Join me and Cara Harvey, fellow mom and productivity mentor, as we talk about her 15 Minute Formula.  This is an avenue to help moms feel more confident, less of a hot mess, and start to structure and run their lives in a way that allows them to live a life by design!  We’ll be talking about how to ditch the mom guilt and hustle mindset and create schedules, goals, and routines that fit into a busy mom’s life- without the overwhelm or the burnout! 

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Eva: (00:04)
Hey there, you’re listening to the My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.

Eva: (00:44)
Okay, well, thank you Kara so much for being here today. Why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and, uh, what you do?

Cara: (00:53)
Yeah, sure. So I am a mom of three. I am an accidental entrepreneur. Like most people I find in this space where I was a school team year for eight years, I taught high school, special education and I loved it. But around year seven I hit burnout. I was going to school at 6:00 AM leaving at 6:00 PM. I would come in on the weekends to make my copies. I lived there and I couldn’t do it anymore. So I came home one day and I said to my husband, who’s a principal. So he gets it. I said, I can’t do this. I’m burnt out. My anxiety is through the roof. I’m just crying every day on the way to work. What can I do? And he said, well, I mean, if you wanna leave short, but uh, we need to make money. So you’ve got to figure something out.

Eva: (01:33)
And at the time I was dabbling in network marketing and I thought, all right, maybe I can make enough not to replace my teaching salary, but just to pay the bills that like bare minimum amount. So I could have a break mental health, health wise. And I hate the word hustle. Absolutely hate it. But that’s what I did that eighth year. I mean, I was grinding myself, but I was able to do it. And so at the end of my eighth year of teaching, I left and went, full-time into network marketing and I did full-time network marketing for about three years. And I started to burn out. I was doing all the same things did as a teacher because I thought that’s what success was. I thought that I could never go to bed with that inbox. Zero. I thought that I had to jump on my phone.

Cara: (02:10)
As soon as someone messaged me for anything. I was literally at the mercy of this job and I was seeking time freedom. I was seeking time with my family. I was seeking a life that made sense to me. And something clicked in my head when I was pregnant with now, goodness, four year old. Um, I said, I can’t do this anymore. I’m doing all those same things. And nothing is working at first. I thought it was teaching and then maybe it’s network marketing. And I did that thing. We do when we’re trying to figure our lifestyle. And I bought a bunch of planners. Like I just kept buying planners. I’m like, I’m gonna find it. The right planner is going to lead me. And right around 3:00 AM. I was nurse in my son over a BPI pillow when he was like two weeks old, something clicked in my head.

Cara: (02:49)
And I realized that the planner was not my problem. I wasn’t making a plan. That made sense for me. And I shifted gears from network marketing into what I do now as a productivity coach. And I found that as moms, we need a different approach in productivity. It’s so much like hustle, go 5:00 AM all this nonsense and that’s what’s out there. And honestly I believed it for so long. I thought if I didn’t get up at 5:00 AM every day, I would never be successful. Right. And if I didn’t stay up, you know, till midnight and S advice my sleep, and finally it clicked for me that there can be something different for moms. And so for the past three years, uh, I’ve used my podcast, the purpose driven mom show and my courses and my memberships and my own skills as a special education teacher, I brought it into creative framework to help moms figure out how to get things done.

Cara: (03:35)
That actually matter how to ditch overwhelm not actually be burnt and not feel like they need to jam a million things in their to-do list to quote, be successful. And, uh, that’s what I’ve been doing now. And now I am an author. My book is coming out January 23rd and I get to help. Uh, I’ve helped over 3000 moms in my courses now figure out how they can do the same thing. So it is absolutely amazing. I never thought I would be doing of this. And I’m just so thankful of the path that kind of got me here.

Eva: (04:04)
I think that that is, so what you said is so bang on that when it comes to, you know, being productive and having a vision that what might work for your average, Joe Schmo is not going to be the least bit realistic, a mom with young kids. And then it sets her up for feeling like a failure, because the framework is just not going to work for what is happening in her life. So I know that you, you talk about this thing called seasonal productivity. Um, so what would you say are the four seasons that you suggest moms add to their Cal, um, to help create their vision?

Cara: (04:44)
Sure. Yeah. So seasonal productivity is such a game changer because it allows you to ditch the guilt of feeling like you have to go, go, go all the time. And so Eva, I know like the moms that listen to your show, like they’re all moms of younger kids. So they mm-hmm  might not be sleeping if they listen to you, they’re probably getting a good night’s sleep. Right. But maybe they’re still their path where they’re trying to get their kid to sleep. Right. Yeah. And like you said, everyone’s like sacrifice, sleep to do these things. But when you’re in that quote season of life where your kids might not be sleeping well, they’re very demanding. They’re hanging on you all the time. The, the need, when you have little kids is so high demand. Yeah. What is in important and priority for you is not gonna be the same as somebody who is an empty nester.

Eva: (05:26)
Right, right. Or somebody who like, I, my kids are all in school. Right? Like they’re school aged kids. It’s very different than my sister who had a baby a year ago when she was in newborn phase. Like her goal was like, I wanna shower and I wanna pee. And I think sometimes we look at everybody on Instagram. Right. And we see what their, and we feel like, well, this mom’s getting up at 5:00 AM to go run on the treadmill, but I’m not. So I’m a failure. And I think the first piece, when you think about seasonal productivity is asking yourself, what season of life am I in? And how can I create a plan around that? Not what I think it’s supposed to be. And that’s a mental game changer when you can actually embrace your season and say, you know what, this phase of life that I’m in right now, I need to slow down.

