Episode 428: [Day In The Life] How To Create High Quality Content Without Overthinking

In this episode I’m taking you behind the scenes of what a content creation day looks like for me. 

First I share an update from my drive into the office, chatting through what I have planned in terms of content creation and how I’m thinking about approaching it so I can get it done without overthinking. And in my update from the drive home, I reveal something unexpected that happened when I started working and the practical things I did to get even more done than I’d originally planned.

This episode was recorded towards the end of October and I hope it inspires you to have a productive day of creating content, like it did for me!

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode428.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The key to creating high quality content without overthinking
  • How I created more content in less time than I’d planned
  • How I setup content creation in my Power Planning
  • Something I’d been procrastinating on and how I finally got it done

Featured In The Episode:

Work with Me:

My program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) teaches you my proven process for getting out of your own way in your business. It’s a 12-month program so you have all of the tools, coaching and support you need to become a productive perfectionist and achieve your 12 month goal. Enrollment for our January 2024 cohort is happening from 8-12 December. To find out more about the program and be the first to know when the doors open, join the waitlist today: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Listen To The Episode

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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.

Sam Laura Brown

Today I’m going to record a bit of a day in alife episode just to share with you what a content creation date looks like for me, and also some of the things I’ve been thinking about at the moment when it comes to content creation, and how I’m working through them, and the decisions I’m making and things like that. And I hope it’ll be helpful for you to hear about when it comes to creating content for your own business for your own marketing efforts. Because for most online businesses, that’s a big part of the job is getting the word out there and doing that via emails, social media posts, podcast episode, and things like that.

So specifically for me today, I am obviously recording an episode right now, though I am technically, like that wasn’t planned, I just felt like recording this on the driver this morning. I’m driving into the office. So I’m planning to write a bunch of emails or talk about that more specifically, then I’m having lunch with my friend, Jen. And then I have my weekly one on one meeting with Daisy. And then I have a little bit more time, about an hour and a half, before I finished my day at four. So I’ll be working from nine till four. And then probably having lunch with Jen, my guesses for about an hour and a half, I will need to pump as well.

And what I’m wanting to do, particularly this morning, is to write the emails that are going to be part of the welcome sequence that we’re setting up. So something that came out of the most recent launch of perfectionist getting shit done was that we kind of realized that we didn’t have as much traffic as we needed to hit the goals that we wanted to be hitting, and also that we weren’t nurturing the people who we did have in our world in the way that we wanted to, ie the value that we want to provide for free to people who will eventually become clients that people will never become client. That value wasn’t at the state that we want it to be. And there’s different reasons for that.

I think I like to summarize that a big part was just that my mindset was not in a place where I was really valuing what I do and kind of hadn’t realized that we had or I had through my content creation, sowed seeds over many of years, many of us many years, and that we had been harvesting that so to speak from all the content that I had been creating, particularly as it relates to the podcast, but also email, Instagram, and things like that. And so when I initially stopped creating as much content, and I was focused on building the business in a way that would allow me to have time away from the business so that I could have kids, my daughter, Lydia, the twins, that I really wasn’t thinking as much about thought leadership, creating new intellectual property, coaching tools and things like that I was really just more so in a mindset of like, I need to figure out how to have this business gonna be dependent on me.

And that was a main thought that has been informing the way that I have run the business and made decisions for the last few years. So when it came to really like, I guess, this point in time and and that launch, and you see that we had had all this content that had created a lot of value and had people interested in working with us. And that as I stopped doing that there wasn’t really an initial, like, impact of that, because we were still harvesting the seeds that I had previously sown. But over a period of that happening across three years, that it has meant that the amount of people we have in our world, and the value that we’re providing to those people has slowly decreased over time.

And really, it’s about like not getting your head if you think about oh my god, I have to create like, such high value and everything has to be new and original and all of that. It’s really more so like, not being in that mindset of everything has to be new. I still am such a believer in republishing things that you have previously published because not everyone even if they’ve been following you for a long time. They haven’t remembered everything that you’ve said and most things you need to hear multiple times to really be able to get it so even if they already intellectually know it. All they do know it is always like your best person, your customer that you want to be helping is the kind of person who is grateful for the reminder likes hearing that kind of thing I get.

So when it comes to this mindset, it’s not about like, everything has to be new and original and from scratch. It’s just am I providing value with this. And really, for me at this point being 10 years into content creation, just saying that I’d had my, I hadn’t really been creating content in the way that I wanted to be, and having the practical advice and tips and things like that it was still there. But it wasn’t at the volume that I wanted it to be. This isn’t about overwhelming pupils with homework and things to do. But it’s really just, I guess, me having a sense of what is the most valuable lesson that I provide and not feeling like that has been what I’ve been creating, because I haven’t been having a thought that would have me create that I’ve been thinking about other things and like things like I need to be a good leader, and all of this kind of thing that has taken me out and doing my job.

And so this last lunch that we had really just showed me what my job is like, where I do add value to the business. And I guess now as well does feeling safe to return to having the business somewhat depend on me. And not being this mindset of like more, it’s not a real business unless it can fully operate without me like No, it’s okay. For have still be in a period where it’s relied on me, it’s still relatively young business, it’s a way that a child like you’re not like, oh my god, they’re not good at it yet, because they’re four years old. And it’s still dependent on me like, of course they are.

