Drink Like a Lady Podcast

Cut Through the Overwhelm and Get Productive with Tanya Dalton

May 03, 2022 Joya Dass / Tanya Dalton
Drink Like a Lady Podcast
Cut Through the Overwhelm and Get Productive with Tanya Dalton
Show Notes Transcript

In this workshop, you will discover:

  • The difference between being busy and productive
  • How to reject the pressure to do more, be more, and achieve more
  • How to focus on doing what’s important so you can live the lifestyle you want
  • How to create a map to your ideal future

Did you know that your brain is FIVE TIMES more prone to noticing the negative than the positive. Why? Because that negativity bias was the difference between life and death for our ancestors. Thousands of years ago, they faced real fears, like being eaten by a lion.

But TODAY, that negativity bias could be torpedo-ing your ability to put 'self-care' in your calendar. Because your mom challenged you when you were getting your hair done at 7 years old. "Who do you think you are?" or someone told you at 13 "You didn't deserve it."

Here's the rub. Our brains love order. We are constantly referring to the past so we can guess what will happen in the future. Order. So, how can we short circuit our patterns, our negativity bias and start to make new choices?

In her latest book, productivity expert Tanya Dalton doesn't tell you what to think. She empowers you to choose how to think with a framework


Reflection: Why do we make the choices that we do? 

  • You wanted a promotion at work. Why?
  • To feel the success of climbing the ladder.
  • You wanted to run a 5K. Why?
  • To feel the joy of completion. To run over that finish line.

Projection. Based on the reflection, what are the choices you want to make?

Action: How do we move forward on the choices we are making?

Alteration: How do I protect for the times I get off track?

Join us April 27th for this workshop.

Joya is currently enrolling for her 2023 Mastermind here
Looking for adventure? She is enrolling for her 2023 Tuscan Writing Retreat here

[00:00:00] Joya: Good afternoon today is Wednesday at noon. And I'm really excited. I was saying to a friend earlier today that even though I'm of Indian origin, I'm probably it was German or Swiss in a former life because I'm always on time, 12 o'clock. And productivity and organization are my jam. They're my love languages.

And so I'm really excited to introduce you today to Tanya Dalton, who is a best-selling author, speaker, and nationally recognized productivity expert. And what we're going to do is break down for you a framework on how you can be less tactical and more strategic with your to-do list. I'm going to add Tanya here to my stream, and we're going to get rocking.

Tanya, how are you? 

[00:00:46] Tanya: I'm good. How are you? 

[00:00:47] Joya: Good. Good, good. So good to see you. I was just saying earlier today that when I am in front of my membership all week long, it's the same four things, regardless of the group I'm in front of that women complain about self care, productivity, time management, and how to build a personal brand.

So I'm glad that you're taking off one of those buckets for me today. 

[00:01:08] Tanya: Definitely. Definitely. I think that's the thing is no matter what industry you're in, no matter what phase of life you're in or even what phase of business, that's something we all need to talk about. Right? 

[00:01:18] Joya: Absolutely. Absolutely. Let's do a little bit of science because I love what our brain is doing in the background that we're not aware of. Your brain because of the neural pathways is five times more prone to noticing the negative than the positive and why it that?

[00:01:35] Tanya: Well, it goes back to our cave ancestors, to be honest with you, in that we needed to remember not to touch the fire cause it burns, right? Not to chase down the saber tooth tiger. So our brain is really triggered for us to survive. That's it's whole intent and purpose each and every day is to get us to survive the day.

So if it remembers the negative, it's going to keep us safe, which means we're alive and that's amazing, but our brain tends to hold onto the negative and see it so much more often. And the problem there is every time we see something negative, we have to see five positive things in order to discount that, that negativity.

So it takes being mindful and really paying attention to the way that you're thinking and the way that you are approaching your day to make sure you're not looking at it from a negative space. 

[00:02:22] Joya: So that negativity bias is why we probably look at self care and push it to the bottom of our calendar or why just torpedoes our intentions.

[00:02:32] Tanya: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Because we feel like, how can I possibly take time to take care of myself when I have all these other things I need to be doing? Right? So part of it is that negative outlook. Part of it is also cramming away, too much on our to-do lists. We like to put five day's worth of items on our list of things to do today.

And it all comes down to that idea that making time for self care is somehow selfish. When really when we take care of ourselves, we're able to give better to everyone in the world around us. In our business, in our personal life and every aspect and every way. 

[00:03:07] Joya: Our brains love order. We love to be able to take things and put them in boxes in our brain.

And those boxes are truly, what's already happened to us in the past isn't it? 

[00:03:19] Tanya: Yeah, absolutely. We love to use our past as a predictor of what's going to happen in our future. Our brain actually is like a little kind of tiny Marty McFly time machine. And what it does is when something crops up that is happening in our world today, our brain zooms back into the past and pulls from this big card catalog.

Here's what's happened last time. So here's what's going to happen this time. So we start to discredit our future based off of our past. And this is in a way, a good thing that our brain does. Because, we don't have to really think too hard about anything that we're doing. Like turning on the shower.

We're not intrigued by the spigots turning on, or seeing the sunlight filter through the slats of the blind. We expect those things because we have a past with them. But what happens is if we're not conscious and we're not really mindful with how we're thinking about our future, we'll let our past be what determines what we think our future options are.

So it limits us and doesn't allow us to see that there are so many more opportunities and there's areas we can stretch into that we haven't done before. 

[00:04:21] Joya: All right. So let's now dig into some of the frameworks. What is the difference between being busy and being productive? And I'll tell you that the first time that this became really front and center is when I became an entrepreneur. All of the structure of my being a TV anchor and having set slots when I was on the air had gone by the wayside.

So now all of a sudden I've got gobs of time and I'm very good at filling it with things, but they may not be the right things. 

[00:04:48] Tanya: That is that I think that's the thing is we're all really good at cramming our day full. One of the big questions I ask in my last book is are you filling your calendar or are you filling your soul?

Because I think a lot of us do that. We feel like if we're not busy, we're somehow failing. Right. Have you ever had that? Where you have 15 minutes where things are done and you have 15 minutes to yourself and you're like, hold on. This can't be right. It's a little bit unsettling. Right? But the truth is busy is just doing all the things, productive is doing the right things.

