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Procrastination: 8 Unique Cures

procrastination

Most everyone procrastinates. However, some of us are better at dealing with procrastination than others. You’re not alone if you procrastinate. The people who get things done are more effective at minimizing procrastination. You don’t have to remain a master of procrastination. You can choose to be a master of productivity!

 

Facts about procrastination (according to Psychology Today)
  1. 20% of people identify themselves as procrastinators
  2. procrastination is a form of self-sabotage
  3. procrastination can become a profound problem with self-regulation
  4. procrastination is not a time management problem, it’s a self-image problem
  5. procrastinators are made, not born. Procrastination is often learned from our family of origin, it’s often a response to an authoritarian parent and it can be a form of rebellion.
There are 3 types of procrastinators
  1. Arousal Types: thrill-seekers who leave things to the last minute and get a rush from cramming
  2. Avoiders: those who avoid fear of failure (or success), they worry about what others think of them and prefer to be seen as someone who lacks effort vs someone who lacks ability
  3. Decisional: those who can’t make a decision. By not making a decision, we absolve ourselves of responsibility for the outcome
Costs of Procrastination
  1. Health: procrastination compromises our immune system and generates gastrointestinal problems
  2. Insomnia: as we lay awake and worry about what we’re not doing
  3. Stress: as we worry and beat ourselves up for procrastinating
  4. Relationships: procrastination shifts the burden of responsibility onto others (ie. co-workers), which creates resentment, destroys teamwork and ruins morale
8 Unique Cures For Procrastination
  1. Put your procrastination to good use. Consider what you do when you procrastinate. You perform one activity in lieu of performing another activity that you should be doing. Create a list that includes a couple of reasonable, but awful, tasks that you can add to your to-do list. You’ll then procrastinate on those tasks and perform the tasks you need to accomplish.
  2. Get to a new location. Head to the library, park, or coffee shop. You could even move to a different area of the house or find a vacant office at your workplace. A change of scenery can often minimize the tendency to procrastinate. Part of your brain associates procrastination with your usual hangouts, like your desk.
  3. Use a timer and a very short time frame. Getting started is often the most challenging part. It’s surprising how easy it is to complete a task versus taking the first step. Set a timer for two minutes and see how much you can get done. Two minutes is too much? Try one minute.  Have a list of steps and begin on the first one. When you have a list, you won’t waste any mental energy trying to figure out what to do first.
  4. Try working at an unusual time. Get out of bed at 5 AM and see how much you can get done before your normal wake-up time. Try staying up late and see what happens. Shake up your routine and you’ll be less likely to engage in your old habits.
  5. Focus on enhancing your mood. You procrastinate when you feel bad, and the thought of performing the task makes you feel even worse. You’ll do just about anything that you think will make you feel better. Work on enhancing your mood and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.
  6. Give your friend money. You may have enlisted the assistance of a friend in the past, but did you do it in the most effective way? Instead of telling your friend that you’ll give her $50 if you don’t complete your to-do list by Friday, give her the money upfront. You only get your money back if you’re successful. It changes the dynamic significantly.
  7. Give yourself a big reward. Make completing the task as positive as possible. Instead of viewing a task as painful, you’ll begin to view it as desirable. Promise yourself a day off, a meal at your favorite restaurant, or a massage.
  8. Take on the bigger task of shifting your self-image. If telling yourself, “I’m a procrastinator” sounds familiar, it means this is how you identify yourself. If this is the case, the cures above will help you temporarily but will not likely create long-lasting, permanent change. Instead, you need to shift your self-image by adopting a new image of yourself and acting in alignment with this new image.
  • Ask yourself: “who do I have to BE to live the life I want?” and “who I have to BE to produce the results I want?”
  • Create a new way of being for yourself. Instead of telling yourself “I’m a procrastinator”, re-invent yourself as, “I’m productive (or committed, or dedicated, or disciplined).

Don’t let procrastination continue to be the thief of time! Take on new behaviors in the short term and for the long term, work to shift your identity. Shifting your identity will address the core issue at hand, it will make you a master of productivity and will give you long-lasting change that will impact every area of your life and business!

