Do you have something that you’d love to pursue?
Maybe it’s a project that you’ve been planning or a thing that you’ve always wanted to do.
A lot of people have an idea for a business that would allow them to do what they loved and escape their current career. However, most of them never do it.
Have you ever heard yourself saying something like this?
“I’d love to start my thing – I’m just waiting for…(insert excuse here).”
It may be that you’re waiting for a less busy time at work. Or for your car repayments to end. Or until you’ve become an expert on the subject.
If this sound like you, keep reading because I have the solution.
Waiting for the perfect moment.
Here’s the hard truth. You may not want to hear it, but nothing will happen until you understand it.
There will never be a perfect time.
If you’re waiting for everything to align perfectly, it never will. Life often goes the way we don’t want it to, so we have to adapt and do the best with what we have.
I was in the same situation before I launched Escaping to Freedom. I had been brewing the idea of starting a blog about entrepreneurship and personal finance to teach people what I had learned.
But I kept procrastinating and putting it off, giving weak excuses and generally waiting for a better moment. Of course, the moment never came – nothing ever fit perfectly.
That’s when I decided to stop reading, stop learning, and just do it.
What you need to realise is that you probably already know enough to start. It’s easy to fall into the trap that you need to keep reading and learning more before you can start.
Definitely apply the Pareto Principle here.
As long as you do around 20% of things well, you’ll get 80% of the results.
The worst thing you can do is wait until you can do 100% of the things you think you need – you’ll then get 0% of the results because you’ll never start!
Why do we procrastinate?
It turns out our brains and wired to be great at instant gratification – especially when it comes to positive rewards or pleasure.
You do X, and Y happens. You like Y, so you keep doing X. After a while it’s become a habit and it’s hard to break it.
We also prefer concrete things, rather than abstract, future rewards. This makes us terrible at realising the consequences that our inactions will have.
I guess this worked fine for our ancestors, whose biggest worry was making sure they’d have enough to eat and wouldn’t be eaten by wild animals! What an easy life 😉
Because starting a thing is hard, our brains don’t like it. They prefer to offer us an easier way to feel good.
That’s when lying on the sofa watching TV or eating a big pizza enter our minds. I won’t lie, those are two of the best things in life. They just won’t help you to start your business!
You’ve got time…but not that much
I was recently watching a few TED talks and got sucked into what ended up being a whole afternoon of TED knowledge. This stuff is addictive!
Towards the end of my binge – as I was getting tired of people talking – I stumbled upon a talk called Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator, by Tim Urban.
It was a great talk about procrastination in which he described my work ethic during my degree with surprising precision.
I basically did nothing until the day before.
He also went on to discuss Parkinson’s Law, which is why we always tend to take up all the time that we’ve been given to do a task. You’ll know what I mean, unless you’re the kind of person in school who started their homework on the day it was set!
Because your project doesn’t have a due date, you’re always going to let it expand to fill all your allocated time.
Towards the end of the video, he showed an image similar to this. This is some heavy stuff, so be warned!
Each circle is a month of your life.
If you’re 30, you’ve already lived for 360 months, so you only have about two thirds left… Sh*t!
A quote from Fight Club came to mind when I saw this:
“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
This scared me because I’ve always considered my future life to be this really long amount of time and that things can wait. Do you think that as well?
Stop Procrastinating and Start Your Thing!
Your life isn’t unlimited. If you’re not happy with your current situation, you need to begin to change it ASAP.
If you’re reading this, the change you seek is probably to do with starting your own passion-driven business or being better with money.
Related: How to Start Your Own Blog in 30 Minutes
If you want to lose weight, just start. You know the basics – eat fewer calories than you need. You don’t need a PhD in nutrition to lose weight – this is the best resource I know.
If you want to save money for an emergency fund, you need to develop some strong money habits. Check out these 7 tips.
If you want to start the business that you’ve always dreamt about but never took the leap, just do it!!
What’s the worst that could happen?
If you fail, you’ll be much wiser for it – and that will make you more likely to succeed in the end.
Thanks for reading! If you know somebody who’s struggling with procrastination, make sure you share it with them using the buttons below!