Episode 450: [Stop Procrastination] How To Create ‘Positive Time Pressure’ To Do Your Best Work

This is part 4 of my 5-part series on how to *actually* stop procrastinating. In this episode you’ll learn how to create ‘positive time pressure’ so you can get your best work done without burning out. If you’re anything like the perfectionist entrepreneurs I work with, you work well under pressure.

But there are 3 big problems with this:

  1. You’re constantly exhausted or burned out
  2. You push off the most important things because there’s no pressure to get them done
  3. You have to create a business that feels like a job in order to be productive

Let me teach you how to create ‘positive time pressure’ so that you can become a true high performer. That means being able to work well under pressure AND being able to work well without it. 

In this episode (part 4) you’ll learn how to develop the skill of saying you’ll do something and then actually doing it – even when it’s not urgent and no one else knows about it. This is what all successful entrepreneurs have in common. To perform at your best as an entrepreneur, you need to be able to perform even when there’s no pressure.

Anyone can develop this skill. Me and my clients do it by using our Power Planning to create what I call ‘positive time pressure’.

The beautiful thing is you don’t even need to be thinking about ‘positive time pressure’ when you’re Power Planning. Power Planning creates ‘positive time pressure’ without you needing to think about it so you can become a true high performer and get shit done without the stress, pressure and burnout.

The biggest needle movers for your business, like starting a podcast or posting consistently on social media, are never going to *actually* be urgent. Listen to this episode now so you can learn how to create positive time pressure and you can turn your talents on when you want, not just when the circumstances force you.

All you need to do is hit play…

This 5-part series is for perfectionists who:

  • Get stuck in research mode when it comes to your niche, messaging and branding
  • Buy cameras, domains and planners to try to motivate themselves to show up
  • Push important tasks off until the last minute because you need the pressure

Everything you’ve learned about how to stop procrastinating doesn’t apply to perfectionists!

During this 5-part procrastination series I’ll be teaching you the surprising truth about procrastination, the hidden reasons you haven’t been able to stop and the simple process you can immediately start following to actually stop procrastinating. 

I won’t be telling you to delete social media apps or write a reminder on a post-it note to remind you ‘done is better than perfect’. 

This series is going to help you create emotional safety and feelings that are going to allow you to actually have the confidence to stop procrastinating and put yourself out there.

Tune into this series to learn how to stop procrastinating so your business can finally get off the ground.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode450.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How to create ‘positive time pressure’ so you can get your best work done without burning out
  • Exactly how to use pressure for good (even when there’s no one to hold you accountable to getting it done)
  • How Power Planning automatically creates ‘positive time pressure’ for you
  • How to turn your talents on when you want, NOT just when the circumstances force you

Featured In The Episode:

PGSD is opening to new students on 14 March 2024:

The PGSD Process will get you out of your own way in your business and have you making more money more easily. The doors to Perfectionists Getting Shit Done will be opening at 6am New York time on 14 March and closing at 11:59pm New York time on 21 March 2024. Find out more about the program and join the waitlist here: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Take The Perfectionism Quiz To Get Your Personalised Perfectionism Score

If you’re not sure whether perfectionism is what’s making you get in your own way, I invite you to take The Perfectionism Quiz. 

After working with over 1,000 perfectionist entrepreneurs, I created this free quiz so you can get your personalised perfectionism score and discover which of the 5 areas of perfectionism you would most benefit from working on overcoming the most: whether it’s overthinking, procrastination, burnout, all-or-nothing thinking or fear of judgement.

It takes less than 3 minutes to get your unique result and be one step closer to getting shit done without burning out. If you love learning about yourself and you’re ready to get out of your own way, go to samlaurabrown.com/quiz to take the quiz today. 

Work With Me:

My coaching program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) teaches you how to plan properly as a perfectionist so you can get out of your own way in your business. 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

Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts – just find Episode 450 of The Perfectionism Project Podcast!

Subscribe To The Perfectionism Project Podcast


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
Welcome to part four of this five part series on how to stop procrastinating, we have covered so much already, and I hope you’ve been finding it incredibly helpful. I know that if you’re anything like my clients, really understanding why you procrastinate, and then learning about how to make decisions, like a real business owner, how to use power planning and your gross goal to consistently get shit done without burning out or freaking yourself out, that is going to make a world of difference already. And today, in this part, part four, I’m going to be sharing with you how to use and create positive time pressure.