Cara: (06:07)
Um, I not, can’t put as much on my plate. So for me work right now in quarter one of 20, 22 is jam the books coming out. We have a summit coming up. It is the busiest work season that I have every year. So that means that that’s my season. And I am not gonna put a million personal goals on my plate right now, because I recognize that work is kind of taking a priority. Now, it’s not like I’m saying it’s more important than my kids or any of that. But, um, I dunno if you’ve ever heard this, uh, analogy with the glass balls and the rubber balls, right. But we’re always struggling balls as moms, right. Summer glass, and some are rubber and yeah, the glass ones they can’t break and the rubber ones are gonna bounce back. And so I, during this season, work is my glass ball.

Eva: (06:45)
And maybe like making homemade meals five times a week for my kids. That’s a rubber ball. Like they’re gonna eat and we’re gonna figure it out. And so I think the first thing is, identify your season. Like where are you at? What goals make sense? And it’s not saying push your goals off. Don’t ever do them. It’s saying, if this doesn’t make sense right now, why like put a square peg in a round hole. Mm-hmm . Now when you’re planning things, though, I do recommend kind of four seasons that you add in these help prevent burnout. So your season can be, as long as you want it to be you, it could literally be like a quarter, you know, like on the calendar season, it could be a month. You could say this seasons for like this week, you, um, can decide. I think a lot of times we get married to the calendar, right?

Cara: (07:24)
We do that thing where it’s like, we have to start on Monday or January 1st or wherever you wanna start. Like, don’t worry about that. What is the season you’re identifying? So maybe you’re like, this month is gonna be my season. I’m gonna work through, these are the four things I’m gonna suggest you put in. So we’re gonna add in a season for planning, we’re gonna add in a season of push, cuz I don’t like the word hustle. So we’re gonna use the word push. Um, because things have to still get done a season for rest and a season for fun. And I know you’re probably listening, like, but fun. I get to have that. Yes you do. You deserve it and you get to have it and it doesn’t have to be, I’m gonna take an entire month to like, just do what I wanna do and ignore my other responsibilities.

Cara: (07:58)
But it’s about the other alignment. So what could this potentially look like? Well, say your season is gonna be one month. You’re like, I’m gonna look up my month and I’m gonna make sure I have these four components inside my month. All right. Do I have some time to plan? I think we jump into things. We’re like, I’m just gonna do this goal or I’m gonna make this meal plan or whatever it is. I think it’s important to stop, pause and take some time to just to plan things out. What, you know, say you have a meal planning goal and I’m using this example. Cause this is one of my goals right now. I take, it took some time. I took a whole week to like watch a couple videos on different meal plans to research different meal plans, to plan it out before I’m like, let me jump in and make all these meals.

Cara: (08:34)
Right. So adding in like a week where you’re like, I’m just gonna plan what I wanna do. I’m gonna figure out my next quarter, my next goal. I’m gonna break that down and give myself space to plan, which we rarely, rarely do. Mm-hmm  but by doing that, you’re not just jumping in, you’re being be strategic. Well then you might have your season of, of push. It. Doesn’t have to go in this order. You can mix it up where you’re like, okay, this week is gonna be super busy. Or maybe my Monday through Friday is my push. And then, you know, Saturday Sunday’s different. I’m gonna have push in here because I know things have to get done. But mentally, if I can wrap my head around, all right, if I can just push with my goals, if I can get this done, if I can work on my cleaning routine or my decluttering and just like really go for it.

Eva: (09:12)
I know that the other two or three seasons are coming and those are the fun and the rest. So add in something for fun, whatever that looks like for you. I’m a reader I like to read. Um, I don’t have a lot of other hobbies, but for me I plan Saturday is I don’t work. I take off and I always read a book and the tablets can mother my kids for a little bit. And I’m gonna read, I do that for me because it’s enjoyable, but you might have a hobby. Or when I go out with friends, have a date and night, whatever you can do. Um, and then that season of rest, uh, I know that we don’t feel as moms like we quote deserve it or we don’t feel like we’re supposed to. I know it’s challenging for many of us to even like watch a TV show without feeling like we have to fold nine loads of laundry because we don’t deserve to stop.

Cara: (09:51)
But if you don’t add in those seasons and you don’t have not balance like alignment with what matters, because balance would be out of the four weeks of the month, one week for each season, alignment is saying this month, this is how many days of push I need. How many days of rest I need? How many days of planning I need and how many days of fun I need that’s different because each month is different. Mm-hmm  so when you’re looking at the next month or the next quarter, just make sure you have those things in, in a way that makes sense for what you need in your life at that time. Mm-hmm  and you’ll start to create a plan that’s personalized and customized, but isn’t just go, go, go and do, do, do all the time where we wear that busy. Like it’s a badge of honor.

Eva: (10:31)
Right, right, right, right. I, I love that because I do think that there is this badge of all honor, that a lot of us wear not recognizing, not recognizing that that badge of honor is actually a badge towards, um, like full blown burnout, full blown burnout, you know, breakdown. Like when you’re folding those line loads of laundry, while watching the TV show, that’s prevent you from being able to like wind down and have that time that you need to refill your cup. Um, but then here’s my question for you. A lot of people will say, well, if something’s important enough to you, you’ll make sure to get it done. You just have to prioritize it. Right. Just make it a priority. And then, and then it’s going to have, if you don’t get it done, it must mean that it just wasn’t a priority. And it wasn’t important enough to you. So, um, how do you respond to that, um, phrase when it pertains to moms specifically?

