So today I did very little. I didn’t work on my business, I didn’t do anything round the house, I didn’t look for work, I didn’t do anything interesting. Instead, I procrastinated. I had an excuse for my procrastination of course; I had to take my cat to the vet this morning for some scans. He’s not been well just recently and it’s been worrying us. Then the call came back from the vet. Our poor kitty has heart disease. I won’t go into detail (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, if you’re interested though), but that’s obviously been quite upsetting.
So today had an excuse; I’ve been worrying about the cat. It’s been on my mind all day and it’s meant I haven’t really been in the mood for work. Fair enough.
But looking back? Yeah. I can see all kinds of excuses for not getting stuff done. I’m tired. My brain’s a bit fuzzy. I should read twenty different articles on best SEO practices. No point working on my business while I’m waiting to hear back about these jobs I’ve applied for, if I get one of them I’ll have wasted my time.
And so on.
Actions cause results
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
If there’s one thing I should know by now, it’s that actions cause results. If you do nothing, you’ll get nothing done. It seems obvious, but it’s something I have to keep reminding myself of.
Take this very blog, for example. I’m trying to make this my case study in action. When I decided it might be a good idea to start a blog, I didn’t procrastinate. I took action. I bought the domain name, set up some hosting, installed WordPress and just got on with it. Then, to make sure the whole project didn’t peter out, I set myself the challenge of getting up to 25 posts by the end of March (this makes number 8, by the way!). These aren’t going to be perfect posts, not by a long shot. They probably won’t even be good posts. But they’ll be posts, which is still better than no posts! The point is, rather than procrastinating or worrying about being perfect, I’m just doing something. I’ll worry about perfection later.
So why procrastinate?
I procrastinate because it’s easy. If I’m procrastinating, then I don’t have to produce anything. If I’m not producing anything then I’m not producing anything bad. After all, if you don’t try then you can’t fail, right?
Wait but Why has an excellent article on procrastination – I highly recommend you go and read it, and the following part 2. I personally spend a lot of time in the Dark Playground. It’s a lot of the reason why I’m in the situation I’m in – rather than working on building a business, I’ve been moping around finding excuses for not doing the things I should be doing. It’s not laziness – I’ve never been afraid of hard work – it’s more complex than that.
So here’s what I’m going to do
I think this blog is a shining example, at least to me. I simply need to take action. Even if those actions aren’t good, anything is better than nothing. So for at least an hour a day, I’m going to do something. Not planning, not thinking about things, but actually taking action. Rather than reading about the best ways to approach new clients, I’m actually going to put a list of sales leads together and approach them. Rather than reading endless articles about great SEO techniques, I’m going to actually work on improving my site.
All this effort may well suck, but you know what? It’s fine. Sucking at stuff and just doing it anyway is how we get good.