Have you ever panicked over not having enough time to get everything done, only to feel even more stressed out because you wasted what little time you DID have panicking over not having any time? Or have you ever sat down, determined to engage with your audience on social media – only to find that an hour has passed and you haven’t accomplished anything?
Don’t worry. It happens to the best of us. But the good news is that there’s a strategy that might help you out, and Kristen’s here to tell you all about it. It’s called creating a time inventory. And it helps you get ultra-specific about how much time you truly spend on important tasks. And how much time you’re really just wasting.
Here’s what you can learn in this episode:
- Kristen’s strategy for beating procrastination and the anxiety that accompanies it
- Why it’s important to assign and designate your time
- The difference between being busy and being productive
- The importance of allowing yourself grace when working toward breaking bad habits
Being purposeful with your time can seem difficult at first. But once you are aware of exactly how much time it takes you to complete tasks that earn you money, then it becomes easier to carve that time into your busy schedule. Having hard facts in front of you should help to limit the stories you tell yourself when you feel stressed out over a lack of time.
Looking for a way to maximize your sales this upcoming holiday season? Then now is the perfect time to download your copy of Kristen’s new Monetize and Maximize Holiday Guide. Inside you’ll find simple and effective strategies designed to turn the last quarter of the year into your best. Click here to buy now.
Thanks for listening! Do you have a question about network marketing? Kristen can help! Drop your question here, and she just might answer it live on the podcast: https://Kristenboss.com/question
Connect with Kristen:
If you’re ready to learn the simple process of running your social selling business online, you have to check out Kristen’s live group coaching program! The Social Selling Academy: www.thesocialsellingacademy.com
Do you have a business full of customers and almost no builders? You’re in need of a reboot! Learn the three skills you can learn that will completely change your recruitment game. Check it out here.
Transcript for Episode #137 Time Inventory:
Kristen Boss (00:05): Welcome to Purposeful Social Selling with Kristen Boss. I’m your host Kristen Boss. I’m a mindset and business coach with more than 15 years experience in both the product and service-based industries. I believe that social selling is the best business model for people wanting to make an impact while they make serious income. This is the podcast for the social seller who is tired of feeling inauthentic in their business and desires to find a more purposeful and profitable way of growing their business. In today’s social media landscape, in this podcast, you will learn what it takes to grow a sustainable business through impactful and social marketing. It’s time to ditch the hustle and lead from the heart. Let me show you the new way.
Kristen Boss (00:48): Hey friends, welcome to another episode of the show. Today we’re going to be talking about something that I know is a big pain point for a lot of people. In fact, it’s probably the number one thing I coach on and talk about the most because it always comes up for people, especially when it comes to building a business or making time for things that we want and results we want to create. So I want to talk today about the concept of time inventory and how you can manage and use your time in better ways, especially if you are somebody that struggles with overwhelm anxiety, especially when it comes to your time management and you find yourself maybe progressing or dreading certain tasks. I also want to say before I really dive into this, that I have floors, my floors being worked on in my house right now. So if you hear some hammering and banging and nails and all those things, that’s what’s going on in the background.
Kristen Boss (01:40): Hopefully it’s not too bad, but that’s what’s going on over here. So, alright, without further ado, this is going to be a short, sweet episode, but still I think is going to be very helpful and impactful for you because I know a lot of people really struggle with time management and feeling like they use their time well. And I’m even going to say a lot of people I think have a sense of time scarcity. There’s never enough and they never feel like they’re accomplishing the thing, the things that they need to accomplish and they’re always feeling like they’re running behind. So I bring up this topic because this happened to me recently. I knew I had a certain number of emails to write and I had a goal of writing three to five emails. And what was interesting is I noticed that my brain really wanted to generalize the overwhelm and the time it would take me to write the emails.