So all of that to say that when it comes to content creation, I’m really back in that mode. At the moment, it feels so good to be back in that mode. And really, I’m spent, like, I’d say the last month I was looking at my power planning yesterday. And I’ve color coded different categories of things. And one thing I decided to do was really have a distinct color for when I’m planning. And kind of just like not actually doing the thing, but I’m learning like high level conversations, for example, about the marketing plan, and then a different color for when I’m creating the content.

Because before, I used to have a separate color for super thinking and self coaching and that kind of thing. But then, in my calendar, when I look at it, it would look like I had spent time creating content, when really I had spent time brainstorming content ideas. And for me, I just want to be able to make sure I’m like doing the content creation and hitting publish. Because that is where I’m at at the moment, just kind of like finding my feet again with it getting back in the groove. And not being in a mindset of like, well, I’ve been at this for so long like should just like always be on and always be ready to go. And just like well, I’m actually just getting back in my rhythm. Here’s this big hard thing to do. But also I don’t need to shoot all over myself, and just be like, Oh, I should already be operating at the highest level at all times, no matter what’s going on in my life.

So when it comes to like the last month, it’s just been a lot of high level planning. And I want to really in the future have that take much less time. And Renae, and I’ve just been figuring out the marketing plan. And the new way that we want to do launches and have been some decisions that won’t need to be made again, we’ve just kind of like I guess, taken the ship, so to speak, and decided to like, steer it in a different direction. This. That’s confusing. That’s not actually what’s happened. But all of that to say we’re going to do a few foundational things a little bit differently. But we’re going to be repeating those as the year goes on next year, and having the launch be the same format every quarter, so that we’re not needing to make decisions about the launch format every quarter.

So what I’m doing today is I am writing emails for the welcome sequence. So we’re setting up a ads funnel, that’s going to have an ad obviously, that will take people to an opt in page. And people will be able to opt in for the live events that we’re going to be doing in December at this point that I’m recording this I don’t know if I’ve announced that yet or not but live event and then the perfectionism quiz. And it’ll be getting a series of emails that are going to be really helpful and practical and the emails that I’m writing today, so yesterday, I wrote the first couple and I got coaching from Renae pretty much because I was like, very much had my perfectionism handbrake on and out the whole thing.

And I could tell that I did. And I’m glad that I chatted about it with Renae instead of just internalizing it all. But I just kind of ended up in this mindset of like, these, like, I need to kind of in these 14 emails that we have, like, capture, like the core of what it is that we talk about. And like, everything, it’s kind of just this idea, I talked about it before about like covering everything, when I’m in this mindset of like, I need to cover everything you need to be really strategic with what I’m talking about. I don’t have a great time creating content, and I don’t think it’s the best content that I create. And it just feels, I guess I’m just like developing up, or like, reminding myself that I can trust myself to just share what’s top of mind for me. And that that will be helpful to you. And that it will all make sense.

In the bigger picture of things because I have very much lately been in my head about like, I need to make sure I’m covering like the core concepts and like, I can’t just be not talking about the core things I need to, to add. It’s so funny, because we’re always talking about perfectionism, which is ultimately the core thing that I talk about, I weave it into everything. It’s mentioned all at home, but in my head, because I’m not having the epiphanies about like, Oh, I’m a perfectionist things like that, that I tend not to share that kind of thing. What I’m thinking about what sort of mind for me, and especially if I’m not doing that many coaching calls, and I just really relying on my own self coaching that I feel like I’m not actually communicating the essential things that someone who’s new to our world who’s like just having those first realizations, like I’m not mentioning about them, and just assuming they already know them.

So I basically just need to get out of my head about that I still slightly in that mindset, I can feel that I’m I wrote out a list of the thoughts I was having yesterday, because I was just circling around in my brain. And I wanted to just get a good look at them. But it was like, I call it just told me about what’s top of mind, I have to and it’s really great to do this exercise where it’s like, I can’t I have to, I must I need to like kind of filling in the blanks after that around a specific topic. And that will reveal thinkng that is making it feel like shit. So and creating a lot of resistance. So for me, it was really just the ultimate one was I can’t just say what I feel like saying. Like, that’s not strategic enough that it’s not like, not even professional, but like, if it’s if I’m doing my job, then I’m not just thinking about what I want to talk about thinking about what would be helpful for you to hear about.

And ultimately, I know what I trust myself to say what needs to be said. And like that, I’m just gonna say that without overthinking it, I do say like, I am thinking about the person on the other end that I am thinking about the things I need to be thinking about to create really valuable things. It’s just so funny like, that my brain is convinced that not trusting myself is the answer to high quality content. And trusting myself is just going to lead me astray. And just reconciling that again. Because I have done that many times it just like is ultimately I think the saying of it feels so easy. And it can’t be that easy. Like it means to be really hard. And the truth as well as I get is hard and a lot of ways because it feels vulnerable to share so much in terms of this volume of content and like to share ideas and to have a stance on certain things.

Instead of just not creating many things and having more watered down opinions on what would be helpful for someone who’s perfectionist entrepreneur and what wouldn’t be helpful things like that, that it’s much safer to just let it be hard so I don’t have to produce a high volume so I don’t have to risk the rejection, shame, success, all of that kind of thing. And it’s just like that’s the battle so to speak, that I see experiencing once a day and in the morning I just found myself like so in my head about Instagram stuff. And to me, that’s always interesting. Like, why am I not thinking about the actual thing that I’m focused on at the moment, which is writing the music, emails, like, my brain wants to be like, oh, let’s think about Instagram.

