Teachers in Business

How to Stop Procrastinating

October 19, 2021 Sara Torpey Season 1 Episode 46
Teachers in Business
How to Stop Procrastinating
Show Notes Transcript

Do you procrastinate, especially when it comes to the new, the scary, the risky, the important, or the challenging? 

This week on Teachers in Business I'm going to share 3 simple hacks for STOPPING procrastination in its tracks. 

These strategies are built specifically for business owners like you who are not only wearing ALL the hats but who are constantly trying on NEW ones - running a business and working to GROW it all at once. 

Each strategy is meant to help you take action and move forward - even when it's scary, risky, challenging and you just might fail (and, spoiler alert, FAILING is one of the strategies...)

Webinar registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dpWeLRkTSVaR1UuZhzlKAw

 

Welcome, welcome to another episode of Teachers in Business we are at 46. This week this is wild. This week we are going to talk about how to stop procrastinating. Okay, friends, we all procrastinate like, and so if you are someone who really procrastinate, especially when it comes to new, scary, risky things that you have put pressure on yourself, and you're like, this is really important, or things that you're thinking like, these are really hard. This episode is for you, because we're going to talk about three really simple hacks for stopping procrastination really right in its tracks. These are strategies specifically built for business owners like you, who are not just wearing all the hats, but are also constantly so here's the thing that happens with business owners. If you're a solo service based entrepreneur, you're wearing all the hats, and you're constantly like collecting new ones, you're constantly trying on a new hat and being like, does this one fit? Do I have to wear it, no matter what you're doing, you're constantly like picking and pulling from new things you could be doing. So not only are you always wearing 12 hats, but you're always trying new ones on to see if they fit. So running a business and working to grow it all at once is a lot. So sometimes we procrastinate, fine. The strategies today are really meant to help you take action and move forward. They are built for people running a service business doing all the things. Since I have a teacher background, they very much come from my teacher background. And if you have a teacher background, they'll probably resonate even more so. And the whole point here is for you to be moving forward even when things are scary, risky, challenging, and you just might fail. And like Hey, friends, spoiler alert here failing is one of the strategies, I know you're not gonna like it. But that's where we're at. So before we start, this episode is going to publish on October 19. It is 2021. This month, I have two more sessions of the webinar, I'm running the free webinar, I'm running this month called the Teacher's Guide to running on money to growing a money making business. If you haven't signed up, I'm going to link the webinar link the sign up in the transcript, you really ought to it's great. I keep like the more I add to it, the more I play with it, the more I practice it, the more I like delivered to people, the more I'm like, Oh gosh, it's so good. It's really the four steps you need to build a money making business from wherever you are now to wherever you want to be. So please, please, please follow the link. com join us at the webinar comm live so that you can ask all your questions and and get what you get with these steps because they're really helpful. It's not that you don't know how to make money, it's that you just don't have a process that works for you. And I can give you that process. So first, let's jump in. Let's talk about procrastination. The real question here isn't, you know, do we procrastinate? Because the answer is yes, we all procrastinate at some point or another. We have all done something like had months to get ready for something. And then two weeks from the deadline. We're like, oh, and we like dug in and got to work. Some of us do that more than others. But everybody does it. So first off, it's normal. And you got to know that like, we all do this, it's okay, you're not a bad person because you procrastinate. I know that. Like all of the internet productivity, people might want you to believe that but you're not. So what causes it is really the question and in my experience, from my perspective, from what I see, in my own business, what I see with clients, what I see with friends, what I see with my kids, procrastination is really three things. It is very much fear, right? we procrastinate when we're afraid, that's the biggest reason I can think of and that's just like normal. everybody's afraid of stuff, especially new stuff, right? The second reason we procrastinate is perfectionism, which is you know, like some people will tell you a flavor of fear, I like to hold it out separate only because I think it is a very particular brand of how we hold ourselves back. And if you're used to knowing what to do next, getting the A doing things right following the protocol following the directions doing those things like I am a very like wants to get the a student. If that's how you're used to working then perfectionism is a thing. And it's something we you know us to slow ourselves down in a lot of ways. And then the third thing that I think really creates a