Manage your time and create a winning week

Show notes:

Do you need to get organised in your wedding business? In today’s episode I’m joined by Carin Hunt as she shares how to manage your time and create a winning week. From how to plan ahead, to creating focus days, this episode is guaranteed to help you be more organised and free you up for the things and people you love.

Grab a copy of the Weekly Focus Template

Find out more about Celebration Pros.

Transcript:

Carin: [00:00:00] The other big mistake I see is not actually having a plan for every 10 minutes that you take to plan out your week. You’re saving about an hour of time for the rest of the week. It’s like one to two hours. So when you plan for an hour, you’re saving up to 12 hours of work during your week. I’m

Becca: Becca Pountney, wedding business, marketing expert, speaker, and blogger, and you’re listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get going with today’s episode. Today, I’m chatting with Carin Hunt with 15 years experience in luxury hospitality and event management. She’s now the founder and CEO of Celebration Pros. I was recently a guest on her [00:01:00] Celebration Pros podcast, and today she’s come back to join me here so you can learn from her too.

Carin, welcome to the podcast.

Carin: Thank you, Becca. This has been so much fun doing this podcast swap and just getting to know you and what you do more. And thanks so much for having me.

Becca: I’m excited to have you. I’m excited for my audience to learn a little bit more about you and from you. But before we get into the good stuff.

Just tell everyone where you are, because right now I’m in England. It’s been cold. It’s been a terrible summer. Tell everyone that’s listening who’s also in England with me where you’re based. They’re going

Carin: to be so envious. So right now I’m living in the Florida Keys. So it’s a string of island off the tip of Florida, kind of down close to the Bahamas.

And we’re only 90 miles away from Cuba. So pretty much in the Caribbean. And right. I actually got a notification on my phone yesterday and a phone call because there’s a heat advisory and the heat [00:02:00] advisories have been as high as like 114 degrees. So, while it might be very cold where you are, it is like, we’re actually staying inside quite a bit right now.

Normally, in the summer, we would be like, out and about voting and on the beach and stuff. But yeah, so right now it’s a little too hot. So, towards maybe. Yeah. It’s at the end of September. Come and visit.

Becca: Absolutely. We love Florida. So basically for us, you’re living in a honeymoon destination because the Florida Keys is the kind of place people go on honeymoons and you’re lucky enough to live there.

So we can all imagine you now sat on a beach recording this podcast or actually inside because of your heat advisory. Now I’ve got another question for you, Karen, because as I was preparing for this podcast, I was reading up. Your bios and having a look over all of the stuff. And one thing caught my attention, which I know people are going to love, and I just need to understand it a little bit more.

So in your bio, you talk about celebration pros and how you’re helping wedding professionals in all different aspects. And then you say this [00:03:00] sentence, which I love through application of champagne. Logic. Now, I absolutely love champagne. Explain to me and the pros listening, what is champagne logic and how can we all have it?

Yeah,

Carin: absolutely. So in the wedding industry, you know, we’re in the exclamation business, right? The exclamation point business, we’re in a celebration business. And that’s really where the name of the company comes from. And when you think celebration, you of course think, how do we celebrate? We always celebrate with a bottle of champagne and Champagne Logic is the way that I approach anybody’s business, and I think it’s a way of having fun in business because that’s the whole reason why we’re doing this, right?

We did it to be able to create something of our own that we love. It’s all passion projects, but we also want to make sure that we’re doing it in a way that is lucrative and, you know, and also helping others while we’re building our own kind of empire. So with Champagne Logic, we go through pop, fizz, and clink.

So we popped the bottle off of your business. [00:04:00] We, I can kind of go through audit your business, see where you’re at, see where maybe there might be some gaps in your mindset and start applying. It’s more of a mindset based step in, in everything. I always say you want to match the woo with the work, and then that’s when you’re going to see results.

So that’s really where we start is kind of a big audit on your business and your personal mindset. Then we get into the fizz of things and the fizz is all the details that run your business. So the strategies, the platforms, the apps, or lack thereof that might be pushing your business along and helping you run the functions, the day to day tasks.

So we look at those and we see how can we streamline the fizz, the meat of your business. So that again, we can match the woo with the work. And then the clink is when we’re able to clink glasses with others in our industry and really start working on what I use as a low cost marketing strategy. So that you’re not having [00:05:00] to think about all of the ways that you can spend your money on marketing, but actually the ways that you can step out.

