Having no plan for your daily activities makes you procrastinate too.
Thanks for sharing!
Alright, time for a shameless plug here (since this is a post I just wrote for my blog) - but I hope some of you can find value in this. I am re-posting it all here so you won't even have to leave this forum to read it..
Just like Billy (snowbank) who runs Foreverjobless.com, my goal with Profitapolis.com is not to blog there for profit. In fact, I'm not even monetizing my blog at all - so it is all about helping others and share some knowledge and experience.
Anyway - I have been wanting to write a post about what is hindering you and me from getting where we need to be. Hopefully it can serve as a kick in the butt and a motivator to those of you reading this who feel like you are stagnating in your current projects.
Let me cut to the chase: Being an entrepreneur, your two biggest enemies are Procrastination, and Perfectionism.
These two bad guys are always out there, waiting for their prey like vultures - and will try to obliterate your attempts to reach your goals at any given time. I know that countless books and blog posts have been written on the topics of "the best time is to start is NOW", or "launching something is better than never launching anything at all". But I feel for my own sake, and for the sake of other entrepreneurs that I talk to on a regular basis - that these problems are still so prevalent that they perhaps need a new approach to be heard - and put into practice!
For humans, it is so easy (too easy!) to read and listen, and believe that we "got it". We read a motivational book on becoming more efficient - and after finishing the last chapter we go "Great book...now I will definitely be more efficient!". But the sad reality is that in the following weeks and months, we still end up in our old ways. Because - as easy as it is to consume these productivity ideals - it is EVEN EASIER to subdue the actions they require!
In the past year and a half, progressing on from a 'seller' (affiliate marketer) - to a 'producer/owner' role, I have faced my nemesis Mr. Procrastination and Mr. Perfectionism too many a time. More than I'd like to admit. But I am also learning how to battle them with my own willpower and determination. Think of it like treating an addiction. I have never had a real addiction (well, except if you count the borderline unhealthy obsession I have listening to addictive songs by Dragonforce and Dream Theater, lol) but you always hear about the first step to treating an addiction or a mental problem being this: Admitting and acknowledging that you have a problem.
Of course, procrastination and perfectionism have nothing to do with addictions. But nonetheless - they are problems affecting how productive you are as an entrepreneur! And these problems have underlying strings attached to how our brains and minds work. For me - realizing and admitting that I have had a problem with procrastination and perfectionism is starting to help me greatly! I'm serious.
Try this little exercise, right now.
Ask yourself these three questions:
- With your latest project in mind, which specific activities and actions did you take in the past 30 days that progressed your project to where it is today?
- As it sits right now - what is the single most important, number one action item holding back the launch of your project?
- How many other "side projects" do you currently have sitting on your 'to do' list that are NOT related to your latest project?
Start by identifying these - and spend 15 minutes evaluating why your project is not progressing like it should.
The purpose of this is to make your brain realize that you have indeed been delaying things (either consciously or sub-consciously), or that you have probably spent too much time "just getting it right" instead of getting closer to a launch.
Let me tell you a little bit about those two guys again - Procrastination and Perfectionism.
First, we have Procrastination.
This guy sits inside your brain and tries to convince you to choose activities that require the least amount of resistance of your brain's energy. Facing choices or challenges - your brain will always want to take the shortest path and therefore, anything we perceive as cumbersome, or that requires extra work compared to a smaller and easier task will always lose out. That is, unless we are aware of this and can fight it. The more I mature as an entrepreneur, I am getting progressively better at this. Entrepreneurs by nature have an ability to want to make something happen instead of dreaming it. (Check out MJ's video on action-takers vs. action-fakers). Nonetheless, procrastination can and will still affect even the greatest entrepreneur through rough times in a project cycle - so always be aware of it!
