How To Organize & Strategize your time management with a professional productivity coach
Jan Lehman is the founder and CEO of CTC Productivity.
With over 20 years of corporate consulting experience, Jan is not just an expert in the field of productivity, she personally understands the unique challenges of leading a busy professional life. With three young children and a company to run, Jan fully understands the importance of maintaining a work-life balance.
The roots of Jan’s business acumen and people-first attitude can be traced back to her formal education. She earned a business degree in Operations and Systems Management with a minor in Psychology from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Prior to launching CTC, Jan worked for a number of Fortune 100 companies, including an expatriate assignment in Stockholm Sweden with Kraft Foods, and a consulting role at Accenture, the world’s largest consulting firm. She is the National Marketing Chair for the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professional
Jan has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, Better Homes and Gardens and was recognized by Minnesota Business Magazine as an emerging leader that is changing how Minnesota works.
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives. She is a well known speaker, educator & social media strategist. You can work with her one on one with coaching and content creation (photo/video) services
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I'm your host, Jenna Redfield. And today we have Jan Lehman, she is the executive coach. She's a productivity coach, and she has her own business. She's also the marketing Chair of the NATO. And in her industry, it is the basically like the group that is run. Sorry, this is like so hard. It's like, Can you explain it for yourself? Sure. So
Jan Lehman 1:57
So NATO is the National Association of productive organizing professionals. Okay, so it's people like me, it's just our industry association, where we go to for education, camaraderie, all those things.
Jenna Redfield 2:08
Awesome. And so what is the name of your business? It's CTC productivity, and what does that stand for? circle the customer.
Jan Lehman 2:15
Because we help the customer in every aspect of life. Sometimes our clients are stressed out at work, because the house is crazy. And you know, they need some work. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 2:25
So that's the reason why I had Jan on we'd never met before. But I was like, looking on Google. being like, who in the Twin Cities is like the best of productivity. And it seemed like you were because you had an awesome website, where you really talked about all of these tools and tips for for being more productive. We put out our survey a couple weeks ago, and one of the biggest issues people seem to have was time management. And so I wanted to talk about that today with a with the experts, because I am not an expert. And honestly, I just am asking questions for personal reasons, like help me. Uh huh. But let's just talk a little bit. How did you get into this? Oh,
Jan Lehman 3:04
well, my degree in college was really like Lean Six Sigma, which a lot of people know these days. So just the way my mind works, it's eliminate waste. It's look for efficiencies. What I do now, you might consider it a version of like lean office and things like that. But it's really just eliminating waste in streamlining workflow, not on the manufacturing floor, but more in, you know, a business setting.
Jenna Redfield 3:30
Yeah. And that's what a lot of people, either they work for a business or they're doing it themselves. So they kind of have kind of a grand scope of a bunch of different types of clients. Yeah,
Jan Lehman 3:39
I work in all industries, for sure. But
Jenna Redfield 3:41
and what is OK, so now that I know, we all know that, and we're all caught up, what is the biggest issue people have is time management
Jan Lehman 3:49
pressure. But what's interesting though, is when you talk about coaching people and time management, there's sort of pure time management tips, like structure your day and use your time wisely. But then there's so many, like, so many other branches to it. So it could be that you don't know how to effectively delegate. If you're in a position to delegate, and by learning how to coach and develop people and delegate you free up so much time. So Time management is an extremely broad opportunity area.
Jenna Redfield 4:18
Yeah. And that's kind of what I wanted to talk about a little bit. But I within that, what is the biggest issue within time management? What is it? Is it planning ahead? Is it you know, prioritizing what is the biggest struggle within time management, I think the biggest one is that people
Jan Lehman 4:37
don't block time for doing their most critical work. And so that's a combination, it starts with just blocking the time. But when you've blocked the time out, and we're not talking about just any old time of the day, we're talking about blocking the best time of the day, when you do your best work, then of course, you need to make sure you're prioritizing and doing the right things. But right now, one of the biggest issues in business is react highly reactionary environment. Because everybody's thinking, this is an emergency, I need you now and everybody's interrupting. And every time you get interrupted, on average, you lose about 20 minutes. So simple tips, like find the hour of the day, when you're most on you do your best work, block it turn off all notifications, communicate out to your organization, one of the things I recommend a lot to companies is to define what is a true emergency within your business? Because otherwise, we all think everything's in emergency. Right?
Jenna Redfield 5:30
Yeah. So what is? So I have so many questions. So because a lot of the things I do, personally have to do with social media, which is notifications, so the distraction and the constant, like, if you don't respond within an hour, they're like, where are you? You know, so how do we combat that? Or how do we put up boundaries for or like, I guess, like things that you just like, I only respond between this and this, like, how do we do that?
