Procrastination Is Not A Thing…It’s A Story!

Slow service concept as a time clock with a shell shaped as a snail  as a metaphor for procrastination and leisurely customer service or being tired and sleepy symbol on a white background.

We’ve all said it at one point or another….”I’m a procrastinator” or “I haven’t finished yet because I’m procrastinating.”

People talk about it like it’s a fixed state or has somehow become our destiny. Sometimes it sounds like it has become a part of us. Like a not so powerful superhero…

“The Procrastinator”

But procrastination isn’t a noun, it isn’t a fixed state and it’s definitely not who we are.

Procrastination is a STORY

It’s a story that we have chosen to tell ourselves and tell others as a reason why we haven’t completed what we set out to accomplish.

Recently I’ve been working with my coaching clients on changing the stories they’ve created in their life that no longer serves them. They’ve discovered that most times, the root of becoming a “procrastinator” is fear. It becomes a built in excuse for why we don’t accomplish what we set out to do.

Full Definition of Procrastinate: transitive verb: to put off intentionally and habitually intransitive verb: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

Dr. Steel Piers did extensive research on procrastination and published his findings in a book called The Procrastination Equation.

Take a second and think about what you have been putting off lately in the name of procrastination. Now I want you to assess how these four factors are showing up in that equation:

Expectancy- this is the level of confidence you have about your goal or what you want to do. People are often fearful that they won’t be successful so their expectancy is low which makes it easier to put it off.

Value- how fired up are you about completing the task or achieving the goal? If you aren’t motivated, think about the benefit of completing it (i.e peace of mind, better health, etc).

Impulsivity- how impulsive are you? Do you stop in the middle of a task or put it off to check email, facebook or send a text message? This is one of the major factors that keeps you in the procrastination story.

Delay- How many times have you said things like “I’ll do it after I watch some TV” or “this can wait until tomorrow.” This is the time to increase your expectancy and realize the value of completing this task RIGHT NOW!

Four Ways To Stop Procrastinating

Set goals- goal setting and creating small wins in your life increase and fuel your motivation. Make your goals challenging, meaningful, feasible and specific.
Just begin the process- focus on process goals rather than outcome goals. For example, instead of worrying about completing your 10-page paper all at once, shift to the process. Set a goal to write for 25 minutes today.

Focus to finish- set a timer for 25 minutes. Turn off all notifications, phones, and social media. Focus on one task for 25 minutes, then give yourself a 5-minute break. REPEAT. This is called the Pomodoro Technique.

Define you WHY- what is your goal behind the goal? Why are you doing what your about to do? Here is a great video by Simon Sinek on finding your Why.
You are not a procrastinator!!! That doesn’t have to be your story anymore!

Create a new story today by:

a) Assessing where you are on the on the procrastination equation.

b) Implementing the four steps I’ve laid out for you!

A new habit usually takes anywhere between 30 days to 245 days to create, averaging out at around 66 days. Starting today, try and implement the four steps above whenever you find yourself telling the procrastination STORY!

Remember it’s only a STORY and you are the author of YOUR STORY.

Change your story and change your life!

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High-Performance Coach and Fatherhood Thought Leader Devon Bandison teaches business owners and entrepreneurs around the world how to achieve more at work, at home, and in the community. His coaching has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and he ‘s a contributing writer for the Huffington Post.

Learn about Live Your Legacy Mastermind Community Here: https://www.legacy.zone

Don’t Treat Your Life Like A Gym Membership

group of young people running on treadmills in modern sport gym

At the beginning of each year, we tend to have a long list of new goals and resolutions that we set out to accomplish. Most of us feel like the new year is the perfect time to make the changes in our life that will allow us to achieve more.

Would you be surprised to know that 25% of people will quit within the first month of setting a new year’s resolution? 

The problem isn’t that people set goals, it’s how they structure it.

If you belong to a gym or fitness center you probably know what I mean. Right now, gyms are so full that it’s hard to get a treadmill or a 25-pound dumbbell.

When you come back to the gym in a few weeks your experience will be quite different. 80% of the New Years Resolution gym crowd drops off by the second week of February. They actually bank on this and sell memberships knowing that only 1 in 5 people will actually show up.

Why is that?

