Pattern Shift

#65 - Bending Time: How to Manage Energy for Productivity with Kim Witten

July 07, 2023 Niall Mackay
Pattern Shift
#65 - Bending Time: How to Manage Energy for Productivity with Kim Witten
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The big question on this episode is; How do we bend time our way? Can we make more of it so we can get out of overwhelm and stress. I’ve invited my friend and coach Kim Witten because she’s the perfect partner for a hilarious but insightful journey through linguistics and philosophy. Which are all fancy words for we have a lot of fun figuring out an the issue of never having enough time and how to deal with it. 

In this episode Kim and I give you a three step process for getting out of the thick of it. So you can reach out of the overwhelm storm and grabbing onto something practical and steady. 
By managing energy and being intentional about how we use our time. We discuss the importance of pausing, assessing, and setting rituals to get into the mindset of bending time to our needs. 

I share how I optimised my day by discovering my natural circadian rhythm and finding what energises me. Kim emphasises the importance of managing energy over time and gives examples of how she rearranged her day to align with her energetic peak. 

We do metaphors like no other but they all lead to pretty solid insights. So hang on for a fun ride.

FULL SHOW-NOTES WITH TAKEAWAYS

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BEST QUOTE FROM THE EPISODE

"If we manage our energy, the time part just takes care of itself." - Kim Witten

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Speaker 1:

The big question on this episode is how do we bend time our way? Can we make more of it so we can get out of overwhelming stress? This is the Pattern Shift podcast. I'm your host, Saskia de Vaiter, and I've invited my friends and coach, Kim Whitten, because she's the perfect partner for a hilarious but insightful journey through linguistics and philosophy which are all fancy words for us having a lot of fun figuring out the issue of never having enough time and how to deal with it.

Speaker 1:

Day-to-day life as a creative business owner can be very lonely and overwhelming, leaving no time to actually grow your business. The Pattern Shift podcast gives you business insights and actionable tips to help you rise out of the day-to-day swamp and start to become more visible and move your business forward. Find out how you can be part of helping crafters move away from fast fashion and become a value-based business owner that's on top of things, running a business that's more sustainable for yourself and our planet. In this episode, Kim and I give you a three-step process for getting out of the thick of it So you can reach out of the overwhelmed storm, grabbing on to something solid, practical and steady. We do metaphors like no other, but they all lead to pretty solid insights. So hang on for a fun ride. And before we start, don't forget to sign up for more business tips and insights via PatternShiftfm or click the link in the show notes. Have fun, Tell me what has your day been like so far.

Speaker 2:

Oh, this is an interesting one. That's a great question for today because it's been unexpectedly busy, but I'm staying just ahead of it looking out for myself throughout it. That's good.

Speaker 1:

Can you describe what you do by finishing this sentence? I help people dot dot dots because so that they dot dot dot.

Speaker 2:

I help people think so that they can do anything they want with their lives.

Speaker 1:

Sounds good Sounds good. Is this business your main occupation or do you have other things going on?

Speaker 2:

I have lots of other things going on, but this is my main occupation. There's many a craft.

Speaker 1:

Many a craft Name. a craft or two, please.

Speaker 2:

Yarn crafts crochet knitting, sewing, been getting into a little bit of needlepoint lately. Nice Embroidery, nice.

Speaker 1:

What took you years to learn Cooking?

Speaker 2:

is probably a very basic one Self-care actually.

Speaker 1:

Self-care.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And anything particular when it comes to your business, any business skill or mindset or something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, now we're getting somewhere, probably getting out of my head Uh-huh, just letting go of control and turning over thinking into expert thinking, like learning how to think productively in a way that serves me Talking about productively.

Speaker 1:

We're talking about how to bend time your way today. What comes to mind when you hear that question?

Speaker 2:

There's something about flexibility and malleability and control and power to be able to draw something like time, to bend it toward you like the arc of time. I'm going deep with this.

Speaker 1:

Any of that is fine.

Speaker 2:

It's. It feels very empowered to me that time comes to me. Actually, it reminds me of something that we learned in linguistics about in English, and there's probably it's probably exists in other languages too. But this study that focused on in English that we have two basic conceptions of time One where we are the mover moving over the ground of time, and that's where we say things like we're coming up on Christmas.

Speaker 1:

Like.

