Many entrepreneurs never reach their potential because they procrastinate on their most important priorities. Here are 10 reasons why you might be procrastinating and what to do about it.
- Lack of Time
Lack of time is the most popular excuse banded about for not getting things done. But fortunately there are very few people in this world that don’t have the scope for becoming at least 10% more efficient. Often when an entrepreneur lacks time it’s due to lack of prioritisation or the inability to say no to a new idea.
Remedy: Take a look at how you currently spend your time. Do a time audit. Ask yourself what can you stop doing, often we can free up many hours a week when we only focus on getting the important stuff done. Automate tasks or get a VA to handle your low value tasks. As an entrepreneur your value is in your creativity not in bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. Hire someone to do those tasks.
- Lack of Knowledge/Vision (not knowing what exactly needs to get done)
Not having a clear picture of what’s involved, If you can’t see exactly what needs to be done and how long it’s going to take you, you will probably avoid getting started. This could be the case with getting your taxes done each year or just not being clear about the goals you are working towards. I often see business owners with a goal of making more money, but what does more money mean? Ten thousand more or one million more? Until you know what you want you won’t know what you need to do to get there.
Remedy: Write down clear goals. Then create a clear picture of all that needs to be achieved, break down the task into smaller parts and schedule time to get them done.
- Lack of Organization
The infamous words of Peter Druker say it clearly “Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail”. If you are disorganised and don’t keep a schedule you are likely to forget tasks and miss deadlines.
Remedy: Use a calendar and a task list. Like a to do list you should have everything written down that you need to get done. Once a week I recommend my clients do a Mind Download to get everything out of there head to put into their system e.g (task list or calendar)
Some will use the excuse of being too tired to get started. Many people delay and procrastinate on their home duties because they are too tired when they finish work.
Remedy: Find out the reason for your tiredness. Are you eating right? Are you exercising? Not getting enough sleep? Find your reason and try to remedy it by changing your ways. Remember Exercise is the best way to create more energy.
Fear of the outcome can be another delaying factor. Some people fear failure; they won’t be able to do the task to a good enough standard so they delay in getting started. Others — believe it or not — fear success. They may know that by completing a certain task, the outcome may lead them places they are unsure they want to go, this can result in them subconsciously self-sabotaging to avoid the outcome that scares them.
Remedy: Become clear about the consequences of completing or not completing a task. Spend time looking at both the positive and negative outcomes. Learn to let go of the fears as fears keep us stuck.
- Easily distracted
In the modern age we are bombarded with technology and external stimulation that it becomes more difficult to stay focused.
Remedy: Turn of email notifications on your computer and on your phone. Check emails at allocated times during your day, set time for social networking. Switch off your phone and allow messages to go to voicemail. Close your office door and let people know you are not to be disturbed. Remember to use technology in your favour and not let it control you. Try brain.fm, which has digitally remastered music to help you to focus.
- Feeling Overwhelmed
Some tasks at hand can make us feel overwhelmed, mostly because we don’t know how to get started.
Remedy: Break it down into bite sized chunks. Then break it down even more. Plan each part of the task so that you are focusing on completing the sub task rather than the overall task. This helps to feel in control and not overwhelmed. Zoom in and zoom out every now and again to make sure you are moving forward with the overall task.
If you are surrounded by clutter, it affects your state of mind sub consciously. You may not realise how you feel until you clear it and then you recognise the lightness and calm that you feel. This clutter can be your home, your desk at work or your email inbox, it all affects us in the same negative way.
Remedy: Start clearing the clutter, start small. Give yourself time targets rather than choosing an area or room which can be overwhelming. Even 15 minutes a day can help to create a clutter free world.
- Seeking Perfection
Many people say they are not going to get started until they can dedicate enough time to complete the task perfectly.
Remedy: Realise that nothing on this earth is perfect. Look at evidence in the past that proves that not giving 100% is usually good enough. Make a start, schedule 15 minutes in your calendar to get started, after that it’s usually easier to keep going.
- Lack of Motivation
If you need to get things done start by moving your body. Stretching, walking cycling anything that will get the blood flowing, you will find action will help your mood and improve your energy and as we all know once you get started on something it never quite turns out to be the monster we feared. Then there is always the cold shower or dip your face in an ice basin to wake you up and get you going.