Episode 9

How To Do Like a Boss

March 3, 2015

In today’s episode of Being Boss, Kathleen and Emily share how they organize their to-do lists and actually get it done.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"Your side hustle and creative career should give you energy – not deplete it."
- Kathleen Shannon

Discussed in this Episode

  • How to balance a side-hustle with your full time job
  • Using your calendar to schedule the important stuff so you actually get it done
  • How to squeeze in self-care when you’re crazy busy
  • How to creative productive habits by implementing "transition triggers"
  • Creating weekly routines and structure to help you tackle all the to-dos
  • The nitty-gritty of how Emily and Kathleen structure their to-do lists (and sometimes not having a to-do list at all! Scandalous!)
  • The difference between the important stuff and the urgent stuff
  • Using a timer to get stuff done
  • How to prioritize what to do first
  • Getting work done even when you don’t feel inspired to work
  • Delegate! Having someone else do the work for you (or finding someone to hold you accountable)
  • Recognizing your most creative time of day and using that time wisely


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:04
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do, and see it through.

Emily Thompson 0:10
Because being boss is hard, winning work, and life is messy. Making a dream job of your own isn't easy.

Kathleen Shannon 0:18
But getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable. If you do the work.

Emily Thompson 0:28
Welcome to being boss, the podcast for creative entrepreneurs. From Emily Thompson. And Kathleen Shannon. Welcome to episode nine. How to do like a boss.

Kathleen Shannon 0:42
Hello, and welcome to being boss episode number nine. Here's an email we got from a listener recently. I dream of morning routines and checking to do lists the and the free flowing creative type. So I start to freak out too much about structure to make great creative work. I also find that my schedule between the full time job and the full time side hustle, making it really hard to schedule, make to do lists, and then actually do it all without getting totally overwhelmed about how much I committed myself to do. I love some episodes about morning routines and to do lists. So that is from listener Jess. And Jessica also asked in our being boss Facebook group, how we make time for self care whenever we're so busy juggling work in life. Um, so we're going to be talking about to do lists. We also got another email from Erica.

Emily Thompson 1:43
Yes, we also got an email from Erica, that reads, I have a question for you ladies in regards to balancing all the things, I'm still working full time and managing my side hustle, but rather poorly. I'm being pulled in a ton of different directions. And by the time I get home in the evening, I'm lucky if I can make it through dinner before I completely pass out on the couch. I've been trying to conserve some of my energy while I'm at my day job or figuring out when I'm freshest at work on my side hustle. But I feel like I am forever failing at getting anything accomplished. Might you ladies have any advice on how to keep that fire going and not burn out earlier in the day. So you have the energy to work on your side hustle from Erica. And then we also got a comment from Stephanie in our Facebook group, asking us how it is that we take a big scary to do list and keep it realistic and achievable.

Kathleen Shannon 2:42
Right, because it's really easy to make a long list, it's another thing to actually do it. So today's episode is all about making to do lists that actually work, and establishing habits and routines that work for you. So the first thing I want to say about this is that your side hustle and creative career should be giving you energy, not depleting it. So for example, I own and run braid, creative, full time. But my side hustle is actually this podcast being boss. And whenever Emily approached me about it, I couldn't help. But start working on it. I couldn't help but do the branding and design the logo. We couldn't help but record an episode a week, we are really incredibly busy ladies doing our full time jobs. But we love doing this podcast so much that we truly just can't help ourselves from working on it. I don't know how you feel about it, and only when actually editing the podcast right now. So but you know what I mean? It is it is something that gives us energy and it feels really rewarding. And so what I ended up telling Erica in email and an email back to her is to give herself permission to just chill out for a couple of weeks to maybe if you feel depleted after your day job, maybe don't work on your side hustle in the evening, and just see what surfaces. And so she actually emailed me back and she was like, Oh my gosh, thank you for the advice. I actually did give myself permission to not work on my side hustle. And it was amazing to see what I learned about myself to see what I actually want to be doing on the side. What deserves my energy and what doesn't. I know that Eric is also getting her yoga teacher training on the side. And so that for her was starting to rise to the top versus the other gig that she was really hustling at. And so that's that's what I just want to say right now is is to make sure that your side hustle is giving you energy that it's something that you can't help but work on.

