Productivity

Breaking the Cycle of Self- Sabotage to Boost Your Business Productivity

October 29, 2021

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How to Overcome Procrastination

Have you ever been excited to start a new project in your business, collaborate with someone, or even just finish an online course you have been working on, but suddenly find yourself back in the day-to-day tasks of running your business?

Maybe you are working on a Pinterest graphic on Canva, then later find yourself lying on the couch watching Netflix. Perhaps you did start that project and went headfirst into it, but then you just kept thinking it wasn't good enough! Then you re-recorded a video and edited it using a filter, and you changed the location of where your online courses host. Afterward, you played around with your website, changing the colors again, and yet another month went by without you actually launching it.

Sounds familiar? You are not alone, but I urge you to join me in saying "I will no longer self-sabotage my productivity".

In this blog post, I wanted to shed some light on two of the different self-sabotages that I see most often when I'm working with clients to increase their productivity or help them overhaul their organization inside their business. Those two things are Procrastination and Perfectionism

 

Prefer to listen to this on the podcast? Click here to listen to the podcast episode.

 

Two of the Most Common Distractions Entrepreneurs Face That Sabotaging their Productivity

A lot of times self-sabotage just comes from a place of negative habits of fear, insecurity, and these belief systems that we've picked up somewhere. Our inherited dreams or inherited ideas of success are the way things are supposed to be done and it really just gets in the way of what truly matters to us. 

  1. Procrastination

What is Procrastination? And why do we procrastinate?

Procrastination by definition is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be done by a certain deadline. A lot of times we don’t even give ourselves deadlines and so it’s easier to let the procrastination just keep going on. Why? Because there’s no actual end to it. 

At some point, we all procrastinate. We intentionally delay starting a project or finishing a task even though we are aware that it is going to have some sort of negative consequence. It has subconsciously become a HABIT

          Procrastination can completely become habitual. It becomes our default mode.

If you have fears or insecurities, or if you're not sure how to do something, or if you're doing it correctly, as soon as all of those things creep in, procrastination becomes almost like a crutch. That's one thing we can do to avoid the negative feelings of not knowing what to do. This is great for a short time, but then you still have to figure out how to proceed. Eventually, we all still have to address it. 

Procrastination in Business

Think about the times that you procrastinate in your business:

  • Are they related to certain tasks?
  • Are they related to certain offers, and services that you provide
  • Are they related to certain systems in your business? 

What is the connection between your most common procrastination habits?

They could be connected by the system in your business that they run in. Let's take the finance system as an example. Expense reports aren't fun to look at, or how much money is going out of your account each month for your business. 

On the other hand, looking at how much money is coming in is super fun. If your business is doing well, if not, you could have some money mindset work to do around that, right?

There are systems that we might be procrastinating doing some tasks on, because of some insecurity or some fear around it.  Maybe it's a particular aspect of our business that we just feel incompetent in, or we struggle to understand, or we feel like we don't know enough about. The same goes for technology. Some people aren't confident they'll be able to film, record, edit, upload, and release a video or a podcast, or they don't understand every step required to create an online course. So they're just not even going to start. 

That is where procrastination can seep in again. But, do you see how even though we could label these things as technology, we could label it as finances and money or something that we are not really an expert in, it still all comes back to those core beliefs of fear, insecurity, or a hidden belief about ourselves?

How to Overcome Procrastination Today

You are not a procrastinator; you were just procrastinating!

The easiest way to change this procrastinating behavior is to write out those tasks or things that you are procrastinating on, and then get to the bottom of why you're procrastinating on them.

Is it because it's scary? Is it because you're unsure? If you're unsure what part of it are you unsure about? Be the three-year-old and ask yourself all those “why” questions every time you have thought about it until you get to the core of what is actually going on and holding you back from doing that task.

 Because once you get to the core of your procrastination habit, then you have a SOLUTION.

For example: Why don't I want to record this episode? Because it's going to take a lot of time and I'm not really sure how to edit it. Okay, why? Because I don't have a clear schedule, and I haven't put in enough time for myself to record then it feels rushed. And then the editing technology part is a little bit confusing. Why? Because I haven't spent enough time to create a schedule that allows me to put in podcasting regularly so that I don't get behind. 

You see how you can just go layer after layer after layer and get to the point of like, “Oh, maybe I should just hire somebody who could help me and teach me how to edit or better yet do the editing for me.” Or maybe “ I actually have to get to the root of the problem which is I don't have a great podcast setup,  I don't like the mic that I'm recording with and I don't have time in my schedule. I don't know how I don't even know what episode I'm recording next. So that's why I don't like it.” 

Those are things that you can fix. Those are things you can create an action plan around. So, if you peel back the procrastination layers and ask yourself “what is at the core?”, you can begin to take action to change those things.

The other massive roadblock holding you back from being productive is Perfectionism

2. Perfectionism

What is Perfectionism? 

Perfectionism, by definition, is characterized by a person's concern with striving for flawlessness and perfection and is accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations of that. Perfectionism is a much more common self-sabotage that we're probably aware of, or that we know we have a tendency to fall into, especially if we've been told that we are perfectionists.

