In the spirit of the new year, we’re sharing something a little different than goals or resolutions, but in our opinion they are just as, if not more, important. After years of chronic over-working ourselves and pushing our boundaries, we’ve learned that setting non-negotiables around our work and our personal habits is essential for our best output.
In this episode Tiff and Christine share what they have each learned about the importance of boundaries, good habits, and non-negotiables in media production work (and life).
“You can’t really buy the book for anything. Everything is very personal to you.”Tiff Tyler
- (1:35) Tiff’s favorite tools for setting boundaries
- (6:30) Christine’s favorite tools for setting boundaries
- (12:05) Christine’s non-negotiables for 2021
- (14:00) Tiff’s non-negotiables for 2021
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- Sandra Chuma
- James Clear
- Atomic Habits
- The Power of Habit
- EP 11 How to Build a Production Team for Your Podcast
- Human Design
- James Lawrence
- Dr. Nicole LePera
- Tiff Tyler
- Christine Baird
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Many thanks to our production team
Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. Being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry. This is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. Tune in weekly, to learn how to think like a producer. Welcome to a new year. And in the new episode of think like a producer, we are starting off this year on the podcast talking about one of our favorite things, and this is a conversation Tiff and I started in December and we just talked about it for most of the month because it’s something we’ve found to be extremely beneficial in careers, as producers, as hosts, as content creators. And that is being really clear about our non-negotiables and our boundaries for how we work and how we live and how we set priorities. So this is truly going to be a huge encouragement to you. Obviously at the new year, a lot of us are into goal setting and figuring out what our priorities are, but we’re going to take a little different approach just from a place of you already know what you most want to have happened this year.
And you probably already know in your heart of hearts, what it’s going to take. And in our opinion, that’s means some boundaries and some non-negotiables making sure certain priorities are in place so that all of your visions and dreams can come to life with you being happy and healthy and well balanced. So this episode’s called something to the effect of setting your non-negotiables for 2021. And we’re going to give some recommendations for how we’ve learned to set really good non-negotiables. And we’re also going to share some of our own non-negotiables this year. So first off Tiff, you have some amazing resources that we were talking about that have helped you understand how to set good boundaries and how to understand what your true priorities are. Tell us what they are.
It’s all about habits. Um, I don’t know if this is going to be like the theme of 2021, but habits are huge for me. And just what I’ve been learning about. Pattern recognition, how to support myself, because of course there are so many eBooks and, and, you know, self-improvement, you know, webinars and different things, motivation, all the stuff that’s coming out. And I think I get overwhelmed because I don’t know which one is supposed to work for me. Like, you know, what is my thing? And so pattern recognition, habit recognition, and understanding how that works has been very, very helpful. Uh, one person, I call her my big sister. We both met her through the greatness mastermind, but Sandra Chuma, she’s calling herself the habit coach. I love her. She’s great, but she’s all about this. Like what habits are going to work best for you?
Where can you be consistent? How can you kind of get past whether you feel doing something or not, and get into the habit and the routine and the consistency to books that are really good right now? I know that Atomic Habits, James Clear is very popular, has been flying off the shelves. I think the last like two years, but Christine and I have had the opportunity to meet him in person to actually film him on a podcast. And this book in particular understanding habits and how we work, I would recommend my last recommendation, which is my favorite I’ve re-read. And I’ve gifted to so many people, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This one is great. And I just would like to point out this example, Christine, it’s going to sound so weird but it’s so good. Did you know, that it was not popular for Americans to brush their teeth. Like it was not a thing.
I did not know that.
Who would know that?
