Episode 308: [PLANNING SERIES] A Step-By-Step Walkthrough of Power Planning

Episode 308: [PLANNING SERIES] A Step-By-Step Walkthrough of Power Planning

Power Planning covers everything perfectionists must do to plan properly. It’s a simple 3 step process that anyone can learn. And I walk you through it in this episode.

Here’s a brief overview of how Power Planning works but be sure to tune into this episode to get all the details!

Step 1. Power Hour – in your weekly Power Hour you’ll put your needle moving tasks in your digital calendar and create simple contingency plans that make it easy to get everything done without feeling overwhelmed.

Step 2. Little Tweaks – every day you’ll spend a little bit of time tweaking your calendar so you can get everything done without ever feeling behind or burning out, even if something unexpected comes up.

Step 3. Weekly Review – at the end of the week you’ll do a brief weekly review to discover what worked, what didn’t work and what to do differently so next week’s plans are even easier to follow through on.

After listening to this episode, you’ll know how to make the kind of plans that get you out of your own way – even when you’re scared to put yourself out there.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The 3 problems that make perfectionists get in their own way
  • What it looks like when perfectionists follow the same planning advice as everyone else
  • What needs to happen during your weekly Power Hour
  • How to update your calendar so your plans stay workable
  • How to do your weekly review
  • How Power Planning has you doing more in less time without burning out

Featured In The Episode:

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As part of my series to help you plan properly as a perfectionist, this episode covers all 3 steps of Power Planning (the power hour, little tweaks and weekly review). Tune in to learn how to make plans that get you out of your own way.


Hi and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project, a podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the perfectionist getting shit done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business, you can follow me on Instagram at @perfectionismproject. 

This episode is the second episode in a five-part series that I’m doing here on the podcast on how to plan properly as a perfectionist. Now, the first episode that I did was on the difference between procrasti-planning and planning properly. And if you’ve listened to that episode, I really hope that you now have an understanding of why it is so important to plan in a way that makes follow-through easy and that actually gets your perfectionist mindset on your side. So you can do that work to get out of your own way and get into the growth mindset. So many perfectionists spend so much time trying to stay motivated and find more willpower when really the problem is planning. And that planning problem can be solved by learning how to plan in a way that actually works for you as a perfectionist, and helps you do your perfectionism work at the same time.

So if you haven’t listened to that episode, I highly recommend going back and listening to that one. After you listen to this one. In this one, I’m going to be talking about the power planning method, and the three steps that are involved when you are power planning.

So I teach power planning in full detail inside PGSD, and the doors of PGSD are going to be opening at 6 am, New York time on the 10th of January, and closing at 11:59 pm, New York time on the 16th of January. So if you want the coaching and support and to really do this work and have this method work for you, I invite you to join us inside PGSD when the doors open. You can go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd to find out more to join the waitlist to sign up depending when you listen to this. And it’s really going to help you like this is what is PGSD is all about. It’s going beyond intellectual knowledge and understanding. And really doing the work and practicing the things that you know, and really having a supportive container to do that, where you are surrounded by people who get what you’re doing, who get what you’re struggling with, who get what your goals are, and who are also able to help you see things that you can’t yourself.

So for example, if you are power planning, and you take what I share in this episode and work through this yourself, there are going to be challenges that you come up against that are going to be challenging to resolve on your own. There are blind spots, there are things that we do as self-sabotage that are really hard to see when we’re the ones who are evaluating that. So I want to invite you into PGSD, to really practice this power planning method, to learn it, to live it and to get the support and coaching that will really help you to make the most of this method and really have you power planning and planning properly as a perfectionist.

So let’s first of all talk about the three problems that make perfectionists get in their own way. So after coaching hundreds of perfectionists at this point who are building businesses, I have really seen that there are three problems that make perfectionists get in their own way when it comes to business. The first is planning problems. The second is productivity problems. So this is overwhelmed, procrastination, burnout. And the third is persistence problems. So when I’m talking about a persistence problem, what I mean is that maybe you can actually, you know, get yourself out of procrastination for a little while. But then if you have a persistence problem, after a few weeks, you’re procrastinating worse than ever, and you feel like you’re right back to your old ways. You’re able to show up for a little while. But once you have been doing that you’re like, “Okay, how long is this going to last? I’m worried that this isn’t going to be sustainable”, that kind of thing, then you have a persistence problem. And it all starts with solving your planning problem and the PGSD process, so we cover planning problems, productivity problems, persistence problems, but I wanted to really have this series be focused on planning problems, because you have to have that piece there in order to actually be productive. And in order to persist at the right things and do that in a way that’s actually sustainable.

