How To Overcome Procrastination

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Ask any entrepreneur what their biggest challenge is in the business, and almost anyone will tell you it is or has been the question of how to overcome procrastination. Procrastination in general is a huge issue for many entrepreneurs. We all want the freedom of not having a supervisor or boss telling us what to do everyday. We dream of waking up when we want, showing up to work or leaving when we want, take naps in the middle of the day just because, long lunches, and having a margarita with friends at noon, however the majority are not equipped to handle the discipline needed to manage our time.

How To Overcome Procrastination

In the article 6 Time Management Tips for Mompreneurs I talked about how to overcome procrastination from a time perspective. Being an entrepreneur is hard enough in itself, and if you include additional factors such as kids and home life (whether you’re a mom or dad) it becomes even harder. Procrastination is a funny little thing. It’s very selective. It’s one of those things that occurs when the task at hand is something you really don’t want to do.

Go to the movies with the family or friends? No problem.

A concert in the park or trip to the beach? You’re ready to go.

Sit down to write that blog post, shoot a video, make follow ups calls or do some admin work…. now that’s another story.

It’s almost as if we as people subconsciously believe that the longer we wait to do something we don’t want to do, or the more we put it off, the higher the chance we have of it miraculously disappearing or that some “Get er dun” fairy will fly from the clouds and do it for us.

So is there an easy way? Is there a book written on the art of how to overcome procrastination? There probably is, but more than likely you’ll put off reading it so

Here are 5 Tips on How To Overcome Procrastination

1. Admit That You Are A Procrastinator.

Sounds simple enough, but seriously. The first step in overcoming any challenge is to admit that there is one. Should yu have any doubts, do a simple survey of your to-do list. Do the items that are incomplete outweigh those that are? If this so, you may very well have an issue with procrastination.

2. Figure Out Why You’re Procrastinating

As stated earlier, one of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is  because there is no pleasure in the tasks that need to be completed. As entrepreneurs, often times we feel we have to do everything on our own. A great way to overcome procrastination is to make a list of the things you need to do and those you want to do. With each list, create subcategories of things you want to or don’t mind doing and things you absolutely do no want to do. For anything in the “do not want to do” category, outsource it to a virtual assistant.

When you are in business for yourself, you really can’t afford for things to fall by the wayside. The longer you procrastinate, the more things will continue to pile up, so save yourself the trouble and delegate the things you don’t want to do to someone who can.

3. Just Get Started

A lot of times we tend to focus on the end result rather than just getting started. We get caught up in the how it’s going to work, or how it will turn out, and as entrepreneurs one of the things we must learn to do is to adopt the ready, fire, aim mentality. What does that mean? Simply put, focus on just taking action and worry about all the “how tos” later. The goal is the learn how to overcome procrastination, not learn how to be perfect.

4. Take It Piece By Piece

Particularly for large projects, one the things that always worked for me is breaking it up into small parts. Focusing on the magnitude of the task increasing the feeling of being overwhelmed which then in turn makes you procrastinate more. Why? Because naturally we turn away from anything that doesn’t feel good and being overwhelmed is  one of those things.

5. Relax, Relate, Release

Seriously. For entrepreneurs everything is a priority. After all, our livelihood depends on that sale or landing that client, that speaking engagement, that big contract. We don’t have the luxury of a steady paycheck unless we’ve structured our business that way. Because of this we’re always in high stress mode and soon what started as something we’re doing for the love or passion we have turns into feeling like the job we left. Yes, your business should be taken seriously and it should be treated like a business, but don’t get so serious that you forget to live a little, enjoy the small things, and remember the reason why you began this journey in the first place.

Learning how to overcome procrastination is a process. Like any bad habit, it takes focus and dedication to break it. Concentrate more on taking action on the things you can do now, and delegating.outsourcing those you can’t or don’t want to. Pretty soon, you’ll find that to do this growing smaller and your productivity increasing overtime.

Do you have any tips on how to overcome procrastination? Comment below and share your thoughts!

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  • http://teachgoodstuff.com/ Jennifer Kennedy

    Procrastination was huge for me last year. It prevented me from doing a lot of things that I wanted to get out into the world.

    One of the biggest was creating a consistent blogging schedule. I found that like you said, getting started was the momentum I needed. What really worked though, was setting a timer for 25minutes. I knew that if I broke it down into small time chunks than I wouldn’t feel like the task was too much. And, that gave me time to take a break in between. It worked out pretty well and I could go for hours like that!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • http://blog.highperformancelifestyle.net Kosio Angelov

    Great article Apple!

    I find that the biggest help when it comes to overcoming procrastination is finding a good enough reason to do what you want to do. If you don’t have the motivation, nothing will get you to start writing (or whatever else you are putting off).