I will start this later.
That kind of “put it off” reasoning about projects and things I needed to get done but felt overwhelmed by, defined my life–from weight management to bill paying to organizing my house.
So, what happened? I lived in a state of perpetual chaos and self loathing–never feeling like I was moving forward in my life.
In fact, I was drowning in my own inability to get started or keep going.
If you are experiencing any of the “Get it done later” blues that I am talking about, you are going to love today’s Thin Thinking episode where I interview Dr Christine Li–Productivity coach and expert–she is going to discuss the 3 big mistakes that we are making when it comes to being productive.
And some of these mistakes may surprise you!
So grab your to-do list, and come on in. Let’s get it done.
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Rita Black (00:00): I'm just gonna start tomorrow. How many times have you said that to yourself? That kind of thinking defined my life from weight management to bill paying, to organizing my house and my life. I knew how to put things off like the best of them. So what happened? I lived in a state of perpetual chaos and self-loathing, never feeling like I was moving forward in my life. In fact, I was drowning in my own inability to get started or keep going. If you are experiencing any of the Start it Tomorrow Blues I am talking about, you are going to love today's Thin Thinking episode, where I interviewed Dr. Christine Li, productivity coach and expert. She is going to discuss the three big mistakes that we are making when it comes to being productive or getting productive. So grab that to-do list and come on in.
New Speaker (01:10): Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right. The key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist weight loss expert, best-selling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieved long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long-term and live your best life.
Rita Black (02:26): Hello. Hello. Hello. Welcome. You look like you wanna come in, so don't be shy. Come on in and welcome. I'm so excited that you are here today. Oh, we have got such a great guest for you, Dr. Christine Li is joining us. She has been on this show before and she got such great reviews from people. We brought her back in for more of her productivity genius. So I'm excited. Before we dive in, I wanna remind you guys that March, we have a contest going on. I wanna give you the opportunity to not only get yourself a free hypnosis download but also to enter into the contest. We are running through the month of March to receive a free I guess enrollment in the upcoming spring 2023 Shift Weight Mastery Process that will be going on in the month of May.
Rita Black (03:34): That's an online process that is guided by me and I love it. We have one twice, twice a year. So we do it in the spring and the fall. So you would be getting a free seat in that 30-day process. It's a great process. We use hypnosis, meditation, it's all about letting go of the weight struggle and moving into long-term permanent weight release success. So all you need to do is to, on your favorite podcast platform, write us a review, write us a review, take a screenshot and send it to me, ritashiftweightmastery.com. And we will send you a coupon for that free download. So you get that right away. And then you will be entered into the podcast drawing at the end of March, we'll, actually at the beginning of April and we will announce the winner.
Rita Black (04:36): So exciting. So and I'm really excited here in the US. You know, I know daylight savings happens at different times or not at all in different areas of the world, but this weekend we had our daylight saving on Sundays. So that means that the days are getting longer. I know I lost a little sLip, which was a bummer. But I love the fact that I have more hours at the end of my workday to be out in my yard, cause I love that I have so much gardening to catch up on. March issuch a big month here in Southern California as far as like getting everything in and fertilizing and mulching and weeding and ugh, it's just a big long list, but it's been really cold here and it's been really rainy here. So I've put that off and I put it on.
Rita Black (05:35): I am not gonna do it today. I'll do it tomorrow more and more. And haven't you ever noticed the longer your to-do list is the less you wanna do it. So I noticed that for many people, the pandemic actually made this lack of getting doneness even worse. Did you know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Americans spend an average of 8.9 hours per day on work-related activities, but only 5.3 of those hours are spent on primary work activities? Interesting. Huh? So many people have been reaching out to me for help. So that is why I'm very, very glad to have Dr. Christine Li back to speak with us about productivity. You may remember her, we had her on last year. She spoke to us about procrastination, but now we are meeting procrastination's opposite, productivity. And just to introduce the lovely Dr. Christine Li, she has been working as a New York based clinical psychologist for the past 20 years.
Rita Black (06:49): More recently, she has been taking her work online as the procrastination coach. She helps people who are struggling with underperforming at work and at home to work smoothly and with high levels of productivity. Her unique coaching process is a blend of mindset, strategy, time and emotion management tips, and a deep belief in the power we each have when we treat ourselves with good love and self-care. Dr. Li is the author of the book, Five Minute Self-Discipline Exercises, Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits, and Achieve Your Goals, and is the host of the podcast, Make Time for Success. Follow Dr. Li to learn how to ditch the guilt, judgment, self-sabotaging and unhelpful habits so that you can feel focused and fulfilled in your life. And her coaching work was featured in Oprah's Favorite Things Issue of 2022 in a piece that focused on coaches with a fresh take.