So I’ve already talked about in that previous episode, why perfectionists can’t follow the same planning advice as everyone else, but it’s really important to know that because you might be thinking okay, I’m just going to keep trying to plan in the same way. And I’m just going to try harder. I’m just going to try to be more motivated, I’m just going to try to have more willpower. But that doesn’t work. If it did work, it would have worked by now. You have tried that my guess is for at least a few years. And what I want to invite you to consider is that instead of trying the same methods you have before and trying them harder, and with more discipline, that instead, you learn and practice how to actually plan properly as a perfectionist in a way that makes it easy to follow through and helps you do your perfectionism work at the same time. So when you’re planning properly as a perfectionist, the other thing I want to mention is that doesn’t mean it’s strict and rigid. And actually, that’s what happens when we’re procrasti-planning and planning in a way that enables procrastination.

Because when we think for example, in power planning, we plan from a digital calendar. And we often think, Okay, well that means is going to be so strict and so rigid, and what I do with all these little tasks, and what I do if my weeks uncertain, and I don’t know what’s going to come up, and trust me, I have a baby, I know what that can be like. But power planning is really about helping you adapt to the realities of life. And the reality is that no matter what situation you’re in right now that feels, you know, too uncertain to be able to make a weekly plan, you’ve always been in a situation that’s uncertain. And there’s always been some obstacle to planning. And when we talk about planning properly, as a perfectionist, we are not talking about making perfect plans that are guaranteed to be successful, and you never have to fail at anything, and you never have to feel uncomfortable. And often when we procrasti-planning, that’s what we’re doing, we’re trying to make the right plans so that they definitely work. And we never have to feel any bad feelings, because we don’t have that self trust there that will be safe if we feel those bad feelings.

And that will be okay on the other end of that. But when we’re planning properly, as a perfectionist, we’re actually opening ourselves up to the possibility of temporary failure. To the possibility of disappointment. To the possibility that we might be trying things in a way that doesn’t work. And by opening ourselves up to that possibility, we’re actually able to create a hypothesis. Try it. So we might have our goal and think, Okay, I think this social media strategy, coupled with this email strategy is going to get me to that goal, then we try that we tested, we do the weekly review, we see what’s working, what isn’t working, what to do differently, we end up getting that, because we were open to the possibility of failure and disappointment and shame, and all those other things as well. But when we’re closed off to that, and this manifest is procrastinate planning, we want our plans to be right, we want to do everything the right way, we don’t want to waste any effort. And this results in a lot of busy work, doing things that matter, a lot of planning to plan and rewriting plans. And it’s so exhausting to do that. But also, it never gets us there.

And so power planning is really a tool, that it’s not going to have you making the right plans. As in you will experience more failure in a lot of ways than before. And I know now maybe this is doing a good job at selling power planning. But I really want you to consider this method because it’s so important for perfectionists to plan properly. But all I mean to say when I’m talking about this failure stuff is that we all intellectually know that success is built on a pile of failures. I think we’ve all heard that saying or some version of it before. And yet, when you look at how we try to do things, it’s as if we don’t know that to be true. And we think that to succeed, we need to succeed perfectly right from day one. And that’s the only way we’re ever going to get there.

And so power planning, if you have heard on this podcast or elsewhere, the power of being in the growth mindset, what that does for resilience, what that does for fulfillment, what that does, physics says which my favorite part about it, that the more we’re in this growth mindset, the less attached we feel to our work, in the sense that we no longer feel like we are the business and that if we’re having a good month in business, then we’re a good person if we’re having a bad month in business and we’re a bad person because we untangle that we able to show up more courageously and more fully and more resourcefully and more innovatively.

And that means we achieve more as well. And we have a better experience of having a business. Because at the end of the day, I know we can get so focused on achieving our goals and being successful. But we get the day to day experience. Yes, there are nice moments when we achieve a goal. But for most of us, we get through that pretty quickly. And we’re already on to the next thing. So all we have is a day to day experience and something I’ve really been considering a lot lately. Because when I talk about this stuff, people will say, Well, why should we have goals and like, shouldn’t we just focus on you know, what we enjoy day to day. And what really comes to mind for me, and I at least feel this is so true, is that to really have a fulfilling, enjoyable journey, we need a worthy destination, we need that goal because that directs the day to day journey that gives the journey purpose that gives the journey direction. And as perfectionists, we need to learn how to pursue our goals, not at our own expense.

So this is why in PGSD, we set an impossible goal. And we review that goal to make sure that it is actually going to be beneficial and not actually work against you. And then we have power planning, which is those the weekly plans that you make, to get to your impossible goal. So with the impossible goal, that’s a goal that is set above what you believe is possible, it’s not actually impossible, it’s just your brain is mistaken and thinks you aren’t capable of it. Because it’s scared to think he might be because oh my goodness, that’s gonna be so uncertain, life’s gonna be completely different. So let’s just pretend we couldn’t do that. So we just stay in this little safe bubble. So we have an impossible goal, which is your worthy destination.

And in PGSD, we set a revenue goal for your business. I don’t have time to go into it in this episode, as to why we do that. And we get a lot of pushback from PGSD on not wanting to set a financial goal because they don’t care about money. And all I will say and invite you to consider is that having a financial goal for your business, helps you do such incredible money mindset work. And it also allows you to look when we self-sabotage by saying, I don’t care about the money, I just want to help people. And then we end up often with people who say that are very focused on a lack of money anyway. So they’re spending a lot of time thinking about money as it is. But at the same time, they’re letting themselves off the hook in terms of really showing up fully. And just kind of saying, Okay, well, you know, for me, I just care about helping people, I’m just going to do that in the best way possible.

