Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
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 owners 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, motivating yourself to get started can be challenging. It’s tempting to wait until the timing is correct, but if you put off the entire project until you have your missing piece, you’ll end up in a time crunch to finish it.
The solution: Work on what you can, when you can. A daunting project is more straightforward if you break it into smaller pieces. You can focus on organizing your materials in one sitting, gathering the necessary information, and then putting it all together. Just don’t wait until the last minute to secure the missing data.
2. We’re short on time.
When you have a million things to do but only 24 hours a day, projects will inevitably fall by the wayside. One of the biggest reasons we procrastinate is that we never get around to doing whatever we need to do.
The solution: Re-organize your priorities and find something to put off or delegate. If your project is essential, please make time for it. You can transfer parts of it to someone else, or 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’re constantly being interrupted by phone calls, emails, or walk-ins, chances are you won’t make 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 your email, and focus on the task.
4. We don’t want to do it.
Sometimes, the real reason why we procrastinate is that we don’t want to do whatever the project is. Lack of motivation is a giant productivity killer, and you can spend 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, compromising with yourself can make it more exciting. You could agree to work on your project for 15 to 30 minutes, then do something 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. You can say goodbye to being stranded on Procrastination Island forever with some discipline.
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.
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