Increase Productivity by Tapping into Your Body’s Rhythms with Guest Expert Renae Fieck

Ep: 147

What if there was a secret formula that could help you maximize your productivity, boost your creativity, justify permission to rest, and help you gain a sense of balance in your life?

Sounds great, right? It might surprise you to know that women were born with this ability to optimize our work/life balance, but cultural taboos have prevented us from talking about it.

Today, Blake welcomes special guest, Renae Fieck. She is a mom of 3 and occupational therapist who helps women optimize their time and energy through unlocking the power of their cycles so that they can be thriving high achievers. Through her method, she helps women balance the demands of life, make a bigger impact, and get bigger results without adding more stress or needing more time. She’s the host of Rising Moms (soon to be Cycle Advantage) Podcast. She can be found at

Today, you’ll learn why it’s so important for us to reconnect with our natural rhythms and lean into trusting what’s going on inside of our bodies. Renae believes that by not paying attention to our cyclical nature, we’re neglecting our biggest asset. You’ll learn how to monitor and ultimately honor your body so that you can maximize your potential and achieve your goals without the usual hustle.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Turning a taboo subject into our greatest asset  (4:20)
  • The first step to understanding your biological cycle (7:47)
  • How to start tracking your patterns (10:44)
  • The Four Cycles women experience in a month (17:07)
  • Signs and symptoms of misaglignment (23:20)
  • How to sync your activities with your cycle (35:43)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. Even thinking about our cycle has so much shame and taboo and stigma around it in our world, that to be able to transform that into not being something that is a weakness that we have as women, but really truly one of our biggest assets has really helped me step fully into it. It has given me so much more grace, so much more space, and so much more understanding. -Renae
  2. Regardless of what job you do or what’s going on in your life, whether you’re a mom with three kids or you’re a single woman, understand more about  how you’re fundamentally wired. The patterns and cycles in your life will empower you and give you the information to create change. -Blake
  3. We get into cycles of overwhelm, and cycles where we don’t have enough time for things because we don’t stop and take the time to get clear and prioritize. -Blake
  4. We need recharging, we need connection and relationships, we need productivity. And we need to feel like we have the space to reflect back. We need all four of those pieces. So if you’re letting go of one, if productivity and getting things done is more important than recharging, then something’s gonna misfire at some point. All four pieces of the cycle are just as important as the other ones. -Renae
  5. Sometimes the bravest and the biggest thing you can do is set the computer down and walk away and come back to it when your body’s ready. -Renae


Guest Links: 

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Blake Schofield 0:07 Hello, and welcome back to The Bridge to Fulfillment. I’m really excited to have a topic that we have not talked about and is kind of a different angle on today’s podcast. So I have Renee on today. Okay, so today I have Renee Fieck on the podcast. She’s a mom of three, and she’s an occupational therapist that helps women optimize their time and energy through unlocking the power of their monthly cycles so they can be thriving high achievers. Through her method, she helps women balance the demands of life, make a bigger impact and get bigger results without adding more stress or needing more time. She’s the host of The Rising Moms podcast, which is soon to be the Cycle Advantage podcast. And I want to share with you a couple of things from her website that really hit home for me and why she’s here today. So on her website, Renee, you describe yourself as just a mom who had dreams of living life a little differently. I was over the overwhelm exhaustion and Monster mom, I wanted space, peace amidst the chaos, stillness, rest, passion, and purpose. I wanted to live my dream life now. And I’ve loved that so much, because I think many of the women who listen to this podcast feel overwhelmed and exhausted. And what you said there, I think is so relevant. And it’s a huge part of why I have you on today. Because I don’t bring on a lot of experts to The Bridge to Fulfillment, it usually is me doing coaching sessions or success stories for my clients. But occasionally I do bring on experts, when I really feel like what they have to share could really help benefit or open the eyes of the women listening. And I really feel like what you’re going to share today will do that. And so I’m really excited to dig in more. There’s one other thing you kind of shared on the website I want to share before we go in just to give the audience an understanding of what’s coming. You said when you flow along with your hormonic cycle, you would be able to maximize your productivity, creativity, rest, sense of balance, etc. It’s important and yet, I don’t see anybody talking about it. It’s no longer about forcing yourself to hustle being productive all the time and thinking you should do X when your body feels Y. But rather, it’s about honoring and respecting your body with where you are naturally so that you can maximize your potential and achieve your goals without the hustle. And then you said because recharging is more than just taking a break or space, nor practicing self care strategies. It’s more than that. With that, I would love to dive in. And yeah, let’s just start with, like, how did you end up uncovering this? What was your journey? And how did you end up uncovering that your cycle is a huge key to creating the life you want?

