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3 Ways to Stop Underestimating Time

 Ep 10

System Execution explores the strategy and system behind today’s successful companies. Systems can make or break a company but here we’ll solve physical, technological, and psychological systems issues by connecting listeners with experts who have overcome these challenges in their business.

System Execution Host Vera Fischer has spent a number of years in marketing and management, and has been the CEO and Founder of marketing agency 97 Degrees West since 2004.


Fischer is a planner by nature but has learned to hone her planning and time management skills through the course of her career.


Despite the common lament that we never have enough time, we consistently underestimate it. We underestimate time with wishful thinking. We ignore the amount of focus it takes to be efficient. And our devices, emails and other constant communication drag down efficiency.


“Millennials, as they’re going through and responding to every single tweet, text, email, LinkedIn request, they’re doing a lot without getting anything done,” Fischer says. “And it will impact their career trajectories or how they’re able to produce more insightful and thoughtful pieces of work.”


Here are Vera’s 3 Time Management Rules:

  1. One evening, one event, period.


Whether it’s family, work, or play, don’t count on getting more than one scheduled item done. Instead, focus on that one item.


  1. Block out calendar for strategic items/strategic thinking


Find your productive time and use it to your advantage. Fischer says she is a morning person and does her heavy thinking early. If you’re a night owl, do your strategizing in the evening. Don’t fight against your brain’s natural rhythm.


  1. Use your resources (and delegate work)


If you have resources that can make your work a little easier, take advantage of them. If you’re in a management position, don’t be afraid to delegate work, especially when you’ve got a full plate.

 To contact Vera:

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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.