#610 Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

#610 Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

610 – Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

Have you ever said, “I work better under pressure.”

Is that true or is that procrastination as a trauma response?

In this continuation of last week’s episode, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory dig into the process of procrastination and how it is hurting all of us. In addition to defining the procrastination responses of Freeze and Fawn, they discuss the difference between working under pressure and pre-deciding. Kathi and Cheri describe how they use the concept of pre-deciding to live a life that reflects their values instead of living a life of fear. That’s what they want for you too! Listen for the steps of pre-deciding as well as other ways to break the procrastination cycle, such as:

  • How to permit yourself to not finish a decluttering project
  • How to move the goalpost when it comes to decluttering
  • How to be a good steward of your most precious resource

Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here and receive the free download mentioned in this episode, The Four P Bullies at a Glance!

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard: Ditch Expectations and Live Your Own Best Life

With honesty and humor, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory help you take a breather and find reassurance as you face the bullies of perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination.

Self-assessments and personal stories guide you from panic to peace as you learn to:

  • Pick battles worthy of your time and energy
  • Embrace the freedom of a carefully considered “no”
  • Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in the quest for balance
  • Use authenticity as a weapon to battle bullies
  • Release yourself from the endless pressure of pleasing others

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally came face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be.

Order your copy here!

What’s your best tip for avoiding procrastination?

Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And if you’re somebody who’s often said, I work better under pressure, my friend Cheri Gregory and I are here to blow up your world.

I’ve heard this a lot from people in clutter free. And here’s what I know, procrastination is hurting all of us and there are ways to deal with it. C

heri, welcome back to the program.

Cheri Gregory (01:01.482)
Hey Kathi thanks for having me back.

Kathi (01:03.646)
Okay, in between these recordings, you said, I could talk about frenzy as a trauma response. And I’m like, whoa, hold on. Wait, that’s a big statement. So do you consider procrastination a trauma response?

Cheri Gregory (01:15.351)
Hehehe

Cheri Gregory (01:25.202)
I think it often can be a trauma response because we’ve already been saying that it’s built on fear. Whether you want to call something a trauma response, a fear response, I mean, back in sixth grade we learned that fight and flight were the two major fear responses. So you can call it a trauma response, an anxiety response, whatever you stress response, whatever you want. But what’s interesting is in the last few years we’ve been hearing more about freeze and fawn.

Kathi (01:41.887)
Right.

Kathi (01:48.519)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (01:53.366)
freeze makes sense, you know, it’s just coming stock still. And then fawn, we recognize to be more the people pleasing response. And a lot of us women have been conditioned into that. But the two that are far less talked about are flock and frenzy. And I really identify with this whole idea of frenzy. Frenzy, as you can guess, it’s the kind of busy, go, go. And I, my natural personality loves being productive.

Kathi (02:20.982)
I know you love seeing yourself in videos.

Cheri Gregory (02:23.342)
and when I procrastinate and then suddenly have to do things under pressure, then I can end up getting that kind of, and you already said, let your cortisol levels go up, the adrenaline goes up, and for a short period of time that can actually feel kind of good. Now afterwards, we crash and we burn and it feels terrible.

Kathi (02:46.422)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (02:47.874)
But one of the things that actually God has been convicting me over the last couple of years is that one of the reasons I have been so rest resistant is because I am so accustomed to living in a frenzy state. And so rather than spacing things out, rather than having a schedule that I can actually handle.

I have a tendency to do that all or nothing where I crash and burn and I cancel everything and then of course I recover from whatever it was and I get bored and I start taking things on again, volunteering, accepting things with a short deadline and then I have to go and push myself again, busy, go, go. Whether or not those actions are in alignment with my values, whether or not those are, and I know we’re going to talk about pre-deciding.

Kathi (03:38.789)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (03:39.478)
I’ve been really working on catching myself because in our society, in our American society, productivity is like the gold standard. As long as you produced, you’re fine, right? And for those of us in the church, I mean, churches love a woman who will show up and get things done. Like they keep the church going. And so we’ve gotten a lot of kudos for being the kind of woman who can get things done under pressure.

Kathi (03:48.73)
Yeah. Right.

Cheri Gregory (04:09.234)
It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are living in alignment when our values, when we live that way. And then for me to realize, hang on a second, this is actually living in a constant fear response or trauma response. It doesn’t, it’s not good for me. The chemicals running through my body are hurting me. I don’t want to live this way anymore. So that’s, that’s where that comment came from.

Kathi (04:29.62)
Yes.

Kathi (04:33.562)
So much came up with that. First of all, women in the church, we were appreciated without being acknowledged, and we were assumed that we would just do all the unpaid labor. And it’s not just in the church, it’s in any space where women’s labor can be taken advantage of. In the schools of, yes.

Cheri Gregory (04:41.384)
Exactly.

Cheri Gregory (04:47.178)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Cheri Gregory (04:58.698)
Yeah. And we get called lifesavers. We get called lifesavers. Oh, you’re such a lifesaver and we’re killing ourselves.

Kathi (05:05.474)
Yes. And so we’re, we’re set, we’re setting ourselves on fire to keep other people warm. And, yeah, no more, no more. So it feels like freeze and frenzy are both procrastination responses. One is where I’m scrubbing the tile to not write the devotional. And the, and the other is I’m watching friends episodes to not write.

Cheri Gregory (05:11.656)
Exactly.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (05:34.686)
the not right the devotional. Why do you think that those two are? How do they demonstrate themselves in different ways? I’m just I’m thinking I’ve been known to do both. Is it a guilt response? Like at least I’m doing something. You can’t be mad at me because at least I’m scrubbing the tile. Or is are we justifying to ourselves? What do you think that is, Cheri?

Cheri Gregory (05:58.135)
Hehehe

Cheri Gregory (06:02.89)
That does make a lot of sense. I’m like we’re substituting one activity. So at least I’m doing something I’m not you know sitting around doing nothing I also think that at least in from the way I experience procrastination Is there’s a period of time where it’s kind of that freeze where I’m like zoned out I’m not producing anything of any value and then the panic kicks in and once the panic kicks in Then is when I’m going to turn I’m going to pivot

Kathi (06:05.354)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:09.114)
Bye.

Cheri Gregory (06:28.778)
and dive into the actual thing and work on it like a maniac and either pull it off or crash and burn in the midst of trying.

Kathi (06:36.89)
Yeah, and I just want to reiterate to our listeners, you know, we’re saying this with a smile because we both recognize it in ourselves, but trauma response requires trauma. Something has happened that has, and you shouldn’t be like, okay, we’ll just push past that. We just want you to be able, the first part of recovering from trauma is recognizing what is going on. And so if,

Cheri Gregory (06:49.676)
Hmm.

Kathi (07:07.078)
If you know, I just read an article, Julia Louis Dreyfus, who was part of Seinfeld VP, said that she has been dealing with a trauma response for 40 years after her dad criticized her performance on Saturday Night Live. I mean, right? Right? And so some of these things are very, very deep. And maybe you’re not cleaning your room because it didn’t matter how hard you cleaned it.

Cheri Gregory (07:26.591)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:35.93)
when you were little, it was never good enough, or you cleaned your room and your sister was allowed to just come in and mess it up. I don’t know what the response is, but I mean, I don’t know what the reason is, but the response is real. So, yeah.

Cheri Gregory (07:46.35)
Hmm. Yeah. Well, and let’s go back. So now you’re giving me the answer to the scrubbing, the scrubbing. I know why we scrub. We scrub because it’s something we can control.

Kathi (07:55.154)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:59.167)
Uh, yeah. It’s so true, right?

Cheri Gregory (08:00.642)
Trauma responses are all about control. And so when we’re scrubbing the grout, we can whiten that grout, but we don’t know for sure if we can actually declutter our house. We don’t know if we sit down at a blank page, are the words gonna come, or will our brain have ceased functioning? But we can scrub that grout and we can feel like we at least, we could check that off our list.

Kathi (08:14.606)
Mm.

Cheri Gregory (08:24.21)
And these kinds of responses, they feel very familiar because they’re things that we’ve been doing for a long time. And so when we start to disrupt, when we start to interrupt and try to do something different, it’s gonna feel unfamiliar. And that’s one of the other things that I’ve really been having to learn and sit with is as I have, just again, to use the example, let’s imagine somebody in Clutterfree Academy who’s like, no, I can’t do just 15 minutes. It doesn’t feel right. It makes me miserable.

Kathi (08:30.95)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (08:54.214)
No, Kathi, you don’t understand. I can’t stop after 15 minutes. I have to do everything or I can do only do nothing. Please know you have my sympathy. And also the fact that it’s uncomfortable may simply be that it’s unfamiliar and it could take some time to get used to until you have permission.

Kathi (08:54.335)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (09:03.983)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (09:16.878)
to only do 15 minutes rather than you get into that room and don’t come out until you’ve cleaned it completely, young lady, to my standards. So changing, yes, changing these habits takes some time. And the other thing for me is realizing that not having the crash and burn afterwards, like, oh.

Kathi (09:25.838)
Right. The punishing aspect.

Kathi (09:38.51)
Yes, it’s so true. It’s so true. You know, when you talk about, I can’t do 15 minutes because it doesn’t, it’s not gonna be everything. I think that’s when you have to move the goalpost from decluttering the kitchen to decluttering the junk drawer or the utensil drawer. Because yes, I also don’t wanna stop in the middle of something. But there also is some beauty in stopping in the middle because it gives you a depth.

Cheri Gregory (09:52.138)
Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:56.746)
Yes.

Kathi (10:08.062)
define place to start next time. And that is a gift for me. Okay, we’re gonna take a quick break. We’re gonna come back and we’re gonna talk about working under pressure versus pre-deciding. And also discovering is Cheri, a big old hypocrite because she took on a very pressure-filled project this week, but I wanna talk about why you decided to do that and how you decided to do that. So we’re gonna take a quick break and come right back.

Cheri Gregory (10:10.306)
Very true.

Cheri Gregory (10:25.826)
Hehehe

Kathi (10:38.79)
Okay, we’re back with Cheri Gregory, and we are talking about why working better under pressure just doesn’t work. And, you know, for the people who feel familiar that like, I can’t do it unless I’m on a tight deadline, or I can’t do it unless the stakes are high, where would the, what is pre-deciding and how would that help in these circumstances?

Cheri Gregory (10:46.807)
Mm-mm.

Cheri Gregory (11:06.326)
You know, pre-deciding is the difference between living out of fear and living out of love. Because this was one of the core scriptures that we used in You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, is this whole idea that when we’re living out of fear, then we are going to, you know, I’ll speak for myself again, as I’ve been re-evaluating certain things in my life.

Kathi (11:13.197)
Ooh, okay.

Cheri Gregory (11:34.694)
when I’m living out of fear and I then look back, I’m like, oh, I violated half a dozen of my values during that time. And the thinking in my head is, well, but as long as, as long as, you know, as long as the house looks okay, it doesn’t matter that I snapped at my husband or I snapped at the chickens or whatever it is. But what if one of my core values is to treat people kindly, then I have violated a core value in service of a fear-based
temporary short-term goal that doesn’t actually have lasting value. Whereas, pre-deciding says, I’ve already made these decisions based around my values. I know who I am. I know what I stand for. I know what my values are. And so I am going to make decisions that reflect those values. And when I find myself out of alignment with my values, I’m going to pause and reevaluate.

and it is an entirely different way to live. It doesn’t have the same amount of adrenaline. And so if we have become adrenaline junkies and we’re used to only being motivated if we have those chemicals that indicate fear, that indicate that we’re going to be in huge trouble if we don’t get it done by a certain time. And again, it’s a matter then of kind of changing our habits so

Kathi (12:39.575)
Right?

Cheri Gregory (13:01.934)
quiet sense of satisfaction that you know you get to minute 16 of the decluttering and you’re like I’m going to stop now and I’m going to enjoy that quiet sense of satisfaction that I did what I said I was going to do. I said I was going to declutter for 15 minutes. I did what I said I’m going to do. I’m a person of integrity whether I did all or nothing is irrelevant whether my mother would approve my father. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter if Kathy Lipp would approve although Kathy Lipp would absolutely approve.

Kathi (13:09.503)
Doesn’t matter. Right. Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (13:30.738)
if somebody stopped after 15 minutes, but it is slowly developing new habits that are not based on external standards but are based on the values that we know that God has placed within us because of how he created us and our personalities and gaining internal satisfaction because I said I was going to do this, I did it, and now I can stop. Now I can rest. Now I can.

continue to take other forms of good care of myself and stewarding my body, my home, whatever else.

Kathi (14:05.842)
You know, I talk about the four resources all the time, space, time, energy, and money. And what you’re talking about there is being a good steward of your most precious resource. Maybe it’s money. And you’re saying, you know, I need to declutter because I need to know what I have. And so I am going to declutter so I know what I have, so I’m not buying.

Cheri Gregory (14:20.748)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (14:32.574)
chicken when I already have chicken or something like that. But also, I’m not buying things under pressure all the time because just in case living. But maybe energy is your most precious resource. And you say, you know, I can’t afford to say I’m going to declutter my garage today because that’s just not what you’re able to do. Or maybe you’re working full time plus you’re caring for kids or parents.

Cheri Gregory (14:39.959)
Yes.

