How to overcome procrastination
We’ve all struggled with that great question, “how do I stop procrastinating?” and everyone will tell you a different approach on how to break through that barrier. Many moons ago I came across a great motivational speaker at one of my places of work, his name is Michael Heppell, you may have heard of him or even one of his many excellent books.
I was very lucky when I first met him as it was a corporate motivational session and although the nuances of his speech have all since left my mind I’ve always been an avid follower of his work and actually taught many of his techniques to my employees, clients and friends over the years.
If you’ve never heard of Michael go do yourself a favour and pop it into Google.
A quick way to force a decision
There is a fantastic easy technique you can use on others and have people use on you. All you need is a coin… That’s all.
If I am working with a client that can’t make up their mind I grab a coin and ask them what are the two options, A and B. A is heads and tails is B. Simple.
At this point you’re thinking, are you really teaching me to leave this important decision in the lap of the Gods and fate? Just wait…
I then toss the coin with some serious vigour, catch it (hopefully) and cover it up and ask a simple question… “Which one did you want it to be?” Most of the time they’ll respond with either A or B. This is the most important part of the process, here what we’re doing is trying to get to the heart of what they actually wanted rather than letting them put the decision onto others.
Once they’ve told me their preference I put the coin straight back into my pocket and never show them the answer.
So how does that work?
The point is that deep down they knew exactly what they wanted but they’re hoping that someone or something else would make the decision for them so that they could stop procrastinating over the decision. This is a common problem when trying to get people to make a decision and a great technique I’ve even used on my coaching calls with clients when they are struggling to decide on a route. You see it’s easier to push the ‘blame’ around if something goes wrong and you weren’t the one to actually make the decision.
I’ve even used this technique in the boardroom, surrounded by people on 6 figure salaries who couldn’t make a decision. It did cause quite a bit of debate after but it got people talking and making decisions and that is the critical aspect here, get people talking. Sometimes you just have to nudge people in the right direction and then they can make their own minds up.
More on Michael
If you want to know more about Mr Heppell and his professional activities then head on over to www.michaelheppell.com
If you liked this article then you should most certainly check out one of his fantastic books on productivity, it’s certainly been a go-to book for me for a number of years now.
These are my particular favourites: