Absolutely! But first, I have a confession …
Because I encourage my executive coaching clients to practice the values of transparency and humility, I will “walk my talk.”
Just last week I delivered a presentation to business owners about how to be more efficient with your mental energy, avoid overwhelm, manage multiple priorities and get things done.
My confession: I have been struggling with how to stop my procrastination pattern this week.
Thanks. I feel better already.
In order to interrupt the pattern of procrastination and take action, I used it as motivation for me to write.
I’ve heard from very smart, successful clients of mine doing (in fact, I did #6 AND #1 just today so maybe I should re-title this: “Top 10 Signs I Am Procrastinating.” Then I can add Personal Integrity to my values list, too).
Because awareness is the first step to stopping procrastination, or any bad habit, I made a Top 10 List of what my procrastination pattern looked like (and I borrowed a few from my coaching clients, too).
Are any familiar to you?
Top 10 Signs You Might Be Procrastinating:
10. Eating something non-nutritious so you can stay awake while you watch the online training (hopefully not mine!)
9. Checking your email every 3 minutes
8. Looking for inspiration from articles on the internet so you can write your own article (this is me today)
7. Reading just one more article about “how to do …” so you can start doing whatever it is you should be doing
6. Checking LinkedIn for who’s viewed your profile
5. Replying TY for RT’s to all of the Twitter Followers in the past 3 days
4. Looking on Facebook to find people you went to high school with you never really cared about anyway
3. Repairing and painting the wall where the puppy chewed a hole last week
2. Watching the news to find out the horrible things that are happening today
1. Editing the promotional page for your upcoming leadership program for the 7th time today so that it’s perfect before you send it out
I could take this a step farther and feel guilty or ashamed about being so imperfect – and we could take it one step beyond that and say I’m a hypocrite.
Yet I choose not to … I choose instead to offer my human-ness up to you as an opportunity to learn and grow, for myself and most importantly for you if you so choose to take on The “BS” Challenge!
What Do You Mean By BS?
It no longer surprises me when one of my executive coaching clients who is highly respected and extraordinarily successful by anyone’s standards discloses their deep, dark BS: “If people only knew what a fraud I am (or feel like at times), then the secret would be out … and I would finally be discovered for who I really am.”
After years of hearing this fear coming from powerful, influential business people, I now recognize where this shame and fear comes from – it comes from “BS.” BS is far easier to recognize when it comes from someone else’s mouth rather than from inside your own head.
Brain science can now tell us a lot about what motivates human beings (no matter what your title), and more importantly, what we will work very hard to avoid. Proven strategies based in neuroscience can help us to very quickly to re-wire our brain to get unstuck, solve the challenge de jour and keep the problem from rearing its head again – ever.
But first, we need to change at the level of thinking – and explore BS. Let’s use mine as an example.
BS: The SHOULDS and the SUPPOSED Tos
What do I mean by “BS?” (This is where you say “b*llsh*t”).
Okay … let’s go with that one.
BS also can refer to our “Belief System” which for the most part is full of BS.
Now I’ll put the shoe back on my own foot: If I believe I SHOULD NEVER PROCRASTINATE or I SHOULD NEVER WASTE MY TIME DOING SOMETHING UNPRODUCTIVE especially because what I assist others to do is to be productive, and if I procrastinate, then I must also be hypocrite.
Now who’s the one with the big dark hairy BS? That would be me. And I feel incongruent because “I don’t practice what I preach.”
Are these rules similar to what you believe, too?
If I choose to keep this BS, I will not feel creative, inspired or motivated. Just stuck and embarrassed if anyone finds out what I believe … and those feeling states will not get me very far today. The good news is now that I’m aware of the BS, or belief, I can challenge it, keep it or replace it if it’s holding me back. And if I can do it, so can you.
How do I stop the pattern of procrastinating? Simple. I asked myself a question to uncover and challenge my own BS, “What do I have to believe to feel embarrassed that I am procrastinating right now?”
One possible answer/belief is “I ‘should’ never procrastinate because I coach other people on how to stop procrastinating. I should have ALL the ANSWERS!”
The follow up response and question is “Fair enough … and what elsecould be true?”