And I’ve found and with hundreds of PGSD’s that we worked with that having a financial goal really helps you to do such important work on the value of your work, and the impact you can make when you are focused on running a profitable business. And I will just wrap this little side up by saying charities need money as well. So like, I don’t care about money, I just want to help people, so to charities, and pretty much the main activity they do is fundraising. So with that said, we have a financial impossible goal. And then we have your weekly power planning. And the work that these two combined along with clean rest is going to help you do is learn how to actually pursue your goals. In a way that means the day-to-day is fulfilling. Fulfilling, by the way means you’re feeling challenged, and you’re showing up for those challenges. You’re not doing at your own expense, you’re not beating yourself up when it’s not going to plan. ie we think to plan means it goes perfectly in flawlessly. And there’s never a bump in the road. And then we get very disappointed when there’s a tiniest little obstacle because the plan was smooth riding. And when we can really start to see there’s going to be bumps, there’s going to be detours, there’s going to be ups and downs. That’s all part of it.

And power planning is really a tool to help us see where that perfectionism handbrake is on, see how we’re getting in our own way, so that we have the self-awareness to get out of it. So that we are met with the opportunity to do the work that we need to do. And at the same time when you’re planning, you’re learning how to actually plan in a way that you can follow through on that’s going to give you a sense of accomplishment and momentum that’s going to have you doing the things that you know you need to do when it comes to your business. Instead of just knowing stuff about marketing from taking different online marketing In courses, you’re actually going to be doing the things.

So when it comes to power planning, it’s so important to know, as I was saying, it’s not strict or rigid, you’re making the plans. And that it’s really about being able to be resilient. Being able to trust yourself to make decisions, and to trust yourself, to know when to change your plans, and when to follow through with them. And all those different things. It’s such an incredible personal development, productivity business tool, it helps on so many fronts. And I love that so much of the work that the impossible goal and power planning do, and clean rest those three things from the planning phase of the PGSD process, that so much of it, you won’t even realize is happening.

And you’ll have this, like a conscious understanding and awareness around improvements and progress that you’re making. And showing up for yourself more fully, and putting yourself out there more. And actually, like if something goes wrong, being able to adjust to that and keep showing up anyway. So you’re going to really have that benefit that you’re aware of consciously. But then also, I just love that, like, under the hood, there’s always other progress and developments that you’re making without even realizing it just by virtue of using these tools.

So with that said, I’m going to be talking about how power planning works. And I want to mention here that power planning takes three months of committed imperfect practice to start to get a mastery over and I’m going to do a separate episode on the three-month commitment, because it’s such an important frame of mind to be in when it comes to doing anything new, including power planning.

So let’s go through the three steps of power planning. So that you have an understanding of how power planning works, how you can do power planning, and also so you can really see the elements that really help you plan properly as a perfectionist. And that by following this process, you’re going to be avoiding mistakes you were making before mistakes, you were unknowingly making from following good advice, like advice, it was meant to be helpful, but just isn’t helpful for a perfectionist, baked into this process is everything you need to help you plan properly and ultimately get out of your own way.

So step one is the Power Hour, step two, little tweaks, step three, the weekly review. So I’m going to go through each of those, what that involves what that looks like. And then I’m going to talk about what it looks like after you’ve been power planning for at least three months and really talking about basically how to know if it’s working like what, what your life will look like, when you are using this method. And you’re really showing up for it and doing the work. And you’re someone who is like you’ve had your fair share of issues with planning in the past. But you’re ready to turn a new leaf and really go all in on planning properly as a perfectionist, so that you can build a business that you know you’re capable of building.

So let’s talk about step one, which is the power hour. So your Power Hour will be an hour planning session. In the beginning of might be 90 minutes, that’s okay but aim for an hour. And this is so as well it doesn’t go into procrastinate planning where you’re spending a whole day planning your week, and then you end up getting nothing done at all. So we have one hour. And during this hour, your brain is going to hurt, you’re going to go through a wave of feelings. So initially, you might feel a bit overwhelmed after the first step.

But then when you follow the other steps that are part of the process we have for the power hour, you’re going to end up in a place where you feel committed to your plans, where you can look at your calendar and really feel like they’re supporting you. And not just your business but your you personally, your relationships, your health, your well being everything that you have going on in your life. And we have to be so committed to getting through that whole process. Because if we just do so at the beginning, you will do a brain dump and you will get everything out of your head and onto a page. And I mentioned in the previous episode on procrasti-planning, how that is procrastinating if we do just that and nothing else. Because it’s so overwhelming that we end up doing nothing at all it ends up putting us in the all or nothing mindset. And we think I don’t know which task to start with and it’s all important, “Fuck it, I’m just gonna watch Netflix because this is too hard.” So we don’t want to be doing that we want to be going through this whole process in the Power Hour, I’m not going to go through all the 10 steps in this episode that’s covered inside PGSD.

