How to Stop Putting Things Off!

Do you ever know what you want to do, or should do, but can’t quite get yourself to do it? Maybe you want to start a blog, a business, or get your financial house in order. Then, the moment you open your laptop to get to serious, you find yourself binge watching your favorite series on Netflix instead.

Your dreams are stuck in first gear.

Why in the world does this happen? And more importantly, how can you stop putting things off?

Rebecca, a current student of Best Money Class Ever, who started her own law firm doing small business and startup law, wrote in to Ask Carly to find out.

Ask Carly is a way for us to stay connected and support one another on our journey to gaining financial independence. You don’t need to figure this money stuff out on your own. You can submit your questions about life and money here.

She wrote:

Hey Carly,

I started my own law firm in Dallas. I’m going to start getting into content creation and posting articles, but I find that I keep procrastinating on it and shoving it off. I notice that you are regular with your posting and I wondered if you had any tips?

Well… there is one thing I always procrastinate on, and it’s kinda of weird, I wrote about it in this post. Aside from that, putting things off isn’t ideal.

Congrats to Rebecca for starting her firm, she’s already made it to second gear.

Let’s clarify what procrastination isn’t.

The Washington Post explains that procrastination is not a time management issue, but instead it’s an emotion management issue.

There is always enough time in the day for your priorities. When we put things off it isn’t a lack of time. Instead, we fear failure and avoid at all costs, the pain of possibly failing when we do something new. Time is wasted watching random videos on Youtube, or doing another task that has some value- like reorganizing your office, but that isn’t as important to you.

Here’s Four Tips on How to Stop Putting Things Off

1. Clarify What You Want to Do

Often the task that you want to do, isn’t even clearly defined.

There is so much power to writing things down. As a sophomore in college, I wrote down that I wanted to have $100k saved after graduation, and by writing that down, it made my task crystal clear. I wanted to save and invest as much as possible at a young age.

2. Start Small

One of the biggest reasons people put things off is they don’t know where to start. Remember, every business owner, blogger, or guru was once an amateur. Or as the philosopher Lao Tzu states, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Rachael Ray worked at a pub, Oprah was an anchor on a local news station, and Michael Jordan first played on his Junior Varsity high school basketball team.

Stop putting things off and go for the JV team before trying to get into the NBA.

3. Learn as You Go

When you put things off it is easy to spend time “researching.” In reality, you’re spending more time thinking than doing. Peter Marshall said, “Small deeds done, are better than great deeds planned.”

Stop thinking and thinking and just do whatever task it is that you are putting off. The best way to learn is to do. When starting something new, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll make mistakes, but that’s how you learn. Think about toddlers who accidentally touch the burner on the stove, they learn, real fast “this is hot.”

4. Tell your friends

Use social pressure to your advantage. Tell your friends what you are doing (not thinking about doing), and the next time you see them, give them your update.  Committing verbally is especially important for soloprenuers to have accountability with their business.

Rebecca can clarify how often she’ll write blog posts, and start small. Instead of doing weekly posts, she can start off by writing monthly, and with each new post she’ll improve.

Whatever your thing is that you’re putting off: get started and just do it.

Love Carly

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