Small Changes to Get Time Back in Life with Jessie Patterson
If you’re neurodivergent, you likely struggle with focus. You spend hours and hours (and hours!) trying to get a task done but are derailed by distractions from every direction. And most of these distractions are manufactured by YOU. The 40+ tabs on your computer, the smartphone “calling your name,” the random idea that you need to research RIGHT THIS MINUTE. And, my favorite distraction, social media.

It’s no wonder we struggle to get work done.

Though technology has created so many ways to distract us, it’s also created ways to help us focus on what’s important to us. And this week on the podcast, Jessie Patterson is sharing what some of these are.

Jessie helps people unlock their authentic dream life, something she did herself by figuring how to be more productive while working less and living a nomadic lifestyle. As a fellow neurodivergent, Jessie understands how our brains work and has tips, tricks, and tools you can try so you can live your own best life.

About Jessie Patterson:
Jessie Patterson helps clients unlock their time to build an authentic dream life. As a former Real Estate Development Executive, Jessie was able to reimagine her digital habits to unlock 38 days of her year back when she thought she had ZERO extra time.

Jessie is now focused on the most valuable real estate in the world…the mind & body. As a Transformational Coach and founder of NourishX she helps her clients with keys to unlocking their dreams via coaching programs and online courses.

Every purchase provides 15%+ towards impact partners that are working to create a world where all kids have quality education, housing, food, and water.

You can learn more on Jessie’s website, follow her on Instagram, and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Links & Resources:

Time Stamps:

[1:02] – Spending time in a magical place
[1:43] – Welcoming Jessie Patterson
[2:40] – Made small changes to unlock time, energy, and mindset to get days back in her life
[6:04] – Honor your differences when it comes to your dream life
[8:43] – You can question the narrative
[10:29] – Learning that being dyslexia is part of being neurodivergent
[12:56] – Focusing on your creativity is a more fun world than focusing on what you don’t do well
[14:58] – Reimagine how you could live
[15:42] – Your mind is a jail that keeps you blocked
[16:34] – We spend 2.5 hours a day on social…that’s 38+ days of your year
[17:30] – Are your stories keeping you stuck
[18:46] – The power of the digital detox –
[19:29] – How often do you pick up your phone and hours pass?
[21:30] – Getting caught up in your business is a fallacy
[22:11] – Instead of Googling something, make a note in Notes and go back to it later
[24:0]5 – Allow yourself rest so you can show up as your best self
[26:30] – Working too much is robbing us of our happiness
[29:46] – Work on one task for 10 minutes
[31:01] – Strategies to unblock time
[33:47] – Over 45% of our day is habits
[36:15] – Don’t beat yourself up if something feels hard
[39:55] – Start with one small thing


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business and life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care for entation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelm perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you.

Amber Hawley 0:40
Hello, hello, my focus seeking friends. Welcome back to another amazing episode of The easily distracted entrepreneur. I’m Amber Hawley. I’m being very formal today because frankly, I was like, What the hell do I say it has been quite a week. I think maybe my brain is not fully functioning because I’m in this beautiful house, dog and house sitting in the woods. And it just makes you want to sleep all the time, I don’t know. But I am excited because sitting here on the bed with me in this magical tree house place is my new best bet or my new bestie soulmate is what I actually called you before that I have had the fortune of meeting recently and obviously becoming quick friends, because we are sharing house for many, many days. So please, welcome and thank you for coming on the podcast Jessie, the lovely Jessie Patterson, who is here.

Jessie Patterson 1:46
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for letting me into your life and your house sitting house. And I’m just honored. And I’m so grateful for being here and to talk to your audience of inspired entrepreneurs and people also dealing with all the things that we’re all struggling with. And it’s just been such a gift to get to know you here in Nashville and so grateful for it.

Amber Hawley 2:07
We are sharing one mic. So not only are we sharing a house, we’re sharing one mic. So we’re gonna there might be small pauses in here. But yeah, I feel the same. I’m so excited. And it’s been great. It’s been having a live in like health coach, what is that other thing I want to say like mindset person, and it kind of is who’s giving me feedback when my my language towards myself isn’t so kind. And so it’s it’s been really, really wonderful. But before we get started, why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit more about you.

Jessie Patterson 2:40
So I am a nomad by heart. And I for 20 years worked in real estate development, which really locked me down to one city. And then I was able to make some drastic changes in my own life by making small changes with my phone and started meditating and stopped being an on as much and was able to unlock 38 days of my career back. And then started creating coaching programs and online courses where I now help other people unlock the time and really the energy and the mindset because usually we’re so stuck thinking we’re locked in one place. And I know I really thrived in a career for 20 years. But after making the shifts, I realized, well, I can have a career that’s different than what I thought I can live in different places and have a career now that I’m able to travel and, you know, be more nomadic and it’s really been wonderful. And I had no idea but making such small changes would have compounded to such huge results that now I get to like, live somewhere I never thought I would be able to and sitting here on this like fancy bed with you.

