Have you ever caught yourself putting your business over your personal health and well being?
I’m guilty, as well as most all business owners (both new and established) I know.
It’s the common struggle we all face as it’s so easy to give your business and your to do list priority over your health. But I’m constantly reminded that if we don’t take care of our health first, our business won’t last. Because we won’t last.
In an age of burnout and overwhelm, I’m excited to have a timely chat with health consultant for entrepreneurs and host of the Becoming Limitless podcast Tanessa Shears who shares how busy business owners can maintain their well being by managing sleep, focus and energy while building the business.
This conversation was very timely for me and really challenged me to look at my health priorities so I hope it hits right for you as well no matter where you are in your journey!
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
03:36 – Greeting to Tanessa
06:10 – Start with sleep
08:36 – Sleep habits
10:57 – Wear a Fitbit to bed
13:36 – Reducing awake time
16:29 – Melatonin
19:57 – Just your brain
26:03 – “Focus” expectations
31:52 – Routine and habits
35:32 – Plan intentional mornings
37:47 – Effects of light
39:23 – How to adjust levers
42:06 – Expecting self pushback
46:29 – Intentional discomfort
49:16 – Sliding blocks
51:56 – Being self-aware
59:32 – Results are priority
1:02:32 – Productive or busy work
1:04:23 – Answering emails
1:07:39 – Performance capacity
Connect with Tanessa:
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #218 Full Transcription
[00:00:00] Josh: Hello friends. Welcome in to episode 218. We’re gonna start this one off with asking you a question. Have you ever caught yourself putting your business over your personal health and wellbeing?
[00:00:15] Josh: Mm, yep. Probably I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it. Virtually every business owner I’ve ever worked with or known has done this as well. It is like the common struggle that we all face, especially as a business owner and as an online entrepreneur, your business can very easily overshadow every aspect of your life.
[00:00:39] Josh: And when it comes to your personal health, it’s the easiest thing that I’ve found to neglect because there’s just. Responsibility with your business with growing it. And if you’re a family person, you’re gonna have more expenses and bills. And before you know it, the first thing you do when you get up is dive into business.
[00:00:55] Josh: The last thing you do before you go to sleep is wrap up business. And it is a dangerous, dangerous trap. If you prioritize business over your health, but we probably all know where this leads, right? If you don’t prioritize your health, guess what happens to your business? It not gonna go well, that’s why it’s so important to have constant reminders to prioritize your health.
[00:01:19] Josh: So I wanted to do an episode specifically on this to challenge you. I’m in a place in life right now where things are just a little chaotic. We’re preparing for, uh, my third baby coming here in a few weeks. So it’s easy for me just to feel like I need to do all the business things and put myself last.
[00:01:34] Josh: But I, this was such a, a timely and challenging reminder for me to put my health first. And I wanna challenge you as well to do this. So for this talk, I’m very excited to bring on a health consultant for entrepreneurs. This is Tenesha shears, and I love that. That is her title, because a lot of people in the quote unquote health world, I feel like they don’t necessarily get entrepreneurs totally and, and what we go through and how much we take on mentally, emotionally, physically everyth.
[00:02:04] Josh: But Tanessa does because she’s an online entrepreneur herself. She has made her goal to help online entrepreneurs with their health and prioritizing their health so that they can build their business, but also have energy and, and sustainability. So in this chat, it was really cool because we focused on a lot of the things that lead to being a sustainable all online entrepreneur. We talk about focus, sleep, and how to practically prioritize your health while building your BI business, no matter what stage of life you’re in.
[00:02:33] Josh: So I’m so excited to see what you gain and, and what challenges that, that you feel from this episode. Tena was just a really great guest to talk to. She’s also, by the way, the host of a podcast called the becoming limitless podcast, which I would highly recommend checking out after you hear this episode. And before we dive into this one, Tena has a resource for you.
[00:02:54] Josh: You can go to her website @tanessashears.com slash energy, and she has got a free playbook for you that takes a lot of the discussions and topics that we talk about here, but is kind of a more tactile listed out approach for you. If you would like a little more.
[00:03:09] Josh: So’s tanessashears.com/energy, I’d highly recommend going there after this one. And without further ado, here’s Tena the entrepreneurs health consultant. We’re gonna talk, sleep, focus, and how to prioritize you so you can run your business effectively. Gosh, I needed this one and I hope this one helps you out as well, too. All right, let’s dive then.
[00:03:31] Josh: Tanessa, welcome on to the show. Thanks for taking some time to chat today here.
[00:03:36] Tanessa: Hey, thanks for having me on today. I’m looking forward to this convers.
[00:03:40] Josh: I love that you started out with a blatant Canadian, uh, accent already with an a, uh, now I hear, so we mentioned before we went live, you are from, uh, British Columbia, right? Vancouver.
[00:03:52] Tanessa: Yeah. I’m in Vancouver.
[00:03:53] Josh: Is that common across all of Canada? Or is that a misnomer that everyone in the Canada says a,
[00:04:00] Tanessa: you know what, the funny thing is, I didn’t even hear, I said it, which is the great part about it, but from what I’ve told, I haven’t done much traveling within Canada, but I’ve heard that the further east you go, the more prominent the, a gets, especially if you get all the way into like the Atlantic provinces
[00:04:13] Josh: Mm. Okay. That would make sense. That would make sense. I kind of wonder if it’s like, so I’m in Columbus, Ohio state side. I know the accent’s very drastically around us where we are, so, yeah. Uh, was kind of curious. So I basically just derailed us right from the get go, but, uh, I’m so excited to spend some time to chat with you here today because you, as what’s your official title, do you go by like health coach? Is that, uh, the shortened version of, of what you say you.
[00:04:39] Tanessa: Yeah, health coach health consultant, all just basically doing the same work in the health arena with entrepreneurs. So
[00:04:46] Josh: that’s awesome. And I know one thing I’m really excited to chat with you about specifically is like focus and energy. Those two things in particular, I think are some of the like unseen challenges that I help a lot of people through when it comes to coaching them on their business.
[00:05:02] Josh: And the reality is you can have all the processes and systems in the world, but if you can’t manage yourself and you’re not, you know, performing to your best ability and you’re not feeling energized and focused and just feeling good, it’s really hard to do something sustainable. Right.
[00:05:17] Tanessa: Well, right. And we wanna feel good while we’re doing it. And I find so much of like that loss in productivity we get in the day is just because our brains are all over the place. We’re, you know, flipping queen tabs, we’ve got four apps open. We just have this, that inability to just stay on one thing at a time. And so much of that is fixable with just some like, really simple, fun, like science, biohacking things. Oh, so good. So much to get into.
[00:05:39] Josh: Oh, I’m so excited. We, I do think it would be interesting to start though with the fact that, so you’re a, you’re a mom, you have two, uh, two kids, right? Mm-hmm
[00:05:49] Tanessa: yeah. Two girls, you and 11 weeks today.
[00:05:51] Josh: okay. So time focus, energy management. As you’re running your business, I can imagine this is, you know, top priority for you. So I’m kinda curious, how do you do it as a, as a young mom with two small kids? How do you run your business and manage that? I think that might be interesting to, to kinda lay the groundwork for.
[00:06:10] Tanessa: Yeah. Well, one of the things I realized early on was that as soon as you have kids, like we don’t have all day just to run our business anymore. It’s not like we can just, oh, take a casual lunch here and I’m gonna work on this here. It’s like, okay, well I have this time before they wake up and I have nap time and I have childcare on two of these days. So it’s really looking at the time I have, has to be exceptionally effective.
[00:06:31] Tanessa: So what that means is I can’t afford to be showing up multiple days in my business feeling foggy and having that brain fog because we just don’t work as effectively. So what I had discovered early on was that, oh, I notice if my sleep is on point. Then I have much better days, regardless of anything else I do, whether it’s exercise or whether I’m eating well, whether I’m, you know, doing my meditation, like all of that is just not as effective if I’m not sleeping.
[00:06:58] Tanessa: And then it came the question of, okay, well I have very young kids now, how can I get them to sleep? So it was a bit of working with that. And then recognizing that even like right now, I’m still up once a night on average, but if I can really protect the sleep I do get and make sure that it is high enough quality, that my days are gonna be so much more effective. And I’m not wasting time. My projects aren’t rolling day after day.
[00:07:24] Tanessa: It’s like we get to the end of the day, the stuff is done. We close the chapter, spent time with the kids. Start again.
[00:07:30] Josh: I love that we’re starting with sleep because that’s so important. I also love the like revolution in, I guess, all industries now globally, about how important sleep is. Um, did you read, uh, why the book, why we sleep by, um, oh shoot. Who’s the author who did that? Uh, Matthew Walker. Yeah, Matthew Walker. I read that as well, and it reassured me because I always felt growing up that I was lazy because I like to sleep.
[00:07:53] Josh: And I was a black sheep in my family cuz everyone was up by like six 30 and I’m like, I’m not good until nine. I like, I really like my sleep. I need like eight hours. So. I think this revolution in sleep and how important it is, makes folks like me feel better, who like to get a solid eight hours of sleep if we can. Um, but as you just said, when you have kids in the mix, that’s all different ballgame. And I know a lot of people who are like, how am I gonna sleep decently if I have kids.
