Throughout the years, we have all had more clients than we can count who struggle with paralyzing procrastination…avoiding an email, putting off a phone call, or delaying a decision. For some people, they need to feel that adrenaline rush of potentially disappointing a client in order to finally complete a project, or experience the severe consequences of a poor performance review before they finally take action. Yes, this type of fear-based motivation can be effective, but it’s incredibly stressful, and it doesn’t always bring out your best self or your best work.

We are thrilled to highlight a Women ON Point alumni who did not procrastinate. She took what she learned, she took action, and she took her career to the Next Level!

Nancy Oliker Nancy Oliker – attended the Women ON Point leadership summit in Chicago, 2017

Congratulations to Nancy on her new position! Nancy was previously the Vice President of Marketing at United Health Care, and is now the Head of Enterprise Marketing at Happify.

Here’s what Nancy has to say…”Attending Women ON Point and the subsequent coaching sessions with Aimee could not have come at better time in my professional development.  Women ON Point helped me clarify and validate the decisions I needed to make in order to move my career forward.  But it was the coaching sessions with Aimee that brought it all together.  Interestingly, my first coaching session happened to fall just days before my first interview with Happify.  I have struggled to succinctly answer the question, “so tell me about yourself”.  After listening for just a few minutes, Aimee said, “Why, you’re a developer!” And that’s when the lights went off and the bells rung.  Those few words were the words I’d been missing to pull my story together.  It gave me a great way to frame my story and make my story distinctive.  My second coaching session came just minutes after I had announced my departure to my team.  Once again, Aimee was there to help me think through the upcoming transition and providing some additional insights.  Our next coaching session will be when I’m at Happify and I can’t wait!”  

Here are 7 Strategies to Stop Paralyzing Procrastination that are a lot more positive, easy to implement, and can de-stress your life both personally and professionally.

Focus on One Thing

As women, we are genetically hard-wired to multi-task. But this is a fatal flaw when it comes to procrastination, because there are always a million other tasks on the to-do list that demand our attention. The truth is that multi-tasking doesn’t really work. Focus all your attention on getting one thing done at a time, and crossing that one thing off the list before you tackle a new task.

Break it Down

The old adage about the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time is absolutely true! Instead of getting overwhelmed by a large project, break it down into manageable sized action steps. Set mini-deadlines before the final deadline.

Decide to Delegate

If there is a task that routinely stresses you out and causes you to procrastinate, like doing spreadsheets or cold calling prospects, it could be time to delegate those responsibilities to an accountant or business development person. Most people procrastinate when they’re called to perform a task that’s considered one of their weaknesses. Remember, your weakness is someone else’s strength.

Find a Buddy

A good buddy or BFF has a million proven benefits, but one of the best is in creating accountability. Find that person who can hold your feet to the fire, keep you motivated and on track, and remind you of why your goals are important. This person can be a friend, a mentor, or a coach…accountability is a powerful tool in beating procrastination.

Know Your “Why”

For some people, procrastination is the result of not understanding the bigger picture or the larger context and potential consequences. Simple tasks are easier to dismiss and put off until the last minute if you don’t know the “why”.

Forget Perfection

For millions of women, procrastination is the result of a more serious affliction…perfectionism. It’s the endless overthinking, the constant tweaking, and the never-ending second-guessing that occurs when perfection is the goal. Do you re-read and agonize over every word in an email before you hit send? Perfection is a myth…it doesn’t exist. Let it go!

Reward Yourself

Whether it’s a major weight loss, getting a big promotion, or sending a difficult email, you need to celebrate and reward yourself. Regardless of the size of the goal or magnitude of the milestone, there needs to a happy ending or reward on the horizon to help prevent, or minimize, procrastination.

It’s unrealistic to think that you can completely eradicate procrastination from your life, but you can greatly reduce those moments when you struggle with paralyzing procrastination. Those moments should be few and far between, not a daily occurrence. It is always in your best interest to operate from a position of power, and not one of panic and procrastination.

For example, don’t procrastinate on registering for either of the Women ON Point leadership summits in 2018. As always, space is extremely limited and both summits are already filling up fast. If you’re ready to invest in yourself and take your leadership skills to the Next Level, or know another woman who is, then don’t delay! Register today!