Amber Hawley 3:42
I know it’s it’s true though, right? Like it’s, it’s the small steps that we make every time I think about my therapy clients and my coaching clients where it’s we talked about What About Bob, which is the consummate movie to talk about those small baby steps, baby steps. But it is interesting when you start to make small changes, and then all of a sudden your life is drastically different. And actually the life you actually want and you get to do new exciting things. And I think your story is really interesting because right now as you guys are figuring out, like where you want to be, you’re kind of you’ve taken like like couchsurfing to the next level. Because you’re like a professional house sitter slash dog sitter. Yeah.

Jessie Patterson 4:26
And all my friends just make fun of me because I’m such a nomad why I love traveling. And I’m always like, my most of my friends will message me like, where are you currently? And you know, by moving to a new city, you often don’t know what neighborhood what area you want to live in. And you often make decisions and rush into a place that maybe you don’t love. And because my husband is currently working in a job where he’s away seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We are now housesitting, slash petsitting and it’s a perfect way that we’ve made so many great friends. And we’re a nomad and everyone that knows me is like this is actually the most perfect thing for for you, and there’s an ability that you can go international and do this all over the world. So right now we’re really excited about being in Asheville and finding this as our long term home, but also just the potential for no more nomadic experiences, and you know, adventures, which is really what keeps me alive.

Amber Hawley 5:17
I know. And I love that, like, I talk a lot about having adventures. And us, you know, my family moving to Asheville, that was like our big adventure, because we did it sight unseen. But I think it is really smart what you’re doing, you know, I’ve talked about we rented an Airbnb for two months to give ourselves some time. But there is something about going and living in a place for a while. And checking out now we got lucky with where we chose because it is actually our perfect place. But I think it’s just kind of cool when to help people think about, like, your life can look different. It doesn’t, everyone thinks it’s like, it’s got to look a certain way. And this is how I do business. And this is how I do life. And that’s kind of one of the things that when I’m working with people or talking to friends, it’s like, let’s honor our differences and the things that are important to us and not buy into, it’s got to look like this in order to be like, your dream life. Right?

Jessie Patterson 6:13
That is so true. And we’ve been taught one narrative about our dream life is to grow up and have the white picket fence and the, you know, 2.5 kids and get married and you know, just to have that be your life. And, you know, I’ve been really fortunate to really question those narratives and, you know, was able to live overseas and do my masters. And I’ve traveled a lot and, you know, lived in Sydney and London, and really have learned so much about the power of selling your stuff, and putting the little limited amount of stuff in storage, and really letting yourself be free. Because had I not had that mindset, you know, finding my husband and meeting him in South Africa, it just would have felt a lot more limited of being like, you know, we’ll make this work where it and we often forget about those same questions about when we’re trying to start a business or trying to reframe our life is we feel stuck in one thing. And that’s what I always like, helping my clients as well as friends is like, how do you reimagine your narrative of what you think you should be doing versus what you actually want to be doing. And just because I was in a career for 20 years that I loved, and I thrive that and, you know, I was able to work up in a very male dominated industry, to become, you know, an executive, and I really enjoyed so many things. But it didn’t mean to be my career forever, and to be able to reimagine what I do for a living, how I help other people. And now really having that level of service is such an important thing to me where, you know, I no longer get yelled at, at community meetings over cars and blocking views, where actually people pay to talk to me and like, have fun, and it’s such a different life. But it all took by like allowing myself to reimagine the narrative of what I’ve been told successes, what I’ve been told, you know, but you’re the certain age, you should own a house, you know, I worked in real estate development for 20 years and buying a house is still not in my five year plan. Like it’s just, I like being nomadic. I like trying different things out. And it’s so often people do things is because they’ve been told or feel like they should and I often help people like question that, like, are you living a life? That’s true and authentic to you? And are the decisions you’re making actually making you happy? And then if they are, it’s like, well, how can you unstick yourself? Like, you know, putting your stuff in storage and like getting rid of a house or selling it often frees people up to make decisions or reconsidering? You know, and I know people even with families that have gone on long trips, and or, you know, have never started their dream career because they, you know, have too many worries. But it ends like how do you shift and reimagine? And, you know, I think I often help people question the narrative. And I think when you question the narrative, we often forget that we can question our own narrative and create our own lives and reimagine. And it’s one step at a time. It’s not like doing everything at once. Because whenever we try to change everything at once we change nothing at all. And then we fail and feel like crap and beat ourselves up. And it’s like, no, that’s not where it is. But like, how do you start questioning one thing and it’s like, you know, that one thing is usually the key hole just like how like bad decisions like you could spiral like, if you go out drinking and then eat the bad food and then you’re like, Well, I’m going to start next week and that turns into next month and that’s next year. Mr. Same can good decisions can spiral and you can end up doing more things and it’s the same as if you question the decisions that are making you feel like crap, you start unlocking yourself to more time and more energy to actually do things where you really energized and excited about your life and no longer scared about Mondays.

