What’s stopping you now?
If you’re like most talented entrepreneurs, the tendency to procrastinate can be a major obstacle to your success. If you’re like some successful entrepreneurs, you’ve committed to a “do it NOW” approach to the myriad tasks facing you as a business owner.
Read on for yet more tools that will help you knock procrastination on its butt.
Listen to your gut as well as your head.
Throughout my life, I’ve been rewarded for and encouraged to rely on my left-brain, analytical abilities. As a result, one of my personal challenges is learning to listen to my more intuitive side – that so-called “gut instinct.” I’m pleased to realize I’m getting better at it, because a gut reaction can be a powerful tool for breaking free of procrastination paralysis.
There are any number of reasons you may find yourself procrastinating on a decision about investing your time, energy, and/or money in a particular activity. What’s interesting about this hesitation – at least in my experience – is that your procrastination can mean one of two things:
- You already know you want to move forward, but you’re letting yourself get scared about doing so.
- Your gut is trying to tell you, “This is NOT the right thing to do at this point in time.”
Of course, the interesting challenge then becomes figuring out which message is the one truly driving your procrastination. Here are some indicators I’ve found helpful:
- Sometimes I can readily see the benefits of moving forward but hear myself whining, “I don’t want to [afford that/learn how to do that/find someone to delegate it to/etc.]”. In this situation, I take the whining as a sign that I’m procrastinating because I’ve let fear get the upper hand. In this case, it’s time to pull up the ol’ big-girl panties and just take action.
- Other times when I clearly see the benefits, I find myself trying to rationalize that “it wouldn’t be that hard to make this happen”. This attempt to gloss over potential challenges is, for me, a sign that my gut is frantically trying to keep me from making a decision that is ultimately not in my best interests.
Pushing through procrastination to get to a workable decision is not particularly enjoyable, but it’s incredibly helpful in the long run. Not only do you actually make the decision – you make it consciously and intentionally, rather than by default. This not only frees you from the limbo of indecision; it also increases your personal power, as well as your willingness and ability to accept responsibility for your choices. (I provided a more in-depth treatment of the concept of effectively using your power in earlier blog posts.)
Practice developing a “different choices, different rewards” mindset.
Sometimes it may feel like you’re faced with an embarrassment of riches – two or more appealing courses of action. No wonder you’re procrastinating; how do you figure out which is the “right” one?
This is an ideal opportunity to consciously shift yourself away from an either/or, right/wrong, good/bad way of thinking.
If you insist on there being a single “right” decision, you’re needlessly creating stress for yourself. Instead, experiment with a different type of mindset that allows you to see there are rewards inherent in both options. In this way, you greatly reduce the pressure to avoid a “bad” decision, because you’ve identified positive outcomes you’ll experience regardless of which option you ultimately go with.
Practicing this “different choices, different rewards” mindset is also a great way to tune in to abundance, enhance your creativity, and stop beating up on yourself.
Which of these tools can you see yourself using most successfully to propel yourself toward success? How will you combine them with the tips discussed in the first two posts in this series?
Or has something stopped you from reading those articles and applying the tools? Is your productivity and effectiveness still languishing due to procrastination?
If you’re in approximately the same place you’ve been for a while now, perhaps I can help you get off dead center and hurtling down the path to success.
My specialty is showing overwhelmed and distracted entrepreneurs how to identify what’s slowing them down, shove those obstacles aside, and take purposeful action that WILL move them toward their important goals. I might be a fantastic resource for you, just as you might be a fun client for me to work with. Or maybe not.
The only way to tell if we’d make a great butt-kicking team is to learn more about each other through a simple phone call. At the end of that no-risk, get-acquainted conversation, we’ll have confidently come to a comfortable conclusion, whether it’s “Yes, let’s get started NOW” or “Let’s wait until X” or “You’ve got to be kidding”.
If that sounds worthwhile, you can set up that get-acquainted call by emailing me with “I’m not letting it stop me anymore” in the subject line. We’ll set up a time to talk; it’ll be interesting to learn what comes of it.
(By the way, thanks to BK and Nana B. Agyei for posting the “right path” image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)This entry was posted in effectiveness, productivity and tagged procrastination. Bookmark the permalink.