[00:08:20] Josh: And I love what you said there, Tanisa that you kind of started with your kids’ sleep schedule. So practically, how did you do that? Did you like, did you Institute bedtime at a certain time routines, things that are consistent? How did you get your kids to sleep better so that you could sleep better?
[00:08:36] Tanessa: Well, it’s fascinating. They are just little versions of us, meaning all of the sleep habits and hacks that you could do to an adult. You can do two children now. I mean, less than three months old, they have a circadian rhythm that’s not quite developed yet. And circadian rhythm basically means like how our body’s brains, organ cells, how it all follows that 24 hour clock.
[00:08:56] Tanessa: It’s kinda like how you get tired at night every night. About the same time. That’s your, that’s your circadian rhythm at play, but looking at these things and with our young kids, it’s like they have circadian rhythms and they can be optimized as well. So little things that you can start changing, like making sure there is a routine in place.
[00:09:13] Tanessa: The lights go that we dim the lights, we turn them to soft yellows and reds. Um, we have the sound machine that comes on. There’s the sleep sock or the sleeping bag. There is the, you know, the sound, all of these things happen in this order. And then we can get into a lot of that, cuz that really sets us up for focus.
[00:09:30] Tanessa: But this helps the kids sleep through the night and then there’s things you can do in the morning too. Like getting their eyes exposed out to daylight within the first 30 to 60 minutes starts their biological clock to go to sleep on time that night. So it’s really just looking at, okay, what would I do for my sleep? If I wanted really good sleep, now let’s do that for their sleep. And that goes vice versa as well. Sometimes we have routines for our kids. And then nothing for us.
[00:09:54] Josh: well, what a segue, cuz I wanted to ask then about us. So, okay. Kids or even for folks who don’t have kids, I think it’s actually, it’s interesting because I’ve found when you ha when you start having kids, you focus on sleep a lot more because it is like a precious commodity that you wanna get every ounce of, um, when you don’t have kids, it’s like, whatever, you know, I mean, I, I came from the band world where going to bed at two or 3:00 AM was not uncommon.
[00:10:19] Josh: And then I realized like, oh wow. That’s that’s even though I’m kind of a night out, that’s too late. I I’m good for like 11 or 1130. Um, but I say that to say, you just kind of you’re so all over the place with sleep often and you’re you’re early twenties or whenever before you start having kids. But that time becomes so precious.
[00:10:36] Josh: You mentioned like dim into lights, you know, just basic things like that, that will, will help kind of, you know, take your, your levels down and just feel a little more relaxed. What are some other tips for us to get like better sleep? And I know this could be a whole episode in itself, but it does have such a big impact on energy and focus. So, yeah. What are some other tips that you found that have helped with, with just sleeping?
[00:10:57] Tanessa: Yeah, this one I found is going to be the most effective and it’s the simplest. So when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was like, I’m gonna get a Fitbit. I’m gonna walk all the steps. I’m gonna be such a fit pregnant lady. Nobody told me that I would be sidelined with like pelvic pain that I wouldn’t be able to walk very much.
[00:11:14] Tanessa: So I was like, well, what else does this thing do? And I started noticing that it tracked sleep. And I was like, this is interesting. So when I was watching it, I was one of those people that was like, no, it’s fine. I, my, I get enough sleep. Trust me. I go to bed at 11 and I wake up at seven that’s, eight hours. I do a great job and I would, you know, bypass all that information. Think it didn’t apply to me.
[00:11:34] Tanessa: But when I got this Fitbit, what, I didn’t know what the time was that. Our brains don’t turn off like a light switch. When we turn the lights off at night, our brains take time to fall asleep. We wake up, even if it’s momentary between sleep cycles all night, then there is the time the kids wakes up. Or if you have to go to the washroom, or if you decide to review your to-do list at 4:00 AM every morning, which is, you know, pretty on par for most entrepreneurs. And then there’s the time.
[00:11:59] Josh: I don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to no,
[00:12:02] Tanessa: right? No. And then there’s the time your brain is waking up in the morning. And we think that we’re just asleep the entire time we have our eyes closed. But what we really need to understand is there is something called sleep opportunity, which is how much time you’re giving yourself to sleep and how much time you’re actually sleeping.
[00:12:19] Tanessa: So what I do with my clients is I have them all wear wearable tracking devices, whether it be an aura ring or whether that be a Fitbit of some type. And what I show them is how often their brain is awake per night. And I’ve, I’ve, spreadsheeted out. Dozens and dozens of entrepreneurs sleep over months.
[00:12:36] Tanessa: And I can tell you that before, like good sleep hygiene is put into place. The average entrepreneur is up about an hour to an hour, 15 minutes every night. And so if you take your eight hours and you subtract off an hour 15, you really only asleep six hours and 45 minutes. And that is actually considered sleep deprivation or not getting enough sleep or proper brain function.
[00:12:57] Tanessa: So right there, if you’re not giving yourself enough opportunity, you’re probably not getting as much sleep as you think you are.
[00:13:03] Josh: And this is like in bedtime, right? This isn’t like you’re out, you know, with your significant other, watching your show for an hour or so. And then you go to bed, this is like, you’re in the bed. You gave yourself eight hours then it’s like, yeah, every minute you’re relying away. And then of course, I’m sure a lot of people after this are gonna lay at night in their bed and start thinking about this. Like, oh no, I’m at team minus eight hours. Oh no, no. I’m, you know, seven hours and 30 minutes.
[00:13:26] Josh: So how, yeah. How do I guess one question I have is like, how do we. Maximize that time, like how do we get ourself to help ideally fall asleep as quickly as possible?
[00:13:36] Tanessa: Yeah. So what we’re looking at is reducing total awake time, or we’re thinking of increasing how efficient we are with our sleep. Right? So in order to do that, we need to understand this hormone called melatonin.
[00:13:48] Tanessa: And basically I’d like you to think of it as like the hormone that signals the rest of the body sleep is coming. Let’s get going. Right. So if melatonin is, let’s call it tampered with. Then our sleep is not going to be as effective and we are going to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. So what are things that do that?
[00:14:07] Tanessa: Well, blue light is one of the big ones. We have these protein cells on the back of our eye. That sense all of this light. And when we are watching TV or on our phone, scrolling Instagram or any of those activities we do right up until bedtime. Our brain is basically being told, look at all this blue light, it’s the middle of the day.
[00:14:26] Tanessa: Why should we be producing sleepy hormone? So we basically tell your brain it’s day it’s, day it’s day. And then we turn all the lights close our eyes and your brain’s like, huh? Why are we sleeping right now? And it, what happens is it interferes with that three hour delay that melatonin takes to rise in the evening. So it really, uh, affects our ability to fall asleep. And then, because our melatonin is not high enough, we tend to wake up a lot easier. We don’t get enough quality during our sleep.
[00:14:54] Josh: that’s good. So I know there’s a lot of back and forth and mixed information on melatonin and whether you should take some, and I know a lot of people use it for jet lag in particular, that seems to help. But I I’ve learned personally that even if we watch a show like a half an hour, an hour before my wife and I go to bed, we still, the rest of the house is dark. Like we we’re, and we’re not, we try to keep away from our phones as much as possible.
[00:15:17] Josh: Cause like you said, blue light, even with the different like app settings, like my, my phone at seven 30 goes into like the night mode where it’s like dimmer, but I don’t know. Do you know, does that work? Does, does the dim stuff work as well? As far as the blue light stuff.
[00:15:32] Tanessa: So the difference between why we put those filters on and not is because red light does a lot less of that queuing to suppress melatonin, right. As opposed to the blue light. But when we get into those late night hours, bright light period can cause a reduction in melatonin.
[00:15:48] Tanessa: So what I always like to do to counter that is like, can we just dim the screen in addition to some of those features that we have on there? Mm-hmm that pull out the blue lights? I just like to take it down. Like I do that on my Kindle. It’s like, I think at brightness level four and top of all the worm sitting on just really looking at minimizing the brightness of the light as well.
[00:16:06] Josh: Yeah. I love that. And something else gonna ask, what are, what’s your take on melatonin by the way? As far as the supplement, because like I said, I I’ve heard a lot back and forth on this, my wife and I don’t actually take it we’re we have a four and two year old we’re exhausted by the end of the day. So falling asleep is not an issue in our current stage.
[00:16:23] Josh: Um, but for, especially for people who have trouble going to sleep, what’s your personal take on that based off of your experience? .
[00:16:29] Tanessa: Yeah, well, there was a really interesting actually podcast episode I listened to with Matthew Walker. He was the author of that, uh, why we sleep book that we referenced right at the beginning there. Um, and he did, uh, a guest episode on the Huberman lab podcast with Andrew Huberman.
[00:16:43] Tanessa: It was a great episode and they went over actually some of the research studies with melatonin and they showed that it was like total sleep duration was increased by like three minutes with melatonin. And the other fascinating thing that I learned and why I no longer personally use melatonin anymore is because melatonin is used in children, high levels to suppress puberty.
