The Tendency to Procrastinate: The Destructive Habit that Steals Success from Internet Business Owners

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Personal Development | Comments Off

The Tendency to Procrastinate: The Destructive Habit that Steals Success from Internet Business Owners

It’s normal to have fluctuations in your productivity. Some days you’ll rip through that to-do list like a hot knife through butter and some days even the turtles are moving faster than you. What’s not normal is to consistently delay in completing tasks necessary to building a successful internet business; otherwise known as the tendency to procrastinate. This destructive habit can cost you money, time and lost opportunities.

Here are three reasons why you procrastinate and three ways you can overcome it so you can move forward in your internet business.

Reason #1 – The Project is Overwhelming

Sometimes the sheer magnitude of what you need to accomplish is intimidating. If you are like most internet business owners, you do it all. You contact the customers, do the marketing and develop the products. There is so much to do that you honestly don’t know where to start and you procrastinate on making a decision by firing up a game of Solitaire.

Solution #1 – Eat an Elephant

When I find myself in this situation, I always ask one question. How do you eat an elephant? The answer: one bite at a time. Too often we look at the elephant, in this case our internet business, and think that we have to eat it all in one big bite which causes us to procrastinate. The truth is, all successful internet businesses were built by entrepreneurs who took consistent action every day.

So list all of your goals. Then break those goals up into bite sized, easily digestible pieces. For example, if you want to write an ebook to help promote your internet business, avoid the urge to procrastinate by dividing the project into daily steps. One day you’ll work on the summary of the book, the next day you’ll devote to developing the outline and so on until the ebook is complete. You’ll find it’s easier to do small tasks every day than it is to complete a big project all at once.

Reason #2 – Just Plain Unmotivated

Some days it takes all of your willpower just to roll out of bed. Actually sitting at the computer and getting any work done is asking way too much.  So you jump on Twitter under the guise of marketing your internet business but we both know you’re doing it to procrastinate.

Solution #2 – Warm Yourself Up

There are a couple of ways to handle this type of procrastination. The first way is to ease into working. Take out your to do list, pick a task that will take fifteen minutes to complete and start working on it. When you’re done, take a break, come back and work another fifteen minutes. Like a car with a faulty ignition system, sometimes getting started is the challenge.

If your mood is still stuck on “procrastinate”, start ingesting some motivational material. Go to YouTube and watch a few Zig Ziglar videos or go to the iTunes store and download some inspirational audio. Read a motivational book for an hour.

Listening to a motivational speaker puts us in a positive frame of mind and inspires us to take action on our goals. I find that a few minutes of listening to someone say, “You can do it!”, is all I need to overcome the urge to procrastinate and work on my internet business.

Reason #3 – Hidden Fears

I have a confession to make. I am a coward; well, I used to be anyway. For as long as I could remember, I have wanted to own a home based business. I got involved with, first, Mary Kay and then Avon but once the initial excitement wore off so did my interest in building those businesses. At least that’s what I told myself. I have started many other home based businesses since then with the same result.

I became extremely frustrated and disheartened at my failures. It wasn’t until the universe threw me into the deep end of the pool yelling, “Sink or swim!” that I realized what was holding me back all those years. I didn’t believe I could be successful. This belief caused me to constantly procrastinate on doing things to develop my business which caused me to fail in each attempt I made thereby completing the vicious cycle by reinforcing the belief that I just couldn’t do it.

Sometimes, it’s our hidden fears that cause us to procrastinate in building our businesses. Until we deal with those fears we will always end up sabotaging our efforts.

Solution #3 – Get it Out

All of our beliefs about ourselves, other people and life in general live in our subconscious mind and these beliefs dictate how we behave. When handed the full responsibility for my survival, I forced myself to confront the source of my tendency to procrastinate. I find that journaling is a good way to get my subconscious mind to reveal what it is hiding. So I opened my journal and talked to myself about everything that was on my “mind” until this belief revealed itself as the root of many of my problems.

If you suspect that a fear is holding you back then I encourage you to journal to find out what it is. If writing in a book doesn’t appeal to you, then talk to a trusted partner who can help you get a glimpse of what’s going on in your head. Once the limited belief has been exposed, you can then take steps to overcome it and the resulting tendency to procrastinate.

So this blog post ended up being longer than I anticipated but it is important to me that you have the tools you need to overcome the compulsion to procrastinate. Knuckling down and taking consistent action towards your goals is the only way you are going to achieve the personal and financial freedom you deserve. Until next time, peace and prosperity.

[picture courtesy of Photos8.org]

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