April 29, 2021

Feeling Frustrated by Interruptions and Stress? Listen to These Tips...

Feeling Frustrated by Interruptions and Stress? Listen to These Tips...

This week, we’re switching things up a bit! I’ll be the one answering some of the most asked questions I receive as the Procrastination Coach as asked by my friend and colleague Tamra Fleming.

Tamra is the creator of a transformational personal growth process that comes from aligning peoples’ physical living spaces to the vision they have for their life and she’s an expert when it comes to the topic of the meaning of space. 

In this episode, we’ll be discussing some of the best practices for time management, how you can start making better use of your time, and how to clear the negative voice in your head that’s stopping you from getting what you need to get done.


Timestamps: 

[2:22] The biggest mistakes people make when using their time.

[6:14] How to release yourself from negative emotions to honor your time better

[17:47] Learn how physical and mental clutter can mess up your energy system

[20:47] The best clues to know if you’re limiting yourself unnecessarily

[26:42] Tell yourself these words when you are doubting yourself

__________________________________________________________

For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit:

https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com

 

Connect with Us!

 

Dr. Christine Li -

Website: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/


Tamra Fleming -

Website: https://www.meaningofspace.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meaningofspace

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meaning.of.space/

I'm so happy to let you know about my upcoming free live event, the Power Productivity Bootcamp.  Learn powerful strategies for having self-confidence and consistent, high-level productivity.  You're going to feel re-energized once you're done!  To register, go to https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com/bootcamp 🥾



Transcript

Christine Li:

Welcome back to the show. This is Episode 20. So this episode is a little bit of a twist on the typical format here, as I am going to replay an interview that I did for Tamra Fleming's audience, Tamra is an expert on how to align your living space with the vision you have for your life. And she and I just get each other's work intuitively. So this episode is Tamra interviewing me. And Episode 21. Coming up is my interview of Tamra. So in this interview, you're going to hear our conversation about how to bring delight and joy into your day, even in the midst of the pandemic. And even when there are distractions and chores to manage, you're going to hear several important mindset management techniques as well. So let's go listen to the episode. Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li, and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm, so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn about powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together. So that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success Podcast,

Tamra Fleming:

where we had talked about this topic of strategies for successful management of time and stress. And I can't think of a better topic, you know, I think it's an endless task. And when you're a human, to figure out how to manage your time and how to reduce your stress. So I have some questions for you. We'll just go through, we're just going to talk about this. And you can give us all the good juicy tips that you have. But what are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people make when they use their time, and I'm so anxious to hear this because I'm in the process of time blocking right now. And I don't want to make mistakes. So let's talk about that. What kind of mistakes do people make? Okay, I'm

Christine Li:

going to riff off what you just said a minute ago, when you use the word endless, the on slot can very much seem endless. And we know in our heart of hearts, that it's supposed to be that way we're not supposed to run out of things to do, life is not supposed to then all of a sudden come to a halt. Because we've become very good at being productive. So I think one of the mistakes that we make with time is a we don't value it enough, we let so much of it dribble away, and we fritter our time away. And we don't schedule our time. So we don't put structure we don't time block, we don't value our own precious time, and then we lose it, then we really don't have enough for the bigger projects that we want to launch or try or get through. Even daily chores can be so burdensome if you're not taking care of your time, in that way. So instead of looking at the activities, and the to do list items as being endless, we want to put constraints on everything. So this pile of laundry is going to take me half an hour, let's figure out what is the best timeframe. Let's figure out what's the best attitude to approach the laundry with let's then celebrate afterwards. It's really making time blocks like you've suggested that we're going to be very intentional about our time usage. I think that is the number one mistake that I've seen. Instead of focusing on our time intentions, we focus on how distressed we are, how overwhelmed we are and how little time we have. But that's exactly the wrong way to pay attention to our time. We really have an open field in front of us. So which path we want to take first, let's enjoy those paths. Rather than thinking, Oh, well, I just came from the house. And it's a mess. And I feel tired already before we start. That's not the right attitude to start with. Of course, in these times. We need to be extra careful and patient with ourselves. We need to be very gentle with ourselves right now. So productivity is a goal. But is it essential that we become robotic and hyper focused on everything? No, I think that might be incredibly depleting right now. But can we build that skill during this time? Absolutely.