[00:17:05] Tanessa: And when puberty hits our melatonin levels drop, and that allows us to go through puberty. So what, um, these studies have found and mind you, these were in mice, is that the mice that were given melatonin actually had ha like shrunken, goads from it. So it suppresses hormones such as testosterone and estrogen and stuff like that.
[00:17:23] Tanessa: So it does affect other hormones. And if you think about melatonin, it’s pretty much the only hormone that you can buy over the counter. And the dosage in melatonin is so extremely high relative to what our body produces that, you know, with those effects that it has on, you know, sexual function and on, um, just testosterone and estrogen in general, it’s something that I’ve stopped using completely since hearing that.
[00:17:47] Josh: That is what I seem to have heard more and more just space off the very limited research I’ve done and just conversations I hear as well. It does seem like it tampers with a lot more. They could potentially do more harm than good, essentially. Unless again, it’s a case. Travel or jet lag to where like you are just completely off, but I think it’s, I think it’s a, a good thing to mention.
[00:18:07] Josh: And I’m, I’m just curious because I, I don’t know how many people listening are messing with that as well. And yeah. You know, sometimes it’s good to hear all the research behind it. See actually like what what’s going on here, but practically there are so many things that we’ve already covered already that can help with this.
[00:18:22] Josh: And I know this is all tying into energy and focus on the next day. And one thing that I’ve found that has helped turn my mind off in the times where, cause like it’s so common, like you just mentioned a little bit ago, Tanis. You, you turn the TV’s off, you lay down and then suddenly your mind is like all, all of your thoughts during the day.
[00:18:42] Josh: It’s like, there is it’s when they come to you at like 11 or whatever, but whether it is any sort of mindfulness practice like meditation, or there’s a ton of different names that you could use just to sit and think about stuff. This is where I think it’s so important to have that during the day. At some point, now that is easier, said than done with busy entrepreneurs.
[00:19:02] Josh: It’s easier said than done with parents with small kids. I know personally as a business owner and a parent with little kids and a pregnant wife, Time for myself just to sit and think is very hard to come by, unless I intentionally like, make it part of my work day. So I have started doing that. Mm-hmm I, I have started like, just intentionally I don’t do it at the same time every day.
[00:19:24] Josh: Like I would probably like to get to ideally in the mornings at some point, but I do intentionally take time just to like sit and think, and I used to never do that. And sometimes it’s just depending on what point of the day I’m at, where I’m like, I’ve got a lot going on. Let me just like go to my other end of my office and just sit and think.
[00:19:40] Josh: So I say that to say that has helped me combat the, like laying awake at night with all these thoughts that are looking for somewhere to go. Would you back that practice up and what other practices do you think would help people combat the, like, you know, laying in the dark and that’s when their mind starts spin.
[00:19:57] Tanessa: Yeah, to your point, that is something I find that’s super effective is finding areas in your day to be able to just, ah, take a little bit of a break. Um, there is a specific practice called yoga Nira, which is nice to put in the middle of the day. It’s very complimentary to meditation. It’s basically you’re in the Shavana position of yoga.
[00:20:14] Tanessa: So that’s just the laying the Corpus pose at the end, when you’re just nice and relaxed and it’s a guided practice and there’s a couple channels on YouTube that I do follow for that. But inserting little, 10 minute ones of those in the afternoon are super effective. But in my experience, working with entrepreneurs in general is that that idea of stopping work seems to be something that’s like, Ooh, I don’t know if I could do that in the middle of the day.
[00:20:36] Tanessa: So actually where I have them start is looking at that 30 to 60 minutes before bed, because that is a time like we’re hopefully not working right until bed. And if we are. Looking at how we can gear down our brain and, and understanding how our brain works. Right? Like our brain has different, we’ll call them settings.
[00:20:56] Tanessa: So you have beta, which is what you are in. And I’m in right now, our brains are alert. They’re focused. They’re thinking you might be having a thought about what I’m saying. Maybe, you know, somebody’s writing down a note about something. This is fantastic for what we want in our business. But what I find with entrepreneurs is we take this mode right up to bed and then experience what you said, which was the, okay. Now I’ll think about the to-do list, right?
[00:21:18] Tanessa: Yeah. So looking at okay. What are the gears or the settings that I’m missing on the way into sleep? I mean, we wouldn’t pull our car into the driveway at like 60 miles an hour. You know, you go, you ease into it. You, you back down the driveway a little slower. So I want you to think about that with your sleep.
[00:21:36] Tanessa: And in order to do that, we need to understand that there are gears below focused that we need to take our brain through intentionally to wind down. So the next one down would be alpha. That’s the brainwave frequency. Um, but the best way to think about it is what you just said. Time without input from the outside world, meaning we’re with our own feelings and our own thoughts.
[00:21:59] Tanessa: There’s no podcast running. There’s no conversation happening. There is just time alone with our own brain. And I always like to include this before bed. And this can include, you know, honestly, like if you have a skincare routine you wanna do at the end of night, maybe jump in the shower. Maybe, I don’t know. You tidy up your bedroom where you read a book. It’s this time where you’re turning off all information from other people’s brains and find it’s maybe.
[00:22:24] Josh: Yeah. Yeah, go ahead. I was sorry. I was just gonna say, maybe think about how many entrepreneurs I’ve heard on podcasts. Say that there are best ideas come like in the shower at night. Cuz you get tearing 15, 20 minutes where it’s just you. No inner, you know, there’s no social media on hopefully uh, there’s no other distractions. It’s just you and your mind with a simple task and that’s when the ideas come and sometimes hopefully that’s when your ideas can like get out and you can just let them circulate and go.
[00:22:50] Tanessa: Which, yeah. I have some clients who like to, yeah, I have clients that like to write during this time, it’s just a way of, I like to think of it as layers of turning off input from the outside world. So if your evening routine was, you know, getting the kids ready for bed, you gotta run out, walk the dog and you gotta plan the groceries for the next day and do your to-do lists for all those things that are happening.
[00:23:09] Tanessa: And then you shift into, okay, I can still be up and doing stuff, but I’m just gonna turn off other people’s thoughts, opinions, brains. It’s just with my brain right now. I like to spend, you know, 20, 30 minutes in that. And then if you’re really finding that your brain is having trouble to slow down, there’s a stage beyond that called theta.
[00:23:26] Tanessa: And this is a, uh, equivalent to daydreaming or meditating. It’s kind of that loose consciousness. And what I love to put in this block is, um, like breathing or visualization or progressive relaxation, anything that really then turns even your own mind down the volume down. And so you can see this nice slide into sleep.
[00:23:48] Tanessa: And then the state below theta. Is Delta and that’s Delta deep wave sleep. And that’s where we go in the beginning part of our night primarily. So what I think entrepreneurs are missing is that in that 30 to 64, 60 minutes before bed, there’s not a slide into sleep. It’s literally like a, we, we view our brains as light switches. It’s either on or off, but that’s not the case. So if you want good sleep, I think we need that runway into sleep. Uh, uh, and to spend some time in there,
[00:24:15] Josh: I think that’s a great reminder and I’m not a car guy, but it, since you were talking about, you know, revving up and revving down, it reminds me of when I used to drive a stick and when I had a manual, it was like, when I would slow down, you can shift down and you can go slower into those lower gears, and then you could go back up and I think you’re totally right.
[00:24:32] Josh: I think a lot of people, myself included for a long time would just go, go, go, go, go. And then hope to go to sleep. Uh, and, and again, it’s easier said than done, particularly when, depending on what your life situation looks like with kids and stuff, but I’ve actually found that having kids almost helps more with that because it forces you to like have a routine and once the kids are in the bath and they go down, it already seems to kind of help wind me down.
[00:24:58] Josh: That’s personally how, how it’s helped me. So, yeah, I doubt, I think it’s a great reminder. I’m glad you said all that because it is a really important idea that all day you’re reving up and then you gotta give yourself some, some runway to, to rev down. I love that. I think that’s great chase because that all primes us for the next day.
[00:25:14] Josh: So I’m actually kind of curious. I mean, there’s loads of things. Gosh, we could get into with, with energy and focus. I actually, cuz we’ve talked about health nutrition and, and some of this stuff before on the podcast. I think a lot of it people know it’s just probably a matter of habitual things in doing things.
[00:25:31] Josh: I actually would love to spend some time on focus though. Cause I think this is an area that is probably. Combated most now just in the world of distraction and yeah, gosh, I have so many questions on ideas on focus, but I guess what, what is your thought? Like what, what are the biggest, um, what’s the biggest pushback for focus these days?
[00:25:53] Josh: Like what do you think are the, are the things that are really kind of challenging us when it comes to being able to focus on our work, focus on our day, that kind of thing. What are your thoughts on that? Yeah,
[00:26:03] Tanessa: I find that often we measure focus and productivity by like how much we can get done in a week, as opposed to how efficient we can be with what we need to get done. Right. And we often think like, oh, I’m gonna try to focus for like the whole day. But one of the things I think is really interesting is understanding that focus shifts throughout the day and the expectation we have that, that intense focus we might have in the morning might not be the same in the afternoon.
