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Dec. 21, 2021

138. How 3-Day Weekends Can Help You Prioritize Your Work & Relationships with Joy Gandell

Learn the skills you need to be productive during a shortened week. Joy is a committed professional & parent who has taken on the challenge of making time for creating value for clients AND making time for family & life. Her story is powerful, as are her insights on productivity, critical life skills, parenting, and learning.

Learn the skills you need to be productive during a shortened week. Joy is a committed professional & parent who has taken on the challenge of making time for creating value for clients AND making time for family & life. Her story is powerful, as are her insights on productivity, critical life skills, parenting, and learning.



Joy Gandell is an ex-HR self-employed consultant turned critical life skills, parenting & learning coach and is the host of the Being With Joy: A Quest To Crack The Parenting Code Podcast. 

Joy has been in the workforce for over 20 years, for the past 11 years, Joy has been self-employed so that she can prioritize what's most important to her, her family. 

She believes you do not have to work a straight 9 - 5 + OT job to earn a good salary and have more balance in your life.










If the root of your problem is that you don't have a concept of time and you can't identify what 1 minute feels like versus five minutes versus ten minutes. And so you're then not able to properly estimate how much time it will take you to execute a function, then all of the tips and tricks for time management, of putting the more important things first and so on won't work for you.


Welcome, everybody. I'm excited today to have Joy Gandell talk to us about how the three day weekend can help you prioritize what's most important, how to become more productive in what you do. And we're also going to be talking about a concept of looking at whether or not you're time blind. But first I want to do is welcome to the show. Joy, thank you so much for joining us today.


Thank you very much, Wade, for having me. I'm so excited to be here today.


Awesome. So a little bit about Joy. She is an exhuman, resource, self employed consultant, turned critical skills, life skills, parenting and learning coach, and is the host of the podcast Being with Joy, a quest to crack the parenting code. She's been the workforce for over 20 years, and for the last eleven years she's been self employed so she can prioritize what's most important to her family. That's one of the main reasons why I think she's such a great match for a show, and she believes I think she knows, actually, but she's probably a little humble here that you don't have to work a straight nine to five job to earn a good salary and have more balance in your life.


So again, thank you for coming here. What I was wondering if you do is share a little bit about your story because a lot of the times when people share their story, there's not so much huge downturn, but there's this huge big thing that happened. And from what I got from you, you were already coming from place of being successful and built on that thing. Sometimes people think, well, if it's successful, I'm just not going to mess with it. And yet you are willing to question assumptions, make changes.


Would you share a little bit about that?


Sure. As you mentioned, I was an X HR person, and when I started my career, I started in the corporate world, and I spent a good ten years in the corporate world working for other people as sometimes in a team of HR. Other times I was solo and my last position, I had young kids. My daughter was just in daycare, and my son was a few years older than that. And my husband's career was taking off because the two of us really had ambitions for our respective careers.


And our original agreement was to share parenting 50 50, and my husband's career took off quite rapidly. And the demands where he was working, we're getting to the point where he wasn't able to do the pickups anymore because I was going to do the drop offs. He was going to do the pickups. I was going to make dinner. And so he would call me towards the end of my day and say, I need you to pick up the kids. And then I'd have the kids at home waiting for dinner and I'd be making dinner.


And it was very difficult. And then the retention of 2008 2009 hit and I was put down to part time. But I really didn't want to work part time yet. And so I picked up an HR client on the side to offset that time. And what I discovered is I really loved working with this small client, small to medium sized business, and I got more accomplished for them than I did for any other company I had worked for up until then. So I decided, you know what?


This is a great way for me to manage my schedule, fulfill my career ambitions, be challenged at the same time, be more present for my family. And so with that one client, well, I left the employed by Corporations world, and I went off on my own, and I decided that it is totally possible to have a great career while working for myself and being present for my family. And so I did. And it took a few years to gain enough clients. But towards the end of my HR consulting practice, I was making really good money for the amount of time that I was working.


I would never have been able to make that salary if I was working in a corporate environment. I had essentially eight to nine weeks off because every time the kids were off, I was off whether it be vacation, pet days or they were sick. I controlled the hours that I work during the week. And so I was a hockey ring at mom and I would take my kids. I'd finish work early and I'd take my kids to whatever arenas they needed to go to. I had that amazing flexibility, and I was very happy with the salary that I was bringing in as well.


At one point, while things were really going well for me in the HR world, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer and I dropped everything. I told all my clients I'm not going to be working and caring for her. At the same time. Two of my biggest clients told me that they were going to wait for me. They had projects that needed to get done, and they got those done. I referred them out. And so I attended to my daughter and then through her cancer treatments, I realized that HR was no longer the career for me and that I really wanted to dedicate my life to something for a higher purpose.