Because people are not structuring their goals in a way that is sustainable.

As you think about the first month of 2016, ask yourself these three questions:

1) Where am I with my goals?

2) Is my daily routine structured to optimize time for my priorities (goals)?

3) Do I find myself losing momentum?

Let’s make sure that you continue to grow and prosper throughout the year.

Here are three ways to ensure you achieve more this year:

1) Choose your number wisely– The optimal number of goals to set for any given year is somewhere between 6-9. I’ve found this to be the range where most of my clients flourish.

2) Goal Stacking- Instead of trying to tackle all of your goals at once try starting with one goal at a time. In January, you may add going to the gym, and in February a financial goal and so on. This allows for you give each goal the focus and commitment necessary for sustainable success.

3) Accountability- find an accountability partner that will help you get started and keep you on track when you hit roadblocks. Often times, they are the spark that keeps you going through the rough patches. Accountability partners can be a paid coach, a childhood friend or someone you meet along the way.

You have everything it takes to make all of your goals become a reality this year. If you’ve found yourself losing steam lately, apply these three tools to give you the boost that you need.

I look forward to hearing about your continued success and breakthroughs in 2016!

5 Ways To Create A Legacy Of Leadership

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“All I ever wanted to do was save my kid…but the ‘my’ kept getting larger and larger”

Geoffrey Canada

Over the past few days, I’ve been In Savannah, Georgia where I was asked to speak at the National Youth-At-Risk Conference. One of the perks of the trip was sharing some time with fellow speaker Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

In our conversation we immediately connected as he learned of my work developing programs throughout the years for children, fathers and families in NYC.

The conversation shifted to this question…What type of legacy are you living today?

LEGACIES ARE CREATED BY LEADERS!

Ask yourself. What is your legacy right now?

If it was all over today, would you be proud of your legacy?

What would your kids, wife, community, colleagues, friends and families say your legacy is?

And most importantly, what would you say it is?

It starts with your WHY!

My early work with clients always starts with finding out what makes them come alive.

What are you passionate about? What is your WHY?

When you start with your WHY you create your own personal mission statement. This establishes a value system and ideal customer.

The next step is to create a living legacy so you can show up as the best version of yourself, wherever you are. Be the leader you want to become at home, at work and in the community!

Here are 5 Steps to creating a Legacy of Leadership:

  1. Vision- Know what matters. You can’t create a legacy and hand something down by accident (if so, it is usually a negative one). Until you have a clear vision of what you want your legacy to be, it will be tough to built it.
  2. Create Winning Habits- Great leaders have “non-negotiables” that they practice on a daily basis. Habits that enhance and support their value system. Drive your personal leadership vision into your life, business, and family by creating habits that support what’s most important.
  3. Connection- All great leaders influence lives through connection. This means spending quality time developing relationships at home, at work, in the community, and with yourself.
  4. Leave Your Comfort Zone– Research shows that in order to maximize performance we need a state of relative anxiety—a space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal. This space is called “Optimal Anxiety,” and it’s just outside our comfort zone. Optimal anxiety is that place where your mental productivity and performance reach their peak
  5. Bring Value- Most successful people I know don’t think about being successful at all. They think about being of value. They know that when you bring value to a business, relationship, and community you enhance abundance and create reciprocity. (The more you give, the more you receive). The key is to convert value into behaviors that you can measure and manage. Values in action are the key to creating a legacy of leadership.

“Strive not be be a success, but rather to be of value”
Albert Einstein

Work-Life Balance-7 Tips For The Productive Father

Have you ever found yourself trying to perform an impossible juggling act between your work-life and home-life?

Ever spent your entire work day at the “top of your game,” only to be too tired to play games with your children when you get home?

Have you ever wondered how the person that seems to have it all is able to get work done, yet still have time for his family?

As a father of three wonderful children, I have also struggled with these same questions over the years.   Continue reading “Work-Life Balance-7 Tips For The Productive Father”

STOP! It Can Be The Most Productive Thing You Do

Whether you are an Entrepreneur, CEO, Manager or line staff we all run into the issue of feeling like we don’t have “enough time.”

Not enough time to complete our work, spend time with our children or take part in the things we love.

