Success Podcast Post

Stop Wasting Time with Mridu Parikh

George Grombacher June 30, 2022

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Stop Wasting Time with Mridu Parikh

LifeBlood: We talked about how to stop wasting time, making the shift away from feeling like a failure to feeling like a success, wasting time versus planning for downtime, and how to give yourself permission to relax, with Mridu Parikh, Founder and Productivity Coach with Life is Organized.  

Listen to learn why planning is key in getting things done!

You can learn more about Mridu at, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Mridu Parikh

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on I’m left with this is George G. And the time is right. Welcome. Today’s guest strong and powerful read through Pareek review. Are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:18
I am so ready. Let’s go.

george grombacher 0:21
Let’s go. Right there is the founder and productivity coach with Life Is Organized. She’s a speaker and author and a podcaster. Ready to tell us a little bit about your personal life more about your work and why you do what you do?

Unknown Speaker 0:34
Yeah, well, first off, my mom of two teens, one’s almost off to college, which is crazy. I live in Nashville, Tennessee Music City, but originally from New York, and I’ve been doing my thing with Life Is Organized for almost 12 years now, which is hard to believe. And as you mentioned, I’m a productivity coach, I help women with growing businesses get on top of all their demands, and there’s distractions at work and at home. So I teach them how to prioritize systemize and get stuff off their plate, so they have more time and more brainspace.

george grombacher 1:13
Is there enough time to get everything done?

Unknown Speaker 1:17
There is never enough time to get anything done, which is one of the things that I want you to embrace like that to do list will always be there. You’re never trying to get to the bottom of that to do list because that would mean you’d stop growing.

george grombacher 1:29
Interesting, right? I don’t know that I ever thought, Oh, I’m actually done. I’m just done with my list. Do people think I’m going to be done at some point? And they get frustrated? What is? What? What are the problems? Like, like the big problem that you’re working to solve?

Unknown Speaker 1:48
Well as as it has to do with lists? Yeah, I think generally, we have about 100 things in our list, right. And even though we know we only have that many hours in a day, we’re still staring at that list. And when we don’t complete everything, it feels like a failure, instead of focusing on the success that you have had, right? All the things you have gotten done. So if there’s even if there’s 10 things on your list, and you complete seven, at the end of the day, we’re focusing on the three didn’t get done, you know. So I think there’s, that’s a big problem is sort of how do we really plan more accurately? How do we plan so that we do feel like a success every day, instead of like a failure. And really think through the steps and the time that each of the tasks take so that we can estimate more accurately. And again, you’ll feel really successful and awarded at the end of each day, which is my ultimate goal for you know, anyone that I’m speaking with, or talking with, or coaching with is just feeling really rewarded and successful.

george grombacher 2:45
What a huge shift that is. And I don’t know if it’s an easy shift or not. But if you’ve gotten, you know, three big things done, but you have six things on your list, you can look at that as oh my gosh, I got nothing done. Or you can look and say no, I got everything that really needed to be done. It was a big win.

Unknown Speaker 3:05
Yeah, absolutely. Just so I recommend that we start with a top five list every day. And that’s it. So you don’t have the 100 on your to do list, you don’t have even 10, you just have five, and you start with your five, and you nail those five, and then everything after that is gravy, right? So when you at the end of the day, you’re like, I got the five that said I was gonna get done, I got them done. And I feel great. And so if we start with less, we’re going to feel a lot better. At the end of the day.

george grombacher 3:32
I imagine that myself included, I underestimate how much time it takes me to actually do things is that is that your experience

