Feb 2014

Top 7 Feminine Productivity Practices


2 years ago, I almost quit it all.

I had been busting my butt for several months to pull off a huge launch, and was coaching a dozen private clients while working crazy hours to write the curriculum for my program.  On top of all of that, I was planning my wedding and baby showers for girlfriends, writing weekly blog posts, trying to keep my inbox in check, and was still attempting to keep my relationship and body in good shape.  I was frazzled, freaked-out, and at the end of my rope.In a moment of desperation, I called my friend Nisha Moodley in tears.  I knew everything I was doing was important, and I needed her help to figure out how to get more done in less time.  Thankfully, Nisha helped sort me out, but it wasn’t what I expected…

In this week’s edition of The Blog Babysitter series, Nisha will be sharing her Top 7 Feminine Productivity Practices. As I welcome my new little guy into the world, I am so grateful to have found a more feminine flow in my productivity.  With so much to do in preparation for a long maternity leave, instead of being a hot mess, I actually feel more like a hot mama. Hallelujah!
We’ll also be diving into each of these practices in more depth at our LIVE FREE Retreat in Sonoma this fall.  We hope that you’ll join us.  Enjoy!

When I’m speaking with ambitious women about their ambitions, productivity often becomes the hot topic of conversation. We want to figure out how to do more in less time and be more effective in our work. As an entrepreneur with a full life and big ambitions, I get it.

What I’ve noticed from thousands of conversations with hundreds of women, though, is that this obsessive focus on productivity often leaves us feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

Instead of becoming more productive with our work so that we can work less and play more, we just end up trying to cram in more-more-more work and are left with no space for fun.

The other thing is this: Women are connected to the rhythm of nature in a very obvious way — our internal tides, like the ocean, guided by the moon. In simple terms, in a balanced body, we menstruate and ovulate in concert with the new and full moon. Trippy and oh-so cool. What this means for our productivity is that we are designed to have times where we have more energy and times where we need more rest. We are not robots, and when we act like robots, stress invades our bodies and minds and we actually become less productive and more overwhelmed.

For these reasons and more, it’s essential that women find a way to get the things done we need to accomplish without sacrificing our health or happiness today.  The paradigm of I’ll-work-my-ass-off-then-finally-rest-and-play is totally passé.  It never worked anyways. The truth is…

For women, productivity is less about what we’re doing when we’re working, and more about what we’re doing when we’re not.  {tweet it}


1. Uncover how you want to feel.

In her brilliant tome, The Desire Map, my dear friend Danielle LaPorte teaches that when we allow our Core Desired Feelings to lead, we have access to the success we desire now, in every moment. So, how do you want to feel when you “succeed”? Begin to generate those feelings now, and you’ll stop tripping on the future and start living for the now.

2. Read fiction books.

When we started dating, my man asked, “When was the last time you read fiction?” Fiction? I’m an entrepreneur, dude, I don’t have time for fiction. Right. For years, I’d been reading exclusively business and self-help books, so my mind had become wired for problem-solving…and seeing problems. His challenge for me was to read exclusively fiction for 1 year, and I’m so glad I paid attention. When I read fiction, I find my work hours more productive and my time off more relaxing. My favorite of all time? Jitterbug Perfume. Current? The Graveyard Book on audio.  Enjoy!

3. Dine with girlfriends once each week.

How often do you hang with your girlfriends and not talk about work? There was a period in my life when all I did was talk about my business. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most pleasurable time in my life, and the focus was always on what we needed to do, rather than just being with friends. I’ve since made a promise to myself to have at least one dinner with girlfriends each week, to catch up on love and life, and be in the space of sisterhood together. This is true soul nourishment.

4. Celebrate your accomplishments monthly.

In the dash to do more, it’s easy to forget to appreciate where we are, and all that we’ve created. Ambition with no appreciation falls flat and will leave you feeling dull, uninspired, desperate and exhausted. The solution? Set a monthly date with your best friends (or new friends) to celebrate. Use this time to raise a glass to one another, toasting to your accomplishments and the people who helped you get there. Enjoy the life you have.

5. Always be on vacation.

When I pretend that every week is a vacation where I sneak in a little work, I magically have a near-empty inbox, have happy clients, work about 4 hours a day on average for 3 days of the week, have wonderfully lazy breakfasts and dinners with friends and my love, and feel totally calm, happy and playful. Until further notice, go on vacation! You in?

6. Do the task in front of you.

Overwhelm is a choice, and it starts with the stories we tell ourselves. Next time you’re sitting down to work, instead of thinking of your mile-long To Do list and obsessing over stories that you’ll “never get it done” or “have so much to do”, focus on the task in front of you. When I feel bogged-down by all the tasks I’ve taken on, I tell myself “The only thing to do right now is this”, and I relax. Leave saving the world for another day, and just pay attention to what’s in front of you.

