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BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM

Overcome Procrastination Now!

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(C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF

they say something like “Oh. Sound familiar? Sure. Let’s get started with an important question: Are you waiting for the perfect conditions before you start? You’ve probably heard the phrase that “the urgent pushes out the important. somehow there’s STILL all kinds of urgent stuff to do. THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING GOALS In my workshops I always ask people whether they’ve written down their goals. Not just written down. Today I’d like you to write down one to three of your goals for the coming month. Nobody can do that. quality time with family and friends. work. It’s NOW. fixing things. Otherwise your goals get forgotten.” I’m sure you’ve heard the saying. I’ll be encouraging you to tackle your big goals. I wrote them down in my journal last year. Then I ask them to show me their goals right then. “out of sight. or when this report is done… The fact is even when you get to those times. shopping. out of mind.” but you’re so busy that you can’t imagine HOW to do this.” or “To have updated my resume. but I’m not sure where it is. or the weekend. About half raise their hands. but this isn’t the best time—that’s coming when the kids start school. or “To have written the outline for the book I want to write. or when you retire. but the same techniques also work on the little things you’ve been putting off. You know when that is. cleaning. exercising. Make them specific but don’t go into details.” or “I made a list.” That’s exactly what happens when you don’t have a clear set of goals in front of you every day. Examples: “To have attained the weight of X pounds. the ones that could change your life. Once you’ve learned these methods.” PAGE 2 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF . you’ll be able to squash procrastination whenever it rears its ugly head.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM THIS IS THE PERFECT TIME In this report you’ll discover a dozen strategies for overcoming procrastination and finishing every project you start. Maybe you agree with the sense of not deferring your dream until “soon-somedaymaybe never. but in front of you every day. There’s only one right time to start. When I ask them where their goals are. or when you switch to working part-time. in the form of outcomes (results). or when the kids go off to college. you want to get started on that thing you’ve been putting off. And what is forgotten doesn’t get done. or when you have time to take a vacation. Each of these methods will move you forward to achieving your dreams. don’t you? That’s right.” And there’s always something urgent to do: family stuff. That’s what I’ll help you figure out in the rest of this report.

in six months you’ll have a draft of a screenplay. But sometimes even small steps feel too difficult. Then at least once a day steal some time from the urgent things you need to do and dedicate that time to the very important task of moving forward toward reaching the goal you’ve been neglecting. I’ll show you exactly how to turn these mountains into molehills--in fact. You break it down into chunks. Where will you find this time? Here are some examples: • By getting up fifteen minutes early if you’re a morning person (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF PAGE 3 OF 10 . Turning mountains into micro-molehills If you want to be slimmer. Not ready to enroll in an evening class? Get a good book on the topic and commit to reading one chapter a day. On the way to the new career. you’ve taken a giant step toward making your dreams come true. do you have to learn everything by Monday? Of course not. Please write these goals down on a little index card or piece of paper that you carry around with you in your wallet. Want to write but don’t have time today to write one page? Write half a page. or pocket. That’s when you can apply the power of micro-chunks. every morning look at the piece of paper on which you wrote your goal and re-affirm your intention to work on this goal today. After a while you won’t be able to resist writing more. Today you could write just one page. Not ready to give up that nightly candy bar? Tonight slice off one fifth of it and throw it out and eat the rest. From now on. do you have to write 100 pages this week? If you want to start a new career. do you have to lose ten pounds this week? If you want to write a book. The next night one-third. Or write only one sentence. By the time the class if over you’ll be ready to make a switch. If you stop having that one extra candy bar every evening. If you do that every day. In the next section. In one year you’ll have a draft of a novel. Keep it in the bathroom if that’s the only time you have for reading. In a year you’ll lose 25 pounds. purse. in a week you’ll lose half a pound. Tomorrow slice off one-quarter to discard. into micro-molehills. When you’ve done this.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM Don’t worry if these seem like overwhelmingly big. Pretty soon you’re throwing away more than you’re eating and you feel guilty about wasting all that money and you find you’ve stopped. you can take an evening class one night a week.

