working intuitively

entrepreneurship, podcast

August 18, 2020

Lindsey Clark

 

hello my friends, and welcome to episode number 123 of the daring romantics with lindsey eryn! and, i’m lindsey eryn.

all right, so i am back — i’ve got lots of thoughts. i always have thoughts, but i feel like i especially have a lot of thoughts every single day. i recently got active on twitter. if you guys are not on twitter, literally it’s my favorite platform right now, and I can just tweet for the rest of my life and be happy and not care about Instagram or Facebook, or anything else. I don’t know about you — I know I’m alone in that, but come on guys, Twitter is just something else.

I think it’s mostly because I’m a words person more than anything. like, I love words. you guys know that I love words because I’m a Chatty Cathy on here. also, I love looking up things in the dictionary.

But — I do think it’s important to know the definition of words, because it changes the whole entire conversation — which, yeah, we won’t even go into that. But — the dictionary and the thesaurus — two very important things that everybody should have in their life.

so, I have completely surprised myself throughout quarantine — mainly with the fact that I now read a lot of political books, and I just never thought that that was going to be me. you know, I just didn’t think that it was in the cards for me to care about politics, but alas — here we are, and I read politics and listen to political podcasts all day, everyday. But don’t worry, this is not about to become a political podcast in any way, shape, or form — because, Lord knows, we don’t need more of those thoughts on the internet.

but what also has surprised me is, the way that I’ve been working. And, I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, because we are in quarantine and still California has never been opened up, it’s been locked down this whole entire time since March. literally, I just, I mean, yeah, I’m not even going to go into it — like, we all remember two weeks, we thought it was going to be. and here we are, 5 months later.

all that to say, we’re working under different circumstances, so of course our workload is going to be different, and of course we are going to interact and feel differently about our work in this season.

and one of the effects of all of this — is that I’m just tired, almost all of the time. and I speak energy into myself all the time, and I say affirmations about energy, and I’m actively trying to focus on being energized, but I realize that I can speak all of these things into existence, but I still need to pair faith and action together. like anything, and this included. so therefore, if I am tired, I need to take a look at my schedule, and see how I can shift things around, so that I’m creating a schedule that gives life back to me, and so that I’m creating a schedule that is working with my Natural Energy, instead of against it.

so, for example, and I’m sure that we can all attest to this — when you are supposed to perform task “a” yet you don’t have the energy to perform the task, it’s going to feel a million times harder. Right? so, even take for example, recording this podcast episode. If I try to record a podcast episode when I have natural energy and I feel energized and I feel inspired to talk and I feel inspired to share ideas — recording the podcast episode is going to be so incredibly easy and it’s actually going to fee-life giving to me.

but — on the flip side, if I try to record a podcast episode really late at night when I don’t really have energy, but I’m only doing it to be consistent in something, and to just check something off of a list, that same podcast episode is going to feel so much heavier, and so much more draining than if I just would have done it when I had the Natural Energy or if I would have waited to do it when I had the Natural Energy to do it.

so basically — when I had the Revelation that, again, everything in life is faith in action, right? …your words are powerful but action has to be paired with words in order for them to become Dynamic and Unstoppable — I started realizing, “okay, you need to shift your schedule around.”

And, I think initially that was really hard for me, because, I’ve been so consistent in my schedule and the way that I do things for the past seven years, you know, and it’s very much shaped by what is culturally acceptable and what is culturally known, you know, we work Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 40 hours a week — and we work according to a to-do list and we work according to this schedule that is created and everybody follows the same schedule for the most part.

but what I started noticing, was that just because I was putting in the hours, doesn’t mean that I was actually making progress or being productive or getting the results that I wanted.

so I was showing up and “putting in the work” — but not even feeling confident about what I was producing. And, as creatives, I think that when we work like this we do ourselves such a disservice, because we’re showing up and pumping out work like it’s a factory, rather than showing up to a studio and acting like an artist — taking time and working diligently.

