Productivity: 'Win the Hour, Win the Day' ft. Entrepreneur, Kris Ward
Updated: Aug 16, 2021
[00:00:00] Kriti: Hey guys, welcome to WhyFI Matter$ I have less than a month before school starts and I'm going into my junior year. So I am a little bit freaked out, not going to lie. I know it's going to be a very stressful year, balancing everything, but if I am going to survive this year, All I know is that time management is going to have to become my new best friend.
I am so excited for today's episode because becoming more productive is something that I definitely need to work on. And I can't wait to learn more from our guest, Kris Ward. Kris is an entrepreneur, author, podcaster, coach, and speaker. And she's the leading figure in the time management and productivity space with a platform called 'Win the Hour, Win the Day' where she teaches many businesses and entrepreneurs, her time management philosophy. Kris has been featured on many award winning radio and TV shows and podcasts too. She's also the host of her own podcast called , "Win the Hour, Win the Day'. I hope you enjoyed the interview.
Hi, Kris. Thank you so much for coming on WhyFI Matter$ today. It's an honor to have you on the show. I personally have struggled a lot time managing and like really just being productive. I got sidetracked a lot, procrastinate a lot. I think productivity is the only way that I can maintain a level of composure and calm my life and still have fun at everything I'm doing. And I'm really happy to talk to you today. Cause I think you have a lot of wisdom for myself and also my audience.
So thank you so much for coming on the show.
[00:01:57] Kris: Oh, Kriti, I am pumped to be here. I am flattered. The honor is all mine. I'm ready to dive in and over-deliver so, yeah. Throw your questions at me. I'm here to.
[00:02:07] Kriti: Yeah. So I wanna learn more about you growing up cause obviously a lot of the audience are teenagers and I want to learn more about your teen years.
So were you always kind of entrepreneurial? Did you always want to create something?
[00:02:22] Kris: I don't think I knew I was entrepreneurial, but looking back I was, and sometimes you don't even know what it's called. You just are who you are. And so you don't know what that means. So I was very serious about babysitting.
I fought with him mom, like at a ridiculous young age that I wanted to babysit. And I seemed, you know, at 12 I was very indignant that, you know, let's get this going. And she made me wait till I was 13. Children should not be children thought I was fine. Right. And I realized now, like I was really serious about that. I had packages, I had rebooking packages, incentives. I wouldn't eat any of the chips or anything. They left behind for me cause I didn't want it to increase their overhead. Like I. I wanted to be like, they just pay me. They don't have to pay for the chips and the, and I was really all serious about it. So I look back now and I treated it very much like a business. And I didn't know that at the time.
[00:03:16] Kriti: I see that's kind of interesting . So you, you did have like a kind of entrepreneurial mindset, like a business you mindset, now looking back on it, but , did you also have issues with like time management or were you a generally productive on top of things, person?
[00:03:35] Kris: Well, here's the thing. Don't confuse the two with being valuable strengths. So for example, I have always been organized. My mother said the first thing I did when I got a pen was I made a list. You know what I mean? So I I'm organized and I'm all about that kind of stuff, but, but using the word productive, Let me give you a quick little example:
so in high school, there were some things I was really good at and there was some things I was not, I do not believe the human brain is meant to be good at math and English. Right. You can't be interested in history and science or different parts of the brain. Once they get, you get out of high school, they explain that to you like, oh, well, no wonder I wasn't good at those two things. Those are opposite sides of the brain. You can't have both. Right. So I remember being, I think I was in grade 12 and I was like, okay, you know what? Exams are a couple of weeks and somehow being bad at math, I thought I could make up for whatever things I missed during the year with my exams. Right. Silly. Anyhow. So I made this beautiful calendar that, you know, if I study X amount of hours, per course, for the next few weeks, like I could ace exams. Right. So it was all organized. So am I organized? Absolutely. Here we go. So a week later I have not done any of these studies. No. What do I do? I make a new calendar, let's redo this.
I revamped the calendar. Now let me stress. This is color coded. This is serious stuff.
