We sit down with Gill Hasson, who has dedicated the past 20 years to helping people to realize their potential and to live their best life. As a career coach, Gill delivers teaching and training for educational institutions, voluntary and business organizations, and the public sector. She has written books for both adults and children on subjects, such as mindfulness, positive thinking, emotional intelligence, mental health, and well being in the workplace. In this episode, we touch upon some of these topics and more.
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A LOOK INSIDE THE EPISODE:
TM: Is writing and your routine a discipline for you?
G: Yeah, it is a discipline. There are times when I do put off writing. I’ll find other things to do. Suddenly, I’ll discover that actually, the house needs vacuuming. Of course it doesn’t. Or there’s some really important emails that I’ve got to answer. They’re not important. So, I put things off. But what I’ve also learned is that there’s a saying that a lot of your listeners will know about, “eat the frog.” In other words, the idea behind “eating the frog” is that you do the biggest, worst thing you’ve got to do first each day, and then everything else is easier. Well, I am more somebody who needs to do all the little things first to build up to doing the bits that I don’t want to do.
I think procrastination has a bad name, it gets a bad rap. Actually, there’s very often good reasons behind procrastination. The worst thing about procrastination is when you beat yourself up about it, you think to yourself, “I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I know I keep putting it off.” That’s not helpful. Take responsibility for the fact that you’re not getting started, say to yourself, “It’s okay, I will be getting started at some point. In the meantime, I’m not ready.” Then, often what’s happening is particularly if you’re doing something that requires thought is that the thoughts are checking over in your brain. I learned this when I was studying. I decided to actually go back to education when I was in my 30s, having said I didn’t like school, but I got a degree in Social Anthropology. I realized all the times that I put off writing that essay, and would do things like do the washing up, actually, while I was doing the washing up or the vacuuming or whatever else it was, something practical, making the bed even, things that you find easy, thoughts would take over my mind. So I realized actually, I’m not actually putting it off. I’m just keeping the pressure off for the moment. Then, things are coming into my mind about what I’m going to be doing next.
TM: How do we stay enthusiastic and keep momentum towards our goals?
G: If you want to stick to it, the key thing is to remind yourself why you’re doing it. What’s your good reason? What are you aiming to achieve? And why? That’s positive thinking right from the start. So keeping that in your mind, it might be that you, you write it up somewhere, or you have it as a screensaver. But identify it, just remind yourself all the time, why you’re doing it, What’s the good reason? What do you see as the benefits? And then if you find yourself flagging, maybe break it down into smaller steps, maybe you’ve “bitten off more than you can chew.” Maybe you need to do a smaller version. The most obvious one is you’re going to train to do a marathon, you’re flagging, you’re thinking, “What was I thinking? I don’t want to do it. Yes, I know, the benefit is that I’m going to get fitter just by training for it. I’m going to have all the glory of having done it, but actually, it’s not enough.” Okay, so literally cut it in half, do a half marathon then. You don’t have to give up on whatever your goals or resolutions are, but actually scale it down a little bit, take it one step at a time. It’s very easy to be over ambitious with resolutions. You’re going to change the world and run a four minute mile. Okay, let’s just get a little bit real here and recognize, maybe scale it back a bit.