Take 7 steps to stop procrastination
We have a client to call or a sale to make, yet we don’t do it. We have a deadline coming up and yet we can’t seem to close? What is keeping us back? Why are we reluctant, unable to complete? What do we need to close?
We have tried the things that professionals advise. We have made plans, said the affirmations, yet when it is time to execute we are paralyzed, we cannot move to pick up the phone, our mind goes blank and we find something else to do.
It is easy to say that I will not procrastinate, but it is not enough.
I have learned that procrastination is the twin of fear. As professionals we are not trained to acknowledge our feelings on the job; yet our emotions wreak havoc by making us unsure, scared and afraid. At the office no one uses the word fear, yet it walks with each of us when we are afraid to take action and afraid to fail.
How do we get rid of the procrastination? The question really is “How to get rid of fear?”
Step 1 – The first step is to get rid of the euphemism and call it what it is. Get a mirror, look yourself in the eye and say “I am scared of calling the client, terrified to call the client.” If you don’t have a mirror it will still work.
Step 2 – Feel your body’s reaction to the admittance of fear. Now that you have named it your body is going to hold the fear and show you where it is. You may feel a twinge in your stomach or dullness in your head or slight tension in your neck. This is just the fear waving at you and saying yes I am here and real.
Step 3 – Say what you are afraid of. “I am afraid the client may say no”. “I am afraid to complete the report because I am uncertain about its usefulness.”
Step 4 – Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen if you I took the action. And what is the probability of this happening. The client would say “NO I don’t want it. Do not ever call me again!!” What are the chances of this happening? “Very slim.” This is a new client who wants the service. Once you are aware that the worst will not happen then the tension in your body begins to ease.
Step 5 –Focus on the bigger picture – What’s the real reason that you are making the call. You want to achieve your sales quota so that you can take a great vacation. Focus on the vacation and see the call as a small step to that vacation. Removing the focus from the call makes it less of an issue.
Step 6 –Take the action (now that you have done all the above) Make the call. Plan for it as you would and prepare your script and what you would say when the client says NO. Focus on the things that you can control, making the call, the way that you sell. Accept that you cannot control the client so do not focus on what the client will say.
Step 7 – Reward yourself. Now that you have made the call reward yourself. Know that you are one step closer to that vacation and congratulate yourself for making the call. Celebrate the achievement. Try this the next time that you are procrastinating and tell me how it works.
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About Maxine Attong
Maxine Attong is passionate about writing, facilitation and coaching. Her personal Vision is to "enhance the lives of the people and organizations that she comes into contact with". This Vision is supported by her personal beliefs that all humans are innately intelligent and creative with a desire to do better. Maxine is a graduate of…