When you join, you’ll learn all of that it’s in module two. And you’ll also, by the way, have on demand access to everything inside PGSD as soon as you sign up, including the power planning module, as well, and coaching and all the things. So you will write out this to do list and get everything all the little things business stuff, life admin stuff, anything you need to do onto the page. And then during this Power Hour, what you will do is you will end up putting your needle-moving tasks into your digital calendar.

So I often get asked about what tools do you use for power planning. So we recommend using iCal if you have a MacBook or Mac computer, or Google Calendar, if you don’t, they’re both free. And also, they both should be able to sync up with your phone as well. So for me personally, I like to look at my iCal on my phone the night before and just see like, Cool. Is there any reason I set my alarm in the morning, early. Currently I have a baby, she’s my alarm. But I make sure that I am aware of what’s happening the following day. And so it’s just really helpful to have it available on my phone. This isn’t just say there’s no place for pen and paper and different to-do lists. Outside of that, for example, I have a little to-do list, I keep on Trello of life admin tasks. And then I’ll put life admin in my power planning and work through that.

But that’s an exception, I wouldn’t recommend working like that for business tasks. And it’s so important to really treat the tasks that you put in your calendar for business as not just things you’re going to work on, but seeing them as outcomes you’re going to achieve and having them be specific and time bound, and that kind of thing. So I don’t do that in every area of my life. As I said in life admin, I have a different approach. When it comes to business, I really treat my business with that respect. And that takes practice and time.

And this is something for example I reached recently coached on inside PGSD, one of our PGSD is, was feeling frustrated that she wasn’t closer to her impossible. And I was coaching her on self-image. And I won’t go into that in this episode. But she wasn’t thinking about herself as even having a business. Even though she had products that she was selling. She was thinking well for it to be a business, then I need to be making a certain amount of money, I think for her it was $1,000 a month, I need to have a registered company, I need to have my taxes figured out there was all this criteria for having a real business. And so something that could be happening is if you don’t yet identify yourself as an entrepreneur. And for me, this happened even after I’d made money, I still didn’t feel like I had a business. And it wasn’t until I made this switch over to thinking of myself, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, whatever you want to call yourself, but actually recognizing that you already have a business, you’re in business, you’re a business owner, it’s not a little hobby, that is so important.

And planning in a way that respects that and takes your business more seriously, is a really helpful way to build that self-image that then is going to have you executing that social media strategy or sending out the emails to your email list or doing any kind of tactic or strategy to build your business, that’s going to be so much more effective. If you actually believe you have a business. If you think it’s a hobby, you’re going to show up in that way. And it’s never going to work. And you’re going to think well, once it works, I’ll start believing that I have a business, but it’s never gonna work until you believe it. So you have to believe in it first. And so really treating your business with the respect of making a plan and a plan that you can actually execute on is so important. And this might be a big piece of the puzzle you’re missing that you’re thinking it’s a hobby, or for me even before I hit 10k a month, I was like someone a real business-like in my mind or making six figures. That’s when you had a real business. And so I stopped myself from doing things that would help me build the business.

So I really want to invite you, especially if you can relate to that to start power planning and to really show up for your business in the way that you want it to show up for you. If you’re frustrated. isn’t giving you more, and you’re not giving what you can to it? How is that going to work? Your business and you have a relationship. And you need to really be committed to that relationship. And not saying, Oh, it’s just a casual thing, you know, we’ll see how it goes, like if you think about, and I’m on a side tangent now, but I’m going to keep going. If you think about a relationship with your significant other, if you’re like, Oh, it’s a casual thing. And you know, I’ll see how it goes. And all of that kind of thing. That’s not going to inspire them, to show up fully for you and to be committed to you like Are we committed, once they’re committed, it doesn’t work, you need to show up how you want to be treated and with the respect that you want to be treated with. And power planning is such a great way to do that with your business. If you feel like it’s a hobby, this is a great opportunity, a great practice to help you change that.

So going back to the power hour. So by the way, you don’t need to do this on Monday morning. You don’t need to do this on Sunday morning, or Sunday night or whatever time, your week can start and end whenever you want it to. So for example, I used to do my power hour on a Thursday. And that was how it worked best for me with what I had going on in other areas of my life for me to think of my week as starting on the Friday, and going through to the next Thursday. So there doesn’t have to be a specific time. And also, I think when we perfectionist makeup, make it a specific time we have to do it, then if we don’t feel like it, then we just don’t do it. And then a whole week goes by and we haven’t made plans and we’re just winging it and under planning and all of those things. So you’ll put your needle moving tasks. So this relates to your impossible goal into your calendar. And also as part of that power hour, you will be creating contingency plans that make it easy to get everything done without feeling overwhelmed. So this is another piece that we tend to overlook is the importance of contingency plans, and accounting for the fact that we’re not always going to feel motivated.

