Vail on purpose: Commit time to tough projects
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado “-“How can you get something done if you don’t want to do it?” Laurie asked as we began our coaching session. ”
I smiled at the irony of the question. “Do you want to do it?” I asked.
“I’ve wanted to finish it for a year, but somehow it keeps not getting done,” she explained.
“Let’s talk about what it is so we can see where you are blocked,” I said.
“I want to finish writing my book, but that means I’ll have to start writing it, right?” Laurie smiled. “I’ve written an outline and summaries for eight chapters, but when I start to write, something more important always comes up.”
I threw something out to get her reaction. “Maybe you aren’t supposed to finish the book.”
“I know I am supposed to write this book. I’m not willing to give it up and am afraid someone else may write it first because it’s such a great idea.”
“What are the obstacles in front of you?” I asked.
“My two biggest obstacles are writing a query letter and compiling a list of prospective agents. Once those tasks are finished, then I can write the chapters,” she said. “The writing sounds fun, but I haven’t been doing that either.”
“What’s your passion level on a scale of one to ten to complete the query letter and the list of agents?” I asked.
“Zero and a negative one,” Laurie said. “But it’s really important that they get done.
“Are these activities that only you can perform?” I asked.
“I could hire someone to write the query letter and compile the list, but I haven’t. If I could start on any of these tasks, I could overcome the obstacle, but I am not doing anything,” she said.
“Tell me about the book,” I said, wanting to get a sense of her passion level for its content.
Laurie’s eyes lit up as she talked about the content and the target audience. There was great passion in her voice and her posture changed as she described how this information was not currently available and how readers would benefit from its content.
“I can see how excited and passionate you are about this book,” I said. “What is one step you can take to move forward?”
“I could write a chapter,” Laurie said, “but it feels like it would take too much time.”
“What sounds like a reasonable time to write?” I asked.
“I could write for 30 minutes, but I couldn’t finish a chapter in that time,” she said.
“What if you wrote for only 30 minutes and then stopped, even if you weren’t done and it wasn’t perfect?” I asked.
“I feel a finished chapter needs to be perfect, edited and ready to go. Maybe that’s where I get stuck,” Laurie said. “Thirty-minute chunks sounds manageable. If I keep writing for 30 minutes each day, I would eventually finish.”
Laurie added, “I had it all bundled together, but it feels more manageable when I break it down into smaller pieces.”
Laurie agreed to write for 30 minutes each day and reminded herself daily by setting her alarm for 1:59 p.m. every day. Her commitment was to write until at least 2:30, longer if she felt like it.
“I’ll start writing and we can tackle the other major tasks in our next session. There’s no sense in trying to do it all at once,” Laurie said.
Coaching Challenge: When you are working on a project and feel overwhelmed, decide what needs to be done first. What time are you willing to dedicate to this project each day? Once you have a manageable time frame, make a commitment to do it every day. You can stop when the allotted time is up or continue working if you desire. Even if you can only dedicate 10 minutes a day, by the end of the week, you’ll have over an hour invested in the project ” and will be that much closer to having it done.
Sheri Fisher is a Life Coach who lives in Grand Junction, Colorado with her husband Tom and three sons. Her practice, Living On Purpose, focuses on personal and professional coaching. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. If you have topic suggestions, please e-mail or comment on Sheri’s blog, http://www.coachwithsheri.com/blog/. Sheri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information, visit: http://www.coachwithsheri.com.
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