Episode 385: Creating The Feeling Of Completeness Even When Everything Isn’t Done

In Episode 378, I talked about when following through with the plans we’ve made with ourselves can be an act of self-care – particularly when you have anything going on in your life that’s making operating at your normal capacity a challenge.

Today’s episode continues that conversation, and I talk about when you determine that productivity is *not* an act of self-care and how you can create a sense of completeness even when everything isn’t done. Tune in to hear what that can look like for you.

Sometimes productivity is an act of self-care and sometimes it isn’t. And I found the second was the case for me a couple of days before I took time off from my business.

At that time, I had work I really wanted to do but hadn’t finished and I’d need to work more days than I’d planned to get everything done. I walk you through the experience I had solving this, including the questions I asked myself and the breakthroughs I had.

By the end of this episode, you’ll learn how you can feel like you can switch off from work (whether that’s the end of a workday or right before a longer break) – even when the plans you had set for yourself weren’t complete.

You’ll learn about developing the ability to say when enough is enough, and how to make that decision in an empowering way.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode385.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Making the distinction between putting off and deliberately moving a task
  • The questions I worked through to create a feeling of completeness for myself
  • Why creating a feeling of completeness WON’T make you less productive
  • Why we pressure ourselves to finish things and where that inclination comes from
  • How to set boundaries on your work in an empowering way

Featured In The Episode:

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When is enough work enough? We often feel like we can’t switch off from work until everything is complete. In this episode, I share how you can create a sense of completeness for yourself in an empowering way - even when everything isn’t done.
When is enough work enough? We often feel like we can’t switch off from work until everything is complete. In this episode, I share how you can create a sense of completeness for yourself in an empowering way – even when everything isn’t done.



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 that perfectionism handbrake so they can get out of that way, and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the Power Planning Course and Perfectionist Getting Shit Done, 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.

Sam Laura Brown

Sam Laura Brown 0:00
At the beginning of January, I released an episode called, How to determine when productivity is an act of self care and when it’s not. And this episode that you’re going to be hearing today is really part two of that. So, in Episode 378, when I’m talking about how to determine when productivity is self care when it isn’t, in that episode, if you haven’t listened, my experience that I talked about was really, when I determined in a certain moment, that productivity was an act of self care for me to do certain things in a certain way. And I then got myself to do those things.

Sam Laura Brown 0:38
And in this episode, I’m going to be sharing about basically the situation of when you determine that productivity is not an act of self care, and what that can look like and the self coaching that might need to happen. So if you enjoy that episode, then you will probably enjoy this word too. And if you haven’t yet listened to Episode 378, I just want to point you there as well, because that is really the other side to this coin. I mean, it’s really the same conversation. It’s just a continuation of it. But sometimes productivity is an act of self care. And sometimes it isn’t.

Sam Laura Brown 1:18
In 378, I talked about a certain situation where it was an act of self care. And in this episode, I’m going to talk about where productivity and following through wasn’t determined to be an act of self care, and what it brought up for me what I had to contend with how I worked through it, so that I was able to create a sense of completeness for myself. So with that said, enjoy this episode.

Sam Laura Brown 1:42
Today is my last full working day before the twins arrive. And I just wanted to chat through some of the self coaching, I needed to give myself yesterday in order for this to be my last full day, which was the plan. And so I think it’s gonna be really helpful, relatable, and I hope it helps you to be able to create a sense of completeness and allow yourself to be done, even when the plans that you had set out and the arbitrary the arbitrary amount of work that you had told yourself would equal doneness.

Sam Laura Brown 2:21
If that isn’t complete how to feel like you are complete with your work, you can switch off whether this is on a daily basis, or weekly basis, or whether it is in a situation like this, where you’re about to take some time where you are less active in the business, that regardless of whether you got everything done perfectly, you’re still able to rest and switch off. So I’m just going to be sharing a bit about that experience with you. I hope you find it helpful. And yeah, we’ll just get straight into it. I have like a couple of dot points to talk about. But I just wanted to speak from my experience. That is top of mind for me right now. And yeah, we’re just going to do that.

Sam Laura Brown 3:01
So basically, to just give you a bit of a catch up, if you aren’t aware, I’m pregnant with twins, twin boys, and they will be arriving about a month, hopefully, from the time that I am recording this. And at this stage of pregnancy, I’m very much ready to begin nesting I also need to have some time to be with Lydia before the boys arrive. But and with Steve. But also just to have a minute where I’m not really requiring too much of myself so that I’m able to go into that newborn phase, feeling as rested as I can, I also just need to look after my body, all of that kind of thing.

