When there is SO much to do that there’s barely enough time to do it in, we have an odd tendency to put off doing anything at all. Procrastination is tempting for many reasons: overwhelm, fear of failure, disorganization, or simply not knowing where to start. As an entrepreneur, it’s best to nip your procrastination habit in the bud before it derails your budding enterprise. Here are a few tools I’ve picked up that can help keep entrepreneurs from procrastinating.
1. Get Organized
If your workspace is a mess and pens, papers, and wires don’t have their own designated space, you will spend endless undue time and energy organizing your space in order to feel like you can work. This is especially true if you’re a visual learner; some of us feel like we can’t relax and enjoy time off until the house is orderly, so we spend half a weekend day cleaning and making our space look beautiful again. If that example rings true for you, get ahead of the procrastination game by creating a super-organized workspace that won’t derail your focus by getting disorderly.
2. Turn Off the WiFi
Facebook and Twitter, while amazing small business networking and marketing tools, can be huge time and energy drains. To keep yourself on task, turn the WiFi on your laptop off while working on offline documents so you are not tempted to check social media sites—or your email, for that matter.
3. Change Spaces
Home offices are super convenient, but they are also sometimes distracting. If your work space is equipped with family photos, a bobble head dog, and a yummy scented candle, you may find yourself procrastinating out of distraction—it’s sometimes more fun to stare at photos of your kids than write out an itemized budget! If you find your eyes wandering away from the computer screen and your thoughts turning to memories of your beach vacation, get up and take your laptop outside for a bit, or head to a library where there are less tempting distractions.
4. Note Your Preferences
Sometimes we procrastinate simply because we’re facing a task that we don’t particularly enjoy doing. It’s best to give projects like this a running start by identifying them as “dislikes”, scheduling a time to do them during the week, and completing an enjoyable, energizing task right beforehand. The boost of energy you get from doing something you love can sometimes be enough to push you up the hill. Another tactic is to identify your most energetic times of day and complete unfavorable tasks then. If you’re a morning person, commit to tackling a problem project before you finish your Venti latte. If there are tasks that take a Herculean effort on your part to complete because you simply hate them, partner with a virtual assistant and delegate the work! There’s no reason to delay success simply because you can’t stand updating your blog.
What other things tempt you to procrastinate? What fears or triumphs are you delaying by avoiding your work? What steps do you need to take to kick the procrastination habit?
Spring is the best time to get your cleaning on! Grab my guide on tidying up your work space and benefit your productivity here.