Speaker 2:

Christmas is a marker on the ground and we're running up to it, and the other conception is so I did the one where time is the ground and we're moving towards it, and the other one is time is moving towards us and we're fixed. So Christmas is coming up on us. There's so much coming at us, and anytime we talk about things with time, we're in one of these two conceptions. That last one sounds much more stressful to me. Yeah, like things coming at you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, i'm just trying to. I'm envisioning myself with a tennis racket of some sort, like pushing things away like I'm not ready yet Christmas go away.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's funny because the other conception is called the ego mover, like we are the one moving over time, and this one is more like geo-based, like we're fixed, yeah, we can't do anything, we don't have the control, like things are coming at us, and I think that's how many of us feel in our day to day.

Speaker 1:

I love this thought because, if you take the other one, where we are moving towards something that puts the power in our hands, that makes us like the keeper of the magic of time bending, Yeah, yeah, time bending.

Speaker 2:

In that conception, it's like not only are we going over time, but we're bending the earth towards us, like it's almost like we can we have this ultimate power over it? So I don't know, maybe that there's something about the arc of it and bending sounds so flexible.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, And also the shape of the roundness, the circle, the circumference of the earth that has, like, no beginning, no end and a beginning and end at every point in time.

Speaker 1:

So deep I know, No, but that means I'm kind of ahead with this in my head, where I'm thinking that it has something to do with acceptance, because time is time, and is it though? Yeah, and just changing your attitude and your mindset towards time in itself, but also the amount of time that you seemingly or actually have to do something is, i think it's really empowering if you can make decisions around that. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And it probably gives us opportunities, knowing this or seeing things a certain way, to reframe something Right. And we feel really rushed when we feel like everything's coming at us, instead of feeling fixed like what can we do to maybe reframe that and turn it around. So we feel like, yeah, we are the ones in control, we're the ones moving and deciding And yeah, just that simple shift in mindset even through language might have something to do with it Yeah

Speaker 1:

an image because we're using language now, but all the while I'm making images in my head of time And, as creative people, i think it's really useful to spend some time thinking about this and kind of working it through in your mind. What does it mean to you And what is your relationship to time, or the lack thereof, or how does it make you literally feel in your body when you're talking about it or writing about a subject like this? Is it like grabbing your throat a little bit or like feeling a little nauseous, or are you like oh, i've got all the time in the world. I feel so light and happy, i could do everything I want. And this is all just thoughts. It's not actions, really. Yet. So we're talking to the listener.

Speaker 1:

On the other end of this is a small business owner in the fiber and needle crafts industry, and I'm always thinking of this person that has a yarn shop or a dyes yarn in a studio and they come into their workspace and they open the door and they just get hit in the face like you step out of a plane in a hot foreign country And it just is so hot and a lot and dense and there's a lot of things to do in the air. How can you in that moment, or preparing for that moment, how can you change your mindset?

Speaker 2:

Sometimes I think we need to just stop and recognize when we're actually in the thick of an overwhelm. That is not a place to start, maybe, doing the work.

Speaker 2:

That's a place of assessing and removing maybe yourself from a situation and carving out some time so that you can triage things or you can assess or you can just sit with some space to yourself to think. I was talking with somebody earlier today and one of the things that came up was the overwhelm of email. They really want to get on top of their email and this email was indicative of maybe several other things that were going on in their life that were very overwhelming, and their email was in such a state that there was no point, there was no way to start working on maybe setting up rules or going through it. It was a triage state. They needed to do maybe a drastic action or step away from it or relate to it in a different way, to just get the immediate emergency under control, to take care of what was immediately happening and then maybe to even just stop the flow of the hot air as you get off the plane. to deal with that in the immediate, before we can take those next steps, get to a better place.

Speaker 1:

It's good to know that in the moment, in the thick of things, to just stop, drop and roll over basically.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, recognize where you are first. Is this a place where I can take meaningful action, or do I need to get safe and get some things under control or take some time to really address maybe a more pressing situation before I can get to the more longer term productive work?

Speaker 1:

Yes, In the previous episode, we talked about decluttering your workspace, and that could be one of the things that you do to get your mind a little bit more ready to do some work, because you cannot cook from a pantry that's full of things that are beyond their date.