So you can do your best work without burning out if you are someone who does things at the last minute, and you really feel like you perform well when you’re under pressure. Or if you are someone who might not even think of it that way. But you tend to prioritize small unimportant tasks, and leave the big things until the end. That is you subtly and subconsciously creating pressure for yourself, so that you can trust yourself to do the work you need to do and actually get it done.

So in this episode, I’m going to be sharing with you what it looks like to put pressure on yourself and be a bit more specific. So you can really flesh it out for yourself, then I’m going to be sharing with you what you actually need to do to create positive time pressure. Because of all the costs and problems that come with relying on the last minute rely on that external urgency from someone asking something of you and you not wanting to let them down. So we want to have you actually be able to take that skill set you have of doing things under pressure and being a high performer. And having you actually do that in a way that supports your overall vision for your business and for your personal life to that you’re not burning out constantly, or you’re having to work late.

Because you need the pressure of the last minute to get anything done, I want you to be able to have dinner with your family, when you said you would to actually be able to walk out of your office at the exact time that you said you would and be able to feel so in control of your time when you’re in your business. And also in your personal life too. As a mom of three, I know what it is like to have lots of things on your plate, and to want to be showing up fully for your business. And also be showing up fully for your family. And maybe even have some hobbies for yourself and be reading books or doing those things as well. So creating positive time pressure for yourself is going to help you do that.

So we’re going to be talking about that in today’s episode. And then in part five, which is coming two days from now, I’m going to be telling you about my program called perfectionist getting shit done, aka PGSD, and how it’s really going to help you to implement everything that we have talked about in this series. So that you can stop procrastinating, you can use your growth goal and power planning to start calming your perfectionist brain down, as well as the coaching and support that’s available inside PGSD.

That way you can confidently show up and consistently put yourself out there and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’ll tell you more about that, then if you can resonate with what I’m talking about, then you are like my kids and you are going to be helped by what’s inside PGSD but I’ll tell you more about that in the next episode. You can go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd to sign up for the waitlist to make sure you don’t miss the enrollment from the 14th to the 21st of March. We are strict with our enrollment periods. As someone who professionally serves procrastinators, I don’t reward procrastination, I don’t believe in rewarding procrastination and leaving it to the last minute and then you have a tech issue or an internet issue or whatever happens and you’re not able to sign up.

I want to create for you from the first moment that I am your coach, I want to create for you that motivation and environment that really supports you to be your best self and reach your potential that you have. And so if you want to sign up, but you don’t actually organize yourself to do it, and then you procrastinate on it, and then you miss it. And you can sign up in a future enrollment. But as your coach as the person who is here to help you perform at your best, having you not be penalized for that procrastination isn’t me supporting you. So I just want to make sure you are adding those dates to your calendar. Doors will be opening at 6am New York time on the 14th of March 2024 and closing at 11:59pm New York time on the 21st of March 2024.

So add that to your calendar so you don’t miss out on finding out about PGSD and signing up because if you can relate to what I share in this series, and I want to make sure you actually stop procrastinating and this isn’t just something that you learn about, it’s something you’re actually able to use, like my clients have to change their lives and to actually build the businesses they know they’re capable of building.

So let’s dive into how to create positive time pressure. So you can actually do your best work without burning out. So almost all perfectionist use pressure to help them get shit done. This is something that we think we love, we think we really, really think we love pressure. So we either procrastinate until the last minute. And I know as a student, I did law in finance, I have a law and finance degree. As a student, I really was in this mode of leaving things until the last minute, and then pulling the all nighter and then getting a great mark.

And I tried a few times doing assignments early. And I performed more poorly in terms of the grade than I did what I did at the last minute. And so this really reaffirmed for me, I just do my best work at the last minute. So if that’s you, we’re going to talk about how to still have that skill set, but actually have it not burn you out. Because I burnt out like I was a zombie after exam week, every time. So I want to help you actually be able to do work under pressure and not burn out. But you might leave things until the last minute, or you rely on client deadlines, or your partner or others to motivate you. And to put that pressure on you. You don’t actually believe in the pressure that you could put on yourself. If you talk shit to yourself all day, you don’t believe in that enough that you just want to use that motivation, I don’t want to let other people down.

So if I tell other people about this, and I also don’t want to look dumb, and I also don’t want to look like I’m not motivated, I’m not capable. If I tell others about it, then I will actually do it. Or I don’t want to let a client down, I don’t want to let a customer down. So I need to constantly, publicly declare things and like over promise, so that I have this pressure to perform. It’s just again, a recipe for burnout. And there are some other problems too, that I’ll talk about shortly. Or maybe you are prioritizing the little things to get them out of the way. So you can actually do the big things and create some pressure for doing those big things.

