Procrastination is an enemy of small business owners, stealing both your time and money. It’s not a matter of laziness or a lack of ambition. Most owners are committed to hard work and very motivated.
Why People Procrastinate
While we all procrastinate at times, here are some common reasons and what you can do about it.
#1 – You feel overwhelmed. You have a never ending to-do list, take on too much and have difficulty prioritizing. Overwhelm often leads to inaction or maybe starting but never finishing tasks. In many cases, this is a result of poor organization and time management skills.
Fortunately, these skills can be learned and developed. Plus, the tools you need, including a to-do list and calendar, already exist. Check out 3 Habits to Help You Take Control of Time to learn more.
# 2 – You don’t like the task. When you perceive a task to be boring, time-consuming or difficult, you try to avoid it. It’s human nature. And since you are focused on the negative, such as it’s too hard, it’s really about attitude.
Solution. Change the focus to something more positive. For example, I will learn something new or it’s a good opportunity for the business. With a different attitude, you’ll find the motivation to get started. Taking the first step is often all you need.
#3 – You get distracted. Technology has increased this problem. Smartphones and social media have made it easy to access everything from videos and news to everyone — family, friends, staff, and customers.
The solution. Identify your most common distractions and ‘turn them off’. Put the phone away, turn off the notifications, shut your office door when you don’t want to be disturbed. Next, create a work environment that is pleasant and organized. Files, excess papers, and magazines can also cause distractions. Put them away or throw them out!
#4 – You sabotage yourself. Whether it’s fear of failure, perfectionism or staying within your comfort zone, your self-limiting beliefs hold you back. They prevent you from taking action, trying new things or finishing tasks until everything is perfect.
The solution. Recognize procrastination when it happens. Ask yourself, why are you procrastinating? Acknowledge your thinking and then look for the opposite of your thinking pattern. For example:
- If perfection is a problem, remind yourself that 80% today is far better than 100% next month. Good is good enough!
- If you feel overwhelmed, simplify complex tasks into smaller ones that you can tackle one piece at a time.
Additional Ways To Get More Done
- Share your goals and deadlines. Tell at least one other person so they can lend support, help you stick with it and hold you accountable. Find an accountability partner.
- Celebrate and reward yourself. When you finish or accomplish things, especially those pesky tasks you’ve been putting off, reward yourself. Then check it off the to-do list – it feels great!
- Plan some me-time in your day. Staying focused on the tasks at hand is easier when you have something to look forward to – your reward for being productive. So schedule some time to do at least one thing you enjoy every day – from exercise to video games.
Remember, procrastination is simply a habit you form – and it often creates more stress. You can change any habit by recognizing the cause, changing the behaviors and taking action! Try some of these tips to help you get more done each and every day.
Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?
Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com