The Balance Code

How to Stop Multi-Tasking: How Doing Less Means Getting More Done with Amanda Ewin

January 17, 2024 Katie Rössler Season 2 Episode 11
The Balance Code
How to Stop Multi-Tasking: How Doing Less Means Getting More Done with Amanda Ewin
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered if doing less could actually lead to accomplishing more? 

In fact, I firmly believe that if we do less and don't rush things, we can experience more peace and make the most of what little effort we put in.

So, join me as I dive into exploring this seemingly paradoxical experience with Amanda Ewin, a lifestyle coach from Australia. Amanda talks about how she went from living a busy, over-committed life to one where she prioritizes doing what she believes in.

By joining together science and spirituality, meditation teacher Amanda Ewin can take your mornings from dreary to spectacular. By pointing them in the right direction and encouraging them to enjoy the present moment, she helps high achievers realize their goals. 

As your host of The Balance Code Podcast, my name is Katie Rössler, and I invite you to dive into the exploration of discovering what true life balance looks like.

It's more than simply a talk; today's episode changes the game. Amanda has some very insightful things to say about doing less, getting more done, and finding balance. 

What we talked about:

  • Identifying Your Values: discovering how living in alignment with these values can transform overwhelm into balance.
  • Letting Go of the "Busy" Identity: exploring the connection between external validation, the adrenaline rush, and how our identity is interwoven with our busyness.
  • Coping with Nervous System Overdrive: practical strategies to calm the nervous system as we transition from a hectic pace to a more intentional and mindful approach.
  • Anticipating Discomfort in Stillness: the power of stillness and the initial discomfort it may bring, setting the stage for self-awareness and personal growth.

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 Katie Rössler 0:04 Welcome to The Balance Code podcast, a place where you have permission to step outside the hamster wheel day to day life and learn tools to create more balance. My name is Katie Rössler. I'm a licensed therapist and burnout and hidden grief specialist. I support ambitious goal driven people you're ready to get off to the one way train to burnout start to enjoy life to the fullest. Oh, by the way, I'm an American living in Germany, who still learning the language. Mama of three and an entrepreneur. Living my balance code is what keeps me able to work an incredible way without burning out. 

Welcome back to the podcast. I am so excited to be interviewing Amanda about how doing less you're getting more done not just feels funny saying I keep having to like replaying in my head is like wait, I'm doing less but more is working out. How is it possible? So Amanda, you're gonna help us figure out how this makes sense because in today's world, we're just doing too much and that's not helping our life balance. Welcome to podcast. Amanda, thank you so much for being here. We share a little bit about yourself who you are what you do. Where you are in the world and who you serve. 

Amanda Ewin 1:14 Absolutely. I love this conversation. And I agree with you. It does sound really weird. That is counterintuitive. And I have been in a place where I thought the opposite completely for you. So I'll talk about that in a minute. I as you can hear by my accent. I'm Australian live in Australia. I am in Perth on even the pot town of Perth Fremantle in Western Australia. And it is such a big country. It blows my mind. And I work in the lifestyle coach helping high achieving women who do less and when they're at that point where they think that they need to do more to achieve more and they're feeling a bit mad and they're not quite sure why. So help them work out the priorities in their life and how they can get excited and bounce out of bed. And that's my jam. 

Katie Rössler 2:13 Absolutely. Well, you nailed it and ambitious people telling them to do less can create a sense of panic almost right like this. Like Wait, no. Okay, my identity is wrapped up in this. So how do you start with somebody who's coming to you and going like I'm hitting burnout. Tired of being overwhelmed. I know I need to cut back. But I don't want to like what did you What did you say to them? Well, this 

Amanda Ewin 2:41 is the thing. When they come to me I know what they think their problem is and I know what they need and it's completely different. And that's because I was exactly that person. That person that went to a life coach because I didn't know a counselor. There was nothing wrong with me. years. 20 years ago, we're talking and I went because I thought I was super disorganized. And I thought to be well organized. Exactly. And I remember distinctly sitting in her room I was seeing her face to face this was way before I discovered the online world and probably before it really took off as well. And and she said to me you can't fit these things into your life it how you expect to be there just it's not possible. There's only 24 hours in a day. And I honestly thought she's not the right person for me. She doesn't understand I need to find somebody that gets it. Anyway, I stuck with her and it transformed my life. I learned more about stillness and they took years it took years but where I start with my clients is looking at how they're spending their time. You can't tell them straightaway, you need to do less because they're like, they have to kind of work it out for themselves. But how are you spending your time so the 168 hours that we all have in a week? How are you spending it versus how do you want to be spending it and then we dive into the values work and you know what do you love doing that you might have forgotten about because you just got so busy. 

