I first experimented with clean rest in the summer of 2014 (even though I didn’t have a name for it at the time).
I returned to clean rest in 2018 because I knew things had to change. I was tired of burning out every time I had a major promotion or launch going on.
Now, clean rest is the backbone of my business and its success.
Clean rest is what grounds me AND gives me the courage to put myself – and my ideas – out into the world (even when they’re not perfect).
And it’s the reason I haven’t burned out in more than 3 years (even though I’m now making more money than I ever have).
So far, this series has shared what clean rest is and why it’s essential for perfectionists, why working from a to-do list means you get less clean rest, practical advice to help you plan out and honour your clean rest, and what counts (and doesn’t count) as clean rest.
In the final episode, I talk about how my journey with clean rest has evolved and what I personally like to get up to in my time off.
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- How I discovered clean rest in 2014
- How clean rest helped me stopped burning out after busy seasons
- How my clean rest has evolved to become the backbone of my business’ success
- What clean rest looks like for me (especially now that I’m a mum)
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Featured In The Episode:
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- Learn the basics of Power Planning – samlaurabrown.com/planning
- 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.
In this episode, the final episode in the clean rest series, I’m going to be sharing a bit about my clean rest journey, how it has evolved over the years, the different ways it’s looked as I have been in different stages of life and business as well. And I hope this just gets you thinking about how you can take more clean rest, like what that could look like for you. And I also want to mention what I get up to, when I’m in my clean rest time.
And I’ve coached a lot of PGSDers on this recently that we can be a bit perfectionistic, about clean rest time, and that it has to be this perfect, guilt free time where we’re not doing anything productive at all. And really, I want you to be thinking about clean rest, especially in the beginning, as just time where you are deciding that it’s not an option to work on your business. And to let any guilt that might be there be there.
And then as you evolve and go on this journey with clean rest, your own journey with clean rest, you will start to figure out what counts for you as clean rest, in the sense that you’re going to have that in your power planning and clean rest time. And then what for you is actually not really a clean rest activity. And it doesn’t really matter that much. The most important thing is that you are deciding when you aren’t working on your business, so that it’s easy for your brain to have a break.
It’s easy to be courageous, because you know, a break is coming, it’s easy to be focused, because you know, a break is coming in because your brain is actually getting that break. So it doesn’t have to procrastinate or you don’t have to subconsciously burn yourself out in order to get a week off. And I actually posted on Instagram Stories this morning about how it’s not actually hard to create separation between your business and your personal life.
There’s a lot of people and I used to be one of them, who would say that it’s really challenging to create separation, especially when you work from home. And you’re just working by yourself for yourself, and you work so close to your bedroom, and you can put a load of laundry on as you’re working. And it’s actually not hard to create separation, it’s really just a matter of deciding. And often like when we’re working for someone else the boss decides.
And so it feels easier in that situation because someone else has decided, but we can just make that decision for ourselves. And when I was reflecting on my journey with clean rest, in order to record this episode, I was just thinking how one of the ways my I don’t know, my relationship with my business and myself has evolved is that I now find it easy to create separation. And that doesn’t mean it’s not something I’m still working on and figuring out. But it does mean that I know how to draw a line in the sand.
And I know how to create completion for myself at the end of every single work day. And actually on Monday this week, I didn’t feel that way. And I was like, this is such a weird feeling. For me, I used to feel like this all the time that I would get to the end of a workday and feel like I was kind of half in things and that things weren’t really complete. Towards now with power planning and clean rest. And using those things to pursue my growth goal,
I get to the end of every work day no matter how productive or sometimes unproductive that day was. And I feel a sense of completion and I’m able to switch off and just enjoy the night and the days that I have off and all of that no matter how much is going on in the business, if it’s a really busy time. Or if it’s not, I’m able to have that separation, because I am deciding to have the separation that so if that’s something you’ve been struggling with, and you are someone who that I used to do, I would be working and then I would put on a load of laundry and then I would eat at my desk, which I do do every now and again.
But I would always eat lunch at my desk like I just wouldn’t let myself have any kind of break and I was always just half in business and half in my life all the time. And really clean rest has allowed me to have that separation. That’s I just want to mention that to further sell you on the power of clean rest, which is what this series has been about. And I want to make sure you know as well before I get into things.
PGSD we are opening the doors from the 27th of July at 6am New York time until the… What am I saying? Every time I do that, like the date goes from my mind until the second of August at 11:59pm New York time so we’re open for a week. And inside PGSD, you are going to be able to set your growth goal which is going to be your north star and help you figure out what’s important and what isn’t. And that alone is going to give you so much power to get clean rest because you won’t keep feeling like everything is important.
Then you will learn power planning and clean rest and you will actually practice that you’ll make the three month commitment to power planning and you will be practicing scheduling your needle movers up practicing getting your clean rest, you’d be getting coaching, you’ll be getting support, you’ll be talking to other PGSDers, who are also doing their power planning to pursue their growth goal and getting clean rest.
And it’s really going to have you not just knowing about clean rest and be like, yeah, I definitely should do more of that, to actually doing it. So that you are able to fully show up for yourself and your business, you are able to like there’s so many benefits, like you’ll be able to make decisions, big and small without second guessing and overthinking, you’ll be following through on your plans and even the courageous scary things or that like tedious admin things for your business that you just keep pushing off and pushing off, you’ll actually be doing them you’ll be feeling at the end of each day, organized and productive.
And like I was talking about that feeling that I now I’m just so used to it, it’s actually crazy to think that that feeling I never used to have, which is like I did everything I needed to do like everything is done. I’ve like tied a bow on top. And even though there are projects still ongoing, and like this is the thing with business, right? There’s always more you could be doing. And so we have to be the ones to decide, yes, there is more I could be doing but I am not doing more. This is enough.
