S06|08 - Feminist Time-Hacking with Vikki Louise (anti-productivity gets more done)Apr 03, 2023
Vikki is the UK’s leading Feminist Time, Productivity and Rest Coach, innovating outdated time management systems and tools that simply have women ‘getting by’, overworking and operating from high stress and pressure. After graduating from the London School of Economics, she worked in finance, and tech, before founding her coaching company. She’s gone from 80 to 15-hour weeks and helps her clients do the same. She helps them create plenty of time and succeed more because they do less. She also hosts the top 1% “Feminist Time, Productivity & Rest podcast”, downloaded over 600,000 times.
In this conversation:
- Ditching programs, planners, scheduling systems and complicated tools as a way to be MORE productive
- We dig into how we tie our self-worth/value as a person to our productivity, results and achievements
- How the key to get more done (AND make MORE money) is doing LESS, not more
- Taking time for rest (you do NOT need permission)
- How to start our own deconstruction of thinking around time and how it’s been viewed/taught for decades
- Redefining success as a human/mom and creating to-do lists of self-love and support
The retreat is coming up! Join us** click here
Coaching has changed my own life, and the lives of my clients. More connection, more healing, more harmony, and peace in our most important relationships. It increases confidence in any parenting challenges and helps you be the guide to teach your children the family values that are important to you- in clear ways. If you feel called to integrate this work in a deeper way and become a parenting expert, that’s what I’m here for.
Triggers Workshop: click here
Get the BOOK HERE: www.coachcrystal.ca/shop
Join the next round of PARENT SCHOOL: www.coachcrystal.ca/group
Find Your Parenting Personality: Quiz Here
Email me at [email protected]
Information about the retreat: click here
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hi, I'm Crystal The Parenting Coach. Parenting is the thing that some of us just expected to know how to do. It's not like other areas of your life where you go to school and get taught, get on the job training, or have mentors to help you, but now you can get that help here.
I believe that your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life, and the best way that you can make a positive impact on the world and on the future. I've made parental relationships my life study, and I use life coaching tools, emotional wellness tools, and connection-based parenting to build amazing relationships between parents and their children.
If you want an even better relationship with your child, this podcast will help you. Take my Parenting Quiz, the link is in the show notes. Once we know what your parenting style is, we will send some tips tailored to you and a roadmap to help you get the most out of my podcast. I invite you to help me spread the word by sharing your favorite episode on social media or with a friend.
Don't forget to check out my new mindset journal for parents at www.coachcrystal.ca/shop, which will help you to parent calm, confident children that you love to be around.
Feminist Time-Hacking with Vikki Louise (anti-productivity gets more done)
Who Vikki Louise is, what she does, and how she got started
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Vikki is the UK’s leading Feminist Time, Productivity and Rest Coach, innovating outdated time management systems and tools that simply have women 'getting by', overworking and operating from high stress and pressure. After graduating from the London School of Economics, she worked in Finance, and Tech, before founding her coaching company. She’s gone from 80 to 15-hour weeks and helps her clients do the same. She helps them create plenty of time and succeed more because they do less. She also hosts the top 1% Feminist Time, Productivity & Rest podcast, downloaded over 600,000 times.
Hello everyone and welcome to today's podcast episode. I am super excited to chat with our guest today and to bring back a few guest episodes. Today, we have on the podcast Vikki Louise; and I am going to have her introduce herself; and then we will dig into--
Actually, I'm going to first say I sent her a message – we'd never met before, but we have a lot of mutual friends – and I was like, "Do you want to come on the podcast and talk about anti-hussle and anti-productivity tips?"
I was like, "That's what we should talk about."
And anyways, it's going to be a great conversation, but tell us a little bit about you, Vicky, and what you do and how you got into this whole thing.
Vikki Louise: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. So, I'm a Feminist Time Coach. I help my clients around time and rest and productivity.
I also am like the ultimate reformed hustler or even reformed procrastinating hustler because they used to flipflop between like 80-plus hour weeks – taking on like three jobs at once, and like spend certifications and qualifications and planning company softball or whatever else I could do to like fill my time…to like collapsing and doing nothing and putting off everything.
So, wherever you are meeting us at this podcast episode, I promise you I've been there. And that's really, you know, part of the reason I got into this was I started as an Anxiety & Procrastination Coach.
And then I hit my business goal – my three-year business goal – in six months and was like, "Wait, what? How did that happen? I thought it was supposed to take time and I was supposed to have to like work 100-hour weeks and I've not-- you know, I've not been--" And it didn't make any sense.
And then that was what stemmed, like, 'Oh, everything that we've been taught about what creates results, doesn't.'
And I actually spent 10 years in a burnout cycle in a high-stress cycle and panic attacks and all of that stuff trying to like, push my way to success. And when I slowed down, it was like, 'Oh, okay, this is how we're doing it now.' So, that's my purpose in the world. I'm also a new mom. I say new, but he's 11 months now.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: But's still new. Yeah.
Vikki Louise: Yeah. I'll take it. I'm going to be a new mom forever because--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Forever.