Katie Rössler 4:15 Yeah. Okay, so then demystify it for us how then doing less equal getting more. 

Amanda Ewin 4:25 It's a bit like that, you know, the matrix that says you're doing urgent work and important work and it's working out your priorities based on the things that light you up. And often when you get so busy, I've actually forgotten you're just doing doing doing all the time but you've stopped prioritizing in a way that brings you joy and helps you thrive. You just have this constantly that you just keep adding to and that seems that we're just oh, I want that. Oh, I'm gonna add that to my list. And then it's a bit like when you go shopping and you buy new clothes, but you don't check anything out. So they'll add things to the list but you don't take anything away. So and the busier you know, the saying ask a busy person, you'll get something done. And and that's what happens. We just keep saying yes, because I thought that that's what was role model to me and I just thought you say yes, because it's exciting and I love adventure and you know, my values are adventure, connection and freedom. I didn't realize that. I wasn't helping myself create freedom by chucking so many things on my plate was you know, you get sick doing that. But it is more about doing the things that are aligned and when you slow down you have space to work that out. You have space to listen to yourself and to listen to those needs that you have that you've kind of let your head roll at rest and you're not listening to your body anymore, if that makes sense. 

Katie Rössler 5:54 Absolutely. Absolutely. So let's say somebody's listening and they're like, Okay, yes, this is ringing true man that I hear you. Okay, what brought up values and living in accordance to your values many? How can we really iron down what our values are? Because a lot of us want to have all these characteristics and values and they're like what we've seen around them, but when we get to the core, you've listed three. Like, that's so simple. You know, when I work with clients, I like panel number 10. Here's number 11. And like, Whoa, that's a lot to live by. That's a lot of pressure on your shoulders values. How how do you identify them and the Cognito simplify them down. But 

Amanda Ewin 6:37 I have been doing values work for a long time and I love Brene Brown probably has one of the simplest methods and I work around a few models but what worked for me really well because I'm not a great decision maker. For anyone that's into astrology. I'm a liberal. So I was born with this one or this one or this place so choosing it and narrowing it down to three was really tough. And I look at it as digestible looking at what brought me joy in my life like when I think back was it last week when I keep what brought me pure joy and freedom. When was I feeling free and alive and I do a lot of visualization and meditation work with my clients. I might get them to do a visualization and and think back to that time where they were totally immersed in the moment. Where they could feel essences and what were they doing? And for me it was in the ocean. I love the ocean and I was with people and that was just the most incredible place. It blew my mind that I went back there but it's funny how that happens. And then to think about a moment when you're the most proud and to think about those things together and then come up with a list of the adjectives in the view Google or chat GPT give me a list of values. You know, come straight up. You don't have to look too hard and choosing at least 10 I would say to start with and then think narrowing it down to using I call it the umbrella. So family is important to me. And so is connection and now my kids have left home, families different I'm divorced, it's different. So the family can come under connection for me because connection like this with incredible people around the world I love and it's not just family so I couldn't have family because then that would roll out I wouldn't have space for connection. So it's choosing the umbrella ones and the ones that really speak to you same with adventure that's at the top of the list. I love travel and I love all of the different things that come up for me they come under adventure. And and the same with freedom. You know, you could have wealth and a lot of other things under the Freedom one or above it. So it's just whichever one resonates to you that the other ones are going to fit under laughter might be one tumor comes under that. Which one do you want the most off so it's just choosing the umbrella and then those are the ones that's it and sometimes it can take weeks and months to work it out. But you could choose three today and change it next week. 

Katie Rössler 9:16 Absolutely. And the umbrella is perfect because the thing for those of us who like that I like so many different like ah under one will contain it right I think because I'm in little container. I think that's a great method. One of the things I had to explore my own journey of doing too much, and I know some of you are listening and you're laughing still feel like I did lunch and how my identity was really wrapped up in the doing and I find with my clients too, that they don't realize how much being the yes person, the people either like whatever how everyone identified but staying busy, makes them feel important makes them feel valued. They still feel not alone, right? There's so many things and for me, it was about importance because of the dynamic of my home. The one who had the job and was always working towards the next goal and was the one who seemed the most important in the family. So I had to work about in my own time like that's not that does not equate does not equate but that is my that was my own inner child work. I had to do one other things do you find people wrapped up in what it means to be busy to have so much to do be doing more thinking that it's actually helping them to get more done to  the people pleasing comes into it? 

