Friday, October 12, 2012

The Art of Procrastination: Option 2. Get someone else to do it!

Aha, Now THIS is more like it, I hear you say as you see those magic words 'Get someone else to do it'.  After the shock of option 1 and 'make like a princess' people do tend to brighten up at the prospect of NOT doing it themselves, despite the reward.

There are some tasks that you just know you will never get the motivation to do.  You're not a bad Person.  You just hate it body and soul.  Getting someone else to do this dreaded task is always an option.  You hate doing some things but love others.  Other people hate what you love but love what you hate soooo......  Do I need to connect the dots here?

Diversity is a wonderful thing.  If we were all just like me then no admin would EVER get done and, I am sure, the world would quickly fall apart.  Thankfully not everyone is like me and so the world still spins on its axis and forms get filled in by people who are delighted to do it.  It's a complete mystery to me WHY they like paperwork so much, but I am forever grateful for their apparent gifts and unbridled joy, which in turn makes me joyful as I no longer have to chew the end of my pencil in frustration.

The only challenge is finding this amazing person as we typically gravitate towards people who are like us and value the same things we value.  So you need to start looking around you at the gifts other people have and that may mean opening your mind to the value different people bring.

Then once you have found this magical person, just as you reward yourself, you need to reward THEM.  Notice I said reward, I didn't say pay.  Money does not necessarily need to be involved. It is only one of the resources at your disposal so what else can you do to reward this person.  They are after all rescuing you from something you hate?

Try finding out what they value or what they hate.  If it's something you like, have or can easily manage then Hey Presto!  You may have a deal. 

So in summary: Option 2 is 'Get someone else to do it BUT reward them'.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Art of Procrastination: Option 1, Make like a Princess

So a client has stood me up and as I have not had a lunch break, and as nearly all my admin is up to date, I am taking this opportunity to write and let you in on option 1 in the noble art of procrastination.

The story so far: The hated task is leering at you (for me admin). You know it's there. You are dreading it. You REALLY do not want to do it. In fact physical pain is preferable.

The first question I'd suggest you ask yourself is 'How important is completing this task to my business/life/whatever?'

It may be that it is not important or does not need to get done ever, and if that is the case why do it? You can in fact take great delight in using your sharpie and permanently removing it from the list... forever. GONE!

If however, it is something that needs to be done then you have a choice.

Your first option. There's no nice way to say this so I won't even try. The first option you have is to make like a princess, suck it up and just do it. I know, it's not nice. It's not what anyone wants to hear, but sometimes you just have to suck it up like the good little princess you are and do it. Sigh. It really is that simple.

BUT, and here's the kicker, you reward yourself. That's the sweetener, the incentive and the reason why you do it.

You have to be nice to yourself. This is a task/job/whatever you absolutely detest, something you would rather not do and the only person who knows how awful this task/thing that must not be named is, is you and maybe your business coach. So treat yourself. Make this task as painless as possible and reward yourself after. Make it a reward you want. Something that will compensate you for the pain you are about to face, and something you can look forward to.

So, that begs the question 'what does reward look like to you?;' Every one is different and we all take our pleasures in different ways. Do you like hot bubble baths with a glass of wine and a good book? Do you like going to the flicks? Do you deserve a weekend/night/day off? Just because it's a reward does not mean you have to spend money.

Think about how you can treat yourself after, and plan to do this very thing ONCE the dreaded task is done. Go on, celebrate! Kick up your heels. It's allowed and in my opinion is required. You have faced the nightmare, done battle with your demons and won. The damned thing is DONE. You can take great delight in crossing the thing off your to do list!

So to summarize option 1: Suck it up Princess. Get like Nike, and just DO IT. BUT remember to celebrate and reward yourself.

If option 1, does not appeal, then we are onto option 2.... and that will be covered in the next post.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The art of procrastination

You know it IS an art.  And I am an Olympic master.
If I honestly put as much energy and time into actually doing the 'hated task or unknown thing' I'm putting off, I swear I'd be superwoman.

But like most people, I wallow.  I think.  I create a schedule. I use colours and charts and sticky notes.  Then I completely disregard the schedule and feel bad. I think again.  Finally when I start to consider re-grouting the bathroom tiles, or cleaning the toilet with a toothbrush I finally clue in.

I am not proud to admit that it is then and only then (when cleaning is suddenly appealing) that I woman-up and face the fact I am in major procrastination mode and something needs to change.

Over the years I have wittled down the areas where I procrastinate.  Whoever is it that said "Know thy self" was someone I'd like to shake the hand of.  We all know the things we like, where we excel, but this simple three word sentence in archaic English also includes knowing where our flaws and warts are too. Our shadow self.

Most of mine lie in admin.  Any admin, and that includes accounts.  Which is rather sad as I am actually very good at it.  Admin sadly is a pass time that I would rather not do, thankyouverymuch.

Designing admin systems?  I'm your woman.  Oh I love doing that, but the day to day maintaining of those wonderfully constructed logical systems, I'd rather you just pulled out my fingernails one by one or stuck pins in my eyes.  I'd honestly find it less painful.  Really I would.

So what can I or you do about it?

You have a choice.  There is hope.

There is a solution, and in true cliff hanger style, and because I want you to keep reading I'll cover the three options (yes, there are three) in the next postings....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The biggest mistake you can make in a down economy!