[00:04:58] Kriti: That's a lot of work is put into making the calendar.
[00:05:01] Kris: Yes, but I wasn't interested in the study and an idea. So don't confuse. Sometimes you think you're organized and that's yours. That's great. You think, but what I would tell you sometimes what you do is you just reorganize, but you don't change the infrastructure.
So I tell my clients just because you're like you being organized could be a deficit because then you don't change the infrastructure. You just kissed her to keep tightening and tightening the organizing.
[00:05:27] Kriti: So then what would you define to be productive?
[00:05:32] Kris: Productive is really about achieving an outcome. So if we give that example, my outcome was not to be successful at making calendars. Right. So you can make out of business. Right. But that wasn't the goal. The goal was to do well on the exams. So what I would say is entrepreneur, it's about getting ideas to execute. Ideas to execution. And too often as entrepreneurs, you get caught up in the web of admin and the busy work and the post and pre production stuff.
But it's really about getting ideas to execution. That's where most entrepreneurs go wrong. They're caught up, I would say, in the web of admin, about 80% of the time. And I argue with our win formula: 60 - 40 win formula, you should be in creation mode, 60% of the time and admin mode, 40% of the time you should be getting ideas to execution. That's what moves the needle. That's what makes money. That's what moves you forward?
[00:06:26] Kriti: I see. So I want to definitely talk more about 'Win the Hour, Win the Day', but just going back to the calendar part of it, like for me personally, I use Google calendars to organize a lot of, like, even for today I plan out everything I'm doing. I've recently been trying to look at different apps for productivity. And one of them I found is called, like Todoist ,not to do list, but to do it. Yeah. Pretty interesting because everyone in my family can kind of see what we're doing and we can keep each other on top of things. And it works in combination with a Google calendar.
So I've been recently working on. Becoming more organized, especially because I'm going into my junior year, which is going to be a year that is going to be very hectic. And personally, I get a lot of anxiety when I'm not on top of different things. So I was just wondering how we can use calendars and Different planners, I guess more effectively to not just, you know, be organized, but actually get something out of it and actually fulfill the work.
[00:07:41] Kris: That is a fantastic question. I'm super excited to address that because I wish I'd known that sooner. And I will tell you guys really do check out my book 'Win the Hour, Win the Day' it's written for entrepreneurs, but it really can apply to your studies like nobody's business. Right. And bear with me.
Cause I want to tell you so many things at once. I might tell you three stories at the same time. So, I'm here for you. Pay attention. Hold on for the ride. I remember being in the first year of university. You would go into the class the first day of the semester, and they'd give you this big, horrible essay or something you had to write. Like it might be 30 or 40 pages and they would tell you it's due December 21st. Now most people, oh my gosh. I've got nothing but time. This is amazing, right? And of course blink twice. It's October, you don't know what's happening in whatever, and you're not going to get an extension. Was somebody gave you three months that long. Right. What I did was I worked backwards and I'm going to tie this in into another story in a minute. It's really important. If you said, okay, let's have make it due a week before it's actually due because yeah. Slipped on a piece of ice or whatever, they still don't care. Like it doesn't matter. You had all this time. Right. So if you say, all right, what happened is if I worked backwards and said, okay, it's due a week before, and then how long does it take to research? What are the books not in boom, boom, boom. I realized like I best be getting on this like tomorrow. Right? So that's how I survived in university without any guidelines for help. It's also how I wrote my book.
So when I wrote my book, I had to have it to the editor to get the editor I wanted. She said, I need to do it in June because I'm booked for the rest of the summer. So what happened was I looked at my book and said, okay, if I do five pages per day, Monday to Friday, Will that get the book on time?
I worked backwards. Yes, it will. Okay. So we did the math. I have to do five pages per day, Monday to Friday. Get the book out on time. Now a younger me, you might some days go on Monday. Oh, I don't have
[00:09:36] Kriti: the motivation.
[00:09:38] Kris: Or you might be thinking today, it's not flying the words aren't coming out. This isn't happening, but you.
