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  • Hey, it's Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business

  • and life you love.

  • Now, if you're tired of feeling over stressed and over stretched and over committed but

  • you don't know a way out, today's episode is for you.

  • Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, best selling author, and mom, who's built a digital empire

  • that reached hundreds of thousands.

  • She teaches data and soul-driven practices that help you save time, make more money,

  • and experience less stress.

  • Kate's work has been featured by the Today Show, Yahoo Finance, Women's Health, Glamour,

  • Wanderlust, and more.

  • Kate runs a membership community called, Origin Collective.

  • Her second book, Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for

  • Busy Moms, is available now.

  • Hi Kate.

  • Hello.

  • Oh, it's so good to see you.

  • It's so good to see you too.

  • Thanks for coming back on.

  • Thanks for having me.

  • The last time you were here, we had you on for B-School alum and you were pregnant with

  • baby number two.

  • So pregnant.

  • I was past the time you were supposed to fly.

  • Super preggos and you had beautiful Ruby and now you have a new baby, Do Less, which is

  • amazing.

  • I have so many things underlined.

  • You did a brilliant job with this book.

  • We're going to talk about the title in a minute.

  • We can go into all of it, actually.

  • Why this book and why now?

  • For me in my own life, I wrote this book because I struggled so much with hyper productivity

  • and an obsession with getting things done and then I had two children and well, the

  • one kid before I wrote the book but anyway, and I was shocked by the amount of pressure

  • that my identity had wrapped up in being productive and being busy and I began to look at that

  • because...

  • And we'll talk about this later maybe but

  • During that pregnancy, I cut my work hours about in half and also during the first year

  • of motherhood, way even less than that and we had a sick baby, I had postpartum insomnia

  • and anxiety.

  • I mean it was a very messy year and yet we have the same results in our business and

  • so I thought, well if I could get the same results working half this amount, what was

  • I doing my entire adult life being obsessed with the 40 hour or 50 hour workweek, which

  • by the way, is completely this arbitrary number that was set up during the industrial revolution

  • based on how machinery works and it's not evidence-based at all and of course we'll

  • talk about the evidence that shows the alternative and I think it's so important for women, especially

  • with rises in adrenal fatigue, heart disease, all of the anxiety.

  • It's related to stress and stress is obviously related to our obsession with doing but I

  • am not about sacrificing results.

  • It's not about lying on the beach and eating bonbons either, unless you want to.

  • Well I love that.

  • No, no.

  • I'm actually not about that.

  • I don't think our audience is either and I will say, even when I...

  • First of all, I've known you for years.

  • We've been friends for a really long time.

  • I love you, I love your work, and even when I saw the title, I could feel this knee jerk...

  • Wait, what?

  • Do less?

  • What are you talking about, Kate?

  • Are you going to make me a slothen, you know what I mean?

  • It was this whole thing happening in my head.

  • The title itself can be triggering, particularly for ambitious, driven women.

  • Speak a little bit into that and also for people who might think like, oh, easy for

  • you to say with all of your...

  • Is this about getting a nanny and a housekeeper and blah, blah, blah.

  • Let us know.

  • Yeah.

  • Early in the book promotion process I was on a podcast and she started off the podcast

  • saying, well, I was very surprised to say that I really loved your book and I was like,

  • okay.

  • And she said, because I assumed, by the title, I was very triggered by the title, and I assumed

  • that what you were going to be talking about was exactly that, hiring a nanny, getting

  • a house cleaner, dah, dah, dah.

  • And she said, I was raised by a single mom who worked three jobs and I was pleasantly

  • surprised and thrilled to see that there's nothing you wrote about in this book that

  • my mother could not have done.

  • And I wrote it with that in mind because I want people to actually be able to do this

  • and get really good results, not to diminish their results.

  • Our culture has raised us to believe that the more we do, the more valuable we are,

  • and I am still a product of that culture.

  • I still want to get great results and I know your listeners do, I know most of the world

  • does.

  • And so that piece about, it's not about doing...

  • A lot of people hear do less and they automatically think, do nothing, and it's like, nope.

