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Peaceful Productivity: the Antidote to Hustle Culture + How You Can Get the Right Stuff Done at the Right Time || with Jess Massey

podcast time management Jul 30, 2023


Do you ever get that feeling when your head hits your pillow, that you've been running around all day but still didn't do enough? That is hustle culture. It's a lie that tells you that your worth is based on the amount that you get done, even if it's not what's right for you. What if we shifted our mindsets to a different form of productivity? It's called peaceful productivity, where you stay sane and feel accomplished.


Jess Massey teaches you what peaceful productivity is, how it’s different than “get all the things done” productivity, and ways you can move towards shifting both your mind and to your to-do’s to reflect this kind or productivity. She shares her five tips to hustling sanely, and how they can be done every day and during any season, to let go of the hustle and usher in peaceful productivity.



About a few other things...


Do you struggle to create habits that stick? It's not your fault. The truth is simple: you've been trying to form habits using methods designed for perfect robots--not real women living real lives. It's time to change that. If I could help you gain confidence in creating habits AND guide you to uncover the ONE supportive habit to deeply care for yourself, could you commit 21 days to learning this method? The Sticky Habit Method is a 21-day course that revolutionizes the habit-formation process. It's real habits for real women.


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Monica: Jess Massey. Welcome to About Progress.


Jess: I am so excited to be here. Thank you for having me on Monica.


Monica: I have love digging into your Instagram feed and your podcast. I feel like we're really in alignment with a lot of things, and yet we have different branches of what we're both interested in that I needed you to bring to the table today for my listeners who are struggling with this because as recovering perfectionists it's really hard to not fall for the productivity trap and yet, We all do have a lot to do, so we can't pretend and we can't put our head in the sands and just think that things are gonna work out all the time.


But no, like we do have responsibilities that are counting on us. So today we're here to talk about how to have more peace and more productivity at the same time. And let's just start by saying like those two words don't typically get paired in the same sentence together. Peace, productivity. Why do you think they go together?


And we'll get more into the how I'm sure.


Jess: Yes. Okay. It. I'm gonna be very transparent when I, so I started Hustle Sanely, that's the name of my company five years ago in September, 2018 and when I started, I would not have paired those two words together. I leaned more on the hustle side than the sanely side.


And it took me, Hitting what I like to call, like my productivity rock bottom, my hustle culture rock bottom to shift things and teach myself how the two could coexist, because as you said, Monica, the fact is we all have to be productive. Like it's not really something that's, up for discussion.


We have roles that we have to show up for responsibilities that we have to show up for. But the way that I was going about it just wasn't working for me anymore. So I think it's possible now after, going through in 2019 is when I hit that rock bottom and I was like, okay.


Something's gotta give. And so I spent 2019 and the first part of 2020 just looking around, reading, listening to podcasts, trying to figure out what I could do to still get things done that needed to be done, but in a way that wasn't sacrificing my mental health, the important relationships in my life, those things.


And so I read a book called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. I will give a little disclaimer. It is a faith-based book. But I do have friends who don't share my faith, who have read it because I cannot stop talking about it. And it, I feel like no matter what your belief system is, like you can take away like, Definite valuable nuggets from it.


But reading that book just flipped my idea of productivity on its head in a good way. It needed to be flipped. And I just started viewing things very differently. And now the way that I view productivity and why I think productivity and peace are meant to coexist. I think oftentimes people mistake productivity for getting a lot done, when in reality it's getting the right stuff done.


And when you think about it, when you get the right stuff done in a day, and when I say right stuff, things that move the needle forward on your goals or things that align with your vision for your life. When you get those kinds of things done, you're be, you're productive. But you also feel at peace.


Like you, you're able to lay your head down at night and you feel fulfilled. You feel you're probably tired. Yes. But you feel that sense of huh, okay. Like I'm proud of what I got done today. I feel good about what I got done today. Let's get a good night of rest and then see what tomorrow brings.


So that's to me just the shift. Instead of viewing productivity as getting all the things done all the time, I started viewing productivity as getting the right things done at the right time.


Monica: Ooh. I love that. As part of that, I think what you just described, going to bed and you get that feeling of feeling fulfilled and as part of that, I think to me it's just like I got enough.


And of what mattered because the old form of productivity that I think we grew up with and still have all around us with that hustle culture is you go to bed and you always feel like it was never enough.


Jess: Correct.