Amber Hawley 9:36
It’s kind of like the linchpin habits where like, you start making those small changes, and I think it’s well I guess, maybe its tipping point. Maybe that’s the word I’m looking for. It feels like there’s a tipping point where it starts to get momentum in itself. And like you said, I think sometimes we only think of our spirals especially us ADHD spiral errs. But yeah, it It’s also can spiral in a good way. So I love that idea. The other thing that I found interesting is you were also in San Francisco. So that’s where you did community development. And so it’s just so funny that two women from the Bay Area meet in Asheville in a very random way, because we went to a random invite meetup thing. And also you are neuro divergent. So you’re, you’re part of the heaps were part of the inner circle in many ways, which I love.

Jessie Patterson 10:29
And I just am so grateful, you helped me learn that that was a word because I thought dyslexia was separate from other things and learning that dirt. neurodivergent is a word is been really powerful to understand like, it’s a whole umbrella, and I look at being dyslexic as a superpower. Because I’ve really, you know, researched and done a lot of things to understand that a lot of the top founders and billionaires are all, you know, not all of them. But a lot of the ones that reach a super high level are really creative. And right. So it’s like, while we can have really hard struggles that we as neurodivergent people understand, it also can be looked at as one of our strengths. And I used to be so embarrassed of spelling that backwards on a card or you know, in public. And now I’ve see so many people that are authors that are dyslexic, and other things, and it’s helped broaden my perspective of what’s possible, and also helped me stop being ashamed of it as being part of who I am. And now being more proud of it. So thank you for like, opening the conversation and helping you know, myself understand myself better as well as your listeners, because I think it’s an important thing to elevate and understand and help each other uplift each other about this conversation and about how we deal with the conversation.

Amber Hawley 11:41
And I loved that you had you were like, let me tell you all the billionaires who are dyslexic, which I love that, right, because I agree, I think there’s so much shame in that, like this idea. Well, there was this kind of idea of like, if somebody even ADHD, but if they’re dyslexic, somehow that makes them less intelligent. And it’s really just the way your brain is working in twisting words, but it has nothing to do with intelligence. And so it’s so nice to see people like pushing back against that and really, like setting up all these kids in this next generation to not feel stupid to not feel dumb to not feel less than just because their brain works differently.

Jessie Patterson 12:22
Exactly. And you know, like the founder of IKEA, like thought about flat packing of furniture, right? Dyslexic Richard Branson like think about, there are so many like, I could go on and on. But it’s like you’re able to see the world differently. And like to be fair, these days, you don’t even have to spell because we have Google, right? Like, and I’m so grateful for Google because my spelling is so bad, even in like Microsoft docs, it like always, like doesn’t it comes up wrong. And then I have to copy and paste into Google for Google spelling. And it always says, Did you mean and I’m always like, thank you, Google. That’s exactly what I meant. And I’m so grateful you could spell it right. So you know, we’re, we need to be focusing on the creativity and how our brains work differently, and how we can see the world differently. And that’s a way more fun world than focusing on our weaknesses. And it’s the same that we do really in life, right? When we’re trying to make a change, we focus on the things that we’re not doing well, versus I’m like, Well, how can I create this new habit in a way that makes me proud and excited. And that’s where really the sweet spot is, is we need to learn to celebrate ourselves and being more ourselves and celebrating how we make the changes to help us feel the happiest version of us.

Amber Hawley 13:31
Yeah, I love that. And that’s, you know, going back to all of this, like understanding how our brains work differently, how our dreams and what matters to us is so unique to us and not buying into, like you said, this is the dream, this is how it has to happen. This is how it has to look. So I love hearing people’s stories when they’re doing things differently. I think it’s I think it’s inspiring for other people to hear it because then it’s like that. It’s almost not permission. But it’s kind of like, Yes, I can do that too. Like to see somebody else achieving it and doing things in a very different way. And, you know, I’ve talked, I think the lot, there’s been a few episodes where we’ve been talking to people about, you know, some people are entrepreneurs, and they’re actually going back and getting full time jobs or part time jobs are there because they’re trying to deal with all the stress and like life is handing them. And then also like looking at can you also set up your life in a different way to support you and not overwhelm you? because entrepreneurship is tough, right? Like it’s a roller coaster. So yeah, I just think it’s a I love your story. I love that. You’re basically a serious nomad. And I frankly said, Oh, I could see this being amazing. What if I did not have kids? I would seriously like be on the bandwagon with you because you get to stay in all these really cool houses.

