One of the Psychology Today blogs provided three great tips to combating procrastination in a posting called “3 Tips to Reduce Procrastination.” Here’s my interpretation of the posting.
1. Just get started. Research shows that starting a task changes our perceptions of that task. If you wait for the perfect time, you might never get started–indeed, waiting for the perfect time might be the start of procrastination.
2. Suck it up. Don’t chase after good feelings. Every task has its unpleasant characteristics. You just have to gut through them. I’ve found that when I just get started and suck it up the task usually becomes satisfying and procrastination goes away.
3. Be honest with yourself. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you work better under better conditions and put off the task until those condition exist. When you recognize this self-deception, remind yourself of steps 1 and 2.
These tips are great for everyday productivity if you have a tendency to procrastinate, but there are also some useful lessons for small businesses–especially in these economic times. If you have a great product, don’t procrastinate by obsessing about every imperfection and try to make the perfect product.
Instead, get your company going, don’t be afraid to meet the challenges when they arise, and get into the market. You can improve upon the specifics as you go. If we had waited for the perfect Macintosh, we would have never shipped. To paraphrase Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be crappy.”