When we think of time management, we tend to look at it from within the traditional work structure. But what about the rest of our responsibilities outside of it? This episode’s guest introduces us to Holistic Time Management. Rosie Zilinskas sits down with Holistic Time Management Coach, Becca Rich, to discuss this approach of creating a new relationship with time. In particular, Becca teaches us how to spend our time in a way that serves our body, mind, and soul. She shares some of the ways we can practice holistic time management that differs from traditional time management, helping us to receive life and see the value of breathing and pausing. She then taps into the challenges people face that put them in time scarcity and the difference between Gen X and Millennials when it comes to putting hours at work. Throughout the episode, Becca reminds us that we are more than just our work. We are a whole person. It is time we take care of ourselves by delegating time holistically. Join her in this conversation to learn more!
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Holistic Time Management: Creating A New Relationship With Time With Becca Rich
This conversation is going to center around time management but pause there because it’s not the traditional time management of tools and to-do lists and things like that. We are going to be talking to Becca Rich. She is a holistic time management coach. We are going to be talking about how to receive life, breathing, and pausing. One of my favorite quotes that came out of this conversation is, “Prove your brain that you have done enough.”
Becca Rich is a visionary cutting through the BS of the billion-dollar productivity industry, creating a ripple effect with holistic time management. She helps business owners and professionals heal from time scarcity and shows them how to team up with time to create a life of peace at work, at home, and within.
As a trauma-sensitive certified holistic coach with a background in engineering and mindfulness, she knows traditional time management is outdated and harmful. If you have been searching for different ways forward, holistic time management is here to bring you back home to your mind, body, and soul. This is going to be a great conversation with Becca.
Before we go into the episode, I wanted to remind you that there is a free quiz that you can take on NoWomanLeftBehind.com. If you log onto the homepage and you scroll down slightly, you are going to see a section that says Let’s Find Out Where You Are In Your Career. If you click on the radio button that’s called Take The Quiz, there will be a popup that comes up and it says, “What’s the key blocker in your career path?” There are three key blockers that you may be operating under and you may not even know it. If you click on Take The Quiz, it’s going to be about ten questions. It shouldn’t take you more than three minutes then you are going to be able to get some additional resources just by taking the quiz. Remember, go to NoWomanLeftBehind.com to take the free quiz.
Becca, thank you so much for being here. I’m excited to talk to you because you are a holistic time management coach. Before I ask you something, I was wondering if you could explain to our readers what is a holistic time management coach.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m always excited to dive in and talk about all things. Holistic time management gets to the heart of traditional time management. It doesn’t feel good for a lot of people, especially women. We have cycles and responsibilities outside of the traditional work structure. We have emotions and all of these things that make us beautiful human beings. Traditional time management doesn’t take this into account. Holistic time management is about how to spend your time in a way that serves your body, mind, and soul, all of those different pieces to hum together and help you make the most of it.
I love that because when I think about time management, it’s like you have your 8:00 to 5:00 and, “How many projects can I get in between 8:00 to 5:00?” Still, try to either do a little bit of laundry or maybe during lunch make a couple of phone calls. It’s always like, “I forgot to do it,” because a lot of doctors and stuff like that work the same hours I work.
We know that time is the number one resource that we can never get back and it goes fast. I can’t believe it’s already April 2023 when we are doing this. This show is largely talking to women that are in the corporate world working whether it’s a part-time job or full-time job and they are trying to advance in their careers.
As you said, we are not just an employee, we are a whole person. Guilt is real for moms and not so much for dads because dads do whatever it is that they do in their day, but moms need to figure out how to do it all and still have a personal life, personal interests, and stuff like that. My children are young adults. I don’t have that added stress of having to take care of kids, but I was there. I was a single mom when my kids were little. I remember those days when you are at work and you are like, “I forgot to sign permissions,” or you are at home and you are like, “I forgot to do this work.” Let’s talk a little bit about time as a resource and how over-committed we are.
It’s a real experience and the more external circumstances that prevent us from being open and free and being able to do whatever we want. The more external circumstances that we have to navigate, the more challenging time management or time, in general, can feel. I’m wanting to validate if you are experiencing this. If time feels goes by fast. You have a ton on your plate and you can’t seem to catch up. It’s not easy. A lot of people say it’s easy, but it’s not.