Vikki Louise: -even when they're 13, you're only new at being mom to a 13-year-old, right?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes.
Vikki Louise: Like never gets-- There's no like, 'Oh, now I know how to deal with a five-year-old, I'm set forever.' Like, it's constantly evolving. So, I'm always going to be a new mom. I like it.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Constantly. My kids are getting old now, like "old"; and I'm like, 'Wait, this is a totally new phase.'
My youngest is seven, which so many years of my life, it felt like they were all just like all tiny.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And now, my oldest is 16 and my youngest is seven.
Vikki Louise: Wow.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And it's like a totally-- It is, it's like a totally new phase of like, 'Okay, wait, everybody is potty-trained, everybody can buckle up their own car seats.'
And we even took a flight together, all six of us, which has never happened before; and it went really well. And I was like, 'Oh my goodness, this is like a totally new dynamic.' We mostly sleep through the night, not always, but mostly. So yeah. It's-- I love that.
How we tie our self-worth/value as a person to our productivity, results and achievements
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, before we dig into this topic, one of the things that I see coming up so much, for women specifically, is tying self-worth to productivity--
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: -which is why we like hustle, hustle, do more, do more, do more.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, I want to speak on that first before we dig into anti-productivity and anti-hussle stuff.
Vikki Louise: Yes. It's so funny because I think, firstly, my mom does this all the time. I'll be like, 'Mom, how was your day?'
And she'll be like, 'It wasn't very good today, I didn't get a lot done,' or 'It was a great day, I got lots done.'
And I'm like, 'Mom, you know, you can have a good day and do nothing.'
And she's like, 'Oh yes, I remember…yes, I remember.'
But it really is, bless her, like I just see it right in front of my eyes. Or even when I first first started coaching, before I even had a niche…I was coaching a lot of women and they would say like, you know, everything that was good was luck or chance or someone helped them and everything that was bad was their fault.
And I think we're just not taught to claim ownership of ourselves outside of what we do for others. And we're not taught to like ourselves beyond what other people think of us.
And we're taught way too much to give that power away to other people, give the credit away to other people, and completely give ourselves away to other people. And that's why I just recorded a podcast on my podcast today actually; and it's about seven ways to give yourself more love this week, which is a productivity hack, by the way.
And one of them was, you know, to look in the mirror and say, "I love you"; and look in your eyes as you say it. And I was like, you know, "I know this sounds strange".
And then I thought about it like, why does it sound strange to look in the mirror and tell yourself you love yourself, but it doesn't sound strange to tell your kids or tell your partner or tell your pets.
Like, we really-- We really are just through an evolutionary standpoint and then how we're socialized, just so in service of others that, of course, we measure our worth by what we got done and not just what we got done for ourselves, but what we got done for other people.
And that's why so many of my clients have a hard time saying no, even when they're already super stretched beyond and highly over committed.
So, I think, we have to look at how we evolved as nurturers and how we've been socialized as givers – and the whole narrative everywhere that like, 'Well, you can't have it all because you must be able to give to everyone else,' instead of…you can have it all when you stop trying to give everything to everyone else.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. I think it's such a different way to think about things. And the reason I wanted to have this conversation is because I feel like the type of parenting that we talk about on this podcast is very against the grain.
People want it to be behavior-based and more strict and more like, you know, obedience is what matters and your kid should listen to you, and all of these, kind of, traditional tactics we've been doing.
And I think most of the people, I'm guessing, that listen to this podcast, don't agree with that anymore and want to do something a different way. But it kind of comes up with this friction because we go out into the outside world, like maybe at home we're like, 'Okay, yeah, I believe this,' but then we go out on the outside world and we get all this bombardment of things being so different and feeling like we're doing it wrong.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Ditching programs, planners, scheduling systems and complicated tools as a way to be MORE productive
Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, I imagine when it comes to this, it's exactly the same where it's like, 'Okay, yeah, I agree with that,' but then it's also really hard to implement and do because we've had years of programming and generations before us of programming of like, it matters how much you get done--
Vikki Louise: Yes.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: -and your worth is dependent on how much you get done. And I, like you, was such a-- I like had all these to-do lists and just checked all the boxes and was overscheduled constantly…and you know, Parent Council president back when my kid was in school like 11 years ago.
And I was like, 'Well, if I'm going to do school, I'm going to like go all in and I'm going to volunteer every single day…and I'm going to just do all the things.' And constantly over-busy and burnt out.
And I talked to so many women who have not had coaching yet, or have not been in my programs yet, who were like, "I don't have time though…I don't have time to do the five-minute exercise you just told me that might change my life," as I'm DMing them on Instagram or whatever. Right?
"I don't have time to implement this thing because I'm just way too busy, I don't have time--"
I do retreats too and they're like, "I don't have time to take a few days off and do a retreat."
Vikki Louise: Yes.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: But nothing will change unless something changes. Right?
Vikki Louise: Yeah. And also, I mean, the moment we say "I don't have time" to do something that's like a few minutes, we know that it's not…the time isn't the problem.
