Do you want to work from bed? Maybe have a leisurely bath before your client calls? How about not having a plan for tomorrow and feeling totally comfortable with that?
Feminist time coach and pioneer of the 15-hour workweek Vikki Louise is on the show, and she’s here to teach us about breaking the rules of how we show up in business, and why we’re in desperate need of a time revolution.
You are listening to Episode 150 of the Confident Coaches Podcast. Listen, this is the one we’re going to start hacking some time. All right, let’s go.
Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.
Amy Latta: Hello, coaches. Okay, so today’s interview is with my amazing friend, Vikki Louise. Now, Vikki and I went through a couple rounds of a previous mastermind together, two different masterminds. I’ve had the luxury of hanging out with her poolside, and really diving into what makes her tick.
And, I sat witness to a giant transformation that she had, from this time coach to a truly revolutionary time hacker. Get ready. There’s a few times where I had to say stop, say that again. Plus, she gives us the one word that she insists we all banish from our vocabulary.
Strap in, grab a notebook, this is so good. And, how many times my train of thought was going one way and she redirected me. So much to learn from her. This interview was a delight, enjoy.
Amy: Okay my friends, I’m super excited. I have Vikki Louise here. Vikki Louise is a dear friend of mine. She’s also a feminist time coach, she runs a brilliant program called Time Hackers, and she has both an entry level program and a mastermind. And she is here to teach us all about breaking the rules of how we show up in our business.
Hello, Ms. Vikki, how are you?
Vikki: I’m so good. How are you?
Amy: Oh, I’m so excited because, guys, I feel like what you’re going to hear here is like dropping in, we’re not technically drinking coffee right now, but you guys are listening in on like a coffee chat. Because Vikki is one of my favorite humans, we talk about these concepts and these things and what’s going on in our businesses all the time.
And I think she has so much wisdom for those of us especially who are, like me, learning that every single way that I was ever told my business, or a professional woman, or a business woman should show up in the world, that maybe these things aren’t true. Vikki not only coaches on that, but she’s also a brilliant model of it. So how are you doing over there?
Vikki: I’m good. I’m good. And I think it’s so fun that, so people can’t see me because I’m on a podcast, but I’m doing this podcast interview from bed because even a week ago, I got back from France and my desk was broken and I had live coaching calls. I’ll work from bed regardless, but I’d never thought before to do a live coaching call from bed.
And I just didn’t know it was a subconscious rule that I had that these calls had to happen at a desk. Since then I’ve basically spent the whole week in bed, working from bed, anything goes. And this is my first podcast interview from bed, which suits because that’s what we’re talking about here, is breaking those rules.
I don’t even think I acknowledged it as a rule that I had to work at my desk or had to do live calls at my desk or podcast interviews at my desk, but I knew that you would love it.
Amy: Oh, I think it’s perfection. Also your bed is gorgeous, let’s be honest about that too. It doesn’t look like too terrible a space to be working from. So is it just that you don’t have a functioning desk that you chose your bed?
Vikki: It’s functioning again, we built it up. It’s just I came back and the next day I had a live call. So it was just that day that I was like, oh, I didn’t realize this was a rule. And since then I’m like, wait, why would I work at my desk?
Amy: Okay, I see what you’re doing. You’re like now you’re really working on solidifying that new wire in your brain of I can work from bed.
Amy: Have you gotten any feedback from that this week? Are people like celebrating it? Is anybody going, that’s weird?
Vikki: Nobody’s going that’s weird, but I also think people know me by now, I think. And I speak about it openly. I’m not like all secret like trying to pretend it’s not my bed. I’m like, “Listen, let me tell you why I’m in my bed and what’s happened.” And I love it so much. I think we teach people how to respond way more than we think we do. We lead, right? How we speak about something is typically how someone receives it.
Amy: Oh, this is so good. I love this point, I don’t want to wash over it. Okay, because you could be broadcasting from your bed and being like, “Thank you for your patience, I appreciate your understanding. Here’s all the reasons why we’re doing that.” And feminist time coach, aren’t we conditioned to apologize for how we show up? That’s how we lead our conversations.
Vikki: Totally. And you see it more and more. I think, once you become aware of doing it on purpose for yourself, you see it around you everywhere else, even yes with clients, but even like in my home with my mom. I’ve been joking a lot this week about her saying, “Oh, I feel better because I’m doing things.” I’m like that’s because you’ve been taught to value yourself based on what you do for other people.
And she’s hasn’t even said one sentence and I’m coming at her. Yeah, the sorry, is it okay if I have the morning off from walking the dogs? And it’s like why are you saying sorry or anything? She’s like, you know what, your dad literally doesn’t do that. I’m like, yeah, so you don’t need to. Like the guilt is optional. And for me the shame around my bed is optional. In fact, I love it.
So I’m sure there are people that have watched me in the last week that are also now spending more time in bed and that’s a revolution I want to lead.
