Jaimie: Well, my guest today is Sue Glasser and Sue is a productivity and success coach and speaker.
Now with over 11 years of experience in public speaking one to one coaching, consulting and facilitating group workshops serve as a productivity management and personal development specialist who knows what it's like to be in your shoes because she has walked in them herself. Now not a naturally organised person. Sue turned this around after realising that organisation is not an inbuilt talent but a learned skill. And after years of working with many businesses and individuals sharing workshops and one on one coaching, working on their efficiency challenges and their need for better systems around being more organised, such as around email and task management, she noticed that mindset actually plays a huge role in efficient productivity. So leveled up her skills and is now not only a speaker and productivity coach, but also a qualified confidence coach, mindset mentor, life coach and a Tony Robbins results coach you've got a big week here today. Sue has armed herself with remarkable productivity and self development tools that she shares with her clients who in turn, describe Sue as inspiring, knowledgeable, passionate, non judgmental, experienced, and importantly, fun. Now when Sue immigrated from South Africa with her husband and two beautiful children over 24 years ago now, she dedicated that time she has been dedicated to create a fulfilling and joyful life here in Australia. And now having achieved that for herself, her passion and his coaching clients in productivity and mindset. I've been one of those clients myself, I had a session with Sue late last year, so that they too can build the life they desire and in turn, create a lifetime of fulfillment by looking for the good, the positive and the possible.
Now we all have 24 hours in our day. Sue, welcome to Perfect Public Speaking. I'm sure you're going to tell us all about how we can make the most of those 24 hours so welcome.
Sue: Thank you so much. It's wonderful to be here. And thanks for that intro.
Jaimie: Love that intro and of course you came into my world last year when I ran the Sprint to Stage challenge. And you were just incredible. And we had a session after that my own disorganisation that I have in my business. So I guess you know, after reading that bio, and you've really morphed into this productivity expert, what do you actually do on a day to day basis for a struggling, disorganised business owner like myself?
Sue: Thank you. Well, you know, I think it's so important for people to understand that, you know, we all do have these 24 hours and we want to make the most of it. And so for me, it's sharing with clients, through workshops and speaking opportunities, you know, to actually talk about productivity and the things that stopped class which is things like procrastination, which we can all relate to, right? You know, getting through a to do list that's you know, the to do list is this long, the days long and we didn't know we just can't seem to get things done responding. And really just helping people to take control of the tools that they use use the tools like emails, to view this, some tasks and all of those kinds of things. And so I do that from the point of view of doing workshops and getting kind of the whole team on the same page. I like to say, you know, everybody's doing the same thing and on the same page. Some are helpful, and I've just recently ran a great workshop in Bendigo. And it's been so great listening to them coming back to you because, you know, everybody understands for example of procrastination through something that they can use and the whole team understands what they should use, then everybody benefits from it. And so I'll share some of those and then you'll know a bit more about what I mean by that. And then of course, I do one on one coaching as well where you know, I can help people with their specific issues that they're having around their time management, procrastination.
And of course, when I say that, you know, I'm about giving you the best out of your 24 hours around productivity and efficiency, but also about living your best life. Because at the end of the day, why do you think we want more time?
Jaimie: I guess we can spend doing what we love. Really? Yeah.
Sue: That’s right. So what happens is it wasn't I don't have enough time you know, I don't have enough time but it's you've got the time but what's happening is what you're doing with the time so you know, if you are using all the time for work, and you know, there's no time for play and no time for the stuff that's important to you. And then when I look for full full blast, so we want to make sure that we are putting in the time for the things that we actually enjoy.
Jaimie: So let's talk about the to do list though. So I've heard so many different techniques about your to do list and including write down all the things you want to do today then prioritise the top three, Is it as simple as that? I mean, what are your tips on how to get through your to-do list and make sure that things are actually ticked off?
Sue: Okay, great question. The thing is that everybody, most people have a to do list and first of all, I do believe you should have a list of things you want to do or need to you because, you you know, from getting things done, you said that your head is for having thoughts and not for holding on to them. So like you don't want to keep everything in your head because that's number one, get it out of your head and onto paper. Because otherwise you're so busy trying to remember everything that you're supposed to do. There's no room for any fun stuff. Like dreaming or anything else you know that you need to do. So get it out of your head and onto paper. I believe you don't need 10 different lists for the 10 different spinning plates we have going on in our lives which everybody has read. We've always got these different areas of our lives. But you know what, you don't need to have 10 lists have one master list, a place where everything goes because that's really going to make your life easier, isn't it just to go to one place to find what do you need?
