It’s important to stop procrastination blocking your success. In my survey 98% of people said that procrastination stopped them achieving their goals. In this article I look at practical causes of procrastination which revolve around poor time management and poor prioritisation skills. The first two articles in this series looked at the common psychological causes of procrastination:
- Procrastination Help: Fear of Failure, and
- Procrastination Help: Fear of Success. It seems crazy that fear of success could slow us down but it is a common cause.
Now we get onto a more practical constraint that often causes procrastination: poor time management and prioritisation.
I’ve chatted to many people about my interest in time management and I don’t think anyone has ever said that they manage their time well.
Even very successful people will say: “I could do with a bit of help with that”.
If you work in Internet marketing managing your time well is particularly important because there are so many distractions. Many people read endless sales letters which promise incredible success – often with little effort. And although we know these cannot be true it’s very tempting to read them nevertheless!
Before you know it, the whole morning’s gone and you’ve wasted several hours for very zero return.
The key to managing your time well is to get a simple and effective time management system in place.
Getting Things Done Helps Stop Procrastination!
By far the best time management system I have ever found is David Allen’s Getting Things Done. The key elements of Getting Things Done are:
1. Collect everything that requires action. That includes everything on your desk, everything in your head, all your to-do lists.
2. Organise all these tasks. Go through each item one by one dealing with it. The four possibilities are: file it, bin it, delegate it, do it, or make a note of it in a trusted system for later action. If making a note of it, each item will need to be prioritised.
3. Take action. Review your top priority tasks, choose one to do, and work your way through the list.
4. Review. On a regular basis, review all your tasks and check the priority you have given them is still appropriate. If not, change it. Some tasks will be reviewed daily: others will only be eviewed weekly. If you have a good system in place this happens pretty much on autopilot.
Shortcomings of Getting Things Done
Many people have failed to apply Getting Things Done and this can be for several reasons.
We needn’t go into those too deeply: but mainly it’s because the original book was published in 2001 and things have changed a lot since then – especially in terms of the “devices” which most of us own now.
And secondly David Allen was aiming his book at corporate business people as well as small business people. His target audience was so wide that his recommendations could appear a little woolly.
Getting Things Done for the Small Business
So, let’s be clear: the way for the small business person – or solopreneur – to apply Getting Things Done is to use the ubiquitous Evernote. I love Evernote anyway – but since I’ve been using it to apply Getting Things Done, these two have been a magic combination.
How do I do it?
1. I have two notebooks: To-Dos and Filing. Everything goes into one or the other.
2. Any To-Do always has a When tag, and sometimes it has a What tag, Who tag and/or a Where tag. The When tags indicate priority. They are: Now, Next, Soon, Later and Sometime The What tags are one tag for each active project I’m working on The Who tags are important people or events (eg Team Meeting) The Where tags might be “Home” or “Work”, or “Errands”.
3. Any filed item can have no tags at all, or it might have a What tag (linking it to a project) and maybe 1 or 2 other tags (usually not).
4. Now, every morning I open Evernote and click on my Now tag to see all my To-Dos tagged Now. There are usually 5-6 items in there. I choose one to do and get cracking. At any time I can change the When tag – maybe from Now to Next, or from Next to Now.
Thus is a really easy and convenient way to manage tasks for the small business person. For more detail of my method see this post on Time Management using Evernote and GTD (Getting Things Done).
I hope these three posts have cast some light on how to stop procrastination – something that affects 98% of Internet marketers.
- 1. Procrastination Help: Fear of Failure, and
- 2. Procrastination Help: Fear of Success
- 3. Stop Procrastination Blocking Your Success: Time Management (this post)
Understanding its causes can really help you; stop procrastination and you can really move ahead.
Do You Have a Plan?
From my surveys I know that many marketers feel that they are procrastinating; but the real reason for this is that they haven’t got the a decent plan to make money which they can focus on.
Both these programmes offer excellent support – through very active forums – and which will coach you all the way to success, for example by making affiliate commissions. Just imagine the difference for most people that an extra $500-$1000 income a month would make.
I know – it’s not the fortunes that the rip-off gurus promise, but it’s a more realistic sort of income which you can then double and treble by continuing to do more of the same thing.
These are realistic money making programs for realistic people! Spend your time on one of these two programs rather than reading more scan me emails and sales pages.
Unsubscribe to everything else. You will be thankful you did!
Bring the Fresh is from marketer Kelly Felix who has been exceedingly successful in the past, but then crashed and burned. He pulled himself out of that and has come back to help people make money online.
Sure, he wants to make money too: but I think he’s a decent guy and he wants to be successful by making you successful.
He certainly has a lot of knowledge to share, and he is frequently in the forum answering peoples questions. That definitely gives me the impression that he is genuine. My Bring the Fresh Review
The Chris Farrell Membership
The Chris Farrell Membership has been voted number one at IMReportCard – an important review site in two categories – best online personality (Chris himself), and best service – which is The Chris Farrell Membership itself.
Again, his forum is very, very busy and Chris frequently answers questions. He has personally made over 1000 videos to support his membership site. So, again, he is clearly a pretty devoted person.
If you climb on board with either of these programmes I don’t think you can go wrong.
AS LONG AS – you stop reading those scammy emails! That really is the key.
If you find trouble unsubscribing then this is how to filter out the dodgy emails to a secondary inbox. When I started doing this it saved me 30 to 40 minutes a day.
Good luck with stopping procrastinating! If you can stop procrastination you will be successful much faster. But make sure you have a decent plan which you are applying, and please stop spending time on things which do not pay – which includes most of reading sales pages, emails, and ebooks.