Renae Fieck 2:54 Yeah, so my journey has been like all over the board, right? Like as many women I think is it’s this constant unfolding and learning and process and learning about this cycle was like this one little snippet, one little component to a mastermind that I was a part of, I don’t know, five or six years ago. And it was just one of those like first step opening doors. And I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Even now, like some of the people that were in the mastermind with me at that point. They’re like, Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about that when I bring it up now. But it made such this like, like subtle little trickle into my life. Over the last couple years. I’ve shared with it a couple times with friends I’ve shared with some of my clients, and just realized how much of an impact it really was having for so many women this, this idea, this topic this I like even thinking about our cycle has so much shame and taboo and stigma around it in our world, that to be able to transform that into not being something that is a weakness that we have is women, but really truly that is one of our biggest assets has really helped me step fully into it. So it has given me so much more grace, so much more space, so much more understanding of why some weeks, I feel like I’ve got it all together. And other weeks, I feel like I want to throw the towel in on life and everything and just like burn everything down. And when you understand that and give yourself that like you have that awareness, then you tap into it, it just creates so much more potential so much more ease, you can let go have some of these like really high expectations that we have to kind of perform like men, men have a very different hormone cycle in their body and system. And so we can let go of that idea of hustling and achieving like men do not to say it’s bad, but women we are designed very differently. So that was kind of a little bit and it’s like little literally over time has just sort of evolved and grown into this place where it’s like now I want to share 100% how we do this because it makes a difference.

Blake Schofield 5:01
I love that one. One of the things when you and I were talking and I was on your podcast, and we were talking about how we might be able to help and continue to partner to help women be successful, you had shared with me this and it hit me and struck me because about two years ago, I went and I actually interviewed my friend Belldon Colme, went into his nutritional fitness program and learned about what foods your body needs to operate at its optimal, right? And how do you actually create the best and strongest cells possible for health, and energy and all these things. And at that point time, I started tracking a lot of things on a daily basis about myself that I had never tracked before. And I began to see patterns. I think, most of us don’t track this. But right, I encourage you, those of you listening, and you probably will as well to start tracking the patterns and the things on a day to day basis. And I started to notice patterns of headaches during certain times of the month, lack of focus during certain times of the month, there were times when I was really clear and very decisive to make decisions. But I hadn’t really understood other than I could tell it was something related to my cycle, because I could see it over and over and over again. I couldn’t. I really wasn’t surrounded by somebody who could help me understand it. And I’ve run into people here and there who have really claimed that when you gain this knowledge, it really empowers you to do things. So when you share with me that you figured this out, and this is really what you do. I was like, Cool. This is awesome. Because, again, I think most most of us really lack awareness about how we feel, what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling, why we’re thinking or feeling those things on a day to day basis. And I know, for me, the vast majority of my life until these last couple years and entrepreneurship. I didn’t really understand a lot of those things about myself, I didn’t realize I had control over them, or I didn’t realize I could do things to actually optimize my life, my perspective, my approach the things I did. And so I hope today’s podcast will really open up the perspective of some women listening, that even regardless of what job you do, or what’s going on in your life, whether you’re a mom with three kids, or you’re a single woman, right, understand more about fundamentally how you’re wired. And the patterns and cycles in your life will empower you and give you the information to create change.

Renae Fieck 7:24 Yeah, yeah. 100% I think you even hit it like awareness is the first big step like people always ask me like, what’s your first step? You know, the awareness is the big one, because majority of women don’t track their cycles, they don’t know. And I work with predominantly the menstrual cycle. But I also look at cycles and other things that we have biologically throughout the day. And I want to, I think it was probably three years ago, on Timehop, or Facebook memories, or whatever it was, it was like, Oh, my gosh, I’ve been sick this same week, every January, every single year for the last six years, like what the heck. So it was like really starting to realize that there are bigger cycles and rhythms at play in our world and in our own life, that make an impact on the way we’re showing up. And if we could predict that like, right, like, if I know that the second week in January, every single year I get sick, well, there’s two options I have, I can start preparing myself for that so that I have the space cleared out or be I start doing some health pieces to help clear my bodies and my body’s healthier in that week. So there’s these elements that we can start to play into. But awareness is the first big step like starting to notice starting to pay attention to our body. And our body is really truly the biggest, it’s our vehicle, right? Like, it’s the thing that is allowing us to go to work. It’s the thing allowing us to show up for our kids. It’s the thing that keeps us living and breathing every single day. And so if we don’t pay attention to our body, we’re neglecting the biggest asset, the biggest vehicle that we have to actually achieve those things that we want to do in life. And so I feel like it’s such a critical piece to kind of come back and look at how is my body responding? How is my body feeling? Where am I at? And how can I leverage that right like so then that’s the next step would be like on like learning and bringing that awareness to it. And then starting to play into those rhythms, when we start to be able to predict them and know what’s happening, then, you know, like that week that I have a headache, I’m going to create more space for self care, or I’m going to add in these other foods or whatever I need to do to kind of give that space to allow for that rather than matching that week when you have a massive headache and are feeling like you want to crawl into a fetal position having that be like during a massive project at work like then we just have this disconnect and we feel like we’re hustling and pushing through and grinding so when we can match those up to the best of our abilities, then that’s when we really start to excel.

