Episode 324 – How To Stay Focused + Get Your Needle Movers Done

Episode 324: How To Stay Focused + Get Your Needle Movers Done

The process for getting out of your own way in your business is simple: plan properly as a perfectionist, follow through with your plans 80% of the time, rest without guilt and repeat. In this episode, I’m answering some of the most common questions that come up for perfectionist entrepreneurs when they start following this process. It’s all about how to stay focused and get your needle movers done without burning out.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How to stay focused on what matters most
  • How to overcome resistance to following through with your plans
  • When productivity is an act of self-care and when it isn’t
  • Going with the flow vs structuring your day – how to find the balance that works for you
  • How to feel fulfilled in your business on a daily basis

PGSD is opening to new students on 27 April 2022:
The PGSD Process will get you out of your own way in your business and have you making more money more easily. The doors to Perfectionists Getting Shit Done will be opening at 6am New York time on 27 April and closing at 11:59pm New York time on 3 May 2022. To find out more about the program and be the first to know when the doors open, join the waitlist here: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

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In this episode, I’m answering some of the most common questions that come up for perfectionist entrepreneurs when it comes to staying focused and getting needle movers done without burning out.


In this episode, I’m sharing a replay recording of an Instagram Live that I did in November 2021. This is going to answer a lot of questions that you might have, when it comes to planning properly as a perfectionist, following through with those plans 80% of the time, resting without guilt and repeating that. That is the PGSD process. That is what we master inside PGSD. And when we begin to do that, and move away from these long, endless to do lists, and always feeling behind, and into intentional planning, planning from our future self, and what we truly know, is possible for us planning with the idea, and the knowing that our success is inevitable. And following through with those plans consistently, meaning more often than not, things come up questions come up, and this episode is going to answer quite a few of them.

So I talk about how to stay focused on what matters most, how to overcome resistance to following through with your plans if you are feeling resistance to doing your needle movers. How to get them done? When productivity is an act of self care and when it isn’t an act of self care. So if you are someone who likes to feel like everything is done before you rest, this is going to be really helpful for you to hear about that.

When it comes to going with the flow versus structuring your day, how to find a balance that works for you. How to feel fulfilled in your business on a daily basis? I also talk about what I use when it comes to power planning in terms of which digital calendar I use. And when it comes to paper and notebooks and that kind of thing. What that also looks like for me as well. I talk about burnout, and how to avoid burning out while getting your needle movers done. So there is so much for you in this episode to help you get out of your own way in your business. And yeah, let’s just get right into it.

Also, in this episode, I talked quite a bit about power planning. So if you are not familiar with power planning, this is something that you will learn in PGSD. But the three steps are the power hour, little tweaks throughout the week, and then your weekly review. So that is very important when it comes to planning properly as a perfectionist, we set our growth goal, we power plan and get clean rest every week in pursuit of that goal. And that is how we release our perfectionist handbrake and get our perfectionist mindset on our side. Okay, that is all I wanted to add. Now let’s get into it.

So I am going to start with some of the questions that I got through my Instagram stories about follow through. And I think that it’s important to say, with follow through, what we’re talking about is following through with the plans that you have made for yourself. And I’ve talked already about how a lot of the time our follow through problem is actually a planning problem. And that we’re not planning in a way that is easy to follow through on especially if you’re a perfectionist, a lot of the good at productivity advice out there is actually going to put you into an all or nothing mindset.

And it’s going to make it harder to stay consistent for a long period of time, you might have found that you are able to stick to plans for a couple of weeks, you probably do a pretty perfect job at that. And then you fall off the wagon, and you aren’t able to get yourself back into things. You kind of have to wait for a new week or a new month or maybe the first of January, before you have the motivation and the, Fresh Start Clean Slate kind of feeling before you’re able to give it another go. But then you just do the same thing that you did before and you try harder, and to have more motivation and more willpower. And then you only stick to that for a couple of weeks again, fall off the wagon, it’s this whole thing and it gets very frustrating. And when you are in that cycle, it really feels like you are the problem because you’re smart, you’re intelligent, you know how to do stuff, and yet, you aren’t able to do what you want to do for more than a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months at best.

But actually a lot of times it’s just that you’re not planning properly as a perfectionist. And that if you learn how to plan properly and if you are really committed to that. So for example in PGSD, I teach the planning method for perfection is called Power planning. It’s not like you just learn power planning and then overnights you are then suddenly able to follow through on everything that you ever wanted to do because most likely you have been putting too much on your plate and over planning. So there’s no planning system that’s going to help you do everything that you’re expecting yourself to do. But with power planning for example, I recommend doing that for three months with the weekly review as well.

And you will be a different person at the end of that three months. But it’s very important to know that when you are learning how to fix this follow through problem that you need to be willing to do some work and be willing for it to be a bit of a process. And I know a lot of us want quick tips and tricks and hacks. But if you are really wanting something that will actually work, then you’re going to need to put in the work and stick with things. And I know that can sound a bit challenging when you’re like, but how do I do that for three months if my problem is not following through, but in PGSD I go into all of that. And that’s why there’s coaching and that kind of thing.

