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MLP 047: How Being Intentional With Your Time Helps Make You A Better Leader with Ashley Janssen

Every day, leaders must choose how to make the most out of their time.

To get caught up in activities that aren’t profitable means both businesses and the leaders themselves could pay a heavy price. If you’re looking for some practical suggestions about how to use your time wisely, you’ll get a lot out of MLP #047!

We bring back Ashley Janssen (guest on MLP #030), co-founder and CEO of Code and Effect, creators of the invaluable meeting agenda software called Tadum.

You’ll learn many of the effective time management techniques that Ashley recommends, including: 

  • Managing your time with intent
  • Time blocking
  • Setting aside time for self-care
  • Steps for establishing an ideal schedule and more!

Eleanor Beaton

Ashley Janssen - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

Ashley Janssen is co-founder and CEO of Code and Effect, a software company that develops web-based business and consulting tools, and co-founder of Tadum, the online agenda for recurring meetings. 

She has been an entrepreneur for over 10 years and specializes in strategic planning, operations consulting, and business development. 

Her superpower is bringing structure to chaos which she shares through one-on-one consulting, her blog and public speaking. 

She is on the University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) board of advisors and a VMS mentor. She was awarded an Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 in 2017

You Can get in touch with Ashley Janssen at 

https://ashleyjanssen.com/

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

00:00 – Show Opening

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach. With the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

00:27 – Start Here – Podcast content starts here!

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. And if you’re a leader who loves to take action and you’re listening to this podcast to help you do just that, thank you so much for being here. And one of the things as a leader myself, that I know we all run into is you can feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you don’t even know if you can see a way out. You get so busy or you get that badge of honor when you feel busy. Well, if you feel like that sometimes, today’s episode is going to really help you out because today’s episode is titled How Being Intentional with Your Time Helps Make You a Better Leader. And thankfully we’re bringing back expert consultant Ashley Janssen to help you learn how to do just that. Now, many of you may remember her from episode 30 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast when she talked about Tadum, an app that can help you really supercharge your meetings, and I’ll leave a link in the show notes if you’d like to go back and find that episode. But you’ll also recall that during that episode we learned that Ashley Janssen is a global thinker, someone who comes to every project, every client that she deals with in a holistic way, and you’re going to really see the consulting side of her come out in spades on this episode today. And with that in mind and knowing how valuable this is going to be for you, I’m not going to wait another second. Here’s Ashley Janssen.

01:45 – Welcome back Ashley Janssen!

Gordon Sheppard: Ashley Janssen, it is great to have you back here on the show. I remember back in episode 30 when you told us about an app solution called Tadum, that I think every meeting leader has to go out and learn about in terms of bringing accountability and making the investment to make their meetings even more effective. And today we get to pick out another part of the great things that you’re doing in the world to help entrepreneurs. And so many of the people listening today though won’t know the full details. So take a moment and tell us a little bit about yourself.

02:13 – Tadum: Meeting Agenda and Minutes Software – https://tadum.app 

Ashley Janssen: Yeah, thanks for having me, Gordon. I’m the CEO and co founder of Code and Effect, which is a software company that develops web based tools. I’m also the co founder of Tadum, as you mentioned. Which is online agenda for recurring meetings. And as we’re going to talk a little about today is I provide one on one consulting to entrepreneurs who are struggling with organization and time management. And I’ve been an entrepreneur myself for over 10 years.

Gordon Sheppard: And you’ve been in the trenches, [crosstalk] you get organization and time management. I’m sure if we had nine hours to talk here on the podcast, you could tell me some of the things where you’ve kind of, you know, earned your stripes in a sense. And I know the title that we were working on before we started the recording here today was how being intentional with your time helps make you a better leader. Now when you meet somebody, what’s the first thing that you want them to know about this issue?

02:57 – Managing your time with intent

Ashley Janssen:     I think it’s that we sort of have this narrative in North American culture specifically about being busy all the time. And you know, we all talk about how many hours of work a week we’ve been working and all the things that are happening and how crazy things are all the time. And I think it’s really important to think about breaking that habit and thinking more about how we’re spending our time and what we’re doing with it and how important it is to really think through those things and have some intention around it.

Gordon Sheppard:    So being busy as not a badge of honor.

Ashley Janssen:     No, I think it’s actually shows a sort of a lack of forethought because it ends up being very reactive. You’re kind of dealing with whatever the next fire is instead of really thinking about, you know, what am I actually putting my time and energy into and what’s important to me.

03:42 – Time blocking to achieve the ideal schedule

Gordon Sheppard: Well and when you help people put out fires, what are sort of the tips that you run into? What’s your first big tip that people can take away today and actually do something with?

