286: Protect Your Time and Energy

15 Minutes Read

If you want to do more than just create a successful organization but live a life of true success, this episode is for you. Because what good is it to make a pile of money if you're alone and exhausted when you get there?

In this week's episode of the Superabound podcast you will discover:

  • How to create time for what matters most in your life, no matter how busy you are right now
  • How to get over the judgmental voices, both from inside yourself and from the world around you, that block your deeper self-investment
  • Why integrity is your secret power for protecting your time and energy and how to build it over time


The Superbound book is available for preorder, with lots of special bonuses just for people who buy the book early. Learn more about the book and get the bonuses for preordering here.

To dive deep into protecting your own time and energy, join us for the summer retreat here before it fills up.

If you want a supportive and experienced coach as you navigate the challenging yet rewarding path of working with family, we have openings for new VIP one-to-one clients. Learn more and book a consultation here.

Listen to this week's episode on Apple Podcasts here

Listen to it on Spotify here


Watch the video here

Full Transcript

Steve Haase  0:00  
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase where business owners like you learn tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. you are listening to episode number 286. Protect your time and energy. If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that we are passionate about helping business owners not just create a successful organization, but live a successful life. And that is going to look like feeling that you have the time and you have the energy. Today's episode is all about ways to protect those most valuable assets, which as business owners, we often kind of see as expendable, right? This is the cost of getting our service out there. This is the cost of being successful. But actually, it's the other way around. Success doesn't mean much if you don't have time for what you love, and energy to enjoy it and live your life. So that's what today is all about. A couple of notes before we dive in, we actually recorded this on video as well. I even put on a suit coat. So if you want to see me looking all dapper. And it's just a lot of fun over on our YouTube channel, which is @besuperabound that's waiting for you. And we also mentioned a summer retreat that we are holding. So if you resonate with this episode, and feel like you need to take some time out for yourself, and have that space to rejuvenate your time, your energy, gain some practical experience, as well as tools that you can use in your life, we would love to see you at the summer retreat, you can learn more at besuperabound.com/summer-retreat. And with that, let's get started.

Erin Aquin  1:55  
This is a very important topic for you regardless of what you do. But I always think that if you are a business owner or leader, knowing how to protect your time and your energy is very important. And listen, we're not very good at it. I mean, I'm good at it. But we as a as a collective tough one. I'm very good at it.

Steve Haase  2:24  
You're gonna know who you are. And and it's because you don't give a shit.

Erin Aquin  2:31  
give a shit.

Steve Haase  2:32  
No, you, you are fine to let things you know, go in whatever way they might. If it means that you have to take care of yourself, right? You make sure that you don't blow up on the way to making the world look the way you want it to look. Yeah,

Erin Aquin  2:53  
yeah, no, I'm not, I don't think it's that i i would not frame it as I don't give a shit. I think I'm just no longer willing to be self sacrificing for things I don't think really matter,

Steve Haase  3:05  
which I think the judgmental voice in one's head. And you can really get down on ourselves for having that attitude. You're like, well, if I don't, you know, accomplish everything on my to do list and get back to every single email and, you know, wipe down every surface and tidy up every single toy, then I'm lazy and I don't give a shit. And something we can't live with ourselves in that way. But the cost of that is that we're afraid we're you know, we're on the path to burnout. And we feel like, we never have a moment for ourselves. And you don't you don't get yourself into that position as as often as many people do. Well, I