So this might sound like I do my best work at the last minute, I do better when there’s someone else keeping me accountable, whether that’s a boss or a professor, or partner or accountability buddy, or it could just sound like I just love working, I’m just so passionate about what I do my work is my purpose, you might just be in that mentality of not even identifying the relationship you have with pressure. But just loving being busy all the time, loving working, you have a constant flow of ideas. But if you are constantly prioritizing the little things to get them out of the way, so you can actually do the big things. That’s you wanting to create some pressure, some time pressure around those big things.

So here are some reasons why as perfectionist entrepreneurs, we think we like pressure. So pressure forces us to trust ourselves. So we intuitively know that to be able to get any work done, we need to actually say when it is done. We need to actually have something that triggers us to hit publish, to hit sand and to put it out there in the world. And so as we talked about in this series, if you have a human brain, which you do, if you’re a perfectionist, and you’re also not using productivity tools that work for your perfectionist brain, it is going to be really hard for you to actually say this is done to a sufficient level. And I’m going to move on unless you have that time crunch that makes you forced to decide that it’s so ironic, we perfectionist we love control. But actually, we often try and force ourselves to do things and force ourselves into situations. Because we don’t trust ourselves. Like we would say, I’d rather have a decision be out of my hands. Because when we have control over a decision, then we go into this perfectionist mindset, well, I could make the wrong decision. And especially if there’s no deadline with that decision, we often just say things like, I wish I didn’t have a choice. I wish I didn’t have control.

So with this, when there’s pressure, it forces us to trust ourselves. Instead of saying to ourselves, if I have time to do it perfectly, I should do it perfectly. Which is pressure, it’s just a different kind. It becomes I don’t have time to do it perfectly. So I’m just gonna get it done now and I have no choice but to trust myself rather than us wanting to be in control of when we can trust ourselves. We put ourselves in situations where we’re given no choice but to trust ourselves. And I love teaching my clients how to actually trust themselves in any circumstances, not just when they’re left with no choice but to do it.

So pressure reducers are overthinking and self judgment. Also, it seems, because when we’re at that last minute, again, it’s that thought shift that I mentioned before we go from, well, if I have time to do it perfectly, I should do it perfectly. And the immense pressure that comes from that, versus, well, I don’t have time to do it perfectly, because there’s that time piece coming in. So I don’t have time to do it perfectly, I’m just going to get it done, I have no choice but to trust myself. And when we have not enough time, we remove some of that self judgment, because Okay, well, if it didn’t do well, I probably would have done better if I started sooner. If I had more time to do it, like we give ourselves that out.

Pressure gives us permission to stop people pleasing, having this time pressure. So for a lot of us perfectionist entrepreneurs, and especially if your perfectionism handbrake is on, then you have a hard time prioritizing your own wants and needs, over what you perceive other people’s wants and needs to be. And so it’s only when there’s that last minute that you actually are able to say to other people, sorry, I can’t do that I need to work on this project that I have, or I need to finish this piece of art or I need to do this thing for a client or I need to actually make a decision, which often we’ve talked about big decisions is often no deadline.

But when there is having that pressure, that time pressure actually gives us a way out of having to people please and actually do the things we want to do. So I love instead of just actually learning how to not be people pleasing, and doing it in a way where you don’t have to then force yourself in this tricky situation, you can actually do your business the way you want to do your business, and on your plans with yourself, even when there’s no rush. And you can also train the people in your life by training yourself as well to actually respect your plans. And so they know that even though you don’t have anything urgent to do today, you prioritize yourself. You prioritize your business, you’re a real business owner. So they don’t expect any more that you’re always gonna say yeah, so you need to get out of that habit of people pleasing.

That’s something that we clicked on a lot inside PGSD. Also, pressure makes us feel smart like performing well under time pressure. Because there’s this whole identity around well, I’m someone who works well under pressure. It’s like saying, I am this high performer. And some people can’t handle pressure, but I can and obviously we don’t say it like that. And because we’re kind of people pleasing will often just try and fit into situations and not say anything that makes us stand out like that. But ultimately, that’s what we’re saying when we say well, I just work well under pressure, it is little ego and status boost that we get, we get to feel smart, we get to feel intelligent, like I’m just actually a high performer. So I need to have this time pressure because I’m a high performer. And that’s how I operate. And maybe just hearing it said that way you can hear how that’s not actually how a true high performer operates.

