Most people know about procrastination. It can especially be a problem when you are doing things you have never done before. Embracing uncertainty and stepping out where it is easy to fail sounds exciting when you first get the creative idea but in the midst of implementation it can all seem too hard and it is so so easy to find reasons to hold off, slow down, wait until tomorrow, wait until it feels right, etc.
- Fears – it is amazing how the fear of getting it wrong, of not being good enough, of people rejecting me, or variations on these fears can paralyse us, so we sabotage ourselves before we even get started.
- Lack of knowledge – not knowing where to start in an overall sense or with a new project that seems daunting. The unknown is always somewhat daunting.
- Unclear priorities – Even when you have started to gain some knowledge it is easy to get overwhelmed when you have too many things all coming at you at once. We, like the lion, will be tamed into passivity if we focus on too many things at once.
- Poor self-management – Even when you know your stuff, have some experience and a clear plan all laid out and working, if you do not look after yourself emotionally as well as physically, you can experience a drop in energy levels and motivation that makes everything seem very hard – so you procrastinate and often do not know why.
- Feeling very alone – The fog of procrastination can become totally overwhelming when you feel alone in a new venture.
- A recent failure – can knock the stuffing out of you so it is difficult to get going again because the wounds are still raw. Fear of failure can be debilitating. (See 1. above)
- Add your own here_______________________________________________
10 Procrastination Busters:
- Action, Action, Action! Nothing breaks the paralysis of procrastination like lots of action steps. I find as long as I am taking some kind of action every day, no matter how small, it keeps me moving, and I resist the feeling of being stuck which procrastination creates.
- Identify and admit your fears. Everyone has fears. In fact everyone faces the same 3 fears with various degrees of intensity – of not being enough, not being loved and not belonging. So the key is to identify and name your fear. Take control of it by naming it and get ready to take action anyway.
- Get educated! The best way to become empowered, as long as it is not just theoretical training. Be careful to learn from people who have actually done what you want to do. Learning should always lead to action.
- Get focused! Know what it is you really want. It is so important to begin with the end in mind. When you know what you want (or where you are headed) it is easier to focus and priorities are easier to set. Always, and of everything, ask how does this help me to achieve my goal?
- Get organised! There are all kinds of systems available. You may prefer to work with lists, with schedules, with a paper diary, with Outlook diary, with your iPhone organiser, with a secretary or EA or VA. You have to find a way to get organised that works for you. If you know what you want, and have your priorities reasonably clear getting organised is just a matter of self-discipline.
- Look after yourself –
- Physically (diet, exercise and sleep),
- Emotionally (do something you love that is not work at least once a week),
- Relationally (prioritise time with family and friends) and
- Spiritually (make sure your work is somehow connected to purpose and your personal values).
- Get inspired! Listen to motivational stories; read motivational material; go out of your way to mix with people who understand your entrepreneurial journey and who will inspire you to go for it. Force yourself to get out and see people regularly especially when you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Connect with a Mentor – Find someone who has done what you want to do or something similar and buy them lunch and ask them 100 questions. They are often more willing to spend time with you than you are to ask.
- Hire a Coach – If you are serious about becoming successful hire a coach to assist you who will help you keep perspective in the midst of the confusion of busyness and hold you accountable to action.
- Have a huge reason WHY! It may be your lifestyle, it may be your children, a bigger house or to serve the poor. Focus on your WHY every day and you will be amazed how much easier it is to bust through procrastination.
Do yourself a favour and keep this list nearby so you can identify early where your procrastination comes from and quickly find the key to bust through the inertia and to continue to take action to achieve your goals.
Have I about covered it?
Anything to add?
What helps you bust through procrastination?
I’d love to hear from you.
I was going to read this earlier but didn't get around to it. 🙂
Maybe another one is taking on too much and loosing focus? What has your focus tends get the action. Even if that is fear. The fear will be what you act on rather than what you want.
Hi Neville, absolutely taking on too much and losing focus leads to feelings of overhwelm which usually lead to procrastination. Funny how often we need to relearn this lesson.