Podcast

Episode 341

Feb 26, 2021

Michael and Allissa discuss ways to be more organized in your business and life.

Listen to "E341: How to Be More Organized" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 341

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • How to Be More Organized
    • Have a single or limited number of “trusted systems”.
      • Notebook
      • Todo app
    • Create recurring reminders and workflows
      • Set up weekly, monthly tasks so they prompt you
    • Create processes and workflows
      • Opening your office
      • Prepping for a first-time client
      • Closing the office
      • Writing an email newsletter
      • Posting to social media
    • Be intentional with your email inbox
      • File things into folders
      • Delete/archive stuff that doesn’t matter
      • Use a tool like SaneBox
      • Unsubscribe from email newsletters you don’t read
    • Consider going (mostly) paperless
      • Scannable
      • Google Drive
      • Evernote
      • Use paper when you need/want it, but not as a default
    • Use a password manager
    • Put EVERYTHING on your calendar
    • Clean your physical spaces
    • Honor your style of tackling tasks / align with your energy
    • Selectively let things go

Quick Tips

  • Scan everything in your wallet. Membership cards, insurance cards, licenses, etc. (not credit cards) Save to a place you can access on your cell phone.

Sponsors

Transcript: 

Allissa Haines:

This episode is sponsored by Acuity, our software of choice. Acuity is the scheduling assistant that makes it easy for both traditional businesses and virtual businesses to keep their calendar full. Acuity is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate so you can focus on the fun of your massage business. From the moment a client books with you, Acuity is there to send booking confirmations with your own brand and messaging. Deliver text reminders, let clients reschedule, let them pay online so your days run smoother and faster as you get busier. You never have to say what time works for you again. Clients can quickly review your real time availability and book their own appointments. You can get a special 45 day free offer when you sign up today at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

Allissa Haines:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint Podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve your quality of life. I am Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

And we're your hosts. Michael, what are you reading this week?

Michael Reynolds:

What am I reading this week? I am reading about the Biden Administration announcing changes to the PPP Program with a focused on the tiniest of businesses, which is us, folks. That's us. He has announced that for a two week period, starting, well, actually, when you're listening this podcast, it has started, by the time this is released, up until I believe it is March 9th. So there's a two week period where the PPP accepting applications from businesses that are 20 employees or less. So again, that is pretty much us, this community of solo and tiny businesses that have the opportunity to be first in line during that two week period.

Michael Reynolds:

So, I personally think this is fairly exciting because we all noticed there were some problems with the last iterations of the PPP program, with big companies swooping in and taking lots of money. So, the effort to prioritize the tiny and solo businesses that we all are and give us a chance to make sure we are prioritized to get PPP funding. So that is fairly exciting I think.

Allissa Haines:

Are we going to talk about the potential new calculations?

Michael Reynolds:

Potential new calculations, refresh my memory.

Allissa Haines:

So part of this new PPP, and the guidance has not come out on this yet because they only announced it like Monday, and we're recording on Wednesday. But for businesses that in 2019 did not have a big net income or actually had a negative net income on their schedule C, there will be a new calculation where their PPP loan amount can be based on, I think it's line seven, the gross income of the business in 2019, because what they were finding was that businesses that had just started up or that threw a lot of money back into the growth business with big equipment purchases, or just getting started and throwing a lot of money back into the business, they really got shorted in the PPP loan configurations because it was based on the line 31 net income.

Allissa Haines:

And PPP loans for farmers have actually adjusted. This has been adjusted for them for the last round as well but they decided to apply it to other businesses, not just farmers. So, if you have not yet applied for any PPP or you have not yet applied for the second round, it might be worth it for you to hold off another day or two just to see what the new calculations are and if they would work better for you.

Allissa Haines:

It does not sound like this is going to be retro. So like for me, I already got my round two PPP. With the new calculations, I would have gotten more, but it doesn't look like they're going to allow amended loan amounts retro, at least not right now.

Michael Reynolds:

Gotcha. So I was not aware of that. So this is different than the quarter to quarter revenue 25% drop adjustment for the application. This is specifically addressing the amount of the loan you can get.

Allissa Haines:

Yes. And I'm not sure if that quarter to quarter calculation still applies if this is someone's second PPP loan. I don't know if that's still going to apply with the new calculations. I mean, this is just about loan amount, it's not about loss for 2020. So, I'm not sure about that and I don't think anyone is sure about that quite yet. Details are emerging.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. A lot to keep track of. Excuse me, thank you for bringing that up. So many details.

