In this episode of Office Hours with Dr. Lacy, Dr. Lacy speaks with Dr. Kishana Taylor about her journey to getting her PHD, her dissertation project and navigating marriage and student life as a PHD student.
Dr. Taylor also talks about what could have been helpful to her during her time as a PHD student and gives some of her best tips to current students out there listening.
Find Dr. Kishana Taylor on Twitter at @Kyt_thatsme
And connect with Dr. Marvette Lacy on Instagram at @marvettelacy
Transcript of Episode:
Welcome to "Office Hours with Dr. Lacy". Hi, I'm Dr. Lacy, your Dissertation Strategist, where I help doctoral students finish their qualitative dissertations so that they can graduate and successfully become Doctor. Let's get started with this week's episode.
Guess what? I am hosting my very first writing retreat in November. It's gonna be at home in Chicago and I'm inviting a few friends along for a beautiful, productive, rejuvenating writing retreat right before the holiday. So we are going to meet meeting in Chicago November 24th to the 27th. Four days, three nights of writing, scholarly pursuits, whatever that may be fun we are going to be talking about. So like for your scholarly self we're going to be talking about best ways of organizing yourself, how to make a realistic schedule and a realistic routine. We're going to have some time to get some eyes and you're writing to really help you flesh out those ideas. Have a really solid plan for not only getting a significant writing done at the retreat. So cause there was nothing more I find annoying that we go to an event.
You're out, you're all excited and you're motivated, you're like get them to do all the things and you go home and you're like, I don't even know how to take the next step. So we're going to make sure that when you leave, we know what to do plus you not don't like, I can't just sit there and just work, you know, that's not my emo. So while we will have 20 hours dedicated to solid writing time, we will also have time to talk about things that are happening outside of writing. Like how do you keep your motivation, how do you stay productive, how do you manage your chair and your committee and keep everybody on schedule and on the same page? How do you manage your own self to that, you know, you can continue to show up and go after your doubles plus so much more. Breakfast and lunch is included in the price and we have three different options for packages available. So please, please, please go over to Margaret lacey.com even. You're going to click the red button at the top right corner and it says work with me and there you will find all the information about the writing retreat.
I'm so excited. I have so many surprises planned. We already have people signed up and so please don't miss out. I would hate for you to miss out just on over to the website or you can DM me on Instagram and we can talk there and I can tell you more about it but please don't miss out. All right, we're going to get onto today's episode. Okay, welcome back to week four of our 90 day challenge. If you've made it this far, please give yourself a round of applause because you are showing up for yourself. And don't worry if you just started or have you fallen off, you can always restart because this challenge and today's episode is all about progress over perfection. We are not about doing everything perfect 100% of the time. We are about progress, persistence, consistency. Even if something happens, even if life comes in and like take you out, you can always start back.
You can always start back. And so a good place is to go to the basics and start there and build yourself up. And there's no such thing as me. And behind that is not a such thing. You are where you're supposed to be and you are doing the work that you are supposed to be doing right now. So if you have no idea what I'm talking about, are you, you're curious about what this 90 day challenges, please come over to my bed at Lacey dot Cobb and sign up. It is us qual scholars, the group of us, we're making this last 90 days our best 90 days. We're joining Rachel Hollis and her last 90 days challenge. We're doing our own version of it. What you get when you sign up is you get an email every week, a challenge every week and you get all the support and accountability in the world to make an are last 90 days, your best 90 days.
And so today's episode is going to be a little bit different than my normal episodes. I am sharing with you a recording from a right away episodes. I'm an episode ya, it's been a long day. It's a right away session. So before right away I will usually come in and I will either talk about something related to productivity, mindset, time management, something to help people get motivated and to the writing session or we will do like a, some like a simple check in just to see where folks are and how things have been going. So that's what you'll hear. 'em Next is the, we did this a few weeks ago now where I came in, I talked to them about progress over perfection and I thought it would be a great opportunity to share it with you so that you can get a glimpse of what is like to be in right away.
Cause I know you've heard me talk about it a lot. And maybe are curious to like what's really happening with this group. And so that's what this is about. I did not share with the, the discussion that took place and just sharing with you my initial intro with the groups. So in July is going to be really sure. I'd be curious to know your thoughts about it. And if are interested in joining right away, please come on over to my baileys.com and sign up. All right, let's get to this week's episode. Hey, they're the ones who come in the middle of this episode. Tell you about my 90 day challenge. Yes, the last 90 days. How do we finish this year strong? So if you're familiar or Rachel Hollis, she does the last 90 days challenge. And I decided to do my own version of that.
And so I'm here to have all of my scholar friends make the last 90 days the best 90 days of 2019. All you had to do is come on over to the website, [inaudible] dot com scroll all the way down to the bottom and you will see a button there for you to sign up. There should also be a button at the top of the page, but just in case you don't see it, it's there. And you're gonna to sign up and you're going to get emails. And what I'm doing is sitting folks, an email every week full of motivation. And a challenge for them to do every week in this challenge takes no time. Like it's asking you to take an hour for yourself and listen. If you don't have that a day for yourself, like Rachel says, do you even have a life? So yes, that's where we're going to be delivered to 90 days. It's not too late to sign up. It's never too late to start going towards your dreams. So please come on over to the website, sign up and let's get back to the episodes.
All right, back to sharing. I did this to keep myself on track because I know me. All right. So I just wanted to go all Griffin cause we will have new folks come in and out. They typically, this is what it looks like. I know we used to do like 15 minutes of catching up and talking about a topic of the day, but the way real life has been happening these past few weeks, it's more like 30 minutes. So we will, we take the whole 30 minutes every time. No, but if we need it is there and at least folks know to expect that, you know, the first 30 minutes is where has to catch up and especially for folks who can't make it both Sundays and Wednesdays or maybe something has happened. For instance, I thought she, Tina would be on, but I think she'll be coming on in a little bit like she's in the middle of data collection and it's like a marathon data collection session session where she's traveling to different cities.
So she needs some encouragement and some support because it's a lot and she has a very strict deadline. She's graduating in December and sell. If you also had something similar, this would be our time to like give you support and help you talk through anything that you may have going on or that came out wrong. But you get what I'm saying. And then we spend the rest of the time lights away, actual work, making sure to keep the cameras on as much as possible of you may have things that come up, maybe you're eating. That's usually what my camera goes off is when I'm eating something while writing. But it's encouraging to look up and see other people working your serious face and all the things because it helps sends you a signal to say, I should be writing. I know it helps me, you know, I'm hoping that that helps you all. And then the last few minutes just checking in and seeing what we got done during the call and what our plans are going to be in between sessions and how we can support each other. So that's a breakdown of right away. Again, the weekly schedule. This is an Eastern time now, which I have to get used to, so I'm not from a mountain friends. What is it? Two hours, three hours behind, something like two hours.
So this is the schedule. Oh wait, say my last Wednesday was fine because I had just got into town and I was still level. We going to see my, am I coming in on my bonnet and my pajamas because sleep. Okay. It's cynical. Like, it's kind of late cause I'm, Oh no, not really, but I'm a act like a no lemon. I want to remind or email that you know that there is a Facebook group. And if anything comes up in between, cause please go there and Margaret will be there to answer questions. I'll be in and out. I'm trying to do better at Facebook. This a love hate thing. I'm mostly on Instagram, but right now I don't have the group feature and on anything people use Instagram in that way. So for now we will be on Facebook talking with each other and anything else that comes up.
If you're not on Facebook, you know I think there's a sheet somewhere and maybe Margaret, and maybe I'll make this up, but there's a sheet where everybody's name and contact info, maybe a solider thing, but we can update that and put it somewhere so that you can get it. If anything comes up that you have a question for one of us, you can either email or Facebook group or come to the call. And we will answer it. And then I want to remind you, we talked about this last Sunday, but daily pages I sent that out in the few weeks we'll have like what do you kind of like a one line website member portal thing happening. So everything will be there because that will make it easier if you need to download something or it's schedule or even these recordings will be there.
So we are working on that for the next couple of weeks or so. And we will let you know if you need that. I will email that out again after we get done here so that you can have it. So today's, before I get to today's topic, is there any questions about what I just said or anything I went over this. Is Kayla just for the daily pages? Are we supposed to do them every day or is it like kind of what's the expectation? Well, every day in albums go back up in a minute, but it's every day. It should take you no more than like two to five minutes in the morning. The goal is to just revisit what are your writing goals. So you pay, like when do you want to graduate by? And they're like, what can you do today? To give you one step closer.
And so you can mention your, your dissertation and graduating in the past you like how do I want to feel today? How do you had to behave in order to feel that way? Which the sentiments that if you feel a certain way we'll help you do what you need to keep your goals. I'll talk a little bit more about it today, but a lot of times we have these goals that we want to accomplish and can still focus on a goal, but then we're like, how are we supposed to do it? Like we don't know what this doesn't do. I'm going to like day to day basis. We know like the large goals, but like what does that mean?
So those sheets are intended to help you figure out those in between moments and like small steps. And then at the end of the day or the next morning, depending on how you do that, there's a little assessment that says like, did you do, did you say you said you were going to do, why or why not? I'm just picking in yourself. The goal isn't to be perfect. The goal is to keep monitoring your progress. But if you have something that already works for you on a daily basis routine to do that is just making every day that you're checking in with yourself about what it is that you do.
You could ask other one other question. Can you hear me? Oh, we're supposed to send you a writing document on Sunday night or by Sunday. So I, by Monday morning it says that, you know, for me, I'm like in terms of deadlines, very strict. As long as I have it before Monday afternoon, I'm good. Cause that's when everything we get this from people if you're confused, like what is she talking about? I just want to know what folks are working on. Alright. So today's topic is how do you do progress over perfection? Again, on a Sacramento, we have these goals. And I think, at least for me, I'll say this I'll have a goal and I want to do everything perfect and I want to do everything as much as possible up front. And then I burned myself out like three days in and then I just give up over it.
I give up on everything. And so I have to remind myself to take little steps every day to work towards my goals so that I don't burn myself out and that I actually make progress. Because it's about momentum towards your goal instead of trying to do everything perfect every day because that's kind of impossible and it's something you have to build up to. You don't start off the gate doing everything perfect all the time without any hiccups or anything. So the first thing is how do you find your your baseline? So when you have a goal, so say you want to finish your proposal by December, what is the least amount of work that you would have to do today or this month in September to get you closer to finishing it in December? What is the least amount of work that you would have to do that you, that you would be willing to do?
So maybe it's not that you start off like, I'm gonna do four or five days of eight hour work days when maybe it's like, you know, I'll download two articles today and I read those two articles in this one week and that's the least amount I can do. That'll give me close to my go by. How can you do the least amount? This sounds really backwards, but go with me. How do you do the least amount of work that still helps you get closer to your goal? If that's a, if that's a way of thinking about it. Just stick with me. Another way could be how can I be 1% better today? I don't know. Are you familiar with the 1% rule? I got it from atomic habits, which is a very good book. When you actually have time, you're not a deep and dissertating after you graduate.
I definitely say put that on your list as a book to read because it's very good for productivity and time management. But James clear, who is the author talks a lot about 1% how can you just be 1% better today than you were yesterday? And not trying to do this big jump, but like how can you just be 1% is it like download one more article? Is it reading over one more paragraph is sending one email. Like what is one thing, one little small steps today that you could do to be better? Hey, like the person that you want to be by doing small things every day. So I talked about like practice feel momentum, which feels progress. Thinking about,
Who are you going to be when you finish your proposal? Or who are you going to be when you're setting that like you, they call you back into the room and they say, congratulations doctor, who is that person and how would that person behave today looking like if you're looking towards the future in us going to be my future self, who do I have to be in this moment to be that person who achieves that goal? Does that make sense? When I think I said that really like, but yeah, like how can you behave like that person you want to be today?
Like how is she like wake up? What does she do? How does she plan her gay? What would she do when she sat down to write? How would she think about herself? How would she think about what she's writing? How can you behave like that person? Okay. Yep. Now, now, okay, there we go. Some files that may come up. So I talked about doing small steps. I talked about being 1% better. I talk about behaving as a person. You want to be. Some things I may come up is this can't be enough. I think about that all the time of like if I just do this one thing, that's not enough, that that's gonna take too much time. I'm going to waste time that I could be doing more today. My maybe like my chair won't think that's enough, or other people in my cohort are doing more than this.
I'm never gonna make it. And it's very unhelpful and it's really, when you have thoughts like this, this is the biggest waste of your time because you're thinking like, it won't be enough. You're trying to plan and plan and plan because you think, well, I'm working smarter instead of harder. Or you're thinking more about the best way to do something or what someone else is gonna think. And then all that someone is wasting time that if you actually started doing something, if you just took the next step, you would be closer to actually achieving your goal. So a lot of times I get stuck, and I did this too when I was writing my dissertation of I had an obsession with planners. I would go to Michael's almost every day. It was a problem. I had boxes and boxes when I move of planners or stickers and why she taped of everything.
Because I was like I just like the plan and I want to make sure I'm making a good use of my time and I wasn't doing anything that I needed to be doing like writing or reading or reviewing anything or talking to people to get my thoughts more clear about actually what my dissertation was about or even data or analyzing because I was trying to think my way to the end of my goal and you can never do everything in your head or you can never, I'm like wasting the time trying to think about the best way. We'll never out do you actually starting the next step. You actually taking one step that you think is the right thing. Action will always win overthinking. So that is the thought of today. I'd be curious about what thoughts you have about that and what you are working on for today and for this call
Basis. How is your productivity going? No, for Rio it's just you and me. Like, tell me, how is your productivity going? You feel like you're getting a lot done in a week or do you feel like you're just doing a lot in a line and you're feeling burnt out? Still a little bit lonely, wishing you had people who are just as dedicated as you are and consistent as you are to showing up week after week to get things done. Then you have to join right away. Right away is my weekly accountability group where we have people just like you showing that every week to get it done. We meet on Sundays and Wednesdays for three hours each. You can choose to come either Sunday or Wednesday or both. You can come in for some time. We ask that people stay for the whole time, but we also know like life is real.
Life happens and sometimes you have other things to do and so we have people who come in for maybe the first 30 minutes and then they leave and they come back. It is there for you. It is there as a community of people to encourage you to support you. It is there to keep you accountable to what you say you're going to do week after week in class. We are always like holding each other down. We are supporting each other. We celebrate the small wins that like your family and friends don't get. Like they don't understand why it might have been exciting for you to find the perfect methodology or that perfect article that explains exactly what it is that you want to do for your dissertation. That's not us. We do that. We were here to celebrate with you and then when you need someone to help keep you together, like call you to the carpet. We're there to, to do that. So cons of the website, check us out. Enjoying now. You can go to my bed like see back, calm. Click the red button in the top right corner. Work with me and you'll find all the information that you need there. I love this group. We've been going for almost a year now. You definitely, definitely should join.
Transcript of Episode:
Welcome to "Office Hours with Dr. Lacy". Hi, I'm Dr. Lacy, your Dissertation Strategist, where I help doctoral students finish their qualitative dissertations so that they can graduate and successfully become Doctor. Let's get started with this week's episode. Guess what? I am hosting my very first writing retreat in November. It's gonna be at home in Chicago and I'm inviting a few friends along for a beautiful, productive, rejuvenating writing retreat right before the holiday. So we are going to meet meeting in Chicago November 24th so this one is seven, four days, three nights of writing, scholarly pursuits, whatever that may be. Fun we are going to be talking about, so like for your scholarly self we're going to be talking about best ways of organizing yourself, how to make a realistic schedule and a realistic routes mean you're going to have some time to get some eyes and your writings.
It really help you flesh out those ideas. Have a really solid plan for not only getting a significant rise in bed at the retreat. So cause there was nothing more I find annoying that we go to in the Bay. You're out, you're all excited and you're motivated and you're like, get them to do all the things and then you go home and you're like, I don't even know how to take the next step. So we're going to make sure that when you leave, you know what to do. Plus, you know, I don't like, I can't just sit there and just work, you know, that's not my emo. So while we will have 20 hours dedicated to solid writing time, we will also have time to talk about things that are happening outside of writing. Like how do you keep your motivation, how do you stay productive, how do you manage your chair and your committee and keep everybody on schedule and on the same page, how do you manage your own selves to that, you know, you can continue to show up and go after your doubles. Plus so much more. Breakfast and lunch is included in the price and we have three different options for packages available. So please, please, please go over to marvettelacy.com. Either you're going to click the red button at the top right corner and it says work with me. And there you will find all the information about the writing retreat. I'm so excited. I have so many surprises
And we already have people signed up and so please don't miss out. I would hate for you to miss out. Just gone over to the website or you can DM me on Instagram and we can talk there and I can tell you more about it, but please don't miss out. All right, we're going to get onto today's episode. Oh, okay. Welcome back to week three. [inaudible] I'm going to try to make this fast because I'm not feeling well and my congestion and starting to overtake my throat and everything. But this week, which is a perfect segue this week is about execution, is the name of the game. And I said it's a perfect segue because I don't feel good and I just want to go lay back down cause I think I tried to do too much today. But I said I was wanting to do these episodes and it's about executing.
And I know that this is going to be a few minutes. And then I get to lay down after that and I get to keep the, with my words and myself. And that's really what I want to talk about today, about the, like many of us are great at making plans and I'm saying all the things that we want to do and daydreaming about that and you know, scheduling it down in our paper planner and all I'm planning is like how exactly we're going to do it and how much time we're gonna spend on it. And then we don't put that same energy into executing, to showing up day after day when it gets difficult or tedious. We don't put the same energy into it and we don't execute. And that is a difference between people who have PhDs and people who don't. Are you executing? Like the people who give up, they didn't execute.
And so [inaudible] we're going to be talking about how to execute today. I was thinking back when I was working on my dissertation and how I got really into planners. I'm not quite sure all the way how I got there. I think I saw one video on YouTube and then it went, it went down a rabbit hole and then I had a friend who was also into planners and we just got so into it. I think she, I mean she's still into it. I don't think it's the same as it was when we were writing dissertations. But we would like, I mean at least three, four times a week, I'm not exaggerating. We would go to like Michael's or Joanne's and buy all the planner supplies. I had so many planners, I had a planner for like writing my like dissertation. I had a planner for working out.
I had a planner for class cause I was sick like one or two classes. I had a planner for self care and I even at one point I think I had a planner for like what my future life would look like cause I was about, I was about other things and I would decorate all of these planners each Sunday got to the, I'm side recording YouTube videos about it, but I'm, I would decorate it like full washi tape full of stickers. Cause you know me, it's not even, I can't do it a little bit. I didn't do any all the way. And I would do that. Like I'll spend hours decorating my planner. It was just like for me, it was my way of having stuff cares what I thought and plus what's happening. Say, organize, right? Yeah. W I was spending all this time making this pretty planned for the league and how's going get all these things done in different areas of my life.
I also had like a business planning, cause I was starting a business in the middle of a dissertation. Who does that? I do. Well I had all these ideas of black clothes. I was gonna write everything in hours and hours on Sunday, only to get to Friday and Saturday and realize I may have done 25%, if that of what I said I was going to do. And so then I would feel like a failure. I feel like yeah. Bottom of like that's inappropriate. I would feel like yeah, like I just didn't do, I gave up. I didn't do it enough. All right. I took the easy way out. And then I would go and, and recommit myself for the next week and spend another three hours on Sunday. And like this week I'm serious. And you know, I created a whole cycle after psycho.
And y'all, that's not true. And the funny part, I do like know that next week, so at the time of this recording, the following, we're in October and the following week I'm letting to be going to Austin, Texas with my sister in law to go to the Aaron Condron headquarters in Kadra. It makes the life planners kind of like one of the original, not original, but like one of the main people are the first people to really get big in this planner world and these planners can, I don't know, I felt like they range from like 50 to like all the way up to like two, $300, like depending on how you customize it and what you get. But anyway let's just, and I was really excited. I said I'm going to go with her to see it and I'm going to record it because I'm just really curious. But anyway, I'll let you know how it goes. Anyway, bags of my plan and story.
Hey girl, the ones that come in the middle of this episode until you about my 90 day challenge. Yes. The last 90 days. How do we finish this year strong? So if you're familiar or Rachel Hollis, she does the last 90 days challenge and I decided to do my own version of that. And so I'm here to have all of my scholar friends make the last 90 days the best 90 days of 2019 all you have to do is come on over to the website, my bet at Lacey's dot com. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and you will see a button there for you to sign up. There should also be a button at the top of the page, but just in case you don't see it, it's there. And you are, you're on a sign up and you're going to get emails.
