Learn from highly successful "mompreneur" Deedra Determan how to get more done by efficiently managing your time. With endless emails, cell phone calls, tweets, texts and social media updates, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, but by applying the principles and carrying out action steps found in this video, you will find yourself managing your time effectively like never before.Sign Up to Watch
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-Principle number eight. Principle number eight. Ask yourself if you can say no to something. Uh oh.
-Good segue. Good segue.
-Now Deedra, in my career I've always struggled to say no. My wife knows I did this. I actually committed myself. And my wife's with me tonight, so she can verify the truth of all these statements. But what happened was, I worked at Junior Ach-- I say worked at. I volunteered at Junior Achievement. And I volunteered first, for an hour. And they said, Mr. Clark, the teacher who's supposed to teach across the hall is not here today. And apparently it's very unionized, so they couldn't be fired. And I said, OK. And they were like, could you fill in just for a few minutes. I was like, OK. Well then, teacher's not here. Could you go ahead and just teach? Like, I'm a volunteer teaching business. Are you kidding me?
You know, I won entrepreneur of the year, and I'm 20. So I'm 21 and I'm there. Well then I'd see my wife, and she'd say how was your day. And I'd be like, oh, I volunteered today. She'd be like, all day? Then I'm like, yeah, like nine classes today. And I literally did like every class at the school, because they would just bounce me around to different teachers that didn't show up. And I thought, that was great. And then I would look back, I didn't get paid.
And then the homeowners association, at that very same time, they said, is there any way we have someone who can serve. So I say, yeah, I serve. Well the president quits. All of a sudden I'm like VP of this thing, working for the HOA, fielding the complaint calls, volunteering, and it doesn't stop. Then I get, I volunteered to do the bridal association. Sure, I will lead the bridal association. I will take the oath. And I know you do that, too. And so how do you say stop. Like how do you-- does your husband have to say--
-My husband will say. And I had to learn the hard way. You know, my kids first started school, it's a small school, and so the tons of parent volunteers. And so I'm volunteering for running the auction, and homeroom mother, and doing all their marketing, and running their social media. I found ways of doing all these things. Staying up late at night, not seeing my kids, because I'm doing all these great things for their school. Well that's not helping my child.
-See, you're helping other kids, and then not helping your kids.
-Right, it's kind of that perspective of hey, I'm doing great things for the school, but I can't do it-- I don't need to do it all. So now I picked the things I really get out, I help them with the auction, we make great money fundraising every year. That's my specialty. So I do that and homeroom mom, so I see my kids. And then the rest is, I had to pass and say, you know what, I can't do all that. And they're still doing great and their thriving without me doing everything. There's actually other people there. Believe it or not.
-So necessity sometimes creates people that'll jump out of the wood work to help out there. So right now, how do you determine what things you're going to say no to. Because I know right now, what I do is I just basically say yes to everything until I make my wife so mad. And then I say yes to more things. And then I get her so white hot angry that only her love keeps her from yelling at me. And then I say yes to more things. And then it's just so intense. And then I say yes to another thing. And then usually I'll say no. That's my system. What is your system?
-Well, you know, the older you get, and I think my kids are so busy that if it's not getting me either to my end goal with my business or my end goal with my family, our goals and where we're going, it's not worth doing it. So it's kind of that quick assessment. And I'll talk to my husband. This is something I'm thinking about doing. If I can't help with my time all the time, I can sit down for 30 minutes and give you all these great ideas, and you guys can take them and execute them.
-Now, principle number nine. Keep an organized day planner or calendar. Now did the to-do list here is the daily to-do list. Do you also have a planner that you have? Like what Monday at 4:00, I'm going here.
-Yes, my calendar. And I don't have-- I use just the computer. I use Outlook and then I use my iPhone, just syncing those. So I don't have a written one out. I used to carry one around, but now it's all online.
-OK. So it's all like a Google account where it syncs it? I have found myself recently, because my schedule is so tight, doing reverse networking, which is where I enter a room and I just continue working the entire time and don't acknowledge the presence of anyone else. Which then causes people to not ask what I do, and therefore not generate referrals. I'm serious. This is like an intentional strategy I do. And one of the things I've realized is that gosh I got to create more space there. I got to put-- And I know-- I mean, I say this not to be falsely self deprecating. I mean it.
Every entrepreneur watching this, if you're ambitious, chances are your schedule is going to get vicious. It's going to get nasty. And you're going to clutter it with stuff, and volunteerism, in heroism, and working late hours. You've got to be careful on that. So with your calendar, if I'm an entrepreneur and I'm struggling to build a calendar, or to stay organized for the first time in my life. How would you recommend I start scheduling? What program should I use?
-Yeah, I mean, I like Outlook. I just use it for my email and the calendar.
-You work for Microsoft? You making money there?
-OK. So you say Outlook is something you recommend?
-Yeah. Just a calendar and then it syncs with my phone. And so I put it in there on the computer, or put it on my phone and they both sync back and forth. And I look at my calendar every single day.
-Creatives, let the record show that she is actually anti-Mac like we thought.