Being productive really is about choosing the things that are right for you. Aligning with the tasks, the projects, the activities that are aligned to that much bigger purpose of who you are and what you are here to do. And when we choose to do less, we actually feel better about what we accomplish in our day.

So doing less actually allows you to feel more accomplished. It's no different than if I said to you take 50 steps in 50 different directions. That would keep you busy. Right? Where would you end up? You could end up right in the same spot. You might end up further behind from where you are. But if, instead I said, I want you to take five steps forward. Five, just tiny steps forward.

Those five steps would get you closer to where you want to go. We get caught up in the quantity of life and not the quality of life. And so it really is shifting that mindset is about, it's not about doing more. It's doing what's most important. 

[00:06:17] Joya: I think it's important to talk about the Zeigarnik effect that kicks in, right?

When you look at a to-do list that's miles long, and you've only done, let's say three things, which is ideal for any particular day, you focus on all the undone things, as opposed to the done things. And that's not doing yourself any favor. So I wondered if you could talk about that? 

[00:06:36] Tanya: Well, this is one of the reasons why I really advocate for creating a priority list over to do lists.

I like to say that a priority list is a to-do list with intention because a to-do list tends to be very very long. Right? We just keep tacking things onto it as the day goes on. And as the week carries on. And we're not really organizing it. We're not really thinking about what it is we want to accomplish.

Our brain loves to check things off. Right? Have you ever written something down just so you can check it off? We've all done it because our brain loves that dopamine hit. We get a little hit of dopamine when we check something off. So what happens is we end up going for the smaller tasks, the easier things to check off, just to get that little dopamine.

So if instead of creating a long to do list, you sit down on, let's say Sunday evening or Monday morning, you create that big bucket list of what you want to accomplish for the week. And then each day you pull from that to create a shorter, more concise priority list. Where you're prioritizing these are the things I want to accomplish for today. So instead of looking at that big, long list and seeing all the things you didn't do, creating a shorter list that's prioritized and what you want to get accomplished today with five maybe seven things at the very most on it. And that's your list to pull from today. So the to-do list is still there.

We're still drawing from it, but each day we create a priority list instead. 

[00:07:56] Joya: I want to talk about goal-setting for a second, because I think that those things that you do put on that micro list daily have to feed up to the monthly goal or the yearly goal. What are your thoughts on that? 

[00:08:08] Tanya: Oh, absolutely. I think this is one of the biggest issues that we have is that we don't set the right goals.

And by the right goals, I mean the right goals for you. So when you're really taking a look at where you want to go, instead of looking at, oh, she's doing this thing and her business, I should be doing more of that. Or I see this company over here is doing these things. We're setting the wrong goals. And if you're setting the wrong goals, you're not really working on them on a daily basis.

Right? So what we want to do is we want to look at that long-term vision of where we want to go. This is why it's so important to step into the visionary role in your business. We want to step into that visionary role, look far to the future and see, where do I want to be 10 years from now, 20 years from now.

And then let's work backwards to decide what your goals need to be for this month. For this quarter. For this year, and let's really decide what those are. And then each day, if we make small progress towards those goals, each one of those tiny steps adds up so much faster. I think we get caught up in the big, giant leaps and we discount the small daily actions when truthfully it's the small daily steps that's going to be what gets you closer than those big giant leaps. 

[00:09:20] Joya: I was coaching a woman this morning and she said, I really need to just be more intentional about working on the business instead of in the business. Why are we as women leaders, so allergic to that idea? Or why is it that we set aside Friday afternoon?

And then it just goes to, it goes to shit because something torpedoes our day? 

[00:09:38] Tanya: I think we fall into this trap of nobody else can do it quite as well as I can. So as the CEO of your business, you're wearing all the hats, right? Marketing hat, CEO hat, finances hat, operations hat, all the different hats. And instead of saying, you know what, I don't even look good in hats, but let's take some of these off and outsource or let's delegate to our team.

We think nobody else can do it as well. No one else can do it as fast and we tend to take it all on to ourselves. And the truth is 80% done well by someone else is better than a hundred percent done perfectly by you. And it's shifting that mindset into understanding that delegation isn't abdication. Delegation is an opportunity to empower your team. It's an opportunity to allow them to gain skills and knowledge that will help them elevate on their career as well. But it also takes a lot of the things off of your plate. So understanding the difference there I think is really huge and feeling like it's okay for somebody else to step in and do the work.

[00:10:42] Joya: My VA, before I hired her, made me make a list of all the things I do and then silo the things I would have her do. And again, that's being strategic about your time versus just getting down there and doing it because, oh, I can just do it faster. 

[00:10:57] Tanya: This is the thing is the truth is it is faster to do it yourself the first time. It takes a little bit of time to write out the processes, to explain to somebody else how to do it, but what's your, what do you need to do is think of that as an investment. A little bit more time today, frees up your time in the future, right? It's no different than with training your kids, how to empty the dishwasher.

So you're not always emptying the dishwasher, right? Or training your kids, how to do laundry. So you're not stuck doing laundry for the next 20 years. Same thing with our team. If we put in that front end effort, it pays off in huge dividends down the road. So it really is again, shifting how we're looking at this, that yes, I could do this task in 15 minutes, but if I choose instead to take 30 minutes to train somebody else I never have to spend that 15 minutes ever again. Because the truth is if you're assisting your assistant, you are the assistant. 

[00:11:51] Joya: You're the CEO, the janitor and the assistant. 

[00:11:54] Tanya: Yep, absolutely. 

[00:11:56] Joya: Folks, I am joined here today by Tanya Dalton, who is a productivity expert.

She's written two books, one of which is 'On Purpose.' The other is called, 'Joy of Missing Out.' And we're having a great conversation today on how to be more productive versus just getting mired in the tactical of your to-do list. So I'd love for you to please start putting your questions in the LinkedIn live chat.

And we're going to keep talking here. So someone else said this to me yesterday, that she feels like nothing is ever enough. She needs to keep doing more, being more, and achieving more. But guess what? The downside of that is projects are left half done, projects never see completion. Why is that detrimental? 