And that really is the key if you are and this is perfectionist, we are thinking that when or good enough, if we’re thinking that what we’re doing isn’t good enough either. Like it just feeds that story of inadequacy. And that’s the story that we are getting out of, and we’re creating a different story for ourselves. That really is the work that we do inside PGSD. So it’s really important that you begin to let enough be enough and not always keep putting more and more and more on your plate or just abandon your plans altogether, because it just feels like too much pressure.
It is really about having your growth goal. And being able to pursue that ambitiously without needing to sacrifice clean rest or your personal life. And without it being really like when it says pressure and there’s stress. And a lot of times we think like if we’re pressured and stressed about a goal, that we need to just let go of the goal. And that that’s the lesson, I just need to let go of the goal and just show up the best I can.
And I really, if that’s something you’ve been considering doing, I really want to invite you to consider that there’s actually another option, it’s not all or nothing, you either have the goal and you’re super stressed about it and you pressured about it and you hustle your way there. Well, you don’t have a goal and you just kind of blow in the breeze, what we’re doing is we have our goal and we learn how to pursue it with clean rest with honoring ourselves, and what’s important to us in our lives.
And also the work that we’re doing in our business. And without burning out without it having to just be this like self worth test. A lot of times we use goals as a test to see if we’re worthy enough. And then we just completely ignore any accomplishments, or any progress along the way. And we never feel like we’re measuring up no wonder because our brain is just interpreting everything as inadequate. So really, that’s the work we do in PGSD. So I want to invite you and samlaurabrown.com/pgsd, the link will be for you in the show notes, too.
And if you’re listening to this, when it is going out, the doors will be opening very soon. So make sure you join us for this enrollment period. Because it really is going to make such a difference in the way you do business and the way you do life. And you’re going to be able to take what you have learned in marketing programs and manifestation courses and all those things and actually be doing the things and applying them like you know what you need to do to build your business.
And this is all about having you actually do those things, and getting out of your own way so that that can happen. So with all of that said, obviously very passionate about it, I want to work with you inside PGSD and really help you to create that transformation for yourself. And yeah, so I’m going to keep telling you about it. So I want to tell you about my clean rest journey, just so you can get a bit of an idea as well about how it is going to evolve.
And that maybe for you, this is the beginning of your journey with clean rest, maybe you are already on that journey. But it’s so important that you give yourself permission to evolve with this and that you don’t expect yourself to be perfect at it, whatever that means from day one. And to also know it is going to look different at different stages of business and different stages of life. And this is why when we’re power planning, we have our weekly review. So that we can actually be paying attention to whether the amount of clean rest we’re getting is working.
That’s one of the things we look at. And if it isn’t to create a hypothesis as to what would work better and to experiment with that. And so that’s really how my clean rest journey has evolved, is that I have been paying attention to is it working for me? And could I make it work better for me? And then when the answer to that has been that it could be better than I’ve created a hypothesis as to like, hey, maybe I’ll get more clean rest in the morning or in the afternoons or all those different things.
And then I’ve tested that. And I’ve been able to see the results of that test with my weekly review, like actually evaluating my week. And learning how to do that in a way where we’re not like beating ourselves up, or looking for everything that’s wrong. That is not what we’re doing in the weekly review, so much of it is actually training our brain to see so many things that went well that we otherwise dismiss and ignore. So that is really how it has evolved.
And so taking you back to the beginning of my journey with clean rest, and I might have mentioned this in the episode, I recorded in 2019, about clean rest, which I shared again, at the beginning of this clean rest series, that it really started for me as a uni student that I just an if you don’t know, I have a law degree and a finance degree. And it’s very easy with study, if you have studied, maybe you have a degree or two as well, that it’s very easy to be in this mentality of like, there’s always more study to be done. And often we just take that mentality into business.
So I had that mentality of like, there’s always more to be done. And I always felt guilty when I wasn’t studying. And it just didn’t have me being productive at all. And I was I mean, I was doing well in uni, don’t get me wrong. And this is a thing, a lot of times we do do well, but I was burning up all the time, like every single semester. So I started really experimenting with clean rest, I didn’t call it clean rest at the time. But I just recognized that if I forced myself to take time off. And I wanted to go to the beach every weekend.
And I recognized that like I did have time during the week, because I didn’t feel like I had enough time ever. I did have time. And I could be decided about what I needed to do and what I actually didn’t need to do. And so if I had the weekends off, I can’t remember exactly if it was a weekend or one day, but I had forced time off. Even if I had no plans, I had to take this time off. And it helped me be so much more productive during the week. Because I actually like had a deadline for myself instead of just this like long stretch of time where it was like, there’s always more to be done.
And you always have more time. So you can always leave it until tomorrow. And so in this situation, I was like, Well, I don’t have the weekend to catch up on should I didn’t do during the week, so I better get it done during the week. And that was when I really started to just notice how when I especially when I didn’t feel like I had enough time adding rest into my calendar. And I can’t even remember I didn’t look back that far, I don’t think I was planning in the calendar. I’ve definitely like at that time around.
And I’d started experimenting with time blocking and like walking from my calendar. But I wasn’t really like I definitely wasn’t doing power planning. So I was just noticing that this was like the first seed of like, oh, I actually get more done. When I force myself to take time off. And when I’m not feeling guilty all the time that I’m not doing enough study, because when I was feeling guilty, I wasn’t doing enough study, then when it was time to sit down and study, you can bet I wasn’t being super productive. I was just kind of like procrastinating and like scrolling.
And then maybe like I spent a lot of time making my notes for my assignments and exams and that kind of thing. Like condensing the information and making my notes really pretty, like making sure the formatting was beautiful. In my Word document of like, that was what I spent a lot of my time doing. And it just, it wasn’t a needle mover. So then, fast forward to 2018 like, so. I’m not gonna go into my full business story with this. But I think that was around from memory like 2014 2015 that I was like, okay, rest actually is important.