Blake Schofield 9:48 I love that and it’s interesting to hear you say that you found it with cycles of getting sick because I saw the exact same thing. Yeah. And you know, that’s one of the benefits sometimes of like Instagram or Facebook with Facebook memories that will pop back up and you’re like, oh, literally last year and the year before that, and the year before that I was sick the same. And I had that vaccine week I had one year that I got the flu and bronchitis back to back. And then the next year, I think I got strep from one of my kids. And then the third year I had a sinus infection or something. I was like, this is literally like the same exact week over and over and over again. Yeah, sure. Then you can start to identify, Am I doing something in my diet or my sleep? Or right is this just something to your point that I need to prepare for. So for those of you guys listening, if you’ve not been somebody who’s been really aware of your body and things, the first thing I would say is just like set up, I set up online, I don’t know what you do, Renee, maybe you have a tool. But I set up on my phone, I have a Google Doc, each day. And I because of the program that I’m in, you know, I really watch what I’m putting in my body and the body. So I track my weight on a daily basis and enables me to see, honestly and get ahead of it’s one of the indicators, I can tell when I’m going to get sick, because my weight will shoot up by a couple of pounds for no reason. It also helps me see my cycle because the same thing happens. So I track my weight, I’ll track my mood, I’ll track my cycle. And I’ll track if there’s anything like different in terms of what I ate, because it sometimes helps me see if there’s like foods that I’m eating, they’re making me sick. And I just do that on like a Google Doc, and then I have it on my phone, it’s really easy. And then I can start to go, oh, wait a second, I think this has happened before. And I can scroll back. And I can see sort of that cycle. But that would be my recommendation, if you have a different one, if you don’t have awareness, to be able to start to gain awareness.

Renae Fieck 11:45 Yeah, yeah, we can link up I do have a cycle tracker that we can link up that is on paper that allows you to track those things, like how you’re feeling, what’s going on, and just have like a quick little journal point for each day. Or if you’re somebody that wants to do more digitally based, I use the app clue, which is just helpful for tracking just specific, like menstrual cycle sorts of things. So you know, it’s really about finding a tool that’s going to be convenient and easy for you. Because that’s one of the things we know about habits too, right? It has to be something that’s easy, something that you enjoy doing. So it doesn’t matter what the tool necessarily is, it’s about finding a method that works for you, that is going to feel sustainable for you. And that’s going to really impact but there are lots of different cycle trackers, different apps, different resources, like literally, like you said, just writing stuff down. But really, it is about that just starting to pay attention. And that’s one of the questions I asked my clients to start asking themselves every day is in the morning, just saying like, what does my body need today? Right, because even if like we can talk about the different four phases of the cycle and, and pay the what should be happening during those different four phases. But even if it’s like this is what you should be doing during this phase like doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s what your body is going to always ask for. So you know, for instance, the other day I was in my what I call the recharge phase, when you should be really truly focused on recharging, not doing heavy exercise, not doing lots of workout would be typically when you’re bleeding. And there was just something in my body that was like go for a run, go for a run, go for a run, you know. And so it’s about honoring that like listening and bringing that intuition and awareness into your body and, and getting out of this expectation that like the world has the answer for you that it’s really about coming back to you and asking yourself, like, I can sit down and give you an exact predictable pattern, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to match up exactly where you’re at every single day doesn’t take into account the stress you had last week, or it doesn’t take into account the projects you have coming or any of those pieces. And so it really is about those daily, just tapping into yourself and asking those questions. And then overlaying them with like the outside predictable patterns. But that awareness and tuning into you is the most important.

Blake Schofield 14:04 I love that. And for those of you who may be listening, and you might be thinking yourself, that sounds great. But I don’t even have time like to take a bubble bath or to go to the mall and buy something for myself. What I really want to say to you right now is we get into cycles of overwhelm and cycles where we don’t have enough time for things because we don’t stop and take the time to get clear and prioritize. Yeah, not everything is equal. Not everything has to be done. And but if we are just in a cycle where we are just trying to keep up doggy paddling through life. Yeah, right. You’re never going to catch up. It’s a lie that we tell ourselves. So if you’re sitting here going, Wow, this would be great, but I just don’t have time for that. The reason you don’t have time for it is because you’re not doing this. Yeah. The reason that you are overly busy and overwhelmed is because you’re not Stopping, stopping, taking even if it is five minutes a day, to listen to yourself and begin To identify the things in your life, that you can create change to make your life better. So I just really want to encourage you, if you’re listening, you’re like, This sounds great, but I don’t have time for it. I would tell you that this is so critical learning how to listen to yourself, taking time for yourself, taking time to breathe, so that you can build the right strategy for your day. Build the right strategy for your month. Right. So you’re focusing on the right things. Yeah. So Rene, let’s dive into that. You said there are four cycles? Can you just share with us? Yeah, give us some of the basic things because I think again, as like, Phil, I remember and probably everybody does, like in fifth grade, they teach you they pull you aside for the video, you know, the boys, girls get the other and they tell you about your cycle, and your body. And I don’t remember another time since then, that that I was ever educated. It was actually a couple of years ago actually bought a book and learned more about the cycle and what to expect. I was like, How have I gone most of my life knowing very little. So I mentioned about most women are like me and don’t know very much. So what can you share with us about some of those critical? Key things to know?

Renae Fieck 16:05 Yeah, well, and isn’t that just like, It fascinates me too, that that’s the way we grow up, right? Like it goes back to like that stigma and that shame. And it’s like something like taboo we don’t really talk about, and like it has me questioning like, Why? Why is it that it creates like it was created this way, and we just don’t talk about it. And I really think that unlocking this for so many women, it’s going to unleash a lot of really powerful women in the world, because I think it is one of our greatest superpowers. And we don’t really realize it, we just, we’ve been conditioned to believe that our cycle is like one week out of the month, that sucks, and we want to get over with it, we would rather not have it, it’s like this thing that we just want to stuff in the back closet. So out of today, I really hope that you walk away with that understanding that it’s it’s so much more than that. Your cycle is not just when you’re bleeding, your cycle is the entire month. And it’s this intricate play of what I really think are the key ingredients for us to really feel like we’re living a balanced life. And I know that there’s people out there that will say there’s no such thing as balance. But I think that the balance idea of like everything has to be equal is truly a myth. But I think we can feel balanced, I think we can feel like we’re getting enough of the things that really matter to us, for us to feel okay, internally. And that’s the description that I have of balance. And I think that is totally achievable, achievable. So in that when we look at our, our phases and our cycles, so there’s four distinct phases, there’s two predominant hormones that are at play, estrogen and progesterone. So we’re gonna have a little bit of a science lesson. But estrogen is the hormone that’s predominant in the first half of the month. So it is your like go getter hormone, it’s really strong energy, you’ve got lots of outward focus, you feel really high productive, lots of focus, lots of you know, like, just real, more intensity in that. And then you ovulate midway through the month. And then progesterone kicks in. And progesterone, its role in its job is to help make room for baby, right. And if it wasn’t fertilized, then you bleed, and you go into your next cycle. And it starts over. But progesterone job in production is the hormone that really helps carry a baby, it protects that womb and that nest and whatever. So it has a lot of that nesting type feeling. You want to turn inward, you want to calm you want to sort through and organize and wrap things up. So with those two predominant hormones at play, I break it down into a little bit more when I’m working with my clients into four phases. So each of those halves of the month broke down even more. So the first one which we already highlighted was the recharge. That would be when you’re actively bleeding that first little bit of the month. And so that’s the focus is recharge, right? Like what can we do recharge and I know you brought up like self care and a little bit and then what I had mentioned on the website is I feel like so many women have this expectation that self care is a bubble bath or going and having a girls night or whatever those things are. And while I’m not going to diss any of that, what I feel like is more powerful is for each person to determine what is it that really recharges. Because what a lot of times I see is women taking a break, they think it’s a break there. And they go either social media scroll, or they go do something and they come back and they feel just as depleted. But they don’t realize it they think like oh, I just went and got this break, I should feel really good. They come back feeling just as depleted. And now they really truly did waste that time because it didn’t adequately recharge them. So it is about finding those things that are strategically really going to help you you specifically recharge right like even you and I Blake we probably have like completely different things that are going to be helpful for us to recharge and it doesn’t necessarily mean going and doing something or whatever it could be literally like lighting a candle while you do the dishes like that might help you feel so much better. And so it’s kind of starting to notice those things that are helping you recharge. But that recharge phase is really really truly geared towards what does my body really need right now, so that I’m ready to set to go. Because that next phase is the accelerate phase. That’s when that estrogen really picks up and it’s at its peak, it is your get stuff done phase, like you’re gonna feel on top of it. So many high achieving women love this phase. Because you feel so productive, you feel like you’re checking the list off, you feel good, you’re like ready to go, the ideas are flowing, you’re like brainstorming, you’re like, I just feel on top of it. And like a lot. This is the phase that I know a lot of the women I work with, they wish they could stay in this phase all the time, because it feels so good to check all those things off. And then you hit that ovulation and in that ovulation phase, is when you’re primed for connection, right, you want to connect with other people. Biologically, it’d be when you’re trying to attract a mate. So you’re trying to you’re most magnetic when you would want to do photoshoots, or playing presentations or ask for a raise at work, because you’re going to be the most effective communicator and the most engaging and compelling. during that phase. It’s I honestly, I noticed, without a doubt those times, I don’t stumble over my words, I feel good, I feel clearer, I feel direct, it feels so much better in that articulation communication piece, then you enter into what’s called the reflect phase. The reflect phase is what a lot of people think is your PMS time. If you are feeling truly like you do have massive mood swings, and you really do have like extreme PMS thing, then there might be some other underlying things that we could work with and really help kind of create some balance. Because I know without a doubt, if you are honoring and your your hormones are in line and everything throughout the month, then you hit that last reflect phase and you don’t feel like things are being hit against the wall, like you feel like you those triggers that come up during that week are oftentimes because there’s a misalignment, or out of balance in one of those other three zones throughout the month. So that reflect phase is really your peak creativity phase, you’re the most emotionally aware, the most emotionally connecting, you’re going to be able to have those, like really deep understanding of what you need to process and what you need to let go of to really hit that next month doing really well, what you need to let go of all of those types of things, but it is a very inward focused time of the month. So you know, creating more space in that time not doing your calls, not doing your appointments, like as much as possible in those phases is gonna really help you feel like you can enter into that next recharge phase, which those two are the inward more focused ones, and really get you set up and primed for the next month. And then the cycle starts over. And we keep going through. But it’s really this element of like, if we’re doing each one of these phases properly, and like really tapping into it. We, every month, we gain momentum on the month prior like It’s like this upward spiral rather than just feeling like we’re on this hamster wheel of repeat every single month. And we don’t have to get it perfectly. I know that’s a big thing for you like, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I will tell you there are this is not my prime time for a call. But it’s what it is. And we would deal with it right? But knowing that you can adjust other things, you provide extra self care, you can bring more awareness, you create more space, like whatever it is that you need, so that you can create that just balance throughout the month. But even if you tap into and only align like 5% 10% of your tasks to the cycle, you will start to notice a difference.

