Category: Procrastination

How’s your sense of direction? Do you know where you are growing to?

By , September 5, 2013 7:42 am

3D business white people. Mobile phone with GPS“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are that you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.”

~ Jim Rohn

How’s your sense of direction?

Most people simply let their life happen to them. They wait, procrastinate and react. There’s no sense of urgency and certainly no strategy. They just get busy doing stuff…and time rolls on.

They stay stuck because they don’t know what to do.

We all burn through time so quickly. Before you know it most of your life is behind you. Reality sets in that you should have been more proactive and strategic, rather than waiting and putting things off.

I think it was Charles Handy who wrote that we live life backwards: the longer we live the more we learn and experience, by the time we have it all figured out we’re too old to do anything about it!

…But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can DECIDE TODAY to stop waiting and reacting!

As a career strategist, I sometimes work with people who are confused because they have no idea what to do with their life, career or business…

It’s a bit like they are lost in a foreign city without a map. They don’t have a sense of purpose or direction. Their growth is random and chaotic. They drift from one idea to another and have no clue to where they want to go. In this confusion they collapse into a coach for the answer.

Here’s how I see it…

You have to develop your own sense of direction by creating two reference points:

1. ‘You are here’ – In other words, you need to know where you are now. Unfortunately this doesn’t appear on a notice board with a big arrow on it (like in a big city or shopping mall!). You have to sit down work it out for yourself. But there are some clues…

Your direction in life begins with SELF-AWARENESS. As John C Maxwell says: “You must know yourself to grow yourself!”

You have to get to know:

  • Your strengths
  • Your weaknesses
  • Your passion
  • Your opportunities

From my experience, most people lack self-awareness, don’t know their strengths or the value they bring to their daily lives. Start by focusing your attention here, because your natural strengths and passions are where you have the most potential for growth.

Do things that you are passionate about, not just interested in. There is a difference in the energy of these two words! Pay attention to:

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What would you like to do?
  • What are you good at (other people will tell you this)?
  • What would you like to do more of?
  • Why would you like to do this?
  • How can you get to do more of this?
  • Who can help you?
  • What is your investment to make this happen (time, resources, money, sacrifice)?
  • What’s your first step beginning today?

Get to know yourself and accept who you are in this moment.  This can take time.

Okay… Our second reference point is…

2. Where you want to go –Your strengths hold the key for where you have the most potential for growth. So start here. If you focus on growing your strengths, you will build confidence in your abilities and these can help you to set a course for where you want to go. Look for opportunities to use your strengths along the way.

Knowing yourself and growing yourself are intertwined. The path might not be clear at first, but you’ll get momentum on your journey by learning new things and applying them as you go.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • DECIDE to be proactive and take it seriously.
  • COMMIT to action and be consistent.
  • GET SUPPORT – You can’t get to reach your destination on your own. You’ll need the help and guidance of others who can teach you.
  • TAKE DELIBERATE ACTION even when you don’t feel like it.

Life is short and we don’t get any rehearsal time so I encourage you to develop a strong sense of urgency and proactivity.

How’s your sense of direction? Do you know where you are growing to?!

 

Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done!

By , July 31, 2013 10:42 pm

Git 'er Done!“Self-discipline is the magic power that makes you virtually unstoppable.”

~ Dan Kennedy, Business Success Guru and Author

The truth is that most of us are easily distracted.

Many of us are almost willing to be de-railed from our busy schedules by the lure of the excitement of a bright shiny object; especially if what you are working on feels like hard work or it’s something you don’t want to do.

This then leads to procrastination and avoidance.

Most of us know what we should be focusing on but lack the self-discipline and determination to make it happen. Instead we use excuses to justify our avoidance such as I’m too busy or I didn’t have time rather than getting clear and refocused on what needs to be done.

…And just getting it done!

There’s a form of inner laziness that prevents us from getting things done. I regularly see examples of this in the business world.

