And then with deadlines looming like dark clouds the negative self-talk kicks in, as so does the anxiety. Procrastination would have to be the most guilt producing blocker on the planet!
So, why do we do it?
Why do we delay the work, when we know it’s got to be done? When we know working our business and client work is what brings in the income? Why is it so hard to jump in and tick things off the list?
Procrastination is a sign of overwhelm.
It is how our mind responds to the fact we are overloaded by the sheer volume of work and noise we have in our life.
As a business owner the to do list is never ending. We become overwhelmed by what is required of us. There is the pressure (financial and other) of running the day to day business and managing life outside of the business.
With so much going on it seems impossible to even choose what is most important, or what to do next.
So, we procrastinate.
It is easier to delay and postpone and find something else to do that takes our mind off all that we have to do. The issue with this however, is that it exacerbates the problem feeling we had in the first place.
4 SIMPLE IDEAS TO HELP YOU PUSH THROUGH PROCRASTINATION
- Start Yesterday
Prep your day, the day before. Write out your to do list the night BEFORE you leave the office. Make it the last thing you do before shutting down your laptop. List 3 things you do tomorrow.
Just 3 things. Be realistic, this is not a brain dump of everything that you have circling your mind that needs doing. Sometimes your “to do list” of 50 URGENT items is the biggest trigger for procrastination. It is too overwhelming, where do you even start?! Instead, write a short list of your top 3 MUST DO’S.
Remember: You can do anything, but not everything!
Studies tells us that your brain functions best an hour after you wake and is running at maximum productivity for the first 2-3 hours. Knowing this – find out when your peak productivity time is … and use it!
- Could you spend one hour working from home before coming into the office when your brain is fresh - before the chaos of the day derails you?
- Could you arrange your day to get to the office earlier during your peak productivity time?
Eat the Frog
I know it sounds like a strange concept (and now you’ll probably remember it!), but when you get to the office and look at the 3 things from your list ask yourself:
What is the HARDEST thing on your list to do?
- Whatever that is… do that first. Eat the frog. You’ll know what it is because it’s the one thing that you really don’t want to do.
- Push yourself to do it first, it is a mindset flip. After that everything else will flow because you already have a sense of accomplishment from doing the hardest thing straight up
- Next, what is the second hardest thing on your list? Repeat, and repeat.
This concept shifts you forward into action, just imagine how productive you could be if you made “eat the frog” a daily habit?
“Chunk Down” Out of the Overwhelm
You might be thinking “Well, I don’t even know what to write on my list I am that overwhelmed with what is coming at me right now”. When the brain fog is thick from stress and E V E R Y T H I N G feels overwhelming then here is a simple tool called chunking down, that will help bring you out of the overwhelm.
Book 15mins of quiet reflection time, take a deep breath and asking yourself a couple questions to find clarity:
What specifically is causing me to feel this way?
- What specifically am I overwhelmed about (list them all down)?
- What prevents me from starting with X? (choose 1)
- Then make a detailed list to help move me forward on this one item, ask yourself – what is the first step I can take?
Chunking down allows you to get into the details and specifics of what is causing the overwhelm, understand what is blocking you and allows you to break it down into steps. Then everything doesn’t feel so daunting.
Taking the first step helps you to kick start the momentum and push through that procrastination.
Janel Briggs is a mindset and business coach, find her at www.janelbriggs.com