In my last post, I introduced the 5 Reasons for Procrastination. I asked you to download my Procrastination list and list 10 things you’re currently procrastinating. If you missed it, pause, and do it now.
To recap…The 5 Reasons for Procrastinating:
- The task is too big and overwhelming
- You need to learn something first (or you think you do)
- Other things need to be done first
- It’s not the right time
- You are not the right person
If you haven’t already, look at your procrastination list and see if you can identify the reason for each of your items. Is an item too big? Is now the right time? Are you the right person?
Let’s look at each reason for procrastinating in more detail…
The task is too big and overwhelming
How many times have you thrown an item on your to-do list without giving thought to all the steps involved?
It happens all the time.
For example, many potential clients reach out to me with sending a newsletter as one of their tasks. If you’ve never sent one before and are just getting started, you may not realize that this one task is actually made up of nearly (20) subtasks both for set up and repeating tasks:
- Figure out email platform
- Set up sign up format- website, blog, social media link
- Set up account
- Design template
- Design email header
- Create free gift
- Set up email automation for free gift
- Spread the word about newsletter
- Plan content
- Write content
- Edit content
- collect/design graphics
- Format content
- Preview email
- Test email links
- Schedule email
- Check analytics
- Post notifications to social media
No wonder it’s overwhelming if you didn’t know about all these steps and tried to sit down to do it in one go!
If an item is too big or overwhelming, you tend to shut down before you begin in fear of failure.
An easy fix is to break down the task into its smallest pieces.
There is no way you could start sending out a newsletter in one go. However, start with brainstorming topics and themes to know how often you want to send out. Then spend a day designing the pieces and template.
Or if looking at the steps, you already know that writing the content is the only thing you want to do, then it’s time to find someone to handle the rest of your to-do list.
You need to learn something first (or you think you do)
“If you learned something new everyday, you still wouldn’t know everything.” Anastacia Brice
So many times people feel like they need to learn the next big thing to start on a project and then get so caught up in the learning, rather than the doing, that nothing ever gets Ta-Done.
I’m just as guilty as the next person on procrastinating until I’ve learned what I felt like I needed to learn to move forward. In fact, when it came to my marketing, I kept thinking I needed to read one more book before I posted to social media or started my newsletter, when really, I just needed to put myself out in the world.
To overcome this, make a list of what you think you need to know in order to accomplish your task. Then learn those things. YouTube is a great source for quick tutorials for most anything you need to know.
Or be honest and courageous with yourself that you already know enough to get started and embrace good enough for now. Get started and learn what you need as you go.
Other things need to be done first
Like breaking down big tasks into smaller pieces, sometimes projects need other things to be done first to get the ball rolling.
Using the newsletter example above, you can’t send out a newsletter if you don’t know which email marketing provider you’re going to use or if you don’t know what content you want to share.
Take a look at your tasks and ask yourself if something else needs to be done first. Then do that to get momentum on other tasks.
It’s not the right time
In my blog post Brain Dump: Gaining More Clarity with The 4D Method, we talked about DELAY items. When you delay an idea it’s because, most likely, other things need to be checked off your list to free up time, resources and energy.
Shifting items off your procrastination list and onto your DELAY list, will free you up to focus on the items standing in the way. Eventually, when the time is right, a task that was weighing you down will get Ta-Done with ease.
You are not the right person
Another category in the 4D Method is DELEGATE. One of main reasons for procrastination is you are not the right person to complete the task. Reasons can vary, but most commonly, it’s because you don’t have the time, skillset, or desire to do so.
There is no shame in handing off tasks to others when it’s in their zone of genius and not yours. Letting go of your expectations that you have to do it all will free you up to do more, with more energy, and more satisfaction.
Find someone to help you do the things you don’t want to do. Look to your family, friends, or hire a VA to help. You don’t have to go it alone!
Unsure about your procrastination list? I can help.
Click here to schedule a complimentary 30-minute call to go over your list. Together we can identify your reason and create a plan to keep you moving forward.