Im going to be talking today about Procrastination & blogging. Its quite funny really how I decided to write this blog post, because I have procrastinated for about 3-5 days to write this actual post. So I figured what better to write, than to write how to get over it. But before I start diving into it, I should be polite and introduce myself and my writing style. I am lazy, I tend to not edit my articles and quite often have have many spelling and gramatically errors. The reason being, is that I believe in the message not the mechanisium. My writing style is that of what I think, I write so if you have trouble following it, don’t fret, it will all make sense in the end. 🙂
Ok, so lets get onto it – Hi bloggers all over the world. My name is Mitch Sanders and i’m known in the IM community as “The Marketing Deviant“. You are probably thinking, for what? What has Mitch done that makes him a “Deviant”?
Well before your mind strays too far (into the gutter hehe), I should set it straight. If we go to Google “define:deviant” we find the following two definitions:
•Deviance in a sociological context describes actions or behaviours that violate cultural norms including formally-enacted rules (e.g., crime) as well as informal violations of social norms (e.g., rejecting folkways).
•A person who deviates, especially from norms of social behavior; A thing, phenomenon, or trend that deviates from an expectation or pattern; Of or pertaining to a deviation; characterized by deviation from an expectation or a social standard
So the reason I am a “Deviant” is because I dont conform to or violate social norms, I question everything that I am fed, by the media, magazines, blog posts and always to try before I buy. What excites me is experiences rather than things, without straying to far from the point of this blog post (procrastination and blogging) I will just say that the past year and a half has been a journey not for the faint hearted. Just some of the fun I have had is 12 months of being homeless, travelling with my girlfriend overseas (Im an Australian living on the west coast of the US – in La Jolla, CA) 4 times and building my business online all at the same time. You can say that im rather an authority in the IM community from the magnatude of successors (and failures) I have to my name over the past 3-4 years in this here community. Ok, so that is a little taste of me and who I am, onto more important things – Blogging & Procrastination.
Blogging & Procrastination – How To Stop Procrastinating & Start Your Blog Or Take Your Blog To The Next Level.
More than 50% of the people (that is a 1 in 2 percent chance that im talking to you right now) that read this blog post don’t even have or write a blog of their own. Why? Thats the same reason that took me almost 2 years to start my own blog and that reason is procrastination.
Procrastination is that habit, that continual habit of putting things off (the I will do it tomorrow mentallity – which I myself have – the proof is in the pudding) more often than not we put it off until the very last minute and those tasks are tasks that NEED (and you actually really want) to accomplish.
I was reading an article the other day on Psychology Today and it was talking about how there is many ways to avoid success in your life and the most sure-fire way of doing that is procrastination. Procrastinators sabotage themselves. They put obstacles in their own path. They actually choose paths that hurt their performance.
I am a big believer that awareness is key to change and the thing that really hit me when reading this article is this:
Procrastinators tell lies to themselves. Such as, “I’ll feel more like doing this tomorrow.” Or “I work best under pressure.” But in fact they do not get the urge the next day or work best under pressure. In addition, they protect their sense of self by saying “this isn’t important.” Another big lie procrastinators indulge is that time pressure makes them more creative. Unfortunately they do not turn out to be more creative; they only feel that way. They squander their resources.
The funny thing about the above snippet is I have used all of these lines 100’s of times. You are not alone. The good news is, procrastinators are made not born so its very easy once you create the awareness to catch yourself and make a change.
Lets dive in and see what is the root cause of procrastination and how you can give it a big “kick in the butt” so you can start that blog, take your blog to the next level or make that big jump in your life, because remember, awareness is the keys to your success.
I found this great article on Darren Rowse’s blog – ProBlogger.net” where it really dives in to the pain points of why we as people do it.
Why People Procrastinate
There are many reasons why people procrastinate. But the top reasons are:
Fear – Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough and fear of rejection are the most stand-out fears procrastinators often have. They fear starting a blog because it might not be as good as someone else’s blog. Or they fear starting a blog that no one will read. Or they fear they don’t know enough about a particular topic to start a blog. Or they fear their blog will actually be successful and that will cause them too much stress and anxiety. This list really could go on forever.
The Phrases “Should” and “Have To” – Believe it or not, by telling yourself you “have to” do something (ie: start a blog) or that you “should” be doing something, it makes you not want to do it at all. This is when procrastinating behaviors creep in.