Jaimie: So should you have it on like a Trello board or just written down like where is that one place?
Sue: Well, you know, I'm a pen to paper first and last but I'm about the pen and paper because typing is recording and rantings comprehended, you know that when we were studying in school written top notes, right? Because or studying at university because when you write something, you know there's more modalities in using lots of things that you actually then end up it actually syncs it right and you remember, so I'm big on writing, but I know not everybody is big on writing and not big on paper and pen. So wherever you're going to put it farther, let's say if you want to top it up in a Trello board or you want to top it up, you know in your calendar to tasks, no problem or you want to write it down. But the idea is get it out of your head and onto paper.
Number one. And then when we say about prioritising, absolutely, you know, the problem is that we spend so much time writing this big list. Everything, everything's very important. But actually it's not. Not everything has to be done today. And most people who go in and others ask you know I never finished my list today and they get really stressed about it. Okay, I'm sorry, can you relax, right like most people don't. And I couldn't do them all. But most of the time that we sit our own self imposed overwhelmed. You know, we decide that there's just so much we have to do and we must do it all today. But actually, it's not necessary. You know, rather than look at your list and say it can be realistic and say yes, the obvious priorities are need to get done today and then get it today, but some of the stuff can move on. And there's five days in a week. We don't have to have everything on today. You know, we can save right? Let's spread it out. Let's spread it out during the week. And that's I think people get very stuck on this idea with a big list. And so I suppose the idea that okay, you've got this big list now but what do you do first? How do you prioritize it then it was all in what do I do with my big list couple of things.
Number one color code. Color coding is an organised person's best friend. Because what happens is you have a list of everything is a black, but once you start to code it into your spinning plates, okay your areas of your life, then straightaway you can see you know, what's going on which area has what tasks, does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And then once it's color coded, we're gonna say okay, prioritise it. We got to decide what must be done today. And then some of the stuff we're obviously then can be putting tomorrow and we have to schedule it. Because whenever it becomes, never, wherever I've got time, I'm gonna do that. But we never get to it. But then you got this thing that's moving along on your to do list and you've written it today, and then you return tomorrow and the next day, the next week. And so on that list, you know, I'm sure that sounds familiar for everybody listening in. Because we do that, you know, we just keep moving but how about actually putting into a diary, like an appointment you because your tasks need to get done? And so diaries aren't just timekeepers places where appointments should go but in fact, they an action plan. I think of it as an action plan. Because you've got all of these appointments, but in between those appointments, we need to actually do our job. And that's getting things done. Because days are nade of meetings and tasks and the tasks need to be in the diary. So when we allocate a time to do our tasks, and we put it in our diary and create it with you know the importance that deserves because most people will keep moving it because it's not important.
But I mean, Jaimie, if your clients you know, for example, this call today. You know, we've gotten to the point, but in here, we're not just going to sit down and feel like I'm not going to pitch, right. Because it's important. We want to be. But if you had a task at this time, and you didn't feel like doing it, then you're just you're just saying I'm not going to do it and we'll move it to another time. But if you can start to treat your tasks with the importance of your appointments, then there's more chance of you getting it done.
Jaimie: Just on that Sue so what about for creatives, like a lot of like myself and a few other listeners probably right now. Do you what's your thought? What is your thought on scheduling whitespace to just put some whitespace into your dryer and think I'll just use that for whatever I feel like doing at the time or how does that kind of work with the scheduling of a task?
Sue: Yeah, yes, you should put that in because the fact is that it may sound crazy but your color so that's talking about color coding, right? Your color needs to be in your dark, like man's pink. Okay, so there's got to be pink in my day because I don't see any pink in there, then something's wrong. And we need to make time for ourselves and time for just doing that thing or the self care that we need. Right. So when we spoke at the beginning, and I say, you know, we're reasonably one factor is because you want to do the things we want to do. Or we choose to do right so let's call this up things that go on there that are your choose to do list. Things that actually get on that list because you want to be doing those things not as your hefty tasks. Yes, we should always make time for those things and, and why not basically creative people, you know, creative people need to have some time when they can have a think and just brainstorm and do what they need to do. And so yes, it has to be allocated. That's how you're going to get time back by actually making sure that you know what's going on with your diary not randomly just going along each day. And then we get to the end of the day and be like what did I do today? Because we didn't structure it.
