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Be Better Than Busy with Maureen Falvey!
Hi everyone. It’s Jenn DeWall, and on this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit Podcast, I sat down with Maureen Falvey to talk about how we can be better than busy. Because here’s the thing, many of us are likely running around in our days feeling extremely busy. There are so many items on our to-do list, but here’s the thing I want you to reflect on. Busyness does not mean fulfillment. Just because we’re busy, it doesn’t mean that we’re happy, that we’re feeling good about our choices, or that we’re even prioritizing what’s most important to us. And that’s what the conversation is today.
Meet Maureen Falvey, Executive Coach and Author
Jenn DeWall: But before we jump into it, let me tell you a little bit more about Maureen. Maureen comes with over 25 years of business leadership experience, partnering with clients such as Proctor and Gamble, general Mills, Burger King, and United Airlines at top advertising shops, including Grey, Saatchi and Saatchi and mcgarrybowen. Over the years, she has designed countless mentoring, training and leadership programs for her teams. Simply put, Maureen is an activator. She uses strategic questions and positivity to meet people where they’re at and then take them where they want to go. So let’s do it. Let’s be better than busy.
Maureen, I am so happy to be talking with you. I mean the notion of today’s topic, how to be better than busy, maximize your time for the greatest fulfillment, even the expression better than busy. I just feel like it empowers me when I hear those words. I’m so excited to be talking about this. Maureen, thank you so much for coming to The Leadership Habit today. It’s so great to have you.
Maureen Falvey: I’m thrilled to be with you today, Jenn.
What does Better than Busy Mean?
Jenn DeWall: Oh my gosh. So better than busy. That’s what, that’s what’s gonna be our focus. I know we’re gonna dive into it. We’re gonna talk about the tips and tricks because, obviously all of us are so used to just living our lives and autopilot busy as ever. We’ve got so much to do. But before we dive into that, Maureen, I would love to just introduce you to our audience. If you could go ahead and tell us about yourself, how it came to be, how you came to be, how you even became interested in this topic of being better than busy, even though I think, gosh, thank goodness you wrote a book on it because everyone actually needs to hear this
Maureen Falvey: Wonderful. Thank you. Yes. So I was I was in advertising for many, many years. It was a giant playground and I love the challenges we were solving. And my family, they’re all therapists by the way, would always ask me, when are you gonna join the family business? And I would laugh and Never say because your business model like you, what you’re doing take so long. And I don’t mean to make light of it, they save lives every day. It’s wonderful. But I’ve always been curious about what is the strategy that we could take on that would not only help us be better than busy, but just have great lives. Right? To never look back at the end of our, our week or our month or the year or God forbid our life and say what just happened? And so I’ve been on this journey in my ad career now as a coach and a trainer and a speaker as to really to wake people up and say, the best life happens when it happens on purpose. I have a strong belief that nothing great happens accidentally. So it happens by design. And so I’ve been on this mission in the work that I do and in the book that I co-authored to help people be better than busy.
Jenn DeWall: I just love your perspective on wanting to help people maximize to live life with intention. I don’t know, you know, I think sometimes all of us get caught up in o autopilot. And I hate to say it because I think sometimes the people that might have a greater awareness around the fragility of our time are the ones that might have gone through, you know, those life altering like earthquakes, right? Or I, I’ve heard someone call them life quakes, which I really like that term. And how do we help people realize that we’ve got to wake up and be more intentional with how we are actually using this beautiful gift of time? I love that message. Because that’s, that’s it, right? We get one short time here on this earth. How the heck do we wanna live it <laugh>, like, it’s so important. So let’s, let’s dive into it. So what does it even mean to be better than busy from your perspective? You wrote the book The 25th, or you co-wrote a chapter in the book, Peak Performance: Mindset Tools for Entrepreneurs, The 25th Hour. Maybe we should start there. So what was the purpose of writing the 25th hour chapter in your book?
Do You Wish You Had a 25th Hour in the Day?
Maureen Falvey: Yeah, I guess it’s twofold. Listen, like what, what do we hear from people? You know, we say, say, how are you? How many times do you hear back? Someone says, I’m busy. And you know what? We all are like, I still haven’t met a human who doesn’t fill their 24 hours. <Laugh>. I haven’t met that person yet. If you’re a housewife or you’re a CEO or you’re a bank or a business, right? You feel your 24 hours so busy is just like, it’s kind of a four letter word. It’s just not, it’s not, it doesn’t vibrate at a high frequency and it kind of telegraphs to people that you don’t have your act together as if life is happening to you and not for you. And so part of it is just this response of how when I say to someone, how are you doing?