  • Just what I mean is, do less of the things that don't matter, do less of the things that

  • drain you, do less of the things that don't get you results, so you can do more of the

  • things that energize you, that light you up, that get you amazing results.

  • That's what it means.

  • Yeah and it's about meaning too.

  • I actually highlighted this from the book.

  • You wrote, the whole purpose of doing less, is to have the experience of having more,

  • not more stuff, but more meaning in our lives and I thought that really beautifully articulated

  • what so many of us are craving.

  • You and I obviously both remember a time when we were running our businesses and social

  • media didn't exist.

  • We also remember a time...

  • I know, I miss those days.

  • Yeah, in our lives, honestly, when cellphones didn't exist.

  • I remember a time when the Internet didn't exist and for some of our viewers, that's

  • not their reality and for many of them, they also...

  • They're like, hey, I remember further back because we have such a nice diverse age range

  • that watches the show and I do want to mention this for anyone who this is their first time

  • being introduced to you and your work, this has been a real evolution for you.

  • I remember when we first met.

  • I mean you and I go so far back but you told this story, which was so great, about a person

  • that you were dating in your early 20s and it was a time when you were really spinning

  • all of those plates and you were very committed to orchestrating every little bit of your

  • life and I love it, it was in your relationship and you told him that you really wanted him

  • to take more of the reigns in your relationship.

  • What was his response?

  • He replied, “I would love to, if you would be willing to put them down.”

  • It was like, oh okay, because there is this idea.

  • I think it affects women more, I will say, that if we are not doing it, it's not going

  • to happen and we kind of white knuckle our lives like, oh my God, if I'm not doing all

  • the things, then everything will fall apart and we just...

  • My invitation like this ex boyfriend's invitation to me was, to let go of the reigns and just

  • see what might happen.

  • Let's see if somebody else might pick them up.

  • Yeah, no.

  • I mean I've been guilty of that.

  • I've talked about this a lot.

  • I've become more aware of it in probably this time in my life than say earlier but I was

  • like, if I don't do everything in my career, if I don't do everything as it relates to

  • my relationship, if I'm not the one orchestrating my family, everything, it's all just going

  • to fall to pieces and I was doing that and I was diminishing everybody around me.

  • See?

  • That's the thing, it's so disempowering and I see it with parents a lot and I do this

  • myself, so I'm not pointing fingers and I see it in relationship a lot, where we have

  • this overinflated sense of self importance.

  • In a way, it's completely egotistical to think that if I don't do it, no one else will or

  • won't do it as well as I could.

  • They don't have it all together.

  • They're not going to get it right.

  • Yeah and so it squelches our children's growth.

  • It totally disempowers the people around us, whether you have a team, in your partnership,

  • your parents, it's awful.

  • It kills polarity in relationships.

  • If you are wanting to have that sexy time happen and that chemistry and that spark and

  • you are just cutting your partner off, not a great way to have that love stay alive.

  • Yeah like, I don't believe in your ability to do normal adult activities.

  • That's not sexy.

  • Not sexy.

  • I love also how the book is structured.

  • In the first part, you are really making the case, the philosophy of do less, have more,

  • and in the second part of the book, there's these 14 bite sized experiments that any woman,

  • or man, could test for herself.

  • Let's start with the data piece.

  • The global research is really leaning us in this direction of doing less.

  • Two things that I highlighted, one, in some research shared by Harvard Business Review

  • that you quote, it was stated that very few people, including high performing athletes,

  • novelists, and musicians, have an ability to be in a high state of concentration for

  • more than four to five hours a day.

  • I find that to be true for myself.

  • I can hit it hard and then I got to take a break or do something else for a little bit

  • because just grinding doesn't really work and then this was cool.

  • In Sweden, they're moving to a standard six hour workday and one company found that, news

  • flash, if you stay off social media and minimize distractions during your work day, less hours

  • actually doesn't diminish productivity.

  • I was like, yeah.

  • Yeah because I mean if...

  • On average, we get interrupted every 11 minutes and it takes us 25 minutes to get refocused

  • on what we were doing and so if you do the math, you realize you're spending zero minutes

  • focused on what you were doing, on average, and our brain, if we don't give ourselves

  • the break, our brain will actually try to get the break itself by distracting ourselves.