Jaimie: Yeah, I love that. You know, I had a coaching session late last year before Christmas, and I was so motivated and I've been pretty good generally with task tasking things into my diary. And this has been a really great refresher for me because I have slipped on a couple of things, including my inbox, and I'd love to talk to you about that because for a lot of people in my PR club, time-poor business owners, a lot of our listeners, they do say that they struggled to get on top of their inbox. And so what are your I don't know, three or four top tips to get on top of your inbox management?
Sue: Love that question. And I'll just post that I get that question all the time, because the interesting thing about email emails been around since 1990. I think it was when it really came out. And everybody's still treating the email the same way. And in 1990, you might have got two, three, maybe 10 emails a day and now we're getting two or 300 emails a day, some people right. And so we can't just do the same system. Everything's coming in, and I just need to flag it and then you know, do it and then everything else comes in and everything. And then you've just everything that's important just keeps moving down. And we're not actioning anything.
So we need to first of all number one is when you look at your inbox and an email that comes in, we think that there's so much coming in, but there's actually only two types of emails that come into your inbox. And those are action or reference. So you either have to do something with an email, or you put it away somewhere. And this relates to paper as well any electronic paper right you either do something with it or you put it away. So when you have a look at your emails and you you look at the email and you see what it says straightaway, you have to ask yourself, Okay, is this actionable or is this just reference? And then you can make a decision. 20% of what's actually coming into your inbox is actionable. And even could even be too good, to be honest. Because most of the stuff that comes into our email is either reference or rubbish. And then there's a little bit of actionable stuff because if it's actually meaningful that we have to reply to or do something with. So I think we know that and take that overwhelm from you say, like, oh, there's just so many emails, we'll know. It's either emails I've got to action or these emails that were put away somewhere. Hopefully, that's helpful because I know when I learned that, it's like, it was like a really light bulb moment for me. Because I always felt overwhelmed by paper and overwhelmed by emails. But actually, this is the way we can take back control.
Jaimie: You make it sound so easy, but I mean, I've been doing pretty well pretty well, but I think one of the great tips you gave me was when an email comes in. I then put that in and you can do it on Gmail easily when you can from the desktop version, you then create a task and put that into your calendar. So actually, I created an event in that means simply to reply to that email and actually, that didn't get slotted into my Google Calendar as an actual task. So you sent me an email, I'll put it straight in as an event, reply to Sue and the whole email gets copied into my calendar, and then that comes up and the time is due and I can actually respond. So that was really great.
Sue: And the whole idea is remember that an actionable email is just another task on your to do list, because it's a tough, just like you written another toss. Down, it's a task so if you drag it into your schedule, that means exactly what I said earlier, back to Tacitus. Right. You're putting it into your calendar so that it actually gets action that he made a time to do it. Because whenever becomes never put it in there. It's going to be whenever I can. I'm going to get back to that person. Yes.
Jaimie: Yeah, absolutely.
Sue: So that's one of my other big tips. Absolutely. You know, to drag your emails into your calendar. And number one, in fact, after the session, I want you to do one thing. Everybody should do this. And that is to turn off auto notify. You know that being the light comes into the star. Every time an email comes in at “dings” and it distracts you because curiosity cannot be denied. I mean, we're human. So we can check that email, you know, and you go in there. And the next thing that's an hour late and you're wondering with what you were doing last? Yes, just down that rabbit hole of emails and now you were on this focus class and you're doing really well and then the email can drag your way and there's something like a 25 minute switching cost. It costs 25 minutes in your day to try and get yourself back to where you were which is such a waste of time. That's such a waste of time, right? 35 minutes we could be doing some self care you can be doing other things. So we So turning off that auto notify is really a big thing. Now, one of the reasons is because when somebody sends you an email, it's on their to do list right then not on yours, right? So if we answer you then you've gone in depth and basically pulled your way into their to do list and now you're answering their to do list instead of focusing on what's important to you right now. So a lot of my clients Yeah, a lot of my class will say me Ah, but you know what happens to the answer emails right away and people are waiting to hear from me Well, I don't agree. I don't agree with that at all. Because I think everybody would like you to answer the email immediately, but they don't expect you to.