lot of procrastination is the unknown. Again, like that's fear. So it's really just fear again. But I think the idea of what we don't know, is a lot of time what pauses us but what steps us back and lets us go like I'm not ready to do this yet even though we're ready we don't our brain is like mine Oh, it holds us back. It's like you know what do the laundry first? No, but you could do this other thing Why don't you write your posts before you do that why don't you do this thing for a client before you do that there's there's so many things we put first, when we know the thing that really matters and that's the trick. So procrastination actually like for me, I don't think procrastination holds us back so much. It's not the thing that's going to stop you from your dreams because procrastination like, we get there eventually. But it does slow you down. So if you're not happy with the pace at which your business is moving and growing, and you know, procrastination is a part of the equation. Well, this is something to work out right to shift. The other thing today is we're not going to talk about productivity here in this podcast, we're not going to talk about time blocking, we're not going to talk about scheduling things in your calendar, we're not going to talk about any of that. Because I don't think procrastination is actually a productivity problem. It's not that you're not productive, because you produce tons of things all day. And it's that one thing you're not doing. So it's and we do, we're like, well, if I was more productive, I would have gotten that done. No, it's not that you need to be more productive. It's not that you need to be more motivated. It's not that you need to be more able, it's not that you need to be any of those things. Procrastination is simply fear and perfectionism. Like it is fear of the unknown. It's fear writ large in perfectionism. It's not that you're unproductive. It's not that you don't want it bad enough, it's not any of that. Okay, it's that we're afraid, and that's okay, we can own that. So, there are three ways that I find really helpful for breaking through procrastination. And I actually have them written on my paper here. 123, but I'm actually going to go backwards. Now that I'm thinking about it in real time. Way number one that I think really helps to kind of stop the procrastination cycle before you get all the way to the last minute, right? Is Simple awareness. So much of what we do in business, what we grow, what we learn what we are, is about being aware of how we're thinking about something. And I think this idea of awareness of when you tend to procrastinate, what kinds of things you tend to procrastinate, what what you tell yourself when you're procrastinating, how it sounds, how it looks, and sort of being onto yourself in terms of what that looks like for you. And when it's more likely to happen and sort of being aware of it so that you can see it when it's happening and go like, Oh, I'm procrastinating here. I'll tell you for me what this looks like. When I start cleaning my desk. When I start deciding that I need to shred paper, when I start making pretty graphics for things when I start like thinking like oh, you know, when was the last time I reconciled by my bank books. You know what, when I start like looking for things to do, that is a cue to me that I am procrastinating somewhere. Most of the time, I know exactly where pretty quickly. But it is my like, Oh, so often, like when I catch the urge to start cleaning my office, or I like in it happens. Like I'll be in motion cleaning. I'll stop and I'll go like, Oh, wait, what's going on here? Like, why am I doing this? And what am I not doing? And I like literally stop myself. And I step back and I take a breath. And I asked myself that question. Sometimes I do it in a notebook in my journal, I would have people like who want to tell you that that's the way you have to do it. Like sit down, grab your journal or pen. You can I do sometimes I don't always sometimes I step back and go like Whoo, Sarah, what are you doing? Like what's happening right here. And just that awareness alone, I think helps me move forward so much more effectively and speeds up my process because I didn't spend a whole half day procrastinating because I realized what was happening three hours before I had spent three hours cleaning and went like oh wait, what is it that I'm not doing and why? Because once I know what that thing is, and I'm really honest with myself, like this is the time where you have to be honest with yourself where if your brain offers you like my, I don't know what I'm avoiding. That's not as my dad would say like, that's not an answer. That's a cover. Like, I don't know is fear talking, I don't know is like, I don't want to know, let me hide. So if you are doing something that you use as a procrastination tool, if you catch yourself, you know, it's like, why am I doing this right now? catch yourself in the act, check in. And it could be that you sit down like I've done this for myself, sit down tomorrow, sit down later today. And make a list of the things that you do, that you tend to do when you're procrastinating. Make a list of the things you tell yourself when you're procrastinating, make them explicit, so that you know them. It's like when I was a classroom teacher, my first year I did a lot of cooperative learning techniques with kids. And I use them, you know, throughout my teaching career, but I use them a lot, very