Amy: Yes. By the way, I am co-leading this revolution but it’s not my platform quite in the way that you are. But for the longest time I really was like okay, every expert out there says the five o’clock club, or six o’clock club, or whatever, you get out of bed, you start your morning early. How you start your morning sets the tone for the day so you want to get up and you want to do all these things right out of the gate.
And my sleep cycle, and as soon as I say this I have the sleep experts who want to come have a conversation with me to fix my sleep cycle. I’m like, listen, we’re in two different stages of life, Vikki, and I’m going through perimenopause. I’m actually closer to menopause whereas Vikki has just had a deliriously gorgeous baby in the past year. But my sleep cycle is doing its own thing at the moment. It has not consulted with me when we wake up at 3am in the morning and I have no reason to be.
And so I have started to enjoy what I’m calling second sleep. People are like, “Okay, I know it’s a little late but what about a 9am?” And I’m like, I try to get out of bed by 10 because I’m probably going to be awake, either from three to six, or from six to eight. And then I’m going to go get some more sleep.
And I’m going to cherish that and I’m not going to make it mean that I’m not. And when I stopped fighting it, it’s so amazing, when I stopped fighting it, it is setting a beautiful tone for the rest of the day. My day now starts at more like a 10am. Sometimes I get up earlier, sometimes I don’t. I’m always up by 10. I just told my assistant don’t book anything before 11am. And I might show up to that call just out of the shower and too hot to put pants on.
Vikki: I love it.
Amy: So I love this, just noticing the rule that you’ve been following, and that’s really what you’re talking about. You haven’t mastered this, you just keep finding more and more things.
Vikki: Totally. And for the sleep thing, it’s so interesting, isn’t it? Like we know how useful and powerful and valuable sleep is. And yet we fight with ourselves to fit into rules that someone else, who we don’t even personally know, posted about on Instagram because we like what they’re doing in their business.
We don’t know any of their life circumstances or situations and we’re literally arguing with our body’s own messages to us because of what some expert on the internet said. And then we spend our whole time, because I’ve had clients in the past fight to try and do the 5am club, and then get up at 5am and see themselves as worthy and then the next day not and see themselves as a failure.
So basically, they have to do it perfectly otherwise, it’s a completely waste of time. And it’s just like fueling this disconnection from ourselves as we try to connect to other people.
Amy: So we are becoming more disconnected with ourselves, the more we try to show up the way a “professional” entrepreneur life coach should.
Vikki: Yeah, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hearing someone share something and deciding to experiment and try it. But I also don’t think that we have to say that is the only way to be successful. Because I think if you spoke to both of us, if you spoke to our friends or our peers, every single person operates differently, as we should.
Amy: Yes, and I think that is so important. I can’t think of anyone that functions exactly the way that I do, but I certainly have tried to model somebody else’s way. But not from the point, I love your point, not from the point of let’s experiment and see what I think of this, but oh, they do it, they’re successful. I need to do it in order for me to be successful.,
Vikki: And also I should be able to do it, and if I can’t do it then it’s because there’s something wrong with me, and therefore I will never be successful. Instead of I’m blocking my success because I’m putting someone else as the expert of me instead of tuning into what’s best for me.
And I love what you said about your mornings. And to me if the morning is the most valuable time, why would we work first off? Are we put on this earth to work and die? No, for me when I changed my mornings and recognized it as my most valuable time and I was like I’m actually going to on purpose, not work or lie in bed even with my baby because we’ve not slept through the night. But even if we have, like you start your day with the most nourishing thing for yourself.
If you’re nurturing a relationship with another person imagine saying, “No, I’m going to get to you later, I’m going to get to you later, I’m going to get to you later. I just need to do my work. I just need to check my emails. I just need to be on my phone. I just need to do this work or whatever.” Or being like I’m actually just going to be with you or first. Like what relationship do either of those scenarios create?
Amy: Oh, that’s so good. I’m just going to be with you first, you is us. So it’s really about what does, if you could spend your morning just with you, dating yourself almost and nurturing that relationship with yourself. For some people it might be getting up at 5am and doing the workout and making a smoothie and first I do this and then I do that and then I do this.
But for someone else that might look like taking second sleep and rolling out of bed, making some coffee and sitting on the back porch staring into space with their dog on their lap.
How do you take somebody, like I’m reformed in so many ways but I still find so much programming in my brain, I still can see it staring at me in the face. Once I was teaching this and I’ll have that little battle in my head. I’m on to myself, but I do know so many people in my audience listening right now are, I hear what you’re saying and this sounds great. I don’t know how to do that. That sounds like chaos. So like where does someone start?
Vikki: I think I’d notice an area where you have the most friction, right? Because we’re all dealing with a lot of rules that we can’t even see that could almost, we can just confuse ourselves out of actually doing anything. So I’d just notice and pick a really simple area where you notice some friction.
And it could be, a big one for me that’ll make you laugh was like the idea that I could have a bath in the morning. When I started cutting down my work week to 15 hours I started with committing to a morning bath every week. And in that morning I wanted to do what felt luxurious me and have a bath.
