addicted to productivity? here’s how to rest WITHOUT guilt or anxiety

podcast Jul 28, 2020

Are you someone who feels like you just CAN’T rest without feeling guilty or anxious? Do you find yourself BUSY 24/7, yet it still never seems like there’s enough time to get everything done? If so, this episode is going to rock your world.


I get it because I’ve been there. I used to feel like I had to be “productive” all the time but looking back, I wasn’t being productive at all, I was just creating busy work for myself. Everything felt urgent and I felt like if I didn’t act on my ideas and to-do’s immediately, that everything would fall apart and I would fall off track. 


Now, I’ve totally rewired my relationship to time and productivity. I now know I have value and worth regardless of how much I work. I’ve been able to achieve SO much more by doing less - in less time and with less effort. And in this episode I’m going to share how you can achieve MORE by doing LESS too, by getting yourself off this hamster wheel and into alignment, ease and flow.


In this episode, you'll learn:

How I created an identity and self-worth outside of productivity

Why rest actually allows you to achieve more

How to chill the F out without feeling guilty or anxious about it

7 sneaky signs you’re addicted to productivity

What to do if you feel like you can’t relax - the exact process I walked my client through recently

How to do a productivity detox and train your brain to believe that rest is actually the most productive thing you can do sometimes

What to do if you feel like there’s never enough time to get everything done


🔮 Resources:


🔮 Mentioned in the episode:

Coach with me! 


Subscribe To The Magnetically You Podcast:


Leave a review & join the afterparty:

I am sooo grateful for you listening today. If this resonated with you, it would mean the world to me if you’d leave a review on itunes. Everyone’s invited to the afterparty which takes place every day on instagram @madison.arnholt so come hang out with us there.


Work with me:

If you’re really fired up about mindset, spiritual and personal development, click here to check out my coaching programs and courses.


Full Episode Transcript:

 Hey, welcome back to the Magnetically You podcast, you have Madison here, your mindset energy coach who is all about helping you reprogram your mind and your energy in order to create a life that truly lights your soul on fire.


So, I am talking about something that's really really been a massively transformational piece of my journey. So I'm going to be talking about what to do if you feel like you're addicted to productivity, and how to rest without guilt or anxiety. So this is something that I have really struggled with in my own life. I used to be a chronic over worker overthinker completely addicted to productivity like I thought that I had to be productive Literally 24 seven, like, I do not know how I survived and like, it's funny because at the time, like, I thought I was being so good, like, my roommate would be like, Oh my gosh, Madison, like you're the most productive human I know.


And I would be like, yeah, like, I know. And I thought it was like a badge of honor and like looking back, I'm like, Oh my gosh, that was like, so not healthy. So not good for my mental health. And I actually wasn't moving the needle, in terms of creating results in my life. I was just doing shit to do shit. And it just wasn't serving me at all. Um, and I would I would just like do shit that didn't need to be done like I would literally create things to do. That didn't make any sense and like looking at the time I was like, Oh, I gotta do this, this this and this and this. And like it automates it seemed to make sense. But now looking back, I'm like that literally made no sense. I was creating things to do all the time, I was doing busy work.


In my business, I would like play with my website edits and colors and like the silliest things and graphics and Pinterest graphics for hours and hours. And if you know anything about business, playing on your website and spending hours creating graphics does not create revenue. And I would choose a shiny objects like, just I don't know, like, just like, get almost like in my business like, I don't think that seems like get rich quick schemes. Like I would just be like chasing these shiny objects and being like, I gotta take this course I got to learn this and I gotta do that because this is going to be the answer that makes my business take off. And obviously number one, it never was those things. It was really later learning how to manage my mindset energy and this was a big piece of what I'm talking about today.


But things would just take me like way, way, way longer than they do now. Like, I can write an entire, like web page for one of my offers now and like 20 or 30 minutes, whereas before I would, I would literally spend days and days and days and hours, hours, hours. And I thought like, Oh, it's just hard. That's how it has to be. That's how long things have to take it just, it doesn't get to be easy. Things have to be hard, like I believe that you had to that had to be hard.


