Ultimately if you want to develop and grow your business it requires a consistent chipping away at the right activity each and every day to get anywhere and procrastination is one big fat problem that gets in the way of what you want. This could be out and out procrastination where little is being done at all, or it can be busy procrastination, filling time with lots of stuff but not the stuff necessary to move forward.
So why do it? What stops you from doing what you know you should be doing?
The first MAJOR cause of procrastination around business development activity is:
- Overwhelmed by the height of the mountain you’ve set yourself to climb, or that you would have to climb to change things
- Overwhelmed by the demands on you to perform in numerous roles, areas and ways, some of which you may not think you have enough experience or don’t enjoy or want to do
- Overwhelmed by the multitude of options of paths you can go down, things you could do, supposedly should do, opportunities you would do, then don’t do!
- Overwhelmed by the risk you’re taking if you don’t succeed and the weight of responsibility on your shoulders
- Overwhelmed by facing it on your own or with limited support, limited finance, too much work and too little time
The list goes on……..Overwhelm paralysis, in fact I’m feeling the effect just from writing it!
Underpinning the Overwhelm is the second MAJOR Cause of procrastination:
Fear and indecision as a result of limiting beliefs
It’s not easy to admit fear yet fear is something that you experience every time you go to step out of your comfort zone but if you want to develop and grow your business you will have to step out of your comfort zone frequently! So whether you recognise it or not you are quite possibly giving in to fear.
Fear of failure is the single biggest obstacle to success. It wells up inside every time you think of taking any kind of risk, or doing something new or different involving risk of loss of time, money or emotion. This is supported by limiting beliefs that often begin with “I can’t….” or similar i.e. “I can’t say no”, “I can’t delegate”, “I don’t have the time”, “I’m no good at organising myself”, “I’m terrible at managing my time” or “I can’t make that decision”! However, if you want this to change a decision does have to be made, if not a number of decisions.
Fear of rejection is another powerful force. Most small business owners do not see themselves as sellers for example (“I can’t sell” is something I commonly hear) yet they have to sell to survive and thrive in business – the prime circumstance for procrastination to rear its ugly head. Perhaps that admin is more important!
If you don’t really believe something is possible, or if you don’t believe you can make it happen, then you won’t easily take the necessary action and you won’t change your circumstances for the better.
The third MAJOR cause of procrastination is probably the biggest cause as it accentuates both of the others significantly:
No clear direction
Lack of clarity in your purpose and goals, and setting direction that you’re committed to is a major cause of stress for business owners because it leads to poor prioritisation and time management, and terrible indecision. You can’t plan and organise your time efficiently and effectively if you are unsure about what it is you are trying to accomplish. And, how else can you start saying “no” to things if you are not clear on what you should say “no” to? This will lead to overwhelm, allow fear to fester and reinforce limiting beliefs in your ability to achieve what you want leading to a self fulfilling prophesy!
Probably 80% of your problems occur because you are unclear about where you’re going and what you want to accomplish. In fact the very act of selecting a major definite purpose, and making a plan for its accomplishment, being sure to chunk it back to tangible time-frames, is often enough in itself to snap you out of the procrastination you’re experiencing. It’s not to say it is easy but you will have a level of focus needed to make those all important decisions.
So, which of these three causes of procrastination around Business Development activity is your biggest issue?
Rate yourself out of 0-10, with 0 meaning not at all, and 10 meaning it’s a major issue area, out of these three major problems:
– Fear and indecision as a result of limiting beliefs
– No clear direction
Now brainstorm ways in which you can work to improve this score in the main problem area or any that need improvement. Commit to some action to change things within the next 7 days and prioritise it!