Blake Schofield 23:40 Awesome. You said earlier, right? If you are going through big cycles of PMS or problems, it’s a sign that something is misaligned. Yeah. Can you give some examples of like, what are the most common things you see that are the signs and symptoms that you are misaligned in one of these?

Renae Fieck 23:57 So for instance, a couple months ago, we had some family visiting, and we they were in town and they wanted to go sightsee, they wanted to go eat out, they wanted to enjoy San Diego, they wanted to go have fun. And so we did. We were like, the zoo, the beach, the restaurants, we went out to dinner every night. And it wasn’t until a couple days into it that I was so impatient with my kids. I was snapping I was angry, I was mad about every little thing. I couldn’t I just felt so triggered, I felt so anxious and overwhelmed. And then I realized it was like oh my gosh, I was in that reflect phase when I should have been slowing down and having a little bit more of that inward focus. When instead we were doing all of this high energy high level of like, I needed to be on the whole time. And so for in that situation it was like a very much like high trigger like easy, easy anger with the kids impatient, feeling overwhelmed feeling anxious, feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing just feeling like those triggers, really, and everybody’s triggers are gonna be a little bit different. But you can feel really when you start to feel really easily triggered, and you’re like, Why Am I overreacting right now to this, like, the kids didn’t find their shoes, or the they didn’t put their plate in the dishwasher or, like my husband didn’t take the trash out, like when you start to notice that you’re getting really worked up about those simple little things, then that can oftentimes be a cue that something else is off.

Blake Schofield 25:29 That’s a good one. What about this idea of health? So you said you notice there’s a certain like, week of the year, you’re always sick? Yeah. What if there’s a certain week? Have you heard of people who have a certain week of the month that when they do get sick, it’s always in that same week? And if so, what would somebody in that situation need to look at to be able to figure out how to fix it?