And I didn't know what it was. So when her treatments ended, I decided to resume my HR practice. I dropped. One of my clients kept the other one because it was a not for profit and started thinking, perhaps I'll do HR for not for profits. And so as I was building that practice, I realized, yeah, it's just really HR in itself that wasn't for me anymore. And at around that same time. So it was a year after my daughter's treatments ended, my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, three learning disability insurance, anxiety, and being the person that I am, I became obsessed with researching everything I could about ADHD and how to help her and her lead three learning disabilities.


And what I discovered is that ADHD is really a dysfunction of executive functioning. The symptoms that we see and we associate with ADHD, hyperactivity and lack of attention. These are just symptoms. They're not the cause of ADHD. The cause is impulse control, time blindness, all of these things that really reside within our executive functions. I became fascinated because I saw this as something that translated to all teenagers, not just children with ADHD. And I also saw this as why I was giving time management courses, training as an HR person and what I was seeing in adults as an HR person.


I saw the end result of what was happening with everybody's executive function. And here I saw an ability to help change that trajectory. I learned everything I could about executive functioning. I became a learning coach first because it was the fastest way for me to get a business up and running. So I know the science behind learning. And I teach that to students, which incorporate a ton of executive functioning skills. And then I became an executive function life coach. I am now certified by the International Coaching Retention, and I Adore my new career and for the students and the kids with ADHD or executive function challenges that I cannot help.


I help their parents and I help them parent their children. So that's what I do. And because of what happened with my daughter's treatment, it's reinforced to me even more why working a four day week, a reduced schedule is so important. We are on this planet for a certain amount of time and we need to work to make money so that we can live. This is an undeniable fact, but we need to also do the living part, and I think that gets forgotten. We do a lot of the working part, and we don't do a lot of the divine part, whereas the ideal work life balance is going to look like something different for each individual.


For me, working for myself and working this reduced time helps me feel fulfilled as a professional. But it also gives me the time to be with my family and to have the connections that I so desire.


That's awesome. And there's so much there in working with different clients. There's a lot of things I find where they have a hard time figuring out first of all, just even the first thing you did was okay. I'm now either furloughed or I'm part time or I'm downsized to whatever the situation is and looking at, how do I focus on what I do best? And I know in my case, 20 years ago, I left a company and I just did consulting and a lot like you, I didn't leave the corporate world.


As you said, I simply got to choose my hours and worked with some of the same people and some of the people that I got to him picked more. And that was sort of like a first step. And then it sounds like you then made that second step of getting better clients and then getting to choose your schedule. Shark tank little bit, if you don't mind. This is one thing I think that people miss out on is when you're a parent, and I'm going to say this in a way that's going to sound as if what I'm saying is facts.


I can't prove this as fact. But it's been my overwhelming experience that kids need a lot of attention, and the more you can afford to give it to them, the better they're going to do. And that's not a knock on anybody who doesn't. It's not a knock on anybody who has put their kids through day care. Whatever it is, I'm blessed that my parents set up a situation we're able to afford a situation where my mother was there. And when we got home from school, she was there and she was a stay at home mom.


Brilliant woman. There are so many brilliant women that choose that vocation for a time, and they might shift back. Or maybe they did something before that. But when you look at, in your case, the decision you made to trade, in essence, quality time. That's a generic word. But it's time with your kids during certain ages and to forego what could have been financial opportunity, perhaps career advancement. What did that feel like? Because a lot of people sometimes just say, oh, she's just wired a certain way.


So she just did that easily. Was it difficult? What was it like? And what advice would you give to somebody who's maybe considering that.


So the choice was very hard. It wasn't easy because I was raised by a mother who worked full time. If I look at her generation, a lot of her peers didn't have the same career that she did. She was a professional, she was an occupational therapist, and she ran a Department as a girl. Growing up, I had that role model of a full time working mother. And even though she was a full time working mother nowadays, if we were to look back, she had amazing working hours.


I think she went to work for 830 to four. And because we lived around the corner from the hospital she worked at, she was home no later than 430. Those are like, ideal hours. People want those hours. And so I felt this tremendous guilt that here I have a master's degree. I have all this privilege. And I'm taking a step back from the traditional trajectory that we would expect. And even when I was in school, like they were training us, they were saying, You're going to become a consultant for a huge consulting firm, or you could eventually become a vice President of human resources.


So I had this idea. And when I first met my husband, I said, Would it bother you if I became a vice President of HR? Because that was my dream at the time, I wanted to be vice President of HR for pharmaceutical company. That requires a lot of hours. But when you reframe the situation and once I had my kids, I didn't expect to. I know this sounds silly because I believe that every single parent adores and loves their children desperately. I didn't expect to be as obsessed with them.


And so at the beginning, and I am on my podcast. I talk about how I'm a self professed, ex helicopter parent. And so I was obsessed with everything about them. And I really wanted to be there for their homework and for their sporting events. I wanted to do it all. And there was that pressure of I want to be a caregiver. I want to be that great mom who's on the PTA who's involved with the school, because every single study I had read, and I read all these studies, children do better if you all have family dinners together.