I often work with people who tell me that there is not enough time in the day to complete the tasks at their jobs, home or both.  This lack of perceived productivity will begin to cause anxiety and negatively affect the quality of our day.  When you begin to feel like your not making any progress in your professional or personal life, it can be debilitating.

I’ve learned that the key to preventing this from happening is by STOPPING! Yes, stopping! Continue reading “STOP! It Can Be The Most Productive Thing You Do”

“It was all a dream…” 3 ways to Develop your Strengths

On the anniversary of one of my favorite rappers, Biggie Smalls aka Notorious B.I.G’s death; I’ve been reflecting on the relevance of a quote he had in his song “Juicy.”  This song in retrospect spoke to important lessons about finding and developing your strengths in order to live a life beyond any you can imagine.  The lyrics of the song went as follows:

“It was all a Dream, I used to read Word Up Magazine, Salt and Pepper and Heavy D up in the limousine.  Hanging pictures on my wall, every Saturday, Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.”

Whether consciously or subconsciously the message behind Biggie’s words ring true today for those hoping to discover or develop their strengths.  My personal and professional experience with self-improvement, leadership, strength finding and building a successful life has given me the opportunity to study and speak about the subject of strength building in various forums.  Anyone who is trying to develop their own personal strengths in hopes of living their dream life can take the following lessons from his lyrics:

  1. Visualize“Hanging pictures on my wall” If you don’t dare to visualize what success looks like to you, then how will you attain it? Take time to write down what your strengths are and what success would look like to you in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and 5 years.  If you can’t visualize what a successful life will look, taste, smell and feel like, how will you ever achieve it? Use pictures and images that inspire you and look for things that are exciting.  If you are passionate about your work, it doesn’t feel as much like work; it feels like you are in your element and your strengths will develop as a result.
  2.  Research- “I used to read word up magazine.” If you have a goal of being an accountant than you need to research how people in your field became accountants.  My passion is coaching, workshops, trainings and public speaking so I began researching the people in the field that were doing the same.  Market research will tell you what is relevant and allow you to see what is out there.  Research can show you who if anyone in your profession is doing similar things that you would like to do.  Sometimes we think we need to not only reinvent the wheel but the entire car.  Take your time and study your profession in order to develop.
  3. Consistency- “Every Saturday, Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.” Successful people take time to develop their strengths and skill set.  You can be naturally good at something but that will only take you so far.  Consistently developing your strengths is vital because there is always someone who will be just as hungry for success as you.  Study your profession or passion, attend workshops, coffee chats, and read literature.  We are in an age where information is at our fingertips, so take advantage of it and try to do something every day towards developing your strengths.

Over the past few years, I have spent lot of time cultivating my strengths and helping create a life beyond any I could have imagined.  I’ve been told by mentors to write down goals that I have for myself, and someday I’ll look back on that list of goals and see that I was cheating myself.  And that’s exactly what had happened, I’d been cheating myself.  Mostly because I never dared to dream that “impossible dream.”  In this process of self discovery, I’ve slowly started moving into a life and career that matched my dreams and strengths.  I’ve tried to give voice a voice to the voiceless, give hope to the hopeless, and give strength to those who are struggling.  However, there came a point where I felt that my individual strengths, talents and dreams were being underutilized thus short circuiting my growth and development.  The decision was to either remain complacent or make a change!  This is the point when I had to Visualize, Research and Consistently work on my skills.  The importance of taking time to develop my gift and follow my passion has been the greatest undertaking of my career.  But I had to make the decision to chase this dream of mine and put the time and effort in.  I knew that I needed to seek help from those who had experience and ask them to mentor me.  Their time, support and encouragement has been vital to the process and for that I am eternally grateful.  So take the time and be good to yourself, you are worth it.  You have a unique skill that can be cultivated to maximize your potential.  What are you waiting for? Visualize, Research and Be Consistent! And Dream the Impossible… Aubrey Hepburn once said “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.”

Does Success Have A Look?

