Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Kim Avery author of The Prayer Powered Entrepreneur...

In this episode Ellen Goodwin and I talk about the keys to productivity...

In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Ellen Goodwin about the keys to productivity.  I ask Ellen to share why procrastination is a battle and what we can do about it.  I also ask Ellen to share how we can get more done without being more busy.

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SNS 109: Saturday Night Special – Interview with Productivity Expert Ellen Goodwin

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight's Saturday night, special episode 109.

[00:00:04] Ellen Goodwin: I'm Ellen Goodwin. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to get the real work done is key.

[00:00:20] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott.

[00:00:29] energy management is way more important than time management. And, everyone talks about, oh, time management, here's this time management class and taking my time, but you can manage all your time. You could schedule out the biggest planner in the world and have it color-coded and blocked and everything.

[00:00:48] But if you don't have the energy. To do the things, nothing is going to happen.

[00:00:54] Scott Maderer: Welcome. And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you [00:01:00] truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true color.

[00:01:09] In the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in. Invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the work.

[00:01:20] And tonight and Saturday night special, I interview Ellen Goodwin about the keys to productivity. I asked Ellen to share why procrastination is a battle and what are some of the things we can do about it. And I ask Ellen to share how we can get more done without just being more busy. No one area that a lot of folks need some help with is around the area of productivity.

[00:01:46] Getting not just more things done, but actually getting the right things done can be really tough. I've got a course called productivity for your passion. That's designed to help you do [00:02:00] this and then to hold you accountable and walk with you so that you can tailor productivity, not just to be getting more done, but actually getting the right things done.

[00:02:12] What's more, we take the approach of looking at your personality and how you actually look at things in the world and tailor the productivity system to your personnel. Cause the truth is a lot of the systems that are out there are written really well for somebody with a particular personality type.

[00:02:29] But if you have a different approach to things, they just don't work, but there's tools and techniques and approaches that you can take that will work for anyone. And we help you do that in productivity for your passion. Check it out over@inspiredstewardship.com slash launch. Ellen Goodwin is a productivity.

[00:02:51] TEDx speaker and Arthur who uses neuroscience-based principles to enable individuals and businesses to overcome all types [00:03:00] of procrastination, build stronger habits and be more focused so that they can be more efficient and effective with their time. Ellen believes that when it comes to productivity, there is no one size fits all solution.

[00:03:13] Which is why she advocates for experimentation to find the tools and techniques which will work seamlessly with your life and your business, no matter what you want to accomplish. She is the author of done how to work when no one is watching and the co-host of the faster, easier, better show podcast.

[00:03:31] Welcome to the show. Ellen,

[00:03:34] Ellen Goodwin: thank you for having me. I'm super excited.

[00:03:37] Scott Maderer: I am excited to have you here today and looking for a lot of great information that you can share with the listeners. We talked a little bit in the intro about how you work in productivity, and that's one of those areas that I've spent a lot of time studying.

[00:03:51] People ask about it all the time. It's a topic that comes up a lot. So as an expert in this field, [00:04:00] What do you know about what procrastination is and how we, as people can quote, stop doing it?

[00:04:06] Ellen Goodwin: Nation shows up in lots of different ways, it's, fear-based for a lot of people and that can be fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not knowing what they're supposed to do next.

[00:04:19] Absolutely nothing. It can also show up as not having the energy to do things. And it can also show up as just, needing a hip hit of dopamine. That's one of the number one reasons people turn to their phones or their devices is it's I just need a little hit of really good feeling in my brain.

[00:04:37] And so I'm going to do. Instead of yeah. Doing the laundry, which doesn't give me any hits of dopamine. So fear of failure. And if you've got the fear of failure, success, not knowing what to do, you can break that down. You can overcome that procrastination, especially the fear of failure or success.

[00:04:55] Just break it down to a small thing you can do [00:05:00] maybe for five minutes, just five minutes and do it rather than thinking, oh, I could fail at this or I could succeed at this. Just do it for five minutes and that's going to help you get into it and, not be focusing on I'm doing it wrong.

[00:05:15] And when you don't know what to do next, which can stop everyone in their tracks take the time. And maybe it's one of the case where you look it up on YouTube. Oh, wow. That's how you do it. That's pretty easy. I can do it that way. Look to people that have done what you're afraid to do. So you don't just sit and do nothing and procrastinate.

