Episode #104: How to Create More Time with Vikki Louise

Apr 02, 2024






In this episode of the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, I’m welcoming Vikki Louise, a master of time and productivity, to dismantle the myths around time management and productivity. Together, we explore the deeply ingrained beliefs that hinder professional working moms, shedding light on how to reframe these narratives for better results. Vikki shares her journey from burnout to success, challenging the idea that "things take time" and offering insights into mindset shifts and strategic decisions for reclaiming time abundance.


About Vikki Louise

Vikki, CEO & Founder of Time Hackers, is a Certified Professional Coach, host of the top 1% Hack Your Time Podcast, downloaded over 600,000 times, and creator of the Time Hackers Program. Vikki specializes in helping busy overachievers unlearn time rules and drop their time management to-do's so they can get more done in less time.


Vikki’s Links: 


If this podcast resonates with you, get my Free 5 Minutes Per Day Weight Loss Mini-Course over at: https://www.theunstoppablemombrain.com/email 



What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The inherited beliefs and societal norms surrounding time management.
  • Explore the discomfort of challenging conventional wisdom and the courage needed for change.
  • Overcome the fear of judgment and prioritizing personal values over external perceptions.
  • Understand the pitfalls of rigid time management strategies and embracing flexibility.
  • Redefinine consistency as a mindset and persistency as the key to long-term success.


Listen to the Full Episode:



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Full Episode Transcript:

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  • Priyanka Venugopal: Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal and you're listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, getting your time back with Vikki Louise. I am thrilled to bring you today's coach and guest on the podcast, who is going to help you dismantle and disrupt a lot of your paradigms, thoughts, and beliefs around time. If you're anything like me, and I've heard from so many of you, we have so many thoughts around not having enough time or wishing that we had more. As a professional working mom, this is probably the number one thought and belief that we have had. Today on the podcast, Vikki is going to share her experience after coaching for hundreds of hours around time and productivity, where some of these paradigms, these best practices, belief structures and thoughts come from around time and how keeping these beliefs around not having enough time, wishing that you had more of it might be taking you out of creating more of the results that you want. This was truly such a fun episode for me to record, and I love bringing you expert guest coaches to have these really meaningful and trailblazing conversations that I hope is creating small shifts for you in how you're experiencing your working mom life. If you're loving concepts like this, I want to make sure that you go grab my free five day mini course where I teach you five tiny but mighty concepts to lose the weight that you want to lose this year. Losing the weight you want does not actually take more time. It takes science backed strategies and specific mindset skills and tools that will truly create better results for you this year. So you can go grab that training over at theunstoppablemombrain.com/email. And the moment that you sign up, I will meet you in your email inbox with day one's mini concept. Without further ado, let's get into my conversation with Vikki Louise. If you want to reach your ideal weight and create lightness for your body, you need to have simplicity, joy, and strategic decisions infused into your life. I'm a physician turned life and weight loss coach for ambitious working moms. I've lost over 60 pounds without counting points, calories, or crazy exercise plans. Most importantly, I feel calm and light on the scale and in my life. There's some delicious magic when you learn this work and the skills I'm going to be teaching you. Ready? Let's get to it. 

    Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I'm so thrilled to bring on today's guest. This is Vikki Louise. She is a master of time and productivity. And today's podcast episode is going to be for you. If you ever thought I don't have enough time ever thought that Vikki has shattered my own brain around this topic. We have known each other since I think probably 2020 is when we first met many years ago. And I think the, the, one of the things that struck me Vikki about you and what And one of these, I really wanted to have you on the podcast is I can feel your passion on this topic and the mission that you were on for more women, especially, and, you know, especially moms to really dismantle and dispel a lot of the lies that we are telling ourselves around the time we have around the productivity that we could create and your passion, just, it just emanates from you. So anytime we've had a conversation on this topic, I'm always gravitating towards you, and I know that this is going to be such a useful conversation to everyone listening. So without further ado, share a little bit about yourself and how did you become an expert on time? And how did you, how did you get to where we are right now?

    Vikki Louise: Yes. So firstly, thank you for that wonderful introduction and. Thank you to everyone for listening. We're going to have some fun today. I got here because I was so far from here. So I really bought into this idea, this narrative that so many of us do that things take time. And I was always hyper ambitious and have lots of goals, which meant that what I would do is work seven day weeks or be in the office till 10 PM and take on every additional certification and qualification alongside my full time job. And to no one's surprise, I've had multiple burnout episodes and one of them led me to closing a startup. This is in 2019, right before I met you, I was living in Austin, Texas. And my partner was like, no, I am not going to show up for this business anymore. You are on the verge of a breakdown. I'm I'm out. And I was like, okay, fine. You forced me out, even though I've just been crying to you about how I don't enjoy my life. Then I achieved my three year business goals in six months. And I was like, wait, it doesn't take time because, and this is obviously my coaching business and where it started, but I was really hit from both sides. It wasn't the more time I gave, the more successful it was. It was the more time I gave, the more burnt out I was, the more overwhelmed I was, the more overworked I was. And on the flip side, it didn't take me years to achieve. What I thought would take me years, it happened very fast. And not only that, but I was also around other business owners at the time and I could really see what I'd done differently to other people to have the massive growth that I'd had relative to everyone in the room.