But ultimately, I want to be posting that consistently, again, ultimately know how to do that. And you know how to have it be easy. And now I’m in my head about like, well, you need to have this kind of structure, like, what kind of posts I do it what, what kind of time like, Okay, do like a, an image that will have like a kind of just a one liner, like the perfectionists power ups that I read, like that kind of thing. And I’ll share that, and then I’ll have like, a little one minute video, and maybe I’ll batch record those because that’s what I follow in the past, so that I don’t have to every day, and I work three days a week, typically, actually four days, in clinics few weeks, but I am not working every day.

Also every workday. I don’t feel like doing the story. Not that I need to feel like that. But if it was easy, I just kind of like when I’m in a chatty mood. I batch report and really just like have that go out on different days. Also with that I’ve been thinking about how stories, obviously, it’s just so interesting like that this kind of real time feel to stories, not that a lot of it isn’t created in real time. But when I’ve had the best stories experience, it’s been when I haven’t been painting in real time. And I would record like all at once, seven little one minute things I might like put a different shirt on or whatever.

And go in different areas of the house and things like that. So it’s not looking the same, but at the same time with the Kardashians, for example. Or any of those reality shows where they have, like, seen what they’re doing to say with the Kardashians, like you’re seeing what like Kim and Chloe a discussion they’re having. And then it has there like talking head portion were in like they’re talking about it like present tense, as if they don’t know what’s going to happen. And as if they’re in that moment, and for example, like Chloe always has completely different hair, like it’s months later, it’s like six months later that they record talking head part to Chloe has completely different hair, and all of that.

And yet, it’s still like a good viewing experience, even though they’re talking in present tense, and you know, they already know exactly what’s going to happen, like your brain still is entertained by it. So anyway, all that to say, I feel like, if you have been putting pressure on yourself that like it has to always be in the moment and that kind of thing, especially with stories that it doesn’t, isn’t had a lot of people do record a lot of things all at once. And then like have it go out, as if it’s being recorded every day. So just be putting pressure on yourself that they can just take that pressure off.

But I always say in my head about stories, I don’t want to take so much time. And then I’m like, What even is a problem with it taking time. Still kind of in this like, entitled energy that I felt like I had been in the last few months, it’s like, well, I know I can create valuable things or people who like listening to it. So you know, we should just have people sign up, we should have the podcast still have good download numbers and like just that entitlement and kind of like relying on what past me has done or not looking at what present me is doing really took me out of feeling empowered about it and doing my best work.

And so I can still feel that that flavor of entitlement of like, I shouldn’t have to spend time doing this as a bit literally that like that’s such a big part of my job. Like, it’s like if when I was in accounting, like I shouldn’t have to spend my time doing accounting, like doing this report to creditors or whatever it’s like well, yet, like that is your job. So it’s a big part of it. So yeah, we should be spending some time doing that. And so I think I just have had this weird view of where my time should be going. And really undervaluing the value that I do create with the content and that in many ways that is the engine for the business. If the business a car like that is the engine. And yeah, I just still have this mindset of like I shouldn’t have it take much time which is interesting thinking about that now because of what I wanted to talk about with about these emails that I’m gonna be writing today.

So what we’ve done for our launch project, is we have it in Asana, that’s a project management tool that we use Um, there are others I click up and things like that, we use a Asana. And that’s how we have, like project manage what needs to be done and when for different team members not having to email back and forth about things or slack like we have a place for conversations about things. So at the moment, we’re setting up the project in Asana, and wanting to figure out what our capacity is the team and make sure we’re not putting too much on our plate, especially since we have the tendency as perfectionist to be very optimistic, aka, expect a lot of ourselves be really hard on ourselves. And think that everything should take like the shortest amount of time, it’s almost like the traffic equivalent of when you estimate how long it will take to get somewhere.

And you imagine that it’s like the middle of the night, there’s no traffic, versus when you’re actually going and there might be school traffic, and you’re stopping and starting, like, that’s a real estimate of how long it takes to get there. But then we have this sort of magical thinking about, well, you know, I might have a really great run at traffic lights and no traffic whatsoever. So it is only a 15 minute drive, not 25. So the alerts that we’re estimating how long things are going to be taking. And when it comes to the emails, I’ve estimated 45 minutes per email. And that, yeah, 45 minutes for email. And that, for example, with emails, some of them I can write in 10 minutes, or even five minutes, if I’m just really in slow.

But some emails, if I’m writing about something that I haven’t written about before, like I’m kind of using that email to helped me articulate a concept, then it might take 45 minutes in the past, like, where my perfectionism handbrake has been like, on two hours, three hours, four hours to write an email. So if you’re that I just know, like working on your perfectionism, and then really like using power planning, and things like that makes such a big difference. So you can see when you are overthinking, and you can do the self coaching, and all of that kind of thing. But at the moment, 45 minutes is kind of my like, safe bet amount of time.