 A lot of times, this is actually set in a good light, as in: it is a good thing to be a perfectionist. And honestly, being a perfectionist has its strengths, right? That means that you really, really care about the outcome, that you really want it to succeed, which at its core is a great thing.

However, the downfall comes when the reason why you want to succeed is tied to your core beliefs, fear, and security. Perhaps it is something that you have picked up along the way, that is not your belief, those underlying messages we have heard from others.

We all experience perfectionism in different aspects of our life:

  • Where did you actually pick this up from?
  • Where did you pick up this form of self-sabotage?
  • Where did you decide that you could spend way too much time on something?

Most likely, you'll answer: Because it has to be perfect.

We all know that nothing we do will be perfect when we break it down like that; that's unattainable, and it's just not gonna happen and it's not healthy to try to strive for being perfect at all times.

Because everything we do doesn't have to be perfect.

 So, you have to send a perfect email, you have to have the perfect mic to record the podcast. 

Where did you actually pick this up from? Did you learn it from a parent? or a teacher? Or a friend, or sibling? Has it been reinforced through society? Or maybe your career? Or a workplace? Do you do it to please others? So are you feeling the pressure that things have to be perfect because of other people's judgments on what that thing is going to look like? Or, is it because it's a belief of your own that's driving you? that you're only going to be successful, that you're only going to be loved, that you're only going to be whatever that core belief of yours is… if you’re perfect. 

 

10 Signs that you are being a perfectionist with a certain task or aspect of your life

  1. You'll never feel like enough is enough.
  2. You have unrealistic standards for yourself or for others.
  3. You can't accept your success as success. There's always got to be something else. You can't just celebrate it.
  4. You don't allow yourself to make mistakes. Everyone learns from mistakes and we know this. But are we letting ourselves make those mistakes?
  5. You criticize yourself harshly for things that go right or wrong.
  6. You pretend everything is okay and you're not overwhelmed. Like you've got this, everything is perfect. Even though you're like a duck on water, everything is calm, yet beneath the surface, all hell is breaking loose.
  7. You avoid bigger dreams because you're afraid of failing.
  8. You find your self-worth in your work only. And that would be only if your work feels really perfect to you.
  9. You have all-or-nothing thinking. Things are black and white, Yes and no, right and wrong, perfect, not perfect.
  10. You feel down when you’re not meeting specific goals. Like the goal is the only thing that’s holding you together. 

 

Perfectionism in business: What does it look like?

In business, perfectionism definitely hurts our progress as solopreneur. How can you expect to have the perfect website and the perfect marketing and the perfect Instagram and the perfect product and the perfect coaching program when you're one person with a small amount of experience? In a bigger, more experienced business, there'd be a separate position for each of those different hats or team members, and you are trying to learn and use all of them at once!

“ It's not supposed to be perfect. It's actually probably best that you're not trying to show up as perfect because that is a lot more authentic. The right people are going to connect with you for your natural gifts and for the parts of your business that they see, and the parts of you that they want to work with.”Lexie Sparrow

They're not working with you because you're the perfect nutritionist, or because you have the perfect diet, or because you take the most perfect food photos...

They're working with you because of your knowledge and your gifts and you can get them that transformation that they're looking for.

 

How to Quit Perfectionism

A few tricks to help you face these distractions

Here is one of my favorite things I say to my clients:

  • Let's just see what happens. It's an experiment. - By doing this relieves the stress of perfection being a mentality of getting everything right now.
  • Nobody cares. - nobody really cares what you do. - You don't have millions of followers? Nobody cares. You're not Kim Kardashian. If you send this email, and it sounds silly or made a spelling error? Nobody cares. Really, it's fine. Making mistakes is okay, it shows that you are human. If you just try something and it doesn't work, that's totally fine, you can move on and learn from it and then you'll get better the next time around.

Nobody expects you to be good at everything the first time around. By going into the project with the mindset that it is an experiment, you can release that expectation a little more. Now, let’s say it again,

“Nobody really cares. Let's just see what happens.” How much easier is it to do that thing, then?

Focus on the bigger purpose

Maybe you have struggled with self-sabotage your whole life, and it shows up in many different aspects of your life, not just your business. Nevertheless, you must not let it block you from realizing your bigger purpose of creating your dream business.

If you want to:

  • Build an amazing systems
  • Organize your business
  • Run your business on autopilot

Stop procrastinating and stop focusing on trying to be perfect!

I would absolutely love to hear what you think on this subject. Which of these two have you struggled with? And what have you done to help kind of face your demons so to speak, what kind of tools or techniques have you been able to use to start to overcome some of these challenges?

In the end, those core messages and shadow self-themes like insecurity and lack, fear, being undesirable, and all these things that come up are really the cause or reason for how we procrastinate or why we strive to be perfect.

 

Want to learn more productivity tips + get a glimpse of what it's like to work with me? Check out this Episode. Erika gives a behind-the-scenes look at her personal growth + transformation using human design and my productivity coaching to transform her business systems and routines.

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