Here are a few examples:

  • People who can’t seem to make it to meetings on time.
  • Arriving late/unprepared for a planned coaching session.
  • A business owner who avoids marketing because there’s always something else that needs to be done first.

People who arrive late for meetings are usually unprepared. Their lack of focus and attention wastes time, because he/she has to take time to catch up before they can give any value.

A common theme for many people with time management challenges is the lack of self-discipline.

I admit that some days I feel secretly lazy and it’s tempting just to blow the day off and do nothing instead. Especially when you are your own boss!

Instead of allowing this to take control, I’ve learned how to refocus and become self-disciplined…

Self-discipline is a powerful antidote to procrastination and avoidance.

Self-discipline neutralizes the laziness and gives you the ability to get things done and to get it right the first time. Excuses and old habits fall away as you begin to move forward, take control and get things done.

Here’s how to encourage self-discipline:

1. Make a weekly plan in advance. What do you want to achieve? This will help you stay focused and feel in control of what needs to be done. Stick to the plan – hold firm! Remind yourself what’s important.

2. Show up at the scheduled time and be prepared and ready to work. Yes… It’s that simple… Common sense right?! But it’s NOT always common practice. This includes showing up for ALL appointments that you make with yourself.

3. Meet your deadlines and commitments. This alone will make you more successful. More opportunities will start to present themselves and others will be attracted to you because you are making things happen. Success breeds success.

4. Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Self-discipline requires a 100% commitment. It’s not just when you feel like it. It takes self-discipline to productivity – invest energy and time to your intentions. This investment pays off every time. Be aware of those lazy voices in your head and challenge them EVERY time!

5. Take deliberate action. Take action and make things happen. Every day consciously do one thing towards your Intention – small steps. Get deliberate in your thoughts and behaviors. This will inspire you to make different choices and create new habits. Take action

All successful people are self-disciplined. It’s a necessity that requires continual work every single day.

Self-discipline is all about choice. You can choose to chart your own path and create value by getting things done.

There’s a huge difference between someone who talks about it and someone who actually gets things done!

Which one are you?

As my American friends in the South say, whatever you’re putting off just now:  Go “Git ‘er done!”

 

5 Reasons WHY You Can’t Get Things Done…(…And how to deal with them!)

By , March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

iStock_000012995878SmallThe No. 1 common challenge for many of my coaching clients is the problem of getting things done!

Most of us have been on numerous time management workshops and read books on the subject. We know what we should do, but we still can’t seem to apply the strategy consistently.

Having the tools, processes or strategy is one thing…Setting your thinking and programming your inner dialogue for success is another!

Here are the top five reasons for not getting things done that I’ve experienced when coaching and training my clients (Oh! And I’ve observed a few of them in myself too!):

Overcomplicating things – It’s easy to become overwhelmed and create a complex strategy for something that is relatively simple. If you have too much to remember: doing this, not doing that and worrying about the other, then you become anxious and worn out and nothing gets done. You’ll look for other distractions.

You keep a complex plan in your head – You add to the problem by trying to keep a complex plan in your head. Relying on your brain as a storage device to remember EVERYTHING doesn’t work! Have you ever thought you’d remember stuff, then when you’ve gone back to it later, you can’t remember the detail and have to start all over again?

“I’m just not very organized…” This label is an excuse to give you permission to stay stuck. The reality is that you are VERY organized at being UNORGANIZED: You are following entrenched old habits and patterns. They just take you to a negative outcome. You’re just organizing the wrong things! See the pattern here? You may feel out of control, perhaps your emotions have taken over.

Quality of your inner dialogue – If I say to you: ‘Don’t think of the colour blue…’ What do you do first? You think of blue before you decide not to think about it! So if you’re saying to yourself: ‘I mustn’t forget to…’ you are programming yourself to forget! This is known as a bad command in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms. If you repeat this to yourself, you are likely to forget! You are focusing on forgetting rather than remembering!