So you can really figure out how to plan properly as a perfectionist. And with power planning, I don’t say okay, you have to wake up at a certain time and do this stuff in this order. It’s nothing like that at all. It’s really about figuring out for you and your lifestyle. So maybe you have a job, maybe you have kids, you definitely have other stuff going on your life regardless of that. How do you actually plan in a way that when it comes time to sit down and work that you’re able to do that. You’re not feeling overwhelmed about how much there is to do and like you have no idea where to start. And so you end up doing anything at all, you are not feeling rushed, like you have to get things done super quickly, because you’ve got your plans. And you know, there’s enough time to get everything done.

So you need to, with this follow through stuff really look at the way you’re planning. If you’re working from an endless to do list, that is a sign that you might have a planning problem. I did a whole episode on the podcast on that. So I won’t go into that in this one. But I just wanted to mention that a lot of times planning is the issue. And we’ll go through that in a few of these questions.

So Leila said, I struggle with the confidence to focus on what I want to do. Yes, so let me know a bit more about that if you can. But that is something that is very common that we don’t feel like, like that self doubt comes in. And you might find that you have a really great idea for what you want to do with your business. And there might be a few hours or a few days where you’re like, oh my god, this is the best idea. And I’m going to put this into practice. And it’s going to work so well. And like really feel confident about it. And then the self doubt comes. And once that self doubt imposter syndrome is there, it can be very challenging to follow through for that reason.

And that’s why in PGSD, self confidence is something that we really work on actively, as well as self trust and self image to help with follow through. Because even if you are planning properly, and you know how to not procrastinate and all these different things. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, confidence in your ability to do new things, things that you haven’t done before, then it’s going to be very challenging to follow through consistently. Because you can willpower and force your way to doing different tasks or different times.

But getting yourself to do something consistently over an extended period of time, which is what’s required to be successful, it’s going to be very challenging to do that. If you don’t have the confidence in yourself, that you are able to figure out new things that you are resourceful, that you are someone who can do things they have never done before. So that is something that I know a lot of people struggle with. Leila said, I have recently become self employed, my work is focused on services. I have a lot of experience in rather than the services I want to offer.

Yeah, a lot of actually, I would say I mean, kind of a, what the name was who it was, but DM-ing someone about like this whole thing of going from good to great, and that you might have a successful business offering one kind of product or service, but you want to change that. But it’s challenging to do that, because you have experience and success with offering something. And I think like the advice that I gave in that situation, this is just these are words that really resonated with me in 2017 was to take the leap even when your legs are trembling, and that it’s going to be scary to go from good to great to let go of something that is working to pursue something that you don’t know if it’s going to work out, you just have a hunch that it’s the right direction for you. So yeah, sometimes you just need to, to do it scared and to know that you’re not going to feel 100% Confident.

Okay, let’s do some of these questions. So, let me start with this question that came in through the little question box that I left on Insta story. So if you you are wanting to ask a question you’re not sure if you can be here live or you know, you can’t be here live, the timing doesn’t work for you then make sure you ask a question so that I can answer it.

So there is something I know I need to do, but I have so much resistance around it. Why? So this is, I mean, there’s so much to be said around resistance, alignment, that whole kind of discussion. But in terms of why there is resistance around something, what I want to encourage you to do is to not spend so much time trying to identify why you are feeling resistance around something. Because what we can do, and I’m speaking from experience here. What we can do is we spend a lot of time, I want to call it like procrasti-thinking that we and it’s kind of like procrasti-learning, procrasti-researching that flavor of things, that we are wanting to get to the root of things like you might be trying to get to the root of why you’re resistant. And you want to just see the thought that’s there that’s making you feel resistant, or the belief or whatever it is.

And that can be helpful to an extent. But also, I really think it’s helpful to think, to recognize that any resistance you are having towards something is coming from thoughts that you are having in the present moment, not from past stuff, we can often really just try and get to the root of things. And I think if we’re perfectionist that can be counterproductive, because we get so fixated on that, that we’re not able to actually just get going with things and move past things. So in terms of this resistance that is coming from your thoughts from the way you were thinking about it. And that resistance to you might feel like there’s probably if you think about the way that that feels for you, it might be resistant, it might be scared, fearful, hesitant, unsure, uncertain, that resistance can be a lot of different feelings.

And it’s just simply the way you’re thinking about it. And so I was actually coaching a PGSDer, Nadine on this a couple of days ago, that she was saying that she was experiencing resistance around. So she’s a photographer, around actually going to do a photoshoot for someone that is at her new prices, but she’s not sure of her new prices. So it feels really scary to go out there and do a photo shoot at the new price, because she was thinking that they are going to be expecting so much more than when she was doing it at a cheaper rate.

And what we discuss what I coach her on is okay, well, we can either figure out how to get rid of this resistance, which we can do. Or we can just have you do the thing with the resistance there and have you do it scared. And there’s a time and a place for both. But I think there’s so much to be said for practicing doing things scared, and for letting resistance be there and doing things anyway, there’s I mean, I could do a whole thing. I could talk for hours on this topic about resistance and alignment. And there’s one school of thought that says all teachers that if you feel resistance to something that that’s a sign not to do it to wait till you’re feeling in alignment with it and energized by it and do it then.

