Ep #162: Time Management – Procrastination
Time is the MOST important asset that we have in our lives.
Unfortunately, most of us do a poor job at staying focused and managing our time properly. We regularly indulge in procrastination and delay (or completely deny ourselves) getting what we truly want in life.
I strongly believe that you have your dreams for a reason (and it’s not because you’re selfish); that reason being that you’re supposed to evolve to the place where you can materialize your dreams.
If you have a compelling desire and you like your reason why you want something, I believe it is your responsibility to go and get it.
Most people never see their dreams come to life because of procrastination. They put off taking action toward what they want because they feel lazy, overwhelmed, or fearful, or they indulge in another emotion that’s preventing them from creating something. They let their future just happen to them.
In this episode, I share some actionable tools and strategies that you can start using today to defeat procrastination and save you time and precious energy previously used to worry, stress, and mismanage your time.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- Why so many of us indulge in procrastination.
- Why “I don’t feel like it” is not a good enough reason not to act.
- The misconception about what our inspired work should feel like.
- How our emotional responsibility affects procrastination.
- The detrimental effects of perfectionism.
- Tips and strategies for defeating procrastination and accomplishing every task you need to.
- Other productivity tips and more!
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well hello, my friends. How are you guys doing? Me, I'm doing amazing today. I'm having an amazing day. I just had the most incredible walk with my dogs. I was on vacation for a week and I missed them terribly. You know how I'm obsessed with my dogs. I came home and was just so excited to have a day where I could just go and walk for as long as I wanted to walk. They were crazy wild. It was just really fun. I just got back and I'm so excited to talk to you all.
I want to let you know that I have some free trainings coming up. If you're listening to this live, if you're listening to this within a couple weeks of me recording it, then you will be able to participate in some of these free trainings. You just need to go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com, and look in that hello bar, which is the bar that's at the top. It'll show you the most recent training that I'm doing for free. You need to make sure that you keep checking there to see which training I'm releasing. Make sure you get on for free. They will be taught live, and then they will go away.
I'm going to teach a training called, "The Three Secrets to Feeling Better." That's going to be an epic training. I've spent a lot of time creating that. I have a lot of stories, a lot of my history of how I have changed my life from basically feeling negative emotion all of the time to actually embracing negative emotion and turning towards experiencing the whole range of emotions, which actually has allowed me to have a lot more positive emotion. I'm going to talk about the three secrets to feeling better. I'm going to talk about, in another different training, I'm going to talk about making $700,000 on one emotion. I swear to you that is the truth. I changed one emotion in my life, and made $700,000 from changing that one emotion. I'm going to tell you how I did that, and I'm going to talk a little bit about money, and our ideas about money in that free training.
Then the last training that I'm going to offer is called, "The 15 Minute Relationship Fix." Upcoming in May, in Self Coaching Scholars, we are going to be talking about relationships. Everything that we are focused on, and the way that I've set it up in the training for May is that each week we're going to go in depth into one of our personal relationships. I want to give you kind of the quick start version of that in a training. Those three trainings will be coming up over the next two weeks. Make sure you keep going to my site to see when they're being offered, and make sure you register for them. If you are on my email list, you will get notices that they are upcoming and you can register for them as well. They're going to be very good. I just want to tell you.
For some reason, this year has kind of been a culmulation year, culmulation year? I don't even know how to pronounce that. Everything's coming together for me in terms of my knowledge, and my experience, and my understanding. I feel like I'm making epic leaps in terms of my own personal development, because I really am starting to apply and have things click that I have been studying for the past 10 years. Because of that, I feel like I'm able to teach it in a way that is better than I've ever taught before. Most of my students are agreeing with me, they're like, "You are on fire right now. The way that you're teaching this material, the way that I'm learning it, it's just getting better and better every single class I take from you." That's kind of fun to hear, but I also kind of sense it and feel it within myself. I feel like everything's kind of coming together.