Jan Lehman 5:55
Yeah, I think one of the best things to do. And it really depends on what those interruptions are and how important they are. But I think the way I try to instruct my clients is allow interruptions on your terms. So let's say that you were in a marketing role, social media role, and you really did kind of need to be on, you know, the thing is, is take a half hour break, then do your focused work, don't be interrupted. And then know that you're going to go back and check and see what information came in. So notifications to me, our notification should only be if something is extremely time sensitive, and it should be in your face now. Like you're going to be late to a meeting if you don't get out of your chair right now. Otherwise, turn off all notifications, knowing that as soon as you get done with the task you're working on, you'll check that place. You know, again,
Jenna Redfield 6:42
I feel like I'm just always triggered to just check. But yeah, I think there's a little red. And so it's funny, because sometimes I know what the message is going to be. So don't check it. And then I have like 1000 notifications that are just sitting there. And my friends look at my phone, like how do you have so many I know, it's gonna say like my voicemails. I'm like, I don't listen to them, because it's usually a spam. I know, somebody really want to get ahold of me, they would email me they'd text me, you know. So it's interesting. I've recently went through my phone and turned off a lot of notifications that I just felt were distractions that weren't pressing. Yeah. So how do you help businesses prioritize what those are beyond emergencies, but also the ones like maybe from their clients or from you know, the things that are important?
Jan Lehman 7:23
Yeah, so I like to work with the senior leaders and help them think about what your response time policy internally and externally. And again, what's a true emergency that would warrant truly knowing that I'm going to interrupt this person knowing that at a minimum, they're going to lose 20 minutes of thoughts of whatever they were doing. But it's okay, because it's that time sensitive, and then stagger it from there. So we worked with one company, and you know, it was a great conversation. And we're like, Yeah, really, any internal request from another employee, on average, should probably be a three day turnaround, because otherwise, you're trumping somebody else's priorities. And so establishing this culture of activity that says, on average, it's a three day response time when you send an email to somebody for internal communication. Unless it's out of your control, there is nothing you can do. But if you could have planned ahead, then they don't need to respond to you. But but
Jenna Redfield 8:14
this is something I've thought about is like vacation responders on email, do you recommend those are not where if you know, you're going to be gone for a weekend, or you know, you're not going to be responding? Is that something you should set up? Yeah, the autoresponder. Yeah, where it's just like, I won't be back into the office until whatever day
Jan Lehman 8:33
Yes, for sure. Because one of the best things you can do in this world where we want everybody to respond immediately, is just set an expectation. So having an autoresponder even if you're working, saying, you know, I've been meetings all day, I'll get back to you within two days. If it's urgent, please call me or something like that. But setting that expectation, so that person can go Okay, they got it. They got my message. Yeah. And I know what to expect. I don't need to be as panicked unless it is it true emergency that makes
Jenna Redfield 9:01
so much sense. Because sometimes I'm like, I know I need to respond to that. And it's just like, I wish I had sent something just knowing that I got it. Yeah. And so another thing I wanted to talk about is, well, Google now has this thing where you can send an email, but schedule it. Have you seen this? There's a lot of great tools out there. Yeah, no GMO has it now within like, if you don't use Boomerang, which they used to Yeah, spring is built into Google Now. Yeah, basically. And so so one of the things I was always told when I was going to a lot of, you know, entrepreneur events was to, you know, don't email at 10pm at night, because then they'll know that you're up then and you can respond, you know, send it the next morning so that you establish time boundaries for yourself.
Jan Lehman 9:40
Yeah, there's, there's lots of different strategies. But you're right, we live in an amazing age where we can streamline and automate with technology. So that's a great tactic. Other issues that a lot of companies have, like I, I have a team as well, and but I will do work on Saturdays, but I've told them, you know, don't respond to my emails, I don't expect you to run. So just setting that expectation against I don't need to hide that I'm working on a Saturday, it just, that's the way it works well for my family. And but that's a great tool to you can, you know, schedule things to go out first thing Monday, especially if you're in a sales role? And it's really important, maybe when that email comes in? Yeah, I find honestly, emailing over the weekend to CEOs works well, because they aren't getting a lot of emails, but they typically are on
Jenna Redfield 10:22
Yeah, that's true. Yeah. Yeah. I always wonder about that. Because I never know, I never I never expect anyone to respond until Monday, that they don't expect me to respond until Monday because I do basically take weekends off personally. Let's talk a little bit about a prioritize prioritizing. So say, so what how do you structure a time in terms of blocking? Is it in half hour? Is it like, how would you? Is it different for every person? Or do you kind of have like a specific way that you like to do things? It's everything is unique to the person?
Jan Lehman 10:54
Okay? Sure. That's probably the one thing people don't realize we're all quirky, we're all different. We all have different needs. It's kind of the same concepts. But for instance, if I have, and I have a lot of clients, maybe that are like attorneys. And so their most important work is really deep thought process solving cases. So I would recommend to them have like two hour focus time, if again, you're in like a marketing role, you really need to be on social media, but you still need quiet time to do work. You might just do half hour snippet. Yeah, the key thing, again, is having quiet and an interrupted time. And you you allow the interruptions when you want.