And what I'm doing is sitting folks, an email every week full of motivation and a challenge for them to do every week in this challenge takes no time. Like it's asking you to take an hour for yourself in. Listen, if you don't have it, Howard, a day for yourself, like Rachel says, do you even have a life? So yes, that's where we're going to be doing for the 90 days. It's not too late to sign up. It's never too late to start going towards your dream. So please come on over to the website, sign up and let's get back to the episode.
I mean, I spent so much money on stickers and washy and when I moved from Georgia after I graduated, I had at least three boxes, like large boxes. We're talking of planner stuff and supplies. And that was just ridiculous. And it wasn't until I transition into my job in Milwaukee that I realized I was using all of this planners stuff. As a form of procrastination. Like in my mind I thought I was doing something to help me be more productive and work smarter and to use the, I have the best use of my time to save you time in the end. But really it just ended up being hours and hours of procrastination. Me spending money I did not have on stuff that I did and I need. And it wasn't until I started doing things and executed on things that I saw a change in my level of productivity, a change in my wallet, a change in like the amount of time I had.
I also had to like stop at one point and just work. So I was a executing his wife finished that dissertation of four months executing and that's why I was able to grow my business so quickly and is best two years because they became stop planning and start doing sure you need a plan because you need to know that the direction you're going in. But there's no way you can figure that out in your head. You cannot account for everything that's going to happen and how that plan is going to need to change and shift or how life is going to come at you because you can't do the future. And so at some point you just got to do it some point you just got to start. So how do you execute? First you have to make the decision that you're going to do whatever the thing is.
So if your goal is I'm graduating in may, make the decision and be done with it, stop going back and forth about a chapter in may or should I aim sorry about that. Should I do it in may or should I do it in August or maybe I December, I don't know. Let me go ask someone and stuff. Let me go talk to 10,000 people about it. No, make a decision, make a decision and try it on for 30 days and then evaluate to see how that's going. But you gone back and forth and spending all this time, it's you indulging in this indecision because you don't want to do the actual hard work that it takes to actually do the thing. So the first thing is to make the decision and stop saying things like, it's saving me time or I'm saving myself on the backend.
You're not, you're wasting time. That's what you're doing. So make the decision is the first thing. The second thing is your top three. We're going back to the basics here every day you should have a top three. I would go further to say you should have a top three for the week and a top three for the month and even it's after for the year, but at the very least every day, top three, top three cause especially the times when I'm like, I just don't feel like it. I'm tired today when I wake up I have to do my top three. These are three things I'm getting done. It guides you, it gives you a clear plan of this is what you need to do. And when you finish those types of three things, you feel so accomplished and everything else is just icing on the cake and you just had three.
Each items should take less than 20 minutes to do. So we're really talking about an hour of your day to do these things. And listen sometimes on my top three is to take a shower, brush my teeth and drink my water. We're not trying to like, you know, I dunno, reinvent the wheel. Sometimes it is that simple. Now. Other days it's more productively not per Deb because I feel like brushing your teeth is protective, but you get what I'm saying like some days is more complex things I should say, but having a top three. So first make a decision. Second habit top three. The third thing is your morning routine. Your success is in your routine. So if you're in this Langley day challenge, follow the basics in the morning. That's your morning routine and the basics are you wake up, you have an hour for yourself.
That's your routine. You drink at least 64 ounces of water. You move for 10 minutes, you write for 10 minutes and you write your top three. That should take you about an hour or less. But if you don't have an hour for yourself, that's, that's ridiculous. Rachel, how this is like you don't have a hour for yourself. You don't have a life. I believe that an hour for yourself, your morning routine, if you start your day off giving to yourself everything else, it puts everything else in perspective. Everything else will get that. Everything else will fall into place. You not at you has your back enough in that day to give yourself an hour to set yourself up properly so that you can face today and things are not just happening to you that you're more intentional about what's going on in your day. And then the fourth thing is you have to evaluate your progress.
What you measure grows. Isn't that the saying or something like that. And we're talking about something really simple. So at the end of the day, and if you have my daily planning sheets, then you would do this too. But essentially if you don't, you just wanna at the end of the year, end of your day or at the next day, during your morning routine, you want to ask yourself, what did I say I was wanting to do? Which is your top three? Did I do what I say I would do? Did you do your top three? Why or why not? And then what can I do differently tomorrow or next week or next year depending on when you're doing this, this evaluation, because you should be evaluating every day, every week, every month, every year. But at the minimum, evaluating your day, what did you say you were going to do? Did you do what you say you were going to do and what can you do differently the next day?
Answering those questions, we're talking two to five minutes, but it makes all the difference in, holds you accountable to yourself. It helps you to start to see things or areas where you may need a little bit more assistance in and you can go ask for help for the thing you actually need help with instead of vomiting words on to someone and they have to try to figure out what it is that you need help with. This helps keep you organized. And then the fifth thing is to rest and repeat. Taking some time for yourself. Yes, but not too long, but going back up. So the first thing of making the decision, writing out your top three, doing your morning routine and evaluating your progress, doing this every day, day in and day out, we'll take you so much further than you try and sit down and liking, getting the washy tape out and the stickers and all the planners and like what needs to go here and what needs to go there. Keep it simple.
What is it that you want to do? Make decision to do it right. Your top three every day to get you closer to that. Go have a morning routine, evaluate your progress, rest and repeat. And that is all because I used to buy chest is like on fire. So if you need this and that printable sign up for the 90 day challenge and that will come to your inbox. Be curious to know what your thoughts are about today's episode. You can let me know on Instagram, mr Lacy or in the Facebook group, cos scholars. And then yeah, I'll be hanging out with the people in you. And yet that is it for today. I'm going to go yeah, because I'm all over the place. Do something to show yourself some love and until next time I will talk to you later. Bye for now.
Hey SIS, how is your productivity going? No, for real. It's just you. I mean like tell me how is your productivity going? You feel like you're getting a lot done in a week or do you feel like you're just doing a lot in a lie and you're feeling burnt out? Still a little bit lonely, wishing you had people who were just as dedicated as you are and the assistant as you are to showing up week after week to get things done. Then you have to join right away. Right away is my weekly accountability group where we had people just like you showing up every week to get it done. We meet on Sundays and Wednesdays are three hours each. You can choose to come either Sunday or Wednesday or both. You can come in for some time. We ask that people stay for the whole time, but we also know like life is real, life happens and sometimes you have other things to do.
And so we have people who come in for maybe the first 30 minutes and then they leave when they come back. It is there for you. It is there as a community of people to encourage you to support you. It is there to keep you accountable to what you say you're going to do week after week in class. We are always like holding each other down. We are supporting each other. We celebrate the small wins that like your family and friends don't get. Like I don't understand why it might have been exciting for you to find the perfect methodology or that perfect article that explains exactly what it is that you want to do for your dissertation. That's not us. We do that. Well you, we're here to celebrate with you and then when you need someone to help keep you together, like call you to the carpet. We're there to, to do that. So come to the website, check us out. Enjoy. Now. you can go to my vet, like see back, calm. Click the red button in the top right corner, work with me, and you'll find all the information that you need there. I love this group. We've been going for almost a year now. You definitely, definitely should join.
Transcript of Episode:
Welcome to "Office Hours with Dr. Lacy". Hi, I'm Dr. Lacy, your Dissertation Strategist, where I help doctoral students finish their qualitative visitations so that they can graduate and successfully become Doctor. Let's get started with this week's episode.
Guess what? I am hosting my very first writing retreat in November with Jen and be at home in Chicago and I don't know, guiding a few friends along for a beautiful protective rejuvenating writing retreat right before the holiday. So we are gonna meet meeting in Chicago November 24th, so this one is seven, four days, three nights of writing, scholarly pursuits, whatever that may be. Um, um, fun we are going to be talking about, so like for your scholarly self, we're going to be talking about best ways of organizing yourself, how to make a realistic schedule and a realistic routine. We're going to have some time to get some eyes and you're writing to really help you flesh out those ideas. Have a really solid plan for not only getting a significant writing bed at the retreat cause there was nothing more. I find it annoying that we go to in the bank.
You're out, you're all excited and you're motivated, you're like get them to do all the things and you go home and you're like, I don't even know how to take the next step. So we're going to make sure that when you leave, we know what to do. Plus, you know, I don't like, I can't just sit there and just work, you know, that's not my emo. So while we will have 20 hours dedicated to solid writing time, we will also have time to talk about things that are happening outside of writing. Like how do you keep your motivation, how do you stay productive, how do you manage your chair and your committee and keep everybody on schedule and on the same page, how do you manage your own selves that you know you can continue to show up and go after your doubles. Plus so much more.
Um, breakfast and lunch is included in the price and we have three different actions for packages available. So please, please, please go over to marvettelacy.com. Then you're going to click the red button at the top right corner and it says work with me. And there you will find all the information about the writing retreat. I'm so excited. I have so many surprises planned. We already have people signed up and so please don't miss out. I would hate for you to miss out. Just gone over to the website or you can DM me on Instagram and we can talk there and I can tell you more about it, but
please don't miss out. All right, we're going to get on to today's episode. Welcome to week two of this 90 day challenge. And today's episode is all about getting your team right. Now. Last week we talked about the basics in the foundation of this challenge and beyond this challenge. These are the basics as a scholar, as a person, that she, you should be committed to. Um, if you haven't had a chance to listen to that episode, please go back and listen to that episode. Um, and sign up even for the challenge so you can get the printables and stuff. Um, to make this challenge easy so we can finish the last 90 days shrunk. But today's episode is about your team, your team of people. So if you don't know, um, I am an avid YouTube watcher. I love, love, love YouTube. Like I watch you two more than TV.
People are, uh, out here talking about shows and things and I have no idea what they're talking about. But I know YouTube burstow and this is something, wow. I mean, I've been doing this for YouTube has been my thing for 10 years now. Like it's my main source of entertainment. But anyway, um, if you are familiar and when you go to the homepage of YouTube, they're usually recommendations for you, um, to watch and based on like your watch history or things that Google just thinks you may be interested in because Google knows your whole life. At least he knows my whole life, my whole business and life is on Google. Um, and one person popped up, um, Indian, it was a black woman and she had a really, really low haircut, like not even lower than like a fade. And she just looked beautiful. Melania's Papyrus, she was real snatch.
She had on his dress and there was a Ted talk Indians. I don't know about you. I mean, I know things are changing, but when I first saw this video, I didn't see many videos with folks of color, especially black women doing Ted talks. And I mean like Ted talks, like with the regular, like Ted talk on the, um, screen. But it was Stacey flowers, um, and her talk, which I think is like how to be happy. Let me get the right title for you because you know, I don't want to be butchering this cause this is a, this is really important. Um, but yeah, she was essentially talking about how to be happy and how she was working towards goals and, um, what she has found to be the most helpful in her achieving her goals and happiness. Um, it's called how to be happy.
Ted talk, excuse me, the five key people you need. Um, and I'm going to get it together. This, this word is trying to see, it's taking me out. But anyway, she talks about the five people you need. But before I just want to let you know, um, I watched this video and then I went down a whole rabbit hole because she has a YouTube channel that she puts out videos just documenting her life. So she lives in Chicago, she's a speaker, so she's traveling around and doing that. And she's also starting to branch out in other areas of her business, helping other people with their business, helping people become speakers, um, helping people with debt management, money management, and she's chronicling her life of, uh, focusing on her health, being really dedicated to her health. Um, so getting a personal trainer, eating, changing her diet, going to see a therapist, working with her coach, and you get to see like her, like coaching other clients, things of that nature.
Um, she is following the day for him. So you plan to get out of debt. Um, it was about $200,000 in debt and she's been working through it, like killing it and she works part time. She works roughly 25 hours a week. Um, and she has, um, a very, I think he's grown. It's like not grown, but like if 17, 18 year old son, um, I've known C I know all her life because I've been watching the videos. But anyway, I've give you that background so you can have a little bit information about who she is. Um, and share my joy to, um, of like this wonderful woman. So I definitely will link it in the show notes and you should definitely check out her in his Ted talk, um, because it's hops about the people you need on your team. Um, and so I used to get it done framework and my business and essentially to get it done framework says that you need three main things to finish your dissertation.
You need systems like our routine, a schedule, like a playing in things that you do consistently on a daily basis that guide you, um, to towards achieving your goals. You need mindset because that's what is really preventing us from getting to our goals and writing. You need a way to like work on that every day to remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing. And the third thing is you need community. And I'm really big on building community because that is really what takes people out in this dissertation game of you started to feel isolated. You don't have people around you. People start to be at different levels, especially if you're in like a cohort or something. Um, and I know the power of community and people how that helped me to finish my dissertation in four minutes. And so I'm always telling people that you need to get you some people.
Um, I, that's why I have my writing group right away. That's why I have Facebook groups. Cause I know the power of people also want to make a side note y'all. So this new place where I live is very, very loud. And so you may hear cars and things on being picked up out of microphone. But I literally hear this all over my apartment and there's nowhere for me to go. And so we're just going to enjoy the silence of this city. And this pack has from now on until I find another solution. Okay. And up side note. But yes, back to Stacy. So she has this Ted talk and she talks about five people that you need. Um, you know, the chief for it goes with being happy. The first person is the cheerleader. So they cheer you on when you cannot cheer yourself on.
They are your, they're your pep squad or your people in the corner. Like they don't quite understand what it is that you do or why you doing this or like why you still in school, but they love you and they went and see you when, cause while they don't quite understand what it is, they know that it's big. They know that it's important for you to do this goal to become a doctor. They also know and can see probably more than you that this is this, you getting this PhD or you achieving this goal. Sure it has something to do with you. But at the same time has nothing to do with you. Like you're doing it for your family, for your friends you're doing for all the people who are watching you that you'll never realize are watching you. And they know that their job and their role is to just cheer you on and keep you going.
They don't have to understand it and I'll have to get the nitty gritty details. They just have to cheer you on. And that's what they do. They give you encouragement, they tell you you can do it. They may listen to you and again, they may not get it, but they're still like, but you can do it like they know without a doubt that you can do it. This is the person that you want to talk to or call or text when you're like [inaudible] you know this degree they can have it. Cause I have other ones. I don't mean this one. That's who you call when you, when you need some sense of like motivation. Um, and I think about this, like when I was trying to figure out who was going to be on my dissertation committee, I was, I, it is important that I have somebody who is really supportive and encouraging and that they don't have to get my methodology or my research.
They just gotta be encouraging. It's gotta be happy. Um, and the person I had was name is Dr. Dunn and if you know her, you, I mean, you, people instantly melt when you hear her name. Like you just, you just feel like safe and like everything's gonna be OK. sure. It as a fire all around me, but she said it's gonna be okay, so it's going to be okay. And, um, she's, she's been doing this for years. Yeah. Like it's not like she's brand new or anything. Like she gets it, she knows the process. She's helped tons and tons of doc students finish. But her main thing for me that I was, I just, I just need to know that if I look at her and I'm about to freak out or I'm just not, I'm not doing well. I know she's my cheerleader. So who are your committee or in your circle or then this process is going to be your cheerleader.
I had other cheerleaders as well. I wanted to share that example because a lot of times we think that your committee has to be this rigid idea and that you can't be more intentional about how you select committee members. Now I get that like politics are real and some programs have some very strict rules, but if you can, if there is some room for you to have a cheerleader on your committee, I'm telling you, it makes a huge difference. A huge difference. Okay. The second person is a mentor. They point you in the right direction. I like to think of this person as your advisor or your chair. Now I'm gonna get to the wrestling and be like, shouldn't my chair be all these things? No, no. Your chair cannot be all things for you.
They cannot, they cannot do all the things they have other people they have other other tasks they got, they got lives, they got busy schedule.
You my friend are very, very, very small part of their life or what's on their plate and they can't be all things for you nor did you ever expect anyone to be all things for you. That's a lot of pressure and very unrealistic. You can't even be all things to one person. And if you are,
I'm sure the way your life has looking, we need to talk, Hey girl, the ones who come in the middle of this episode and tell you about my 90 day challenge. Yes, the last 90 days. How do we finish this year strong. So if you're familiar with Rachel Hollis, she does the last 90 days challenge. And I decided to do my own version of that. And so I'm here to help all of my scholar friends make the last 90 days the best 90 days of 2019 all you had to do is come on over to the website, my vet, Lacey's dot com. Scroll all the way down to the bottom. You will see a button there for you to sign up. There should also be a button at the top of the page, but just in case you don't see it, it's there. Um, and you're, you're on a sign up and you're going to get emails.
And what I'm doing is singing folks an email every week full of motivation and a challenge for them to do every week in this challenge takes no time. Like it's asking you to take an hour for yourself in listen, if you don't have it, how every day for yourself, like Rachel says, do you even have a life? So yes, that's where we, we're going to be delivered at 90 days. It's not too late to sign up. It's never too late to start going towards your dream. So please come on over to the website, sign up and let's get back to the episodes.
Okay, back. So your mentor or your advisor there pointing in your right direction, you tell them like here's look, I'm a finish this dissertation and may here's my plan to do this. This is what I came up with on my on like what feedback that you have from me. And they're there to give you like advisement. Like they're there to like listen to you and very like overall big picture, here's what you need to do, here's the direction you should be going into. But they are not the ones there to like give you step by step instruction of how to get there. And this is probably one of the biggest mistakes or I don't know, misconceptions that I see with doc students with clients that they think that their chair, their advisors as opposed to sit down with them and walk them through step to step.
Again, nobody has the time to do that and it's not that they don't care. Maybe I don't care, but like it's not about you personally. It's if they don't have the time to do that at tops, you should have 15 to 30 minutes with them just to tell them what it is that you're doing and them to give you the advice that you need to move forward. Again, they are not there to get into the weeds with you step by step. And if they are doing that with you, that is so much care for you and so much time and labor on their part that they don't have to. I'm going on a tangent. A lot of people think, um, they feel entitled to that their chair has to do this. Their chair needs to sit down and, and as their chairs responsibility, and I'm glad and 10 because now that I've been a chair and advisor, but I see this and when I'm talking with clients, this is what I hear.
I hear the sense of entitlement that your chair is supposed to do all these things and they're not, their job is to give you guidance to block other people from acting up on your committee. And to get you to graduating, you, my friend has to do all the other work. You have to figure out the step by step. You have to learn. It's a learning process now. It's not that there are keeping you like leaving you out there to dry and maybe if you're having that experience, I'm sad that you are and you still have the um, ability to go get what you need.
Okay? So your advisor is just there to give you general advisement advice. They not there to get in the weeds with you. You could because the third person that you need on your team is you're a coach. This is the person who helps you grow by pushing you from your conference zone. This is the person who's in the weeds with you and sense of like they're taking a deeper dive with you to see like, okay, here's the direction that you've set with your, your advisor or your mentor. Here's where you're going. Okay, let's develop a plan to get you there. A more step by step plan. Your coach is also the person who would see potentially pitfalls or where you may get stuck and their job is to come in at those moments and push you past those moments where you get stuck and you're not gonna like them. Cause it's going to be uncomfortable. You're not going to want to do it. But that's what your coach's job is to get you into explain and to be the in between of you have this goal, this is what your chair said. Your coach comes in to do this.
And people like, I can't afford a coach. It doesn't have to be a formal dissertation coach. But do you have someone who maybe they just ratchet it from the program? Somebody who like reached out to you and I was like, you know, you've been talking to, it should not be someone who's in the same, um, on the same level in terms of they're also working on a dissertation. You want someone who has more perspective, who have, they finish their dissertation, they graduate it cause you, you see the process completely different than when you're like after you're done, then when you're in it. So finding someone who just recently graduated, going through the alumni, someone you may know, maybe it's a sister who maybe it wasn't the same program that they did their, um, dissertation, but they understand in general the process. That's who you need.
You need someone that you're able to talk through your dissertation where you're struggling for them to be able to push you that you listened to, that you were respect. Um, cause this is, I mean I get it. It's not always about pinging someone, but you do need someone who gives you, who can see the bigger picture and dye you and who can help you in the weeds. Right? So we have cheerleader, we have the mentor, we have the coach. The fourth person is a friend there to hold space and have a place in your heart. So your friend is different than a cheerleader because the cheerleader is just like, yes, you've got this, you've got this, go, go, go. No I don't, I don't understand what's going on. But go, go, go. Whereas your friend is more of, they know you, like they know you, they um, they been with you before you did this journey or maybe you found them during this journey, but they, it's, it's a separate like space that you, the two of you hold together.