There’s another school of thought on the other end of that, which is it doesn’t matter how you feel whatsoever, it just follows through. I like to think of it being somewhere in the middle, and to have and I think most people are kind of somewhere in the middle of that, that you want to do things in a way that’s easiest for you. So by ease, I don’t mean that no courage is required. And this is where we have to then like get into this about resistance, that sometimes the resistance is because it’s scary and you’re going to grow and all of that kind of thing.

But we want to do things in a way that’s easy because perfectionist we really tend to overcomplicate things and do a lot of unnecessary steps. So we want to make sure that we’re doing things in the easiest way possible. I love Tim Ferriss question, what would this look like if this were easy? So that is something want to do but also recognizing that to grow, we’re going to need to do hard things that we’ve never done before. And I know myself, there are a lot of new things I’ve done that now feel in alignment, feel slowly to me. So for example, like doing a live going on the podcast, I can do that without any kind of mental anguish whatsoever.

And yet initially, that was not the case. I had a lot of resistance to starting the podcast. It took me a year to start it, because of the resistance I had, and I wasn’t as practiced in doing things scared, and Instagram lives, I kind of remember the first one I did. But for sure it wasn’t as easy and aligned as this one feels right now. So I think my advice in this situation without knowing anything else would be that if there’s something you know you need to do. So that’s a key thing. Now, like in power planning, we talk about needle movers, and you have your impossible goal, which informs what your needle movers are, that you know you need to do something. And you have resistance around it.

You’ve asked why, because of the way you’re thinking, that’s why you’re probably thinking thoughts that create that resistance. And then what to do about it is, my recommendation is to do it scared. And yes, you can investigate and notice and have self awareness around the resistance as you’re doing the thing and be like, Oh, this is so interesting, I feel resistant. I wonder what that is, I wonder what I’m thinking that makes me feel so resistant.

Usually, we’re thinking things like, I don’t know how to do this. So of course, if you think a thought like that, you’re going to feel resistant to doing something. I’m not good at this, no one’s gonna like this. Of course, if you’re resistant when we think those kinds of thoughts. So a lot of times I think we just need to practice doing it scared and doing it with the resistance there.

And actually, I sent out a perfectionist power up, I think was two days ago now about this, and how, like, how do you know when to rest and when to push through? And I said, in that that your future self knows the answer to that. We really have to be practice and practice turning into ourselves and asking ourselves questions instead of always needing external answers. And so I said in this, like, I love the future self and imagining yourself at a certain point in the future, and then that, that version of you giving advice to your present day self, that’s something I personally find super helpful.

And we talk about that in PGSD as well. But your future self, no knows what if you need to rest or if you need to push through. And so one way you can think about this is to fast forward to the end of this week. And get that high level perspective and reflect on okay, that certain thing that you know you need to do. Are you glad you did it and you push through? Or are you glad you actually rested? When we’re in the moment, especially for resistance due to fear and self doubt, we don’t feel like doing it.

But if you zoom out, you’re like, actually, I know for who I want to be for what I want to do in this world. That following through with it, even though I feel resistant is the best thing for me. So you can zoom out, get that answer and then zoom in and do it scared. So that is the advice I want to give around resistance. But I have a lot that I could say on that topic. And I’m always thinking about this. Like I probably think about this to some degree every single day. I am so interested when I hear people talk about this on podcast episodes and YouTube videos. And I love hearing different schools of thought around it. So yeah, do the thing. Do it scared.

How to focus on one next thing when you have a billion thoughts and ideas going on? A lot of questions that I got were along these lines. Thanks, Leila. Focus, we’re along these lines of how to focus on the next thing when you have a billion thoughts going on. Or when you feel so overwhelmed that when you sit down to work, you’re just completely paralyzed by what’s on your to do list that you don’t get anything done at all. And then you feel super guilty about that, and you’re even more behind.

And then it means the next time you go to work, you have even more pressure, because you’re behind and then it just becomes this whole thing that is really, it feels really challenging to get out of it. My recommendation is that power planning. Because in that, so what we do is we do a thought download and you get everything out of your head and onto the page. And then there’s a step by step process that you go to put it on your calendar in a way that actually works as a perfectionist and works for you in your lifestyle. And when you do that, when you have it in your calendar.

It will reveal to you if you’re over planning, underplanning, different things like that, which is why I recommend doing power planning for three months consistently, and being willing to go through the ups and downs of that. But when you have learned how to work from your calendar, that you can then have a billion ideas and things and you can capture them separately, but you know what it is that you need to do today, which is in alignment with your goals.

You have your milestones that you have each quarter and you are able to just sit down and go okay, yes, there are a million things I want to do like for business as always so many things we can be doing. There’s no shortage of ideas, of tasks. And that is part of the challenge, we really need to, and this is a separate topic, but draw a line in the sense for when you’re going to end your day and actually end your day, then there’s so many reasons for that, I won’t go into that now. But if you have your plans in your calendar, you are able to then know ahead of time that you’re making the best use of your time. There was another question around that actually about.

