ArtistsMBA Track 3B – Organization/Time Management

Procrastination as Information

When clients admit to procrastinating on an action in session, they are usually shrouded in shame and embarrassment. As if somehow they are a failure, because they’ve been procrastinating.

Does this sound familiar:

procrastination, resistance, action

I DON’T WANNA!

It feels like there’s a part of you that knows you “should” be doing this action and that part even wants to be doing it.  But there’s another part of you that’s like a whiny 3 year old, stomping your foot, saying, “I don’t WANNA!”  You beg and plead with that 3 year old inside of you, but you just can’t get into action.  And the more you push against it, the stronger the resistance.

Some of my clients think that, as their coach, I can fix them, force them, make them take action.  But here’s the thing – they’re not broken and neither are you. And the more you push against resistance the stronger and more powerful it becomes.

Procrastination is a symptom of something.  It’s not evidence that you’re broken.  It’s evidence that your unconscious is staging a rebellion.  And in order to bring your unconscious back into alignment with your conscious mind – you have to understand what is causing the rebellion.

Why shaming doesn’t work

Imagine if you went to a doctor and told him you have a sore throat.  And instead of the doctor examining you and running tests and prescribing treatment, instead, he told you that you were bad and wrong for having a sore throat.

Would that fix your sore throat?

Wouldn’t you just feel bad about yourself and still have a sore throat?  And yet, that’s exactly what you’re doing every time you beat up on yourself for procrastinating.  It doesn’t work.  Cut it out!

Procrastination is a symptom

Procrastination is the key to finding out what your unconscious is trying to tell you.  So instead of shaming yourself – start investigating. Become Dr. House and investigate what is causing your procrastination.  Get curious.

What is the root cause of your procrastination?

What Causes Procrastination?

There are many different reasons for procrastination.  And if you tend to procrastinate on a lot of different things – you may have different reasons for each thing.  Here is a list of common causes and some suggestions to counter them:

  • Your goals are unclear – you’re not sure why you should be doing this thing

Get clear on your goals – what specific goal does this action serve?

  • There is a learning curve for this action and you don’t know how to do it

Find someone who can show you how.  Take a class to learn how.  Google it!  Take the action and be willing to do it badly while you’re learning.

  • The action is too big, too vague or too general (overwhelming)

Break it down and get specific.

  • You have a lot of different actions you need to take and they all seem of equal priority or importance

Make a list and knock them out one at a time – if they are truly of equal priority, just pick ANY one.  Learn how to manage conflicting priorities.

  • No matter what you do, it’s never enough.  And you’re not allowed to play until you finish your homework!

Celebrate each accomplishment, each baby step.  Make sure you take breaks to play, exercise, just breathe. Not allowing yourself to celebrate is a recipe for burnout. This is critical!

  • The action feels like a big risk and you’re afraid to take that risk

First ask yourself, “Is this true?” In other words, is it really the risk you think it is? You may find that your fear of the risk is making it seem bigger. Get support or coaching around overcoming your fear.

  • When you imagine taking the action, you anticipate that it will be difficult or frustrating or even just boring

Just do it for 15 minutes – you can stop after 15 minutes.  Put on some really great music. Reward yourself for having done it by doing something really fun next.

  • When this action is complete, the next obvious action is either invisible (if I do this, then what?) or really scary (if I do this, then I’ll have to do THAT!)

Very often the next step will become clear when this step is done.  And you don’t have to do it alone.  Work with a coach to help you through the scary stuff and figure out what’s next. And remember – just focus on the action in front of you – the next action will be dealt with when it’s time to deal with it!

Diagnosing Your Procrastination

Do some of the above suggestions ring true for you? Here are a few more questions that might help you uncover the underlying cause of your hesitation and/or resistance.  First, don’t ask “why”!  “Why” just gives you reasons to procrastinate more!

  • When I think about taking this action, I feel ______________ (fill in the emotion word – anxious, sad, angry, etc.).  What am I thinking/believing that has me feeling ______________?
  • When I imagine taking this action, I think it is going to be _______________ (easy, hard, frustrating, boring, overwhelming, etc.)
  • How long will this action take me?
  • What are the specific steps to accomplishing this action?
  • What fear, concern or consideration is stopping me from taking this action?
  • What will taking this action do for me?  What outcome do I desire from taking this step?
  • What outcome am I afraid of, if I take this action?  What’s the worse case scenario? What if I do nothing?  Is that worse?
  • If I break this action down into its smallest component steps and just contemplate the first of those steps – how does that feel?  Can I take that baby step now?
  • Am I celebrating each baby step or am I only allowed to celebrate when I have the big goal and I’ve done it perfectly?

Sometimes simply asking some of these questions can actually clear you enough to get into action.

Procrastination can fundamentally undermine all of your time management systems.  So figuring out what is causing you to procrastinate is a critical first step in managing your time well.

What are you procrastinating? Share what you discover about your own procrastination in the comments, or ask for help figuring it out!

 

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Procrastination is Keeping Me Waiting

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramOne of the most frequently asked question in my Ask Coach Debra calls is how to deal with procrastination. Very often we know what we need to do.  And yet somehow, we can’t get ourselves to sit down and do it!

All of the Time Management structures and systems you’ve learned to create in the Time Management and Project Management Classes will be impossible to implement if you don’t figure out how to overcome procrastination.

Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.  ~Victor Kiam

In this class you’ll discover:

  • What is procrastination, really, and what causes it?
  • Three techniques to get yourself moving when you’re stuck
  • An NLP process that you can use over and over to create momentum with ease

At the ArtistsMBA, you are learning a lot about how to create a successful, sustainable and profitable business doing what you love.  But until you put this knowledge into action your dreams are fantasies.  This class will help you move past your internal blocks and into action.