And they say, I’m busy. I know they don’t feel good saying it and I’m not particularly energized hearing it. And I also hear people say all the time, oh, if only I had a 25th hour, an extra hour in the day, I crush it. And I sort of, you know, warmly say, you wouldn’t right? You, you first of all, there is no 25th hour. But second of all, you probably just throw it away the same way you do the 24 you were given. Unless you get super intentional and you plan for it and you know what your values are, what do you wanna honor today? You know what your priorities are. Without that, how do I know what to say yes and no to? Right? Right. We have to, and then we design it and then it’s very easy. No gets really easy cuz it’s not a part of my plan.
No gets really easy because that was 30th and my list of priorities. So it’s very easy. It’s very easy to see what to say yes and no to. So that was it. And I, you know, in that 25th hour, I just I I would be far more interested in taking an hour away and telling someone they have 23 and seeing which hour they would fight to get back and then saying, how do we plan to have more of those? Right. Everybody you fight for every hour in your day. And so that’s where that came from. Yeah.
Jenn DeWall: Sorry to interrupt. I’m so sorry to interrupt you. What are some of the, like if, have you asked that question? So if I took away one hour, what one would you fight for? Have you asked that question to your clients and what did they say? What was the maybe were there themes that you noticed in terms of what they would fight for?
Which Part of Your Day Are You Willing to Fight For?
Maureen Falvey: It’s interesting, we’re social beings which is wonderful belonging Maslow’s hierarchy. It’s so important to us. And during the pandemic we realized how much we did or didn’t miss connecting. But the hour most people miss and it matters what matters to you. But the hour most people miss is the quiet time. The morning is usually what comes up. More so than evening. Right At the end of the day we seem to, as we go about the day, some of us are more so in reactive mode. We’ve lost control of the day. The time thieves have taken a bunch of things. We let it happen. But that silence, that quiet in the morning before we start reacting is the hour people want the most. And so I say as a coach, the first question I ask is, what is the benefit of that hour to you?
And they start to talk about the outcome and the ripple effect of having that time to breathe, whether it’s meditation or silence or a walk in nature, walking their dog. What is the ripple effect of that? And they talk about the joy and they talk about how they’re ready for the day and there’s a sense of preparedness, there’s a sense of confidence. So now they’re attracted to that hour cuz they’ve just thought, thought about all the great benefits. The next question I ask cuz I’d be crazy not to, is what, if it’s anything is in the way of having two hours like that? What, if anything, is in the way of ending your day the same way? And we talk about the obstacles and then we move them together and we put a plan together to have more of that wonderful part enjoy that they had at the beginning of the day. And it’s usually around, the thing that’s in the way is usually around not being mindful. Obviously not having a plan, but not being conscious of our yeses and nos. Right? We go about the rest of the day pleasing or we’ve just lost all of that sense. We don’t have a priority, there’s nothing to bring us back to center. So it just all kind of starts to fall apart.
Jenn DeWall: Oh my God, I, that was a beautiful response of, because I think most people do admire that thinking time, the quiet time. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, but we don’t realize how much that fills us and how it allows us to approach our day with just a different attitude. I think that’s beautiful and surprising. I’m surprised by that almost to hear that that’s the one. But it makes total sense because that’s when we get to quiet the noise. We’re not caught up in that, as you said, like the reactive mode. I love that. And so when we think about better than busy, it’s living our life with intention. What do you think, you know, gets in our way? So what are some of the obstacles that get in our way? Why do you feel like we’re not as fulfilled or we’re not able to do it?
How to be a Chief Editing Officer for Your Life
Maureen Falvey: Yeah. it’s surprisingly simple. We’re just, it’s like right in front of us and we’re just not grabbing it. There’s some external barriers and there’s one internal barrier. So the external barriers to being better than busy to being fulfilled, right? To is you could look to time management and you could block and tackle, right? So that’s an external barrier is I don’t have enough time, but you actually do. So Harvard Business Review did a study of the most effective Fortune 500 CEOs and how they spend their time and on Sunday night they look at their 168 hours for the week and they block and they tackle and they move. And they’re what Greg McKeown who wrote a book called Essentialism. He says, A CEO is actually a chief editing officer. And that what we cut is of supreme importance in staying aligned with our plan and our purpose.
