Procrastination & Lack of A Deadline Stop Success

by michelecorey on May 23, 2012 · 3 comments

in Smart Goal Setting

lost opportunity goal setting humor image of squirrel

What are you waiting to have happen?

This morning after scanning my client email folders I gave myself 30 minutes  to peruse and perhaps unconsciously procrastinate through unopened email including my “smart goal setting” Google Alerts. Fifty minutes later I was still perusing  email and surfing  the internet a.k.a really  procrastinating under the guise of finding juicy and relative content about goal setting and not taking actions on my daily to do list which will bring the success I want.

What this means is that like many of my clients I struggle with falling into habitual patterns that don’t support the bigger goals and vision you have for yourself.  It takes  daily connection and action  to create the type of awareness that will have you feeling productive and satisfied.

What I’ve noticed for my self is that I’ve set up good systems such as every week or so I scan through my Google alerts looking for articles, ideas, trends and connections on the topic of goal setting that appear meaningful and will help you have better result and the success you desire.

But I’ve only held up one side of my system and I’ve become somewhat of a content squirrel getting ready for winter in that I’ve been hoarding my nuts so to speak because I have more than enough to share from current client experiences and from the  flowing content that neatly arrives in my email inbox and folders.

A few things have gotten in the way of sharing my goal setting nuts.

  • I lost focus of the end result and instead created an unconscious pattern of searching for more data than I can really use. It felt satisfying in its own way since I could tangibly see I was doing something, but the satisfaction was more often than not short lived because I knew I wasn’t on track. A simple tool I share with clients and will re-institute is to use a timer that goes off after a specific period of time so that you don’t get sucked in to the task at hand and instead are focused on the bigger picture of the day.
  • My mother, some of you are nodding and smiling a sly smile – what your mother?!
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of a Real Deadline

For the past year  I became a caretaker in my “spare time” which became  almost full time except for the fact that I have a family, clients and work to do. Care taking and idea storing started in April of last year when I choose to support my neighbor who was in a biking accident.  I was invigorated from the care taking project and ready to jump back into my own needs once all had settled, but a month later not expecting the unexpected, my mother’s two week visit to our home turned into nine months. This time was filled with multiple medical adventures from breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, cardiac issues and a full knee replacement. She just went back to NY state.

During this time I started not paying attention to the bigger picture and was stuck in a pattern I call JIT or just in time.  Just in time is where you focus on this is right in front of you which may or may not be beneficial when you look at your bigger picture strategy.

One of my guilty pleasures is research, I I began hoarding my nuts and ideas into folders and files waiting for more time to be available.  But we all know that when you wait for things to happen, they just don’t happen because it takes a vision, strategy, emotional connection to the idea, and a plan of action that you actually act upon. Yes I said it – you need to act upon it.

I felt as if I was more than full and could neither eat or store many more nuts.  In fact some of my actions and lack of actions were beginning to look a little like a nut to others and I lost potential business because of it.

A friend in IT didn’t get the nut analogy – so I abandoned it for one of bandwidth.  I told her that my bandwidth was at capacity in my life and work.  When this happens to any of us it means that we no longer have the capacity or ability to add one more thing.  We must take something away to create the space and capacity to move forward.

Full capacity meant many of my ideas, creativity and writing felt stuck and forced instead of fun and flowing. Instead I talked more about doing it than actually doing it which is a true sign of both full capacity and procrastination.  Clients and commitments aka “real deadlines” in my mind got first priority.

When other time became available for my own business focus I often found myself in a zone of procrastination where the actions I took were not the most effective use of time.  I found myself starting projects that I didn’t have the time or energy to complete.  I didn’t recognize the power of “no” – this would have been a perfect time to say no, it’s night the right time. Sometimes it’s perfect to just say NO which will bring you more success than if you constantly say yes but don’t take action that does what you say you will do.

It was as if I couldn’t just take one nut from my store and share it because I wanted to share all of this great information that I know would make a difference.  So I’d load up my opportunity funnel with too many nuts at once and sit on them so to speak.  They’d get stuck in the funnel (see the lack of goal setting humor picture above which is created by yours truly) and then the opportunity would be lost.

As you know when you have a to do list, you can’t do it all at the same time.  You are most effective and productive when you look at your list, look at your day, and create a daily plan.  Then what’s most important is to actually do your plan.

Creating a daily plan helps create a “real deadline” when there are items on it that don’t include other people that will call or expect a response.

Yesterday as I member of the Robert Middleton’s Marketing Club (my aff link)  I also attended the free teleseminar on Killer Article writing which served as a great inspiration to get back into my writing groove on a consistent basis.  I share this information because Robert’s down to earth information and ideas have been so helpful for me.  His blog, stories, tools and systems help one really think about their own big picture strategy and action plan.

Anyway, back to the points at hand.  It’s easy to get distracted and not stay true to your vision, strategy and goals because life if filled with constant change and growth.

Here are some ideas to help you get back on track, and let go of hoarding your own nuts.

  • Use tools (whether it’s a timer, goal setting software, a system, etc) to stay aware are a must.
  • Create a “real deadline” for yourself and putting it on your calendar – such as an accountability partner call you will more often than not move into action because knowing someone will ask you about your results often creates reason enough.
  • Move into action
  • At the end of the day spend 60 seconds reviewing what you accomplished and reward yourself – end with the personal acknowledgment “woo hoo job well done!”

I’d love to hear what you do to help yourself either stay or get back on track.

PS – you can scan this article by reading the bold text and take away many of the main points in about 60 seconds.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Stoehr

Michele, you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for getting me back on track. Off to share my nuts!



Amy thanks for the big smile – pictures are really worth 1000 words.



I understand completely. I’ve been going through the same thing. I can’t see to say no to projects and I end up not doing them. Thus, leaving others disappointed. I’ve also been collecting my nuts in a box for awhile. I plan to write about this or that but it never seems to get done unless there’s a deadline.

I’ve figured out a way to help myself get the important things done yet still have time for other things. I set goals for spending 2 hours in the morning writing. When that’s completed, I will move to the smaller tasks. I should be able to get what I want done in that timeframe and can focus on other personal needs, such as playing taxi.

Thanks for the analogy of the nuts!


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