Jessie Patterson 14:57
Well, and I know some people you know, what am I I’m looking at it doing it for their holiday when they have a kid, right? So you it’s like, there are different ways. It’s like so often either you’re starting your own business or things. You’re like, oh, I can’t take a vacation. But you’re like, what can you reimagine? How could you write? Is there another way that you could look at it? And so I think it’s just looking at each area of your life. And we often think, well, I can’t do that. And that that wouldn’t work for me versus like, my favorite question is, how could you? Or how, what area? Could you reimagine? Right? So instead of, you know, taking a two week vacation to France, could you take a three week vacation, because you could go air be like trusted house sitters for someone’s family for part of it and get to have a dog and, you know, local tour guides as well. So it’s just like thinking through those options, but usually our mind is the jail that keeps us blocked. And that’s what I love about, you know, really reimagining my entire life. It’s just realizing how much of a prison I lived in, before I was allowing myself to think different. And it just is wild how one decision can change your whole life. And for me, I just heard that you should drink a glass of water before you check your smartphone in the morning. And that breaks the repetition of like you just diving in immediately, and like checking all the things and the notifications in the email. And that one decision ended up shifting my life completely. And I unlocked 30 days a year back when I thought I had zero extra time, right. And it’s like, we don’t realize on average, these days, we spent over five hours a day on our smartphones, which adds up to 75 days of our year people. And with, you know, social media, on average, people are spending two and a half hours a day, which adds up to 38 plus days of your year. And it’s not saying any of these modalities are bad. It’s just like, how do you reimagine? And like how do you make sure you’re using it and a recipe that works well for yourself, that’s keeping you energized and motivated for your dreams. And so often, we just get stuck scrolling or binging Netflix, when we want something different, and we just don’t feel like it’s achievable. And so if like my story can help one person make a micro habit to get them on the right, you know, trajectory, or just like help them in any way it just like that really is now my mission now to inspire others to make those shifts.

Amber Hawley 17:16
Yeah, so great. And yeah, by the time this episode comes out, it’ll be a couple of months, or it’s gonna be a month and a half from now. So you when you talked about, like, we get stuck in our beliefs. I did a podcast episode about that where I talked about like, are your are your beliefs keeping you stuck? Right? Are you stories keeping you stuck, we do this where we’re, we get we’re in. So such automatic, like thinking and because we have so much to do, and we’re in this kind of net doesn’t necessarily have to be a rut, but we’re on autopilot. Like we’re always on autopilot. So even those small disruptions drinking a glass of water, or taking a step back and asking ourselves a different question. That I mean, that can be the thing that unlocks everything. And I think, you know, I’ve seen so many times asking yourself a really good quality question can be the catalyst for everything. So I love that you say that. And we’re definitely gonna be talking more about the 30 unlocking 38 days, which that’s the thing we think we don’t have enough time. And really, it’s about we’re not being intentional with how we’re spending our time. And spending the last, I don’t know, like four days with you, or whatever how many days, I don’t even know how many days it’s been, I’ve seen that you definitely are doing things intentionally, like really difference to kind of change up those habits that I think most of us have. And you’re not like some judging negative, like, oh, you can’t be on social media thing, right. But so, because I’m even thinking like how, in the last few days, like you read a book each day, and the power of that of the power of the digital detox, and all of that. So I guess maybe if you could give more tips, or talk a little bit more about the choices that you’ve made, even in the last four days that we’ve been together,

Jessie Patterson 19:04
yeah, and I don’t go off my phone all the time, I usually have it near me, but I just use a lot of tips and tricks throughout the day to help it not distract me. And then there’s certain times, you know, every couple of months where I’ll just go off, you know, put my phone in airplane mode for a day or two. And we often think, Oh, I can’t do that, because of this, this and this. And usually, you know, usually there’s a way that you can’t so I always ask people to question like, how could you? Because how often do you actually go to pick up and read a book and then you end up like 10 Squirrels deep on Instagram or watching stories and you’re just like, Wait, how did that happen? And, you know, I, you know, as coaching, I have a lot of my clients where I’m on zoom all day, and, you know, on computers and screens where it’s just really nice to have a couple of days off where I’m not staring at a screen. I’m not checking anything, I’m not on emails, and I read two entire books in two days. And I felt so great about it, and they really helped shift my perspective and so on many things, those two books would have taken exponentially longer had I had my phone next to me. And even though I still have limits on my phone, where I’m making sure I’m not checking it regularly, you’re still distracted more by it. And it just helps you feel more recharged and refueled in a way that there’s, you know, we forget that we used to like go days without screens. And now with our modern world, I don’t think screens are bad. It’s just like, how do we have like moments where we pause and we recharge ourselves? And often, you know, I’m not against Netflix, I’m not against social media, I think they’re all great tools and great entertainment and great ways to like, make new friends and advertise, you know, changes we’re doing and, you know, be inspired. But so often we get hung up in comparison and fatigue and feeling bad about ourselves. And it’s just like, how do we take more time to recharge and replenish ourselves to have ourselves live our past lives and stop wondering why, you know some influencer on Instagram is living their best life versus focusing on like, what are those steps and tools you want for you?