Like one of the things I like to say to my clients, I'm like, yeah, but if Beyonce called you and was like, "Hey, I want to fly you and your best friend on a private plane to my island and we're going to do a private performance for like two days," could you say yes…could you figure it out? And if you could, then you don't have a time problem.
Like, I call it the T-word. My clients are like, 'Okay, let's talk about the T-word,' because it's so often, it's not time.
Exactly like what you said, I feel like we've built these structures to solve this time problem where you have to like write the list and guess how long everything's going to take you in that list…and then put that list to a calendar, and then color coordinate it, and then follow it perfectly.
And it's like, what? Like that just sounds like more work, that's not the high-value work…that sounds like low-value work that's not, you know, going to move the needle forward on our business.
And we've created this whole industry, I see the time industry as like the diet industry where there's like thousands of plans; and 99% of them fail and we just jump from like, I'm going to get up at 5:00 AM to like, I'm going to do time boxing to I'm going to eat the frog to like whatever it is.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah, I used to-- I used to totally binge those. I was like a new planner, a new course, a new YouTube video on like how to do this system.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And it's interesting because I just realized I've done exactly the same thing in budgeting and I never ever…it never hit me until last week, why am I budgeting systems never work.
Is that I'm like, 'Wait a second, I'm doing it in exactly the hardcore, strict structured way that literally does not work in any other area of my life, so why would I think it works like this?'
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And so, when I made it so much more loose and came up with like, 'You know what? I'm just going to write down--' I will tell you my amazing budgeting system now is like having a notes app on my phone; and every time I spend money, I just write it down. Like, that's it.
And then I just have kind of a general idea about what I want to spend that week; and I just like keep a notes app, writing it down – and that's it. And it gets me mindful enough about when I'm spending my money that I actually think about it.
But it's not like I've been using all these complicated apps and systems and like inputting all this data; and I'm like, 'This is not fun at all.' And now, I hate it and I have a worst relationship with money because of it.
So anyways, side note. But I do think-- I think that this concept that we're talking about applies not only to parenting and motherhood and productivity, but really to every area of our lives that we can deconstruct and be like, wait a second, who told me that this is the way that it had to be? And like, where did this idea even come from? And, do I want to keep doing it this way?
Vikki Louise: Yes. It's so funny as you're speaking, because I always say "time hacking", which is what I teach not time management, time hacking, is to-- it's like intuitive eating. It's like the equivalent, right? Like it's all these diet plans, and all these things that you're told you must eat and you mustn't eat; and you know, it's left no food safe. So, there's that; and then there's like intuitive eating, and that's what time hacking really is.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. It's really-- I think it's like intuitive living, right? I think of the kind of parenting approach that I teach as like intuitive parenting.
I call it connection-based parenting because connection is the main focus, but it's so intuitive. Like from a space of…let's deconstruct everything that's happening in our brain around parenting and what it should be like and triggers that we have because of our past beliefs and all those things.
Fast-forward to this time where everything's a little bit more clean and clear and we're like, 'Okay, what do we-- how do we want to show up and what do we want to do? What feels intuitive?' And it happens so seamlessly. It's like this puzzle that just gets put into place.
How the key to get more done (AND make MORE money) is doing LESS, not more
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And I think it's because living is intuitive…every area of our life, whether it's productivity or budgeting or parenting.
I love that you call it time hacking, and that you talk about kind of like it's productivity tips, but more like anti-productivity tips. So, I want you to tell us a few of your tips because people are probably like, 'What do you mean anti-productivity tips? How do you get done more when you're anti-productive?' So, tell us more about that.
Vikki Louise: Yes. Well, I will say I'm still, because-- I do see myself and my work as pioneering this area, so there isn't, I can't use my language in marketing. So, I do use things like productivity and time management just because people aren't really looking for time hacking yet.
People aren't really looking for this language so it's interesting that they're like literally isn't the commonly used language in order for me to use it because how I teach my clients is so like revolutionary.
But yes, so for example, if we're going to speak about productivity or anti-productivity, it's kind of like-- What was the example I thought of the other day? Like the more you focus on something…the more you look at something, the further away it gets. Right? And that's what we've done with productivity.
It's like, if I think about time tracking, so one of the things that people will say is like-- I mean, I've literally had people say this to me so many times, this phrase that like, "Well, what's not measured can't be managed."
And I'm like, "Really? Is that true?" Because I don’t know if this is TMI, maybe I should go with a different example. I was going to go with something like my menstrual cycle is managed without me measuring it…like I'm able to manage it.
Vikki Louise: Perfect. So, I'm like-- I'm like, you know, I'm able to manage that without measuring out every month how much is coming out and tracking it. But you know, we're actually so capable as humans and we're treated like morons.
We are really, really treated like morons because a lot of the time, management systems and the tools and the ideas come from what I call like factory living…and how we used to be considered, it's like this mass market of time and productivity that takes away from like your individual ability to make decisions based off of like what feels good.