Kathi (15:01.606)
And you’re like, time is my most precious resource. And the 15 minutes protects your most precious resources. And that’s what I wanna be able to do. Okay, now, Cheri, you confessed to me as we were coming on here that you’re under some pressure this week. So talk about what’s going on, how you made the decision. But when I was talking to you, I don’t even know what the decision was, but you seem…

Cheri Gregory (15:08.339)
I love that. So true.

Kathi (15:31.494)
like you’re good with this particular decision to put yourself under a little pressure. So let’s talk about that.

Cheri Gregory (15:37.918)
Yeah, I got an email this last weekend from my graduate program and it was an opportunity to write a book review that will be published in the Journal of Applied Christian Leadership and the deadline is Friday. And in order for me to complete my program, I have to have an article published in a peer review journal. And so I’ve been wondering how to get this done.

Kathi (15:50.29)
Oh wow. Okay.

Cheri Gregory (16:02.35)
And right now my research is moving forward. My other things are moving forward. But in the back of my mind, I’ve been like, dang it, I’m going to get to the end of this. And then a year or three are going to go by before I figure out how to get this article done. And so what dropped into my lap basically over the weekend was an opportunity to just get it done, to check it off my list. And so I did. I jumped at it and I was like, you know what? I looked at my calendar first and I was like, I can rearrange some things.

Cheri Gregory (16:31.55)
I can move some things that are optional. And here’s the thing, in the previous episode, I think I confessed to you that in college, I once wrote a book review over a book that I never even read and I got an A plus on it. Like, I’m not real proud of that. I don’t wanna repeat it. And here’s the thing, it’s a book I’ve already read that I’m reviewing. Like, so I’m not gonna try to pull that stunt again. I read it last year, listened to the audio book, I’ve done some teachings out of it. But I will say it’s a skillset I feel good about.

Kathi (16:50.582)
Oh nice. Right.

Kathi (17:01.272)
Yeah

Cheri Gregory (17:01.51)
It is not something that’s going to kill me. In fact, if anything, four days, get it done, have it over with, not hanging over my head. It’s kind of exciting, but not in the frenzy sense. It’s like there’s this sense of anticipation. There’s a sense of, yeah, well, let’s bring it on. Bring it on. And go ahead.

Kathi (17:12.661)
Mm-hmm. Right. Mm-hmm.

Kathi (17:21.262)
Right. But let’s also talk about that you’ve set yourself up so you’re not living in that frenzy state all the time so that there was there was cushion to do this. That’s really exciting, Cheri.

Cheri Gregory (17:38.686)
Yeah, yeah, I literally just swap some things out on my calendar and so I had the time to do it and my evenings are still free and my you know, I’m not I’m not going to kill myself to do it. I’m absolutely not. So yes, I’m sort of a hypocrite, but not really.

Kathi (17:56.358)
No, you are, I declare you not a hypocrite because you have made good choices along the way. And here’s the thing, when we first start to live by pre-deciding, by saying, I’m not gonna take on things just because there’s an open spot on my calendar. I’m not going to wait and say, okay, for two days straight, I can do nothing but dot dot. What you’ve done is you said, I can say a good yes.

Cheri Gregory (18:20.145)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (18:25.914)
and turn down a bad yes, because there are lots of bad yeses out there. But you can give a good yes to something that not only serves somebody else, but also serves you. And it’s a win-win, right? You’re not resenting them from it. You’re not being angry that they asked at the last minute, this was an opportunity for you. So no hypocrisy whatsoever. It’s…

Cheri Gregory (18:37.87)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

Kathi (18:53.89)
And you know, I’m still building some of this into my life because It’s it’s a new habit for me And I say that because I’ve lived 56 years So I’ve only been practicing this maybe in any real way in the past 10 years So there’s a lot of ingrained in me that still wants to put things off and still wants to do but I

Cheri Gregory (19:05.976)
Hmm.

Kathi (19:19.226)
You know, this past encourage article was the first time I think I’ve ever turned it in a week in advance I’ve turned it in a day in advance Or a couple days in advance, but I just saw You know, there was going to be some things happening that week and I didn’t I wanted to be present for somebody I loved I didn’t want to have to be typing, you know and editing In the midst of all of that. So yay to us for making some good. Yeses happen by

Cheri Gregory (19:25.173)
I love it.
Kathi (19:47.422)
turning away some bad yeses that would have made somebody else comfortable for a minute but would have built resentment at least in me. I can resent people for things they didn’t force me to do. I can and friends this is why you know when we know that we’re going to be hosting people or things like that when you tell me that you’re starting to declutter a couple of

Cheri Gregory (19:49.48)
Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (20:01.927)
Hehehehe

Kathi (20:16.342)
I’m like, that is somebody who is going to be present and available for their friends who are coming to visit. That it’s not going to be about impressing them, but the impression that they’re going to be left with is that I was cared for and loved. And that’s what I want for each of my clutter-free people. Cheri this was such a valuable little series, our micro series. Thank you so much for hanging out with me and all your wisdom and your hard work, one knowledge.

Cheri Gregory (20:44.906)
Well, thanks for having me, Kathy. It’s been fun.

Kathi (20:47.994)
And friends, we talked in the last episode about our download about the four bullies. If you’re part of our newsletter community, you’ll be able to receive that in our newsletter. We’re gonna make sure the download link is there for last week and this week. So you’re definitely going to wanna take advantage of that to really understand how you can start to be kinder and gentler to yourself. Friends, you’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Go create the clutter-free life you were always designed to live.

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

609 – The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

Do you find yourself putting off uncomfortable tasks?

Maybe you tell yourself that you work better under pressure…but does the work you produce under stress turn out better, or is it just done?

In this episode, Kathi and her three-time co-author Cheri Gregory discuss the “pressure paradox.” Listen in as they rethink the myth of productivity under pressure, as well as discussing:

  • Is procrastination based in fear?
  • Priming your brain for your project
  • How to avoid living in a state of constant triage

Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here and receive the free download mentioned in this episode, The Four P Bullies at a Glance!

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard: Ditch Expectations and Live Your Own Best Life

With honesty and humor, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory help you take a breather and find reassurance as you face the bullies of perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination.

Self-assessments and personal stories guide you from panic to peace as you learn to:

  • Pick battles worthy of your time and energy
  • Embrace the freedom of a carefully considered “no”
  • Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in the quest for balance
  • Use authenticity as a weapon to battle bullies
  • Release yourself from the endless pressure of pleasing others

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally came face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be.

Order your copy here!

What’s your best tip for avoiding procrastination?

Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Kathi (00:01.306)

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life.

 

And if there is a correlation between any two habits, clutter and perhaps procrastination is one of them. Now, I grew up with a mom who told me all the time that she just worked better under pressure. And I took that on as my own mantra. And I have to say, that has not served me well. And I’m here to talk with a fellow procrastination

a consumer, no that’s not a good word, a fellow procrastination person. We’ll just call you a person that we have both figured out that procrastination has not served us well and we want to talk about, okay, how do we actually get out from the habit? You guys, it is my frequent co-author, one of my best buddies and fellow sufferer, it’s Cheri Gregory. Cheri, welcome back to the podcast.

Cheri Gregory (01:26.09)

Hey Kathi, thanks so much for having me.

Kathi (01:28.802)

I was recently telling somebody, you know, Tonya is my go-to when we want to talk about, okay, how do you declutter your kids’ tights? But when you want to figure out why you need to declutter your kids’ tights, I go to Cheri Gregory. So, because, yeah, because it’s deep work, right? These things that become memes or…

Cheri Gregory (01:42.655)

I love it. I will receive that fully.

Kathi (01:53.29)

topics of sitcoms when it comes to procrastination or clutter or perfectionism. There’s a lot underneath that. And they become these tropes because so many of us suffer with it. And it’s, it’s really interesting. When we were starting to write our book, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard. We were talking about different types of perfectionism and you really advocated for that procrastination needed to be one of the areas of perfectionism. Can you talk about that?

Cheri Gregory (02:30.502)

Yeah, it’s so funny because I know when I’ve spoken, I’ve literally heard women walking away going, I never thought of procrastination as a form of perfectionism. And really what procrastination ends up being for many of us is a avoidance of even getting started because

Kathi (02:41.252)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (02:51.098)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (02:52.134)

If we get started, then we’re committed and we’re all in. It’s that all or nothing thinking, whereas the perfectionist dives head into the all. The procrastinator is like, I’ll just go with nothing. I’ll do other stuff first. Of all of the forms of perfectionism, I think procrastination is the one that’s most socially acceptable. We can

Kathi (02:58.94)

Yeah.

Kathi (03:02.658)

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (03:14.73)

We can joke about it and people will tell stories at dinner parties about how they, you know, they put something off to the last minute and then they pulled it together magically and they got away with it. Like I was just, I was just remembering kind of fondly, um, years and years ago in college, I pulled off a book review of a book I didn’t even read and I got an A plus on it. Um, and I did it the day before, you know, like totally wrong lesson learned.

Kathi (03:18.062)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (03:38.602)

Oh my goodness.

Cheri Gregory (03:43.978)

And yeah, that’s a fun story. The stories I never tell are when I put things off and I died. I put things off and they were terrible. I put things off and let people down. Those aren’t funny. We don’t tell those stories at all.

Kathi (03:46.94)

Mm-hmm.

 

Kathi (03:51.431)

Right.

Kathi (03:59.891)

Now, it’s so interesting that you were able to get away with that. And that can reinforce our procrastination cycle. Well, I got away with it before, so I must do better when I know everything’s up against me. Everyone is expecting me to fail, but I can show them. And so…

Cheri Gregory (04:08.011)

Mmm.

Kathi (04:26.638)

It’s almost, it’s so many weird things. It’s like a martyr complex. I’m already so busy. I can’t believe somebody asked me to do this. And instead of me saying no, I said yes, because well, they were in a tough place, but I was already in a tough place. Why did I think that would be okay? And it also kind of feeds into…

Cheri Gregory (04:31.069)

Mm-hmm.

 

Cheri Gregory (04:41.378)

Hehehehe

Kathi (04:52.742)

our superhero complex that like if I just try hard enough I can make things happen but I think the things that we forget about is what does that cost us what does it cost our jobs that we already have our relationships that we have all of that so let’s really define what per what procrastination is you is the word

Cheri Gregory (04:54.571)

Who?

Kathi (05:19.806)

perfectionism in that or is what how would you define it?

Cheri Gregory (05:25.246)

May I read from our book? You Don’t Have to Try So Hard.

Kathi (05:28.523)

I think so because I cannot remember what we wrote, but I’m sure it was brilliant.

Cheri Gregory (05:34.022)

What it says here is, procrastination is the practice of doing what is less urgent but more fun before doing what is more urgent but less fun. And so it’s putting off the thing that has discomfort associated with it as long as possible and doing the things that don’t feel quite as bad or scary.

Kathi (05:41.716)

Oh, okay. Yeah.

Kathi (05:56.098)

Yes, okay, because here’s what I will say. The only time my grout gets scrubbed is when I have a book deadline. And…

Cheri Gregory (06:01.838)

Mm-hmm.

And I had to install grout because when we when I first started writing I lived in a house with no grout and so I couldn’t even do that so I had to install grout so I could then scrub it to avoid writing.

Kathi (06:09.874)

See, you couldn’t even.

Okay, now there is also a trope that is going around, and I think that this is really funny, of a woman, there’s a couple, and they’re getting ready to have a family birthday party or something like that. And so she’s running around, frosting the cupcakes, scrubbing the inside of the fridge, those kind of things. And today is the day he decides to blow all the leaves off the roof. And it’s…

 

Cheri Gregory (06:41.969)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:44.226)

It’s almost like I want credit for doing something, but I’m not going to do the thing that really needs to be done I i’m the queen. I am the queen of that. Okay, so So we tend to procrastinate because we don’t want the pain. I also think I tend to I can do painful things. I know I can But I tend to procrastinate because I don’t want to fail yet

Cheri Gregory (06:48.184)

Mm-hmm.

Mm-hm, absolutely.

Kathi (07:13.01)

Does that make sense? Okay.

Cheri Gregory (07:14.262)

Oh, it makes total sense. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s an avoidance of risk and that this is where there can be strategic procrastination. You know, when I was teaching in teaching as an English teacher, I noticed a huge difference between my students who wouldn’t even pay attention to the assignment. Like they wouldn’t read the assignment. Usually was an essay. They wouldn’t look at the rubric for how to be graded. They wouldn’t do any of that until the night before.

Kathi (07:19.111)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:25.503)

Mmm.

Kathi (07:39.743)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (07:42.75)

Like that is the, you know, that’s classic procrastination. Then I would have students who, as soon as I assigned it, they would read it, they would look at it, they would open a Word document on their computer, they would read the rubric, they had done a few ideas, and then they would put it off until later. Can I tell you, there was a world of difference, a world of difference between the end result those two different groups of students produced.

Kathi (07:46.771)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (08:05.264)

Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:10.054)

even though it seems like nobody was really doing too much of anything, but the second group they at least engaged in and started their the wheels turning and started getting their mind working on it. And you know what it’s like, you know, as you’re living life, let’s say, you know, you have a devotional coming up for (in)courage, right? If you at least are like, I think I’m going to do it on this verse, or I want to start with this story.

Kathi (08:33.161)

Yeah.

