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What Matters Most: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at My Newest Adventure in Time Management

October 4, 2021

Reading Time: 18 minutes

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Wow. When I popped in to give a quick update on life feeling very Under Construction back in Episode 96, I certainly did NOT intend to take a full week away from the podcast, but life – and my voice – had other plans.

First, my girls got sick.

Right after recording and publishing that update, both of my girls got sick. Elizabeth with a terrible cold and a double ear infection. Millie with a stomach bug. With both girls out of school and under the weather, and a full week of Marketing Assistant interviews, virtual speaking engagements, website wrap ups and more – plus, feeling down to the wire with my upcoming first day in a brand new role – you can bet that I was feeling pretty… overwhelmed and overloaded. Basically a walking ball of anxiety. 

Worried about my girls, worried I wouldn’t get it all done, and worried that I’d step into Day One of Clockwise not feeling prepared.

Next, we relocated to my mom’s house for the week.

So – after doctor’s appointments and picked up prescriptions, we loaded up – me, the girls, and of course, Penelope, my 14 year old yorkie –  and we made the 3 hour drive to my mom’s house.

Then, I got sick and completely lost my voice.

Little did I know that by Tuesday, my voice would be on its way out, and completely GONE by Wednesday. Just gone.

Life has felt like a total roller coaster lately.

Y’all – the past month and a half have felt like a total, upside down messy roller coaster. Life was finally starting to get into a pretty good groove. Elizabeth started daycare the beginning of August, so i was starting to get into a good rhythm with work. and then at the end of August Hurricane Ida hit. While my family made it through the storm safe, and our house sustained minor damage, our girls’ daycare wasn’t so fortunate. The roof was completely ripped off the building where Millie’s class meets. Daycare was closed, with no start date in sight.

And like many of you understand firsthand as a result of Covid, and sick kids in general – when the girls are sick – it’s me who has to reschedule, rearrange, cancel and shuffle plans. My husband’s job doesn’t allow the opportunity for him to take off short notice, and as a self-employed business owner, I’m supposed to have the flexibility to drop everything and go with the flow. And I’m grateful for that – but weeks on weeks and months on months of constantly shuffling, rescheduling, pushing things back, moving deadlines, canceling, and adjusting my plans has really gotten old. 

I just NEEDED this week to go well.

And knowing that my first day at Clockwise was Monday, September 27th, I really NEEDED that one, single week before my start date to go well. I NEEDED to wrap up the final edits to my new website. I NEEDED to interview candidates for my Marketing Assistant position. I NEEDED to tie up the loose ends, and feel ready stepping into day one as Head of Community.

So of course, the one week that I NEEDED things to go well, despite my best efforts to overcome my girls being sick, relocating to my mom’s house for extra help, I managed to get sick and completely lost my voice. The one thing I needed to get through the week. I cannot tell you how absolutely knocked down and defeated I felt. 

But here’s how I made it through the week.

First of all – I’m so grateful for my mom. When my voice went downhill on Tuesday, she woke up early on Wednesday and drove to two different grocery stores in our small town to find the ingredients to make me a homemade Medicine Ball tea.

And if you’ve never heard of it, a Medicine Ball tea is the unofficial name of the Honey Citrus Mint Tea from Starbucks. It is an absolute miracle worker when you’re not feeling well. 

So first – I have to thank my mom for basically dropping everything last week to help out. From making me gallons of hot tea, making lunches and dinners, changing diapers, playing with the girls and more – I just couldn’t have gotten through it without her.

And by the way – both of the girls were good as new by Wednesday. It’s amazing how quickly little ones can bounce back, but now we as adults can get sidelined by a cold for two straight weeks. 

But everything else – the scheduled phone calls, the interviews, the speaking engagement. I had around 14 meetings on the calendar. Rescheduled, rearranged. Shuffled, canceled, pushed back and moved around. 

Every day I woke up, hoping my voice had returned. And every day it was still gone. 

I did manage to conduct the job interviews via Zoom, first pushing my voice to it’s limit and then finally relying on the chat box to type out questions and conversation while the candidates chatted back. Ugh, it was so hard. 

And then – my plan was to record an episode to be released on Monday the 27th, sharing my decision making process, my thoughts and how this amazing opportunity with Clockwise came to be. Instead, with my voice still MIA I had to just… wait. And drink my tea. And hope it would be back soon.

And every day that my voice was gone, I felt like I was letting you down. I said I’d have this episode done on Monday, but I just couldn’t. I had no voice to record with.