My brain went back to gender roles. Women have this sense of needing to do it all and be superheroes. I am not a parent. I am married. I experience some gender roles in my relationship in terms of work and household stuff. I work with a lot of parents myself. Being able to see where society has ingrained gender roles and how that impacts our ability to spend our time, energy, focus, and attention how we want to.
It comes back to remembering that we have some percentage of the agency. I will never say that we have 100% agency over time. There are external circumstances that prevent us from being able to do whatever we want whenever. We have to remember that there is a percentage of our time that we have agency over. It’s our responsibility to yield that power with as much intention, awareness, and hair as possible.
Maybe watching reruns of Friends all the time is probably not the best use of our time.
I am a time management coach that tells people to watch as much Netflix as they want because we don’t give ourselves enough joy, peace, and fun.
A lot of times we feel guilty for indulging in that guilty pleasure. I am going to go on the record. I watch The Bachelorette. My husband hates it. He makes so much fun of it. I don’t like reality shows but I started watching The Bachelorette many years ago and I can’t stop watching it. I love to see how everything happens. I do feel slightly guilty watching it, but at the same time I let my brain relax and it has nothing to do with my life, work, and job. It’s mindless entertainment. That soothes me. Do you find that when you are a mom or a busy professional and you are trying to figure out what to do, should we feel guilty for doing stuff that you love to do that doesn’t push the needle forward in your career per see?
What’s interesting about what you said is we don’t know what helps us push the needle forward. It’s not as cut and dry as we think it is. I had a client say that she went out for drinks with her friend and they were talking about this project that she was working on for work and all of a sudden she had this huge realization then. The next day, she sits down to work and all this beautiful creative goodness came out of her. That is possible by watching The Bachelorette. We don’t know what is “going to move the needle” forward. My definition of productivity or moving the needle forward doesn’t serve your mind, body, and soul.
That’s where the holistic piece comes into play. It’s like, “Am I watching TV to help my mind relax because nothing else seems to allow myself to fully shut off?” That is moving the needle forward in your life. I don’t think that we should feel guilty. That guilt holds us back from being able to enjoy it. What’s the point of even not watching The Bachelorette if you are going to feel guilty the whole time? I’m trying to get into it and be there for it.
Now that I’m thinking about it, it makes sense because you don’t know what ideas going to pop up. I have my company. It is called No Woman Left Behind with the show. I didn’t know what fun idea I could think of that could help women in the corporate world advance their careers while watching The Bachelorette.
Let’s talk a little bit about being over-committed. Whether you are married or single, apparent or not. The world is busy. We are moving fast. You are in Europe. You know that the way the European versus the US world operates time-wise is very different. Europeans tend to think that they need to enjoy life and take it easy, whereas Americans are like, “Rush. We got to produce.” I would love to hear your insight on the two mindsets there between the other world and the US.
Even to add to that, I took the month of March 2023 completely off. I traveled through Thailand. That was my first time in Asia. Even Asia’s definition and cultural response to time, work, and all of that were interesting to see as well. I feel like being a digital nomad and traveling the world full-time allows me in a way to have this social experiment going on at all times. It’s fun.
There are many things that impact time because if you think about it, time is our life and time is us. It’s literally like the tangible tool for how we live and what we do with our lives. When the economy and religion are connected to time and spirituality, if you separate those, the history, and all of these things that make up the world are all connected to time in some way.
Anything that’s happening economically, politically, psychologically, like all of these different things in our sphere all impact time and vice versa. They are very interconnected. Overcommitting is the cultural norm in the US. We have to fight against it in order to put life, joy, or presence more in front or more as a priority than a to-do list or work or doing all of the hustle and grind mentality. It takes an extra level of deconditioning, deprogramming, awareness, and intentionality than it might in other countries. I see people sitting at a coffee shop for two hours here and all across Europe. It’s beautiful to see that.
It’s beautiful to go to Thailand and see people hang out with each other, not necessarily be on their phones and not be putting in traffic or trying to push people out of the way to like get ahead. There’s a very different energy in all of the different countries that I have been to in terms of how we relate to time and how we are in a relationship with one another.
To be clear, when you were saying that people were in cafes for two hours, it was without a laptop because at Starbucks all the time, you see people there for two hours but they are all in the laptop.
They are sitting outside watching the people go by, the birds, and the trees, and they will read a book or check their phone maybe and then put it back down. A lot of cafes and I’m sure in the US and certain cities. There are a lot of cafes where I’m currently at. I’m in Berlin, Germany. They are like, “No Wi-Fi is here. No computer or phone area in the cafe.” It has a certain amount of intentionality that I don’t see as common in the US.
