Jones Loflin joins us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots Podcast.
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Introducing Jones Loflin
Jones Loflin is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
He is a remarkable individual who has made it his life’s mission to deliver powerful ideas and practical solutions to individuals and organizations facing the never-ending battle of too much to do.
He’s not just your average speaker; he’s an illuminator of minds and a creator of unforgettable moments.
With an impressive 32 years as a teacher and professional speaker, Jones has touched the lives of countless people, helping them make better choices with their time.
His insights on leadership, overload, change, and time management have resonated far and wide, capturing the attention of organizations around the globe, including giants like Federal Express, Wal-Mart, Toyota, and many more.
Jones Loflin’s keynotes are more than just speeches – they’re an experience, described as fun, powerful, and incredibly timely.
He’s a master storyteller, and his knack for using simple yet powerful analogies ensures that his audience is not just engaged, but transformed.
But Jones is not just a speaker; he’s also an accomplished author, with four impactful books under his belt, including “Always Growing,” “Juggling Elephants,” and “Getting To It.”
So how can we all make better choices, overcome overwhelming challenges, and thrive in your life?
And where do people go wrong the most?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Jones Loflin.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Jones Loflin such as:
Why some people always focus on the negative in life, which can become a feedback loop that becomes incredibly hard to break.
Jones shares how he came up with the three ring circus concept and how powerful it has become to everything he does in life.
Jones reveals the four steps to creating an amazing time management system in busy lives which everybody can implement today.
We talk openly about how you have to create a support network in your life to really become a success. Nobody can do it on their own.
How To Connect With Jones Loflin
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Full Transcription Of Jones Loflin Interview
The Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock. And start getting the dream business and life you will, of course, are dreaming of. Let’s join your host, David Ralph from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:38]
Yeah, good morning to you. Good morning to you. Good evening, good afternoon or whatever time it is out there. Welcome to Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for deciding to tune in to us. Today is an interview show. And we have got an individual who has made it his life’s mission to deliver powerful ideas and practical solutions to individuals and organisations facing the never ending battle of too much to do. Now he’s not just your average speaker. He’s an illuminator of minds and a creator of unforgettable moments. Now with an impressive 32 years as a teacher and a professional speaker. He’s touched the lives of countless people helping them make better choices with their time, and his insights on leadership overload, change and time management had resonated far and wide. Now, he’s also a master storyteller. And his knack for asking and using simple yet powerful analogies ensures that his audience is not just engage, but transformed. And now as an accomplished author with 44 books, he’s taking his mission to a global audience. So how can we all make better choices overcome overwhelming challenges and thrive in our lives? And of course, where do people go wrong? The most? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up with the one and only Mr. Jones Loflin. How are you?
Jones Loflin [2:00]
Thank you, David. I am doing marvellous who wouldn’t be after that. intro music I mean, that alone, I need to make that my alarm each morning.
David Ralph [2:09]
Want to be honest, I think you’re doing marvellous on your own. I don’t think you need it. You don’t need anything more than putting your feet on the floor. And you’re you’re up and going, Are you?
Jones Loflin [2:19]
Well, I do find that I am motivated each morning because there’s just so many great things to do and be a part of. And so yeah, I typically don’t need the caffeine. Now
David Ralph [2:28]
I know that you are a husband, you’ve also got two daughters. I’ve got four daughters and a son, you’ve got two daughters and a son in law. And that positive approach my positive approach, my perkiness certainly doesn’t work on my daughters first thing in the morning, maybe they hate back. So do you find the same in your household? Do you have to tread carefully until they’ve they’ve warmed themselves up? I
Jones Loflin [2:56]
do, especially with my wife, my daughters are out of the house now. But with my wife, if I’m too perky first thing in the morning. I’m like, she’s like, just go away for a little while and then come back. Well,
David Ralph [3:07]
boy, why are people like that, because as I say, to my family, there’s always a positive, there’s always a good thing to find there’s opportunities around and I can’t stop seeing good things, even in bad situations. But my daughter can only see bad things all the time. Whatever it is, you know, for example, she’s moved out, she’s gone to university. She was moaning this morning, because the hot water bottle she had in bed was still hot when she woke up this morning. And I said, if that is the biggest issues you’ve got in your life, then you’ve got a wonderful life. So why do you think some people can’t see the positives?
Jones Loflin [3:49]
You know, we’re wired, you know, David DNA, but we do look at the negatives, we look at things that that, you know, might hurt us or causes harm or you know, that we that aren’t in our in our convenience. I mean, it’s just kind of natural. I find that in general, we are the ones who are in the minority, the ones who are looking for the positive. And I think once you’ve done that long enough, and it becomes a habit, then you you do just natural or not naturally, it’s learned to be positive in the morning or anytime of the day for that matter. It’s just what’s your what’s your frame of reference? What’s your perspective and it’s got to be developed?