Speaker 2:

That just doesn't work. Or if the sink is full of dishes and you need some of those to prepare something, you have a pre-step before you can make dinner. You've got to do this task and recognizing that and just leaning into it and be like right, today's the day.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, This recognizing step one is assessing where you are and take some small actions to declutter and make space in your mind. I've found what really helps me is to make a mental inventory. It's actually part of the bullet journaling practice, but it can also really help by itself. What you do is you write down all the things that you are doing in one column. You take a piece of paper in front of you landscape and put it in three columns. One column is what you are doing with your time. The second one is what you should be doing. The third one is what you want to be doing. Then you go over everything When you ask yourself three questions is it vital, Does it matter And are there any consequences?

Speaker 1:

So using those questions and making three columns in this way will really give you an idea of what kind of needs to stay in your life even if it's not fun, but it needs to be there And what you can let go of for this moment. And you will always have that piece of paper somewhere, so it's not gone. The whole bullet journal practice is actually perfect for this and it really builds on assessing and then building new habits around what you actually need. But that's too much information to really go into that at this moment, But it's really interesting. So if you want to know a little bit more about that, you can look it up at bulletjournalcom to get the basics. Other people, I guess, call it a brain dump, but that is less structured and it's just mainly getting things out of your head onto paper, categorizing it maybe.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like with the dishes example, if you're finding this too structured or too overwhelming, there's probably a pre-step there of carving out 15 minutes to just think or do a brain dump or having some time to yourself because there might be an unmet need. and the overwhelm is if we look at that with curiosity and look at it like, oh, this is information And so we still feel it, we still experience it, which may be unpleasant, but if we look at it like this overwhelm or this frustration or this feeling whatever I'm feeling this is information. that's telling me something important.

Speaker 2:

Yeah that maybe there's a need for some thought or some reflection or some rest, or from some resolution on a particular topic.

Speaker 2:

And once we get those immediate needs met, we can then probably do the more thinking work and the more strategic or planning work of this column activity, which sounds like a great activity. And I would even add to that one more thought about the consequences column. Whatever consequences you come up with, and there may be many. But then there may be an extra step toward asking yourself do these matter or can I strategize around them? Am I willing to accept these consequences, or could they be opportunities or maybe even a benefit to me?

Speaker 1:

in trying to work with them.

Speaker 2:

They don't necessarily need to hold us back.

Speaker 1:

And if I put myself in the place of the business owner that's listening right now, they're probably going yeah, but I'm way too busy to stop, drop and roll over, i don't have time to do that. I could certainly sympathize, because what we're basically saying is you have to take more time before you can actually move forward. So what do we do with that feeling of I don't have time to make a change? I have to finish these things, i have to get these orders out or clean my shop or whatever. How do we find out what kind of things? of course, by asking those questions. But then you really have to take that first step to kind of be able to be in the moment and to do that work. So there's almost like a step.

Speaker 2:

Even before that We're just walking all the way backwards. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

But is that the place where we go? get over yourself. Just do it, because if you want to be healthy and have a good business, there's a certain moment where you kind of need to look in the mirror and accept that if you want to be healthier, better move forward, that this is the way.

Speaker 2:

I think there's a place in context and force on people for pushing ourselves forward for that kind of action. But even before that, maybe getting curious about like where is that thought coming from? What is it telling me? What do I notice? There is a resistance there. I don't want to do this planning task, even though my logical brain knows that it's going to be good for me, it's going to save me time, it's going to help bring me some clarity, but I feel too busy And there is this overwhelming urge or need that's stopping me that you know. If we get curious about this resistance, what is it telling us that we need? Yeah, and I wonder what then happens for people.

Speaker 1:

I'm trying to go back in time and to the point where I felt like that I mean, that's the whole reason for why I'm doing what I'm doing, that completely debilitating feeling of being frozen in the moment and not being able to do anything other than busy work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i think there's a difference, though, between being frozen, debilitated and pausing Or for something that causes us to pause. So when I posed that question about like what do we notice? What if we get curious about the resistance, we both kind of just go, oh wait, it gave us both pause, And we kind of both got reflective, and I would imagine that's the response for many people is like, oh wait, now what do I do? What do I do with that? And there's probably something important there of just stopping ourselves for a moment.

Speaker 1:

Normally we would cut that silence out. I don't think we will do that now because that would not happen But we both went quiet. But I also felt a little bit uncomfortable in that silence because I was thinking, right, ok, and then. So we pause, and then And I think it brings up thoughts about the tempo of our days, like waking up kids to school, get to work, do this, do this, do this. Oh wait, i need to meditate Now. The silence.