You know, from behind your desk and behind your logo and get to know the people within your industry and in turn start getting those beautiful referrals that match the brand of your

Becca: business. I absolutely love that. Any business analogy that is based around champagne. is just fabulous and so easy to remember.

So I think we all need a little bit more champagne logic in our minds. Now, the subject that you’re going to talk with us about today is something that sometimes might not feel like the sexiest thing to talk about. Might not be what people think top of mind when we talk about marketing and business and all the good stuff, but it is actually something that people need a lot of help with.

And that is scheduling planning. And calendars, because we know that wedding pros have incredibly busy lives. They’re spending a lot of time on, you know, replying to inquiries, administration, all [00:06:00] of this stuff. And they’re just overworked. So why is it that you think this is a topic that they should be paying attention to?

And

Carin: you’re absolutely right. A lot of, many of us in this industry are We at least start as solopreneurs and I think the majority kind of stick as a solopreneur, maybe a little bit afraid to let the reins out a little bit. And what happens is we leave the actual workforce of a nine to five job, or we leave the idea of a workforce nine to five job to start our own.

And what happens is. Instead of working 40 hours a week, we’re working 80 hours a week, right? Because we’re doing all the things when you work for a corporation, you have an HR department and a marketing department and you know, the housekeepers and all of the different things. And When you’re a solopreneur, you get to wear all those hats and it gets to be quite heavy, right?

So what, what [00:07:00] I like to do is to look at your week in a way that we are prioritizing the things that actually move you forward. Uh, Pareto’s principle, 80 20 rule. 20% of what you do is 80% of your results. So we want to look at. The 100% of your business and what’s that 20% that’s moving you forward. And that’s what we’re going to implement into your week today.

We’re going to actually, I’m going to give you like the to do’s as we move forward.

Becca: I’m excited. So you’re going to teach us all today how to have a winning week. So before we get into the how, I’d love to just to understand, to help people see where they’re at with this. What are some of the mistakes to start with you see wedding pros making when it comes to planning, scheduling, planning out their weeks?

Carin: A lot of us stay stuck in the 80% of the things that aren’t moving us forward. We’re in our emails where on social [00:08:00] media, we’re kind of stuck in analysis paralysis. Like a lot of that. I always said it would be really interesting to go back and like. audit, like, like be a fly on the wall for the days when I was a wedding planner and be like, how much were you actually working during the time that you sat in the office?

Right? How much were we actually putting towards the things that were moving us forward? And then how much of that was kind of like just sifting around in your business instead of actually doing the work? Um, and it’s something I hear a lot where. Where people are just saying, they’re like, I don’t know where to go from here.

I’m just kind of spinning my wheels and we’re not really doing anything. The other big mistake I see is not actually having a plan when you take 10 or for every 10 minutes that you take to plan out your week, you’re saving. About an hour of time for the rest of the week, it’s like 1 to 2 hours. So when you plan for an [00:09:00] hour, you’re saving up to 12 hours of work during your week.

So there’s so much investment in that time of actually having a planner. And so often we’re just like. day to day. You don’t really know what’s happening the next day. We’re not feeling prepared and everything just feels unorganized and we don’t know why. And that would be wise. We’re not planning ahead.

Becca: Okay. So we’re not planning properly or we’re thinking we’re too busy to plan, but actually what you’re saying to us is if we plan, we’ll get more time back in productivity,

Carin: right? Correct. Or more time to live your life.

Becca: Yeah, that is true. We don’t have enough of that either. Now, I know that wedding pros tend to just fall into the trap of I’ve got loads to do, I’m just going to write the biggest to do list in the world.

And I have been on calls with people where they show me their to do list and it’s pages and pages long and they’re so stressed out and they’re so overwhelmed. Is this what we should be doing? Tell us what we should be doing. What is the first steps towards [00:10:00] creating a winning week?

Carin: So… I think a lot of people might say like, throw away your to do list and work on your priorities.

And I think that a lot of times as creatives, we have some really brilliant ideas and they might not just be for like right now, but it might be something, a great idea for the future. For an example, I’ve always thought that hosting a directory in my area, because I’m in the Florida Keys and I don’t think we have a very strong directory.