And I benefit when I don’t have 24/7 to work on something. So then I, I kind of forgot about that, business wise, and then 2018. So at that point, I’d left my full time accounting job, I was working part time at a local hospital as a receptionist. And I like recognized again, like, oh, wait, that was that thing about rest, that rest is really helpful. And so I started adding in one day off per week and I actually just had a look back through my calendar. And I had this in my calendar towards the end of 2018 like the second half. And actually I remember what sparked this now it was Tim Ferriss and him talking about work for work sake in the four hour work week.
And I was like, Okay, I do that and like I need to do something about it. So that was when I started experimenting with that and I just had it as rest and recovery in my calendar. And also like my calendar is so patchy because when you are power planning, like my calendar, it it now reflects what happened and there are some days where it’s just like clean rest the whole day and there’s no more detail than just like clean rest. But like I’m actually keeping track of what was done in my calendar.
Whereas before when I was doing like time blocking different methods like that, that I would have stuff in my calendar, but then half of it wasn’t getting done in like these big gaps. And it just like, was a different situation. But I had this like rest and recovery day that I think at the time was like a repeat task. And I definitely didn’t feel like I had enough time to do that, because I was also working a part time job. And I was very much in the story of like, I don’t have enough time. And that was part of what encouraged me to limit the time I had.
Because when you feel like you don’t have enough time, often that is a super helpful thing to do. And so he then in early 2019, when I was doing my power planning, I could see one day a week that I was having, as well, as rest, I was still working part time at that point in time. And I had it in my calendar as rest day non negotiable in brackets, like a little reminder to myself, that I actually need to rest, like it’s not an option to work, it is non negotiable rest time, as in time to not work on the business. Then when I went full time in my business in 2019, so midway through 2019.
At that point, I was power planning and like just at the beginning of really experimenting with that and like figuring that out, and really just figuring out how to plan in a way that actually worked for me and got my mindset on my side instead of like I learned a lot of different calendaring methods and things like that. And they just weren’t working for me. And I actually got a comment on one of my Instagram posts about power planning yesterday where someone was saying, like, you know, what calendar do you recommend, because I just haven’t been able to find one that doesn’t stress me out.
And it’s not the calendar that’s stressing you out, it is a way that you are planning in your calendar. And you know, I’ve been talking about that a lot with power planning and about planning in a way that actually works for your perfectionist mindset instead of against it. So just wanted to mention that if you have been someone who’s like, I just need to find like a tool in the sense of like, which calendaring app or you know, which physical planet like to know that it’s actually not the calendar itself or the planner itself, and that you need to like be on this endless hunt for the perfect one.
It’s really about learning how to plan and manage your time and manage your mind in a way that actually works for you rather than it working against you. That is why you feel stressed and pressured and behind and overwhelmed. It’s not to do with like whether you’re using iCal or Google Calendar or anything like that. And obviously, we all have our preference when it comes to those kinds of things. But it is not the calendars fault. It’s just that you’ve been following planning advice it doesn’t make for a perfectionist.
So when I was I’m trying to think even back to like in 2019 what I would do in my clean rest time, but I will share more about like what it currently looks like. And I think that will like capture a lot of things. But I think it was just like reading and catching up with friends and like doing stuff around the house and like laundry or whatever. Like just all of that kind of thing. And my I would say my clean rest journey really took on a different form once I got pregnant, and then when I have Lydia and then now as a mom, like that’s when it has really evolved a lot.
Because my lifestyle has changed and also what’s important to me has changed and how much rest I need also change as well like how much rest I’ve decided to have is going to look different for everyone. And this is why I’m PGSD we’re not going to tell you like you need to have this many days rest or this many hours or, you know, start your workdays early and like you can work whenever you want and you’re going to figure that out with power planning and your little tweaks in your weekly review like when works best for you.
And I’m so grateful that weirdly at this point in time like once I was pregnant and then I had Lydia and then to now that I had really started to understand how I work best and I key thing for me was really recognizing that I like six hours of work in a day like I’m talking about courageous or like mentally challenging things and then maybe like a couple of hours of like add many things that I need to do but six hours is about how much I can put into a day in terms of a workday even have the full day like previously when I was doing stuff like time blocking.
That I would have in my calendar, the full day literally from like 6am until like 8pm, or probably even 10pm with tasks in it. And I would completely underestimate how long they would take, there’ll be no wiggle room and my calendar, I wouldn’t want to update my calendar either. Because I was very all or nothing about it, like if I felt behind I was behind, and then I just ditched the whole thing. And that’s why when I look back at my calendar, my iCal, it’s so spotty, in like 2018, and that kind of thing, because that’s really what I was doing.
So I’m so grateful. Like, I went through that, and really learned, that didn’t work for me. But I really had a handle on how I work best what time of day, I worked best, and really started to figure out like what my ideal work day, and kind of rhythm looks like for me. And I’m still working on that I’m still I love that, um, it’s still evolving, and life is always changing. And the business is changing, too, always.
And so, yeah, it’s so important to like, really be in that growth mindset around this as much as you can. And you’ll get more and more in the growth mindset around it. But it’s not this static thing of like, this is how I work best, this is when I rest best. It’s like, for now this is what’s working, and I’m gonna keep doing that. And then at some point in time, it might not be the best option for me anymore. And I’m willing and open to experimenting with that.
So when I got pregnant, I had nausea in the first trimester, which is very common, I had a lot of guilt, because I had nausea, but it wasn’t severe. Like it just kind of felt like a mild hangover. But it was always there for like the six weeks or whatever, that I had it. But I just felt so guilty, that I wasn’t doing more because there are people who like if you if I wasn’t working for myself, and I was working in a job that I would have had no choice but to go to work, and I would have just had to push through it. And I couldn’t get myself to push through it. And I tried so hard.
