Episode 50: How to Stop Wasting Time and Get More Done Every Day with Penny Zenker

June 22, 2020

In this episode, Penny Zenker shares the benefits she received from writing her book and how she structured her book to save time and energy also how to determine which goals should be tackled in what order, how to find the time for projects you keep putting off because you don’t think you have time to fit them into your schedule,  and more time-management tips to help you become more productive in less time!

Resources mentioned

Website: Pennyskeynote.com

Distractionquiz.com for the distraction assessment

Book: The Productivity Zone

Books Business Abundance Facebook Group

3 Key Points

Creating a structure first always saves time and energy on any project.

You have to plan for success.

You must decide what the criteria is before you can decide what is urgent, what is important, and what is not urgent and/or important before you can delegate or automate.


[00:51] Ellen: Hi and welcome to Episode 50. Today my guest is Penny Zenker. Penny is an international speaker, business strategist coach, and bestselling author. Penny founded, developed, sold her first multimillion-dollar business while living in Zurich, Switzerland. Later, at the world’s fourth largest market research company, she managed businesses until turnarounds and was a Tony Robbins business coach. Her clients tell her that her gift is cutting out the clutter and helping them focus on the most important relevant areas to sustain growth in their business. So, welcome to the call, Penny.

[01:28] Penny: Thank you, Ellen. It’s nice to be here.

[01:30] Ellen: Oh, I’m so happy to meet you. You came highly recommended to me.

[01:34] Penny: That’s nice. That’s always good to hear.

[01:37] Ellen: Yeah. Well, tell us more about your journey.

[01:40] Penny: It’s been an interesting life-long series of lessons, right? As we’ve all had. And I guess I’ll talk about my journey leading up to my book and why I decided to write my book. I think from God ever since I can remember, probably from when I was ten, I remember that I’ve always wanted to write a book. And it’s because we read other people’s stories, and we get such a powerful impact from reading the stories of others and from learning from others. And I was so moved by movies that I saw and books that I had read that I thought, “One day, I really want to do that.”

Ellen: Me too!

Penny: And, they all have a book in us. Right? But if this was my business book, I know that I have another book in me too, I’m just not ready to pop it out yet.

[02:32] Ellen: Yeah. I just had a pull to write a book too. So, we’re kindred spirits. Yeah,

[02:36] Penny: Absolutely. And there’s so much that we can learn from others. Like one of the things like I’m in love with the human spirit. I just love hearing other people’s stories of overcoming and how they learned a particular lesson. It connects me with my lesson, but it also connects me with them. And I think it really connects me with my place in the universe as well. I mean, that sounds deep and maybe kind of big, but I really feel that way.

[03:02] Ellen: So, what do you think the benefits were when you wrote the book? What happened for you when you wrote the book?

[03:09] Penny: Well, it was an interesting place in my career because I started out having my own technology business, and then sold that and went to work for a public company. And, at that point, when I left that big organization, I was having my kids, and I wanted to continue to grow businesses, but I didn’t want all the responsibility that I had there at this large organization.

So, I actually then went to work for Tony Robbins in business breakthroughs and worked with clients all around the world. And I loved it. I loved coaching one-on-one, but I wanted to make a bigger impact. Like how many people can you serve one-on-one?  There’s a cap to it, right? There’s only so many hours I have in a day. And I thought maybe this is the time it was a joint venture between Tony and Chet Holmes. And I remember thinking, “Well, I would love to be able to take the stage, but only Tony’s really on Tony’s stage.”

[04:02] Ellen: Right.

[04:03] Penny: And so, I decided that was the time to make a leap. I was like, “I’m going to write this book.” And I’m going to use that as a means to get on stages and create myself as that authority cause a book, believe it or not, like writing this book opened up a lot of doors for me to be able to do more speaking engagements, to get higher fees for speaking engagements. And I’ve been hired directly after people read my book and said, “Hey, I really connected; I’d like to work with you.” So, I love that business card.

