For the last 23 years I’ve been working with coaching clients who want to improve executive function skills. What are executive function skills, you ask? Here’s a list from the Guare & Dawson Model. Metacognition — Being able to observe yourself and be aware of your own thinking. Build self-monitoring and self-evaluation skills. Planning/Prioritizing — Create, then …
I’m frequently asked, “What kinds of things can you help me with?” It would make answering easier if I were a different kind of coach. If I was a sales coach I could say I help you close more sales. But as a business/executive/worklife coach there’s a broad range of needs that have inspired clients …
Micro-scheduling your entire day usually doesn’t work. Life and business are so fluid that in most jobs you need to be nimbler than that. Of course meetings and appointments need to be scheduled on your calendar but there are a few other tasks that stand a much better chance of getting done if you actually block time on your calendar.
Do you talk to yourself? (Did you just ask yourself that question aloud?) When our son was still little enough to be strapped into a car seat behind me, every once in awhile he’d ask, “Mom, are you talking to me or to yourself?” It didn’t take him long to figure out that his mom …
See if these describe you or someone with whom you work…
Procrastinate: That thing that you don’t want to do isn’t going to be any more appealing if you put it off for hours, days or weeks. Do it or decide you’ll never do it but quit avoiding it and making yourself miserable.
Hoard information: Being the holder of all of the information simply means other people on the team are in the dark. A team that’s working half in the dark can’t reach the goal in any kind of timely or profitable way. Having more information doesn’t make you more valuable.
Think back to a time when you disappointed yourself. Perhaps you missed a deadline due to procrastination. Or cheated big time on your diet. Maybe promised yourself you’d do a dreaded task and then just kept making excuses instead of actually doing it.
Now think about how you treated yourself when you disappointed yourself. If you’re like most people, you beat yourself up. Said all sorts of disparaging things about how you should plan better, have more discipline, be more committed.
Are those thoughts a successful strategy
I read two books about procrastination last weekend.
The first is The On-Time, On-Target Manager. If you are a novice procrastinator (or have a “friend” who is and out of sheer generosity you bone up on the issue in order to help your “friend”) that may be the book for you. It maps out, through a fable about Bob, the downsides of procrastination.
Bob learns, evidently for the first time, that
There aren’t many resources that I couldn’t live without, but this is one of them. It’s all about procrastination.
Tim Pychyl, Ph.D. is the Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education and an Associate Professor of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa. Tim’s website, Procrastination Research Group is packed with helpful resources to help people better understand and deal with procrastination.
His podcasts feature
The deadline for a giant project looms. Knowing it needs to get done and yet also knowing you haven’t started on it yet creates a pervasive gnawing at your brain. The dread can go anywhere from a sense of unease to full blown panic.
You know the anxiety will diminish as soon as you can get started but right now you don’t have what you need because what you need is a large block of time. In this large block of time you’ll be able to focus completely on this important project and, step by step, close loops on consecutive tasks until finally your project is wrapped up neatly and triumphantly.
And a large block of time is exactly what you’ll never get.
Take a moment or two and think about a task you’ve been putting off. Something that you think is going to be difficult, or take forever, or be scary to do, or has the potential to make someone unhappy with you if you do it.
Got one? Good. Now I’ll tell you mine.
I had never put air in my own tires because I didn’t know how. Wasn’t sure how much air should go in there. Was afraid the tire might explode if I did it wrong, etc. So when a tire was low it became
Using a timer to increase productivity works because it supports focusing long enough to get difficult or unpleasant tasks done. I’ve been touting this as smart idea since childhood. I learned it from my mom.
The simple idea is to set the timer for a short amount of time that you need to focus on a particular task and get to it. While the timer is counting down, no checking email or surfing the web.
You’ve got a deadline to hit for a project that has been challenging – or you think may be challenging once you finally get going on it. But because of this idea about it being challenging, you’ve been delaying it for awhile. Maybe days or even weeks.
You know that there will be serious issues if you don’t get started soon, so you promise that you’ll indeed get started today. But there’s just one more thing
Last week our son was unscheduled so he and I tackled some projects around the house in between my work commitments. The result of one of our projects? — A porch-full of items for charity. I wanted to get rid of that stuff for a long while. But for some reason, last week it was like a fire had been set under us. Why the change in attitude about getting started?
While working with a client last week, we tackled an office project that had been weighing on her mind. As we worked on it, she looked at me and asked, “Why is this so much easier when you’re here?”