by guest author Vanessa Soto
When Vanessa pitched me this idea, I LOVED it. Not only because it makes those days I’ve inexplicably lost to Facebook or Netflix feel less like laziness but because I know when I face that procrastination time suck the next time, I’ll know what’s really behind it — and how to defeat it!
Let’s do this!
A few months ago I asked the coaches in my Facebook community what keeps them from “doing” marketing. While I was expecting “not enough time” or maybe, “I don’t know where to start” to be the winner, what came through loud and clear was instead…. procrastination.
I wanted to know more. So I asked them how procrastination feels and when they see it crop up.
One woman, a life coach super in tune with her own emotions and limiting beliefs, described procrastination as feeling like “laziness with an inner dialog of ‘I can do X later, because I’d rather do Y right now”… with “X” being important tasks for building and marketing her business, and ‘Y’ tending to be a whole lot of time wasting on Pinterest.
When we dug into it a bit more, she hit the nail on the head when she realized that what keeps her sucked into Pinterest (instead of spending time on all those projects she really cares about) is fear of the unknown.
As a life coach and marketing mentor to new coaches, I help coaches navigate the first few years of building their businesses, and fear is something that comes up with every single one of them.
The fact is, while we may have chosen an entrepreneurial path, it can still be darn scary to put ourselves out there.
And time suck that it is, scrolling mindlessly through Pinterest can feel a whole lot safer than risking it.
But here’s the deal.
Fear of the unknown (showing up as, hello! procrastination) is 100% normal whenever you are stretching yourself to do something new or different and especially when it feels really important to you!
So next time you find yourself procrastinating the day away, ask yourself if maybe there’s some fear at play.
And if the answer is yes, be good to yourself. No beating yourself up over fear. It’s your mind’s totally natural response to try and protect you from doing new, scary things.
But you don’t need protection. You want to do big things. You have SO much to offer. And instead of getting sucked into the Pinterest vortex, help yourself bring your important work to life!
Here are 5 tips to help you move from procrastination to action:
- Set yourself up for success by carving out time to focus. Particularly if you’re juggling your business along with lots of other responsibilities, commit to time to focus on your work. Consider getting a babysitter and head to a cafe on Saturday mornings. Turn off the distractions like Facebook and Pinterest, and allow yourself to hone in on the project at hand.
- Open up, reach out and find community. It’s really easy to get trapped in our own heads. Instead of spinning on your fears alone, reach out to a business pal or post in a Facebook community where you feel supported, or consider joining a mastermind group of other entrepreneurs. (I love masterminds!) Getting perspective can help everything feel a whole lot more manageable.
- Stop waiting for the stars to align and everything to be perfect. There will never be a perfect time. Now is just a good a time as any. Seriously. Maybe starting smaller is an option? Can you call your project a Beta, allow yourself to put it out there and fine tune as you go? What can you do to make less than perfect feel good enough?
- Check in with yourself about what matters to you. Sometimes we set down a path only to find that we want to make a left turn instead of a right… and that can be a reason for feeling stuck in procrastination. Check in with yourself about why the work you find yourself procrastinating on matters to you. Is it still the right idea? Does it still light you up to develop it and put it out into the world?
- Just start. And last but not least, sometimes you just need to do something… anything. Take that deep breath, open up a fresh Google doc and just start writing, or send that email, or buy that domain name, or… you name it. Just start something.
If procrastination is something you find yourself struggling with, or you have an idea or project you don’t want to START procrastinating on — I’d love to invite you to Create Space, the totally FREE mastermind I lead for coaches who want to grow their businesses and feel good about it while they’re at it. It’s a procrastination free zone!