That really represents the Florida Keys here. And when people are booking in the Florida Keys, they’re looking at this specific destination. And a lot of times, the keys, because it is You know, it’s a small area. It gets lost in those larger directories that we see like on wedding pro. So I really wanted to create this niche thing and I don’t have the capacity for it right now, but it’s a great idea.

Maybe someone will run with it when they hear me, but I, I have it on the back burner. It’s on a to do list, but that to do list is not on my desk. [00:11:00] All those ideas and those to do’s that don’t matter for the goal I have in front of me at the moment, they’re not in front of me, but I do keep a to do list.

Sometimes it’s in the note section of my phone. Sometimes it’s on a spreadsheet on my computer, but when you have that like hundred, you know, points to do list in front of you. That’s extremely overwhelming. And what happens is you no longer prioritize, you start picking the easy things or the things that feel good in the moment.

And those aren’t necessarily the things that are going to move you forward towards your current goal.

Becca: Okay. So it’s okay to have a list, but we don’t necessarily need to have that list in front of us at all times. It’s okay to have a list of things to come back to and list of things that we’re actively working on at the moment.

Now you talked a moment ago about how people spend a lot of time on things that aren’t necessarily moving. our businesses forward. So how do we start identifying out of all those tasks that we’re doing on a regular basis [00:12:00] each week, each month, each year? How do we start by identifying where we’re wasting time or where we’ve got weaker habits that are going on and things that aren’t moving our business forward?

Sure.

Carin: So what I call these activities are income producing activities, IPAs. So right now I’m working on my summit and It doesn’t serve me to also be planning my live panel for next, uh, for the next quarter. It only serves me right now to be working on my summit because the summit is the goal ahead of me.

And so my to do list for launching my live panel in the quarter, it’s It’s there, but it’s not in front of me right now because if I start working on that, it shifts my focus and the summit isn’t going to do as well. So hopefully that makes sense. We want to just really hyper focus on what’s in front of us.

An example, say [00:13:00] you’re a photographer and it’s slow season and instead of focusing on the meat of your business, the fizz of your business. You’re focusing on how can I gain more clients right now? I need, I need that extra dollar right now. And until you actually get the structure of your business down and streamlined and you get your marketing plan in place, just kind of throwing out feelers and hoping that you’re going to, to get a lead that’s going to book might not actually be the thing that’s going to be your ultimate income producer right now.

So really figuring out what is the thing that’s going to move my, my business forward. Immediately, that’s what your focus should be on. So

Becca: we need to be focusing on things that are moving our business forward, that they’re going to produce some income for us, and we need to shed some of the activities that are just like being on a hamster wheel and we’re just doing for the sake of it thoughtlessly.

So I know that you’ve put together a [00:14:00] resource that my listeners can grab. So talk me through this resource. What is it? How’s it going to help people and how can they actually practically

Carin: use it? Yeah, and I actually, I use it myself. I actually have mine in front of me right now. Over time, you may just have, you may just have this.

As like your go to North Star for your week. But what I like to start with is this template and then you continue to use it weekly until you have it honed to a point that you feel like it’s again your North Star like it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s it’s always the same. So and people ask me that they’re like is does your week.

Do your weekly themes stay the same? And so most of the time they do, they recently shifted and I redid it. And so this is something that is fluid with the journey of your business. Basically what the weekly focus planning template will do for you is it will take your week and each day give [00:15:00] you a specific focus.

And for each focus, you think of the priorities that help you move that focus forward. So, Like, how often have you spent, like, hours? Say you’re in your website and you’re just like messing around in your website. And the next thing you know, it’s like 2am and you’re like, Oh my gosh. And we don’t want that to happen, right?

Especially on a day where maybe your focus was something else. And I’m going to be honest because I’m human. Yesterday I went down a whole rabbit hole of a new, like free resource. And I even messaged my business bestie and I was like, Girl, I just have to tell you this because I need someone to snap me out of it.

That’s why it’s great to have an accountability partner. But it really, it really helps to give you a snapshot of, okay, what are we doing today? And I, and that happens too a lot, right? We sit down and we’re like, what are we doing today? I don’t know. I’m just going to get into my email. And then you get lost in your email, just like you got lost in your website or a blog post or whatever it was.

