How To Kick The Procrastination Habit


It's certainly not as dramatic as some of the other problems you can have in your business ... but procrastination can really sabotage your work if you let it. If you find that your to-do list never seems to budge, try these tips:

Understand where it's coming from

A lot of people think that procrastination is just another word for laziness, but this isn't really true. It happens for all kinds of reasons, from perfectionism to anxiety to analysis paralysis to unconscious thoughts that leave you sabotaging yourself without even realising what's happening. So if there's something that you keep putting off, ask yourself, "Where is this really coming from?" When you know what's underlying the problem, then you can fix it.

Fix any negative associations

Having negative associations with actions is one of the subtlest, but most common reasons for procrastination. For instance, if you have a negative association with making sales calls, then guess what? When it comes time to make a sales call, you're suddenly going to find loads of other things that you "need" to do before you make the call.

The good news is, you can absolutely change your associations, even the really entrenched ones. You just need to create a new association with the action. Let's take the example of putting off your sales calls. Maybe you've been rejected on sales calls before, so you've formed the association that making sales calls equals rejection. And then, working on that assumption, you've been timid and anxious on other sales calls, which has led to more rejection ... which just reinforces the belief that making sales calls leads to rejection. See how it works?

But what would happen if you thought about it a different way? Maybe instead of sales calls leading to rejection, they could be opportunities to help people. If you think about it like that, suddenly the calls become much more appealing, don't they? So think about what positive associations you can make with the things you've been putting off, and use them to break the cycle of negativity. (More on this in Sasudi's Learning Zone)

Do something ... anything!

Finally, choose one thing and just do it! A lot of times we get stuck in the stasis of procrastination, but doing just one thing -- even if it's the smallest possible thing on your to-do list -- can totally shake up your energy. It's actually better to start with something small, because then you can rack up a win pretty easily, which will give you more energy to do the next thing, and so on and so on. You'll end up building momentum without even realising it!

OK, time to come clean. What's one thing that you've been procrastinating on ... and what are you going to do about it? Tell us in the comments below so we can cheer you on!

Until next time,

Leigh
Leigh Ashton
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leigh Ashton> website | all articles
Hi I'm Leigh Ashton of Sasudi

Whether you're a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you're new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you're not in sales at all but want to understand it, you've come to the right place.

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  • /data/userPictures/841F1C32-F49F-447C-BCFE-054E3791A3D1.jpgPatrice Henderson6/21/2016 8:07:49 PM
    I'm not really a procrastinator when it comes to selling but I am with many other things so making different associations for the things I don't want to do is definitely great for me to get motivated to get them done!

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton6/26/2016 5:18:40 AM
    Good luck Patrice!

  • /data/userPictures/841F1C32-F49F-447C-BCFE-054E3791A3D1.jpgPatrice Henderson6/26/2016 5:44:13 PM
    Thank you!

  • /data/userPictures/E4AC17A3-249C-42F6-89FF-3F89E9F7800F.jpgJack Heaton7/6/2016 8:37:22 PM
    This was insightful and really helpful! thanks

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton7/17/2016 5:21:32 AM
    Thanks Jack - :)

  • /_ckcommon/images/blanks/userPictureFemale.jpgColleen Fehm7/26/2016 10:48:14 PM
    Really great, definitely helps to think about breaking negative associations to tackle procrastination

  • /data/userPictures/A9C0468F-E25E-4BA6-8136-5823E74F02D9.jpgSurbhi Chopra7/27/2016 10:15:55 AM
    I have been procrastinating on cleaning up the database and making new marketing proposals. I plan to dedicate one hour each day to these activities so that I don't waste time when I need these to advance the sale.

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton7/31/2016 6:59:16 AM
    Thanks Colleen, Leigh

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton7/31/2016 6:59:47 AM
    Good luck Surbhi, that sounds like a good plan to gain momentum... Leigh

  • /data/userPictures/BD36B0F1-9641-4B52-9FAD-5322B2AB876E.jpgKevin Mueller8/17/2016 9:25:11 AM
    Procrastinating is my bane! You touch on sales calls, for me its the fact that I hate receiving them!

