I see you over there. You’re wondering how to stop procrastinating so you can finally get your side hustle off the ground.
You want to be crushing your goals, but instead you’re watching Netflix when you should be creating your weekly content for your business. Or you’re eating Sour Patch Kids, standing up in the kitchen, when you’re supposed to be meditating (please tell me you do this too). You’re scrolling through Instagram and comparing and despairing, when you should be building your online course.
There’s no need to hide. I see you. I AM you some days.
Procrastination seems to lurk in and take over our lives, sometimes out of nowhere, even for the most driven and productive of us. And it can really keep us from achieving our goals. Such a bummer.
If you struggle with procrastination, like I sometimes do, you might think procrastination can’t be helped. It’s just a normal part of life, and in some ways you’re right. There will always be days you don’t want to do what you’re supposed to be doing.
But when you have a big goal, like making a career change or starting a side business, you need some extra oomph pushing you forward. And I have some tips on how to stop procrastinating, help you find your spark, and get back to work.
Get really, really clear on your why.
If you don’t know why you’re supposed to be doing a task, you will have zero interest in completing it. Get to the root of your motivation.
I’ll give you an example. There are days when I really, really want to lay on my couch and watch Veronica Mars reruns instead of working on my business. Gosh, it’s just such a good show (guilty pleasure!).
But if I’ve scheduled time to work and have goals I haven’t reached for that day or week, I push through and I get to work.
And what helps me is to remember why I wanted to do it in the first place. I have a mission to help people overcome the overwhelm with switching careers or starting and growing a side business. I am passionate about it. It is worth switching off the tv for.
There’s an exercise my former coach, Laura Simms, uses which I think she called “Future Five”. The gist is this: Set a timer for five minutes and visualize what you want your future to look like.
Allow yourself to get into the minute details. Think about where you’ll live, what your bed feels like when you wake up, what time you wake up, what you’re eating for breakfast…and on and on. For five minutes.
I know you’re probably thinking, “What does this have to do with procrastination?”
And it’s this: Live today to create that future for yourself. There’s literally no other way to get there.
Understand what you’re working towards, and use that as your fuel.
Start creating. Stop consuming.
I’m a natural learner. I absolutely love to read, listen to podcasts, watch trainings, and consume, consume, consume. I even read while I blow dry my hair every day.
But here’s the thing about consumption: It makes you think you’re taking action, but you’re not. In many ways, you’re treading water when you get stuck in consumption.
You’re learning and learning and learning…and never using. And usually becoming really overwhelmed in the process.
And unfortunately, “learning” can easily mask what is actually procrastination. If you’re still learning, it feels totally fine to put off taking action. Consuming feels like you’re being productive, but unless you’re creating, you’re not actually moving forward.
The best thing you can do to move towards your goal is to take tiny, imperfect action every single day. Create something new. Write a blog. Journal. Create new social media content. Paint something. Go take some photos. Create your podcast.
I think deep down we all know that creating and taking action is actually the best teacher there is, and that consuming more actually keeps us from reaching our goals.
Get comfortable with discomfort.
If you really want to know one of the biggest secrets for how to stop procrastinating, look no further: You must learn to get really comfortable with being uncomfortable.
And I know how that sounds. But many times, we procrastinate on a project because of how we think it’s going to make us feel.
Maybe it’s because it’s brand new, and we don’t know how, and we’re nervous we can’t do it right. Maybe we’re worried it’s going to be hard. Maybe we’re scared we’ll create something stupid and embarrass ourselves.
But the point is: that discomfort and anxiety is normal and has to be overcome. And honestly, the best way to overcome it is to practice working through it, over and over again, until you can practically ignore when it’s even there.
Every time you push through the feelings of discomfort, you’re training yourself to be true to your word. You’re building integrity with yourself, which is the absolute most important kind of integrity you can build. If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
When you build this trust with yourself, you can do amazingly huge things. You can set a goal and trust that you’ll actually make it happen. And that, my friends, is magic.
Get more sleep.
Sleep is the single most overlooked source of energy, motivation, and productivity out there. In fact, there are far too many people out there bragging about not getting enough sleep and how they’re getting ahead because of it.
I call BS.
You need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to perform at your peak, and that includes feeling motivated as well as your creativity, your mood, and your self control which (you guessed it!) can cause you to procrastinate way more than you would otherwise.
Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep, and I heard on a recent podcast that sleep has a PR problem: No one is bragging that they’re sleeping plenty. It’s almost better to say you’re not getting enough. It’s a bit mind-boggling!
But when it comes to reaching big goals, it should be one of the first questions you ask yourself: “Am I getting enough sleep to support this goal?”
If you don’t think you are, what are some steps you can take to getting more before you start to tackle these goals full-force?
Finally, only you can decide that you won’t allow procrastination to take over your life and keep you from achieving your goals.
When I look back on my life, I don’t want to say, “I wish I would have…”. I want to have gotten off my behind and made it happen, even if it’s not the funnest thing in the moment.
So stop reading this blog, find your why, create something new, become BFFs with discomfort, and go to bed early. Let’s get this done already!
Read more on Side Hustles – here.