This week's episode features my conversation with speaker, author, and college professor Betsy Hays about how Betsy plans her busy days and how she successfully connects with others through virtual networking.
Virtual networking - prioritizing relationships in today's virtual world
Betsy Hays is a keynote speaker, author, and workshop presenter who specializes in communication and productivity topics. She is also the lead Public Relations Professor for the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism (MCJ) at Fresno State, a post she has held since 1999. In this role Betsy teaches how to help organizations use communication to accomplish their goals. She also teaches advertising, which is a sister discipline of public relations.
Betsy has always felt that education would be the right field for her. Little did she know that working with "big kids" would be where her heart was. In fall 2018, Betsy took over as Chair of the MCJ Department. Betsy loves to see her students flourish and likes to stay in touch with them over the years.
She and her husband are now empty-nesters, as their two daughters are off at college and grad school. Betsy has always loved reading, walking, cooking, and baking and is newly obsessed with yoga. She is the co-author of three books, including Win & Wow: Public Relations Secrets for Everyday Success.
A typical day
Betsy's typical day now is very different from when her children were younger. She likes to think of her life in seasons, and this is definitely a new season for her.
Betsy wakes up at around 5:30 a.m. and starts her morning routine, which is very important to her. This routine includes meditation, reading and journaling, exercise, and a lot of coffee.
Once her workday starts, she tries to leave her mornings free from meetings because this is when she has her focused work time. She tries to not look at her email until she has done one or two hours of what she calls her MITs--her most important things.
At lunchtime, since she's working from home now, she tries to eat outside for some fresh air. In the afternoon, she alternates between checking her email, completing more MITs, teaching her classes, or hosting meetings.
She takes another outdoor "sunshine break" around 3:30. Betsy also tries to take as many calls as she can outside, just to stretch her legs and have a nice change of pace.
Before ending her day at about 6 p.m., she will focus on what she wants to complete the next day.
In the evenings, she makes dinner, spends time with her husband, and maybe Facetimes with one of her daughters. She may also read or watch TV. She is then in bed by 9:00 or 9:30 since she has to get up so early.
Biggest productivity challenges
One of Betsy's biggest productivity challenges is implementing her own plans. She has a well-thought-out schedule that she puts a lot of time into, but she doesn't always follow it, which leads to everything suffering as a result.
She deals with this by reflecting on how she feels when she is doing her evening re-set. If she's feeling overwhelmed or disheveled, she knows it's because she hasn't followed her plans. She will then recommit to doing better the next day.
On the weekends, she tries to be purposeful when taking her walks, using the time to reflect on the different components of her life, such as her nutrition, exercise, her family, her schedule, etc. She will give herself kudos for things that went well but will also consider how things could have gone better. There are times when she has to let things go because there is no way she can follow a set schedule, but she will give herself grace during these times.