Peaceful Productivity

In this week’s episode we sit down with Anne Rajoo to explore the concept of Peaceful Productivity. Anne shares the necessary mindset shifts to move from constant busyness to a more serene and effective work approach. We delve into practical strategies for identifying needle-moving actions, delegating tasks, and removing distractions, as well as essential advice for setting and maintaining boundaries between work and rest.

Anne also highlights the importance of self-care in sustaining productivity and offers her recommended practices.

Additionally, we cover how delegation can future-proof your business and how to view a Virtual Assistant as an investment in growth and peace rather than a cost.

This episode aims to inspire and guide quietly rebellious entrepreneurs towards being more efficient while maintaining peace of mind, in line with humane marketing principles.

"I love being productive, but the way I've been doing it was just not working at all. Something was missing and that's the peaceful part … it's not always working properly and it can definitely be improved and changed." – Anne… Share on X

In this episode we talked about:

  • Anne’s definition of Peaceful Productivity
  • The necessary mindset shifts to move from constant busyness to peaceful productivity
  • Strategies for identifying needle-moving actions and delegating or removing distractions
  • Advice for setting and maintaining boundaries between work and rest
  • The importance of self-care in sustaining productivity, and recommended practices
  • How delegation can help future-proof our businesses
  • Shifting perspective to see a VA not as a cost, but as an investment in growth and peace
  • And so much more

Watch this episode on YouTube

Anne’s Resources

Anne’s Website

Anne’s Virtual Assistant Agency

The Wheel of Peaceful Productivity (PDF)

Follow Anne on LinkedIn

Follow Anne on Facebook

Sarah’s Resources

(FREE) Sarah’s One Page Marketing Plan

(FREE) The Humane Business Manifesto

(FREE) Gentle Confidence Mini-Course

Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s book

The Humane Marketing Circle

Authentic & Fair Pricing Mini-Course

Podcast Show Notes

We use Descript to edit our episodes and it’s fantastic!

Email Sarah at

Thanks for listening!

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Peaceful Productivity

Sarah: [00:00:00] Hello, Humane Marketers. Welcome back to the Humane Marketing Podcast, the place to be for the generation of marketers that cares. This is a show where we talk about running your business in a way that feels good to you, is aligned with your values, and also resonates with today’s conscious customers because it’s humane, ethical, and non pushy.

I’m Sarah Zanacroce, your hippie turned business coach for quietly rebellious entrepreneurs and marketing impact pioneers. Mama bear of the humane marketing circle and renegade author of marketing like we’re human and selling like we’re human. If after listening to the show for a while, you’re ready to move on to the next level and start implementing and would welcome a community of like minded people.

Quietly rebellious entrepreneurs who discuss with transparency what works and what doesn’t work in business. Then we’d love to welcome you in our humane marketing circle. If you’re picturing your [00:01:00] typical Facebook group, let me paint a new picture for you. This is a closed community of like minded entrepreneurs from all over the world who come together once per month in a zoom circle workshop.

To hold each other accountable and build their business in a sustainable way. We share with transparency and vulnerability what works for us and what doesn’t work, so that you can figure out what works for you, instead of keep throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. Find out more at Humane dot marketing forward slash circle.

And if you prefer one on one support from me, my humane business coaching could be just what you need, whether it’s for your marketing sales, general business building, or help with your big idea, like writing a book, I’d love to share my brain and my heart with you together with my almost 15 years business experience and help you grow a sustainable business that is joyful and sustainable.

If you love this [00:02:00] podcast, wait until I show you my mama bear qualities as my one on one client. You can find out more at humane. marketing forward slash coaching. And finally, if you are a marketing impact pioneer and would like to bring humane marketing to your organization, have a look at my offers and workshops on my website at humane.


Welcome back friends. Today I’m talking to Anne Rajoux about peaceful productivity. I put it under partnership because you’re either partnering with yourself to be more productive or you’re delegating some tasks and partnering with someone else. Before I tell you a bit more about Anne, just a quick plug and reminder that if you’re listening to this on the day that it comes out, June 28th, you have two more days to take advantage of the 400 off with the super early bird for the Marketing Like We’re Human [00:03:00] program.

As of June August 22nd, I’ll take another cohort through my flagship program that goes really deep into creating your foundational marketing clarity by starting with yourself and bringing more of you to your marketing. And that’s actually not just for Beginning entrepreneurs, often the people who come to the program, they’re already two or three years in, because it’s something that we kind of don’t have time when we’re first starting out.