A true high performer can operate under time pressure. And when there’s no pressure at all, that’s the highest performer, that person who can do both of those. So yes, maybe being a high performer when there’s time pressure, and external time, pressure coming from a professor or bosses deadline or a client demanding things of you, or a partner saying something to you. But if you’re really that high performer and reaching your potential as an entrepreneur, you can actually trust yourself to deliver your best work when there’s no urgency. And I’ve been able to create that for myself through my growth goal and power planning. And all the tools I teach inside PGSD to go with that, that you can become that person to so many of my clients have, going from needing time pressure to still being able to perform with time pressure, but not having to rely on it anymore not having to have that be your only productivity tactic that you can really pull out.

So let’s talk about the problem with pressure. Because there are a lot of them, you probably know it doesn’t feel good to be working under pressure. But let’s talk about specifically why so you don’t like pressure, you are scrolling Instagram or watching TikTok and doing all those things. Because you don’t like having to perform under pressure. And it’s that time pressure that we add that has that deadline there that allows us to release our expectations of perfection that allow us to get into action. But if you just think about pure pressure to get something done, and what that would look like, just imagine that I pay someone to come stand next to your desk on all of your work days.

And what they’re going to say is okay, what are you doing right now? Okay, maybe you have to do it perfectly. You have to do it quicker, better pretty up. Make sure you look good. Make sure you sound smart like and they just like keep repeating that over and over again. Okay. You need to improve that hit like If you had like literally imagining instead of that voice being inside your head, if that was someone else who was standing over your shoulder and say, Okay, that wasn’t good enough. Oh, yeah, that wasn’t good enough, either. Okay, redo that again. Okay, why are you even bothering doing this? Like you should have done this last week anyway, what’s going on?

Like, if you had someone else standing next to you saying that, do you think he would really be delivering your best work, especially if you’re a creative entrepreneur, I work with so many creative entrepreneurs, because creativity and perfectionism, they have a bit of a dance there too. Because creativity and perfectionism when you are a creative entrepreneur, and you’re also a perfectionist, you are definitely going to need to contend with your perfectionism and gather our productivity tools. So especially in this situation, maybe you’re an artist, maybe you’re a photographer, maybe you’re a dancer, even if you’re not in those typical creative fields, even if you are a real estate agent, or you are a therapist or anything like that, that you know that you are actually doing work that matters.

That, you know, if you had someone standing there, saying to you all day, every day, that’s not good enough, do it better, do it quicker, do it more perfectly, make sure you look good, make sure you sound good, make sure no one could ever say anything bad about this, and that you never look like you don’t know what you’re doing. If you actually had someone coming at you saying that all day, every day, you’re not going to be doing your best work. We’d love to think it’s me saying it to myself, than actually I’m going to be able to do my best work. And we’re scared of what it’s like to release that pressure. But if we just look at pressure as a whole, you don’t like pressure. It makes you overwhelmed. It makes you overthink, it makes you procrastinate.

This is really one of the reasons that the growth goal and power planning works so well is because it helps you to create positive time pressure that we’ll talk about in a second. But it releases a lot of that pressure to do things perfectly. By expecting yourself to do things so quickly. If you find you’re constantly underestimate how long things will take. A lot of this is just not really understanding what is required to do that task well, and then you’re requiring yourself to just stand and deliver. And that is stressful. We don’t like doing that we don’t like having that pressure of okay, you can only do it once and you have to do it perfectly the time that you do it and does go Here you go, Okay, do it perfectly cool. That is stressful, you don’t like that. And so much of your procrastination is just you trying to avoid pressure.

So when you’re telling yourself this little story that you love pressure, you work well under pressure, let’s zoom out. And remember, you don’t like pressure, and you probably started your business, because you wanted to do what you wanted when you wanted to do it and have that freedom, versus the pressure of having to do everything perfectly at a time you don’t want to do and in a way you don’t want to do it. Pressure makes you procrastinate. The pressure of not having enough time can make a simple task seem so so so overwhelming. Pressure also creates burnout. And I know that for me when I was doing things at the last minute, this is really the main way that it showed up for me that I was willing for that to be the case.