And so I overcomplicated everything. And I created it to be hard because I believed it had to be hard, like whatever we believe is almost like a self fulfilling prophecy. So because I believed it was hard. I looked for all of the ways I could overcomplicate it so that my reality could align with my belief system and I would prove my brain right, which is what all of our brains are designed to do. I know is this like belief that you have to work really, really really, really hard? In order to be deserving, you have to sacrifice in order to succeed, you have to hustle your fucking face off in order to achieve anything.


And now I know like the complete opposite is true, but this is what I thought at the time. This is kind of the belief system that I grew up with, and I was terrified of wasting time, like I just saw, like, if I wasn't like, actively doing something, then I was wasting my time, which would make me feel anxious and guilty and everything felt so urgent. Like I must do this now where my whole world My whole business is gonna fall apart. And I felt like I had whenever I had like an idea or a thought about like something to do, I felt like I had to act on it immediately.

Like, oh, like I need to transfer my laundry over like, Okay, I gotta go do that now. And then immediately as I was doing that, I would already be thinking about the next thing I go, I need to go fill up my water. Okay, I'm filling up my water. As I'm filling up my water, I'm like, Oh, she like okay, I need to go make my bed and like, Okay, well, I'm making my bed I'm like, Oh, shit, like, I have to answer that email and then while I'm answering that email, I'm like, Oh my god, I forgot that graphic I was going to create for Pinterest and I go on Pinterest and create that graphic and I'm like, Ooh, this would be a really good idea to add this to my Pinterest strategy. Okay, I'm gonna do that now. And then the whole fucking day would go by like that just bouncing and bouncing and bouncing from thing to thing to thing. And I like I was it was like, I was it was like an out of body experience. Like, I wasn't even there.


And then at the end of the day, I would like come back to and be like, what the hell just happened? Like, I feel like shit. I didn't actually do anything that moved me forward. And sure I have a little bit of a, you know, hit of accomplishment because I was like doing so much. But it just led to so much burnout and health problems and anxiety like I could not sit down on the couch without my heart racing because my body was so uncomfortable. With rest, because it was I didn't know how to do it and also to like the productivity thing was like avoiding. It was my brain sneaky way of avoiding the discomfort of emotions, the discomfort of my thoughts. If I was busy all day long, then I'd have to feel my feelings or be aware of my thoughts. I could just avoid all of it and not face the uncomfortable things. And so I realized that, you know, this really wasn't serving me it was causing me so much stressed. I'm like, I gotta get this under control. Like, this isn't working. I'm doing all the things all the time.


And yet my life still feels anxious all the time. I'm not seeing the results I want. So what's the point? Like what's the point and so, now I've gotten to the point where I I used to work on my business. While might having my full time job so having a full time job working on my business like in the wee hours of the morning all through like nine or 10pm and then do it again the next day and the next and on the weekends I would work all day. Both days on my business like it was just absolutely ridiculous. And also multitasking so like cleaning and doing laundry and doing dishes and like just creating so much work. Oh and this is really fun. This is kind of funny so when we lived in Atlanta we we lived pretty close to like marshals and target like places you can go like run errands and I literally would create I'm not kidding you a new errands that had to be ran like it was seemed like every day it was probably like actually every other day and it would stress me out because I was working my full time job. I was also working on my business.


And I would then be like oh my gosh, but in this like Okay, I have 15 minutes I like 20 minutes between meetings like gotta run the marshals and get like so just like literally create the dumbest things that like had to be done and it's like, okay, obviously would have made sense to just go like once a week or once every two weeks and I could have just made a list and then got the things and like most of the things I didn't even need, I just like, was looking for any work to create to make me feel productive and to fill in all the gaps in my day of space. So I didn't have to feel the discomfort of not knowing what to do with myself being with my emotions being with my thoughts.


