Listen to the audio or read below for the transcript. This episode is 15 minutes long.
Happy Tuesday, lovely! I’m Andreea, your host here on The Introvert That Could Podcast. Every episode is a mix of tips on productivity, time management, and how to move forward when you’re stuck, with a sprinkle of motivation and a side of relevant personal stories. I want you to have all the tools and support you need to face the challenges of being an introvert and take action, because without action, there are no results. Let’s dive in!
Welcome to episode 11!
I got a question recently that really made me think. “What habits made the most difference in your life?”
I gave a few examples on the spot but then I took some time and really tried to dig deep. And this is what I would say.
I have a list of habits that I adopted, and one of habits that I dropped.
So if you’re ever wondering what does a person like me do or doesn’t do, here are my answers.
Good habits I developed
1. Exercise and healthy eating
I consider these absolute requirements for a performant human. You can’t think, make important decisions or have energy to focus for many hours if your body is not in the best shape. I think about athletes, CEOs, wealthy people. All my role models make taking care of themselves a priority because being sick means you’re out of the game.
2. Grounding techniques, for example meditation
I need something in my day to allow me to stop and remind myself where I’m going. It’s very easy to have dreams and make plans and then forget all about it or allow life to happen around you and just go with the flow. I intentionally pull myself back on my lane, following my dreams, and recommit to my goals every day. I meditate every day, with very few exceptions, but it doesn’t have to be meditation. Taking a walk, listening to a podcast, taking part in a coaching call, being part of a group with the same goals, a vision board to look at – anything that keeps you connected to your path works just as well.
When I say journaling I don’t mean only writing down my thoughts, which is great too. But also, planning, reviewing my day, writing down what I have to do. Once stuff is not in your head anymore, but on paper, you are able to see the whole picture in a different light. Todo lists will feel more doable, having a plan will make you feel less stressed and your mind will be free from needing to remember everything. Why take up mental energy on this when you can use it to solve problems?
4. Calendar blocking
The best way to know if and when you can do a task is to put all your tasks in your calendar. It helps me see a project laid out with each step having a time slot assigned and a completion date. It makes me mindful of how much I can say Yes to because if there’s physically no space left in the calendar, it’s ridiculous to take something on board because I’ll never get to do it unless I eliminate something else.
6. Saying No
And since we’re talking about saying yes, my next habit, which is also my favourite productivity tool is saying No. Nothing gets your todo list clear and focused like dropping items off your plate. If it doesn’t fit my schedule and my priorities, it won’t make it on my TODO.
If it’s not a “Hell, yes”, it’s a “Hell, no”.
6. Intentional rest
You can do things 2 ways. Work, work, work, and be busy, until you get overwhelmed, sick and you’re forced to rest, delaying progress and hating the whole process.
It’s like drinking water when you’re thirsty. If you wait until you feel thirsty, it means you’re already dehydrated, the balance in your body is already disrupted. What you want is to drink every now and then and maintain the balance.
The same happens with rest. If you intentionally schedule it at regular intervals, even before you feel you need it, you maintain balance, you allow your brain and your body to recover, and in this way you’ll more more productive for much longer. Plus, you’ll enjoy your life.
Not resting may give you a false sensation of moving forward, but being busy doesn’t mean being productive. There’s a big difference between the two.
7. Waking up early
I’ve said it on many occasions, I’m an early riser and if I’m up any later than 6, I feel that my day is already gone. My usual wake up hour is sometime between 4:30 and 5, though I have days when I need more sleep if I go to bed late.
The book club in March will touch on this particular topic, so if you think you need to stop hitting snooze, join us soon.
Most of my online business tasks are done in the morning, especially creative ones. I get 3 hours between 6 and 9 when I can focus on my main priorities. Because the rest of the day I have chores, dogs to walk, Yoga classes to teach, places to go, laundry to do. I’m just like everyone else. I sometimes get another couple of hours to do work in the afternoon, like recording the podcast for example, but they don’t tend to be creative activities. If I don’t have my mornings, business dies.
8. Thought awareness
Why is it so important to be aware of what you’re thinking? Because every single result you have in your life was created by your actions. You act according to how you feel. And how you feel depends on what you’re thinking. Let me give you an example.
If you start a project by thinking…
- Thought: “I don’t think this is going to work”.
- Feeling: How would you feel? Inspired or motivated? M, no. You’d feel defeated and uninspired.
- Action: What action would you take? Probably none. Or you would start to do something but with no focus and no energy.
- Result? Exactly the proof of your initial thought. It didn’t work.
But what if you think…
- Thought: “This is going to be easy and exciting, and I’ll be successful”.
- Feeling: How would you feel? Motivated and full of energy.
- Action: How would you take action from here? You would do everything on your plan with full belief.
- Result? It will be easy and exciting and you’ll be successful. The proof of your initial thought.
This is why choosing your thoughts carefully matters. You can’t be aware of all your thoughts, we have about 65k a day, but if you have a result in your life that you don’t like or you want one, ask yourself – what would I need to do for that? How would I need to feel to take action? And what would I need to think? Thoughts are the ones that can stop you before even getting started.
