Oftentimes, would-be entrepreneurs have great ideas for potential businesses but become paralyzed and easily discouraged when it comes to actual planning and implementation. Entrepreneur.com.ph asked U.S. certified life coach Andrea Goseco for tips on how entrepreneurs can overcome mental roadblocks commonly associated with launching and maintaining a business.
Question: I’m frustrated that I never get things done. What can I do to be able to accomplish the important things that I need to do?
A: Does this sound familiar? You’re ready to start working on your business plan today. The estimated time to finish the business plan is by 10:00 pm. But you find yourself watching TV, reading articles in the internet, checking your Facebook account while you are trying to work on the plan. Before you know it, the time has already passed and it’s already 1:00 am. Where did the time go? What got in the way? This situation is an example of not being able to manage your time well.
If this happens to you often, you’re a victim of procrastination. You have to accept the fact that you postpone important tasks. It doesn’t mean that you’re lazy but because there are underlying reasons why it is difficult for you to start something. Admitting that you have a problem with procrastination will make it easier for you to find a solution.
You need to find out the reason you choose to postpone tasks. Get to the root of the problem. The most common reasons can either be fear of failure or fear of handling a big responsibility. If the cause is fear of failure, you have to imagine the worse possible outcome and how you will handle it. Fear comes from not knowing the solution to a problem. The other reason is when you think of all the big tasks that you will not be able to handle. All you need to do is to break a huge task into into smaller steps to make it more manageable.
One important tip is to figure out how you spend a typical day. Track your activities to see how much time you waste on things that are not important. You have to focus on activities that have high value and impact first then tackle less important things later.
An example is when you spend time answering emails when you need to start working on a business proposal. Don’t postpone the things you have to do on your priority list. Choosing the tasks that are not a priority are easy because they are within your comfort zone. It’s time to stop giving excuses before you start on an important task. Think of the long term consequences of your decision. It will cause you more stress in the long run and you will not be able to produce a good proposal.
You need to be able to see things in a positive perspective to be able to accomplish them. Our thoughts determine whether we will be able to overcome obstacles. Based on the time management book written by Neil Fiore, he says that we will be more decisive if we talk to ourselves the right way. Your statements have to move from negative to positive:
1. Instead of saying “I have to” say “I choose to”
2. Choose to say “when can I start” instead of “I must finish”
3. Replace “I must be perfect” to “I can be perfectly human”
All you need to do is to change your habit. Think of how you can be more productive on the causes and people you care about if you are able to manage your time well. You have already made the first step by realizing that you procrastinate. Just keep on doing the other steps and you will have less stress in your life.