Yet, what else is true is that I am human. So I used the strategy ofAcknowledgement … simply acknowledge the feeling … “right now I feel embarrassed that I am unmotivated and procrastinating.” Here is a surprising fact based in brain science: Simply labeling a feeling releases negative energy attached to that belief. And reduces it’s power by almost 50%.
Then I ask the third question, “Okay, so I feel embarrased. What’s one small thing I can do right now to get into action to feel more productive?” The easy answer comes quickly … and my answer was to start writing … just write for 5 minutes. And in 30 minutes, I am finishing this article.
What are some other things you do that keep you from spending time doing the things you could be doing to move you forward?
Do you have a deep, dark fear or belief that holds you back from resolving challenges or avoiding situations where you lack confidence?
If so, then I have good news for you: ACE! Take these 3 Step ACE Approach to Get Out of Procrastination and Into Action:
#1. Awareness of and then check out the BS –“What do I have to believe to feel frustrated, stuck, etc.? That could be true … and what else could be true?”
#2. Choice: You now have at least two choices. Go with the BS as if it’s the only
truth (which it isn’t), or consider other beliefs that could be true
#3. Execution: Find one small step you can take to get unstuck and into ACTION – “What is one small thing I can do right now?”
When was the last time you confronted (or at least checked out) the BS in your head that’s holding you back from being a productive and proactive leader?
If you are ready to check out your incongruent, competing or limiting beliefs and replace them with supporting beliefs so you can take action you need now to propel you forward in your leadership effectiveness, I would be honored to offer you any resources I have to assist you! Click here now to get more information or to arrange your confidential and complimentary Leadership Strategy Session.[social_sharing style=”style-6″ fb_like_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/?p=5677″ fb_color=”light” fb_lang=”en_US” fb_text=”like” fb_button_text=”Share” tw_text=”Top 10 Ways To Procrastinate And How To Quickly Stop Procrastinating ” tw_lang=”en” tw_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/?p=5677″ tw_name=”@christinahaxton” tw_button_text=”Share” g_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/?p=5677″ g_lang=”en-US” g_button_text=”Share” p_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/?p=5677″ linkedin_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/?p=5677″ linkedin_lang=”en_US” alignment=”center”]
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit
Thank you to Michael Hyatt, who published this inspirational poem, Author Anonymous on his blog over at Intentional Leadership.
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I had the opportunity to review “The Progress Principle: Using small wins to ingite joy, engagement and creativity at work” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. I couldn’t agree more with the practical strategies explained in this book: Managers who recognize the human side of the motivation equation will find themselves leaps and bounds ahead of their peers who choose to remain oblivious to the science behind what makes good managers into great leaders.
An easy read, The Progress Principle offers managers a peek into what psychologists know about motivating people … and they are not afraid to use the F word frequently and loudly throughout: FEELINGS … (of course, what did you think I meant?). Yet with the knowledge you will gain from The Progress Principle, you will be able to communicate with your team without being afraid of crossing the line or coming across like the “office shrink.”
All I can say is … it’s about time!
Christina Haxton, MA LMFT
Founder, Sustainable Leadership, Inc.
Professional Speaker, Author & Executive Coach
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“Feedback” is a ‘four letter word’ and our brain reacts defensively when we simply hear the word. We put on the brakes and stop listening (see post on “Lizard Brain”)and our defenses go up automatically.
So how can you offer negative information so that someone can hear it, consider it and take action with a positive attitude instead of resentment?
First, starting with the positive, describe one or two recent actions that the person is doing right and well. Be specific about what they did or are doing and the difference it made for you, the team or the company.
Second, get permission to offer input with a question such as, “Would it be all right to give you some information (not feedback) I hope will be helpful for you?” Of course, they’ll say ‘yes’ especially if you are the boss, but the point is you are looking for a ‘head nod’ which indicates they are listening, and more open to hearing the information.
Third, ask “What are your thoughts about it?” Now you are separating the person from the behavior, engaging their brain into thinking about action and the future, rather than leaving them feeling judged or criticized.
