Is your to-do list full of tasks that move you toward your goals or tasks that just keep you busy??
This is an issue I see all the time when my clients and students decide to take on something BIG – creating a course, launching a podcast, stepping up their income goals.
They’re all excited, making big plans, ready to rock and then…distracted by random tasks that have NOTHING to do with what they wanted to accomplish.
It’s a trap we can easily fall into which is why this week I’m sharing how to recognize it, why it happens, and how to get back on track.
Resources + Links
Learn how to use Asana + plan in advance with The Productive Solopreneur
Listen to episode #25 on goal setting
Get on the waitlist for my coaching program (create + launch a digital product!)
If you’re an active procrastinator like me, when I get antsy or stressed I start doing all the things. Sometimes it’s random tasks in my business, and sometimes it’s me trying to clean and organize everything in the house.
For you this might look like:
- Redesigning or moving your website
- Updating your branding or photos
- Redoing a video or content that’s already been released
- Spending time researching something
- Creating another freebie, another course, another ebook
I see this all the time in my coaching program because of my students are working toward creating and launching a digital product, which most of them have never done before.
It’s intimidating, it’s out of their wheelhouse, and it brings of lots of mindset issues that are prime for procrastination.
This means you might…
Avoid that bigger task by taking on lots of smaller ones
I need to sit down and record 12 videos for my course, but instead I’m reworking the freebie that I created weeks ago. Something that’s already set up, finished, published.
Create something new instead of adjusting your marketing strategy
My course isn’t selling the way I’d hoped so I’m going to break it into cheaper, mini courses. Or my course isn’t selling the way I’d hoped so I’m going to throw it away and make something different.
Decide that you need to do x, y, z, before you can take the next step
I need a better website before I can share it on Instagram.
I need new photos before I can send people to my website.
I need to invest in a mic, camera, lighting kit before I can make videos.
So how do you know if you’re adding tasks that are a priority or adding tasks as a distraction?
1 – If it involves re-doing something that isn’t truly broken – that’s a red flag
Did the audio on your video come out all crunchy or you just don’t like how you sound? Often we want to fix things that we’re personally picky about, but won’t make a difference to your audience. Ask yourself – will they get more out of the video if you redo it?
Are you updating your site because it’s hard for people to find things or because you’re sick of the design? Again ask yourself – will it be better for your audience?
2 – What comes up / how do you feel when you think about doing that big project?
Am I good enough to launch this? Will people actually buy? Will the hate it and want a refund? That’s imposter syndrome showing up to try and slow you down.
Or maybe you’re worried that you’ll put time into something – like a podcast or YouTube channel – and no one will watch?
We often put off tackling a project that could make a big difference in growing our business because there’s no guarantee of success. But you won’t know if it will work until you try it.
As always – planning your week in advance will help with this.
Once you have your week planned, look at all of the tasks and determine if they should be a priority.
Priority tasks should move you toward your goals:
- Adding testimonials to your sales page versus browsing Pinterest for sales page design ideas (not going to boost sales)
- Hopping on Instagram Stories to teach your audience or pitch your product versus making new graphics for your IG highlights (not going to boost sales)
- Taking your IGTV videos and posting them on Youtube verses taking those IGTV videos down and re-recording them because you didn’t love the first version (not gonna boost sales!)
You can always go back and re-do things, but not at the expense of tasks that can affect your bottom line.
So if your business is not where you want it to be yet, be very careful about what tasks you add into your days. You only have a certain amount of time and if priority tasks are being pushed back you are slowing yourself down.
How about a little homework…
- Get out a doc / sheet of paper
- Write down your goal for the next 30 days – create a course, book podcast interviews, earning a certain amount (if you aren’t sure go back and listen to episode 25 about goal setting)
- Make a list of all the things you want to do – all the tasks you want to check off: update website, add Instagram highlights, update your opt-in boxes
- Make two columns – need to do / want to do: take all those tasks an organize them into columns. Need to do tasks will help you accomplish that goal and turn into growth, customers, clients, and cash. Want to do tasks don’t directly help with that goal.
- Schedule all of your need to do tasks.
- Take all those want to do tasks and put them on a list in Asana, Evernote, Google Docs, and keep adding to it when new want to do tasks come up.
- Once the need to do tasks are done, then you can go back to the want to do tasks.
If you have a hard time sticking to this getting feedback from a coach or mastermind group can help keep you from wasting time or energy on things you don’t really need to do.
And if your goal is to create, launch, and sell a DIGITAL PRODUCT, my coaching program is opening again next month and we absolutely tackle the tendency to take on too many want to do tasks!