Are you an overworked woman who sometimes gets overwhelmed with the pile of things you must do? Are you burdened with not just workload but mental load as well? Do you always think you must be productive, even if it means having a few burnouts? In this episode, Mia Moran talks about a different level of absolute productivity with elements that don’t include burning yourself out until the to-do list is done but surprisingly efficient elements that might surprise you – like sleep! Tune in to learn all about achieving absolute productivity without compromising personal physical and mental health!
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How To Achieve Absolute Productivity Without Compromising Health With Mia Moran
I’m so excited to bring back my friend and colleague, Mia Moran. Mia is a mom of three and a coach who has struck her perfect balance between motherhood, wellness and work. She supports high-achieving female entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed with the life and wellness pieces and find the version of balance. She’s the host of the Plan Simple Podcast, Bestselling Author of Plan Simple Meals and creator of the Flow Planning Method, Flow Planner and Flow365.
I’ve had Mia in my show before. We’ve known each other for many years. We’re good friends. We both live in Massachusetts, but I want to bring Mia to have this conversation about what productivity is and what does this look like to have our own version of productivity. Not as should of what we need to but what is it that we’re called to do? Listen up.
Here we are. This is not our first rodeo. It’s not our first interview. I think you’ve been in my show before. I’ve been in your show a few times but catch me up, Mia. What are you working on? I know a lot of changes at home. Your oldest child is off to college, which probably created a new reality. I know you work a lot with moms and women, managing time, projects, and dreams. Catch me up.
He did go off to college. By the way, that was very sad. I didn’t realize how much time being sad would take, but I am now on the other side of that. I realize that it did take some time, so I’m glad I was aware. We’re doing a lot of the same, just at a deeper, more resourced level. I like to think that what we’re doing is like the gym of, let’s call the Zen gym.
The gym that has good yoga classes version of productivity and looking at what it looks like to be productive as a woman. I don’t want to confuse these two words because we’re looking at feminine productivity, which is not exclusively for women. Looking at the more feminine side of what that even is pertains to both men and women. Diving into what that means and how that means we’re showing up in the day-to-day.
We’re going to dive right into how do we get here, but before we do that, I want to say that we’re not talking about getting everything fit into the day. We’re not talking about burning yourself until the to-do list is done. We’re talking about a whole lot of different level of productivity and a lot of elements that you wouldn’t always put into productivity, but I know you, Mia. You cook.
Including sleep. Sleep is one of the most products.
Sleep and joy and probably lunar rhythms. I don’t know. I’m guessing knowing you and maybe even some oils and bath salts. How did we get here to be focusing on being the expert, to be creating this space for the conversation of productivity among women?
I’ve been doing calendars for a long time, which my brother reminded me. He’s like, “You used to make calendars when we were like eight.” I think I’ve been onto this problem for some time but in this particular iteration, it came from a health transformation myself which led to, as it does with us entrepreneurs, a book and a book tour and meeting a lot of women and talking about the food piece. Realizing that wasn’t the problem that I was here to solve.
We didn’t have a food issue. We had an I-don’t-have-time-to-cook issue.
Also, the hundreds of women I was meeting across the country. I would end up in these rooms where I felt like people knew more than I did about what one should eat, yet they weren’t. They weren’t able to make time. I’m talking about nutritionists and health coaches. I was so intimidated sometimes by the rooms that I was walking into, but I’m like, “No one’s doing it. Why is that? How can we shift this a little bit?” Show up to the lives we know we want to show up to. In fact, many of the people who I was talking to were teaching others how to show up to that life, the why can’t we all make time for it?
How do we make time?
By planning from the inside out and getting rid of all the things we thought we were supposed to have, we all have a point where we’re like, “I got those things. It’s still not quite working now. It doesn’t quite feel how I thought it would.” The part that makes it feminine is a bit about starting from the intuition. I like to think of it as circular because many of us are so busy that we’re never quiet. Maybe we sleep.How do we make time? By planning from the inside out and getting rid of everything we thought we were supposed to have. Click To Tweet
Suppose you’ve ever had one of those days where it’s been so much that you fall asleep in your clothes that you had dinner in. We fall asleep. To me, that’s not conscious, like quiet time. We wake up, open our phones, and check our email. We’re like back in the rat race, and all these things are happening almost to us. We don’t create the quiet time to understand what it is that we’re meant to be here doing.
There’s this thing at the beginning that’s this dance between one of the first steps is to make the time so that there’s quiet. Once you have that time, learn how to go through the process of following through. It’s like, “I have to do this.” You’re such a good example of that because you’ve had so many businesses where you’re like, “I have to do this.” That’s just you probably going on a walk or taking a shower, pausing for ten minutes and getting this idea that you’re like, “I have to do this.” That’s all it is.