[00:12:37] Tanya: I think it's one of those questions I hear from women all the time. They like to ask me, "how do I know when I've done?" And I'm like, "what is enough?" Right? Enough is like a bucket with a hole in it. It's never filled. If you don't take the time on the front end to define what enough is, what success looks like for this project, then you never know when you hit that finish line. And you never get the opportunity to, first of all, anticipate hitting that finish line or celebrating once that finished line has been crossed.

So really truly, and this is one of the things I teach people, not just for your own projects, but also for projects that you're delegating define what success looks like. And I would define success, not just as the ultimate success, but also what's the minimum viable project? What is the minimum things that need to have happen for this to be deemed a success?

What's the target? What are the items that you really, really want? And then what would an outrageous project look like? What would it look like if you really went above and beyond and exceeded expectations? When we set those expectations for our team members and when we set them for ourselves, we're able to truly feel like we can accomplish more because we understand where we're going.

It's no different than jumping in your car and saying, you know what, I'm going to drive to LA today. I'm going to, I'm just going to hop in my car. No GPS, no map. You just think this is where I'm going to go. Are you going to end up in LA? Probably not. If it's me, I might end up in Mexico or Canada, I have a terrible sense of direction, but we have to map it out.

We had to look at what are the milestones, what are the things we need to reach in order to get to where we want to go. So setting those milestones for yourself and for others really makes it so that not only is success attainable, but it's also measurable. Which allows your team and allows you to feel satisfied and successful.

[00:14:25] Joya: Two follow up questions there. The first is that this feeds back to your initial point about doing less. When you're doing less, you can really spend the time to define what is success, what is failure? What's a minimum viable product? Right? And then the second thing that I'm hearing you say is that, we are a little bit victim to our own perfectionism at times.

[00:14:47] Tanya: Absolutely. I like to say that perfectionism leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis. Right? We get caught up in doing just the right font or finding just the right stock image or doing it, and we tweak and we over tweak and we wear ourselves out, which means we're spending our time busy rather than truly being productive.

So perfectionism is one of those things that so many of us experience. I like to call myself a recovering perfectionist in that I recognize that I'm a perfectionist and it's not something that's done in my past is eight rears its ugly head from time to time. And I need to acknowledge it when I realize, gosh, I'm really reworking things because I'm getting caught up in perfection.

And what happens is we get into this kind of a spiral loop where it's like I'm redoing things and redoing things, trying to make them just perfect, when perfect doesn't really exist. And the truth is your customers, your clients, even your team members will connect deeper with you. You'll have better relationships if you actually let them see your imperfections. Your imperfections, your quirks, the things that make you unique are what allows you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. And it's so amazing to double down on those because when people see you. The real you, they understand that you are an authentic brand and they want to do business with you.

They want to spend more time with you because you're not showing them this robotic perfect image of what you think it's supposed to look like. I think that's one of the, that's one of the benefits that we really experienced with COVID is it allowed us to be aggressively imperfect because we were on zoom calls and kids were walking through the rooms.

Dogs were barking and all kinds of things were happening and nobody freaked out. Nobody was like, oh my gosh, this is so unprofessional. What happened was we were like, oh wow, this is a real person. This is somebody who has kids. This is somebody who has a dog, all of those things. And I think if we choose to embrace more imperfections in ourselves, that's what makes our companies and our brands more human.

And that's what people want to do business with. They don't want to do business with big corporations. They want to do business with you. And that's how you build a loyal customer base. 

[00:16:59] Joya: Now there's a cultural nuance here. I'm Indian, and I've always had hard driving Indian parents who never embraced failure.

So when you're dealing with the cultural nuances of that, what would be your commentary? 

[00:17:12] Tanya: Yeah. Well, I think this is a thing is we get really caught up in the identities that we create for ourselves. And for some of us, the identity is a perfectionist or an overachiever, right? Or smart. And what happens is we get so connected to those identifications, right?

Those ways that we identify, especially if they come from our parents. Because those are deeply ingrained. And what happens is we end up adjusting how we behave and what we do and what actions we take so that we can fit the parameters of that identity. So what I like to do is I like to stop and recognize in different moments.

How am I showing up right now? Am I showing up as the smart person? So maybe I'm doing things or tweaking things. So I don't appear to look like, I don't know what I'm doing because the truth is. Sometimes I don't what I'm doing. We all have moments where we don't or am I showing up as a perfectionist?

Can I choose instead to shift that and say, Nope, not going to show up as a perfectionist. I'm going to show up as the person who embraces a little bit of failure. The truth is any amazing story of anyone that you know, who you look at as an icon in an industry, no matter who it is, they've had setbacks. And those setbacks are what you love about them.

They've had failures. They've had things that haven't gone through. We love the underdog, unless we're the underdog. And then suddenly we don't like it, right? We don't want to have any of those failures, but truly failure is where we start to grow. And if you stop seeing failures as setbacks and instead realize that these are opportunities to build resilience and to believe, and you create confidence and belief in yourself, that's really, what's going to carry you through, into your future that you.

So it is, it's really stopping and recognizing them, those identities, especially from our parents are really deeply ingrained. So choosing to step away from them is it's hard, but it's very rewarding. 

[00:19:00] Joya: It's like turning around the Titanic, isn't it? 

[00:19:03] Tanya: Yes, absolutely. 

[00:19:05] Joya: We mentioned measurable and I'll tell you personally, this is where I get tripped up.

When I think about measurable goals, revenue is the immediate go-to. That's very quick and easy for me to measure. What are some other OKR that we're missing out on when we're measuring success versus failure? 

[00:19:23] Tanya: Yeah, I think we get really caught up in a lot of the vanity metrics. The metrics that look good, even revenue can be a vanity metric.

 I have met seven and eight figure entrepreneurs who are pulling in 1% of profits, which is. A successful business, but it looks really good because they're making, $40 million a year in revenue. So really understanding and deciding what are the metrics that matter to you? There's a lot of vanity metrics out there from social media to how many followers you have or how big your email list is instead of worrying about your email list size,

let's worry about the open rate instead. Instead of worrying about website, visitors, website conversions. Right? What are the things, the little metrics that are going to move your business forward? Generally I find when I'm working with women, there is five to seven metrics you need to look at each week. Let the other ones go because those five to seven are the ones that are going to really drive growth.

