Episode 061: Find Your Rhythm and Control Your Calendar with Kristen Van Horn
Do you ever feel there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done? We all do. That is why time management is so important. Prioritizing your tasks and finding pockets of time to get them done is the key to success.
Today I am chatting with Kristen Van Horn, a time management coach for moms in business. Her mission is to help women prioritize their time and tasks so they can focus on the things that are most important to them in their life and business. In this episode, Kristen and I talk about the things that suck so much time from our day. She also shares some helpful tips you can implement today and get things crossed off our to-do lists.
Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.
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Michelle Lynne: Hello, everybody. Welcome back. Design for the Creative Mind podcast here. It is business and more business for creatives. So this is Michelle Lynn, and I want to introduce to you our guest today, it's Kristen Van Horn. She is a time management coach for moms in business. Hallelujah. Her mission is to help moms and businesses prioritize their time and tasks, so they can focus on the things that are most important to them in their life and their business. So hallelujah and welcome, Kristen.
Kristen Van Horn: Thanks, Michelle. And thanks for having me.
Michelle Lynne: And I say hallelujah, because I am just like, this couldn't be better timing. Just couldn't be better timing. I was joking before we started recording that I looked at my calendar and I was like, oh, gosh, I don't have time to record a podcast, I need to book Genevieve in some camps. I need to pay for Teachers Appreciation Week and all the things that go along with this time of year. So here we are and I'm so very glad. So very glad. So Kristen, tell us a little bit about like, what what, what do you do? Like, it just seems like it's so complicated, but simple all at once. How do you help with the overwhelm?
Kristen Van Horn: Well, first, I want people to know like, I am you. Like there's not a day where I don't feel like overwhelmed or things like that. I am a former teacher. So I love that you're talking about Teacher Appreciation Week. So I'm a former teacher. and my goal was to like be home with my kids. And so I was like in order to do that like my husband's also a teacher, so we needed to like, we need both of our incomes. So I was like trying to figure things out. I was like, I think I want to start a business. So I tried to run a business while I was working full-time, I had an hour commute every day, I was coaching, all the things. I'm a mom of two, so I had a lot of things going on. I was like, I gotta figure this out. So I get the overwhelm. I get that.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Kristen Van Horn: And so it has taken a lot of time and practice to figure out what actually works. And as I have figured those things out, I've been able to teach those to other people and have seen them have success with it.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I love that.
Kristen Van Horn: So a lot of times it comes down to like, okay, what's the, where am I spending my time and energy? What, how long do things actually take me, and what's actually the priority of the day, of the week, of the month that I need to focus my time on?
Michelle Lynne: And you say, how much time do I have? And I've got to admit, I always overestimate and I heard this from somebody at one point, you underestimate, no, you overestimate what you can get done in a day, but you underestimate what you can get done in a year.
Kristen Van Horn: Oh, yeah, that's so very true.
Michelle Lynne: So why do you believe that time management is such a valuable skill? And would you even consider it a habit that needs to be developed?
Kristen Van Horn: It is definitely a habit. And it takes some time. But it is complicated but it can be so simple at the same time. So we talked about like, especially in business, like things are simple, but it's not always easy. And so while we might think of things is like, this is so hard to get a grasp of where my time is going, it's actually really simple. But it's not always going to be easy. And so a lot of times we are so unaware of where our time is going. And like you said, we overestimate how much we can get done in our day. And so we tackle, we put this to-do list together, that's like pages and pages long, and as moms, I know for me, like my to-do list is constantly growing. It is, there's never, yeah.
Michelle Lynne: Look at this, I have a legal pad full of sh*t to do.