Or that things can change, something can come up. What we do, when we’re not planning properly as a perfectionist, were doing that procrastinate planning is that we are making plans as if it has to be followed to a tee as is, and we can’t change it at all. And this is where so many perfectionist gets stuck. When it comes to planning amidst uncertainty when you have changes in your energy and your mood. Or you have changes in your commitments to your family and what’s needed from you outside of your business, that if you were thinking the plans I make have to stay exactly as is throughout the entire week. For me to have planned successfully. And because I don’t know exactly what’s gonna happen this week, then I can’t plan at all. That is a sign of procrasti-planning, that’s okay. But we want to make sure in this what we do in the power hour that you are creating contingency plans so that you are anticipating ahead of time what obstacles might come up. And then you are making a plan for if they do, you were deciding, okay, I’m going to push that task back. Or actually, I’m going to move that task to the next week. Or I’m going to prioritize this over that if I have less time. You’re making that plan ahead of time. So that if that does happen, you’re not like, oh, the plans ruined. I’m going to scrap it and start again next week, which is what we tend to do when we think the plan has to just it’s like this immobile thing that just has to stay as is.

And as soon as we fall behind. If you think about it, it’s only possible to fall behind in a plan, if you think the plan has to stay as it is. But once you really understand how contingency plans work when it comes to planning properly, once you understand how to anticipate obstacles effectively, how to overcome those obstacles, how to adjust and I’ll talk about that more with the little tweaks, which is step two. But once you’re able to plan in a way where you are actually taking into account reality, and that you’re going to have different amounts of energy and you’re got your brain is going the whole time is going to try to derail your efforts. Like it thinks that you following your plan, which is going to result in you potentially succeeding or potentially failing and on the end of either of those potentially feeling shame. It thinks it’s unsafe to follow your plans. So your brain is going to be pulling out its best tactics to get you to procrastinate to get you to feel overwhelmed to get you burned out.

It is working to do that and we need to learn and you can learn it’s actually it’s we feel like. You’re either just a person who can adapt to that. Or actually what we think is there are other people who have their whole week they know exactly what’s happening. There’s no kind of uncertainty whatsoever. And there’s me who has uncertainty, so I can’t plan. But if you learn and you recognize you’re in that growth mindset, that you can actually learn how to adapt, part of the way we do that in the Power Hour is contingency plans and a process around that. It is incredible, how much better you will be at following through just through that alone. So when you’re doing this power hour, you have to make sure as I said that, you know, you write that long to-do list to get out of your brain. And then you go through the rest of the process that I teach in PGSD in that power hour to get your needle moving tasks in your calendar, which includes leaving things for later.

And recently, a PGSDer asked, but how do I get everything on that long to-do list into my calendar for the week? The answer is, you don’t. And I know that might not be a satisfying answer. I am not going to be teaching you how to get that long to-do list filled with busy work and things that don’t really matter into your calendar.

So your to-do is based on an overestimation of what you think you need to do to build a successful business. And it’s better to learn how to stop overestimating, instead of how to put that over-estimated too long to-do list into your calendar. So that’s what we’re doing when we are power planning. We’re being okay with not getting it all done this week. Knowing that being okay with that allows us to get what done what matters. Most wait, what am I trying to say? How to get. So when we are putting the needle movers in our calendar, we are focusing on what matters most we are doing the scary things that we need to do to build our business.We are implementing what we intellectually know when it comes to marketing, when it comes to getting customers. And that means something’s going to be done later. And then other things are going to be done never because they don’t really matter.

And also, I want to say on this as well that I want to just briefly mention having a to-do later list because this is an important part of it that I like to think about it as being this metaphorical shelf, that we just have things that we decide, okay, not now, maybe later. And we can just take it off our mental plate by deciding, okay, it’s like on this shelf. So the way I think of this shelf is like, imagine there’s a shelf on the wall, and you just have all of these things you want to do upon the shelf. And then you can come back later and look at this shelf and pick a few things off, if you want to do it and leave things on there if you want to leave them on there for later. And there’ll be saved there. And then we waiting for you, because we have this thing of like, what if I forget this amazing idea that I have, which is lack of self-trust, we don’t trust ourselves, to be able to remember it, we don’t trust ourselves to be able to execute when we’re not feeling motivated. But if we had this to-do later, it really frees up so much mental energy that we spend feeling guilty about not getting everything done this week. But I want to say as well having a to-do later list only works if later gets specified. So you need some kind of system for putting things on your to later list to do later. And then reviewing that list and deciding what will get done and what won’t get done. And also deciding if you say okay, I’m going to do that next week, when next week.