Speaker 2:

The pause is really confronting.

Speaker 1:

It is. It is like really trying to pause. It's pausing the same as doing nothing.

Speaker 2:

That's a good question. I bet there's overlap. I'm going to hedge around that one.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, i love that we make this whole serious thing into something. that's still fun, and I think that's a good way to look at it. It is. you can be like in the thick of it. you're like overwhelmed and stressed out, but I hope that this episode helps you to kind of take it a little bit more lightly and find pauses in your day or something, and what's funny about your situation? Yeah, it's probably something.

Speaker 2:

Once we get to a place where we're not in absolute triage panic load, it's probably looking back Because I could see the airplane moment you know with all the hot air hitting your face as an airplane comedy.

Speaker 1:

I love that we take both of that, the positive and the negative. I am still so close to that feeling of complete and other overwhelm and being burnt out and not knowing the way forward, and so we've landed on pausing. We are talking about assessing. Let's talk a little bit about busy work. What is busy work? And because you're also all about the linguistics and stuff, and I'm Dutch and I could use some explanation for some words And I think busy work is a very interesting word.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what's interesting to you?

Speaker 1:

about it, because I think what busy work means is just keeping yourself busy. Is that true?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's the sense I get.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so it's not necessarily being busy doing work. It's doing work that's keeping you're busy, but it's not necessarily the kind of work that moves you forward. Yeah, taking that pause and then assessing, then you can get to the kind of work that will bring you forward.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's not doing nothing, but it's not effective.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, that's not productive. Yes, yes, yeah, so turning that day to day busy work into more productive work is a process, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think those are probably things that we're all doing, that we think or we hope might have value or might be productive. They might feel productive because we're moving, we're not doing nothing, but if we pause to reflect on it, we might realize that that's not the best use of our time, yeah, yeah, or it's not serving as well, yeah. So I think there's a question in there about like is this effective? Is this busy work? And when people have struggles about clarity and what they should be doing with their time, is this the right thing to be working on, or should it be doing this or that? Or if they're switching from task A to task B and then back to task A and then maybe C? I think underneath that is that question of is this busy work? Is this a good use of my time?

Speaker 2:

And they're wondering and they're not buying into what they're doing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And they might be unclear about the point or how to do it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

There's something that doesn't feel right about what they're doing.

Speaker 1:

What comes next is talking about different strategies. I think It's a big leap from what we're just saying to strategies, and I feel like the word strategy can feel a little bit big businessy for small business owners, like what strategy? I don't need that, i just need to work harder. What does it actually mean to have a strategy?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, to me, a strategy can just mean an approach, something to try that helps, whereas working harder is basically one strategy. It's like, just put more effort in, put more effort in, just keep doing it. And that can be a natural thing for people who are just inclined to work hard and to just really push for an outcome. But at some point you may recognize that pushing for an outcome or just putting your effort in is just spinning your wheels. It's burning you out, it's tiring you out And it has diminishing returns. It's not getting you forward And then thereby it's becoming busy work. Yeah, where it already is busy work, i think a simple thing can be called a strategy, which is great, you know, if you're inclined to that word and you're like yes, i have strategies And they're as simple as this Or if you're not inclined to that word and you find strategies ever-welming.

Speaker 2:

It can just simply be like these are the things that I do, the approaches or the things that I try when I'm faced with this struggle.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Or when I'm trying to do this thing, this is how I go about it, And I think that's a really good intervention. That's a really good point that maybe we need strategies right now for dealing with the busy work or for deciding. You know we need an approach. We need an approach for deciding what should I be working on, And one of the strategies that I work on with people is that I find I think is really helpful is to come up with compelling reasons Like why are you doing this thing? What is your bigger overarching reason? What's the benefit When you know you're compelling reason for doing something? it helps keep you motivated. It helps you focus on, refocus on the bigger picture, especially if you're in the TDM or the hard part of the small tasks where, when we're in that place, we might lose focus of, like, the importance or the need or the why we're doing it or why we should push through.

Speaker 2:

If we can remember oh yeah, there's this bigger goal. It's the thing that gets us out of like bed in the morning. You know when you're wanting to do, let's say, exercise, first thing in the morning, but you wake up and you're warm and you don't wanna get out of the bed. Right. But if you've got that compelling reason of oh, i'm trying to prove that I can run this marathon, or that I'm getting towards this bigger goal because I know it's gonna give me confidence, or I'm trying to get to this place with it, remembering that is the motivator to get out of bed. Board the plane do the dishes.

