Time Management Tactics for All



[Rachel Strella]: 0:00

Welcome to episode 10 of the Light Her Project podcast, Real Women.

[Vixen Divine]: 0:04

with Real Talk.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:06

I'm Rachel Strella.

[Vixen Divine]: 0:07

and I'm Vixen Divine.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:09

Thank you for tuning in today. We are thrilled to celebrate our 10th episode

[Vixen Divine]: 0:15

Hey![Rachel Strella]: and we hope you're enjoying

[Rachel Strella]: 0:22

management. We heard from listeners who requested this topic because they want to escape the feeling of drowning all the time. Can you relate? Let's explore. Let's talk about our personal experiences with this topic. So... I think generally women can take on a lot of responsibilities, especially if you're a parent or caretaker. Even without that, it seems that we're more likely to be the ones who send out the birthday cards and holiday cards, keep up with the housework and handle all the niceties of life. And many of us do this alongside of our careers. So time management has been something that came somewhat easier to me than most. One of my strengths is project management, so I'm constantly watching my deadlines. As a business owner, however, it's a little more challenging to manage time. As you probably know, Vixen, we wear a lot of hats, and the circumstances can pivot at any moment. So I have to remain flexible with projects to ensure that I do not over promise and under deliver. Given the myriad of variables that can upset my day with little variables. It's something that I've become accustomed to so I can kind of expect the unexpected.

[Vixen Divine]: 1:51

Yeah, for me, it's definitely, definitely different. I do a lot of procrastination myself, but in actuality, it helps me. I am the person who, when I am on a deadline, like you talk about deadline, because I run a business, I have deadlines also. But the further I push it closer to the deadline, the more adrenaline I actually get, and which actually fuels me to do the project much better, if that makes any sense. I was actually in college, and I still do this to this day. In college, I would, I'd go all day. Now I know something's coming up. I know the paper is due. I know it's due. I can go all day doing la-di-da, la-di-da, la-di-da, whatever, and I can guarantee you at two o'clock in the morning, I am up and I am getting that paper done, getting that paper done, and I will ace that paper. I don't sleep. All I need is some, I need a little rest, maybe a nap. That's all I needed. So, procrastination for me has always fueled me. That always helps. Crazy.

[Rachel Strella]: 3:20

We're going to talk about procrastination today, because that's a heavy topic that we have some questions about. So we'll go right into questions then, Vixen. One question.

[Vixen Divine]: 3:32

The question is....

[Rachel Strella]: 3:34

Why are some people good at time management and others are not?

[Vixen Divine]: 3:39

You know, I'm thinking that the reason is it's because of a couple of things. It's how you were raised and the habits you've acquired through necessity. So if you're needing to be on a deadline, for instance, great example, everybody knows, military. The military, there is no procrastination. It's gotta be done this time, this time, this time, this time. This is what you do exactly, right, like this. And there are penalties if you don't get it done. So that is something that is learned, that is acquired, that is necessary because there are consequences. However, if you're raised that there are no consequences or you are la-di-da la-di-da la-di-da and you do it when you want, why not procrastinate? It feels fun, I'll do it later, tomorrow, no problem. That's so I think it's how you're raised or what is acquired out of necessity.

[Rachel Strella]: 4:52

Okay, so you touched on some things here that are highly relevant. Um, so I do think it comes down to how we're raised. I think it also comes down to how we're wired with our expectations, both, you know, of ourselves and others, as well as cultural expectations, which I'll explain. So for me personally, I do what I say that I'll do. And showing up on time, meeting deadlines, those are extremely important to me. So anyone who knows me or works with me knows to expect that. If it means I have to cut down on other commitments or I need to sacrifice certain things, it's okay because I want to ensure I can meet my obligations. This is just a personal and business value to me. And you need proper time management to do that. However, as you mentioned, not everyone is wired that way. I'm sure we all know a person who, if they show up on time, they're early, and if they show up late, they're on time. Same goes for projects. You know, there are those who give a deadline, and you can almost expect it's going to be three times longer than that. I think we create a track record for ourselves on how we honor our commitments, and that includes managing our time. But there's also something, you know, me, I like to read, that's called optimism bias, which is our tendency to overestimate the likelihood of experiencing a positive event and underestimate the likelihood of experiencing a negative event. So where this comes to play in time management, it's really an unrealistic optimism. People experience optimism bias when they think that events are under their control. So we know the reality is that's not the case. You can have a traffic jam on the way to work. If you work from home, your internet or computer issue,