Tamra Fleming:

Oh, I like so many of the things you just said. They're so helpful. Because I know I am creative, I'm the artsy style. And I love to roam about in my projects, you know, from and I multitask, and I do all those things, but it's not a very good use of my time. And right now I'm having to actually get really serious about time blocking. And as an artsy person, I feel very almost resistant to blocking time, because it's a discipline, but you just said something that I'm going to use to change my behavior, which is to value my time. Yeah, artsy people have a weird relationship with time anyway. Because you know, when you are in a creative mode, you go time lists. And that's the part that's really fun. But you have to have space for that in your calendar, you know, like, I'm a painter. So if I want to sit down and paint, I know that I can have time to go time list, and I don't have to pay attention to a time block. So the resistance then I can go out of with this is if I say I value my time, I'm not overwhelmed. And if I use my time better, I can actually feel good and feel happier, feel more productive and get things done without feeling chaotic, stressed out, or whatever. Yeah,

Christine Li:

yes, I think those negative feelings, the feeling chaotic and feeling stressed, those are the dangerous things. Sometimes they're the aftermath of poor time management, that time management. But sometimes they're the cause that they prevent us from seeing the open field, from seeing the wonderful feeling that you're going to have, once you finished your painting. Or once you're in the middle of your painting, once you've allowed yourself to self the space to engage. And I love what you said about the creativity allows us this timelessness. And I do believe that even if you're not a creative that you can create that sense of power with time when you take care of the time upfront. So really, it's just making the time matter and your attitude matter upfront that you want to take care of both they go hand in hand. And then really you will have enough time. Because you will know that the more minor activities that are filling your time, but are not giving you joy that you can survive without them that you can do something differently that you can be a big girl or boy and decide, let me do let me do this. Because I've been thinking about this for a while. tamarind. Christine told me that this could happen. And really, when you put these things together, you see the possibilities that you are the manager of your time, you have to take that responsibility first.

Tamra Fleming:

Okay, yeah, that really helps. And I know that, you know, we'll talk about this because I want to ask you about your time management tricks next. But you know, when you're also have other people in your life, other people that you bump into your world, and you can't totally manage your time with hardcore boundaries, right? I'd like to talk a little bit about that, you know, how do you set up relationships where you're honoring each other's time, and how you do it. So for instance, an example would be I work at home, my husband comes home for lunch, and he comes home at random times. And so he never know, as I try to do my best to say, Well, I'm recording live, or I'm in a meeting or you know, and I have to leave my door open because my dog needs to go in and out. She hates it when the doors closed. So it always creates this weird thing. But how do we handle that? How do we handle privacy? How do we handle boundaries? How do we keep our time tracks when we have other people in our lives? So you can think about that. But I want to go first and talk about your time management tricks. That would help do that. Because what you've already done is you've helped me shift my mindset about time you get to valuing it.

Christine Li:

Well, thank you for that great description of what the energy is like in your home. I will start there because I think we can talk about time tricks using that example. It sounds like you actually have a very stable energy system. You know, your husband is reliably home once a day and your dog is reliably in and out. And in some ways, my mind is wondering what part of you might need to open up to the possibility of being more flexible around those interruptions?

Tamra Fleming:

Yeah, okay. I'd like to be flexible. I would.

Unknown:

Okay, let's go with that.

Christine Li:

So one trick, so then I'll go into the trick category, that is to release perfectionism. Life is messy. Time is messy. Our energy is messy. But I think when we try to make everything fit, that's when we find the irritability, the aggregate Send the frustration, the dog barks just at the wrong time, my husband says, My dogs will get really hyped up just at the wrong time, because I've started that energy system that I've gotten excited to be on a call. And I can't argue with that. So when I relax, and when I say everything really still will be okay, the interview will go by, and we will succeed, lunch will go by, and we will have enjoyed it. And that we learn to enjoy more, when things aren't going perfectly, but that they're going it's kind of like the minimum expected event is that we're in process. That's what makes me happy is when I know, I'm not stagnant, but I'm in process. That is my high bar, it's not so high. But I used to be someone who was stagnant in all areas, I was stagnant with clutter, I was stagnant with time, I wasn't respecting myself, I was therefore not respecting other people's time. And that was a really terrible feeling. So in contrast, I feel like I am really the queen of the hill, because I have taken care of those negative feelings and those predictions that everything is going to be a mess, everything must still be a mess. Because I'm involved. I've gotten rid of that belief that I'm the bad factor. And I think when you take care of Time, time and the universe and your environment and your relationships start to strengthen, they start to give you better outcomes, and then you feel better and better and better. So it is I think very self reinforcing. You put in that good energy, you're going to reap more good energy and more time. So I think that home situation of yours is actually a very happy one. And to really dig into that toy that you can't predict when your husband, but you know, if it helps you get him to come home at two every day instead of random times. But if you can't then figure out the gratitude of, wow, he is taking the time to come home so that we can eat together. Wow, I really can't predict but it's gonna be exciting every single time.

