5 proven fundamentals on how to overcome procrastination (video)

How to overcome procrastination?

how to overcome procrastinationYou are leading two lives.

There’s the life you live. And there’s that un-lived life that’s inside you.

Between these two lies resistance.

Most of us call our resistance procrastination. We find ourselves frittering away our time with meaningless distractions or busy-work that makes us feel like we’re being productive.

But procrastination makes us feel like we’re failing. When we put something off we tell ourselves it’s because we’re lazy. And watch out if procrastination becomes part of your identity – when you’re a procrastinator you start losing your reliability.

Why not re-define the enemy?

If procrastination is a mindset we carry around about how we’re not measuring up, resistance is a call to arms. It’s an obstacle that we’re challenged to overcome.

It’s a quest.

When I’m thinking about how I’m procrastinating, I’m beating myself up, but when I’m meeting my resistance, I can pick up my sword and shield and slay the dragon.

How you meet your resistance.

We’ve all been exposed to the Nike tag line “Just Do it.” Honestly, it’s way too overwhelming – and about as helpful as, “Just Say ‘No.'”

Instead, use these 5 steps that will help you overcome procrastination:

1. Don’t “Just Do It” – just get started. Don’t worry about doing the whole thing (or how you’re going to slay the dragon once you get to the cave). Just start.
2. Experiment. Figure things out as you go along. Treat everything as an experiment. Learn out loud by sharing your experiments on social media. Share your mistakes. Celebrate victories.
3. Don’t get ready. Take one step. Just get started.
4. Get help from others. Create peer pressure. Gather your audience. Get feedback and encouragement.
5. Embrace your limitations. Don’t wait until you have all the time and resources in the world. When you have a tight deadline use the resources at hand.

Get going (and stop worrying).

Case Study: Sesame Workshop Elmo’s Monster Maker

Here’s an excellent story of a project that had severe time and resource constraints. Adam Skaates & Coe Leta Stafford were developing an iphone app that led kids through fun steps in designing their monster friend.

They had an idea about how to make Elmo dance but they only had 1 hour before a design conference call with their client. They printed oversize image of an iphone, put the image on foamboard and cut rectangular window where the screen would be. While Adam stood behind the phone, Coe Leta set up her webcam, aimed it at the iphone board and then used her finger to simulate how children would use the app – pointing to Adam’s nose to make him start dancing.

As you can see in the video demo they made (above) the results were fun, endearing and far more persuasive than talking about their idea during a conference call.

What project, initiative, goal or dream is being held up by your resistance? What can you do today to begin to make it happen?

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How to create an outstanding video profile that connects

Libby Kirkpatrick is a singer-songwriter and massage therapist who recently moved from Austin to Boston. She was interested in setting up her massage therapy practice in the Cambridge area and, as someone who just moved to the area, she needed to attract an entirely new group of clients. We combined both her talents in this authentic video profile of her work.

Then we created a video story branding plan that allowed her to combine her talents and give her an immediate entrée to likely clients in the area. Her new massage practice is in a rented treatment room housed at a yoga studio – where there are a dozen yoga instructors teaching classes to a few hundred students each month.

To introduce herself to the community she offered to play and sing for Savasana at the end of yoga classes. (Savasana is the last pose done for every class in which students lay on the floor in a resting meditation). Because the yoga teachers where she practices also teach at several other studios in the Cambridge area – she also offered to sing at the same teachers’ classes at their other locations in Cambridge.

With this plan, in just a few weeks, she was be able to introduce herself to literally hundreds of local yoga students – her perfect target population as folks likely to be interested in a massage therapy session. Then she invited them in for a free assessment session – and followed up with a multi-session package offer. Anyone interested could visit her site and schedule a time for their free session online. This was a very simple-to-get-started strategy that gave Libby high visibility, and meaningful connection, with a group of her most likely clients.

Interested in devising a plan for how you can introduce yourself and share your story to a raft of prospective new clients in your neighborhood?

I’ve developed Story Power Strategy™Video Marketing & Business Coaching, to help entrepreneurs (like you) who are frustrated from spending too much of their time chasing after new clients. I’ll help you craft the story of the difference you make in the lives of your customers so that you’ll attract a constant stream of new clients for your business and then I’ll help you create a video profile & develop a simple plan to engage your natural audience and grow your business.

Learn more about Story Power Strategy™ >

video profile“Massage is a very grounding experience for me. I love to give massage. There’s an expression that if you give a massage, you get a massage and I have that experience.

One of the things that I would say is my specialty is the the concept of wholism. Somebody might come in with a specific incident that happened, in their neck or their shoulders, and they find as they come off the table that they have a new awareness throughout their body – maybe it’s more mobility in their hips or ease in their being.

So, giving massages is a privilege for me to work with another person who’s entrusted themselves to me. It’s an honor – and I take it very seriously.”

