Tackling Procrastination… Guest Blog

This weeks Guest Blog is written by Sian Rowsell. Sian is a coach, facilitator and a member of my 4Networking team at Macclesfield 4Networking. She recently gave a 15 minute presentation at Stockport 4Networking where she asked all 22 attendees to “draw the perfect you”.

Here is what I drew

The Perfect Me

What in your makes you happy? When are you the best you?

Today, Sian is going to explain to you about

Tackling Procrastination…

In order to tackle procrastination, it’s worth thinking about different types of procrastination…

If you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself – is the OUTCOME important to ME?

In order to tackle procrastination, it’s worth thinking about different types of procrastination…

If you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself – is the OUTCOME important to ME?

– if it’s not, question if you should be doing it at all – perhaps it’s someone else’s goal, perhaps it’s something you feel you ‘should’ be doing but is it really going to move YOU forwards? (Will it make your boat go faster?). Perhaps it’s been on your ‘to-do’ list so long, it’s no longer important..?

If it’s important to you but you feel you just ‘don’t have the time’, perhaps have a look at where you are spending your time and energy and consider what small changes you could make  perhaps you could start by simplifying your ‘to-do’ list ..?

If the outcome is important to you and you know exactly what you need to do but don’t fancy doing it (- for example last year I decided I would clear out the old toys etc filling up our conservatory – sigh!) – you could try tackling it first thing in the day (Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy).

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Mark Twain

You could promise yourself a reward after it’s done, perhaps you could tell yourself “I’ll take a break and have a coffee after 3 emails/phone calls” (‘offer your inner chimp a banana’ – Steve Peters, Chimp Paradox).

Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the effort that will be needed to get to the final outcome (see for example Tony Robbinsvideo, The Power of Chunking). Bigger tasks (like decluttering or getting in shape) may benefit from a ‘15min at a time’ approach. Again, putting it off all day could mean you spend all day wasting energy dreading it! How great will it feel to have it done and out of the way, giving you the rest of the day for more enjoyable stuff. I find 15min is doable for most things – I set the timer on my phone…

If the outcome is important to you but you are still putting it off, is it that you are not sure how to complete the task? In this case, who can help you? (Sometimes asking for help can feel uncomfortable and we may put that off too!).

Perhaps you need the right environment? If it’s a creative task e.g. writing a blog – when is the best time of day for you to be creative, what is the best place for you to think (maybe it’s in the shower or on a long drive)? If a blank page or a blinking cursor on a blank document is overwhelming, what could you do to take the pressure off? (How about making brief notes in a small notepad or on your smartphone first?) How could you make it fun?

Perhaps your procrastination is related to fear..? e.g. “I’m afraid of making that call, maybe I’ll be rejected…” Or perhaps you have some deep-seated unhelpful beliefs about yourself or the way the world works e.g. that writing your webpage content is ‘showing off’ – in these cases outside help e.g. coaching may be useful – for instance to help you reframe a belief if it is not helping you.

Or you’re putting something off because it is just something new and you’re a bit wary of trying – e.g. networking – what’s the worst that can happen? Can you ‘take a brave pill’ and just give it a couple of goes?

Lastly, are you procrastinating because there is something you are really not comfortable with – is the task or activity in conflict with your values? Is it morally wrong? In which case, it may be good to procrastinate…

Sian Rowsell

Sian Rowsell, coach and facilitator

Sian Rowsell is an effective coach and facilitator, helping people enjoy a more fulfilling life in and outside of work. She offers individual coaching on a one-to-one basis and runs confidential business development groups for women business owners. For more information, please email sian@sianrowsell.co.uk or visit www.sianrowsell.co.uk

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