Tag Archive: Procrastination



ProjectSuccess-Resize2If you’ve been around for a while you’ve probably heard me say that people cringe when it comes to creating a plan and that some even say it’s a waste of time. Don’t believe the hype! Planning saves you plenty of your precious time and can help keep you from hitting road blocks.

Let’s talk about that plan you’ve created. It might have been hard for you to even do that if you’re one of those people who cringe when they hear the word “plan”, so congrats for getting that done! Your plan might be related to a particular goal, a project or maybe it’s something for a client. Once you’ve got it, you might not know exactly how to proceed. The key is one bite at a time. You take that large meal, so to speak, and break it down into bite sized pieces. In your plan you would have outlined the milestones for each goal or project, and if you didn’t you’ve got to take a step back and do that.

Looking at one milestone, figure out the smaller steps or tasks; the things that need to happen to reach that milestone and add them to your calendar. Putting things on your to-do list is okay if they will take less than 15 minutes, but if they take longer and you don’t have them in your calendar with a set block of time to complete them, you’re asking for trouble. At the beginning of each week, or at the end of the week for the upcoming week, go through this process. It doesn’t take long at all. As you place things on your to-do list and into your calendar, just like eating a meal, you don’t want to bite off more that you can chew. Don’t overload your plate. The other things that have to be done can stay in the fridge until you’re ready for them. Stick to your priorities as you plan. You should have assigned a level of priority to each goal or project when you created it. That allows you to automatically know which related tasks have priority when it comes to scheduling them.

This process, if you’ve created your plan properly, works really well because at this point, your priorities have been determined. Which allows you to focus on them regularly. That’s what gets you where you want to go. This process leaves no room for guessing, because it’s been removed from the equation altogether. You’ve planned your work, now it’s time to work your plan.

 


Unproductive-ProductiveMagGlassYou have high demands on your time with things constantly competing for your attention. With so much demanding our time, it’s obvious that procrastinating doesn’t help the situation at all. When you think about or hear the term procrastination, you typically think of destructive procrastination. It really does cause upheaval. Research shows that people spend most of their time and effort working on activities that have nothing to do with the success of their projects. It’s the biggest reason that people fail to reach their goals. In one survey, 40% of those surveyed said that procrastination cost them money. If you’ve heard me share information about procrastination before or have worked with me, you know that it can cost you a lot more.

That’s the not so pretty face of procrastination, but did you know that you can actually use procrastination to boost your productivity? It’s true! There are ways to use procrastination to your advantage to feed your flow of productivity. Understand that I’m not saying that one should procrastinate in a destructive manner. Doing so will disable your level of productivity and keep you from getting things done and ultimately from reaching your goals. But there are ways to use it that will help get you to Point B.

When you look at your to-do list chances are that you see things there that don’t need to be done right away and some might not ever need to be done although you might consider everything there to be important. If you take a step back, relax, and look closer you can gain a totally different perspective. Take a look and note what you see. You might see your responsibilities as the important things, but what about the personal items on your to-do list? They can be important too. Then look at the things that you’ve been putting off. As you do, you might see things that aren’t related to your values or intentions. There might be a better way for you to reach your intention. In this case, it’s time to stop and think about other ways to reach your intention. This would be more productive than having something on your list that you are destructively procrastinating on.

Here, in this instance, you’re making a conscious choice to put something off to find a more suitable goal. Doing so contributes to your productivity. As you continue to look at the things you’ve been putting off, you might realize that there’s something that you want clarity on, or maybe additional information before you take on the task.

Take the steps necessary to get clear about the task. Consult the appropriate resources for the information that you need. If it’s clarity that’s missing for you, do what you have to do in order to get a clear picture. Try journaling, mind mapping or even creating a vision board to gain some depth and clarity.  While you’re waiting for clarity, focus on other goals and activities, while staying present to your intention. Doing so might still lead you to just the right solution;  meeting the right person, coming across the right resource, being in the right  place at the right time to hear something that you need to hear, seeing an idea,  being at an event that stimulates you to move forward. This is not an effortless process as it can be hard to sustain the patience and to trust yourself. Been there, done that!