Kristen Van Horn: Yes, yes, so much and it never ends, there's, it's you're never going to get through your entire to-do list. And so a lot of times it comes down to two things that I believe are really important for time management. And it's learning exactly how long things take you. So being aware of your time because a lot of times we think that, we overestimate how much we can get done, but we also don't know how long things are actually going to take us and I'm guilty of this. And it comes mostly not with like my to-do list but like getting ready in the morning, I love to shower. I work out every morning, so I need to shower. Otherwise, it's no one wants to be around me. But like I like to put on makeup, I like to do my hair. So how long does it actually take me? And so for a while, I was like, oh, it only takes me 30 minutes. Hmmm, no, no, it doesn't. It takes me much longer than that to do all the things. But once I figured out how long it took me, I'm like, Oh, now I know how much time I need to allot for it. And now I'm not feeling rushed in the morning to get my kids out the door for school, I'm not yelling at them anymore. So a lot of times, we're so unaware of how long things take us that we end up getting frazzled, we feel out of sorts, we yell at our kids, we yell at our husband, I remember getting mad about something and like, I'm very passive-aggressive and passive-aggressively stomping around the house and like, throwing things down just to make sure my husband knew that I was angry at him. Because I wasn't aware of my time. And so it comes down to being aware of where time, how much time things take us, where it's going, and then actually prioritizing that to-do list. So instead of looking at that overwhelming to-do list, so pages and pages long
Michelle Lynne: Which I'm adding to as we speak.
Kristen Van Horn: Pages and pages long on a legal pad, instead of looking at that every day and going like I don't even know where to start. We're taking it and we're only looking at like, what are the three things I want to focus on today? What three things can I actually get done today, in the time I have allotted for my work? Or for you know, cleaning my house or for getting ready in the morning. Like, what are the three things that I can do during that time. So it's such a valuable skill because it helps us to like minimize our stress, it helps us to avoid that overwhelm, and it helps us actually get more done in less time.
Michelle Lynne: Okay, so I'm sitting here feeling like a big dork because I actually have a planning system that I created for my business that literally says, What are the top three things I need to get done today, right? And then here's some other tasks that if I get to it, I get to it. But these three are going to make you feel like a winner-winner chicken dinner.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So by looking at my legal pad, and not doing what I say, or what I teach others, it is, it's overwhelming. And it's like you can go through and do all the easy things. And feel like you're getting something done by checking it off, but you're really not prioritizing the stuff that really needs to get done.
Kristen Van Horn: Right.
Michelle Lynne: Okay. Well, that makes it simple. You just have to, like, develop that habit.
Kristen Van Horn: Exactly. And a lot of times we, it, there's nothing wrong with a small easy task. And especially if you struggle with getting started. I love starting with something small. So for me, when I sit down to work for a day, I allot an hour for like really easy tasks. So like, I do my like gratitude journal for the day, when I get started, I check my email, I check my messages, I post on social media, today, I do reels on Tuesday. So I created a reel, I posted a reel. I did some like engagement on social media. Those are easy tasks to get started so that then I'm done. I don't have to think about, what am I going to post later today? I don't have to think about, what emails haven't I got back to? I don't have to think about those really easy tasks that take time. But they don't, they're just busy work. They don't actually do a lot of things. Sure, social media for business is pretty important, but it's stuff that like, it takes so much time but it's not really that important. When really the things that are important are the things that bring in income. So I want to focus the bulk of my time on those things. What are the things that are actually bringing in income to my business? Those are the things that I need to focus on for the day. So I get the little things done first, it snowballs me into, here's where I can focus my time so I'm not worrying about email. I'm not worrying about what I'm posting later on.
Michelle Lynne: And you've got some momentum.
Kristen Van Horn: Exactly.
Michelle Lynne: So it's kind of like if you go for a run or a workout, you're going to warm up, you're going to stretch first. And then you're going to get into the actual heart rate. Okay. That's amazing. And also, I think what you said about really understanding how long things take. And what about, like, multitasking and staying focused, like when you get ready in the morning, are you checking your email, or are you just getting ready in the morning? Are you scrolling Instagram or are you putting on your makeup?
Kristen Van Horn: I, and I get in a bad habit of doing this every once in a while. So I understand where people are coming from where they feel like they need to be checking their emails. And I yell at my husband about this all the time, because the first thing he does in the morning is checks his email.
Michelle Lynne: Right?
Kristen Van Horn: And as a teacher, it's the worst thing that you can possibly do. And I had to break myself of that habit, especially as a teacher, because I would check my email as soon as my alarm would go off and I would start my day in the worst mood because I'd have an email from a parent or something would come up and I'm like, I can't start my day like this anymore. So now when I'm getting ready in the morning, I don't even check my email till I sit down to work. So sure, I have email on my phone, but I don't want to check my email on my phone. I tried to keep all of my email on my computer. It's hard to check your email when you're in bed from a computer.