We’re just putting quickly our website together and, you know, then immediately go on Facebook or LinkedIn or Instagram. And we forget about that foundational clarity, especially making sure that it. It comes from within. It comes from who we are. So it really is a transformational program that helps you grow into that person that achieves the goals that you set yourself.

People ask me about the outcomes. [00:04:00] Yes. You know, it’s about resonance with clients and yes, you will get more clients because you grow into that person that can get more clients. So it’s about marketing, but it’s so much more. It’s so much deeper. Have a look at the details humane dot marketing forward slash program and you find an orange button there to book a call with me Do that as soon as possible Again, if you’re listening before June 30th You should get the 400 off and if you’re listening to this in July, you still benefit from the early bird, which is 200 of the group rate and of course if you’re Since you’re listening to this podcast, you’re really already familiar with the seven Ps and that’s what we go into depth in, and it’s a hybrid program, so there’s a, a video piece to the program with extensive workbooks.

I’ve worked on this program for a whole year in 2019, ran through it with three [00:05:00] beta groups, so it’s a solid. Really a solid program. And you can see that in the case studies and testimonials that you find on this page. I’d love to have you in the group. I think if you’re listening to this podcast, you know what humane marketing is all about.

You know that, you know, we’re creating change and to create that change, well, you need to bring it out there into your marketing, your worldview, your values, more of you, all of that. Okay, back to Anne. So Anne is a creative force behind peaceful productivity with the goal to guide dynamic and ambitious women on a journey towards a mindful mastery of work and life, reshaping the way we perceive productivity.

Additionally, she’s the founder of virtual Virtufully a boutique launch VA agency that empowers female entrepreneurs to introduce their products, services, and [00:06:00] programs in a peaceful yet impactful way with support, compassion, and integrity. Anne’s dream of living an extraordinary life has brought her from a tiny village in East Germany to London and eight years ago to Mauritius, where she lives with her husband and two boys.

She’s on a mission to join forces to redefine success and create a harmonious blend of professional achievement and success. And personal fulfillment and, and I talked about humane business and, you know, what that means for her. And I’m going to include her story in, in the new book that’s coming up. And then from there.

We’re like, she, she was telling me about peaceful productivity and you can tell from the bio that our worldviews are just so much aligned. So in this episode, we talked about Anne’s definition of peaceful productivity, the necessary mindset shifts to move from [00:07:00] constant busyness to peacefulness. To peaceful productivity strategies for identifying needle moving actions and delegating or removing distractions advice for setting and maintaining boundaries between work and rest, the importance of self care in sustaining productivity and recommended practices, how delegation can help future proof our businesses, and then shifting perspective to see a VA not as a cost, but But as an investment in growth and peace, I hope you’ll enjoy this episode as much as Anne and I enjoyed recording it.

Hi Anne, how are you? It’s so good to have you on the podcast.

Anne: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here, Sarah.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s lovely to have you. And this, as we were sharing before we hit record this topic of peaceful productivity, I think [00:08:00] it’s just so needed right now. You and I had a little conversation about the third book that I’m writing about business, like we’re human and how that really fits in with peaceful productivity.

Right. And that’s why I, I wanted to have this conversation with you. So why don’t you start by sharing how you define peaceful productivity? Like, what does that

Anne: mean for you? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, this is, it’s so interesting. It’s, it’s still very much an evolving concept and journey for myself, but really it’s, it’s this intersection between the doing and creating the output and achieving the goals that we’ve set, creating the input that we’re here in the world to, to create, but also maybe not doing as much and doing more in the sense of enjoying life and enjoying the moment, being present, really tuning into what lights [00:09:00] me up and what are things that I don’t really like to do or want to do and, and, and focusing on this mix.

Yes. Okay. We, we have to create some sort of work and maybe have a routine and, and have some outcome, but at the same time, there’s more to being productive than just showing, oh, I hit my goals. I’ve ticked the boxes. I’ve crossed out all the to do’s on my list, because at the end of the day, if we don’t have that balance, Then we often hit burnout.

So many people have gone through that. I’ve gone through that myself several times. So it’s this mixture of the doing that being, and, and just changing the mindset about what it means to be productive.

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. I love that so much. And I think there’s, there’s so much pressure. On this productivity, you know, yes, you were sharing just before that you were in a corporate job.