Speaker 1:

Run the business Yeah yeah, When I kind of envisioned that moment of okay, so basically I need a plan. I need a plan. I'm also thinking the time is full of things. It's a bowl full of stuff. I need to take some things out. What will we talk about? the dishes? Let's stick to the metaphors. So I need to take some things out to be able to find that cup that I actually need now, in the moment, before we even do the full of the dishes and start clean. So I just need to take the things out that don't serve me. that, all of those kind of things. When we talk about the strategies and let's rephrase those plans, maybe a plan Yeah an idea And simple, simple plan Yeah, simple plan.

Speaker 1:

And then the small things you can do, because what we all know, that if we don't change a thing, things will not change, so that something is going to have to move for you to come into a better situation position, and it really just goes back to that pausing moment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i was thinking that too, like something has to disrupt the path that we're on, otherwise the inertia of that we might just keep pouring effort in, or we might keep having those same thoughts of like this is too much, or? just keep going We need to break that habit or just give us a way out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, a break like a, almost like forceful in a way, but in a positive forceful way, So practical. Let's keep this super, super practical Step away for the better force. How about just taking a day in the next week, whatever happens, because that day will be full right, Or a morning or an hour or something like that Five minutes, like five minutes before you start your day, five minutes at the end of your day.

Speaker 1:

Taking like, making that, no, taking that time to process what is going to happen and what has happened. Look, this is all about bulletin, like everything is being here. I was just I wanted to mention it in this episode, but everything we're saying kind of comes back to that, because that's what you do You reflect on your day and then leave the things behind that are not helping you full, are not helping you. And it's not just business, It's also living a purposeful life and being in the moment. And, yeah, mindfulness is also what it's about, isn't it Being in the moment? and how can you stop yourself in the middle of that? Do you have anything that you do personally, practically?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i think, taking breaks, carving out time and little bits of time, right, and in those bits of time I allow myself to do whatever Five minutes here, 10 minutes there, if I can carve that out, maybe 15 minutes, maybe even longer, but giving myself bits of time to just think or decide whatever I wanna do with that.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes I will declutter, sometimes I will make a plan for something. It's whatever. But I think if we don't carve out those times and gives ourselves little buffers between meetings or just even ending a meeting like if you have an hour-long meeting end it five minutes early or 10 to the hour to carving out some time for yourself to think, to pause, to reflect. Maybe there's a practice, even if it's just a five-minute practice, of preparing for things and then transitioning out of things. So how do you prepare for your day? Do you create a list of maybe the top things that you wanna achieve for that day, or do you arrange your desk or it's some way, something that gets you in the mindset that's gonna be most productive for running your business for that day?

Speaker 1:

So pausing, assessing, having some kind of small ritual, I'd say.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, to get into the work, but then also to get out of the work, yeah. So how am I going to create a buffer between the end of my workday where I can shed everything and maybe even prepare myself for the next day? So what's left undone? Can I just put a bookmark on that? Or can I make a quick list or something that prepares me for making tomorrow's lists? or ritual to get into the day, so that I can just let that go and then go start into the evening or whatever you finish?

Speaker 1:

your workday. Yeah, i love it. It's a great kind of three-step process for being able to bend time. Yes, exactly. But to start that process there's going to have to be a little bit of a disruption, a moment where you say from now on, i'm going to do it this way. That could be this episode, be a week from now, where you've kind of caught yourself thinking about the things that you've heard and you're like, oh yeah, maybe you should. Yeah, okay, this is what happens to me. It kind of creeps into my brain and then it sits there for a while and after a while I go like, okay, this is a time, it's enough, enough, is enough already.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you have some sort of insight or something you come up with that is like, oh, actually that works really well, or I want to try this, or I like how that felt when I moved this task to this part of the day.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and when I talk about disruptiveness that sounds really negative. But what I did when I was really overwhelmed and actually burnt out, what I did was I found a fun way to disrupt it, so I gave myself Monday morning movies. So from that point on I gave myself permission to watch a movie on Monday morning And because I gave it a name, it was a thing. I had permission and I wasn't feeling guilty for taking a break. Because that's how my mind sometimes work. You feel and I think lots of people you kind of feel guilty that you are taking time for yourself, while you feel like the time, all the time, is for your business or your family or a combination of your business and your family.