Jenna Redfield 11:27
Yeah, I think that makes sense. And how have you found that different people do it differently? Is it based on industry? Or is it just personal?
Jan Lehman 11:35
It's personal, so many, some people are highly distractible. Others are very disciplined. Yeah, for sure. And so I had I did a presentation one time to a leadership team. And there was a senior leader in the room, and they were going to mandate everybody in the company approach, do it do an email technique that I teach? And the problem is, is it's hiding an email in a folder? And I'm like, you cannot have everybody do that? Because there's so many people that when it's out of sight, out of mind, so that'll work for some and not others. Yeah, that gives you a good example. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 12:07
for sure. Have you found any tools, online tools that have been really helpful for tracking time or for blocking time
Jan Lehman 12:16
at all? Or will toggle is a good tool for tracking time. There's, there's a million I swear every day, there's different apps that come out, but tracking your time at some point, just to get a sense of where your time goes is a great tip. Because you'd be shocked. Yeah. And what you want to look for is where do you have these chunks of time, that happened all the time. so time consuming, repetitive tasks, those are the ones you want to automate and or delegate. So that's where you're going to get a lot of bang for your buck in the long term.
Jenna Redfield 12:46
One of the things I always talk about is patching or doing like a like the same, like so for example, blogging, if you write for blog posts in a certain time, and then you have it for the rest of the month, you know, once a week, do you recommend badging as a way to kind of just focus on one thing at a time? Yeah,
Jan Lehman 13:02
for sure, again, kind of taking manufacturing principles of like, batch it up. And but yeah, because the amount of time it takes to just kind of wrap your head around what you're going to do, and then you do the deep dive, if you can stay down there and the deep dive longer better.
Jenna Redfield 13:14
So how do you talk about that? Like, specifically, I've heard the term flow before you get in the flow, you're just kind of cruising and you're you're focused? Is that something that's hard to get into and get out of? Or how do you talk about that at all?
Jan Lehman 13:29
Again, it depends on some people can get in pretty quick. You know, I've worked with a lot of writers that are like it just certain days that I'll be in the flow kind of in that mindset. But for a lot of people, you know, and there may be people that like need to have an organized desk before they can get in the flow. And then there's others that are like, I want to get into the flow before I bottle bother with my messy desk. Again, very personalized.
Jenna Redfield 13:50
So how do you know when you're talking with a client? how they function? Is that part of your services?
Jan Lehman 13:57
Yeah, that's a big by one of my secrets, certain my secret skills, I think it's to figure out what the heck is going on. Because again, the solutions are very different depending on the person. And so it's figuring out like, again, what I typically do is, What's your goal, like? Where are we going, you want to get promoted, you want to have a life? And then what issues are getting in your way? And then we ask a ton of questions to get to what's the root cause? And then from there we go, Okay, well, we should try this, this and this.
Jenna Redfield 14:22
And so what is the most common root? Or what are some of examples of roots that you've uncovered?
Jan Lehman 14:28
You know, I've seen an interesting pattern recently, where people are too nice. It's kind of funny. So Well, yeah, actually, ironically, I've also seen a pattern with the passive aggressive side of Minnesota. I'm coaching a client right now that struggles with passive aggressive behavior. And it's curable, believe it or not, and but I think one pattern I'm seeing right now, which is unusual, is the super nice, senior leader that's not making time for themselves to be more efficient. And because they think it's selfish, but yet they are causing the inefficiency and the tea. So that's a pattern I see alive, saying, Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 15:03
so I, it's interesting, because like a lot of people listening, there's they're kind of from all walks of life, sometimes they work for a company, or maybe they're self employed. So no matter what level they're at, whether whether or not they have a boss, or whether they're the boss, how does that boss structure affect the rest of the team? Like the person that's leading it? So if you're just leading yourself? Yeah, first, or if you're being led by someone who maybe has poor time management? How does that affect the rest of the team?
Jan Lehman 15:30
Yeah, it's a major issue. So because they're, they're not role modeling the proper behavior. So we talked about one of the best techniques is blocking, you know, hour in your day in closing your door, turning off notifications. If your boss doesn't do that, and it's not an approved way of running your business, then employees can't do it. So that's why I always like to start at the top and create a culture of productivity with leadership, and then let it trickle down. As people are empowered, unless the boss is doing this. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 15:57
I've heard like horror stories, people being called the middle the night by their boss, just like, you know, having a leader that understands the importance of time management.
Unknown Speaker 16:08
Jenna Redfield 16:08
I think it helps the whole business too. Because then, you know, there's more structure and there's more strategies, would you say? How would you? How do you help people find what time of day they're most productive?
Jan Lehman 16:21
Most people know it. 80% of people are morning people. But what I'll tell people if they don't know, is what would you do on a Saturday? Like, if you could drive the day? And you had some work to do? Would you roll out of bed do first thing? Or would you kind of read the paper and then because of your your body, I think you're naturally going to figure out when your mind goes into the gear. And that usually works for people to figure it out.