Unknown Speaker 3:41
100%. And I can say that, honestly, like I’ve been teaching this for years and coaching for so long. And I still do that I still underestimate. So this is it’s a universal challenge and problem. But the way to really address it is to think through all the steps in any given task or project. And I feel like sometimes we think oh, they’ll just take me an hour, right? That’ll take me 30 minutes. And we’re not actually thinking through Well, actually, I need to first maybe you know, if we’re writing something like, like, have some time for brainstorming and then have some time to write an outline, and then have some time to write write points and then actually do a first draft and then the second draft. And now all of a sudden that 45 minutes is really more like an hour and a half or two hours. And so if we break it down and start thinking of each little step, you know, in that task, then we can start assigning kind of a time estimate for you and then you add it up and I’m like, Ah, no wonder I never get stuff done because I’ve just haven’t really been estimating my time. Well, and also it takes practice, like you really don’t know how long something takes because we’ve never timed it before. So that’s another thing I just you know, say just just start start somewhere, put a stake in the ground, pick a number and then test it and see how it works. And then you can say you know what, I was completely off. I totally underestimated that. Or maybe I thought that’s going to take much longer and a really when I plowed Do it it was 25 minutes.

george grombacher 5:02
Yeah, it’s such a bias. I don’t even know if it’s a bias or not. But it’s super human thing to do is just to say, I can get that done in 20 minutes, that’s that, that’s my interval of time that I can do anything in in the entire world is 20 minutes. But when you do actually break it down, and you look and see, okay, this is how much time it really takes me to do it. That that 100% Makes sense. Are we afraid to do that? Or just it doesn’t, it’s not common sense to do that.

Unknown Speaker 5:28
I think you really hit I think there’s a fear, there really is a fear. Because, again, if we go back to that list, it shortens your list from 10 to five, because now you’re like, in between my meetings and my Zoom calls, and you know, all the other kids activities, everything I have going on, I really only have three hours. And so I’m only going to get maybe those you know, four or five things done. And so yeah, and in the beginning, I think it’s almost like, well, it’s a sense of failure, because I’ve never shortened that last, but again, I think it will, it’ll end up feeling like a sense of success, because you will completed what you set out to do. And that’s really what builds up sort of motivation, that inspiration that it’s just like that, that Pat in the back. Like I actually complete what I achieved, what i Excuse me when I say I’m going to do so there is this fear of what I’m doing less than doing less, but really, the quality of what you’re doing is so much better. And the way that you’re feeling about it is so much more positive.

george grombacher 6:26
Like that, that’s so important. I find that if I’m not paying attention that that I’ll just waste time. And it’s not like I’m gonna waste an entire day. But it’s five minutes here, it’s 20 minutes there. And then I wonder, Well, geez, I didn’t feel like I didn’t get a lot done. But I ended up wasting a lot of time to do you find that that’s the case?

Unknown Speaker 6:50
For sure, for sure. And I think, you know, one hand, I think we can be really hard on ourselves, like we do need downtime. Everybody, we’re on the go, our mind is going all the time. So we do need some downtime. And we can just be working from one task to the next, the next the next to anything in between. But on the other hand, if it’s not kind of planned for downtime, if it’s not deliberate and intentional, well, yeah, that five minutes can spiral into 30 minutes, right, we’re like, I’ll just check my Instagram for five minutes. And then 25 minutes later, we’re still sitting there or put on the TV or doing the laundry or whatever it might be. So there really is nothing wrong with taking a break. In fact, it’s really good for you to recalibrate, we prophesize. Like just slow down a bit and take a deep breath. But being intentional about what are my boundaries around that How long will it be, you know, sort of like that reward? How long will I give myself, it’s like, it’s that next task. And if you’re more deliberate and intentional, again, even those, those breaks, they don’t feel bad anymore. We don’t feel like you’re wasting time you feel like I’m investing some time and a little bit of downtime. And that’s really helping me.

george grombacher 7:54
Yeah, I think it’s I know, for me, it’s important just that I’m honest with myself, because if I’m not working and I catch myself or when I do catch myself doing that, I will step away because I’m don’t I don’t want to waste time, I don’t want to lie to myself, I’m just not in a frame of mind or whatever, where I’m going to be getting things done, I’ll go do something else. And I’m not going to try to force myself to do something that my brain is just not willing to do at that time.

