RESOURCE CORNER: INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY BURROWS

One of the things we all bump up against as assistants are constant interruptions. Fortunately, Jeremy of GoBurrows.com has created a course to deal with just this very thing.

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you already know how often I tend to geek out on all things productivity.  I even created my Peak Productivity Roadmap to help us manage our time more effectively. I bet you can imagine how thrilled I was when I learned about Jeremy’s course. A course dedicated to dealing with interruptions (literally step #4 on my roadmap). Talk about synergy!!!

Resource Corner Interview with Jeremy Burrows

Guess what guys… Jeremy is offering a discounted rate on this course. How To Manage Constant Interruptions generally goes for $40, however, in anticipation of Administrative Professionals Day, Jeremy is offering it for $24. Click here to check it out!

Having taken Jeremy’s course, let me just say there are many nuggets of helpful information for the constantly interrupted, even for seasoned assistants.

Check out the interview below where we talk about what it’s like to be a man in a female-dominated profession, the craziness of working for nonprofits, and of course productivity and Jeremy’s latest course!

Check out my interview with Jeremy:


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Check out the transcription:

Annie: Hi, guys. I'm Annie of wholeassistant.com, and today is our resource corner day, which means I will be interviewing a founder of a great resource for assistants. With us today is Jeremy Burrows of goburrows.com. Welcome, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Hello. Thanks for having me.

Annie: Will you just please tell everybody a little bit about your background, and a little bit about yourself?

Jeremy: Yeah. Sure. I'm married to my beautiful wife Meghan. We have two boys, Weston and Silas, they're five and seven. We currently live in St. Louis, Missouri where I'm an executive assistant to the CEO of an artificial intelligence software company called, jane.ai. It's a pretty fun startup. We're two years old, as of yesterday, and we're building an artificial intelligence chatbot for companies, so that's pretty fun.

Jeremy: I've been an assistant for almost 12 years, EA for 12 years. A few years ago when I was in between jobs I started goburrows.com to help assistants and executives accomplish their goals without burning out. I do that with group coaching, one on one coaching, my blog on the website a couple speaking engagements here and there, and then online courses.

Annie: Awesome. What a great resource you are I'm sure for many assistants. I have to ask you because this is a struggle that I deal with, how do you balance, do you find it difficult to balance the many various areas of your life, home, work, your entrepreneurial endeavors? How does that all work for you?

Jeremy: Yeah. It's definitely a challenge balancing a pretty demanding full-time job. Two growing boys, being a homeowner, and then the side hustle with goburrows.com, but yeah I would say it's definitely difficult. One of the things I've done in the last couple years to help balance that is to make sure I have good boundaries on my days off, and not check my work email, make sure I do fun activities with my family, and stuff like that.

Annie: Do you ever find it difficult to keep those boundaries?

Jeremy: Yeah. I think the hardest times are when I've got some exciting traction, or momentum with goburrows.com, or an event for goburrows.com at the same time while jane.ai might have a really big project, or a really, really busy time for that, so that's definitely a challenge, because I'm definitely going to do my responsibilities for my day job, but I also don't want to miss out on the opportunity to continue the growth of my current side gig.

Annie: Yeah. I feel the same way. In fact, work, life, balance is a thing that I'm still, like my husband and I are constantly negotiating with one another. You know? I feel like I'm able to manage my week throughout the week, because I get off really early, and that's kind of how I manage Whole Assistant, but what's really funny is that when I get home in the evenings I just want to crash, and I think for me the hardest part in all this is how do I manage my weekends, because I would like to do some things with Whole Assistant, and I still want to be present with my family, so I just feel like that struggle is pretty constant.

Annie: I think balance is a thing that every assistant deals with, if it's not the blog, or even if they don't blog, or have any of that, setting those good boundaries that everybody will be okay with, and happy with because the nature of our job is to help and support other people, so I think often we feel obligated to overstep our own boundaries, which is no good.

