What comes of procrastination… hurried work, mistakes, stress, and missed deadlines. It’s a wonder why anyone would put off what can be done right away. Yet, who doesn’t let projects slide (especially ones we don’t like doing!)?
In business, there’s always something going on. Business doesn’t stay still and you can’t either if you want it to grow and stay competitive. Ideas come to mind and new projects develop as a result.
If you’re procrastinating on a project right now, think of it in very specific and concrete terms to inspire you to complete it sooner. One way is to break it down.
Example: Let’s say you want to start writing articles or blog posts to share with your audience or potential clients to build your brand. Start off by making a step-by-step list to follow:
- Make a decision (topic, main points, goal)
- Write an outline
- Get input, do research
- Write a first draft
- Review it with others
- Proofread and edit
- Submit for publishing
Breaking your project up into small, manageable parts makes you aware of the time you need and chunking time in your calendar to work on it. It’s no longer a project lurking, but rather one you’ve committed to complete.
You’ll quickly find out it gets the ball rolling and that once large task immediately becomes more doable. Start with something small and then move on to the next step.
6 Habits to Break
1. Eating an Elephant in One Bite
Don’t try to figure everything out all at once—resist the temptation. If you get started on small chunks of the project, you’ll have plenty of time and energy to analyze it afterwards.
2. Harboring Negative Feelings
Self-doubt, resentments, and insecurities are typical, but don’t let these feelings interfere with your goal. Focus on getting some aspect of the project done. Before you know it, you’ll find the negative feelings you once felt naturally take a back seat.
3. Making the Clock & Calendar Your Enemy
Don’t pressure yourself by thinking about how little time is left. When you start breaking your project down into small steps, you’ll discover how much time is realistically required. Rather than panicking at the thought that you only have a week to complete it, by breaking it down you may find out it’s merely a two or three-hour job.
4. Stressing Out
There are a number of ways one can deal with stress: deep breathing, visualization, exercise, meditation, humor, and music. After you’ve completed a part of your project, reward yourself by doing some of these activities.
5. Being Distracted
Turn off all music, TV, cell phones, computer (to avoid checking emails, going online, etc.). The objective is to become narrowly focused on completing your goal, so avoid letting anything interfere or slow you down.
6. Making Excuses
The mind is amazingly clever and it can sabotage what you really want. If you find yourself coming up with good reasons to procrastinate, remember that good reasons make for good excuses. BUT they’re still excuses and will stop you from doing what’s needed and what’s important.
For example, saying “I’m not in the mood for this” can be reframed as, “I’m not in the mood, but if I start with one small part, I’ll get inspired.”
Think about the payoffs—what are they?
If completing a project means it will take your business to the next level, free up time, or put you in a position to spend more time doing things that really matter to you, why put it off? What’s required here is being totally honest with yourself.
You may not like it or agree with it, but if what you’re procrastinating on is something you know has to be done, then commit to following through; get past it so you can move on to other, more rewarding things. Procrastinating will only drag out the pain.
Focus & Concentrate
As business owners, we deal with LOTS of distractions every day and you may think you can effectively tackle more than one thing at a time, but can you? Multi-tasking is virtually impossible.
Practicing self-discipline will dramatically improve your focus and concentration. It’s a matter of taking control. Make procrastination a thing of the past.
Did you find this article helpful? There’s more where that came from—here’s more!