Tamra Fleming:

I needed that in my head. I did I need that twist. And you know, and this relates to, you know, my brain and my learning style as well. And I'm distractible. And so if I'm distractible, then it's one of those things where I feel like I have to hyper focus to get something done and be able to do that. So I think what I can do is balance between the two, be grateful and be able to know that I have to hyper focus and just let him know that that's what I'm doing. He understands that about me, you know, when I need to do that. And do it that way. That's really interesting. Yeah, that's a perfectionism thing, too.

Christine Li:

You might also work on shifting that story of I need to hyper focus. That may be true. But that doesn't mean that there's not a little bit of leeway, that you could say I am very adaptable. You're just saying that to yourself. I am capable of extreme hyper focus, and I am very adaptable, so that you don't feel like you have to step out of your own identity just because your husband comes home for lunch, you know that? It's alright. It's really calming the overall stress level down that you're making fewer and fewer things. Breast triggers?

Tamra Fleming:

Yeah, I think what I will do here after this is I'll actually look carefully at what I say, you know, I'm all about words. And I can see now there's some major tune up here. So the words I use and the way I think of things as being interruptions in my day. Yes, yes. Very good. Okay, that'll that'll tap into some of my perfectionism.

Christine Li:

Most of that's your day, this is the day, it's so regular, actually, that you can appreciate that you can design, all the workshops, all the paintings, all the free time that you want, based off this beautiful baseline schedule that you have. So really looking at it.

Tamra Fleming:

Yeah, you know, I know we're having kind of a self coaching session here. This is awesome. I think that there are a lot of different people who since we've been kind of crammed into our houses together if we do have other people, that that's probably that let me just kind of summarize on my own words, that getting flexible and being easy with the situation actually reduces stress. That's what you're saying. So

Christine Li:

that's a really good trick. Absolutely. And I wanted to add what you had said earlier of that we have to pay attention to our individual brains and how they work with attention with free time. With irritability, all these things, that's the value of being a psychologist is I've just watched people for 20 years, tell me how their brain works and tell me how their heart works. And it's really quite a lesson in knowing that we're all okay, our systems are all working beautifully. And that we're oftentimes the worst attackers of that beautiful system, when we self criticize when we just abandon our wishes, when we let our boundaries, that really messy, that this is all not doing ourselves a favor. We're not working moment to moment, every single day to make ourselves as strong as we can be as sharp as we can be. And that's, you know, we were talking just before we started recording, its food, its sleep, its attitude, it's knowing that every once in a while, we're going to have a bad stretch. And knowing that we will rise again, we will be healthy and vibrant again. And I think that kind of thinking is really useful for pandemic times when it feels like this has been unbearable. This has been endless. There is no relief. No one quite understands each person's level of sadness and grief about what we've lost and what we've had to go through. But we also have had this opportunity to really do reflection and conversations with ourselves and our loved ones, the ones that were trapped with. And, yep, to experiment with time and stress, I think in new ways.

Tamra Fleming:

Yeah, you know, and I kind of want to flip over into the clutter world because I'm looking at a weekend now where I've been so busy, I've let things swell, which I talk about the ebb and flow of clutter and that it's a natural state of being and then there are times when you need to clear and there are times when it's okay to swell, it doesn't mean you have to be perfect at that either. Right? So I had a situation last night, I cleaned up a whole bunch of things, but now there's things to be sorted and put away and and my closet is has been piled with stuff as I've been changing out projects and things like that. And you know, the stress level that that holds in my brain is extreme. So it relates to time, and it relates to stress level. And so what I decided to do was okay, this weekend is my weekend to actually create order. And yet I didn't have to wait to have a whole weekend focused on that, like I could maybe do Saturday, and then Sunday, I can take the day off. And I talk about this all the time chunking it down into smaller bites, you know, what do you have to say about that? We've talked about this before a little bit, but take it away.

