Confession time: I’m a procrastinator.
This blog is the cornerstone of my business. Every week I write to keep my business growing but I'm often stymied by inertia.
I begin my days with this work because I find it the hardest to do.
Still, somedays getting words typed onto a blank page can be like watching your kid suffer. EXCRUCIATING!
Many mornings I put it off because I’m crunched for time in the morning (despite my 5:30 am alarm). Other days, I have an idea that comes up while writing that I want to investigate further and lose myself to the research. Sometimes a sound outside my window will grab my attention and I will stare at nature instead of face my keyboard.
Regardless of how it hits, the result is fewer words on the page and minutes lost.
I bet procrastination hits you differently depending on the moment. Let’s look at a few common types and a quick fix.
Are you afraid to start because whatever you do will never be good enough? Pay close attention to all the minor details? Then this might be your jam.
Try this: When you are putting off something because it'll never be perfect, clarify your objective. Set a deadline to complete the task and work only to the level you have set for yourself.
Adopt the mantra: Done is better than perfect.
Do you enjoy making the plan more than executing it? You’re a dreamer, highly creative but have a hard time taking action. You are clear on where you want to be at the end but the trail to get there is unclear.
Try this: Break your big dream down into smaller action steps. Focus on only the very first step then move on to the next.
As an example, spring has arrived in Northern California, so you're ready to clean the house. Don't get overwhelmed by all those tasks on the list; focus on one room at a time.
If you believe it's better to do nothing than make a mistake, you are an avoider. Someone who does not want to take any risks because they are afraid of failure or judgment. This is common when you are trying something new.
Try this: Eat the Frog. Eat the Frog. You might think I'm crazy, but last week I mentioned this book by Brian Tracy. The main idea is that if you have a difficult task you must do, it’s best to do it first thing. You will spend less time worrying and avoiding it.
Still, avoiding it? Try breaking that big scary task into smaller to-dos (like mentioned above).
These are the people who always wait until the last minute. They get an adrenaline high by waiting until the deadline to get something done. I mentioned last week this may be an advantage if you lack the energy to do the dreaded task, but if the quality of your work is suffering it’s time for a change.
Try this: Use the Pomodoro method to create bursts of focused energy. Trying to beat the clock will still give you that adrenaline rush.
The Busy Bee
Their list is just sooo long they have no idea where to start. They can’t seem to prioritize where to get started. When your brain is confused on which way to go on a project, it’s so much easier to mindlessly scroll Instagram.
Try this: Simply start. Take action on the thing that’s easiest for you and the next step will become clear. Taking action banishes doubt and replaces it with self-confidence.
The Bored Stiff
Two words that rile any mama bear, but let's be real, we get bored too sometimes. Instead of whining about it, we procrastinate. It's way more fun to binge-watch Netflix. The good news is there are ways to make the mundane more fun (if you can’t delegate).
Try this: Involve others. The camaraderie will make the time fly.
Can’t rally the troops? Gamify the boring task. If engaging on social media is as exciting as watching paint dry, try seeing how many accounts you can reach in an hour. Tomorrow, try to beat your record.
If you are a purpose-driven mompreneur, figure out why what you are doing is important. If it’s not, time to hit delete.
The Negative Nelly
“I can never finish anything,” or “I’ll only fail if I try, so why bother” only serve to make us feel depressed and demoralized. Do these thoughts pop up in your head and lead you down the path to procrastination?
Try this: Challenge your inner critic. Is it really true that you can’t finish anything? By shining a spotlight on this negative self-talk you can gain the confidence to keep going.
Here we are at the end of another blog post.
I’ve set timers, made writing my first task each day, and will be hoping on LIVE to bring others into this conversation on procrastination. In the end, I’ve deployed all these strategies to get this to you.
Please share if you found it useful.
You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life. Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.