Often if I get to carve out time for something, I worry I won’t maximize it. When you are doing a weekly planning session. You’re doing that in a way that is not from a place of fear or shoulds are that kind of thing. And you’re doing it in a way that’s in alignment with your goals, and also your values and your lifestyle and what’s important to you, then you are able to just coolly and calmly do the things that you need to do knowing that rest is coming up. So if you need to be courageous and do the scary thing that I just talked about, you know there’s some clean rest coming up.

So it’s okay to be scared for a little bit. But what we tend to do and why we have so much struggle around doing things we feel resistant to is because we have this long to do list that we’re like, how am I meant to do all these things that I feel so resistant to and there’s no break coming. And it’s just like, too, mentally exhausting to do that. But if instead, we have that on our calendar, and you want to make sure as well you’re balancing out like you don’t have all your scary things on the same day, it’s my recommendation that you have maybe something first thing up, or at the end, it depends some people like to and this is where the weekly review comes in, because you’ve figured this out about yourself. But some people like to warm up and start the day with easier tasks.

Some people like to start the day with the hardest task, I like to do that. I feel like and from years of practice, I know that I am more mentally switched on in the morning, I find that easy. I can work later, but I find it easier. So there’s a lot of people who love a slow morning. And to just ease into the day. And I’ve tried that for me, I’ve tried it for pretty much 2020. I tried that. It didn’t work for me. But it works for a lot of people. And so you need to know that about yourself, what really works best for you. So that you can actually plan in a way that really supports follow through and really supports you doing the things that you need to do.

So when you are putting something scary in your calendar, as I was saying, you don’t have to put it all on the same day. But you want to know do I need to warm up into that, or am I someone who just wants to rip the band aid off and get it done first thing and then move on to the easier tasks throughout the day, which is my personal way that I work. And then really just having that plan in your calendar with a lot of clean rest a lot more than you want.

And that can really help. You’re still going to have ideas and all of that, but you’re not going to feel like you have to implement them all the time and right away. And often, I mean, there’s so much that goes into this. But the other thing as well is that if you are someone who is jumping from one idea to the next, you’re never fully executing things, you’re not following through with your plans, then you don’t have a lot of self trust. That’s a symptom of not having self trust, it also further creates lack of self trust. But if you are able to start planning in a way you can actually follow through on, following through with that plan or repeating that, you can have ideas and not feel overwhelmed by them or in a rush to implement them because you have the self trust that you can implement that next week or next month.

You’re not feeling like oh, well I feel so motivated now. And motivation is so fleeting and I have to do it right now, and I don’t trust myself to get it done later. So self trust really underpins everything that I’m talking about it and it’s something that we actively work on inside PGSD. Everything that we do in PGSD is designed to help you create self trust and to expose as well where you are lacking self trust and the work that you need to do on that. So if you are trying to figure out how to focus on one thing, the first thing you need to do is really figure out what to focus on and be constrained in that and power planning really helps with that. But, I recommend, especially like if you are working from that endless to do list, and just like giving yourself as much time as you need to get it done.

And you might be saying, I’m just someone who loves getting everything done. So it’s okay that it might take me a long time. I would rather get everything done, then have some rest and have to move tasks till tomorrow. That is a sign. I know it sounds great to be that kind of person. But that is a sign that you are lacking the self trust to do it later that you are not actually planning in a way that is really supporting you. Because a lot of times, it is so overwhelming to do that. And also, we don’t have any clean rest. So we’re not feeling recharged. So eventually that really wears on us.

Burnout happens all that kind of thing. I’m going to talk about burnout in a second, actually, there’s a question about it. But we really want to make sure that you are planning in a way that supports you and the long end lists to do lists that we perfectionist love, and have a lot of good, nice sounding reasons for like, I’m just the kind of person who I want to have everything done on that list. And I would rather not rest because I’m so productive, like that might sound nice. But what kind of productivity is that actually getting you.

And that’s something I really want you to be thinking about. We can become really attached to the to do list system. We have or whatever it is we’re doing. And think that it’s a follow through problem because we love like the idea of having this long to do list and, or having like you have six different lists, and you’re constantly writing and rewriting them. And you love this idea of being that person who could take everything off. And you love how ambitious and productive and smart you feel when you’re writing that to do list. And getting to within to the possibility that you might get it all done. But we really need to look at that. And just notice how there are certain ways when you have in that perfectionist mindset that you might plan that are actually going to make your perfectionist mindset work against you instead of getting it on your side, which is what we really want to be focused on.

So how do you plan and create content consistently without burning out? So on this I really want to speak to burnout. So in PGSD, there’s a whole module on this, and pretty much any topic mentioned in this. But in times of burnout, burnout isn’t to do with lack of rest, which might sound like, well, you’ve just been talking about getting off clean rest and blah, blah, blah. But the reason that clean rest is so important, is because it helps to untangle your self worth from productivity, which makes you so much more courageous. Because when it doesn’t feel like your business is you, it’s easier to do new things. But if you feel like your business is a reflection of how good you are as a person and how lovable you are, then of course, we want everything to be perfect. And of course, we get totally paralyzed by overthinking and analysis, paralysis and all that kind of stuff.

So clean rest as well. The clean part is about it being without guilt. And this is what relates to burnout. So burnout doesn’t come from lack of work life balance, you might have noticed there are some people in life who work a lot and don’t get burned out. There are other people who barely work at all and are completely burnt out. And what this has to do with is the fact that burnout is not about how many hours you were working.

