My son approached me just the other day asking for my advice. He’s a driven and hard-working teenager with loads of ambition, with a tendency towards perfectionism. I wonder where he gets it ? His dilemma was relating to a school project that was overdue.
He knew it was a big project to take on, and he was feeling under pressure. He'd bitten off more than he could chew within the timeframe he needed to complete it. We talked through what he could do to extend the timeline and stop other activities so he could focus on this. And how to take control, get back on track, and get the damn thing done !
It got me thinking. How many times have I experienced this myself or seen potential clients who really want to change something in their career struggling to take action. We had spoken on Skype and discussed their ambitions but then I never heard from them again. Silence. Or clients who had started out with great confidence in their attempts to change their role or sector, and then often found themselves struggling. I noticed this issue repeating over and over, so I felt it was important to write about it. The issue is procrastination.
1. Admitting We’re In Trouble
It's not seen in a very positive light in our society is it ? It’s often perceived as a weakness. If I can share with you I didn’t feel comfortable admitting I had taken on too much when I was establishing my business. I was overwhelmed by how much needed to be done but I struggled to admit I was in trouble and needed help.
2. Identify Who Can Help
It's hard to motivate ourselves when we become stuck. I sought out people who had experience & expertise who could help me get motivated.
3. Make A Plan That's Easy To Follow
I knew that with their knowledge, guidance & support they could help me create an action plan ie break my goals down into bite-size pieces that I could work through at my own pace. If it was easy to follow I knew I could do it.
4. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
I knew that to overcome procrastination I would have to face up to the fear of leaving my comfort zone. Simple you might think, but not necessarily easy.
5. Schedule It
No point having a well thought out & easy to follow plan, if that's all it is - a plan. It's got to go into your planner or calendar so it takes a priority over the endless number of things that want our attention. It's also got to need a deadline. Nothing makes us move quicker than knowing we're chasing a deadline. It gets the adrenaline going and keeps us focused.
It's funny but I often find myself writing these short blogs for you but the message is directed at myself. So I'm going to stop procrastinating on the course I really want to create and go get help, plan it out, step out of my comfort zone and schedule it in my calendar.
Michelle O’Connor is a leadership coach & career mentor who helps business professionals take their businesses and careers to the next level of success.
For more articles & information on how to make your career the best it can be, visit www.michelle.ie
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