How XayLi Barclay uses Clockify to boost business growth
Last updated on: January 9, 2023
It’s often said that the vast majority of successful people share an abundance of habits and traits.
Fully understanding and further leveraging the power of effective time management is no doubt among those traits.
Let us introduce you to one of those successful people — a super creative, XayLi Barclay, whose popularity among both individuals and businesses has been going through the roof for years now.
Among other things, XayLi Barclay is:
- The CEO of the Start Shoot Grow Video Academy,
- A visual content creation coach, and
- Thinkific expert for online course creators.
XayLi uses Clockify to boost her growth — and she even did a tutorial on how to use it for her audience.
So, we just had to reach out, get to know her a bit better, and check out how Clockify helps her and her team.
We spoke with XayLi about the following topics:
- Video content as a part of business strategies,
- Getting things done,
- The importance of time management,
- Work-life balance and the power of rest,
- Using our time tracker Clockify,
- The importance of having a structure in your day, and
- Much more.
Table of Contents
Lights, camera, action! (a.k.a. XayLi’s zone of genius)
One of XayLi’s major passions is creating video content. She kind of predicted that it would become a huge trend.
XayLi has been using video as a promotional and business tool since she started in 2006, and has been teaching it since 2014. She’s rightfully been convinced that video is the present and the future of content.
“All platforms are competing for video. And for me, this being 2022, thinking back to the perspective or vision I had for video or people creating videos or using video in their business, everything right now is confirming all of that. And, I don’t feel like it’s going anywhere, anytime.”
Not only does she enjoy creating content, but she also loves teaching and empowering others to implement video in their strategies as well.
Her online courses focus on teaching people how to get confident in front of the camera — or as XayLi puts it — “How to really show up and shine.”
Helping other businesses build their brand through video content is just one aspect of her business, as it consists of many intricate parts.
XayLi also deals with consulting, branding work, sponsorships, and teaching. Furthermore, she helps businesses of all sizes, as well as her online audience, keep up with various and rapid social changes that are reflected in the way we learn nowadays.
XayLi wanted to highlight another amazing thing she does:
“I host a huge annual summit with Thinkific, called Think in Color, where we celebrate women of color working in the online space — which is super exciting.”
Why XayLi loves video content (a.k.a how video evokes emotions)
They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words, so how about video then? What number would video content translate to? Perhaps a million?
Because of the million words you can get from a video, XayLi is an ardent advocate for video content.
And, she admits she has also always loved taking pictures and capturing moments. The transition to video content just came naturally to her.
Here’s how she explains it.
“I’ve been an advocate for video for such a long time. I mean, we have things like movies, and if you leave the movies, there’s a certain emotion attached to what you just watched or what you just took in. Or you’ll watch a documentary and it can completely shift your perspective on something that you thought you knew everything about.”
XayLi on how to get things done — just start!
Since XayLi manages to successfully juggle so many different projects, we wanted her to let us in on the secret — how does she manage to get things done?
So, she offered the following advice:
“Make sure that you just start — just get started. A lot of us are overthinking so many different things. And, I think a lot of us are afraid of putting things on camera and then remaining on camera, thinking — what if I say something wrong? What if I start building the wrong business? Well, what if there are too many what-ifs?”
We couldn’t agree more with XayLi, as the only way to enter your growth zone is to leave your comfort zone.
Moreover, XayLi emphasizes the importance of being mindful of how you spend your time.
“What matters is the amount of time you take to do something, the time you’re spending on specific things in your business. Time is really of the essence — so make sure that you’re putting time at the forefront of everything that you’re doing.”
Growth is easier with tools such as Clockify
Since XayLi values her time, she understands why it is important to use a time tracking tool. She relies on Clockify, and here’s why she recommends it to everyone:
“If you’re a smaller business, start tracking your time so that you’re able to see — like we mentioned — what you’re spending time on. And, for medium-sized businesses — I also love that you can track your time — then, you can see other people’s time, you’re able to do so many different things, you’re able to manage different projects. There’s so much you can do within the tool, I don’t see the reason to not use it at all.”
After all, we live in the Information Age — so it makes sense that leveraging the power of automation and modern-day technology has become an absolute necessity.
With great power comes great responsibility: time management edition by XayLi
As a business owner, XayLi has to deal not only with the tasks she finds interesting, but also with boring but necessary administrative work.
She also has to manage her team.
XayLi admits — it was a struggle to reach the point where she is truly in charge of both her day and her business.
“We live our whole lives with other people telling us exactly what to do and when to report to someplace — and all of those things. And, when you become a business owner or you become an entrepreneur and you’re working for yourself, full-time, or even part-time — you have to manage those hours by yourself.”
XayLi never shied away from asking for help or advice. And, when it comes to her business, she had just the right person for this. XayLi’s father is also an entrepreneur — so, whenever she felt unproductive, she’d turn to him for advice.
That’s how she learned the true importance of time management in the first place:
“Your success depends on your time management — because if you’re not managing that time correctly, that’s a problem.”
