How to Effectively Stop Procrastination Habit with Jill McIntyre

Jill McIntyre is a property and life coach that has years and years of experience when it comes to helping people improve themselves especially when it comes to procrastination. We hear some of her expert advice on how we are able to overcome the obstacles we place in front of ourselves and get the job done.

Join us in this next installment in the Mindset Monday series as we delve into the topic of procrastination and we hear about some of her clients that she has helped on how to overcome and stop procrastination, we learn about the different strategies that can help conquer the habit of putting things off, the interesting relationship between procrastination and a particular personality trait and much much more!

We dive into the topic of procrastination by hearing about a client of McIntyre’s and their situation in relation to this issue. 

It's interesting because when I'm preparing for our Mindset Mondays, I think about what's happened with my clients around this time. And that gives me the topic to go ahead and connect with that. So it's funny that you should ask that question because I've had a client this week, in fact, there's two of them that they're working together. So these guys are just fabulous guys. They know their stuff. Know it backwards. The thing is that they’re over analysing because they've done a deal earlier or both of them have done property deals earlier and they've lost some money and because they've lost some money, it automatically sinks in that they’re so over-cautious with moving forward that it paralyses them. And when they're telling me about where they are looking, and I've had a couple of discussions with them, numerous discussions with them, they know their stuff. They know their area of focus. They know how much renovation on what they're doing for a very small deal for quick turnover, seven-week turnover. They get it back on the market, get into the market, get out of the market in the same market. They know all of that. They know the demand for the strategy that they're working on, which is a buy/reno/sell. They know the strategy backwards. They know the demand for rental properties. They know absolutely everything.

The fear is coming up for them into areas and one of them is that they've lost money before, will they lose money again.

We learn more about her clients and what their background is and why they needed her help.

One is a builder. But the other one is, you know, they've lost their confidence because of losing money and will I do it again. But the other one is that they need to ask and get money from outside sources, so other people's money. Having the confidence to ask for money just becomes for so many people an absolute slog. Where will I go, how will I do it? What happens here? And it all comes down to self-confidence. These guys I would put my money on without any doubts whatsoever. And the deals that they are doing are small deals, the low end of the market that's got a good cash flow positive return for investors buying those deals for a hold on a rental without any problems whatsoever. But the problem is that they don't have the confidence or they've lost the confidence. And these two guys have got it summed up,

Even with the experience that her two clients have, it shows how integral confidence is in getting the right deals done. 

The thing is too because they've lost money, and their strategy is to use other people's money and I totally honour that because I would say probably 85-90% of my clients all use other people's money. I'm using other people's money in my childcare development that I'm doing at the moment. And it's a strategy that I love and I've worked with them for many, many years. So you don't have to have money to buy a property. But you have to have the confidence to know what's happening in your deal and the confidence to be able to sell that deal. Say for example, and we all often talk over our Mindset Mondays and in our podcasts about personalities. And if you [inaudible] a personality, you might be good. You might be a handyman or a builder that can do it but you're not good at connecting and selling yourself with people. And so this is where the block comes in that you've got it all on the table. You're absolutely a gold nugget, but you can't get it out to sell it to other people. And so you procrastinate and you go up and down. So I put these guys on a timeline and within four weeks I want a deal on the table. They've got a deal at the moment, but they won't go out and maybe put an offer on the deal.

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Because they haven't gotten anyone lined up for the money. So it's like a ripple effect that goes on and on and on. But one thing affects another that affects another and nothing happens.

McIntyre tells us about one of the strategies she uses to get people on how to overcome and stop their procrastination.

I always say I'm pretty good at getting the broom behind people. And you know, it's timelines and even with you and you know, as we do coaching and I'm coaching you at times and I put timelines on you, with things that you need to do within your property and within your business. We all need it.

I’ve got timelines on what I do and I keep myself accountable with what I'm doing with my intentions on a monthly basis and very much so we need a timeline to stick to, to get outcomes happening.

I can talk from personal experience. I've been procrastinating on a particular property for the last seven months. And it's painful because the last thing I wanted to do was to feel that way and then it just, I had to make some decisions. And the hardest thing was to actually say, look, what am I actually going to do. Maybe I should paint a picture of what I've done with this particular property. I bought a property in the regional part of Victoria about seven months ago and the first probably week or two of that property being taken over, the tenant just moved out. And I thought, why did that all happen? It just seemed like very, very odd because that first week they originally were planning to stay for a long time. So I said, all right, that's fine. We'll let that tenant move out because their intention was to renovate that unit anyway. But unfortunately due to a lot of circumstances, unable to get down there and unable to find tradespeople and so forth, it's dragged on for so long because nothing happened with the property manager and nothing happened on actually getting down to that regional location.