Cara: (11:30)
Goodness, Eva. That is just, it’s a load of trash. Honestly. I can’t stand it. And I tell you this. I used to say it. I, when I was back in my network, marketing days and girl boss and up, I would say that all the time and I just apologize to people now. I think it’s ridiculous. And I think it’s a very like masculine type of phrase, because if you said to a mom, like what’s the most important to you? I’m gonna say nine times outta 10. They’re like my kids. Right. My kids. So you’re really telling them that if they don’t achieve other things, like say they have a goal around their family, it means their kids aren’t important enough or it means you don’t actually want it. I think that relying just on your willpower is setting you up for success. And, and it, it like perpetuates the story in our heads that we’re flawed.

Cara: (12:10)
This is wrong. I’m wrong with the reason I’m not achieving my goal or getting my to-do list done is because there’s something wrong with me. Mm-hmm, , there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just that you didn’t make a plan that set you up for success. And I think that it’s so important to make sure we realize that prioritization again, it looks different for us moms because we wear 900 hats because we’re not just like, I feel like one of my husband was to work. He can compartmentalize, right. He can be the principal. Then he comes home. He’s the dad. And he’s, we don’t do that. We’re not wired that way. Most of us I’m generalizing here. Right. We wear a million hats all the time while we’re multitasking and our brain is going mm-hmm . And so instead of looking at your priorities, if I was to say to you, and there’s like really popular productivity, like, all right, pick your big three for the day.

Cara: (12:55)
Right? That’s a, and I use that, but I use it differently because if I was to pick my big three, my top priorities for the day, it’d be something around my kids, probably a home. Right. I would always be on this like rinse and repeat cycle this groundhogs day of every day, focusing on the same, the same things over and over again. Instead I encourage people to look at what I’ve called micro priorities. So, you know, if you’re listening and you’re driving, don’t do this, but if you’re not driving and you can split, split a piece of paper, make it, uh, categories or roles like I’m wife, I’m mom, I’m a girl scout leader. Um, I have my business, whatever it is and list inside these categories. What are your priorities for this season, the month quarter, whatever you decide that need to get it accomplished for that priority.

Cara: (13:39)
Mm-hmm . And then instead of when you’re planning your next day saying, I I’m gonna pick my top priority in all the categories, pick a micro priority, pick one priority inside super meta, right? Or like inside the priorities. So when I’m with my kids, I can be like, this is my top priority for my family goals. Um, you know, getting dinner on the table or whatever it is, uh, playing a game, whatever we decide, all right, my home right now, my top priority. Um, maybe you wanna declutter your kitchen or maybe you’re remodeling a room or saving something for your budget. What’s the one priority there with work? What is it then this way, when you sit down to work, I teach a time blocking system and I teach like themeing your blocks. If you have a block that’s for like family, well then you know where to start, you know what to work on.

Cara: (14:21)
And you can kind of think, right. The dishes will be there later. The work will be there later. This is my top priority for this moment of my day right now. And I think it’s like the, the shrinking, the shrinking of the time that will allow you to stop feeling like you’re all the balls, because it’s not important to you. It’s not that it’s not important. Right. It’s just that we have so many things that we’re doing. And so if you hear people saying things like that, like your, why should be bigger than your ex, like, just tell ’em to be quiet because that’s nonsense. It’s still important to you. You just weren’t able to accomplish something today and that’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with you. Right. You just need to make a different plan.

Eva: (14:58)
Right. And then where does motivation come in? Cause then you hear a lot of these, um, you know, very well-intentioned motivational speakers, right. That are saying, well, you know, you, you, you need to find that motivation that drive in you to really want it. But again, when we’re talking about moms with who were wearing a million different hats at once, where do you think that motivation piece fits into your philosophy around this?

Cara: (15:26)
Yeah. I mean, I think motivation is great, but motivation cannot be the only thing that your on for your success. I think motivation is like a muscle that you have to train. And I am, I would describe myself as a motivated person. I am driven like it’s, I would like, it’s my personality. Right. But guess what? I don’t always feel like doing things. And I wanna sit and watch Netflix. And I think it’s important to acknowledge that you are not gonna be motivated all the time. For many reasons, you tired, you’re, um, overwhelmed. You just can have times where you just don’t feel like doing things. And if you’re only relying on motivation, then as soon as you don’t feel like doing something, you’re just not gonna do it. Cuz you’re like, well, I don’t feel like doing it. And then we get to talk on the hamster wheel, you know?

Cara: (16:06)
And I had a friend of mine and she lovingly said, you know, you spend all this time making these plans, um, around your goals. But when I just feel like doing something, I just do it. And I was like, well, that’s great for you. But like the rest of us aren’t like that. Yeah. Because we’re human beings and not robots. Right. And I, so what I think is important is do you need some incentives, some accountability, all of these keys, I teach like five keys to like making a really good plan. That’s gonna help you. But sometimes that internal motivation muscle is gonna grow. And while it’s growing, I encourage moms to make plans. That make sense. So I teach a 15 minute concept, right? It’s like the whole basics of basis of my framework. And it’s literally 15 minutes at a time. So, um, an example of this is I have a couple of three life coach certifications.

Cara: (16:51)
That’s important to me. Right? It’s it. I’m motivated to do it. I wanna become better at what I do. I love it. But sometimes I don’t wanna watch the classes. And so I remember getting on a call in my membership, we do like a weekly planning call and I was like, oh man, I really gotta watch these calls. And I just don’t wanna do it. And I said, you know what, what I teach is 15 minutes at a time. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna watch 15 minutes of a video and whatever happens, happens. And so I kind of went back to the planning stage and I broke the course down into 15 minute chunks for myself. I took the time to do it, which again, people don’t wanna do, but it’s so important because when it was time in my schedule was my learning time, which is typically like at night when I don’t right before I Netflix, I’ll like watch a 15 minute lesson of something.