Kristen Boss (02:27): So for example, I was sitting there saying, Okay, I know I need to write three emails today. And I noticed I was feeling resistance and overwhelm and some procrastination to getting it done. And I asked myself, Okay, so why am I feeling this resistance? Why am I feeling overwhelmed? And by the way, this is a really helpful exercise to do with yourself when you notice that you are not executing on something that you say is important is just get curious with yourself and ask, Okay, where is all this resistance coming from? Why am I not wanting to do this? And so for me, what I noticed was that I had this inner dialogue that was telling me that it’s going to take so long and I felt a sense of overwhelm when I was saying, Wow, it’s going to take so long, I have to write these five emails and it’s going to take me a long time.
Kristen Boss (03:13): And the more I thought about the time and the effort and the energy it would take me, the more I created resistance to it, procrastinated put it off. Have you ever noticed that the more you think about a project and think about how much work you think it’s going to take, you end up creating more resistance to the project and delaying it even more. And then the more you delay it, the more you feel anxiety about accomplishing it because you’ve put it off. Anybody? Am I speaking to my people? Okay, so here’s something I did that’s really helpful that I want to encourage you to do. So what I did was I need to get clear. I realized, you know what? I realize that my brain is generalizing timelines and all it’s telling me is it’s going to take forever, it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be super time consuming.
Kristen Boss (03:55): So I was like, Okay, I’m just curious how long it actually takes me to write an email. So then it got me out of a place of dread and resistance and got me into this curious place. I’m like, Okay, I’m kind of curious. I’m just going to write one email. And I set a timer to see how long it took me to write an email when I sat down and did the focus work. And sure enough, it took me 13 minutes, 13. And it’s not just like a, Hey, how are you email, it was like an email with sales copy, with calls to action and really creating an email that would create a result that I would want a revenue generating email, so to speak, 13 minutes. And I found it was quite fascinating that just a few minutes prior to that, I had been acting or thinking that it was going to be a lot more intense than that take a lot longer.
Kristen Boss (04:45): I was like, Oh, 13 minutes. So now what’s interesting is it removed all of the generalization and now my brain was able to operate with data. So now it’s like, okay, if I’m going to write five emails today and it’s roughly 13 minutes in email, it’s going to be about 75 minutes, I believe. Yeah, this is going to be about 75 minutes of work, but I can break that up into 45 minutes and 30 minutes. So when I actually looked at that, I was like, Oh, 75 minutes of work, that’s not bad. I can get that done pretty well. And actually once I’m in flow writing the emails, I actually become faster the longer I stay in flow writing them. So it turns out I actually got it done in 60 minutes because I was staying with the task and I was in flow. I had my computer on airplane mode, I had my notifications turned off.
Kristen Boss (05:35): It was just an intensely focused time and I was able to execute it in 60 minutes. So there’s two things that happened in that moment. I was able to gather data in how long it actually takes me to write an email. 13 minutes from a cold start not being in flow. I notice that when I’m in flow and all of my creativity is going and I’m in my creative space so to speak, takes me about seven minutes to write an email. So I know now the next time I’m thinking, Oh, I need to write an email. I now know that that’s a 13 minute task. And it’s very easy for me to say, Okay, this is a 13 minute task, I can totally get this done. And 13 minutes. This is where this concept of time inventory is actually getting very, very clear on how much time a task takes you.
Kristen Boss (06:22): And there might be a new skill where maybe you’re learning to write sales copy, maybe you’re learning on really getting better at your content delivery. And maybe, because I do remember there was a time when writing a post for me on social media used to take me 30, 45 minutes. Now it takes me less than 10 minutes because of a lot of practice. I’ve honed that skill. And so I think it’s really important to be patient with yourself. And so I was just honest with myself in the beginning, Okay, I’m going to give myself 45 minutes to write a post. But also sometimes I think it takes 45 minutes to write a post because we’re too busy judging the content that we’re writing. And I know that’s true because I talk to a lot of my students and they’re thinking, this isn’t a good post, this isn’t valuable.