So they do a lot of cutting and they move things around. And what’s interesting is about if you design your time that way, these Fortune 500 CEOs enjoy their weekends. They take their vacation, they have hobbies. When is the last time you know, all of you? What did we, did we net or bake bread Maybe during the pandemic we did, but they have hobbies. So when we get, when we master our time and we are in charge of it versus reacting, we get a whole lot. Right? A lot of time we might get that second hour of joy in there <laugh>, right? So they block it and it also makes it easier to say yes and no. So it’s the, the, the time management piece is super important. Being aligned with our values. Self-Awareness, I guess. I mean to say like what is it that you wanna honor today?
Be Better than Busy by Working in Sprints Instead of Marathons
Maureen Falvey: What works for you and what doesn’t? And so looking at time plans, designs, priorities, recovery is super important. So tell Ben Shahar says the problem’s, not that we’re working too hard, is that we’re not recovering enough. So we definitely wanna put time in there for that. We’re busy when we’re not recovering. If you’re constantly on, there isn’t a chance for us to nurture and restore. We’re not, the way we’re working is kind of broken, right? It’s a holdover from the industrial revolution of like four. It’s, I wish it were 40 hour. I know for many of us it’s, it’s far more. But the suggestion to be better than busy is to work like an athlete trains in sprints and bursts. So you go for 90 minutes hard, right? Master something, go for it. And then you recover. They suggest for 20 or 30 minutes, even if you don’t have that, sometimes three deep breaths, but the recovery has you better than busy. But the internal stuff can be a little harder.
Jenn DeWall: I’m definitely thinking of all the internal stuff that I have right now,
Maureen Falvey: <Laugh>, right? You have to know your worth in order to cut, don’t you? You have to know that you deserve to put your no’s and your yeses in the right place and have some detractors. Some people might not like that and that has to be okay. But what’s great is when you know what your values are and your priorities, when someone asks you to do something that’s in conflict with commitment, that’s important. You get to say, I’d love to, but I have a commitment. They don’t need to know what the commitment is. I don’t need any judgment around what that thing was. I have a commitment. And in doing so, interestingly enough, you increase your reputation with that person as someone who does what they say they’re gonna do next time. I have a commitment to you. You, you can bet I’m gonna keep it. But the internal stuff is harder. It is harder, right? It’s a lifelong journey of self-love and compassion and knowing we’re worth it.
Jenn DeWall: That’s, that is the hardest. I mean, I love talking about confidence probably because it’s something that still struggle with. Even though people would be like, oh, Jenn, she’s so extroverted. She’s naturally gotta be glowing with confidence. But on the other side of being better than busy, I find myself overscheduled because I never wanna let someone down. Mm-Hmm. I never want to say no to someone. I don’t want people to feel like I don’t care, I don’t want to jeopardize potential. But I would say business opportunities or opportunities for growth and maybe for a leader it might be feeling like if I say no, then they’re not gonna consider me for that promotion. And if I say no, then my team is gonna be mad at me. And I, I feel like I have that. And I, I feel like some of our listeners might also experience it that because it’s so easy to just say yes to everything, if you feel like it’s, you know, based on that external validation, like, I wanna make sure that you like me.
And we even just talked about that example prior, prior too, of what I’m going through of like, oh my gosh, I have to actually, now that I understand the scope of a project a lot differently, I have to go and have the difficult conversation. And this is one of the first times that I’m really gonna advocate for my worth because I can’t actually say yes to this with the in new information that I have. And sometimes that’s hard, right? I’m sure that there are some leaders that overcommit and they don’t realize the full scope of something. And then how do you come back from that? I mean, there’s so much there, Maureen!
Making a Commitment to Yourself
Maureen Falvey: There’s so much there, right? But imagine this, so I we’re creatures of habit and that can be really bad, but it can be really good. And so if we designed a contract with ourselves that very clearly on a page said, what’s in and out of scope? What am I gonna say yes to? What am I gonna say no to? What do I wanna honor? Then I can, even if I’m feeling what do I call it, wonky or squishy inside or not super confident, I go back to the contract and the promise I made to myself, I will only say yes to projects that are in line with my worth, my compensation. Right? Right. So you say it and it becomes very easy. So then what you get to do, and I think this is kinda cool, is you can, you can feel, I don’t know, insecure and make the bold move anyway because it’s in your contract.
