Procrastination hits us all at some point.
No matter how good our intentions are, it can easily spread if left unchecked….as I recently discovered!
In the space of a month I became an exceptionally proficient procrastinator. I even managed to master the art of being busy without being productive.
Previously I shared all the techniques and tricks I used to try to break my procrastination binge. I also revealed what finally worked, which you can read about in “Procrastination Cures, Causes & Benefits”.
Once the vicious cycle was broken, I was driven to consider why I had been procrastinating.
If the reason wasn’t explored and questioned, it had the potential to reoccur.
With all the guilt and recriminations of stagnation and inertia, which accompanied the procrastinating, I really didn’t want to go through that again.
It was time to find the cause and fix it.
After a bit of soul searching and some brutal honesty, these are the questions and insights that were revealed:
1. Was the current mood of small business rubbing off on me?
Business owners seem tired. I know that is a sweeping generalisation, but I’ve been hearing it from business owners in different industries, of various sizes and revenue, length of operation and personality types. A lack of positivity and anticipation can be contagious, especially when you are hearing it in surround sound and seeing it in technicolour everyday!
You can’t stop the message or sentiment, however, you do have control over how you react to it. You can manage it, mitigate the fallout and use it to your advantage. The key is becoming aware of it, how it is impacting on you and then making a conscious decision about how you will act.
This was my first step – Be conscious of my reactions to the negative, then take action as necessary.
2. Had I fallen into an uninspired routine?
Monotony can be a slippery slide to boredom and inertia. Just because your business was born from passion and hard work, then fuelled by enthusiasm, you will still have flat days, weeks or even months.
Consider if the negative atmosphere is influencing your family, customers, staff, products, marketing and goals. Once it starts, they could be feeding each other and you end up in a loop. Don’t rely on someone else to break the cycle, take control. Even if you don’t feel like it, this is your company!
If you’re experiencing this, reconsider what’s happening in and around your business and assess if a change is called for.
Step two – Shake up my routine.
3. With my 5-year business anniversary looming, was this actually a case of itchy feet?
Being drawn to the sparkly new toy is a common trait of entrepreneurs. When we have established a business and completed all the hard work and exciting challenges, we look for the next thrill. What is the next mountain we can summit or rollercoaster we can ride?
Flexibility, adaptability and sustainability are fundamental to the success of your business, but more importantly, they are important for your own success. By success, I mean your emotional and mental wellbeing, not your bank balance.
Step three – Assess if I had lost sight of what I set out to do. Had I been spending too much time adding to my business and was it time to start subtracting?
4. Should I view Procrastination as a positive instead of a negative?
By changing my perspective, I could accept that this was a natural cycle of life as a person and as a business owner.
Taking the pressure off gives you breathing room, mental space and acceptance of yourself and what you are experiencing. With so many messages to “hustle”, you start to feel you need to be switched on all the time. It isn’t sustainable, but that’s a whole new article just on its own, so stay tuned!
Step four was the most fundamental – Give myself permission to take my foot off the gas. To not do, for the sake of doing,
By questioning the symptom, it helped me find the cause and the cure with long lasting and surprising benefits.
I encourage you to question what you are experiencing. Can you benefit from it, minimise the negative impacts or should you accept that this cycle will pass?
If you’re struggling to ask the questions, it’s time to ask why, for your own benefit.
Rebecca Collett, Owner of Snowed Under Solutions
PS If you’ve been struck down with Procrastination and you’re struggling with your symptoms, cure or cause, please reach out. I can help you through my business owner coaching services
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