Michelle Lynne: Yes.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah. So it doesn't mean that I can't multitask in other areas. So typically in the morning, as I'm getting ready, I listened to a podcast, or I listen to our morning radio show, which I really love. I'm doing something else, like the same with working out. Like you can multitask with things that you can multitask with. But otherwise, it's really hard for us to focus on two things at a time. It's just, it's impossible. My example of this is always like, I would be brushing my teeth at night, and I like, want to put away the laundry. And then I'd remember like, Oh, I didn't start the dishwasher. And then like, I need to do something else. And all of a sudden, 30 minutes have gone by, and I'm still brushing my teeth. Like, I don't need to brush my teeth for 30 minutes. So it's a really good example. You can't do two things. You can't. You can't focus on two things at once.
Michelle Lynne: No, I think the audience is totally going to resonate with that because I know that we all do sh*t like that.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah, putting on makeup is pretty mindless, like I put on the same makeup every day. So I don't really have to think about it. So I can do two things at once. But typically, like, when I'm sitting down to work, I'm not listening to something else because I cannot focus on that. I will miss an entire podcast when I'm focused on my work.
Michelle Lynne: Yes, I literally, I have to listen to music that has no lyrics, like, I listen to jazz in the background, or classical or something, just because it's not distracting. But otherwise, I'm trying to listen and sing, which nobody wants anyway.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah, exactly. Then you get less done. Even though it's like has nothing to do with it. You're singing, so you can't focus on what you're actually trying to do.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And it's not pretty in any way, shape, or form, right? So what is your strategy for prioritizing your time and tasks? How do you go about, and we talked, you said like whatever's closest, I use the term, closest to the money. So whatever brings your income in, like you need to be focused on that, because hello, we're in business, we have to make money. But how else do you prioritize?
Kristen Van Horn: So I have a system where I like, I batch things. And in business, I think we're probably all pretty familiar with like batching tasks and things like that. So I know each day, what my main theme for the day is. So for Mondays, for example, is strictly my business things. So I am checking in with customers, I'm writing an email that goes out to my email subscribers, I'm doing things that are focused on my business. I run multiple businesses. I have another business that is a social media consulting company. And so those, I deal with a lot of clients. We have a lot of clients that we write content for, we have a lot of clients that we produce content, blog posts, Pinterest images, things like that for, so I have to focus on those things as well. So Tuesdays and Thursdays, those are my client work days, they're also days where I book podcasts, or I have phone calls with people, or I am coaching on those days. Wednesdays are my content writing day, so I'm writing content, I'm actually physically writing content for people, or for my business, and then Fridays are my catch-up days. So for me, when I'm looking at the day ahead, I already know the type of tasks that I need to focus on. And then I can look at, okay, if today, for example, as we're recording this, it's Tuesday, it is a client task day, I'm looking first at, what calls do I have? I have a podcast interview today, and then I'm going, okay, what are the client tasks that I need to work on today? Oh, this client, I need to write a blog for, I need to create pins with, I have another one that needed some website updates that I needed to create before her blog, things along those lines. So I already know going into the day, this is my focus for the day, but what are the individual tasks? And I'm only looking at those three things. Guaranteed I have four things on there, but I also know how long some of these things can take. And that fourth thing is, if I have extra time, this is what needs to happen today. So that's really how I go into it. But I'm still looking at, what are the top three things? And most, you're gonna see in most planners, like commercial planners that you can buy at Target, you're going to see a top three list on most of those daily, weekly planners. Like, what are your top three priorities? Because it's hard to focus on more than that.
Michelle Lynne: That's legit.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So do you, so I, it's so funny, I used to be really organized. And now I feel like I'm all over the place. I don't know if it's temporary or what the case may be. But have you seen that people who were very organized and then kind of COVID hit, and everything got turned upside down, you're home with your kids, you're trying to get all this sh*t done. Like, I keep saying, I keep swearing for whatever reason today, probably because I am a little bit overstimulated.
Kristen Van Horn: That was my reel today, it was all the sh*t that I don't have time for. I'm like, well, this works, okay.