[04:39] Ellen: Yeah. I love that because that’s exactly what happens for my clients. Exactly. Yeah. And we even changed the branding of my company and the site is  booksopendoors.com. So, I love hearing that. Love, love, love, hearing that. Yeah. So, tell us more what the book’s about.

04: 59 Penny: So, the book is called The Productivity Zone, Stop the Tug of War with Time.

[05:03] Ellen: Nice.

[05:04] Penny: And a lot of people say, “Oh, you’re about time management and you’re about productivity.” The thing is, I believe that productivity is a byproduct of thinking and acting more strategically. So, The Productivity Zone is basically, if you could imagine a bell curve, what one looks like, it’s not about standard deviation, but just that as a framework that tells us that in the center is where the productivity zone is; that’s where we think and act strategically.

What are the ten fundamentals, the ten behaviors and things that we need to focus on in order to be both efficient and effective-that’s the axis, and what’s outside the zone, right? So, we’re either over-functioning or under-functioning. So, I built the book around these three segments of these ten core drivers, which talk about our mindset, our strategies, and then how to make it sustainable. So, that’s kind of the gist of what the book is. And it’s really about stepping back and looking at the big picture and seeing how we can think and act more strategically.

[06:06] Ellen: So, can you give us some tips on how to do that?

[06:09] Penny: Sure. I can do it in conjunction with writing a book as well if you’d like.

Ellen:  Okay.

Penny: The interesting thing is, is that these ten drivers in those three areas, they apply to every single area of our business and every area of our life. So, it could be around health that it can be applied. It can be writing, to writing a book. So, an example area is if we looked at the mindset piece, right? And I’m sure you work with your writers around mindset, because if I don’t consider myself a writer and I put myself down,” I’m not a writer. I can’t write, I suck at writing.” Right?

So, this is the self-talk thing. And if we believe the B.S. that we’re telling ourselves, then we’re going to get stuck for no other reason than we’re telling ourselves that we were not good at it. So, that’s an example is recognizing where is your self-talk.

And is it harming you and holding you back and limiting you or is it opening up potential and being able to propel you forward? So, that’s one of the areas. Let’s say another area that’s in the strategy area is planning, right? You have to plan for success. We’re very impulsive creatures, especially in this time and age with the last study I saw was 150 times we’re looking at our phone.

Ellen: Yikes.

Penny: We’re addictive, we’re impulsive and so, that’s why we have to be even more purposeful in directing our focus around these ten drivers. So, planning is one of them. And one of the things that I had to do when writing my book, I was a single mom, my kids were two and four years old. And so, they needed a lot of attention during the day. Right?

[07:48] Ellen: Right.

[07:49] Penny: So, I wrote my book in the morning before they woke up and at night after they went to bed because that was the quiet time that I had.

[07:59] Ellen: I hope everybody’s hearing that. Cause I hear so many people say, Oh, they can’t find time to write it. You’ve got a two-year-old. That’s amazing.

08: 06 Penny: Right?

[08:07] Ellen: And a four-year-old. Yeah.

[08:09] Penny: We just can’t listen to our own excuses. We have to say, “Well, how can I find? and I got some people to support me and I was very structured in my approach. Right? So again, in planning, I set out the structure of my book first. So, I knew that I had these three areas. I had the mindset, I had strategies, and I had the sustainability. Well there I have sections, and I have ten drivers. So, there I have chapters, and then work with the end in mind kind of thing, right?

[08:42] Ellen: Right.

[08:43] Penny: Where I defined and have the takeaways, what are the main takeaways of each chapter? Put those at the end; here are the takeaways. And then, it’s easier to fill it in when you already know what your takeaways are to be. I did also a structure of I’d have one quote that started the chapter. And then, I would tell a story, personal story to start the chapter. And then, I would go into the teaching points. So, having that structure made it so much quicker and easier to fill in versus kind of with an empty plate. Right? So, doing that.

[09:15] Ellen: Oh absolutely. Yeah. I have a workshop that I’ve taught many, many times over the years and when anybody would get stuck in the workshop, I would say to them, “Did you fill out the outline?” And they would always say,” No.” And I would say, “Why not?” And they would say, “I don’t know.” So, yeah. Figuring out your structure is so important. Absolutely.