But I had this rule that I couldn’t have a bath in the morning, a bath is like for the evening, which is hilarious because since I shared that story lots of people are like, “No, I have a bath in the morning.” I’m like, oh, it was just my rule then, cool.
And literally just notice that place where you have friction and be willing to act against it. And I say start small and gentle and loving, instead of ripping the band aid off something that feels truly terrifying. So for example, it might be that you’ve told yourself that successful people don’t hit snooze on their alarm. Just let yourself hit snooze, that’s it. It’s not more complicated or more fancy.
And also, the second part of that is really getting familiar with, I love doing this, if I was arguing the other case, what would I say? If I was a lawyer arguing for why a bath in the morning is the best time to have a bath, what would I say?
Amy: So good. Yeah, I actually did, now that I think about it unconsciously I did that with my second sleep thing. So my second sleep meaning I’m awake, and I’m like awake, but I choose to not be up for the day. I choose to go back to bed and sleep another hour or so. That’s actually something I don’t think I realized that I had done.
I was like, by doing this I am actually getting, because that sleep tends to be really good sleep, like in terms of quality. Like deep sleep. That sleep tends to be me getting that deep sleep and then when I wake up the second time I actually feel like I slept for like hours.
So I was able to argue with myself, I didn’t realize this, of oh, but when I allow myself to do that I always feel so much better. And I actually get more done because I feel better rested after that second sleep than when I try to start my day without it.
And I don’t always need it. Sometimes I sleep a full, and I am definitely an eight hour sleeper. Sometimes I sleep a full eight hours, I get up at seven or 8am and the day is great. But my hormones are going to do what my hormones are going to do and I never know what’s going to happen.
Vikki: And also we used to have two sleeps a night.
Amy: I’ve heard this research, yeah. So I don’t think I even realized that I did argue the other side of like why it was beneficial for me. And I did that because I felt so guilty for going back to sleep. And I was tired of feeling guilty for going back asleep.
Vikki: Yeah, I mean, that unfortunately is I think we experience guilt or the potential of guilt. And we see it as a reason to not do something instead of an opportunity to lead something. And what I mean by that is like guilt exists, guilt is learned, right? Like guilt that you shouldn’t sleep more is learned, it’s taught. It’s not like an innate primal experience.
I had this during my pregnancy, in my first trimester where I was super ill and super sick. And I had so much guilt around resting and taking more time off. And what made it super easy was not fighting with the guilt, but instead asking what’s the change I want to see in the world instead of what is right or wrong now in the world.
Because people now might be like, “Amy, you’re sleeping until 10 when you’re running a business and you’ve got a family. I don’t know, that feels like indulgent.” And you’re like cool. You can think that now because I’m going to pioneer this new way of being where actually we get to sleep in, one, as a priority, and we sleep in late and we run successful businesses and we have families as well.
Amy: Oh, I see what you mean. Instead of saying okay, this is right, this is wrong. You’re saying like, yeah, but a year from now this is going to be way more. When I’m done telling people about this, it’s going to be way more acceptable and everybody’s going to see how helpful it is. I like that.
Vikki: Yeah, same with why I’m doing this call in bed and doing more calls in bed and speaking about it. It’s like I’ve realized the rule, I want to break the rule. And you, like me, we’re coaches for a reason, we don’t just want to do things for ourselves. We want to do things to the wider good. And so every time you break a rule and you speak about that rule, we give other people permission and access to the rules that they didn’t even know they were blindly following.
Amy: Yes, yeah. And my audience knows, there are no rules and there is no judgment is the backbone of both of the programs I have. And it sounds great in theory, but in practice we’re following all of them because we don’t really realize that there’s a rule attached to how we are behaving.
Amy: So just I’m under the assumption that you and I both are just going to be continuously discovering, oh, I didn’t even realize I was doing that. Isn’t that fascinating?
Amy: Yeah, how does this translate to, because you are really, really pioneering this 15 hour work week idea. And I have had people, so one time, and I will probably do it again, but I did an anonymous ask me anything on Instagram. And I had someone say like, why do you not like your clients? You talk about not working that many hours.
And they were relating that to you must not like your business, you must not like your people. Why are you even doing this, was the idea behind the anonymous message. And I was like, that message got messed up, okay. That might be when I was like, we’ve got to get Vikki on the podcast.
Vikki: It’s so interesting, right? I have friends, or even me and you, I love you to pieces and I don’t spend 40 hours a week with you. So why is our work different, right? Like why are our clients different?
Amy: I love my child more than anything, I was a stay at home mom, but spending 40 hours a week with them I was like, I need a break from you.
Vikki: Yeah. It’s just this idea that we should give more time to something because we love it versus what we want to be thinking about when it comes to work is not the hours we give or the things we do, it’s the results that we create. It’s the impact we create. For some people it’s the revenue we create. Those are the results that we want to focus on, but we’ve been taught and conditioned to measure our success by hours worked, by tasks done.
And we’ve been taught to do that because huge companies can’t measure everyone’s intangible results and can’t wait for like the quarterly results to track everyone. The easiest way to track people is by hours worked. So that’s how corporations do it, that’s what happened through the industrial revolution.