And so there’s the, that kind of [00:10:00] pressure there where, you know, productivity is linked to how you climb up the ladder, but then funnily enough, most entrepreneurs then take that with them into entrepreneurship. Right. And it’s not like we say, Oh, now I’m, I’m my own boss and now I can, you know, decide how I’m going to be productive.

No, we still have this idea of, no, I need to work at least eight, if not 10 hours per day and do all of these things. So. It’s, it’s so true. It’s really this mindset shift that we, we need to, we need to make in order to, yeah, make it a peaceful productivity. So yeah, it’s so, so, so relevant. So how do you feel with the work that you’re doing with, with your clients?

How do you feel about the societal shift? Pressure, like, does that come over in your conversations with clients? Is that a thing that they often mention?

Anne: Yeah. I [00:11:00] mean, it’s really often conversations of like, and there’s just too much to do. I have all these ideas. I have all these other responsibilities.

Most of my clients are moms who have a business and it’s just, it’s constantly feeling like there is not enough time in the day. There’s too many things to do. There’s all this pressure of like, Oh, Business should be done in this certain way, because that’s how people are used to doing business. You’ve got to show up consistently, and you have, it’s all these halves that we, we see elsewhere, and, and you work with people, I mean, like, I mean, I’m totally into coaching, and I have.

Support and all of that. But quite often I feel like a lot of people also kind of get a bit confused with, you should be doing it like this and that’s the process. And if you don’t do it, then you do it wrong or you’re not going to achieve the outcome. And it’s all these like mixed messages that we receive.

And then that in a [00:12:00] sense of like, it’s not working for me. This is not the life that I want to build. This is not why I came into business. And it’s, it’s a lot of that, like feeling. Overwhelmed, feeling like just constantly too much to do, not knowing where to start, and then feeling quite confused. And yeah, it was so You know, going, going down on, on yourself, like a lot of women have that tendency of being quite negative.

They’re just not working hard enough. Or today you took too much time to clean the kitchen instead of doing that thing. And like all that inner talk that we have. And that’s a lot of conversations that I hear. And a lot of women are pretty fed up with that constant inner dialogue. And this feeling of like just never achieving.

Or never Coming up to that level of the expectations they have on themselves or also that society has on them And just yeah, not feeling like they holding up with that Grand image [00:13:00] that we we should represent today that women can do so many things and we couldn’t do it all We have it all and they don’t feel like that really

Sarah: Yeah.

Yeah. So, so many things you said resonated. It’s this idea of the shoulds and and I’ve also this idea of perfectionism. What comes up for me also in the entrepreneurial world is this image that everything should be free. You know, we should have all these free things and free content and content creation, content columns.

All of this stuff. Production that we’re creating that is not paid time and that over the last 15 years has been kind of Like put in the spotlight as that’s just how you are supposed to run a business as an entrepreneur. And when you kind of counter position that with someone who is in a paid job, it, it, it’s, it’s like, if you think about it, it’s [00:14:00] crazy how much time as entrepreneurs, we are supposedly just being productive for free compared to someone who has a paid job.

Right. Right. And I think that’s part of also my revolution in terms of the humane business, humane marketing, it’s like, Well, who says we have to spend all of this time for free productivity, right? Like I can, I’m my own boss, you’re your own boss. So we decide where it ends. Yes, obviously it’s a good thing and I still am for that, that there’s free offers.

But, but there’s a limit to it because otherwise we burn out. So right now we’re, we’re hosting this expo in the humane marketing circle, and it’s kind of like a summit. But when you look at these other summits out there and you then talk to the summit hosts after the summit, they’re all exhausted and burned [00:15:00] out.

I know because I’ve been there, like I’ve hosted five summits. You too. And it’s exhausting and it’s all for free. And it’s like, in the end, also when you ask them, honestly, what did you get up? Yes. Lots of contacts, but not really, you know, the money equation doesn’t always really work out. So it’s just kind of like questioning all our assumptions, I guess as well.

Right. So having that conversation, like you said. Well, is this working for you? And if it isn’t, how are you going to do it differently? Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Anne: Yeah. For me, this brought up so many more societal thoughts there as well, because obviously as women, we are, we are often raised to give, you know, to take care of other people, again, give free content, give.

Free, whatever it is. And also this whole money mindset thing. A lot of women struggle with me included, you know, like how much is my home, but what’s my worth, [00:16:00] how much can I charge and what’s too much. And I want to be accessible to many people because I want to change the world. I mean, this is a lot of conversations I have, and that goes in my, my own dialogue as well, and I want to make it.