Rachel Strella]: 6:46

a team member who dropped the ball, a kid who got sick at school, you

[Rachel Strella]: 6:49

get the idea. Shit happens. So optimism bias is really a false belief, but you're very surprised at how many people have it. They just expect that things will go their way. In other categories, our environment, like you said, you know, we may have had a family life, you know, who everyone was super relaxed and they go with the flow. Like my husband's whole family is like that, you know, you just show up any time, do whatever, you know, or maybe it was the opposite, you know, either way, we had an expectation growing up and that carried with us, you know, some of us may have decided to do the exact opposite as adults, but I believe a combination of factors and not necessarily just one. are why some people manage their time well and others do not. And I'll give you an example of cultural expectations. This is more in the workplace. I know of a company who makes it acceptable to come to internal meetings late if they're handling customer inquiry because they never want to shortchange their customer. So it's not uncommon for a meeting that's held at 1 p.m. They start rolling in at 10 after. And that's their culture. It's acceptable to them. That's the norm. So when I talk about cultural expectations, it's really... more about maybe your workplace culture and how that looks.

[Vixen Divine]: 8:03

Gotcha, understood. That is something that, and the workplace is, I call it a different monster, because they set the rules in the workplace. So even if you go in to a job and you did have a lackadaisical type of raising, when you go to that job, it is, that is what's expected of you. if you don't do, and this is most places, if you don't do what those rules state, there are consequences to those being written up, possibly fired, pay docks, whatever it is. So it's awful to have that type of upbringing and then go into a job that has these type of restrictions for you, for that type of person. So that's where that interview comes in. And that's where you should know as a person whether you are gonna be able to adapt to that. Because for some people, it's such a shock that they're gonna be late for the first five days, at least, you know, because they're not ready for it. So you have to understand that. And that's where that comes in. That can be pretty dicey.

[Rachel Strella]: 9:30

So, we'll talk about Vixen's favorite topic, procrastination. The question is, is it a mindset problem or is it a resource problem? What is the root cause of procrastination? Ooh, okay, let's hear it. So... I think it can be a little bit of both, but I think it really stems from how we feel about projects. Like we tend to procrastinate on things we don't want to do or just don't feel like we have the motivation or resources to start the project. And as you know, starting is half the battle. So, you know, I love to read in the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. The author Mark Manson has something called to do something principle. He writes that action should precede motivation. So that may seem counter intuitive to most because most of us see that inspirational spark to feel motivation to do something. However, he recommends that rather than wait for the mood to strike, we should just do something, anything, and motivation will follow. So his formula is action, inspiration, motivation. So we just need to act instead of sitting around and thinking about it or procrastinating. Which it's great advice. I use it when I have writer's block because I'll sit and stare at that blank screen. But I think that people like Vixen who are habitual procrastinators have either not yet learned or felt compelled to change their habit. And I truly think it's just a habit. I know folks on my team who will push any task I give them to 11th hour like clockwork. I know who they are. They're used to it and they don't even think twice. They get it done, right? So once you've done something for so long, it's hard to change or wanna change. You may have heard that phrase, if you want something done, give it to a busy person

[Vixen Divine]: 11:29


[Rachel Strella]: 11:30

I think a busy person is maybe the antithesis of a procrastinator. What do you think, Vixen?

