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How to Actually Start the Task You’ve Been Avoiding

So I confess to flagrantly plagiarising that title, from one of my virtual mentors, Peter Bregman. What Bregman gets right is, without fail, to send me a free podcast every fortnight, interviewing some groundbreaking research or generally someone who has just released their book. I have no idea how he manages to achieve this with a full-time coaching and consultancy business, (and penning a few HBR articles in between!)

but he feeds me (did I mention that it was free?) with fortnightly nourishment and motivation for most of my learning and development programmes, keeping me current and up to date with breaking press thought leadership.

So truth is, I’ve been in a blogging desert. It began when I just couldn’t cope with the volume of work which arrived in October last year (so grateful!), but it then stretched into a level 6 drought, with no oasis in sight.

And I suspect some of you might share this with me as January hit and you faced your work desk and blank computer screen again?

So here’s the thing; According to Bregman what’s most difficult about writing the proposal/report we need to write, speaking up to say what we need to say, or accomplishing whatever the task is we need to accomplish,is navigating the transition to get there!

And guess what? I’m a transition coach, so shouldn’t I be an expert in getting there?

So here’s what Bregman discovered;

“Our minds and bodies have an incredible capacity to adapt to just about anything. The hard part is rarely being in the new normal… it’s the transition. ”

So what follows is that we get really “skilled and proficient in is moving through the moment before the work…

which means that the skill we really need to develop – and it is a skill – is transitioning. 

So at this point, I’m tempted to write “so make an appointment to see me and let’s talk about making the transitions that you need to make in 2019!” But I won’t, because that’s just ‘salesy’ and exploitative.

So here’s what he suggests; Get good at moving from comfort to discomfort. 

  • Identify something important to you that you want to move ahead with but have had a hard time getting traction on.
  • Identify the transition point to working on it. Examples of transition points are: Pick up the phone and dial (for a conversation); sit in a chair and write the first word (for any kind of writing); ask a question and then stop talking (for receiving feedback).

And then let me know how that goes? That’s how I wrote this first blog for 2019. I sat in a chair, I faced the unfamiliar, new version of WordPress I read the article and I typed the first word…

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