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How To Be Productive Without Burning Out

· productivity,self care,discipline,visionary,energy

Recently, a friend commented that I was one of the most disciplined and productive people he knows and that he could never be like me. I mentioned this to my mom, and her first thought was..."You work too hard! Everyone's thinking 'poor Katy...she has to do so much!'"

I was taken aback by how my mom thought about it, and I felt the need to explain and defend myself.

"I have to be disciplined and productive this year," I said. 

For those of you who don't know, I've gone back to school. I have 30 days left before I'm finished with a comprehensive (and accelerated) 9 month financial planning course through UC Berkeley's online program, which consists of 4 hours of live classes plus about 10-15 hours of homework, studying, quizzes and exams per week. In November, I'm going to take the Board Exam to get the designation. Besides that, I have a full load of clients and tasks, related to the clients and my business (like writing and publishing this blog), that's at the top of my Get-To-Do list. Without discipline and productivity, how am I ever going to get through it all?

Recently, on this post, I mentioned that I've gotten a little burned out. I've been emotionally eating, and subsequently, spending more on food, like take out! I went to Vegas last weekend to recharge, as you read in last week's post. However, I still needed a day this past week to just binge watch shows and spend a day in my pajamas. I caught up on Handmaid's Tale, Big Little Lies and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Have you seen any of those shows?

It was exactly what I needed.

So...this post is for me, as well as for you. It's what I've learned this year, so far, to be as productive, as I want, without burning myself out...

#1 Self Care

I know. We hear this A LOT lately. I never even knew what self care was, until a couple of years ago! Now, I'm reminded that if I don't do the things that are good for me and my health, I'll get burned out. You know how you're on a plane and the flight attendants say to put your own mask on first and then your child's mask? I never understood why, until I understood self care. If you put your mask on first, your brain won't be panicked at the loss of oxygen in your system and that will help you to be more calm and efficient when helping your child put on his or her own oxygen mask.

It's the same with life on the ground.

If you or I take care of ourselves with getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, exercising at least 20 minutes a day, and eating more vegetables, it will make us less anxious and more calm and efficient when we start tackling our debts, studies, or other work on our list.

So, here's what I try and do each day:

  • Meditate at least 1x per day, as soon as I wake up. I aim for 20, but there are some days it's only 25 seconds of Box Breathing -- Breathe in for 5 counts, Hold for 5 Counts, Release for 5 counts, and then do nothing for 5 counts. Repeat 5 times.
  • Exercise. I try to aim for 30 minutes each day, but there are some days, it's only a 10-15 minute Qigong sequence I do that really helps move the Chi around in my body. Ideally, I would love to do an hour of yoga, pilates, hip hop, running or walking each day.
  • Do something that aligns with my core values! (For me, it's usually something creative, like writing or listening to music!)

#2 Schedule It

I have a "Get To Do" list. It's something I learned from Master Coach Christine Hassler. Instead of calling it a "To Do" list, you make the subtle mindset shift that these are the things you GET to do. (How lucky am I that I get to do these things?) Then, you want to ask God/The Universe to assist you with the ones that you may find challenging. After writing out this list, I put it into my online calendar.

When I first thought about doing the financial planning course, I didn't know how I was going to manage 14-20 hours of school work on top of my client work. I put a lot of thought, energy and time into my clients because it's truly what I love to do. Even with the CFP designation, the coaching part of my business will always come FIRST.

When I sat down to Time Block it, I was surprised that I could do it!

Time Block Exercise at Beginning of Year

A lot has changed since I did the Time Blocking Exercise above. I actually take clients on Fridays now...I'm not doing Acupressure, and I definitely study on the weekends! However, this kind of time blocking, which Business Coach Dallas Travers taught me, was instrumental in me even saying yes, I can do this!

Of course, from week to week and day to day, I put everything into my Google Calendar, including when I wake up, when I meditate, exercise, eat, play AND when I work on my own household budget and when my husband and I do our "money dates."

#3 Change It Up, Relax, Play & Reward

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "All work and no play makes Jack (or Jane) a dull boy (or girl)!" If you haven't, you must not live in the Western Hemisphere.

I believe in changing things up. I have my morning routine where I do the self care steps (see #1), but then I try and change things up. Like today, I studied for a couple of hours and then I made some breakfast. Then, I studied some more, and made my lunch, while watching a video interview with financial author, Ramit Sethi. Then, I went back to studying, until I felt like I couldn't study anymore. I took a break and went for a walk. Afterwards, I came home and wrote this blog post. After this is written, I'm going to start making dinner and perhaps watch a TV show.

I have to change things up, for my mind to function optimally. I also have to remember to relax and play during the day or even take a whole day to play! And...I like to reward myself (with something healthy, like dancing) when I finish a chapter in my textbook or cross off some other huge task on that Get To Do List.

This also applies to your money. If you're living on a strict "budget" and just staying home, in order to pay off your debts, I guarantee that at some point, you're going to rebel and go on a bit of a spending spree or at the very least, abandon that budget completely. So, instead, why not try and spend towards what's important to you? What do you truly value? Don't know what that is? Well, maybe my 30 Day Money Habit Challenge will help...

#4 Ask For Help, including Paid Help

From Coach and Business Guru, Marie Forleo, I learned "You can have it all. You just can't do it all."

Let that sink in.

It's so true! Even if you're not ready, it's important to start asking for help. Hire someone!

I don't think we're ever quite ready, but as soon as I hired my first team member, I immediately had a big need for him, and he's been so instrumental in freeing up my time and doing the tasks that I don't love to do.

I also have someone who comes to clean my house and a gardener who comes once a month to weed, trim, and maintain the yard.

It's so important that we ask for help, and if you can realistically pay for it, then it's actually better to hire someone who can probably do the task in less time than you.

Since time is money, you're actually making more money with this tip! will free you up to really be the visionary of your dreams, so that you can have more energy and passion for the things you must do to have an extraordinary life!

Here's to Productivity, without having to really work at it! As always, With Gratitude,

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Do you need help healing your productivity? If so, I've joined forces with 4 other coaches on an amazing 12 month membership course (with live coaching!), called Heal Your Productivity. You'll learn how to truly transform the way you do things, so that you can truly be unstoppable with your business, your health, your relationships, your energy, your life goals and of course, with your money (which is what I'm teaching!). Just click HERE to get more details!

Also, if you're in the Los Angeles area, I'm hosting another workshop with the awesome Laverne McKinnon (Life Coach and Executive Producer of Netflix's Girlboss) and Executive Coach Sandie Bass. Check out the Workshop Page to see the testimonials from the last workshop we held. It's going to be Sunday, September 22nd. Send an email to:, and I'll send you more details! If you sign up now, you'll get early bird pricing! Yay!

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