Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.
Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I'm so excited to have you here. I just got done teaching this class in The Quitter Club and I got so excited about it. I thought it was gonna be like a 10-minute class. It was like a 45-minute class and it's such an important topic that I wanted to come on and do a podcast episode about it because I think that every one of us needs to be figuring out how we can do less. And I want you to know that like while we are working on this in November and the doors are closed to The Quitter Club, we are going to be opening doors at the very end of November/beginning of December. It will be our grand opening launch. I'm so excited about it. And all of this material will be in The Quitter Club still so it'll be a standalone class and you can still get all of the help that you need to learn how to start doing less. So if you listen to this episode and you realize that this is something that you need, which let me just clue you in, it absolutely is, and you want the support, you don't wanna just do it on your own and wing it. You wanna know how do you deal with all the stuff that I talk about today, I want you to get on that wait list so that you know when doors are gonna open. Cuz doors will only be open for a very limited amount of time, just a couple of days and then they're gonna close again and I don't know when they're gonna open in 2023. So if this is the work that you wanna be doing, I suggest you get on the list at lessonsfromaquitter.com/quitterclub. Okay, onto how to do less. This is my favorite topic and if you've been listening to the podcast, you know that I have a history with like my story about myself is being lazy and I always try to find the way to do the least and I'm really realizing that that is my superpower. Truly this is where I shine and I've realized how much this has saved me in my life. And for so long I used to beat myself up of like why don't I just do more? Why am I not like the Energizer Bunny like so many other people are? And I truly believe that this is what caused me to quit the law. I was like nope, just can't do it. Can't keep this pace up, right? I think that it's what has allowed me to stay out of burnout and to take care of myself. And part of what I'm learning with thought work and what I teach my clients and what I think is really important is oftentimes we get really mad at ourselves. We're almost at war with ourselves because we think we're not doing something right and it's based off some made-up standard that society has told us we have to live up to. And when you really realize that it's all the time just a protective defense mechanism by your brain, right? Your brain has just learned a certain way to try to help you. And we are mad at it because we don't want that. We want to be able to go go go. We wanna be a robot, we wanna be able to do all the things. And now I'm realizing more and more as I do this work like how brilliant my brain is and how much it just tries to save me from myself. And it's no more obvious to me in this than this subject. And so the episode is called How to Do Less because I think that we, I mean, it's no like surprise, we've talked a lot about this that like our culture is obsessed with hustle, it's obsessed with productivity, it's obsessed with doing more and more and more and more. And we never really question it. There's now a sea change and people are questioning it more. But for the most part it was something that was just expected. Like you work hard, you put your head down, you get it done and, you know, there's roles for everybody in this society and you have to do your part, whatever the messages are that we have received. And I think that a lot of us are now slowing down to be like this can't be it. This cannot be the pace at which I live my life. I think so many of us feel as though there is no life in the middle of all the to-do’s, right? There's no enjoyment, there's no being able to sit back and enjoy what you've built and slow down and have a cup of coffee and go for walks and spend the afternoon reading. You know, all these leisurely things that so many of us dream of that we could do if we weren't a slave to this insane to-do list that never ends. And so one of the things I really want people to learn is that work life balance and creating the life that you want doesn't come from these productivity hacks, from these, you know, how to do more in less time, how to balance more things. Like we think that if we keep pushing and we find some magical key, we'll be able to balance everything and not drop any balls and not have stress and somehow be able to also squeeze in some kind of like scheduled rest time. And it really takes away so much of the beauty of life, right? So many of us have experienced that so much enjoyment comes from not having anything to do and being able to figure out what you feel like doing in that day and being able to slow down and just breathe. And I think we're all waiting for that day to happen. And I just want you to know that it doesn't just magically happen. Because when you have trained your brain to believe that your self-worth comes only when you're productive, like when you only get to feel good when everything is marked off that to-do list or when everything you think you should do is done, then when you get to a point wherever you think there is, right? When you make a certain amount of money, when you have a successful business, when you make partner or you climb that corporate ladder, your brain has still equated that like we are not good enough if we're not constantly doing something, if we're not constantly making something or helping someone. And so you just never let yourself