The theme this month is How to Stop Procrastinating as a Solopreneur where I’m giving you methods to bust through to get things done!
In this video, I have two more methods to help you overcome procrastination. (If you need to catch up from last week, I have links in the Resources section.)
Method 3 is for those who’ve tried accountability and it hasn’t worked. And for those who tend to overcomplicate things, you’ll love Method 4!
Welcome to a new Systems Sunday! The theme this month is How to Stop Procrastinating as a Solopreneur where I’m giving you methods this month to bust through to get things done!
I am Lisa Wells, Your Virtual Assistant Trainer.
Today I have two more methods to help you overcome procrastination. If you need to catch up from last week, click on the link below.
Method Three: Find and Use Your Unique Accountability Tactic
“Accountability” is a big buzzword right now. Life would be utopian if we could all fully embrace accountability, in the form of knuckling down and Just Getting It Done. Sometimes making that commitment leads to spectacularly easy success—as in experiencing the blinding revelation that you don’t have to wait until you feel like doing a task: You can choose to just do it, whether you feel like it or not.
If you’ve tried that, and it hasn’t worked, try adding an accountability partner or group to the mix. This works well if you have committed yourself to achieve something really specific, like doing thirty minutes of Yoga every morning or making a to-do list every evening. Sometimes finding an accountability partner, or what I call an accountabilibuddy, is simple—like getting your VA to ask if you’ve made that list as part of her daily duties.
In my current program, my coach has us change out accountability partners every 90 days. Not only does she remind us to hold each other accountable, but switching it up every quarter keeps it fresh.
And sometimes groups or partners are built-in to new undertakings. For example, you’ve signed up for a daily Yoga class, so there are ten other people and a teacher who will notice if you don’t show up.
But go one step further by being accountable to yourself, too. Put reminders on your bedside clock or fridge. Buy yourself an inspiring, comfortable yoga outfit and lay it out every night, all ready for your morning routine. Fill your water bottle and put it in the fridge last thing at night—whatever it takes to “nudge” and remind yourself that yoga every day is a good thing, or to encourage yourself to do whatever it is you don’t want to procrastinate any more about.
No matter who you are, or how much you say “accountability is too much pressure for me,” you’ll find there’s a way to do it without sabotaging yourself!
But we haven’t finished taking accountability further. Once you’ve got that accountability partner or joined that group, you need to make checking in with them become a habit. Don’t overcomplicate things—people who procrastinate are wonderful over-complicators and over-thinkers, as we already know. Set an alarm or a pop-up on your computer. Get a reminder app or sign up for a reminder service.
My accountabilibuddy, we are in the same time zone, which always helps. And we have a method of communicating that we both enjoy, so that’s how we hold each other accountable – a text every other day or so, “how are you doing, what are you working on, how can I be of service?” That’s all we do, keep it simple.
Chances are you’ve already told yourself: “Just do it,” and that hasn’t worked. But give it try one more time. Keep reminding yourself that feelings follow actions; not the other way round. First, get into the habit of “just doing it” instead of waiting around to feel like doing it.
Method 4 is The Humble “To Do” List
You might be saying: “I’ve tried “To-Do” lists. They just don’t work for me.”
One of the most common reasons they don’t work is because all of us—especially perfectionists—tend to overcomplicate them. The result? They read like a Punishment Sheet!
Here’s a strategy that can work for anyone, no matter what their root procrastination cause:
- Create a simple—REALLY simple—“To Do” list.
- Only put ONE procrastination point on it. Leave the remaining two or three checkboxes blank.
- Call it something else, if the simple words “To-Do” trigger you into a frenzy of procrastination. Call it “Life Changing List” or “Action Steps”—something that re-charges or inspires you and—more importantly—doesn’t trigger feelings of failure or the urge to escape. Or don’t call it anything at all. Just print out your one big priority—the thing you know you’re going to procrastinate about tomorrow.
- Save your To Do list as a master copy or print out a batch of them.
- Put a fresh copy on your desk or on top of your laptop when you finish work for the day, so it’s all ready for you in the morning.
The simple “To Do” list is under-rated. It’s usually not a success because people tend to fill it with too many tasks—“Shoulds” instead of “need to dos.” And they tend to overfill it.
Focus on your top single priority—your big procrastination point, the habit you want to change—and get it out of the way the moment you see that list in the morning. Do that, and you’ll soon create a habit of success—painlessly. For example, if you never, ever write post for your blogs—the blog you promised would help your clients—and you beat yourself up every day over it, then overcome that habit of not writing by creating a “To Do” list that only focuses on your big procrastination point.
Print it out when finishing for the day and stick it on or beside your laptop.
The big key? The next morning, write that blog post before you fill in the rest of the slots. Only when the post is written and posted should you then fill in your main priorities for the day.
What this will do is get you in the habit of sitting down and writing a blog post every morning, if that’s something you really want to do (and haven’t been doing).
The one-point “To Do” list is a simple strategy, but don’t underestimate it! This simple strategy can transform the lives of even the most obsessive-compulsive, avoidance-prone perfectionists, so give it a try and post a comment if any of these methods are resonating for you, I’d love to hear it.
If you enjoyed this episode and want more tips and strategies, check out my new Business Building Action Kit, “How to Stop Procrastinating as a Solopreneur.”
All of my action kits contain a full done-for-you action plan to give you guidance, resources, and keep you on track with checklists and worksheets.
You can find a link to the product below or visit my VA Business Builder Boutique and click on Shop.
Join me next week when I’ll give you more strategies to bust through procrastination and we’ll talk about sticking points and rewards. See you then!
Catch up on other “How to Stop Procrastinating” episodes:
Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Check out this action kit!
How to Stop Procrastinating as a Solopreneur
You’ll hear people give all sorts of reasons why they haven’t yet created a product, put together a membership site, started building a list, or even just started that exercise program. Everything they say is most likely valid. They’re being truthful. They’re not making excuses. But look one step deeper, and what you’ll also find is… procrastination.
We all do it. We all procrastinate for different reasons. We have different trigger points. And we all procrastinate in different ways.
The thing about procrastination is how sneaky our own minds can be. For example, one copywriter might procrastinate by doing endless research on a project. She’s not sitting around twiddling her thumbs. She’s not playing Wordle. She’s doing vital work for her project, and her project is on her mind.
In this complete kit, I’m going to show you how to overcome procrastination. Try out the one that resonates most with you—or try them all – you might be surprised at what works for you!
What you Get with Your Kit:
- 18-Page Guide giving you the solutions to overcoming procrastination
- “21 Idea Blueprint” – While there are common causes and reasons for procrastination, there are even more “cures.” Pick through these twenty-one ideas to find strategies that work for you
- 4-week done-for-you calendar to face your procrastination and become accountable for it (even if “accountability” is not your favorite word)
- Comprehensive action checklist
- Resource Directory with links to tools and resources
- Worksheet – Use this Worksheet to isolate, identify, and define your procrastination points, habits, and tendencies, as well as plan strategies to bust them