Your desk is awash in folders and documents. Too many phone calls await your return calls. Your spouse needs help in solving family problems. As you allow yourself to see your procrastination behavior, the vision of a desert island with no wi-fi haunts you.
The real-time alternative might be to crawl under your desk and hide.
Worst of all, some of the things you must get done are going to require some hard thinking and difficult decisions. If you make the wrong decision, you will suffer consequences. Is it any wonder that you’re caught up in procrastination?
I’ve been in your situation many times. When I should be tackling difficult tasks, I have scrolled through Facebook and deleted email. These delaying mechanisms have taught me that inaction creates the worst consequences. These consequences forced me to face my desire to procrastinate and learn how to defeat it.
Here’s how I did it.
Make a List of What You Need to Do
Don’t be intimidated by doing this. You’re only making a list. No one is saying you actually have to do any of these things.
- Now, revise the list, putting the items you least want to do first.
- Make a separate list of these items in order of how reluctant you are to do them.
For example, the top item on your list might be, “Follow-up call to Attorney Joe Storm about his company hiring our services.”
Why Don’t You Want to Make that Call?
No one but you ever has to know the reasons, so be honest with yourself. Brainstorm the reasons for not wanting to make the call.
- “He’s so hard to reach.”
- “He refuses to make a commitment.”
- “He has an intimidating manner.”
You may be wondering if this list serves any purpose other than to make you feel badly about yourself. However, making this list isn’t creating new emotions. It’s showing you what you already feel.
Another value of making this list is that the more you write, the more personal your answers get. Honest brainstorming will deliver some valuable truths.
It is so hard to reach Joe. The first item on the list suggests that you need to come up with a system of getting a response from Joe.
Does he react to text messages? Email? Phone calls? Can his secretary set up a specific date and time for a call with you?
The second item on the list, that Joe refuses to make a commitment, suggests that you think Joe might be difficult to deal with. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask for his cases, but it suggests the need for caution in dealing with him.
Some attorneys are tire kickers. They shop around for the best price or procrastinate on making a decision to hire you.
My philosophy, achieved after dealing with many difficult attorneys, is to see if I can overcome the challenges of working with them. If not, I say, “Next”.
The third item speaks directly to your level of self-esteem. You don’t want to fail. You don’t want to feel humiliated. Joe makes you feel insecure.
Here’s the good news. You’re not alone. Most people would like to see improvement in their self-esteem levels, and everyone can make improvements.
Remind yourself that you’re a successful businessperson. Review the profitable deals you’ve made. If you want, make a list of all your successes. Repeat as needed.
If you feel that you need an LNC business coach to help in this area, click the button below to set up a time to talk.
Review the Other Most-Disliked Items on Your List that Lead to Procrastination
Once you do that, you’ll find that your to-do list becomes much more manageable. Your desert island fantasies will fade, your frustration will diminish, and your productivity will increase.
You’ll develop the ability to transform groan-worthy problems into challenges.
Best of all, you continue to learn more about yourself, and that knowledge will help you to make better choices with ease.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC developed a large and successful LNC business before successfully selling it. She now coaches other LNCs to grow their businesses.