But your audience are coaches, we’re coaches, we’re entrepreneurs, like we don’t have to track ourself for some line manager who wants to know how much we are getting done. We get to focus instead on the results we care about. Are my clients creating X? Am I raising this value, whatever it might be, versus what am I doing?
Amy: Yeah, this is reminding me, so I graduated college in 1996, got an internship with the biggest PR firm in the world who just happens to be, I don’t know if they still are, but in the 90s they were the number one in terms of top revenue. That was how they were ranked top revenue, the number one in the entire world.
It was in downtown St. Louis, I got an internship with them. This was like my dream come true all through college. I was like I’m in corporate marketing, I’m going to get onto this PR firm and I’d be this PR maven. And then I got hired on and I learned really quickly.
I remember the first time I tried to leave the office, I literally had nothing to do and I sat in my office until 5:30. And I was like, I think I can walk out now. But if you walked out, like people would stop and ask if you had something to go to. And I was like no, I don’t have anything to do and I want to go home now.
But everything was about hours, billable hours. My value was seen in those hours. This was ingrained for me very, it wasn’t already ingrained in me by the time I was 22. From 22 to 25 my value was in how many hours. You were given the prestige, like the more hours you worked.
Vikki: How ridiculous it is that? I’ve got similar stories of we clapped people out of the office on a Friday if they left before six or before seven. It’s the same culture of valuing the hours. Isn’t it better the person who is able to create the results without the hours? Like why are we not valuing that? It makes me laugh now, I see the world so differently.
Vikki: But it really is, like why are we celebrating longer hours?
Amy: And I thought it was hilarious that I was like an associate, like I was the entry level worker. I had no control over what I was and was not working on. I was the entry level, brand new associate executive assistant. The lowest ranking new member, I had no control over the work that was handed to me. But if I got it done by three, I had to sit in my office till six before I could go home. And then I had to make up my hours. I was like, what do I put down on my time sheet?
Vikki: Time sheets, what? The biggest waste of time. People say it to me all the time, I’m just going to track my time. I’m like, how much time are you spending tracking your time? It’s like the opposite of trust is tracking.
Amy: Oh, it was, oh, whoa, wait, I’m sorry, wait, huh? Wait a minute, what were the words that just came out of your mouth?
Vikki: The opposite of trust is tracking.
Amy: I can feel a visceral reaction in my body. So tell me more because clearly felt you’ve just created some friction with a belief I didn’t realize I had.
Vikki: Yeah, it’s funny but we can think about it with our relationship with another person, say a romantic partner. You either trust them or you have like someone track them and they’re being tracked for what they’re doing or not doing.
And we do the same thing with ourselves, we’re like tracking how we are using our time to justify maybe the results that we currently have so we can explain why we don’t, or why we’re not creating what we want to create, or why we might not create what we want to create. We can look back and criticize ourselves. Or we can look back and say at least we did all these things, versus like building and making decisions from trust.
I think about one of my clients in the 15 hour workweek mastermind, and she said this week that she thought she was going to come to the mastermind and I was going to give them a timetable and a structure, which is like the opposite of what happened. And now she’s like, I’ve got less structure, I literally don’t know what I’m doing any day until I’m doing it. And so I just go like, what do I feel like doing now?
But she’s creating more results through it. And it’s like everything we’ve been taught from corporate America, from school, like literally everything that was ingrained to us from a young age was this idea of tracking, and timetabling, and measuring, versus all of that measurement isn’t necessary. In fact, it’s another to-do list item that is not result producing.
It’s tracking, it’s not transforming. It’s not creating. If any coach is listening and they’re like, “I do my own time sheets” it’s like the value of that time sheet is not creating value for your client, it’s actually teaching you or putting you back in like an employee mindset, a beginner mindset, a student mindset. The person that has to answer to someone, even if that someone is you, the reviewer of the time sheet.
Amy: Okay, so I’m going to give you the first question I know all my clients are going to ask. Then how do I know that I’m, well then everything’s just gonna be willy-nilly. How am I ever going to get anything done if I’m not tracking where my time is going?
Vikki: Yeah, so my question to you is how are you going to get more done when you’re not busy tracking where your time is going?
Amy: Ah, it’s like we have been socialized to believe that the tracking is what’s going to motivate us to do the work, as opposed to we’re just going to do it because we want to.
Vikki: Yes, and because we stop being, like I call it the teacher and the student. We stop being the person making the decisions, like even the manager and then the employee following through, we stay the leader. We are constantly in the leader.
How do we show up from a place of trust, from a place of like self, not importance but really self-leadership of how I’m making the decision on what I’m doing now, instead of Monday Amy said that on Thursday at 3pm I had to write seven emails. And now it’s Thursday at 3pm and I actually didn’t sleep well last night, I don’t feel connected. One of the kids is screaming, the pipes have burst. But I have to do it otherwise I’m a bad employee versus trusting that those seven emails are going to get done.