So I told my husband, we have to live near your work because you have to come home. You could go back to work after. But you have to come home. We need to have family dinners together. And I curated this life so that my children would have the highest chances of success. And it was super important to me as a woman in business. It was a struggle to make that decision, as I mentioned. And so I read Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In. She's the CEO of Facebook.


And it was this pressure. You have to lean in. You have to lean in. Don't take yourself out of the equation until you absolutely have to. And so I was leaning in. I was doing all that. And then I read a book by Annemarie Slaughter. And she worked for Hillary Clinton while Hillary was, oh, my goodness, I'm Canadian, and I'm drawing a blank. What was her role? What was Hillary's role when she worked for Obama Secretary? Thank you very much, Secretary of State. So Anne Ree Slaughter worked for Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of state.


And she had this amazing opportunity. And two years into her role, she took a step back because her children needed her. And she wrote an article in The Atlantic called Why Women Still Can't Have It All. And then she followed that article up with a book, and she spoke to me. Her message resonated with me that we could be super educated. We could be able to have it all. But our children need us. Just like you said, our children need their parents. They not only need our retention, they need our unconditional love.


Regardless of what's happening, they need us to teach them about emotional literacy. They need us to teach them about how to regulate themselves. They need us to impart all of these lessons to them. And I took that to heart for me. It really resonated. It doesn't resonate for everybody. And so I figured out a way. I keep using the word curate because I feel like that's what I'm doing. I am curating my own life to achieve my professional ambitions. They might look different than they did when I was 21 years old.


I'm in my mid 40s now. But when my daughter was facing life or death, I said, I am here on this Earth just for this life. And while she was in treatment, I didn't know how much longer I would have with her. I want to give my children all of me, but I also want to feel satisfied and challenged myself. So I curate. I love the word curate. We have to curate our own lives.


Yeah, that's awesome. I think one of the things that people miss if they've not experienced that is, I'll hear some friends say I grew up without a lot of parenting and therefore that my kids can deal with it. Okay. But then the question is that what you want. And again, no judgment there. Everybody is doing the best they can. And then on the flip side, when we would start doing things like I gave up playing beach volleyball. One of the things I love most for about six years because I thought that would be the best thing to do as a dad, to just be fully involved.


So I've got the helicopter degree or if you had the unanimous meeting. Yes. Hi. My name is Wade. I'm a helicopter parent, and one of the things that I didn't anticipate was at times blaming my kids for certain things. Well, because of them. I don't get to do this, and it wasn't because of them. But I made a choice. But again, I was somewhat at least informed of I can't say it's the cause and effect, but the common outcomes of when kids don't have as much support.


And as I watch our children, our children, my son is about to be 15 or our son is about to be 15, our daughter's twelve. And we see some of their friends that the parents just aren't as round as much and good families, good people, nice people doing their best. And yet you see the ones where right now, in our case, some of them are being raised by the Internet. And I'm 49 when my parents were at home or even if they weren't at home, my friends were, let's say, last key kids as the saying was, or how do you want to word it?


There wasn't. We couldn't access anything. As a young guy, you couldn't access pornography, even if you try. Some of us tried, but we couldn't. And this was something that there's so much out there that is just the world. And it's not, quote, unquote the internet's fault because the internet is just everything that exists. So it's a little bit everything. Of course, it'd be nice if some things that are really shadier, we're policed better. But overall, here are these kids at this very curious stage they're exploring.


I know Maria Monster would talk about the idea that there was active stages in dormant stages and then stages that they really wanted to pull everything from you. And then at about twelve, they really just wanted to pull everything from the outside world. So no matter how smart you were, they wanted to get information somewhere else because they were just good at that moment would gain information like, I'm good. I'm done. I need now input from the outer world. You and I talked about this show, but if you don't mind, this is something that just blew my mind.


The idea about how the development, the prefrontal cortex. And I'm going to say that I said that if I know exactly what that means, I just know it's something like here, but what that does at 13 to 15, how that impacts children and just their overall development, and then how it later turns out for people again, bringing it back to that, we're looking to say, how can we be more productive so we can get more results and less time so we can afford because you were able to get the results to afford to work a three day week.


I mean, you have a four day work week or less time or how it is the notes curate your schedule. And again, to me, they're all kind of synonymous. How does that start when they're younger? And how does that play out later if a person doesn't address being able to make those choices first in being able to make those choices.


I also want to. And for me, it's really important to recognize my privilege. I ooze privilege and everything about me. And so I know that not everybody is able or has the same privilege that I do and can curate their lives the way that I have. I am very lucky. First of all, that I have a husband who during a career transition, supported me financially. I'm very privileged that I have a master's degree that I'm white privilege is all around. So I recognize that. And I'm grateful for that in terms of executive functioning.


What I mentioned, just like you have teenagers. I have teenagers. And I became fascinated by this because I realized why I was seeing the behavior I was seeing in my teen, my son, who is now going on to 16 when we hit puberty. And so I'm going to give ages, but it's not set in stone that age. It's generally when we hit puberty, our brain goes through another period of development. So before we hit puberty, our brains developed greatly in two other times when we're newborn.