Unknown Speaker 8:19
Absolutely. And there’s a fine line between like, knowing that and being aware and you know, taking that deliberate action to do something else and then simply procrastinating. Right. And so it’s sort of like really, again, I think it’s the self awareness of am I just putting this off because it’s hard and challenging? Or am I putting it off because I’m truly just, I’m burnt out right now. You know, I’m truly exhausted. And it’s just tapping into that emotion to that feeling to that honesty, and making a decision from there on.

george grombacher 8:50
How do you think about what just came into my mind to sort of bucket in time, and then prioritizing because certainly my my wife and kids are really important. My work is really important. My health is really important. But not everything can be really important all the time. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 9:05
I love again. Well, you said bucketing well for me. So I was just planning I love that. I love that. You know, first of all, these are my top priorities. Here’s a three or four Moore’s most important things in my life. And then how do I plan my day to make time for them? I won’t be simultaneously we might be a little different pockets here and there but how do I make sure that that’s an intentional inclusion in my day? So you know working out for some people Yes, an hour makes a lot of sense. But for others, it might be a 20 minute walk in the morning and I’ll lift some weights you know, while I’m listening to a podcast later on in the evening, and family time a few minutes a morning and the later in the evening and so everything in life and for you know, I wish it could be 60 minutes, 60 minutes, 60 minute blocks, but it’s not like that, right? It’s integrated work life and everything going on. If you can plan that out and make sure those priorities are actually make it in your day. Well then you can have a more fulfilled life and you’re gonna feel so much more successful and And then that you feel like there’s such a snowball effect of that, right? The way you show up for your family, the way you show up for your clients and your colleagues, you just come with so much more success versus like feeling like I didn’t get it done, or I lost my day, I wasted my time. Like, that’s the worst feeling when you’re working from morning till evening. You’re doing all the things and all the people and get in the evening, you think, what did I get done today? Right? That’s like the worst, most frustrating feeling to feel.

george grombacher 10:31
For sure. I was just thinking about this yesterday morning. So our timing is perfect that a lot of the time. I imagine. And I’m sure that I do this, as well, that I put myself and people put themselves behind or second to everybody else that they’re caring for and, and, and, and taking care of I’m sure that this is really common for parents where maybe I don’t feel worthy, or I feel guilty if I start doing things instead of doing things to help other people like my family.

Unknown Speaker 11:06
Yeah. So I probably will sound like a broken record here. But I really think it comes down to what you’ve planned for versus what you decide to do at the moment. And I’ll tell you why. So for example, if you decided that you planned ahead that I’m going to prioritize working out tonight, I’m gonna prioritize my exercise I know just helps everybody, it’s like it’s a win win for all right, and you have that, like, I’m gonna go for foreign first thing in the morning, and you did it and you feel great, right? Or, if you don’t plan for it at all the mornings, all crazy, you’re distracted, you’re doing 100 things. And then you know, 9:10am runs around and you’re with the kids and like, I really feel like going for a run. But now I want to spend time with them. Now you’re really struggling, right, you’re struggling with the guilt of it versus I should be doing this, you know, spending time with them. I’m ticking away. And all of a sudden, like, there’s really great intention behind it is the same, right, you’re still taking care of yourself, you’re still it’s still a win win for everybody. But now you’ve added that element of confusion and, and guilt. Versus if there was a time that was set and deliberate, then you’re like, it’s not taking away, it’s really just adding into my day. So I think like, that’s a very undervalued kind of practice, to just think through your day. It doesn’t have to be totally regimented. I’m not saying every day has to be the same. I’m not saying take away all your creativity or spontaneity. But the things that are most important, if you plan for those during your day, you’re just gonna come out feeling so much better.

george grombacher 12:35
Yeah, I think I think it’s natural to feel like this is very constraining. But when I do that, when I set my day up the way that you’ve just described, I find that gives me way more freedom to be creative, just because I know that everything is going to be taken care of, and I’ve got to get everything in that really needs to be or I really want. And I think that if you’d never think about what you want a great day to look like, well, then how would you ever know what a great day looks like?