Kristen Boss (07:03): Nobody wants to see this, this isn’t interesting, I’m doing it wrong. And they’re aiming for perfection instead of progress. And honestly, even if you did a lot of C minus posts, you’re still going to get better because you are practicing and practice makes progress. I didn’t say perfect. Practice makes progress. So this idea of a time inventory keeps you honest with how long tasks actually take you and it helps you get really clear on, okay, well how can I clean this up and become even more efficient in this task? So when you’re thinking about your business activities, I would encourage you to sit down and look at your main income producing business activity that’s networking, that’s following up, that’s making posts, maybe it’s closing a sale, whatever it is. And you can look at the batch work and be like, Okay, I’m going to close orders or do follow up one hour every day or on Fridays I’m going to do this.
Kristen Boss (07:58): You get to decide how that looks, but I think it’s really important that you have hard data to look at and say, Okay, instead of saying I need to engage with people and this feels like a really huge all consuming task, and you go into overwhelm and you shut down and you’re totally paralyzed and you do nothing and you end up just scrolling. I see you, a lot of people I talk to, they’re just, they don’t know what to do. They don’t know where to go, they feel, they allow themselves to feel overwhelmed and they don’t know how to execute their time efficiently. So they end up just scrolling and wasting time when they’re not intentional. And the whole time they’re telling themselves that they’re working and then they’re frustrated when they feel like they’re spending hours working but not getting the results that they want.
Kristen Boss (08:38): It’s because you didn’t spend hours working. You spent maybe five minutes working in 55 minutes scrolling. So this is another way to just take an inventory of when you are doing the task, get very clear on, okay, how long did the task actually take me? Write it down so you have an honest look at, okay, here’s how long my business activities actually take me. Here’s how long I thought they would’ve taken me before that. Here’s all the stories that my brain offered me before this. That way you actually can plan your business hours accordingly. And also you want to assign and designate your time. Where are you putting it? And I feel like time and money are very synonymous in the sense of if you don’t get time, give time a job, you’re just going to spend it and lose it and waste it. Just like money.
Kristen Boss (09:25): If you don’t give money a job, you’re just going to spend it, lose it, waste it. Wonder where you spend it. You’re going to be like, Oh, is it my Starbucks coffee? Is it the target rungs? You have to give time and money a job. And so it also means you need to have an inventory. You need to know, okay, well how often am I, for example, if we’re going to look at personal budget, how often am I buying Starbucks? How often do I want Starbucks? Does this align with my budget? Same with the business. Okay, how often do I, do I want to be scrolling or not be scrolling? What are the things that actually help me the most in my business and in my prioritizing those activities? And really it’s important that you decide and you’re very aware of the activities that actually generate revenue and the activities that keep you busy, that have you thinking that you’re working but you’re not being productive.
Kristen Boss (10:14): And I’ve said this in another podcast episode, that there is a difference between being busy and being productive. Some people are very good being busy online, but they’re not producing any type of result. They’re not producing new connection, they’re not producing new sales, they’re not producing new conversations. And so if you’re not actually producing a result, you’re not being productive online, you’re being busy. And then oftentimes, if we’re busy without being paid or without seeing a real result, we grow resentful and we think, Well this is taking all of my time. I don’t want to do this. It’s not that your business is taking too much of your time, it’s just that you don’t know how to utilize your time best for your business. If you only had one hour a day, and I’ve trained on this before, if you only had one hour a day, you need to get really clear on really restricting your time.
Kristen Boss (10:58): And when you tell yourself, I’m only going to spend 20 minutes on this post and I’m going to post it, no matter what it does is it forces you to remove perfectionism and get to work. It reduces the amount of stories you tell yourself and helps you implement and take the action. But I think if you tell yourself, I’m going to take an hour writing a post, or the goal is to just write a post, but you don’t give yourself a timeline, a deadline, or an amount of time you’re going to accomplish it, You’re just going to take however long you want. You’re going to be like, Well maybe I need to tweak this, say this. Rethink it, overthink it, send it to somebody, ask what they think of your post. Instead of deciding, I’m going to write this post, I’m going to get it done in 15 minutes and then I’m going to post it and then I’m going to move on to the next income generating activity that moves a needle forward in my business.