[00:26:28] Tanessa: And I think we sometimes have this expectation, that focus should be like at a level 10 all day. When I think really part of it is understanding that okay, What are the things that we could delegate to that time that we have a little bit less focus like in the afternoon. I know for me, 2:00 PM is a great time to do emails, post on social media.
[00:26:47] Tanessa: It’s those type of tasks where my creative tasks come earlier in the day where I have that higher focus level. So I think that’s part one of it. And I think part two is what are the things we could actually do in the morning to increase alertness and focus to start off the day on a better.
[00:27:03] Josh: I love that. I love that concept of being self-aware particularly about like when you’re creative, because I do know some people who are not human until 10 or 11:00 AM. So for them, maybe like the creativity will come in the afternoon. Whereas I think probably most people it’s safe to say the creativity is highest in the morning.
[00:27:21] Josh: And that’s why the typical two 30 corporate slump always hits everybody when you’ve been working since 8:00 AM. And then you’re done by, you know, two or two 30. So I think it’s a great, I think it’s a great concept of being self-aware about when you’re creative and when you’re productive, quote unquote. I’m actually curious do you think that is biological in any, any way or do you think that’s more habitual as far as like creative.
[00:27:46] Tanessa: Yeah, we have something called a P E R three. Gene don’t need to know the name, but the point of it is the length of it usually determines your morning or your eveningness. So for example, um, my P E R three gene is likely very short because I’m on average, I’m up at 5:00 AM every day and I’m fully alert, whereas I’m also sleepy by eight 30 or nine at night. Whereas some people are very much more sleepy at 11:00 PM and they wake up around seven. And so is that you? Yeah,
[00:28:11] Josh: that’s me one, 100% me from day one. Yep. Yeah.
[00:28:15] Tanessa: And I mean, so if you’re look, there’s a, there’s an interesting book. It’s called the power of when, by Dr. Michael Bruce. And he talks about this concept of chronotype, which basically is. Whether we are genetically geared to be more morning or more evening persons. So the fascinating thing is it’s only about 10 to 15% of the population that are apparently natural, early birds, meaning wake up at five fully ready to go. And there’s also only about 10 to 15% that are natural evenings.
[00:28:41] Tanessa: Meaning going to bed 1130, midnight waking up at seven 30 or eight. The rest of the population fits into this middle chronotype, which is about go to bed at 11 and wake up at seven. So if you can, he has a quiz on his website. That’s really easy to find, but if you find your, I found switching. Sleep time. I used to think 11 to seven was my thing, but I tested as an early morning prototype, tried switching it, and it was amazing how different my energy felt during the day.
[00:29:07] Tanessa: And so while there are definitely hacks, you can do to be a morning person, I think, leaning into your genetics, kind of amplifies that.
[00:29:13] Josh: I’m kind of curious when you switched that, did you ease into that? Like, did you go a half an hour to bed before you would normally do and then wake up a half an hour earlier and then eventually get to waking up at five? Or did you go like cold Turkey? You know, like 10 to five kind of thing or something? It was
[00:29:28] Tanessa: kind of a bit of both because originally I was doing, you know, 10 30, 11 to seven, but then on the mornings that I went up to the gym, I’d be up at six. So I was kind of fluctuating between that. So I moved half of my days back, say half an hour and half of them back an hour. So it was kind of a bit of a, a fluctuation in general.
[00:29:44] Tanessa: but I found that, um, for me, the way I wanted to go about it was, I know that the earlier you wake up and start some of the practices, maybe we can get into that, create the focus and reset your body’s clock for the day. So you fall asleep earlier. All of those things I started right away. So it made adapting to an early morning schedule, much faster than if I were. Try to shift my schedule without doing these things. Mm.
[00:30:07] Josh: Yeah. That’s interesting. I feel like, cuz I, I, what you said is just, so me, as far as like I’m comfortable going to bed at 11 or 1130 and waking up, you know, past 7, 7, 7 30, sometimes eight, especially our girls are actually really good sleepers. It’s funny cuz so many of my family have kids that are up at like 4:00 AM where ours don’t get up till usually seven 30 or eight. So like we have it awesome. But my wife and I love sleep too. Like, uh, the, the fruit does not far, uh, fall far from the tree as they’d say in that regard. But I was just thinking, it reminds me of, uh, I saw something recently.
[00:30:40] Josh: It was a me on Facebook where it was like there’s two type of people in the world. People who say. It’s already 10:00 PM. And then people who say, Ooh, it’s only 10:00 PM. And then they marry each other. and I feel like that is 100% true because my wife is definitely like, if she could go to bed at nine and wake up at six, she would be just beyond herself.
[00:31:00] Josh: She’d be thrilled. Whereas I’m like nine is like the time to, you know, start winding down and, and have some fun for the evening. But, uh, I, I think it is, it bears, I guess, an interesting, probably some sort of test where going sleep a little earlier might help and waking up earlier. I mean, I remember I used to be a cabinet maker for a tour bus customizing shop and for a long stretch, I had to be at work at six.
[00:31:24] Josh: So I was getting up by five 30 at the latest, but like that helped, but I still was never like I never, even months after that, I was never like, I am just loving getting up this early. It just never clicked for me. So I guess my question in this, in this regard would be like, Do you think it’s possible to change a little bit, or is it common to where you’re just kind of naturally, you know, you’re kind of naturally geared for that, for that like certain time as far as waking up or falling asleep.
[00:31:53] Tanessa: Yeah. I think that part of it is that genetic leaning, like maybe it’s going to be easier for someone to become a morning person than another, but I think so much of it has to do with our routines and our habits. Like I’ve had so many, uh, I always like to run my clients through this test just for information to kind of like, okay, let’s see what’s going on here.
[00:32:11] Tanessa: I cannot tell you how many times clients have tested as like. Well, the Chron type is called the Wolf, meaning going to bed 1130 midnight waking up 7 38. But when we go through the process of, you know, refining sleep hygiene and optimizing sleep and all of that stuff, their chronotype will shift because it was actually just their habits that was, you know, creating that later bedtime and that later ride. So there are totally things you can do to make getting up in the morning, way easier. I
[00:32:39] Josh: love that it maybe I’m a Wolf. I like that. That’s the analogy I’m done with that. Uh, it kind of reminds me, I, it was in, I think why we sleep Matthew Walker’s book, which we’re talking about a lot of links. I’m keeping track of these. So if you see me typing, I’m just getting all the links ready. Cuz I wanna link to a lot of this in the show notes, but it dawned on me while reading that book. He’s like, when you think about the term. It’s the middle of the night. Like I, that I was like, oh my gosh, I never, I didn’t even think about that.
[00:33:07] Josh: That it’s called midnight because that’s the middle of the night. So going to bed right before midnight, you’re already setting yourself up for, you know, the, the sun’s coming up and, you know, potentially five or six hours depending on where you are. So it’s very, very different. It made me think about the importance of like, maybe instead of midnight being my time that I enjoy actually falling asleep.
[00:33:28] Josh: Maybe let me try to get down that down to like 10 30 or 11, which we have done recently. And there’s been some nights where we’ve like actually fallen asleep by 10 or 10 30 and they’ve been glorious. So, um, I’m fighting myself feeling conflicted already on this because maybe I am that Wolf that could, uh, you know, change a little bit habitually. So I think it’s a good challenge for me as.
[00:33:49] Tanessa: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And like we were said, we can even dive into this. We’re looking at that focus waking up in the morning. There are so many little things. Like I call them like levers that we can pull to really boost our brain. I don’t know if you wanna go there next. That might be something fun we can talk about. Yeah, I,
[00:34:01] Josh: well, so one thing that really helped me when I started working from home and started my web design business was I didn’t have anybody giving me deadlines. I could sleep into 11 if I wanted to. And before I was dating and married and had kids that was really easy for me to do.
[00:34:16] Josh: And I had to kind of catch myself and I felt like I had to be my own boss and say like, all right, Josh, start by nine. Like. You know, if you wanna sleep in at eight or eight 30, fine, but start by nine, just, you know, start be a, be a grownup and start working. So I learned though early on that one thing that really helped me to feel because I was naturally just not great in the mornings.
[00:34:36] Josh: One thing that helped me was to wake up and stay off of social media initially and not get distracted and not get kind of cognitively burned. Early on, because I do think that’s a very real thing that people often just go they’re they exercise their brain so much in the beginning that by the time they actually have work to do, they’re already like halfway spent.
[00:34:57] Josh: And I’m curious to get your take on that, but that really helped me was to do that. And then I would just like read something for 15, 20 minutes, read a book that helped kind of prime me, obviously in the early days, I would do my own sort of, I guess, quote unquote meditation, which just would be to like, think about the day ahead and think about what’s in my head and what I wanna do.
[00:35:15] Josh: And then I could go and I was so much more productive and I was able to prioritize things better. So that was kind of my morning routine. It’s a little bit different now with kids, but similar. So yeah. What, what’s your thoughts on how to prime ourself to be able to focus on things particularly in the morning? Because mornings can be chaos.
[00:35:32] Tanessa: Oh, I hear you. And you know what? The interesting thing is like there’s half of me that agrees with what you said. And half of me that thinks there are other ways that we can do that as well. And the part of me that agrees with you is like, for the, for most people you’re right.