Emily Thompson 4:54
Yeah, and for me, for me, it's all about that really gross word balance. witches is just such a ridiculous thing to talk about. But it is important in like, in striving to achieve balance, I don't think that there is a such thing as perfect balance is this idea of like working a day job, and and doing a side hustle. But also like taking care of yourself and your family and having friends and this thing called a life. I don't think that there is like a perfect balance. But it is about striving for a balance. So you know, you have a day job and you have a side hustle, it's still like plugging in a little bit of time to take care of yourself. Or maybe it is that you work a really crazy day job. And you already have this self care thing under wraps, but you need to squeeze in some side hustle, it's about, it's about finding some sort of balance between all these sort of individual pieces of your life at the moment, and not cutting any of them out unless they just need to be cut out, making time for the important things. You know, one of the things that we talk about all the time is simply doing the work. And how you know, if you want to be boss, and you want to have a side hustle, or if you want to take a side hustle and turn it into your main hustle. Like it requires some serious hard work. I was recently coaching one of my clients. And she was saying that whenever she started her business, one of her dreams was to have this Pinterest perfect life. And whenever she said that, to me, like I cringed like the mere thought of someone thinking that that would ever be a possibility. Because there there's sort of that, that yin and yang thing, like it's going to be good. But that comes with some bad, like, you're going to be tired, you're going to be working your ass off, and you're not going to be sleeping as well. And you're probably going to have to skip a yoga session every now and again, we're maybe you need to call in on your day job and give your side hustle a full day of your attention. It's really just about sort of attempting to find some balance in your life, and finding what works for you as far as like motivation to get it done.

Kathleen Shannon 7:06
And we'll be talking a lot about that. And one of the thoughts that I had, whenever you were just saying that, Emily, is that the side hustle. I mean, I do kind of strive for the Pinterest perfect life, I'm not going to lie. One of the things whenever you're first starting a business, like they don't call it a hustle for no reason. I mean, you really are working really hard. But it doesn't have to be that way forever, it's just getting enough momentum to really launch until things can start running themselves or until you can land that first client so that you can maybe even afford to leave the day job. So I think just understanding that the side hustle is not forever, hopefully, that hopefully it transitions into a different kind of hustle. And so let's talk a little bit about how to make this work. And one of the things that I like to do is to schedule out the important stuff in advance. I was recently listening to Paul Jarvis's podcast, which I think is called office hours, I'll be sure to include a link. It's like the Boy version of us. So if you need a little more like masculine energy, but like our content, like definitely listened to them, I've been really enjoying their podcasts. But one of the things that he said is that he schedules bravery. And he was talking specifically about his newsletter that goes out every Sunday. And he writes it earlier in the week, and then just schedules it to go out later. Otherwise, he would never hit Publish. And so I love that concept. And I think that the same could be said for any of your deadlines or things that you want to do schedule it in advance, and literally open up your Google calendar or your physical calendar, or whatever it is, and schedule in the important stuff. And so for me personally, it's actually my workouts. I I do like working out since it's become a habit, but some days whenever I'm feeling lazy, I don't want to go to the gym, but I've already scheduled it my co workers or my virtual assistant, they have not scheduled over it because I've dedicated that time to working out and they know it's important to me. So I better use that time because it is time that I'm not taking on a client meeting. So I schedule the important stuff and I take it seriously.

Emily Thompson 9:26
Yeah, I think I think of workouts like scheduling those is, I think the key for sort of for like tackling that self self care bit of the puzzle. Because self care, we said, I can't speak today.

Kathleen Shannon 9:43
Voice warmups.

Emily Thompson 9:45
I know apparently, let's find some of those. You can probably find some of those. Um, so no, okay. What was I saying?

Kathleen Shannon 9:52
scheduling workouts is important.

Emily Thompson 9:55
Oh, yes. Okay. This is scheduling workouts is really important because self care is that is that A little bit that we almost always put on the back burner like that is the one that's the easiest to cut out. Because you're not going to miss a deadline, like a client, you're not gonna have a client mad at you. And you're not going to have a hungry child, or like an angry husband or anything if you skip your like own personal workout. So self care is usually the piece of the puzzle that we ditch if things go awry, but if your workouts and your your self care is the first thing that you schedule, then it's going to end up being the piece of the puzzle that becomes the most important, which allows you to do everything else. Yesterday, I posted, I posted on my Instagram. So I've been doing a ton of yoga lately. And one of the things that we do I have, I have one weekly yoga session, we actually hold it at the studio that is on the calendar, it is the same time, every single week, and we don't miss it. So So it's one of those things that's on the calendar, we schedule our client meetings around it, we schedule off days around it. Yoga is on my schedule every single week. And and I'm also doing like tons of like personal practice. And one of one of the things one of the comments that I got back on my Instagram yesterday from from Heidi. She said, What's the point of being boss, if you're torturing your number one employee?

