In episode #20, Wilco shares what he’s doing to get his day back and to prevent being overwhelmed.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
00:31: Just realized that a lot of the times that I’m recording an episode, actually, is because I’m feeling a certain way.
01:50: Last week, I went to the U.S., United States, for a mastermind together with Russell Brunson.
03:25: Do not let others control your to-do list.
03:33: Do not check your email.
04:40: Cut down your distractions.
06:38: You can also just disconnect or turn off your Wi-Fi.
06:55: I plan my hours, day by day.
08:06: So every single time I start a new task, I write it down.
08:35: So I write down all these things and I’m asking myself like, “Is this something that I should be doing, or is this something that I could hand off to someone else?”
10:12: I want to be the voice and the sort of person of the business.
10:21: I’m flying out to Liverpool for a couple days of basically brainstorming with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Hey, hey. It’s Wilco de Kreij here, back for yet another episode, and it’s funny. I actually just realized that a lot of the times that I’m recording an episode, just like this one, actually, is because I’m feeling a certain way, and today, I am feeling overwhelmed, and I figured to just share that with all of you. Not just letting you know that I’m feeling overwhelmed, but letting you know that it’s okay, and how I actually resolve it, because obviously, as an entrepreneur, I mean, a lot of you might recognize it as well, there’s a lot of things coming at your plate, and there are so many things you can do, but just like anyone else, we only have 24 hours in a day.
And for me, personally, I basically have one of two problems. Either my days are not long enough, I need more than 24 hours in a day, or my to-do list is too long. In any case, there’s ways to resolve that, and I’ve figured to jump on this call or call, jump on this episode with all of you to share sort of what I’m doing to get my day back. Because like I said, right now, I don’t know what I’m doing, but the day is passing by way too fast, and there’s just no way I can get everything done that I want to get done or sort of need to get done in time. The reason why I’m currently more overwhelmed than usual is because last week, I went to the U.S., United States, for a mastermind together with Russell Brunson, and because of all the time difference and all of that, I was away for the first four days.
The week’s Monday through Thursday, which meant I only had one day, and then this week, because of Easter, we also celebrate that on Monday, and then tomorrow, which, I’m currently recording this on Thursday. I’m not sure when it goes live, but I’m recording this on a Thursday, and tomorrow morning, I’m flying out to Liverpool for another marketing event, so that means that this week, I only have three days, so that’s four working days in two weeks’ time, which, for me, is insanely … I usually work a lot, I work a lot more. Let’s just say I’m a bit of a workaholic, and also my team depends on that, right? My team depends on that. Right now, we’re like 17 or 18 people, and a lot of the things, I’m still in control. I still want to be in control of what exact features we’re building.
I want to be in control of any exception that we have with one of our customers. There are so many things I want to be in control of, and right now, I just realized that there’s just, it’s just too much, right? It’s just too much, and I think a lot of people can sort of relate with that, and even if you don’t have a team, it doesn’t really matter whether you have a team or not. Just as an entrepreneur in general, there’s just so much stuff that needs to be done, and at times, it can be overwhelming, I think. So what I wanted to do on this call is, or in this episode, is to sort of go through the things that I’m doing to prevent being overwhelmed, even though today, I am feeling overwhelmed, but what I usually do to prevent being overwhelmed, right?
So there’s a couple things I do on a daily, day-to-day basis, or at least I try to do on a day-to-day basis, and one of … First one is to do not let others control your to-do list. So the easiest way to fix that is to, when you wake up in the morning, is do not, I repeat, do not check your email. A lot of the times, an email is basically someone else’s to-do list, right? So people are going to ask, “Hey, do this. Hey, do that,” so if you start your day by checking your email, you’re by definition starting off with someone else’s to-do list, right? So what I recommend you to do is, do not check it until, for example, I don’t know, afternoon, or whatever works for you.
I try to check my email only twice a day. I do not always succeed, and the periods where I check my email more often are directly the times that I’m less productive, less efficient, because I’m just being distracted by my emails. Right? All of a … Sometimes, I read my emails, but I don’t really reply, and then later on the day, I read them again, because that’s when I actually go into my email box, and I realize that I actually read a lot of the emails twice, just because of the fact that I read them first, didn’t want to reply, and then do the same thing over. So that’s super inefficient already, there, so first thing I highly recommend you do is, do not let someone else control your to-do list.
Cut back on your email time. Just have like two, one or two set schedules, and also just, in general, cut down your distractions, so cut down Facebook. Cut down anything else that you find distracting, and I found a pretty useful tool. There’s actually two tools that I use. I’m on a Mac. I’m not sure if there’s something similar for Windows as well, but one of the tools is called Focus. I believe it is Hey Focus, like hey, like, “Hey.” Heyfocus.com. It’s a real cool tool where you can set basically a schedule in focus times, and during those times that you’re focused, you cannot reach any of the distracting sites, so you can add a list of things like facebook.com, Gmail, maybe your statistics, or whatever like new sites, anything that is basically distracting and keeping you off-course, you can add this to your blacklist.