Which — side note, guys, I did a whole word study on “diligence” and “consistency” because I read the Proverbs every morning, and it always talks about working diligently — and it never, ever says consistency. it never says work consistently, work consistently — it always says work diligently. it always uses the word diligence and it’s never mentioned consistency.

and, for me, that’s huge! because I’m huge on her repeated themes, right? and in our culture, we prize consistency, we honor consistency. but consistency — it’s really interesting. so the word consistent means, “the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary; acting or doing something in the same way over time; unchanging in nature or standard.” and, I’m just going to say this and be real honest — it is hard for me to be super consistent and unchanging in nature or standard, because I’m a human being. so, how I am on Monday is not how I’m going to be on Wednesday. how I am this week is not how it was three weeks ago or how I’m going to be in three weeks, because I am human.

And the events around us are constantly changing, and I can’t guarantee that I am going to be able to produce in the same way next week that I am this week. I think that consistency is all about achieving Perfection. it’s the factory. but diligence — the definition of diligence, is
having or showing care and Consciousness in one’s work or duties.”

and so, it’s also interesting to see the popularity of the words, right? so, in the 1800s, the word consistency was barely used. and then, in the 2000s, the word consistency started becoming more popular, and ever since the 2000s, the word consistency is used consistently. it’s always used. it has been on the up and up.

and again, I think that we can all attest to that, for the fact that, so many Instagram posts are about that, so many email blasts that we get in her inbox are about that, so many podcast episodes are about how to be more consistent — we just hear it all the time. like it’s literally such a cultural fad to talk about consistency. and I’m guilty of it! you know, I’m so guilty of it. but it’s interesting to see the word diligence, and how the word diligence was really popular in the 1800s, and then it has had a steady decline ever since. it’s barely used in our language. people barely use the word diligence in our everyday lingo and exchange and in talking about entrepreneurship, in talking about dreams coming true and pursuing goals — diligence is hardly ever used.

But in my opinion, if we’re going to strive for something, we should strive to be diligent. because diligent is actually attainable and sustainable. consistency isn’t. we are going to waver. we’re human beings, we’re not robots, we’re not factories. we’re human beings! and, as we’ve learned this year, anything can happen at any point in time and change how we show up!

meaning that we are going to waver in our Performance. that’s just the reality of the situation. so, when we strive for consistency, what we’re striving for is perfection. we’re striving for this Factory mentality. but when you strive for diligence, it’s like an artist who cares so much about their work, and is so passionate about what they’re creating, that they show up because they care. because they believe in their work. it’s not about perfection, it’s not about performance —it’s about a responsibility and ownership of ideas. it’s about feeling something is your duty, in this really beautiful way, in this way of contributing something to the world. diligence is more about purpose then it is about quantity. it’s about meaning, more than it is about just delivering something just to deliver something.

and so, man, when I did this word study — honestly, it wrecked my world. like, it just switched a lot of things for me! and I think that understanding the difference between diligence and consistency, therefore, gave me the permission to change my work schedule. because I realize, what I do, is all about producing something that is going to impact people’s lives.

I’m not in this for the metrics, I’m not in this for the numbers, I’m not in this for the glory of anything. I’m in my line of work — whether it be producing content, or helping people with websites and branding, or through creating affirmations on an app — I’m in this to impact people’s lives. I’m in this to encourage people, to inspire people, and to give them the tools that they need in order to reach their dreams. everything I do is centered around purpose and meaning and adding value to people’s lives.

it’s not about just pumping things out for the sake of pumping things out. I realized, I’m not a factory — I’m an artist, in many different ways, and, I pour myself into my work, I don’t just show up to a job and check things off a to do list. I actually give myself to my writings, to this podcast, to the app, to my clients, and to their ideas. It’s not like I just sit down at a computer and all of a sudden words pop-up, or a design pops up. No — it’s actually giving of myself, that’s part of creation, right? you give something of yourself in order to create — it’s an outpouring of yourself.

which means you’re going to expend energy in such a different way than just doing random admin work. or just cleaning house, or just doing something that’s mindless. when you’re giving of yourself, you are expending so much more energy, than if you were just doing mindless work.

right? so that’s why we have to pay attention to our energy levels, and work with our energy levels, instead of against our energy levels — so that we can produce quality work. because when we start to treat our work like a factory, and we’re just paying attention to a to-do list, and clocking in our hours, we end up losing sight of our why. and the things that we were once passionate about and so excited to do, and produce, and create, and make — they end up feeling like a chore more than anything. because we’ve somehow turned our passions into this mindless to-do list, instead of this thing that we do that not just gives life to us, but gives life to other people as well.

you know, there’s that thought that — “your plate is always full, but you’re never fulfilled” — and so why is that? it’s because we’re treating our work like a factory, rather than some artisanal craft.