Unknown Speaker 11:22
Oh, I know, I know,

Emily Thompson 11:25
I got that. And it was like one of those lightbulb moments of like, that's exactly what it is self care if you want to be boss. And if you want to have this, this amazing, either side hustle. Or maybe it is sort of your your creative business that you're trying to grow as your main hustle, take care of your number one employee, first and foremost.

Kathleen Shannon 11:48
So yesterday, I was coaching one of my creative clients. And one of her goals is to write 400 words a day, she is a writer, but has been neglecting her own writing practice. And so she kind of had two questions, which was, how do I make time for this? You know, or how do I how do I commit to really creating a habit out of this. And so one of the things I told her is to create triggers around doing things. And so for example, I told her know that every morning whenever you get your cup of coffee, that you're sitting down to write your 400 words at the same time. Or, for example, she's also maybe thinking about getting a creative full time job, but still wants to work on her own side hustle is to have transition triggers. And so this is something I actually learned whenever I was still working full time at an ad agency, and still wanting to make my work out a really important part of my life. And what I would do is I would work out every day, I would leave the office, I would go to the gym, and then I would go home. And it became such a transitional. I don't know what's the word for it like transitional habit and experience that if I went straight from work to home, I felt off, I felt like I didn't decompress properly. And so one of the things I recommended to her if she does get a full time job is to create a transitional trigger that will allow her to write. So maybe it's on her way to work, you know, she wakes up early and maybe stops at a coffee shop on the way to work and writes her 400 words there, or on her way home from work. So you don't have to be spending a ton of time at home on your side hustle whenever you'd rather be hanging out with your family or watching TV or making dinner and try and squeeze it in before right before and right after your day job. So it just kind of feels like an extension of the day job. Yeah, I like that. Um, and then I think that just another way to really start to develop develop new habits and routines is to really start small, and to commit to small daily actions every day because it really does add up a really great resource for learning how to create habits, and starting small is Zen habits. And I'll be sure to include that in the show notes as well. But it's a blog by Leo bachelor I never know if I'm saying his name, right. But he writes a really great blog called Zen habits and it is all about establishing new habits and routines. So be sure to check that one out.

Emily Thompson 14:28
Yeah, and and as much as we talk about like daily routines and having a morning routine, I also have to shout out your first sight like those things are super important. I have them and I do them and they are definitely what keeps me like on track during my day. But something else that I like to focus on a lot. As far as like bigger picture looking at things is a weekly routine. So I definitely have like this relatively structured week. And so Monday is the day that I'm at the studio at nine o'clock and I meet with the studio or with my team Make sure everyone's on track for the week. And we really do like a lot of hustling on Mondays. We also do a lot of client meetings on Mondays and on Thursdays, like those are the two days that I can always pretty much guarantee I will be in a client meeting all day long. But that allows me on Tuesdays to have literally nothing on my schedule. So I can always count on Tuesdays to be the day that I can work from home and do the laundry and sort of like, hang out around the house. But do stuff, it's also the day that I can actually work on client work because I'm not in a client meeting all day long. Or is the day that I can catch up on my emails, like Tuesdays has become a pretty sacred day for me. And I can always count that Tuesday's is going to be wildly productive for me. Likewise, like Friday is a day that's really hardcore in the studio, doing a lot of work. But then on Saturday and Sunday, we have we have weekend routine. And that is that one of our weekend days, we're not getting out of bed, like we stay in our PJs, all day long, because we've hustled hardcore all week. And we allow ourself one day, every weekend, where we just stay in our PJs all day. And we cook a big breakfast together and we hang out around the house. And we really strive not to like get out of our PJs. And then one day during the weekend is the day that we do the grocery shopping and our meal prep and like whatever errands we need to run. And so for me having having a pretty solid, like, weekly structure, so that I know, you know, if I want to schedule like lunch out with a girlfriend, that's going to be on Tuesday, because that's my like little more free day for you know, juggling client work and life and self care. So So having a week structure for us has, or at least for me, has super helped me tackle all the two dues that I have.

Kathleen Shannon 16:54
So I love that Emily, I love that you say that. And one of the things that Tara and I have started doing recently is blocking out Fridays as a braid day. So we spend so much time working on our client work, that it doesn't give us a whole lot of time to work on our own projects. And we have big goals for ourselves. So doing things like writing a book or consolidating our ecourse. So we have taken Fridays to really work on braid stuff. And it it takes everything I have to not schedule, like little extra meetings or even, you know, recording the podcast, just the stuff that I have a hard time fitting into the rest of my week. It's hard not to let that bleed into Friday, because this is wide open day that I've dedicated to working on braid. But just like self care is easy to move that to the backburner whenever other things feel more urgent or pressing. So this is just to say, I think that literally putting it in the calendar makes me take that day more seriously. So for those of you who are not working in a physical calendar or with something like Google Calendar, I would highly recommend starting a calendar so that you can start making appointments and meetings that you take seriously with your not only with your clients, but with yourself. Okay, so Emily, I want to know, literally, how do you structure your to do lists? I know there are a million ways and it's kind of an art. So I want to hear how you do your to do list.