get to the point where you can slow down and actively rest. And so this is a skill that you have to learn now exactly where you are with exactly what you have, right? And so I want you to start learning this skill. And here's the thing, I want you to think about it this way. If you went to a friend's house and your friend asked you to like when you came over, your friend was like hey, can you just help me uh put up a curtain rod, I can't do it by myself. Do you mind like just helping me do this? And you're like yeah, sure. So you guys put up the curtain rod and then your friend's like well also like do you think you would just help me really quickly organize my closet? Maybe you kind of wince inside cuz you don't wanna do it but you don't wanna be rude cuz we're people-pleasers and you're like okay, yeah. So then you guys spend a coup- an hour or so organizing their closet and then your friend is like okay, well now that we just did that, like do you mind if we just help me like take out all the trash. I need to like put the trash out for tomorrow. So then you go do that and then the next thing and soon enough like how would you start feeling, right? You would start making an excuse about why you have to go home. Why? It's like oh it's late, I gotta go, right? And you would probably start making excuses, if that happened every time you went to your friend's house, you would start making excuses like why you can't hang out, right? You'd start becoming a little resentful and angry. You'd start procrastinating putting things on the calendar to hang out with that person because you start realizing like there is no point in which you guys are just hanging out or you're doing something fun or you're enjoying yourself. And this lie of like oh, I just need to get this done. I just need to do one more thing is not actually the truth. Like there's something else behind that, right? There's another thing, there's another, there's always something waiting and I don't think we realize like that's what we do to ourselves. I get so many people I coach where it's like I don't feel good unless my to-do list is completely done by the end of the night and yet what happens the next day? There's just another to-do list, right? It's not as though it's like if I get through it tonight then I have all this free time to really enjoy my life. Like if that's what you do, I'm totally fine with that. Where you're like I have these tasks I need to get done for this week and as soon as they're done then the rest of my week is for pleasure and joy and relaxation. But that's not what we do. It's like as soon as I get it done, even the days that I get a lot done, I'm just like oh, I'm on a roll. Today I'm cranking it out. I should do more. What is other things I needed to get done? Maybe I'll go through the other list of stuff that I needed to do, right? And soon enough your brain starts understanding oh, there's never rest. Oh, it's a lie that there's gonna be a time where we're gonna kick up our feet. We're just gonna come up with something else or we're gonna feel guilty about not doing or think that it makes us look bad or whatever. And we're gonna add that to the to-do list. So I'm just gonna start procrastinating. I'm just gonna scroll on my phone, right? So many of you come to me cuz you're like I wanna do this thing and I don't know why I'm not doing it. I want to work on my side business. I want to organize my room. I wanted to organize my room for six months and I just can't get myself to do it. And you think there's something wrong with you. I love that people tell me like I have a procrastination problem. Like yeah, so does every other human being with a brain. Because of our society, right? Because there's never really time for anything else but being productive. And so your brain is just taking time to veg out. Like your brain needs time to numb. Like not to numb off of things that are harmful but just to have space, to not have to focus. Like our brains were not created for intense focus for this many hours that we think it should be able to do just because we created a 40-hour work week, right? They've done tons of studies that have shown that like you're not focusing for eight hours a day. I don't care how wonderfully productive or focused you think you are, you're not. Cuz it's just like that's not the way the brain works. It can maybe focus for a limited amount of time and then it needs a break but we don't give it a break, right? We like eat lunch while doing work, we're constantly just doing more. And so your brain has caught on. And so why so many people, people will tell me like I wouldn't do anything if there wasn't a deadline. I I feel like I'm just lazy. And it's like no, you've just been suscepted to this culture where for decades and decades there's just no free time without guilt, right? There's always something else you can be doing. And so we have to reframe that for ourselves. We have to start changing that narrative. Somebody sent me a reel on Instagram and the reel just said like the goal is no longer to get more done but rather to have less to do. That should be the goal of all of our lives. How can we simplify? When everything is important, right, when everything is an emergency, when everything has to get done then nothing is important. It's very difficult to prioritize. And for so many of us, we have no idea anymore of like what is a priority. We're just onto the next thing to make ourselves feel guilty about. This is one of the reasons I actually coach a lot of people to not set more than one goal. I'm a stickler for the fact that you can only have one goal at a time. Not because I don't think you can work on other things. You can. I'm not saying you can only work on that goal but I know what