Another example is like the idea that we should, you know, eat the frog and start the day with the most challenging thing every day…versus like, you can check in with yourself and be like, what feels good today?
And not only that, but like a day is too short a time for us. Like not every day is going to be the same; obviously, especially as women.
But it's really one of the things I have my clients do is like, what are three things that are going to make this week successful?
And then you get to do those three things whenever you want, or show up for those three things whenever you want; and they act as like a decision filter based off of like, should I--
You know, I, right now I'm bringing my program into companies and corporates; and that's like a key priority. So, like, if that's my priority for the week, if I don't-- if it's like Thursday and I've not done anything for it, it's kind of like a telling sign that something is going on.
So, how can we pull away from these like rigid structures that are supposed to help us with productivity, like time tracking, like time audits, and the whole time management industry…and tap more into like what--
It's like less planning ahead of time and more trusting in the moment, that's what I would say the difference is.
You've been told it's productive to plan your week on a Sunday night because then you're like ahead of the week, but then Wednesday morning comes along and you actually have realized that the work that you did on Tuesday isn't impactful…and the decisions that you made ahead of time for Wednesday are no longer relevant.
But you have to follow them through because you have to follow the plan because that's what's, you know, productive and smart; and it's just not.
And I think we are wasting so much time, which is our, like, most precious and valuable resource doing things because someone else said we should, including our past selves, by the way, let alone some guru online that doesn't know us and has never met us and knows nothing about our lives.
So, we're disconnected from ourselves. And time hacking is all about, you know, actually reconnecting to ourselves…talking ourselves up instead of talking ourselves down, making sustainable decisions that are in line with where we want to be and where we want to go – not other people's opinions and where we've been, and changing our relationship with fear and failure.
So, it's far less around time than we think it is. And yet, my clients are consistently able to reduce their work hours, accelerate forward, get pay rises, get promotions, scale their businesses without obsessing over productivity.
And in fact, instead obsessing over like being kind to themselves, obsessing over allowing themselves to rest, obsessing over their latest Netflix series if that's what they feel that they want to connect to at that point in time instead of 'I should be somewhere else right now'.
Which is I think probably for a lot of your clients, as a parent, if you're a working parent in particular, this narrative that like you should be able to do it all at once; and if you can't, you need another planner and you need another tech software that's going to, productivity software that's going to manage it all for you and color-code all the things. Like, no, no, no, I promise you-- I always say the easiest way to get organized is to just do less.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes. I think, and it's so interesting that as you start doing less, you actually get more done. Like you're actually more productive in what you're doing because you're doing the things that actually matter the most, instead of having all these things on your list that really don't matter and all these times that you've said yes to things that need to be Nos.
And I remember one of your posts said something about like, it was some time hack, but it was basically like just say no, and then it was like, now go back again and then like say no again. And then it was like, then go back and say no again, and I'm like, 'Oh, this…yes, this is it.
Vikki Louise: Yes.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: A couple things for me came up when you were speaking and one was; I've had a few clients who they specifically are either ADHD or neurodivergent or just have a hard time with time, and feel so bad when they're late for things or when things aren't as structured or organized as they "should be"…and how much they connect that to their self-worth.
Like it's almost like the world has this idea of what structure should be, and that that's like the better way to do it. And if our brains are neurodivergent and it's harder for us to live in that way, then there must be something wrong with us versus must be something wrong with the way the world's set up.
Vikki Louise: Yeah. Even the way you said it, like we think we have a bad relationship with time instead if we have a bad relationship with how we've been told to do time and to use time – and what is good and what is bad.
A lot have…the fair few neurodivergent clients, to no surprise, I'm sure. Because again, we're taught to be followers. I'm sorry, but like, we're taught to be followers. We are taught about time at school only in terms of like, 'Here's a calendar, fill up all the kids' calendar so that like the parents can go to work.' That's why school was created, you know, as it is now.
And then we want them with the after-school club. And then, no one teaches us anything else about time ever again – except when we go to our first job and that company culture sits with us so long, and it's like so ingrained in us that that is the right way.
So, one of the things that I find myself helping people with a lot is, exactly like you say, unlearning the narrative that like what you were taught when you were seven years old or in your first ever job is the right way to optimize our time…when in fact, typically, it's overly rigid – overly structured, not at all individualized in any way, completely unflexible.
You know, speaking about being a parent and an employee, flexibility is at the core; and unfortunately, from the top-down, industry still adopts this broken narrative.
We did see some shifts during the pandemic, and we are seeing some changes now into like larger companies looking at the four-day work week and so on.
But I do think this is going to be like a grassroots movement where we as a people, we as small business owners, we as being part of small teams inevitably show that when we do less, when our brains are less busy, when we're not carrying around a million to do lists and we're able to think clearer and be more creative, of course, we achieve more.
