Moving Past the 5 Main Causes of Procrastination

It would seem that almost everyone procrastinates about something.  So it is not do you procrastinate but how do you procrastinate? Often times it can take the form of thinking about and pushing off the first day of a new habit or behavior change. Exercise is an easy habit in which to see this behavior.  Making cold calls is also a behavior that many sales people procrastinate over.

Procrastination is often a form of fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure are two fears that stop us from doing something new.  Procrastination is also a habit.  Many may no longer remember where it first started. Perhaps it began in school when they pushed off writing a paper or getting ready to do a presentation, both tasks that many students dislike.  So what creates procrastination and how can we stop procrastinating and take back control of our lives?  Following are 5 causes of procrastination.

  1. Laziness-Lack of energy can become a habit.  Staring at the TV or computer can seem like an action but it is not.  When sitting and focusing on being entertained or distracted becomes a part of your life it is a habit and a form of procrastination.
  2. Feeling Overwhelm– Most people who procrastinate have good intentions and think about doing the new behavior frequently.  The more they think about it the more obstacles come into their consciousness and the more overwhelmed they feel.  Break the task down into small steps and take some action.  This will push you out of this negative mindset.
  3. Perfectionism– Many procrastinators are perfectionists.  They won’t start a project or task until everything is laid out perfectly.    Perfectionism is a very debilitating problem since these people use it as an excuse for lack of action.
  4. Fear– Fear of failure, fear of the unknown hold people captive.  “Paralysis by analysis” is the common term used to describe this feeling.  By avoiding the thing you fear you give it more power.  Feel the fear, recognize that you are afraid and then take action anyway.  This creates  a feeling of power.  It doesn’t have to be a big action at first.  Just do something and your subconscious will take note.
  5. Poor time management– For some poor time management makes it seem like they procrastinate.  They either don’t know how to prioritize or simply don’t.   This behavior then mimics or has the same negative result as procrastination.

Notice if you have any of these behaviors.  Realize that knowledge gives you power and then take action. By breaking a project or goal into small steps you take away some of the fear and overwhelm.  When you lay out a plan and prioritize you develop some time management skills.  Let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect,  it’s a trap.  Instead,  get off the couch and take some action!

 

 

5 Ways to Improve Self Discipline

Self discipline means to act on what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Without this valuable trait you will be driven by your feelings and wants instead of by your thinking mind and your goals. Self discipline is developed in many ways.
In the book “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg talks about the fact that self discipline is a habit that can be developed. I see this with many of my clients. A new habitual way of thinking must be developed. The old way of thinking has become automatic, since the subconscious mind makes behaviors that are done routinely into habits. This is also why when you change a habit whether a thinking habit or a behavior it will take weeks of reinforcement to finally feel comfortable and become automatic.
Some great ways to create more self discipline are:
1. Develop self awareness-By becoming more aware of your habits and behaviors you take the first step to change. Any kind of habit or behavior like self discipline needs reinforcement over time to change the cognitive maps of the mind.
2. Know what you really want. To develop self discipline you need to know the desired outcome. Write your goals in the SMART format and make sure that you have all the specific details that will make them real for you.
3. Commit- in other words to make a promise to yourself. Decide which aspects of your life you would like develop more discipline. Once you commit things will start to change.
4. Break your goals into small manageable steps and take action. In NLP we call this process “chunking down”. By breaking a goal into small steps you remove overwhelm and the goal becomes more accessible.  When you take action towards a goal it increases self esteem and self discipline
5. Change your social network. By choosing to be with people who have more self discipline your habits and behaviors will improve as well.
When you apply these 5 techniques to your life you will find you are more disciplined. By using your thinking mind to be more in control of your feelings you will accomplish more and feel better in the process.
Please comment to add ways that you have increased self discipline in your life.

Sales Performance Hypnosis

Thirty five years ago I was a medical recruiter bringing in over 6 figures a year.  I worked for a large company in a plush high rise office building with colleagues who gave me a sense of team and competition.  However the commute into San Francisco was just too much and so I started my own search firm.   Like many people starting a business, I began as a home based business and this was part of the problem.

