Planning and Productivity with Erin Elizabeth Wells
April 14, 2021 | Podcast, with kids
Should you eliminate the word “goal” from your vocabulary? This idea may sound a little outlandish or may come as a surprise to you but as you’ll learn from my guest in this episode, it could be a gamechanger in your goal-setting practices.
In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Erin Elizabeth Wells. I met Erin through a mutual online connection and I resonated so much with what I was learning in her course that I knew I had to invite her to share her incredible insights with you.
We explore her career from her first business in professional organizing to making the transition into the productivity space. Erin gets into the unique challenges that location-independent workers and entrepreneurs have when it comes to goals and organizing, and how her approach is just as relevant to your personal lifestyle goals as your business/career goals. If you want to step up your productivity as a digital nomad, this episode is just for you!
In this episode
- How Erin got into organizing by helping a professor
- The realization that led her to sell her organizing business and get into productivity
- The unique challenges of organizing and goal setting for digital nomads
- Her unconventional take on goal setting and why she doesn’t use the word “goal”
- Why SMART goals can be unhelpful
- How to approach deadlines with action
- Her intentional approach to seasonal planning
- One of the biggest problems people create with productivity
- The false narratives of what success looks like
Resources we talked about
Note: Links with an asterisk are affiliate links, which means you may receive free credit or another bonus and I may earn a small commission or other benefits if you sign up/purchase using that link. There’s no additional cost to you, of course!
Connect with Erin
Amy Scott 00:02
I recently met Erin Elizabeth Wells through a mutual online connection and I’m so glad I did. I signed up for her course the Freedom Evolution, and she joined the Nomadtopia Collective, and we’ve enjoyed learning from and supporting each other. I found the concepts and strategies presented in her course so helpful and insightful that I quickly knew I wanted to bring her on the show to share some of them with you.Expand
In my conversation with Erin she shares why she ditched the word “goal” and what she focuses on instead, her take on what she calls seasonal planning and why it’s such a good fit for nomads and other location independent entrepreneurs, and so much more. Let’s dive in. My guest today is Erin Elizabeth Wells. Thank you for joining us, Erin.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 01:13
Thank you, Amy. I’m thrilled to be here.
Amy Scott 01:15
It’s great to have you. So let’s just jump right in, tell us a bit about what your Nomadtopia looks like right now.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 01:22
So my Nomadtopia, let’s remove COVID from the equation, because there’s the realities that we’re all living with and then there’s the topia, topia we’re working towards. So for us, we are a digital nomad family, we’ve been traveling now for two plus years. And our Nomadtopia is essentially spending roughly four months in different locations throughout the world. So our home base, we don’t own a property, but our home considered location is the North Shore of Massachusetts, near Salem, Massachusetts. So we do have a lot of friends and family here. So for us, we would love to be here in Massachusetts, which is where we’re currently grounded for about four months out of the year, and then spend the other eight months of the year going to two different places. So that’s kind of the vision that we’re starting to work towards.
Amy Scott 02:16
Nice. I love it. So we are going to talk today about some stuff that I’ve actually been learning about from you, because I’m in your course. And I’ve really been taken and found very helpful what I’m learning from you about goal setting and productivity. And there’s—I mean, this is a huge topic. It’s something that I’ve been interested in for years, mainly because I struggle with it.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 02:42
Amy Scott 02:43
I like I like what I’ve been learning from you about some of the different pieces that you bring to the equation. So first of all, I’m curious, how did you get interested in this work? And how did this you know kind of become a focus of what you do today.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 02:55
So interestingly enough, my journey into this started when I was in, you could say college and grad school because I essentially my first job let’s start from the first job was my working as a graduate student assistant for an Italian professor at Yale University. And he was one of those classically, over committed absent minded, you know, too many things in too many different directions kinds of guys. And my work for him as an assistant was, of course, doing kind of all the standard things of the filing, and sometimes taking dictation and Italian, which I don’t speak, and trying to just make things work. But then a lot of what I ended up doing was helping him really think through what his priorities were, think through what was on his plate, what needed to come first, second, and third, where he needed to focus his attention, as well as helping him to reorganize his office. And he had one of those offices, Amy, that he’d been there for 25 years, many, many things had gone into it and very little had ever come out again. So what’s interesting is my career ended up focusing first on professional organizing, which was physical spaces, helping people in their physical homes and offices to rearrange their space and make them functional for them. And so that was how I started my first company, which was Living Peace Professional Organizing, and I ran that business for 12 years, I grew it to basically an agency or a firm model and had organizers working under me who were doing all the services after you know, a period of time.