These trainings are absolutely 100% free, so please join me if you would like to learn a little bit more about money, relationships, or feeling better. This episode we are wrapping it up with time management. We've been talking about time management a lot in Self Coaching Scholars this month, and people have made such huge changes in their lives. It is our most important asset, time. We don't spend enough time really focused and really being careful with managing it. I feel like this month, really being able to focus, and stay committed, and planning, and being really deliberate with time, has made a huge impact on so many of us that are in Self Coaching Scholars.
I think one of the most important habits that we need to change is procrastination. So many people that I work with have procrastinated their dreams. You can procrastinate your dreams right to your death. I want to offer to you that you have your dreams for a reason. That reason is not just because of your own selfishness. That reason is because you're supposed to evolve yourself to the place where you can create them. A lot of people say to me, "Well I don't have a dream that's about serving the world." What I say is, "If you are evolving yourself to accomplish an impossible dream for yourself, you are serving the world." The world needs us to evolve. Humanity needs us to evolve, to go to the next version, the next level of ourselves. Not in a way that causes us to burnout, not in a way that causes us to punish ourself, not in a way that causes us to beat ourselves up, or overwork, or any of those things…in a way so that we really do manifest the best version of who we want to be. Not the best version of anyone else wants us to be, but the best version of who we want ourselves to be, because that internal drive, that internal knowledge is our humanity pushing us forward. It's not just like, "Oh, it would be nice for me to write a book, it would be nice for me to make more money, it would be nice for me to start a family." Those things are not just about, "It would be nice for you." If you have that compelling desire inside of you, and you really like your reason for why you want something, it is, in my opinion, your responsibility to go and get it.
I'm pretty tough with my clients, I'm pretty like, "Let's go get it. Let's stop thinking about it, let's stop berating ourselves about it, let's stop second guessing it. Let's go get it." Not because I want you to be successful for success sake. I just think humanity depends on it. I think we have to keep looking forward. We can't depend on other people to do it for us, right? We can't depend on, "Hey, someone else come up with a great idea. Someone better than me." I think we all have to do our part, and our part, we can only know what that is by paying attention and being conscious to our own desires. It's really important. Procrastination is the opposite of that, okay? Procrastination is putting off because we're either afraid, or we're feeling lazy, or we're feeling overwhelmed, we're indulging in some emotion that's preventing us from creating something.
Whenever you hear yourself say, "I don't feel like it." I want you to remember that is normal, but it's not a legitimate reason to not do something. You will not always, and in fact most of the time when you are evolving into the next version of yourself, you will not feel like it. Evolving is uncomfortable. Discomfort is the currency to your dreams. You will feel the opposite of feeling like doing it. That's when you know that you must move forward. That's why having time scheduled to do it, and knowing that it's not negotiable, is the best way to follow through on those things. If you are constantly only doing what you feel like doing, you are going to be moving backward.
Now, I don't know how many of you have listened to my three part video series on having an extraordinary life. In that video series I talk about, and you can get on that on my website by the way…I talk about the motivational triad. I talk about how we have evolved to this point by seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and exerting the least amount of energy possible. That is how we have survived. But we have survived to the point where that motivational triad is no longer serving us. In fact, it's preventing us from evolving if we keep honoring what got us here. It's such a metaphor for our lives in terms of business, in terms of personal development, in terms of our entire life. What got us here can't get us to that next level. You actually have to reverse the motivational triad to evolve beyond survival, which means you have to pursue discomfort. Which means your brain will be terrified, right? It's like, "We should just be seeking pleasure, which served us when we were living in a cave." It's not serving us now when we have Safeway and Starbucks down the street.
We need to be willing to experience emotional pain. It's not being forced on us so much anymore, so we have to open ourselves up to it, and we have to be willing to exert more energy. Not the kind where we're stressed out, and freaking out, and shoving ourselves around. But the kind where we're allowing energy to flow through us, and produce the work we're meant to produce in the world.