  • /data/userPictures/0B718C7F-E05C-4676-ACBB-E5599522A855.jpgSalima Ismaylova9/19/2016 5:42:07 PM
    The reasons for the Procrastination are:
    1. lack of motivation
    2. feeling overwhelmed
    3. Lack of self discipline
    4. not "right time"
    The case with me is that from time to time i lose the motivation, but the self discipline and responsibility takes over and puts me back on the track.

  • /_ckcommon/images/blanks/userPictureFemale.jpgTammra Laurent9/21/2016 9:54:06 PM
    Thank you. This article helped shed light on the basics of this challenge for me. Very insightful and well written.

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton10/3/2016 3:05:42 AM
    Thanks Guys - We all have those reasons for procrastinating but with practise it's beatable!

  • /data/userPictures/EA3F7998-26A2-4607-8A6A-D3BA5239F0BA.jpgRobert Melendez11/3/2016 2:49:50 AM
    I have a negative association with working on a clients new album.
    The negative association is due to the arduous process that the client required to produce the album.
    I'm going to finish it tomorrow and be done with it!

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton11/7/2016 5:33:15 AM
    Woohoo - hope you achieved that Robert!

  • /data/userPictures/DB8D500D-461C-432B-B2D9-952BFB238D43.jpgAndrew Bradford11/9/2016 11:10:55 PM
    Something that I have a hard time with since I have SO much to do that it is daunting to even start. This was definitely helpful - thanks!

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton11/11/2016 3:57:31 AM
    Good to Know Andrew - Good luck with it, you're not alone. All the best. Leigh

  • /data/userPictures/959514EE-95E6-4BAE-BA91-9FBDE2162E53.jpgEdward McAlexander, CPSP11/25/2016 4:09:54 AM
    Great read!! Super helpful!

  • /data/userPictures/959514EE-95E6-4BAE-BA91-9FBDE2162E53.jpgEdward McAlexander, CPSP11/25/2016 4:17:59 AM
    Great read! Very helpful! Great comments

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton12/4/2016 3:14:14 AM
    Thanks Edward. Leigh

  • /_ckcommon/images/blanks/userPictureFemale.jpgLeah Mitton1/27/2017 9:01:43 PM
    Really great article! Definitely hits the points I need to improve on in my life.

  • /data/userPictures/A4A16FDC-5DDB-4C09-A37D-F20C529820B1.jpgJulie Michel1/27/2017 9:40:27 PM
    Great and super helpful! Procrastination is always such an issue. Thanks!

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton1/30/2017 7:09:53 AM
    Thank you for your lovely comments Leah & Julie...good luck. Leigh

  • /data/userPictures/852102A0-79A1-4516-B78D-6EA591889EB3.jpgJennifer Verdon2/8/2017 11:04:00 AM
    I feel like i procrastinate on amazing ideas that i have. I don't think it is because i have a negative association, i think it is because i never know how to follow through with my idea and take it to the next stage. This is why i am taking this course. This is one step closer to my goal, and i am trying not to procrastinate.

  • /data/userPictures/0038828B-F334-4093-B786-760CBC9F256E.jpgEmily Wertheim2/14/2017 3:16:26 PM
    I've been procrastinating approaching corporate level sales due to intimidation and lack of self confidence. I appreciated this encouragement to figure out where that is coming from and then do something about it!

  • /data/userPictures/3243AF74-6C14-4A30-9F93-4A87DE5AAC5A.jpgLeigh Ashton2/15/2017 9:14:13 AM
    Glad I could help Jennifer & Emily..good luck! Leigh :)

  • /data/userPictures/DBCE2AF9-305C-4A5B-95CE-FE587E019B3C.jpgKatharine Funke2/22/2017 4:23:35 PM
    I've been procrastinating with reaching out to the VP of sales at my company to talk about opportunities to get involved on the sales team. I respect her and her experience very much, and I think I've been procrastinating because I'm intimidated. To move forward, I'm going to email her to request a coffee or lunch meeting.