Kristen Boss (11:48): Hey bosses, we are just weeks away from the holidays. Before you know it, it’s going to be Thanksgiving and then it’s going to be Christmas. This is the time of year where you have the most potential to truly increase your profits with your social selling business and reach your audience in a new way. That’s why I’ve created a $7 holiday guide for social sellers. You guys, I’m giving my best stuff away because I want you to have massive profits this holiday season. So if you want to go ahead and grab that, we got that at the link in the show notes, go ahead and download it. I promise you it’s going to be worth your while. Follow the steps and you will see a noticeable increase in your engagement, your connections, and your sales. Back to the show.
Kristen Boss (12:31): If you are somebody that often gets overwhelmed in your business, take an inventory of your activities and also do a deep inventory of your time. To keep you honest, I would encourage you to do a 24 hour time inventory. When it comes to a day, it will be exhausting, it will be tedious, but it will be eyeopening and be, and I say this let me give you an example of this that might help you is a lot of times I’ve worked with health coaches before and there was a time where I was counting counting calories. I’m doing other things now where it’s like for me, I count macros, not to restrict myself, but I actually am a chronic under eater, which is interesting. And I tend to undereat protein. So for me, I track protein to ensure I’m getting enough, it helps me feel my best.
Kristen Boss (13:18): I notice a lot of improvements when I’m prioritizing protein and I really work to hit a certain number of grams of protein in a day because it helps me feel my best. That being said, when I’m eyeballing my food and guessing at what the amount of protein I think I’m getting in, eventually I can get to a place where I’m sure I can eyeball it and know exactly how much I’m getting in. But at this place when I’m guessing it and trying to figure it out as I go, what’s interesting is there’s my perception of how much protein I’m taking in and then there’s the reality that when I’m actually plugging it in and weighing the food and doing the tedious detail things, I’m almost always off. I’m almost always wrong. I’m undershooting it. I’m overshooting it. I’m way off in many areas. And we do this with our time because I know people come to me and say, I am putting in so much time to my business, I’m working hours a day.
Kristen Boss (14:09): And almost every time I’m like, I’ll bet you are busy four hours a day, but you are productive maybe one hour a day. And the only way to know that is if you were to sit down and actually have a time log, get a piece of lined paper or graph paper, put it next to your desk works. By the way, this will also show you if your business is bleeding into all areas of your life and you’re like, Well, I check him, check a few messages while I’m switching loads of laundry. It’s like, you have to understand this and I think it’s really important for you to look at your schedule and just take one day of time inventory, be like, okay, from this time to this time I scrolled. And the goal is not to judge it. You cannot judge your time inventory. The goal is to get curious.
Kristen Boss (14:53): The goal is to create awareness. That’s it. I remember once when I also was working with a nutritionist, she’s like, I just want you to log your food. You, we don’t have to say how much, just write the foods down and we’re not going to judge it. We’re just going to get curious as to what your eating habits are. And there was something painful about writing down that I was going to have a cookie or something like that. And she’s like, But we’re not judging it. We just want to get some data to understand how habits are creating current results. It’s the same thing for your time. It’s not to make you feel bad so that you can have an honest look at what is going on so that you can understand why you are getting the current results you are getting. If your paycheck isn’t growing, you need to look at, take a time inventory and ask yourself, Well, am I actually putting time into things that grow my paycheck or am I giving the majority of my time to things that maintain my paycheck?