Kathi (08:37.453)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:39.098)

and your deadline isn’t for a little while, like as you’re living life, oh, this comes up and oh, this song lyric and this conversation with a friend, I will not say it writes itself. I know better than to ever use that phrase, but things come together that give you some momentum, even if it feels like you might still be procrastinating, whereas if you had never even started it, if you didn’t have the slightest idea.

Kathi (08:47.401)

Right.

It does not. Right.

Kathi (09:03.066)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:08.286)

At that point, it’s, I’m not going to say it’s hopeless, but there’s just so much less to work with.

Kathi (09:15.242)

We’re gonna take a quick break and we’re gonna come back. And then I wanna talk about the pressure paradox. Like why do people believe they work better under pressure and how this is killing, especially our clutter free people. We’ll take a quick break and we’ll be right back. Okay, I am back with Cheri Gregory and we are talking about the myth of productivity under pressure.

And you made an interesting observation that the people who at least loosened the ketchup bottle, maybe the ketchup wasn’t coming out, but they at least got the lid. It is so true. If I spend 15 minutes understanding the project, it does two things for me. You’re right. It gets the back of my brain working on the problem. I don’t even…

Cheri Gregory (09:54.862)

Hehehe

Kathi (10:13.974)

have to be sitting down with pen and paper or looking at my computer screen. It’s just things start to pop up that are helping me. And the other thing it does, because I think procrastination is a lot about fear. What if I find out that I can’t do this? What if I find out that I don’t have everything I need? And if I can just spend a few minutes looking at, okay what’s going to be required?

Cheri Gregory (10:28.777)

Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (10:42.047)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (10:42.358)

Or if I can just spend a few minutes, like your example of writing a devotion, saying, okay, I need to have a verse, I need to have a story, I need to have a point, I need to have the semblance of an introduction. If I can, when I first get assigned that thing, if I can at least do a sentence on all four of those things, it has…

Cheri Gregory (11:08.991)

Yeah.

Kathi (11:10.894)

It has half written itself because my brain is able to work on it. And it gets me over the fear of it’s not going to be good enough. You know, I’ve written, I don’t know, 40 of those devotions for (in)courage. I’ve written a bunch of devotions for our book. But, you know, this will be the time that I can’t do it. This will be the time that I won’t have the story. This will be the time. And if I can just say, you know what?

Cheri Gregory (11:13.224)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:17.769)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:31.778)

Yeah.

Kathi (11:38.01)

I’m gonna trust myself that if I can get these four things, even if I start on it, because oftentimes, I’ll write down a story and a better story will happen or a better story will come to mind. And so it gets me over the fear.

Cheri Gregory (11:47.07)

Yes. Yep.

Kathi (12:14.062)

Okay, so Cheri, I wanna talk to you about the pressure paradox. And I wanna talk about the reasons why people think that they work better under pressure. So for me, it was a legacy from my mom. She’s still to this day, she will be 80 years old and she still believes that she works better under pressure. And I wonder where that comes from. I know for me,

Cheri Gregory (12:30.561)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (12:42.062)

I have learned that that’s not true. I get things done under pressure because I’m a people pleaser and I don’t want to disappoint people. But my work is not better, it’s just done. And I think there’s a big difference. Yeah, go ahead.

Cheri Gregory (12:47.171)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (12:58.346)

Yeah, well, and I used to, you know, I used to have students tell me that in class, they were like, I work better under pressure and I’d be and I’d count on like, no, you only work under pressure. That’s the only time you actually work is when you put yourself under the gun. And so often they hadn’t actually experimented with doing it any other way. You know, you were, you were talking earlier about, you know, at least getting going to finding find out what you didn’t have, you know, when I got in my office, a few months ago.

Kathi (13:07.814)

Yeah.

Kathi (13:16.417)

Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (13:26.066)

One of the things I needed to do was I had all these binders that have the place where you can put a spine insert and a cover into them. And I had over a third of my binders didn’t have that. So I needed to sit down, get on the computer, print them out, cut them, put them in. And I had blocked some time out to get it done. And then I thought, hang on a second, rather than sitting down and forcing myself to do it and possibly come up against, you know, abject failure.

Kathi (13:37.677)

Mmm.

Kathi (13:45.127)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (13:55.178)

Maybe I should spend that time just looking and seeing how many binders do I need to work with and do I have the materials I need. And it turns out I didn’t have a paper cutter. For some reason, I got rid of all my paper cutters and so I was like, oh, well, clearly I’m not going to use a scissors for this job. It turned out I had, well, I’m not going to tell you the number of binders I needed to do, but it was dozens of binders. I’m not going to sit and cut by hand.

Kathi (14:01.14)

Hmm.

Kathi (14:08.147)

Oh.

Kathi (14:15.241)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (14:19.55)

Yeah, right.

Cheri Gregory (14:21.33)

And so, you know, what I was able to do that day is I was able to shift in what I actually put on my schedule. I shifted it from, you know, finished binders to figure out what I need to do in order to finish binders. So I could still feel successful, right? And so I think part of the issue is we look at a task and we’re only focused on the end result, right? And the pressure of producing that end result

Kathi (14:38.081)

Ooh, yeah.

Kathi (14:46.922)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (14:50.058)

And when we can backtrack and go, okay, what is this process going to look like? Like assessing whether I have the materials. And then it ended up taking me a lot longer than I wanted it to just because it did. And so, you know, I broke it down into, okay, part one, part two, part three, part four to allow myself to feel successful with it. And I think part of it, I think part of procrastination is a

Kathi (14:54.18)

Yeah.

Kathi (15:00.266)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (15:15.738)

either a desire for things not to actually be as hard as they are or take as long as they do or require as many steps as they do or just a really, and I’m going to use a hard word, an immature belief that I am the exception to the rule. Everybody else might need to, you know, go through this kind of a process. Like everybody else might need to declutter for 15 minutes at a time.

Kathi (15:24.296)

Yeah.

Kathi (15:30.521)

Mm.

Kathi (15:36.726)

Right.

Cheri Gregory (15:46.17)

I alone am the kind of person who’s going to get it one and done, but just not today and probably not this week. And I know you have people talk to you and they’re like, yeah, I can’t do the 15 minutes. I’m too much of a perfectionist. It’s like, yeah, and you’re also a procrastinator, you know, or in the case of, you know, the writing we do. I mean, one of the things I told you that’s become so important for me, it’s actually been the thing that’s really broken my procrastination is realizing that I need to iterate.

Kathi (15:51.447)

Right.

Kathi (16:00.675)

Right. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (16:13.03)

I need to keep circling back around, circling back around, circling back around. And the more often I can iterate, the more I can get started, get something down, hit a wall, walk away, leave it alone, not worry about it, not think about it, not stress over it because I’ve given myself enough time that I expect that this is going to be part of the process. And then, sure enough, in the shower, you know, right before I fall asleep, whatever it might be, conversation with you, whatever. Oh, another idea comes to me. And when I give myself enough time.

Kathi (16:28.756)

Yeah.

Kathi (16:34.151)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:37.723)

down.

Cheri Gregory (16:42.77)

When I give myself time and I have the assumption that I am a human being like everybody else and things are going to take me longer than I think they’re going to take more steps than I wish, you know, that whole fear that this will be the one time that I can’t pull it off or that I ain’t got nothing, you know, like I do my best and nothing shows up. As long as I give myself time to go through a good process. And really, to me, that’s what has helped break the procrastination cycle for me

Kathi (16:48.112)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:58.724)

Yeah. Right.

Kathi (17:11.426)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (17:11.99)

Um is i don’t enjoy the pressure of procrastination nearly as much as I enjoy a good process like okay maybe it took me two weeks but wow i slept every night of those two weeks yeah okay i can’t brag that i pulled it off without any effort. But it is done it’s done well and often there’s some wonderful discoveries along the way that would never have happened if it was.

Kathi (17:16.092)

Yeah.

Kathi (17:25.256)

Yeah.

Kathi (17:32.102)

Yes.

Cheri Gregory (17:40.202)

you know, the night before something was due. We don’t make good discoveries during that time.

Kathi (17:45.866)

We’re gonna talk about that in our next episode. We’re gonna talk about pressure versus pre-deciding. Because, yeah, there are two different things. But I’m gonna leave us with this thought today that came up while you were talking. Is that, you know, when we say we work better under pressure, what we’re saying is we are living in a constant state of triage.

Cheri Gregory (17:52.97)

Ooh, I love it.

Cheri Gregory (18:14.026)

Yes.

Kathi (18:14.898)

we are triaging the situation. I have to clean before my in-laws come over. So am I making good decisions during that time if it’s the night before? No, I am triaging, so it looks good to them, but then I have to clean up from that mess. And I never, it’s the idea of triage versus working towards health.

You know, if I am getting stuff out of my house, you know, sometimes we have to triage things because emergencies do come up. But if we live in a constant state of emergency, we are never gonna get to the place we want. And I will in fact say, if we do something under pressure like that, we are making the situation worse. We’re not just making.

ourselves, our cortisone levels go crazy. We’re not just for me snapping at my husband or snapping at the chickens, I never snap it loose. But I’m snapping at somebody. We’re not just doing that. We’re actually making the kitchen that I just quote unquote organized worse because I can’t find the things I need. And we want to get past that. So in our next episode, I wanna talk about

strategies going from I work better under pressure to I work better when I pre-decide and what that looks like. Cheri, this is so good. Thank you so much for doing this. And we actually have a download that we’re going to offer to our friends who are part of our newsletter community. Cheri, can you explain what that is?

Cheri Gregory (20:03.05)

Sure, it’s called The Four P Bullies at a Glance and it goes along with the book, the first book we co-authored, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard. And it’s just, it’s a one sheet that goes through perfectionism, people pleasing, performanceism and procrastination and kind of helps you understand the difference between them and helps you identify which bully might be beating you up at any given time.

Kathi (20:22.342)

And you don’t have to have the book to understand this. This is a really wonderful, simple guide that we will share with you. Cheri, thanks for being here today. And yeah, next week we’re gonna talk about, it’s our favorite word, pre-deciding, and how this can actually help you to not live under pressure all the time. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you’ve always wanted to live.

Cheri Gregory (20:27.021)

Yes.

Oh, thanks for having me. Can’t wait to come back next week.

 

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

#605 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 2

605 – Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter

(and What You Can Do About it) Part 2

When you bring a new item into your space, do you struggle with where to put it?

Have you ever uttered a sentence like this to yourself? “Why don’t I know where this goes?”

Kathi Lipp and three-time co-author, friend, and frequent co-host Cheri Gregory are here to help. In this episode, they finish a two-part conversation about the straight line between perfectionism and clutter. Cheri speaks from an HSP (highly sensitive person) perspective and someone who struggles with perfectionism. She gives us some real-life advice from her recent kitchen and office remodel. Listen in as Kathi and Cheri discuss the connection between perfectionism and clutter, as well as:

  • When is it time to let things go?
  • What is valuable enough for you to store?
  • What is anti-perfectionism and how to use it to make decisions

Cheri Gregory mentioned using anti-perfectionism before purchasing a new office chair. Here’s the picture she promised us!

Haven’t listened to episode 604 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (And What You Can do About it) Part 1? Click here.

 Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Newsletter in your inbox? Get it free here!

An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away

Are you overcommitted, overstressed, or just plain overwhelmed? These devotions will give you greater peace and perspective, and a plan for managing your busy life.

Have you reached the point where one more thing on your to-do list is one too many? Do you find yourself praying, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle any more stuff?”

Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory have been there. They want to encourage you, but even more important, they offer helpful solutions to make your everyday life easier. Get good advice on how to plan ahead, set boundaries with others and yourself, and be more intentional about self-care without the guilt.

Let Kathi and Cheri help you find a place of more joy and abundance, one devotion at a time.

Order your copy of An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away here.

In this episode, Kathi and Cheri remind us that space is valuable and we don’t need to be storing things for other people, like our adult children.

Are there items in your space that you need to release to the people they belong to?

Share your answers in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard,Overwhelmed,and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Kathi (19:50.183)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am back for part two with my conversation with my co-author, HP, excuse me, HSP specialist, and my dear, dear friend, Cheri Gregory. Cheri, welcome back to Clutter Free Academy.

Cheri Gregory (20:13.858)
Hey, it is wonderful to be back, Kathi.

Kathi (20:16.851)
So it’s really interesting when we have psychological things to unpack in the clutter free community, I run to Cheri because she has thought about all of these things in very, no, you know, well, maybe you are, but your psychosis has worked well for me for years to help me unpack some things. And if you haven’t heard part one of our conversation, go back and listen to that. We’re talking about.

Cheri Gregory (20:29.006)
Because I’m psycho.

Cheri Gregory (20:37.259)
I’m out.

Kathi (20:43.703)
the link between perfectionism and clutter, because in my paid group, Clutter Free for Life, that was the topic that kept coming up for people over and over and over again. I think it’s really interesting when I’m first talking to people about clutter, like the, you know, oh, I have clutter in my house, and if we get into a conversation about it, the first layer is people talking about their circumstances.

Cheri Gregory (21:12.119)
Mm-hmm. Hmm.

Kathi (21:12.555)
Like I’ve got little kids or my husband doesn’t want to get rid of things or I came like it’s a lot of the External and maybe that’s not all external, you know, I mean and I’m not saying that’s not legitimate Holy cow. Is it legitimate? Especially if you have a partner who is not partnering If you have kids who their only job is to bring paint home papers from school like that is their full-time gig Yes

Cheri Gregory (21:28.503)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (21:42.351)
That is it. But I think that we start to address some of those things and we start to realize for some of us, me included, that the clutter issues go deeper. And I think, you know, perfectionism, that whole idea of until I have all the time to do it, I have none of the time to do it. Until I have all the space for my life, I have none of the space for my life.

