The last three posts explored some ways to collaborate with people to get things done. But what if you’re not ready for an ongoing commitment? And what about those pesky things that have been hanging over your head for a long time? For me, these are usually things like taxes, cleaning up and organizing physical space.
Create a Get-It-Done day. Thomas Leonard, one of the pioneers of the coaching profession, used to hold days periodically where people would check in by phone on the hour, state their goal for the next hour and then call back to report progress and set a new one-hour goal.
I’ve done this with small groups of friends to great success. It really helps you to notice when you get distracted and to focus back on your current goal. And it allows you to chunk a huge task into one-hour steps so it doesn’t seem overwhelming.
Try some of these methods and create a community of support and structure –especially if you work from home and miss the camaraderie and support of an office-mates. Collaborate and get it done!
In addition to accountability partners for procrastination-prone activities a mastermind group provides a different kind of support.
Master Mind Groups
Master Mind groups are made up of about three to eight people who set a schedule to meet in person or by phone and come prepared to discuss needs and goals. Like coaching, this commitment forces you to set aside some time to work on those important but not urgent projects.
Each person reports on their individual goals, progress and sticking points. Sometimes a common goal will emerge which may lead the group to bring in a speaker or other form of information and learning.
Members brainstorm for each other. Best of all, they act as mirrors, helping each individual to acknowledge their progress and strengths as well as pointing out unproductive patterns.
I’ve found that these groups are very engaging and productive. Some of my masterminds have continued for years, some for just a few months. Even when the group has run its course, the members usually become long-time friends.
Who would you choose for a master mind group? Collaborate and get it done!
Tune in tomorrow for the last in this series for beating procrastination!
Yesterday I wrote about overcoming procrastination by collaborating with others on a joint project. You can also banish procrastination by collaborating on individual goals.
Last year, my friend Karen was in her own office writing her book for non-profit executives while I worked on my writing about collaboration. We’d start our sessions with a five-minute phone call to connect to our purpose and state our goal: “Today I’m writing this book because I want to help non-profit leaders be as effective as possible so they can accomplish their important work. I’ll be working on chapter 4.” We check back five minutes before the end of the session to report on our progress.
A few weeks ago I had a “work-date” with Natalie to stay focused on developing new material on our respective speaking topics.
Vickie has an accountability partner for making sales calls. They work for different companies selling different products but that doesn’t matter. They check in, state their goals and check back to report progress. Vickie also finds that biscotti rewards are motivating.
Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, talks about his accountability partner for healthy habits. They check in daily to report on fitness and healthy eating goals. Those short calls help Marshall to make the effort to find a gym and exercise even when he is traveling.
What do you need support with? Collaborate and get it done!
Tune in tomorrow for a third method to beat procrastination!
Do you ever procrastinate on things that you really want to accomplish? I see that everyone has raised their hand, including me.
Procrastination flow chart by scubaham
For the next few days, I’ll explore four ways that you can use collaboration to chase away procrastination.
One of my clients wanted to create a safety and rescue class and knew that he could do it on his own — someday. He asked a colleague to work with him. Together they created a class that was better than either of them would have created on their own, got it done more quickly, and had more fun!
It’s sad but true that most of us honor our commitments to others more than we do our commitments to ourselves. There is something about not wanting to let others down that is a powerful motivator. Plus, it’s just more fun to feel that you are not alone and that someone else is working with you. Just last night I co-facilitated a fun workshop which came together easily and better by working with my colleague Ben Wood-Isenberg.
Working together on a joint project can help it get done well before the deadline because you have to schedule the time in your respective calendars. This is what we usually think about when we talk about collaboration and it’s not the only way. Check back tomorrow for a second method.
What is IT for you? Is it a messy, disorganized office or closet? You know, the kind that slows you down every day because you have to search for things.
photo by Alan Cleaver
Or perhaps you’ve resolved, once again, to get your taxes done before April! Or you need to make sales calls or write blog posts. Most of us have an IT and whatever IT is, you’re more likely to complete it if you are accountable to others.
If you’d like to join me in this effort, set aside Friday March 18 and/or Saturday March 19 from 10 AM to 3 PM MST (or whatever portion of that time that works for you). Each hour we’ll check in by phone and announce our desired goal for the next hour as well as our progress during the previous hour. Just send an email to Coach at ExnerAssociates.com, commit to a window of time and mark it on your calendar.
photo by Joseph Erlewein
Think you can do it on your own rather than give up a Friday or Saturday? Terrific! You have almost 3 weeks to prove it to yourself.
Either way, here’s a great article on Using Enjoyment as a Tool to Reach Goals that will help us to increase our success. I discovered LucReid.com while searching for research to correct the oft-repeated, but incorrect, claim that “it takes 21 (or 28) days to make a habit.” It would be nice but unfortunately it’s not true. Happily, I found what I was looking for along with a treasure trove of articles on self-motivation. Enjoy!
Posted in collaboration, connection, goal-centered, procrastination
Tagged accountability, clean up, collaboration, Debra Exner, get it done day, Luc Reid, organize, taxes
I also participated in Quinn’s muse swap.
I traded in my goof-off muse who kept convincing me to sleep late and go to the Farmer’s Market to buy her olive tapenade. I got Kate’s muse, Olivia, who would only let her think and not even talk to friends! What kind of muse is that for a collaborator?
Olivia was assigned to me on a day when I was having lunch with my friend Ginny Kravitz. Ginny is a great coach and I wanted to learn some new ways to focus on my most important priorities. Olivia was very impressed by the power of our conversation and is re-thinking her attitude about talking with friends to get fresh perspectives.
Plus, Olivia is going to take Ginny’s What is necessary? — What is possible? worksheet home to Kate. This is a great tool for planning realistically. Olivia got the hang of this very quickly and just kept asking me “Are you sure that belongs in the necessary bubble?”
"We just can't stay up any longer!" Shackleton
Olivia insisted I get up early each day so that I could make the most of mornings – my best time of day. On our last night together, she finally convinced me to get to bed early! She knew it was just a matter of time.