Some months later I'm now feeling the pain because potentially another tenant has also moved out as well. And now you know, it's going to definitely hurt and bring negative cash flow. So I've made a decision now to find another property manager and also look for tradespeople. And I actually had to do that myself recently because it's supposed to be the property manager’s responsibility to help me find trades to fix up repairs. And because the last property manager that I'd been working with hadn't done any of those and just wasn't even sure what they wanted to do, then basically, you know, I just said, look, I'm looking for someone that's local, I'm looking for someone that's going to be able to have contacts with tradespeople and just get things done. So that's where we had this conversation this morning about trying to figure out what's going to be the next steps. And it's hard for me to admit it because it's also an ego thing that I don't know why I put this off for so, so long, but it's also a wake-up call that I need to make these big changes now.

how to stop procrastination

And it all falls into place. This morning we've organised [inaudible] and we've organised [inaudible] and they will fix all of that up and then we've organised when the tenants will be moving in. Then we've organised when you'll be actually building and applying for the plans and we've organised what stage two could be in the backyard, building townhouses. All of that happened in a very, very short space of time in our connection this morning.

I'm thinking why did I not have this conversation with you earlier? Like months and months earlier. And that that really puts us back onto procrastination because I just kept putting it off and off and off because I had so many other things and I made so many excuses and I guess this is the reason why this is a perfect topic to talk about in Mindset Monday today because of the fact that I've done it. I'm pretty sure a lot of other people who are listening to this podcast have done the same thing as well. And I think this is why it's so important to have this conversation with yourself. You know, Jill today because you're helping me and coaching me through all this. How can we actually stop putting off things like challenging tasks like this and to stop procrastination and stop that fear of thinking it can't be done or something's blocking us. 

The other thing is too, sometimes we are too close to what we're doing obviously for pride or for fear of, or ego, to be able to do something about it. For me, with each one that I work with and including you, I put my coaches hat on when I’m having a session and then I'm looking at you as an overview and it's very, very clear to me where we’re going, what we're doing, how we're doing it. We even worked on the strategies of the best outcome for the building or office space or units or returns. We've talked about the best or considered the best way of getting tenants in there and what could be the opportunities and the benefits for them. So it's about brainstorming. It's about getting out of your own head and asking for help.

And you don't come to me and say you need help here, but straight away you said something to me about Portland, after we said hello this morning and it was virtually within the first minute, and I picked up on Portland. We haven't talked about Portland for a while or what’s happening down there or is it Campbelltown down there or is it Warrnambool down there or is it further and closer in or is it Port Fairy. Wherever your property is over the area of Victoria or New South Wales or Queensland, we need to focus on what's happening in that area. What do we need to do in that area? You know, what's happening in the Geelong area in Victoria and we need to go in and find out, get specifics. What's the market doing, where are we going? We've got to help and support ourselves by educating ourselves with the end result of what we're looking for. You've done this with your area of focus with your properties. You know the rental returns. Do you know the rental returns with a value-added property where you're going to do a renovation, you know, all of that? You went into all of that before you signed on the dotted line of the contract with a very in detail feasibility. We've talked about it at that time with the potential.

how to stop procrastination

I knew all that. I had all the knowledge. I even have all the experience understanding this because I've worked in the areas of that kind of thing, but I guess that blockage and I think one thing that came up quite constantly in the back of my mind and even raised it up without even me having to say is that I have a fear of spending money to make money. And I kept putting that off because the challenge that I faced was I was waiting for someone to go down there with me who already had access to transportation to get down there and I just kept waiting and waiting and waiting because I didn't want to go and spend that time and money myself to go down instead. Because I know that to actually fly from where I am right now in Sydney, all the way down to regional Victoria, it's going to be at least a day's worth of travel and you know it's going to take a whole day worth. But also, it's going to cost money to do that and then I have to figure out, you know, a combination and all that kind of stuff. So I kept putting that off and putting it off and the cost of that has been seven months of no income from a rental and looking back at it, it's just a silly thing to do.

This is a typical one that we're talking about. You had been concentrating fully on the problem instead of automatically shifting to a solution mindset. And my thoughts as you were just mentioning about that, you could ring up five handyman builders that are advertised down there and interview them because the first person that you get to, it's not a [inaudible], but they actually will be getting the job from you.

And as I said to you this morning, you've got to be really upfront and ask some really cutting questions of the new agents that you're going to be working with. The one that you've got at the moment, if they don't cut it, give them four weeks to find tenants or otherwise you’re moving onto another one, but let them know what's happening in a nice way. We're not coming over as a bully. We're coming from integrity, but this is business that's hurting your pocket.

You need to be able to make the tough decisions if people are not providing the best service and it is impacting on your own pocket.

