At some point during our week, we will face doing an activity that we’d rather avoid. Could be making a prospecting call, doing a performance review, having a conversation with a difficult client or role playing.
To escape task avoidance, our clients use tactical journaling to clear their head trash and prompt them to act.
Tactical journaling starts with a blank piece of paper. Our clients typically use a 3x3” sticky note. On that piece of paper write down the 1-6 negative messages about that activity. If the activity is a conversation with a difficult client some of those negative messages might be, “they’re going to fire me,” or “I have agree to all of their demands.”
There will be at least one negative message otherwise there’s no need to do the exercise. Our experience is that beyond six negative messages we’re probably “majoring in the minor,” writing down negative messages that are mini versions of larger themes. Stick to themes only.
If we only do that part of tactical journaling, we’ll feel better, but the exercise isn’t complete.
Next, take another blank piece of paper the same size as the first. This is why our clients tend to use sticky notes.
On the second piece of paper rebut every negative message from the first part of the exercise with a positive message. Using the examples above that might be, “my client is seeking win-win outcomes,” or “I have the right to be treated as an equal in the conversation.”
Once we rebut every negative message with a positive message crumple up the piece of paper with the negative messages and throw it in recycling. Keep the positive messages with you, our clients often put the positive message sticky note on their computer screen while prospecting to keep motivated.
Attempting to address our negative messages about an activity in our head alone won’t work because our brain is wired to “protect” us. Putting our negative messages down on paper makes them real and gives us the chance to say, “did I really believe that?”
Task avoidance causes ripple effects that eventually prevent us from realizing our goals, but it’s normal to want to avoid certain tasks during our day. Use tactical journaling to keep pace towards reaching your goals.
Until next time… go sell something.