So when they, first came up with toothpaste and they were trying to advertise toothpaste, no one would buy it. And they talk about how marketing and advertising actually got Americans to brush their teeth. Like it is one of my favorite books because if I got into the details of it. It would take too long for this podcast, but man, it talks about that. It talks about why Rosa Parks actually was the person when it came to her refusing to move to the back of the bus. Even though there were so many people before her who had chosen, who had stood against, you know, the laws and different things, these unjust laws, why was it her that became most popular and sparked the movement for, for all the citizens and everything that continue to happen after that, the boycotts, all those different things. It talks about not just how we individually, um, have our own habit patterns, but why we as a society tend to do different things. And so that’s the, I mean, I can just, it’s so good, but, um, I really, really encourage you to pick up The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, if you’re just wanting to learn more about yourself and your behavior. Um, but that’s, those are my recommendations that I would say. And the reason why, you know, this episode was so important to Christine, me seeing myself, why do I keep putting myself in that hole of being able to say this correctly. I do it all the time. Okay. The reason why this episode,
It was so important to us was because we both have come from this world of motivation self-improvement and we realized that you can’t really go by the book, quote, unquote, for anything. Everything is very, very personal. And in tune with you, I thought, and I still have to break this pattern. I keep thinking that seven days a week, 12 hours a day, like you grind, you hustle. You work hard because you might be missing out on this opportunity or this thing now will come up. If you take a break and I’ve had to learn through the hardest lessons over and over and over again, that I am a human being. I am not a machine that I need breaks. I need rest. I need support. I need love. I need connection. I need friends. I need so many things that make me up as a whole.
And work is just one piece of what I do. It is not who I am. I just want to, you know, geez want to have that on repeat. Like I have like posts that somewhere on my wall or something needs to read that every day. So building these habits, understanding like what works best for me coming up with my non-negotiables for this year, all of these things have been important for me to, to just recognize that, um, it’s not about following a list. It’s not about a, to do list. It’s all about who I am as a person, but Christine, I would love cause you know, you’re my mentor, you’re my peer mentor, which we have to make an episode about.
I’d love to hear, maybe your before and after, because you transitioned from corporate work to more of the freelance work and then now owning your own company. I’m sure that your patterns and behaviors and boundaries have changed throughout your life. What kind of didn’t work for you in the past? Like I’m legit asking. Cause I’m like, well, I’m going to learn here, but good luck. You know, I hope, I hope you guys are getting some really cool, like golden nuggets as well. Um, but like what didn’t work for you in the past and what are you kind of working on this year? Like what’s your goal this year for your boundary and kind of non-negotiables.
Thank you for acknowledging. It has been such a journey. And I know I’ve talked to you about it a ton. So I mentioned it in other episodes. I talk about this often, but some of the biggest changes that I’ve made to set non-negotiables and boundaries and habits that support my actual values and priorities is for a very long time, I had just gone with the normal flow of like the American education system, the American corporate work system. I was a very normal millennial, went to school, got good grades, went to college, got a degree, got a corporate job, 401k salary. And that’s what I did. But as the years progressed in my twenties, I was, you know, in my first job out of college, I’d been in a sales job for a few years. I started to realize I’m not going to thrive in this environment.
I’m going to do fine. I’ll always do fine, but I wasn’t going to thrive. And so when I left corporate America and I went into the land of freelancing and I was like, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to figure it out. It was a huge leap because it took away all the structure of a nine to five. And I tried a bunch of different stuff, right. I tried like working at nights or weekends or working in the middle of the day or working early in the morning. And over time I realized that for me, and this was truly a path I had to walk myself, no one could have given me this. And this is why I think it’s super beneficial to give yourself permission to do things differently this year, if you’ve always worked or lived or structured your time a certain way.
And you realize like, I just don’t think that’s actually optimal for me try something different this year, because what I came to after trying a whole bunch of different things as a freelancer was I work really well in concentrated focused batches of time each day. And those batches of time are usually less than two hours a day. So I had set a goal in 20 to only work one hour a day on client work, meaning like billable hours. You know, that I was now that may sound totally audacious, especially to Tiff, but it was a goal I had set because after five plus years of freelancing, I had realized I do my best work when I’m really energized and focused and rejuvenated and rested. And I can really get a ton done in a short amount of time when I’m in that state. And for all the years that I’d tried, like Tiff said to like work a full eight hours by myself and my little apartment, you know, in LA or in Salt Lake, I just had hit my head again and again and again against the same wall being like, this is not the best way for me to work, but I, I had come from this corporate, you know, structure and I just thought that’s how a productive day looks.