Emily Thompson 18:28
Yeah, oh, we do to do lists. And so so the way, the way I'm going to tell you, I do it because I do it a couple of different ways. because on one hand, I'm creating to do lists for all of my clients across my team. So So on one side of things like it's a huge list, but I'm not tackling all of that stuff. But that's like the power of delegating and why that's so important. And then I do have have my to do so. Overall, we're Evernote users. I guess about three, four months ago, I really, really got into Evernote. And we had tried multiple things in the studio for how to manage projects. So when it was just me, I had my own little system for managing projects. And it was really easy, just like a piece of paper and I had little checklists, and it was easy to do. But whenever you're taking like one project and spreading it across four people like passing around a piece of paper is not the best way for managing like all the things that have to be done. So we tried a couple different things we like we got this billboard and tried to make these note cards. And we tried doing it, doing it in Dropbox, and we tried doing it. We tried doing it in Basecamp but even Basecamp wasn't really working for us on the in house side as much as we like. So we fell into Evernote and boom like this, like final attempt to find something that worked. And we did so the way we structure like project to dues is is every week well sort of have a list of every project that we're currently working on. And then we do one, one big task for each of those projects. So for one project, it may be, you know, website design. So that week we're working on the website design, there may be a ton of other little to do's. But the one thing that we're going to focus on is this big website designed to do that we're going to do and that's sort of how we work are we can we schedule out our week. So you know, if one client needs a website designed and the person who does the web site design will be in on Wednesday, and that's the day that it'll get done. So I mean, delegating the way we we've set up Evernote to delegate is, is really easy, but it's really based on or it's actually pretty intense. But it's really based on that idea of just choosing one thing, which is something that that you brought up in a past podcast, and kind of changed my life a little bit.

Unknown Speaker 20:53
Because it was definitely one thing a day.

Emily Thompson 20:55
Yeah. And so and so we started scheduling our projects with each project do one thing a week, like this one's what a big thing we have to do for each.

Kathleen Shannon 21:04
Okay, I'm curious. And this is really just for me, this is Emily and Kathleen, talking, um, how do you set up your Evernote? Are you doing it? For each? Like, does each client have their own notebook? Or do you do like a notebook based on the week? Like, how are you setting it? Oh,

Emily Thompson 21:21
so Okay, each client has their own notebook and Evernote. So for example, okay, bright creative. So you guys have a notebook. And so if we have a meeting that I'll create a note in there of like meeting notes, and then if you have to do is for us, then we'll put you know, the project to dues in that notebook, as just sort of like coming soon, like, here are the things that braid wants us to accomplish. And then whenever it comes to the week that you're scheduled, so we have like this, we have this week, where we have this big to do notebook, and then that is divided into like days, weeks and months. So if we're okay, for example, you were emailing me earlier today about scheduling what for me, I think for doing your E course, combining, so we will put in May like Brady course, because at the moment, that's all we need to know is that in May, we're going to be working on Brady course. And then once we get to me, like you will fall into a week or whatever, wherever it is that we decide to schedule you. And you'll have sort of that one big to do for your week, which is get this shit done, so that we can launch your horses. Yeah, and so then we'll divide it into the days. So we'll schedule out, like who was working during the week and what hours they're

Kathleen Shannon 22:39
going to incidence each day have its own note does.

Emily Thompson 22:42
Okay, it does. And then we archive it once the day is done. And so each of those notes we like I'll put in there, Cory has one thing he supposed to be working on that day, Courtney has one thing she's supposed to be accomplishing that day? And then I would ideally have one, but I usually have like five. Right? So um, so we do like our daily to do list basically consists of one thing to do for one project.

Kathleen Shannon 23:09
That is so smart. And because it's like, Listen, you just had one thing to do today? Oh, yeah. There's something wrong.

Emily Thompson 23:18
Yeah. And so and because we have it all in this one notebook. So let's say they get that one thing just done. And then there's sort of a hierarchy of Okay, if you did that one thing, go to the next day and work on that one, or if it's the end of the week, or you've done everything for the week, go to next week, because we sort of we keep all of our to dues sort of like trickling down that way, so that at any time, my team knows what they can be working on, because we're keeping this ongoing, like cyclical list of to dues is intense.