Isolation, cold call reluctance, distractions and fear of failure paralyzed me.  That’s when I discovered hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming.  hypnosis and NLP were incredibly powerful in helping me be more effective as an entrepreneur and sales person.   I saw it as “sales training for my mind”.

Sale’s is a great profession because the salesperson is the one that creates action in the marketplace. Nothing happens until someone buys or sells something. The person who sells has the unique opportunity to be paid commensurate with their abilities in a way that most other professionals do not. Their income therefore is affected negatively when their skill is not at its peak.

The fact is that 80% of the success of a salesperson is not based upon sales techniques or product knowledge; it’s based on their attitude.  The ability to stay motivated, enthusiastic and energized is the key to being successful in sales. The very mental states they need most are the states of mind that on a daily basis take hits from all sides. The emotional life of the salesperson needs to be strong. They need to have what Daniel Goleman calls “Emotional Intelligence”. The ability to move forward despite rejection, to know that it is not personal and to stay focused on the objective, define emotional intelligence in sales.

Hypnosis and NLP can make an incredible impact on the salesperson’s attitude. By helping the client transform negative habits, limiting beliefs and fears and then building their level of confidence and self esteem you empower the salesperson to take action and achieve to their full potential.  In this way you create “sales training for the mind”.

I start with a thorough history including the clients background and goals. We then discover the obstacles they need to address in order to perform at their peak. Often they have fears like fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of presenting.  They also tend to have negative habits like procrastination, lack of focus and the inability to develop and maintain structure in their day.

Negative beliefs are also part of the problem in sales.  Beliefs about money or what money will do to them tend to begin in childhood. Other limiting beliefs could be the idea of the “used car salesman”.

When I work to improve sales performance, sometimes the sales person has a good idea of what they need to improve.  But often they just want to improve overall performance.  The following are examples of the types of sessions we would do for 8 sessions of sales performance improvement.

 

  1. Generally everyone can use more confidence and so that is typically where I begin with a series of 8 sessions. Being more confident helps a person to achieve in any aspect of life.

 

  1. Change attitude about sales. Often salespeople can’t overcome the idea that by selling they are bothering or irritating their prospect.  They buy into the “used car salesman” image of selling.  This must change. Reframing the client’s image of sales is very important.

 

  1. Together we will discover the fears that stopped them from taking action. Fear of presenting will stop a salesperson from scheduling the in-person appointments that generally need to happen to close a sale.

 

  1. Begin to help them with negative behaviors. Procrastination is a habit that most in sales deal with daily. There are many tasks and techniques that are useful to sell effectively but many salespeople push off doing these parts of their business due to a level of discomfort or dislike of these tasks.

 

  1. Continue efforts with negative habits. Sales call reluctance is a specific type of procrastination that involves some major fear. Fears of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection and even fear of running out of leads and having no one to call are all fears that I have helped my clients move past.

 

  1. We then deal with remaining fears by improving internal resources. I will usually use a “positive anchor” at some point so they have a technique to use when they make calls or presentations.

 

  1. If they have an issue with money or rather their relationship and feelings about money this will need to be addressed. I have found my clients who have money issues will sabotage their ability to go after new prospects and when they have a prospect they tend to choke during the close.  Their discomfort causes them to put off closing until the end of the sales cycle.  When they finally attempt to close it either comes across as abrupt and pushy to the sales prospect or it is ineffective because they don’t ask for the sale.

 

  1. Developing rapport more easily with clients. I often will teach the client some basic NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) techniques to build rapport with prospects and clients more readily.  I also teach self-hypnosis at some point during the sessions.

 

These examples are simply that examples.  Not all sales professionals or entrepreneurs will need all of these sessions but might need other types of change work.  Of course as a hypnotherapist and NLP expert I have many tools with which to help my clients.  Change can happen for everyone.  Desire is the key to making positive changes and improving sales performance.

 

 

 

Set New Year’s Resolutions or Achieve a Real Goal this Year?