your brain does. So it's like if you have the goal to make a certain amount of money and then you also have a goal to work out five days a week and you have a goal to go on a date night with your spouse once a month and you have the goal to read 20 minutes a day let's just say like those are all your new year resolutions gonna come up. And so even if you're killing it in one of those things, even if like you're doing so great and you're making the money that you wanna make, right? Like you're building your business and you're doing a fantastic job. What do you think your brain is gonna go to at the end of the week? Like it's gonna see that and it's gonna like yeah but you know we didn't work out this we only worked out one time this week. Yeah, but you haven't read at all. So you just really are not good with following through. Like this is what every single one of us does. And so when you have everything is important. I have to do everything for every aspect of my life. I have to feel every aspect of my life with a million to-dos, I'm clearly gonna fall short. I'm clearly not going to be able to sustain that year after year, decade after decade with zero seasons off, zero seasons for life, right? Like a pandemic or grief or breakups or, you know, identity shifts, whatever it is. Like we have, there's no breathing room, we we just have to be a robot. And when you say it out loud, it obviously starts sounding really ridiculous but so many of you are like a slave to this to-do list and are so impacted on whether you got the thing done or not. We have to start thinking about it differently. Now, I've done a couple episodes now like when I did one on throw your own d*mn party and even the one about the inner critic where I've talked a lot about where this comes from so I'm not gonna go in depth but just to say that like getting through a to-do list is not like an intrinsically something that your brain, you know, for evolutionarily loves to get through. It's just society has conditioned us to believe that we are worth more when we are productive, okay? This happens in all aspects of our hustle culture, it comes from religion where we are taught that hard work is close to godliness and idle hands are the devil's playground and, you know, there's just all of these negative connotations around slothfulness and glutton and anything else that's indulgent or doing things for pleasure. Clearly, in religion there's a lot against pleasure and that sin and everything else is basically suffering. Like how can you suffer the most to show that you're a good person? Capitalism – stack that on top. And we all know that like the entire point is to get people to be as productive as possible with no regard for their wellbeing. This is um basically supercharged in America where Americans do not take vacation times. We have no maternity leave laws for women after they give birth. I mean, you are just expected to truly ignore being a human, right? You're not allowed to really get sick, you should push through if you get sick. These are the messages that we've all gotten that like the person that pushes through the most is somehow the champion, is somehow the best. And then you add patriarchy to that and it becomes a whole mess, especially for women, right? Especially for mothers. I just did an episode about this about parenthood but it really becomes like you have to do everything for everybody all the time, right? And so what's fascinating when you look at patriarchy and especially when you look at this like movement for women in the workplace is like we've gained so many things in being able to climb the corporate ladder and be in certain rooms and get our seat at the table. And yet, not only did it not change other requirements of us, right? Not only did it not change society's expectations of what women should do in the home, it became worse somehow, right? Like not only are we now supposed to have these full-fledged jobs, we're also supposed to be these like Pinterest Instagram moms or dads. So the dads too. I think it's kind of the same now. Like you're not only supposed to go to work and come home like you should have the energy to then want to play with your kids for hours. And if you don't, there's something wrong with you. And if you aren't putting them in a million sports and, you know, I don't know, music classes and tutoring then like your kid's gonna fall behind and it's your fault and you're a terrible parent and if you're not doing a million activities for every holiday and you're not posting everything on Instagram, then like you're failing somehow. I mean, the standards have become so insane that it's just not possible. And so we fail to live up to these impossible standards obviously and then we beat ourselves up like I'm the only one that's not reaching it but nobody is reaching it and the people that are are burned out and miserable, right? So it's like why are we living what is the standard? Where did the standard come from? Why are we choosing to continue to suscept ourselves to it? And so really understanding that it's just made-up, it's a made-up standard. Somebody just decided hey you know what? It would be really good if we got all these people to work harder so we're just gonna tell them that it makes them a better person or like that their neighbor is better than them cuz they do more or they make more or whatnot. It's all made up, right? I think like when I've talked about this cuz a lot of people have a lot of guilt when they stop doing things, which I did too for a really long time. And I think it always helps to look at other cultures where it's very clear to see that it's just a cultural norm. That it's not like some kind of universal law of nature, it's just they've decided to live a