To learn not to procrastinate. That is the question. You have developed the fine art of putting things off until tomorrow that could get done today. Maybe an important project task got dropped, and now serious consequences are waiting just ahead. Whatever the reason, you can learn not to procrastinate and plan to get stuff done as a leader or manager.

One of my favorite books on procrastination is The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. He lists three primary reasons we procrastinate. We have a fear of failure (and success), a state of feeling overwhelmed, and/or a resistance to being pushed. A qualified coach can help you see the factors that cause delayed action, and aid the learning to break through these tendencies.

Plan to manage and break through perfectionism

Sometimes we don’t move forward with our project plan because the current step just isn’t quite good enough yet. A good coach will help you see your perfectionist tendencies. He can ease the development of skills to call something done good enough.

Embrace the go-to person label

The downside of being very good at what you do, is that you often get called for more and harder work. Some people have the tendency to slow down because they don’t want more work. Some people resent that others get the same pay and titles for doing less work. A good coach will aid your development to wear the rising star badge and move on down the road to management success.

You will take one step in front of the other

We want to see and accomplish the project finish line but looking too far ahead can make us feel overwhelmed. How will it all get done? A solid coaching plan will facilitate the leader’s ability to focus on taking the next step available and move the project forward. When we move one small step ahead, we feel a sense of accomplishment. We also avoid procrastination brought on by a mental image of too much to do.

You are not the boss of me!

Kids quickly learn to say no. At first, a child will test the response of the people in charge of its life. Yes, that’s you mom and dad. Some adults still use this way to delay getting things finished. They flex their procrastination muscles and become the immovable object as the external force to get things done gets more irresistible. A great coach will aid your development to simply notice your thoughts and predictable reactions to being pushed. She will speed up your learning to choose different options and not procrastinate.

Look for a coach that has a plan to help you learn not to procrastinate as a project leader or manager. He or she should facilitate skills development to take the next small step, embrace your star quality, do some things well enough, and relax into the project flow. Now that’s a plan for success!


Michael Shelton is President and CEO of Shelton Business Services, LLC providing project coaching and consulting.

Copyright © 2013 Shelton Business Services, LLC

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