EPISODE 143: [INTERVIEW] How to Streamline and Systemize Your Life and Business to Feel More Joyful with Brittany Blackwell



If you are currently feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, or like your life is moving in a million different directions, this episode is for you! Today I sat down with Brittany Blackwell and she shared her expertise and insight on how you can streamline your life (& business!) so that you can feel more joyful on the daily. There are so many takeaways and exercises you can do in today’s new episode that will help you to get back into alignment and feel more at peace. 


If you love today’s episode, take a screenshot of it and post it to Instagram. When you do, tag Brittany and I so we can see your biggest takeaways!


Website: http://www.teachingmindbodyandsoul.com

Podcast: http://www.teachingmindbodyandsoul.com/podcast

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/TeachingMindBodyandSoul

Tiktok: http://www.tiktok.com/msprincessteach

Email: brittany@teachingmindbodyandsoul



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Maddy 0:01 Hey bestie and welcome to the living in sunshine podcast. I’m your host, Maddy fry. And around here we are all about encouraging, inspiring, and giving you the tough love that you need to hear to get out there and live as your best self. Each and every Wednesday, you can expect to learn tangible tips to help you find your bigger purpose. be given simple action steps that you can take in order to make progress toward your biggest dreams and hear how you can purposely pursue joy on the daily. So sit down, grab your favorite drink, and let’s have a girl chat. This is the living in sunshine podcast. Good morning. Good morning, my beautiful friend and welcome back to the living in sunshine podcast. I am so pumped that you are tuning in for today’s brand new episode because we have a very special guests on the show talking to us about burnout prevention, recovery and sustainability in life. In today’s episode, we are sitting down with Brittany Blackwell, who is an award winning special education teacher and teacher burnout and sustainability strategies from South Carolina home girls literally in my backyard, which is so amazing. With over 13 years of experience in elementary and middle school classrooms. Brittany has become an expert in addressing teacher burnout. And she’s also the host of the popular podcast the resilient Teacher Podcast. Brittany is passionate about empowering teachers and educational leaders to prioritize their mental health which we all need to be doing more often. And she helps them to develop personalized sustainability and burnout recovery plans so they can live their best life inside and outside of the classroom. Through her digital approach, which includes automation, digital planning, vision, planning and sustainable strategies, Brittany has reached 1000s of educators worldwide. Our interview today is so amazing. And Brittany teaches us some really great exercises if you are currently feeling burnt out overwhelmed or like your life is running in a million different directions. So grab some water, find somewhere cozy to take a seat, and let’s get into it. All right. All right. Welcome back to the living in sunshine Podcast. I’m so excited that you guys are tuning in today because I have a very special guest. Brittany Blackwell is here with us today to talk all things systems and strategy and getting your life organized. Both life and business. So you can thrive and have the best year ever. So Brittany Hello and welcome to the show. Wha

Brittany 2:18 I am so excited to be here. Thank you so much Maddy for having me.

Maddy 2:22 Yes. Okay, so for my friends who don’t know who you are, or where to find you. Can you shout tell the people? All the things about you? Who are you? What do you do? As they’re listening? Where are they? Where can they look you up? All those things?

Brittany 2:35 Yeah, so my name is Brittany Blackwell. I was a special education teacher for 13 years. I am now an instructional coach. But I really work to help teachers beat burnout. That is my main passion in life right now outside of being a mom slash bonus mom of five kids 512345 children. And I also have a podcast, the resilient Teacher Podcast where I just focus on helping teachers beat the burnout cycle once and for all. I was that teacher at one point in time, I was a single mom of two and I struggled to get my life together. I had a business while I was teaching because obviously teaching doesn’t you know, pay a whole bunch of dollar dollar bills. But I had a business at the time. And I was just running on E like, there was nothing that was truly bringing me joy being a mom wasn’t bringing me joy, because I didn’t have it all together. My business wasn’t bringing me joy, again, because I didn’t have it all together. And one day I had this like epiphany that nobody was coming to save me. Nobody was trying to save me. I had to decide what I loved and bring that at the forefront. And so I that’s kind of what I do for teachers like I show them that and empower them to realize that they have the key to unlocking their burnout cycle. And it just takes becoming really clear. And having that clarity and then moving to a place where you can actually take action.

