As a listener of this podcast, you probably know I’ve been covering a lot about the subject of time management this past year.  In fact, my word of the year for 2022 was “Time” because I not only wanted to discuss the subject more, but I also wanted to focus on it in my own life.

I know I get a lot done but I wanted to observe myself and see how.  What was it that made me so productive?  Why was I able to manage everything so well?  How was I able to have my CPA job, create this weekly podcast, support the CPA MOMS Community, write and publish a book in a year, take an advanced coaching certification program, and start my own coaching business based on the book?

How was it possible that I could get so much done and not burn out in the process?  I was just speaking to a coaching client who is a fan of the podcast, and she said she was surprised to discover that I am just a one-person team; she thought I had many people helping me behind the scenes.

As I’ve said many times on the podcast, my husband is my “editor” and will help me by reading the show notes and pointing out some things to change or add, but that’s it.  I wear many hats on any given day, and for the most part, I’m the only one wearing those hats.

The funny thing is that when I sat down to consider how I’m able to do what I do, the term “peaceful productivity” came up.  I had been researching the topic of productivity and realized that the typical term “productivity” made me think of an assembly line churning out product after product, with a lack of humanness or fun, like an automobile assembly line, but peaceful productivity seemed different.

In my research, I came across an article that explained that the idea of ‘time management’ has slowly been replaced with the idea of ‘productivity,’ but along the way, the two have become confused.   For example, a colleague will tell you he’s been ‘super productive’ today, proudly flourishing a long to-do list with every item ticked off, but has he?  Has he really been ‘productive’?  Or has he just managed his time well?

The article went on to say that productivity isn’t actually about doing things; it’s about producing things.  The clue is right there in the word; therefore, we should be measuring productivity in terms of what we produce, not what we do. 

The truth is that it’s possible to be doing things all day without being productive and producing a single thing.  I’m sure that as a busy working mom, you can relate to feeling like you’re doing things all day but not being sure about what you actually produced.

The issue when it comes to the productivity-driven world of accounting is that it doesn’t take into account the person doing all the producing.  It doesn’t question if you feel dread or stressed versus motivated and fulfilled when you’re doing all that producing.

Obviously, we all have to get things done at work and home, but isn’t there an easier way?  Isn’t there a way to be productive without burning out in the process?  I believe that’s where peaceful productivity comes in.

This week I’m going to discuss what peaceful productivity is and how you can achieve it.   


Peaceful Productivity


As an accountant, you’ve probably heard of lots of strategies to help you be more productive and efficient, but how many of those strategies really take a look at the cost to the person doing the producing?  How many take into account how you are feeling about your productivity or the process?  I’m going to take a wild guess and say none.

The interesting thing when it comes to productivity is that we often have a very black-and-white approach.  We’re either being productive or we’re being lazy.  We’re either hustling to get more done, or we’re not doing enough.

As busy accountants, we’re typically not pausing long enough to see if what we’re producing is created by a lot of stress, overwhelm, and burnout.  We’re not looking at the toll our method of productivity is having on us mentally, emotionally, and physically.

If you think about it, if we are creating stress in an effort to get things done, we are less likely to enjoy the rewards of our efforts.  Unfortunately, it’s often the opposite – we’re so burned out in the name of productivity that enjoyment is near impossible.

What if the goal of productivity was not only to enjoy the rewards of producing something but also the process of producing it?  What if time off wasn’t the only reward for a job well done?  What if you could feel enjoyment and fulfillment during, not just after?

That’s where peaceful productivity comes in.  Peaceful productivity is being able to produce AND enjoy the process at the same time.  It’s about incorporating instead of delaying.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what your processes are, how your workflow is set up, or what strategies you implement in order to be as productive as possible.  If you or someone else is feeling stressed or apathetic, the process will become inefficient.

The bottom line is that how we feel drives our actions; therefore, how we feel when we’re trying to be productive will either make us more or less efficient.  It’s great to get more done in less time, but if the fuel we’re using is what I like to call “dirty fuel,” we will have inefficiencies.

The way I like to explain it to my coaching clients is to imagine themselves as a very expensive luxury or sports car.  If you put gas in that car that was mixed with some sludge, you wouldn’t necessarily see problems right away, but eventually, it would seize up.

You cannot run that car efficiently if you’re using dirty fuel.  You cannot be productive and efficient if you are using the dirty fuel of stress, overwhelm, frustration, anxiety, and pressure.

The key is that when someone feels peaceful in their work, their productivity and efficiency improve exponentially.  How you feel during the production process will create more energy, focus, well-being, time, money, and fulfillment.

The best part is peaceful productivity doesn’t make you less productive; it actually makes you more.  But thankfully, not at a cost to you, the one doing the producing.  