David Ralph [4:29]
And did you still have to work on it? Do you or is it just ingrained in you now, because I this week, actually, I trained my Alexa device by the side of my bed to be my alarm, and it wakes me up with the song from the Muppets life’s a happy song. And I’ve been testing it to see if I build even happier with everything is great. Everything is grand. I’ve got the whole wide world in the palm of my hand or when it actually annoy me and I yeah I will report back on that. But do you do actually have to work on it yourself?
Jones Loflin [5:04]
Oh, I think so. And, and I have to work on it not just from a psychological standpoint. I mean, it’s, I also have to work on a physical standpoint, can I just be transparent and say, you know, I’ve woken up some mornings not feeling really happy about the Davis because I ate too much ice cream before I went to bed, or I, you know, I didn’t take care of myself to, you know, wake up to a positive morning, or I stayed up too late watching something, you know, streaming, some streaming show or something, it takes work to wake up positive, in my opinion.
David Ralph [5:35]
Now, let’s get you onto your subject, because positivity also ties in, I think, as a big component of time management, knowing that actually, you’re in control, you’re in control of your attitudes, you’re in control of your choices, and ultimately, those choices will help you control your time. Is that simplistic? Or you’re gonna throw it back at me and go, What the hell are you talking about? David? I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life. No,
Jones Loflin [6:04]
I think it’s, I think it’s easy to say it’s hard to do. Because many of us self included, we don’t always take the opportunity to say what’s in my ability to control as it relates to making choices with my time we we see ourselves as a victim or we see ourselves as not having the opportunity to influence the outcome. And so then that starts giving us this feeling of overwhelm or frustration or fear, that leads us down some of those those negativity type places. So no, it’s not simplistic. It’s, it’s just hard to do. And until we’re willing to stop and make more intentional choices, I think it’s it’s a constant fight.
David Ralph [6:46]
So how do you do it out, because I had a guy on the show. And to be I won’t say his name, I’m looking at his book on my shelf, I thought he was actually mental, because every second of the day, he was trying to squeeze something in. So if his wife was putting her shoes on, he would write one line of an email, if his kids were eating a sandwich, he would jump over and do something else. And I thought to myself, that can’t be right to actually try to find a second over time just to do bite sized tasks. But that’s how he does it. So how to actually do it. Now,
Jones Loflin [7:25]
I have been a fan of time management since the late 80s, when I was in college and got introduced to this thing called the Franklin planner where you would plan your day and I carried a binder around for years. And it wasn’t really till I formalised the system in the early 2000s, when I was working with a friend of mine, Todd music, and we came up with this model of managing your time, like it’s a circus. And so, to your point of that gentleman you were mentioning about, if we look at our lives as having three rings, we’ve got a work ring, a self ring and a relationship ring. And it’s really important that as you manage your time you start saying, Okay, where do I need to be investing my time? Right now? Which ring? I mean, obviously, when you’re at work, you need to be focused on the work ring. When your your
David Ralph [8:14]
view, Jones, How naive you are.
Jones Loflin [8:18]
All right, explain yourself, sir. I,
David Ralph [8:20]
I barely know anyone who actually goes to work and they are focused on work. Is it as an entrepreneur now who hasn’t had a job for years? I look at it. And I think Ah, how did how did you get away with that? How do you get away with that kind of attitude? But I think I had it, I was going to try to do the minimum just to get through the day. Right?
Jones Loflin [8:42]
Right. And some people do that. And we’re talking about those who want to get more out of life. I mean, your audience is all about these people is hey, is there more, you know, I’m so busy, but am I really doing those things that are moving my work my life, my relationships forward? And so that’s that mindset of okay, I what am I in control of that I can make better choices with to get the outcome I want. So, that’s where I start is what do I want from this day? I mean, let me ask you something, David, when you wake up in the morning, and you’re hearing that Muppet song, which I’m going to try that I’m not so sure my wife will appreciate it, but I’m gonna love it. But here’s my question. Do you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is scroll through social media? No,
David Ralph [9:27]
I don’t go on social media. I actually I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone onto social media is not in my life. I I looked at it about five years, no, actually about 10 years ago. And then about five years ago. It’s a little bit like sort of, you know, Halley’s Comet comes around every 72 years. And I’m in it at the moment where I think it’s not remotely social. So why should I be looking at it? It see that and
Jones Loflin [9:54]
you just hit on the key point there. Think about how many people in the world who have access to their their smartphones first thing the morning, they roll over in bed, they, they get their phone and they start scrolling through text or they start scrolling through social media. And they’re letting all these other people say, these should be your priorities today, it should be your focus. And instead of stopping and unlike you, and I do and say, What do I want from this day? What do I want to have this day. And when you start from that frame of mind, you start looking at opportunities to get those kinds of things done, instead of starting the day with this huge weight of I don’t measure up, or other people are more successful than me, or Wow, the world’s going to hell in a handbasket type of thing. It all starts first thing in the morning.