Rita Black (07:59): Not only is she here today, but she has also a free online event coming up. The Power Productivity Bootcamp is a five-day live training event where bootcamp attendees will learn how to develop success mindset. The four part system for creating success strategies for developing true commitment to your goals and ways to activate your highest potential in fulfilling your highest goals. Goals. Oh, that's a tongue twister. The Power Productivity Bootcamp is a fun, engaging experience complete with the opportunity to receive live coaching from Dr. Li and a celebration party at the end of the bootcamp experience to highlight your wins. So to register for this free event that begins that began on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023, go to the show notes and sign up. Or you can go straight to product, sorry, https, you know, that little signal sign procrastination coach.com/rita. That's procrastination coach.com/rita and sign up for the Free Productivity Bootcamp. Alright, now let's go meet Dr. Li.
Rita Black (09:26): Hey everyone. I am so excited because we are bringing back Dr. Christine Li. I don't know if you heard our last podcast with Dr. Christine, but it was one of the most popular podcasts I think we've had on the Thin Thinking Podcast. So today we have Dr. Christine and she's going to talk to us about the three mistakes that we make when comes to being productive. Welcome back. So happy to see you here.
Dr. Christine Li (09:57): Great to see you too. Thank you so much, Rita. I love working with you and seeing you again. Thank you so much for inviting me back.
Rita Black (10:05): Oh my gosh, I am so happy to have you back. I, you know, I have a sense of, you have such a calming voice and whenever I think of you, I just think of, oh, Dr. Christine.
Dr. Christine Li (10:18): Well, I, I feel the same about you. I'm always eager to listen to whatever's coming out of your mouth. It's either completely Billy brilliant or completely hysterical. And, and, and so real. So I appreciate all the different sides of you. Thank you, Rita.
Rita Black (10:35): Well, thank you. I, I, and I know that what you do for people, which is like, help them create order out of their universes is such a great gift. So how did you get into just, you know for those listeners who don't know about you so much, can you tell us your journey into, well, productivity and procrastination. Those are your, what you would call your genius zone, although you're a genius in many ways, but this is how you really help people. And so, tell us a little bit about your pain points and your journey into how you help people now.
Dr. Christine Li (11:18): Yeah. I have multiple pain points that I've been through, still struggle with, still know, and still teach about. And I have, one of my changes that I've been able to make is to now enjoy reflecting on things like pain points and knowing that I can learn from them and actually use what I learn to then teach a few people right away. I tend to love to think about, wow, why did I do that? How did that turn out that way? Why are people doing this? Why are they talking to me in this way? Why are they talking to themselves in this way? I think much like you are curious as well, and thankfully I have found through many different people and podcasts and books and experiences, ways to be much more kind to myself. One of my pain points was being absolutely brutal with myself in terms of that inner voice, the self-criticism, the feeling like I was always on the verge of my next failure, even though there really weren't many failures to really point towards as evidence that there would be a next failure.
Dr. Christine Li (12:37): So, I think anxiety was also buried in there too. I would have always been a very optimistic, positive person, but I think there were many, many years of my life where anxiety was also on the scene. And I'm very, very grateful that that is no longer the case. I, most days feel very calm, very serene, very clear in my brain. And I feel that as a result of all of that healing, and it has been multi-layered as a result of that healing, my focus, my ability to be productive and to think creatively has just improved so much that there's, there's just no comparison of what I can do now to what I could even do in graduate school when I was working day and night and needing to really be creative and thoughtful. I think I've been through probably two PhDs worth of thought about all this work about productivity and procrastination, but it's all been so worth it.
Rita Black (13:41): Yeah. So your your schooling and your life has been one big school room for you with regards to productivity. And, and so would you say the root of or one of those things getting in your way was perfectionism? I mean, would you say that that or or is that not something that was in the way?
Dr. Christine Li (14:04): For me, not so much. And that is because I, I think, grew up with a sense of myself as I was the mess up. I was the person who would be rolling to school after no sleep and kids would write satirical essays about that in English class. And it was just my iden, it was my literal identity that people knew that I was this way. I knew that I was this way, and I did not know that there was any way that I could be any different. So in some ways, it, there was this kind of acceptance that this was me, the right, it's as, it's as simple as saying, my hair is black and it's always been black, or actually it's, it's turning these days. But, but I, I really felt that this was just solidly me, this was my personality. This was my style, this was my sense of timing and, and the way I handled things like deadlines.