And somewhere in that process I started to realize that while I enjoyed the organizing work, I loved the productivity pieces, which—it’s kind of like I talk about the difference between the two, tangible organizing versus the intangible organizing. Because a lot of what I do now is really about what I say what I call intangible organizing. It’s how do we consider you know, how do we make decisions about the time, the tasks, the information, the flow of decisions, the goal setting, which I know is what we’re going to focus on a lot today, and really deciding what’s most important to us, what deserves our attention right now. So that was the journey, essentially, as I started the organizing business, and then I kind of pivoted, and I started working on the intangible organizing, which is Chosen Course, the company that I now run, and then I sold my first business and that team is still functioning, still operational here in the Boston area, so that I could really focus on what I was mostly passionate about, which is these kinds of questions and answers and helping people develop the systems for the flow of decision making and information in their in their businesses.
Amy Scott 05:58
Yeah, yeah, it’s, I love thinking about it that way. I feel like even just kind of that little shift in mindset about thinking about productivity, and like the way we structure our days and our time and our workspace, we’ve been talking about like, digital workspace and all of this. The intangible organizing, it really makes sense to think of it that way. It’s about organizing, not your stuff but like, the stuff in your head.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 06:26
Exactly. Sometimes that’s exactly what it is, is I got all these thoughts and all these ideas, and I got all these, wouldn’t it be cool if I? And how do you get all of that into some level of clarity that allows you to then be able to feel confident about your actions. And that’s really kind of where my work comes in.
Amy Scott 06:45
I love that. And so the course that I’m taking with you right now is particularly geared toward people who are location independent, so naturally a good fit for people like me, and a lot of people listening. And, you know, you definitely bring into the picture, a lot of what is kind of special considerations for people like us who are likely to be moving around a lot, or, you know, sometimes in one place, sometimes not in one place. What do you think are some of the unique considerations or challenges when it comes to organizing, goal setting, planning, etc. for people who are location independent?
Erin Elizabeth Wells 07:23
Well, I think there are quite a number of challenges, there are also quite a number of advantages, if you if you, you know, are prepared for them. So as I was describing my Nomadtopia, I was talking about how you know, our vision is to kind of spend a season in a particular location. And if you think about it this way, as a location independent entrepreneur, we have the opportunity to essentially design our travels to support our work, so that we can kind of say, Okay, I know that I need to have a fairly focused and intense period right around this launch, for instance. So therefore, I want to make sure that I’m in one place for the lead up for the process, and just long enough afterwards that I know I can take care of that piece by having some level of stability. And then, once I’ve gotten through that, or once I’ve finished delivering that course, or finished delivering that program, then I’m going to take a you know, two weeks a month, whatever off, and that’s going to be my downtime. And so you know, we can really kind of leverage this lifestyle to support our businesses. And if we don’t make those kinds of decisions, we can also lead ourselves into a whole lot of frustrations. In terms of the challenges, they’re the ones that everybody knows: Wi Fi reliability, you know, being able to ensure that you have a comfortable functional workspace, I don’t know about you, but we have made the habit of every place we land, we buy real office chairs, and then we sell them when we leave. Because I’m not willing to spend eight, you know, 5, 6, 7, 8 hours in any given day, sitting in a crappy dining room table chair.
Amy Scott 09:08
Yeah, I’ve done that.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 09:10
Yeah, haven’t we all we’ve all been there. We’ve all done that a few times. And then you know, I don’t know I’m 40 now forget it, I’m not doing it anymore. So for the price of you know, an $80 chair that I can then sell for 50 bucks, 30 bucks is absolutely worth it to me for the comfort for those couple of months. So you know, it’s things like that, that the home office crew doesn’t have to think about or doesn’t have to notice or care about. It is about things like making sure that you’re in touch with hosts personally before you book to get Wi Fi speeds and have them do speed tests and that kind of stuff. And those are functions of our productivity. Those are how we ensure that we will be able to as gracefully as possible transition from one place to the next and they are unique to our lifestyle. So it’s important for us to take those into account.
Amy Scott 10:02
Yeah, for sure. Let’s start with talking a little bit about goal setting, and then move into the planning and some of the other pieces you touched on. But you definitely have a different take on goal setting, it’s different than a lot of the traditional wisdom out there. And it really resonated with me, it dovetails nicely with some other things that I would say are also unconventional, but different, you know, than what I’ve learned from you. So tell us a bit about your take on goal setting.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 10:27
So the first thing is, when you get deep into my work, and my course you’ll discover very quickly, I almost never use the word “goals,” I pretty much have come to a place where it feels like there’s so much that gets energetically and emotionally attached to the concept of a goal that I find to be unhelpful that I’ve basically pitched the term out. And so what I typically talk about is what we want is to create clear visions for the outcomes we want in our future. And so I refer to those in my work and in my course, as a VFA: vivid future accomplishment. That’s what we want, we want to have something that we have accomplished, we’re working towards something that is a future accomplishment. And then we need to make it vivid enough that it feels real, it feels approachable, it feels like something that is pulling us towards it with an almost level of inevitability. And so I’ve kind of pitched out the concept of goals, mostly because what I what I want to get rid of is all of those times where people are like, well, I set a goal, and then I didn’t reach it, and then I felt like crap. And then I beat myself up for a while. And then I set a different goal. And it’s like this game that we play with ourselves around the mindset of all of that stuff that I just don’t find useful.
So by pitching that out, and instead introducing this idea of the vivid future accomplishment, the VFA, you decide what you’re moving towards, and you essentially use it like that star to guide you. You know, I like to use a lot of the metaphors of like the old ships, captains, it’s like, what is that star that you are choosing to in navigate towards. And then you pick out all of the stuff around like SMART goals. The classic, particularly the thing that I that I get on my biggest soapbox about and I apologize for it being a little soapboxy here, the time based—forget it, most entrepreneurs have no idea how long something takes to accomplish. And by making an assumption of I’m going to achieve this this year. Too often, I’ve seen people who then just give up when it doesn’t happen, they work so hard, or they just start beating themselves up when they got most of the way there or part of the way there. But they didn’t get all the way there. What’s the usefulness of that that’s essentially kind of where I’m coming from is more than anything, I want to help people create clarity, but then energetically and emotionally build themselves up so that they can stay committed to the execution. Because it doesn’t matter whether it takes you six months, or a year or two years. What matters is achieving it.
And so that’s where essentially once you have that vision that you’re working towards, so that here is my you know, pitch the goal out let’s replace it with this VFA, forget about times, this isn’t like here’s what I’m going to do in the next few years. What I’m going to do in the next five years, it’s this is what I want to create, period. This is what’s most important for me to achieve in my world right now. And I’m committed to moving towards that in the most direct and intentional way that I can. And whether that however long that takes me I will get there, then you break it down into seasons, and then you start looking at just this season. What are the choices and decisions and actions that I can take that will lead me that direction? And that’s where you start getting more tactical. That’s where you start, you know, putting like, Okay, I want to work on this one this week. Right? I want to focus on this one today. Because those are things we actually can put some boundaries around. Yeah, you know, what’s gonna happen a year from now particularly for a location independent entrepreneur, who the frick knows, did any of us know that this year was gonna look like this? Heck no. Right. So, you know, let’s, let’s give up on that. Because it doesn’t fit an entrepreneur’s life particularly not a location independent entrepreneur’s life. Fine for corporate, not for us. That’s part of why I think I’ve kind of rocked the boat for a lot of people on that front.
