On brainyquote.com Wayne Gretzky is attributed with the following quote: “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”
Remember, this toll can act on all areas of life; health, economics, job or academic performance and relationships?”
How do you procrastinate? That was the question I asked in last week’s blog. We then examined the types of procrastination.
The important point is that procrastination experts don’t ask if you procrastinate; they ask how, how much and most importantly why?
In my own case, as I am sure it is for most of you, I feel competent and confident I can do any of the tasks I need to do. Where I encounter problems is when everything seems to need to be done simultaneously. Unexamined, everything seems to be priority 1. The often stated axiom, “If everything is priority, nothing is priority” holds true. If you find yourself procrastinating then it is more likely a matter of not knowing where to start. Some deadlines are imposed on us by others; they can be easier as we feel a need to fulfill those. Where I have difficulty is when it has to be done but I do not have an external deadline. Self-imposed deadlines are easier to let slide if no one else is holding you accountable. You let it slip. And the next one slips. Soon you are overwhelmed. There is just so much to do you don’t know where to start.
Action for This Week
- Start by making a list of the important tasks you must complete.
- If you have a deadline for them, add that beside the task.
- If not leave space for it.
- Next number the priority for the task.
- Break each task into subtasks. In NLP we call this chunking down and in some areas of behavioural therapy it is called “chipping”. I tell you this only so that you recognize the importance of getting the task broken down into “bite size” chunks.
- Estimate the time for each subtask.
- Take out a calendar and start filling in times when you will work on and complete each subtask. For those of us who are the perfectionist styles of procrastinator we also need a contract with ourselves to say “good enough” when the allocated time is up.
- Record each task you complete – it helps build momentum
- Reward yourself for the completion of tasks. It might be as simple as walk outside, time to call a friend you have talked to in a while or as major as a vacation at the end of a major project.
Doing all the steps will set you up for success in your projects with a minimal of stress and still leave time for life balance and enjoyment.
Please add what the plan is and how we can help you as a comment. I would love to hear your progress.
Virtual Group Coaching Error
I am upgrading my old 90 Day Your Balanced Life to A Balanced Life is a Matter of Choice, Not Chance to reflect what I have been learning from my coaching clients and to match the title of the book I am currently writing.
When I told my business coach that I was charging $397 for this program he went ballistic! He asked me why I would price a program that is valued at three times that so absurdly low. I explained that I was reworking an older program and was seeking feedback and testimonials. He conceded that was of value to me and that if I was getting those then I probably could get justify offering it at $777. The problem is that I have already advertised it to my blog and newsletter readers for $397. I will honour that for the remaining seats this time; I have a moral obligation to do that. I will however take the advice I am paying for and significantly raise the price next time to reflect the real value of the program. As he pointed out, the program has changed lives and can only get better with the new version.