 

If you’re ready to stop procrastinating, call Laura Watson at: 877-669-8684 for a free coaching consult. You can also email her: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


Feeling Tired? 6 Strategies For Combating Mental Fatigue

fatigue at workMany of my clients talk to me about feeling tired and they share the toll it’s taking on their well-being. Mental fatigue and exhaustion is often a result of your work, family life, conflict, or lack of quality sleep.

Mental fatigue can be worse then physical fatigue because if affects your ability to think clearly and express yourself or problem-solve. It impedes your ability to make important decisions, it slows your productivity, it can lead to severe depression and it has been linked to disease, including cancer.

The impact of fatigue is serious and yet many tend to disregard it. Business owners and executives don’t get present to the fact that their lives and businesses are at stake! With so much at risk, I invite you to practice these simple, yet effective, strategies for managing your fatigue so you can stay sharp, productive and healthy.

How to Relax your Mind and Boost your Energy

Relaxation is absolutely necessary to relieve mental stress and rejuvenate your body and mind. You’re probably thinking, “how am I going to do that?” Surprisingly, mental health breaks can be incorporated into your day and life with ease. Here are some tips to help you reduce mental exhaustion and keep your mind sharp:

  1. Take time out for yourself. Spend time in a quiet room where you can reflect and think. For many of us, time to think has become a luxury. Give yourself a few minutes to reflect and think, each day. You can meditate, write in a journal, do some planning or simply allow your thoughts to gently release into the stillness and quietness of the room.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. Mental fatigue can exist no matter how much sleep you get, but sleep does help refresh your body and mind. Adequate sleep will eliminate a lot of your day-to-day stress. Your body will have a chance to repair itself and recharge and you’ll feel sharp in the morning.
  3. Free your mind from the problems that swirl around you. Many problems or worries are about things we can’t control. Take your mind off the things that cause you stress by focusing on your task at hand or on the things you can control. Worry and frustration can also be caused by resisting “what is”. Try reconnecting to the issue or event that got you stressed. Look at it as data and remind yourself “it is what it is”. This puts you in a state of acceptance that allows you to take on the question, “what do I want to do about it?”. Once you have a plan and take action, you feel in control again and your stress eases.
  4. Exercise regularly. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which make you feel happy. It’s like the body’s natural “high.” Even if all you can do is take a 15-minute walk, take it. That can be great alone time for you that will help you feel energized.
  5. Try breathing exercises. When things get rough, take deep breaths in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds, then release. This simple, do-anywhere practice helps you focus and relieves tension, immediately!
  6. Take a day to do things by and for yourself. You’re always doing for others and every once in-awhile, you need to do something for yourself. Take yourself out to a movie, go to a museum or art gallery, or do something you’ve always wanted to do but never made time for. Enjoy the peace and quiet of being alone and the satisfaction of being selfish (your phone and email aren’t going anywhere).

Implement Your Own Strategies

These are just some of the strategies to combat mental fatigue. You may have some other methods that help you relax and find peace in your life. What you do is not important. Actually doing it is what’s important!

Don’t take mental health for granted. Mental fatigue has a way of sneaking up on you and, left for too long, can completely sabotage your life and business! Begin integrating these simple exercises into your day. You will feel the weight lifted off your shoulders, your productivity and focus will return and you’ll be a much more enjoyable person to be around!

 

If you’re tired of feeling tired, call Laura Watson at: 877-669-8684 for a free coaching consult. You can also email her: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


How To Change Habits

the psychology of habitsWe are all creatures of habits. Kyle Colley writes, “think for a moment of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year. The other 2% are the very forward-minded people who change their habits constantly to maximize their success in life.”

Colley explains, “there are many reasons why we stick to our bad habits for so long; comfort, fear of failure, and the strength of a habit over time. In fact, research shows that the longer the habit has been in effect, the harder it is to change.”

Many of my clients express frustration about not being able to change their “bad” habits. Taking mastery over your habits requires awareness of your thought patterns and active effort to change old thoughts for new ones. This is where coaching is so valuable! A coach uncovers the thought patterns you have become blind to. With blind-spots revealed, awareness develops and new, conscious thoughts and habits can be formed.