And often it will take half an hour or shorter. But what I was looking at this morning was I didn’t have I wanted to have it be a lot of a quicker experience. But if I want to, like could I spend some time figuring out and identifying how I get into flow and how I could write more effectively. So that it doesn’t take 45 minutes, because at the moment my writing process is I will wait into it almost like I will have a bit of an idea of what I’m going to say and like the key thing to say. But then I’ll just start at the top. And I’ll write and then oftentimes, like I’ll write a few sentences. And then I will edit the first one again, and then I’ll read it all together. And then I’ll write a couple more sentences. And then I’m kind of just like editing and writing at the same time. And I know, intellectually, from what I’ve learned about writing, that having your writing hat on and your editing caught on at the same time is not the most effective way to do it.

You’re kind of like task switching, even though it’s the same task of writing your task switching. And also, it’s very hard to have great ideas, when you know that a great idea is going to immediately be judged and not kind of left a little room to breathe into air out and to turn into something else that it just has to be like a great idea right from the beginning of a great sentence or phrase because editor you is like looking over your shoulder breathing down your neck being like, well, that’s not good enough, we need to change that we need to fine tune it when really, I know that when I write in that way of editing and writing at the same time, that what I will do is I will perfect this sentence that ends up getting cut just because it doesn’t make sense to the bigger picture.

But because I haven’t got that first draft out in that bigger picture view, then I’m treating every sentence as a sentence that will be kept in. And then like finding the perfect phrase. And then sometimes I’m like, okay, that whole sentence isn’t for this email or isn’t relevant here. And so remove it. So what I was doing the split when I was getting ready was watching a couple of YouTube videos that I come across a couple of months ago is about how to write better, I’ll link them up in the show notes if you’re interested. One was about mind mapping. I haven’t watched the full thing yet but the other one was just about how to write in a way that is like the first draft. And then when you write the first draft you really like the aim is just to get the first draft complete. And if there are any things you need to build up, you just put a little placeholder that like you’re not going away to look up a quote, or to find any information you are.

So say for example, when I’m writing, I might be wanting to include specific examples of what say overthinking would look like. So say that might be that it takes you like 60 minutes, right Instagram caption is taking 15 minutes that I have a lot of examples on the top of my head for that kind of thing. But then sometimes I don’t have an example. But I want to make sure I’m being specific. So instead of having to just sit there and think about it, I might like just write xx, xx, xx, and I know that I’m going to come back and write something more specific that or just write the vague thing in brackets. So I can come back and make that vague thing more specific, so that I can just like get it out. So you do that first draft, then the second draft that you do, is adding in whatever needs to be put in those placeholders. So if you do need to go and look up a date, or a quote, or a fax, all you do need to add more specific language, things like that, that you do that if you need to add headings, subheadings, and things like that, you go and do that then. And in the end, he was saying it’s really about reduction, like you’re subtracting things.

So because that first after you’ve just written in a more like, slowly, almost kind of way, then the next part is really about, like what is relevant and like, the is this sentence necessary. And I recommend as well like, depending where you’re at with writing things like in the beginning, you just need to like write, hit publish, write, hit publish, and then as you go, you can fine tune the bits where like, does this sentence, add something. Because if you spend so long in your head about it, and you’re not publishing, the publishing, it makes all the difference, rather than like creating a lot in private, and then wait until it’s good enough. Like just having your ideas meet reality. It’s so powerful. So I want to have you doing that. I want to be doing that. I am doing that.

So just a little reminder, sidenote on that. To just be mindful of where you’re at. And, yeah, so you’re looking at each sentence and ask yourself like, Is this necessary, and that like whole idea, I guess, killing your darlings that you might have, like, that’s what I find hard to spot. When you write like, this is like the best idea or the best sentence or like something that like turning phrase, like I love word smithing. And like, doing that kind of thing. I’m the person that if someone’s like, I need to try a resume like said, like, I’ll write it, I’ll write your resume, I’ll write a cover letter, like, I love writing that like, especially if they’ve already got a draft, like I’ll do use up. I’ve done a lot of those in my spare time over the years.

So I really enjoy wordsmithing. Or like, if Steve’s like, I have this email I need to send up to the builders about whatever, whatever it is. I’m like, okay, yep, I’ll like, have a look at it and just kind of articulate it more. And I love doing that. So sometimes you’d have to delete a sentence that you love. And that’s hard. But ultimately, when you’re thinking not about how good you look or smart you sound or yourself, but thinking about the person on the other end, that sentence you love might be confusing or overwhelming, or just not necessary. So yeah, doing that. And then with the third pass, it’s just like, having a look through a bike, you know, is there any way I could be more specific or like at a different in a different example, but like, just like that final check over and then publish. And I love how he was like, I do go over it three times. Like there’s first drafts, second pass, third pass, publish, and having that mentality about it.

So that’s what I’m going to be experimenting with today. And as I said, I’ve budgeted in my power planning 45 minutes for each email. And that means I think at the time I have, it’s about four emails that I would have written. And I already know one of the emails I wrote yesterday that it felt so good writing again. But one of the emails that I wrote that I need to like I want to just go back in and like, make it make more sense because I didn’t wrap up the idea. It’s kind of just like left hanging. And it needs like two more sentences, but I’m going to do that at the end and not like go in and just kind of be polishing that one’s and but what I’m wanting to do is have that first pass, second pass, third pass approach and and have 30 minutes per email. And so from nine till midday, that would be six emails.

