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.

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.

 

 

Move Past Fear and Become a Powerful Public Speaker

The fear of public speaking is the most common phobia. It has been said that people fear public speaking more then they fear death. Although that may sound extreme most people aren’t faced with death at the next sales meeting and so the speaking fear is more real and more immediate.

Many people make their fear worse by their behavior. If a person with performance Anxiety forces themselves to speak in an effort to move past their fear, what likely will happen is reinforcement of the negative feeling and the more it is reinforced the worse it will become.

Another way you might make this fear worse is by avoidance. This often starts in school, by selecting classes where there is no speaking required or choosing a career where speaking and presenting is not necessary. When you have a fear and you avoid the thing that triggers your fear, once again you are reinforcing the message to your mind that you can’t do presentations and so the fear becomes more imbedded. The best way to move past a fear or phobia of this type is to clear it out on a subconscious level where fears are stored.

When I work with clients who have this fear we start by clearing out old experiences that may retrigger the fear. By moving past the initial cause of the fear you begin to gain more control. The initial cause could be having a panic attack when giving a presentation in school, or perhaps a speech in college or simply introducing yourself in a meeting. Fear of public speaking is not a fear that you are born with since we are born with only two fears, fear of falling and fear of loud noises. Every other fear is taught or learned. Once the triggers are removed we can work on developing the skills and confidence to not only be able to speak, but to become an engaging and exciting speaker.