Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Turning Over A New Leaf with Kerul Kassel

Kerul Kassel is a coach. A procrastination coach who has helped thousands of people around the world deal with this, sometimes, destructive issue. She is CEO of New Leaf Systems. Get it? Turning over a new leaf? Stop procrastinating!

She is also a writer and the author of Stop Procrastinating Now. Her latest book, Productive Procrastination will be released later this year.

MC: Welcome Kerul. First off, I'd like to apologize that I'm so late with these questions! Guess I'm in desperate need of your guidance. I'm a first-class procrastinator. Were you? Is this why you decided to help others stop this destructive habit?

KK: I’ve certainly done my share of procrastinating, though I was raised by an “anticrastinator,” someone who is obsessed with getting things done right away, which is not always a good thing, and often annoys a lot of other people. Of course, procrastinating annoys other people, too, when they’re depending on you to follow through!

MC: If I were to ask for your help as a procrastinator, where would you begin?

KK: I’d ask you to tell me the three things you’re not doing that are bothering you most. Chances are that one or two of them you’re right to be putting off, based on my experience with hundreds of people’s procrastination issues. There are plenty of things that aren’t important or worthwhile enough to pursue. I call that Productive Procrastination. If we came across a destructive procrastination situation, I’d ask you how you’ve attempted to address it, then create some new strategies to help motivate and inspire you to follow through.

MC: I noticed that you offer "live" workshops, but also do a number of radio/Internet appearances. Which do you prefer?

KK: I like each of them for different reasons. Radio appearances are fun because radio hosts usually have snappy, upbeat personalities, and it’s a blast to interact with them. Live workshops allow me to help people in more depth and really connect with folks on an individual basis. The workshops are more time consuming, certainly, but I like variety. And it’s good to get out of my office, considering much of my work I do on the telephone.

MC: I was intrigued by one of your topics: Wanna be happy? Be selfish. I have a feeling I could benefit from this. Could you elaborate?

KK: Many of us, and most women, put aside our own needs, wants, and self-care to help others, often whether they need it or not! We’ve been taught that self-sacrifice is noble and good and being selfish is bad. I talk about being SELFISH (all capital letters, as an acronym) in a good way, paying attention to Self care, Eliminating tolerations, Letting go of what doesn’t serve, Fun, Integrity, Sustainability, and Healthy habits, rather than selfish in a small way (insensitive, irresponsible, greedy, or arrogant). We must take care of ourselves first so we have the energy and positive motivation to help others. If we don’t, we end up resenting others, getting burned out, and living for others instead of ourselves. We become a shell of who we could be, we set a poor example for our children, and we end up stressed, harried, and angry at ourselves. That’s not a happy way to live.

MC: We can get a great idea of the professional Kerul Kassel, but can you give us a snippet of your personal side?

KK: Gosh, where do I start? I have no human kids, but I do have 2 horses and 2 dogs (all girls), and I try to spend as much time with them as possible. I’m a nut for the environment, so much so that I just spent a huge wad of cash on a photovoltaic solar array to provide about 1/3 to ½ of my electricity usage; I’m such an energy miser that I’m sitting here in the dark typing. It’s a challenge to operate in the dark and I enjoy those kinds of little challenges. I got married later in life and my husband and I have been married for 15 years – he does the housework and I work. I’m pretty organized and productive, but I do have more than one pile of magazines I haven’t gotten to read, and projects that have been waiting for me to complete them. All in good time.

MC: And, finally, can you tell your readers and fans something funny about you that they may not know?

KK: Oh, God! You’re asking me for something funny?! My sense of humor has just completely left the room. Can I answer that one tomorrow?

Kerul Kassel's New Leaf website:
Stop Procrastinating Now is also available at

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