Notice that when you're doing your best work, it doesn't always feel like unicorns and butterflies. I think sometimes we feel like our inspired work should feel like flow all of the time. It does sometimes, and I think that's the worst part because I think we want it to feel that way all of the time. Now, the more emotional management, and the more emotional responsibility you have, the less you will procrastinate. The more you recognize that you are the ones creating your emotions, the less you will use them as an excuse not to create something.
Often the clients and students I work with who procrastinate are self called, "Perfectionists." What I tell them ... Basically what they're doing is delaying their work, delaying putting it out there, delaying doing it because it's not perfect yet. What I always say is, "Perfectionists are scared people," right? They're scared of making a mistake, they're scared of failing, they're scared of rejection, they're scared of someone finding a typo. Heaven forbid. It's a vicious cycle. Perfectionists are scared of being judged. If you don't complete something, you won't ever be judged on it. Delaying it temporarily prevents the judgment. Delaying it pretends to give us time to make it perfect.
If you are a self called, "Perfectionist," you know that this doesn't work, right? That work doesn't get done. If it does, we're so exhausted by it that we can't create anything else. I'm always encouraging every one of my students to do a rough draft and to put it out into the world. To do B minus work. We're trained that A work is the only thing that matters, so we either do the A work or we drop out of class. What I want you to do is just keep going, even if you're getting a C minus. Keep going. Keep putting your work out there in the world. Don't drop out of class.
When it's something with a deadline we get to the point where the pressure of completion and incompletion becomes more critical than the need to make it perfect. Incompletion is imperfection, when there is an expectation of completion from a boss, etc. This is why so many of my students get into so much trouble when they start their own businesses. We are used to having an authority figure driving our work. For example, those of us who would wait til the last minute to get our work done, would do it because there was a boss expecting, because there was an authority figure, or a teacher expecting it. Then it became more important to get it done, than it was for it to be perfect. Many of us don't have that anymore, so we have to be that for ourselves. I don't know if you guys can hear my dogs, but they are of course going completely nuts while I'm recording this podcast. I just took them on an epic two hour walk too and they're just going nuts.
Okay, so this is why people will say they do better when they complete things at the last minute. They also have an explanation for themselves as to why the product isn't perfect. This is one of the worst parts of being a perfectionist. Most of the harsh judgment comes from the self. What is the solution to this? You will often hear me talk about doing the B minus work. Complete is better than nothing. Showing up is better than nothing. Completing the class is better than dropping out. I promise you that this is true.
Some of you cannot, even when I say, "Turn in B minus work," and I'm just talking about your own blog post or something, people can't even fathom doing B minus work. If it's not an A, they're unwilling to do it. The issue is when there's no reason for finishing something, procrastination often leads to incompletion. When there is no accountability, when no one is demanding it, especially in the beginning when you're recording podcasts and recording blogs and writing blogs and nobody's paying attention when you're a brand new coach. Or when you are procrastinating going to the store to take care of yourself physically or procrastinating money. Whatever it is that you're doing, procrastinating completing, not offering value to the world, many times it doesn't even get done in the last minute because there is no pressure to get it done, right? If there's no pressure to get it done, and that's the only way you get things done is the last minute pressure, then you end up with a lot of incompletes in your life.
One of my teachers Dan Sullivan, taught me that you can focus on getting the first 80% of any project done, as fast as possible. This has totally changed my perspective. Instead of, "I have a paper due in two months, so I have plenty of time." You say, "I have a paper due in two months, I'm going to get the first 80% of it done in the next two weeks," right? Instead of wait ... It's like procrastinating backwards. Instead of waiting until two weeks before to feel the pressure, you give yourself two weeks now, and you get it done as fast as possible so you add that pressure to yourself. You're not worried about it being perfect, cause you know you'll have may weeks to perfect it, but you give yourself ... As fast as possible, get the first 80% done.