Finally, it’s back.

Finally, I can tell you the story, let you in on what’s been under construction, and unfolding behind the scenes. And as timing would have it, I can tell you how my first week went, too. 

 If you listened to the super short Episode 96, you know that I was feeling a bit under construction with lots of messy, “pardon our progress” style work going on behind the scenes. 

Since Episode 96, a lot of behind the scenes kind of stuff has come out from behind the curtain and into full view.

With the help of Morgan Moore from Studio Morgan, I launched the brand new and improved annadkornick.com and abouttimepodcast.com – gorgeous new websites that are jam packed with time management value at every corner.

I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that this website has been almost a year in the making – but I’ll save that story for a future episode. What’s most important is that it’s done. And done is better than perfect, right?

Big News: I’m stepping into the Head of Community role at Clockwise

In addition to launching the sites, I shared some pretty big news – the news that I’m stepping into the Head of Community role – a full-time position – at an amazing, game changer of a company called Clockwise. 

 

Of course I’ll tell you all about what exactly Clockwise is and what I’ll be doing once we really dive into this episode, but for now, I’ll tell you that the decision to join the Clockwise team – while it definitely required a lot of thought and deliberation – it was actually pretty easy. Huge decision, but at the same time – kind of easy.

You might know that – I haven’t had a full time role with a boss and a W2 since August of 2017 – so that’s 5 years of creating my own schedule and answering to no one except clients of my choosing.

So I had a lot to consider when weighing my options for making this move to a full time role – and that’s exactly what I’m revealing in today’s episode.

I know I can’t be the only person faced with a big decision this year, or in the months to come, so I’m an open book and ready to share with you how I made this decision, and how you can be ready when something like this comes your way. 

So today, I’ll share

  • The story of how this opportunity came to be
  • The two things that made this decision much easier than it could have been
  • What I’ll be doing as Head of Community at Clockwise
  • And finally, what all of this means for the future of It’s About Time and my time management coaching business

As I’m recording this episode, I’ve wrapped up my first week as Head of Community at Clockwise. As I mentioned earlier, in an ideal world, this episode would have been recorded several days ago – but an unrelenting cold and my voice – or lack thereof – had other plans. 

Now that I finally have my voice back – I’m sitting down to record my thoughts about this big shift, why it’s such a perfect fit, and how it’s going to open up tons of opportunities for all of you listening.

Meet Clockwise

First – If you haven’t heard of Clockwise, let me introduce you.

 

It’s funny, I actually came across Clockwise several months ago. I’m honestly not sure how – maybe I saw an ad or came across it in an article about time management, but I remember thinking – Ugh, what a clever name name for a company. I wish I’d have come up with that. 

So here’s Clockwise: You know how, especially when you work in an office or on a team, your day can feel really fragmented and all over the place. You’re spending what feels like all day in meetings. Meeting – 30 minute break. Meeting – 20 minute break. Meeting 15 minute break. Your day is full of meetings, and maybe you’ve got space in between, but it’s not enough to really dive into work you need to do and focus. So instead, you take a bathroom break, you chat with a coworker, scroll social media – and then you stay late, or stay UP late actually doing the work that you talked about in all of those meetings. Then, you wake up and do it all over again the next day – continuing the cycle of meetings, wasted time, and working late.

That’s exactly what my life was like back when I worked in State Government. When I worked at a PR firm, and when I worked at that museum in New Orleans. My days were totally fragmented. I was constantly pulled in a million different directions, and I’d stay at the office until 6 or 7, go home, eat dinner and then get back to work until around 11. Pass out, and then start it all over again the next day.

I was pretty miserable. And I know I’m not the only person who has been in that situation – maybe you’re living that cycle of meetings on meetings, work late, stay up late, and repeat now.

Clockwise solves that problem. 

Clockwise is a smart calendar assistant – a Google Calendar extension, to be precise – that learns your calendar, syncs with other members on your team, and creates actual time to FOCUS in your schedule. 

Not only that – but it can automatically add a lunch break for you everyday that changes based on your schedule. Again – to make sure you’ve got blocks of Focus time, and also make sure that you’re eating lunch! I mean – how many of us have looked up from our laptops at 3PM and realized we completely forgot to eat. I’ve definitely been there. 

Clockwise solves that problem.

