Tag Archive: Procrastination



If you’re a chronic procrastinator your habit is regularly impacting your business and your life. You may have tried things to stop the habit and some things may have worked for a while, but then you found yourself right back where you started. You’re not by yourself.  What happens to most is that they get used to the impact and used to working the way that their habit has them work and dealing with the consequences. They become a bit resigned and continue to operate in the mayhem that procrastination causes.

That mayhem causes bad fruit to grow on what I call your Procrastination Tree™. Whatever you do plants seeds for something to grow later down the road, whether it’s something you want or not. You may not think of procrastination in these terms, but if you know who I am you know that I don’t look at or see things the way most do and this is no different.  Your procrastination has roots (symptoms), branches and fruit (impact). The fruit shows up in your life as:

  • An ongoing list of undone things
  • Wasted time and energy
  • Lost clients/money
  • Physical symptoms like stress (Which can lead to other things)
  • Missed deadlines and deliveries
  • Lack of efficiency

If your habit of putting things off goes on for long enough, you’ll start to see the fruit turn up in other areas of your life too. If you want to stop growth of the bad fruit, you’ve got to first look at what’s going on. How is procrastination showing up in your life? You have to explore what’s really going on, get the big picture before you can remedy it. When you start looking at it you see its impact and at that point you realize that the fun is over. You’ve got the bill and see your cost for putting things off.

Once you can wrap your head around what it’s costing you, it makes it easier to commit to ridding yourself of it once and for all. Exploring your habit in depth…the symptoms as well as the outcomes that impact you gives you clues as to where to look on a much deeper level. That is where you will find not only the cause for your procrastination, but the solution as well.

If you’re interested in exploring your procrastination, uncovering the real reason you do it, and then annihilating your procrastination, check out this master class series.

 

Busy Work & BSOs


Laptop CloseupThere’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. Every day people are busy with irrelevant things. Things that don’t directly line up with their big picture. Sometimes the busy work comes into play because you’d rather procrastinate than do the task at hand. The things that keep you busy and unproductive are the unnecessary meetings and those without an agenda. The trivial stuff, the things that seem more pleasant to do and some email and phone calls all fall into this category. These are the things that keep you from the things that you really should be giving your time to.

Then there are those time sucking BSOs (Bright shiny objects) that are notorious for leading you astray every day, all day. You know how it is…you’re working on something and then you get a thought about something else that needs to be done, or an awesome idea that you just have to bring to life and you take that detour. You follow the thought or that idea and before you know it an hour or more has gone by and you haven’t done a thing when it comes to the task you originally started with. Ugh!

So how do you bust the busy work and the BSOs? For starters, eliminate the busy work by getting focused on your priorities. Determine what they are based on your values and the things that will help you manifest what you’re up to. Let go of the rest by delegating it or deleting it altogether. The key here is to move away from the things that don’t matter by creating a personalized productivity system that will get you through your days. Create new habits like regular planning that will help you move away from putting out fires and constantly dealing with crises. I mean, who wants to put up with that?

If you’re guilty of letting those BSOs lead you in an entirely different direction, grab a note book or pad of paper that you can keep on your desk or work table. Make sure it’s portable so it can go with you on those days you work from your local coffee shop. The next time a BSO strikes, resist chasing it down and jot it down instead. Take a quick moment to write down the thoughts you’re having or the other things that come to mind that have to be done. Do the same with the ideas that come to you which should only take you a quick minute or two. Then cross of the items you’ve transferred and get back to what you were doing. At the end of each day, or at least a few times a week go to your notes and pull the additional to-do items from your notes and into a fitting spot in your calendar or to-do list. Take those great ideas and add blocks of time to work on them and bring them to life. Each time you come back to your notebook you’ll be able to tell where to start so you won’t lose anything and you’ll maintain your focus which will help you get things done.

 


WastingTime-ClocksWasteCan-SmallI’m sure there are a few things you can think of right now that are wasting your time every day that you would love to be rid of. Things that have been keeping you from getting it done for quite some time now.  Just how are you wasting your time? I’m going to share a few ways I see entrepreneurs wasting time daily and give you solutions for moving beyond them.

Let’s talk about your day to day experiences. Every day there are so many things going on that if you’re not careful, your day will have control of you and you won’t have a say in the matter. I’m pretty sure you’ve had the experience that I’m talking about. You’ve got a full day, things that keep popping up and you’re trying to maneuver the landscape of the things on your agenda along with interruptions, social media, multiple devices and the challenges you have. That’s quite a mix and of course this is what you want to shift away from, so let me share a few ways that are probably wasting your time and give you some help with those time wasters.

Doing Irrelevant Things– How much time do you give to the mail, social media, accounting tasks, the marketing, etc? Many are focused on these things  instead of the things that generate revenue. If this is where your time is going, you don’t have much of it to give to your expertise so your focus isn’t contributing to your bottom line. Delegate the things that you don’t have to be the one to do so you can focus on what you’re good at and bringing that to your clients.