Amber Hawley 21:05
Yeah, and I think, you know, talking about micro habits, although now I want to say micro exposures, because that was from the first book you read, which I feel like I got the Blinkist version of that book, because you gave me all the the important nuggets that I needed to take away. But something that stood out to me because I was actually I had I had work to do. This was my intention for this trip was to do some deep work and to get I hate to use the word caught up. Because I tell people, we’ve never get caught up in our business. That’s a fallacy. It’s bullshit. But feeling on top of our business, so I needed some time to do some deep work to feel back on top of my business instead of feeling like I was, you know, running around in chaos. So I was working. And I noticed when you were reading those books, or maybe in the conversations even that we had when something came up, that you were like, oh, yeah, I want to either look that up or know that. I don’t know exactly what you did. But I know you did not, like actually go on on your your phone. Can you talk about that?

Jessie Patterson 22:10
Absolutely. So as someone that’s constantly reading, and just always absorbing knowledge, I’m often opening up things on my phone to read about that later. So instead, this time, instead of pulling up a website, or, you know, Dr. Axe is book about micro exposures about how dirt helps us, you know, it’s writing down things in the notes on my phone that I can go back and reference to, because we just like, then I have the information that I want to look up and the websites and I take pictures of the pages as well. And it just really helps you then go back and reference as well as Google and learn more about those certain topics. And so it’s not thinking the phone is bad, but when it’s on airplane mode, and it’s off Wi Fi, you aren’t distracted by it anymore, then it becomes a tool. And, you know, one of the biggest things I learned is that I started doing my daily meditation and breathwork practices and you know, was really able to heal myself through these practices. And we often forget that we’re more in charge of our health and our well being than what we realize. And we’re often looking for solutions outside of us. But when you start taking the personal responsibility of instead of saying I want to meditate, because I know meditation is good for me, but I’m not good at it, you know, then we never start or think we have to meditate for like a half an hour where it’s like, start with 30 seconds and build up, you know, we forget the power of small changes builds up. So it’s like instead of, you know, going a whole day after phone, could you just maybe spend an hour off your phone one day on a weekend and see how it goes, right? You don’t have to change everything at once. And it’s it’s taken a lot of years of me working up to how long I can feel good with my business and be offline. And also the know, on Monday, you can catch up with things and really allowing myself the time and space because I feel so much better today. By the time I took off, it’s like it really is like was an investment from how much better my week will be this week. And that’s how I look at my time now.

Amber Hawley 24:02
Yeah, and that that theme of allowing ourselves rest so we can show up like the best version of ourselves. That’s been coming up a lot, you know, especially, I mean, with myself with friends, but with clients, because I have, I see a lot of business owners who are very, like driven and successful, but they’re like, teetering on burnout, and they’re feeling a little crispy. And, you know, they’re we’re looking for, like, how are the sustainable ways and you made me think about, you know, we’re talking about those beliefs and being on autopilot. Even like I had a client I was talking about, I’ve taken so many or I’m I’ve taken I took off for days or I took off the week. And then I was like, wait a minute, didn’t you just tell me you saw clients today and you’re seeing clients tomorrow? What do you mean, you’re not seeing clients till Thursday? And then he was like, well, they’re not my regular clients. And I’m like, oh, okay, but that’s but so we’re still telling ourselves stories. I have things that aren’t true, right? And this was the shout out to you, you know who you are, and you’re listening. But it was I thought it was so helpful because I said, Well, the problem with that is, then you’re telling yourself, oh, look, I had a whole week off, and I’m still not rested. And what’s wrong with me, I need more time. But I’m like, but you didn’t take a full week off you, you took a few days, and now you’re back at work, it’s maybe not full capacity, but it’s the same. So it’s so intriguing how, sometimes, like our habits, like those autopilot habits of reaching over turning on the phone getting on social, where you disrupt it with a glass of water, but sometimes those beliefs that we keep that we hold on to about what success looks like, what our day should look like, how, how do I start building healthy habits and, and that perfectionistic stuff that comes up? And I think we just Yeah, and I know, because as you point out to me, as you’re saying things, which is funny, because I can see it for other people, but we can’t see it for ourselves. And I’ll say something, and you’ll add yet you’ll be on the other revenue you’re like yet? And I’m like, okay, yes, I got it. But yeah, I just, it’s nice to see somebody who is actually living the things that you’re talking about in the principles you’re talking about. And I also love that as you read books, you actually are implementing the stuff that you’re actually reading and like that you are excited about that you say, hey, this makes sense to me.

