Have you ever had days where you just can’t seem to get out of your own way? You’ve got a mile long to do list (one that you keep adding to each day, ugh), but everything else seems so much more important to get to instead of the things that actually need to get done for your business to grow.
Do you go through your week with your head down, blinders on, working like a mad woman, than when Friday hits you think, ‘Damn, I’ve been crazy busy…how could I have not chipped more off my to do list?’.
In talking with women, whether it be in my live workshops, my one-on-one coaching, or simply standing in line at the grocery store, procrastination is a theme that keeps popping up as a roadblock for many of them and stands in the way of their success.
One woman referred to it recently as ‘Squirrel Syndrome.’..which, may I say, hit close to home as my nickname used to be ‘The Squirrel’. No longer, phew!
Scurrying around throughout our days from one thing to another avoiding the calendar or our to-do list for our business; instead it’s “must do this, and now this, oh, can’t forget that . . .” and the next thing you know it’s the end of the day and the goals you came up with while you were brushing your teeth in the morning somehow never even made it out of the gate…another day is gone and you’re standing there wondering what happened, once again.
Sound familiar? Yes? You’re not alone. Procrastination is universal, and as such, is the “Universal Inhibitor” to reaching our goals AND our potential in business and life.
Webster’s defines procrastination as “to be slow or late about doing something that should be done.” Procrastination can show up to your party uninvited (with its party shoes on!) in a whole host of ways.
There are three main ways procrastination rears its ugly head:
The first, and perhaps most prevalent for us as women, is allowing our boundaries to be optional.
So often we have children, a spouse, or family members who are demanding of our time and often this can be especially difficult to maneuver. We’re raised in a culture where we’re taught to be caregivers; to put others needs ahead of our own.
For many of us, it’s second nature to take care of others…we often don’t even recognize when we back-burner our own needs. The fallout of this is: we then have no idea where our boundaries are, or where they went, so how can others know where they are, let alone that we may have any?
As business owners we have got to start putting our needs first or our business will not succeed, at least not at the rate we’d like (or need) it to.
If we do put ourselves first, or the needs of our business ahead of others, we’re often told we’re ‘selfish’, or a ‘bitch’…which tends to piss us off and then we very well may live into some of these descriptions because our boundaries are being stepped on or ignored (read more about boundaries here). This happens mainly because we haven’t been taught to confidently set boundaries around OUR TIME and OUR BUSINESS.
As business women, we need to set boundaries around our time and equally important, we need to be vigilant about keeping them, or we will be leaving our success to chance. And that rarely works out well.
The next procrastination rabbit hole is ‘this before that’, the belief that I have to have ‘THIS’: another degree or certification/class/credential, or a beautiful website …before I can have ‘THAT’: hanging out my shingle, feeling credible or smart enough, being able to charge my worth, feeling like real businesswoman, a real . . . (fill in the blank).
It can even be something a simple as, ‘I have to clean my desk before I can work’ or ‘I need to get a planner before I can start working.’ Does this pop-up for any of you? I know I’ve had to do get to the pile of laundry before I could sit down to do the work I needed to get to (really?). And I can almost always tie it back to needing to do work that I didn’t feel competent about, or when I feared putting myself out there…this is when procrastination really hits for me.
Trust me, you’re not alone! Many women fall into this trap because we often feel we’re not enough…not smart enough, old enough, young enough, skinny enough, strong enough, sexy enough, so we continually second guess our choices and decisions.
You are enough today. Brene Brown says, “What we know matters but who we are matters more.” Bravo Brene, you couldn’t be more spot-on.
The third way we often get tangled up in the procrastination loop is a big one, fear. Statistics show 85% of people allow the fear of failure get in the way of their success (and I bet it’s higher for women).
It can be fear of what others will think of us, fear of embarrassing ourselves, fear we really don’t know what the hell we’re doing (trust me, you do!). Or it can simply be the ‘unknown’ (well, not so simply if it’s what you fear..more on simple vs. easy here). Why is it that the pain of the know is so much more ‘comfortable’ than the pain of the unknown?
Fear can run rampant in our minds if we allow it to, and it stops us from taking action far too often.
Learning to name what our fear is can be incredibly helpful in moving beyond procrastination and towards action. Name your fear and look it in the face every morning as you give it the finger (literally).
So, how can you kick procrastination’s ass and start doing what it takes to move your business forward, consistently and confidently (and without *bleeping* apology!)?
For me, as an entrepreneur for the last 26 years, structure has been the backbone of my success. Knowing what my vision and goals are for my business has allowed me to create structure and strategy around the steps I need to take, each day, each week, each month and each year in order to move out of procrastination and achieve the success I desire.
For my clients as well, structure has been the key piece in the puzzle to creating the business AND lifestyle they want.
STRUCTURE = FREEDOM
Trust me on this!
If you start out each week knowing what each days entails, you’ll have the freedom to move and shift things when life throws you a curve ball…and let’s admit it ladies, life will wing an occasional curve ball at us.
If you go through your day with no plan, leaving business, and therefore successs, to chance, you’re more likely to flounder through your day…then you realize it’s already noon before you’ve even started on a project, and you have an hour or maybe two before you need to leave to pick up the kids.
Structure will help support you and keep your business moving in a forward direction.
To combat procrastination, know what your vision and your goals are for your business. Know that each step/choice you make is either moving you closer to your goal, or further away from it.
Take some time to think about your vision and goals for your business and for your life. What are your:
3 Year Goals
1 Year Goals
You can then start working on a strategy by backing out of your goals and defining what steps you need to take to move you closer to what your goals are.
Would some structures and strategies to your day help you avoid procrastination and grow your business? Give me a shout and let’s set up a Clarity Call to get clear on what may be getting in the way of your success. Click Here to schedule a call with me, let’s get you building the business of your dreams!