As a matter of fact, people want Wi-Fi. You freak out if there’s nothing plugged in. I do walk around my neighborhood. I have tried to do more walking without listening to a podcast or something like that, not listening to anything. My experience is very different when I go for a walk and I have a podcast on versus I’m not listening to anything because I notice that when I’m walking and I’m listening to a podcast, I don’t notice my surroundings. When I go walking and I’m not listening to anything, I notice my surroundings. I pay attention. I enjoy the walk more because your brain functions differently as much as like, “I can listen and like look at my surroundings.” It doesn’t happen that way because then your brain can focus on one thing at a time.
I’m focused on what the podcast is saying versus what I’m seeing around. I’m trying to now go for walks without a podcast or listening to anything because I feel my mind resting and relaxing. I get ideas on what I need to do for my business while I do that. There’s something to be said about unplugging and having some joy in what you are doing in the present moment. What are some of the ways in holistic time management you recommend your clients to function differently from traditional time management?
You hit the nail on the head right there. I have experience as a Reiki healer, yoga teacher, meditation teacher, and all of these different things before I became a holistic coach and holistic time coach. That experience impacted me personally and my healing around time, overwork, over-committing and always going. I learned how to breathe, slow down, and be present. That is a non-negotiable if you want to spend your time with intention and receive life, not run on autopilot, go full force all the time, and miss everything around you. I spent nine years learning that. I burned out when I was only eighteen years old. I spent the last many years learning how to breathe, pause, and slow down.
What I found was it’s like a trauma response, overworking over committing and coming out of this like a different way of operating, a different way of being in the world, working, interacting with yourself, other people, and nature. It takes time. Traditional time management promises you these quick results and you will get all the things done. One day, you will magically have more time for yourself or the things that you care about. My entire conviction is that one day will never come. We will always be chasing and always trying to get that one-day carrot. We will be working until essentially we die or retire and realize, “I wasted my whole life.”
That is personal to me because my parents are overworked and they are now having that realization of, “I missed your entire life.” That deeply impacted me. That’s what caused me to overwork and burn myself out. This entire mission and my conviction behind it are like, “No, we have to claim presence, joy, intention, and space. We have to claim space for ourselves and our loved ones today because one day will never happen.” That is the biggest difference.
I love your quote, “You have to receive life.” That’s key because it’s almost like we have to flip everything around. We are in this, “Right now I have between 8:00 and 5:00 to do X, Y, Z, and maybe I will have time to work out or meditate.” Meditation is now coming. For the first time, I feel like worldwide everybody is saying, “Meditation works. Try it.”
There are tons of people who recommend you to work out in the morning, and I try to do this myself. I do know that if I don’t work out in the morning 9 out of 10 times, it doesn’t happen. You need to be intentional and focus on what you need for yourself. Work out, meditate, or journal in the morning, or have a time when you are dedicated to doing that for yourself. I feel like my life is richer on the days that I do that. When I don’t do it for whatever reason, I feel a little bit more depleted. Do you find the same thing with your yoga and Reiki training?
It is such a cliché, but it’s one that’s famous for a reason, which is to put your oxygen mask on first before anyone else. That is true. How we go about it is maybe a little bit different. Traditional time management is like, “Put it in your calendar. Create checklists. Get a habit app. Grade yourself and beat yourself up for not doing it perfectly.”
I have a complete 180 approach to how to create habits and how to do the things that we want to do and want to make time and space for. With that, how can we do it knowing ourselves? You give a great example like, “I’m not going to do it in the evening. I’m not even going to try. I’m going to do my best to do it in the morning.”
The mindset around it is like, “How can I love myself anyways?” Instead of beating ourselves up for not doing it perfectly, that’s like old teacher-parent society junk that you don’t need to take forward into your days anymore. Leave that behind. Heal all of that. The whole point of self-care is to love and take care of yourself. At the very least, if you are not working out, you might as well be telling yourself like, “It’s okay,” instead of, “You suck.” How we go about making time and space for ourselves is going to look different to every single person and it should feel good. It should work. Consistency doesn’t even become a question for most of my clients because it naturally happens without any issues.
You mentioned that you recommend or use a 180 for time. Let’s talk about maybe one of your clients that came to you with the traditional, “I’m overworked.” Give us some examples of what specifically you do to help them change their outlook from overwhelmed to, “I’m going to take care of myself.”