9. Reading and study
Your life cannot be great if you’re not great.
To continue what I said before, you need good thoughts. And you can’t have them if the information you consume is not meant for that. Most of my money is spent on personal development at the moment because I want the inspiration, I want my brain to be fed useful information. To give you an idea, I have 3 monthly payments that make almost £1k together, so everything I make from teaching Yoga goes back into my personal development.
10. Studying successful people
On a similar note, if you want to be successful you need to know what successful people do and how they think. I have a few role models that I follow to get inspired and stay connected to their world if I wanna be in it. I consume their content, read their books, buy what they have to sell, watch interviews and go see them live if have the opportunity.
11. Patience and consistency
Basically, what this means, is that I keep going even if I don’t see results. I don’t allow thoughts of disbelief and I don’t quit. Going back to modelling successful people, every single one of them would say the same thing – just keep going. And I have now proof that this is true, after finally seeing the results of consistent action for the past 4 years. I’m so so glad I didn’t quit.
And now moving the the second category. What I want to mention is that all these things still happen occasionally, in a very controlled and intentional way. At their core, I don’t think they are bad habits, I don’t even think there is such thing, but once you use a habit for the wrong reasons, they start to create unwanted results. Let me talk you through mine.
1. Eating sugar
I quit sugar for multiple reasons: for the effects it has on the brain, for the effects it has on the body and on fat stores, but also for coping better with feelings without food. Once you eliminate sugar, you need to learn how to be an emotionally developed adult. It’s tough in the beginning, but cross to the other side, life is better in so many ways.
On a very similar note, I quit drinking almost a year ago. Yes, now I can’t drink due to baby reasons, but I decided to stop drinking alcohol about half a year before the baby was conceived.
It was one of the results of my work around eating and coping with emotions.
I didn’t feel the need to drink when I was stressed, tired or overly excited anymore. However, the plan was to still have a drink here and there.
But the very next time when I had a drink, I noticed another effect. I was in the middle of planning my next project and went out for a drink, I had a cider (that’s alcohol and sugar, 2 in one) and it messed with my head. For the whole rest of the day I couldn’t focus anymore, my thoughts were all over the place, I started feeling sorry for myself, my whole mood changed after 1 glass. I realised I can’t afford to go through this again. I need to be able to make decisions and stay focused and motivated.
When we moved on the boat, we sold all our possessions. We didn’t keep anything in storage or in friend’s garages. We sold everything, including the TV. That was 2 years ago.
And only realised how damaging it was after we got rid of it. I still enjoy entertainment, we watch 30-40 minutes a day of a show on Amazon Prime most evenings, but no more toxic news, reality shows, ads, or background noise.
I truly enjoy silence now, I give myself the opportunity to do nothing and just sit on the sofa and watch nature through the windows of the boat.
We spent the night in a hotel recently and turned the TV on in the morning to watch the breakfast show on BBC, as we used to. We couldn’t keep it on for more than 10 minutes.
Everything I watch or listen to now is intentional and thoughtfully selected. We’ll move back to a house this year and will get a TV, but only because we want to watch Amazon Prime on a bigger screen.
4. Spending on stuff
As I said before, I spend most of my money on personal development.
I prefer to be and feel successful, rather than look successful.
I like to live clutter free, in a simple and minimalist way and spend on knowledge and experience. I don’t care what people think and buy second hand from other people or charity shops whenever I can. And it’s not because of the price, but the waste stuff produces.
5. Social media
I’ll finish with something that is still in progress. And that is spending time on social media.
I have a pattern of numbing myself with Facebook or Instagram when I’m overwhelmed or in a low mood for whatever reason. Now I’m controlling this in 2 ways: I stay away from social in the morning and I deliberately schedule engagement a few times a week. Creating content and consuming content for the purpose of engaging with peers and potential customers is great, what I’m trying to reduce is the mindless scrolling. It’s going ok, but according to my habit tracker I still have slip ups, so there’s still work to be done.
And that is it. Just want to remind you that February Book Club enrolment is open and I’d love to see you there. I’m also working on a new mini-course on habits, so if you want to find out about it get on the mailing list. Links below. Ok, love you, bye
Sign up for February here: https://coachmeamazing.samcart.com/products/pd-book-club/
Sign up for the email list: coachmeamazing.com/lifelessonletter
Ok, thanks, love you, bye!
This was it for this episode, but if you want to continue the conversation, I’d love to hear from you! Comment here or find me on Facebook and Instagram. But the best thing you can do is sign up for the Life Lesson Letter, the weekly email I send out every Thursday with new content and insider-only freebies and details. Sign up now and you’ll get instant access to all available goodies, including the latest PDF “From overwhelm to taking action: 6 steps to find more time in your day, declutter your to-do list and get things done“. Just go to coachmeamazing.com/lifelessonletter
Thanks so much for being here and I’ll catch you on the next one! Have an amazing day