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Meet Polly, My Procrastinator

I am not good at finishing.

I get myself distracted easily. The strength of this personality trait, some might say, is ‘adaptability.’ I am not so convinced it’s a strength. There are too many signs of unfinished failures that haunt me to think otherwise.

  • The book I’m writing, scattered in pieces on countless computers. I may never publish it.

  • My closet, always piled with clothes. You might think I never do laundry!

These are just some current day indicators of this 'strength.’

No, I think there is something else altogether at work here. Myself, I have come to believe, Polly, my procrastinator, is the real instigator of my unfinished mastery!

Polly came into being a long time ago, and has been an important protector of me over the years. Believe or not, her amazing efforts have kept me from humiliation and criticism many times. Her ability to stall, distract, and help me avoid detection have been valuable, but may be a bit overdone these days.

At other times in my life, writing and sharing my story was dangerous. My messy, chaotic presentation kept me well under any radar. This helped me avoid getting too far out into the world where I might create problems for myself. Yes, there was a time in my life when Polly served me - but not so anymore!

The problem is that Polly remains on high alert!

Let me give you a bit of an example at how Polly showed up in my world today.

I wanted to write a quick post about procrastination, so I started typing and decided it would be good to look up the word procrastinate. As I googled the various definitions, diving into the root of the word, I discovered a variety of interesting headlines about procrastination.

The first article was, Two Harvard Professors Reveal One Reason Our Brains Love to Procrastinate (I took a quick look but found it boring.) The second article was, Later, from The New Yorker about a Nobel-prize winner's relationship to procrastination. (Which I found much more engaging because it started with a cool story. Plus, who doesn't want to be compared to a Nobel Prize winner?!) And finally, I listened to a TED Talk by a known ‘pre-crastinator’ who took on the task of learning to procrastinate. The reason? He missed out on a big investment opportunity by harshly judging a couple of his students, who he wrote off as losers due to their procrastination, who in the end made millions.

While Polly found relevant information in my google search, she didn’t stop there.

Soon I was reading headlines and news, sports, and other related articles, which reminded me that I needed to call someone about our upcoming program. So, I got on the phone. Then, I realized I was hungry, and we had nothing for dinner. So, I got ready to head out the door to the store and thought, why not take Rosie to the dog park? She needed the exercise. I thought I’d better grab a snack before I went. So, I wound up making a shake. Needless to say, I was soon far, far away from finishing the post, focusing in a totally different direction!

Why is Polly protecting and procrastinating this time?!

Polly means well. She loves the rapid intake of information, with a preference for quick reads and engaging activity. She loves gathering random bits of information and finding common threads. She is also very immediate, meaning if she gets bored she's moves on. Thus, her inability to read through the Harvard article and get some tips on how to be any different!!

This is not an uncommon course of events for me and Polly! Sometimes I love the variations and distractions.

However, Polly and I have had to develop a better working relationship. This day's activity, though, demonstrates relationships aren't about being perfect!

I’ve worked on this relationship with Polly for a while now.

Developing a productive relationship with Polly

I have discovered a path to keep Polly engaged and entertained, while getting things done. (Don't tell Polly!)

My relational efforts with Polly are the foundation for my new Get Unstruck class, designed to help people like me develop their own productive relationship with parts of themselves that are stopping them from reaching their fullest potential.

Get Unstuck is the outcome of how I have learned to relate and develop a much better working relationship with Polly. I am putting her various skills into practice so that instead of stalling and never crossing the finish line, I am moving and making progress.

Not everyone has a Polly, but most of us do get stalled along the path to some of our most important goals. That doesn't have to happen! There is a way through!

I have now run Get Unstuck several times with fabulous folks, getting great results. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what one student had to say:

I have been on shut down for four years due to several traumas. I was suffering from depression, anxiety and I suspect some PTSD. I participated in Susan's Get Unstuck for a few weeks and found it to be really inspiring. I did actually put my foot back in the water. The whole idea is about living the best life you can and this experience has opened my mind up to possibilities I thought were no longer available. I am currently volunteering and thinking about spending a few months in Mexico. This is a huge step for me, and it’s all due to Susan's leadership and suggestions. Jude

Get Unstuck is a six-week class with weekly classes, including group coaching. I’ve also included a couple of one-on-one sessions for each participant to help you work through your own Polly issues. CrisMarie joins us and adds her wealth of knowledge and mind/body work to address action blocks.

You’ll also get your very own Get Unstuck Workbook which you can reuse after the class. I’ll walk you through the steps of building your vision and your roadmap to get there. I add simple, practical, proven tools to break through your action blocks and get you moving forward. Plus, there’s so much fun, learning, and support to help you develop a productive relationship with the part that habitually stops you. You’ll be moving forward on what matters most to you in no time!

Click Get Unstuck to learn more and sign up.

I love that I'm finding a new job for Polly! What better way than to use all of her ample skills than to help others transform their procrastination, get unstuck and access their mojo to move forward on what matters most? Oh, and Polly loves multi-tasking. She'll be answering emails, coaching people, and prepping and delivering the live classes, or running to the store, or checking Facebook.

If you already know you have your own inner Polly to work with - well check out Get Unstuck on our thrive! site! Don't procrastinate - sign up now!


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are Master certified life coaches, business consultants, speakers and authors of The Beauty of Conflict. They believe real relationships are the key to creating great business results. They’ll take your team from mediocre to great.

Want to take a class? Sign up for one of their virtual classes: Get Unstuck, Relationship Mojo or come to their signature retreat Find Your Mojo in Montana. Click here to check out all their service offerings.

Click here to contact them to coach with you, consult with your team, or speak at your next event.


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