Being in business for oneself is great. That’s what everybody says, right? If what everybody says is true, then why are you miserable? What’s that? You say that you’re not miserable? Then I don’t understand why you’re procrastinating.
It makes perfect sense for MLM business owners, or anyone for that matter, to procrastinate when they are miserable, but it makes no sense at all for procrastination to get in the way of a happy marketer. There’s so much to gain by “doing it now” and so much to lose by “doing it later”. What non-miserable person would choose to do the latter?
Why We Procrastinate
Procrastination isn’t a new phenomenon, nor is it something that people set out to do. No one decides that they will procrastinate, place it on their schedule, and go about doing it. It just sort of happens. We know that we shouldn’t do it. We know that anything that we put off still has to be completed eventually. We even know that we are doing it as we do it. Still, procrastination remains a problem for many of us.
Recognizing the folly of procrastination isn’t enough to stop us from doing it. For that, we need to figure out why we fall into it so easily.
Even fun work is still work
You love your business. The freedom that you have to make decisions that affect every aspect of your business – which determine the ultimate success of failure of your enterprise, is one of the most appealing aspects of running your own business. You’re in control.
But for those times when you’re feeling less like a dynamic leader and more like a slouch, it would be good if there were someone else around to keep you on course. Unfortunately, when you work for yourself, there is no someone else.
You love your business, but even work that you love is still work, so you check out mentally for a while to escape the rigors of the business when you procrastinate. If done in moderation, there’s probably no lasting harm done, but when procrastination becomes a common occurrence, your business is in trouble.
Too Many Easy Distractions
The constant beeps emanating from your phone, your computer, and your tablet; the television that you have on for “background noise”; and the browser tabs that you have open to Twitter and Facebook are all distractions. You may believe that you are multi-tasking, but you’re not. You’re procrastinating.
If the work that you’re doing is important, the task should have your full attention. If you were paying someone else to do it, that you naturally be your expectation of them. Eliminating distractions is one way to combat procrastination.
Everything can’t be crucial. Many bosses will never admit this to their subordinates, but deep inside that know that it’s true. Being your own boss means: You have to prioritize because you cannot do everything at the same time. When we fail to prioritize, we lose focus, which in effect renders everything a non-priority. Hazy priorities are a recipe for procrastination.
A business owner, like every other type of leader, must keep their focus on their goals. This keeps the organization moving forward, even if the organization is just you. It’s easy to avoid procrastination when you have a customer in front of you, but that’s not where the problem exists.
Tasks that do not result in immediate feedback, like preparing a marketing campaign, a forecast, or a product launch are key candidates for tasks that are left for later. We are lulled by the illusion of time to believe that we do not have to focus on these tasks now, so we open ourselves up to procrastination.
Recognizing this trap enables business owners to avoid it, by getting back to work… now!
It’s your turn!
What do you do to overcome procrastination?
Do you have any tips to share?
Please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below!
I’m so bad at procrastinating! I need to work on that!
Time to get on it! 😉
Great post and a reminder of why we procrastinate (which is sometimes the challenge in and of itself). I was never a procrastinator in the past and hate being one now but can relate to the background noise distractions and the excess of browser windows. Taking into effect to trim and tighten myself into work mode will make me more successful… time to shut down and tune in to whats right infront of me. Have a great day!
Awesome feedback Crystal. Thank you, have a great day as well. 🙂
Procrastination is a thief. We need to learn how to put our foot to the throat of that sucker and kill it once and for all.
Thanks for sharing, Nate!
You’re welcome Etieno! Thanks for the comments!
Excellent post, Nate!! Thank you for these awesome tips!! Love your value and as always love sharing great value!!! Keep it up my friend 🙂
Whoa.. Really resonated with this post bro! I had a huge problem with this when I got started in the industry.. I think it went right along with its twin – Perfectionism.. LOL!
I found myself procrastinating because I felt I had to be perfect in order to put myself out there and help someone else. It’s a DEADLY cycle!
Once I realized that my business and message was not about me and more about serving others.. I had no problem getting things DONE right away in order to share my experience and ultimately help someone else avoid the same obstacles I struggled with.
Awesome post Nate! Thank you for the reminder and keeping all of us accountable!
