Small business owners are really quite good at procrastinating.
Especially in Winter when it is cold and wet out, or if the sun is blazing and it's too hot to go out in the day. Especially when there are (good?) series to binge watch on Netflix and Pins to keep pinning on Pinterest. I can say this confidently, because I am a small business owner and I do this.
In many ways “procrastination” is a naughty word. To some it implies laziness, being unmotivated, distracted, unfocused and countless other trigger words. It means that we aren’t getting the things done and we are failing as contributing adults. Now maybe that’s an exaggeration, but maybe it’s not. The point is we heap a bunch of responsibilities and pressure on ourselves. There is always a deadline and there is always the next thing to complete.
But where is the real procrastination? I don't believe that ALL procrastination is bad. In fact, sometimes it is important too procrastinate, to S L O W down.
More often than not we are procrastinating on our self-care and the things that really matter. Guilty! Instead of sitting up until midnight binge watching Good Girls (it's a really good trashy series, ok), I could perhaps do some Yin Yoga or Meditate or Journal or GO TO BED early! Nah, I'd rather procrastinate this self care.
The focus for this late night procrastination isn't about avoiding work or things to be done, but rather it's kind of like some alone time after everyone else has retreated to bed, and I MUST have this. Half the time I am scrolling and watching or thinking about other things. Surely I'm not alone on this one? It's about allowing space to decompress, alone; getting a mental and emotional break in, which may help to decrease stress and anxiety.
Procrastination is not all about late nights and binging Netflix though. Here are a few more positive ways you can indulge in procrastination. I find all of these activities give me the space to tune out, with out tuning into technology. Sometimes by procrastinating, you actually free your creativity and find yourself becoming more productive.
Ahhh, a good book - there’s nothing like it. No matter the genre, reading is the quickest escape route into another land. Once you pass through that portal there’s no turning back. And if business or finance books are more your speed, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes the escape is in learning something new. Grab your library card or pay your local book store a visit. Many great reads await you.
Is there a hobby or enjoyable activity you’ve been putting off? Now is a good time to pick it up. Bake your favourite cookies. Cook a meal that reminds you of someone special. Knit a scarf. Write in a journal. Paint a canvas, an end table, or a masterpiece. Whatever your “thing” is lose yourself in it.
Raise your hand if you procrastinate on doing dishes and laundry. (*raises hand*) While some find household chores relaxing, others can’t stand them or just never seem to have the time for them. Cleaning has become a “hurry up and get it over with” activity. Slow down a little and do the dishes by hand. Even if you don’t find it relaxing, you’ll walk away with a little more gratitude for the modern-day luxuries.
In some instances, exercise has become another chore. We do it because we know we need to and it will keep us fit and healthy. Sometimes we don’t see the benefit until it’s over and working out becomes another task we must complete. Try approaching exercise in a new way. Find something you enjoy doing. Something you can look forward to. Try yoga or meditation (for those with busy minds, keep a notebook nearby to jot down fleeting thoughts) or go for a walk on a new trail or in a different neighbourhood. Just get out there and move.
Drink coffee. Drink tea. Drink margaritas. Get dressed up for a night on the town or dress down for a night in. Fly solo or invite a friend. For some, socialising recharges their batteries while others find energy in solitude. Do what suits you and I promise you’ll feel refreshed.
OMG! I am the biggest advocate for taking a Nap. Find the nearest hammock, couch or shade. Sleep is essential and we don’t get nearly enough. The benefits of sleep range from improved memory, sparked creativity, improved athletic performance and weight loss to lower anxiety and depression levels. Granted getting a good night’s sleep won’t prevent you from all disease, but quality sleep is a key factor in a healthy lifestyle.
It’s no surprise that my favourite way to indulge in procrastination is through massage. I would so start and finish my day with a massage if I could. The mental and physical break in a softly lit, warm, nurturing treatment room cannot be beat. Added bonus, massage really is good for your health and wellbeing. I'll advocate a last minute bodywork session over catching up on emails any day!
In case you didn’t pick up on it, bringing awareness to our own procrastination is about changing habits. It’s about incorporating enjoyable activities in our busy, stressed out lives. It’s about finding peace while being productive and keeping things in balance. Being riddled with daily stress and anxiety serves no one. Especially you.
I'm a believer in going with the flow. I don't like to force my creativity or push to get things done. Rather, I will write lists, balance my day with things that feel good, aligned with my sense of joy. Yes I will procrastinate. But I do so consciously and by doing so, I do not feel bad about it.
Have you got some dreams, goals or lists of things you want to get done for your business but you keep putting them off by procrastination or simply not doing them? It's nearly the end of the year. In fact it's nearly the end of this DECADE! Do you want to outsource some of your to do list? Blogs, social media posts, re writing your About me page? Let me help so you can spend more time doing the things you love.
Nicola Hogan is a Creative Communication Strategist with a knack for crafting client relationships. A Writer, Holistic Therapist, Massage Therapy Mentor and Mum to 3 school aged kids, Nicola has spent years creating a biz/life balance that (mostly) works. Nature lover, urban gardener and coffee addict, she's a stickler for good customer service and is not afraid to speak out when it's in lack.
Connect with her on all the usual online social places.