Episode 24: Time and Stress Management with Dawn Taylor
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Welcome to episode number 24 of Chat with Brandy. Today I've brought in a special guest to talk about time and stress management. I'm very excited to welcome my business coach, mentor, and friend Dawn Taylor of The Taylor Way. She's here with a bit of free coaching for all of you so let's get into it!
Dawn Taylor is the hope giver of The Taylor Way, a mix of business, personal, and trauma coaching. People who have had a lot of trauma in their lives typically become control freaks because their control was taken away from them. When that happens these people either become upper management or they become entrepreneurs. Many times they self sabotage and end up not believing in themselves, and as a result, their business suffers. Dawn has an interesting mix of tools that can help with not only their business, but also get down to the traumas which influence behavior.
For my own personal anecdote, I met with Dawn to talk about the control and fear of losing control of my business. I was feeling that I had to wear a hundred hats in my own business, and again it was an issue of control. One of the best things Dawn taught me was time management and how I could feel in control but not overwhelmed, so what I really wanted to showcase today was her time management tips.
My first session with Dawn she told me that I needed to start tracking time. This was a huge game changer for me within the first couple of days. I was seeing where I was putting my time, thinking I was always working I discovered I had so many minutes that I wasn't being productive. Driving, extra time getting ready for bed, scrolling through social media for an extra ten or fifteen minutes, it all adds up. A lot of professionals track their time in 3, 5, or 7 minute increments. Create a spreadsheet for yourself and document your time in your phone. Dawn has had clients who have found for themselves an extra 40+ hours in a week! I can't recommend this tip enough, if you want to know what you're doing and where your time is being spent, start tracking your time.
Another time management tip Dawn has is to set a time for everything and stick to it. Scheduling meetings back to back is a great way to get your time back. Don't spread them out, if you don't actually need that extra time to do paperwork or document anything, that half and hour or fifteen minutes between meetings adds up. A great way to use your time is to have people come to you, your office, coffee shop, wherever, and remember to set alarms to stay on schedule, then you can have back to back to back clients, and you can start buying your time back.
One very important thing to remember is to say "No." You don't have to go to every single event, every charity event, every friend gathering. Recently Dawn was in a situation where she had a massive push to put out her book, she was building a business, hiring new staff, and a ton of other stuff lined up on her calendar. She had to start prioritizing her needs and had to make space for a big project. The people in her life could understand that and were supportive, recognizing she had a big thing on the go. An idea for squeezing in time with friends is to look at sharing time with them while doing necessary tasks, like grocery shopping. You can combine the two into one and buy back some of your time.
That's three great tips Dawn wants to share with you.
It's o.k. to say no
For entrepreneurs that are having a hard time giving up their control and delegating tasks to other people, Dawn suggests looking at what are your roles and responsibility within your company. There is bound to be tasks that you can start to let go of, like do you need to be responsible for the mail, could someone else do the filing, do you have to clean your own toilets, would your business be better served if someone else could pick up the kids. Find those tasks that are small to start with, and work your way into delegating more. If you don't feel safe giving up your business tasks, perhaps start delegating those tasks at home. Take the time to write down every task you do in a day. Record it on sticky notes, put it together on a wall and look at the tasks that literally only you can do. Are there some that aren't that important, or perhaps ones that can be accomplished by someone else? Having a wall can help you visualize and recognize how much you are trying to do in a day, a week, a month, and what tasks are necessary and which can be delegated.
Dawn also stresses that something all entrepreneurs should be cognizant of is red flags for burn out. While you may not recognize it, those close to you can help identify burn out. Perhaps you're not eating meals, or you're starting to appear more disheveled, or you suddenly start running late for things, maybe you start fumbling your words. Dawn recommends having a list of a couple of people that you trust and can be brutally honest with you, that would recognize you are running yourself to thin. The earlier you can identify your signs for burn out, the better you can deal with it and even prevent it. A great idea is to use a big whiteboard and write out two lists, one of a burn out day and one of optimum peak performance. Figuring out where the middle ground is between those two days can be your red flags, indicators that you're slipping towards burn out.
Dawn related a story of her own that when she was working twelve hours a day, six days a week, and busy as restaurant owner, she suffered a massive burnout. Right at the start of a cruise vacation, for five days she did nothing more than sleep and maybe emerge to eat a meal. At the end of a three week cruise she could remember almost nothing of it. The financial and time commitment she'd invested became wasted because of burn out. Her family wasn't able to enjoy her presence because she had not been taking care of herself.
This situation clearly wasn't what she wanted, and being the intelligent and thoughtful person that she is, she was able to recognize the need to be able to step back, delegate, and set and keep boundaries. She looked at her books and decided that she would need to hire a manager at the restaurant. She needed to budget her time different, to figure out what she needed to give up or delegate, to prioritize the tasks that she needed to accomplish.
Dawn stresses that we can't get more time than we have, and when people burn out this is what they fail to recognize. Thinking that you'll recover from burn out and be just fine, that you just need a vacation to recover. But once you've burned out it happens much faster the second time, the third time, and recovery becomes harder.
Establishing and keeping to your boundaries is another good tool for avoiding burn out. Dawn had established that Sunday was a day for not taking clients. But she took a client on one Sunday, then another, and before long Sunday was a regular work day. She burned out and had to cancel clients and wasn't capable of doing what she needed to do. Looking at her calendar she was able to see that when fall came was when she started taking on more than was wise. The great part about tracking time is Dawn was able to recognize the patterns of her behavior and make the adjustments that she needed.