Monica: That's a big difference.


Jess: Yeah, I feel like the hustle culture mentality, like you said, you lay your head down and you've been doing things all day long, but you still feel that sense of but what did I actually get done? Because you didn't prioritize those things that actually matter. You are so focused on just going doing.


When I feel like peaceful productivity, it more so focuses on the being as you're doing. So you're not just focused on the tasks, but you're focused on your approach to the tasks and how you're nurturing your mental health, the important relationships in your life as you're completing those tasks.


Monica: that right there is exactly opposite of the whole hustle culture. I wanna help listeners identify that language that can come, or the messaging even from the hustle culture so they can just be more aware of it. If you were to look back to the 2018 version of you turned into the 2019 version of you of just hitting that burnout, can you identify, these are the things I believed about productivity, I can now identify as the hustle culture messaging.


Jess: Yeah I was always in a hurry. I always thought that things had to be done immediately. So I, I didn't have room for flexibility. I was so focused on everything was an emergency. Everything was urgent in the moment because I wasn't clear on my priorities. And I feel like that is what hustle culture wants us to believe is that.


Everything is important. And I'm sure you guys have heard the saying that when everything is important, nothing is important. And that is how I was living. Everything was on the same level. And so things were falling through the cracks that. Realistically should have not been falling through the cracks.


Like my friendships, my mental health, my marriage. I've been with my husband, I'm 33 and we've been together since I was 16. So we've been together for a very long time and I am just when I think back, I'm just not proud of how I was showing up for my marriage during that time. When I think of hustle culture, I think tunnel vision, I think we get so focused on.


The goal, right? Because that's what hustle culture tells us. That if we want to reach the goal, which whatever your the goal is, we have to let everything else fall away and give all of our time, all of our attention, all of our energy to that goal. And that is what I have learned since kind of making the shift into peaceful productivity.


That's the biggest lie that I used to believe is that I had to have tunnel vision on. Whatever the goal was, and just let everything else fall away.


Monica: That really is what we are even transparently taught. You have to have that tunnel vision. You have to get up and work hard all day, every day. And that mindset can bring a lot of energy, which can seem really motivating, but it's also one, not sustainable. And it's two, it's a self-blame. Set up like where you just, you get to this point, it's a toxic positivity set up too, where it's just like you are responsible for your life.


You need to do it all. So when you can't sustain the motivation, it wrecks that sense of self alongside of it.


Jess: Yeah, and I feel like I could not agree with you more. I feel like hustle culture, like it is I like that you said like it's motivational, but I feel like it's kind of surface level motivation where you're like, yeah, like that sounds great. Focus on my goal and nothing but my goal and go all day every day and make sure that I'm pushing.


But then what do you do when you hit burnout? When you hit fatigue, exhaustion. You know what I mean? You can't keep going. And if you do, you're going to be sacrificing not only your mental health, but your physical health. Like I said, the important relationships in your life. And so that's why I'm so passionate about the work that I do, because I've been there where I sacrificed everything that's important to me now.


And that I said was important to me back then. So my marriage, my friendships, my community but I wasn't displaying that in my life because I've been Living in that hustle culture mentality. So I try to think back truly since I was in like grade school, I remembered, teachers just pounding in you've gotta work hard, you've gotta keep your eye on the prize.


Like those kinds of, when I was in sports and like elementary school and like things like that, like those are just the kinds of things I grew up hearing. And so I didn't recognize that it was unhealthy and that I was just my own worst enemy in that sense of driving myself to into the ground.


Monica: And then blaming yourself for being there. So I'm thinking for the women, Who are hearing this, let's just have them be aware of the messaging that they've bought in. And it's just like there. It's just in the zeitgeist, it's in the air. And so think about what messaging you believe about yourself and productivity, and also just to be aware of that feeling when you go to bed of nothing was ever enough.


Then you know that you're falling for the hustle culture, as well as just that feeling of like icky, like just that lack of alignment with that tunnel vision. Like when you go to bed and you're like, I didn't. Stop to have a real conversation with my loved ones and look them in the eyes like I had to load the dishwasher or I had to do that meeting.


Regardless of what it is to me, your peaceful productivity strikes me as something that is more value driven and that's where the fulfillment comes in. So can you speak to that a little bit more? What's the contrast? What can we look for instead


Jess: Yeah, so I created the phrase Peaceful productivity in 2020 when I was just trying to recalibrate my own relationship with productivity, because like I said, it is, I love how you said that it's like value driven because it's you're still focusing, but you're focusing on.