And then I believe if I remember correctly when we're three years old or five, something like that. But there's another house cleaning that's done pruning in our brain that's done. And it's when we hit puberty around the ages of 13, and that doesn't end until about 25 or 30 years old, and our brain does it's pruning here, just like you mentioned in the prefrontal cortex right behind our forehead. And that's where our executive function lie. So what are they depending on the expert that you land on?


So Dr. Russell Barkley, Dr. Thomas, Dr. Guire and Dawson, they all have different numbers of executive functions. They will give lists. I like the list by Dr. Guire and Dr. Dawson, and they have a list of about eleven. So they list metacognition our ability to think and reflect on our own behavior and to be aware of what we're doing. Time management, organization planning and prioritization memory, working memory, emotional regulation, emotional control, or self regulation. However, you want to call it time management. I don't know if I mentioned so there's eleven of them, and all of these get developed during that time.


And then you add the hormones to the mix and the hormones just exacerbate the problem. They make it worse. And it's not a problem. It's a natural phenomenon that our brains are going through. And you mentioned that as teens, you stop paying retention to the parents and you start paying attention to your friends or the Internet. And so on. The teens are teens. Our children are paying attention to us. They just don't want us to know that they're paying attention to us. So they pretend not to listen.


But they are listening and they are listening to the messages we're sending them. They are paying attention to our behaviors because we are their role models. And so we have to continue talking to them. So during this period of brain development, our executive functions are a little wonky and they're working themselves out. And we can help our teens with their executive functioning by giving them tips and tricks and things that are going to help them when we get older, around 25 30, and our executive functions stopped developing.


That's when they kind of are the way they are. And it doesn't mean that we'll either be really good at executive functioning or really bad because there are several of them. We can be stronger in some and less strong in others. And it also doesn't mean that because we've hit 25 30, that we stop being able to work on them and strengthen them. It just means that if we didn't work on them as teens by the time we're 25 30, this is where we're at, but our brains are malleable and we're able to learn and grow no matter how old we are.


So as long as we put in and we're accountable and we put in the work to achieve that, we'll be able to work on them. So here I am as an HR person teaching time management to the newly recruited the new generation 22 year olds. No wonder their time management skills aren't so good. But then I would see adults with poor time management skills. So okay, tips and tricks. That's great. But they still don't work. What happens? What happens to your productivity when you are, as you quoted me, time blind, and I didn't come up with this term.


This is a term that is known in the executive functioning world. If the root of your problem is that you don't have a concept of time and you can't identify what 1 minute feels like versus five minutes versus ten minutes. And so you're then not able to properly estimate how much time it will take you to execute a function. Then all of the tips and tricks for time management of putting the more important things first and so on won't work for you. And then if you don't know how to break a task down into smaller steps, how can you be expected to plan or prioritize?


So there are certain executive functions that come before productivity, time management. And you have to look at the root causes and ask yourself what is actually happening here that I can't execute the way I want to execute and look for the root causes. And so that's what I'm passionate on, because then you'll be able to achieve your three day weekend and you'll be able to achieve more and be more productive in less time. But you have to look at what's actually going on beneath the surface, and it's your executive function skills.


Got you. And that's one of the things that as an entrepreneur growing up in the United States, we have this hero story of the entrepreneur and the part of it that usually gets the most pressed or the most exciting is the entrepreneur who is bold and innovabuzz, and they challenge the status quo, and they're creative, and they are visionary. They do something that's never been done before. And sometimes that's part of the narrative. And yet there are two other asterisks next to that, at least number one is that sometimes that person is supported by somebody who helps them with the implementation and the details.


So Paul Allen to Bill Gates or Steve Wozniak to Steve Jobs. And I'm sure the list goes on. But in addition to that, sometimes the business model is while we're brilliant. If you look at something like Amazon, as opposed to, let's say, Microsoft, as an outsider who hasn't worked for those companies, but just thinks about, like, okay, Microsoft created software. So it's more of that heroic visionary, like we did something that's never done before. And I'm sure somewhere there's a lot of people saying, no, I could have done Amazon.


All he's doing is just selling books quicker, and then he sold. It almost seems like, oh, man, that's so accessible. And yet there's something going on from an execution standpoint that is well above average. And if that wasn't going on, there's other people out there competing with them that can't do that. How do you maybe contrast what we normally consider creativity or brilliance versus executive function when it comes to an entrepreneur and how it affects them and their ability to run their business? What things will somebody run into if they're struggling with their executive function?


It really depends. If you're struggling with certain executive functions, it will depend on which executive functions you're struggling with. That will determine what it looks like. So if you're time blind, you might be always late for things. You might not assess how much time it's going to take you to do things. And so you never feel like you're getting on top of things because everything is just taking you so much longer to do them. But above all else, as entrepreneurs, as innovators, I use the word curate.


