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I'm Sari Kimbell and I've done just about everything in the food industry. I have helped hundreds of packaged food business entrepreneurs. And now I want to help you make your delicious dream a reality. Whether you want to be successful at farmer's markets, online, or wholesale on the store shelves, Food Business Success is your secret ingredient. I will show you how to avoid an expensive hobby, and instead run a profitable food business. Now let's jump in!
All right, everyone, welcome back to the podcast. This one, I have been like giddy thinking about doing this. I'm so excited to have my guests with me, Kristin Graham. Kristin is a former journalist, she spent 20 years living Culture and Communications at global companies; most recently, a little one, some of you might have heard of, called Amazon. She's now the founder of Unlock which centers on how brain science, psychology, and habits can unlock potential and performance. Welcome, Kristin!
Oh my gosh, I am so excited. I co nerd with you.
We are going to nerd out today. So I've known Kristin for, I guess since, I don't know, months. We'll just say, going on a year.
Yeah, I think that's right.
Yeah, she is just a fabulous human being. I learned so much from her, she helps me level up. You said one time at one of our retreats that iron sharpens iron. And I love that because you definitely helped me get sharper. So I wanted to ask Kristin to come on today because in May, we're talking about productivity. And this is really your jam, like you really help people become more productive. We'll talk about Unlock and some of what you offer later. But I think you're just, you're such the perfect person to talk to us about why words matter and how we can kind of train our brain for some better habits. So I'm really excited. Do you want to just say anything else about yourself? Sorry, I just kept talking.
No, I love it. Please keep talking. Keep talking about me. There's things that nobody ever does in regular meetings. No, I love this subject so much because they say we teach what we most need to learn. And if nothing else, I've been my own students and seeing all the different aspects of it. And there's a big, big difference between having information and then putting the action behind that, as you well know, something that we've talked about a lot. And it can be so overwhelming. So overwhelming. It's like saying, hey, I want to go run a marathon but I haven't bought any shoes. So I'm just gonna read a bunch of books on it. And it really, really comes down to what are those bursts? I call them the ridiculously small steps, what's an RSS? And really, how can we make this feel doable?
I love that- Ridiculously Small Step. So, I mean, you speak for large corporations, some big names. I won't even throw them out yet here but this is what you do. You go around and talk with big organizations and small organizations, like people doing big things and help their employees to become more successful, develop better habits. So, you know, we're talking here to entrepreneurs, people who are starting food businesses or trying to scale them up. We were talking before it's like who are the people listening? Of course, this is generalizing. But a lot of people have never run their own business. And that takes like, a whole new skill set, right? Like how do you motivate yourself to do your own job? It's like, somehow we're willing to do hard things for an employer but then all of a sudden, it's us. It's our own boss, and we're terrible at it. So help us Kristin, where do we start?
We're not terrible at it. That's where we're gonna start, Sari.
Oh, no, she caught me.
Really, really, really important. We can talk all about tools and tricks and technology and apps and all of that stuff. But really, and you know this, it starts in our own head. It starts in our own head. And when we allow ourselves the words or the framing, that's giving oxygen to excuses. And the most important thing that we can do before we get into any methodologies is just to say, what is the story that we keep telling ourselves? As we become what we think we are. So within that space, and the reason I'm so excited to talk to this audience isn't because at some giant corporation, it's because you're my people. I'm an entrepreneur as well. I've never run a business either. And you said it so beautifully. Like we will keep promises to other people, to our jobs, our colleagues, our clients, but oh, running our own stuff like, that is mental work as much as it is ridiculously small steps.
Yeah, okay, I wasn't sure where to start. But let's start with words because we're gonna geek out, we're gonna nerd out on word.
In a good way. So, you know, I hear a lot of negative self talk with my clients and with members inside Food Business Success, it's a brand new thing for them. Oftentimes they're working with technology they've never had to do or money, right? Or getting themselves to do things, are challenging to do. So where do we start like, and this is not just boohoo stuff like you're a brain. I mean, you focus on the science of it.
Well, I focus on the science of it because when we start by saying, this is mental work, or this is just in our head, I think that there is a societal pressure to dismiss that. The kind of buck up and just try harder. It's a very Western American philosophy. But true progress is going to come from the framing that we start out with. So when I've gotten into words, and I spent my corporate career writing and storytelling, words are intended to inform, influence, or inspire. We can talk about that from the marketing that we do, to the emails that we have. But that's usually the exchange of information in any connection. It's for those purposes. So we're giving so much thought to the words that we're giving outbound. And we get into that with marketing and sales narratives but really, that pulling it back to the audience of one and the words that are being used, consistently, repeatedly, subliminally that really becomes the make or break. And this isn't just the fake it till you make it poster with like a little kitten hanging on a wire, it really comes down to why I got stepped into the science of it. And there's a lot of backstory to why I did that but really trying to apply just how do you even have something be memorable, if you just take words and put it into short term memory. You could do a wonderful pitch to somebody, but was it frame so that they could remember it two days later, and then take action on it. Because in any business, it isn't just to give information, it's to inspire them to act. That's why I got into brain science and also psychology. Because those things are rooted in everything we see, from the Netflix recommendations they have for us to the sales newsletters that we get, even all the way down to the notifications on our phone. There is science behind why it's the color red. So I got so curious about what motivates our behavior. And then how do the words interelated.