And we're going to see it rise so much so that larger companies are like, 'Well, we've got to change the way we work.' And I think it's going to be like veganism. Right? Like I remember the exact moment where I first saw a McDonald's Ad for a vegan burger; and I was like, they would never have been like, 'Let's pioneer this new way of eating.' But it grew so much that they could not pay attention, and that's my plan to take over the world and change how we work.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: To take over the world – that is also my plan, but with parenting. I love it. I think it's interesting that we have these ideas of like, get more done, get more done, get more done all the time.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And even this idea of like, you know, being late is bad and we have to have this be rigid, because it's totally like not even human, right? Like there's all these experiences outside of our control.
I mean, I had four little kids, and it was just like a disaster lots of days. And I was constantly late to everything, and then berating myself that I was constantly late to everything…instead of like; there was actually like a poopy diaper and somebody wouldn't get in the car and like somebody else puked or whatever.
Like, there's legitimate reasons, but I feel like I have to constantly explain those reasons…or I constantly had to feel bad that I was running late to things versus now where I feel my whole life is just so much more flexible, versus that rigid idea of what time should be.
Vikki Louise: Yeah. Even when you say like legitimate reasons, it's like you have this like, well, this is okay and this isn't, and if this happens, kids are okay, it's okay…we all understand and forgive you for being late with kids – but like, if you don't have a good reason and it's just you, then you are a bad human.
And I did a post on this once and I did get people DMing me, like I would just get rid of the one about being late; and it said something like, "Can we not make people feel bad for being late?" Like, can we not associate that with you being a bad person?
And people were DMing me like, 'Listen, I agree with most of your stuff, but I actually think that someone's not respecting my time if they're late.'
And I'm like, 'No, no, no…someone is not making decisions based off of you there, there's a whole life going on.'
And we live in this world where why should anyone ever have to explain? Like if you really trusted someone, it's like, 'Okay, like totally cool, do you want to reschedule? Do you want to not? Can you still make it? Do you want to not?'
Like whatever it is, and what shifts when we have that kind of relationship because the way I see it, is ultimately, I'm only responsible for my time. So, what sparked it, was someone had me on their podcast and she let me know the day of, that she couldn't make it; and then we rebooked and she let me know again on the day of, that she couldn't make it.
And she was like, 'I'm so sorry.'
And I was like, you really don't have to be sorry. Like it's fine because I'm not time scarce. I'm not, oh…like I'm not against a wall. I'm not super stressed and anxious and worried about time; like I feel very plentiful with it. I feel very abundant with it. I feel very spacious with it.
And so, if someone is no longer able to do something for an hour, I feel very capable of being like, 'Great, I don't need to do anything for this hour.' Or like, 'What is it that I would like to do for this hour?'
But I'm not making them responsible or blaming them for my experience of the hour. And unfortunately, we as a society have done that way too much so that everyone agrees that someone is a bad person if they are late.
And then the worst part about that is – exactly like you said – you are going to see a friend that you've not seen for ages and you are late and you spend the whole time thinking, 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I can't believe I'm late.'
Like your nervous system is shut out of place. And it's like you're just spending the whole time trying to like regulate yourself, calm yourself down, calm the voices in your head and you don't even enjoy the experience because of this narrative.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Oh, that is so true. I remember a few times like walking into church like so late and then just feeling so bad because then I'm like, 'Oh, now the kids are loud, and now this.'
And like I was so worried about these external things that I didn't enjoy it at all. Which like literally the reason that you go to church is to have this spiritual experience where you like turn inwards, and you're calm and still and thinking and whatever.
And I was like, this is not-- It was so dissonant to me. And now, I can go and be like…it doesn't matter what time we get there or how loud the kids are or whatever, I can have the experience that I want to have.
And I think it's the same way with this. Like we can feel terrible about it the whole time and have all this stuff going on in our brains or we can just change the way we think about time that it doesn't have anything to do with our self-worth, ever.
Whether or not we're late or early or it's legitimate reason or it's like totally whatever is that self-worth isn't related to time structures or productivity, or what we're doing and not doing.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I think I also-- Go ahead.
Vikki Louise: I was just going to say one of my best friends was famously always late when we were kids and everything. And now, it creates so much safety for me to be like, to do what I need to do and never rush to see her. And I love it so much.
I'm like, I never feel like-- Just think about the example we get to be when we stop holding people to these strict tight grips and like when you are late, what if you are giving permission for someone else to also be human in their own way?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I love that reframe of like, it's okay. It's going to give them-- Especially if I don't come with the energy of like, 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, blah, blah, blah.' If we're just like, 'Yeah, I'm late,' or whatever. Don't even say anything.
Vikki Louise: Yeah, I'm human. Hi.
Redefining success as a human/mom and creating to-do lists of self-love and support
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. I think this really ties into also redefining success, which is something I've been thinking about a lot lately because I set a goal for myself not this year, but the year before.
I was thinking about like business goals and stuff; and I'm like, what do I want to do this year? And it kept coming to me that I needed to make a time goal and not a money goal.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And it just felt wrong. It felt like, 'No, no, no, you're supposed to make 100K because that's like what you do in your business, you try to make that your first year or whatever.'
But in my mind, I kept thinking like, 'No, I really feel like it needs to be working less and having more of this work-life balance.'