David Ralph [10:42]
So is it as simple as saying it’s fear of missing out is that what makes people get on that track that they wake up? And they want to know what is going on?
Jones Loflin [10:53]
I think it is for some people. It’s a fear of missing out. I think for some people, it’s a distraction. There are some things that people are thinking about that they need to do that day that maybe they don’t want to do. So they you know, procrastinate about even getting up by saying, Okay, I’m gonna just scroll through social media for a few minutes, or I’m gonna go on this app or something like that. So I don’t think it’s always fear of missing out. I think it can be created by being engaged with social media. But I don’t think it’s the only reason that people don’t start their day on a more positive note. So
David Ralph [11:24]
would this be the first two dots to join up in sort of time management before you even out of bed? You open your eyes and try to be positive? And then secondly, you look at the world and say to it, no, you’re not dictating my life. I’m dictating maybe the first 20 minutes.
Jones Loflin [11:42]
Yes, love those two dots? Absolutely. We’re on a good trajectory here. You know, with that, as far as what, you know, I want to choose my own priorities today. And that doesn’t mean that they’re out of line with your your, your team at work, or your boss or whoever. It just means that you’re asking yourself, what are my priorities? What are my goals? And then beginning to I guess we can say dot three is okay, what you know, tasks or activities do I need put in my day to get that outcome? Now,
David Ralph [12:12]
I want to jump back into that three ring circus because you whizzed through it really quickly. So one of them was careers. One of them was relationships, was it? And the other one was? What you said sex? I thought he was gonna, well,
Jones Loflin [12:28]
that’s part of the self ring. Okay. Well, it could be partly related, but I guess it better be part of the relationship ring, right. But it’s, yeah, it’s the self ring. Now
David Ralph [12:36]
in my world itself. I spend a lot. I spend a lot of time on my own Joan’s. Too far falling. So you’ve got these pre cert rings? And is it equal balancing? Or can I use
Jones Loflin [12:53]
saviour oxygen? Absolutely. Because here’s the thing, David, if anyone’s ever been to a three ring circus, they’re getting harder to see these days. But, but if you’ve ever been to a three ring circus, there’s not the same level of activity in all three at one time, that’s planned, because it would take too much resources by the circus to make that happen. And then they wouldn’t carry out their purpose of being profitable. They say, you know, what, if we’re going to have a large act, you know, like the the trapeze act going on in one ring, we probably aren’t going to do as much and the other two right now, however, when we’re done with trapeze act, we’re going to shift our focus one to one of those other rings, in life and in our lives. I think when it comes to time management, it’s being okay with being unbalanced in the moment, there are weeks where you’re gonna, you know, maybe you’re gonna have to really devote more time to work than maybe you had planned to. The key is, okay, when am I going to take the initiative, maybe it’s on a weekend, or maybe gonna take a couple days off or something? When can I jump into one of those other rings to do some of those things that I know nourish me in that area of life? So no dad long answer to your question. They won’t be balanced in a day or in a week. But certainly over a month and a year in a lifetime, we would hope we would see quality things going on and all three.
David Ralph [14:07]
So what I like about this is unlike a lot of time management, especially that I used to see back in the days where they tell you to come in and look at what you need to do and mark it on a priority a matrix and Priority B and I used to think how am I going to get anything done if I’m spending all my time doing that it just a madness. Now with the three ring concept, you’re basically almost looking there and thinking I need a break. I’ve done too much career here. Let’s just have some me time for a bit. Let’s go in and spend some time camping. Let’s go and see some friends and family. It doesn’t have to be planned. It can almost be a feeling that you get that it’s time to actually pull back a bit. Now
Jones Loflin [14:51]
and thank you for that though. Because one of the things that happens, so many people, is I say work until something breaks And that could be they they snap at their co workers or they’re, they’re not kind to their family when they come home and, and all those are indicators that you know what, what if you were a little more strategic in your stopping, the circus does that they do an intermission, they stop to give the performers a break the remaster break the audience a break so that everybody can kind of get ready for a better next half, if you will. I’ll give you an example. I was coaching someone who is a mom, busy mom, you know, she works outside the home then comes home, he’s got multiple children. And she’s like Jones, I just have no time for myself and said, If I roll right out of the car and go into the house, you know, then I’m just feel like I’m overloaded. And so what we worked on was, for the first five minutes, when she gets home, she does not get out of her vehicle. She listened to a song that she really likes or just takes a few deep breaths. And that’s her intermission, that’s her chance to stop and go. Okay, I’m getting ready transition to mom now or, you know, spend time with my kids. And she says it’s made a big difference. Now, the one thing she forgot to do was to tell her children, she was doing that. So the first day she came home and stayed in the car for five minutes, her children were coming out of the car. Something wrong. You know, but that’s, that’s what you’re talking about taking that break before you step into that other ring so that you can be fully present there.