And anyways, so I just want to tell this story because my boyfriend used to say like you run errands every day, more than anyone I know. I have like that's that's an observation like, hmm, do I really need to go to like marshals in target like, all the freaking time like, No, there's nothing I actually need I have everything I need it's fine So anyways, now I've completely like transformed that now I'm by no means I'm perfect because I'm recording this because I actually found myself falling back into some of these patterns the last two weeks and just started having a lot of physical symptoms of burnout headaches, things like that and so I knew I needed to revisit this and I had a conversation with my client yesterday and she really needed this too so I'm thinking a lot of you out there also need this as well so yeah, let me send me a message on Instagram at magnetically you if my story resonates with you if you understand this, because it's not it's not everyone who's experienced this or maybe they do maybe maybe I don't know, but I think that Yeah, I'm can do more. I feel like I can do more than most humans.


And I used to think that was like a badge of honor of like, oh, I can outwork an outcome. Productivity like anyone in the world Nazi, but actually like, Was I being productive? Was the word bringing me closer to anything I wanted in my life? And it's just like no, it was work for work sake, it didn't actually support anything in my life. So anyways, now I've gotten to this point where I don't really work on my business on the weekends, I only work on my business like a couple hours a day, and I make more money than I ever have before. And I work less and do less than I ever have before. And it's no coincidence that as soon as I started doing less, working less, taking more breaks, finding other things that fulfill me and give me a sense of worth outside of productivity, the more my business grew with much more ease and much less effort.


And so this is something this really came up because I was coaching my client through this yesterday, so she wanted to talk about habits. She's like Madison like, I'm really Struggling to move my body daily. I, you know, I don't need to lose weight, I don't want to lose weight. I just want to like feel strong and move my body for my health. I feel so good when I move like I but every time I try to get myself to do it, my mind is like nope and goes looking for excuses not to do it. And so I asked her, I'm like, Okay, well, what are what are those excuses? And you know, she was like, well, I could be doing other things like laundry, cooking finishing things for work. And, like, you know, telling herself like, if I work out, I won't have time or I don't have time to work out. I've too many other things to do. And I asked her like, Well, what does housework give you?


That exercise doesn't and she was like, well, it occupies my brain more when I can. But when I work out, I think about all the worries and things that need to be done. There's not enough hours in the day to get every so overwhelmed with all the things that do, um, and so I asked her, like, what would it look like if you knew you had enough time to get everything done? She's like, well, I would be more relaxed and so much more productive. I was like, Huh, okay, so what are what are you thinking and saying about time? What are you telling yourself about time? While she's telling herself I'm scared of wasting time, I can't waste time I need to be productive all the time. If I do nothing, it's a waste of time. And she had this sense that like, her productivity gives her this sense of worth, which is exactly the same thing that I went through as well. And these stories and thoughts and beliefs about time and needing to be productive all the time.


We're making her feel anxious all the time. Feel like no energy, feel like she can't do anything because it's so overwhelming. And then she about getting nothing done and then the cycle continues. And so I was like, Okay, well, what is it give you there's a reason that we Stay in our patterns. It's benefiting us in some way. It's serving us in some way. So I asked him, like, what do you get off the hook for when you approach your time in this way? How does it benefit you? And she was like, Well, I guess I get to, like, avoid facing my thoughts. And when I work out, like the thoughts come up, like my body's busy, but not my mind. And I was like, Huh, sounds familiar.


And so we talked about some swell news stories, you can start telling yourself about time, so there's more than enough time, resting helps me recharge, and when I recharge, I can do anything. It's safe for me to rest. Things like that. And what we realized is that through this coaching call was that the issue was not had nothing to do with working out. And it's funny because a lot of times we think we're like, oh, I can't work out. That's my problem. And then we dig deeper and it's like, oh, no, the problem is not Whether I, you know, workout or not, the problem is my relationship to time and productivity, which is a completely separate issue. So when we get to that we're able to work on that. And that's really what this episode is all about is healing that relationship with time and with productivity.