Michelle Lynne: There we go, yes. A joke, I think I even say it in my intro, I love Jesus but I swear a little bit.
Kristen Van Horn: Yes, exactly.
Michelle Lynne: But have you seen that people have come out of COVID like upside down? And I know it's almost been a year, has it been a year since we've kind of been back to normal? I don't know.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah, just about.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. Have you seen that? Or is it just, you know, my excuse of the day?
Kristen Van Horn: No, because it was such a hard change. Like, I remember when COVID first hit and like, I'm used to being home by myself, like, I guarantee you at the time, my son was in preschool so I had him with me two days a week. But I'm used to being home by myself, getting my work done, in silence, having all this time to kind of like do my thing on my time. And then all of a sudden, I'm having to like help teach my kids. I was a teacher but I taught PE. And I did not teach elementary. And my kids, I had a preschooler and a second-grader at the time. And I'm like, I don't, I don't know how this is gonna work. Like, I don't know how I can spend this time during the day helping my kids learn and also doing my job.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Kristen Van Horn: This just isn't working. And so I think we got into a new pattern, we got used to this pattern for a year of, our kids are home, we're working from home, we're doing things kind of like on our own schedule to now, people we're going back to offices, we're in business, so it might look a little bit different. But now we're like, okay, now I have a little bit more time because I'm not helping my kids. My kids are in school full time. I have this and we just haven't developed a rhythm. So yeah, I think a lot of times we get used to doing things a certain way. And then when we figure out like, Oh, I feel like I have so much more time, that we end up going, I'm not actually planning out that time. And so it ends up getting wasted. And I'm so guilty of that. I mean, I went from, I drove my kids to and from school last year. I'm like, that's, because you wait in line, like I just, that's an hour of my day that I could be doing something. And then this year, I was like, Oh, they're taking the bus again. I'm like, wow, I have so much time. And so I do feel like some of it goes totally unused. I'm like, Okay, but what could I do to be productive? So I think a lot of times, we just haven't, we haven't figured out a plan with our times. And I talk about this a lot with people who really struggle with like, well, I want to get up early in the morning, but when I try I just can't do it. Well, a lot of times, you just, you don't know what you're going to do when you wake up an hour earlier. You want to wake up at 5 am? What are you going to do with that time? If you don't have the plan ahead of time, what's the point?
Michelle Lynne: Yes.
Kristen Van Horn: So I think that's a lot of it. Like, now we have some extra time, or it just looks different. We just haven't figured out the plan with it.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I like the rhythm. I think that's a great description of when you get into your rhythm, I mean you can rule the world. But when you're out of sync, it just feels different.
Kristen Van Horn: Right.
Michelle Lynne: So how do you teach people to get their head around all of the tasks that they have? So since we've been talking, I've added two more things to my legal pad just to get it out of my head.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah. Which is great. That's what you should do. That's what you should be doing. You should be doing. I hate saying should. I hate shoulding people, but like,
Michelle Lynne: Quit shoulding on me!
Kristen Van Horn: But I am that person, and my business partner can tell you this, if I don't write it down, it's gone. It's totally gone. I will not remember. And it's not that like I have memory problems. It's just that if I don't write it down, I'm never gonna remember. And so yes, I always have a list. At the beginning of the week, I brain dump everything. Everything that I know that I need to get done and then I'm going to add to it. And then at the end of every day, I'm going in and I'm going okay, what are the three things I need to get done tomorrow? You don't have to do it the night before you can do it the day of, but I just feel like
Kristen Van Horn: I like it the night before when I'm in my rhythm. The night before I think is much more important because the next morning, what if your kids are running late? What if your kid's sick? What if you get into an argument with your spouse? What if you wake up late or whatever the case may be. If you're prepared the night before your next morning goes better.
Kristen Van Horn: Well, and it's one less thing because I work with a lot of people who struggle with sleep because they have those anxious thoughts coming up. And a lot of times it comes down to like, I'm so worried about what I have to do but once we like get it actually down on paper, it typically helps. Like having that brain dump or having that thing, sorry.
Michelle Lynne: It's all good. We all have texts.