Okay, so fascinating. So let's just say, let's just take the technology whine because I hear that one a lot. So I'm an entrepreneur and just starting out, now Sari is asking me to get onto Google Drive and Google Spreadsheets, and social media and oh, and my website, right? Like there's a lot that gets thrown at you. And if it's new. So what I hear from some clients over and over because it's like, I'm just not good with technology. I don't know how to do this, right? So where do we start? When we do we just try to become aware of it that we're even like a lot of be I don't think they even know that they're doing it.
I completely, completely relate to it. And you have sat side by side with me as I'm just trying to figure out technology for my own podcast. I just launched a new website after my initial entrepreneur website. It's very hard to feel new at anything. I think that is understanding human psychology. It's hard to be a new kid in a class. It's hard to be trying anything for the first time. Brene Brown calls them the FFTs. So I don't think you have an explicit podcast but it's just that the clipping first time, so I'll say it that way. And it's just because it's so frustrating. Anything new is going to have that resistance barrier. And that is just part of, and that is again, going back to our brain. Our brains entire job was designed to keep us safe. And comfort keeps us safe. Staying inside our cave keeps us safe because there's woolly mammoths out there. And so when we get frustrated at ourselves, and we're thinking, oh, I don't have the right willpower, I can't do that. It's really your brain just trying to keep you safe. So when you can recognize that and give it grace, then you can say what else can I feed you? That is a different type of fuel. That's where words meet the brain. And I think that really becomes our own tool set. So I can appreciate it as the entrepreneur who is wildly frustrated frequently with a lot of things. And then I stopped myself in those moments and being like, so what can you do? What's the most important next step? That's one of the fundamentals of the productivity work that I teach. It's one thing to have an extensive to-do list. And I can only imagine that your people are tracking it, their brains are tracking it, their phones are tracking it probably on a physical list. You can see me right now I've got all these post it notes behind me. Our brains are so busy trying to keep track of it. But really a productivity step is to say, okay, Kristin, you're going to start a podcast, what's the most important next step? Okay, so which platform am I using? Which microphone am I using? So breaking it down into palatable bite-sized pieces really can help the overwhelmed entrepreneur...
Of which I am one
What needs to be done first, what needs to be done today. Those two things alone can really help us sort through the noise that's constantly in our head.
I know for me getting it out of my head and onto paper, whether it's little sticky notes all over like you have behind you. Or I love the big sticky notes. And I will put those up on my wall and do project planning and just get it all out of my head first. So what do you suggest for people when we just maybe it gets pointed out to them or they noticed like, I'm probably not speaking to myself very well, right? I'm probably not empowering myself. You know, that, I think somebody like Brene Brown would say, you know, FFTs or she calls them I think, terrible first times for the PG race. But she says, you know, first step is just like, oh, that's right. I'm in a TFT or FFT, I'm in a new situation. So is it just like compassion first of all, for just understanding that's where we're at.
So one of the things too when we're thinking about the words that are in our head is we don't even realize that they're part of our lexicon, they've probably been sitting in our head for decades. So really having, is there someone who can reflect it back to you in conversations and just say, hey, these are my trigger words or these are some of the subtitles I think I'm using. And so a friend, a coach, a partner that can just say, hey, Sari, you just said, you were terrible at something. The other thing too, is you can have actual Find and Replace, and have it somewhere visually within your line of sight, that is able to say, if this then this, and it's because it is such a deeply rooted narrative that overcoming it is going to take a lot of multi sensory tools.
Yeah, I love that. Do you have any examples of like kind of sneaky words that you feel like make a big impact that we say to ourselves all the time?