We have all these ideas. It's not only in the execution of the ideas, it's also in the accountability in executing those ideas. Who are you accountable for? Are you accountable to yourself? Are you accountable to someone else? And that's another thing that entrepreneurs struggle with is the accountability. I have so many ideas. I want to execute everything and execute nothing. Why is it because of accountability? Is it because you can't break down the task into its minute parts and you don't see all the different things that you have to do and then you're unable to plan and prioritize.


So the answer to your question, there is no one answer to your question because it really will depend on the individual and what they're struggling with in the moment. It's the ability to take a step back. And if you're curious about the executive functions, you soul work up Dr. Peg Dawson and Richard guire's book. They have a series called Smart But Scattered, and they go from children, and I believe they even have a smart but scattered installed. So it's more for adults what's happening? Why can't you move forward and to really then identify which executive function skills are getting in your way in achieving your goals and your ability to have the three day work weekend have the three day weekend that you want.


Yeah, absolutely. And that's one of the things that mentioned going back to this concept of creativity being valued so much and execution or implementation not being valued as much as I also bought into this idea of. Okay, well, I'm smarter than the people who work with me or for me that help me implement stuff. And for a while, I bought into that and wasn't trying to from an ego standpoint was actually from a flip side of, oh, my gosh. I've got to figure out everything. It's got to be me that figures it out.


And I might be above average capacity, skill level, whatever it is in creativity. But I'm well below in execution. And so that was something that took me quite a while to figure out. And if you listen to just sort of that first level, the very service level pop. I was about to say pop psychology, but pop business psychology, pop, entrepreneurial psychology said, Well, you're lazy. You're not willing to do the work. And as you and I both know, they're entrepreneurs working their tails off and not getting to the right place.


No different than there are people that study hard and can't pass tests or any other area of life where because somebody isn't really addressing the right issue and they're working hard. But they're approaching in a way that isn't the optimum way. And that's one of the things I just first suggest people to look at is if you really are truly, when you get into the conversation of trying to balance family and doing work, you believe in and making an impact and making an income and creating a life you enjoy, one of those is going to kick your butt in the sense of, well, hey, I'm trying so hard to do this, and I feel like I'm doing my passion, but I'm making no money, or I'm making this money.


I can't find time for family, whatever it is. But usually there's something where we're just not approaching it the correct way, not a morally correct way, but just literally the way that it works. And I think that's the thing that excited me so much when you and I were talking to the pre interview, just as somebody who is willing to be a hard worker. And yet sometimes labels myself as lazy. And sometimes my wife will say, Wait, you're one of the least lazy people I know.


Yeah, but I work. I have a three day weekend, so I must be like, no, you work really hard for four days, and then on the weekends, you're coaching, you're playing volleyball, you're cleaning around. Now you work hard on the weekends, you just do things that aren't called work. And so you've said, oh, well, they must be play one. As you know, joy, not everything about children is play, raising children a lot of its work, and it's very rewarding. But I think that's the part that to me when people look at this is so difficult.


And I can tell you when you explain to me the idea about being time blind and the analogy of the digital clock versus the analog clock and how a person has a hard time seeing that that really resonated with me would you mind sharing that? Because I kind of get it. But I know the audience, I think could definitely benefit from it because I think it might help people like me who are saying, Look, I'm that guy who at times I've gotten better at it. But at times it would be like, I'm always three to five minutes late.


And the old message was, Wade, if you can be on time, if you can be three to five minutes late, you can throw out to be on time. It's like, okay, great. So I'm going to beat myself up, but that still hasn't helped me get the answer. I'm missing something. Share the analogy of the clock if you don't mind and how that maybe plays out for people. What that specific thing the timeline looks like for an entrepreneur who's working hard, who's struggling, who's trying to find what do I do with these competing ideas and how they make decisions on it?


So before I do, I want to just touch on something you said before you talked about saying, I'm lazy. This term is so used that if I can't achieve everything, I must be lazy. I'm unmotivated or I'm not smart enough. My personal belief is none of those things are true. We are all smart enough. We are all motivated, and none of us are lazy. It comes down to the executive function skills. Do we know how to execute what we want to execute? And when we don't know, there are times where that just feels so insurmountable that it is easier to avoid it than actually overcome it.


And so if you feel that that's the case, don't blame yourself for it. You are smart enough. You are not lazy. You are motivated. Reframe it and ask yourself now that you know there's such a thing as executive function skills, is it possible that it's an executive functioning issue that I am dealing with? And if so, which one? And how do I tackle that problem? The idea of time blind, I Wade reference to it at the beginning. It's can you identify or do you feel what 1 minute represents or five minutes represent in this age of digital, everything's digital.


When we look at our phones, when we look at our smartwatches, we are, for the most part, looking at a digital time. We're not looking at a clock. Some people on their smart watches will put an actual clock. But for the most part, our children in particular see a digital time that tells them the time right now, this moment. But it doesn't tell us the time in time and space. We don't understand what that really represents. And so when I was little, we didn't really have digital clocks.


