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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Get It Done! 10 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination – Part 3

procrastinationThis is the third installment of a 3-part series on overcoming procrastination.  I admit to feeling the pressure of finishing on time, considering the topic!  So, here are the final three Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination.

Get it done early 

You’ve probably heard, “If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.”  We see this played out every April 15th as cars line up at the post office so taxpayers can get their returns posted by midnight and in jam-packed retailers on December 24th. If you put things off to the last minute, you not only increase the stress associated with the looming deadline, but you add the stress of knowing that there is no margin for error.  Think of how much more calmly you would be able to approach a project if you gave yourself an earlier “soft” deadline, worked consistently to meet it, and had confidence in one of two likely outcomes – either the satisfaction of being finished early or the comfort of knowing you have more time to work the bugs out. In Part 1 of this series we talked about training your brain, and reinforcing an earlier deadline for yourself can help you stay focused and on task, which prevents procrastination. 

Get others onboard 

One factor in breaking down your project into bite-sized pieces is to determine if any of those pieces should be done by someone else.  Consider who has the information or resources you need and ask for their help as soon as possible. Remember, other people struggle with the tendency to procrastinate, too, and they’ll need adequate time to provide you what you need.  Another factor in gaining cooperation from others involves those outside the sphere of your project. The real world includes people who need or

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Get It Done! 10 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination – Part 2

procrastinationIn my previous blog I shared some of the reasons we procrastinate and the first three strategies for overcoming it. Today we’ll work on the next four strategies for Overcoming Procrastination.

Procrastination – You Snooze, You Lose

Get realistic 

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time, of course!  When you have a big project, be realistic about how much you can accomplish each day or you risk becoming overwhelmed and discouraged.  Identify different elements of the project and list them separately.  For example, if your project is to arrange a meeting of your company’s national sales team, your break-out list might include elements such as Facility, Transportation, Agenda, Food, etc. and each of these can be broken into even smaller bites including tasks, calls, reservations, etc.  As you check these manageable chunks off your list, you’ll gain momentum and enthusiasm.  In order to avoid boredom, fatigue and disinterest, it is also important to schedule in breaks every 45 minutes or so.  Breaks are a great time to positively reinforce your effort by using that time to take a brisk walk, eat a snack, call a friend or catch up on your favorite sports team.

Get free from distractions 

Life is full of “shiny objects” that grab our attention. When your goal is to make significant progress on a task you must remove the things that can easily tempt your five senses.  Turn off your telephone ringtone and other notifications; close your door and even your blinds, if necessary.  Only open computer programs directly related to your project and leave the television off.  Since your brain can only process one language-based function at a time, even music with words or a radio station with an announcer talking will short-circuit your concentration.  This may sound extreme, but when

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Get it Done! 10 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination – Part 1

Procrastination

Do you want to save time and lower stress? That’s exactly what you will do if you learn and consistently apply the strategies to overcoming procrastination outlined below.

Like most people, I have struggled with wasting time and creating self-induced stress by waiting until the last minute to get things done.  I can often remember telling myself, “This is the last time I’m going to put something off until the last minute,” only to do the same thing a short time later.

Sometimes when we’re stressed because of everything we have to do, it’s because we’re not actually doing it.  Procrastination often triggers worry and anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, frustration, poor eating habits and many other unpleasant outcomes.  Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, studied 374 undergraduate students and discovered that subjects who put off completing homework were more likely to eat poorly, sleep less and drink more compared to subjects who got their homework done early.  We know from years of scientific research that stress compromises the immune system.  Based on his research, Dr Pychyl concludes that “procrastination is a stressor,” which means it can literally make you sick.

Many of my coaching clients ask how they can overcome procrastination because they realize it not only creates unnecessary stress, but it is also a huge time waster and can cost money if you incur late fees, interest and penalties on your bills.  One client recently told me that he gets so stressed by putting things off that he has to look for ways to calm himself down.  His favorite coping strategy is surfing the internet and playing time-wasting games, both of which ultimately help to create even more stress.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

There are a number of contributing factors that influence

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Thank You and Best Wishes for the New Year!

Thank You and Happy New YearIt has been our privilege to provide counseling, coaching, training and consulting services to our patients and clients in 2017. We are always grateful for the opportunity to serve you and there is no better time of year to say, “Thank You!”

Our wish for you is that you have a New Year brimming with confidence, passion, growth, and healthy relationships! We look forward to working with many of you in the coming year!

Live, Work & Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What Do You Want for Christmas?