Cara: (17:31)
I knew exactly what I had to do. I wasn’t relying on feeling like going with my emotions and my feeling. And I knew that if I could just do 15 minutes, I would complete the certification in the two months that I had planned. Awesome. So I would sit down, I’d watch it. When the 15 minutes was up, it was like, do I wanna keep going some days? Yeah. Some days, no. And I didn’t berate myself. I didn’t tell myself I was never gonna achieve this. I wasn’t like, oh, you only can do 15 minutes. No, I did it in these tiny chunks. And what that does is it one will grow your internal motivation. It also grows your confidence. Cause how many times we tried to work on the same thing over and over and we keep failing or quitting or whatever word your, your voice in your head is telling you.

Cara: (18:12)
And you don’t believe you can do it anymore. So by showing up for yourself in these tiny 15 minute chunks, which is manageable, like I picked 15 minutes because I can convince my brain to do something for 15 minutes. I can also scroll TikTok for 15 minutes. That turns into 45. Right? Yeah. So I know that I can talk myself into 15 minutes, put on a timer. It’s like four songs on my Spotify playlist and get something done. And then when I’m done, I can be done. I can face that in anywhere. Instead of let me find three hours on a Saturday to like, nobody’s doing that.

Eva: (18:43)
No one’s doing that. No, they’re

Cara: (18:44)
Not doing that. And so, so I think the motivation piece it’s important, but you cannot rely completely on it because then it, again goes to this shame, this place of shame, it goes to this place of I’m flawed. It’s not the plan that’s flawed. Right? That’s the truth. The plan is flawed, but we think you’re flawed. And then we feel like we can never achieve. And then we quit. And then, um, I call it the inner critic, the inner critic in your head, the story repeats, you’re a loser. You’re never gonna do this. See why do you even bother trying? And so let’s be a little more intentional and strategic to fix all those voices and that, that motivation.

Eva: (19:15)
Right. And you know, a part of me can’t even help, but wonder if this whole idea behind natural motivation, if that is just one big, um, flawed idea because I read somewhere, um, and I don’t know how accurate this is, but I think it’s probably pretty that they say that 97% of people are not naturally motivated. And it doesn’t mean that only 3% of society has that inner motivation in them. And I, and I wanna emphasize that. I don’t think that this means that 97% of the world is lazy. You know, I think, I think it’s important to emphasize that that like lacking motivation does not then mean lazy even though that’s what society might have been telling us. But rather it means that 97% of us need more than just that internal motivation to drive us to accomplish what we wanna do. We need a system, we need structure, we need accountability.

Eva: (20:13)
We need something that can help us get from point a to point B. And then the problem is that when we ignore the fact that likely 97% of us don’t have that natural drive, then even though  the people that are creating that messaging might even fall into that 97 per percent. I mean, or maybe it’s the 3% lecturing, the 97%, um, that no one wants to hear. And then of course, what happens to that 97% is they feel like a failure because they’re not accomplishing what the world is telling them that they should be accomplishing. And then you’re absolutely right. It’s this vicious cycle that you can find yourself in. And so I think to me that makes total sense. Do you think when I, when you, I, I, I can’t remember where I read this, but I think it was a reputable source, the 97% statistic. Do you think that that’s pretty accurate from what you’ve seen?

Cara: (21:05)
I mean, I believe it, I believe it. And I’m so happy you brought that up because it’s very challenging when we’ve been hearing messaging since we were like born, right. That we’re just supposed to be this. And I think when you, what changed for me was becoming a mom. I started to look at things differently, right? Like I used to have this like super structured, hourly time block or hourly schedule when I was teaching. Right. And because I needed it right. Because of the nature of my job, I needed it. I tried to do that as a mom and my kids were like, I don’t care about your schedule. And I was like, oh, babies don’t care. Oh, okay. So we’ve gotta do something different. And I had this aha moment where I realized it just has to be different for us. And I stopped that story of I’m just supposed to be motivated and it, you know, and I think that acknowledging that is really the first step. And I do believe that I bet that that is a accurate statistic because like I said, even me, I find that like, I’m an engram three. I feel like I’m naturally inclined to be very driven. Yeah. But again, I’m an

Eva: (21:59)
Eight and I’m an eight. I get that as well. Yeah.

Cara: (22:02)
But like, I’m not always motivated to do stuff. And I think that motivation piece, especially now, right, is January recording this and like everything out there and goodness, Eva. So it was being a TikTok. I still, so I’m not against it. I still scroll TikTok for 15 minutes at a time. And then I just do something else I just put timers on. Right. So I was scrolling TikTok and I saw everybody in their mother right now with these nine point, not even 900 point charts and these Excel and all their habits. And, and I just wanna hug them and say, slow it up, friend. Yeah. Because you are going to quit week after you’re quit. Yes, exactly. And that’s part of the reason actually I had the book come up third week of January, cuz that’s when most people quit their goals and they need it because my messages do less.

Cara: (22:42)
But do it well. Yeah. And do it until it becomes a habit, then add on like, why mean, I know the answer, but like why do we feel like we have to always fill the planner up? We don’t have to fill every line of the planner. Yeah. Why do we feel like, oh, there’s a habit tracker and this new planner, I must have 500 habits. How has that worked for you so far? That is what I tell mom when they’re like, but I don’t, I have so much I wanna achieve. That’s where the seasonality comes back in. You can still achieve those things. Right. So like I mentioned, work have, right. So my personal goals, they’re lighter and they’re all about self care and connecting with my family because I know I’m gonna be working more hours. And if I don’t take care of myself, I’m gonna be screwed.