And for me to burn out reliably, every semester multiple times, because I got good grades because it seemed to work for me. And when I brought that mentality to business, that’s when it really started coming undone. And obviously to so many perfectionist entrepreneurs never solve for that piece, because it doesn’t just naturally solve itself. When you start having a bigger audience and you start making more money and being successful, we think, Okay, well, once I’m actually succeeding, then I can really just trust myself that I can take the pressure off, and I can feel good about what I’m doing. Oh, no, like you actually have to consciously do this work. You can look around, there’s so many professions, entrepreneurs who are doing well, they’re burnt out and they hate their businesses. I don’t want that for you. I want you to make money in an aligned way that actually has you have in your personal life the way you want it as well, to not have to sacrifice everything else in your life in order to make money.

Money is important, but it’s not the only thing. And so we just need to make sure that when we like okay, well I do well at last minute, and it’s okay that I burn out because that means I’m still doing well. Let’s zoom out and look at your whole life. Are you really doing well. When the rest of your life falls apart? When you have a busy period in your business? That’s not good. That’s what you want. I know that’s not what you want for yourself in business. Pressure only comes if you create a prison for yourself to keep yourself accountable. And I’m someone I loved having the structure of working for someone else. I worked at one of the top accounting firms in Brisbane and I didn’t hate it.

I wasn’t one of these people who was like, I just hate working for someone else. I think I could pretty happily work for someone else. But I wanted to have my own business because when I was in that job, I could see exactly what the next 20 years of my career was going to look like, I’d shuffle around a few desks, I’d have more responsibility, more stress, a little bit more pay. But ultimately, there was so much certainty that it felt like it created this prison for me. And even I was so scared to go out on my own, and really go all in on my business. I didn’t want the certainty and the safety of knowing exactly what would happen. I didn’t want that. As much as I thought I did. I didn’t want to have this prison for myself. So that I had these last minute deadlines and I had someone else telling me what to do and when I needed to do it and to write this report, and to have this client meeting and to start work at this time and stop work at that time.

I actually wanted freedom. And so if you want to keep holding on to this idea that you just perform well under pressure, and it’s okay, if you burn out, just know, that’s okay. But you are going to need to really construct a little prison for yourself. Make sure you tell your partner and get them on board, they can really parent you and just help really keep you accountable. Even if you don’t feel like doing things. Make sure you tell your clients and your customers to be extra demanding, so that you’re really motivated to do things. Make sure you always announce dates publicly, as soon as you have that idea. So that you can trust yourself to actually launch that thing out into the world. Rather than getting to have time to really just sit and explore an idea and do that super thinking in that creative thinking.

You have to make sure you actually construct for yourself a business that’s really going to keep you accountable and have that last minute deadline be that I know about you, I don’t want that kind of business, I may as well just be in a job. If I had that kind of business, because at least then I didn’t have all the risks that comes with having the business. And I don’t have to have all this pressure that comes from deciding what to do and when to do or not, there’s already enough of that in business without also having all this extra stuff on top.

The other problem with pressure is that and we talked about this in part two, the most important things in business, there will never be that time pressure there to start the YouTube channel, the podcast, to launch the product or the course or the program, to email that client. And to actually reach out to someone to pitch yourself to be on podcast, to put yourself in to do all of those different things. There is never going to be urgency there. And so you actually need to know how to motivate yourself and create positive time pressure for yourself. So that you do those things. Instead of putting them off for a month, three months, a year, a decade, you need to learn how to do that for yourself.

So let’s talk about how to create positive time pressure. This is something that your growth goal and power planning combined, allow you to do and it’s all constructed without you even having to think about it just by virtue of using these tools. It is all constructed to help you create this positive time pressure. So even if you are not consciously thinking about this, as you are going about your work week, this positive time pressure is working for you so that you can be that high performer, when it suits you and doing the things you actually want to be doing. Instead of having to do things you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do them. And having a business that is essentially a job and probably a pretty poorly paid one at that.

So if you remember in part three, we talked about what your growth goal is, and what Palpatine looks like what those three simple steps are. So if you haven’t listened to that episode, I highly recommend pausing this episode now and going back to listen. But just to quickly recap for those who have listen, your growth goal is a goal that is designed to grow you it’s a 12 month revenue goal for your business that’s broken down into quarterly milestones that allow you to incrementally grow into the person who can achieve that goal. And once you set that goal, you focus on your next quarterly milestone and begin working towards that. Then you have your power planning. And this is the practicality of how to actually begin working towards that milestone.

