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Transcript: One Mindset Shift to Boost Your Productivity with Dina Cataldo
You know what we teach our young lawyers. We teach them that the beatings are going to continue until morale improves. That's a quote that hung on the wall of my office break area for years, lawyers are notorious for not only beating ourselves up to be more productive, but helping teach and foster this culture of beating ourselves up into submission until we get more work done, we're going to change that.
We're going to talk about exactly how to create more productivity, but from a place of not being stressed out and not beating ourselves up when we're not creating the result that we want. That is the opposite thing we need to do in order to create what we want to create in our lives today, I'm going to tell you a story about one mindset shift. I made to boost my productivity and get clarity on what I wanted in my life. It's the same one. My clients learn to foster and to use in their own lives, in their own practices to create more time, to be more productive within that time. And I want to share with you this mindset shift, because it is something that is going to change your life. If you're not implementing it right now, it is something that most of us do not learn.
And it's something that we all should be doing anyway, because it is that simple. And it is that perfect for ourselves. The very first thing I want to get into though, is to spotlight one of my clients who has been killing it when it comes to increasing her productivity and reducing her stress levels at the same time, even in the midst of a pandemic. Well, my client Nancy told me she doubled her billable hours. Last week. She was more focused and diligent about saying no to a last minute client who she referred out. And this is a huge win for someone who is a workaholic and wants to just keep working and serving to the best of her ability. But she recognizes that she can't serve to the best of her ability when she's spreading herself. So thin a big part of the success that she's had was being really diligent in watching how she felt and doing a lot of what we're going to talk about here today.
So way to go, Nancy, I can't wait to see what else you're going to do. So if you want to learn how you can work with me to make this kind of change in your life, you can book a free strategy session. We will create a game plan for you, and we will uncover some barriers to achieving what you want along the way that you may not have even known about before. Go to Dina, cataldo.com forward slash strategy session. To set up a time to talk with me. That's Dinacataldo.com/strategysession.
Now let's begin changing everything in your life with what might seem like a tiny little shift. Let me set the scene first here, cause this is important. This is how I discovered this little mindset shift and it is a gem and it's probably something you've heard a million times, but you may not be implementing it right now because you don't recognize the value that it has.
So I had a five year plan going into my legal practice. I would be a lawyer for five years and while practicing as a trial attorney, I would also study for the foreign service exam. I loved traveling. I had studied abroad in Egypt for a year, and I knew that this was something that I found intriguing. And of course me thinking I'm the smartest person in the room wants to join the foreign service because that's where all the smarty pants are. So I had stacks of books and study materials, just stacked in my dining room. I would come home from a day at the office. This just exhausted. And maybe I would read a little bit, but more often than not. I'd feel really sorry for myself. And then I would crash on the couch, watching the news and eating potato chips. I felt sorry for myself because I had this desire that I wasn't taking massive action on.
And I felt incredibly guilty about it. I was taking a lot of passive action, but zero massive action. And I had this thought that isn't this what I really want to do? Why am I not taking any action on it? Why am I doing nothing on it? And I was beating myself up constantly. Every time I looked at that stack of papers and books, I just thought to myself, ah, I have to do that. Like I have to do it. And I would never take any action on it. And then about 2.5 year, 2.5 of my five year plan. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And during the time off for chemo, I decided to do everything differently. I was going to eat better. I was going to start yoga, really start taking care of myself, the best that I could. And I did that.
I bought cookbook books. I learned how to make things that I'd never made before. A big difference from the microwaveable foods had been eating for years and the lack of, you know, doing anything physically that I enjoyed. So one day I was walking to my yoga studio and I just started crying. I mean, out of nowhere. And it was like a public cry in a residential area. But during that cry, I decided I didn't want to join the foreign service. I had held onto that dream for so long. So it really surprised me that I was just letting it go and it hurt. But the truth was, I didn't want to be told where to live and I didn't want to lose in a part of the world for years at a time away from my friends and family. And I didn't want to possibly we live in a place without running water.
So this decision, this clearheaded guilt-free thinking that I had was a result of one mindset shift. And even though the decision was painful because it brought along all those feelings I'd had over the years of what I thought I should be doing with my life. It was also this incredible relief. It was recognizing that that was not the right direction for me. What I didn't realize during that time is that when I started caring for myself, I started caring about myself. Let me say that one more time. When I started caring for myself, I started caring about myself. I had a thought that I wanted to start caring for myself and in the process of doing all the things I learned to love myself. So many of you, so many of you also struggle loving yourself. And I know that because I talked to my lawyer, clients who beat themselves up for the tiniest things are type a perfectionist tendencies, seem to bring out this habit.
And it's a habit that doesn't serve us. It's beating ourselves up with the idea that we will do better, be more productive, be better humans. If we be rate ourselves, loving myself, allowed me to think about what I really wanted. Then act on it. Be rating myself only made me freeze and indecision. Part of me also felt guilty. Like I had wasted a colossal amount of time just spinning in this passive action around that goal. But I knew too that it was in my best interest to let it go totally release it. And that shift from guilt to understanding was having compassion for myself. That's the mindset shift I want you to get here, have compassion for yourself. When I understood the power of this shift to having more compassion for myself, I began extending it to everything. In fact, it's like, I couldn't even help it because once I started doing it, I couldn't stop doing it.
I started seeing it everywhere. I started extending it to the way I managed my calendar. I didn't want to like anything for a Friday night or cram task after task in a one hour period. And I wanted to have a calendar. I wanted to have something that I could look at and plan ahead for myself. So I wasn't flying by the seat of my pants. So I was getting done what I said I was going to get done. And it changed how I talked to myself generally. And especially when I saw myself procrastinating and I talked about this in the last episode, how it helped me move through my distractions quicker. And it also helped me really decide how to plan my week. When I planned my week, I created more time to move, to learn things to play. And it made a difference in the boundaries I made around work to ensure it didn't take over my life.
And that's exactly what Nancy did by referring a matter out. So once you start practicing, having compassion for yourself, you get into this habit. It begins spreading into everything that you do. And pretty soon you find yourself being happier and more productive go figure, right? This is pretty much the opposite of what most lawyers do. So where do you hear yourself beating yourself up? Where do you find yourself be rating yourself? And most of all, and this is really important. Where do you find this showing up in your practice, around the new attorneys who are coming up in the law? Because if we keep, you know, giving this momentum to this thought that the beatings will continue until the morale improves, then we're never going to change the legal profession. So here's some questions to start asking yourself when it shows up for you and maybe it'll start helping you think through how you can mentor other lawyers when it comes up.
When you start seeing it show up for young attorneys, when do these beatings happen the most? What could you say to yourself instead? Okay. Some suggestions ask yourself, how would this be different? If I was nicer to myself, what would this look like? An assignment, whatever you have going on, what would this look like? If it were easier? What's the one thing I can do today to show myself that I love myself. And here's one last thing I want to leave you with. You are 100% lovable. Exactly. As you are, you don't need to work harder to be more lovable. I love you. And there is nothing you can do about it. All right? I hope you have a wonderful week. I hope you take this to heart and I will talk to you soon. Bye. If you love what you're learning on the podcast, imagine how you'll evolve. When you start implementing what you're learning, you can learn how to work with me to do just that by scheduling a free strategy session, go to dinacataldo.com. That's dinacataldo.com. Talk to you soon.