How do you organize your day and week? The old adage "seize the day" absolutely never loses its truth and wisdom. We have all done time management courses and results matrices that drive our behaviour toward achievement of goals and objectives.
If we are honest, we don't always attack the hardest projects or most difficult conversations first, now do we? What is that thing that causes the procrastination to rear its ugly head and sabotage your best intentions?
It's like a virus that sneaks up on you and you are in it before you even realize it. Self awareness is most of the battle. Knowing that you are challenged this way, or your team members are challenged this way, is half the battle - right?
I know I am speaking to all of us and our team members at some level. Is it possible, even the DNA of your team itself has taken on this persona? It's a great conversation to have with your team periodically. This is one habit that you would like to kick to the curb permanently...personally and professionally. As a leader how do you exemplify this competency to your teams? It is not what you say, but what you do that sets you apart.
So, here are a few simple reminders to help you with this battle...
Are you a morning person? I can't think of a better way to kick start your day than tackling that report or project, or booking your toughest meetings first thing in the AM. Sounds so simple, but it works.
As a corporate leader, when doing weekly coaching calls, I would schedule the most challenging meetings first. You owe it to your team members to give them the best of yourself.
Be prepared. Are you prepping the night before for those early AM meetings?
Set reminders and block time. Blocking time for preparation is equally as important as the meetings themselves.
Take care of you. When you maximize your schedule during the day, you open up your evenings and weekendds to take care of yourself. You can now be fully present in your friends and family time.
Do you owe yourself any less than you owe the people you lead and serve? What impact will breaking through this unwieldly habit have on you? Your team? Your results? Your satisfaction in your overall personal and professional life will increase exponentially once you get this down. It takes 21 days to build a habit they say. Can you kick the procrastination habit, or better put, built your Carpe Diem habit in 21 days?
I recall a colleague who recounted the story of completing her first marathon. She said that in the dead of winter when she was curled up on the couch with a blanket after work, with no intention of going outside into the elements to train, her friend would show up at the door and say "let's go, are you ready?" What a great friend to have in your inner circle. The result was the amazingly great accomplishment of completing a marathon that spring. Her purpose in recounting this story to me was just as much about how this accomplishment impacted her leadership as it was about running an actual marathon. It changed the way she approached everything. Are you that non-procrastinating leader?
Your career is not a sprint, it too is a marathon and it is never too late to start building on your capacity to leverage your own strengths and nail this! We have all heard the old adage "It's the journey, not the destination" right? Is that really true? In reality I think it is both. When you look back on your career, I hope your highlights are emphasized by the accomplishments you made because of the great habits you had as a leader.
If any of you have ever had the pleasure of having a teenager live in your house, you know that this is the stage where the procrastination bug takes firm root...if you let it. Who hasn't had to cajole, encourage, or take other actions to light a fire under a teenager? Is that where your tardy habits came into being? The discipline built in the formative years really can last a lifetime, but it is never too late to change.
So, what are you going to do today - not tomorrow or the next day - to change your habits and seize the day?
Send me an email, shoot me a note, I'd love to hear your stories of success!