[09:36] Penny: Then once you have it, it’s easy, like you said. Right? But it is something; we don’t like structure, especially creative people. Analyticals, they’ll do that structure right away. Right?

Ellen: Right, right.

Penny: But, creatives, “Oh that’s going to break my creativity. But it actually opens up your creativity.” Right?

[09:52] Ellen: Well, I’m really lucky that way because I was in the music business for many years, and I started out as a lyricist. And when you write a song, you have to write in a structure. And so, you learn how to be creative within a structure. And so, I think that really had a huge impact on me because even though I am a creative, when I started writing books, there was no other way to me to do it. But yeah. I think you’re absolutely right.

[10:16] Penny: I think for some people, right.

Ellen: What?

Penny: I think, that’s why it’s hard for some people, they haven’t had that training.

[10:24] Ellen: Right. But it just shows you that it’s learnable; you just learn to think within a structure. And you can write whatever it is you want to write, but yeah, still, even within that, I see people where they’ll skip ideas within a paragraph. It’s like, they’re talking about something, and then all of a sudden, they’re talking about something else. And it’s like, no, you have to stay within whatever that topic was within that paragraph. So, it’s not just within the books, not just within the outline, but also within each paragraph, and then within each chapter and then in the whole (book). So, you always have to be thinking in each section, in each structure.

[10:59] Penny: That’s why it’s so much easier when you work with someone, right?

Ellen: Yeah, yeah.

Penny: Someone like yourself who can help you, that you’ve got that support. So, if you go off the rails, you’ve got someone like yourself to bring you back in and help you regroup and get back to it.

[11:12] Ellen: Yeah. So, what’s your best productivity tip?

[11:15] Penny: For writing the book?

[11:17] Ellen: For anything, for being more productive?

[11:19] Penny: Well, I think that structure is definitely one of them, right? We fall back on our structure. We need to have more gatekeepers. So, structure is a gatekeeper. Because we’re so impulsive, and we get distracted. So, having filters and questions that we ask ourselves. Or,  people know gatekeepers as like a CEO might have an assistant that keeps you from getting on their calendar. Where the idea of gatekeeper comes from, but we have lots of gatekeepers like having goals are gatekeepers. The more we look at our goals, they’re going to keep us focused on that goal and the things that we need in order to achieve our goal.

So, I’d say, is really set up yourself for accountability in these gatekeepers to keep you intentional and purposeful because it’s so easy to get off track. Mentally we get off track, right? And emotionally. Though it’s our own fault, but we can put things in place to help set those reminders and filters and create an environment that supports us. I think that’s the most important thing is to set up gatekeepers for accountability.

[12:27] Ellen: Awesome. Okay. And I would say that if you can’t do that yourself, definitely hire a coach because, sometimes, we have a tendency to the only way I can say it is to bullshit ourselves.

[12:40] Penny: Oh, for sure. We have blind spots.

Ellen: Yeah.

Penny:  And we have all those excuses that we hide behind, right? And so, we do need to have coaches and people in our lives to support us. And I think the other reason coaches are really important in every area, I have a coach, I have a mastermind group. I have a lot of people that I’ve surrounded myself to push me because I also want to get to my end goal faster. And I don’t have the experience, why wouldn’t I want to get there faster and avoid the bumps and bruises along the way? Like I’d much rather get there without those then have to go through all the aches and pains that come along with doing it myself.

[13:19] Ellen: Yeah. Well, another thing I finally realized was that you don’t know what you don’t know, so you can’t teach yourself what you don’t know.

[12:27]: Penny: That’s right.

[12:29] Ellen: So, let’s talk a little bit about the time-management piece. So, one of the other big excuses I see so many people say about writing a book is they don’t have the time. And especially now, you’ve got parents who have kids at home that they’re not used to having, they’re doing homeschooling. I have people say they don’t have a quiet place to write. There’s just dealing with more stuff. Like for us, it’s just getting the damn groceries. Every time the groceries are delivered, it’s half a day putting stuff away and wiping stuff off and all that sort of thing. So, what do you think about time management?