Once you’ve gotten started. The dieter’s trick that will keep you on track Keeping up your commitment to working on a goal every daycan be difficult. you need to stay motivated to see the task through. You can draw this image. Today I’ve stolen an idea from dieters to further help you keep up the momentum. If you respond more to the positive. or even just write a single word or phrase (like “wasted my life”). or on the TV. bus. here’s what you do: If the negative is more powerful for you. PAGE 4 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF . or cut a picture from a magazine. Which is more powerful for you—the fear of what you don’t want. Walt Disney’s secret You’re now well on the way. word. Let’s look how you can do that. for instance. or the pull of what you do want? Once you’ve decided. or an evening when the rest of the family goes to the movies or is watching TV—but for now just make sure that you take a few minutes to move forward every day. or in the car (if you’re not driving) during your commute In the fifteen minutes before going to sleep if you’re a night-time person Of course you will also be looking for longer periods when you can do more to move toward your goal—maybe a couple of hours on the weekend.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM • • • • During a coffee break For fifteen minutes during the lunch break On the train. Walt Disney to the rescue! Here’s what I’m talking about: There’s a story that when Walt Disney was running his studio he had three rooms for his creative staff to work in. I hope you are now carrying around with you the piece of paper on which you wrote down your current goal and are looking at it at the start of every day. or phrase that encapsulates how you’re going to feel when you do reach your goal. Others put a picture of an ideal body with their head stuck on it. then create an image of what you’ll feel like if you don’t reach your goal. Put this where it will do the most to remind you of your commitment to your dream— maybe on a sticky note stuck to your computer. create an image. to remind them of what they want to work toward. but you may be worrying that at some point you’ll feel blocked or discouraged. or subway. One very powerful little tool that dieters use is to put a picture of their chubby selves on the refrigerator door to remind them of what they don’t want.

so you put off moving on to the next part of the process. too. Writers and artists get blocked when they’re in the wrong room. In this room. One step along the way is researching the market for your product or service. The same goes for any creative activity. PAGE 5 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF .BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM One was the creators’ room. Often this involved sending ideas back to the creators’ room to come up with more ideas.” Here’s what I mean: Maybe you’ve taken to heart the advice in the previous lesson—don’t judge your project when you’re in the middle of creating it. But every big project (and even most smaller ones) have particular points at which what you’re doing changes. down some days. if you’re dieting. you’ll fall off the diet. and only then judge it and decide whether it needs to be improved or changed. plan how to do it. That’s only part of the truth—an even greater danger is what I call “interval perfectionism. The important thing is that the trend is downward. not just that day’s weight. don’t weigh yourself every day--or if you do. Whatever your goal or task. Once you’ve planned how to move toward your goal. and decide what to do next. It’s easy to get hung up on that stage. everybody brainstormed to come up with ideas for new movies. The third room was the judge’s room. The answer: do the best you can and move on! You can always go back and add more information but for now just do the best you can and keep moving forward. You feel you don’t have all the research you need. It’s a mini-version of “the conditions aren’t right” problem that we’ve already looked at. and products. rides. draw a chart and put every day’s weight on it so you can see the trend. For instance. The next was the realists’ room. In here no criticism was allowed and all ideas were written down. For instance. Here the function was to take a cold. hard look at everything that had been developed. Your weight will be up some days. commit to it and don’t keep interrupting yourself every five minutes to see if it’s working. If you start judging what you do before you’ve done a first draft you may be disappointed and give up. If you let the up days discourage you. and that can happen to you. First drafts are never very good. Stay in the right room and the process will go smoothly. if you’re setting up a new business probably you will want to write a business plan. then do it. Here the job was to figure how ideas from the creator’s room could be turned into reality. find the strengths and weaknesses. The hidden danger of interval perfectionism Most people associate perfectionism with the inability to finish a project.