So eventually, as creatives and entrepreneurs, if we keep trying to just clock in hours and “be consistent” more than we are diligent — if we keep on aiming for Perfection and performance, rather than showing care for our work and that’s why we’re motivated to show up — we’re going to feel it. it’s going to take a ware on us. that way of thinking and moving and creating is going to manifest negatively in our lives!

we’ll start to feel overwhelmed and overworked — we’ll start to feel stressed out and like we don’t have any direction. we’ll start feeling like we’re not good enough, or our work isn’t good enough, or getting us to where we want to go. and yeah, sometimes we’ll feel way overly influenced by other people’s opinions and the trends that we’re seeing, and compare ourselves to where other people are. So — at the end of it, we’re feeling like I’m always busy, my plate is always full, but I’m never fulfilled and I’m never actually where I want to be. so, the only way to change this, is to change the way that we work, and to change the way that we interact with our work.

and I can say this confidently, because I have experienced this! right? like, in the season, I have been experiencing the tiredness, the overwhelm, the overwork, all of the things. and I literally — when I sit back, and I think about why, I can see it so clearly! the past couple months, I’ve just been showing up to my work in a different way, in a different mindset, and I’ve been treating all of my passions just like a to-do list — I’ve got to get this done, I’ve got to get this, and I’ve got to get this done. In some senses, I’ve reduced my passions to a list, to a to-do list.

and I’m by no means knocking a to-do list. I fully believe in having a to-do list and knowing what action steps you need to take, but I do think that there is a balance of not just trying to get things done for the sake of trying to get things done — but working in alignment with your energy, so that you are producing high-quality work with excellence and effectiveness. that’s my aim!

I want to work smarter, not harder! I want to produce my best work with as much joy and passion as humanly possible! and that is deciding to show up diligently, rather than in this unattainable, consistent way.

and so, when I had this revelation a couple weeks back, I started asking myself what this would look like. And — I started paying attention to my energy levels — when did I have energy, when I not have energy, how long did I have energy for?

and so, initially I thought I was going to maybe start doing half days, and then I just felt like that wasn’t the right fit for me. and so, then I just started paying attention to the fact that I could have two really awesome, long work days. and I would be on fire, and just whipping stuff out, and proud of my work, and feel so energized, and so alive and like I’m making these awesome strides. and then come day three, I just felt dead. I would wake up feeling like I got hit by a bus, and like I was useless to myself, and to the rest of the world.

and, despite how I felt, because I was so trained to live this conventional working life, I would continue to wake up, continue to try to work, but the whole entire day would just be such a dud because I didn’t have the energy! I was working out of alignment with my natural energy!

and so, I started recognizing this, and so, I was just like, okay, I think I’m going to start taking Wednesdays off! and just allow myself to do whatever I want to do on Wednesday. and so, I did this a couple weeks back, and, I gave myself permission — I consciously gave myself permission — because if I don’t consciously give myself permission, I don’t know about you, but I can feel really guilty for doing different things. Like, I have to know that it’s okay to take the day off and to enjoy myself, and just to be leisure, or else I will feel the stress of a to-do list that is waiting for me, that is being pushed aside and ignored.