It’s the promise you made to yourself. And then in doing so, in advocating for ourself and putting our yeses and nos in the right place, the confidence gets stronger and it gets easier and easier to build that habit of saying no when it doesn’t serve us. There’s a exercise that I do. Marie Kondo just came up again in the New York Times last week. She’s so fantastic. But she wrote that book, the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Yeah. And now she’s moved into– And so, and I love that she did this cuz I, I saw it was coming before I, years ago would say, let’s Marie Kondo our lives <laugh>. And now she’s doing that meaning what, let’s say I asked you can you co-author a book with me, right? It’s gonna take 50 hours and I can’t pay you anything.
But blah, blah blah, blah. What doesn’t matter. The invitation is to hold the request. Just like she suggests we go into the closet and you hold a sweater and you say, does it bring me joy? And give yourself time to say, does this bring me joy? Is writing that book with Maureen aligned with my values? Is it in the contract I made to myself? Right? So where do I look to see? But we say yes so quickly that we don’t even know if we’ve dishonored ourselves. We just don’t even know. It’s just hardwire. Especially unfortunately oftentimes as women we were raised to please and to smile and to serve. And as my wonderful mother says, if you’re not full, you have nothing to give. It is a self-care is a win-win. Everybody wins when we slow down our yeses, everybody wins. When we, when we Marie Kondo that stuff. <Laugh>
Jenn DeWall: Yes. You cannot fill from an empty cup. Yeah. And, but I mean, I know that that’s still, cause I think people might be listening to this and say like, oh, well I know that, but they’re still not doing it and you know, they’re still not doing it. Which means that they still have, and I know that you, I know you’ve got a point of view of this. I know you do. How do you work with your clients and helping them overcome the fear of the consequence of the No? Like how do you work with them to say like, it’s okay. Yeah. If you know, like, cause I think part of it, the research says that most of us assume that people will think bad on us, but they actually won’t unless maybe there’s unhealthy relationships or lack of boundaries, or they’re not necessarily thinking about our best interest, but yet we’re still gonna operate on the fact that people will think less of us. Yeah. And we’re afraid of the consequences. Any tips on how you might, you know, guide a client that’s experiencing that fear of like, but I can’t, I know my values. I know it’s important to me. But I just can’t.
What Does a Good Day Look Like to You?
Maureen Falvey: The first place we would start is building on the language you just used, what will people think of me? I wanna know what you think of you. The most important question is what do you, what are you most proud of? What does a good day look like for you? And the first question I want you to ask is, at the end of the day, am I proud of me? Right? And what do you actually, what is the benefit of having the whole world love you? Of pleasing all of these other people? So there was a book that was banned in my house, <laugh>, that everyone loves. So sometimes people get upset when I say this, but the giving tree <laugh>. And so we had four daughters in our house growing up. And if you remember the giving tree, there’s, it’s a relationship between a boy and a tree.
And the boy as he grows, continues to take more from the tree, builds a house with it. The, the whatever, and he gets a shade from the branches. And at the end of the book, the tree is a stump and the boy is now an old man and the tree says, what can I, what can I do for you now? And he tries to make itself big as it can, but it’s a stump. And the boy says, the old man says, I just wanna rest. And he sits down on the stump.
This infuriated my mother. She said, no daughter of mine will end up a stump. That story should ha the way love works is the tree would’ve flourished from the love from the boy and it would’ve had twice as many branches and twice as many leaves. So we’re not reading this book in this house. Now, someone since has rewritten that book, I think about a year or two years ago. So I love that with a different ending with the flourishing. So my mother was one step ahead, <laugh>.
Jenn DeWall: Oh my gosh, I love that.
Maureen Falvey: But like in this service, if you end up with nothing, who wins in that? I work with a lot of people who are people pleasers and they end up burnt out. And now you can’t please anybody. So a lot of people who are like hospice workers and helping professions, therapists burn out a lot cuz they didn’t fill their cup. So I interrogate a little bit, what is that wanting that pleasing to come from other people that report card to come from others. What is that costing you? And can you live with it? Yeah. If it’s a year from now and you’re still guided by what other people think of you, how is that working for you?