What is counterintuitive is that the faster you work, the less effort it actually takes to complete a project. What? Does that even make any sense? Asking yourself to work as fast as possible removes all options for distractions, delay, questioning, and time wasting. It also eliminates the option of perfectionism. You can't work as fast as possible and have the luxury of making something perfect. Many think working fast is stressful, but when you try it, you will realize that working fast doesn't have room for stress. It requires a steady and relaxed focus that keeps moving. This is why people think they do better when they wait til the last minute, because they don't have time to be distracted. They don't give themselves that option, so they're able to work more productively. What I'm suggesting is that you learn the skill of doing that ahead of time, as fast as possible so you schedule chunks of time and you say, "I have to get this done within this time." Now, it doesn't have to be done perfectly, but it has to be done. It's a game changer you guys. I promise you.
When I'm sitting down to write books, or I'm sitting down to write articles, or I'm sitting down to prepare for a podcast and I give myself one hour to get it all documented, I do not ever let myself get more than an hour in, right? It has to be an hour. I keep looking at the clock. I keep paying attention. I keep writing. I keep writing. I keep going. I will tell you, you do not make room for day dreaming when you do that. It's really, really powerful. What is interesting is that people who say they perform better when they procrastinate, is because they're forced to do work fast and they only have the option of B minus work. What I'm suggesting is that you do this ahead of time. You create this short timeframe, and insist that you work within it to get your work done to a B minus ahead of schedule.
Then if you want to obsess about it for the next five weeks, and correct it, and fix it, or whatever, you have the luxury of doing that. What most of us do is we're perfectionists ahead of time, so we anticipate making it perfect instead of actually trying to make it perfect, right? We're thinking that it's not going to be good enough, so we wait til the last minute where we don't have that option. It makes so much more sense if you are a perfectionist to give yourself some time to try and make it so there are no typos and that the grammar is correct and that everything's up to the A plus range that you want. It's so ironic that most of perfectionists don't do that because we're scared, right? We're freaking out the whole time, so we go to the last minute, and then ... It's so stressful to want something to be perfect, and to not have the time to reread it, or process it, or anything. We're just shifting that all ahead of time.
This will increase your momentum, your capability, and your confidence. It's the same exact amount of work and time, but the result is very different. The feeling fueling it is everything. Notice the difference in the thoughts. When you procrastinate, you spend the first half of the time ... Let's say you have a month to do something. You spend the first two weeks thinking about doing something, and thinking about how you aren't doing it. This causes stress. It's like hanging over you. It's burning up priceless energy.
Instead of having all that anticipation and all that stress, and then doing it the last two weeks, just switch it around. When you work under pressure first, then you skip that whole part, you get the work done ahead of time, and then if you want to spend the rest of the time refining, do that. You have to be your own accountability partner. You have to have authority over yourself, and your motivational triad, and your brain. You are the one. Once you get a hold of it, and once you start working like this, it's so much more fun, and enjoyable. Think about this you guys. Think about when you get something done ahead of schedule. Think about when you complete something, how great that feels. You still have time and you're like, "Here, this is a couple weeks early" versus waiting until you're rushing at the last minute. It's almost like on a smaller scale when you have somewhere to be, and you procrastinate leaving the house. Then you're rushing to get there, and you're rushing, and you're apologizing for being late. It's so much better to arrive 10 minutes early, and then you can just chill. Or you leave 10 minutes early, and you hit a little bit of traffic, it's no big deal, right? You still are going to arrive on time. You're still going to be calm. We burn up so much of our time, and so much of our precious energy worrying and stressing, and mismanaging our time by procrastinating.
I really want to encourage you to learn how to do it backwards. Get the first 80% done, B minus ahead of time. Then spend the rest of the time enjoying that it's done, and refining it, and make sure it's completely done early so you can enjoy the integrity, you can enjoy the capability, you can enjoy the confidence that comes from that.