Dr. Christine Li (15:02): And I think I was really stuck in these desperate cycles of struggle and late nights and stress, and having stress be my productivity that, that more than words on pages, I was able to generate stress that would spill over to other people. And and cause a lot of other types of difficulty in my life, lateness illness during graduate school, that was quite significant. Loss of experiences because just I didn't really feel like I had the time to enjoy myself as other people seem to be able to do so. And yeah. And the procrastinators in the, in our audience will know what I'm talking about. There is really this sense that you need to sacrifice all the joy when you don't know how to put things together in a timely way. And I, you can hear in my voice that I, I'm just so, so I feel so strongly about teaching other people that it, it really is not your personality and it's not fixed and should really be able to enjoy your life. That's actually key, that's a really key part of avoiding procrastination and finding your brain again. I think this is probably a, a search for your brain.
Rita Black (16:25): That is, it's so interesting how the cycles we get into, you know, you with the procrastination, me with weight and the, the cure is actually the exact opposite of what we think, and we're always beating ourselves up and perpetuating that cycle. So if we flipped it on its head and said, okay, I wanna be productive, and, you know, and with all the, your patients and students in your courses you know, what are the main, you know, we're, we're all banging our heads against the wall trying to be more and more productive. I mean, just this week myself, I I, I have a big list of things to do. I have, I have podcasts to make. I have students,and it always seems like I don't make time. Like I don't get it all done. I'm always running behind. So I would love to learn more about being productive. But you, you are saying the first step is like kind of clearing the way, getting, what are, what are these mistakes that we're making that get in the way of our being our most productive, our best selves?
Dr. Christine Li (17:45): I feel like starting with the topic of perfectionism that you alluded to, although I don't feel like I've really struggled with that in a big way because of my sense that I, I just can't do anything. Right. I, I do feel that perfectionism is a big mistake that a lot of people do make. And a lot of people do lean in that direction. And I have come to see perfectionism as a very dangerous subcategory of procrastination. Not everybody leans in that direction, but the people who do really, I think, suffer from a feeling of that everything is, is under review and everything, the options are constrained. Like there just aren't that many options for performance or productivity when you're aiming for that one notch of performance, for that one designation. And that not only is that performance constrained, but every other performance after that needs to fall under this feeling of stress that if, if I don't get near that perfect performance, I can't release it. And then you've got other really big problems because talk about, to-do lists that never ends. And you've get this stress of not only not performing to your own expectations, but having the whole pile up of things that are looming when you're trying to come across as being perfect. And then it of course affects your identity because you are presenting yourself as being somewhat perfect to other people, which is also stressful. So.
Rita Black (19:28): And then you fall into imposter syndrome and all of that as well. Right?
Dr. Christine Li (19:34): Yeah. Yeah. I think one of the best tips that I can offer people in terms of bringing ease back into your body and your brain and your ways of being productive is to search for the avenues and the roads ahead of you that are calming. You know? What are the thoughts that you can say to yourself that will actually make you excited to work or make you feel like it's doable or not scare you? Maybe that's a minimum that we can actually just kind of clean up our thinking as I know you teach other people to do that. We wanna be more of a coach to ourselves rather than a task master or a police officer, or a mean parent or a mean professor. And I, I have been a psychologist at a major university, and students are actually afraid of their administrators, deans, professors. And I think that's my first way in to connect with those clients is to indicate that's actually not likely the actual relationship that exists between the two of you. And, you know, the stories that we tell, they're so powerful and we're so good at dramatizing and terrorizing ourselves, and that's all habit, right?
Rita Black (21:02): And so we tell it, you were saying this before we turned on the microphone, that it's, we're telling ourselves the scary story versus the, the doable story. The, the story, the kinder story.
Dr. Christine Li (21:18): Yes. And if we're scaring ourselves, it makes sense that we would run, it would make sense that we procrastinate, even though intellectually we know this is the wrong direction. That's why I believe procrastination is still a word that people are reluctant to utter, that people don't wanna talk about this because it makes no sense. And everyone knows they shouldn't procrastinate. We all know we shouldn't smoke. We all know we shouldn't overeat, but yet these habits are there for us to ease our pain. They're there to kind of calm us down when we're feeling like we can't calm ourselves down. And I think it's our chosen role, you and I, to show people some very doable routes to self-sooth, to self-regulate, to see the situation in a way that's filled with possibility. Positive possibility. right? We don't have to be afraid of the judgment of other people.