Kristen Van Horn: I told you, I told you it was gonna happen. Having those things on paper really helps kind of relieve that anxiety and stress, to a point. There's going to be times where you're like, there's no way I'm gonna get that done. But I always like to start, when people are first starting out, trying to manage their time better is around that awareness. So let's do a time audit. Let's actually see where your time is going if you are wasting time. Like, is there areas of your life where you're actually like, well, I don't have time to get things done. Well, what about that 30 minutes that you were scrolling Instagram? Like, what could you have been doing during that time? There's nothing wrong with scrolling social media, I love to do it, it is an outlet for me. It is my like, me time.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah. And it's just so mindless.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah, it's so mindless, and sometimes we need that break. That break and just to be entertained, and it's an easy way to be entertained. But if we're avoiding doing things, we're actually, and scrolling social media again, like, we need to realize that that's what's happening. And so wrapping our minds around that, and it doesn't mean that you have to have every second of your day planned. I had one of the girls I coach, she's like, hold on, do you plan like every minute of every day, like, including weekends? I was like, oh, no, God, no, no. Like, you don't have to be like that. Like, I'm Type A, and I love to plan out and have a structured schedule, but at the same time, like, you got to have some flexibility. But starting with that time awareness, where's your time actually going so that we can figure out like, okay, if you actually have a goal of getting something done, and it's not happening, where is that time to get that done? So let's find the time that's being wasted, let’s find the time that maybe we can fit it in. You have to actually make the time. We all have the same amount of time. That is the only thing, the only resource we can't get more of.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Kristen Van Horn: So let's figure out how we can make that time because I can't give you more time, but we can make time for things.
Michelle Lynne: So would you say that the time audit is something that mompreneurs can do to waste less time and get things crossed off their to-do list? Or is there a tip or something that our audience could leave with today saying, okay, here's one thing you can do to waste less time and get stuff crossed off?
Kristen Van Horn: I think it's a good place to start. But honestly, the one thing, and this has been coming up a lot, is we are a distracted culture. We are so distracted like, hi, my text message just went off. I have a little red dot on my computer that I'm staring at that I desperately want to check. But, number one, can't multitask, that would take time away from you, from your audience. But it is so easy to like, have those emails up and have text messages coming through and then notifications about Facebook and Instagram and all of these other notifications. Email notifications, like all the things. If we minimize our distractions, if we like, stop trying to multitask, because we're being distracted, you're going to have so much more time to get things done. So I always recommend putting your phone on silent. My phone is on silent. It's just my computer, I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Put your phone on silent, put it on do not disturb, take all the notifications off. You are going to check your messages, you're going to check your email, you're going to check Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, whatever, you're going to check it all anyway. So why do you need to be notified immediately went it happens?
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, yeah.
Kristen Van Horn: And then for email, because that's the hardest thing. I don't typically work from my email. I get, you know, the same junk emails every day. But I also, you know, there's clients who will email me, things that I need to respond to, I have my personal email that, you know, school things happen, my husband will email me, things like that. But do I need to email them back right away? Probably not. So I use a, it's a Chrome extension, you can get it, I think you can get it on Firefox and things too. But it's called Boomerang, you can install it on your computer, it allows you to pause your inbox so that as you're working, no emails are coming through. And then you can unpause it or set it for a certain time to unpause and those emails will pop back up.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's fabulous.
Kristen Van Horn: So then you're not being notified by those. So I think a lot of times, we're so used to multitasking because we think we're gonna get more done. But we're also like, so distracted from things that are, I've heard this called hijack priorities, I did not coin that term, but that's what I like to call it too, hijack priorities because we get an email, we think that that is more important than what we've actually prioritized for our day, and then we spend an hour doing something for someone else that wasn't our priority for the day.
Michelle Lynne: And it's maybe not even urgent. I think I did a podcast recently about how to prioritize things, which is ironic, as I have my list. But it's interesting, it also goes back to just having the discipline like you talked about, to develop those habits once you get out of them. Because so many of these things it's like, duh Michelle, duh, why aren't you doing this? Duh, do this. And then also, I had read, especially when it comes to multitasking because I've been trying to do that lately. If you could see my desk, you'd understand. It's not working. I read somewhere that when you're in the zone, so let's say you're doing the Pomodoro Method, which is where you're like
Kristen Van Horn: Which is what I use.
