Saturday, 27 December 2014

Mass Traffic Attack - Part 5. How To Overcoming Procrastination

Overcoming Procrastination 
Procrastination is the act (or actually the “non-act”) of putting something off until later - tomorrow, next week, sometime soon, never. It is by far our biggest enemy. Whole lives have been wasted by this very real problem. Businesses never started, families never begun, vacations never taken, relationships never started all because of this. 
Imagine if there were no procrastination in the world or in your own life - you'd do every task there and then without regard to the consequences. 
Thinking of starting an online business? - you would take action on it immediately Thinking of asking that guy/girl for a date? - you wouldn't hesitate 
Thinking of taking that vacation you really need? - in less than 5 minutes you would have bought the tickets 
Thinking of writing 5 articles to promote your site? - you start writing, an hour and a half later you're drinking coffee, all articles done 
Of course taking action immediately without thinking things through can lead to negative consequences. That's why procrastination is actually human nature, it is literally in our genes. What's the main reason we procrastinate? 
Fear of failure. 
We fear that if we take a “leap into the unknown” we are moving outside our “comfort zone” and that's why it's completely natural for us to delay taking action. Our inbuilt self- defense mechanism kicks in - “What if I lose my money?”, “What if I get rejected”, “What will others think?”. It is far easier to maintain the status quo; inaction is less risky than action. 
Most of us suffer from this, more than we would care to admit. Picture this scenario: 
You sit down at your computer in the evening determined to put in a couple of hours' work. But before you get started you check your emails first, there's a few there that need a reply from you. Having done that you check out a few websites, then see if there's anything new on Facebook. An hour has now passed. You go get a coffee and promise yourself you'll just 
quickly have a look in on a couple of your favorite forums. 
Two hours later, your husband/wife has gone to bed, you're tired and you need to be up early in the morning for work. Frustrated at your lack of progress, angry with yourself that you got sidetracked you go to bed, promising yourself that “tomorrow will be different”. Some people are like this for years, wondering why they can never make any money online. 
I know all about the above scenario, it caught me out most nights for a long time. If you recognize anything in yourself from that example the first thing to do is NOT beat yourself up about it, as I used to do. Procrastination, in whatever form it takes, is actually a natural defense mechanism. Your mind thinks it is protecting you from danger, i.e. from a
potential change in your life or lifestyle with all the “hazards” that suggests! 
We are naturally more comfortable with what we know; the environment in which we grew up. Over time our mind has conditioned us to accept that this is how things are supposed to be. 
Seriously, that's true. 
I was stunned when I first found out about that. I actually thought the reason I procrastinated was because I was lazy. Nope. Without going into the complicated psychological reasons as to why we delay things, I just want to get across 2 points: 
1. Virtually everyone procrastinates at some point 
2. It's not your fault 
OK, having established that this is simple human nature, what can we do about it? After all, to succeed in internet marketing, indeed any business, we are going to have to overcome this one way or another. 
Procrastination often happens when we don't have an exact plan of what we want to do.
How often have you sat down at your computer with just a vague idea of “doing a few
things for my online business”
? That is a sign of not having a detailed plan. Planning is one of the key features to running a successful business. 
There is a well-known expression 
“Plan your work, then work your plan” 

That is it in a nutshell. Unless you know exactly what you want to achieve every time you sit down at your PC - every morning you wake up, one week from now, one month from now and so on, you are always going to struggle. As well as planning, you need to clear the clutter both from your workspace and your computer.