So over several years I’ve finally loved and surrendered and owned that I actually do my best work when I work less than two hours a day. Oftentimes that’s like in the middle of the day. So most of the time I don’t actually get to work quote unquote until like 11 or 12. So I have like long drawn out meditative quiet mornings where it’s just like, do what I love. And then I get around to work around 11 or 12, maybe work for a couple hours. Um, if I have a client call, you know, maybe I’ll schedule that in there. And then I usually am done with my work day by five or six, because I know for a fact, I’m not going to want to do any kind of work after that time. Of course, when it’s an extenuating circumstance, a crunch deadline, I I’ve done work after hours, but that’s something I’ve come to through the years.
And so for me, a non-negotiable at this point for sure, for 2021, but kind of riding on the wave of 2020 for me is that I really only do an hour of client work a day and that can include, you know, emails, phone calls, actual production work, if I’m, you know, doing actual podcast work and that’s really worked to me. So my offering to you is the top of this year. Take the time to be super honest with yourself, give yourself full permission to rethink what a workday looks like for you and get really creative and experimental and maybe try some things out and try only seen if you gave yourself only, I know this may sound crazy to you, but like four hours say you only have four working hours a day. You have to get your entire workload done for the day and only four hours.
See what you create, see what happens, like give, run an experiment for a week. Um, that’s been amazing for me. And so I’m just offering that to you as a suggestion, it took me several years to really let myself do it. But now that I’m in that flow, I’m, I’ve never worked more efficiently, productively or happily than I do now. And a result of this to state the obvious is I’ve learned how to charge a much higher price point for my services because I understand now how much value I can bring when I’ve really optimized my time. So you’re like, how do you make money working an hour a day? Well, of course it’s going to look different for everyone, but I’ve because of my goal to kind of optimize my workday for my own wiring to support how I am actually built to work.
I have restructured my business so that I actually can get paid very well. And I really only have to put in about an hour a day. So it’s possible. It’s going to take some experimentation from you, but it’s a hundred percent worth it. And if you listened to our last episode about how to build a great podcast production team, you know, this is probably gonna mean that you’re going to be outsourcing a lot more of what you’ve been doing. You’re going to be delegating, probably going to be building out your team or hiring a lot of services. And that’s a good thing. So that’s my offering kind of bring so much joy to my heart to say it because I will, I will offer my own suggestion too, though. As far as resources go, a big part of what helped me figure out how I was best suited to work was looking at my human design.
So if you’ve never heard of human design, it’s a kind of, you could call it personality typing, but it’s a little bit cut from a different cloth. You can just Google, what is my human design? You’ll find great resources. You essentially just type in your birth date and time. And then it gets a little woo woo with the star charts. But to be honest, the actual, um, things I’ve learned about how I’m best suited to work have been a game changer. And so that was really helpful for me. I got into human design in 2020, and it was very helpful for me to be like, okay, if this is how I’m best suited to work and contribute to the world, I’m going to do a big experiment and see what happens if I actually do this. And it turned out is made a huge difference because now I’m really optimizing my work and my energy.
And I have a ton of free time, which I love. And it gives me, um, creative time to do projects, like think like a producer and all my cooking projects and I’ll make design projects, all my daydreaming, the stuff that I love comes from having optimized my actual workflow. Okay. I know that was a little bit of a soapbox, but I really was delighted to share it. So what are my non-negotiables in 2021, it’s only doing an hour of client work a day, Tiffani, huge. I know no one ever calls you that. That’s not really the name you go by, but it felt important. Maybe I should just say it for like Tiffani Rose, what is one of your non-negotiables for 2021?
Whoa, so it’s going to be new for me not working one weekday during the week. So I am, I kind of said this. We went live on our Instagram account, which you should follow us. Think like a producer because sometimes we just go live and I just say things and I’m like, Hmm, that could be a thing. So I kind realized through years of trying to force myself to be somehow a early morning bird food people call early bird and then a night out at the same time. And then, you know, working all these hours and kind of going until I can’t anymore. You know, it got really, I honestly think dangerous at one point just how much I was pushing myself. And of course, you know, so many people being home. I think we all kind of recognize like which days are our days that we’re on and which days are days that are off.
