The Ease of Hustle Podcast
59. The Wrong Question: How Can I Feel Like I’m Not Always Working?
Do you ever feel like you are always working? Well, you aren't. That is impossible. When you are thinking you are always working, the mind is not seeing all the times you are not. It is important to separate and recognize when you are working and when you are not. What is work? What is free time?
In this episode, Lauren challenges you to separate and define your work and free time, and teaches you how to identify if you are actually overworking and how to cut back.
What You'll Learn From This Episode:
- Why you are thinking that you are always working
- How to find the times you are not working
- How to define what your work and free time is
- How to decide when your work and free time is
- How to identify if you are actually overworking
Listen to the Full Episode:
59. The Wrong Question: How Can I Feel Like I’m Not Always Working?
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hey, you're listening to The Ease of Hustle, the podcast where limited time is the strategy and not the limitation. I'm your host Lauren Cash. In each episode, I'll guide you to effectively create your goals and intentions in life and business without burning yourself out or making yourself sick. Rather than doing things the way everyone else is I'll encourage you to embody your Human Design and gene keys or whatever else resonates for you personally, for a much more easeful and magnetic experience. Are you ready to join the movement?
Hey, how's your week going so far? Hope it's going well today. We're gonna talk about how we can feel like we're not always working. This made me think of a private client that came to me thinking that her problem was that she needed to have four hours a day of free time in order to feel better. Can you relate?
The funny thing is, is that we easily created time, this client and I within the first two weeks or so of working together, but it didn't actually solve the problem. She still wasn't satisfied. She didn't feel complete. She wanted to keep working on things. She didn't feel like the actual problem was resolved, even though she thought the actual problem was that she didn't have enough free time.
She thought she needed four hours of the day during the week to feel better. We often want to blame the lack of free time for how we're feeling. I love actually creating free time first so that then we can show the mind that it actually isn't, that you can try that with any problem you think that you have any problem that your mind is giving you.
It's like, we need this. Okay. We'll create that. Then we create that and then we can rule that out and the mind is still like, “Hey, there's still an issue, there's still a problem” because that's what the mind's always doing. It's looking for problems, looking for issues. And we can eventually see that what the mind thinks is the problem is not the problem.
Something else more deeply is always going on. I really see that depth being a Projector. And also having a fourth line I'm made for depth. I just got an energetic resume from Eden Carpenter, which I highly recommend. If you're interested in getting your energetic resume, use my affiliate link. I'll have it in the show notes.
I also am a support coach for her. I'll have that info in the show notes too, but in that energetic resume, it was talking about how I'm made for depth. I see the depth. So that leads us into today's, “wrong question.” How can I feel like I'm not always working in today's episode, I'm going to show you why you're thinking this question to begin with and how to solve for it.
So you never have the question in your mind again, or if you do, you can just be like, yeah, I hear you mind and move on. We'll go over, having your mind find all of the time that you're already not working, deciding what is free time to you. And when is your free time and how to identify and begin to cut down on overwork if you're overworking?
So are you ready? Let's talk about it. So we ask this question, how can I feel like I'm not always working because we're thinking that we're always working. If you know, the self-coaching model, then, you know, in the T line, we never put a question. We convert that question into a statement or we answer that question.
So if we do that with this, how can I feel like I'm not always working? It is, I feel like I'm always working or we can put that question, asking that question in the, a line of the self-coaching model and think about. What am I thinking and feeling that I'm asking that question it's probably going to come from, I'm always working or I feel like I'm always working and I have to make the point here that we don't feel like things that are sentences.
I'm not always working. Feelings are vibrations in our bodies that we describe with one word, like emotion word. So sad, mad, excited, nervous. Just, uh, I was saying, what was the word I was gonna think of? I don't know. You get what I'm saying? We don't feel like I'm always working. That's a thought we're thinking, I'm always working.