Firstly, let's clear the clutter from your mind, but remember unless you clear the physical as well as the mental clutter you won't make much progress. Don't forget that all these things work in combination with each other. If you are a particularly bad procrastinator (and I was one of the worst) then these things have combined in the past to work against you. It's now time to turn the tables and make them work for you. 
This is also where the idea of setting clearly defined goals will help you. If your dream is to own a villa next to the beach, or a particular car then put a picture of those things on your office wall where you can see them. 
This will strongly focus your mind on what you want, as well as reminding you at a subconscious level what you will get (your reward) if you do those tasks you have been putting off. 
Here is my 9 point plan for kicking procrastination into touch. 
1. Make an exact plan of what you need to do, detailing every single step 
2. KNOW exactly what tasks you must do every time you sit down at your computer (if at any time you don't know this, then there is a gap in your plan and you need to go back to it and refine it) 
3. Some days we feel motivated to work, others we don't. One good way I have found of getting myself “in the mood” or “in the zone” to really do write some articles is by listening to music beforehand. This is a simple tip but it is highly effective - put together a playlist of music with a positive message, or music that uplifts you and listen to that. It doesn't matter whether your musical tastes are Mozart, Madonna or Motorhead - pick something that is positive to you. Songs like Survivor - Eye of the Tiger, Bon Jovi - It's my Life, Queen - Breakthru, 
Beethoven's 9th Symphony, 2 Unlimited - No Limit all work well. Heck, move around to the music if that gets you psyched up, whatever works for you! We will all have our own favorites whatever type of music we listen to 
4. Stand up and do a bit of stretching, move your body around. This will get your creative talents flowing 
5. As well as knowing exactly what tasks you want to do, you must also clearly define exactly for how long you will be working. So for example you could say, “I'll start working at 7pm and
finish at 9pm”
. Psychologically it's important that you don't leave it open ended. By defining an “end time” you are giving yourself a deadline to work to and most of us work better with deadlines. As an added bonus, your husband or wife will be a lot happier with you doing this, rather than working until you go to bed. If you finish your tasks earlier, then see if you can't do one of tomorrow's tasks as well. 
6. If you are a particularly bad procrastinator then do the quickest and easiest tasks first. Yes, I know the “expert” advice generally given out is that you should do the most difficult one first - I too have read all the self-help books. I tend to think that if you pick an especially difficult task first there is a great chance of giving up halfway through. That's the voice of experience. My own view is that if you do the easy tasks first, you will have a greater sense of achievement at having actually completed something. This will spur you on to complete the next one and the one after that. Instead of going to bed frustrated that - yet again - you have hardly done anything, you will finish the day very much upbeat and pleased with yourself at ticking items from your list. 
7. Divide all larger tasks into smaller tasks, or mini-tasks. You would be surprised at how many seemingly small tasks can be broken down even further. For example suppose your goal was to write an article, that's all. Well, an article consists of a title, probably 6 paragraphs and an author's bio box. So what you thought was one single, medium sized task is actually 8 different mini-tasks. Worst case scenario - even if all you do is the title and nothing else, you have at least completed one of the 8 tasks. Which is psychologically a whole lot better than not having completed the single task of “write an article”
8. Every time you complete a task, reward yourself by taking a break. Do that AWAY from the computer, never go playing games or surfing the web on your break. It's far too easy to get distracted and you won't get back to your jobs again easily. Grab a tea/coffee/coke/beer/water, whatever and go somewhere else. 
9. Once you have completed your tasks, then go over the tasks that await you in your next
“working session” - whether that is the next day, in a couple of days time, or in the afternoon. Make sure that you know EXACTLY what you will be doing then. If you need to, take the time to make your plan, and make amendments where necessary 
If procrastination is a particularly bad problem for you, then follow those 9 points and you will soon see changes. This won't always be immediate; it does take time and effort to change our habits. Naturally some days it's easier than others. So keep at it, don't beat yourself up if you slip back into the old ways, we all do it. 
Just come back stronger the next time. 

The biggest tool that you have in an online business (indeed any business) is your own mind. We're now going to take a look at the other tools at your disposal - your workspace and your computer.

Mass Traffic Attack - Part 26. Your Secret Weapon - How To Rewrite Articles
Mass Traffic Attack - Part 28. Rewriting PLR Articles 

Easily Learn How To get Tons Of Traffic To
Your Business Daily With

Start-up Essentials.

No comments:

Post a Comment