We had the analog clock. We had a traditional clock, twelve, three, six and nine. And then if we were lucky, we filled it like all the hours were there, and all the minutes were also there. And not only did we have a minute hand and an hour hand, we also had the seconds, and we never fully appreciated what looking at a clock like that did for us. We just see it as we could look at it from a physics perspective, as a machine. But it is a tool that we use to tell time.


The difference between a digital and an analog clock is an analog clock. We can see if we have a second hand, we can see how long a minute takes. We could literally see it. We don't just feel it. We see the second hand going around the clock and then we see what five minutes represents. And when we see the time, let's say it's 630. We can see 630 in relation to it almost being seven or where it is, how far it is away from being 08:00 or if it's 10:00.


Okay, we have another 2 hours before it gets to midnight. We see it. We don't just understand it. We see it, and that seeing it gives us the ability to understand what 1 minute is, what 30 seconds is, what's five minutes and so on. But when we see a digital clock, we only see the right now. And so in our idea of being time blind, if we are constantly looking at digital representations of time, we don't see it in its greater impact on time and space.


And so we lose something there. And there are ways that we can fix this. We can get ourselves an analog clock and only look at that. We can get ourselves what's known as time timers, where it's like a timer. It's like an egg timer that you would use in the kitchen only it's an analog clock with a red space. So we would set it for 15 minutes and the 15 minutes is highlighted in red. And as time goes down, the red gets smaller. And so we can train ourselves to start estimating the amount of time it takes us to do tasks.


If we start saying, okay, I'm going to sit down and I'm going to answer all my emails. I'm assuming that it's going to take me 30 minutes to answer. I don't know, 100 emails or 30 emails you estimate. Put a log. This is my estimate of how long it's going to take me to answer these emails. Now set the time timer or look at a clock. Look at how much time it actually takes. Then put actual start tracking your time and doing things like that. Eventually you're going to notice if you're time blind, that the time you estimate gets closer to the actual time because you're getting better at it.


You're better able to estimate and you're able to actually see how long it takes. So that's one way to overcome time blindness. There's other ways as well. But to start physically estimating the time it takes you to do something and to compare it to the actual not just saying, okay, I'm going to create a schedule for myself for the day. And this is all the things that I want to get done, and I'm just going to get it done. But if you don't know how long it actually takes you to get those things done, well, you're always going to feel like I'm failing at something if you're not estimating properly.


Absolutely. Wow. That's so huge. And I might just be talking for me, but I think I'm talking to a lot of people in the audience as somebody who helps clients with time management and more from the at least basic starting point of okay, you're not going to be able to get everything done. You can't have 20 priorities in a day. So some of the fundamentals of time optimization, management, whatever words you want to use and very much kind of in the Steven Covey sense of first things first.


And yes, you do your most important things when you have the most energy and all those things have worked for me. But I'm still 20 years an entrepreneur in and I track my time or invest my time. I have a tool that I use to do that, and I track how much money I've made in that particular area that projects would help me. But I still find myself mis estimating how long it's going to take to do something. And when you then have three to five other things in the schedule, based upon that timing, you say, Whoa, everything just went and then you reach in and they're like, oh, gosh, I only got one thing done or no things done.


So again, I've made that step. That okay. I'm at least going to make sure I get the most important things done first and then certainly in things, for example, podcast interviews. I now have a sense of how long it takes to do an interview and the prep time. So again, through repetition. But I just look at for so many years, and I still struggle with this is when I get multiple ideas and which do I implement first and genuinely thinking that I'm going to implement all of them and then do that critical error of, oh, gosh, instead of getting one of them implemented, I have three of them, like, halfway done or a third done or whatever it might be.


And having done the planning, I'm a good boy. I eat my vegetables. I did what I thought I was supposed to do, and it's not working. And so I think that's something I'm going to be very interested to check out the book you recommend of understanding that more from the doctors just to get a better sense of what is that blind spot I have because I know I have that. And again, that would be that thing that for me, the sort of cycle of that is.


Okay. So I'm time blind in my planning. Eventually I get frustrated doing plan. That's okay. I'm just going to get one thing done a day, but then I might get that one thing done and be not and then have nothing else planned. And then the second after day, I'm kind of like, okay, what do I do? And so it's something for me. At times I've had these bursts of productivity and something awesome happens. And then a week later, I just feel off. And by default, I might go back to okay, I need to do more vision worker plan.


No. If I'm on my deathbed and half alive, I can recite my visions. I know my visions. I've done the vision work, at least what I want to look like when you talk to me about the execution part of it. There are times where it just doesn't match what I wanted. I know what I want to look like, and the other part going back to lazy thing. I'm willing to do the work, but it can be very overwhelming until I learn the process. And then if you add that this is, wow, this is a serious first world problem.