And so, I set a goal to work 15 hours a week. And then, about halfway through the year, I hit that goal and decided that I wanted to bring it down to about 10 to 12. And that whole year felt really spacious and felt really amazing.
And at the end of the year, I did actually make more money than the year before by almost double, which is crazy. But I think even so much more than that, it didn't have to do with the money that I made.
My success, I feel like, was so much more in that my relationships were so much more healthy, especially the relationship with myself. And we traveled a lot and I spent, you know, six weeks off of Instagram entirely and off my podcast.
And I did so many other amazing things that I'm like, 'Wait a second, do I really want to have making a million dollars or whatever, be like my only thing, like is that what success is? Is running this crazy big company or is there other ways to define what successful is…and how much time I get for myself in the mornings and what I do with my time?'
Vikki Louise: Yeah. I have a program called the 15 Hour Work Week, where I literally help people create a 15 Hour Work Week. So, I think, definitely, time is the currency of life. Time is our most valuable and precious resource; it's non-refundable, you don't get it back and you cannot pay for it later.
You cannot, like Warren Buffett cannot buy more years in his life now. So, it really is. And unfortunately, we are not really taught to think of it that way because our time…again, to go back to how we're trained to think, our time, we're trained to think as employees and our time is valuable to someone else. Right?
Like, we are not thought to think about our time being valuable to ourselves. One of the things that you said that comes up a lot with a lot of my clients is this idea that like, 'I'm going to work less, and therefore I'm willing to earn less.' Versus like, no, no, no, if the only thing you do is work less--
People aren't going to believe this; I'm just going to say it. The only thing you do is work less, you will not earn less; like, no way, because there are things that are required of you.
It's actually harder and easier to work less, but first it's harder because of; the decisions that you have to make, and the things that you can't do and the covering up that you can't do, and the emotional space that you create, and the discomfort of doing things different to everyone else around you and the discomfort of other people saying, "But what are you going to do with your time?"
And the discomfort of being with yourself more because I think, you know, there's time in our work, but there's also time in our personal life. And if we're always busy and always surrounded by other people, it's the same.
It's the same issue coming up, which is we're never really taught to have space and have quiet and have, you know, time with ourselves.
I think of it like, you know, your relationship to yourself…if every time you are by yourself, you're picking up the phone or you are making a plan, or you are watching something or you are doing something, like, think about for a minute what relationship that builds by thinking about like if you saw your friend and every time you saw your friend, you're like, just before I sit down, I'm just going to make a cup of tea, and just before I sit down, I'm going to just check my socials.
And just before I sit down, I'm just going to go back to my emails one more second, and just before I sit down, I'm just going to see that we've got enough food in the fridge and maybe I want to start prepping dinner, and just before I sit down--
You know, and it's like, what relationship would you have with that person? And that's what we end up creating with ourselves. So, working less and having more space is, it's the ultimate productivity hack, it's the ultimate success hack, and it's the opposite of what we've been told; and that's why it feels so hard.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Oh, it does feel so hard. I remember pushing against it so much, I'm like, 'Why is my intuition telling me this? This has to be like wrong in some way.'
And this year my goal was like-- My thought came to me was like, 'Don't set a goal, that is your goal this year.'
And I kept thinking, 'Well, I have to.'
And I was like, 'Well, why do I have to?'
And I'm like, 'Well, they tell you, you have to set a goal.'
And I'm like, 'Wait a second, anything with a they is, like, immediately no.'
Vikki Louise: Yes.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: If it comes from outside of myself, then I'm like, 'No, that isn't-- that isn't me.' And then, I get to decide what I'm going to do about it.
But I love-- I love what you said about that you actually do make more, it's just like how you're more productive when you do less because my energy completely shifted in that year.
The energy that I brought to my clients, to my business, I was doing the things that actually mattered and getting rid of all of the hours of things that probably didn't ever matter to begin with. And instead of like hustling and trying to get so many things done, I did less.
And so many people ask me, "How do you do it all? How do you homeschool four kids and run a business from home and travel and all these things?" And it sounds like there's a lot, but there's really not.
It's because I've de-structured how I do homeschooling. I've done this whole idea around what home homeschooling is, and then parenting, and then business, and then all these things. So, I really-- I feel like I don't do a lot at all in any of those areas.
I'm like, I just do what I want to do and I do what feels good and what feels like the most powerful use of my time in that moment, even if it's only like an hour with my kids that day to do school. And anyways, that's definitely been my experience is like I actually am getting more results in more ways than just making more money.
Vikki Louise: Yes. And also, you will make more money. So, it's like, again, I do want to say that because I do think the narrative out there is either/or, and we're like, I'm willing to sacrifice money for my time; and it's like-- I mean, at least how I teach it, it's like, how to literally create a 15 Hour Work Week in your business.
How to start our own deconstruction of thinking around time and how it’s been viewed/taught for decades
Crystal The Parenting Coach: That's amazing. That is so funny because I didn't know that, and that is almost exactly-- I almost doubled my business that year when I decided to make the goal of the 15 hours, and then down to like 10.
