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I love hearing other people’s stories. Listen in to my conversation with Neill Williams if you want to hear her story AND significantly increase your productivity and optimize your time.
Neill Williams is a Master Certified and Deep Dive Certified Life coach helping time-strapped and overwhelmed coaches and entrepreneurs with their performance and productivity to help them get 40 hours of work done in just 10.
Neill has been my coach. I’ve learned marketing, funnels, Meta ads, and have personally watched her implement at record speed. She has a heart of gold and the gift of encouragement.
I have also been IN her business as her coach helping her get organized, set up systems, and implement a task management program.
Listen in as she shares her business organizing journey, what she wishes she would’ve done differently, and what she advises you do NOW. Of course, I ask her how she gets so much done! She shares what she’s learned during her health journey this past year which includes some key strategies and some very simple techniques, from both the physiological and psychological perspectives on productivity, to achieve heightened time efficiency.
You’re going to love it!
The key moments in this episode are:
03:27 – The Benefits of an Organized System,
06:40 – Creating Systems and Processes,
10:47 – Overcoming Self-Beliefs,
14:07 – The Importance of Organization for Coaches,
15:39 – Slowing Down to Speed Up,
17:02 – Organizing Time for Maximum Productivity,
19:43 – The Physiological Aspect of Productivity,
25:04 – The Psychological Aspect of Productivity,
30:55 – The Power of Purpose.
Your Simplifying Expert,
Connect with Neill Williams:
Focus Genius Productivity ToolKit (includes the tools mentioned in the episode.)
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FREE File Naming Formula Cheatsheet
Get Time Freedom with a Systemized and Organized Business
FREE Workshop: 3 Secrets to Organize Your Digital Files
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I wish I would’ve started organizing from day one. I feel like it sneaks up on you. So if you’re intentional from the beginning, you won’t have that backlog. – Neill Williams
Transcript with time stamps:
If you are wondering if you should get organized in your business, if you are wondering if this is the right time, if you are wondering, do I make enough money? Is this even going to work? This episode is for you. Today. I have Neill Williams on the podcast, and she is a very successful coach.
She’s one of my coaches, she’s one of my clients, she’s a friend, and I’m in awe of so many things about her. She’s on today sharing her personal story in her business about getting organized, what she wished she would have done, and then how she went through the process. So you’ll want to hear that. She’s also going to talk about the psychological and the physiological aspects to productivity and the things that she’s learning in her health journey this year and in her business. She shares some really simple tips that we can put into practice.
Before we get to the episode, I have to make sure are you enrolled in Organized Coach Academy! I know you’re probably sitting there wondering, should I do it? I’m kind of on the fence. I think Tracy would be really fun to work with. (I added that for your psychological influence.)
Join the Organized Coach Academy today. This inaugural round is going to be so fun. It’s so personalized. I’m going to be there every single step of the way. It is very inexpensive.
By the way, if you need me to break it into two payments, I can. Just reach out to me, DM me on Instagram at @TracyHoth and let’s do it together. There’s so many amazing people in there right now. I can’t wait for you. Yes, I’m talking to you to join me.
Go to training.simplysquaredaway.com/OCA. Are you ready to work less, feel more organized and productive, streamline repetitive tasks, and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly even without you? If so, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Organized Coach Podcast, your go to source for practical tips and solutions. I’m your host, Tracy Hoth, professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, down to earth fellow coach just like you.
No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD or just love anything organizing, I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you. Pull up a seat and let’s get started. Here we go. I have Neill Williams on the podcast, and we’re going to talk all about an organized business, what that looks like, when to start, and the source, kind of what it ties into. Welcome, Neill.
Thank you, Tracy. I’m so excited to be here. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us who you are and who you help and your business. I’m a master certified life coach through the Life Coach School.
I’m also a certified yoga instructor, and what I help people do is in the time management and productivity space. My goal is to help anybody who comes either listening to my podcast or goes through any of my current future programs, is to understand how to get 40 hours of work done in ten. Love how simple that is. We all want that. Yeah, who doesn’t want that?