Maddy 4:20 So yeah, yeah. Oh my gosh. Okay, so there’s like 45 million things I want to unpack and just what you said in the last like, minute and a half, but I want to start because I feel like this is something that a lot of people struggle with, is recognizing and coming to that realization of there’s no one coming to rescue me right now. Like it’s gotta be me. How did you know? Was there a turning point? Was there something that happened? What was the catalyst that made you say, one, no one is coming to rescue me but also I’m tired of this. Like I can’t do this anymore. And I need to do something that is going to make this better for me because I don’t want this to be my life forever was there Something that happened or a turning point, whatever that made you come to that that realization?

Brittany 5:05 Well, I think that it was, it’s kind of like a two fold thing. It there was there was a catalyst that set it in motion, but then there was an actual point of time that I realized it. So the catalyst of that was actually going through a divorce with my ex husband. That was the catalyst to realizing that there were so many situations that I was putting myself in, that wasn’t good for me and wasn’t good for my children. And it wasn’t good for the life that I wanted to live. But then, once I was dealing with that, I kind of was still stuck in the whole idea of my life sucks. There’s nothing I can do. I went to therapy. And I hear people say that all the time. Like they go to therapy, and then they realize, Oh, crap, you know, this whole time, it could have just been me doing my thing. Yep. Then there. Yeah. So I mean, really just going to therapy and having somebody who was outside of my life, tell me the things that my friends were trying to tell me. And my mom was trying to tell me, and I wasn’t listening, because you don’t know what you’re talking about. But yeah, how this this lady who doesn’t know me can tell me? Hey, have you really kind of thought a little bit about what you want your life to look like? Well, it’s not this, you know, well, what can you do? Oh, yeah, I have to do it. And so that was just a big thing for me. And it got me really into reading books and like diving into just self discovery, because at the time, I didn’t really even know who I was. And really just getting into who I am and what I want my life to look like. And yeah, now I live out life that I’m happy with. And I live in joy. Yeah, I love that so much. And it’s funny because I, it’s one of the I love that you said it took an outside point of view, it took a different voice to say this thing that I’ve heard before from these other people, for me to realize and be like, Oh, they’re actually not making it up or blowing smoke or you know, just saying things to say things because it’s cute, like, Oh, it is real. And I love how you said that. And then followed by, I had to take time to explore to figure out what I wanted, gain clarity. And now I’m living this life that I love. Because people this is what I say on my show all the time. And so my voice isn’t the voice that you need to hear it from. I’m here to tell you, I want you to rewind 30 seconds, click the little rewind button and listen to it from Brittany. Because Chase just said everything that I say on the show every single week.

Maddy 7:47 I love that. So let’s talk about burnout, because burnout is whether you’re a teacher or a mom, or a dog mom or business owner, whatever. Brittany wears a bunch of different hats, right? Mom, entrepreneur, former teacher, speaker, right, all of these different things. So I feel like when we talk about burnout, we can put it into any of these other types of situations that a listener might be living in. What to you are some clear signs that someone is either on the road to burnout, or is just already toasted? Like what should people be looking for in themselves to be like, Oh, she’s talking to me now?

Brittany 8:25 Yeah. So one of the things that I recognize in multiple different, like you said, I wear multiple different hats. So I talk mainly to teachers. But I also help business owners too, with this whole idea this. And so one of the things that can really start to, like, give you red flag signals, is you start not liking the thing that you were super passionate about. And that happens so easily. It happens yes, with like, I’ve talked to podcasters before who you know, they’re podcasting. And they have podcast, burnout moms, I don’t think that any mother, you know, hates being a mom. But when it starts to not be like, all the time, you’re dreading waking up in the morning, because you’ve got a mom today. Like, that’s a sign you’re getting burned out. If you’re in your business, and you were super stoked about your business, and you’re like, Yeah, I’m on this business, and I’m gonna do this, and I’m gonna do that. And then you make it. And you’re like, I don’t even like this. I don’t even like this, but you’ve lived it your whole life. That’s a sign that you are burning out. And there are so many other pieces to that puzzle. But I think that’s the main indicator there that you start not enjoying the things that you’ve enjoyed your whole life or just for a short amount of time, you know?