Um, and you're able to tell them anything. Like you're able to tell them the stuff that you wouldn't dare tale the cheerleader or the mentor or the coach or anyone else for that matter. They'd know your secrets. They know where the bodies are buried, they know everything and you need someone who you can call and just cry and they get it who you can call and be like, I feel like shit today. I suck. And they will all space and listen and encourage you. You need that. Um, or that person who needs I, who pulls you out of your bubble. Cause you know we get into our academic bubbles and we started using all this jargon and words and analyzing everything you need that person who's going to bring you back down like remember where you came from. Remember your family and friends, remember to take care of yourself.
Your friend is probably the one like sending you food or reminders to shower cause you know, depending on where you are, I mean things get real and this person, they, they care about you on a deeper level is all I'm saying. I just said use other people, don't care. But your friend was there to hold space for you in with you. And the fifth person is a peer. Now your peers, someone who's in your field who is writing a dissertation with you, maybe they're in your program or close enough but at the same place with you. I'm working on things and they keep you keep your head in the game. Like they keep you on your heels so to speak. So when I had to finish my dissertation in four months, my peer would have been Dr. John Collier. We both had this four month timeline. We had to graduate and we had to collect data, analyze, write and defend.
In four months we were doing it together. So that meant most days we were writing together. We helped each other in our dissertation processes, like serving as a peer researcher. Um, like w we wrote together and yes, we checked in on each other, we made sure that we kept each other going. And it is like trying to do this by yourself is the slowest way to do this. When you have someone that you know, you have to show up where you know they're showing up also, it is different and you help each other grow. You help each other grow. Um, so I, I mean I may, we need to do a different podcast episode about how that process went, but this is invaluable. And even now, today, like are business for example, I have peers, I have a group of people that I'm, I'm in a program with.
I have a smaller group and I also have my core people that I like, look, this is what happened. This is what I'm trying to do. Where you think, Oh, I see how they're showing up on like Instagram or like seeing what they're doing in their business. And it's not about me like comparing myself, but it like inspires me. Like, Oh, she's winning. Why she did this? Let me try it. And to know that I can go and like talk to them and be like, why didn't you do it that way? Let's talk this out. How I can use it. I'm T I have grown so much, um, in my business because I have a peer group and because I have these five people, so, um, that is my take on the five people you need to get your team. Right. Um, I definitely think you should go watch the video because, you know, I might be butchering a little bit, but that's my own remix on it.
Um, I will caution you though, where I see a lot of people get caught up is that they have too many people as their mentors and their coaches, um, even peers to a certain extent. But really when you think about a mentor advisor, when you are, when you constantly are going to people for advice and you're like, look at this, look at this, and people like you asked by people for their feedback on your dissertation, you're gonna get five different responses and you are doing it because you were trying to understand and not be confused, but that's going to confuse you even more because there's no way for you to follow five different sets of advice. This advice, I don't know the poor form of that. Um, but there is no way for you to do that. Like, so I really say that you should have like one main like mentor advisor two at the most because again, it's, it's difficult when you have all these voices telling you to do things and then you're like, I don't know what to do.
And then for your coach, the same thing, one or two people who are helping you get out of the weeds. Again, you're trying to, if you're trying to follow the advice of too many people, it just leads to confusion. And then when people have too many peers, um, you can get caught in the comparison game cause you can start feeling like I'm behind. I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. Everybody is so much farther than I am. [inaudible] again, one to two people because you need a small like tight [inaudible] that keeps you running and it will be trial and error. Um, you may not get it right or people change and, and they move on and you may have to like, you know, switch people to different roles or maybe switch people in and out. It's not a fixed, rigid, rigid thing. Um, but it's always to be, it's always good to be mindful of who your five people are and evaluating how they're helping you because it's not just about, you also like you're like, Oh, I'm just taking, taking all these people are doing this for me.
You're somebodies cheerleader, you're somebody mentor, you're somebody coach. You're somebody who's training you or somebody who's peer. We, I want to encourage you to think about, but what about you? We're good at giving. We can give, give, give, but what? How do you receive? Do you let people in and help you? Do you let people know really what's going on with you or are you so busy trying to be the strong one? This is one step out of that. Thinking about who your inner circle is, thinking about the role that they're playing and if you get to that point in your life, Oh so and so needs to leave, they're not helpful. It's okay to let them go. You can love them from a diff, a distance. You don't have to be mean or like person amount and tell them to get away from you.
Ian. They don't always have to have access to your time, your energy, your labor. Okay. I'm going on a soap box. I'm going to stop, but I would be curious to know who are your five people. Lead me, not Instagram at Marvette. Lacy, you can also come on over to the Facebook group. Qual scholars. I would love, love, love to know who your five people are and remember we are in week two of the last 90 days. You can sign up if you're not already signed up and get all the information delivered straight to your inbox. That is all I have for today. Until next time, do something to show yourself some love figuring out your five people and I would talk with you next time. Bye for now.
Says how is your productivity going? No, for real. It's just, you mean like tell me how is your productivity going? You feel like you're getting a lot done in a week or do you feel like you're just doing a lot in a lie and you're feeling burnt out? Still a little bit lonely, wishing you had people who were just as dedicated as you are and consistent as you are to showing up week after week to get things done. Then you have to join right away. Right away is my weekly accountability crew where we had people just like you showing up every week to get it done. We meet on Sundays and Wednesdays are three hours each. You can choose to come either Sunday or Wednesday or both. You can come in for some time. Um, we ask that people stay for the whole time but we also know like life is life happens and sometimes you have other things to do and so we have people who come in for maybe the first 30 minutes and then they leave and they come back.
It is there for you. It is there as a community of people to encourage you to support you. It is there to keep you accountable to what you say you're gonna do week after week in class. We are always like holding each other down. We are supporting each other. We celebrate the small wins that like your family and friends don't get. Like I don't understand why it might have been exciting for you to find the perfect methodology or that perfect article that explains exactly what it is that you want to do for your dissertation. That's not us. We do that. We you, we're here to celebrate with you and then when you need someone to help keep you together, like call you to the carpet. We're there to, to do that. So come to the website, check us out. Enjoying now you can go to my bed, like see back, calm. Click the red button in the top right corner, work with me and you'll find all the information that you need there. I love this group. We've been going for almost a year now. [inaudible] you definitely, definitely should join.
Transcript of Episode:
Welcome to office hours with Dr. Lacy. Hi, I'm Dr. Lacy, your dissertation strategist, where I help doctoral students finished their qualitative dissertations so that they can graduate and successfully become a doctor. Let's get started with this week's episode. Guess what? I am hosting my very first writing retreat in November with Jen and be at home in Chicago and I'm inviting a few friends along for a beautiful protective rejuvenating writing retreat right before the holiday. So we are going to meet meeting in Chicago November 24th, so this one is seven, four days, three nights of writing, scholarly pursuits, whatever that may be. Fun we are going to be talking about, so like for your scholarly self, we're going to be talking about best ways of organizing yourself, how to make a realistic schedule and a realistic routine. We're going to have some time to get some eyes and your writing to really help you flesh out those ideas.
Have a really solid plan for not only getting a significant writing bent at the retreat because there, there's nothing more I find annoying that we go to in the bang. You're out, you're all excited and you're motivated and you're like, get them to do all the things and you go home and you're like, I don't even know how to take the next step. So we're going to make sure that when you leave, we know what to do. Plus, you know, I don't like, I can't just sit there and just work, you know, that's not my emo. So while we will have 20 hours dedicated to solid writing time, we will also have time to talk about things that are happening outside of writing. Like how do you keep your motivation, how do you stay productive, how do you manage your chair and your committee and keep everybody on schedule and on the same page, how do you manage your own selves that you know you can continue to show up and go after your dulls. Plus so much more breakfast and lunch is included in the price and we have three different options for packages available. So please, please, please go over to Margaret lacey.com you think you're going to click the red button at the top right corner and it says work with me. And there you will find all the information about the writing retreat.
I'm so excited. I have so many surprises planned. We already have people signed up and so please don't miss out. I would hate for you to miss out. Just go on over to the website or you can DM me on Instagram and we can talk there and I can tell you more about it, but please don't miss out. Alright, we're going to get onto today's episode head low. Coming to you all. The lady from Maryland, I finally made a job. So I'll forget those of you who do not know, I just moved to Maryland because I am, I just took a new position as a postdoc at the university of Maryland college park and I had to move my whole life from Milwaukee to Maryland. So I'm here. I decided, I found a place in Beltsville, Maryland, so to DMV area. I'm settling in.
All of my things have finally arrived. I'm slowly doing the whole process of unpacking, but I'm ready for it to be done because I'm just ready for it to be overweight. I'm sure you can relate to anyone who has a recently moved. Yeah. I'm just, you know, just getting used to everything. The driving here is a bit different than what I'm used to. You know, it's not even, I don't even know how to explain it. I don't even have words. People are just doing very strange things and I'm not sure why they're doing it while they're driving. Like, you know, why would you stop in the middle of the road and there is no stop light. You just decided to stop and then make a you tire on a one way. Like it doesn't make sense. Or people are just like switching in and out of lanes, but it's not like it's traffic.
You know. Sometimes people do that cause they're trying to like, you know, get there fast or Nope, the roads are clear and people just keep switching from lane to lane with no point. It just seems like everyone is perpetually lost and trying to find their way. But I've just had a hard time believing that everyone was like that. I don't know. Yeah, that is not what this episode is about. Today's episode is about following the basics. Now this is week one, week one for my 90 day challenge. Maybe you are not signed up for the challenge. What are you doing? Sign up. So this is week one and week one we're talking about the basics of what you like. If you don't do anything else, these are the things that you should do. These are the things you should come back to. These are your starting points.
These are your anchor. Okay? You will know that. I will not be talking a lot about writing or about like the technical stuff of dissertation and qualitative research for these first for this first month of this challenge because I know that it is not it's not important. Not that it's not like important, but that it comes second to you and how you feel and how you're taking care of you. If you've been around me, if you knew I care more about who you are, how you feel, your health, your wellbeing, then your dissertation is, the Academy would have you thinking that it should be the other way around. But here's the thing, if you don't have you, you don't have your health, you're not, well, there's no way you're going to be doing writing or anything for that matter.
And my, one of my main goals is to re reimagine the possibilities of scholarly pursuits. Just re-imagine what life could be like as a scholar, as a writer, as a student, as a faculty, whatever. Re-Imagine what your life could be in the Academy. It does not have to be this. We overwork ourselves and we're exhausted and we're just going and going and going. Cause for what? Because you're going to look up and you won't have lived a life. Your health will be suffering. You will have all of these conditions because stress is real. And so what I'm going to be introducing this week are very small things, very, very small things that you can do on a daily basis to care for yourself. I'm asking you to take hours and hours. I'm asking you one hour each day, one hour. So moving right in. That is the first basic. You take one hour for yourself, I say in the morning because at least you'd know that your first hour is dedicated to you and then whatever else comes up comes up throughout the day, but it's not hanging over your head. Some people take their first hour and night and their first hour, excuse me, they take their hour at night as like a bedtime routine. But you know how you work best and you know that you're most likely to do, but at the very least, no matter when taking hour for yourself.
The second thing is you want to drink at least 64 ounces of water in a day. Some people are like, that's it. Some people are like, Oh, how and where? Listen, what I do, as soon as I wake up, I have a cup of water about, I bet like a 16 ounce cup of boarder by my bed and I put that there at night so that when I wake up I still actually grab for the cup and just Chuck the water. When I do that, when I drink the 16 ounces in the morning, the 64 just happens so effortlessly throughout the day. Because I do 16 ounces in the morning and I do 16 ounces right before I go to bed, that's 32 and now I noticed that I just need 3,200 ounces throughout the day. Another thing that I have adopted to like get this water in, cause I'm all about the routine because the way life is set up now, I need things to happen in a way that I don't have to think about them.
And so developing routines have helped immensely with that. So drinking a 16 ounce in the morning, I now try to drink one at lunch, then one before bit that gives me the 48 ounces. And I'll either do the other 16 ounces. Like when I get home from work cause I usually will drink tea or something like that. Or owl. If I go workout that day, I'll do it during a workout, but that ensures that I at least get the 64 ounces. What I like to get more sure and know on those, on those days when I want like more of like filling it, it's great. But on those days when I'm like, Ooh, life is just not it today. That routine of doing it in the morning at lunch when I get off of work and at night helps me get those 64 ounces in. So drink your water.
Okay. So that's a second base. Basic. The third one is move for 10 minutes. If you follow me on my instant stories, you'll see that I've put that in there and it's like you have to move for at least 10 minutes now. Been in a new place. I've been more tired. Am I crafting consumption has gone back up. And so the way to get more caffeine is that I tell myself I have to walk to go get it. So from my office there are some stores, there's like a CVS, it's like a coffee shop, there's a McDonald's whatever. And to get to them, those places to get there and back, it's about a 10 minute walk. And so that is the way I like bribed myself on that because I think it's so ridiculous, but that's how I bribed myself to go do my 10 minute walk or when I get home.
I live in a very large building, like large, like there are like hundreds of apartments in here. And so I will walk around the hallways while I'm trying to learn the building cause everything looks the same. And then to, because it's so large, I can just keep walking and get my 10 minutes in. And so I'll do that while listening to like a podcast or like watching a video or something like that. So that's what I do for my 10 minutes. But it's important whether that's like exercising, whether that's like yoga, maybe you're moving, it's like turning on some music and dancing. Maybe when you're on fall and you're just circling in your apartment, maybe it's like [inaudible] or just even some light stretching. But the point is to move your body in some way for at least 10 minutes a day and work yourself up after that.
But just 10 minutes a day. And then the fifth basic is, no, I've missed something. That was three. Yes, I missed something. I miss four. I'm like that little girl on that video. Have you seen that little that, that video and that girl is I mean she might be like two or three and just her, she's counting with her parents and I think she keeps skipping. Like, I don't know, she keeps skipping like four or five and she keeps skipping a number and I keep trying to walk her through it like one, two, three, four, five, and whatever the numbers, she consistently skips it. It's really cute. I'll try to find it and put it in the show notes, but that's what I just thought about for myself. We are on number four. Let's recap. Number one was second hour for yourself. Number two was drink 64 ounces of water. Number three was moved for 10 minutes and number four is bright for 10 minutes. This is what happens when you, you write notes and then you go out of order. That's what just happened. Okay, so number four is write for 10 minutes.
We need to be, I mean you're, I'm sure you've heard people saying to fight every day to develop that habit of writing, to just get your, to get your body in the habit of writing your hands, your mind, whatever. But a lot of times people are not sure what they should be writing. What I tell my clients to do is to pull up a document or they have daily pages, sheets that pull up a document, set a timer for 10 minutes and dumped everything out in your brain. Just brain dump. Any thoughts, all the thoughts to do lists. People you want to talk to, things you should think you should eat or thinking about cooking places you want to go. Maybe some random thoughts about this article you read. Maybe something about a TV show. Just, just write it down. It's not about being perfect is no such thing as if you're doing it right. You're doing it right. If you're writing, typing, whatever that is, just get it all out. Maybe it's like things that you hope for for the future. Things you want to do for your dissertation, things you want to tell your chair, things you want to call your mama and say, I don't know. You just do that for 10 minutes. You just, right, right, right, right, right.
The goal then because what, like what will happen is you would get into the habit a few weeks ago by if you're doing this and then your brain will say, Hmm, how can I do this more intentionally? And you may say, I read this article, I'm just going to write about that, or I'm supposed to be working on this section of my dissertation. Let me just use this 10 minutes to write that because now you don't have to worry about getting over the hump of, Oh, I have to sit down and I have to write it. I don't know what I'm writing about. That's done. Cause you've done it already. You've developed a habit. Now your brain can focus on, Oh we do this every day. It's fine, but what if that's how you know? Like what if we started writing about this section? What if we use this time to get ahead and the dissertation and not only will you start to move forward in that, but you'll also notice that that 10 minutes we'll start to expand into 12 and in 1415 1820 next thing you know it's like 60 minutes. Have I interrupted writing time and how productive you will be doing that.
That is what the power of writing for 10 minutes and at anytime if you fall off, you just not like, or are you having a stressful day or a busy day? You know, I just need to do this for 10 minutes. Hey girl, the ones that come in the middle of this episode and tell you about my 90 day challenge. Yes, the last 90 days. How do we finish this year strong? So if you're familiar with Rachel Hollis, she does the last 90 days challenge and I decided to do my own version of that. And so I'm here to help all of my scholar friends make the last 90 days the best 90 days of 2019 all you had to do is come on over to the website, my bet, Lacey's dot com scroll all the way down to the bottom and you will see a button there for you to sign up.
There should also be a button at the top of the page, but just in case you don't see it, it's there and you are. You're on a sign up and you're going to get emails. And what I'm doing is saying, folks, an email every week full of motivation and a challenge for them to do every week in this challenge takes no time. Like it's asking you to take an hour for yourself in, listen, if you don't have that, how every day for yourself, like Rachel says, do you even have a life? So yes, that's where we are going to be delivered in 90 days. It's not too late to sign up. It's never too late to start going towards your dreams. So please come on over to the website, sign up and let's get back to the episode. That's number four. Number five is execute your top three. You know, if you see it again, follow me on Instagram. Are you following me on Instagram? I'm at Marvette Lacy follow me. I do a top three every day. I do a top three for general in my day in a top three. When I get to work, it helps focus me. Like I know that if nothing else happens, these, these top three things they to happen. My rule is that your top three need to be very small items that take you 20 minutes or less to complete. Because I'm all about,
I can find an hour in my work day or even in my regular day to get these things done. And it's usually like, I don't know. Since so-and-so this email, like I think last week one of mine was like, sign up for benefits. Cause I had already done the research and everything. I just need to go online and click some buttons. It was like, Oh, make sure you go get these grocery items from the store. Most people don't take more than less than 20 minutes to go to the store. I do. I don't like it. I don't like going to get the groceries. You've probably heard me on past episodes talk about it. So I have a list. I go in here, I get those things that I'm out. So thinking about for your day, what are your 20 things? Is it to and maybe you put these basics on there.
You say, I need to move for 10 minutes, drink 64 ounces of water, right, for 10 minutes. And maybe those are your topics. Three or maybe your top three is I need to email my chair. I mean Sue read this chapter for class and I need to go to the health center and pay my bill. Maybe not sure three things, but taking two minutes to figure out your top three and writing it and focusing on net for your day out. Listen, it will help you be so protective. I promise you. I promise you. Here's some things you want to watch out for because I can hear it. I can hear it. I can hear you right now. I can hear your thoughts screaming at me and you're like [inaudible] [inaudible] like this is not going to work. This is not enough. I could do more than that. I'm gonna do more than that app. This is just gonna waste my time. I'm telling you. Thoughts like that will be the reason why you don't finish this year strong.
It's a trap. It's not true. Life and progress and momentum is all about like finding one baby step, taking that run in another one and taking it and continuing to take little small steps towards your big goal. I get it. I'm talking to me too because I have a habit of wanting to do all the things at once and get it over with. Like even for, uhm, I batch record my podcast and I was like, I'm going to record the rest of the episodes today. No, I'm not. No, I'm not. I'm going to record my usual four because I know it's going to happen. That fourth one is usually very difficult to do because I'm pushing it. So I'm just going to record the four episodes today and be done with it in October. We'll be done and then I can move on to November.
If I feel like it later today, then I'll record November cause they're all planned in an outline. I just have to record them. But yeah, no, no, you like I, in my mind I felt like I could do all the things in realistically Omni to eat breakfast or some other things. I need to do Indians, my brain and my mouth is going to be tired after recording four episodes. So no, I also tell myself, okay, sure you can try to do all the things, but let's see if you can even do the first thing first. Like prove to me, prove to yourself that you can even do the first thing. Prove to yourself that you can do these five basics
First and then after that if there's more you can do, didn't do that, but do not sit here and planning all of these things and like making it are pretty in your planner or putting it in your, your online calendar system. I know you, I see you. I am you. That's all I know how to talk to you. Don't do that. Don't spend all this time trying to make this like pretty graphic. And so you can keep track. You want to say organize. You can go to the website and download the printable or if you're already in the 90 day group, I sent it to you. So just go print it out. You will need to spend all of our time trying to do all these things that are just distracting us from our goals and making pretty planners and trying to like get your schedule together.
It's just you procrastinating. It is a form of procrastination. It is a trap. The goal is to show up and do these basics. So, okay. Yeah. That is all I have for this episode. I cannot wait to hear your feedback. I will be in the Facebook group listening to the talking with the people as well as on Instagram talking to you about this week's challenge of following the basics. So that is all I have. Make sure you do something this week to show yourself some love, like these basics. Let me know on Instagram what you think. I will talk with you next week. Bye. For now.