All right you guys. I am really excited to see you on my live trainings over the next two weeks. I look so forward to seeing you then. I'll talk to you next week. Oh and hey, make sure you stay on after the outro to listen to Geri Gibbons. She is one of my coaches, and she's going to talk about ripping off the emotional bandaid. Really good stuff, enjoy.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast you have to come check out Self Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material, and we apply it. We take it to the next level, and we study it. Join me over at TheLifeCoachSchool.com/Join. Make sure you type in the, "The," T-H-E, LifeCoachSchool.com/Join. I'd love to have you join me in Self Coaching Scholars. See you there.
Podcast Feature: Geri Gibbons
Hi everyone, I'm Geri Gibbons. I'm a life and weight loss coach who helps smart, savvy, professional women with more than 50 pounds to lose, and their struggle with weight and body image issues. I'm delighted to be here on the Life Coach School Podcast to talk about ripping off the emotional bandaid and telling yourself the truth about overeating. Removing the bandaid is a great metaphor for thinking about change, and specifically about going beyond one of the popular diet programs to really understand why you're overeating, and create lasting change in your life.
In order to lose weight preeminently, one of the things I think you have to do is tell yourself the truth. I'm not suggesting anybody out there's being consciously dishonest with themselves, as much as perhaps being a little evasive, or unconsciously evasive. I do know that if you're overweight and you're anything like I was, there are some things you don't want to know. For starters, facts like what you weigh, what your health indicators are, how much you eat. The big thing that we all really don't want to know, is why we're overeating to start with.
The truth really does set you free. I meet way too many women who are afraid of the truth about themselves, and why they overeat. Once you bring the truth out into the light, you can't hide from it in dealing with it, acknowledging your weight and health issues feels overwhelming. Here's the truth, if you don't know why you're overeating, everything you do is a bandaid, and you know this is true because if you're like me, you're a serial dieter. Food isn't the problem, and if food was the problem, all the diets we've been on would have worked. The problem is we hide from ourselves and we hide the truth about why we're overeating. Without the truth, many of us are destined to live lives in emotional pain, to overeat about it, and ultimately not live the life that we want.
Here's the scenario, you're in pain cause you're overweight, and you're hiding from the reasons about why you're overweight because you believe they're painful. I found Glennon Doyle Melton put it perfect and beautifully in her book, "Love Warrior." "There is pain in hiding, and pain outside of hiding. The pain outside is better because nothing hurts as bad as not being known." Bam. Did that hit you as hard as it hit me? If so, maybe it's time to rip off the bandaid and tell yourself the truth. It will hurt a little, and then you'll feel amazing. The truth really does set you free.
Are you ready to find out what's behind your bandaid? Let's talk about how you remove it. The bandaid, which is of course overeating, has a purpose. It's purpose is to block out negative emotion or emotions. Did you know specifically what emotions are there, and why? How do you find out what the bandaid is covering? So many of us don't know. We're overweight because we've chosen food instead of some feeling we believe is too painful. A feeling that arose from a thought about something in the past. I didn't know. I worked really hard most of my life not to know. I was actually an excellent, epic, not knower, and the proof was all over my quiet, safe, uneventful life. Proof was in the scale, and my absence in family photographs, my lack of dates and relationship. My life was a testament to my Olympic caliber not knowing-ness.
I don't want yours to be like that one minute more, but you've got some steps to take, which I'll walk you through. To rip or not to rip? That's the question. First of all, ripping the bandaid off at all is a choice and it's a decision to be made. The more uncomfortable you are in your present circumstances in terms of weight, health, mobility, social life, the more likely you are to make the choice to look underneath the bandaid. The more pain you're in, the more you begin to consider that there's nothing worse than what you're feeling at your present weight, and in your present life. When you choose to rip, how do you do it? All in one go like leg or bikini wax? God, that's painful just thinking about it. How then? I'll tell you how, gently. Really gently.
