4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination for Wellness Practitioners
Let’s get one thing straight.
All wellness practitioners procrastinate in some way – and usually, the tasks that get left “for later” are the ones that have to do with the business side of things.
Remember this. Even though some of your friends, colleagues, and fellow business owners seem like they have it all figured out, they are likely putting things off until later. You are not alone.
Much like our articles on managing your energy and your fear of failure while running your business, this article will share some practical strategies that you can take to deal with procrastination today.
But first, let’s talk about why this issue affects seemingly everyone these days.
What is the source of your procrastination?
Many entrepreneurs put off tasks for one simple reason: the negative associations with the task involved. Tasks like accounting and taxes get put off because they have a strong association with being boring to get through.
Overwhelm is another big one. There are just too many tasks to do in a day, so the “less important” ones get pushed to the bottom of the list over and over again. Are you experiencing this feeling today? Check out our article on getting out of overwhelm.
The amount of constant distraction in our lives is becoming the most significant cause of procrastination, and here’s why:
We are always connected to every aspect of our business through our smartphones and laptops. It can be difficult to separate important tasks from unimportant ones, especially when your to-do list is constantly changing over the course of the day.
Then there are the non-work distractions. Instagram and TikTok are the main culprits here, which is even more complicated when you need to visit these sites to manage your own social media presence.
Remember, the best marketing professionals with some of the largest budgets in the world are dedicated to making you spend as much time on your phone as possible – so cut yourself some slack as you try to avoid habitual scrolling.
These are just a few of the most common sources of procrastination out there. Now it’s time to talk about what you can do about it.
Take a Minute to Set Your Goals
This step is absolutely crucial for busting out of a state of procrastination.
In our post on what to do when you feel overwhelmed, we shared an exercise called a Brain Dump and Reset. Essentially, this 45-minute exercise is all about putting all of your tasks in one place, and prioritizing them.
This gives you a place to start. To make this work even better, tackle some low-effort, high-priority tasks first to give yourself some momentum.
These small achievements help you on a chemical level. Your brain releases dopamine when you achieve goals, which then gives you a boost in attention span, memory, and motivation (without the crash that a cup of coffee might give you).
Even if these small tasks don’t make a big difference in your business, they can help get you on the right track.
Eliminate Distractions in Your Work Space
You may need to make some tough decisions to reduce distractions in your immediate work environment.
The first obvious target is your cell phone. Even on “do not disturb” mode, a smartphone sitting beside your workstation is WAY too much of a trigger for distraction for most people.
Put it in another room, another building, or one of those plastic digital locking boxes you can buy on Amazon. Block out your calendar for a few hours, and tell your colleagues or family that if they need to reach you – they may have to march down to talk to you in person.
Next, experiment with distraction-blocker apps on your work computer to keep you on task.
The first hour may be difficult, as your brain reaches out for distractions that aren’t there. But eventually, you will adjust. This is all about smashing hardwired habits in your brain.
Another great idea is to put yourself in another environment, like a coffee shop or library (especially if other people are working there too). This is a short-term fix, since most wellness practitioners will need to return to their workspace eventually–but it helps during crunch time.
Find Peace in Imperfection
One of our co-founder Celeste’s greatest lessons in business has come from embracing the fear of failure by acknowledging that failure is inevitable, but the lessons you learn from it are incredibly useful.
Many wellness practitioners, especially first-time business owners, will get hung up on building their business because they want things to be perfect.
They want to put themselves in the best position for growth, and move deliberately as they make strategic decisions. They want to do things when it feels right.
Here’s a newsflash people – conditions are hardly ever ideal, and getting stuck in a state of decision paralysis can be one of the most common triggers for procrastination.
Instead, read our article on why you should treat your business like your lab. Make decisions, measure results, and move on.
Reflect on What Works
When you are struggling to get going, the only thing that matters about overcoming procrastination is what works.
Everyone will have different tricks to “kickstart” their motivation and productivity. It’s important to find out what works for you so you can employ the same methods during your busy periods, or when outside factors affect your ability to do good work.
So don’t forget to record how effective these different methods are.
Keep track of your time spent working over the day. Find when during the day you are most productive, and when you seem to run out of juice.
“Hustle culture” may have you believe that business owners should be productive for 8+ hours a day, but these expectations are unrealistic (and a one way ticket to burnout).
Stay tuned for the next blog on the Symmetry Collective Knowledge Hub, where we delve into our favorite business tips, wellness insights, and other helpful info for wellness practitioners who are running their own business!