2014 has already turned out to be a more successful year than last year! You may ask be asking “how can that be we’re only 13 days in?” or better yet “this guy must have had a pretty terrible and unproductive year last year.”  Not the case at all; actually last year was a year of some major accomplishments, achievements, milestones, and learning experiences.  It was also a year filled with some major life changes and stressors, that left me mentally, physically and emotionally spent.  2013 was the first year I can recall saying to myself and hearing so many others say “I’m glad its over.” The statement is more figurative than literal of course because I have come to know the value of gratitude and the gift of staying in the present(that’s why its called a present ;)).  The ability to find joy in the journey has been a life changing process.  That being said, 2013 did not feel like much of a success.

So what made 2013 so difficult and this year so much more successful?  The major difference between this year (all 13 days of it) and last is that I’ve actually begun to define what success means to me.  If I can’t even envision what success means, looks, feels, and tastes like, how could I ever achieve it?  This has been a game changer and has allowed me to see the progress towards my own defined success.  It has also allowed me to learn, grow and stay energized through failures.  While I look back to see the my accomplishments over the past year I ask myself if that is really what success means to me?

The study of success in my life has been an ongoing process, as I’ve hit many of the milestones previously laid out but not formally scrutinized.  I’ve spent most of my career, both professional and personal, developing programs for the community and particularly at risk youth and families. In addition, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to speak, give workshops as well as training in many places around the country, over the past few years which has been both rewarding and humbling. I enjoy the human experience of providing hope where it seems hopeless, options to what appears optionless and voices to people who’ve felt voiceless.  This has been where I’ve drawn most of my success stories over the years and am very proud of them.

During this past year I was afforded many additional responsibilities and oversight in my work that temporarily brought me away from this passion.  At the same time I was going through a divorce and if there is anything that can drain your energy or view of success it could be a failed marriage.  It was an extremely difficult time but like many other times of adversity in my life, forced me to reevaluate, refocus, and rededicate myself.  The key to me was going through it without losing my passion and enthusiasm. Winston Churchill once said “Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.”  So that’s what I did.

I started looking at the legacy I want to leave and what needs to be defined.  It started with the self assessment and ended with an end of the year conversation with my good friend and a mentor, Jason Womack.  The conversation led to a simple question that I then posed to many people in my network. “What does success look like to you?”

What followed was extraordinary!  I received an overwhelming response from people all over the country giving their perspective and answers to the question.  There were some well defined and focused answers as well some people who were  admittedly befuddled.  Surprisingly, the responses of uncertainty came from some of the more influential and respected folks.  All of whom have acquired many of the trappings that society deems successful.  Money, homes, cars, businesses, status, etc. These very people reached out to me expressing the most inner conflict about the question.  They mentioned that these “things” weren’t what success felt like to them.  In fact the simple posing of the question had them questioning their purpose.

Some defined success as: achieving inner peace, self love, positively affecting the community, giving of yourself, and giving your children options, just to name a few.  What was interesting was that none were convinced that their ideal definition of success matched the commitment they made on a daily basis to achieve that success.  Furthermore, some admitted to putting minimal time and resources towards what they defined as success.  So why the disconnect between 1)what we think is success and 2) how much time on earth we spend doing things not correlated at all to achieving success? Because we rarely take the time (other than on New Years) to develop a daily practice of defining and working towards success.

So what does success mean to you? When I asked my 12 year old his answer was “Success is what you accomplish after years of hard work.” I was proud that my son connected hard work with success but realized something profound.  He at age 12, myself in 2013 and many of my accomplished friends are working hard to an undefined goal.  If we never define what success looks like in our life, then how will we ever achieve it?  Take some time to write down what success look, tastes, smells, and feels like to you.  Then ask yourself:

  • Is the way I’m living my life in tune with attaining my definition of success?
  •  If Success is being an active parent, then how much time are you spending with your children?
  • If Success means inner peace, how much time are you taking to get in tune with yourself and  spirituality?
  • If Success is helping people, how much of your time is taken only helping yourself?
  • If Success is a big promotion, then how much time are you taking to work harder and smarter?
  • If Success is writing a book, then how much time are you spending on research and writing?

Take time to think about this and ask are you being good to yourself or are you short circuiting your own success?

This is why my 2014 has already been such a success, because I’ve not only defined what it is but have done something everyday towards achieving it.  So take the time this year to define what success looks like to you, because nobody can make success look as good on you then you! Success does have a look, and it is up to you to tailor it as your own. Peace

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