Maddy 9:48 Yeah, yeah. So then if someone is thinking, like, I’m at the point now where I either know I’m burned out or I feel like I’m burning out, what would you tell them? That they’re First step needs to be to kind of start to recover, or what are things that you have done or teach other people to do in order to come back from that, right? Because like you said, there are things that we do or create or pursue, because we genuinely lights us up. And we know we like to do it. But there’s just something about it that like the cogs in the machine are working against one another. Right? That’s kind of how how burnout feels to me. So what would you tell people to sort of work to come back from that? Or to reset from that? What are some of your best tips for that? And I know that that’s a loaded question. And it’s going to be different for everyone. But what would you say?

Brittany 10:36 Right, so one of the things that I think above all else is so important to do, and we kind of touched on it, when we started talking about this is that it’s important to get in touch with who you are your values, becoming really self aware, I think is the ultimate way to start to then streamline, become productive, and eventually live in joy. Like I have fallen into the trap. And I think many women, you know, the ones that I’ve worked with have fallen into the trap of not really being true to themselves or doing things because somebody else said, to me, this is really aligned with who they were as a person. Yeah, that’s such a slippery, slippery slope, you know. Um, so one way that I kind of do this, is I tell people to take out a sheet of paper, and draw a circle, put your name right in the middle of it. Okay. Now, so everybody who’s listening, get out your piece of paper? Or pause this and come back to it later. Yes. Right. Make a circle with your name in the middle of it and create tick marks around the circle of everything that you have to do, personally, professionally. relationally. Like, for me, that might be you know, checking emails, laundry dishes, helping kids with homework, cooking, dinner, podcast, editing, podcast, recording, creative writing, social media, managing, you know, spending, uninterrupted time with my husband, whatever. Okay? Yeah, yeah. And at first looking at all those things can be kind of overwhelming. But what it does is, it kind of puts it into perspective, which things you might be doing that you really don’t need to but you do it in hmm, yeah. Then the next step of that is to then go back to that circle of tick marks, get out a red pen and a green pen. And what you do is you create green arrows going towards your name in the middle, where those tasks or things that you do that actually bring you joy, that bring you energy, and red arrows away from you, for those things that are energy draining, or that you really don’t like, yeah, and the goal is not to be like balanced, as much as it is that you start adding more of those green arrows. Because if you have too many of those red arrows, that’s when your energy, your passion are being sucked away, right? And sometimes, like, I’ll have people then like rewrite them into columns, but just seeing how many red and how many green arrows you have might get you thinking might get you thinking like, Wow, no wonder, I’m so miserable. No wonder I’m living my best life. Right? Yeah. And really then going into looking at those red arrows, and then making a plan for those and streamlining those to reduce that breakdown and burnout. That’s kind of like a big piece right there. I love that so much. And I like that visual aspect to it. Because nowadays as visuals we are as humans with marketing and social media and TV and all this stuff. How often do we not take that step for for things, right?

Maddy 14:01 I and this is why I always encourage people to make a physical vision board or to create a visual reminder for what they want or what they’re working towards. And like not just writing it down on their on a note in their phone because it’s not the same. It’s simply not the same. In fact, I love that. So you’ve mentioned streamlining a few times. Yeah, can we talk about that? Like let’s talk yeah, what does that mean? What are you What are you referencing? What are you talking about when you say streamline your life? Because for me, that could mean like 45 million things but I know for you You’re like the streamline the systems girl so talk to us about it.