David Ralph [16:22]
You mentioned something that is I think every person on the planet that is focused on time management and control can do it very well, when it’s just them. And then family life takes over. And so you wake up and you’ve got a whole day planned, you know what you’re doing? And then your daughter says, Oh, I’ve got an owl appointment this afternoon at 455. Can you run me bear? And you think Well, that wasn’t part of my time management that wasn’t part of the strategy. Is this something that we should just be family life? Go? No, get a bus? Go yourself? Or should we build this into our strategy?
Jones Loflin [17:01]
I think it depends on what what your goal is, for example, in that the one you gave, if that time in in the car with your child is going to be a time where you can talk about the day and some of those kinds of things, then sure, I think, yeah, okay, I’ll take you to your to your nail appointment. If it’s something that it’s a consistent pattern that they forget to tell you. They’ve got appointments, and it’s causing stress in your day, and it’s causing you not to be able to focus your time and energy where you should, then yeah, let’s put some boundaries in place. Or let’s put some expectations in place that if it doesn’t go on this calendar we have at home or now everybody uses shared calendars. If you don’t put it on the calendar that this is happening, understand, I won’t be able to take you to that next time. Because I don’t know it exists. I don’t know it’s there. And it’s amazing how if we raise the expectations of others in our life, whether it be co workers or family members, they’ll rise to it if they know there’s some consequences that they’re not going to like. Now
David Ralph [18:00]
I’ve built a life for myself, but other than Thursdays, I’m effectively free over time, I can just do whatever I want. And so that won’t come into their remit, because I’ve been well, you’re not doing anything else. My wife spends all the time saying there’s nothing on the calendar. And I go, No, because it’s my me time is for me to decide what I want to do at that time. I can’t, I cannot put that in three weeks in advance, because I don’t know what I want to do at that time. So I see time management as one of these things, is a concept which is so powerful, but almost impossible to implement in in real life. You know? So what’s maybe the four things that we can say to people, if they’re sitting there rolling their eyes go, I’ve got I’ve got five kids, I’ve got a demanding husband, I’ve got a demanding job. What these two blokes are saying it’s not going to make any difference, what can we give them that will make a difference?
Jones Loflin [18:56]
All right, number one, I think there’s a question you got to ask yourself. That question is, in my drive to get it all done? What’s not getting done? Or getting done? Well, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve used that question with people. Because I think we’ve got to get specific. When people are overwhelmed with their lives. They’re thinking in general terms, they’re not getting specific. And so asking that question, what’s not getting done? And people will say things to me, like, time for me, or, you know, quality time with my significant other or strategic time at work? And then the second question is, is, what would it look like, if you were getting some of those things done? So for example, the meantime, let’s use as an example, you know, somebody might say, you know, I’d like 30 minutes a day for myself. Okay, so that’s number two. Number three is developing a routine that addresses that need. And so that’s where we look at. Okay, well What is what is the why you could begin getting some of that now that might not get 30 minutes, we may start with five, I have some people I work with that they say they want 30 minutes, I say, Well, how much are you taking for yourself? Now they’ll say none, I’m like, Ah, probably not going to get to 30 minutes. Let’s see if we can find five minutes in your day that’s completely yours. And like, gave you the example the person who sits in their car if they get home. For some people, it’s the first five minutes in the morning. For some people, it’s five minutes at lunch, but then doing that consistently to start recognising. Hey, I did find that time in my day. And so I think that’s the third step is developing, you know, that routine? And then number four, is, what else could I take control of? And and that is, Where can I get more efficient with something? Where can I get more effective? Do I need to be delegating something to someone at work or to someone in my family, but I think we’ve got to develop momentum. Because when people are overloaded, they just feel like they’re paralysed they there’s no steps to take. Well, let’s
David Ralph [21:00]
hear what Oprah thinks about this.
Oprah Winfrey [21:02]
The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move, not think about, oh, I had all of this, what is the next right move. And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [21:33]
Now, one of the things I listened to there, I think it’s great advice. But I also see that people don’t give them a chance to be still and be quiet. I have a bugbear of people walking along the pavement, looking at their cell phones, and watching YouTube while walking through nature. And they just don’t give themselves any chance to be quiet. And still, they’ve got to fill in every single gap. My kids take their toilet phones to the toilet. And I say, that’s the one place that you’re you’re guaranteed to be busy. You’ve got stuff you’re doing there. You don’t need a phone. But I still had to fill in every single gap. So how are we going to get these people from five minutes? And that blows my mind? Actually about people can’t even find five minutes in their life to half hour.
