Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. Read my full disclosure policy here.
Behind every successful woman, there’s a system and “How She Actually Does It” interviews are where some of the best are “show and telling” you their top tips. Systems can come in different forms, but the end result is the same: a reliable support that keeps you moving forward on your goals with confidence and ease.
Today’s interview features Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, a Financial Therapist and self-proclaimed “True Virgo”. Read on to learn about how she focuses her efforts on the most important tasks and why you should automate everything in your finances.
How often and when do you set goals for yourself?
I set personal goals annually on my birthday (true Virgo, what can I say), and professionally I set annual overall goals and specific ones for my business quarterly.
Talk me through your weekly planning process.
I use the Productivity Planner and fill it out for the week either on Sunday evenings or Monday mornings. That’s where I lay out the must-do’s for that week. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by shiny projects that are several months out and forget about little things you committed to that have to be done in the present.
It’s so easy to get sidetracked by shiny projects that are several months out and forget about little things you committed to that have to be done in the present.
What tools do you find indispensable for staying organized?
The Productivity Planner and Google Calendar. Google Calendar houses my appointments, and the Productivity Planner houses my day-to-day tasks. For my personal goals, I keep in a Google Doc that I look at throughout the year and revisit and set new goals on my birthday.
How do you structure your workdays?
In theory, I see clients (I’m a financial therapist) Tuesdays-Fridays and do my administrative work, content prep, and networking on Mondays. In reality, those boundaries aren’t as firm as I’d like them to be. I know that this is a temporary season of busyness, and my goal for 2020 is to better adhere to these structured days.
What do you do when you feel stuck or overwhelmed?
When I feel stuck or overwhelmed, I take a break and do something that takes the least amount of brainpower. I go for a walk or watch garbage TV. If I’m stuck after that, I bring it up to my in-person mastermind. It’s a group of five of us, all female entrepreneurs, and toss my worry out to crowdsource potential solutions I hadn’t thought of.
How has your approach to productivity changed over time?
I used to be obsessed with email and would use email as my to-do list. It worked until it didn’t. Now, I set timers and abide by the Pomodoro method, which the Productivity Planner uses. It’s a time management method where you break your tasks into 25-minute sprints/blocks of time without interruption. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in 25-minutes with no distractions.
What advice would you give to someone who is intimated about setting goals around money?
I’d ask them to reflect on other goals they’ve set and achieved in their life to help them see that they have the capacity to set and achieve goals. For example, have you achieved a goal of exercising three times a week? How did you get through college? Once they can see that they can set goals, I’d ask them to think about what would feel great to do financially. E.g., would it feel great to have $5k in an emergency fund? Or to have a fully funded Hawai’i vacation? Once they pick their goal, it’s a simple reverse-engineering tactic to achieve it.
Once they pick their goal, it’s a simple reverse-engineering tactic to achieve it.
Any tips on being organized or streamlining financial management in your life? Any special tools you recommend?
Automate EVERYTHING. Automate your bill pay, your savings, your retirement. Set your bills to be due on the same day or two days each month, so your bank account isn’t a constant state of money flowing in and out (all of my bills are due on the 1st or 15th of the month). In terms of tools, each person is going to be different, but I’m a fan of Mint as a way to make sure my mental accounting lines up with where my money is actually going.
Bonus Questions! What is your favorite kind of pen to write with?
I absolutely love this question. A Zebra F-701 metal pen. It’s affordable and sturdy.
More about Lindsay!
Lindsay Bryan-Podvin is a financial therapist who started her career in the field of mental health treatment and advocacy. She helps womxn and couples strengthen their relationship with money using financial psychology. As the first financial therapist in Michigan, she combines financial literacy with the emotional and psychological side of money. She always had an interest in mental health and found an even greater love working at the intersection of mental health and money. She has a degree in sociology from Michigan State University, and her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan. She lives with her husband, and Portuguese Water Dog, Birdie, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Find her at www.mindmoneybalance.com or on Instagram @mindmoneybalance