Amy Scott 14:45
Yeah, I’m really glad you shared that. We will definitely get into talking a bit more about that more tactical piece. I want to jump in here to point out that I actually so as I’ve been working with you on this, naturally I’ve been thinking about My own work and you know, the goals that I’ve created for my business over the years that very much, like you said, didn’t pan out, and then I feel like crap, and you know, all these things. So this approach really resonates with me. And as you were just talking, I realized, you know, thinking about people who are likely to be listening to this, you know, some of them are already living their Nomadtopia. But also for people who aren’t.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 15:21
Amy Scott 15:21
It’s that same idea that like your Nomadtopia, the vision that you’re trying to create for your life can also be that vivid future accomplishment that you want to keep as, as that star to guide you. And, as we all know, sometimes it can take a really long time to get to the point where you’re actually stepping into it and living it. And there can be lots of factors that go into how long it takes. But yeah, to not be attached to it happening by a particular time, really gives you some, some freedom.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 15:55
And giving it the opportunity to evolve in phases, which is essentially exactly what happened for us. And you know this part of our story, Amy, but, you know, as I said, we’ve been full time digital nomads, we’ve, you know, traveled around for two and a half years now or two plus years. But because of restrictions due to my husband’s remote work, we’ve had to stay in the United States. That wasn’t that’s not my, you know, that’s not my topia, like, I would love to be traveling internationally, I’ve personally, I’ve visited 34 different countries already, I would love to be taking my daughter to all of those places, that has not yet been possible because of the restrictions on his job. But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been nomads, and that we haven’t been living a version. It’s step one, a phase one. And so giving, you know, giving yourself credit for whatever version you’re living right now, even if it’s not the exact ideal that you’re choosing to continue to move towards is still important.
Amy Scott 16:53
Yeah, yeah. And especially right now, right? Like, we’re definitely in a phase where a lot of people aren’t able to live the fully expressed version that they’ve imagined. But you can find a way to do part of it, are to make some adjustments for now until you know that bigger vision is possible. I was trying to think of an example to put with this question, but I’m just gonna, I can’t think of anything. So maybe you have one. Because as we’ve just been talking about the idea of not attaching a time to it definitely feels liberating in a lot of ways. But I feel like there are also times that maybe it does matter how long it takes, like, maybe there is something that it’s like, you need to do it soon. Or why bother? Or you know, as I’m thinking, how do you approach things that do for some reason, have more time, restriction.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 17:45
So my biggest thing is don’t put fake time restrictions. But there are definitely times when having a due date or a deadline can be a motivating force. So I mean, I’ll give you an example from our own story, we decided to become digital nomads, when for the third time in two years, the place that we rented was no longer going to be like literally it was being sold out from under us. And we were like, had just so done with moving a whole house worth of stuff over and over again. So let’s get rid of that house worth of stuff, have a few suitcases worth of stuff, and then I’ll move as often as you want. That was a motivating force. But for us, we ended up with an imposed time deadline on that. So there can be times when choosing a deadline can force and contain action. And I do believe that there are some times where you know, let’s use Nomadtopia as a great example. So if your VFA is to be living this life, and you just keep pushing it further and further and further into the future, then there does become a point at which choosing a horizon, just you know, wherever your comfort zone needs to be is that three months from now, six months from now, a year from now choose a horizon and work with all intention towards it. And you’ll know as you get closer to it, whether or not that’s realistic, you’ll know whether or not you’re basically pushing yourself into burnout by committing to that horizon and you need to renegotiate with about it. And that’s one of the places that I talk about that a lot in the course about when you when you are basically creating the horizon for us. It was the we need you out because we’re selling the house. Like that was not created that was in boat that was real, therefore we had to kind of go with it. But when you are creating it, you’ll know if the horizon is legit. Like if it’s authentic and you it feels functional, and certainly the closer you get to it. You might get all the scares and all the feels and all the whatevers but you’ll know that you can do it. Yeah, yeah. Or if you can’t, like you know what I need one more month. Like this isn’t gonna happen. And so I need to give it one more month, and then it becomes real. Yeah. So that’s how I think about you know, it’s not that time isn’t useful. It’s use it in the right doses.
