March 22, 2023

Are you struggling to make progress in your business because your to-do list is so overwhelming? Listen to this latest podcast episode where I’ll be sharing:

  • The best way to be productive at work
  • How to stop procrastinating (and spot the causes of your procrastination)
  • The best way to make progress in your business without wasting time.

Listen to the full podcast episode using the player above or read the blog below.


Looking at why you might be procrastinating in the first place, people often procrastinate out of fear of not knowing how to do something. Or there might be a fear of rejection. I see this with clients who struggle to take action on a business development plan because they are scared of rejection. It can also also be a result of trauma, neuro divergency or other reasons that can cause procrastination.

When this happens to me I ask two questions: what do I keep pushing? And why do I keep pushing it? Then you get honest about why. When you become aware of the things you push and why you push it, you can put in place practical solutions.

It’s worth journalling why you are procrastinating. Is it because you don’t have time? We can also make time to do stuff. Maybe you are not spending time because it’s a “should” thing and you know it won’t make any impact. If this is the case, scratch it off or delegate it.

You have critical things in your business that have to be done. I have to call HMRC and put it off because I can’t be bothered to sit on hold. I struggle with patience and want to be in the right frame of mind to make this call. I need to get myself into the right mood to make this call and do the right task while on hold. This is a classic example of procrastination.

What are you avoiding on your to-do list?

Look at your to-do list and decide what it is that you don’t want to do. Then you need to coach yourself through it. Why are you stopping yourself? Where do you need help? If I was badly procrastinating, I’d ask for a friend or colleague to hold me accountable.

If it’s a fear of rejection, then you need to talk to someone about this so you can deal with it. I come across this all the time with clients and it’s the benefits of having someone in your corner talking you through this. I can help to see the problem realistically, look at the consequences if you don’t do the tasks and give real-life examples of other clients.

Sometimes you need to get used to rejection so that needs to be put into perspective. Having a conversation with someone to highlight this can be a big benefit. You need to understand why you are procrastinating in the first place so that you can move forward. Once you are aware, you need to take action.

You need to keep procrastination under control. There are different levels of procrastination. Watch this Ted Talk by Tim Urban for a funny insight into procrastination. If you let procrastination take over it becomes habitual. Then you’ll start procrastinating on all kinds of things. You need to take small steps on what you’re procrastinating on to teach your brain how to move forward.

What is critical on your to-do list?

If you have an overwhelming to-do list, you need to understand what is critical. What do you have to focus on to make your business tick along? This might be getting your accounts signed off, tax issues, the admin – anything that makes your business work.

You cannot get away from doing critical tasks. If you procrastinate on these, it will take up more brain space than if you just get it done. Delegate what you can but tackle the critical jobs so they don’t weigh you down.

What is important on your to-do list?

You might have positioning goals or building your pipeline actions. You’ve got to work out what is important. Does it generate money or consistency in revenue? It might not be a monthly revenue goal but a consistency in income. And, of course, goals change.

You need to pick what is important to you right now. If you have consistency then it might be about building a pipeline or visibility and positioning. In order to generate revenue, you might need a mix of things going on. You need to work backwards from your overall goal so you can work out what you need to do. Then look at your to-do list and see what contributes towards these actions.

Let’s say you have five things on your to-do list that contribute towards the actions you need to take to reach your end goal. Then you need to work out what will work for your time and needs. Such as dong a masterclass over launching a podcast. What are your priorities? Work out this and let the rest drop away.

You should now have a more manageable list.

What can you delegate?

You might not be able to delegate anything. Perhaps you don’t have a team or anyone to delegate to at the moment or you don’t have the funds to hire someone. If this is you, then I have something else for you. But if you can delegate: do it.

This does not mean delegating sales and marketing. Instead, delegate what you know how to do but don’t need to be doing. For example, delegating accounts as this will free up your time. The biggest mistake I see business owners make is thinking they struggle to make sales so, therefore, delegate their marketing and sales.

If you don’t have a proven business model that you’ve articulated and are still not getting customers, then you need to work on this first. You need to prove your product sells before you hire a sales and marketing team. If you’re in this position then you need to look at articulating what you do, if it’s clear what transformation you bring to your clients and who you sell to.

If you’re struggling with sales and marketing, get help from a business coach to find that clarity, and understand what people want and then you can delegate with ease. In this context, I’m talking about easy, quick wins that people can do on your behalf.

For me, the first delegation in any business should be an accountant to take the pressure off of you.

Can you chunk down big projects?

Perhaps it’s not about making immediate sales because you’ve got clients paying you each month. Instead, you want to work on your positioning and launch a podcast to really build a credibility boost. Yes, you don’t want to tackle too many things at the same time but you also need to be able to multi task to a certain extent in your business.

If you fall down on working with multiple projects, then you need to evolve the way you work. If you work best doing one thing after the other, then it’s not the most fruitful way to work on your business. This will cause feast and famine modes. If you’re not working on building your pipeline because you’re working on your website, when it comes to the end of that project you’ll have a drop off in income.

Work out what activities in your business are important and what you do on a regular basis. What is the bare minimum to keep things ticking along? Then you know what you can shrink down during busy periods to these bare minimum activities.

After you chunk down your big projects, you work out the small steps you need to take to launch the project. Or get advice to launch a project. Speaking to someone who has done it before or can do it for you, you will save more time. But you need to make time to do it else it will continue to slip down the list.

Time blocking your actions

Finally, put the time in your calendar to take the action you need to do. It’s so simple and hardly anyone does this. We are all human and no one does this all of the time but it is so important. I know that I need to make time to record a podcast. So it goes into the diary. Of late, that has been pushed but now I’ve got a back catalogue of episodes, I can re-release an episode if I need. When I only had 20 episodes, I would never have pushed this time.

I put recording time into the calendar so that it gets done. Your critical tasks need to go into your calendar. You also need to be realistic about how much time it will take. It’s better to give yourself more time than you need.

Layout all the projects you have and then an overview of what you need to get done. You can see what’s critical, what the priority is and what you need to get done. Then look at where you can delegate. And plug the time into your calendar so your brain can relax because you have a plan and there is time for everything.

If you look at your calendar then, you can see how long it will take. How does that sit with you? What is important and what will you make time for? Are you comfortable with the deadlines you’ve given yourself? If you don’t have deadlines, you won’t be productive.

And don’t put yourself under any undue pressure. Don’t work yourself into the ground but equally, you will get something done quicker if you have a shorter deadline. And 80-90% of the project will be done in the last few weeks.

Useful links: 

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About the author 

Jennifer Hall

Jen Hall is Business Clarity Coach for Coaches, Consultants & Experts who want to become Unrivalled Go-To Experts.

Jen not only gets you clear on your micro-niche, message and what makes you unique and desirable, but she helps you to define what makes you an irrefutable offer to the market so you can position yourself as a high-end 'must have' option for your prospects.

She is a Multi-Award Winning Speaker and Best Selling Author of Expert Unrivalled.

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