Brittany 14:33 So streamlining to me is like where you’re you’re taking these not so fun tasks and your and your fun tasks. Yeah, and creating a life that you want to live. And when you streamline these things, you’re making it so. So the next part let me let me step back a little bit. Yes, the next part of maybe the circle with the red arrows would be the to take those red arrows and ask the question, Can I automate this, can I delegate this or eliminate this? Yeah. So that’s like the next phase of then taking it and making it work in your flow. And so like, I think to myself, most people’s kind of struggle with delegation I know that did like, that was the one that I struggled with most commonly. But then even automation, because most people don’t know how to automate. But that’s kind of what I that’s what I teach teachers to do, because they don’t realize that that’s something that they can do that they can live a happier and healthier life long term. But when these tasks that drain your energy are automated, delegated or eliminated, you no longer spend that brainpower on them, you’re no longer spending that energy. Instead, they’re just done in the background, like, yeah, right. And so then you can actually spend more time with what lights you up what’s important, what’s valuable to do, thus, living in joy. And so, like, I focus a lot on automating with technology, or delegating to technology. Yeah, I’ve seen tons of improvement in my ability to be able to do all the things that I do be a mom via, you know, a business owner, all the hats that I wear. Um, but some of the automations are literally just time blocking bad, yes, things like that, where you’re actually going in, and you’re creating a schedule that works with your energy levels, what you like your values, your goals, all of those types of things.

Maddy 16:40 Yeah, I love that. So can you give us some examples? Because I feel like sometimes, I feel like there might be listeners who are like, Oh, this really only works if I’m a teacher. This really only works if I’m a business owner. Can you give us some real life examples of things that we can automate? Eliminate? Or what was the last part a delegate? Thank you, I was gonna say, outsource, but I was like, that doesn’t go with her little cute, three things that she’s been saying. So what are some things like, you know, in everyday life that you could do one of those things? Could you give us some examples?

Brittany 17:12 Yeah. So one of the things that I hate to do, okay, let’s do this one, because this one’s my favorite one. Because I feel like a lot of people are like this. I’m a little neurodivergent, a lot of neurodivergent. And so I will forget to do certain tasks, like they just, if they’re not at the forefront of my brain, I’m going to forget about it. And it’s gone square out the window. So one of those things, is a safety concern for my husband, which is I forget to lock the door, I forget to lock the door. I just forget, I cannot remember to lock my door. So one of the things that worked for a while was delegating that to him, delegate to him. But what if he’s not there? Right, yeah. So I need to automate this. One way to automate this, if we didn’t use technology at all would be to set a reminder, right? The other way to do that is to get a Yale door lock. And a yield door lock is connected to your phone. And anytime you leave within a certain distance from your house, it locks your door. I love that. I love that. Yeah. And so that’s like a really simple, like, silly way, I guess. But at the end of the day, it’s looking at somewhere where maybe you have a weakness, maybe it’s washing dishes, right? Like, these are just real life example systems. But like you, you’re like, dishes. You know,

Maddy 18:43 you’re like me and your dishes are sitting in your sink after like, almost two days, right? Get it?

Brittany 18:48 Right. That was me too. That was me too. Until I started delegating that to my husband. I met his job to do now I’ll do laundry all day long. Yep. All right. I’ll keep it in. You know, I’ll do Laundry. Laundry. Yeah, but I’m not very good at dishes. And I don’t like it. It’s not fulfilling to me. If he’s going to cook, you can do the dishes out clean the countertops. And so that’s like a delegation part there. Yeah. Or you could automate that. So that every time that you have a dish, right, and you’re taking it to the sink, the automatic thing that you’re going to do is you’re going to rinse it off and you’re gonna put it in the dishwasher. So that’s that’s a simple automation it doesn’t have any tech with it or anything like that, but it’s just kind of like habit stacking a little bit. Yes stacking things like that, that you you might not be so great at but then you could do Yeah, and one more for elimination that you have is if you really like for business purposes. Let’s just go business. Yeah, I really don’t like tick tock I love Tiktok I’m tick tock is my jam I’m on tick tock, I’ll scroll tick tock, I’ll posting talks, I’ll do all those things. But if you don’t like tick tock, and you’re like forcing yourself to do it, and you hate it, and it’s not bringing you joy. Don’t do it. Yes, I know. I know. That’s like crazy to think easy, right? No, don’t do it. Just not eliminate that. Because at the end of the day, there are other tasks that you can do. Yes, that might bring you joy, or that will be simpler or more stream that works better for your you no energy. Yeah, tick tock.