And I sort of feel so guilty for not being productive, that with pregnancy, I was like, Okay, I actually just need to scrap my plans and put clean rest in my calendar and just honor that, like, I’m making a human. And even though if I was working for someone else, like there are people with like much more extreme nausea, like, as I said, mine was quite mild, who are working and like, there’ll be walking in the need to like, go off to the bathroom and vomit and come back to working like just because other people were doing that. Like I was making myself wrong for the experience that I was having.
And so what I ended up doing in November 2020, when I was in my first trimester, was just like having the whole month pretty much of November off, and I love that it ended up being at the time, one of our best months financially because it really just solidified like, it is safe to rest, it is safe to take time off, my whole business isn’t gonna fall apart. Like I really felt like everything was gonna fall apart. And pregnancy and then having a child who is really just showing me that that isn’t the case of and I really had to trust that to be able to take the time off and give myself that but there are going to be different periods in your life.
And in your business. It might be because like me, you’re pregnant, and then having a child and other things. It might be because of a health issue of your own or someone else in your family. Like there are so many different reasons that you might need to take time off your business. And I think it’s so important to have a relationship with clean rest and intentional time away from your business where it’s not like I would work if I could, but I can’t. It’s like I’m deciding not to work that is really going to help you honor yourself and whatever it is you are going through or experiencing and honor your business as well.
So that you’re not like oh, I wish I could be there but I can’t but I wish I could but I can’t and kind of like in this self pity, victime energy around it is like I’m deciding not to work on the business intentionally. So when I was pregnant, I had a lot of time off clean rest in my first trimester. And then in my second trimester, I was really, I remember the end of 2020 I was like hounding Steve, like from the outside, like when do I work best and like really…
Like it was so funny because I knew the answer to that but I was like, just like I want to really figure it out because actually as well the whole of 2020 pretty much I had been doing these like slow mornings, because I’ve been hearing people talk about having so mornings, and that you know, you wake up and I have never been one to enjoy waking up whenever I wake up. Now with a child, I will happily take that but in the past even though actually that’s not even true. Now I still like waking up on an alarm and like deciding when my day starts for me that’s a really powerful thing to do. Others love no alarm or a really late alarm.
For me I actually like feeling like I’m choosing to start the day. So throughout a lot of 2020. And this relates to my clean rest journey because it was like figuring out what time of day to have my clean rest, that I was kind of like having a lot of clean rest in the morning. And I would wake up and then I would work out, I would meditate, like I had that whole personal development routine, then going, meditate, I’d read a book, I will do some journaling, and probably watch like a YouTube video, like all of that kind of stuff. And I’d start my day around 11. And I would finish at maybe like five or six.
What I found, for me actually, part of the reason unconsciously that I was doing that was because I felt so guilty finishing early than like people who work nine to five, and especially like I came from the corporate world. I mean, it feels like I was there for a while I wasn’t really like I worked in accounting for two years as a graduate accountant and like in that corporate life. And I just felt like how could it be true that I’m making more money than I made as an accountant, and I can just like finish my day early and like, have a lot of time off. And I was constantly so glad I’ve stopped doing this. But I was constantly comparing myself to people in the real world.
And you know that that’s acceptable, and that if I’m making a decent amount of money, that I actually need to make sure that I’m working just as hard. And that I it felt so much safer to me to finish it like five or six to be like, oh, yeah, well, everyone else is finishing at this time too. Instead of what I did in 2021, which is I really recognized like the slow morning stuff. It sounds lovely. And it’s so beneficial. Like there are PGSDers who like, Oh my God, I’m finally like actually letting myself have a slow morning and it works so well for me like having clean rest in the morning.
So again, this is why we don’t tell you when to put the clean rest in your calendar, because it’s going to be different for everyone. So for me, I had recognized through like a year of doing that, that it wasn’t for me that I was actually then trying to get myself to do the most courageous and scary and tedious things like in mid afternoon, typically, which is when my brain is like no, like it’s an I could track this through my power planning that when I’m doing things in the morning, I can get tasks done quicker, or in the same time that I had predicted that I would be able to.
But if there’s a task in the afternoon, like I kept noticing, when I was doing my little tweaks that I would just be expanding out how long things would take because that time of day like working at that time of day and asking a lot of my brain at that time of day. Sure, could I get myself to do it? Yes. Was I getting myself to do it? Yes. Was it the most effective thing? No. And this is where it comes into like, it’s so much more important what you do in your business hours than how many you have is that if I was trying to keep getting myself to work in this rhythm that works for so many other people that I would need like three to four extra hours in a day just to get the same amount of stuff done as if I actually just found the rhythm that works best for me.
And so it really is about using the time that you have wisely not perfectly but wisely. And knowing that again, that as well is a journey. And so when it came to 2021, I remember so clearly, as I said like talking to Steve about it, I was like I just feel like my current way that I’m approaching my day isn’t the best for me. And what would that look like if it was easy for me to have a really productive day.
And what I came to was that I would start working from memory, it’s about 830, I would work for six hours until 230 I’d have like a very short lunch break. And then I would work I think I worked four days, one week and three days the other week, like I just really started to recognize it even though I could work every day of the week. And especially like at that point in time I like we didn’t have a child to be thinking about childcare and all that kind of thing that I could work whenever I wanted to.
But just recognizing like that didn’t actually serve me. Also, there was a whole lot of like, I definitely over prepared when it came to having Lydia and like wanting all the baby things like I spent, I would say 1000s of hours watching YouTube videos, they were so helpful, but like all the newborn essentials and like all those different kinds of things and like labor and all of that all the birth videos and I wanted to have time to do that and like to set up the nursery, which was like a nursery in my office we were renting at the time because that house getting renovated.
