When you’re planning properly as a perfectionist, it’s easy to spot procrasti-working. But what do you do once you catch yourself doing it? That’s what I’m sharing in this episode – the third part in my procrastination series here on the podcast.
In this episode you’ll learn a simple tool our PGSDers use to pull themselves out of procrasti-working. It’s called the Procrastination Pick Me Up. By the end of the episode, you’ll know exactly how and when to use it. And you can start using it right away to make more money in your business more easily.
I also share two incredibly recent examples of when I caught myself procrasti-working and what I did about it – as well as an example one of our PGSDers shared in the PGSD Forum. Just in case you were thinking that you’re the only one who procrasti-works! Tune in today.
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- The difference between working on needle movers and procrasti-working
- Why catching yourself procrasti-working is a win (even if you don’t stop doing it)
- How Power Planning helps you catch procrasti-working
- The 3 prompts in the Procrastination Pick Me Up
- How and when to use the Procrastination Pick Me Up to stop procrasti-working
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.
Featured In The Episode:
- Join the waitlist for Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (PGSD) – samlaurabrown.com/pgsd
- Sign up for daily Perfectionist Power-Ups – samlaurabrown.com/power
- Follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject
Listen To The Episode
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
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 @perfectionismproject.
This episode is the third part in a five part series on procrastination and today we’re going to be talking all about what to do when you catch yourself procrasti-working. So I’m going to quickly recap what we have already discussed so far in this series. But I want to let you know that you are going to be learning a simple three step process that you can start applying today. When you catch yourself procrasti-working, either when you catch yourself in the moment, or when you catch yourself during your weekly review. These are three questions that you can ask yourself that are going to get you out of procrasti-working and back out of your own way.
So let’s recap what we’ve discussed so far in this series. So first of all, there are three types of procrasti-working; busy work, under working, and overworking. And these all relate to needle movers. So when you’re power planning, and you’re doing your Power Hour, part of that process is figuring out what your needle movers are for your business because this is going to be different for every business and different for every stage of business.
So you will be determining those needle movers and then putting in your calendar following the steps in the Power Hour. Those steps are in module two inside PGSD. And you will be then able to tell when you are procrasti-working, and when you are not procrasti-working. So busy work is when you are working on a non needle moving task under working is when you move on from a needle moving task before it is complete. So this often looks like jumping from task to task. Maybe you write an email 80%. And then you go and decide that you want to have an early lunch. I’ve definitely done that before that is under working.
Overworking is when you stay on a needle mover once it is complete. So this looks like editing and re editing, formatting a lot of that falls in under this category. It’s when we are redoing work when we are perfecting work that is overworking. So there is nothing wrong with procrastination, it is not a problem. If you can relate to all of those kinds of procrasti-working and I can, there’s nothing wrong with you, you have a highly intelligent brain that is doing what it is designed to do.
So there’s no problem with procrastination. We want to make sure we’re not judging ourselves. Like as we have this new layer of self awareness, around procrasti-working. We want to make sure that layer of self awareness does not come with shame, does not come with this baggage of, “poor I should know better”. And I’ve wasted all this time I’ve already been in business by spending it on procrasti-working, or guilt. Maybe you have been procrasti-working, instead of spending time with your children, or your family members or other projects that you have to work on.
I just want you to take a moment now, and release all of that shame, all of that guilt, all of that judgment. Procrastination is not a problem. And in the second part of this series, I talked about why zero procrastination is not the goal. You don’t need to get to zero procrasti-working, in order to achieve all of your goals in your business, to impact 1000s and 1000s of lives in an incredibly positive way to do all the things that you want to do to have the lifestyle that you want to have, to be able to take time off from your business and actually enjoy it.
All of those things are possible when you are still doing a little bit of procrasti-working. So focused on instead of not procrasti-working, our main focus is on following through 80% of the time. So inside PGSD, you learn the PGSD process plan properly is perfectionist, follow through 80% of the time, rest without guilt and repeat. That’s what we are focusing on. That is the process for stopping procrastination, including procrasti-working.