certain way, right? I've used the example of the Amish just because I think it's a clear-cut example and not that these, I actually think there's anything wrong. Like maybe the Amish are onto something and they were the right ones. But I'm just saying like that group of people have decided that they don't want to live with technology and they're gonna like keep their society a certain way. Okay, fine. But it's very clear to see that's just a choice, right? Like a lot of us have different thoughts, we have really different ideas that like we don't think we're gonna go to hell because we use technology or, you know, electricity or whatever phones. And so it would be very easy if someone came to you and is like I want to leave the Amish community. I want to like live a life in the modern world but I feel really guilty. Like my family thinks that I'm gonna go to hell, my family thinks I'm making the wrong decision. It's very easy to be like but you're not like it's okay for you to want something else and it's okay for them to think what they think, right? It's easier to see that. And yet when we're in our own bubble, right? A fish doesn't know it's in water. So when you're in your own water, it becomes like no, but if I don't do all this stuff then my boss is gonna think I'm lazy or people are gonna hate me or I'm gonna become a bad mom or the PTA is gonna whatever, whatever the thought is. But it's like that's also just made up. One of the examples I think about now, what's so fascinating is when you think about in parenting kind of the pendulum swing that we've had from a couple generations ago where it's like kids should be seen and not heard and you're only spoken you only speak when you're spoken to and it was just very hands off and parents really were busy with surviving and making an income and whatnot and how quickly it's gone to the other side. And in one sense, we think we are kind of doing the right thing and doing a better thing. And I would obviously argue that we are in a lot of ways and yet the pendulum has swung so far that it's funny to think about these made-up rules and like we don't actually know if they work or they're better, right? There's so much documentation and studies and stuff that now show that this level of helicopter parenting, this level of like obsessive our children are our entire universe and like their happiness is the only thing that's important to us and so we will kill ourselves to make sure that they never like face a problem or, you know, we quickly jump in to fix things. Well, there's a lot of like studies now that that is extremely detrimental as well because you just raise a group of people who can't handle life's 50/50 like the fact that there's gonna be rejection and things that don't work out and there is a ton more anxiety and depression. I'm not saying it's just from that but I just say that as like it's a reminder for myself. Like just because some people decided this is how we should live doesn't mean they have any idea whether that's even the right way, right? Or a good way or a way that works. It's just some people have decided that like we've moved to this side of, you know, culture and we get to constantly question that. Like is that right for me? Do I want that? And I talked about this a lot in the last episode about parenting like where I had to kind of break free from what was expected of me as a mother and how thought work really helped me with that to really decide and have the tools to question what do I want for me and my kids? What works for our life, right? What happens when I don't martyr myself and my needs are also included in this, you know, uh calculation in what we do every day? How does that change what I think we should and shouldn't do? Now, I don't know if that's the right way either, I just know that that is what works for us, right? That's what is gonna work for my life. And I want you all to start asking that question about all of your to-dos, right? I want you to stop using being busy as a badge of honor. And a lot of you may not realize that you're doing it. I want you to think about like, you know, it seems like maybe you're just conveying the news like I we are really busy, right? But I want you to think about like if being busy would had a bad connotation like let's say it was equivalent to you having a problem like you having some kind of addiction or something. Let's just say like people looked at it and like it was something that society had said is shameful and we shouldn't talk about openly let's just say. You wouldn't have so many people like answer the question “how are you” with oh, busy. Yeah, like we're all so busy but there is an implicit little like dopamine hit when we say it. It's almost as if like I'm doing the song dance for society. Look at me, I'm just as good as everybody else. And we have to start changing that. We have to change that in our own minds about really like what am I attaching to being busy? Does it make me feel important? Like there's so much ego wrapped up in this, right? There's so much ego in wanting things to be perfect so we don't delegate to anybody else, wanting things to be perfect and like not drop any ball so that nobody else can think anything bad of us. And I just want you to start like questioning that and questioning whether that's the type of life you wanna live, right? Whether that's what's going to create this dream life. Because I promise you that this doesn't come from changing your job. You can go to the next job and the next and if you have created this idea that the busier you are, the better you are. And I'm not saying you created it yourself. Like if you've adopted that belief that when you are productive you are somehow better, then it will follow you anywhere