That’s another thing as well with a clean rest, like having a lot of time to have stuff happen with the renovation that wasn’t planned. So we might have like, plan to have, you know, a 30 minute electrical meeting with the electrician that ends up being like a four hour walkthrough. And having the ability with the little tweaks and the buffer time to be able to have that not throw off my week was super important and helpful. Actually at this time, the renovation hadn’t started. But we had moved out in preparation for the renovation.
But that was something that came after Lydia was born in the second half of 2021, that we had the renovation going on, and the baby, and I was getting back into business up anyway, going back to pregnancy, I’m just jumping all around the place. I hope this is making sense. And I hope this is like helping you think about what might help you when it is coming to clean rest, that when it was the second trimester, even though as well, part of me is like, you know, I have a decent amount of energy at this point, I’m very motivated. But also, it doesn’t serve me to work 24/7 even though I know that soon, I’m gonna be having time off.
And like soon I’m going to be my third trimester and be quite uncomfortable. And maybe out of breath. It also as well, like, in hindsight, I could walk through a lot of the third trimester, and I did, and I enjoyed doing that. But also, you don’t know what none of us ever do. But you don’t know what that might be like and when the baby’s gonna come. So it really helped to have that tool of clean rest and power planning under my belt, so that I could really be in tune with what was working for me, and change it when I needed a more clean rest.
So I was really having my work days be 630 to 230. And that brought up a whole lot of guilt, about not working the same hours as everyone else in the corporate world that like, I could just finish at 230. And feel like everything had been done thanks to using power planning that I had that sense of completion. And I could just like, go for a walk to the dog park. And I could just like, I know, go to Kmart or Target or wherever and buy whatever I need to survive for the baby or like, it just felt too good to be true. And so I had to really work through that when I was going through that stage.
And then in the third trimester, as well, I think I plan to have from like 38 weeks, like I had clean rest from 38 weeks on I ended up doing. Like I felt pretty good during the third trimester. And I wanted to do a PGSD launch and different things like that. So I had though clean rest. And it felt like it’s so interesting. This is I guess, going down a bit of a rabbit hole. But a lot of people, if you are working for someone else will leave work at 34 weeks or 36 weeks in Australia, depending on the situation.
And so a lot of people will be like, Oh, you’re working all the way up to 38 weeks. And for me, it just felt really good to do that. And I had I was I remember telling so many different people, because they’d be like, Oh, you’re working late in the pregnancy that like, Yeah, but I can like at that point as well, like the business didn’t need anything from me that I had set things up to run without me. And I was just doing stuff because I wanted to do it not because I had to, which is such a powerful place to be.
And I was like also I have no commute to work. And for sure if I was commuting, I was very uncomfortable at that point, that I wouldn’t be wanting to commute anywhere, especially if I was going on a train or like even driving and I had pelvic pain that was quite severe. And so like I hurt to do pretty much anything, any kind of walking or like standing up and sitting down and putting shoes on and all the things.
So anyway, all of that to say I with the help of power planning and clean rest, was able to do something that worked for me. And then I had planned to have like I’d set the business up. So I could have three to six months off without working. And I ended up wanting to get back into work. I think Lydia was like two or three weeks old, maybe three weeks old.
Because I didn’t have to do anything for the business. So it was easy to want to do it. But I know for sure that, especially given how little sleep I was having that if I felt like like I wasn’t doing any coaching calls. And inside PGSD had other PGSD coaches doing them. I like wasn’t having to think I wasn’t I had already pre recorded all the podcast episodes for that period of time.
And it definitely felt like if I had to coach or do a podcast episode, I just couldn’t hold the train of thought that my brain was just very tired. But I could do different stuff that I wanted to do with just ease in the way I wanted to ease in and I think without having the clean rest that I had, like in my calendar and that I meant I had zero pressure to do anything. It wasn’t like, cool, I’ll do stuff if I want to. I really went into it being like I’m deciding ahead of time not to do things for the business for a certain period of time.
And you can always update that decision. It’s not about like, well, I said I’m not allowed to say I’m not allowed to you can always update your decisions. It’s so important to know that like, this isn’t just like pregnancy related at all. If you are deciding like that you’re not going to work out on a certain day. And then you decide that you do want to work on a date, that’s okay. But we just want to be on to ourselves as well.
This is again, where the weekly review will help. If you are doing that, just because it’s often under the guise of I just love my business, I just had the most inspired idea to be onto yourself, if it’s oftentimes when we like, like, I just love it and want to work on all the time. One thing is we don’t trust ourselves to be able to execute an idea. If it isn’t like in the excitement of the idea, I used to be like that, that I bet I have to act on it right away. Because once this motivation goes, the idea goes with it.
And now I can have ideas and I can write them down, like I have my notes on my iPhone, I write the idea down and I can trust myself that when a workday comes, I will be able to take next steps to implement that. And I’ve also found it really helpful for me that there are some ideas that I’m really excited about that actually, like after I go through that emotional wave of like, being in the high excitement and in the doubt about it that I’m like, actually, that’s not a good fit.
But anyway, a lot of times, it’s that we don’t trust ourselves to be productive when the time comes. So we feel like we have to like strike when the iron is hot. And also working for work sake. And working because we don’t know what we like doing in our time off. And that for sure has been a really important part of my clean rest journey is especially I remember talking about this, I’m pretty sure on the podcast.
Maybe I’ve already talked about it in this series and the episodes that like the one that was from 2019, that I really didn’t know what I liked doing and time off. And so that looked like I really love working on my business, I’m just gonna do it all the time, when underneath that was with my relationship with myself that I didn’t really have one beyond me and the business and myself. And so I worked because I was like, Well, I don’t know what to do in this time off.