Basis. How is your productivity going? No, for Rio it's just you. I mean like tell me how is your productivity going? You feel like you're getting a lot done in a week or do you feel like you're just doing a lot in a lie and you're feeling burnt out? Still a little bit lonely, wishing you had people who were just as dedicated as you are, consistent as you are to showing up. We got the week to get things done. Then you have to join right away. Right away is my weekly accountability group where we have people just like you showing that every week to get it done. We meet on Sundays and Wednesdays are three hours each. You can choose to come either Sunday or Wednesday or both. You can come in for some time. We ask that people stay for the whole time, but we also know like life is real.
Life happens and sometimes you have other things to do and so we have people who come in for maybe the first 30 minutes and then they leave and they come back. It is there for you. It is there as a community of people to encourage you, to support you. It is there to keep you accountable to what you say you're going to do week after week in class. We are always like holding each other down. We are supporting each other. We celebrate the small wins that like your family and friends don't get. Like they don't understand why it might have been exciting for you to find the perfect methodology or that perfect article that explains exactly what it is that you want to do for your dissertation. That's not us. We do that well. You were here to celebrate with you and then when you need someone to help keep you together, like call you to the carpet. We're there to to do that. So come to the website, check us out, enjoying now and you can go to my vet, like see back, calm. Click the red button in the top right corner, work with me and you'll find other information that you need there. I love this group. We've been going for almost a year now. You definitely, definitely should join.
Transcript of Episode:
Welcome back to the podcast. I am Marvette. Um, and, I'm here to talk to you about my nemesis procrastination. I'm getting a little loopy y'all because, um, if you don't know, I batch record my podcast and I am on the last one for the month of September. It is the end of August and there's a lot of things happening today. It was announced that I have taken a new position at the University of Maryland College Park and the center of diversity and inclusion in higher education as a postdoc associate. Um, and that means I no longer work as the women's Resource Center director at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. And so I've been dealing with that transition, um, and all the things in. So what tends to happen with me as I'm a work in progress y'all, like I know I had these podcasts episodes, but you know, I'm still going to work.
I'm not perfect. I just, I'm trying to share with you the things that I say to myself. Like when I'm doing these episodes, I'm really talking to myself. Um, and I'm bringing you along the, along for the ride because I hope that it will also be helpful for you, but please don't, I hope I never go up the impression that I got it all together cause I don't. Um, and what happens through large periods of transition or when things get really hectic sometimes and I haven't been doing the best job at managing myself thoughts and times and things is that I will go into the despair, a hole of procrastination on that, picking up the phone. I'm not talking to anyone. I also am not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Right. Cause it's different if you're like taking the time out because you're trying to, excuse me.
You have a lot of things going on. Um, and no, my, my pattern is that I get overwhelmed, I stop communicating with people and I stop doing anything and it just, everything starts to build and build a to do list starts to build or start slowing even a to do list because I'm too overwhelmed to write one cause I'm just like, it's too much. There's too much happening. Um, and that's what happened a few weeks. Yeah, a few weeks. Couple of weeks ago was that I thought I was doing well. I thought I was on top of everything. I thought I was being organized and no, all of a sudden the tiredness caught up to me. Um, because mentally going through a whole thing, like I'm not only leaving my job, I'm leaving the state. I have to pack up, move across the country. I had to start this new job. I had to learn a new routine as a new set of people. This job is completely different than my last job. And so feeling like I'm in between worlds, saying bye to family and friends, there was a whole like fiasco thing with the moving situation in that I didn't know how that was going to happen if I was going to get my stuff to Maryland and plus life is happening and so the end of summer. You have birthdays, family events, all of these things.
so the tiredness and all the things caught up to me being overwhelmed. Try. And then if you know me, I'm always trying to do things. I'm always, I can't, I think that I could do all the things without paying attention to myself. And even if you talk to me, I'll be like, yeah, I put the time in there for me to be, and at the time in there for me to like fill myself back up. I'm still being honest with myself. It's thing, it's a thing. So, um, so then what happens is I just say F it and I don't do anything. I don't, I'm really not doing it on purpose. I'm really not. I'm doing it like I don't care about the other people. I get caught up in feeling like I had let everyone down and I had to let myself down and that I feel like that I have dug a hole so deep, but there is no way that I can recover and like no one's going to understand or forgive me and everyone's just mad at me and that I've ruined everything. Um, cause if you would've talked to me in the middle of it, uh, I was convinced that I ruined my business. It was over all my clients are going to fire me and go find someone else. Um,
that my family and friends were never gonna talk to me again. Cause messages. I mean at one point I think I had like 100 messages on my phone. I just, yeah, I just thought I ruined everything. And all of this was like a week. It's like being on this side of things and taking a step back. This may be an been a week in the past it would have been probably weeks, months even. But now by paying more attention and doing work, it's only about a week. Let's still, I feel the same way when I'm in the middle of it, that much more time has passed and much more damage has been done.
Um, and so if you can relate to any of what I'm saying, please, please, please keep listening. Um, so what do you do? Like what did I do? What do you do when you, um, had done this? Like you're in this, this deep, I don't know, spiral that you feel in your mind. Um, so here's some things that you may have to contend with is that one, making the decision. You're going to come back into life and that you're going to dig yourself.What are you going to get yourself out of this hole? Cause digging only goes back the other way anyway. You're making the decision that you're going to do something like you don't want to continue to do what you've been doing. You're going to stop and you're going to try to fix everything first. A decision needs to be made because that's first. And then second is being prepared for an accepting the shame spiral that may happen. Excuse me.
So you made a decision and I'm going to do this and then it's like shame hits you like, I'm so bad I shouldn't have did this. Why did I do this? Letting it happen. But now I believe in the height. Just let it happen. Let those thoughts happen. It's okay. Um, and just keep telling yourself like it's fine that you're thinking that you're not trying to stop them. Cause the more you try to stop them or prevent those type of thoughts, the more that, that they will persist in, the more it will happen. So just let it happen. Whatever you need to do, you need to write. I'm a journal Journaler I think it's a word and that I like to brain dump and write things down. And so that, that helps me to let those thoughts come through and let them happen. So first letting the shame spiral, just you can't get stuck there being stuck there with be trying to prevent it. So let it happen. Um, and then what you have to avoid though while you're doing this is buffering. So buffering would be like, um,
you're trying to, I try to avoid those feelings that come up along with shame and like, how did I let myself do this? Or why did I do this? Um, instead of, um, dealing with that and like what it feels cause it, it feels like, oh my God, this is a lot. Um, instead of, you may like watch, you may be in to watch like Netflix or TV. You may like me binge watch youtube. Or Maybe drink alcohol more than usual. Maybe you smoke some weed. I don't know what your thing is. Maybe you eat a lot. Um, maybe you're just like, I'm going to clean. I know those people, well now one day. Maybe like some of that will rub off on me. I don't know. But maybe you likes to clean a lot. Maybe you decide I'm going to declutter my whole closet by.
Maybe you feel like I'm going to read a hundred books. I don't know what your process is for avoiding your emotions, but that's what it is, is avoiding the bad feelings you're having, quote unquote. But I don't, that's a whole nother podcast, but like quote unquote bad feelings. And so to take some of the sting or the pressure off of that shame that you're allowing to happen, you do these other things, but be mindful of that. And even if you let yourself do it, just know, like as a time limit on this. So, um, I think I read somewhere that like Beyonce only gives herself 24 hours to feel sorry for herself. Maybe only give yourself 24 hours. But having a period of time where you're like, I'm a lead to shame happen. Um, and do this whole self pity thing. I'm a buffer in these ways.
I'm gonna just watch all the TV and drink the wine and the ice cream but I only get 24 hours to do this. I only get 24 hours to like feel sorry for myself and say it's too much and I'm overwhelmed, right? Then you have to for real get to work. So the first step isn't the end of like letting the shame happen by doing all these things. The second thing is, okay, now you have to get out of your own head. And where I said journaling and brain dumping was optional in the first stage is absolutely critical. In this second step, you have to write everything down on paper. I highly, highly, highly suggest you actually writing pen to paper, not typing because these are two different uh, feelings or processes in the mind. And I've seen way better results when people actually take pen to paper and write things down.
You want to write out everything in your head, everything that you feel like you need to do. You should be doing, you could be doing, we're not going to judge it. We're not going to think about how we're just going to get it all out of our head onto paper because things always seem more or bigger, harder, whatever in our brain. And they do actually look on paper. So you just write everything down. We're just gonna clean out the brain cause we can't think through, we can't be rational or think through a plan or whatever. We can't do everything in our head. And that's what we try to do is figure it out in our head before actually doing it. This is causing you or calling you to do it. So write everything down on a piece of paper, right? However that's best. And then you want to look at that list. Look at that list and you know, once you to identify, okay, what are the things that maybe you should have done, but the deadline has passed. Like there's no way to do it. Like you, you missed the boat completely mark. Those maybe use different colors. Um, but put an x by those. You put an x by the things that have passed.
Um, you want to circle the things that you can do. Like you can still do. There is still time to do them. Circle those and then put a check by the things that you could do them. But they all need to be done right now. But I mean, you could declutter your closet, but does it have to be done right now? It doesn't. So the X is things that you should do, but the deadline has passed for those, those ex you gonna put an x by that you're gonna. Um, make a note to yourself if like, if any of those, um, the requires a response. So there's difference between, say there was a conference, um, that you want to submit a proposal to, but the deadline has passed. Well that law has passed, you can't do it, but you don't need to follow up with anyone unless you made a commitment to partner with someone.
But like typically you don't need to like, write the professional association and be like, you know, I missed a deadline. I'm sorry. You don't need to do that. There's no need to talk to them, but maybe you were um, Okay, let's see, a friend needed a recommendation letter and you didn't write the recommendation letter by the time and the application has passed. Then you may want to follow up and email to your friends and be like, Hey, I didn't get to the letter. I apologize. You know, you might want to follow up in some way and we'll talk more about that in a minute. But you want to make note of those things that happened x by them. But you need to follow up the things that you circled and only you can do. I want you to go ahead and write a deadline by them.
Um, just so that you're aware of the bigger picture and then the things that you could do but don't have to do. We just want to put them all on the separate sheet by themselves anyway. We're going to put them separate because they're not the priority right now. You only want to focus on the things that that are the priority or should be the priority. Okay. And so once you're looking at the list of things, um, so on a new list, you want to write the things that you can do with its deadline and the things that you have missed the deadline on, but you need to follow up with someone either through email or a phone call. Okay? And that should be on the list by itself. Now, before you go ahead and tackle this list, right? Because those thoughts about the come back up, you need to talk to yourself and prepare for that.
Give your, allow yourself some grace, right? To be like, Yup, I did that. So I had to be like, Yep, I went a whole week and I didn't say anything to anybody. Yet. There's some things that I dropped the ball on and all of these things are happening and sometimes I can feel like we're giving ourselves like there's a line between making excuses and getting grace. You're human and you're doing the best that you can. Like, yes, I was moving. There's a lot happening. Um, yeah, I could have made better decisions. Yeah, I could have communicated more with people and there was a happening and all of those things are valid. Continue or recommit to taking the next step after you have made this list and then accept responsibility for the decisions or indecisions. Indecision is a word that you made or didn't make, right? Saying yup, I'm going to do this.
So you have the list of things that you can do. You're gonna talk to yourself and prepare and then you want to go reach out to people, to your people who know you, who love you, and have your best interest at heart. Where this is not the time to talk to the people who are lukewarm about us. This is not the time to talk to friendemies. This is not time to talk to the critical on or a family member of friend. This you don't talk to them, you not, not right now. You talk to the people who love you and support you who understand what's going on. Do you find those people? You talk to them who get what it's like uh, to go through the things that you're going through. Talk to them. You find them and then you go and you tell them what's going on.
You tell them like, Yep, I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed. I dropped the ball. I didn't do anything for the past week, but I have a plan. I wrote out the things that I need to do and I really, really, it would really mean the world to me. If you can help me get myself from this situation and help keep me accountable and giving me some support, I'm going to share with you the list that I have and what I need to do by when. If you could just check in with me in a few days and see where I am, that will help me a lot. So the key is to find the people who are supportive, to be honest with them and telling them what's going on and then be very clear about how you want them to help you because people want to help you. They want to support you and love on you. But sometimes they don't know how. Sometimes I don't know how to help. And so if you could tell them exactly like call me or texting me in three days and ask me about this list of things I share with you. Oh, that's something very tangible that I can do is very clear what it is that you want to do, want me to do. And I know that you're like taking steps to help yourself.
Usually that will help people soften a little and like really understand, be open. Um, but if you go in and you're like, you know, like, Yup, I didn't do it. Oh well. And then they are upset because maybe you're supposed to do something where maybe they've been trying to get in contact with you and you didn't respond and you go in with that attitude. They're less likely to want to continue to show up for you in that way. But if you can accept responsibility and a part of accepting responsibility is allowing people to feel how they feel. People get to have whatever reaction they have. You don't get to say that they can't be mad or upset at you or you can't get mad at them for being mad at you because you didn't do something. You have to allow people to feel how they feel.
And it may come down to that. They choose not to. Um, they choose not to live no longer be in your life. And you have to accept that because that's part of accepting responsibility for the decisions you made. And I make an argument that then, and they don't need to be in your life in the first place, but you know, that's a whole other thing. I don't know what you did or didn't do, but part of being around your community and telling people and accepting responsibility as allowing them to feel how they feel without you feeling the need to feel better about that, let them, let them feel better. So yeah, the really, I mean, it's hard. Ghosting, procrastination. I understand. Trust me, I understand them. They're really, it comes down to really being honest with yourself. Allowing yourself to feel the feelings and allowing other people to feel the feelings.
Really sitting down and writing out the things that you need to do. Reaching out to people and being honest with them, setting deadlines and then taking it step by step through your list, taking it one thing at a time and finishing that. And you will find that if you just say, I'm committed to the next step, I'm committed to taking one step, that it becomes easier and easier and momentum builds and then you look up and you're like, oh, okay, I'm out of that. But it's really, it can be difficult getting started. It can feel like it's never, you know, you're never going to get out of it. You can feel like, um, you know, it's easy to be like, why did I do this and talk like it's easy to do all those things, but please, please, please just commit to saying I'm going to take the next step.
So I hope that was helpful. Um, and feel like, okay, I want to do all these things, but I don't have a community of people who can help me be accountable, who are gonna support. And then I really want to encourage you to sign up for Write Away. Um, you can go to my website at marvettelacy.com the link will be in the show notes. You can DM me on Instagram at @marvettelacy and say you're interested in signing up. But it's a weekly accountability group. We meet every Sunday and Wednesday for three hours each day. We come together to love on each other, to share what's going on in our lives for the week and to get shit done. We work, we, we work, rewrite whatever we need to do. Um, and we know that we are, uh, committed to one another, holding each other accountable and being supportive. It's a monthly membership. And so please come to the website and find out more about it. Um, that is all I have for, uh, today. I hope your September has treated you well. I hope you had a great summer and that your years off, your new school year's off to a great start, but I will be back with you next week until then. Do something and show yourself some love. Bye for now.
Today's episode I'm going to be talking about how bad do you want it. So I speak with a lot of folks, whether it's about um, finishing their dissertation or it's about they want to start a business cause then I'm starting my own business or any number of goals. Um, and, you know, it comes to a point where they say like, you know, I've been doing this, this, this, this and this and I've been putting all this work and time into it and I'm not seeing any results. And so, they may start or you may start to question yourself and say, is this even worth it? Maybe it's not for me. And ultimately what it comes down to is you answering a question. Do you want it bad enough?
There are so many people. Um, I've watched their careers in different arenas and it took them so long to get started. Like one of them or like just get the recognition that they deserve, I guess. Um, one of my like favorites is Jennifer Lopez, right? Alright, Let's see. First you see her on like In Living Color as Fly Girl. And I would say like her big break came as um, as Selena when she was, she was cast in place in Selena in the, um, in the movie. And she sung the songs or I don't, I don't know if they will let her sing. I can't remember. Anyway, but she did and that movie was huge. Right. And then from there she continued, she was in Anaconda. I feel like these movies were right around the same time and I think as Money Train. And then she just started going in her acting career and then she started to record music.
And while folks were like, okay, we see you as an actress, we don't necessarily see you as a singer. Like it's cute that you're doing these like little pop songs and you know, like can listen to it and the car. Love Don't Cost a Thing. Um, I'm blanking on other songs right now, but to get what I'm saying. And people like Jamie Fox and other people kept like making fun of her and saying she can't sing. Right. But she was still, I mean, she was still getting recognition for acting. She was getting recognition for her fashion. Um, we all remember the infamous Versace green dress. Um, but yeah, she was getting recognition in that way, but you would see in like interviews and stuff that she was like, you know, it really hurts my feelings that people would talk about me and I can't sing and I've been singing since blah, blah, blah.
And she's been making all of this traction doing all these different things. But I still feel like folks didn't see her as his like huge superstar that she actually was right. Because while she wasn't getting like all of the , I mean, even Mariah I carry right throwing shade of, I don't know her, um, like all these folks, but like her career has lasted for 20 plus years and not only lasted, we're not talking about like she's barely hanging in there. Susan has been making money, money. I mean movie after movie roles have gotten more, um, complex. Even she, I mean she still does a little romantic comedies and stuff, but she also does more like, like for real acting roles. I mean she stays in a movie. Um, and she stayed recording and can sell. I mean she just wrapped up her us leg of her tour for her 50th birthday.
I mean she's 50, she looks 20, um, right and sold out all over. Alright. Whatever she does is successful. And um, I think about her often cause I feel like you just may seem like a tangent now, but I think about Jennifer Lopez often when I get stuck in my own head and I'm like, oh, this isn't happening fast enough, it doesn't matter all this work that I'm doing, it is not making a difference. And I just think about like she's been out here grinding for years and years and` years and success is not going to always look like the way we think it's supposed to look like. Right. And you have to ask yourself, are you, are you, do you want things to look a certain way because, because you want other people to think something. You want other people's admiration. Are you doing it for your ego?
Right? Um, people been talking about like vanity metrics. Are you doing it for the likes of the followers? Right? Are you doing it for those things or are you doing it because it's just something like as a goal you actually want to achieve. You want the result that you're after and it comes to a place of which one do you want most more? Um, being honest with yourself about that. And then, two, really accepting what it looks like to really have the thing that you're working towards. Like really looking at other people who are doing the things that you want to do, who have accomplished the thing that you are going after. Like what did that look like when they accomplished it? Now? What their life looks like now, but what did it look like when they finished? So, um, for most of you listening, we are talking about finishing your dissertation and I want you to even think about your chair or someone you admire in the field, right?
You may see them on Twitter or you may have a conversation with them or you may see them at conferences or what that and it just looks so, I mean, it looks like they livin' their life, right? They get it. And every time you look up they're getting this award or not award and, or they're announcing this or they're publishing this and that and they have this book coming out. It may look like that now, but I mean, scroll back on your timeline, scroll, scroll, Scroll to the time that they defended and if that, if they were still posting when they were as a doctoral student, if there's anything that you can find, or even if you can talk with them about when they finished their dissertation, when they graduated, ask them who that person was. What did that person look like? What thoughts or feelings of frustration did that person have?
Right? How much were they publishing then? How do they feel about their abilities? Then what are people saying about them then? Because you keep trying to compare yourself to someone who is two, three, 10 20 years ahead of you. You're comparing yourself now to that person who they've worked up to be instead of preparing yourself to who they were at the same moment that you are. And I can sit here and say, no, you shouldn't compare yourself to any one else. And, that's what we do as humans. And so if we're going to do that, I just wanted you to get the message of don't do it to who they are now or who they pretend or present to be on social media. Look at who they were at the same level that you are. Okay. Um, so that was complete. I just didn't want it to share that cause I, that wasn't even in my notes without j lo, but I do every time I look at her career, I've been watching her youtube channel and I'm just like, that's so amazing.
And to finally get to a place where you don't even care that folks can't see it. When you have outlasted them, you have outwork them, you have have outperformed them, you make way more money and it's not about that. I just, I think that's very interesting though. Like most of the people who talked about her are not even, they're not even, no one even knows what they are anymore. But for my own story, um, I have two. One is when, um, which is episode 19, which, so I won't go into much detail about it in this episode, but I definitely say check out episode 19 where I talked about my first semester and failing my first semester and going to talk with one of the professors there and how he, I felt like at the time completely just, I dunno, crushed my whole world, pretty much told me, you don't need to belong there and he didn't understand.
