I am so excited to share Carrie Greene’s wise words with you – they remind me the importance of visibility and holding yourself accountable! Carrie’s blunt words and helpful ideas help make her an industry leader! She is a speaker, trainer, coach and author of Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm and Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit! Carrie helps entrepreneurs cut through the confusion and chaos surrounding them so they make decisions, set priorities, stop procrastinating and make more money. Free resources at http://www.CarrieThru.com. Carrie’s book is available at http://www.ChaosToCashBook.com/excerpt.
5 Steps to Ending Procrastination
I was at a party recently and ran into a woman I’ve known for years. She is a friend and a former client. She confessed to me that despite the work we had done together, she still procrastinates. I replied…”Yeah, me too.” She looked at me, shocked and said, “I can’t believe it. You do so much! There’s NO WAY, you procrastinate.”
So here’s the cold hard truth. Yes, I procrastinate. In fact I’m a master procrastinator and I’m not alone. According to studies 95% of all people procrastinate. My personal belief is that the other 5% of the population are lying. Oh and according to those same studies, 25% of us are chronic procrastinators.
Just because everyone procrastinates does not mean it is okay. Procrastination is bad for business, bad for profits and bad for you.
It’s kind of obvious that procrastination costs us time, energy and money but there are two things that are even worse that we usually don’t realize.
- You’re being selfish. The people who we are “supposed” to be helping don’t get the help that they need. If you’ve been meaning to write a book, the person who needs to read it can’t. If you don’t get around to following up with the person you met about your program they won’t get the support they need to move forward.
- Procrastination kills your self esteem. Every time we put something on our to-do list and “put it off until later” we disappoint ourselves. When you wrote “write chapter 1?, “call Joe to follow up” or “layout plan for new program” on your to-do list you created a contract with yourself. When you don’t follow through on your own contracts with yourself how can you trust yourself to do follow through with others? Your belief in yourself effects every conversation you have and frankly everything you do in both your personal and professional life?
What’s cool is that despite being a master procrastinator I’ve more than doubled my business this past year, written a book, created, marketed and ran three new programs, attended six live events, presented my own one day live event and so much more.
Here’s my secret…I have worked with coaches (that I’ve paid for) since I started my business back in 2003 who have helped me see things that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. AND ( here’s my true confession) simply having a coach increases my productivity dramatically. It seems that I often get more done in the hour before I speak with my coach than between our conversations.
My coach helps me but it’s not everything, so whether or not you chose to work with a coach privately or as part of a group program, here are FIVE additional strategies I use in my day-to-day business to keep me moving.
- Make sure that the tasks you are putting on your to-do list are specific tasks and not projects. For instance “Work on Website” is not specific and is a project. Instead write “Spend 30-minutes writing the ‘About Me’ section for my website”.
- Make sure the tasks you put on your to-do list are really the next steps you need to take. Looking at that website example again, even if you had written “Write about me section for website” ask yourself if that really the next step? Do you need to review other websites first? Do you need other information? Or can you go ahead and open up a new document on your computer and start to type?
- Set a specific amount of time and set an appointment with yourself to actually do the work. The more specific you are the better. For instance, Tuesday from 1 – 1:30 review other website’s “About Me” section in order to get a better understanding of what I want to do.
- When choosing when you are going to work on something make sure that your calendar is really clear. Don’t just pick a time randomly, is it a time of day when you are able to focus or do you typically get interrupted at that time?
- Find someone to be accountable to. Like I said, I frequently use my coach, but there have been many occasions, especially for the smaller, day-to-day type things, that I rely on my network of friends and colleagues. Don’t try to go it alone!
It’s important to remember that we are all unique and that we all have strategies up our sleeves that work for us. Share your favorite “get yourself moving” strategies.