I’ll Do It Later (Procrastination Tips)
by Helaine Iris

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound
they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams

Let's talk about the P word. Procrastination.

If this is you, this pervasive, habit effects every aspect of your life. As a
procrastinator you typically under perform, limiting success and the life you want to
live. It dampens your ability to take action, creates missed opportunities, and is the
single pattern of behavior I see in most entrepreneurs that if corrected would free up
log jams of energy and potential.   If you're a procrastinator you know in your bones
that this is true, yet, it seems like an impossible habit to break.  

It's easy to see in others how much unnecessary pain and stress procrastination
causes: my daughter for example, endlessly putting off school work and pushing
herself at the last minute to meet a deadline, my client, putting off completing his
taxes and suffering the consequence of costly penalties. I'm sure you could add your
own examples of miserable outcomes you've experienced as a result of putting
things off.
So why do you continue to do it?

I've learned that procrastination is not the originating problem. It's a symptom of
something deeper in your personal operating system, or put another way, a coping
mechanism you developed to compensate for an area of lack. The bottom line is you
procrastinate to protect yourself from feeling something you don't want to feel.

Although there are many valuable strategies out there for overcoming
if you don't get at the root of what causes you to procrastinate, I
believe you won't ever change the pattern.
There are many theories about what
causes procrastination: anxiety, fear of failure (or success) rebelliousness, or chafing
at authority perfectionism, poor work habits, self-sabotage to name the biggies. But
interestingly enough, according to research what seems to be at the bottom of the
procrastination pit is low self confidence and a low need for achievement.

Curiously, those two personality traits seem to run counter to the common
characteristics most entrepreneurs exhibit. So then, why do entrepreneurs
procrastinate? There in lies the conundrum and the hope.

As an entrepreneur, you're human - with all the associated strengths and
weaknesses. Although you have boldly accepted the role and risks of building a
business and you're passionate about bringing your dream to market,  it's very easy
to overlook your limitations.

Here's my invitation to you: Ask the fearless, passion-filled part of yourself who's
learned to push the limits of your comfort zone every day to explore the parts of
yourself that need personal development. Get to the bottom of what limits your
confidence, in other words, dare to ask, "Who would I be without my tired, small
story about myself?

I was recently working with a bright and talented artist who is holding herself back
from blasting her business to the next level. She's worried that her product won't be
received well and procrastinates taking critical sales action. When I asked her if she
had evidence of product rejection she said she didn't, and in fact her dramatically
increasing sales prove the opposite.

When I pointed out the obvious discrepancy in her reasoning, her jaw dropped. She
got it - and now understands that her work lies in addressing her nagging confidence
issues. She's learning to draw upon her current successes to disqualify the voices of
the past. This frees her up to stop procrastinating, take powerful action, and soar!

Ending your procrastination pattern is possible if you're willing to apply energy to
what you want to ignore.  By exploring what you fear, or what you resist you will
overcome it with self-awareness and then can replace your old thinking with current
reality. You might need to ask for help.  

Reinforce your new awareness by taking small steps and acknowledging yourself
every time you have a success. Also, regularly remind yourself of why you want to
accomplish your task. Set small achievable goals using inspiration to pull you along
into action - finally, beyond procrastination.  

I'm reminded of the Marianne Williamson quote where she so aptly states, as if she
was thinking about the problem of procrastination when she wrote it, "
Our deepest
fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond
measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us..."

Start right now. Be powerful beyond measure. And please, resist the temptation to
"do it later". Go grab a flashlight and begin to shed light on what's at the bottom of
your procrastination pattern. How might it feel to see yourself as an accomplisher
rather than a procrastinator?

Build that business, do the dishes, live your dream.

About the author:

Helaine is a Life and Business Coach, who has been featured in numerous publications,
including "O" The Oprah Magazine. She helps entrepreneurs and professional women
accelerate their professional success, while achieving a more complete and fulfilling personal life.
She combines a broad range of professional experience in her work, including management
positions in the education, training, retail and international non-profit sectors. For a free
consultation, contact her at 603-357-8546 to discuss how she can help you accelerate your own
success. You may also visit her website,
Path of Purpose, for additional information, or email
your questions to

Helaine is also featured on our Home Office Weekly profile.  Click here...
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