Erin Aquin  3:44  
mean, I tricked myself into that. What's the trick? I tricked myself into it because I realized that some of you know this. And if you have pre ordered our book, you're gonna get the full story. But about 10 or 11 years ago, I was running my acupuncture clinic. This is before I knew about coaching before I had any mindset help. I was I was meditating. I had a spiritual practice, but I didn't have like I had a lot of awareness but not a lot of practical strategic tools to like utilize that awareness. So I was an acupuncturist and a yoga teacher and I was routinely supporting people and their self care. I was telling like I was giving them these delivering classes, having them relax. I was doing a lot of like, nutritional and herbal work with people. I was like a pillar for a lot of my clients and their self care. And then I had a total burnout experience. So my like route I worked six days a week between acupuncture and yoga, didn't work with a ton of hours, but I worked weird hours. So I would get up at six in the morning to go teach an early morning class. Some evenings, I wasn't finishing teaching until 930, or 10 o'clock at night. So I was like eating on a weird schedule or like sometimes just skipping it. And I totally burnt out and got very sick. Actually, I had a chronic pain and swelling in basically all my small joints. So like, my wrists were like three times, besides, they were hot and swollen my knees, I could barely bend my knees. And it was a really scary thing. Because my job was so physical, I needed to be able to drive I needed to be able to get on and off the floor, and do all of these things. And it happened Well, I had a lot of knowledge about how one could care for themselves. I had a lot of knowledge, but I didn't and a lot of awareness and not a lot of practical application. And I paid for it. So the way I kind of, I mean, I tricked myself into it. First I first I got sick, so that wasn't really tricking myself. But when I eventually recovered, I started I think it was one our daughter right after she was born. That first year, I started to notice that because I felt better physically, I started to like just edge and start playing with that pushing myself again, I know how to work really hard. I know how to skip meals, I know how to put other people's needs first and I had a baby who had a lot of needs. And around the time that I started coaching people, it became an integrity issue for me, I was like, I am not going to sit here and tell people to like, manage your time better and make sure you have self care time and like take a take a day off if I'm not doing those things. So

Steve Haase  6:56  
I got into coaching to help us off.

Erin Aquin  6:59  
Don't we all? It wasn't just getting into coaching, it was just that as I was coaching, I didn't want it ever, again, be in a place where I was telling people not telling I don't tell people what to do as a coach, but like offering strategies that I wasn't familiar with and wasn't using. I didn't want to do that again. Because I knew it was totally hypocritical. Just don't want to be hypocrite. So I started actually doing the things I knew would support me imagine that they did.

Steve Haase  7:34  
So it was a integrity issue.

Erin Aquin  7:37  
At first. Yeah, at first, it really was not about like, oh, I want to be amazing at looking after myself. At first it was like, I didn't want to be bullshit.

Steve Haase  7:46  
Right? And I think what's interesting with with, with both of these, we've kind of touched on two points that I think can be helpful to you as a leader and business owner, you the listener, not you, Erin is the first is actually taking a moment to consider your real priorities and why they're in that place. And the second is to have integrity with those stated priorities. So many times business owners leaders will speak about taking time off having regenerative time, making sure that their team is able to feel supported and have the time that they need to have a healthy work life harmony. And then they'll say, well, since I've empowered everybody else to do that, I have to work twice as hard. So that I you know, take up all their slack, that is not integrity. That is you know, putting yourself last, which is a recipe for burnout. So So being clear on what those priorities are, and then doing the work to have the integrity around it. So if that means maybe some emails will not be answered, you know, until the next business day. Being okay with that, and realizing that within the bigger picture of how you want your business to look and feel. That makes more sense than getting every last thing on your to do list done.

Erin Aquin  9:12  
Yeah, and something just occurred to me like, I don't want to present this as though I might have gotten sick anyway. It's not like, oh, I burned out and then my body attacks me and like it's all punishment for my sin of not taking care of myself. Yeah, that's not my style. But what I noticed about that time is the period of time afterwards where I really had to learn how to actually rest, like, learn how to sleep, or at least stay in bed when I couldn't sleep. Something that helped me that I actually suggest you leaders and business owners do. Especially if you're in a space where your team finds that challenging to take time off, or to unplug or to get rest and protect their own time and energy is I sort of did it. So I would have the anecdotal evidence of what it was like, and, and to discover the challenges. So if you just were to challenge yourself to take two days off, and off, I mean, like, no emails, no work related phone calls, no checking something on your laptop, like to truly unplug from your work sphere for two full days. If you've never done that before, or you haven't done it in a long time, you can expect there's going to probably be some issues. Usually who we have to protect our, our time and energy from is ourselves. But if you were to say, I'm going to do this as an experiment, to see what it's like and to find out what my challenges are, to find out that like when I'm sitting on the couch, watching a movie with my kids, and my phone is right there. That's a challenge for me. Because I want to just pick it up and just check in just want to see if I've got a new Slack message I want to see how are sales are today? How are you going to make it easy for yourself to not do that? Well lock the phone in a drawer, are you going to try our track, give it give your phone to your kid and tell them to pick a new password. We I did this with our kids. If they caught me working outside of work hours, I told them, I would pay them $2. And man, they were great coaches motivated, they would come around every corner like your laptop, or your computer. Let me see what you're doing. Are you working? They did make some money from that? Well,