They're going to drive your business in the direction they want to go in. And it's not the same five to seven metrics for every single business. It depends on your goals and your vision of where you want it to go. So really starting to figure out like for me with inkwell press with my company with products. We look at things like conversions. We look at the size of people's carts when they check out, we're looking at things like, email open rates. We're looking at returning visitor rates, referral rates, those types of things that build the growth. We're not getting caught up in. How many likes did our last social media post?

[00:20:55] Joya: All right. Let's focus on the next framework, which is, how do you think about your lifestyles? We need to focus on what's important, not only to move the needle on the big projects, but also to support the lifestyle that you want. And the first time I think I had a conversation about this because with a business coach and I was like, wow, I don't think that I've ever had anybody ask me this about my lifestyle.

[00:21:17] Tanya: Yeah. A lot of times when I'm working with women, I like to ask them to define success. Like we talked about earlier, how do we know when we've achieved success? And when we define success, I like to look at one year out, five years, 10 years in 20 years. And we don't start with revenue for your business.

The truth is your business is the vehicle for the life you want. Your business is not the end goal. We want our business to be able to allow us and afford us to have the lifestyle we want. And truly we are more than just worker bees. So let's look at who you are in your relationships. Let's look at who you are emotionally.

Let's look at the things you're doing physically. So let's look one year, five years, 10 years, 20 years down the road. Where do you want to live? What does your lifestyle look like? Who are big players in your life? What are the things that you want to be doing? The activities? What do you want to be doing physically?

What do you want it to look like spiritually? Let's define that. And then based off that. Alright. Now what does it need to look like financially? If you want to have a lake house and you want to be able to start your kids with a down payment for their houses, what is your revenue needs to look like for that to actually happen?

So instead of starting with just that metric of revenue, like I want to be a $10 million company or a $20 million. Why? What's the lifestyle you're wanting so that is created? So if we start with the lifestyle and we work backwards to decide what's the revenue needs to look like, that makes that so much more measurable, right?

And so much more likely to be attained because it's part of the desire that we have for the lifestyle. So we start with that and then it's like, okay, here's where we want to get revenue wise. Now let's get down to the nitty-gritty. What are the metrics we need to measure? What are the activities we need to be doing?

And we start by working backwards, always looking forward into the future and then connecting the dots, working backwards to get you to where you are today. 

[00:23:04] Joya: So this is how you essentially mapped to your ideal future. I might've skipped this banner as you were mentioning that. 

[00:23:11] Tanya: Yeah, well, I like to, I call it wayfinding, which is based off that whole idea of the south Pacific Islanders. They used to navigate across the oceans, thousands of years before we had campuses or GPS or fancy phones, tell us where we were.

And it's this idea that we create these landmarks. So when we talk about wayfinding with our goals or that vision that you have in your business, it's looking out 10 to 20 years and looking at what's your potential. Okay, in 10 to 20 years, what could I potentially create? All right. That's a pretty, pretty big distance between where you are today and where does you want to go?

That potential. So let's back it up a little bit. All right. If this is my potential, what is possible? What's possible three to five years down the road. That gets me closer to that potential. Okay. So this is what's possible. Let's get even closer. What's practical. What is something I could do practically in the next 12 to 18 months.

Okay. And then we go, okay, well that's, what's practical. What do I need to prioritize in the next three months? The next six months, the next nine months? Those are your goals. The things you want to accomplish in the next three months, six months, nine months to get you to that big, bright, beautiful future 10 to 20 years down the road.

Each one of those is a little landmark in your life map, getting you to that big, beautiful vision that you have for your future. So it's all about creating that map and looking forward, and then working your way backwards. That's how we clear through all the clutter and decide, oh, this is what's most different.

[00:24:39] Joya: I want to remind everyone, we are in conversation today with Tanya Dalton, who is a productivity expert, and we're sharing frameworks that you can use to be able to take your to-do lists and make sure it's moving the needle on the big projects that you're working on. Tanya, why do we make the choices that we do?

Someone said to me this week, I want to be chief marketing officer by July. Why do we make that kind of a choice? What's our brain actually doing? 

[00:25:04] Tanya: Well, I think this kind of goes back to what we talked about earlier with that identification. How do we identify, what is it I think I really want.

When we're making choices like this, it's really important to ask that question. Why am I making that choice? I think so often we're making the choices because we think that's what we are supposed to do or what we should be doing. Or this is where I should be at this point in my career, rather than asking yourself, where is it I really want to be? And again, we're drawing from that well of our past a lot of times of what we think is possible and what we think is impossible. What I would really encourage you to do is use reflection. I think reflection is such an important process. No matter what we're talking about, whether we're talking about goals in your personal life or goals in your professional life, taking the time to look backwards, allows you to look forward into the future.

When we see in our past where we've been. We're able to see, gosh, you know what? I have a lot more skills. I have a lot more resilience. I have a lot more expertise than I ever even realized, and that we can use that to really drive us forward. And I think the thing is, is so often with our past, we'd like to just shove it in the background, right?

We want to shove it underneath the bed and not even think about it. Because our past is filled with failure or trauma or things we don't like. It's so much easier to think about the successes. The shiny trophies that show us that we are enough, that we are good enough, smart enough. Right? Any of those, and the truth is those are great because they can be springboards for where you want to.

But knowing what you don't want is so much more powerful than knowing what you do. I can guarantee that anyone listening today, if I said to you, I want you to sit down. I want you to write 10 things that you want to have happen in the next year. You'd be like, oh gosh, I have no idea. Let me think about it.

Do I have to do 10? Could I do five? But if I said to you, I want you to write down 10 things you don't want to have happen this year. 10 things you would never want to repeat that happened to you in your. You would say only 10. Can I give you 50? Because the truth is knowing what you don't want to repeat.

We can push against that. And that is truly how we build resilience. I know in my own business, it's from the mistakes. It's from the things that didn't go well. I was able to push against that and really create a business that I love a business that really fits who I am authentically. And that wouldn't happen if I didn't have those regrets.