and so I consciously gave myself that permission so I wouldn’t feel any unnecessary stress. and I went to Starbucks, and I sat outside, and I read a book, and I came home, and I did some laundry, and I took a nap, and I read some more, and then I wrote because I wanted to write, and I, as the day went on — my energy levels legitimately increased — so by the time it reached like 5 or 6 p.m., I was so energized! I felt so inspired, I felt so excited to get back to work, I literally wanted to pull out my computer and start doing client projects because I had so many ideas for my clients. and, I was just like, “Lindsey, wait. finish this day of rest, finish this day of leisure. finished this day of refueling, and tomorrow you can get back to it.”

so, following that Wednesday, so the next day, Thursday, I was so excited to wake up, and so excited to work, I literally felt like a little kid on the first day of school — who’s just like geeking out that they get to go to school. I felt like I was geeking out that I get to go to work.

and that’s how it should be! like, we should be waking up excited to go live out our passion and to work on our dream! and, I just realized, okay Lindsey this is what you have to do! this is unconventional, but this is what you have to do! forget the conventional and the traditional way of doing things — you don’t even have a traditional job. like, tradition didn’t want you; they, wouldn’t give you a job when you went looking for it back in 2009. and so, this is why you’re where you are at, is because tradition kicked you out, and said go figure it out on your own, and you created your own unconventional job.

with that in mind — if you’re a creative entrepreneur, it’s okay to then create an unconventional schedule! like, why are we trying to work like the rest of the world, when obviously we don’t function like the rest of the world, or else we would be at a 9-to-5 like a lot of our friends and peers. clearly, the 9-to-5 was not meant for certain people, myself included! and so, therefore, why are we trying to push ourselves to fit into this cookie-cutter scheduled that doesn’t work for us? we shouldn’t! if we want to produce our best work, if we want to be diligent in our work, if we want to produce quality, if we want to work with passion and with joy, then we have to stop doing what’s conventional, and start doing what’s right for us!

Because — all of us as human beings are different, and what works for me, isn’t going to work for you. and so by no means am I saying to work two days and take your third day off. if that works for you — awesome. That may not work for you. but, what your job is, is to figure out what does work for you and to create a sustainable schedule around that. Right? Because, it’s all about — and this is entrepreneurship too — trusting your intuition. trusting that you know what the right thing to do is, and moving in that direction.

so, here’s my suggestion: pay attention to your energy levels. if you are feeling, like, stressed out, overworked, overburdened, over-whatever, if you are Googling “fatigue, symptoms of fatigue,” then maybe you need to rethink how you work, and how you have your schedule set up.

So, start paying attention to your energy levels! when do you have natural energy? how long do you have energy for? when do you hit a slump and need to recharge? pay attention to all those things. if you need to, literally write it down on a piece of paper or keep it in your iPhone, start documenting your energy levels — from morning to evening, and then even on a weekly and monthly basis.

because, we are cyclical human beings — we live in patterns and we live in rhythms. and, we each have a different internal clock, and we each have different energy levels and different rhythms. and so, we need to be paying attention to those! you know, we talk about intuitive eating, why don’t we talk about intuitive working?

if it works for our bodies to break down food, then maybe it also works for the way that we live our lives and produce and create.

Okay, so the 2nd suggestion that I would have, is to give yourself the freedom to create a new schedule. recognize that, you’re the boss! you’re the head honcho. you’re the main person — you get to make the rules! this invisible boss does not exist! if you’re a creative entrepreneur, you are the boss, so you make the rules, you set the schedule! just because the rest of the world Works 9-5 doesn’t mean that you have to. just because the rest of the world Works 5 days consecutively, Monday through Friday, doesn’t mean that you have to. you’re the boss! and not just that — it’s your life! so don’t let Society and what’s culturally normal impact how you do things. make the decision for yourself that you are going to fully design your life, even by creating your own schedule.

okay, and with that, know that Also within a day, you’re allowed to engineer what that day looks like. you’re allowed to design what your day looks like. So, it’s okay if it looks different than it did six months ago, right? if you’re going to be your most creative self in the morning, in this season, then spend all of your morning doing the creative work. then spend the afternoons doing the admin work.

