Wait Problem

Vintage Desk Phone

(Previous posts in this series are “On A Different Wavelength,” “But At Least I Still Have My Shirt,” and “Poor Taste.”)

I have Pat Bryson to thank—or curse—for this week’s story. Pat is one of the leading broadcast sales consultants in the country, and her book High-Dollar Broadcast Sales is one of those found in the bookcases of successful radio salespeople across the country.

Last week, in the midst of working through a period of prolonged frustration, I came upon an article by Pat that upset everything.

Tag, You’re It

Playing telephone tag with station managers and program directors had taken its toll on me. The fewer conversations I had, the more frustrated I’d become. It was easier to not make a call than it was to dial another number. Hearing a distant voice ask, “Would you like his voicemail,” made me grit my teeth. If there were ever a situation ripe for procrastination, this was it.

And I had just the way to do it.

The Grass is Always Greener Anywhere Else

In between frustrating phone calls I had been researching a blog article and happened to interview a gentleman who worked for a cereal company. After our conversation, I realized I could spin off a version of my radio feature tailored for his company’s product.

Hold the phone. Literally. How could I go on making calls when there were now a dozen new decisions to make?

Before I could pitch this idea, I would have to learn enough about the company and its market to create a proposal.

An effective proposal includes many moving parts: executive summaries, goals, objectives, supporting data, a few pictures, and one or two items that are totally beyond the proposal’s scope but would be fun to learn about.

Within the hour I’d concluded that throwing myself into this new idea would assuage nearly all the guilt I felt about going off on a tangent. (Note to Amateur Procrastinators: Putting guilt on hold is what separates the adults from the kids.)

Uh, Oh—Somebody Mowed the Grass

I was deep into the proposal (by which I mean I had corralled two yellow pads and a half-dozen number 2 pencils in preparation for taking notes and drafting a few key sections) for nearly 24 hours. That’s when, in a brief moment of procrastination over the proposal, I came across Pat Bryson’s article, in which she attacked—what else—procrastination.

Here’s her list of the common rationalizations used to justify procrastination:

  • I don’t have time now;
  • the task is difficult;
  • the task is unpleasant;
  • I don’t see why the task is so important;
  • it isn’t due for a while;
  • I don’t have clear or written goals;
  • I’m not organized;
  • I have too many interruptions;
  • I’m overwhelmed;
  • I have too many tasks to choose from.

Looking back over the last week I had a perfect score. (An A—mother would have been so proud.)

Today, I’m back on track (thank you, Pat). The cereal company pitch is important. It could jump start my original idea and provide me with an income to fund it. But it’s an adjunct to my original feature, not a substitute for it, and I have to know its place.

So, this week, it’s five contacts with five station managers and/or program directors to move the original feature along. And five more the week after that.

There. It’s in print. I’m expecting you to hold me to it. But if you can’t do that right away, don’t worry.

I’ll wait.


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Photo: mitchschlater00/Pixabay (Rights: Public Domain)

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2 Responses

  1. Pat Bryson says:

    Thank you for your kind words. Glad my newsletter helped. Always nice to know the ideas shared are read and meaningful.

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