Let’s be real, most people procrastinate at one point or another. Some people, like me believe it or not, make an Olympic Sport out of procrastination. I would win the goal medal for the US in this field (and proudly accept it but then procrastinate in giving my acceptance speech). If you’re like me and fall into the category of “black belt procrastinator,” then it’s time to fix it. You see, you could read everything I’m putting out about reaching your goals, you can have on going goal-setting consultations with me, but unless you learn not to put off your to-do tasks, then you’re going to waste a ton of time and get nothing done. (or stress yourself out trying to get everything done at the last minute and still miss out on the major hitters.)
Psychologists say when someone procrastinates, it’s because we are trying to put off unpleasant tasks because we are uncomfortable about something. While that may be true, I believe that’s more of a simplification of the real reason. We procrastinate on things that are hard, things that are easy, and things that are things just because we procrastinate. In this world that we live in, there are so many other things we could be doing – checking email, social media, running behind kids, tv, meetings, and so much more. The constant activity that we face today leads us to look for any reason to put off what needs to be done.
There are more reasons for procrastinating that you may have a more difficult time controlling; you may suffer from anxiety, lack of self-confidence, or a medical issue. Although it may entail a bit more work, the avoidance still needs to be fixed. The funny thing is, getting rid of this issue might be even more reason for procrastination. In these cases, you will have to dig deeper (or get help) so that it’s not part of the reason for procrastination.
Fixing the issue of procrastination is a habit that needs to be built over time; it’s not something that will happen overnight. It will take work and perseverance. You will constantly have to monitor yourself and push yourself when you notice procrastination becoming an issue.
Let’s begin looking at ways to overcome this issue and we’ll start with the easiest one first. It’s so simple that it’s going to sound silly, but I want you to keep an open mind and give it a try. What you will need to do is practice mind over matter. When you say, for instance, “I need to start planning out and writing my 90-day goals,” and something else that you’d rather be doing pops into your head, remind yourself that you’re not going to procrastinate right now. Is it really that simple Ky? YUP! You’re going to procrastinate on procrastination – it’s not that hard; we’re already good at it right?
Try that step first, and here are a few others:
- One of the best things you can do for yourself is to train your brain. You’re already a pro at procrastination, so do the opposite and become very good at getting everything done on time. In the morning, as soon as you wake up, think of the hardest, most unpleasant task you need to do and just do it (Nike). You’ll end up feeling accomplished and energized. Believe it or not, you’ll actually get more done! Training your brain to react to getting things done right away will set you on the path to success.
- If the method above is just too hard for you to even try (which this shouldn’t be in your vocabulary anyway as a business owner), then try this method instead: Wake up, pick a task to do and do it for at least 3-5 minutes. Need to make calls to book clients? Then pick up the phone and get it done in those 3-5 minutes. Once you’re done, reward yourself with a hot cup of coffee and do another round of 3-5 minute phone calls. Afterwards, take a long, hot shower and then – you guessed it – do another round of 3-5 minutes. The next day, plan for 5-10 minutes of doing your calls or whatever task you picked. This is the preferred method I give my clients to do so that they do not feel overwhelmed when trying to get rid of a bad habit. Say your goal is to stop procrastinating on your writing. Just use this method and in no time, you’ll have the first draft of your book completed. In some Facebook Kindle writing groups, they call this method, “sprinting.” They write out words for 20 minutes straight, then have a reward and begin writing again. To gain accountability, they tell each other in the group that they are in the sprint and going as fast as they can.
- Your mind can make anything seem bigger than it actually is. Have you thought of a new business idea, but then the more you think about it the more overwhelmed you become. You start wondering if you’ll get clients using this idea, what you would have to do to market it, and how much money you’ll have to put into it before it makes you money. Suddenly the notes you took on your idea seems like a novel! You then think that the best idea is to get on Pinterest and look up other businesses who do the same thing. Two hours later you have 10 new recipes to try, remembered that you used to knit when you were 5, and just made a new goal to lose 15 lbs. After reading this post, you’re going to stop blowing tasks up into mythical proportions and instead take it one step at a time and get it done. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
About Ky Toure – Post’s Author
My name is Ky Toure and I’m the owner of KayCee Enterprises and the founder of KayCee’s Business Institute. My main focus is to help business owners succeed through positive mindsets, time-management and organization using project management techniques.