Jeremy: Yeah. I think another thing I would say is one thing we've done on the weekends is my wife will say, “Hey, why don't I take the kids for two hours, and you just work on your goburrows.com project, and then we'll hang out, and whatever.” That helps because it's like okay I can really focus, pay attention, get as much done as I can, and then shut it off, and really focus on hanging out with them, and enjoying time with them.

Annie: Yeah. That's really great. I love that. I love that your wife is so supportive, too, and that she gives you that time that is just for Go Burrows, so that's awesome.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: Pretty awesome. Okay. In looking up your profile on LinkedIn, I noticed that you worked for a church, and I just want to have a brief discussion about that, because I used to work for a church, as well. Can you please give me some background on what that experience was like for you, and give me a little bit of insight, and my readers a little bit of insight?

Jeremy: Yeah. I was the main pastors assistant for about six years, and then before that I was a couple of different pastors assistants, but I was in the organization for about 12 years. I moved straight from my parents' house to St. Louis to be an intern, so I was pretty excited about the opportunity to work at a nonprofit. The primary goal was to help people, so it was really exciting to be a part of an organization like that, but to be honest it was kind of hard. In the nonprofit world, it's often hard to come to a consensus on what success looks like because nonprofit you can't just be like, well, what was our bottom line, what were our sales?

Annie: Exactly.

Jeremy: That was always a challenge for me, and I've always been a business, and entrepreneurial-minded guy, and so I enjoyed it but when I made the leap to the for-profit world it was a pretty obvious leap for me. I really enjoyed working in the tech startup world, and where most the time success can pretty much simply be measured by, did we meet our sales goal this year? It's nice to have a little bit clearer expectations of what success means.

Jeremy: Yeah, I loved working in the nonprofit, and helping people. The one thing I will say though is it is very hard in nonprofit, and in the church world to set boundaries. In my sense, it was actually harder, because we always had weekend services, so it wasn't like we always had the weekends off, whereas in the business world it's nice because you really don't get that many emails on a Sunday morning.

Annie: Yeah.

Jeremy: It's easier to shut off, and kind of get away, but I really burned out after working almost every weekend for 11, 12 years in a row, and so that was definitely a con to that setting, because then even if you take Monday's off or you take Thursday, Friday's off, and you work Saturday, Sunday's not everybody in the organization is taking the same days off, and so you're still getting emails, you're still getting pinged, so that was a challenge, for sure.

Annie: Yeah. For me, I think the challenge was that, it's not that we were understaffed, well, it kind of was, I think we wanted to, there again, spend the money for our outreach programs, or that sort of thing, and so we were always trying to make budget cuts and that kind of thing, and it really took a toll on the staff, and so I totally understand what you're saying about burnout in the nonprofit sector, because it happens frequently when people want to spend the money, and rightfully so on helping others. Right?

Jeremy: Right.

Annie: Then, I ended up doing the job of three people, and as my one position, the requirement was that I took on a lot of extra work.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: I learned how to prioritize my time, how to get really structured, how to be productive when it's difficult, and how not to waste a moment of it, but I know I just had to ask you, because I was just so curious about what your answer would be.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: Thanks for sharing.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: Okay. As an assistant I feel like there's a lot of misinformation about being an assistant, would you agree with that?

Jeremy: Yeah. I would say in some ways, yes, I think an assistant can still be seen as someone who makes copies and picks up Starbucks, and that's it, but making copies, and grabbing coffee are what my boss needs at that moment, I'm happy to do it. It is part of the job, but that said, people who think we are just assistants simply never had a rockstar assistant or have never been one themselves, and they're just clueless to what really goes on with our roles.

Jeremy: I think being an assistant is one of the most demanding, and challenging jobs out there, and it really takes a unique person, and a uniquely skilled and gifted person to handle being an EA. Yeah. I think there is a little bit of a misconception, and I think if you're into modern, tech companies it's not so much that way, I think if you're an old school, a 100-year-old oil company then yeah it's seen that way if that makes sense.