I've got here joy, and then you add to that. By the time I get this all figured out, then it becomes the work you're like, okay, I'm bored with this. Now I know how this all works. So that part is like, okay, I want new challenge and trying to manage all that in a way. And yet one of the things I think you've done, which is something if I would look at one of the things, one of the best things I've done or decisions I've made, which was really made for me by example.


And I've learned from my parents that as best as I know how family comes first, and it can look different. It can look a lot of different ways. It doesn't have to look the way mine does or my vision or your vision. But that being an anchor, that at least I have a litmus test to say. Okay, what I'm doing is not helping in that way. And to be really clear, sometimes it means more time with family. Sometimes it does mean, hey, I didn't make enough money.


I really wanted to go on vacation. Oops, I've got all this time with my family. I want to make some more money so we can go on a vacation wherever it might be, but at least having some sort of anchor for that. What would you say as we start looking at more? What would be the difference between a person who needs what you do the work of a coach versus just maybe exploring? What does it look like when you say no person just a little bit off versus a person you say, wow, this might be the difference between them being able to be wildly successful.


What they're doing versus perhaps risking failure as far as they're functioning. What does that client say to you when you say, wow, this is my sweet spot. This is the person that really needs my help, and they're doing these ten other things, right? But this one thing is really hurting them. What would that feel like? What would that person be thinking?


So generally, the people that I work with who come to see me are the people who have very specific goals that they want to achieve, and they're just not having success and executing on their own and want to explore. Yes, I can offer ideas that work for other clients, but really want to explore what's getting in their way and how they can hold themselves accountable better. It's identifying ABC goals. They have one, and they just want support and accountability in achieving that goal. Coaching is very goal directed.


It's very future oriented. And what's wonderful about it is that there's the accountability piece in coming to the coach. And so depending on who you are, the amount of accountability that you might need might be higher than others. I know that people who have ADHD generally require more assistance with the accountability versus people with ADHD, but at one point, it's fun to do things with other people, and it helps us commit better coaching, though the major work is done in between sessions by the client who comes to see me.


And these sessions are really brainstorming sessions for lack of a better way of saying it in ways to achieve the goal.


Awesome. Yeah. That's something I find with the clients I work with is very often whether it's recruiting, coaching, sales, coaching, how to get to a three day weekend, four day work week, whatever it might be. If I use the word accountability in my sales copy, I will sell more. So first of all, most people realize, okay, I need more accountability. And then, of course, I try to think about. Okay, am I actually going to help them do that? And even more importantly, somebody offering a service. What does that look like?


And what does it take? Because it's somebody who also offers online courses. Sometimes one of the worst things you can do is to give a client really great ideas, but no accountability structure. And so you charge them. I'm just going to charge you for the ideas, but the ideas alone aren't going to do it. And so it's almost like a car without wheels. Yeah, but the whole car without the wheels is worth 28,000, blah, blah, blah, 50,000 Maserati without the wheels. Yeah, but in terms of going from point A to point B, Maserati without wheels is still worthless as far as the function.


Now, don't get me wrong. I'll take a Masera without the wheels, and I'll figure out how to flip it or buy the wheels. But in that sense, I find a lot of people with the accountability part. They still come back to this laziness thing or the self thing. Well, no it feels almost. You hear some coach say, Well, if you need an accountability coach, you're not committed enough or I hear these different things. And I just think about how I started my Podfest, and I'd taken two different courses over a seven year period.


There were online courses, did not start my podcast. And then finally, a friend, sorry. And both of those two courses were by industry leaders. And they're good courses. Nothing wrong with the people who did it. And I still looked to those courses, and I learned from them. Then a friend of mine who's not an industry leader, really good and solid, knows what she does, did a course and offered six weeks of Zoom calls while we would implement them and go step by step. And for me, that's how I started my podcast.


I could not. Or maybe I could, but it just didn't happen otherwise. And again, I've been an entrepreneur 20 years. I coach people on accountability, but we're sometimes blind with our own issues. But even it's just something that's so simple of like, okay, without that variable, that was, in that case, the critical variable of having some sort of what the four disciplines of execution. But we call it some sort of cadence of accountability, some sort of repetition of what I'm doing in place. Yes, I'm going to come to a call, and it still technically took me maybe eight weeks.


So I still kind of like, okay, it wasn't perfect. But without that, I would have still been looking at the online screen looking like, okay, what are you going to do for me? Looking at the computer screen is if it's going to do something when a lot of it was about me and me doing that work. So thank you so much. Gosh there's. So much. As I told you at the beginning, I said, I don't think we're going to get to everything. We touched on a few different things.


And by the way, first of all, we'd always put the links. So your social media links and all that stuff. We'll put that in here. So if you're listening, people can hear that. What's the project? That's your passion you're working on now and maybe talk a little bit about just let people know this idea of cracking the parenting code. What does that look like, or how are you helping people with that?


