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Episode 12: Time management: How to accomplish more through your team

Time Management

How do you effectively manage your time as a team leader? Nelson and Liz walk us through how they organize their calendars to align with their goals and offer tips on how to stick to your schedule.


Atomic Habits

Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Jim Rohn

Darren Hardy

Brooke Castillo


Liz Sears, Nelson Barss

Liz Sears 00:01

Welcome to the Business Greater than You podcast, where we dive deep into the stories of men and women who have successfully transcended the fragile solopreneur life and built productive teams with better lifestyle and income.

Nelson Barss 00:13

I'm Nelson Barss, the founder and owner of Utah Independent Mortgage Corp.

Liz Sears 00:18

and I'm Liz Sears, founder and co owner of My Utah Agents.

Nelson Barss 00:21

We're excited for you to listen, interact and grow with us. So please share your comments below. And let's get started.

Liz Sears 00:33

All right, today's episode talking about time management for team leaders.

Nelson Barss 00:36

Awesome. So excited.

Liz Sears 00:37


Nelson Barss 00:39


Liz Sears 00:41

Oh, my gosh,

Nelson Barss 00:42

I don't think there's good time management. If you don't have a team. I'm just gonna say it. Time management when I didnt have a team. It was horrible.

Liz Sears 00:50

You just can't. I mean, there's so many times when something pops up the bad time, and you're just stuck dealing with it. Otherwise you lose a deal.

Nelson Barss 00:57

It's stressful. And you beat yourself up. You put these time blocks in your calendar, and you're like, I'm gonna prospect every day from this. And I'm gonna ignore everything else.

Liz Sears 01:06

Yeah, I'm gonna bunker

Nelson Barss 01:07


Liz Sears 01:07

I'm gonna get my snack. shut my door.

Nelson Barss 01:09


Liz Sears 01:09

Mute my phone.

Nelson Barss 01:10

And that never happens. Because there's something else.

Liz Sears 01:12

Well sometimes happens. But

Nelson Barss 01:14

For me it never happened. Yeah, I remember. I thought this so many times now in my life, about how much I used to think I could do in an eight hour day. My ideals. Were like perfect CRM. Perfect client experience.

Liz Sears 01:29


Nelson Barss 01:29

Status calls every Tuesday. Like I was trying to follow the business model my coach gave me without the other half, which is the team.

Liz Sears 01:37


Nelson Barss 01:38

And now I have me plus four on my team. So how many hours a day is that's like 40 plus hours per day

Liz Sears 01:45

When you used to have eight

Nelson Barss 01:46

And we're still not accomplishing everything I thought I could do in eight hours a day by myself.

Liz Sears 01:50

Interesting, isn't it?

Nelson Barss 01:51

Yeah. It blows my mind how much time it takes and how much brainpower it takes to really run things the way I thought I could alone.

Liz Sears 02:00

Exactly. So I like what you had mentioned before. And it's funny because I've mentioned it before, too. But I had forgotten until somebody reminded me about how time management is a complete misnomer. So why don't you share like, why you say that?

Nelson Barss 02:13

There's just no way to manage time time is what it is it moves. Whether you do something about it or not. All you can do is manage yourself. Time management. Really what we should be talking about is self discipline. Self control, self mastery.

Liz Sears 02:27


Nelson Barss 02:27

Self management.

Liz Sears 02:29

Yeah. Which all boils down to habits, honestly. And by the way, I'm gonna put a little plug for one of my favorite books, Atomic Habits. Have you read that book?

Nelson Barss 02:36

I tried it's boring.

Liz Sears 02:38

Are you kidding me?

Nelson Barss 02:39

I'll have to try it again.

Liz Sears 02:40

Oh, my gosh, I listened to it. I was so fascinated. I listened to it again, immediately.

Nelson Barss 02:44

I did too. I listened to it and I was like halfway through I was like meh.

Liz Sears 02:47

Okay, well

Nelson Barss 02:48

Now I'm gonna try it again.

Liz Sears 02:49

You'll have to try it again. Okay, so

Nelson Barss 02:52

You like that book, tell us why.

Liz Sears 02:53

It's one of my most favorite yeah, I've probably read it six times. Now. The reason why is because it really identifies what makes all the difference. And so there was a study back in the day where it talked about how there were like three parts to a habit and the added a fourth one in. And now that I'm on the spot, I'm gonna forget it. I know that the one of the parts is that you got to make it easy, what's good for you, you got to make it desirable, you gotta make it rewarding. And then you got to I can't remember the last one. Okay, so let's just go with those ones.

Nelson Barss 03:26

You knew you were going to forget, you told me you would.

Liz Sears 03:28

I did, I kind of like manifested that, didn't I? So um, so the things that you want to do in your day. So if you want to work out, what you want to do is you want to have your workout clothes already there and ready, you want to have a specific time, and then you just want to just kind of just go right into it. And then create a reward for it. You know, like, after you've gone for a good run, you normally feel good. But most of us will just like blow past that not even pay attention. But like, let yourself like totally recognize that good feeling and just revel in it for a minute. So that's your reward. And so you've got your cue, you're craving your reward.

Nelson Barss 04:03

Like habit stacking. Is that part of the

Liz Sears 04:05

That's part of it, too. So also, if you want to have a habit, if you have one already in place, add something else to it.

Nelson Barss 04:11


Liz Sears 04:11

And so kind of what we're going to talk about in this episode is how to have the discipline, self control, desire, the excitement that everything that goes with it.

