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Gaining More Time – A Better Daily And Weekly To Do System (Encore)
Episode 2913th July 2023 • Think It Be It • John Mitchell and Kelly Hatfield
00:00:00 00:19:26

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In this episode John and Kelly talk about how important it is to be organized if you’re a high achiever. John and Kelly have developed an organizational system (daily to do form and weekly to do form) that they think is great. There’s three components to the system. You plan your day the night before, you time block your day, and you identify your top three priorities each day. The key is to have a great system. Using their daily to do form, the template lines out each day by every half hour. To do’s are scheduled at a specific time. Then a person identifies their top three priorities for the day and highlights those priorities on the form. John and Kelly also talk about the weekly form – which has six or seven categories that are customized to each person. During the podcast John and Kelly also talk about the importance of making the morning all about your agenda and the afternoon for being responsive to other people. The afternoon is when you return phone calls and as well as emails. And at the end of the podcast they talk about how their organizational system is reinforced in the think it be it 12 minute day technique.

About the Hosts:

John Mitchell

John’s story is pretty amazing. After spending 20 years as an entrepreneur, John was 50 years old but wasn’t as successful as he thought he should be. To rectify that, he decided to find the “top book in the world” on SUCCESS and apply that book literally Word for Word to his life. That Book is Think & Grow Rich. The book says there’s a SECRET for success, but the author only gives you half the secret. John figured out the full secret and a 12 minute a day technique to apply it.

When John applied his 12 minute a day technique to his life, he saw his yearly income go to over $5 million a year, after 20 years of $200k - 300k per year. The 25 times increase happened because John LEVERAGED himself by applying science to his life.

His daily technique works because it focuses you ONLY on what moves the needle, triples your discipline, and consistently generates new business ideas every week. This happens because of 3 key aspects of the leveraging process.

John’s technique was profiled on the cover of Time Magazine. He teaches it at the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, which is one the TOP 5 business schools in the country. He is also the “mental coach” for the head athletic coaches at the University of Texas as well.

Reach out to John at


Kelly Hatfield

Kelly Hatfield is an entrepreneur at heart. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of the ripple effect and has built several successful companies aimed at helping others make a greater impact in their businesses and lives.

She has been in the recruiting, HR, and leadership development space for over 25 years and loves serving others. Kelly, along with her amazing business partners and teams, has built four successful businesses aimed at matching exceptional talent with top organizations and developing their leadership. Her work coaching and consulting with companies to develop their leadership teams, design recruiting and retention strategies, AND her work as host of Absolute Advantage podcast (where she talks with successful entrepreneurs, executives, and thought leaders across a variety of industries), give her a unique perspective covering the hiring experience and leadership from all angles.

As a Partner in her most recent venture, Think It Be It, Kelly has made the natural transition into the success and human achievement field, helping entrepreneurs break through to the next level in their businesses. Further expanding the impact she’s making in this world. Truly living into the power of the ripple effect.

Reach out to Kelly at


Learn more about Think It Be It at



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Kelly Hatfield:

We believe life is precious. This is it. We've got one shot at this. It's on us to live life to the fullest to maximize what we've been given and play the game of life at our full potential.

John Mitchell:

Are you living up to your potential? Are you frustrated that despite your best intentions, you just can't seem to make the changes needed to take things to the next level. So you can impact your career relationships and health.

Kelly Hatfield:

If this is hitting home, you're in the right place. Our mission is to open the door to the exceptional life by showing you how to play the game of life at a higher level. So you're playing at your full potential, rather than at a fraction as most people do. We'll share the one thing that once we learned it, our lives were transformed. And once you learn it, watch what happens. Welcome to think it be the podcast. I'm Kelly Hatfield.

John Mitchell:

Hey. And I'm John Michell. So the topic today is getting more time by being highly organized. That's probably a good idea.

Kelly Hatfield:

Don't you think? Kelly for time? Hello? Yeah.

John Mitchell:

That's a good thing. Good thing. I mean, really, the time is our most precious commodity, right? Yep, absolutely. You know, I tell you, one thing I've learned is, is to be highly organized boy, you have got to have a great system. The system is the key. And, and so often, I see that people are not very organized, and they admit it. And but I see when you have a great system, literally, you can create time. And if you don't have a good system, you flush time down the toilet. And so this in in today's visit, I just want to talk about the organizational system, we created this been so powerful. And when I talk about an organizational system, I'm really talking about daily and weekly to dues. And our system basically comes down to three things. You plan your day, the night before you time, block your day, and you identify your top three priorities each day. And it's I mean, it's amazingly simple. And the reason it's important to prioritize those and highlight those top three priorities is in case your day gets off kilter, which is sometimes do does, you can just go and focus on what's highlighted as your top three priorities and the power of, of always getting your top three priorities is so amazingly powerful. And so I tell us your thoughts on this whole concept of, of organization and and the system we have,

Kelly Hatfield:

I think, you know, the one thing that I'd like to add, you know, well, first of all, the amount of stress, like we all have a ton of stress in our lives, right? You know, just there's so much for us to do, and so many competing interests, we have full lives that aren't just about our careers, they're about our families, and all of those things. And so the thing I want to say about this organizational system is, is the mind thrives on order. We talk about that. And so what happens when you're organized, and you're focused on the things that move the needle, and you plan your day, the night before, is that it's, it's freeing. When you do this and get into the habit of doing this, it's freeing and there's one other thing I want to emphasize here too, is that we're talking about time right now time is finite. This also changes the quality of your time. Does that make sense? Absolutely. So you can not only get more done with less, but you're going to be thinking about how you're spending this time and how you're going to show up during this time and it shifts your entire this organizational system shifts your entire perspective on time. And so anyway oh I know you're gonna get more into it John, but I get so excited about this because time is finite. We've This is it. So the question you want to be able to ask yourself at the end of the day is like hey, did I win the day to day? Yeah, did I did it this was it and I hate to be morbid you know, but I am motivated by you know by morbidity I am you know if this is for me. What am I happy with how I with what this day looks like? What I can't lished how I showed up in all of the different areas of my life, I want to know the answer yes to that the majority of the time, and this organizational system helps you do that.

John Mitchell:

Right? Well, and I'll describe the organizational system in a little more detail. So the first step is, like we said, plan your day, the night before. Boy, I can't say enough about this, you know, basically, the way we do it, is at the end of the day, we sit down and plan what we're going to do tomorrow. Exactly. When and, and there's so much power in creating again, to your point, that order of now you've got order for tomorrow, as you're wrapping up today. And you know, as your as your put your little head on the pillow, and you you know that tomorrow is plan, that's a great feeling. It also sort of frees your mind to think of other things, maybe that you can do tomorrow that you wouldn't otherwise be able to get to, because you hadn't planned the day. So that that first step of of planning your day, the night before, absolutely powerful. Then the second thing is you're going to time block your day. So on the daily to do sheet, you'll have all the day, all the hours of the day in and 30 minute segments sort of lined out. And, and as you as you plan your day, you basically also list what are your top three priorities each day. And so as you you, first of all, take those top three priorities and time, block them into your day, then if you got that done, you highlight them in yellow, so they they stick out. And then the next step is you go in and fill out the rest of the time on your day with the things that aren't your top three priorities. And so once you finish that, and you're looking at that sheet of paper, now, every thing you're going to do that day is planned out, you know what time, and the top three priorities are staring you in the face and with in, in red in yellow highlights. And so it's just a powerful way to, to do your day. And then then as you start your day, and you start crossing off things, you're getting this continual dopamine hit from the the psychic energy of getting things accomplished. And so that's, that's how the system works. And it's, it's interesting, when I, when I put this into my life, and it, it moved me from probably a six or seven on an organization to attend on a scale of one to 10. And I thought, man, if it has such a big impact on me, I bet you'd have a big impact on my employees. And I had like 175 employees. So I started going into the managers, and I asked him, you know, on a scale of one to 10, how organized Are you? And, and they would generally say about a sixth. And I'm like, Wow, what a what a difference we can make if we as a company, all do this. And I thought I'm going to teach some managers first and then then the managers will teach the rest of the team. And so off we go. And it was such a game changer. And we got so much more done when, when it expanded beyond just me. Have you seen that with your team? Oh, in terms of organization?

Kelly Hatfield:

Absolutely. You know, for all of the same reasons. And I think there's there's so much research on the fact that our brains aren't designed to multitask, you know, so when you got a plan, you know, any place for the different activities on your calendar, those were things that move the needle that are that, you know, are the top priorities for the day. You know, then you're again, creating that order and creating a space to do just that activity. So you speed up, that activity is your protected time. And it is for that activity and that activity alone. So what we have found with our team, is when you're given a certain amount of time to do something, guess what? It gets done. And you know, and they're focused on it. They're not switching gears a million times. So at the end of the day, feeling like they've got a bunch of unfinished things. They've got those those key priorities done. And that sends that feedback loop to where it's like, oh, you know, these little victories that you're celebrating throughout the day for things that actually you've accomplished and you've moved the ball A little further forward. And I think that's where so much of our momentum as a team has come from, is from feeling like you're actually accomplishing things, right? And then right, because, you know, because we are, and then we went up to it too, and, you know, kind of took it to the next level, organization, you know, the the AP of organization, which is, you know, so if you've got a meeting, let's say you've got a, you know, a meeting with, with someone where you're thinking, you're looking at that spot on your daily calendar, where that meeting is, and you're like, how do I want to show up? You know, what do I need to be prepared with? Am I prepared for that meeting? And how do I want to show up, who's going to be at that meeting, what it where you're really, so that you can show up, be very present, engaged. And so we're also finding that the outcome of those meetings, whether they're sales meetings, whether they're level 10 meetings, where there's so much more productive, the meetings themselves are, because people are really thinking through how they're going to show up in that block of time for that particular activity, whether it's a meeting, whether it's a, you know, one of their time blocks for a priority that they need to take care of. So there's an intentionality around how you're showing up in that time. Does that make sense?