Available for the greater good, but then at the end of the day, yeah, the time and money equation doesn’t always work out very well. So those things and again, it’s like sometimes you have to be a bit rebellious in your sense to be like, okay, yeah, this is I see a lot of people do it. Like this, it’s not working for me.

I’ve got to do it differently. And that can be uncomfortable

Sarah: and

Anne: challenging to actually go and do it. But this is exactly what, why I came up with peaceful productivity because yes, I love being productive, but the way I’ve been doing it was just not working at all. So something was missing and that’s the peaceful part.

And like, just what you described in the marketing world as well, it’s not always working properly and it can definitely be improved and changed.

Sarah: [00:17:00] I want to go into, you know, your framework of the peaceful productivity, but beforehand I just also want to mention a book that we both love which is essentialism by Greg McCown.

It’s still my absolute favorite business book. And, and you said you loved it as well. So, so what kind of. takeaways have you implemented from that book or what were your main aha moments from reading that book?

Anne: I think for me it was really bridging this thing of, okay, I’ve got, I’m, I’m very multi passionate and very multi skilled and I have, and I enjoy having lots of projects going on, but at the same time, always refocusing on like, What’s the day to day?

How do I feel? And what’s really essential to making another step towards the goal and always bringing myself back to that is that really? Should I really be doing that? And something that I’ve really learned through my work where [00:18:00] I’m also running a virtual assistance agency is like looking at like, what am I doing?

And is that really my job? Or is there someone else better suited for that? And how can I use my time better? And for me that spills into my life as well. As a mom of two children I spend a lot of time with my children because that’s how, my choice that I’m making. But it’s also sometimes, you know, Going back, is it essential for me to be right there with them focused, or is it okay for them to do whatever they’re doing, even if it’s on the tablet for a little bit, so that I can do my work?

It’s like really always tuning in. Is it essential? I love the word essential, and then just really looking at the things I’m doing, and then getting rid of the stuff that is not essential. Like really getting rid of it, removing it entirely, or piling it up somewhere else for that time, when it’s the right time to look at these things.

Sarah: Yeah, yeah. I love that. And it’s similar for me. I love how you differentiated, you know, [00:19:00] business and work to me. It’s almost like. They’ve become one. So it’s like the, the, the essential things that I say yes to in work always need to align with the essential things in, in, in my personal life. Right. And so it’s very similar to, to what you shared.

And I think the one thing also that I take away from that. So it’s, it’s a, it’s very much about decision making. This book is helping you with, like, every time you need to make a decision in your business or in your life, you’re going to go back to, is this essential? And I think what he shares also, it’s, it’s quite easy to, or it’s, it gets easier with time to say no to the non essential things.

But when you’re really mastering it is when you can say no to even things that do matter to you, but you just know that right now is not the right time. Right. And so that’s what you said [00:20:00] before. It’s like, okay, put them to another folder or like, not now, but, but later or never like, or never because you just know, no, this is not my thing.

Not in this lifetime. Exactly. Yeah. True. Yeah. Wonderful. Okay. Well, let’s move on to your framework of peaceful productivity. Tell us a little bit about how you work with people through this idea of being more productive, but in a peaceful way.

Anne: Yeah. So for me, a peaceful productivity has three pillars. One is the productivity tools, hacks, techniques, whatever you want to call them, all these You know, applications to Pomodoro technique, finding your high performance time, like we all different in like, some people work better in the morning.

Some people work better later in the afternoon or evening, like really looking at, you know, what are the [00:21:00] things that work for me, trying some on for size and see what fits and then letting go of others, because not, not one technique works for everyone. Also like looking at what phase in your life are you in, what, what You know, what does your day look like and how can you make it more productive using the tools and techniques that are available?

And then there’s the mindset, which is a lot of what, what we just talked about, the societal beliefs that we have, you know, ingrained in us, the beliefs That we have developed over time, like, you know, often attaching our well value and worth to our output and looking at what’s there that maybe is not working quite well and what’s there that we maybe have to change.

And then the third pillar is creativity, because for me, creativity is essential. Personally, I get a lot of energy from doing something creative, so it could really be doing the creative stuff and being like drawing and making, but you don’t have to be an artist. So really. [00:22:00] Identify yourself as a creative.