[00:05:37] And if you're procrastinated because you don't have the energy. Take the time to figure out when your good energy levels are during the day and when your energy levels are low and make sure you're doing the things that you might procrastinate on. Make sure you do them when you have high energy, because it's so much easier to do things.[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] When your brain is full and says, okay, I can do this rather than you've got low energy. And you're like, yeah, I just don't want to do that. And boom, you slide right into procrastination. And again, the dopamine thing help find a way. The thing you're procrastinating on it. You can still get a little dopamine hit out of it.

[00:06:20] Every time we succeed at something, we get a little dopamine hit. And yeah. Hey, it's not bright and shiny, like it's on your phone or your computer or your tablet, you've made the bed in the morning. Boom, that's a little hit of dopamine. We just are so used to not viewing it that way that we act.

[00:06:39] Scott Maderer: And isn't that part of it too. You have to notice that. In other words, you have to take that pause and go, Hey, I just made the bath and now we tend to downplay those things, but why not celebrate it?

[00:06:52] Ellen Goodwin: Exactly your bed is made and it's looks the room's gonna look a lot nicer. And then at the end of the day, you're like, oh, look, [00:07:00] here's a nicely made bed that I'm going to be able to crawl into.

[00:07:03] And it just feels better than like a messy bed. That's been sitting out all day.

[00:07:07] Scott Maderer: So as we kinda talk about that a little bit, the other thing is probably when you said you get a dopamine hit for looking at your phone, I'd be willing to bet that almost every listener either looked at or right.

[00:07:21] Ellen Goodwin: Absolutely.

[00:07:23] My phone is not even anywhere near me right now, which is how it is most of the day.

[00:07:29] Scott Maderer: So putting those things away, getting rid of them, getting rid of the distractions is often part of it too. And you talked about taking that next action. One of my friends always puts it this way. He says, what's the next physical action I can take.

[00:07:43] That's perfect. And the way you he says using that word physical helps him. So do you know why that would help?

[00:07:48] Ellen Goodwin: Oh, yeah, because if it's just, okay, what's the next step I could take? I could think about it and our brains. See. Thinking about things. If you make it to do [00:08:00] list, your brain sees you as having done something, anything, motion is not action. And so when your friend says physical, what's the next physical step I can do physical implies action, doing something to move you closer to. Your desired outcome. You're not motion is like a hamster on a wheel, just spinning and spinning. And it feels like you're getting somewhere, but you're not like running on a treadmill.

[00:08:31] Now, if I wanted to run to the next town, I would have to put my shoes on and hit the road to get there. I couldn't run to the next town on a treadmill. I could go just as far on a treadmill as it would be to run to the next town. But you know what? Treadmill motion hitting the road. Got it.

[00:08:49] Scott Maderer: So one of the terms that I've heard you use is this idea of moments of choice.

[00:08:55] So what is a moment of choice and how does [00:09:00] that affect, their productivity and time and how we're, what we're talking about

[00:09:04] Ellen Goodwin: here. Oh, moments of choice. I could go on for hours. MOAs of choice. Are those moments that occur? Sometimes they occur, let's say I just finished doing one task and it's now time to turn to the next thing.

[00:09:19] I just finished a report that I had to get done. And now it's time to reach out to some clients. So I have this little moment of choice as I move from one thing to the next thing where I could say I could check my phone or I could check my email or I could go look for snacks, but I have those moment of choice.

[00:09:39] And in that moment, you make a decision, whether you go forward in what you're supposed to do, or you fall into that gap. And I have a friend that says, she can. Four hours and five minutes looking at our phone because, oh, I'm just going to check things for five minutes and four hours later.

[00:09:58] Yeah. Here she comes back [00:10:00] from procrastinating. So a moment of choice is that moment between two tasks or it could be that moment where you're doing something and you get a notification. Or you get distracted, but notifications are the best ones to explain because you have something pops up, let's say on your phone and you have this moment of choice where you have to decide.

[00:10:23] And it's just the briefest of choices where it's do I keep doing what I'm doing? Or do I give into this. And when we give into those moments of choice, that's when our brain just hijacks anything we were trying to do. So the key is to do whatever you can to minimize or eliminate moments of choice.

[00:10:46] And in the example of your phone now, okay. Turn off the notifications. Put your phone in another room, do whatever you can to eliminate anything. That's going to distract you to give [00:11:00] you a moment of choice where you could go off track.

[00:11:04] Scott Maderer: So one of the things that, I've heard people talk about when they talk about productivity and your we've touched on it a little bit already is, I think a lot of us feel like the problem is I'm not getting enough.

[00:11:17] No, I need to get more done. We want to just pile more on top of what we're already doing. How can we reframe that are really making sure that it's not just that we're getting more done, but that we're getting the right things.