I had another client yesterday that had been working with an agent and the agent has been procrastinating on selling the property. The agent has not been putting a property amount in for selling it. Now if I see a property of no amount in there and you'd look for, ring up and we will discuss, you know, what the amount will be, that's too hard for me. I don't go near it all. I want to know when I look at an advertisement or whatever, what price range am I talking about? Time is money to get going, to not put a price there and price on application on an everyday property that's worth $300,000 is absolutely ridiculous.

how to stop procrastination

We're not talking about a $3.5 million property. We're talking about a $300,000 property. And so this agent has cost money and holding costs, but also his procrastination of, “I’m gonna, gonna, gonna,” and nothing happens. Anyway for various reasons, because the deal has taken so long he eventually got a buyer on board, but it was at a very discounted price because he kept on telling my client, who was the owner, that this was what he should accept. So they accepted that amount and because it's gone over the three extension times because of the holdup for various other reasons, which aren't my client’s happenings or doing, it's now that the people who are buying these properties are pulling out. So when I heard that I was absolutely ecstatic. They can get a higher price with an agent that can sell it in five minutes.

The demand for that property, the vacant site and the house, the market for those properties are far higher now than what it was when it was signed at the wholesale price all that time back. I could never have heard better news on that day. And so going to a new agent, what always looks like doom and gloom, there was an interesting saying last night. And someone said, did you catch the wrong train but did you end up at the right destination? And I thought, what a good summing up of a situation. Did you catch the wrong train but end up at the right destination?

Yes. In this case, just once again, caught the wrong train with the wrong agent that tried to sell it and all of this that cost them huge amounts of money but ended up in the right direction because it backfired on the agent. Now the agent turned around then and sent the most revolting text to my client last night because he pulled out and went to someone else and I said we’re following through. We're going to report him because there’s no need for you to put up with that from an agent. And this is a very, very small amount of agents. 99.99% of agents are absolutely fabulous. Like everything, there's one person that spoils it and this guy doesn't need to be in real estate. And so we'll follow through on that one. But it's a good outcome. So it's all about not having a voice to change things at times, or working on a solution mindset rather than a problem mindset because all of these months with your property, I hadn't heard about it for various reasons. 

We learn about an interesting relationship between a particular personality trait and procrastination, and the role that fears and successes play as well. 

The thing is with procrastination, it can come through a fear of failure for whatever reason. It could even be a success. You might be fearful of success because success will take you to more notoriety. More people will want a part of you and you might be a shy person or not have the confidence. Fear can come through rejection, it can come through losing money on a deal previously. It can be all shapes, sizes, and you know, often people who procrastinate haven't got a good relationship with time either. That's an interesting one. And I've heard it said by a guru that those that procrastinate don't have a good relationship with time because they don't respect time. And I think that's a good way of putting it because time can be the opponent that's wanting to out with them and with a procrastinator, they’re always trying to do better. There's got to be a better outcome, I’ve got to do better. A lot of very analytical people are quite often procrastinators, they go hand in hand as a personality. And this is where we've got to draw the line and say, what's the pattern that I'm doing here?

Is it working for me? Is it giving me good bang for my buck for my time? And it's not. Those that are listening, for each of you that are listening to me right now. What are you putting off that you should have done last week? Now I know if this is me, I'll put off my Tax, getting my tax done. I'll put it off and off and off till I have to do it. When I get into it, I love it. Because I love the numbers and it flows. It's not even hard work for me.

McIntyre delves into the mindset behind what can be blocking us from getting on with finishing our intentions.

And I was proud of myself last year because I got it all done before Christmas and it didn't have to be lodged until April. I was excited about that one but I'm dragging my heels this year I must admit. But I know when I get it out that I've got to devote time and it's all out on my table because I get anything out, you know, a docket for an online stock and things there. And yes, I've got to devote a section to it.

But I know that next month with it being March next month, I'll know in my intentions, it will be in my monthly intention to complete my tax with a smile on my face. So it's about me. It hasn't been in my thinking and on my agenda because I've had other things that I'm doing that I want to get finished this month. So I still feel comfortable. I still don’t have to have it in by April or something. The end of March, whatever it is I'll be told by the accountant. But nevertheless, it is just one of those things that I [inaudible]. There’s no pressure on me to do it. So why bother doing it now?

When you don’t have the urgency behind you to complete what needs to be completed, that is when procrastination can start to creep in.

Once again, I just had a client and working with her, and she's doing some fabulous, really big deals. But she even said to me in our session this week, she leaves so much of what she's doing until the eleventh hour and she loves working under pressure. And I can understand this. The best I work is when the pressure's on and I've got to really commit but it's not good for us and we don't need that pressure at the end to be working at the 11th hour. It's about planning a day in our week. As I said, my tax will be in my next month's intentions because that fits well.

We find out more about what exactly monthly intentions are and how they can help you to overcome and stop procrastination.

