The Entrepreneur's challenge: Procrastination
Introduction: Entrepreneurship, a thrilling journey filled with twists and turns, often encounters a formidable adversary: procrastination. As seasoned entrepreneurs, we recognize the need to decode this complex behavior. In this guide, we'll delve into the diverse types of procrastination that entrepreneurs, neuro-divergent or not, may grapple with as the first step to overcome it.
Type 1: Task Aversion and Boredom
Business owners may procrastinate when faced with uninteresting or unusual tasks. It’s completely normal because there is such a variety of skills and tasks to master, it is impossible to like all of them. The key lies in recognizing these moments and reframing them as opportunities for growth. Transforming the mundane into meaningful steps on the road to success is the first step in overcoming this type of procrastination.
Type 2: Fear of Failure
All entrepreneurs will experience some degree of fear of failure. In small doses, it could be actually positive but when out of control, it could paralyse. For neuro-divergent entrepreneurs, the fear of falling short may even be heightened. Understanding that failure is not a destination but a part of the journey can shift the perspective. It's not about avoiding failure; it's about learning and evolving with each entrepreneurial stride.
Type 3: Perfectionism Paralysis
Entrepreneurship is often bourn out of a sense that we can do something better than what is currently offered. So setting high standards is almost a pre-requisite, but perfectionism can become a roadblock. Acknowledge that perfection is a journey, not an endpoint. Recognize the value of progress over perfection and liberate yourself from the paralyzing grip of relentless standards.
Type 4: Difficulties with tasks prioritisation
When the to-do-list is pages long and never seems to reduce in size, challenges in setting priorities can be a major cause of procrastination. This is particularly true for neurodivergent entrepreneurs who have a different relationship with time. Differentiating between urgent and important and learning to allocate a realistic amount of time to a given task will put someone in a better place to implement time management techniques.
Type 5: Overwhelm and Indecision
It often goes hand in hand with type 4 above but not always so it is important to differentiate. Here this is an emotion, a feeling that is very uncomfortable. However, the more we suppress a feeling, the more we experience it. Acknowledging and understanding where it has come from is a very powerful way to change the dynamics.
Type 6: Lack of Immediate Consequences Pitfall
It is human psychology that we either seek pleasure or avoid pain or both simultaneously. When there is no immediate pain for not doing something, we will naturally focus instead on seeking pleasure in doing something we like rather than do something uncomfortable. Understanding this basic human behaviour helps to shift from feeling guilt to understanding and empowerment.
Type 7: Distraction Dilemma
Distraction can take many guises. From social media scrolling, to displacement activities or allowing other people’s priorities to dictate yours, they are all forms of procrastination because they delay from doing what’s productive. Procrastination should not be confused with idleness.
Type 8: Emotional Evasion
If tasks are consistently delayed when emotions like anxiety, stress, or feelings of inadequacy surface, it signals emotional evasion. Pay attention to the underlying emotions triggering procrastination episodes. Ask yourself if the delay is a way of avoiding discomfort or shielding from negative feelings.
Conclusion: Understanding the diverse types of procrastination is the first step in overcoming these challenges. As entrepreneurs, we recognize that addressing procrastination requires tailored strategies. To discover some very effective solutions, get our guide to banishing procrastination and turn it from a stumbling block into a stepping stone on your entrepreneurial journey.
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