Allissa Haines:

I may have geeked out and watched a lot of videos on it like yesterday and Monday.

Michael Reynolds:

Love it. Love it. What about you? What are you reading?

Allissa Haines:

So, I am back to reading fiction. And I have to say, I can't believe I've never heard of this series. I love women's detective series. I love it. I like some of the old Agatha Christie and I like, I think it's Margaret Truman wrote a whole series of detective novels. Anyhow, there is a series called The Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. That was the first of a series which started in 1998. I think the most recent one was published in 2016, there's like 20 books. Anyhow, it takes place in Botswana. And the main character is a woman lady detective. And it's so interesting. Some of it's just like funny little stories. And some of it is like really heartfelt. And some of it is very Sherlock Holmesy. Just learning about such a different culture is really, really interesting.

Allissa Haines:

So anyhow, back to reading fiction. I actually already finished the first one. They're pretty short books. They're not super long or intense. And I'm starting on the second one. And I am very much enjoying this recreational reading.

Michael Reynolds:

Lovely. Speaking of books, I took your advice on the Magic Treehouse books for Eli and he loves them.

Allissa Haines:

Oh good.

Michael Reynolds:

We finished Dinosaurs Before Dark and we're on the second book now.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. Oh, that's awesome. Liam stopped reading them. He got a little sidetracked and started reading something else. But I need to pull him back because we were like at maybe 19 or 20, and I want to get back to them. I love it, yay.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Our first sponsor, Jojoba

Allissa Haines:

Thanks Jojoba for sponsoring our podcast. I believe that massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products. You know this because I think our clients deserve it, and that we deserve it since our hands are soaking in this stuff for many hours every week. The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first-press quality jojoba. We are delighted to be their partner. And also it is non-allergenic. I can use it on any client and every client and I do not need to worry about an allergic reaction. That's a really big deal. Takes a lot of stress off my brain. You my friends can get it 20% off, I said that wrong, 20% discount off the price of the product when you shop through our link, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Yay. All right.

Allissa Haines:

Michael has prepared this big, and I'm going to call it aspirational topic for us. And don't get overwhelmed because you're definitely going to find one nugget to take away and that's a win. You'll probably find more than one. Michael, what are we doing?

Michael Reynolds:

Well, thanks for setting the bar super low for me. I appreciate that.

Allissa Haines:

Anytime. Hey, listen, I looked at this list, and I was like, oh, dear god, no. It overwhelmed me for a second, and then I was like, no, this is just a list of really good ideas. And it really is, when I went through it, I was like, oh, this is going to be awesome.

Michael Reynolds:

It kind of reminded me of your Facebook post about like, hey, how often you should clean everything in your house, and everyone's like laughing about all this stuff that nobody's doing.

Allissa Haines:

No way.

Michael Reynolds:

So today, I'm going to talk about how to be more organized. I'm giddy about this topic. I'm just really excited. And here's why. I am not good at plenty of things, but I do pride myself on being pretty organized. I feel like I'm one of the most organized people I know. Again, I'm bad at so many things so I'm not trying to brag or anything, but the things I'm good at, being organized is one of them. People ask me for productivity, feedback and tips and things like that. And I love sharing this stuff.

Michael Reynolds:

And so, I'm going to go through just a kind of a, to me, it's a short list, of things that I tend to do to be more organized and that help me just kind of go through life in a more organized and clear way. And it just really helps a lot of aspects of my life. So how to be more organized. And the reason I also want to bring this up is I see that in working with a lot of massage therapists throughout the years in our community, how organized you are can play a big impact in so many other areas in your business. How much money you make, how much satisfaction you have, your ability to take advantage of opportunities. Just being organized helps.

Michael Reynolds:

So let's get started. So, how to be more organized. So I'm going to start with I think what is the most important thing, which is to have a single or a limited number of trusted systems. So let's talk about that. So this comes from the Getting Things Done philosophy by David Allen, which has been around for a gazillion years. And I'm not expecting you to go read the book, but if you want to read the book, it's called Getting Things Done by David Allen. And there are a number of nuggets that I have adopted from the book that I've just consistently followed since then.

Michael Reynolds:

So, one of them is the concept of a trusted system. So if you think about how you capture information, how do most of us do it when we have to remember something? We either keep it in our heads and hope we remember or we stick it on a post-it note and lay it on our desks, or we scribble it on a whiteboard, or we find a scrap piece of paper, or we stick it in a notebook, or we put it in our phones, or we do all these things, and we don't really have a single method or methodology for doing this.

