fbpx
The 5 Strategies I Use To Beat Procrastination

The 5 Strategies I Use To Beat Procrastination

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”
~ Spanish Proverb

The dictionary definition of procrastination is this:

The action of delaying or postponing something.

If you’re anything like most business owners I know, you’ve experienced procrastination.

Most likely when you attempt to do something that will move your business forward. Common tasks that you might find yourself procrastinating on include: marketing, writing copy, creating new products and services and/or doing your outreach (cultivating connections across your network).

When we delay or postpone taking action on the very activities that will help us move our business forward, we are, in essence, sabotaging our chances of success. Overcoming procrastination, therefore, becomes an important endeavour.

Whilst I do still procrastinate from time to time, over the years I’ve learned various ways to minimise and even prevent procrastination from derailing my best efforts.

 

1. Pay attention

Procrastination is one of most insidious companions to our attempts at productivity. It’s pretty common for procrastination to rear its ugly head the moment we try to do something productive or creative in our business.

If we’re not careful, procrastination becomes such an embedded feature of our day to day working lives, that we don’t always notice when we’re in its grips.

Raising awareness of the fact that we’ve slipped into procrastination mode and doing what we can to understand what lies beneath it is the first step to overcoming it.

When you notice that you’re procrastinating, try reflecting on what your procrastination is trying to tell you. Is there fear around the activity you are trying to undertake? Is there a reason you’re avoiding taking action.

Acknowledge the procrastination instead of giving into the habit of it is key.

Another line of enquiry you might take is to reflect on the importance of what you are trying to do, in essence, asking yourself, what are the consequences of allowing procrastination to win here?

The key is to not let procrastination become a habit. Notice the way it shows up for you and recognise when you’re dealing with procrastination to get better at overcoming it.

 

2. Block out time

When we’re not yet fully booked with clients, we often have a lot of time on our hands to work on our business. This should be a blessing but more often than not it becomes fertile ground for procrastination to bloom. I wrote about the consequences of too much freedom here.

My advice is to not give yourself hours to do something. Give yourself a deadline. No more than 90 minutes in one sitting — start shorter if you are not used to time-blocking.

For example, I block out most of Monday to work on content creation but I make sure I have regular breaks and clear actions for each chunk of time. Block #1 might be dedicated to drafting my newsletter, block #2 to getting it to a final draft and block #3, sourcing a picture quote, one last proofread and sending it out.

It’s far easier to avoid procrastination if I give myself 3 x 1 hour blocks with clear goals in each than to simply give myself all morning to write a newsletter.

 

3. Plan ahead

Don’t sit down at your desk to work unless you know what you are going to do or you’ll waste the time you’ve allocated trying to figure out what to work on.

This is especially important if you’ve got a lot of time each day to work on a high number of things (i.e. a long to do list!). I like to give myself no more than 3 tasks to complete per day and I plan these either the night before or first thing in the morning before I get into things.

Having a huge to do list plus countless hours ahead of you to work on things is a recipe for procrastination, so avoid it by doing the thinking before you sit down to do the working.

 

4. Work with others

Something that has helped me massively while working on my business is co-working. I find that if left to my own devices, it’s all too easy to get distracted and fall into a pattern of procrastination but when working with others, I get so much more done.

Co-working works especially well for me when I get to declare what I’m hoping to achieve (planning ahead) in the session (blocking out time) and when I have to report back at the end of the session how I got on (accountability).

Co-working can be done in person or online. My favourite online co-working tools are: The CabinFlownLWS and Focusmate.

 

5. Take regular breaks

If you stack blocks of working time together without breaks, it’s as good as not blocking out time at all. The key is to have full breaks between your working sessions.

My mantra when it comes to being productive in my business is to “Work when you are working and rest when you are resting.”

Problems arise when we sit at our desk and engage in procrastination activities, like scrolling on social media or mindlessly searching the internet. We come to blur the line between working and procrastinating. If I catch myself doing this I immediately stop and take a break.

Taking a break for me means stepping away from my desk and going to do something completely unrelated to work. This might be watching something on TV, reading a book or taking a short walk to clear my head.

When we don’t do this the boundaries between work and breaks become blurred, impairing our ability to focus when we’re working and impairing our ability to really switch off from work when we’re on a break.

And there you have it, 5 things I do on the regular to stay productive, avoid procrastination and ultimately have a better work-life balance.

Did you find these helpful? I’d love to know which of these you might try. If you want to let me know simply comment and tell me!

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

How I Structure My Working Day As a Mother and Solopreneur

How I Structure My Working Day As a Mother and Solopreneur

“A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done.⁣⁣”
~ Peter Turla

If, like me, you’re feeling a little bit overworked and under rested, then my hope is that this topic will be useful for you.

I want to share with you one of the most important tools in my business — my weekly schedule — as well as a little bit about what I do to create a schedule that feels easeful, spacious and inclusive of what matters most to me in life.

