Beat Procrastination – Reflect Weekly

LeafClose-upIt can be challenging to stay focused on your goals. Sometimes you need to get creative to handle the tasks at hand. Try this simple weekly check-in that will make you feel good about your accomplishments and give you a much-needed boost. Each Friday afternoon (or any other time you prefer to organize, review, set goals, etc.), answer two simple questions:

  1. What did you accomplish this week?
  2. What made you feel really good?

Here’s what you will discover: Even during the weeks that you think you didn’t do much or accomplish much, you will realize that you did considerably more than you thought. By taking a few moments to jot down those thoughts, you can close that week feeling great about your progress.

For me, accomplishments can range from the simple to the sublime — receiving an inquiry from a potential client, receiving an email from someone in another part of the world who read and enjoyed one of my articles, or getting a personal note from someone who appreciated one of my professional development seminars. They all made it to my list that week.

Pausing, reflecting and acknowledging that you did a great job will keep you motivated and will inspire you to do a better job during the next week, month, quarter, or year.

Beat Procrastination – Find a Buddy To Help You Stay on Track

361102_best_friends_foreverIf you have a proclivity to procrastinate, you may need to partner with a “goal buddy” to help you get focused and stay on track. Begin by asking yourself this question: “Of all the people I know, who is a natural at getting things done and achieving their goals?” That is the person you want to ask to help you achieve your goals. Where do you find such a person? Look no further than a good friend, relative, trusted co-worker, business colleague, spouse or significant other. It could be someone who already plays the role of mentor or coach, someone to guide you through the process. It’s one thing to be accountable to you, however, you can cut yourself way too much slack. It’s entirely different to be accountable to someone else because you have nowhere to hide! You are much more likely to reach your goals if you are accountable to another person.

I have been blessed for more than a decade to work with my goal buddy, Susan, one of my training colleagues. We first partnered up during a goal-setting exercise at an informal gathering of trainers. We enjoyed the process so much, we decided to continue as goal buddies. We kick off each year by sharing our business and marketing goals. We then meet at the end of each quarter to review what we have accomplished, and what we have planned for the coming quarter. We support our dreams and celebrate our successes. Knowing that I am accountable to Susan makes me want to accomplish even greater things.

There is no need to suffer in silence with your procrastination. Find a goal buddy to help you focus on achieving your goals.

Beat Procrastination – Chunk It!

282121_me_in_the_spotlightChunky Monkey is my favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor. Bananas. Chocolate. Nuts. What’s not to love about that? I could sit down and eat an entire pint in one sitting and end up with a bellyache. Instead, I choose to enjoy it in smaller portions and savor the flavor.

Looking at tasks is no different. Your plan can seem daunting at first if you look at it as one large piece. If it appears too big for you to get your arms around, then reduce it to smaller pieces, more manageable “chunks” that you can handle easily.

When you set aside just 10 to 15 minutes a day and take smaller portions of a larger task, before you know it, the task will be done, and you will be ready to move on to something else. Or set aside uninterrupted longer periods of time to focus on just one part of that larger project.

When I began writing my first book, Everything I Do Positions Me: The Simple Path to Professional Success,┬áit felt like a huge project, and it was. I didn’t know where to start, and my thinking was scattered. A colleague of mine, Meg, recommended that I consider every section as its own project, with its own deadline and of course a celebration when it was complete. It helped me to break that huge task into bite-size portions.

To help you “chunk it,” ask yourself these questions:

What one part of this large task could I focus on today?

How much time can I devote to it?

What can I complete today that will bring me closer to my ultimate goal?

When you break down a larger project into smaller tasks, you will complete it faster and easier without the worry or the bellyache!

Achieve Your Goals With a “Reciprocal Resource”

Goals SignPeople come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes we don’t immediately recognize what the purpose is. When you look at other individuals as “reciprocal resources” (you help each other), you will be amazed at how quickly you will expand your knowledge and achieve your goals.

Think of people in your life who could become a reciprocal resource – a buddy with a purpose. For instance, one of my colleagues, Susan, is my goal-setting buddy and has been since 2000. We get together for lunch or afternoon tea at the beginning of each year and then at the end of each quarter to discuss our business and personal goals, what we have accomplished the previous quarter, and what we plan to accomplish in the next quarter. Because I am accountable to Susan and not just to myself, I am more likely to achieve greater things because I am doing it for her. I don’t want to disappoint her. She keeps me accountable and focused on the future and I do the same for her.

Over the years, we have brainstormed creative solutions, honestly evaluated each other’s business models and revised our action plans. Goals that were once part of a written plan have come into fruition because we are equal partners in each other’s success.

As you aspire to that next level in your career and in life, consider approaching someone you admire, respect and trust to become a reciprocal resource. When you are accountable to someone other than yourself, you will achieve great things.