What’s happening in your life? What is the ripple effect of that? And 99.999% of the time, they say, I can’t live with that. Yeah. It’s actually the greatest deathbed regret. People think it’s. I wish I had spent less time in the office. The number one deathbed regret is I wish I would’ve lived my life according to my expectations. Not everyone else’s expectation of me. How about that? Oh my gosh. So it’s, and then people say, great, but then that gremlin inside that tells us we’re garbage is still gonna rear its ugly head. So we make a plan for that. What are we gonna do when it says you’re not good enough? You shouldn’t do this. You should say yes. People won’t love you. Right? What do we do then? And because, right, that’s just our brain. I wanna look at it like that’s our brain trying to keep us safe. Can we be grateful for it? Why are we fighting against this? Say thank you. Thank you for trying to keep me safe. Thank you for helping me be aware of other people. I’m gonna do just, but I’m in charge. I’m gonna take just as much as I need. So I have a little story about that. Would you like to hear it,
Jenn DeWall: Yes. Absolutely.
Be Afraid— But Do It Anyway
Maureen Falvey: We’re dealing with fear. So we’ve got some four little words of the busy and the fear. All right, so what do we do with this fear thing? The reality is it’s probably never going to go away. And I don’t necessarily want it to, like, what is on the other side of no fear, probably some recklessness, probably a lack of empathy, right? So our brain thinks like, it wants to make us say, we wanna get embarrassed. We don’t wanna fall into a hole or drink spoiled milk. So sometimes it’s actually quite helpful. But a friend of mine is a fear coach. That’s all she does. Jenn, is she coaches people around fear. And she, she was interviewing a bullfighter in Spain on the topic of fear. She happens to be Spanish. Whose father was gored to death in the ring.
Jenn DeWall: Wow.
Maureen Falvey: And she said, talk to us about fear. And he said, I don’t fight it. If I go into that ring and I have no fear, I’ll die. And if I go into that ring and I have too much fear, same thing. So I do the craziest thing. I just notice it. Sometimes I even talk to it. Hello, fear. I see you’re here to do your job. Thank you, thank you. I’m gonna take just as much as I need to go into that ring and do my job and say no thanks to the rest. Cause I just don’t need it. I just don’t need it. So one of my favorite things to put on a sticky note in front of beautiful humans is be scared and do it anyway. <Laugh>. Yeah. Go. If you can go back to the right, go back to the contract and the promise, I care less about how you feel. I always say to people, I didn’t ask you how you feel. I mean, I love you. I didn’t ask you how you feel. I asked you what you want. I asked you who you are. Be guided by that because you know, Ilia Capto, who’s the fastest runner in the world, he says, only the discipline ones in life are free. Otherwise, we’re swayed to our feelings and our moods and our, I don’t feel like it’s, I didn’t ask you how you feel. I asked you what you want. I asked you who you are.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. I love that. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I feel like, again, that hits hard for me, right? Of like, just coming back to that fear and like, do it anyways. Like, advocate for yourself. Even if you’re afraid, you got to be the one. Because if you’re not your own cheerleader, who the heck is gonna stop in and say, no, no, no, Jenn, I’m sorry Jenn just made an agreement that actually does not align with her. Like, I don’t have an assistant or someone that will do that for me. And I have to learn to do that for myself. I’m saying, oh wait, wait, wait, wait. The, the excited Jenn got a little ahead of herself or maybe didn’t think about this. And I need to even give myself permission to come back and advocate for myself.
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How to Start Being Better Than Busy
Jenn DeWall: Okay, let’s dive into it. Thanks. I know that you have took some techniques on how to live your life to be better than busy. So let’s dive into those. What, so I know that you had talked about, you know, values. What, what’s the starting point? If we wanna live our lives better than easy. I love that. Like giving fear, you know, be afraid but do it anyway, I think that’s such a helpful, helpful quote. But where do you start to live your life more on purpose and better than busy?