So that is have a writing block. And I mean, you think about that 3d meal up three hours is a decent amount of time to be focused and doing that work. But I feel like I do have that ability, like I’ve developed that. And I say it like that, because I have quote, some PGSDers on, like, what’s reasonable to expect of yourself when it comes to focus and deep work and how long you can do that kind of work for. And it is something that you develop over time. And so if you’re not being productive right now, and then you’re like, Okay, well, I will have a four hour chunk of highly productive deep work, where I’m really focused, and in the zone, and then I have an hour break, and then I’ll have another four hour session, like, that’s a lot. And even for people who are very experienced with it all, that’s a lot, most of us just kind of will have one main deep work session, there might be two, but it, I think it takes some stamina to do that and practice. To do that, you could definitely develop it over time, but not to expect that from the get go.

That’s not realistic or reasonable. So that’s my plan, let’s have that three hour block to produce six emails in that time, I have a feeling, I will actually be able to do some more than that. But I think what I’m going to do is just say, six emails. And if I finish it earlier, than I finish it earlier, rather than Okay, maybe I can write some extra the next week some more in. So I can do that at the end of the day, write some more, but maybe I’ll just reflect on what worked about that process. It didn’t really work at identify, why do we not like what was helpful about that didn’t get and move on to something else that I have. Or just have a minute. So that’s my plan. I’m about to park and it’d be really good to catch up with Jen as well. And every time I talked to her, it’s always bubbly. And I also always have the best business idea. So that would just be a nice way to spend my lunch and look forward to that. So yeah, I will give you an update when I am driving home about how that all went. And yeah, I’ll talk to you later.

Okay, so I am driving home from work and wanting to let you know how the day ended up going because it didn’t go as planned, it went even better. And so I think it’s such a great topic to talk about is when to change your plans, and being open to new and better possibilities about how to accomplish a result. But still having the plans in place, so that you don’t start the day feeling overwhelmed and like you have no idea what to do or where to start. And sometimes we can be in this mindset of like, I don’t know exactly what’s involved, or maybe there will be a better way to do it once I start, so I can’t really plan. And I’m just such a big believer in having a plan, as best you can. And then having a lot of work ability and flexibility, and room and grace with that plan. So that you can really be your most creative, you can really have the structure and the flexibility, you need to be able to do your best work.

And so when I went into today, as I believe I told you, that I had planned to write six emails, and to follow that format I’d mentioned about with editing of having three passes through. And so when I got to work, when I got to the office, I first of all, created a few things for Instagram stories. And I’ve just really been wanting to make sure that I’m just like, showing up and and sort of rethinking it, especially since that’s what we help people do and meet us really living that and being an example of that is such a powerful thing. So I just created a few things, I let it be easy. I posted on stories. And then I sat down to write the emails as planned.

And when it came to this, I was writing these emails for the welcome sequence I had, I set up a timer for 30 minutes for that first email that I was going to be writing, which was the third in the sequence. I’ve written the other two yesterday. And as I was writing, I was thinking about the content that I have already created in the past emails that I’ve already written, that wouldn’t be communicating what I wanted to communicate, because I have been at this for a long time. And I have been talking about the same topic. And so when it comes to especially a welcome sequence, I am going to be saying similar things are a similar introductory things that I say when someone enters my world about like, Okay, here’s why productivity matters. Here’s what it means to be perfectionist and like what you need to know about that and that kind of thing. Like, here’s who I am.

So, as I was writing, I was like, Oh, I could repurpose, and was so interesting that this morning, I was saying that I’m really wanting to be like content creation mode, not wanting to repurpose things. And if there’s a time and a place for that, I’m really wanting to create like that, like some of those next scenes, so to speak. And it was just so interesting this morning, when I was doing the emails, and I think just really feeling like in a place of self trust. And I think part of that was just from recording the episode this morning. And the first part of this episode, and just like letting myself talk about what was top of mind to me like not being in my head about or like getting getting out of my way about it, that that spurred me on to be more self trusting.

And so when I was doing as I call, it doesn’t really make sense to write these emails from scratch when I’ve already written them before. And we also like these emails that anyone on our email list who joined in the last two years, or at least the last year, wouldn’t have seen any of these emails. They’re ones that were from 2021. And that aside, like the emails, accomplish, what needs to be accomplished. And also with the launch and with the other things that we’re working on, and me feeling like I don’t have enough time to do what we want to do. While I do have enough time if I figure out a different way to do it. And this is why I love with power planning and like being specific about what the outcome of that time is. So that you can help yourself find better ways to get that if that is available to you.

So for example with this I get my power planning was the number of the email and then written and so I would know it’s not just me like write emails. I had half an hour for I call it WS for welcome sequence dot and then the number of the email. And we number things like this on the back end so that as a team, we were communicating, instead of saying, oh, you know, the email I sent out on this day that had this subject line, we can just say, Okay, did email, Ws nine get scheduled yes or no or whatever. Like, it just makes communication searching for an email, like everything so much easier once we started doing that.

So I had instead of like, how, if you had time blocking, you would write, like, email, write emails, for example, just having it be 30 minutes or broken down into the individual emails, for like WS dot three, written WS dot four written to that way, as I’m going, I can update my power planning with my little tweaks that I’m doing to reflect approximately how long it took me, I did a little check mark emoji. So I get like that dopamine hit of having take something off. And by the end of that, I know how long it takes me to write an email. And therefore going back like this, how I can judge how long it takes me to write an email is because I have data about how long it takes me. And I know what overthinking looks like for me in my power planning. And in the moment, I know what it looks like, not to be overthinking. And all of that just from the data I have from my power planning and having that practice.