[Vixen Divine]: 11:36

Yeah, I mean, I think a busy person is the go-to because they're already in motion. It's kind of, it does reflect what you said, as long as just start doing something, anything. So that person that's busy is already in motion. So since they're already in motion, like it is harder to get up off the couch, but if you're already off the couch, yeah, it's likely. So that person is already up off the couch. So if you give it to a busy person, that's why they get things done because they're already doing something. So they're just gonna fit you in where they already are. And procrastination, problem or mindset problem or resource problem, oh, well. I just don’t think it’s a problem No, it's a problem if it doesn't pan out for you. If you have a procrastination problem where it's a problem if you don't get it done. So it's not a problem if that works for you. So the procrastination in itself, it's the end result that you have to look at. So assuming that you didn't get it done, And it's a problem. The question is, was it a mindset or was it a resource? I think it's always you can make your own resources. You can take a piece of paper and write a list. You can make a piece of paper with checkboxes. You can just make that. If you have a computer, you can make it in a Word doc. There are different resources, pen or paper, computer, cell phone. There are all kind of resources you have to make that list and make that thing. Mindset though, are you gonna do it? Are you gonna do it? And I think that's the part that comes with the consequences. Is it something that... you had to do. If there's no reason for you to do it, if you're getting it done, if there's nothing wrong with your outcome, then you're probably not gonna change. Not a problem at all.

[Rachel Strella]: 13:53

Follow up question for you on that. So let's say that these procrastinators, they get it done. Do you find that their work quality is just as good if they didn't procrastinate?

[Vixen Divine]: 14:05

I was waiting for you to ask that. Woo! I love it, Rachel. How we think alike like that? I just, I saw that coming. So it depends on the person. Like I said, this comes out to, if they get it done, also means the quality. Sloppy work does not help anyone. Sloppy work. So that is equivalent to a rush job. If you're getting it done, but it's a rush job. That's not getting it done. Because that speaks to your reputation. That speaks to how your work is looked upon. Because if you have that rush job quality, that's not quality. Who wants that? You're never gonna get hired again. You're never gonna get, you know, because nobody wants that. But, so to answer your question, that not necessarily. So. that type of person, if they get it done, they get it done well, they get it done good, everything's going well, happy, then that's a good, that's a good procrastinator. If they're not, bad procrastinating. They need to change. There's, you got a problem.

[Rachel Strella]: 15:17

Okay, I wanted to see clarification from that. So thank you. All right. Well, let's talk about time management tips. So let's share some tips that have worked for us. Vixen, what's worked for you?

[Vixen Divine]: 15:31

What's worked for me is I find you have to know yourself. I am the person, there are people who can, you ever hear somebody, oh, this is an all-nighter, I'ma stay up all night. Nope, nope. For me, I'm a sleep girl. I need my rest, I need my sleep. I need, my brain doesn't function correctly. Like I'll start falling asleep on the page if I don't have enough rest. So I know that I talked about that two o'clock in the morning. I know that if I get rest, I don't need a lot, just a little. Then I function very well. I function better on rest than staying up all night. Like caffeine works for me because I'm not a regular coffee drinker. I don't drink coffee. I don't really, and I drink tea that's decaffeinated. So when I drink caffeine, it's like, woo. That actually is a drug for me. So that works for me too, as far as if I need to stay up, if I need to do something, caffeine actually works as a drug. So those things work for me and I know it's unusual. I know it's unusual for that. Cause most people drink coffee and they make these things, what is it? Five hour energy. You ever heard of that? Okay, they make those things. I think it's pretty much equivalent. to what happens for me when I drink coffee for someone who already drinks coffee. It's like an extra, extra thing for them. So that's their little burst, their little quick. But yeah, that works for me. I just need some rest. I need to understand my project, what I need to do when it's done and it gets done.

[Rachel Strella]: 17:20

So that's your, those are the tips that work for you.

[Vixen Divine]: 17:23

Mm-hmm, absolutely.[Rachel Strella]: Well, I have a couple more. So one, learn to say no to things that

