teri-holland_full_length sep 27,
[00:00:00] Today, we're diving into a topic that I think is close to home for many entrepreneurs.
And as someone who works with entrepreneurs and high performing clients, I can tell you that procrastination and conquering procrastination is key to achieving high levels of success.
Procrastination seems to affect, I would say, most highly driven people. So, why is it such a challenge for entrepreneurs? Procrastination often creeps in due to many different [00:01:00] factors. But in the entrepreneurial world, there's a few that really stand out. So first of all, entrepreneurship is hard.
It is challenging. And I think a lot of us get into entrepreneurship because we think that life will be easier. You make your own hours, you set You set the schedule, you decide what kind of work you want to do. And we go into it often with an illusion that we are going to be totally in control. And while it's true to a point, I mean, you are in control, it's your business, it's your life, and you absolutely are in control.
There are a lot of challenges that come with that. And that can lead to decision fatigue, which causes a lot of tasks to be put off. I mean, think about it. When you're constantly having to decide things and make decisions for your business all day, every single day, it becomes really easy to start avoiding doing certain tasks because you're just [00:02:00] overloaded.
You're overwhelmed. You're doing too many things internally.
Another factor that I see quite often is fear. Now people think of the fear of failure. Well, I don't want to do that thing because I might fail at it, but there's also a fear of success that holds a lot of entrepreneurs back and often leads to procrastination. You know, I was working with a client recently and when I asked her, what's stopping you from achieving the thing you want to achieve?
She said, I don't know who I'll be once I do it. I've never done it before. I don't know what my life will be like. I don't know how to be that person. And it feels safer to just stay how I am and stay where I am. So she had this huge goal she wanted to achieve, but she was afraid of what would happen once she actually...
Does it? And we drill down onto that fear of like, what specifically are you afraid of? She was afraid that she'd lose her friends, that her family might look at her [00:03:00] differently, that maybe she would be able to handle that kind of success and she would crumble under the weight of it. So she had very real fears of succeeding.
And yet this was a thing that she really, really wanted to do. So the fear of failure and the fear of success can both lead to avoidant behaviors. You know. I used to have a fear of failure, and I remember the first time, the first time I had this thought or, or where this was rooted for me. And it was in the third grade, I brought home a math test and I got 98%.
And my dad said to me, 98%. Where's the other two? What didn't you know? Now I know that my dad meant it with love and in an encouraging way that he wanted me to, to know that I could always do better and achieve more. But my little developing brain took that as 98 percent isn't good enough. [00:04:00] So if you're not going to get 100, why are you even trying?
And I developed this fear of failing and failing to me was anything less than a hundred percent, which brings me to my next point of what causes procrastination in entrepreneurs. And that is perfectionism. So highly driven people are often perfectionists. And I developed a really good case of perfectionism where if I didn't know that I could execute it perfectly, I wouldn't even try.
So I would put off things and I would procrastinate because I knew in my mind it wouldn't be good enough. And if it wasn't going to be good enough, it wasn't worth pursuing. So this held me back from all kinds of professional endeavors. It stopped me from trying new things, from taking risks, doing things like video.
I would never go on video before. because I hadn't done a video before. I mean, this is a messed up thinking of [00:05:00] perfectionism. Like I hadn't done a video before I hadn't made one before, which meant that I would have to be a beginner at it. And I would have to do some videos that were bad. I would have to be willing to suck at it.
And I wasn't willing to do that. So then I wasn't going to do video. And I remember my coach Jeff at the time, he said to me, Well, he, he gave me the task. He said, you know, I think doing videos would really grow your business. And this was back when Facebook had just launched Facebook live. So several years ago.
And he said, I think this would really help your business. I'm going to give you a task to go live on Facebook this week. And I said, okay, sure. I'll do it. And then I didn't do it. I put it off. I procrastinated because I knew I wouldn't be good at it. And then. The next week, he said to me, Terry, you didn't do your video and I said, no, and I gave him every excuse in the books.
No, I was super busy and you know, I couldn't figure out my lighting and I wasn't sure if my sound quality was good [00:06:00] and like all these excuses and he said, okay, so this week I'm going to double it and I'm going to task you with doing it. And I said, okay, yeah, sure. I'll do it. And then again, I, I didn't do it.