There are many reasons why people procrastinate and why they aren’t motivated enough to do something.
The issue with being your own boss
Being in charge of your day and tasks can be especially tricky for business owners and freelancers. There’s that issue of not having a “supervisor” — and, as XayLi explains, that’s the main reason why we need to develop a healthy routine and stick to it.
So she shared a couple of tips her father gave her.
“Act as if you’re not your own boss and you do have to show up and be on time. And, the other thing is to get ready. You can’t just roll over and get started — you need to prep yourself and put yourself in this space to get actual work.”
What XayLi took from these tips was that she needed to develop a steady routine — just like her role model in both business and life.
“And so, I started taking those things into perspective and realizing — oh, I need a routine of sorts that I need to follow. And, as much as we hate routines and we think about school and work, we have such routines even when we don’t have a routine. [Not having a proper routine] is harmful — and I had to really learn that lesson.”
Developing a steady routine (with a little help)
We asked her what helped her develop a steady routine, and she answered the following:
“I started making use of my calendar and tracking my time.”
It’s all about the work ethic and self-discipline, which operates like a muscle — the more we work on it, the stronger it will become.
XayLi adds that she understands she was really lucky, and that not everyone has such a role model — like she has her father — in their close environment.
However, there’s always another option — the World Wide Web. Because:
“We have so many people online sharing their journey as well.”
Not only can we learn from good practices, but also find inspiration and motivation whenever we’re struggling. Sometimes, not even our closest friends won’t be able to understand us, which happened to XayLi as well.
“I remember going through a time in business where I felt like my immediate friends and my friends from college didn’t understand how serious I was — and how much I wanted it.”
So, what she suggests, not only to new entrepreneurs, but rather to anyone who wants to acquire a new skill, or needs a boost to develop a steady routine, is — to tap into podcasts and find other resources and like-minded people online.
The thing is, there’s a lot of inspiration all around us, we just need to know what to look for. XayLi adds that she’s actually become friends in real life with some of those people she used to look up to.
Tracking time to avoid burnout (and establish a work-life balance)
The way you manage your time is directly reflected on your work-life balance — and XayLi admits there were times when she worked for 16+ hours per day.
We believe that many CEOs, freelancers, and entrepreneurs relate to the issue — and XayLi adds that such behavior inevitably leads to burnout and negative effects on your health.
So we asked her to give us her 2 cents on achieving that work-life balance.
“When I say “balance” you should know you always have to reevaluate what that balance is for you. Because, things are changing — things are always changing — and change is the only constant that we have. So you always have to think about that — what may have worked two or three years ago, might not be working now.”
She also mentioned how she relies on the Pareto principle — one of the most effective time management techniques — to establish a balance in her life and work.
“20% of what we do brings 80% of the results. Think about it. But, most of us are operating as if it’s the other way around. So really — be mindful of what you’re doing and what’s taking your time away.”
Now that she’s gained control of her time, XayLi understands the power of rest — and always keeps track of her work hours.
“You need to limit your hours and say — I am working from this time to this time, and that’s it. And I’m going to cut off and that’s hard to do, I’ll be honest. But, it’s so essential — because rest is so important.”
Introducing Theme Days
XayLi has an interesting approach to managing her business, and she introduced the concept of Theme Days in her company. She came to this practice because she wanted better structure in her week.
For example, she always does her CEO-related activities on Mondays — such as handling paperwork and the things she dislikes the most. This technique of dealing with the unpleasant tasks first is also known as Eat that frog.
“So I have those days kind of mapped out in my calendar, and that allows us to then input the tasks into the calendar — because if it’s not in my calendar, it’s not happening.”
Time blocking the day
As we’ve already mentioned, it is crucial to be consistent in life, especially when it comes to business — and XayLi can’t emphasize that enough.
“Consistency is key, right? A lot of times, as business owners, we get caught up in the little things that are not doing anything for our bottom line. So, I think it’s really important for us to create those buckets or those days where we do specific things.”
Another time management technique that XayLi uses is time blocking:
“I’ll create blocks of time to get things done. So, if I need to get something done, I am going to set a 15-minute timer — and I bet you, by 7 or 8 minutes, it’s done.”
How XayLi found and decided to stick to Clockify
As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, XayLi created 2 videos showing her audience how to use Clockify.
So, if you’re not familiar with our tool, we suggest you check them out, as XayLi is an amazing presenter.
Video no. 1: How XayLi Use Clockify Time Tracker to Make More Money $$$ By Managing My Time
Video no. 2: How I Use Clockify Time Tracker For My Online Business $$$$ | How To Use Clockify Tutorial (2021)
So, XayLi is not a new user of our time tracker — and here’s how she commented on the fact.
“There are so many things about the app that I love. And, it’s funny, because, if an app is not doing what I want it to do, I’ll ditch it — but I’ve been using Clockify for years.”
Clockify was not the first time tracking tool XayLi used — so we asked her how she found it.