So of course, we all have needs as a human for a certain amount of food and rest and that kind of thing. But it’s more so to do with the energy that you are working from. And perfectionists we tend to work from a place of inadequacy, not enoughness, shoulds, comparing ourselves to others. And that is what creates the burnout. So having clean rest will help you to not work from that energy. So it’s less about the clean rest is helping you to create this balance. And it’s more that clean rest is helping to teach you how to be okay with yourself as you are even when you’re not productive. And I know that doesn’t sound appealing. And this is why I like in PGSD. So often when we talk about clean rest, whoever I’m talking to is like, Oh, well, yeah, I’m like, it’s not really applying to me and other people need clean rest. But actually, I have too much to do. And I really like I just love being productive. So I need to restless and all this kind of stuff.

Like we have so many reasons for why we are the one who is exempt from clean rest. And that was me for a long time. But the more clean rest you get, the more productive you will be. But in terms of how do you plan and create content consistently without burning out? My guess is the burnout around the content is more to do with trying to create content from a place of needing to prove yourself or an is probably to prove yourself to yourself but also maybe to others and that you’re comparing yourself to others and that kind of thing.

So to really have a look at that, put some clean rest in your calendar and also in terms of how do you plan and create consistently. I think there is something to be said for batch creating content, which I won’t go into too much here, but that is just when you do it all in a big chunk instead of getting yourself to do it every day. And something that could be happening is if you are say, for example, Instagram every day you sit down and like shit, what am I going to post today, I don’t have a photo and you’re looking through your camera roll trying to find something and you’re typing something up.

If that is a form of procrastination, even though maybe depending on what your goals are, posting and promoting your business thru Instagram is a needle mover. But if you do it in a really inefficient way, instead of doing it in one big block, and everyone’s different, so it really depends on works for you. But if you are taking those needle movers and expanding them out to take extra time, and one way we do that is by instead of just like, Okay, I’m going to find seven images and write seven captions and schedule all at once. We just do it in the moment on the day that that might be a way that you are procrastinating because it takes up more time and then you have less time to do the scary things that you know you need to do.

So, again, I have so much more that I could say on this, but I’m not going to. But definitely if you’re not listening to my podcasts and you are enjoying this, go and have a listen. It’s the Perfectionism Project. You can find anywhere you listen to podcasts like Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, where else you listen, Spotify. I use Castro. Different ones like that it’s everywhere. So if you are enjoying this, I highly recommend listening to my podcast. But yeah, you really need to be looking at the energy you’re creating content from batch creating content.

But at the same time, I want you to mainly be thinking about what would this look like if this was easy, because we perfectionist really love to overcomplicate things. I also recommend, say for example, if it’s Instagram content, pretty much any content, putting a time limit on how much time you’re going to give yourself, and also a limit on how many edits you’re going to let yourself do. So for something as well. So for Instagram stories I recommend and we’ve had a lot of PGSDers do this with a great success, that when you go on stories, you just record the story and you post it.

Even if you mess up and all of that kind of thing. And it just really helps you to get better at articulating yourself and all that kind of thing. But also, it means you’re not then spending 30 minutes to record a one minute story because you keep retaking it and retaking it and retaking it. It’s for this reason that I do my podcast without editing it. And if I mess up a word, I just keep going. I love that it feels like we’re actually chatting in real life. That’s why this probably sounds very similar to the podcast because I chat like this on the podcast. But also it’s taught me how to chat without having to constantly re-record. So it’s a skill, anyone can learn it. And it just requires practice and a bit of courage as well. So that is a recommendation on that.

Tips for selling your follow through to a fault and even puts their own health and self care aside. So I’m so glad this question came up, because I haven’t talked about this side of follow through as much. And this is also a sign of not planning properly. If you were like, actually I follow through really well. But I put my own health and self care aside, which is kind of going back to this burnout question as well, that you are prioritizing productivity.

A lot of times it’s not even true productivity. It’s prioritizing busy work over your health and self care because we get in this mentality that how productive we are is going to determine how successful we are and how successful we are determines how lovable we are, and how loved we will be by others. And as I talked about with perfectionism, it all comes back to wanting to avoid shame. Perfectionism is a strategy to avoid shame.

And shame is the fear of disconnection from others and that we don’t belong. So for all humans, it all comes back to this question of am I loved, will I be loved if I show people my real self, if I’m not productive, all of that kind of thing. And that’s a huge driver for a lot of what we do. So when we are following through and we’re putting other things aside and you might find is while you’re in this all or nothing mindset, that perfectionist tend to be in. Where you are following through to a fault for a few weeks or maybe a few months at best. And then you are not following through it all.

Or it could be that you’re always following through to a fault and you’re not actually looking after your health and self care. That that I don’t want you to see that as you being really good at follow through because what being excellent and follow through looks like is that you are able to make plans that have your own best interests at heart and follow through with those plans. And those plans will include looking after your health, any health and fitness goals you have, self care. A lot of times and I am not going to go into this too much, even though I want to. But a lot of times being productive, and doing the thing is an act of self care.