Regret is so powerful because we will do just about anything to avoid regret. That's one of the most, that's one of the emotions that most humans work to avoid the most, not anger, not sadness, but regret. So if you take the time to notice regrets, push against it for the opposite, let's say you didn't like last year that you were working 80 to a hundred hours a week.

I've been there. I get that right. Well, how do we push against that while we make decisions, let I'm going to create stronger boundaries. I'm going to do, I'm going to sit down on Sundays and I'm going to decide my business hours for this week. I'm going to decide those compartments of when I'm working in my business and that doesn't happen unless you take the time to see what you did with.

[00:28:03] Joya: Yes. I've heard two people tell me in the last week that they cut back on the amount of hours they were working and the money just flows. And I couldn't wrap my head around what that means, because again, I was raised by hard-driving Asian parents that believe you should work, work, work. And I was like, what do you mean?

You worked less and you made more money. Like, how is that even possible? 

[00:28:26] Tanya: I think it's because we can pour ourselves more fully into the fewer tasks, because really, and this is one of the things I love doing with people is, and we use Pareto's principle, which is a principle that's been around for hundreds of years.

Some people know it by the 80 20 rule, but it basically says the vital few tasks create the maximum result in whatever we're creating. And this is true in all areas of our life, but especially in our business. It's the 20% of your customers that create 80% of your revenue. It's 20% of your marketing efforts that bring in 80% of the webinar attendees.

It's the vital few, it's this smaller amount. But what we tend to do is we pay attention to all the different things. Instead of really digging through the clutter and saying, okay, this is my top 20% of clients. I'm going to focus more of my time and effort into them. I'm not going to ignore the other 80%, but I'm going to pour more of me into these people because truly, especially if they're your top 20%, these are your soulmate clients.

That's what I like to call your ideal avatar. People who you love to work with, who love working with you, it feels like, ah, just amazing, right? So, if we focus in on them, we're going to do even more work with them and they hang out with other people just like them, which means we're going to get more referrals.

We're going to grow that customer base and we're going to be happier overall. So we do that with our customers and our clients. We can do it with our products. 20% of your products are bringing in 80% of your revenue. So why are we spending so much time marketing the 80% that aren't really driving our marketing dollars forward?

So choosing to do less allows you to do a better job with those vital few versus spreading yourself thin and trying to do all the things. It's a very different mindset in doing less because you feel like we have this whole rhetoric in our head that says, if you're not working hard, then you're failing.

Right. If you're not working hard, you're not going to be a success. And the truth is some of the most successful people don't work. They do fewer things because they make a huge difference. I know for me, when I went down from I've done my podcast weekly for several years, I moved it to every other week and we doubled our podcasts listners.

We doubled the podcast listeners simply by doing less, because I think what was happening is because each week we were putting on a show. If someone missed a show, they were like, oh, I'll just catch the next one. Or I'll just miss it. Instead, they're going back and they're watching these shows and it's made a huge difference.

And I'm thinking to myself, hold on a minute, I could have been doing half of this amount of work the whole time. Right? And still connecting with these people. It's amazing. 

[00:31:02] Joya: Do you actually need to see evidence of this before you can move on it? Or is it enough to take this what you're saying at face value?

[00:31:09] Tanya: I think it's enough to take it at face value, but if you don't believe me, it's just do the exercise. Like I'll tell people to take a little index cards and I'll say, okay, map out, let's say you have a product-based business, write out all the products or all the services you offer and then rank them.

And figure out what your 20% is and look at the revenue it brings in versus all the others. Usually when people look at numbers, you can't argue with that, right? Same thing with your customers or looking at the things in your life where you're doing, like all the things, try going through them and sorting them by what's most important to see which ones bring you the most happiness.

And when you start to see that it's hard to argue and you start to say, wait a minute, why do I have these 25 other offerings? If they're not really bringing me in the revenue, or if they're not making a difference or they're not really bringing me joy, that's a big one. If we actually take the time to map that out, honestly, the exercise takes maybe an hour.

It's so impactful and it allows you, it gives you the ability to give yourself permission to say, no, I'm going to say no to this because every time I'm saying yes to these things that are pulling me away from what I really am meant to do, it means it's taking away time from the things you really want to do.

The projects, the tasks, the products that really make a difference in your life and in the life of your customer. 

[00:32:24] Joya: This is my last question. Then we're going to go to everyone else's questions, but how do you protect for the emotional downside? In other words, there are times that inevitably life is going to take you off track.

You've got this vision, you've laid it out. We put in the time and the energy to make it right. How do you protect for the emotional? 

[00:32:41] Tanya: Yeah. The truth is you're going to get off track. You know why? Because you're human, we all get off track, but the truth is it's often the detours that get us to the life we want. We didn't even know some of the opportunities that we are taking advantage of now existed until we got off track.

Getting off track can be a really beautiful thing, because what happens is we have this idea of where we are and where we want to go. And we're on this highway going 80 miles an hour. Right? Just zooming forward, paying attention to where we want to go. And we miss seeing all the other things that are happening until one day we stop and we go, wait a minute, I'm off the highway.

Where am I? And then you start to look around and you're like, wait a minute. There's these opportunities here. There's all these different things I could be doing. Maybe I like this more. I know for me that when I first started, I thought I'd be a stay-at-home mom. That was the goal that I had had that I was gonna be a stay at home mom. My husband and I now think is crazy because I love business. I love talking about business and it wasn't until I went to on a detour of life that I got to starting my first business. And as a detour that led me to my second business. Often, it is the detours that make the biggest difference. So when we find ourselves off track, we can do the three A's.

The first A is acknowledge. Acknowledge that you're off track. Don't beat yourself up. Don't get upset. Just say, gosh, I'm not really where I thought I would be. And take a good look at where you are, because then you want to do the second A, which is assess. All right. Do I like where I am? Or do I want to get back on the highway?

Right? Maybe you look around and you're like, oh gosh, this is so much better where I am now. And I like that I can go on this fork in the road or I can do these things. So let's assess whether we want to get back on the highway or whether we want to change our goals, which gets us to the third A, which is adjust.