The creativity can also be in terms of, let’s try something different. Let’s play around with what we have. Today looks like that. What technique can I put in here? What mindset will I look at today? And just piling it up in a big, You know, pot and mixing it up and just be creative about it and see what the outcome is problem solving.

Obviously, we all mostly know that creativity helps with problems problem solving. So it’s that part of like playful and just trying things that maybe you haven’t tried before because that’s when things could shift like, Oh, Interesting. That was actually quite nice. And I didn’t expect that to work so well for me.

Let’s do, let’s focus on that and let’s hone in on that. So it’s really these three elements. And I work with, with clients, mostly one on one where we have a sort of audit or assessment of like, what’s there right now, going in all the different pillars that I’ve just mentioned. Then we [00:23:00] come together, we have a conversation, we share some, You know, thoughts and tips that I have gained over the period of time that I’ve been doing that and I help my clients to implement then because obviously we have a lot of knowledge, but if we don’t go and You know, find a way to have that going on a daily basis.

Not, not much is going to change. So it’s that process of like identify what’s happening right now, see what can be changed and improved and then implementing and refining. And that’s my camera gone again, because you’re back.

Sarah: That’s yeah, that’s, that’s great. I love how you combine the doing. Or, or more like the.

The left brain, which is the tools and the strategies with the right brain, which is the creativity, right? Because I think kind of in the traditional way that I’ve seen people talk about productivity, it’s mainly like. Left brain, it’s like, you know, Excel spreadsheets [00:24:00] in that kind of more, yeah, left brain approach.

And I love how you bring in the creativity, which makes it much more fun for your clients to, yeah, to be productive. I love that. Yeah. Can you, maybe you mentioned the Pomodoro technique. Can you maybe, well, for people who don’t know what that is, share about that. And then maybe you have one other strategy that you, or tool that, that you usually give clients and would like to share here.

Anne: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So Pomodoro is this concept of you work for a stretch of, I believe, 20 minutes, and then you take a break and then you go back to work and you take a break and so on and so on. And, and theoretically you would put on a timer and you literally just have that chunk of work. time to work, which is interesting because what really happens is that if we allow an hour for a task, the task likely is going to take an hour.

If we say, okay, I only have 20 minutes to work on this. We, we [00:25:00] actually might achieve that task in the 20 minutes, or we break it down in different chunks because our brain needs that break. The mistake that a lot of us make, and I still sometimes make, is that we try to focus so hard and really just work through it and push through the job at hand so that we can take it off the to do list, but our brain doesn’t quite work so well, so we get into these dips of focus time and Performance and that’s when taking little breaks in between really increases the brain function and the work that we can achieve.

So personally, I don’t do the Pomodoro technique. I work more in 90 minutes chunks because that’s kind of works better for my, for my day and how it’s set up because my day is very split into morning work, afternoon kids and a little bit of evening, evening work. But yeah, it’s again, it’s like this. I’ve tried the Pomodoro.

I didn’t quite like it. I find the 90 minutes a bit better for me. But then the other thing that I [00:26:00] really enjoy and that has changed a lot for me is the whole idea of making a plan. I’m a planner. That’s what I am, who I am. And I love spreadsheets. But I, I don’t like making a whole year of plan has never worked for me because I would lose track and would be like, Oh yeah.

You know, I still have six months until December. I’ll do it one day and then I never got to do it. But now I really, I look at three month planning chunks, and then I create a monthly plan, a weekly plan. Yeah, monthly, weekly. And I have my daily like morning rituals where I sit down and I look at the week and I’m like, okay, what am I going to do today?

And it’s breaking it down and taking the intentional time. I mean, that’s like 5 to 10 minutes per day, maybe where I really look at the planning side of things. And I select. The top three priorities that are kind of my non negotiables for the day and then a few other things that [00:27:00] I think I could chunk in.

And I always have three sort of self care, creative, joyful things that I put on my list because again, that part is really, really important to feel peaceful. But that really has helped me so much of not feeling this constant, Oh, what am I doing today? Hey, where am I even going to start? Where was where was I with this project?

And then at the end of the month you kind of look at the things you’ve done and like yeah I’ve done a lot. I’ve worked a lot, but I didn’t actually achieve the goal that I was set to achieve and that’s happened to me a lot of like constantly working but not getting to where I wanted to get because I lost sight of What’s the plan?