[00:35:45] Tanessa: Spending time, I think Brendan Burrard says like, something about spending time in your inbox is just other people’s way of organizing your agenda for you. Like it’s all other people’s requests and stuff like that. And that can be draining, especially cuz as we alluded to earlier, that’s one of those low focused tasks.
[00:35:59] Tanessa: So if you’re using your prime time, With low focus activities that might not be the best use of your time. And you might be sucking up your creativity or your peak focus to get, you know, deep work done with something non-essential. So I, a hundred percent agree, just save that energy, but where my, my brain also goes, this is interesting because I mean, since having my first daughter, I am up at five 30 and I am working by about 5 45 at the very latest and I work right until eight 30, cuz that is my window block.
[00:36:28] Tanessa: Mm. Now one of those things does. Posting on social media, it does involve some of these other things. And so I think it’s also a combination of the intention behind it, meaning I don’t use that social media time to intentionally scroll, but instead gotcha. It is a high value task attached to that. And maybe it’s building relationships with my community in the DMS or something like that. You know what I mean?
[00:36:49] Josh: That’s severe. That’s a good point because yeah, well, especially now in my audience of web designers, a lot of us are doing social media as a part of our work. So yeah, there is a big difference being on social media when you’re working, engaging versus just scrolling and catching up on what’s going on with the world, because, and I guess that’s kind of what I meant by that was just like distracting myself and just getting into everything that’s going on, because if it’s not work related, suddenly I’m gonna.
[00:37:15] Josh: You know, thinking about whatever the heck’s going on with this or that. And then it, that tended to derail me as far as like being more like focused and energized on my work. But yeah, it’s a good point. Like there are, there are different times that my wife has known this too. Like we use social media differently when she’s on Instagram, she’s watching influencers or something.
[00:37:33] Josh: I’m probably talking with like colleagues or, uh, you know, following like people like you and other people who have on my podcast, like it’s a little bit of a different mechanism. So that, yeah, well said in the morning, maybe it’s. Depending on what? Yeah.
[00:37:47] Tanessa: It depends on your activity is your, your stage of life too. Like, I mean, would I like to have a bit more of a chill morning routine? Sure. But this, I mean, given that I have a baby and a two year old, this is prime work time for me. Right, right. But, um, one of the other things that I really like to consider, regardless of what you have to do in your morning, whether it’s your ideal routine or not, your routine is think about what are the different levers of focus levers that I can pull.
[00:38:10] Tanessa: And so how I’ve impaired the two is I know that for our brains light is one of the single biggest cures of alertness and focus and also sleepiness and how we use that light. So if we are able to get outside for five minutes on sunny days, 10 to 15 minutes on cloudy days. If we are able to get our eyes outside within the first 30 to 60 minutes of waking there’s magic that happens there.
[00:38:38] Tanessa: So the light tells our brain, oh, look how low the sun is in our eyes. Like it’s not overhead. Oh, look at this nice pink light. It must be morning. We should shut down melatonin production that shuts off sleepy. Right. And then we look at that and pair it with the fact. When we get natural light in our eyes, it also boosts serotonin, which is a mood enhancer.
[00:38:59] Tanessa: So where I like to do is, I mean, given I’m up in Canada, given the month, I do like to just take my computer straight outside in the morning and let the natural just working outside, fuel my focus for the day. And then I think one of my other favorite hacks first thing in the morning is really once you understand how your body works with your circadian rhythm, like I said, there’s a bunch of levers you can pull.
[00:39:23] Tanessa: The other lever you can pull is temperature. So to help with focus and everything like that, your body temperature needs to come up. And it’s doing that in the morning. So if you were able to move for 10 minutes, get your body warmed up, that will help with alert and fo um, alertness and focus. Other really cool thing you can do, which I love to do is jump in a two to five minute cold shower.
[00:39:45] Tanessa: This seems counterintuitive, but by cooling down the outside of the body, it heats up your core temperature and it boosts alertness and focus throughout the entire day. So how do I kind of like get that all together? Most mornings I will actually get up and I will go out for a 10 to 20 minute walk, first thing in the morning.
[00:40:03] Tanessa: So that gets a light in my eyes. It brings up core temperature. It gets me moving, come straight home, jump in a cold shower for two to five minutes. And my brain is lit up like a Christmas tree for the day. It’s like a magic formula that uses your body’s biology without having to, you know, do this really long morning routine. If you’re in the phase of life or you just need to jump into work.
[00:40:26] Josh: And there’s nothing better than a morning walk or a morning, one run. It’s why so many people do it. I remember there was, uh, quite a few seasons of life where like, I would walk every morning with, with my dog. Now I have two dogs. We’ll, we’ll go for morning walks sometimes. And yeah, it’s like when you come back, even just a 10 or 50 minute walk, your brain feels so different.
[00:40:45] Josh: This is also a good reminder for when you’re feeling stuck. I feel like during the middle of the day, it’s also great to like, get up off of your desk and do, you know, do something, just get moving for 10 or 15 minutes during the middle of the day, several times, because it really does so much for your state. Like I remember vividly sometimes just being stuck or stressed out on a problem or a website design or something, and then I would go for a walk and then just like that I would get it. Like I would’ve a solution or I’d feel so much better about it just by getting moving and in the morning, especially you’re.
[00:41:16] Josh: I think it’s so easy just to kinda roll out bed, get coffee and start working. It’s probably what everyone gravitates to. It’s kind of, it’s what I meant by like, what’s a challenge that’s facing us and that’s probably the biggest one is just how easy it is. Just especially working from home, roll over outta bed and start working.
[00:41:33] Josh: Whereas this little things, like you mentioned to walk a quick cold shower, eating breakfast before you start working is a big one too. For a lot of people. I know like a lot of people might work for a little while and then think about breakfast at like 11. Um, I find that if we can eat quicker, it definitely helps with the whole day as far as it’s routine.
[00:41:51] Josh: So, yeah, I don’t have any more thoughts on that other than that’s a great point to, to get some sunlight in there and to help you feel like ready to take on the day. Right. There’s nothing worse than feeling like, oh gosh, I’m already tired and it’s eight and I have a whole day ahead. Right? that’s the worst.
[00:42:06] Tanessa: And I think something good to point out about that too, is like consider this. Like, I have been teaching health and fitness since 2008. So we’re on like 14 years now that I have either been delivering classes, personal training, or now working in the niche that I’m in now. And I still argue with myself.
[00:42:22] Tanessa: At least every other day to get my butt out that door and go moving because it is, I think a human brain’s job to keep us safe and avoid the discomfort and avoid change in routine. So I think like, if you, if, if this is something you’re like, okay, I’m willing to try it, but then you find you’re on like day four and you’re like, I’d rather be working totally normal.
[00:42:40] Tanessa: I always, I was like, why is this a problem? Nothing has gone wrong. Like I constantly have to be like, oh, there you are brain. That’s a thought error. We’re going for a walk anyways. And I think that one of the best things that’ll help with consistency in developing tiny micro habits. Like that is really understanding that your brain’s job is going to be give you pushback on that.
[00:42:59] Tanessa: And when you expect it and have made your decisions ahead of time, not only does it help with your consistency, but you build self trust that, oh, look at that. I do what I say I’m gonna do. And then it’s just magic. What else happens in your life when you build that self trust with yourself?
[00:43:13] Josh: Well, and that’s why the rule of thumb is to always set out your running shoes the night before, right? Because in the morning, your brain’s probably gonna take over and it’s like, just sleep in. Let’s stay cozy. Let’s yeah. That’s a great point that our brain’s almost working against us in a
[00:43:27] Tanessa: lot of ways you to expect it, to expect that that’s gonna happen and it doesn’t mean anything’s gone wrong or that you’re lazy or that your motivation isn’t where it should be. It’s just having a human brain. And that is your cue to grow. When you get that and you make a decision anyways, to do what you said you were gonna do.
[00:43:43] Tanessa: That’s just growth opportunity. And I think really like leveling those expectations. I think with all health habits is we just think like, when does the point where this becomes easy? Well, what if the expectation was that it just doesn’t become easy, but it just becomes you become the type of person who goes, oh, there it is. Again. Here’s what I planned ahead of. .
[00:44:01] Josh: I love that. That’s a great point. Especially the easy department. I remember when I really got into, to working out for a while, I felt a little at like probably a couple weeks in. I was like, why do I I’m like feeling lazy again? Because I don’t feel like doing this. Whereas I would’ve had that mindset of it’s, you’re going to feel this.
[00:44:18] Josh: You’re gonna feel like not doing it at some point. It would’ve been much more expected and it would’ve just been okay, physically, you just take over again, you set those habits and routines in place. And again, you’re kind of at war with your brain, which is so weird because you, we are at war with ourself a lot. When it comes to focus, time management, energy, sleep, all the things. Yeah. And
Motivation takes you the first part of the way but discipline is what picks up and gets you to the finish line.
[00:44:39] Tanessa: just knowing that, like, it’s not easy, but it is simple going to bed at, let’s say your bedtime is 10 30 is simple. It’s not easy, but not expecting it to be easy, but the choice is really simple. And I think one of my favorite quotes that I always like to remember, I heard it, I was in a spin class. I was doing a peon spin class with the teacher, yelled us out. And I was like, I love that. He said, motivation takes you the first part of the way but discipline is what picks up and gets you to the finish line because motivation will not go the whole way. You need to have that discipline skill in there to implement any of the things we’ve talked about today. Right?