And also, there’s always stuff to do in the business. So the best thing to do would be to work on the business. And it was so powerful to have there be a void. And again, this is something like filling the void is something I learned about from Tim Ferriss, I’m really grateful that he mentioned that you do need to fill the void and figure out what you want to do in that time off.
Otherwise, it is going to end with you just working for work sake. And doing non needle movers or doing needle movers that, you know, there might be needle movers, but you don’t really need to do them. Because there’s always going to be like, you know, 1000 things that can move the needle for your business. And it’s really a matter of deciding, okay, but these are the ones I’m going to do.
So there’s always more stuff to be done. And it’s about figuring out what you actually like doing in your time off and letting yourself be bored. And I was actually talking to a PGSDer about this in the PGSD forum, they were saying like, you know, I’m noticing that I’m feeling bored, I think it was like in the afternoons or the evenings when I’m on my clean rest. So I’m gonna, like plan an outing for myself. And it’s not to say not to do that.
But it is really important that you recognize that part of your growth with your growth goal might be letting yourself be comfortable with being bored, and letting boredom be okay, and not having to always solve for it with doing stuff. But to just like, let it be okay, that you’re bored. And this is why clean rest is so important. Because if we are like working from a to do list and just like I’ll in this, I’ll rest when everything’s done mentality that we never actually get to meet ourselves and be with ourselves.
And it’s just so easy to, you know, cover that boredom or whatever it might be underneath that boredom, with work and with busyness. And so this is really, it’s such an important tool to actually develop yourself and your life beyond your business, which makes it so much easier to be courageous in your business. When you feel like your business isn’t the sum total of you like when we feel as though everything in business is personal. Like if someone asks how you are you answer with like, the business is going well.
Or maybe you haven’t told people in your life about your business, but you just like, oh, they do know about it, but they don’t ask you about it and you resent it. They don’t ask you about it because you feel like this is how I used to feel. If that if my friends didn’t ask about how the business was, it was like they didn’t care about me. When I hadn’t even recognized like the fact they weren’t asking about the business. And they were asking about me like that ask other stuff.
But I was like, I’ve been asking about the business because I felt like that was me. And that if they didn’t care about the business, they didn’t care about me. And if they didn’t like the business, they didn’t like me and if you were feeling like that clean rest is gonna be super helpful. With that, and I’ve already done an episode on why power planning and working from your calendar in a way to get your mind set on your side is really important. It’s very challenging to get the clean rest you need when you’re working from a to do list.
But yeah, it’s really about developing your life beyond your business. So your self worth and your business aren’t all tangled up together. And when you feel like you know, the money’s flowing in, you feel really great about yourself. And then when you’re like going through a period where there isn’t money flowing in that you feel completely inadequate, and you just feel like, you’re not even a real business owner and like, you’re just an embarrassment, and you’re a failure, and all of that kind of thing.
That’s a sign that your self worth is currently tangled up with your business, which is totally, like, nothing’s gone wrong, we’re doing this work because we want to not because we need to, like you are loved and lovable with your perfectionist thoughts. And with not having clean rest, it’s not like here’s how to fix yourself with clean rest. It is not that at all. It’s like it’s completely fine to not get any clean rest. You are so totally lovable, worthy, all the things. But if you want to, let’s chat about how to do it, and have you doing that inside PGSD.
So for me, it really has helped like having clean rest for me to figure out like, what do I actually like doing. And as well, this is something else that came up in the forum, there was a thread about like, resenting other people taking time away from your business. So maybe you had wanted to work on your business. And then you had to catch up with friends or you had to catch up with family or like something happened like that. And I know as well it can feel like this with a job that you’ve resented for taking your precious time away.
And we feel like this because, like the time feels so precious, because we’re not making like, we know, we’re not making the most of it, especially when you’re not power planning that you’re like, oh, like I don’t even make the most of my time. And I probably procrastinate anyway, but I need all the time I can get because I don’t trust myself to be productive. And when I wasn’t getting clean rest, like I would catch up with friends and all of that still. But it was this kind of like I could be working on the business.
And I’m like falling behind in the business. And it’s really getting like when you have clean rest, you can catch up with friends or like as well with your buffer time and little tweaks like you might have planned to do it at a certain time. But something happened and you need to that you can just make those adjustments. And then you can be fully present with your friends or your family or your children, whoever it is, without this like conversation in the back of your mind.
Like I should be doing more like I should be doing stuff for the business, I’m falling behind, I’m gonna lose momentum, it’s gonna fall apart, and all of that kind of thing. And so, for me, and I’ll talk a bit more in a second about what I get up to when I am having my clean rise time. But it has been really important for me and my journey, my relationship with myself to actually figuring out like, what else do I like, besides personal development, and business stuff, and I love those things.
But that doesn’t mean that the sum total of who I am, and that there’s so many things we love, that doesn’t mean we need to do them or think about them 24/7. And so that has really helped me to be more successful in business because it doesn’t feel like if my business is failing, then I’m a failure kind of thing, not to the degree at least that it did when I wasn’t getting clean rest in so anyway, going back to my journey with it. I was getting a lot of clean rest throughout my pregnancy.
And then I had planned to have time off when I had Lydia. And I’m so grateful that I had that. And as I said that had me wanting to go back to work sooner. And then I really went through another journey with it once I had Lydia and I had returned to work and I was returning to like, I guess normal duties, so to speak, like recording podcast episodes, coaching calls, and that kind of thing.
To figure out what my ideal situation looked like in terms of particularly how many work days I would work. If I had Lydia for the day would I work on her naps or not. And I experimented with that with working during nap times. And I have the privilege of not needing to only work during that time that I have the option to like through childcare and also Steve to have full days where I’m working like today is one of those days where I’m working and Lydia isn’t at home or she has been taken care of completely by someone else.