And I came back the next week with even more excuses. Like I was super busy. I had a cold that week. I wouldn't sound very good. I, you know, excuse after excuse. And so then he said to me, okay, well, you know, if, if you want to remain my client. You will do 100 days of live videos, or I'm dropping you as a client because I don't think you're serious about growth.
So then I did a video a day for a hundred days. So I went from never doing a video, being afraid of failing at them, to now the stakes were high enough that I had to do it because I really didn't want to be dropped by my coach. I liked working with him. So I had to do a hundred days of live videos and guess what?
My business grew [00:07:00] and the first I would say, I don't know, 50 weren't very good and they gradually started to get a little bit better and a little bit better because I kept learning things along the way. But this often, this idea of perfectionism, I mean, perfectionism really is the opposite, the flip side of the coin to procrastination.
When clients come to me, they'll tell me I'm procrastinating and often on the other side of it, there's this underlying perfectionism, this belief that if I can't do it perfectly, It's not going to be enough. And if it's not going to be enough, I'm not even going to bother doing it. So there's a fear of failing.
There's also a fear of succeeding because then who am I? What will happen in my life? What if I can't handle it? And then I think over, overriding both of those fears, the even bigger fear is a fear of judgment. We all, all humans originate from a tribal [00:08:00] society. Back in our tribal ancestor days, if you stood out from the crowd, You were a threat to the chief, and if you were a threat to the chief, it was certain death, because you would likely be kicked out of the tribe.
So whether you succeeded or you failed, if you just stood out from the pack and you, you know, shone brightly like the little star you are, or you made a huge mistake, either way, you were getting kicked out of that tribe. And if you were kicked out of the tribe, it was certain death, because you could not survive in that world without the safety of the tribe.
It was a harsh world. So I think overriding both of those fears, fear of success and fear of failure, is this fear of judgment. What will they say about me? So if I dare to do something, if I dare to make these videos or do a podcast or just speak up about something, if I dare to put my [00:09:00] neck on the line, we have this biological fear.
And it comes out as what will they say? What will they think of me? So we put off doing the things that we want to do, the things that we know are going to help us grow in business. We start putting them off because there's all this fear that holds us back.
How do we begin to overcome procrastination? The first thing is that we recognize it and identify that it's just procrastination. So, okay, I want to do the thing, I'm not doing the thing, I'm procrastinating, and then get really curious. So what's holding me back? What am I afraid of? Am I afraid that I'm going to fail?
Am I afraid I'm going to succeed? Am I afraid that other people are going to judge me? Is it a little bit of both? Is it all the things? Am I, am I, uh, Closet perfectionist. What's really holding you back underneath this? And then we need to take that [00:10:00] goal, the task, and we need to start breaking it down a bit.
So let's say you want to launch a podcast and you've been procrastinating on it. Then take that and, you know, break it down. You're not launching a podcast today. You're just, you're just picking your cover art. And then once that's done tomorrow, you're just recording an intro. And then You just do it step by step, piece by piece.
You take off the pressure of launching the podcast. You're not launching a podcast. You're just recording an episode. And then you're just editing an episode. And you're just doing one thing at a time. So sometimes that alleviates the pressure. of, Oh my gosh, I have to do this huge, big, scary thing. I've never done it before.
I'm putting it off. Okay. Now it's not so big. It's not so scary. So we break down , our bigger goals, the things that we're putting off into smaller [00:11:00] steps, bite sized pieces. And that makes it a little bit more doable. And then take all of those pieces and start prioritizing what's most important. What do I need to check off the list first?
And put them into a sequence of how, you know, how are you going to do this and what's the sequence of events. And then you just focus on the one thing at a time. You know, the next thing that's important in overcoming procrastination is effective time management. You need to get really disciplined in managing your time.
I love time blocking. I find that's really effective for me. So I'll block my day into chunks of time and then I will categorize my tasks into those blocks of time and I'll group them into similar tasks. So this afternoon, for example, I'm podcasting. I recorded a couple of reels earlier. So today is heavy on content creation.
My time was blocked off. Clients couldn't book me. Today is a creative day. I'm not going to work on my bookkeeping during these same time [00:12:00] blocks because this is a creative space.