Jessie Patterson 26:29
Definitely. And, you know, before I was making these changes, I was working so many hours, I never thought I had the time to read or the time to do these things. And, you know, working all the time when I was on vacations, and then I slowly started making the changes, and I just put a lot more boundaries. And when I would work and how I look at that. And I think, you know, it’s like, my goal is to grow a business where I do less and achieve more. And I think that we’ve gotten so brainwashed about the always hustling always on culture, and it’s really, I believe, is robbing us from our happiness. And I see so many of my clients and people, friends that, you know, they have about a zillion open hubs, and then they bounce through the open tabs and they try to do something and then get this point of friction where it gets a little bit hard. And then you’re like, right now this is when I shop for Amazon, go check Facebook, maybe I should have a snack right now. And then we bounce around that exact same cycle all day long. And then what happens is our eight hour day turns into a 12 hour day turns into an all nighter or by server, you know, like goes on and on. And then that just expands your whole life. And so it’s like helping people have systems where they’re really recognizing there’s nothing wrong with them, I used to do the same thing, I wouldn’t even let my IT guy take away my computer because I had so many open tabs that used to be my to do list and I would have like anxiety. But it’s like that’s not the way we’re meant to work. And we just, we need systems to help us and then we are able to get more work done in less time. And we don’t really realize that this is a huge problem that’s happening. And it’s we’re getting so much less work done. And we’re checking so many more things all the time that it’s like we’re bouncing around and actually accomplishing very little and, but working extensive hours. So if we just like get smarter about how we hustle, then you are able to spend more time doing more things that you love, and then you’re better at your job. So it’s really finding that balance. And I really practice what I talk about because it shows that you can have a successful company and you don’t have to work all the time. And that’s really what I value and what I how I’ve made these changes, and then help exceed helping show people the pathway to do it themselves.

Amber Hawley 28:41
Yeah, there’s so much there. And, you know, I think both of us see that and talk to people about that and help people with that around. I mean, so many people feel like they’re working so much with a not accomplishing the things that were actually important to them. And we kind of drag it out. And we know with ADHD or if you’re neurodiverse like there are things in our brain that that lead to that the time blindness, the optimism bias, you know, and then there’s just plain old, like resistance and avoidance and all these other things. And like you said, it’s, we’re not being intentional. And so many times I say if we actually intentionally worked for two hours, like a two hour chunk, and we were really diligent about not allowing ourselves to be distracted by the other things, you know, our phone, TV, or people kind of shutting everything out. It’s amazing what we can get done. And then we can start letting go of that idea of I have to work really long hours to accomplish the things that I want to achieve, right

Jessie Patterson 29:44
1,000,000% And it’s like, you know, and we can’t all start with two hours because that can feel really overwhelming. But it’s like start with a 10 minute chunk and try to work on one task where you don’t have a million open tabs open and you do that one thing and one of my favorite tools is I use focus made, which is basically like having a gym buddy, where you like sign up online, and it’s like three sessions free for a week or $5 a month, it’s really affordable. And you meet people all over the world that are working on their work or writing their book or their company. And it’s just a great way to block in time where you specifically say out loud, for this 30 or 50 minute session, this is my intention. And it just helps give that accountability if you also are someone that sets your own schedule. So instead of you know, starting at 11, you’re like, I’m actually going to start at nine this week, you know, it gives an extra layer of accountability that I really like. So it’s like finding the tools that work for you, and everyone’s different, but it’s finding a system. So you don’t keep working with these systems that are actually breaking you and exhausting you. And I think we need to just start talking about this narrative very much. And I see especially nowadays with like, zoom, how many people’s go to present and I see how many tabs I have opened, and I know exactly what’s going on in their brain. And I’m like, I want to help everyone.

Amber Hawley 31:00
I love it. So what are some other tools that you use or strategies like the having a glass of water thing that you use to kind of disrupt those patterns or reclaim time or, you know, like block stuff out? What are some other things that you do? Yeah,

Jessie Patterson 31:18
there are really good extensions on Microsoft chrome once called when the day and you’re able to just download it. And it’s an extension where you can type in the goal you want to do. And like the three tasks you want to get done that day. Because usually we try to think we’re going to do like a million things. And if we just focus on three things that usually like the sweet spot where you actually get the things done. And then it also has a blocker where you can put in the websites that you are distracted by and we all have our handful, whether it’s Instagram, or Tiktok, or Amazon, you know, you can go in and actually put in the websites. And then you can set a 10 or 15 or 30 minute block or even longer, where you’re like, Okay, I’m going to work on these tasks, and then it helps you electronically check them off. And it’s just such a great tool, where it’s like, you know, anytime I have a day where I’m not getting stuff done, I’m like, Oh, wait, I’m not using my system. Right. So it’s like the constant reminder. And the when the day is the background for Chrome for me, so it’s just like a reminder.