I love that. I’ve been doing a lot of research. I have to catch up. There’s a lot going on on my end, but one of my companies has a team of 30. One of the things we’ve been switching lately is daily check-ins, performance conversations or performance check-in moments. We have shifted from focusing on the number and how many you do and how much you did do today to spending 30 minutes together sharing personal wins, moments of joy, words of wisdom and our performance. We’ve been doing this for a while now. We touched on the number for a minute but we spend our time being with each other, seeing each other and celebrating each other. Translate that to ourselves, we don’t spend enough time being with ourselves, seeing ourselves and celebrating ourselves, but how do we stop?
Do you mean in order to be able to do that?
Yes, because I know that when I’m on the go, I can’t stop. It’s one thing to the next.
I think it’s the same thing as doing something. It’s the same quality. This does dovetail into the process that we take people through. When you decide that you want to do anything, so whether that’s going on the next project or that you want to take the time, you have to be the one to make that choice. I can’t tell you. I can yell, which I feel like I do from the rooftops. I do think this is the secret that we’re missing is that we’re going too fast and we need to pause.
You also have to be able to find that yourself and know that’s what you want to do. The thing that’s genius about what you’re doing with your team is that you’re doing it together. One of the things that we do in anything that we decide a lot of times as women is that we’re going to go figure it out ourselves because that must be what we’re supposed to do.
I think sometimes support is the missing piece in that. Even finding one person who’s committed to also finding quiet. Maybe you sit with them for an hour a day or pay for a class like a yoga class or meditation class where they make you sit for an hour a day or something where you’re slowing yourself down in a conscious, somewhat awake state.
It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be an hour, but you do have to pause. You do have to become the notice of your brain, see the thoughts, and let them pass through. Quieting your whole system down because a lot of people get frustrated with the idea. I’m not saying sit down and meditate by any means. A lot of people get frustrated with quiet because their minds are still racing. Sometimes our bodies are even still racing. You do need some tools to be able to ground yourself in that moment.
It takes practice and guidance. I know you have a community. We’re going to talk about that in a minute around helping women do that. Before we go there, let me ask. There’s so much judgment in not doing.
I know. That’s a big problem.
I think it’s an external and an internal problem. I have four children. It’s been very busy in this house. Now I have one baby left in the house. There’s a lot of doing that I no longer need to do. If I don’t do laundry for five days, it doesn’t matter. It’s three of us. We can always find another pair of pants, but there’s so much in me like the external pressure of doing. You could say that my house has gone down dramatically, but I can’t stop. Laundry has to be done and folded by or else?
Let’s use laundry as an example because it’s a great example. Often, I use dishes because people often ask me about the kitchen. One could fold laundry, totally stressed out. It’s like that thing that’s crammed into your to-do list and you have ten minutes. You’re trying to do it because you’re supposed to because you’re a woman and someone says.
Your mother-in-law will come and inspect like you’ll be judged.
If it’s not done correctly and everything’s coumarate into your drawers in the perfect little role. That’s one energy that you could fold the basket of clothes or use that time that it takes to slow down and be with the clothes and fold them. With everything, it’s a choice. This is the thing that I’ve found over and over.
When I’m working with people, we’re getting under like, “Why isn’t that thing happening or how could you look at this differently or why is it taking that long when you wanted it to take this long? What’s going on?” A lot of times, it is what we bring to it. The thing is, if we spend an hour, even the act of planning can calm us down.
Once we get everything out of our head and onto paper, we can see it. For a lot of people, that is like something that is a calming activity. It doesn’t have to be meditation or you could go for a run or whatever or something that grounds you and calms you down. You go write a hard email that you’ve been meaning to write and you haven’t done it for whatever reason because you’re not finding the right words.
If you are calm when you do that, you will perceive that you write it quicker. That thing will feel more useful. If you are stressed out and you have an hour to get this email off because you’ve promised it to somebody to get them and you’re strung out. You’ve just folded all the clothes. It’s going to be a different experience. By the end of the day, your whole system feels differently when we pile these things up over and over again. At some level, taking that time off saves you time.
I love that because here, we’re talking about less about what we do or don’t do. It’s about who we are at every moment of the doing or not doing. You could say, “Mia says I’m going to meditate or whatever.” Mia doesn’t say we have to meditate, but I could get someone’s advice to slow down and force myself to slow down and make that moment so unproductive even if I stop the movement, the action or I can continue with my action but shift my inside in how I perceive or experience myself in that action.
In that way, do you know what it makes me think of, Mia? The new bikes. Do you know the bikes that you can bike and you can charge as you bike?
Those that are electric?
It’s like an electric bike or I don’t know.
You’re feeding them as you bike.
You’re feeding them, but you’re not plugging it in and stopping. There’s a way that you bike and then you let go and you’re still riding, but it’s feeding. You started your journey as feeding people healthier and now you’ve taken your work towards feeding ourselves. Feeding ourselves with peace of mind and balance just by managing our energy and where we put our mind and how we go about our every day.
What you said about the energy, that’s another way to look at it. We think that productivity is about time management. If we start to shift into making it about energy management, you can start to see how, “I do need to write that sales page but also, I need to come at it with the right energy or I’m not going to sell.” In order to do that, it’s not only about writing. It’s about what I had for lunch and that I feel good and I am not worrying about something in some other part of my life. We’re spending that time managing our energy instead of our time.