Nelson Barss 04:21

So there's some other things that are foundational, I think to time management that will get in your way, if you can't do these things. So one is, you know, being self developed enough to say no to people,

Liz Sears 04:34

Yes. That's huge

Nelson Barss 04:34

Okay. If you can't do that. You're not gonna be able to manage your time, no matter what your goals are, and your priorities are if you let someone else stomp all over them all the time, you won't be able to

Liz Sears 04:46

You know, they have a really good house organizer one time came over and she said that one of the best things to do to organize your house is get rid of half your crap. And so it's kind of with your time as well. You got to really just look at everything on your to do list everything that you have to do and decide what on there, can you delete. And so the first step, like you were saying, you know, the four ds that we talked about, delete a lot,

Nelson Barss 05:07

delete, and we'll talk about that. Also, I think you got to be honest with yourself, if you are. If you run from hard things are hard emotions, right? You can time block the prospecting time all you want. But when you get to that moment in your day, if you are afraid of rejection, you'll find something else to do. So you think it's a time management problem. It's a self management problem, right? That's a self development issue. And I think it's behind all of our beating ourselves up for not being able to stick to our calendar is either you haven't developed yourself enough, or you haven't developed your team enough to even have a chance of being successful of living a managed calendar and planned week.

Liz Sears 05:54

Yeah. And you know, something also to consider is, if you're showing up to time blocks, or even to situations that aren't panning out the way that you want them to, did you truly do everything you could to set yourself up for success? There is so much that you can do in advance so that at that moment, that situation works out the way it should. So if let's use the prospecting, as an example, is for the prospecting to occur, do you already have your list in place? Did you take care of all the fires so that they're done? Or did you set the expectations that I'll get back to you in two hours, I've got an appointment, and things like that, for an example, this morning, I had a coaching call, and my son interrupted me twice. And Brad interrupted me once and I was getting irritated. And she said, Well, you sure didn't set the stage. And I was like, what? She's like, did you tell them that you were going to be in this call? And yet you're busy for an hour? And I'm like, nope. She's like, well, then you didn't do what you could have to set yourself up for success during this call. So anytime it's not working out. Let's, you know, look into that, too.

Nelson Barss 06:50

Yeah. So let's go through some things. First of all, what is the purpose of time management? Why do we want to do this? Or self management? What was the goal?

Liz Sears 07:02

Wait, I wanted to ask that question, because we didn't talk about the answer. I'm totally kidding. So,

Nelson Barss 07:09

I think it's so that you can live your priorities, right? We talk about big rocks,

Liz Sears 07:15

Yeah, like live the life that will make you feel the most happy, the most fulfilled.

Nelson Barss 07:19

And you get to decide that way ahead of time. And put it in your schedule, and then work your life around it. Right. Those are the big rocks, that I think that big rocks, I don't know where it came from, but I learned it from Stephen Covey.

Liz Sears 07:32

That's where I learned it too. And he does that example with the big jar. And he first puts in the pebbles and then tries to fit in the big rocks. And he can't but if you put the big rocks first and then the pebbles he's like, and look, you can not add sand, look you can add water.

Nelson Barss 07:44

Yeah. So if you want to learn more about that Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, great old book. Not that old. It's not as old as me. So it's not that old. Right, but

Liz Sears 07:52

I've been to his house. Did you know that? Stephen Covey's house? Yeah.

Nelson Barss 07:55

When he was dead or alive?

Liz Sears 07:56

Alive. Yeah. There's I don't know, some class or something. I got to go to was pretty awesome.

Nelson Barss 08:00

Yeah. The Stephen Covey was it a fake Stephen Covey.

Liz Sears 08:03

The Stephen Covey. Yeah. We had a big picture of him next to his pool.

Nelson Barss 08:07

Yeah, I mean, the purpose of it, the purpose of it is to live your highest goals. Right? And how could there be something more important than that? It's really, that crucial this is, this is about succeeding in your dreams. Right?

Liz Sears 08:22

I think one of Jim Rohn, I think is Jim Rohn. Who said this, where he says if you don't purposely create the life you want to live, you're going to be stuck living a life you don't want to live. And so that's where this all boils down to is creating and living the life you want to live.

Nelson Barss 08:36

Yeah. Okay, so I think we can break this into two segments. First, let's talk about macro planning, organizing and figuring out how, how to plan and and how to set it up for success. And then I think where the rubber meets the road is living it.

Liz Sears 08:53


Nelson Barss 08:53

And some tricks and techniques that you and I have learned, and what we do to stick to the schedule. Right. So when it comes to planning, what kind of process do you have? What do you recommend for, you know, building out that, that ideal schedule?

Liz Sears 09:09

Perfect. So, so there's two parts to it, I have my regular activities that occur every single week, kind of month, in, month out year in, year out, and then I have the big rocks that I put in as well. And I'll actually reconstruct my calendar once a year where I just delete everything. You know, I've got my old one that I can reference, but I say okay, what are my big rocks I want to accomplish. And so, you know, let's go ahead and start big, big, big picture. Once a year, I re-go through the process of what does perfect look like to me in the seven areas of my life. So I have you know, personal development so everything about you know, personal stuff, key relationships, environment, finances, by the way with environment, I mean, like my car, my house, my office space, you know, where what am I Looking at throughout the day, you know my environment, finances. So that's budget investments, all of those things, and then I have contribution. I have. Oh, isn't that so funny? I really should write these things down.

Nelson Barss 10:14

You'e doing good. We didn't talk about this. You just shooting from the hip.

Liz Sears 10:17

Yeah so, I, so I have these core areas, and there's different ones, you can look up you can even I mean, some people have five, some people have 10, you know, whatever are yours. And recreation. That's one of mine. What do I do to go play and have fun? And so I'll just write out, you know, I'll just free flow, write. What does perfect look like to me? If life were perfect? What would this look like? And then I pick what are some things that don't currently exist that I would like to create this year? And then I figure out, Where am I going to put those in my calendar. And then I also go through so the finance is kind of easy, because that just works backwards. As a business owner, you know, how many closings do I need to have? Which means how many appointments? Do I need to go on? How many calls do I need to make referrals to generate things like that, and then I just block it all out. So then I go through, and I put things in my calendar, I always plan my vacations and my family time. First, everything else, you know, big rocks,

Nelson Barss 11:11

That's why I never go on vacations. I've got to do it first.

