A client I am coaching at the moment keeps bringing the agenda of procrastination to the coaching sessions.  When exploring this further we looked at what was going on underneath the procrastinating behaviour?  It turned out, that the procrastination had a direct link to motivation, confidence and fear of confrontation.   So how can this be overcome?

The 15-Minute Rule

Caroline Buchanan (author and journalist) has written a book called the 15-Minute Rule to help anyone that finds themselves procrastinating. She describes it "as a lifestyle tool that can work for anyone".  When I started to reflect on my own habits I soon realised that there are tasks in my life that I can put off until they become critical.  

I realised today that procrastination plagues us all to varying degrees and certainly has plagued me over the years....,

An example of this played out in my life today.  I have been coaching for over 15 years but up until this year I had yet to submit my hours and complete my coaching assessment for my ICF credentials.  I made up many excuses and the one that I actually believed was that I didn't feel it stopped me getting work by not having it!  

To some extent this has been true and I also felt that some of the best coaches I know don't have the credentials.  However I also knew that at the back of my mind there was a slight fear that I might fail my assessment.  So I put this off for years!  My deadline for completion of the assessment was 6th May 2017, and this morning after reading the first part of this book I set aside 3 hours in my day to complete 155 online questions about coaching competencies.  I split the 3 hours into 15 minute segments and I just started.  I am pleased to say that it worked and I have just received my results.  I achieved 81% (the pass is 70%).  I now feel proud and motivated to continue with the next stage of my development.  So sometimes we need a strategy to overcome our fears and just do it.

What is the 15-Minute Rule

The 15-Minute Rule is made up of six stages that will help you with whatever you wish to achieve.

  1. Be Inspired - make sure that "whatever you do, or dream you can do begin it" - Goethe
  2. Visualize - what will it feel like when you have achieved your goal?
  3. Plan - if you haven't started already, pick a time to begin.  How about now?
  4. Prepare - it's all in the preparation.  
  5. The 15-Minute Rule - pick your chosen task, set your watch and start timing.
  6. Reward Yourself and celebrate your victories large or small.

I would recommend Caroline Buchanan's The 15 Minute Rule - it is a great and easy read and if followed will stop procrastination and help you take control. 

Goal Direction is one aspect of Emotional Intelligence.  This book will certainly help you more towards your goals in a balanced manner.