Cara: (23:19)
So I’m not putting like intense goals on my plate right now. It’s literally just, um, taking care of me type of goals. Yeah. Drinking the water and doing my exercise. And I, I literally, me and my husband are watching all the Marvel movies and show with on fewer Mar family. But we’re watching them all in order. Mm-hmm  that as they a task to do this year, that is a goal I’m working on right now. It’s a good rest. And our goal is to do it with nothing else. Like we’re just watching them together. Yeah. Those are okay. Things. And I think that, um, I don’t know, just recognizing your season, creating a plan in these small chunks that make sense, especially when you’re a mom of a baby or smaller kids who you don’t have more than 15 minutes at a time to do things is going to help change your mindset and thought pattern around productivity and you know, know and start to have those little like aha moments where you’re like, this is enough. And yeah. I wanna encourage moms listening. Like sometimes they’ll say to me, but it’s just 15 minutes. Get the, just out of your head. It’s 15 minutes. It’s 15 minutes more than you were doing last week. It’s five minutes more that matters showing up for yourself consistently. Even in five minute chunks matters more than trying to like go to the gym for five hours one day a week. Like that’s not, what’s gonna make the change. Yeah. But it, but society tells us different.

Eva: (24:34)
Totally. And the truth is, you know, I remember when I was in law school and I didn’t have kids. I, I, wasn’t a mom when I was in law school and I, and I, you know, at the time on paper, you know, I think to myself like, oh yeah, I’ve been studying like all day, you know, for my exams. Like, I’m not doing anything today. I’m not doing anything tomorrow. Cause I’m just studying day and night. Okay. How much studying when you look back? When I look back, was I actually doing throughout the day I was studying, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t, you know, slacking my way through school, but how much Facebook scrolling and texting and break and snack breaks and these breaks and those breaks was I taking a heck of a lot more than I probably recognized at the time, but it worked at the time because I didn’t have kids pulling me in every different direction.

Eva: (25:25)
So I had more than enough time to study half the day and like play around the other half of the day, but tell myself that I studied all day long. Yeah. Right. And so you’re absolutely right. Like now that you don’t have, you know, eight hours to study and eight hours to scroll on Facebook and talk to your friends, um, you have to make sure that the time the, that you are working and the time that you are doing something that you wanna be doing, that you’re using your time, um, as efficiently as possible. So I wanna hear about this time blocking system that you have, like tell us a little bit more, um, what exactly that looks like.

Cara: (26:05)
Yeah. I mean, time blocking became my best for, and when I was like, I am done with this hourly thing, because again, just cuz I’m like, we’re doing this at 9 0 5. Doesn’t mean that my kids care that I wanna do something at 9 0 5. Yeah. And it’s also not realistic. I think we get very rigid and structured. So time blocking is the best of both worlds. It’s flexibility and urgency. So for people who are not planners, this can work for you for people who want more structure, this can work for you. And it is, um, a very simple concept that I’ve added a couple really cool things in the first is just picking your blocks. Two to five hours is like a nice number in between. Um, and I always say anchor them around your day. So look at your Monday because every day doesn’t have to be the difference.

Cara: (26:43)
Some people be like, but my Monday, Wednesday, Friday is different. Okay. Okay. So make other blocks, right? Like they don’t have to be the same and say, what natural anchors do I have? So for me, it’s like from when I get up to, when I take my kids to school and then from school to lunch, from lunch to when I pick them up, now your kids are home. Or if you, um, have a baby or you’re trying to maybe do it around nap time, do it around those natural progressions of things. From when you get up to breakfast, breakfast to lunch, lunch, to snacks, snack to dinner, everybody eats right. Make these blocks for yourself. So you have some focus time and what you’re gonna do inside each of your blocks. I recommend creating a theme for what’s happening during, in those blocks. Now I know that some people are very type a and they’re gonna be like, this has to look perfect. No, no, no. It’s not gonna be perfect. Stuff’s gonna bleed into other areas, but just roll with me for a bit. Okay. So

Eva: (27:31)
Any Agram ones listen to this? Yes. Yes. Because important for you guys.

Cara: (27:36)
Yes. Like, oh, but if this doesn’t fit into this theme, I hear the lot when I talk about themes that’s okay. Permission granted to, um, trust yourself, to figure it out and learn what works. So pick your theme. So for example, my block in the morning from when I wake up to say, when I take the kids to school, I call that my like self care block where I like get up. I do my workout, my meditation, that I also, you know, like get my kids ready for school and we have breakfast, but I’m not worrying about that. So see how that fits outside my block. Okay. So one block is like, self-care I have one block. If you’re batching for work for me, I might have one block. That’s the recording block. If you’re homeschooling one block, that’s homeschooling, you can call ’em whatever you want a family block.

Cara: (28:15)
I have a couple that we just call mixed blocks where we’re doing random stuff. But by having the blocks, it gives you some structure of weird to put things in your day. So people will be like, well, I want to do these 15 minutes, but where do they go? I just don’t know how to find the time. Well, now you’ve got a place for it to go. So if you’re making your goals and say, you have this decluttering goal, you wanna declutter your house. You’ve broken it down into 15 minutes. You’re actually like, great. I know what I have to do, but when am I supposed to do it? Well, identify one of your blocks as like a goal block where maybe that’s where you’re working on your goals. Or you could do that during your family block. If your family’s helping you or whatever, wherever you wanna put it by having the space and the themes you’ll be able to put stuff there.

Cara: (28:55)
And then you’re also gonna be able to adapt when stuff pops up. Mm-hmm  so not only do I recommend making your time blocks, and then I actually recommend three blocks to make. So you start with vision. That’s the first step in everything I teach, what do you want it to look like? And this is where that big three concept of picking your big three comes in. I actually recommend when you’re actually making your blocks, you pick three things to focus on for each block. So now you’ve got this, this urgency, I need to get this done. It doesn’t have to happen in the same order, but it’s gotta be done end of the block, instead of I’m just gonna do it by the end of the day, this works great with kids. Um, and this is what I did with my, um, kids and their routines.

Cara: (29:33)
So during our, um, maybe morning routine block, I was trying to control everything, cuz I like to do that. And I realized it doesn’t actually matter what order they do things in, as long as they get done. Now, do I want my kids to brush their teeth before they get dressed in case they get toothpaste on their clothes and it’s a mess. Yeah, I do. I really do. But really what is the end goal that they brush their fricking teeth without arguing with me. Right? And so I, I would say to my kids, and again, my littles are and doing this since they were two and four they’re four and six. Now I would say these are the three things we have like a little chore chart that need to get done before school in our preschool. What order do you wanna do them to do them in?

Cara: (30:11)
And I give them the freedom to choose. It’s hard for me cuz I want to tell them, but do they get them done? Yes. And they get them done without nagging. Now that’s what’s cool about time. If, for example, you have a chores block in your house. Like my family block is like family slash chores. So that’s when we’ll do the pickup, the laundry have dinner, like all that stuff. Now maybe I want things to go in a certain order, but that day I’m not motivated to do it in that order. Does that ever happen to you? When you’re like, I wrote that I was gonna do my laundry first, but I really don’t feel like my laundry. So now I’m gonna procrastinate forever because I said I was gonna do laundry first. Well, here’s where the motivation piece comes in. Mm-hmm  well with time blocking, maybe your three things were dinner, laundry and a family game.

Cara: (30:52)
Those are the three things you wanted to get done in that block. If you don’t feel like doing the laundry first, don’t do the laundry first, but know that it has to get done by the end of the block and this way you don’t get stuck in procrastination because you’re trying to like fit everything in this beautiful order. You’ve got the freedom and you’ve got the freedom for a phone call to go long or the dog to get sick or something to happen. Um, so you make your ideal blocks. What do you want it to look like? You make a second block, which is called like in progress. And that’s like where you’re slowly building it. And I teach a routine stacking where you’re slowly doing it. You’re not change. Don’t change every single block at the same time, change one block at a time, put one thing into the blocks and let the rest of the day go. And then I lovely call this next one. When the poop hits the fan and this is the contingency block, this is when everybody’s sick. And you’re like, what the heck am I doing? And instead of everyone’s got COVID, you’re all in isolation.

Cara: (31:43)
Well, so let me tell you, I did this last March when everything started to happen and shut down. I said, my kids at any point are gonna be home or at least this school year. Like I know at any point I could get the call. Yeah. So I actually have a contingency block, my poop block, if you will. And instead of identifying the big three in each block, I picked one thing for each block that if I do it that day, I will feel same. So in the morning for me, it’s like my workout. I know if I do my workout in the morning, no matter what, even just 30 minutes, I’m gonna feel good. If during that one block, we get one reading read aloud, done. That is more than enough. Right. Good. And, and you do that when you’re in a good mood, don’t do it like the day it happens, do it beforehand.

Eva: (32:18)
And, and so pre-identify it. And then whatever happens the rest of the day happens. But at least you’re not throwing your hands in the air saying, well, I don’t, I don’t even know what to do today. Just pick the one thing per block and let that be enough. Yeah. And having these pre-identified you can, oh, that’s my watch. You can figure it out. And I actually, like, I printed, like if the teacher sends things home or I get things emailed, I keep ’em in a filing cabinet here, craft ideas, whatever. So my kids were home over our Thanksgiving break cuz well one, you know, COVID whatever I had activities I could just pull out. I was like, cool, we’re doing this. I didn’t have to think about it. But if you don’t structure your blocks and think through like not pessimistically, like, oh my God, this guy is falling. But realistically something is going to happen. Yeah. Plan for it in a way that’s going to not stress you out when it happens. Yeah. It’s like, it’s a game changer because you feel more in control of your schedule because you’ve given yourself flexibility, which sounds like a paradox, but it’s, it’s true.

Cara: (33:13)
Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, we are recording this like beginning of January 20, me too, when you know, Aron is literally, it’s another way of saying like every single person and your dog is gonna get COVID. Um, which is again, another way of saying like you will be stuck at home. Well, you know, now at least a five day period at a minimum, um, without any outside help. And so I think that, you know, given the state of the world right now and you know, what is either going to happen, you know, either it’s happening to you right now or it’s going to happen in, you know, the very, very, very near future having that, uh, plan, that contingency plan, I think will really help you from going into, you know, panic, um, sky is falling mode because you know, when that rapid test turns positive, like you, you never, first of all, it’s never gonna happen at an, at an ideal time, no matter what, there’s never gonna be a convenient time for your kids to come home with a stuffy nose.

Eva: (34:18)
mm-hmm  and then your rapid test though, and, and it’s positive. I’m speaking as someone, this was, this is what happened to us the first week of, uh, the first week of December when we got notification that there were a couple classes, uh, sorry, a couple cases in, um, in my 10 year old’s grade five class. And so I said, okay, well let’s just go, let’s get a, let’s get a rapid test. And see, I said like, how are you? But, and she was like, no, it just up with a little bit of a runny nose, that’s it. And I actually re really wasn’t expecting, but then that second line was so bright. Like immediately there, it’s not like sometimes the second line is a little bit faint and you’re like, is this positive? Is it not? But even it’s like a pregnancy test, like the second line, as long as it’s, you know, slightly faint it’s there.

Eva: (35:04)
And then that’s it, bam. You know, I promise you, like, you need to be prepared because no matter what, it’s never gonna be convenient to find out that somebody in your household has COVID and if has hasn’t happened to you, you yet, it will happen in the very near future unless you been living under a rock. But even people that I know that have been living under rocks, they’re still getting COVID too. So I think that this type of system, um, is a real lifesaver because as someone that did not have that system in place, beginning of January, um, the panic that can, you know, come literally out of left field, the second that, that line second line pops up and you’re like, oh my gosh. Now I, I, I had all these things to do and now I can’t go anywhere am my three old has to be home from daycare and how’s my husband gonna work and how am I gonna work? And, oh my God, gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Um, I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone,

Cara: (36:00)
It just puts you in a better mental spot instead of the panic. Like you were just, uh, I talk about being proactive versus reactive a lot, um, in the book and in my framework, and that is just being proactive, right? Again, not pessimistic. Yeah. Proactive. I agree. And that, because you know that when that pit is in your stomach and you go into panic mode, then we are living in a reactive mode. Yeah. And it’s, it’s not good. I know we start snapping at our kids and our par like we’re just, we’re panicky. So yeah. Give yourself that gift and just take some time when you’re in a good mood. Um, and think it through, I agree and start small because then again, we either go into super duper panic mode and this is even like not cool, cause it’s just regular, like somebody’s sick or, or whatever the schedule gets thrown off.

Cara: (36:44)
Um, I know a lot of moms I work with will say like my, I did a phone call at nine and it was supposed to take 15 minutes and it took 45 and my whole day is thrown off. This allows you to shift your thinking a little bit over that like whole day is thrown off. You know what maybe that block was thrown off, let’s start fresh at the next block. Right? Yeah. Instead of that’s like that, we call it the Monday mentality. Like, you know, when you like start a diet and you’re like, I’m never gonna look at a carb or sniff some chocolate or go to the gym for four hours. And then by Tuesday you quit. Yeah. You’ll come do it again. Monday. This allows us to break up with that mentality and just move to the next space. Um, mentally leave that stuff behind and be like, I’m gonna do my best moving forward. And I think it’s this gray based approach that moms, um, they need, they need to have, because we have to be able to think on our feet and stuff. And if we don’t plan for it, no,

Eva: (37:28)
I, I agree now, where do you think bigger, let’s say annual goals or quarterly goals fit in. So, you know, we were talking about, you know, getting through the day, getting through the week, you know, fitting in those like micro goals and micro priorities is the mix. But what about, let’s talk about the rest of the year. How do you recommend that moms approach this?

Cara: (37:52)
Yeah, sure. So I love this like shorter timeframe of doing quarterly goals, but I do think it’s important to have annual stuff and long term three year, five year goals. And so I always recommend start with your vision and your big picture and then break them down. So I teach three different types of goals. I teach numerical goals, project based and routine based. And I think a, a mistake I notice is that everybody tries to break all their goals down the same, but all goals are not actually broken down the same way. They’re all actually little, little bit different. Um, and when you’re looking at your big goal, like maybe, you know, it’s January, everybody, I’m sure everyone’s got some sort of goal for the year. Um, look at that goal and where you wanna be at the end of the year. But if you just leave it there, you’re gonna do the thing where you say, you’re gonna read 52 books and then life gets in the way and you forget.

Cara: (38:37)
And then it’s September and you’ve read two and you’re like, okra. I now have to read 50, uh, books in the next three months and then you quit. Right? Right. So by, by shrinking your timeline and giving yourself more urgency and a smaller goal, you’re actually gonna be more productive because you’re gonna be more and what you have to do. So once you go through and like, identify your seasons, this is another theme based thing I do start with your year goals. What you wanna accomplish. I then recommend going through and deciding like, is it a numerical, a project or a routine? And you know, that’s like a whole nother topic, but once you figure out what type of bullet is, and then for each quarter, you can then decide, which makes sense. So I said, this month, I’m only working on like my self care type of goals.

Eva: (39:19)
Right. Mm-hmm  and maybe next month I might work on a home goal. And then that way everything has its place. Um, but when you’re breaking down, say the numerical is the easiest, cuz it’s literally math. Well say you have this 24 book goal and you’re like, I’m gonna read these 24 books. And if you break it down by dividing by four and again, because this is January, that’s great. But your quarters can start whenever you want. I think sometimes people think like, again, Monday mentality, I’ve gotta start quarter one or quarter two. Or if I don’t have my goals set by January 1st, I’m already behind like, nah, it’s just a calendar man. Like don’t even worry about it. Right? Yeah. So divide it up by four quarters in your, your year, not the, the year, your year and then divide even more, then divide that number up.

Cara: (40:01)
So 24 divided by four, you’ve got six, six books. Okay. That’s a little bit more doable for me. All right. There’s three months inside of a quarter. Um, six divided by three, two books a month. Okay. That’s good. So then I know where to start and that’s where you then will take that 15 minute concept I taught and you’re gonna break that book down. You’re gonna break that book into, how can I finish this book in 15 minutes a day mm-hmm  and then you’re gonna trudge through that. I think a lot of people don’t wanna do that. They’re like, I’ll just read the book, tell yourself what chapters you’re reading, just do it and add in buffer. So, um, just a goal setting tip don’t ever say, you’re gonna do something seven days a week. I know 21 days have it, whatever. It’s not realistic, right?

