F*** Productivity Resolutions [Podcast]

Show Notes

I see your bullet journal holding the weight of all  your hopes and dreams, and I raise you a hustle-free INTENTION instead. It’s time to stop acting like the right notebook is all that separates us from our dreams. Your productivity hacks won’t work unless they actually meet your needs and fit the way your brain works. Give yourself permission to try multiple things in order to find the method that makes YOU feel the best. 

Don’t forget to get the workbook at bit.ly/fnyr! 

Episode Transcript

Caitlin (00:00):

Hey, we’re here to talk about productivity resolutions and why they’re probably a pile of crap. So common productivity resolutions, things that I see people doing all the time, cause it’s January, it’s fresh, it’s new, and you’re a completely new person who loves to bullet journal. Okay? So number one is I will use a bullet journal or I will use a to-do list or a time tracking app. I will learn a new skill, I will use insert productivity method here I’m gonna do the Pomodoro technique, I’m gonna do the four hour work week thing. So when it comes to productivity resolutions, the problem is that they’re either kind of vague, um, too big a commitment or too big a change to your existing habit. So you can forget about them entirely because they don’t really make sense. Or often we’re like, okay, this, I’m gonna do bullet journaling because x, y, Z thing.

Caitlin (01:03):

And this goes back to getting to the heart of what’s underneath your resolution or your goal. So if you set out to do bullet journaling because you think it will help you with time management, you think it will be something that you can stick with when it comes to doing a planner. You know, I don’t know, x, y, z different thing that bullet journaling might offer you. What, what do you actually want is the question? And is bullet journaling if that doesn’t solve that problem that you’re trying to solve, what are you gonna think of yourself? That bullet journaling didn’t solve the problem. Because I don’t think that the problem is bullet journaling. I think that the problem is something deeper. So for instance, um, I have done the bullet journal thing and you can definitely do like a very simple one, but I think when people do them as like a New Year’s resolution, they want the pretty ones, you know, the Pinterest ones, the, I learned lettering with markers ones where everything’s beautiful and there’s spreads and there’s habit trackers and there’s pretty little keys and everything is color coded.

Caitlin (02:16):

And I might just be jealous because I’m a little fricking chaos goblin, but I always have like a beautiful January, a pretty good February and then like by March I have forgotten about the bullet journal because I don’t have fucking time to make pretty monthly spreads. Like I need a notebook paper and check boxes <laugh>, like I operate off Google calendar. So going in thinking bullet journal’s gonna solve my problems didn’t actually deal with the underlying problems, which was I need a way to just keep my tasks close at hand. So once again, go back to what do you actually need and what are you actually trying to accomplish? And then set a goal resolution intention that actually gets to the heart of the matter. Also, PS for ADHD folks with our beautiful spicy brains, uh, we have so much trouble estimating the time that things take.

Caitlin (03:10):

So you might be like, I want a bullet journal, sorry that I am picking on bullet journaling so specifically in this episode, but like if, if you know, you know, . If you have been down the bullet journaling train, hi Gwen, #Gwenmoment. If you have been down the bullet journaling rabbit hole only to abandon it every February or March because you couldn’t deal with sticking to it, you know that it takes a lot of time to make those pretty spreads and that’s not what you signed up for. You just needed to write some down. So we have trouble estimating time. We either think that we can do something in like way shorter amount of time. So we’re like, yeah, half an hour to set up my bullet journal every month. And in reality it takes like three hours. So that’s frustrating, right? And now your time management is fucked because you either take three hours or you don’t get the thing done.

Caitlin (04:05):

Or we might give ourselves three hours and then something only takes one. And we’re like, well now what do I do? And we enter ADHD waiting mode where we just can’t do anything else because the time has not been allotted. #Ilovemyexecutivefunction, we don’t fight at all. There’s also the ADHD issue of like, when it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. So if you’re trying something new for your productivity or time management or some type of skill building thing, like maybe you wanna learn a new language. Okay? So like if the Duolingo owl is not personally breaking into your house to remind you to do your language lessons, it’s very easy to forget that. So the forgetfulness is kind of a problem too. And then also like we hyper-focus, which is why like my spreads for January and February looked absolutely beautiful cause I was like, hell yeah, I’m gonna do whatever it takes.

