Procrastination can get in our way. Indeed, a lot of the work I do helps business owners, firm owners, and partners, complete the business development tasks they keep meaning to do!
Whilst we recognise procrastination as a distraction tool. We may not have recognised it as a stress or pain relief tool.
When we put something off, we have immediate relief, from the stress (pleasure). The more we do it, the more habit-forming it can become (which we can undo).
When breaking this habit, be it a regular behaviour, or a particular type of business activity that keeps being avoided. It helps to take two approaches.
One is looking at breaking the automatic (often unconscious) habit your go-to behaviour is. Perhaps you find yourself checking your phone, your emails, or scrolling on social media, when faced with certain tasks. Or perhaps it is doing everything else but the task, and so avoid it completely for weeks or months!
Once we identify our typical procrastination behaviour, we can notice it, as and when it is happening. This helps us become more conscious of what we are doing.
At this point, we might naturally reduce the number of times we do that behaviour. Or, it can also help to do something else instead and create a new habit. Even if it is pausing to breathe more deeply or using a task timer.
The second approach involves digging deeper to identify what the stress is (pain). What specifically makes us uncomfortable, why, and perhaps where that has come from. Once we start to recognise our associated thoughts and any emotional reaction. We can become more comfortable with the ‘stress’, and even rewrite our negative associations to more positive ones.
By using this dual approach we can lessen the pain, change the habit, and reduce the frequency of the pain relief cycle!
And as always, be kind to yourself. We are usually going to procrastinate with some things. It is all about balance. Not least, sometimes the chores can definitely wait!
p.s. Are you finding you keep putting off business development or marketing tasks? Get in touch to find new ways to make it happen and move your firm or work forward.