So why haven’t you built that Twitter profile for your business yet? You know you should have reached out to that distributor weeks ago but you are sitting on your hands. There was a really good book that was recommended to you on how to grow your business, but you have put off reading it. Why?
There are a lot of reasons why things don’t get done with your business; mismanaged time, limited resources, lack of capital etc. Sometimes, there is little that can be done with uncontrollable circumstances. But the new season of The Walking Dead should not be one of the reasons your business is not growing. No matter how awesome it is.
If you are a new entrepreneur and are fighting the beast of procrastination, you are not alone. New business owners and entrepreneurs typically have a harder time completing multiple projects. They are prone to procrastinate more due to the uniqueness of running a new business. There is no boss telling you what to do and when to do it. That freedom, coupled with inexperience and a little bit of fear, can make anyone procrastinate.
In this article we will give you some tips on how to battle procrastination so that you can move your venture in the right direction.
Have Near Term deadlines
Most startup business owners may not know much about deadlines. A few existing entrepreneurs set the wrong example by making the rest of the business world believe that setting deadlines is working under pressure. However, it is the only way to ensure that all types of business owners can juggle different tasks at the same time. Whether the deadlines are self-imposed or set by the customers, they inspire entrepreneurs to complete tasks in a timely fashion. Without a clearly defined deadline, it is easy to procrastinate important tasks.
An effective way to ensure that those deadlines are met is to make sure that the deadline is not too far into the future. Setting shorter term deadlines creates a sense of urgency. And urgency is kryptonite for procrastination.
Make Your Tasks Bite-Sized
Many entrepreneurs, especially those working on startups become over excited and decide to try out their luck in a few different businesses. While this may work for some people, most of them fail. This happens simply because they do not break down overwhelming tasks into smaller manageable pieces that will allow them to focus on each one at a time.
Breaking down goals and projects into smaller chunks allows entrepreneurs to work on different business aspects in a logical sequence until completion. For instance, it may not be practical to establish two businesses at the same time. Even though we may choose to try out a couple of ventures in efforts to make money but successfully completing a single business and dedicating time to making it thrive will prove more rewarding and help in fighting procrastination.
Stop Multi-Tasking and Keep Your Sanity.
Multi-tasking, in principle, sounds like a good idea; do many things in a short amount of time. But studies have shown over and over that multi-tasking is a myth. Instead, what you are actually doing is task switching. The lack of intense focus on one thing is actually making you less productive.
When solo entrepreneurs establish startups, they are made to believe that multitasking is the best way to get multiple tasks accomplished. Contrary to this, multitasking may not always work as it allows entrepreneurs to put less-enjoyable tasks on hold and mainly focus on those that they love doing. However, time blocking is a reliable method that allows entrepreneurs to properly plan how they will spend their time.
This is done by planning out all the tasks that should be completed on a particular day. The tasks are then divided into 15-minute blocks that ensure no time is wasted. Referred to as the Pomodoro Technique, working in time batches is a sure way to avoid procrastination. There are numerous apps such as Time Doctor that enable entrepreneurs to get started with time blocks. The use of time blocks is not only advantageous in running a business, but also in everyday life.
Entrepreneurial procrastination has always been credited to having too many distraction in the workspace. It’s imperative to stay focused at all times. This can be done by uninstalling any apps that websites that do not pertain to business. For instance, entrepreneurs who have social media applications on their work computers may choose to procrastinate tasks because that are chatting with friends and family.
Form a Mastermind Group
When I was first started my business, I had a difficult time doing some of the things that I knew I should be doing. One of my friends asked me to meet with him and a few of his friends who were also entrepreneurs. The meetings became a regular event. We developed accountability systems to ensure that we would do the things that would make our businesses grow.
Most times, new and existing entrepreneurs find it easy to procrastinate tasks because they do not have anyone to report to. After all, they are self-employed. Entrepreneurs rarely have managers who make sure that things are getting done. While there may be no one to keep them in line, they may decide to find accountability partners. Those who work from home may ask those around them to check on what has been done in an entire day of work or ask colleagues in the same field to call in and check on their progress. This ensures that they are able to fight procrastination at all times.
Reward Yourself After Meeting a Goal
Entrepreneurs are known to focus on tasks that interest them and procrastinate on those that do not. Offering yourself incentives will motivate you to complete all the tasks with equal enthusiasm. The incentives may include rewarding yourself with personal time or an extra hour of reading an interesting motivational book. Success does not have to be meeting 100% of your goals, even achieving 80% of your goals should be considered successful.
When we work for longer hours, we tend to feel tired and suffocated and this is motivation for procrastination. Stepping away from a strenuous task enables those running a business to clear their mind by walking or performing light mental exercises. Often times, we become more productive when we let go. Constantly thinking about a task is overwhelming. Taking a break will ensure that entrepreneurs break through their procrastination habits and work towards their goals at all times.
Do Not Lose Momentum
It is very easy to be swayed away from tasks but learning to stay focused means that you should always stay on the right track. According to Isaac Newton’s law of movement, an object in motion stays in motion. In other words, entrepreneurs should remain focused on their professional tasks until they complete them.