So that’s what we’ve discussed so far. And in this episode, we’re talking about what to do when you catch yourself procrasti-working either, as I said, busy work, working on a non needle moving task. It isn’t actually going to impact the growth of your business. Oftentimes, these tasks are ones that we see others doing. So we think we should do them too. Or maybe they used to be a needle mover for us. But now we’re at a different stage of business, it’s no longer a needle mover. Or maybe you are noticing that you are jumping from task to task, you have maybe a Google document of Instagram captions that are done that you haven’t published, or there half written, if that is going on, that’s under working. And if you’re overworking, you’re noticing that you’re wanting to redo work, you’re spending time perfecting, and you’re spending, time editing and formatting.
There’s many ways that each of these can look, you don’t need to be across all of them. But we just want to have you having some more self awareness around this. And language helps create self awareness. And then what we want to have you doing is just once per week, that’s all. That’s more than enough, once per week, either during your weekly review, which is the third step in power planning. So we have Power Hour, little tweaks and weekly review, during your weekly review, you will notice a time that you are procrasti-working, and go through this process that I’m going to be sharing in this episode.
Or in the moment, if you notice yourself procrasti-working, you can also in that moment, pull out your journal and go through this process as well. And I’m calling it the procrastination pick me up or the pick me up for short. And I just want to really first of all state before I get into exactly what that involves is that catching yourself procrasti-working, is a win in and of itself. Even if you continue to procrasti-work. Even if you have that awareness, and you find yourself continuing to do it. That’s okay.
It’s still a win for you to notice that you are procrasti-working. That self awareness, I know can be frustrating when we have self awareness coupled with a belief that we should be living in alignment instantly with all of our intellectual knowledge. When we put pressure on ourselves to be embodying things. As soon as we have awareness around them, it can really feel like we should know better. We shouldn’t be doing that we can shame ourselves for that. But we really want to make sure we are in the practice of identifying that as a win in and of itself.
And I really wanted to mention that because I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out in the PGSD forum and reading everyone’s persistence logs. And I have noticed that in people’s weekly reviews, when they’re saying what hasn’t been working for them, a lot of times those things are actually a win, because they have self awareness around something that they didn’t have self awareness around before, which then empowers them to change that. But we can really easily be in the mentality that when we catch self sabotage, that means something isn’t working.
And of course, we do want to be able to say, this isn’t working, and here’s what I’m going to do to change. But we want to categorize the noticing of this self sabotage, the noticing of us getting in our own way, the noticing of us procrastinating seen as a win. And then separately, we can do the work on what are we going to do to overcome that, to change ourselves, to really do that right to get out of our own way. Remembering again, this is really about just once per week, catching when you are procrasti-working, and then going through this procrastination pick me up.
But I just wanted to share a few examples of catching yourself procrasti-working. So one that I had this morning was I was writing the perfectionist power ups yesterday. They were all done. All good. And this morning. I was like, Oh, actually, I think I had did it this way, one of them. And if I change it to this wording that’s going to be even more impactful. So I found myself going into the Google document and editing it. And it might sound like, well of course you want them to be as good as possible and all like we can really easily make excuses for that.
But I could see because it wasn’t in my power planning to do anything perfectionist powerup related today. That was yesterday. I marked it off with a checkmark. It was done. But today, I did a little bit of rework of overwork on that perfectionist powerup and as I was doing it, I had the self awareness especially because I’ve been recording these episodes. I had the self awareness that I was overworking and I still did it. And that’s okay. And just me noticing that is a win is worth celebrating.
It’s not about catching 100% of the time that you are procrasti-working. Another one which is very recent is that I found myself wanting to procrasti-work. So this is one that I caught. And then I was able to do this procrastination pick me up. And to go through this process and to not do the overworking that I had the urge to do. But the first two episodes in this series, after I finished recording them, my brain was like, we need to redo that. That wasn’t good enough, all of that usual chatter. And so that temptation, especially when I’m doing this work ahead of time, and I do have time to rerecord. It’s very easy to overthink to overcomplicate and just noticing that I wanted to procrasti-work by redoing the episodes, and then based on my plans, and I’ve talked in a recent episode on the addiction to feeling behind, which is I’m still working on to some degree that I caught myself in that and I was able to get myself out of it.