Jaimie: How long can you go, can you go a couple of days responding to somewhere
Sue: I think that's a bit of a lesser bit of you know, crickets. You don't know who it is and when he's ignoring me but but the thing is, it doesn't have to be brought away. Because for example, that if somebody says to you, oh, I an email when I want to come back to people, they're gonna say, well, they must be pushy right now. And they're not gonna get upset. I don't get upset if somebody doesn't answer me immediately that people have this conception that this conception that they have to answer right away, but actually not you don't. But if you haven't got your notifications on, obviously, then you have to go and choose a time a few times a day to you to go and look in your inbox and check email.
Sue: It's up to you instead of somebody else's agenda. My sense is, it's not always on what everyone else wants. If you want to be in control of your time. Then you decide when you check your email.
Jaimie: So therefore, just just on that suit, do you recommend maybe allocating three separate times throughout your day devoted to checking email so 50 minutes checking emails and that way, you're triaging them and putting them in as tasks and things like that? Would that is that kind of what you're describing?
Sue: That's exactly what I mean. So depending on what you do as your job and how much emails influence what you do every day, then you can decide how many times you want to check your emails. But the whole point is that between checking your emails, you're actually doing your job. We're actually doing work like you're doing the tasks you're getting things done, you're focusing your attention and not being distracted all the time and pulled away. But the amount of times you check in the days after the person because it depends on you know the job. So I never say specifically I want to be every two hours it should be every four hours like some people want a macro view which is fine. Just make sure that you've made time in between to do your work.
Jaimie: Yeah, absolutely. So do you have any other general tips on how we can be more productive and use our time better?
Sue: Yes. And I think one thing that we should talk about his procrastination, because because that is the biggest waste of time, right? When we procrastinate. So and people procrastinate for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is that the pursuit of perfection leads to procrastination. So people not pursuing perfection often will always be one. I'm just going to do one more check. I'm just going to make sure it's just right. It's got to be 100%. Before I've seen it that and they get really stuck on this idea of making everything perfect. And actually what happens it ends up getting them to do it's delaying the results. And the other thing is that often ends up being when we delay that result, we keep putting things off because we're procrastinating then what actually happens is we end up with a deadline that's right there. And so if we don't, if we leave it to the last minute, then what happens if we leave it to the last minute what happens to that job? Yeah, I end up doing it fast. We're going to end up doing it wrong. In fact, it definitely won't be perfect. Because we've had to rush it at the end because we've lifted for so long and put it off for that long.
Jaimie: So definitely be guilty of that.
Sue: And other reason why we procrastinate as well is because you know we think basically the other word for procrastination is resistance because we actually resisting something. Now think about it. Like what are the reasons why we resist something you know if we're resisting anything could be another reason why we resist doing a job. I think list one is usually time I would like to thank you so much time I recommend you keep putting it off because like it's going to be just this. I don't have five hours right now but when I've got five hours I'm going to do this job, which was never going to happen. Five hours lying around. We wish we had we'd be done. Yeah, so that's often it. It might just be too hot. You know, it might just be something that you feel like it's just too difficult and you don't want it to stop and you don't know where to start.
Jaimie: Too boring. Invoices, because it's too boring.
Sue: That's one of the big ones, the painful jobs that nobody wants to do then the invoicing. Well you know, well that invoicing by the way is the most important job in your business. So but when we do because it's hard work. Something that's frustrating. Invoicing reporting, often you or any kind of reporting gets left to the last minute timesheets comes up so often people don't have to do timesheets, you know, because it's so frustrating running in all of these timesheets. So you know, things like that are put off all the time. And so we've got to find ways to get past all of those things that are stopping us and causing that procrastination. Because, as I said, it's a waste of time, which we could be doing a lot better, more important things. And so there's two things that generally I will share with my clients and it's quite funny because I share these two tips or two ways of dealing with procrastination. Some young kids, you know, have done organisation workshops in school to the CEOs and the C suite because it works for everybody. And everybody can relate to it, as some people are probably familiar with the concept of “eat the frog.” Have you heard?