Renae Fieck 25:51 Yeah, well, I mean, I hope that people aren’t getting sick every single week, or every single month, but if you are, it most likely is in that downward towards the second half of the month, because you’re going to have that high level of peak, you know, any people talk about it all the time, where you’re like, go, go, go, go, go, you’ve got a big project, big launch, something that you’re working really hard for, your body holds it together. And as soon as it gets a little bit of vacation time it crashes, right? And that’s because because as soon as you give yourself that little bit of a breathing room, your body says I’ve had enough, I need to take the break, and then you get sick. So if you are, it would be that same kind of element in the month to month where you’d have that high level of estrogen. And as soon as you hit that progesterone you tank and if that’s you, even right now, like maybe it’s not getting sick, but it’s your energy, right? Like, as soon as you come off that wave, it’s like, extreme tanking, then there is something a little bit off, and I would look at, like, how are we taking care of yourself throughout the whole month? How are you honoring each one of these different phases, because as women, we’re not made to be on 100% of the time, we’re not made. Like even just looking at the way our cycles run, we need all four of these things, right? Like we need recharging, we need connection and relationships, we need productivity. And we need to feel like we have the space to kind of reflect back like we need all four of those pieces. So if you’re letting go of one and saying, hey, you know what productivity and getting things done is more important to me than recharging, then something’s gonna misfire at some point, like they all four pieces of the cycle are just as important as the other ones. And I think that that’s where it really helps people let go of this guilt, right, like so many times, and I don’t know if most of your audience is moms. But in general, women feel very guilty about taking a break, right, like, because we shooting like, we should be doing something we should be productive, we should be able to focus right now, I should be able to I’ve set aside this time to get something done, I should be able to do it. And so then we grind through rather than really asking where we’re at in that space. And so that’s what happens is that that those those other tasks like productivity and management and time management and getting stuff done, like checking off the To Do lists, those have gotten so much more weight and clout than recharging. And what I really hope to kind of redefine for women is that all four phases are just as equal as the other you cannot survive without one or the other. Like they all have to be a part of the system.

Blake Schofield 28:27 Thank you for sharing that. I think that that makes so much sense. And it aligns so much with what I talk a lot about when we talk about learning how your brain works, and how to, you know, my clients come in, in the first three to four weeks for like completely different people. Yes, I’ve taught them how to reclaim and repurpose their time, their energy in their mind. And some of what we talked about in the program is understanding the mythology that I just need to push through and actually be able to realize, stop trying to go for what’s my mentor, Nick calls it maximum, maximum attainability? What’s the most I can do? I think most of us live that way, right? Like, what’s the most I can do and I need to do that much every single day. And if I don’t do that much today, I feel guilty because I didn’t get stuff accomplished, which is a very backwards approach. Instead of looking at what’s a maximum sustainability, what is the most I can consistently do that is in harmony and imbalance for my life. And if I consistently do that, then I’m in great shape. And when I get this stuff done, I can then go do something else. But I’m not pushing myself beyond that limit. I remember when I was in corporate, and I would get this mythology in my head, I’d be like, gosh, I just really want to get this thing done. So it’s just a little bit I’m just going to work longer than I plan to because I’m gonna get this thing done and then two hours later, I’m drained. I’m exhausted. The thing still isn’t done. I’m not happy with it, but I just give up right? I’m done. I can’t do anymore. I still didn’t achieve my goal, which was just to get the thing done. I believe If I go home, I come back in the morning, and I look at it and I go, Oh, that’s so obvious. Yeah, it’s super simple. And I missed it, because I was forcing myself to try to be productive when my brain was done being productive. And so I love hearing what you’re saying, because I think it really dovetails with what I’ve learned about how your brain works, and how to optimize that. And it just puts this other layer on of understanding, right, that your hormones and your cycle are also impacting that. Yep. And just ladies, we’ve got to get over the push, push, push, push, push, it just doesn’t work. It makes you less effective. Yeah, and that goes back to my comment earlier, right? If you think you don’t have five minutes to do this, that’s part of the reason why you don’t have time to do it is because you’re working against your body’s natural rhythms and against understanding how your brain actually works. And it doesn’t make you more productive, it makes you less productive, and makes you less clear, less able to see the right things less able to prioritize, and much less effective.

