Over the past decade I’ve written much about how to eliminate procrastination. Though my initial feelings and beliefs around this topic have not changed, I do see it in a slightly different light after working with so many entrepreneurs who struggle to take consistent action in their businesses. At first it was difficult for me to understand why intelligent people who have the desire to succeed would not take action on the tasks and activities that would get them closer to their destination. But these days I approach this issue differently.
One trait seems to jump out at me when I think of each of these people and their businesses and that is perfectionism. I’m a recovering perfectionist myself, so I recognize it more quickly than other online mentors or marketing strategists might in their clients. Perfectionism gnaws at your inner psyche like a dog devouring a bone. To learn how to eliminate procrastination, begin by learning how to eliminate perfectionism.
So allow me to explain how I make the connection between perfectionism and procrastination. The human mind can be tricky when it comes to working with you or against you at times. Just say you are beginning a new task that is foreign and takes you outside of your comfort zone. This describes what I went through when I came online in 2006 and wanted to become a writer. When I would sit down to write I thought about all of the reasons the writing would not turn out as well as I expected of myself. I wanted it to shine, to tell a story, to touch people, to make a point, to teach, to explain, and ultimately to sell my products and courses. In short, I wanted and expected my writing to be perfect.
Of course, this would not and could not be the outcome when I was so new to the writing process. It took months of daily focus and concentration for me to trick my mind into actually allowing me to write, instead of coming up with yet another excuse for procrastinating. When I finally did write a blog post or an article, I once again had to overcome my perfectionism in order to hit “publish” and share my content with the world.
I told myself that the writing would improve over time if I would just stick to it and write every day. I told myself no one would find it online and think less of me because of the quality. I told myself that others were far superior with their writing because they had been doing it longer than I had. All of these thing were true and helped ease the process of turning myself into a published author.
I promised to increase my vocabulary through reading. I promised to write every single day for one hour. I promised to share my writing with the world. I have kept all of these promises and the result is that I am now a bestselling author of more than a dozen books.
So, what are the steps on how to eliminate procrastination? First, eliminate perfectionism. Next, take action on whatever you are procrastinating about. And finally, promise yourself that you will catch procrastination early so that it does not interfere with your dreams and goals.