Caitlin (04:55):

I’m a bullet journaler now and then, you know, no, it, it wore off <laugh>, which again goes back to the 67 day habit building thing because once it wears off, that’s when the habit building actually begins. I am a stellar example of that going horribly awry and proving the concept. So remember, new habits take at least 67 days to integrate and that countdown starts after the shiny fun ADHD period wears off. So once again, I say traditional methods do not, will not cannot work for our neurodivergent minds. Like, I’m autistic and I have ADHD and you know, just a sprinkling of some anxiety and mental illness in there. It’s, it’s hard to learn new things. It makes me tired. I am a very capable, smart person and learning new things makes me

Caitlin (05:57):

So tired because there’s a lot going on in my fucking brain and in my body I’m also chronically ill. I have fibromyalgia. So like holding ourselves to these standards of like this is the year I get all my together is so much pressure. And who wins when you think you have to get all your together? Big planner wins, big target organizing aisle wins, big bins, big notebook. They win. And I want them all, I want all those things that I just said all this to say, you do not need all of the fanciest in the world to be more productive, to work on your time management skills, to set intentions of being a more organized person. Now if you do have a planner or a notebook or set of pens that you love, please DM me on Instagram and tell me what they are so that I can buy them and yell about them next January.

Caitlin (06:58):

But for now, I definitely really do want those recommendations. Thank you. So when we’re trying to do things the neurotypical way, this leads to shame because we think we are the problem. We think we are failing, but we are approaching it wrong. Avoiding burnout, right? So being productive should be a way to address burnout. Productivity needs to be balanced with rest. If you’re not resting enough, you’re not doing very good work in the time that you are working. It’s a very fun paradox according to capitalism, but is actually a fact that we know. You have to rest in order to function. So I see your productivity life-hacky New Year’s resolution and I raise you a anti-burnout intention. This is not about getting more done in less time. This is not about life hacks. This is about balance and self-compassion. It is about going against the status quo of productivity culture that is telling you like you can write a book while you’re in line at the grocery store.

Caitlin (08:13):

Just whip open your notes app and always be working. Like no, sometimes I just wanna look at the fricking stories on the National Enquirer and be like, where do they get these ideas? Sometimes I just want to imagine if, if I was in a world where I ate dairy again, which candy bar I could buy, you know, I wanna look at the latest Mountain Dew flavor. Don’t get on my ass in the grocery store line. I cannot be productive every minute of the day. I really require some time to just zone out and play animal crossing. And that’s an important part of my self-care, your goals, your dreams, they’re important. They are not something that you can like accidentally life hack and half-ass your way into. They take intention. So let’s reframe productivity resolutions and instead think of some intentions that you can set that get to that underlying desire beneath the quote goal or resolution.

Caitlin (09:15):

So maybe your intention is, I wanna support myself working 30 hours a week, or I wanna find a planner or a journaling system that works for me. What’s the result of that? Like me personally, I feel emotionally better when I journal in the morning and sometimes I’m rushing or I’m running late or like the dog wouldn’t poop. And so I don’t have that time to journal and it’s very easy for me to like fall off the journaling wagon. The thing about it being an attention versus like a goal or a daily habit that I have to check off on my habit tracker is that that journal’s there for me when I remember that journal is there for me when I come back to it and I never ever shame myself about it. And that has made all the difference. Also, maybe your intention is something like, I wanna be more organized.

Caitlin (10:06):

What’s the result of that? Is the result of that that maybe you can read more books because you can actually see what’s on your shelf. Like really give yourself permission to enjoy the result of whatever this productivity or organization quote resolution was going to be, and make it serve you. It shouldn’t shame you. And that is the line that I took from Kristy Black, who is one of my business besties. Um, they’re great. Just a shout out there to Kristy. Yeah, that’s pretty much it for this episode. Love you and I’ll see you in the next one.

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