Michael Reynolds:

And so, what happens when we have all this scattered information for things that we have to keep track of is that we have no trusted system, which means a couple things happen. One is that we just don't know where anything is, we just have all this stuff lying around in different scattered spots, and we can't keep track of it all, and things fall through the cracks. And two, this causes stress because our brains, our subconscious understands that there's no system for trusting where things live and our brains can't trust that there is anything out there that is supposed to keep track of an organized fashion and it causes stress. And so our brains create stress and anxiety over that.

Michael Reynolds:

So, what I do is I keep a very limited number of trusted systems that keep track of things. My one main system is Microsoft ToDo, which I think I've talked, I know we've talked about before. Allissa and I both use this app. And this is sort of the replacement for Wunderlist, which I used to use. So, I'm not saying you have to use Microsoft To Do or it has to even be electronic. But what I do is on my phone, and it's also a desktop app that syncs up in the cloud, is I have pretty much everything like the single place where all my stuff goes is Microsoft ToDo. I have lists for different businesses, I have lists for grocery shopping, for family stuff, for different contexts of my life. And if there's something I have to remember to keep track of, it goes there. I just know that no matter what, if it's something I need to worry about, I'm going to open up my phone, I'm going to find the appropriate list, I'm going to stick it in there. And then more importantly, I'm going to put a due date on it.

Michael Reynolds:

So this is really important to me. This may not necessarily be appropriate for everybody, but for me, everything that goes in my to do list has a due date, because then I can look at the kind of the inbox of all the stuff I have to do and it's organized by due date. So that way, nothing ever falls through the cracks because there's always a list of stuff that's either due or overdue for me to do something with, pay attention to. Whether I just mark it off and forget about it, or I actually do it, it's not going to fall through the cracks.

Michael Reynolds:

You can have more than one. So one trusted system is a really good idea. Having a limited number of trusted systems can also be a good idea. So, for example, in one of my businesses, I have a CRM, which is a Customer Relationship Manager tool, which the equivalent might be something like Acuity for massage therapists, it might be a different system, whatever it might be. And that can hold to do items as well. And so, having one two, maybe three systems is fine. That is enough for your brain to manage. But you want to keep away from post-it notes everywhere, holding things in your brain, writing them on different scrap pieces of paper. That's the stuff that just doesn't work.

Michael Reynolds:

Now, a caveat is if you just are in a hurry and you just want to scribble something on a piece of paper because it's just there, fine, go ahead and do it. But then go take that piece of paper and stick it on your computer so that you know you're going to transfer it to your trusted system very quickly, or just transfer it right away as soon as you have five minutes free. So, that's kind of how I manage things.

Michael Reynolds:

You can do with paper also. Plenty of people do a great job managing their trusted system from a paper notebook. And that is totally fine. Just know that you've got to carry that notebook with you and it's got to be around at all times, and that's where everything goes. So that is probably the most important thing I do to stay organized is having one or a limited number of trusted systems so my brain knows that's where everything goes.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm going to tie this in as well, create recurring reminders and workflows. So, I'm a big fan of recurring reminders and to do items to kind of automate things in your life. It's kind of manual automation. So automation is basically just putting things on autopilot and they just kind of happen. But what I call manual automation is things that pop up and prompt you to do a thing. So, over the years, I've realized that a lot of people want to have this kind of holy grail of, hey, I want all my systems to talk to each other and magically do all this automatic stuff. And that never really works well. So, I'm a huge fan of just having your simple to do list, pop up and tell you to do a thing. And then you just go do the thing.

Michael Reynolds:

So, a simple, dumb example is take out the garbage. I'll just use the most basic example. So every week we take out the garbage. I have a to do item on my Microsoft ToDo app that pops up every single Monday and says take out the garbage. So my brain doesn't have to remember to take out the garbage. If I forget to look out the window and see my neighbors with their garbage cans, it just pops up, oh yeah, take out the garbage. And every week it pops up and reminds me. The same thing happens in your massage practice. Whether it's a thing you have to do every week or every day or every month or whatever it might be, set automated reminders in your to do system that will pop up and say, okay, boom, time do this thing. And then you never have to worry about doing the thing because the list tells you to do the thing. So that helps me a lot.