And anyways, it's been lovely because I'm like, 'Wait a second, there's so many other things that I was doing that I don't need to do anymore.'
Vikki Louise: Yes.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And I also feel like all of the hustling I did in my first year just took me in so many random directions that it wasn't like focused.
Vikki Louise: Yeah. Because you're making decisions from like a scared place; you're making decisions from fear instead of making decisions from-- The way I speak about it is like, we're so sold on this idea that growth is on the edge of your comfort zone and step out your comfort zone.
And it's like, 'Yeah, but like step back into your comfort zone.' Like a lot is like-- You cannot just be in discomfort. You cannot just be on the edge of your comfort zone. You cannot be in a state of anxiety and a state of any ease all the time; and that's unfortunately what I see so many people do.
They're like, 'Well, if I want to grow, I have to be uncomfortable.' So, they're like, be uncomfortable. And then from that uncomfortableness, I'm going to make more unsustainable decisions…then from those unsustainable decisions, I'm going to beat myself up for not following through on them.
And then I'm going to compare myself to other people and then I'm going to-- It's just like this spiral of exhaustion so that people haven't had a proper good rest in like years, literally years.
And then we're wondering like why we're not successful. And the answer that we're seeing out there is; because you're not working hard enough, because you're not working enough hours, because you are not doing enough and you should be doing more.
And it's like, I promise you, if you are listening to this and you are tired and you know that you are overdoing the things, the answer is not doing more, it's doing less.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Oh, always, always, always. And I just see this so often with my clients and just with people around me. And I definitely feel like I was in that mode too, where I was like, just put more on myself and then I'll get more done and then I'll feel better.
And it's interesting going back to business, which I don't know how many people listen that are also life coaches or do their own business…but, for me, it's really turned me off of marketing that doesn't align with that too.
Like, I'm not going to market in a way where I'm sending mass emails constantly and split-testing all these really complicated funnel systems and like, just that style of marketing that's been around for decades that's really popular right now still is so, just feels like not right.
It feels so dissonant because I'm like, 'Wait a second, why would I make this be so busy, busy, busy, go, go, go in my marketing when that's not how I feel in my life?' And so, it's been so much more intuition within my business also.
And like, 'Wait a second, I don't have to send out an email once a week at the same time every week.'
Vikki Louise: I mean, come on, it's so ridiculous that we-- If anyone has since got small business that we set up these small businesses and we treat ourselves like with Coca-Cola; and we're like, I must be regular. And like as though we've got teams of people and we're not humans.
Like, I took months off when I was pregnant and, obviously, after the baby; and didn't record any podcasts and like, nobody cares. You know what I mean? Like you're allowed to be human.
And I do think that's a big thing that shows up around how we work, especially when we become mothers…that we expect ourselves to work like we've not had kids. And, like, we haven't taken on this whole new role.
And even for me now, I'll be honest, like so I know how to be a business owner and I knew how to be a mom; and I've just recently come back to work, so now I'm just figuring out how to be a working mom.
And I was like, 'Oh, I didn't think that that was a whole new thing.' But it really is. And just being kind to ourselves through that and letting it be messy, and yeah.
I mean, my email list is a whole load of fun because sometimes you'll get like 10 emails in a week and sometimes you won't hear from me for 10 weeks. I'm like, God, it's-- But it's like, you just get--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I love that.
Vikki Louise: -run your business how you want to run it, and say what you feel called to say, and--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And do the same thing with your life; you got to run your life how you want to run it and not--
Vikki Louise: Exactly.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: -based on somebody else's set of rules or, you know, how you feel like it should be done.
And the more I've leaned into that in every single area of my life, which I keep thinking that I have it all done and then I'm like, 'Oh no, wait, there's this one other area like budgeting that just came up that I'm like, oh no, I'm still really structured and like in the box here.'
It's been so freeing like so many times I speak to moms; and I'm like, 'What, what emotion do you want to feel? What energy do you want to feel about your life and about your motherhood and about your parenting?'
Like 9 times out of 10 they say freedom.
Vikki Louise: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yet they're putting on themselves so much more, so much more to do. Like freedom is the opposite of what they feel like they have now. And so, I think deconstructing our ideas around time and productivity and what we should be getting done as moms, is for sure the first step.
Vikki Louise: Yes. Totally.
Taking time for rest (you do NOT need permission)
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay, one more question before we go because I'm just so interested in this. How do you feel like, so that first year before you really got into time and productivity and stuff, and you set your three-year business goal in six months…what do you feel like happened there? How did that happen?
Vikki Louise: Well, this is what I built time hacking off. So, firstly, previous year, I'd had another business; I was straddling two businesses, and I was working like 80-plus hour weeks and doing all the things.
And then, I remember that point where, we were living in Austin because our other business was a startup that took us there.
And I remember hiking with my husband and being, and we were in business together and saying to him, "I just feel like I so care about our purpose, but I'm sacrificing every part of my life for this change that I want to see in the world and I don’t know if I can do it."