So there are three steps you’re going to be doing each week in your digital calendar, either your iCal or your Google Calendar, you are going to be planning your week properly. So during your Power Hour, in this time, you’re going to be putting your needle moving tasks into your digital calendar, creating contingency plans for yourself adding clean rest, adding buffer time so that by the end of that hour, when you look at your calendar, you’ll not just feeling optimistic and hopeful that if there are no hiccups, you can actually get it done. But you’re able to look at that calendar. And after that hour when you were initially feeling so overwhelmed with all the ideas and all the things you need to do. You feel a sense of calm and clarity you know exactly what you need to work on. You know that it’s going to contribute to your goals instead of thinking, Well, I don’t even know if this is the right thing to work on. I don’t even know if this will make a difference. You do know what I’ll make a difference.

So alone, you just have that extra motivation that you normally wouldn’t when you’re working from a to do list. To have that sense going into a week of trials, you’ve actually supported yourself with the plans you’re making. You’re being realistic about it, you’re still asking yourself to be courageous, but you’re considering your nervous system. You’re considering things like if you like human design, or if you like to sync up with your cycle and different things like that you’re actually really considering yourself as a human being with a human brain and a perfectionist brain as well. And you’re building things into your week that gives you this really flexible structure to support you to do the things you need to do. So even without this, like positive time pressure that we’re going to consciously be talking about in this discussion.

Everything within that power hour process, when you are planning out your week planning out your to do items and transforming it into a long overwhelming list into clear and calm action steps, that you are already creating this positive time pressure for yourself. Because you have a clear start time to your day you have a clear end time yes, they can be adjusted if they need to be as you go. And as you learn what time of day work best, when you like to do courageous tasks. For me, I like to do them in the morning versus a late afternoon. A lot of my clients have the reverse. So really sad to learn that about yourself. And having that clear time to be working and to be not working makes such a difference when it comes to that positive time pressure.

If you were working from a to do list, for example, or even if you’re doing time blocking, it’s problematic for perfectionist to do time blocking because we over schedule that calendar. Also, the tasks are so vague, and we abandon it. And we all those things that we talked about in the third part, it just it doesn’t work as much as we wanted to. And there are just few little things we can do differently, to really have it be a completely different experience. But having that really clear structure around your workday, which if you do like working for someone else is probably something you’d like about it as much as you might hate, like I have to go to work. It’s clear, you know, when you need to be at work, and you know, when you’re not at work.

And a lot of people say when it comes to business, well, of course, you’re gonna always kind of be working and always kind of not be working like you might be, for example, you eat lunch at your desk, or you’re watching a marketing video, and you’re up and down doing loads of laundry and looking in the fridge and doing different things like that. Then when you’re out with your friends, you might be checking your Instagram stats, like who just liked my posts who left this comment on this DM like, you’re always kind of half in half out. And it means that it’s just so hard to even have any courage because you’re expecting yourself to always have it, your brain doesn’t want that you need to have this clear start and end as it relates to positive time pressure as well when you can really get in the habit. And this will take a bit of practice.

But you can really get in the habit of honoring particularly the End Time to your day, I call it landing the plane, it’s one of my favorite things. And the reason I call it landing the plane is if you think about I’m in Brisbane, Australia, if I think about going on a plane to London, England, that’s very far away from where I am the other side of the world, the plane can take off and direct itself. So that no matter what the weather conditions are, it can land on a tiny strip of cement of tarmac on the other side of the world with precise with precision and accuracy. That’s what I love the feeling of that feeling of I got exactly where I wanted to be when I wanted to get that and I adapted and I adjusted as I went. So being able to say to your partner, to your husband, to your wife, to your kids, whoever else is around you to say, Hey, I’m finishing at three o’clock today.

And to actually close your laptop at three o’clock on the dot. It is the best feeling. And it comes from having this positive time pressure that really allows you when you honor it. And when you actually get yourself to close that laptop. Even when everything isn’t done. I’ll talk about this in a second. But even when everything isn’t done, that’s when you actually have some urgency in your work day. Because if you allow yourself to just keep working, I hear this so often from perfectionist entrepreneurs that I work with. But I just love working and I rest much better when everything is done. And I want you to consider that the reason everything isn’t done is because of that approach. You aren’t getting everything done. Because you can always push it off for later. You can always push it off for tonight, tomorrow, the next day, the next day, the next day. And you never actually have to do it.