Looking at your list and realize that you aren’t ready for something that you’ve been putting off. Maybe the opportunity is just not right. Or perhaps you’re struggling with things other than strategy, logistics, an action plan or timeline. You might just need to wait, which is truly opposite of what you’ve been taught to do, so you may not feel comfortable doing so. There’s the illusion that you’re doing something wrong if you don’t do it yesterday; being “on” 24/7/365. It’s possible that you may lose an opportunity. But you also have to realize that if you don’t allow time for things to take root, you can end up being frustrated and wasting your time and energy and maybe even money. When you wait, your ideas can gel or things can be revealed or become more apparent to you.  There is internal activity that you don’t realize takes place when you go this route.  That activity is important to the task at hand.

Finally, you can do nothing. Yes, I said do nothing. Your tendency is to push yourself and to push hard. You don’t slow down, which contributes to no down time. This gives you an opportunity to be clear about what you want to accomplish and the strategy for doing so. To keep that clarity, you have to have down time. It could be a few minutes at a time, a few hours or you might need a weekend. Whatever the length of time, take it, and then go back to the task at hand. Allow for the possibility of harmony. This is definitely something that you are not used to doing, but something that will support and aid in your productivity.

Remember what you are doing and why and this will keep you on track. The difference between destructive and productive procrastination is the conscious choice and the intention behind it.

 


Tree SilouetteEvery year people put bulbs in the ground during the fall and the following spring, flowers appear.  People plant seeds to grow their own food and have fresh vegetables all summer long.  When we plant seeds, they of course yield or produce something.  Usually we get what we want because of the conscious effort that goes into the planting.

You also yield results when you put forth an unconscious effort, with the results being not necessarily what you want. The same is so when it comes to procrastination.  Just as trees yield fruit, procrastination also brings forth “fruit”. There are things that show up when you procrastinate that negatively impact your environment.

When you think of a tree you think about its roots, branches and its leaves and the fruit that it bears. There are a number of symptoms when it comes to procrastination, and they represent the roots of the tree. The most common symptoms are being disorganized, more interesting tasks getting your attention, taking on more than you can accomplish and getting a rush when finishing things at the last minute. Chronic procrastinators usually find that one or more of these symptoms are present for them. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, meaning that procrastination is prevalent in your life, you can probably relate to these symptoms.

When you look at the things you put off, you can see the impact. The impact, or what procrastination brings into play in your life are what I call the branches and the fruit of your procrastination. Not good fruit, but fruit nonetheless. It shows up as missed deadlines, causing a project to be delayed and can even lead to the loss of a client and a not so good reputation.

When you look at the impact you see that procrastination can be a pretty potent.  I think that you will agree with me when I say that everything that obstructive procrastination yields is bad fruit.

The majority of clients that I’ve coached through this process found that they are completely disorganized. Their office or work space was a total mess and their computer files and calendars looked the same way. Many have had the overwhelm conversation going on and found themselves distracted by the bright shiny objects when the tasks they didn’t want to complete came up. Needless to say, they experienced the loss of clients, other opportunities and loss of income.

What does your procrastination tree™ look like? Think about what’s at the roots and the fruit your procrastination is bringing forth. Think about who it’s showing up in your life. Are you losing clients, future business as a result of delivering late? How much money are you losing every day because you’re putting things off? Answer these questions for yourself and you’ll begin to see the impact that your procrastination is having on your business and your life.

 


ProcrastinationListApril is Procrastination Awareness month, so this month I’ll be focusing on things that will help you beat procrastination. Procrastination can be a real problem and can have a big impact on your business and your life if it’s not remedied.  We all put things off from time to time, but if it’s something that you do on a continual, regular basis, then it’s safe to say that you’re a procrastinator.  If you’re a procrastinator you are probably paying a very high cost for putting things off and have been doing so for a long time.  Procrastination has cost you time, money and may have even had an impact on your image or what people think of you.