Whole Project Thinking – When you think about starting a blog, you’re likely bombarded by all the things requiredto start a blog – you have to decide on a domain name, purchase it, then you have to choose a blogging platform, then you need to decide what you’re going to write about and you have to come up with topics and determine how often you’re going to post and then, and then, and then… Thinking of the project as a whole, rather than as small pieces, overwhelms you, which then causes you to procrastinate.
Perfectionism – Other than fear, this is the main reason people procrastinate. They get so worried that the blog they create won’t be perfect from the get-go that they don’t even bother starting it. Perfectionism causes serious stress, which is always a recipe for disaster.
Telling Yourself It’s “Too Much Work” and “Not Enough Fun” – When people think a project they want to complete is going to be more work than fun, it usually stops them in their tracks and keeps them from starting.
So now we really have a good understanding of what it is, what causes it and how we lie to ourselves to make us feel better, we have that awareness, the next key to making this stick is put into practice some strategies to make what we want to happen, happen. In order to do this we must tackle it in two stages – Mental & Physical.
Lets tackle the mental side first:
1. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways.
Fear is one of the most powerful driving forces, if you can redirect that fear and use it as fuel to drive you to your ultimate goal, its like sticking a bottle of nitros (super fuel) onto your little motor-scooter. The best way to look at this, is jump into the future and ask yourlself – “What sort of pain will I ultimately feel if I don’t start doing this today?” I can guarantee if you look at this with the long term goal in mind, the fear that is right in front of you will almost completely disappear.
2. Remove “Should” and “Have To” from Your vocabulary.
A friend of mine puts it the best, you’re ToDo list is often a ToDon’t list. If you look back to months ago there is items on your ToDo list that are still not done and will never get done, thats because you “think you Should” do them or that you “Have To” do them. If you allowed yourself to just “do them” you would find it would flow alot easier and for those of you who know what it feels like to be in flow, you will know what im talking about.
3. View the Project In Pieces.
Im going to stick with starting the blog as the example, rather than look at this blog as It has to make me $5000/month in income, look at your first step. I need to register a domain and get hosting (I have affiliate links you can buy through if you want to give me the commissions hehe) that is a piece. You then need to find a theme, thats another piece. Break your project up into sizeable chunks.
4. Give Up Perfectionism.
No matter how hard you try, you are never going to be perfect and ultimately, do you really want to? Perfection implies “done”. Done to me means no fun, when something can be improved, it is fun, and having fun is the most important part of this whole process which I will get to next. Perfection is an idea not a reality, as humans we were born imperfect and creativity thrives on this. Look at picaso, his paintings are damn ugly, but they are some of the most beautiful and most sort after paintings in the world. Take an action towards that “piece” of your project rather than planning perfection.
5. The most important ingrediant, the magic to the mix – Make it fun!
Having fun is the most important part, making the task/project at hand a fun one is ultimately where you are going to really excel and including your kids/family is also going to propel you closer to your ultimate goals.
We have finished tackling that side, now lets move onto the physical side:
1. Plug yourself in.
When I write, I do what I call “Plug in” I put on some tunes and remove myself from my environment while im writing. Tell your friends/family that you need to focus for X minutes/hours and most importantly turn your phone on silent.
2. Start minimal.
If you are anything like me you have 25,000,000 (real number) tabs open in firefox and another half a billion open in google chrome with all the stuff you work on and articles you want to read. Next step you must take is When you plug in is, make sure you have exited all your browsers, skype, facebook and anything that could possibly distract you. Distraction is fuel for procrastination.
3. Use only what you need to get the job done.
Right now, as Im writing this article, I have notepad (yes im one of those cool, superior windows users), to give you an idea about notepad for those of you who don’t know, notepad is that basic you can’t even change the font type, style or size. Its all you need to write, get your ideas out and then put them into action. I have one browser with 1 google window open and 5 articles about procrastination to draw inspiration from.
4. Start Doing It!
As nike says (and also Tiger Woods – hehe woops) just do it. Start taking action NOW! Action is the cure for every infection you have of procrastination.
What project have you been procrastination on & Why? Comment below I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and inspiration!
About Mitch Sanders
Mitch Sanders is the founder and editor of The Marketing Deviant Blog & International MiniBike Forum Dirt Bikes. Learn more about him here – About Mitch Sanders, connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @MitchSanders.