Dr. Christine Li (22:20): We can just submit our, submit our essays. Right? We can be detached and actually be fine. I, I think most of us are dreaming up situations that never happen, that are terrible, that are scary, that, and the good news is that oftentimes therapists aren't scalable. Most times we're, we're, we've just heard these stories and we've seen the outcomes and the outcomes are not as scary as the delivery of the story. And I think one of the best lessons I've learned is that there's a real difference between what's actually happening and the stories we're telling ourselves. And when you see that we're just generating stories all day long, we can't really help ourselves. But if we just try to craft our stories in a way that really suit our best functioning, we're just gonna have better results. I do believe that's the case.
Rita Black (23:19): So if we were, like, if we were gonna look at these mistakes that we're making one by one, what would be mistake number one that I'm making with my productivity?
Dr. Christine Li (23:34): I would say number one is very basic. And that is that we assume that delay is going to be helpful to us. And I can immediately give you a thousand reasons why delay isn't going to be helpful in the end.
Rita Black (23:50): But that makes so much sense that we would think that, you know, it's, is it letting ourselves off the hook? And not in a bad way. It's not like we're, but it's that survival mechanism of like, this is so painful that if I put this off, I'm gonna be in relief. Is that it?
Dr. Christine Li (24:11): Yes. So I feel, as I'm listening to you ask the question, my thought was, I think we all know thought wise that it doesn't make sense, but feeling wise, it's a perfect fit. That, that it really fills the need that we have in that moment. That the pain of feeling like we're gonna disappoint ourselves or somebody else is too much to handle and focus on the task at hand at the same time. And that, I think is just, it's just a human experience. We, we've all gone through this and we've all found ourselves kind of rising, rising in the ranks and improving and, and then hitting a space where we're just in something that's challenging. We're, we're, we're really experimenting, we're really learning about a topic that we've really don't know anything about and needing to perform and needing to produce. And it is scary, but running is, and delaying, as I've worked with clients, I, I've seen how basically any other option that you can choose will be more helpful. Right.
Rita Black (25:23): But I totally get that. It, I mean, I could get, I could see it from a habit standpoint because I do it. Like, I, I'm like, let me just put that off because then I will get more organized, I will get behind it more. I get, you know, like, and I hear it all the time from clients as well. And I could feel like that feels almost like, do you think it's becomes a pattern, a pattern of beha? So it's not just like, oh, let me delay this, but it's like we, we feel like we almost have to delay because we're fulfilling a pattern.
Dr. Christine Li (26:02): Yes. My own belief and theory is that those of us who have experienced really severe, really chronic procrastination are the people who have already experienced stress and negative self thoughts at a very deep and intense level. So it's, it's kind of a familiar space. It's like walking into a room that, you know, you used to live,
Rita Black (26:27): It's comfortable. Yeah.
Dr. Christine Li (26:28): It's really familiar. Yeah. There's nothing wrong with this. And even though everybody's waiting for you outside that room, you're just like, well, this is my home. It's, it's okay. Really.
Rita Black (26:39): Yeah. Interesting. So fascinating. But that makes sense. So your that, so what would be the opposite that we would do then? So what, how would we start to break that little pattern?
Dr. Christine Li (26:55): Okay. So one tip that I share with people is that you just don't wanna stop. I think coming to a full physical stop and running, I'm gonna include running away, going in the other direction as part of that stop just makes the whole system burdened. Because then you have to find that whole restarting mechanism of convincing yourself that this is what you're gonna do next, that it's doable, that you have the time, that you have the brain power, that you have the time before the deadline too. Right. That there's enough time to do this, and that all is willpower involved. And as soon as you stop, it's just a whole other level of energy that you need to bring onto the scene to get yourself restarted. So I'm gonna say, instead of stopping, divert, you can divert and keep yourself, you know, keep yourself in the game, somehow divert a little bit, but come back three minutes later, five minutes later, just not five hours later.
Dr. Christine Li (28:02): You just wanna say, I need a breather, but I'm not giving up on myself. Right. We're staying in the game, there's no reason to run from this game. You wouldn't start as a baseball player on a team and then say like, I'm cutting out at the third inning. You just go through, even though you might be losing, and we have so many different analogies where you just know because of expectations and because your own drive to see yourself succeed, you would not just stop, you wouldn't stop in the middle. And I also believe that people have to learn, I think tolerance of feelings of frustration that just -
Rita Black (28:44): So true.