When you think I'm always working, maybe you feel constricted, maybe you feel angry. There's a feeling in your body when you think that thought. So first I want you to make sure whenever you're thinking questions or thoughts, like, I feel like, and then it's like this sentence. That's not a feeling let's separate that out.
So you're thinking, how can I not always be working essentially? That's what the question is. So really you're thinking I'm always working and we wanna find out: what are the facts? When are you working? And when are you not working? This leads me to my second point. We need to look for where you're not already working.
This is separating out. What are you thinking? And what are the facts? So the facts separation is, what are the hours you're working and what are the hours you're not working, let's separate them out. Let's find the actual data in your calendar for when you're working and when you're not working, which leads us to my next question.
What do you define as work? What is work and what is not work? And I find that a lot of folks. Are rigid with this. They want to define work as everything, including brushing their teeth. That's okay. If you really want to do that, I find more freedom in work being when I'm producing things for marketing, for my business, for my clients, actually, you know, recording this podcast in session with clients.
Like if I had a full-time job for somebody else, they wouldn't be paying me for brushing my teeth or I wouldn't need to be thinking about working for them while I'm brushing my teeth. So, therefore, I don't define that as work now, would I define packing boxes and moving and like physical labor as work?
Yes. But it's kind of a different category of work for me. It's a little bit. It's my personal time, but it still works. So you might wanna even put three different columns. You might wanna put work. You might wanna put then personal time and under personal time, like energetically draining versus energetically life giving, or you could even have a spectrum there of draining, life-giving, neutral.
And then decide what is free time. What are you going to consider free time? What being doing is a free time thing. Get that all sorted out on paper, like really write it out so you can see it in black and white and make the decisions for what you're gonna count as what then the third thing we're going to do is.
We're going to decide when our free time is, when is it that we're gonna be and do that free time. And we don't have to have all that free time planned out. We could just know like, what is acceptable during those hours and what is not. So I consider like my early morning hours free time this morning, I went on a walk and I got breakfast and I showered all of that was free time to me cause I'm like puttering about listening to whatever podcast I wanna listen to. Talking to my friends, texting them, maybe checking Voxer, but it feels it's very like loose and unscheduled. And I don't need to look at anything work unless I want to. And usually, I'm pretty strict about not looking at things for work during my free time.
Which is super important. One of the reasons why you probably think that you're working all the time is because you have very sloppy bleeding rules around your work. Are you always checking work-related emails and communications and everything while you're like in line during a break during a you're not at your desk time?
If you're letting everything bleed in and together and mix together, it's gonna be easier for you to think you're working all the time. When really there are all these microscopic moments where you're not working, but it doesn't feel like you're like back to this feeling. You're thinking. That you're always working because like the moments aren't collected together in a day to give you like an hour of free time.
Right now, it's like five minutes here, five minutes there, maybe 20 minutes there, but they're choppy. That's okay. If you like it that way for me, sometimes I do like that. But if you're wanting to clean it up and really have like a solid hour, two hours of free time, we're gonna need to collect it together and not be so sloppy with our schedules and not keep telling ourselves everything is flexible.
There are upsides to thinking that everything is flexible. and, but there are also downsides cuz when we're thinking, oh everything's flexible. I can work whenever I want. Then we end up working in these, all these moments and not having a very clear cut, I work 9 to 11 and then 2 to 4. And then we can be sloppier than with how we plan our work time when we're thinking that everything is flexible too, because we're not like, I'm delivering this result, this result, this result in that time. And that's the time that I have to work. And it's only that time to work that might feel rigid and constricting to you on one hand, but it's really freeing and amazing on another because then your free time is your free time. And your work time is your work time.
Some people, some entrepreneurs daydream about having another job so that they can just clock in and clock out and not have to think and worry about work outside of work. The truth is you don't have to worry about work outside of work. You really can have that clear cut of a schedule as an entrepreneur. If you create it for yourself on purpose.
