213 Transforming the Mundane into Joy and Reclaiming Time with Sarah Walton
Ever wondered why seemingly simple tasks like making your bed or planning meals can feel like chores? Join me as business coach Sarah Walton guides us on a journey to find joy in these everyday activities and introduces the concept of high-functioning codependence. But that's just the beginning.
In this episode, we'll also explore the fascinating differences in multitasking abilities between men and women. Understanding these distinctions can be a game-changer for improving your time management skills.
Let's break free from the cycle of over-functioning and neglecting our own needs to please others; it's time to prioritize ourselves.
And in our grand finale, Sarah shares her powerhouse productivity strategies. Get ready to gain insights into your relationship with multitasking, learn how to reclaim your time, and live in harmony. Discover simple yet effective tips to escape the whirlpool of overwhelm and sail toward serenity.
Connect with Sarah:
The freedom calculator: sarahwalton.com/freedom
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Hey there, I'm really excited for you all to meet Sarah Walton here today on the show and, in particular, towards the end of the episode, she is going to share with you some exact steps you can take any time you're feeling really crunched for time, and what I love about this is what she shares is something that only takes 15 seconds. I am going to be implementing this in my life, so I'm excited for her to be here today to share it with you as well. So let's go ahead and get started. Welcome to the WorkLife Harmony podcast.
I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm juggling hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity, so you can have work life harmony.
If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed. This is the show for you, and if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my WorkLife Harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram, @MeganSumrell, with the word Harmony, and my team will send it right over. Hey everyone, welcome back to WorkLife Harmony. I have a new guest here on the show today that I am really, really looking forward to having this conversation. Sarah Walton is here joining us and she's got some amazing tips around how exact steps to take when we're feeling crunched for time. But we're going to start our conversation elsewhere first, but before we dive in, sarah, I would love for you to introduce yourself here on the show.
Well, Megan, thank you. I would love to introduce myself. I'm so happy to be spending time with you today. I love what you're doing for the world, so thank you. I think so many of us could just take a deep, freaking breath right and just recognize we're going to get through this and there's ways to get through this. I just love that this is what you do for people. I think it's gorgeous.
So I am really a business coach and my focus is on abundance, and that's time, abundance, money, abundance, health and love, and really helping people create extraordinary, creative businesses based on their talents, their experience and their expertise. And I work exclusively with women, because I was a senior executive for years and the higher I got up in the ranking, the fewer women there were around me and I was like this is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. Like we're the best at this. Quite frankly, like can I just be obnoxious? Like we are so good at multitasking. We can absolutely see priority, we can see when something's about to get off course and, by the way, I don't know if you've ever had this day, megan I'm going to grab my phone and be like, yeah, get the chicken out of the fridge for dinner. No, did you guys email that guy? Yeah, no, get that. No, I don't want that to tell four. Did you guys see the thing that came in, like that's our day right, like we do this, and it's like how can we do this in a way that works in our lives, that isn't created by, forgive me, the patriarchy and the corporate structure, but rather one that pulls to our strengths and one that has us really, you know, alter our relationship to money, our relationship to time and to our internal confidence and self-trust.
And I do this work because I was raised by a single mom in a very, very poor situation, and watching her go through that and watching myself decide over and over and over that I couldn't take care of myself and my family, that one of those things was going to have to give, I've decided that it's time to help as many women as I can learn that that's not true and it's not a we can have it all conversation. It's about looking at where we've been taught that certain things are the correct way to do things and certain things are not the correct way to do things. And is that real? Is that made up?
How do we want to expand on that and what's going to work for us, because when we have things working well for us which is what we're going to talk about today when it comes to time, but when we have things working for us well, we are really unstoppable. I mean, women are just phenomenal at getting things done and doing them really really well, and the issue that I believe has been in our way is that the structures in place weren't put there by us and we don't need to play by those rules anymore. I think as soon as we start to understand that and we start to make things work for us, the world will change, not to say I really like it Great.