Kathleen Shannon 23:52
Okay, so I think that we set up our to do list in a similar way, but we use Google Docs. And so what I love about Google Docs that I don't love about Evernote, because Emily, you and I use Evernote, for the podcasts and for organizing that. And what I don't love about it is that we can't both be in a document at the same time editing it and seeing what the other person is doing. So that's what I love about Google Docs. So here at braid we have in Google Docs, a notebook called to do schedules. And we create a new to do list for every week, and so that the Google Doc is titled with the week. And then in the Google Doc, we have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then under each day, we have Tara, Liz, Kathleen, Kristen, and so we have you know each of our names under there, and that way we can all see what everyone else is working on for the day. We are all in charge of populating our own to do lists. And sometimes I might email Liz and say hey, can you work on this thing, and then she'll go in and add it to her To Do list or I might go in and add it to our to do list and say, email me for more details. So that she knows to do that. So we have our to do list and Google Docs. And then we just literally crossed through each task. Now at the bottom of the list is like kind of an ongoing bucket of blog topics, or big quarterly projects and goals that we're working on. So for example, turn I right now don't have a lot of structure around our Friday, brain days that I was talking about earlier. But we might have a list of things that we need to tackle at the bottom of our to do list and I'll say, Hey, you know what, let's talk about our website today. Or, Hey, where are we at on our E course? Or, Hey, why don't we start an outline for our book that we want to write. So that's what that is. So big quarterly projects and goals at the bottom. But I think a lot about the way that I structure my to do list and kind of more philosophically like on the philosophical, philosophical, philosophical side of things.

Emily Thompson 26:03
Those need those like word extra

Kathleen Shannon 26:06
word exercises, we need some speaking coaches. Okay, so a couple of things that I think about whenever I'm populating my to do list is to just do one thing that's not very realistic for me, or most of us. So I would say like just one to three big things on my to do list. And I always make it the important stuff, not the urgent stuff, and there is a difference. So the important stuff today might be writing the braid blog, and recording this episode. And having lunch with some creative colleagues, like those are some important things that take up my time, responding to emails, like sending out a client inquiry email, I could put on my to do list and get a lot of satisfaction from crossing it out. But it just distracts me from actually doing that. And it's something that's going to get done anyway, because it's in my email inbox. So it's not wise to use your inbox as a to do list. But a lot of times I will mark messages unread that I need to come back and tackle for things like a client inquiring about working with braid, for example. Another thing that I've really started doing, especially since having a baby is really being realistic about how much I can get done in a day. And so I've been practicing with being diligent about scheduling only one meeting a day, because my days are just completely sucked up by meetings, and it leaves me very little time to actually do the work. If you're not having a lot of client meetings, you might just even schedule out on your calendar, which we've talked about is so important. Having that calendar is scheduling out a creative chunk for a time of day. So let's say Emily UD is really work on designing a website, and you have five things on your to do list, you might just set 90 minutes, I think that 90 minutes is a really good cycle of time, because usually most people are fatigued after 90 minutes. And it's funny because I'm learning about sleep cycles. This last year, I've learned that we really sleep in 90 minute cycles. So there's something to the 90 minutes, but set 90 minutes to really just turn shut down your inbox, shut down your internet, turn off your phone and just work on design for 90 minutes. So try doing that with your to do list. And then Okay, so some other things that I've experimented with on my to do list are either eating the frog first, or doing the thing that like feeds my creativity first. And so eating the frog first is doing the thing that you're just dreading. And whenever you get it done first you can? Well, okay, if you're putting it off, you might spend your whole day procrastinating because you're putting off doing the thing that you're dreading doing. So if you just do it first it's done. And then you can move on with the important stuff. And or do the thing that feeds your creativity first. And so, for example, that client that I was coaching yesterday, I recommended to her to her to try writing her 400 words a day, first thing in the morning, that way, it's just done, you've tackled it, you feel really productive. And I feel that productivity begets productivity. And so if you can tackle that one thing and feel accomplished, you're going to have a lot more confidence going into the rest of your to do list. So finally, I like to experiment with not having a To Do you listen at all. So I know that that might sound crazy. And I will admit I'm very privileged in that I have a team of people who are being built Shouldn't with their to do list, but I still think it might even work as a solopreneur. And but experimenting with not having a to do list really allows me to just do what I want. It allows me to see what really rises to the top and to see what I actually want to spend my energy and time doing. And usually it's the fun important stuff, like recording a podcast. Yeah, can

Emily Thompson 30:23
we initiate like, like a worldwide like, throw your to do list away day? week, I think in a week,