So another really cool thing that I love about it –  Clockwise can automatically add travel time to your calendar if you have an offsite meeting. That’s one of the biggest mistakes people make that causes them to be late, is not adding travel time to their calendars. So they leave too late, don’t make time for parking and walking to the building. They run late. Feel flustered. It’s a mess.

Clockwise solves that problem.

I’d say it’s like having an assistant, but having been a Congressional Scheduler and an Executive Assistant  – I can honestly say that NO assistant can manage this level of coordination. I’m seriously impressed by it. 

So that’s what Clockwise the product does. It helps you spend time on what matters. 

That needle-moving, deep work that makes an impact. 

Clockwise the team, the company, is so much more than that. They’re a mission driven, core values driven company. And every single interaction with them has made that very clear. And that played a huge role for me in joining their team But… more on that in just a bit.

What Will I Be Doing as Head of Community?

So – what will I be doing as Head of Community. Well – in a big picture sense, I’ll be creating and supporting a community for Clockwise users and people who are interested in improving their time management and work/life balance. 

I’ll be leveraging my time management expertise to help the members of this community take their time management and productivity beyond the blocks on their calendar so they can spend time on what matters most to them. A lot of what we talk about here on this podcast. 

Seriously – I’m going to work for a company that helps people focus, by managing their calendars, so they can focus on what matters most – and my job will be to cultivate a community around time management and what matters most. It feels like a dream come true. 

So what exactly is this going to look like day-to-day, well, this might look like representing Clockwise at industry events, speaking onstage or giving workshops in breakout rooms. This might look like talking to the media, sharing my thoughts on things like how to manage your time while working from home or planning your weeks when you’re in a hybrid work environment. How to use the Shiny Things method to actually stay focused during your scheduled focus time, or maybe even how to reconnect with what you’re passionate about – rediscovering your own version of what matters most. 

It might look like creating content – like blog posts, or video, maybe even podcast episodes – that help you level up your productivity so you can get that promotion you’ve had your eye on or lead more efficient and effective meetings so you can spend more time doing the work instead of talking about or coordinating the work.

I’ll be collaborating with people all across the company to make this happen. To take an amazing tool that helps you find that focus time, and then use that focus time well. 

How did all of this come to be?

So how did all of this come to be, and what was my path to yes?

Truth be told – I wasn’t exactly looking for this opportunity on LinkedIn or Indeed.com.  

An email found its way to my inbox from a member of their team. A conversation was started, and gradually after learning more and more about the company, and asking a lot of questions – I knew it was the right fit for me. 

But how did I know?

A few episodes ago – episode 92 to be exact –  I talked about how to make big decisions a little easier. 

Beyond Pros and Cons: Three Secrets to Making Better Big Decisions. 

The biggest secret?

When I wrote that episode, I was in the midst of decision-making mode about this opportunity with Clockwise.

Definitely go back and listen to that episode if you haven’t yet, but the quick version of those three secrets to making better big decision: 

01. Get ahead of big decisions by combating decision fatigue with a weekly planning session. When you make all the little decisions in advance, you’ve got more mental space to devote to the big ones.

02. Know your core values and 

03. Rely on your Personal Board of Directors. 

In Episode 94, Ashley Joy and I really dive deep into the concept of your Personal Board of Directors – so don’t miss that one either.

Of those three secrets, the one that played the most important role in my decision was Secret Number Two: Know your core values.

And I’ll add two more on to that too.

Know your mission and your vision for the future.

You don’t have to be a business owner to have a mission statement or a vision statement.

If you’re a professional building a personal brand as you grow in your career, I highly recommend taking time to articulate your personal core values, your personal mission statement and your vision for the future. 

A few years ago while taking Shanna Skidmore’s course The Blueprint Model, one of the earliest assignments was to define your core values. And – I rolled my eyes.

For so long, I considered that kind of work to be fluffy and unnecessary, and usually I would just skip ahead and get to the action oriented part of whatever it is I was working on.

Core values? Pass – let’s get to the good stuff.

But – this course was expensive, the biggest investment I’d ever made in my business – and I was determined to squeeze every last drop out of that experience. So I put my head down and did the stupid core values exercise. 

Um so.… it turns out, defining your core values, your mission and vision IS the good stuff. It’s the stuff on which everything else is based! It’s the foundation. There’s a reason why they’re called Core values and not Surface values. 

And if you’re like – wait wait wait, Anna back the truck up, what exactly are core values?

What are Core Values?

Your core values are a reflection of who you are and a guiding-light for decision making of all types. When you know your core values, you can quickly determine if something is, or isn’t worth your precious time. 