Um, and how I was ready to quit. How I was ready to go, like find another job and think like this, this phd program was not for me. I'd definitely want you to listen to that episode to hear what I've learned from this situation and how I had to, I asked myself, do I want it bad enough and how I had to get over myself and continue to go after completing the goal of getting my phd. The second situation that I think a lot about is, um, when I was getting into even like realizing that I could have my own business, right. This was years and years ago of I saw this other woman online and she had, she was doing so many things and she was documenting her process of like quitting her job and traveling the country and what would it be like to live out of a suitcase?
Right? She wasn't even thinking about starting a business, but then that morphed into a business because other women started to ask her like, how did you do it? Um, and at one point she had offered free videos. Like, I mean, not videos free calls she said that she was gonna give 10 free calls to women. Um, and that she wanted to talk to them. That it would be completely free and just to help and not to sell them anything, which sounded it was a lie, but that's not the point. Anyway. So I, I, I signed up cause I was like, I'm going to do it. I'm going to be brave. I'm going to take a step and I'm going to sign up for this call. No, I don't know what I'm supposed to talk about. But I mean, she's been talking about helping other women.
So of course she would have all the answers right. And I'm just going to take this step of calling her. And so we got on a call and she was like, well, what can I help you with? And I dunno, I was stuck. I was like, I don't know. I don't know. I don't even know what I'm supposed to ask. I don't even know what it means to start your own business. I just see other people doing it and I just want that. Um, and she was like, well, I'm looking at your website and you know, you don't post you, you're not, there's no, this maybe you posted. Um, like three things at the time I was doing youtube videos about random things. I can't even remember. I can't tell you. Um, and she was just like, I don't even, there's nothing I can even do to help you.
You're not, I dunno, I just remember leaving the phone call feeling dejected. Is that a word? Feeling like how dare she I've been working really hard. She doesn't know how much it took me to even get on a phone call with her. She doesn't even understand how much it took me and how scared and how much thought it had to even make those youtube videos. She didn't even give me any um, props or like Kudos for even showing up. She just, I just was pissed and I remember thinking like, I'm going to prove her wrong. She told me I wasn't going to be successful. I can even tell you she actually said that or not. But this was so long ago that I don't remember. But I just remember having this attitude of like, I'm going to prove her wrong because she doesn't know what she's talking about.
I'm going to get it together. And I was all motivated and I wrote out all of these plans about how that's going to have this awesome business and how, you know, wisdom would be like, how, how can you know what to do now but you didn't know what to do before the phone call? But you know, motivation is a whole different thing when you like when you're determined as a whole different thing. But I was, and I wrote all this thing, these things out and I did some stuff. And a whole year went by and I was still in the same place that I was when I first scheduled that call and it came back around that she was offering the calls again and I had to sit down and be real myself. How bad do you want this business? You say you want so bad and maybe you can relate to that.
Maybe you're sitting there with your dissertation, maybe you started your own business and , you're just like, I'm in a place, I'm stuck. I don't even know. I'm overwhelmed. I, I, I don't know what to do. And you, you're thinking that you should quit or give up or you know, throw in the towel. And that's what I want to talk about today of like what happens when you're at this point and how to get out of this point, especially when you're, you know, especially like thinking about dissertations and stuff like that. Cause you've come too far to only come this far. I know you've seen that across the internet and I don't even know who originally said that. You know, Internet quotes goes, it's hard to find the original source, but either way. Um, so the first thing I would say in terms of what you have to become aware of, because in order to solve a problem, you have to know what the problem or problems are.
And so I want to talk about that. So the first thing is becoming aware of your ego and checking your ego. Um, I use this quote, I say this quote a lot from Eric Thomas to hip hop preacher himself is that you owe you an explanation. I'll say that again. You owe you an explanation. So like me going back. So that story about the business coach or even about that professor, I kept saying like, they didn't do this. They sent me up. I'm like, you know, they didn't do this. It wasn't supportive. They should have did x, y, z. Instead I should have been like, what did I not do? How did I not show up? What did I not say? I had to answer to myself. Because you can't control other people. You can only control yourself. And so you have to look at you and say, what did you not do that caused this result that you're at right now?
So you're feeling stuck and overwhelmed. What did you not do? And not in a "woe is me" or a shame spiral. It's more about being real with yourself and being honest and saying, man, I could have showed up. I didn't show up in right. Like I said, I was going into, um, those times that I schedule it. Um, I didn't post on Instagram. Like I said I was going to do for my business. I didn't read those articles that I got, um, from so-and. So I blew off my accountability partner and I didn't write, I didn't show up to my coaching call that I signed up. Like what did you not do? Like being a really real about that. Right? And checking your ego. Um, the second thing that like that would help you become more aware of your problem is really thinking about what results have you been producing.
I honestly believe like you probably like you've put, been putting in time and you've been putting in energy and you've been doing all of the things in your life. But my results are not showing up, I believe because I did it like you know my story, I talked about it in last week's episode about how I was spending all of these hours and hours. Like I did that for my dissertation and I did that for my business. And both of those things came to a point where I had to be like, okay, we cannot keep putting in all of these hours without having anything to show for it. So let's be really clear about what was results are we trying to produce. Right? So it's not just a matter of I'm going to show up to this writing group and I'm just gonna write, I'm gonna work on my dissertation. But like exactly what is it that you're going to work on?
Like are you going to work on your - Like you're going to have a completed problem statement or you're going to have a completed outline for chapter two. Are you going to write an edit your chapter, the re like are you going to really think about which methodology is going to be best? Like how by the end of that time that you're working, what will you tangibly have by the end of that time? That's how you need to be focusing your to do lists and how you need to be thinking about structuring your time. Because it's not enough to sit there and say I'm working on it cause you'll be doing all of these things. Oh let me write this. Oh let me read this. Oh let me go check this email. Oh let me go check this post. That's you spinning your wheels without actually doing anything.
So switching your mindset from a to do list who are results lists, like what will you half do, you know, etc. And then the third challenge, which is probably part of the problem, is doing it alone. We as humans are not meant to be alone, but you probably think it's better if you do things alone. You probably think like, nobody's here to help me anyway. Right? Going back to my stories, like no one's gonna help me. Um, or you don't have something that you believe in that's bigger than yourself. You have to believe in something bigger because that's going to come to a point where you get really clear on what you want to do, what you need to do, and you start getting some results. But then you start looking at who you are right now or where you are right now in way where you're trying to go or who you're trying to become. And you're going to be like, man, I don't, I don't know if this is going to work.
I don't know. And then you're going to have to believe in something that says, I don't think I can do it, but with the faith of whatever, whomever, I'm going to get there. You have to believe. And that's something, something for Scott, whatever is helping you to get to that point. So being aware of your ego, getting results, focused and finding something bigger and giving yourself something to believe in is really going to help you understand really where you are, the problems you're having and the challenges. But I want to take it, um, a step further and really talk about like what it means to, um, figure out if you want to bet enough and how to get there. So, you know, um, if you've been around any length of time I have the get it done framework is three steps, three areas where you focus on that I use with my clients that I use on myself, not just with writing dissertation but like all areas of life.
Um, that I say I asked myself whenever I'm out of alignment or, um, uh, I'm stuck on something. What are these, what is three areas looking like and am I, is there something I'm not paying attention to? So the first one being mindset. Remember I talked about your ego and like getting really putting that in check you you ha like yes, that's important. The first step is getting real about what did you not do? What is the explanation you owe yourself? But then the tangible thing that I do every day is I need a mechanism to become aware of my thoughts because I believe that your thoughts control your, your emotions control your actions, what you actually, what you do every day. And those behaviors and actions that you take everyday create the results in your life. So before when I said how do you get results focused, when you figure out this is where I want to go, then you have to come back, takes a few steps back and be like, who do I have to be in a, who do I, how do I have to think in order to get those results in my life?
Where does my mindset have to be? So every day to get there because just can seem like, well that's a big thing you said tangible. So everyday what I do is I do a brain dump. I just write for like five minutes. I just write down all the thoughts that are coming to my mind, comes to my mind. And I used to then call the model, which was by Brooke Castillo from the life coach school. If you're a client, you should be using your daily pages to help you through this process. But I pick a thought and I look at that thought and I said, when I see this thought or I say this thought to myself, how does that make me feel? And this feeling when I feel this way, what do I do as a result of feeling this way? Then those are my actions.
And so the actions that I take, what is that given me in my life? So, um, an example would be say, I think I can't do this. That's my thought. I can't do this. My emotion that I would feel from saying I can't do this. It's defeated. I feel defeated because I can't do this. And because I felt defeated, I may then do my actions would be like, well, um, I may, uh, not show up to my writing group. I may not read anything because I can't do this. I feel defeated. Right? I may not show up to the writing group and then because I didn't show it to my writing group means I didn't do, I didn't make any progress on my dissertation. That's the result I have. So lack of progress can relay all the way back up to the thought of, I can't do this.
So I, that's, that's really quick and dirty. We could talk more about that. Um, we talk more about that. Um, when I'm with clients and whatnot, we talk a lot about mindset. When you work with me, that is mainly what we're working on is mindset because you can only go as far as your mindset will allow you to, and that may seem like a lot in life. I don't need to do that. Just tell me what I need to do. I could tell you exactly what you need to do, but you want to do it. You know exactly what to do right now, but you're not doing it. And the reason why you're not doing it is because of your mind. You're not managing your mind well enough.
I have given people exact detailed outlines for their dissertations. I had told them like exactly what to do when they sit down. I have walked them through step by step, sitting in a chair, open your laptop, pull out a document, put this sentence there, do this. Like I've given them that and they still can't do it. Why? Because of their mindset. And if you don't have, if you're not having something, a way to work through that, all the doubts and stuff that come in, you won't get to your goals. You won't. So I'll get off of that. So that's the first thing is mindset. The second part of the get it done framework is systems. So what are your systems? Any a clear plan. So what are you trying to do? I didn't trying to finish my dissertation proposal. When are you trying to finish it by?
I don't know. November 30th great. What's going to be your schedule to get you there? When are you going to write or, or, um, do dissertation things? Do you have a clear schedule? I always suggest that my clients have 10 to 15 hours a week. No more than a four hours in one day that you're working and that you do something, you break up things in small chunks because you do not need to be working. If you're doing something more than 10 to 15 hours a week, you are wasting your time. You're most likely procrastinating. You're most likely doing everything else, but what you're supposed to do, you're not focused. Yes. Yeah. You're not doing things for yourself to fill yourself back up. And I'm, I'm willing to bet that some you feel awful. You look awful now like in the weight per se, that you just look probably look real tired cause you feel tired and so get on a really clear schedule that you actually are here too.
And then have a clear routine, a routine that when you sit down to work on your dissertation or Your Business or whatever, that you know you do the same steps. Like when I sit down to work on like this podcast for instance, I know I need my laptop out and my laptop, I put my microphone into my laptop, I have a piece of paper, I write out, this is what the script is going to be in the script has a formula like up a story. I'll tell you where you may get stuck in and I'll tell you what to do and then I have something I want you to do as a result of the episode and I change it up a little bit, but I know that those are steps that I can follow to getting going. What are the steps that you follow no matter what?
When you're sitting down to write or you're sitting down to do whatever your goal is? Yeah. Do you open up your laptop? Open up a document? Because what I tell my clients is open tab, open up a new document, set the timer on the phone for 10 minutes, brain dump everything that you have, no matter if it's related to the dissertation or not. Take a five minute break and then reread what you have and start to edit it into something. Because my thought is that once you start to brain dump, you're already in the mindset of like you're supposed to working on a dissertation. Your thoughts will naturally go towards your dissertation, but for whatever reason, if it doesn't, then that's not gonna happen for that day. And you can put that down and come back so it later. Or are you gonna just wait until your next writing schedule.
But I mean writing date, but that's why it's important to always be on a schedule because your brain knows and has built in time for you to make progress. Even if one of those days or whatever, you're not feeling it or it's not happening. Maybe you have life going on. So systems. So we talked about mindset and systems and then the last part of the get it done framework is community. Again, we're not meant to be alone. So having a way to have some weekly support and accountability is helpful. So if you have a writing group, is it really being honest with yourself? One, is it really supportive and help them keep you accountable or is it more like social hour or does it make you not feel comfortable in some way? Um, and there's another r, are there some things that you can do?
So are there some parameters that you can set? Um, do you all need to be more persistent? Do you need to like hold off talking or put a timer limit on talking? Is there a way that you can build in to share wins with them? They'll be like, yes, I got approved to collect data or yes, I found the right methodology. Like who are your group of people? Yeah. And it's important to be around people who challenge you and is also important for you not to be the smartest one in your circle. Because if you are, if you're the smartest or the most dedicated or the most consistent one, you're in the wrong circle and you need a new circle, you need a new writing group. Um, because again, you can only go as far as your mindset and your mindset is highly influenced by those you spend the most time with.
So whenever it comes to your dissertation and you're with the same writing group, but they're not really to as serious or dedicated about it, didn't you that we'll feed or rub off on you. So how can you find a group that's going to challenge you and support you? A hold you accountable and you feel like my bad, I don't, I don't know. That's I what I have and I'll have access. I got to take what I have and I want to offer you an opportunity to join right away. It's my weekly writing accountability group. Folks. Uh, most folks are working on some form of their dissertation, but other people are using it just so they know that they have dedicated time to do dishes. Uh, planning for the week, meal prep for the week. We, um, we meet twice a week, but I just encourage people to come at least once a week.
So we meet on Sundays from four to 7:00 PM eastern standard time and we meet Wednesdays 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM eastern standard time. Um, it's encouraged that you're there the whole time, but if not, because life happens and that starts to get late. We understand people leave early or come in and out. Um, but it's that time is there for you. We start off each call with something about mindset or a some productivity tip or just sharing like what's going on in that week. We spent a good 15, 20 minutes just catching up with one another, encouraging one another, and then we spend the rest of the rest of the time just talking. I mean, excuse me y'all. Yes. So this live, most of the time after that 15 or 20 minutes I'm working, everyone keeps their camera on so you can see other people working because there's something about the brain and being able to see people, uh, working away or typing that tells you like, oh, I need to get back on it.
And then if someone sees you doing something else, probably send you like a private message. Like, hey girl up, you do it. I'll probably, I'm most likely I'm doing it like, Hey, what you doing? You look like you're like watching TV. What's happening? You need to talk, you need to check in. Cause you know, sometimes people are going through a lot and they just need somebody to talk to. And then we, I like sometimes we'll have conversation if I have time because I'm also doing work and things. And so, um, catch up with people to help them through that and be supportive. And usually I find like a good 15-30 minutes of talking, people can then get start working and you would be surprised what you can get done in an hour or two hours or three hours. Like people are writing whole dissertations up in here.
And so we, the Check-in Sundays and Wednesdays are usually the days where we're like, oh shit, we need to get something done. Sunday is like the beginning of the week where you're like, okay, I'm going to have this plan, I'm going to get done. And then Wednesday night comes and you're like, oh, I haven't done anything. I should. I have assignments. And so those have, we have found, I mean we've been doing this almost a year now and found that those two days work really well, especially while we're in the middle of the semester. So if this sounds like something that you would love to join, you want to be a part of, just the link will be in the show notes or you can come on over to Instagram and DM me at @MarvetteLacy, or you'd go to the website, Marvette lacy.com. Links will be there for you to sign up. We would love to have you. Um, and that's gonna do it for this episode. I didn't intend for it to be this long. The latest ones have been long. You're welcome. But that is how I'm going to wrap up. Um, and so next week, do something to show yourself some love and I will talk to you then. Bye for now.
The following podcast episode was taken from an Instagram Live recording. Follow me at @marvettelacy to see future Live videos!
Transcript of Episode:
Hello, this is Marvette your dissertation strategist. I help you write your dissertation successfully defend it so you can graduate and become a doctor. I'm a little bit rusty cause I feel like I haven't done a live in a while. So I'm just gonna pin this comment here. Today I wanted to talk about the 10 lessons I've learned since being in business for two years and I wanted to share just a little bit about my story because I don't really talk much about it. I am also procrastinating a little bit right now as I'm supposed to be doing other things, but I thought I would do two things at once since I have missed a lot from the past week or so and I need to record a podcast episode. So I want to do both. But I, let's see, my story really starts three years ago, so my business anniversary will be on September seven.
Because September 7th, 2017 is when I had my first paying client. And that is a day I'm choosing to say as my anniversary because although I do like all the backend stuff and put in the paperwork to have a legal business, I didn't have a client until September seven, which I'll tell you more about my story. In a lot of people will say like, they started a business, but until you are actually making money and you have a client or a customer, then you do not have a business. You have a very expensive hobby probably. So anyway, my story actually happens or it takes place three years ago, 2016 in the fall of 2016 when I first decided that I was going to get serious about starting my own business, I was supposed to be, you know, progressing through. I was in my phd program and I think at that point, yeah, I was actually working on my dissertation.
And if you are in the dissertation phase and you know, you get all of the ideas, you think about all the other things that you can't do or you should be doing instead of writing your dissertation because you don't want to write it. And so that happened with me and I was like, you know, I wanna start my own business because if I start now and then I give myself a whole year, then by the time I'm ready to graduate I'll have a job. Cause in my mind it was only going to take less than a year and I was going to have this very booming business that I didn't need to go find a job and everything will take care of itself. So this is like September ish of 2016. There was someone named Happy Black Woman is her business, her handle all of that. She was promoting that she was doing her annual course, which helps women to launch their business pretty much walking you through all the steps you would need to have a business.
And so I decided to take some money and sign up for it. And it was not cheap. Okay. It was not cheap. I don't, I can't quite remember, but I just know it was not, it was four figures anyway, so I signed up for it cause I was like, yes, I want you to tell me exactly what to do and I'm going to do that. So I signed up for the course. I did all of that. So it had to think about like exactly what your business was going to be. And at the time my business was focused on helping women who were currently in toxic relationships as a result of past sexual abuse. Now I'm sure as you hear that, you can understand why that didn't quite work out so well. Also, it didn't work out well because it's like, how can I help someone when I was in a situation myself, I do my own work and as similar to students who come into qualitative research, they're usually choosing topics that are very personal to them.
And it's like, research is me search. You're trying to figure out your own stuff until you decide you're going to do a research project, but then that just opens up a big can of worms. And that, that wasn't working. So that business idea didn't work. But I decided that I was going to keep going with helping women get out of toxic relationships. So that was my first business. I'm looking at my notes by the way. And I did that. I did that all for fall 16, but I didn't get any clients. Right. And so then spring of 2017 came when I was really supposed to be writing my dissertation and I decided that I was going to work with a different coach because I did technically launch my business. Like I had the business license and all of that. I just didn't have any clients.
Right. and so I was like, well, I'm going to go find another business coach who will help get the clients. And so I signed up with her and she, you know, she had some good ideas. It was just like a lot of information being thrown at me and I was very nervous to do the things that she was suggesting. So, which is pretty much not putting myself out there. So like actually tell people on Facebook that I have a business, actually ask people for sales, actually do sales calls. And it was just a lot. But working with her, I would say the, the, the best thing that came out of that was helping me to see that my first business topic was not going to work out. And she was actually the one that suggested that I help people with qualitative research, which then later became helping people write their dissertation.
But at first it was just going to be explaining qualitative research to people like a, like a class that you could take. And so I did that. And so this was early spring 2017. And that was one of the other things, I became more consistent with writing blog posts. And I was, I was telling people like on Facebook and stuff and doing some calls. But it just wasn't working out and, but I kept going. I graduated and that took precedent because if you know anything about my story, I needed to do my dissertation in four months. And so I did that. I graduated, felt like I went through like a hurricane or something. I was just all over the place in that summer of 17. And then I moved from Georgia to Wisconsin, started a new job and then I was like, alright, I'm getting serious about this whole business thing.
And if you listen to my podcast of like two weeks ago, I talked to you about how I would go to my nine to five. Like I would work before my nine to five for like two hours. I would go to my nine to five. And then after my nine to five, I would work another five or six hours at Starbucks. And then Saturdays and Sundays I spent all day, like from 9:00 AM to like they close 9:00 PM at Starbucks, Saturday and Sunday to work on my business. And again, while I was putting out all this content, I wasn't making any money and September, Labor Day was coming, rolling around and I decided, you know what, I'm just gonna write this random email and see what happens. So my dad's birthday is September 4th. The holiday is usually around that time. And fall is my favorite season.
And usually people think about Labor Day as the end of summer and beginning of fall. So I wrote this random email that was like in celebration of my favorite season, I'll give you 40% off. Whew. You know, the journey is, I know the journey to the pricing thing has been one. But yeah, that's what I said. I'll give you 40% off of my price, which was only a hundred dollars at that time, but I'll give you 40% off and you can sign up with me for, I think it was like 12 weeks of coaching and one person did sign up with me and to help her finish her chapters four and five, she had did data collection, but she, she was really highly motivated. Like she had a plan and knew what she wanted to do. But because her program didn't have many or any qualitative researchers, she was looking for someone to help her really craft the end of the dissertation and wrap it all up.
And so we met all through that fall and working with her to finish. And she did graduate. That was great. But I share that story to say like one that is my story. It as the beginning of how I started and got my first paying client. But I also remember like that whole year, the, the one main thought that kept going through my mind is I, I just wish I could get one client. Like, if I could get one client and I know that this is real good, I know I can do this. That was my mindset. Looks like if I could just get this one person, then I know that like, I can be successful at this. And I got that one person and that did give me courage and I started to, you know, build up and get more clients. But I just think that's interesting now two years later looking back, it's like, Oh, if only I knew.
So I do want to talk about like lessons I learned. So based off of that, the number one is being like, I'm just beginning. Like the journey is just starting and that can relate to the like the doctoral process is because you like get into the program, right? And everybody wants to rush through courses cause they're like, okay, I've done this before. I just need to take these classes and get took dissertation. Cause once I do that and I graduate and they call me doctor, that's it. But then you quickly learn that once you defend your dissertation and you're graduating, you realize that's just the beginning. Especially if you're going to be in academia where you like go out and if you're going to continue writing and researching, you realize that dissertation, while they seem huge at the time, really wasn't even the tip of the iceberg.
And there was a whole journey and it could be a wonderful journey if you allow it to be, you just realize that it's just the beginning. So that was the first thing and that I can see my future so clearly now, like I can see how like I can see how successful I'm going to be. The second thing is that based off of that is fear will always be there as you are growing. Like fear never goes away. You're gonna always be nervous. It's it can help you as cliche as that sounds, but fear, fear will be something that you come to expect. Especially if we continue to push yourself into grow, it will always be there. So that's number two. Number three, the more aware you become of who you are, your mindset or the things that you have to do, the more you will want to hide, the more you want to run away and hide from what you know you should be doing.
So, even though it's been two years from me and I was, you know, before like I don't want to put myself out there, I still like sometimes have to navigate that cause even now like doing this live, I had to like talk myself up because I still get nervous going live and talking and all of that. But I would say it's not as it once was because I've done this before. I'm getting more comfortable with it. It's just, it's just a part of the process. So that's number three. And number four, you do not need a lot of money to start a business. You don't need a logo. Stop it with the logo, stop it with, I need to make my website pretty. You don't need to do that. Stop it. You don't need it. And you just need to start really, really like simple things.
You need to know who you're helping, what you're helping them with. And then you need to tell them and talk with them. People underestimate the power of building connections with people, like talking to them, getting to know more about them. We can only think about like what it is that you want. And this happens in the dissertation process too is like when you get into data collection, a lot of students, we spend a lot of time and I tell them like, this isn't about you. People are sharing with you their good time, their good experiences. They're taking time out of their lives to like sit down with you for hours to do interviews. And you are not even thinking about them. All you're thinking about is when you're going to finish your dissertation and how you're going to publish, but you don't take time to think about like how do you compensate people for their labor, for their time, for them sharing with you.
So that was also another siren. But yes, for your business, you don't need all this money and these fancy websites and logos and colors. You're wasting your time and it's easy for you to think about those things because you feel like you know how to do that. But it's more difficult to actually go and help someone and get a client. And that's what you know I was struggling with too, is that I was scared to put myself out there and I let that fear stop me from actually making money on my business. So that was Four number Five is consistency and discipline is key. You can have the most talent in the room. There can be people who seem like they got it all together, whatever. But people like out the people can't outwork you or I would say people can't outwork me as my attitude that I have.
So I'm going to continue to show up and be consistent and be disciplined in learning my craft. Because I know that hard work outperforms talent at the end of the day. I said that really clunky, but I think you get what I'm saying. The next is that people are always watching even when you don't know that they are. So sometimes people get caught up in like the number of followers they have or the number of likes they get on something or even like the number of clients that you have. And sometimes it can seem like no one is paying attention. You can feel like, why am I doing this? This doesn't make any sense. But I always get a message or DM or someone will say something in passing to be like, please keep going. Thank you so much for what you've been doing has been really encouraging and motivating.
And so people may not say that when the actual posts or whatever you're putting out there, but someone is always watching. And to remember that because you don't know what role you are planning on someone's life, you don't know how much you may be helping someone. And not everyone is going to feed your ego all the time cause that's really was happening when you were looking at likes numbers and clients and the money and all of that. It's your ego. But if you are committed to helping people, then stay focused on that. Instead of thinking about vanity metrics of likes and numbers and when that, the next is keep the simple interest start. I may have said this before, but just what is the easiest thing or the easiest next step you can take and then take it? Whenever I get too caught up in my head or overwhelmed, I just asked myself, what is the next thing that you can do and just do that.
And that's what I do. And I tell clients all the time that the motivation in a way that we've been taught about it as a society, as a lie, as not, it's not not that it's not a thing, but like it's not gonna sustain you. Momentum will sustain you. So if you can continue to take little small steps and keep going, that will continue to build up and keep you pushing longer and further than you know, you getting, you go and get an all hyped up from somebody and think that's motivation. You can only go as far as your mindset. So if you are not continuing to work on your mind and your thoughts, then you will not be able to continue to progress further. Which is where like all the, the fears and the doubts and all of that, that's a result of how you're thinking about yourself, Your Business, your dissertation or whatever it is that you're doing.
And if you don't have a mechanism in place to really examine your thoughts or be able to start to shift them over time that goes back to like understanding what it is that you want who you want to be and having a a way to like manage that. And that's really why I believe that I had such a hard time with like anxiety and depression. Not to say that it's completely gone, but that's, I think it compounded it I guess. Because I didn't have something in place to help me navigate with that, which then leads to my next one, which I don't know what number I'm on, so we're just gonna go with it. The next thing I would say is that you have to have faith in something bigger than yourself, even if you don't believe in God per se or no, not Christian or whatever.
Having some sort of faith or belief system or this universe, whatever, Buddhism, whatever, that is, having something bigger than you to believe in because there's going to come to a point where you're just going to have to let go and just believe that it's gonna happen. But if you don't have something to anchor yourself, it causes a whole other host of challenges and problems. And then the last thing is to get help because nobody can do it alone. Even people you think are doing it, they, they appear to doing it alone. They're not, they have a team behind them. There's always usually like a person that's like a silent partner that you may not be able to see or they have a community of folks that just helps them. But you cannot do this by yourself as humans. We are not meant to be by ourselves.
And so whatever you have to do, whatever community you have to join, that's going to help you and you will see so much growth and I'm getting distracted cause I'm guessing my job has been announced. So I'm going to go see if it has. But yeah, I wanted to share. Those are the lessons that I've learned. I've been in business for two years. It'll be two years on September 7th. And I'm so excited about what the journey has been and what it will be, and I'm happy to share it with you all. So I be curious to know if any of these lessons resonated with you, anything that you taken from this live, please let me know. DM me, whenever you're watching on the replay and I'm going to do and go, go and do actual work now because I'm supposed to be working. But thank you for watching and I will talk to you later. Do something to show yourself some love. Until next time. Bye for now.
Transcript of Episode:
Hello. So I'm going to record, and this is my last episode in this batch and series. So who knows what will come out of my mouth, but I would like to welcome you to another week. After this I am going to the gym and work out to get some energy. And that ties in perfectly to what I'm going to be talking about today. So today's episode is about how do I get focus or energy. So I received...I Asked folks to give me their questions on Instagram. That's how I figured out what would be the best thing to talk about. And I got a lot of responses about, you know, feeling like don't have energy or I can't focus. Feeling like I should quit my job and then maybe that'll help me finish my dissertation quicker. What else do I have? Health issues. In what ways have you found it helpful to set up yourself for a good night's sleep? Which I also will lump into this category. So yeah, and people just come to me. I mean, I had an episode what, two weeks ago about
How to, Now, I just went blank. Y'all.
Oh, how I balance it all. I'm in a lot, some of that I'm going to talk about this week. But I really want to talk about this feeling of like burnt out. Yeah. Burnt out just over it, exhausted. People will tell you that this is a common thing throughout the phd process or in life. I don't believe that has to be true. I don't believe that at all, especially being on this side of things. Cause it's different when you are working towards a goal and you are like, your body is tired because you've been doing a lot, right? You've been performing but you don't feel burnt out or stressed versus you feel burned out, stressed exhausted and your body feels that way as a result and you don't feel it. You don't find any joy in the process whatsoever. So, you know, like my favorite thing is to look at it particularly like athletes or just even performers, you know, Beyonce, the GOATs. And just thinking about like, you know, like watching your interviews and whatnot and
Them pushing their bodies to the limit to achieve a goal right? To 'em that the way I'm drinking my water. So achieve a goal or to be a better performer or in the field or arena or whatever. That's a different type of stress on the body and energy output. Right? But their mental state is that they're focused on their goal to be the best to win the game, to have more ticket sales. Right? That's a different type of energy and mindset it's not depleting energy. It's building up cause you're working, building momentum towards something. Whereas where most typically I find that people are asking me about is that they feel depleted. They feel like, you know, this dissertation process does not fill them and in, in any way, in any capacity that they're not, they can't find any joy. They're falling out of love with their dissertation and they don't, they are actually thinking of leaving their program and quitting.
And I want to talk about how to get from that energy to more of the, this process. I'm learning a lot. It's filling me up. I feel joy from it. Okay. So I hope that like makes sense. So a lot of what I talk about is like the process and the focus on one thing at a time, right? You can't go from step one to step 10, right? We got to go from step one and step two and how do we do that? And even when we get to like step six and step seven and we can see step ten in the distance, how do we stay at the step six or seven instead of trying to hop over to step 10? Cause again, it doesn't matter how far along you are in the process, you need to continue to do the steps cause that's how you get to step 10 quicker.
Than you trying to jump over all the steps. Okay. so to you know, I had to talk about Beyonce. It's been weeks. I haven't even talked about her. Y'all. Okay. So now I'm big Beyonce fan. And be honest. I had just reached a new high of fame and her career after her third solo album, I feel like a Beyonce historian or something. But after her third solo album, I am Sasha Fierce, right. More people started to know who she was. You have singles like like Single Ladies Diva and the biggest Halo, right? That it's international success. And that tour was bananas, right? She was on a tour for a very long time. And she started to record her fourth album and her but I actually started thinking about that because those things overlap.
And her Mama said to her, hey girl, hey, you're doing the absolute most right. You don't even, she was, she, Beyonce even said like, it got to the point where she didn't know what city she was in country. She was in. Everything started to look the same. She couldn't hear like, she couldn't see like all the fans, it just all became a blur. And she was working all these hours. And if you follow Beyonce you know, like for her to say she was working a lot meant that she was probably working 20 hours a day and not sleeping very much. And so her mom said, hey girl hey, you need to take a break. I don't know what you're doing but you need to take a whole break. So she decided to take a whole year off to experience life. Now you know, that may have been some other reasons why I have my theories, but we don't go with it at face value.
So she took a whole year off where she just traveled the world, she got to reconnect with loved ones. She got to take her nephew to school and be with him and spend some time with him in Paris. I felt like a stalker that I have this information anyway. Uhang out with her husband, get married. Ujust have all these experiences that she said gave her time to reflect and really think about who she was and who she wanted to be and where she saw her career going. Because for all intents and purposes, she had made it to the point that I'm sure she dreamed about right when she was nine years old and wanted that first record deal. Like she had reached a height of success that most people wish they could. Like most recording artists wish they would get to like diva was,uI am Sasha Fierce, excuse me, was like the album of this is it.
Right. And the next level above that, it's a whole new level that most people don't even get to. So this year that she took off I think gave her a lot of time because then when she comes back to introduce album four she also makes the announcement that her father would no longer manage her. She will manage herself, that she will own her own management company and manage herself and have her own team. She will have her own production team. She will be in control, complete control of her whole career. She got married, she got pregnant. And it was also like a new sound because a lot of people don't like four the album. It sounds different than I am Sasha Fierce. It felt more mature it felt, I don't know, it just felt to me, I don't know other language is failing me right now in terms of, it just felt different.
But it gave her space to be able to say like, if I'm going to go to the next level of my career, right, if I'm gonna go to Michael Jackson status, I'm gonna have to get some people who can help me get there because what got me here is not going to get me to that level. The people who I'm grateful for who got me to this height in my career can't get me to their next level of where I'm trying to go. So she cleaned house for the most part, got some new teams, still had core people around her who've been with her from day one. But people rose had to change and they had to adjust and she had to get a new team around her. She had to become more confident or knowing herself because to manage yourself, it's a whole other thing.
Find people who could get her in markets and avenues that she hadn't been in before. You also see differences in Jay z career, but this not about him, and we don't talk about him really that much, but you know, you see them two, that there was a different type of alignment between them two because it's title and all those things started to come out. I'm digressing, we're not talking about Jay Z. But yet you see all these changes and then after four, right, self title comes out, that's a whole new level of success. Lemonade comes out, it's exploding, right? That high is like it is it, but it has, she not taken that year off, got a chance to refocus, change her team around. Right. And then do something different. We wouldn't see the first black woman to headline Coachella though we are today. Now.
What does Beyonce have to do with the dissertation process? I use that as an analogy to say this is your year of, Four like the year before your quote unquote "Four" dissertation comes out. This is your like defining moment up to this point. You've been in school for 20 plus years, right? Like some of us did Pre-k, you got k through 12 you got Undergrad, some of us have master's degrees and then you have your whatever your program is like two to three years of coursework. Right up to this point, we've been in school for a very long time. Meaning we've been showing up to places where someone hands us a syllabus or some sort of information that says this is when you need to meet, here's your schedule. Classes are these days. Here's the topic of the class, here's what we're gonna hear, the sub topics that we're going to cover and use.
This topic that you will learn over the next 16 weeks. Here are the readings that you need to do. Here are the assignments and very great detail to make sure that you understand those sub topics and to make sure you understand the larger topic and here's your exam dates, right? You've been showing up to our room where other people are there in some form of fashion when most of it has probably been in person. Maybe as you have grown in your educational journey and made me more of those classes have been online, but in some capacity you have shown up with other folks to learn about these, this one thing in each of this, in these classes and doing assignments and activities to make sure you have mastered that topic. Someone has been checking in with you weekly if not more. Someone has been responsible for giving you feedback on your mini assignments, someone who's been responsible for planning class discussions, right, and it has helped you to get to this far like get this far in this far being now you're at the dissertation stage in the final thing for you to become Dr for everyone else to know that when they see those three letters behind your name or they see doctor in front of your name, they now know that you are an expert in your field. Right? Because that, that's what that denotes, that you are an expert about this building. You should in theory be able to talk about this and this one area in very great detail in day, you should be a producer of knowledge within this area of focus. Right? So I equate you getting to this point in your dissertation to Beyonce getting to, I am Sasha Fierce, because before that she had what? That would've been four albums, five albums, cause there was a Christmas album, five or six albums with Destiny's child and she would have had three albums of her own, if not more. I'm probably missing some things plus some random singles or whatnot. Right. She had put in a consistent amount of work to get to I am Sasha fierce. Right. She had made it and people had been telling her to do things and is very cookie cutter type way a course like
Yeah, she brought her own thing to it. Right. That's what made her successful. But up to that point, people have been telling her like what's been working over the years and for her to have achieved what has been working and get to a level of success that most people don't get to. She did that, but now it's like, what's next? This is your, what's next? It is up to you to figure it out. So how are you going to now be like Beyonce and manage yourself? Be Your own manager because your chair is there, yes, to guide you and to help you. But really you're leading this ship, especially if you listen to last week's episode, you're leading this. So what are you gonna do? And I would say that one of the biggest reasons why you probably feel like you can't focus and you don't have energy and you're burnt out and you're over it. It's because you haven't either realized that, that you're the one leading this ship or you have realized it and it freaks you out and you're like, I don't know what to do. I'm not ready. So I always say that everything comes back to mindset that you have to come to terms with. I'm the one that's leading this process and I have to show up for myself and that I'm willing to put into the work, put the work in and take ownership of this dissertation process and that I'm ready to do it.
That is really what it is. You believing that you are ready to be the one that's leading your dissertation ship. All these analogies.
That is the first thing. Even if you can't fully believe that you're ready, at least me in saying at least saying that I'm ready to take the next step. Right? I'm on step four. I'm at least ready to go step five. I may not be ready to be at step 10 but I'm the least ready to be at step five. I'm at least ready to figure out what I need to do to be at step five. So that is the first thing of the first way to like shift energy of like getting out of victim mode. Nothing is happening to you. It's happening for you. So you can get out of that mode of like, oh, woe is me. And being like, okay, great. I have control over my actions and my thoughts. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next level. Okay, what do I have to do? That's step one. Step two then is getting some first. So in this, in this this vein of like mindset, I'm taking control. How do you keep this momentum going in your mindset? What is going to be your routine for managing your mind?
I believe that you should have some sort of spiritual component, whether that is God, whether that is meditating, whether that is some eastern practices, whether that's like yoga, having something, being able to believe in something bigger than you to lean on in terms of that you can have faith in. Will help keep you grounded. The third piece is having some sort of daily routine to remind you that yes, you have control over you. And you have something that's bigger than you to help keep you anchored in having some way to reconnect with that thing that's bigger than you and reconnect with yourself. So having some, a daily practice that helps you with that.
The next thing is picking one thing to focus on in the moment. So we're not trying to do the whole dissertation right now on step four. We're just trying to know that our topic and get really clear about what our topic is. And then step five, we're just trying to get done with chapter two. That is it. We're not trying to do chapter three and then jump to chapter two and then think about IRB and then come back to chapter one. Then go to chapter two again. That is how you gotta slow yourself down. Find that one thing that if in the moment it feels like this is too easy or I'm never gonna finish this way, if I just focus on one thing, when you start to think like that, that's how you know you're in the right spot. Finding that one thing that you feel like in your mind. And so easy that you will finish it in no time. Focus on that. Do that first, and then move to the next thing.
How am I going on a rant? I'm avoiding going on rants, but finding one thing to focus on finishing that one thing and then movingq to the next thing. No more doing all the things, because that is why your energy has been divided. That's why you're feeling all over the place. And that's what leads to feeling burnt out. Focusing on one thing, finishing that one thing. And remember when we're finishing that one thing, we're giving it a B minus c plus effort when it gets to that level, right? We're just passing. When we get to that, that's how we know we're finished. We finished it, and we're gonna move on to the next step because we're not getting stuck and making things perfect. Or a is there a plus? No. A a. We're not doing that. We're, we're about making progress over perfection. Okay? And then the final thing going back to Beyonce Who's going to be your people, who's going to be your team? And your team's going to have to change cause we're, we're at a different point now. We're no longer just going to class and being real cute with our assignments and what not. We are writing a dissertation and many of you are writing a dissertation that a lot of people like there's not a lot of other people who have done it before. A lot of you are writing dissertations that is speaking truth to power. This talking about equity and justice. And that's gonna require a different set of team around you because not everybody is woke, quote unquote,
You'll chair might not getting your committee may not get it. They might not have the level or depth of analysis about systemic oppression as you do. And that's a whole separate mistake that you may be making an assumption you may be making that you think everybody knows what you know, that is obvious to them like it is to you, but it's not. And so you're gonna need a team of folks around you who understand what it is that you talk, that you're talking about, that believe in what you're talking about and sees the importance in what you're talking about. Because even if that's not your committee or chair, who else is going to be around you to help you prepare for presenting your, your research and your data to your committee to get that passed. So you can be doctor who's going to be those folks and it doesn't got to be a lot of folks, but having someone who can do that, having people around you who will help you make sure that you're showing up for yourself and for your dissertation consistently having folks who you can bounce ideas off of. Who can push you and make sure like they're giving you things that you probably haven't thought about who can read over your stuff and give you feedback.
Who can love on you when you just having a moment. And you just over it. Cause we all have our moments. Getting you a team in place. Okay. When you have those things. So when you have your,uwhen you take ownership for your life, when you have, you believe in something bigger than you, when you have a daily routine, when you get focused on that one thing that you need to do, and when you have good people around you, I promise you, they, you will see a major shift in your energy and focus. You will even probably believe that you don't even need to quit your job to finish your dissertation because you believe that you know how to do it.