Michael Reynolds:

And as I kind of talk through this stuff, I hope it's becoming a little bit clear that a lot of the purpose of this stuff is to relieve your brain of remembering stuff. In David Allen's book, he talks about how stress and anxiety are rooted in the brain's desire to remember all the stuff you're supposed to keep track of. And as soon as you get past like seven or eight things in short term memory, your brain starts to lose track of stuff, and that's where anxiety starts to bubble up and start to generate. So, by offloading stuff into external trusted systems, you are letting your brain have permission to let go of those things, and it lowers your anxiety. This is actually really a thing, like it really works. So that's why this stuff is really important.

Michael Reynolds:

Along with that, I'm a big fan of processes and workflows. So these are checklists, things that you don't want to have to remember how to do every time. And I know some of this stuff may seem really basic like opening the office, prepping for a first time client, closing down the office, writing an email newsletter, posting to social media every week, scheduling out your Facebook posts. Whatever this may be, you do it over and over so it's probably like, oh yeah, I can do this stuff, not a big deal. But when you're in a hurry, when you're stressed out, when you're lacking sleep, when something is disrupted in your life, it's really easy to say, oh yeah, what was that step that I need, oh yeah, I got to do this thing. And then your brain is suddenly worrying about the anxiety of did I miss something and it just causes more stress.

Michael Reynolds:

So I'm a huge fan of having a checklist for everything you do on a repeated basis. So this, yeah, go ahead.

Allissa Haines:

I was going to jump in. I have to say, this was a really big deal for me when I reopened to my office in the fall and it was a new office space for me and I had all these new COVID protocols that were really anxiety inducing. And I was so worried I would forget a step of the process or screw something up when I was closing the office and leaving alone at night or whatever. And just having, we made a list, and just having that list of like what needed to happen when you walk in the door first thing, if you're the first person in the office, and all the things that needed to happen between each client, because I really wanted for my office [inaudible 00:17:28] to be following very similar protocols. Even though we're never in on the same day, I really wanted similar protocols.

Allissa Haines:

And then for leaving at night, the very act of having a list and having it right there on the countertop really obvious, slowed me down enough to reduce my anxiety a little bit and make me feel more confident. And I got to say, the one time I didn't use the list, I was leaving the office at like nine o'clock on a Monday night or Thursday night or something, and I was just exhausted. I think I didn't check the list and I actually left the office unlocked for three days. The next person that came into the office a couple days later was like, your door was kind of lodged open a little bit. It was locked but it didn't close and latch. So yeah, because I was moving too fast and I didn't bring out the list and I didn't move through it slowly, just to check, check, check. So, I found that it really helps slow me down enough to feel confident that everything's getting done.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice. That's going to be paper or electronic. I mean, it's fine to have just a clipboard that has your checklist on it, like that's totally fine. There are also some really good apps. Asana is a free app that lets you create to do lists that are kind of in order and you can check things off. Process Street is another one. There's a free version, you can just use Microsoft To Do also, just have a list that you just kind of pull in and say, here's my subtasks, go under it. There's a lot of ways you can do it. So don't feel like you have to be tied to one thing or another.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, next, your email inbox. So, there are lots of ways we communicate, but there's kind of one universal baseline and that's email. So you can have your Facebook messages and posts automatically go to email to notify you, you can have all of your other social stuff go to inbox email, you can have your project management stuff go to your Acuity. Everything can go to email. Everything kind of defaults to email. And so, to me, your email inbox is still kind of your clearinghouse for all your communication. So when I talk to people who are struggling with being organized, I would say without fail probably 100% of the time, made up statistic but probably true, their email inboxes are out of control. They have like hundreds of unread messages. That's usually a symptom of struggling with organization.

Michael Reynolds:

And I get it. Email is just, it's overwhelming. Sometimes we get too much and we just don't know what to do. The key is to be intentional and have at least some sort of decision making process with your email. There are lots of methodologies out there. Allissa and I both, maybe Allissa still does, but I used to subscribe strictly to the Inbox Zero methodology. I've since adapted since then. But it's a really good kind of baseline foundation to build on. You want to be sure that you're filing things into folders. Don't just let stuff sit in your inbox because that's the equivalent of having a ceiling high pile of paper in your office that you've done nothing with.

Allissa Haines:

I don't use folders at all. Do you use folders?

Michael Reynolds:

I use limited folders, I use archive, and then I use SaneBox folders, which I'll get to in a minute. But the only folder I really use is archived.