So you can use that for yourself, or you can use it against yourself. So set up the schedule that's for you. If you like it to be more ebbs and flows and malleable. Cool. But don't tell yourself you're working all the time. Because it's not true. Find all of the moments already where you're not working that moment, where you're in the bathroom.
Now, if you're in the bathroom, checking your work email, maybe let's just be present where we are and not be checking work email while we're going to the bathroom. But there are moments even right now where you're not working, it's not true that you're always working. Whenever our minds offer us this always never thought, it's never true. I'm using a never statement to tell you about never in always, but it's not true. Where can you find the places where you are not working start a list this week, grab a piece of paper, all the moments that you notice that you're not working and then decide on purpose. What is work?
What is free time? And then when is free time and when is work, time and stick to that. That's where a lot of the drama comes in and I need to coach you a lot because then you're thinking you're not good at sticking to that. Things come up. Things happen, all of the obstacles arise, but I promise if you separate it out like that, it'll be much easier to believe, I work when I work and I rest when I rest. And it's the perfect amount of time. And if it's not, let's work on that together, which leads us into the fourth thing is cutting down on genuine overworking. So how do you know if you're overworking? How do you know? There are a lot of indicators for overwork.
One of them is you are doing more than is necessary for the outcome. I really think that that's the crux of it is you are exerting more energy, effort, and time you're doing more than is needed for the result. So where are you doing that? You can really start to see this if you do The Time Inventory and The Time and Energy Audit.
As you're listening to this, it's still available for you. We'll have it in the show notes, but I want you to check in with, where am I doing more than is necessary for the result? Where am I just adding things in because of my erroneous thinking. Overworking doesn't have to do with the number of hours, but an expanded number of hours of work is often the symptom of overworking happening.
Does that distinction make sense to you? So here's where to start with cutting down with overwork. One is defining your work hours. We talked about that already. Let's decide how many hours you're going to work and let's hold you to. Then in order to fit your work, to get the results that you desire in your business within those work hours, we're gonna need to cull the, cull, the excess, we've gotta chop out all the excess we have to get rid of all of the extra steps.
All of the things that you're doing that are not necessary to get the result, or maybe some of the things you're doing, like, let's say you're doing three things to get a client, but there's this other thing. That's one thing that takes less time and energy that would get you two clients. Can we swap things out for that?
So we're calling the excess, but then we're optimizing what's even there. That's why I'm always talking about let's be effective before we're efficient, because the difference here would be, let's say you're doing those three things to get the one client and those three things right now. Let's say you take five hours a week to do those three things, to get the one client.
You might think to be better at managing your time, you just need to be more effective. So then you go to work, automating and getting help, hiring people to do those three things in three hours. But what if I told you you could do this other thing, not one of those three things, a different thing? That's more optimized for you and your design that would, you would give two hours to a week-ish and you'd get two clients that's way more effective. And then we could make that effective thing efficient by automating, by getting other people, maybe to help you get it down to one hour. So now we have one hour equaling, two clients, but we had to start with the effectiveness before we went to efficiency.
So then the third thing is cutting out distractions. So we're culling the excess. We're making sure everything's effective. We're cutting out distractions then, because a lot of times we're overworking because we're filling all of our time and draining our energy with these energy leaks and distractions that are not creating what we wanna create.
So like for example, a lot of times this is email for people. Or communication. That's not really converting into true clients or not really serving true clients. If you haven't done my easeful inbox, zero PDF. And I also have a course, whole thing for you and your team, but if you haven't done the free PDF for the easeful inbox zero, that'll give you a good taste for how to cut out distractions.
And I also did a whole podcast on distractions. We'll link all of that for you in the show notes, but then as you're, so we've, we're cutting down on the overwork by defining our work hours only working those cutting out the excess being effective, be efficient, cutting out distractions. Then the last two things that I would recommend are one.