Talk to me about how you work with people. How do you take women on a journey?
I, again, believe that we have to take that personal responsibility to want to make some change. We operate pretty broadly because we work with people who work, so mostly entrepreneurs but some people who also have jobs, women. We’re looking at all the different areas of your life and how they go together because the end goal is that you’re doing your work well, I suppose.
That doesn’t normally go well for women unless they’re feeling good at home and in their relationships and if they’re a mom, with their kids and their bodies and in their spiritual practices and in all the different aspects of their life. I don’t believe that we can plan how we will do our work if we haven’t thought holistically about all those different things.
That’s what we’re doing. Usually, someone comes in because they’ve decided some piece of that needs to change then we shift all of it. The idea is that we have to decide we need to change, but then we don’t have to do it alone. There are different parts of the process that are all benefited from being in the group. We run retreats around setting 90-day goals.We have to decide that we need to change, but we don't have to do it alone. Click To Tweet
As part of this gym membership type thing, we have Monday calls all day long so that people can come in and be heard, like your team, about what three things they’re committed to doing that week and get any coaching they need to get through that. It’s mostly about being heard and being organized enough in your brain to know the three things that are the most important. We call people out when we’re like, “That has nothing to do with your goals.” Those are the things that everybody around you wants to do.
What are the three things that are your three things? We do that on Mondays. On Fridays, we plan. We go deep into certain topics. I believe we can bring this idea of where we want to bring our energy and how we plan for it into all the different things. We can do that for our home, work, spiritual practices and food. We navigate between different topics from month to month.
Another cool thing that we do is we have lots like you come to three a day sometimes, we’re coworking sessions. As you commit to like, “I’m going to do this sales page,” you can come. It’s almost like a yoga class like we ground you. We’re like, “Take a deep breath and sit down. What are you doing?” You put that on a post-it and you share it. You get timed. Somebody holds the time for you, so you got to get lost.
Babysit time. It’s like homeroom with a teacher telling you, “Sit down,” in a loving way.
We’re doing it for yourself and it’s with a whole bunch of women doing hard things. We do that. It’s all about learning how to follow through and knowing that you don’t have to be alone.
Create a container through which we can fall through because it is through the things that we do all the time. The hard things you said, sitting with a bunch of women doing hard things. I procrastinate all of my hard things, then I hit a wall then it’s meltdown time. I do that all the time. It’s not proactive, not efficient, and not pretty to watch.
I’m watching my kid at college now and I’m seeing how we’re literally not taught. We’re not taught how to focus. The world around us is not helping us to focus. We’re not taught how to set goals that are different than the goals that are being set for us when we’re in certain circumstances. We’re not taught to lead by our intuition. I feel like all of these things are becoming more. Sometimes, I look around my world and I’m like, “The world works like this.” The second you step out, no. You can’t walk into a board meeting and say, “Intuitively, I think.”
I know. We all are.
I do that a lot. Mia, if I am that woman, another year’s ending, my new year resolution, it’s October and whatever I promised myself I was going to focus on hasn’t happened. How do I work with you?
You just come to Plan Simple. We have lots of different ways in. You can find the program Flow365 and sign up right away. We also have lots of different ways. I’m not sure when this is going to air, but October around here is work month. We have something called a work week. We also have a free retreat for people in November that’s all about more of that mindfulness piece. It’s called Make December Matter. It’s all about creating space for those last six weeks.
I’m intrigued by that one. Is it a virtual retreat?
It is a virtual retreat. We’ve been doing virtual retreats, by the way, since way before COVID. It’s a little bit of a harder sell now because more of us are wanting to be in person. I do believe that, especially for people who are balancing a lot of things, which as many women. It’s still a nice thing to be able to know how to retreat in your own space.
Anyway, that was a long way of saying we have a lot of free resources and those are always a way in to see what it’s like to be supported in this way, which is different. We teach about planning, but we’re just trying to help you get your things done. We’re trying to help you be able to move and not feel like you’re going through mud all the time, which many of us can stay there for a long time.
Mia, thank you. Where do people find you?
Our website, PlanSimple.com, is the best way. You can get to everything from there.
You should check out Mia’s work. She has done not only beautiful work over the years but impactful work with a lot of women. Thank you, Mia, for taking the time and joining us.
Thank you so much for having me.
What is feminine productivity? If you want to find out, you must read this episode with Mia Moran, Founder of Plan Simple and Flow Planning Method. We talked all about the inside part of becoming productive in our lives. Don’t miss it.
- Mia Moran
- Plan Simple Podcast
- Plan Simple Meals
- Flow Planner
About Mia Moran
Mia Moran is a mom of three and coach who has struck her perfect balance between motherhood, wellness and work. She supports high achieving, female entrepreneurs, who are overwhelmed with the “life” and “wellness” pieces, find their version of balance. She is the host of the PlanSimple podcast, bestselling author of PlanSimple Meals, and creator of the FLOW Planning Method, the FLOW Planner, and FLOW365.