Allissa Haines:

Good, that makes me feel better because that's all I use.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. I don't want to pretend like it's a one size fits all because plenty of people get a lot of value out of having a folder for every project or client or whatever. And that works for some people so I don't want to discount that. Personally, I just use one folder, which is archived. And then I have SaneBox folders that go with that, which again, I'll talk about in a minute here. But really, everything could just go into archive because you can use search to find whatever you want. I'm assuming a lot of us are using Gmail or something that is as powerful as Gmail, which means the search is going to work fine.

Michael Reynolds:

Anyway, the point is to file things. Don't just let stuff sit in your inbox. If you're done with it, get it out of your inbox, doesn't belong there. Delete or archive stuff that doesn't matter. There's so much of the time when you just know you're not going to do anything with that email, you're just not going to. Just get rid of it, get it out. Keep your inbox a place where stuff that matters lives.

Michael Reynolds:

So, I use a tool called SaneBox. And there are lots of different email management tools, you don't have to use this or whatever. But I really like SaneBox. It's not that expensive, I think it's like three bucks a month or something. And what it does is it helps you dynamically filter email. So for example, there's called the sane later folder, there's a sane news folder. There's sane reminders like snooze next week and snooze one day or whatever. And you can set reminders when you email people. So basically, if you're going to email someone and you know you want to keep track of it because they might not respond, you can blind carbon copy and address like three days at sanebox.com, and in three days, that thread will pop back up and pop back in your inbox to remind you that you need to make sure this happens. So stuff like that. You can snooze emails for a week, you can kind of have a fluid way of scheduling things.

Michael Reynolds:

There's other apps that are similar like Boomerang, there's Superhuman, which is an email program also, there's a lot of different tools. But it's worth researching tools that might help you manage your email better because you don't have to just accept the default of avalanche of emails flowing in and feeling overwhelmed. There are lots of tools out there. And if you want to get more in-depth into these tools, send me a note and I would love to help you. I'm addicted to helping people be more productive. So I'm happy to help.

Allissa Haines:

Can I-

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

So I tried SaneBox at one point, and it was like, it was just too much for me. But it helped me to develop a system, where if I send an email and I'm like this person who never get back to me, I need to make sure I follow up, I just immediately go to my to do list and I make a note with the date, like follow up with blah, blah, blah. And a lot of times in the little note of the to do item, I'll just paste whatever is important from the email to remind myself of what I need to follow up with. It works pretty well for me and it's just a way of like, SaneBox might work for you, or there's a million different programs and systems and apps.

Allissa Haines:

But I am staunchly refusing to learn any more apps or software programs, I'm just done. I'm just done. My brain is fried, I don't want any more apps. I get the cheap iPhone, my phone cannot hold any more apps. So instead, I created a system using a tool I already have like my to do list and it worked really well. So there's an idea for people.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Also, unsubscribe from email newsletters you don't read. Half our inbox I feel is like email newsletters that we don't care about but we just don't get around to unsubscribing. So be relentless. I kind of make it a game. If there's an email newsletter that comes in, I get excited to find the unsubscribe link at the bottom if I don't want it any more. I'm like yeah, unsubscribed, boom. And I feel like I've marked off another point in my leaderboard that I've gotten that email newsletter out of my inbox, and I've cleaned up my inbox just a fraction more. If you can't find that unsubscribe button, that's on them, mark it as spam, get rid of it. Use your email system to not see it anymore by blocking it. If an email newsletter does not have an unsubscribe link, that's on them, you're not doing anything wrong by marking it spam.

Michael Reynolds:

So, that's kind of the email thing. There's a lot more we can go into depth about on email, but I'm going to kind of stop there. Just be intentional with your email is my point. Don't let it just fester.

Allissa Haines:

Just regarding email, one final thought, if you're the kind of person who has 40,000 emails in your inbox, if you just want to give me a call or drop me an email, I can handle that for you. I would love that. That's like a recreational activity for me to clean out someone else's email box. So you just let me know if you need me to do that.

Michael Reynolds:

Super satisfying. All right, hear me out on the next one. Consider going mostly paperless. Okay, stop, hang on. I know that people love paper. My wife is one of them. My wife loves paper. People love paper, I get it. I hate paper but I'm not everybody. But here's the thing, you don't need paper for everything. It's fine to use paper for note-taking or other stuff, or if you want to keep certain things on paper. But the documents that we have our lives filled with don't need to always be on paper. For example, receipts. Your receipts don't need to literally be sitting in a shoe box or a big file cabinet. Scan them in with an electronic receipt tool. The documents that we want to keep track of in general, in our massage practice. If you want to keep them on paper for a good reason, specifically if there is instances, yeah, do that. But in general, there's so much stuff we can scan and digitize and then shred, or recycle.