Annie: Yeah. Totally. That's so funny you say that, because I actually worked for a gentleman in the oil and gas industry for a while, and they really respected what did and what we brought to the table, but it was a work in progress, for sure, because he had a very old school mindset, which kind of rubbed off on the rest of the company. Yeah. It was interesting. It was definitely interesting, but I think for me it's more that each of our individual roles are so unique, like based on our working style, and our executives working style that it's really hard to define a role, like an executive assistant role can look different for each one of us.

Jeremy: Right.

Annie: History looks different for each one of us, and so that's a challenge for me in explaining what I do for a living, and even to my family my husband sometimes he's like, “You did what today?” You know? “You spent your time doing what, today?”

Jeremy: Right. Like.

Annie: “Yep, I did.”

Jeremy: Again, just wait until you find out what I have to do tomorrow.

Annie: Yeah. You know, it's one of those roles that is ever-changing, and no two days look the same, which its appeal for me at least.

Jeremy: Yeah. It keeps it interesting, keeps you on your toes, you're never bored. My favorite saying in this EA world is, “There's never a dull moment.”

Annie: No, there is never a dull moment. Going back to that religious organization, I had to deliver holy water to someone once, I'm like, “What?”

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: I managed the crypts on our property, I'm like, “I'm a crypt keeper, now. That's just so weird.” But that's one of the things I love about what we do, as well.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: Okay. I have a question for you, administrative roles have largely been held by women, and as a rockstar executive assistant rocking it, encouraging other executive assistants has the dynamic of this being a female-dominated industry, or a job description, or job impacted you in any way? In any interesting way, or can you please just explain a little bit about what being a man in a female-dominated industry looks like for you?

Jeremy: Yeah. It's very interesting. It's been fun. I mean, it hasn't really created any issues, or anything, I don't think, but it is kind of interesting being a minority, because as a white male I'm definitely not a minority in most places, and so it's interesting. I went to Germany and spoke at the European Central Bank to all the assistants there a few weeks ago, and I was the only male in the room other than the photographer, so it was kind of funny.

Jeremy: I think the only real interesting challenges I would say is it's not really a big deal, but in the networking, and the event's kind of side of things when it comes to local assistant gatherings or events, my chapter had an admin meetup, or an admin Christmas party, holiday party, and I was like, “Okay. Yeah. I'd like to go meet with some other assistants in the area, and kind of connect, and it'd be fun,” and then I got the invite, and it's like, “Oh, hey, we're doing an ornament exchange,” and I was like, “Okay. That's great. Nothing against ornament exchanges,” but I was like, “Not something that I thought I would enjoy doing on a holiday evening.”

Jeremy: Then, I pictured myself going to an ornament exchange, and being the only male in the room, and I'm also an introvert, so I was kind of like, “All right, this will be very interesting.” I ended up not going, half because of that, half because I had just gotten back from Germany the day before, just trying to recover. Yeah. Things like that I'm like, okay, there are male assistants, but I get that there are not many. Anyway, the activities being geared towards women, I guess, is kind of the interesting thing that I faced.

Annie: Yeah. Totally. I haven't even considered that that's really funny. Thank you for sharing.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: Great. You recently created a course, which I personally am just so excited about, because I feel like it's going to be a great resource for assistants. Will you please explain this course that you created, and just tell us a little bit about it? Yeah. I think we've got some synergy there, so I want to talk about that, too.

Jeremy: Yeah. I kind of dove into the online training, online course world last year. Started off with an email course called, The Assistant Challenge, and basically my goal with that was to send an email every weekday for 30 days with a bite sized challenge for assistants to kind of help them think outside the box, and remember to take care of themselves, remember creative ways to take care of their boss, and network with other assistants, so that went really well, it's been well received, but it's kind of a broader, bigger bucket of tips, and tricks, and challenges.

