A coaching client came to the session with the challenge of procrastination. She is single and lives alone. She has important papers that need to be organized and filed in case she passes away, so that her next of kin can easily settle her estate.
How morbid, how depressing! Who would want to do that?!?
Here is the plan we came up with step by step to help you accomplish the less fun things on the to do list this year!
1. When are you going to do it?
Tomorrow at 10 AM!
2. How long will it take?
3. What can you do for fun as a reward for completing the task.
I want to go see a new movie.
Great, so here is what you do!
First: Set an appointment with yourself at 10 AM in your calendar to interrupt whatever you are doing. Make sure you eat a big breakfast because you will not be stopping in the middle of the project.
Second: Go to Fandango and buy the movie ticket for tomorrow for the 4 PM mantinee and print out the ticket.
Third: Put your phone in airplane mode (no interruptions) and set the timer (next to the clock function) for 4 hours. Sit the phone next to the printed movie ticket.
You ONLY have 4 hours to get the task done. If it is NOT done by the time the timer expires. You cannot go to the movie and you will lose your money! If you do the task, the movie is your present or reward for a job well done.
“But I hate to loose money,” she protested, why not just buy the ticket after I finish. I am sure they will still be available?
The very “hatred” of losing money IS the very motivation that will help you get the task done! In fact, I could guarantee you will get the task done, 100%, no worries.
You may walk away from a $12 movie ticket or even a $16 Movie bistro ticket. So write me a check right now for $1000 and give it to me with you commitment written in the memo field. If you make your commitment, I will tear up the check. If you do not, I will cash it and keep the money!
Now go back to the your to-do list. Put a dollar amount that would be painful enough for you to lose that you would do the task no matter what, for each task?
Any task at $1000 range is high priority, one of those per day is enough.
Any task at $75 is medium priority and two of those per day is enough.
Any task at $20 or lower is low priority and not even worth bothering about. They are just the “shoulds” you think you should do, but really has no value to you.
Delete any $0 tasks right off the list, right now.
Then I wished her good luck! I can’t wait to read her movie review!