In these lockdown times, where we have no other choice than staying home, and where many are working from home, everything seems to be paused. Every morning we are wondering: “What am I going to do today?” Some of us write To Do Lists to stay focused, others take things as they come. However, whether you are self-employed or an employee working from home, one thing more tempting is taking over: procrastination.
Procrastination, in other words the art of delaying something, is the biggest enemy of the entrepreneur. Procrastination prevents us to achieve our goals. We see the list of tasks to complete, and yet, at the end of the day, nothing has been ticked. We ask ourselves: “What have I done with my day?”
Today more than ever, laziness can take over. Especially us, entrepreneurs, who can’t work like before, who can’t meet our clients. When we find ourselves at home, what can we do for our business? No more client, no more project, no more money, too much stress and worries. Is my business going to survive? In short, procrastination doesn’t help. But why do we procrastinate? What are the good questions to ask?
What are the tasks I delay?
Accountancy, preparing a meeting, write a blog article, post on social media… and more. Something really personal is hiding behind tasks we keep delaying.
“Experts define it as the voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we’ll suffer as a result. A poor concept of time may exacerbate the problem, but an inability to manage emotions seems to be its very foundation.”Eric Jaffe
Is it a task that scare us? Is it one we are not comfortable with? Are we unconsciously keeping the opportunity to say: “I failed because I delayed it”? Sometimes, fear of success makes us procrastinate. At the end, procrastination is closely linked with our self-confidence. When we have a dream or a new idea, we start by saying: “I am not capable, I won’t succeed”. And we procrastinate waiting for things to happen by themselves: it’s self-sabotaging.
What is the connection between procrastination and motivation?
Sometimes, despite our efforts and hard work, we can’t see any immediate results and we may feel disheartened. Results take too much time. While the enthusiasm of the beginning is waning, and the progress of our business appears to have come to a standstill, we lose our motivation as if we needed an immediate reward to get back on track.
As an entrepreneur, the danger would be to procrastinate when things are quiet, when there is no external pressure. Indeed, it’s easy to remain motivated when there are projects in progress, when we need to be effective and reactive for our clients. However, when things are quiet, it’s important to keep challenging ourselves, so we don’t fall into the trap of procrastination.
Is procrastination not doing anything at all?
Sometimes procrastination doesn’t mean to do nothing, or spend our day on Netflix. Sometimes we procrastinate by spending our day on an Excel table with amazing charts to analyse our clients or manage our budget. Of course, it’s great to have such tools, but was it THE thing to do today to achieve my goal and develop my business?
Understanding why we procrastinate allows us to find appropriate solutions. Whether it is by reorganising our work, by being more disciplined, by changing our work environment, or by defining intermediary objectives, you need to find the right solution to overcome procrastination!
What about you? What are your tips to overcome procrastination?