In the first blog on procrastination, I identified three possible reasons why people might choose not to do the most essential task in favor of a less essential task. (http://www.mclarencoaching.com/procrastination-part-i-what-is-it-really/)
The third reason was:
3. Sometimes the most essential task is too big or daunting so we put it off, believing that later we will have enough time or energy.
• First is that of “chunking down.” In a nutshell, this technique involves breaking tasks or projects into manageable sized pieces, which will make you far more likely to do them, rather than avoid them. It may seem simple (and it is) or obvious (and it may be), but we don’t often do it. You probably know this already, but under stress, we don’t always remember our tools. You know it – now use it.
• The second is a technique called “just start.” This is exactly what it sounds like. I heard a speaker once say procrastination isn’t putting off completing projects. It is putting off starting on projects. Often we think about how long a task will take and it is so daunting that we don’t start. It can help to “chunk it down” into pieces and then do the first piece – just do one thing. You don’t even have to finish this one piece. Just start! Doing one thing will often lead to doing another thing and then another. There is great value, mentally, in having started something. If you have started, you are on your way. You are not procrastinating. Many of my clients have reported that “just start” often leads to continued work and sometimes to momentum and working on the project much longer than they thought they would.
Let us know how it goes!
Sacramento attorneys: Have you bought your copy of Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance yet?! And perhaps more importantly, have you been reading it? I am going to start a Sacramento group coaching book study on the accountability and time management chapters of the book in mid-October. It will consist of six book study coaching discussions on these chapters. This will be a great way for you to start reading that book with other attorneys and also a great way to start to really learn and internalize the material! There is a huge difference between reading a book yourself and studying it with others. And the coaching element will help you really start applying it to your practice! Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – to learn more about it!