So yeah, that’s really powerful for me

Sarah: Yeah, I love that so much. And I have a similar approach with the, you know, breaking down the months. For me it’s more like because of my, my, the way I run my programs. So it’s very much backwards planning from day one. Okay, [00:28:00] here’s where I run my program, what needs to happen to leading towards that program, and then everything daily and weekly activities run around these programs.

Right? And, and so I, I really agree with that, that we need to always be, and, and I, on my, on my daily planner. I have like the top one says the big goal, you know, it’s like, this is, yeah, this is what I’m working towards. And, and, and then be reminded of that because yeah, otherwise you’re constantly putting out fires and, you know, spending tons of times in email without actually getting to anywhere.

And what I like also about having those three, sometimes it’s four priorities of the day. Then when you have reached these priorities and I tried to always not make them like this big giant thing that I know I cannot accomplish in a day, then, you know, you [00:29:00] can actually turn off the computer after these three or four things.

Right. And then that feels good where otherwise you never actually feel like you’ve done enough because you haven’t given yourself a container. So, yeah, I love that very much. What you shared. And then. The, the, the peaceful parts, the, you know, self care things. I do have, no, I don’t have that. I have a mantra on mine, which I sometimes kind of just kind of give myself a little, you know, energy boost, but, but I like the way how you say, okay, what, what kind of fun thing I’m, am I doing that’s actually on my Google calendar, I always have my, I go for a daily walk.

That’s blocked out or I have the gym. So, so, but I, I’ll add them on that, on that daily printout as well. I like that. I love

Anne: the ticking off, you know, like I’ve done it and I need to write it down on my list because I’m that kind of person who will first thing, drop all the, the fun and the, the, the [00:30:00] self care things because I’m so much like, Oh, I want to make, like, I just love what I’m doing.

And I love. Creating in that way that I’m the first to forget, like to walk and to eat and I need to write it down on the list to make sure that, you know, I remind myself, this is also very important. This is important

Sarah: to you. Yeah, yeah, it’s wonderful. You mentioned earlier that you’re also running a virtual assistant business or agency, right?

So. In a way that probably fits into this conversation very well, because what we just shared is all about being productive, but also kind of demonstrating. Well, you can’t do it all right. Like, there’s just so much. to do to run a business that it’s actually a very smart thing to work with someone else who enjoys doing the small things that you don’t have time to.

And so that’s what, what [00:31:00] you’re doing also with your VA business. I do feel that I, I do. I feel like that’s one of the things that I did right from the get go. I’ve been working with VAs for 15 years. There’s so many things I didn’t do, but that one I did well. And yet I, I still find a lot of resistance from entrepreneurs because they see it as an expense, right?

And it is. You know, yes, you have to have the money, but it’s this chicken and the egg thing. Like, you know, when do I have enough money? And so, yeah, talk to us about that, how we can shift this mindset for people do not see it as an expense, but as an investment in their business. Yeah, exactly.

Anne: Totally. I mean, the investment really is in.

Your own time and buying back your own time. So if you feel that there’s just too much to do, I have all these great ideas, but I never have enough time. Well, then [00:32:00] it’s perfect to invest. And it doesn’t have to be a full time role and, and, you know, one VA doing hours and hours of work. VAs can work for just a few hours a week and they can take off a few things off your plate that really you don’t have to do because they don’t require you as the person, as the face of your business.

To execute that task, especially the admin things. I mean, I, I really don’t enjoy admin. So I definitely give that to BAs. I’ve always have, because it’s just not what I enjoy. And why would I want to spend my precious energy and precious time on the things that I don’t like doing? This is exactly what I used to do in a corporate job where you just had to do it because your boss told you, well, now I have the Freedom as the boss of myself to decide which task I do and which task I give to the team.

But is this resistance of like, okay, it’s going to cost me money. Is the person really going to do it as well as I can, because I’m, you know, I have my certain way and I have my [00:33:00] very high standards. That’s the perfectionist that comes through in a lot of people. But at the end of the day, you don’t like, again, you don’t necessarily give away the very precious task.

You give away some tasks that are. Necessary to run your business. They are not what you have to do as like your expertise, your skill. And there’s someone else who can probably do it better, faster, and who enjoys it. Like you said, there’s people who enjoy these kinds of things versus you might just be really good at something else.

And it doesn’t have to be many hours. I mean, this is also the perception that, okay, I’ve got to give a VA a stable number of hours, a stable task. It could be a VA who comes in for a certain project. For example, I don’t know, for your book writing, I’m sure there is tasks that you don’t do on a daily basis, but you do it because you have your book to create, and then the VA can support you on a project, and then next month you don’t work with the VA.