You are too busy to think about it – You are stuck in the ‘do-do’ of doing and don’t take time to think something through to decide how you might do it differently. You wallow in procrastination. Thinking seems too easy to do so you resist or you perceive that it’s not a valuable use of time.

Here are some potential solutions:

1. Clear out the mental clutter – You can over-plan and over-strategize. So step back and get rid of the clutter. You might have far too many steps in the process, or you’re going into too much detail.

  • Lighten the load by simplifying your process.
  • Place high value on simplicity!
  • Look for an easier route. You have to choose the right strategy for the situation.

2. Get out of your own way – Are you fighting with yourself, getting caught up in drama and creating feelings that are sabotaging your progress? Notice what is going on inside – write it down. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself.

  • Become organized at being organized!
  • What needs to change?
  • What would being organized look like for you?
  • Lose the label and dump the excuse of being unorganized.

You can do this!

3. Change your language – Listen to your inner dialogue. Are you giving yourself bad commands? Remember if you’re saying to yourself: ‘Don’t forget to call Jenny.’ You are actually saying: ‘Forget to call Jenny.’ You are more likely to forget! Change the quality of your inner dialogue by turning it around to something like: ‘I will remember to phone Jenny today.’ Give yourself commands in a positive way.

4. Make time to think it through – Allow thinking time! Use visualization as a tool to set your mind for success. See yourself making the call to Jenny:

  • What are you saying?
  • When are you calling her?
  • Walk this through in your mind several times.
  • Then take action straight away to make it happen.
  • Make a post-it note and keep it in sight so this call is your mental radar today.

You are re-training your brain to get things done. Simple strategies work well. Think simple!

5. Attitude changes everything – To change your thinking you need to change your perspective towards the situation. The situation IS the situation, it doesn’t change – you are wherever you are right now. If you know that this is something you should do, then change your attitude towards it. This is what is holding you back.

  • What would it be like to be in control or on top of this situation?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you saying?
  • How are you acting?
  • How will you feel when you’ve completed it?
  • What difference will it make?

Having a coach can help take responsibility for getting things done.

Clear out the rubbish in your current strategies for getting things done, stop fighting yourself, listening to your negative inner dialogue, and getting lost in the mountain of steps in your process.

Simplicity is everything! Look for a more effortless path and don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Discipline is an antidote for Poor Productivity…

By , June 19, 2012 4:18 pm

“Self-discipline is the magic power that makes you virtually unstoppable.”

~ Dan Kennedy, Business Success Guru and Author

Okay… I have to admit that most of us are easily distracted. We are almost willing to be de-railed from our work plans by any bright shiny object that happens to come onto our radar!

This is especially true for me if it’s something that I don’t really want to do or it feels like hard work! (This can lead to procrastination and avoidance if not addressed.)

Many of us know what we should do but we have little self-discipline to make it happen. Instead we use labels such as I’m too busy or I didn’t have time rather than leaning in and committing to our intention. It’s a form of inner laziness that prevents us from getting things done.

I regularly see examples of this in the business world. Here are a few examples:

  • Individuals who can’t seem to make it to meetings on time.
  • Arriving late and unprepared for pre-booked coaching sessions (I make individuals re-book!).
  • An entrepreneur who never quite gets around to marketing because something else always needs to be done first.

People who arrive late are often also unprepared for work. This lack of focus and attention wastes time, because they have to catch up before giving any value.

I’ve noticed that a common theme for many people with time management challenges is the lack of self-discipline.

Okay… I’ll admit it – some days I feel secretly lazy (especially when it is sunny!). It’s a challenge because I wake up having an inner fight to force myself to get up and get things done. It’s hard work challenging my lazy self to get on with what needs to be done. Sometimes I’d just rather sit back and have an easy day at home. After all, I’m the boss and I can do whatever I want! I have these secret lazy feelings also around keeping fit, whether it’s hiking or going to the gym (I LOVE it once I’m doing it!).

Instead of allowing this to take control, I’ve had to become extremely self-disciplined… Self-discipline is a powerful antidote to procrastination.

