Procrastination is something we’ve all encountered at one point (and for many of us, something we face daily.)
Procrastination is the one thing that can bring even the most skilled business owner to their knees, and it often strikes without warning. Fortunately, there are a few main reasons why we procrastinate.
If we become aware of these reasons, we can learn to overcome the doldrums and push through to the finish line.
1. We don’t have all the resources we need.
It’s always easiest to start a project when you can dive right in. If there’s research involved or you’re waiting on other people for some of the information you need, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get started. It’s tempting to wait until the timing is just right, but if you put off the entire project until you have your missing piece, you’ll end up in a time crunch to get it done.
The solution: Work on what you can, when you can. A daunting project is more straightforward to tackle if you break it into smaller pieces. Focus on organizing your materials in one sitting, then gathering the information you still need, then putting it all together. Just don’t wait until the last minute to secure the missing information.
2. We’re short on time.
When you have a million things to do but only 24 hours in a day, there are inevitably going to be projects that fall by the wayside. One of the biggest reasons why we procrastinate is that we never get around to doing whatever it is we need to do.
The solution: Re-organize your priorities and find something to either put off or delegate. If your project is essential, you need to make time for it. Maybe you can transfer parts of it to someone else, or perhaps you’ll have to delegate other tasks to free up room in your schedule. Regardless, you can’t do it all—focus on what’s important and delegate the rest.
3. We keep getting interrupted.
One reason why we procrastinate that’s mostly outside our control is being interrupted. Interruptions kill our focus and drastically slash our productivity. If you find you’re always being interrupted by phone calls, emails, or walk-ins, chances are you won’t make very much progress on any of your essential tasks.
The solution: Block off time on your calendar, so you remain undisturbed. Let your employees know that you’re not to be contacted except for absolute emergencies during this time. Turn off your phone, close out of your email, and focus on the task at hand.
4. We just don’t want to do it.
Sometimes, the real reason why we procrastinate is that we just don’t want to do whatever the project is. Lack of motivation is a huge productivity killer, and you can end up spending hours staring at a blank page before you finally force yourself to get started.
The solution: Make the task more appealing. While some things will always be tedious, you can try and make it more exciting by compromising with yourself. Maybe you agree to work on your project for 15 to 30 minutes, then do something a little more fun. Perhaps you take the work to a pleasant location like your favorite coffee shop.
Procrastination strikes even the savviest business leader, but the best among us know how to overcome the urge and get our work done. With a little discipline, you can say goodbye to being stranded on Procrastination Island forever.
Learning why we procrastinate is just one of the challenges for us business owners. Sign up for my newsletter (click on the orange subscribe button) to get access to all my newest blog posts that will teach you how to overcome your business roadblocks.