Well I think that there's also excuses that we allow to be part of reality. And so I'll quote, the famous philosopher Yoda. Here the say, "do or do not, there is no try". And I think that a lot of times we put things out there I might, I think should is a big one, I should get back to them today. Well, is that on you? Or is that, are they even expecting that? And there's a lot of tools we can talk about in productivity about how to get around that to signaling to other people, hey, I received your note, I'll respond by Wednesday, let me know if you need something sooner. There's a lot of things in communications that we can just give ourselves grace and space on. But when we get into back to your point about the words of what do we keep putting forward that we can then reframe in the moment. So within those elements of how are we enabling ourselves to show up, I often go back in my own emails and strip out what I would call the weaker words. So I think is a great one. I think we should look at delivery on X. And their filler words, they're the equivalent of uhm and like when we're speaking to one another. It often softens the way that we're wanting to put something as entrepreneurs. There's also a lot of gender studies as women, it's that wanting to soften something to make it look like a request instead of a command. And the elements in business is clarity is kindness. And so when we're trying to fill it in with I hope that this isn't too much of an effort for you. I'm just really hoping that we can find something by Monday. Because we're trying to be nice but nice doesn't have a place in digital communications. Nice is an emotion. Email is digital. And so you can still be a good person and speak succinctly. And that is absolutely a concept that takes a while for us to get used to. And I do it myself as I mentioned, I go back into my emails and put things out there, you can still have some personality, you can still say thanks and have a great weekend at the end. But all that buffer, I call it the really long front door. Be brief, be bright, be gone. Because in business, that is the currency that matters.
Yeah. So good. Because I think I do that actually, I hate I'm gonna just say that again. I do that.
Case in point. I love it.
I do that when I write emails. First of all, I'm terrible at like the greeting part so I always do that later. Like I'll just write what I need to say. And then I'll look for words like just and think and maybe or, you know, some of those softer words, like you said, the filler words that don't make it sound like I'm coming in and saying I know what I want, or here's what I need, or you know, the next step. And then I usually write that a "hi, how are you?"
Great. By the way, I just want to reflect you that you just said that you were terrible at that again.
Oh. What did I say was terrible about, I'll take it back and listen.
That I'm terrible at doing the I think's in the buffers and all of them. Yeah. And I know, I'll never be on your podcast again. But I think that this is a really great example of how we don't even realize we're saying it.
Yeah, I'm like, what did I say?
Isn't that interesting? Isn't that interesting, though, but so if we didn't know each other and we did twice in 15 minutes, you told me that you're terrible twice.
Yeah. I love it.
We don't know what we're doing to ourselves. And so when we're engaging in business especially as entrepreneurs and new entrepreneurs, is we're giving signals all the time. That's what communication is. If a communication is intended to be a beacon, a satellite of connection, the signals that we're giving out, are really, really important. And we're giving out signals in an extremely crowded landscape of a lot of other signals and noisiness. And so there's one thing about trying to be heard in a noisy world. And there's another thing to say which words are landing. And you write about the extra words, our brains just don't have access for filtering anymore. The polite back and forth really is a burden. I just did a post yesterday about one of the best things you can do in your emails is to put up at the top, no need to respond. Because if it's just truly an FYI because then we can get into thank you, oh, you're welcome. Have a great weekend, you too. We try to apply in person interactions to our digital landscape. And that digitial is machine, just make that about information and be a good person offline. We're trying to associate our worthiness and our customer service through words. And truly, truly, especially after the last few years of a pandemic, the best thing that you can do is fewer things better.
Yeah. I so love the name of your podcast and that concept. So good.
It's all branding.
So what do I do in? Okay, so first I need to try to catch myself every time, clearly I say I'm terrible, at some things more readily than I realized.
We all do it.
Yeah. And then but it's not necessarily like in coaching, we would say like, don't go to daisies and rainbows where it's like, I'm amazing at this because it's it doesn't feel true. Do you? What do you recommend like the we do next when we catch ourselves saying the terrible, the word, the word we're avoiding.
The terrible, terrible. I think that we have an aversion to neutrality. And so we want to try to overcorrect to something whereas simply removing some either triggers or extras, those fillers, those I thinks, that alone is improvement. Versus now what do I have to do instead of it? We don't have to rush to replace some of that. It's okay for there to be space. There's a lot we can unpack with that one. But another one I'll give you is sorry. Whether we use that word specifically. I'm sorry for being late. So but here's an example, I want to go back to what you said about what do you do instead? So the first answer was, sometimes it's just removing is enough, full stop. Sometimes just removing the words is enough. And in other cases, when we catch ourselves doing it, it is the reframing or the replacement. So, story again, it's also a very, very common expression. But being able to say, when I find myself in the middle of either saying sorry or being inclined to do that, where do I have my mental flashcards that I can replace? So one of the ones that I've worked a lot on using myself is, instead of I'm sorry for being late, to say, thank you for your patience. And it can work in in person like rushing into the coffee shop, it can work in an email, instead of I'm sorry, it took me so long to respond, say thank you for your patience with my reply. And for a lot of people, they're like, I have 199 other emails, I didn't even realize you didn't reply, right? Sometimes we make this such about shortcoming on ourselves. But it's an intentional strategy of replacing a negative with a gratitude. Thanking somebody automatically puts them, let's go back to psychology, in a I'm pretty awesome. I was just at Disney World last week and I was with a bunch of teenagers and bunch of adults and we were going to find a...
