Are you a procrastinator? That’s not an attribute many of us want to have. In fact, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who takes pride in being a procrastinator.
Yet, this is a problem that probably most people deal with at least to some degree. It’s human nature to want to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Unfortunately, many of the tasks associated with your business are considered painful, whether you’re conscious of that or not.
For some people, this isn’t such a huge deal. Maybe they’ll procrastinate a little bit here or a little bit there, but overall it doesn’t affect their business too much.
Unfortunately, it’s a huge, huge problem for many people. Procrastination might be a huge problem for you. In fact, the very fact that you procrastinate so much might be the sole reason why you haven’t found the success in business yet that you want to have.
It’s time to eliminate procrastination from your daily life. I’m not going to say that you’ll be working at 100% capacity with 100% efficiency. I’ll never say that you’ll never procrastinate again. But I think you can make huge progress with this problem, almost immediately.
Understand What Procrastination Is
It’s really important to understand what procrastination actually is. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re just a bad person, a bad worker, worthless, and so on, because of it. These are descriptors that might pop into your head and drive you crazy. They’re always in the background, telling you how bad you are and how much of a procrastinator you are.
Those things aren’t true about you.
One of the main reasons why you might procrastinate could actually be perfectionism. Maybe you scoff at that idea… After all, why and how would a procrastinator be a perfectionist? Aren’t those in opposition?
Not at all. One of the reasons you procrastinate might be because you want to make sure everything is perfect, or it’s not worth doing. The fact that you know for sure that your work can never be perfect is enough to drive you crazy internally.
It might drive you so crazy that you find it worthless to even get started on your work. You know you can’t be perfect, so why try at all? Again, this is probably not something you’re conscious of. Let that marinate for a bit and see if it resonates with you at all.
Another reason you might procrastinate is because you have so much on your plate. It’s next to impossible to feel powerful over your work if you’re totally overwhelmed by it. If you have so much to do that you don’t even know where to get started, then your brain sort of short circuits and you procrastinate.
Yet another reason why you might procrastinate could be because the work you’re doing is not in line with your values and what you want to achieve. It’s very important to figure out what your goals are and what the path is that you want to take to achieve those goals.
Do some brainstorming and journaling about why you might be procrastinating. The answer is different for everyone, of course, but you may have seen yourself in some of the above paragraphs. I know I do.
How to Eliminate Procrastination
Again, you’re probably not going to be able to completely eliminate the procrastination problem right away. But, you can start to make huge, measurable changes right away.
Even starting to realize what could be causing your procrastination problem can be a huge help. It’s not because you’re a bad person or a bad worker or that you’re worthless. It’s because you want to make things perfect, you have too much to do, and you care too much. These are not bad traits… It’s just important to get ahold of these traits.
Let’s tackle perfectionism. If you’re procrastinating because you know that nothing can ever be perfect, give yourself permission to let that go. You know it can’t be perfect, but can it be good enough?
If you stop procrastinating on that book you’re supposed to write or that project you’re supposed to release, will it benefit people? It’s certainly not benefiting people sitting unfinished on your hard drive, that’s for sure.
So, it won’t be perfect and you can’t please everyone, but if people can really benefit from it, then you can start to let yourself let go of perfectionism. If you know that the things you’re working on can change your life and the lives of others, more importantly, then it will be easier to stop procrastinating and start getting to work.
What if you’re just totally overwhelmed by all the things you have to do? It can be really difficult. It’s time to eliminate some of those things.
I talk a lot about the 80/20 principle. Basically, this principle shows us that just 20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our results. That means most of the things on your plate actually aren’t as important as you might think they are.
It can really help if you start to identify what’s actually most important in your business so you can work on those things, ditch the things that don’t matter, and stop feeling so overwhelmed.
Of course, that won’t help very much if you’re just on the wrong path completely. If you’re feeling great resistance to your work, then it might be that you’re in the wrong line of business or the wrong line of work.
Start to do some soul-searching. What are you naturally good at? What do you actually enjoy doing? What impact do you want to leave on the world?
If you can answer those questions for yourself, then you can make great headway into figuring out a line of work or a path in business that’s better suited to you. Then, it won’t feel like work… It will be something you really want to do. And when you enjoy your work, then you probably won’t end up procrastinating most of the time, if ever.
Procrastination Is Something You Can Take Control over
Hopefully, you feel very free now that you know that procrastination is something you can take control over. You don’t have to live with this problem and you’re not a bad person or a bad worker or bad in business.
Investigate what’s going on with you and the actual reasons why you’re procrastinating. Once you do that, you can figure out some solutions and start to work more productively and manage your time better, starting today.