So for example, when I’m doing my Power Hour, if there’s something I’m like not this week, but next week, I put that in my planning for next week. And then when I’m doing next week’s Power Hour, I’ll review that and put it at the time that actually makes sense based on the better information I have then. But I will actually allocate a certain time to it. If you don’t get specific about your to-do later list, you should give that list a new title, things I’m pretending to do. Things I’m pretending I’m going to do later. So we want to make sure that when we’re leaving things to laid out, we’re not doing it in a way that creates overwhelm. And that ends up with us still feeling all this guilt that we haven’t done enough. So in this power hour, you’ll know as I said, What tasks leave for the future. Because so many things feel important. It’s hard to tell which ones but you will decide in this power hour. And you will leave things for the future and we’ll start your week feeling on top of your business. Even if you have a full time job. You’re raising young children. You have so much uncertainty in your week that you don’t know when you’ll even be able to work on your business. That power hour if you go through that whole process that is involved in that you will get to the end of it, and the overwhelm will be gone. The guilt about what hadn’t been done in the past will be gone. And you will be able, like, you’ll be able to look at your calendar and actually feel like I could do that, I can get that done, I might need to be a little courageous. But that’s actually achievable.

So many of us when we are planning from a calendar, and we don’t know how to plan properly, we look at our calendar, and we already know we’re not going to be able to do it. So if that’s how you feel at the end of your Power Hour, that is fine. I mean,It takes practice, three months, at least. Three month commitment to learning power planning, practicing that learning by doing. So that might happen, you get to the end of that power hour, you’re like, Oh, my goodness, I can’t do this.

And this is part of the Power Hour is you review workability and you look at okay, I’m going to mentally zoom into Monday morning, how do I feel looking at this? is there enough time for rest? Is there enough time for me to eat and travel and all the different things that I need to do that day, and then adjusting. And you keep doing that until you get to the final step of the Power Hour, which is committing. When you’re like, I am committed to following through with this plan.

Now, this leads me to the second step of power planning, which is little tweaks. Every day, you’ll spend a little bit of time tweaking your calendar so you can get everything done without ever feeling behind without burning out. Even if something unexpected comes up.

This is one of the part that most perfectionists missed. Again, we think, okay, I need to make the plan and it can’t change. I just have to follow through with it perfectly. I don’t want to fall behind. But it also needs to be such a perfect plan that I’m definitely not going to fail. And if I succeed, it won’t be more than I could handle. And it’s very challenging to play in that mindset and to do it in a way that actually results in productivity and achieving our goals and all of those things. But when we’re not approaching the planning session with the view of this can be updated as new information comes up. And this can be updated. depending on what I discover throughout the week, then it’s so challenging.

But when we think about it, Okay, I’ve made contingency plans, I already know that things might have to change on this, I’m still committed to the plans and the results that I’m achieving. So when we count needle movers, we calendar them as outcomes, not as activities. So really focused on the outcome of the work we’re putting in not just being busy working on this and a little bit of work here and a little bit of work there. And a little bit of work on that. It’s really about getting outcomes, like being productive is producing results, not just shuffling papers around or you know spending an hour looking for a sound that you can use on your TikTok or your Instagram reel or whatever that you can remix like it’s actually doing things that produce results that move the needle.

So during the week, you do little tweaks. So for me, what I like to do is, and even right now I can see my power planning, I can see my calendar, I will have my calendar open, and I will as the day goes on. So it’s basically treating it like a to-do list, but it’s time-bound. And there’s blocks, you can move around. And there’s a clear end to my day, I know what time my day is finishing today. It’s all laid out. It’s not this endless list of all his 50 things I hope to get done today. And oh shit, there’s no way I could actually do that. But I don’t want to aim for less. Because what if I’m not productive at all. And okay, this is to everyone, Oh, I can do anything. We’re not doing that. Instead, I’ve planned in my calendar, what I can achieve today. And I’m working through that.

And as things come up, so for example, I have a baby. I’m currently breastfeeding on demand. So that’s such a great example of when there’s uncertainty. I also don’t know if she’ll be unwell. I also don’t know if she’s going to be up all night, and I’ll have no energy. And actually, the next episode is going to be an interview with Michelle, who’s the other PGSD coach about power planning amidst uncertainty. And we both have babies and talking about how we have been able to still power plan even with that uncertainty. But I know when I’m doing my power planning that I’m going to be needing to feed Lydia six times a day, and I don’t know when. And also I don’t know what time I’m going to need to wake up. Because it’ll be whenever she wakes up that I will wake up and sometimes that’s 4 am and sometimes at 7 am and if I can take the sleep in, I will. so I don’t know what time of day I’m gonna wake up but I’m able to make those little tweaks and when I’m doing my power hour I take that all into consideration in my calendar, so that I’m not falling behind, I’m not trying to plan as if I don’t have a baby or plan is if every day, I’m getting a full eight hours of sleep and bouncing out of bed.

Because sometimes that might happen. Not too often, currently, but some days, other days it doesn’t. But I’m able to make those little tweaks. So I can still keep going, and at least achieve the essence of what I had set out to do. Even if it doesn’t look exactly the way I thought it would. And sometimes throughout the week, you realize that something you put in your calendar was actually busy work that didn’t even need to be done at all. Or if it was easy, one of my favorite questions, what would this look like if it was easy? That if it was easy, you would actually do it in a completely way that would take half the time. Or you wouldn’t do the thing you were planning to do at all, and you do something else instead. So instead of having you stuck with it being a certain way, and again, this is where we get so fixated on like I need to make the right plans because I can’t change them during the week.