Do I need to adjust my daily actions to get me back onto the highway? Do I need to change some of the habits I'm doing to get me back to where I wanted to go? Or do we need to adjust and just take that old goal, crumple it up, throw it away and set myself a new goal here. Let's adjust. So acknowledge, assess, and adjust.

Give yourself grace, because you're going to get off track. That's part of human nature. And that's really part of the joy of the journey is getting off track and seeing where you are and seeing where it takes you. 

[00:34:56] Joya: What about deserved levels? Do we ever stop to check in whether we deserve the finances, the relationship, the health, you know, is that a piece of the.

[00:35:07] Tanya: Oh, absolutely. I think this is why anytime that we're setting goals for ourselves or we're setting up what a project looks like, defining success, defining an endpoint, giving ourself a time range where we're going to stop. Even let's say if your goal is something like I want to eat healthy. We still want to have an end date, which people are always like, why would I have an end date?

Don't I want to eat healthy for the rest of my life. Yes, you do. But let's stop and check in. How do I feel? Let's take a moment to celebrate, to take the time, to accept and receive all that greatness to look at where we've been to take a moment to pat ourselves on the back. Or maybe it's a chance to acknowledge, assess, and adjust and change what we're doing.

Gosh, I really wish I was doing a little bit more with my healthy eating or whatever that goal is. It gives you an opportunity to give yourself a few little tweaks or pat on the back and then keep moving forward. I think it's so important to receive. I think so often we're so busy doing, we don't take the time to celebrate and celebration is so important to really driving our motivation and our moment.

That's going to get you moving forward faster than anything. 

[00:36:11] Joya: Rita S has a question. She says she works in HR and the pressure to be perfect is high. You need to have a solution for everything. What would be a response to that? 

[00:36:22] Tanya: Yeah, I like that question because I think there is a lot of pressure to be perfect. So I would say, first of all, the part where you said, you need to have a solution to everything.

I guess the question I would pose back to you is, do you need to have the solution or is it more about empowering the employees where you are to find their own solutions and to come presenting solutions and choices to help you? I think so often we feel like we have to be the great and wonderful Oz. Right? That we have all the answers.

When you just pull that curtain back, it's just a person, right? We're just people at the end of the day. So really stopping and assessing that idea that you need to have all the solutions totally fits into that idea of perfectionism. Is that true? So I would add, I would have you start by asking yourself that question is this statement true?

And if it's, if it is, how can I adjust it so it's no longer true? Because what happens is a lot of times we start setting these bars for ourselves of what we have to achieve, right? Or what we think our boss or other people in our businesses have for expectations. I think one of the most empowering things we can do is have a conversation with our managers, with our bosses, with our team members, to understand what are their expectations?

So often, one of the big questions I get is. How do I choose to prioritize when my boss keeps piling things on my plate? Which is one of the things it sounds like Rita's dealing with. And the truth is a lot of times your boss or the team members of the employees, don't realize how much they've put on your plate.

They're so busy looking at their own, right? So it's stopping and checking in. Let me show you what's on my plate. What are the expectations? Because a lot of times, those people that you're working with are going to say, oh my gosh, I didn't realize you were doing all these things. You are not to carry this load all on your own.

And then it becomes a conversation of, okay, what do you want me to prioritize? If you want me to have a solution for everyone, what do you want me to de prioritize? So I can create solutions for every single person who comes in. Those conversations are so key for us to have. And I think so often we don't have them because we're fearful.

Of where they're going to go. And the truth is most of what you want is on the other side of a difficult five minute conversation. The first five minutes are the most difficult. Once you get past that first initial starting of the conversation, it becomes so much easier. 

[00:38:42] Joya: Rita rights that's on me cause the solution needs to be right away.

 I think this goes back to what we were talking about. Like we were such natural born responders, we're perfectionist, even in the amount of time it takes for us to respond and to speak truth, be known, you can take 24 hours to respond and that's completely okay. 

[00:39:01] Tanya: Yeah. This is the thing is I think we live in an age now of instant gratification and we feel like we want everything right away, Amazon prime, two day shipping, right?

And it's free and that's bled into other areas of our lives. I love what you said there about 24 hours is enough time to take a breather, to push back and ask them, what are your solutions that you've come up with? I would even challenge you to. To change, maybe the structure of the process you have when people submit their problems to you.

One of the questions you could be asking people is what are some of the solutions you have already brainstormed for this and make that a requirement that they have to already have brainstormed a couple of ideas. They can't just come to you with a blank plate and say, fill it up for me. Right?

Have them meet you halfway. Because you, you aren't as well-versed in their job as they are. So part of it is the positioning. If you position them as the experts in their job, and as the problem solver, that's going to go really far in getting them to come to you with ideas that you can then build off of to make even better.

And that makes it more collaborative rather than you just constantly. 

[00:40:08] Joya: So in other words, encourage them to not only come with the problem, but to also maybe come with options for the solution so that it's not you having to figure it out every single time. 

[00:40:18] Tanya: Exactly. Exactly. And it is positioning them as the expert in there.

You are the expert in your job. You tell me three things, you've brainstormed or three things you've already attempted in order to do this. So maybe shifting that process a little bit and putting a little bit of the onus on them. Because the truth is it's like anything else, if you go to somebody and you ask them for a hundred dollars and they give you a hundred dollars and then you go again and you ask for a hundred dollars, they give you a hundred dollars.

They come to you again, they're going to expect the a hundred dollars, right? They're not going to, they're going to be surprised when you're like, oh no, I don't have a hundred dollars. What's happened is they've come to you with no solutions. You've given them solutions. You've given them solutions. You're training them to come to you with nothing and you providing solutions.

What we need to do is a retraining of these team members so that they are trained, that they come to you with ideas and you turn them into solutions, right? So it's a meeting halfway and it's a collaboration. 

[00:41:10] Joya: Tanya, a couple of weeks ago, I had a speaker on boundaries and I don't think that we realize that this is actually a boundary issue as well, that when you are not the person that jumps in to fix it all the time, then you're also not getting that dopamine hit.

Right. That dopamine hit that I came in and fixed it for you. You're robbing the other person of the ability to do the critical thinking themselves. So sometimes it's to our own detriment that we're going in and trying to fix things. 