Liz Sears 11:13

You start in the wrong order.

Nelson Barss 11:14

I know. My wife is gonna love this episode.

Liz Sears 11:17

Do it, family, family and everything like that first, because business is to create the opportunity to do that at the best level possible. And then my big rocks, and then my regular routine. And then it's just a matter of committing to all of those things. So that's how I create my calendar. One thing that I've never done at the level that I think would be beneficial, so I'm looking forward to having, you know, this coming year, encompass that is really taking those big goals and working backwards, you know, if this is my long term goal, what do I need to accomplish this year, this month, this week? And then if it makes sense to have it be, you know, which day this week? Am I working on that? Or?

Nelson Barss 11:58

Yeah,I was going to say that. I think one thing that I've done in the past I've kind of gotten away from it was just a hopes and dreams list. Right? There's a quote that I love from As a Man Thinketh where he says: "Every great accomplishment was once in for a time, a dream."

Liz Sears 12:15

Oh, I like that.

Nelson Barss 12:16

And so you know, these things, you know, maybe it's not even things that you think you can get this year, or you can become or do with your family this year. But to have the list and to write it down, and to let it just be on the list and to be a dream and to think about it and dream about it. And eventually that becomes, you know, this part of my one year goal, it's filtering down into my list. And then those one year goals become monthly steps, what can I do this month towards my annual goal, and then you have a monthly planning session, where you're using those long term, annual goals and paths to plan your month. Right. And I like what you said about starting with your family and your big rocks. For me, you know, the big rocks. I've been, I've been so focused on just following. You know, my coaching model, the big rocks are like prospecting time for a couple hours a day. Right? You know, this number of client appointments and

Liz Sears 12:30

Yeah. Which those are important, too. I mean, you've got to have those in there.

Nelson Barss 13:12

Yeah. But,for example, I just got fed up with my fitness, or lack thereof, and scheduled with a trainer and it's a big rock. And it's Thursday mornings, Wednesday mornings, with my wife

Liz Sears 13:25

Cuz that's your late day.

Nelson Barss 13:25

And that became my late day because it was a big rock. We put it in. And then we had to shape the calendar around it.

Liz Sears 13:31


Nelson Barss 13:32

And now I go to work at noon that day. And I work till seven, right and meet clients late that night.

Liz Sears 13:38

Perfect. That's what else is nice is to recognize the flexibility that you have in your schedule so that you can prioritize what's important to you.

Nelson Barss 13:47

So do you do you have I love this annual thing. I can't wait to do this. I don't think it's been it's been a long time since I did anything like that. But

Liz Sears 13:57

It's kind of cool. You just do it by yourself, you just somewhere where it's quiet and whatever. And I personally kind of just start with a prayer and meditation just to get my brain in the place of excitement and love and you know, just like loving life. And then just like dreaming. It's kind of cool.

Nelson Barss 14:17

I love it. So then do you do a monthly planning session?

Liz Sears 14:23

I did for a period of time. And it's something that was very beneficial and I actually bought this book that is helping me do like a daily planning and it has built in a monthly so I just haven't hit the month mark yet. But do you do that?

Nelson Barss 14:36

I used to you know, we, I need to do it because the monthly is where you remember to look back to your big goals, right? The monthly is where you're like, Okay, I want to make progress towards my big goal. And I got to put that in somewhere this month. And if that's like, Okay, I have a dream of taking my family to Hawaii, right. And it's Got to happen this year. And maybe I maybe my goal is during the first quarter, I gotta book it. Right?

Liz Sears 15:06


Nelson Barss 15:06

So when I sit down on my monthly goal, I look at that annual goal. And I remember, okay, I've got to put it in my calendar to go meet with the travel agent. And I'm gonna text her now and try to get that happening and get it on my calendar. This month, right?

Liz Sears 15:20

I've also found that for things like that, like you just said, you know, I'll book it this month. If I put it in as a specific appointment, then one of the things has been super helpful to me is that when that appointment gets here, I choose to treat it as simple. Yeah, because a lot of times, I'll look at that step and think of the whole big gotta get to Hawaii, do we have all the right luggage? Do we, you know, what do we need to do to be able to get there? And instead, I'm like, No, today, all I have to do is this. So the whole reduce to the ridiculous. And just make it simple. And if that's too big of a task, then I'll say, okay, then today, I'm just getting the phone number. And tomorrow at 12, I'm making the phone call. You know, sometimes that seems stupid to do. But it's interesting how your brain will sometimes say if I get the number, I'll go ahead and call or if I have to do both steps today is overwhelming. So I'll just do the first step. But the point is to make progress during that time, make any progress you can and feel relaxed.

Nelson Barss 16:12

I think, too. I mean, you don't have to do it all this is, this is what the great thing about having a team is, is you can delegate some of those things. Right.

Liz Sears 16:19


Nelson Barss 16:19

You sit down for your monthly planning, and you're like, Okay, you know, this month, I gotta get something booked for Hawaii. Right.

Liz Sears 16:27

You know, I think that's one of the follies that I have a lot. And maybe a lot of our listeners do too, is that as I'm hiring help, there's still so much habit to do it myself.

Nelson Barss 16:36


Liz Sears 16:36

So I love that you brought that up.