Amber Hawley 32:17
Yeah. You said Microsoft chrome she was she meant Google Chrome. Yeah, Google Chrome, just so that people aren’t like, oh, Microsoft is also a chrome. No, I and I, after we talked about it, I started using it, I will say the one thing that sucks is I wish I could have it on one tab, because I set up all of my bookmarks for my frequently used things. And so those are gone. So then I have to do a different strategy. So you know, it’s one of those things where we’ll never find the perfect solution. But I do like using it because you can turn it off and on. So you, you can say I don’t want to be looking at that. But it is nice, because every time you open the tab, a new tab, that’s what comes up. So you see that what your three things are one thing is for the day, and that’s something like we know that that’s what you have to do. You have to you have to Lesson What you think you’re going to accomplish in a day. And then you will actually do it and you create behavioral momentum with that you build positive. Like you build momentum, you build positive momentum. So I think it’s really great. And like you said, that automatic pilot, there have been times where I’m like, on Facebook on my computer, because like I had to post something or whatever. And I will I’ve already scrolled and seen all my friends stuff. I close it and I go and I pick up my phone and open up Facebook as if I wasn’t just in it because it’s so automatic. And it’s insane. Because it’s we’re not even thinking about that stuff. And that’s says more about the autopilot.

Jessie Patterson 33:44
And that’s exactly it. And so I you know, I often work with people of like, how do you just make small changes that are nudges to remind you of what you want to do. And we’re often not aware of how much time we’re spending on our phones are certain apps. And, you know, it’s really understanding how to use tools to support you. Because we’re often doing things unconsciously, like over 45% of our day, it’s just habits that we just do the same as we did the day before. So if you like just break a little bit and make a little bit of change, and then have a nudge, because it’s not saying don’t use Facebook, or don’t check those things. It’s like how about you just carve out a few minutes a day where you’re like, I’m not going to check it during this, because it’s that point of friction when your brains trying to escape and do something easy. But if you just work past that tiny little moment of friction, you’re able to get so much more done. But we’re not taught that moment of friction is the sweet spot to overcome and just inhabit then we open up another tab. And usually people have, you know, four or five of the same tabs open. You know, one of my clients once had AB tabs. And if that really overwhelms you don’t close them all just maybe close like five or 10 a day and like slowly work up to what works for you. But it’s like looking at your systems and asking yourself like how can you make a change today and not just hear this and think Oh, someday or I’m not ready for that, you know, just make a small change.

Amber Hawley 34:58
Yeah, that’s good one and Think about what are those things that you’re already noticing for yourself? That you’re like, Ah, why do I keep doing X? You know, whatever that thing is? And yeah, I think experiment, you know, whether that’s saying, Okay, I can’t get on Facebook, you know, if you’re, if you’re genuinely not using it for business are in that moment, I can’t get on Facebook for fun until I accomplish this one thing, and then it gets to be your reward. But I always say to people, you have to set timers, because we will lose that time. I do it too. Like, I’m like, I’m gonna go take a shower, I sit on my bed, I start scrolling Instagram. And then next thing I know, my shower has been running for 25 minutes. And you know, so terrible. But yeah, finding those creative ways of just trying out new things. And I think starting with something where you’re a little open to it, like you said, because it’s like building that muscle. And so don’t pick the thing that you’re like, This is the hardest worst thing ever. And I’m going to start with that, like start with something you’re a little open to making those small shifts with, but I agree with you, it’s, it’s that resistance, we take that resistance as Oh, this is hard. And it’s just like those moments, and then all of a sudden, it just flows, right?

