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I’m Procrastinating! Help Me!

A consultant wrote to me: “I do this thing where people contact me through my website, interested in working with me & I don’t respond to them, like, forever…

And then I put it off even more, because it’s been so long – so that now I feel bad. Does anyone else do this? What the hell & how do I get over whatever this is?”

First of all, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I catch myself doing this. A lot! And when I do, I have discovered that it’s almost always one of two things creating it—fear or overwhelm:

1. FEAR

Without realizing it, I’ve made up a story about who this person is.

Or I’ve made up a story about what I can or cannot offer them.

Or I’ve made up a story about how I might fail—if I follow through by replying.

Or I’ve made up a story about how I might succeed—and then not be up to the job—if I follow through by replying!

And then I’ve scared myself with the very story I’ve made up!

2. OVERWHELM

It’s taken me years to realize that I get overwhelmed with ‘simple’ tasks like scheduling.

You see a simple email invitation to speak to someone, can often lead to a series of a dozen back and forth emails! And that completely drains me of energy. So I’d rather not reply in the first place.

SO WHAT’S MY SOLUTION?

Well, first of all I am a work in progress. Which means SELF-AWARENESS is always the first step.

(i) HONESTY comes first. When I do my Weekly Review, I ask myself “WHAT am I procrastinating on?”

(ii) INSIGHT comes second. When I do my Weekly Review, I then ask myself “WHY am I procrastinating on that? Is it from Fear or Overwhelm?”

(iii) ACTION comes third.

If it’s from FEAR, I ask myself “What’s the tiniest step I could take that wouldn’t be scary?!”

Or, I’ll sometimes ask myself the Tim Ferriss question, “What if this was easy? Then what would I do?”

If it’s from OVERWHELM, I ask myself “Should I really even be doing this?” Or “Who else could be doing this instead of me?”

It’s why I have built a team of extraordinary people. It’s why in our team, we each know our Zone of Genius. It’s why in our team, we have each done a Kolbe assessment and a StrengthsFinder assessment, so we know what our strengths are.

And it’s why I have a growing “Avoid At All Costs List” of all the things that someone else other than me should be doing!

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1. What are you procrastinating on, right now?

2. Why are you procrastinating on it?

3. What’s the TINIEST next step you could take to handle it?

Love. Rich

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