If you hopped on the webinar this past week (sorry, no recording due to technical issues), then you heard us talk a bit about procrastination. I wanted to get into this topic just a bit more, because I know a whole lot of you have had to deal with this problem while building your funnels and other parts of your business.
How Do You Recognize Procrastination?
Procrastination doesn’t always show up with a neon flashing sign that makes it obvious what’s happening.
Sure, sometimes you have no desire to work on the tasks in front of you, to the point where you start thinking about how you’re procrastinating.
But other times it sneaks up on you. For example:
- You find yourself doing “busywork” – telling yourself you need to get these little tasks done, but you’re really just avoiding the one big one that you really need to do.
- You go to do the task, but decide to check social media really quick before you get started… and only hours later do you realize how much time you wasted without working on what you need to do.
- You work on the task, but you don’t make much progress because you’re unhappy with what you’ve done so far. So you redo it… again and again and again. (Perfectionism.)
- You suddenly have the urge to do something else completely unrelated, such as clean the house. You tell yourself it’s important, but you’re really just procrastinating.
Do you recognize yourself in any of these “disguised” cases of procrastination? What else do you tend to do to avoid a specific task?
Okay, now that you recognize it, let’s get rid of it…
How Do You Beat the Procrastination Beast?
Just like a cockroach, procrastination tends to scurry away if you shine a light on it. In some cases, simply acknowledging that you’re procrastinating is enough for you to shake it and get serious about working.
In other cases, you need to shine that light a little brighter and figure out WHY you’re procrastinating.
For example, are you feeling overwhelmed because the task itself seems so big? In that case, you’ll want to simplify the task using the advice here. You can then break a big task into small steps, which makes it much easier to tackle.
Another common reason people procrastinate is because of fear. Sometimes it’s a fear of failure – the fear that you’re going to do all this work, and then have nothing to show for it. In other cases, it may be a fear of success – that you WILL succeed and everything will change in a big way. (Which is basically a fear of the unknown.)
I can’t tell you why you’re procrastinating – you need to figure this out yourself. And once you do, then you can come up with a plan to beat.
Finally, in some cases the way to beat procrastination is to just start working. Force yourself if you need to. Play psychological “tricks” on yourself if that’s what works.
- Challenge yourself to work in 20-minute increments, and see how much you can get done in each 20-minute block. Set a timer and GO.
- Challenge other people to join you. Message a handful of peers and friends, and ask them to join you for a 20-to-30-minute work “sprint” where everyone gets as much done as possible. Then you can compare notes when you’re done.
- Get an accountability partner. You tell this person at the beginning of every day what’s on your to-do list, and at the end of the day you tell them what you got done. Many people just get the work done, because it’s easier than the psychological discomfort of telling someone you didn’t accomplish your goals.
- Create a contract with yourself. Write down what you need to get done, put a date on it and sign it. Even better is if you get a friend to “witness” and sign your contract as well.
- Place a bet with a friend. Pick an amount of cash that would be painful for you to lose, and give that amount to a trusted friend. You can only get the money back if you complete a certain task or achieve a business goal.
These are just examples of how to beat the procrastination monster. Not every method works for all people, and you may even find some of them silly. But go into them with an open mind, and see which method gets you working steadily towards your goals.
The main point here is that procrastination is super common, and it’s also beatable. Recognizing it and acknowledging it is half the battle. If you still find yourself doing everything else except that one task you really need to do, then you may need to just “force” yourself to make progress using the methods outlined above.
If you liked this article, then you’re going to love our weekly webinar where we discuss all things marketing. You can hop on our webinars Thursday night for free at:
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Hope to see you there!