Does this sound familiar… you’ve been so busy lately, reading blog posts, watching YouTube videos and reading books on freelancing, that you’re a walking tome of information. In fact, you could win the freelancing version of “Family Feud” you know so much.

But, and here’s the crunch—have you actually put any of what you’ve read and listened to, into ACTION? You know, actually taking steps towards starting your freelancing business so you can start achieving your dreams, reaching your goals and making some moola?

No?

Um, in case you didn’t realise (hello Miss Obvious), but until you take what you’ve read, what you’ve learned and put it into practice, your freelancing business ain’t gonna start itself!

You know what they call this? Procrastination… when you’re doing everything you can, to avoid actually taking any action, taking a risk on yourself and putting your butt on the line.

If you’re experiencing anything like Ellen above, you need to stop procrastinating!!

Easier said than done, right? You might not even be aware that you’re even do it. This can be called self-sabotage too… avoid it at all costs. Below are some tips on how you can actually do this, with ACTION steps for you to follow immediately.

Procrastination, smocrastination—no more for you!

5 Tips to Beat Procrastination Today

  • Make a list of all the steps you need to take to setup your freelancing business, or to get it going. Break that list down further into how much time you'll need to spend to do each task. Work on the quickest tasks first, and work your way up to the longest one until they're all done.
  • Focus on money-making tasks first, such as setting up profiles on outsourcing sites like Elance and Upwork (previously oDesk). Apply for some gigs via these sites and land your first clients. Success breeds more success and is a quick way to kick procrastination in the butt.
  • If you don't feel like doing something, change the name of it. For example, if you've got a task that says, "Apply for jobs on Elance" and you're resisting, rewrite it like this: "Find awesome gigs I'll enjoy." This one simple change can trigger something different in how your mind perceives the task, and that's really what this is all about. If a task sounds boring or looks like hard work, rewrite it into something more fun, then review it again in another 30 minutes... you'll be surprised how much easier it is to tackle.
  • Get in the zone by using tools to help you focus. I use an app called [email protected] which plays different types of music based on what I tell it to do, while timing my activity. I normally set the timer for 30 or 60 minute blocks, taking a break once that time is up. During that time, the music that's playing helps keep me focused on whatever task it is I'm trying to do. Music is a huge part of keeping me happy, but I can't listen to the Top 40 playlist while working, because I'll sing along, which stops my focus. This app plays music without lyrics and it's brilliant!
  • Get organised. Find a way to keep yourself organised. I've previously talked about a number of different apps I use and I've even written a book about it too. Don't become overwhelmed, as this can lead to a ton of procrastination too. Plan out your day with only what needs to be achieved that day and schedule everything else on other days. I use Todoist for daily task management and Freedcamp for project management. Both have free and paid options. Find what works for you and implement it.

Ok, now that we’ve covered off the five tips you can use to beat procrastination and get your freelancing business up and running, here’s your action steps. Because without action, nothing is gonna happen…

Action Steps

Step 1: Start at the beginning. What do you need to do first? Do that, then move to the next thing you need to do.

Step 2: What is your biggest fear about starting? Write it down; write down your worst case scenario and then weigh up the actual odds of this happening to you.

Step 3: If you need help, ask for it. Don't try and be a hero and do it all on your own. Reach out to your network for support, hire a VA and treat yourself and your business seriously.

Step 4: Organise yourself. This is one of the biggest issues with procrastinating, not knowing what you've got to do when. But don't overwhelm your day either. Review the tips outlined above and look to focus on 3 major things each day, always starting with the quick wins first.

Step 5: TAKE ACTION. Hello, none of this is going to happen without you actually doing it. If I could, I'd reach through this computer screen and shake you into action, but I can't (or can I?!)... so you'll have to put up with me yelling at you on screen instead. Do it. Don't sit there and procrastinate further, take one step in the direction you need to go and then take another step, and another, and another.

Sermon over. Actually, one more thing. You don’t have the right to complain about your situation if you’re not taking action. And be honest with yourself, reading a blog post or listening to a podcast is not taking action. Implementing what you learn from those mediums, that’s taking action.

What are you procrastinating about right now? Leave a note in the comments below to make a public statement that you’re going to push through this and take action!

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Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

    5 replies to "Stop Procrastinating and Start Your Freelancing Business Already!"

    • […] Check out the other 4 tips at Outsourced Freelancing Success. […]

    • Holly

      Nice article. I always make list and try to get the work done on the list on daily basis. But if something is not done then I put it on next day’s list. That way even if I do little I know that I have done something. It motivates and organises me.

      • Lise Cartwright

        Thanks for your support Holly! And great tip about moving what you don’t complete over to the next day 🙂

    • Sarah T

      With so many distractions, it is so hard to get things done on a daily basis. One has to be disciplined because once you start to put off one task, it won’t be long before it becomes a habit – which is really bad. Time is gold and time management is key to work and life balance. If things are getting put off all the time, balance would suffer.

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