[Rachel Strella]: 17:34

I only take on projects that I know I can fulfill. Because if I take on too much, then I'm gonna start cutting corners, I'm gonna start procrastinating, I'm gonna start not delivering quality. So I learned to say no, that's a big one. I delegate things that I really dislike doing, or that don't speak to my strengths, because I know I'll spend more time trying to do those tasks than if it came naturally. Along that line ask for help. I mean there are times when we're just drowning in stuff, but we're like man I don't want to burden this person But you'd be surprised, you know, it's not like I ask for help all the time But when I do I'd say I really need somebody so I think it's okay to ask for help when you're trying to get things done[Vixen Divine]: I totally agree with you. Again I like to read so in the book Essentialism, which is by Greg McKeown, he dedicated an entire chapter to this topic. And so I really believe in allocating more time than you need. So he says that we chronically underestimate how long projects or tasks will take. And so it puts us in a reactive mode. And obviously our results suffer. So to combat this problem, he recommends two powerful tactics. One is using extreme preparation, which you know me from our outlines on the podcast, everything else that I do, I'm always prepared. But my favorite one is number two. Add 50% to your time estimate on projects. So I call that buffer time. We have to leave enough buffer time for the unanticipated things that will pop up. It goes back to this optimism bias. If we overload our schedule with no room to breathe, it's only a matter of time before something's gonna come up and then we're scrambling to keep up. So I love that buffer time, 50%. I always also work ahead on things that I can that goes back to that extreme preparation.

[Vixen Divine]: 19:43

Uh huh.

[Rachel Strella]: 19:44

If I can work ahead at something, I will because it gives me the flexibility for the unexpected. I think another time management tip and one that most people might not think about is recharging your batteries. As a business owner, you know, these are long days sometimes and you need to schedule breaks. So for me, I prefer a midday break. If I start at seven and I work till seven. I'm not effective if I work all day, you know, so I'll take a break from like one to three or work out or something. And on the longer trek, you know, I take a few vacations a year, which has always left me coming back feeling refreshed and energized and gives me perspective. So I took that time to reflect and I feel efficient, you know, when I come back because a lot of inefficiency can be traced back to burnout. So it's a key to take breaks. Finally, and I read a book about this, you've probably seen like the habits of books, you know? I remember one, and one of the things they said in there was know that my inbox will never be empty and my to-do list will never be done. So you have to know when to quit too. You know, if you're just forcing yourself to continue on a project, you're probably not being efficient. And you probably have to be very realistic too. It's not always just going to be done. You know, it will never be done. You have to do the best that you can and know when to quit.

[Vixen Divine]: 21:17

I think for someone like me, if you're someone like Rachel, those are very, very good tips. If you are someone like me, those are not good tips because what will happen if you're a procrastinator like me and you have this deadline and you're working basically on adrenaline, you're working because you know that this is done and it's all up there and it's like. I gotta go, I gotta go, I gotta do, I gotta do. So if you're that person, then if you stop, nope, don't take a break. Because you allocated this time, say from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. for me, like maybe that's the time. You allocated this time, no, there's no bathroom breaks. There's no eating breaks. You can have water by you, but your mind is going, the cycle is moving. You've got to get it down on paper because you're not working from a blank screen. You've already prepared for this in your head. So you've got to get that down on paper. You've got to get it done. Or if you're making something, whatever it is, but you have to keep moving because the energy and the creativity is flowing and you don't want to break that. That's actually detrimental to you so you don't wanna break that. So if you're a person like me, who is needing to move, do it. Move, continue, do not take a break, do not stop, cause your energy, that creativity is blocked.

[Rachel Strella]: 22:58

I will agree with you there because there are times when I'm really in they call it in the flow, you know, in the flow of your work.[Vixen Divine]: huh, uh huh. I can't break right then, you know, um, so I'm not talking to that per se. I'm talking about, you know, not working yourself 12 hours straight, especially if you're finding you're inefficient. But I know what you're saying because my husband will come home from work around 12:30 and I'm usually in the flow at that time. So I'm not ready to stop, you know, and have lunch with him or hear about his morning. I want to keep working, you know, and so it is hard. I do understand that. I'm talking more about the breaks in general, like burnout. And when you're feeling, you're just not putting out anything quality anymore, you know, it sucks.

