Is procrastination eating away your day? Here's our tips on how to overcome it!
We all know that procrastination is a big time and energy killer. Yet most of us fall into the trap once in a while - perhaps more….
Have you ever filled your time with meaningless tasks to avoid tackling a bigger or more difficult task that you’ve been avoiding? If so, you’re not alone!
Some people will work 40 hours to avoid doing a 2 hour task.
Something I see among a lot of new Opulence clients is frustration over not working on the things that will actually move their business forward. But the good thing is, once you understand what’s behind your desire to put something off, it’s much easier to break down your urge to procrastinate and get the job done.
There’s 4 key reasons why people procrastinate.
1. Unconscious fear of failure
A lot of us have this fear. Whether we know it or not.
The real kicker? Many of us also have an unconscious fear of success!
Let me unpack this for a minute… stick with me while I explain.
One of my earlier psychology teachers once said something profound to me:
“Barry, the experiences we survive growing up become the experiences that our survival depends on.”
Here’s what that means.
If when growing up, we had experiences of poverty, of difficulty in family dynamics, or lack of love from parents or others around us, we learn to survive that experience. We adapt. We build the emotional outlook and mindset needed to get through that experience and live our lives.
So when we go into business for ourselves, we want to create a better experience than what we grew up with. Both for ourselves, and for our loved ones.
But the problem is, our brains are still kind of programmed from back in our ancestral, ‘caveman’ days. It’s always looking out for things that will harm us. It wants to keep us safe.
And the experiences we’ve already survived are the ones it earmarks as ‘safe’. Those are the experiences it will seek to replicate to keep us from harm.
In modern times, that can translate into self-sabotage through procrastination when we are faced with something that isn’t in our comfort zone. Therefore, we need to start reprogramming our brains to enjoy being out of our comfort zone - because that’s where the things that will move your business forward are.
Lack of knowledge and skill
Often what prevents us from really taking persistent, disciplined action (and staying stuck in procrastination), is that we feel we don’t know enough to do the task required.
An earlier mentor once told me that if I wanted to succeed twice as quickly, I had to be willing to fail twice as fast. It took me a few years to grapple with my perceptions of failure and what I interpreted it to mean about myself.
Because I feared that if I failed, it was a sign I wasn’t good enough.
Perhaps you can relate?
Nowadays I understand that failure is not the worst thing in the world. It is actually good for personal growth. If we never failed, we wouldn’t have half of the amazing inventions and devices we take for granted today.
If we’re failing, it means we’re learning new things. It means we’re adding to our skillset. If we experience day to day life as a series of successes, it’s a clear sign we’re playing it too safe, and we need to branch out and try something new.
Because the only way to get somewhere completely new, is to go somewhere you haven’t gone before.
Feeling it’s too hard
A lot of business owners decide something’s too difficult, and psych themselves out of the game before they’ve even stepped on the field.
That thought process, especially in addition to the others I’ve already mentioned in this article, puts us in a holding pattern. We stay stuck in our head.
As the saying goes, you’ve gotta eat the elephant one bite at a time.
If we start to create momentum by doing little actions every day, our actions snowball into the completion of the task we’ve been avoiding. Yet if we don’t do anything… nothing will ever happen.
How to smash procrastination and get more done
- Eliminate your fear.
Actually sit there and ask yourself some deep questions about why you’re avoiding the task.
What is it that scares you deep down?
What will failing to complete the task successfully mean for you emotionally?
Most importantly - what’s the worst case scenario that could happen, and if it does, could I deal with it?
- Get clear on why you really want to achieve your goal.
Financial reward will only get you so far. Once you’ve moved out of a place of scarcity and you have enough money to do whatever you want, money won’t give you any emotional payoff.
You need to connect with the core idea, that spark that is driving your vision to create the business you are creating. Once you connect deeply with your purpose, the tasks you need to achieve to get there become small in the face of the enormous energy you feel about your final vision.
- Find ONE thing to start with.
If you find yourself getting really stuck, and you just can’t break out of your procrastination, try to tighten your focus. Ask yourself ‘what’s the ONE thing I can do right now to move this forward?’
Most of the time procrastination happens because we’re focusing on too many things at once. But there’s always one tiny part of any task that takes just a few minutes and is easy to do. If you start there, 90% of the time you’ll keep going because you’ve given yourself a little ‘kick start’ to get going.
Want some help?
If you’re looking to work with some coaches and mentors who can help you unlock the sticking points in your business, so you start to skyrocket your results, please feel free to reach out.
The Game Changers work with our clients for 12+ months, building into their business systems and processes for increasing profits, reducing stress, and freeing up more time. Typical results are 3x profits and 10 hours back per week within 3-6 months working with us.
If that sounds like something you’d like to explore, I invite you to a 15 minute, complimentary ‘Scale Session’ call. It’s a quick chat where we’ll get to know your business a bit, and explore whether we might be a good fit.