Jenna Redfield 16:43
So okay, so I have so many thoughts and figure out what the best questions are? Because for me, I think what happens is, you know, I get distracted, or like, or I have too many things to do that I don't know which one to prioritize, how do I look at my schedule? Look at my all the contacts that I have? How do I know what's the most important? Or like, How do I know? Should I get the quickest things done first, like how like, what's the strategy for that? Yeah,
Jan Lehman 17:13
so definitely have to have a way of prioritizing. And again, then you need to block some time on your calendar. And typically, if something you're prioritizing is maybe deeper thinking work, you do that during your focus time, it could be that one of the most important things to do is make a quick call. And you could do that at any time during the day. So I'm always an advocate of you have to have tools in place to help you capture all your priorities, because otherwise, you forget, and then you can't really properly prioritize. So that's a whole nother conversation. But one of the best things you can do is really look at all your priorities from tactical to strategic, and figure out what are the top three things I'm going to do tomorrow. And it's really important, those strategic things are in your face as much as the tactical. But then you start to employ things like that thinking of the credo principle, the 8020 rule, like what is 20% of tasks, I can do that at 80% of a bomb true in a corporate setting, one of the most important things to do is make sure that senior leadership is really at senior leadership is really identifying the top priorities for the quarter. Because otherwise your employees are picking and choosing maybe the wrong things. And if there's 100 priorities for the company, it's going to water down what you do, yeah, narrow it, then everybody knows well, the top priority this quarter for the business is this. So therefore, this task becomes pretty obvious that it should be my top priority.
Jenna Redfield 18:33
And I think that's kind of true with small businesses as well. Just you know, what, what do you what are your goals for the company, and any company is, you know, are the things that you're doing today, helping that. So I actually met with the business coach this week. And she was like, I had too many things that I was offering, like, I just had way too many things I was doing. And she's like, well, which ones you actually like doing, you know, which ones are just kind of there, and you're not even really promoting? Like, just get rid of them, you know, like prioritizing and just getting rid of certain things that aren't bringing you to that final goal. So how do people know what tasks to do to even get to those, you know, quarter goals? Like how did how do you know how to like cut those down into like small chunks of goals? There's so many ways that you can go about getting to whatever that goal is, but is it? Is it based off of day to day, week to week, kind of there's so many different ways, you know, it's one of those goals.
Jan Lehman 19:27
So I would say typically, you should have quarterly goals that used to be that companies would have like annual goals. But quite honestly, our world is so dynamic and changing that those get outdated. So quarterly goals. Again, for you, if you're the CEO of a small company, you What's your main goal for this quarter like ours right now? I always say is writing a book, getting our book done. So. So what's the overarching goal for the quarter and then from that you break it down. Now you're still gonna have to keep the lights on in your business, right? You can't get distracted with that stuff. But you got to have kind of overarching plan for the quarter. And then you think about Okay, what can I do then each month? And it sounds kind of boring. But that structure that helps you most people don't plan? You said that earlier. Yeah. They don't plan they just dive in and just say, all they're going to do then is respond to emails all day. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 20:12
that's exactly what I do. And it frustrates me because I'm like, I feel like I did nothing all day. Yeah. Because I'm, I'm responding, like you said reactionary thing where I people are waiting on me. And it just takes me so long to because there's so many different types of things I'm getting that I have to, like, get into that mindset of Okay, now I'm focusing on this thing. And it takes a while to like, be like, okay, you know, and then and then I get like a little notification here. And I get distracted. And then I go back to my crap like, what was I thinking? You know, so it's, it's, it's staying focused, and knowing which of the reactionary things are actually reactionary versus something I can respond to tomorrow? Yeah, you know, so. So I wanted to talk a little bit about tools that you use or tools you recommend. I'll talk I talked a little bit last week or a couple weeks ago about some of the ones I use. I've recently started using one called click up, have you heard of click? Oh, I haven't What is that? It's kind of like Trello, or sauna. But it's, it's like a newer one. And it just, I like it a lot. Trello was hard for me, because it's mostly just lists. It's like a checklist. But this is like, you can see almost all of it at once. And then there's like a dashboard. Oh, that's right. See all of like, the tasks that are like, actually on your list and with due dates, because with Trello it's kind of like, doesn't seem as functional for actually like, finding the what you need to do. Okay, now it's kind of more just like a place to store ideas.
Jan Lehman 21:40
Yeah, Trello is a good one for people that right now have sticky notes all over the office. It's an easy transition, because that's like sticky note. Yeah, I don't know that every day. There's a new you know, but but you hit it on the head, Jenna, to me, the one of the key tools that everybody needs right now is a digital to do list. So a lot of people are keeping a paper one or they're using, you know, just like a one note or the notes area. And that's what a to do list allows you to really plan things out in relative timeframe, which helps you with priority setting. Yeah, so emails, you can't prioritize them. And a lot of people are that's they're trying to drive the day off the emails, it doesn't work.
Jenna Redfield 22:17
So when it comes to to do lists, is there any, like tips and practices that they should do is a how, like, do we do it to do list every day? Or is it every week? Like how do you? How do you plan? Like when do you plan ahead? Is it on on Sunday for the next week? Like I know people do meal prep and they do like the Tinker Sundays and they plan out their meals for the week. But then there's people that every single day they plan what they're doing for the day, is there a different way to do that? What's the best?
Jan Lehman 22:46
Yeah, again, it depends a bit on the person, whether it's them individually or a team gotcha. But the one of the best things about a to do app, I think is that you can do a brain dump and get all those miscellaneous things out of your heads, you clear the clutter in your head. And then the other thing that's important is to separate out that super important stuff with everything else. Because otherwise, we just feel overwhelmed looking at the list. And that's again, why a good to do list will help you an automated to do list. And then as far as planning, everybody for sure should be doing like a daily plan, like what are the three things I'm going to do today or tomorrow. But a lot of people especially if you're managing other people, you do need to have a broader plan for like the group. Right? So what's everybody going to work on this month, this quarter this week? Just sort of depends on the the complexity of your organization. But most leaders in the world today in business are really many project managers. Yeah, they're managing trying to keep people accountable. And so they need really good tools, and then kind of time management on how to like use the tools so that the whole team can be more productive.
Jenna Redfield 23:51
Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. And I think a lot of people in our group are trying to build their own businesses, and maybe they're bringing on employees. And a lot of times I like, who what, what do they do? How do I be the manager of them or the manager of my own time? So when it comes to working with other people, like how do you manage other people's to do list? Like, I just feel like that would be the very, very overwhelming task?
Jan Lehman 24:17
Yeah, it really is right now. And so there's a huge change going on within our business world that we used to work very independently. And so used to have like an accounting manager that would have one person entering debits, one entering credits, we've automated all that simple stuff. And now everybody really works in a collaborative team environment. And, and so that's why you're seeing an evolution of the technology changing. So Slack, Asana, all those things are coming on the market. Now, office 365 is coming on the market, those are all being geared up to help companies create a better environment for people to work collaboratively and to do better planning as a team and tracking as a team. So that's a huge change.
Jenna Redfield 24:57
Yeah, I think that with the that's interesting that you're saying like a lot of the tasks have been automated to or even something like for example, for me, I'm using a CRM. So I like all my leads and all that stuff. And and we had a automation expert on recently, and we talked about some of those things, because I think just saving time by not having to do things manually is so powerful. Is that something you also help people with? Yeah, kind of setting up those?
Jan Lehman 25:24
Yeah, again, it's you're looking at time consuming, repetitive tasks. So in your sales funnel process, if you're caught, you know, you get a hot lead, and you want to send out an email to five week mark or five day mark, whatever, stream automated, right? There's no reason that has to be done manually.
Jenna Redfield 25:39
I think honestly, a lot of people that are starting in business are just so overwhelmed that they just don't even know how to automate. But I think that that saves you so much time at the at the beginning. And then I think the other issue is, a lot of people are have full time jobs, and then they're starting a business on the side, or they have kids or they you know, driving them around, how do we like also integrate our personal life and maybe even to do list in our personal life into our business to do list?
Jan Lehman 26:05
How does that work? To me? It's all the same? Oh, yeah. Honestly, like, I mean, it's not like I'm not a mom during the day. Right? So yeah, I mean, I, to me, it's there are days that the top three things on my to do list might be heavily family focused, and there's other days is gonna be heavily business focused. But it's really what's the most important thing for me to do today, right? That's what it comes down to. So you know, you could have two separate to do list. But again, you got to look at both and figure out what's the most important thing for me to do today. So it's all very intermingled. Yeah, people shouldn't feel bad about it. It's just the way life is.
Jenna Redfield 26:38
I know. And I think, you know, the other thing that I think a lot of people struggle with is, and I can kind of we can kind of talk about this is prioritizing within marketing their businesses, like what is the priority? And what should I be spending my time on, and you do a little bit of marketing for the organization that you're, you're the marketing chair for? So how do you create prioritize within marketing? What you what your what you do for that role?
Jan Lehman 27:04
Oh, that's interesting. Yeah, again, it's looking for that that credo principle, what's the 20% of the activity we can do that's going to have the biggest return. And that helps dictate. So our podcast for NATO and the association productivity and organizing professionals, is, is gotten really well received. So we know that's going to stay a big focus, it's getting a good following. So we want to keep the pipeline filled with with really good guests, things like that.
Jenna Redfield 27:27
And so what are some ways that you use marketing right now? are you? How are you finding your clients? Are you doing a lot of social media or kind of what's your what's your marketing?
Jan Lehman 27:40
Yeah, look like? So LinkedIn definitely is probably a big secret weapon right
Jenna Redfield 27:45
now for sure. on LinkedIn, oh,
Jan Lehman 27:47
yeah. No, it's so powerful. And every single person should be getting recommendations on LinkedIn, it actually affects kind of your your SEO, you know, kind of how you show up on the internet. The more recommendations you have, the higher your, and people can't fudge it, right? Like you write a review for me, I can't change your wording. And that comes directly true. Review, very validated, it's very much an online review. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 28:09
Do you have a lot with your business? Or do you just mostly post on your personal LinkedIn?