So when it came to writing my emails, and like having, as I mentioned that three hour block of time, I think in the end, I ended up writing for like two hours 55 like working on it in total. Then I caught up with Jen for a bit. She’s out of my office today, which was really nice. Next to me. So we had a chat for a little bit. But otherwise, I was writing the emails. And what I was able to do, instead of writing those six emails in that time, and then needing on Saturday, my next work day to be writing six plus two, I would need to write six more emails. So that would take me three more hours on the weekend, that I was able to write the rest of the sequence. So I wrote from email three to email 14, rather than email three to email, six, and actually ended up writing an extra email as well, just from having that self trust, that flexibility, workability, and really just being able to be resourceful.

And obviously, there are times where, like, you do need to create something new. But it’s just so interesting that when you are in self trust, it is so much clearer, like okay, well it makes sense to, you know, use something already created here, or it makes sense to do the new thing here. Versus when I’m not in self trust about it, I can be more rigid with it. Like I know, I should repurpose everything or I shouldn’t repurpose anything and like very much in that all or nothing mindset about it. So it was fun to just experience that and be like, Okay, I can like, like the coaching Renae was giving yesterday like it, there’s nothing really wrong that you could say like, it’s just each email, instead of thinking of it, like, you know, you need to cover everything and like, have these things being a certain on it, just like you’re just creating a little mindset shifts for them. And like trusting yourself that like you know how to do that, you can actually do that. So just like, do your thing.

So with that in mind, I was just like, Okay, well, I can just have this past email, and I edit this bit, or that bit like some of them, I updated quite a bit as a way that I’ve discussed certain concepts, chain has, like, evolves over time, with more experience and coaching more people. But a lot of it was still, like good as was. And I just barely needed to edit it at all. And I just trusted myself to know, when do I update it? When do I keep it the same? And more. So I think what helped me be in the self trust was just thinking about the person on the other end of these emails, and particularly, when I’m thinking about the person who’s never heard from me before, never, like doesn’t know anything about me. They’re someone who’s new, that it’s like, well, why would I just rewrite something? I’m going to be saying it almost exactly the same way. I feel like it’s different to the email they wrote yesterday where I’m articulating something in a new way.

And like developing the message that I share and like iterating upon it, versus like there are some things like what it means to be a perfectionist and like what that’s about that I’ve updated that point in the past as I’ve learned more about it, but at this point, like I don’t have any major updates on that core philosophy around it. So I can just share it in the way I’ve already shared it before and not need to spend my time rewriting it. Just because I think and it should be new, or it’s better for I recently wrote it or things like that. So as I said, in that time, I ended up writing those emails and throwing an extra one in there. So when Renae is looking at it, she could choose, like, have kind of a bit of flexibility on her end, if one of the email like I didn’t want to have that one in there. So anyway, I just added that extra one, because was so easy to do.

And then I pumped and actually, when I was pumping, I fix an issue with my laptop. And that has been plaguing me for months. And thank you to my dad for helping me with it. He’s probably listening. So thank you so much. But with and I wanted to mention this, because our PGSDers as well, I think it was Erica mentioned recently about like having he just have little tech issues, or I think for her screen, like her monitor, there was an issue with our computer, and it was hurting her eyes. But she didn’t fix it for ages, and she was getting headaches, and then it was like, basically, you kind of get to this point of like, I should have already fixed it. So then it’s really embarrassing, I haven’t done it sooner and all of that.

So I was kind of in all of that, who proved this that. For the last, I don’t know, four or five months, there was some update I made to my computer at some point and zoom stopped working. And I tried a few different things to fix it. That didn’t work. Very fixed minded tech stuff sometimes. And just like, it’s too hard, I would rather just like create a workaround, even if it’s inconvenient, rather than just like fixing it, or like getting someone to help me fix it. So being in that fixed mindset about it, I didn’t even think like, I might just tell dad about it. And he loves tech stuff and like is happy to help and can just like help me fix this issue.

So instead, I just was like, I’ll use my old laptop for zoom, which we use for coaching calls we use for team meetings, basically every work day, I’m needing to be on zoom at some point. And so instead, I needed to either like go on my phone, which is really annoying, and like, it is inconvenient compared to being on the computer and being able to share your screen and thing, or going on my old laptop, which is also annoying, for various reasons, because I’d like sharing the screen and that it hasn’t got everything and whatever. So I have for months been like using my Zoom laptop and I mentioned it to Renae a couple of weeks ago. And I can’t remember what she said, but basically was like, like, what are you talking about, why don’t you just fix it, like figure out like, you know, you could have a tech person come out and you know, they come out to all the people who need help, surely you can find someone to get this fix. And I was okay.

I feel saying I need them to like do something about it. And then because of that, I ended up mentioning it to dad who was like, Okay, here’s what you can do and being super helpful and like googling things, and whatever. And then I didn’t do anything with the advice he gave me for about a week. It was just in my mind of like, I need to do that thing. But I really, like it seems complicated in life. So funny anyway, it is really like, but no, I should, I should be able to do that myself and like so just that that line of thinking of like I should shouldn’t be able to do it. Like stops you from doing it and getting the help you need. So anyway, when I talked to dad yesterday, I was like, Ah, just really procrastinating on on fixing this zoom issue. Can he come over and help? And he was just like, well, you could just do it. Like, as in like, let me just walk you through it again. It’s quite simple.