Speaker 2:

And you kind of forget to pause. So that guilt, that we might feel when we do things like take time for ourselves. we won't always feel that guilt forever. We might the first time, we might the second time, but then the third time or fourth time it becomes completely normalized And then we go why did I never do this?

Speaker 1:

before. I love that. Thank you so much for seeing this. This is so helpful because it's so true And it's really true And it's not lasting. You will be able to enjoy what you give yourself, absolutely Yeah.

Speaker 2:

The guilt is just the brain's kind of resistance to doing this new thing, to trying a different approach or strategy, if you will and going okay, we're going to do this now I don't know.

Speaker 2:

I don't know how I feel about this. It's different from what I used to do and I'm scared, or maybe I'm worried, so I feel guilty, or there might be any mix of emotions that are playing into this And then our minds and bodies response to that. But it won't always be that way. We will normalize these things and they will become part of our practice and our way of being, and that will give us more time. That will give us more energy. That's where the body and that really embodied sense of things catches up with the logic that we know to be true. We know that there's a logic to this idea of slowing down and pausing and reflecting is going to eventually give us more time. But we have to go through the hard part of experiencing that, and sometimes that comes with some guilt or resistance or just negative feelings about it or worries.

Speaker 2:

But, if we go through it, we normalize it and then we end up in a place where we're like Ella I actually see how that's true for me, that I'm bending time. This is what that looks like, this is what that feels like, and it feels like it's working.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Wow, yeah, totally true and really important to know and to trust us when we play this. And really, if it's hard to believe. in Dutch we say je moet het maar van een naam. That means, if you don't believe it, just hear it, Just accept that that's true until you believe it.

Speaker 2:

I just think there's another piece to this bending time that we haven't touched on Let's go At least directly which is energy, And I don't mean energy in the woe sense, but I just mean physical, mental, emotional energy. And so I find there's almost this myth out there about that productivity is all about managing your time. But I personally think and I find in working with people I found this to be true that if you manage your energy and get better control over that, about what energizes you, what de-energizes you, and structure your day appropriately to give yourself what you need at all the various points, the time part just takes care of itself. More or less. We all have the same amount of time, but we can bend that time towards us if we have more energy, Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, And the next step is finding out how to get to the point where you get the right energy. I've done that process in the last two years two to three, I think two and a half years.

Speaker 2:

What was the process for you?

Speaker 1:

I will tell you because it's been so important. I've read Matthew Walker's book about sleep and that was one of the pieces of the puzzle Just finding out what my natural circadian rhythm is. What means that? that means what your natural sleep rhythm is, and I'm in a position that I can partly go with that. It works out that way, not for everybody.

Speaker 1:

If you're a night owl and you need to be up at six to bring your kids to the school in the next city, that doesn't really work.

Speaker 1:

There's different pieces that you can that, different aspects that you can piece together. So for me, i found out that I don't like exercising at night because then I can't sleep anymore and I cannot be arsed to get off the couch. But if it's first thing in the morning, when I'm at my most active, if I do my exercises in the morning and my journaling and everything that is about taking care of me, so mindfulness, practice, meditation, exercise, all of that, even hanging out with a friend having coffee if I do all of that before 12 o'clock, have early lunch, and then I'm like a machine. After that I can get in my zone and in my flow quite easily and work for hours on end without even waking up from it And finding out that that is my working rhythm, that that works for me, not every day, but most days. That has been gold, because I'm not even working eight hours a day, i'm not working full-time, but I've been at my most productive ever because my energy levels make sense to when I work. How Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But you need again and that brings us to the beginning you need to pause and assess and set those rituals and get into the mindsets of bending your time to your needs, what you need personally.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and get curious and question and try things. Yes, so, like I love your examples about optimizing your day and figuring out when you should do things And I have similar examples for myself and I'm sure all of your listeners have they can start to question or look at what they're doing and when they're doing it. For me, i always thought I was a night owl because I stayed up super late and I have trouble sleeping. I've always had trouble sleeping And in turn then I'm actually not. Yeah, and I was for many years now. I thought, oh, i'm a night owl and a morning person because I also wake up very early in the morning. But what I noticed is I wake up early in the morning and I'm a lot more awake and a lot more chipper than everybody else around.

