Pique Emails

  • 8 patterns of self-proclaimed half-finishers

    Would you be comforted to know that you’re not alone in your struggle with half-finished projects?

    Even if you’re a special snowflake like me, who prides myself on being different and interesting (damn Enneagram 4 🙄), you’ll likely feel a little bit better knowing that what you’re struggling with right now is all normal—and it’s all solvable.

    During every Half-Finished to Done, LIVE launch, I host many 1:1 consults with potential clients, and I spot common patterns in these conversations. 

    Here are 8 common themes that emerged in the last Half-Finished to Done, LIVE launch that you might be dealing with, too:

    1. Having a time problem vs thinking you have a time problem
    2. Getting yourself into double binds
    3. Paying penance for Past You
    4. Not knowing why you don’t follow through
    5. Thinking you’ve tried something like this
    6. Relying on or hiding from someone else
    7. Not guaranteeing your own results
    8. All-or-nothing thinking

    In each section below, I’ll explain how specifically these patterns show up, why they prevent the steady, sustainable forward progress you’re looking for, and how I can help you overcome them when we work together. 

    At the bottom of the page, I’ll invite you to book your own consult, so that we can continue this conversation. 

    Having a time problem vs thinking you have a time problem:

    Not surprisingly, many clients come to me because they feel like they don’t have time to take on their half-finished projects.

    When clients tell me they “don’t have time,” we always fact-check if this is true (sometimes it is!) or an unhelpful story that they’ve been carrying around. This is a classic example of the power of separating your perception from the actual facts.

    Often, a story about “not having time” can actually be hiding other data, like lack of energy, lack of engagement, too much saying yes to things that you don’t want to do, or feelings of fear and inadequacy.

    My job as a coach is to help you pressure-test your default thought patterns around time. If they’re true, I help you implement doable solutions or, if they’re false, I help you get down to the real issue.

    Getting yourself into double binds:

    A double bind is an un-winnable situation that you’ve created in your mind. When you put yourself into a double bind, you usually can’t even see it.

    For example, you might think “I need to be more consistent” while also believing “I don’t know how to be more consistent.” Double bind. You might think “I need to follow through more” while also believing “I can’t figure out why I don’t follow through.” Double bind. These double binds feel stifling, like there’s no way out.

    My job as a coach is to help you see and get out of your mental binds, by helping you open up new possibilities. 

    Paying penance for Past You:

    By the time clients come to me, they’re often putting immense pressure on themselves to take action now, to make up for “lost time.”

    A belief system that things should have gone differently or faster in the past adds urgency and pressure to the present, which always backfires. (Because who’s excited to show up to work when they feel like they’re under intense pressure?)

    My job as a coach is to help you make peace with the past then make a clear, doable plan for moving forward; this ensures that Present You and Future You don’t continue to suffer in the same patterns as Past You.

    Not knowing why you don’t follow through:

    If you think about why you aren’t following through on your half-finished projects, what emotions come up for you? 

    Likely confusion (“I really don’t know!”) or exasperation with yourself (“I hate that I don’t follow through.”)

    Saying “I don’t know” or shaming yourself keeps you stuck at best, and taking less action, at worst.

    Unfortunately, no one ever taught us how to compassionately self-evaluate our own behavior and give ourselves clear, doable solutions in order to make sustainable changes. Luckily, Half-Finished to Done, LIVE exists.

    My job as a coach is to show you when you’re beating yourself up and help you instead investigate your own behavior with curiosity and compassion in order to actually understand and change it.

    Thinking you’ve tried something like this:

    Wanting to join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE but also telling yourself “I’ve tried something like this before” is an example of a double bind.

    There are two easy ways to break out of this bind:

    1. Acknowledge that it might be true that you’ve tried something like this program before and then explain to yourself how it will be different this time (10% of people)
    2. Tell yourself the truth—that you likely tried on your own without a supportive community and structure; that you’ve tried either the mental piece, the emotional piece, or the logistical planning piece, but probably not all of them simultaneously; or that when you tried, you dabbled but didn’t go all in (90% of people)

    My job as a coach is to help you figure out for yourself why this experience will be different from what you’ve tried in the past, in order to increase buy-in for yourself.