[00:45:10] Josh: That’s a great point. Yeah. Good on that instructor for that quote, because my gosh, especially in business, motivation is fickle. It will come, it will go. So it’s like, whatever the, yeah, I totally agree. The discipline that keeps you going. It keeps you sustainable. That is inconsistent. That is so key. Yeah. I do think a lot of people rely on motivation to get stuff done, which is probably why a lot of people dabble so much and give up on things.
[00:45:37] Josh: I’ve seen this a lot with entrepreneurs who are like really motivated to start a podcast. And then three months later they’re gone. They’re done because they’re not motivated anymore or it got a little tough. And like, I love that other quote that you said it’s simple. It’s not necessarily, or what would you say? It’s not easy, but it is simple. And that there’s a big difference. Simple is not easy.
[00:45:57] Tanessa: Yeah. Yeah, totally. And I think one of the things that has helped, like that’s one thing that I really pride, what I believe is one of my values and what I like to try to teach my clients is that it’s so important for us to be able to seek out discomfort. and meet it. So like one of the things early on when I was really like, okay, I wanna improve my energy and my focus, which means, you know, that giant pasta meal I’m having midday is probably causing my energy crash is probably creating mid afternoon folk folkiness focus problems, or, you know, I’m not going to bed on time.
[00:46:29] Tanessa: One of the things I like to do was intentionally seek out that discomfort with the intention of getting good at meeting it and not retreating. So one of the things I did early on was I, I love gloss at raisins. Like don’t know what it is. Give me a chocolate covered raisin, but I used to buy a bag and keep it in the freezer on purpose.
[00:46:47] Tanessa: Just to feel that discomfort and getting good at that, managing that conversation with myself in my head. And I found that if I was one of those people that cleaned out the house and had nothing in there, like I don’t wanna rely on perfect circumstances to be able to execute. I wanna be able to have something challenging and be like, That’s okay.
[00:47:06] Tanessa: I don’t have a problem with this discomfort. It doesn’t mean anything’s gone wrong. I can still do my goals and have that there. And it builds such a resiliency up in me that like, I very rarely find that consistency once I decide to do something is something that I struggle with anymore. And it’s really made a difference in my health and in my business,
[00:47:23] Josh: I am gonna make sure that we coin the term folkiness, uh, oh shit. and, and make sure you get full credit for that. Look, we usually, I usually am the culprit of making up a word on the podcast. So I you’re, you are welcome here, uh, because that’s right on. I love that. We’re gonna, that’s gonna be the, the tagline for this episode, for sure. Um, no, gosh, it’s, it’s a great point though.
[00:47:44] Josh: I’m actually kinda curious. So for you personally, to when you, when you get to that point in the afternoon, where you start to fade, do you. In your day quicker, like, do you work less hours and stop at like two or three, or do you have a different routine that has helped you kind of get past that? Or do you go for a walk? What, what has helped you when you hit that? Like the quote, unquote two 30, you know, corporate type slump, what, what have you done to help that? Well,
[00:48:07] Tanessa: the first thing I did was really look into the architecture of my sleep and making sure I was getting enough deep and REM sleep specifically because so much of that afternoon energy. See, here’s the thing we think energy crash, when it should just be an energy dip, there is a difference. And most of us only know about the crash that hitting the wall. Whereas like I find that my energy does a subtle dip and that’s what I expect. And so a lot of that can actually be helped with sleep.
[00:48:34] Tanessa: But on the days, for example, like say I, my sleep was disrupted because it happens we’re humans I’ll actually leave time for a nap. And napping is not everyone’s thing, but I find that a nap really restores me if it’s kept within the parameters, that it doesn’t affect the rest of my day. Like, you know, keeping it only 20 to 30 minutes of sleep, not finding that I’m sleeping a couple hours during the day, keeping it early enough in the afternoon that it doesn’t disrupt my sleep at night, but I actually leave time for naps.
[00:49:01] Tanessa: The same way you said you left little bits of time for either a walk or meditation or something like that. I find that naps are my jam. And I think it’s really just knowing on the days when you need to push those buttons and play those things. Like there will be some days where I’m like, that’s okay. I woke up, I had a great sleep.
[00:49:16] Tanessa: I got out for my walk. I had morning sunlight viewing. I had my coffee at the right time. I know I’m likely only gonna get a small dip today. And I can just put stuff in that window versus I woke up. I can just tell the day’s not as focused and I know there’ll be a nap. And I create something in my schedule specifically called sliding blocks, meaning I I’m a fan of calendar blocking.
[00:49:36] Tanessa: So I’ll look out and I’m like, these tasks happen on Monday. These tasks, tasks happen on Tuesday and so forth like this. And what I will actually do in blocks of time, I will plan. They’re just empty on purpose blocks because during the week, something will always come up, whether it’s an unexpected email proposal that I have to answer or something I have to write or an interview that needs to get booked and all of these things will throw everything else off.
[00:49:58] Tanessa: If there are not blocks to slide stuff into. So if on Tuesday I, you know, had an hour, uh, consultation that popped up, but it was during the time I was supposed to be recording my podcast. Perfect. I have an hour later in the week to slide that into. And that’s one of the things that keeps me. So, um, on task. With my calendars. I’m not always catching up on last week’s stuff.
[00:50:19] Josh: That’s a interesting way to phrase it. I’ve never heard it called a sliding block. I had something similar, which I would recall. I would, I called it a reactionary block for web designers. This was really important because we’re managing websites. Eventually we’re gonna have some sort of issue or some client emergency or something.
[00:50:35] Josh: So what I always did was at the end of the day, I would have like a reactionary block where in the morning if something happened, unless it was absolutely urgent, we could get to it, you know, later in the day. And that way at the end of the, of the end of the day and in the evening, I wouldn’t check the email.
[00:50:50] Josh: And that’s when the, you know, you fire the mind off when you should be checking email anyway. And you’re like, oh no, I’m gonna do this in the morning or I’ve gotta do it soon. And then you just never fall asleep. So I think I love that idea. What, whatever we label it, reactionary block, sliding block, uh, deep works.
[00:51:06] Josh: I mean, whatever it is to have those type of blocks for, you know, I like that analogy sliding something else in that time. That is a great reminder. Particularly with this idea of helping us sleep better, stay more focused, stay more energized because that is personally, I feel like that’s the draining stuff is the reactionary type work.
[00:51:25] Josh: And you mentioned, uh, Brendan Bouchard’s take on like the, the email. I, I think the way, the way I’ve heard that said is that it’s basically letting other people add to your to-do list, uh, with email. So that needs to be really carefully managed. But either way I found that that work is the most draining for me personally. How do you feel about that? Like, what is the work? Okay. Here’s, here’s a different way. I’d like to take this. What’s the work that personally for you fires you up and then what’s the type of work that drains.
[00:51:56] Tanessa: Ooh, honestly, and it’s one of those things that like, I know we should be outsourcing. I love being in Canva. Like it is so fun for me. I love the colors and the design and all of that kind of stuff. So that is something like creating content specifically in can I love doing that? Like, that is my, I feel like that’s the time I look forward to like, that’s something you should have with a good cup of coffee. Um, but the things that drain me Hmm. That’s a good one. I
[00:52:23] Josh: would say I have a tip for the can of a thing. I’m happy to share by the way, but I love it. Take over it. Well, my tip for the camera thing, cuz I do the same. I, I enjoy, I still enjoy doing a lot of design work, but I’m starting to outsource some of it. But my, what I’ve learned is to do some of it and create templates, but don’t do all of it, like make it repeatable.
[00:52:40] Josh: So somebody else could, you know, I can create a template and then somebody can else can take that over repeatedly. That way I’m not doing it on every piece or all the time, but I still get my design fix. So that’s my, yeah. That’s my pro tip for anyone who wants to keep, you know, their foot in one thing, but they’ll they don’t wanna do all of it or they know you need to save time for scaling or hiring out.
[00:52:59] Tanessa: Yeah, totally, totally. And I think the thing that would drain me the most, um, Would probably be the research cuz one of my, one of my favorite things to do as part of my marketing in my business is very much what we’re doing now. It’s guesting for podcasts. Right? And I think one of the hardest things is finding aligned podcast.
[00:53:16] Tanessa: That really feel like a good fit with not only the host and all of that, but like having to, um, go through and find the podcast because it’s really easy if they have the word like, um, entrepreneur or business in the title, but so many podcasts with great podcasts have the name of the entrepreneur who I might not have met yet.
[00:53:32] Tanessa: So I always love doing the engaging part and the pitching part, but having to do that research part, I think is something that probably, probably not my favorite, but I love the interview part of it. So it’s all like, it feel like it well, evens out.
[00:53:46] Josh: Did we get connected when my podcast was the web design business podcast? Cause I just rebranded.
[00:53:53] Tanessa: Oh, I think, I think I was connected by one of your previous guests only like a couple of weeks ago through Sarah. You just had her on as a guest.