Christine Li:

Yes, clutter happens to be one of my biggest bugaboos? And so yes, I try to talk about it as much as I can. And I try to read about it, I try to get influenced by other people who are better at taking care of it than I have been. And I think one thing that's undeniable is that clutter does tax our energy system. That just its mere existence is a distraction is an energy drain is a frustration. And I think one of the most recent tips that I've come across is that at a certain point, you want to get to a place where decluttering is not even a separate event or activity, that it is kind of like my left arm is doing this. And my right arm is actually putting this in the garbage can that that for some reason hit me at the right time in the right place, because I had just done a chunk. And I was feeling the uplift that we feel after we've decluttered. But I needed I still needed more I needed to continue without necessarily doing another time block and so that hopefully, our listeners can make use of that it doesn't have to drain you of energy. And again, some of us are very low on energy right now because of these times. So let's make it as simple and as playful and as non activity level as we can. Let's make it just a part of our day like our husbands coming home. And this goes in the garbage it goes quicker, because then I have more time and then I don't have to think about it again. So treat yourself kindly, except when you have swells, but also know that at any moment, could be an opportunity.

Tamra Fleming:

That's really good. So so far, you know, what we've talked about is chunking things down, stop creating so much drama really about it and chunk it down and start to make it a new perspective. In a new habit, right hand,

Christine Li:

yes. And taking as little energy as possible. I want to add that. Yes, I think sometimes we toss around our energy and assume that we're going to be feeling well, today and then we all of a sudden are not feeling so. Well, midday. So to really conserve, and to make things just this is so easy. This is just such a no brainer. Yeah, this laundry pile.

Tamra Fleming:

Yeah. Okay. All right, this is so helpful. So we're talking about, you know, mindset, right mindset. Let's talk about some clues that we can watch out for, when we might be scaring or limiting ourselves unnecessarily. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about this.

Christine Li:

I would say thank you for that, I would say, we know, I'm going to start with intuition and our gut, that amorphous energy feeling that we know we're feeling like I said to one of my college friends, I'm feeling really crappy. And she turned to me and said, wait until you turn into the crab. Oh, and, and I think she's so hilarious. And her house is always just alive with energy. But she was also the hub. Right? She was the center and the mama. And to so funny about that. So we know when our energy has turned sour, we know when our attitude has kind of just kind of given up. We don't have to follow that all the way through to the end, where we turn into the crap, we can say, Oh, I heard myself criticize myself. Oh, I know that somehow, my limbs felt heavier. And then you just want to say I just need to take 60 breaths right now. And stop, I need to stop the constant push. Because the constant push will make you turn into the crap. Yes. So that? Yeah, that is July, that's Yeah. So that's right, July, July, the cancers. So the first trick is to really know how your energy is fluctuating and how your mood is fluctuating. Let's see. And then other tricks are really, I think they all have to do somehow, with really knowing yourself, really knowing where your limits are really knowing what your wishes are, you know, where you want to use your time, and then how you might be holding yourself back from fulfilling those wishes. It's very, in vogue right now to talk about dream casting and vision boards and thinking big. But yeah, I think all of us have had the experience, because we've grown up that there are all these forces telling us to limit ourselves and to keep ourselves small. And so we need to be the people who are saying, I'm going to keep that vision open, I'm going to keep that field wide open and clean, clean energy going forward. So as far as I want to take myself, I can go. So the signals that we're not doing that or when we're using particular words, and timer, you will know these for sure should I should be doing this, this is hard. This is difficult. I can't, they won't, we won't, I don't have time. So messaging of lack anything saying that I am deprived, I am deficient, I am lacking, I am slow, I require hyper focus, even that can be a limiting thought. And so maybe the task requires hyper focus, maybe that's a good match, you know, rather than Oh, I need to be a certain thing. Otherwise, I don't get it. You know, maybe sometimes we don't get things that we want. That's okay. So if you change the attitude to everything I desire I can achieve, then you have less, I can't, I can't, I can't, I don't have it, I won't get there because that's me, if you don't protect yourself from those thoughts, they will fill your mind, they will fill your calendar, they will fill your space and they will rob you of