Nelson Barss 16:37

Yeah. you can delegate that to your assistant, would you get me an appointment with the travel agency, you're the one who manages my calendar anyway. Call them and figure out when I can be there.

Liz Sears 16:48

Okay, and I have to totally make a joke here is that one of Nelson's key assistants is named Liz. And so I get added onto his appointments for his Delta flights and things like that. Because Liz,

Nelson Barss 16:59

Well yeah, we actually sent flowers to your assistant, Amanda, who checks your email, or maybe was crumbled cookies.

Liz Sears 17:05

Oh, was it?

Nelson Barss 17:06

To apologize. For all of the wrong emails that she has to deal with, because.

Liz Sears 17:10

Oh my gosh. I love it.

Nelson Barss 17:11

But yeah, that she's trying to get us all to call her Elizabeth. Because maybe I'll stop sending her emails to you. If I can train my brain.

Liz Sears 17:20

That is hilarious.

Nelson Barss 17:22

It's funny. So she does some of that. But I think Cassie would probably do that more. And she's helped me quite a bit, delegating things like, hey, you know, she'll come to me and say, hey, it's, you know, do you want me to get some flowers for your wife? Right? I'll mention something in the morning about a hard thing or whatever. And I'll say, that'd be great. And then she'll show up with flowers on my desk to take home at five o'clock, right?

Liz Sears 17:46

Oh my gosh

Nelson Barss 17:47

For my wife. I hope she's not listening, my wife. Very thoughtful from me. But.

Liz Sears 17:52

Well you know what, you hired the right person to help you act upon what you would have done anyways.

Nelson Barss 17:56

But I'm not just talking about delegating to your team. Why can't you delegate to your family too right? If your goal is a personal goal to go to Hawaii and bring the family and this month and you say to your spouse, hey, I really want to get that on the books this month. But I'm having a hard time getting it done. Did you take that on?

Liz Sears 18:11

You know, that reminds me of a story I was with Shannon, we were golfing one time. And she was just telling me how overwhelmed she was. Because she did. She had a lot of stuff on her plate. And they were going to Tennessee, to Nashville. And one of the coolest things about Nashville is the food and the restaurants. But you've got to book it in advance. She's like, I've been on the phone. I've been making calls. I don't know how I'm going to do this. And I'm like, Well, who else is going with you? Because she had a group. I'm like, well, who's in your group that would find that fun and might have time and she's like, well, so and so. And I'm like, Call and ask her. She's like, Oh my gosh, I could do that. So she did she called and asked. And that person had it resolved by the next morning and Shannon's like, why didn't I think of that? So there's so much stuff that we can delegate like mowing the lawn and cleaning the house.

Nelson Barss 18:53

Piece of cake.

Liz Sears 18:53

I have so limited free time that last thing I want to do when I get home is go scrub toilets. No, especially when I can hire that out for a cheaper price and it gives me more time.

Nelson Barss 19:02

It's the cheapest thing and easiest thing to delegate. Right. So many people do it. There's just a built in way to do it. ironing your clothes.

Liz Sears 19:09


Nelson Barss 19:09

Right. That is the easiest thing to delegate probably cost you 20 bucks a month.

Liz Sears 19:13


Nelson Barss 19:14

And you can have someone pick up your clothes off your front porch. Once a week or whatever

Liz Sears 19:19

It is so easy to do. There's so many ways to delegate that people aren't taking advantage of. And so they're feeling overwhelmed, bogged down with things that don't have to be on the list.

Nelson Barss 19:28

Okay, so I was focused on the monthly. We talked about the monthly and how that's a good moment to remember the annual and the lifelong goals, right?

Liz Sears 19:36


Nelson Barss 19:37

Now let's talk about weekly.

Liz Sears 19:39


Nelson Barss 19:39

Do you do a weekly planning?

Liz Sears 19:41

Yes, I do a weekly planning every Sunday. I kind of go through what's on my calendar, making sure that my appointments have been confirmed or they're scheduled to be confirmed. I do double check. Just all my clients where I'm at and things that I need to do. How about you?

Nelson Barss 20:00


Liz Sears 20:00

And with my family to go through all that.

Nelson Barss 20:02

Yeah, it's really hard. I just remember even as a kid man, we would have weekly planning sessions as a family because when you get teenagers

Liz Sears 20:09

Oh my gosh, yeah.

Nelson Barss 20:10

You have to sit down. Sunday is a great time to do it.

Liz Sears 20:13

We got a big old wallpaper- well the desk calendar that we hang on the wall, still in the kitchen.

Nelson Barss 20:15

Yeah you're got teenagers, boys, Galera galore and everything going on. So yeah. For us. One thing that has really been helpful is we created the ideal week, right? It's just a spreadsheet with a column for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and half our rows, right. So it goes from 7am to 6pm.

Liz Sears 20:37


Nelson Barss 20:37

And we color code it. And we change it sometimes, right. But, you know, we talked about big rocks, one of the big things for me is to make sure I'm spending more than half my time prospecting. So 20 hours or more of my 40 hour week needs to be green. That's my green time. Right? Yep. And that, for me, that is time spent with a referral partner or a client face to face or time calling outbound calling, trying to generate leads, right?

Liz Sears 21:05

Love that.

Nelson Barss 21:07

So we have power hours for calling. We have slots on the calendar. For client appointments. We have enough to meet with 20 clients in a week. And they're green and they're booked as available appointment client appointments, loan consultations. Yep,

Liz Sears 21:21

And mine, It'll say, appointment. And then it'll have in parentheses open in all capital letters. And then as soon as I have the clients name, I plug that in sometimes you have to move it, you know, but at least it's there and it's booked.

Nelson Barss 21:32

And that's what we do too. And what we do. Well, I'm getting ahead of myself, because the next section, we're talking about how to live the plan, right. But for now, it's just nice to step back and look at your color coded calendar. Right? So I use red time for meetings.