Sam Laura Brown 3:47
And so the plan was that my last working day where I would be required to do things like recording podcast episodes, like basically mentally intensive work would be today, which is the 12th of January. And so when I have been working towards that, which I have been for quite a while that date has changed a couple of times that it was originally going to be the end of January that would be the last that I would really be doing anything made job and the boys are due in February and that the the end of 2022 would be kind of like when any major major things would be complete.

Sam Laura Brown 4:28
And then January would just be a month to be able to and by the way working three days a week with all of this said just for context. But the end of January would really be me still doing things bits and pieces like having work days having full work days, but just kind of TINKERING AWAY AT things but anyway, has we have gotten closer to that time.

Sam Laura Brown 4:49
I really was like okay, I actually want to have my last proper full, high mental energy. workday be that 12th of January and to have more time. Also, the twins can obviously come at any point in time, but to just have a little bit more time to be able to rest. And I’m just really finding the last couple of weeks, that some days I felt relatively like normal in terms of my amount of energy compared with when I’m not pregnant and things like that.

Sam Laura Brown 5:22
But for the most part, most days, I’m waking up, I’m feeling very tired, I’m not getting great sleep at all, and my body is doing a lot. And I’m also really just wanting to organize the house and things like that. So anyway, that was the plan for the 12th of January, to be my last proper working day, until after the twins arrive. And so I had in mind, what I wanted to have completed before I, you know, took a step back and was less active in the business.

Sam Laura Brown 5:56
And with that was recording a bunch of podcast episodes, and also doing things like writing a certain amount of perfectionist power up. So those are the daily emails that I send out. And those are the two main things that haven’t been completed to the degree that I wanted them to be completed for it to be done. And for me to feel ready to switch off, so to speak. But there have been a lot of other things over the course of the last couple of months that I’ve had to just decide to let go of, and that will do it after I’m back and things like that.

Sam Laura Brown 6:31
But all of this to say that I had in mind, a certain amount of work, and like kind of a story that I was telling myself not even consciously but just like, if I just get XYZ done, then I’m just gonna go into my leave and like the baby bubble. And I’m going to feel like I’m able to actually just be Yeah, be able to rest be able to switch off have that real sense of completeness. Like I can’t even I don’t even know how to describe it, hopefully you can relate to what I’m saying.

Sam Laura Brown 7:07
But just that sense of like things are done. And I did the best I could and I’ve really prepared my future self or not prepare my future self I have prepared so that my future self doesn’t have to come back earlier than planned. And with this, like I’m still, as I mentioned, like this is the last kind of intensive day that I’m having like a normal work day, but also be doing different calls with our team and different things like that.

Sam Laura Brown 7:39
But for the most part, I’m not doing anything major, and that I had just told myself, his I just made up a certain amount of content basically, that I needed to create, for me to be done and able to switch off. And so over the last few months what as you know, I do power planning, that is what I teach a big part of what I teach and coach on. It’s also what I live by. And so I’ve been doing my power planning, especially over the last few months, I’ve really been planning for multiple weeks at a time.

Sam Laura Brown 8:12
And I’ve had to completely update that quite a few times to do so many little tweaks and things because we have welcomed Renee, who’s our marketing manager on LinkedIn, onboarding her. And there’s a lot of back end tasks that have come up with that, that have just taken longer than expected, and all of that. So that’s been in my calendar. And I’ve been making adjustments around that and really making sure she’s on boarded and supported and all of that. And then we did a PGSD launch in December.

Sam Laura Brown 8:41
That wasn’t in our initial plan for 2022. And then we launched the power planning course in early January, only like a few days ago at this point, feels like a lifetime ago because so much has been happening. But we created that course I created that course at the end of 2022. And then we prepped for the launch. And we did the launch of that. And so with that I have been constantly updating my power planning, and really prioritizing what was most important for me to work on.

Sam Laura Brown 9:14
And when it came to recording podcast episodes, and also doing the perfectionist power ups and a few other things like that. That stuff was stuff that I could I could move to later on. And it’s not pushing it off. It’s really important to be able to make this distinction for yourself. There’s a difference between pushing off a non urgent task and deliberately deciding that you are going to prioritize something else and then deciding not just I’m going to do that later.