    Relying on or hiding from someone else:

    Often, people come to me wanting to join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, but there is someone else whose opinion is influencing their decision making process.

    There is usually at least one person in your life who you either feel that you need approval from in order to enroll or, conversely, feel like you can’t tell about the program.

    To be clear, seeking counsel from others in your life isn’t a bad thing at all, or neither is desiring privacy with your decisions. You just want to notice if you’re using someone else as a proxy for making your own decisions.

    My job as a coach is to help you distinguish helpful input, collaborative decision making, and healthy self-reliance from dependence on other people’s approval.

    Not guaranteeing your own results

    Many people come to me wanting to join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE—but something outside of them is stopping them from moving forward.

    Their clients haven’t paid their invoices yet. They just don’t have enough paying clients yet. They need approval from someone else. Their kid and spouse need a lot of attention right now. Their team is new and needy.

    This puts them into a pattern of passively waiting on other people, and it often breeds resentment, defeat, apathy, and disappointment.

    If this is you, notice what you’re not doing when this is happening: You’re not being bold and following up on your unpaid invoices. You’re not pitching new clients. You’re not proactively setting up family systems. You’re not creating employee manuals.

    Put simply, you don’t feel that you can guarantee your own results, so you stop showing up powerfully.

    My job as a coach is to show you where you’re abdicating responsibility for creating your own results, and help you step into full ownership by learning to guarantee your results—no matter what’s happening outside of you.

    All-or-nothing thinking

    Often, people tell me that they’re scared to join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE because they don’t trust themselves to follow through. I joke that they wouldn’t be joining a program for self-proclaimed procrastinators if they already fully trusted themselves.

    What’s really going on is that they’re viewing success in the program and with their projects as all or nothing: “Either I master every single piece of the process and finish a project, or it was a bust.”

    This perfectionist attitude stops you from starting, letting yourself fail, and improving—while supporting yourself all along the way.

    Here’s an example: You might not trust yourself to finish an entire project. That’s okay. You might not even trust yourself to get through an entire 60-minute deep work session. That’s okay, too. Do you trust yourself to get through a 30-minute deep work session? Start there.

    My job as a coach is to help you see where you’re falling into all-or-nothing thinking that’s preventing you from taking small, incremental steps forward. We’ll find out the threshold where you do believe and trust in yourself, and build incremental gains from there.

    Ready to meet me on a 1:1 consult, so that we can talk through these patterns and find solutions?

    Click here to get started with your Half-Finished to Done, LIVE journey today

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  • The Accomplishment Triad

    When I speak to self-proclaimed procrastinators about how they’d like to feel, accomplished is one of the most common emotions mentioned—along with proud, satisfied, successful, and confident.

    You, too?

    This is likely in sharp contrast to how you often feel now: Guilty, embarrassed, inadequate, ashamed, overwhelmed.

    The feeling of accomplished might feel out of your control, but you can actually learn to create it on demand.

    And when you create it on demand more frequently, you feel better and you create even more opportunities where it’s easy to feel accomplished.

    In other words, a feeling of accomplished begets more feelings of accomplished.

    So if you’re ever feeling stuck in procrastination or perfectionism, remember that “an achievement is something that is accomplished particularly by great effort, courage…or skills.”

    This means that in order to get unstuck, you need to troubleshoot just one or more of these three areas. 

    Start by asking yourself this:

    In my current situation, do I need more:

    • Skill?
    • Effort?
    • Courage?

    How do I know?

    Once you know exactly what you need, you clear up your confusion and you can get to work implementing your solution.

    Let’s walk through an example: You’re building a simple website for your new business and you don’t understand why you keep pushing back the launch date. The website is set up; your minimum viable copy is written; and you’re still feeling nervous. In this case, you likely need to applaud yourself for your skill and effort and then channel courage, in order to hit publish and be willing to iterate as you get feedback. (Instead of expecting it to be perfect the first time around.)