So as I mentioned earlier in the Podfest, I'm a self professed X helicopter parent. And when I went into parenting, I had this very clear idea of how I wanted to parent. And I wanted my children to have boundaries, and I wanted them to achieve success. And I had these ideas of what success looked like, and I wanted them to achieve, well, academically. And you name it. I had all of these ideas, and I wanted just like, I curated my career. I wanted to curate my children, and that doesn't really work in real time in real life.


And I was on this journey. And what I noticed is that I didn't like who I was becoming as a parent. Outwardly, my friends were generally amazed at how I would follow through. As parents. We threaten our children with certain punishments, and we don't follow through because they're too. I was the parent who followed through. I was the parent who literally took my child out of a restaurant when they were having a meltdown, and I left the restaurant and I left my husband and my other child there at a friend dinner because the behavior wasn't correct.


So we leave. But I didn't like how I was feeling inside, and I really hated the amount of yelling I was doing with my children, and I started seeing things in them that I didn't like. And when I looked in the mirror, I realized they were mirroring my behaviors because I was their role model. So it was my husband. But I was seeing a lot of behaviors that I didn't like that I was doing to them. They were mirroring it back to me. When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, I started realizing that something had to change.


But what was interesting for me is that the doctors would speak to me as though or at least I felt this. They were speaking to me as an equal. And I really appreciated that as a parent who I'm not a doctor, I don't know. But when I would offer ideas, they would take me seriously and have conversations. And so it started really from her treatments. And I guess I was lacking a bit of self confidence. And my daughter also always struggled in school, and I was having her tested and tested and tested for 50 million different things, and I would wait for the teachers and for the school administrators and for someone to tell me what to do.


And it was when I started doing my own research and started looking into things that I started realizing, wow, I have power, too. Then I started learning about executive functioning and started realizing, wow, it's not my son's fault that he's behaving the way he is. So why am I treating him like he's doing something wrong when it's really his brain, that's causing him to do these things, which led me to another course called Shankar Self Regulation, and I wanted to learn about self regulation. What I didn't realize is that I was opening another can of worms, and it changed the way I was parenting my children.


And it changed the way I saw their behavior. I no longer saw their behavior as misbehavior. I saw their behavior as stress behavior and as biological. And so when you reframe behavior, you come at parenting in a different way. And my parenting started changing. And I also started listening to Brene Brown's Podfest Unlocking US, and I started listening to another podcast called The Happiness Lab by Dr. Laurie Santos. And yet another podcast by Lynn Lyons, who does fluster Klux. It's on anxiety. And I'm listening to all these Podfest like Brene Brown is a social worker.


Lindleyan specializes in anxiety. Dr. Stewart Shanker is a neuropsychologist, and Lori Santos is a psychologist, but I don't remember what her specialty is, but she has now started examining the science behind happiness and everything I was learning was all coming back to the same message, even though it was from people in different fields. And it affected how I was parenting my children. And so I don't have all the answers by a long shot. But my podcast is really my journey from becoming a helicopter parent to where I am now, which is very much I would like to call myself a holistic parent, and I give my children what they need when they need it.


But I'm not trying to curate their lives anymore. I'm not trying to have them achieve my definition of success anymore. I am trying to allow them to grow and learn the skills they need to achieve their own definitions of success. And so the podcast is really a reflection on my journey. And as well as all of the lessons I've learned that I'm sharing with other people and a whole bunch of new questions that I'm asking myself and asking others to reflect on. So it's fun. It's a lot of fun.


That's awesome. And that's being with Joy of quest to crack the parenting code. Correct.


Correct. I'm a parent like everybody else.


Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for your help today, joy, there's so much you have in here. I encourage you all. If you want to learn more about Joy, you can reach out to her. And what's the best place as far as website wise.


Yeah. So my new website for my coaching practice is still being built, so there's no one place you could find me. I have a Facebook page Seta S-E-T-A EF skills. You could find me on LinkedIn. Joy Gandell, you can find me on Instagram. Joy Gandell as well are the best ways to reach out to me.


Awesome. Thank you so much. And everybody hope you get a lot from this. There's so much to unwrap here, and not just just the productivity part for you, how it relates to family three day weekend. All that good stuff. So it's all I look forward to helping you create the life and the lifestyle you most desire so you can better enjoy your family, your friends, and the entire journey. Thanks so much for listening. Bye.


Joy GandellProfile Photo

Joy Gandell

Critical Life Skills, Parenting & Learning Coach; Podcast Host, Speaker & Pediatric Cancer & Neurodiversity Advocate.

Joy Gandell is an ex-HR self-employed consultant turned critical life skills, parenting & learning coach and is the host of the Being With Joy: A Quest To Crack The Parenting Code Podcast. 

Joy has been in the workforce for over 20 years, for the past 11 years, Joy has been self-employed so that she can prioritize what's most important to her, her family. 

She believes you do not have to work a straight 9 - 5 + OT job to earn a good salary and have more balance in your life.