Procrastination is a silent killer. It makes people go lazy, do less, be less responsible and be unreliable. Nonetheless, we all procrastinate. It’s impossible not to.

First, I had to look up the word in a dictionary. As English is not my first language I want to understand better this word. The first definition I found on says:

the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention

Merriam-Webster says procrastination is: “to put off intentionally and habitually”

As I understand it, basically we put something off to do something else, something that is not that important and it’s easier to be done. If I think about it…I do this quite often. I’m one of the biggest procrastinators out there, unfortunately.

Just look at my blog! I wanted to post every week on this blog. I have only five blog posts… I also wanted to create a second course by the end of this year…not even started. I wanted to start a company… yes, you guessed it, NOT DONE. I wanted to visit Spain this year... put it off for next year. This is what I call chronic procrastination. I do know why I keep doing this but I wanted to find out. Basically, I wrote this article for myself and show myself how to beat procrastination. Here is what I found out and here are some tips that can help you deal with this awful habit

If you are a business owner, an entrepreneur or a freelancer and you work for yourself then you need to know that procrastination makes you lose money. Let me ask you a question.

How many times have you said: “I’ll get to it when I get to it”?

It does not matter whether you said it to your employee, co-worker, partner or yourself; that is the moment when you lose money. When you say this you are actually saying: “I will put it on hold because it does not matter NOW”. Most of the time, putting something on hold means you never going to do it. In business land, this translates to “I will get the money...when I get the money”. And you want to know exactly when and how you get the money.

Most of the time procrastination comes from two main sources: dedication to useless tasks and not having an exact target or goal. Because every time you ‘put something off’, you are doing something else. So, procrastination is basically decision-making and prioritizing. Let’s analyze these two factors from a business owner’s viewpoint and let’s how we can overcome procrastination.

Dedication to useless tasks

Take some time and analyze a typical day of your life. What are you doing in a day? Make a list of everything you do. Then find out what tasks are not generating income and cut them off. As an entrepreneur, your main task is to bring in business. Everything should come second to income generating activities. This brings us to the second main source of procrastination, blurry vision.

Not having clear goals

Setting exact goals is very important. Without clear targets, a business cannot flourish. Plus, it will help you out in deciding what the most important tasks are and help you in prioritizing them. At this point, it’s not important to think about how big or small your goals should be. Just make a commitment and start doing activities that bring you towards that goal. For example, if you are in the restaurant business, a worthy goal would be to become the best restaurant in the country or the world. This will give you a sense of direction and will clarify what tasks need to be done. Firstly, make a commitment to yourself. Once you have a purpose with your business (other than making a living) then you will realize what it takes to make it happen and you will not procrastinate. You will do it because you want it to and not because is necessary to make a living.

‘Know thyself’

As Gary Vaynerchuk says: “I think everybody lies to themselves”. Stop lying to yourself and be harsh. Audit yourself and you will find out why you are a procrastinator. If your self-awareness is high you will know exactly what are you prioritizing and why your business is not like you want to be. One of the causes of your procrastination could be one of your habits such as watching your favorite team play. Maybe your team lost and you ‘don’t feel like’ meeting a client and you put it for the next day. If you know yourself, you will not schedule an appointment with clients on match days. All these small things affect your lifestyle and your business and it comes down to knowing yourself.

As I mentioned we all procrastinate and we all have to make decisions on what to do next. That is given, we cannot change that. What we can change though is our awareness. The more you are aware of what you want to do, be it business wise or personal, the more you become a ‘doer’. Once you are in action, procrastination will fade away and you will get more things done.

Stop procrastinating and start doing s**t!

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