Without self-discipline your thinking and self-management principles are inconsistent and you’ll easily get distracted.

Self-discipline neutralizes the laziness and gives you the ability to get things done and to get it right the first time. Excuses and old habits fall away as you begin to move forward, take control and get things done.

Here’s how to encourage self-discipline:

1. Make a weekly plan and work out in advance what you want to achieve. This helps you to stay focused and feel in control of what needs to be done. Over time you can feel the momentum of making things happen. Stick to the plan – hold firm! Remind yourself what’s important.

2. Show up! At the scheduled time and be prepared and ready to work. Yes… It’s that simple…It’s common sense, but NOT always common practice. This includes showing up for ALL appointments that you make with yourself!

3. Meet your deadlines and commitments. This alone will make you more successful. More opportunities will start to present themselves and others will be attracted to you because you’re making things happen. Success breeds success.

4. Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Self-discipline requires a 100% commitment. It’s not just a fair-weather thing! It takes huge self-discipline to productivity invest energy and time to your intentions. This investment pays off every time. Be aware of those lazy voices in your head and challenge them EVERY time!

5. Take deliberate action. Take action and make things happen. Every day consciously do something towards your Intention – Small steps. Get deliberate in your thoughts and behaviours. This will inspire you to make different choices and create new habits. Get going!

All successful people have self-discipline. It’s a necessity that requires continual work every single day.

Self-discipline is a choice that enables you to chart your own path and create value by getting things done! There’s a huge difference between someone who talks about it and someone who actually gets things done!

Which one are you?

Not making any progress with your goals? Try these six steps…

By , March 21, 2012 9:10 pm

“My life is one long obstacle course, with me being chief obstacle.”

Jack Paar.

I’ve come to realise that learning and success is NOT about doing more.

And often, the one key thing that gets in my way… is me!

Growing is about taking action towards your goal and completing things.

I started working with a new client this week (Jenny). She began our session by describing how disappointed she was with the progress of her year so far. She blamed constant interruptions for her lack of productivity (on reflection, she realized that none of these were necessities, just bad habits, a lack of boundaries and not being selective – we’re now working on these together).

Jenny’s great plans for the year had all fallen away since January. She’d not made any meaningful progress and was back telling the same story she’d been telling everyone last year: how unfair everything was and feeling sorry for herself that she had no time to make anything happen.

Then she started ‘should-ing…’ Her conversation was peppered with “I know I should be more…”

It’s difficult to be fully present and focused on what’s important when you have many demands on your attention. You become distracted by the noise of interruptions and it’s hard to get BACK ON TRACK.

These distractions can become valid excuses (an alibi) for not achieving your goal. Over time your goal remains an idea as things begin to fall away.

Jenny was exerting a lot of effort and energy to maintain her alibi and at the same time she was creating self-imposed disappointment and grief. Her alibi had become more attractive than taking what was perceived to be a more difficult path towards achieving her goals. She put extra demands upon herself and baled out with excuses instead of taking action.

Most of us are undisciplined in our approach and it’s easy to become distracted and unfocused. When we’re under pressure we move out of our left-brain – logical thinking, into the right brain - emotive thinking and it’s difficult to be rational from this place.

Here’s how to make meaningful progress and get BACK ON TRACK:

1. Re-align to your goal - Get clear on WHAT you want to achieve and WHY you want to do it. Write down your intention and keep this in a place where you can see it regularly.

2. Stop avoiding – Decide that you’ll no longer use excuses to keep you from your goal. Look out for convenient excuses that have taken you off track in the past. Do something that you’ve been avoiding today! Write down your excuses and turn them around with an action step instead, then go make it happen.

3. Not interested in the easy way out – Let your sub-conscious know that you’re no longer taking the path of convenience. Be your own cheerleader and congratulate yourself for having the courage and determination to move into feeling uncomfortable. Be open to making difficult choices rather than the usual easier ones. This is how you’ll create success.