Yes, that's a whole, she's actually sorry there, friends. That was sincere. But the reason I'm telling you this is we went up to get a table and there was a worker, a young worker who had just finished cleaning the table for us, disinfecting it, etc. And I said to them, thank you so much for doing this. And he looked at me and said, you're the third person who's thanked me all day and I've been here since 7am. And, by the way, it was like 7pm. So the reason I told you that long story was because when you start with something that's a positive framing, we don't get thank yous in our day, we were all first of all, in our own head, because we're always self assessing what we've done better. But we also don't get it from other people. So when you lead with grace, that stands out. So you can be strategic at the same time that you're being polite.
When you come at like saying, I just told you that I'm terrible twice. And you also come at I'm sorry, you already put yourself at a disadvantage. And I remember somebody in a meeting being like your apology has taken longer than, you know, interrupted our meeting. So we think that we're rushing to do something where it's really does anybody actually care? Can we can we move on? And so it's for our own framing but it's also our stumbling around becomes extra delays.
Right. Being someone that so much as just habit, of course, that is something, I'm gonna say I'm actually pretty good at that I have come I have been able to dial back the sorrys and I noticed that with some client with a lot of my clients where they are, you know, they didn't get something done. And it's this like, long, ongoing apology, I'm so sorry. And like beating themselves up, and it's like, listen, it is what it is, like, what are we going to do now in the moment and I think it's just so much of it's a lot of habit, that we're not even being aware of it.
It is habit and back to signals, you are now putting the onus on the other people to excuse you. So not only, not only are you giving away power, right, if we want to talk about those dynamics, business or whatever, but now you have put forward a social exchange that they're kind of required to respond to. And so our intention is one thing, but the impact of it is just mitigating. We're no longer doing business, we're no longer having a connection. We're having like a counseling session.
Oh my gosh, I'm gonna like be thinking about that for a while. You're so right, like, I'm sorry, is all about me and look at me, and I'm so sorry. And now you have to respond and make me feel better. I love your turn of phrase, but thanks for your patience, where it makes it about them. Also, if it's something like I failed to meet a deadline, just coming in saying I didn't get this done, but here's what's gonna happen next. Like I don't need an apology for it. It's your business.
That's such an important point too, because there are all sorts of deadlines and some things are under our controls and others aren't. And the other thing too is we're getting into sorrys and it's also framing very quickly an acknowledgement just as a lot of that person said he hadn't heard a lot of thank yous, especially when it comes to business or interpersonal exchange. Just saying, I acknowledge that this delay has to be frustrating, we can now spend some time looking at alternatives, options and solutions. Just those acknowledgments without the extended apologies or blame or anything, just saying, this has to be frustrating. Let's see where we can partner on a next step. That acknowledgement also can defuse things. And so while I said earlier that emotion doesn't have a place in a lot of things in business, and the human dynamic, emotion shouldn't be overwrought in your emails. It's not your diary entry. But in an exchange especially when they're if you're going to be in business, you're going to have challenging situations, period. How we deal with them is also a signal to the other people. Because will they come back to have you just established your reputation and your brand for how things go next after things don't go well. That's really, really important to think through.
Yeah. That's a big indicator for me when I watch clients and people I work with but to see how they deal with hardships and with, you know, drama and crisis and things not going well, it's a big indicator of their success.
Well an entrepreneur's life is going to be full of paper cuts, just is. That's part of the technology of the rest of it but it's also going to be unexpected pivots. I've yet to meet an entrepreneur this like that went just exactly as I planned. I made $100,000 in 30 days.
Nothing went wrong and I didn't have to think about any changes.
It's embracing those and saying the yes, and. In terms of yes, that happened and. It's powerful too.
Right, I love it. So yeah, I think going to a neutral spot, it gets a little bit like the pink elephant like, you know, where it's like, don't say terrible. And you're like, all I do is think about terrible.
For sure, for sure.
And I find in a neutral space where it's like technology, oh, here's technology. Right? Like it's just as neutral. It's technology. I gotta learn some new things. But I can do hard. Like, I can figure some things out, I have record of me figuring things out.
That's such an important point of record of figuring things out and allowing ourselves the permission to say, I can be an entrepreneur and a student. I can be a learner and a professional. There's that ampersand again, we often think that in order to be something, we have to be instantly good at it. And when you're able to say, not in the excuse of like, oh, I'm a new entrepreneur, it's just saying, yeah, I am a student of podcasts. I'm learning repeatedly. And in fact, as I've been going back and forth on it, I'll say my lesson for this week is this particular software, and I just have been trying to frame it for myself of what I am, given the opportunity to learn again is. So being professional does not mean that you still can't be an early active learner.
I think that's just part of, that's part of the journey of entrepreneurship. Like it's kind of why we like it, I think, at least for me, that's why I like it because I'm like, I'm always learning something new. And, and yeah, sometimes I'm not like, oh, come on. Really?