Cheri Gregory (21:53.599)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (22:04.271)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (22:10.109)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (22:12.339)
I can cook, you know, 10 meals at a time. I can’t cook a grilled cheese sandwich. Like, I mean, these are the things that we tell ourselves. And I think we know.

Cheri Gregory (22:21.842)
Until everybody in the family cooperates with me, I can’t even attempt to do anything different than what’s currently happening.

Kathi (22:25.319)
Yes. Right. And please hear me. You guys have legitimate reasons to be frustrated. But I also know that I spent, personally, Kathi Lipp spent a lot of time focused on Roger’s minimal clutter, because I didn’t understand it, but I totally understood mine.

Cheri Gregory (22:53.006)
Mm-hmm. Hehehe.

Kathi (22:53.063)
Like I knew why I put that there for now and things like that. So, and Roger’s definitely the less cluttery person in this relationship, but I think we naturally do that. We look for the, the outside solvable thing. And then once we’ve solved a lot of those things, we can turn to the inside solvable things, because let’s be honest, the inside is a lot tougher oftentimes. And so.

Cheri Gregory (23:09.88)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (23:19.657)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (23:22.747)
Cheri, I want to ask you, you know, what are, first of all, what were some of the emotional steps? Because can I just make an observation and Cheri, if you want me to delete this from the podcast, I will be happy to, but well, no, I won’t be happy to, but I will.

Cheri Gregory (23:38.769)
Well, I’m now so very curious. Keep going.

Kathi (23:41.231)
Okay, so you and I have been doing online meetings for, I mean, over a decade, long over a decade. And whenever I’ve talked to you, there has been a screen behind you. I’m assuming, like most of us, you know, we had our Zoom screens and things like that, because there was real life going on behind you, and you didn’t want to distract people with that. Today, there’s no screen, and you and I haven’t been on Zoom in a while. I don’t know when this

Cheri Gregory (23:47.991)
Oh yeah.

Cheri Gregory (23:52.427)
Hahaha!

Kathi (24:11.639)
But there’s a real transformation in your space, is that correct?

Cheri Gregory (24:15.358)
Oh yeah, I get in my office again this month, but I did it very differently than I have in the past. And so it’s actually turning into a functional space.

Kathi (24:25.351)
Okay, I wanna know first of all, were there some mental and emotional differences in how you approached your clutter this time? I’m sorry, I didn’t tell you I was gonna ask you about any of this stuff, but I didn’t see your office until 20 minutes ago.

Cheri Gregory (24:34.402)
Hmm. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, no. Yeah, I can actually tell you the story about how it happens. So, you know that a couple of years ago, our landlord decided to do a renovation of our kitchen. And Jonathan and I took, well, we had to take everything out. And then they gutted it. So, yes, my son, Jonathan, he’s the hashtag mathematician in the kitchen. He’s an amazing cook and baker.

Kathi (24:46.738)
Yes!

Kathi (24:57.547)
Jonathan’s her son. Just so you guys know, yeah.

Cheri Gregory (25:04.414)
And so we did go through and declutter things because I’m like, I don’t want to store anything that we’re not actually gonna keep. And he was like, I don’t want to bring back into the new kitchen anything we’re not gonna keep. So we had a circumstance that helped us do that. But then when all the new cupboards and appliances and everything was in there, Jonathan had been thinking about how to put things back in the kitchen. He used what’s called design thinking. And don’t ask me what that is, because I actually don’t know.

Kathi (25:17.688)
anyhow.

Kathi (25:30.467)
Mm-hmm. Okay.

Cheri Gregory (25:32.722)
All I know is that the end result was he had a plan, a mental plan for where everything was gonna go and it was based on function, not form. It was based on function like this is a baking station and this is a cooking station and this is the cleanup station and this space will always be left clean and he threatened dire consequences to anybody who left things there. And it’s not a big kitchen. And so I wasn’t sure if his plan was gonna work, but not only…

Kathi (25:44.234)
Mmm.

Kathi (25:55.191)
Ha ha ha!

Cheri Gregory (26:02.338)
had we decluttered enough stuff that we were able to move everything in and it’s very like he the kids, both of my kids, Jonathan and Marie, they were adamant, no stacking frying pans on top of each other. So you have to kill yourself and want to swear in order to find the one that you want, like really lots of margin. And then we then Jonathan told me the most important thing. He said, once we get everything set up, then we live with it. We experiment. We see it all as a grand experiment.

Kathi (26:15.915)
Hmm, yeah.

Kathi (26:22.091)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (26:30.514)
And then we keep tweaking and we keep having conversations and anything that’s not working, we redo it until it works. And I almost can’t believe I’m saying this, Kathi, but our kitchen works flawlessly. Like there is when Anne Marie visits once or twice a year, she can find anything she wants because it makes sense where it is. And Daniel can find where to put it back. So when I gutted my office, I decided I wanted anything that wasn’t going to serve me in the year 2024 in it.

Kathi (26:33.023)
Yes.

Kathi (26:38.966)
Mm.

Kathi (26:43.816)
Oh my goodness.

Kathi (26:51.021)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (27:00.682)
and I have some projects I really need to finish in 2024. And so I got rid of a whole bunch of stuff. We can talk about how I made those decisions in a second if you want. But then I realized, okay, I’m not coming in here and trying to set up something pretty. In fact, if you look behind me, it’s kind of chaotic looking. It’s, I mean, it’s not gonna go on a, on any kind of a magazine cover.

Kathi (27:00.771)
Hmm.

Kathi (27:04.491)
Right.

Kathi (27:09.996)
Okay.

Kathi (27:22.607)
say it’s chaotic looking, I would say is definitely function over form. So you’re not, you weren’t trying to put curtains up so that you wouldn’t see the books or anything like that. You can see the books, but you could probably find the books too.

Cheri Gregory (27:28.371)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (27:33.266)
Oh no. No no no.

Yes, and my books are not organized by here’s all the red books or turned around the other way. That’s not decorator friendly at all. But right now I have post-it notes so you can find I can find my books like I needed a particular book today and I reached and I was able to find it. So, so I got rid of everything that didn’t belong in 2024. And now I’m approaching it like a working kitchen. Only it’s my working office and I am

Kathi (27:42.677)
Right.

Kathi (27:46.165)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (27:49.708)
Yeah.

Kathi (27:58.295)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (28:02.859)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (28:05.286)
As let’s say I’m working on something and that I don’t know where to put it instead of shoving it somewhere. I pause and I ask myself why don’t I know where to put this? Why do I have the urge to set it here or shove it there? What part of my system isn’t working right now or have I not planned for? So that there is a process so that there is a workflow and I’ve given myself. Yeah.

Kathi (28:11.618)
Right?

Kathi (28:16.06)
Mmm.

Kathi (28:29.067)
What a great question though. Why don’t I know where to put this? What a great question. Holy cow. Yeah, that’s really good.

Cheri Gregory (28:36.298)
Yeah. And so I don’t know if you can see, but I’ll show you over here. On the floor is a 40 by 40 square of paper and I’ve got stuff stacked all over it to simulate the bulk of a chair I’m thinking of purchasing. Now, I have not bought a decent piece of furniture in so long. I don’t even know how to, but I have found a chair that I’m kind of in love with. But rather than rather than be perfectionistic, Kathi, rather than go get it and then have buyer’s remorse and then beat myself up because I can never make good decisions.

Kathi (28:45.769)
Okay?

Kathi (28:52.867)
Hahaha

Okay.

Yeah. Right.

Cheri Gregory (29:04.802)
And rather than be like, oh, forget it. It would just be a waste of money. I probably wouldn’t use it anyways. I’m experimenting by putting something that size and shape there. And I’ve been living with that for about a month to see, am I okay with that amount of bulk, with that amount of floor space being used up? Now, obviously I can’t sit on it and enjoy it, but I’m just trying to see, do I resent the loss of floor space? And so the thing that is anti-perfectionism about this is,

Kathi (29:04.888)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (29:10.465)
right?

Kathi (29:19.82)
Hmm.

Kathi (29:23.773)
Right. You’re right.

Kathi (29:29.027)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (29:32.818)
I’m experimenting. I’m like, there is no one right way to do this. It is, it’s very fluid and I’m expecting this to take several months. And then I expect that I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna start finding little parts that don’t work or maybe something about a project changes and I’m gonna need to keep asking these questions along the way. So it has, it’s been transformational to think, because here’s the thing, in our kitchen,

Kathi (29:34.871)
Yeah.

Kathi (29:43.831)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (29:55.754)
So good.

Cheri Gregory (30:01.442)
One of the things I used to do in my office is I used to leave things out because I was just going to come back to it the next day. We don’t do that in our kitchen. Like Jonathan uses his pizza cutter every single day. He doesn’t leave it on the counter. We wash it and put it away in the drawer. When he needs it next, he pulls it out again, right? And so I’m taking that approach in my office now where it’s like, I really want to be able to just have it settled at the end of the day where everything goes back where I think its place is.

Kathi (30:07.004)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (30:13.899)
Right. Yes.

Right.

Kathi (30:27.127)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (30:30.314)
so the next day I can come in and keep using it. So something about that metaphor of a working kitchen that has been experimented with and just bringing that into my office, it’s really been transformational. And to have permission to not have to get it right and to not try to find some external system, like I don’t believe that you could tell me how to do this. I did no research. I didn’t buy anything, Kathi. I bought no folders. I didn’t go to Office Depot.

Kathi (30:55.807)
Right? Yes.

Cheri Gregory (30:59.53)
Like I bought nothing. In fact, all I’ve done is use what I already have and got rid of some things that were just taking up space. But what I believe is I have the knowledge I need to experiment, to practice, and to see what works and what doesn’t work, and to continue working with that.

Kathi (31:18.571)
There are so many things I love about that. Why don’t I know where this goes? So that is such a great question and I also think about a professional kitchen professional kitchens do not have Five wine openers because they’re a professional kitchen. They have one wine opener. They know where it is They don’t have to go down under other stuff to be able to find it they it’s simple the

Cheri Gregory (31:22.828)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (31:38.859)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (31:42.557)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (31:47.511)
The counters are clear. They have workspace because they understand the importance of workspace. You know, we have not an instant pot, an air fryer that we use almost every day, but it also gets put away every day. And it’s very light. Now I wouldn’t do that with like the stand mixer because man, that thing scares me. But that sits out on the counter. It gets used about once a week.

Cheri Gregory (31:50.943)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:00.846)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:06.216)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:13.673)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (32:17.527)
But I need counter space more than I need access. I mean, you know, more than I need it to be easy because, you know, the air fryer’s already making my life easier. And so I’m willing to go get it. I’m willing to go put it away, that whole thing. I love this idea and the, okay, but you made a promise and I’m going to follow up on that promise.

Cheri Gregory (32:22.467)
Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:26.142)
Yes.

Kathi (32:43.071)
that you said you would tell us how you made decisions about what you kept and what you gave away in your office. So I wanna hear what your decision-making process was there.

Cheri Gregory (32:49.61)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (32:53.922)
Well, it was helpful for me to have a vision of what I needed, which is I need this office to be useful for 2024. I mean, that really gave me a goal, like nothing in here clogging up that isn’t going to be used in this year. And so that means… Yeah, I am. And…

Kathi (33:09.975)
Because you’re doing big things this year. Can you mention a couple of the things you’re doing? I mean, just so people have an idea of how you’re using your office? Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (33:17.254)
Well, my goal is to finally finish my doctoral work and that’s the bookshelf back there and the bookshelf back there, which one of the reasons I haven’t finished it is because everything’s been piles and boxes. And so now I can literally, oh, and I bought myself a new office chair. I’ll send you the photo of my old one versus my new one. I mean, it’s embarrassing talking about, you know, again, so as perfectionists, we can’t start organizing unless we can do it all. And yet we will have a chair that’s 10 years old and looks like garbage.

Kathi (33:27.645)
Yeah, yeah.

Kathi (33:32.439)
Okay.

Cheri Gregory (33:45.57)
Make it make sense. It doesn’t make sense, right? So, but I in my nice new chair, I could roll over and I could pick anything off the shelf that I need at a moment’s notice. And I know exactly where everything is. And I, and it’s organized in a way that works for me. Like I didn’t hire someone to come in and do it. Not nothing wrong with that, but I need to know where my things are. So let’s see. What are some of the things I got rid of? Kathi, would you believe I finally dismantled the binders for the manuscript development team for overwhelmed?

Kathi (33:47.174)
Yeah, it doesn’t. That’s okay though.

Kathi (33:53.987)
Wow.

Kathi (33:58.781)
Mm.

Yeah, right. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (34:15.954)
And for your listeners, Overwhelmed was released in 2017. And I was like, oh, but I loved doing this book with Kathi so much. And I just had to realize that nothing in those binders caused me to be connected to you in any way, shape or form. Like you didn’t know about the binders. You didn’t live inside the binders.

Kathi (34:16.263)
Okay, you guys.

