This was last year. I was a fresh NLP practitioner, out of my training and eager to practice some of the great new skills that I had learnt from the Master himself – Dr. Richard Bandler. At home, I couldn’t stop talking about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) that week. This got my partner Jay curious and he asked me what the hype was all about. So I thought, OK, instead of trying to explain, why not try a small technique that might help him with a situation he’s genuinely facing.
Let me tell you, Jay has always been a great sport. I’ve practiced many skills and techniques on him during my training days. Once I even put him in a deep hypnotic trance after my rapid induction hypnosis training day! He’s truly a star. Bless him. So here I was listening to Jay’s issue and decided to try a technique called Chaining Anchors. Chaining Anchors is a powerful NLP technique we use to help people get in a positive state when their present state is very far removed from their desired state. It’s a 3 to 4 step process of anchoring different states to reach the desired state from an undesired one.
If you are still reading this post and going, I’ve lost her, I have no clue what she’s saying, please don’t worry, this blog has nothing to do with NLP or the technique itself but instead about a new word I learnt while practicing this technique with him. Before starting the exercise, my first question was to ask Jay what his undesired state was and he said it was a state of procrastination he was facing with a project. I asked him what he wanted his desired state to be. He thought for a bit and used the word pro-activation. I remember going, what, pro-activation, is that even a word? He said, to him it’s the opposite of procrastination and that’s the desired state he’d like to be in. Interesting right? I sat with that term, completed my technique and was pleased at the outcome. I think he was too.
Days passed, but this word pro-activation never left me. I got really curious about it. More and more people I coach were struggling with time management and procrastination. Most of us procrastinate till we get right up to the point when there is so much external pressure and then we finally finish what we need to do. We’ve all been here - the deadline is Friday 5pm and we get started Thursday evening. Its then panic and mayhem till its done.
The truth is we procrastinate and delay so we end up reacting to situations rather than creating them. So as a coach, I’m inviting you to create your life ahead of time by pro-activation. The thing that happens with pre-planning and being proactive for pro-activation is that you can make decisions way ahead of time and create the long-term results you desire. It’s a great way to honour yourself and your goals however big or small. Imagine not having to put out fires everyday by reacting but instead enjoy the present moment because you’ve created and planned for it in advance.
Consider this for a moment – It’s your daughter’s Birthday party in May. This time you decide to be proactive. You book and plan everything in advance – the venue, cake, gift bags, invites, food, music, everything. You think of any obstacles, have your Plan Bs in place and you are all ready and set by mid April. Its May, your daughter’s Birthday party is here and instead of running around and putting out any fires, you’ve given yourself the wonderful opportunity to be in that present moment and enjoy the day.
Try this – the minute you get assigned anything, or set a goal, focus on getting 80% of that done, ahead of time. It’s like procrastinating backwards. Instead of waiting weeks until you feel the pressure, you give yourself two weeks now to get it done as fast as possible so you add the pressure to yourself now. With this strategy, you are not worried about it being perfect, because you know you have more time to perfect it. So as fast as possible get the 80% done.
The golden nugget - the more planning you do for the long-term and execute your plan well in advance, the more you will get to enjoy the present moment.
Simple Steps for pro-activation:
Make a plan to produce results, real genuine results.
Schedule it in your calendar. Be specific with times and dates.
Follow the plan like your life depends on it
Be proud of yourself for being proactive and enjoy that present moment.
You don’t need to be alone on this journey to shift from procrastination to pro-activation. You can work with a life coach on change and thought work. There are also books and other resources to help you. Today’s blog is a follow up to my podcast I did last week on Time Management. If you haven’t had a chance to listen, please do when you get some time. Link here.
I’ll leave you with this quote that I like - “I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you’re proactive, you focus on preparing. If you’re reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.” ~ John C. Maxwell, Today Matters