One of the clients that I’m thinking of is she is a full-time accountant and also part-time real estate. When we started working together it was very much a traditional productivity junkie. All the planners, things, tools, and strategies and she was like, “Nothing still works. I’m still saying yes to everything. I’m still overwhelmed. I’m getting sick all the time. All of my friends are getting mad at me because I never had time for them. I don’t have time for my partner for our dates.” All of these things are across every area of their life. We can all relate. I was an engineer in a cubicle while also growing my business, planning my wedding, teaching yoga part-time, and doing all of these things.
I have been there myself. I get it. A lot of times people want this magic hack, solution, or thing that’s going to get rid of all their issues and life is going to be amazing Rosie and Andy and nothing is ever going to feel overwhelming ever again. That’s one of the first things for us. What we worked on was there was no urgency and, “That’s part of the issue.” We are always like, “Go,” urgency. We were like, “How can we downregulate, breathe and pause?” From that place is when a lot of clarity comes through like, “I get to see all of the things that I’m doing to myself that are harming me.”
That awareness piece of like, “I keep saying yes. I keep doing this or that.” That’s always a beautiful moment for my clients and for myself to be able to hold my clients in a loving container as they realize all of the things that are suffocating us. The breath is something that I always come back to like, “How can we expand, breathe and be like, ‘Everything is okay?’” That’s typically where I start with everyone that I work with because we are all heightened and riled up. Continuing to practice getting clarity and awareness. We start to find out more information about us.
One of the exercises that I have created for my clients is called The Whole Self Exercise. This whole self-exercise is how we look at our mind, body, spirit, and also our environment. Our environment and the things around us impact our time and ourselves. We look at all these different levels of who we are and when we are at our most expansive and truest form of ourselves, what each of these levels looks like. Walking all of my clients through that has been beautiful for them t get to know themselves, how they operate, work and how their mind operates best, their body, joy, heart, and the things around them.
From that place, everything clicks in. Every single client that I have honestly ever worked with Rosie leaves with all of that foundational knowledge, and then all of the extra time management strategies, systems, and tools happen. That’s the byproduct. All of that stuff is like, “This feels the best. This tool works best for me. This is how I use it better more gentle, compassionate, and flexible. This is like what it’s like to follow through with the things that I say I want to do.” That beautiful shift happens from clarity, awareness, getting to know oneself deeply, and applying all of that to time.
I love The Whole Self Exercise. You said a couple of things, breathe, pause, and down-regulate. I was wondering if you could explain what downregulating is. I think I know what you mean, but I want to be clear and for the readers to be clear as well.
I am not a certified psychologist, therapist, or anything, but from my experience in the training that I have done around it. When we are in go mode, our nervous system is in fight, flight, or freeze mode. Usually, fight or flight. Your heart rate is elevated. You are sweating, constantly going and your mind doesn’t stop. All of that is a nervous system reaction. Downregulating is your nervous system coming back to like your heart rate isn’t, “Go, go, go.” You are not sweating. You can be still and be present. You can breathe. Coming back to the breath.
You also said, “People are always saying yes.” Your client can’t stop saying yes. Let’s talk about that because I think sometimes when women say yes to everything is because they don’t have the confidence to say no and they feel guilty when saying no. How do you address that with your clients then?
One of the best things is because I’m an engineer, I love evidence, data, and proof. As logical, most of the people that I work with are overthinkers. They are logical people. They love analyzing things in some way or another. Being able to get clear on, “What is my capacity? How many things can I get done in a day?” Looking at things honestly is a big piece of all of this. Oftentimes, if you are reading this and you are like, “Everything takes longer than it should. I can’t even get to everything on my to-do list in a day.” This is what I’m talking about. Figuring out your capacity, how much time you have for others, work, clients, and yourself.
Figuring out all of those different pieces that make up your life helps us say no easier without the guilt. We have this image coming back to gender roles, cultural norms, and things. It’s normal for women to be like, “I have to say yes to everything. That is what I have to do,” and we don’t question it. Being able to have this number of, “My thing for a while was three. I’m only going to put three things on my to-do list a day.” They have to be small. They can’t have like eight baby to-do lists. Even putting up some guardrail that is authentic. Don’t use three if you feel like you need more or less. That’s a good example of, “This is my capacity. I’m only going to do three things for work today.”