Michelle Lynne: It's amazing. So you're working for 45 minutes, maybe you're working for two hours or whatever. If you get distracted in that moment, somebody walks in your door and they're talking to, you or you pick up your phone accidentally, or whatever. I heard it takes like 17 minutes to get back into the zone. I mean, imagine if that happens a few times a day, that's like an hour or more of lost time. Yeah, I think I'm gonna keep my headphones on when I'm done here. And just put on some music.
Kristen Van Horn: I highly recommend the Pomodoro Method. That's another app that I, I love apps and things. It's called, oh, gosh, now I can't even think of it. Focus keeper. Oh my gosh, I'm like full focus? No, that's a planner. Focus Keeper. It's an app, it's free. I used to use my smart speaker, I'm not gonna say her name because she'll go off. As she’s gone off in another podcast before. But I used to use that and just like, hey, set a timer for 25 minutes, but then I would forget to like, reset my timer. And then I'd be like working for two hours not getting up, I'm like oh, my gosh. So Focus Keeper, it does, I mean, you can set it for what you want, I do 25 minutes of work, a five-minute break. So I focus for 25 minutes and I get up. And this is how I keep my house clean. Because I work from home. Those five minutes, I'm going around, I'm picking up clothes off my kids' floor, I'm you know, decluttering, our kitchen island is always a dumping ground. So I'm like taking things apart, I can empty my dishwasher during that time. It keeps my house clean. But it also gives me a break to kind of like go, okay, and then I can come back and I can sit down. Now there are definitely times where that timer goes off and I'm like, I am right in the middle of a thought, I cannot get up right now. And so I might just like, let it go. And that's fine. But I do think that there is something with, okay, here's 25 minutes, I can focus on this one thing for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break, if I'm not done with it, come back, focus on that again. You get so much more done. And it helps you focus for a longer period.
Michelle Lynne: Interesting. I'm definitely gonna give that a try. I think, yeah, my brain is like a squirrel on cocaine right now with all the things.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah, I think that's most mompreneurs. We are always thinking about the next thing. So there's a lot going on.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. So last question. And then I'm gonna get into our next segment is, what do you do when you can't get everything done? Like if you can't get, so let's say I take my, and this is what I'm going to do, I'm going to take my legal pad here, I'm going to transfer it, prioritize, and say this is what I'm going to get this week, this will be next week, and kind of break it down month, week, like actually use the planner that I created. Uh, hello? But what do you do? Like when you can't get something crossed off your to-do list. Do you roll it over? Do you reassess it? Like uh, it makes me go, do you just work late and cross everything off?
Kristen Van Horn: I mean, it's a combination of all of that. It really depends on what it is. So yes, there are some things, I give myself, like a buffer day-ish, in my time for the week where I'm like, if I don't get something done, it goes to Friday. That is a Friday thing. I'm gonna work on it Friday. So give yourself some kind of time in your week that goes, this is my catch-up time. And for me, it's my entire Friday. I can kind of catch up. If I don't have anything to catch up on then it's like okay, here's the big project that I've been putting off that I need to start or work on or whatever.
Kristen Van Horn: Wait, wait, you mean you don't just go take a nap or something?
Kristen Van Horn: Not a Napper. But I like to, well there's, things come up. So my husband has flexible hours with what he does with his job in education, so I will go out or I met with my business partner last week. So you got some, you got some buffer time.
Michelle Lynne: Typical Fridays.
Kristen Van Horn: It's really nice to have that on a Friday. You either work or you don't, it's great. So I look at what the task is. So if something today doesn't get done, there are two things on here today that have to be done by tomorrow. So those are what I'm going to start with because I'm like, those are deadline tasks, they have to be done, I need to get those done. If I don't get that done during my like, scheduled work time, I got to work on it tonight. And I know that. So that's kind of how I assess. If it's something that can wait a little bit, I'll put an arrow next to that task, like and so you know, where you would check it off, I do like a little circle, I put like an arrow, this is a bullet journaling thing that I learned. So I'm not going to take credit for this. It's just something that I learned from learning bullet journaling. But I put a little arrow, and that's my sign that that needs to roll over to another day. So it might be the next day, or I'll put it down later on the week whenever I get to it. So that's kind of how I assess it. There are things that, it might be a bigger project. If it's not necessarily, quote-unquote, important to get done, it needs to be done eventually, but there's no like deadline. Typically for me, it's like, right now I'm in the middle of trying to write a sales funnel. And it's just not my priority because I have other things that are more important. So it's happening in bits and pieces, and that's fine.