Jeremy: Partly in doing that, and partly in just reaching out, and doing these coaching calls, and meetups, and everything I realized that interruptions, dealing with interruptions was pretty much the number one thing that assistants said that they dealt with and I was like, “Well, I deal with that every day, so I can totally get that,” so I created a course called, How to Manage Constant Interruptions, it's very specific, more zoomed in on this one issue, and it's through an online course platform called, Thinkific, and it's more of a go at your own pace, go at your own speed, and log in, and kind of knockout the modules.

Jeremy: Yeah. It was kind of the number one pain point, or struggle that assistants said they had, so I basically just walked through 10 different tactics that I use to manage and control, and really take control of interruptions, every day. Yeah. I've had about 800 people go through version one of the course, and so I'm excited to have updated and improved it with more content for the next batch of assistants, and even if you're not an assistant, I think it's still very helpful, everybody pretty much deals with interruptions, but I do think assistants probably deal with more interruptions, and this issue more than almost anybody in an organization just because of the nature of their role. Yeah.

Annie: I love that. To my Whole Assistant peeps out there, you know, if you got my peak productivity roadmap that dealing with interruptions is a part of that puzzle, and it's a part of being more productive, so please check it out, I actually went through Jeremy's course, it's awesome, I recommend everyone check it out, if you're struggling with being constantly interrupted. Yeah. Jeremy, thank you so much. It's really awesome that you created it.

Annie: I feel like it'll be a great resource for assistants moving forward. You talk about using paper. Can you just give us just a little taste of what you talk about using paper, and I felt like that was a really unique part of the course in that a lot of people wouldn't turn to it, but can you please explain what you meant in that particular piece of the course, so we can just have a little discussion about that, because I found it really interesting.

Jeremy: Yeah. I hate paper. I just hate that I have to print out documents. I hate that I have to, I still every once in a while especially if it's a government-related thing, I have to fax a document, or scan something, and sign it. It's 2019, I don't know why we have to kill more trees, but that said I think there are times when our digital kind of overload just hits us and we've got 500 unread emails in our inbox, we've got a to-do list that's more than one screen, so we have to keep scrolling to see the rest of our to-do list.

Jeremy: We have people bugging us here and there, so there are times when I'm just looking at my screen like a zombie and just like, “What am I going to do next?” I think those are the times where I kind of have to slap myself, and grab a post-it, or grab a small piece of paper and okay take a deep breath, and write down, okay, what are the things that I really need to do today, and I'll just start there.

Jeremy: I think that is probably one of my biggest uses for paper, and then other side with regards to interruptions if somebody comes by my desk, and I'm kind of in the same mode where I'm just overwhelmed with how much stuff I've got, and going on, and I'm in the middle of a big project, or I'm in the middle of ordering, booking flights, or something like that, then I have a little post-it note right on my desk, it's one of the few things I have on my desk, and if it's somebody in the team, like one of my peers, I'll usually say, “Hey, would you mind emailing it to me,” but if my boss walks up to me and says, “Hey,” then I'll grab it, and if I don't have my email ready, and I can't just type an email real quick to myself, because I'm in the middle of booking flights, or whatever then I'll just grab a post-it note, and I'll just write down what he says and that way I won't forget it. Yeah. Paper, I have a love, hate relationship with paper.

Annie: That's really funny. Going back to this whole idea of managing distractions, I think one of the biggest things that I've noticed in myself and in talking with others is managing distractions you can't control, like social media, we've got our phones, we've got iWatches, we've got all these things, all these distractions that were meant to help us, actually, so the phone was meant to be a help to us, it was meant to make things really convenient for us.

Annie: Then, you've got social media, too. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so I talk a lot about managing those distractions, you can control them putting your phone down, or away, or on silent, or managing the notifications you got on your phone, so that if you get a call, it's a call that you need to take instead of a Facebook message that you need to respond to, and I'm so passionate about this, because I feel like if we could even just get rid of those things that we can't control, that would be great, that'll make our lives so much easier, and it'll make our work so much more productive, I mean, so much more productive.