So to give you an [00:16:00] example, there’s two days I think everyone should have, and that is your CEO day and that is your planning day. My CEO day is on Monday. Now I’m going to tell you my, my big work days are Monday through Friday. When I was a planner, my big work days were Tuesday through Saturday. So.

You’re going to be able to form this to whatever profession that you have. And I know a lot of times, especially in the event industry, you’re going to see that you might have to shift days based off of when you have events. You might have to shift priorities. You may have to even look ahead and say, September is insane for me.

So I need to make sure that I have specific priorities. For the summer, so that when we start going into fall and things are getting busier, those things are already in place and maybe automated and those kinds of things. But back to the template. So, when you look at the template at the top, you’re going to be able to fill in some dates.

And then there’s a spot that says work hours. And I like to say, how many hours do you want to work a day? [00:17:00] And not how many are you working or how many like you think is realistically possible, but how many do you actually want to work a day and as creative entrepreneurs, we want to work. We want to be in our passion.

But do we want to be in our passion 12 hours a day every day? I don’t think so. We typically have families or or her hobbies or personal lives and friends that we want to spend more time with. So I like to work no more than 5 hours a day. I typically work. Kind of around like nine to one ish. And then there are certain days like my weekend, which my weekend is your typical Saturday, Sunday, again, your weekend might be, look a little different.

I work one to two hours, so I do work every single day. And the reason why is because I’m not working in. Large chunks of time through the week, so it doesn’t feel cumbersome to take an hour or two on my weekend to put into my business. And then I don’t feel like Monday is my catch up. Right? Everyone says, like, oh, I’ve got the case of the [00:18:00] Mondays.

Oh, it’s Monday. Oh, I have to go back to work. You don’t have to feel that way because you actually feel good moving forward. It’s more of a flow instead of a stop start situation. So my Monday focus is my CEO day. Yeah. And what is CEO day? Well, this is when I get to be the boss. This is when I get to pull up my CEO pants, and I get to do the things that a CEO would do.

So this is where I’m updating my finances. And let me tell you, doing it every single week and looking at your finances every single week, It makes it so much less daunting. Imagine looking at your finances like once a quarter and realizing it went all wrong. Like that’s like, oh my gosh, like heart in your stomach or looking at your finances and seeing that things were going really well and then realizing that you could have done even more.

Like you don’t want that to happen. You want to make sure that you’re very aware of where you stand financially at any point in time, especially as the CEO and having the time, cause I know it sounds daunting, but having like a day in a specific time that you do that, it’s like, that’s just going to become [00:19:00] natural.

This is also a time that I look over data and my system. So I’ll look at my email marketing. How did my campaign go last week? I’ll look at my social media. Was there like a specific post that everybody was loving or a podcast episode that everyone was loving? Um, so I look at, I look at my data and kind of do some analyzing there.

And then the last thing I do is check in with my team. And while I am a solopreneur, this is when I’m checking in with my business bestie, because she’ll say, Hey, did you get this done? You said you were, you were going to take care of it. week, I check in with my resources because a lot of my resources have customer support behind them.

So if I’m realizing that one of my resources isn’t working correctly, like I recently had a contract that something funky was going on, I wasn’t able to countersign it Monday. I’m going to go in and say, did, um. I’m going to go in and ask customer support. Is there something that you can fix with this?

They were able to fix it for me on Monday, and I was able to move forward with my contract. So, even though you might feel [00:20:00] like a solopreneur, you have CRM systems, you have, um, scheduling systems, you have people who work alongside you constantly. Maybe it’s, uh, if you’re a wedding planner, maybe you have, or a florist or a rental company, maybe you have contracted help That you need to reach out to and just touch base and say like, Hey, are you prepared for our wedding that we have this Thursday or our event that we have this Thursday or the project that we’re working on?

So that’s what CEO day looks like. And when you get your finances updated, you’ve reviewed your data and you’ve checked in with your team, you can go to bed feeling like you got some stuff done. You notice how I didn’t check in on my 100 tasks to do list. Like that wasn’t a part of my day. And then for planning planning is the other day that I think is so important and planning, I do this on Sundays.

I think your planning day should be in and out of business because when you’re able to batch things, you get it done so [00:21:00] much faster. For example, what I do is I reflect on the last week and I forecast for the week ahead. And when I do that, I’m not looking just at my business calendar. I’m also looking at my personal calendar to make sure nothing’s overlapping that my son’s doctor appointment.