but I’m excited about giving it a try. YOU: Me. but if it doesn’t you have the ultimate weapon: ignore them. At that point it’s easy to get discouraged and put off moving forward. writer and teacher Paul Scheele mentioned a demonstration he does in his workshops. It failed. He sends a couple of people out of the room and the rest of the group decides on a simple task they want each of the people to perform (for example. PS: If you don’t have supportive people around you. YOU: Thanks—I’ll have to look into what went wrong so I can avoid making the same mistakes. and then. Ringing the right bell If you look at your goal and work on it every day for a few minutes or more. One of the best phrases to use: “You may be right. do you? YOU: You’re right about the importance of connections. find kindred spirits on the web. All three answers use what I call “word judo”—you start by agreeing and then shifting the energy in a positive direction. It’s true.” Then change the subject. VAMPIRE 3: It’s all down to who you know—and you don’t have the connections. going to PAGE 6 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF . you’ll soon find you make made great progress. Usually this will shut up the vampires. Here are three examples of those kind of vampires—and how to drive a stake through their hearts: VAMPIRE 1: I’m not sure anybody would be interested in that.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM The hidden danger of interval perfectionism I hope that your friends and family totally support your goals. they may just be right—although we don’t think so. VAMPIRE 2: I’ve heard of something similar. with a few words. an idea vampire sucks the life and energy out of you. using the internet. But are you ringing the right bell? Here’s what I’m talking about: In an interview. you get excited about it. but frankly most of us have at least one “idea vampire” in our lives. You have a new idea or project. What’s right for sure is that the time you save by not arguing with them is time you can spend on reaching your goal. Don’t try to argue (that only encourages them). and it’s interesting how much easier it is to make them these days. neither.

What would you get if you could put all of the leadership qualities of Bill Gates. put your attention on what you’ve already accomplished. are you putting your attention on what you’ve achieved—or on what you haven’t achieved yet? If you’re written a quarter of your project and someone asks how it’s going. Once you get used to it. Even if it feels a bit awkward at first. whether you’ve really screwed it up.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM the flip chart and writing something on it). Scheele rings a bell every time the person does something wrong. With the second person. Mother Theresa. Overcoming the inevitable MOD At some point in your writing project you will reach the inevitable MOD---Moment of Doubt. President of Bluepoint Leadership Development. George Washington. “Great. I’ve made a start but I still have about three-quarters of it to go. he rings the bell when the person does something right.” If you are focusing on what you haven’t done. For some people it happens right after they start a project. and the result usually is that she figures out the desired behavior and does so without any anxiety. The result is that the person freezes and gets into a highly-anxious state and often never figures out what he’s supposed to do. The more different what you are doing is from what is already out there. you’ll find it’s a great motivator and keeps you moving toward reaching your goals or getting that task done. When the first person comes in. whether anybody will possibly find it of interest. The people outside are not told what these tasks are. and for some it happens just before they get to the last bit. I’m already a quarter of the way through my first draft!” or. Gandhi. writes: “Be distinctively you. you’re ringing the wrong bell. the more likely that you will suffer MODs. Your prescription: Recognize that what you’re experiencing and don’t panic. non-descript person indistinguishable in PAGE 7 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF . Jack Welch and Winston Churchill into one individual? Probably a bland. In his company’s newsletter. It’s the point at which you wonder whether this was a good idea at all. for many it happens in the middle. Gregg Thompson. Regarding your goal or the task you formerly put off and now are doing. do you say something like. from now on when you talk to someone else—or even yourself—about what you’re doing. “Well.