4. Create a process - Write down what needs to be done. Create a system or process for things to happen – one step at a time. The only way you’ll be successful is to have a plan and follow the plan. What is the next step? Have discipline to follow the steps one at a time, as this will create momentum.

5. Take conscious action – Take small action steps consistently and make it a habit. Consciously check in weekly with your progress and schedule dates and times in your planner to keep things moving – little and often.

6. Get some support – Shifting habits and creating new ways of working requires discipline and persistence if you’re determined to achieve your goals. In other words – You have to do the work! Hiring a coach is a great way to invest in your success. A good coach provides a high level of support and guidance to help you get BACK ON TRACK as you get clear, claim your power, take action and create new outcomes in your life and work.

NOW is the time to get Back on Track, re-align with your dreams, get strategic, and start to make things happen!

What’s your next step?

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat – Coming Soon!

By , August 14, 2011 6:22 pm

How to Make Space for the New… Stop being a MUST-urbator!

By , April 9, 2011 5:15 pm

“If there’s anything new that you want in your life, you’ve got to make room for it. I mean that pschologically as well as physically.”

Jack Canfield, Author, cocreator of Chicken Soup for the Soul®

I’ve come to realise that learning and growing is not about doing more.

Growing is often about completing things, letting go and creating space for new shoots to emerge.

I was coaching someone this week who began the session describing her cluttered desk. As she spoke she soon realised that she also had a cluttered mind!

She identified several areas of her life where she’d left things uncompleted, half finished and even a personal relationship where she’d failed to get some closure, and important things had been left unsaid.These incompletes were holding her back from moving forward because when you don’t complete the past, you hold on to them. They drain your energy and feel like a heavy chain dragging behind you.

Her conversation was peppered with “I ought to do this… I know I should do that… I must…”

It’s difficult to be fully present and focused when you have unfinished or incomplete projects, tasks and promises that demand your attention.

I gently explained to my client that she was a MUST-urbator!

Dr Albert Ellis,  an American psychologist, used this term to describe people when their lives become full of must’s, ought’s and should’s. Many of us replay a head full of these lists, especially under times of pressure and stress. We put extra demands upon ourselves and bale ourselves out with excuses instead of taking action.

Why don’t we complete things?

  1. You are unclear
  2. You’ve stalled because you’re faced with an internal or external roadblock.

Here are a few examples:

  • You wanted to say ‘no’ but didn’t want to let the other person down.  
  • It’s difficult or uncomfortable to make a decision – Instead you procrastinate and struggle with the discomfort.
  • You feel guilty for not completing it so you avoid thinking about it and the incompletes continue to pile up.
  • Your wardrobe, closet and even your garage is groaning under the weight of all the clutter that you’ve been collecting – just in case it might come in handy!

Most of us are undisciplined in our approach and it’s easy to become distracted and unfocused. When we’re under pressure we move out of our left brain – logical thinking, into the right brain - emotive thinking. It’s difficult to be rational from this place.

We allow clutter and incompletes into our lives and drown in stacks of papers, old clothes, broken items, things we don’t like or not saying the things we need to say to avoid resentment and misunderstanding.

How to STOP MUST-urbation:

  1. Write down a full list of all your must’s, ought’s and should’s. E.g. “I must get the car serviced.” “I ought to visit my parents in the holidays.” “I should clear out the basement.”
  2. Once you have your list, re-write it rephrasing each sentence with I want to…
  3. While re-writing each statement focus on WHY you WANT to do this and re-decide. You may realise that you don’t want to do this item anymore, and you can let it go.
  4. Choose 3 things on the list and start to complete them.
  5. Write down what will it take to complete each of these three tasks. What is the next step?
  6. Consciously keep these items on your radar by checking in weekly with your list of your incompletes and scheduling dates and times in your planner to GET THEM DONE little and often.
  7. Learn to feel completeness by taking small action steps and making it a habit.

Successful people continually work on their incompletes. Why? Because if you want to show up more fully in the present  you firstly need to complete the past.

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