[00:11:31] Ellen Goodwin: That is a great question. And I think it's one more of us need to stop and ask ourselves because just being busy doesn't mean we're getting things done.

[00:11:43] And a lot of people wear that busy badge, at pie as. Way of honor oh, I'm so busy. It doesn't mean anything. You can be busy, but you're not accomplishing things. And I think what we really need to do is stop and take [00:12:00] note of what is important to us, to our. Business to our family, to what we, our goals are, and then make sure that we are doing the things that are directly affecting that.

[00:12:16] And if there's things that are going on that don't help us move towards that important work, then we need to. Be confident enough to just say, no, I, I don't need to be doing that. Maybe you delegate it make, maybe you just take it off your calendar, but you need to identify, this is what's important.

[00:12:37] And I know sometimes when I've got short deadlines, I will just make my list and put it right by my computer. And anytime anything comes up. Might be tempting. Oh, I could listen to this webinar and I look, and I'm like, does that apply to what's important for me to be accomplishing and then I'm I know I look at it and I say, [00:13:00] no, that's not what I should be doing right now in this moment.

[00:13:05] So I think to answer your question, we need to take the time. To really look at what's important to us and take the things out of the picture that are just making us busy, maybe even crazy busy and they don't need to be.

[00:13:23] Scott Maderer: And you could probably just take the last busy off that makes us crazy. So I'm going to sit there.

[00:13:30] That's true. I've had those days and I won't speak for anyone else.

[00:13:33] Ellen Goodwin: I think you can speak, everyone's had those. Yeah.

[00:13:37] Scott Maderer: So one of those things is the irony here. And you were saying it in your answer. And I almost started laughing is, cause you kept saying, you'll take the time to notice this, take the time to do this.

[00:13:47] And of course that's the pushback, right? The whole problem is I don't have enough time. How can I take the time to do this? So what's your answer to folks that say that?

[00:13:55] Ellen Goodwin: The problem is that we always not always, but we think things are going to [00:14:00] take way longer than they will. But in fact, if you.

[00:14:03] Just pause. And maybe you set a timer for five minutes and do that thinking. And as long as you're not, you're not worried about, oh, this email I got, have to get done. And then no, if you just focus because focus expands your perception of time, it allows your brain to focus in.

[00:14:22] And in five minutes, if you could just write down, this is what's important, it doesn't have to look pretty. It can just be scribbled on a piece of paper. But it is just that five minutes or you play a song that you like that you know is, several minutes long and just focus in. And I know sometimes people are like, oh, I don't have that time.

[00:14:42] But I think it is one of those cases where if you can take the five minutes, you're going to save your sanity, your going to. Get your important work done, and it's going to make a huge difference in your life. And yes, it is. You do have to, you have to say that I'm [00:15:00] taking these five minutes to write it down.

[00:15:02] And yeah, sometimes that is the problem is just taking that time.

[00:15:05] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask every guest, but before we shift over to those, what else would you like to share about productivity and these ideas that you teach in your book and in your Ted talk and other things?

[00:15:22] Ellen Goodwin: One of the biggest things I think people really need to focus in on is. Energy management is way more important than time management. And, everyone talks about, oh, time management, here's this time management class, I'm taking my time, but you can manage all your time. You could schedule out the biggest planner in the world and have it color-coded and blocked and everything.

[00:15:47] But if you don't have the energy to do the things nothing's going to happen. And all of us have our own energy pattern. There's yeah, there's a sort of universal [00:16:00] pattern, but it doesn't mean it's exactly yours. So finding your own energy pattern, knowing, okay. You know what, between eight and 10 30, I am my most creative that's for me.

[00:16:12] That's my best time to do any sort of writing or creativity thing. I don't schedule any meetings then. And I know in the afternoon about three, four o'clock I just, I have no energy. So that's a lovely time to do things around the office that I might need to do clean up things or do things where I don't really need to think.

[00:16:34] So if we can manage our energy, look at what our own levels are and schedule our days as best possible around that energy. That changes, how much we're able to get done with changes, the quality of the work we do. And it just makes a huge difference in how we feel.

[00:16:55] Scott Maderer: No, again, let me ask a follow-up question.

[00:16:58] What about folks that feel like [00:17:00] they don't have a lot of control over their schedule? Maybe they are, they work a nine to five they're they've got a boss, that kind of thing. How can they still take their energy levels into account? In those sorts of situations,

[00:17:13] Ellen Goodwin: what I would do is yeah. If all of a sudden I have to be super creative in the afternoon, then what I would make sure I do is.