And that’s why as well with the perfectionist powerup and the procrasti-working I did it around that today that I let it be okay. I didn’t feel like Oh, tell myself that I had to catch everything. And I wasn’t allowed to do any procrasti-working. I know that every week as I’m doing my power planning, my little tweaks, and my weekly review, I’m getting more and more self awareness and so much procrasti-working, is resolving itself, without me even having conscious awareness and knowledge of it and really trusting in that.
But it’s not a matter of all or nothing, that we’re either doing no procrasti-working at all, or we’re a total procrastinator. It’s okay to have a little procrasti-working. And when you can really get on board with that. It removes that shame and guilt and judgment around it, which has us procrasti-working less, it reduces our desire to procrasti-work.
So another example I want to share from a PGSDer, this is something that I read in the PGSD forum. So this PGSDer said, in their weekly review, I fell back into some procrastinati-learning this week, by signing up for another free challenge that had a lot of information in it from courses I had taken or challenges I’ve participated in before, I think I’m realizing. So this is where it’s really catching it and having that self awareness, which is so beautiful. I think I’m realizing this is more of a self trust issue at this point, which we talked about in module seven of the PGSD process.
Listening to Tuesday’s coaching call was really helpful in coming to that conclusion, especially when Sam talked about letting yourself know the answers. It’s like, I don’t believe that I know what I know, hearing something, again, isn’t going to magically make me take the action, I have to believe that I know what to do and how to do it. And even if I fail at it when I try or if it doesn’t work out, how I thought it would, then I can make adjustments from there.
I love that little snippet of the updates so much. It’s so growth minded. And I believe that this was in a what’s not working section of the weekly review, that we think well, this isn’t working that I was procrastinati-learning. But noticing yourself procrasti-working, and noticing yourself in that behavior and really having that awareness without judgment. And without shame or guilt around just like oh, hey, I noticed myself doing this thing. And here’s what I’m going to do differently next time. Here’s what I’m learning from seeing myself in this behavior. That’s what we want. That’s what we’re focused on.
So let’s talk about how power planning is going to help you catch procrasti-working, and then what to do once you catch it. So with your power planning, there are three steps. So you go through when you’re doing your power hour. So just to recap, and I know I’ve mentioned it already in this episode. But when you’re doing your power planning, you’ve got your power hour, which is your one hour of planning at the beginning of the week, it can be on whatever day works for you. Some PGSDers like to do this immediately after their weekly review. Others like to do it on a separate day, it’s totally up to you, but you are doing your power hour. And you are going through a specific process to get your to do list from your brain into your calendar in a way that’s workable, in a way that you can actually follow through on even if you’re unmotivated.
Even if you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen during the week. Even if you have children, even if you’ve got anything else going on, because as you are doing that power hour, you’re creating contingency plans, you’re really anticipating what could come up and doing a whole lot of different things like that. It takes one hour so we don’t go into procrasti-planning, which is when planning becomes a form of procrastination.
So you’ve got your power hour, then you’re doing your little tweaks throughout the week. So your Power Hour at the end of that you’re going to have a workable plan for your week that is actually realistic, that’s going to get you to your growth goal, it’s your hypothesis as to how you’re going to get there. So it’s in your digital calendar. And that is your to do list. Essentially, you are following that. And every day, you are making little tweaks to that, to update your calendar so that it stays workable.
This is why we love using a digital calendar so that it’s so easy to drag and drop. A lot of times we perfectionist once we’ve got something with pen and paper, and I love pen and paper and I still journal like every day that I’m working, I always have my journal out next to me, and I’m scribbling things down. It’s not about getting rid of paper, and your pen. But when we have things written down, we tend to not like crossing them out or making them messy or changing them. And when you’re working from a digital calendar, it’s very easy to make these little tweaks, it’s very easy to drop and drag, and to have your plans stay workable.
And what I love doing is that as I’m going through my day, I will update it to reflect what I actually did. And if a task didn’t get complete, then I will just drop it into the next week knowing that when I do my next power hour, I’m going to consider that task so that nothing gets forgotten. And that when I sit down to work, like for example, today, when I sat down to work, I knew exactly what I needed to do. And even though there’s a lot that I am creating in the coming month, I didn’t feel overwhelmed about it at all, because it’s already in my calendar, I know what I need to do. And when I need to do it, it’s got a lot of buffer time, a lot of extra time for tasks that might take a bit longer so that I can overachieve.
