We’re two weeks in 2018, and New Year’s resolutions involving fitness and health goals are top of mind. That’s why it’s the perfect time to interview Natalie Jill – a licensed Master sports nutritionist and functional fitness trainer. Natalie’s entire mission is to help people to decide to take control of their body, mind, business and lives, and she shares the tools to do so on her website.
Natalie primarily runs an online business where she teaches people how to simplify fitness and fat loss. Her offerings include programs that are focused on losing weight, toning workouts, and marketing strategies for building your online business.
Natalie is simply a multi talented entrepreneur full of new ideas and energy – with the wisdom and experience to back it up. Read on for Natalie’s top tips on living and working productively when you’ve got a lot on your plate.
What does the first 90 minutes of your day look like?
The first 90 minutes of my day are typically reserved to my own mindset. So before I check email or check text messages or anything else that people would want from me, I typically do a brain dump of, anything that’s going on in my life. Not just my to-do list, but just anything that I wake up thinking about that’s bothering me or that I’m stressed about or that I forgot to do. Then I will move into some type of learning while I’m getting ready and making breakfast. So I’ll listen to a podcast while I’m doing that.
Then the next thing I do is make a priority list. I write a list of the three main things that I have to accomplish today that’s going to push my goodness forward.
What’s your number one productivity tip?
It does actually relate to email in a lot of ways. So my number one productivity tip is I do not get email on my smartphone. I do have the app on my phone, but I have a super secret personal email that I keep there. And the only people that have that are friends not related to work, my husband, and my assistant. So if something urgent comes in that’s time sensitive, people are instructed to text me to check that, and then they’ll forward it over. That’s been the biggest change for me, taking my work email off my phone and setting designated times at my laptop to check it.
Do you have a pre-bed/nightly routine?
I’m pretty big into circadian rhythm, which means I try to eliminate all blue light at night. So, typically at night I don’t have a lot of electronics on. If I do have an electronic on, I’ve got a blue light blocker on it, so it helps keeps me on track with sunset and when I should be winding down. Pretty much every night is my reading time. So, before I go to bed, it’s not TV, or checking email, or social media, it’s reading. I have a room in my house – it’s like my relaxation room, where I have foam rollers and stretching, and I have a big massage chair. So I’ll typically light candles and sit in my massage chair and read, and that’s pretty close to the last thing I do before going to sleep.
What’s your definition of productivity?
My definition is not being busy. A lot of people think that they’re productive just because they’re busy. I think being busy means you’re not productive. It means to me that you’re a mess and not in control of your schedule. So being productive really is a sense of calm focus. When you are calm, focused, and able to thorough able to pay attention and respond in depth to things, you’re being productive. Then of course that’s measurable with moving the needle forward. So if your business is producing, if your goals are happening, if your meeting deadlines you know that you are productive. It’s about calm focus.
What’s your biggest hindrance to productivity and how do you combat that?
Well, there’s just two things. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I have a ton of ideas. So it’s been a battle my whole life to know what ideas to act on, and what to filter, and how to not shift gears constantly and add new ideas. So for me, the way I addressed that is I write a lot. Part of my morning routine is writing out a million of those ideas and getting it all out of my head and putting them on paper, and I track them that way. Once I’ve gotten it out on paper, they’re not floating around in my head and they’re not distracting me anymore. It doesn’t mean I’m acting on them, but they’re on paper somewhere. That’s one.
The other one is just people and their demands. So somebody else sending me their agenda, their text, their emails, their requirements, their apps, those are all distractions as well. And to avoid that, it’s just about having filters in place. Like checking emails at certain times and not reacting. For instance, I used to check emails first thing in the morning, with my cell phone laying in bed. And I’m not fully awake or I haven’t gone through my morning routine, so what would happen is I would get annoyed, or respond, or get sidetracked and my whole day was thrown off. So by not having it on my phone, and by having designated times to check, I’m able to combat that.
When you lose focus, how do you regain it?
When I lose focus, typically I don’t know that I’ve lost focus when I’m in it, because you think that you’re focused on the right thing. But when I start to feel stressed out and overwhelmed, I pretty much know that I’ve lost focus. So for me, it’s honestly, it’s not getting more done, it’s going away from things. It’s going for a walk, it’s going for a workout, it’s getting outside. Doing something that totally distracts me, and that gets me back to priority.
What have you learned from your failures?
I’ve learned that failures are part of success and they happen, and to welcome them when they come. Because they always will come. And failing at something means that you are growing and moving forward. So I’ve learned to embrace them. It might not feel good when they’re happening but there’s a lesson, usually, to be learned by them. And I’ve also learned that failures are really, truly a locking pad for changes and big things. I’ve had so many in business and in my careers and they always end up being bigger, better successes after a failure has come.
What bad advice do you hear often?
Do more, stretch your plate, get more done, hustle. All that’s bad advice to me.
What’s the most worthwhile investment in time, money, or energy, that you’ve made?
In money, I’d say my business. I’m forever investing in that. Taking chances and risks, and stretching myself with that. As far as time, I did a personal development training workshop recently that took a lot of time, four months in total, and I would say that that was a huge investment, and had a really good impact. It was huge in how I shifted getting to my business and my life. And that was a program I did, it was a transformational training workshop that I did called ALA in San Diego.
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