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One of the most common challenges my high-achieving clients have is procrastination. Now, you may think that “high achieving” and “procrastination” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence . . . but it is true! Because of this, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on procrastination. What causes it? What are some strategies to overcome it? What makes it easy for someone to start a task but hard for the same person to finish it and vice versa?
Enter Neil Fiore, Ph.D, the author of The Now Habit, with the idea of the UNSCHEDULE. I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical of this idea at first, as it is the OPPOSITE of how I typically teach calendaring and scheduling strategies.
Typically, when you think of laying out your schedule for the day or week, you plan all your work obligations and appointments first. Then, with the time that is left, you plan in your fun and social obligations.
Dr. Fiore recommends doing just the opposite!!!
Schedule your exercise, social, and fun stuff first.
Then schedule in your meetings, doctor’s appointments, and other commitments.
The time left is your “unscheduled time,” the time you have for work.
When you work for 30 uninterrupted minutes, you get to shade in the block of “work” time in your schedule. As long as you block in some work time, you get to take advantage of the fun stuff in your calendar.
WHY does this work?
Typically when you procrastinate, there’s a feeling of “I have to do this” and “I’ll make myself work and I won’t get to do anything fun.” Often we sacrifice “fun” for working on a project we’ve been putting off for hours, days, weeks.
But, when you become clear about how much time you actually have for work (which after all this fun stuff isn’t very much!) you actually get started earlier.
Plus, by flipping the thought to 30 minutes of work and then getting a reward, you are much more apt to get started so you can get your reward.
And you know . . . once you get started . . .