Every year at this time people begin to ponder the parts of their life they wish to change. Usually by January 1st they have come up with a list of those changes. They commit to change on New Year’s Eve after a few glasses of champagne. For some that’s it. They might not even remember them the next day, but most will bring them forward to the first week of the New Year.   They may even write them down. These are their resolutions for the next year.

Now here is the problem. Goals, at least ones that will make a difference in your life, are hard. People go back to work, credit card bills from the holidays and family issues and all their good intentions fly out the window. If you have a life, then one worthwhile goal at a time is probably all you can handle. However, most resolutions are not in the form of well written goals. They are usually short, general and lacking any real detail. In order to make a change and have that change become reality you must have a clear vision.

Begin by choosing one goal. Since you are going to focus on just one it should be important to you, the kind of goal that can change your life. For example let’s say you want to lose 50 pounds.

To write out this goal it is important to know more than just a number. I like to use SMART goals as a template.

Specific: I want to lose 50 pounds.

Measurable: I want to lose 50 pounds in 1 year at a rate of approximately 4 lbs. per month.

Achievable: The goal is an achievable and accepted weight loss goal and should not be difficult. I will keep track of current calories consumed and cut 500 calories per day from my current diet and that will equal one pound of weight loss per week. At that rate I should lose approximately 50 pounds in 1 year.

Realistic: I will adjust calories if I plateau so that the weight loss continues at 1 pound per week rate. This goal becomes even more realistic by developing a daily exercise habit. I will be realistic and start with 20 minutes of walking 6 days per week.   I will add to this as my fitness level increases. I will also check into a gym or home equipment so that the weather and boredom does not become an obstacle.

Timed: 1 year is the time allotted to this goal. Because this goal is SMART, all I need to do is stick to the plan.

When you read back over this goal now, you can see that it fits all the SMART criteria and makes sense in a way that the original resolution did not. When you use a structure to write your goals they become a much more achievable goal with a plan implicit and that will make all the difference.

 

Three Ways Hypnosis and NLP Improve Sales Performance

hypnosis and NLP –Neuro-Linguistic Programming are powerful tools for sales success. Back in 1981 these techniques became relatively main stream in sales training circles. The reason these techniques have become so popular in sales is due to their positive impact on the minds of the sales professionals. The other reason for their popularity is their effectiveness at developing more of the potential within those using them.   Used properly you can develop more effective, confident high performers.

  1. Turning prospects into clients:

Many sales people start their day with a list, a list of prospects to call or to contact in some way. This is where many in sales go off track. They procrastinate making the initial calls. Perhaps from fear of the unknown, fear of rejection or some other form of cold call reluctance. Here hypnosis and NLP will be very effective at improving levels of confidence and overcoming procrastination. Over thinking and nonstop research gathering are two favorite methods of procrastination which can be overcome.

  1. Improving the sales professional’s technique:

One of the main skills lacking in many sales people is effective listening skills. Listening well and asking relevant questions are skills that are necessary for success. Being able to develop rapport with the prospect is another technique the best sales people do effortlessly. People will buy from people they perceive to be more like them. Using NLP to build rapport by accessing your prospects buying style will build sales.

  1. Closing the sale:

No matter how well a person sells or how knowledgeable they are in regards to their product or service, it does nothing for them if they can’t close the sale. This is the part of selling where the rubber meets the road. Asking for the sale is not something that is only done once at the end of the sales process. It is done over and over throughout the sales conversations so that it is almost effortless. Generally if the salesperson won’t ask for the sale they won’t get the sale. The inability to close usually comes from fear of failure or issues with money or simple lack of confidence. Using hypnosis/NLP you can clear out these problems at their root and build increased levels of confidence so that the sales person can close the deal.

The following are some other ways that hypnosis and NLP will help the sales person:

  • Increased confidence when selling.
  • Feeling positive instead of pushy or aggressive when asking for referrals.
  • Changing the habit of using a large part of the day doing busy work.
  • Overcoming fear of rejection.
  • Improving people skills.
  • Improving the ability to overcome distractions.
  • Incorporating positive habits into their day.
  • For those already high performers-getting an edge over their competitors.