Has this ever happened to you? I have two people who have said that they want to work with me, but they have to wait until after this is done or that happens first.
The first person, let’s call him Dave, came to me last summer and said he wanted to start building his online business after Labor Day. Labor Day came and went, but he said he still wants to get started after things settle down in October. November arrived and he still says he wants to do it but he has to wait until after the New Year. At that point any expectation that he was actually going to do anything pretty much went out the window because I know how busy he is from January through April.
The other person who said she wanted to work with me isn’t as extreme of a case, but she still has her excuses for why she can’t start now.
These two people point out a challenge that we all face – procrastination. The surest way to prevent your success is to never get started. No matter what you say you want to do, there is always an excuse to put it off until tomorrow. Sometimes they are very good reasons, other times they can be rather weak, but there is always one if you want to find one. We all get busy, things come up that have to be taken care of, we get opportunities to do something that we’d like to do. That’s life and we get to choose how we spend it.
The surest way to prevent your success is to never get started. Click To Tweet
How to Deal With Procrastination or Being Too Busy
So you have something that you want to do. In the case of Dave, that something is to start an online business to generate a little extra income. It doesn’t matter what the something is. The issue is that it is something new that isn’t a part of your regular routine. It’s not a habit.
The first step to success is to make a decision. Don’t just say that it is something that you want to do, kind of like saying that I’d like to go to the Moon or to Mars someday. That’s something that would be cool but you know probably isn’t going to happen. Make a real decision that this is something that you are going to do!
The next step is to get started now. Again, the real issue is that this new project isn’t a part of your regular routine. It isn’t a habit, so you have to make it one. You do that by starting right now. The thing is, people think that they have to do something big to get started. You don’t. Even the smallest task is a step in the right direction. Planning is a great place to start. Take out a piece of paper and spend five or ten minutes writing down the tasks that you need to do to launch the project. For Dave, he could choose which product he will put on his website first and what three things he we will do to promote the new page, or something along those lines. That may be all that he has time for today. Tomorrow he will get started on the first task, even for just a few minutes, and then continue with that every day.
When you get started this way your new project doesn’t seem like such a huge burden on your time and it doesn’t seem like such and overwhelming amount of work. You may be only spending ten to thirty minutes. Eventually it becomes a habit to work on your project every day and you find more time opening up to get more done on it each day. This works because your project becomes more and more important as you invest time in it, and you always have time for the things that are important to you.
My Own Example – I Wanted To Blog More Consistently
I have been online for several years and have never blogged all that consistently. Then a couple years ago I got distracted by another opportunity and wrote even less. I have been working my way back into my online business over the past year. A few weeks ago I decided that I will be much more consistent in my blogging. I made a decision to write four new blog posts, one for each of four websites that I have, every week. I also want them to be real posts of at least a thousand words. That sounded impossible to me not too long ago because I had been telling myself that I’m too busy to do that. My wife works crazy hours outside the home and I homeschool our kids. That means that my first priority every day is as a teacher teaching two different grades every day. I’m also responsible for all of the cooking and most of the cleaning. That’s pretty much a full-time job as it is, then add in writing four to five thousand words every week and maintaining and promoting those websites.
Procrastination is opportunity's assassin. - Victor Kiam Click To Tweet
I made the decision though that it was important enough to do. I didn’t start out by thinking of four thousand words or four blog posts. I only had to write one post of one thousand words, and I usually have two days to get it done. The hardest part really is coming up with the topics. This is my third week and that hasn’t been an issue so far. My blogs are all on mostly unrelated subjects so I only have to come with one idea every week for a given subject.
It also helps to get ahead so that I can more easily handle interruptions. As I come up with an idea for a blog post I write it down and make some notes. That should keep me going with ideas for a long time. As I get more consistent with writing it becomes easier and easier to do. Writing one thousand words every two days becomes one thousand words every day. When I can do that, I get ahead on my blog posts. I started writing this post on Tuesday and I won’t post it until Friday, so I have most of three days to finish it up and get it ready for the world. It also frees me up to work on some other things that I want to do over the next couple days.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have a big project that you have been wanting to do, but always find a “good” reason to put it off? Share it with me in a comment below and tell me the first thing that you are going to do today to get your project off the ground?