Jan Lehman 28:14
Now I could do better focus posting on personal but Oh, yeah, just do your business. So well link on LinkedIn, it's all about my business, and everyone's on Facebook, I do personal stuff. But LinkedIn is really where every business should be. And that's part of our focus with our association is we have a lot of productivity consultants in our association that are using LinkedIn. And it's like, well, that's where business owners are. If they're not finding you there, they're validating you as a business there. So you need to have a presence.
Jenna Redfield 28:40
And it's interesting, because I find LinkedIn, a lot of people think of LinkedIn is like, I'm looking for a job. That's not true anymore. They have so much more content. Now people are I can post any video I post on Facebook or Instagram. I can post on LinkedIn. Yeah, yes. And I'm actually literally exporting a video right now and post something death. But um, it's funny, because there I've been, I'm not kidding, I probably been on LinkedIn more lately than I have been on Instagram, which is crazy for me, because I'm like, that's my thing is Instagram. But I find that it's interesting. It depends on your audience. So if you're a business to consumer, go on Instagram. But if you're more of a b2b, and like looking to connect with other business owners, I would definitely recommend LinkedIn for sure. And so how has a and you probably How long have you been doing this?
Jan Lehman 29:23
Well, this sort of work my whole career, but I've owned my own business for 1010
Jenna Redfield 29:27
years, and how has it changed in those 10 years? Like how has like the world changed? How has like the internet changed for you and how you run everything?
Jan Lehman 29:36
Yeah. So I mean, technology is every year has taken a bigger, bigger role. And I have an is it background, so it's helped me so not just Time Management Coach, I definitely know what technology can do. And so I, I'm well positioned because of what we can do these days with technology.
Jenna Redfield 29:53
Yeah. That's interesting, because I was just curious, because I've only been out of college, five years. So like, it's crazy, because I you know, right when I was in college was when Google Drive, launch. Yeah. So like, I can now do projects with my classmates on Google Docs, which didn't exist when I was in high school. So I was like, This is so great. Like I can actually, I don't have to be in the same room as someone to write a paper with them, you know. And so I think there's so many more ways that we can collaborate with people. And I just think it's so interesting. So do you have any other tips? Like, for just just getting work done? Like, even when you're in the zone? Like, how do you stay on top of your time, like, so you don't spend too long on a specific task? Or how do you just, it's like a note, that's going to take me too long? How do you like know when something is slowing you down?
Jan Lehman 30:43
So can I answer it a little bit differently, just so one of the things I've seen a lot is that people don't think about the importance of a task, and they spend way more time on something than they should. So again, another area where we're doing a lot of coaching is this concept of kind of like project management concepts of scope management, which is, you know, is this does my client one and a plus product? Or do they want to be product that they want it delivered sooner, like, what's the more important thing? And so I'm working a lot with clients there. So if I have a client, that's a perfectionist, and would spend like, 20 hours on something, you know, I would challenge like, is, you know, what's the importance of this? Is it getting it done sooner? Or is it a plus quality? Getting them to understand those concepts is really important in this day and age? Again, it's another time management tip.
Jenna Redfield 31:34
Yeah, let's talk a little bit about, like personality types, because I think I'm not a type A, but I feel like there's times what I am. It's just like, I feel like I'm like, sometimes typing. But I'm, like, most of the time, I'm not. So how does that affect how people think. But then also, maybe some of like, sometimes I have clients who are type A, it just, it doesn't fit with me as a person is that something that people struggle with is if they have like a client, there's a different way of thinking than them.
Jan Lehman 32:03
As far as the success of the relationship. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 32:05
Like, like, for example, like, I'll give a specific example, I had a I used to do video editing. And I had one client who was so type A, that she just had to have everything perfect, because she's kind of perfectionist. Yeah. And I was a kind where I was like, I'll get it there. But it's gonna take some time, because I can't read your mind. Right. And she got upset that I couldn't read her mind. Yeah, but she wasn't explaining it very well. So I was like, I'm trying to like give you like, like, I'm showing you what I know how to do and what I think you're trying to tell me. Yeah, but then she just got so mad that she ended. That was the only time I've ever been, like, fired from a client. I just like, just like, couldn't understand why I couldn't figure out what she was, like telling me without, she wasn't even actually telling me anything. Yeah, so I was like, I can't read your mind. So that was something where I don't know if it was because she was type A or because she's perfectionist or because I just, I couldn't I couldn't read her. So is that something that people struggle with with clients is like, maybe they just work differently, and it just doesn't vibe. And they just they'd have too many struggles?