    Priyanka Venugopal: I love that. And actually I remember, I remember you at this point in the journey and I think it's such an, it's such a moment of inspiration actually to have evidence. I think again, so everyone, I think me included are very evidence based. Practically minded. I want to see this actually work before I can buy into it. And I think you were such a testament to that. Just want to backtrack around this idea around things take time. And if I had more time than I could get more done, can you speak a little bit to why is it that we have this narrative? And for those of us that have had the narrative, why is it so hard sometimes to let go?

    Vikki Louise: Yes. So a lot of our narrative around time, a lot of our tools and our resources and our ways of thinking around time has been inherited. It's been inherited by factory, I call it the factory mindset, where most of our work was punched in, ours punched out. How many boxes can I build in the hour where most of us don't work in that kind of way anymore. It was created at a time before women were even considered in the workplace, where we couldn't even legally have our own bank account. So if you're a woman, our current time norms and this narrative that things take time was literally created before you and definitely not for you. And anyone that's neurodiverse, anyone that's a working parent, anyone that's creative in any way, I just really encourage everyone listening to think about how was I ignored when people were writing the rules of time? And you'll find many ways. And the second thing to think about it, the sec, to your second point, our brain hates change. So even though we've got evidence in our own times of things happening quicker than they need to. And I'll give an example. I'm about to do a new podcast where I'm interviewing people, people that work in corporate and startups around people and culture and someone, I invited someone on it and she said, Oh, I just wrote in my goals that I'd love to be interviewed on podcasts. Today and you sent me this message today while then I was like, yes, it didn't take time, but then the narrative, even so that's one very simple example, right? Did it take time for you to meet your partner? Did it take time for you to find your apartment or house? Did it take, what did it actually take? And the things that happen fast, what are you dismissing because your brain hates building a new narrative. It requires energy and effort and exposes you to the unknown, which feels very unsafe. So your brain is literally wired to keep you in this factory mindset, this outdated mindset. That doesn't consider our modern world. That doesn't consider you as an individual in our modern world, even though it's going to slow you down, have you overworked and underachieving your brain is like, I don't care. I've got one job and that's to keep you alive. You look alive to me.

    Priyanka Venugopal: So what, so what I'm really hearing you saying, I think this is something that we have both experienced in our own industries and in what we coach in, but it's this idea of familiarity. Is the reason that we keep some of these thoughts and some of these beliefs, even though it's creating results we don't love, like you're talking about burnout and overworking and at the end of the day, just feeling so deeply exhausted. But I think it's what you're saying is so true when it feels so it feels so true. I think also when you've thought a thought a million times, you don't realize that it's a thought or a belief. You just take it as and this idea that. Things take time just feels like a fact. It's like, I'm just telling you the news that things just take time. It's going to take more time to accomplish this goal when in fact what you're sharing and even your example is it didn't take time to achieve the goal. It actually took decision making and execution and each of those things actually happened in an instant.

    Vikki Louise: I was pregnant and we had someone in the mastermind say, well, yeah, but a baby takes time. And I was like, fine, but a baby doesn't take nine months because my little time hacker baby came five, six weeks early. So it's like, it's not the passing of time. It's certain things that have to happen in our body with our baby in order for it to happen. And I think the other big issue, and the reason why we stay in it, it's not just our own brain. It's like, society's brain, everyone, I mean, I literally go in and speak to teams and companies about this. Things don't take time. They take people and people in the same room will be like, well, this thing takes time. Well, it will just come out. Creating new policy takes time, but growing the team takes time. I'm like, if it's not time, what is it? 

    Priyanka Venugopal: You're having to push your brain to add. And I wonder also, I also wonder the other thing that I think comes up for me at least and what I see with a lot of my clients is it's sometimes easier to put it on time. It's easier to push off. And, and I don't say this to anyone that's doing this. You're not alone. And there's nothing wrong with you if you've ever done this, because hello, that's why we're on this podcast. We're having this conversation. It's so normal, but it's really easy to blame time rather than what you're talking about is the harder work and more effortful work. to stretch our brain to say, if it wasn't time that's in the way for you to achieve this goal, then what is it actually? And really pushing yourself to answer that question. 

