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Prioritizing Your Time- Determining Your System ft. Brit Williams

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There are 168 hours in a week, that’s it.
How are you going to spend that time in a purposeful way to get you to where you want to be?

Brit Williams


Brit Williams

Brit Williams has her Bachelors in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Econ from the University of St. Thomas. She works as an Event Planner and owns a small business called Please & Thank You Granola Bars with the aim to remind people the power of manners one snack at a time. It’s a overall reminder to be kind to yourself, to others and to the earth. 

Every day she strives to live her passion, stand loyal and exude gratefulness. She is passionate about connecting people through the power of events by creating space to make memories, share experiences and grow together. With over 10 years of project management and leadership experience, she also has a passion for the logistics, strategy and development of successful moments. She thrives in bringing to life the big picture goal through the organization and implementation of the tiniest of details.

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Episode Highlights

In today’s world the pressure to be it all and do it well is unmatched. Whether that comes from within yourself, social media or shows, there’s a certain amount of “let’s be and do it all.” And that’s why we brought Brit in to remind us to do whatever you feel you’d like to do, do what makes you happy, and do all the things that bring you joy. All this can be done efficiently with the help of Brit’s systems.

Before getting to any systems talk, Brit first touched on the importance of addressing labels. She explained, “I want people to start thinking of themselves as more than the label, more than a mom, wife, friend, business owner, volunteer, daughter, so on. I want to start with what is the vision for your life. What makes you get up and do the things you do and be the person that you are? And I think when we figure that out the labels fall nicely into place and the things you want to accomplish start to fall into place. I think about my life like how a business might be set up (I know super lame and boring) but it gives me a structure to assess and confirm if I’m going in the right direction.”

So if you think of a business – you have the Mission, Vision, Strategy and Goals.

Mission: Who I am? What do I value? For Brit it looks like- live my passion, stand loyal and exude gratefulness. She explained, “so my mission and everything I do must and will align to being passionate, loyal and grateful. I can assess the things that I do and say either a “yes or no” on if I’m aligned to that.”

Vision: What do I want to become? “My saying and what I whole heartly believe and wish for others is to “Be yourself, be kind to yourself, think outside of yourself,” Brit told us. She further explained, “These are things that I strive for and are hard to accomplish on a regular basis with outside forces, but this is the long-term goal.”

Strategy: How will I achieve my vision and mission? The strategy to Brit is the organization of her life and the systems she has in place to be successful. Her three tools are the following-

Proactive – the Model Calendar

Consistent – To-do list management and support system for delegation

Reactive – a system to assess when things are off, that Brit calls the 3A’s – Aware, Acknowledge, Action

Goals: How I gauge my success. Brit calls these “priorities” because, priorities or priority is a more of a verb/action word. Brit explained, “I have prioritized the things that are important to me. The important thing with all this is that it comes from you, it comes from inside you and your wishes. This isn’t someone telling you you must do this or that. This is you, standing up for yourself in a crazy world and taking ownership of what you want and who you are. This is the framework that works for me and I think if you can take a nugget or two and work it in, I call that success.”

Brit went on to explain, “I have been working on my system for about 10 years and it has really engrained itself in the last 4 years. It’s how I think and how my brain is structured. If nothing else I encourage you to figure out, if you haven’t already, how your brain operates the best, embrace that and have it work in your favor.”

Brit’s Deep Dive Into Her Systems-

Digging into my strategies or systems that I have in place – I use 3 main tools. I break them up into 3 categories of being proactive, consistent, and reactive because I think that touches on all parts of our lives. If I’m proactive, then I have a plan in place to accomplish my priorities. If I’m consistent with my approach, I can stay on track and adopt easier to what’s coming my way. If I have a system to assess when things get off track, because that will happen, then I can get back on track quicker.

Starting with my Model Calendar, this is the biggest tool I have and the framework that helps me accomplish the things that are most important to me. I got most of these tools and learnings back about 10 years ago and I had the pleasure of working with some really thoughtful and caring leaders.The first time you do the exercise, it may take longer than you want it to, but putting in the leg work first will make the rest of the process and each refresh a lot easier.

Process: Create your priorities – I break these up into 4 categories: Family/Friends, Professional, Community, Personal – what is it that I want to accomplish this year? I sometimes only have 1 for a category or sometimes up to 3-5 in each. It depends on what I have going that year. I would encourage you to do about 1-3 for each as you get going with this.