Amy Scott 20:09
Yeah. Well, you also touched on a really important point about kind of the flip side of, oh, there’s no timeframe on this. It’ll be Oh, and maybe it’ll be next year, maybe it’ll be five years from now. And then you never actually accomplish what you do want b because you just keep pushing it out.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 20:29
That’s really an attitude thing. You know, I when I talk about VFAs, one of the things I say is, the intention is to achieve this as directly and intentionally as possible. Mm hmm. So this isn’t a someday pipe dream thing. This is a I’m committed to this. I am taking action towards this every day, every week in you know, with diligence and intentionality. And so if you’re doing that, with if the best of all possible energy behind it, you’ll know how long that takes to get there. Yeah. But once you’re in it, once you’re on the road, then you begin to deal to say, Yeah, I can do this in three months. Yeah, I can do like, let’s, let’s see how close I can get to that. And it’ll just, you just keep pushing towards what feels like your reasonable horizon.
Amy Scott 21:20
Yeah. Yeah, I love that. Okay, so let’s switch a bit into talking a bit more of the details around the seasonal planning, as you touched on that a little bit already. And, again, this is another concept that really resonated with me, I feel like it’s something I’ve maybe done less, you know, not like kind of unknowingly, yeah, like, consciously just kind of done it in ways. But I like, again, your intentional approach to establishing what those seasons are, and how to how to plan accordingly. So tell us a bit walk us through a bit more how that works.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 21:51
So I’m a big believer that one of our most untapped and valuable resources is our ability to focus, which means that the more that we give ourselves permission to create a level of focus on what is truly most important to me right now, the more we really leverage our like, tremendous power to accomplish big things, which means that essentially, the underpinning idea behind seasonal planning is if you’ve got these VFAs, these great visions over here that you you’ve committed yourself to work towards, then in any given season, you want to make sure that you’re focused specifically on one here is the one most important, this is the thing that more than anything deserves as much of my time and attention as I can give it. And then what I usually say is, then you can have two secondaries. Here’s the primary and you can give yourself two secondaries. If you go over, like beyond those three, you’re spreading yourself too thin. And you’re, it’s kind of like the classic of, if somebody handed you three sets of keys, and told you, I need these cars to be there, then you end up having to like spend how much time moving the car down the road, it’s like, what I get into this car, I drive it 100 yards down the road, then I run back and I get into the next car, and I drive that one 100 yards down the road, and then I get out of that one, run back, get into the third car, drive it 100 yards down the road. And I have to keep doing this over and over and over again to get it 100 miles down the road that these cars need to be No, this is just bonkers. This is just a great way to waste a lot of time.
So that’s why when I talk about seasonal planning, one of the first things I suggest is give yourself permission to be focused, choose that one primary most important piece of work, the thing that’s connected to one of your VFA is that this is any additional time and attention I have should go here. And that doesn’t mean you’re going to let everything else fly. But it but by making that decision, you’re basically then taking that decision out of all the rest of days, so that every new day that comes up when you’re trying to decide what do I want to get done as often as possible, that should be the next step related to that thing. So that’s your one. Like we talked about your inspired action. When we take this down to a daily level, it’s on a daily basis. What is the one task that you are, it’s most important that you’re committing to get done today and as often as possible? That should be your seasonal first priority, which should be related to your VFA it won’t always and that’s fine, but as often as possible, because that’s what showing up and taking action on a daily basis towards what you care about looks like. So the seasonal plan is essentially declaring what that one is deciding what’s your next to like, here are my two secondaries and making the firm decision for yourself Then anything that’s not these can wait till next season. It’s just it’s a choice. Yeah, these things, yes, these things might all be helpful, useful, exciting, valuable, not this season, I will reevaluate next season. And I, you know, when I, one of the things that I think is kind of unique about my approach is unlike folks who like, I’m sure you guys have heard of the 90-day plan, you know
Amy Scott 25:25
The 12-Week Year
Erin Elizabeth Wells 25:27
Yeah, exactly the 12-Week Year, all of these kinds of things. So for me all that stuff’s too corporate, like, I don’t need that level of structure, I need to say, here’s my season. And I’m going to decide when it begins one events, and each of us has that choice has that flexibility. So you can look at your upcoming travel plans and say, Okay, well, I’m going to be in this location for the next two months. So that’s going to be my season right now. There we go. Just what am I gonna do in this season, and then I’m gonna change locations, and then I’m going to decide, okay, I’m going to be there for another three months, there’s my next season. So I generally say that your year should have at minimum two seasons to it. And probably four or five is like the max, like, you don’t want to have it be like 12, I can almost promise you, you can’t get nearly as much done in a month as you wish you could. But four or five, so you’re getting you know, at least two to four months, two to six months in any given season. That’s kind of, you know, that’s why I say, do it the way that works for you. Because that’s what’s going to be most authentic, that’s going to be what’s most natural. And that’s what’s gonna be able to kind of have a shape to it that you can actually connect with.