[Vixen Divine]: 23:42

Okay, when you get that signal,[Rachel Strella]: Yes. Like in your -- Yes, yes. When you get that signal, because you don't want to put out whatever you're doing. You don't want to put out bad quality because that is your reputation. That is something that you're handing in, handing over, you know, whatever it is that you're doing. And people are going to know, they have a certain expectation of you. They hired you for a reason. And if you don't fill up to that, you will easily, you know, and reviews that that'll be awful, especially if you actually did it. That is terrible. So people are not going to hire you. It will be bad for you if you do that. And you have to recognize that you are doing it, in which case you got to stop, think about it, and you might have to get into Rachel's group here. And do that because you're not going to be both people. You're not going to be like me, and you're not going to be like Rachel. You're not going to be like both of us. It's either fueling you or it's not. So you have to understand which kind of person you are.

[Rachel Strella]: 24:47

But it comes back to what you said at the beginning of the podcast. You have to know yourself. All right, one more question from the audience. Let's talk about the distribution of housework. So traditionally, this was more a job for women, you know? And so the question is, has this changed? You know, how does it work in our own household? So, I think it has changed, but mostly because women are working more outside the household or they're working virtually. They're just working in general. Yet many of them still oversee those household responsibilities. So I think it really comes down to what works for you and your house life, you know, whether you're married, you have kids or whatever that is. Obviously if you're single well you're stuck with it, but you know in my household like my husband's really great like he’s the first person like a man that I've interacted with, you know that actually does laundry and takes more pride, me-- I'm just a riff it in the dryer. I don't care. He's-- you gotta have it nice and you know hang it and so you know, he's really great at the housework. He's better than me in a lot of cases. So I'm lucky there, but we do make a good team. You know, on the days he works from home, he's always picking up more on the housework. On days he's in the office, I'm picking up more on the housework. But as a woman, I'm always a person who's like, I mentioned earlier, I'm the one who makes sure the birthday cards go out, the holiday cards go out. You know, all those little niceties are taken care of.

[Vixen Divine]: 26:31

Well that’ good. I mean, girl, I stopped sending out holiday cards a long time ago. I don't even bother with that anymore. But as far as housework goes, I am the one that's home most of the time. I'm the one working from home most of the time. So I don't feel like, I'm gonna say it's a 75-25, because, but I don't feel it an obligation or even a distribution. It's something that if I pass by something, I just pick it up. You know, I just do it because it needs to be done. Do you know what I mean? Now, by that same token, I say 25 because my husband will, he'll see, because I wear my expression on my face in case you haven't noticed yet. He will notice that if I am wiped out, if I am just done, like I have, there's nothing else I can do. I announce that I am taking a nap and he will ask what time should I wake you up or if I should wake you up because that means I am done or right now don't bother me so he will in turn do something you know whatever needs to be done if I ask him to do something but I am lucky in the respect in our household everyone does their own laundry sometimes some people need a little help but basically, like they gather their own things and, you know, that kind of thing. And they announce when they need to do laundry or they're doing laundry. So dinner is mostly, I do mostly dinner. I try to get some dinner out of them sometimes. And I do occasionally, I do occasionally, but we have a fun game. Whoever says what's for dinner first, sometimes I'll say it as soon as I wake up.

[Rachel Strella]: 28:37

Yeah.[Vixen Divine]: They are responsible for dinner.

[Vixen Divine]: 28:43

So it's pretty good. And they do, if I ask, they help. So there's no reluctance there. So I'm pretty lucky. So there's no particular distribution, but I think I do more because I'm home more.

[Rachel Strella]: 28:59

Right, that makes sense. I know Nathan is our errand runner. You know, if I need something, he'll get it. You know, most of my stuff gets delivered, whether it's groceries or whatever else, but he'll get it. He's also the outdoor person. You know, when it comes to raking and yard work, he'll do that. And we kind of share dinners, depending on who gets done working the earliest. So we're lucky, okay. We're going to go into one more thing here, what we're seeing. So this is, this is something really interesting to me. There is something called time blindness. Okay. So mental health experts say that this is actually a legitimate experience. Um, it's legitimate health issue, uh, for people, particularly who have attention deficit disorder or ADHD, um, and they're what brought this to light was there was a trending Tik Tok in July from a student who asked her university for accommodations for her time blindness. And she caused an uproar because people were saying she just needed to get it together, show up on time. Even other people who had real time blindness issues sort of thing, they were saying, she needs to hold herself accountable. So this is really interesting to me. I was talking to my web partner today and I said, have you ever heard of time blindness? And he said, no, but I bet I have it. So what do you think Vixen? Is this a real thing?