    Or, you might be like me: In my first year of business, I worked hard to produce content and I put myself out there all the time. But I was missing the skill set of actually selling and converting people into paying clients. Once I added a program specifically designed for selling (skill) to my effort and courage, it put fuel on the fire of my business.

    if you’d like more about the Accomplishment Triad, click here to watch a 9-minute video

    In the video, you’ll learn:

    • The backstory of the Accomplishment Triad
    • How to get into the Accomplishment Triad on demand today
    • Which of the 3 areas of the Triad most people misdiagnose (vs what they actually need)
    • 3 accomplishment-generating questions
    • What your actions look like when you’re firmly rooted in the Accomplishment Triad
    • A pro tip for the times when you already feel accomplished

    Enjoy spending more time feeling accomplished!

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  • The Project Finisher Guarantee (Half-Finished to Done, LIVE)

    I know that joining a coaching program—especially one that’s focused on procrastination—can feel scary, risky, or uncertain. 

    This is why, when you enroll in the January round of Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, you automatically get the Project Finisher Guarantee. 

    While I want to help you make your investment in the program from the most grounded, strategic part of your brain, there is still part of your brain that will inevitably focus on the risk involved.

    And because I can help mitigate the downside for you and help your brain relax, I will. 

    If you follow the guidelines that I set out and don’t finish your project during our 8 weeks together, I will allow you to enroll in the next round for free.

    This guarantee is nothing but upside for both of us. 

    You are incentivized to show up and work the process even when it’s uncomfortable; I am incentivized to teach you how to show up, create a fail-proof process, and help you clear up anything in the way of success with that process.

    It also increases the level of connection, collaboration, and honesty between us. We are both on the same team: Team Get You a Finished Project. (Though we might want to come up with a better team name together, LOL.) 

    And here’s why it’s not a money-back guarantee: Worst case scenario, it keeps you “in the arena,” meaning that you won’t take your money and opt out; you’ll troubleshoot and come back stronger on your next project. 

    I can only make this guarantee because I am totally confident in my coaching and the process I have created, which has been test-drived by so many people before you.

    Here are the conditions:

    • You must submit all homework assignments on time (unless you notify me at least 48 hours in advance with your updated deadline) 
    • Re-submit any homework assignments that I mark as incomplete (this is rare, and I am always fair)
    • Respond at least once to my homework feedback each week
    • Make the appropriate adjustments to your schedule in order to hit or make up 100% of your project work blocks, or adjust the scope of your project to reduce the number of work blocks needed
    • Use the troubleshooting process before every call in Weeks 4-8
    • Miss no more than 2 calls during the 8 weeks OR submit one-paragraph written recap of any missed coaching call 
    • Share two wins per week in the wins channel 
    • Document and follow up in writing on Slack on any individualized coaching that I give you 

    If I get an indicator that any part of your answers were untruthful or intentionally withholding, I will address this with you directly. I don’t anticipate this happening; it’s only here to protect myself legally 🙂 

    Ready? Click here to learn more about Half-Finished to Done, LIVE and book your free 30-minute consult. We can talk through any hesitations that you have about the program in general or the Project Finisher Guarantee specifically.

    See you on the consult and cheers to Team Project Finisher! 

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  • 100% capacity (Feeling overwhelmed? Read this)

    If you frequently tell yourself that you have “so much to do,” read on.

    You think you’re overwhelmed because you have so much to do, but there’s actually something else going on.

    Overwhelm happens when you think you have so much to do AND you don’t believe you have the time, energy, or talent to do it.

    If you believed you had so much to do and could get it all done, you’d feel calm, maybe even energized.

    I’m not here to tell you “Good news! You can get it all done.”

    The reality is, you might not be able to get it all done, based on your current capacity.

    So, here’s how to stop overwhelm:

    • Either realize that you do have enough time, energy, and talent for everything you want to get done right now (and stop telling yourself that you don’t), or
    • Realize you don’t have enough time, energy, and talent for everything you want to get done right now—and ruthlessly dump, delegate, and delay accordingly.

    Think of it like having a bucket that represents your unique 100% capacity.

    (You can trade this bucket in for a bigger one later, but for now, this is your bucket.)