Right. Oh, for sure. Well, it's like the University of Life. If we showed up to the university, we're like, well, all you get is math classes kitten enjoy, like, where my electives? Where do I get to learn? And that's, I think what entrepreneur is. Yes, it's going to be operations and it's going to be economics, it's going to be marketing, it's going to be all the things that is the the University of Entrepreneurship, but you also get to have electives. So right now, my electives is new media, and what are ours? So there's a lot within that space to be able to say, I am to say there's no grades in this class. That's a really, really important thing because that's where we get into our head.
I mean, there's no time limit either, right? Like that's a really important piece. We talk a lot about that in our mastermind, right, smash the clock. Think people get on this like, I should know what I'm doing. Like I'm a brand new entrepreneur, never done this before, but somehow I should know what I'm doing. I should have it all figured out. And I should have it done in three months.
I love that you brought up smash the clock because the other part of smashing o'clock is comparison is the thief of joy. When we come in and we're saying but that person's in the same business and they're doing this or oh, they got that opportunity and. It is not a finite piece of pie. There is a lot of room for a lot of successes, which is why I think celebrating wins in whatever fashion. It's really, really important. Because when we're always turning around and looking at who's next, we're going to, I just mentioned, I have a new puppy, she will literally be looking behind her and walk into a wall. That's not even an exaggeration. I think that that's what's happening to us a lot of the times of what are they doing, instead of run the mile that you're in?
Yeah. Love it. So let's talk about productivity a little bit more. What are some hacks and habits that you see when used to me, you talk about I know, you help people with performance and being higher achievers, that their work?
Yeah. Well, one of the things before we get into tactics that I think is really, really important for people to understand is, what is your natural hardware? I'll be techie for a moment, in any high performing operating system has hardware and software. And I think of software as our skills or habits or routines. Hardware is going to be our factory settings. So when we're going to step into talking and thinking about productivity, and so I went from having a corporate day job where my time was structured ish, to time me my own. And that, that is definitely squishy. I think that's the scientific word for it. So one of the things I like to pull us back and think about is in here, let me ask you a question, Sari. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Yeah, I'm totally a morning person.
And you've always been like that?
Yeah. I think so, maybe as a teenager, I probably would, no even then I still was much more of a morning person.
Yeah. And so when do you, now that you're an entrepreneur, when do you feel, do you fill up your mornings with a lot of, what are your mornings look like?
Yeah, so I get up, an alarm goes off at 5:30. Which I had to train myself as an entrepreneur, right? Because I would, I was sleeping in like, it doesn't matter, like whenever I get up, but I have new systems now or last few years. But yeah, I get up pretty early, I do some meditation, writing Power Five, those kind of things. And then I get ready, I either go work out, or I just go ahead and get ready, depending on my day. And then I really do try to schedule at least two hours of just deep work time. So no meetings, no calls, right? And just like have deep, deep work time for me to get some things done, because I know that that's my most productive time.
And that knowledge is probably a large contributor to your successful business. So let me ask you, when do you or do you feel a time in the day where you kind of hit a slump? Do you ever have a bit of a like, I'm going a little slower.
Yeah, I mean, usually, probably by three, four. Just the deep, hard work is probably not the best, I can still do calls and meetings pretty well, you know, and still stay focused with others. But if I was to just be like, alright, I got to really dig into this program and write emails or something like that, that would be challenging.
Well, and that you just beautifully explained what in science is known as Chrono Biology. And that is your natural, good rhythms and preferences, you have a sense of when you go faster, and when you go a little slower. And everybody has that, by the way. And everybody's a little different. But for me coming out of corporate where my time was dictated by the calendar, and when other people scheduled my time, one things I've learned through science and it's really been impactful as an entrepreneur, is what you just said. Where is my deep work time? So like you, I'm an early bird. And so instead of giving away all that time in the morning, and there's lots of things that we don't always control, and there's lots of times you're gonna respond to a client, you're gonna do things. That's fine. It's more about what's your understanding. And so where are you having open time to actually do your work, your zone of genius. And then so for a lot of people, you've got within three hours of waking up, that's what's called your peak, that's when you're going to find yourself firing on all cylinders. Now, how you wake up as a different conversation if you want to get into that, how you wake up, but really within three hours of waking up, you're going to be at your peak performance, this is for people who are more early birds, night owls, which I'll get to in a second, and then seven hours, typically after waking up you go into what's known as the trough, and that's where like you've just said things that I can still do it. It's just I don't want to I'm gonna go slower and I'll probably want to distract myself with something. That's usually up in the kitchen being like, maybe I'll just do my dishes really quick because I don't want to do that email. So this is a great principle and productivity of understanding your own new one. Here's another thing for people listening, if you find yourself rereading like the same sentence or paragraph over and over, and you're thinking, man, I just need some more coffee, you're probably more on your trough. And the two things that you should do there or go get water, there's a whole movement of hydration linked to cognitive capacity. And the other thing that you should do is move, maybe you shouldn't get up and go do the dishes in your sink because you have a physical movement. So think about those times you get yourself locked in, and you just feel really slow, like walking through water. And then people typically will come back what's called the recovery, you're a little bit more social, you're more apt to what you just said, I'll have meetings I'll do is, I always joke about I'll write in my peak, but then I'll edit in my recovery. Like, I can pick something up and finish it. But don't ask me to start from scratch. It's a really, rhythm. Now, there's a lot of people, my boyfriend's one, night owls. People who really thrive differently, they go through the same cycle, they just go through it in a different order. So they can show up to an 8am meeting call, etc. Early morning farmers market. But yeah, I'm here, but I'm not here. And so that, and so they're just going to cycle through differently. So that's your, that's your factory setting, your hardware. When you have a sense of who you are and you can protect where you move faster. That's a core element of productivity. Because all the training, all the discipline, all the systems, all the post it notes, if you're sitting in your trough, it's just gonna take you longer. So really understanding how your brain, if you have an electric car when you charge it, and how fast is it charged. And that's what we're doing to our brains and our bodies all day long. So productivity really starts with the body before it gets into the habits.
