When preparation IS procrastination

Preparation is great, right? Fail to prepare = prepare to fail and all that.

But be careful that your preparation isn’t becoming a form of procrastination itself.

What do I mean by that?

  • Do you spend a lot of time researching options and then not actually doing anything with the final choice?
  • Do you set out to create the perfect plan and then fail to do point one on the plan when it is complete?
  • Do you book courses, conferences, training sessions, and then not complete them?
  • Are you surrounded by books on a topic but haven’t actually read any of them?
  • Do you spend hours looking for the perfect job then not apply for anything?
  • Did you diligently research the best business plan template and still haven’t filled it in?

Buying books, making plans, booking training courses, researching jobs etc all make us feel like we’re making positive moves forward. But unless you are actually taking real steps towards your goal these are all just ways to avoid the fear of getting started.

So what’s the remedy?

You’re going to have to embrace the fear and get started.

If you want to write a book you do not need the best laptop, the cutest notebook or a clear plan. You just need a pen, some paper and your imagination. So just start writing the words.

If you want to start a business, you don’t need the perfect niche planned at the start, but you do need to get out and start talking to people who can help you or are looking for your services/goods.

If you want a new job then you’re going to have to apply for some, even if that’s scary.

Drop the safety blanket

It is really common to hold on to the safety blanket and tell ourselves that the preparation we’re doing is moving us forward, but so often it is just keeping us stuck. We’re procrastinating, not taking action.

Acknowledge the fear

If this sounds like you, don’t judge yourself or get annoyed. Instead, acknowledge the uncomfortable feelings you have about taking action which are encouraging you to stay stuck.

This is usually fear: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not being perfect.

Acknowledge this fear and accept it. Fear does not mean anything has gone wrong.

And then take a deep breath and dive into a task that will actually move you forward, whatever the outcome.

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