10 reasons you procrastinate and how to stop

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Discover 10 reasons you procrastinate and how to stop

April 22, 2021

Running your own business, as you know, brings a lot of different challenges. At times it can feel like a never-ending struggle like you’re constantly putting out fires and solving one problem after another. In this article, discover 10 reasons you procrastinate and how to stop

In that state, your mind starts working overtime and it’s easy to slip into self-doubt and anxiety. That makes you feel tired and heavy and before you know it you’re scrolling through social media, washing the dishes or arranging the papers on your desk. Basically, you’re doing anything but working towards your goals and dreams.

 Let’s call it what it is: procrastination and self-sabotage.

Discover 10 reasons you procrastinate and how to stop

Reason #1. TIME CONSTRAINTS 

You have a list of goals that you want to achieve in your business but one thing leads to another, that to-do list keeps on growing and before you know it you’re behind schedule.

The feeling of not having enough time to do all the things required to achieve your goals can make it seem like you’re treading water. 

What to do:

  • Perhaps it’s a case of looking at priorities. Isolate the tasks that create the biggest impact on your business and focus on those. 
  • Is it the right time to start your goal? Do you need to drop something else to fit this in? 
  • If you have the budget, think about what you could outsource. If you have a team working for you, is there a way to delegate tasks better and take pressure off yourself? 

Reason #2. FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS 

Especially when you’re starting out, it can feel like you need to have everything in place before you can take any steps forward. You need all the correct equipment, you need your branding and graphic design. Don’t forget the website and money for advertising. 

All of these expenses mount up very quickly and not having enough money to afford them can put a lot of pressure on you. 

What to do:

  • Social media is a great place to market your business until you raise the funds. 
  • Email marketing allows you to have a landing page to sell your offer and create a mailing list. It’s ok to start small. 
  • Can you hire the equipment you need when a job comes in?   
  • Reach out to your support network and see what solutions you can come up with together. 

Reason #3. NEEDS OF OTHERS 

As a woman, you probably have a habit of putting others’ needs before your own. It’s completely normal. Especially as a mother, the needs of your children come first but it’s not just kids. It could be your partner, other family members or friends, even your employees. Whoever it is, catering to the needs of others can make it difficult to to work towards your goals. If those people don’t agree with you, they don’t support your business goals that can be especially draining.

What to do:

Listen to yourself and get in tune with what you really want, what the priorities are for you and your business. If people put demands on you that you feel are unnecessary, learn to say no. If you explain why you’re saying no, most people will understand. The chances are they didn’t realise what pressure they were putting on you in the first place.

Reason #4. LACK OF SKILLS

Although you are an amazing human being, sometimes you have to admit that something is outside your zone of genius. It’s highly unlikely that you have all the skills you need to reach your goals and have a successful business. This may be copyrighting, marketing, sales, technology, graphic design, branding…the list goes on. 

What to do:

  • It’s important to recognise when you need outside help. 
  • You may need to train in a specific skill to get you out of procrastination and self-doubt and onto the next step. Udemy and LinkedIn learning are both great platforms for picking up new skills.
  • If you’re looking to outsource some of the tasks, take a look on Fiverr or Upwork. Maybe there’s even someone in your existing network who you can reach out to. 

Reason #5. CONFLICTING GOALS 

Pursuing some goals, naturally makes it difficult to pursue others. For example, developing a new business most often requires all of your efforts and long hours which could make it difficult for you to pursue your fitness goals. Or you may have a goal to spend time with your children whilst pursuing a goal to complete a university degree.

What to do:

In situations like this you need to prioritise your goals. Work out which goals are most important for you and focus your energy on them. The Eisenhower Matrix is a great way to organize your priorities.

Reason #6. POORLY DEFINED GOALS

Facing the challenge of an important new goal can be very daunting. You can easily become overwhelmed and have no idea where to start. In order to make real progress, you must clearly state your goals and create a plan of action.

What to do:

The first step is to set CLEAR REALISTIC GOALS, define exactly what you want.

After that, break down your big goal into smaller achievable steps. This way you get a sense of achievement along the way as you complete the smaller tasks one step at a time.

Reason #7. UNANTICIPATED ROADBLOCKS

Even when you have your plan of action, things can still go wrong. A good way to avoid this is to identify obstacles that are likely to get in your way and plan a strategy to overcome them. 

What to do:

  • Write down the steps that you need to take in order to start working on your goal. 
  • Close your eyes and visualise yourself working through those steps. 
  • Notice thoughts and feelings that come up during this process. Do you notice anxiety or resistance? Are there any thoughts or fears that come up during this?  Eg. It’s too hard, I don’t know where to start, I’m not good enough, I don’t know how to do it. I need help. 
  • With this knowledge create a strategy to overcome these obstacles. 

Reason #8. FEAR & DISCOMFORT 

Fear can send us running straight for the nearest exit. It holds us back and can keep us stuck in unhappy situations. Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of disapproval, fear of making the wrong decision, they all result in the same thing.

Working towards your goals requires self-discipline, that means you need to be able to tolerate the discomfort and fear that rises along the way. 

What to do:

You may need to give up things you enjoy, sacrifice your short term comforts for longer term rewards, tolerate and deal with other people’s doubts about you. 

Start doing something, every single day, that makes you feel afraid or uncomfortable.

Your comfort zone is a nice place to stay but nothing ever grows there. 

Reason #9. ANXIETY 

While low levels of anxiety can motivate you to achieve your goals, high levels can cause you to procrastinate and avoid or put off your goals. 

Anxiety also increases threat perception, making you less likely to make rational decisions.

What to do:

  • Start by becoming mindful of your anxiety, notice when you are feeling it.
  • Writing down your thoughts and what triggered the feeling. That helps you to identify your fear so you can begin steps to overcome it. 
  • Meditation is wonderful for this as it teaches you to observe your thoughts and not get pulled along with them.

Reason #10. PERFECTIONISM 

Perfectionism is a common trait of ambitious people, however those that excel are rarely perfectionists. Perfectionism has the potential to crush motivation because you feel dissatisfied with your achievements. You develop unrealistic expectations, which can leave you frustrated, anxious, and paralysed. 

What to do:

Ask yourself; “am I being too perfectionist about this step or goal?” 

“How good does it need to be to get the job done?”

Remember that mistakes and failures are a learning experience.

Know that it’s ok to put something out there that isn’t polished and glossed so that you can get feedback in your creations or ideas. That will feed into the creative process and actually help you to optimise your products and offers for the future. 

When creating a new business or new offer, most work is a ‘work in progress’. You don’t need to have the most perfect business card, or website when starting out. More often than not you will want to change it after a year or even less because business, ideas and style can change rapidly.

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE ACTION?

Helping entrepreneurs get out of self-doubt and procrastination is our speciality at Be Well In Business. If this is something that you are struggling with, contact one of our team and we’ll do our absolute best to help you.

If this article ‘Discover 10 reasons you procrastinate and how to stop’ helped you in any way let us know in the comments below.

Also, see our Blog on 13 Ways To Overcome Self Doubt (to move your business forward)

13 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

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