    Vikki Louise: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. And I think you're right. Time is the excuse that everyone, everyone would agree with you. They'll say, yeah, you're too busy to book the trip that you've been dreaming about for five years. And you're too busy to write the book that you've been had in your heart for a decade and you're too busy to, I don't know, even a little thing like go outside for a walk for five minutes in the day, you're too busy for that. Everyone will agree. I always say two things absolute strangers will agree on in the waiting room at a doctor's office is the weather and the, and time and we'll complain about them with anyone in the world and everyone would agree. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: And I wonder how much time we're wasting doing that. I mean, this, I mean, a hundred percent, this is, I think the number one bought for the professional working mom is I don't have more time or also the opposite, which is, I wish I had more time. So I think that there are two slightly different things, right? One is I don't have enough time, which I think immediately puts us into scarcity and we get into overwhelm and that creates its own kind of stress response of fight, flight, freeze and you just basically don't take action. And the other one is wishful thinking. I wish I had more time. I want more time. And then that also takes you out of just taking needle moving action today. I think one of the things that you and I talked about before was the similarities between time scarcity and weight loss. And I remember one of the things that we really talked a lot about was this idea that more is better. I know that at least for when I, when I weighed. The most that I wait, I used to think more is better. If I just have another bite, it's better. If I have more of my favorite foods, it's better. I know with you, you've shared having more time, the common, you know, mindset is more time is better. What are your thoughts around more is better versus I think what we've talked about, which is more and sometimes just more. 

    Vikki Louise: Yeah, it's such a good point. And I love all the similarities that we realized when we were working together. So this, we live in a very more is more society. And that's part of being in a capitalist society and part of being in a consumerist society. More is more, more is better when people can profit off us wanting more and more than we needed, right? Not just more than we need, but more than we even really want sometimes. And so how it shows up in time is this idea that it's superior and better to spend more time on something. It's actually morally bankrupt to spend less time on something. We, we associate care with time spent. instead of care is care, right? I can, I think about this with my friendships just to pull it to the side, but I have friends who have young kids. I have a young kid and we speak maybe four times a year, but I love them so much. I mean, even me and you are an example of this. There's so much love here, but we just don't speak all the time. We don't like our time ratio is not super high, but our care ratio really is. And the problem is particularly when we've been socialized as women, that we are Socialized to give our time to everyone else and to be morally good women. We're going to give more and the more we give to everyone else, the better we are, which of course leaves us completely bankrupt in time for ourselves.

    Priyanka Venugopal: So how, how do you talk about really changing, not just the narrative, but it's also, I think there's a fear of perception. You know, maybe I get on board with this idea of what you're talking about, which is okay. I can see that. I've been socialized in this way that more is better, giving more of time means more care. It means that I care more, all of this. So let's say I get on board. I think the other second part of this is the perception of what my friends, families, colleagues, and peers will think if I change the narrative. So how do you address that? Because I think that's a big one that can be a roadblock for people.

    Vikki Louise: Yes, and it is a big one, and we're not going to change all their narratives straight away, and they are still going to be in their own journey and their own learning, wherever they are. So for me, and this happened when I was pregnant, actually, I had this realization of, I either get to be a follower and, and continue to do things in this world and show up in ways that I really hope don't continue, or I get to be a pioneer and a driver. And what would I do if I was really connected to the next generation. So I found a purpose bigger than the discomfort of other people's judgment. I found a why bigger than the fear of social rejection. And that allowed me to kind of build an armor almost around me that was like, Yeah. You get to think I'm crazy. I understand why you think I'm crazy because you cannot comprehend this, but give me a few years and you'll be asking me how. And that's literally what's happened. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: Right. And I have to say, I think the other piece of this is really knowing you do have to practice courage. I've been, I've been talking a lot about courage on the podcast because I think it's one of those under talked about, not, not talked about enough emotions. I think we love to feel confident, especially professional moms. We love confidence. And unfortunately, the honest, bitter truth is sometimes you're only going to feel confidence. Once you have results in hand, you can cheerleader yourself and have positive thoughts, but sometimes confidence comes once you've practiced courage again and again and again, and implemented when you feel really uncomfortable, you're talking about The perception of others and being connected to the future. What do you want more of for the next generation and even more for your future? And it does take courage and it is uncomfortable, but when you do it again and again, what would be the lifetime impact of that? Right. And then you get to create so much of that. 

