Goal setting, SMART goals, forming habits, getting stuff done. First you have to overcome procrastination.
It probably all sounds simple to someone who has executing strengths in their top 5. However, for someone like myself who doesn’t have an executing talent until #17 (half way), getting things done can be a challenge. With #4 Activator it’s easy to get the ball rolling, although with #1 Maximiser, it doesn’t take long to question whether something is good enough and worthwhile continuing. With #3 Ideation and #5 Futuristic playing in the background, it’s quite simple to become distracted or start visualising the next greatest thing.
Look out procrastination.
I love that video. It is on the list of content shown in every class I deliver for business start-ups.
How do I overcome procrastination? Considering we’ve been in lockdown due to COVID19, this question has been asked many times. And considering a pattern that’s formed when trying to ‘get my stuff done’ as explained with my top 5 above, it’s a continual battle.
It always will be. Simply knowing your strengths in not just the answer, it is a way of living, aiming for continuous improvement. However, living in a zone of strength is much more energizing than the normal ‘fix your weakness’. As long as we’re aware of our patterns we can work toward improving them our strength zones.
How do I then allow the pattern above to work in my favour?
First of all it’s Maximiser time. Considering the need to optimise this pattern and make it better is the first inspiration, being my number one makes it all so much sweeter. The thought of thinking of new ways to improve feed into Ideation and Futuristic. #2 Connectedness is often neglected being self-employed and much time is spent alone. The fix – become accountable to others. Let’s try an example.
We recently relaunched the Focus On Your Strengths guide book series on Amazon. Amazon recommend posting about each of them as well as consistently posting on a blog. There is a two-pronged goal. Blog post and upload each Amazon book to the website. However, as mentioned above, the pattern suggests I can start by blog posting each day about each book – simple. But with 35 books, how long before becomes a boring task?
First we have to find a purpose. Obviously following recommendations from Amazon, the purpose is to make sales, to make money. BUT that is not a meaningful purpose, money or sales is not a compelling reason to form habits or achieve goals. It needs to be connected to something that means more. For me it’s strengths.
The purpose is to form a habit of consistently doing something for 35 days (5 day week M-F) based on my strengths. How I plan to follow this is simple. I created a spreadsheet diary with half hour blocks expressing when and where I’ll be doing things during my working (if that’s what you call it) week.
#1Maximiser is fed because we launched our books on iTunes in the past and didn’t achieve much, Amazon have a bigger audience, thus appear to be a “better” market for us. Importantly, this process also allows me to “better” myself in forming stronger habits.
#2Connectedness is fed by connecting with readers of blog posts and the books. Also allowing re-connection with strengths enthusiasts who have completed the StrengthsFinder® in the past.
#3Ideation is fed by creating a new idea to write a blog post each day, somehow including one of the guide books as a theme.
#4Activator is fed by each day starting again, a new blog post. And to maximise it further, as the diary is broken into 30 minute blocks, Activator feeds every 30 minutes. I have purposely not set any task to last more than 2 hours in any given day. This avoids Maximiser questioning it’s validity or worth and Activator getting bored.
#5Futuristic is fed by dangling that carrot of what it may look like once all 35 books have been posted, how I may feel and only dreaming of what may have been achieved.
Depending on how you interpret each strength you may be able to see all the strengths at play. Yet my challenge is to focus on one talent theme at the end of each post and share “how” it may apply.
Today it’s Achiever®. Coming in at #18 for me, most would say it’s too low on the food chain to be a strength for me. However, one coach friend of mine says, sometimes it’s not about the number out of 34, it can also be the number out of the domain. Therefore, Achiever for me is my 2nd highest executing talent. Does that make sense?
By following a diary there is a list. Each day (even each hour) the list is checked off what has been achieved. Having groups of actions to achieve each day keeps me busy, allowing me to get things done. Avoids procrastination. What’s important here is not that I am focusing on Achiever, as it is my #18. Which would mean I am focusing on a lesser strength. On the contrary, the focus is on my top 5, feeding those talents then allows me to “achieve”. Also to note, for me there is no passion to keep a list like a High Achiever would, so the diary is a loose guide. The list gives me a plan, however it can deviate at any time. It is where I want to be. Allowing my sub-conscious to take over and inspire me to ‘just do it anyway’. At times guilt sets in (in a good way), that I feel compelled to be productive, rather than turn on the TV or play with my phone.
In a nutshell, that is an example of how I use my top 5 strengths to manage my #18Achiever. If you would like to manage your Achiever, of even focus on it as a top 5 strength then you may want to check out the guide book below, How To Achieve Success.
If you haven’t completed the Clifton StrengthsFinder®, or don’t even know what it is, simply click here.
Trust you enjoyed COVID19 Overcoming Procrastination. Remember, Focus On Your Strengths.
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