Cara: (40:36)
Like you are not to do it. So give yourself buffer for you to not feel motivated, give yourself buffer for life to happen and say, I’m gonna read five days a week. Yeah. And so when you look at your big goals, you then can take all that seasonal stuff. We started this interview talking about and you can plot those goals into where they make sense. So like numerical goals, you might work on those all year round, right? Like the saving money or, um, you know, I wanna walk this many miles, whatever your number based goals, I would work on those all year round. But your project based goals, like the decluttering, making a scrapbook, um, saving for Disney, whatever your project is, those you’re gonna work on maybe on a quarter by quarter basis. Those you’re gonna use your themes for, and it’s not saying I’m not gonna do this, uh, saying I’m gonna do this at a season.

Cara: (41:20)
That makes sense for me. So maybe I just had a baby. I don’t think I wanna work on some, I’m not gonna write a book right now. Right. Mm-hmm  but maybe that could be my season for when the baby’s eight months or nine months or something later on. Yeah. Um, and you kind of be very intentional about that because when you don’t give yourself enough urgency, we do that thing again where we say we have nine hours on a Saturday to do something and we don’t do it. Yeah. And I, that we need that urgency to start to, um, take some action, to start to take baby steps. And by tying it all in breaking it all into the 15 minute chunks, uh, and really just making a plan that makes sense for you. You’ll find that by the end of the year, you’ll hit goals that you didn’t even like realize I have a lot of moms that are work in me, be like, you know, I hadn’t read like a book in years and I hit 50 books this year or something. And it was just cause they broke it down. You know? I, I, I’m more, I hear a lot of moms will say to me, like I’m more productive this month been forever. And it’s because we broke things down, put less on their plate so that they weren’t overwhelmed and then just kind of quit.

Cara: (42:21)
Yeah. Yeah. And I love how it takes the all or nothing, you know, approach out of it because the problem with that all or nothing approach is that then more often the not you, you try, you go all in for a week and then you swing the pendulum to effort  and, and then once you’re in effort mode, that’s it like you’re done, you’re not doing anything. And then effort leads to I’m so lazy, you know, shame, you know, like poor self-esteem, what’s wrong with me. Why can’t I just be, you know, more motivated to do this when remember this whole self-motivation idea might be a bit of a scam to begin with. And, uh, and it, it, it sets everyone up for failure. And so, you know, me eating yourself where you are at, I think sounds like is the name of the game here.

Cara: (43:19)
Yeah. And it’s beautiful. And you know what if you know, right. Like, you know yourself. So if you’re like, I know I’m gonna have like one day where I’m gonna be like F it, I don’t wanna do it. So plan that, let that be your day of rest. You mentally knowing that you have that coming. I don’t know. I, when I was, um, starting my business or years ago, I used to take Saturday naps and I loved it. I was like, I’m taking a nap for Saturday. And in my head, if I could just kind of like get through this is like, my son was a newborn I’d postpartum anxiety and depression. Like, I was just like, if I could just get through to the weekend, I can make it mm-hmm  this is the same, a similar concept. Like if I can just do my 15 minute tasks and I can like T Tru long and like get some movement going, I have got a rest day on the weekend plan.

Cara: (43:59)
It’s a fun day planned. And you can look forward to that. And it allows you to be like, I don’t know, just compartmentalize a little bit better instead of saying, you know, one every day turns into a week, turns into a, you know, and then that cycle you said for people. Yeah. So it’s just, it’s just, it’s planning for knowing who you are and you will learn along the way, how you operate, who you are. You start to become when that voice starts to change in your head and you start to use these concepts and you learn how you operate and you lean into that. It becomes a lot, um, less mom guilt, a lot less feeling like you must be going all the time cuz you know what you need. And that is, I will say, as I get closer to 40, that’s like one of my favorite things is like this self-assurance of like, I know how I operate. I know what I need. Mm-hmm  I can tell my triggers and stuff. And if I plan around that I’m much more aligned and happier. Yeah.

Eva: (44:48)
Yeah. That’s amazing. So to tell me where, if people wanna get more of you in their lives, they wanna know where they can, you know, find more info about your book. Where should people go next?

Cara: (44:59)
Yeah, I would love to connect. Um, Instagram’s my favorite platform. Some over at a purpose of mom, I have the podcast, which is the purpose of your mom show and the book, the 15 minute formula, how, uh, busy moms can ditch the guilt to get done more of what matters and conquer their goals. It comes out January 23rd. Right now Amazon’s the best place you can grab the Kindle version or paperback or hard cover, whatever your fancy is. And inside the book, um, I actually have a guide that breaks it down, how to read it in 15 minutes a day so you can finish it. Yes. Um, and if you go to the 15 minute, I’ve got a 30 page workbook that, um, you can get absolutely for free, whether you buy the book or not that accompanies the book and uh, walks you through how to actually take action on the book and not just let it sit on your shelf.

Eva: (45:45)
It’s pretty amazing. But, or commit to reading it all in one weekend and then only reading 10 pages and then feeling like a failure and then not picking it up again.

Eva: (45:53)

Eva: (45:55)
I love it. Well, Kara, thank you so much for being here today. This was, I think so insanely helpful and I think inspiring for a lot of people. So thank you again. Thank you everyone for listening and I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Eva: (46:09)
Thanks so much.

Speaker 1: (46:11)
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listeners. So feel free to DM me on Instagram @mysleepingbaby, or send me an email at until next time have a wonderful restful nights. 

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