Procrastination – Stop Faffing, Start Doing

If you read my previous blog you’ll know which kind of faffer you are. If you haven’t you can read it here and then come back to this one. Basically your faffing is getting in the way of your success. Procrastination is another form of self sabotage. Like when you really want to lose weight but you’ll start the diet tomorrow so you totally deserve to pig out today as some kind of final hurrah! You know it’s not your last big binge. You’re telling yourself a story to make it okay to eat all the junk you know is no good for you.

Maybe that analogy isn’t working for you. How about this one? You don’t keep on top of your accounts, you don’t check in with your accountant and you have no idea how profitable your business is. You could be investing in resources that grow your business but because you don’t know what the status of your business is you don’t do it. Or you put off making decisions because you’re afraid of making the wrong one and then it’s too late. You barely slept last night with anxiety about the amount of work you have to do but instead of cracking on with it you spend hours scrolling social media. Anything pressing any buttons here?

Faffing, the medical term for procrastination,* – although not deadly can cause serious harm to your health and that of your business. Whilst experts have yet to find a cure there are a number of treatments. Faffing can hinder the progress of your business. It can prevent you from achieving milestones and hitting targets. We all faff to some degree, but when that faffing starts interfering with our bread and butter that’s when we need to address it.

Overcoming Faffing

You know what type of faffer you are. You’ve decided you want to stop faffing and start taking action! Great! Read on!

Every faffer

Learn to recognise it for what it is and call yourself out on it. Make yourself accountable for taking action rather than the result. In the same way having a gym buddy can get you to the gym session you’d probably skip otherwise, try having a business buddy as an accountability partner. Someone you check in with and tell each other the top 3 things you are going to get done this week. Choose someone who won’t put up with excuses and will give you a kick up the arse if needed rather than someone who will give you permission to bin it off and have a gin. If you’re going to pick someone who’s the same as you, you might as well not bother.

Perfectionist faffers

Set a target for taking imperfect action. Get used to the feeling of doing something without knowing how it will turn out. Ask yourself the question ‘If someone made me choose one first step to take right now, what would it be?’ and then do it. No ifs, no buts. Just get it done. Then repeat.

Shiny Object Faffers

Use this trick from Warren Buffet. Write a list of all the things you see as priorities right now and all the things you want to do in your business in the next few months. Circle the top 5. Put all of the others on a ‘to don’t’ list rather than a ‘to do’ list. They are your distraction triggers and they will suck you in if you let them!

Work on your top 5 every single day and ignore the temptation to dip into the others.

Do fewer things well and reap the rewards.

Emotion Led Faffers

Strong emotions will feel hard to resist and will shift your brain away from logical thinking mode. To move back into action mode, try a curiosity based approach.

Ask yourself these questions and be guided to the realisation that what you want to do and what you need to do are different.

What do I want to do?
What do I need to do?
What’s important now?

Emotions have a nasty habit of driving our actions. The process of answering these questions can be surprisingly powerful in shifting you away from an emotion led reaction to a logic led response to the situation you’re in.

Nobody benefits when you faff about. You aren’t in the business of wasting time. You are in the business of getting stuff done. Like any habit that doesn’t serve you, procrastination can be managed and reduced. Time may be infinite but our time here is not. You are awesome and you deserve to get everything that you want done, done.

If you liked this article or found it useful please feel free to share it with others.

*this may not be true.

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