    Vikki Louise: And I think also, so there's connecting to your future vision and connecting deeper to yourself. You speak about confidence. Are we really going to feel confident when we are showing up in a way that doesn't feel true for us? What's the relationship we create with ourselves and our confidence and our When we are practicing in a really authentic way, we're showing up in a really authentic way, it might seem scarier at first, but it feels better. I kind of think of it like there's different kinds of fuel, right? There's the, you know, there's renewable energy. And it's like, what are you fueling yourself with? Because it's not just about the decision you make today to pretend. Like, Oh yeah, I can do this, this thing for you that you're perfectly capable of doing yourself and I'm already too busy or I'm willing to say no. And the other thing I will say is it gets easier. You have to remember, you're always teaching people how to treat you. So if you're teaching people that they can drop everything on you, that you'll say yes to everything, that they don't need to do the things, I see this a lot in teams, where they're like, the information is on our internet. But people come to me because I always give them a fast answer. Well, why do you give them a faster answer? Well, because it's quick. So the email will, is your job to be on email all the time? No. So like you have to teach people, Hey, I can answer this for sure, but it's not going to be until tomorrow because I have my own priorities today. And that person then will probably be like, oh, I can probably find myself before tomorrow. And then you teach them to be resourceful as well. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: Everyone wants to be resourceful. Right. And it's training them and also expecting that when you do start something new, that there is a little, there is a, there's a growth period. I say this to my kids all the time. My kids are eight and five. And whenever I'm like, okay, we're going to do something new, they're going to start emptying the dishwasher. I'm like, they're eight and five. This is something that I really want to teach them personal responsibility at home. And I remember I had this whole conversation with my son and she was like, I don't want to. I'm like, I know. I know you don't want to, but guess what? We're going to do it anyway. You guys are growing up. We're going to start something new. I tried to make it fun for them too, because again, they're children, but imagine really under expected. There's going to be that moment where they're like, I don't know. I don't know if I want to do that. And now it's so cute because my kids actually feel such pride. They emptied the dishwasher out and they're telling me, mommy, I did it all by myself. They feel a sense of pride that they got to participate in the family. They have a family role now. And I just throw this, random, random kind of example in here because I think changes are uncomfortable and also they can be really fun, not just for you, but for your team. And the other piece I think of this is you have to take your value out of this. I used to be the person I used to be that person. I want to be the one with the answers. And I love being the one that knows the answers. And when you're training your team, you have to actually be I, I'm going to put my pride. I'm going to give my, I'm going to feel pride for myself without being the answer giver. Yeah. 

    Vikki Louise: I think that's a big one. That's not often spoken enough, which is like the dopamine that we, that we get the reward that we literally get by being knowledgeable about something, by being able to complete something, by being able to Yeah. And you can literally get withdrawals from that. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And like, that's your work. That's the discomfort. Now you have to go and do the harder work, which is going to actually move the needle with what you want. Absolutely. Which is so good. I have a two part question. So I've been thinking a lot about, you know, and this is true with weight loss, and I think this is true with business and with time, really with any corner, everything, whenever you will have a growth goal, everything requires growth. Not maybe equal parts exactly, but equal parts, mindset and strategy. We need to accept. It's not just all, it's not all mindset. There's actual actionable things you have to do. And also we rely, especially professional women rely very heavily on the strategy without being aware of the mindset. So I'm curious in your experience now, having coached on time, what would you say is the biggest mindset block as part one of my question, the biggest mindset block for the high achiever that gets in the way? Her feeling more abundant around time. And then what's her biggest strategy block that gets in the way of her having the most abundant amount of time? 

    Vikki Louise: Yeah. I'm actually the start of the strategy blog. Yeah. And this, I literally did an event for women in finance two weeks ago. And part of the first thing that I have to do with everyone is an unlearning and just showing and reflecting to them what's not working. And every single person I spoke about time management, what are you currently doing around time management? And everyone, everyone was saying, well, I'm time blocking. But you know, I'm doing it 50 percent of the time, or I'm writing a list, but I'm rewriting it, or whatever it might be. The strategy, the number one strategy part that, that works against us is this idea that we should be able to plan a full week out on a Sunday and then follow it meticulously. The idea that we should be able to do everything that we said we're going to do. Ignoring the fact that my Wednesday self is smarter than my Monday self, she has more lived experience. I should be letting her make the decisions for what the priorities are. Ignoring the fact that tasks don't equal results, ignoring the fact that what are the most important drivers, ignoring the option for. Fluidity and how fast the world moves and there's over rigidness around our time and how we spend it in terms of strategy. The idea, I mean, you know me, I'm dismounting the entire time management industry over here, but the idea that time should be managed and we should be able to follow what we said in the past as though we're an employee to our calendar or an employee to our Monday selves on a Friday, that's one problem because what it creates is, we don't do it, right? We don't follow the calendar perfectly. We don't do everything we said we were going to do. This thing that we thought was going to take 30 minutes, takes two hours. This thing that takes, you know, we thought was going to take two hours, gets done in two minutes that we've been putting off for six weeks. And then we spin into this narrative of I'm not good enough. I'm not smart enough. There's something wrong with me. I should just be able to follow a plan. And I just really encourage everyone listening to hear me out on this. Like you don't have to be able to follow a plan because a strict plan, and maybe you do this in your weight loss stuff too, but a strict plan is not going to be what produces your success.