Now, there are some other things about schedules and whatnot and like time management that you need to do, but that is like nothing compared to these five things. These five things are what really will keep you going. And I talk about the other time management productivity, productivity tips on like two weeks ago, that podcast about how I like balance it all. But this will give you a renewed energy because then when we look at Beyonce and we look at after Four the momentum that has happened, the shift in her career to shift how she even showed up, the risks she was, she was able to take the more confident that she even appeared to be. You know, going towards the area of like talking about feminism and women in business and like being free to explore. We started to hear from her more like in terms of her philosophies and career and whatnot and not necessarily her like during the interviews, but that's a whole other thing.
My point is you, you see a shift and so this is now your time to shift. This was the make or break. This is your year that you like reorganize things and get it together because your dissertation is just the beginning. The goal of this is just to be the beginning is not meant to be the best thing that you've ever written is meant to be your starting point. It is your year before you produce. Album four is your year to figure out what it is that you want and where you're going, what you're going to do, and how you can do it. Because after you have those three letters and you are called doctor, there's a what's next? What are you going to do next? Cause a dissertation and a phd is just starting point and I want to see amazing things from you and I want to see you do great things, but it starts here. So I would love to know what you thought about this week's episodes. Any ah-has, any takeaways. Come on over to Instagram at @Marvettelacy and let me know. Or you can come over to Facebook at Qual Scholars Facebook group and we will be happy to talk with you about the podcast. That is all for this week. I'm going to the gym. I'm going to eat lunch and enjoy the rest of my day. So until next time, do something to show yourself some love. Bye for now.
Hello, it's Marvette! I'm back again. So this week's episode comes from a question I received on Instagram from the impressive educator who said how to keep committee on schedule so I can finish. And this is a pretty common question that I receive from folks who in some form or fashion, they are having trouble with communication from their chair or their whole committee. They can't get everyone in the same room at the same time. They are trying to get feedback, but it has been like weeks and they haven't heard anything. And this can make for a very frustrating parts of the process. So what I'm going to share is some things that you can do at the start of your dissertation journey. When you have all your like committee members in place or even just if you're starting us off with your chair. I also believe that this would work even if you're in the middle of your process and you find yourself like, you know, things were cool in the beginning, but now they're not in, you're having trouble.
I would just say also adapt some of these strategies. To help make life a little bit more bearable when it comes to committees and whatnot. Again, the short answer I would say is people have whole lives. Your chair and your committee, they have whole lives. They have other folks that they are advising or serving on other committees. They have their own research projects in writings that they have to do. They have classes that they're teaching other service things, life, family, friends, right? Like their whole thing isn't about you pause, full stop. And so it is really up to you to do everything in your power to make this a very seamless process as possible, right? Because at the end of the day, it is your dissertation. It is your degree, it is your journey. And so the dissertation process is very much guided by you.
You're controlling it. And up to this point you have been used to people telling you, being very prescriptive with you and telling you exactly what it is that you need to do and where you need to show up, how you need to do those things. And you learn really quickly that the dissertation process is the opposite. It because it depends on you. Like if you don't show up and write and do what you need to do, they can't do what they need to do for you. So that's a little mini rant there. I just wanted to make that note of like, that's my short answer of like, you need to be the one that is driving this process as much as possible. Not that you're telling your chair or anybody when you're gonna like that, you will be defending and they have to, you know, agree to that.
That's a whole other thing. What I am saying is, as much as you can control, the communication part, and I'm using the word control, and maybe that's the wrong word, but as much as you can be organized in, get clear on expectations for the process, the more that like, the easier or simpler it will be for everyone involved is really where I'm going with that. Okay. So I wrote my notes on an old envelope, let's hope that, I can remember what order I want to go in. Yeah, I'm going to be better. I'm going to get a system that's better. But you know, again, if you know me and listened to last week's podcast, I'm over here about the B minus, C plus work. So yeah. Okay. So you get to the point where you are ready to do like the dissertation process. You're like, I'm good.
Let's go. The first thing you need to do is create or think about a plan for the dissertation process. And I would even say take it one section at a time. So section meaning dissertation proposal is one section, collecting data and analyzing data as a second section, and finishing writing, chapter four and five edits and all of that is a third section, right? So depending on what stage you're in, just choosing that one part, we don't need to have the whole answer yet. Just choosing the one partner that you're in. So for the sake of this conversation, let's just say you're working on your dissertation proposal, right? You're at the beginning of it. Hmm. Deciding when is your ideal end date? Like when would you like to defend your proposal? If you have a process in which you're defending it, but when would you like to defend it?
I suggest for people to at the least say four months out. Okay. But if it's even longer, six months to give yourself even more time, that works too. Because life will happen, other things will come up and it's a whole journey. So you want to give yourself as much time because even if you finish early, then that's fine. You can just move the date, but there's no point to stress yourself out trying to meet this very quick deadline and trying to do it in two weeks. And you'd stress yourself out and you don't meet that and then you're beating yourself up. And then it takes you even longer to finish your proposal because now you have to go through months and months of saying like, I'm a failure. I didn't do this. You know, the whole shame spiral that many of us go down. You have to go through that process and you have to pick yourself back up and then you have to start back all over again because you don't remember what you were writing before you went down a whole spiral.
And so you look up a whole year has passed and you still don't have a proposal. I don't want that for you. So I would say my suggestion would be four months from today or whenever you're planning is a good timeline to say, I will have this proposal done and be ready to defend it. Or at least I'll be submitting it to the committee for final review. Okay. So being clear about, okay, that's your overall goal, right? And then breaking that down into chunks and saying roughly how much time is it going to take you to do each portion of your proposal. So I say aim for four to six weeks for each chapter or section. Now some of you may have panicked a little bit but if you work with me or been around me on any length of time, then I believe in you writing very... I'm not going to curse on here, "workable" drafts. And then the editing is a whole different thing in with that system you, you are able to get chapters done in the four to six time period. Plus when you, wherever you start, which most people start with chapter two, I say that that whatever your starting point takes the longest. And once you get into a groove or writing the chapters that follow go much quicker cause you're already, you already have a system, right? So I say give yourself about four to six weeks for each section and I want you to write down those dates. So your first date is I will have my dissertation proposal done by x date. So four months out and then for each chapter, four to six weeks. These are the dates, right? So where we are in, I think this is September, we're in, I record these ahead of time. So I had to like do the math in my head. So like just say this is September 1st right at the time of recording.
So let's see that October, November, December right. So say by January 1st right, you're gonna have the whole proposal done, ready to send to your committee for final review, right? So then September could be by like October 1st I'm going to have chapter two. This will be the system I would use. October 1st I'll have chapter two November 1st I'll have chapter three. December 1st I would have had chapter one, I would spend all of December editing, make, polishing, APA, all those things so that I can then have a final draft to submit to my committee by January 1st. That's a very simple plan to follow. That's what I would do, okay. So first you need to figure that out because you need a plan. Have a very dear mentor who said that you got to show up with something where you're asking folks for help. So this is, you're showing up with something.
So having that plan going in, right? The second thing is having a topic, I would argue to say that you have your topic, you have, this is the problem I'm solving with this topic and having the why we need to solve this problem. For the topic. Those are the three main things I would say you need to know before you talk to anybody, chair, whatever. So you have your schedule of when you want things to get done and then you have your topic, the problem and the "so what". And really take time to work on the topic problem. And so what to get it down to. It should be three sentences at most 50 words at most. Nobody wants to hear you ramble on and on trying to explain. They just want to know what it is. You will notice that a lot of this of what I'm going to cover is you being concise and clear on what it is that you want to do.
Okay? And again, it doesn't have to be perfect. We just need a starting point. So once you have done your pre-work, then you want to send an email to your chair. Most people know who their chairs are before you necessarily know who your committee members cause that. I mean that's a whole process. Sometimes it takes a little bit, but I would encourage you to follow the same process for each committee member, if that makes sense. Okay. So then you have your pre-work later you're going to send them an email and you're going to be like, hey chair, it's me. I would like to schedule some time with you to talk about my dissertation process. I have taken some time to think about and outline like a rough schedule in the rough idea of what I'm going to do. And I will love to meet with you to discuss a few things.
I want to talk to you about my overall dissertation plan. I want to talk about communication styles. I want to talk about feedback, expectations. And, I want to talk about scheduling additional meetings. This meeting will only, take no more than 30 minutes because I want to be respectful of your time. Please see the following questions that I would like to discuss to give you some time to prepare answers. Here is some times that work for me. What works for you. Look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day. Your favorite doc student, that's what your email should say. You want to treat this relationship in this way to set up, especially in the beginning. It's just, it's helpful for everybody to know expectations and being clear about what's going on. Because when you start flying by the seat of your pants, is that the saying?
And even if you have a very close relationship with your chair, things can start to get really muddy. When you get deep into the dissertation zone and you are frustrated and you're over it, things can get muddy. And so it's best to set up clear things or to start this off this way. So you both know and, no matter how much you enjoy being with your chair, they enjoy being with you. No shade, nobody has the time to sit with you for hours and hours and hours. Okay. And if they are doing, if they're doing that, yeah, if they are doing that with you, they're doing it out of the very kindness of their heart. But they got shit to do. I said I wasn't gonna curse. It didn't last. They got, they got things to do. And that's only so long you're going to be able to do that with you.
Now this is like a summer or as a slow point then maybe they've got time to sit there, but more than likely they don't have time to sit there with you for hours and hours. And so that means you've got to come prepared and being very clear about what it is that you want to talk about. Here's a side rant, please stop scheduling meetings with anybody, whether it be your chair committee member or the faculty member telling them you just want to go in there and talk. Now it's different if both of you are on the same page and you know that y'all are scheduling meeting for the purpose of kiki-ing. That's different. However, if you're scheduling a meeting with the intention of you're supposed to do actual work and talk about your actual dissertation, then it is up to you as a doctoral student to come in there with a plan of what you want to talk about and what you want to accomplish, right.
To have a starting place. So everybody is clear on the focus of that meeting. Second of all, it is very important to before the meeting send an email to say, here are the things that I would like to talk about because you give the other person a chance to prepare for that and to prepare their thoughts. Especially my introverted friends, you give them time and they're not caught off guard and you're not using precious meeting minutes, minutes or time to for people to have to look up stuff and have to like figure out things they could've done before so that your meeting can be as productive and short as possible. Because again, nobody likes meetings, especially when you open up your calendar and that's all you see. Nobody likes it. And then you know, that meme that goes around us at this meeting could have been been an email.
If you have, if you would've put down the things that you wanted to discuss and your questions ahead of time, most of them could have been, could be answered before you even step foot in the office with your chair. Or you can eliminate that time and get to work even quicker. But this is not this. No, this is not social time. Your chair doesn't need to be your best friend. It's good at it. You can have that relationship. However it is time for you to graduate, for you to finish a dissertation and not, we don't have time for you to keep scheduling meetings every week to go chitchat. Okay. I'm done with my rant. All right, so that first email, you're going to list some questions and I'm going to talk to you about what those questions and those topics are for the rest of this podcast episode.
Okay. So so the first thing is I highly encourage people to use some sort of scheduling software or a scheduling system. The most frustrating part is going back and forth with a person about what time do you have available, oh, is that day open? Well, this does this work for you. It takes too much time and it's too many emails speaks. Like from someone who hates checking email. I hate that even more that we got to go back and forth and figure it out a time. So I highly suggest that you find something like I use acuity scheduling A, C, U. I, T. Y, that's there's Calendly, C, A. L. E. N. D. L. Y. Um, I've seen folks use, she's like Google and sharing like a spreadsheet and having available times and slots. Now this is going to require you to be organized on your end to say, when am I available and when I'm going to, when am I going to do meetings every week?
Side note to the side note: I would even suggest that you have one or two days per week where you only do meetings with other folks no matter if you are a full time Grad student, you have, you work nine to five or whatever. Organizing your life in this way makes you so much more productive because you don't have a meeting over here, a meeting over there or I go do these things. Have one to two days, two days where you only do meetings right? Go set up a free account on one of these apps because they're free and you block off chunks of time. So say like you're going to do meetings Tuesday and Thursday from nine to 12. Great. You put that in the app and then when it comes down to scheduling meetings with people, you just send them the link.
And say find the best time for you. In admin world. People love to, especially in student affairs. That's why administrators love to use outlook. You know, people quick to put a meeting on your calendar. And so I would also suggest that you block off times that you are not available and only have those times free again, if you're going to do those two days, Tuesday and Thursday from nine to 12 at your nine to five, that you're only going to do meetings with folks outside of your office. Just make sure those, those are the only times available for people to make meetings. Okay? So yes, get your nap, organize your life. Have these set times so that when you write this email to your chair committee member, you have that link in there. Now they have their own process even better cause you can go ahead and just schedule the first meeting but a lot of people don't.
So you be proactive and you have your own link to say here's my link for scheduling or my availability. If it doesn't work for you, please let me know. Right. Cause we also want to be flexible that everybody's on your time. Okay. So the first thing is having the the app, the email scheduling app, right? The second thing then is you want to ask them what their preference for communication is. So you know, I want to make the most of our time. If I have a quick question, what would be the best way to communicate with you? If I have something where I want to talk things out, what would be the best way to communicate with you? And what what frequency of meetings do you feel works best for you when you're working with someone in their dissertation?
Right. So some preferences for communication could be people prefer email to communicate by email, especially if it's a quick question or something like that. People, some people prefer like face to face meeting meetings. Some people prefer you call them or text them, but you want to ask them how they prefer communication. Again, because we're setting up expectations. So it was very clear to say if it's a quick question, if it's something where you know, you need to talk things out or if you need to share progress, asking them their thoughts about that and then asking them how often, would they like to meet with you throughout the semester or throughout the dissertation process.
Okay. as far as the frequency of meetings, I would say to give more structure around that, tell them, you know, like as a starting point, I was thinking that if it's your chair, I would say scheduling at least three to four meetings per semester. If it's a committee member, I would just say two meetings a semester or in this four month period, whenever that is starting for you. And say, you know, I think two to four meetings a semester works well. Each meeting will be no more than 30 minutes. These meetings would be used to share with you my progress, what I've been working on. It will be used to tell you where I'm stuck or that I have questions that are not able to be answered by the quick question method that we have. And I'm going to tell you what I've done to work on the problem that I'm having and how I believe that you can help me. So I'm a side note again. So whenever you are asking someone for help and you are scheduling a meeting with your chair or these update meetings throughout the semester, you again, you always need to be doing your work before the meeting. You want to ask yourself before you step foot in our office, you want to write this down and be able to clearly articulate what have you been working on since the last meeting?
Where are you stuck? What haven't you been able to do? What questions are lingering? The third thing, what have you done to answer those questions? To get unstuck, to solve your own problem, what have you done already and then for how do you think your chair or committee member can help you get unstuck? Again, we're not going to meeting in nobody's office to just ramble. You are taking ownership of your process. You are taking ownership of what you can do and what you have control over and we are not expecting people to do the work for us. So if you don't have answers to those four questions before you walk into somebody's office, you can give me to cancel your appointment because no one is doing the work for you. This is your dissertation, it's your degree. This, I'm saying real harsh.
It is what it is, but I'm willing to bet that the reason why most of you are having trouble with your committee or with your chair or keeping them on track is because you didn't do what you was supposed to do. You're not like, and you're not doing what you need to do to organize yourself and you're not putting in the work to solve your own problems. But instead you think everybody else needs to solve your problems and you're probably saying, oh, it's unfair and that nobody wants to help me, but you're not doing what you're supposed to do. So if you can't answer what you've been doing, what your progress is, if you can't identify for yourself where you're stuck and what you've done to get unstuck or what questions you have, and if you can't clearly articulate to the person and you're asking for help, how they should help you, then you need to cancel that meeting.
Okay? Sure. Sometimes you can't all the way, like figure out what it is and you, you can't know what you don't know. However, you can sit there and try. You can try to write some things. I have some sort of starting point. So putting in some effort because why should someone put more effort into solving your problems than you are? Okay. End rant. Y'all, I'm getting hot. I'm getting hot. Okay, so we have, you did your pre-work, you're going to write an initial email to your committee or chair member. You're going to email them this outline that we're going over right now.
You know, I'm also going, I'm gonna make this like, I'm going to put this on the website, like the transcript of the podcast is already on the website, but I'm going to make this something that you can download so that you can have it for your reference when you are setting up this process. Okay? So you're gonna send the email, you're going to set up your own scheduling app, right? You're going to ask them about their preference of communication. Whether that's a quick question, whether that's something more that you all have to talk out. You're going to ask them about their, their preference for frequency of meeting and how they want to do that, right? For every meeting, it's gonna be no more than 30 minutes unless you all decide that it's going to be something different. But are we're going to try our best to be respectful of folks' time.
So no more than 30 minutes and you're going to come into that meeting saying what you've worked on, where you're stuck, what you've done to get unstuck, and how you think they can help you, and you're going to send that email like you're going to send it and answers to those four questions ahead of every meeting. So every meeting needs to have an email of an agenda or things that you want to talk about to give folks time to prepare for you. And then whether they do or they don't has nothing to do with you. It's not your business if they prepared or not. It is your business to know that you did everything that you could do to make that meeting as efficient as possible.
Okay. For that first meeting, you're also in, periodically you're going to ask them about their schedule. Right? So you knowing your pre-work that you have planned to finish your proposal in the next four months. Right? Asking them, do you have any significant days that I should be aware of for the next four months? Are there going to be times where you're not going to be available or you're going to be off contract, you're going to be on vacation, you want to be on sabbatical. What is that like so that you can prepare that during these times they're not going to probably going to be responsive and so you can plan accordingly. Okay. You want to ask them that because most people know that ahead of time. The final thing that you want to ask about is feedback, you want to ask them about their philosophy as it relates to feedback.
What type of feedback do they provide? Are they like Oh it's good if they read your whole 30 page thing, I'm gonna come back to that too in a minute, but, or are they someone who get very light? It gives very detailed feedback. Like are you going to open up the document and want to close it back because you see all these bubbles and marks and things of whatnot. Asking them how they give feedback. If you don't know that already, ask them about how long they need to to review a document and to give you feedback in like when you should expect it. So if you turn it in on Monday, when should you expect it back? Do they need like 72 hours a week, two weeks? How long do they need? So again, that you can plan accordingly. And then do they prefer that the thing that they are giving you feedback, does it have to be absolutely Polish and perfect or would they like to see more consistent drabs even if they are not as perfect as you go along?
Asking them and asking them what they care most about. So some people really care that they don't care about your content because they know that you can edit, but they really, they're a stickler for APA. Or maybe they're like, APA can come later, but I really care about if you're using citations or I really care about that, this is a readable paper and it's structured properly. Again, asking them these questions and being very detailed about that again, will help set the expectations for you. So you know you can prepare yourself. This may seem like a lot in one meeting, but again, this is why we're going to put it all in one email because you need to know what you're doing and what you, how you should be working for the next four months because these, this is the person or these are the people who decide whether or not you move on or not and you want to make sure you know who they are, their expectations, what you're getting yourself into. Right. And then you may also want to ask them, do they have any other suggestions for you as a student who is completing our dissertation? Any like things that worked really well with other advisors that they have things that they've done in their own process that they think would work well for you at any piff pitfalls to avoid.
Doing all of this and getting all of this out of the way will help tremendously. It will help you avoid feeling as frustrated and annoyed. Right? Because again, we don't have control over what other people do or don't do. But you do have control over what you do. And so if you again, can make sure that you do these things ahead of time as much as possible. And again, go ahead and download the pdf and use that. I don't care if you use my words verbatim, I just care about that you are getting what you need.
Okay, so that is all, I hope that is helpful. I would love if you came over to Instagram at @MarvetteLacy, and tell me anything that you are taking away from today's episode in Aha moments. Let's just continue the conversation there. Also, you can come over to the Facebook group, Qual Scholars. We are there talking to them about today's episode too, and it's just a community of awesome doctoral students supporting, helping one another. So that is it for this week's episode. I hope you have a great week and until next time, do something to show yourself some love. Bye for now.
Transcript of Episode:
Good Morning! So I am going gonna try something different. I am recording a podcast and I'm also going to video record it just to see how it works out. So we are at the time that this would be released, we will be finishing up or coming to the end of August and many of you are just starting your semester really like reality has hit you. And so you may be wondering how to balance it all. I also get the question a lot about how do I balance a nine to five, having a business and writing and keeping my sanity and in general or like my short answer to that would be I don't believe in balance per se. Like in the sense of everything gets an equal amount of time and energy. I believe in harmony in things you choose in life or you schedule out or design it to the best of your ability in a way that works best together.