To better understand how your habits have formed and how to master changing them,  Read more…

 


How to change your habits

 

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”
Warren Buffet

My clients often ask me, “how do I change bad habits?”. I think they secretly wish I have a magic wand that will take the old habit away and instill a new one. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand.

Instead of reciting some mysterious incantation, I start asking questions about their mindset and beliefs. At first my clients think the questions are irrelevant and sometimes I meet resistance to my questions. But the questions are key. They are key because the answers reveal their thinking habits.

“Anything you think over and over again becomes a habit”, says Kyle Colley and in order to form new habits, you MUST “take control of your mind”.

https://www.goalcast.com/2017/07/28/psychology-of-habits-how-to-become-master-of-change/?ct=t(The_Psychology_of_Habits_How_to_Become_a7_31_2017)&mc_cid=b4783859cb&mc_eid=9d6a774fc5Humans are creatures of habit. Think of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year.

Habits can excel our performance and sabotage our success. If you have some “bad habits” you wish to change, click the link below to learn how.

Learn how to change your habits here…..

 

I hope you gain some value from this article. I welcome your comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here).  You’ll get 12 Leadership Lessons (1 per week), guaranteed to take your life and leadership to the “next level”. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


12 Communication Roadblocks!

 

“Leadership exists in conversation, make yours powerful!” Laura Watson

You are in an ideal position to be in a supportive, helping relationship with your staff and partners. But this relationship is not given, it is earned. In order for you to have this helping relationship, you must learn the difference between the “language of unacceptance” and the “language of acceptance”. I guarantee that sometimes you are inadvertently using the language of unacceptance, which is undermining your leadership.

Language that communicates unacceptance “roadblocks” communication. It subtly communicates to the listener that “I’m right” and “you’re wrong”. Over time, your listeners (staff, colleagues, spouse, children) will resist or shut down from communicating with you because they don’t want to keep feeling criticized.

I’m sure it’s not your intention to give those around you the experience of being wrong or criticized. These roadblocks represent blind spots that sabotage your communication. When I make my clients aware of these blind spots, they change their communication style and their relationships immediately improve. Today I want to help you discover your blind spots so you can improve your communication and your leadership. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: Communication Roadblocks from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to notice where you’re “roadblocking”. I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Emotional Mastery For Owners: learn to ‘flip your switch’

 

Will you control your thoughts or will your thoughts control you?

Today we’re here to develop emotional mastery for business owners. In 13 yrs of running my own businesses and coaching other business leaders, I find that emotional mastery is one of the key elements defining success. Leaders who develop mastery over their thoughts and emotions grow and thrive. Those who don’t keep themselves stuck in a constant state of survival-mode; they are stressed, they experience conflict in their relationships and they often get sick.

We need to develop emotional mastery because life is miserable without it! Without personal mastery, we react impulsively to situations and people, we procrastinate and get distracted. I’ve seen business owners derail their projects, lose staff and customers and even lose their entire business because they could not manage their emotions and reactive behavior.

When we learn to master ourselves, we have focus and our performance improves. We respond thoughtfully to situations, customers and business partners. Our effectiveness improves and we become more efficient allowing us to get more done in less time. And when we practice mental and emotional mastery consistently, all areas of our life improve, we feel happier and optimistic.

Many of my coaching sessions focus on helping my clients develop emotional mastery. Today I’m sharing the tool that has made the biggest difference in my life and my client’s businesses. I hope it makes a difference for you. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: Developing Emotional Mastery from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to practice “flipping your switch”! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Are You Sabotaging Your Staff?

Louise is the owner of a retail clothing store. She has 1 store manager and several girls working in the store. Today’s leadership coaching session started off with Louise complaining about her manager’s poor performance. Louise was thinking she needed to “fix” her manager or let her go due to poor performance.

Louise’s goal is to have her manager, Sue, be independently operating the retail store. Louise thought Sue would take the reins as long as she felt supported and reassured by Louise. Louise’s frustration was that no matter how much reassurance she gave Sue, Sue kept asking questions and needing help, despite being on the job several months. The ongoing help Sue requested was not getting Louise the time freedom she was looking for and Louise was extremely frustrated.