you go. There is no life hack, there's no work life balance, there's no productivity hack that's going to make you all of a sudden be able to like give yourself rest. And a really easy way for you to be able to notice if you can do this is just try to do nothing for an hour on like a Saturday. Like give yourself an hour where you won't clean up, you won't go through the to-dos, you will lay down and either take a nap, you will read but you won't do anything. And just watch what your brain does. Like if you're not allowed to take that hour, ask yourself why. What are you making it mean? Because here is the truth: the only reason we think we have to do all these things is because we attach some kind of morality to it. And I want you to understand that truly everything we do is neutral, right? Whether you have a clean house or a dirty house like I mean like organized. So either you have an organized house or unorganized house, there's no morality attached to that. There is like are there toys in my living room floor or are there not? That's it. It's super neutral but we have decided that it's morally better to be organized and tidy and clean and that means you're on top of things and that means, I don't know, I don't even know what we make it mean. That means you're a good mom, a good wife, a good husband, whatever we make it mean. And so that's why we feel like we have to do it. And so you have to start seeing like what is the story I'm attaching to this? What am I telling myself it means about me when I decorate my house for the holidays or when I do all of the things that my boss asked me to do or when I don't delegate because I think I can do it better, right? What am I making that mean about me? What am I hoping other people think about me? Because that's the only reason we're doing it is cuz you've created a thought. You've told yourself oh, this means I have my life together. This means I'm doing it right. This means I'm a better insert whatever, employee, spouse, friend, because I can do all these things because I remembered this person's birthday and I constantly have a gift ready. I'm not saying you you should say no to everything, you can decide what you truly wanna keep in your life. But what happens is when we have everything, when everything is like high alert emergency I have to get everything done and or I'm gonna feel terrible, that's how we burn ourselves out. And so what I want you to start by doing is I just want you to make a list of everything that you think you have to do or that you should do. Okay? Take like 15 minutes, this is really eye-opening. Just take a blank piece of paper or type it out and write down every single thing. And what I would do is break it down into different categories. So what are all of the things that you have to do at work? What are all the things you have to do at home? What do you have to do for your health? What do you have to do for your kids? What do you have to do for your relationships? What do you have to do for your spirituality? Right? And on and on and on. You can keep going as no matter how many roles you're fulfilling, I want you to tell me all of the things that you should be doing. You likely are not doing them all but that you think you should. And I want you to just take a moment and reflect on that list and just figure out how it even makes you feel to see that list. Because it is very eye-opening. It is an absurd amount of things and it becomes no wonder that we don't live up to it, right? It's not some mystery of like why we're not getting all of our to-dos done. It's because we have way too many to-dos. And so the first step is really just becoming aware of that and really questioning like why do I think I need to do all this stuff? What do I make it mean about me when I don't do this stuff? Right? And it starts with just noticing like what are some of the things that I don't even want to do but I think I should do, right? It's not even things that I think I should do, I just think other people think I should do so I've been doing it cuz how many of us just people-please through our to-do list. It's like well, my mother-in-law likes when I do this and my husband wants me to do this and my boss really likes for me to take on this task even though it's not even in my job description. So I should do all these things instead of advocating for myself and being like no, that doesn't work for me. I don't wanna do this. And so I just want you to start there. I want you to start with figuring out what you even have on your to-do list for yourself and start questioning it and start realizing that you don't have to do any of it. Truly, you don't have to do any of it. And that's kind of like a mind-blowing realization. And there's some things you're gonna wanna do. There's some things that are important to you. And then there's other things that aren't that we just decided at some point that like I should decorate my house for the holidays or I should because like everybody on my street does. Okay, but do I want to? Does it add value to my life or is it just mostly stress and me yelling at my family while I do it? Talking from personal experience, right? Like what are these things that I've just put on there that I've just adopted because society told me that this is what we should do. And how do I start asking like what do I want to do? And then I want you to come into The Quitter club so we can do the work. I'll teach you a framework for how you go through and figure out like prioritizing what is actually the thing you need to do and what are the things you don't wanna do? What are easy things to eliminate? How do you start delegating? And then how do you deal with the guilt, right? And the guilt, it's not that there's a problem that guilt