And I’ve noticed it kind of got an interesting pattern during the week, but typically on Wednesdays, I am like usually like the least energetic or the least productive, or, you know, it’s just something about the middle of the week. My non-negotiables for this year, definitely not working one day of the week, uh, during the week. So Wednesdays have typically been, as I’ve been noticing my patterns back in 2020, really everyone being at home, being at home way more than I’m used to, even though I typically, I would call myself someone who worked from home, but 2020 was like, no, this is what it’s like to really work from home. I’ve noticed that Wednesdays, I just don’t have the same on an energy, the same amount of productivity. And so this is going to be a challenge for myself honestly, but what my goal is that Wednesday, just as my off day, there’s no planned paid work.
Now I love what we do for think like a producer. There’s a lot of free stuff that I get to do. And so if I feel the creative bug, if I want to write, if I want to read, it’s more just having a day without an agenda. And I’m not used to that. If you followed me on Instagram at all in the last two years, I used to have an agenda for what I was doing almost every other hour that I would post on Instagram. And I changed it to just my three big goals for the day. Cause I realized I was setting too many goals every day. And there was some day that got them all done. Somehow Christine, like I was able to figure it out, but the days that I didn’t, because I had 10 things on the list and I can only get four of them done.
It still didn’t feel like an accomplishment. Like I still feel like I wasn’t able to celebrate or enjoy it. And so having three big goals following that was something I learned from James Lawrence, uh, the iron cowboy. When I, when we had a chance to meet him, he said that he doesn’t have a big to-do list. He just does three things every day. And he like randomly popped up on my Instagram, like one time and told the whole audience that. And I will never forget that day. That was so cool that he did that. He’s such a nice guy. Um, but yeah, so I just took that to heart. It’s like, man, I, you know, um, even some feedback, which is, I haven’t told you this before Christine, so I’m glad I get to tell you this on camera. Some feedback that I had was that someone who he didn’t know only knew me for a couple of weeks, but we worked together for a little while. He said that he noticed that I really like when other people think that I’m busy and I was like, Hey, I needed to take a minute
To think about those. Like, wow, I do take pride in being busy and that other people thinking or knowing that I’m busy. And so I stopped posting my last year and just started posting those three big goals because I was like, man, like what would the world look like if I didn’t need to tell everyone how busy I am and I could just do the work without having to constantly talk about it. So as we’re going through these patterns and habits, like this is neurological stuff for me, right? Like these are things like feed back and all these different things. It’s just so important for me to take things in from people that I respect and that people around me and to not adjust to what people are saying, but adjust for what’s going to work the best for me. So, like I said, Wednesday, 2021, Tiffany Rose.
Now that you called me out on those days, I already have a non-negotiable. I was working in, in 2020, but I’m bringing into this year as well, which is I won’t go more than 48 hours without running. Um, I’ve noticed that like when I was doing my marathon training and you know, the beat, the sun challenge, I love running and also of course has some wear and tear on the body. And so to be careful and to really be present with myself, there’s some days that I love that I pushed myself out of bed and I don’t feel like you, but I’m still going to run these three miles or stupid and run these four miles. Like it’s like this championship trophy that no one else can really understand. But then there are some days that I just need to rest and my body is tired and my mind is tired.
And I think Christine, you can relate to this and anyone else, who’s a freelancer. We’re constantly thinking, we’re thinking about so many different parts. We’re thinking about the next client. We’re thinking about the person we need to followup with for the bill. We need to different thinking about, um, the next keynote that we have to do. The next podcast we use record. There’s so many things in our mind. I think mental exhaustion didn’t make sense to me up until recently. And so there are some days that I may not be physically exhausted, but I’m mentally exhausted. And so, but I know that I also want to keep running and I want to keep that pattern. So I know that Wednesdays off non-negotiable no more than 48 hours without running non-negotiable and I think I want to add like a third one, but I’m thinking, well, I guess, no, not having my full agenda, but that’s not really a non-negotiable maybe the third one will, will be that.
Um, Oh, this is what I wanted to do. And I haven’t said out loud either. So you guys can all hold me accountable and you can too, Christine even though you’re probably like, I’ll have no reason to know this, but I want to do like a chore in my home a day. So, um, being that person who can be really busy, I can kind of like ignore myself and like the things around me and try to clean everything up on a weekend or whatever. But my 95 year old grandmother who is yes, still alive and still calls me out on this. Every time we talk on the phone every week that if I just do one chore a day, the place will stay nice and clean. And I think that’s what I was talking about. The mental space. And I know that you guys are probably like, what does this have to do with success?
