Posted by: Cathy | February 11, 2015

Coach Nibble: Long-term Motivation

Coach Blog 010114 Here is today’s coach nibble: “I’m working on a long-term project requiring many hours of work over many months. I’m having a little trouble staying on task. Since the end is so far away, it’s easy to procrastinate and not have any sense of urgency. I set weekly goals but things get pushed back for various reasons; some good, some lazy. What can you suggest to help?”

You’re already setting weekly goals, but take a look at them to see if they’re bite-sized and actionable. Rather than a goal like “finish writing chapter 3”, try being more specific like “write the scene at the lake and then the scene where they fight.”

If you’re already doing that, take a look at the items you’re procrastinating over. Is there a reason you’re procrastinating over that particular item? Are you resisting something about it? Dig into the procrastination and see what you can learn, then try to do something about it. Procrastination is always serving you in some way; sometimes it’s protecting you from risk or failure, sometimes it’s giving you rest or time to play. Notice what you’re getting by procrastinating and decide whether you want that thing or you want to meet your goal. If you do want that thing, schedule it in so it isn’t impeding on your goal time.

Lastly, consider making a time-sheet for your goal. I have one in Excel for my business so I can easily track how much time I spend on various projects, and it also motivates me to log a certain number of hours each week. You could do a straight-up Excel sheet, too, or you could get creative with it. Use an index card to create your “time card” for the week and decorate it however you like, then mark your time as you make progress on your goal. Celebrate a bit each time you get to mark something down, and keep it close to you to help remind you of your priorities if you find yourself procrastinating again.

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Check out the coach nibble information page if you’d like to submit a topic for a future coach nibble. All suggestions are entered in a monthly drawing!

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