Maddy 20:39 So yeah, I love that so much. So what would you say then? Because I know that when we hear that we have things we need to do, right? Eliminate automate, delegate, we have to Oh my gosh, suddenly, all these things in my life. And I feel super overwhelmed by all of this. How can someone go about building this into their life? Because here in the living in sunshine space, I’m all about small steps to then get you to big action and big results? Where in how would you tell someone to start this process? Because I am not one who’s like changed your life overnight? Like the don’t throw all the carbs and the sweets and snacks out of your house and only buy kale right? No way that’s not gonna work? How can we implement this practice? Because I think it’s really powerful. Without getting overwhelmed, and without feeling like we need to flip our entire life upside down overnight, because that never works.

Brittany 21:32 So one of the things would be to just find that really, what from your little circle here, you’ve got your red arrow, find that one red arrow that you’re like, if I never did that, again, I would do what have you done them out? You know, I would be so happy. Look at that one thing don’t like choose all of them, you know, go for that one task, and then look at it. Do you really need to do it at all? Like, if the answer is yes, that you still have to do it like for, for me, it might be washing the dishes? I still I have to do that. I mean, there’s no other option unless we’re gonna get paper plates. Yeah, then we would take it through that next funnel of can I delegate this? Or can I automate this? And so because I now I remarried and I have a husband who’s actually helpful. I can delegate that to him, we can have a conversation. Or I can delegate it to one of my kids in the next coming weeks. That’s that’s actually a plan of ours is to give our children the opportunity to start taking some responsibility. So then delegating it that way, if there weren’t those options there, could I automate that? And then just taking that one step at a time and working on that one area? Yeah. Because over time, those little small and consistent changes, leads to huge results, just like Yes, like that. That’s where your life changes is in those little bitty Yeah, a little pockets.

Maddy 22:58 Yeah, I love that. Because, like you’ve said earlier, when you start to take care of your red arrows to put simply, yeah, you kind of take out and you slowly start to audit your life of not having those roadblocks, those daily roadblocks that drain your energy or make you upset or get you frustrated, or flustered or whatever. And I love that. So can you share with us three big areas, maybe not big areas, but three areas where women either in business or not, can organize and streamline their life so they can feel more joyful? Like what what, what are the three areas that we should start to look at when it comes to doing this?

Brittany 23:40 So for me, I’m going to say this, because I was a special education teacher for 13 years. Yeah, rain feels like everything is super individualized. And that’s kind of my perspective on everything, is that each person is very unique. And so I can answer for me what the three areas worked for me, but I don’t feel like I can give like this prescriptive prescriptive thing.

Maddy 24:07 Oh, yeah. So for you, where would you start?

