The Cost of Putting Things Off

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It's real easy to do. We all do it. I'm talking about procrastination. Life is full of things we don't want to do, this is especially true when you're a small business owner. We're all guilty of delaying projects and postponing work. Procrastination can act like an acid, slowly breaking down our business structures and negatively affecting our mental and physical health.

Think back to the beginning when you first started your business. You launched your company, full steam ahead, bursting with energy and optimism. No doubt you crafted a business plan and weighed in on the pros and cons of living out your dream as a successful entrepreneur.

Now jump ahead a few years. Business is good. Your schedule is full. However, you seemed to have lost some of your enthusiasm. You still take great pleasure in providing quality services to your customers, but the tedious, mundane administrative tasks have started to take a toll on you. You soon realize you're 3 months behind on your invoicing and your last company Facebook post was 60 days ago. Getting paid and keeping up with social marketing is critical to maintaining and growing a business. Why then do business owners put these things off? Why do we all procrastinate?

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Research shows that procrastination is rooted in fear. So it makes perfect sense to ask ourselves, "what are we afraid of?" For the small business owner, it might be a fear of failure, or even a fear of success. Fear of failure could be viewed as a loss of customers, lost income, even the collapse of a business. Fear of success could include more work to an already overloaded, overwhelmed business owner.

Many businesses fail in the first 2 years. One of the main reasons a business falls apart is the owner’s inability to gain a clear focus, to prioritize, and to seek help. Business owners must learn to zero in on their strengths in order to discover their weaknesses.

Top 3 Excuses For Procrastination

1. You don't know how to do it
It's okay to admit that you're not a marketing genius or a savvy accountant. It takes years of schooling and work experience to become an expert in any field.

2. You don't have the time
Give yourself a break. You take on many roles in order to keep your company running smoothly. You can't do it all perfectly, sooner than later an important task will take a back seat and your business and customers will suffer.

3. You hate doing it
You might be capable of building a simple website, but you despise doing anything creative. Why torture yourself? It's guaranteed that if you strongly dislike what you're doing, it'll take you twice as long, or you'll end putting it off for so long it might never get completed.

A Two-Step Solution to Overcoming Procrastination

1. Awareness
Figure out why you're stuck. Albert Einstein said it best, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." A fearful mind loves to rationalize and use avoidance tactics to escape responsibility. Educate yourself. Seek out books that will open your eyes and then sit back, relax and enjoy the "ah-ha" moments. Revolutionize your mind and take back control of your destiny!

2. Take action
Just having awareness of your procrastination won't be enough to solve your problems. Be an excellent delegator. Feel the weight lift off your shoulders immediately after you pass the work task over to a Virtual Assistant who's not only qualified, but who also enjoys doing it!

Remember this - do what you do best and source out the rest!

Chances are you've worked extremely hard at building your business. You're passionate about your company and the services you provide. Why let something like procrastination hold you back from living your dream? It's unlikely that you'll be able to rid yourself of procrastination completely. Start with knowledge, follow up with the right action, and watch the joy flow back into your life. In no time, you'll have more time to enjoy your business and your personal relationships. What are you waiting for? Begin now.

Below is a selection of helpful books. Do you have any stories about overcoming procrastination? I'd love to here what's worked for you! 

Aaron Esler
Media & Communications Consultant
A Better Way Virtual Assistant 

https://www.amazon.ca/Procrastination-Why-You-What-About/dp/0738211702

http://michael-jon.es/5-books-help-productivity/

https://www.amazon.ca/Fear-Essential-Wisdom-Getting-Through/dp/0062004735

(non-affiliate links)

Feeling the heaviness? Eyes sore from staring at a huge to do list? Contact A Better Way VA today and free yourself of worry and regret.