The intentions are like our goals. It could be short, medium, long term goals. I might do them in the December period for the next 12 months. My intentions, I do every month. I do it actually on a new moon every month. Because a new moon is the beginning of a new stage. So I feel very much that it wipes the last month off and then I move forward and I know in a previous podcast I've gone through how to write it. How to write a goal, how to write an intention. It must always be in the now as if I’ve actually achieved that outcome. So I would write it, today is a month on from when we’re going to be doing it. And I can’t get the grin off my face, the content that I feel because my tax is already in and sent to the accountant. To get that off my plate gives me such an enlightened feeling of freedom. Plus the outcome that I know where I am on a taxable basis to be submitting it to my accountant to work on.

It’s crucial that you are setting out your intentions or goals as it creates a deadline for when they need to be met and decreases the chances of procrastinating. 

With my intentions that I do monthly, they really keep in the forefront of my mind, what I need to have accomplished over my month. And I'm writing a product at the moment and I'm getting myself in my intentions this month that I had to finish chapter number five and number six. I’ve got another couple of weeks before I do my intentions again and I will finish chapter number six this week. It pushes me and it gives me the drive and the motivation to get going. And in fact, I will be writing chapter number seven. And I'm pretty excited about that before I even get there.

So it's my motivation. I put it in the diary, went off, finished what my plan is, what I'm doing for the day. I work very much in a now thinking, that if my goal is to say complete chapters, I'm doing it that what have I got to do today to make an extra move on with that writing with the chapter. What have I got to do? How far have I got to go? Who do I need to bring in? What thoughts do I need to bring in that are going to help and support me? It becomes my game plan for the day to fit in around what I'm doing.

And at the same stage, I'm very big on timelines like you and I have talked about with your property. I'm very big on timelines because these timelines make us work to a deadline. If we don't have timelines we haven't got a plan to work with and yes, well maybe I'd like it finished by the end of next week. That's too fluffy for me. You can keep on moving the goalposts with that type of communication within your own head. Well, it's raining outside today, so yes, it's too cold today, cut the excuses. If you've got a deadline if you've got a timeline, if you've got an intention to step up and meet it, and you'll be surprised how it works because you are committed because you’ve made a promise to yourself.

But you've got to believe in that promise to yourself and you've got to value you're on word to stick to it. And I would be the first to say, there's plenty of humps in the road, plenty of ups and downs. Life gets in the way for all of us. None of us is unique, and in fact, life would get pretty boring if we didn't have some humps in the road. I look at my humps in the road as being challenges. If I have got something happening with my children, my grandchildren, with whatever's happening around me for whatever reason, and there's been some pretty major stuff once again, this last couple of months. Compartmentalise it. Work on today what you need to be working on, but utilise your diary, utilise your daily planner, still fit in what you need to fit in, but also with accomplishing and growing at the same time.

I think that's really, really powerful to talk about it from that point of view because it's very easy to make up excuses and not commit to it. But once you actually have a set timeframe, which you've made for me for the 7th of March, I know that now I have to, my brain is already starting to think, okay, how can I get the tradespeople in by then? How can I actually get the agents to sort this out and so forth? It makes you think much faster and also make sure that you meet that deadline.

Also, you know that I'm going to be calling you on a certain date to check in on you. That's not very far down the track. In fact, it's about, what is it, two and a half weeks away from now. And I want the roof done, I want the carpenter done and I want the place rented. And you know that I'm keeping you accountable to that date and it's keeping you accountable. If you can't keep yourself accountable, you need an outside person that is going to keep you accountable. And all we’ve done today in our session is to brainstorm. But obviously my brainstorming is pretty action taking but not taking you way out of your comfort zone that you can't find your feet. We just need to take it a day at a time and work on specifics and hone down further and get an outcome happening.

Having a coach in your corner like McIntyre can be extremely useful in keeping you accountable and constantly moving you forward rather than staying stagnant and procrastinating. 

It's not the only property that we're talking about, it's having a business mindset that helps us in our personal life because I do timelines and things like that, what I need to do. Even from a personal side of things, what I need to do for my children and my grandchildren, deadlines that have to happen for them, that I have to work into what I'm doing. Which I do with such a pleasurable balance because I need balance in my life. I'm pretty work-oriented because I'm passionate and love what I do. I love my property side, I love my coaching side, but I also realise that for me, I need that balance in my life for family, friends, things like that. So on the family side and the friend's side and the lunch side and the coffee side where I'm going after we finish recording.

That's equally as important as what my property side and my business side is. But I'm able to do this because I've got a business mindset of clarity and bringing in and working under a timeline, under what I need to do daily. I don't just get up in the morning and start to write down what I need to do for the day. As you and I finish, I write what I need to do in the diary for when I need to ring you on that day. So everything is a work in motion. When I need to do A, when I need to do B when I need to do C. And automatically I just look at the diary the night before, what do I need to be ready for? What do I need to do? And it's thinking ahead that we’re not working at the eleventh hour and that we're not putting pressure on ourselves by doing it.

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