Amy: Okay, so then let’s talk about trust because I’ve coached people on this and then they just look at me like a deer in headlights. How do I trust myself I’m going to do it? If I’m not tracking, like I get what you’re saying. It makes sense. I want to be that person, but I don’t know how to be that person. So what’s your favorite trust building coaching exercises? Like how do we do that? How do you like doing it?
Vikki: Yeah, I would just give one really simple thing, just ask yourself, what would trust do?
Amy: Oh, that’s such a simple question.
Vikki: Super simple.
Amy: Wait a minute, it’s that simple? What would trust do?
Vikki: What would trust do? I think every model we are in is either a trust model or a fear based model. The fear based model makes itself really important and really valuable, and it’s everyone else is doing this but I have to know what I’m doing, but I have to have it decided ahead of time. But I have to have the perfect plan. But I have to have it in my calendar, and I have to do what’s in my calendar. And all of that is fear based.
Trust would be like, oh, we just do it. Trust would be like we let go of the rules. Trust would be like we lean into what we want to do. Trust would be like we create an idea that we think is going to produce the results and we test it and we experiment. And fear is no, we must do everything in case we fail. And that’s how we end up overworking. That’s how we end up doing so much unnecessary stuff.
I’m very confident that you could put me in front of any person in the world and I could cut their to-do list down by 50%, and not only would they not achieve less, they would achieve more.
Amy: Okay, so why is that? What is this all about, like we’re doing too much?
Vikki: Yeah, because well, there’s multiple reasons but one of the big ones is we act from fear and we do anything to avoid fear of failure. And when we’ve grown up in a society and culture that tells us hard work and long hours produce success, we are making things harder than they need to be and we are giving things more hours. And we are finding more to-dos in order to create that success because that’s what we’ve been taught. To create success let’s do the thing instead of focusing on the success.
The second thing that comes up for a lot of my clients once they’ve created so much space is, what do I do with all my free time? It’s uncomfortable to have a lot of space in a society that’s taught you that you are valuable when you are doing, that busy is a badge of honor to be celebrated.
And another one of my 15 Hour Workweek clients had a call with someone this week and they said to her, “I know you’re busy,” because she’s a mom, she’s a successful CEO. And she said, “I made a point to tell them I’m not.” We literally need to stop assuming that successful means busy. Those two things need to be separated and we need to get comfortable with space.
But again, it requires the same thing of I’m off tomorrow and I don’t have a plan for tomorrow. And I trust that what I feel like doing I can lean into, but I would say that equally as uncomfortable for my clients.
Amy: Absolutely, because then what comes up on those Fridays off or whatever? And tomorrow is a Friday here in the states where we are actually going into a three day weekend because Monday is a federal holiday. So I’m recording this on a Thursday and tomorrow literally is like yeah, my husband’s going to get off early, we’re headed to blah, blah, blah.
But for some people, deciding there has to be a purpose to their relaxation, there has to be a purpose to their time off. There must be a reason for it. And even if it is, oh, I just want a day off, it’s going to be because I’m going to get my nails done, I’m going to go get my hair done. Even if it’s a pampering, even the pampering is scheduled.
Amy: Or so I can pack so I can go, a lot of people here in Missouri are going to go to lake this weekend. They’re like I’m taking the day off so that we can pack and we can get on the road early. So it’s even interesting that we don’t know how to just be in our free time.
Vikki: And to just have space unaccounted for. Like maybe I do decide tomorrow to get my nails done, but I didn’t have to decide it today. Listen, some places you do, I get it.
Amy: Yes, I haven’t been able to get my hairdresser all summer long. And I finally, first of all, how old am I? I just called her my hairdresser. But yes, you might have to-
Vikki: Wait, what are you supposed to call her?
Amy: I don’t know. I guess maybe it is hairdresser. It just sounded very antiquated when it came out of my mouth, but maybe I’m not. But yes, I understand that some things you do have to book appointments ahead. But we do feel very uncomfortable just being in an open space. Like what you just described of taking a day off and not knowing in advance what you’re going to do, I’m much farther along than say my husband is, but that would make his skin crawl.
So I think this is really important too, because you call yourself a feminist time coach, I use a lot of feminist principles in my coaching, but this hurts men too. My husband shuts down, he really struggles with who he is as a man and as a provider for the family if he’s not doing something. And he will take a guilty pleasure day of I’m not doing anything.
Vikki: Guilty, is it?
Amy: Guilty, yeah, it’s this guilty pleasure, it’s almost like this rebellious act.
Amy: And then three days later he’s like, “Oh, I should have worked on this or I should have done that.” Yeah.
Vikki: Yeah, I’m glad that you pointed out the feminist time coach because it’s not just for women. Essentially, when I made the decision, when I realized that’s what I was it was when I was pregnant. And I realized like women have not been there for any of the key decisions around how we work, from the 40 hour week, to Monday to Friday, to how we schedule time, an eight hour work day back to back, which now I cannot even imagine.
All of these things, how we work, women were not at the table and men suffer because of it as well. Everyone loses because of it.