ChristmasI wonder sometimes if there is any other place in the world that celebrates Christmas as materially as we do in the US. So, I decided to go to the internet to check out some traditions around the world. (It is a fun and interesting search, and you should try it.)

Some of the interesting tidbits of information I read include:

In Nigeria, well-to-do people visit poorer towns and bring gifts. It is a season for considering those less fortunate.

In Japan, Christmas evolved from being outlawed to being westernized. Back in the 1970’s there was a very successful advertising campaign, and to this day people have to make their reservations months in advance to eat at KFC on Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Peace on Earth Begins at Home

PeaceFor many families Winter brings the biggest holiday celebrations of the year, with relatives making it a priority to come together even if they have to travel from all over the country. Our own branch of the family tree is growing as our children marry and have children, and I can’t think of anyone I would rather spend time with on a special holiday than my extended family! I love to anticipate laughing, eating, playing games and opening gifts together.

Between holidays, birthdays, weddings, and funerals, there may be many times your family gathers together, and maybe you eagerly look forward it the same way I do – unless your happy holiday bubble bursts because conflict arises between your loved ones. I hear often about the heartache people feel when Christmas or another important occasion is tainted with strained relationships or bad behavior by one or more family members. Somehow, a feud or a bad attitude seems magnified during the season of hope and joy. So, how do you try to restore peace for your special day? Here are some ideas:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top Performers Use Executive Coaching

Executive CoachingBehind every world-class athlete is a dedicated and committed coach. The same can be said for many of the top performing leaders, executives, professionals, directors, managers, pastors and entrepreneurs. If you are serious about achieving and accomplishing greater results and embracing all you are capable of becoming you will want to experience the proven power of executive coaching.

Generally speaking, those who take advantage of executive coaching are success minded, goal directed and performance driven. They may have already experienced an impressive amount of professional success in their life, but desire to maximize their potential even further by creating greater balance, clearer focus and a fresh perspective.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Left-overs – What to Toss and What to Keep

LeftoversMost people are still excited to open their refrigerator to see if there is anything left of their Thanksgiving dinner. They don’t mind a week of eating leftovers if it includes turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Just as the leftover food brings memories of your special holiday with family and friends, certain feelings, behaviors and thoughts can be “leftovers” from experiences in life. Some of them are delicious, but some are bitter or sour, and you must decide what to keep and what to throw away. There can be times when I open a container of leftovers and the smell lets me know that I do not want to keep or consume the contents because I don’t want to suffer negative consequences.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

GratitudeAs Thanksgiving approaches, we begin hearing more and more about the importance of gratitude and counting our blessings. To be honest, there are times that we can be more wrapped up in what’s going wrong in our lives or what we are missing, so feeling grateful doesn’t come easily. But gratitude is so beneficial in every area of life – health, well-being, relationships and success – that it is worthwhile to learn how to develop this important quality. The good news is, there are practical ways you can do it!

Here are 10 ideas you can use right now:

The Gratitude Journal. This is simply a notebook or diary to list the things in your life you are grateful for. Start with a basic list, then write one new entry a day identifying what you are grateful for that day and why. Review your list each day while being mindful of your deep sense of gratefulness.

Giving Grace. Giving Grace involves thinking in your mind or verbally expressing thanks to God for any experience you appreciate and never want to take for granted. G.K. Chesterton shares great perspective on this: You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

Daily Prayers of Gratitude are another wonderful way to express thanks for the miracles of life. Starting or ending your day with a prayer of gratitude for not only your blessings, but even your trials is a great way to acknowledge that there is purpose in all things. Prayer is also an important reminder that you

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Six Tips for Conducting a Great Interview

InterviewHere’s some great interviewing tips from my friend and colleague, David Towne.

Business travel. It used to be such a glamorous thought. New places. Restaurants. Hotel rooms. Jumping on the bed when no one is looking. Impressing people by telling them all the places you have traveled or are traveling. But now that I am older and somewhat seasoned in travel, it has lost much of its appeal.

I just got home from Parker, Colorado where I was screening candidates for a new school. Many interviews in the lobby of the hotel and a few lessons learned.

Don’t eat too much bacon at breakfast or you will crash in the middle of an interview at 11:15am.

If you don’t start with Attention Deficit Disorder at the beginning of the day, you will have it after eight hours of interviews.

The more you drink, the more you will have to excuse yourself during interviews!

Seriously, after years of asking people questions, I have a few tips that have helped me in interviewing that I would love to pass on to you. They are:

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