Stop Procrastinating! (Today, Not Tomorrow!)

Procrastination is something most of us have been guilty of now and then. Whether it is a task we dread doing or a project we are excited to do, many times we procrastinate.

In many instances, it stems from a perception that the project or task will be difficult, expensive, or confusing. 

How then, can we get moving when we are stalled on a new project? Here are some tactics that have worked for me.

Know what you need to know and what you don’t. There are some projects where it is essential to understand exactly how something is set up. There are others where you only need to know enough to keep things going. Take setting up an email newsletter, for example. If setting up an email marketing campaign is not intuitive for you, and you are wasting hours doing something you don’t love, let someone else do the initial set up. You can still handle it monthly from there, even if you were not the one to build it in the first place.

Ask the question: What other information do I need? Sometimes we need to do research to begin a project; sometimes we already have all the information. If you need more information, decide specifically what that is and devise a plan to obtain it. If you have everything, look at it all together so you can see the big picture of the project to feel more confident.

Don’t ask for too many opinions. While it is nice to have the support of family and friends, consider how much they really know about the decision you are trying to make. When it comes to choosing software to run my business, I listen to others who have made this decision before me. Asking for too much input is often just another way of procrastinating.

Break the project down into categories. Something like redesigning your website can seem like a huge undertaking. But if you break it down, you will see more manageable tasks. In this case, start with the homepage and make a list of what you want to include – things like Facebook and LinkedIn social media icons, a head shot of yourself, a testimonial from a client, a link to your calendar. The point is, be as specific as you can.

Don’t keep the details in your head – write them down. When I don’t have a written plan, I can spend hours spinning my wheels trying to remember what I have done and what to do next. Spend time up front to write or type a detailed plan to see the entire project. It will save time and work.

Leave perfectionism behind. Many times, we delay starting a project because we want things to be “just right” first. Sometimes it is better to start where you are than waiting until every detail is exactly right. We will learn as we go and make it better over time. 

Overall, the hardest part of any new project is getting started. Apply these six simple ideas and put procrastination away for good!