[14:01] Penny: Well, one of them, like you said, is just getting past the excuses. So, little things, even though you’ve got these things in the way, how can I still do the things? Give yourself permission in a way acknowledge that there’s stuff going on. Right? Even though I have a two and four-year-old, how can I still write this book? And by the way, I wrote it in six months,

[14:21] Ellen: That’s not bad doing it on your own.

[14:23] Penny:  Right. And I think it was pretty fast because I allowed myself to say, “Yes, I have some circumstances that make it more difficult, but I still want to do this. And so, I have to figure out a way to do it.” And remember, I told you about that productivity curve and in the center was ten drivers. Well, on the outsides are where we over and under function. This is where…

Ellen:  What does that mean?

Penny: So, it’s where our excuses take place. So, under procrastination. Right? So, we find all the reasons why I don’t have enough experience. My kids are young. There’s so much noise in the house.

[14:55] Ellen: That’s right.

[14:56] Penny: or, the other side is perfection.

Ellen: Oh, yes.

Penny: Or,  I have enough experience.

[14:59] Ellen: Yes.

[15:01] Penny: I’ll overanalyze and read 5,000 other people’s books and research, but I’ll never actually do it myself.

[15:08] Ellen: Yeah. So, there are a lot of writers who do that, or what they’ll do is they’ll get into editing and re-editing.

[15:14] Penny: Oh my God, re-editing for a lifetime.

[15:16] Ellen: Yeah.  And then, I just did a podcast with somebody, I don’t know it was last week or the week before, but I’m in her thing when she said, “Oh, I have four or five books on my computer that I’ve never published.”

[15:27] Penny: Right. It’s sad, right?  because you spent all the time and effort getting it there. So, there’s a fear that you’re going to be judged. And I’m putting really personal stories are in my book.

[15:38] Ellen: Right.

[15:39] Penny: What are people going to think? What if they think my book sucks?

[15:42] Ellen: Guess what? I have a great story about that. One of my best friends wrote a book with a top thought leader. They put it on Amazon, and it just got creamed. And I can remember I was about to put something out, and I was fearful of that. And she said to me, “Go look at my book.” And, somehow, it gave me permission. It was like,” Oh, well, if they could put out a book and it was actually panned, how bad is this going to be?” And the other side, it was when I wrote my first book, the funny thing is what I look back now is I thought, “I can do this.” And so, I just did it. But when I looked back later, when I went to update it, I was like, “Wow, this is terrible.”

[16:25] Penny: Right. As you grow with more experience. Right?

[16:28] Ellen: Yeah. And that’s always going to be true, as you get better, you think the ones you did before suck.

[16:32] Penny: Right? I think this was before I wrote the book, and maybe it really helped me as my brother had written a song, but he didn’t want to put it out there because he was afraid that it wouldn’t touch everyone.

Ellen: Oh, un-huh.

Penny:  It was a song about his son. And I remember saying, “Well, not everybody likes the Beatles.”

[16:50] Ellen:  Right. That’s right. And there’s a very famous song that Kenny Loggins did about his son.

[16:56]: It’s a beautiful song.

Penny: But he didn’t really do anything with it because he was fearful of how people would receive it.  I know that a lot of people feel that way. And I think I’ve grown a thick skin over the years and I’m like, “So what?” You do your best; you put it out there; and more than likely, more people will like it then not like it and it will attract and connect with the people. And when you do it right, when you work with a coach and somebody who knows how to push the quality into a certain dimension…

I don’t know how you feel about these, but a friend of mine wanted to do this, write your book in a weekend. And it was horrible because all they did was have them talk it into… audio is good. And if you want to capture some of your story to put it in audio, that’s great. But they were going to publish it exactly like that.

Ellen: Oh.

Penny: So disorganized.

