"Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead" - www.mindtools.com
Before you go & beat yourself up about it, the good news is that you're not alone! In fact research shows that 95% of us procrastinate to some degree.
Butttt before you use that as justification to take your next coffee break or head to the beach, have you ever stopped to think about much time you waste "putting" things off or telling yourself "I'll do it later.. tomorrow.. next week.. never".
Then have you ever taken it the next step further & worked out how much money you could have made in those endless hours of staring into space or raiding your pantry for "motivation" & treats to get you started.
It's honestly FRIGHTENING! Once I took the time to break down the numbers, saw how much I was costing myself, I made the choice to kick procrastination to the curb & focus on what needed to get done, when it needed to be done by AND I GOT IT DONE!
Winning the war on procrastination certainly isn't easy, it takes a lot commitment, dedication & mental exhaustion as you go back & forth on how you could do it later but instead will do it NOW.. but just like starting a new diet or getting back to the gym to shed those winter kg's, you CAN do it & here's how!
CREATE A PLAN!
Dedicate at least 30 minutes every Monday morning to having a "morning meeting" with yourself. Sit at your desk, coffee in hand. Blank "To Do List' to your right, diary sitting in front of you & online calendar open.
Before you go to transfer any professional appointments to my "to do list", insert what days you will be going to the gym, any personal appointments you might have, family or friend catch ups & anything else that's important in your PERSONAL life.
Like you, I started my business to have TIME in my life for all of the things that were important to me. NOT to work around the clock & then attempt to make time for my life around that.
To keep that commitment to ourselves, lets make sure we insert these into our weekly to do list so we ensure we are a priority & we don't double book ourselves!
Once done, transfer all of our client calls, sales calls, content creation & dedicated time for online/offline networking into our plans
To make sure we haven't missed anything, revisit the prior weeks "to do" list & double check that all of our consistent meetings have been scheduled & we are good to go.
You now have a clear plan on what needs our attention for the week & we can literally see how much we have on or don't have on. If we notice that some days are out of balance, we have the opportunity to shift our tasks around BUT what's most important is that we have provided our very literal brains a plan of attack & there's no need for it to feel confused, try to tell us that we are busier than we really are or visa versa and we can GET TO WORK!
APPLY THE 90 MINUTE RULE!
The human body operates on cycles called “ultradian rhythms.”
This cycle is present in both our waking & sleeping lives. Our body naturally cycles through each stage as we sleep & when implemented into our day to day lives, the results of an increase in productivity can be extremely positive!
So instead of sitting at your computer with the intention of getting through as many tasks as possible without stopping, schedule in a break for every 90 minutes. Not only will this increase your mental productivity but you'll also be reprogramming your bodies natural clock leading to less stress, better sleep & a more balanced mindset.
EAT THE FROG!
Make the things you don't want to do a PRIORITY!
Yes I know, we would all much rather leave the urgent matters until last but by flipping this pattern around & getting them done first, will not only ensure they get done BUT you'll also save yourself some elevated internal stress whilst your at it. Who doesn't want less stress in their lives!
When we leave the urgent matters until "later", our mind still knows that they're there waiting to be done. The longer we leave them, the more stress we are putting on our minds & over time this may start to manifest in our bodies as mental health challenges, anxiety, loss of focus, negative self talk & a decrease in our overall health & well being.
Where as, when we eat the frog & get it done.. we are giving ourselves the best opportunity for success in our business & also our lives! We may reduce the chances of developing mental health challenges & see an increase of positivity, happiness & self worth as we consistently conquer all the things we tell ourselves we can't but instead DO!
ANCHOR IT BABY!
If you read/follow any of my content you will know that I am a HUGE fan of celebrating success in all areas of life. I love this so much because well, who doesn't love a celebration BUT also because every time you celebrate a WIN you are giving yourself a hit of dopamine & serotonin which is internally rewarding you for your amazing success & accomplishments! This over time creates a positive pattern, reducing negative thoughts such as "this is scary" or "I can't do this".. to "remember the last time you did this, it was fun!" or "I've done this before, I can do it!" etc.
Due to this having such a positive effect, I do the same & work with my clients to do the same when they start their day & then settle in to work.
An example of how I do this, I train at the gym 5x a week. I love weight training as it's me on me & I love exceeding the expectations I have of myself when it comes to hitting PBs & beating times.
The days I train are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday. It wasn't always like this but over time I have built up the discipline to get up at the same time each morning, get to the gym around the same time & after warming up I put my earphones in my ears & turn on my fave tunes to train too, which is Fearless Motivation. The second I turn this on I am immediately anchored, there is a switch in my brain that flicks on & there I am, the very best version of myself, ready to smash out my training session giving it all I've got!
When I am done, I do some stretching. Walk home & get ready to start my day at the same time every morning.
The mindset & best version of me is still right there with me & I am ready to tackle any challenge that comes my way!
Now for you, this anchor doesn't need to be weight training in the gym. It could be taking your dogs for a walk & listening to an awesome podcast or audio book. It could be reading positive affirmations out loud, & by our loud I mean really loud! It could be watching motivational YouTube videos..
Whatever you decide to make your anchor, add it to your "to do" list so that you don't forget & know that over time consistency building momentum & momentum brings success!
ACHIEVE YOUR WEEKLY GOALS, ATTRACT PAYING CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS, STAY IN BUSINESS!
If you have been trapped in the cycle of procrastination you will already know that this is impacting your business FINANCIALLY!
When we choose to "do it later" or "do it tomorrow", how often does later or tomorrow never come. OR if it does, how many times do you then realise how much you have to do, how behind you are on your weekly marketing plan or overall weekly/monthly/yearly sales.
This of course adding additional pressure on YOU to get more completed within a shorter time frame & a lot of praying the Gods that what you do get done will attract enough paying customers/clients for you to hit your budget for the week.
Instead of feeling in "flow" in your business, you're now feeling in need.. desperate & already dreading eating canned spaghetti for breakfast, lunch & dinner until you can hold yourself accountable to getting your sh*t done!
You see, when we make the CHOICE to create a plan & follow it.. we are giving ourselves the BEST opportunity to help those who need our product/service, reach our goals & create the financial income we know we deserve.
BUT, it is UP TO YOU! At some point in the game, you need to decide that you are in fact worthy of the amazing success you dream of creating & the amazing lifestyle waiting for you on the other side of fear.