Like this has to do with success when my space is organized and clean and I can concentrate. I’m not procrastinating because I want to go do laundry and all these different things. It’s very, very helpful. So one chore a day, that would be my third non-negotiable that there’s like one chore that I get to do for myself every day, obviously has nothing to do with work. It has to do with my space and making sure that everything around me is good to go. Um, and I just wanted Christine to share hers. I wanted to share my own and I want to encourage everyone listening right now. It’s the first week of the year. You might’ve hit some new year’s resolutions that you wanted to hit. You might not have, who knows. Um, but I really just want to encourage you to give yourself some grace and some love and to recognize what works and what doesn’t work for you in a work week, in a personal week for the things in your life and to not do what I do, which is okay, cool.
I just got this new tip from this podcast and I’m going to put on my to-do list and I’m going to come up with my non-negotiables and try to even repeat what Christine and I are saying. This is only going to work for you, the habit books that we recommended, the things that we’re recommending, you know, just for you to understand yourself better. We really just want to encourage you to love yourself when you’re not good at things and love yourself when you are good at things well, this through the success and through the failures, what patterns can work best for you. Um, and just come up with your non-negotiables for 2021. Now that you’ve had a full week, you know exactly what this year is kind of starting out to look like, what are you going to do to set up yourself your own personal boundaries so that everything that you’re doing can translate into your work and your job?
I remember some non-negotiables I set up last year was like, I don’t pick up the phone past a certain amount of time a day. I don’t answer emails past a certain amount of time a day. They’re like things that I’m kind of building off of from 2020 that I’m bringing into 2021. So of course you can go the work route. You can go the personal route. You can go the family and love life route. When we met Dr. Nicole LePera and she set boundaries for her family, I was shocked because I was like, man, I don’t know if I could ever do that. But it was amazing for her and her business and her life and her partner and everyone around her. Like she, because she was setting boundaries that were for things that weren’t serving her as a person, everything else in her life was able to grow in different areas. So I just wanna encourage that. Uh, Christine, is there anything I know I was supposed to wrap it up, but I went on my, one of my whole thing. Um, is there anything else you’d like to say to everyone just starting off the new year?
Yes. I think it’s going to be such a gift of a year. I mean, we came through 2020 and if we’re here, we’re here. So we are stronger and more resilient than we ever knew. We were preaching to myself and I just want to let us take that momentum and actually create a lives in the work and the shows and the content and the podcasts and the brands that we’ve always dreamed of. I think this is a profound opportunity to say, yeah, we’re going to do things differently. The old ways didn’t work so hot. And when we all had that massive wake-up call, we got clear on what really mattered. That’s for sure what happened to me last year. And I think it happened to most of us, if not all of us. So just a little extra nugget of encouragement that this is the year to do things differently than you ever have, and to have full permission and to realize that if last year showed you what wasn’t working and how you were running your company or building your brand or putting out content or pursuing your dreams this year is like a beautiful, fresh slate to do it.
And you can do it the way that works for you. And that’s really what Tiff and I wanted to share. We are totally cheerleading you from over here on the podcast. So if you have any questions or you want more details about anything we covered today, obviously the links to everything that we recommended is in the show notes. So just click below or in the show notes of your podcast app. And as always, we would love it. If you’d leave us a review on Apple podcasts, we want to hear what you love about the show, subscribe on every channel that you want to listen to follow us on social media and think like a producer. We are literally just getting, going with this show. So we’re so excited to go through all of 2021 with you, be your coaches for podcasting and YouTube and content creation. And we are here to remind you that it can happen the way that best serves you. And it doesn’t need to look like the way other people do it. So thank you so much for listening or for watching. We’ll see you on the next episode.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of think like a producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production, massive thanks to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you are ready to launch your podcast, you can check out the Worthfull Media podcast course at worthfullmedia.com and as a special gift to our listeners, we are giving you $50 off the podcast course. All you have to do is use promo code T L A P. If you have launched your podcast or YouTube channel and show, and you are looking for the community to support you as you continue to grow, as well as some Q and A directly from Christine and myself, then please check out our think like a producer channel. The link is in the show notes for more.