Sam Laura Brown 7:39
But here’s exactly what I’m going to do that and then having your own back with that decision not making yourself wrong for changing the plans. And just doing those little tweaks so that your calendar is always workable. So for this week, that I’m just about to wrap up, the plan was that I would be spending a decent amount of my time recording these podcast episodes and like doing the content stuff so I could get my feeling of completeness.

Sam Laura Brown 10:10
And yesterday, when I got to the end of my workday that I knew that this was coming, because I could see in my power planning, that I wasn’t going to have enough time to get everything done that I wanted to do, even if I was doing it in the easiest, easiest way, that there wasn’t going to be enough time. And so I needed to give myself some self coaching last night. And that’s really what I want to talk to you about. And hopefully the context of that has been helpful. And we’ll hope hopefully make this make more sense. But with this, basically, last night, I was like, Okay, I need to either decide that, I’m just going to let certain things go that I had really wanted to get done.

Sam Laura Brown 10:56
And especially when I had my daughter, Lydia, that when I was preparing the business for me to go and have some time with her, that I had been able to record episodes and get some things done. And I was really expecting myself to be able to create the same kind of thing, even though I had certain tasks. And I didn’t have certain tasks, and that I do have now relating to my team and things like that, that I had this, I was really, I really liked the way that I had prepared for that time. And I really wanted to repeat that.

Sam Laura Brown 11:32
And I was being a bit of a perfectionist about it in the sense that I was telling myself like, it basically needs to look the same way for me to feel like it’s okay to switch off and I can go into resting and nesting mode. And so when it came to this self coaching yesterday, because basically, as I said, I was like, Okay, I need to decide, do I either if there are going to be two options. So let’s explore if there are other ones, because that’s really important to to not just be like, is it A or B? But basically, do I need to either let it be done and take a whole bunch of those things that I told myself, I should do like, just let them go?

Sam Laura Brown 12:14
Or do I add about two extra work days, I could see from my power planning that and the time that I had allotted for things that it could maybe be done in one day. But to get everything done that I wanted to would really take two full workdays for me to do. And the context as well, that I’ve mentioned is that there’s still time, it’s not like the I do to deliver tomorrow, that I still have about a month or so hopefully, they will sustain that long, I still have about a month or so before the twins will arrive.

Sam Laura Brown 12:46
And between now and then. I don’t have much planned at all, in terms of where my time is it’s just hanging out with Steve and Lydia and Cotton and organizing the house. And I have a few catch ups with friends plan and things like that. But I’m really not committing too much at all that my calendar again, pretty damn blank. And so when it came to this question of, should I? What would serve me best? What would support me best would it be to let it be done and let go of things and trust my team and like sell myself on that? Or would it be is it that I just add a couple extra whack days because I underestimated it.

Sam Laura Brown 13:30
And then I just do the things I get my sense of completeness. And that’s that. And so there’s no right or wrong decision with this. But I just wanted to talk to you the decision that I made, and how I came to it because I talk a lot about how power planning, first of all, gives you self awareness that you would have otherwise had. But also it allows you to do the self coaching into to notice things you might not have noticed otherwise.

Sam Laura Brown 13:59
And to just really be able to work on your mindset in a way that I at least haven’t found is possible when I’m not doing my power planning. And so the self coaching, I’m just gonna kind of talk through what that looks like, because maybe you’re not familiar with what self coaching is. And it’s kind of a vague thing. Self coaching is something I’ve really learned a lot about primarily from Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School. And it’s really so, so beneficial to be able to look at your own mind.

Sam Laura Brown 14:33
And so I’m just going to chat through like what this self coaching looked like so that I could come to the decision that was right for me so to speak, but there was no wrong or right decision. It was just a matter of deciding and then having my own back on that decision and also not been under the false impression that I could only create a sense of completeness for myself. If I got the amount of work done that I told myself I needed to do.

Sam Laura Brown 0:00
This is so important when it comes to your power planning, regardless of what situation you’re going through in life, because we’re always going to be to some degree, overestimating what needs to be done, or having this experience of not having enough time to get everything done. Even when we’re highly productive, even when we’re very focused and doing the things that we want to do, and doing our needle movers, there are still going to be situations where we don’t have enough time to do the things we want to do, and also maintain our own self respect, look after ourselves and do all of those things.