Jaimie: Oh, yes, yes, I have heard of this.
Sue: And so eat the frog, I'm just going to look at going through the whole story in that because it takes too long but if the from the concept of eat the frog is, is the same goes if you eat a frog first thing in the morning. Well, nothing would taste as bad and nothing would be worse than that in your day. The concept is doing the hard things that give us those things that are stopping you. Those things that you keep putting off, you know, the things that are hard because once you've done them, you don't have the sort of feeling on your shoulders or saying, you know, I've still got to do that. I still got to do that. And then it gets to photocopies since four o'clock that I'll just move that to tomorrow. And that's what happens, you know, they just these these things just keep leaping forward and forward and that's when it becomes a last minute urgent job. You know, so for getting into this, this idea of eating the frog really works. And what I like about the concept of eating a frog as well is when that whole team knows about this concept of eating the frog. And we often talk about distraction. You know, when you're in a big team because people like to come and say hey, why don't you just do this right now? Why should summer protection, and then I send him over? He says hey, I'm just eating a frog right now. You know, I'll get back to you soon. And then people understand because they're busy on this sort of focus task and you know, you don't want to interrupt them. So, so frogs, eat those frogs, and you know how eat approx 10 minutes at a time. Because the big jobs, okay? Every big job is only a lot of little jobs put together. So think about it. If this is the big job and we broke it down into 10 minute bite sized pieces of focused attention, then we're going to get the job done, and you won't have that overwhelm. And we won't have this procrastination because you kind of moving forward with your 10-minute task. And I even say, you know, set an alarm, because you may do 10 minutes and be really into something and really focus but then we can do another 10 and another 10 but the whole idea is that you want to break this job down into 10 minute tasks that you can focus your attention on, because multitasking is multitasking. Multitasking is doing lots of things reasonably well. And when we do lots of things reasonably well what happens is we never feel accomplished. And particularly for the perfectionist out there. That could be very frustrating. Because you never finishing something run, so you don't feel like you can tick it off. And if we'd like to get optic, you know, he likes ticking off our list.
So what we want to do, yeah, we want to make sure that we kind of break it down, focus our attention, mono or single task on one thing at a time, and then move on to the next thing so so the whole Myth of Multitasking. Got to go. And one of the one of the ladies in my sessions last week she wrote to me and she said like it was a revelation for her thinking about that because a whole lot you know, she was multitasking. And she never felt accomplished and she always felt like it was just too much but she this is what she who she is and what she should be doing. And she's changed whenever she says suddenly we just do these things in his blocks of focus attention and you know, laugh so much better and she's got more time back.
Jaimie: And to use a practical example one of the gold nuggets that you gave me was not have multiple tabs open. So my brain I'll be into one thing doing a newsletter then I'll change to invoicing and then social media or with different tabs open with my inbox at the same time. And yeah, just sticking to one thing at a time has been great advice from you.
Sue: Wonderful templates. He has helped me because it's a kind of idea of having all these thoughts in your head at once. It's just completely overwhelming. Right so we have to focus in on one.
Jaimie: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much. So you have really shared so many gold nuggets as I just said for all of our listeners and people in the PR Club, I know they’re tuning in and time-poor for and it's all about time, making maximum use of your time. How can people find you if they want to continue to work with you?
Sue: Beautiful, thank you. It's been such a pleasure being here. And so my website is in my name, so it's sueglasser.com.au and on Instagram at @paperclippo. So it's a paper clip with a p-o on the end because I used to be a professional organiser. Don't do that anymore, because I realised productivity is much more fun and much more important.
Yeah, and I'm LinkedIn under my name as well. So yeah, I'd love to hear from you all and I've also got a 15 minute discovery call which is available on our website. Please contact and you know, let's talk and see how we can give you back your precious resource which of course is fun.
Jaimie: I highly recommend the session with Sue. It was incredible just within one hour. It was life changing for me in my business. I'll put the link to your website in the show notes of the podcast but once again, Sue Glasser, thank you for coming on to Perfect Public Speaking.
Sue: Thank you so much for having me. Take care. Bye.