Kathleen Shannon 30:30
I mean, maybe just try it,

Emily Thompson 30:32
I wonder what would happen. I feel like the world would crumble and fall I'm so

Kathleen Shannon 30:36
curious to see to see I rely on you, Emily, like whenever you and I are working together. And I'm telling you what I'm thinking for my website or for my ecourse. I'm relying on you with your little pen and notebook over there, because you're so good about your lists to capture what I'm saying. So

Emily Thompson 30:54
really might crumble and fall like crumble

Kathleen Shannon 30:56
and fall apart. But I think that I think that a good compromise is to put one thing a day on your to do list. I think that a long list of 50 to dues especially when we're it's a lot of little things like it pretends to be useful, and you feel really important because like, look how much stuff I have to do. But then it can also feel really overwhelming. So one of the things that I like to do, because we have our Google Doc to do list, but I still like writing a physical list from time to time, like on a little post that note that I stick to my computer. And that's kind of my daily tasks. And so maybe that is like the differentiating your to do and your tasks. And so one thing that I like to do is maybe if I have one to two really important things on my to do list is creating a list of tasks on a post it note, or on a physical piece of paper, my computer that really my co workers don't need to see like they don't need to see all the nitty gritty details, but it helps keep me on track. And so that's another way to try and tackle a to do list and all the tasks associated with it. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 32:07
that's exactly what I was referring to as far as like my personal duties because I think the exact same thing, and I do it in a notebook, like in a physical notebook, I have to write it down, we, we buy like bulk, those little like, half size five star notebooks for the studio. And we all have one. And that's what we keep, like our personal things that we have to do. In the end like it is things like you know, sending someone an email or editing a podcast, or we're instagramming, something that I've been meaning to Instagram for the past three days, or whatever it is, I do create these little, these little two little to do list, which is funny, you call those tasks, and I call those two dues. And I would call the big ones tasks. And you call the big ones to dues. So that's confusing. Listeners choose how you want to do. So you have the big ones, but you do have these really small little things that you have to do. And for me, I do the same thing I write them, I physically write them in a notebook and mark them out as I do them. And I usually a lot myself, either at the very beginning of my day, or the very end of my day to do this, like personal little list. So it's just I set aside time and I do all those like crappy little things that you have to do. And I just get them done. And then I throw away that piece of paper. That's a lie. They're all still in my notebook, I simply turn the page. And I start again the next day.

Kathleen Shannon 33:36
I think I like doing that too. Because sometimes it's nice to have a physical record. I like even doing it on like a notebook that is separated out into some What do you call that like a calendar, but it's a notebook where the days are so planner,

Emily Thompson 33:53
a planner is one of those things.

Kathleen Shannon 33:56
That is the Word says the news. I like writing all my tasks or little to do items in a planner. And it's helpful to see if I need an alibi, you know, for on cereal, and they're like, Where were you the day of this murder? I can be like, Oh, well, I was recording a podcast with Emily.

Emily Thompson 34:17
Yeah, and we talked about this one day, so so a couple months ago, you asked me, you know if I keep a journal, or anything like that, and I don't like I'm not a journaler. And I always feel a little guilty about that. I'm not really though. But we also discovered that that's how I keep a diary is is I really do keep all of these notebooks and like these lists of to do's so that whether it is business related or simply like me like I was in, you know this really great headspace in August, like what was I working on? I can go back and like see what I was doing in August and why it felt so great or whatever it was. But that is that's how I like keep a journal is my little private to do notebook

Kathleen Shannon 34:58
and it's cool that with Keeping a notebook or keeping a calendar, you can look back and start to uncover patterns. Like whenever things are feeling it was in an earlier episode episode whenever you said, I know I need help whenever my life hurts and look at your to do list or look at your calendar and say, Okay, my life was hurting what was what is common here? Is it that I'm scheduling too many meetings? Is it that maybe I don't have enough social interaction or enough meetings? So that's kind of fun. Yeah. Okay, so let's talk about getting it done. So it's one thing to write all these lists, but let's talk about how you actually sit down and do the work.

Unknown Speaker 35:41
You don't think about it.

Kathleen Shannon 35:43
That's what I was gonna say earlier. Whenever, whenever it comes to the readers questions like how do you make time for self care? And how do you get all your stuff done? And it's like, you just get it done? Yeah.

Emily Thompson 35:54
You don't even ask yourself, like, should I you simply do it? That's, that is literally almost the only answer that I can give you because

Kathleen Shannon 36:03
we're all gonna die just get to work.

Emily Thompson 36:06
We're all getting sucked into a black hole. Anyway.