I know that things take two times longer than I think they will. That’s our brains being brains. It doesn’t mean anything about you. That helps start to say no to some things or say, “Maybe later.” That helps with that part. It’s the inner shifts, healing, and stuff that needs to shift of like why do we feel like we have to say yes and get to the root of that desire to prove, people please or make people feel okay or all of the different reasons why we might be saying yes. We have to come to terms with that and heal it if we want to change it.
As far as making other people feel better. We don’t take it upon ourselves to speak with conviction like you were saying before, because we are worried about how the other person feels. It’s not our responsibility to make people happy or not happy. That’s their responsibility. I was talking to one of my friends who’s also a coach. She coaches both males and females.
She says, “When a male wants to or needs to cancel one of their sessions because of whatever he says, ‘I can’t make it talk to you next time.’ The female leaves a whole voicemail of, ‘I won’t be able to make it. This and that came up. I’m sorry.’” The one thing that I always tell women is, “Stop apologizing unless you did something wrong that you need to apologize.”
Don’t apologize for canceling a meeting. It’s okay for your other things to come up. The other thing is we need to stop worrying about how other people are feeling and speak with conviction and confidence and say, “I can’t make today’s meeting. I will see you next time. I will reschedule,” without putting all the backstory. It’s almost like what you were saying about the to-do list of having one item and then no baby to-do list under that. It’s the same thing where we women feel like it’s our responsibility to make the whole rest of the world feel okay and that’s not our responsibility. I’m glad you are talking to your clients about the power of saying no. That’s important.
You had training in yoga and Reiki, which I love all that stuff. I love meditation. You were in engineering by trade. Did you get an Engineering degree? You started working and then you said you were getting married and teaching yoga? You were overwhelmed. How did you become a holistic time management coach then?
I shared a little bit about it even before that I grew up with an entrepreneur, my dad, my grandpa, and now my brother. It’s very much in my family to hustle. That’s common. I hear that same thing from a lot of my clients, friends, and loved ones. For whatever reason, it’s a common experience. I very much internalize like, “I am not worthy unless I’m producing. I’m not worthy if I’m not making X amount of dollars. I’m not worthy if I’m not in this role at work.” I was basing my worth and my happiness on external stuff. The external stuff only led me to burn out. I was in the hospital.
From that, I got into yoga and meditation. That helped me slow down and find myself. I was working with private clients in yoga, reiki, and things. Almost every single client was like, “I don’t know how to find time for myself. I don’t know how to relax my mind in this yoga class. I don’t know how to not feel guilty for being here when I should be doing X, Y, Z.”
There were all of these commonalities with the people that I was serving in the yoga space. At that time I was like, “I don’t want to be in engineering forever. I knew that my soul was not meant to be in a cubicle for 40 hours a week. I want to travel and see the world.” It happened around COVID. I was able to take this common thing that I was hearing from people, my own experience with it and everything that I learned became a holistic coach and ran with it.
I quit my engineering job to travel and then COVID happened. It was around the same time when I was like, “I’m going to work three days a week to build my business as I travel the world.” I was lucky to have this conviction around not overworking myself and saved up a ton as much as possible when I was an engineer. My husband and I made it work. His work went digital. We have been traveling since July 2020.
I started The Holistic Time Coach in January 2020. It was six months after I quit my engineering job. It is unrelated, but it’s very much a personal mission and global issue of ours that we have to do some workaround. It’s been amazing to be able to coach hundreds and now certify other people in holistic time management for them to help their clients.
I’m older than you are and the mindset between Gen Xers, Millennials versus Gen Z is changing, which is good. As you said, you saw your parents work themselves. I have now talked to people that are going from working full-time to retirement and they don’t know what to do with themselves. It’s funny because you would think it would be easy, but it’s not. It’s a transition because you are the vice president of whatever and then now you are nothing. What you were saying is you are equating your value with that title and that’s an external characteristic. It’s not something that’s it shouldn’t matter, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Back to the mindset between Gen X and Millennials. Millennials go to their early 40s to late 20s, whatever then now you have this Gen Z. My children are 24 and 22. Our mindsets cannot be any more different in how we approach our careers. They are like, “I want to enjoy life. I want to do X, Y, Z.” I’m like, “You shouldn’t be taking those days off because you should be working.” They are like, “No.” Tell me a little bit about your insight on those two different generational mindsets when it comes to time and putting in many hours at work.