And what if it's actually a really really good thing that sitting still or for my client, like working out like some for some people I know working out like clears their mind for her. That's when the thoughts come up. And that's okay, everyone's different. Like what if it's a good thing that those thoughts are rising up? What if it means they're releasing what if it frees you and we have to be willing to go through that discomfort of the void and by void I mean that, that space where we are resting and we are doing less, we are doing nothing?


That's what I'm talking about as the void. It is uncomfortable, but you have to be willing to choose that over and over and over and over and over again until your brain learns that it's safe for us, it's going to be uncomfortable, I'm not gonna lie, it's not going to be roses and daisies. For me. I felt like it physically was impossible because when I would lay down on the couch, my heart would start racing so fast, I would literally feel like I was about to have a panic attack literally just from sitting still.


And, um, I would then I would get up and I would go do like laundry and do the dishes and work and my racing heart would go away. So I was stuck in this like really, really tough pattern because, of course, I didn't want to sit there with my racing heart if all I have to do is get up and do the dishes and laundry and all this shit, then yeah, I'm gonna choose that over the discomfort. It was more comfortable to do all those things and to wear myself out than it was to sit with that anxiety. However, you have to be willing to choose that discomfort, that anxiety, that guilt, whatever it is, and order to get through this to feel more rested, to feel more energized to be less anxious to actually be more productive, okay, we think we're being productive, but we're actually not. And this void forces you to get comfortable being uncomfortable, it forces you to find other things you like doing besides being productive.


And it also forces you to be more intentional with the time that you are being productive. So instead of doing busy work, you're forced to do the important things. So being productive 24/7 is the most unproductive thing you can do. And we've we've just assigned these meanings in our head, like if I do the dishes, if I do laundry, if I work on my business, if I work on my job, if I do whatever it is all day long, that means I am productive and if I am productive, then I'm good enough, then I'm worthy.


But the real question is, is it actually productive if all of those actions and doing are not bringing you closer to the results that you want in your life, if they're causing you to feel burnout, if they're taking away all your energy, if you're feeling anxious, 24 seven, is it actually productive? And it's no, it's a lie. We're telling ourselves to avoid the discomfort of rest and what that brings up for us. So, why do we do this? Well, there's a few reasons why. One thing is that sometimes we've been trained to believe by our habits by our parents, by society, that productivity is the main source of your fear, self worth. And like, we don't feel good enough unless we're productive and our identity who we believe we are gets wrapped up in it. And it becomes this thing where we don't know who are not productive and that's scary. It's scary to feel like you don't know who you are.


And if your identity is I'm productive, and you're productive, then you get to feel like you're you're okay, I'm, I know who I am. I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, like okay, and when you don't do that, it's so threatening to your identity and who you believe you are because if productive is who you are, and then you stop being doing doing doing, then Who the fuck are you? I don't know. And that's where the void comes in. You've got to go into that discomfort and the unknown in order to find the other things that give you worth outside of your productivity. Another reason why we do this is avoiding feeling our emotions and being with our thoughts, which I've already talked about. There's this like, societal belief that like, Oh, I'm so busy. I have so much to do, like, Oh my God today was crazy. Like, you know what I mean? Everyone just like says that like, it's like, busy as a badge of honor. It's not it's a lie. Um, and yeah, a lot of times it's a means of procrastinating. It's it's really funny because I never thought I procrastinated. I'm like, Oh, I'm I will take action all day. I in them. most productive human procrastination like, that's not me.


But now I realized like, it was all procrastination, procrastination because by doing all that, but I call like, ridiculous shit that I did not need to be doing. I got to avoid this scary uncomfortable things I got to avoid showing up fully in my business and really putting myself out there. If I was playing on Pinterest all day long, then I didn't have to go on Instagram stories and make people an offer and put myself out there. And also another reason why we do this is like this belief. We've been trained that things have to be hard, so then we over-complicate it and we make it hard so that our reality aligns with our belief system.