[00:17:23] Would for lack of a better word, protect my energy during the day, okay. I need to have this energy, so I don't want to deplete it. Make sure to do things that either conserved energy or brought my energy back up as much as I could. That could be purposefully sitting again, sit for five minutes and do some deep breathing.

[00:17:46] And so that's going to relax you, but it's also going to help your energy level. If you could take a nap, I would say to that, but you can take a short walk, do some squats anything that's going to rev you back up [00:18:00] and do that throughout the day. So maybe you don't have. As big of energy, swings that you might have where, I've got all this energy in the morning and not in the afternoon, but if I can serve some of that morning, maybe I can pull it over and I can still be excited about that three o'clock.

[00:18:16] Scott Maderer: I don't know that it was ever excited about it. I was hoping to at least have some energy during the three o'clock. We didn't go for that. Especially with the three o'clock meeting on a Friday. That's the worst case scenario, so as we shift in one of the questions that I like to ask, all of my guests is, my brand is inspired.

[00:18:36] Stewardship. Stewardship is a lens that I look at the world through. So let me ask you, what does that word stewardship mean to you? And what does, what impact has that had on your life?

[00:18:46] Ellen Goodwin: To me, stewardship is being a member of a big community and a figurative community, not like just my neighborhood, but that does figure into it.

[00:18:57] And knowing that what I [00:19:00] do can help others and what they do helps me and together we make everything better. One of the stewardship things I have started doing in the last year or so is, and it really played in. During 2020 is I'm not even, I'm just going to call it 20, 20. I'm not even going to give it a better name.

[00:19:20] Was it w when talking with people and they were having a rough time rather than say, oh, I'm sorry to, I have started my answer to them. Always is now, how can I help and support you today? Because ultimately that's what we're supposed to do. We're just supposed to help and support. And that to me is my stewardship for my community.

[00:19:45] Scott Maderer: Awesome. So if I picked you up, let's say I invented this magic machine and I could pick you up and I could pull you up into the far future, maybe a hundred, 150 years. And you were able to look back on your life. What impact do you [00:20:00] hope you've had on the world? Wow, this is the

[00:20:04] Ellen Goodwin: first I would have hoped. I would hope I would have helped people laugh a little bit more in their life.

[00:20:11] Second, I would hope through my work that I would help have, would have helped people just relaxed, a little bit about getting stuff done. Everyone has their own way of doing things and yeah. Everything I teach about with productivity is all about finding what works for you. So I would hope that people would have relaxed, a little realizing that you know what, they don't have to do it this way or that way that it's jot it works with them.

[00:20:39] That's what's important. And I think finally it would be that I was. Good person that helped other people get to know other people that I introduced people. I liked to other people I liked and their worlds got better because of it.

[00:20:56] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next for you, as you can continue on this [00:21:00] journey of doing your work around productivity and the other things that you've got going on and continue to make that impact on the world.

[00:21:06] Ellen Goodwin: I'm doing more working on more corporate and business training, helping to spread the good news about energy management and I also have a companion workbook coming out to accompany my book done, and just more speaking gigs and getting out there into the world.

[00:21:25] Scott Maderer: You can find out more about Ellen Goodwin over@ellengoodwin.com and you can follow her on Facebook is Ellen Goodman.

[00:21:34] Come on LinkedIn as E Goodwin on Twitter as Ellen E Goodwin. And on Instagram is done the book with underscores between the words. Of course I'll have links to all of these over in the show notes as well. Ellen, is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

[00:21:51] Ellen Goodwin: I talked about ignoring distractions when it comes to maintaining your energy and how it's one of the best ways to [00:22:00] block anything.

[00:22:01] That's going to take your energy away or give you a moment of choice. And so on my website at there is a free guide. Two blockers for your computer and your phone. And you can get that at Ellen goodwin.com/blockers. Personally, the one I use the most is called self-control and I put it on my computer and I can just block anything.

[00:22:24] I know that's going to distract me and I block it for hours.

[00:22:28] Scott Maderer: Awesome. That's a great resource for folks. I'll of course have a link to that over in the show notes as well. Thank you so much for coming on today, Ellen. It was awesome to have you here.

[00:22:38] Ellen Goodwin: Thank you so much, Scott.

[00:22:40] Scott Maderer: thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode. Please do us a [00:23:00] favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate.

[00:23:07] All one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get everything episode as it comes out in your feed until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.


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Energy management is way more important than time management. You can manage your time but if you don't have the energy to do the things nothing is going to happen. - Ellen Goodwin

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