We’ll talk more about that and how you do that. I kind of want to start with your organization story, like how your business was organized and kind of how you’re moving through that. Well, I wasn’t organized, which is why I hired you to help me with that. When I say that, what I really mean is I started to notice we create a lot of content. We’re very quick at creating things and getting things done.
That’s just the way that I work. We have all this stuff and it was taking me a long time to find things. I was constantly having to message my assistant asking, “Where’s this? Where’s that?” I felt like such a pain for her.
I should know where all this is but I can’t find it, right? That was really like the pain point where I was like, we need some help doing this because we keep talking about getting ourselves organized and we’re not doing it. We need someone to actually point us in the direction, help us set up systems and project management and things like that so that we can start organizing ourselves. So that’s where we started.
Now we are at the point where I do feel like it’s fairly easy for me to know where to find things because you helped us set up, for instance, like a Google Drive, and we have specific folders where things go into those folders. Then we also have something else that you helped us set up, which was Asana, and that helps us organize our tasks and assign tasks out and have due dates and communicate about all those projects and tasks within there. It feels very like I can find things when I want them and I know how to make sure that somebody on my team gets something done and gets it done in the time that I want them to have it done. Two really key parts of having an organized business, being an organized coach. Yeah, totally.
And then I think there’s always that, but we still have this to do. I still need to get this dialed in. We still need whatever. I know you had mentioned your directory of assets. Were you guys creating your directory of assets?
Yes. That’s been really huge. Even yesterday we were looking there because I’ve created probably ten new freebies over the last 30 days. We were all hoping they were all in the right place. We had our team meeting, I was like, we’re keeping these in order – in a specific place.
Right. So we’re going to be able to organize them. Neill was like, yep, here’s the link to the Google Sheet. Each one of them was on the Google Sheet with a link to it. Both the link to our editable version and the shareable link, which is really helpful because I’m sharing these out through my weekly email newsletter.
Making sure that I have the shareable link versus our master document link very important because I’ve messed that up before. Yeah. We don’t necessarily have everything that we had created historically organized. We’re working on that but as we’re moving forward, we’re doing it in a very organized systematized way.
Every time we have a new process, we’re setting that up in Asana as an actual process and a system. It’s really cool. We hired a VA for the first time. There is a document we have where Neill and I are giving her tasks to do. We have all the links in that document of Loom videos on exactly how to do it, any following documentation or resources or things that she would need in order to do that.
It’s just like, here you go. It’s just this living document that Hazel gets to use and that Neill and I continue to update. That’s really cool look how it’s organized.
I know. That probably makes your brain spin. This is a process, right? It just takes time to start and then keep going and learn. You’re learning a new task and learning a new skill.
Yeah. And I have really had to set time aside on my calendar. Like, I have an hour set aside on my calendar now every single week to do organization tasks or to set up a process. Right. Like, we were just in our team meeting yesterday, and I assigned a process to Neill, actually.
I was like, okay, so for our podcast guests, I want to have a specific process that we have that we go through every single time, not only of booking them, but also following up. And there’s a gift that we want to give them and just letting them know, like, hey, your episode is going live. Here are some social posts you can use, things like that. And so I just assigned it to her, which was cool. But once we have that built, it’s so easy then to just like it just saves so much time because you’re just rinse and repeat.
Rinse and repeat. Yeah. And it’s messy in the middle. So I’m in that state today, need to send out to a guest who’s going to air or not today, on Tuesday, but I need to send that information out. And I’m like, okay, I have the beginning part of it really dialed in, but the end of it in that part, notifying them, isn’t quite there yet.
That’s kind of the joy of it. Well, not joy, but that’s kind of the mindset you have to have is that this is a process and each little step in it is moving us forward. Yeah. And I actually did have to try and find the fun and the creativity in it because I really enjoy the creative process in my business. That’s why I create so much content.
It’s super fun for me to do. So I really had to think about, okay, how can I make this fun for myself? Because it makes it easier for me than to do. So, like, just as we’re thinking through the podcast guest process, I’m like, what’s something cool we could do? What’s something interesting?
What’s something different? And Neill came up with this great idea. She’s like, well, why don’t we just have a pre written email that they could just send to their list linking up to the episode? So we have that, and we’re using AI tools to help us write that. So it’s just like fun, interesting, different things that we can infuse into our process.
