Often we wrestle with getting certain projects or activities completed. There are times I wonder if procrastination should be elevated to some sort of art form. The level of creativity that abounds when avoiding certain tasks is nothing short of a masterpiece.
If procrastination was art, I would be Picasso.
This procrastination can permeate through simple tasks and projects, down into our roles both personally and professionally. What starts off as a delay in painting a room or cleaning up your desk, can become putting off coaching employees or participating with your family. One day you wake up to a mountain of unfinished projects, ideas, or roles.
I was listening to a speaker give a talk on what it takes to be a good leader, and one of the keys was following through on certain tasks. When coaching others, this speaker often listens to leaders talk about the things they would like to do, and then says a simple phrase.
“Let me see your calendar.”
The speaker then challenges the leader to show them in their calendar the time the have scheduled to work on that project, and where the deadline appears. Reluctantly, the leaders typically respond that those ideas or projects are not in the calendar. The desire was present, but not the mechanism to create the action needed to complete or make progress on these tasks.
Instead of shaming the person being coached, the speaker then simply works to find dates and times in their calendar and holds them accountable for completion.
I am trying the same approach with myself and others. While coaching a few individuals recently, I realized how much we all need this encouragement and accountability. A few days ago during a coaching session, I realized that there was a project that I had put off for about 12 months. The project itself would take about 1 hour, but there was some sort of procrastination mountain standing in my way.
This morning I spoke that simple phrase, “Let me see your calendar.”
There was space, and the project was scheduled and completed. One simple phrase and the project came off the stalled idea mountain and is now a reality. Imagine the results if we use this simple phrase with ourselves and others.
Try it out, it may just Change the World.