Dr. Christine Li (28:46): Just because you feel frustrated doesn't mean something's dangerous or going to really threaten you, and that it's still doable. Like in the end, this, this, this process is doable for you. So start to look at those negative feeling states as transient part of maybe a productivity process even. Right. But not things that will tank you and make you feel like you've got nothing. Right.
Rita Black (29:13): Oh, I love that. You're re you're reframing that feeling to maybe be a more resee it as a more powerful feeling. Like you know, like you said, this is a, this is part of my process, or this is this, that's a feeling of courage or it's a feeling of it's a bridge into what I'm really gonna be doing.
Dr. Christine Li (29:38): Yeah. Like saying to yourself, well, duh, this is obvious that I would feel frustrated doing this. Why wouldn't I feel frustrated? But that doesn't mean I'm gonna turn around and walk out the door. Right. I just feel frustrated right now.
Rita Black (29:51): Right. And it's so true. I mean, that's the same with weight management. Like, we have to sit with tough feelings in order to be resilient, in order to keep moving forward. And the more you do it, the more it used to get to it, and the less those feelings stop you, they just are part of who you are. Like what you're working through something.
Dr. Christine Li (30:13): Yeah. And I've, you know, we both work with patients who will argue for the argument that, you know, like, I'm not resilient, like I can't do this, this kind of thing. But I always think like there's gotta be, you know, maybe I haven't come up with the right tone or scenario or argument or conversation to help the person see it quite yet, but I always believe in my heart of heart there has to be a way. Right? Because it doesn't make sense that any of us would just be stuck, would just literally be stuck. I no longer believe in the concept of actually being stuck. And when you, when you make that mental shift in some ways, you leave more room open for other ideas to come in. And that's always, I think, helpful.
Rita Black (31:03): Alright. So what's number two that, I mean, that was really great. That was so enlightening. I love that idea of that delaying isn't really gonna help you. Okay.
Dr. Christine Li (31:14): Yeah. Just really make that your banner, your banner on your desktop. Right. No delay is worth it. Number two I would say is I see this a lot, and I think I do this oftentimes too when I'm not watching closely, is not being very, very clear on what your goal is. And this could be in the kitchen, this could be for your week. This could be how you want a certain conversation to go, right? We can know, okay, I need to have this interview. And I, I I, I've seen it all over the place with, with job interviews, that there's a feeling that you are the lesser person of the two. And that somehow you're vulnerable to whatever's going to happen instead of going in specifically with an idea of how you wanna show up with an idea of how you wanna, what you wanna get out of it and how you wanna get out of it. Right? You don't wanna come out of any conversation feeling like you've lost, you've lost a sense of yourself. You've been made vulnerable. We, we, I think, should try to do everything we can to make sure we're showing up as fully as possible. And that can be maybe your, your first mini training for developing a goal for yourself. Like, what would my fullest performance look like? And just have that as an idea, even if you don't quite get there, it's a good way to lead yourself into any situation. Instead of thinking, how am I gonna fall flat on my face? Which is a very common fear, you're gonna think to yourself, well, what if I surprised even myself? What if I went beyond my past performances? Let's think in that way. Let's try that on.
Rita Black (33:09): So are you, you're, you're thinking about like with, when you say goal to guide your mind to like the outcome and that feeling. Right? So it's not just the goal, like, I will get this job, but it's like, I'm gonna feel like I held my power during that job, that I connected with the person that I contributed to that person's life maybe. I think that's so brilliant. And so then, then holding that feeling and maybe getting a little more specific with yourself, like, or if you were gonna sit down, write the term papers, like, I'm gonna feel proud of what I've said and I've done it. And do you, do you, can you put a timeline on it? Do you think it helps to put a timeline? Like, I'm gonna complete it in two hours. I can get myself an hour break or not get an hour break, but you know, five minute break at the breaking it down, breaking it down, breaking it down too helps as well with regards to the goal.
Dr. Christine Li (34:05): Absolutely. Absolutely. You make me think of our mutual friend and acquaintance, Melanie Moore, who is a manifestation and vision boarding expert. And she helps people get what they desire. And I've learned so much from her. And one thing that comes to mind when I think of her was one of the vision boards that she did for herself included the outfit that she was going to wear during her book launch, her future book launch. And this was of course, before the book was ever written or completed that she's thinking far into the future presumably, and thinking about what she's going to wear. And I always thought, I, I don't remember the dress or the outfit, but I remember the concept that someone could really see themselves in the scene as having completed it. And I use that example because I think it helps us to learn, learn the concept, but also because we're not just setting these goals for ourselves, we're setting them for our brains.
Rita Black (35:16): Right.
Dr. Christine Li (35:16): It's not just for the task that we're saying, oh, I would like to do this then, and here's the schedule. We're guiding our brains towards how we wanna end up and our brain is set up to make sure that it is guiding us -
Rita Black (35:32): Do that for us. Right.
Dr. Christine Li (35:33): Giving us nudges and making our energy go in that direction as best as possible. I believe that. I think I've seen my own system act in that way when I've been clear. And that's why vision boards can be so magical. Some people don't believe in them, I personally do, because they really compress the time that it takes to access those goals. I've seen for myself, them work magically, but also I've been involved in the process. I've created the goal, I've specified that I want this and not all the other things that I could have put on that board.
Rita Black (36:14): And that's almost as important. Right. What you don't want. But what you do. Yeah.
Dr. Christine Li (36:18): Yeah. You have to be very, I I would say I, I am a big fan of vision boards. I do believe in them. And I also believe that you have to be very intentional about what you put on, because that's the universe will help you in all sorts of ways in funny, funny ways.
Rita Black (36:34): I agree with you. Oh my goodness. But that, I love that Melanie, because we both know Melanie, that of course she would think of what she's wearing cause she's very stylish and she's very put together. So of course that would make total sense. So that is, and and what you're saying is we're giving our brain a little roadmap. We're giving it that little you know, Siri, how do I get to this place? Oh, you take a right turn, then a left turn. Then you do this your brain does when, and, and, you know, with the reticular activation system, if we're, we feel the feeling like, I wanna feel this feeling, this is where I'm going, then the brain will filter out the other stuff and get you where you wanna go. So that's great. So we're, so we're not clear and we're, we're, we're delaying and we're not clear with our goals. Okay. So the opposite is to have a clear goal and to keep going, even if it means treading water, taking a five minute break. But, but getting right back. Okay. So I'm with you. I'm there now, what's the third piece? The third way that I'm getting my own way here with productivity.
Dr. Christine Li (37:46): Okay. I'm sorry. I keep derailing us from the, the orderly.
Rita Black (37:51): No, please. Derail away.
Dr. Christine Li (37:52): Okay. I wanna add to that second piece of well,
Rita Black (37:55): Please, please, yeah. If there's more, please. We want of not all the gold.
Dr. Christine Li (37:58): Because when we're not clear on our goals, what happens, we leave ourselves open for anything. And what happens when we leave ourselves open for anything? I think the probability of messy things happening, kind of increases. And I use the example of having, like a, people always talk about their spare bedrooms as that's a place where the junk accumulates. And that's because there oftentimes isn't really a specific function given to that or that
Rita Black (38:29): Spare bedroom
Dr. Christine Li (38:29): And I, I actually don't have a spare bedroom that I use in that way, I guess now. But in a recent cohort of, of clients that I've taken through a clutter challenge, I kept hearing the second bedroom, the second bedroom, and I kept wondering what's happening in these rooms? And it's really, it's really the, the indecision that leaves us open for anything. Right. If you're not deciding the sports equipment goes in and then the terrarium and then the, the extra cooking untensils.
Rita Black (39:02): That's true.
Dr. Christine Li (39:03): And then you don't know what's happening in there. And then it's, it's a much harder space to navigate. And I think that's a good analogy for, it's why it's important to be very specific about your goals.
Rita Black (39:15): Yes, absolutely. We don't have a second or a spare bedroom, but we do have an attic and we built it and we have a, you know, an old house and we had somebody come in and put floorboards down in the attic. And it has become, my husband's like, oh my gosh, you can't even go up there. It's like, you open up. Well, we've worked on, now we, we are organizing it, but it was insane. So, yeah, I totally agree. And so my, I think of my attic, when I think of an unspecific goal you know, just getting lost in the, all the clutter. That's great. So now number three.
Dr. Christine Li (39:55): Number three, thank you.
Rita Black (39:55): Last but not least.
Dr. Christine Li (39:57): Number three is a really important one. And I, I believe you and I know Melanie we're, we're really hued into language patterns and how we speak to ourselves. And I think the third mistake is that people see projects and challenges as being hard and labeling them as being hard. And I think that is a mistake easily. I, I would say that because we could easily just call the same thing. It's, it's an event, it's a challenge. It's the next thing on my to-do list. It's what I'm doing on Tuesday instead of calling it hard. And I think even saying the word hard for me these days makes me have a heavier feeling. It's interesting how energy is attached to these words, and we wanna keep ourselves really clear of words like difficult, impossible, should, hard, can't.
Dr. Christine Li (41:05): And when, when you have that awareness that those are trigger words and loaded words and unnecessary words and words that are part of our stories about how we can't do things, you'll probably be a lot better at keeping your language free and clear of that loaded stuff. And so then you'll start saying, oh, I can, I will. This will happen. This seems very doable. You start seeing the possibilities again, and you can see the theme, right? We're just gonna be more open. We're not running. When we're running, we can't see the possibilities. We, we are only trying to take care of our bodies and our safety, and we wanna just move beyond that level of performance. I think we all have those desires of really shining. I think that's in each of us, whether we realize it or not. And I'm, I love to, to see people recover quickly. Like, this is, this is not a, a long, it was a years long process for me, but it does not have to be for you. I think there, there's a lot of information now since, since my early years of recovery from this kind of dread and frustration. Now you have TikTok, I think you, you turn on TikTok and you find an inspirational story or something to lighten, lighten your own perspective. Or a coach who's, who's sharing a useful tip. There's so many different resources that we have access to now.
Rita Black (42:39): Yeah, it's true. And I, it, it is so true that those words just sort of like these big roadblocks in front of us, and just as the simple shift or word can open up your mind, I mean, again, I see all three of these as just different ways to use your mind more effectively to move towards being, getting whatever it is that you want that in that area of productivity. Where do you see people, I'm just kind of curious. So where do you see people? Do they, where do they beat themselves up in this process the most? I love the sound of your dog. I'm just saying hello, doggie in the background. My dog will, my dog will probably start barking soon too. That's they'll mutually say hello to each other.
Dr. Christine Li (43:29): Okay, well, Leonardo DaVinci says hi back. So thank you.
Rita Black (43:37): Oh I love that.
Dr. Christine Li (43:37): Oh, thank you. Where, where do people beat themselves up the most is the question?
Rita Black (43:42): Yeah. In, in that process. Are, is it like in the beginning, like in that first stage where they're like, oh gosh, I can't do this and I'm gonna like I'm gonna delay. Or is it,
Dr. Christine Li (43:57): I I think my, my first response is that we can, we can beat ourselves up for how we're brushing our teeth in the morning. That, you know, that there, there really is no space that is really protected from our inner voices when our inner voices really wanna take care of us in that kind of way. Yeah. But the way I said that is on purpose because I think you wanna get to a point where you see your functioning, the way you use your language, the way you think, the way you react to things is your body acting in its highest regard for you that it is so oriented towards your highest good. Whatever that means for you. But that it, it's not wired for failure. It's not wired to let you down. And so we wanna just support that beautiful system and that beautiful machine, and this beautiful opportunity that we have to have a good connection with ourselves. And a good connection with our operating system. It really is an, it's a very precious, very genius operating system that we each possess. And let's, let's take care of that system is, is really all that all of this is about.
Rita Black (45:14): Oh, so amazing. Now I have a question for you about COVID. Do you believe that COVID and what we went through has impacted productivity? Procrastination in, yeah. I, I mean, I think I've seen it, so I don't know, would have you recognize that in your students and your patients?
Dr. Christine Li (45:35): I, I believe it has. I think that's from my own observation of myself. And I mean, even just from a physical standpoint, I became so much more sedentary. I, I think, yes, we were all forced to be more sedentary in a way. Even if you were active before that, you were, we were literally forced to be less physically active. And I think that has likely a great effect on how we're thinking and how we're experiencing the world and each other. I do feel that people, I I, I think we're in an awkward phase. That's how I think about it, where we're trying to reconnect with a more vibrant, physically active, mentally active emotionally and socially active part of ourselves. But it's almost like, where has it gone? Because we're not fully, maybe even permitted to be like that. And things have kind of the, the way we socialize has changed so much because, because of social media, because of lockdowns and COVID. So I think we've gone through very dramatic changes. I think because of that, we should be even more eed into being kind to ourselves and allowing ourselves room to rest, room to think and feel and grieve and, and love and enjoy the day-to-day things that we might feel stressed over when we, when we don't take the time to think, oh, I need to really take care of myself in a deeper way.