That's for another block of time and then I'll put those tasks in. So you need to get really effective in your time management. Using things like time blocking, the Pomodoro Technique, um, the Eisenhower matrix is a great one I use with a lot of clients. So different ways that you can prioritize your tasks and organize your time and you know, and then the tough part is you just have to be disciplined to do it.
So often when I'm working with entrepreneurs, they will have all these great tools. I'll have the day planner. They have their calendar set up. They have all the systems, but then they don't do it. And I'll say, why aren't you doing it? They go, I, I don't know. I don't know. And there comes a time where you really, you gotta pull up your underwear and you need to just do the thing.
So you set [00:13:00] aside time to do it. You eliminate all distractions, leave your phone in another room, turn off your notifications, like whatever you need to do. And you sit down and you do nothing else until that task is complete. Sometimes body doubling is helpful. This comes from the ADHD world, where you have somebody share space with you and while you're doing the task.
So I know sometimes if I'm really struggling to get something done, and this is usually housework, cleaning. Because it's not my favorite things to do. But if my husband does it with me, or if he's even just... In the space with me while I do it. Like if I have to put my laundry away, sometimes I'll say, can you just hang out with me in the bedroom while I put away my laundry?
Because otherwise I won't do it. I'm not going to do it. But if he comes and just keeps me company and he is there with me, I will get the task done more efficiently. So try that for time management and for discipline. Get a friend to come sit with you while you do it. At the end of the day, though, you just [00:14:00] need to get it done.
You need to do the thing. And we need to stop letting ourselves off the hook. Okay. By saying, oh, well, this is just how I am, or I'm a procrastinator. Stop identifying as being a procrastinator. You have a behavior of procrastination. You are not a procrastinator. Like, I used to think of myself as being an excellent procrastinator.
I was really good at procrastinating. And I would joke about it. But having that identity and labeling myself that way was not... productive. It was not effective and helped me overcome it. So stop labeling yourself with these things. You are not a procrastinator. You have a behavior of procrastination. You can over, you can overcome a behavior, you know, and then there's also, there's also self doubt and the emotional aspect of procrastination.
So start to recognize what are the emotions you feel when you're procrastinating? What are, what is it you feel before you [00:15:00] procrastinate? Ooh, that's a good one. So think about that. You know, maybe go back to a time, maybe a more recent time when you've been procrastinating. And what is it that you were feeling before you were procrastinating?
Were you scared? Were you angry? Were you sad? Did you feel hopeless? What is it you were feeling before you knew to start procrastinating? Maybe it's self doubt. Maybe it's not even an emotion, but it's a doubt. So, were you doubting your ability to do it? Were you doubting your ability to execute it flawlessly and perfectly?
So what is it that leads to and triggers? that procrastination to start. Now, when we're procrastinating, we're not motivated. So procrastination and motivation, they're like two opposite ends of the spectrum. And so when people want to get motivated and they're procrastinating, it's a huge leap neurologically.
These two are very far apart in your nervous system. [00:16:00] In NLP, we use a really specific technique to bridge the gap between procrastination to motivation. And we create states in between that we anchor That helps move a person from procrastination into motivation and they can do it very easily after we do this technique.
I can't teach that to you on the podcast, but , what I can help you with or what might be a really good tool to try is if you visualize yourself when you're in that state of procrastination and then think, okay, what would get me off of that? Not what does now, because that's obviously not working, but what would get me off of procrastination?
So maybe if I'm procrastinating and then I get curious, could that move me off procrastination? So you try that out and you picture yourself, okay, so if I'm procrastinating, would curiosity Move me from that. So let's say I try that on and I go, yeah, that would work. I can, I can feel that that would work.
So then what's the next step? So [00:17:00] if I get curious, what happens next? Well, maybe I get inspired. So you try that on too. So you imagine yourself visualize, okay, I'm procrastinating. Then I get curious. And when I'm curious, I feel inspired. Now, will that take you to motivation? Yes. And if it doesn't, you find another state.
So maybe it's not inspired, maybe it's excited or ambitious, whatever it is for you. And then visualize yourself, mentally rehearse it over and over. So you put yourself in that state, okay, if I'm procrastinating. And then I'm immediately going to feel curious. And so then put yourself in that state, okay, I'm feeling curious.
