Episode 11: Plan for Distraction – Susan McAllister

The guest on our show this week is head of marketing for continuing education at a major university in Dallas, Tx – Southern Methodist University. Susan is also an entrepreneur with glider business that grew out of her and her husband’s flying hobby.

In our chat this week she had a couple really great insights on how to handle distractions in a really practical and proactive way.


“I find success in scheduling time each morning to handle the surprise activities dropped on desk the day before. I’m still working on my schedule then…”



What is productive to you?

Taking steps to deal with long term goals everyday  + Handling ‘lob-ins’ emergencies on my schedule + stretching or learning something new

In our glider business we don’t have control over the designs SO building a community with people in our interests consistently keeps things moving.

physical plannerHow do stay focused on your path to results on a day to day basis?

I have 3 to 4 things everyday I want to get done. Calendaring the bigger picture is what I learned from the amazing Dr Dave Adkins – professor of project management, and my tasks come from that.

I use the basics of PMP teaching and breakdown my projects, estimate time to finish and  schedule it!

When challenges arise (distraction, change, confidence) how do you deal with it?

I schedule a block of time every morning to handle all the distractions and changes that come my way during the day. As they show up I handle the REALLY urgent ones first, then put the rest on a list to handle in a scheduled time the next day.


Who keeps you accountable?

I work on a small team (8) that keeps each other accountable. If something is not working or getting done, then it will come up in our weekly meetings.

We also went through the Strengths Finder(link below) program to figure out the best way to support each other, and know how to best help.

What’s the one thing you would tell the listener to do tomorrow if they could only pick one?

Turn your phone over and only look at it on breaks that you have planned.


Resources Discussed:Business_40 Agenda

SMU CAPE – http://www.smu.edu/CAPE

Dr David Adkins PMP – SMU Instructor

Strength Finders –



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Till next week,


My name is Jake and I love seeing the spark in people as they overcome an obstacle and grow! So I created the Productive Point of View to interview people that overcome challenges and grow their business. So pull up a chair, grab a beverage, listen and SUBSCRIBE!. -Jake

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