Isn’t at the same time as a podcast interview or an appointment or a meeting. So it’s really important to actually look in and out of business when you’re doing that. Also prepping for upcoming meetings. If you have, maybe you have a tasting or a, an intro call, or like I do a lot of podcasts, podcasts that’s coming up.

Is there anything that I can prep for upcoming meetings so that they can go smoother and just check in and make sure everybody is aware that it’s happening and confirmed. And then, uh, and then I do meal prep because prepping for your week with meals, oh my gosh, I mean, that alone, if you take one thing away and I know it doesn’t sound like it’s a business thing, but when you’re working, whether [00:22:00] you have a big project where you’re just in it all day, whether that be a, you know, an event or elsewhere or halfway through the day, you’re hungry or, It’s lunchtime, like just the most basic things, what, what you’re making sure that you’re consuming enough water, hydration, what type of energy that you have available to you.

So I say all of this because when you don’t have those things in place, next thing you know, you’ve spent 30 minutes in front of the refrigerator or it’s like two o’clock and you are hangry and you’re about to go into a meeting. And you don’t show up the way that you want to. So meal prep is huge. So Sunday is reflection, forecasting, prep for upcoming meetings and meal prep.

So hopefully that just gives you an idea of how theme days can really help. You move forward and feel focused for your week.

Becca: I love that. And I think especially the CEO day is something I need to implement more myself. I know definitely a lot of the pros listening definitely need to implement it themselves [00:23:00] because again, I have conversations with people and they’re like, I haven’t looked at my finances all year cause I don’t want to look at it.

Whereas actually doing it each week, getting into the habit. is incredibly helpful sometimes. So I think people are going to come up against that thing. Well, I just don’t have time to do those things because I’m so busy. Like. Is it going back to what we said before that putting these things in now and planning ahead will actually help us with our time management going forward?

Carin: Yeah. So again, the time that you’re spending planning is so minuscule compared to the time that you save throughout the week. So like, what would you do with 12 hours, like 12 extra hours? You know, there’s, there’s so many things that you could fill that space in with. Um, that, that could be. It could either, you know, fill your, your passionate heart.

Uh, it could bring in more business. It could be used for more connections. It could be used to spend time with a hobby. I just got a, a watercolor set that I’m really excited to dig into. I’ve been doing like art and gardening and I was never [00:24:00] able to do that when I worked my corporate job or when I was even a wedding planner myself, because I didn’t know that this was possible.

And then once I started implementing. this strategy, I now have time for all of that. I have something I do with my son every day. We do, we theme out our days, uh, ourselves, like Monday, we go to the library and play Legos. And like, I have that as part of my schedule and I never would have been able to spend this time with my son.

He’s three and a half and like, It would have been so sad if he turned like eight and I never got these opportunities to enjoy him. And this can be applied to spending time with your friends or yourself or personal projects, you know, around the house and that kind of thing. And I say this because I know that we’re talking about business, but The reason why we’re in our passions is so that we can enjoy life and live beautifully.

And I think that there’s a way, I don’t think it’s a balance. I think it’s a harmony. And you’re going to find times where you’re going to [00:25:00] have a busier season and you’re going to have to put 80% of your time into your business and 20% of time into your personal life. And that’s okay too. I just want you to know that, but having a structure like this.

really helps you to identify that ebb and flow and to bounce back into a little bit more of, you know, I hate saying balance because that means everything’s 50 50 all the time and that’s just not the case, but it does give you that flexibility. And when, when you download the template, I actually give a lot of different options for the different types of theme days.

So there are examples in there so that you can kind of round out your week. But CEO and planning is really the biggest thing. Oh, and one other thing I wanted to mention is when you’re looking at your to do list, so you have your to do list in front of you, there’s your hundred items. What I want you to do is think about your current goal and highlight all the items.

Highlight all the items that are going to help move that goal forward and then everything else you can decide. Can you delegate and automate any of those? [00:26:00] Can you put any of those on the back burner? Like, they’re just not important right now, but maybe they’re important down the line. And is there anything you can eliminate?