    Anything that you mentally cling on to above your 100% capacity is unnecessarily torturing yourself.

    These expectations that you can’t possibly meet aren’t helping you grow and strive. They’re causing you burnout and angst.

    Those are your only two options. If you want to reduce overwhelm, you must pick one, and proceed accordingly.

    You might feel shame, guilt, or serious discomfort in the process, but on the other side awaits a calm, empowered certainty that you might not have felt in a long time.

    Just ask my client, Jane* who recently said: “I am able to see that I was doing this to myself [holding on to things beyond my 100% capacity]. I was allowing myself to honor ridiculous requests [from clients] on impossible schedules and it just wasn’t working anymore. I’m done.

    I CAN choose what work I accept and which requests I am able to honor.”

    Cristina

    P.S. If you want my hands-on help with these, let’s spend 8 weeks together, figuring out your unique 100% capacity.

    It’s only available in my program, Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators who want to finish their half-done projects in a fun, reliable, sustainable way. 

    *Name changed for anonymity

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  • “Yups” and “Nopes”

    There are two different kinds of procrastination that are likely happening in your business right now:

    1. The “Yups”: You procrastinate on things you definitely want to do, and there’s something in the way of doing them.
    2. The “Nopes”: You procrastinate on other things because you know they’re not things you should really be doing, and there’s something in the way of not doing them.

    The “Yups” are the things that you know are important for your mental, emotional, physical, and intellectual health, and the health of your business. The needle movers. The activities with the highest ROI. The creative outlets that feed your soul.

    Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve been finding plenty of ways to justify not doing them.

    The “Nopes” are the things that you secretly know are low-value, are not a good use of your time, or truly aren’t the best next step. They’re the “shoulds” that you don’t really want to do.

    These are the things that you’ve been trying to talk yourself into doing, to no avail.

    When you join my program, Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, I’m going to teach you 4 quick, easy frameworks:

    • Want to, willing to, won’t, wallow
    • High-value vs low-value stoplight
    • Do, dump, delegate, delay
    • The 4-day workweek exercise

    When you apply these frameworks, it will become crystal clear what’s a “Yup” and what’s a “Nope.”

    When you know this, you can change it, by getting the “Yups” done and dealing with the discomfort of letting go of the “Nopes.”

    It won’t always be easy, but here’s why you’ll want to do it: Because you’ll know without a shadow of a doubt that what you’re doing at any given time makes sense and is valuable.

    In practice, here’s what it looks like (names changed for anonymity):

    For Miguel, this looked like giving responsibility back to his team members to prepare their own reports, which reduced his own prep time significantly.

    For Lydia, this looked like taking time to garden in the morning—to cultivate calm, presence, and relaxation before she got into her work for the day.

    For Shonda, this meant reducing her workload so that she gets out of the office at 5pm, no matter what. (With very few exceptions.)

    For Bryan, it meant dropping out of an accountability group that wasn’t rigorous and valuable anymore.

    For Katrina, this meant letting her clients take responsibility for their session notes, instead of her taking the time to type up, organize, and send lengthy follow up notes.

    For Tim, this looked like dropping the shame-inducing story of his “30,000 unread emails” and his self-induced pressure to get to Inbox Zero, and just focusing on the 20 emails that actually needed his attention.

    For Veronica, it meant taking a macaron making class, just for fun.

    For Claudia, it meant reviewing her own workload, presenting her findings to her project manager, and only accepting new work that didn’t put her over 100% capacity.

    For Cindy, it meant ending a volunteer position at an organization that didn’t align with her passion anymore.

    You deserve a life filled with the satisfaction of getting your “Yups” done and the relief of letting go of your “Nopes.”

    I can help you when you join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators. 

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  • The Follow Through Formula

    If you’re stuck in a pattern of procrastination, you probably know this cycle well: You put something off, then you feel guilt and shame about having put it off—so you continue to delay it even more.

    This is what we call the procrastination vortex.

    There is one practice that helps nip the procrastination vortex in the bud in the easiest, most pain-free way—yet most people don’t intuitively think to do it.