Brittany 24:10 So the the thing that would work for me is like, I would look at my work life balance. And that work life balance is looking at, you know, where I could actually have time for my work, and then for my personal activities. Because what I found was that I wasn’t putting a lot of time into my personal life. I was putting so much emphasis on work and always doing my work all the time. And I know you’ve said it before, but we don’t live to work. Yeah, like Yeah, no, it’s like, and so one of the ways that I do that now is I use a tool called Akhi flow, and it combines all of my calendars into one place. And at the beginning of my week, I go ahead and I see schedule in my personal stuff, my time for my family, my self care, my hobbies, all before my week begins. Yeah, so that those are things that are at the forefront and they are the most important. Those are my priority things making that personal life time. Really non negotiable, you know. And so that’s probably my first area, the so really putting in those personal things, personal hobbies, time, self care, all of that immediately at the beginning. And then the second thing is streamlining my prioritization. So really identifying the high impact tasks that really align with my goals at that time focusing on what’s essential and learning to say, no non essential tasks or even automating those yeah, sometimes it just comes down to like me, deciding if it wasn’t a hell yes, yes. It’s a no, it’s okay. Yeah, you know, and being okay with not doing it all, really getting down to the nitty gritty of what is truly important to me what’s truly valuable. And being okay with putting the rest on the backburner until I could come up with a plan to automate it. Yeah, the third thing that I’m gonna have to say, is, like I said, I’m a little bit neurodivergent. Yeah. So having a way to streamline my ideas, like, Oh, I’m a huge Creative At Heart. Yes. So I had to find a way to not dampen my creativity by getting overwhelmed with all of my ideas. Yeah, are actually taking action. And so like having a streamlined method for taking in those ideas and having a way to actually put action to them. So I actually use a tool called notion. Yeah, yep. I have. Yep. Yeah. So and I have a method and a system. So when an idea pops into my head, instead of putting it on a sticky note, which I do have sticky notes. Yeah, I ending up with like, 50 million sticky notes. Yeah, on my desk. Yeah, put my ideas into the specific page. And then I have a process for being able to go back to that and either take action immediately, or having a way to, like, when I don’t have any ideas, because we all have those moments, right? Like where you’re like, I don’t have an idea in the world, I can go back to it and be like, oh, yeah, there was that idea that I came up with six months ago. And I feel like the key to successfully organizing and streamlining these areas really lies and taking those small, consistent steps, you know, which lead to that really significant improvement, and living a joyful life.

Maddy 28:05 I love that. Not only that, but I also just want to touch on the fact that you to do this, a big part of it is slowing down and recognizing where things aren’t working. And asking yourself, Why is this not working? Is it not working? Because it’s not for me? Is it not working? Because that’s not how my brain works? Is it not working? Because I just don’t like it, and really pausing to be like, what is the thing that’s causing my goals, the needle of my life to stop moving forward? Right, and where can I alter pivot, streamline whatever, in order to get moving down the road again? I love that so much, Brittany, you have given us so so much. I’m so thankful for you. Can you please tell me all of the places where everyone can find you and fall in love with you?

Brittany 28:52 Absolutely. If you didn’t follow up with me yet. You can listen to my podcast. It’s the resilient Teacher Podcast. I actually did an interview with Maddy back in the summertime. And so you can go and find that episode as well. So it’s the resilient Teacher Podcast. You can find it on Apple, Spotify, wherever else you stream you will have it all linked below in the show notes too for Yeah, yeah. And then I am on Instagram at teaching mind body and soul. And on Tik Tok at Miss Princess teach, I blew up on Tik Tok and just can’t ever change my name. Because I’m nervous. Nobody will ever be able to find me. Up there it up. It’s not so good. But I love that. And then I also have a website. It’s called Teaching mind body and soul.com. And I actually have a section specifically for helping business owners automate that I just added on there because a lot of my teacher business owners didn’t know how to automate and so I started you know, creating little things for them. And now I’ve put it on there as well so you can find it I love it. I love it.

Maddy 30:00 Amazing. Well Brittany, thank you so much for being on the show. I hope you listening to today’s episode loved it. If you did, take a screenshot of wherever you’re listening to it, post it on Instagram and tag both of us over there so we can reshare Brittany, thank you so much for your time. I am so grateful for you for sharing all of your knowledge and expertise on this. Yes, thank you, Maddie for having me. Thank you so much, girlfriend. Thank you so much for listening to today’s new episode. If you loved it, please send it to a friend share it on Instagram and tag me so I can see and consider leaving the show a rating or a review. Ratings and reviews are kind of like sharing or liking a post on Instagram, and they really help the show grow and reach new women just like you. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss a new episode. And until next week, I am sending you all the sunshine, good vibes and I hope you make it a great day.