If we start with the positive and believe that mistakes aren’t a sign of failure, but an opportunity to get information and adjust course accordingly, we are more open to hearing “feedback” and much more inspired to go forward with enthusiasm and get more done![sharebox4 sharetext=”Share This Page”] [/sharebox4]
“What Got You Here Won’t Get You There …” Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach to the Top Fortune 50 Companies says the technical knowledge, bottom line focus and sometimes ruthless strategies that got you promoted to Senior Leader level WON’T guarantee success in your new position, and most likely WON’T get you promoted to the next level.
In fact, the communication, relationship (yes, I said relationship) and interpersonal leadership skills to successfully motivate your team and to build an exceptional company that you need to excel here or there is another skill set entirely.
While Emotional and Social Intelligence are the key ingredients of outstanding CEO’s, odds are your MBA program or weekend Leadership Training won’t give you the depth and breadth you need to go beyond “knowing” the skills to “doing” and “being” a Sustainable Leader who is built to last from the inside out.
Do you want develop your skill set to harness your potential to drive positive change in yourself and others? Join me for a free webinar/teleseminar Thursday, April 7th to learn the key ingredients for Sustainable Leaders. http://tiny.cc/slmastermindcall
Feel free to invite a colleague, direct report or peer who you feel will benefit, too! Click this link http://tiny.cc/slmastermindcall to receive call in information now. Space is limited!
Leaders: Spring into ACTION and start by developing your personal leadership plan
Keys to Success for Leaders Who Last http://tiny.cc/slmastermindcall
I look forward to sharing the Keys to Sustainable Leaders with you next week!
1. To identify the strengths and fail points in Leadership Development initiatives, with a special interest in identifying the challenges faced by newly promoted Senior Leaders (recent research states over 40% of newly promoted executives quit or get fired within the first 18 months in their new position).
2. To begin to identify practical solutions for the fail points in Leadership Development programs or initiatives for today’s leaders, especially newly promoted executives and senior leaders.
3. To use the responses to develop a value-filled, evidence-based Sustainable Leaders Development & Mastermind group for Senior Leaders who are highly motivated to drive positive change in themselves, others and in the organization by learning practical, effective and sustainable interpersonal and communication skills, and develop themselves as a leader from the inside out.
SUMMARY SO FAR: While the number of survey responses is not (yet) statistically significant, it appears there are definitely “themes” or gap areas emerging, that when filled, will allow a leader to full fill his or her responsibilities more easily, feel more satisfied in their role and harness the power of their own potential as well as others, to facilitate organizational change, to continue to develop inter-personally as well as intra-personally to achieve ongoing growth and sustainability in self and others.
(At Least) 3 Fail Points in Leadership Training:
1. Please Understand Me – One fail point reflects a need for leaders to master a significantly higher level of interpersonal and communication skills (i.e., Emotional Intelligence) and the skills to better and more deeply understand people’s motivators and drivers to gain cooperation and support to get the job done quickly and easily. Not to mention understanding one’s own beliefs, motivators/drivers and the infinite ways we will attempt to avoid pain (our behavior is a result of our feelings which is a result of B.S. – which is a topic of a whole other thread, I’m sure).
2. Leaders don’t exist in a vacuum – Another fail point is “training” the individual in a one day workshop (yes, I’m being sarcastic, but this is a HUGE waste of time, money and resources) and sending him back to the office to effect change inevitably fails. Minimally, this strategy fails to take into consideration the homeostasis of the system (i.e. culture) as well as the basic dynamics of the “rules of engagement” in human relationships and communication.
3. Lonely at the the top – The survey also indicated a significant desire for leaders do network and exchange solutions and ideas in conversations with other like-minded senior leaders. “It’s a great tool, but how do I use it in real life?” I use a “What? So What? Now What?” approach which has been a very helpful framework for my clients to use to go from knowing something, to doing it to being it AND transferring the learning for lasting change. “A fool with a tool is still a fool.” I love it.
To take the brief 8 question survey and participate in the tele-forum to discuss the results and begin to identify solutions for the fail points in developing leaders today, go to Sustainable Leader’s Survey
Thank you and keep posting your insights, resources and questions!
Free Tele-seminar 11 AM MST listen by phone or web. Go to http://www.sustainable-leaders.com to register – Darn, you missed it! To receive notification when the audio download of this tele-seminar is available go to http://www.sustainable-leaders.com and register.