    Priyanka Venugopal: Right. Yeah. I think, yeah, I, the one, one of the things that I talk a lot about is people overemphasize consistency and, and consistency is important. So I want to be honest. So here's the truth, right? To lose the weight you want, you have to have some consistency with the lifestyle we're talking about a lifestyle for a lifetime. So there's consistency with that, but people underrate underestimate the power of commitment. And I think that there's a huge difference. Consistency comes as a by product. You don't, if we stopped focusing so much on, I need to be consistent, I need to be disciplined, I need to follow through and be instead focused on what am I, what is my goal that I feel so deeply committed to the desire that I have for my time, for my productivity, for my body, for my weight loss goals. And if we allowed the commitment to our goal to be kind of that beacon, I think of it like a lighthouse for us every week. How would I show up this week? What would be the little things that I would do or not do? And turns out you end up becoming very consistent with your strategy. in in terms of kind of hitting the goal that you have. I'm curious what you think about that. 

    Vikki Louise: I mean, yeah, I have lots of thoughts around consistency. I think it's it's over emphasized and again, doesn't allow, particularly for women with our cycles, it doesn't allow us to almost be in tune with ourselves and typically we end up punishing ourselves for something we're not doing. I also think consistency is a mindset rather than an action. And I also. agree with you. I don't think consistency is the most important thing. I, I think persistency is right. You are going to fall off the wagon. You are going to have a few glasses of wine or drink, whatever. If someone's going to bring out your favorite dessert and you're going to be like, I do really want a piece, have a piece, but just get back. So I just, this idea of consistency can really screw us over when we end up stepping out of line, so to speak, for a day. And then because we've not been consistent, which by the way, is another form of perfectionism. Consistency is perfectionism. Because we've not been perfect. And we had that one dessert where like, well, I guess I've ruined everything and I can't be consistent now. So I might as well give up on the whole thing. And that's the cost of prioritizing consistency over persistency, over being consistent. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, no, that's and that's it. So I think that I think we're seeing the exact this is so true because I think the mistake people make is they put consistency on their action line. They think they need to be consistent to create results. What you really want is to put consistency on your result line. And you want that you want to not think of consistency as an actionable item. But what would I have to do? Who would I have to be? How would I have to feel to create results that feel consistent, that feel solid. And what you're talking about is separating the difference between perfection. and consistent, right? Consistency is actually in the presence of imperfection. Who are we going to be and how are we going to treat ourselves? Those moments that we do want to be flexible, that we do want to go off plan. And again, this is a perfectionism. They just, everything goes right out the window. 

    Vikki Louise: Yes. And also the other hate I have around consistency is it's not quantifiable. So what does consistency look like for you? Does it look like eating the same thing every single day, every single, every single minute of every single hour and opening and closing the fridge at the same time? Does it look like generally eating the same once a week? Does it look like creating a podcast once a week and releasing it? Creating a daily one? Is it okay if you're sick to not create one? Or does that make you, does that make you inconsistent and mean you want to fail at everything? I just think we want to be challenging. Why not make it measurable? Consistency. The only reason why I challenge it so much is because I've seen thousands of women beat themselves up for not being consistent instead of, as you rightly say, not focusing on the results. I'm highly interested in my business and I have successful business results. So I just want to be that example. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: Yes. I love that. I love that. And I think it's so important because you know, what you're talking about is a really important point around when we are imperfect, how are we talking to ourselves and treating ourselves? And this is again, another thing that's just passed down. We're so used to beating ourselves and I, I consider myself a glass half full optimistic kind of person. So if that's you, you might have a sneaky way of being unkind to yourself. When you are being imperfect, when you aren't implementing exactly perfectly all the time. I think that that's a really important point that will create less of what you want, which I think is, you know, what we're talking about here, how do you create more of what you want? So you talk about the strategy piece where people get kind of obsessed with their Sunday plan and they don't think about the wisdom of their Wednesday self and how she might want to tweak, modify, you know, create for her week. So what would be the mindset piece? That's one of the biggest obstacles around time abundance.

    Vikki Louise: So we kind of, you kind of just touched on it there, and I think this is going to surprise people, but it's really what you think about you. That is going to be the number one, if I was to sum it up, if you describe yourself as a procrastinator, so if you describe yourself as a perfectionist, you describe yourself as indecisive, if you describe yourself as, busy, not good with your time, always late, over, however you are describing yourself. You are the expert of you. You are the definer of you. Are you talking about yourself in a way that feels like you're just telling the news? It feels like you're just giving facts, but what is it actually creating for you? What are the small ways you are self rejecting or self belittling that make it harder for you To have the successful day and accomplish what you want to.