I’m going to need to be focused and committed and make sure I’m really getting my clean rest, to be able to follow through with those plans. And that gives me more motivation to take my clean rest seriously and that kind of thing. But I had no sense of overwhelm at all. And I had complete clarity on what was a priority for me today, because it’s in my calendar, and it’s workable. And so I’m making little tweaks as I go.
That’s what we’re doing throughout the week, we are focused on following through with our plans 80% of the time, not 100% perfection, it’s not all or nothing. And this really helps us to not fall off the wagon, when we’re just focused on following through more often than not. And really being someone who does the things that they said they would which I will talk more about in part five of this series.
So you have a little tweaks, and then you have your weekly review. So this is when you reflect on your week, and it takes about half an hour. Obviously it can take a lot longer if you want it to but I recommend us keeping it to a half hour because when we’re doing that, even if we love personal development, and I know that our PGSDers will be nodding their heads to this, that we can have so much resistance to that weekly review. And that’s totally normal. So by having it just be a half hour, and we have in PGSD there are the set prompts that you can find to go through that are going to guide you through that.
So you can really reflect on what’s working, what isn’t working and what to do differently. And you can iterate and get better and better at power planning every week and following through. And also your business will grow more and more because you’ll be able to identify needle movers, you’ll be able to identify procrasti-working, and that’s what I want to talk about now.
So how does power planning help you catch procrasti-working? This is so important because if I just jump into the procrastination pick me up, you’re not going to be able to really catch procrasti-working unless you are planning properly as a perfectionist. So unless you have your growth goal, unless you are power planning, you are not really going to be able to tell what’s a needle mover and what isn’t, which means you’re not gonna be able to tell what procrasti-working is, you’re not going to be able to know when you were spending longer than you had intended if you’re just working off a to do list.
So when you’re doing the Power Hour, you are going through a specific process that has you ahead of time looking for procrasti-working, looking for productive procrastination. So we write out a big long to do list getting everything out of our head and onto the page. And then instead of just leaving it as is, which is what most perfectionist do, we then go through a series of steps that are going to get that to do list into our calendar in a really workable way that has actually enjoying the process of building our business.
And part of that is identifying needle movers, eliminating, delegating, automating, going through these different things so that what we put on our calendar isn’t the same as that big to do list we have in our head, and I’ve had the question about how to get everything from your to do list into your calendar? And the answer is that you don’t. We overestimate what it takes to achieve our goals in terms of the tasks that we need to do. A lot of us really put all these conditions around success that I have to post on Instagram consistently, I have to send out an email every week, I have to have a beautiful sales page. We have all of these requirements, and then beat ourselves up for not meeting them, instead of really getting focused on what is actually a needle mover.
And when am I going to do that, and having this system for really helping you do that helping you notice when you’re not doing it, and then using the procrastination pick me up, and the other tools in PGSD, to get you out of your own way and get you back on track. So if you have been feeling really behind, if you have been feeling like you’re never doing enough, and even though you feel accomplished, when you take something off your list, it’s never done, then power planning, if you’re not already doing it is going to be incredibly, incredibly helpful with that.
So again, when we’re doing our power hour, we are already ahead of time, knowing that our brain is going to come up with ideas that are actually procrasti-working, when we are doing things that aren’t really necessary. Or we’re going to come up with plans and maybe even plan our time in a way where we’re going to be jumping from task to task and doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that and never getting anything fully complete, we’re going to be overworking and spending time doing work or doing things that aren’t really needed. So for example, there might be something that we could automate or repurpose. But instead, we’re creating it from scratch and doing that overworking.
So in your power hour, ahead of time you’re being aware of that proclivity to procrasti-work, you are taking that into consideration and going through a process to ahead of time, remove procrasti-working tasks that would otherwise just end up on a big long to do list that you would be working from. Then when you’re doing your little tweaks throughout the week. This is what helps you to notice procrasti-working in the moment, because instead of just having chunks of time in your calendar, and this is a question actually I got recently saying, you know, what’s the difference between, like time blocking and a calendar.