Jones Loflin [22:28]
Right? How are we gonna get them to do it? I mean, yeah, I think I Well, let’s say hi, I will say it to someone, I’ll say, what would that five minutes give you that would help you be better at work? Or would help you be a better spouse? Or would help you be a better parent? And David, I gotta tell you they can they can spout off an answer. They can tell me you know what, I’d be more patient. Or, you know what I could think longer term, or you know what, I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed. Because I would take that five minutes to kind of develop a plan for as Oprah says, What is the next right move for me? So I don’t think you have to work as hard as you think you do to get people to take those five minutes, if you can get them stopped. Now, that’s the key. You get them to stop long enough to say, yeah, there’s some things that aren’t happening that I really want to have happen. Okay. What’s the next right step to help you to address that? And one of the things I’ll let me say this, too, is that people don’t often surround themselves or go find those people who will ask him those questions. Too many people, you know, how are you been? lately? I’ve been busy. Oh, yeah, we’re all busy. And that’s the only conversation. You know, I will I will say to someone who says, You have been really busy. I’ll say, Well, what are you been so busy with? And they don’t like me very much in that moment. But then they’ll start going, well, you know, and I’m like, you know, if we can’t name the things that we’re busy with, because it’s become a blur. That’s all the more reason to stop and say, Am I doing the right things?
David Ralph [23:59]
It’s interesting. You say that because it’s, it’s a feedback loop that the world is trapped in. Man saying Busy, busy, busy actually means that you’re productive. But actually, you know, I spend most of my time people say to me, Oh, what do you do for a living? I say, I’m retired. I can’t be bothered to talk about what I do. I just say I’m retired because I can go swimming when I want. I can stop when I want. I can you know, it’s just totally time control. But still that that fundamental Busy, busy, busy. Just seems to be what people have to say, because it’s, it’s wrong to just say, actually, I spent all afternoon asleep on the sofa, because I’ve done done my work.
Jones Loflin [24:45]
Yeah, and, you know, I think it’s important to look for those people who you can say that to and develop relationships with people who I mean, I have friends who have faced so many spikes.
David Ralph [24:55]
That’s the only people I can
Jones Loflin [24:58]
disagree there. are people who if they know you, if you have those rich relationships, I don’t mean riches in dollars, I mean riches in depth. It, you know, say, You know what, I just wasn’t feeling it today. And so I just took the afternoon off, and that person looks good for you.
David Ralph [25:14]
And then said they do. Everybody says bat, you know, everybody says, Oh, I wish I didn’t have a cell phone. Oh, I wish I didn’t have this. I wish it but I don’t do anything towards making it happen.
Jones Loflin [25:28]
Well, and again, that’s where I think we have the opportunity to, you know, playfully or sarcastically say, really, is that what you’re after? Is not having a smartphone? Oh, yeah. What if you just didn’t use it as much? Well, yeah, that’s probably what I need to do. Okay, what would that look like? And then they all say, Is this a coaching session? And I was like, yeah, it’s free. But you know, I think we just have to get better at having those conversations with people and really holding them to account. And, again, doing it in a way that’s inviting, not in a way that’s Oh, look at me, I’ve got everything figured out. Because I tell people all the time, I am my own lifelong project and trying to figure out time management when I haven’t figured out I’ll be dead, and it will not matter. Because
David Ralph [26:10]
I will tell you as well, Jones bat, I have, as I say no cell phone, I’m not on social media, I don’t do all that kind of tweeting and all that stuff. Fundamentally, I’m quite lonely as a person. Now, when I was a kid growing up, we didn’t have any phones. We didn’t have anything. We just kind of arranged things when we saw people. And we’re going, oh, what you doing Saturday night? Oh, yeah, let’s do this and stuff. But now everything has to be technology based. People feel that they can’t get in contact with you. I had a conversation with a guy the other day that I’ve known for years. And I said, You never asked me to do anything? And he said, Well, you’re not available. I said, I’m available whenever just you know, ask me and he said, How am I going to do that? You haven’t got a phone? I said, No. I’ve got a bloody front door. Just walk up there, knock on the door. And guess what? I’ll answer it and we can have a conversation. That’s where I think it’s kind of going wrong. I think that people are not realising how their life is being controlled, not just by their decision making, but by other people’s decision making as well.
Jones Loflin [27:18]
Yeah, oh, absolutely. Because we’ve just we aim for convenience. And and we don’t want to take that extra step. Sometimes, as you said, of knocking on the door, even using the phone that’s on our smartphone versus texting or using, you know, contacting someone through an app. And David, I think it goes back to, and I really like your approach, it goes back saying what do I want? And you have built your life, at this season around what you want and how you want it to be. Is it perfect? No. But it has many of the elements that you that you want to have. I think people have to do the same thing and people that what do I want? I mean, I can’t tell you the number of people that I work with, I say, What do you want? So and So and and they’ll look at you like, I haven’t thought about that a long time. But
David Ralph [28:07]
well, let’s go and I can’t even just come up with anything.