That number one, make it really good experience for whoever’s going to be touched by that process, but also really leveraging our creative brains as well. Yeah, I love that the whole mindset part of it is great. Now, going back, I remember you had said that you had wished you started organizing earlier in your business. Tell me about that. So I wish I would have started organizing from day one, honestly, because what happens is your business grows and it’s like you’re in your day to day and you kind of just don’t notice it, right.
Until you bring your head up out of the day to day and you’re like, oh, wait a minute, I have all these things. And now I have a program and I have an onboarding process, and I have all this content and this material that I’m delivering to people. I feel like it sneaks up on you. So if you’re intentional from it from the beginning, you won’t have that backlog, which is what we were really struggling with, getting organized was that backlog of all the stuff for the years that we didn’t try to be very organized, we just weren’t intentional about it. So I would say from day one to set up a system and a process because now we’ve done a Pivot in our business.
Now as we’re moving forward, building out all this content and the processes around this Pivot, it’s so easy. We’re like, we know exactly where we want things. We know what the processes are. It’s almost like, in a way, it’s like we’ve started over, but not really starting over, if you know what I mean. And so I feel like I would wish this for anybody who’s just now starting, or wherever you’re at.
Just start organizing now. It’s way easier to do it now than to just try and go back later. Yeah. The pain of it, it feels so big. That’s the thing.
It’s so big and it just feels overwhelming and daunting. And so it’s very easy to just not do it. And then you just keep building a bigger and bigger hole. Yeah. And you never have time.
You don’t ever think, well, this month I have a lot of extra time. I’m going to work. No, never going to happen. I remember you saying that the reason you didn’t organize was because of a belief you had about yourself. And I think that’s key and kind of parallel with you talking about it being your organized self.
Tell us about that. So I think one of the reasons why I didn’t think it was valuable or worth my time to be organizing from the very beginning is I didn’t have belief that this business was actually going to go anywhere. And so if you think about that, if I’m like, I don’t know that this is actually going to work, why would I spend time doing something I really didn’t want to do in the first place? Right. I wouldn’t and I didn’t.
Right. So that’s the behavior that came out of that mindset. But now, because I do have belief in myself and my ability to do business, that I’m going to have a business going forward, it’s easier for me to see the investment of time in organizing and how that’s just it’s such a gift to your future self. Right. Because think about how you’re in the middle of something and you’re like, oh, I want to get this email done.
I can’t even tell you how many things, and I want to include this link to this freebie. And I can’t find I spending 15 minutes trying to find it when I don’t have the time to do that. This email was supposed to be done in 30 minutes ago. So it’s such a time savings going forward, but it has to come from, I think, the belief that it’s worthwhile that this is actually going to be a business, that you’re going to be successful going forward in order to be willing to invest the time in doing it. Yes.
And that makes me think about someone that knows it’s important and they want to do it, but they don’t know how. And it’s the belief also that it’s worth the investment, that it’s going to impact them or help them or work in their business as an asset. Totally. Because if they don’t know how to do it and it’s just not how their brain works, they don’t do it because of that. Even though they know it’s important and they want to do it, they don’t want to invest in that to find that help.
Right. I’m not going to say that it’s not challenging. I do think it is challenging if your brain doesn’t work in that organized way. But I think what you do is you figure out a way that you can leverage the way your brain does work to get yourself organized and so that’s the key. But I think you have to believe that it’s worth it in order to find that.
Yeah, I remember because I’ve been in your program.
We were talking about me creating this program to help coaches organize their business. And you would always say, Tracy, no one wants to get organized. What do they want? I mean, as far as messaging goes, like, they do the marketing maybe want it, but it’s like, what do they want? I’m like, I could ask Neill this, just see what she says.
What do they want? Well, I think the organization is the how you’re right. But when we’re thinking about marketing, we have to think about the what, like what’s the happily ever after someone’s going to get from being organized. And for me, it was being able to scale my business. Right.