Tomorrow, like my previous sample with the calendar tomorrow, I'm going to be much better words going to fly off the page. But because I broke it down into five page increments, I looked at the numbers. So some days when I thought I didn't have it in me, I realized if I can't write five pages today, I can't write 10 pages of head
[00:10:02] Kriti: tomorrow for sure.
[00:10:04] Kris: So I worked backwards when you work backwards, it really sorta sobers you up and makes you realize what you're against instead of being hopeful and thinking you're just going to be all inspired and magically it's going to happen tomorrow. Right? So working backwards. Is hugely helpful. And the calendar is your biggest tool for that work backwards from when something's due and figure out realistically, when you need to be working on it and how much you need to be working on it.
[00:10:35] Kriti: I see. And then, okay. So basically if I have an assignment kind of plot out the time period over, and I can use calendar apps and different things. Yeah.
[00:10:46] Kris: Yeah. I would go back to calendar the Google calendar.
It's simple free and see it anywhere. And when you speak of that calendar, Kriti, what's, what's really happening to is super important.
It's your time bank account. So, yes. So what happens is most people just put outside appointments on their calendar. Like I have to go to the dentist. I have to be here. I have to be there. Right. But they don't put their work on the calendar. And so what happens is you might think you have. Four hours outside of school today, but you might only have two because there's some other things that you have on the calendar for entrepreneur might be like often entrepreneurs don't count that they have to check their emails. Well, that usually takes hours. Yeah. A minimum takes hour a day, and then they're not putting it on their calendar. So what happens is they go into their Workday and they might think they have eight hours, but they only have four. And what that's like is let's say you've got a phone payment coming out of your bank account every month.
You can't say to me. Ah, but Kris, I know it comes out every month, so I don't count it. The money's gone. So the stuff you have to do every day, calendar time bank account has to be there. So you can allot for that time. Hmm,
[00:11:57] Kriti: that's a good tip. I'll definitely be using . So I want to talk more about your platform when the hour, when the day. I guess, can you tell us the backstory about how you created it? Why did you, why did you want to become a podcaster and author and I guess an entrepreneur in that sense?
[00:12:18] Kris: Yeah, so I started my business quite some time ago, over 12 years ago as a marketing strategist. And I loved it and I worked crazy hours. The first couple of years I was in business, like insane hours. Getting up early and earlier and staying later and later. So I would argue that I probably worked like 16 hours a day. And you do that over a period of time, and you're not as charming as a person as you think you are.
You're a little unpatient. You're not just, you know, you're just not, you're losing the charm. So I really. It was almost two years in that I couldn't keep this up. And my husband and my family, my mom, they're all cheering me on supporting me. And I've got nothing, but like, oh, what do you mean? You said you were ready and I could answer to where emails, you don't even have your shoes on.
Right. So I thought I can't be. So I started to feverously examine, how could I do this differently? What could change? So moving the story forward, I went from 16 hours a day down to six. Now it didn't happen overnight. We can talk about how that happened later, but But a couple of years after that, then my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and I was pulled away from the business.
And so when I returned to the business, after his passing, my existing clients had no idea what was going on. We did not talk about it publicly. We didn't think it was good for business. And it was just a private matter. So they were shocked and they started saying to me like, we don't know how you were way.
We didn't know it. And they were missing their kids' soccer games and they were just, you know, still working insane hours. So they asked me if I could help. So I realized that I totally realized that your business should support your life, not consume it. And I felt that business should be fun. So I started working with them under the capacity of this and helping them , and, and they felt their lives were changing.
And I want to be more people that were working these crazy hours that no one knew about. So I thought, well, maybe I could write a book. And so then the platform really developed from there. And then eventually we do have a podcast. The podcast is, is just general business, anything to get you your next win, now it could be social media.
It could be whatever sales tips, anything, but really how it all evolved was. Me believing that your business should support your life instead of consuming it and people asking me to help them..