Jones Loflin [28:11]
Right? And it takes time. And that’s where you know it through multiple conversations and just kind of asking some other really good questions. People begin say, yeah, I, I think I want to try that. I don’t do that. Great. Let’s figure out how that happens. Because it all comes back to the fact we just you said it, you said it best ever we we will not stop and think what do I want? What’s the outcome I want for my day, my week, my month and my life, because we’ve been so conditioned by what society has told us that our life should look like. Now
David Ralph [28:43]
I don’t want this podcast to come across as too Mony old guys. Exactly. Talking about a subject, I want it to be a moment of epiphany for somebody out there who actually thinks, wow, yeah, I’ve got the chance to take control. I’ve got the chance to reclaim time. But what we’ve spoken about already, almost seems so simplistic that I don’t think people will do it. I think people actually almost need to be trained, you know, so that they can feel the benefits. I always think to myself, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could take people and have you seen this programme on the TV called alone? Have you seen that? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I became a bit hooked on it for a while. And basically, if you haven’t seen it, these people are put into this horrible situation in Canada. I’m not saying Canada’s horrible place is lovely. But where they are, they’ve got no food, they got nothing. They’ve just got to build a camp and stuff. But the benefits that they get away from starving to death, and not having a wash for 30 days. It’s fundamentally core to who we are as humans are being that ability to be able to breathe and and look into ourselves and know what our survival instincts need. And that’s one of the things once again that I think time management has a problem with, because people don’t know what they need to survive, because they’re juggling too many things, they can’t clear the decks, sit out in the woods, build a fire, and then think about what’s the next right thing to do. Yeah,
Jones Loflin [30:25]
and, and that’s David, I, you know, we talked about time management. You know, Charlie Gilkey had a great quote, in his book, start finishing, he says, you know, time cannot be managed, schedules can be managed, activity can be managed, people can be managed, but only a time can only be accounted for. And it’s really a lag measure. And so I think if people start it from the point of choices, and that’s why I’m so passionate around helping people make the best choices with their time versus saying managing your time, well, you know, what’s the choices, choice that you want to make today? That would be life giving instead of life draining to you? And I think asking those kinds of questions, leads us to those places, instead of saying, Okay, I’ve got to pack more into every minute. It’s like, okay, what are those things that would really nurture me today, or help me be my best. And then let’s build those other things around it, I think is a good place to start.
David Ralph [31:25]
My daughter is in university at the moment, and she’s in a kind of flat, where they’ve broken it down into 10 rooms. And they’ve got a communal kitchen, and it’s all girls in there. And she said to me last night, she said, I went round to all of them and said, Don’t knock on my door tomorrow night, I’m starting to feel like I’m getting sick of you all. I don’t want that to be like that. So I just want a nice evening on my own, with my headphones on quiet. And I thought, wow, that’s powerful, that she’s had the forethought to actually say to them, I don’t want to give be angry with you. I don’t want to cause any difficult relationships. But I’m starting to feel like that. I need to take control of this situation. Yeah.
Jones Loflin [32:10]
And I like how she said that. And and think about it, if I mean, even I’ve been married for 34 years, okay, happily married for 32 of them. And, and so I, I would say, you know, sometimes my wife and I will say to each other, we will say, you know, I need a couple hours for me. And I and we know that that doesn’t mean oh, I don’t like you anymore. Expected divorce papers in the mail. It simply means that, you know, we need some alone time, we need that space to ourselves. And I think that’s a sign of a healthy relationship of being able to say to people, I want to continue to be at my best for you when we are together. Therefore, I need this time alone or time for me. And so it goes back to asking for what you want asking for what you need to be at your best and fantastic gratulations dad on your daughter there. Because
David Ralph [32:58]
we see this a lot in our house, we call it our social battery. If we’ve been surrounded by people all day, your social battery gets low. And then you come home, and you kick the wife down the stairs and stuff because you know, you’ve given all your best to strangers and people out in the world. And then you come home and you’re grumpy, whatever. And so that is something that I think isn’t isn’t open to question. It is something that everybody should look at. Is my battery’s starting to run down? Do I need to just have an evening to myself? If you frame it well enough, it’s not a problem. Right?
Jones Loflin [33:37]
You said it’s all about the framing, whether you say it to you know, if you’re a busy mom, and you need to say that to your children. Children very young can understand that, you know that, hey, mom needs, you know, mom needs about 15 minutes. And so I need I’m gonna go do this thing. I’m gonna go sit on the deck, whatever. Here’s the timer. You know, let’s take the timer. Here’s 15 minutes, you know, and when it dings, you can come get mommy. But until it dings unless the house is on fire, or your brother’s bleeding. Mommy needs her time. And, you know, it’s amazing how children will they’ll comply with that. And I just think we don’t often ask for the things that we need. Because we feel like we’re not worthy of it. And the reality is we are because it’s going to make us so much more effective in relationships, it’s going to help us to be at our best in every way.