-I actually have a Mac, too.
-Let the record show she's not honest about her Mac use.
-There's Microsoft Office for Macs.
-The record will continue showing all these
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-OK. So you basically have the outlook for your Mac.
-Right, for my Mac.
-And then, do you use any other day timers, or just that single application?
DEEDRA DETERMAN: Just that single application, and then I sync it to my phone.
-OK, personal question. How do you schedule time for family in there? Do you put on there, my husband's taking me on a date? I'm going to go for a walk, go we're going to go here. Do you schedule time for taking the kids to piano?
DEEDRA DETERMAN: Yes.
-Do you schedule that?
-No I don't go as far as we're going to go for a walk, but I definitely have all of the soccer, basketball-- they play every sport-- so I have all that in my phone, games on my phone, all that good stuff. And the weekends are pretty much open for family. I mean, once in a blue moon, I'll have a client event, but it's open for family.
-I'm like a vicious soldier that has massive areas of missing armor, where I have some supreme weakness. I can like kill Vikings, but then I have weakness. And one of the weaknesses I have is that when I am trying to build my schedule, people who are aggressive will sometimes get an appointment with me when I tell them no.
-So as an example, I have determined I am not going to do this. And then some people go, I just really need to meet, I just need to meet. I need to meet. I need to meet.
Or someone will call and say, I just really need to meet, my business is struggling. And I think, well, the business is struggling. Well, then I come home and I actually will create a situation where my family is struggling, because I'm not home.
So I eventually came up with this system. It's my new armor. I tell people, I have an appointment. It's called-- well, I have a workshop.
They're like a workshop? I'm leading a workshop. Oh, so you can't be there, because you're leading a workshop. That's right. That workshop was taking my kids to Sprouts to get some organic food. Do you do that? Do you ever have to tell your clients that you have scheduled a meeting, or what is your system to tell someone no, when they're like, I can only meet at 7:25 on Thursday?
DEEDRA DETERMAN: Right. That's a learning thing too, as well, because I want to accommodate and help people. But you don't want to suffer with your business, or your family, and so just locking in this times. So if I am playing tennis on Monday's at 1:00, because I do that, I have an appointment Monday's at 1:00. It's an appointment. They don't know if it's tennis. It's not tenn-- it's an appointment. And I don't move the appointment. I have people waiting on me. So I think you just have to, I can't do it in my schedule, these are the time I'm available. If they want to meet with you, you give them-- or refer someone else. I refer other people a lot. If there's people that I trust that are looking for clients, or have more time in their day in and want that partnership, relationship, then I'll refer.
-All right. Principle number 10. Principle number 10. Touch it once. Basically the idea is, if you hang out with enough top level entrepreneurs, you're going to hear them saying, touch it once. But basically, the idea is if you see a piece of mail, keep it, throw it away, keep it, throw it away, do something, throw it away. There's no like, I'll put it in this to analyze later. There's none of that. So as an example, if you get a bill in the mail, you just touch it once, and you either pay it, or you throw it away. But there's no touching it to move it around to go back to it later.
So real quick, if you get an email, have you ever been guilty of you read their email, it's too much to think about now, so you read it, and you just leave it? Then you come back and read it again. And about the third time, you're like, OK. Do you ever do that?
DEEDRA DETERMAN: Yes. I do get a lot. I mean, I have my email folder, so when I get an email in, it goes to the folder. If it's something I'm going to keep and take care of, or I delete it right away. The stuff that's in the inbox going is stuff I need to take care of. So at the end of the day, I look and go, OK. What do I need to tackle now?
CLAY CLARK: Let's get into email. Do you sync all of your email accounts to one place. Do you see them all at time?
-Do you try to keep your email empty?
-I would love to. That's my goal in life, but it doesn't happen very often.
-Mine is always, I can always get down to zero on Monday, and then like Wednesday, and then usually Monday gets. I'm always fighting that beast, but one of the things I've discovered is people email me crazy long form paragraph questions, where they don't write in bullet point, so it's a full paragraph, like I book, with just a series of questions and answers written in there. And it's like this cornucopia of confusion.
So I had one the other day that came in and it says, I like this, I want to change that, I like this color, but I wanted to change that. Also, I wanted to know if we could meet on Tuesday. By the way, my son, yada, yada, and I really, really love your website. Like, what? Was a spaghetti brain writing this? What was happening?
And so I have had to basically train clients to do this, and it's kind of move I learned, but there's a guy who's very high up in an oil and gas company. He taught me this. He just responds with, what's a good time to touch base? And then he just deals with all the right then, because some of those people write spaghetti brain. And like with what you do, you're used to writing concise press releases, so you think in a concise-- but a lot of people write novels.
-I think I write you some long ones.
CLAY CLARK: I don't think you write novels though. You don't do the like its a verb and adjective noun. It's like a story mixed with an emotional thing. I mean, it's bizarre. But do you ever have a little tricks on email to kind of keep your email clutter down? What do you?
-Yeah, at the end of the week I definitely clear it before the next week. I mean, that's my goal. I'd love to every night do that, but sometimes there's the long ones and you can't get through it also.