This really should have happened and you're defining your work hours, but I find a lot of times it doesn't. So here we are talking about lunch. I used to do this myself. I wanted my workday to be shorter, so I wouldn't take my lunch. I would bring my lunch to my desk, sound familiar? And semi-work, like do really easy things while I ate my lunch.
But I didn't actually get a break. I wasn't actually getting free time. I wasn't getting recharged, and I wasn't really getting much done for work anyway. So why don't you start with taking at least a 30-minute lunch? If you can't even do that for 15, 20 minutes, actually step away from the desk. Give your mind a break from work, and nourish your body.
Pay attention to your food. Dietician coming in here talking about that'll be really good for you as well. Actually, chew that food, let it digest. Be mindful, taste it, enjoy it. And then come back and work. Finally, develop a closing ritual close down for the day for sure. Closed down for the week and that ritual I like that to be a little bit more inclusive, but closing ritual can be as little as 10 minutes. It can be as much as 30 minutes at the end of your day, close out all your tabs, close out your email. Make sure you're not gonna be getting notifications while you go into your free time. Make sure everything's handled.
Maybe write down the top three things for the next day or adjust your time blocks for the next day or the week based on how today went. Celebrate some wins. What went well? What can you adjust for tomorrow? Can you clear off your desk? Throw out that old coffee, do some dishes, and then could you separate yourself from the work environment and transition into free time and not just do it like immediately?
Like, is there a walk around a block? Is there going over to this other area. If you're at home to like transition. Somebody with a, an open or undefined G center in Human Design, some of these things are way, way, way more important for you than even for me with a defined G center, having different locations where you work versus where you do free time things.
I would even say different devices. Can you separate things out. So there are different views for different types of work and places you are. Can you really disconnect? Can you do some breath work? Can you release the energy from the day before you go into the personal life? Develop a really beautiful closing ritual.
I have a lot of ideas for that, but this episode is not about closing rituals. So there's some to keep you interested and get started with that. So there's how you start to cut down from genuine overworking, but really the overworking is an action line in your self-coaching model. That's coming from a thought like I'm not doing enough.
I'm not enough. Some sort of scarcity that we really need to dive into and work through first because all of the actioning is not going to solve for it. You'll just keep adding things back in and go back to overworking. If we don't work on deconditioning and getting aware of the shadows that create the overwork, the belief system, the paradigm you're in that creates the overwork.
So, we'll do a lot more of this work together. If we work together and I can speak more about this topic, if you want me to, we can dive even deeper. Just let me know.
So in today's episode, you learned that if you're asking a question, like how can I feel like I'm not working all of the time? It means that you're thinking you're working all of the time and your mind is gonna go to work filtering and looking for all the ways you are working rather than noticing and finding all the moments you are already not working.
You can begin to shift this by simply not allowing your mind to think that. And have to find on purpose, all the moments, even if they're microscopic that you're not working, then we talked about deciding what free time means for you and when it's gonna be. And my challenge to you this week is that you do that actually write down your definition of free time and what all the being and doing can be within free time, and then decide when those times will be.
Plan that ahead of planning your work and honor it. Finally, you might be overworking and allowing work to bleed into your life more than it needs to because you are thinking that you're working all of the time. You can figure out if you're overworking and begin to readjust your working hours so that you have more clean, defined work time.
And then that will allow you to uncover what's like kind of under the surface that then you can get coaching on. So I invite you to check out all of the resources and related episodes. That'll help you continue to work through what we've talked about in this episode, by going to today's show notes at thelaurencash.com/59.
That's the numbers five nine. And you can also see that link in the podcast app that you are in. Thanks. And I hope you have an amazing week and I'll talk to you next time.
Thank you so much as always for joining me on the ease of hustle. If you liked this episode, please share it with somebody who you think needs to hear it. And it would also be so amazing if you rated the show and left a review so that others, like you can enjoy it too. I'd love to connect with you on Instagram, you can find me @thelaurencash.
That's T H E L A U R E N C A S H. Shoot me a DM there. I'd love to chat. Until next time.
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