Unknown Speaker 13:01
Absolutely. There’s such a mental liberation. When you you know, when things are happening, right, and then you’re right. And then at the end of the day, or later in the day, you’re like, Oh my God, all that stuff done. Now I can just sit here and think or, or quote unquote, waste time, or be creative or be spontaneous, because I’ve gotten all those important things done.

george grombacher 13:22
Interesting, right, the term wasting time. And sometimes we do waste time, but also just sitting around and giving yourself time to ruminate or think or let your mind wander. It’s not necessarily wasting time. But we’re probably agree if we’ve done a good job conditioning ourselves to think of that as not pride is not a constructive use of time.

Unknown Speaker 13:46
Absolutely. An example might be like, it’s on a Saturday, right? You have all these things in your head, in your mind, you’re like, I’m gonna get through this like, checklist of all those things at home and with the kids and with work, whatever. But it’s 10am or 11am. You sit down and you start you put on Netflix, and then you end up binge watching all day, right? And you’re like it now it’s like dinner or lunchtime, and I’ve just been binge watching Netflix, and you feel just really crappy, right? You just like feel bad about yourself, right? You’ve wasted time. But let’s say now, same scenario, it’s a Saturday. And instead of thinking, I’m going to do all these things you’d like I’m just gonna give myself some rest today and allow myself to binge watch TV Netflix, and it’s a whole day goes by and you do it. It’s no longer wasting time, right? Because you’ve just given yourself a permission the outcome is still the same nothing has changed in the result. The result was the same. But because you were intentional about downtime now you feel good about it. Right? And so I think that’s that’s why I was saying earlier, it’s not everything. Time downtime isn’t wasted time. We just want it to be more intentional when we’re not intentional about it. That’s when it feels like we’re wasting it.

george grombacher 14:55
I love it. What I what I booked into my calendar, five hours of watching Have flex and I successfully execute it. Way to go, buddy.

Unknown Speaker 15:04
Exactly. Exactly like, you know what? I said I was gonna do it, I do it. And now I can do it more guilt free, right? You’re like I it’s something I thought about I made intention. And so you will you will come out feeling better about it. Yeah, no, I

george grombacher 15:18
think that that’s awesome and I was, you know a kid but it’s so true. I love the idea of giving yourself permission. And I think that that translates over into so many different areas of life. If I really love eating chocolate or cake Well, I give myself permission by eating properly throughout the week or exercising throughout the week, well, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about that same as how I’m spending my time. So totally love it. Well, really, the people are ready for that difference making tip, what do you have for them?

Unknown Speaker 15:51
Well, it may be no surprise right now. But I feel like you know, typically when we’re overwhelmed when we’re doing so much for so many people and across all these different areas of our lives, we feel like we need to do more and more and more, I think there’s a sense of like, if I just put my head down and plow through it, I’ll do more, I’ll do more, I’ll get through it. And so my tip would be, instead of more doing, do more planning, if you focus on the planning and essentially what we’ve been talking about, that’s where you’re really going to get the value because then you sort of step back, you get the clarity, you’re like what is most important? What are my top priorities? When will I get them done? How can I be intentional? And just so in those moments of chaos, it seems so counterintuitive to take the time to plan. But that really is the best strategy and gift that you can give yourself during that time.

george grombacher 16:40
Well, I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets a card reader thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with

Unknown Speaker 16:47
you. Now the best way to connect is over on Life Is Organized and all things Life Is Organized. But if your life is There’s a great free training there as well about how to really get control of your week. Also life is on Instagram, Facebook. And since you have podcast listeners, if anybody’s interested in all things time management, productivity, come on over to productivity on purpose, on anywhere, any platform that you listen to podcasts.

george grombacher 17:16
Love it. Well if you enjoyed this as much as I did shimmery through your your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to life is and check out the great resources take advantage of that free training, find them on Instagram and Facebook. And check out the productivity on purpose podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks again Rico.

Unknown Speaker 17:40
Thank you so much. This was great.

george grombacher 17:41
And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. It’s we’re all in this together.

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