Then I start a list of all the things in my life – what are ALL the things I DO in a day, week, month. Think about where you spend your time – i.e. sleep, exercise, work, passion project, family time, friend time, meditation, self-care, volunteering, home stuff, appointments, etc. Once you have a list of all the things you do, and I would write it all down. Then you start to mark the things on that list that you’d like to delete all together (not bringing you joy, not helpful), delegate (someone else can do this and take it off your plate) or delay (these are things that can wait based on your priories). What you’ll have left are all the things you do. The key here is that all the things that are on your do list, should align to your priorities. You might need to refine your list a bit, make tweaks, and this might eb and flow over the quarters or years, but always come back to this list and make sure it aligns for you.

Now that you have your list of “Do’s”, you’re going to prioritize them into big rocks (must do), small rocks (should do) and sand (nice to have). This goes back to the saying that when you fill up a jar, you want to make sure you first put in the things that are most important, those big rocks, then the small rocks and then sand falls into the cracks and fills everything in. If you go the other way, sand, small, big, you may find that you run out of time/space for the things that are most important to you. Reminder, the things you “DO”, need to align to your priorities – Family/Friends, Professional, Community, Personal. The priorities will be hard to accomplish, if I don’t dedicate time to them. I also recommend that your big rocks align with most of your priorities so that you know you have dedicated time for them. Based on your list of the things you “Do” and their priority, then we start to put the estimated amount of time to spend on each of these items.

There are 168 hours in a week, that’s it. How are you going to spend that time in a purposeful way to get you to where you want to be? Side note: color code each item, it will make building the calendar easier to look at. For example, I know that sleep is really important for me to accomplish anything, so I must get about seven hours of sleep. So seven hours times seven days is 49 hours per week. I’m growing a new business and I think I need to spend on average about four hours each day on granola bars. As you go through each of these, know that it starts out as an estimate and then you’ll be able to refine it as you build your calendar and truly see what fits into your life or how you need to adjust things. The BIGGEST thing with this exercise and framework is that it’s a guideline for how to bucket the things in my life. It’s almost like a monthly budget, where you set up how things should be to accomplish your financial goals and then each month or so you go back to it and assess if you are on track or you need to adjust things. This is a visual for how to structure your days to accomplish what you’d like.

Now that I have an estimate of where my time is going to be spent, I build it into a visual calendar. Think Monday – Sunday across the top and then midnight to midnight along the left side in 30 min increments. Starting with my big rocks – the must haves, I block that time out in the calendar. Then go to your small rocks. I don’t actually put my “sand” into my daily calendar because I know it will flow in, but you can if that works for you. You’ll have to go back and forth to make sure your hours match up to how your day lays out. This is a manual process but what I like about this exercise is that it makes you think about how you will spend your time, what works in your day, and how you can accomplish what you need to. This is a time to assess and reassess and make sure how you are spending your time aligns to your priorities. Once you have created the visual it helps you “see” how you are spending you time. This was really helpful for me when I was a new mom and couldn’t imagine spending time away from Oakley, but I could see in the calendar that “friends” time was important to me and it actually only equaled about three hours a week, but the time I spent with Oakley was way more than that. It helped me to be present in the thing I was doing because I know I have dedicated time else to focus on the other things. What’s cool about this calendar is that it helps me not only be consistent with my priorities, but it helps me be adaptable. We know life will throw you curveballs. One of my favorite quotes is “being an adult is like looking both ways before crossing the street only to be hit by a plane” – so true right!

We NEED to be adaptable without losing sight of who we are and what we want to accomplish. This is where grace comes in. I know that I can shift a bucket of time, switch a bucket of time or make the conscience decision that if I’m going to pick up “this” that I’m giving up “that” for the time being that’s okay. For an ongoing process, I review how I’m doing on about a quarterly or six month basis. Look and see if you need to adjust things, how are you doing against your priorities, has your calendar/schedule changed and you need to move things around? Do that about every 3-6 months. Once a year, assess your priorities – what did I accomplish, what do I want to accomplish next year. How did I do, what worked, what didn’t?