Renae Fieck 30:59 Yeah, well in to go off of that, too. So I mean, the the menstrual cycle, like throughout the month is huge, right? But then there’s also the seasons, which we didn’t even get into, but the year has seasons, like each quarter is different, right? Like we’re all focusing on different things every quarter in our businesses. But even in the day, we have rhythms, right, we have the circadian rhythms that are impacting our productivity and our creativity and our ability to focus throughout the day. And so when we have that three o’clock lull in the afternoon, totally normal, right, but like, so many people are going to sugar, or some sort of a stimulant to keep themselves up thinking that that dip is abnormal, and that’s not okay. Right, rather than honoring that dip. But for me, and like when looking at these cycles in the day, I used to do all of my work at the end of the day, why I’d go to work at my nine to five job, I’d take care of the kids, I would do all this stuff. And so I would be doing my business stuff in those wee hours at night from like nine o’clock at night till 11 o’clock at night. And like you said, you wake up the next morning, and it was like, Oh my gosh, I made so many errors. It looks so crappy. i What was I thinking, but in the moment, I’m feeling frustrated, because I need to get it done. And there’s no other time to do it. And so I’m like forcing your myself to sit there and do it wasting all that time, at the end of the night feeling exhausted, feeling rundown, but producing crappy work, right. And so when I realized that at the end of the day is one of those times for me, when my body is saying shut down. To the end of the day, melatonin starts kicking in, which is another one of our hormones, right like a neurotransmitter. It’s like kicking in telling you like time to go to sleep. So that’s kicking in, it’s going to produce lower quality work and take you twice as long. Then for me, what I did is I started getting up in the morning, and I got up 30 minutes earlier in the morning, was able to get done in that 30 minutes, the same amount of work that I was doing in the two or three hours at night. But I was doing much better, higher quality work. And so literally it was like looking at that to like it’s not necessarily about just hustling and forcing yourself through, sometimes the bravest. And the biggest thing you can do is set the computer down and walk away and come back to it when your body’s ready. Instead of trying to push yourself through it.

Blake Schofield 33:16 I love that couldn’t could not agree more. Yeah. So now that you got kind of the women listening and tuning in, can you share some best practices about how to use your cycles to predict like when to have difficult conversations or practice different self care strategies? How can they use this information to take action and start to see some movement forward?

Renae Fieck 33:38 Yeah, well, we’ve already I mean, like we’ve already kind of hit on some of those two big ones is one is start tracking it, start paying attention to your cycle, start paying attention to how your body responds, like, even, you know, like we talked about, like I’ve noticed every November, like the week of Thanksgiving, I have some major body flare up. And this year, I was like, Gosh, I wonder if it’s from the Halloween candy? Couple weeks prior, right? And so starting to just start to notice what those things are for you. When do you feel moody? When do you feel like you have high levels of energy? When do you have levels of creativity? And once you start to notice them, then you can start to implement them. The other piece would be to to start just I’ve totally lost my train of thought. What was your question? Again?

Blake Schofield 34:26 It was how to use the cycles to predict when to have difficult conversations practice different self care.

Renae Fieck 34:33 Okay! Yes, I’m like, Oh my gosh, I totally lost it. Um, but then the second thing would be to start noticing, like, where those different parts of your cycle are, right? So the recharge phase would be to give yourself the permission to actually practice self care in there. And it may not look like everybody else’s self care. It might be totally different for you. And I know for a long time so many women think like resting, right like we have this resistance to just rest, and maybe rest for you is not recharging, right? That was one of the most freeing things for one of my clients when she realized she didn’t have to rest, like everybody says rest, but focusing on recharge, and what those things were for her made a huge difference for her it was going for a walk, and spending time out in nature going for a hike in those types of things. So really maximizing that. The other thing is, is like so once you start your cycle, the four phases after that can be pretty predictable. So you know, if you have a regularly regular schedule, or a cycle, that every week is going to have a different theme, a different superpower is what I call them, that you’re going to have that so if you know like, hey, and paying attention to those other cycles, cues to like mucus like Right, like we are your you should have different changes in your mucus throughout the month. So paying attention that knowing like, Hey, I’m ovulating this week, this is the time when I want to play in that presentation. This is when I’m going to have my my difficult conversations, I’m going to ask for the raise at work all those types of things. And to be able to predict those, it really does come from looking back at that step one, looking at the awareness and starting to overlay and starting to plug in a little bit. And then it’s not going to be 100%, you’re not going to get it perfect every time especially if you have irregular cycles, right? Like, it’s not going to be 100%. But even if we’re closer, like even if you schedule, you know you’re a job interview in a time when maybe you’re not in the your highest time for being able to communicate and have that like that connect phase. But if it’s not in your recharge phase, that’s even better, right? Like, even if it’s closer, we’re going to have much better because that those cycle changes are so drastic from one end to the other. But sometimes in the middle days, they can get a little bit more gray. So there’s a little bit more headroom in there.

