Ep. 102 How To Stop Procrastinating on Something You Need To Do

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Today I want to talk about how to get something done that you’re procrastinating on. This is sort of just Julie’s version of how to do something. I don’t say that it’s backed on science. This is just my unsolicited advice and opinion about how to get something done that you are procrastinating on.

So I have seen this happen in my life in multiple areas, and I would say that the first thing that you want to do when there’s something that you have to do that you’re avoiding, is to sit down and ask why you’re avoiding it. There could be some subconscious belief patterns you’re running that are creating that resistance.

So for example, let’s say you’re procrastination on writing a book, or you’ve been writing a podcast, writing a blog post or doing a podcast. In fact, I would argue that this podcast I’m recording right now, I was procrastinating on. So I look at why. Why is there resistance? Because once I’m in it, it’s actually not that hard, or I get into momentum. Usually there’s a belief system. So for me the belief system is I haven’t been consistent with my podcast, therefore nobody cares, therefore nobody is listening, it’s not going to do anything. Nobody’s going to be excited. You’ve lost all of your momentum. You should just quit.

A lot of us carry those belief systems around, now is it actually true? So I started to put myself in my customer’s shoes, and I thought, if I had a podcast that I really liked to listen to and then the person stopped recording podcasts, I would be sad. And if they started back up again, I would be excited, even if it had taken them a long time. It’s the same reason why when you watch a Netflix show, if it ends people are sad. But if you decide to come back and do another episode, people are super excited.

So I was like the belief pattern is not true. Right. So sometimes it’s belief patterns that are holding you back from doing something. So once I realized that, I was able to move into it.

The second reason you might be procrastinating is because logistically there’s a problem in the way. There’s something that you can’t quite solve. So let’s say you’re procrastination on writing sales copy. And the reason you’re procrastinating is because you actually don’t know how to write sales copy. So you need help. You need someone to teach you how to write it.

Or maybe the reason you’re procrastinating is because you haven’t really done the work yet of identifying the offer and the market, so you always sit down and sort of stare at a blank screen because you haven’t done that previous work. So sometimes there are logistical problems in the way.

The third reason that people procrastinate is based on the idea of tyranny of the urgent. We’re always reacting to things that are squeaky and loud and urgent. And we’re not doing the things that are important and are going to move the needle. And I’m preaching to the choir because there are several projects that have been sitting in my task board that I say, ‘Oh, I’ll get to them later.” And then I never do because I don’t really value importance over urgency.
So my advice for this particular problem is that you have to create space where there is none. Because a lot of us wait until there’s space, and then there never is space. This is the same thing with planning vacations or date nights, or quality time with people you care about. You think, “Oh my gosh, my schedule, there’s no way.” But if you basically ignore the laws of time and space, and you force into your schedule a block for that thing, it forces everything around it to adjust. So it’s this sort of uncomfortable, it’s uncomfortable for us to do this, but it’s forcing prioritization.

So let’s say that you are really wanting to write a book. You’re going to go on your calendar, and you’re going to block time off, even if there is no time, and you’re going to do it anyway. And what’s going to happen is you’re going to have to reschedule calls, or you’re going to have to change priorities, or you’re going to have to not attend meetings, or you’re going to have to do things that are going to be inconvenient because there’s stuff in the way.

But waiting for the stuff not to be in the way is the lie. So I would recommend if you are procrastinating on something, you start to look at these possible issues. Number one, the belief systems behind why you’re procrastinating, your own incompetence, or imposter syndrome. The second thing is that logistically there’s a problem that you haven’t solved yet, or something that you don’t know how to do that really is the precursor to getting that thing done. And the third thing is not letting the urgent overriding the important. And forcing into your schedule, things that are important, even when they don’t seem urgent.

And the last example I can give of this was back in the spring we needed some new documentation for FG Funnels, and it was one of those things that just sort of sat on the back burner. So I asked Nuno, who is our head of tech coaching for FG Funnels to come stay at my house for a week so that we could get this out in one week time. It meant he had to take time off from work, he had to leave his family, it meant I had to move a week’s worth of meetings and appointments, and get childcare. I had to move everything out of the way, and we got it done in that week.

So hopefully that helps you with your procrastination. If you pop off this podcast, go right to the thing that you’re procrastinating on, and ask yourself if it’s any one of those three issues. Appreciate you all, talk to you soon.