Michael Reynolds:

So, I use an app called Scannable. I know Allissa uses it as well, a lot of our members do. Scannable is awesome. It's an iPhone only app I think. So there are other equivalents for Android like Genius Scan and some other stuff.

Allissa Haines:

JotNot, JotNot and JotNot pro.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, there's plenty of stuff out there. So, over time, if you start to digitize your documents and file them accordingly and then shred and recycle them, you're going to have a lot less clutter in your life, and it's going to be easier for you to find stuff, because you can organize it into Google Drive or Evernote or whatever system you want to use. And you've got a digital system to keep track of it all.

Allissa Haines:

And not for nothing, it is so nice to be able to access all of your documents and paperwork when you're not in the particular location of the documents and paperwork. We were shut down, so I left my office March 12th or 11th, or whatever, thinking I'd be out of there for a couple of weeks. And I didn't go back for a month and a half. And over that month and a half, I needed access to my paperwork, but because I had scanned and uploaded the bulk of my stuff into Google Drive, I didn't have to go out into Plague Land just to get a file of folders.

Allissa Haines:

So, it is really, really nice, I found that more and more useful over the last several months. And now my office doesn't have a lot of storage space. So the bulk of my even business related paperwork is at home in a file cabinet. But when I'm at my office, I can just access my Google Drive and immediately have everything I need, like my DBA certificate or whatever, if I need something like that, it's super easy. To be able to access your paperwork from anywhere is really helpful. That's my plug, I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

So I would say use paper when you need or want it, but not as a default. So a lot of us we just default to paper and digitizing or scanning things is maybe an exception. I would challenge you to flip that and have your default be can everything be electronic and digital. And if not, then use paper. Default to digital, and then paper can be as needed. So, you don't have to go completely digital, but I think the more you can go that direction, the better it's going to be.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, next, passwords. If there's one thing that just bogs people down when trying to accomplish tasks, it's passwords. So much of the time I see people kind of struggle with, oh, I don't know my password for this site, I've got to do a password reset. And now it's like 10 minutes later and I'm moving on. You just get stuck in stuff because you can't log into sites.

Michael Reynolds:

Allissa and I both use an app called LastPass. But there are lots of password managers out there. I think LastPass is like two or three bucks a month, it's not much. Dashlane is another option. There's other password managers out there. But using a password manager is one of the most life changing things that I've ever done because all my passwords are stored in LastPass. And when I go to a site, my browser plugin just fills in the password for me. I log in, I'm good to go. I can set a unique strong password for every site so that I'm not reusing passwords and keeping them simple and therefore easily crackable. I'm being secure. And so, that really helps me to not get bogged down in the friction of getting stuck because I don't know a password.

Allissa Haines:

I am going to jump in again. If you have a kid doing remote learning, you may have noticed that they have a bajillion logins.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, it's ridiculous.

Allissa Haines:

It's insane. Between Google Classroom and Schoology and the Sora app for reading books. The little guy, he's got like 12 or 15 different logins and passwords all with different criteria. It's a total nightmare. And so, when we first started doing the remote learning last spring, I started putting all of his stuff into my LastPass. And then a couple weeks ago, I actually upgraded us to a family LastPass, so he's got his own now, but I can access stuff and it makes it easier to share. And it's been really, really great for all of us. So, pro tip if you've got a kid doing distance learning and it's always a nightmare, use a password manager with them.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, it's a lifesaver. All right, next, I'm almost done, I promise. Put everything on your calendar, and I mean everything. So, on my calendar, everything goes there. If Eli has a playdate with a friend, it goes in the calendar. If Eli has something random going on, it's on the calendar. If we're going to some family event, it's on the calendar. Even little simple silly stuff that we don't think should go on the calendar, it goes in the calendar. Obviously meetings are on the calendar and massage appointments you're going to put on the calendar.

Michael Reynolds:

But whatever it is, if it's something you have to do at a certain time, get it on the calendar, because that's one less thing for your brain to have to worry about. Even little silly things that you think don't matter, every little thing you can offload from your subconscious is one less thing your brain is going to worry about, and therefore, less stress you're going to have overall.

Michael Reynolds:

So, your calendar is what David Allen, going back to David Allen, he calls your hard landscape. This is the stuff that you have to do at a certain time that is kind of set in stone on your schedule. I put everything on my calendar no matter what it is, and that's really helped kind of lower anxiety and stress in my brain as well.

Michael Reynolds:

Let's see. Clean your physical spaces. Did you add this, Allissa, or did I?