Liz Sears 21:47

What kind of meetings when you call up meetings, like with staff?

Nelson Barss 21:50

Staff meetings, you know, and I want to, I want to be able to see very few of those in the week, I want to look and you can kind of see visually, I'm spending four hours a week in meetings.

Liz Sears 21:59

You know, it's really cool. I just learned this last week on Google calendars. Now it can actually show if it's an appointment, if it's designated time, but not necessarily an appointment, or there's like four or five categories. And then it'll tell you how much time you're spending in each category.

Nelson Barss 22:14


Liz Sears 22:14

Cool, right?

Nelson Barss 22:15

It will do that for you.

Liz Sears 22:16

Yeah. And so you use green for money making, which is prospecting and client appointments, red for meetings with your team members. And then

Nelson Barss 22:27

I use yellow for personal family or church stuff, right? So if I have a Sunday is even blocked out and mostly yellow. If I have a concert tonight for my daughter, it's yellow on the calendar. And I want to see how much yellow time I'm spending in the week. I want to be able to sit back and look at my week and say,

Liz Sears 22:44

Is there enough?

Nelson Barss 22:45

Thats not enough yellow time?

Liz Sears 22:46

Yep. I thought you had a color for administrative.

Nelson Barss 22:49

I do in that yellow as well. It's different. No, it's orange. administrative time is also yellow, I should not have the same color. Yellow. So what I had to do was I was just getting overwhelmed with administrative stuff.

Liz Sears 23:02

Yeah, and you got to be able to see where you're blocking that time.

Nelson Barss 23:05

Yeah I want to limit it to four hours a week. And so I put in an hour a day here and there. In the middle of the day, usually when clients aren't available right or early in the morning, you know, before nine o'clock when I can't be calling when I can't be doing this, for things like, you know, just a budgeting meeting with my office manager once a month. That's administrative, annual reviews, quarterly reviews with my loan officers and things like that. But I told my assistant who manages my calendar, that these are the yellow time blocks once they're full. You have to push them to next week. You can't add another yellow time block.

Liz Sears 23:38


Nelson Barss 23:39

You can't delete a green one to put a yellow one in.

Liz Sears 23:41

Especially green. Yeah.

Nelson Barss 23:43

So we had to we had to build our ideal week. No whitespace, right. If it's personal time, it's blue. If it's family time, it's red, doesn't have to have a label, but it's just family time. Right? Or client appointments are the ideal. And, and then my team, you know, we'll book them within those parameters. And we'll move around sometimes, but,

Liz Sears 24:07

You know, we have an admin retreat we do twice a year. And one of the segments we do at the admin retreat is always revamped the calendars. So each team member has their own calendar. And like you said, it's the ideal week. And so like for our finance person, she has her time when she's ACH'ing pay to the agents, when she's running payroll when she's doing the bookkeeping asks, and then she has other tasks she's in charge of, and she loved it because she used to just try to be a people pleaser, and she was always overwhelmed. And now when somebody comes to her with something, she's like, I'd love to help you with that. I do that at 130 on Thursdays, I will call you then, you know, and everybody started to learn how to respect that. So each person according to their task, we say what is your entire job description? And where are how much time do you need per thing per day, per week or whatever, and then we block it all out and it has been phenomenal

Nelson Barss 25:01

That sounds like a great idea, I don't even know where to start with that.

Liz Sears 25:03

You just start with their job description, make them do the first draft themselves. And then we've also told her, she has the right to tell us that we're in the wrong time block and to please call back, because we don't want her to feel like she has to cater to us. But of course, we always have the right to veto and say no, actually, this is urgent. But most of the time, it can wait just fine. For us, personally, you know, we have our same thing, ideal block. So Shannon has some responsibilities that I don't have, and vice versa. So we build that out. And so my colors that I use is green as moneymaking, Orange is all supportive stuff. But after talking to you, I'm gonna split that between meetings and administrative. I have yellow is my kids. Blue is for the family. And then purple is for myself. So I can see if I'm having, you know, self care, family time, Kid time. And that's all that I block out. However, one thing that I was thinking of, and my mind just went blank,

Nelson Barss 26:01

You had the different colors, right, splitting up your administrative time. The reason I did is because I wanted to see how many hours I'm spending with busy work?

Liz Sears 26:11

Yep. And it makes such a difference when you're aware of how you're investing your week.

Nelson Barss 26:17

You didnt remember? That didn't help you remember?

Liz Sears 26:19

No it didn't help me remember. We might have to edit out all that.

Nelson Barss 26:24

Well, so you have you have a weekly planning moment, when you pull up your ideal week, and you look at your current week and you move things around. How does that work?

Liz Sears 26:35

So I actually have my ideal week already plugged into Google.

Nelson Barss 26:38


Liz Sears 26:39

And so what I do is when an appointment comes up, I will see if it fits into an allocated slot. And if it does, then I just plug it in. If not, then I'll see like, where to adjust it. I do have whitespace on my calendar, it's helpful to me to just have the core things I used to allow overlapping appointments. If I knew that, well, I'll just get to that one when I finished this one. And one of my coaches said, do not do that there's a mental thing that occurs where all of a sudden you value less what's on your calendar, you need to have it sacrosanct. Which means that if there's going to be an overlap, you literally cut one of the appointments already. So you can visually see, that's the intention, if that's not what actually occurs, because it makes sense in the moment to to shift it, you know, reserve that right as a, you know, adult and manager, but at the same time if you're kind of failing, or what's the word I'm looking for, if you're not getting the results that you want, because you're allowing things to encroach when they shouldn't, then your calendar can actually be what helps you feel empowered of, oh, I got an appointment. I got to run, type thing, it helps you stay on track.

