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Breaking Old Patterns—3 Simple Shortcuts to Break Free from Stress and Avoid Wasting Time

A guest post by Ayesha Wan* particularly valuable for business owners and entrepreneurs.


If you’re constantly feeling stressed and anxious, it’s time to take a step back and check your priorities. Stress is not a badge of honour. Are you feeling stressed because of the fear of failure, or are you feeling edgy if you are successful in your goals?


In this post, you’ll learn a shortcut to wasting time, using 3 simple tips -


1 - Audit your time

2 - Use a digital system and celebrate your #wins

3 - Mindset


relaxing Salt & Oil epsom salt bath with candle, book  and cup of tea
Photo credit by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Firstly


1 - Audit your time


Time anxiety — have you ever felt you will never finish your long to-do lists? You stress about being late to a party, having dinner and not having enough time in a day to make your lists. The constant feeling in relation to time is called time anxiety. ​​

Time audit session — You can do a time audit for a day or two. Where do you spend your daily hours? If you are an entrepreneur, what are your 2-3 actions that you do daily? It provides data on where you spend your energy the most. The purpose isn’t to shame yourself.

How-to — You could also estimate how many hours it takes to finish a task and evaluate the time-consuming tasks that make it challenging for you to spend time with your family. The process might cause you to feel many things emotionally, but remind yourself to stay neutral about it.

  • Should you spend more time taking care of your health?

  • Would that be your primary project for now?

  • Are you scrolling mindlessly on TikTok or IG, or constantly doom-scrolling the news instead of brainstorming newsletters content, serving your online community with value-packed content?

  • Funny cat videos are fun to watch and make you laugh, but could you replace the time you spend on social media (guilty as charged, but I assure you the process will be worth it)?

  • Would you rather spend time with your family or kids instead?

  • How can you make it work for yourself without guilt-tripping yourself?


what can you do that is more important than scrolling social media
Photo credit by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

What emotions come up for you right now? Are you feeling any guilt, shame, or resistance? How is your body reacting to these thoughts that may come up?


Often, it goes deeper than the thoughts you have about time. For example, do you attach your self-worth to what you can accomplish in a certain amount of time? Define what that could look like for you right now. You get to decide how you want it to be for yourself. If you think working with a health professional will be more beneficial for you, commit and be open to the health plans.


If you are neurodivergent, you may have to work with a healthcare provider and readjust how you view your relationship with time. The existing systems don’t cater to the neurodivergent community, so use your voice to share with others.


“If it's important enough, I'll make the time. If not, I'll make an excuse.” ― Marie Forleo, Everything is Figureoutable.


If you are in the trenches, your overwhelm is real. It’s okay to pause if that is your focus right now.


If you choose to do this mini-homework over the weekend, it might break that old pattern of thoughts of beating yourself up.


What is the return on investment? YOU. You are the most valuable asset. Not other people’s thoughts.



Secondly


2 - Use a digital system and celebrate your #wins


As someone who needs to balance entrepreneurship and volunteering, where I need to expand my capacity to serve my audience and educate why a global, inclusive website is important in the world of DIYs, I no longer use pen and paper or bullet journal method for planning. I use ClickUp for project management and mainly Google Calendar.


plan with calendar and coffee.
Photo credit by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Here’s a shortcut to avoid wasting time —

  • Block the time on your calendar and, if you have multiple calendars (Google), you might find that Reclaim is a helpful app (this is what I use, and it’s free). The app will automatically sync your primary calendar with your work calendar and track your personal time and meeting hours.

  • If you use Outlook, look into Akiflow app to sync all your calendars.

  • Celebrate your little #wins so that you gather that mini data about your progress.

  • If you need a reminder of your schedule, arrange your homepage on your phone to show your calendar—there should be a widget to share your calendar.

  • Instead of going back and forth asking people, “Hey, what time suits you?” would you be able to set up a scheduling calendar and send the link for people to catch up with you?


Finally


3 - Mindset


“But I’ve already done all the above and MORE!”


Saying mindset solves everything is an oversimplifying solution.


But it also starts with embodying who you want to be. What identity are you looking to embrace? We could do all the strategies available, but ‌how we think about a problem will affect how we show up for ourselves. It isn’t picking just one strategy over the other. It’s taking full responsibility to the best of your ability to refine how you show up.


“But I already KNOW all of this!”


too many options can be stressful
Photo credit by Brandon Lopez on Unsplash

Knowing something isn’t the same as understanding the concept. It’s easier to read a book than to practise what we read.

There’s this buzzword in the online space about identity or embodiment work.


Move & Manifest —


I went through a pioneer certification on Move and Manifest by Bridget James Ling — her background is in dancing and education. She is the Founder of Move & Manifest, a mentorship program that helps creative women launch online businesses so they can change lives using their passion and live wherever they want.


I tried to re-pattern my moves. I learned that your body might show up in a certain way, either on camera, in the masterclass, or with your clients. Most of our communication is non-verbal.

  • How do you currently show up for yourself? This is not the part where you are judging yourself.


1. Re-pattern Choreography

  • Be aware of how you show up daily, especially with your body.

  • If you could show up as if you already have what you wanted.

  • Do you move your body with no judgement?

  • Start paying attention to this and be curious instead of beating yourself up.

  • Visualise your future self, achieving whatever you want to achieve.


2. Money Moves

  • You can decide what and how you want to push yourself — not me, not other people. It’s powerful thinking if you could simply decide.

  • For example, instead of just posting daily on social media, how can you refine your content? In your personal life, how can you refine your one habit? If you hate social media, is something else bothering you? You can buy all the strategies you want, but if you still fear being seen in the online space for whatever reason, that might block your making money moves. Alternatively, can you get vulnerable enough to determine if you have a mindset issue with money?

  • If ‌you’re thinking, “Well, I take actions every day, but I don’t see results”, I will pass on this golden nugget — it’s not how many actions you take. It’s more about clarity.

  • “Well, what should I do then?”— can you lean into a supportive community or healthcare provider?

  • What are your “breakthrough moves”? Can you ask yourself, “Am I ready for this?”

  • For example, my “breakthrough move” is showing on social media unapologetically— I went “live” on IG for the first time and did not care about the outcome. I get to show up how I want it to be. Getting consistent is also a struggle. So, I wrote my social media content first, then pulled the images. Then, I can schedule my content. It’s a work in progress. I don’t care about the algorithms changing because I am clear with my educational content and the safe community I want to create.

  • What are your 1-3 moves in the biz and personal life? Those moves are your daily success plan.

3. Leading Your Clients

  • I wholeheartedly believe my clients are powerful enough to self-lead and take action. I don’t need to handhold them every step of the way.

  • The boundaries and the little “leaks” in relationships—it’s not that we can’t have “bad days”, but also to take responsibility to hold the space for my clients and hold them accountable.


4. Implementing This Into Your Own Business

  • I first applied the above to my personal life. I also apply it in my entrepreneurship journey.

  • My form of embodiment is going for a walk and making sure that I move my body first before responding to clients’ emails or taking calls.

  • Focus on one thing you can practise today. Just one for now. Implement one easy step. Otherwise, you’re not going to commit to doing it. Build that momentum.


As for the cognitive side of managing your thoughts, that’s more based on CBT. I’d recommend a podcast by Kara Loewentheil, “Unf*ck Your Brain.” She also covers intersectionality and inclusion topics in her coaching framework, which I personally love and follow. She was a lawyer before becoming a certified master life coach. She teaches you that you are the authority in your life in a patriarchal society. I love her work in diversity. Highly recommended!

Summary

  1. Audit your time

  2. Use a system that you can throw everything at

  3. Mindset and embodiment work


Personal story


I can share my transformation of how I tracked and estimated my time during the three-day process. I had around 10-15 hours left for the week. I also noticed that I was more intentional in spending my time. I tracked it on my notes app almost hourly or estimated how much time I spent on a task.


The following week, I was able to choose my primary project to focus on instead of working on multiple extensive projects simultaneously. Health was my priority, but so was socialising and having healthy boundaries. I wanted to focus on how I show up to come from a place of ease rather than doing it because others are doing it.


Organising a system that works for me is essential so I can keep track of many moving parts that I’m working on and not forget them. It’s also for documenting my process. This is also how software/web developers organise a project.


Other helpful materials or websites for learning


Bridget James Ling


Mel Robbins

The 5-Second Rule book


Kara Loewentheil

The Infinite 1%


The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo

Episode 466 — Success is hard


* About Ayesha


Ayesha Wan (BSc Computer Science) is the creator of Hey Ayesha Creative, which provides one-on-one bespoke website design and development services for online coaches and service providers. Sign up for her email list for tips on managing your projects and app reviews.

As a successful developer and web designer who began coding her website from scratch when she was 12, Ayesha is passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs. Ayesha is also a certified Meta Community Manager volunteer, looking after over 950 women for the local group as part of the Girl Gone International (GGI) global community.


She’s available to speak on web development & design, inclusion & diversity, project management, and personal development. Otherwise, you’ll find her heading to the bookstore, going for walks, and catching up with mates. Based in New Zealand, Ayesha works with clients globally to deliver high-touch services that help them succeed online.



 

If part of your time audit revealed that you'd like to spend more time taking care of your health, you could consider allotting some time in the evenings for a mind and body soothing pre-bedtime routine using our natural magnesium based bath soaks and magnesium oils.


Magnesium is an important mineral that is known to calm the mind, aid focus and increase your happy hormones.


Supplementing your magnesium levels transdermally (via your skin) is an effective and safe way to absorb magnesium. Enjoying regular Epsom salt baths is a lovely way to achieve this. Liberally applying Magnesium Oil to your body is another very effective way to boost your magnesium levels.


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