How to achieve peaceful productivity


In doing my research on this topic, I also came across a podcast titled “Peaceful Productivity” hosted by a fellow coach, Kim Christianson, so I want to give credit where credit is due.  What I’m going to share about how to achieve peaceful productivity came from her teachings on that podcast.

In order to achieve peaceful productivity, you need the following four perspectives:

#1 – Expect obstacles – I think one of the first things that makes productivity such drudgery is that we want there to be a smooth road ahead of us.  For example, we don’t want a client to send us a last-minute request even though they always do, and we want everything to go smoothly when we’re trying to get the kids out the door in the morning. 

When I work with my coaching clients on time management, and they tell me that there was an obstacle that got in the way of them following their calendar, I ask if that obstacle is common, and they typically say yes.  For example, one of my clients had a boss who didn’t start diving into work until 1 pm, and during the first hour, he would interrupt her incessantly with questions and status updates.

When I asked her if she was expecting this obstacle each week and planning for it in her calendar, she said no; she just hoped he would stop doing it.  The truth is that when we expect obstacles, we also have the ability to incorporate them into our planning.

The higher prefrontal cortex part of your brain is your superpower when it comes to achieving peaceful productivity.  It’s the part of the brain that can think beyond this moment and can plan for whatever we expect might happen.

The best thing you can do when you anticipate an obstacle is to also come up with a strategy in advance.  Expect the obstacle, and decide in advance how you want to think about it in a way that doesn’t create the feeling of resistance, dread, or frustration.

#2 – Be more proactive – in episode #227, “What Your Calendar Tells Me,” I explained that whether you like it or not, your calendar tells me a lot.  I think one of the main things that someone’s calendar tells me is how proactive versus reactive they are.

When I speak to potential coaching clients, and they tell me they don’t have time to create a plan for the week or they want to prove to me that planning doesn’t work for them, I know their days are a hot mess.  How?  Because they’re being controlled by their primitive, reactionary brain.

If you choose to run your day without a plan or think that just ticking things off your to-do list is the best way to be productive, think again.  I’ve said this many times, but to-do lists are overwhelming to your primitive brain, and do you know what doesn’t help you to be productive?  An overwhelmed brain.

Yes, planning does take a little time, but it will save you SO much time by reducing decision fatigue, confusion, frustration, and busyness.  In order to have peaceful productivity, you need to be proactive and set aside time to make a plan, even if it’s just for the next 24 hours.

#3 – Find value in your work – I’ve coached a lot of accountant moms, and I’ve seen a pattern where they take for granted the value they provide.  Whether they’re an employee or an entrepreneur, they tend to gloss over the fact that they are incredibly valuable to their employers and their clients.

I was coaching a female entrepreneur who was experiencing self-doubt and imposter syndrome.  She was going to be having consultation calls with potential clients and wanted to show up in the best way possible.

When I asked her if she knew how valuable she was to that potential client, she shook her head a little.  I reminded her that 95% of the world cannot do what accountants do, that the services we provide make it possible for people to feed their families, that we are often the smartest person in the room, and that people are counting on our knowledge.

Once she truly understood how valuable she was, there was a calmness that came over her.  She started to see so much more meaning in the things she had thought were mundane, began to see how all the pieces fell into place, and found more fulfillment in her productivity.    

#4 – View your time as an investment – As accountants, our clients often turn to us for advice on what they should invest in, whether it’s the stock market, some business expansion, or a new piece of equipment.  We also seek out others for our own investment advice, often creating a retirement plan or college savings plan for our children’s future.

But in order to adopt the concept of peaceful productivity, you need to view your time as the most precious investment you have because, frankly, it is.  How you spend your time is even more important than how you spend your money due to one fact – you can always make more money, but you can’t literally create more time.

We all have 24 hours in a day, and when we don’t plan, follow the plan, and assess our follow-through, we wind up stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out.  Peaceful productivity is about viewing your time as an investment and using it in ways that will pay the greatest dividends.

Invest some time in having someone like a time management coach review your time management and point out areas where you could make some improvements.  Invest some time in managing your mind so that you can better manage your time.

Invest some time in looking at how you can get more done in less time without being stressed in the process.  Invest some time in self-care so that you have the energy necessary to do all that you do.

Hopefully, you now have an idea about peaceful productivity and how to achieve it.  The bottom line is that when you focus more on how you feel when you are being productive, the easier it will be to be productive without it costing you mentally, emotionally, physically, or relationally.

Peaceful productivity is productivity without the drama.




The issue when it comes to the productivity-driven work of accounting is that it doesn’t take into account the person doing the producing.


The best part is peaceful productivity doesn’t make you less productive; it actually makes you more.  But thankfully, not at a cost to you, the one doing the producing.