Steve Haase  12:12  
of course. But I think you raise a really important point here, that the main person responsible for protecting your time and energy, and usually the main betrayer of your time and energy is not other people, it's yourself. Other people are going to want it, they're going to want your time and energy, especially if you are an influential person, if you are the boss, if you are a leader in some way, people are going to want a piece of that. And you might even feel compelled to be working on it, you might feel responsible for it. But in the end, it is how you set the expectations. And what you allow, in your own mind that builds that bridge for people to say, Okay, I'm gonna pull you in on this, I'm gonna add you to that meeting invite I'm going to, you know, schedule this event for you. If you saying yes, not pushing back and not saying I am protecting this that actually allows that to continue, nobody else can take your time without you being up for it.

Erin Aquin  13:18  
This is where amazing assistants can come in, they can be the gatekeeper of the time. But also this is we have so many great automation tools and systems these days to do that without any human needing to spend their time trying to protect your time. So some simple things when you're maybe maybe an auto responder on your email, it's very simple concept. And yet so many people I talked to who told me they're very busy and they have no time and they're everyone's always invading their time. They don't use auto responders. If it's the weekend, if it's a vacation, if it's a time where you are focused on some other aspect of your work. That is an email. Let the people who are coming into your inbox, know that you're going to be slower to respond or you're not going to be responding at all. It will not only help you not be like infiltrated with requests for your time and your energy. But you will start to train the people who work with you. To know that you actually take your time boundary seriously your energy is precious, they will think twice before interfacing with you on things that don't really matter and don't really need you so much about protecting your time and energy is about how you treat treat it yourself and how you value it within yourself. But then it's taking that and extending it out to the relationships you have so that other people know what is acceptable especially if you're a leader you get to kind of set those expectations for how to interact with you. And when I love, I love the idea of people having their own sort of communication rules or guidelines. So when someone is new to the team, you can say, here's how we communicate in this culture, according to our values, we don't have three hour meetings over things that don't matter if you're going to set up a meeting, meetings are no longer than 45 minutes, meetings require an agenda and people and you need to tell each person why they are required at that meeting, they get to opt out, if it's not actually for them. You can be very specific about that within the workplace.

Steve Haase  15:44  
That helps everybody. Now, what's really interesting about time and energy, is there are so many factors to protecting your energy. And most of them come down to a feeling like what is the feeling that you have in this moment? Even if the feeling is, you know, depleted, that that can be physiological, but there's also a psychological there's a spiritual element to depleted as well. So the place to begin when you're thinking about protecting your energy is actually tapping into what is your energy? How are you feeling? So many people? You know, and it's evident in your story as well, Erin, you just push on through the and you take that as your badge of honor, like push on through? Or push on? So hard? Yeah. And so you aren't taking any time to tap into? What is my energy? What do I need right now and what's going to support me, I had a fascinating conversation with a client the other day, we were talking about how they wanted to, you know, implement a new process. And they were like, this just sound soul sucking. I think that was my words, they said something, you know, this, I guess does not sound fun. And I was like, okay, so that is that is not a problem that is a pointer. It's a Coolblue, that you're going down a path that is not going to be fruitful for you. And so in a world where you actually want to protect your energy, you take that clue, and you say, so then what else is possible, rather than murder, I guess I gotta find a way to make this thing, you know, energetic, like, no, let's not make it an hour long meeting about, you know, whatever the thing is, let's find other ways to create those connections to come up with those ideas. You let that energetic signature, of of of that decision, guide you towards something that's going to give you energy, rather than force you to get through yet another thing.

Erin Aquin  17:53  
And this is where the relationship with time and energy I think is so often underrated. You have to have some time built into your life to be able even able to pick up those energetic signals. So it's really hard if you've sort of conditioned yourself to push through to actually notice those feelings, please, because you probably have been blasting past them for so long. So I would suggest I just did this with the your magical Life Community yesterday, we did a 10 minute meditation, with no instructions, no goals, no visualization, no special special breathing technique. It was really just sitting, being present, keeping a very wide perspective and spend 10 minutes being instead of doing

Steve Haase  18:55  
and you feel the energy shouldn't even speak about it. See, I

