Image from LLU Health.

Over the past year, I’ve been working with a London-based coach/trainer. We talk weekly or fortnightly for half an hour, discuss what he’s been doing since we met last, how things are going, and he commits to the actions he’ll take until we meet again.

The result is that he achieves more, and is further on in his business, than he would be otherwise. I push him to do the things that are necessary to move his business forward, but that he would dally about if he wasn’t going to have me ask why he wasn’t doing them.

Procrastination is natural. As humans, we do virtually everything we want to do, but not everything we know we have to do. Study tonight? Look for a new job? Not when there’s a TV show on we like, or Facebook to peruse! Or our children to spend time with (that’s a better excuse than the others).

I’m not going to have a go at you for spending a particular moment with your kids or partner instead of doing things that will improve your career – but there’s other spare time in which you could be doing the latter, instead of mindlessly surfing the internet, for example.

Why do we put off doing things we know will benefit us? Well, sometimes it’s because we have a better offer at the time. Time with kids, good. TV? Maybe not so much.

But also, sometimes things just seem a bit daunting. That job application will take three hours! Yes, but imagine how much happier you’ll be if you get that job than you are in your current role. What if I don’t get the job anyway? Well, at least you’ll know you tried, and you might get feedback. Maybe my current job ain’t so bad. That’s laziness talking (I know, this was me in 2013).

There are things you can do yourself to improve your chances of doing the things you know you have to do, if you’re going to boost your career to where you want it to be. Taking a course? Tell your boss, and agree to start a certain project on a certain date, which will require the skills you want to learn.

Find a new job? Tell your partner.

You won’t want to have to explain why you’re not doing what you said you will.

Maybe make a spreadsheet of daily actions, up to 5 a day at least if you can. This is what I do in my coaching business, to help plan my work but also ensure I don’t procrastinate and put things off. Ticking off tasks will make you feel you’re achieving something, too.

And finally, if you need a bit more help, get in touch with me. I will help you develop an action plan to get you to where you want to be in work, wherever that is, and then support you as you follow through with it.