If you’re in this mindset of actually, I can update my plans. And I’m going to learn through doing the weekly review, which I’ll talk about in a second, how to tell when to rest, how to tell when to push through, I’m going to learn when it’s self-sabotage. And when it’s self-care, all of those things are going to be able to learn by using power planning. And so when something does come up, you’re not going to be like, now I’m so behind, I’ll be feeling guilty, you will be able to really just stand in your power and in your resourcefulness and resilience and adapt those plans as needed. Because none of us ever have this like certainty that we all think everyone else does. That they just, have this perfect week laid out. And nothing that could interrupt that. And I know that it’s tempting, like having a child now to think, oh, all these people without children. They don’t have that.

But I had that before I had Lydia, like I had interruptions I had life happening before. So it’s easy for us to be in this like pity party as well, like, well, other people don’t do shift work, or well, other people don’t do XYZ, whatever it is we think other people don’t do to recognize, regardless, everyone has elements of uncertainty in their week. And the only way any of us can effectively manage or not even manage that’s not the right word, effectively use that and use it to our advantage is to do these little tweaks throughout the week. What I like to do is when I’m doing my power planning, I treat it like a to-do list that I add a little checkmark emoji when I’ve done something. And I keep it updated to reflect what I actually did.

So that moving on to step three, which is a weekly review. When I’m doing my weekly review, I am seeing in my calendar, what I actually did that week, it’s not to the minute. It’s not like an absolute accurate reflection. But it’s close enough for me to be able to see, oh, I plan to do you know, I know I had that thing planned on that day. And I ended up not doing it at all that week and that happens. I’m a human. This is a practice. And it’s so powerful to be able to do that weekly review, have that compassion, see what worked, what didn’t work, what to do differently, and make those adjustments so that you are able to plan more effectively for yourself and your values and your lifestyle the following week.

So as an example, today, I’m recording this is the 14th of December because I have power planned out about five weeks of tasks all at once. Knowing that I’m going to be able to follow through with them all. Knowing that I’m going to be able to do this promotion for PGSD does this planning series. While moving back into our house. It’s just been renovated. Having Lydia’s first Christmas, going away to the beach for five days. Doing all these different things. I know that I got my plans in my calendar, and I’m going to be able to follow them and I don’t know exactly what’s gonna happen. I didn’t know what date we’re moving in. This so many things that I don’t know.

But I’m able to after having practiced for a few years now. I’m able to confidently plan that amount of time in my calendar with a baby, with the house move with all these other things as well and know that it’ll all get done because of the self-trust I’ve been able to build through power planning because of the way that I have been able to practice making these little tweaks, doing my weekly review, really getting to know myself Like if you’re a personal development nerd like I am, and you love getting to know yourself, and really seeing what works for you, and what doesn’t work for you. And even like in recent episodes, I’ve talked about human design, this is such an incredible tool to help with that. If you want to really understand yourself, doing the power planning method, so the Power Hour,  little tweaks, weekly review, that is going to put you in such an incredible position, not just in terms of your productivity, not just in terms of your business, but also in terms of your personal growth.

And something you can do when you do your planning at the beginning of the week, is take a screenshot of your calendar. And then at the end of the week, so when you’ve updated it to reflect what you actually did pretty much, then take a screenshot. And when you’re doing your weekly review, you can compare them and they will be different. Like I know, for example, when I plan out the last of PGSD, which is in May 2021, that I planned again, about six weeks in my calendar, and I actually did this, I took screenshots of my calendar, and the tasks that I had in that and the clean rest that I had, and buffer time and all those different things.

And then by the end of it, once I had done all of that work, it looks completely different. But it had all been done. When I was I think at the time 30 something weeks pregnant, I didn’t know when I was going to have my baby, they can come anytime. So I had no idea any of that any little hos, I needed to have a few unexpected hospital visits, that was able to be worked into the plan. Like I didn’t know any of that ahead of time. But when you’re really able to understand how to make contingency plans and how to keep your plans workable. And you don’t just intellectually understand that but you’re doing the practice, you’re getting the help you need to really see where your blind spots are, where you might be self-sabotaging you didn’t realize all of those different things, you are able to then get to this place where I am now, where I’m able to plan amidst a lot of uncertainty, weeks at a time. And each week when I do my Power Hour, I just go in, and I make adjustments. But I keep it workable. And the whole thing ends up working doesn’t look exactly how I thought it would I had at the beginning and a hypothesis as to what I thought I needed to have done. And when I thought I need to have it done by but of course, once you start doing the work, you’re like, oh, actually, I totally forgot this thing. And I didn’t realize we’d have to work on that as a team and other things that come up. But once you really start to understand there are always things that come up, you add in time for stuff to come up. So it can come up without throwing things off.