My April time & Space Radio broadcast was about the thief of time.  I talked about the Procrastination Tree™, it’s roots, branches and fruit and outlined a way for you to get the big picture so that you can see how procrastination looks in your life.  More importantly, I shared some concrete steps that you can implement immediately to get on the road to getting rid of this nasty little habit once and for all.   Give the broadcast replay a listen and get present to the true effect that procrastination is having on your business and your life.  You’ll also learn the missing piece when it comes to getting rid of procrastination and you’ll have an opportunity to take the first steps toward eliminating it.  Don’t you think it’s time you stop putting things off and paying the high cost for doing so?  Then click here and get going now!

 


ThiefofTimeBlackboardWritingIf you know me or know how I work, you know that I believe that when it comes to time management, it’s personal.  When it comes to managing your time, you have to consider how your personality plays into or contributes to it.  When it comes to procrastination, the same rule applies, your personality determines why you procrastinate.  Did you know that procrastination is the biggest reason that people fail to reach their goals? Did you know that procrastination is robbing you?  It’s true.  Not only is procrastination costing you your precious time, it’s more than likely costing you money too.

There are about a dozen reasons people give for procrastinating and as I see it, each is representative of an individual’s personality.  Some are more prevalent than others. Some of  what I call the surface reasons are related to working better under pressure, waiting on something–like the perfect situation or time, which by the way never comes.  The lack of focus and need for validation also find themselves in the mix when it comes to this thief of time, and although these can be seen as legitimate, this is just what’s happening on the surface.  When you dig deeper you see that procrastination is the result of something that goes on inside of you at a much deeper level.

Inside of you there’s something that has you continue to put things off over and over again.  Something keeps you from getting things done on a daily basis and keeps you from taking that step forward.  What’s inside of you stops you from moving forward and stepping into what’s next for you and your business. It’s keeping you from the things that you want.  Do you know what procrastination is costing you?  It can cost you your reputation, money as well as your time, which is not good when it comes to business.  These are all things that will break you.  I’ve worked with many people and discovered that at the heart of their procrastination was F-E-A-R AKA,  False Evidence Appearing Real. To stop the thief of time, you’ve got to dig deeper to discover what the fear is before you can address it.  You’ve got to go beyond the surface.

What’s your reason for procrastinating?  Do you see that one of  the surface reasons I mentioned above sounds like you?  Take time to contemplate your reason for procrastinating.  There might be more than one.  It may not come to you right away, so take about a week or so and just observe yourself, watching the things that you choose to do, versus what needs to be done.  When you think you’ve come to the right conclusion, relate to it, breathe it in and own it.  Be with it.  Don’t beat yourself up, but instead accept it as your way of being around the things on your task list.  When you accept it, what comes up for you?  Do you see how that relates to the reason that you put things off?  How?  Once you answer these questions, it’s time to get out the shovel and dig deeper to find out what’s at the core of that surface reason you discovered.  What resides within shows up in your world, and the same is so when it comes to procrastination.  If you want to be rid of the thief of time, you’ve got to deal with the “stuff” going on inside of you.   Believe it or not, it’s true.  What you see in your world is a reflection of you. Your procrastination can be remedied, but doing so calls for digging much deeper and not just applying solutions for what I call the surface stuff.  This small exercise can give you some insight as to why you procrastinate and get you on the path to eliminating the thief of time from your life altogether.

If you’re looking for help to get to the core of your procrastination, check out my Procrastination Annihilation™ program.  Get the big picture of what goes on when you procrastinate and dig deeper to find the real reason for your procrastination so that you can address it and eliminate the thief of time.  If you happen to be in or near the Metro Detroit area this month (April 2013) you might be interested in the live Procrastination Annihilation™ workshop.

 

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