I could see where we were stuck because we didn’t have processes or systems or we just weren’t organized. We weren’t as efficient as we could be. It’s very hard to scale up from that state. And I’ve heard this a lot of times, and my coach Jody Moore has said this too. Sometimes you need to just pause because you don’t want to grow the mess.
Right? So if you have a mess that you’re in right now, growing and scaling, that is going to create this monster that’s going to feel like completely out of control. And I knew that. I knew enough that I knew that was probably going to be a problem. And so to me, it was like that slowing down to speed up kind of idea.
So for scaling is like the happily ever after. Yes, for scaling. And then the other one I thought of too, which I see in several of my clients. They think it’s the confidence to be able to create an experience for their clients that they can find papers that they need. They can save 2 hours and be home with their family because they can find the things that they need.
So kind of a time thing too. And then all the feelings that go with it, they feel more empowered, more confident in how they’re running their business. More like a CEO. Yeah. I think that’s a really important thing that you just pointed out.
It is. Thinking about what does the CEO version of me like, what does her business look like or his business look like? I don’t think it’s disorganized. For most of us, it’s like, okay, we have some processes, we have some systems, we have a content, and we know where our content is. And I think when we’re thinking about it from that future state, it makes a lot of sense to be doing it right now.
Okay. You are a master at organizing time. You’re super efficient. I mean, I’ve worked with you and Neill. I’ve never seen such efficiency.
How do you get that? How does someone be like that?
I have to say this is like the number one question that people get. It’s the same question that I got in my corporate job because people couldn’t wrap their brains around how I could get like 60 hours of work done in 30. And I think it is, in my opinion, is how you organize yourself in your time. So it’s very similar to what you’re doing, is helping coaches organize themselves in their businesses. I think I help people organize themselves within their time to get the most out of their time.
And so to me, and I now have come at this from a very different perspective, but I think it just enhances what I taught before in terms of productivity and time management is there is a holistic productivity that is not about the right planner. What I mean by that is, and those of you who are listening, if you have planners that are collecting like digital dust or literal dust on your shelves, you know what I’m talking about. So many of those systems don’t work right. And so what I’ve had to come to this is from two aspects. So I first came at it from the psychological standpoint, like the mindset and all that, which is very important, believing that you do have enough time for all the things that you want, that you can get the things done in the time that you have.
Super important. But the other piece that I didn’t know until this year as I was going through all my health stuff, it just ended up being these strategic byproducts from all the research I’ve done on how to heal myself is the physiological aspect to this. So we have both pieces, but nobody in the productivity or time management space talks about your physiology. Nobody’s talking about how do you set up your morning, what are the first things you do in your morning so that you can show up with the highest focus? What is the actual time during your day where you are just the naturally, most focused and alert and really leveraging information like that to get a lot done?
As you’ve seen in my business, we are like we’re masters at this. Neill and I both do this. I call this implementologist. We’re just so good at this. It’s because of these practices that we do both on our physiology, but on our psychology, our mindset as well.
It’s two pieces. If there’s someone listening and they’re like, yeah, I want that, what do I do? What are some steps or what’s some thoughts that they would change or consider? So I would say two things. I’ll take it from the physiological standpoint and give a few tools there first, and then we can go to the psychological standpoint and talk about mindset.
Yeah. So physiologically, think about this, Tracy. Like, when you’re tired, how productive are you? Not very much. Not very naturally.
Our focus isn’t very strong. Our energy isn’t very strong when we’re fatigued. Some of the things that are so very important in terms of productivity are the things that Mother Nature just gives us. But we like discount. It’s things like sleeping.
Sleeping is the number one thing you can do to increase your productivity. And when I say sleep, I mean the quantity, but also the quality of the sleep, getting the deep REM and deep sleep that you need. So sleep is number one. Number two is understanding what are the simple things that you can do in the morning to really prime yourself for high levels of focus. Because when you think about it, I think about the times that we get the most done is when we’re the most focused and concentrated, right?
That’s the time where you’re just like things are going like this. So how do we get to that state? And there’s a couple of different ways to do that, a couple of different tools. The number one thing that I would say is understanding when that time is for you as a human. And that interestingly enough, depends on when you wake up in the morning.