[Vixen Divine]: 30:37

Okay, I'm about to hurt some feelings right now. Okay, so time, remember now, hold on, I'm generation X. That's one thing I should preface this with. Time blindness, no. Absolutely not. I think, yes, you do have to get it together. And see, because, okay, we have, in recent years, we have come up with names to things that we just dealt with without a name. It just is what it is. And if you had something, other than like life threatening things, that's not what I mean. But if you had something, you still have to learn to function in society. If you're going to be in society, some people go off the grid, but assuming that you're in society, you had to learn to function with whatever you had. And people just dealt with it. Okay, you know, Ron over there is a little crazy. We know that Ron is a little crazy, and we accept the way Ron is, you know, that kind of thing. So, you have to take some responsibility for how you function in society. If it is a problem that affects other people, like some kind of narcissism, for instance, that affects other people because of how you interact with them and that sort of thing. So. You just have to take responsibility for yourself and accommodate, do things that will help you to blend with society. If you choose to not blend with society, do not blame society for not accommodating you.

[Rachel Strella]: 32:41

And it's funny about narcissism because they're one of the least likely to really adapt your supposed to adapt to them. So that's just interesting.[Vixen Divine]: Exactly. I'll say this, I suffer from anxiety and anxiety can hold me back. It does. But I've never, I don't think I've ever fully used anxiety as a reason to not function properly in society. You know, I have gone to therapy for many years. You know, I've taken medication over the years. You know, I've learned a lot of different tactics of meditation. So to me, time blindness sounds like a really bad excuse for not getting your shit together.

[Vixen Divine]: 33:28

To me it's just the world does not revolve around you and this is the problem it's that's like saying walking into a room oh I'm here now okay here I am okay you need to move out of my way you need to you know everyone needs to accommodate you because now you are here that's not the way the world works You have to accommodate yourself. You have to learn to blend. You have to learn to work in society, to live in society. And like I said, it's your choice. You do not have to do that. There are plenty of people who are off the grid right now as we speak, no problem. But if you choose to be in the society, you really do have to learn. Everyone doesn't have to accommodate to you, to your needs, to work. just, no.

[Rachel Strella]: 34:30

The world we're living in, I mean it seems more like that's what we're coming to. So that's a whole probably another topic for another day.

[Vixen Divine]: 34:40

There are a lot of, this could be, honestly, there could be a whole podcast on things that are accommodated for, that should not be, because it's almost like crutches. Crutches, you do not, if you have crutches and your foot is still healed, you still have a whole foot but you have crutches, guess what? You're gonna use those crutches, right? You're not gonna learn to walk the way you should because you have something that's helping you. When you have your foot is healed you don't need them but are they just easier for you?

[Rachel Strella]: 35:22

We're talking about accountability. I mean, that is a whole different topic. We'll have to write that on the list. All right, well, we're coming to the end of the podcast. Vixen, is there anything else you'd like to add about this topic?

[Vixen Divine]: 35:35

For those people who are just mad at me right now. I want you to know, you know, sometimes in life you just got to suck it up. You really do. And if you're not willing to, that's fine, it's your choice. But you know, it's one of those things. So I won't talk about that anymore, but in procrastination, in procrastination, you have to decide whether you're a Rachel or a Vixen. Whichever one, if whatever you're doing comes out to a great result, then by no means should you look to change it at all because you're getting a great result. But if what you're doing, if you're procrastinator and what you're doing does not come out to a great result, then you need to step back and have a look and then take perhaps some of our tips, give them a try, and you'll probably have a better result.

[Rachel Strella]: 36:39

That’s great, great advice. The only thing I do want to say is for our procrastinators who might not be getting the result that they like, there is a book called Atomic Habits and the whole rule of thumb is you get 1% better every day by forming a new habit. So if you want to I highly recommend it. Well This was a fun podcast. So thank you again for tuning into episode 10 of the light her project podcast and you can follow our conversation online with our hashtag. So in the meantime, keep it real, real women.

[Vixen Divine]: 37:17

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