It is so easy to get distracted, isn't it?
You are facing something in your business and you don't really want to do it"¦
Life is happening to you and you cannot seem to catch a break so you start avoiding the work that must be done to move forward.
You want the end result without the middle of the journey and frankly, you are just plain fed up of having to keep plodding along. Every entrepreneur gets here at one point or another as you wait for your business to take off.
And so you procrastinate and end up staying stuck, getting frustrated and beating yourself up for not doing the work. But all the beating up you give yourself does not seem to be making you move any further any quicker!
Enough of all that, it is time to step up as the warrior you really do want to be.
And here are five ways to do it.
1. Just begin
I know, I know, you want a strategy, a definite sure thing that you can hang your hat on and never have to procrastinate again but there is no such thing. You have to get off your butt and choose to do the work whether you feel like it or not. I mean, even reading this post is a form of procrastination but for me, it is one more way to get the message across to you that you just cannot afford to be someone who keeps delaying on your life.
You are so much better than this, surely?
You have dreams and you have a limited amount of time to make them happen. This is a fact. Your time is disappearing each moment you spend messing around. Surely, you are done with that?
Where could your life be if you just did not dither? What could you be doing now? All that wealth you dream about could already be yours if you just got to work, you know?
Be like a machine, a robot and just do the important work each day. There is too much at stake, the world needs you to wake up "“ Please just begin.
2. Maybe you should not just begin
Yes, I know it is all a little confusing. I just told you to begin and yet, you are still here and now I am telling you not to begin.
Well, as I say, you are still here so maybe, just maybe there is more to your procrastinating than meets the eye. Maybe, you are really scared of something"¦
What could it be? Are you scared you will succeed and no one in your life will like you anymore? Or maybe you are scared that you will give it your all and you will fail? Or maybe, just maybe, your insides are telling you that this thing you are delaying on is exactly what you really should not be doing?
It is time for you to look within. Do you journal? Well, this would be a great day to begin. Get a journal and ask yourself why you are not taking action in the way you think you should be? And let the answer actually flow out of you.
Do not judge it. Do not limit yourself. Let the answer flow out of you. It has always been there but for whatever reason, you have been avoiding the answer and trying to make yourself do something that your insides do not agree with. It is impossible to work against yourself for long and so now you find yourself procrastinating.
This point is all about you learning to trust yourself "“ Learning to listen to your innards and recognize that your inner wisdom is always trying to take you in the right direction for you but you do not always listen because you are so used to pushing through, charging on and beating yourself up when you don't achieve the thing you think you wanted.
Well, stop for a second and pay attention.
Reflect what's in your gut by writing it down. Once you've discovered what's really inside, then you can more purposefully make your next move.
3. What is the smallest thing?
No, you cannot stay in reflection mode forever. You have to make a move. Now, that you have spent some time getting clear on why you are procrastinating, it is time for you to decide on your next move.
And it can be as small as small can be but it must take you forward in some way. So ask yourself, "What is the smallest action I take right now to get me one step closer to my chosen result?"
Ask the question and listen for the answer.
Then move. Again, do not judge it; do not qualify it, just move. The best way to figure out if something will work is to do it and see the result. So, stop overthinking everything and start moving instead.
Yes, take time to remain clear as detailed in Step Two but ultimately, just do the smallest thing and then the next thing and then the next. It is incredible the big shifts you can make by taking small steps in the right direction.
4. Manage Your Energy
Most people choose to manage time and that can certainly be a great thing and yet, we all have the same amount of time in each day and get different amounts of things done.
Instead of managing time, can I encourage you to manage your energy.
What does that mean? One huge reason you may be procrastinating is because you are tired emotionally and/or physically. You have given and given and given of yourself to various other people's agendas, even to your own settled-for agenda and now you are out of energy to do the things that will get you the life, the business you really truly want.
We all have to manage our energy or else we find ourselves becoming ratty and procrastinating on the things we say we want.
How much aerobic exercise are you getting each day? I know you think you are too tired to do it and it may be another thing that you procrastinate about but this is the thing, a consistent 20 "“ 30 minutes of exercise split into 2-3 10 minute slots can be pretty energizing. And time away from your regular activities can be just the thing you need to reset your buttons and get you back in action.
What of your diet? How healthy is it? You may be at the right weight for you but is your body getting the right nutrients to keep it energized. This is something I struggle with but I see the difference in my energy levels after just a few days of eating better.
How much leisure time are you getting? You may think that all this procrastination is giving you too much time for leisure but are you really taking a break in that time or are you spending that procrastination time to worry about all the things you are not doing and so you end up not doing anything AND feeling more tired still.
Instead, consciously choose to take a break "“ a complete solid break where you deliberately choose not to work or to worry. Then when you come back from this break, you get straight back into action with renewed energy.
How purpose-driven are you? In my second point, I mentioned journaling and reflection, let me add that knowing your big "˜why' for doing things will strengthen you and stop you from procrastinating as well. When you feel spiritually attuned to what you are doing, then there is less of a reason to procrastinate. This too will make you feel a lot more energized.
5. Make a choice to limit distractions
We live in a world full of distracting influences.
In their rightful place, they are great for increasing productivity but when they are given too much of your energy and time, then they become a reason to dither and delay on doing the work.
I am particularly talking of digital distractions like social media and email. When running a business, these are essential tools to help your business grow. However, when you allow them to run your life unfettered, you find that your levels of procrastination increase as your energy levels reduce. They become a way to distract yourself from thinking through your desire to avoid the issues you are facing and ultimately, it keeps you from your rainbow's end.
Limit the time you spend on these tools deliberately.
Let's expand that to the people in your life "“ Are they helping or hindering? Do you find them disrespecting your need to do the work because you work at home? They think that as you are there then you must be available and interrupt you throughout the day. It might even become a welcome source of distraction when your energy is running low.
Again, it is time to get deliberate about your time and people's access to you. People will always treat you the way you allow them to treat you so get deliberate about it.