“I wanted to pre-plan my day, so I started using a tool. I can’t remember what it was at the time right now. I really can’t. But obviously, there was something about it that I didn’t like — so I searched and I found Clockify. And what I loved was just how easy the interface is.”
And, after finding it, here’s what made XayLi stick with Clockify:
“I think that it’s such a flexible tool. And, the free plan is too good to be true — so your investment is very low.”
XayLi’s opinion on the personal advantages of using Clockify
Here’s how Clockify helps XayLi boost her motivation and stay true to herself.
“Honoring time is something that I will continuously work on. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. And, putting it into Clockify, for me, makes sure I’m not going to go through changing anything. So I might as well do it. ”
So, it turns out, even if you don’t have a supervisor, a time tracker can act as one, as XayLi explains.
“For me, a lot of times, if there are things that I’m slacking on doing, if I set a timer, they will get done. I don’t know what it is about my brain and a timer. It will get done. But, seeing that layout for me was really, really important — so that I can plan what’s going on in my calendar, but also add that time.”
Being mindful about how she spends her time has had a major impact on XayLi’s personal growth, and she explains how her understanding of self has improved as well.
“There’s so much that we can learn about our patterns and habits — and that can allow us to grow as well.”
Additionally, time tracking reminds her why it’s important to stick to her schedule.
“Be consistent with your schedule — because, if you’re working for someone else, there are things that you’re going to have to do, right? And, you’re going to have to do them most of the time. So, why aren’t you doing it for yourself? This is why using a tool is really, really important.”
XayLi’s opinion on the business advantages of using Clockify
Once XayLi started seeing positive results of time tracking in her behavior, she introduced Clockify to her team and started using it for business growth.
“It helps me in so many ways. We use it on the team as well, so we’re able to track and see everyone’s overall hours. My assistant is able to see what work I’m doing, so she can also see what she needs to build for the external needs — such as what invoices she needs to draft up.”
XayLi and her team are always dealing with many different types of activities and projects, and she adds how Clockify insights and reports benefit her business in this respect.
“We have so much going on. So, I need to know what’s taking up the most time and what’s taking up the least time. And, I like to be very mindful of those things. I also love being able to pre-schedule and see what we have going on. And, if there’s a change in my calendar, I love that it reflects on Clockify.”
We asked her about the single biggest advantage of Clockify for her business, and here’s what she had to say:
“It keeps you on track, especially if you’re working for yourself. But, there are so many other advantages you can really see, such as helping you understand what’s making sense for you in business.”
How specific Clockify features help XayLi’s business
As XayLi mentioned, tracking time spent on different activities can help you pinpoint many issues and time wasters.
Once you have those insights, you can eliminate such activities from your schedule.
Here’s what Clockify features help her with that.
Feature #1 — Timer
The first feature XayLi singles out is the timer — here is why:
“You need to see where you’re spending your time. [This way, you’ll understand] if you should continue pursuing something or if you should just double down on something else that’s doing really well for you. So, think about the things that are really driving your business, that really make sense for what you’re doing — and pour more time into those areas.”
Feature #2 — Projects
Another Clockify feature allows users to get insights for separate projects, which XayLi finds extremely useful as well.
“Sometimes, we’re working on a project, and we just want to know how much time we are actually spending on that specific project. So, I love that I’m able to separate it out.”
Feature #3 — Team management features
Moreover, even though micromanaging is not XayLi’s cup of tea, she couldn’t agree more with the following — in order to adequately manage and nurture your team, you do need to perform occasional checkups.
“Specifically, I love being able to see other people’s time or what they’ve been working on or doing — because you do need to check on that sometimes.”
Feature #4 — Apps (Chrome browser extension)
Another feature XayLi finds really useful is the availability of the Chrome browser extension.
“I love the Chrome extension, so I usually keep it open in my browser — I love it for ease of use. And, I love that you are still able to choose your project and choose what you’re working on in there too.”
Feature #5 — Separating billable and nonbillable activities
Being in a creative business often requires having non-billable activities as well, and XayLi points out another Clockify feature she finds useful — separating your billable and non-billable hours.
“I’m a creative at heart, so I had to learn how to be a business owner. And, lots of times with creatives, we spend so much time on activities that are not generating enough. So, if we’re not tracking it like that, we don’t realize how much of what we do is billable and how much is not billable, or what percentage of time you should be spending on billable versus nonbillable activities.”
Let’s wrap it up: ‘I’m in charge of my full 24 hours’
XayLi is a perfect example of a person who understands that time is the most valuable resource of all. She’s also aware that getting it “right” doesn’t come with a set of instructions — and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to it.
You can follow XayLi’s example and find a combination of time management techniques that work for you specifically.
In the end, being in charge of your time starts with understanding how you allocate it to different activities:
“And then you wake up on Monday and you realize, oh my gosh, I’m in charge of my full 24 hours. That’s the problem if it’s not planned out.”
✉️ What are your 2 cents on the article content? Are you a CEO as well and have an additional piece of advice to share with us about using Clockify to boost your growth? Let us know by writing at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider featuring it in one of our future articles.