And so you’re not working with any of that time pressure, we want to create that positive time pressure. So building a relationship with yourself, where you’re actually able to finish at the time that you said you would and respect yourself and those around you in that way. And do that even when you don’t have dinner plans with someone else. Or when you don’t have plans with a friend. A lot of us are like okay, well I can do that when I have plans with another person. But let’s reflect back on what it means to truly be that high performer. Not only can you perform well, under pressure, you can perform well without pressure too. So I want you to be able to finish on time and this is how to create positive time pressure to finish when you said you would finish and to create that habit. Even if everything isn’t done. They became so much more done than right now. But even if you’re halfway through something, because even just doing that for a couple of weeks weeks, throughout the day, you will start to make decisions differently.

Instead of letting yourself overthink your Instagram template design that you’re doing on Canva, or over editing a reel that you’re creating, or spending an extra hour researching sales pages, so you can make sure yours is just right, you will actually be able to say, Hey, this is sufficient, I’m going to move on because you have that positive time pressure that comes from having your clear started and time. So when you were doing your Power Hour, you are putting your clean rest. This is time we are not working in your business, you might be like me, you’re a parent, and your time not on your business isn’t necessarily you putting your feet up and reading a book. But you were actually able to have constraint around your work time. So that it creates motivation for you to get it done. I know right now you’re listening to this tonight. But I’m not going to get it done in that timeframe.

But following the power planning process is going to help you create the reality where you are that person I know you’re not that person right now. That’s why I’m sharing all of this with you. Because I know you’re not that person right now, who can just do that at the drop of a hat. And that’s why when you sign up for other programs, about marketing strategies, for example, they have just expected that you are the person who can get shut down without burning out Who knows when good enough is enough. And you just put it out into the world confidently. But your perfectionist brain and the fact you don’t have productivity tools that work for your brain right now and you’re not using them. That means that you need to learn and develop into this person who can actually make those different decisions during the day who can say okay, this is good enough, I’m going to move on even when there’s no external deadline, and no one who’s going to get mad at me, I don’t want to let myself doubt anymore.

I love myself too much to keep letting myself down and breaking promises with myself. And I’m actually going to use a freedom that I have as an entrepreneur, to set up my work week in a way that I actually like, versus having to always be doing things in a stress pressure-y rushed way. And then having an also impact other people in my life, when I need to just spend the whole evening working instead of being with my husband, like I said I would. But I can actually in all areas of my life create that success.

So when it comes to the second step of power planning your little tweaks, this is really going to help you make the most of that positive time pressure, because it keeps you present with your calendar. One thing that perfectionist entrepreneurs find when they’re working from their calendar, and they’re doing something like time blocking rather than palpating is that after a few days, they forget to even look at their calendar even on the first day. And really this is just us wanting to avoid a pressure-y stressful situation, where are we going to keep looking at the calendar that is demanding something from us that we can’t actually deliver, that is fu*king stressful, so we’re not going to look at it. So we’re gonna forget to check our calendar. But when you actually have a plan that supports you, it’s so much easier to stay present with your calendar.

And then you’re going to be able to see as you go throughout the day, what needs to happen for you to be able to finish on time. And with these little tweaks to on most days, I make little if not big tweaks to my calendar. Sometimes I’m just having a day where I’m getting in my own way a lot. That happens. Other times I need to go and pick up one of my kids from daycare, life happens, there’s so many reasons that I might need to adjust my calendar. I don’t mean that mean anything has gone wrong. That’s why it’s part of the process of adjusting your calendar is you being adaptable, and you will learn when that self sabotage to adjust it and when it is it and to actually be able to honor that adjusting your plans. Oftentimes, I could force myself to do it. And it’s yes, you could force yourself but what would it look like to not and to trust yourself to actually put your energy and effort where it’s going to be the most impactful and to not be in this forced pressuring state that I know. Serve you in school. I know it has served you as an employee.

But it’s not going to serve you as an entrepreneur, it is going to keep you stuck at a certain level. And ultimately it’s going to have you having to create a business that is just an underpaid and very stressful job. And having your little tweaks also helps you trust yourself to be that person who can finish when they said they were because you know you are going to adjust your plans. And you don’t have to force yourself into things. And that third step your weekly review your self study. This is really going to help you understand how to make the most of that positive time pressure that is inherent when you have your growth goal with that deadline and the way that goal is set and then you have your power planning and the flexible structure that that provides you when you do your weekly review and you study yourself that half hour or 15 minutes that you take at the end of the week, you are going to be able to really examine and understand how you work best with time pressure, does having a lot of time to do something help you?