Kathi (34:38.079)
I did not. I didn’t know that any part of me existed inside the binders. And by the way, we have the book. The book has been published. Yeah, so no, I think. But you know what? Here’s the thing that I have noticed. I don’t think that’s as silly as we think it is, because I have my own binder story. I was a sales rep before I knew you, Cheri. And we used to have to carry around.

Cheri Gregory (34:40.257)
No.

Cheri Gregory (34:44.012)
No.

Yeah, I know.

Cheri Gregory (35:05.313)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (35:08.171)
these giant portfolios of different, like here was my catalog for ANA Plus, and here was my catalog for Carolina Candles. And we had these giant leather binders that all those went into, and they were expensive and they were hard to come by. And so a lot of me was invested, and I kept, even though I was no longer a sales rep,

Cheri Gregory (35:17.454)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (35:21.71)
Hmm

Cheri Gregory (35:27.362)
oooo

Kathi (35:35.063)
They sales reps were not using those kind of binders anymore because everything was digital But because it was such an important part of my life at the time Those binders were hard to get and they were so valuable to me at that time in my life I had a very hard time getting rid of them that overwhelmed binder you had Represented so much work. It was such a big part of our lives

Cheri Gregory (35:40.573)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (35:53.558)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (35:57.484)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (36:00.797)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (36:03.899)
It was such, I mean, that’s one of the most important books I’ve ever written. I would say it’s in my top three. And yeah, I mean, it feels a little bit like throwing away somebody we love to get rid of something that was so important. So I understand it, but we also have to use our own, we have to tell ourselves, Kathi does not exist in the binders.

Cheri Gregory (36:08.67)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (36:20.382)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Kathi (36:31.131)
The concepts do not exist in the binders my future with this book. Yeah. Okay, so that you got rid of it Right

Cheri Gregory (36:33.566)
Yep. Yeah. Well, and the amount of dust on top of the binders made it really clear that I wasn’t referencing anything in them, like whatever fear had caused me to hang on to it. You know, I spent a lot of the week that I really did the deep gutting, really being grateful, just opening things and going, oh, I loved this so much or oh, this was so important to me at this time.

Kathi (36:52.675)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (37:00.526)
And I am grateful for that. And it’s not staying in here because I have other things I need to do and I need the space. And if I leave it in here, I will not be able to do the things that I want to do. So this is probably the first time that I’ve decluttered with a clear vision for you need to be out of here because there’s other things that are more important. And so I was able to weigh and sometimes it’s I need.

Kathi (37:09.185)
right.

Kathi (37:18.912)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (37:27.858)
empty space more than I need to hold on to this memory. I need peace more than I need to hold on to this security blanket of a binder or whatever else it might be. And you know, let’s also be clear that there were things belonging to Rafiki in my office and we said farewell. We’ve said farewell to Rafiki at age 16 right before Christmas and you know.

Kathi (37:31.583)
Yes.

Kathi (37:35.857)
Right.

Kathi (37:43.831)
Hmm, so explain about Rafiki. Yeah

Cheri Gregory (37:53.278)
Everybody handles these things differently. And for me, I decided I was not going to keep things around, not because I was gonna go into denial, but because the sooner I could put everything in the car and be ready to take it down to Southern California, anything that’s really easily usable is gonna go to Anne-Marie with her cat, Zaboumafou, and then other things like I still had bags of fluid and special medications, it’s all gonna go to somebody who does foster kitten stuff.

Kathi (37:56.534)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (38:23.022)
And so, you know, but there were some things like, you know, his glucose meter. And I’m like, but I’m the only one who knows how to use this. But but there’s nobody left to use it for. And so there’s no reason for me to hang on to it, even though it was such an important phase of my life. Hanging on to the glucose meter is not going to bring him back. And it’s not going to bring that phase of life back. And so, again, I could be extremely grateful.

Kathi (38:23.671)
That’s so great.

Kathi (38:30.976)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (38:34.636)
Right.

Kathi (38:42.837)
Yes.

Kathi (38:46.846)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (38:51.994)
as I released it and was like, yeah, I’m just that I think I ended up giving to the goodwill because you know, but like you said, it’s there’s a lot of emotional stuff and I gave myself the time. I mean, I’m not talking weeks and weeks and weeks or anything like that, but I was like, it’s going to take as long as it takes. And but again, you know, looking at those things going, does this belong in 2024? Is this going to help me with these projects that I know have to get done this year really helped me be like new.

Kathi (38:58.784)
Yeah.

Kathi (39:15.392)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (39:21.646)
It’s not going to.

Kathi (39:22.311)
Yeah, you know, I have to ask myself, will this item meet me in my future? And yeah, it’s, it’s an interesting way of saying it, right? Because it’s a part of my past. And I take a lot of pictures of things that I’m giving away because, oh my goodness, I loved that jacket and I felt great in it, but you know, some people hold onto their clothes for 40 years. I’m just not that person. It’s for a time in my life. You know, you and I are both speakers.

Cheri Gregory (39:28.762)
Ooh, ooh, so good. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (39:39.19)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (39:48.005)
Mm-mm.

Kathi (39:52.615)
I buy a couple of outfits per speaker season, I wear it to death, and then it’s time to, if I really love it, I might keep it for another year or so, or maybe two. But for a lot of things, it’s time to let it go, because the jackets I’m wearing are very distinguishable from other things that I wear.

Cheri Gregory (39:58.2)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (40:09.964)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (40:19.666)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (40:19.871)
You know, it’s okay if you want to wear the same thing over and over again But I’m just a different kind of person and that’s not normally how I roll and that’s okay But also like oftentimes I’ll wear something so much. It’s like, okay I’m kind of sick of it and it’s not gonna meet me in my future I’m going to appreciate it for where it served me before but it’s not gonna meet me in my future and that I’ve had Craft things like that. I’ve had

Cheri Gregory (40:24.206)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (40:36.105)
Yeah.

Yeah.

Hmm

Kathi (40:47.627)
The ways I’ve cooked have changed, you know, all those kinds of things. This item’s not gonna meet me in my future. Any other, like one other piece of advice for, I love that you created space in your office and said space is valuable to me. Anything else, I mean, anything else that is new for you that helped you make these decisions.

Cheri Gregory (40:49.886)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (40:53.218)
So good.

Cheri Gregory (41:03.711)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (41:11.234)
Um, I evicted everything that other people had said needed to be stored somewhere. And I’m like, if you want it to be stored somewhere, you can find a place for it, but it will not be my office. I do not feel a need to store anything, anything somewhere. I, my office is not somewhere anymore. And, uh, and, and part of that is because I need to be able to move. I need physical.

Kathi (41:19.456)
out.

Kathi (41:26.623)
Right.

Kathi (41:33.183)
Oooo

Cheri Gregory (41:40.034)
I need to be able to get to my windows to open the blinds. I need to be able to pop up a table and work on it because I’m a spreader outer and then put it back and I need a place to store it. And so I’m just being a lot kinder to my physical body and saying I need the amount of space that I need and I enjoy the spaciousness. So yeah.

Kathi (41:43.157)
Yeah.

Kathi (41:56.354)
Right?

Kathi (41:59.747)
parents of adult children, your house is not somewhere. And yeah, so I think oftentimes when our kids say, yeah, I don’t want that, we don’t quite believe them. We think, oh no, you’re gonna want your third grade, second place soccer trophy. Now, maybe they need a picture of it, but they don’t need the trophy. Yeah, and so your house, your office, your bedroom, your space is not somewhere.

Cheri Gregory (42:03.634)
No.

Cheri Gregory (42:19.23)
I’m sorry.

Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (42:29.283)
Hmm.

Kathi (42:29.687)
and other people get to decide what they’re going to keep and what they’re not going to keep. And I’m not going to be the keeper of memories for other people. My kids get to decide what’s important to them. I don’t get to decide for them what’s important for them. I think that’s really, really great. Cheri, so much good advice here. So many practical things. Is this about…

Cheri Gregory (42:39.406)
Amen.

Kathi (42:57.639)
embracing imperfection? Or is this, do you see it differently?

Cheri Gregory (43:04.514)
Hmm. I mean, that’s I mean as long as the person listening is okay with the word imperfection. I would say yes I mean like I mean another way of saying it would be you know, accepting that we’re human and You know, I know there’s the scripture be therefore perfect and I know some perfectionists get really stuck on that But really what that word means is be mature Keep growing keep growing up

Kathi (43:11.099)
Mm-hmm. Okay.

Kathi (43:17.187)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (43:28.491)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (43:31.01)
And you know, there are some areas in life where we want things to be perfect. Like when my dad had a quadruple bypass surgery, there was only one measure of success and that was perfection. I wanted that surgeon to do a perfect job and he did and I’m forever grateful. But it turns out that in other areas of our lives, there’s a much wider range and there is no one standard measure. And so.

Kathi (43:39.597)
Yeah.

Kathi (43:42.908)
Right.

Kathi (43:54.946)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (43:56.01)
You know, I think imperfection, yes, but I would also say things like curiosity and experimentation and iteration. I mean, for me, iteration has become a really big thing for me, realizing I’m going to need to keep trying and trying and trying and revising and revising and revising. And the goal isn’t necessarily perfection. The goal is, oh, this works better. Oh, this works better. And at some point I will iterate less because I will have.

Kathi (44:05.419)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (44:10.664)
Yes.

Kathi (44:18.836)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (44:24.246)
found all those things that are part of my normal routine and they will all work better. So I think part of it is realizing that we keep trial and error, trial and error, trial and error. And so if that falls under the category of imperfection, then by all means, embracing imperfection.

Kathi (44:41.959)
You know, what I think you’ve really taught us here is to be a student, to be a student of self, to be a student of space, to be a student of how you function in the world. And, you know, I think so often we see somebody else’s system and we think that should work for me.

Cheri Gregory (44:47.811)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (44:57.911)
Mm hmm. Yup.

Cheri Gregory (45:05.328)
Hmm. Mm-mm.

Kathi (45:07.691)
but it just doesn’t because our houses are different, our habits are different. There are so many things that are different and you’ve really given us an opportunity to say, how I move in the world is okay and I need to change my environment to meet those needs. I love it. Cheri, this has been such a rich conversation. Thank you so, so much.

Cheri Gregory (45:12.174)
Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (45:32.043)
Oh, thanks for having me.

Kathi (45:34.291)
And friends, thank you for being here for these good and deep conversations. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Cathy Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

#604 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 1

#604 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 1

604 – Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter

(and What You Can Do About it) Part 1

Do you hesitate to start a decluttering project because you feel like you don’t have the time or resources to finish it?

You might be struggling with an underlying cause of clutter which is perfectionism.

Kathi Lipp and three-time co-author and frequent co-host Cheri Gregory start a two-part conversation about the straight line between perfectionism and clutter. Cheri speaks from an HSP (highly sensitive person) perspective and someone who struggles with perfectionism. Listen in as Kathi and Cheri discuss the connection between perfectionism and clutter, as well as:

  • How to get away from all-or-nothing thinking
  • The myth of form over function
  • What procrastination might be telling you

 Sign up here to be notified when Why Your Perfectionism Is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 2 is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Newsletter in your in box? Get it free here!

An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away

Are you overcommitted, overstressed, or just plain overwhelmed? These devotions will give you greater peace and perspective, and a plan for managing your busy life.

Have you reached the point where one more thing on your to-do list is one too many? Do you find yourself praying, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle any more stuff?”

Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory have been there. They want to encourage you, but even more important, they offer helpful solutions to make your everyday life easier. Get good advice on how to plan ahead, set boundaries with others and yourself, and be more intentional about self-care without the guilt.

Let Kathi and Cheri help you find a place of more joy and abundance, one devotion at a time.

Order your copy of An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away here.

In this episode, Cheri asked us to spend 15 minutes reflecting on these questions:

When was a time you overdid it with perfectionism? Was it worth it in the long run? Did it serve you and your people?

Share your answers in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Kathi (00:01.427)
Okay, this is Cheri Gregory, understanding the link between perfectionism and clutter. Five, four, three, two, one. Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And if you have followed any of my writings, if you followed this podcast for any length of time, you already know my guest.

Her name is Cheri Gregory. She is a co-author with me on three books. I always wanna say two. I don’t know why. I don’t forget about the books, I know about them, but I feel like we’ve done some of our deepest work together. Cheri and I wrote Overwhelmed Together, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, and An Abundant Place, our devotional together. She…

Cheri Gregory (00:38.137)
Hahahaha

Cheri Gregory (00:46.424)
Yeah.

Kathi (00:56.999)
I’m gonna let her describe a little bit of her work because her work has changed over the years. And I think she is doing what she most loves to do. She is my go-to person for HSP issues, which is highly sensitive people. And I just adore her. So Sherri, welcome back to the podcast.

Cheri Gregory (01:19.199)
I’m just going to take and receive all of that. Yeah, I mean, what I do these days is I hang around highly sensitive persons in Sensitive and Strong, my membership, the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe. I just got done doing my master class, Growing Sensitive and Strong, and it was hilarious because the first night as we were introducing ourselves one by one, oh yes, I found out about you through Kathy Lipp.

Kathi (01:22.157)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (01:42.682)
Oh, yes, I found out about you from Clutterfree Academy podcast. Oh, I found out about you from reading Kathy’s books. So my people are big Kathy Lip fans.

Kathi (01:46.28)
No.