And also, it can really be as well that a lot of times self care, it’s it’s not about, you know, going to the spa, or getting a massage, or having a bath or reading a book. I think self care really has a lot to do with self trust and how you show up for yourself. How much you care for yourself and about yourself, not just your physical body, or doing those kind of nice sounding superficial things, and there’s definitely a place for them. Clean rest is a good time to do all of that stuff. But I think a lot of times self care, the best self care is to do the scary thing. The best self care is to make a plan that has your best interests at heart and to follow through on that plan and to like do your best at following through on that plan, reflecting on that what worked, what didn’t work, what they do differently, making a new plan reflecting on that, that is all encompassed in self care.

But anyway, going back to this question tips for someone who follows through to a fault is to my this my biggest recommendation would be to put clean rest in your calendar and to not put your own health and self care aside. And this comes back to beliefs you probably have about why you need to be productive, and why it doesn’t feel good to not follow through and that you feel compelled to do that at your own expense. So there’s just you know, a bit to go into there. But that’s everyone in PGSD falls into that category pretty much. And a lot of times, it’s this all or nothing mindset that will be like that for a few weeks, it won’t be sustainable, because we’re putting our own health and self care aside, then we will not follow through at all, or will be like actually no, f*ck it, I’m not going to be productive.

The best thing for me is just to you know, do what I want in the moment. And then we go into that side of things. And then we’re like, actually, this is really unsatisfying, because they actually like challenging myself. Like if you’re someone who is like our PGSDers. You’re someone who loves being challenged. You love personal growth, you love really just seeing what you can accomplish. And so being in this state of I’m just going to do what I feel like when I feel like it, it’s not going to feel satisfying for a long period of time if you’re only doing that. If you don’t as well have challenge in your life, and you’re not getting yourself to do things that you maybe feel some resistance to I know for me, fulfillment and feeling like fulfilled in my business, for example. It’s because I do challenging stuff. It’s because it is a steep learning curve. I’m constantly doing things I don’t feel comfortable doing. And a lot of us want to feel fulfilled.

And you just have to recognize if you want to feel fulfilled, this is my take at least in my experience, that challenge is a part of fulfillment, and that it is very challenging to be fulfilled without feeling challenged to some degree. It’s why a lot of people will leave a job because they don’t feel challenged enough. So we just need to be careful of that with business. Yes, we want things to be easy, because we’re not over complicating things. But we still want them to be challenging in the sense that courage is required, we’re doing new things we haven’t done before. We’re improving on our skills, we’re not just doing only what we feel like when we feel like it, which means if we’re going to be taking that approach that we’re probably doing things we’re already pretty good at, we really want to be in the growth mindset. I mean, I could do a whole live on so many things, the growth mindset as well. But we want to be in that growth mindset, which doesn’t mean by the way that you just love personal development and reading books, as I initially thought it does.

The growth mindset is really about being willing to do things you haven’t done before, and to not make it mean anything about yourself and you’re not good at them instantly, and a whole lot of other things as well. So the next question I want to answer I know this one’s going a little longer, but I just can’t get myself 20 minutes. I’m managing ebb and flow structure works for a week or two demands change and I’m back to square one. So this is this is a really important part of planning properly as well, is to first of all recognize ebb and flow.

A lot of times so say for example, you might hear me talking about working from a calendar. And you might start doing that. My guess is if you start doing that, and you’re not like planning properly as a perfectionist that you are going to plan as if you have limitless amounts of motivation and willpower, and resourcefulness and all those different things. And you’re not going to recognize that sometimes you need a minute. And this isn’t just about clean rest or that’s a huge part of it.

But there will be some weeks so I know some of our PGSDers, for example, plan and take their cycle into account as well. So that’s something that you can do. Or maybe there are other things that you’re into maybe like human design or something, you need to take that into account. Like, that’s why I love power planning because you can take all those things into account. But when it comes to ebb and flow, you need to take that into account when you are making plans. And this is why we do power planning in a digital calendar, so that you can move things to the next week, easily, we can shuffle things around, so that you can really honor that.

But you have to go back to what we talked about with resistance, you have to really call yourself out on, Okay when is it that I actually do need to push this off, and not even push this off, but intentionally decide to do it at a different point in time. And when do I just need to do the thing and asking your future self about that can be really helpful there. So that is that you need to constantly check in with but when we do paper planners and that kind of thing, which I mean, I love a pretty planner as much as the next perfectionist. But, we tend to not like crossing things out, and having things get messy. And that’s going to happen when you are planning properly as a perfectionist.

And when you are someone who has distractions, interruptions like we all do, power planning lets you just really easily account for that and make adjustments and using a calendar specifically. But it tends to not be the same with the paper planner. But ebb and flow, you really need to just be mindful that there will be ebb and flow to not expect yourself to be in flow the entire time. And the more you do weekly review, the more you will really start to see when and like be able to see after the fact and then during and then before to notice when you are in those periods of time that you’re in a bit of an ebb and you just need to take a few days off or a week off or whatever that looks like for you.