Or if, vice versa, you’re feeling like in the mornings are a little bit sluggish, and you just need to get some of that mindless work done, do the admin and the emails then, when it doesn’t take that much Creative Energy — and then save all of your deep creative work for when you have creative energy, and when you feel inspired, and when you feel motivated to put in the work and show up creatively. again, it’s all about trusting your instinct and following the ebb and flow of your energy. and so, just pay attention and, if your schedule looks different than it did last week, that’s totally okay! the whole goal is to work with yourself and with your energy and with your inspiration — knowing that when you work in alignment with your energy, you’re actually going to be more productive and produce better-quality work.

okay, the last suggestion which I kind of already mentioned, is just to work alongside of your ebb and flow. we all have a natural Rhythm, we all have a natural ebb and flow, so work alongside of it! stop Trying to fight against it in order to fit this view of Entrepreneurship or this view of being a creative that you think that you need to fit. You are a creative, which means you are your own person — so, create your schedule like that! …for your week, for your day, for your month — it’s okay if it doesn’t look like everybody else’s, because guess what? you’re not like everybody else. and that’s okay!

I’m really confident that if we began to allow ourselves to work intuitively, that we are going to see a surge of creativity in our lives, and we are going to see ourselves become energized. and, I’m already experiencing it myself — I feel so incredibly creative, so incredibly excited to work. I feel such a renewed sense of joy, and that’s what we need! if we really want to change the world with our ideas, we need to have some Joy backing up our passion. because people can feel passion and people can feel Joy. and when there’s no joy and passion in your work, being honest, it’s a little stale. and it’s not that exciting or interesting. and your joy is what makes your work come alive — and so, if you can find ways to bring more energy and joy into your work, then that’s what you need to do!

So — give yourself the room and the space to figure that out. and, I really believe that when that happens, you’ll be less stressed, you’ll feel less overwhelmed, and you’ll find yourself creating meaningful work that you’re proud of! because you’re following your intuition.

so that’s my challenge, is, if you are feeling like you’re on the verge of burnout, if you are feeling overworked and overtired and too stressed out to even handle — then I challenge you to look at your schedule, and to start working intuitively. to give yourself permission to do things differently because you were born to disrupt culture. and the fact is, you’re not going to be able to do that if you’re too tired and too worn out in order to create and to produce in the way that you were meant to. you have an unconventional job for a reason, because you were designed to do something completely unconventional and something that leaves a lasting Legacy in this world.

so don’t hesitate to ask yourself the hard questions, in order to help you get there. ask yourself and evaluate your life and your schedule and your energy, and see if what you’re doing is actually coinciding and helping you get to where you want to go.

are you working in alignment with when you feel energized and inspired and motivated? or are you just forcing yourself to do something because you’ve got to get things done, and you’ve got to cross things off a to-do list?

I really believe that when we start treating our work like an artist, when we start just showing up because we care so deeply about our work — instead of trying to show up like we’re a factory worker, that we’re going to see a huge shift in our work. we’re going to see a shift in how people interact with our work, and we’ll realize that this shift is because of how we’re working and how we’re feeling as we produce.

there’s a joy that’s attached to our work that’s undeniable. it makes our work attractive in ways that consistency could never make our work look.

I think that there’s something to be said about diligence, and showing up because you care about your work, not just because you’re trying to achieve Perfection and performance.

so let’s dare to do things differently. and may be unconventional, but let’s recognize that there is Beauty in even the unconventional things. and that maybe by doing things differently, we’ll get different results, and that in our quest to take care of ourselves, and to live a life that is sustainable, that we’ll find that our work actually has deeper impact in the world, because it comes from a place of deep healing, a place of renewal, of place of Health, a place of joy, and a place of Wonder and awe and magic.

in our quest for success and driven by wild ambition — may we never forget that quality trumps quantity, every single time. and, if we can show up to the world offering the best of us, while still being kind to ourselves, we’ll reach success — in ways that we never even imagined, in ways that are far better than anything that we could have ever hoped for.

so, we’ve got this, my friends! I hope that this week, you give yourself the permission to look at your schedule and do things differently, and to work intuitively, knowing that you’re not sacrificing anything, but rather, you’re giving life to yourself and to your work.

you got this my friend! there’s magic in your bones.

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