[17:46] Ellen: Yeah. No, that’s not good. I actually was one of the first people to do that. The workshop that I created back in 2004, you do write your book in a weekend, but it’s actually three days. It’s not two days. Its Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

[17:58] Penny: From knowing you, you’ve got a lot more structure, a lot more…

[18:01] Ellen: Yeah. But I do a lot of training before they do it, and it’s all by step-by-step and all that. Yeah. And then, after they write it, then I teach them about editing and formatting and making sure that it’s professional. I don’t ever want anyone to just write it fast and put something out that’s crappy. The idea is to learn how to write it fast and get it out and have it be professional is the idea. But it’s also a process.

[18:24] Penny: it should have to be professionally edited.

[18:26] Ellen: Right, right. When I wrote my first book, I think it took me about nine months. It was hard, and it was depressing. And I wasn’t writing about the things that I write about now; it was is the first one. And it was on moving, and it was boring after a while,  and I couldn’t find a good coach, and it was very difficult, but it was what spurred me on to think, “I can do this better.” And that’s why I created my workshop. But the last book I wrote, I wrote in a day, but the rest of it was then going back, putting in pictures, cleaning it up or whatever.

But what happens is once you know how to do this, the process just got faster and faster, number one. And number two, what we said before, the more organized you are when you start out and the more of the foundational work, you do the faster, you can write a book. So, when people are all like you can’t write a book in three days. Yeah, you can, and it’s one of the ones that people actually like of mine the best. It’s, what is it? 21 Simple Strategies to Jumpstart your Marketing. Huh?

[19:21] Penny: That’s awesome. Cause people do like to speed, right? So, we want to see things in speed, and I’m glad that you do it in a quality way.

[19:29] Ellen: Yeah, no, you have to do it. There’s no point in doing it if you’re not going to do it the best that you can do at this time.

[19:36] Penny: Yeah. But you have to vet the people. Right? Because there are different people out there, there are coaches.

[19:42] Ellen: Oh, absolutely.

[19:44] Penny: All different forms. And you’ve got to vet people because if you’re not sure what you’re getting, and then you don’t get what you wanted at the end. It’s even more frustrating, right? That you spent your time, money, and energy, and then you didn’t get it.

[19:57] Ellen: Well, yeah. That is a huge problem that I see now because what happens is somebody writes a book and somebody sees they wrote a book and they go, “Oh, I see you write a book. How’d you do that? Teach me how to write a book.”

[20:08] Penny: Great. And then, all of a sudden, I’m in the business of teaching people how to write a book.

[20:12] Ellen: Right. And they don’t have the years of experience, and the feedback and the refining it, and doing it themselves over and over and really knowing how to help people no matter what their issues they run up against. So yeah.

But getting back to time management. I just want to say that one of the things that has helped me the most personally is scheduling. Like I’ve got to the point where I even scheduled lunch because I noticed I wasn’t getting time to eat and I was like, hurrying. No, everything has to be scheduled.

[20:44] So, what are some other tips that you like about time management?

[20:49] Penny: Well, I have tons of different tips. So, prioritization, right? If we’re talking about, that’s a really important aspect too, because, and it’s all fits together, right? Because you’re going to plan and set that structure into place.

Ellen: Right.

Penny: Prioritize or prioritize, and then plan, and then to schedule, right?  Cause you should be scheduling your priority. And so, I find a lot of people have trouble prioritizing.

[21:13] Ellen: Me.

[21:14] Penny: There you go.

[21:15] Ellen: I was just going to ask you, I was going to say, sometimes, I’ll make a list. Okay. This is what I need to do.”  Then I go, “They’re all important. What do I do?” So, what do you say to somebody like that?

[21:24] Penny: So, again, that’s one of the excuses that we tell ourselves, right? So, we don’t have to choose. But if you were working at a hospital, how do they decide with all those people who might be coming in and sitting in the waiting room with all sorts of different challenges, how do they get them in the back?

[21:44] Ellen: I don’t know, how do they get them in the back? Well, they decide who’s the most critical.

[21:47] Penny: Okay. So, they have a criterion.

Ellen: Yeah.

Penny: Who’s the most critical? Do they have any other criteria?

[21:52] Ellen: Probably, who can pay, unfortunately.

[21:56] Penny: Maybe, who can pay, right? And then maybe they have some other criteria like who came in first, right?