Vikki: Because women couldn’t even vote, let alone have businesses, couldn’t hold on to their money. And we are so in need of this like time revolution where women don’t take over, but women are brought to the table, their ideas are brought to the table, ways of work are challenged. And it’s not just women that benefit. It’s women, it’s men, it’s people that are neurodiverse, it’s creatives.
The way we work now I call it, like it’s a factory mindset still. And I’m glad that you pointed that out because everyone is suffering because of the decisions that were made 100 years ago. We do this, I challenge the rules around how we work not just for women, even though yes, I do think how we set up maternity leave or why do we not have a pregnancy leave, I had a horrendous pregnancy, but I know everyone’s different. But nothing is built in consideration.
One of the big reasons behind the 15 hour work week was the idea that we need to stop making it so that women or parents cannot have a career and a family. And the only thing that stops us is these outdated time rules where we still think that we have to be at something for 40 hours a week, or 60 hours a week, or 80 hours a week in order to create results. And it’s just not true.
Not with the technology we have these days. Look at our ability to speak, you know how long this conversation would have taken 50 years ago? Months. 100 years ago, right? Like literally writing letters to each other and then getting it published in the newspaper and then getting it dropped at everyone’s house.
Technology has sped up our ability to do things, but the issue is, in my opinion, we’re not resting enough to allow ourselves to think strategically, and cleverly, and super creatively for how we can optimize that.
We are bringing our factory mindset to a technological world and that’s why we are on seven apps every day losing hours, drowning, consuming. It’s like not thinking with a modern day mindset. We’re not thinking with what I teach as the 15th our mindset and so we are getting more burnt out. Even though we are doing more and achieving more and productivity isn’t going up, it’s going down. Burnout is on the rise.
Amy: Yeah, and it’s really funny because you even said something a couple moments ago that was my decision of, I was pregnant, I’d been in the corporate world for 10 years at that point and I worked a job where my boss would start meetings at 4:30pm that would go to eight o’clock at night. And my husband works in construction, it doesn’t happen that much now because he’s more in the general foreman range, but at the time he got put on a job that was nights.
And so I just told her. I remember the conversation I had with my female boss that was we’re looking for daycares but they close it six and sometimes Tre won’t be able to be there. So I will need to be able to leave the office. I really want to start working towards being able to leave the office like 5, 5:30. And her response was, “How often do you think this is going to happen?”
And it was in that moment that I knew, I didn’t yet know that I wasn’t going to work for the next 10 years. I didn’t know I wasn’t even going to go back to work after my son was born. But in that moment I knew at least I wasn’t staying in that job and it really started me considering what I was going to do.
But I had all of that, who I am as a person, and my value as a woman, and my value as a productive member of society is the work that I do in the world.
Vikki: And the hours that I give to that work.
Amy: And the hours that I give to that work, 100%. So I’m 100% on board. Obviously I’m 100% on board with anything Vikki Louise does, but because I really do, I can track back through my life every single time these rules were reiterated over and over and over again.
Vikki: Yes, because this is the point, if it’s hours there are so many people that are not pursuing their dreams because they don’t have the hours. There are so many people that aren’t going back to work because they don’t have the hours. There are so many people excluded from society and from job markets.
And it doesn’t even just apply to work. There’s so many people excluding themselves from workouts, or from art and creativity, or from writing a book. As long as we think hours worked equals results, we are removing ourselves, we are limiting our ability to do things because our hours are fixed.
We cannot change our hours. We have to stop thinking in terms of hours and start thinking, this was the whole concept of how Time Hackers was built. I was like, it’s not time, what is it underneath? And those are the only things we’re going to focus on and that’s how you hack time.
Amy: As we come to the end here, I’m already on board and apparently already instituting a lot of the rules, or a lot of your techniques that I didn’t even know that I was doing. I’ve done a ton of, one of our good friends, Bev Aron, has through master coach training actually taught me a ton to get over my, because I for sure lived by there’s not enough time.
That was like my motto for living life, there’s just not enough time to get it all done so you just got to decide what’s the most important thing. And I coached so much through that.
So what are some great just, I don’t know, maybe like step 1, 2, 3 or some tips that you have for people just starting to hack a little bit of their own time?
Vikki: Yeah, I would say look at everything but time. Stop measuring time. Like measuring time, writing to-do lists, putting things in calendars, color coding, like all of that stuff. How much time are you spending measuring time? How much time are you wasting thinking about how you don’t have enough time?
It’s the simple things. People always come to me and they’re like, “What’s the one thing?” I’m like, the one thing is stopping yourself going down that rabbit hole of bitching about time and complaining about time. And unfortunately time is like the weather, strangers will bond over complaining about time. Everyone is up for that conversation. Go get your coffee, go wait for the bus, everyone’s up for that conversation.
And like I said, people even assume it for you. Like with my client, they’re I know you’re busy, I know you’ve got a lot going on, I know you don’t have much time. If everyone just counted for the next week, how often people say that to you, or say some kind of thing with a time scarcity you will be amazed.