It’s all possible. It’s just a way of, a question of reaching out and [00:34:00] finding the right person.

Sarah: Right. I think maybe it’s a little bit about this fear. Well, how am I going to find the right person? Right. And, and then I, I do remember in the early days, I’ve had, you know, You know, many experiences that didn’t work out, but in a way, that’s also how you learn, because I think it really is a way you need to learn how to work with a virtual assistant, because it’s all about the communication.

It’s all about the system. It becomes kind of your employee, whether this person only works for you an hour per week, you Or, or has a full time job, you still need to communicate as if she was your employee. Because, you know, that’s, that’s where things go wrong, I think most of the time when people say, Oh, I tried to work for the VA, it was horrible, it didn’t work out.

Well, how did you communicate, you know, did you train her? Like this, this whole idea of, [00:35:00] Yeah, training someone and then making sure, like I created an operations manual for the virtual assistant because, well, right now with, with the one I have, and I’ve had several, I’ve been lucky she’s been with me for years and years, but what if this person all of a sudden decides, Oh, I’m going back to corporate or who knows, you know, people get.

Get busy or get pregnant or whatever. And so that’s like, well, if you’ve spent the time and invested into, you know, creating manuals and videos and things like that, then you can just easily, you know, replace that person and say, okay, here’s what you need to know. Let’s, you know, when can you train yourself basically, and then.

Step in. So it is an investment in your business. It kind of, when you were talking, because I’m a business coach, made me think it’s kind of the same [00:36:00] conversation with when is the time to hire a business coach, right? It’s like, it’s an investment that, you know, will save you time. But it’s like, well, if I don’t have the money, I’m not ready to invest.

And so it’s, it’s that same thing. It, it gains you back time and life energy and, and yeah, more. You move much faster, but it really is working with someone else. You move faster. You can get more done. And what I talk a lot about in this new book is the spaciousness. You gain spaciousness for being human, which if you’re working 10 hour days, because you’re creating all this content, being productive by yourself, you don’t have that.

So. Yeah, and that’s

Anne: when business is not fun anymore and it’s a grind and it’s just another job as well because at the end of the day, you’re chained to your desk and if you don’t produce, you don’t have the income and so on, [00:37:00] it’s all that chain, the whole chicken and egg conversation. Exactly. But there’s two things that came for me that came to my mind.

It’s like a lot of people are scared of the training aspect.

Sarah: Yeah,

Anne: I’m going to have to invest my time into training that person. Well, I always feel like, yes, of course you have to, you have to share how you do things and how you want them to be done. But I feel, I believe that if you’re clear on what skills does that person need and what are the tasks at hand, and then really look for the person who matches that, You don’t necessarily have to train so much because the person likely knows whatever system you’re using better because she’s been working with different clients on different things and she doesn’t need to understand exactly what you do because she already knows the system as such, but then also the other part is the whole concept of like, you can train as you go along.

And that’s what I have done because I started out as a student. by myself and I was quite resistant to bringing it in, bringing in a team and turning it into [00:38:00] an, into an agency because of exactly the reasons that we discussed, but I have always been very clear to my associate VAs that I’m interested In this transition right now, like, I mean, a little while ago, but I would tell them like, this is what I’m doing.

I’m going from single to team. I don’t know what I’m doing. And this could be a little bit messy. Are you okay with that? And I think this is important if someone is like, Oh no, I want someone who really tells me A to Z what I’m supposed to do, and here is my list. And if that’s how she works or he works perfect, but then unfortunately you’re not going to fit with me because with me, it can be a little bit messy.

And I’ll be like, Oh, what do you think? Like. What are you? What would you do? And how would you create this? And I have loved these conversations because, again, if we are all by ourselves, we often get stuck in our mind like, I don’t know. Should I do it like this? Or should I do it like that? And then maybe I don’t do it at all because I don’t know the answer.

But if you have someone that you can bounce ideas, Like a coach or your VA who is very smart often, it, it can really [00:39:00] change the way you do things and the things that you can achieve the outcome you can achieve.

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. So good. And, and you’re so right. What, what really matters is that you find the right person on a, on a kind of like resonance level, but also on a skill level and.

And I feel like people think, oh, I just need one VA to help me with everything. And that’s another reason why it often goes wrong, because you actually need to hire for the skill and not just, oh, I need one va. So you really need to, when you interview, you really need to make sure, okay, am I clear what I need help with?