Blake Schofield 36:57 Awesome. I imagine if there are women listening, they’re like, oh, wait, what was it that she said? So would you mind going back and just layering in again? 1234 cycles and what each week sort of mean? So those who are listening, if you want to take notes, this would be a great time to do it.

Renae Fieck 37:14 Yeah. So recharge is when you start bleeding, right? So that would be your actual when your menstrual starts that it’s the focus is recharging the second half of that month or that week, you can start focusing in on planning, right? So it’s but it’s still much slower than actual doing, you’re just planning, you’re starting to look forward to the month. So that first week is really geared towards, you know, processing what happened last month, what do I want to go forward with this month? What’s going to happen? Where can I schedule things in the second week is your accelerate week. So that’s your week, when you actually want to start getting stuff done that you planned in that week prior? What What big projects do you have? What is the big goal for the month? How am I going to achieve that, and getting those big, big movers going, those big things rolling, then the third week would be your Connect week, that is the week when you want to schedule those really magnetic communicative sort of interactions, right, but go on a date night, plan your happy hour with your girlfriends, the social things like very engaging sorts of things. And then the final week would be your reflect week. And that’s where you’d slow it down, create some space kind of process through the week prior. If you’re in business, it’s when you want to write like write write out in journal and like create all your content, because that’s when you’re going to be the most aligned to doing all of that. So those are the four phases. And there’s so many different pieces, right? Like, once you start getting into this and you start laying around, like you even said, like, you can layer in your food, and you can layer in your exercise, and you can layer in all these other pieces, right? Like, you don’t want to be doing a high intensity hit workout run during that week when your body is trying to recharge like, it’s just not the way it works. And sometimes, even that like even just structuring your exercise and those activities that you’re doing around your cycle can help lower that cortisol and lower those stress hormones. And then your cycle. We didn’t talk about that today. But if your cycles, super irregular, sometimes doing that will help your cycle start to regularize, because the reason it’s so irregular is because of the stress that it’s induced.

Blake Schofield 39:24 So good. Yeah, well, our I feel like we could sit and talk for longer, but the time has run through. So before we kind of close up, I’d love to ask, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that I should have? Or that you want to share?

Renae Fieck 39:40 I feel like we’re good. I feel like the one thing that I really want to hit home is that this is the like using your cycle for productivity, time management, all those types of things. The goal in that is really to give yourself more permission, and more grace, like I think oftentimes there’s these way especially with high achieving driven women There’s like these expectations of what we should be doing. And it’s coming all from external stuff, rather than really trusting what’s going on inside. And it’s easy. It’s easy. Like even the client I had this morning, she and I were talking about it and how we have like different coaches or mentors or business employees, like our employers, everybody’s like sitting there telling you what to do, how to do it, when to do it. And this is really about stepping into like listening and trusting your body. And when things feel out of alignment, it’s okay to step up for that.

Blake Schofield 40:32 Awesome, thank you. Well, for those of you who are listening, who would love to know more about what Renee does and her work, you can find her at WWW dot Renee So it’s R E in ae And we’ll also have it in the show notes as well for you. But Renee, it’s been such a pleasure, thank you for sharing just a tiny bit of the knowledge and experience you have in this arena. And for those of you listening, I hope that this has empowered you to think differently about productivity, balance, understanding your self better, I think that that’s such a huge part of my heart for women is I think we, I think as a society, for many decades, probably because right of what our grandmothers and mothers had to fight for in their careers, we believe that everything has to be this hustle and grind, and we have to produce and we have to do more and more more. And we have to be perfect to do all these things. And it’s, that’s so not true. The most successful women I know, have balance, understand who they are, have boundaries, right? Ask for what they want in need. And understand that being productive isn’t about using every single moment of your time that you have available. It’s about understanding how you can use your time most efficiently. And so I love a lot of what you’re sharing Rene, because I think that’s really what it’s about is how do I understand my strengths? And how do I understand how to use this in a way that benefits me because you’re right, if you’re using your time appropriately, something could take you 20 or 30 minutes, it would have taken you two or three hours in the wrong time. And so back to what I said before, if you don’t have that self awareness and the beginning of this, you said to yourself, I don’t have time, I want to challenge you, you do have time, right? And the reason you don’t have time is because you’re not you’re not doing these things you’re not clear on how to actually use your time and your natural rhythms to your best ability. Thank you for joining me today, Renae. Really appreciated and loved it.

Renae Fieck 42:33 Thank you so much for having me on.

Blake Schofield 42:36 Absolutely. And for those of you listening, I hope you have a great week ahead and we’ll catch you next time.