Jessie Patterson 36:15
Absolutely. And it’s like also about not beating ourselves up about it. Because it’s okay to be exactly where you’re at, like at, you know, a few years ago, I was exactly where I was at. And I didn’t know to be any different until I started hearing things and nudges of like, oh, maybe I should try that. And you know, when often when we know better, we do better, even though it can take time. And sometimes we just need to hear it from the right person, or be in the right mental space to be like, You know what, I’m actually ready to make a tiny shift. But I think the biggest shift is our mindset. And to be kind to ourselves, we often beat ourselves up. And what I really work with my clients is start small and celebrate the heck out of it, right, like one small win, and then you’re nice to yourself and celebrate it, whether it’s like a little high five, or like a little dance, like really celebrating a moment of change. Because in that moment, that’s a miracle. Right? And that miracle then shifts to a lot more good decisions. And what we forget is we beat ourselves up, and we don’t get started. And, you know, all these social media platforms are designed by the smartest people in the world. So there’s a reason why you get stuck scrolling, and it’s okay, right. And it’s just learning, like, what are some of the rails that I want to put around it that worked for me, and when usually people want to make too big of a change. And they haven’t really set their intention of why they want to change and what they want to be doing instead. So like listening to Amber’s podcast, would be a really good thing to do, instead of always scrolling social media. So it’s like setting the intention, decide what you’re going to do instead of scrolling. And then just having the time limit set, but being really kind with yourself before your app. So if you’re on social media two and a half hours a day, and you only want to be on it for 30 minutes, or 45 Make small, one to five minute changes, maybe 15 a week, what happens is we usually set timers that are unrealistic, and we haven’t built in the other habits. And we haven’t learned how to build that into our routine that we just usually press ignore, and we want to ignore. And then we feel like crap. And then we beat ourselves up. And I was stuck on that cycle for years, right of like, oh, you know, not understanding that there was nothing wrong with me, I just didn’t have the right system. And I wasn’t being kind to myself. And it’s now that I understand how to build and systems and make changes, then it filters through in every area of my life. But what I did is I got started.

Amber Hawley 38:34
That’s so great. And yeah, it started starting small really is what makes it sustainable, right. And then you start to look forward to those things, those healthy or more, I would say more. I don’t want to say productive, but those habits that actually feed us and support us in getting where we want to be going and building the businesses we want to. And yeah, it’s that shift of not just saying, like I’ve said before, instead of saying I have to saying I get to, but really shifting it so that you genuinely, like internally feel that you’re like, oh my gosh, I get to do this thing now. I’m so excited. And my reason what I’ve been talking about is like even my daily walks where it was, you know, at one time, that would have been a half two, but now it’s like, Oh, I get to Oh, yes. Oh, I have a few I have, you know, 45 minutes, I can do this, I get to do this now. So yeah, that’s those small sustainable shifts. I want to be thoughtful of our time because I know we actually as we’re talking I could think of like 15 Other things that have come up even in just the last few dates that we could talk about. But I guess if you want to leave, you know everyone with like one last tip or trick around, because you’re talking about the micro steps to reclaiming your time. What would you advise for them?

Jessie Patterson 39:55
To start with one thing whether that’s a micro step of a reduction or I like a call like a micro habit, or a health snack where you know, just like you go in on the walk is like I love the word snack. So I’ve started incorporating has like a healthy snack where you could do like breathing or, you know, and it’s like, doesn’t have to be for 15 minutes, do it for 30 seconds between zoom calls, you know, start really small. So making these micro adjustments, micro changes, micro exposures to the things that you want to be feeling can really help you like listening to a podcast in the morning and maybe swap swapping that out instead of the news, these small changes over time, you end up in a very different place. And so just remember that small percent change will drastically change your life just to allow your mind to let you do it.

Amber Hawley 40:40
Love it. All right, well, if people want to find out more about you, and you know, find more about micro exposures, which I’m pretty sure you’ll be talking about very soon. And all these micro changes, where should they go?

Jessie Patterson 40:56
My website is the best place to find me it’s And that’s where you can find like, guides and hacks and things to use your phone to feel better, or even like a little guide to help you remember to take those supplements because people often buy the supplements and don’t know how the heck to actually create a system to take them. So I have a couple of free giveaways on there that can help you with your journey as well. And just reach out and say hello, and I’m just really excited and grateful for your guys’s time. Thank you.

Amber Hawley 41:22
Awesome, I love it. I was just thinking how I was talking about I didn’t bring my supplements and you’re like here and you’re like giving me your pills. I’m like, see this is we just need a handler. Everyone needs a handler that is actually my theory. That’s what we need. But Awesome. That is so wonderful. And thank you so much for coming on. I know that. I know. I think your story will inspire some people. And I think this is helpful information to stop putting off these things that we know we want to do and do it in a sustainable, sustainable way.

Jessie Patterson 41:59
Exactly. Don’t make resolutions make micro habits and those habits will change your life and just be kind to yourself. The world needs more kindness. So it starts with being kind to yourself.

Amber Hawley 42:09
Awesome. Thank you. And if you would like to learn more time saving strategies, or systems that you can create to reclaim your time, your energy and help you focus on what matters most to you. I invite you to head on over to where you can get all the information for my new course foundations of focus for entrepreneurs. That’s a specially created for ADHD and easily distracted business owners.

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The Inner Circle

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