Tamra Fleming:

your opportunities. Totally, you know, there's, there's so this is a really good example of that, you know, I like to work and I like to focus, it's fun for me to do that. That way I get really into it. And what I really put a pressure on myself to need to do was to get up at x time at night and go cook dinner and you know, do that well that I can do that I'm home, you know my husband has to work outside the home. And I resisted that for a while and then I started doing it more I started cooking more and I started realizing that I enjoyed it that it actually was giving my brain a new thing. It was an artistry If you will, and relaxed my brain, and I didn't have to be out there for hours, I could just be out there for an hour, you know, not even sometimes and make that happen. And my husband was fed, and I was fed with what I really love eating. And I had a brain break. And that was a huge mental shift for me to go and do that. And so I'm turning that more into a habit now. And that has to do with just a boundary on myself. It's a self initiated boundary, right? Yes, but

Christine Li:

you've turned that into joy. So boundaries don't have to be depressing. And I think that how many households across the world have had a woman or a man, explore cooking and baking in a brand new way, with more patience and with more joy, because we have to, we have to where the situation requires. So we can decide upfront. This requires this of me, and I am not going to make that a chore. I'm not going to make that a limitation, I'm not going to make that something that's depressing. And I think that is that hidden habit that causes us to procrastinate, that causes us to leave the clutter, it's that it's negative at the start, and we want to make sure everything's positive at the start. Even if it's we're tricking ourselves, we need to have that message. This is going to be delightful. This is going to be such a pleasure.

Tamra Fleming:

This is really good. I just have one more question for us as we wrap up our interview time together, because we're kind of leaning on it. But what should we remember, every time we feel a twinge of self doubt?

Christine Li:

I would say self doubt is you trying to take care of yourself lovingly, but know that you can just toss that out the window because you don't need it? When you remember that, you know, if you give a let's say this is what I'm thinking of right now, if you give a child two buckets, one of self doubt and one have fun, which bucket is the child going to choose and the child would not wasted a minute thinking. And here we are debating whether we should have fun with our lives, or whether we should spend our whole day doubting ourselves. So

Unknown:

let's not do that anymore.

Tamra Fleming:

So much better. I feel so much freer now that we've had this conversation. This is good. I mean, really, you know, we started this out with valuing time, and lightening up and having a different perspective and changing your words and looking at things in smaller chunks and more fun ways. And just looking through the lens of joy and choosing that instead of looking through the lens of dread,

Christine Li:

you're reminding me the last time we spoke, you had the idea after our conversation, that my whole message is to lighten up. So if there's one thing that our listeners and our watchers can take away, and if you don't remember anything, remember that you can always lighten up.

Tamra Fleming:

Yeah, I'm going to take that I'm going to like lighten up this weekend. And I think I'm going to weave in some art time. So in with my clutter clearing I get to play into my art, my clutter clearing is actually play because I'm creating colored systems.

Christine Li:

I love my color system. You're creating so much beauty in the world in all different areas. So enjoy. Enjoy it all.

Tamra Fleming:

Thank you so much. All right. Well, this was Dr. Christine Li She is an amazing person she can be found at procrastination. coach.com is her website. And she can be found on Facebook also at forward slash procrastination coach and Facebook group your free group right is also procrastination coach. Correct? Correct.

Christine Li:

I'm also on Instagram more actively with this. Everybody knows the Instagram stories and I enjoy that space because it is creative it is it is a lot of positive energy. So I enjoy hanging out there too.

Tamra Fleming:

I love your stories to on Instagram. Okay, so everybody this where you can find her and join her world and learn more from her. She is a pro at this whole idea of procrastination and how to change our lives. So thank you for joining me today.

Christine Li:

Thank you Tamra, wonderful to see you again.

Tamra Fleming:

You too. Bye for now.

Christine Li:

Thank you for listening to this episode of The make time for success podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website make time for success podcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Tamra Fleming

CEO of Meaning of Space and Personal Coach

Tamra Fleming is the creator of a transformational personal growth process that comes from aligning peoples’ physical living spaces to the vision they have for their life. She has been fascinated by the relationship between life and space for more than 20 years and developed the Meaning of Space™ philosophy over this time from her training in the powerful practices of energy coaching, Feng Shui, the Chinese Five Element Theory, space clearing and color theory and exploring living environments across the world.