[00:41:35] Tanya: We like to be fixers. We like to help people we're givers, right?

Especially as women, we love to give and we love to help. And so sometimes we do, we overstep that boundary by giving, giving, giving, and we need to step back set that boundary. 

[00:41:50] Joya: Divya is a real estate investor. And she asked, how do you set productivity measures for people that are working with you, but also be flexible?

[00:41:59] Tanya: I think flexibility is key, honestly. I truly believe that flexibility is the secret to success when it comes to productivity. When we have systems in place that are too rigid, like glass that's when they shatter. So we need to have flexibility, because people as humans, our lives demand flexibility.

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you've had a sick kid crawl in bed at three o'clock in the morning. Your productivity is not going to be the same on that day, as it is on a night where you've had eight hours of sleep. Right? This is one of the reasons why I think it's so important. We talked earlier about that idea of creating a priority list each day.

So I have a whole process that I walk people through called the five P's. The first P is to purge where you get the ideas out, like a to do list where you're just brain dumping it. And then what we want to do is we want to process each day. Process each day, as it comes. Instead of sitting down on Sunday and saying, this is what I want to get done on Monday.

And then I'm going to get done on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and so on. What we're doing is we're building in too much. We're not giving ourselves flexibility. If we hit up on Monday and we decide, okay, this is how I'm feeling. I feel really good. I feel really energized. I'm going to get these things done.

And we write that down Tuesday, you wake up with allergy head you're down in Claritin, like nobody's business, your heads filled with cotton. You're not going to get as much done. Now, if you've already decided, this is what I'm doing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, what happens is you're not gonna get as much done on Tuesday cause you don't feel well.

Wednesday, you wake up, you're already behind the eight ball. You already feel behind, and then Thursday is just the whole snowball effect. And Friday is just the. Right? If instead we wake up on Tuesday and we say, you know what, I'm not going to get as much done today. I'm going to put some of the easier tasks for today, because I have an allergy head or medicine head, and then we accomplish those things. Wednesday, we start with a nice, fresh, clean slate, and we can set Wednesday up for success. So that's just one of the ways that I talk to people about flexibility, is really thinking about each day as it comes paying attention to your own energy level, your own alertness, how you're feeling.

I think that's one of the things that I think is really important is that we stop negating feelings. Think about how you feel. How you feel emotionally, how you feel spiritually. And then let's set our day based off of that. Thinking about how do I want to feel at the end of the day. What will make me feel good at the end of the day, if I've accomplished it right?

Instead of feeling like you have to get everything done on that list, what would feel good for you? So that's just one of the many ways, but part of it is honestly, when it comes to productivity, I think the mistake that we often make is we feel like there's a system and that we just need to plug it in.

And then we're supposed to wrap our life around the system. And it doesn't work because our life is a little bit messy. If instead we choose to use our life as a centerpiece. And this is what I walk people through in a lot of the trainings I do in my book, the joy of missing out. We start with you, your priorities, the things that are most important to you, your life.

And then we create the systems around you, your strengths, your weaknesses. That's when we have more success, it's not about doing what everybody else is doing. It's doing the things that really work well for you, for what comes easy to you and for what comes hard for you. 

[00:45:07] Joya: Hm. So Cheryl asks, is there a way that you suggest scaling the delegation process?

It seems so overwhelming to peel things off for others. Where do you start? 

[00:45:18] Tanya: With the delegation process. I think the most important thing is you have a kickoff meeting for it. And I know how we all feel about meetings, but having a kickoff meeting rather than just a passing in the hallway and delegating something, and then wondering why it's not done the way that you want it to.

That's one of the big mistakes that we make. And that's when we are abdicating versus delegating. We're just like, Hey, I need you to get this project done and we're off and running to the next thing. If instead, and I have a little framework that I walk people through and it's really simple. The meeting should be no more than 15 minutes of sitting down, writing down what the expectations are.

And I really advocate having whoever you're delegating to, they're the ones taking the notes. Right there, writing down, taking the notes. These are the expectations. These are the measurable outcomes. These are the milestones. Here's how involved I want to be in the process. Here's what I'm going to be checking in.

Or here's when I'm not going to be checking in, right? Depending on the project, mapping it out and then having them present back to you, what the expectations are that eliminates a lot of the confusion. Because most times when we dealt with. It's because we haven't been clear about our expectations or there's a miscommunication.

So by sitting down, having them write it out and then having them repeat it back to you, like what they think the assignment is, clears up all of that. So that's one of the easiest, quickest ways to really allow delegation to happen without any sort of extra work involved. Because literally that meeting should take you 10, 10, 15 minutes at the very most. 

[00:46:48] Joya: We tend to make it much bigger than it actually is don't we?

We really 

[00:46:52] Tanya: do. And I think letting them understand what your expectations are with your involvement is key because there's going to be projects where you want to be involved because it's a bigger project and it's something, maybe that's a key project for our client or a customer. And there's other times where you're like, I don't care how this is done.

Just get it done. And here's the measurable outcomes. Give it to me when it's finished. So communicating those things allows you to not get frustrated because one of the big frustrations we have is they're either over checking in or under checking in. Right? And then what they're presenting to you as a final product, isn't what you envisioned at all when you didn't take the time to define it?

So again, going back to that whole idea of defining success, that is huge defining what that looks like. 

[00:47:35] Joya: I sat in on a productivity workshop years ago. And I remember the facilitators saying that nobody acts out of malice. They act out of misdirection. And so if they haven't delivered according to your specs, it's because you haven't given them enough direction.

So it's really time to take a look in the mirror. 

[00:47:52] Tanya: Yeah. The truth is everyone wants to succeed. Everybody wants to succeed. These people who you're delegating to, they want to be successful and they think they're being successful. So when you're getting the project back and you're like, this is not at all.

I love that. It's a miscommunication. There was some crossed wires in there. So taking the time on the front end. It's that whole idea we talked about earlier with the investment of time. Taking the time to make sure it's clear and communicated well, that's going to go really far in making things so much easier.

