Sprint – Accelerating Past Procrastination

Quote of the Week

Activity is contagious.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sprint – Accelerating Past Procrastination

by Simon Tyler

I have noticed people I coach, and often me too, circling around an ever growing to-do list. That ream of tasks, big and small, urgent and important. This circling can lead them to feeling off the pace, falling behind and often missing out on the important actions at the cost of the urgent.

This inadvertent delaying tactic can be linked to some bigger unspoken and therefore unanswered questions about purpose, direction and meaning to all these itty bitty tasks. In order to get to that a crucial first step is to recreate some momentum.

Some time ago Michael Neill, (www.geniuscatalyst.com), provided me inspiration in the form of a Julius Caesar story. Putting aside some of his methods and political ambitions it is difficult not to be amazed at the amount he achieved. During his lifetime he was renowned for his celeritas, a Latin word meaning “speed” or “quickness”. Time and time again he would act so quickly that his opponents were caught completely unawares.

The flip side of this was that he would sometimes act compulsively or rashly and get himself into difficulties as a result. But no one was better than he at getting himself out of difficulties again – by the effectiveness and speed of the measures he took to extricate and recover.

You can use this principle of celeritas in your own life.

To do so, simply practise working and moving a little bit faster than you usually do.

This is remarkably effective, because, if you move faster than normal, you don’t give yourself time to think all your normal procrastinating thoughts. If you are moving fast, you don’t think “I’ll do that later” or “I really don’t want to do that” – you just do it.

Try it for a short period to start with. 30 minutes has always been my optimum celeritas time. Set a timer and just go all out to do as much work, of any kind, that you can in that time. Don’t spend any time thinking what to do next, just get on with whatever comes to hand. Sending (or deleting) emails, clearing desk space, responding to meeting requests, go on!

You may be surprised at how much you achieve. And you may also be very surprised to find that instead of being tiring; it is extremely energising to act in this way and can liberate you from stuck feelings. Momentum begins; from there the bigger picture almost always comes into view.

Simon Tyler is one of the world’s leading business coaches. His work simplifies the lives of business leaders and owners. He is an incisive consultant, inspirational writer, provocative public speaker and master facilitator. To learn more about Simon, visit http://simontyler.com.

Coaching Call to Action

This reminds me of the interval training I’ve been doing recently, 1 to 3 minutes of high intensity and then 1 to 3 minutes of lower intensity. Amazing how energized you feel, how effective it is, and you don’t really think about it. You just do it!

If you’ve already tested out Simon’s methodology for the 30 minute sprint and want to try 50 minute sprints (gasp, wheeze), check out my Pounce on a Project below. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!