At the start of every year and at points during the year I review my schedule and work on my ideal schedule. After working too hard and coming close to burnout back in 2018, I started paying mindful attention to how I structure my working, day, week and year and I’m always looking for ways to improve my schedule to maximise productivity, while also having plenty of space in my life for what matters most to me.

My schedule won’t necessarily work for you, I made a decision a long time ago to work full-time on my business, but I want to share the process I went through to create it so that you can do a similar exercise for yourself even if you only want to work part-time.

Creating my schedule

1. The first step I take when creating my working schedule is to Identify all of the things that can’t be moved.

That means getting down on paper, those key areas of work in my business that I need to work on on a daily/weekly basis. For me these are:

  • 1–2–1 Coaching clients sessions and between-session work.
  • My Conscious Business Mastermind (CBM) calls and between call work.
  • Content Creation.
  • Product/service development.
  • Answering emails + other admin.
  • Back-end activities like finances, website updates, planning etc.

2. The second step is to identify key areas of life*

Because this exercise is, for me, a way to manage my time better so that I can ensure that I get adequate time to do things during the day other than work, it’s important for me to make a similar list for my non-working time during the working week. For me these are:

  • Time off work
  • Breaks and rest time
  • Time to exercise
  • Time to make art / other creative endeavours / read books
  • Time with my partner and our two boys.

*It’s important to note that I write down work first because my business is fairly established and certain things like my client sessions and live group calls are already set and can’t easily be changed. If you are newer in business or less busy than I am, you may have more flexibility than I do, and if so I would suggest you start with key areas of life first and then schedule work around it.

Planning my schedule

With these lists written, I am better able to see how I need to split the time I have available to me and allocate slots on my weekly calendar. It can sometimes feel like trying to crack the ultimate puzzle but it’s worth it in the end. Once I have my schedule figured out on paper or in a spreadsheet, I transfer it over to my google calendar.

I then head to Calendly to make sure I have that set up to reflect when I want people to be able to book 1:1 calls with me.

In order that I am able to squeeze everything I need to do into less time, I have over the years had to think long and hard about which things I can let go of or how I can simplify what I do. I do this by identifying those activities that have the greatest impact on my audience and clients and those that bring in the greatest revenue and then let go of all the rest.

Below you can see the schedule I created for 2022.

How I structure my working week

Friday is what I call my CEO day and is essentially a call free day (although I do have a 30 minute call with my VA but she doesn’t mind if I am make-up free and in my PJ’s so it doesn’t really count!). And whilst it looks like I have a schedule that day, in reality, it’s a free day and I can use it however I need to, which could look like catching up on client work, dealing with my inbox, doing outreach, answering messages and comments etc.

Read on for a detailed explanation of how I structure my days Monday to Thursday.

At 7.30am when my partner and boys leave for work, school and nursery I do 15–30 minutes of core strengthening exercises, designed specifically to heal my core after two babies. Then I head out for a walk in nature. (I should note that this part of the schedule hasn’t quite got underway yet but it’s the intention for this year.)

By 9.00 I aim to be at my desk. Last year I had client sessions in the morning and afternoon and this year I’m experimenting with not having any client calls in the morning, in service to my desire to have more space in my working day. I’ll let you know how it goes.

For this first hour, I’m either creating content (Mondays), working on material for my Mastermind (CBM work) or looking over things for my 1:1 clients (office hours).

At 10.30am I take a 30 minute break. Typically this is where I’ll grab a coffee and read my book on the sofa or watch something entertaining (and not work related!)

At 11am I’ll check my emails and social media notifications for 30 minutes. I do have a terrible habit of checking my phone as soon as I wake up, but I’m working on shifting this in 2022.

At 11.30am I spend another hour working on either content / CBM or creating new digital products (more on this last one soon).

From 12.30–3.30pm is my lunch break. It’s three hours long and this allows me to prepare food, collect and drop off my boys and spend some quality time with them during the middle of the day. I have a family member who also helps out at lunchtime so that at least once a week I get quality time with each child on their own and also a Friday lunch with my love.

In the afternoon, I have my first client session at 3.30pm followed by a 30 minute break and then my second client session (or live group call) at 5pm.

I aim to keep the last 30 minutes of the day free so that I can perform my shutdown ritual, which includes things like writing up outstanding to dos, checking the calendar for the next day and shutting down my computer.

Why I love my schedule

I’m fully aware that for some people seeing this level of scheduling in their calendar might fill them with dread but to those people I say this:

If you don’t get organised, you risk wasting precious time and resources on things that don’t matter.

And what a crying shame that would be because life really is too short. By scheduling my days and weeks in this way, I’ve been able to allocate, not only adequate time for my business priorities, but I’ve also managed to find plenty of time during my working week for ME, my family and my personal fulfilment above and beyond the fulfilment I get from my work.

What I love most about my schedule is that of the 9.5 hours between the start and end of my working day, I’m really only working for 5 of those. Over the course of the week that’s 25 hours and I don’t always work on Fridays.