Kathi (01:49.415)
Oh, that makes me… Well, I’m big fans of their people. I’ve told you many, many times. HSPs are my favorites. I just did a whirlwind tour of San Jose. I had exactly one day and everybody, I almost have the people I met, either they were on the ADHD spectrum, ADHD, yeah. Feels like I was missing a letter there. Or they were my sensitive…

my highly sensitive people. So just explain what HSP is. This is not what this podcast is about, but kind of will be touching on some issues. So what does HSP mean?

Cheri Gregory (02:28.547)
The easiest explanation is it basically means sensory processing sensitivity, which means we are more easily overwhelmed than the average bear, often by external sensory stimuli. And more recently, I have learned by interoception, which means the stimuli that our own bodies produce. And since you can’t get away from your own body, that can be especially overstimulating. But yeah, it was it was not.

an accident that I wrote a bit about being a highly sensitive person and overwhelmed because that is the number one thing that my highly sensitive people tell me they’re dealing with is just feeling overwhelmed all the time.

Kathi (03:03.863)
Yeah, it’s been so interesting to see your journey on this. And today we’re talking about something a little different, but definitely has some overlap. And that is the link between perfectionism and clutter. And the reason I wanted to bring you on, Cherry, and guys, if you hear little tippy-tappies, I’m just gonna be really honest with you. Moose feels good. She’s going through chemo again, and she feels good for about 90 minutes each day.

Cheri Gregory (03:18.602)
Yes.

Kathi (03:32.839)
And right now happens to be the 90 minutes while we’re doing a podcast. So you know what? We’re just gonna let it be and be okay with it. And if you’re a long time listener, you’re excited that she’s feeling good for these 90 minutes. And if you’re new, this is just how we roll. So you know what? Right now she kinda does. I will admit, I had Roger bring me dinner and bed.

Cheri Gregory (03:35.15)
Aww.

Cheri Gregory (03:49.734)
Miss Moose gets to do whatever she wants right now.

Kathi (03:58.915)
so that I could, that’s where she’s most comfortable when she’s feeling her worst. And so I’m not moved. I it’s like waking the baby. That’s not happening in our house. Yeah. So we did something really interesting in Clutter Free for Life, our paid program that has led us to this call. And what we did is we gave everybody who signed up for the Year of our Lord 2024 for the paid program

Cheri Gregory (03:59.679)
I’m gonna go.

Cheri Gregory (04:03.458)
Yeah. 100%.

Cheri Gregory (04:16.492)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (04:27.483)
a 15 minute coaching call with either me or one of the other coaches, Deanna, Grace, Lisa, or Tanya. And I think I’ve probably had about 30 calls and maybe three of them have not said, well, I struggled with perfectionism. And yeah, talk about, I always knew that there was a connection for a lot of people between perfectionism and clutter.

Cheri Gregory (04:31.576)
Nice.

Cheri Gregory (04:45.511)
Ooh!

Cheri Gregory (04:50.902)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (04:54.839)
But I don’t think I realized that the line was straight through as much as it is. And so, of course.

Cheri Gregory (05:00.37)
Yeah, yeah. Okay, so can I ask you a question? Okay, so first of all, kudos that you are obviously such a safe person for people to be confessing that because perfectionism is not something people regularly routinely confess. Like they’ll say, oh, I’m a procrastinator, ha ha, but perfectionism does not have any laugh track behind it. So I’m curious, did they give you examples of what they meant by being a perfectionist?

Kathi (05:11.002)
Oh, yeah.

Kathi (05:16.12)
Right. Yeah.

Kathi (05:22.974)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (05:29.342)
or struggling with perfectionism and clutter? What kind of things did they tell you went with that?

Kathi (05:34.723)
It’s the same sentence for everybody. I don’t start because I can’t get it all done.

Cheri Gregory (05:37.652)
Okay.

Cheri Gregory (05:41.411)
Oh, okay.

Kathi (05:42.739)
Yeah, it is what and I hear that all the time or people will say Kathy 15 minutes as you guys know When we’re talking about decluttering I tell people to declutter for 15 minutes because I feel like our the decider part of our brain Is really good for 15 minutes. Sometimes it’s really good for up to an hour But we’ve all had those days where it’s like i’m cleaning out the garage today And you know in the beginning

Cheri Gregory (05:46.781)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (05:51.431)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (05:59.323)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (06:09.565)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:12.315)
you’re getting so many decisions made and by the end you’re just rearranging clutter. So we had some, it’s almost always I don’t have enough time to do everything so I’m not going to do anything because you know in their brain why even get it started and I say you know you may not notice a ton after 15 minutes I bet you will but you may not notice a bunch after 15 minutes but

Cheri Gregory (06:16.099)
Oh, oh, absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (06:39.222)
Hmm.

Kathi (06:41.923)
After three days of 15 minutes, you are going to notice a difference. But it’s having to get started that I think is really frustrating for people.

Cheri Gregory (06:51.37)
Yeah, yeah. All right, so I am in the midst of reading a book on boundaries and I’ll send you the link to it later, but it says something really interesting at the beginning and here’s a sentence I’m gonna run by you. We can’t master something that’s a continual practice. And let me just adjust that for this conversation. We can’t be perfect at something that we’re always going to be exercising.

Kathi (06:56.888)
Mm. Okay.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:11.751)
Okay.

Mm.

Cheri Gregory (07:17.418)
And so what I’m hearing in people who don’t want to get started is they feel like there’s going to be a point when they are completely done. And so if you’re going to ever get to that point where everything is perfect, then you should wait until you have time to do the whole thing and then stand back, sing the hallelujah chorus and enjoy it always being that way. Right. But if we recognize that this is a.

Kathi (07:25.377)
Mmm.

Kathi (07:30.024)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:41.18)
Right. Okay.

Cheri Gregory (07:45.39)
practice, that this is an exercise, this is an ongoing part of our lives, then there is no destination. And that’s part of what we need to take away is the sense that there is a finish line or a done point. And I’m really sorry for those who are listening if that’s super discouraging, but it simply means that as long as you are doing and you know, I push back against the 15 minutes, you know, I’m an overachiever. I’m not.

Kathi (07:46.933)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:51.215)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:54.547)
Right.

Kathi (07:59.255)
Mm-hmm. Yes

Kathi (08:04.64)
No.

Kathi (08:11.667)
Yeah, right.

Cheri Gregory (08:13.57)
15 minutes, Kathy, I’m going to do 15 hours, you know? But the practice of doing those 15 minutes is a habit of self stewardship, of taking care of yourself by taking care of the things that belong to you. And like you said, those first few days, you might not notice an awful lot of change, although you know what?

Kathi (08:17.122)
I… Right. Yes.

Kathi (08:29.686)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:40.17)
I mean there was a time years ago when I injured my back I could only do five minutes at a time and then I had to be on the couch for 55. Let me tell you when I put those blinders on I was able to be pretty darn proud of those of the little bit of space I cleared in five minutes. What do you see, Cathy, what do you see in those who have overcome this sense of I can’t start because I can’t finish it all in the same fell swoop?

Kathi (08:44.77)
Right.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (08:56.683)
Well, and…

Kathi (09:07.187)
Well, I don’t want to say that they don’t believe me, but I think they kind of don’t believe me. And it’s, you don’t know my circumstances, you don’t know my situation, you don’t know who I live with. And so one of the things I’ve been saying to people is our circumstances are different, but our challenges are remarkably the same.

Cheri Gregory (09:14.623)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:19.246)
Hmm

Cheri Gregory (09:23.606)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:36.638)
Yes. Ooh, so good.

Kathi (09:39.291)
Yeah, you know, you know, I love some alliteration. It’s the only way I remember anything. And that, you know, people don’t feel like they’re being helped, which I agree with. And also, it’s not that people, especially adults, in your family should be helping you. This should be a family task, but oftentimes it’s not. And when your mother-in-law comes over, she’s not looking at her son and saying, why haven’t you picked up the house?

Cheri Gregory (09:41.886)
Oh yeah.

Cheri Gregory (10:07.902)
Yeah.

Kathi (10:08.715)
You know, we just know that right and so a lot of people I don’t think You know trust the process because the only results they’ve ever seen have been when they’ve killed themselves To get it. We also Believe in form over function. We believe that if it looks pretty it’s gonna work and

Cheri Gregory (10:22.536)
Mm. Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (10:33.326)
Yeah.

Kathi (10:35.139)
I can get my room looking pretty really quickly, but you know, one of my big things is you can’t organize clutter, because as soon as you touch it again, it’s going to explode, implode, whatever it’s going to be. And so we have to look at the function of a space. And none of us really have a master plan of what

Cheri Gregory (10:38.26)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (10:41.42)
Yep.

Cheri Gregory (10:45.113)
Mm-hmm.

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (10:53.869)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (10:59.392)
Mm-mm.

Kathi (11:00.671)
We have to make good small decisions over and over and over again to get a space to feel good. And then finally, I think the last thing is we have been sold a bill of goods by these decluttering and organizing systems, magazines, books, that, you know, everybody, it’s clean for a second, it looks nice for a second, it looks organized for a second, and then somebody actually tries to use it. And they don’t take the after picture.

Cheri Gregory (11:05.5)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:15.85)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:27.826)
Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (11:31.239)
I think those are a lot of the problems. Yeah. Well, so here’s my next question for you, because I know that you have also, you know, you’ve had your struggles with clutter. You and I have talked about those extensively. What do you think some of the misconceptions about clutter and perfectionism are? Because I think, for me, I think the one that I hear,

Cheri Gregory (11:33.174)
Hmm, absolutely. That makes sense.

Cheri Gregory (11:43.414)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:46.897)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:57.671)
is my mom was a perfectionist and it didn’t look like anybody lived at our house. And that’s their perception. Well, and you had a perfectionistic mom and nobody looked, it didn’t look like anybody looked at your house as a child, right?

Cheri Gregory (12:04.332)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (12:08.107)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (12:12.33)
Oh no, I mean she literally had white couches and white carpet, but after she passed and we started opening the cupboards, oh my goodness Cathy, she was a hoarder.

Kathi (12:22.003)
Oh, oh, OK, I knew about the closet. I don’t think I knew about the cupboards.

Cheri Gregory (12:25.234)
Yeah. Oh, yeah, everything was absolutely packed to the gills. So it looked perfect. The outward facing looked perfect. But every anything that was behind closed doors was chaos. I was even shocked. But it was all about keeping up the appearances, not necessarily the utility. I mean, putting in white carpet and white couches right as we were producing grandbabies. Come on.

Kathi (12:33.335)
Yeah.

Kathi (12:39.777)
Okay. So.

Kathi (12:53.299)
Right. So I think most people think when they think about perfectionists, they think about a house like your mom or at least what appeared to be your mom’s house. You know, why everything is perfect as soon as you use something it gets put away that kind of thing. But you and I have both experienced the other end of perfectionism and clutter.

Cheri Gregory (12:58.647)
Mm.

Cheri Gregory (13:03.538)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (13:17.474)
Hmm.

Kathi (13:19.551)
You know, what, how has that, how has your idea about perfectionism and clutter changed over the years?

Cheri Gregory (13:27.658)
Well, one of the things that’s really closely connected to perfectionism is procrastination, right? And so one of the things that I have learned that’s been so important, the whole idea of doing 15 minutes at a time has been really important in terms of breaking me away from the all or nothing thinking.

Kathi (13:34.986)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (13:49.582)
is that when I used to do those, because you’ve heard me, I’ve called you up before and been like, oh, I’m gutting my office this week, I’m gutting my whatever this week, I’m always using the word gutting, right? But it’s that all or nothing thinking. And one of the things I finally had to realize is that actually my brain and body remembers the way I treat it. And so when I don’t keep it doable for a human brain and body, which is that 15 minute chunk,

Kathi (14:00.066)
Ha ha

Cheri Gregory (14:19.794)
then my body is going to avoid allowing me to do what injured it last time. Because when we do these hours long days long things that kill us like you said because they do they kill our brains they kill our emotions they kill our relationships they are they’re hard on our bodies um what kicks in after that for me is procrastination and I used to think oh I’m being lazy oh I just need to push harder I need to try harder and I finally realized no actually this form of procrastination

Kathi (14:28.034)
Yeah.

Kathi (14:40.369)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (14:49.254)
is my body saying, no, we remember how you treated us the last time. We will not let you do to do that to us again. And so I’ve started actually, this is kind of a recent thing for me. I’ve started to actually trust my procrastination a little bit. I don’t mean massively, I just mean, oh, what are you trying to tell me? What memories are you holding on to that maybe I need to learn from? And recognizing that it has this incredibly self-preservation and protective purpose.

Kathi (14:53.019)
Yes, oh, so good. Yeah.

Kathi (15:04.363)
Mm-hmm. Right. Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (15:19.35)
And it’s helped me realize that some of those habits that can cause things to look good. And how many of us before family coming, before a holiday, before a major birthday party, you know, we’re like, okay, we’re all in, we’re going to do that perfectionistic rush of clean everything, spit, polish everything. Oh, by the way, let’s also hand make something and let’s paint something. And, you know, the home improvement kicks in. And then we are

Kathi (15:41.26)
Right.

Kathi (15:45.256)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (15:47.306)
And for those of us who might be slightly older or have some, you know, have fibromyalgia, or for those of us who are HSPs and our brains and bodies are like, ah, you know, the fact that we used to be able to pull it off when we were 20, doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Doesn’t mean that it has served us well. In fact, you know, I would love to hear from your listeners, Kathy. I would love to challenge your listeners.

Kathi (15:52.575)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:03.219)
Yes.

No.

Kathi (16:12.983)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (16:14.934)
to think about this and then to email you or to reach out to Facebook, whatever, okay? I would love for them to think back to a time that they did that, where at the moment they felt really super proud of themselves, right? Like there’s a high that comes from perfectionism, from pulling it all off, from doing the stash and dash. So everything has been thrown into the back room and everything looks so perfect and they pulled it all off.

Kathi (16:18.711)
Yeah.

Kathi (16:27.862)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:34.728)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (16:40.63)
But I’d challenge them to really spend a reflective 10 or 15 minutes thinking about the longer term cost of that. That moment of pride, did it really serve them in the long term? Did it really serve the people that were coming to the house? Did it really serve everybody who lived there? And when I look back at myself, I’m like, wow, that was nuts. Everybody cooperated because I was such a maniac, but the price was way too high.

Kathi (16:48.162)
Yeah.

Kathi (17:08.171)
Right.

Well, and I just think about those events, which, oh my goodness, I was the queen of stash and dash. I still work hard before an event, for having a retreat at our house or having a party or something like that, but it doesn’t feel like a massive push for a temporary fix. It feels like we’re actually putting things away

Cheri Gregory (17:36.353)
Oooo

Kathi (17:40.831)
we’re doing the things that are important, which is really, it’s a big turn in my life. But I also think about how exhausted I was when people finally got there. How, and how I tried to pretend that it wasn’t, that I was just, oh, that this all came naturally. None of it came naturally. I was near death.

Cheri Gregory (17:42.318)
Peace.

Cheri Gregory (17:53.806)
Hmm. Yes.

Cheri Gregory (18:06.414)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (18:08.611)
And I wanted people to leave early because I was exhausted. It’s a whole thing. And when we come back, because what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna stop this conversation this week and we’re gonna come back next week. And I wanna talk about, I have some more questions. How do we actually break these habits? And I love what you said about paying attention to the procrastination.

Cheri Gregory (18:31.202)
Hmm

Kathi (18:36.923)
And as you were talking about, you know, getting ready for company coming over and things like that, all I could think about were the other two points in our book, performanceism and people pleasing. Like we’re trying to make sure that everybody in our family, you know, our moms know that they raised a good girl because their house, the house is clean. We’re trying to make everybody else feel comfortable. Yeah. All those kind of things. And

Cheri Gregory (18:46.85)
Yep.

Kathi (19:02.519)
how do we break some of those habits? Because no, I don’t want to invite people over to a pit. Let me be very clear. That’s really important to me. But how do we start to deal with the layers so the big push isn’t so big and that we can have, we can not just have people in our house comfortably, but live in our house comfortably. So we’re gonna come back next week. Cheri, this has been a great discussion already.

Cheri Gregory (19:25.337)
Mm, I love it.

Kathi (19:30.539)
but we’re gonna come back with some practical answers in the coming days. Friends, you’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy. I’m Cathy Lip. Now, go create the clutter-free life you were always intended to live.

#599  Between Scarcity to Abundance: Understanding the Spectrum of Financial and Clutter Mindsets with Coach Stefania Mariaa Part 1

#599 Between Scarcity to Abundance: Understanding the Spectrum of Financial and Clutter Mindsets with Coach Stefania Mariaa Part 1

599 – Between Scarcity to Abundance: Understanding the Spectrum of Financial and Clutter Mindsets with Coach Stefania Mariaa Part 1

 

We all have a common struggle with clutter and how it makes us feel – but did you know those same emotions apply to our relationship with money?

Kathi Lipp and her guest, multidisciplinary coach and TikTok star Stefania Mariaa, have innovative and imaginative answers to the questions, “What is financial intimacy and why do I need it?” In this episode, Kathi and Stefania discuss ways to manage your personal finances and spending habits more deliberately and thoughtfully.

Tune in to learn:

  • Where do I stand on the spending spectrum?
  • How do I make my time, energy, and money count?
  • How does my inner teen influence my decisions?

Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

 

The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
noun
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.

Clutter Free Resources:

Which resource do you need the most help budgeting – time, energy, or money? Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Stefania Mariaa

Stefania Mariaa is a multidisciplinary coach guiding people back to their radiant and sovereign wealth without abandoning themselves for anything less.

Connect with Stefania Mariaa on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok @stefaniamariaa or @bank.membership, her website, or for her free teaching .

Transcript

Kathi (00:03.178)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And guys, if you’ve been listening to this podcast, if you’re part of the Facebook group, if you’re part of Clutter-Free for Life, you know that while we all struggle with clutter,

One of our other common struggles in this group, and if you’ve heard about my upbringing, you know it was for me as well, is money, our relationship with money. And guys, I am so excited to introduce you to a new friend, but I’ve been following her on TikTok for a while. You guys, her name is Stephania Maria, and she is a multi-disciplinary coach. Okay, I could barely say it, so she’s gonna have to explain what that is.

Her take on money is so interesting and so different and I knew it would resonate with all of you. I’m going to, in the show notes, I’m gonna put every way you can connect with her. She has something free for you at the end. But Stefania, welcome to Clutterfree Academy.

Stefania Mariaa (01:20.133)
Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Kathi (01:23.138)
I’m so excited for this conversation because you know lots of times when I’m talking to people who are money experts No, no we have not lived the same life we don’t understand each other They don’t understand why I live the way I do I I’ve never been able to live the way they have and it just is it’s almost never

a productive conversation. And then I saw you talking about, you were using words like financial intimacy, and you were using words like spending by proxy. And that’s the one that I’m like, okay, this girl is coming on the podcast, I don’t care what I have to do, I’m going to hunt her down. So you have a very unique view on money. You even say you don’t do traditional finance, but you look at the relationship,

we have with money and the connection between your things like spending habits, emotions, and energy. Can you explain a little bit of that? Because I feel like we talk so much in our group about the relationship and the emotions we have around our clutter, our things. But you also say that that’s around money. So can you explain what you mean by that?

Stefania Mariaa (02:47.685)
Yes, I mean, loaded question, but absolutely. Yeah, so money and the way that we relate to money is really an extension of what is going on internally. And I’m sure we’ve all heard the conversation around, like, the clutter in your home is reflective of the clutter in your mind. The way that we interact with our finances, whether it’s from a place of scarcity, feeling like there’s not enough.

Kathi (02:50.011)
Huge question, you know, just take the next 45 minutes. It’s fine

Stefania Mariaa (03:17.545)
also from a place of abundance, feeling as if we’ll always have access to more. Both of those in my world are actual extremes that deny the truth that lies in the opposition. Okay. So what I mean by that is that our relationship to money has to be true. It has to be honest. It has to be vulnerable and has to be personally transparent.

Kathi (03:31.497)
Okay.

Kathi (03:44.224)
Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (03:44.805)
And that’s why I call it financial intimacy, because you have to be intimate enough with yourself to determine if the way that you’re using money or the way that you’re not using money is honest, or if it’s really a projection of an internal dynamic that you’re working through.

Kathi (04:01.43)
Yeah, it’s so interesting that you talk about scarcity and abundance because we always think of abundance as a good thing, but okay, so I understand perfectly the scarcity mindset. It’s why when I find a shirt that I like, I go buy six of them because what if they run out? What if I can never get this shirt again? You guys, I don’t do that anymore because I live by the principles of clutter-free, but.

I could see where people do, you know, it’s buying groceries at the store when you have the money, even if those are, you know, and they’re on sale, even if you’re not going to cook those right, you know, it’s those kind of things. But tell me more about money and abundance because yeah, like right now, my husband and I are in our highest earning potential that we’ve never ever been in. You know, we’ve got

you know, we’ve got some extra. What does that do to our mindset when we’re in that abundance?

Kathi (05:14.43)
So what does that do to our relationship with our money?

Stefania Mariaa (05:27.109)
Absolutely. So the first thing to recognize is that the way that I look at it is that scarcity and abundance are on the same spectrum. They’re just opposite sides of it. So on the scarcity side, we have so much attention to saying that I’m not going to have another dollar.

Kathi (05:41.246)
Mm-hmm. Right.

Stefania Mariaa (05:42.469)
But then on the flip side, there’ll always be another dollar. But if we pedestalize any one mindset, we also have to omit the negatives aspects of it.

Kathi (05:53.606)
Okay, so explain those to me.

Stefania Mariaa (05:54.749)
Okay. So absolutely. So when we have scarcity, if we’re hyper-focused on scarcity, we’ll say, oh my gosh, I don’t know if I’m ever gonna get another dollar or another can or another pair of shoes. I need to go buy six sets or whatever the case might be. Like there’s a freak out, a panic that happens. It denies the reality that you will always have access to more. Like there’s just a fundamental truth. Like you will always have the ability to get another can.

Kathi (06:00.226)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:12.907)
Right.

Kathi (06:18.982)
Mm-hmm, right. Yes.

Kathi (06:25.194)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (06:26.825)
And for some who are coming from a history of maybe their parents or they themselves came from poverty, it’s like, no, no. There is a chance that we may never have another opportunity to buy a good pair of shoes. Right? So scarcity is very much a part of their lived reality in the past. But today, there is still an opportunity. There’s always going to be tomorrow. There’s always going to be this chance for you to get whatever you need in the present moment.

Kathi (06:34.412)
No.

Kathi (06:39.803)
Right.

Kathi (06:45.44)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:51.381)
Yeah.

Mm-hmm, right. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (06:55.209)
if you’re operating from presence. So over-reliance on scarcity denies the truth of abundance that you will always have access to more.

Kathi (07:05.055)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (07:06.381)
But when we go over to the other side and we over rely on abundance, it says, oh, I’ll always have more. This is actually the place where extraction patterns exist.

Kathi (07:11.68)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:16.671)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (07:18.174)
So what it says is, oh, I don’t have to be responsible for this dollar, I’ll always get another dollar.

Kathi (07:25.714)
Oh, so I can spend on things. I can stop paying attention to my money. Like I don’t have to check my, you know, oh, so what if I have streaming services I don’t use? Because I can always make more money.

Stefania Mariaa (07:31.34)
Exactly.

Stefania Mariaa (07:43.013)
I can always make more money. And what you’ll find is a lot of the people who really push this abundance mindset, they actually lack financial intimacy. Cause if I were to ask them, how much does your life cost per month? They have no idea.

Kathi (07:55.478)
They don’t know. Yeah, yeah. Oh.

Stefania Mariaa (07:57.465)
but what they know is that they can still make money and that their bills are covered. It’s like, yeah, but you don’t know where your money’s going. And the reason why this becomes a problem is that when you meet these, like, you know, I’m gonna throw out some celebrity names here, but like Steve Harvey, Dana Carvey, 50 Cent, all of them had this tremendous ability to make money, but they lost millions of dollars through false hires, through poor accountants, through whatever.

Kathi (08:11.822)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (08:27.501)
because they weren’t intimate enough with their financial reality to say, hey, where’s this money going? Because they just had this beautiful, tremendous ability to make more money. So they ended up having these crazy financial leaks. And so abundance denies the truth of scarcity that this dollar matters.

Kathi (08:27.738)
Yeah.

Kathi (08:33.792)
Yeah.

Kathi (08:40.962)
Yes.

Kathi (08:48.822)
You know, you probably weren’t even born when this happened, but I remember a conversation between Oprah Winfrey, and I think it was Toni Braxton, and she had somebody very close to her, I think it was a relative, who embezzled just almost all of her money. And Oprah said, this is why I sign every check. This is why I’ve got my eyes on every…

dollar. It’s not that Oprah has to be counting the tens of dollars, but the tens of dollars are a sign. You know, there’s an old saying, watch your pennies and your dollars will mind themselves, something like that. And it’s so it’s so true that we don’t want to become scrooge-like or miserly or ungenerous.

Stefania Mariaa (09:34.518)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (09:44.272)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (09:46.146)
but I would rather my money be going to the animal shelter than to a streaming service I don’t watch. And so, yeah. So let me ask you this. On the other end of the scale, the scarcity scale, scarcity side of the scale, those are the words I’m trying to tell. So I grew up with an unemployed, my dad was unemployed for much of my childhood. My mom, you know.

Stefania Mariaa (09:54.818)
Right.

Kathi (10:13.598)
It’s so funny how often shoes become a part of this conversation. I think shoes are a real symbol for people. But my mom, I remember, was wearing cardboard in the bottom of her shoes because she couldn’t afford new ones. You know, like those are the things I always remember. And so when you say there’s always the ability to get another dollar, I’m like, but what if I can’t? Like, that is always my initial reaction. And so how do you overcome that kind of

Stefania Mariaa (10:38.073)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (10:42.222)
thinking that kind of re I mean it’s really trauma is really what it is. So how do you start to heal from that trauma?

Stefania Mariaa (10:47.141)
Absolutely.

Stefania Mariaa (10:52.773)
So one of the things that I, and I teach this as like a foundational lesson in all bodies of work that come through the financial intimacy curriculum, but it’s the principle of sovereign participation.

Kathi (11:05.671)
Okay, explain that.

Stefania Mariaa (11:07.573)
Yeah. So it’s rooted in the practice that you are a sovereign being. You are the supreme and ultimate authority over what takes place in your 3D reality. Okay. So if we operate from this lens of, but what if I can’t make another dollar? It requires you to not participate in the making of another dollar.

