In the pursuit of building and growing ultra-successful businesses, entrepreneurs sometimes get plagued by procrastination. This is what I call; the thief of time. Procrastination is one of the most common obstacles to effective time management.

Procrastination is not making a move when you should, putting off some job you know should be done, intentionally not acting on something that definitely needs looking into.

Straightening the desk and reading the mail are tasks that have to be done, but if that’s what you’re doing instead of taking care of the A-number-one-top priorities, such as making follow-up phone calls, implementing a new marketing program, or tackling a complicated project, you are in a dangerous state of avoidance.

So, procrastination is many things: It’s a roadblock that stymies the vehicle of success, it’s an intangible something you can’t touch that does touch you, it upsets your purposeful intentions to a point of frustration.

To resist and control the tendency to put things off, says Odette Pollar, director of the management training firm, Time Management Systems, start by looking at the underlying causes of delay.

These may include, the Inability to Say No – How often have you said yes to demands on your time before evaluating your desire or ability to fulfill them? It is often difficult – but sometimes necessary – to say no to requests, even if the people asking are in need.

The second is, Fear – The root cause of most avoidance is fear – and there are many kinds, fear of failure, success, rejection, anger, embarrassment, or any negative emotion.

Lastly is the unpleasantness of the Task. In fact, very few of us are eager to do something that is distasteful. The longer you avoid it, the more freedom and control you seem to have.

Here are 3 steps to break your procrastination habit:

  • Resist the tendency to answer immediately - The next time you are asked to accept yet another thing to do, resist the tendency to answer immediately. Offer to call back after you have thought about it. Consider what chairing the fundraising  committee really means. Look at your calendar, brush off your resolutions, and most important: determine the true nature of the task. How much of your time, energy and resources will it really take?”
  • When a task is unpleasant, evaluate the need to do it at all. Ask if it can be done less often or more quickly. Is it a task that can be bartered away or hired out? If you must handle it, try to do it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more hateful it becomes. You can spend a great deal of anxious psychic energy doing the job in your mind over and over again. Spend that energy actually doing the task and then begin to reap the benefits of having it finished.
  • Fear - It’s important to not let fear immobilize you. A good technique to use in lessening fear’s impact is to actively visualize yourself facing and overcoming the task and the fear it creates.

When you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself what it is that’s so bad about what has to be done. Remember, anticipation is worse than the actual occurrence can ever be. When you simply are not in the mood to tackle the project, remember: Once you start doing something related to a project, no matter how small that portion may be, you are no longer procrastinating.

For more ideas on starting or growing your own business into the ultra-successful stratosphere I would be willing to work with you directly and answer any questions you have. In the meantime feel free to contact me, leave a comment or check out my mentorship program.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ken Odiwé is the Founder and CEO of Waterstone Management, a boutique consulting firm helping entrepreneurs and companies reach their peak performance. He is also the founder of The Entrepreneur Success Institute. Dr. Ken is on a mission to share the secrets of The New American Millionaires with as many people as possible, so that they can experience the transformation that comes with increased wealth.