And when you are power planning, because they kind of sound the same, and they’re not. So often, time blocking what that looks like, would be having these big chunks of time for like, work on lunch, work on lunch, work on lunch, then it might be like Instagram, Instagram, Instagram, and it’s these vague activities. And we wonder why we feel overwhelmed. We wonder why we don’t feel accomplished. We wonder why we’re not feeling a sense of progress. Because we are setting things up in a way that isn’t actually helping us get our perfectionist mindset on our side. So we’re out of that overwhelm, so that we have complete clarity about what to do.
And oftentimes when people are time blocking like that, they and this is like everything on the podcast, I’m speaking from experience, as well as experience coaching hundreds of perfectionist entrepreneurs on how to get out of their own way. But I was my first client. And so really, when I first started working from a calendar, and I wasn’t power planning, I was just basically being a bitch to myself, and putting so many things on my plate that I wouldn’t update my plans as I went. That I kind of at the beginning of the week, sat down and thought about, hey, what would my ideal self do this week, and I might not have been thinking about it in those times.
But that’s what I was really creating was basically like if I was a robot, what would I do this week. And then I had these plans where I barely had any time for sleep, I definitely didn’t have any breaks for food. I underestimated how long everything would take, I thought that I’d be able to concentrate for 14 hours a day. Even though I could sit in front of a computer that long. I know now from power planning,
I put about six hours of focus work in me per day. And after that I really tend towards procrasti-working. And so I can just cap it there. But I just had this calendar that I had put so much on it and then I wouldn’t update it and do these little tweaks as I went and so I’d feel so behind and then after a couple of days, it was just too much. The shame was too much. I just felt so horrible. And so just scrap it and kind of just forget to look at my calendar quote unquote, I just turn a blind eye and then tell myself well next week we’ll try that again.
So when you’re doing your power planning, you will be making these little tweaks as you go. And this is what’s going to help you to notice procrasti-working, because you will notice yourself changing your plan. So for example, today when I was doing my little edit, which only took about 90 seconds, but I noticed it, because in my power planning, there was no perfectionist powerup task. And I know what’s in my power planning, because I look at it in the morning, I have it open on my screen throughout the day, I make sure by the end of the day, it’s completely updated to reflect what I did. It’s not exactly it’s not to the minute, it’s not perfect.
But it’s enough that in my weekly review, I’m able to take a look and see, hey, where did most of my time go this week, what kinds of things was I working on? Is that going to add up to my goal, and really do that reflection. So I was able to notice that because it wasn’t in my power planning, and I had to edit my plans. And I actually didn’t, in this case, add a little thing to say that I did the perfectionist power up. That was like a one minute task. It’s too granular, but I had the awareness around it. And that’s the most important thing.
Yesterday, when I was recording the first two episodes for this series, I had to edit my power planning to add in a time slot to say, really listen, or listen for the first time to the podcast episodes that I recorded. And that wasn’t in the plan. And I couldn’t notice myself then, oh, this is procrasti-working, and I still did it. I still listen to those episodes. And that’s okay. But I noticed myself I had the awareness around it. And from there, I was able to go through this process that I’m about to share, and not go into overworking.
So it was a little bit of overwork to really listen to the episodes, but then I didn’t let myself go all the way there because I was able to catch it and use this procrastination pick me up process. And this procrastination picked me up process is really what I’ve distilled from catching my own procrasti-working so many times now coaching PGSDers on this and really distilling it for you into a really simple process that you will be able to remember so that when you’re in it, it’s not this complicated thing, you can just go okay, I’m just gonna do my little pick me up. Here we go.
And then when you’re doing your weekly review, you will be able to notice procrasti-working that you might not have noticed in the moment, or maybe you didn’t notice it in the moment and you decided how am I going to do the pick me up right now, I’m just going to keep going. But then in your weekly review, you are going through that pick me up process to really get clear on what led to that procrasti-working, and what you’re going to do differently next time. But that weekly review is such an important part of catching procrasti-working, when we actually look at where our time is going, I know it can be painful. As I said, we have a lot of resistance around it. But it’s so incredible to do it. It’s so eye opening.