And does this person have the skill to help me with this specific thing? So I think that’s That’s key. Absolutely. The

Anne: key. So Correct. Yeah.

Sarah: Yeah, well, we’ll, we’ll make sure to actually, why don’t you share your website? So if people are listening and they’re like, Oh, that sounds like the kind of VA agency [00:40:00] that I would love to work with.

Why don’t you share your website and do you have different websites for the, I’ve

Anne: got two websites. Exactly. So there’s the

Sarah: virtual

Anne: assistance agency is called the virtual fully like virtual and full service virtual fully. And then where I talk about the peaceful activities and Raju. com. So it’s these separate entities.

Sarah: Wonderful. Yeah. And we’ll make sure to, to share both websites also in the show notes. And yeah, just kind of to wrap up, like, what would be like, One thing that you would share that where to start with this idea of peaceful productivity, but maybe the first thing that you look at with your clients, you talked about an audit.

Maybe, maybe that’s it. What would you say is the 1st? Yeah,

Anne: yeah. So I’ve got what I call the wheel of peaceful productivity. So it’s, it’s. It’s a bit similar to the wheel of life where we compartmentalize different areas of how we do work and then we [00:41:00] rank them and that can be in form of a wheel or it could really just be sitting down and thinking, okay, which parts in my day do I enjoy and I feel they are working quite smoothly and I’m very happy with these things and what are areas in my life in my day or times in my day or So, yeah.

Jobs that I’m doing tasks that I’m doing in my business that feel not so good. And to then look at, you know, what’s the balance at the end, is there a lot more of like what I’m enjoying or is there a lot more of the stuff that’s getting on my nerves and that makes me feel quite anxious and overwhelmed?

Well, if that’s the case, then obviously, you know, that first of all, you could go back to what do you enjoy and how can you bring more of that? That could be, you know, the creativity, the self care, the fun parts. What, what is fun in your business and how can you do more of that in any good way? And then obviously you can look at the things that are not working so well.

And you can look at what can I take out again, remove completely? Is it really essential going back to the book [00:42:00] essential? What can I delegate? To a VA or a team member or a partner or whatever it could be. It doesn’t even have to necessarily be in business. It could be in other areas of your life. Maybe there’s some opportunity there to pass on some responsibility to someone else.

And, and really just have that balance sheet and pick one item from the fun and good stuff. And one item from the, from the not so good stuff. And look at what could you do with those things and start from there. And not overwhelm yourself with, I’m going to change everything overnight. Alright. Because that’s not going to work.

Take it, like, take small, little baby steps.

Sarah: Hmm. I love that. Yeah. I love this idea of the wheel so that it gives you this visual of, of your business and where, where you enjoy it and where you’re like, Hmm, why am I still doing that? Yeah. That’s, that’s a good, wonderful. Well, I really enjoyed this conversation and I’m grateful for the work you’re doing.

I think it’s so needed. So thank [00:43:00] you so much for being on the Humane Marketing Podcast, Anne. Thank you so much. It was a huge pleasure. Thank you.

I hope you got some great value from listening to this episode and finding more peace in your productivity. Find out more about Ann and her work at annrejoux. com. That’s Ann with an E at the end and then R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R. A, J, double O, dot com, or Virtuefully, V, I, R, T, U, and then Fully, dot com. I’m still having trouble with the ABCs because once as a child when you learn your ABCs in a different language, for me in German.

You can never change that. It’s just like so hard for me to spell out names or, or, or letters. That’s why I’m always struggling with this. Anne has created a wonderful free gift. [00:44:00] It’s called the Wheel of Peaceful Productivity, which you can get for free going to annerajoo. com wheel of peaceful productivity.

And if you’re looking for others who think like you, then why not join us in the humane marketing circle like and did she just joined our community after recording the podcast. So you’ll be able to connect with her and many others in there. Find out more at humane dot marketing forward slash circle.

You find the show notes as always of this beautiful episode at humane. forward slash H M 1 9 2. And on this beautiful page, you’ll also find a series of free offers, the humane business manifesto, and the free gentle confidence mini course, as well as my two books, marketing, like we’re human and selling like we’re human.

Thank you so much for listening and being part of a generation of marketers who cares. [00:45:00] For yourself, your clients and the planet because we are change makers before we are marketers. So go be the change you want to see in the world. Speak soon.

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