So the urgent things that I need to deal with right then, I deal with. Move them to a folder when I'm done, if I need to come back, if it's the client folder. And then delete, I delete a lot. Just delete junk.
-Have you ever found yourself where you basically keep touching the same item, and you never really get-- how do you keep the clutter from building up on your desk?
-Yes. You know, I used to be guilty of that, where I'd get the piece of paper or the email or whatever. I used to print emails if I had to deal with it. Print them--
CLAY CLARK: Oh.
-I know, that was a while back. But it would just pile up on my desk. And then you have the big thing that's overwhelming, you don't want to get to. So now I really try to touch it once and move it on.
-You used to print emails?
-I used to print emails.
-Not only was that--
-Not every email. But if I had an important long one that I needed to look over.
CLAY CLARK: Now only was that environmentally irresponsible, but I still do it.
-You still do it!
-Yeah, I do it all the time. When I get a long email, I print it out and I highlight that mess. And I'm like, I addressed that, I addressed that. And a tree has died for you, quit sending me long emails!
OK, so anyway, moving on here. Now to set boundaries, in terms of just the whole concept of boundary setting, in your mind, what is the importance of boundary setting for your business commitments? What's the importance?
Why do you have to sit down with your spouse and say, spouse, or single self, where are the boundaries? Why do you have to do that?
-Right. I think because as an entrepreneur you could work 24 hours a day. You really could. And there's going to be days that you-- for the ramp up, the startup, that you are working seven days a week.
But at some point, you've got to have that life balance, and get to your personal time. Whether it's with your spouse or your kids or going to the gym or watching TV, whatever your down time is.
-Do you ever feel like a slave to your own ambition?
-I never thought about that.
-Where you cannot-- I know that sounds stupid, but if you've ever seen a good basketball player, they're on fire. They cannot miss for a while. Dan, one of the guys who works here, Dan McKenna, he's a wiry, small Caucasian man. And he just-- bam!
-Bam! He's on fire!
-He just starts shooting, and I'm like, how is he making these? And he just keeps shooting.
I feel like sometimes in business, once you've worked really hard to build a business-- you're missing every shot, and then when you start hitting them, you're like, I don't want to go home, mom. And your mom's like, you gotta go home. And you're like, no, I'm on fire, I can't miss. Do you ever feel like that, though?
-I do. My kids go to bed at 8 o'clock. So a lot of times, I get back on.
CLAY CLARK: No, no.
-I know. Not every night, but a couple of nights a week. And going on there and doing that, it's like you have to-- I start going, OK, I'm stopping at 10, because I get up at 5.
-I had a good thing going for about a year. Maybe not a year, maybe seven months, where I was like, phone in my car. Pfft! Peace! Out! I'm not even getting it. And then I don't know what happened.
But one day I went back to my car. And it was bzzz! And I look, and it was an emergency. Because it's always an emergency. No one ever has-- it's your business-- Clay, it's my livelihood. This is my business. So there's always an emergency. And then I-- it was just an employee, who-- I have a problem with Greg, and I want to talk about it tomorrow. He offended me, and I'm so upset.
There's always something like that. And then so you respond. Like, tell Greg it'll be OK. And tell Rhonda not to call Sarah. And you're getting all in this emotional thing. And then it's 9 o'clock and my wife is-- you can just see the hate. I'm like a Sith. Just causing anger.
And so I have had to do this. And just now, we're talking this weekend. This weekend we're going to go, and we're going to set some boundaries. I'm going to just throw my phone away every weekend. Just chuck it down the road on the weekend.
Have you ever found, though, that you've been to a good place? What's a good boundary for you? You say no calls after this time, or what--
-Oh yeah, and I think you have to do-- we do no devices after dinner. So my whole family, nobody has their device. So kids don't have an iTouch or--
CLAY CLARK: iPad.
- --my husband doesn't have iPad, nothing. Nobody has that after dinner. And it's our family time where we just hang out or watch TV. We love to watch "American Idol", or something like that. Play a game. And then--
-No devices, though?
-No devices, yeah.
-So when the guy says, hey, just tweet this thing here to see who your favorite artist is-- vote for your favorite artist.
-Oh yeah, we don't do that.
-You don't do that?
-We don't do that.
-OK. The show's bombing because of these guys, they're not doing it. So why is it so hard for you, though, to-- there's a lot of entrepreneurs out here, it's so hard to get them motivated to work.
So there's somebody watching this right now who's like, just shove me down the mountain and I'll get rolling. Just shove me down the mountain and I'll start-- if I just get a momentum, I will just go down the mountain.
And other people, though, like me, I'm like, stop me from going down the mountain, here I come. Why do you think that is?
-Yeah, I have that, too. I think that's part of being an entrepreneur. It's that burning desire to keep going. And you have to be a self-starter. You have to be your own motivator.
So those people are the people that are usually successful. But those are the same people that need to set those boundaries. And it's--
-I wanted to get a man dog collar for entrepreneur men. It's just like, bzzz! And I go, what was that?
-Yeah, tasered or something.
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