Being Effective But Not Efficient-You might be doing the right things, but doing them in an inefficient way. Efficiency is doing things the right way and effectiveness is doing the right things. So here the problem is being effective, but not efficient. You’re on track doing the right things, just not going about them in a productive way. I see this a lot when it comes to repetitive tasks. The things that have to be done daily, weekly and monthly. Each time the wheel is reinvented instead of there being a system for said repetitive tasks. The solution here is to document the tasks so that anyone you delegate them to has clear picture of what has to happen. Create templates or forms to support the process if they’re a fit. Save information needed such as login details and have them readily available. These are things that will help streamline the process.

Technology-Technology is changing every day and honestly I think that the more it advances, the more it consumes people. There are our phones, apps, email and social media that for the most part keep people caught up during the day. First off, open your email when you need to check it and don’t make that first thing in the morning. When you’re done, close it and check it again later. Be sure you designate when you’re checking email and stick to it. Use folders and filters to help sort your email or better yet, try a tool like SaneBox that will keep your inbox clean. Create a social media plan and get someone on board to create and make some of your posts or set them up in something like Hoot Suite so you can cut down on the time you give to social media posting. Of course you don’t want to automate everything.

 


Unproductive Road SignIt’s easy to be caught up in the “norm” and go through your days winging it when it comes to getting things done. There are a few things that are clear indicators that you need help getting it together so you can get it done. I’m going to share five with you here.

  • The first sign is you’re confused about what to work on or to do and when. If you’re finding yourself challenged when it comes to knowing which of the many things on your plate to focus on, your productivity is impaired. When this is the experience you’re having, you find yourself here on a regular basis and waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to do. Here it’s about learning how to prioritize then sticking to those priorities.
  • The second sign is continually putting things off. How many things are you procrastinating on right now? If you don’t know, make a list of all the things that you keep putting off then ask yourself why you think you keep pushing back the time to get it done. The real reason is going to be much deeper and you have to do some digging to find it, but this is the first step.
  • Sign number three…you’re easily sidetracked and chase the BSOs (bright shiny objects). You start out working on something and then something else pops into your mind. Something that you forgot about, maybe something that’s due soon or a new idea. Instead of continuing to work on the task at hand you follow that thought, and for a long time, totally forgetting about what you were doing. Later you remember what you abandoned or worse, you don’t realize what you’ve done until you go to close your laptop or clean your desk at the end of the day.
  • The fourth sign is a disorganized office or forever messy desk. You can’t find anything and don’t have the space to work and that definitely wastes your time. It also creates a heavy energy in the space that doesn’t make it easy to get things done. That messy desk isn’t helping you either. I’m not talking about your desk being in disarray while you’re working, I’m talking about a desk with paper and other items that seem to have made your desk a permanent home.
  • The final sign is that you run out of day before you run out of things to do. You’re consumed by all that there is to do and it’s got control. You dive in and before you know it, it’s time for that meeting, or worse yet, the day is over, and it’s the pattern you fall into every day. So then it becomes necessary to add some extra hours to your work day just so you can get it all done, which has your personal and family life suffer. It’s a vicious cycle. One that you’ve got to bring to an end. It is possible to get it all done and have a life too.

 


WomanWithUpsidedownClockLet’s talk about that “thing” that keeps you from getting it done. If you’re like most people you don’t know what it is that keeps you from getting things done. You just know that you’re not getting the results that you want, which can be frustrating to say the very least. Before you can improve your productivity, you’ve got to know what the issue is.

If you’re struggling you already know what that feels like…working the extra time to get it all done, having what seems like too much on your plate and no room for you and rushing to satisfy and keep your clients. Facing your challenge first means identifying what it is that has you struggling. If something were ailing you physically, you would seek to determine what the problem was so that it could be remedied.

There are a lot of things that cause people to be challenged: procrastination, cluttered office space or disorganization, email overload and chasing those BSOs (Bright Shiny Objects) is a big problem for creative types, not that others don’t do it. Then there’s lack of focus, lack of proper tools and systems and non-supportive habits.

You have to look at your every-day work life to see what’s challenging you. You are caught up. Overloaded. You are caught up in the everyday to-dos of business and family, multiple overloaded inboxes, calendars and tasks on your to-do list.

This is what’s going on…You have multiple mobile devices— your laptop, smart phone and probably a tablet and other tools too. I do. I’ve got my BlackBerry, my tablet and my laptop. The multiple devices isn’t really the issue if they’re needed. The issue is the lack of management of them.

There’s social media, your piles of paper and cluttered work space. Add to that all of the things that you need to do and the places you need to be and yes, you’re caught up.

To identify the things that challenge you, just take a look at your behavior, which takes some effort because being human, we get caught up in routine things and ways of being. Start logging every minute of  your time. What you’re working on and your start and finish times. Log the times that you stop for a snack or for lunch or to take a break. Log the time that you spend on the phone and on social media. You even want to log the time that you spend socializing or chit chatting online or on the phone. Be sure to document all of it so that when you look back you have a clear picture with all of the details. You want something that will let you see exactly what you’re doing so that you can know what your oppressor is. If you’re going to get beyond what impedes you, you have to identify and acknowledge it so it can be faced and dealt with.

 

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