And there are other times that you were just so into things. You might find that it’s quite dramatic. How you go between the two, you might find that it’s not so dramatic. And you can actually work pretty consistently throughout the whole thing. And actually, there are a couple of episodes coming up on the podcast about human design. And I talked with Millie and Aditi, who were both previously PGSD coaches. We talk about human design and different types, you have consistent energy versus ebbs and flows. I’m the kinds that have ebb and flow stuff.

So just, you don’t even need to be into that stuff, to find that out you can figure that out through doing a weekly review as well and just start to notice like, okay, am I someone who can consistently do a similar amount each week, or am I someone who has one week where I’m just super motivated and into it unable to get myself to do scary things. And then there’s another week where I just, I really need to honor myself and just take a break. And you can account for that in your planning.

So managing ebbs and flows is all just about planning properly and keeping your plans workable. So with power planning, we make sure we don’t over plan or under plan and we keep our plans workable. And that is a huge part that when you are in the ebb, that you keep your plans workable. And when you’re in flow, that you don’t add a whole heap more to your plate, I won’t go into that too much. But if you’re adding more to your plate, when you’ve had a productive day, you’re actually telling yourself you’re not normally productive, hence why you need to capitalize on it, because it’s not normal for you to be that way, which then impacts your self image. And will mean that because you don’t believe you’re someone who’s productive, that it’s harder to be productive. And you’ll be trying to be productive as an unproductive person, instead of believing in that to a normal state.

So you just have to make sure that if you are having a productive flowy day, you just let that be enough. You let yourself like in this is something I’m going to wrap it up on this, this is something that we really need to be mindful of is like, actually, if we get done what we had planned to do, this is why working with your calendar is so important because you’re actually planning according to how much time things take and how much time you have in a day. And often when we do it with a to do list that we add way too much.

We never give ourselves a sense of accomplishment and then therefore are denying ourselves the opportunity to believe were productive, which makes it so much harder to be productive. So you want to plan what you’re actually going to do. You want to do the things and then once they’re done, you’re done. Instead of saying okay, I’m having a productive day, I should add more because I can’t trust myself to be productive later. Just let yourself and it’s so fun to do this.

And it was so new when I first started doing this to be like I’ve done everything I had planned. I even got it done early because I found an easier way, I realized I’d been over complicating it. So we found an easier way. It was so good to get the same result, if not better, I did that, I still have other stuff I want to do in other days, but I don’t have this, like, endless to do list dragging on me because I know it’s all kind of fall in my calendar. I’m just gonna actually let myself finish my day early and feel this feeling of having done what I wanted to do, and still having the desire to do more. And knowing that I can take that, like, how much better is it to then show up to work the next day, or the next work day. And to be like, Oh, I’m so like, I’m so energized because yesterday, I did all the things that I plan to do. And I had all this energy to do more, but I just let myself actually sit in that accomplishment for a minute, and be with the fact that I’ve done the things and now that’s further solidified the self image I want to create, which is that I’m a productive person.

So now sitting down, I have more confidence that I can actually do the things my brain is more motivated, because it knows that if we get it done in an easier way, or a quicker way, or as planned, that that will be the end of it. If you are adding more to your plate, you are penalizing your brain for being focused. I want you to think about if say most people, there are people who like burpees. Most people don’t like doing burpees, the exercise where you like jump up, and then you put your legs out and it’s quite tiring. It’s your whole body. If someone said, “Do 10 burpees for me”, and you did 10 burpees. And that was quite challenging. And they said, Wow, you have done a really good job, do 10 more burpees, so you did 10 more burpees. Okay, you did such a good job at that. Do 10 More burpee,s so you do 10.

And eventually you’re like, f*ck it, why am I doing this, when they’re just gonna be more and more and more. Instead, I’m just gonna go slow, do my burpees probably not do them too well, because then she might give me some more. Like, that’s what we’re doing to our brain. If you are being productive and focused, doing the needle movers, you’re not just doing busy work, you’re doing things that actually matter. If you are doing that, and then you are adding more burpees for your brain to do it’s going to be like, what is the point, I’m just going to dilly dally, I’m just gonna check Instagram. Because why bother? If she’s gonna just give me more, I want to break.

So this is why a clean rest is so important. And this is why you need to just plan and then once you’ve done that, don’t add more, there are exceptions, that is nuance. But 99% of the time, do not add more to your plate. And let yourself just be with that feeling of having accomplished what you plan. Then when you do your weekly review, you can go okay, everyday this week, or one day this week, I finished earlier than I planned, maybe next week, I could do a couple of more things in the same amount of time.

So know that you can always adjust it later. But in the moment, don’t change that because you are penalizing your brain. And then it’s not going to perform as well for you and hence procrastination. I mean, we didn’t even talk about procrastination in this directly. Though we definitely did in a lot of ways. So I mean, there’s, as I’ve said many times, there’s a lot more that I can say. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if it has. Thanks, Michelle. Yeah, I really struggled to do 20 minutes. I don’t I mean, I know it’s a lot to listen to a live because you can’t look at anything else in your phone. But yeah, I just, it’s hard.

Okay. So one more question, do you schedule your week on your computer and paper, or just computers? So I have let me show you. I use paper as part of poert planning but to then get it into my calendar. So this is my power planning and weekly review notebook. This is just one that I get from office works. I think it’s only available in Australia. It’s the J.Burrows one. Anyway, I do my to do list thought download in here. So that’s getting all of my to do list out of my head and onto the page. And then I also do a few of the different steps in including like, figuring out what the productivity obstacles are and overcoming them. Contingency plans, that kind of thing. I journal about that. But I get everything into my calendar.