Okay, a couple more things. I'm going to talk about the symptoms of productivity addiction, how to know if this is you, you probably already know and let me know send me a message on Instagram. I'd love to talk with you about it. And then we're going to talk about what to do if you feel like you can't relax what to do if you feel like you are addicted to productivity if your self worth is tied up in your productivity. So some symptoms, you barely sit down, you move from task to task to task without taking a break while you're doing one thing, your brains already on the next and then the next, the next and the next. And then you get to the end of the day and you're like what in the world just happened? It feels really overwhelming to make decisions because there's just not enough room in your brain to think clearly. You get to the end of the day, and you're completely wiped out, but you actually didn't get any closer to your goals.


Maybe physical symptoms of burnout, like headaches, stomach aches, racing, heart anxiety, those can all be symptoms of essentially being addicted to productivity. Rest and other symptom resting gives you anxiety or guilt or you have this fear of not being productive because if you're not doing this 24 seven, then it means you won't succeed. And that's just a belief. Um, if you have this feeling that everything feels urgent, like it must be done or right now, that's a sign of something may be going on and you're doing all the things. But you're not seeing the results that you want. So those are all the symptoms and signs that you can know if this is something that's showing up for you. And here's a few things that you can do if you're having trouble relaxing, if you can't rest without anxiety or guilt. If you're productive 24 seven and you know that it's time to make some changes.


Here are some things you can do. So the first thing is to do a productivity detox, create the void and choose the discomfort, right? We're going to be uncomfortable either way, like what you're doing now probably already is uncomfortable. Our brains just think it's more comfortable than the discomfort of the Void because the void is unknown. And we make it out to be this bigger, scarier thing than it is. So choose to be in the discomfort of growth, over the discomfort of stagnation, you're going to be uncomfortable either way, why not choose the discomfort of growth over the discomfort of stagnation. So do some sort of productivity detox where you're not allowed to do anything productive. So I'm actually doing this with my client today. And I've done this in the past before I've actually done like, month long productivity detoxes where I set boundaries for myself, like I'm not sometimes for me, self help can become one of these chores and to do so I have to be really careful making sure I'm coming from a place of like, I'm doing this to feel good, and to grow and to see what's possible for myself rather than I'm doing this because I'm not good enough and I won't succeed.


If I don't, and I can't sit still, there's a very, there's a very big difference. So create a container where you maybe it's for 24 hours, you're not allowed to do anything productive, or maybe it's a month like I've done where you For me, I the month long experiments I've done in the past, I gave up podcast for a month because I'm literally always trying to fill my brain with podcasts, which I love. But if it's coming from this place of I'm not good enough, I don't know enough, then it's not being productive. It's avoiding the fear of not being good enough, which is totally different. So set a container for yourself, set some boundaries for yourself, like my client and I today are doing an experiment where I told her I'm like, no chores for 24 hours, pick a day this week, no chores. So she's like, I'll do it tomorrow. I'm like, Okay, great. Why don't I do it with you? So we're doing it together. today. We're not doing any chores. If you want to join in on join in on this with us. Let me know I would love to do a productivity detox day with you. It's actually fine. We can hold each other accountable. And trust me like magic happens when you slow down slow out actually allows you to speed up the results in your life.


Okay, um, so yeah, create some sort of productivity detox, whether it's a day of no choice at all, or maybe a month where it's like, I'm not going to do podcasts, I'm only going to do dishes like three times a week or four times a week rather than every day. I'm going to do laundry one time, instead of like a zillion times when it's unnecessary, like, whatever it is, whatever boundaries you need to set for yourself. I'm not going to work on past 5pm I'm not going to work or open my computer on the weekends like whatever boundaries you feel like what support you see if you can create some sort of productivity detox experiment. And yeah, just create some non negotiable standards for yourself. Like for me, I used to wake up, literally spring out of my bed, run straight to coffee or matcha. I feel now I like mostly drink coffee. But at the time, it was probably coffee spring up, run to the coffee. As soon as I got the coffee, I'd sit down on my computer and start doing shit. And I there was no time for myself. I never went into my day intentionally I never nourished my like mind body. And so I just immediately started working and it just set me up for a really overwhelming day.