Jeremy: Definitely.

Annie: How do you manage those for yourself? How do you manage those controllable distractions?

Jeremy: Yeah. I pretty much turn all my notifications off. We use Slack as our instant message platform for internal communication, and some people use Skype for business, or what's the other one, Jabber, or different ones like that. I literally, I don't remember, it probably was a few months ago when I started doing this, but I don't ever put my status as present, or active.

Jeremy: It's funny because people still ping me if they need me, but I feel like it's a little bit of a filter, and a guard up against just anybody and everybody always pinging me.

Jeremy: It's kind of like a check like, “Oh, it doesn't say he's active, but I do really actually need something,” versus, “Oh, he's active I can talk to him,” and whatever. Maybe it's less inviting, but it's more productive, it has been for me, so that's one thing I do. I make sure I have my do not disturb settings all set, so that I don't get any notifications from 9:00 or 10:00 at night until 7:00 in the morning, and sometimes on the weekend I'll just turn it, I'll snooze my notifications for 24 hours, or 48 hours, so that it just kind of goes through the whole Saturday, Sunday.

Jeremy: I don't have hardly any notifications on my phone, so on my iPhone, I don't have hardly anything that pops up on the lock screen, almost every app that I have is basically turned off so that it will not pop up or whatever. I'm trying to think of what else I do. Yeah. As far as social media, and emails, and all that stuff, I try to just really dive in deep and focus on them for a certain amount of time, and then just leave them alone, and don't think about them for a while, so I kind of do time blocks, or chunks of focused time on each.

Jeremy: The other thing I will say for Facebook, I have a newsfeed eradicator plugin for Google Chrome that basically when I go to Facebook it hides the newsfeed, so I can't actually see anything that anybody's posting, and I can't get sucked into the vertex of cat videos, and funny memes.

Annie: Wow.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: I didn't know that even existed.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jeremy: I don't know if they have it for other browsers, but for Chrome they do, and it's called the newsfeed eradicator, and it basically replaces it with an inspirational quote, and you can customize the quotes, I think, but what's cool about it is if you, you know, I'm one of the admins on our business Facebook page, I've got my Go Burrow stuff going, so I do like to check in throughout the day on different posts, or different business-related things, but what this allows me to do is go to my notifications, and go straight to those posts, and deal with that without getting pulled into things that I don't need to be looking at, because I can't even see the newsfeed. That's one of my favorite additions, I think I did that about a year ago, a year and a half ago, and it's a game-changer.

Annie: Yeah. No. It sounds amazing. I'm going to check it out. I want to go back to something that you just mentioned about time blocking. I feel like that's really important, and I know for me for social media the times I check social media are generally around 10:00 in the morning, and around 2:00 in the afternoon, and that's all allow myself, because otherwise I can totally get sucked in, as well. Can you explain a little bit more about how you time block for yourself, and about what that looks like for you, and do you batch things together? Do you group things together? How does the day look for you in terms of getting things done?

Jeremy: Yeah. I mean, I kind of, it's interesting, I don't do a very, I recommend that most people do very strict time blocks, and I try to do it for my boss, as well. For me, I find that when I look at the calendar view because I see my bosses calendar, the room calendars, my bosses wife's calendar, I've got kind of all these, it's just a crazy, crazy mess. I don't like to personally put my calendar filled, as well.

Jeremy: I put reminders of what I need to do in those times, so I will more block off projects, or tasks that I need to do and I'll say, “You know what? I need to do this, we're raising a series B round, so I need to schedule a bunch of meetings for my boss related to this, so I'm going to block out two hour chunk here for that,” or “I'm going to block out a time to send reminder emails at this time,” and it's more like that for me personally. I think part of that is my work style, and my personality, and so what I will end up doing kind of more naturally as opposed to actually on my calendar is I'll get there in the morning, and I'll put my headphones in, and I'll just empty out my inbox, and focus really hard on that for a while, and then I'll do it again basically after lunch.