I can't change in the world. One of the things that really stuck out at me that I know is one of your zones of genius I was like I love this was when you shared that why all time is emotion and how we can manipulate it. I love to start the conversation around that and how. When you say why all time is emotion, what do you mean by that? Then we can dive into how we manipulate that.
Yeah Well, it's interesting the first time you hear that you're like what it is not, it's a construct. There's 60 seconds in a minute.
I sat in that for a while and I was like now my wheels are going. I'm excited to hear this, ladies bananas.
This is not emotional. My clock tells me so, except that it is because let me say it a different way. Our experience of time, how we express time, how we use time, how a day of time occurs to us, how five minutes occurs to us, is completely emotional. We've all had that moment. The hour it takes to get a root canal is not the same hour it takes to eat a really great meal. It's just not. They're totally different hours. You can tell me the construct is the same, but it is not the same in any way, shape or form. Your experience of being alive during those two hours is unbelievably different when we're looking at how time is occurring to us and it's feeling crunchy and it's feeling slammed.
Megan and I were joking, before we hit record, how easy it is to look at your calendar and go when the hell did it get this packed? Yeah, how did that happen? It's so easy to have those days occur. What there is for us to do, I believe, is really look at what emotions are we experiencing throughout the day, and are those the emotions we want to be experiencing? That may sound polyana at first or like I'm talking about some esoteric idea, but if you actually stop and think about the tasks that make you really happy. I'm not saying throw everything out, but if you can start to pepper in the tasks that make you really happy, the ones where time disappears, the ones where you thoroughly enjoy, where you feel really powerful and strong and connected to your best self, for me I got to be honest, that is a good tidying up. Like I could tidy up for eight hours straight and skip through life. Like I love me tidying up.
Would you please come to my?
house. I love it. I mean you can see, the books behind me are color coordinated to the painting behind me, like that kind of stuff makes my socks roll up and down like there's no tomorrow and I can do it for hours and hours and hours and not notice so throughout my day. For example, to bring that joy in, to bring that experience of time into my day, even when it's crazy, is I have five minute breaks scheduled in between client calls, between times when I'm training or being on podcasts. Right, I have five minutes where I'm going to go tidy stuff and I got to tell you it has changed the whole trajectory of my day. I get the plus of the tidy up, but for some people it's singing, for some people it's stepping outside and sitting with a tree. I don't care what it is for you, but you've got to know what it is so you can put it in and experience that level of emotion and watch the time in your day explode. It's so simple but it is so profound and I don't think we were taught to deal with time this way.
One of the things I'll do with people who feel really crunched for time they're like no, you don't understand. You know it's always my favorite. You don't understand. I'm like, right, out of seven billion people, you're the one, you're the one who's so different from the rest of us. We can't figure this out, right? And then they laugh. I'm like there's no way we can't figure this out. You're not the one out of seven billion and we've all had that moment of feeling that way, right, like we're in a lot of fashion of like right, we all have those Is all have them sit still for a minute. I'm like you can do no things for one minute, just do no things. Sit here and stare at me over Zoom for one minute and they are like that is the longest minute ever, Ever. I'm like, yeah, you get 60 of those every hour.
Now what is the reason behind just being totally still for one minute when you're feeling really crunched?
Because you'll see how much time there is. It gives you the second to flip the perspective, because your emotion changes. Your emotion slows down and all of a sudden you're Uber present. Now you might. Initially, what happens in the first 15 seconds is people are thinking about everything they could do Right, like.
I don't have time for this. I need to get into action, yeah.
I'll say yeah, it's one minute. Worst case, if this doesn't work, it's one minute Out of your whole day. Just give me one minute, right? People sit there and anybody listening or watching. I really, really challenge you to do this. It's so powerful. You just hold still and after the first 15, 20 seconds, the mind starts to slow down and I'll say to them listen, don't do anything, but if something really sticks out, you'll remember it. Trust yourself, you'll remember it in 60 seconds from now. It's going to be okay. Just breathe with me for one minute, and that time suddenly feels huge. So what have we done? We've added that emotion into time right there, and all of a sudden, one minute is mammoth and I say, okay, you get 60 of those in an hour.
What do you want to get done today? And now it's a completely different perspective. It's like oh well, what I'd love to get done is this email campaign. I'd like to order this thing for my kid's school. I want to make sure the vacation is planned this way. I need to make sure the meals are prepped for this week, like whatever it is that's on somebody's agenda, all of a sudden, great, can you get that done in 15 minutes? 15 of what we just did. Can you get that done? And they're like, yeah, and all of a sudden you're back in control. It's very, very powerful and it's very simple and it's free and it's always available. It's like the coolest tip ever.
I love that, and so when you talk about manipulating it, is this what you're meaning?
Yeah, because you really can. I mean, I had one client once who was a dancer. I love this description. She's like Sarah, when I'm on stage, I am the dance, she's like I'm gone, I disappear completely. I am the dance and I'm like it's hours that go by, right. She's like, and it's like two seconds, right.
Like that feeling that is manipulating time, right. So if you can bring that into writing your meal plan, writing your like I mean, I was drunk with my kids, I'm like we can go out to dinner once or I can feed us for seven days which one do you want? Right. And they're like laugh and laugh. But it's like that whole thing takes like six minutes. That's worth all that money to me, right. So it's like sitting back and doing that and in those moments I become the mom, I become the chef, I actually embody doing those things and enjoying it and having fun. Or teaching them how to cook or teaching them how to shop and to create a budget, all of a sudden, the six minutes that takes are such a joy. And there is it.
Manipulated, yeah, kind of, but it's with focus and intention and heart, not with any malice or judgment of like I should be spending this, or I should be doing that, or I've got to get this done. It's like, well, I will, it's me, I'll always get it done. And flipping that dialogue immediately inside of our heads, I think is so powerful because, again, going back to what women have been taught right, do more, be more, have more, faster, faster, faster. And it's like, maybe, maybe, or I can actually do what matters to me and not in a selfish, obnoxious way, but in a like, actually, my family will be better off if I do this one thing, my business will be better off if I do this one thing.
Like could you imagine I show up to a podcast episode and I'm actually taking notes on something I want to be doing afterwards? Like it's so weird that we think we can do stuff like that and still have a high quality, high level of enjoying time. You can't because you're creating a crunchy, paranoid, stressful moment, as opposed to I'm going to be with Megan, I'm going to love her up, we're going to have the best time, we're going to talk about this is so cool, and then, as soon as I'm done, I get to do this other thing, like it's never being in 15 places at one time. But that can only happen if you're actually being honest about how you're feeling about the things you're doing throughout the day. Does that make sense, megan?
Yeah, it totally does. And you know, one of the things you mentioned right at the beginning when you were talking about how women are really good multitaskers I would love to get your thoughts on is multitasking a good thing, a bad thing? Is there space for it? Should we never do it? I mean, I have my own opinions. I'm always very curious to hear what other people's opinions are when it comes to me.
Oh, I love this question. I'm so excited we're talking about this, actually. So I do a lot of study on this because I love it too. Megan, I'm with you. I think it's so fascinating how we behave as humans. Like what is driving this behavior? Why are we doing this?
And there's actually a physiological difference between people who are born into a female body and people who are born into a male body. Female bodies have more connective tissue between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which is what allows us to multitask at that level is literally just connective tissue. That's why we can do emotion logic, emotion logic back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And those born into a male body don't quite have that ability, right, and that's not it. I don't mean that to sound snobby, but it's kind of like I always joke. If you have a male partner, right, it's like you can be doing it. You have the baby on your lap, you're cooking dinner, you're taking it Did you take out the garbage? And like I'm watching TV. It's like I'm doing one thing and you're like, are you kidding? It's not a joke. They literally do one thing, which is fantastic at times. Right, that is amazing. At times I'm a little jealous. That must be awesome to do one thing and focus clearly. Well, that's actually a physiological difference, but I think psychologically and socially, especially for women.
This term was coined by Terry Cole. She's a psychologist in New York City and she wrote a book. I don't love the title of the book, to be honest, but it's called Boundary Boss and the content in the book is fantastic. And she coined the phrase high functioning codependence. And, for women especially, I love. When I say that and I'm speaking everybody goes that's me. I'm like I haven't defined it yet. They're like no, no, no, it's me. I'm like okay, all right, hold on. It makes me laugh, but it's like. So the high functioning part is our ability to function at an incredibly high level. Right, and some people are starting to call it over functioning right Because we can, we're so good at it, but there's a codependence piece on the back end. So the high functioning piece is wonderful, we have it.
The codependence piece comes when we're trained from a very young age not to bother other people with our own needs, and this starts with things like oh, don't cry, where's my pretty girl, your emotions are bothering me, please stop having them Right. And it starts there, and then it starts with other women too, like I don't know if you've seen this, you know or heard this phrase. I hate it so much. But like, oh my God, she's so selfless, she literally has no self. Isn't she great, right? And it's like what are we talking about here? And this is why I love having this conversation with women, because we need to support each other in breaking this Absolutely yeah, but because we're told, when we're killing it meaning killing ourselves, right we're doing all the things, we get rewarded, right? Oh, you're amazing, god, you're so great. So we start to think that's what we have to do in order to be okay. And that's the codependence piece. And I love that she coined this phrase because I think it's so helpful for us to give it a name, to be able to talk about it, but then also to talk to each other about it and be like dude, have you peed today? Like it's okay, like let's go, let's talk, you know it's okay, and really like supporting each other in not doing that.
Yeah, I say to people all the time you were not put on this planet to do laundry while everyone else watches TV. No, no, that is not where your worth is. You are worthy because you're alive and you're breathing. We don't need to do all that stuff to make everybody feel better. And so when the multitasking comes from that need to be approved of, from that need to be included, that need to be seen no, it's not great If it's coming from dude. This makes my socks roll up and down. I am so happy, I love this so much and, by the way, I can put it down at four, no problem. Then it's different. And if multitasking makes you super happy and you feel effective, fine. There aren't that many people that do feel that way. Truly no.
And when I think of multitasking, I always think the time and the place where I do recommend it is if it's something where your one thing is happening on autopilot, you really don't have to think about it while so you're folding laundry, while you're listening to that book that you really are listening to, because the laundry folding is happening on autopilot or on a walk while doing something. But otherwise, I know, I always try and tell people we've got to stop doing it because then nothing's getting done well and it just elevates our anxiety and stress levels when we're trying to juggle all those things at the same time.
Yeah, yeah. And then I think, on top of that, being told that's the only way we can do things right is even worse. Yeah.
I love that thought of that codependency. I hadn't thought about that, but yeah, I think. Yeah, 100% right with that. Now you have some steps to share with us that you say there are the exact steps to take anytime you're feeling crunched for time. So what are those?
Yes. So the first is I know you're going to be shocked, but it's a 15-second pause, just 15 seconds. That's it, just a 15-second. Okay, let me just catch my breath. And what we're doing there is calming the nervous system, which we're hearing a lot about more. The mind-body connection. The mind-body connection and I've been doing this for years, but recently I've started to study a lot more somatic therapy and what's happening to our bodies when our brain has gone bonkers, right, and, like you were saying, cortisol levels rise, the heart rates up. So we're taking this 15 seconds to remember we're okay, thanks, all right, everything's gonna be all right and it's only 15 seconds. You're not gonna lose a deadline over 15 seconds, right, you're gonna be okay. So it's really that breathing for 15 seconds and then, as you're breathing, the next thing and people laugh at me and then they do it, they're like that is the best thing ever Is you need to wiggle your toes, I know.
I'm doing it right now, I know right I know people do it.
They're like that's the best thing. Next time you're pitching, next time you're in a meeting, next time you're in a conversation that's making you nervous whether it's with a loved one or it's a financial or a business conversation wiggle your toes and that pulls you back down to the sense that you're doing in these 15 seconds, which is that you're okay right.
It just it takes you out of your head where you're spinning, pulls you back down. You're breathing, you got 15 seconds Again, not gonna miss a deadline, wiggle your toes. All of a sudden you're back in. That removes the panic enough that your prefrontal cortex can come back online and you can actually start to think okay, and from there it's all right. This is my favorite and this, actually, I cannot claim as mine. This comes from a great book called the One Thing. I love that book.
That was fantastic.
Yeah, so 15 seconds of breathing, wiggling your toes. What's the one thing I need to do next? Not all today, forever, of all time. Just what is the one thing I need to do next, and what you're looking for that does come from that book is the idea of what is the one thing that will make everything else easier. Yeah, so it's really like. Actually, you know, what's driving me nuts is the fact that the groceries are still on the counter, or what's bugging me is I didn't get back on that one email that I don't wanna write. Okay, that's the one thing that's gonna take the anxiety out of the situation. And usually what I love about this is that one thing never almost unless it's a really in-depth conversation almost never takes more than 10 minutes, and then you're back in the game and 25 minutes. You've completely altered your day.
Oh, that's so good. And for those of you listening that do the weekly planning the way I always teach people to, this would be so powerful. To take your 15 seconds, wiggle your toes and go look at what you planned for yourself when you were in that comfortable, relaxed place when you created the weekly plan. To help remind yourself of this is what I said was going to be important this week. And so having that you know when you've done your weekly planning, having that to go look at to help you decide what is that one thing next, can be a game changer, cause I know for me sometimes when I start to feel a little overwhelmed, I'm going to start that 15 second thing. I've never done that before, but for me it is. I go to look at my plan and say, okay, when I was in a better frame of mind, here's what I said, what was important. Does this still resonate? So that I know, like, okay, here's what's next.
I love that, yeah, and it is. I love how you do that to your weekly planning. So brilliant, megan, because it's like you're calling on your highest self right, the highest, calmest, best version of you, to help you figure out in those moments what you need to do next. And it's just so easy. We just live in a world that tells you constantly you're not doing enough. There's more for you to be doing, and so, going back to what you said when you were calm, you're just taking back all that power, right?
I mean, it's true, we can all, even when we're feeling unbelievably stressed out, we can rationalize. I've got 15 seconds right. I mean, we can rationalize 15 seconds. You may not even be able to rationalize a minute yet, but 15 seconds, 100%. Yes, I love that. That's so great. Now I know you have a freedom calculator right. Yeah, I do, I do. Okay, tell us what this is and how people can access it Absolutely so.
I love freedom in all things. This is why I teach abundance. I love abundance and to me, abundance is code for freedom, like, let's be honest, that's actually the word right. So for this one, because I work so much with business owners, what can happen is the overwhelm on the daily basis, right Of all the things that need to get done, can start to take over and you're not actually looking at the money that you need to make in order to feel free. So the freedom calculator actually takes you back. It's all your numbers. I don't tell you what those numbers should be. There's nothing like that. It's all based on your lifestyle, your world, everything you want, and you figure out your freedom number. So you actually know how much you need to make on a monthly basis in order to feel free. And I call it my freedom calculator. And then behind that are steps you can take to actually reach that number.
Oh, fantastic, and we will put a link to that in the show notes. It's just at your website, sarahwaltoncom. Ford slash freedom, right, correct, that's where it is Okay, awesome. And where can everybody find you Sure?
Well, I also have a podcast, megan maybe making an appearance. There's also a podcast. It's called the Game On Girlfriend podcast, because the game is on. This is not your practice life, so you can find me there. I hang out on Instagram and also on YouTube, where I go live once a month to have coffee with coach, but then I also produce a show called Sarah Uncut, where heaven help us all. I turn on my camera for a few minutes every week and we don't know what I'm gonna say, but it's a lot of fun tips and a lot of fun.
Oh wonderful. All right, we'll have links to all of that in the show notes. Everybody, sarah, I can't thank you enough for being here today sharing with us your, I always think, most precious commodity, which is your time. So thank you so much. Thanks, megan, it was a pleasure.
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