If you have a family or roommates it can be difficult to do this at home without interruptions. If you can do this even just once a month.” that also makes a lot of sense. PAGE 8 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF . My prescription for that: take a MAD—a Massive Action Day. Have you forgotten who you really are? What excites you these days? What are your passions? Your obsessions? Where do you want to make your mark? When you are at your best.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM the crowd. what are you doing? Maybe it’s time to figure out what is most important to you. pull it out and re-read it until the fear passes. especially if usually you have only a small amount of time every day. so I suggest going elsewhere if you can and it makes sense for your task or goal. and let this fuel your leadership. Possible places include: • the public library • the library at a nearby university or college • an unpopular pub or bar (but order a soft drink…) • a friend’s house when they’re away at work • a Christian Science Reading Room (you don’t have to be a Christian Scientist to use it) • a bookshop that has desk space • the coffee shop or restaurant at a museum • the lobby of a large hotel (look like you’re waiting for someone) • the business lounge or even the chapel at an airport or train station (the latter are usually empty and I've used them to read in peace--obviously if someone comes in sobbing. That’s a day (or half a day if that’s all you can spare) during which you focus only on your goal. tell everyone around you. The power of a MAD and where to do it You may find that you need to give your goal an extra push. it's time to relocate) Take a MAD or half-MAD away from home is a great way to turbo-charge your results. you’ll feel yourself speeding toward your goals. doesn’t it? I suggest that you print out this section. and if and when you’re hit by an MOD.” If you make the last phrase “fuel your work. These men and women made a difference because they had the courage to be themselves.

Rowling this advice. “The Real Howard Spitz” had thirteen years of rejections before it was finally made. The Independent newspaper ran an article a while back based on a file of rejection letters sent out by Alfred A Knopf. I’ve also tried some online marketing projects and some of those tanked badly. Here are some of the writers they rejected.'Frenetic and scrambling' ANNE FRANK .'Too racy' ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER . starring Kelsey Grammer (and.'No commercial advantage in acquiring her' About Ann Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl." Fifteen other publishers also rejected the book. there’s no money in it. which of course went on to sell 30 million copies. This publisher is responsible for many fine books. your work will be rejected at some point. and the editor who bought it gave J.'Impossible to sell animal stories' JORGE LUIS BORGES .” My personal example: the script for my film. inventors. along with the reasons: SYLVIA PLATH . but they certainly didn't get it right all the time.'Utterly untranslatable' VLADIMIR NABOKOV . And it hurts. and it still is painful when my work is rejected. I don't see that there would have been a chance for it. “Stop writing for children. I’ve been writing professionally for more than twenty years. When your work is turned down you’ll be in good company. You never quite get used to it. in a very PAGE 9 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF .K.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM Reject rejection! Whenever you try anything new or different." they added. Even the first Harry Potter book was rejected more than a dozen times. but you do realize after a while that it’s just a step on the way to acceptance.'Very dull' GEORGE ORWELL . when the subject was timely. "Even if the work had come to light five years ago.'There isn't enough genuine talent' JACK KEROUAC . Probably lots of times.'It's Poland and the rich Jews again' ANAIS NIN . Let me give you some examples from the world of writing--but understand that this is the same for businesspeople. and anybody else who creates something. Jo.

As hockey star Wayne Gretzky said.com .” and “Creativity Now!” both published by Pearson. Best of luck and let me hear of your successes by email to jurgenwolff@gmail. PAGE 10 OF 10 (C) 2010 JURGEN WOLFF . There’s a group version and a one-to-one version and you can find all the details at www.” published by Nicholas Brealey. I hope you’ll find support and help in my books. I also run a 60-day Breakthrough Strategy Program. If you want more help.BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGY PROGRAM brief cameo toward the end—me!). I don’t know how quickly or how long it may take for your work to be accepted.com.jurgenwolff. The only sure thing is if you give up. “You miss all the shots you never take. Keep taking those shots. including “Focus: use the power of targeted thinking to get more done. an online mentoring program that guides you through any goal you set. If you’re a writer (or want to be one) you’ll find help in “Your Writing Coach. it will never be accepted.” Keep going.