I love that during my workday, I’m spending around 50% of the day working and the other 50% resting and living. It’s taken a lot of tweaking and refining to get my hours down to this and when I work, I am very focused and productive, so that I can work less overall. Gone are the days when I would spend hours at the computer doing busy work or mindless internet scrolling.

So now how about you? Would you benefit from identifying your priorities and then scheduling those in? What can you let go of that will have the time you do spend on your business bring the greatest rewards?

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Selling With Soul + Integrity (An Interview with Heidi Taylor)

Selling With Soul + Integrity (An Interview with Heidi Taylor)

I believe that if you cannot have empathy for someone who is wanting to buy from you, then you’re not going to reach them.”

[02:08] The distinction between transactional and relational sales. 

[3:19] On energy management: “Where are you leaking energy in places that you don’t need to be leaking it?.”

[05:04] On deepening the relationship and getting clear on whether or not you want to work with someone.

[05:17] “Do I really want to have a 6 month coaching relationship with this client?”

[07:20] On getting into the friend zone with your clients.

[13:04] On finding your own unique sales style.

[19:15] On client avatars, why they don’t work and what to do instead.

“Unless they feel seen and heard where they are right now before any transformation happens, there’s no way they’re going to buy from you.”

[25:17] “Im such a fan of getting all the experience you can to make the best possible decision about direction.” 

[27:23] On finding your unique business perspective and why this is sometimes tricky for women.

 

“When something makes you angry, write it down. Take note.”

 

[37:00] What do you stand for and what do you stand against?

[38:00] Why your introversion is a gift when it comes to sales and marketing.

[44:00] On asking for permission to sell and the impact of personal outreach.

 

If you would prefer to listen to this interview rather than watch the video you can do so over on Soundcloud by clicking below. 

Resources mentioned:

  • To watch Susan Cain’s TED Talk on being an introvert head here.
  • To read Quiet: The Power of Introverts head here.

Want to know more about Heidi:

Heidi is a relational sales coach.

She helps crazy-talented, creative business owners to have natural, intuitive sales conversations to earn the money your business deserves.

  • Heidi can be usually found hanging out and sharing her wisdom on instagram head here to connect.
  • To check out Heidi’s website, head here.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Alignment, Authenticity + Tactical Magic (An Interview)

Alignment, Authenticity + Tactical Magic (An Interview)

 

It’s really important to come together. I think the female version of doing business is really about community and coming together and sharing resources and ideas so that we can all rise together.”

[02:03] Tactical Magic is about: “putting the magic and the heart and the humanity and the metaphysical together with the practical tools and the tech and the strategy and the tactics that will together allow us to both be ourselves and grow our businesses and do that in a really powerful way.”

[12:19] On finding your niche: “There is no way to cognitively figure out the right niche. You can’t think your way to it, clarity does not come from thinking, the only way to get clarity is to take action. And you’re going to take action on the wrong thing a number of times before you hit on the right thing.”

[12:47] On what it means when your focus pivots.

[17:17] On transitioning from a Vagabond gypsy to business owner. 

To find out more about Katherine Johnson and her work click here

[20:21] “I started to realise that I could design my life however I wanted and I am in control of changing my business so that it can fit into that life so that it can provide for me as I live the adventure I want to live.”

[25:45] On productivity and working less: “to have time off like that you need to be using the time on really strategically, so putting in place productivity skills and tools so you can maximise your efforts when you are working.”

[34:41] Molly answers this question: What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started out in business? “Take fierce action to follow your nose and trust that it will take you where you’re supposed to go.”

[37:00] On letting go of self-judgement:

 

“Do what’s needed for you and don’t make yourself wrong for it.”

[37:00] On the secret sauce on blasting through limiting beliefs and going to the next level. 

[37:00] “It’s really important to find your mentor…find someone who is talking about things that light you up and absorb that…your input really impacts your output.”

 

If you would prefer to listen to this interview rather than watch the video you can do so over on Soundcloud by clicking below. 

 

Resources mentioned:

  • Molly has a podcast called “Tactical Magic” which you can find here.
  • To find out more about Katherine Johnson and her work click here.
  • To find out more about Tad Hargrave‘s Niching Spiral click here.
  • To find out more about Sean Wes and the Overlap Technique click here.
  • To find out more about Access Consciousness click here.
  • To access Molly’s Tarot Quiz click here.

Want to know more about Molly:

Molly Mandelberg is the Founder of Wild Hearts Rise Up and Creator of Your Money Machine: The Wild Woman’s Approach to a Heart Centered Sales funnel. As a tech-savvy strategist, Molly supports coaches, healers, and emerging thought-leaders to expand their outreach, so they can connect with more people, and make more money with less time spent. With the heart of a writer and the brain of an engineer, Molly is uniquely qualified to support her people to not only connect the dots and tackle the tech, but also to craft their deep work into inspiring content and hot copy. She is known for taking the overwhelm out of big exciting projects, so that they can be birthed into the world and received by those who need them.

  • Check out Molly’s website here.
  • Find Molly on Facebook here.

 

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.