Jan Lehman 33:03
Well, I think I think a big thing is if somebody is not open and willing to hear how we can work together better than you're stuck. Yeah. So it doesn't necessarily matter. It's somebody that type A, so much as if the team is saying, hey, when you say this is how we feel, and they're like, Oh, my gosh, I'm so sorry. I you know, because my team has said that, to me, I'm very task oriented versus relationship oriented. And my team has said, Hey, Jan, everyone's Well, we really probably should go out to lunch. I'm like, Oh, yeah, good call, like, I just I won't think. But if I wasn't open to that, it's important to my team that we see because we're not always together. And so that we're together on a periodic basis, if I'm not open to hear that, it doesn't matter, my personality type, it's more my ability to be empathetic when somebody points something out. So in that, that I don't like, I don't know. Like, for me, it doesn't matter what the person is how it is for the person, if they're not willing to change or be open to change, then nothing's going to be different. But you can make different personality types work together better.
Jenna Redfield 34:00
Yeah, sure. Interesting. How, how has that? Because I know there's all these personality type, like tests now they're great. Have you looked in any of those had that part of your like, like understanding yourself more to choose? Like, wait, cuz like, for me, I found out like, I'm a two on the Instagram, I found out that I my Myers Briggs has changed over the years now I make an Ian FJ, I think are up and I remember, but like, you know, does that kind of impact how you're productive? Yeah, based off of your personality type? What do you tell that?
Jan Lehman 34:30
Yeah, it does. Whenever I'm coaching somebody, I'll ask if they've had any personality assessments, they're really very telling. And again, it comes back to then having an open conversation. And if you know that, yeah, again, like you're more task oriented person, you can say to people, Hey, you know what, I don't kind of just come in my office all the time, because I'll get annoyed because I want to just get worked out. versus a relationship person would be like, come in, let's chat. Let's procrastinate work. Right. And then I'm stereotyping. But so I think one of the things that, you know, like we talked about dysfunctions with the team just being open and honest and saying, this is how I'm wired. This is how I think, call me out. If you see I'm doing something that doesn't work for you. But just realize this is just the way I yeah,
Jenna Redfield 35:14
I think the awareness is so important. Yeah. Yeah. Because a lot of the time is people don't realize it, or they've always been that way. And they just never put a name to it. Yeah. And I think that having someone look at them from the outside and saying, This is what you are, or this is what I think you are, this is what I'm watching and seeing. What are some of the biggest communication issues people that have with if they are a certain person that like, like you mentioned, like not going out to lunch enough or something? Is there some things that bosses do that just you know, they miss because there are certain personality type? Well, I think, to me, communication in general, is one of the biggest hurdles right now in business for sure.
Jan Lehman 35:54
Yeah. And one of the areas where I see a lot of struggle one if you're trying to communicate via email that's like futile, don't have a discussion, the email that's not it should be face to face.
Unknown Speaker 36:05
But even face to face, yeah, I could talk about something
Jan Lehman 36:07
and walk out with a different expectations true. So probably one of the big mistakes I see with with leaders is they say something, and they think that everybody gets it. So one, the largest part of the population are visual learners, not auditory learners. So saying something doesn't resonate with everybody. writing it down drawing pictures really cements what you're trying to communicate. So one of the biggest mistake leaders is just assuming everybody got it, because I said it.
Jenna Redfield 36:33
That is like so powerful. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I, I have never thought of it that way. I know. I'm a visual learner. I'm very, very visual. And I feel like sometimes I have a tendency to interpret things differently when I hear them versus when I see them. Yeah. And I think now that you're saying that I'm like, this is this is why I like to meet in person, because I can see their face. There's so many in the non verbals. Yeah.
Jan Lehman 37:01
30% of indicates nonverbal. And I think I
Jenna Redfield 37:04
think just just, I think I can also just, I don't know, I just find I do better in person. Yeah, even I always hated I hated talking on the phone my whole life. And it's because I couldn't see the person. visualize them. So when they like when there was a pause, in the call, I'm like, what are they thinking? Yeah, exactly. Like you kind of assume the worst. So I feel like, you know, there's a so I guess, this is actually a really, really powerful question. I have a lot of friends recently, who have started doing working from home remotely, which is a very new thing in the last 10 years because of the computer. Do you are you pro working from home? Are you you know, anti because it's just, you know, you can get distracted easily? What are your thoughts on working from home?
Jan Lehman 37:51
Again, I would say it depends on the person. So if somebody doesn't have the best setup at home, whether it be young, young kids or whatever, then it might be more distracting. Yeah. If you don't have the self discipline to not like go read the yard and because you want to procrastinate work, that is not good. But as a general rule, because I'm all about quiet on interrupted time. Allowing and it's really what people want these days is that flexibility. So I'm a huge proponent of allowing people to work from home, but make sure they have the right setup to be successful
Jenna Redfield 38:19
staying well, because the other topic is obviously I've worked in here at Studio co work is co working, you know, people know pay to work
Unknown Speaker 38:27
with people, you know,
Jenna Redfield 38:28
there's the whole even like working at a coffee shop, like hearing the chatter around you sometimes. Sometimes that helps people focus because they're not by themselves. So there's just so many different interesting things. How do people discover what their best work environment is? I think
Jan Lehman 38:43
sampling different ones. Okay. So yeah, there are some people like if you were getting in school that maybe were like, listen to music, when you're studying you're probably find in a coffee shop, like I could not listen to music. I need a quiet, but you can sample and see what's working where you're getting aggravated.