    Priyanka Venugopal: I think that that's so true. And I can also imagine when, I think when women are not aware of this, you know, this, this kind of self identity that maybe has, you might've had for decades and not really been aware of it, maybe listening to this conversation, you're like, Oh, I actually, that's kind of me. I think it makes a lot of sense that our brains have been looking for something to blame when we don't have the results we want, whether it's in our productivity, our time, our relationship, our body and time is a quick thing to blame. So it's, it's fascinating because maybe what we get to do, and this is again with a lot of gentleness and tenderness and really being very, very kind to yourself, just to become aware if I wasn't going to blame time anymore for my lacking results, whichever corner of your life you're looking at, and I wanted to it. Ask how I have, I've been identifying myself, how I've been talking to myself. I  wonder what the impact would be if people started to pick up on what their thoughts are. 

    Vikki Louise: Yes. And also, this is why I'm so vocal around it's not you, which is why the brain immediate, if it's not time's fault, then it must be my fault. Yes. Not your fault. We are literally as a society missing a whole pocket of education around time and time optimization that's inclusive, that's honest, that's. That's impactful. And no, you know, I, the way I think about it, so you've got a five and eight year old and right now they're in school and every minute is accounted for and decided by someone else. And we teach our kids to be busy because we want space and whatever it is. And no one sits us down at 18 and is like, hi, Now you're an adult and you get to choose how you use your time. Now, not every minute needs to be filled. If your minute isn't filled, it doesn't mean you're bad or lazy or wrong. If you say no to thing, you have the ability to say no to things. And when you say no to things, it doesn't mean anything about your worthiness. No one sits us down and discusses any of this. So we end up bringing the mindset and the teachings and the tools from childhood into our adulthood that leave us. Over busy, overstretched and overwhelmed, and then blaming time or blaming ourselves, and that's a huge obstacle. Instead of thinking, wait, I mean, this is, I think a huge part of the work that my company does is it requires education. We are literally missing an educational piece around time that we just don't get. There's no, there's no, Time classes in high school. There's no time classes in university. There's certainly no time classes in your job. And typically, I don't know how it was for you, obviously being a doctor. But for me, I was in corporate cultures and I soaked up all that narrative that the longer hours I worked, the better I was an employee. And hey, guess what? I was a high achieving, ambitious young woman. So I was happy to sit at the desk, even if I was reading the daily mail, because I was showing that I was committed by sitting at the desk, wasting my time.

    Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, I think this is absolutely true in the medical profession. I, I mean, it's so steeped in productivity. The more patients that you can see and the more, the more you can do, the better you are. I think that's, that's kind of what the narrative is. And I don't think that it's ever even challenged. It just feels like such a fact, the more you do, the more you produce, the better you are. So we're, we're kind of equating your value with how much you're doing. And I think that what you're talking about when I, and I love that you're doing this work, it's, you get to start dismantling and, and really disrupting and creating separation between your value as a human with what you accomplish. These are two totally separate things. And I know for me, this is even still my work. I think this is all of our works. We get to do it for a lifetime to separate the two that what we are accomplishing is different than who we are as humans. 

    Vikki Louise: And it's interesting. So I, this January, I did a trip overseas and I came back for a week and then I was in London seeing clients. And when I was in London, I was there for three days and I booked. back to back to back to back meetings, and I came back, so I'd come back from overseas, I'd been in New York and Puerto Rico, came back jet lagged to family staying here with us, so a full house entertaining, so then going to London to back to back to back, I was so ill afterwards, so I love, it's just, I hadn't thought, I'd accidentally had my more is more, Sneaky mindset, sneaky indoctrination hadn't been in that circumstance before, so I didn't even see it was happening. My team didn't see it happening. It felt genuinely useful and genuinely true. And all we can do is learn, be kind to ourselves and iterate, learn and be kind to ourselves and iterate. 


    Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. But it's just like one of those, Oh, there I go again. I, I share on the podcast. Like I still overeat. All the, I mean, it's not like you just lose the weight and then you never overeat or you never gain a pound back. It's, I think the same here. It's not because you create new habits and new ways of thinking around time that you'll never go back. Our old, our old habits are there and it's never a problem, but I love that. I think what we do get to do is become so aware. So when you do catch it and then you hold yourself with compassion, it's like, Oh, how silly of me, right? To have done this and what a good teacher for me to, for me to learn from. I'm also curious because you had a baby recently. Well, recently it's been what, two years now? Are we at two years? Two year mark, right? So recently slash not so recent. How did your Process and your teachings change after you become a mom, because I know you've been a time expert now for many years, but I'm curious as a mom, whether that started to change how you approached it.