And whenever you are scheduled, like whenever you’re focused, all those sites will be automatically blocked, even if you restart your computer or do whatever. You literally cannot get access to those sites, right? So what I do is, I actually set up a schedule so in certain time blocks, no matter what I do, I just cannot access those sites, and that helps me a lot. Right? A second app that I use a lot is called Offline Time, and it really, all it does is basically make sure that I’m offline, like I cannot access my internet, so whenever I am writing or doing something that I don’t really need internet for, I turn on that app. And when you do that, it’s funny that as soon as I open that app when I’m sort of stuck on the task that I’m working on, I realize that I quickly check my stats or quickly want to check Facebook, quickly want to do this, I quickly want to do that.
And when that app is on, you’ll get a message like, “All right, you’re currently offline. You cannot access it.” I’m like, “Oh, yeah, sure, of course.” Sometimes you even do it without noticing, so these kind of apps, they help me to basically prevent that I’m going through all kinds of distractions, so I use heyfocus.com as well as Offline Time. You can also just disconnect or turn off your Wi-Fi, just to make sure that … It helps if you’re offline, no one else can sort of reach you, and you are sort of in the zone, so cut down on your email, cut down on your distractions.
What else I do is, I plan my hours day by day, so instead of just saying, “Hey, I’m going to do this, this, and this,” I’m actually thinking like, “All right, how much time is every task going to cost me?” And I sort of plan it in like, “From 9 to 10 I’m doing this. From 10 to 11 I’m doing that,” and that makes sure that when it’s like a certain task is from 9 to 10, and it’s 9:40 and I’m still not done, I’m like, “Oh, damn, I only have 20 minutes left. I need to rush instead of just spending countless, wasting hours on a certain task that should just cost me an hour, of course.” Now, obviously, that’s not always working as well as I make it sound right now, but that’s usually the goal.
And once again, I notice that every single time I do it like that, every single time I sort of set up my day on a day-per-day, hour-by-hour basis, and I plan my day, every task over the whole day in advance, and do that the evening before, it just helps me to be so much more productive. So those are just some things that I try to do on a day-to-day basis, but there’s also some things that I do on a more irregular basis, so that would be, for example, right now, so right now I am feeling overwhelmed. There’s not enough time for all the things that I wanted to do, so these are the times that I’m sort of just starting to realize, “All right, so what are all the things that I’m currently doing? What are all the things that I’m writing on?” So every single time I start a new task, I write it down.
I write down, “All right, I’m answering support. I’m answering this,” or, “I’m communicating with the designer how a certain feature should look,” or, “I am doing research for a new feature for viral, for a new tool for Connectio,” or whatever it is, right? So I write down all these things, and then at the end, like after a couple days or a week, I have like a list of things, of all the things that I’m spending my time on, and then one by one, I’m asking myself like, “Is this something that I should be doing, or is this something that I could hand off to someone else, or maybe I could even automate, especially if you don’t have a team yet?”
And a lot of the tasks that I’m doing, a lot of the tasks that I’m spending time on I realize that I should actually not be the one doing. Some things I want to keep in control, like deciding what features we’re adding and things like that. I’m a bit of a control freak, so I think it will be best if I would still do that, but some things, I just do not need to do them. But I just, once time passes by, I sort of take these things on my to-do list, and I just do them, right? So it’s only when I actually, I’m overwhelmed, as I am right now, that’s when I start to realize like, “All right, do I really, really need to do these things?” And if I don’t, I try to offload them to my team, which is going to be on my to-do list for next week, so now I’ve just written down all the things that I’m doing for this week.
And then next week, I’m going to try to offload quite a few of those tasks, again, to my team, to basically win back my day. I’m going to also be more strict to myself in terms of the email and distractions and my day-to-day and hour-by-hour planning, which is going to be good. So next week, I’m hoping to have all my days back. I’m hoping to be in control of how I plan my days. I have not been in control this week, so it should be better next week. So that’s pretty much it. I just wanted to share this with all of you real quick, because I know for a fact that a lot of entrepreneurs, they have similar challenges, I would say. So right now, I’m going to go offline. I’ve got a webinar to prepare for, which is one of the things that I still need to do myself. I want to be the voice and the sort of person of the business, right?
So I want to be the one who is doing all the webinars and things like that, so I’m going to prepare for that, and then wrapping it up, and tomorrow morning, I’m flying out to Liverpool for a couple days of basically brainstorming with like-minded entrepreneurs, which helps me to keep myself sharp, and from the next week on, just a lot of good stuff coming. So, hope everyone has a great day, and I will talk to you all soon.
[tweetthis]”Do not let others control your to do list”[/tweetthis]