This board back here is like, sometimes it’s my idea board. And there was one day where I had like 20 ideas on it and I literally scratched them all. I’m like, I, this isn’t, this isn’t helping me. And that’s okay to do that. So that’s, um, that’s the best way you’re going to delegate and automate. Put on the back burner.

for future, maybe the side burner rather. Um, and then what can you

Becca: eliminate? So then within your days, do you plan by the hour? Do you give everything a time slot? If you’re, so say you’re in wedding planning mode rather than your current business mode, and you’ve got this whole load of stuff to do, would you plan it?

Like, I’m going to do this between this time and this time, and then I’m going to do this between this time and this time. How would you make that work?

Carin: I do. So the weekly focus planning template is like step one. It’s like you’re, you’re just kind of putting your toes in the water. And, uh, [00:27:00] and it’s, it’s basically your awareness around what your schedule could be like.

And you’re absolutely right, Becca, you’re going to time block from there. So I use, I have my trusty planner here and I was actually introduced to this planner from my coach. So if anybody’s interested in a link to the planner, I’d be happy to pass it out. But basically what it does is it time blocks from 5 a.

m. to 10 p. m. every day. Of course, there’s a little area for gratitude and affirmations and notes and things like that, but there’s also a spot for your three priorities. So again, kind of matching the template, we’re still looking at what our three priorities are every day. So at the top of the page, um, I’m able to put what my theme for the day is, and then I’m able to break things down.

This also gives you time to put intention around your morning routine. What does that look like? And it gives you time. Then, then the next thing I do after morning routine is I look at my schedule and I’m like, okay, what do I have coming up today? Let’s fill in what those meetings are. And [00:28:00] then around that, I’m able to drop in what my priorities around my theme look like.

So, yeah, it’s, it, it really helps when you time block and then you keep that next to you all day. You bring it with you, whatever it is. And I like to highlight as I go along just to make sure I get everything

Becca: done. Fabulous. So you are super organized. You’ve got it all down day by day, hour by hour. But I think it’s important for people who are listening, even to just do some of this, because we do waste so much time.

And as you said, very honestly, at the beginning, we can end up down these rabbit holes and we can end up doing loads of stuff that isn’t moving our business forward, or isn’t going towards the goal that we’re working to. Whereas when we do break it down and we plan out our time, we feel less overwhelmed.

We have more space and we feel on top of it so that we’re running our business rather than our business is running. Now, there’s two areas where I think wedding professionals can waste a lot of time through their days and through the weeks. And I would love to just get your thoughts if you’ve got any ideas on each of these.

So the first one is email [00:29:00] inbox. And by email inbox, I mean all communication. It might not be traditional email. It could be Facebook messenger, Instagram messenger, WhatsApp, you know, our clients are messaging people like each other out. In all day long, all over the place, like, how do we get on top of this so we don’t just spend all of our time going backwards and forwards to all these messages?

Carin: Okay, so there’s a different approach when we’re looking at email and and then social media. And my approach to email is probably not. There might be some, some people who think that this isn’t the way to do it. This is what works for me. So when I every morning I go in my inbox and I delete anything that’s not relevant.

And I unsubscribe from any junk mail. It’s the 1st thing I do and I, a lot of people say, don’t go into your email 1st thing. So, I think what happens is you have to have a lot of self control to not open the other, the other email. So, if that’s you and you have no self control and you [00:30:00] do get lost easily in your inbox.

I would just schedule a time of when you’re going to do your emails. So have like an hour where you can kind of pull that inbox down. But definitely anything that’s spam mail, unsubscribe. Anything that’s not serving you, unsubscribe. Because That’s just adding and when you open up your inbox and it says that you have, you know, I don’t know, put in the number that makes your anxiety go up that many emails that it’s against again, that analysis paralysis, you just sit there and you’re like, which email do I tackle first?

You know? And what I found is, um, I’m like, I’m a part of Toastmasters and they just submitted, I’m the VP of education and everyone just submitted to me what their goals are for the year because their fiscal year starts in July. So I have all of their goals sheets, and they’re all sitting in my inbox, but I know I’m like, okay, that’s all one task, even though it’s like 10 emails.

I know it’s all one task. I know that they’re there. I’m like, okay, even [00:31:00] though that’s 10, it’s really just one. And I need to find the time to go and save those into my Google Drive. That’s not a big deal. And so I kind of like, In my mind clump them together. I’m like that that’s fine. And then like I have the summit coming up So I need some emails.