Amy Scott 26:41
Yeah, yeah, I love that. And it definitely also takes into consideration for those who move around frequently, it looks at like you’re just saying, like, what makes sense to take advantage of being in one place? And what are things that either you can keep your fingers in, if you’re moving around frequently for a while, or just have that be a downtime, where you’re not committed to, like getting a new product or service launched or something like that, which is obviously hard to do when you’re moving around.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 27:18
It’s the you know, Can you can you prep and batch the things so that they’re all basically up and ready to go. And your team can handle all of the day to day for, you know, some period of time that yeah, exactly.
Amy Scott 27:29
Yeah. Love it. I think you’ve touched a bit on this already, you know, the way that this goes from kind of that big picture vision down to what can I do in the next however many months or whatever my season is, that goes toward that vision. And then from there, breaking it down even further to like, what am I going to do this week? What am I going to do today? And it’s been really helpful for me, and I think, probably so far for me, one of the most significant changes has been recognizing that it’s not all going to get done, like ever.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 28:06
It’s okay to let go of that.
Amy Scott 28:08
Yes, yeah. And then on a regular basis to be looking through, you know, the things that I’ve like, just been getting out of my head and into Asana or whatever. And saying like, nope, not right now. I’m not working on this right now. Not right now not a priority, you know, and being able to clear space in to create that clarity for the things that are a priority right now. That’s been really helpful for me.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 28:34
Yeah, it feels just really liberating for me is that feel true for you to definitely, you know, and I think you hit on a really important piece that I was also somewhat unique in my, in my work where I find it, one of the biggest problems or pressures that most of us create is started with a sense of my job is to finish the list, like I make a list. And then my job is to finish the list. And this is what we’re taught about how productivity is supposed to work. Here’s the list. And then I just need to keep going until the list is finished. But here’s where I kind of go, Okay, that’s a load of baloney. I want you to pitch that idea out the window. Because the reality is there will always be new things. This is just life. This is the flow of being engaged and involved in a life and a business and a family and whatever. There will always be other things that belong on the list. Yeah. Which is why the more that we stay attached to this idea that our job is to finish the list, the more we’re actually disempowering ourselves because then we just the list becomes a burden. The list doesn’t have to be a burden. The list is a tool it’s a friend.
One of the metaphors I like to use it I know you’ve seen the course is to look at your list like a menu of options. These are the things you could choose to do today. Which one you want. Yeah, these are the options on your plate, which one do you feel called to do or which one would be the highest and best use of your time and attention at the moment, right? That gives you a completely different relationship with the list because the list isn’t then this like slave driver that’s like, Oh, I must get this all done. It’s not this taskmaster, that’s like, you know, work, work, work, work, work until it’s all completed because it won’t be forget about it. You know, I have said this many times, in the best of all possible worlds, you will still have a task list on the day you die. Because all that saying is that you still had things you cared about, still had people you cared about, you know, the content of what’s on that list may change over time. But maybe, I mean, I think of my grandmother, and she, you know, she used to send birthday cards to all of her children, all of her children, spouses, all of her grandchildren. Now, my grandmother had 11 children who do the math, that’s a frickin lot of people. But that was the content of her list in her final days. Now, I will say she ended up with dementia. And there came a point in time with the onset, decided she was no longer responsible for sending those cards. And in some ways, I find that to be a very sad story. Because you know, while there are beautiful lessons and dementia, and presence and all this kind of stuff that we could wander through, it’s it is about the best of all possible worlds, there will still be things on your list that you cared about, because there’s still people you cared about and choices you wanted to make and actions you wanted to take and places you wanted to go.