David Ralph [34:30]
That that is. That’s it what you just said there is just it. It’s that training we’ve had through our life where our parents told us what to do. Our teachers told us what to do. Our first bosses told us what to do. We’re so used to being told what to do by people via when you suddenly say No, I don’t want to do that tonight. I want to do my own thing. It almost seems selfish somehow. Yes,
Jones Loflin [34:54]
yes. And that goes back to when I hear people kind of implying that What they’re saying, I say, how would you be better if you did this thing for yourself? And people can always tell me, and I say, is it worth, then you saying yes to yourself, and people will respond and say, You know what it is it’s gonna be uncomfortable. But then once they’ve done it, they get that benefit. They’re like, Oh, wow, Jones, I gotta tell you, I’ve expanded it to 30 minutes a day. And you know, my husband says he’s thrilled with you know, who I am, you know, or, you know, he’s he knows how much more patient I am with him or because you took that time for yourself to refill the social battery, mental battery, emotional battery, physical battery, whichever one was depleted.
David Ralph [35:37]
I was speaking to a guy today. And basically, he’s a CEO of a startup, that they think it’s going to be the next unicorn, a billion dollar enterprise. And he says, Every two years, he goes off into the woods, and basically stays there for about 14 days. He says, I don’t take podcasts, I don’t take devices, I just go there. And I basically cook a bit of food. And I sit there with my thoughts. And he says, he comes back, actually rejuvenated, because of that quiet time because about contemplation. But the most important thing he says, it’s the reflection is that ability to actually look and join up the dots and think, what how did I get to this point, but I’m having to hide away in the woods for 14 days. Why? Why do I feel like I need that. And he says that basically, every time he does it, he realises that almost the same dots have led him to that point. And when he controls them, and then little by little, they slide away, slide away, slide away until he then has to do it again. Now that seems, seems mind blowing, really, but somebody has all the answers knows exactly what he needs to do, but then forgets it so quickly.
Jones Loflin [36:55]
I was on the podcast yesterday with a friend of mine, Kevin Ikenberry, whose leadership development person here in United States just amazing fella, and he, he made a statement about the whole idea of reflection. He said, We must, and I’m looking at this, when I’ve got all my notes, it says we must, must reflect with the intention to learn. Yeah, and that’s exactly what your your, your, your CEO did. Okay, I’m going to reflect and a lot of us reflect to go oh, I have regret or oh, this has been such a tough time, Oh, how’d I get here, but the with the intention of learning, what can I do differently, to not need to come out into the woods, as often as I’m coming out into the woods. And then figuring putting that into the form of a routine or, or more frequent check ins with yourself. I love what he did there. As far as using that time to learn,
David Ralph [37:47]
let’s hear from the master of reflection, Steve Jobs. Of course,
Speaker 2 [37:50]
it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [38:25]
So how often do you reverse engineer look at the dots that have led to where you are now?
Jones Loflin [38:31]
Sure. I I typically try to do something once a week. I mean, as far as daily reflection, I mean, I’m I have some some moments of that at the end of the workday or something. But really, my reflection comes about once a week, it’s usually on a Saturday or a Sunday morning, where I will I will sit with, you know, a beverage of some kind and I will kind of think back over the week, what were my wins? What are my losses? Where did I struggle? You know, what, what have I learned from this past week? And so I have some questions that I go through each week to kind of help me, you know, digest the week and say, I want this week to have that same level of success if I want to, you know, have things to look different. What do I need to do differently this coming week and so that’s, that’s that that weekly reflection, and then typically, once a month, I’ll take a day for myself. And as you said, no cell phone, no, nothing. For me, it’s working outside, I will I’ll have a number of tasks here around my home that I need to work on and I take my Apple watch off, I am connected to no one and my wife knows that my kids know it. And I just spend all day just kind of working with my hands and I find you know, I’m reflecting a lot because you’re working on two separate activities. And then, you know, every few months I you know will typically maybe take a road trip of my own somewhere because driving seems to really be a good reflection time for me. And then annually I don’t know certainly around the holidays, around Christmas and New Year’s, I will pull away and do some goal setting and some planning and reflection on the year. But that’s usually my cadence of reflection. Because
David Ralph [40:09]
what we have found through Join Up Dots is basically, on a five year basis, if you look back over your last five years and think of all the terrible things that have happened by are always the ones that have gone from black dots to white dots, they’re the ones that were terrible at the time. But you wouldn’t be where you are now without them. And it seems to be something that is so powerful to do on a five year basis, because you can really learn were doing it weekly, monthly is almost too close to home, you can’t really step back and see it in such a wide sense.
Jones Loflin [40:46]
Yeah, I know, I could see that. And I, I think about you know, during the pandemic, when I would look back over several years, because of course, my business changed dramatically during that season. And it caused a lot of reflection. And you’re right, I like that thought of looking a little longer back because I could see some things that had happened in those those those five years previous, or, you know, some form like that, that it really had been helpful and helping me sustain during that time and things I could use. But at the time they happen as you said they were black dots and not white dots. I liked that, David.
