If there is one thing I’m constantly encouraging you to do is to take action in your life and in your business. Because when you come to think of it, if you aren’t taking action on a consistent basis, then how can you expect results? Am I right?
But as I’m writing these words, I hope you’re not thinking that I don’t know what procrastination is. To be completely honest, I decided to write on this topic after spending 15 minutes sitting in my car, numbingly scrolling through my FB feed instead of coming in and getting some work done… So yeah, I know all about procrastination!
All of this to say that I’m just like you and everyone else. On some days, I’m super organized and energized and excited about my upcoming projects. On other days, I get “shiny object syndrome” and distracted by everything that will keep me from doing what I had intended to do on that day.
The good news is I procrastinate 90% less often that I used to and when I do procrastinate, I’ve come up with a mechanism to either push through it or embrace it.
Yup, you read me right, I just said that sometimes, I embrace procrastination.
Why? Because I’ve found that procrastination is often a symptom of something else. A signal to go deeper and listen to what your little, usually very wise, inner voice has to say.
As part of today’s blog, I thought I would share with you the “3-step process” that I use when I start procrastinating over a task or situation in my life and business.
1) Acknowledge the situation:
First, I immediately stop doing what I’m doing and openly acknowledge that I’m procrastinating. (Side note: procrastination can take many forms and sneak up on you when you least expect it, so it’s important for you to be vigilant. For a complete low down of how procrastination is one of the truest form of resistance, I recommend Steven Pressfield’s book “The War of Art”.)
2) Question the REAL underlying reason:
Once I’ve acknowledged that I’m procrastinating, I don’t beat myself up over it because doing this will accomplish nothing. Instead I ask myself the reasons why I’m procrastinating and listen carefully to the answers that come up. And when the answers start coming, I don’t stop there. I push myself to be brutally honest by asking “what else?” a few more times. I want to go to the bottom of it so I can settle it once and for all with myself and move on.
3) Take action or change something:
Now that I know exactly what’s keeping me from doing what I “should” be doing”, I’m in a better position to make an informed decision as to what I will be doing next.
OPTION A: If I realize that my procrastination is coming from a place of fear and self-doubt then I know that it is not serving me so I committo making one decision, even if it’s a tiny one. Making one simple decision in your life or in your business will improve your sense of control over things and that can be a powerful tool to overcome procrastination. For instance, when I procrastinate about writing a blog, I often make a conscious decision to start drafting the middle part first, followed by the conclusion and then the intro. That way I don’t stay stuck trying to figure out how to start.
OPTION B: If I realize that my procrastination is coming from a place of overwhelming, self-imposed deadlines or because what I had planned simply doesn’t feel good, then I take some time to revisit my long term vision + 90 days goals and make a conscious decision to either stick to the plan or make the changes I need to make to be happy, while seeing results in my business.
When even making a simple decision seems impossible, I reach out to a mentor or someone I trust to get that extra kick in the pants I need to get rid of that resistance that is keeping me from reaching my goals.
Because what’s the point of being your own boss if it doesn’t make you happy, right?
If you are anything like me, you’ve been raised and taught in school to stop caring about “what you feel like doing” and just do it.
Although more often than not, “just doing it” or pushing through resistance is what needs to be done, if we want to have a fulfilling life and a sustainable business that will drive us in the long term, the reasons why we procrastinate are definitely worth being questioned and addressed.
Hopefully, the steps I use to conquer procrastination will help you next time you are stuck and can’t seem to move forward.
Whether you decide to push through or make changes, the important thing is to keep moving!
As always, I’d love to hear about you!
What do you procrastinate over? Is it in your business or in your personal life? Do you see this as a form of resistance / fear of what could happen or the symptom that something is wrong and that you should be making some changes?
Tell me all about it in the comments section!
If you want more support in moving your art business forward - while connecting with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs - join us at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need! Also, if you haven't already, get my free "7 Ways to Increase Your Sales" cheat sheet and learn how to significantly increase your sales over the next 90 days!