Amanda Ewin 10:33  Well, it did for me sort of the same Yes. And what you visualize as success so for example, I was at one time on five volunteer boards and committees, the school council and the Small Business Center and the Chamber of Commerce. I lived in a regional town of 20,000 people and so many opportunities came up and I got offered the chance to be the chairman of a board and I thought oh my gosh, I've made it and you know, I was already running two businesses had kids. I was addicted to exercise. I was mountain bike racing at the same time I was married. But you know I was doing all of these things. And I just thought chairman of a board that is going to sound amazing when I meet people. I'm the chairman of the board. And even still aren't good feels like I'm proud that I did that. And I feel like that was quite an achievement. And I hated every minute of it. I didn't like some of the people on the board. The management was really challenging. I would dread going to meetings. So that did not align with my values at all. And I thought I was so wrapped up with the identity of things my mum had volunteered her whole life. And I kind of just thought that's what you should do. Someone asked me I should be really grateful and then go and do it. I never thought about whether I'd like to do it or not. 

Katie Rössler 12:01 So it sounds like the more that we go like our goals really weren't that really what we want. How do we remove the people pleasing and feeling that success looks like this and it's gonna drive me to burnout once we remove all of that out and we see our values, then we start to do less because those values are quite simple, right? Like you said adventure you know, there's some travel in there, you know that there's exploring new restaurants, new things, but it's not a one track thing because you have those three values, but it's much more focus, then you're able to get more done because your attention is focused. We live in a world where our attention is bought for right people people buy for our attention. And so how do we remove even more of the external so that we can get more done more focus and stay in the realm of doing less equals getting more done? 

Amanda Ewin 13:00 There's a few steps to it and it certainly does not happen overnight. So I just want to put that out there. It is a it is a process. I'm James clear. They have a guru the atomic habit he wrote atomic habits he talks beautifully about goals. He just his email is one of my favorites. You know I'm not encouraging any people to add more to their list, but if you want to declutter your email list and add something that's awesome in that's not there already. James clear is great. And he talks a lot about goals and the illusion of them being the thing and gotta let go of some things like yeah, you don't get to this place of just doing less straight away. The next step after the values I would say is looking at what's on your list. That's negotiable. And what can you let go because the letting go is the hardest thing and not filling it with new things that are going to make you just as busy and you can do that down the track if you you know, you want it all aligns, okay and you're getting that time for stillness and you're not feeling like you're exhausted my clients come to me because they're, they've got no energy their to do list. is ridiculous. They're overwhelmed that at burnout, or you know, getting close, and they've already been through it a couple of times before. So, yeah, looking at the list. I remember when I did this work, my coach got me to look at what was on a scale of one to 10 What was I enjoyed doing the most and you know, that board hit me in the face being the chairman was a one out of 10. So then it's prioritizing the bottom of the list and what needs to go and a strategy to let go of those things. So that then you can start to realize what brings you joy. I think that's the biggest thing is those little moments and those things, working out what brings you joy in the moment and then you can start to get more of a helicopter view of your life. So you can see where your joy is where you're not why you're so busy. 

Katie Rössler 15:01  You  had mentioned earlier about the mountain bike and that you're like I'm kind of addicted to the endorphins got it. I was a runner for a long time so I I know that those of us who had athletics in our past whether growing up or in adulthood and you've taken on a hobby or maybe it's more than a hobby, you know, the rash and the just how that can derive you. And if you've had two or three days off, you feel it. And I feel like sometimes it's the same with doing more. It's this ration that's high. It's the adrenaline the dopamine and when we simplify our calendar, we fill it missing. We go like I got it put on my reading sheets and go right like I gotta go get on the bike with like, No, you don't. What are some ways of coping and kind of calming down the nervous system as it learns to do less?

Amanda Ewin 15:56 Such a great question. And so many different tools and strategies. And back to the story of my life coach. I remember saying to her, I'm ready to meditate. And she said, how about you just sit for 30 seconds when you bring the kids kids will level at that time and now adults? It just sit for 30 seconds after you've been for your morning walk with them. And I looked at her and I'm like, what what do you mean I can't meditate for 10 minutes already pushing me really well. So the first thing I heard just to see what it looks like to fit five minutes of stillness in in the morning before 12 And Marianne Williamson. I don't know if you've heard of her. She's a thought leader in the US and of course in miracles so the similar to Gabrielle Bernstein, some of her work people might have heard of, and I remember seeing her live in Australia. I flew like a four hour plane trip just to see her because I thought she was amazing. And she said five minutes of stillness in the morning will is amazing and recommended for everybody and possible for everyone as well. So just even if you start with one minute of just sitting and noticing what comes up because often we're so busy because we don't want to sit with those uncomfortable feelings that come up when we slow down. Absolutely. 