You hit the nail on the head in terms of it’s that flipping of the one day. The older generations of my parents and grandparents were to earn your keep, work to prove yourself to people around you at work or family or whoever, neighbors. In my generation, Millennial, and then my sister’s generation, I get to see hers. They are even more intense, which is beautiful. I always see things like we can’t necessarily be all or nothing. I do know that we live in a society. This is like the middle child syndrome of the Millennials like, “We have to work to survive. How do we do that without going homeless?”
That’s where I’m at is, “How do I work to make the money that I need to be comfortable, happy, and still enjoy today?” That is my whole belief. I can’t speak for like a whole generation of people, especially amongst all the different countries, continents, and stuff in the world. It’s all different. There is something to be said about the political or literal climate. All of these things impact our relationship and our understanding of time and work, how to balance it all, and how to survive in the world that we live in.
You made a good point where the Gen Zers are intense and opinionated, which I think is fantastic, especially for women because I always say, “My mission is to eradicate the gender gap.” That’s going to help us. I looked up some statistics and something says 20% to 25% of the population in the United States are now Gen Z.
That’s a fifth of the population. I do hope that collectively those young males and females or others are confident in themselves in speaking up and advocating for themselves because that’s what our older generations, like my mom’s generation, women that are in their 80s, never even had the opportunity to advocate for themselves.
Now that they are 80 and we as younger women are like, “Why do you put up with that?” They are like, “What are you talking about?” We are like, “What do you think I’m talking about?” Their whole mindset is ingrained of like, “I could never do that.” Slowly but surely over the generations, it’s getting to where women are speaking up. They are advocating for themselves. They have opinions. They know what they want and what they don’t want younger than 40 or 50. That’s all fantastic. As far as work is concerned, it seems to me that they are setting very strong boundaries.
I was talking to someone earlier. They are maybe 26, 25, or something like that. They were complaining because they got married and can’t buy a house. I said, “Get a part-time job.” They are like, “No.” I was like, “I had a full-time job and a part-time job when I got out of school because I needed to pay loans off and whatever. You have the time. You can keep working.” They are like, “Why? No.” I was like, “It’s different.” Good for them that they are not willing to give up their personal time or their non-full-time work schedule to get another job, but at the same time economy has not helped and the housing market is more expensive.
It’s hard to navigate. Every generation has it somewhat easier than the prior generation. Every generation still has life, economy, and climate issues that we have to contend with. It’s never going to be an easy life for everybody, but we can turn it around and start being intentional in using some of the practices that we have talked about. How did you pull the trigger when you were an engineer and you are like, “This isn’t for me. I can’t be in my cubicle for 40 hours.” What was that catalyst that you are like, “That’s it. I’m done. I can’t do this anymore?”
It was a little bit of everything like my burnout moment. A lot of things added up, one of which seeing my parents as “anti-role models” in terms of work. I love them. Not that I had already planned to quit, but it was an interesting moment of affirmation when COVID happened. All of the people in their 50s and 60s plus were freaking out about having to go home. People were coming into the office even though I worked for the Federal government at the time. It was basic mandatory like you can’t come in and these people were having an existential crisis about not coming into work. Me and all of my fellow Millennials in the office were like, “Let’s go.”
They are like, “Work from home. Life is good.” That was an affirmative moment. I was a petroleum engineer. I don’t often talk about this, but I was working in the industry in a political climate that I didn’t feel connected to. There were many different reasons why I was like, “This is not the place for me.” I always had a dream of travel.
My grandma and my grandpa both immigrated from Europe to the US when they were in their twenties. They are always having friends from all over the world come by. My aunt is Polish. I have lots of ties to European culture. That was also interesting to grow up around in stark contrast to my dad, who was very much like the hustle and grind to, “One day, I will take care of myself and relax.”
You said that my husband and I have noticed is not people in their lives specifically, but celebrities and people that you hear. People are dropping dead left and right. As early as 50, 55, or 60 having heart attacks, people retire, they have a stroke, die and we are like, “Gosh.” We are at the tail end of our careers for my husband and I. We were having a conversation. I’m like, “I don’t want to work until I’m like 67.5,” which is like the maximum age to collect social security.
I’m like, “That’s not how I picture my life.” You hear of all these people that are passing away young and we want to travel. As a matter of fact, we are going to Hawaii at the end of April 2023 for an actual true vacation. We are looking forward to that. It is time for people, in general, to chill, relax, enjoy, and stop and smell the roses, instead of production and work. I am glad that we are having this conversation because for women in the corporate world, can you provide two actionable tips that women can do to implement some of the things that we have been talking about it could help them in their lives and career?