And then from there, I get inspired and feel that energy in your body connect to that feeling of being inspired and then motivated. If you're watching the video of this, you can see I just physically shifted my body. I didn't do that consciously. That was unconscious because I'm [00:18:00] feeling myself move into those states and now I feel motivated to go do the thing.
Which right now I need to do this podcast, so I can't go do the thing I need to podcast. So motivation can be challenging I believe that you are always motivated to do exactly what you're doing.
But we need to get motivated to do the thing that we want to be doing instead. So some people would say if you're just sitting on the couch doing nothing, you're not motivated. You're just more motivated to sit on the couch and do nothing than you are to like get up and wash the dishes, for example.
So motivation can be challenging. It can be challenging in the sense that it can be hard sometimes to motivate ourselves to do the thing that we maybe don't want to do or the thing we're avoiding, but at the same time, you're always motivated to do exactly what it is that you're doing in that moment.
You're just more motivated to watch TV and binge watch some Netflix show for five hours than you are to say, go for a walk. So. You know, how do we do that? So how do we get [00:19:00] motivated then? Well, you can do the visualization that I just shared with you. And I think it's also important to recognize that motivation follows action.
So often it's just taking the first step. So maybe you're not motivated to go for a walk. You're motivated to watch TV. Well, what if you can just, if you can just get yourself to put your running shoes on? Now you're a little step closer. So you don't think about going for the walk. You just think of the very first thing you have to do, put the shoes on your feet.
So now you've taken some action, and you may feel like you're more motivated to go for the walk once you have the shoes on. So now you have the shoes on, what's next? Well, maybe it's raining, so you have to put your rain jacket on. Okay, so you've done that. Well, now you're standing there with your running shoes on and your rain jacket.
It'd be kind of silly to not... Not move forward and go walk. Right. So you set yourself a small goal. Like I'm just going to walk around the block, but once you start moving and you start getting some momentum, it's easier to keep moving [00:20:00] and you can apply the same principle to anything. Like say you're not motivated to podcast.
Some days I'm not motivated to do this. I'm more motivated to go hang out with my dogs, but I know if I just, okay, I'm just going to go into my office for five minutes. I'm going to go in my office and I'm just going to sit down. I'm going to see what comes to mind. Okay, well, now that I'm sitting here with the mic in front of me, okay, what if I just...
I open up my recording platform and I start, I just, I just open it up and I press record and see what happens. Okay. Well, that's kind of silly to not talk, right? So I'll talk for a bit and see what comes out. So action comes before motivation. So oftentimes in order to motivate ourselves to do the things that we want to be doing or need to be doing.
You need to just take a little bit of action and then take the next little step and the next little step and that momentum will start carrying you through, you know, some people find accountability works for them that holding themselves accountable or accountable to a partner or to a group like joining a mastermind where [00:21:00] they need to check in and update on their progress.
Sometimes that helps. Um, so find someone who can be your partner in this, your accountability partner personally, okay. It doesn't work for me, to be honest, because if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. And if I'm not, I won't. And it doesn't matter if someone else is holding me accountable or not, unless I'm paying them.
I would say the, yeah, the caveat to that is if I'm paying them, like if I'm paying my coach, then I will do what he tells me to do because I'm paying money. Which is another way accountability might work for you. So if you're like me and having an accountability buddy doesn't work, pay someone some money.
Because if you value money, and you put money into something, you are more likely to follow through on doing it. So just remember, entrepreneurship can be hard. It's very challenging. Most entrepreneurs struggle with procrastination and perfectionism, [00:22:00] and they struggle with fear and all the things that we've talked about in this episode.
And all of those things can be overcome with the right tools, the right techniques, but sometimes you really just need to step up and do the thing. Thanks for listening today. I hope you enjoyed this episode and let's not let procrastination hold us back any longer. , if you found this episode to be valuable to you, please subscribe to the show and leave a review.
I, those reviews mean so much to me. You have no idea. And that's what motivates me to keep coming back. And as always share it with a friend who you think might find it valuable too. Thanks for joining me today. Bye for now.