Maureen Falvey: I think the first thing you need is an accountability partner. We’re not great at humans. It holding ourselves accountable, it feels really good when we do, I know we wanna do more of it, but we let ourselves off the hook or we fall prey to fear or I don’t know the moods that I mentioned before. So I think in accountability, I know accountable. That’s what I am as a coach. I’m your accountability partner. You’re gonna tell me what your goal is, what you want, and then we’re gonna make it happen. We’re gonna move anything that’s in the way, and we’re gonna put the plan together with such specificity that it can’t not happen.
So I would find an accountability partner or a coach, someone who cares about you deeply, to put that plan together so that you don’t let yourself off the hook. So that’s the first thing I would say. And I, some of it we’ve mentioned, start with the outer stuff cuz it’s a tiny bit easier, right? Just block into look at your 168 hours, right? For, for actually, you know, where you could start. I love, so when we ask people how they’re doing and they say busy plan for a different answer, a starting point is, how are you Jenn?
Jenn DeWall: I am great today. I’m feeling happy. <Laugh> I’m busy.
Maureen Falvey: Right now, by the way, just neuroscience your, your insights just right. You just got a little dopamine hit. So we, so language matters, neurolinguistics programming, this stuff matters. So what is a, what is an answer that you, so we’re practicing this on my team right now at Strong Training and Coaching. What? Because we’re all busy, we don’t let ourselves use that word. I’m really excited. I’ve got a wonderful full plate. Oh, I have so many challenges ahead today. Can’t wait to jump into them. Right? So what is a better answer? We can’t know what to say yes and no to until again. First step is what are my values, right? It was an example would be freedom. An example would be creativity, collaboration, prestige could be one. So my, my strongest value is freedom. So it helps me figure out what to say yes and no to. Cuz if something is gonna conflict with my ability to feel free to design my day, I don’t like that. Right? And so I already am like someone asked me for something and I think about my values, right? Someone ask me for something and I think about my priorities. If I don’t have somewhere listed out what my greatest priority is for the day, how would I know whether I can or can’t do this thing for someone,
Jenn DeWall: Right!
Don’t Live Your Life Accidentally
Maureen Falvey: I’m living accidentally when I’m just saying yes to stuff just keeps coming in because I don’t have a plan, I don’t have. So we’ve gotta have that in and out of scope. What am I gonna say yes to? You can do it overall for your life. Do it every day, beginning of the day. What do I want? What’s my most important priority? What am I gonna say yes to? What am I gonna say no to? How will I hold myself accountable? Oh that’s right. I told Jenn I wasn’t gonna do that or I was gonna do this. Right? So we get real specific and granular on some of that. We pop it in the calendar, we move things around. We may need to enroll some people in our plan of being better than busy. So we train people how to use our time, don’t we?
Right? Somebody, I can’t believe this is still happening, but I work with a lot of business leaders who will say, God, I’m constantly double and triple booked. What? <laugh>. So there may be some people you need to enroll in your new plan, which is I noticed you have a habit of double booking me. Right? The consequence of that is that I cannot be fully present when you or anyone else needs me and my work suffers and therefore the company will fall apart and loses money. La la la. So let people know the consequence, they aren’t just bad people, right? But why you’re saying no. So going forward, if you see a block in my calendar, you are welcome to call me. I’ll see if I, if yours is a greater need, but I’m busy, I have a commitment. So there may be some people you need to re-enroll in your new plan to be better than busy because you’ve trained some people just take your, to take your time when they want it.
Jenn DeWall: And I think a lot of organizations, at least I heard from it and I was more surprised hearing from some leaders talking about how I am busy on my calendar. Yet people keep scheduling meetings over that and you know, common sense would say if you see that someone is busy, then they’re busy. But yet I think you’re right. People have, organizations have trained to not necessarily even respect calendars even when they have those times blocked out. And so, coming back to having an establishing group norms, if someone is busy, they’re busy and not doing that. And it’s, it’s interesting because I saw this even with my husband and I were traveling. He had the day off and someone looked at his calendar, saw that he had a day off and they were like, but can you still just can you just still like jump on later?
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. And it’s, I I just, what do we have to do? Because there’s this piece where we’ve all been conditioned to be available at any point in time. And so it’s treated this, or I guess it’s created this expectation that we all have to be turned on all the time and mental health is suffering. We’ve, we’re seeing this everywhere, but yet who is responsible for that? Is it our own advocacy of starting to push back? Is it integrating that and within our executive leadership team so they can push down? Like, you know, we all have to take accountability for the fact that things aren’t right right now and we’re not respecting people’s time. Yeah. Because there’s that flip side of you can do all the things, but then tthere has to be a culture of respecting that as well. Yeah. Like where it’s not just on you to be like, Hey, please can I focus on what I committed to to do a great job? Like you’ve gotta respect that. I wanna do a good job.