Yeah, so good. I remember you sharing that at the retreat we were on recently. And well, first of all reminded me like I'm, oh, I almost said, oh. I would like to get out and walk more but I have a thing of like, I gotta keep going, I gotta keep doing work. But after talk, and when we were talking, I was like, alright, I just need to, you know, even if it's a 10 minute walk, just get out, get a little fresh air, recharge.
And let me give you the science of that. Because when we sometimes need permission to do the things we already instinctively know we need to do. So let's just use that example. Go slow to go fast. When we think like I don't want to slow down, I just need to finish this one thing, there's never just one thing, because something else will come in, you'll remember you need to buy dog food on Amazon, it's just your brains, your brains not going to stop it is the original machine learning. It's like oh, so back to your walk, the fact that you even have that thought is your signal to it. And so there is this whole science behind movement of the body allows a reboot of the brain, like when you have those software updates for your phone, you're like, oh, I don't have time for this, it's going to take five minutes. That's in patients that then when we're trying to over cognitive everything. The physical boost, I mentioned water earlier, there is also any type of movement, I teach a lot at universities and this one student said, whenever we have a five minute break, like off camera, he says he goes in the other room and does burpees and he's like I hate doing exercise at night this way in five minutes segments, I'm getting those done. But there's also a huge heart rate component, when we can boost our heart rate, even if it's going out and checking the mail and walking back. That actually is resetting your brain. It's giving them those little extra bars of connectivity. Now we can also use that as a procrastination technique. So of being like, well, I'll just go do that because I'm boosting my body. Forty minutes later, you're not actually. So that but those moments. There's also when you look at the multisensory for a lot of people, when you look at what is your auditory triggers, some people really enjoy having music in the background, some people you need silence. For me sometimes I will put on my big Bose headphones, even without music because it's just signaling to my body, I'm concentrating. For other people, they'll light a candle or put on essential oils because that is a pneumonic element for their body to say, we are having sensory through our body to do something with our brain. So other people will move and sit by natural light. Some people don't want to be by there. So you are already surrounded by signals and intuition of what are the things that distract me and what are the things that propel me.
So good and it's just a self awareness and I think just giving people permission to say, go figure out what yours is, like I said, I don't schedule meetings unless, you know, there's something that just has to be done. Like it's rare when I schedule a meeting before 10. And because I know that that's really precious time, but it took a while, right? Because I'm like, oh, I should be. And I really try not to check email, like, I'll do a quick glance, see if there's anything like, really urgent, but otherwise, it's like, I have my deep work tasks and I'm going to focus on that. But it took a while to get myself permission to say, this is actually the best thing, this is the best thing for my clients, this is the best thing for others, but I'm getting this work done. And not immediately responding to their email.
You said the perfect word, you gave yourself permission to do that. And so when I was in corporate, I would try to frontload oh, I'm a morning personnel have all my strategy meetings in the morning, and then I'll have the whole afternoon to do the work. Well, what happens in the afternoon is A) I'm not doing the same level of work, and then that I'm so much more open to distraction. Because when we are not heating our natural Chrono biology, then our brain will find other reasons to kind of spin on it. So that's why I say going slow helps you go fast within those elements. And the distraction, especially if we talk about the digital age and the attention economy right now, we are in massive overload on it. So any element of I'll just do a quick check of email, or I'll just, and then 17 minutes later, we're still doing even looking at our phone, I, as part of the classes I'll teach will do a whole thing called Tamed the Tech. It's not like we're getting rid of the tech let's let's not get hysterical here, right. But even one of the best things that I did is I changed the setting so that when I pick up my phone, my phone remains dark. It's called Rise to Wake, it's not until I touch the button, that I can see all the notifications. That small, ridiculously small step has, because I know I'm easily distracted. I know I'm easily social. So if I'm in the middle, and if we really want to get nerdy in the brain, when you are in your zone, and you're working, you are using your cerebral cortex, that's the executive functioning center of the brain. That's when you're like, I'm really smart, I'm writing an awesome proposal, whatever it is, you're like, I'm getting so much done. And if you allow or a distraction happens, it's not even when you allow it. So let's just say it's a ding or Amazon coming to your door. A distraction happens. Your brain will switch to your amygdala. And that's your emotional center of the brain. So if I'm in the middle of doing a financial proposal, so cerebral, and then I get a text from Sari saying, do you want to have tacos tonight? My amygdala is like, yes, yes, yes. Your brain starts battling itself. So I've known even on just moving my device, not having those notifications until I touch it and give permission back to your word. It's been really helpful because I'm working within my hardware, but my software, which is my skills and my habits, is helping balance that out.
