Updated: Nov 3, 2021
I remember what it was like when I was first starting working for myself...
The successful girl boss instagrams made it look so easy. I felt like other people were able to put their head down, focus, and get results.
But not me.
I was always getting caught up in the BTS details and never pushing the needle forward in my sales. Of course, once I started to really pay attention, I quickly learned that MANY of the entrepreneurs online and around me also had procrastination problems.
If you’re here and you’re self employed or a work from homer, unfortunately you're likely to make these mistakes too. We know that procrastination can be a difficult cycle to break.
Unless, of course, you learn how to manage what’s causing you to lag.
To beat procrastination, first we must understand what the triggers are – why do we put things off at all?
There are a few common reasons that can lead you down the destructive path of procrastination.
Have a look at the below list to see if any of the errors sound familiar to you. Don't stress — there are tips for overcoming them as well!
Fear of Failure: This can be a hard one to admit yourself.
Almost everyone I know who tries to tackle something new finds themselves with - at the minimum - a healthy amount of uncertainty. And that’s because, at least if you’re like me, doing something you haven’t obsessed over the details of is terrifying! If we fear that there’s a chance we may fail at something, it’s common for us to put off even trying.
What’s important to remember is that failure is a good thing!
It provides us with valuable feedback so we can move on and learn from our mistakes. All the greats have learned to love failure. It’s important to spend some time changing your attitude to failure so this no longer affects your goals.
Feeling Overwhelmed: Unfortunately this one is Fear of Failure’s annoying little brother.
If we feel that a task is just too big or too overwhelming, we will make up excuses to try and avoid tackling it.
One thing you can do is to break down big tasks into ‘bite size chunks,' one tiny step at a time you will feel less overwhelm.
You Have Too Much on Your Plate: Sometimes it’s better to just say no!
Most people don’t even realize they’re doing this until the burnout hits them square in the face. We are often unrealistic about what’s achievable. We take on too many things while also having our own big goal that ultimately needs more time than is available.
We need to make sure we have enough time & energy before we take on a new task. This can look like saying no sometimes, outsourcing the busy work, or setting clear priorities for what you have to do.
Before hiring a Virtual Assistant, I struggled to keep everything together - here's her IG if you need help too. She's the BEST.
Lack of Confidence: The cousin of Fear of Failure just here to say ‘hey’
If you think you can’t do something you are more likely to avoid it. Next time, try thinking of a time when you learned something new and use that evidence to tell your brain you ARE capable - and see if you don’t get better results.
This links to the first point; fear of failure is really the biggest trigger for procrastination. If you have any doubt in your mind then it’s highly likely you will find other things to do!
Build trust with yourself by making plans to do small tasks and sticking to them 100% of the time. When you do the thing consistently, you’re creating evidence that you DO have what it takes to follow through.
Next step is working that consistency into the bigger tasks you’re afraid of tackling! Another great confidence boost is having people in your corner - cheering for you and celebrating even the smallest of wins.
You can tap into our online community of creative & driven women here.
Doing the Task For the Wrong Reason: Is this task really for you? Or for someone else.
I’ve saved the best (and worst) for last.
Do you want to achieve that goal because you really want it? Or because your parents or your partner want it for you?
We’re talking about priorities again and knowing what YOU want.
You may have to sit with this one awhile. It can be hard to accept that the “life rules” we grew up with are totally and completely fake.
If you want to be a CEO or a mom by 35 that’s great but if you don’t want that - that’s okay too!
Look at your goals and make sure they’re truly yours and not someone else’s that you decided should be for you too.
Now that you know the top 5 reasons you may be procrastinating and have an action step toward avoiding them, you can identify which ones are hitting home for you and move that needle forward on your goals or projects!
Take this newfound knowledge and confidence to minimize your procrastination - hey, you still have almost the whole week ahead of you to make a change!