So I might be around but I’m not needing to be fully present as you are when you are looking after a child that you need to be there. And so I experimented with like what my clean rest would look like and whether I would have you know I’d work during nap times or not. I really found for me through doing my power planning my weekly review. You can see some themes here like when I do my weekly review that it was just so stressful for me to work during nap times. And I just wasn’t like especially being used to getting clean rest at that point with my relationship with it.
That It just felt stressful to like as soon as she went down, especially like, if you have a child, you know that you don’t know how long will maybe some children like, but I never knew how long she’d nap if you’d read 40 minutes if it’d be two hours. And then when she goes down, I have like, I just would find like, I’d scroll mindlessly for 10 minutes, because you’ve just been so focused, that your brain was like, Okay, we need a minute. And then I have to like jump into something, and especially at this stage of business as well, that a lot of what I’m doing, like, Yes, I’m doing content creation, like this podcast episode, for example, and Instagram stuff and all that, but a lot of what I’m doing as well as like, big picture, high level thinking.
And it’s really challenging to do that in like a 30 minute time period. And I find it for my brain much easier if I have a full workday. And I can do my most brain intensive tasks in the morning. And then in the afternoon, I’ll do things like checking in with my team and like social media stuff. And then in the morning, it’s really just about creating new things, new ideas, writing, like anything like that, that I have to do.
And so when I was just trying to squeeze in extra time, during her naps, it just, I didn’t feel like I was being the best mother I could be, I didn’t feel like I was being the best worker that I could be, it was really feeling similar to 2018, when I was you know, putting a load of laundry on while working and then hanging it up and all the things that it just I didn’t like it being like that. So now what I’m doing is I’m working three days per week. And then I am no, as I mentioned, like not looking after Lydia during those work hours at all. And then I have four days a week with her.
And so that to me as well has just been really nice. And it’s just so like I didn’t then decrease my goals, like the growth goal I have for this year is a million dollars. And I would say we’re pretty on track for that. And it’s just been so fun to like to be in this place where I know that the amount of clean rest I’m getting. And I’ll go into a bit more detail about what is in that clean rest, but that it’s not like I’m just at this bar all day or reading books and like, I’m looking after another human being.
And I’m doing household stuff and like all of that. But I know that like when my when it comes to my business days, I’m so excited for the most part to get into work. And to like switch into that mode and then switch out of that mode. And I find that works really well for me. However, there are others who work really well when it’s like the naptime and they just prefer having that more like hybrid approach. And that’s totally okay. It’s not like the way I’m doing it is the right way.
But I’m just wanting to share what my journey has been like with figuring it out. And just knowing that like constraint on your time, especially when like, as a parent, but anyone like I still before having a child felt like I didn’t have enough time. It wasn’t like, I mean, it’s really easy to just bite into this, like, yeah, I didn’t have enough time because every other parents saying that. But it’s like, I still felt like that to some degree before, before I had a child.
And so I think it’s a bit silly, if we think that, you know, it’s any different for people who don’t have children or who don’t have children yet. But all of that to say that I’ve just really recognized that constraint on my time is such a powerful thing that I’m able to endure, I know that in those three work days, I get more done than if I was working five. And I, this week, I worked five days, I’m about to have two weeks off to get married and like, just have a lot of clean rest. Like I don’t have a lot of plans for most of that clean, whereas it’s just like, deciding to have time off.
And I probably was going that wasn’t gonna say I can’t remember. But it’s getting sidetracked by Oh my time off. I can’t remember anyway, I’m just gonna keep going with what I was talking about, which is what I get up to now in my clean rest and I’m sure if it was important, whatever I was talking about, it will come back to me. But let’s talk about what I do in my clean rest currently.
Oh, no, I know what I was saying. I was working five days a week this week. And I just know that I get and this is just a story. But I get more done when I’m working with three days like working on Monday having a day for my brain to have a break, then Wednesday, Thursday, and then three days off that like, I find that rhythm works super well for me and my brain. And yeah, I’m just really grateful that I recognize the power of constraint and what I was also going to say, and I talked about this the other day on Instagram if you’re not following me, I’m @perfectionismproject that I was feeling this week like stressed and pressured about the things that I needed to do.
And I was so interested in that I realized that it’s not because there’s like all this stuff to do, or like, I have all these things going on. It’s because I now so fiercely honor my clean rest, that it wasn’t an option for me to change my clean rest. It’s not to say I never do that. But always the first port of call is how can I, you know, we look like I’ve done my power hour for the week. And I had overscheduled myself, which sometimes happens, like, where are you in?
So I realized I had overscheduled, myself. And it’s so incredible to have that realization, because I know for sure, like I was looking at my power planning today, if I was working from a to do list for sure, I would have put double what’s on my calendar. And yet I know seen it in the timeframe of my calendar that that’s actually the perfect amount for me. And I’m going to end today feeling accomplished. And if I went from a to do list, it’d be like, that’s not enough. And then I put double on that and I probably would get a quarter of it done.
So I went, I feel like I don’t have enough time, instead of being like, Okay, well, I need an extra workday, which will be so easy. Like I could walk the whole of next I like, there’s no reason I couldn’t just keep working. I just wanted to have clean rest, because I know how well it serves me. And so what I did was a real like how to look at everything on my calendar. And I actually asked myself, so I did this on Wednesday morning, because I put money in she’s FYI, this like knot in my stomach.
And I was like, oh, that’s like that stress, pressure a feeling. And so, on Wednesday, I was like, Okay, let’s actually, it’s worth the time to just take a step back and relook at what’s on my calendar. And what actually needs to get done. And just recognizing like, I want to do it. It’s not even like people talk about I need to versus I get to, like I get to record a podcast for me that doesn’t super resonate, but like I want to is really helpful. And when I’m in that I want to energy, I find it so much easier to do things.