John Mitchell:

Absolutely, you know, I see with with me, I will time block my planning of the meeting, you know, if I have a meeting at three o'clock, I might time block for 15 minutes, how am I going to run this meeting? What do I want to accomplish? How do I want to show up, and so I'm not only time blocking the meeting, I'm time blocking the preparation for the meeting. And you know, another thing that that's, I think critical, is, people are so distracted today with emails and text messages. I mean, it's just phenomenal how distracted people are. And in our organizational system, we teach people to look at your email, at the start of the day to see if there's anything that's just critical. But basically, our plan is you don't return the emails in the morning. And you designate a time like maybe three o'clock in the afternoon, to return your emails and to return your phone calls. And before that time, you know, you're rolling and with the also the idea that the morning is for your agenda. And the afternoon is to be responsive to other people. And, and I found that philosophy to be really powerful, because again, you got to get your stuff done. And you had to be responsive to other people. And, but but designating the morning for your priorities is so empowering. And and it's just a great way to do it. And it just allows you to focus and and I assume that's essentially how you do it as well, right?

Kelly Hatfield:

Yes, absolutely. And I think there's one thing I want to add to this is, you may be thinking, Oh, that's easy for you to say, You know what I mean? Like, I've got employees, you know, meeting stuff all day long. And I've got clients that are counting on me and all of this. What I would encourage you to do, and that it's so easy, your brain automatically wants to go there, because you've organized and you've managed your email that way, you've managed it forever, you know, so your brain is kind of trained to be plugged into it all day long. But what is a game changer is when you communicate clearly to your team, to your clients, to whoever would be emailing you that this is how I work. So I'm going to check into my email, I look at it first thing in the morning, maybe I usually do a half day like as soon as I'm done eating lunch, I'll check in to see if any of the people that are on my priority that had to do with my priority list or moving project forward. got back to me real quick to see if there's anything there that that connects to my priorities at all. If there isn't, then it doesn't get addressed. It goes to the you know, it goes to my last check in at the end of the day. But my team knows that they know they're not going to get an email back from me at 10am on something that it won't be coming until the afternoon. That if it's an emergent situation like there's blood or smoke involved that they can get in touch with is that your rule of thumb it is blood or bone that's that's the No I know that they can call me we've got the you know direct message. There's a way that they can get in touch with me if they need to, but that so my point is be clear about How you manage your inbox with the people in your life so that they are very clear about and have very clear expectations of what they're going to get from you. And when you're going to respond, that takes a lot of the pressure and stress off. Because when I first started doing this, I was like, Yeah, but like, if I, if I don't get back to a client right away, they're going to, you know, or if I don't get back to a team member, maybe they're going to, you know, whatever the case may be, that's just old programming, those are stories, myself. So it just requires very clear communication. And that immediately relieves stress. It trained them, they, I needed to train myself and I needed to train other people. Right, right, how I was going to be using my email and replying to them.

John Mitchell:

Right? Well, and, you know, it sort of goes back to this thing that we've often talked about, about identifying what moves the needle, you know, the vast majority of stuff does not move the needle. And, and always looked at, I'm saving the morning for what moves the needle, that's gonna be my agenda. And I'm not distracted by texts or emails, and what a what a much better way to live and operate than how most people are operating where, where they're always checking their emails and checking text messages. And, you know, it's just it's, it's a much more powerful way to operate. And like you said earlier, the mind thrives on order. So and I think the way that you apply this using our 12 minute a day, technique is, is you basically reaffirm that you plan your day, the night before your time, block your day, and you highlight your top three priorities. And as you're using that system, again, the system is a key because that's, that sort of causes you to do those, those things. And I would say to our audience, if anybody actually wants to see this system, again, it's a daily to do sheet and a weekly to do sheet on the weekly to do sheet, where identifying, you know, different categories in your life. And it's sort of customized, the weekly sheet is customized to your life in six or seven categories, which is another powerful thing in the process of planning your week, makes it easy to plan it. And so it's powerful, but if anybody wants a example of this, we'll be glad to provide it to them. So just email, either myself or Kelly, think a John, thank you. Kelly, ah, that thing could be So anything else,

Kelly Hatfield:

I you know, I one other little quick thing that you just brought up in those key categories of your life, like, this isn't just about being more productive in your work life or your career. This is about being productive and showing up in the different areas of your life. So as a parent, as a significant other, like you literally are putting the things on your calendar, like maybe it's a soccer game that you're attending for your kid, well, you are thinking about how do I want to show up? Like, how do I want my child to know that I'm there for them? Well, here's a clue for everybody put your frickin phone away, you know what I mean? And be present and watch the game. Instead of being I sit, you know, in the stands at my nephew's game. And I'm just like, watching all these parents with their heads in their phones and like, come on, you know, like this, you know, and show your. So I mean, it's those kinds of things. But I wanted to point that out. We're talking right now about career and but you just brought up a really good point about the different areas of your life. And there's a place where all of this lives on your calendar. So right,

John Mitchell:

right. Okay. Well Until next time, we'll see you.




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