Sam Laura Brown 0:40
And particularly as someone who has had in the past, the habit of burning out which thankfully, I haven’t done now for so many years, but the habit of burning out or putting a lot of pressure on yourself to have things look a certain way. And then we can kind of put that under this, like, I find myself doing this at least sometimes that I’m like, Oh, well, I need to like honor my word to myself.

Sam Laura Brown 1:05
And like bit, I don’t need to do that if I’ve completely overestimated what needed to be done. Like there’s a time and a place for sure. Like, it’s one of our company values be your word. There’s definitely like, that’s very important to me. But it’s so important we don’t use that against ourselves. And we’re like, Well, I told myself, like I promised myself, I do all these different things. And so if I don’t do it, I’m letting myself down and breaking my own trust.

Sam Laura Brown 1:30
It’s actually a lot of times the growth isn’t stopping, overestimating how much there is to do. So anyway, I thought I’d just chat through the self coaching that came up for me. And I hope this is helpful. So what I was writing down in my journal, pen and paper, is I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do and finish and be able to finish work tomorrow, I either need to decide that I’m just going to do what I can tomorrow and let it be enough, or that I’m going to add a couple of extra work days.

Sam Laura Brown 2:01
But then I said to myself, but let’s say I don’t let myself do any extra working days. Why is this a problem? Why would that be a problem? I think it’s so important. Like instead of trying to solve for me having this sense of completeness with my calendar, to instead look at like, Okay, why is it that I believe that I can’t have that feeling of completeness, without having these tasks done? Is that actually true? Or is that just my brain?

Sam Laura Brown 2:32
That is saying, like, we had these things that we’d planned and unless they all get done, then you haven’t done enough like this mindset that we can be in as perfectionist of like, we’re never doing enough. And there’s always more. And at some point in time, we have to learn to draw a line in the sand and say, This is enough. I have done enough. And I’m going to move on to the next thing. Or I’m going to let myself rest. But I was finding particularly for me, and I’ll talk about this a bit more than a second.

Sam Laura Brown 3:00
But because it’s not like the twins are due tomorrow, the twins are due next week that my brain like this, this thought of, but I still have more time I could be working. It has it’s so compelling. To me it has such a strong pool that I want to be like, Well, yeah, I still have time to keep walking, so why not keep working. And I’ve made so much progress with that thought and learn how to how to really know when to work and when to rest.

Sam Laura Brown 3:35
And that just because I have more time to work, it doesn’t mean that’s the best use of my time. It doesn’t mean that even if that is true that there are really important needle moving things I could be doing that, that there’s something that I even want to do, but just like really beginning to question that because my brain is just so strongly this thought of but I still have more time like I still potentially have four more weeks or even three more weeks that I could be working.

Sam Laura Brown 4:02
And why am I stopping work earlier than I need to be like that kind of thought. And I think it’s so interesting, because when it comes to people working as an employee for someone else, like normally at this point in time, it’s a bit different with a twin pregnancy because they’re expected to come earlier. So the timelines kind of moved up. But either way, typically, most people wrap up work a few weeks before their baby is due.

Sam Laura Brown 4:30
But it’s easy because you see other people doing it in entrepreneurship to be thinking that you need to work up until the last minute like as in basically until you’re in labor or you’re having your C section or whatever. And then as soon as you’re out of the hospital, you need to be back working again. Because we don’t have a boss to tell us hey, you need to take a break. And so really this self coaching was my conversation with myself of like being the boss Who is like, you need to rest, like, let yourself rest. And just drawing that line in the sand for myself, and respecting myself enough to value that rest.

Sam Laura Brown 5:12
And to value that time, away from the business fully like with my family and get to just not be in this false belief, this thought error of but I have more time to work. And so I should be working. And so if you were finding that, you might want to end your day at a certain time, but it keeps getting pushed out and you work later and later and later. Or you struggle to say, a project or a task is finished, because technically, you have more time.

Sam Laura Brown 5:42
So there’s always more tweaking or fine tuning you could be doing, this is so important to just be paying attention to the way that our brain convinces us that because we have more time, we should be doing more. And in that whole equation, our brain is completely devaluing our health, our relationship with ourselves, the other things that are important in life, to us individually, it’s going to look different for everyone.