  • Let's say your three year old doesn't come in or your coworker doesn't come in to distract

  • you, you'll open another browser tab and start a new task, you'll pick up your phone and

  • start scrolling, you'll start a new project, you'll distract yourself and so the advice

  • ... The experiment is, what would happen if you actually took a break at the first sign

  • of fatigue and then came back and of course the data shows that you're way more productive

  • and you get more done in less time, so then you do have more time to do whatever, meditate

  • or be...

  • Lie on the ground.

  • I don't know what you want to do, exercise.

  • Yeah, whatever you want to do or be like Kate and I and take a salsa class together, which

  • is what we did the last time.

  • We were like, rather than meeting for lunch, let's just go dance, which is what we did.

  • It was the best.

  • It was really good.

  • The do less filter, I love this.

  • You say, ask yourself, in any area of your life, is there a way I could get the desired

  • result here with fewer action steps or fewer elements or in less time?

  • Curious, concrete example from how this has played out in your own life.

  • Yeah, so in our company, we were spending some energy and time in making these beautifully

  • designed social media graphics.

  • It required our designer, I had to write the copy, then the designer did it, then I had

  • to approve them, then there was this whole communication process that preceded and then

  • they got scheduled, it was a whole thing, right?

  • They were gorgeous.

  • I mean, amazing and we were tracking for analytics and also list growth and they just weren't

  • performing.

  • We realized, that's a lot of steps for getting no results on what we're wanting and now I

  • just take random pictures wherever on my phone and we use those for social and they get so

  • much more traction and it takes me 15 seconds, as opposed to all the steps and all the money

  • and all the time we were doing before.

  • I think this is such an important conversation because what has... what I've observed that

  • happens now and I've noticed it in myself and I try really hard to catch it before I

  • go too far down the rabbit whole is, there is a trend or there's something new that bubbles

  • up or people are starting to use a new platform and then you have that little voice in your

  • head that goes, I should be doing that too.

  • Am I going to be left behind if I don't do that too?

  • And I got to go... and then you get into this kind of rat race and I feel like that's where

  • many of us are spending too much of our time without actually pressing the pause button,

  • stepping back and say, A, do I even care about this?

  • B, is it getting any results?

  • Why am I doing it?

  • And what I feel like is so genius about your book is that at every corner, you're asking

  • us to slow down, pause, and ask really intelligent, wise, questions to get ourselves back on track.

  • Yeah, exactly because if we are trying to do six new initiatives or six new strategies

  • at the same time, just because everyone else is doing them and we saw a webinar on Instagram

  • ad or whatever, we don't...

  • I don't care what the strategies are.

  • They could be completely brilliant but you're cannibalizing on the things you were doing

  • before that were working and then nothing will work because your energy is like the

  • fine mist setting on your hose as opposed to the power wash setting.

  • I think about the hose all the time and really wanting to be that way and I also want to

  • just say, I wrote this book because I am very easily distracted and very easily enthused.

  • I get so excited about new things all the time and so I wrote this because for other

  • people like me, who have a tendency to go wide instead of go deep and I just want to

  • hold our toes to the fire because with the depth comes so much more success and more

  • importantly, so much more fulfillment.

  • I mean for me, simply to amplify is like, I live my life by that and same thing, I have

  • to remind myself of it often because ideas just...

  • They're like bunnies, popping out of my brain all the time.

  • I got to corral this thing down.

  • So it is, it's wise.

  • Talking about what really matters, tell us the story of you going to your annual direct

  • sales convention.

  • I thought that was kind of brilliant and this goes into the theme of really being rooted

  • and knowing what matters to you and it's going to be different for me, for you, for you,

  • for everyone.

  • It's so important.

  • I was at this annual convention that I had been going to every year since I was 18, so

  • this is kind of like a family reunion in a way and I remember this feeling so distinctly.

  • My husband and I had worked in our business, we had grown it, it had been a beautiful year,

  • and yet I... and our life was awesome.