is coming up because you've been programmed to believe that you should do all the things. So of course, your brain's gonna go back there. Your brain's gonna go back like well, I am being lazy today. And that's when we do the thought work, right? This is why thought work is so important. It's not enough to just know concepts or to hear it once and be like okay, yeah, I should do less. Is because as soon as you try to do less, your brain's gonna tell you that you're lazy and that your whole life is gonna crumble and that everyone's gonna hate you and that your relationships are gonna go south and you need someone to gently, lovingly tell you that that is absolutely not true and that your brain is a liar. And you're gonna need to learn the tools of how to manage your mind and find thoughts that actually help you and find thoughts that keep you on the path you wanna be until you can adopt other thoughts, until your thoughts become like mine where I love doing nothing. It's like my favorite thing. I love taking things off my to-do list just so I can do nothing. I'm like you know what sounds great today? Doing absolutely nothing. And I have two young kids and I have zero shame in that. That like there's Saturdays where I'm like you know what? We're not going anywhere. You guys can figure out what to play and mommy is gonna read for an hour. And that's what everybody needs in order for mommy not to be a psychopath, right? Like I have just learned that sacrificing my own health and needs and wants in order to make everybody else happy or to prove that I'm somehow good is to the detriment of everybody around me. And that happens over time once you learn how to manage your thoughts around it, right? Once you start seeing oh, all of this was made up and I don't have to do any of this stuff. I'll give you guys one last example. I stopped working out two years ago, right in the pandemic. I was trying to heal my relationship with food and exercise like most women in our society and these insane body standards that we go through. I had been working for a while to heal my relationship with food but I still had a really negative relationship with exercise. I had mostly used it to punish myself. I had a very emotionally charged thoughts and beliefs about exercise. I truly hated it. And so I got to a place where I was like you know what? If I don't have to do anything, what if I just don't have to work out? What if I stop going through this mental drama every single day about I should work out but I'm not doing it. And then I feel lazy and then I hate myself but then I get up and do it. And I hate that too. And I'm just miserable all the time. And so I didn't set out to do it for two years. I just decided I'm I'm gonna stop working out. I'm just gonna stop. I'm gonna give myself zero guilt. We're just not gonna do it. And it took me two years to really work through a lot of the thoughts. Every time I wanted to come back, I just wasn't ready. My thoughts were still not there. And I will tell you that that was some of the most impactful work that I've done on myself. And I'm recently started working out again. And it is such an incredible experience because having been able to manage my own thoughts now around how I use exercise really as a loving way for my body because my body was starting to hurt. It was truly getting to a place where it was like we need to move. Like you need to move us. We're atrophying at this point. And it really came from a place of me changing how I approach it. And I do it from such a place of love now. And it hasn't. I have no agenda, there's no need to change the way my body looks or anything. It's really just for a place of like how can it feel good? How can it be a gift to me? How can I do it with love? And for me, that took two years. I'm not saying it has to take that for a lot of people. Maybe it takes a month or whatever. For each of us, each thing is gonna be different. I just want you to see when I say like you don't have to do it, I truly mean it. I thought the world was gonna like swallow me up when I stopped exercising. I thought every catastrophizing thought that you could believe I had that would happen. And really I just proved to myself that like of course, I could stop if I wanted and I have that control and I can stop any other time I want and I can always decide what's right for my body and I can always decide what I'm willing to do and I can stop attaching moral things where there is no morality. And it was some of the most powerful lessons because it applies to so many other things. And so I just want you to go through your list and just figure out what are some things that you don't want to do that you can just cut out for November. We're gonna call it No November. And then I want you to join The Quitter Club so that I can help you deal with all of the guilt and figuring out what you wanna cut and what you can't and what your, you know, second cousin's mother is gonna say about it and why that doesn't matter. So go to lessonsfromaquitter.com/quitterclub and get on the wait list so you can join us when doors open at the end of November. Alright, my friends, I hope this was helpful. Go out there and do less. Do nothing today. Take some time to rest and then message me and let me know you did so I can get super happy that we're gonna start a revolution of everybody doing as little as possible. Alright, I'll see you guys next week.
Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, share it with someone else. I promise you know somebody who also hates their job and wants to quit, so why not share the love? And if you want to come follow along for more, come join me on Instagram at LessonsFromAQuitter and make sure you say hi. I'll see you next week for another episode.