[00:48:22] Joya: Divya I put your question up here. I just wanted to double check and make sure that we answered the question that you asked about with flexibility. Just give me a yes or no in the chat function. One more thing. This is coming from another question here. What if you own two businesses? You own two businesses and you have to really juggle the priorities of two different hats that you wear.

How do you organize for that? 

[00:48:48] Tanya: Yeah, well, I've been in that situation myself. So first in answering this question, I think it's really important to almost compartmentalize them and keep them separated in your mind when you're doing your planning. That's not to say you're not going to have team members, perhaps who work on both of the companies, many people I know who have multiple companies, myself included, have certain team members that bridge both.

So really though, when you're sitting down and doing your planning, having planning for company a and then planning for company B and then even having dedicated times, I think is really powerful. So you could, let's say company A, you work on Monday, Tuesday, half of Wednesday, and that's the focus. It's not to say you're not going to work on company B at all, but that's your main focus for those two and a half days. And then company B is the more of the focus for Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday. That really allows you to get more into that mindset and get in that state of flow. So that's really cause what happens a lot of times as we're working on company A and company B at the same time and it gets all tangled and mixed up.

And then that's where a lot of the confusion. 

[00:49:52] Joya: Jack Dorsey is a famous example of this. I think he frames and themes days of the week, given that he's CEO of square and suite CEO of Twitter. And he just makes sure that he goes in and provides direction on customer service or website maintenance or products and solutions, and then somebody executes.

But he's got that touch point every single. 

[00:50:13] Tanya: Yes, I am a big advocate. Even if you only have one company theming, your days, marketing Mondays team Tuesdays. I love alliteration by the way. So wealthy Wednesdays is the day to do finances, but really allowing yourself to do that allows you to get in that state of mind.

If you're in the marketing state of mind on Monday. It's not to say, you're not going to work on, if somebody has a marketing question on Thursday, it's just, you're going deeper with marketing on Mondays. Right? And your whole team knows that's the day where you're focused in, on marketing. So you're going to have your meeting with the marketing team on Monday on Tuesday, you're going to have a meeting with somebody else, but on Monday, marketing gets your main focus and they're your priority.

So that's another way of really, truly prioritizing different days, especially when you're wearing all the hats as a CEO. 

[00:50:56] Joya: What are some scripts for saying no, gracefully? You want to be able to in, you want to be able to go deep with marketing day on Mondays? How do you say no to people when they're wanting of your time?

[00:51:09] Tanya: Yeah, and I love how people say no is a complete sentence, but I don't think that really works. Especially for us, as women saying, just no very rarely works. I like to tell people to use the sandwich strategy. I think the sandwich strategy is really powerful where you have you imagine a sandwich, two slices of bread with meat in the middle. The sandwiches, or the bread on either side are things positive states.

And then the meat in the middle is the no. So if somebody is coming to you for a request, let's say it's, they're working on a project and they really want your ear and it's marketing Monday and you don't have time for it. You could start with, oh my gosh, I love that you're working on this project.

I am so excited about what direction it's heading into. Unfortunately, I don't have time today because I have prioritized marketing. So I am meeting with the marketing team for most of the afternoon. However, I am very excited to meet with you. Can you meet with my EA? Let's put a time on the calendar on Wednesday, which is my day I have dedicated for this project.

That would be wonderful. And I look forward to talking to you. See how we sandwiched it between very polite, very nice statements, but that no is pretty solid there. It's pretty clear that I'm not going to let you overstep that know that I'm working on marketing today. 

[00:52:16] Joya: What if it's a no, and I actually don't want to entertain this beyond this no?

[00:52:21] Tanya: Yeah, well, I think it's the same thing. That same sandwich strategy. I have a product, somebody comes to you and they have this passion project they want to work on in your business. You could easily say, oh, I love how innovative you're being with your thinking. Unfortunately, that really doesn't fit the direction we're going as going forward as a company.

So I would love to put that on the back burner. Maybe you can revisit that. Or you could say, I just don't feel like that fits the direction we're going in, but I'd love for you to continue thinking and innovating about different ideas. Come to me, anytime that you have a fresh idea. 

[00:52:52] Joya: I love that. Tanya, you've been talking for 53 minutes.

I'm going to cut you a break here. You mentioned these workshops and trainings where you're really going deep with productivity. How does somebody avail themselves with those trainings? 

[00:53:04] Tanya: Yeah. So the best way to connect with me is on my website, Tanya dalton.com. You can find links to my podcast there as well, the intentional advantage, and I do visionary strategy sessions with women, helping them really get clear on the direction they want to go in.

In their businesses in their careers. We figure out what those metrics are, what are those key metrics? So we're not caught up in the vanity metrics and we walk away from that with an action plan for the next 12 months. It's a really powerful session. And I love helping you see the blind spots. I think when we're in our business or we're in the midst of doing all the things, it's really hard to see our blind spots.

So having me taking a good look at your business, spotting those blind spots, helping you create an action plan and moving forward is really powerful. And so Tanya Dalton.com 

[00:53:48] Joya: When is your next workshop? 

[00:53:51] Tanya: I do those one-on-one at any time. So generally do them in person. And then we also, I do them virtually as well.

So I schedule, I do a limited number each year, but that's really what I'm most passionate about doing right now. 

[00:54:03] Joya: Amazing Tanya any final words before we break here on productivity and the joy of missing out? 

[00:54:09] Tanya: Oh, I would just like to tell everyone that we touched on this idea that we get caught up in the big steps.

I want to challenge you to really look at the small actions you're making on a daily basis. If you heard something today that you thought, oh, you know what, I'm going to try that. I'm going to try the priority list. I'm going to create. The big list on Sunday, and then I'm going to pull from that. Do it, just give yourself 15 minutes to try something different, try something new, because it really is these small, huge movements. Simple to implement, easy to manage, but monumental and the impact it can make in your daily life.

So don't wait. Get started. Take some action today. 

That's Tanya 

[00:54:45] Joya: Dalton, who is the author of on-purpose the busy woman's guide to an extraordinary life of meaning and success, and the joy of missing out. This has been a pleasurable 55 minutes, Tanya, and I wish you well. 

[00:54:57] Tanya: Thank you so much.