The one thing that has made the biggest difference across every single client that I have ever worked with myself, people around me, my husband, and other people, is a practice called a have-done list. This is what I needed when I was feeling guilty for watching Netflix or working into the night, on weekends, or go mode. I had to write down all of the things that I had done that day, not including to-do list items. Getting out of bed, showering, making myself meals, talking to whomever I talked to that day, normal everyday humaning on top of to-do lists or whatever that you did. I caught myself did. You did everything right, but to-do list items, meaning work or external stuff.
I did that practice every day for two and a half years. It’s something that I share with a lot of my clients and it helps in many ways. It helps prove to your brain that you have done enough and allows you to put it all aside and for you to watch The Bachelorette without feeling bad or whatever else that you want to do. It helps you discover in a very non-intense and non-urgent way what your true capacity is. That’s where I found my number three of like, “I can only do three big things at work in a day,” because I saw that I was only doing three main tasks in a day on top of the email, taking care of myself and doing all the everyday life stuff. That’s what it was.
I was like, “That makes sense,” and then that became my max. It helps with many things, but the most important one is recognizing and celebrating yourself, which is something that helps heal a lot of the internalized productivity-worth stuff that we have talked about. It heals that hustle. It downregulates your nervous system. This exercise is amazing. It’s the best thing that I have ever done. That’s the first thing.
First and foremost, that thing is going to heal a lot of time issues. The second thing is we have to have something to make time more tangible. Most people operate from a to-do list, and if they operate from a Google calendar, it’s not leveraged or optimized very well for being a human with all of our responsibilities. It’s usually people who put meetings in their calendars. They don’t do anything, or if they add other stuff, then they don’t follow it or don’t look at it.
Creating a stronger relationship with your calendar in the sense of using it to externalize time. Time is this nebulous concept that it’s hard for a lot of our brains to like truly grasp. We can’t look at a to-do list and be like, “This is going to take me like a week. We need to have that visualization in front of our brains and estimate how long a task will take with a timeframe.” Putting that in your calendar and not in this time block way of, “Every Monday or weekday, I’m going to work out from 9:00 to 10:00.”
It’s like no intentionally at the beginning of the week or day, add every single task that you need to into your calendar with an estimated amount of time with it. That has been a life-changing practice for my clients and myself. Move it as the week goes by like drag and drop, move things around. Don’t let your calendar collect us. Put the things in and move them around. Use it as accountability and as an execution tool that people don’t use. That has been a game-changer as well.
I’m going to go back to one thing that you said that is fantastic. You proved to your brain that you have done enough. I think that is a quote right in and of itself because when you do all this stuff and at the end of the day you are like, “I forgot to do X, Y, or Z,” but if you do the have-done list and you put out, took a shower, or need lunch. As you were saying, you are an engineer, you need data and proof, that’s the proof. You need to write down maybe 5 or 6 things for you to be like, “I accomplished a lot today.” That’s great for you to prove to your brain that you have done enough. I like that.
The calendar thing, you are right because as you were talking I was thinking, “What do I do?” I also use my to-do list, but I don’t calculate the amount of time that it’s going to take me to do any one thing because it’s almost like the way I picture myself. I can have a running list of things that I have to accomplish in general, but then be strategic about 2 or 3 things that I can plug into my calendar with the estimated time. That’s going to be much more efficient than me like, “I still didn’t do these fifteen things on my running list.”
Those are good actionable things that people can use that will help them both in their careers at work and then their home life as well. Let’s not forget to move your body and meditate. I try to protect that time in the morning when I work out because like I said before, if I don’t do it in the morning, then it doesn’t generally work out.
I live in Chicago. In Chicago sometimes in the winter, it’s 4:30 and it’s already dark out there. I’m not going to walk outside when it’s 30 degrees, dark, and pitch black. I will do it in the morning. This has been such a delightful conversation because I feel we uncovered a lot of different ways that women can help themselves be a little bit more sane in our day. I know you are working on something. You are working on a group coaching program. Tell me a little bit about that.