And so that was really great to get that little bit of coaching. And so whilst I tried it, it didn’t work. Message dad, hey, here’s a situation then he replied with like, Okay, try this. And then today when I was pumping, I was like, Okay, I’m gonna try the zoom thing and get it fixed. And I tried it and it worked. And the relief of that but also the like that perfectionist like, why should I have done four months ago five months ago, and not being in my own way about it, but that doesn’t help me to be in that mindset. So I’m just focusing on the, the good feeling of being able to use Zoom normally again, to not have to carry around my old laptop or have my Zoom laptop but anyway, if you’re in that situation where there’s like I like to call it a pebble but there’s there’s something that has been like niggling at you like a little inconvenience that you’ve got to work around for so it’s not so bad. But ultimately, like you’re not being who you want to be by not solving the problem.

Like it felt incongruent to me to have this zoom laptop issue, whatever, that I wasn’t fixing. And just letting myself be inconvenience continually. So it just feels so good to have that fix into have just like, done it. Like it just didn’t feel good to be procrastinating on it and having that in the back of my mind. And so even like, in my, my non work time, I really been just on the lookout for, like, why are these little pebbles and inconveniences that I’m dealing with that I could just like, take the same mental energy and time required to do the work around and just actually solve the problem and actually also remind myself through that experience that I am resourceful. And I don’t need to just like it is not in this mindset about kind of self pity. And I Oh, it’s such a big ebb and I don’t have time. Like, why do and I deserve to have this fixed. And if it was someone else, I would make sure they had it fixed. So like, I’m not gonna keep letting myself have to deal with that. So that’s just a side note. But her palmed and I had that done. And then I messaged Renae, to celebrate, and then had lunch with Jen. And we went to a Vietnamese place near the office and had it about like content creation systems.

And like, that was really nice to just have a chat about all of that, and hear about how processes, and systems and yet all of that kind of thing. So we had lunch for an hour and a half ish Oh, no, actually, it was just over an hour by the time I finished pumping. And I have my weekly call with Daisy, which was really good. And then I had a call with Renae. And we talked about the asana project, and the emails that I had written. And also just with that, as well like just to share that, as a team at the moment we’re working on. Like our communication with each other in the sense of like actually communicating real time because for a while, especially with me, like having the kids and like not being as available as I had been previously, that we were really in a mode of like working asynchronously, as in like everything was through Asana.

And there wouldn’t be really any real time conversations or calls with each other, that it was all through looms, which is like a video that you record, and someone can watch later and watch it at double speed, etc. But you’re kind of talking to people, but you’re not really having that interaction. And so I think from that, and from like, a few years of doing that, that as a team, we’ve been in a mindset of like, kind of like why we’re all working solo, but like alongside each other. But you know, if we’re struggling with something like instead of like, if you’re in an office physically, to like, Hey, can we like, chat about this for a minute, I’m getting stuck here, we just kind of not mentioned it to each other, or just try and solve it ourselves or, like, make assumptions about like, Well, I’m sure they’ve thought about this thing. And like not knowing each other thought processor, I’m sure they’ve thought through why, you know, it wouldn’t be better to set up in this other way. And they’ve decided not to. So I’m not going to mention it because I’m sure they’ve thought of that, when actually that hadn’t been thought of.

And then two people are dealing with a system that doesn’t really work for either in terms of things like asana and air table and setting things up. So we’re just like, working on bringing back in, like the live interaction and remembering that we can message each other and we can jump on calls. And that’s part of the job. And it’s not like, we need to always be kind of just working by ourselves. So Renae, and I ended up having a call today, which we hadn’t planned to have on Saturday, but it made more sense to have it today. So I just shuffled around my power planning and what I had planned so that we could do that this afternoon. So I had that call with Renae. And then I wrapped up and it was just like, I feel like in a lot of ways a perfect workday for me of like chatting to other people like getting to talk to Jen and Daisy and Renae and us like in each of those conversations. I guess Jen’s was slightly different but still at the same time I had epiphany is about different things but moving things forward and just feeling that like empowered feeling of having a plan for how to get something done and then finding an even better way which then freed up time for future me and like.

Just all of that kind of feeling. And then finishing on time, driving home as planned. And just feeling like, I guess, yeah, multiple cups, so to speak, or fill in terms of like, creating and then connecting with other people. And, yeah, I just feel really great. So I feel like that’s all I really want to share with the rest of this. But just a reminder that like to give yourself the opportunity to overachieve on something. And if you had it in your mind that it needed to look a certain way, like especially how this morning I was like, Okay, I’m going to try like, writing with this, like, you know, first draft, etc, I ended up not doing that, because it didn’t make sense. Once I already had the first…. The draft that like, I guess I essentially did it in the sense that I edited it, without overthinking it. But I didn’t do it the way I had planned, but I let the idea of evolve.