I believe that time management is heart management, and until you get crystal clear on what matters most, you can’t even begin to effectively move things around on a calendar. Time management doesn’t start in the pages of your planner, it starts with your heart – it starts with your core values. 

Your core values are a list of 5-7 words or phrases that represent and encompass what matters most to you. 

They’re not an extensive laundry list of all the things that are somewhat important to you. Having too many can dilute their power and diminish their meaning. 

They’re not necessarily a list of things you’ve already achieved. They can be aspirational and something for you to aim for in your day-to-day life. 

They’re also not based on what someone else thinks you should believe in, or what society expects you to value. They’re yours, and they’re personal to you. 

Defining your core values doesn’t require some kind of vision quest or extensive meditation or months long reflection – choosing your core values could be as simple as jotting down some words on a page, or you could head over to Episode 21 where I walk you through the process of defining your core values. The members of Next Level Life, my group coaching program opening later this fall will also get to do this with me, and I’m so excited about that. 

So – Core Values. Here are mine:

Intention – Authenticity – Courage – Curiosity and Legacy.

Each one of those values has a specific meaning behind it. And if we share one of the same core values, your Authenticity might have a different meaning than my authenticity. 

Your Personal Mission & Vision for the Future

In addition to knowing your Core Values, I also mentioned the importance of knowing your personal mission and your vision for the future. 

Very often, I find that whenever I start with brand new time management coaching clients, they’re feeling overwhelmed, flustered, stuck. They’re having trouble making decisions, or knowing what to do next or where to spend their time. And very often – it’s because they don’t know where they’re heading. They don’t have a clear vision for the future. 

Remember in Alice and Wonderland, when Alice meets the Cheshire cat at a fork in the road and asks in so many words, “Which way should I go?” The cat responds with something like “Well that depends on where you want to go.” Alice doesn’t know where she’s going, so the cat says… well then it doesn’t matter which way you go. 

That’s what happens without a vision for the future – when you get to a fork in the road, you’re completely stumped, because you don’t have a destination in mind. 

Gosh – if the past year and a half of navigating the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to hold on loosely to our plans, because something is likely to pop up at any moment and change everything. Hurricanes. Wildfires. Flooding. Illness. It’s enough to make you want to give up and throw any vision for the future in the trash. 

But we can’t do that – we just can’t. Yes – it’s still possible to have a vision for the future even with the world constantly changing around us. Sure – it’s challenging, and sometimes everything feels impossible, but having that vision can keep you going, keep you moving forward and help you know which direction to take when you reach that fork in the road. 

Vision Exercise: A Letter from Future You to Present You

Your vision could be an entire aspirational picture of the future, or it could be a simple vision statement. One way to do this is to write a letter from yourself in the future. Maybe 2030 you or you at a specific milestone age in the future.  And in that letter, future you is telling current you all about what life looks like now, what you’ve accomplished, and how you got there. The obstacles you had to overcome but how it was so worth it. I’ve found that exercise is a great way to bring that vision to life and to capture it on paper in a really meaningful way.

Finally – your mission. My mission is to help busy people master time management so they can stop feeling overwhelmed and start spending time on what matters most. 

Clockwise’s mission is to help the world make time for what matters. 

My core values are Intention. Authenticity. Courage. Curiosity and Legacy.

Clockwise’s core values are Empathy, Authenticity, Drive, Focus, Curiosity and Enthusiasm. 

Why Clockwise was an Easy Yes for me

So here’s why saying yes and stepping into the Head of Community Role at Clockwise was an easy one for me. 

First – Core Values

  • Because my core values were already defined, I didn’t have to ponder what mattered most to me and what values I was looking for in a company. I didn’t have to make endless pros and cons lists, or struggle to know whether this was the right fit. I knew my values. I knew my values, and I knew they aligned. 
  • On top of that, I quickly learned from sitting in on one of their weekly meetings and hearing from several members of the team that their values and their mission aren’t just pretty words printed on paper or posted on the wall. They actually open every week by having a member of their team read the company’s mission and values out loud. They’re living them, and that was important for me to see.

Second – My Mission

  • Same thing with the mission. Because my mission was already defined, it was pretty easy to know whether my mission would align with theirs. And it’s not just my mission, or their mission – it’s our mission. We share it. We want to help people spend time on what matters most. 