So you can literally there’s an equation you can calculate and I already did this in a worksheet and maybe we can link up to this freebie for people if they want this. But it’s a focus time block calculator so you put in your wake up time and it’s going to show you when your highest level of focus is during the day. So thinking about structuring to the extent that you can, your schedule around that and then some things you can do so that you are focused inside of it. So you’re naturally going to have some of that focus. But then one thing that most people I think don’t know about focus is that visual focus, precedes mental focus.
So one of the things that I do and I’m so practiced at this now, I don’t do it so much because it’s very easy for me to drop into focus. But if you’re not used to that, you need some practices to build that skill. And so it’s a matter of like this is what we called a candle focus meditation when I was in yoga teacher training. But you can do it without a candle. You just want to pick something that is within your visual site and you want it to be a very narrow focused point and you’re just going to focus on that for 60 seconds.
While that seems like it’s not going to do anything, it is priming your focus and so you can come out of that and more easily drop into a state of focus. You want to think about doing that as you go into your focus time block and you want to do less than 90 minutes because anything beyond that you’re going to start to feel very fatigued. Your brain is not going to be able to keep up with that. And so thinking about this is like what I call the sweet spot of your day.
Setting it up at the right time and then priming it with that meditation, 62nd meditation. And then going to work on something that is really important, really matters. This is not a time to do email. And not a time to answer slack. This is a time to be creative, to work on something that’s really challenging for you.
Maybe that is a podcast, maybe it’s an email, maybe it’s a bigger project. But really using that sweet spot for the thing that matters the most is going to move the needle. The needle? Yes. Well, and that’s something super simple.
We could try I’m going to try that for a week. It’s interesting. Before I read the science, the neuroscience behind this and their studies on it, I actually used this candle focus meditation with my son because he was really struggling in school and I had gone through my yoga teacher certification and we did this and I was like, oh, this is a great tool. It’s so simple, I can have him do it. And it really did make a difference.
That kid can sit down and he can focus for a long time if he really wants to. And I really think that doing that meditation built up that skill. And that’s the other thing I guess I would like people to hear is like, this is a skill. It’s not like you’re born with a focus gene or you’re not born with a focus gene. It’s one of those things we have to intentionally build for ourselves.
To the extent that you get really good at that, there is a direct relationship between your ability to focus deeply and get dropped into focus and your level of productivity. And especially now with all the phones and our lack of focus, no matter if you really do have issues, like if you are diagnosed with Add or not, you have focus problems. We all struggle with focus. Yeah. So prioritizing that skill, like practicing that skill, would be huge.
I think it’s the most important if anybody’s wanting to increase or up their game in terms of productivity, that is the primary productivity skill, is the ability to focus. So good. Okay. That’s the physiological side of it. Sleep.
That’s the physiological focus. Yes. Okay, so let’s talk about the psychological aspect of it. I might send you this one too. So this is what we call our focus first mindsets.
And it’s really important to understand what your belief system is around time and productivity. Because your belief system is your mindset, right. And it is driving your behavior in your time. So, for instance, so many of us have this idea that I don’t have enough time. Well, that is going to whether you’re conscious to it or not.
And most of us are not conscious to this because it’s just so deeply ingrained in us. We are going to exhibit time wasting behaviors that are going to continue to prove that belief system true. I don’t have enough time. You will always find how that’s true if you believe that, right? So we want to be looking at what is your mindset around time.
And so this guide that we’ll put in the show notes here walks you through four questions that will help reveal to you what do you believe? What is your mindset around time? Really pivotal to understand that, because if you have a mindset that’s like, I don’t have enough time, that’s going to be your reality versus I’m the creator of time, that’s going to be your reality. And I’m not saying those are right or wrong. We just want to understand what is yours.
You can see why you’re using your time the way that you’re using it. And then if you don’t like that great. That’s why coaches are so amazing, right? Because we can help you shift into a different way of thinking about it. So what you believe about time is what your experience of it is going to be.
What is that? Yeah, that’s really good. And I can see all that come up with me because I feel like yesterday I wrote down all the stuff I did in the day as I finished it, and at the end of the day, I still felt like I didn’t get all that I wanted accomplished. But I looked at my list and I was like, oh, my goodness, I really did get a lot done, even though there was something I probably procrastinated on or got distracted with or whatever. But yeah, it’s good because I still struggle with those beliefs.