Nelson Barss 27:50

Actually,it can be a great way to say no to people, right?

Liz Sears 27:52


Nelson Barss 27:53

I'm sorry. I'm booked. And what you have booked might be green time client appointment. But you know, if this is a salesperson trying to sell you an ad, in next years

Liz Sears 28:04

Oh, my gosh

Nelson Barss 28:04

Newsletter, which you know,

Liz Sears 28:06

All the time

Nelson Barss 28:06

Out of yellow time you say I'm sorry, I'm booked, it'll have to be another time or just No, I don't have time for that.

Liz Sears 28:11

You know, Darren Hardy does this thing that I thought was pretty phenomenal. He talks about this guy whose name was Khan or something like that anyways. And what he would do is he called it the Trinity. And so he had, he would split it into four blocks or something like that on his paper, and he would pick what are the top three things I must accomplish this week. And then he would look at all of his tasks. And if his tasks didn't fall within what those top three things were, they went into the black hole, and he literally deleted them. Yeah. And that was what he did for his week. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I'm still not to the point where I think I could do that. But maybe it's because I have not built out my support staff enough to delegate enough that they're handling, what would be on that blacklist, you know,

Nelson Barss 28:53

Something similar to that. And I think we can get this now. So the next section we've got we talked about planning? I think everybody can plan, right?

Liz Sears 28:59

Oh, yeah, its like making a budget.

Nelson Barss 29:01

The hard part is living the plan. Right. And, I want to relate this to, you know, animals versus humans and the animal brain versus the human brain, right? When you plan you're using your prefrontal cortex, you're making wise decisions using judgment, and wisdom.

Liz Sears 29:17


Nelson Barss 29:18

Right. And then in the moment when you override those plans, because of fear, or hunger, or whatever it is, right, this works for diets, this is the same for a budget. It's, it's because you're letting your animal brain your lower brain trample all over the higher thinking that you did in the moment. This is why I think self control time management is really self management. It's about self control. Right? So I want to talk about techniques of living the plans. So the first one you just went over, is this black hole idea, right? It's limiting yourself on how many tasks you can do.

Liz Sears 29:18


Nelson Barss 29:19

And just throwing away the others. Now in reality, they're probably going to come back next time you sit down to do a list you can think of it again, right?

Liz Sears 30:01

And and perhaps some of those tasks should be deleted forever. Some of perhaps some of those tasks in that black hole list or something, you should just hand your assistant and say, here's some instructions or do your best. You know,

Nelson Barss 30:15

I, I like to listen to Brooke Castillo, she's a life coach, Coach, whatever. And she has this concept called Monday hour one, very similar, right? And the idea is that task lists are horrible. If something doesn't fit on your calendar. Why do you have a task list for it? Right? So she sits down, and she teaches to sit down and write everything you need to do that's on your mind, everything that you need to do for the week, and get yourself a big, hairy, ugly list of what you need to do. And then book what you can in your calendar. Book what's going to happen this week, and physically crumple up the paper and throw it away. Right. Same idea as what Darren Hardy is saying.

Liz Sears 30:56

Really? Yeah, it just scares me even to consider that. Yep.

Nelson Barss 31:01

I know me, too. You just can't hold on to more than you can do. Right. And all my life. My process was, I would start today with a legal pad. I would take yesterday's to do list and the 15 things that didn't get done. And I would write them down again.

Liz Sears 31:10


Nelson Barss 31:12

And then I would add more, and then I'd get through with five of them.

Liz Sears 31:19


Nelson Barss 31:19

And then next day, I'll do the same thing again.

Liz Sears 31:21

The interesting thing is, is it okay, if I interrupt right here? Is that the I did a lot of the same things I still do. And I'm working through implementing this Delete. Because I've found that I have a negative roi. My return on investment is negative the amount of energy I have invested in moving the tasks over and over and over pushing them out pushing them out, looking at them deciding

Nelson Barss 31:47

Feeling guilty about them.

Liz Sears 31:48

yes, and it's so draining on the energy. Whereas if I would just cut my losses, delete those tasks that are not going to get me enough reward to benefit me holding on to the task until it hits the top of my list. And if I'm going to be truly honest with myself, some of the things never will. And yet, I'm investing energy into keeping track of those tasks. I like that idea of crumpling them up just like let go.

Nelson Barss 32:17

So some other tactics, some other techniques, because living the schedule is where the rubber hits the road, right?

Liz Sears 32:23


Nelson Barss 32:24

And I really believe in being a slave to your schedule. I'm not saying I'm great at it yet. But you got to get to a point where the schedule is your higher thinking it's

Liz Sears 32:34

You're slave to your habits, anyways. Why not have it be ones that create the life you want?

Nelson Barss 32:38

But if the schedule says it's time to take lunch,

Liz Sears 32:42

Go take lunch

Nelson Barss 32:42

You go to lunch, you don't say, Well, I have 15 more minutes, right. I'm on a roll. Let's keep going. Yeah, exactly. And if the schedule says it's time to make some calls, you make some calls. And you don't you don't override all of that. You don't tell yourself No. It's yourself. Your calendar is you.

Liz Sears 32:59


Nelson Barss 33:00

Right. And if you can't keep your own commitment to yourself, it's a very hard life.

Liz Sears 33:04

Its the whole sacrosanct. And then also, what are we doing ahead of time to make it easy to keep the schedule?

Nelson Barss 33:10

You said that before? And I agree, and I want to get into this more.

Liz Sears 33:13

Yeah, let's do it.

Nelson Barss 33:15

So power hour in our office is big deal, right?