[00:14:26] Kriti: Well, first of all, I'm super sorry about the loss of your husband. And I don't think anyone should go through anything like that. And I'm sorry. So yeah, I'm sure he's really proud of you right now with all of that. You're doing.
But I have a few questions about the ins and outs of 'Win the Hour, Win the Day' the platform. So if I get this right, you created this platform and at the start of it, was it a productivity platform?
Cause it seems like you yourself were overwhelmed, but you were trying to give a product that made other people less overwhelmed. Do you know what I'm saying?
[00:15:05] Kris: Yeah, I do. So I was overwhelmed and then I made a lot of changes over a number of years and people saw that. And then I was able to be in a situation that was overwhelming and deal with a lot of stress of somebody that was very sick and being pulled away from the business.
Right. And so it created from there. But I wouldn't say so much. The problem wasn't that I was overwhelmed. The problem was I got a lot of stuff done in a day, but I, the days kept getting longer and longer. Right. So it kind of was initially a productivity thing. Cause I thought that's how I could help people the most.
But what was happening was. That productivity is one thing, but it's also a little bit like being on a diet. You can give people tips, but, and show them how to do it, but really what the game changer for me and my business and my life was, was when I started a team. And so productivity is something that's helpful, but it's kind of like, I don't know.
It's it's maybe like exercise, exercise is helpful, but it's really about your diet that makes you healthy. Like you can't eat McDonald's all day and then go extra exercise
[00:16:06] Kriti: leads to purpose. Right.
[00:16:08] Kris: So I would say that it really, for my clients, for myself, my whole life changed when I started creating what we call a win team of what is next team.
So you can get to what is next. So productivity is a part of that, but the bigger. Efficiency and life-changing aspects are when you create your WinTeam.
[00:16:28] Kriti: And so let's talk a little bit more about the win team. Do you think people would ever be hesitant to work as a team, especially people like entrepreneurs who are, they're not focused on themselves, but they're trying to do something themselves. They specifically are entrepreneurs and they don't want to work for a company. They don't want to work for something else.
[00:16:50] Kris: So that's a great question. I think what you might be thinking of, and I agree is when you're assigned a team at school and now you have to do a team project, right. The project, I didn't pick these people. Thank you very much. Now I have to deal with them before I get my work done.
Right. So what I would argue is, first of all, there's a big difference when you have an effective hiring and onboarding strategy. So when people say to me, oh, I've tried higher BB people before it didn't work out, I'm like, Hmm. Then there's something wrong with your hiring strategy. The whole world can't be, you can't be the only good person in this world.
Right. So there's something wrong with the formula there. So you're hiring and onboarding is hugely effective, right? So I would argue as entrepreneur, it's really like the difference of being in a rowboat, sweating it out, or being in a boat with an engine on the back and you just enjoy the ride. It's sore.
So. Here's an example. Let me tell you a story where it changed for me was I was going out as a marketing strategist and I was meeting with clients and this was back many years ago and I was still doing like physical appointments going into people's office. I went virtual long before anybody else, because I realized you could hit a button and have a next meeting in two minutes and save even driving across town.
So I'm sitting in these offices and I'm making notes for packages. They want. Now I would promise myself hand to God that when I left there, I would go back to the office and I would put the notes in their file. Now, most of the time, I didn't get that done, not even this Friday, but the next Friday. Right.
And they might call and ask me a question because I've been so busy, got back to the office. Something happened, there's a distraction. And now they're calling us me a question. And what could happen is I might misquote them or I'm scrolling through my notes and I would look like I'm trying to swindle them or under-priced myself.
And it's just because my notes were meant to be last for 20 minutes, not two weeks. So I said, this cannot be so. I hired a transcriptionist. Now you don't even need that anymore because there's so many apps and stuff like that. Right. But I hired a transcription. So what was happening was I would leave the meeting, sit in my car.
I would talk into my phone. I give all the details. She'd have it up in my computer within 24 hours now. I know, here's the thing. Some weeks I didn't need her for any meetings. The weeks I needed her for a lot of meetings, this was her zone of genius. This was the only thing she did. This is what she liked to do.