Allissa Haines:

You did.

Michael Reynolds:

So much good stuff here, I forgot what I added. Clean your physical spaces. So, I'm a big fan of reducing clutter. I think that when you have a lot of clutter sitting around, it just again, bogs down your brain. So, I'm a big fan of, even if you're busy and you've got a long list of stuff to do, sometimes whenever I feel like, oh, I just feel stuck and brain fog, I realize that I need to take 20 minutes and just clean my office. I just need to go around and throw things away, I need to shred some stuff. I need to put some stuff where it belongs and to clear the space on my desk. I just need to tidy up my space. And then my brain just kind of unlocks and it feels clear.

Michael Reynolds:

And it's often how we don't really notice this stuff, but I'm trying to do a better job of noticing that if there's clutter around me, even right now, I've got like stuff on my desk, I'm looking around, I feel kind of bogged down. So as soon as we're done here, I'm going to declutter a bit. And that's going to kind of clear my space to allow me to not worry about the stuff sitting around me. Yeah, go ahead.

Allissa Haines:

I'm going to jump in, sorry. So, I have found that I am a person who likes for everything to be put away. I like surfaces to be clean and clear. I like countertops to be empty. I live in a very neurodiverse household. And one of the issues that many people in the household deal with is object impermanence. So if something is not very visible, it will be completely forgotten. If there is a glass of milk that needs to get finished and it was thrown back in the fridge, if it's not in front, in the very front obvious point of the fridge, in front of the gallon, that glass of milk will get forgotten for five days, people will just take stuff out of the jug, whatever. We have a real object impermanence issue in my home.

Allissa Haines:

So, I have found that there has to be a really good balance between me clearing all the surfaces and also leaving certain things out so everyone is cued to do the things that they need to do when they need to do them. If I put all of the medication bottles or my vitamin bottles away, I will never remember to take my vitamins. But having a whole bunch of bottles on the counter is really distressing to me all the time. So, we are embracing lots of solutions like pill cases, which are less obnoxious on the counter than 12 different bottles of my calcium and vitamin D.

Allissa Haines:

Please know if you are someone that is perhaps a little neurodivergent and you have an object impermanence issue, clearing surfaces might not be the best option for you. But strategically cleaning them and leaving only the important stuff out is going to be really helpful because you will see those most important things and they won't get caught up in this massive clutter of everything else. Okay, I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, thank you for that. All right, I'm done with the technical stuff and I've got some fluffy stuff to end on. I got two fluffy things to think about. One is, I think it's important to honor your style of tackling tasks and to align with your energy. So a good example of this is I think it was one or two weeks ago, Allissa talked about the eat the frog kind of thinking, which is, hey, if you got a bunch of stuff to do, eat the frog, which means do the hardest most biggest hairy thing first to get that off your plate to kind of clear the deck. So that works really well for a lot of people. I'm the opposite. Eating the frog to me just kills my whole day.

Michael Reynolds:

So to me, if I'm ranking things like I've got three things that are tiny things to knock out, two medium things and then one frog, if I try to eat the frog first, my day is just not going to happen. But if I knock out the three tiny things first, I snowball into, okay, I've got some stuff accomplished, and now I'm going to work on the middle things. I'm going to leave the frog to like two or three o'clock in the afternoon because then I can focus on it. That's me personally.

Michael Reynolds:

So I think it's important to understand how you would tackle things and what works for you. If eating the frog works for you and doing that thing first, then that's what you need to do. If you're the opposite or some other way, then honor that and understand that. And then align with your energy. So if you know that you are fresh and energetic first thing in the morning, but then by two o'clock in the afternoon, you're just done and you want to nap, then align your stuff you have to get done that day with that energy level. If you're the opposite, if you wake up just in a fog, but then you get going by noon and you're a night owl, then align your stuff to go with that kind of assignment of where your energy goes.

Michael Reynolds:

So you don't have to fit into a one size fits all box, you can adapt your, I mean, obviously, if you have the ability to and it works with your life, but try to align your energy with the work you do and be okay with that. You're unique, you have a certain way of doing things that works for you, and you can embrace that.

Michael Reynolds:

And then the second thing and I want to end with is learn to selectively let things go. I have trouble with this. I struggle with this a lot because I want to accomplish everything. I want to get everything done, I want to do everything. I say yes to too many things, I overextend myself, I have a habit of doing that. So I've really tried more and more over the years to give myself permission to selectively let things go.