Katie Rössler 17:19 And our brain will do everything we can to protect us from those uncomfortable emotions. So we'll think of everything on the to do list. We'll remember something we said three weeks ago that we're mad at ourselves for saying right, everything will come up. I always joke that right because that is when all the you know, the replay reel comes up but it will happen in the stillness. So it sounds like what you're saying is anticipate that but that doesn't mean you stop that five minutes of that. Yeah, 

Amanda Ewin 17:50 just start to notice I think noticing is the awareness is the first step and noticing what comes up when you slow down notice the thoughts that say this is ridiculous. I'm just not a person that needs to slow down. You know, I used to think that oh, they don't like like I said she doesn't understand me and listen to my voice. I'm speaking so fast because I want to fit it all in like Right. Well, and when you talked about the adrenaline from the mountain biking, it wasn't just that it was external validation. So that's another point. It's the making sure the house is beautiful when people come over. Yeah. Why? So that they think that you're this amazing person who has a beautiful clean house or I mean, that's what I grew up with. My house was always a mess or my parents house and two people came over and then we had to all go around and make sure it looked beautiful for people to come over. And yeah, I think it's the letting go of identity I got ill from doing too much adrenal fatigue and I couldn't race anymore. And I remember having a massive meltdown and thinking what will people think oh, like I win races and I get like it that was a I was attached to that being on the podium and being this awesome person that the peace of mind races and I was so fierce and and then I didn't have that so it felt identity peace as well as that rush 

Katie Rössler 19:21 by when people's that like are you still running or have even been like now I feel like I'm disappointing them like I'm like, which is so funny. It was not about them but I'm like well, I did but I don't know it's okay. I knew I was I think but you're right we external validation. It's such a key piece and I think it's a key piece why we do so much as well. Is to hear great job. That's amazing. Wow. You're just awesome. But we're not doing that enough for ourselves then. It's always outside of ourselves. 

Amanda Ewin 19:55  Absolutely.  And I burned I also relates to this seeking outside is a natural human phenomenon. We're always going to want to hear you're amazing and you're really good at both things. And I love that I do that with my clients. The first thing we do is pause for applause. I call it at the beginning of each session and we celebrate the wins because so often high achievers I haven't done anything. I didn't do my actions. Alright. Yeah, I've had a really tough week. Well, let's celebrate what you did do and they can rattle off this huge list. And so I know that they love me saying well, I already know that you did this because we've been in touch during the sessions like I know. That's awesome. So we naturally do want to and yes, we do need to give it more to ourselves and celebrate going to bed at night thinking well think of all the things I did do today and all of the amazing things I get to do tomorrow because I didn't pick it off today. Instead of thinking I haven't done it 

Katie Rössler 20:49 all. Yeah, allow that satisfaction will sit there instead of going like I gotta do more. I can't anymore. No be satisfied with what you were able to get done. I love that made the thank you so much for all that you've shared and you know some of the nuggets of wisdom you've given us feel like appealing to you on this and think about what it means for my own life. I really want the values and I hope people will sit down and go okay, let me political on my values, and am I living in accordance? Where am I letting other people run the show? So you really helped us think of some things that I think all of us can sit down with paper and pen tonight and write out. I mean, if somebody wanted to get in contact with you or just follow you, where can they find you? 

Amanda Ewin 21:33 They can find me at Amanda Ewin on Instagram and Facebook. You can find me on my personal page. I put a lot of stuff there. And my websites and another podcast called bounce out of bed. And I love having conversations that will help high achieving people bounce out of bed and just enjoy life more, be less busy and do more of what they love. Excellent. 

Katie Rössler 22:02 I'll make sure all of those links are in the show notes below. Thank you again, Amanda. Dear listeners, thank you for listening today. I know you got a lot out of today's episode go back and listened again. Because there were some things that you need to hear hit two or three times. They really get to the soul of like, oh, yeah, there it is. That's what I needed to hear. A man that I look forward to being stay in touch with you because you and I have some similar values and ways that we work and I really value connecting with you at this time. 

Amanda Ewin 22:30 Thank you so much, Katie. It's been a delight.