And then he was like, we're closing the business. Like, 'I'm done, I'm not watching you suffer like this.'
And I was like, oh no.
But then it meant made it very clear for me to like, 'Okay, I'm going to go in on my coaching business.'
And you said earlier, I don’t know if it was before we recorded or after, you said about going all in. And the way I think about all in, it's like; it's a mindset, it doesn't require you to do anything differently.
And for me that all in, that was like the mindset element that I was missing of like, I just-- You know, when you think you are going to lose it all, and I went back and lived with my-- We moved back in with my-- We left Austin, we moved back in with my parents. My husband was getting up at 5:00 AM for our catering job. Like, it was like, 'Oh no, we have nothing.'
But at that point, I just remember having this realization that whatever happens, I will always be able to be okay, I will always go work in a pub, I will always just get a job.
And because I kind of had to face that reality, I faced my worst-case scenario and was fine with it; and I stopped messing around. Like I remember I was in a mastermind at the time; and I went from the underdog, shouldn't have been in to the most improved player.
And I looked around at the peers like, what was the difference? What was it? And it was like, I was just willing to fail every day and I didn't make it mean anything about me. I was all in for all the experience of it. And I think so often, we're like, 'Oh, I don't have time to like make the offer, I don't have time to have that call, I don't-- I didn't have time in the--'
Even like yesterday, I was buying a new phone; and she said to me, oh, like, "Oh, you're coaching…what coaching do you do?"
We chatted about my business instead of me being like, 'Oh, I don't have time, this is awkward, I don't want to have a conversation about work and my personal life.'
Like just changed my narrative around and my excuses, I just eliminated the excuses basically. And I didn't have the expectation much like you said, like it was like a faraway goal; it wasn't like, I must achieve that now.
Like I wasn't attached to it. I wasn't attached to my worth to it. I was celebrating all the things. I was just having fun. And you know, I think that's it.
It's like; don't attach yourself to succeeding, don't attach yourself to someone else's timeline, don't attach yourself to someone else's method because I was definitely not following anyone else's method in what I was doing – back yourself, but be willing to fail, really.
I have this challenge I did with my clients called Dating Your Goal. And one of the things I speak about there, it's based off of like how I met my husband, which is also a crazy story for another time.
But like, are you willing to have your heart broken? Like the thing that you really want requires you to be willing to really want it and--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: To be vulnerable and get right in it. Yeah. Oh, that is so true. And I think that's true with like all the things that are worthwhile. It's like, 'Wait a second, can I really go all in?'
And not go all in as in put all of the hours that I have into being all in, because I feel like I run a full-time business. Like I tell people like, 'Oh yeah, I work, this is what I do.'
And then people are like, 'Oh, okay, you just work part-time?'
And I'm like, 'No, it doesn't feel part-time.'
Vikki Louise: 100%, part-time is a made-up thing.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. I'm like, 'No, I'm all in, this is my thing, this is what I do.' The hours that I put in don't have anything to do with like whether or not this is like, I don't know, my full-time thing, but I feel--
I feel all in about it, and I think I've loved everything that we talked about today. I love the idea of like using intuition and celebration, and really deconstructing our beliefs around time to help us actually get more done.
And even if you're listening to this episode and you don't run a business or you're not working from home or whatever, that you'll still get more done. You'll have more time to spend time on things that you enjoy – and actually want to be doing – and to rest.
I think it's so funny that we feel like we have to give ourselves permission to rest instead of it just being like, obviously, we can rest whenever we want, and just be okay with being. Right?
Not having to check our phone, not having to watch Netflix…just being able to be alone with ourselves and nothing else, I think, is like the key to what I think success really is in life – is like, how can I just be without doing?
Vikki Louise: Mm-Hmm.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Vikki Louise: I love that. Thank you.
How to connect with Vikki Louise
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for staying on so long and chatting with us. I just had so much more to say. Usually my episodes are shorter, but I'm like, 'Oh, but this is so good.' So, thank you.
Thanks for coming on and sharing your expertise with us. And will you just quickly mention how people can work with you, like what that looks like and where they can connect with you?
Vikki Louise: Yep. So, you can connect with me on my Instagram, it's just @feministtimecoach; or the podcast, The Feminist Time, Productivity & Rest.
And I work with you either through the 15 Hour Work Week Mastermind, if you are, typically that's for business owners; or if you want to come in and revolutionize how you use your time, then you can find out more about Time Hackers.
But the best place to start is actually stop wasting time. So, you can go to vikkilouise.com/guide, you'll get my guide of the four biggest time wasters that account for like 80% of time wasted that are not what you've been told they are and how to undo them.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Oh, I want that. That sounds awesome.
Vikki Louise: Yes, that's good.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay, well, we will get all of those links in the show notes; and thank you so much.
Vikki Louise: Thank you.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Thanks for listening. If you'd like to help spread this work to the world, share this episode on social media and tag me – send it to a friend, or leave a quick rating and review below so more people can find me. If you'd like more guidance on your own parenting journey, reach out.