David Ralph [41:23]
So before we send you back on the Sermon on the mic to have a conversation with your younger self, just so that we can clarify it. Because there’s been a lot of good stuff in this. But there’s also been a lot of stuff that people may have missed because he came as such a right. So what would you think the three biggest things that people could do easily and make the biggest difference to tomorrow, when they wake up from the moment they wake up, to reclaim their time and start to have some kind of element of control?
Jones Loflin [41:57]
I think one of the first things is, as you said, just a stop, stop and ask yourself some some clarifying questions about what do you want out of your work and your life and your relationships? And, and really getting specific as possible about that. I think that’s where it’s got to start. David every day for all of us. And then the second thing is, you know, what, what am I in control of? What do I have the ability to make a choice about? Some people might say Jon’s my days, just pack. Okay. Do you have 15 minutes? Do you have 30 minutes? Do you have an hour? How could you use that, to move forward on those those those things you’ve said that you want to accomplish? And you want to do and regardless of how small it is, it’s like Oprah said, it’s that next step? I think that’s the second one. And I think the third thing that that some of you would engage yourself in relationships with people who will support you doing these things. Find those people who will have those conversations, Hey, you said you want to start taking more time for yourself, how’s that going? There’s people hold you accountable, I think are really key. And that might be a spouse, it might be one of your children. It might be a neighbour, it might be someone at work, but find that person who’s willing to encourage you and support you in making these. I’ll say at counterculture changes, they’re going to help you put your head down on the pillow at night go wow, I was focused on the most important things today.
David Ralph [43:26]
No man is an island and simply simply get those three rings working. And I love that it just seems like a an image in my head. But he’s manageable. They
Jones Loflin [43:38]
go well, that’s what that’s what we were surprised by whenever we first develop the model was it really helps us stop and say, okay, if I’m not at my best, which ring is which ring Am I not paying attention to right now. And that gives us an opportunity to say okay, what needs to change?
David Ralph [43:51]
Absolutely. Well, one thing that’s never going to change is at the end of each of these podcasts, we do a piece called a sermon on a mic and we’re now at that part of the show now when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Jones What advice would you love to give him that would help him ease the way to where you are now where we’re going to find out because I’m gonna play the theme and when it phase is your time to tell this is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [44:26]
we go with the best bit of the show
Jones Loflin [44:43]
Hello, young Jones, good to see you. Some advice for you as you continue to journey through life include taking more risk. You want to be an educator and that’s great. Be willing to take more risk with where you teach and the things that you You know, are involved in invest more in your own development and growth, you invest so much, and others, don’t neglect your own development and growth. Ask For more advice and less help. Ask me for help seems like you’re weak or you’re not able to accomplish something. asking for advice means that you want to grow and become stronger in some way. And finally, young Jones, take care of your teeth. Because crowns are expensive. Yeah,
David Ralph [45:32]
you should tell my wife, we’re spending 1000s 1000s on our mouth.
Jones Loflin [45:37]
I tell my dentist every time I see them, I say I wish you had told me at 16 to take better care of my teeth.
David Ralph [45:43]
I just keep on saying to Oh, come on. Look, we’re all getting older and uglier. Just just let it go. But no, she’s not willing to do that. And so my bank accounts taking a pounding on our teeth at the moment. But um, Jones was the number one best way that our audience can connect with you. Sure, it’s,
Jones Loflin [46:01]
it’s my website, Jones laughlin.com. That’s where I house a lot of the content and information. And that’s where people can find me, I am on most of the social media channels, but primarily LinkedIn for business and an Instagram just where I put out pictures about my work and life and those things so they could reach out to me on those platforms as well.
David Ralph [46:23]
Jones, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you got more dots to join. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths is the best way to build our futures. Jones. Thank you so much.
Jones Loflin [46:38]
My pleasure, David, thanks for helping me connect some dots today as well.
David Ralph [46:43]
So do you struggle with time management? You do you think that you can manage time when as we were saying, all starts from the moment you open your eyes on what kind of person you want to be and it is a lot of controlling other people’s expectations of you. And there’s a lot of things that you can’t do much about especially if you’re in a job, you’ve got to be there a certain time your boss tells you what to do and all that kind of stuff. But certainly the bits in between, you can start training yourself, to get to the point where you can have time on your own you can have breathing time, you can just feel better about saying no to other people. Because it doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means that you are aiming to bring the quality to some people by saying no to other people. Until next time, thank you so much as always for listening to Join Up Dots and we will be back soon with another episode. Cheers See ya. Bye bye.
That’s the end of Join Up Dots. You heard the conversation. Now it’s time for you to start taking massive action. Create your future create your life is the only life you’ve got. We’ll be back again real soon. John Join Up Dots Join Up Dots Join Up Dots Join Up Dots Jolina Join Up Dots