What about dealing with procrastinators? It is one thing to learn how to personally overcome procrastination. But how do we handle living in a world dominated by procrastination?
By knowing the techniques to overcome procrastination, you are already at a huge advantage in dealing with procrastinators. A key idea is to not be a “dictator” in the lives of people, but rather be a “consultant.”
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“Dealing with Procrastinators” Show Notes
In this episode, I share on the following topics:
- Review of last week
- Voting for me to teach at CreativeLive
- Being a consultant, not a dictator
- Demanding Compliance vs Inviting Choice
- Focus on finishing vs starting
- Criticism vs praise
- Pushing leisure and play
How can you help a procrastinator? Finding the underlying reasons for delaying actions are the first steps in moving toward a successful resolution. The following represent some of the most common causes and responses:
- Lack of Interest: If your priorities and theirs do not match, explain to them why this is important to you and what the consequences are in not doing it.
- Lack of Time: When they typically underestimate how long something will take, and then end up with incomplete work, teach them “back-timing,” where you go from the final deadline through the steps to the must-start date.
- Perfection: If they delay because they are not sure they will produce a perfect result, use the “What if…” scenario, evaluating possible outcomes and consequences of each to recognize what an acceptable outcome could be.
- Others’ Opinions: If you think that the procrastinator is worried about possible failure and subsequent rejection, help him or her understand it is natural. Share your own fears.
- Uncertainty: When they are not sure what is expected, encourage them to go back and seek clarification from those involved so that they can fully understand what will be needed to produce the result.
- The Unknown: They fear new things and this risk factor causes avoidance. Recall things in the past that they accomplished, reminding them that conquering something new can also be stimulating and rewarding.
- Poor Work Habits: To limit their multitasking habits, you can remove distractions. Keep the children out of the way or handle phone calls so that they can focus.
What more can you do to help you deal with the procrastinators in your life?
- Set false deadlines. Move up the date or time when a task or event is very important.
- Assign one task at a time. Too many things at once can cause a procrastinator to freeze up and do nothing.
- Be clear about consequences. Let everyone know the downside of not getting the work done.
- Provide rewards. Temper diligent efforts with subsequent free time or fun activities.
- Use outside help. Hire someone to take over the job or to assist the procrastinator. It is harder to avoid a task when another person is present.
“Dealing with Procrastinators” Episode Resources
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