Ashley Janssen:     Sure. So I sort of get a combination of time blocking and thinking about your ideal week. So one of the exercises that I often have my consulting clients go through is actually thinking about if you had the perfect week with no crazy things happening, nothing going sideways, what would that look like? And I think it’s important to think about it both in terms of your professional life as well as your personal life because they’re not really that separate.  So you know, if you know that you want to spend time exercising and you know you have specific types of projects you’d like to work on and you know what that kind of looks like, you can block it out in your week. And then look at your actual week and look at things like, you know, you have a doctor appointment or you know you have to pick your kids up on a certain day because it’s early day or you know you’ve got a meeting with a big client coming up. And kind of overlay those two things and see how do you make your current week as good as you can knowing that things will go sideways because they always do. But sort of again, leading with that intention and really thinking about how do I make my time as as useful as possible.

Gordon Sheppard:    I think I would call it compartmentalize. I love this idea of time blocking. It makes total sense to me, especially when you’re trying to slow down the chaos that can happen in so many entrepreneur’s lives.

Ashley Janssen:     Yeah.

05:06 – Managing to-do lists 

Gordon Sheppard:    And funny enough, this reminds me then of the dreaded to do list. How do you help entrepreneurs deal with that?

Ashley Janssen:     So like I also think of this as the intentional to do list and one of the big parts of thinking about your to do list, is thinking about it in terms of urgent versus important. So it’s easy to get stuck doing sort of the things that are urgent but don’t actually move the needle on what’s important to you. So really thinking about is this the right thing to be working on? And part of that is sort of tying it to things like your to dos rather to things like due dates, how long you think it’s going take you to finish if it relies on somebody else’s work. And then most important out of all those things is actually tying your to dos to goals. So is the thing that you’re working on actually making you move that needle closer to a goal you’re trying to achieve? So maybe it’s a big project, maybe it’s more of a strategic goal, but you know, it’s easy to feel like you’re actually, you know, busy and doing all these things. But is that activity actually driving to a result?

Gordon Sheppard:    I love this. And one of the ways I know that I’ve sort of put this in context as well as I say, are you doing $10 an hour work, $100 an hour work or the CEO 1000 and $2,000 an hour work. And that ties in. But this concept of getting those to dos locked into the goals-

Ashley Janssen:     Yeah.

06:23 – Reserve time to recharge and engage in self care

Gordon Sheppard:    I think is really a great way to set people on the right path. And of course you said it earlier, entrepreneurs, there’s no separation between work and life. So how do you help people put it all together?

Ashley Janssen:     Yeah, so I think actually a really important part, a missed part of being a high-performance leader, is actually taking good care of ourselves. I think it’s something that people, it’s sort of characterized as being selfish or you know, we all put ourselves on the bottom of our lists. But building a time to recharge in whatever way that works for you I think is really actually vital to setting yourself up to handle the things that go sideways day to day. And it should be also considered as part of your time blocking. It can’t be, you know, once a month or that one vacation you take once a year. That’s not self care. Self care is every day. It’s one of those things that, you know, when you think about what are the things that recharge you and how do you make it so that those are built into every single day so that you can be high-performing. Because if you’re exhausted all the time, nobody thinks and makes good decisions and is very creative when they are exhausted. So the best way to prevent that is by building in that self care time.

07:27 – Practical results of effective time management

Gordon Sheppard:    And you’re able to do this with your clients. What kind of feedback are you getting from the work that you’re doing? Applying things like time blocking, intentional to do lists and self care?

Ashley Janssen:     I have a lot of them telling me that they hear my voice in their heads regularly when they start to go into bad habits. Honestly I think it’s that it’s making a big change in, like I said, calming that chaos. There’s this sort of, you know, pulling out of that craziness and that constant feeling like you’re running as hard as you can on the hamster wheel and taking that step out. And they’ve said how much it’s changed their perception of you know, what’s important to them and even just clarifying that for them so that they’re putting their time into the right things.

Gordon Sheppard:    What a great gift to get a chance to work with you and I really also appreciate you’ve taken more time to come on the show again. Ashley, thanks again for being here.

Ashley Janssen:     Thanks for having me.

08:16 – More from Ashley Janssen – https://ashleyjanssen.com 

Gordon Sheppard:    There was so much value in that interview for all leaders. Imagine being able to calm the chaos. Imagine if you actually took the time to take care of yourself. What impact would that have on your organization, on your family, on yourself? And if you’d like to hear Ashley’s voice in your head and learn more about her services and how she can help you as a leader, then visit ashleyjanssen.com. That’s Ashley, A-S-H-L-E-Y, J-A-N-S-S-E-N, .com. And if you didn’t write that down, don’t worry. You can check out the show notes for this episode and get the information right there. And of course if you’d like even more great advice from Ashley then check out episode 30 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. It’s called Effective Meeting Agenda Software That Gets Results. And you can find that by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/30

09:09 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy 

And I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. There you’re going to find great live training solutions that really can take your team to the next level when it comes to having more productive meetings that are connected to your strategy that ultimately contribute to moving your organization forward and serving your end user, your customers, your community at the highest possible level. And you can learn more about that by visiting meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.  And as always, thanks again for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

09:44 – Podcast Outro       

 Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader and don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Gordon Sheppard

Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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