I know that surprises anyone that knows me because they don’t see me like that. But I completely have thoughts like, I’m not good with time and I get distracted too much and I don’t accomplish all that I want. So I can’t wait to do that worksheet. Yeah, it’s really good. It’s good for any coaches or anybody who just wants to understand where their mindset comes from.
It’s basically four different sources of experience or knowledge or information, and we can’t really change anything until we understand we have the awareness to it, right? So that’s what this one is designed to do, is to bring your awareness to what do I believe about time? And then you’ll be able to pair your experience around time with what you find there. And so, again, it’s not to be like right or wrong. It’s just this is what I have been believing about it.
This has been my experience. If that’s not the experience I want, then I need to do the work of shifting that mindset to something else so that I do have the experience with time that I want. I love that it’s so gentle. Reminds me again. Be gentle, not judgmental, right?
That’s right. We don’t make any progress when we’re judgmental and critical of ourselves. It just basically shuts down any potential progress that we could have. I can really see, as you explain these things, when we are focused and we have the right beliefs and we’re practicing these skills, that then we take that into our business. And there’s that parallel between being organized and prioritizing the right things, whatever those are, for each person in their business, how we could accomplish what we wanted to.
Totally. And I think it’s a more satisfying experience of our time. So for you, there’s a little bit of some mindset in there that’s, like, it wasn’t enough, even though you totally killed it, there’s something new that’s like, I should have done more. Right. But when we don’t have that kind of belief system, we have a belief system of, like, I always have time for everything I want to do, or I’m the creator of time or whatever else, feels really abundant and expansive.
Our experience of how we use our time is just so much more delicious and satisfying. Quite honest. It’s fulfilling instead of like this, oh, my gosh, I just didn’t get everything done that I wanted to. Are you imitating me or what? No, but I have been around this enough.
Like, I know what happens a lot. Yeah. Oh, I love that. It just makes me want to go sit with my candle and practice focusing. Yeah.
Your podcast is amazing, and I’ve listened to it for a long time. I know you’ve had some experiences this year that have brought these things to light. And one thing you said in your podcast was, I’m passionate about this, and because of that, I am going to help people with it. And I loved thinking about our businesses and how we help people with things that we’re passionate about. Totally.
I think it’s so important, right, to have some interest, at least around what we’re doing. And if we can get to a passion around it, even better, because passion is very motivating. And so when we’re thinking about being really impactful, it’s helpful to have that motivation, that drive. That why behind us, I think that’s the thing that moves us through the obstacles when things aren’t going the way that we want. Like, that promotion didn’t go the way I wanted to.
That client said no, nobody showed up for the webinar. Whatever the things are that happen to us in our businesses. Right. If we have a reason, a passion, that’s something that is above and beyond us. Even the science of success and behavioral science shows that that is the thing that keeps us going versus burning out and quitting.
Any last things you want to share and how can people find you? So I think the best way to connect with me is just to go check out my podcast, now rebranded to Success Genius. That’s the show where I share all of these tips physiological and psychological, on how to really become focused and get the most out of your time. The link will be in the show notes, but you can look that up. I can’t wait.
I haven’t seen the new branding picture yet, so I’m excited to see it. Pretty good. I love it. Yeah. Well, thank you for coming on.
Thank you for sharing your organization journey and your business and giving tips there, but then also teaching us that parallel who we are as a CEO and how working on those skills are going to impact all of it. I love it. Thank you for having me, Tracy. If you’re finding this podcast useful, you must check out the Organized Coach Academy.
It’s my course where I walk you through every step to get your business organized, to get yourself organized, to save money and time, and to prepare to hire someone to do all the things that you want to do in your business with ease. Check that out at training.simplysquaredaway.com/OCA. Also, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I would love it – it’s my way of knowing that you’re enjoying the podcast –
if you leave a written review. I have lots of freebies for you. They’re linked in the show notes. You can find them in my bio on Instagram at @TracyHoth. And until next week, have a beautiful day.