Jeremy: It's kind of the first thing in the morning, and then after lunch is my, not on the calendar, but my regular rhythms of when I really lock in and say, “All right. I'm going to put my headphones in, crank the music up, so I can't hear anybody around,” because we have an open office, which as an introvert I really don't like. Yeah. I'd say in the morning, and then right after lunch is kind of my time to really focus, dig deep, like try to ignore everybody else, and get everything done in rhythms.

Annie: Yeah. I think, for me, I didn't even think about this before, but I don't use my calendar at all except for meetings. I got my meetings on my calendar, and that is it because otherwise, I find it's just too stressful, and I need a bit more flexibility through my day. I don't know if you know, but I love Trello, that's my [inaudible 00:28:33] my to-dos, and so I will group things together in Trello to knock those things out together, so that's how I manage my time personally. I just find it to be really easy that way, and that way I'm not scheduling myself, and having anxiety for when I don't stick to my schedule, because my boss needs something.

Jeremy: Yeah. That's the other thing, it's like the flexibility that an assistant needs it can be hard, but I think the first in the morning thing, I get there a little bit earlier than everybody, and it's a pretty safe time. You know? Like, it's not often that, that early morning chunk gets taken away by someone, whatever, but the late morning, and late afternoon, it's like there's something that pops up at the end of the day, or there's always something that pops up right before lunch.

Jeremy: Yeah. Part of that is how your work culture, and your boss kind of how his or her time flows in making sure that you're open when he comes over and says, “Hey, I need you to book this flight.” Like, yesterday they were like, “Hey, we're going to go to Atlanta and meet with Coca Cola on Friday,” and I was like, “Oh, okay.” I guess this is pretty important, he's like, he booked these flights and so I'm like, “All right.” I had to drop everything, but thankfully I had been focused in that morning slot, and then after lunch slot that I was pretty much caught up for the day, and I was able to just all right jump in, and do this task.

Annie: Yeah. I fully agree with the morning slot. I'm actually the first in the entire office space, we work out of, it's not really technically a shared office space, but there are several different renters in our space, and I find that I'm always the first one in, because I like to do what you do, and I like to get to my emails first thing before I have the chance to be interrupted. I feel like it helps me layout my day a little bit better, too.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: I know what to expect. I can know, okay, so at a certain point I'm going to have to order wine, and have the set, all those requests that I get in the late afternoon throughout the night I can actually deal with them in the morning.

Jeremy: Yeah. Is that your car, the solo car all alone in the parking lot, or is that somebody else's?

Annie: No. This is my view, guys. No. That is not my car, that's for the building next door.

Jeremy: Oh, okay.

Annie: My car's down below.

Jeremy: Nice.

Annie: Three rows under the building. Yeah. I'm kind of glad that's not my car, actually.

Jeremy: I was going to say, the early bird gets the parking spot.

Annie: Yeah. I do like that. I like that I've got my pick of the spots downstairs, for sure.

Jeremy: Nice.

Annie: Okay. Obviously, we've been talking a lot about distractions today, and how that can be an inhibitor for productivity. Can you think of any other inhibitors to productivity aside from distractions?

Jeremy: Personally, I think that if you as an assistant are worried about what your boss thinks of you, and/or worried about the approval of others, then I think that's going to hinder your productivity, because you're always going to be like, “Oh, are they talking about me?” Or, “What do they think about me?” You're just not going to get anything done, you're just going to be too worried about pleasing the other people in the office, or worried about what they think, and so I think that's one of the biggest inhibitors.

Jeremy: In coaching assistants, I just hear it all the time, it's like, “Well, you know I want to be more confident,” and it's like, “Okay. If you equate your performance at work with your value as a human being then you're going to always struggle with that. You're not going to have confidence, and you're not going to be able to focus, and be productive because you're going to be worried about what people think, and what the impact is that your job performance is going to have on your personal work, and value.” Anyway, I think that's one of the biggest things that not many people talk about, but I think that's a root issue of focus, or lack of focus in productivity for assistants, especially.