    It’s the practice of retroactively studying—with curiosity, not self-judgment—your procrastination, why it happened, and how you can change it next time.

    If you’re accustomed to being self-critical, it will be tough to snap your fingers and channel curiosity instead.

    Which is why, when you join my program, Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, I’m going to teach you the Follow Through Formula.

    It’s a step-by-step, 7-question process for studying your own behavior, understanding with self-compassion why you made the decisions that you did, and then consciously choosing the path you want to take next time.

    If you are committed to really listening to yourself, you will tell yourself the truth, and the truth is the only way out of procrastination.

    When you use the Follow Through Formula repeatedly, you’ll build your resourcefulness and resilience muscles—and procrastination can’t stand up to those two.

    (Seriously—they are two of the most underrated skill sets for self-proclaimed procrastinators to master.)

    If you’re a metaphor person, think of the story of the person with the pothole. The first time they don’t see the pothole and they fall in. The second time, they see the pothole and fall in, but get out more quickly this time. The third time, with a lot of attention and effort, they avoid the pothole. The fourth time, they take a different road.

    Ready to stop falling into the pothole of procrastination?

    I can help you when you join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators. 

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  • What NOT to expect from procrastination coaching

    When we work together, I want you to know what to expect.

    Or—for the sake of this post—what not to expect. They may surprise you, if you’re new to my kind of procrastination coaching.

    I am not here to help you become more disciplined. (Which, by the way, literally means “to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”)

    Because I’ll do you one better—I’ll show you the power of dedication, how it feels so much better than discipline, and how it’s actually more effective long-term.

    I am not here to help you figure out how to bribe or shame yourself into action, in order to do shit you don’t want to do, at times you don’t want to do it, in ways you don’t want to do it.

    Because I’ll do you one better—I’ll show you how to double down on what you want to do, make space for the things you’re willing to do, and navigate the discomfort of dropping the rest.

    I am not here to debate the merits of different project management softwares or calendar systems with you.

    Because I’ll do you one better—I will help you understand what’s happening in your mind, so you can make any software or tool work for you.

    I am not here to give you external accountability.

    Because I’ll do you one better—I will teach you why you’re currently relying on external accountability, and how to create self-accountability instead. (And then sprinkle in camaraderie, just for fun.)

    I’ve seen too many self-proclaimed procrastinating business owners suffer for too long trying to implement strategies that waste time or make them feel worse. No more.

    Overcoming a procrastination habit isn’t a cake walk, but it doesn’t have to suck, either.

    It’s time to bring more joy, dedication, clean motivation, and self-assurance into your anti-procrastination journey.

    I can help you when you join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators. 

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  • Doing it right before the deadline

    “I only get things done right before the deadline.”

    Many of my clients come to me with this, and they think it’s a very big problem.

    Before we go to work to solve it, I always ask them to consider that it might not be a problem at all.

    Because you can choose to be a person who (calmly) gets things done right before the deadline.

    Because of our societal conditioning that shames procrastinators, most people don’t even consider that this is a viable option—but it is.

    (From the mouth of a Procrastination Coach 😳 )

    Once I present this option to my clients, I often hear: “But then I’ll be stressed and anxious for weeks leading up to the deadline, and under intense pressure once I’m actually doing the work.”

    But those feelings of stress, anxiety, and pressure aren’t created by the deadline; they’re created by the way you’re handling the deadline.

    And you can learn to change the way you handle deadlines.

    Anxiety, stress, worry, and pressure are created from thought patterns like:

    I really should have gotten started on it by now. (Please. I know I’m going to leave it to the last minute, like always.)

    I have such a good amount of time between now and the deadline.

    Maybe I have too much time before the deadline.

    I don’t know where to start.

    Shit, I should have started this earlier, I don’t have enough time now.

    If those are the thoughts running through your mind, it makes total sense that you’d feel stressed.

    Instead, imagine that these are your thoughts:

    I take the time to understand the scope of my work, and plan accordingly.

    I commit to leaving myself just enough time to get it done well, while anticipating and planning for “unexpected” obstacles.

    I am capable of figuring out a good starting point.

    I choose to notice my concerns, and calmly talk myself through them.

