Procrastination can be the death knell of any business and that is doubly true for your online business. Working for your self requires a form of self discipline to get the work done as well as strong time management skills. If your previous work history has involved working for someone else then you may not totally grasp this concept as yet, but read on as we learn about the perils of procrastination.
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is where you put things off or find excuses for not doing a task that needs doing. Some of the common procrastination techniques employed by online business owners can include spending huge amounts of time on social network sites like Facebook or twitter; taking phone calls when you are supposed to be working on a project for a client; taking too many long lunches or simply not bothering to get out of bed before lunchtime. All of these examples are timewasters. If you are wondering if something you are doing is a procrastination technique ask yourself “does this (whatever you are doing) contribute towards my business?” If the answer is “no” then you are procrastinating.
The Danger of Shiny Objects
The internet is full of lots of shiny objects – temptations and distractions that steer you off course when you are supposed to be focusing on your online business. Both Internet Marketers and Service Providers are prone to chasing shiny things when they are supposed to be working for their clients. But the shiny object syndrome has an added dimension that stems far beyond procrastination – shiny object syndrome can undermine the very fabric of your business model.
For example let’s assume you decide to be an Internet Marketer and you decide to create and offer products to potential clients – they could be ebooks, courses or even physical products such as DVDs or CDs. But then you are doing a spot of research online and you come across a flashy banner claiming you can make $300 in the next 15 minutes. You can’t resist clicking on the banner and you are taken to a sales page that tells you that for just $97 you can get this wonderful secret to untold wealth. Of course the sales page does not tell you that you can also lose $500 in the same length of time and the course you have just out laid money on doesn’t tell you that either.
BUT that is not the worst part of that little example – the worst part is that you have just stolen time and money from your business! You allowed yourself to be distracted when you were supposed to be working on your own business model. You have spent almost $100 that could have gone into your business and you are spending time looking at a course that you might read once and never implement the ideas.
Online businesses are a little different to traditional bricks and mortar businesses – they don’t have nearly as many overheads and the entry costs are usually pretty small. But all Internet Marketers will tell you that you need either time or money to grow your business, while Service Providers will tell you that time is the most important commodity. So if you want your online business to succeed then you can’t afford to waste either time or money – don’t let yourself be distracted by shiny objects.
Wool Gathering is Great for Sheep
You are building a website for a client – it is due in two days. You are sitting at your computer, which is a good thing, but the screensaver is on. So what are you doing when you are supposed to be working for your client? You are wool gathering. Wool gathering is the term used for people who seem to sit down and start their work, but who then seem to drift off into space. Writers call it writer’s block; artist’s call it creative dreaming; most of us call it day dreaming, but the bottom line is that if your brain is not focused on the task at hand, then you are wool gathering and that is another huge time waster.
As humans we are not machines. It can be difficult to stay focused on the task at hand especially if the work is boring, or repetitive. If you find yourself wool gathering, get up and take a short walk around the room. Have a snack or get some fresh air for five minutes. You will come back to your desk a lot more energized and this should make it easier to stay focused on your work.
Why Staying on Top of Your Business is so Important
Having a boss is usually pretty conducive to getting your work done – no- one wants to lose their job. But when you are working for yourself in your online business you are the one who has to motivate or inspire yourself. One of the reasons that people chose to run their own online business is that they can have the freedom to pick their own hours, but here is the key. In an online business you often have to work longer hours than you might in a 9-5 job, especially when you are getting your business model established. The days of the rags to riches overnight are long gone and while running your own online business is still a great way to live you do have to work to make it work.
Procrastination can be your biggest enemy. Most people don’t notice the amount of time they spend on social media sites. Other people can day dream for hours without realizing it. That is why procrastination is such an insidious underminer of your business – most people don’t know that they are doing it. In the next two sections we are going to talk about the importance of prioritization and scheduling – two tools that will help you avoid procrastination and stay focused on your online business.
Join me again tomorrow as we discuss prioritization and its impact on your Focus!
Have an Amazing day!