Today, we’re going to address a problem that has wreaked more havoc and destroyed more promising business coaching careers than anything else.
Of all the deadly mistakes I see business coaches make, this is perhaps the most serious– not just because it’s an automatic career killer when it’s a serious factor in people’s lives, but because it’s so widespread. Almost everyone does it. And that makes procrastination a problem of epic proportions.
But the ultra-successful have mastered it. To join us, so must you.
As we go through the rest of this article, think of the tasks you procrastinate most. What are they? Make a list of at least 3-5 things you’ve been putting off.
Maybe it’s cold calling…budgeting…
Whatever you’re procrastinating, write it down now. No, seriously. I’ll wait.
Why Business Coaches Procrastinate
First, ask yourself WHY? Whenever you’re confronted with procrastination, it helps to understand the source of your hesitation so you can take positive, productive steps to overcome it.
Here are some of the most common reasons people put off important action items:
- Fear of the unknown
- Stress and overwhelm
- Fear of failure
Perhaps different tasks on your list have different reasons. Maybe they’re all extensions of the same thing. Whatever the source, identify it now.
And then deploy this five-step process to help you overcome procrastination, regardless of the reason…
STEP ONE: Visualize Your Outcome
Take a moment to really imagine what it will be like when your project is done. The relief to have it off your plate. The sense of satisfaction that comes from doing something hard. The appreciation of your clients. The money in your pocket. Just enjoy the thought of finally being able to cross this off your to-do list.
STEP TWO: Brainstorm Solutions
Is a project to advance your business coaching practice stuck because you’re confused or confounded by an ongoing problem? Brainstorming is a terrific way to approach it with a new perspective. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and jot down every idea that comes to you. Don’t “self-edit” or criticize anything. Get it all out–then review and evaluate what you’ve written. Oftentimes you’ll find the solution is right in front of you.
STEP THREE: Give Yourself a Hard Deadline
If you’re having difficulty finding motivation for activities with soft or revolving deadlines–like sales or marketing tasks–give yourself a hard deadline for completion. Find an accountability partner, such as a mentor, spouse, friend–or best of all, your own coaches’ coach–and tell them what your deadline is. Ask them to check in with you to ensure you complete it.
STEP FOUR: The 30 Minute Rule
Set a timer for 30 minutes and shut off all other distractions: phone, email, internet, everything. Then work as hard and fast and focused as you can for just that time. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in 30-minute increments. Sometimes you’ll discover you’re engaged enough to just finish it up. But if you’re still finding it difficult to connect, give yourself permission to stop after those 30 minutes and start again the next day.
STEP FIVE: Ready, FIRE, Aim
Successful business people often refer to a strategy called “Ready, FIRE, Aim.” The idea is that you give yourself some general preparation (“Ready”), and then take immediate action based on your preparation–understanding even as you do it that it won’t be exactly right (“Fire”). But there’s no better way to learn than by hands-on experience. So take action, evaluate, and make adjustments based on what you’ve learned (“Aim”).
Then go back and do it all over again.
It’s an incredibly powerful philosophy that will change the way you think about success and business, and help you master the habit of procrastination once and for all.
Finally, a word of advice from someone who’s been around the business coaching industry a long time: if you’re an otherwise talented and effective person, the source of your difficulty might very well be perfectionism–an unrealistic expectation that you must do the job perfectly the first time around.
So give yourself permission to fail fast.
Understand that true success is only achieved through trial and error.
If you're an otherwise talented and effective person, the source of your difficulty might very well be perfectionism--an unrealistic expectation that you must do the job perfectly the first time around. So give yourself permission to fail fast. Understand that true success is only achieved through trial and error.
Of course, one of the best ways to overcome procrastination is by knowing EXACTLY what you need to do to be successful. Then you can plunge forward with full confidence that you’ll get the results you’re seeking.
That’s why I’d like to invite you to take advantage of a FREE 30-day trial of our comprehensive business coaching system.
You’ll immediately obtain actionable information you can use to make massive strides in your business coaching practice today. Sometimes all you need is some solid direction to get you unstuck. I’m willing to bet you’ll find it inside our system. Enjoy!