This year Dawn knew that with her book coming out that October would be a hectic month for her, both emotionally and time wise. So she adjusted her September down to one of the slowest schedules she'd had in years. With that extra energy and time saved Dawn was able to handle the stress and emotional vulnerability of such an important personal project and to carry herself through an incredibly hectic month. Again, Dawn recognized that the incredible energy and time commitment had left her feeling run down, and she applied the boundaries and tips she's given to you. Saying no, recognizing red flags, keeping track of your time, batching your appointments.
Taking care of yourself is taking care of your business.
Dawn also talks with clients about their six basic human needs. We are not just one of those needs, we are all of them, but the two that are most important to you become your decision makers. This is where you spend the majority of your head space. If something meets three of your needs, it becomes and addiction, if it meets all six needs it owns your soul.
The first need is certainty, a need for control, familiarity, structure. For example someone who goes to the same restaurant, orders the same food, every single time. This is what they're comfortable with and they don't want to try anything different.
Then there's variety. This is the person who wants to try everything, all the different foods, all the different restaurants. These people don't want just one meal, they'll try three and eat the rest later at home. The more choices the better.
Next is a person's need to feel seen, the need to feel heard, the need to feel understood. At the restaurant they would make it known that they can't have gluten, or that their diet excluded certain foods. This person needs to feel significant The problem is this can come across as ego, but it's a basic human need for all of us, so significance is important.
Love and connection is the fourth. This person wants to get appetizers and share, maybe split a meal or a taste from your plate. This is the person really cares. They were the one that set up the date in the first place because they miss you, they love you and want to connect with you.
The fifth basic human need is growth. This is someone who always wants to try a new restaurant, wants to know how something is made. They would rather go to a cooking class and pay money just to learn to make something new on their own.
The last is contribution. This is an overwhelming need to give back. For our restaurant example this is the person who will pick up the bill.
So looking at this and wanting to know why a person is a workaholic, it's because their business meets three or more of their needs. They have certainty. When they go to work, what they will do that day, what their job and title is. They have variety. New people to interact with, lots of to do lists, all of the new and unique aspects of a busy day. They have significance. A nice parking spot, a great job title, fancy business cards. They are somebody. They have love and connection. They're leading a team, surrounded by people in the office, interacting with co-workers, celebrating birthdays, booking a wing night. They have growth. They're learning something new in their business and each day is a new challenge. They have contribution. They'll help a client and take that new information and use it to teach or train someone else to do the work.
So if all six of these needs are being met your job will own your soul. This is why people will struggle with managing boundaries at work, and why so much time is attached to the business, your needs are being met by your job. But not your home life, not other healthier things, and there is no sense of balance. For some people this can be why friendships take over, why charity events become so desirable or why we'll want to go to all these networking events. These become the things that you're spending all of your time doing, an addiction for us, something that we will really struggle to say no to.
I asked Dawn what her best financial investment is that she's made in her business. It was in herself. Her own training, her own mental health. She has over eight hundred hours of training and certifications, attained at no small cost, but also something that met her needs for growth. Dawn sees that if she's not growing then how can she help her clients grow? If her mental, emotional, physical, financial, spiritual health isn't solid, then how can she be a support to her clients. Dawn's best investment is in Herself.
I then asked Dawn about her worst investment in her business. Dawn acknowledged that an overabundance of networking events is probably the worst investment that she's made. She had yet to understand what her avatar was and who her ideal client was. Networking was a scattershot attempt at connection, lots of business cards being passed around but nobody really making a connection or a bond through which they could grow. Dawn recommends taking the time to figure out who your actual client is, where you would find them, how you can build a relationship with them. Focusing on that will have a more positive effect on your bottom line opposed to doing fifteen or twenty networking events that usually run between twenty and fifty dollars. Thinking about how much time is needed for networking events, are you getting value for your money, is this helping your business to grow, could your time be best served elsewhere? Determining who your client is and approaching them directly is a much cheaper and effective use of your time and money.
Dawn has a fantastic new book available from Amazon right now, P. S. I Made It: Finding Radical Joy After a Lifetime of Trauma. I've read this book myself in one sitting the day I received it, it's a wonderful book full of great tips and insights, as well as being an amazing look into Dawn's incredible life story.
Dawn is always working with clients one on one, with couples, with business partners, company owners. She's been asked to come into companies to teach the six basic human needs and how to implement them in your sales processes and procedures to help create clients that aren't just happy but raving fan clients, how to make your company their addiction. She teaches how to make your business become something that people will fall in love with, want to always be around because you're giving them the most amazing experience based on those six basic human needs. These are often full day sessions and it's something Dawn is doing quite frequently, with staffing, management, even with sales teams.
Dawn also does keynote speaking, workshops on time management, communication, and other business and personal needs. You can check out Dawn and all of the things she has to offer at Thetaylorway.ca Dawn offers a variety of life and business coaching including trauma and relationship as well. One of the services that Dawn is very proud to offer a ten week transformation blueprint for anyone wanting to hit any specific goal. Your goal could be financial, say wanting to double your income, it could be an emotional goal, like wanting to repair a marriage or decide if they're in the right relationship for them, it can be physical goal, perhaps wanting to lose weight. Whatever your goal is Dawn wants to work you through it to completion in 10 weeks. She goes through the logistics, the strategies of how you're going to accomplish your goal. This course gives clients a lot of invaluable one on one time with Dawn, and includes work like a mindset shift, learning about crazy rules we place on ourselves or our limiting our beliefs, scheduling, communication, who your ideal client avatar is and much more. There are three new start dates for this work coming in the new year, so be sure to check it out!
Dawn can be found on Facebook including both her personal and business pages, and can be found on Instagram as well. Thank you so much Dawn for offering some great free tips and advice to everyone, it's been a pleasure having you on. Thanks and I'll see you next week for a new episode of Chat with Brandy.