I’ll just finish this coffee before I type this post.
I’ll record that video in a second. I just have to unload the washing, and drink my coffee, and read my book. Once those things are done I’ll record my video… right?
So in case you didn’t guess, this week we are talking about procrastination.
And part of the reason that we are talking about procrastination is because I had to record this video, and before this video I really did unload the washing and make a cup of coffee.
“I’ve got that video to do, I’ll just do the washing first…”
Let’s be honest, we do it all the time. I know that I do and I am sure that you do to.
You’ve got that thing on your to-do list, maybe it’s writing your sales page or adding that new chunk to your course… maybe it’s recording a video and you’ve been avoiding doing it for a very, very long time (there’s a couple of you watching who know I’m talking directly to you! Video! )
So maybe it’s those things on your list and you’ve been procrastinating. Let’s be honest, maybe you’ve been busy. I did need to load the washing, the kids have been here, it’s school holidays, I swear they change clothes 4 times a day… there’s washing to be done. It does need to be done.
Did it need to be done before my video? Probably not
I was probably just avoiding the video. And there are lots of ways we do that, that we avoid the things that really need to be done.
Maybe it’s “I’ll just update my social media before I write that sales page”
or “I’ll just answer that email before I …”
Yup – you’ve done it, we’ve done it… we all do it.
So today, I want to talk about procrastination, the cure, and then the specific things I do to get started.
The Cure to Procrastination
Is to be REALLY honest with yourself.
When you find yourself procrastinating, when you find yourself unloading the washing instead of recording your video, what I want you to do is ask “WHY?”
“Why am I unloading the washing right now?”
“Why am I not recording the video right now?”
“What am I worried about?”
You can ask yourself all of those things out loud and even better, you can answer yourself out loud. Yes, you look like a bit of an idiot, but it works.
It might be that you are avoiding making a sales call. You’re doing the washing up and you know you should be calling a client or a lead. So it goes like this…
Q:Why am I avoiding this right now?
A: I’m busy
… no, you’re not… that’s not the real answer, let’s try this again.
Q: Why are you avoiding this right now?
A: Maybe you are nervous, you are worried that it’s not going to go well. Maybe you are worried that they are going to yell at you on the other end of the phone. Maybe you are worried that they are going to say no.
All of those things.
You need to verbalise them, you need to be honest with yourself and recognise that you are avoiding them.
A great question to ask yourself next is “What is the worst that could go wrong?”
So you’re avoiding that sales call.
Why? Because you’re busy
No, really… why?
Because you are nervous about it and worried that it might go wrong.
Ok, what might happen if it went wrong?
They might yell at you, they might get angry at you.
So what are you going to do?
Put the phone down and finish the call
And what happens if it goes well?
Then you make a sale, and that’s pretty awesome 🙂
That some conversation applies to anything. Maybe it’s writing your sales page, because you are worried about putting yourself out there. You can apply these questions to anything.
The theory is, once you’ve had this conversation with yourself, you can then go and sit down and do the things you’ve been procrastinating about…
But perhaps you still need a little bit of a push – I know that I do.
So this is what I do if I’ve been procrastinating about something.
1. I set a timer. I challenge myself to work on it for just a short period of time.
Lets say I’ve been avoiding writing a sales page. I set a timer and commit to working on the page for that period of time. Nothing else, no social media, no emails… just working on that page.
Some people suggest setting the timer for 30min… that’s great, but I can’t trick my brain into working for 30min. I have the attention span of a gold fish!!
Sometimes I set my timer for 15min, I have been known on occasion to set it for just 5min!
5min solid work on something is much better than nothing, and what you’ll find is that after 5min you’ve made a good start and that thing doesn’t seem as scary any more.
So set your timer.
2. Reward yourself.
So you get through that 5min, 15min, or if you are really brave, 30 min timer… you put your head down and you got through that thing you promised yourself you would do. Reward time 🙂 !
Now you can go and unload that washing…
Ok, so maybe you are not going to reward yourself with the washing, although I am the sad soul who has done that in the past.
But maybe there is something else. Maybe you are going to go out for coffee with a friend, but you have to get this thing done first! Or maybe you are going to catch up on the latest episode of something on netflicks, but you have to get this thing done first!
If you have been procrastinating around something, just like I was, then I want you to be really honest with yourself.
And down below I want you to tell me, what is the thing you’ve been procrastinating around?
Be really brave, what have you been avoiding doing?
For me, today, it was this video, which is ironic.