Erin Aquin  18:58  
felt the just be

Steve Haase  19:02  
just take a moment

Erin Aquin  19:04  
to be. But in some ways, I think this is in some ways. It's a very simple form of meditation, but it's quite challenging. It's a form of meditation. We both practiced extensively for many years. And it's only one of the practices that I do. But when I'm feeling overwhelmed, and I'm very busy, and I feel like I'm just doing so much output and there's not a lot and it's coming back to me. Sit sitting and being is a way to signal to my body to my energy to my spirit that I am listening. I am present. So, over time what starts to happen is you'll notice that energetic signature of something being like woof soul sucking woof, this doesn't feel right. Ooh, this is like I'm squishing myself. feel squishy, I always feel like I'm getting like crushed into like a little narrow tunnel when I'm going down a road like that. And then it's an opportunity to say, how do I want to expand into my vision and values to do this differently, in a way that's respectful of my time and energy. That's that value is my life force. And of those around me, and you will come up with some very creative and interesting things. Another important piece to this is not just the 10 minutes of time, and space, and energetic recognition, it's also giving yourself longer periods of that it's something we bring to our retreats is having a few full days of being very present with yourself being taken care of. So we're planning a retreat this summer with a very small group. And there's going to be time for people to go for walks, we're going to take care of the food, we're taking care of, sort of setting the atmosphere, and then we're going to take care of their strategy and their minds and you know, teach them a lot of really neat stuff. But it's all happening without a meeting right after or without things to be cleaned up at home. It's happening in a space that's completely devoted to the nourishment and enhancement of the the energy of those individuals.

Steve Haase  21:50  
If you've ever done a retreat, you know the power of extracting from the day to day and actually taking some time to focus on the subtler dimensions of your life. So that would be you protecting your time by removing yourself from those time pressures, you're protecting your energy by coming into a space that is designed to give you that room to think to reflect to be and it's a real gift to yourself, I was talking to someone just the other day, who was reflecting on, you know, all the work, they're doing all the things, they're doing all the magical creations they've brought about in their life. And I'm exhausted, my family does not get the best of me, because I'm putting out so much energy. I haven't spent time just being. And so if that's you, and you resonate with the idea of taking that time and tuning into those voices within and what your energy needs to be filled in, then you should join us, we still have some openings for the retreat, you can learn more at besuperabound.com/summer-retreat. And all the information is there.

Erin Aquin  23:15  
I think you also just touched on a clue. And energy energetic signature, if you will. If you know if you have patterned yourself to blast past the squishy that feeling of going down routes that take from you in ways that don't replenish you. A clue is when you start to feel bad that your loved ones aren't getting your best. Because chances are if you are feeling bad for your partner, for your kids, for your dog for your cat, your brother's like whoever's in your circle. You're not even thinking about you, you're still not thinking about you, you're still thinking about your time and energy. And you're even one more layer removed from knowing how you feel and what you need. But you are aware because you're getting feedback from the people who love you that that they're not getting the love. The answer to that is not to pour more energy into that bucket. Because it usually means you're also depleted. We I actually think the times I have felt that way. I've been very tempting to say I'm absolutely not going away. I'm absolutely not going to retreat. My children need me my husband needs to be but like they were kind of just getting like a ghost walking around the house being drained. The best thing for me to do in those cases is always to go away, have time alone or be on a retreat where I am fully taken care of and very consciously replenishing I my supply of energy and learning, this is something you will learn at our retreat, learning how not to get to that place. Again, it's not enough to just go away and have a great weekend, you actually need to learn the tools to tend your inner flame, which is something Steve and I are going pat ourselves on the back here, we're experts at teaching. And we would love to support you and doing and doing, but it took a while. And we're going to teach you all of that summer,

Steve Haase  25:35  
you will also learn what it means to protect your energy internally, right, because again, often the biggest source of energy leaks is not the other people who are demanding our time and attention. It's actually the way we talk to ourselves. It's the conversations that we invest our energy in, it's the static that we believe and don't actually clear kind of ground what we call healing static. So the retreat will be an opportunity to uncover some of those patterns that leave you depleted simply because of your own habits of mind, right, the ways that your unquestioned beliefs, zap your energy rather than fill it up.

Erin Aquin  26:28  
To you to come. If we saw the spots left, that's

Steve Haase  26:31  
gonna be amazing. It's in Ontario in the summer, which is the best place to be the best time to be there. And we'd love to see you there. So head over to either the link on this page or like I said, Besuperabound.com/summer-retreat Have

Erin Aquin  26:51  
a great week. We'll talk to you soon.