How do pioneering entrepreneurs take the leap?

A few years ago David Schneider was recruited right out of college to work for a large financial services company in Washington, D.C. where he started earning 70K per year. All of a sudden he has a nice apartment in central DC where he’s living with his girlfriend. He’s 24 years old. He has no debt. For the most part, everything is cozy, and he’s thinking he could probably continue on this path for another 50 years and be perfectly fine, except for one small thing – he’s utterly unsatisfied with what he’s doing.

Most of his friends told him not to leave his work. But he made a different choice. How did he find the courage to take the leap?

David set on a path to completely redesign his life – to leave behind everything he owned and figure out what he wanted out of life and how to get it.

He quit his job, started a blog, and went backpacking around the world with his girlfriend – learning everything he could about business and the internet along the way and how to combine the two to create a new life.

For nearly two years David and his girlfriend lived a nomadic lifestyle; moving around from day to day, living out of their backpacks, meeting and interacting with strangers from completely different cultures. Along the way some crazy things happened. We went hiking in the Himalayas, flew into the world’s most dangerous airport, and took Nepalese cooking classes with locals from Kathmandu – (and that was just one week). They traveled to over 25 countries and started working online. At first it was just a few hundred dollars, enough for a few nights out, but before long it was a few thousands and they began breaking even on their expenses, until they started earning more than $10k per month.

Now, David is back in Boston working on a new startup. When I asked him about his vision for the future, what he said surprised me. “The life that I would be having if the business became a success, it would pretty much be what my life is like now.”

take the leapDavid has done something that all people who go to work for themselves face – the courage to take the leap. He says, “If I’ve done one thing right in the last few years, it’s that I really took a shot at trying something very different. When we left the corporate world, there were nay-sayers. People said, “How are you going to get work afterwards. How are you going to feed yourselves. But, you figure it out. If you’ve got a good head on your shoulders and you’ve got a good support network, you can make it work for yourself.”

Learn more about David on his site, SelfMadeBusinessman.com >

Where do you find your courage to take the leap and strike out on your own? And are you able to maintain fearless attitude in spite of nay-sayers and self-doubt?

This post is part of a series of Take the Plunge interviews.


Do you have Creative Compulsive Disorder? – the cure is to share your process

You’re a creative person. And you’re working on stuff that you are crazy for. You say you’d do it even if you didn’t get paid. But there’s something that happens with creatives. They tend to stay in their creative closet. It’s a kind of block that’ll keep you from revealing your true talent. But, with just a little, regular exposure, your creativity can come out of the closet.

In the music making world this is called ‘woodshedding.’ As in ‘Out back practicing in the woodshed for hours and hours to get good enough.’

But you can build your audience, and be engaging, while you’re still in the woodshed. You can share your process – a little at a time – no matter what you do and no matter where you are in your learning curve. Each day you can post a small tidbit of what you’re working on. And you’ll learn so much in the process.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Your share can be a tweet, a Facebook post, a photo on Instagram. But most engaging is a short video. Just pull that smart phone out of your pocket and show us something you’re doing today. Take 30 seconds and then share the clip.

Do this often. Make it a habit. People will respond and you’ll build your community. And once it becomes a habit, it will become part of your creative process – driving your work forward.

How you can do this yourself

The video above is about as good as a ‘share your work’ video can get. It shows just how engaging a story about someone’s process can be. It’s an endearing interview with artist Zina Nicole Lahr and a close look at her process – something she calls, ‘creative compulsive disorder.’

Zina needed something that would showcase her work but also tell a little bit about her personality and her interests. She had two days to shoot and edit so she and videographer Stormy Pyeatte shot the interview and smashed something together to meet their deadline.

But at nearly 6 and 1/2 minutes this video is long. And it shows so many projects. You could easily break this down to eight or nine separate short clips. There’s the LED parasol project, the robot project(s), the tarantula project, the crane puppet, the train puppet, stop animation, the soldering iron, the sea monster… each one of these could be stand-alone 30-seconds-in-a-day-in-the-life-of-the-artist videos.

How do you do this? You keep your smart phone handy with a simple tripod and turn it on when you hit an interesting or inspiring moment in your day.

You can also get help. Zina enlisted her friend who was a videographer. You don’t even need to go that far. Any friend who knows you well could sit behind your smart phone and make sure that you’re in the frame and ask you questions, interview style.

All you have to do is answer. No script needed. Best situation would be to partner with someone and help each other out with making short ‘share your process’ videos with each other. Not only will this make it easier, and better quality, but you can hold each other accountable.

Zina’s video ended up with a lot of visibility. It was chosen as a staff pick on Vimeo and has over 1 million views on facebook. Gives you some idea of the potential response to a ‘here’s what I’m up to’ video.

(On a sad note: On November 20, 2013 Zina passed away due to a hiking accident.)