What matters in your life? You're focusing on your priorities and you're weaving your goals in around your priorities. You're weaving what needs to be done around your priorities. So for example, I am a new mom. I have a six month old. It is my first, so motherhood is all brand new to me. And I am a business owner.


So I recently, I do a three day work week now which, If you would've told me before the peaceful productivity, discover, discovering, I would've thought absolutely not. There's no way because hustle culture says, no, you can't do that. Like you have to work work go. Achieve.


And I, I just attached my worth and my identity to achievement. But now as a mom, I'm just like, oh my gosh. Like my daughter is only gonna be a baby once, and so I wanna be present for as much as I possibly can be. And so just focusing on what is actually important in your life?


I like to think of it as like I'm getting a bird's eye view, which is really a contrast to that tunnel vision and just viewing my life as a whole and being like, okay, what do I actually want to be showing up for? Where do I want to be spending my best time and energy. And like we mentioned at the beginning, there's always gonna be things that need to be done.


Like we're all aware of that. You mentioned like having to load the dishwasher so we have to keep up with the house. Some of us have to go to work. We're raising families, we're nurturing friendships. Like this stuff isn't going away, but I. Think it's more so when it comes to peaceful productivity, you're just putting things into perspective.


You're finding a harmony between all of these things and deciding in each season. And I'm a big advocate of paying attention to your seasons because it's not like a set it and forget it a thing. Your priorities are gonna shift as your seasons shift. It makes sense. And so I think, yeah, when it comes to peaceful productivity, just recognizing That everything matters, but you have to, like I said, come above, get that bird's eye view and figure out what matters most in this season, and how are you gonna show up for that thing in this season?


Monica: This is really resonating with me because as I told you off the air, having our recent baby too has been really hump. But one of the hardest parts has been that feeling of not feeling productive. Especially because he was a really poor napper up until a month ago. And I literally could only like shower by the end of the day.


And I didn't realize even after teaching this for years, just how much my identity had been staked on how much I got done each day, even as the primary caretaker, the things that involve in the home, cuz I'm trying to, what I'm trying to communicate here is regardless of what your season is, we all fall for the traps of let's check off the list and get more done.


But there was an amazing commenter when I shared like how I was doing that way where someone said she learned that being present is being productive. And I shared about that in a gross spurt episode a little while ago because it had such a profound impact on me. But it reflects what you're talking about here, about what matters most and within a season, because even since then I've been able to shift what I can do, especially since you started to nap better a month ago.


And that does feel good. But at the same time, it was a season and this is another season, and it's okay for us to lean in there.


Jess: And productivity. It, like I said at the very beginning, it's getting the right stuff done at the right time. And so when you're in the throes of those newborn days and getting a shower in during nap time, like that is being productive, right? Like it, that is the season of newborn life is, pairing down that to-do list and recognizing okay, like you just said it, it's a season. I know it's not going to be like this long-term forever, but you have to, either delegate, ask for help when it comes to, keeping your home running, how maybe you were used to before baby came or just being okay with your house looking different for a month or two or three months,


Monica: yeah. So for those who are. In this mindset of I want to feel peacefully productive, so I still want to get more of what matters done, and I want to do that in a way where at the end of the day, I feel peaceful about it, but this is such a new framework for me. It's a such a new way of doing things.


Let's go back to 2019, 2020 version of you and what kind of tips you would recommend for those newbies.


Jess: Yeah, so I created a framework. I am a type A individual, and I love, like systems frameworks. Like I, I like step by steps. It just, it, they work well in my brain. So I created a system, it's called the Five Keys to Hustling Sanely. And essentially it's the five steps that I follow and that I teach so that you can create your version of a peacefully productive life.


And I think that's important to point out as well. There's not one version of a peacefully productive life because all of us we're living different. Lives, right? We have different journeys that were going on. We have different values, different beliefs, different experiences, different roles, responsibilities.


The list goes on and on. So I think The five keys to hustling Sanely. I'm really proud of how they came together because the way that I designed them, they're applicable to any stage in any season of life, and once you learn them, you can adapt them to support you and to meet you where you're at.


