There’s this friend of mine, an old friend, we know each other very well. You know the kind of friend you’ve known since school, the one who knows all about your bad habits, your lazy ways, and the one who you used to be persuaded to bunk off with? Yep, I know you’ve got this friend too. Have they been to visit lately?
I’m actually talking about that all too familiar friend, procrastination.
And it makes sense to describe them as a friend right? But perhaps you’ve begun to notice lately that they are getting kind of annoying, hanging around for too long when you need to just get on with things, and maybe you’ve been thinking about cutting them off for good?
If so, then I’m glad you’re reading this, because I think it’s about time we showed them the door.
I mean seriously, how are you ever going to build this dream business of yours with this person standing in your way?
Let’s get real for a second though.
We all, no matter who we are or what we do, bump into procrastination at some point and here’s the good news.
Sometimes we can go for a good while without seeing them, but my experience has been that any time I have some serious up-levelling to do in my life, or any time I’m required to step up and face a fear or start a new project, up procrastination pops like a seriously annoying drunk uncle at a wedding that won’t stop shouting.
I used to be the queen of procrastinating though. Ever since I was a little girl I can remember feeling the need to scrub and tidy my room before I was able to be in the head space to sit down to do any homework. I also remember putting off the bigger or scarier tasks in my corporate job and allowing my day to be filled up with silly details meaning I had to rush and cram for big presentations a few days before.
Sometimes I work better when I’m cramming, but since going it alone as a business owner, I’ve had to learn the hard way that cramming and creating stress for myself because things haven’t gotten done on time does no one any favours – not my team, not me, and not to mention my health and wellbeing and sanity!
So you’ve got to get a handle on your procrastination. Like I said, it’s fine for it to be there every now and again, but it’s learning how to manage it before it morphs into fear, frustration or complete paralysing overwhelm that’s the key.
So if you’ve been deep in ‘putting-off mode’ lately, here are some simple steps you can take to show your procrastination who’s boss:
CHUNK IT OUT
No one ever got anything done by trying to do everything at once and going into massive overwhelm around a new project or business idea! So chunk out your tasks and break things down into smaller more achievable goals. I love working backwards from my end goal on something and that allows me to then see what pieces are missing, where I’ll need to ask for more support, and what’s going to use the most of my energy so I can plan in when I’m going to tackle each piece.
Get someone to hold you accountable to your goals. Announce publicly to your followers that you’re setting a date for doing a launch and then you’ll damn well be making sure it’s done! I find working with my coach on big business goals helps propel me forward because we set dates together which ensure I’m prioritizing around those dates.
SCHEDULE YOUR WORK
It’s easy to procrastinate on tasks when you’ve not defined what on earth you’re actually doing, so schedule your work in your calendar and make it as important a date as that party on a Friday night. If something’s in my Google calendar, it gets done because I’ve made the mental note ahead of time (usually on a Sunday night) that the slot I’ve scheduled is important and there for a reason. I’m also then much less likely to schedule something less important in its place.
ASK YOURSELF WHO YOU WANT TO BE (AKA JUST SIT DOWN AND DO IT ALREADY!)
If I’m really struggling with getting into the right headspace to do something, I’ll meditate for 10 minutes first, but ultimately I always ask myself who I want to be when I can feel myself resisting doing work I know I need to do. So do you want to be the female entrepreneur that achieved awesome things, or do you want to be the one who tried to start a movement but lived and died in a spotless apartment, drank lots of cups of tea and watched Netflix? 😉
At the end of the day, we all struggle with this, and what we’re really bumping up against is often fear of the unknown, a lack of self-belief, and ultimately frustration with ourselves around why we can’t just ‘be normal’ and get on with things, but remember that this feeling creeps up on all of us from time to time. So take a deep breath, remember why you’re building this business, and have fun with the getting started part. Because once you’re engine is running, I promise you’ll be having a lot more fun than cleaning the bathroom sink just one more time 😉 x
Natalie, The Freedom Expert, is a Personal Development Coach specialising in helping women in their 30’s create and live a life of freedom. Previously an Art Director in the Graphic Design, Online Retail and Fashion arenas, she is also a certified Forrest Yoga and iRest teacher with over 700 hours of training and experience in yoga, bodywork & meditation, and has worked with some of the world’s leading business and transformation coaches. Credentials aside, Natalie only helps what she knows in her bones she can help other women with by teaching from a truthful, heartfelt place, and from her own life experience.
Meet Natalie here… http://www.natedwards.co.uk