Do You Procrastinate but wish you didn’t? Below are 3 tips to help you understand and free yourself from shackles of procrastination while simultaneously improving relationships, business, and leadership.
Procrastination is the opposite of living a liberated and feels terrible! So why do people procrastinate anyway? Laziness? Lack of will power or drive? Forgetfulness?
Well you may have been blamed for these crimes, but they are very unlikely in most cases! There are three basic reasons for procrastination: disinterest, time stealers & fear. Contrary to popular belief, procrastination is RARELY due to laziness, lack of will power or forgetfulness. Let’s break it down…
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday!” Don Marquis
Grab a seat, as the following statement will come as a complete shock! WE DON’T DO WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO DO! Ha! Big surprise right? We naturally procrastinate with that which we don’t enjoy, don’t want to do or aren’t proficient.
Of course, owning a business, or any job for that matter, suggests that at times we’ll do things we don’t want to, that’s part of the gig. But you must keep those tasks to an absolute minimum, otherwise your overall level of inspiration and drive will decline rapidly. Ninety percent of our time must be spent doing what makes our heart sing!
Take Action! Hire out 80-90 percent of all tasks that lead you to procrastinate. Keep only the minute percent that you and only you can do. Note, it is far less than your inner control freak thinks! There are inexpensive resources for getting your dreaded, but important tasks complete. For example, hire a stay at home mom or college student who needs a few extra bucks to handle various tasks or a virtual assistant.
The best way to tackle the loathsome procrastination tasks only you can handle: SCHEDULE THME and DO THEM AS SOON AS YOU ROLL OUT OF BED or AS SOON AS YOU GET TO WORK. No email, FB or text chatting until complete! Do nothing else until what you don’t want to do is done. Add the element of playful pressure and tell your staff about your scheduled morning / day so they can tease you and give you the silent treatment until the undesirable tasks are complete. They will LOVE seeing your humanness and playing with you a bit. This practice will become an energy boost instead of energy drain, a mental and emotional relief, and a fantastic leadership initiative!
2) Time Stealers!
Confession time… what’s your go to drug of choice? Facebook? Email? Web surfing? Stock market? Texting or calling friends? Cleaning? Eating? Or something else? Whatever your drug(s) or choice are, it’s time to come clean! Time stealers are a fantastic way to avoid doing what you don’t want to do anyway!
“Email alone steals at least 100 minutes from your every work day…“
Take Action! Pull out a sheet of paper and jot down your top 5 Time Stealers?
Now, create systems remove each problem. Here are a couple examples:
1) turn your phone off for all but 2, 15-30 time blocks each day to make or return calls.
2) Remove your email icon from your desktop. Make it difficult to get to it so you’re not easily tempted.
3) Use a website blocker software so FB, (or other tempting sites) cannot be accessed from your laptop or work computer.
4) Disable text and email visibility and sound to avoid phone-related ADHD!
5) Have staff make appointments to see you so you can be focused and prepared, an open door policy is rarely a win-win. A nice idea, but poor time management.
What if all employees could be interrupted for an undetermined amount of time each day? Not a great biz strategy!
I literally spend 1-4 weeks with business owners and executives eliminating and systematizing time stealers when we begin coaching together! Time stealers are a challenge for everyone and must be addressed as they steal 2-6 hours from YOU and YOUR staff EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yuck!
People procrastinate when we stuck in fear. Fear of the unknown, of failing, of rejection, of incompetence, of disapproval, or even of success at times. Fear is a mega stumbling block to taking action. What a total drag! We let insecurity direct life far too often. It would be quite easy to tell you to, “suck it up and push through that fear!” If it were only that simple.
Take Action! I suggest a two-prong approach to blasting fear-based procrastination! First, get specific about the fears that block you. Often, just naming it allows the green-eyed monster to shrink enough to move forward. What seemed like a mountain, was actually just an ant hill disguised by ambiguity. It’s the AMBIGUITY or lack of clarity that stops us every time.
Secondly, think in terms of “one next step”. The key to busting fear-based procrastination is to simplify. If you need to get your oil changed, the only thing you can do FIRST is locate a place to have your oil changed. Once complete, there is still only 1 next step– calling to set and appointment, then driving there, and so on. ALL goals are a continuation of “one next step”. When we’re already afraid or overwhelmed, looking at the big picture becomes paralyzing. Keep it simple to make it big!
Cheers to liberated living!
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