Something else that I teach and that I believe in our schedules, our routines, our strategies, our habits, all of these things, they're tools, not chains. I feel like so often we, again, with the hustle culture, we feel the need to, do things. Perfectly, or tick every single box, every single day kind of a thing.


It's, going back to that perfectionism. Whereas the five keys to hustling sanely it's a loose framework that just gives you a little bit of direction, gives you some ground to stand on. And if you, if all of this just feels new and out of reach, if you will, cuz you're just like, whoa.


This is a big shift from how I'm used to operating. I really do think that the five keys, which I'm happy to go through with you are, they're a great place to start and it's it, they're action steps that you can actually start taking so that you could put things into practice and it doesn't seem so like far away, if that makes sense.


Monica: We love to go both deep and practical here. So yeah, share that framework with us. We'd


Jess: Yeah, sure. So key one is get your mindset right. I'm a believer that the attitude that we bring into any situation is going to affect the outcome of that situation. So I think before we go on any type of journey, like whether it's like a personal growth or just trying to shift certain things in our life, I think first it's important to make sure that your mindset is in a good spot that supports growth.


That supports you supporting yourself, right? That self-talk, it's just so important. I know we talked about that a little bit whenever we mentioned hustle culture. So that's key One is get your mindset right. Key two is get clear on your vision. And when I say that, we already touched on this a little bit, but.


It's deciding what's important to you. It's deciding what you want your life to look like and what you want your life to feel like, and how you're gonna show up. And again, this is seasonally, it's gonna change every season. As things in your life ebb and flow, your vision is probably gonna ebb and flow as well.


So that's key two. Key three is define your priorities. So you wanna define your priorities based on that vision. So decide what's important to you in this season, and how you're gonna show up for those things on a regular basis. So I like to do this by creating a list of daily. Weekly and monthly non-negotiables that support my vision.


So an example from my own life right now, a big part of my vision is making sure that I'm nurturing my marriage because I've just heard so many people talk about when you have a new baby, it could get really it's easy to let your marriage go to the wayside a little bit. And I was just not okay with that being an option for us.


So I was like, okay, if. My vision is nurturing my marriage, even through the stage of having a newborn. What do I need to do daily, weekly, and monthly to make that happen? So one example is we have a standing date night, which we never had this before having a baby. We, our time was ours. So we just you wanna go on a date?


All right, let's go. But now we have to be a little bit more intentional because we have to have childcare and, those kinds of things. So now every Sunday we have a standing date night, every other Sunday, my parents come over and they get time with Everly, my daughter. So it's like grandparent time for her.


So everybody's winning. Mom and dad get to go have a date. And then on the other Sunday, so the other two Sundays of the month we do a date night after Everly goes to bed and we'll just cook dinner together or sit on the back patio and play cards, something like that. So yeah, just defining your priorities based on your vision, basically creating the action steps.


For your vision, because having a vision can feel a little bit elusive sometimes. You're like, yeah, cool, sounds good, but like, How do I make that my reality? So then when you define those priorities, it's basically coming up with action steps to make that vision happen. So that is key three. Key number four is create your routines and schedule.


So again, these are gonna change every season based on your vision and your priorities. And then key number five it's gonna take a little bit more explaining, but it's implement hustle, sanely five every day. So hustle Sly five, y'all. This was my saving grace during the newborn days. It's a tool that I created.


I use hustle sanely five every day, like every season of my life. But when I was fresh postpartum and everything, just felt very unpredictable, very chaotic. This gave me something to stand on. It gave me a firm foundation to stand on. And I feel like if you're brand new to Peaceful Productivity, you're brand new to Hustle Sanely, Hustle Sanely five is going to be the best place for you to sink your teeth in and get started.


I like to think of Hustle Sanely five as your daily action steps for hustling, sanely, or living a peacefully productive life. So HS five. It's a list of five intentional habits that the Hustle Sanely community we do every day to hold us accountable to getting the important things done that need to get done.


Because as we mentioned, You still got stuff to do, but you're getting those important things done, but while making sure that you're nurturing yourself and the relationships and your life and like I said, when I was postpartum, like everything was unpredictable. It's just the best word that I can think of during those times.


And it just, everything felt like it was all over the place. I just didn't know what to expect day to day. But having the, these five habits that I kinda weaved into my day, it just gave me. Something firm to stand on, and at the end of the day, I was still able to lay my head down and I was like, wow.