So I had to look at everything and figured out like if I actually wasn’t working Friday at all, what would I do to get the most important stuff done. And it meant I ended up actually cutting out so many different tasks. On my calendar, I just eliminated them or I delegated them out instead of doing them myself and things like that. And then I still scheduled stuff on the Friday, but it meant that now I just feel so calm about what’s on my calendar. And it was just really helpful to think about, like if I couldn’t change my clean rest, but I still wanted to get everything done.
What would I do differently. And it’s not, I would still need to do all the same activities, but recognizing that I still want them to have the same outcome in terms of work produced. But did I need to do it in the way that I had outlined for myself did I need to be the one to do it. And so that is again, the beauty of clean bras that like I hadn’t even recognized this when I was talking about on Instagram that like I so fiercely protects my clean rest.
And sometimes I make a decision to change how much clean rest I’m getting. But I default to not changing my clean rest and changing my work hours. Instead my needle movers. Sorry not my workouts, my needle movers. And that makes me such a better entrepreneur. And it has me like having a much more impactful profitable business as well. So I just want to encourage you if you’re like well, I will get clean rest, but then I keep like eating into it to just do the thought work with yourself.
Like if I couldn’t change my clean rest time because often like if it’s just a plan with ourselves and I might clean rest. I’m like, I don’t even have plans that a lot of time if I’m not looking after Lydia, which I usually am, but I’m like I don’t have specific plans that I could like work on her naps or whatever. Then like but what if I wasn’t allowed to change it? So anyway, a few things I do on my clean rest at the moment I look after Lydia, I do have stuff I read. So I read really the anatomy of a scandal at the moment.
I haven’t been reading that many business books this year, I’ve been tending towards more fiction, I will catch up with friends I will do meal prep, I will go for a walk I will listen to podcasts, I’ll also listen to business and personal development podcasts. Like it’s, it’s really important not to just be so rigid and strict with like what is clean rest and what isn’t. And to allow yourself to just figure out like, does that feel good to me to listen to podcasts on my days off that relate to the business or not? And like just checking in with yourself about the reasons for that.
And especially as well like I found that when I listen to podcasts, I have so many ideas and that if you’re in this mentality of you have to act on every idea then it’s maybe not like a change that mentality like I’m so I have my iPhone notes and I write it down and I’ll just keep listening. Or maybe don’t listen like just experimenting with what you get up to and your time where you’re not working on the business and figuring out like so for me. I like the end of 2021 the second half of that we’re doing the renovation so a lot of my clean rest time went to like it was still productive, quote unquote stuff.
I was having me to meetings with the builders and like we were going to look at tiles and all that different stuff and visiting the site. And at the moment, we’re decorating the house and at the moment as well and like my clean rest time, I’m wedding planning and things like that. So it’s not like you’re clean rest time has to be completely unproductive, like twiddle your thumbs, and feel guilt free kind of thing is just you’re deciding, it’s not an option to work on the business. And you’re going to do other things.
And then like, just being on to yourself, and not letting yourself work for work sake, and instead letting yourself be bored, if that’s what needs to happen. Or as well just like figuring out, like, What do I like doing with my time, like, maybe there’s a hobby that I’ve always wanted to do like, for a while, like, right up until I had Lydia for about a year or so prior, I was doing private tennis lessons and playing a lot of tennis. And it’s like, I loved doing that as a child.
And then I just kind of got like, I just at some point had decided I didn’t have time for it, and it stopped. And so thinking back to like other things that you loved as a child, and maybe it’s art or whatever, like, or maybe you’re an artist, we have a lot of PGSDers who are artists, and maybe there’s like art you do for business stuff. And there’s art you do just for the sake of doing art and that you do that in your clean rest time, like it can be the same activities.
In some senses, like depending on what kind of business you have, especially in like, in the case of an artist or a writer or whatever that you might like, right? Again, we have PGSDers who are writers do you like my right and your business time, but then like in your clean rest time you just write for yourself. Like, it’s really about figuring out what do you enjoy doing it, but not having this pressure on yourself that clean rest has to always feel amazing. And it has to like be these kind of like wholesome activities or like a lot of my clean rest time. I’m just like, hanging out with Lydia.
And she’s like, starting to learn how to walk while holding on to things and that kind of thing. So I spend a lot of time doing that. Organizing the nursery, like a lot of stuff like that. And then going out on adventures, but a lot of it isn’t like this exciting restorative kind of time is just like living life and letting that be okay. So I’m gonna wrap up here and I just again want to invite you inside perfectionist getting shit done.
I hope this episode has really and this whole series has really helped you to understand more about clean rest, and the role that can play in both your business and your personal life as well and how it can really help you too. Not that I ever really talk about like balance, I prefer the like idea of harmony, work life, harmony, and a rhythm. And knowing that that will change at different stages of your life in your business, but want to invite you into PGSD.
And you can find out more at samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. There’s also a video on that page that will walk you through what’s inside PGSD, like what it’s like to be in that what the website looks like what you get access to and all that kind of thing. So if you are thinking about it, I encourage you to go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. There is coaching. We have weekly coaching calls, every week all year round. It’s not like for three months or something like it’s always ongoing.
And so there’s coaching and you can get coached specifically and see others getting code on power planning and clean brass and your growth goal and releasing new perfectionism handbrake and then when you are more into PGSD, like you’ll be on the first three months, you’ll be looking at self trust and self image and those different things as well. Overwhelm procrastination and really getting out of your own way whilst you’re getting shit done in your business. It’s not about like putting your business on hold while you learn about perfectionism and how to release that.
It’s actually like, the way to release that is to do all the things you need to do in your business including like the marketing stuff and all of that. So I want to invite you inside the doors open at 6am New York time on the 27th of July they close at 11:59pm on the second of August. I would love to coach you I would love to see you inside. So you can find out more at that website which is in the show notes for you. And I hope to see you inside PGSD.