early my first couple of years. And a lot of what you learn in cooperative learning texts and those kinds of things is kids are more able to collaborate to work cooperatively if they know what it looks like, in sounds like. So we used to make these charts where it was like, okay, helping your neighbor looks and sounds like what and we'd hang those charts around the room. helping your neighbor does not look and sounds like this. In once they knew what it looked and sounded like they knew how to recognize it. They knew how to recognize when they weren't doing it. My students got really good at that kind of thing, because they had like a concrete structure for recognizing it for noticing. The same is true for us as adults. So if you say to yourself, okay, when I'm procrastinating it looks like and it sounds like and you just sort of have it tucked away somewhere. Even just writing that list out and acknowledging you know what it looks and sounds like when you're procrastinating. lets you then next time recognize if it happens to be cleaning your desk like it is for me the next time you're cleaning your desk, you might go like, Oh, this is a procrastination behavior. Like what's happening here? And why? Okay, so number one is recognizing number two, I think one of the most powerful ways to stop procrastination is to talk about your goals. Really, like literally talk about them. So I think I know, at least for me, and for my clients, we procrastinate most aggressively when we don't have accountability outside of ourselves. So like, for example, I just finished my first book. And I knew I knew that I would procrastinate it because I was kind of scared of making it like it was fine. I really wanted to do it. I was excited about it. But also like it's new. I didn't know what I was doing. I wasn't sure anybody would like it. Like all of the all of the fears like what were people think of me Who do I think I am all of these things. And so what I did was very actively, publicly in a lot of ways share my my due dates that I was setting for myself with other people. So like, the coach I work with, no knew what my dates were. I have a couple of friends who knew what my dates were. My husband knew what the dates were. I talked about them regularly with people. It was like, you know what the content of the inside of the book is going to be done by August 30. Like it is going to be done before we get to September. And did I still procrastinate? Yes. Did I take all of August 30? And finish it? Yes. But did it get done? Yes. So September 1, I sent it to friends and I had said to friends earlier. You know, like September 1, what I'm going to do is I'm going to send you this to review so that you can take a look and give me some feedback. I have some people that volunteered for it. I said to them, You know what, I'm going to send it September 1 and my goal is to have revisions done on September 15. And they all knew and I had already told them so I had to make good on it had accountability. And you know, that is not the same kind of accountability as time blocking or as putting it in my calendar like I actively and publicly, like told people what the plan was and you know, people that I knew that would be like, purposely like up in my stuff about it. One in particular who is a client of mine who I said like these are my dates. This is what I'm doing and she would be like so how's it going? Oh my god. You message and I'd be like, Oh, it's great, um, things are good. I don't know what you're talking about Chicago by. But I still did it because I knew I had those things. So if you know that you are going to procrastinate something, and it's a big project, share your due dates, share it with your coach, share it with some colleagues, share it with accountability buddies share with as many people as you can, because the more public you are about those things, the more likely you are that you're going to make them happen. Like the the research goes and shows that writing down a goal makes you almost 40% more likely to reach it. But if you share it with others, that number goes up to like 70%, you're 70 poor 70 plus percent more likely to hit a goal that you share out loud with other people for accountability. This is the same kind of thing. And so if you're thinking about a big project, and you're benchmarking it, think about how to make it public, who to make it public with, think about your biggest cheerleaders and the people that you're like, hey, put this in your calendar and check in with me. And like whenever I ask friends do that later, like, okay, they get all excited, because for them, it's just like, send a text to Sarah and see where she's at. And for me, it's like, oh, god, she's gonna ask me, and they always do, because, you know, you pick your people carefully. So that's number two, be public. And then when you're public, it's kind of like that added pressure to be like, I do really have to do this. No. And then here's the third, you're not gonna like it. It is. I think, especially when we're procrastinating on a perfectionism. The only way I know and I'm sure they're Thurs. But one of the most effective ways I know to keep moving is to fail. There is no success without failure, you cannot have one without the other. So when you're like, Oh, I'm really trying to do this, right? Oh, I really need to spend a little more time on this before it's, you know, good enough. The answer to the both of those things are no, no, you don't