How often have you been brimming with ideas and enthusiasm for a project, only to find yourself grinding to a halt all of a sudden? You’re just as keen to see the results of your work, but just can’t quite get the motivation to act.
Instead of taking steady, positive action towards your goals, you get side-tracked by all sorts of suddenly-urgent tasks – and find your work, freelance and business ambitions slipping frustratingly further away.
Five simple steps to beat procrastination
Luckily, help is at hand to get you back on a productive path again. Michele Walsh from Ms Money Maker shares her five steps to help you beat procrastination forever, and work steadily and successfully towards your career, freelance and business goals.
1) Ignore the voices in your head
Procrastination is normally born out of fear – fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of humiliation (what will people think if I do that?!), fear of making a mistake…the list goes on.
To conquer that fear, you need to realise that it is just a false perception that your mind has created to keep you small. So simply start ignoring the negative voices in your head that get louder and louder the more ambitious you become. If you make your determination to succeed so compelling, then staying focused on what you are trying to achieve, and taking regular measurable steps to get there becomes easier.
2) Set your intention
One of the easiest ways to stay on course is to understand in detail what you want to achieve. Very often if you are vague about your intention, then the motivation to keep you moving forward will not be strong enough to keep you going.
So write a detailed description of what you want and by what date, and create a vision board that will keep reinforcing why you are choosing to do what you want to do. Your mind is like your very own personal satellite navigation, and if you don’t programme something in then you may be left flailing with no actual direction and even less enthusiasm – allowing procrastination to come knocking.
3) Make a plan
Once you’ve decided what you want, you need to create a detailed plan of how you’re going to get there, and mark it in your diary. A default diary is an excellent way to keep you on track. If you plot your action in your diary then you have a constant reminder of what you need to do and when.
It’s also a great way to remind yourself of how far you’ve come, and grows a confidence in yourself that you are making effective progress towards success – motivating you to keep going.
4) Remind yourself why you’re doing it
To keep yourself on track and focused on the important steps that will bring you closer to your goal or intention, remind yourself of all the benefits that it will bring you.
If your goal is to find more clients for your business, what are all the benefits to your business and your life that will bring? If you have more money, you can make more choices, such as delegating some of your tedious chores. Creating a really powerful vision of the benefits and the difference it will make to your life, will make you want to take action.
5) Stop making excuses
If you really want to reach your goals, you need to stop making excuses and finding other trivial jobs that really aren’t taking you in the direction you want to go. Be aware of all the things that creep in to create procrastination, recognise it as your unconscious mind wanting to keep you safe and small, and then chose to forge ahead anyway.
To succeed in your ambitions you need to start being firm with yourself. Stepping up in your business and personal life takes commitment, and if you have put into place all of the above steps then you will be well on your way to moving ahead in leaps and bounds.
Say goodbye to procrastination in 90 days
If you’ve spent a lifetime procrastinating, you’re not going to become the world’s most focussed woman overnight! To eradicate your procrastination habits you need to reprogramme your mind to healthier, more productive new routines and expectations.
It can take 90 days of continuous activity before something becomes automatic, so mark your calender and look forward to seeing increased results as you get closer to that date, and change the habits of a lifetime to make continued success an automatic response.
Read more about reaching your goals in these expert articles
Need more help to reach your career, freelance or business goals? Get more expert advice in these helpful articles:
- Discover how to make time to achieve your goals
- Get 12 easy strategies to help you meet deadlines
- Find out how to actually learn to love deadlines
- Read how to chunk big goals down into smaller steps
- Practise a quick technique to overcome procrastination
- Learn five common reasons why mums’ businesses fail
Michele Walsh is an International Business Confidence Coach and the founder of Ms Money Maker.Michele Walsh