There are so many comments in the PGSD forum saying how powerful the weekly review is, and how much resistance people have to and I get it I have that resistance as well literally every week, I’m like, Nah, I don’t want to look we love to just a part of this all or nothing thinking is generalizations. And we love to generalize the week as it was a good week, it was a bad week. And when we’re doing our weekly review, we’re actually getting a little bit more granular and we can really celebrate ourselves and see we did accomplish things.
And then also instead of generalizing, okay, that didn’t work that week to go actually, some things did. Some things I could do differently next time. Here are those specific things, here’s specifically what I’m going to change and it’s not 50 million things at once, we just identify a couple of things. And then we go through the planning process again the next week. And we keep doing that and we get the compounding result of that. So it’s so important with catching procrasti-working, so that you can make more money, help more people, have your ideal lifestyle, time with you want with your family, traveling, all of those different things that you are equipping yourself with a tool that’s going to increase your awareness and give you enough awareness that you’re actually able to change it as well.
So let’s talk through the procrastination pick me up. What is it, how to use it? Because as I said, when you notice procrasti-working in the moment, you’re either doing a non needle mover, something that maybe you’re comfortable doing, you kind of know it’s not really what I need to be doing. Oh, just doing it because you should be you’re under working. So you notice yourself jumping from task to task, maybe you write an Instagram caption and then just when you’re figuring out the last little bit to say you decide to get lunch, or going through all through Instagram. Or most likely, you jumped to another task that you feel really inspired to do or you think, oh my God, I don’t have time to get everything done. So I just need to jump and jump and jump from thing to thing.
Or when you notice that you are overworking, when you’re spending more time than you had planned to, when you are spending time redoing a task that is already done, instead of just letting it be done. Then either in the moment or in your weekly review just once a week. It doesn’t even have to be every week. But once a week is more than enough, you don’t have to do this every single time. And I don’t recommend doing it every single time.
And the more and more you do this, just once a week, you will start automatically doing it without even having to consciously think about it. And you will also be able to do this ahead of time. So the procrasti-working doesn’t even happen. And as I said, Your Power Hour is going to help you with that. And this is that next layer on top.
So there are three steps, three questions that you are going to be asking yourself, and I recommend doing this with pen and paper. Instead of just mentally thinking it through though. It’s okay, if that’s the best you can do. If that’s what you want to do, if that’s what works for you. That’s okay. If write it down in your phone notes is what works for us what’s best for you. That’s okay. I found personally and the vast majority of our PGSDers find that when they are writing with pen and paper, it allows them to access a level of thinking that they didn’t have access to well, they were just in their brain about it.
We love having these loop thoughts and thinking the same things over and over again, and kind of just not thinking in a productive way. And when we’re writing it down, it’s much easier to be productive with our thinking. And to move our thinking forward instead of just doing on things because we’re not going to write the same sentence over and over and over and over again, we’re gonna get bored of that. So it forces us to really be more productive with the thinking that we’re doing. And to get ourselves into a solution, or whatever it is, we’re generally on being present with our feelings. Like it’s just so much more impactful when we have a tool that helps us to not just stay in these loop thoughts.
So these are the three questions. Flash statements, flash prompts, I guess they’re more prompts than anything. So the first is the story that’s making me procrastinate is, dot dot dot. So, for example, the story that’s making me procrastinate, this is what came up for me when I was I think I shared this on Instagram, I’m not sure if I shared it here on the podcast as well. But when I was writing some of the last, the emails for the last PGSD launch that we did in January, I noticed myself procrasti-working by having these emails that I was writing. And then when they were like 80% done, I was convinced that I wanted to have an early lunch and I was really hungry. And I’m just gonna watch a YouTube video to get myself motivated and then get back into the emails.
And so I call it that because of the power planning. And the story that was making me procrastinate was, I don’t know what to say, and other flavors of that. But that was the main thing is that I don’t know what to say. Of course, I don’t want to keep writing if I’m thinking I don’t know what to say. And so when you are going through these steps, it’s really important to be decided and to instead of going well I don’t know what’s making me procrastinate. Yes, you do. And if you did, what would that be? To just let yourself go that let yourself go to knowing, rather than to not knowing.