Kristen Boss (15:47): And I’m, I clear on the difference between the two of those. A lot of people, they have these habits and it gets them to the income they are at and they’re able to maintain their income. But a lot of times you have to take on next level habits and next level income producing activities to get the next level of income. And most people don’t know that. So my encouragement for you today, if you are somebody that struggles with procrastination, overwhelm, and anxiety and not getting tasks done that you say you’re going to get done or you feel like you’re working a lot, but creating very little results, it’s definitely time for you to do a time inventory and to get honest about where your time is going. And I want you to ask yourself, am I being busy or am I being productive? And to know very clearly how long tasks actually take you, when you’re in high focus, you’re not in perfectionism and you’re not overed it to death and you’re not overthinking it, How long does the task take?
Kristen Boss (16:41): Because then if you’re like, I need to write five posts for this week. If your brain’s like, Oh my god, five posts, that’s so many. But when you know, hey, five posts takes me less than an hour, now you’re like, Oh, I just need to find one hour to accomplish this task because you sat down and timed yourself. So time each individual task so you have an honest approximation of how long tasks actually take you. And then take an inventory, do a log of your time and see where you are spending it. It’s going to kind of be doing a budget assessment, see where all your money is going and all those little things just start to add up where you’re like, Oh, that tall pumpkin spice latte, I get three times a week. It feels really harmless handing over $6 or however outrageous the price is these days for a tall pumpkin spice latte.
Kristen Boss (17:30): But however, it might not feel as painful spending it in small increments at a time where it’s like, Oh yeah, here’s $8 for a pumpkin spice latte. But when you do that four times a week weekly, that’s 16 drinks and you’re averaging and if you’re doing a venti and it’s close to $10, you’re like, Wow, I’m spending $160 a month at Starbucks. How did we get here? It’s the same thing with your time, but you have to be very tedious and you have to look at it and be like, look at your patterns and just look for where are little instances where I am negotiating with my time? I’m scrolling. And just think about this. If you’re scrolling a half hour a day telling yourself that you’re working but you’re not working and telling yourself that you’re doing real research, but you’re not actually getting income producing activities done, all those half hour increments add up, it all adds up.
Kristen Boss (18:30): So if we were to take the sum total of all of the half hour scroll time, you did a little here, a little there all month long, how many hours would it be? How many hours would it be where you could be like, Wow, what else could I have done with that time? Now am I saying I want to be very clear here? I am not saying because some of for me, I scroll to decompress, but I do not do that during my income producing business hours. I scroll at night when I’m not working. I scroll for fun. I want to be very clear on how you’re spending your time during your business hours or when you say you are working. Because oftentimes most people, I guarantee it, you are over approximating. Is that a word? It is. Today. You’re overestimating. That’s the word. You are overestimating.
Kristen Boss (19:22): You are very likely overestimating how much actual work you are doing. And I know that because this happens with the students inside my academy. When they get honest, when they get clear, when they follow my goal getter challenge, they become incredibly more intentional. They get better results in way less time because we remove all the fluff that doesn’t actually grow their paycheck and move it forward and move their business forward. And this is why so many people are happy inside the academy. They’re like, I can’t believe this. I actually get to accomplish my work, put my work down, and be with my family and grow my paycheck. And it feels like less work than ever. And I’m like, Yeah, because you’re learning to be productive instead of busy. That’s the work we do inside the academy. Okay friends, so do your time inventory, get clear, get honest, because time is money. Catch you in the next episode.
Kristen Boss (20:17): That wraps up today’s episode. Hey, if you loved today’s show, I would love for you to take a minute and give a rating with a review. If you desire to elevate the social selling industry, that means we need more people listening to this message so that they can know it can be done a different way. And if you are ready to join me, it’s time for you to step into the Social Selling Academy where I give you all the tools, training and supports to help you realize your goals. In the Academy, you get weekly live coaching so that you are never lost or stuck in confusion. Whether you are new in the business or have been in the industry for a while, this is the premier coaching program for the modern network marketer. Go to www.thesocialsellingacademy.com to learn more.