Oh, my gosh, that is so good. I'm totally gonna do that. Because I have like, I don't have notifications on my computer. I don't get, you know, all the dings. I don't have any sounds. Because I know, yeah, so I've done a lot of the software hacks, but I didn't know about that one. So I will do that.
Visuals are super. There is the marketing teams and big businesses put so much into trying to capture your attention. And we take it as oh, I'm so undisciplined and I'm not being productive. Listen, they paid a lot of money to distract you. There's a reason that notification on your phone is red. That is a universal color of alarm. And businesses, app developers, technologists went out there to say what will stop a brain immediately and make them pay attention? A red circle. What's a stop sign? Or stop light? So there's a lot that we take as mental failings that are really truly wiring.
Right. All those little badges on your phone.
Exactly. They're red for a reason. It gets your attention.
Oh my gosh. Okay, so we know our hardware, we've taken into account, we've learned more about ourselves, giving ourselves permission to operate within our ideal structure. Because, yeah, I mean, if you're a night owl, like just shift a little, it's okay, especially as an entrepreneur, like, that is the beauty of the system, but you're gonna have to have some boundaries there, right? You're gonna have to do some uncomfortable things where like, I'm not available till 10 or, you know, whatever it is so.
Well, so, back to words. Yes, and, I am available after 10. It seems so subtle, right?
I'm not available almost feels like we kind of have to defend it or say, I'm available for you between 10 to 12 pm. It's a subtle framing but it takes it away from you mentally saying a negative, I'm not into, I am. And for the other person, they're just looking for pockets of time. But that's another great example of and you said boundaries earlier and I love that word, of being able to say, I am available for this activity at this time. It's subtle, but significant.
Yeah, I feel like this whole podcast could just be me rambling on and then you. Which is great, I'll be the example.
You're allowing this to be so conversational because it's very much how we all operate.
Yeah, it's instructional, I'd love to, I'll go first. Well, I think that's also to your point, right? Like, that's why I'm a coach, I teach what I most need to learn. And I teach people how to be entrepreneurs and coach them through that because I was not a natural born entrepreneur, and all of these tools and coaching tools and brain psychology, all of it, right? It's all helping people to be more successful. So, I love it.
Pause on that for a second. Because coaching is a tool. It is a software. Success is a team sport. And so all of those, I have a group of friends and they call it the skip the line. How can I skip the line, has somebody else done the research or somebody else? And all of the greats in their field still have coaches. Michael Jordan had a coach. And so we're never done being students, especially when we allow ourselves to embrace that word, we're learners, that really the the art of coaching and being coached is not because it's rooted in a weakness. It is how we are sharpening our iron.
Yeah. Because I remember when, you know, because we both have the same business coach now Dave Murano and it's kind of like, I'm looking at Kristin, like you got this all together, why on earth do you need a coach? You're doing awesome on your own. But I love that. I mean, you said that exact thing, like how do I skip the line? I want to get ahead of things and have the tools and the hacks and the connection.
Because and we talked about this in the beginning, we will keep promises to other people long before we keep promises to ourselves. Self consistency is an ongoing skill that we continue to learn and having a coach, having somebody who's going to hold you accountable. Because especially as an entrepreneur, we will fall all over the needs of our clients and our customers before we fall over our own needs. And that's the element that really comes, coaching really is a superpower.
I love it. So good. And I love it. Because you're also like you're not, I mean, you are a coach, and in a way you're not, you know, we have a lot of life coaches in our group and you're not in that traditional The Life Coach School coaching policies, but you're coming at it from a different place. Especially coming from corporate and all of that. It's like yeah, executives have coaches like people who want to get ahead faster have coaches.
Oh, I was just, one of my client projects I have right now is a CEO transition. And with the CEO coming into the new CEO coming in and the conversations are were exactly similar to this, what words, what actions, what accountability, what signals am I having. So all the way to the very top coaches are a part of strategic successful people. Nobody gets there alone.
