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Procrastination is the thief of time – for start-ups

man sat a desk browsing his phone, while on the desk his computer is on.

You’ve taken the leap into running your own business, but you’re concerned your initial motivation and drive may have dwindled. Look no further, we’ve outlined some key strategies to alleviate procrastination.

Set a deadline

Realise there is always something else to do, something else that needs your attention and work within that knowledge. Set deadlines for each job, especially the ones you like less.

If numbers aren’t your thing and adding receipts to your accounting software wears you down, schedule a deadline each week to get them done. The relief and sense of accomplishment for not having put them off will bring about the motivation to keep going. The longer you leave it, the bigger the job gets.

Be accountable

And not to yourself! As people, we tend to be far more likely to deliver on a deadline if we feel we are accountable to someone else. For most people letting yourself down is far easier to cope with than letting someone else down.

Get yourself a business companion who you can be accountable to. A partner or a friend, tell them your plan and draw up some realistic deadlines. You will put yourself in a position where you are now accountable to them.

Know your productive time

We don’t all work best at the same time of day. As a child I was told to get up early and complete my homework in the morning. It wasn’t until university that I discovered I work best at night. Late evening or the early hours of the night were when I did my writing.

I’m not suggesting everything in business can be done during the night. But, know your optimum time. When do you feel most focused? When do you have the quiet and concentration to accomplish your goals?

Remind yourself why you’re doing it

What were your main reasons for starting out on your own in the first place? It may be you recognised a gap in the market, you needed a better work life balance, or you decided to pursue a passion & turn it into a business. Whatever your reason for starting out bringing this back to the forefront of your mind on a regular basis can fuel you into action.

Control your reactions

Learning to control your own mind and its reactions can be one of the best ways to keep procrastination in check. Certain thoughts and events will trigger an emotional reaction, which leads to an action or lack of action. The feelings of fear or chaos, at the beginning of a business journey, can cause us to stall. Knowing triggers that lead to your inaction mean you can mentally choose to override a reaction. In other words, build on a growth mindset.

Building your Growth Mindset

The essence of a growth mindset is that everything, every situation, has something positive to come out of it. Having a growth mindset gives you control. Control over your skills, your capability and your overall success.

We learn from our experiences and internalise aspects on our business journey. Changing how you view failure, focusing on perseverance and encouraging positive self-talk helps you mentally and emotionally through challenges, whether the challenge of procrastination or whatever life throws at you.


Social media, colleagues, family, or just your own mind wondering. These are easy distractions to aid procrastination. Your phone lights up and there’s a notification, again your mind wonders off task to see if it’s important. Maybe try simply turning your phone over so you can’t see the notifications lighting up your screen. Take yourself away into a quiet room, close all unrelated tabs and concentrate on your one task.

Now, stop reading blogs and go do something!