Michelle Lynne: Right, that makes sense.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah. So when I do have time to work on it, like, I worked on it a little bit yesterday. Did I get it all done? No. So I put a little arrow next to it like, hey, this isn't done. When is another time I can work on this? Or I change the due date on it in my task manager. I use Trello, my project manager. So I changed the date on it like, okay, this is the day I'm going to work on it. So it just depends.
Michelle Lynne: Like laundry. It needs to get done. Sometimes you just do it in segments.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah. But I have to like, when I'm looking at the task, I'm assessing when is the due date on this? If it's immediate, it has to get done today. Okay, if I don't get it done during my time, I need to work on it tonight. When is the next time I can work on that? So I'm always looking like, if it doesn't get done, how am I rolling this over?
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Kristen Van Horn: So yes, there are times, I hate working at night, but there are times where I know that that has to happen. So you just kind of have to be flexible.
Michelle Lynne: But at the same time, if you look ahead far enough, hopefully, you don't have to work at night because you can sneak some time in coming up to that deadline.
Kristen Van Horn: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: Awesome. Awesome. Kristen, I love that. I could sit here, I'm a nerd when it comes to systems and processes. That's what I built my business on. I just need to get my own booty back in gear with that. And I'm hopeful that the audience has found some really great reminders, some new tips, some great technology, Boomerang, Focus Keeper, you mentioned Trello and all sorts of fun things. So look into those, y'all.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: All right. So next, we're going to do just a quick rapid-fire Q&A. Just something fun and easy just to let the audience get to know you on a more personal note and just lighten it up. So let's start with a really, really, really important question. Do you have an innie or an outie belly button?
Kristen Van Horn: I have an innie and it's like the world's, my husband makes fun of me because it's like the world's deepest innie, like there's no end.
Michelle Lynne: Spinal cord on the flip side.
Kristen Van Horn: He's like, there are things stuck in there, I'm like shhhh!
Michelle Lynne: Go and find your childhood pet. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Kristen Van Horn: Coffee.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, so with that, are you a coffee or a tea drinker?
Kristen Van Horn: I am a coffee drinker, totally.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, me too. Dog or cat?
Kristen Van Horn: Oh, man, I have a cat. I never thought it would be a cat person. I love cats. And I probably would have 50 if I didn't also have children and a husband. But there's something about dogs that I just love. That was the text message I got. I walk our neighbor's dog, while he's at work. Because he just went back to the office after COVID.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, awesome.
Kristen Van Horn: They got a puppy during the pandemic and so I take the dog out for a walk.
Michelle Lynne: So you've got the best of both worlds.
Kristen Van Horn: I do. I don't have to take care of it and find a place for it to go when I'm out of town. So the cat's easy.
Michelle Lynne: I know, that's the hard part.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah, so I hate saying both, but both. Any animal. Give me an animal and I'm happy.
Michelle Lynne: So if you, what is your dream travel destination?
Kristen Van Horn: Oh, man. There's so many, probably Australia. That's just one place that I would just absolutely love to visit sometime.
Michelle Lynne: It's on your bucket list?
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: You'll have to get organized. Figure that out.
Kristen Van Horn: I gotta make more money.
Michelle Lynne: What is your favorite form of exercise?
Kristen Van Horn: Running. Oh, man, that was an easy one.
Michelle Lynne: There you go. When was the last time you laughed so hard you nearly, or you did pee yourself or nearly peed yourself?
Kristen Van Horn: My husband and I watched, we rented Jackass Forever. We've been together for 20 years, so we've seen every Jackass movie, most of them we saw in the theater. And so we were like really looking forward to renting this one. And so we rented it this weekend and we had our windows open because it was a nice weekend. I swear our neighbors could hear us laughing because I was dying laughing so hard. It was so funny.
Michelle Lynne: Well, that answers my next question, because I was gonna ask what the last movie was that you watched.
Kristen Van Horn: Jackass forever.