[00:53:59] Josh: That’s right. Was it Sarah Massey? Is that right?
[00:54:01] Tanessa: Uh, no, no. Sarah Young. She’s the CFO. Yeah.
[00:54:05] Josh: Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. So her, yeah, her episode by the time this releases she’ll have been, uh, her episode will been live. But, uh, I say that because I actually just rebranded recently from the Josh hall web design show too, with the web design business podcast, just to make it so clear what this is all about as far as like the core of, of what we talk about. So that’s interesting that you said that because it’s true. And I, this is kind of interesting for anyone who’s working with clients as well.
[00:54:31] Josh: And for clients when they work with you, if your name is a little more vague, or if it’s under a personal brand, they’re gonna have to try to get to know you even more before feeling comfortable with moving forward. Whereas if your name and your brand states pretty clearly what you do it, it often makes that no like, and trust factor a lot faster.
[00:54:49] Josh: So that’s really cool. That’s an interesting point that you said that I didn’t really think about that, but I do hope that that helps for guests knowing that, okay, this is a business podcast. I’m probably gonna be a good fit for it or. Yeah,
[00:54:59] Tanessa: I think it just calls in your people. That’s like with my podcast, I ended up calling it becoming limitless because I really feel like it hits on this, you know, health optimization thing that I really focus on and the biohacking part of it. And anyone looking like, oh, I like that idea. That feels exciting. Then they might click on that as opposed to if it was the Tena shear show where I could be talking about music, I could be talking about web design. We don’t know. Right.
[00:55:23] Josh: Yes. That’s a really good point. Yeah. There’s power and personal brand, but often it’s harder to attract an audience initially because yeah. They don’t know. They don’t know, like if it was just a she show. Yeah. What, who is, who is that? What is this gonna be about? I mean, I think if you’re a celebrity or if you have more status it’s yeah. You’re gonna get followers. You’re gonna get there’s tons of shows that are just around a personal brand that are huge, but.
[00:55:47] Josh: For, for the average folks, I’ve found that the more you can kind of niche down with your name and your brand, it makes it a lot easier for people to, to feel comfortable before they push play. So I actually learned about that when I, when, when your request came through and then I, uh, checked your, your podcast out, I was like, okay, become limitless.
[00:56:02] Josh: I already have a good idea what this is about. Like it’s gonna be about optimization and probably, you know, sky is the limit kind of thing. So I love that. That’s a good point. I hope that helps on a branding tip for everybody as well, which that’s one reason I love podcasts. You never know what kind of tips or tricks are gonna come outta some of these conversations.
[00:56:19] Josh: And I would’ve never thought about that, but it’s, it’s a really good point that having a like, name that describes what your service or show is, is really gonna help attract people faster. Um, so the, so the task though, what are some of the things that you have found that drain you? Because I think this is really important for entrepreneurs to know what fires them up and what drains them to hopefully try to get those things off boarded off of their plate as quickly as possible.
[00:56:45] Josh: What have you personally found that actually. A more succinct question would be what is something that drained you that you fixed or that you got off your plate?
[00:56:54] Tanessa: Yeah, so I obviously love recording my podcast, but one of the things I didn’t like doing was the writing, the show notes or writing the, um, description or uploading to YouTube, uploading to my podcast, host, like getting it linked into the email and everything. So the, the fun thing was when my daughter was born, 11 weeks ago, we retired my husband and he is a videographer and editor mm-hmm . And so he’s very proficient at all of that. And I was fantastic off my play to go.
[00:57:21] Tanessa: So now I don’t have to worry about making my reels, doing the captions on them, uploading anything, making so anything to do with video content I put out or audio content is now completely taken care of after I produce that. And as much as I enjoyed it, I’d rather be doing some of the other things in my business, like, you know, creating new concepts and stuff like that.
[00:57:40] Tanessa: So that was something that went off the plate only like 11 weeks ago, but it’s created so much more space and I’m like already finding like I’ve got, I’ve just added a whole new module to my coaching program because I was like, this is missing. Cause I was able to go through all the things my clients were discovering and learning and finding the holes because I had the time
[00:57:58] Josh: it was great. That’s awesome. And even, I think what’s more dangerous about that is when you actually enjoy something. Because sometimes what you enjoy can hold you back. Like I enjoyed doing the podcast editing, but I realized, and I had a couple mentors of mine say like, this is probably something you’re gonna need to offboard if you’re gonna go to the next level, just from a time perspective. And they were totally right. As soon as I off boarded that I had so much more time to focus on the conversation.
[00:58:22] Josh: Same thing that you said sometimes there’s a lot of time involved with looking at gas to see if there’ll be a good fit. You gotta kind of get that. No, like, and trust factor before. You’re probably gonna feel welcome to let somebody speak to your audience and share their brain. There’s a lot of that as well that I was able to, I feel like personally being, I was able to do more.
[00:58:39] Josh: Once I off forwarded some of the repeatable tasks I enjoyed, but I just, I shouldn’t be doing them because no one else can do this part of what we do right now. But you know, your husband can do a lot of the video stuff and my editor Nathan can do a lot of the editing stuff. So I think it’s a really good point
[00:58:55] Tanessa: better at it than me. So that also helps, right?
[00:58:57] Josh: Yes. Yes. And that’s the worst, right? Is like, you’re like, ah, I don’t know if I can, I don’t wanna hand this off. Somebody may not do it better and then they do it better and you’re like, oh, I should have done this a long time ago. Um, now that’s a really good point, particularly when it comes to like, I think what we’re supposed to do as a business owner and what’s gonna be the most high value task I actually wanted to ask you, I wanted to get your take on this because more and more recently, be, I was never in the corporate world, but I know that a lot of my family, friends and colleagues and just entrepreneurial circles, I know there’s such an emphasis on productivity.
[00:59:32] Josh: Mm-hmm, , I’ve personally learned. And my honest thought on this is that there is another P word that is way more important than productivity, and that is priority mm-hmm , I’ve learned that as long as I have the right priorities of what I wanna do in a day, in a week and in a month, quite frankly, a lot of times that helps my energy and my focus, because I don’t need to, I mean, habits are really important, but I don’t need to like push myself to stay productive.
[01:00:00] Josh: I just have this end goal and I’m going. And sometimes the, the struggle for me is to like, stop and like take a, take a step back or like get up and get my chair kind of thing. So what are your thoughts on that? Do, do you, are you agreeable on that, that priority is, and maybe should be more of a focused and productivity or, yeah, I’m just kind of curious your thoughts.
[01:00:20] Tanessa: Yeah. I definitely think that the things, the, the things that need to be at the top of the list getting done first in the day are the things that have impact and move your, move, the needle forward in your business. And I, I can’t remember, actually, I think it was Brooke Castillo. She runs the life coach school.
[01:00:33] Tanessa: She said something really fascinating. She said only put things on your calendar that are results generating, meaning like it’s not right. An email. It’s like, what is the result we wanna achieve with that email? And then that’s when the task gets completed is when that result is achieved. Right. So looking at that kind of thing, instead of it’s like outline a podcast, maybe it’s like publishing podcast.
[01:00:55] Tanessa: So it’s like more looking at like, what is the result? Like five pieces of content go out this week versus film reels. You know what I mean? So it’s really looking, I, I find it having the results. And then that goes right into your priority thing of like the re the PR the result is the priority. The priority is the result. Right? So looking at how can we frame them as the result. When we’re putting them on our calendar.
[01:01:18] Josh: That’s a great tip too, because I feel like a lot of people, and I struggle with this in, in points of my career. You make a to-do list, but it’s not the result. It’s like the to-do list will get you to results. But for me personally, if I see a massive to-do list, I’m instantly overwhelmed. And then I have to think about like, oh, okay, when am I gonna do all this? Suddenly, even if I enjoy those tasks, I don’t enjoy it as much. Whereas what a great reminder, if we see a result. Yes, it might be good to have a to-do list somewhere, but it may not be on the calendar.
[01:01:46] Josh: It may not be the first thing you see. It’s like the result is what you see, everything else that you’ll do. You’ll get there. I found this to be hugely important as a course creator. And I’m sure you experienced this as well with your coaching program. If you just had a massive list of like, okay, I need to write this, I do this module, this module, this module, this module that is overwhelming in a lot of cases.
[01:02:06] Josh: And it’s like record a video, edit the video, you know, times a hundred or whatever, how many times you have to do it. Whereas if it’s like, this is the course, this is the outline. This is the result I wanna get. It makes it so much easier to do those bite size things. Then I, I think quite frankly, it’s easier to be energized and focused when you have the result like right there. So I love that. Yeah. I want a great reminder to have the result in the forefront because it just makes all those other tasks a lot easier.
[01:02:32] Tanessa: Well, I think it’s a really good litmus test too of am I doing busy work or am I doing productive work? Mm, right. Like, if, if is this what I’m doing, creating that result or not? Is this busy work? Like, you know, how we get caught up in busy work, whether it be like, oh, we tell ourselves we’re researching trends on Instagram for our next real, but it doesn’t actually lead to the production of a real necessarily, cuz we can get lost in large amounts of time on that we’re looking at. Okay. How much of this is busy work versus actually producing the result of posting five reels this week? Maybe for example,
[01:03:06] Josh: that’s a really good point. Oh my gosh. I mean talk about like email and just. Day to day communication and, oh, it’s all busy work. And that is another challenge. Going back to kinda the question I posed earlier, like what are the biggest challenges with focus?