go do it now. Like, just go do the like, and I'm not saying be half assed about it at all. But when you're like, pretty close to done, and you're really just like, scared of the last steps, or scared of putting it out there or scared or whatever that thing is, you're trying to make it perfect. Stop where you are, notice what's happening. And go do it wrong. Go do it at C plus, or B plus, instead of a plus. Because here's the thing that happens, the more often you do that. The more you short circuit circuit, that process of perfectionism. And you teach your brain that if you go do this thing before it's perfect, you will not die. And that's really how we move forward, especially in the business world where a lot of it's new a lot of the time, we have to teach our brains that we're not going to die when things are scary, like no dinosaur is going to come and eat us. It's okay to have it flop. It's okay to have somebody nobody noticed what you just did. Because really like in the business world, we're trying to get people to notice us. So the worst thing that happens is you make something you do something new, you try something and nobody looks at it. Guess what? Nobody was looking at it before you didn't do it. Right? Nothing changed, you lost nothing. And you gained practice. So when perfectionism is stopping you and fears like that, go go fail at it. And I know that is easier said than done. But I promise you I live that my podcast is is a good example. Like the first couple episodes, I was like, this is just what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go ahead, I am now running a tic Tock account for my business. And I will tell you the first video took me two and a half hours to make. I mean, like it took me forever, but I had to do it. And then at some point, I was like, screw it. This is close enough. And I posted it. And then I did another one a couple of days later, and I've done I think I've done four or maybe I think today I did the fifth one. But guess what, like, I cannot give myself too much time to think about it. Because they're not going to be perfect. And I have to go and do them wrong, so that I can go to learn to them, right? The only way I can get feedback from tic toc from the coach I'm working without it from my friends and colleagues from the tic toc world writ large is to do them and have them go nowhere. It's fine. Okay. But it is really truly like how this works. So go flop. Go have nobody answer. Put it out there. See what happens. You never know. But unless you put it out there. It can't be like it's okay to be afraid but it's not Not okay not to do it. If you need help, it's okay. Well, you can ask, this is what we do. If you need accountability, you find a buddy or a coach for something else. So, friends, if you're a procrastinator, now's the time to go like, Okay, I'm going to work on this, you are not going to stop it entirely. You cannot be rid of procrastination completely, it is going to happen. But what you can be is aware of it, you can be out loud about it. And you can decide to jump before you're totally ready, like those three together really do make a huge difference, they will not stop procrastination entirely, but they will move you forward faster. And that's really what you're trying to do. You're not going to ever stop progressive again. And you're not there's nothing wrong when you do. But you can make the cycle happen faster. And that's really where the business success comes in. That's how you make more money in a shorter period of time. And that's really what we all want, isn't it? Okay. So like I said, At the start of the show, please, please, please join us for the webinar. There's one this week on Wednesday, there's one next week on Tuesday. So the 20th and the 26th. They're both at 3:30. Eastern, it is just the four steps, you need to create a money making business as a teacher, really, it's amazing. And then, if you are procrastinating if you are stuck in this loop of perfectionism, if fear is driving everything you're doing, and you're like, Oh, I can't get out of my own way. Coaching is the answer. Please, friend, I know exactly how to get you through this. I know how to stop the procrastination with accountability, I know to how to help you fail and learn that it's not going to kill you. In fact, it's going to make you stronger, and know how to help you learn to check in with yourself and be totally on your own stuff. So that you can get out of your own way, way, way, way faster. If you want to talk about coaching, and I'm sure that you do when you become a client, we will move you faster than you are moving right now. The way you become a client is you go to my website, which is www.torpeycoaching.com, And you go to the left, top coaching tab and you book a time you fill in all the information in calendly. And you just get on a call together. They're free. And they're life changing. I just had a client recently make a whole bunch of really important decisions about her business just in that first hour. And in like everything is different for her now. Just in 60 minutes. So can you only imagine what she gets in six months. Thank you guys, for listening. If you're feeling crazy, and you want to leave a review for the podcast on whatever platform you listen on, apple, Spotify, whatever it happens to be, this is part of how other people find it and I would so much appreciate your support there. And next week, we'll have more to talk about. See you then.