So I really want to invite you to start practicing power planning. And I want to invite you to do that with us inside PGSD. So in the next episode, I’m going to be talking as I said about how to plan amidst uncertainty. And Michelle and I are going to be going into that which is going to be really fun. And then I’m going to be talking about the three-month commitment to power planning. And also really where planning fits in, in terms of getting out of your own way and what the full PGSD process looks like. That again, the doors to PGSD are opening at 6 am New York time. Sorry, I’m just like mentally converting it from Australian TIME TO US time in my head at 6 am New York time on the 10th of Jan 2022. And the doors are closing at 11:59 pm New York time on the 16th of January.

So that is your opportunity, your invitation to join us in PGSD. And really do this work, do this practice, get the support and assistance that you need. For example, in PGSD, we have the PGSD coaching calls, and our most successful PGSDers, yes they get coached, but also they get so much value from seeing other PGSDer getting coached and seeing others coached on power planning. And how they can make it work for their situation. Its gonna give you so many breakthroughs about what you need to do in your situation without you even having to get coached on the call. And we have the PGSD private podcast we can listen to all the coaching call replays. And there’s so many amazing things about PGSD. I’m going to show you that in a future episode. And if you want to have a look now go to samlaurabrown.com/PGSD. You can get on the waitlist if you are not already on it. And if you’re listening to this at some point in the future, you can still go there and see if it’s open or join the waitlist.

But I really want to invite you into PGSD to do this work to really treat your business with the mindfulness and care and thought and willingness to fail and to do new things and all that your business deserves. If you listen to this podcast regularly, then you know how much I talk about the importance of the growth mindset and power planning and the impossible goal and clean breath that all designed to get you into the growth mindset without you even having to think about getting into the growth mindset. The tools themselves are set up in a way that allow you to do that work, without even realizing it.

And when it comes to things like the growth mindset, we hear things like, praise the process, and enjoy the journey and that kind of stuff, which what does that even mean? These tools are the tools that actually help you do that. So this is just going to be a little overview of what power planning will help you to achieve, like what this will look like, once you are power planning. You’ve done it for more than three months. So you’ll be able to set big goals for your business and pursue them fully. You won’t be scared of disappointment, and scared of setting unrealistic goals, because you’ll be able to trust yourself to figure out how to do things you’ve never done before. You’ll know how to be with yourself through disappointment through failure. And you truly enjoy the challenge, not just the cliche enjoy the journey. Yeah, yeah. Like you’re actually be experiencing challenges, and finding yourself being thrilled with finding the solution to them. Instead of being in despair, it’s not working.

You’ll make plans that aren’t overwhelming, and that you can follow through on consistently, your weekly plans will be a tool that will help you nourish your business, your health, your relationships, and you’ll be achieving more than you ever have. While most likely working less. While actually working on other areas of your life, as well as how you do one things, how you do everything. So by really going all-in on your business and not being half-assed with it anymore. That will just flow over into other areas of your life, the benefit is that you’ll be able to adjust and adapt your rest without guilt. And be courageous and innovative in your business as a result of that because you won’t feel like whether people like your business or not as a reflection of whether they like you or not, and whether you’re lovable or not, you will trust yourself to make the right decisions. And to do that without overthinking, you will be self-aware and know the signs that you’re in your own way.

Because you will see that in your Power planning, you will see that in your weekly review. And you will know what to do to get back out of your own way. And you will understand that with each new level of business, there’s going to be a bit of perfectionism work that comes up. And you’ve got the tools to help you with that. You feel confident in your ability to get out of your own way you don’t expect that, it’s just you get out of your own way. And that’s it forever and never have to do this work again. This is why we change PGSD from being a monthly membership to being lifetime access. Because there’s going to be time for you really need to do the work to get out of your own way and apply what you intellectually know. Then there’s going to be times when you need to go out there and learn more things. And then there’s going to be a time when you need to do the things you know you need to do and you’re getting in your own way and you’re self-sabotaging or maybe you’re going to procrasti-learning and learning those new things for too long. Like it goes back and forth. And PGSD is going to be there for you at every level to get lifetime access when you sign up. 

So anyway, this isn’t about power planning, and really selling you on planning in a way that actually works for a perfectionist. So we have the power hour, we have little tweaks and we have the weekly review. That’s how we do power planning. And I invite you into PGSD when the doors open soon to really embody this and give it the time and practice that it deserves. And I say this time it will save you so much time because procrasti-planning is a huge time suck.

So with that said I hope you found this episode helpful again samlaurabrown.com/PGSD is where you can join the waitlist for PGSD. You can find out more about the program you can sign up when it opens. I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.

If you’re ready to start planning properly as a perfectionist, then I invite you to join us inside Perfectionist Getting Shit Done. So you can find out more about the program at samlaurabrown.com/PGSD. That’s also where you can sign up. The doors will be open from the 10th of Jan to the 16th of Jan 2022.

Author: Sam Brown