Jenna Redfield 39:00
Yeah, I actually look this up. And apparently, like if you listen to classical music in the better for you or something?
Jan Lehman 39:07
Yeah, there is something like beta. Yes. Yeah, that
Jenna Redfield 39:09
and then one thing I found there's a website that actually allows you to go to there. And it's just sounds from like a coffee shop. And it just like any like RMB on, like people talk. Yeah. Like that, you know, that kind of like home of noise is kind of like one of those machines like white noise, but it's like coffee shop. So you can hear like, clinking it's just like, a website where you can listen, I don't know. But yeah, this is such a, like, so many people in our group are working from home or working at co working. And they're just, you know, I think a lot of them are struggling with staying focused when their life is happening around them. And I just I know, I do, like, I work from home. And sometimes I sit in my bed and I work on my laptop. But then, like, then I'm like, Am I being lazy? You
Jan Lehman 39:58
know, my kids alive? I stay in my pajamas. Yeah, like unless I have a video called the client or Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 40:03
I don't know
Jenna Redfield 40:04
if that was like a negative thing where it makes you feel lazy because you're in bed. Like, I'm just curious, because I have a desk. I could go say that. But sometimes I'm just like, Oh, it's like, it's it's nice and warm and friendly. And you know,
Jan Lehman 40:14
if they're being productive, you're good. Yeah. And so again, it goes back to often leaders will make bad assumptions. Like, they'll be like, well, they went to the gym at 10 o'clock in the morning. And my response would be well, if their brain dead, and working out like energizes them to focus, then that's perfect. That's what they should do. Too many people try to fit into this sort of, yeah, a lot of people say you should get up first thing morning, take a shower. And like, if that helps you be productive. Sure.
Jenna Redfield 40:38
Yeah. And I think the nine to five concept has been going away. Because like, I know, so many people that work from like, late into the night, because that's probably when they're the most productive is you know, maybe they, they work a nine to five, and then they do some stuff in the evening. They watch TV, and then they go on their computer from like 10 to 2am and are just like working. So I think it just depends on Yeah, like your personal preference.
Jan Lehman 41:02
Yeah, what fits your work style, which again, like I will work Saturday mornings, because I like to be home, my kids get off the bus, but I have a full time job. So and I am hyper focused in the morning. So Saturday morning before everybody's up is killer time for me to work. So I just that's just the way I work. It's totally fine.
Jenna Redfield 41:18
I think I think just figuring out which works for you is something that we just haven't bought about
Jan Lehman 41:24
No, no, no. And it's simple. And all the solutions are pretty simple. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 41:29
What is like? So if somebody wants to get advice from you work with you? Do you have like any resources or things that you recommend to your clients to learn more about how to be more productive? It's far as like podcasts, you kind of mentioned that like, whether it's like, Is there any like online resources, obviously working with you? But is there any, like blog posts or things that you like to read to learn more about productivity?
Jan Lehman 41:55
Yeah, I think Well, I do recommend it. So nato.net is our organization. We have these wonderful podcasts. We have a lot of blogs out there on organizing and productivity topics, I would highly recommend great educational resources within NATO. Yeah. So that would be a great place to go for sure. Yeah. But honestly, just googling what you're looking for. Yeah, certainly, again, the key thing to keep in mind, though, I think is figuring out what the root cause of your issue is important. Because you might read a ton of stuff that doesn't apply to Yeah, so I feel like people can waste a lot of time. And that's where coach can really figure out. Okay, here's the 10 things you should try. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 42:31
And I think that follow up and accountability is huge. I think a lot of people, they need that, especially in this distracted
Jan Lehman 42:39
eight. Yeah. So they go to a training session, and they
Jenna Redfield 42:42
don't do anything. And yeah, for sure. I'm definitely working to do more of that. In my own coaching. I do a lot of marketing coaching. And also my workshops. Like I don't really follow up after the workshop. I'm like, I probably should like how have you been actually utilizing this things that you learned in the workshop and all of that. So how do we thank you so much for being here? How do we find you online? Yeah, so
Jan Lehman 43:02
my website CTC productivity again, CTC is circle customer, phone number 651-600-8382. And you find me on LinkedIn, pretty
Jenna Redfield 43:14
awesome, and will leave all those links. So yeah, I definitely think you guys should be on LinkedIn. If you're not I'm hopefully gonna have a LinkedIn expert on at some point. There's a bunch in the city. Yes. I just got to figure out which one I want. I've got I've got a few.
Okay. We'll talk after Well, thanks, guys so much for listening to today's episode, and we'll talk to you next week. Bobby, thank you. Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield.