Ep 120: How To Work Less and Achieve More


  • A look at the journey my client took to work 20% less while creating more success for herself
  • The 3 tools we used to take her through this process of transformation
  • The correlation between time and perfectionism

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 Today I want to walk you through a high-level case study of my clientʻs journey from exhaustion and frustration to creating more value and achieving more success for herself and her company- all while working 20% less.

Youʻll be able to see what her life looked like when we started working together, the 3 specific tools we used, and the results she was able to create.

If you’re wondering how to move from a place of burnout to a place of working less, feeling inspired, and loving your life, this episode is for you.  

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Welcome to Rock Your Brain. Rock Your Life. The only podcast hosted by a high achieving tech entrepreneur and certified coach that teaches you how to use proven cognitive tools to rewire your brain and break through the second pandemic, burnout. If you lead a company or badass team and need a proven, evidence based cognitive course to retain and develop them, this podcast is for you.

Sarah helps humans break through burnout, have insane work life balance, and feel magical at work and in their lives again. Here's your host, certified coach and tech industry entrepreneur, Sarah Moody. 

Okay. Amazing rock stars. Let's talk this week about how to work less and achieve more. So a year ago just, yeah actually, at the start of this year, I decided to work four days a week. I was probably doing it a bit last year as well. 

So I don't work on Fridays. It's a rare occasion that I do work on Fridays and, so this week it was pretty awesome actually. I went to the Nutcracker, had some yummy massages, saw some friends for a holiday party, did a bunch of yoga. It was so, so amazing. 

And actually I just got off a call with a client and I have to share this with you because it is such a great story about how to work less and achieve more.

In one year, she has gone from feeling like she had to prove herself at work and constantly overworking and she had a lot of anxiety and actually didn't feel confident enough to speak in meetings and have her ideas heard, even though she was always over prepared. And what she noticed was she was losing connection with, you know, her kids and friends, and sleep was tough and she'd stopped exercising and taking care of herself because work was her identity.

And she believed that she always needed to be perfect while feeling she was at the mercy of her circumstances of work, of everything around her, and she never felt in control or that there was enough time, and it was so amazing to get off the phone with her this week because she's now working 20% less.

She's brought incredible value to the company, she's inspiring as a leader to her team. She's helping them all grow and get promoted. In terms of value she's bringing, she's bringing lots of creative ideas to the company around operational success in her field, and she's now being considered a thought leader in the industry. 

In terms of the success that she's bringing to the company, this whole team has beaten their OKRs for the year and they've hired a lot of folks. So I just loved this story around how to work less and achieve more. I mean, y'all who wants to work 20% less and bring more value and have more success in their company?

I know all of my students want this. Let's talk about how she did this. I wanna share this as a super high level case study, and ideally get her on the podcast. 

 So there's three tools that we use together to get her to this result. Number one is she got really clear about the sentences in her brain that were creating this reality of lots of anxiety and self-doubt. They were all coming from sentences in her brain that were creating that reality. So for example, she had a belief of like, there's not enough time to get everything done. But if you have that belief, how do you feel? Anxious? And when you feel anxious, what do you do?

You're overthinking. And you're spinning and ruminating and you're not actually getting the work done. So we did a lot of really good work around looking at the sentences in her brain and her beliefs. So the big limiting belief she broke up with is there's not enough time. That was number one. There's more than enough time because she also had to break up with perfectionism, wanting to deliver perfect work all the time will lead you to believe that there's never enough time. There's a perfect correlation between the two. Right? Think about it. If you feel like you need to be perfect with the email that you sent to the leadership team, or the deck you put together if everything has to be perfect, if they can't find an error, then you're never gonna have enough time to get everything done, or actually not even everything done, even get the things done that you wanna get done and have them be enough.

So we had to look at a lot of her beliefs. The other limiting belief that she had other than there's not enough time is that I'm not skilled enough, I'm not capable enough. I need to prove myself. Well when you think those sentences in your brain, how do you feel? Say you thought that sentence in your brain:

" I'm not skilled enough to be in this role", like there's some level of imposter syndrome. How would you feel? Self-doubt. Right? Insecure. Right. And when you feel self-doubt and insecure, what do you do? You probably just stay stuck in that loop.

So lots of belief work. What beliefs will serve you? So for example, one of the beliefs is I'm open to believing that b minus work is enough. That was a belief she worked on for a really long time. I'm open to believing there's more than enough time to get my P ones done. 

So the second skill and tool that we worked a lot on is this program that I have called Getting Shit Done.

So it's all about managing your brain so that you can align how you wanna spend your time at work and in your life with your priorities. So I have my clients put everything that they wanna do in a day in their calendar. 

Yes, that includes taking a shower. Yes, that includes when you exercise. That includes driving to exercise. That includes doing thought work in the morning. That includes the meeting with your C E O. Every single meeting notice goes into your calendar. Now, we are not doing this to be perfect. We're doing this to understand how to prioritize our time so that it aligns with what's important and one of the big learnings that my client had was because she felt like she wasn't enough, which was just a belief. This is the most important thing about my client. Nothing's changed. She's gotten more humans on her team. She hasn't changed jobs. 

Nothing in her circumstances changed other than internally what she believes about herself.

So when it came to the getting shit done process, she learned how to prioritize her time so it aligns with her priorities. So she was not going to all the meetings that she used to in the past. She would look at where can I deliver results to the company, results for the team?

That's where I need to spend my time. I need to spend my time focused in those areas. And when you come from a place of belief in yourself and calm and confidence, you have that skill to be able to embody that belief of I'm only gonna go to the meetings that align with my priorities as a leader versus coming from I don't know enough, I need to prove myself and so I need to go to all these meetings. 

And the third tool that we used that really helped probably about 90 days in is called The Future Self Tool. So it's a cognitive tool where you really visualize yourself and you write out your story, and I had her write out her story about when she's 90 years old, what does her life look like? What does her family look like? What do holidays look like? What's her relationship like with her kids? What has she done in her career? And how does she feel? And one of the very big aha moments that she had as she did this work together is so much of her identity is tied up with work.

And she didn't really have a separate identity as just an individual amazing human. And one of the things she learned was that her title doesn't matter. Like, doesn't really matter at all. What really matters when she's 90 years old and she's looking back at her life, is her relationship with her kids and her husband.

All the experiences that she had with her kids and her husband, what her holidays look like, that she was connected and close to her extended family, right? That she had an amazing community of friends and loved ones that she felt supported to, and that most importantly, she had a deep, loving, compassionate, connected relationship with herself.

So those were the three tools that she used to get to this place of working 20% less time and over-delivering with her OKRs, building a bigger team, inspiring her team overall. So you wanna learn how to work less and achieve more. I got you. All right. Have a beautiful rest of your day and I'll talk to you next week.

All right. Bye.

 If you're loving what you're learning in the podcast, you have to come and check out the Rockstar Program. It's my coaching program where we take these neuroscience based cognitive tools and we use them daily to break through burnout so you can fall passionately in love with your life and your career again.

So join me over at SarahMoody.com/rockstarprogram I would love to have you join me. You can also follow me @sarahmoody on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I can't wait to see you.



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