To speak to your quote of, “Prove to your brain that you have done enough.” That’s been like a central theme to time, money, career, business, and work. It’s enoughness. How do we figure out how much is enough? Enough money, work, to-do lists, clients, or household responsibilities. Enoughness is the key theme. The group coaching program is called 30 Hours (Or Less). It is my fun experiment to bring people through a twelve-week-long program to discover how much is enough and strategically simplify, declutter, heal, or any of that internal stuff that is preventing them from working 30 hours or less. Enoughness is that central piece that I’m going to help people discover for themselves in their life. It’s something that I’m passionate about. I’m so excited.
I know you are also giving our readers a free gift. There’s a download that they can do. What is that about?
I provided a PDF that helps. It’s eight important questions to ask yourself when you are deciding what to do next. It can range from literally what to do when you and I get off this interview or it can be a career move, business move, bigger relationship move, or whatever the move needs to be. It’s going to help you make more aligned decisions with your time, energy, money, and resources. That is part of this. It’s not just about collecting more strategies, tools, and information. It’s about making the sometimes hard decisions to create a life that feels good for our minds, bodies, and souls.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of your knowledge and expertise. I am excited for you that you are a nomad digital entrepreneur, and you see all these different cultures and experiences. I would be interested to see when you have traveled more of the world and how you find each culture changing. I hope you are documenting that because I think that’s going to be cool for you to come back and share with us once you have more experiences about other places in the world. That is a formal invitation. We are going to stay in touch. Thank you so much for everything. I appreciate you.
What struck me about my conversation with Becca is that we need to look at our relationship to time versus rest. Many of us, especially women that are busy in the corporate world, trying to make money, raise a family, and take care of a household, get wrapped up in the to-do list that we forget about making time for rest and ourselves. It’s okay to take 30 minutes for you to do some yoga and use some stretching. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to work out or sit down and breathe, read, or something. We need to pull ourselves out of that crazy rat race and come back to ourselves. Another thing that she says is that we need to receive life. That is the old adage of, “Stopping and smelling the roses.” It pays off.
Becca is on a mission to heal the hustle culture in toxic productivity using a holistic approach to time management, which I love. She left us with two tips for you to have that bad relationship with time management. The first tip, she says, “Do a have-done list.” This isn’t like ticking off your to-do list. She says, “Write everything down from taking a shower, preparing meals, making lunches for kids.” Write it all down because at the end of the day, then you can look at that list, and this is my favorite quote from this episode, “You can prove to your brain that you have done enough.”
That’s going to be powerful because if you can prove to your brain that you have done enough, then you can go to bed more relaxed, knowing and feeling in your body that you have done enough so that your brain isn’t thinking all the to-do lists for the following day. “For today, we have done enough.” I love that. You also get to recognize and celebrate yourself when you see all the things in writing that you did. You can use your phone to make your have-done list.
The second tip from Becca says, “We need to create a stronger relationship with our calendar.” We are all using calendars, whether they are written, on our iPhones or computer. Her suggestion was to schedule time in your calendar for all of the things on your to-do list. She recommends having no more than three major things on your to-do list because each one of those things is going to take time, but if say you decide to do three projects, go ahead and schedule them in your calendar. If for whatever reason you didn’t do it now, you can move it to the following day.
This is part of her saying that we need to recognize our capacity. If you have 50 things on your to-do list, more than likely you are not going to be able to do all 50 in one day. If you chunk them out throughout the week or the next couple of weeks, then it’s going to be much more realistic for you to finish all 50 things.
Tip number one, create or write down ahave-done list. Tip number two, optimize your calendar and create that stronger relationship with your calendar. Great tips. I’m going to start implementing both of them because sometimes for me, I don’t pay attention to everything that I have done, and then I’m more focused on what’s next. I’m going to have to chill a little bit and celebrate what I have accomplished and what I have already done.
I am excited to see what Becca’s going to come up with. She’s traveling the world. She calls herself a digital nomad. She and her husband both work digitally. They are in Berlin and are traveling all over the world. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you can take one thing from this episode and apply it to your life so that you can build a better life. Remember to be brave, be bold, and take action. Until next time.
About Becca Rich
Becca Rich is a visionary, cutting through the BS of the billion-dollar productivity industry creating a ripple effect with Holistic Time Management. She helps business owners and professionals heal from time scarcity and shows them how to team up with time to create a life of peace–at work, at home, and within. As a trauma-sensitive, certified holistic coach with a background in engineering and mindfulness, she knows traditional time management is outdated and harmful. If you’ve been searching for a different way forward, Holistic Time Management™ is here to bring you back home to your mind, body, and soul. Learn more about working with Becca at theholistictimecoach.com.