Is that too strong a statement? I think I’m mostly talking to myself here but feel free to read through.
Look, you’re going to have some things you might not want to do or you’ve been putting off and it just has to get done. It’s part of running your own business. Even the most well organized people will procrastinate from time to time. Here are some top tips to help you to stop procrastinating and manage your time more effectively.
Stop Worrying About Failure
Easy to say, right? One of the most common reasons we procrastinate is fear. We’re afraid of making mistakes or failing. If you’ve been at this for a while, every time you struggle a little you get that “here we go again” type feeling. You might even want to give up instead of pushing through. Sometimes, you may even be afraid of being successful! What would that mean to your family or what kinds of new stress will that create in your life. Maybe you even feel like you don’t deserve it. This self-defeating attitude can become defeating for you and keep you from achieving your goals.
Make To-Do Lists
I create to-do lists and notes to myself to track everything. See my post on “6 Hacks to Get Organized” if you need some help here. Then, put reasonable dates with each item. Just make sure that the dates are not too aggressive. Otherwise, you’re going to constantly feel like you’re failing (see previous point). We (and me) tend to underestimate how much time a task is going to take. If you put it further out, you get the feeling of accomplishment when it’s done early.
Break Down the Work
When you have a big project to get done, it can be intimidating or daunting to think about. When you have a project like that, break it down into manageable parts. I create a quick to-do list at the end of each day for the next day. It helps to clear my head of what needs to done so I can relax. Then I have a smaller list to think about later. I’ve even written down something I’ve done just so I can cross it off the list.
If there are some more difficult tasks that you’re not sure how to do, find someone on Fiverr to do it for you. Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself!
Recognize the Signs
I’m sure you know the feeling when some procrastination is coming. You find yourself thinking about other things, doing a quick check of your social media accounts or browsing the web in another tab. If you find those feelings coming on, put everything else away and maybe even find a different location to work for a bit. Then set a timer for 30 minutes and tell yourself you’re going to put your mind to the task until the timer goes off. After a few minutes, you’ll find yourself in a state of “flow” and you’ll make a dent in the task.
Once you’ve finished the task, reward yourself for the effort! Take a walk or a dip in the pool. Maybe even have a small treat. 🍦
Procrastination can be tough to get through. Realize you’re never going to avoid it completely and that’s ok. Learn to recognize it and try a few of these techniques to help out.
And Finally, A Confession…
I struggle with procrastination frequently and the techniques above have all been helpful to me over the years. However, in the online marketing area I’ve tried a number of different things on my own without much success.
I finally broke down and decided to get a coach to help me over my own hurdles. I’ve started a program with John Thornhill called “Partnership to Success”. He has a free report “Why You’ll Never Succeed Online” that caught my attention. If you do nothing else today, I highly recommend you download the report and take a few minutes to read it.
Watch this blog for the latest updates on my progress.