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Time Management Bookends – A Framework for Success

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramTime Management is the Number One System that will enable you to achieve sustainable success in your business and your life.

If your Time Management isn’t working – nothing else will.

I have worked with literally hundreds of clients on the issues that a poor time management system creates

They include:

  • Procrastination
  • Difficulties with prioritization
  • Boundary issues with family and friends
  • Feelings of overwhelm and fear
  • Burnout

And what I’ve found is that when you start the day well and end the day well, very often the middle works so much better!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • What are Time Management Bookends and why do we use them
  • How to design your unique morning and evening Bookends?
  • The three most important components of successful Bookends
  • How to install your bookends into your daily life

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Time Management 101 – The Art of Juggling

Artists MBA, Foundation Program“If only I had more time! Then I could do all that I want to do!”

There are 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. That won’t change. So how do you use what you have to create the life that you want?

The solution isn’t by figuring out how to do more stuff.  It’s figuring out how to adjust your choices and decisions so that you’re doing the right stuff at the right time.

Time Management is a skill and as a skill, you can learn it.  The problem for most people is that they were never taught.  Instead you’ve been shamed for not already knowing how to manage your time.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. quote

Don’t you think it’s time for you to get a handle on your time?

In this Class, you’ll learn:

  • How to figure out what you’re doing right so you can do more of that
  • How to set up a system that really works with who you are
  • Several tools to help you make the most of your time
  • What to do with that To Do list!

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How to Create Focus

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAt any given moment, on any given day, the average person is thinking about 14 different things – Does that sound familiar? Between the Day Job (for many Artists), family, your personal needs (such as exercise), and your ambitions for creating your business as a professional in the Arts & Entertainment Industry, life can be overwhelming!

In the ArtistsMBA Classes on Time Management and Project Management, we look at how to prioritize and design your systems to choose what to accomplish when. But when you sit down to actually do what you have chosen to do …

How do you filter out all of the distractions, both internal and external?

“The shorter way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.”
Mozart

Without focus, your efficiency and effectiveness suffers AND you have a lot less fun!

In this Class, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 biggest focus stealers
  • How to set clear internal and external focus boundaries
  • Simple and easy exercises to focus your mind

Whether you’re creating your art or music, marketing and promoting yourself or spending time with your family, improving your ability to focus will improve your success.

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Managing Conflicting Priorities

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAt any given moment, on any given day, you could be doing a hundred different things, right? And at any given moment on any given day, you probably see half a dozen things that seem to be of equal urgency and priority. But you’re just one person. So how do you choose the right action? Managing your priorities is probably the biggest challenge to maintain your time management system. And these conflicts are the most common challenge to your chosen structure and the slippery slope back into your old habits of just doing the thing that’s screaming loudest in front of you. In this class you’ll discover:

  • How to make the smart decision
  • How to feel good about your choices
  • How to manage other people’s expectations and the guilty feelings that often accompany them

Time Management is always about choices – so learning how to choose wisely is a critical skill to effective time management.

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Project Management – The Performance Results Description Tool

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramIn Project Management – How to Get Stuff Done, I introduced the concept of the Performance Results Description (PRD).

The PRD allows you to visually link your goals to your daily activities as well as develop a working plan for how you’ll reach those goals.

 

In this class, we’ll delve into:

  • How the PRD fits into your overall Time Management System
  • How to adapt the PRD for different kinds of projects and different categories
  • How to fill out the PRD Form for your best advantage

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Ask The Organizer – An Interview with Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsDo you ever have trouble getting – or staying – organized?

If so, you’re not alone – organizing your space, managing your time, and keeping track of your information can get pretty overwhelming.

In this open forum Q&A call, members got answers to their most challenging organizing questions, problems and conundrums from Joshua Zerkel of Custom Living Solutions.

 

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Project Management – The Key to Getting Stuff Done!

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramToo much to do!  It all feels equally urgent!  Oi – where do I start?

Sound familiar?  We have so many demands on us – both externally – people wanting us to get stuff done for them – and internally – fulfilling our dreams and goals.

How do you manage it all and maintain your sanity?

 

In this class we discover:

  • The project management mistakes that lead to procrastination and paralysis
  • The two kinds of projects and how to manage both
  • The skill of prioritizing according to your values
  • How to eat an elephant (I mean, manage and complete a project) – you know – one bite at a time!

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Motivation and Momentum – the Missing Ingredients to Effective Time Management

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramMotivation: desire to do; interest or drive

Momentum: force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical object or course of events

These two ingredients are critical to the recipe of effective Time Management.  Because ultimately, people only do what they want to do.  Without that desire – you have no motivation.  And without motivation, you have no movement forward – or Momentum.

There are 4 Key Ingredients to effective time management.

These key ingredients are:

  • Time Management Skills
  • Time Management Structure
  • Motivation
  • Momentum

Most Time Management books and courses deal with the first two – and you will find them well covered in Time Management 101. But without the second two ingredients you will find yourself unable to implement the skills and structure with any consistency.

Your schedule may work for a few days or even a few weeks, but then something happens and it all falls apart.

But you don’t need magic fairy dust to create momentum! In this inspiring class you will discover:

  • What motivation and momentum are REALLY made of
  • How to discover what motivates you and use it to create the results you want
  • What 3 things are guaranteed to destroy your momentum and how to avoid them
  • 5 Tools for creating and maintaining your momentum

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