I’m like, okay Probably at one o’clock when i’m working on my summit i’m going to go in and i’m going to take care of those So I I kind of match them to whatever my schedule looks like Uh rather than trying to say like, oh my gosh, I have 100 emails I’m going to tackle them all right now because the reality is is that all of those emails are like 10 different themes in your week, so try to stick to whatever the goal is for the day and then go from there.

1. 1 big day that I have is like client care or community day. And that’s really when you’re going to be talking more to your vendors and your clients. Another big 1 is phone calls. Because you might be in the middle of something and somebody calls you and it just like derails your whole day. What I do, and again, this might not be the favorite way to [00:32:00] do it, but it worked really well for me when I was in corporate, was If I got phone calls, I would let it go to voicemail, and I would get back to them.

I had an hour between 1 and 2, sometimes to 2. 30, where I would return calls or answer calls during that time. So I’m returning their calls within like six hours, and the only time I would return a call sooner than that is if I know that like, oh, maybe they’re a nurse and they’re working. All day and they only have a lunch break, right?

Like there’s certain there were certain clients that I would make considerations for. But for the most part, I would return phone calls around 1 and you can figure out what time works best for you. But that way, you’re not getting derailed and you have it planned in your day. Oh, and then social media.

Yeah, sorry, social media was the last one. If you’re inundated with messages and social media, hire somebody. Please hire somebody. Hire a virtual assistant. Hire an in person assistant. Delegate that task [00:33:00] out. You’d be surprised how affordable it is. And then just get them very clear on What your messaging looks like so that when they’re responding, they can decide whether this is a qualified lead or a qualified collaborator and then pass it back to you.

And that way they’re doing all the sifting for you.

Becca: That’s so helpful. And I think so much of what you’re sharing, so much of what you’re saying in this whole conversation is actually, it’s about us taking back control of our businesses and control of our time schedules. Because we. almost have this belief that if someone rings us, we need to just interrupt everything and answer it.

Or if someone emails us, we need to just get back to them immediately. But actually, what you’re saying is we don’t have to do that. We can actually take back control of our day and think, yeah, I will get back to these people at lunchtime. I also need to tell you a secret, Karen, which is going to blow your mind and probably make you have heart palpitations.

As you were talking about your inbox, I thought I’d have a little look down at my phone and see how many [00:34:00] unread emails I have in my inbox right now. And the number is 2634. Oh my gosh. So I think I need to take a leaf out of your book and actually get on top of my emails and Maybe unsubscribe for some emails because it does make you feel stressed out when I just look down at that.

And I think 2, 634 emails, where do I even begin? I definitely need to get on top of this. So if you’re listening to this and you are in a similar position and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay. Take a step back, take a breather. We can do this. Now, the final thing I wanted to ask you about the other thing that I think people spend way too much time getting stressed about and wasting time on is social media posting.

So have you got any thoughts around? How to not spend so much time down this social media hit, basically, where it sucks so much of our time. We’re spending all our time. We’re saying we’re there to work, but then we’re actually just scrolling and then we can’t think of what to post. Do you recommend people schedule ahead?[00:35:00]

What do you do? What works? So

Carin: great question, because this is relevant to probably everybody. So Friday is my content day, and I’m actually considering having a content writing day And then a social media day because it’s, it is cumbersome and sometimes you do need a little bit more time. And again, this might be where you pull an assistant in to help you.

Um, so I’ll explain it pretty quickly. The biggest thing you’re going to do is repurpose. So, say you have a weekly email that goes out or a blog post that you’ve recently written, or maybe even one that you wrote like years ago, but it’s still relevant. Like that’s cool too. And what you’re going to do is take that, what we call long form content, and then you can break it up.

The easiest way to do this is of course, with our friend AI. So you go into chat GPT, you drop in your long form comment content. And you say, Hey, chat GPT, can you please break this up into [00:36:00] three Instagram captions? And then it breaks it up into three Instagram captions. And then you say, can you add these keywords into there?

And it goes ahead and it does that. And then you’re like, you know what? I have a more playful voice. Can you rewrite those in a playful voice? Yep. Chat GPT does all of that. It includes the emojis. It includes the hashtags. And then you can take those captions, attach them to pictures that had to do with the topic.