Okay. Today was hard, but I feel good about how I showed up, and I think that's really important in a season of a full season or maybe a new season or kind of a chaotic season, is being able to lay your head down and being like, yep, today was a little bit insane, but I feel good about how I showed up for it.


So those five habits that make up hustle, sanely five, the first one is complete your focus three. So those are your three most important tasks for the day. They're gonna look different for every single person, and they're gonna look different for every person every day. It's gonna depend on your season.


Habit number two is move for 30 minutes. Whether that is an actual workout going to the gym, or if it is walking your dog for 15 minutes away from your house and then walking 15 minutes back if it's having a dance party in the living room with your family. There are no stipulations for how it has to look.


It's just intentionally moving your body. For 30 minutes. I have a history as a personal trainer when I was in my twenties. And so movement is very important to me and I've seen the effects that it has. Yes, physically, of course, but mostly for mental health reasons. That's why it's apart. Yes. Habit number three is tidy for 15 minutes, so spend 15 minutes tidying. I personally like to choose one room a day in my house to focus on. It just helps me manage the home without feeling like things are getting too chaotic. Habit number four is say or do one kind thing for yourself. And habit number five is say or do one kind thing for someone else.


And again, these are meant to be broad because I want them to be moldable and pliable to you and your season. So how I implement this now as a mom of a six month old looks a lot different than I did when I was pregnant or before the thought of even becoming a mom was on my radar at all. But I've been able to fall back on, this tool HS five as a way to make sure that.


Yes, getting the important stuff done, but then I'm also taking care of myself, my home, and the people in my life.


Monica: Beautiful. This breakdown is so incredible and. I love how it goes from the inside out, which I think a lot of prescriptions lack, as well as the flexibility that's built in even down to the HS five of honoring your season. So well done. I'm like gonna do like the British Well done you like I was so good.


For those who are like I need that framework and I need it in writing and I need to help following it, do you have a resource for them?


Jess: Yes, if on my website, jessica, there is a free PDF download. I break down all five keys as well as the fifth key, which was Hustle Sanely five, the last one that we just touched on. And for each of those keys, I explain what they are and then I give one or two action steps that you can take to start implementing them in your life immediately.


Monica: Speaking of action steps, we love to end each interview with a sort of challenge of sorts. It's just one small way they can begin on everything we learned today. I know that's always a tall order. Doesn't have to be the perfect answer, but what is one small thing they can do? Okay,


Jess: Besides giving HS five a go? That would be my one, but I won't use that one since we just talked about it for a lot. But I would say definitely try to prioritize doing that because I get a lot of eyebrow raises when I first people are like, that sounds good in theory, but does it actually work?


But then they go give it a try and they're like, wow, actually I'm blown away at how. Amazing. This works for me. So that would be my the one that I would say. But other than that, I think creating a weekly routine outline that has your priorities, shown a blueprint for your week.


That's how I like to view it because it allows you to see the things that I like to include on mine, your roles and responsibilities. So things that you're, and I'm putting this in, air quotes, have to show up for, so whether it's a job or maybe you go to church on Sundays or maybe you take your kids to soccer on Monday, Wednesday, Friday night.


Those kinds of things, like things that are, recurring every week out of. The same time every week, pop those on there just so you can get a bird's eye view of where you have to be and when you have to be there. But I think a lot of the time people don't show up for habits and routines that nurture themselves and the important people in their lives because they don't have 'em on the calendar.


And I know we hear that advice all the time, but how often do we actually put it into practice? So creating that kind of weekly outline with your non-negotiables. On the outline with those kinds of responsibilities that you have to show up for.


Monica: Awesome. Thank you for giving us so many practical tools and ways to implement. The deeper stuff that we learned about today, I've absolutely loved getting to know you better. For those who want to do that more online, where would you like them to go?


Jess: I think the place that I hang out most is definitely Instagram stories. I do my best over there to show the five keys to hustling San Lee in action. That's how I use my Instagram stories and my handle is at Jess m Massey.


Monica: Awesome. Thank you so much again for taking the time to be here. I loved this.


Jess: absolutely. Thank you again for having me, Monica. It was a joy.


Monica: Jess Na. Nope. I knew I'm gonna do this every time. This is how it goes.


As part of that, I think what you just described, going to bed and having that feeling of feeling fulfilled sorry, my Utah accent was coming like on full strong there, so I'm gonna try, I'm gonna do that sentence again.


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