How to overcome procrastination and create momentum
Whether you’ve already work as a freelancer from home or are just starting out, most likely you will face procrastination at one point or another. Or you simply just struggle to keep yourself motivated and feel overwhelmed.
Maybe you have noticed some habits or thoughts that are preventing you from being successful – or even just getting started.
Here are my top five strategies on how to stay motivated and create momentum!
Creating vs. Consuming
When working with social media we need to be a lot on social media right? Wrong!! The biggest trap you can fall into is consuming too much social media instead of creating it. Does this sound familiar? You go on Instagram just to upload a story and 45minutes later you know what Susan was having for lunch or worse you saw some famous influencers and now you feel like your life is not fun compared to theirs and why even bother creating something you don’t even have “enough” followers…
Now you are in comparison mode and nothing good ever came from this place. Plus the more you consume the more you lose your own creative voice.
When working with social media I suggest creating four times more than you consume. And have a timer set! You can set a reminder directly in Instagram that lets you know when you’ve spent for example more than 30 minutes.
You can also block out specific times during the day when you go on social media to post the content you’ve created or even better use a tool like Planoly to pre-schedule all your content on Instagram.
But how do you overcome procrastination when you are already in it?
Find your WHY!
What is your BIG VISION? Be able to travel and work online? Be able to work from home? Be able to leave your 9to5?
Write that down somewhere where you can see it every day!
Then grab your journal and write down how you feel assuming you’ve already achieved this vision, like you are already living it. So don’t write I would feel great. Write in the present and be specific. This could sound something like this:
I wake-up with the sun (no alarm needed) and feel rested and empowered to start my day. I feel calm yet excited to start my day. I love the clients I work with….
By bringing you awareness back to your WHY, you’ll start to feel positive emotion and the motivation to keep going.
Create a goal plan not a to-do list
The next step is to create smaller goals and action steps towards that big vision. A goal could be: Get my first client within the next 30 days.
This is the biggest mistake I see people making. They are too scattered and work on so many things at the same time without reviewing why they are doing certain tasks. Not having a goal plan also leads to procrastination because you can’t create small wins along the way.
Make sure that your goal is achievable and measurable. When you don’t even have your first client yet, then a goal like “creating six figures in the next month” is not an achievable goal. Again, set goals that bring you closer to your vision which means “having 10k followers on Instagram” is not necessarily bringing you closer to that vision.
Then write down the action steps you need to take in order to achieve this goal. Only write down action steps that bring you towards that specific goal. It might be nice to have a website or your own logo but will that really get you a client? No! Once you’ve listed all the tasks you need to do in order to achieve that goal, you map them out in your planner (you can get my planner here) or use an online tool like Asana or Trello for this.
Each day you write down at least one task, with a maximum of three tasks that you are committing to do.
In this specific example it might be:
- send out cold pitch emails
- look for potential clients in entrepreneur Facebook groups
- reach out to people on LinkedIn
- and so on.
While creating stories on Instagram or designing nice templates in canva is fun (at least to me) and might also look very nice, it won’t move you towards your goal which means you will get demotivated and actually lose momentum.
If you stick to your goal plan however you will create smaller wins for yourself and those wins will motivate you along the way.
Even just ticking off those three tasks every day is a win itself. It feels good to get things done and you’ll know you are moving towards your goal – task by task.
So think of your number one goal for the next 30 days and then look at your to-do list. What are “nice-to-haves” and what are “essential tasks” you need to be doing?
Nice-to-haves examples: Logo, branded templates, Pinterest board covers
Having specific goals with action items towards that goal helps you eliminate unnecessary tasks, removes overwhelm and creates focus! There are always hundreds of things you could be doing but if you want to be your own boss you need to think like one.
We might be able to multitask but the outcome is never as good. It means our focus is scattered across many different things and most of the time you end up finishing nothing. This will make you feel demotivated and create a lower vibration.
In order to stay focused, create time blocks for each task. For example from 9am until 10am you are reaching out to five potential leads on LinkedIn. During that time turn off your email notifications and put your phone on silent in another room.
You can even use a system like this:
Or just map it out in your Google calendar.
Answering emails or Instagram DM’s (not watching stories) also goes into your Google calendar. Not every email or DM needs to be answered within two minutes. Create specific time blocks for this! You’ll then be able to see how much time you realistically have.
Gratitude and Success Journal
Sometimes we are so busy achieving our big vision or our goals that we forget what we already did achieve a lot of things during the process or forget what great things we already have in our lives.
Before working on your tasks sit down and write down three things that you are grateful for. Do this every single day. This doesn’t take long but has a massive impact on your energy.
You will start your work with an elevated emotion. Rather than watching someone else’s life on stories, start with your own life. Think about what great things you have in your life and then go work on your tasks with this elevated emotion.
Did you know: that most successful entrepreneurs prioritize their mindset and energy, before they focus on their tasks for the day?
In addition to that, have a page in your journal where you list all your small and big wins. This can be: “I have done my three taks today that move my business forward” or noting down a nice comment you received or a potential client connection.
Keep adding to that success list and go back to it whenever you feel a bit lower in energy or you’ve fallen into comparison mode.
Don’t beat yourself up when you realize that you did compare yourself. Just notice it, let it go and focus on what you already achieved!