So the story that’s making me procrastinate is or procrasti-work is and you can get specific there if you want to. You can also use this procrastination pick me up. When you are procrastinating on starting a task and you’re doing those more blatant forms of procrastinating. Say for example, you have planned to start a podcast and you’ve been thinking about it for a year and you haven’t done it yet. You could use this process as well for that. But specifically here we’re talking about catching procrasti-working. So the story that’s making me procrastinate slash procrasti-work is and then know the answer, and right from that place.
The second prompt is my future self would tell me… So your future self, this is someone we talk about a lot inside PGSD. Your future self is the future version of you who has achieved your growth goal, or as well. It can be your future self who is further out into the future. It could be your 90 year old future self, it could be your future self 10 years from now. I find that when I’m doing future self work, I think about my future self often at different stages of my life depending on what the question is or what I needing help with, sometimes it’s really helpful to get advice from my future self whose way forward in the future.
And who really has this, like higher level perspective and wisdom. Other times, I just need to hear from myself, like, at the end of the week, what I need to hear from myself, who has achieved my goal, and it’s the end of this year. And so it’s really about with this prompt, accessing your own wisdom, and it’s intentionally open ended, my future self would tell me. So it could be a reminder, it could be an encouragement, it could be completely different insight that you wouldn’t expect. And especially with future self work, writing is so powerful.
And if you haven’t done much of this before, I’ll just quickly explain what I mean when I’m talking about your future self. So what we’re doing is we’re using the future self as a tool to access our own wisdom that our present day self is having. But due to fear, due to guilt, due to judgment, due to shame, blame, all those things that we are not allowing ourselves to access. And this is why it’s so easy to give advice to friends or clients or customers. And it’s much more challenging to give that advice to ourselves. Because when we are the one who has to follow through on the advice, we’re like, oh, no, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.
I do not know, because we’re scared to do the thing. Because that might result in shame, or some other negative emotion, most of which boil back down to shame. But when it’s a friend, or a client, or a colleague, or a customer, who has to follow through and do the scary thing, like oh, here’s exactly what to do. So when we are using this future self construct, we are able to access the wisdom that we have without blocking it due to shame, fear, guilt, all these things that I mentioned.
So it’s a really incredible way to be able to build yourself trust to have your own back to not be in procrasti-working and procrastinati-learning because our future self is not gonna say that you should do something that would amount to procrasti-working. Our future self really clearly knows what’s procrasti-working and what isn’t. This is why I don’t tell you these are needle movers and these aren’t. It’s not up to me, it’s not up to my thoughts about your business, you know your business better than anyone. And your needle movers will depend on the business you are in, your goals for your business, your goals for your life, you’re like everything, your values, all of that, really determine what needle movers are and your future self is going to be able to help you figure that out and your future self as well as like, if you even want to zoom forward to your future self from the end of this week, when you are in this question to this and come up a lot with this kind of thing when you’re noticing procrastinati-working, and you might be like, maybe this is a sign I need to rest or do I just need to push through and get it done.
Your future self will know, your future self, even if you zoom forward to the end of the week, your future self from the end of the week, is going to be able to say you’re going to be really proud that you just did the thing, let’s just do it. Or your future self is gonna say you need a fucking break. Take the break. And when we’re trying to decide from our present day self, with all of our fears and other things going on, it can be challenging to see. But when we think about okay, what would me from the end of the week say? What would me from the end of this year say? What would my 90 year old self say?
So when we’re doing the second prompt, my future self would tell me, this is really an opportunity for you to access your own wisdom that you have around it. So in the first step, you’ve identified the story, the thoughts you’re having, the beliefs, all of that kind of thing. The story that’s making me procrastinate is and your decided about that you know what it is. And it’s really important to know that there are so many conscious and subconscious reasons that we procrastinate. And you don’t need to know all of them ever.