Liz Sears 33:21


Nelson Barss 33:21

But if you show up at Power Hour, and it's time to call realtors, right, I got an hour and a half booked here. Time to call realtors. Okay. Which realtors am I going to call? Right?

Liz Sears 33:30


Nelson Barss 33:32

Where's my list? Right. And then I have phone numbers for half of them. But you know what, I haven't talked to that one in a while. And pretty soon the hour and a half is over.

Liz Sears 33:41

You didn't make any calls.

Nelson Barss 33:42

Power hours done. Next time, I'm gonna make calls. So what we do, my assistant is in charge of making the call list every day, right? At the end of the night. She needs to put the call list on my desk for the next morning. And we talk a lot about who should be on it. She's sometimes she's in power hour with me listening to the calls, taking notes in the CRM. Doing the things I'm promising on the phone, like I'm gonna email you this. I'm gonna send you that she's sitting there next to me doing it right.

Liz Sears 34:10

Oh my gosh

Nelson Barss 34:10

While I'm doing Power Hour.

Liz Sears 34:11

I love that.

Nelson Barss 34:12

And if you really want to be good. Have your assistant load up phone burner prior to the power hour.

Liz Sears 34:18

Yeah, you just got your dialer going.

Nelson Barss 34:20

Yeah. And then because it takes discipline, every call takes discipline, right? Every call takes you overcoming fear to dial. And if it's in phone burner, you click go and there's 30 people there. And you don't have to use the automated voicemail or anything like that.

Liz Sears 34:35


Nelson Barss 34:36

Just take away the discipline between each call. And the likelihood of getting interrupted. Right. If you're on right burner, and you're burning through calls.

Liz Sears 34:44

I mean, if it's ringing, you're like, I can't talk to you its ringing.

Nelson Barss 34:47

I'm sorry. I'm gonna phone burner right. I can't end this session, just answer your question. I like to use phoneburner and look at the number of calls and try not to end my session because I'm trying to get consecutive time on calls instead of three calls, And then end my session, three more calls end my session,

Liz Sears 35:02


Nelson Barss 35:02

It's like 19 calls, 29 calls and

Liz Sears 35:02

Love it.

Nelson Barss 35:03

That's my goal, right. There's a couple tactics, what else you got.

Liz Sears 35:10

A couple other things that I like to do is, I have found that I tend to avoid things when I have taught myself through the way that I react in, think about React ahead of time to the thought of doing it react during it to, like, hate this or whatever it might be. And then afterwards, sometimes you're like, that sucked, I didn't like it. So over and over again, I'm having a negative emotion about it. So something that I've been trying to do more consistently is to do visualization of doing it and get excited about the results I'm going to have. So there, I experienced a positive emotion as I thought about doing it. During it, as I pick up the phone, I'm a rock star dial, the number woo-hoo look at me, you know, whatever it is, make the call, and no matter how it turned out, hang up saying, I did the task. And now I'm that much closer to my next referral. And if it was a referral, then pop a bottle, you know, whatever it is to celebrate, having done it. And so now I'm teaching my brain, that it's good. There's a reward over and over again. And so then it creates that, that craving for that rather than that, you know, resistance to it.

Nelson Barss 36:20

Yeah, we've talked to another tactic is just like you need your team to help you stick to your schedule. You got to commit to them.

Liz Sears 36:29

I love having an audience, because then you're much more likely to show up.

Nelson Barss 36:34

My assistant Cassie, I mean, one of her jobs is to keep me in the right place at the right moment, right? So she'll come in and say, hey, you need to leave, you're supposed to be up teaching that class in 45 minutes, and you haven't left yet. So go, right, because I'll just mingle around the office, and I'm using this time to get to know somebody in the office and she's, she'll come up, she'll be the bad guy for me.

Liz Sears 36:53

Yep. Love it.

Nelson Barss 36:53

She does it with clients, too, right? If I'm, if I'm going long, if I'm about she just knows, I always go long. So she has started just tapping on the door, opening it up and saying five more minutes, and then she'll close the door.

Liz Sears 37:04

Yeah. And so then it's not you.

Nelson Barss 37:05

That other big tactic is this. I was late for coaching call once and the coache is like why are you late, like I had this client who wouldn't hang up. She just want to talk and talk and I kept saying it, I gotta go and and it just didn't work. And he said, Okay, actually, I wasn't saying I gotta go. I was just trying to like, give her subtle clues. Like, yeah, okay. Yeah. Like not saying, you know, how you just don't participate in the conversation. You just stop talking. And you're hoping they'll get the clue? Yeah. And he's like, You got to tell him at the beginning of the call, when the call needs to end? You gotta say, Okay, I have coaching call two o'clock. I can't be late for it. Will you help me? Oh, yeah, you bet. And then they'll watch the clock. There'll be like, I do it now all the time. And they're like, oh, Your coaching call you better end with us right now.

Liz Sears 37:43

It's funny, the ones- The people who love to talk are also the ones who love to help you be successful. And so if you just tell them that that's then they the way that they love, they'll actually, like you just said, Oh, you gotta go be on time. Thank you so much. So it's just about communicating. So helping other people have that expectation too.

Nelson Barss 37:50

That's true. I think another big tactic for me. We both of us start our day. Eight o'clock.

Liz Sears 38:09


Nelson Barss 38:09

Checking emails.

Liz Sears 38:10


Nelson Barss 38:10

Right? voicemails. What happens to your day if you missed that? What if you don't show up till 830?

Liz Sears 38:15

Well, then I'm already in my next meeting. And then I have this like, weighing. Like, is there something urgent that I didn't address that I should have? You know, am I losing?

Nelson Barss 38:23

You're behind all day?