At one point in time or another, we all been down the perfectionist path. Being a perfectionist is a sure way to paralyze yourself from taking action. You’re absolutely right there about being a deadly cycle. If you’re not careful it could hurt you for the worst! The fact that you came to a realization that it’s all about “them”, and not yourself, you’re ahead of 90% of the people who are in our space. Keep serving brother! Appreciate the comments!
I read another post today on this very subject and for the most part I’m not a procrastinator. Not unless it’s something I just don’t want to do or afraid to get started. Big darn excuse right!
Being lazy is not in my vocabulary but I am sort of procrastinating about something at the moment. I guess it’s because I know once I get started I’m going to have to finish it and it’s just a heck of a lot of work and time I just don’t have right now yet it’s a necessity.
So I’m dragging my feet and I just have to come to that place where I make up my mind to either go for it or bail. Once I reach that place I’m all in. I’m at least good in that respect. If I put my mind to it and decide to go for it I just don’t let up until it’s done. Good trait to have so now all I need to do is get over this darn hump. Urrgggggg
Okay, so I’ve read two posts on this subject today so maybe this is my sign to just move forward. I’m going to take it as that anyway.
Thanks for the kick! 😉
Sounds like a hint! Maybe because of the fact that you landed on my page today tells you that you should go for it! 😉
I’m curious to know what you decide to do. Thank you for sharing your story!
I find myself procrastinating on things I just don’t want to do. But you are so right, because that thing I hate to do is still going to be there later. So I have learned to push myself through things I don’t like to do, so I can get it over with and done forever..Thanks for sharing Nate……………
You’re welcome Irene! Thank you for the comments!
Good Information, I think sometimes we confuse distraction with procrastination and you touched on that nicely. Good job keeping us aware.
Thank you Jason! Appreciate the kind words!
I can identify with procrastinating about things I don’t really want to do and even some things I enjoy! It’s just SO easy to get distracted in todays technology world. But when procrastination interferes with business and making a living, it can cause big problems. I’ve been trying to get out of the procrastination loop and reading up on hints to help myself stop. One of the articles I read discussed the psychological reasons behind procrastination and I found it very helpful. You might too. http://www.psychalive.org/2013/10/stop-procrastinating/
I agree with you with being distracted in today’s technology world. We have so many shiny things flashing at us every single hour and it’s easy to get side tracked on what it is that we’re trying to focus on. You do bring up a good point that it can lead to big problems, which can lead to a vicious cycle. Thank you for sharing the article. 🙂
You are SO right in all that you shared here today 🙂
Procrastination IS horrible, and unless we make an effort ourselves, things don’t work! My biggest one is the distractions when I am on the social media platforms, which are common with most others too i think. However, it’s mainly for the blog promotion and not for leisure, yet the number of tags and notifications to catch up after that is what gets me caught up!
The only thing that works is to close it ALL when you sit to work. Yes, you need to set your priorities and then work towards them keeping everthing at bay – that’s just what I do too.
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
I think we’ve all been guilty of being on social media where you will see a notification come through and it will take you away from what you were working on. The difference is how we handle it and how we stay focused. Great points! Thanks for the comments!
I find that 2 and 3 work nicely together. Find your purpose, hold it tight, prioritize, then the distractions fade away.
Do 1 thing at a time. Turn off your phone and Facebook and twitter when commenting. Focus on commenting. Get that job done so you avoid procrastinating in this area then proceed.
Same deal with anything. Focus all of your creative energies on 1 task, and you will never procrastinate in that area. Knowing where you are headed plays a key roll in this process.
Awesome tips buddy. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, and continuous support. You are the best bro.
Like you said, it take discipline to focus on one task at hand. Many people feel they can multi-task, but in reality they are multi-distracted is what I always say. Thanks for the comments!
Great article, Nate!
Procrastination is one of the biggest productivity killers so it needs to be dealt with once and for all.
What I’ve found to work best is to give yourself a deadline. When you put it on your calendar, it is a little harder to avoid doing it.
Blocking out time specifically for things you’ve been putting off is another tactic. When you know you have 30 minutes to do that one thing you’ve been procrastinating and nothing else, it is harder to say no to it.
Having an accountability partner is also a great way to fight procrastination. Just the fact that you need to be accountable to someone else, besides you creates a good amount and kind of social pressure that is very helpful in getting things done.
Last, but not least, outsourcing. If you don’t enjoy doing something and it can be outsourced to someone else, outsource it. This way you don’t have to figure out ways to go around putting it off and the things get done much faster.