Here is the second instalment of Comms Rebel Uncovered. This blog is long overdue but as you read on you’ll know why! Enjoy…
I kicked off week two with gusto! I attended an amazing masterclass with my Youpreneur Incubator group in London and I came away from the event excited about my next steps. Once home I sat down with all my notebooks, calendar and scribbles so I could start putting things in action. But during my ultimate planning session a client rang. When I finished the call, I absentmindedly scrolled through my social feeds and I read something which threw me completely. It was then I knew that I’d inadvertently triggered my comparison complex and as we all know, comparison is the thief of joy! And that’s how my journey of procrastination begun (I’ll cover how to deal with comparison in my next blog as that deserves its own post!).
Towards the end of that week my progress had stalled. I started to do things that were not on my priority list and reading meaningless articles on things like watercress farming (don’t ask). Anything to avoid making decisions, which is not ideal when you own a business.
Like any person needing answers on how to deal with a problem, I turned to google. There were millions of articles, blogs, videos, TedTalks etc about the topic. So I spent a good hour watching and reading stuff about procrastination while I procrastinated.
But that hour was actually beneficial as I found five things that shifted the gear for me, which I had to share in case your main hobby has also turned into procrastination:
- Give yourself a reward for completing tasks. For me I love watching shows on Netflix, my latest obsession is Sex Education (highly recommend!). But I decided I could only watch the show if I dealt with the boring but important tasks before I finished for the day e.g filing my emails!
- Focus on one thing for a short period of time. I wrote my to-do list with my priority tasks at the top and I set a 20 minute timer. When the 20 minutes were up, I drank a half a pint of water and walked 500 steps (to avoid social media browsing). Then I repeated the whole process again.
- Powering up. When I found myself getting into a bit of a slump I played a few songs from my power list which I have saved on Spotify. These are songs that give me energy and bring me great joy (basically anything from the Greatest Showman and Spice Girls – don’t judge me!). A 10 minute karaoke session was enough to get me focussed (and probably enough for the neighbours!).
- Find a new environment. Whether you work in-house or as a freelancer, mixing it up (such as sitting with a different team if you work in an office) can make a difference. I mentioned this in my last blog but for me, using a co-working space has been a bit of a life-changer. I thrive off other people’s energy. I’m also loving that the barista remembers what I like, he’s yet to remember my name but we’ll get there!
- Block out your days and add tasks to your calendar. If you’re like me and have your fingers in a lot of pies, I found allocating days to certain things helped (a pro tip from CIPR President Jenni Field). So for example last week, I made sure that most of my face-to-face catch ups were in one place, I kept a day aside for my CIPR and Comms Hive stuff and the rest of days were client or business development. I know it’s not always going to be possible to be as structured and it’ll change week by week but so far so good.
I know none of these tips are revolutionary. But sometimes you just need a reminder and a bit of a nudge to help you get you out the procrastination slumber.
If you do have your own words of wisdom to share then tweet me @advitap or @commsrebel. Also if you want to join my mailing list then click here. I’m going to create a regular (monthly) newsletter with updates about The Comms Hives, some top tips, advice and things I’ve found interesting in that month, comms and business related (not watercress farming, I promise).
Thanks for reading, let’s see what wisdom week four brings!
PS: As I’m now responsible for my own marketing, it’d be silly of me not to tell you about my new Comms Rebel Reset Programme (something that I’ve procrastinated about for a while!). This is a coaching programme aimed at comms leaders and HR professionals who are responsible for comms. I won’t drag this blog on any longer as you can read all the info here. But if you are at a point in your life where you’re a bit stuck career wise, you’ve lost your mojo, need some guidance or support, then this could be for you – get in touch.