Kathleen Shannon 36:10
Kathleen, top notch. Below advice is well,

Emily Thompson 36:14
this is this is where it really just comes down to tough love. Like we can give you pointers all day long. And we can tell you how it is that we give our to do lists. And we'll give you some more pointers. And how it is that we accomplish it. But everyone is different. And when it really comes down to it, it's not about tactics, it's about doing.

Kathleen Shannon 36:31
So this is what I call my lace up your shoes technique, like so again, working out and running a business are very similar. Want to do it, but you've just have to like lace up your shoes, sometimes that's the hardest part is lacing up your shoes and getting out the door. Once you do that, the rest will follow. And I find the same thing whenever it comes to getting work done. So I don't necessarily always feel inspired to write a blog post or to design a logo. But I sit down, I open my laptop, I go through the motions. And before I know it, it's done. Yeah, whenever I'm really struggling, I will set a timer on my phone. So even if it's just for three minutes, because that's usually all it takes to get started. And or you know, 15 minutes, or like I said earlier, 90 minutes, I will set a timer on my phone and say, Okay, you know what, after this 15 minutes is up, I can do whatever I want, I can check my email, I can check Facebook, for 15 minutes, I'm going to work on this thing. And you would be surprised how much work you can get done in 15 minutes. By the time my timer goes off, I kind of want to keep on working. And so I'll just keep working. So it's kind of just get out of your head like, oh, should I work on this or not? And just get in it and see what happens? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 37:53
well, and and

Emily Thompson 37:53
i think that goes back to, you know, those sort of trigger things you were talking about earlier with, you know, because I'm the same way. So I rarely do use a timer. That's not something that I do often. But I do do it if I'm ever having one of those days where I have a deadline, and I cannot focus because that's the thing. Like that is a real thing. But if I'm ever having one of those days, I'll get on my timer, and I will set it for 30 minutes, and I will start going. And I always work longer than that 30 minutes, because it's just the act of starting that timer and starting doing it. That that's all I needed. That is all I needed was simply the push to do it. And a timer, I think is a really great sort of trigger for initiating the work.

Kathleen Shannon 38:40
So other ways to get it done is to have someone else do it for you.

Emily Thompson 38:45
Yes, delegate as, as my as my business has grown. In yours too. I mean, having people do the little things that take away from your core genius, is what allows you to focus on your core genius. It's not like some magic formula. And it's hard. It's really, it's so hard to hire people and have them do what you already do, especially when you know you're doing it faster than they will at least for a while. But it's an investment as part of the process. And unless you simply find the perfect person the first time it's going to be some work to get them where you need them to be. But delegating is what will allow you to get all of your things done.

Kathleen Shannon 39:31
I think also recruiting people to hold you accountable. And so I'm specifically thinking about my husband, he works a day job as an electronics engineer, but lately he has this dream to design, phone apps and games and get more into that side of developing. And so really, whenever I think about him and what he would need to do to keep on track with his side hustle is to recruit me for support, probably. And so instead of being like, no, let's just binge on Netflix, really having someone who can help you stay accountable to accomplishing your dream. And so if you're currently working a day job, and you can't really afford to hire someone to delegate your work towards work that you want to do yourself, and recruit support from the people around you to hold you accountable, and maybe let your partner know, Hey, you know what, Sunday morning, I'm going to wake up and I'm just going to work on this thing for three hours. And I need you to hold me to it. And I think that recruiting support in that way and letting people in on your side hustle is a great way to get it done.

Emily Thompson 40:39
Yeah, well, look at us, Kathleen. Like, I wanted to do a podcast really, really badly. And we even talked about this in a couple of our first emails. Was it something that we both knew we wanted to do, but knew that we would never do it by ourselves? Like it just we had no one holding us accountable. But because we decided to partner up and do it together? Because like, I decided that I needed someone with me to actually make this happen. It happened.

Unknown Speaker 41:07
To do a powerful, we need to do a whole episode

Kathleen Shannon 41:09
on partnering up because we've been getting questions about that, too. Yeah, it's a whole other episode.

Emily Thompson 41:15
Oh, you want some tough love guys? Let's go. They're

Kathleen Shannon 41:20
not just tough. Love it. Wow, partnering up with someone who's practically like getting married to them.