Michelle Lynne: That's so funny.
Kristen Van Horn: That's a hard one to admit.
Michelle Lynne: We all have our guilty pleasures.
Kristen Van Horn: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: What kind of music do you listen to?
Kristen Van Horn: Um, the only thing I don't listen to is country. Let's just put it that way. I don't listen to country, but I listen to everything else though.
Michelle Lynne: Have you ever listened to French hip hop?
Kristen Van Horn: No. But that sounds interesting.
Michelle Lynne: Isn't that crazy? So I had a guest on here a few weeks, well, by the time this airs, it might be a couple of months ago, Nicole and I asked her what she listened to and she's like French hip hop. So I went to Spotify and listened to it. And I was like, that's not bad. I can see where, where there's a little bit of interest there. So yeah, I thought I listened to everything too. But that was a new one.
Kristen Van Horn: I learned about chillhop yesterday, which I thought was interesting. It's like, hip hop. But I guess, I don't know if there's no lyrics, but it's more like study music. So that might be something you might be interested in.
Michelle Lynne: I was going to say that might be like my jazz in the background.
Kristen Van Horn: Chillhop. I'm like, okay, I might have to look into that.
Michelle Lynne: Like a focus. Interesting. Good to know. All right. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Kristen Van Horn: I'm actually, I've talked about my husband a lot on this, I'm stealing this from my husband because I think it's so good. But it's like a little pop-up box above people's heads that says what they do for a living. Because I always think that, like what does that person actually do? We're big people watchers. So I just always want to know what people do for a living.
Michelle Lynne: Hence the jackass.
Kristen Van Horn: It's one question I don't want to be asked, but I want to know what everybody else does.
Michelle Lynne: That is so funny. That's an interesting superpower. Yeah, at first I thought you're gonna say a little pop up over their head to see what they're thinking.
Kristen Van Horn: Nope. Don't want to know what they are thinking, just want to know what they do. And how much money they make, because I'm interested in that too. Because I'm nosy.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, and then figure out how you can get them as a client.
Kristen Van Horn: Yes, exactly.
Michelle Lynne: It all goes together. It's working closest to the money.
Kristen Van Horn: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: Okay. Last question. If you could do anything other than the profession that you're in? What would you do? What would you do for a living? So there's your pop-up box.
Kristen Van Horn: I know. In another life, I would. well, in a past life, I would go back to school and I'd become a chiropractor. So my degree is in exercise science. So I always thought that I would be in like the fitness field. And I always wanted to be a doctor but I don't necessarily like the thought of surgery and blood and things like that. Well, chiropractors don't deal with blood. And it's preventative. So I like it a little bit more than physical therapy.
Michelle Lynne: No, that makes sense.
Kristen Van Horn: Every time I'm laying on the bed. I'm like, I should have done this.
Michelle Lynne: There's still time.
Kristen Van Horn: Sure. This is probably my fifth career change. So yeah.
Michelle Lynne: I appreciate that. You know what we just keep reinventing, reinventing. All right. Well, Kristen, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Kristen Van Horn: This was great. Thank you so much for having me.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. And I know that the audience has loved everything you've shared. Because I think that you are me, I am you, we are the audience. Just in general, it's sometimes so overwhelming to manage everything. So will you tell our audience how or where they can connect with you?
Kristen Van Horn: The place you can connect with me best is on Instagram, I'm @kristenvanhorn_ because someone had my name. Um, or yeah, that's pretty much the best place to get a hold of me or you can head to my website. It's kristenvanhorn.com.
Michelle Lynne: Perfect. And I'll make sure that all of that's in the notes because spelling, there's a couple of different Kristens.
Kristen Van Horn: Yeah, there are different ways to spell it. Yeah, I never thought my name would be complicated, but it is.
Michelle Lynne: Well, we'll make sure it's very simple in the show notes. So thank you again. And for those of you who can benefit from more resources surrounding the business of running your interior design business, join the growing community on my Facebook private group. It's called the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Oh, and also, don't forget to leave a review wherever you're listening to this podcast. It definitely helps keep us relevant. So thanks again, Kristen.
Kristen Van Horn: Thanks.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all. If you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share it with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with a name, and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feet. It's fun. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition. So let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.