Most of us have experienced the effects of procrastination at some time, even with the simplest of tasks.
Procrastination can manifest itself in ways as simple as taking too long to write a thank-you letter, putting off weeding the garden or letting slide the date when you promised yourself you'd start an exercise program.
Procrastination in our personal lives is something we can be aware of and deal with over time.
But if you are self-employed or running your own small business, procrastination can be fatal to your ambitions.
>> If you are a freelancer or a small business owner, you have to address this problem.
Your business and future depends on YOU, just the same as with an athlete, an actor or anyone else who depends on peak personal performance to make a living.
That's why everyone who wants to be in control of their own future has to take steps to deal with procrastination if and when it appears.
Here are a few tips for people who work for themselves and find themselves putting off important tasks.
1. Improve your time management skills
If you find that you are using your time inefficiently, take steps to consciously improve your time management skills. For some this will include investing in some kind of scheduling software or service that will help them better organize their time and their tasks.
2. Create an environment in which you can concentrate
Some people can focus on their work, even if there is noise and chaos around them, others can't. If to achieve your own peak performance you need privacy and silence, make it happen.
3. Don't be unrealistic in your expectations
One stumbling block is when we aim for the stars and, if it looks like we'll only reach the moon, we find ourselves frozen into inactivity. Be reasonable in what you aim to achieve. Break large tasks into smaller, manageable steps. That way, you can build one successful step on top of another, instead of being disappointed in your failure to achieve one huge task.
4. Try to put aside negative beliefs
One root cause of procrastination is negative beliefs about ourselves and our abilities. “I can't do that. " “I tried once and I couldn't do it. " If you have no belief in your ability to achieve a particular task, it's no wonder you procrastinate.
In some cases you might be right. . . a particular job might be outside your area of expertise. And that's fine. Where you need to address these negative beliefs is when you find yourself feeling frozen in the face of tasks that you really could achieve. Be aware of the difference. Question yourself.
5. Put aside fear of failure
This is related to the two points above. And it's all a matter of attitude. For some, a single failure in their professional lives drags them down and they feel like its impossible ever to succeed again. For others, typically the most successful of all entrepreneurs, individual failures are signs that they are breaking new ground. Sometimes things work out well, and sometimes they don't. This latter group views failure as something positive - a learning experience.
>> Finally, consider programs to help you with procrastination
For some of us, procrastination and patchy work performance is something we live with, work with and are constantly aware of it. And it gets in the way of the success we should achieve.
If this sounds like you, you might want to consider taking some kind of more deliberate and positive action to address the problem.
The answer for me lay in a hypnosis program. I was skeptical and surprised, but finally delighted by the outcome. For you? You need to explore options and possibilities that feel right for you and your own circumstances.
Nick Usborne is a freelance copywriter, author and speaker. For more articles and resources on making money as a freelance writer, visit his site, http://www.FreelanceWritingSuccess.com . To find out about how he overcame his own procrastination and work performance issues with a hypnosis program, read his review of Productivity Engineering .