Emily Thompson 41:25
Yeah. Oh,

Kathleen Shannon 41:26
I love you, Emily. Oh, I love you, too. Okay. So another thing I want to mention when it comes to getting stuff done is to maybe not do it at all. So like, if something is on your to do list for maybe three or more days, or however long seems like okay, that is like I'm so sick of copying and pasting the same to do every single day. Maybe just don't do it. And so I hate being a bottleneck for my team. But sometimes I'm like, oh, but I really want to be the one to design that logo. But if it's not getting done, it's not getting done. So if it's only less for more than three days, I will delegate it or I just won't do it. So one of the things that was on our quarterly goals for a long time for braid was to create a fourth ecourse all around like packaging your process. It was moving from one quarter to the second quarter to the third quarter, it was never getting done. And so finally, Tara and I were just really honest with ourselves, and we said, You know what, we're never going to do this. And it was like, taking it off of our to do list was such a weight off of our shoulders. So if you're not doing something that has been on your to do list forever, maybe just don't do it, there's probably a reason why you're not doing it because you don't really want to, or because it doesn't need to be done.

Emily Thompson 42:46
Yeah, I'm a huge advocate of that. So whenever it was just me I used to use to do it's te uxdux.com. And it's just it's it is the simplest to do system I've ever, ever used. And I loved it. It wasn't obviously robust enough to manage multiple people. But if it's if you're just like one person show, check it, check it out, we'll include in the show notes. But that's one of the things that I loved about that system is you created to list and then you would check things off throughout your day. And then whenever the next day rolled over, it took those unfinished to dues and just rolled them over to the next day for you. And so you it was easy to sort of filter and see the things that are literally just getting shifted from one day to the next over and over again. And and that is definitely where I learned the power of delegating those things that are never getting done, or the power of simply coming to terms with you're not ever going to do them and delete them. Like that's an okay thing, do delete them or

Kathleen Shannon 43:50
delegate them.

Emily Thompson 43:51
Yeah, do delete or delegate. Like that.

Kathleen Shannon 43:58
I think another way to actually get it done and to do the work is to recognize your most creative time of day. And to not waste that time doing stuff that does not serve your core genius. And so for me, my most creative time of day is probably in the morning between 8am and 11am. If I spend that time emailing, which is super tempting, after a night of getting a bunch of emails or wanting to even get in the Facebook group and see what everyone is saying, if I spend that time doing that I will not be properly fueled to do the work that I really need to do like to do that one important thing, which might be writing a podcast agenda or writing a blog post or doing the things that get me client work. So I'm recognise your most creative time of day and don't spend don't squander that time.

Emily Thompson 44:55
Yeah, I agree. I do the same thing. I'm for me. Morning is when I'm most creative. I have a client right now whose most creative time of the day like she's discovered, because this is this is something I make my clients do. having problems like being productive, like look at your day, like how are you spending your day? When are you being productive? When are you not being productive, and focus on shifting your day around that. But I have a client, who recently realized that she's probably her most productive between 10pm and midnight. Yeah, and which is amazing, like I'm sleeping personally. But it like it took her sort of being mindful of that and finding what it is that she felt the most like energized around doing the work that she wanted to do. So the secret to that is, is taking your your most creative time of day recognizing it and shifting that into your daily routine. Alright, so

Kathleen Shannon 45:47
what I finally want to say about getting stuff done and having its do lists, and having habits and routines that really support your vision, is to really know why you're doing what you're doing. So to be a creative boss, you have to know your why. Why are you doing this? Is it really your dream, especially if you're doing a side hustle and spending energy that you could be spending with your family or your friends or doing other things that better serve you? Like, is this really your dream? Or is this someone else's dream? Is this maybe a Pinterest dream that isn't actually yours? I think that your true desires will drive your actions and behaviors and you will be getting stuff done regardless of your to do list. If you know your why.

Emily Thompson 46:38
Yeah, it will And not only that, but knowing your why will also allow you the insight to populate your to do list with only the things that will get you to where you want to be. Because that's what will real productivity is right there.

Kathleen Shannon 46:57
Alright, so I think that about sums it up.

Emily Thompson 47:00
I agree to do lists are they're big, and they can be scary and they can roll your life or you can learn to manage them and get your shit done.

Kathleen Shannon 47:09
If you want to talk more about to do lists, be sure to join our Facebook group and we'll continue the conversation there. We will be sure to include a link to the Facebook group on our website at www dot love being boss calm.

Emily Thompson 47:24
Thank you for listening to being balls from Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. Find Show Notes for this episode at love being boss calm. Listen to past episodes and subscribe to new episodes on our website at iTunes and on SoundCloud. If you like our podcast, show us some love by reviewing being boss on iTunes and sharing it with a friend. Do the work. Be boss. We'll see you next week.

And creating that into your

Unknown Speaker 48:07
What am I saying?

Unknown Speaker 48:10
what I'm saying?

Unknown Speaker 48:13
and blah, blah blah blah.

Emily Thompson 48:15
No, okay.