Sam Laura Brown 6:10
But our brain isn’t taking into account the cost of continuing to work and also not just in terms of like, so you can do other things in your life. But when you are spending that time working, and like you’re always working, it’s like you’re always on this treadmill, that your brain doesn’t get the rest it needs. And so it’s going to be very hard to be focused, it’s going to be very hard when you next work to be producing your best work.

Sam Laura Brown 6:36
And so that means things take longer, and you end up having to push out your day again, and you just end up in this cycle where you’re always kind of working, but you’re never fully 100% producing your highest quality work or your highest quality thinking. And then it feels very vulnerable to work less because you’re like, I’m not even making the most of the time I have, so I can’t work less time. And so anyway, with all of that said, that was really what I was thinking about and going through.

Sam Laura Brown 7:03
So I was looking at, like, why is this a problem? Why would it be a problem? If I didn’t get the episodes recorded that I wanted to like this extra work that in my mind was an extra work? It was like the bare minimum. If I didn’t get that work done? Why was that a problem? Like just even asking my brain instead of being like, oh, I need to talk to you about having a couple of extra work days, that should be completely fine. So again, I still have like weeks before the babies might be here. So it’s completely fine. To do that, to just make a habit. Let’s look at my thinking like, Why do I want to have those extra days.

Sam Laura Brown 7:40
And so what I was writing down a few different things like I wanted to have a solid bank of episodes recorded so that I don’t have to do that, like when I’m postpartum. And in the sleep deprivation and all of that kind of thing, like kind of seeing it as an act of kindness to myself to have that prepared. And that I’ve only recorded a quarter of the episodes that I had planned. So basically, I’d planned to record about 20. And I had recorded about five or so already, I did that earlier this week. And basically just like I wanted to have the episodes recorded, so there’s no pressure on me.

Sam Laura Brown 8:18
And it’s so interesting, because pressure, that feeling pressure is a feeling. It comes from our thoughts, not from our circumstances, but it feels so circumstantial. It feels like, like here in this situation, you can see how I’m thinking, if I have the episodes recorded, I won’t feel pressure. Instead of recognizing there’s a thought I’m having. That means if I’m in the circumstance of having episodes recorded, I don’t put pressure on myself, I don’t have a thought that creates an experience of pressure for me.

Sam Laura Brown 8:54
And sorry, I don’t know if we’re getting this far around. If I was saying do or don’t anyway, if I don’t have sorry, if I do, what am I saying? Basically, if I have the episodes recorded, I won’t have pressure on myself. And if I do not record the episodes, that I will have pressure on myself. And in all of that that is actually just a thought of that is creating that pressure. It’s not actually how many episodes that I have recorded.

Sam Laura Brown 9:22
I just made that number up of 20 episodes it was based on looking at doing one episode a week how far in advance that would take me but I could have decided to do 10 I could have decided to 50 Like I really just made that number up. And so I had a look at like, what is the feeling that I’m wanting? So I use Brooke Castillo self coaching model which is circumstance thought feeling action results. She talks about that more on her podcast, The Life Coach School highly recommend, as always love her podcast. So with that I looked at Okay, what if my circumstance was 20 episodes recorded?

Sam Laura Brown 9:59
What is the thought I would have? That would create that feeling of completeness for me like what feeling? Would it create? Like, why am I wanting the episodes recorded? What do I think that will mean for me in terms of feelings. And so with the thought that I would have, it would be, the podcast is sorted, like the podcast, I’ve got that done. And now I can really relax. So that was my thought.

Sam Laura Brown 10:25
And I was making that conditional on a certain number of episodes being recorded the feeling, it was kind of hard for me to identify exactly how I’d feel. But I guess it would be relieved, in a way assured, relaxed, completes like completeness, if we can say that’s the feeling. The action is that I would then from that thought, like, when I’m on my leave, like, I’d record the podcast episodes, which have already been done, and then I would switch off, I may leave, and I would relax.

Sam Laura Brown 10:57
The result is I would relax because I had allowed myself to. And it was so helpful to see that that relaxing on my oh, like I say, relaxing, that’s I’m using that term loosely, considering I’m about to have two babies, but that I would be switched off and I’d be able to be present, and not having to think about certain things. But really just seeing that that was something that I could give myself or allow myself to feel or not. And then it wasn’t dependent on how many episodes I’d recorded.