Maureen Falvey: Yeah.
Jenn DeWall: We’re gonna have time off <laugh>.
The Way We Work is Broken
Maureen Falvey: Yeah. The, the way, so this will be our next book that we do, Jenn, but the way we work is broken. It is severely broken. Shoving more into the day the speed at which we work, the lack of any recovery whatsoever. The way that it’s perceived as a weakness when we need a break, it’s just so broken. That is called recovery, right? This go speak to any Olympic athlete. They build recovery into their training sessions. Of course they do. Why aren’t we doing the same with work with our brain, with our sleep, with our rest? Ariana Huffington, right? She has a whole organization called Thrive now because she woke up in a pool of her own blood from passing out from sheer exhaustion. And she woke up. I hope it doesn’t take that for us to wake up. Oftentimes, unfortunately, I see that it does.
What did you call it– life quakes–before something interrupts our life in illness or a sadness or a grief or a loss and we say I’m gonna do things differently. Now what if you started now without some horrible provocation <laugh>, right? What if you started this business of life and living it well, according to your values and your priorities now? And guess what? Everybody wins when you do that. Everybody wins. And so I love that you brought in the corporation and the culture and I’ll, I’ll, I will speak to that. But the first thing is, first of all, there may be a better word to put in the calendar than busy. Maybe commitment is better. I don’t want any judgment about it. I just want the word in there. I am a committed person to whatever I’m doing. That’s none of your business during this hour. <Laugh>, right?
Jenn DeWall: I love that. I love that. Yeah. Committed.
Maureen Falvey: I’m committed during this time. Yeah. I’m committed. And so as far as the the organization and the culture I don’t know that we have to worry too much about hierarchy. I had a boss who was 24 at one point and she, we were working on something in her office and our boss came in and he said Melissa, I need you to do this thing. I don’t remember what it was. And she said, I’d love to, but I am committed to the priority you gave me yesterday. So what do you want me to do with this one? So she didn’t walk away saying, Ooh, the boss asked me to do this. I’ll just shove it all in and work 16 hours. She said, what do you want me to do with this other thing? <Laugh>? I thought that was so cool. We can also, when we’re practicing honoring our commitments and it’s going well, knock, knock, knock on boss person’s door or zoom.
Hey, I’ve been trying something different. I’m working like an athlete trains. It’s been amazing. I’ve never been so energized. I’m sure you’ve noticed too, I’ve gotten twice as much done in fewer hours. La la la la la. What do you think would need to be true for more of us to do that? Is this something I could speak to the company about? What are your best practices? So you’re saying it respectfully, right? I’m just noticing I did this thing. You’re not making the person wrong, but we can build a better culture. One choice and one conversation at a time. Don’t give up. We’re broken. And because we’re not leading our life by design, the whole reason I do this work is I want people to live and work on purpose instead of by accident. Right? Is that we’re just allowing everything to keep happening accidentally. Right. Start the process right now of one inspired action and then PR it and tell everybody what worked.
Jenn DeWall: I love That.
Be Better than Busy One Choice and One Conversation at a Time
Maureen Falvey: And build it. One choice and one conversation at a time.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. One small step in having that. But also, I mean I think people respect your boundaries when you have them. I think sometimes people are like, I wish I did that. Yeah. So maybe even taking that consideration that someone else is likely struggling with it too. And they are admiring you for your boundaries and you’re giving them permission and power to live their life with intention and purpose. I know that every time someone does that for me, my two best friends are the best people at setting boundaries. They do not care if it is not for them. They’re not doing it. I am terrible cause I have a people pleaser and I feel like those two are my counsels all the time. Like Jenn, who cares? Like, I would not do that. Like don’t do that. That sounds like it doesn’t bring you joy, it doesn’t make you happy. They might be sad, but who cares? And you know, understanding that I appreciate my friends that have boundaries so much more because they’re like showing me and they’re giving courage over time to say, wait, I’m not gonna do that. Why am I doing this? Or I just sit there envious of them because they made that conscious choice not to do something that I’m at that I don’t wanna be at that I’m like, gosh, why did I not do that? Yeah,
Maureen Falvey: You walk away so someone’s upset, okay, you don’t, maybe you don’t like me, right? I like me <laugh>.