Amy Scott 31:32
Yeah, and I think going back a little bit to not feeling overwhelmed by your lists and feeling like you have to get it all done today. At the same time, what I found helpful is by getting clear on the just the few things that I do want to focus on today, then I can still have that satisfaction of like, check, check, check. I did all the things on my list today. So it’s like the best of both worlds. You know, it’s like, yeah, obviously, I’m not going to get done the 1000 things on my list, but I can get done three or four, maybe five or six, if it’s a good day and feel good about that.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 32:07
Yeah. And then that’s part of you know, core to my approach as well is I would rather set you up for every single day experiencing a win. Because that’s going to improve your productivity. Far more than all of these like you make this I often refer them as dream list. Like, here’s the 12 things I want to do today. And then when you only get four or five of them done, you’re beating yourself up, because you didn’t do the other how many? And it’s like, how is that helpful? Like, how is that really supporting our progress, our sense of accomplishment or sense of success and achievement? If every day we feel like a failure? Forget that. Like that’s who’s that? Like? Goodness gracious? Yes. You know, that’s really why we, you know, we need to change how we approach it, so that we can feel like every single day, we know what we’re doing. We’re getting it done. We know what we’re doing. We’re getting it done. We’re creating that kind of rhythm of consistent accomplishment and success that will take us anywhere.
Amy Scott 33:10
Yeah, yeah. And then I feel like it’s easier to believe and know that you’re the kind of person who can get things done. And that I think, is I have a hunch, probably even more than I realized, I have some stories about my inability to get things done. You know, I’m unorganized. I’m, you know, whatever. And a lot of it isn’t actually true. It’s just finding the systems. And that as we’re talking about the intangible organization to, to create, kind of set myself up for success, basically.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 33:48
Yes, exactly. And a lot of it is because, you know, we got told that this is what success had to look like, or that this is what a good worker did. La dee da dee da. And a lot of that stuff a does not fit entrepreneurs’ lives, certainly doesn’t fit location, independent traveler, entrepreneur slice and in honestly, is just highly disempowering overall, like even you know, I mean, I used to do this work in corporations, I worked with corporate CEOs and did corporate trainings. And, you know, the, the content of like those these core methodologies was very similar. Because the reality is that too often, you know, what’s, I think there’s a classic quote from him, it was Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, but it’s the concept that we dramatically overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, and dramatically underestimate what we can accomplish in 10 years. And I think that speaks to the same thing of you know, we too often overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a season or a year. Where it’s like if we just focused on what’s in front of us? And what’s the best action I can take right now? And you did that every single day setting yourself up for that belief of I’m somebody who knows what’s most important to me and I get it done. Like, what? What door can’t you unlock? What accomplishment can’t—like every opportunity is available.
Amy Scott 35:18
Love that. Well, I think that’s a great place to wrap up and send people off, go do your stuff. Go do it. You’ve got all the tools.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 35:27
Go get something done! You got this.
Amy Scott 35:31
Thank you so much, Erin, this has been great. Where can people find you online, if they’d like to learn more or just connect with you.
Erin Elizabeth Wells 35:37
So you can find me in all the various social media places @chosencourse, as well as we have some great resources that you can find at chosen course.com/iwantmore. And that would be a great place to get access to all of the tools and resources and I’ve got a five, you know, our five-minute daily plan and editorial calendar guides and all sorts of fun things that hang out there.
Amy Scott 36:03
Excellent. All right. Well, thanks again, Erin. And thanks, everyone for listening, and we’ll see you on the road.
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