Sam Laura Brown 11:30
And then I was looking at my thoughts on okay, why do we need 20 episodes? Like, why did I decide that number? And not making myself wrong about me? Like, we don’t want to just be like, no, what were the legitimate reasons that my brain produced about the 20. And it was, I don’t want to have to record anything, when I’m sleep deprived, we need new episodes to go out every week. And then having video footage that can be turned into Instagram content while I’m away. I told myself, I do it.

Sam Laura Brown 11:59
And it’s not like the twins are already here, I still have time to do it. So just looking at that and saying like, okay, I get it brain, like why you’re wanting me to do these episodes, because these reasons feel really compelling. And then I wrote down, like, I feel like my work is creating my own sense of completeness, and trusting my team to do their bit without me having to have done mine perfectly. And that it was so powerful as well, when I was doing this, I’ll share a bit more about what I wrote down. But I had in my power planning.

Sam Laura Brown 12:34
So when I’m making my little tweaks, if there’s something that no longer fits in a certain day, but I know I’m still going to be getting it done, I will either drag it to the following week, or if it needs to happen during that week, or if I’m thinking that it will be able to, then I’ll kind of just drag it to a different place on my calendar, typically overlapping some kind of clean rest. But I know it’s not for that clean rest period. And it’ll just kind of sit there so that I can slot it in. As necessarily like at the beginning of the day, I’ll just do a little, some little tweaks to my calendar, make sure that workdays laid out. And just so that I didn’t have to keep remembering what I had planned to do or things like that.

Sam Laura Brown 13:12
And so when I was going through this, once I had decided, like, my work is creating my own sense of completeness, regardless of how much work I did and letting what I did be enough that I went in to my power planning, and I deleted all of the tasks. And I really asked myself then like, first of all, selling myself on this decision. Like, what if the podcast is even better, because I didn’t record all of those episodes like I’ve just been open, because my brain is obviously working on the assumption that I need to record these episodes.

Sam Laura Brown 13:47
And that’s going to be the best thing for the business and for the podcast listeners. And it’s just working on that assumption without questioning it. So do then question and be like, but what if it’s even better? Because I didn’t record a lot of these episodes. And we were able to do other creative things with episodes and put together maybe compilations of things, or coaching calls or whatever that’s going to look like that. We then create a better podcast because I didn’t record them.

Sam Laura Brown 14:20
So just playing with that. And what if the best thing for the business is me practicing creating my own sense of completeness, and spending the next month resting and nesting. And I can intellectually see like I know as well if it was one of our team members. Like I’d be like, Yeah, this is what you need to do. But for myself, it’s when I’m in it is hard. It’s like I want to take care of the business. I want to make sure everyone on the team is taken care of.

Sam Laura Brown 14:52
And I’ve had the tendency to deprioritize taking care of myself. And so to really just Be like, what if the best thing for the business, not just intellectually understanding that but really getting it like what if the best thing is for me to have the next month where there might be times where I’m twiddling my thumbs that I could have been recording a podcast episode, but I decide not to. And I decide to be spending that time with myself and with my family, and just doing other things that aren’t business related.

Sam Laura Brown 0:00
That I can see how I still need to definitely at time sell myself on that more, I definitely have more and more over the years hence why I’m able to work three days a week to begin with. And I’m able to get a lot of clean rest and things like that. But just seeing like, as well, that me, I think it’s so powerful for me to be able to come on to this podcast, as someone who teaches all of this stuff on power planning and getting out of your own way and honoring your word to yourself and all of that to be able to say, I had a plan for what I wanted to get done, before the twins arrived. And I have been able to accomplish so much, and all of that. And yet, I didn’t get everything done that I had planned.

Sam Laura Brown 0:46
Basically, I wanted to over prepare, and I haven’t been able to over prepare. And here’s how I am solving for that at the mindset level, rather than solving for that with more work. Because in the past, I have solved for that by working more. And then that might look better from the outside that I got everything done. And they did all this prep, and I was whatever. But to just be like, I wanted to over prepare, like it didn’t feel like a preparing for me at the time it felt like just preparing.

Sam Laura Brown 1:20
But now I can see that it’s over preparing. But either way, I wanted to over prepare, I wasn’t able to. And instead of adding extra work days, so that I could do my over preparing and get a sense of completeness, I actually just used my brain to create a sense of completeness, and to empower my team and to empower myself, and to honor myself as well and my team and to be able to show up fully for myself in the way that I truly want to.

