Procrastination is a challenge for many entrepreneurs.
Many people I speak to are looking at how to stop procrastinating.
In your business, do you sometime feel stuck and can’t stay engaged, focused and excited with what you’re working on?
Are you looking for ways to overcome procrastination and get clarity on the best use of your time?
You try to move forward but you can’t seem to motivate yourself to take action, procrastination sets in. Does this sound familiar?
This happens to most entrepreneurs at some point.
It is a paralysing trap that can affect us both mentally and physically.
Having coached many entrepreneurs and leaders I’ve found the quickest method to stop procrastinating is to go under the bonnet.
To gain clarity on the roadblocks that are stopping people moving forward.
There are many reasons that procrastination rears its head.
In this brief guide on procrastination, I share the best 7 ways to get unstuck and stop procrastination.
If you take action on just one of these tips you can move projects forward much quicker.
1. Stop Chasing an Impossible Ideal
When we set goals for ourselves and our business we build a picture of what our ideal future looks like.
Once we have this vision, we set goals and actions to help get us there.
Two things then come into play.
We set up ideals that are often so far ahead from where we are right now that the ideal feel impossible to achieve.
This future ideal has been set up without really thinking about them, without really being engaged and inspired by getting to this ideal.
There is no preparation.
No thinking about what might need to happen to reach this ideal.
We then get stuck, start procrastinating and sometimes avoid even trying.
Our ideal gets further and further away from where we currently are.
Let me explain.
If you are always measuring your progress against achieving your ideal you’ll never be happy.
Your ideal will always be in front of you – which will cause you to stop and not make any forward progress.
This can be rectified by a simple mindset shift.
Start measuring your progress from the present day back to where you started from rather than measuring forward.
When you measure backwards you’ll see how much progress you’ve actually made.
This process can help stop procrastination and can increase your confidence and your capability to reach for bigger and bigger goals.
Rather than being self-critical, you’ll feel happier with the progress you’ve made.
You’ll feel more energised to set new goals to reach towards rather than constantly chasing some ideal in the future.
2. Stop Thinking That Nothing is Ever Good Enough
Perfectionism and Always Comparing can create instant paralysis and procrastination in your business.
When you spend a lot of time across social media you are bound to be inundated with stories and images of how peers and friends are ‘succeeding’
They may have more friends, connections, money, followers than you.
Peers, influencers or friends be reporting making more money or doing this or that, which can naturally cause you to compare their circumstances with yours. You start procrastinating.
The thing is, you have no idea what’s happening ‘back stage’.
You don’t know about their life or the real performance of their business.
To overcome procrastination don’t compare. Stay on your own path.
Celebrate every success you have and step back and express gratitude for what you’ve achieved once in a while.
3. Set Specific Measurable Goals
When you don’t have clarity around your future direction and have specific, measurable goals to work towards you are far more liable to procrastinate.
You won’t know what to do next, what path to follow, can leave you feeling confused, stuck and powerless which creates procrastination.
To stop procrastination, set out ambitious but realistic goals that include your objectives and some concrete ways to reach them.
I work with my clients on 3 Year and 90 Days Goals.
If you want tips on goal setting, here are 8 ways highly successful people set and achieve their goals
This gives them clarity and something specific to work towards, creates focus, builds confidence and increases capability.
When you have no clear destination, don’t be surprised if you can’t seem to build any momentum.
To get started, set 5 specific, measurable goals you want to achieve in the next 90 Days.
4. Identify Your Bigger Purpose
Motivation and confidence matter. There are plenty of ways to increase your productivity. Here are a few examples of how you can do it:
When you’re not clear why you’re doing what you’re doing – what your purpose is, than it can be very easy to get stuck.
If you don’t have clarity about what you’re trying to achieve and understand the difference it will make in your life, and the reason for doing it, motivation and confidence can grow.
Emotional engagement will motivate you to take the next step towards achieving your goals.
When you get stuck, step back and ask yourself, “Why do I want to reach this goal again?” and write down your reasons.
Whatever your key motivations, when you find yourself dragging your feet, stop to remind yourself why you wanted to do this in the first place.
Reconnecting with your purpose will always help you stop procrastinating.
5. Get Clarity on Your Action Steps
Goals can be big things that are going to take a lot of time and effort over time to accomplish.
People can get stuck focusing on the enormity of it. To get to your goals, focus instead on the steps that you’ll need to take to get there.
To stop procrastinating, set only 5 goals to achieve in the next 90 Days.
Explore the dangers that will stop you reaching your goals.
Look at the opportunities that are in front of you and the strengths you currently have that can be maximised.
Cut your bigger goals into enough projects and action steps that feel achievable to eliminate the fear you may feel just getting started.
6. Cut Back Your Task List
When you only have a small number of goals to work towards, this will automatically reduce the number of tasks you have to work on.
If left unchecked, the whirlwind of activity in your mind and life will constantly distract you from reaching your goals, and create procrastination.
This creates more and more complexity which means it harder to get clarity on your next step
The key is to simplify, and then simplify some more.
Focus on your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) each day.
Choose three and only three, you have to filter your tasks and eliminate, automate, or delegate everything that is outside your most important tasks.
You can have a small list of non-essential tasks that can be handled at the beginning or the end of the workday or worked on together.
7. Build In More Accountability
When you feel confused, isolated or powerless it can be difficult to have clarity on where you should spend your time and what you should do next.
Accountability is essential for goal success and to help you stop procrastinating.
This accountability comes in a number of forms – peer group, fiends, accountability partner, mastermind group, mentor or coach.
The bottom line is you need someone who will hold you accountable without succumbing any excuses.
Their purpose can be as a sounding board, to push you and motivate you, to remind you of the road you set out on, and why getting over the finish line will be worth it.
What’s one area in which you’ve been procrastinating lately?
About The Author
Mark Pettit helps successful entrepreneurs free up their time so they can achieve bigger goals faster, do more of what they love and expand their freedom.
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