Do you find yourself with not enough hours in the day to do the things that will have the greatest impact? Did you set a few resolutions in January but now, half way through the year, you realise nothing much has changed? Maybe you went to start that task today but heard yourself saying “I’ll just check my emails, make a cup of coffee, call my friend/partner/parents first”? I hear you friends, I hear you! I have to say though, my morning started really well. I’d written my list of things to do today before I went to sleep last night. I’d woken up naturally, just as my alarm was about to go off at 6am and I’d listened to my meditation recording designed to overcome limiting beliefs (Yes, even life coaches get these). The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone and the bigger your dreams and goals, the more that seem to show up! Funny that. But everyone has the choice whether to accept them or not. I choose not. Those dumb-ass voices won’t get in my way so visualisation and brain training techniques are now part of my daily routine. So, like I say, I was on fire this morning, I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve. My head was in gear and I had a solid three hours to crack on. HOWEVER, I am definitely the type to get easily distracted. It’s usually something that’s relevant and relative to coaching but distracting from what I’d actually set out to achieve nonetheless. I’d watched a couple of webinars on self-doubt last night. Partly for my own personal growth and partly for research purposes for my upcoming workshop on overcoming limiting beliefs. And so obviously this morning I was being bombarded with emails and promotions around what programmes I could sign up for, and how amazing value it was, but only for the next 24 hours etc etc. When you’re as obsessed as I am with something (for me it’s coaching) the lure of learning more at every available opportunity is so tempting. But then I find my mind becomes so full to the brim and actually overflowing it results in a sensation of overwhelm and confusion. I realised that this desire to grow and insatiable thirst for knowledge, combined with a lack of structure was starting to have a negative impact, with so many ideas and so much to do but not knowing where to start. If you’ve ever been to Paris and visited the Arc De Triomphe, the roundabout with cars bombing about in all directions was what was going on in my head. Feel familiar? Now all my research on overcoming limiting beliefs had actually led me to a fascinating article on procrastination. Ironic? Perhaps. The universe sending me a sign? Possibly. Whatever the reason I stumbled across it, it did the trick. Why was I finding the time to do other things? When I explored this question I realised it actually came from a positive place. I want to serve my clients so powerfully that I want more and more knowledge about how the mind works and human behaviours, I want more and more knowledge to take my coaching skills to the next level so that I can help my clients take their lives to the next level. Delving deeper I found a self-belief that I am not yet the best coach I can be. Which is RIDICULOUS! OF COURSE I’M THE BEST COACH I CAN BE. What I realised I was actually doing was comparing myself to the best coaches in the world. Which is great when it motivates me to learn more and become more (in a productive manner) but not so great when it creates information overload, causes the system to malfunction and stops me from working on what I’m supposed to be working on! Beginning from a place of overwhelm is never going to empower you to operate at your best. I am not new to coaching. I have actually been coaching for many years. It’s that I have only just “labelled” myself a coach more recently. My clients have achieved some amazing results, have gained real insight to help turn their lives around, and continue to smash their goals out of the park. When I talk to other coaches with a similar level of experience in the industry, I am operating at a level far beyond where they are. In fact a master practitioner mentioned to me recently that I had a natural talent for coaching, and such a powerful intuition that meant I could delve much deeper and see things that other coaches just don’t pick up on. Yet despite all this praise and brilliantly clear results, I still had this tendency to compare myself to the top 1% of coaches in the world, who have been labelled as coaches for 25+ years. It just wasn’t a productive way of looking at things. I realised we procrastinate when we are worried about a threat to our sense of worth. We do it to temporarily alleviate our fears. The thing is, it stops us from reaching our full potential. By comparing myself to the Steve Hardisons, the Rich Litvins, and the Steve Chandlers of the world, my thoughts were causing me to procrastinate and this was not serving me. So I made the decision to stop. I re-composed my thoughts, stuck my to do list on the wall so it was massively in my face, and took five minutes out to create a “thoughts to organise list” – essentially a place to shit my thoughts onto so I could go through them later in a more structured way. I scheduled 10 minutes in my diary every day to go through this list and allocate time in the weeks, months and sometimes even years ahead (I told you I dream big) to give my ideas the attention they deserve when the time is right. Now with my head a lot clearer I had the focus to crack on again with today’s goals. So far this morning I have:
  • Meditated
  • Scoffed a nutritious delicious breakfast to feed my brain and body
  • Joined a meet-up organisers networking group and booked my first event
  • Written this article – and therefore worked towards one of my goals to write six articles by the end of the year
  • Arranged a coaching session for myself
  • Arranged 2 consultations for clients
  • Created a shit list and cleared my brain of all the fog
  • Added more structure to my day
  • Completed all my business admin
  • And, through the wonders of this article, have some fabulous learning on both limiting beliefs and overcoming procrastination to share with the world!
Now if you answered yes to any of the opening questions, or if any of this resonates with you, then it’s time for you to ask yourself the same question I did… Why are you finding time to do less critical things? I want you to really think about this. It may be the most important question you ask yourself today. The answers will help to unlock those thoughts that are not serving you. What are you afraid of? What are you missing? What are you avoiding? Once you have this awareness, you can change the behaviours that are stopping you from creating the life you want for yourself. And here are some practical pointers to get you started…
  • Remove external distractions. Tidy up your environment, move your phone to another room, close down Facebook and allocate set times to check your emails.
  • Prioritise – Figure out what you really need to get done and focus on those activities. Put first things first!
  • Gain the know how and the skill set to do whatever it is you’re putting off. Confidence comes from knowledge and skills, and confidence helps us take action.
  • Set times for breaks. Recognise when you are losing focus and take a 5-10 minute break. Try the Pomodoro technique.
  • MOVE! Go to a different room, a different place in the room or a different venue altogether. Sometimes just mixing up our environment can help the mind reset itself.
  • Find out whatever structures work for you. The shit list was my breakthrough structure I have gifted myself today. What will yours be?
And finally…
  • JUST START! Yes I know, WOW, mind-blowing insight! The thing is, there is no magic pill, sometimes you just have to start. If you don’t start how can you expect to finish? So stop resisting yourself, dig deep till you find that self-discipline and then the rest of the day you can play.