[22:02] Ellen: That hasn’t been my experience. I don’t think they do look at who came in first. They do have the ones that are not…

[22:08] Penny: That are not critical.

Ellen: Right, right.

Penny: So, they’ve got a couple of things that create criteria.

[22:13] Ellen: So, what would you say are the best criteria to look at?

[22:17] Penny: We’re not clear on our criteria.

Ellen: Uh-huh.

Penny: So, when you say, so let’s use you as an example, right? Everybody can learn from it cause we’re similar in this. So, what’s your criteria for determining what goes first?

[22:31] Ellen: One is definitely urgency, but sometimes urgent…

[22:35] Penny: You’re saying, they’re all urgent?

[22:37] Ellen: No. no, no.  They’re not all urgent.

Penny: So, you recognize that they’re not.

Ellen: Like for instance, for me, like my business is the books and the coaching and the book services, but I’m also a Grammy-nominated songwriter. And I was out of the business for many years, but I wanted to get back in because I really had never planned to get out. It just kind of happened. And so, it just so happened that a couple of days , I got an email and it said that there was this contest and that I could get into the contest. Well, that became urgent. Right?

Because I only had to go through today to get it done. So, that got to the top of my list, also was it at the top of my list was if I had things on my schedule like this, where it’s like, I’m doing a podcast, I have to show up. Right? But then, after that I then have to prioritize the other things that I’m working on that are the things I want to get done and that’s where I get into trouble because I want to do them all. And they all feel important to me.

[23:33] Penny: Absolutely. And I’m going to chime in on some things. But so, you said urgency is one of the things, opportunities I heard. So, this opportunity came up, it was urgent that opportunity.

Ellen: Right, right.

Penny:  And you wanted that opportunity. And then there were the things that were already scheduled because we’ve already deemed those to be important, and they’ve been placed in your schedule. So, people forget though that they do have this criterion. So, first of all, on the urgency thing is we get to question, is this really urgent?

Ellen: Ah, yes.

Penny: Because a lot of people feel like everything’s urgent.

Ellen: Right.

Penny:  So, is this urgent? And then, you have to say to yourself, “Are they really? Is that really true?” And then, you can do a process of elimination. Is this one more urgent than that? And you can do a process of elimination.

[24:16] Ellen: I love that. Yeah.

[24:18] Penny: And it’s easy when you’re there. You do it intuitively if you give yourself that structure to do it through. The other thing is I’m a value person. So, I kind of look at that Eisenhower matrix of urgency and importance and how we balance that, and I believe we need to do the things that are important first before we do the urgent things because we’ll find a way to do the urgent things cause they’re urgent. Right?  And when something urgent comes up like you did for this opportunity, you probably pushed a ton of things away, and you found ways to make that lesson. Right?

[24:51] Ellen: I did. And my husband’s yelling at me because “You promised you are going to do this and now you’re doing that”. I go, “Yeah. But don’t you want me to get in this contest? “Yeah, I do.” So, okay.

[24:58] Penny: Great. So, we also have to de-commit sometimes; we have this opportunity has more value, is of greater importance. And therefore, instead of just trying to fit it in, we get to come back, and re-shift things, and read negotiate. We forget that we can do that. So, we just have to give ourselves the space and structure to renegotiate, to value things. We have thousand-dollar tasks, we have hundred-dollar tasks, $10 tasks. So, if we look at that matrix, the things in the important but not urgent are thousand-dollar tasks, they’re more like legacy, your strategy, things that are going to create leverage, and create a speed, and a scalability later, right?

Ellen: Yeah.

Penny: Maybe it’s health and so forth. And then, the urgent and important that would be  hundred-dollar tasks. Cause sometimes you can also delegate those, right. And we’ll renegotiate them sometimes, sometimes you can, but like you’re stuck somewhere, let’s say in traffic and you’re on the turnpike and there’s a breakdown and you’ve got to pick up your kid, otherwise they’re going to, whatever they do, if you don’t pick up your kid on time. So, what do you do? You pick up the phone and you call a great friend or somebody who’s in the area and you say, “Can you do me a favor and pick up my kid?” Right? We figure it out when we have to. So, I think also….