So then what I do I use iCal. I had a few questions about this actually, when I shared what my calendar looks like the other day and I’m trying to figure out how to share like my power planning without sharing exactly what I do during the week not in terms of work tasks, but just in terms of like when I’m doing certain things privacy-wise. Like what my day to day routine exactly looks like and that kind of thing. So I’m trying to figure that out. But anyway, I shared a bit of my calendar and a lot of people ask what I use which is iCal. Other people use Google Calendar if they haven’t got a MacBook or something similar.

And I also look at it on my phone, I don’t use it on my phone too much. But if I’m at like the hairdresser or whatever, and I’m making the next appointment pro tip, make your next appointment at the end of your last one. When you’re doing that, when I’m doing that I use, I just put it straight into iCal. So I know it’s gonna come up. And then when I’m doing my planning that week, I’ll see it. So that’s that. But when I am working my to-do list, I will just have my calendar open. And I have two screens set up. So it’s easy to do that. But I have my calendar open. And I will work through that. And I will put a little checkmark emoji next to things when I’ve got them done. And I will shuffle them around and keep it workable. Like I am constantly looking at my calendar and keeping it workable. And I think that’s something not like in the past when I’ve worked from a calendar and it didn’t work. Because I didn’t know how to make it work. I hadn’t learned yet how to plan properly, that I would put way too much on my plate, I wouldn’t choose any time for breaks or whatever, I’d expect myself to wake up super early. And then I would sleep in and I’d be behind and I’d be stressed. And that was as it was, there wasn’t even enough time to get everything done. But now that I’d slept in, it was so much harder. And then I just by like 11 am have completely abandon the plan. And then it just got too painful to even look at my calendar and all my plans I hadn’t followed through on.

So what I do is I plan my day, my week. And then each morning, I look at the plan, is it workable, make any adjustments that I know I need to make then as I go throughout the day, I keep my plans workable, I make adjustments, I take things off, I move things around. And then at the end of the day, by the time I get there, it will be a reflection of what I actually did that day, not what I had planned to do. So anything that’s on my calendar like once a day is done is a reflection of my past, like, is there a reflection of what I actually did, it’s not 100% accurate, it’s not to the minute, it’s not like, it’s so important to not get too focused on having to be perfect. It’s not in like little tiny increments or things like that I’ll just kind of blob same task together or whatever.

But it’s going to be a reflection of what I actually did. So that when I’m doing my weekly review, I can see what I actually got done that week where my time went, instead of saying plans and I did some of it and I didn’t do some of it. So that’s a really important part of that. And makes the weekly review so much easier. And it will also when you are doing that just help you to see like, okay, so I actually, this is how I noticed that I wasn’t working well in the afternoon, and then I needed to change back to doing stuff in the morning is that it would take me so long to do stuff in the afternoon. And compared with previously when I’ve been doing things in the morning, and often I would like change my plans a lot more and just kind of be into a book and read that for longer or like go down this YouTube rabbit hole or whatever. So yeah, I hope that answers that question. I know I’ve just thrown a lot at you that but I use paper and my computer, but I work from my computer, but also, constantly I have so I have like a few different notebooks.

I’ve just joined a mastermind Stacey Boehman’s mastermind. So I have a notebook for that one for like my actual ideas and things. Then I have these random pads of paper. So I have a lot of paper around me. Post-it notes, or I got these colored pens or Texas markers, whatever want to call them. There’s a lot of paper and stuff I do. But I work from the calendar, and I’ll drop ideas and things down like that and all of that, but I will work from my computer.

So I’m gonna wrap it up because it is definitely clear. Oh, there’s actually a little question box. Oh, I didn’t even know there was a question box. Okay, that’s so good. What is power planning? So I think I’ve already answered that power planning is a planning method for perfectionist that I teach in PGSD, it’s 10 step process. It involves putting your plans into your calendar, it takes into account your goal you have your business, which is an impossible goal that really helps you to work on perfectionism stuff. And your power planning is your realistic weekly plans that allow you to achieve your goal that your brain thinks is impossible.

So yeah, if you have any more questions about power planning, please DM me. And I also have a power planning highlight on Instagram as well. Okay, I’m wrapping myself up. Thank you so much, guys for being here. I am going live every week at this time. So I will talk to you again next time. Bye.

So that is it for this episode. I hope you found that incredibly helpful. And I just want to say that now is the perfect time to join the PGSD waitlist if you aren’t signed up already. You go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. The link for that will be in the show notes for you. And when you sign up for the waitlist, you are going to get an email every week that is going to help you get out of your own way. And you’ll also find out more about PGSD including when the doors are next opening. So make sure you add your name to that list. If you are someone who is committed to getting out of their own way. Someone who knows that there is a difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. In PGSD we get shit done. That’s why it’s called Perfectionist Getting Shit Done. So we’d love to invite you in there and the next step towards that is to sign up for the waitlist, samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Author: Sam Brown