Or does it actually lead to overthinking when you have a short amount of time does that inspire you? Or does that actually make you feel so much pressure that you go into overwhelm, and you procrastinate, either by scrolling social media, or then you go into checking email and social media stats, because you’re trying to escape that pressure. So you begin to understand yourself, and really learn how to use positive time pressure for you, and how that will look specifically for you. When it comes to power planning I never say things like, Okay, you have to wake up at 5am, you have to go to bed at 10pm. This is how many hours you need to work. This is what time you need to have your lunch break.

It’s really about having a tool and a relationship with yourself, that you can actually create a plan that works for you as an individual that actually takes into account not just who you are, and not just what kind of business you have, but also the different seasons of life. So for example, before I was a mom, my power planning looked different, I could have the morning routine look a certain way I could have real control over when I woke up. And then I was pregnant with my daughter Lydia, and being unwell in the first trimester, and being very, very, very uncomfortable in the third trimester, then giving birth, having the postpartum period having some time off around that, that’ll look different than becoming pregnant with the twins and going through the twin pregnancy, being sick again with that, and also been very uncomfortable in the third trimester with that as well.

The postpartum period, like all of those times my power planning adapted with me to support me, there were times it was a lot more vague and high level than other times where it was more nitty gritty, because there were different amounts of pressure, that I needed to help me perform that positive time pressure. That, for example, when I was in the thick of postpartum and just having had my twins or my daughter, that I didn’t want to have any real time pressure around anything. And so I created that, in my power planning, I could support myself with that and remove the pressure. And instead of always thinking I could be doing this thing, or I should be doing that thing I knew exactly when I wanted to work, because I did want to do some work in that period.

And I could have the time off that I wanted have the weeks off that I wanted, I went back early to work actually, because I really wanted to, I’d set things up. So I didn’t have to, which is another thing that just I’m just mentioning that because so many entrepreneurs, if you have it constructed that you have to have this external time pressure, and really this negative time pressure to get shit done, you’re not going to be able to do things like having maternity leave when you have a business. So when you can really know that your power planning is going to have all the guidelines to support you. But you are learning to support yourself, rather than needing to rely on arbitrary instructions that might be created for someone in a completely different life season, they might not have any kids, they might not have a partner, they might not have any exercise they want to do, or they might not like reading books, and we just kind of say, hey, they’re doing that routine, I should do it too.

I just want you to be able to understand yourself and study yourself and adapt with each season of life. So that you’re always able to get shit done without burning out and without freaking yourself out. And do that in a way that’s kind to yourself acknowledging that in different seasons of your life, you’re going to want different amounts of positive time pressure. And so you can increase the amounts of clean grass that you have. And you can decrease that there are some seasons where I want to work a lot. And I don’t make myself wrong for that. And I should be resting, I just plan it. And then I honor those plans. And I adjust it so that it’s always workable. I’m aiming for about 80% follow through with my plans. And that’s with my adjusted plans as well.

So just knowing that it’s not this pressure, but I have to follow through perfectly. I’m not following through at all and I’m so inconsistent. Reframing that completely. You’re a business owner, a real business owner. This isn’t just a little hobby even if you haven’t made money from it. And you are the kind of person who can show up and get shit done. And support yourself to do that and have the courage to do that. And respect yourself enough to not put yourself in unnecessarily stressful situations or create a job for yourself when you actually wanted a business.

So I hope it’s been really helpful to hear about positive time pressure and how you can really make this work for you. But just again know that even if you’re not thinking about this as you are power planning, this is one of the many things that is just built into it because when this all came together and me figuring out how to actually be productive, and create a tool for myself that worked for my perfectionist brain and didn’t freak it out that there are so many different principles that I learned from so many different places that worked with perfectionist and I’ve hand picked that and put it all together into a process.

That means you are becoming less in that perfectionist mindset and more in a growth mindset, just by the virtue of doing it. You are getting out of your own way without even having to think about it. I’ve got you covered. I’ve put it all in there. And then you just get to start doing it and having that feedback loop so you learn about yourself and understand yourself and know what to do when you find yourself getting in your own way how to get back out of it again. That’s always been missing. You just haven’t had the right tools for your perfectionist brain. So in the next episode, I’m going to be telling you about my program called perfectionist getting shit done. You can go to Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd to sign up for the waitlist. I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Author: Sam Brown