Once I probed into the details, Louise and I discovered that Louise was actually sabotaging Sue’s success.

We discovered that when Sue comes to Louise with questions, Louise tells Sue what to do because Louise is not fully confident in Sue. We realized that Louise’s practice of giving Sue the answers was keeping Sue dependent on Louise and was undermining Louise’s goal of having Sue be confident and independent.

We framed the situation as follows:

Telling someone we believe in them puts a small deposit into the confidence “bank account”. But when we turn around and give that same person the answers to their questions, or tell them “just do it this way” (because it seems faster and easier to do so) we send a message to that person that we don’t really believe they are capable. This message withdraws “confidence capital” from the account for both parties. Over time, this behaviour of giving people answers actually sabotages their personal growth and success and keeps them dependent for the answers.

Asking questions that help the other person find their own answers, then letting that person put her solution in place to test the result, puts a much larger deposit into the confidence bank account for both parties and is an investment that pays higher returns over time.

Are you sabotaging or supporting your staff?

 


Winning Gold In Business: plan performance like an Olympian!

Carla Macleod is a defense woman for the Canadian women’s gold-medal winning hockey team. I met her at a luncheon where she was speaking about what it takes to be successful. Here are the strategies she shared for winning gold in business.

#1: Hope is not a strategy

Hope-fingers-crossedCarla first fell in love with hockey as a teenager. She played hockey endlessly, hoping of one day getting onto the World Cup team. Carla had passion for her sport, drive, determination and a willingness to play hard. She thought she had all the necessary ingredients for one day making the team. Carla caught the attention of the World Cup coaches and was considered for the team twice. And twice she was passed over. Carla learned that hard work and hope is not enough to achieve success. She realized she needed to set an intention and support it with a plan.

Many business owners start their business because they are passionate about something. They work hard and they hope for success. Unfortunately, this strategy often leads to exhaustion, burnout, estranged relationships, financial ruin and shattered dreams.

#2: Set an intention, within your control, and set a measure of success

Business SuccessA few years later Carla was chosen for the World Cup Hockey Team, and then she was training for the Canadian Women’s Olympic Team. When Carla shared her story about preparing for the Olympics, she said the team set an intention not to win gold, but to be the best prepared team amongst their competition. They set this intention because they knew they could control the outcome of preparedness. Carla reminded us that in the end, hockey is a game and that winning can go either way based on the referees, the skill of the other players, and feeling “on” or “off” any particular day. Many of those factors were beyond their control. What they could control was their training and how well prepared they were, physically, mentally and emotionally for the game.

Setting an intention means setting a goal, with a plan for execution. What’s your intention for your business in the next 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? What’s the most important business project you need to focus on? How will you measure success of this intention? What action steps will you take to achieve the goal?

#3: Develop new habits

time-for-changeTo prepare for the Olympics, Carla and her teammates adhered to a grueling training schedule. The team members were brought together in an isolated location for their coaches’ version of “Olympic Boot-camp”. The training program was designed to help every member of the team develop and strengthen excellent habits.

Many entrepreneurs exhibit destructive habits (often stress-coping mechanisms) that sabotage success. In regards to the intention you have set for yourself, what new habit do you need to develop in order to achieve your intention?

#4: Get support

get-supportA fundamental element of Carla’s success and the success of the entire Olympic team, was that the girls had support. I’ve talked with many Olympians and every one I’ve met has been extremely grateful for the support they received from family, friends and especially their many coaches.

Why do so many entrepreneurs think they have to go it alone? Elite athletes tell us time and again that success does not happen in isolation. It happens from enrolling others in supporting us, and our vision.

Who will you ask to support you in achieving your stated intention? Do you need a mentor? A consultant? A coach? What kind of support do you need? Do you need fresh perspective? Or accountability?

#5: Manage yourself effectively

personal-mastery-yodaCarla, high performance athletes and successful entrepreneurs know that the most challenging and powerful key element to success is learning to master your self. Learning to master our internal mental and emotional game makes all the difference in achieving success! Roadblocks are going to show up as we pursue our intentions. When we hit these walls, it’s easy to step down, play small and sabotage our best-laid intentions. Mastering how to lead our selves separates the elite performers from the wanna-be’s.

