Three reasons why entrepreneurs procrastinate & how to kick the habit for good

young woman with laptop and cup of tea think of anything else

If you didn’t quite get what I am saying in the title because it seems way too impossible, then I’ll say it once again. Procrastination is completely unnecessary and a super easy habit to kick. I know that may sound like a radical statement given you probably can’t think of many people who don’t put things off once in a while. Sure, we all do it but that’s only when we are completely unaware of what’s causing this lazy behaviour.

In fact, I don’t think procrastination stems from laziness at all. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. The question then becomes:

Why do people procrastinate?

Procrastination is a word used broadly to describe a myriad of issues. I have observed so many of them in my own life and that of my clients. There is always something bigger behind the lack of action. Most of us like to do what we say we are going to do. So what stops us?

Disconnection:  For business owners this is an especially big one to become aware of – the loss of connection to the bigger vision. This is the one that happens to me the most. I get caught up in trivial life stuff and daily concerns and lose sight of the big picture. I feel less motivated to do any of the tasks I had predetermined to be important and helpful in moving me forward in my life because I don’t see the connection between them and what I want to do and be.

Fix #1:  A few easy fixes that work well for me and will work for anyone include shifting my perspective to a big, high-level or longer view one. To do that, I do one of three things:  1) watch an inspirational video from someone I respect to remind myself of what I want to learn and teach and aspire to, 2) work on my monthly strategic plan to elevate my daily headspace to a broader success mindset, or 3) get out of town. When I travel to different communities I soak up the vibe quickly and immerse myself into that place. Shifting completely into the culture of anywhere different totally stokes my fire and immediately changes my perspective.

Boredom:  Business owners are driven people who like challenges and are very motivated about achieving their goals, when they are meaningful. When there are no clear goals, or milestones to track them, or the goals are not meaningful, it’s easy to start coasting. I had a client last year who lost sight of his big goals. The achievement of some of the more immediate ones made him complacent and he stopped striving. It was a bit too easy to run the business and he became disengaged. That sounds like fun right? Less time on the job?

The problem was that not only did he get behind with his long-term plans, he missed some important details that caused expensive mistakes.

Fix #2 – Create shorter-term meaningful, achievable goals that challenge you in new ways. As an entrepreneur you don’t want to go too long without feeling challenged and inspired to keep developing your business and yourself. Enlist a colleague, mentor or coach to help you refine these goals to ensure they are the ones that will really keep you motivated. Creating accountability for these short-term goals is important. Find a system for checking in with people regularly on your progress.

Overwhelm: A lot of small business owners simply just have too much to do. Add family, household responsibilities, fitness or leisure activities and you are pretty much full. I had a client recently who was never able to complete her homework from coaching because life got hectic. There were just too many commitments and demands on her time for her to make good decisions on how to spend her precious time and when to just step back and rest.

Fix #3 – Simplify and follow your energy. Simplifying when life is hectic is about picking just three things to focus on. In order to feel good, accomplish what you intend to do consistently and see progress in your life when times are busy, choose just three areas and do them well. For example, right now my three priorities are my son, my business and my fitness. That’s it. I fit in other things when I can and, of course, this could change but I know these three things feel good and are the most important.

In addition to all that, when life gets particularly exhausting, I take a nap. There is no point starting at a computer screen getting nothing done when if you got the rest you needed you could get all your tasks done in a fraction of the time. Be honest about what you need and ultimately be good to yourself.

Do you or someone you know fall into the procrastination trap too often? Please share this article and let me know what your favourite fix is.

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Lisa Princic is a Business Strategist & Membership Expert who helps thought leaders & niche experts build wildly successful memberships while making a positive impact. She helps entrepreneurs scale with powerful positioning & profitable programs designed around their zone of genius. A staunch believer in simplicity, Lisa helps her clients accomplish their goals by focusing on what to do AND what to ignore.

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