5 things I do to stop procrastinating

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. (Peter Drucker)

An old friend laughed when she read my article on procrastinating.  She knows I am a king at procrastinating.  She mentioned how I paid my kids to help me stop procrastinating.  The first one to call me after 3 p.m., and ask if I had met my goal for telephone calls that day, got paid.  It was cheaper than having a boss take 50% of my commissions.

I am an expert at procrastination.  The only way I have been able to beat that problem is to think about it….then set up motivators.  You need to do the same thing with your job hunting duties.

There are certain things that help me stop procrastinating:

  1. Guilt
  2. Rewards
  3. Getting checked up on
  4. Momentum
  5. Brain games


If I make a plan that I know will succeed, and don’t follow it, I feel guilty.  Simple.  I pray for help, come up with a plan to reach my goal, and am goaded by guilt.  (Why don’t you write down a plan for finding a job. You’ll feel guilty for ignoring it.)


One month I earned a membership at the Climbnasium by making a placement.  I basically don’t buy much of anything unless it is a reward for reaching a goal.  At the end of this month, I get a “prize” if I call 30 new people every work day.  I’ve used trips, shoes, clothes, a car, computer accessories, a camera, lunch, and leaving before 5 p.m. as rewards. (You can set up a reward for sending out 10 resumes, or making 5 calls.)

Getting checked up on

I mentioned paying my kids to call me and check up.  I’ve had my wife call at noon when I was having a lot of problems procrastinating.  I have kept daily charts of how many new people I call, how long I am on the phone, and other important daily accomplishments. Having a helper or just having to check up on myself every day is a big help. (Try making a chart for how many ads you respond to, or how many networking lunches you have in a week.)


Funny thing about starting, it’s easier to keep going after you get some momentum.  The first 3 calls I make every day are to people I already know who are actively looking for jobs.  That gets the phone to my ear.  After those 3 calls, it is much easier to make the other calls to people I have never talked to before. (To start your day you can send out two resumes thru Monster first, then send out two resumes to companies with no openings, then call the two companies you sent resumes to yesterday.  Get momentum going.)

Brain games

The most effective thing I have done to get me to make calls is a simple brain game.  I have 50 dollar coins – 40 are gold colored, 10 are silver.  Every time I call a new person I noisily drop a coin into a cup.  Silver coins are for sales calls, gold are for recruiting.  It reminds me that every call means money.  It works for me.  At the end of the day, if I only have 20 or 25 calls, I can see how close I am to my goal of 30. It is a brain game that really motivates me. (What is a brain game you can use for job hunting?)


Procrastinating the most important parts of your job search can be a major problem.  Figure out what you can do to get working on the important things every day.


Tomorrow:     Mental hygiene

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