Annie: Oh, my gosh, that is so good, and so powerful, and so true. Yeah. I just love that. I think that when you let go of what other people think of you, and you're not inhibited that way then your job performance goes up, too.

Jeremy: Right.

Annie: Your performance at your job goes up, too. It's weird when we're worried about what others think and about our job performance it goes down, go, it goes up I think just by the very nature of what you're talking about, it just takes up so much headspace.

Jeremy: Right.

Annie: Really good, and very powerful, and I think spot-on. I think especially I know for me whenever I make a mistake, that's when I get concerned, like, “Oh, my God. I'm such an idiot. What was I thinking?” But mistakes happen to all of us, and I learned for myself that, and I actually heard this from another assistant one time, that if I give myself five minutes to beat myself up about it and then move on, like I have to let it go, that it won't affect the rest of my day, like would.

Jeremy: Yeah. Because you actually have to learn from the mistake, you have to actually let it hit you hard enough that you're not going to do it again, like you can feel the pain of like, “Oh, man, I don't like how that feels, so I'm just not going to make the mistake again.”

Annie: Yes.

Jeremy: Otherwise, if you don't let it affect you a little bit and then you're just going to learn, and you're going to do it again, and you're going to, “Oh, whatever.” Yeah. I think not taking things personally is a big thing on this topic is just when you do make a mistake don't take it personally, or when your boss says, “Why did you do that?” You know? Don't take that as a personal hit, it's just you're in a professional setting, and you made a mistake, and you own it, and you learn from it, and you move on, you don't let it hit you too hard personally.

Annie: Yeah. Definitely. I feel like that's when growth can happen is when we're open to other people's input and open to other people's feedback, and we face our own stuff because if you're not willing to face your own stuff you're never going to grow. You know?

Jeremy: Yep.

Annie: If you aren't willing to accept, and admit your mistakes, it's just never going to happen.

Jeremy: Yep.

Annie: Okay. My final question for you, what is one thing you would tell your junior professional self?

Jeremy: I would probably, yeah, I would tell my younger self to read more. I did not read much at all. In fact, I still don't really read technically, I use audiobooks, I do audiobooks, I fell in love with audiobooks a couple of years ago, and I've listened to more books in the last 12 months than I did in my whole entire life. Yeah. You just learn so much. It helps you really focus on one thing at a time, and the reason I like audiobooks, well, two big reasons are one I can do a lot walking around, or at the grocery store, or driving to work, you know, I can learn and grow in that way.

Jeremy: But, the other reason I like it is as an assistant who stares at a computer, and reads emails, and reads texts, and reads all day, every day, and just looks at a screen, I tried a Kindle for a while, and it was like trying to read on a Kindle, and I was just like, “Man, I stare at a screen all day,” and then I was like, “Okay. What about paper books?” They're more expensive, can be more expensive, and then you've got a bunch of books lying around, and it's just clutter, and it feels whatever.

Jeremy: I finally tried audio books, and it's just so refreshing to learn and focus on something one thing at a time while also being able to rest my eyes, and so yeah that's why I love audio books, but anyway, I would tell myself, read more, read more, read more. A lot of people told me that when I was younger, “You should be reading more. You need to be a reader,” and I wish I would have discovered audio books, or really tried audio books harder, but they also weren't as accessible as they are now, but yeah read more is what I would have said.

Annie: Okay. Good. I'm a big fan of podcasts.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: For that very reason, because I spend so much time on a screen all day.

Annie: Jeremy, thank you so much. This has been wonderful. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me interview you.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Annie: Be sure to checkout Jeremy's website, goburrows.com. Be sure to checkout his course on eliminating distractions, and stay tuned for next month when I will be interviewing someone else about another amazing resource for assistance, and I look forward to talking to you guys then.

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