You remove the bandaid with as much care as you would the bandaid on a child's owie. That child is you, your real, tender, vulnerable, and whole self. Be compassionate, and be caring, and take your time. You start to remove the bandaid by treating yourself with love and kindness. With random acts, big, little of self love. That means kindness about your current circumstances, about your weight, and your health, and your dress size. Whatever it is that's driving you to change. Here's the route, right? Looking beneath the bandaid requires treating ourselves kindly, gently, and compassionately, but about the same time we're ready for that change. We're too often coming from a place of blame, shame, and discomfort. It's pretty hard to beat yourself up and be compassionate with yourself at the same time.
This is why the first step I take with my clients and the one they find often surprising if they're new to coaching, is to have them listen to what they say to themselves. Listen to their own negative thinking, and turn it around. That's why coaching is so different I think, because we're not leaping into new food plans, or workout regimes, until we know how we got where we are to begin with.
I was driven to change because I didn't like the sight of myself, and I wasn't showing up in the world. I heard Brooke on a webinar about the time that I was at the tipping point of change, when I couldn't face another diet program. I thought anyone who wrote a book entitled, "If I'm so Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight?" knew something that I needed to know, and she did. I always tell the story, and I probably always will about the beginning of my journey when my coach said to me. She said, "Geri, you're going to have to like yourself a whole lot more before you begin to lose weight." All I wanted was weight loss right than and there. I thought, "I'm screwed."
My coach did something for me in those one on one coaching sessions that were fundamental to my transformation. She held space for me and holding space is really important when you're doing this kind of deep transformation. Why? Because one of the reasons we keep a lot of our feelings of shame and other negative emotions to ourselves, is that we worry what other people will think, say, or do if we reveal our truth. Holding space means I create a virtual safe, spiritual place where you can unload your mind, and in return receive honest and objective feedback and perspective.
I'm the person who can listen to anything you say without an opinion. You can act out your negative emotions, tell me your negative thoughts and secrets, that the space I hold for you is unconditional. Where thoughts and emotions can be looked at with curiosity, and fascination. Unraveled and understood. It means the discussions that you have with a coach like me, will not resemble the conversations that you have with your girlfriends. This is the most important part of my job as a coach.
When you can't be gentle with yourself, find someone who can hold space for you while you remove the bandaid until you can be. Any good coach will give you a free coaching session to see if you're a good fit. I have a great blog post right now on how to find a coach and determine if it is the right fit. You'll find that at my website. Certainly I will give anyone on this podcast a free mini coaching session, and you can find my contact details in the show notes.
The next step when you've found someone who will hold space for you and you're ready to rip the bandaid off, is you need to be kind, and gentle, and loving with yourself. So many of us find that incredibly hard. We could love everybody else, but we don't love ourselves. If this is you, here's something to consider. Something someone once said to me. "If you're a person of faith, you believe God loves you unconditionally, right?" A very wise priest I knew while living in Boston once put it to me when we were talking about forgiveness and love. That if God can love me unconditionally, if he or she could forgive me anything, wasn't it a little arrogant of me to withhold that love and forgiveness for myself? To suggest that I knew better than the creator gave me a lot of pause, and a lot of food for thought over the years.
If you're not a person of faith, the question of self love becomes one of, "Why not?" Is hating yourself for being overweight serving you in any way? Like choosing to rip the bandaid off, loving yourself is a choice. Loving yourself unconditionally is a choice. From that choice, dealing with negative emotions beneath the bandaid, beneath the weight, becomes that much easier. I've said it before, you can't hate yourself thin. Brooke has said it. Now let me add to that, if you choose to rip the bandaid off and discover why you're overeating, you choose loving. When is choosing love ever a bad idea?
Loving yourself is fundamental to beginning any weight loss journey. If it's ever to become permanent, you have to look under the bandaid. It's not easy, but remember those wise words from Glennon Doyle Melton. If you're interesting in hearing more from me, head on over to GeriGibbons.com where you can subscribe to my email newsletter, and receive a copy of my five mindset secrets for weight loss, and the link to perhaps the best love yourself, feel good, girl power playlist ever. Sending you love and an invitation to talk privately about these issues on a one on one coaching session soon. Take care.