I don't get it, but she had 10 clients. This is what she did. So she was really fast and efficient. So the weeks that I needed her for a lot of meetings cost me 12 bucks. So I could afford a team when I saw that. Right. Yeah. And then he gave me all Friday afternoon back. I wasn't stressed. I didn't mess up on pricing.
And that was the beginning of oh, okay. That's a team. People get confused about lack of control, and who's going to do this and that I'm telling you there's so much pre and post production work to whatever you do. There's so much repetitive tasks that you don't need to be doing. That's frankly, costing your money, your business it's costumes.
[00:19:51] Kriti: Yeah. And I want to kind of go back to your like row boat analogy because I think like, even for myself, I think a lot of people, we like glorify working hard. We think, oh, I'm working so hard. I honestly feel like better about myself whenever I. Even though I might be like totally stressed and like, just need to take a break. I feel like. Like I'm I think I have more worth when I'm working hard. I don't know. It's so weird how the mind works and my mind works and stuff, but like, how can we get out of this mentality and realize that it's okay to have other people it's okay to ask for help.
[00:20:39] Kris: Yeah. So I wish I had your insight when I was your age. I would tell you it's very easy to get seduced into wearing that badge of honor, because you know, your teachers will say that that's the biggest compliment you can get.
Oh, she works so hard. She really applies herself. You know? So I mean the biggest insult you can get is, oh, they're not rising to their potential, right. That kind of deal. Right? Yeah. So what I would say to you is hundred percent. You're really working against yourself when you fatigue yourself.
That's just how the brain works. Okay. So what happens is you don't confuse sweat with success because you're grinding it out. We also get this false sense that when something comes easy, it is, oh, I know how to do that. So that's easy. And then you sort of minimize your skillset and then you put all your effort into something that's hard for you to do.
Like, oh, I got to figure this out. This is really hard. The thing that I'm really good at that's easy. Anybody can do it. No, it's not. It's just easy for you. That's where your focus should be is on the easy. You should lead into your best and outsource the rest.
[00:21:42] Kriti: I think that's really smart advice. Can we talk a little bit more about maybe what's one thing that all of us can do to win the day and also why, why is it like win the hour and then when the day, like, what is that supposed to mean.
[00:21:58] Kris: Because too often, I think all of us, especially entrepreneurs, but I would say students too, like view of, okay, you've got this big chunk of time that takes up your day, which is the schoolwork. Right. And then you go, okay, I'm going to go home it's Monday night now. I don't know why maybe it's bad math, but I always thought Monday seemed to be like much longer than every other day.
So Monday I'm going to get so much done. So then you go into the evening, you say, oh, I've got this big assignment. Like, let's say you've got something due next week. And you're like, I have this big assignment. I'm not going to do a Friday because it's Friday night and I'm not gonna do it Saturday. Oh no, it's Sunday.
I'm kind of tired. You know what? I'm going to really Monday, I'm really going to do it. I thought all Monday night, I'm going to do it. And what happens is you have this false sense of how much time you have. But if you break it down into chunks and you do the hour, if you win the hour, you can win the day.
If you plan your hour, you can plan your day. And what happens is if you have something to do in business, I tell people this example with emails, if you go, okay, I've only got one hour to get this done. Then when somebody calls and it could be a distraction, you think I only got 50 minutes left to get this done.
I got to stay focused. I'll talk to them later. Whereas when you have this big chunk of time, you've got all day to do something. Then you get all these interruptions at the end of the day. You don't know where the time, right. Right. So if you win the hour, you can win
[00:23:14] Kriti: the day. Like time-blocking kind of like designating.
I see. And so that step time-blocking would be like one takeaway for all of us to do.
[00:23:25] Kris: Yeah. Time-blocking is huge. Working backwards is huge. Yeah. Understanding the things that you want to get done. Most successful people in the world would tell you. You can tell a lot about a person by what's on their calendar.