And I didn’t become attached to all this is what I said I would do. So I have to do it that way. And I just think perfectionist, we can just come unstuck. And we either think like I have to do the plan exactly as I had said it would be or if I can’t, there’s no point even planning because a plan might change that and big part of being productive as a perfectionist, is really allowing yourself to create a plan, and then change the plan as required. And I just love as well with the way that we do power planning that the best way to see your perfectionism coming up is through your actions, and having a tool that allows you to do that.

And also I love and I guess what I experienced today ultimately, is having a tool that allows me to see when I’m out of my own way, and really see that I am finding a better way and being growth minded about it and being self trusting about it. And just like that, really like that, seeing it right in front of me in my calendar, here’s how long I thought it would take if I was out of my own way. And actually it took half of that time or like in that time credit and twice as much, because I figured out a way to get even more out of my own way with it. So it’s just really reaffirming, to see that and to have that. And I think as well like part of business. Such a big part of it is that it’s a long game.

And that if we are thinking in things in a very short time kind of way that like if we you know, write an email today, we should get us up from it tomorrow kind of thing that we don’t actually, like get to achieve the long term goals because we’re so focused on the short term and therefore so easily disheartened when things don’t instantly work. But when it comes to having, like you achieve those long term goals, or me achieve my long term goals, you need to have things along the way and like a system that helps you keep going to help you see the progress you’re making. And really feel that accomplishment rather than feeling like you’re working from this endless to do lists, or there’s over scheduling calendar that you could never even stick to, even if you’re a robot, because you’ve just been so optimistic about how long everything would take.

And that you can actually have so much more motivation to keep going and to keep showing up and doing the volume of work needed and doing it for long enough like a long enough time period. That it does actually work because you have your power planning like your particularly as well like your persistence log and your weekly review and like all of that there to show you that you are making progress even when it’s not yet reflected in your revenue, or reflected in your follower account, or reflected in all of those metrics that we want to improve instantly. So I love that like today, I just really felt that sense of accomplishment, even when I don’t actually get to see the benefit of that work yet that I get to have that.

That sense of pride in my work that sense of completion. Like I’m not finishing today for the like, oh but there’s still all these things on my to do list like in my power planning like. I only had in there what I would have time for what I didn’t have time for. Like I had mentioned that meeting with Renae and I changed my power planning I’ve moved it to another day. So I know okay, that’s coming on Saturday. So it’s like, it’s on my mental load. I’m not driving home thinking like, oh, when are we going to do that thing? And I should have done it today and like, No, I just I know what I’m going to do it I know there’s enough time to do it. As I’m going home I just know I can be so present with my family, like when Steve and the kids and just, yeah, I’m not having to wonder about when things will get done, and I can just trust that I will follow the plan that I have.

And if things change, I will update the plan and have conversations that need to have an all of that so that we can do ultimately what needs to and if things need to be deleted altogether, that we will figure out what that is and have that deleted. Because sometimes, we all put in tasks in our calendar that don’t actually need to get done, and feel essential. And when we start working, or we have that bigger picture perspective, we realized that that isn’t needed, or it’s not needed yet. So yeah, with all that said, today, it was a great day. And I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and just hearing about how my day went and how it all played out. And I hope it’s inspired you as well to just let yourself do things in a different way and know that that’s not ease, like being bad for not following your plan or whatever. Like that is truly in my opinion, what productivity is, is having that plan and then having the wisdom to change it and there’s a better way or when something else comes up. I hope you having a beautiful day and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.


if you found this episode helpful, I just want to quickly share with you where power planning as a tool fits into the process of being a perfectionist who’s getting shit down of getting out of your own way. So power planning is a productivity and self coaching tool that I developed for myself and for my perfectionist entrepreneur clients, because you need something practical to help you actually be productive. I’ve talked about it before, why to do lists don’t work for perfectionist, why time blocking doesn’t work for perfectionist, those productivity methods just make us get in our own way.

And what we want to do is get our perfectionist mindset working for us instead of against us. But let’s talk about the full picture. When it comes to getting out of your own way. There are three steps and this is what you’ll master inside my program. But there are three steps to plan properly as perfectionist, then follow through 80% of the time, rest without guilt and repeat. When you are doing that you will be able to create sustainable productivity and success for yourself. So I want to let you know that enrollment for PGSD is going to be happening very soon. We do a quarterly enrollment. I’ll tell you more about that in a second.

Perfectionist Getting Shit Done is a 12 month program, because you are going to be working towards a 12 month revenue goal and using the PGSD process to achieve that, and we want to make sure that you have all of the accountability and support and tools and coaching to get there. So that’s why you’ll have 12 month access to the program. And we do enrollment quarterly so that you become part of a quarterly cohort community. So for example, if you’re in our next cohort that’s a January 2024 cohort, you will be able to much more easily meet other like minded entrepreneurs, then if you are just going about your business and not really having a ways to interact and really get to know other people who are like you who are struggling with the same things working on the same things and have the same desires.

So with PGSD, we are enrolling for that January 2024 cohort in December. It’s happening from the eighth to the 12th of December. So to find out more about PGSD, and to join the waitlist, I highly recommend doing that. Go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd You’re gonna be the first to know when the doors open, and we will be making sure you feel fully supported in your decision about whether or not PGSD is for you and which cohort makes the most sense for you based on what else you’re working on in your business. So that’s samlaurabrown.com/pgsd but I will link that up for you in the show notes.

Author: Sam Brown