I personally believe that procrastination largely comes from our fear of the unknown, and perhaps fear of failure. It also doesn't help that in this day and age - we are bombarded daily with a million ideas, tweets, opportunities, success stories - that it is so tempting to jump from one project to the next. I know I'm guilty of saying "oh wow... that looks like an interesting business model! I gotta look into that".
Then we add it to our to do list, and maybe waste away a day or more reading up on it and getting sidetracked - when all the while we could have made progress on our main project of focus. Because anything new and exciting simply screams and begs for our brain's attention. We instinctively don't want to work on the same thing day in and day out. We want adventure and variety.
So no wonder it gets so tempting to get sidetracked. "Oh wow...there is an exploding demand for Becoming a Sherpa For Dummies ebooks in Nepal you say? Damn, I gotta look into how I can have something ghost-written and published on Kindle...it will just take me a few days and THEN I will get back to my big project, I swear..." Sounds familiar? It does to me. Not that I ever considered making books about Sherpas..
Then we have our other guy - Mr. Perfectionism.
In a way, perfectionism can sometimes be a subconscious way for your brain to procrastinate something we are skeptical to go into. But it can also stem from an innate concern for worrying about failure. Perfectionism is the desire to fiddle with something until it looks, functions, or feels "just right".
This is admittedly my own biggest downfall. Looking back, I can see numerous times where I could have made something happen, and would have had a competitive advantage even - had I not spent forever working on my perceived perfection ideals. "Oh, the site will probably convert so much better if I tweak the color scheme a little...", "That logo is starting to look great - all it needs is some more work on the shadowing....then I will get to the rest of the site soon...", etc.
Ask yourself this:
- Why are you struggling with perfectionism? Is it because you really feel that your project cannot be launched until the site looks and feels "just right"? Or does it have a valid and sound reason that can justify that you must get it done before you proceed?
If your project indeed has valid reasons not to launch - perhaps flat out technical issues preventing it from actually working - then those reasons should be the #1 on your agenda! But be careful now! You see, even if you know very well that the #1 thing to do right now is to finish a technical "showstopper" problem - Procrastination will want to step in and put the brakes on that. This is when you put on your steel boots and kick Mr. Procrastination in the nuts, break his leg backwards like on a villain in a Steven Segal movie, and leap forward to take REAL action! Do yourself a favor and start practicing MVP - the Minimal Viable Product approach.
So, your issue hasn't been completed because you're not sure how to solve it? Lame excuse! You can go right now to find a programmer or designer who can solve your problem in short time on sites like Odesk or Elance - and what your brain saw as a hurdle - might be solved in very short time, for a reasonable fee! What's that? "But...my problem is really complicated and I don't think it can be solved that easy....".
Oh really? Let me tell you - ANY technical problem can be solved. On the internet, there is an expert in any field imaginable, from obscure programming languages to specialists in neurolinguistically programmed UI designs for squirrel monkeys. Go seek them out right now... No seriously, stop reading this post, open another browser window, and start searching. I'll wait. Or just close this window altogether. You have already wasted enough of your time reading this post as it is...
If you're still reading (you really have nothing more productive to do right this minute?) then I have this to say this to hopefully make you and myself think: You and I both know that taking action is where it's at. That's old news.
But to ACTUALLY take action:
Admit that you have been holding back your own progression through Procrastination, or Perfectionism - or both
Be aware that these two guys are out to hunt you down. But that you can strike back any time with a vengeance and kick them to the curb. Prove it to yourself!
Now get yourself some brass knuckles....It is ON!
P.S. I wouldn't mind it if any of you feel like re-tweeting or sharing my post on FB, etc.
Thanks for reading!
Having no plan for your daily activities makes you procrastinate too.
Thanks for sharing!
I admit that I'm a procrastinator and find it very hard to stay focused on business and wealth enough to succeed. Growing up i was always one of those people who had a lot of hobbies and interests and I worked on all of them until I was above average but never put enough effort into one area to excel really. Working for wealth is the planning of the rest of my life so I need to focus.
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