You are struck with an excellent idea. This idea will change your life. It’s the thing you were waiting for since you started your entrepreneurial journey.
“I’ve got my breakthrough. Now all I need is to research on the topic, chart out a plan, put a team together and the next thing I can imagine is SUCCESS. But, currently I have to take care of something else. So, let me finish it quickly and thenI’ll focus completely on my BIG IDEA.”
Do you recognize this scenario? It is the internal dialogue going on inside our minds. It’s very common and almost everyone goes through it. Usually when we encounter something worth putting our efforts in, something we’ve been waiting for a long time: AN IDEA- A pathway to get you closer to your goals, we should work on it instantly. It should be our first priority. But it’s the thing which usually keeps getting delayed. This is PROCRASTINATION- Delaying something which needs to be done right away.
Common excuses we use - Signs of procrastination. And what can be done.
We usually don’t realize that we are procrastinating. This is because of the BIG FAT LIES that we feed our minds as an excuse for our lack of efforts to leave our comfort zones. Main reasons of procrastination are: Fear- Fear of change, hard work, failure and Unclear goals. Some of the excuses are:
1. “I have some work in hand. I must complete it first so that I can be completely free to work on my Idea.”
But guess what, this ‘SOME WORK’ will just keep piling. It never ends. But after some time, your enthusiasm does end. “Man, I am very busy; it’s a very important work. If only I had some time to work on the idea. Let’s see when I’ll be free.”
What can be done: Such work will never end. The only solution to this is to prioritize things. You’ll have to decide what to work on first. How to make time for it? You MAY have to sacrifice some things. Or I would say you WILL have to sacrifice some things. Like watching movies and series, hanging out with friends more often, etc. But if you are not willing to give up such little things, if you are not ready to come out of your comfort zone, you will never make it; you will never achieve big things.
2. “I am not ready for the idea yet. Or, I don’t know much about it. So let me do some research on it and then I will think about what should be done further. Let me shape the idea first.”
But it never gets finalized. Because the more you’ll look for, the more you’ll find. You would have started out with 6-8 features in your product/ service, but then you found some more and you add them, or replace it with some previous ones.
It is surely taking time. But if you are going to launch something, it should be a perfect one, shouldn’t it? No, it shouldn’t. Why? Because, you will never be satisfied with it. You will constantly upgrade and change things.
This leads to two things– First, your product will lose its originality. And second, since you are just thinking for months about it, but have not started it, your energy will die and eventually you will give up. Actually this research is also an excuse. You don’t want to get into action and thus keep on procrastinating by saying that you need more research about your idea.
What can be done? Just start. Start with the basics. Make a prototype. Don’t try to go all in at once. Start small, launch with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Get feedback. Note down new ideas that you think should be implemented. Make upgrades as per the feedback and your new personal ideas. Launch the initial product. Once the product is launched, the whole scenario is different. You are getting live feedback. The real situation is in front of you. You are no longer working on assumptions, but instead, you are working on factual data. And thus later upgrades to products or new products will be as per the market behavior rather on your assumptions and fears.
Just don’t OVERTHINK.
3.“I have the idea ready. I have the design ready. But I don’t have a team. Or, I don’t have a mentor to guide me through the execution steps.”
It is true, that with a team or mentor, the scenario would be completely different. You will last longer, make a greater impact and obviously do more things. But all this can be done, only if the idea is ever executed. If the idea is never executed, there will be no impact, no difficulties, nothing.
What can be done:Just start working on the idea alone and spread the word of what you require. Things will slowly and automatically start happening. You will have the team you dreamt of before you even realize!
4. “I don’t have funds- What if I spent months working on it and I never found funds? It will all be a waste of time and efforts”
If this is your thinking, JUST QUIT. Don’t do it. Because, firstly in most of the cases you won’t find funding until you have a strong B-plan and future vision and have some basic stuff to show the investors. Secondly, the idea should be your passion. It should excite you. It should take away your sleep. If you are afraid of failing at it, if you think that it’ll be a waste of time, then just quit. Don’t do it. If you are not willing to sacrifice for it, if you are not willing to risk it all for it, then it is never meant to be.
What can be done: Same as above, just start with a MVP. If you believe in it, take calculated risks (take the leap of faith). Find a way to start it, with the min possible expenses, MVP. Help will come as you move forward.
5. “I am still checking out legalities. I need to be 100% legal before launching it. Every aspect should be covered.”
Don’t waste so much time and money in thinking about all the legalities and stuff. First of all, unless you are not an attorney, you will always miss out something somewhere. Secondly, if you are a startup, you won’t have enough funds to hire a team of attorneys to take care of those things. Just start off with the basic legalities, the main ones which are enough to get started. Slowly with time, you will learn things and thus everything will be taken care of accordingly.
How to keep a check on procrastination?
Best way- Maintain a diary. Note down the thoughts, ideas and work done daily. Review your progress every week. Set goals and keep a track of it. Analyze your progress. How can you be more efficient, where you are wasting time, etc.In the long run, you will be able to track down how it all started, where you started. How much you and your organization have grown.
Dire effects of Procrastination
You decided to learn something new. You decided that you’ll spend 45mins daily working on it. You’ll be sincere in your efforts for about a week. Then you’ll start skipping practice. You’ll say- I have some work to do, I will attend to the practice later. I will practice tomorrow for 90mins. Or, I will cover it on weekends. The frequency of skipping the practice will increase and slowly with time, you won’t be able to cover it and after 3-4weeks, you won’t even realize it, but you would have side tracked the activity and stopped working on it. The thing that could’ve been learnt in 3-4 months is now completely ignored. After 3-4 months, you will realize (maybe) that today, I could’ve known that thing, if only I had been consistent, if I hadn’t procrastinated.
If something pops up in your mind which truly excites you, you can’t stop thinking about it. JUST GO WITH IT. Prioritize the work, set up a basic schedule, be determined and disciplined enough to sincerely follow it. Do the basic research, consider the resources you have and how you can make the most out of them. Start working. Create a prototype. Launch it (or pitch it to investors). Take risks if you can truly see its worth. Sometimes you have to risk it all for the dream only you can see. Slowly, with time, if your dedication and efforts are true, things will automatically start working out. The path will form on its own.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid of not trying. Experiment with new things, if it fails, learn from it. Modify, try again. Try until you get success. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS. And also, NEVER LET YOUR DREAMS WAIT. Start working on them immediately. Action defines your life. Idea alone can do nothing. Once you get an idea, you have to align your actions with your goals to achieve them.
I have personally suffered a lot with this procrastination stuff in the past. I still sometimes get caught up in this thing, but now I realize it before it gets serious and thus end it. I have found various methods to end this and control it. I surely will write about them later. If you have a specific issue or doubt, you can contact me anytime, on instagram, facebook or even mail me. We will have a discussion about it and try to find a solution.
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