[26:20] Ellen: But sometimes people don’t. That’s why I have people like you on because I want people to think about it, because sometimes people get stuck in it and they don’t do it. They don’t figure out how to do it because yeah, if it was your kid, you figure it out, but when it’s your business and don’t you think, “What can I do?”

[26:35] Penny: Right. I’m giving them that framework, right? The same as if it were your kid or it was a big opportunity, right? Is that we have to use those same thinking systems that work for us in other areas of our life to use it for the current experience that we have. Why would we want to load more and more stress on ourselves when there’s an option, right?

Ellen: Right.

Penny: To negotiate, to find somebody, to support you, to delegate something, to really identify ways that you can move things around.

[27:05] Ellen: I love that. Yeah. That’s a great way to think about it. I love what you talked about because it goes to a deeper level of understanding the structure and how to figure all of it out before you’re even going to think about automating or delegating.

[27:18] Penny: Yeah. Well, I kind of have a seven-step process of time-blocking and working through your time; and it’s pretty simple. It’s in the implementation, right? That it’s just, we need to consistently fall back on.

Ellen: Do it.

Penny: We have to set our goals and know what our milestones are, right? Work our way. Start with the end in mind. What’s the goal? What are the stepping stones to that? So, when I wrote my book, I decided to release it on my birthday. And so, therefore, I had to work my way back in milestones. And how many, when do I have to have the final version together to post, and how many days need do they need for editing and how many pages can I do?

[27:53] Ellen: Right exactly. Yeah.

[27:55] Penny: But then I had my milestones. And so, the second thing is that when we’ve got some kind of a goal, we also need to identify what are the things, the categories, and the drivers. I like to work top down. When I look at things, look at the big picture. So, the next level of the big picture is, “Well, what are the major categories of things that need to be done?” It’s not just writing the book, you’ve got to edit the book, right? You’ve got to have the artwork and stuff done for the cover and making sure…

[28:23] Ellen: Yeah, you’ve got to leave enough time for publishing too, which is one that people don’t realize. Sometimes, Amazon doesn’t do it right away. Sometimes they come back to you and say, change this or change that.

[28:32] Penny:  So, you’ve got to know what those categories are so that you can make sure that you’re planning for your capacity.

Ellen: Right, right.

Penny: Given all of these areas and making sure you’re not missing any, right? Where are you spending your time now? And where do you need to be spending your time? And how do you allocate that? And then, you also want to value your time, and understand what’s the value of your time, and what are you good at and what are you not good at?

[28:56] Ellen: Absolutely, that is so important. If people want to learn more about this from you, where do they go to do that?

[29:01] Penny: Then go to my website. Pennyskeynote.com. That’s my speaker site, but there are also other links to my blog, my podcast, and other tips and tricks and tools and things that I have.

[29:13] Ellen: Okay, great. Well, do you have any final thoughts before we go?

[29:17] Penny: Well, I’d like to give a free gift to your audience.

Ellen: Oh, absolutely.

Penny: We talked about is how impulsive we are. Squirrel. I’ve got a really fun distraction quiz people can take. They can go to distractionquiz.com or they can also go to my website

Ellen: And find it there.

Penny. And it will be there as well. And they get to find out whether they’re a time zombie or a squirrel or a wizard.

[29:42] Ellen: Oh, cool.

[29:43] Penny: Just a fun way to heighten awareness as to what’s distracting you and to help us to stop sort of this learned helplessness and to take more accountability and responsibility for all the distractions going on around us.

[29:56] Ellen: Yeah. Well, that’s great. Well, thank you so much.

[29:50] Penny: My pleasure. Well, thanks for having me.

[30:00] Ellen: Yeah, I loved it. So, that’s it for today to get the transcripts go to www.booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast. And you’re also welcome to join our Facebook group. That’s also on the podcast page, and you’ll get first notices for all the new podcasts there’s networking. And you can ask questions in there and we’d love to have you, so that’s it for today until next time. Bye-bye.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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