    Vikki Louise: Yeah, radically change it. So before that I was very much around things don't take time. How do we hack time? How do we achieve more and less time, which is still a large basis of my work. But that was when I really understood that our time systems were not built for women and not built for working parents. I was put on bed rest for like two months during my pregnancy and I couldn't help but think if I was still working in corporate and that was like at seven weeks pregnant, so it wasn't like I was really telling people at seven. So what, what, what would my options be? What I'm going to get on the tube into the city. So then pretend everything's fine or I'm going to tell them that I'm just sick, which I might get away with for a week, but what are my options? And I was like, Oh, there aren't any. So that was when I went further into the research of what created our current institutions, what created our current norms, who've we ignored? What is the cost of that? That was when I renamed my handle Feminist Time Coach from, I mean, we might change it back to Vikki Louise, but, anyway, I really focus in on this angle of feminism and this conversation that we had to have, which is the reason why so many women are burning out is because we are working in a system not designed for us. And the way I explain it, it's like my kid has this shape box where you can put the triangle in the triangle and the circle in the circle. And what we've done is, for decades is force women who, let's say, are a triangle shape to fit into the square. And when they're not fitting, we're banging and banging and banging. Um, and I worked in very male dominated industries before and was highly ambitious. And I did, I could see the ways that I was compromising. I mean, I remember once I used to have quite, quite challenging periods, like menstrual cycles. And I remember once sitting at my desk, writing in so much pain, like, go home, go home, you know, it's like, what is, what made me feel like  the only option was there. And now we are having conversations in the workplace, we are seeing this evolution, but it's very, very recent. So where have we not been made to feel safe? To take care of ourselves and where have we been told that taking care of ourselves comes at a cost to our success. And you know, one of my big narratives is taking care of yourself comes at greater success. And that's one of the big things I teach, but it's huge unlearning. It's the most, one of the most uncomfortable things. You know, people will come to me and say, yes, I get it in theory, but I'm going into work today, sick and exhausted and, and does that because I can't miss out. And I'm like, I'll just taking care of yourself today, make you work better tomorrow. Come on. So really hard. We can still argue with that. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: And I think, and I'm curious what you think about this, but I especially felt before I had kids, first of all, my kids didn't come with manuals. I wish that they did come with, you know, a little bit of an instruction book. I mean, no. Oh no. They both need their own manuals because they are so different. And, you know, and this is the other funny thing. I figured my, my older one out and I'm like, Oh, I've got this. I totally get it. And then my daughter is totally different. So, you know, here I am an expert on my son and now I have to relearn how to be a parent to her because she's really, really quite different. But I think this is the piece around also what has created, I think, a lot of time scarcity because parents are trying to accomplish the same amount of things and they're using, they're equating with the number of hours in the day. So now that I have kids, I'm like, okay, I have from nine to three while they're in school to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish in what would have been a typical quote unquote factory office workday. And I think that that also creates a sense of complete overwhelm and you're already losing. And starting, you know, you start your day already feeling. Behind because right. Just squeeze that in. Yeah. 

    Vikki Louise: Right. But what I would say is like, it wasn't the number of hours in the day that was producing your results to begin with. So it's almost like the hours is irrelevant. Nine to three or eight to six is not what produces your results. And we know this because even looking at a global level, the countries that work the longest hours don't have the highest GDP and aren't the most productive. And I actually think a productivity hack is. To just reduce your hours and focus on the same outcomes. So what do you not have time to do? For example, so I had a boss when I worked in finance and she was amazing, but she was like, I will have breakfast with my kids and I'll be in the office at nine. I will leave at five. Now in those hours, she was hyperproductive and use everything versus those of us that could come in it, you know, nine and leave at seven and we were like, you know, whatever we'll get things done today. So I just think we want to move away even from this idea that the number of hours equals the performance. And actually my view, just so you know, on working parents is becoming a parent has you deep diving into a completely new skill set. You are a faster decision maker. You are a faster negotiator. You're like, there's so many skills that come with it that I almost feel like if men got pregnant and carried babies. It would be like celebrated as that you'd come back to work with a promotion. There's so many skills and so much learning and so much evolving that goes through it. I think part of the problem is that we expect, I mean, for me, I feel like we expect women to bounce back too fast. We don't allow them to honor the experience and to recover fully. And that means that they're coming back rushed and then applying and then that rushing never stops. So, but yeah, I think, I think we will achieve more in less time as You working parents or caregivers or even pet owners, whatever it might be, you have the skill of achieving more in less time. I just wonder what you're discrediting and why we're focusing on the number of tasks versus. The impact that we want to have. And as a parent, or when your hours get cut, you know, I work a 15 hour week. I have no choice but to focus on impacts. I have no choice, but to send that. So I'm doing a lot on LinkedIn now and connecting with new people. And it's like, Ooh, this is a person I'd love to be connected to. I'm not going to come back to this later and sit and think about it and craft this perfect message. I'm just going to send it because I'm not going to waste time in the what's the perfect way to do this. What's I'm not giving myself. the time to sit in doubt and imperfection.

    Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And this is actually something that I, that I talk a lot about around how we are double, triple and quadruple working where, and we do this a lot with weight loss with time. I mean, this is again, every corner if you'll open the proverbial laptop and it's like, Oh, don't feel like doing this or, Ooh, I don't have the exact best answer. So you close the laptop. And then you come back later and it's like, Oh, I need to get that done. You open up the proverbial laptop again, don't feel like doing it. You close the laptop. So you've now just double worked on something that you want to get done anyway, but now you've done two or three times the amount of work to get the task done, which I think is something we're probably doing in so many quarters of our life without even realizing it because it is so habitual.

    Vikki Louise: So we're wasting over two hours a day in our inboxes. Actually, that data is not on entrepreneurs. It's on office workers, but literally I think it's like the average is like three times we're checking an email before we're doing something. 


    Priyanka Venugopal: Triple working. Triple working. Yeah, that's right. So I think, I mean, I could be able to keep talking on and on on this topic, but really my intention with this podcast episode for anyone listening is truly to just plant a seed for you to mull over and let it grow at the pace that it's going to grow, but really planting the seed that the results you want in your life at work at home with your family, with your kids, with your body, don't take more time. And if that wasn't ever the case, can you just imagine? How, what would be possible for our lived experience for our life as working moms? So tell me, how can we find everything about you? If anyone wants to find you, how can they do that? And thanks so much. 

    Vikki Louise: Yes. And I just encourage everyone as a little takeaway to start noticing when people say it takes time around you, you'll see it when people describe relationships, you'll see it when people describe health and fitness, you'll see it when people describe work. Just have a little fun tally in your brain of noticing how often people are attributing time. You will be mine, but I literally do this work and it happens to me like three, four times a day. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: That's a fun game, but that's a fun game. It's such a, let's make this fun, have a fun game. And even with yourself, how often do I say out loud, Oh, that's going to take so much time. Just, just to play. We're being, we're being playful with ourselves. We're not blaming, but it's just going to be so fun. 

    Vikki Louise: Absolutely. Play with yourself and absolutely do it lightly. I love that addition. Thank you. So you can connect with me. My website is timehackers.xyz. You can find out there about our group mentorship and program where you can access trainings and tools and coaching and all of that fun stuff. We also have a one to one coaching program you can find out there. Um, we also work with teams, organizations, nonprofits, companies, startups, um, with leadership, with the RGs, with early careers. So everything's there and maybe we'll also drop the link to my podcast, Hack Your Time. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: Absolutely. Yeah. We're going to put all of your information in the show notes. And also you're on Instagram. So if you enjoyed this podcast episode and you took a pearl away, tag us on Instagram, share with us what was your favorite, favorite piece that you are taking away. I just, I love these kinds of conversations where we get to dismantle or disrupt the way that we've been thinking about something for generations. And I like it in your words. I think you called it, you know, being a pioneer. I think of the, this is, Trailblazing for our future, for the future of, you know, for our children and what we want more for them, for them too. So Vikki, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This was so much fun and guys, I hope you guys all have an amazing week. Bye. 

    Vikki Louise: Thank you. 

    Priyanka Venugopal: I absolutely adored this conversation. I loved her honesty and especially the piece at the end around how a lot of her perspectives shifted after becoming a mom. You and I both know that being a professional working mom truly is in some ways like having multiple full time jobs. It is really caring for the profession that you're in, wanting to do high quality work and accomplishing a lot there while also thinking about your life as a mom and. Your personal life, what you want to experience more of.

    I hope that this podcast episode help shattered just the belief that you need more time to create more results. I have seen this now in my own personal experience, having lost a little over 60 pounds and what I see with my clients in the unstoppable group, you don't need more time. To lose the weight that you want to lose or to create more results in the workplace or more connection with your kids, we've all been there where you're sitting with your kid and you could be spending an hour with them, but you're completely disconnected. Your mind is on a hundred other things as opposed to potentially spending just five minutes with them, but being really mindful and connected and with them and being present. What I have seen time and time again, is that we are really blaming Our lack of time for lacking results. And I think today's conversation is going to shift the course for all of us to start challenging that, to really see kind of as Vikki suggested as a game. Where are we saying I don't have enough time, or I wish I had more time and really seeing how everybody else is doing the same and asking ourselves the next level question, which is if it wasn't time's fault. I wonder what else it could be that's in the way of me creating these results. In my experience, especially as it comes to weight loss, it is having a specific plan in place that you feel really good about and making fast action decisions. It is amazing when we stop double, triple, quadruple working in our weight loss strategy. How much We're able to create. So I hope you guys all love to use concept, love to use conversation, and I will see you next week. Bye. Thanks for listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain. If you want more resources or information from the show, head on over to theunstoppablemombrain.com.



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