It may sound like an oxymoron, but entrepreneurs can be the best at two things: procrastination and motivation! Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs for the simple reasons they are passionate about what they are doing, get a thrill or high from stepping out into the unknown, have a higher level of tolerance for risk, and love to start projects. As an entrepreneur, you started your business because you were passionate about the product or service you were providing, and you were motivated by the energy of potential change and sharing your passion.
In business you always have to be moving and in action not only to become successful but to gain your initial foothold in the market place. It takes an even larger commitment to become an “influencer” in your business or industry and ultimately become an expert. So why are there only a few entrepreneurial businesses that truly “make” it? Procrastination!
As an entrepreneur, you are in charge of your own business and hold the desire to make it the market. You know there are few qualities you need not just to possess but have processes put into place to help keep you moving as you build your business. You will find thousands of articles, books, blogs, tweets and posts to help you, but a key quality I see missing in all of this is awareness. It’s your awareness that will keep you moving and in action when procrastination hits – and it will!
Procrastination hits everyone, no matter if you are a business owner, stay-at-home mom, Fortune 500 CEO or superstar athlete; we all deal with the devil we know as procrastination. It’s why I like to refer to us entrepreneurs as “Motivated Procrastinators”; and yes, I include myself in the description. As entrepreneurs we don’t believe we’re procrastinating since we’re spinning so many plates in the air or burning the midnight oil and thus think we’re just working on a task that caught our attention instead of another and not actually procrastinating.
Let’s take a look at this a little more closely so you can more clearly understand my meaning. As entrepreneurs we’re responsible for more than just coming up with an idea and putting it into action; we’re responsible for developing new products and services to ensure we keep our edge fresh and desirable: marketing these great items, selling them, branding, advertising, public relations, budgeting, financing, human resources, customer service, and so many other elements that go into building and running a business. We can have the greatest organizational tools, wonderfully implemented policies and notable procedures but will eventually face a time when procrastination hits – and we will embrace it without even realizing it.
Today you’re spending time reading and collecting valuable knowledge to help you become a better leader, CEO, entrepreneur and so on, and reading this article is a great example of how you’re doing just that. If you looked at your list of tasks that need to get done not just today but were also left over from yesterday or the previous weeks (as well as what needs to be done in the next few weeks), which task has been rescheduled with a new “due date” the most?
Take a few moments and think about it.
So which one? Yep, that’s the one from which you’re redirecting your attention or procrastinating on completing. Why? Well, unless I know the specifics, it’s hard to predict a personal reason for you as to why you’re shying away from completing it. But in general terms, it might be due to a fear of what happens when you do complete it: fear of success. (Yes, you just read that right.) It might be that it’s a “job” you’re not really passionate about doing.
This is the reason I refer to entrepreneurs as Motivated Procrastinators. We have so many responsibilities that we’re highly motivated to complete the tasks that are fun or provide an immediate feeling of success or source of income. But we procrastinate at those tasks that take us outside our comfort zone, challenge us and can sometimes actually feel like a waste of time.
This is where your awareness is important. When you’ve rescheduled a task with a new due date more than twice without a seriously great reason, you’re procrastinating and need to take a few minutes and figure out the reason you’re procrastinating. Once you can identify the reason, you’re increasing your awareness; as a result, you’re decreasing the amount you’re procrastinating. Once we gain the knowledge of why we’re doing an action and recognize that it’s not supportive of our business goals or success, then a repeat performance is lessened.
Today I challenge you to increase your awareness, decrease your procrastination and increase you overall business wellness by going through your task list and addressing the one task that truly needed to get done yesterday.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.