And now you have your posts for the week and you can do all of that in probably as much time as I told you just now. So it’s a very quick way to go about your social media content, but in the end, social media is not a business strategy. What happens is we spend all this time in Instagram when only 1% of our followers see what we’re doing.

So if you have 100 followers, 1 person sees what you’re doing. If you have followers, only 10 people see what you’re doing, right? So it’s good to have that, that, what I call portfolio, [00:37:00] Instagram should be more of a portfolio, but in the end, my, my biggest suggestion has always been following that low cost marketing tactic of word of mouth and really getting your name out there, creating connections, going to the networking events.

Um, if you are on social media, instead of posting all the time, Plan to post two or three times a week, but put more of your focus into engaging on other people’s platforms, because what that’s going to do is they’re going to say, Oh, they’re interesting. They like what I do. And they’re going to start a conversation with you, uh, and start connecting with you.

So I would put engagement. First over actually putting content out there and so that we’re not scrolling, uh, in the background, you can, you can see Becca, but I know the listeners can’t see. I have this cube that I got off of Amazon and the cube there’s different times. Um, mine is a 15, 20, 30. 15, 60 minute and basically you drop the cube on its side [00:38:00] and it times you and then it beeps and then when the beeps done, then you’re done.

So you use your timer cube or whatever you could use timer on your phone. You don’t have to buy anything fancy, but time yourself so that you’re doing 15 minutes of engagement. And then put it away and then put your phone away. And that’s really going to help give you that those boundaries so that you’re not getting lost in the scroll.

Becca: Love that. There’s been so many great tips in here. Thank you so much for sharing. I could talk to you about this all day because clearly I need to organize my own life and my own business and take some of your advice on because you’re so right when I do plan ahead and when I do. Give focuses to my days, then we get more done.

And I’m sure that’s the same for people listening as well. I will make sure that I put the link to that focus planning spreadsheet that we’ve been talking about in the show notes. So do go and grab that. If you’re listening, if you want to go through that exercise and get your week planned out, and we would love to hear about it.

So if you do manage to do that, why not take a photo of it, put it on Instagram stories, send [00:39:00] it to me Carin and we’d love to see that you’re taking action on what you’ve heard today. Now we always end this podcast with the same. Question Karen. So I’m going to ask that to you now. And that’s this, what’s one thing you wish you’d known sooner in your business?

This,

Carin: all of this that we just talked about. Uh, yeah, it’s, it, um, it was really a big life changer. But I think, you know, what is as a, as a kind of a version of that question would be like, what, what could I tell somebody in their business? Like, what’s the 1 big thing that’s really pushed me forward is I don’t want to say not taking no for an answer, but just asking anyways.

The only reason why Celebration Pros is where it is now only just over a year of being in business is because I just asked, I asked people that I was like, they are far ahead of me. They’re the expert. They’re, you know, the people that kind of scare you a little bit [00:40:00] to approach, I just asked them anyway.

I’m like, Hey, you want to be a part of my life panel? Do you want to collaborate with me? It was a big reason why my wedding planning business did so well because I wasn’t afraid to just call up and ask and say, Hey, If I scratch your back, will you scratch mine? Like, I’m going to give you value. Let’s work together.

Like collaboration is so it’s, it’s very much respected in our industry. And so when you stay behind your, your business and you don’t. Put your best foot forward and help others and kind of rise together. Guess who gets left behind? You do because you just sat sat there and you didn’t ask for the help.

You didn’t ask for the the uh, the collaborations and the connections. Um, so my that’s probably my biggest advice to anybody would be. A, do everything in this, you know, consider everything in this episode, but also just get out there and start connecting with the people who are gonna, who are gonna grow with you.

Becca: [00:41:00] So, so important. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So be brave, go out there and do your own thing and just ask for it because you never know what might happen. Karen, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the podcast. Go back, enjoy your Florida sunshine, and we will try not to get too jealous.

Carin: Thank you, Becca

Becca: it’s been great. What a fabulous conversation. As you’ve heard, there’s a lot of work that I need to do in my own business to get on top of some of these plans that Carin’s been talking to us today about. I’m definitely going to get some focus days going into my diary. So hopefully you get to do the same as well.

Make sure you go and download that focus spreadsheet. And if you want to find out more about Carin, all of her links are in the show notes. I’ll see you next time.

Becca xo

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