Third – My Vision

Beyond the core values and the mission, I also had my vision to consider. What would a move like this – into a full time role for a company not owned by me –  mean for my future?

If I accept this role, does it mean that I’m giving up on my business or giving up on coaching?

To answer this question, I had to separate myself from the work that accomplishes the mission and the mission itself. 

My mission being to help busy people master time management so they can stop feeling overwhelmed and start spending time on what matters most. 

Serving as Head of Community for Clockwise might mean less time spent coaching one-on-one, but by cultivating a community, I would still be accomplishing my mission of helping people spend time on what matters most. 

The how might look different, but the why and the what remain the same. 

We’ve all experienced a LOT of shifts in the last year and a half. Some that we’ve welcomed, and some that have been really tough to roll with. 

You know I’m all for having a vision, for making plans and setting goals – but I am also a huge advocate for being open. For being open-minded, for exploring new options and opportunities and not being overly rigid with your plans. 

Yes, it’s actually okay to walk away from a goal or change your plans if you need to, or if you want to. You have permission to shift your focus based on the season you’re in and what life looks like for you. That doesn’t make you a quitter or a failure. It makes you nimble, aware and adaptable. 

Another question I asked for myself – What will this mean for my flexibility? 

I joked recently in my Panel group at the Creative at Heart conference that I just couldn’t imagine filling out a form to request time off ever again. 

Would I be eating my words by accepting a full time role with a company?

My flexibility, and having control of my calendar, is so important to me – especially as the mom to two little girls. I mean, you already heard about the fiasco of both girls being sick last week. 

Fortunately, Clockwise offers unlimited PTO, and while the company is based in San Francisco, I’ll be working remotely from home in Louisiana. Of course, unlimited PTO doesn’t mean that I can just take time off left and right, but it’s comforting to know that I’m working for a company that isn’t tracking my attendance down to the minute like places I’ve worked in the past. They respect the team’s ability to manage their time well and to keep projects moving forward. I appreciate that. 

And side note – it’s been really exciting to see the number of companies that are transitioning to remote or hybrid workplaces as a result of the pandemic. It’s become so clear that so much of our work – including collaboration with others – can be done from anywhere. 

What’s Next for It’s About Time & Coaching?

So what does all of this  mean for the future of It’s About Time and my coaching business. 

Have no fear – you will continue to see new episodes wherever you listen to podcasts every Monday – and I’ve hired an amazing Marketing Assistant named Maddie to help me keep the train on the tracks. There’s a lot that goes into taking a single episode from idea to published, and I’m so excited to have her help in bringing this to you every week. 

Time Management Coaching

On the coaching side, I’m currently working with a very limited number of 1:1 clients, and you better believe I’m still all-in serving them. But, the time I’ll be committing to the success of my new role with Clockwise means that I won’t be taking any new six month 1:1 clients for a while. 

Power Hours

Power Hours, my super-popular one-hour sessions are still available on a first come, first served limited basis. You can book a Power Hour by completing a quick application over on my website.

Next Level Life

And Finally – you’ve probably heard me mention Next Level Life in a few podcast episodes. Before Clockwise came into the picture, I was planning to open the doors to Next Level Life, my new group coaching program, in October. Now, to make sure that I have everything ready to serve you well, doors will open later this year. I’m so excited about Next Level Life, and if you want to learn more about what’s in store, sign up here to get on the waiting list. 

So there you have it.

So there you have it. This episode felt a lot more personal than most of my episodes tend to me. You know I love sharing stories throughout my episodes, but this one really felt like a deep dive into how I actually use the things I talk about in this show in my real life. Like I said, Episode 92 all about how to make better big decisions was written as I was in decision making mode, and it’s really great to be on the other side of that decision and let you in on the thoughts, considerations and considerations that brought me to today. I’m so incredibly excited to be a member of the Clockwise team and to continue working toward our shared mission of helping people spend time on what matters most – in whatever shape, form, or fashion that takes. 

Time is our most valuable non renewable resource, and I’m honored that you’d choose to spend your time here with me, listening to It’s About Time. 


LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Next Level Life: Join the Waitlist to get all the details on this brand new coaching community for busy, ambitious women who want MORE out of life.

Episode 92 | Beyond Pros And Cons: Three Secrets to Making Better BIG Decisions

Episode 94 | It Takes a Village: How to Build a Power Personal Support System with Intention featuring Ashley Joy

Episode 21 | Finding Your Footing Through a Priority Shift: How to Do the Next Right Thing

 

 

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