So your calendar is your blueprint for your life. Just like, if you look at my calendar, it says work out every morning, I'm working out. That's it. It's non-negotiable, it's on the calendar. It gets done. It's not like if it's a priority, like even an awful dentist appointment. I mean, you'll get to there cause it's on the calendar and then the other stuff seems to be loosey goosey.
So the calendar is your blueprint
[00:24:04] Kriti: to your best friend.
[00:24:05] Kris: Let me add one more thing. The problem with school is they don't really teach you either how to manage your time. Because what happens is if you've got five teachers and this only gets worse, as you get to college and university, they think of themselves and they will tell you their assignment is due. They don't tell you how to integrate the fabric of all your courses.
They just tell you like, look, you've got this from me. You better get it done. So you're really what you're doing here is really important work because you're kind of on your own of how to navigate all these responsibilities. Plus if you've got a part-time job or a sport or an afterschool interest or family responsibilities, no, one's showing you how to , bring all this stuff together,
[00:24:44] Kriti: for sure. It's important to. start doing these habits by yourself and now, so that when we're in college, we're ready. Do you have anything, any advice for your 16 year old self and it can be in terms of anything?
[00:24:57] Kris: I would say that there's always different paths. I know when I was applying to university or college, first, I went to college first and I was really worried. Like, what if I didn't get in? And I thought, if I don't get in, like, I don't know. I thought I had two options to get in or not get in. And if I didn't get in, I pictured myself.
I don't know, unemployed and working in dark factories, or I felt
[00:25:19] Kriti: like there's one train.
[00:25:22] Kris: Yeah. I thought there was one train leaving the station and if I didn't get on it, I was, it was going to be a mess. And what I want to say is. There's a many paths take you in many different directions and don't measure yourself against other people.
Don't have this idea of, I have to do this at this age, and there's all these false measurements that are arbitrary and they don't matter when you branch you become an adult. You know, it doesn't my mother said to me, it doesn't say your age on your degree, it says you've got one. Right. So find the path that serves you and just keep moving forward.
[00:25:58] Kriti: Yeah. I think that's really important advice, especially like nowadays, the world's just become extremely competitive. And it's important to like, just know yourself and know that. I know what path I'm on my own path.
Like adding that's really important advice. And yeah, like entrepreneurs are very good at knowing that they're on their own path, you know? So I think that's really pretty cool and to, sum it up. Do you want to. Tell the audience where we can find you and your information and all of that.
[00:26:32] Kris: Yeah, me that you heard me on this great, fantastic podcast. And you'll be a quick friend of mine. You can check me out at any of the socials, reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram or wherever you guys are. I don't know. I'll have it.
I'll have it on the episode description. Perfect.
So it'll be an Instagram and a, yeah, I would just start there and. You know, you're doing a fantastic job here. And I really, 'Win the Hour, Win the Day' is a really quick, easy read and you can download off Kindle because it's my book, but I do think it would help.
[00:27:08] Kriti: Okay, well, I'm going to download it on my Kindle. I just got a new Kindle the other day, so I'll I'll go do that. But yeah. Thank you so much, Kris for, coming on WhyFI Matter$. It's really fun. You're really energetic person. I really liked talking to you. So thank you so much for coming on the show today.
And I learned a lot of like concrete things that I know I can take away, which is important. So thank you oh,
[00:27:32] Kris: thanks for having me. It's a real treat
[00:27:35] Kriti: at the end of the interview. And I definitely got some very helpful tips on ways that we can all become more effective with our goal setting and taking advantage of time management resources, such as calendars and all in all to create a more balanced lifestyle.
It's always, always, always exciting to talk to entrepreneurs like Kris, and to really. Understand and go through her journey to create a very successful platform for more information on Kris and to access her resources. I've put her website in the episode description. Also make sure to check out the WhyFI Matter$ website, to subscribe to our emailing lists and keep up to date with our latest content.
Thanks for listening. And I can't wait to talk to you next time.
Kris Ward's Website: https://www.winthehourwintheday.com/
Kris Ward's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kriswardlive/