February 2020

Do we have to?

Procrastination is a frequent coaching topic. Many people come to coaching to get more done. Yet, our brains are wired to focus on short-term rather than long-term rewards, and we get in our own way. Productivity hacks such as pairing a dull task with something pleasurable or improving time management are useful and important—let’s go further. I’ve referred clients to a piece by Charlotte Lieberman in the New York Times, where she writes procrastination is about regulating our emotions. While our first reaction might be, ‘Editing this spreadsheet is boring, I’ll get to it tomorrow,’ we can instead ask, ‘What else am I feeling? Not smart enough, undervalued?’ With the answer can come awareness and self-compassion. Lieberman cites a study in which students who forgave themselves for having procrastinated on an exam procrastinated less before the next exam. And don’t forget to try a productivity hack.


Organizational psychologist Adam Grant “takes you inside some truly unusual places, where they’ve figured out how to make work not suck” in 19 WorkLife podcasts (with transcripts). Binge away.


I have pre-ordered the final book in the Tudor trilogy by Hilary Mantel, ‘The Mirror and the Light.’ March can’t come quickly enough. Mantel’s previous books in the series were vivid, alarming and compassionate explorations of leadership, power and (a very un-Tudor term) self-actualization.


“Don’t think about the start of the race, think about the ending,” Usain Bolt1986-present, eight times Olympic champion, 11 times world champion, triple world record holder

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