As a business owner one of the most important abilities we can ever have is to know how to get the most out of ourselves and maximize our productivity. One of the top killers of productivity is procrastination! I’m going to show you the most effective strategies to eliminate procrastination once and for all so you can get twice as much done as your competition!
Time is our most precious resource, and as as Benjamin Franklin famously said, “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.” Any business owner who is serious about success, recognizes the importance of leveraging our time, and really appreciates that once we spend time, we can never get it back. So we must master how we get the most from time, so we can get more done and deliver better results. To be successful in business we must use time to our advantage. So if you want to be more successful in business you need to become an absolute weapon at how you manage each hour of your day which ultimately comes down to how you manage yourself.
SO WHAT IS PROCRASTIONATION?
Procrastination means delaying a task (or even several tasks) that should be a priority. The ability to overcome procrastination and tackle the important actions that have the biggest positive impact in your business is a trait of the most successful entrepreneurs. If you are letting procrastion impact you, then your business is suffering, big time!
WARNING SIGNS YOU ARE PROCRASTINATING:
Here are some tell-tale warning signs that you are procrastinating:
- Filling your day with low-priority tasks.
- Allowing yourself to be easily distracted
- Reading an email or request that you\’ve noted more than once, without starting work on it or deciding when you’re going to start work on it.
- Regularly saying \”Yes\” to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do and filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list
- Avoiding starting difficult tasks
- Sitting down to start a high-priority task, and almost immediately going off to make a cup of coffee or check your emails.
IMPACT OF PROCRASTINATION:
You can tell whether or not you need to do something about your procrastination by examining its consequences on you, and your business. Procrastination can have many consequences such as; poor customer service, delayed delivery of products and services, low productivity, stress, anxiety, frustration and can destroy your confidence. If you put off washing the dishes, but the dishes don\’t bother you, who cares? When your procrastination impacts the bottom line of your business as well as leaving you feeling frustrated and overburdened, however, it is time to step up and take action.
WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE?
In my experience with working with hundreds of business owners over the years, here are my top 7 reasons why people procrastinate:
- Vagueness and confusion around tasks. We don\’t know where to begin. (I.e. Lack of clarity, poor prioritisation and sequencing skills)
- Waiting for more energy or being in the right mood or the right time to tackle the important task at hand. (I.e. Lack of personal power)
- Task feels overwhelming. (I.e. Are stressed or intimidated by perceived scope/complexity/difficulty of tasks
- No passion or desire for doing the work. (I.e We are disconnected with the purpose of the task, and fail to recognise the importance of the benefits)
- Fear of failure or success, which is a fear of judgement or criticism, indirectly or directly from others.
- Poor organisational / skills. (I.e. I don’t have enough information or resources to do this task properly)
- Perfectionism – A perceived lack of confidence, or inability in key area of task causing a distorted feeling of inadequacy, (I.e. I am not good enough at this to really). Also known as perfectionism – \”I don\’t have the right skills or resources to do this perfectly now, \’So I won\’t do it at all\”
HOW TO ELMINATE PROCRASTINATION?
Master these 7 steps to eliminate procrastination from your life.
- Become a master of your calendar, and schedule your priorities in your calendar. If you don’t know what your priorities then you need to get clear on what the most important tasks that create tangible success for your business.
- What are my highest value activities? (Think to yourself, then ask others)
- What can I and only I do that if done well will make a real difference?
- What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
- Emotion creates action. So get yourself into the right emotional state to take action. Learn how to use breathing techniques, mantras, physical, verbal cues, resource anchors (from NLP) all helps to get yourself into a appropriate emotional state to take action.
- Take regular breaks,
- stay hydrated,
- eat light foods that don’t drain your energy,
- go for regular walks around the office,
- listen to music,
- smile regularly to activate happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin,
- say powerful affirmations out loud,
- imagine a successful completion of the task and how will make you feel.
- Break projects down into small tasks, and tasks into sub tasks. When you chunk even the most complex of projects down into its smallest elements, and get these into the correct sequence to be implemented, it becomes a simple sequenced checklist.
- Remember the purpose of the task and how it relates to the overall benefit.
- Why is it important?
- What will it give you?
- If you don’t do it what will it cost you?
- Remember to set up a reward for when you complete the task.
- Realise fear of failure / success is simply an internal projection of reality and it is not actually a rational logical reason for delaying something. Most of the time we exaggerate the likelihood and consequences of failure.
- Realise that fear only goes away when we take action.
- Choose to accept the fear, and do the task anyway.
- Get organised and Plan your year, month, week, and day. Get a planner, a diary, a journal, a wall chart, a white board, a life management tool/app such as Asana, Evernote, etc. Regularly invest the time required to regularly to plan your days, weeks, months and year.
- For every minute you invest in planning a task, you save 10 minutes in improved effectiveness.
- Realise perfectionism is actually a covertway of avoiding failure, by setting unrealistic standards. Which in reality is not actually having any standards. Which means Perfectionism is the ultimate cop out.
- Define the acceptable standard that will produce the desired result and JFDI (Fust F*#king Do It!)