The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
How Entrepreneurs Can Banish Procrastination
Published on May 29, 2013
For most business people, other tasks are more enticing than spending time balancing checks or scheduling routine shop maintenance.
According to Joseph Ferrari, a psychologist at DePaul University, nearly 25 percent of all Americans are chronic procrastinators. We understand how difficult it can be to finish a project that has lost your attention or put things off because it’s just not that exciting.
For most business people, like BizFilings customer Clay Enos, sampling the newest coffee blend sounds much more enticing than spending time balancing checks or scheduling routine shop maintenance. We have found that facing these types of tasks are made easier with the help of some simple tips:
Pinpoint the Cause
Discover what holds you back. This may be an uncomfortable thought process, but it is critical to solving the ultimate problem. Many first time business owners are afraid of being embarrassed, rejected or receiving disapproval. Whatever the reason, once the root cause of the procrastination is discovered, it should be much easier to handle.
Split the Project Into Smaller Sections
Divide, then conquer. Many times we procrastinate because the sheer size of the task ahead seems overwhelming. Instead of trying to accomplish a 40+ hour project, break it into multiple, smaller and more manageable time blocks.
Develop a Personal Reward System
Get what you give. Is it a new pair of shoes? Tickets to a sporting game? Whatever makes you tick, use it towards the greater goal of getting things done. We have also found that combining this strategy with dividing the project into smaller pieces, entrepreneurs can stay on track and accomplish smaller individual goals in a business-like manner.
Avoid Potential Distractions
Concentration is key. Removing potential distractions can help focus on the task at hand. In most cases, you can get what you need done faster than you would if you were trying to do multiple things at one time. We’ve found that putting a (temporary) block on sites like Facebook and YouTube until after the project is completed works wonders for concentration.
Combine Tasks with “Empty” Time
Use time wisely. We all have a lot of empty or wasted time every day. Waiting in lines, going to the doctor or dentist, etc... Why not bring along that report that needs to be read, or address some envelopes while waiting? Using time in this fashion can dramatically increase your productivity and quickly reduce larger projects into bite size chunks.
Change the Way You Think
Look at things from a different perspective. Many times procrastination is caused by repetitive tasks which we do not particularly enjoy. Herein lies the opportunity. Instead of thinking, 'not this again,' try 'I have the opportunity to perfect this' task. This will take time, but it is a good psychological method used to reprogram our thought processes. Need to get re-energized? Try these tricks to combat business fatigue.
Knowing what causes our procrastination is a good first step. But, to permanently get rid of it, it’s important to use strategies that make sense for your particular situation and your ultimate business goals. Soon you will be on your way to being focused and ultimately, much more productive! Best of luck, fellow entrepreneurs!