Give yourself some slack, even for listening to this today and being open to the idea that it’s not true because it is such a big conversation out in the world that I think it is radical work to stand differently and say, actually, I will never say that I don’t have enough time again.
I did a post on this, if you can’t use the word time, what is it? I don’t have desire. I don’t have the need. Let me put it like this, if Beyonce called you, her people called you and were like, we’ve got like a 10 person private concert happening and you’ve won the tickets, but you need to get to Vegas today and it’s a three day event, you’re going to to spend the three days with Beyonce. Would you be like, I don’t have time? Or would you fucking figure it out? You would figure it out.
And maybe it’s not Beyonce, but that’s just one example. It is never time. That word, I don’t have time, it’s never time. Stop using the T word. One of my clients said that, she said, “I’m not going to use the T word.” Without using the T word it’s not relevant. What is it if it’s not time? Just that, if you just do that, that will have a huge impact.
Amy: All right, so we’re going to stop talking about time. I bet that’s a hard challenge because I can even feel, I’ve even done so much of this work, I literally can feel like my body reacting to that idea of how will I know what time my kid is supposed to be dropped off for band practice? How will I know blah, blah, blah? Like those kinds of things, like the very practical minded of me.
But it starts there with legitimately my kid needs to be dropped off at a certain time. But then it boils, like then when are we going to eat? And then when am I going to get the laundry done? What time does does Tre get home? It just spirals into a whole conversation.
Amy: So this is really about trusting.
Vikki: Yeah, exactly.
Amy: It’s just about trusting, like trusting myself that I know. I know my kid has a band concert at X time. Or actually tonight is baseball, I know he has a baseball game at X time. I know he needs picked up by X time in order to get there.
Vikki: Yeah. And also if each of you like start your brains will probably want to go to the most difficult places that it applies, like picking up kids from practice or whatever, where it’s like the cost of missing that is not cool.
I would say start simple. And literally I would just start with not allowing yourself to use the T word when someone asks you to do something. Don’t say, “Oh, I don’t have time to do that.” You’re choosing not to give time to that. Why are you choosing not to give time to it?
I think about it like this, right? I’ve got an example. I love Katherine Ryan, she’s a comedian. And I messaged one of my friends and was like, “I’m buying tickets, we’re going.” She doesn’t want to go. She goes, “No, not this date. No, I’m not sure I can come this date.” So I’m going to keep looking at all the different dates and going back and forth and back and forth.
It’s not time, she doesn’t want to go to that concert, to that show. Instead of just saying I don’t want to go to that show, I don’t have desire, I don’t like her, in which case then I can go and message someone else. Like I’m solving for the wrong problem. I can’t solve for a time problem when it’s a desire problem.
Vikki: It’s just that simple. And I think, she did tell me straight up, but it’s just like one of those examples where we’re like, “I don’t have time to pop in this weekend.” You have time this weekend, literally that’s what you have over a weekend, is time. But you just would rather do yoga or whatever it is. Why can we not communicate honestly? Because we’re afraid of, people pleasing comes into it.
Amy: So let’s just start with eliminating the T word from our dialogue. Obviously, we know that there are certain things, got to make sure that my kid arrives when he’s supposed to arrive for his baseball game.
Amy: But if some people, because some of my audience does still work, they’re not necessarily full-time coaches. So I think we’re not saying you telling your boss, “I’m going to come in whenever I damn well please.”
Vikki: I will say I have some people, because I have someone in particular I’m thinking of, and she’s got a full-time job and a coaching business. And she cut her hours down to 20 hours, she works remotely. And she got a promotion, she won an award, she got a pay raise because they don’t know how many hours she’s working. They only know the results she’s bringing. And by working less she actually produced better results, like literally.
Amy: Yeah, so for some people who don’t have to report to work and have a boss standing over them, that is definitely possible. Yeah.
Vikki: And even if you do, it’s just like one of those conversations that I think we don’t think that we can have, instead of actually is it possible for me to work. I think about my friends that have kids here in the UK, maybe it’s different. But why they then have one or two days a week where they do work from home.
Even your boss cares about results over time, really. Really, that’s what they really care about. So if you can make the case of actually I’m going to produce more results, and prove it and show it, then you’ll be amazed at what change you can create.
Amy: That’s amazing, I love it. Also, I think it’s super fun, Vikki has to always remind me of how we first met because I’m always like, “I don’t remember, how did we ever meet?” I would love for you to share the story of how we ended up becoming such good friends.
Vikki: Yeah, I think what’s so funny is it had such a big impact on my life, but it didn’t on yours. So it’s so fun, I think, for your audience to know that we can influence people’s lives so much and we never know. Like you literally can’t remember it. And for me, I’m like, yeah, I remember it, I remember where I was.
When I was thinking about becoming a life coach I heard about the Life Coach School. It was a huge investment and they, at the time, were selling it much different than they are now. Which I also think is cool for your audience to hear about if they’re aware of that school. And they were selling me and I had a consult call and then I said I’m not sure.
