I learned from one of my first mentors, Michael Port, that being successful in business is really about starting and finishing projects. He also taught me that most business problems are really personal problems in disguise.
That means that if you struggle with procrastination and finishing what you start in your personal life, this problem can easily plague your business. You’ve got to get a handle on it; otherwise your work and your income are going to suffer severely.
Fortunately, learning how to complete your projects is entirely within your reach, no matter WHAT your background happens to be. The only thing you need to bring to the table is a willingness and commitment to developing new behaviors.
Here’s how you do it:
|1.||Own your issues – Stop making excuses about why you don’t get things done and just own it! Forget blaming, the fact that “mercury is in retrograde” or whatever else you’re telling yourself. Be honest about what keeps you in a vicious cycle of setting a goal, procrastinating and not getting things done. Make the commitment to do something about it, even if that “something” is a small subtle shift that only you recognize.|
|2.||Start with something small and create a victory – When we get ready to make a mindset shift, we often convince ourselves that it’s going to be harder than it really is. Set yourself up for success by taking action on a small thing. Stop thinking and start doing! That simple action will ignite a spark of motivation that can propel you right to the end of completing a project. The best way to eliminate procrastinating is to DO something. The first step is not as hard and won’t take as long as you think, I promise!|
|3.||Create support and accountability for when you get stuck – It’s not a matter of IF you’re going to get stuck, it’s just a matter of when. You will have a question, you will come up against an obstacle and likely, an opportunity you couldn’t foresee will pop on the horizon. You may find that the project takes longer than you thought, you run into a technical glitch or you hook up with a flakey vendor. If you don’t have strong support and accountability to someone other than yourself, you WILL stop dead in your tracks. SO, eliminate this challenge before you even get there and put in place a support system for yourself.|
|4.||Break your project into smaller steps – I can’t say this enough. If you try to grab your project by the throat and tackle it, you will quickly get tired and overwhelmed. Dealing with one step at a time will keep you focused and allow you to make steady progress.|
|5.||Keep your eye on your goal – It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutia of a project and forget why you started it in the first place. Which makes it really easy to get distracted from your project and never complete it. This is why you need to plan out your work. Doing so makes it a heck of a lot easier to work your plan! Is your goal to enroll a certain number of clients? Generate a certain amount of revenue? Sell a certain amount of a new product? Keep that goal in front of your face EVERY day so you don’t forget what you’re working towards. When you keep your eye on the prize you’ll be a lot less likely to give up on what you started.|
Keep this in mind: things will not go according to plan. Expect that and don’t let unanticipated circumstances derail your progress. Successful people got to where they’re at because they were determined to succeed and to keep moving forward no matter what happens.
Take the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary and stick with your project. The more you develop this practice the easier it will become.
What marketing project are you going to dive into first this year? Post a comment below and share your thoughts with us.