Sam Laura Brown 1:52
And if I look at like our goal that we have for three years from now, and for 10 years from now that I’m really like this decision is in service of that. And if I made a different decision, it would probably be more so trying to get to a shorter term goal. But when I really look at the long term goals that we have, which is 5 million in revenue in the year 2025 and 50 million in revenue in the year 2031. So that’s actually eight years away.

Sam Laura Brown 2:19
But anyway, that when I look at that, that I can it’s become so obvious when I zoom out and get that bigger picture perspective, that me learning how to create my own sense of completeness, even when I didn’t get to over and over again is so hard to say over prepare, sometimes, even when I didn’t get to over prepare in the way that I wanted to that I’m able to have my own back and not just have to work more to solve for that. So then what I did was I looked at like, okay, let’s say it was having the twins, like on Saturday, which basically means I only have one workday left that work day.

Sam Laura Brown 2:59
And I truly only had one workday left. What would I do? And so I just use that question to help me get really clear on what the priorities are. So that even though my brain is still thinking like, oh, well, we have so much more time and whatever I was like, Okay, let’s just enter a hypothetical. And I wrote cancel that universe because I don’t want them to come on Saturday, I would like them to have a bit more time in there to grow and do all the things they need to do.

Sam Laura Brown 3:24
But that save that was happening, what would I do on that last work day, which is today? And what would I let go of and like what are the things that I’m not able to get done. So as I mentioned, I like went in and deleted things out of my calendar, which just felt so good to just then be able to have my last work day and have like buffer time in that work day, which is what’s allowed me to record this episode. And to just say like, what really matters was the stuff that I really need to get done.

Sam Laura Brown 3:57
And even though my brain wants to do a lot more than that, if I only had one day, what would I be doing? And that really helped me prioritize exactly what was important. And exactly what wasn’t even though it all felt important and this is part of the especially as you’re you do less and less busy work and as your business gets more and more successful, that everything is going to feel important that you will be having more needle movers, then you can fit into your calendar.

Sam Laura Brown 4:28
And so you will need to develop a skill set around identifying what are the highest highest ROI needle movers for me and what are still needle movers but they aren’t as important and being willing to distinguish between needle movers versus in the beginning that’s typically just distinguishing this as like really busy work versus a needle mover versus like now it’s comparing high leverage needle movers versus lower leverage ones but they’re all justifiable. So with that, it really helps It’s me to know, okay, like, I’d have time to do the certain tasks. A lot of it for me today has been back and like just making sure that everyone has what they need.

Sam Laura Brown 5:10
Any last things that have been needed for me by the team are produced by me. And, yeah, just really having the time to, as I mentioned, buffer time, having little extra time baked into my day, for what might come up that I hadn’t been expecting. And just knowing that I can have that sense of completeness, because I decide to because I’m going to, like, allow myself and give myself permission to create an experience for myself, where everything has been done.

Sam Laura Brown 5:44
Even though the initial things that my brain wanted to have done by this time haven’t been that I get to decide that I get to say, actually, everything has been done, because like, we’re always I know it can feel and this is my experience for sure that it can feel like when I say no, all of this stuff does need to get done that we’re just stating a fact. And that’s just the truth. Am I delusional if we think otherwise. But we are always like we are in charge of what we decide done looks like what we decide completeness looks like. And so by just allowing myself to change what that meant, rather than having to work in order to get that sense of completeness, it means that today, I’m able to finish my day.

Sam Laura Brown 6:33
And I haven’t recorded the episodes I wanted, I haven’t done all the little things that I wanted to do. And I’m still able to then go into this little season of my life with having that sense of completeness, because I gave myself that gift by changing the way that I was thinking and that I it is such a gift to just notice when we are overestimating how much needs to be done. And how much needs to be done by us as individuals, like I’m the only one who could do that. Or it’s better for everyone else.

Sam Laura Brown 7:10
If I do that myself that my brain really thinks it’s true that I have to do a certain amount, and I have to be the one to do things. And I need to constantly check that assumption and really contend with, okay, it feels true. But that might not mean that that is the truth, so to speak. Like just because it feels true to me. It doesn’t mean that that’s the only option, it doesn’t mean that that’s the best option. That’s just the way my brain is thinking. That’s why it feels true. Because of how many times I’ve had thoughts like that.