#6: Stay committed to your intention

CommitmentCarla had a one-time goal of playing in the Olympics. She committed to working hard and getting support for a set period of time, and she won gold. Entrepreneurs; your Olympics is your business, and you live it every day for years and decades! Your success will be determined by your commitment to the intentions you set, the habits you develop, the support you seek and the coaching you invest in to master your internal game and keep you stretching to new heights.

 

Plan your performance like an Olympian and may you win gold in business and life!


Stop Self Sabotage Instantly!

The #1 Way To Stop Self-Sabotage And Be Effective In Life And Business
One of last week’s coaching sessions focused on the important and common issue of self sabotage. I started a coaching session with a client by asking Bill (not his real name) how he was doing. He said, “fine” with a tone that told me otherwise. When I challenged Bill he responded, “you’re right, I’m frustrated, irritable and having bouts of uncontrollable rage”. Then, with a chuckle, he tried to make light of his coping strategies of “driving like a maniac (140 km.hr) to meetings” and his plan to drink 40 oz of whiskey on the weekend (instead of his usual 26 oz). It was clear. Bill was stuck in a downward spiral of self-sabotage that was putting him, his business and others at risk. He needed to switch out of his destructive pattern and back into his constructive patterns again. Bill even knew he was in a downward spiral, he felt out of control and he didn’t know how to switch back again.
How many times has this been you? How much time, energy and money have you wasted being stuck? How many relationships or partnerships have you damaged? How many times have you realized you’re in a downward spiral and you don’t know how to get out?
Getting unstuck is a skill we can learn like any other. First we need to recognize the pattern, know what to do when it happens and then apply the skill. And, just like learning yoga or golf, it’s easier and more effective the more we practice. In order to help Bill get “unstuck”, I introduced him to the “switching model”.
The Switching Model:

 

 

Original Source Of Model: Personal Best Seminars
Understanding The Switching Model:
The Downward Spiral:
Everything starts with an EVENT. The downward spiral is triggered when we resist the event. Our resistance leads to an automatic negative emotional reaction. This reaction is based on some limiting beliefs we hold (whether or not we are conscious of them). We react with some automatic behavior (ie. defensiveness, anger, confrontation, drinking) that leave us feeling worse. The downward spiral has begun. We feel stressed, irritable and out of control. This downward spiral is our self-sabotaging pattern in action.
This spiral typically keeps spinning and we can sabotage our selves for days, weeks and months. This spiral keeps looping around and down until the negative feelings eventually dissipate over time. Meanwhile, we feel miserable, we lose sleep, we over eat, we over-react to people (damaging relationships) and we often use vices as coping mechanisms. A lot of time, money and energy is wasted while reinforcing the limiting beliefs that started the cycle in the first place.
Constructive Pattern:
Getting unstuck requires us to return to the event. The key now is to see the event merely as words or actions with no meaning attached (ie. not our judgement or the meaning we assumed). When we do this, we can see the event as being neutral. We can accept the event for merely being an event, with no meaning attached and we can initiate our constructive behavior patterns again. It’s important to remember that we may not always be able to control the events around us, but we can always choose how we respond to them. Once we shift ourselves back into a positive place of choice, we feel in control, confident and calm. We resume being productive and constructive.
Once Bill reframed his interpretation of the events upsetting him, he reaped the benefits immediately. His rage and frustration dissipated, his creativity opened up and we created a plan together for how he would approach an important meeting that afternoon. In a follow up call, Bill felt excited for hosting a successful meeting, he had not received any speeding tickets and he enjoyed his weekend with his family.
We all have an amazing ability to choose how we view events around us and choose how we let them affect us, destructively or constructively. A key role of a professional coach is to help people develop mastery over the ability to apply choice. When we apply the power of choice, the average destructive to constructive cycle-time shifts from days to minutes or even moments. Less time, energy and money is wasted and the positive impact can be huge!

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership and business coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, processes and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


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