7. Give yourself more time.

This is deceptively simple and surprisingly overlooked in most productivity advice: just give yourself more time. If you plan for procrastination and create space for the unexpected, you just may breathe deeply enough to find the creativity to produce great work. If you’re always up to your eyeballs in tasks, maybe it’s not that you’re too slow, but taking on too much. See how you can do less to accomplish more.

In the comments below, join the conversation and share what you’re going to implement to rock your productivity!

Fiercely devoted to your freedom,



P.S. Many of us let our fears and concerns hold us back from moving ahead. I’ve learned that having a supportive community of like-minded business owners has helped me take my business to the next level. I’ve been able to grow my business exponentially and finally have the life and business I’ve dreamed of having. If you’re craving a supportive community, financial freedom and a business that makes money while you sleep, be sure to check out one of my mentors, Marie Forleo’s B-school. Doors are open for registration and close Wednesday, March 5th at 3pm EST. If you have any questions about B-School, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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  • Jenn

    I always loved to read as a child, and up until recently – was only reading business books as well. Last summer, I started reading fiction again and it is wonderful! I also feel more accomplished when I spend my free time reading fiction vs. watching TV.

    About being on vacation. I think that one will be slightly harder for those of us who don’t have our own businesses. I would love to pretend I’m on vacation, but think my boss would have something to say about a less than 50 hour work week. Any tips for pretending you’re on vacation when you have to be at the office or on the road for work, and don’t have the option to work 12 hours a week?

    • Hi Jenn!

      I love that you’ve taken to reading fiction again.
      Any book recommendations for us?

      A question for you:
      What does it *feel* like when you’re on vacation,
      and how can you infuse more of that feeling into
      your 9-5? For example, if you feel more relaxed,
      grounded and excited, how can you bring more
      of those feelings into your work day? Perhaps
      flowers on your desk, stretch breaks and an
      organized desk, for example, will help you feel
      better and more productive.

      Let me know your thoughts!

      With love,

  • Wow, #5 just blew my mind. As a fellow entrepreneur, I can totally relate to the feeling of overwhelm . Even though my primary objective of quitting my corporate job was to have more time for pleasure and travel, I feel immense guilt when I am not working all the time. From now on, I’m going to pretend everyday is a vacation in order to start honouring my values. I love that mindset shift…it’s genius!!

    • Summer, YES! Love this! Please report back
      and let us know how it goes. Sarah and I get
      super excited about women “going on vacay”
      in their day-to-day.

      We’re co-leading a retreat in Sonoma this
      fall where we’ll be diving into this:

      I hope you can join us!

      With love,

  • What a great post! My absolute favorite is #5. After working in the corporate world for years it’s been a bumpy transition for me to run my own business full time. For a long time I was breathing down my own neck to get things done and was just burning out. I’ve been trying to combat the guilt of taking things more slowly lately, but now I see that a gentle and loving mind-shift is in order! Thanks Nisha and Sarah! =)

    • “Breathing down my own neck” —
      Man, we can mean bosses to ourselves!

      I can so relate, Jen. If you really want to
      go deep with this, Sarah and I are leading
      our second annual LIVE FREE retreat in
      Sonoma, California this fall. I hope you
      can join us! Here’s the link:

      With love,

  • Fantastic tips. I love the idea for feeling like you are on vacation… and celebrating each month. It’s definitely important to celebrate all the victories, big and small. Great post!

    • Great, Kammie! Thanks for reading and I’m
      so happy you enjoyed. Have a great “vacay”

      With love,

  • Torrie Pattillo

    Oh this is beautiful!!!! Sarah & Nisha, I absolutely adore you ladies!!!! I have such a “life crush” on both of you lol.

    This was soooo timely, and such a great kick in the panties! Thank you so much! Duly noted and putting it in action! I can’t WAIT to learn more at the retreat this fall. I am sooo in!

  • LOVE. THIS. Especially #5 Thank you thank you Nisha! Just the permission I needed.
    (hi Torrie 🙂

  • Hi Nisha! I just recently started pretending like I am on vacation — I love setting that intention in the morning — it even makes my cup of coffee taste better:) I also LOVE to read fun fiction books — only problem is I struggle to put it down. Thanks for a great post!

    • I hear you with the fiction, Nicole. I have to sometimes remind myself “You can steal a moment later!” It helps.

      Much love,

  • This is so helpful and so timely. “Instead of becoming more productive with our work so that we can work less and play more, we just end up trying to cram in more-more-more work and are left with no space for fun.” — This is so true for me and described where I’ve ended up better than I could explain myself.

    I’m working on changing that, and tonight implemented step #2 and picked up one of many fiction books I’ve wanted to read but put aside for all the business books on my list. Incredible how relaxing that is. I’m going to work on the other steps too, starting with #7 while thinking about how I actually “do” the on-vacation thing. THANK YOU so much!

  • We always forget about #7, don’t we?! We can just give ourselves more time. In the end, we’ve somehow gotten enough done to be here, so we must be doing alright 🙂

    Sending love, Angela. Thanks for reading and sharing!

    Big hugs,

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