And they said, do you want to speak to some people that have done it? And I was like yes. And they connected me to Ms. Amy Latta. And we had a phone call about it and about your experience, and here we are years later. Who would have thought it?
So that was when we first met. And then obviously, we didn’t see each other for a few years. And I told you and you were like, who are you? I was like, “Oh my God, it’s so great to meet you, you changed my life.”
Amy: I’m like, “Okay, it’s good to meet you. Who are you?” And you’ve had to remind me of that story more than once.
Vikki: Yeah, even before we got on today I was like, “Oh my God, do you remember how we met?”
Amy: I was like, “Oh, wait, oh yeah, it’s that story that I always forget.” First of all, you do not have to have a steel trap for a memory in order to be a successful life coach and to be a good friend, that’s me. And also, I just love that idea because Vikki really is right.
You never know, when we’re sitting there and worried about getting everything done that we want to get done I think we miss the opportunity to be present with the human beings in front of us. And I didn’t even know that this conversation with this name that the Life Coach School sent me was going to, the person on the receiving end, like it was one more thing to do in my calendar at that time. You know what I mean? I didn’t yet know about it.
This is the work that Bev Aron and I did, was just learning to be present. Let me just be present where I am right now and I think if we can really, let’s banish the word time from our vocabulary and just really learn like where you are right now is where you’re meant to be. Just really being present here because in that moment I had an effect on you and I wasn’t even aware of it until years later.
And that’s possible for everybody that’s listening today, of like your willingness to just be present with the humans in front of you and be present with yourself. Huge impact and it just keeps growing. I think it’s beautiful.
Vikki: Yeah, I love it.
Amy: I love it so much. So, Ms. Vikki, where can my listeners connect with you?
Vikki: My Instagram got deleted so you can-
Amy: Oh, your Instagram was deleted?
Vikki: Yes. It was deleted, but I feel like it was meant to be even though it was a week before, like I’m launching now but I feel like I’m just unattached to it. I think it’s the 15 hour mindset so I feel quite good about it. But that’s where I would normally send people.
So instead I will tell you to go and download my guide on the four biggest time wasters and how to overcome them. And you’ll just get like a short 10 minute video and then a strategy for each one. And it’s just vikkilouise.com/guide, and that would be the place to hang out.
Amy: Yeah, and to make sure you guys spell Vikki, V-I-K-K-I.
Amy: So it’s V-I-K-K-I-L-O-U-I-S-E .com/guide. And then that way you can at least stay connected. And then if Instagram does ever decide to bestow your account back to you, you will be able to do that.
That’s a whole other conversation we could have, because I’ve been kicked off social media this year, our friend Melanie Childers has, you have, our friend Daniel savory has been kicked off. That’s a whole other, we could do like a panel conversation on how to run your business when Facebook and Instagram kick you off.
Vikki: Oh, I’m like so here for it. I’m so fired up by it. I’m like, oh my gosh, of course Instagram is not my asset. I’m very fired up by it and I think how I responded this year is totally different than how I would have responded a year ago.
Amy: Of course, absolutely, I love it. So everybody download, and what did you say it was four…
Vikki: It is the four biggest time wasters and how to overcome them. And I guarantee anyone downloads them, it gives you like five hours back a week at least.
Amy: Are you ready for five hours back a week? All right, everybody, go download the guide and make sure that when you see this podcast episode drop in September, that I would say give us a shout out on social media but I will make sure that Vikki sees it all, even if Instagram hasn’t gotten back to her. And make sure you get the download, everybody. Vikki, thank you so much. You’re amazing.
Vikki: Thank you so much. You’re amazing, I love you.
I don’t lie, my friends. Is Vikki a revolutionary thinker, or what? I love this question, that she gave us; what would trust do? And, this idea that tracking is not trusting. Brain exploded. I really think, I’ve already come so far in doing this work separately, but Vikki is really running with this. She is taking this concept of there is no time, that it is whatever we make of it. And, she is completely changing the dialogue. This is what I’m working on.
What’s your big takeaway? I can’t wait to hear. Vikki and I want to know, so here’s what I invite for you. Share this episode in your Instagram stories, tag me @IAmAmyLatta. I will screenshot and send these over to Vikki, so she can see what your takeaway is, what our takeaway is. I can’t wait to hear what landed for you today. And, what you are going to move forward with it.
And I’m super excited that we will be inviting Vicki to do some work inside Free to Paid Coach, as well. So, you should probably just get in there already. Are you ready to get paid, coach?
Free to Paid Coach is the program that every coach should be in, to go from free coach to paid coach confidently, with a system that works for every single person. Because this is a system that you are going to figure out how you are going to do it. I give you step-by-step-by-step exactly what to do. And then, I coach you through all the shit that comes up, when you do exactly what I tell you to do.
So, that those two things combined, actually creates the steps you’re going to take. And, we talk about time so much in the program. We talk about hacking time, in the program. I love this work so much. We want to see you in there. It’s $1,000; you are in forever. There’s a payment option and we’re waiting for you.
AmyLatta.com/FTPC, free to paid coach. And until next week, let’s go get paid, coach.
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