That’s the proactive side of things, on a regular basis I run a couple of to-do lists – one is for my work and one is for home. I run them similar but have adapted them to what works best for each. For home, I do a simple white board and colored makers. Sunday night, I write down all that I want to accomplish Monday. Then on Monday, as those things get done I erase them. Anything that didn’t get done, stays on the board in that color. Then on Monday night I write the Tuesday list in another color, and it keeps going from there. For work, I keep my to-list in One Note in what’s called the Priority Matrix: It’s 4 quadrants. Across the top are 2 columns “Do Now”, “Do Later”. Down the side are 2 rows “High Priority” and “Low Priority”. So the quadrant in the top left is the most urgent and the bottom right is the least urgent. Anything in the top left should be blocked out as work time in my Outlook work calendar – as the task gets done I can delete it or if it doesn’t get done I have to move it to the next most likely day it will get done. It doesn’t get deleted until it’s complete. That way nothing falls between the cracks and you have designated time to complete it. You get to say if that time shows up as “free” on your calendar or “blocked” based on the due date of the item, that way people can book meetings over it or not. You are prioritizing your time that way. This connects with your model calendar in that you should be able to assess how you are spending your time vs. how you have set up your time.

The model calendar doesn’t necessarily flow directly into your day to day calendar, but it should be somewhere close so that you can use it as a guideline and check that you are on track. The to-do list also connects in with your support system, make sure you are leveraging people that are willing to help you. For the reactive solution this is more of a framework for thinking, how to structure your thoughts when an issue arises. First – you must be aware of the issue that is taking you off track. Second – once you are aware, I believe you must acknowledge it, come to terms with, and stop justifying it. Third – after acknowledging it, you can take action on it. What is the one thing you can do each day to redirect you? Do you need to adjust your model calendar?

Organization gives me piece of mind, it gives me a foundation, it gives me the knowledge that I’m deliberately going down the right track. And even though we don’t know what the future holds, I know how I’ve structure my life aligns with being passionate, loyal, grateful and I know I’m striving to be myself, be kind to myself and think outside of myself. Therefore, which ever way to take I know my intentions are true.

Please and Thank you is front and center in my model calendar, so much so that it has slightly more hours dedicated to it then friends/family. I know that it’s important to me and for the short term I must put in the time to make it work. It also has taken up most of my professional priorities – grow revenue, expand reach, marketing plan, maintain brand mission. So proactively I have the model calendar, consistently I have a regular to-do list and white board dedicated to PTY work that feeds into my daily calendar and reactively, I assess how things are going and adjust.

I think the most important thing is to meet yourself where you are at and bite off what you can chew. Eventually you’ll take enough bites to have the whole meal/process. I think the most impactful thing someone can do for their schedule is to create a model calendar. It gets you to think about how and why you spend your time. Gives you a guideline. The easiest is to get in the habit of writing your to-do list at night for the next day. This sets your mind at ease and you wake up with march orders, so to speak.


Looking for a new way to organize your time and schedule? Lean into the conversation Gold Ivy has with event planner and entrepreneur, Brit Williams, all about prioritization. She walks Andrea & Brooke through how she ties in a deeper meaning into her schedule in order to create an organized foundation that is full of joy and value. As the founder and owner of Please & Thank You Granola Bars, Brit has utilized multiple strategies to effectively balance her time between the personal and professional worlds. Listen in as she explores how to break down how you spend your time, put your priorities into categories, and find the system that will help you create the life you love with your precious time.  
Guest- Brit Williams- Founder and owner of Please & Thank You Granola Bars

Behind-the-Scenes Video

3 Gold Stars

1. Understand how your brain works and adapt systems that will work for you.

2. Create yourself a life mission and find peace that when you stick to it your intentions are true.

3. Decide on one of your to-dos that you can delay, delegate, or delete.

Ivy Reflections

  • When you think about how well you manage your time, how would you rate it 1-10 and why?
  • What one small thing could you add into your week to help you prioritize your time more efficiently?
  • How would you describe your mission and vision in your current season of life?

Piece of Gold

Be yourself, be kind to yourself, think outside of yourself.

Brit Williams

Healing Food of the Week-


All granola varies with nutrients, based on their production. Aim for the first few ingredients in your granola to be oats, nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit.

Healing Properties: Many types of granola contain ingredients that offer numerous benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and gut health.

Fun Fact: Our friend @pleasethankyougranolabars makes AMAZING granola!

Recipes you need to try!

Easy Peach Almond Granola


Pumpkin Spice Granola



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We thank you for joining us in the fearless pursuit of self-discovery and growth and hope that you transform our lessons into your gold. 

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Listen to your truth and go chase your gold.

– Gold Ivy Health Co.

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