Rita Black (47:11): Yeah. Oh, you have. So I just love the way you speak and you're so compassionate. And thank you I have so much to offer. I know you have, you have a tell us about you have an event coming up that's free that people can participate in. Will you tell us a little about this? I think they're gonna be really excited.
Dr. Christine Li (47:34): Yes. Thank you so much. I've run the Power Productivity Bootcamp for the past, I wanna say at least two years, maybe even three. And it's been really fun to operate. It is a combination of live trainings and live coaching calls, and then a party at the end so that you really get the experience that you've made a transition even in this free program, that you meet other people who might be struggling with the same things that you have a hard time navigating or you're curious about how to change your habits. And I've found that people come into this bootcamp from around the world with different experiences, different ages, different niches, different stages of life. And I love that because I find that if you're attracted to my work, I'm attracted to what you need me to help you with. And so it really is a collaborative positive environment.
Dr. Christine Li (48:38): And I do teach a lot about the mindset of successful performance and how to really make sure you get that consistency of your performance into your life. I think that's one of the, one of the goals, and I invite all of Rita's listeners to consider joining in the program. Starts March 21st, and it is a week long program. You don't need, you just need to come as you are and I'll take care of the rest. And the URL to register is procrastination coach.com/rita. Again, it's procrastinationcoach.com/rita. And if you have any questions for me, you can just email me or find me on social media. I'm on Instagram and TikTok, you can direct message me there. I'm procrastination coach all over the place.
Rita Black (49:37): I love it. And it, it, I know because I've had other students and clients take your free workshops and have worked with you and they love it. I, they get so mad and you deliver so much for, I mean, you think it's a free thing, but you deliver so much. And she is Christina working with you live during this. It's so generous of you. So.
Dr. Christine Li (50:05): Oh, thank you. Thanks for the compliment and, and the feedback. And I really do feel that that live energy exchange is powerful for both me and the people I work with. We all change and grow together. I think that's the best way to do it.
Rita Black (50:22): Oh, that's so great. Well, this has been fantastic. It's always great to have you on. I will look forward to having you on again. We have way more to talk about, but this we do is, I, I really those three specific things, I'm, I hope you all have them in your mind now because I have them in mind. We're, we're going to not delay. We, I'm just gonna do a quick recap. We are gonna set clear goals and and not delay. And then we are gonna tell ourselves a more powerful story. We're gonna get rid of that language. It's hard, it's impossible. I can't do that. And, and maybe, I don't know, people have started to get these little I mean, I know I can put post-its of the positive words I wanna have like, on in my room or in the space, but people have those what are they neon lights now that are, that say things like focus and, you know, maybe having one of those in your office or near in your space would be a great thing too.
Dr. Christine Li (51:26): I've thought about that, but I have enough trouble with the ring light and staring into that all day long, so I don't think I want another.
Rita Black (51:34): You're right. The ring light is enough. You are right. I, I love it. Well, maybe the ring light can just symbolize something like positivity or openness or something. Okay. this has been so great. Dr. Christine, thank you so much for coming on and being with us. And please procrastinationcoach.com/rita go get into her productivity bootcamp, Power Productivity bootcamp that starting on March 21st. Thank you for being with us.
Dr. Christine Li (52:09): Thank you, Rita. It's been a pleasure. Thank you everyone for listening.
Rita Black (52:13): Thank you so much, Dr. Li. That was so great to have you on. Again, I can't wait to have you on in the future, and don't forget to sign up for Dr. Li's Power Productivity Bootcamp. It's a five-day live training event free. Go to procrastinationcoach.com/rita, or you can find the link in the show notes. It signups are going on now. So hurry. It's, the doors are not open for long. And remember, also leave us a review. Take that picture, sign up on your favorite podcast. Wherever you are, you'll see a review link. Hit a review, make a review, take a picture of the review, send it to me, ritashiftweight mastery.com. That link is in the show notes. And then you will get a coupon for a free hypnosis download, and you will get entered into the contest for the free enrollment in the Shift Weight Mastery Process, the Spring Online Shift Weight Mastery Process coming up in May. So I will look forward to seeing your reviews and have an amazing week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.
Rita Black (53:38): You wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release, head on over to www shift weight mastery.com. That's www shift weight mastery.com, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking. Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss.
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