Speaker 2:

You must wear chipper, yeah, chipper. And that is different than other morning people, yeah, or than other people who aren't morning people, right? And so what I realized was, if I just really try to get myself to sleep earlier, even though it's hard, then I'm actually better off because I'm getting more sleep, because I'm going to wake up early regardless. So question I guess the takeaway here for people is to question and try things and see what else might be going on.

Speaker 2:

So I found that I'm actually a nighttime exerciser And all the advice is exercise in the morning, get up at 5 AM, first thing. I can't imagine anything harder for me to do. I find that exercise makes me very tired, makes me not feel good, it makes me very sleepy, sometimes even nauseous. And while it's a challenge to get myself to exercise at night just as would be in the morning, and it's a challenge to get myself to go to bed earlier, i know that it actually helps my sleep. And then, conversely, like flossing my teeth, like all the advice says, to floss your teeth in the evening. but that's not good advice if you're not doing it.

Speaker 1:

Right, exactly.

Speaker 2:

So I start flossing my teeth in the morning, and I've done it every day for years, yes, and this is.

Speaker 1:

You know, oh, i love this, I love this so much. That's the difference between doing something and not doing it because you're curious of how it can work for you. Yeah, and this is like the backbones of the whole level of philosophy is trying to make it work for you, not to do what everybody else is doing, because you're not everybody else And some people actually get energized from exercising not me, like maybe three days later, i don't know. I know it's great for me. That's why I do it, like logically. I know That's what they say.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Yeah And struggle.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you're not also a morning person or a night person. I'm not fit when I wake up at 7. I need one or two cups of coffee. I'm not there yet. Also, i shouldn't be drinking coffee, but that's another thing. I'm kind of I'm my best midday, so I work towards that point and do the most important things then. And if you have a shop where you need to open up the doors of the shop at a certain time, you can still find things to do at that moment that fits your needs better than at another time of the day.

Speaker 2:

So if you were sorry, i'm just going to jump in because you said something magical there. You said I'm my best midday And so I work towards that point And what I heard was OK, i know where my energy peak is, so I'm going to bend the time of all the things towards that peak Absolutely. So you're rearranging the timing of all of the things towards that. You got goosebumps Towards that point in the day when things are going to be at your energetic peak or feel the best. So then I guess the question to everybody is like figure out, do that assessment and think about or audit your time and figure out where are you your best, where?

Speaker 2:

are you, your worst and start bending your time blocks to suit that.

Speaker 1:

And, coincidentally, we do all of this work in the business circle program. There you go, but you can do this without the program, with the information that you got from Kim, who is amazing and is so helpful, always in asking the right questions. You will find her information in the show notes. Thank you so much, kim. This was so helpful And this is great fun, thank you.

Speaker 1:

I had so much fun for such a serious topic. So much fun, Oh my gosh, that was a wild ride. Thanks again, Kim, for having this wild and joyful conversation with me. You've been listening to Kim Whitten. She's a transformational coach for overwhelmed creatives who are tired of getting in their own way, And you can find her and her work at Whitten Kim. That is W-I-T-T-E-NKim.

Speaker 1:

So let's go back to the main things that emerge from this conversation. One of those things is that managing your energy can be more important than actually managing your time for achieving more. It could be the beginning of a different mindset. Disrupting your habits and routines can be necessary sometimes. If you want to achieve something, an intention that you set or a goal, then it's really important to create small rituals that help you do that. Optimize your energy, your productivity taking breaks, assessing, carving out some time for yourself And then we can break the negative habits, routines, that end of roots that we were on to, to go in a different direction.

Speaker 1:

I hope this was helpful for you and I'd love to hear your thoughts about this. People often think that I get loads and loads of messages, but I don't. So please go to Patentshiftfm and leave a voice message on the episode page or send me an email. I would love to hear your thoughts, And if you want to do a little bit of a deeper dive into these topics and know a little bit more of what I do with my business, Yavol, then you can go to Patentshiftfm and sign up for our newsletter or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks a lot for spending the little time that you have with me, and remember that every stitch counts as we work together and create a patent shift for you, your business, crafters and the fashion industry.

Bending Time
Finding Pause and Assessing Busy Work
Strategies for Effective and Productive Work
Discovering Optimal Daily Routines
Managing Energy for Increased Productivity