[01:03:19] Josh: I think it’s fair to say busy work is probably the enemy of actually getting stuff done. Like how ironic that staying busy actually will more than likely deters from, for getting out the, the big things done. Because the people that I know who generally are the most quote, unquote productive, as far as like getting stuff out are generally either doing less busy. They’ve either hired out busy work or they do less of it.
[01:03:43] Josh: Like they don’t get back to as many emails as I probably do. So in a weird way, that kind of pains me cuz I’ve prided myself on pretty much getting back to everyone that has ever emailed me. But I’m at a place in my journey where I’m close to handing off my email and then having either team get back to people or yeah, that’s probably the route I’ll go.
[01:04:02] Josh: I don’t know if I. Have somebody email me and not get back. I’d feel terrible about that. so that’s kind of something I’m working on personally doing just to help with the energy and focus to make sure I’m not catching myself stuck in busy work, which again, it’s so easy to do. So I don’t want anyone to feel like if they’re doing that, that they’re a bad person or they’re a failed entrepreneur. Like it’s, it’s what we all struggle with.
[01:04:23] Tanessa: You know, one of the things I found that actually has really helped is I leave a lot of, with the exception of my clients because you know, that is the bread and butter of my business. They take priority, but with regular day to day emails on anything else, I will answer them in the last half hour of my day.
[01:04:37] Tanessa: And the reason I do this is if you answer your emails, first thing in the morning, And you’re like, yes, inbox zero, which I’m an inbox, zero person. I like to leave the day clean at the end of the inbox. Well, what happens when you answer your emails at nine and then you get six emails back and now you’re back in your inbox again, and then you get a reply and you’re backing it again.
[01:04:55] Tanessa: Whereas if you do it at the end of the day, it still gets answered within that 24 hour period, which is what I said as something I pride myself in. But then I know that I’m not going to be like in deep work, having emails come in and be like, I gotta answer those. I gotta answer those because I know that I’m shut down for the end of the.
[01:05:15] Josh: That’s a great tip. I like that. Also, I feel like if you of, so if you end your day at like four and you get to your email at like three 30, if your goal is to get there, you got a half an hour to get all those emails out, which probably means you’re gonna be way more succinct instead of taking a lot more time.
[01:05:32] Josh: If you had started at nine and gave yourself two hours. Cause if you give yourself two hours to do that task, you’ll take two hours. It’s uh, what shoot. I just forgot the, the law on that Parkinson’s law, I think right where a task will expand to however long you give it. So that will make you much more succinct.
[01:05:47] Josh: I love that idea. Save it to the end of the day. And the, the other thing I learned as a web designer, there were times where I needed to make sure I would check my email in the morning to, to make sure there was no fires I needed to put out, however, It does not mean that I need to actually respond to any emails that aren’t necessary.
[01:06:04] Josh: So I could see an email, but I don’t have to actually respond until later. I think it’s another point that especially young entrepreneurs in the journey need to hear you don’t need to get back to an email right. When they send it. And I’m shocked at how many people, if I get back within 24 to 48 hours, I hear so much that people say, thank you for your speedy reply reply.
[01:06:22] Josh: I’m like 48 hours. That pain me. I slept on that knowing I didn’t get back to it. but apparently that’s really fast. Yeah. I feel like we’re alike as far as yeah. Like keeping our inbox low and getting back to people quick, which I know that’s true because you and I emailed very quickly with each other when we were, I.
[01:06:39] Tanessa: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. You know, one of the things that has also helped that on, on the note of what you said about certain emails need to be answered because they’re client related or whatever, like that is all of my client messages. I operate my entire business off of Trello. So I have Trello notifications that come in, those get answered because those are clients, emails, never clients.
[01:06:58] Tanessa: So I very much separate out the ones that need prompt response versus the ones that can have a 24 hour delay. And I find that that lets me really keep a high level of service with my clients and also prioritize as needed the email. But my, I think my biggest thing that has helped with like really creating space for all of that and efficiency of work during the day, The time I create by getting better sleep.
[01:07:22] Tanessa: And this is what I think a lot of people don’t think, especially when it comes to like, where am I gonna find time for that new project? Where am I gonna find time to, I don’t know, start exercising or something like that is, well, the way I look at it is if you are, I, I, I’m a believer that we are operating our brains at like 65% of peak capacity.
[01:07:39] Tanessa: It’s like if we were to go into the apple store and we’re like, yes, I want the highest graphic card, the most memory, the fastest, all of this, and the best screen res I want. This mega computer, come home, put it on our desk. We just browse Facebook with it. That’s how I feel. A lot of us use our brain and its capacity to perform.
[01:07:55] Tanessa: And it’s through doing things like, you know, eating foods that create inflammation and not sleeping enough and stuff like that. But I really find that if we can get our brain up to 95% of peak capacity, and so much of that is done with just good sleep, then what used to take you six hours? What if that just took you five? Because you make decisions faster. You think clearer, you are focused. You don’t get distracted as often.
[01:08:15] Tanessa: You have an hour on the end of your day, you either get to decide you get an hour more of your life back, or you can take on that new project, or maybe that’s where you fit your new health habits. Cuz that’s the pushback I get is like, where do I find time to start eating healthy? Well, let’s create it by getting your brain working faster so you don’t need to spend 12 hours working. What if it’s only 10 or if you spend eight, what if it’s only six start working that way?
[01:08:41] Josh: And I love that too, because I’ve learned that when I think about work, I think about sitting down and being on the computer, but I’ve learned so vividly that the most important tasks and most important, uh, results that I’ve ever gotten in my business generally happened in thought in different places outside of my office.
[01:08:59] Josh: Mm-hmm like it. I thought about something on a walk and then did it on a computer. Just like you said, like we’re, we’re, we’re not optimizing off. Like if, if we’re for, and this is why I, I can’t stay in the corporate world, I can’t imagine making somebody sit in a chair for eight hours a day and expecting real great results to happen, unless it’s a task oriented thing that you just do.
[01:09:17] Josh: If you’re, if we’re in any sort of thought based business, which is what most of us here are listening to are doing as an entrepreneur and all an entrepreneur. This is a heads up. I love that you said that because most of the important work is gonna be done outside of often sitting down and you’re gonna be able to optimize it so much more.
[01:09:34] Josh: If you can get your, like, sit down computer time, done faster, cuz you know what you’re gonna do. You had the results, everything that we’ve talked about up to this point, I feel like this entire conversation has led to this kind of final closing thought, which I was gonna ask you for a final thought, but I feel like you just hit it.
[01:09:48] Josh: It’s like optimize the time. Is that a way to, how would, how could we, how could we like put that in a, a condensed version? Like optimize the time that you’re sitting in your, in front of your computer? Is that kind of the, the goal?
[01:10:00] Tanessa: I like to think what can I do. To optimize the performance capacity of my brain so that I can use the dedicated time, no matter if it’s in personal life or if it’s in my business, as effectively as I need to, to get everything done, that’s gonna move me forward. Whether that be in my health, my business, my relationships it’s what is my performance capacity? And what would I do with an extra 10% capacity? And how can I get there?
[01:10:28] Josh: Hmm, that’s a great final thought, Vanessa. This was awesome. Yeah. I really enjoyed this conversation with you. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. I did not know. I wasn’t expecting such scientific answers, but this was great. I feel like I learned a lot. We’ve got some awesome links, including to the book, the power of when, which will link to the conversation with Matthew Walker, Andrew Huberman. I’m definitely excited to check that out. Um, where would you like people to go to, to hear more from you?
[01:10:55] Josh: You have your podcast, which is the coming limitless podcast. Um, um, did you wanna send people, I know you have like a, a free playbook for energy, right? Is that right?
[01:11:04] Tanessa: Yeah, it’s called 12 ways to biohack your energy. Biohack just is another word for health optimization, but a little more measurable. So if you’re like, oh, I like this stuff how can I really wake up with more energy and have more focus? Then this book is my 12 most effective biohacks, that’ll really boost that alertness in the morning. They’re easy. You can implement one at a time and that’s at Tena shears.com/energy.
[01:11:26] Tanessa: But if you just wanna make it simple hop over to my Instagram at Tena shears, and then just DM me the word like biohacking, and I’ll send it to you on there. Make it too easy. We can come over and be friends on Instagram.
[01:11:37] Josh: okay, awesome. Yeah, we’ll have all this linked in the, in the show notes for this episode. So thank you so much for your time. I really enjoyed this chat. I feel like I learned a lot and I’m inspired and, uh, definitely challenged too, in some ways, particularly when it comes to sleep and energy management.
[01:11:52] Josh: So what a fun chat. Thank you for your time. I, you gotta get going here soon, but I just wanted to, to say you really. Thank you for being transparent on a lot of this stuff that I think is gonna help a lot of people. So this is fun.
[01:12:02] Tanessa: Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.