Did you know, that if you increase your marketing during a recession that your business will benefit not only now but when we come out of one?

Do you know by how much?

Now this is the staggering bit - your business will benefit by a 285%!  Yes that's over TWO HUNDRED percent.

Why? I suspect because you will be a familiar face.  People know you exist and as businesses typically cut back on marketing when times get tough (further increasing the problem) you are a much louder voice in a quieter crowd.

So, why oh why do businesses cut back on marketing?

True advertising can be expensive, but this is not the only tool available to you if money is tight... there's telemarketing, networking, sending press releases, contacting existing clients asking for referrals, writing articles for local magazines, public speaking, developing strategic partner networks... and those are just the ones that spring to my fingertips as I write this. 

Using the (maybe) quiet time between servicing customers to promote yourself in free ways that cost you nothing but time, makes not only business sense, but saves jobs and improves the short and long health of your business.  And that helps everyone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Entrepreneurship 101

So what is an Entrepreneur?

I don't know about you but I've heard the word thrown about like candy recently and that got me thinking.

So with fingers poised and at the ready I attacked the net and did some digging.  Besides being millions (I'm not joking) of definitions I also managed to find several lists of qualities.  Depending on whose list you check out there are anywhere between 10 and 29 qualities that go towards defining an entrepreneur. 

From the information I gathered and my own personal experience I've pulled together my top twenty and will be looking at each individually over the coming weeks.

As a business coach with I regularly come across each attribute in the existing and new entrepreneurs I work with.  We all have some of the qualities inherent within us and can learn and develop others.  The question is which qualities do YOU need in YOUR business, career or life?  

Choosing when and which to use comes with practice, and the way in which you use that skill is deployed is dependent on the situation, environment, culture and personality type you are dealing with.

So without further ado here's my top twenty:

1) Creativity and capacity to innovate
2) Vision and capacity to inspire
3) Decisiveness, urgency and patience
4) Integrity, honesty and reliability
5) Ability to cope with failure
6) Drive to achieve and grow
7) Persistence in problem solving
8) Total commitment, determination and perseverance
9) Orientation to goals and opportunities
10) Taking initiative and personal responsibility
11) Sense of humour
12) High stress tolerance
13) Seeking and using feedback constructively
14) Team builder with the ability to recognize the efforts of those brought on board
15) Self-confidence and self-control
16) Don't like to be penned in or controlled  - they have trouble working for anyone else, they like to be boss!
17) Make decisions and are not afraid of making mistakes
18) See obstacles as opportunities
19) Speak their mind
20) High energy

So how close are you?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Coaching through recession!

As a business coach with I work with many different types of business.  Right now I have noticed that more and more people are thinking of realizing their dream of starting a business as the work opportunities dry up with other organizations.

Start up is a unique phase in every business and every business has gone through it.  Starting your own company usually means that unless you are in a partnership or have REALLY good connections you will be doing EVERYTHING in your fledgling enterprise and probably with limited funds.  Also the person you meet up close and personal is... yourself!

You find out how easy you are to manage and where you will hide in order not to do things!  And your success will depend on how you deal with your internal as well as your external blocks.  Coaching someone through this phase is a delight and something I enjoy immensely. 

And when someone finally 'gets it', i.e. what entrepreneurship really means, then you hang onto your hat because you know it's going to be a wild ride.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Letter to Minster Day

As promised this is a copy of the letter e-mailed to Darcy Rezac, MD of The Board of Trade regarding the US proposed protectionist policy.

I was surprised to find out that my views were as strong as they are... but I stand by what I say.  I think it's a short term knee jerk reaction rather than a long a sustainable long term strategy.

Hopefully they'll reconsider their position and support trade rather than cut it off at the knees.


Dear Minister Day

I wish to speak to the concern I and many of my fellow business colleagues share around the current proposed protectionist plan in the US and how this can potentially impact not just ourselves, but also the long term economic health of the US and the global economy.

Protectionism is, in my view, an economic knee jerk reaction that addresses issues with only a short term view.  If it persists or spreads the danger is that the wheels of trade will cease to be lubricated as goods and services stop passing across international borders and any 'recession' or 'economic down turn' will last longer and result in tougher, harder times for peoples, organizations and governments across the globe.

By keeping global trade alive and thriving economies increase the number of potential markets for their own goods and services, thereby helping their own manufacturing and services community weather any economic storm.  I would be very surprised if anyone actually wanted the problems caused by the instability and alleged poor judgement of the financial sector to last any longer than need be.  Closing borders to trade and the potential domino effect that would cause, in my view, would do exactly that.

A much more practical solution for the US and other world economies to consider would be to invest in their companies (manufacturing and service) by helping them to innovate, upgrade and compete.  This coupled with real governmental help in accessing new opportunities abroad and then cultural training/support to facilitate appropriate marketing strategies to sell to new trading partners will open doors and ensure future success.  These steps will also have the added benefit of updating and strengthening the manufacturing and service base upon which countries rely.

Rather than closing down trade opportunities, shutting down innovation and stopping marketing activities, economies need to do the opposite in order to thrive.

There is a whole world out there, I would suggest it is foolhardy for any country to turn their back on such a remarkable opportunity, let alone one with such an impressive record of innovation and market awareness that the US currently enjoys.

I do hope they re-consider their position and choose to lead the world in their forward thinking and sustainable economic strategies.

Yours sincerely