Yeah, so good. Well, I know we're kind of starting to run out of time, but I want you to talk about fewer things better as a concept. And tell us about where your podcast, when it launches because I'm so excited for it, because that's really where we can learn the software. Right? That's what that's all about.
Very much. And also some of the data that just kind of helps make sense. I mean, like, that's why I do that. Right? And just that camaraderie in evolution, just been like, so I just launched a brand new website called unlockthebrain.com. So it's going to be a lot of this, right? Whether it's team performance, and potential or a lot of individual work, because teams are made up of individuals. So that's the big place where there's I post daily on LinkedIn and not about anything in particular every day. I'm not entirely sure when I'm writing it but something right around environments and what we see and how it comes to this whole conversation, what it looks like, and shows up like in real life. And then my podcast, which we'll be launching next week, is called Fewer Things Better, and it's all 10 minutes or less. And the whole premise is just little spot nuggets of information to help us be like, how does that look in my life? And what might I try? It's just a mental menu of ideas.
Yeah, well, back up a little bit and explain the concept like why because I think in today's society, we're like, I gotta do more and more and more and multitask and do all the things right and like.
Now you're, now you're gonna launch the nerd. So I'll try to make this really quick. So multitasking is a myth. And the reason I'm going after fewer things better is we've been conditioned in our society, that multitasking is a skill. Kind of like I can do math in my head, I can run a five minute mile. That's adorable. Those things are actually tangible. But multitasking does not exist anywhere in science. Multitasking was actually attached to the first major supercomputer that IBM launched in 1965. It was a feature of an actual computer people saying it can run multiple programs at once. We have somehow taken that word and made it a skill set. Truly. And when you break down the science, that there's no such thing, it's called task switching. It is where our brain can do it and multi seconds. But being able, if you're in the middle of writing that email, and then Sari asks you about tacos, right? That's a distraction. But then I go and I respond to Sari and I go back, and I'm like, I'm just multitasking, or you'll be in the middle of doing something like I'm going to quickly open a browser window so I don't forget to do that later. Is anybody done that? Or why hasn't anybody answered my email? Oh, because it's still sitting in drafts, I didn't actually send it. It's all of those things when we think I'm going to do this real quick. Real quick has a cost. That doesn't mean by the way, that you can't be really good at task switching. Anybody who's talking on the phone and folding laundry, of course, we can do multiple things at once. We're a highly evolved machine ourselves. But there is a cognitive cost to it. And there's two components. One is decision fatigue of where at the it's a cognitive drain by the end of the day, especially for those of you who are on that cycle of productivity. I often joke I can handle millions of ideas during the day, but I'll pay somebody a lot of money if they decide what's for dinner. It's that sort of like I'm just done, I'm just done. But back to the cognitive cost of it, it will, when you allow yourself to be distracted, or you are inserting a lot of tasks switching, you're actually going to finish things twice as long as you would have if you had single focused. And you are twice as likely to make errors in whatever it is that you're doing. So fewer things better. It's really because at the time, it feels like oh, I'm going so slow. But in order for the efficiency component, the geometric growth of your attention because you are really narrowing your focus I'll never say a single focus because that's just not the American way. You just don't believe in that. But fewer things better it's because you will actually go faster when you do fewer things in that moment or in that timeframe. And that's the premise behind it.
So good, so good. Oh you do that fast, good job. Well, you will uncover and help us learn more about it on your podcast and by the time this comes out, the podcast will be out so you guys definitely need to go check out all Kristen's work. And yeah, you post amazing things on LinkedIn so where can they find you on LinkedIn?
KRISTEN GRAHAM. I think it's actually KRISTEN GRAHAM One I also play around on Twitter at @KRISTENGRAHAM if anybody likes that space. But true to my principal, those are those are my two social channels because social alone, social alone.
Training doing fewer things better.
Yes, yes. And will will admire each other in all of our distractednes. That's, that's a promise of a safe place to learn about all the things that distract us.
Oh, I really wish we could go get tacos tonight, Kristen. You got me thinking about tacos.
Words have power and that's another, remember I said inform, inspire, and influence. I think there's a lot of tacos. And go drink your water. Thank you, friend, this has been such an honor, truly.
Oh, thank you. Thank you for your time today, Kristen. I cannot wait to share this with everyone.
I'm so excited. Thank you, friends.
I got so much out of that. I hope you guys did too. And I really do, I just find Kristen to be one of the most amazing humans. I have learned so much from her and so grateful for her. That whole raise to wake thing on your phone, really so good. I highly encourage you to do that right now. If you have an iPhone, go into your settings, and then I can't remember exactly where it was at. But it basically, you have to turn off the raise to wake and it is brilliant. It has really reduced the distractions for me. So I highly recommend you do that. I love that I get to bring on the most amazing guests and coaches that help you learn and grow and change your mindset and just step into being a better entrepreneur and getting more done. So until next time, have an amazing week.
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