Liz Sears 38:24


Nelson Barss 38:25

Right. You're upset, you're agitated, you're stressed, because there's somebody who didn't get a call back there's? Yep. So I just think that first being on time, even if you're on time, just for you and your voicemails. It just kills it. I have to do it. If I do it, it's a good day, if I don't, it's bad days. That simple.

Liz Sears 38:42

Yeah, exactly. So having routines I have found also that if I do the same things in the same order, that my brain is calmer, and I'm like, more ready to go. Because I feel and I've read a lot of places that you have so much decision making capacity per day. And so if you're having to make decisions even just about your morning routine, you're already starting having used up part of the capacity, something that I love to do in wintertime because the weather's pretty consistent here in Utah is every Sunday I'll just pick out my outfits for the week.

Nelson Barss 39:11

Oh, smart

Liz Sears 39:11

So then instead of having to go and pick you know, my shirt, my pants, my boots, my accessories, things like that, I just pick a hanger and the boots are already under it, you know? And so that like limits my decision making I have to do

Nelson Barss 39:22

I love it. You know there's so much power in consistency I think a lot of us think we're going to be spectacular. Because occasionally we do spectacular things right? And I think it takes consistent little things to be spectacular.

Liz Sears 39:42

Yeah, consistency is more powerful than Splash and Dash always. It's kind of like that story or whatever the word is analogy of the well water pump that you you know, you pump the side and the water will come all the way up and if you stop halfway, it drops down and you never saw the water. But once it gets the top, you have that consistent flow.

Nelson Barss 40:03

Yeah, love that.

Liz Sears 40:04

And so the phrase of time on task, which means you know, spending consistency, doing what you're supposed to do time on task over time, is what gets you the results that are way better.

Nelson Barss 40:15

Well, we need to wrap this up. But I don't want to cut you short, if you have more tips, we were on the tip section living your plan.

Liz Sears 40:20

Right on the tip section. Living the plan, any last ideas on that would be like you had said, just kind of surrender to it. I think that have the right mindset when you surrender to it, don't surrender to it in the I have to do this. Surrender to it in I have total faith in my higher brain when I created this, that I love that I did this for myself that you feel gratitude, for the foresight that you've chose to put into it before. Because something that also I have found occurs is when I make a really great plan, and then I fail to live it. The next time I go to make a really great plan. I feel like I'm wasting my time.

Nelson Barss 40:21

Oh, wow.

Liz Sears 40:24

And so it's kind of like a gift to your future self. On both occasions, I'm giving a gift to my future self of making great plan. And I'm giving a gift to my future self of living the plan. So then when I'm back here, again, I mean, like thank you past self for actually doing it, I really appreciate it, you know, on either side that you're on and viewing it that way, in the moment of thinking it as a gift to me, something that future me is going to be grateful for makes me more excited and more. Like, there's just a feeling that you have when you're doing something nice for someone that's different than when you're sacrificing yourself.

Nelson Barss 41:36

You don't have to be grumpy about it. Right? I love how you framed a lot of these as, like don't have a negative emotion over and over and over again about something find a way to look at it through different lens, right? I get this way with dieting a lot, right? I just get grumpy because I can't eat what I eat. And I feel I feel cheated by myself or.

Liz Sears 41:58

So what if you came up with a ton of foods that are freaking delicious, that maybe they take more time to cook, which is why you don't normally get them or maybe they're a little bit more expensive, which is why you don't normally have them on hand or you know, whatever.

Nelson Barss 42:09

But just the the mindset is doing it with a glad heart, right, like cheerful that you are doing it and you want to do it and you want to give yourself these gifts future gift. Gift your future self and making a positive thought around sticking to it. That's this all about self control. It's just, I think talking about. And I think that's a great way to end on it. This is a long journey, right? Make your ideal week and let yourself grow into it. I don't think you need to beat yourself up. Because this week, you didn't live it even close. It's a marathon.

Liz Sears 42:48

It's evolutionary

Nelson Barss 42:50

You're getting there gradually. And it's a self. It's self development. Time management is all about self development.

Liz Sears 42:56

And I'll end on one final little quote from Oprah where she talked about how dieting in particular, that normally the only experience you have when you don't eat the food that's against your diet is you feel deprived, and it's a negative emotion. And she said what if not moment that you don't eat it? You stand there, and like a power pose of some sort, and you just get to feel righteous.

Nelson Barss 43:18


Liz Sears 43:18

And she's like, and then that you actually have a reward you actually have an experience that you get to participate in so

Nelson Barss 43:27

All right

Liz Sears 43:27

We can do that with everything. Every single thing that we live on ours we get a power pose in.

Nelson Barss 43:31

Power Pose more I don't think I've ever power posed.

Liz Sears 43:34

Are you kidding me? You need to do that is awesome works. You stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, fists on your hips, and you look up to the angle, and shoulders back. I love doing that. Power pose your way.

Nelson Barss 43:47

Hey, I just want to wish you all luck. I hope you have success in your self management.

Liz Sears 43:53

It is going to be amazing. All right. Thank you for listening.

Nelson Barss 43:56

You've been listening to the business greater than you podcast with Nelson Barss. And Liz Sears. Our mission is to help lenders and agents like you.

Liz Sears 44:04

If you're either already a full time realtor or looking to become one and you desire to be highly successful. If you are both a learner and a doer, a hard worker and a total team player. We would love to chat with you about joining our team visit us at business greater than

Nelson Barss 44:18

If you're a loan officer or would like to be one we have a path to help you learn the business and develop the skills needed to lead a high performance origination team for better income and lifestyle.

Liz Sears 44:29

And lastly, if you would like to work with either of us, we would love your business.

Nelson Barss 44:33

Do you have a question for a future show? Would you like to be considered as a guest on our show? If so, please call or text our listener line at 801-871-9130


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