Jenn DeWall: Yes. And that’s the hardest lesson in life. I think we’re just so conditioned to like, because of going back to how we started with that belonging and wanting to feel connected mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and wanting to be liked that it’s so easy. And I do this all the time. I work on confidence every day with people and I still struggle with confidence. It is never going to be this point of mastery because so long as I’m growing and dying, I’m going to be expanding and I’m gonna be a new territory and I’m gonna have to work through my stuff again. Yeah. But you know, living that life on purpose and just continuing to like advocate for yourself, like I wholeheartedly agree with you Maureen, of like li helping empowering people to realize that because we have one special gift and, and one special gift of life. And if people want it now, again, I was 25 when my dad had a life altering stroke that put him in a nursing home at 54 and my mom had a mental breakdown that put her outta the workforce out of I would say even reality. Mm-Hmm. At 54. And I sat there as a 25 year old being like, wow, if I have 30 good years left before my health is gone, what do I wanna do? And too often again, it’s that tragedy that people that makes people move when we all have the choice every single day to be moving in that direction to maximize our happiness.
Maureen Falvey: That’s so great. Like when, when is it a good time to wake up?
Jenn DeWall: Right now!
Maureen Falvey: When do you wanna start? You know, it sounds very Oprah-like when do you wanna start the rest of your life and what is actually in the way? Because the good news is– it’s you! Which means you can change it, right? It means you can change it. Yay. What a wonderful epiphany.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. You don’t need a million dollars. You don’t need like blank. You can actually just shift it yourself with your mindset in your choices and everything that Maureen has been saying, getting in touch with your values and what’s important to you in prioritizing your life, in accordance with your values and what’s important to you and who you want to be and what brings you joy. Maureen, I just have loved this conversation, but I want to give you an opportunity to help our audience find how they can get in touch with you. So how can they connect with you if they wanted to learn more about you, the book that you co-wrote, with a chapter about the 25th Hour or even invest in your services, how can they get to know more about you?
Where to Find More from Maureen Falvey
Maureen Falvey: Yeah, so as I mentioned upfront, thank you for asking, I’m the lead coach and trainer at Strong Training and Coaching, and we love what we do, and we’re always looking for opportunities to do more of it. Most of us have, well, all of us have had at least 20 years of leadership experience. We’re coaches, and we’re trainers. So we can pull, if we’re in a coaching session, we can pull the training module off the shelf to move you through that block even more quickly. And the coaching serves the training as well. So it’s at markstrongcoaching.com. The book that you mentioned as well, it’s okay, I co-authored it with some of the coolest people but it’s called Peak Performance Mindset Tools for Entrepreneurs by Eric Seversen and 24 Other world-class experts in their fields. And there’s some really good stuff in there.
So my chapter is on the 25th hour, Better Than Busy. So you’re welcome to look for that. It’s a quick, what would it take you time-wise, putting your calendar 15 minutes to read that chapter all around having a better answer than busy. Right? So MarkStrongCoaching.com. We are here for you. If I can serve as your accountability partner, I would love that. And I am just over here wishing all, all of you all the joy that comes from being in charge of your day, your week, your month, your year, your life through your time, your choices, your values, your priorities, and your plan.
Jenn DeWall: Yes, I love that. And this is gonna be airing right at the start of 2023. So I hope that to all of our audience that you take this message today and use it as motivation, as just, you know, just that extra push that you need to really create and live your life by design this year. Maureen, thank you so much for coming on the show. It was a great conversation, and I’m so grateful to have had you.
Maureen Falvey: It’s my pleasure, Jenn. So wonderful to have this time together.
Jenn DeWall: Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I hope that you reflected in your thinking on how you can create and design a different life to be better than busy. Now, as Maureen shared with us, if you want to connect with her, you can head on over to markstrongcoaching.com to find additional information about Maureen as well as additional resources. And if you know someone that could benefit from hearing this podcast episode because maybe they’re suffering from chronic busyness, share this with them. And, of course, don’t forget to leave us a review on your favorite podcast streaming platform. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.