So for me, a non negotiable standard for myself is that when I wake up, I journal I drink matcha I take care of myself before working no matter what every day. Now this that's the belief I've created for myself. I do it every day. However, that doesn't mean I'm perfect at it. There are maybe one day a month where I do get right on my computer. And then I'm like, Oh, I didn't really feel so good. But it's okay, right? Like we're not going for perfect here. That's really the problem. Sometimes I'll have Trevor hide my computer and I'm like, don't let me touch this for the whole weekend. So sometimes I'll do that. Sometimes we need someone else to hold us accountable and that's okay. Um, and also give yourself time caps when you're working. So if we are there's something called Parkinson's Law where basically says work expands to fill the time available for its completion. So, basically, that means if you have all day to do stuff, then you're going to do stuff all day. But if you're like, I am giving myself 30 minutes today to work on my business, what is most what is most important for me and those 30 minutes to work on? What am I intentionally going to choose to spend my time on?


And it's funny how when we say, Okay, I'm going to, I'll just get this done in the next three hours, then it takes us three hours. But if we're like, this is going to be easy. This is going to be fun. It's going to flow. I got this. I'm going to do this in 30 minutes. We can also do that. So that's the first thing is really creating some sort of productivity detox experience. And creating some non negotiable standards for yourself some boundaries about creating this container to have the void and to get yourself into the discomfort and the discomfort will lessen over time, your brain will learn that it's safe to rest. Okay, the second thing is there are some questions I want you to ask yourself and maybe come back to maybe get out of journaling and policies and really take the time to do this for yourself.


But the first one is, what's preventing you from being able to rest? Why can't you rest? Why can't you slow down? What would happen if you did? And what would that mean? mean about you? And how do you know that's what it would mean? What do you hope to gain by being productive 24 seven and when I say productive, I mean just doing shit because like, we all know By this point though, it's not actually productive. But what do you hope to gain by doing stuff? 24 seven What is it costing you not to rest? Where will your health life and mindset be if you keep this up for another year, three years, 10 years and with things that you feel like are urgent, they must be done now ask yourself, does this really need to be done now? Does it need to be done at all? Can it be done by anyone else? And how can I make this fun and easy because a lot of us perfectionist that's essentially if you haven't caught on that's for a lot of us perfectionist. This is one of our patterns this need to feel productive and be busy 24/7 in order to avoid failure avoid shame. Avoid the discomfort of our feelings.


So asking yourself how can I make this fun and easy stop over complicating, stop creating work, how can you make it fun and easy and simple. And then the last thing I want to share with you is some affirmation stop. I want you to actually repeat back with me right now. Whether in the if you're in the car or walking around, whatever it is just say these all after me or if you feel like you can't see them at all, it's fine to say them in your head. But ideally, just repeat them after me. I have more than enough time to get everything done. I'm the creator of time, I can always create more if needed. It is safe for me to rest. Rest is the most productive thing I can do.

When I rest clarity flows to me naturally, the less I do, the more successful I am. Okay, that's it for this week's episode. I hope this helped you I'd really struggle with this. And if it's something you're struggling with, let go of this story that you can't relax and you can't rest like you can make these changes. It's uncomfortable but you can do it. I did it and I'm working on it with several of my clients. And if it's something you'd like to support with, send me a message on Instagram. I'm happy to talk through it with you and if you want to go really really deep in working through this with me, you can look into coaching with me at magnetically you comm slash coaching it's the best way to really get an honest clear look at your mind and the thoughts and beliefs and the feelings that are standing in your way of creating the life that you truly want.

And the last thing, if you resonated with this episode, I would absolutely love if you would take a screenshot tag me and share it on Instagram so that if there's other people out there who are struggling with this and I know there are that I get to help them too and you get to help them to by sharing this and I would just love if you would do that and I will talk to you guys next week.

7 Days Of Alignment: Free Guide

7 simple daily practices to cultivate more alignment, inner peace and presence, starting today.


50% Complete

7 Days Of Alignment

Submit Your Name & Email Below To Download Instantly