And when things are in harmony, sometimes some areas. Sometimes some areas in your life receive different amounts of energy and time. So like at the beginning of the semester, you know schoolwork, and writing might take priority over your business or even like your free time with family and friends, right? And vice versa depending on what season you're in. So we all have a season things at different points in seasons take different time and energy and the goal isn't to be perfect, but continuously striving to do your best and to keep moving forward no matter how slow you had to move. So that's the short answer, but I'm sure you're like, okay, well what are more tangible ways to do that, right? And I also don't have notes so this is going to be really dangerous cause I'm going to just be talking off the top of my head.
So let's hope that it's, you know, it's organized in a way that you can best receive it. Right? So the first thing mostly when people are asking me this question, they are looking for very like tangible. Tell me the steps and sure people can tell you steps and tell you like, this is what I do. Right, but is that going to help you. And before we even get to actual like steps or tangible do these things. You first have to start with your mind and mindset. As cliche as that sounds, everything comes from how you think about life, how you think about yourself, how you'd think about the things that you have to do. And one of the most difficult lessons for me was choosing those key things that I wanted to focus on and being okay with letting the other things and other people go because I am a recovering people pleaser and you know, I just want people to be happy.
I want to try to be there for the people that I love. I want to give as much as possible. If you are familiar with the enneagram assessment, I am a two. And so people pleasing is in my nature. I'm working very hard on my mindset to remove the unhealthy aspects of people pleasing. But that was the most difficult thing in my mind. I'm like, I love people and I love the people who are in my life and I want to help them. And doing so as a detriment or neglecting of myself, my needs, my goals from the outside looking in, people would say, but you're still doing so much or accomplishing things. Yeah. But it was at the expense of my health and just general wellbeing. And so something really had to change. And when I graduated my doctoral program and move into this full time role as the women's resource center director, I realized that I couldn't keep doing what I was doing.
So when I first started the role, I would I had moved away. So school wasn't a thing per se, but I still had writing projects or research teams. I was a part of. And, I was really focusing on my business and trying to get that up and get clients and stop playing around like I was doing for the previous seven or six months before. And I was at a new place where I didn't really know anyone. Family, it was like two hours away. But in Milwaukee, not knowing anyone and so starting over. And so I'm always like, well I can bury myself in work until I meet people. And so I would wake up around like five, six o'clock and then I would do like an hour and a half to two hours of work on my business. I would go to work from like nine to five and then from five 30, cause I would drive straight to Starbucks from five 30 to when it closed at 10. I was doing work on my quote unquote business making no money.
I think I had maybe one client who did not pay me very much and I was putting in hours and I was doing this like not only was I doing this Monday through Friday, putting on all these hours, but then I would also go on Saturday and work the whole day from like eight or nine until it close. Like I didn't leave Starbucks, I was still in dissertation mode. But I didn't leave Starbucks. I would order in foods and then I would go home, sleep, wake up and do it all over again on Sunday. And that was like weeks and weeks and weeks of doing that until a, of course I hit a wall because you can only do that for so much, especially when you're not seeing other people in real life or talking to anyone. I mean, I saw people at work, but again, they were unfamiliar because it was a new job and I wasn't necessarily going home all the time either. And so it was just very lonely experience. I was overworked, I was tired. And I was really frustrated because at that point I thought like, time equals money. And so if I was putting in all of these hours, why wasn't the money coming that match the amount of work that I was putting in?
And I had to find something to be like this, this is ridiculous, right? This is not this, not this. It can't work. So now this side of things like I, I do not work seven days in my business. I work three to four days depending on the week and each day is roughly that I'm working is around the anywhere from three to five hours. My goal is to stay under 15 hours total a week for the business. And so that I can have time to still do my job effectively and still have time for writing and writing, setting aside like six to eight hours a week. To do that. I will admit that I haven't been writing as one should. Cause I've been making excuses. But again, this whole harmony thing of it's there, there's time allotted for it. It's just hasn't been my focus of, of late because I've had other major projects that are loosely related to writing and academic side of things.
That will be revealed shortly. But I've been doing that instead of like actually sitting down and writing for publications. Okay. That was a whole tangent. But I wanted to give you an idea of where I am now. I am making way more, like I'm actually profitable in my business. It's, it's steadily growing month after month after month and I'm doing very well at my job getting what do you call it? Getting praise wasn't the word I was looking for, but getting praise for my performance. And actually, you know, being around people and spending time with loved ones and friends and so I feel like it's a more healthy version of what I was doing two years ago. And I'm very excited and so not to say that it's never difficult and at the side that I don't slip back into old patterns because I do have like doing the most and having to pull myself out of there, I can say that I can do that quicker now, pulling myself out of it and I can easily or more easily catch myself when I'm slipping to those patterns and seeing how and correcting myself and taking the time when I need it.
So you're like, okay, well that's great. You've been talking for a very long time. Please tell us how you're doing it. So I started off by saying first was the mindset of having to really think about like what type of life do I want to have? Like in this season that I'm gonna work a nine oh five I'm going to have a business and I still want to be publishing. What does the ideal day look like for me? Right? Like if I could, if I had a magic wand and I could do whatever, how would I feel throughout my day? Cause cause two years ago I was feeling very rushed and very frustrated and very like desperate for things to work. It was just very like desperate, high anxiety energy. And that was just making me feel even more beat down. And so I, so it's easy for us to say how we don't want to feel, but it can be difficult to say how we do want to feel.
And so that's a question that I encourage you to journal on or to think about or to talk into your phone using your voice notes or whatever app that you have and really ask yourself over a several day period of if I could feel anyway, how would I have my day could look anyway. What would that look like? You know, like how much time in a week would you like to spend with family and friends? How much time ideally would you like to work on your side hustle? How much money would you want to make on your side hustle? How much writing would you ideally like to get done? How would you like to feel while you were doing those writing projects? How many publications a year would you like to have? If you're still in courses, how do you want to feel when you go into class?
How do you want to feel when you're preparing for class? How do you want to feel when you're writing? What's your ideal? Would you like to have assignments done a week ahead of time? Now? I don't know these people, I don't, I mean, but there's some people, some of y'all like to do that. Me and my procrastination tendencies, we like to, there's a deadline. There's deadline. That was a tangent. But just thinking about those things of do you not want to be a procrastinator anymore? What do you want? It's the central question. Like what do you want? It could be one of the most difficult questions if it is the most powerful question because a lot of time a lot of us have been socialized to not think about what it is that we want. I was having a conversation where my brother who was saying that a friend of his was saying that you can't when you, cause they were talking about praying, saying doesn't pray or ask for too much because if you asked for too much then you won't get it.
But if you asked for a little, you will you more likely to get that. And my brother was saying how he was listening to Steve Harvey and Steve Harvey said the opposite of, Yeah. If you keep asking for a little, you didn't get a little bit of, you asked for a lot, you make your intentions known, then you'll, that's where the real magic happens. And there's a whole another podcast that I will make a note to go out to get more into that question. But I want to get to the other things that I've done for this episode. But really it comes down to what do you want and don't speak in generalities. Speak in very clear details because you are going to be working, you're going to put in this effort and time and how would you know if you made it to your destination if you don't know what your destination is.
Like how do you know if you're being successful by your own standards if you haven't defined yourself for yourself, catch the quote Okay. Hashtag side assistant. Yeah, if you haven't defined it for yourself, what do you want? So once you figure that out, then designing your life in a way to achieve what you want. Cause that makes it easier. So that's what I did. I sat down and was like, why do I want this to look like? I don't want to be working every day in my business. I don't want to feel like every time I sit down to do something, it's taken me forever and I don't have anything to show for it. I don't want to go to work. And I know I said it was easier, right? But this is how I started. I was like, I don't want to go to work dreading work and not liking what I was doing and I just don't want to go home every night just feeling like, why am I here? So instead I said, it would be nice if ideally I could just work three to four days a week in my business. It would be nice that when I went to work, it was clear that it was a system. I felt good. I felt like I was actually making a change. Uand it would be nice if I could have at least two publications come out every year.
That was what I said I wanted. Okay. So I did that. The next step then was I hired a coach, several coaches actually, but I hired two coaches to start off with. I, I had one before, but I realized that wasn't the fit that I was looking for. And so I signed up to work with two other coaches. One coach was going to, well yeah, one coach was going to help me in organizing the systems for my business too because I was doing too much and I didn't have a set routine or a system to follow because I was just trying to brainstorm and do all these things where I will see something on Instagram and then I would try it again. So I got a set system, right. Hire someone to help me with that and to stop doing team too much. That's, I mean, I know Tamar says it was also like her tagline, so get off the team too much.
And then I found, and then I hired a coach to help me with my health and my like mindset and all of that. Right. So I had some accountability there and it had some support and I had someone that I could go to and ask for guidance because sure you can do this alone alone and you can try to Google everything, but you're going to keep spinning your wheels and putting in all this time like I was doing all those days and hours. And it is 10 times a hundred times a billion times better to just find someone who can help you get there without us and all that time and money. Because you may think, well I don't have the money to hire a coach. Okay. But I would say how much money will, will it cause you not to hire someone and money or at what? Or what would it cost you in terms of your time, in terms of your wellbeing and in terms of everything, like at what costs with friends and family? Will you have to pay for not hiring someone to help you.
Right? Cause that's also another podcast with money, it's just an exchange of energy. And if you're just trying to keep it, keep it and hoard it then you're telling whoever your God is universe, whatever, that you don't need anymore cause you, you're okay with what you have cause you're holding so tight onto it. So yeah. So hire someone to help me to get a plan. Right. And three, I looked at really how I was spending my time and as I was looking at my time, looking at what was I actually producing. So a lot of times we've been told to write a to do list of things that like we may say like emails, grocery store um. Reading assignments, the class a chapter two, right? We might write our to do list like that. And when you start your day, you just may take the list and just start from the top and go from there.
Right. You may not, prioritize it, you may not really think about how long those things are going to take you or if you were like me three years ago you got really deep into trying to plan out your life and made it a whole hobby and had stickers and three, four planners that you would spend hours every Sunday decorating and trying to figure out the best way only to get to Saturday of the week and not have any of it done. But I digress. But yeah, we've been taught to like write out to do lists like that and instead thinking about, okay, what is going to happen at the end by, by you doing these things on the lists, what will that produce? And that's really the list that you should be having is the one, what am I going to produce? What are my results? I got this concept from the life coach school, which is a podcast that I have been listening to for, Ooh, I don't know, like four or five years, six years. It's been a long time. But I'm Brooke Castillo, who is the host of that podcast talks about having a results list instead of a to do list. So what do you want to achieve?
Right. So instead of me saying I need to write my monthly emails, I would say 15 emails scheduled in my email management system and then I would go to my calendar and actually plug in or where I was going to do that and give myself a set amount of time. And that's the only time that I had to do it. So when I'm writing, I give myself like two hours and at the end of that two hours, that is it. We're done, we're done. It doesn't matter if it's not finished, we're looking for like B minus c plus work and we're putting it out because I also know that like I was trying to make things perfect and make sure I didn't have any typos. That's not real life. And I'm not saying that you shouldn't care about the quality of things that you're putting out.
However, a lot of us use that as an excuse to stop making progress or to stop moving forward. So I always am in my head saying B minus C plus work. Is it good enough for that? Okay, we're done. And I move on to the next thing that I'm supposed to do. At first putting everything in my calendar a little bit. It's a little bit scary to open it and see all of it. So I don't do it for the whole month because I can't, my brain cannot handle that. But I do that for the week. And if I'm really having a hard time, I do it for the day just to say like, I'm getting these things, these things done and this is what I'm going to do it so that my brain does not have to think throughout the day and I can just look at my calendar. Okay, I need to do this, I need to do that. Right. It's like your results list, but to go a step back, right? So you have a results list and you have the things that you, you know, want to produce right. Get done. I also, before I even schedule it on my calendar, I say what are the things that only I can do?
I highlight the things that only I can do. Like I am the only one who can record this podcast right now. I am the only one in my business who can coach. I am the only one ethically, I mean the only one who can write my section of the paper or write my article, right? However, there's a whole other list of things that I'm not the only one who can do it. So if I have something that needs to be mailed out to clients, I don't have to do that. Someone else can do that. Um if I need to go get a couple of items from the store, I don't have to be the one that does that. There's Apps, there's other people that can do that. Right? So looking at your list, what are the things that only you can do? And I want you to be honest, I don't want you to, I want you to try to step out of your controlling tendencies. Cause I know you, yes. You step out of your controlling tendencies. Like do you have to be the one to do that? Or you're just doing it because you don't trust anyone else to do it? Remember, if the goal is to do B plus, I mean to do B minus, c plus work. Do you have to be the one that does it or are you just trying to control the outcome or what's happening?
So those things that you don't have to be the one that does it. You need to identify as someone who who can do it, whether that's friends and or family or, or people in your office, nine to five, like especially if you're the director or something like that. Are you doing things that you have no business doing that maybe other employees could do? Or are you looking and holding tight to something and being controlling about it because you want it to be perfect? Are you doing things that is just taken up a bunch of time, but it's very simple to do that. You could show somebody else to do do it.
So what I did was I hired my first person at like a virtual assistant to work to do things for me for five hours a week. A lot of times I was really scared cause I was like, who am I to hire someone? And I don't know if I want to pay that money, but let me tell you that it was the best decision I've ever, ever, ever made. Sure. In the beginning there's going to be a little bit of like slow down a little bit going backwards because you have to stop and train that person and tell them what it is that you need. And be very clear about what you need them to do and how they should do it. Right. But once you get past that point, I cannot explain to you how much that frees up your time, your mind, your capacity to get things done.
And there are so many people out there, you know, people, you know, other people like who just, they need a little bit of money. And five hours a week? Hell if it's even if it's only like two to three hours a week. Because I want you to think about, cause you know, I just did this, I want you to think about how much money you're spending on eating out or doing things or spending money on things that just doesn't, they don't, they don't matter. [inaudible] And you could take that money and say, hey, so and so, would you mind working doing some things or having me out for two to three hours a week because that, I mean it will just be a big help and I'll pay you.
And what you choose to choose to pay is y'all business. But yeah, what you consider to be fair, what agreement you come up with. Would you mind doing this? Also not being afraid to ask friends and family for help too, for things that are maybe more personal that you don't feel comfortable asking someone who may not, who may be a stranger cause your friends and family wants to help you. Cause again, people like me, I'm like, I don't want to burden them. They already have a going on, but that doesn't stop You have a lot going on and it doesn't stop you from helping them and people want to be able to reciprocate, especially if it's a good relationship. A loving, caring relationship. They want to be able to give back and pour into you just like you're giving to them and pouring into them.
So allow people that chance to help you. And, Being very clear about what it is or how they can help you, does wonders too. That will make people more willing to show up for you. So if you say, hey, can you go drop this off at the post office in the next two days? That's very clear. Then like, I dunno, I just need help running errands. That's not clear. Or have you say, hey, so and so, I know you like to go to get your groceries on Monday. Would you mind picking me up some ice coffee on your way? Because you probably only have to go to the store for one thing where they're doing their whole shop or you know, paying the extra whatever, 10, $20 a month to be a part of like a shoppers app like instacart or shipped or Amazon is Amazon pantry or fresh one of those and getting your groceries delivered. I know I'm talking about groceries. A lot of it is because I really hate going grocery shopping and so if at any point someone could go get the groceries for me, I'm all for that. And I feel like it just takes up a lot of time. I don't know what it is about grocery stores is a time suck.
Okay. Some other things that I used to ask, like I asked people to do is I do a lot of writing. I had to do a lot of writing in terms of for my business, in terms of emails, blog posts when I was, when I was doing blog posts Instagram captions or just, or even writing for publications, I would, you know, I like to do the shitty first draft. I would do that. And then I would just send it to one of my virtual assistants to edit. Right. And it doesn't mean that they like this is what they do, that there's like they're like English majors or anything that's not it. It's just helpful to get somebody else's eyes on it and for them to do that like first round of edits so that when I get it back I can read it and I can go faster.
Most of the time when it's emails or something for like social media, I just go ahead and post it because again, we are about B minus c plus work, but when it's like publications and you know reviewer too, I don't want to hear them. I will then go back and like rework it and rewrite it. But having someone that I can just know that I need to send it to and I only have a certain amount of time to send it to them and it's like my virtual assistant that gives me the accountability. I need to go ahead and write it. And it takes the pressure off because I know that's not the final version. Someone's going to give me eyes on it and not have more time to write. It is also helpful. So I just as you are thinking about what it is that you want and you think about writing your results list and you're thinking about the things that only you can do versus the things you need to delegate, I highly, highly would encourage you to hire someone for like two to five hours a week to help you do those things.
And again, I know there's a lot of mindset things that comes with that, but that's why I said you working on your mindset, it's the number one thing and the most important thing. Okay. So talked about that. You know, figuring out what I wanted, prioritizing my time. Hiring out help, getting coaches. And then the final thing that I would say that really has helped me to quote unquote balance at all is making sure that I'm taking time for me. I'm not in a, so self care this also let me write all these down cause you know, self care is a whole other thing. To me. Self care is not necessarily about bubble baths and going to get massages and the capitalistic sort of way self care for me is doing what you know you need to do so you can do what you want to do.
Right. So part of those things that I just shared with you is it's what I need to do. And being more consistent with that. And then the other part that I started to focus on is doing things that I want to do, having a way to give back and pour back into me. So the first thing I did was go to hot yoga. And at first it was the thing that I needed to do. I did not want to do it, but I said that I needed to do some sort of physical activity and at that time I was not, I did not want to go back to the gym. I just wasn't feeling it. It was freezing outside and I wasn't going outside to walk. And so I was like, you know, like yoga doesn't.. You don't have to do too much. And I'm like, I'm a jazz it up and making it one notch harder, I'm going to go do hot yoga. For those of you who do not know the room at any point is depending on the studio is like around 85 to 90 degrees. With like, I don't know, 80 to a hundred percent humidity. And you are doing yoga. It feels like you are running up hill the whole time. But yeah, to Bikram Yoga for an hour hot Yoga. And I said that I had to go at least once a week.
At first it was really difficult. My body just did not move. Being the bigger or the biggest person in the room most of the time, if not all the time was also a whole like mind thing. But I said that I'm going to go at least once a week for a year and see where I am on the other side of that year. While I'm getting close, it'll be a year in October and I have seen major improvements in my flexibility major improvement in my mind, like mindset and I really look forward to it now. It's something that I want to do and it makes me feel good to know that like if nothing else happened for the week, at least I did that one thing, that physical activity. The second thing that I started doing was going to the movies. I love watching movies.
And so once a week on Tuesday I mentioned this I think last week. Well on Tuesday that $5 movie ticket going to watch something. And then that also gives me freedom because I can go and watch awful movies and not feel bad for it because I only paid $5, but it's still something at least two hours that pours back into me. And then talking to people, making sure I talk to family, and to friends is that can also be a person who goes in that like talk to people. So whether I'm doing that or I'm on Marco Polo, whether I'm doing that like through like voice notes or Instagram, that has helped and saved me. So I hope that was helpful. I'm hope it wasn't too long winded, but those are the things that I have been doing to live my life in a more balanced, harmonious way.
So to recap, first figuring out what it is that you want. Writing it out in very clear detail. Second, finding you a coach, a mentor, a somebody who is living a life or who has been able to achieve a particular thing. So whether it's like writing, whether it's organizing your schedule, whether it's like a business coach, dissertation coach, someone who could, who's who you can see actually getting the results that you want to have in your life. Finding a way to work with them to be around them in a very formalized like capacity where they will show you and they can help you and support you and hold you accountable to achieving the same things. The third thing is figuring out what is it that you need to produce or get done, right? Separating that list into only the things that you can do versus things that you can delegate out that other people can do.
Four, is finding people to delegate, delegate to, whether that is that you're hiring someone for two to five hours and, or you're asking friends and family to help you with those, with those tasks and even employees. If this comes down to work things, yes, for a, I don't know what number we're on. Five. putting the things that only didn't you, you can do into your calendar. Giving yourself a time limit that you will get those things done and only giving yourself that time to do it. And only aiming for B minus c plus work. And then the last thing is doing something to fill yourself back up to, to for you to be for your wellbeing. Right? So that's what I've been doing. I would love to know your thoughts on this episode. Please come on over to Instagram. I'm @marvettelacy and I would love to continue this conversation there. Or you can join my free Facebook group, Qual Scholars. And all these links will be in the show notes below. Thank you so much for your time for listening today. And until next time, do something to show yourself some love. Bye for now.