GET REAL

Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Flexibility can generate procrastination and a need for self-discipline.

Living in Upstate New York has its perks. One of them is that our summer season is so short, that a good portion of our business population’s pace slows down to seize the opportunity to enjoy the weather, family and friends. The best part? In many business environments, it’s downright acceptable.

After 22 years in business, I finally don’t freak out when business slows down in the summer. In fact, I enjoy it—most of the time. Certainly, there are days when I beat myself up for not being more productive or for not using the time to be more creative or to accomplish those administrative duties that are so tough to accomplish during crazy times. Then there are days when I’m totally centered on how fortunate I am to have the flexibility and time to do work that I love and pay attention to myself, and the people in my life that matter most. Those days are great.

I’m often asked how I stay disciplined working for myself and out of my home. The truth is that in general, deadline-driven client work demands productivity which doesn’t call for discipline. It calls for action. The real call for discipline is when I have ample time to plan and implement because when I have time to put things off, I assure you that I will! I’m guessing many of you can relate.

If and when you do find yourself with more flexibility and less productivity, having the self-discipline to generate and commit to target dates will minimize procrastination and generate action. If you’re delegating, require deliverables by specific target dates. If you’re serving a customer, client, or manager, self-impose and state specific target dates. Chances are specific targets are all you’ll need to generate more productive action.

It’s a beautiful summer day outside as I write this. I have several things due this week, but none that I’ve committed to for today—except for this entry. I think I’ll go sit on my porch for a while.

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