facebook group, the Consistent Content Club! I also have another group that goes even deeper. If you’re interested in the new Tidepool group, set up a time to chat with me directly! 

If you want to talk more about manifestation or if you just need some positivity right now, let’s set up a time to chat

 

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