If you want to stop procrastination, really make progress with your business this year and achieve those goals you’ve set, then understanding is the key. Check out this blog for why you might do it and how to stop.
I’m sure you’re very aware of what procrastination is. It essentially means putting off or delaying doing something, especially something urgent or important. When it comes to your business, delaying doing something that is important or urgent, cannot be a good thing!
We often think of procrastination as time wasting. When you delay the important or urgent thing and instead do something much less important or urgent, (often something much easier or even mundane) you are putting the brakes on your life and business.
How does procrastination show up for you?
- Do you end up cleaning or ironing instead of working on your business?
- Do you waste time being on social media, thinking you’re working but really getting lost watching cute cat videos?
- Do you decide now is the time to fiddle with your Facebook Page banner instead of writing that newsletter or blog and sharing it?
I see procrastination as doing something that is easier but not very effective, rather than doing something that you know will progress your business further – like sharing what exactly it is you do and how someone can work with you, following up on a lead, picking up the phone or finishing the copy and making your new website live.
I bet you’ve seen quotes such as:
Procrastination is the thief of time
Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried
We all know that procrastination is generally not a good thing and that you’re not going to achieve your goals by doing the ironing when you should be working!
However, I think a lot of the information out there in the personal/business development field around this topic is quite damaging. I think it’s very judgemental, disempowering and totally de-motivating!
You already know that faffing, putting off tasks and not making progress is not good, but does someone telling you to ‘just get on with it (aka JFDI)’, to ‘stop making excuses’ or that ‘you’re wasting your time and opportunities’ make you feel good about yourself or make you any more likely to actually get on with it?
NO! Shaming each other or yourself is not going to help you stop doing it.
I think understanding will.
I believe that when procrastination hits, if you can pause, understand what’s going on and practice self-empathy, you can start to unravel what the underlying cause is and then it is easier to deal with.
Why you are procrastinating
Have you noticed that you often procrastinate from doing the tasks that will help you achieve your bigger goals and so you wonder what on earth is going on (ie WTF!?).
Why would you do that?
I think there are many reasons for this, one of which is perfectionism and I wrote a popular blog about that which you can find here.
The second main reason and the one I want to address in this blog, is fear.
Fear is one of those underlying emotions that we sometimes can’t feel. So you may not even know it is there.
According to the Enneagram (an ancient system of personality profiling) every type (ie every person) has a core fear that is running most of the time, mostly unconsciously (ie you’re not aware of it).
Just because you’re not aware, doesn’t mean it is not having an effect. It is.
Do you recognise any of these fears?
- Failure / messing up / something not working
- Success / fulfilling your potential
- Making a ‘bad’ first impression
- Being laughed at or judged
- Trying something and it not working
- Rejection or ridicule
- Overwhelm or stress
Any of these fears will cause you to put off making a decision or to procrastinate.
How fear causes procrastination
Underlying fear can be a HUGE reason, which is why I like to treat procrastination a bit more gently than most, because I think most of the time, it is fear underneath, when we’re putting off a task that is working towards a dream or big goal at least. Of course, it is more complex and in different situations, there are different reasons causing it.
Because working towards a big dream means you have to step outside of your comfort zone, stretch, do something new and take a risk.
And all risks have the potential to fail and essentially cause one of the above list (the thing you’re afraid of) to happen.
So, procrastination can be a safe place to be, it means you don’t have to try and fail, it is essentially you just trying to protect yourself from pain.
Fear can be debilitating and paralysing. Fear can lead to you feeling stuck, lost, overwhelmed and confused. Which is why I think it’s important to look at it. And be kind to it!
Many of my clients are dealing with fear when it comes to putting themselves out there and it is best to work on unpicking that fear so it stops being a cause of your lack of progress rather than just pushing through it – and there is a time for pushing too!
That’s why I’m not just a marketing coach or consultant, but a Marketing Confidence Coach – because we all need to deal with the fears, lack of self-belief or lack of confidence which lurk underneath and hold us back from our full potential.
Do you need some help with this?
There are several other reasons why you may procrastinate and much much more useful stuff to learn around this topic, which is what we’re going to explore in my February Marketing Mentoring and Mastermind session.
The topic is: Beat Procrastination and Better Manage your Time.
I believe the two go hand in hand because there’s no point in learning tons of time management techniques if you don’t first understand why you procrastinate or waste time. They simply won’t work on their own.
So if you recognise yourself in this blog, if you tend to put off the tasks that will actually create success in your business and you really want to stop it, then come along to this supportive session.
If you want to stop procrastinating and learn some fab tools, tips and techniques to better manage your time, then come along.
In addition to the hour of training we’ll spend on this topic, you’ll get a chance to network with other business women and mastermind in small groups to get help from several hearts and minds with an issue in your business.
I hope that’s been useful. I’d love to know which fear you recognise that causes you to procrastinate or that holds you back.
Please comment below and let me know. Thank you.
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