Kathi (11:17.504)
Okay.

Kathi (11:23.255)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:28.4)
Mmm, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (11:30.413)
So already you are opting out of life based of fear, history, generational trauma, whatever the case is. And I’m of the mindset of, we can try to heal our trauma for the rest of our lives. And ultimately the question is, are you still gonna be a participant in your life today, even if you’re not healed?

Kathi (11:33.82)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:39.757)
Yeah.

Kathi (11:46.215)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:53.51)
Okay, so making choices even if you’re not fully healed, but making healing choices. Okay, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (12:00.213)
Exactly. Right? Because, you know, I also grew up very underprivileged on the wrong side of the tracks by definition and by geography. And one of the things that was really clear was, you know, my dad would go buy work shoes, but he was replacing them every like three months because he was buying these cheaper work shoes because he couldn’t afford something more.

Kathi (12:07.516)
Right?

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (12:25.358)
I don’t… Right.

Right.

Stefania Mariaa (12:30.901)
And to this day, I still watch my dad repeat to himself, I can’t afford something more. I can’t afford the better quality.

Kathi (12:36.706)
Hmm.

Kathi (12:40.056)
Right.

Stefania Mariaa (12:41.301)
And I’m actually quite, for lack of better terms, triggering to my dad because I’ve completely removed myself from a lot of those conversations. Because the way that I look at it is, well, how can you participate today where getting the thing that you actually need that is more of service to your life isn’t an obstacle, but an opportunity. Every limitation is an invitation.

Kathi (12:49.027)
Right.

Kathi (12:58.572)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (13:02.994)
Right. Because… yeah.

Yeah, because if I mean, and again, how funny that shoes come up, right? This is core to those of us who didn’t have money growing up. We knew like you didn’t, clothes you could kind of slide on, but shoes were really important. People know like I have a core story about as a single mom buying my son shoes that has guided this whole conversation. But you know,

I’m not going to use your dad as an example, but to buy those work boots, if he was able to put aside or if somebody was able to put aside a dollar a day for a year, even while wearing the cheap shoes, by the end of the year, you have $365 where you can get the shoes that will last maybe a year. It changes the whole dynamic of what we do.

Stefania Mariaa (14:01.221)
Exactly.

Kathi (14:06.514)
And so instead of getting credit and having to pay for something that you purchased and recover from that, if you can get ahead of that, my husband and I have different accounts where we put money in to save up for things that we want in the future instead of recovering from the past. And that has really healed some of my inner, we were not.

but we struggled hard. So it’s my inner struggling child. And to be able to do that, I think that’s so fascinating. So tell me, I would love to know from you, what is the definition of financial intimacy?

Stefania Mariaa (14:50.061)
Yeah, so I’ve redefined it because I didn’t like the current way that it’s interacted. So traditionally financial intimacy is the intimacy between partners, right? It’s a husband, a wife, whatever dynamic you’re in, discussing your financial matters. I think that is kind of a useless experience of financial intimacy because people don’t know how to be honest about their finances with themselves.

Kathi (14:54.092)
Okay.

Kathi (14:59.713)
Right.

Kathi (15:05.45)
Yes.

Kathi (15:15.968)
Oh, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (15:18.157)
So to become financially intimate is your own personal relationship to being honest, to being transparent, to be vulnerable with yourself about what your life requires in terms of its resources. Because even in my work, I don’t just talk about money. I talk about time and energy, because those are all resources in our life. And if we’re only ever focused on money, we’re gonna lose time and energy to live the life we want.

Kathi (15:47.034)
It’s so true, right? I’m not exaggerating when I say just two hours ago, I was teaching in Clutter Free for Life. And we were talking, we’re recording this in November, even though it’s going up in January, where we know lots of people are focusing on their money. So you guys, I got you, we’re gonna do this in January. But we were talking about, you have three resources, time, energy, and money. And you have other resources too, like creativity and things like that.

Stefania Mariaa (16:12.707)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:16.278)
But time, energy, and money are the ones that you are constantly balancing and you are overdrawn on. It’s very easy to become overdrawn in any of those. And we have budgets for each of those three resources. We have only so much time, we have only so much money. And as I get older, I realize that my energy needs to be budgeted. And so I love that you’re speaking in these terms. This is amazing.

Stefania Mariaa (16:32.173)
Absolutely.

Stefania Mariaa (16:46.465)
Yeah, it’s totally aligned, right? One of the things that I find so interesting about it is that we often talk about financial debt.

Kathi (16:48.573)
Right.

Kathi (16:55.594)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (16:57.185)
We don’t talk about temporal or energetic debt, but temporal debt, when you’re debted to the clock, that’s where obligation comes in. That’s where self-sacrifice comes in. That’s where martyrdom comes in, right? If we’re in debt energetically, that’s where burnout exists. That’s where hustle culture exists. And I’m not against debt. I’m gonna be very clear, okay? Because debt was a bet.

Kathi (17:00.362)
No, we don’t.

Kathi (17:05.109)
Yeah.

Kathi (17:08.798)
Yes.

Kathi (17:14.987)
Right.

Kathi (17:21.536)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (17:26.559)
on your future self.

Kathi (17:28.352)
Hmm, interesting, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (17:30.637)
Right? It is saying that you will become the kind of person who can repay this. Doesn’t matter what you pay for.

Kathi (17:35.834)
Okay, I’ve never heard that before, interesting.

Stefania Mariaa (17:40.329)
Yeah, it doesn’t matter what you’ve used debt to pay for, whether it’s a house or a pair of shoes, right? Like it doesn’t actually matter because debt is just a bet on you. That you are going to be the person who you need to be for your life to pay it back.

Kathi (17:45.332)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (17:58.157)
The issue is that financial debt is actually the easiest to manage.

Kathi (18:04.67)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (18:05.357)
because once you start getting into temporal or energetic debt.

They’re very unforgiving.

Kathi (18:13.374)
Yes. And when you get into energy debt, that’s when your health starts to be affected. And that is when and I really think time debt is when temporal debt is when your relationships become affected because you’re paying the clock on things that are not important to you.

Stefania Mariaa (18:21.642)
Exactly.

Stefania Mariaa (18:31.673)
Absolutely.

Stefania Mariaa (18:37.829)
Exactly. Now my question would be, how can someone be wealthy if they have all the money in the world, but they are in time and energy debt?

Kathi (18:47.922)
No, no. And you know why this aligns so beautifully with clutter is because when we have clutter, and I define clutter as things you don’t use, love or would buy again. Like if you have a messy desk, somebody told me I have a messy desk because I’m researching my ancestry.com. And she goes, it brings me great joy. And I said, I do not believe that’s clutter. I believe that that’s bringing you great joy.

But if you have a lot of things around you that you don’t love, you don’t use, and you wouldn’t buy again, that is costing you time because you can’t find the things that you actually use and love. It’s costing you energy because you can’t go to bed without taking everything off your bed in order to sleep in it. And it’s costing you money because you can’t find the things you need.

And so you’re back at the dollar store or Walmart or Target, depending on, or even Macy’s or Nordstrom, depending on your economics, your money, back stock, but we wanna be wise with our resources. We want to be that person who knows where our time, energy and money is going. Okay, this is such a great conversation that we cannot do it.

in one episode. We’ve already maxed our, we’re already in debt to our episode friend. Look at us. But you know what? That’s okay because we believed in this episode and we are going to do so. But I do before we before we go, Stefania, you, I mean everybody can find you at financial, financiallyintimate.com and we’ll put those links in there. But tell me about the teen money masterclass.

Stefania Mariaa (20:18.405)
Bye!

Kathi (20:41.563)
listening to this, have teenagers in their lives. Why teen money? Why not old person money, Stefania? Because we need help too, why teen?

Stefania Mariaa (20:50.861)
Well, because this isn’t actually for teenagers.

Kathi (20:55.33)
Good. Okay. Tell me more Inner Teen that’s right. I’ve heard you talk about this. This is so good We’ll talk about more this more in the next episode, but go ahead. Tell us what it is

Stefania Mariaa (20:56.838)
Yeah, so the-

Stefania Mariaa (21:01.069)
Yes! Okay, so- I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Absolutely. So inner teen money master class, which I affectionately call burn book to bank book because I’m a millennial that watched Mean Girls in high school. But the reason being is we often talk about healing our money wounds. And everyone wants to talk about our inner child, right? All of the money beliefs that were superimposed from our parents in what we were growing up in. But the reality is most of our actual money beliefs that get

Kathi (21:13.166)
Hahaha!

Kathi (21:21.342)
Yes.

Stefania Mariaa (21:34.873)
projected out into reality, are from our inner teens.

Because during our teenage years, we’re just learning what autonomy is. We’re just learning how to be mini adults, but we’re not adult. We’re still underdeveloped mentally. We’re starting to get our first jobs. And we’re dealing with these inner child wounds that never got addressed. And so between ages of 14 and honestly like 22, but like I say 14 to 19, we’re creating our…

Kathi (21:51.309)
Right.

Stefania Mariaa (22:10.261)
Oh, narratives that may be in rebellion to what we were raised in, or conformity to what we are raised in. Both are opposite sides of the spectrum. Now I talk a lot about these spectrums where one side denies the truth and the opposition. Ultimately, what financial intimacy allows me to do is guide you back to what’s in the center. What’s in the center of scarcity of abundance is reverence. What’s in the center of

Kathi (22:22.872)
Yeah.

Kathi (22:33.922)
Mmm.

Kathi (22:37.745)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (22:39.597)
conformity and rebellion, autonomy. So if you are really reverent, a deep embodied sense of respect for the autonomous individual you are, there are certain ways that you are going to use your money, your time and your energy that are an extension of that self-respect rather than a reaffirmation of the belief systems that actually harm you. And so in the money masterclass,

Kathi (22:42.623)
Oof.

Kathi (22:49.243)
Mm-hmm

Kathi (23:04.894)
I love this. I love this. Steph- Go ahead.

Stefania Mariaa (23:09.617)
I take you through kind of the process of why this is so important to look at. And it really is an opportunity for you to explore, well, do I actually want to become financially intimate and look at these pieces of my money story? Or am I going to continuously re-inflict these really painful practices, these really behavioral habits, behaviors that are quite painful for me? And that is just a, it’s a free class. It’s like…

Kathi (23:13.602)
Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (23:37.217)
I think it’s like 30 minutes long. So it’s not very long at all, but it is one of those like mini courses that really allow you to tap into parts of yourself that we do not as a society spend any time with. Like the fact that anybody is working on their money stuff and not looking at their inner team, mind boggling to me.

Kathi (23:40.148)
Yeah.

Kathi (23:55.178)
Wow, that’s so interesting. And as you’re just talking about it, my teenage years were the most broke years in my family. It was surrounding the most money stress. And I think that’s the issue for a lot of people. And if you’re thinking, why did I buy that? Why did I spend money on that when I needed to pay a bill and I decided to do something different? If you have any of that, why did I do that?

This sounds like such a great place to start. Stefania, thank you so much for being here today and thank you for coming back next week because we’ve got more to talk about.

Stefania Mariaa (24:34.329)
I am so excited.

Kathi (24:36.13)
Okay, and friends, if you enjoyed this episode, if it revealed something about yourself, if it’s something that could help someone you know, you know, take a moment and share the podcast with friends or loved one on our own social media. We would love for the word to get out about what Stefania is doing and about how that relates to our money and our clutter. Friends, thank you for joining us. You’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. And now go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

#585 Designing for Decision Fatigue: Minimal Choices, Maximum Freedom

#585 Designing for Decision Fatigue: Minimal Choices, Maximum Freedom

585: Designing for Decision Fatigue: Minimal Choices, Maximum Freedom

Welcome to Part 3 of the Abundant Home Conference series! In this segment, Kathi and her guest Amy Betters-Midtvedt talk about having a neurodiverse family and how having a brain that processes differently affects how people declutter. Together they discuss:

  • The process of body doubling: helping someone complete a project like decluttering by completing pieces of that project for them while training them to take over the entire process eventually 
  • Why it’s important to decide on systems like organization and decluttering as a team
  • Chaotic creativity and why not everything needs to be special all the time

If you missed Part 1 of their conversation, Why Just in Case Is a Trap or Part 2 Fear, Finances, and Finding Peace: Decluttering Your Mind and Home, click the link. Be sure to sign up here and be notified when the next podcast episode drops.

This conversation is a small excerpt from the Abundant Home Conference – a half-day conference held exclusively for members of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free for Life membership community. Are you ready to take the next step in your decluttering journey? The step-by-step plan inside Clutter Free for Life can guide you, and the community you find there will encourage you to keep going. It’s time to change the way you think about your home and your stuff! Click here to learn more and join us today, for only $24.99 per month.

The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
noun
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.

Kathi and Amy talked about offering less choices as a way to create less barriers between their people and systems. For example, two muffin choices for breakfast and not 25 muffin choices!

Question: If you could have two muffin choices for breakfast, what would you choose?

 

Let’s stay connected

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  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
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Meet Our Guest 

 

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator and mom of 5. Her passions include piling on the couch with her family to binge watch the Office, buying all the books she possibly can, trying to finish a conversation with her husband without being interrupted and writing to help people find the joy in their everyday lives.

You can connect with Amy at amybettersmidtvedt.com. 

Transcript