Learning how to overcome procrastination is a critical skill for anyone who needs to get things done (and isn’t that essentially everyone?). This is especially true for online marketers because procrastination is one of the most debilitating conditions that a solo entrepreneur can face. With no “boss” in your face every day to hold you accountable, it can be really difficult to dig out of the deep hole that procrastination can put you in.
Because learning how to beat procrastination is so important, I’ve decided to dedicate and entire episode to it this week. Now most “procrastination tips” that you find on line talk about tactics for beating procrastination. That’s important, and I discuss 10 tips for beating procrastination in the episode.
But there’s more to the struggle than just tips and tricks. To truly win against procrastination, you need a process to identify, own, and get at the root cause of your procrastination. I discuss all of this in the episode.
Show Notes On Overcoming Procrastination
- Recognize Procrastination – Sometimes, your procrastination is so built in your subconscious that you don’t realize that you continue to put stuff of for good reasons and so much time goes by that you legitimately forget about it entirely. Understand when this is happening to you. Writing down things and keeping track of ideas of the things that you might want to or should do someday can help. Reviewing those lists can help you recognize procrastination.
- Understand why is it that you are procrastinating – it is usually that you don’t have a good reason to do it in the first place: you are not connected with your ‘why’, you are not sufficiently motivated to do it. So unpack the reason why it is in the list in first place and ask if it is really important. And if it’s not, then take it off the list or de-prioritize it so you are not procrastinating anymore. If it is important, understand why it’s important so you will have the fuel and intrinsic push that you need to get something done.
- Go ahead and forgive yourself – All of us are guilty of procrastinating at one point or another and now, you are working to get yourself better. Once you’ve learned whatever lesson there is to learn in the past, the only way forward is through. Don’t spend time in self-incrimination, forgive yourself and stop dragging that baggage with you.
- Ditch your excuses – All the excuses why you procrastinate need to be set aside. Leave them with the baggage.
- Take Action – now that you have made a contract with yourself that you are not going to make excuses, what actions can you take to kill and prevent the same behavior in the future?
- Create accountability – tell people what you are doing when appropriate and ask them to hold you accountable. Let them know so that you are in fear of them asking how you are doing. Use technology such as apps or calendar reminders to journal your progress to force you to recognize if you are making progress or not.
- Optimize your environment – remove distractions (digital, television/radio, noise, junk in your desk) or put yourself in another place where you are most likely to complete your task.
- Break it down – sometimes we fail because the task is massive that it seems so overwhelming. Break down your tasks, set goals to complete each so that you can build momentum and make some progress.
- Take bold actions – Sometimes you are procrastinating because you are not sure that the next thing that you will do is the right thing. Sometimes it’s faster to just do the thing, screw it up and then fix it; rather than just sitting there and suffer analysis paralysis trying to figure out what it is that you should be doing.
- Be realistic on what it is that you can accomplish – sometimes we procrastinate because we are so overwhelmed with the task that it becomes demoralizing and stressful and the easiest thing to do is check out.
- Leverage your existing habits – one way to build a defense against putting things off is use whatever habits you already have in place. The best habit to knock out procrastination is to work on it every day — get up in the morning and make sure that you do something for your business daily, review your top items every week to have a view of your progress. If you do not have these certain habits in place yet, start picking one and develop it.
- Change your habits – if you got some habits which are not working for you, do something radical and change them. Lock yourself in a hotel room in a day or two if you are distracted at home, get up early, etc.
- Buy or use the right tool for the job – maybe this is the reason why you can’t do what you need to do so invest in the new computer or go purchase that needed software.
- Set rewards for winning – declare victory and reward yourself every time you conquer procrastination. You can set this ahead of time to motivation you. Gamify the whole thing to mix things up.
- Outsource – if you don’t want to do it, then don’t. Find someone else to do it. Focus on the things that you are good at and delegate the ones which you aren’t.
Links Mentioned In This Episode
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Transcript For How To Overcome Procrastination [LNIM117]
I hope you’re having a fantastic week. Coming into 2017 we’ve been talking a lot about goals and I’ve been telling you a lot about all of the amazing free content that Michael Hyatt has been generating. He has a webinar going on this week over at LateNightIM.com/byewebinar.
You might want to check that out, it’s going to be super fantastic free content. Michael Hyatt is one of these guys that does webinars that are 90% amazing actionable content and only 10% sales pitch. If you’re wanting to get in the mood to set your goals for 2017, he’s going to have some fantastic content over there. That’s going to be great.
As part of the 2017 planning that I’ve been doing I’ve been thinking about completely changing the format of the show. A lot of my friends have comedy podcasts and I was thinking this internet marketing for profit thing has been successful, but we have over 100 episodes now and I’m thinking maybe an internet marketing comedy podcast.
I thought I’d try a couple of those and see what you guys think. If you like it, we might just change the format of the whole show. For example….
Why did the marketer get off the trampoline?
He was worried about his bounce rate.
I know, not so great. One more.
A stock photo walks into a bar and the patrons start pointing and giggling. The stock photo looks at the bartender and says, “Why is everyone staring?”
The bartender says, “You’re alt tag is showing.”
Okay, not so great. Last one. This is a great one, best joke ever.
What’s a pirate’s favorite piece of marketing content? (This is a special one for Amy Porterfield.)
It’s a webinarrrgh.
All right, I’m done. Let’s get to some listener feedback.
(Episode 117 Transcript Continued…)