    Between now and when I’m choosing to do the work, I will practice feeling calm, relaxed, and trusting.

    It takes practice to become the person who believes these powerful thoughts, but it’s the surefire path to reducing your anxiety, worry, and stress about deadlines.

    Because when these are your thoughts, it literally doesn’t matter when you get the work done—because you know you will.

    You can choose to be a person who gets work done right before the deadline, or a person who gets work done well in advance of the deadline.

    Whoever you want to be, I can help you when you join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators. 

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  • The satisfaction of crossing something off your to-do list

    Do you often find yourself crossing small, unimportant off your to-do list but not getting traction on the bigger, high-impact tasks that will move the needle for you in your business?

    This one’s for you.

    I can’t count the number of times that someone has told me, “But it’s just so satisfying to cross things off my to-do list!”

    When I hear someone say this, I always pause for dramatic effect and respond:

    “You know what’s really satisfying? Finishing your projects, achieving your wildest dreams, and reaching your full potential.” 😳

    Think about it: Every time that you give yourself a tiny hit of pleasure from checking something unimportant off your to-do list, you’re robbing yourself of the real pleasure of getting traction on what’s actually important to you.

    (Let that sink in.)

    But the solution isn’t to grit your teeth and willpower your way through a big task, delaying any ounce of gratification until you finally finish.

    It’s to derive satisfaction from the act of doing your most important work, not just being done with your work.

    And deriving satisfaction from the process, not just the end result? It’s a decision that you can make at any time.

    Here’s how to do it in three simple steps:

    • Notice when you’re defaulting to doing trivial busy work just to get a hit of satisfaction
    • Direct yourself back to your highest-impact work
    • Learn to increase the amount of satisfaction that you feel while working on those important things

    Learning to increase your level of satisfaction starts with asking yourself questions like these, and answering them:

    • How could it be true that doing the hard, complex work is more gratifying than doing the easy, urgent work?
    • How can I be more engaged with the work that’s in front of me?
    • How can I do this work in a more interesting and creative way than usual?
    • How can I double the amount of satisfaction that I feel while doing this work?

    As a result, you’ll get the deep satisfaction of knowing that you’re moving your most important business projects forward. (The projects that will increase your impact; reach more potential clients; allow you to scale more efficiently; save you time; and generate more revenue for you.)

    P.S. If you’d like help reconciling your internal conflict, the best place to be is Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators. 

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  • Disagreeing with yourself

    How often do you find yourself doing one thing while telling yourself that you should be doing something different?

    Checking your email while telling yourself that you should be working on that important project.

    Watching Netflix while shaming yourself for everything you didn’t get done during your workday.

    Hitting snooze multiple times while telling yourself you need to get up.

    Helping someone out while telling yourself that you should be focused on your own work.

    Telling yourself you should be present with your kids—while you scroll social media.

    Put simply, this is disagreeing with yourself, and this kind of unresolved self-conflict is the most common reason for procrastination—and the least talked about.

    (Until now.)

    Because when you feel internal conflict and you don’t know how to resolve it, the easiest thing to do is avoid it—by procrastinating.

    And when you procrastinate, you experience even more self-conflict, and the vicious cycle continues.

    November’s free Anti-Procrastination Challenge is the perfect place to start noticing and resolving your internal conflict.

    During our two weeks together, we’ll measure one thing, and one thing only: The percent of time you spend disagreeing with yourself.

    When you measure and manage just this one metric, magic starts to happen throughout your day.

    You’re honest about your wake up time. (No more snoozing, unless you really want to.)

    You intentionally table the projects you’re not working on anyway, and make a plan for the ones you’re going to finish.

    You enjoy your Netflix time, instead of guilting yourself about everything you didn’t get done earlier.

    You actually celebrate your accomplishments, instead of dismissing them and immediately moving to the next thing.

    You’re fully present with your family, instead of mentally running through your to-do list.

    This is when your brain relaxes; your creativity increases; your most strategic thinking emerges; and your best, most joyful work flourishes.

    P.S. If you’d like help reconciling your internal conflict, the best place to be is Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators. 

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