It’s so powerful to just say, I have a hunch it’s this and to go with that. That get us so much further than, well I don’t know when I have to identify the perfect thing and exactly what it isn’t has to be the right thing, or I’m not going to get any benefit. That all or nothing thinking and that’s when we aren’t making that progress when it comes to getting out of our own way. We aren’t able to make that progress. You just have to start with naming something being decided about the story that’s making you procrastinate. Usually it’s the most obvious thing. And even if you don’t know the answer. If you can’t access that answer, think about what would your future self tell you is a story that’s making you procrastinate because they’re going to know.
So the step two, my future self would tell me. And step three, the third prompt is my plan in this moment is as follows. And you want to be decided about that. So my plan in this moment is as follows, again, is somewhat open ended, because that could be your plan about the next week, it could be your plan about, like, for that moment, but in this moment, knowing what you know, knowing that you do know why you’re procrastinating. And your future self has given you that wisdom. What are you going to do with that?
And a lot of times we think that when we’re saying, I should know better, I shouldn’t have done that, like using all these shoulds, that that’s helping us to change in the future. But it isn’t, we really need to be focused on Hey, what am I going to do next time in that situation, if it’s something that’s already passed. So say maybe you’re doing your weekly review, you’re just on the pick me up. And you’ve identified during that past week, some procrasti-working, that you did.
So maybe, for example, with this PGSDer, who noticed procrasti-learning, by signing up for another free challenge, that you might then in that situation, say, okay, my plan in this moment is as follows. That the next time there’s a free challenge on a certain topic, say, for examples on money mindset, I’m going to spend one hour, I’m going to put it in my power planning, I’m just making this up. But this is an example. I’m just going to spend one hour in my power planning, writing down all the things I already know about money mindset, in the first 45 minutes, and in the last 15 minutes, I’m going to take one of those things that I know and could be better implementing in my own life.
And I’m going to set about making a plan to embody that to implement that. So that could be an example of what you could come up with. There’s so many options. And when you especially once you’ve just access your future selves wisdom, you are going to be able to access a level of idea and solution that you weren’t able to access before. So we really want to be going through this procrastination pick me up it doesn’t take long. The story that’s making me procrastinate is my future self would tell me, my plan in this moment is as follows.
So for example, another one. My plan in this moment is as follows. When it was the podcast episodes, I wanted to re record was, I’m going to re listen to these episodes, and then I’m going to make a decision about whether to rerecord them or not. And then I re-listened to them. I keep saying re-listened, but I listened to them. I guess I’m listening as I’m recording them. So I listened to them. And then I made a decision. And I still needed to do a little self coaching on myself after I made that decision. But I follow through with that plan. And then I was able to move on and get out of that procrasti-working.
So that is a process that you can go through the little pick me up, I hope it’s helpful. And in the next episode, I am going to be talking about clean rest and procrasti-working, what the two have to do with each other. And then in part five of this series, we are going to be talking about how to become a non procrastinator in three simple steps. And I have forgotten to mention, I’m doing right now that the doors to PGSD are opening on the 27th of April at 6am New York time. So if you want to join us when you want to join us go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. If you’re listening to this when the doors aren’t open, you’ll be able to join the waitlist.
And you’ll find out more about the program, get all the details. And if the doors are open, that is the link where you will sign up and join us if you have resonated with what I’ve shared in this episode, in this series, on this podcast. If you want to really do this work embody this work to get out of your own way in your business, to have community and support and to not feel like you’re alone in your business journey or that there’s something wrong with you for doing this procrasti-working to really just be surrounded by people who get you and get what it’s like to be a perfectionist entrepreneur. Please join us I invite you in. So samlaurabrown.com/pgsd is that link again. And the doors to PGSD are closing on the 3rd of May at 11:59pm New York time.
We don’t let people procrastinate on signing up. So if you miss that deadline then you will need to wait until our next enrollment. We are planning to open a couple more times in 2022 but this is important work that cannot keep waiting. This matters. You matter. Your business matters. Join us in PGSD. Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd is where you’ll sign up, where you joining the waitlist. And I would love to see you inside. So I will talk to you in part four that will be coming out very soon. And if you have enjoyed this episode, please take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram. I’m @perfectionismproject.
If you’re ready to get out of your own way in your business, then I invite you to join us inside perfectionist getting shit done. 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 27th of April at 6am New York time, until 11:59pm New York time on the 3rd of May 2022.