Sam Laura Brown 7:43
So I hope that’s been helpful. I’m gonna wrap it up there. And just make sure you know that getting that sense of completeness every day. Like I think this is why we love to do lists and tick checking things off. And why we often put too much on our to do lists, that’s what we’re working from, is that we want to have that feeling of like, I’m productive, and I got it all done. Like that’s what we’re chasing. And we need to be able to give that to ourselves. Because when it comes to business, there is always, always, always, always more to do.

Sam Laura Brown 8:19
And the only reason so I have like, if I was giving myself the an extra month to work, I would have had those episodes and the emails too, right? Plus a whole lot of other things, too, they would have said would equal doneness. And so it’s just knowing that there’s always going to be more to do. And you need to develop the ability to say when is enough enough? And to really think about that, for example, if someone else, just imagine someone else is telling me like you’re working really hard, you’re doing your best. And someone else is telling you like yeah, that’s good.

Sam Laura Brown 8:56
But that’s not enough. Like if it’s so obvious when someone else is if we imagine someone else telling us that we actually have someone else telling us that it is so disempowering. It doesn’t motivate us, it doesn’t help us be more productive. If it does, it’s from a place of shame. So it’s not sustainable. And if instead we’re able to create that sense of completeness, it actually helps us to be more focused, to be more motivated to think at a higher level to be more resourceful to be more resilient to achieve our goals and do all the things.

Sam Laura Brown 9:29
So if you’re thinking like oh, but if I just let myself feel completeness, when things are incomplete, is that just me letting myself off the hook? Is that just me deluding myself, like you made up what completeness looks like you’ve most likely overestimated what you needed to do, or you’ve underestimated how long it would take and by you saying yet but that’s still not good enough. And having that kind of relationship with yourself.

Sam Laura Brown 9:56
There is no upside to that. Even if you are from that place, like many people have able to create a lot of financial success, and wealth, and all those different things that you’re not going to like, be enjoying it, you’re not going to actually like your experience day to day of being a human, if your relationship with yourself is Yeah, but that’s still not good enough. So it’s really about changing that relationship with yourself being on to yourself, when like I was, I was like, Oh, but I had promised myself, I get this done.

Sam Laura Brown 9:12
And I want to keep my word to myself, that’s part of self trust. And so I should add the extra work days. So I can, like, say that I didn’t, so I can honor my promise to myself. And it’s nuanced, like there might be certain stages where your growth is in doing the extra work days, and getting the thing done that you had initially planned. But for me, at least at this stage, the growth for me because it feels so comfortable for me to work those extra days.

Sam Laura Brown 10:51
And I do have now a strong identity about around being someone who gets done what they had said they would, the growth for me is also to have my word when it comes to the rest, to have that more fully than I have before of like, but I said also that I would be done on the 12th of January, so that I could really rest I could look after my body and my health, and the twins and Lydia and be with Steve and all of that. And I’m going to honor that. And honor my word when it comes to that. And I’m going to just be onto myself, even though I can dress up adding extra work days as me having my own back and trusting myself.

Sam Laura Brown 11:40
And there is I’m not saying that it’s it’s not the case of that would be, but I’m able to say like, I’m important. Looking after me is important. Even if I have more time to work, that doesn’t mean I should be working. And I’m going to honor my word, I’m going to like prioritize the word, the promise that I made to myself around rest, rather than the promise that I made to myself around work. Because for me, that is my, my personal growth is it’s so much easier to at this stage.

Sam Laura Brown 12:10
I mean, initially, it wasn’t that I would be I’d have to push myself to work and to do the things. And yeah, with the perfectionism and being able to release so much of that now I really have my own back and getting shit done. And now my growth is really about honoring the word that I have with myself to myself about rest, and taking care of myself and having myself as a priority. So that’s really what I was coaching myself on the conclusion that I came to.

Sam Laura Brown 12:40
So with that said, I hope it has been helpful, I hope you give yourself permission to create a sense of completeness for yourself because there’s always going to be more to do, but we always can feel that feeling every day of I did everything that I wanted to do regardless of if we did it and it’s not deluding ourselves. It’s not letting ourselves off the hook. It’s actually the most beneficial thing we can do and will have us producing the best business results as well. It’s a win win. So hope you have a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.


If you want to make sure that the hard work you’re putting into your business isn’t a waste of effort, then I invite you to check out the power planning course. It’ll teach you how to plan properly as a perfectionist with power planning so that you can get out of your own way in your business. And so that every hour you put into your business gets doubles the return. You can find out more and sign up today at samlaurabrown.com/powerplanning.

Author: Sam Brown