Michael Reynolds:

Some examples. If there's an email sitting in my inbox from someone who wants something from me and I've just let it, I've been letting it sit there for three weeks because it's a thing I have to worry about, and I'm just not going to really have any, I'm just not going to do it. There's nothing wrong with just saying, I'd love to help but I can't right now and let it go. It's not the most polite thing in the world but if it's someone that you're okay just not responding to, just let it go if it's just too much.

Michael Reynolds:

If there's something you have to do or you don't have to do, but something that you want to do that's in your personal or business life, and it's just not going to happen, give yourself permission to just let it go. It is okay, you can't do everything, you can't be all things to all people, you can't help everybody, you can't do everything on your to do list all the time. You can't say yes to every volunteer opportunity or every business opportunity or every, just let it go. If you find that it's helping you to boost your energy and to get more done and to kind of clear the way for better things, it's okay to learn to intentionally and selectively let things go.

Michael Reynolds:

Even if you have guilt around it. I predict that if you learn to let the right things go selectively, that the short term guilt you feel will be overshadowed by the relief and the lowering of anxiety you will feel. So that's kind of my last soapbox on how to approach productivity in general is it's okay to let things go.

Michael Reynolds:

So, I'm done. That is my list. I'd love to hear anything you would like to add, Allissa.

Allissa Haines:

That was really good. I have the mantra of what would happen if I just don't do this thing, which I learned from Gretchen Rubin, an author and podcaster. Think it through. What's going to happen if I just don't do this thing? Probably nothing. And when you think that through very quickly, you can often find a way to manage it. If something bad is going to happen or if something detrimental to you is going to happen, you can usually figure out a way to delegate that thing out or handle it quickly, or decide that you don't care and just not do that thing. What's going to happen if I don't do this? Nothing is going to happen. Let's all move on. But this was really great. I hope people got a couple of nuggets from it and some ideas to try.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks. All right. With that, it's a good time to talk about our next sponsor, which is ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. ABMP says they're proud to sponsor the Massage Business Blueprint Podcast and we believe them. CE courses you will love are available for purchase, are included for free with membership in the ABMP Education Center at abmp.com/ce. You can explore hands on techniques, complete ethics requirements, discover trending courses like a detailed approach to low back pain from Allison Denney. All ABMP memberships include 200 plus video based on demand CE classes, and if you are not a member, you can still purchase access for single classes or a CE package at abmp.com/ce. You want more from ABMP, you're going to get it. You can check out the ABMP Podcast available abmp.com/podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And they got all sorts of great stuff, including Ruth Warner's I Have a Client Who pathology series, which is brilliant. So, that's my shtick. Everybody should check out abmp.com.

Michael Reynolds:

I agree. And I also love how related your quick tip is.

Allissa Haines:

This was awesome. I yesterday got my second COVID vaccination and I got home and I was pulling out the vaccination record. And I'm like, I really need to scan this so I have a record of it somewhere in case I lose this piece of paper. And then like five things fell out of my wallet, which is really just like a little tiny coin purse thing. And it was membership cards and insurance cards and various licenses and stuff. I was like, this is ridiculous because I feel like I'm always missing a card when I need it or just can't find it or whatever.

Allissa Haines:

And I decided to scan all the cards in my wallet. Not credit cards because I feel like that would not be secure. However, membership cards to the shopping club like my BJ's whatever it is, warehouse membership store thing. My dental insurance, my health insurance, my driver's license, which I actually already had scanned and uploaded because I've needed it for a whole bunch of the PPP loan applications and stuff. My massage license, my establishment license. Massage license in another state which I have.

Allissa Haines:

There was just a lot of stuff in there. And actually, once I scanned all of it, I realized it was a handful of things I didn't need to be carrying around in my wallet so I filed them, so that was nice. But my AAA card. It was really nice. I scanned everything and I uploaded it to a Google Drive folder that I called my wallet or something. And it's really nice to know I can lose my AAA card or lock it in my car, but if I have my phone, I can still access my AAA number if I need help or whatever. So, inspired by my COVID vaccination record, scan the stuff in your wallet people.

Michael Reynolds:

Love it.

Allissa Haines:

That's it. That's all I got. If you have a topic you would like us to cover, you can email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you find us helpful, leave a good review on whatever platform you're listening to the podcast on. Am I forgetting anything, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

No, I don't think so. Bring us home.

Allissa Haines:

All right, thanks for listening today. Have a super wonderful productive day and peace out. We'll see you next week.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks, everyone.

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